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Guild Wars 2 Endgame: You Actually Get to Eat the Carrot

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#1 Darkademic

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:46 PM

This is an article I've written for my website and I thought I'd post it here to see what people think. It's long, I know. If it's too long for you, nobody's forcing you to read it!

-----

Summary

Due to the length of the article, a brief "executive summary" was requested to encapsulate what I'm trying to get across.

The purpose of the article is to explain how Guild Wars 2's "endgame" differs from the raiding model commonly found in other MMORPGs, and explain why concerns about its longevity or its appeal are largely unfounded. It is not an attack on raiding as such, but I do point out the flaws I see in the raiding model used in other MMOs, and also identify why these flaws exist.

Also, by "you actually get to eat the carrot" I mean that in Guild Wars 2 rewards are ends in themselves, and are not a means to gaining access to additional content (which in turn offers rewards to access further content, and so on ad infinitum) as in most MMOs.

Introduction

Something which has been debated and discussed extensively within the Guild Wars 2 community is the issue of the so-called "endgame". Anyone who has played an MMO will more than likely be familiar with the term, which basically means content which exists for players who have reached the level cap.

In this article I will discuss the nature of the endgame in existing MMOs, the approximately equivalent features present in Guild Wars 2, and the concerns that have been raised about the radically different approach Guild Wars 2 is taking. I will not be covering PvP features here (I intend to do so separately at some point in the future).

The Endgame Model of Most Other MMOs (Raids)

In most MMOs (World of Warcraft being the most obvious example), reaching the level cap is accompanied by a significant shift in both the content available and the rewards offered. Prior to the level cap, quests and 5-man dungeons are the most common PvE activities, rewarding the player with enough XP for a reasonably fast rate of levelling, enough currency for any necessary expenses, and gear appropriate to their current level. Upon reaching the level cap, these activities become obsolete almost immediately: XP is no longer an issue, the currency rewards become either insufficient or unnecessary, and the gear rewards no longer provide improved stats.

This is where raiding comes in. Raiding is the focus of the PvE endgame in most contemporary MMOs, and it involves challenging, instanced content designed for groups of more than five players, usually in the form of scripted boss fights and requiring a significant amount of preparation and teamwork to be beaten. The in-game rewards come in the form of better gear (replacing XP), and to a lesser extent currency, crafting materials and achievements.

As I see it, the most crucial difference between raids and all of the preceding content is not the increased difficulty of the content, or the increased number of players required, or the replacement of levels with gear as the primary gauge of progression; it is the introduction of repetition.

Levelling is like going up a hill. The slope is gentle at first, and then gradually it gets steeper, each step requiring more effort than the last. Still, there's plenty of interesting scenery as you ascend. Raiding is the equivalent of reaching the top of the hill and being put onto a treadmill. Whereas you never need to repeat content while levelling, raiding requires you to repeat the same content many times in order to squeeze out all of the possible rewards from it. Then, in the case of World of Warcraft, when you've finally acquired all the rewards from a particular treadmill, your only option is to get back on the same treadmill with the speed cranked up (heroic mode)—at least until the next tier of treadmills is released.

Contrary to what you may be thinking, I don't believe raiding is necessarily bad (in and of itself); it can be a lot of fun and often features challenging and entertaining encounters. However, it is commonly accompanied by other elements which makes it repetitive and far from ideal.

I also don't believe that the existence of raiding is the product of an evil conspiracy to trick people into paying the subscription fee every month. While having a subscription fee does mean that there is an additional incentive for developers to keep players playing for as long as possible, a game's longevity is desirable even without said subscription fee (for example, to encourage the purchase of expansions or because it will reflect positively on the developer's reputation), so the root cause must be found elsewhere.

I would argue that the raiding model (in its widely used "treadmill + carrot-on-a-stick" form) is primarily and inescapably the result of two key factors. Firstly, developers are unable to produce new, high-quality content fast enough to keep up with the speed at which players complete it. Secondly, characters are constantly increasing in power, which sooner or later renders all but the latest content obsolete. Simply put, new content isn't released fast enough, and existing content rapidly becomes trivial and rewardless.

This trend culminates at endgame where you are restricted—relative to the game as a whole—to a very small amount of content in the form of raids. To counteract the above issues, raiding features three main devices which artificially extend the lifespan of this limited amount of content: Repetition, low drop rates, and increasing difficulty. Repetition provides an endless reel of content to play through, drop rates dictate roughly how many times the content needs to be repeated in order to be "completed", and increasing difficulty serves to further slow down progression (often leading to a point for many players where they can no longer progress at all due to a lack of time, skill, knowledge or experience). Some MMOs (including WoW) add yet another progression slowing device in the form of raid lockouts, which limit the amount of times you're able to repeat a particular raid within a given period of time (in WoW's case, once per week).

So, while the raid model used by World of Warcraft (amongst others) for its endgame generally does a good job of keeping players entertained—or at least occupied—long enough to keep playing until new content is released, it has severe drawbacks which cannot be remedied due to core decisions that were made early in the game's development.

Guild Wars 2's Model

ArenaNet describe Guild Wars 2 as not having an "endgame" as such (or as being "entirely endgame"; effectively the same thing). The game has also been built with an anti-grind philosophy in mind from the very beginning—like the original Guild Wars—which ArenaNet hope will eliminate many of the issues present within existing MMOs, including those described above. Notably, in relation to the above discussion, Guild Wars 2 does not feature raids.

When it comes to the concerns surrounding Guild Wars 2's endgame, or lack thereof, there are a few that have been widely raised, and they can be broken down into two broad categories; concerns about the lifespan of the content, and concerns about the nature of the content.

Concerns About the Content's Lifespan

In terms of the content's lifespan, players are worried that the perceived void left by a lack of raids will not be adequately filled, causing players to be entertained for a shorter amount of time than they would have been if raids were present. Whether this particular concern is valid or not ultimately depends on what motivates you to play.

Most MMOs make use of the following infinite loop, which could be considered the "engine" of the endgame: Gear increases your character's power which allows you to defeat more powerful enemies which drop gear which increases your character's power which allows you to defeat more powerful enemies… and so on.  It is reasonable to assume that for most players, one part of the loop serves the motivating aspect, whereas the other serves as the means to it.

This infinite loop does not exist in Guild Wars 2, and if the motivating aspect for you is the constant increase in your character's power then you will be disappointed. I would however ask you to question why it's important; after all, the increase in power doesn't significantly impact your experience as newly added encounters are designed to be a match for you, no matter how large the numbers on your character sheet might be. In fact, if character power is kept constant, it makes it easier for developers to create content with a finely-tuned level of difficulty.

On the other hand, if it's the facing of the encounters which serves as the motivator for you, then you likely have nothing to be worried about.  In Guild Wars 2, new content expands rather than extends the game. Thanks to the side-kicking system, content never becomes obsolete; when you reach the level cap your options are not limited to content specifically made for the endgame, you can still play any of the dynamic events or attempt any of the dungeons you may have initially missed. Furthermore, dynamic events provide constant variation across the entire game world. A zone might be completely different the next time you visit it due to different events being active, events being at different stages, or events having a different number of players participating in them.

Now, while your character may not endlessly increase in power, that isn't to say that the content offers no in-game rewards whatsoever once you reach the level cap.

Firstly, there are rewards which expand your abilities. These include weapons, which determine five of the skills you have access to at any given moment, traits, which alter your skills or attributes in some way (these are being reworked as I write this, so we don't know exactly how they will be acquired), and slot skills (including elite skills), which fill your remaining five skill slots (acquired by earning skill points, at least at the time of writing). All of these things combined provide a significant amount of depth in terms of character builds which is great news for those who enjoy theorycrafting and experimentation.

Secondly, there are rewards which provide ways of customising the appearance of your character. For example, each dungeon has its own unique armour set, and there also exist rare dyes which can be used to change the colour of specific parts of your armour. It's not unreasonable to assume that Guild Wars 2 will also feature other kinds of collectibles and treasure to give people more of a reason to explore the world and/or trade with other players; the original Guild Wars had mini-pets for example.

Thirdly, there are rewards which provide a sense of achievement through explicitly tracking your progress and recording your character's history. Achievements, titles and statistics are now a common feature of MMOs, and these are all present in Guild Wars 2.

As well as the content described above and its rewards, there is also the crafting system, the two-way auction house, and mini-games. There isn't a great deal of information on these features, but suffice it to say they will provide compelling additions to the core gameplay.

Concerns About the Content's Nature

In terms of the the nature of the content, players are unsure whether Guild Wars 2 will cater to certain types of players, in particular to hardcore raiders due to an apparent lack of anything that has similar characteristics to raids (i.e. challenging, instanced encounters designed for premade groups of more than five players).

The answer to this is quite straightforward, and requires these players to define what specific qualities they need in the game in order for them to enjoy it. Dynamic events and explorable mode dungeons will both fulfil certain combinations of the qualities offered by raids, but not all of them.

For example, if raiding appeals to you because of the large number of players involved, or because of the "epic" feel of fighting massive bosses, then dynamic events are exactly what you want. Conversely, if raiding appeals to you because of the challenge—the difficulty of the encounters and the requirements of preparation and teamwork—then explorable mode dungeons will provide you with these things.

If however you absolutely must have all of these characteristics within a single type of content, then Guild Wars 2 most likely will not be for you, at least in this respect.

Conclusion

Hopefully this article has helped to ease some of the concerns people have about the endgame in Guild Wars 2. When ArenaNet says "the entire game is endgame", they are more than justified in doing so, and hopefully I've demonstrated why. It is a complicated subject, and a lot of it comes down to our own perceptions and how we are motivated.

Whereas other MMOs use the "treadmill/carrot" raid model, which requires repetition of content and continuously increases your character's power, thus rendering content obsolete as you out-level or out-gear it, Guild Wars 2 takes a completely different approach. There are still plenty of challenges, plenty of things to explore, plenty of rewards, and plenty of other things to do, but the game does not revolve around endlessly increasing numbers as its primary mode of "progression".

In Guild Wars 2 you actually get to eat the carrot.

- Darkademic (Guild Leader [DkR] Dark Reavers GW2 Guild)

Edited by Darkademic, 10 February 2012 - 12:40 AM.


#2 kDev

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:55 PM

Great now i have no choice but to read your incredibly long thread after such an awesome title xD

Edit: Glad i did, great read

Edited by kDev, 06 February 2012 - 10:18 PM.


#3 Greibach

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:00 PM

My lord, A Wall of Text Challenger has appeared! To put it shortly, I agree. You did a great job of keeping your points short and making them flow into one another rather than simply rambling them all together, it was a nice read.

#4 Astalnar

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:04 PM

I must say; Nice post and it pretty much sums all our bickering and fighting in numerous threads for some time now.

And what even better does, it normaly explains and presents every situation and concern without elitistic snobbism that was omnipresent if your view was not in accordance with general view of the matter.

Great post, thank you for that.

------------------------------

I would just like to add, that if you feel the urge to comment and discuss this topic. Please for the love of all end game content, keep it civil. I understand we all have our own opinions, but that does not mean we need to play hardball. And if past threads are any indication, our opinions tend to get heated rather fast.

Edited by Astalnar, 06 February 2012 - 10:08 PM.


#5 Sykriar

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:05 PM

Definitely enjoyed the article! You brought up some great points and it was fun reading it.

#6 Anabolic

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:06 PM

I'm a lurker but just wanted to say this was a good read :)

#7 Mr.me

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:12 PM

Very good read, thanks for posting it. I'm getting a bit sick of the "dungeons/DE won't be enough" topic appearing in all manner of threads.

#8 Dizzard

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:13 PM

I read it all, very good read.

What you say makes a lot of sense. There isn't much else I can say without repeating what you already said.

#9 Darkademic

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:15 PM

Thanks everyone, really glad you liked it.

#10 Drokk

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:22 PM

Well said. Hopefully players have an open enough mind to acknowledge the truth in what you say.

#11 Fozzik

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:24 PM

Well-written and worth the read. I would say that I was a tad disappointed, at least in terms of the structure of the article. In the first half, as you discussed previous MMORPGs, you did a great job of laying out some specific points which I thought were quite interesting and well broken down.

I assumed you would parallel those points in the second half of the article and talk about how GW2 answers those issues in new ways. Instead, the second half seemed like a separate description of GW2, more of just a general overview of the game, and didn't really address what you talked about in the first half (not directly, anyway).

It may be that all the info is there, and each point was compared / contrasted directly between GW2 and other games in your head...I'm just pointing out that the structure of the article could show that better.

Just as one example, you mention that developers' inability to create content fast enough to keep up with players leads to raids being necessary. How does GW2 address this issue? I know you do describe the answer to that question, but you don't directly reference the point in the first part of the article, which makes things a bit disjointed. Tie your comparisons together better between the first and second half, and I think you'll have a winner of an article. :)

#12 Grazel

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:24 PM

I didn't actually read the article but I got enough out of the title
one piece of advice: write about your own opinions not just stuff someone else said and you thought made sense

#13 SithAssassin

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:25 PM

Why would i eat a carrot when there is better things to eat?

#14 0ranos

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:25 PM

Indeed.

That's all that needs to be said, I think.

The major issue really is when people begin trying to fit GW2 into molds that it does not fit. No, the game will not be for everyone. And that's okay. Because the people that it's not for will have the games they want to play, and they probably won't be the kind that we want to play.

Thus: no raids? No problem!

#15 Chalky

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:27 PM

Please remember that the rules about "+1" replies still apply to this thread.  Please make sure your post is saying something!
Do you need help or just want to chat about moderation?  Drop me a PM.

#16 Helion

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:29 PM

Ok, so i have one question for you...
Whats the link to your site, so we may enjoy more of those articles?

#17 Hives

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:31 PM

Very well said, sir, very well.

Nice read, I agree with you absolutely. But still, you can never change the mentality of some people, therefore - there always will be some who will claim that GW2 is casual, because it has no 999-man cluster-**** raids :P

Edited by unraveled, 07 February 2012 - 11:12 AM.
Please let the filter do its job.


#18 Adele of the Flames

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:31 PM

The article deserves a longer reply, but: great read, great write-up, and all so very true. Guild Wars 2 is certainly poised to reinvent the genre if it manages to pull this off. I for one have zero interest in a treadmill game (so nicely put) and would rather just...you know. Enjoy the game itself. That essentially seems to be what ArenaNet is doing and you've done a good job of showing how that works. Thanks!

#19 Jalex

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:36 PM

I think people who are new to GW2 and are wondering about the end game experience could do lot worse than start off with this article.

#20 Arch Angel

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:36 PM

It's kind of sad when we need to have elaborate, well written and logical replies like this dispel the riddiculous mental tunnelvision that previous mmo generations have instilled in us.

Thank you for taking the time to write this, I hope that people will spend at least a few moments of their time to read it.

#21 Darkademic

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:39 PM

Fozzik said:

Well-written and worth the read. I would say that I was a tad disappointed, at least in terms of the structure of the article. In the first half, as you discussed previous MMORPGs, you did a great job of laying out some specific points which I thought were quite interesting and well broken down.

I assumed you would parallel those points in the second half of the article and talk about how GW2 answers those issues in new ways. Instead, the second half seemed like a separate description of GW2, more of just a general overview of the game, and didn't really address what you talked about in the first half (not directly, anyway).

It may be that all the info is there, and each point was compared / contrasted directly between GW2 and other games in your head...I'm just pointing out that the structure of the article could show that better.

Just as one example, you mention that developers' inability to create content fast enough to keep up with players leads to raids being necessary. How does GW2 address this issue? I know you do describe the answer to that question, but you don't directly reference the point in the first part of the article, which makes things a bit disjointed. Tie your comparisons together better between the first and second half, and I think you'll have a winner of an article. :)
Feedback very much appreciated! I'll see if I can make the comparisons more obvious.

To answer your question, I'm basically saying GW2 solves the problem of developers not being able to produce content fast enough firstly having much more dynamic content (so the same area can be revisited but provide a very different experience), and secondly by making sure content never becomes obsolete (via side-kicking). This means there is a lot more "active content" at any given time, meaning developers don't have to keep extending the content in a linear fashion, it's more like inflating a balloon. Yes. Players roam around inside a balloon, and ArenaNet inflates the balloon with content. Not a perfect analogy but it'll do. :cool:

----------

Helion said:

Ok, so i have one question for you...
Whats the link to your site, so we may enjoy more of those articles?
:) I'll let you know when I've written more. That said, I have written one other, which is more of a general break-down of the things I like about Guild Wars 2. I spent a lot less time writing it though so it's probably not as good.

Unfortunately it got buried after it was merged with the "What do you like about GW2?" thread: http://www.guildwars...109#post1070109

#22 Tamora

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:52 PM

i just thought "what is the purpose of that article" when i read it. do u want to convince ppl who enjoy raids or do u want to affirm those who don't that raids aren't good? another anti-raid post or article wont change anything. also raids in gw2 wouldn't be anything like raids in other games. here is an example how raids would work in gw2: http://www.guildwars...40.html?t=22940.there would still be the power plateau and there would be repetition, but optional one. the repetition in order to get a full set of gear would not be worse than at 5man dungeons in other games or even gw2.

if u'r worried about repetition, reputation farming, which was in gw1, achievements and titles, which are confirmed for gw2, should be ur first targets. that's repetition without "hardware" reward. or how often do u think u'll be killing that frog, cuz it drops that color set? so regarding pve repetition is inevitable for ppl who play a lot. u even named the reasons why.

what u forgot to mention is, that raids are germ cell player interactions. repeatedly playing with the same ppl forms a community. and here the more the merrier is valid. if one out of a group of 20 ppl is leaving, the group still exists. if one out of 5 leaves the group, it's noticeable. if one out of 2 is leaving, the group is disbanded. i'm convinced that wow doesn't last so long, cuz the content is so exciting or cuz the rewards are so awesome. i'm sure it's cuz the same ppl are playing with each other again and again. game where it's too easy to solo, like swtor where u got a tank- or healbot, don't form a healthy community and therefore lose players quickly. gw2 just got the advantage, that it there is no hurdle to come back somewhen, but then most ppl on ur friends list will be offline. it's casual-friendly, but it's also for mavericks. that doesn't mean gw2 doesn't have anything to offer. it got plenty of things to offer and all it got to offer is appreciated. just the question is for how long? as long as raids are optional, like in the suggestion i made, i don't see a problem having them.

all in all, the article is a bit lengthy, but u put some thought into it. at least it's not completely biased.

Edited by Tamora, 06 February 2012 - 10:57 PM.


#23 nf_zeta

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:55 PM

Agree with this article greatly. What i see as the main difference in the structures of GW2 and older MMOs is the motivation for doing content, as arena net have said they strive to make a fun game and therefore there is nothing that really forces you on a treadmill for results like a weight loss program where you want  the results enough to just push through everything, instead it just simply shows you a "theme park" and suggests you try it out and have fun.

#24 Drokk

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:56 PM

Drokk said:

Well said. Hopefully players have an open enough mind to acknowledge the truth in what you say.
Continue to dream, Drokk. ;)

#25 Iseldiera

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:59 PM

Good work on the article, well written.

A few points I'd like to raise.

In the post-wow era, with the exception of the failed experiments of darkfall and warhammer online, each and every mmo we played copied the "engine" that you described in your article.

Each time, for pvp-minded individuals like myself, the devs have given "hints" and "teasers" at how their game is going to cater for the needs of the pvpers who are looking for non-instanced, objective oriented, massive scale, world-affecting pvp.

Each time we were dissapointed. We tried to fight back during early announcement, beta, early release periods, but the fact of the matter was there: these were pve games built on the gear progression and raiding system, and everything else was secondary.

With Guild Wars 2, my mind is tricking me to believe the Devs when they say they will cater for the needs of the pvpers who are looking for non-instanced, objective oriented, massive scale, world-affecting pvp. Maybe I am wrong again, like I was wrong with Rift or SWTOR or all the others, but I feel that if arenanet can seriously pull this off to bring us a non-gear grind centric game and end the search once and for all.

With all that said, I think any person looking for a long term satisfaction in this games pve environment should reconsider -i feel that the  dynamic story pve system is only there to get us to the point where we are ready for what this game truly has to offer: which is competitive/esport pvp mode and the WvWvW.

I hope this time I am right. PvE people can play their wow, rift, swtor, tera. leave this one to us please.

#26 Darkademic

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:05 PM

Tamora said:

i just thought "what is the purpose of that article" when i read it. do u want to convince ppl who enjoy raids or do u want to affirm those who don't that raids aren't good? another anti-raid post or article wont change anything. also raids in gw2 wouldn't be anything like raids in other games. here is an example how raids would work in gw2: http://www.guildwars...40.html?t=22940.there would still be the power plateau and there would be repetition, but optional one. the repetition in order to get a full set of gear would not be worse than at 5man dungeons in other games or even gw2.

if u'r worried about repetition, reputation farming, which was in gw1, achievements and titles, which are confirmed for gw2, should be ur first targets. that's repetition without "hardware" reward. or how often do u think u'll be killing that frog, cuz it drops that color set? so regarding pve repetition is inevitable for ppl who play a lot. u even named the reasons why.

what u forgot to mention is, that raids are germ cell player interactions. repeatedly playing with the same ppl forms a community. and here the more the merrier is valid. if one out of a group of 20 ppl is leaving, the group still exists. if one out of 5 leaves the group, it's noticeable. if one out of 2 is leaving, the group is disbanded. i'm convinced that wow doesn't last so long, cuz the content is so exciting or cuz the rewards are so awesome. i'm sure it's cuz the same ppl are playing with each other again and again. game where it's too easy to solo, like swtor where u got a tank- or healbot, don't form a healthy community and therefore lose players quickly. gw2 just got the advantage, that it there is no hurdle to come back somewhen, but then most ppl on ur friends list will be offline. it's casual-friendly, but it's also for mavericks. that doesn't mean gw2 doesn't have anything to offer. it got plenty of things to offer and all it got to offer is appreciated. just the question is for how long? as long as raids are optional, like in the suggestion i made, i don't see a problem having them.

all in all, the article is a bit lengthy, but u put some thought into it. at least it's not completely biased.
The purpose of the article is primarily to address the concerns people have about GW2's endgame, i.e. that a lack of raids will make it too short or make it lack important qualities that can only be found in raids.

I enjoy(ed) raids, but I would say they are flawed precisely due to their repetitive nature.

As for repetition, my point isn't that GW2 has no repetitive elements, the point is that they don't form the primary "engine" for the endgame as in WoW. You don't have to repeat content to progress to more content in GW2.

You may be right about the social aspect, but I don't think the social aspect requires raids as such.

#27 Tamora

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:05 PM

Iseldiera said:

Spoiler

well, if u don't care about pve, why worry about raids? the separation of pve and pvp skills alone, like in gw1, should remove any influence from pve.

#28 Darkademic

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:08 PM

Iseldiera said:

Good work on the article, well written.

[...]

With Guild Wars 2, my mind is tricking me to believe the Devs when they say they will cater for the needs of the pvpers who are looking for non-instanced, objective oriented, massive scale, world-affecting pvp. Maybe I am wrong again, like I was wrong with Rift or SWTOR or all the others, but I feel that if arenanet can seriously pull this off to bring us a non-gear grind centric game and end the search once and for all.
Thanks.

I really hope they do too. Strange as it may seem, considering I just wrote a massive article about PvE, I will be playing primarily for the PvP. As I mentioned, I intend to write an article which discusses it separately.

#29 Tamora

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:14 PM

Darkademic said:

The purpose of the article is primarily to address the concerns people have about GW2's endgame, i.e. that a lack of raids will make it too short or make it lack important qualities that can only be found in raids.

I enjoy(ed) raids, but I would say they are flawed precisely due to their repetitive nature.

As for repetition, my point isn't that GW2 has no repetitive elements, the point is that they don't form the primary "engine" for the endgame as in WoW. You don't have to repeat content to progress to more content in GW2.

You may be right about the social aspect, but I don't think the social aspect requires raids as such.

well, gw2 is worth its money with or without raids, so ppl shouldn't be concerned. there is nothing to lose.

as for the "engine"... i don't know, if u read the suggestion for raids i linked. i replaced that engine with temporary rewards. in the end raid rewards are only temporary either, if u'r just after stats. the next from a harder dungeon or increase of the lvl cap makes them pointless. not sure, if temporary rewards would work, but it would keep the social aspect. it's well possible that raids are not required to build a community. i just think they help, but they are no guarantee (as seen from many games).

#30 AndrewSX

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:15 PM

Nice read and well-written. Also, agree on those points you make.

I'm a GW1 player, and actually, if you exclude dungeons, elite areas (essentially dungeons, sometimes with quest to complete in order to get reward) and PvP is a game where the end-game simply doesn't exist, at least in the way most of other MMOs do.

Large amount of time of PvE players is focused generally on titles, and those are pretty much time consuming. Most of them are quite enjoyable to do, some less, some are a pain in the --- or very grindy, but they all get to the point - draining time...and keeping ppl in the game to reach the top rank.
God Walking Among Mere Mortals is the title generally considered as final achievement of "normal" pve - you get it by reaching max rank in at least other 30 titles.
Then the only progressions aivable are purely cosmetic(getting fancier gear) or economic("I'm rich!!11!!". yep).

I'd expect GW 2 to do this, and much more.
First, leveling is longer. Sure, no-grind oriented and no exponential time to get next level, and doesn't matter that much due to side-kick/scaling, just to indicate how much you've played a char. But will take much much more time than the 20 level cap of GW1, which nowadays can be reached in like 8 hours, if you're slow.
Second: storyline has been promised to be much longer than all the 4 GW1 campaigns toghether. And that's quite a LOT of time, expecially when you get trough first time (first time ever played took 5 months to complete a campaign; now i could do it in less than 2 weeks, but it's normal).
Third: beating all explorable mode dungeons could take long time. 24 areas, hard enough to get mad even their own creators. Yeah, some time to spend there. And tooks very little to add a "Hard Mode" for those. Ah, and i think that we'll need quite some time to get the hang of all the elite DE and their chains allover Tyria.
Replay value: with personal storyline and sidekick this is guaranteed. In GW1 it was given by the low lvl cap, which made appealing try out almost every profession.


And all of this w/o even thouching pvp, which for some person were actually THE endgame of GW1. And i'm sure that WvWvW and arenas will drain lot of time out of your hands.

As you can see, i doubt Anet will have issues to release enough stuff while we are struggling with all the above.


Final points: in GW1, the closest thing to raids were probably the SpeedClears. Tanks, Spikers, Protters which could complete dungeon and elite areas extremely faster than a regualr team. Lots of PvE players shifted to this practise, trying to get better tactics, builds and so on, aiming to lower times of completion and get the random end rewards, where are hidden valuable items.
In GW2 those will probably be gone. That's why the task "Get rid of Raids in any form" is probably completed.
And i prefer a system where i'm the one that decide whenever repeat a content or not, instead getting forced by the game itself.

P.S: i've written more than i've expected, lol.

Edited by AndrewSX, 06 February 2012 - 11:18 PM.