Firstly, I want to congratulate you on creating a wonderful game and a beautiful game-world for us all to enjoy. Also for your continuing hard work to improve our gaming experience.
Increasingly I feel as though Guild Wars 2 is at an important crossroads that will largely determine it’s future success. Initially you had an enormous amount of player goodwill due to the principles you try to operate by, but this is in danger of being lost in a very short space of time. The difficulties players are having with the current event highlights this. So here are my thoughts (for what they are worth) on how to steady the ship.
1) Improve communication with players.
At the moment there is not enough feedback from yourselves, and when it arrives, it is often late and players.are already angry.
The information provided needs to be prompt, clear and concise, and actually answer gamers questions. For example, if players had an explicit assurance that Ascended items were the last tier being introduced, I think all the fuss would die down regarding that issue.
Please don’t be afraid to offer speedy and sincere apologies for mistakes made. Everyone makes mistakes and most people understand this – and a heartfelt apology would instantly mollify those who are upset. With regard to the current event, it seems as though you are trying to run before the game can walk. We all want ambition and innovation, but perhaps we are not yet ready to see events of this magnitude. If I am right about this, a recognition of said fact and an apology would smooth over ruffled feathers and rebuild the confidence that you are trying your hardest to make a better game for your customers.
2) Get the simple things right first.
To be honest, most players, including myself want to see the basic game operating smoothly rather than big events etc.
There are still more bugs than there should be at this stage, and more botters spoiling our game experience.
Nobody expects a perfect game but I would rather your efforts right now concentrated solely on providing as bug-free and bot-free an environment as humanly possible, as well as introducing the smaller things we need such as Trade-Post previews etc.
Once this stable platform has been established, please do start looking at introducing these events again, in a way that works as intended and makes for a fun experience – better to make us wait a little longer for these treats but get it right!
3) Stick to your principles
What appealed to many before through game was even released was your wonderful manifesto and the promise of a new game in the genre that would put the focus back on having fun. I loved that I could play the game my way and not be forced down one route or another. I want to get myself to level 80 (done!) and get myself fully kitted out and map completed (not done!), and then relax and go wherever I wanted and get involved in whatever I want – I want to be free from the endless carrot-on-a-stick and just enjoy what I have done, and the rewards of that achievement. Many players bought Guild Wars 2 on this basis of your vision laid out in the manifesto – which is why so many feel – rightly or wrongly, somewhat betrayed. I love the idea of sideways progression and working only for cosmetic/vanity items rather than statistical superiority. I want to see new zones, dungeons, items and stories for all levels; especially those at max level – but please add these without forgetting what made Guild Wars 2 such a different and special proposition to begin with.
Anyway, apologies for the essay and I do hope this is read by someone at ArenaNet, and considered properly.
Thankyou once again for the many hours of fun your game has brought me, and the many more fun hours ahead of me.
Rhonwyn Emrys from Seafarer’s Rest