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A new blog post from Linsey Murdock describes some of the new "Ascended" gear coming to Guild Wars 2 in the upcoming November update and why it's being introduced. This has become an incredibly hot topic the moment it came out of the oven. Players have stated concerns about future gear progression as well as the role the new infusion slots will have in the game.

You can read this blog post on the Guild Wars 2 official website here, but here's a quick summary for those looking for some answers.
  • There will be a new monster condition called "Agony", which is where the new infusion slots come into play.
  • Players must "infuse" to protect against this deadly new ailment.
  • Infusion slots come in Offensive, Defensive, and Omni protective varieties.
  • In terms of rarity, Ascended items fall between Exotic and Legendary.
  • Currently, Ascended items only come in the form of rings and back slots, but there's room to expand in the future.

Quote

As we watch Guild Wars 2 mature in its Live environment, we have found that our most dedicated players were achieving their set of Exotic gear and hitting “the Legendary wall.” We designed the process of getting Legendary gear to be a long term goal, but players were ready to start on that path much sooner than we expected and were becoming frustrated with a lack of personal progression. Our desire is to create a game that is more inclusive for hardcore and casual players alike, but we don’t want to overlook the basic need for players to feel like they are progressing and growing even after hitting max level. Adding item progression is a delicate process normally undertaken in an expansion, but we feel it’s important to strive to satisfy the basic needs of our players sooner rather than later.

How do you feel about the introduction of a new tier of gear to the game?  What about the new Fractal dungeons or Agony?  Tell us what you think below!
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#1 Zedabi

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:31 AM

Can't say I'm not a little disappointed. I won't quit because of it though. It won't stop me enjoying the game.

#2 Var

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:34 AM

Can I convert the equivalent dungeon gear back into tokens now, please? Because the gear that was supposed to be the best around... suddenly isn't.

#3 NuclearDonut

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:39 AM

View PostVar, on 13 November 2012 - 04:34 AM, said:

Can I convert the equivalent dungeon gear back into tokens now, please? Because the gear that was supposed to be the best around... suddenly isn't.
Your dungeon sets are still the best around. Ascended items are only backslot items and accessories. Actual armor won't be implemented for a long time, so start preparing for those.

#4 Arewn

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:42 AM

So from my understanding, they're adding one more step before legendary so that the jump isn't so big, this final step of gear can also be 'infused'. This new step will only be for a few gear slots, filling more slots with future patches/content.

And the infusion itself is a dungeon specific gear tier that allows you to progress deeper into that dungeon through a stat only needed in that dungeon.


Assuming my interpretation is right, I like it. There's very little power creep since it's only one or two item slots that are getting better, and the main upgrade for those slots is a dungeon specific stat that doesn't make you over all more powerful.

#5 Azure Skye

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:43 AM

View PostVar, on 13 November 2012 - 04:34 AM, said:

Can I convert the equivalent dungeon gear back into tokens now, please? Because the gear that was supposed to be the best around... suddenly isn't.
Did you have fun getting them? Isn't Agnoy like Spectral Agony in GW1?

#6 dtRush

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:44 AM

View PostVar, on 13 November 2012 - 04:34 AM, said:

Can I convert the equivalent dungeon gear back into tokens now, please? Because the gear that was supposed to be the best around... suddenly isn't.
lol, only took 2 responses before this. How are you seriously going to complain about a ton of new free content? Because you might have to upgrade a few pieces of gear to fully complete it? Jesus christ

#7 Chava Blue

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:44 AM

View PostShayne Hawke, on 13 November 2012 - 04:26 AM, said:

How do you feel about the introduction of a new tier of gear to the game?

Initially I was surprised (not in a good way,) but the more I've thought rationally, the more I realize it makes sense, for exactly the reasons Linsey said. This is a need/want their playerbase is definitely expressing. It's not something I was personally hoping for, but I'm willing to accept it.

I haven't yet decided if I'll get it for myself - depends on the stats difference and what's involved in acquiring it - but I think that having it available will make things more fun for a lot of players, and ANet is doing the right thing by being responsive to feedback.

#8 Xephyr

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:45 AM

This sounds pretty interesting. Im glad they wont introduce all ascended gear at once, as Ive just finished my gear stat-wise.

Also.. About the ascended back slot items... please please please tell me theres a cape :P

#9 AngryTom

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:47 AM

That pink ring was insane.
Did you see those stats?!

View PostXephyr, on 13 November 2012 - 04:45 AM, said:

This sounds pretty interesting. Im glad they wont introduce all ascended gear at once, as Ive just finished my gear stat-wise.

Also.. About the ascended back slot items... please please please tell me theres a cape :P

I too hope we get sweet clippy capes that look all messed up on Charr bodies.

#10 IsThisNameTaken

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:47 AM

The power creep begins...

#11 Zedabi

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:47 AM

View PostAzure Skye, on 13 November 2012 - 04:43 AM, said:

Did you have fun getting them? Isn't Agnoy like Spectral Agony in GW1?

Yup. Although, personally, I don't know why they couldn't have kept stats at Exotic level with max gems, and then just have the Infusion progression, as opposed to stat progression as well.

That being said, I got a feeling they only brought out back and ring slots to gauge reaction. Given a negative reaction, I think they (hopefully) might keep stats as Exotic, and have specific progression for Agony.

#12 Valkaire

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:49 AM

So... I'm guessing the dungeon is going to be based around the Mursaat with the whole agony and infusion thing...

#13 Azure Skye

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:52 AM

Is it only for accessory only, not armor?

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#14 Zedabi

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:54 AM

View PostAzure Skye, on 13 November 2012 - 04:52 AM, said:

Is it only for accessory only, not armor?

The November update will bring out rings (obtainable in the dungeon) and a back piece (obtainable through a Mystic Forge recipe).

Then, eventually, they'll bring out armour and weapon sets.

#15 Dystoria

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:54 AM

View PostAzure Skye, on 13 November 2012 - 04:52 AM, said:

Is it only for accessory only, not armor?

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Yes, right now they're only adding ascended rings and back pieces. No armor or weapons yet.

#16 NuclearDonut

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:54 AM

View PostAzure Skye, on 13 November 2012 - 04:52 AM, said:

Is it only for accessory only, not armor?

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It's only accessory/back slot for now, but they said they're eventually gonna implement entire armor sets in the future.

#17 Arewn

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:55 AM

View PostIsThisNameTaken, on 13 November 2012 - 04:47 AM, said:

The power creep begins...
The thing is, the power creep is barely there. Three gear slots are getting 13 extra attribute points per slot, Total of an extra 39 points, it's not even a 1% increase in stats(per slot). The main reason the new gear is desirable is because it counters agony, which is worthless so far as character power goes, but allows you to progress deeper in the dungeon.

#18 ogrejd

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:55 AM

Joy. Gear treadmill. Just what they promised GW2 wouldn't have.

#19 Grimrist

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:56 AM

all of this just to appease the people this game wasn't even marketed to? ok.

#20 Var

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:56 AM

View PostAzure Skye, on 13 November 2012 - 04:43 AM, said:

Did you have fun getting them? Isn't Agnoy like Spectral Agony in GW1?

Did I have fun spending hours in WvW to get my gear with tokens for WvW? Yes.
Am I going to enjoy being forced to keep up with a power curve by grinding a PvE dungeon with gated content to keep an even playing field in WvW when my time is already limited? No.
Do I care all to particularly about the dungeon token gear? No.
Do I care that they are slipping down the slope of a power creep which murdered every aspect of GW1 from its PvP to its PvE? Yes.
Do I care that they gated their content with a nonsensical mechanic that I will have to keep updating to do more content? Yes. (So much for skill > gear. So much for everything GW1 stood for...)

Next up, they add gear progression to PvP because "thats what everyone wants".

I'd have seriously taken a dungeon full of Kohler as trash, boss, and mega boss mobs rather than some gated garbage. What is the point of gating? To add an artificial delay on the progression of your content. This has been WoW dance for as long as I can remember, locking people out of raids for a whole week after a single run. Why? To pad out the progression. And in there case it made sense, you were paying them monthly. In this case it makes *-all sense.

And there isn't a single reason provided for why the gear couldn't be exotic stats + best in slot gem + infusion slot. None.