As someone from New Zealand, all the one time events are at a time I can’t make. Thus I feel treated like a second class citizen compared to other players. On it’s own I would have been content adding my voice to those complaining.
Then there is ANET’s manifesto:
“Here’s what we believe: If someone wants to play for a thousand hours to get an item that is so rare that other players can’t realistically acquire it, that rare item should be differentiated by its visual appearance and rarity alone, not by being more powerful than everything else in the game. Otherwise, your MMO becomes all about grinding to get the best gear. We don’t make grindy games — we leave the grind to other MMOs.”
-Mike Obrien, President of Arenanet
Fun impacts loot collection. The rarest items in the game are not more powerful than other items, so you don’t need them to be the best. The rarest items have unique looks to help your character feel that sense of accomplishment, but it’s not required to play the game. We don’t need to make mandatory gear treadmills, we make all of it optional, so those who find it fun to chase this prestigious gear can do so, but those who don’t are just as powerful and get to have fun too.”
– Colin Johanson
Finally, since combat is such a core part of the gameplay of any MMO, we’ve put a lot of emphasis into rethinking combat. So much of traditional MMO combat is rote and repetitive. You execute the same strategy over and over again, just augmented over time with better and better gear. After a while it starts to feel like you’re playing a spreadsheet. Combat needs to be about making creative choices, and it needs to feel immediate, active, and visceral.
This manifesto is a major reason why I decided to buy GW2. But every piece of evidence I’ve seen says Ascended gear goes against that manifesto. I want to be wrong on this. I want to see evidence showing that Ascended gear isn’t so bad. But every time new evidence comes out, it makes things look worse.
Frankly, I feel lied to. I know I’m not the only one.