In short: Gated content with power-creep. ArenaNet has fallen very far from what was promised in the manifesto. Sure, it was too good to be true in the first place (affect the world in a permanent way/no more 10 minutes respawn timer yadda yadda), but it was something people – to varying degrees – were able to live with.
This upcoming change radically changes the foundation for your game.
- Competitive WvW players need to grind this. Yes, need. Competitive. People – or rather fanboys – has to understand that this isn’t really optional for the truly competitive. And ArenaNet benefits from competitive trailblazers. Just look at WoW’s raiding scene for comparison.
- Old content becoming obsolete – you can craft exotic gear. You need to grind Fractal for Ascended gear. Arguably you can still go to the old places for skins, but as the post says, there’ll be additional Ascended gear. We have now the first steps of a gear-treadmill, regardless of how delusional Anet is and try to spin it. This runs counter to the core tenet of GW2.
Even more interesting, this shows a blatant lack of correspondance between the community and the developer. I’d argue that sub-10% of GW2’s playerbase want a gear treadmill. If people leave it is because:
- tPvP is in its death-spasms from lack of support.
- It’s because WvW has become extremely unstable due to transfers, with servers “dying” in a regular basis (formerly Ruins of Surmia/HoD/ET, now apparently Gunnar’s Hold).
- It’s because we were promised that the game “wouldn’t be this boring grind amongst occasionally fun tasks” (paraphrasing manifesto), yet what we received was a game whose endgame was the epitome of a korean mmo grind with an added RNG component that combines fantasy mmo with a shady Las Vegas casino.
It is NOT because people want to grind additional gear. It is NOT because people want to do even more work kitting out their alts. It is NOT because people feel a “lack of progression”. It is because the end-game activities – WvW, s/tPvP, Dungeons – are not being supported enough and suffer from bad design choices.
Going into how these three end-game areas could be improved would require entirely separate and long posts, hence I’ll leave that to others who have already done a wonderful job of highlighting the problems (see for instance Pray’s post regarding s/tPvP).
That being said, my own few bulletpoints:
- Don’t allow free transfers galore. Once every 3 months/free, otherwise paid. We need to build actual server communities.
- Tune dungeons properly so that fights become shorter, more intense and overall ‘make more sense’. Some fights already are, but a large segment of the fights are extremely long compared to the ease of their mechanics due to sheer amount of hp. In short, they become boring. If a mob telegraphs an attack in slow-motion every 10 seconds, it shouldn’t be necessary to slap it for 3 minutes.
- Get to work on a proper ladder/ranking system in tPvP. ELO. Right now a fresh team of rank 1s can risk running into an established team of rank 40s+ and get demolished 500-10. It’s not enjoyable for either and it causes people to leave because there’s simply too steep an entry barrier. The alternative – paid tournaments – suffer from the same problems as there’s often 30 minutes+ waiting time. Fun fact: It requires two paid tournament finale wins to get on the “official ranking” Anet released. That is as clear a testimony as any that the current pvp environment is not in a healthy state.
Focus on getting proper ranking and matchmaking system first. ASAP even. Rented servers be kitten You can’t make an e-sport without bottom-up player-support. The average Joe won’t have a rented server and won’t be inclined to start delving into which one he should join for proper scrims. After matchmaking, focus on Rented servers/spectator mode/et al.