What I've gathered from this is that they are seeking solutions to multiple issues, and this might help with a few.
One solution to their "ascended gear being difficult to obtain" thing and "noone goes back to the low level zones" thing would be to make world completion activate an npc in each area which gives one item for a scavenger hunt upon completion. This item can be given once for free upon completion, after that a progress bar fills for "activity" within that zone and they can gather the material for that zone again.
Once you have completed each zone (the item you get can be obtained in other manners as well), you get an item (from an npc in the zone) which goes into a recipe for this gear. Once you do this through a hybrid of either completing each zone or gaining those items in another manner, you put them into the forge, out pops some tokens.
The tokens you gain are the equivalent you need to buy a -full set- of ascended gear at an npc. You can thus pick and choose your stats on each piece rather than getting the "berserker" package.
There we go, people go back to the lower level zones, people have a -reasonable- and -definite- way to get the gear, and it will satisfy the player base. Add a bank slot of some sort for each of these scavenger hunt items and you are set.
Problems can practically fix themselves if you let them.. It would get people going back to the zones for the dynamic events and hearts/killing npc.. and it would add alternative ways to get ascended stuff. It would not force map completion, but would reward for it. You could of course get the scavenger hunt item #3 from completing kessex or whatever by an alternative method which they could add later.
Providing us options can go a long way.. I believe. That solution encapsulates the scavenger items and account binds them to prevent it from interfering with any pre-existing markets or inflating materials prices.
The progress bar on the npc that gives you the items? I think it might be a healthy time to allow us to hide individual UI elements through the menu.
I am just dreaming though... Somehow the solution will involve rng chests and causing pre-existing materials prices to inflate.
Steps to ascended gear on this platform would be:
1. Either complete a map (or if you already did, fill a progress bar in that zone) so that you may talk to an npc in that zone. This npc will give you one of the items you need in this "scavenger hunt" of sorts, to get ascended gear. This encourages play time within this zone.
1b. Alternatively, you may get the scavenger item in another manner, and bypass this process. Each item is unique for the zone so if you cannot obtain it easily in the other manner, you may use the other method.
This is intended to allow wvw and people who prefer other methods such as dungeons a bypass while not undervalueing the pve players work.
2. This item combines with other items once you fill out the list in a forge of sorts. The mystic forge only has 4 slots so this seems unlikely. They could have a system of 4 items = 1 item and build it like an arena tier but this would be bulky and counter-intuitive.
3. Once you combined the items you get a certain amount of tokens/vouchers to be used at yet another npc which is the direct equivalent of what is needed for an -entire- set of ascended gear. exotics are 3 gold and a romp around practically anywhere can get you three gold. This process is more time consuming but more reasonable and direct than the current system of ascended. It still qualifies as a midway between exotics and legendary.
4. You may use these tokens to get a berserker helm.. a carrion chestplate.. etc. You can mix and match because you were given the exact amount of tokens necessary for a full set. This is intended for people with varied builds.
Its also fairly easy to understand this process and they could put a map icon for each zones relevant npc.
Edit: After looking back, I am considering putting this in its own post even though its still a reply to the discussion on the highlights.. Its relevant enough but I might as well separate this.
Edited by Sahfy chama, 28 November 2012 - 07:07 PM.