We know what's been said, we know what we've seen in game.
We know it's just the start.
So, my question is this:
Does the ascended gear tier and agony content gating adhere to the principles on which Areanet marketed this game?
Those principles brought anticipation to near Old Republic levels because there was an honest market out there of people tired of gear-grinder MMOs.. and seemingly Areanet has done an about-face on those ideas, and I've seen a lot of people claiming it's so egregious that it amounts to a bait-and-switch.
So what would it take for Areanet to, as it said in it's PR, 'not intend a gear treadmill'? What would it take for that to be the literal truth?
My answer.. based on the implementation of the fractals dungeon that I observed in game is that the patch - or at the very least the mechanics surrounding the acquisition of ascended gear - for Arenanet's intentions to be honest, must have been implemented in a panic at a level of incompetence that is staggering.
Think about that - if you want to adhere to your principles you don't pull such a fast 180 that people are left with whiplash and shock. If you don't want to adhere to your principles, you don't implement a grind that is so hideous it immediately disheartens an entire segment of your casual playerbase.
WoW does gear-grind and new gear tiers in a comparatively light-hearted, simple, easy-going fashion. In fact, no game I've yet played has implemented a new gear tier with such awful mechanics for acquiring the pieces.
The dungeon's gating mechanic is designed so poorly that people who couldn't play on the Lost Shores weekend found themselves already starting to be left behind by the time they got to the game. The costs and RNG of the new items are so shocking that many people are saying they are simply going to wait until Arenanet lowers the cost, or just plain out creating thread after thread of justified criticism, or they're just completely opting out. There's only one method to attain the gear, and only a few slots - all of it points to this stuff being added in a total panic, without proper forethought, testing, or listening to tester feedback.
Why? C'mon. Surely they must have known the locusts would move on after three months. Surely they must've known the pattern for every single MMO launch since Warcraft. Why this as their response to a totally predictable event?
Edited by Lheimroo, 26 November 2012 - 02:02 PM.