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Guild Wars 2 and Progression

ascended progression gear grind world of warcraft

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#1 Falfyrel

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:57 AM

The recent fiasco on Ascended items has prompted me to pop out of lurking, so I typed up a lengthy blurb on the state of progression in Guild Wars 2. Hopefully this can spiral into some meaningful and civil discussion about how Guild Wars 2 can move forwards in the future.


Progression in Guild Wars 2 - What Happened?

Before we even begin talking about the current reactions of players in Guild Wars 2 in regards to progression, it's first necessary to consolidate information about what progression actually means. Progression in any MMORPG essentially consists of the growing and/or strengthening of a character over time, to improve their abilities and add a sense of advancement and, well, progress to the gameplay. It doesn't necessarily have to be becoming stronger in flatly numerical terms, but oftentimes that's what it amounts to. But since there's a thousand ideas of what progression should be in particular in Guild Wars 2, it's therefore a better idea to look to two other games that are closely related and often compared to Guild Wars 2: the original Guild Wars, and World of Warcraft.
Hopefully, by doing so, we can come to a nuanced conclusion that explains why players are upset about the current state of progression in Guild Wars 2, how it compares to other games, and what can be done about it going forwards.

World of Warcraft: Vertical Progression
Almost everyone that has experience in MMORPGs knows or has heard of World of Warcraft's approach to adding in progression. In World of Warcraft, if you aren't level grinding, you're gear grinding. An ever-increasing amount of numbers is what progression in World of Warcraft embodies, at its heart. Once you've spent three months gaining max level, you then spend three months gaining the best gear possible to end up grinding your way into the best raid groups, and be able to dominate the most in the PvP that exists - only to repeat the process in the next expansion.
This works spectacularly in World of Warcraft, because all of the most devoted players realize that advancements are going to be ephemeral and there will always be something new to work towards. And for the most part, it's pulled off flawlessly. For all of the game's faults, Blizzard did an incredile job at creating a very real sense of advancement and increasing power - indicated by the game surviving and being popular as long as it has. And it's also important to note that the "raid subculture" that's spawned here (usually) does not mind the carrot-on-a-stick marketing, because it's what keeps them interested.
At the same time, however, there's a small issue: this very heavy "cliff" of progression can scare away many less devoted fans of the game from experiencing much of the content if not balanced perfectly, and the raid subculture of these games is oftentimes loath to give up what they consider to be their hard-earned work. It functions as a "badge" for them that they worked to get there. But this leads to two problems: one, there can often be a great deal of animosity between them and more casual players, since the hardcore players feel the casuals want the gear they worked for, without working for it. Second, if by any occasion they find themselves dissatisfied with the game, they're very unwilling to leave all of their virtual belongings behind - it's like abandoning your Purple Heart and going to another battlefield to earn it all over again. Yes it's an honor, and yes you're damn proud of it, but would you really earn it all over again?
And it's also important to note that in many cases, no, they wouldn't. I think this is a fairly big reason why many so-called "WoW clones" fail - simply because they can't attract the hardcore fanbase in quite the same way, or in the same numbers, that WoW did. But that's besides the point.

Guild Wars: Lateral Progression
Here's where it gets interesting.
In comparison to World of Warcraft, where progression was much like scaling a cliff, in Guild Wars 1 progression was much more akin to a zone of influence. After the very short grind of getting your character to max level and getting the best armor you could (which got even shorter after the release of Factions), your character would never get "better" in terms of stats. However, there was still a sense of progression because even if the digits on your health bar didn't increase, what you could do with the stats did.
There were thousands of skills in Guild Wars, all of which were usable by any character and all of which had to be gained slowly but surely. There was always a sense of achievement in earning another skill, even if you'd never use it, because the scope of what you could do and what you could accomplish had broadened. And by adding in various prestigious armor tiers that cost huge amounts of platinum to buy, ArenaNet was able to lure in many subsectors of the hardcore crowd as well by giving them an incentive to work for a "badge," too.
In many ways this was an ingenious solution to progression. Casuals could still get by with more limited options; hardcore players looked way better and had a lot more skills on their fingertips but still were on a broadly equal playing field. And since no new "tiers" of progression were added, yet more skills and armor sets were, both casuals and hardcores were pleased, avoiding the issues with the vertical progression system entirely. Even the storyline did this very well, since completing quests and missions ended up unlocking new areas in PvE to explore, and the areas were just hard enough to give a very real sense of progression without alienating players.
This even worked wonders in the PvP metagame! Even though both casuals and hardcore players had the exact same tools at their disposal, additional familiarity with what skills did could greatly aid hardcore players, and they would be better able to use their own options as well - thus leading to a relatively skill-based, strategic PvP system where fights were often fluid and required a large amount of clever tactics to win.
Guild Wars 1 wasn't a perfect game by any means: skill imbalance lead to the PvP often being lead by a hugely dedicated "meta" who figured out the most imbalanced and powerful builds, before being countered by another equally imbalanced build; the PvE content was oftentimes a bit repetitive (especially in regards to title grinding) and got way worse after both heroes and some of the more infamous PvE builds; and some of the classes, especially Dervishes and Paragons, got utterly shafted since they never got any skills to replace the ones they missed out on earlier. In many ways, it was a game with a fantastic concept and a quality of content just good enough to do it justice, even if it could be improved - and due to this all, it developed a "cult" of loyal players who utterly loved it.
Which leads into the third game...

Guild Wars 2: Progression?
Let's be very honest here.
In Guild Wars 2, after the slog to max level and obtaining all of your exotics, there isn't a whole lot left to do that leads to any discernible improvement to your character.
At least before the infamous Ascended patch, progression in Guild Wars 2 was generally unsatisfying and half-baked. The slog up to level 80 was somewhere inbetween the short breeze to get to level 20 in Guild Wars and the gigantic upwind gale to 60/70/80/85 of World of Warcraft; but afterwards, all you had to get was your Exotic items, which for most people was simply a weeks' worth of grinding in Cursed Shore. Class skills, which were once a huge thing in Guild Wars, are now relatively static and uninteresting: each class has an incredibly modest selection of weapon skills to choose from, coupled alongside three generally-situational utility skills, out of a pool of about 8 usable ones per class. All in all a character usually has access to most, if not all, of their decent options by level 50.
The issue with Guild Wars 2 is that the highly lateral progression of Guild Wars 1 was completely abandoned, and it wasn't replaced. Developers seemed to want players to invariably come to the conclusion that going towards a Legendary was an end-goal: but some players, myself among them, looked at the legendaries and paused before going what the hell is this? In spite of their hugely prestigious reputation, some of the legendaries looked ugly as sin: I wouldn't be caught dead using the Meteorlogicus on my Necromancer, for instance, and due to many of the "common" skins looking even better than some legendaries, many players didn't bother.
This has also affected the PvP poorly - as most or all choices ingame are so homogenous, there's not a huge amount of time before all players learn what all skills do, and due to the limited amount of tools at players' disposal, most PvP instances are or will become become very generic, consisting of the same few general builds ad infinitum, using the same tactics against each other, in the same arenas - because 70% of a fight in Guild Wars 2 is decided before the battle has even begun, and there are so few choices, everyone ends up with something pretty damn similar to everyone else.
So then the issue becomes both relatively obvious, and two-pronged: there is a lack of real progression at the endgame in Guild Wars 2, and the "badges of honor" don't appeal to a great deal of the playerbase. The latter is easily fixable, the former... not so much.
ArenaNet's response to this: add in Ascended items, and promise more Legendaries in the months to come.

Ascended Items
After the introduction of Ascended items, there has been a definite shift in terms of Guild Wars 2's progression philosophy, slanted towards the vertical school. Issue is, in its current state, this hasn't been executed terribly well.
A vertical progression scheme necessitates a "gear treadmill" a la the World of Warcraft example to sustain itself. In a vertical system there always has to be some drive forwards to keep getting more stats - the treadmill can't just slide off after a certain point. The endgame right now in Guild Wars 2 is an example of why this is: after the vertical treadmill is over, many players sit at the end and wonder what they're even working towards. However, be this as it may, Ascended items were a very poor misstep in even promoting vertical progression, as right now they require a very specific method of allocation that can and will annoy many casuals and WvW-centric players. Not to mention the Infusion slot, which is hideously expensive to fill and only affects PvErs - the least likely to be annoyed about Ascended items to begin with!
That aside - at the moment, all that Ascended items do is give a short extension of about 2-3 months on the current "progression wall" until many players start catching up, at which point it's back to square 1. And the new "badges" promised in more Legendary items do little to alleviate this, as 1) the players who already hugely wanted a Legendary have already got one, and 2) thus they're less likely to work towards yet another, leaving the people who were probably lukewarm on legendaries to begin with. If ArenaNet is truly dedicated to promoting a vertical progression system in Guild Wars 2, then almost by necessity, they will have to introduce another item tier after Ascended items.
So what are ArenaNet's options?

The Future of Vertical Progression
This is the reason why so many people are incensed by the Ascended items.
The future of Guild Wars 2 in terms of vertical progression would mean a focus on stronger gear, more grinding, and more dungeon content over other aspects of the game: but the gearless PvP in Guild Wars 2 is incompatible with this system as they aren't affected whatsoever by these changes - slightly alienating them despite ANet's insistence at making PvP an e-sport. At the same time, casual players - who came to Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 in droves to escape the gear treadmills in World of Warcraft and other similar MMORPGs - now find that their older progress is rendered obsolete as the wheels keep turning. And even the hardcores would be a bit miffed, due to ArenaNet's standard policy of punishing overgrinding - see diminishing returns in Guild Wars 1, and the continual rebalancing of loot, especially regarding tokens, in dungeons.
At the same time, the development team is rushed to create new content - much of which would likely be similarly buggy to the Southsun Cove event - but on the plus side, the new gear is trivial to create, as all it involves is modifying a few digits. The hardcore crowd and the dev team's sanity are the only real winners in this regard, but again - trying to cater heavily to the more hardcore crowd is usually a losing prospect, because if you've earned a Purple Heart you usually wouldn't start over and earn it again.
Not to say this future would be all bad - but it's certainly not what was promised.

The Future of Lateral Progression
Lateral progression isn't exactly what the developers promised before the game came out, but it's a hell of a lot closer.
An increase in focus on lateral progression would focus on new skills being developed for classes, an increase in the types of stats on gear rather than the amounts (think Apothecary's), older areas being retooled to be relevant even at level 80, more depth added to the PvP, and new game mechanics. This approach has its own faults too, of course - the dev team can't exactly fart out hundreds of skills in the matter of months without an immense amount of bugs, it may require complete changes to fundamental aspects of the game like the weapons system, it'd violate their statements saying they wanted to avoid the "feature bloat" in Guild Wars 1, new game mechanics could range from highly praised to widely reviled, and retooling of older areas may result in extremely unsteady progression if not done perfectly.
On the plus side, if it's done right, Guild Wars 2 could again reach Guild Wars 1's ideal of appealing to casuals, hardcores, and everything inbetween. If done wrong, Guild Wars 2 could become a buggy, broken, bloated mess filled with everything good and bad except players.

The real cause of the issue
None of this changes the fact that Guild Wars 2 was, for better or worse, released without a true progression philosophy, and thus it's not going to be optimized for either vertical or lateral progression. However, it's much easier to tweak a few numbers here and there, and then throw the "new" armor and weapons out into the game at ludicrous prices, than it is to end up introducing new skills, new mechanics, and a broader scope of goals that increase options rather than power.
In hindsight, the largest cause of this was probably the dev team's insistence that "the game is the endgame." While it's good to introduce content that is relevant at all levels, the issue is that not every part of the game is going to appeal to everyone so you can't simply make the endgame PvE or WvW or PvP, and on top of this you still need to add something to keep peoples' attention. MMOs run on the carrot-on-a-stick philosophy on a incredibly deep and nearly defining level. You can't just take away the carrot and leave the stick if you want to make an immersive game that will continue to grasp people's attention - it's just not how modern MMOs operate.

The end perspective
I think that we'll most likely be seeing a future prospect similar to the vertical future, with possibly some minor aspects of the lateral future mixed in. Simply put, it's far less demanding on a dev team that's already overtaxed fixing god-knows-how-many bugs and desperately flailing to keep the servers operational and the game running smoothly.
And on a qualified level, I agree that there will be more gear tiers beyond Ascended items. It's simply necessary if you're going to adopt a vertical scheme - and even though Ascended items are meant to buy time to make more new content, I think it's still pretty certain that said new content is going to be the content that can actually be bug-tested and released in two to three months. And that means more vertical progression.
Guild Wars 2, most of all, will be held back by the lack of any real progression philosophy upon release. And while implementing one is more or less necessary at this point, alienating at least one player group is going to be inevitable. I just hope that ArenaNet makes the right decision, whatever it may be, that will allow the playerbase to remain involved and intact; the dev team not overworked to death and back; and that will give a true sense of progression in the game.
But regardless of what the right decision is, I've already earned one Purple Heart by getting to the top. I don't know if I could stand to work towards another.

#2 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:08 AM

View PostFalfyrel, on 25 November 2012 - 08:57 AM, said:

You can't just take away the carrot and leave the stick if you want to make an immersive game that will continue to grasp people's attention - it's just not how modern MMOs operate.

He's a different question - would the situation be this problematic if GW2 wasn't an MMO, but rather just an online game?

#3 Falfyrel

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:42 AM

View PostProtoss, on 25 November 2012 - 09:08 AM, said:

He's a different question - would the situation be this problematic if GW2 wasn't an MMO, but rather just an online game?

No. FPSes have succeeded fantastically for a very long period of time without any implemented grind except leaderboards, but as the Ascended patch has proven, the game can't be said to be anything other than an MMORPG if a potential gear treadmill was that easy to introduce.

And before the Ascended update, there were a fair amount of posts complaining about the lack of progression in Guild Wars 2 anyways.

#4 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 10:31 AM

View PostFalfyrel, on 25 November 2012 - 09:42 AM, said:

No. FPSes have succeeded fantastically for a very long period of time without any implemented grind except leaderboards, but as the Ascended patch has proven, the game can't be said to be anything other than an MMORPG if a potential gear treadmill was that easy to introduce.

And before the Ascended update, there were a fair amount of posts complaining about the lack of progression in Guild Wars 2 anyways.

I think that's the biggest issue here - their model is pretty darn good, it's just not compatible with the MMO genre. If GW2 would have been a game that is designed to be quit, instead of being a game that demands that people continue playing it, we'd have a much better game on our hands.

#5 Shayne Hawke

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 02:58 PM

View PostProtoss, on 25 November 2012 - 10:31 AM, said:

If GW2 would have been a game that is designed to be quit, instead of being a game that demands that people continue playing it, we'd have a much better game on our hands.

Which is interesting to me, since I believe I heard Colin say at least once or twice before that ANet is okay with people playing their game, leaving for a while, and coming back when they find something else fun to do.

Actually, that might have been Stumme talking about GW, but it seemed like the same attitude would have been held by developers of GW2.

#6 JimC

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

+100000000000 OP

#7 Calebrus

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:07 PM

The problem that you and many other players have can be summed up by pressing Control-F and typing "toward" into the box that appears. Four of the six results are preceded by WORK, and a fifth is preceded by GOING.... in this case meaning work.

This is a game.  It isn't and shouldn't be work.  It should be fun.
If you're playing for any reason other than fun, you're doing it wrong.

Just because a certain game has made a gear treadmill a usual thing doesn't mean that the usual thing is the right thing or the best thing.  If people need to feel that they're WORKING toward something, then perhaps they should find a more productive hobby than playing a game. Go build a bird house or something instead.

In my not so humble opinion, anyone that requires any kind of progression at all beyond what this game already provides should find another hobby.

Edited by Calebrus, 25 November 2012 - 04:13 PM.


#8 Afyael

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:56 PM

You nailed it on the head. What made the first game so fun was the idea that although lvl 20 was attained very easily you still had a lot progression, you had hundreds of skills to learn and master. You would learn many different playstyles within each class, you had so much potential with dual classes, there were so many different synergies that you would miss (and when you discover them it's like relearning your class all over again).

This is the big problem with GW2, combat is boring. Yes, BORING. It's fun at first but then you realize from level 30 onwards you are mostly using the same weapons (with locked in skills) and a pool of probably 5 or so utilities. Even the skills themselves are so generic, everyone does the same thing essentially, it's just looks different. Then there are the mobs, instead of kiting you and using strategy they just zerg you until you put them out of their miserable existence.

If combat was engaging the grinding would not be grind.

#9 Ghostwing

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:30 PM

You forgot to mention rep grinds in GW1 that provided certain skills with higher damage. That was vertical progression. I'm not sure why people continue to gloss over these EotN grinds, which were the grindiest grind of any grindy game I've played (and I used to play a whole lot of WoW). Anet's just carrying over this grind to GW2 and pretending that it's not a grind at all.

#10 Falfyrel

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:39 PM

View PostGhostwing, on 25 November 2012 - 06:30 PM, said:

You forgot to mention rep grinds in GW1 that provided certain skills with higher damage. That was vertical progression. I'm not sure why people continue to gloss over these EotN grinds, which were the grindiest grind of any grindy game I've played (and I used to play a whole lot of WoW). Anet's just carrying over this grind to GW2 and pretending that it's not a grind at all.

Yeah, I remember - rep grinds even existed in Factions with the Kurzick/Luxon influence thing. I realize that the OP is simplified in some ways (and I specifically thought of the rep grinds at some parts when making the OP), but I figured it better to provide a big-picture overview in 4 pages rather than all the nuances in 40. It's long enough as it is. :P

#11 Afyael

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:13 PM

The EOTN grind's were added at the end of the game to give people something to do. They were not going to release any new games/expansions for 5 years so they added title grinds for rep and the HoM. So I would say that they were irrelevant.

I definitely wasn't a fan of the title grind that you did in factions though but at least it was account wide and you could get a decent rank in it from doing fun stuff like Alliance Battles and Missions (and later from Vanquishing).

Edited by Afyael, 25 November 2012 - 07:13 PM.


#12 Captain Bulldozer

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:13 PM

One thing I really miss about GW1 was the ability to use the various skill combinations to make a super solo farming build tailored to one specific location.  For me, the game got considerably less fun when 600/smite and others were nerfed.  I was in favor of a nerf to shadow form (because perma invincibility is bad for any game) but 600/smite required skill.  More than that, you were rewarded quite well for skillful play.  In GW2, skillful play doesn't seem to count for much in terms of rewards... solo killing a vet or champ doesn't offer any better rewards than doing so in a group (and often doesn't offer any rewards at all).  

Also, with the henchmen (and later heroes) it was possible to do just about all the content in the game while playing alone.  This is particularly friendly to casual players, since when you have limited play time its often not reasonable to find a group to play with.  After doing world completion, I am struck by how much there is in each zone that I really couldn't have a shot at doing because they were simply not possible to do solo.  I get that they wanted to encourage group play, but making it not optional (even for skillful players) really is a mistake in my mind.  When you add in the fact that a huge world spreads the player-base thin and that the playing population declines over time, a fair amount of content is becoming unreachable and the game's only been out a short time.

I myself prefer lateral progression for a lot of reasons, but it seems as though GW2's way of having progression at all is inherently flawed.  One actually wonders if they WANTED players to play less to keep server costs down.

#13 Mad Fherrit

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:03 AM

I agree with the OP on several levels.  There is a old saying, choose to do something, and do it better than anyone else.  GW2 has decided to do something different, but without a clear end game model to develop and present its sliding its way into the region of being yet another WoW clone without WoW's player friendly tools to back it up.  The inclusion of 80 levels of character play was a good hint of that to me, I kept asking myself why is there 80 levels to wade through when by the time you hit 30, all your skills unlock and the majority of your gameplay style is already available?  The reason is because levels is the lazy Dev's progression tool, its always there to add more to if you need to, and its a nice little finite meter to point at as having stuff left to do.  The moment I learned GW2 had 80 levels I did a big hearty inward sigh of "this does not bode well", but reserved judgement.  That is till this FOTM came out, now they're on the way of doing WoWs power creep game design through item chasing, and of course, the item cash shop which is already sending up bad signals of what's in the future.  I'd honestly prefer a monthly sub over this.

Anyway, I don't have the time or inclination to go into as exhaustive a post as the OP (well done by the way Falfyrel) but I'll sum it up by saying I played WoW since its vanilla days and if you're going to imitate WoW's treadmill, you had better damn well imitate the player tools that WoW gives.  In the mean time GW2 was a pleasant distraction for a while, but the ball has been dropped from where I sit and once more, a potential rival becomes a niche contender.  Too bad as I had better hopes than this.

#14 Corvindi

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:10 AM

The more I read posts by people who are upset about the relatively small number of skills we get to play with in Guild Wars 2, the more I agree with you!  And sPvP esportage balance be damned.

#15 fatrodmc

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:11 AM

Just on the combat, I think people forget that there are a lot of skills available to each character - you just have to use different weapons.

That in itself can be a problem though, because people want to look a certain way, ie. using certain skins.

This is quite different to GW1 because you could pick the skins you want and still be able to change your skills. I mean a caster could pick a staff or wand/focus combo and still use the same skills. Not so in GW2.

#16 Bryant Again

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:26 AM

When the Halloween event started happening, I wasn't in much of a rush. It was going to be around for awhile and I was already in the middle of some personal goals, so I didn't feel a need to rush into it.

When I did start to get around to doing the events I was pretty much blown away: I loved everything about it. The mini games, the fights, the scenery, and even the tower to an extent. I was a bit bummed by the lack of direction in acquiring the newer skins, but I still could've gotten a ton of keys if I wanted to (just be broke as hell).

But even then, I remember fighting the King and thinking that this was just what I was hoping more: "More of THIS, just kick-ass looking areas with fun fights that are open to tons of levels".

To put it plainly, the Lost Shores update...isn't really what I had hoped for, and it's real disheartening. I was still moderately enjoying the game while still having a couple doubts about it, but most if not all of that changed with the Halloween update. I thought that was the direction they were intending to go. just making new looking gear to show what you've accomplished, so to see them not only create a purposefully repetitive dungeon, they created gear gaps.

Now, the other thing in Guild Wars 2 that made me love it besides the Halloween update was finding out how easily I could purchase decent exotics off of the TP. Prior to that I was worried at what it would take to get what was the 'best gear' - but in barely half of a week I was able to get all my armor pieces and my weapons. This was a feeling I got in Guild Wars 1 when I reached the gear gap, and it was glorious. That was it, I didn't need to worry about my drops and only needed to worry about 'looking like awesome', and it was great.

I don't think that's what Guild Wars 2 wants to do anymore, and it hurts, just feels like they got my hopes up. And I'm bummed to say it but it does actually affect my incentive to play the game. I can't help but be worried about what they plan to do after this, but I'm still a bit hopeful. We'll have to see their next move.

#17 Arquenya

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:15 AM

View PostFalfyrel, on 25 November 2012 - 08:57 AM, said:

but some players, myself among them, looked at the legendaries and paused before going what the hell is this? In spite of their hugely prestigious reputation, some of the legendaries looked ugly as sin: I wouldn't be caught dead using the Meteorlogicus on my Necromancer, for instance, and due to many of the "common" skins looking even better than some legendaries, many players didn't bother.
Yes I think this is one of GW2's flaws: in GW the vanity gear progression was pretty obvious as you generally had prettier, more detailed 15k versions of more plain 1.5k gear so most people wanted the 15k version.

In GW2 it seems that the designers made 30 different looks and just distributed them randomly into the different categories. Which resulted in a lot of - generally considered as - pretty skins to be easily available and a vast majority of legendaries with generally rather unattractive skins.
Strangely enough the GW2 devs seem to think that all players like stuff that looks bulky, glowing, unrealistic, overly spikey and demonic. While for instance a lot of people played mesmer in the original GW series just for the nice and tasteful gear looks. ANet forgot to cater that part of the playerbase it seems.

If I'd ever craft a legendary I'd use a transmutation stone to reshape it to one of the prettier exotic or rare skins.
Which can't possibly be the intention behind it.

Edited by Arquenya, 26 November 2012 - 10:32 AM.


#18 Lady Rhonwyn

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:23 AM

View PostArquenya, on 26 November 2012 - 10:15 AM, said:

If I'd ever craft a legendary I'd use a transmutation stone to reshape it to one of the prettier exotic or rare skins.
Which can't possibly be the intention behind it.
I looked the available exotics you have for the female human ranger.  I only like one set.  If I ever do get an exotic gear (will probably the karma one), I'll transmute it into a blue, hand crafted, gear (T4) because that's the skin I like the best...

#19 Arquenya

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

View PostCalebrus, on 25 November 2012 - 04:07 PM, said:

In my not so humble opinion, anyone that requires any kind of progression at all beyond what this game already provides should find another hobby.
Well I do think people want challenges, be able to set goals in a game and preferably do it together with other people. It's not that difficult to imagine that you don't necessarily like all the ones that GW2 provides and rather see other ones.

Personally I don't really see the appeal of world completion; endlessly searching for 100s of POIs and vistas bores me to death. But I would like to see pretty legendaries that I'd actually want to have. Or CTF PvP because I really enjoy that form of PvP. Guild Halls. I don't see why that is wrong?

#20 Illein

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:12 AM

View PostArquenya, on 26 November 2012 - 10:15 AM, said:

Yes I think this is one of GW2's flaws: in GW the vanity gear progression was pretty obvious as you generally had prettier, more detailed 15k versions of more plain 1.5k gear so most people wanted the 15k version.

In GW2 it seems that the designers made 30 different looks and just distributed them randomly into the different categories. Which resulted in a lot of - generally considered as - pretty skins to be easily available and a vast majority of legendaries with generally rather unattractive skins.
Strangely enough the GW2 devs seem to think that all players like stuff that looks bulky, glowing, unrealistic, overly spikey and demonic. While for instance a lot of people played mesmer in the original GW series just for the nice and tasteful gear looks. ANet forgot to cater that part of the playerbase it seems.

If I'd ever craft a legendary I'd use a transmutation stone to reshape it to one of the prettier exotic or rare skins.
Which can't possibly be the intention behind it.

Sorry, but that made me chuckle. Obviously - if armor style don't appeal to your very personal sense of aesthetics then ANet forgot to cater to people who just want a "nice and tasteful" look.

If you designed a range of armors which appeal to all sorts of people and their sense of fashion, please - let me know. I'd spend quite a fortune to have something in my hands that appeals to everyone universally.

Just because you don't like the legendary skins, doesn't mean that Arena Net doesn't value you as a costumer - what sort of nonsense is that even? There will be other legendary skin, hopefully something among them will please you, if not - well then what are they to do? Put in a feedback form for each player to design their own legendary for the humbly fee of one of their artists, 3D artists and programmers pay check?

Maybe Sandbox MMOs would please you better. They're out there.

#21 Perm Shadow Form

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:32 AM

View PostAfyael, on 25 November 2012 - 05:56 PM, said:

You nailed it on the head. What made the first game so fun was the idea that although lvl 20 was attained very easily you still had a lot progression, you had hundreds of skills to learn and master. You would learn many different playstyles within each class, you had so much potential with dual classes, there were so many different synergies that you would miss (and when you discover them it's like relearning your class all over again).

This is the big problem with GW2, combat is boring. Yes, BORING. It's fun at first but then you realize from level 30 onwards you are mostly using the same weapons (with locked in skills) and a pool of probably 5 or so utilities. Even the skills themselves are so generic, everyone does the same thing essentially, it's just looks different. Then there are the mobs, instead of kiting you and using strategy they just zerg you until you put them out of their miserable existence.

If combat was engaging the grinding would not be grind.

This. Why wont people understand that GW2 combat lacks the depth of GW1.
GW1 required far more reflexes and reaction than Gw2, also skill building, synergy with team, coordination, chat, tactics/strategy, you name it. Dodging red circle requires no skill. And zerging 100000000000000000hp static boss is just stupid.
Hell, Even Dhuum beats any boss that's current in GW2.

#22 Arquenya

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:46 AM

View PostIllein, on 26 November 2012 - 11:12 AM, said:

Sorry, but that made me chuckle. Obviously - if armor style don't appeal to your very personal sense of aesthetics then ANet forgot to cater to people who just want a "nice and tasteful" look.

If you designed a range of armors which appeal to all sorts of people and their sense of fashion, please - let me know. I'd spend quite a fortune to have something in my hands that appeals to everyone universally.
Just because you don't like the legendary skins, doesn't mean that Arena Net doesn't value you as a costumer - what sort of nonsense is that even?
:)

I just pointed out that GW was better at giving you a sense of progression by horizontal gear advancement than GW2 does. I'm not taking it personally (enough to do), it's just that I do know that quite a lot of people would find it an (extra) incentive to play.
I always thought that catering every taste or playstyle would be the easiest/best way to attract and keep players. And it's really not that hard to assess how pretty people would judge certain skins. Which doesn't mean that there's a "one for all" but with 4 or 5 legendaries you sh/would have the option to make each the prettiest within a certain category.

#23 Stellarthief

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:55 AM

GW2 isn't like other games.  It isn't meant to be.  What many people perceive as a bad or unfinished game is just because of how they choose to play it and to what other games they compare it.

If it was meant to be GW1, they would have just not made the game... If it was meant to be WoW, they woulda cloned that (or had a board meeting and found it stupid to produce yet another wow clone).  

The middleground they are trying to achieve isnt for everyone and isnt meant to be.  GW2 is a game that people will either "love or hate" as Anet has stated.  

I find games like GTA boring, or skyrim.. Other people love them and they are best sellers. Modded to heck and back on the PC and generally on most gamers top played list.  To me, GW2 is more fun.  

All these state of the game and progression posts all more or less state the same thing over and over - how bad GW2 is :)

#24 Illein

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:13 PM

View PostArquenya, on 26 November 2012 - 11:46 AM, said:

:)

I just pointed out that GW was better at giving you a sense of progression by horizontal gear advancement than GW2 does. I'm not taking it personally (enough to do), it's just that I do know that quite a lot of people would find it an (extra) incentive to play.
I always thought that catering every taste or playstyle would be the easiest/best way to attract and keep players. And it's really not that hard to assess how pretty people would judge certain skins. Which doesn't mean that there's a "one for all" but with 4 or 5 legendaries you sh/would have the option to make each the prettiest within a certain category.

Not sure what 4 or 5 legendaries you're referring to. But fact is, that most weapon families have/had a single choice since release for their legendary - some like them, others don't. There is no doubt that there will be more legendaries to choose from, if given the time. So while the Bifrost, as a popular example, doesn't appeal to a lot of Necromancer/Guardian players, there will surely be something that catches their eye at one point.

So far, we've had really...colourful ones so far, maybe the first expansion will introduce a gloomier breed of legendaries - only time will tell. Critizing designs you don't like, is all good and fine - but claiming they made them so and so, because they don't care about one part of their population is a bit far fetched, imho. That's all I said.

#25 The_Blades

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:19 PM

I dont know where the game is heading. i honestly hope anet adopts what they did so very well inGW beyond. War in Kryta revamped older areas with a good story to back it up. I'm sure i am not alone when saying we want more of that.




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