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So Andrew Macleod Threw His Jughead Crown In On Ascended and Gear Score / Checks


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#91 Verelia

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:14 PM

"With this game, you get the carrot!"

...yeah.

To be honest, I was never overly enthusiastic about the initial dungeons. Being put in a position where players are mindlessly farming the same dungeon for hours upon hours just reminds me why I despise most MMOs. No offense to anyone, but my draw to GW 2 was the exploration and I couldn't care less about gear. As GW 1 was marketed that you could get the best possible gear upon hitting 20 as you could farming in the elite areas, that was fine. To be honest I actually found the baseline kurzick gear a lot more attractive anyway.

I know there's going to be a defense of that, as an MMO, there will be gear treadmills. Initially GW 2 *did* state that gear progression was cosmetic, and to be blunt I don't want to waste hours upon hours running the same dungeon. I've been burned out on that kind of MMO and to be honest raiding and the like bores me.

I'll still play the game and explore, just not as much as I have been. It's just a lot closer to WoW than it is the first game.

#92 Draugadan

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:15 PM

View Postraspberry jam, on 20 November 2012 - 04:09 PM, said:

Take Skyrim. Game is about killing dragons and stuff. Numbers and stats progression? They are there, but it's not about that.
Not to mention that DLCs in Skyrim never added better armor than the Daedric one. Besides, even if they had, it probably wouldn't have taken a hundred hours and the repetition of the same activity to get, like in Guild Wars 2. Heck, Daedric only takes 50 hours, and that's playing casually.

#93 Vayra86

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:16 PM

View Postraspberry jam, on 20 November 2012 - 04:09 PM, said:

No, RPG isn't all about numbers and stat progression. It's about playing a role in a world and having magical adventures and such things. The stats progression and numbers is just there to keep track of your character's growth within that world, but it's not what the game is about.

Take any Final Fantasy game. Numbers and stats progression? Yes for sure. But the game is about living through a (rather contrived) story about saving the world or some such.
Take Skyrim. Game is about killing dragons and stuff. Numbers and stats progression? They are there, but it's not about that.

Leveling is artificial, but that's not why it doesn't belong in a game like this. The reasons are much more practical than that: it keeps players from playing with each other (partially solved in GW2, but they *ed it up in other ways), and it makes players play content that they don't think is fun just to get stats. On a deeper level, it enforces a reward-driven gameplay instead of a content-driven one, ensuring that the game simply isn't as fun as it could be.

I see your point about the basis of RPG's being a storyline and the storytelling and 'playing the role'. Don't get me wrong, I have played tiered progression games a lot and know why tiered progression exists (WoW among others) but to say that an RPG should not have any kind of difference in what a player can aspire to, and how they start the game is absurd. Levelling is just the name we gave it but honestly, the sense of progression is the core of the RPG. There are tons of RPG's where the story is secondary and the combat mechanics + progression is the very core of the experience. But there are actually ZERO RPG games that have no sense of progression at all. In ARPG's, the 'RPG element' always stands for the fact that there is a form of progression, of building your character and making it stronger.

It is funny you should name FF series. If anything the JRPG is extremely deep in terms of playing with numbers. I challenge you with another example.

Dungeons and Dragons.

Tell me again that, besides the obvious part of the Game Master telling a story, this game universe is not about numbers. Especially the Pen&Paper version of it.

You even check numbers to see, hear and discover things in D&D. And you advance in all those perks, too.

The power plateau is nothing new to any kind of RPG, they all (almost all-) have a cap.

Edited by Vayra86, 20 November 2012 - 04:22 PM.


#94 raspberry jam

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:26 PM

View PostVayra86, on 20 November 2012 - 04:16 PM, said:

I see your point about the basis of RPG's being a storyline and the storytelling and 'playing the role'. Don't get me wrong, I have played tiered progression games a lot and know why tiered progression exists (WoW among others) but to say that an RPG should not have any kind of difference in what a player can aspire to, and how they start the game is absurd. Levelling is just the name we gave it but honestly, the sense of progression is the core of the RPG.

It is funny you should name FF series. If anything the JRPG is extremely deep in terms of playing with numbers. I challenge you with another example.

Dungeons and Dragons.

Tell me again that, besides the obvious part of the Game Master telling a story, this game universe is not about numbers. Especially the Pen&Paper version of it.

You even check numbers to see, hear and discover things in D&D. And you advance in all those perks, too.

The power plateau is nothing new to any kind of RPG, they all (almost all-) have a cap.
I mentioned the FF games because even though they, like any JRPG, have numbers grind up the ass, they are still not about numbers.

Neither is D&D. The numbers there are a substitute for the manual input (clicking mouse etc.) that we can have in a video game. Gary Gygax said in an interview that if he originally had invented D&D on a computer instead of as a pen & paper RPG, he would not let players see any numbers except the number of coins in their purse.
In fact, the very concept of character level itself is just a simplification used because making a more realistic model of progression would involve too many numbers to deal with using pen and paper!

#95 Vayra86

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:32 PM

You are twisting my words - I am saying the RPG is about the sense of progression. I am not saying it is "about numbers".

Math is about numbers, finance is about numbers. In RPG's, the numbers represent the sense of progression - that is what it's about.

FYI. Gary never specified how he would actually make that work in a video game - showing players only the coins in the purse. Daydreaming is fun, the actual practice is that in general, the RPG fan LOVES crunching numbers.

I know I do, at least. Part of the fun of a deep RPG is finding those killer combinations, the synergy, and all that comes with it, then turning that theory into practice.

Edited by Vayra86, 20 November 2012 - 04:35 PM.


#96 Nephele

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:33 PM

Oh look, people don't know what RPGs are about.

Hint- it's not stat progression.

Role Playing Game.

Stat progression serves (or should serve) as a means to build your character, not as a core mechanic of the genre. You put points in constitution because you want your character to be tough, not because omg need moar numbers!! It works fine in pen and paper RPGs, but I think it fails when translated to MMOs. The stats became more important than what they represented. It's more of a spreadsheet thing than a "my character has dexterity because they are an agile, cunning theif."

EDIT: To clarify, the numbers should represent your character becoming stronger through their experiences. Not something you buy off the trading post so you can pewpew baddies better. MMO stat progression is a distortion of what numbers in RPGs used to be. We can do better.

Edited by Nephele, 20 November 2012 - 04:36 PM.


#97 raspberry jam

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:43 PM

View PostVayra86, on 20 November 2012 - 04:32 PM, said:

You are twisting my words - I am saying the RPG is about the sense of progression. I am not saying it is "about numbers".

Math is about numbers, finance is about numbers. In RPG's, the numbers represent the sense of progression - that is what it's about.

FYI. Gary never specified how he would actually make that work in a video game - showing players only the coins in the purse. Daydreaming is fun, the actual practice is that in general, the RPG fan LOVES crunching numbers.
Math is about truth, finance is about money. Arithmetic, which is a subset of mathematics, is about numbers.
RPG is about having an adventure/playing a role, not necessarily about progression. The original inspiration for D&D was LotR (and similar fantasy novels). Remember LotR? The entire novel, three fat volumes, had only three characters (Gandalf, Pippin, Merry) that "leveled up" a bit and the rest were so *ing static that you could almost think it was reality. For example Frodo started out as a weak little shit and he continued being a weak little shit throughout the books (admittedly he did have stronger than usual gear in the form of mithril armor and a glow-in-the-dark sword). Also, of the three that "leveled up", their "stats progression" was tied to specific storyline events (the hobbits drinking some hippie water in *orn's forest, Gandalf beating up a balrog and coming back from the dead). Aragorn on the other hand personally decapitated probably fifteen thousand orcs but had the exact same stats the entire time (he did get that King title but it didn't confer any buffs), thus showing that even Tolkien thought that xp-based leveling was bullshit.

EDIT: sorry, no, he didn't say how he would make it work. But it was sort of obvious that he meant that the progress should be up to the player, not as much to the character, except for storyline-event-bound progression.

Edited by raspberry jam, 20 November 2012 - 04:49 PM.


#98 Linfang

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:56 PM

Looks like Andrew Mcleod of the clan Mcleod has already written us off as idiots. Accept the inevitable. It was going to happen any ways. Pay no attention to the MMO manifesto behind the curtain.

Edited by Linfang, 20 November 2012 - 04:57 PM.


#99 Gremlin

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:56 PM

I think instead of moaning about gear progression and the dark conspiracy whereby anet created new better gear a few months into release.
You are better off asking why they did it.

None of us actually know why but I am willing to make a stab at it, and I think it went something like this.

Couple of weeks after release they noticed that due to exploits players buying gold etc a few players were now super rich and had the top end gear they thought would be completely unattainable in such a short time.

So they set to work banning cheats and bots but there were a lot of players they just were not sure of.
So bring forward future game content early introduce agony and a need to be protected and there you have the new gear.

Had no one succeeded in getting those resources together so quickly they might not have brought in ascended gear for a very long time if ever..
They probably have a number of contingency plans in waiting depending on how the game is going.

I could be totally wrong but I do think a lot of this is a reaction against cheating and an attempt to pull down those players and make them have to work all over again.

Edited by Gremlin, 20 November 2012 - 08:31 PM.


#100 Kymeric

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:00 PM

View PostVayra86, on 20 November 2012 - 04:07 PM, said:

Then why oh why still classify it as an RPG?

Role = We have different professions that interact with the world in different ways.  Races that have different societal structures.  We even have a trait system that lets us specialize in specific ways of ineracting with the world.

Playing = We take on the role we've chosen and "play" it.

Game = An entertainment in which we attempt to overcome obstacles.

Where in there do you see intrinsic "power progression"?  Don't mistake "that's the way it's always done" with "that's the way it has to be done".

View Postraspberry jam, on 20 November 2012 - 01:18 PM, said:

You can't catch up with a moving target if it is faster than you.

Yes!  It is the lot of the player who plays reasonable amounts of time to always be running behind the players who play the game as if it was a full time job, with the distance between steadily increasing.  Even if there was hope of eventually catching up, there is a long slog where the reasonable time player gets to be statistically inferior.

Look at the stupidity of Rift's PvP in it's early months, where the advice to newly level capped players was that they should just run around being buff-bots because their attacks were meaningless against players with even mid-tier PvP gear.  Do we really want to see that in WvW?

View PostZippor, on 20 November 2012 - 01:27 PM, said:

You really do hate artificial progression, don't you? :P

RJ has been a vocal advocate for level-less RPGs here on Guru well before the game even started.

While not as passionate about it, I also look forward to the day when MMORPG design and technology can give us level-less play.  You know, kind of like living a novel, rather than playing a strategy game with a thin veneer of story.

View Postbdatty, on 20 November 2012 - 02:46 PM, said:

Wanna finish a game in one week? go play a game with Single-player campaign. MMO are meant to spend time on based on the players time management depending on content.

So how long should it take to get a tier of gear?  The reason I ask, is because that amount of time is going to impact players in vastly different ways.  If you want someone to play the game for a month, how many hours is that?  Somewhere around 200 for players who play the game like a full time job?  Or somewhere around 90 for the average MMO player who gets in a three hour session a day?  Or about 35 hours for the weekend warriors who only log on once a week for a long session?

If you keep the hardcore players busy for a month, it'll take a good part of a year for the casuals to do the same work.  If you keep the casuals busy, the hardcore whine about having nothing to do.

Nobody wants to finish the game in one week.  But one person's week of play and another's can be vastly different.  Who's play-week are we targeting, here?

View PostVayra86, on 20 November 2012 - 04:07 PM, said:

... there are actually ZERO RPG games that have no sense of progression at all. ...I challenge you with another example. Dungeons and Dragons. Tell me again that, besides the obvious part of the Game Master telling a story, this game universe is not about numbers. Especially the Pen&Paper version of it. You even check numbers to see, hear and discover things in D&D. And you advance in all those perks, too.

I'm glad you got into the Pen and Paper realm, there.

Dungeons and Dragons was born from table-top war simulation.  It makes perfect sense that it had, at it's core, a pretty detailed number system.  Because it fathered the RPG genre, and because it was so popular, subsequent games followed in it's footsteps with levels and dice and stats and gear +3 vs. whatever.

Stating that even Pen and Paper RPGs are all about numbers, though, shows an ignorance of the genre.  Since the nineties, there have been a lot of experimentation with levelless, statless, diceless Role Playing Games on the part of really creative game designers.  A lot of it was done with the intent of getting the games focused more on the shared story telling experience.  Convoluted numerical systems were seen to be getting in the way of immersing in a world shared among the players imaginations.

Check out Spirit of the Century, Over the Edge, Mythus, The Burning Wheel, Lacuna, Amber, Dogs in the Vineyard....  just to name a few games that got a way from levels and hard numbers, though most of them still use at least a little math in their systems.  There are probably more recent ones... I haven't paid attention to PnP in a while.

The point is that saying that an RPG has to have levels is an assumption based on seeing that most RPGs have levels.  There's nothing intrinsic in RPG that requires levels.

This level fixation has even fooled us into thinking that most Fantasy fiction revolves around a hero growing in power.  Yes, there are the likes of Pug from Feists books and Rothfuss' ridiculous Qvothe who grow in power over the course of their stories, but in reality most fantasy characters don't.  Super Hero RPGs, for example, have included power progression for characters because that's what DnD did, not because it's an accurate reflection of the genre they were trying to emulate.  Comic book characters go for decades without increasing in power level.  The only time their power levels really change is during specific story arcs, when they are as likely to lose their powers as to become more powerful, and the arc ends with them being restored to pretty much what they were before.

Some of us are looking forward to MMOs that look something like the holodeck adventures depicted in Star Trek: the Next Generation, if I may date myself with a reference.  It would be ridiculous, when the technology and game design reaches toward the completely immersive RPG, to say "that's no an RPG anymore because it doesn't have levels!"

#101 DuskWolf

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:00 PM

Basically this thread comes down to two camps.

Camp A: I want my experience to be both shackled and exemplified by numbers.
Camp B: I don't want that.

I'll keep noting that GW2 as it was originally promised was one with a power plateau, where you could reach it, and then there would only be sidegrades and cosmetic upgrades. Has anyone talking about pen & paper ever done it? In most of the games I've played, players quickly reach the 'power plateau' of stats and gear, and that only serves as a customisation and tutorial period. After that, they stick with high level characters, and providing them with new and interesting challenges is the job of the DM.

Nowhere, in my history as a DM, did I stop and say this: Hey guys. I'm tired of providing you with challenges, so I think I should add in more progression. I've added another 60 levels to D&D, and the gear now goes up to +80! I've got a great set of dungeon grinds laid out for you, where you can spend your time fighting one boring encounter after another to get back where you were.

There's a reason for that. The most fun in a tabletop game is had at the power plateau. You don't give people simply better things, then, instead you give them interesting choices. If you go for a purely vertical progression system, you remove choices, because every item is better than the last. The best games, in my opinion, are games that don't shackle you with numbers, and games where your victories aren't exemplified by numbers.

I don't want a system where I just slot an item because it's better, where I'm just grinding to be better. I want choices. The problem with vertical progression is... wait for it. Vertical progression is the antithesis of choice. If option A is inferior, and option B is superior, then option B is the only choice. If options A and B provide different styles of play, but are very different, then you have a choice. I like choices. The Disciple in ME3 MP is a light shotgun, it doesn't do as much damage as other shotguns, but due to its light weight it doesn't add to my power cooldowns the way a heavier shotgun would. The Reeger is a shotgun which spits lightning and is quite damaging, but it also massively reduces my cooldowns.

So I choose between having a lighter shotgun and doing mindpunches more often as my vanguard (due to reduced cooldowns), or I pick a heavier shotgun and rely more on shotgun damage and less on mindpunches. This is a sidegrade system, which provides differences in how you play, rather than simply having options which are purely better. If all you have are options where B is better than A, then you just choose B. You choose B every time. In WoW, there's no point wearing anything other than tier armour. And GW2 is heading down this route.

What this means is that your choices and how you play don't dictate your success. Simply having superior gear does. I don't want that.

#102 Ghostwing

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:01 PM

View PostNephele, on 20 November 2012 - 04:33 PM, said:

EDIT: To clarify, the numbers should represent your character becoming stronger through their experiences. Not something you buy off the trading post so you can pewpew baddies better. MMO stat progression is a distortion of what numbers in RPGs used to be. We can do better.

Who?

It doesn't matter what you think the game should be if your specific demographic is not bringing in the money. All these theories on what is ideal etc matters very little if the market demands stat progression.

I mean I personally don't enjoy continual numbers progression--with the players getting higher numbers, and the mobs getting higher numbers. But if Anet thinks it'll improve income, they'll give it a shot. This is their business. Their job is to make money.

Right now, with perhaps the exception of WVW, even with the new tier, you can still experience all the content and opt-out of the numbers race. The numbers race just matters in the higher levels of fractals, which are just repeats with higher numbers. It's optional. Don't like the numbers race? Don't repeat the same content just for higher numbers.

Edited by Ghostwing, 20 November 2012 - 05:05 PM.


#103 DuskWolf

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:04 PM

@Ghostwing

You mean these changes are going to make GW2 all of the money, in the way that they made WAR all of the money?

Oh... wait.

We've seen horrible financial decisions kill MMOs before. GW2 won't be that different.

#104 Kymeric

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:08 PM

View PostVayra86, on 20 November 2012 - 04:32 PM, said:

the RPG fan LOVES crunching numbers.

Correction... SOME RPG fans love crunching numbers.

RPG fans are made up of different camps, much like MMORPGs have their "casual" and "hardcore" camps.  You can't generalize about MMORPG players because of that.

There are people who play RPGs as simulation, people who play them as strategy games, and people who play them as shared storytelling.  Most of us play them with a mixture of all three, but with an emphasis toward one or two.

People who are mostly storytelling would love the systems to disappear behind the story and never have to think about them as long as the game continues to go forward.  The strategists like to see the numbers so they can figure out how to "beat the system" as it were, and the simulationists like to accurately reflect the world as much as possible with the system.  Again, few people fall solidly into any of the three camps, but it's a useful way to think about how people want different things from RPGs.

View PostGhostwing, on 20 November 2012 - 05:01 PM, said:


It doesn't matter what you think the game should be if your specific demographic is not bringing in the money. All these theories on what is ideal etc matters very little if the market demands stat progression.

It's hard to state that, when this game didn't really have a chance to show whether the gear plateau was going to work or not, and there are plenty of games with gear treadmills that have died.

Where is the real evidence that the market demands stat progression?

#105 Ghostwing

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:08 PM

View PostDuskWolf, on 20 November 2012 - 05:04 PM, said:

@Ghostwing

You mean these changes are going to make GW2 all of the money, in the way that they made WAR all of the money?

Oh... wait.

We've seen horrible financial decisions kill MMOs before. GW2 won't be that different.

I didn't say that it will make GW2 all the money. I said if they think it might, they'll give it a shot. They didn't make this choice with the express intent of *ing themselves.

Express your displeasure. Offer constructive criticism. Leave feedback. Vote with your wallet. But don't pigeonhole RPGs and fun just to your narrow definition of them.

View PostKymeric, on 20 November 2012 - 05:08 PM, said:

It's hard to state that, when this game didn't really have a chance to show whether the gear plateau was going to work or not, and there are plenty of games with gear treadmills that have died.

Where is the real evidence that the market demands stat progression?

You're right, I'm sorry I wasn't more clear. I didn't mean to say for a fact that the market demanded it. There are many other factors as well. Maybe the game didn't sell as much by the third month as they internally planned. Maybe they thought this would push sales. Whatever it is, mostly everything they do has a profit motive, though, and you can be sure of that.

Edited by Ghostwing, 20 November 2012 - 05:31 PM.


#106 Resolve

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:11 PM

So does anyone actually believe that Anet added ascended gear to "bridge the gap?" It just seems insane that they would expect people to buy that.

Like they literally created a gap while trying to close a gap. So even if you do believe their explanation, they really didn't make any progress. And the correct way would've been to add more weapon skins that cost more than exotics, less than legendaries.

It's seriously like Anet just don't care what they say or do any more.

#107 Larsen

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:12 PM

You can't really compare a video game to tabletop. D&D is not about progression, itemization and those other things people associate with MMORPGs. D&D is more like an RPI MUD, a storytelling game with some fairly basic "code" designed mostly to make combat interesting and realistic, and to keep characters inside the boundaries of reason. It's still mostly about the roleplay and the story, not so much the mechanical appeal or the Skinner's Box element that triggers reward centers in the brain when you receive something after working towards it for thirty hours.

#108 DuskWolf

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:21 PM

@Larsen

Sorry, I can't agree with that. NWN got incredibly close.

#109 Larsen

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:22 PM

View PostResolve, on 20 November 2012 - 05:11 PM, said:

So does anyone actually believe that Anet added ascended gear to "bridge the gap?" It just seems insane that they would expect people to buy that.

Like they literally created a gap while trying to close a gap. So even if you do believe their explanation, they really didn't make any progress. And the correct way would've been to add more weapon skins that cost more than exotics, less than legendaries.

It's seriously like Anet just don't care what they say or do any more.

Of course not. They implemented the extra gear tier in order to satisfy those who complained that there was nothing meaningful to accomplish in the game.

That, by the way, is a valid and reasonable complaint. There was nothing tangible to achieve beyond very shallow things that could be depleted in like two weeks. The game needed better long-term incentives. I just don't think anyone from that camp were really asking for "another gear tier and one more 5-man dungeon." Personally, I was hoping for content that took more people and better orchestration -- something like the old UBRS runs from vanilla WoW, for instance. It was kind of a raid, it was pretty hard and felt special, you could PUG it if you were good or you could do it with a guild, it had different rewards but not objectively better than the rest of the non-raid content.

This game really needs that. It's called Guild Wars but there are literally no activities that in any way promote the notion of guilds, except maybe WvW, but that's still just a huge FFA where being organized is incidentally more effective than being disorganized. The game needed better PvE content, that's necessary for an MMORPG since the genre has always been the province of people who either enjoy both PvP and PvE or care only for PvE. It would be a mistake to make an MMORPG that caters only to PvP (although DAoC were pretty good about their emphasis on PvP) and that's why ANet said they intended to include a meaningful PvE element in GW2.

They just never really delivered on that. 5-man dungeons are cool and all, but not when that's all there is. People come to MMORPGs for the large-scale multiplayer, so cooking everything down to 5-man content is a bad idea. People weren't just asking for "more gear to grind for," they were asking for "better, bigger content in which to play, and we realize this has only ever been accomplished by adding more gear as well." Adding gear for the sake of gear is a mistake and it'll probably satisfy no one. People wanted content that felt worth playing in, and it just happens that nobody has ever thought of a way to do progressive content without a side-dish of progressive gear because it's otherwise impossible to make combat encounters increasingly difficult.

#110 ScoutMATH

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:22 PM



#111 Ghostwing

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:23 PM

View PostResolve, on 20 November 2012 - 05:11 PM, said:

So does anyone actually believe that Anet added ascended gear to "bridge the gap?" It just seems insane that they would expect people to buy that.

Like they literally created a gap while trying to close a gap. So even if you do believe their explanation, they really didn't make any progress. And the correct way would've been to add more weapon skins that cost more than exotics, less than legendaries.

It's seriously like Anet just don't care what they say or do any more.

I do, to some extent. They wanted legendaries to be "worth more" so they gave them better stats. They then wanted something else in between the grind of the legendary, which is supposed to take forever, and exotics. In terms of the game as a whole, they wanted more equipment progression, because what they initially planned was not enough. I don't know how they logicked "this isn't enough gear progression", but that's how I understand it, lol.

Take the reverse for example. Let's say hardly anyone was getting exotic gear even though the game has been out for a year. They could add in another tier in between rare and exotic "to bridge the gap," and make the difficulty in obtaining that tier in between rare and exotic.

View PostLarsen, on 20 November 2012 - 05:22 PM, said:

They just never really delivered on that. 5-man dungeons are cool and all, but not when that's all there is. People come to MMORPGs for the large-scale multiplayer, so cooking everything down to 5-man content is a bad idea. People weren't just asking for "more gear to grind for," they were asking for "better, bigger content in which to play, and we realize this has only ever been accomplished by adding more gear as well." Adding gear for the sake of gear is a mistake and it'll probably satisfy no one. People wanted content that felt worth playing in, and it just happens that nobody has ever thought of a way to do progressive content without a side-dish of progressive gear because it's otherwise impossible to make combat encounters increasingly difficult.

I don't know, I thoroughly enjoy the first few levels of fractals without needing an increase in numbers to be satisfied with it. I'm pretty sure they added in the vertical progression to please a crowd that likes to see that type of progression.

In many video games, there's a skill plateau. As far as MMOs are concerned, they're usually pretty low. You're not going to see Ninja Gaiden or contra style difficulty in a MMO any time soon. What would satisfy the itch to play more though would be different and interesting boss fights and dungeon mechanics, and the lower levels of fractals does that pretty well.

Edited by Ghostwing, 20 November 2012 - 05:37 PM.


#112 Resolve

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:35 PM

View PostLarsen, on 20 November 2012 - 05:22 PM, said:

Of course not. They implemented the extra gear tier in order to satisfy those who complained that there was nothing meaningful to accomplish in the game.

That, by the way, is a valid and reasonable complaint. There was nothing tangible to achieve beyond very shallow things that could be depleted in like two weeks. The game needed better long-term incentives.

So why not say that instead? At the very least they could be honest and upfront about this move.

Those same people will be complaining about having nothing to do when they get their ascended. So I guess Anet will just have to add another tier to address yet another valid and reasonable complaint.

#113 Var

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:43 PM

View PostMazingerZ, on 20 November 2012 - 06:37 AM, said:

...you fail at logic SO hard.

Please read my statement without cutting out half of it. The content is not barred (as in I can pop in at level 1 and look at it all in blues). Arbitrary depth is barred.

Seeing as how treadmills are usually defined by: content being blocked such that you cannot see it without having prerequisite gear, this is not a treadmill.

Its stupid design to wall off higher difficulties for new players but in no way is the content itself blocked.

#114 Larsen

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:54 PM

View PostResolve, on 20 November 2012 - 05:35 PM, said:

So why not say that instead? At the very least they could be honest and upfront about this move.

Those same people will be complaining about having nothing to do when they get their ascended. So I guess Anet will just have to add another tier to address yet another valid and reasonable complaint.

The same reason Blizzard insisted that the reason for not making a single-player option in D3 was that the game was designed for online play and could only really be played properly with others.

The truth sounds a bit less flattering, whether it's 'we don't want to lose revenue to piracy' or 'people are complaining and the only solution we can think of is the one that completely defies everything we've promised.' If they can claim that they had to "bridge the gap" and convince a few people that they aren't really massive sellouts, I suppose that suits their agenda better than honesty does.

#115 Runkleford

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:59 PM

Some of you pro-Ascendent gear crowd are hypocrites. In one breath you're saying that Ascendent gear is needed to create a sense of progression and to create more challenging content, then in the next breath you're telling people that they're whining because you don't need Ascendent gear since you can play the game without it.

#116 Sandpit

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:11 PM

So, teh whole agony thing is there just to block access to anyone that doesn't have the right gear? If you do have the gear then you can play on?

Or is it something else?

#117 GrandmaFunk

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:19 PM

Agony only shows at up at difficulty level 10 and above, and initially it's still manageable without infused gear.

after that, agony will become more of an issue the higher you get unless you have some infused gear to mitigate its damage.

Edited by GrandmaFunk, 20 November 2012 - 06:20 PM.


#118 Var

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:24 PM

View PostSandpit, on 20 November 2012 - 06:11 PM, said:

So, teh whole agony thing is there just to block access to anyone that doesn't have the right gear? If you do have the gear then you can play on?

Or is it something else?

Its an added "affect" to boss abilities. If they hit you, you get agony. In other words, its not different then just making them hit harder and requiring bigger and bigger armor values. Instead of doing that, however, they just made a PvE-Fractal-Limited gear trait called "Infusion" which you can stack on and on to counter said larger numbers. (The issue that everyone seems to be having is why they needed to increase the stats of Ascended at all. Short answer: I don't know. Long answer: Probably to make the final tier of gear feel at least a bit special unlike the dime-a-dozen exotics. Getting ascended gear is not walled off by Agony. You can get all of what is currently available in the first 10 levels but is account bound and, as such, something that must be personally attained at least once per account (the gear is account bound, so one character is all that is needed to reach 10 to then get all the gear).)

The only boss that applies it to everyone is the Jade Maw which happens during the second and third phase changes but can also be countered by damage immunities. I haven't found a timing that can dodge it but just about every class has a cooldown they can pop to avoid the damage entirely on the phase changes and enough time between phase changes to have the cooldown back up.

Agony itself works in stack format and ticks 1/8 of your health with no infusions. Getting hit once, for one stack, is 1/8 of your health. The deeper you go the more stacks are applied when you get hit.

Edited by Var, 20 November 2012 - 06:26 PM.


#119 Kymeric

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:13 PM

View PostGhostwing, on 20 November 2012 - 05:08 PM, said:

You're right, I'm sorry I wasn't more clear. I didn't mean to say for a fact that the market demanded it. There are many other factors as well. Maybe the game didn't sell as much by the third month as they internally planned. Maybe they thought this would push sales. Whatever it is, mostly everything they do has a profit motive, though, and you can be sure of that.

The unfortunate thing is that managers make choices all the time that they think will push sales, even though they don't have evidence for it.

Of course, professionals, for the most part, keep the business of the business behind closed doors, so we'll probably never know what's really making these changes.  The core development team aren't actors.  They passionately spoke about their ideas for the game, like the power plateau, and I don't see a good reason to think it was just good PR.  The evidence indicates that they actually believed in those things.

Which means either something changed their minds, or someone with more authority decided to change things.

I can't believe that they would make such a huge change after only three months on their own.  Player drop off after the first month or two is a given with a new MMORPG, and there's no way their market people didn't factor that into their financial benchmarks.  I'm not a executive/financial type, but I've heard it said many times that a new business isn't expected to turn profit for at least a year from launch.  Certainly anyone who knows MMORPGs at all wouldn't have expected one to have a stable player base and income stream a month or two after launch.  It makes no sense that Mark O'Brien suddenly decided there needed to be power creep this soon.

Which makes it seem like it was a choice from higher up.  NCSoft, Nexon, someone with ownership had to be the driving force for such a quick turnaround.  And anyone in who has worked for a company of any size knows that management doesn't need a real excuse to implement changes that appeal to them.  It's entirely possible that someone in higher authority simply believes that the gear treadmill is needed to make money (as many posters in the forums do), and forced these changes without even needing a drop in players to justify it.

Yeah, it's all speculation from outside, but that's what it looks like to me.

Edited by Kymeric, 20 November 2012 - 07:16 PM.


#120 Imaginos

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:17 PM

View PostAlleji, on 20 November 2012 - 07:16 AM, said:

Ascended gear would've been perfect without additional stats except for the agony resistance.

What would have been a better way was to use fractal crystals to buy an item that would add an ascended slot to your current gear....and have gear with new looks that could be gotten on the lost island from heart/karma vendors (they'd need to add heart quests, though half the dynamic events there are pretty much heart quests without the hearts)




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