This is just the beginning. In November, we’re only adding the first level of Infusions and Ascended Rings and Back slots, so that leaves us a lot of room to build upon these levels of Item progression in future content.
As we release more new end game content in the future, you’ll see more Infusions and Ascended item types being added to the game. Eventually, you’ll be able to kit yourself out with a full set of Ascended gear and high end Infusions to help give you the edge in end game content.
You’ll also see more Legendary items in the future and an update to our existing Legendary weapons. Legendary items were always intended to be on par with other “best-in-slot” items. So fear not, all existing Legendary weapons, which are currently on par with Exotics, will be upgraded to be on par with Ascended weapons at the same time that we add Ascended weapons to the game. Thus Legendaries will remain “best-in-slot” items. All Legendary items going forward will be of Ascended power. We also have plans to add more fun ways to acquire Legendary precursor items with a more “scavenger hunt” feel than they are acquired currently.
The new additions in November are just the start of our item progression initiative. We’re going to add tons of new high-level content to Guild Wars 2 in the future. As we introduce the new high-level content, we’ll also roll out complimentary Ascended and Legendary items (to say nothing of the other rewards you can earn by playing the content).
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.
Was this not the original idea? Didn't you always intend for players to reach a power plateau on their gear? Sure, all you've done here is raised the bar a little so that people need to spend more time getting the new and powerful stuff, but what happens then? You introduce even more gear that's stronger than the norm? What happens when you release a full set of ascended gear? Are you going to make the same assessment and come out with yet another tier of gear? Do you see releasing higher performance gear as the way forward for expansion content in your game?
What about these infusions and Agony? Should I be ready to face a different kind of pushing mechanic in every single new dungeon you release? Will I now need to acquire several sets of armor just so that I can try
each dungeon and not feel closed off?
If ascended weapons have upgrades built into them and have infusion slots instead of upgrade slots, how am I supposed to duplicate the effects of certain sigils on ascended weapons? Are there also going to be weapon infusions that are all more powerful variants of all of the weapon upgrades currently in the game? If not and I can't get the sigil I want, do I now have to sacrifice stats and transmute an exotic's stats and upgrades onto a legendary in order to get the combination I want?
Have you made adjustments to structured PvP and WvW according to these changes? With ascended gear now being the new best-in-slot, are you raising the stats on all of the PvP gear as well?
The introduction of this gear serves only as a slight delay to some players before they hit this "legendary wall" again. I'm sure some players don't even bother with reaching best-in-slot gear before they start looking ahead to what they need for their legendary, in which case these new items have done nothing at all about the wall. Meanwhile, you've thrown a curveball at everyone who has just been pining to get exotic gear for it being best-in-slot, and some who've gotten it already might not look forward to having to go for this new gear once it's released. Personally, having not yet chosen to acquire a full exotic set of armor yet, I may not even bother anymore and instead just wait until the new ascended gear arrives. After all, what's the point of getting the best gear when I know it's going to be trumped some time down the line?
We have always worked hard to create a sense of satisfying progression rather than gear grind and this new item progression initiative is no exception. By adding challenging new combat mechanics to end-game content and ways to mitigate those mechanics through gear progression for high-end players, we can add personal progression without making the game feel like an endless treadmill of gear that is just out of your reach.
You're trying to create progression without gear grind and you're doing it by adding combat mechanics that are mitigated by new gear...What?
Original Guild Wars fans may recognize that we took a familiar approach to our new progression.
I don't remember a single instance in which the fundamental plateau on gear stats in GW was ever
raised. The system is not like infusion in Guild Wars, because that simply involved performing a task for an NPC to upgrade existing
armor. This is the introduction of an entirely new
line of gear to accomplish that purpose. Was there a good reason why this mechanic had to be exclusive to this near gear and not also tacked onto existing gear?
Perhaps you're actually trying to draw a similarity between GW2 infusion and GW title bonuses? It sounds like with this new content, players will be challenged with new monsters that are hard because they've been given new skills and a new dangerous condition to use, which players can counter by getting better gear and improving their defense against it. With the Eye of the North expansion, you created progression by designing harder enemies with higher levels and new abilities and allowed players to counter that by buffing themselves with different bonuses depending on where they were and how much title progression they had. They could also use new skills tied to these titles that got stronger when the titles had more progression. Original Guild Wars
designers may recognize that players weren't particularly thrilled with grinding out these titles on every character they wanted to take through this content for the sake of performing at their best. What made you think that it would have been a good idea to repeat the same system here?
I hope you are all as excited about these new items as I am!
Excited about taking a turn down a path that I hoped to specifically avoid by purchasing this game? No, I think you've pulled the wrong type of excitement out of me.