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Let's see how interesting and innovative fractals are


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#1 Zhaitan

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:50 PM

After reading various posts on FotM, I have realized that there is a common theme to them:
  • The encounters are well designed and challenging
  • Superior Loots and Chest Rewards
So, I wanted to check it out. I am at Fractals lvl 26 thru pugging. I have done at least 1 level of fractal every night. I have never had a failed run.

So. allow me evaluate the challenges at various fractals:

Spoiler

That's all about the fractals. Pretty much. I know some of you will disagree. Some may even say that I have trivialized many aspect of it. But, end of the day, is it not true that this particular dungeon feels just way too repititive? Is it not true that ANET could have used there resources that they spent in designing this crap to  make positive and welcome changes in the DEs, world bosses, WvW?

I got a lot of cores and rares from fractals. I made over 150 ectos by salvaging the rares I obtained from it. It has funded my cultural armor set and made me a decently rich person. I also got "Many Account bound Exotics" from the chests there. Why can't I get the same from running Arah at the same rate?

Edited by Zhaitan, 07 January 2013 - 08:52 PM.


#2 FoxBat

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

View PostZhaitan, on 07 January 2013 - 08:50 PM, said:

Is it not true that ANET could have used there resources that they spent in designing this crap to  make positive and welcome changes in the DEs, world bosses

Would these somehow not be repetitive or un-challenging after the first 20 times? Particularly open world content that can't even scale in difficulty?

Not clear how the millions of exploits are really relevant to the topic. Yes it would be better if you couldn't portal through swamp, that doesn't make every maze or JP "poorly designed."

Edited by FoxBat, 07 January 2013 - 09:00 PM.


#3 Millimidget

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:11 PM

Slightly off topic, but how long do you think they spent developing FotM? Does it seem like it was in development before release, or do you get the impression it was hastily put together after release? Do you think the agony resist, and presumably the accompanying stat increases, were part of the original design, or tacked on later?

It's beyond obvious that Southsun Cove was not at all ready for release, whether it was a zone they mothballed months ago or something they put together at the last minute (or both, I guess).

View PostZhaitan, on 07 January 2013 - 08:50 PM, said:

But, end of the day, is it not true that this particular dungeon feels just way too repititive?
They were alright for the first twenty levels or so worth of play time (I only hit 17, but there were several days I just ran for a lower level daily instead of pushing my personal level).

But yeah, they're very repetitive. So much so that even once they released a form of guaranteed ring access, I still couldn't muster the interest in playing them.

View PostZhaitan, on 07 January 2013 - 08:50 PM, said:

Why can't I get the same from running Arah at the same rate?
I really don't know. The best I can come up with is that FotM is being afforded unusually high drop rates intentionally, either because they want players in FotM or because someone at Anet really likes running them.

It's really odd, since all that extra loot totally undermines the economy, and given recent events, I think FotM players should be banned.

Edited by Millimidget, 07 January 2013 - 09:20 PM.


#4 I'm Squirrel

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:12 PM

Aughh... I had to type in my post twice and both times it got deleted because of some stupid mouse-shortcut refreshing the page. I don't have time to rewrite everything a third time, so i'll just say this. I completely agree with you OP. ANET definately has some idiotic morons at the head of development from what we've seen before release and 6 months--post release. Every dungeon is just some ugly looking, badly designed grinding path, with no aesthetically pleasing loot. FOTM is the only good looking dungeon, but even so, the bulk of it is horribly designed and it still uses that dungeon token sh*t ANET put into the game.

If anything, i'd rather have people running Arah 24/7, just because it's supposed to be the "climax" of GW2, with the defeat of Zhaitan, and all. But, i've never once seen a group being made for it. and i've never even ran it myself, due to nobody wanting to run it. So it must also be a failure of a dungeon. I'm just as disappointed as you, OP.

#5 Zhaitan

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:24 PM

View PostFoxBat, on 07 January 2013 - 08:55 PM, said:

Would these somehow not be repetitive or un-challenging after the first 20 times? Particularly open world content that can't even scale in difficulty?

Interestingly designed open world content is probably the only thing that does not become repititive in a game. Why? Its because of the human element - More the number. more are the variables impacting the outcome. This is the same reason, it does not get boring to run JQ or FA or to do Alliance Battles. There is always something different and end is never guaranteed. With world bosses, they do not need to scale anything. They just need to optimize it periodically based on server population. They can introduce variety of behaviors in world bosses that can introduce a lot of randomness. Loot table can be managed dynamically as the world bosses are not that many to begin with.  They could even have Wyld hunt for real.

View PostFoxBat, on 07 January 2013 - 08:55 PM, said:

Not clear how the millions of exploits are really relevant to the topic. Yes it would be better if you couldn't portal through swamp, that doesn't make every maze or JP "poorly designed."

I know you did not like OP and had to respond. Exploits are the most relevant issues that impact how "interesting or challenging" something is. These exploits impact the gameplay in positive or negative way. Do I really want to kill every tentacle to prolong my repititive activities - aka throw the crystals at that gigantic mouth? Is that that challenge I look forward to? No. Do I like being knocked out every few seconds to jump thru a series of floating bricks? No. However, guard trick in swamp impacts my gameplay negatively as I feel I am deprived of a challenge if someone truly does what a guard can do there. I never said anything about every JP or maze. Where di you get that?

Hope I clarified my points.

#6 BnJ

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:04 PM

View PostZhaitan, on 07 January 2013 - 08:50 PM, said:

I got a lot of cores and rares from fractals. I made over 150 ectos by salvaging the rares I obtained from it. It has funded my cultural armor set and made me a decently rich person. I also got "Many Account bound Exotics" from the chests there. Why can't I get the same from running Arah at the same rate?
This is the part of FotM that irks me.  The loot is just too good and makes doing any other dungeon feel like a waste unless you're running it specifically for the dungeon tokens.  It's no wonder everyone is funneling into this instance, the loot table has been tuned to attract the loot driven players.  And come on, who doesn't like getting good loot?

They really need to adjust the drops of other dungeons already.

#7 Levistis

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:20 AM

I just wanna ask - what would an interesting boss fight be to all of you people who ask for "better boss fights"? I love the svanir shaman fight, I don't exploit it though. I love the grawl fractal endboss, I think the entire colossus fractal is great. WTH do you people want???

#8 I'm Squirrel

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:36 AM

View PostLevistis, on 08 January 2013 - 12:20 AM, said:

I just wanna ask - what would an interesting boss fight be to all of you people who ask for "better boss fights"? I love the svanir shaman fight, I don't exploit it though. I love the grawl fractal endboss, I think the entire colossus fractal is great. WTH do you people want???

Off the top of my head, I can list examples of boss fights in GW1 that were incredibly interesting before all the strategies were made:

Urgoz, Murakai, Enraged Kuunavang, Varesh, Shiro, Glint...... these were all difficult, but not impossible, and you didn't stand there chopping down HP for 10-15 minutes. Some of these boss fights could end in 5 minutes if you knew a good strategy.

In GW2, the only interesting boss fight I found was that one Asura with the golem in Sorrow's Furnace, that was pretty fun I gotta admit.

#9 Senatic

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:22 AM

View PostLevistis, on 08 January 2013 - 12:20 AM, said:

I just wanna ask - what would an interesting boss fight be to all of you people who ask for "better boss fights"? I love the svanir shaman fight, I don't exploit it though. I love the grawl fractal endboss, I think the entire colossus fractal is great. WTH do you people want???

There are a few core design problems with a lot of the bosses in the game. I'm gonna try to as clearly as I can put into words what I feel is currently wrong with a lot of these encounters.

1. Pacing. This is one of the biggest issues right now and I personally feel this is one of ArenaNets biggest weaknesses when it comes to the overall game design. If a boss does not require any meaningful coordination or strategy it CAN NOT take 15 minutes to finish the fight. Chopping at a HP tree for 15 minutes without any other meaningful interaction going on is not okay. These encounters (I'm looking at you Jellyfish/Norn Shaman/Moss Man/Roothunger and so on and so forth) are gear checks to see if you have the neccesery agony. The fights themselves are way to long and the length can not be justified by any meaningful game mechanic that would make the fight interesting.

2.Risk/Reward. This one sorta goes hand in hand with above paragraph. There needs to be a greater risk, and a greater reward in all boss encounters in the entire game. Let me explain, I don't mean we need better loot. I mean that the fights needs to have serious consequences for messing up, such as failing a boss fight X amounts of times needs to kick you out of the dungeon and force you to start over. There absolutely has to be a sense of urgency, a sense of real risk. Graveyard rushing is a lame ass tactic that should never have been allowed into the game because it significantly trivializes the risks and thus it significantly trivializes the content. Remember DoA? Remember UW? Remember FoW? You had to pay money to go in, and if you wiped you had to start over as well as lose the money.

Likewise performing well as a group needs to be rewarded, you need to be able to tackle and complete an encounter faster with a great group, if your group is only decent then it should be punished by having the fight drag on. A fight dragging on should be a sign of your group not performing as well as it should.

3. Increase the difficulty, A LOT. No ArenaNet, I did not say give the boss a bigger HP pool. Dear lord, it's like this is the only way they can possibly conceive of when trying to make a hard encounter. Remember when DoA was introduced and it took like 3 months before the first guilds managed to defeat Mallyx? Yea sure that fight took a while, but it sure as hell wasn't meaningless combat. You needed to perform incredibly specific tasks at the right times, coordinate your team in the right ways with the right builds executed correctly to beat this guy. Yea the fight took a while, but it consisted of much much more then hacking away at a enormous HP bar. The fight had pacing, and the length of the battle was justified by the mechanics as well as the skill needed by the players to complete the fight.

4. Rewards. Yes, now I am talking about loot. Seriously, make the final dungeon bosses have small, but attainable, chance to drop a precursor. Lets get those prices down to a acceptable level and lets give players some incentive to run these dungeons after they've gotten the dungeon armor they want.

5. Mechanics. Lets face it, a lot of the mechanics of the boss fights are not that interesting. Most of them do not encourage the players to take on a particular role, most of them do not encourage the player to coordinate in any meaningful way and it does not encourage them to preper or strategies before hand.


Final words:
Lieutenant Kholer is a example of a good boss fight that takes too long. Imagine if it took 5 minutes for a great group to get him down instead of the 10-15 minutes it currently takes a awesome group to get him down. Imagine that he did the same things he do now, only slightly more frequently. Imagine that if you wiped at him 3 times in a row you had to restart the entire dungeon. And imagine he had a chance to drop a skin that only he drops in the entire game. I would now consider this a totally good Boss encounter.

Of course I don't want all of them to be the same. Give us some variation, give us some tiered fights with multiple ways to complete it. Give us a bundle that grants buffs that allow a boss to be damaged and have one person fulfill a role during that fight, like the hammer in the cliffside fractal (the hammer is a great mechanic, the fractal however lacks pacing and drags on for far too long.) Have another person fulfill another role, perhaps that of distracting the boss in some sort of golem suit. And if he doesn't do it well the Boss can easily wipe the entire team. All in all the fight could take no more then 5 minutes if executed correctly.

Hey I'm not a game designer, I'm just coming up with random shit here. But please, force us to communicate, force us to strategies, force us to put our heads together and coordinate in a meaningful way.

This is what I want.

Edited by Senatic, 08 January 2013 - 01:28 AM.


#10 Lucas Ashrock

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:06 AM

You're asking great design, Senatic. About gw2 well, is just a myth hehe :)
Clearly i agree with your post in the whole

#11 Bloggi

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:08 AM

Well I am struggling to find another way to say it, but if we insist on using exploits on a boss, or stand in a secret hideyhole and attack from range so that we so much as don't get a scratch, then we're practically asking for a mind-numbing experience and can't expect anything more than that.

If certain things are too easy with a guardian, why not run as a group of semi-glass warriors? Why not run as a group of four or even three instead of the usual group of five?

#12 Just Horus

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:23 AM

View PostI, on 08 January 2013 - 12:36 AM, said:

Urgoz, Murakai, Enraged Kuunavang, Varesh, Shiro, Glint...... these were all difficult, but not impossible, and you didn't stand there chopping down HP for 10-15 minutes. Some of these boss fights could end in 5 minutes if you knew a good strategy.

Aside from them not having ridiculously high HP, every boss you mentioned, with the exception of Urgoz, did involve standing around and chopping down their HP...

Not going to waste my time writing a wall of text but I agree with FoxBat. Changes to open world and DEs will also just become repetitive and boring if you *gasp* repeat them over and over and over...

At least ANet said they are making changes to WvW but I don't have high expectations.

#13 Arewn

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:36 AM

Generic gamer: plays something 26 times, complains that it's repetitive.

And as you said, yes you are trivializing it. Repeat an encounter in any given mmorpg enough times and you can make a simplistic over view of it.

I'm not saying there's no problems with fractals, and I agree they should take what they've done in fractals and use it to improve the rest of the game. But you're point is rooted in the fact that you got bored of something you repeated many times in a row...

#14 Lucas Ashrock

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:00 AM

I guess the point was mostly how pathetic exploit-based are those fractals, with shit design, more than the exploit used by every group, or the lazy easyway behaviour of the player. Anet design fault, not just lazyness of the player

Edited by Lucas Ashrock, 08 January 2013 - 07:03 AM.


#15 Fernling306

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:08 AM

View PostXekk, on 08 January 2013 - 06:08 AM, said:

Well I am struggling to find another way to say it, but if we insist on using exploits on a boss, or stand in a secret hideyhole and attack from range so that we so much as don't get a scratch, then we're practically asking for a mind-numbing experience and can't expect anything more than that.

If certain things are too easy with a guardian, why not run as a group of semi-glass warriors? Why not run as a group of four or even three instead of the usual group of five?
Or with one hand? Why not use just your 3 button mouse and no keyboard! It's the developers job to create difficult and meaningful content. Why should I(consumer) need/have to handicap myself in order to make the content fun? Of course they don't have to make the content fun for me, or any others, but it would be smart to appeal to the widest range of audience they can.

#16 matsif

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:14 AM

my only real problem is how empty the rest of the world has become due to the loot tables.  after level 10 fractals, there is no reason to play anything else in the game as nothing else is profitable to that scale.

#17 Arquenya

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:52 AM

View Postmatsif, on 08 January 2013 - 07:14 AM, said:

my only real problem is how empty the rest of the world has become due to the loot tables.  after level 10 fractals, there is no reason to play anything else in the game as nothing else is profitable to that scale.
Exactly.

The rewards/hour between dungeons are really way off, resulting in everyone running just fractals and dungeons like CoF1, AC2, TA up. It's very, very hard to find groups for any more challenging or time consuming dungeons.

I think balancing rewards would give a better incentive to do more varied content and not make all those dungeons basically a waste of the designers' time and effort. Why would a 2 hour Arah 4 run give about the same reward as a 10 minute CoF1 speed run? Make CoF1 give 30 tokens and CoF3 80. Boost the Arah rewards to 80 - 120 and decrease the AC rewards to 30-40 and adjust the silver reward and chest loot quality accordingly. Let skippable bosses drop more silver and tokens.

For the rest, I really think GW2's dungeon design is beyond saving.

Edited by Arquenya, 08 January 2013 - 07:57 AM.


#18 Lucas Ashrock

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:58 AM

Nah, would touch the balance of the dungeons. And makes things longer to program, also explaining what? "We made this variations because the community performance using exploits/skipruns makes the run uberfast and easy to do compared to arah 4, so longer dungeon=better rewards" True, makes a sense. Effort=higher rewards. Except is not the phylosophy nor the design of Anet, they don't give a crap. Uberhard or completed after 15 minutes= same exact reward.

Edited by Lucas Ashrock, 08 January 2013 - 07:59 AM.


#19 Serris

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:53 AM

View PostZhaitan, on 07 January 2013 - 09:24 PM, said:

Interestingly designed open world content is probably the only thing that does not become repititive in a game. Why? Its because of the human element - More the number. more are the variables impacting the outcome. This is the same reason, it does not get boring to run JQ or FA or to do Alliance Battles. There is always something different and end is never guaranteed. With world bosses, they do not need to scale anything. They just need to optimize it periodically based on server population. They can introduce variety of behaviors in world bosses that can introduce a lot of randomness. Loot table can be managed dynamically as the world bosses are not that many to begin with.  They could even have Wyld hunt for real.

the reason JQ or FA don't get boring is because they are AGAINST enemy players. gw2 doesn't want any competition with other players in PvE.
go play some PvP and WvW (it has a JP too!), i think this is more of what you're looking for.

#20 Levistis

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 02:37 PM

Kholer, never, EVER EVER takes 15 minutes, save for the most terrible group. In most runs I do of AC, kholer, if people understand his whirlwind attack, takes 2-5 minutes. I have no idea what your talking about honestly, and I'm not elitist at all. I usually have 2-3 lower level characters in my runs.

#21 Scorpion

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

I hate the underwater dolphin one so much. I didn't max out my gear and spend so much gold to swim around as a dolphin. Most of the other ones I enjoy, the dolphin map not so much.

#22 Im Legion

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:28 AM

I love the fractals and think their design is great. They're easily the most interesting dungeon I've played in any game. Running them more than a couple of times are going to make them bland though, as anything you do a lot is undoubtedly going to bore you eventually. As for people abusing glitches... just leave the party when they do (do state your reason though) and/or join a guild that refuses to use them.

I agree that the rewards are a bit out of whack compared to the other dungeons and they should definitely tone them down a bit.

#23 Perm Shadow Form

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:53 AM

View PostHorus Moonlight, on 08 January 2013 - 06:23 AM, said:



Aside from them not having ridiculously high HP, every boss you mentioned, with the exception of Urgoz, did involve standing around and chopping down their HP...

Not going to waste my time writing a wall of text but I agree with FoxBat. Changes to open world and DEs will also just become repetitive and boring if you *gasp* repeat them over and over and over...

At least ANet said they are making changes to WvW but I don't have high expectations.

While GW1 combat was more static, it sure required more coordination and teamplay. PD mesmer in GW1 requires more reflexes than any mesmer build in GW2, just an example.

#24 Just Horus

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:47 AM

View PostPerm Shadow Form, on 09 January 2013 - 01:53 AM, said:

While GW1 combat was more static, it sure required more coordination and teamplay. PD mesmer in GW1 requires more reflexes than any mesmer build in GW2, just an example.

I can't think of a single boss in GW1 that required any substantial coordination and teamplay. MAYBE if you were trying to break some speed clear record, but beyond handicaps like that, nope.

I haven't done enough PvP in GW2 to compare but having amazing reaction times is not a good (if at all) measure of skill.

#25 Tripolityx

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:15 AM

View PostScorpion, on 08 January 2013 - 04:18 PM, said:

I hate the underwater dolphin one so much. I didn't max out my gear and spend so much gold to swim around as a dolphin. Most of the other ones I enjoy, the dolphin map not so much.
Take your armor off before entering Dolphin-mode/Dark cave. In case you get pancaked you will at least save armor repair cost. Same in anywhere you need to wipe and not sure can you instant kill yourself in case you enter downed state first - take off the armor.

Edited by Tripolityx, 09 January 2013 - 09:15 AM.


#26 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:08 AM

View Postmatsif, on 08 January 2013 - 07:14 AM, said:

my only real problem is how empty the rest of the world has become due to the loot tables.  after level 10 fractals, there is no reason to play anything else in the game as nothing else is profitable to that scale.

I have to wonder - who actually enjoys open world PvE in this game?
View that question in the following context - in GW1 I spend thousands of hours repeating the storyline content. I didn't like farming dungeons, so I did the content I enjoyed. Sure, it was insanely less profitable, but I'd rather play the content that I enjoy than gain shit-tons of virtual gold by doing something I hate.
In GW2, I get insanely bored of the majority of open world content and the content that is interesting, is pretty much dead (aka Group DEs).

So, with people that care about loot being in instances, do we actually have people that enjoy open-world content enough to give up loot for it? Is open world content fun enough to keep people playing for thousands of hours?

#27 Gileas898

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

View PostZhaitan, on 07 January 2013 - 08:50 PM, said:

After reading various posts on FotM, I have realized that there is a common theme to them:
  • The encounters are well designed and challenging
  • Superior Loots and Chest Rewards

I haven't heard this to be honest. Most of FotM revolves around dodging Agony at the right time. But that is an inherent problem with the GW2 combat system, not a problem with the developers.

#28 Perm Shadow Form

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:02 AM

View PostHorus Moonlight, on 09 January 2013 - 02:47 AM, said:

I can't think of a single boss in GW1 that required any substantial coordination and teamplay. MAYBE if you were trying to break some speed clear record, but beyond handicaps like that, nope.

I haven't done enough PvP in GW2 to compare but having amazing reaction times is not a good (if at all) measure of skill.

Then I'm sorry to say, but you didn't play GW1 enough or you just don't remember.
Dhuum was perfect example how bosses should been made.
Heck even Shiro battle (Before SoS and Ele Bonder and Crit Assassin) was more active battle than the whole Zhaitan battle, heck you didn't even fight Zhaitan.

And it takes skill to react to 1/2 second skill cast and interrupt it.

#29 escada_assassin

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:17 AM

FotM is the dream of all the people that want loot, gold etc. And since most of the people are after that (at some point), FotM becomes the most played area in the entire game. Yeah, LA USED to be the area where people were lfg-ing for AC/TA/etc. Now it's the area where people look for other people for more & more FotM. It's true that one can still find a random team to run AC / TA or whatever, but it's not as it used to be. Most people in LA now are doing FotM. The Plinx nerf in Orr made a lot of people return to the old Penitent / Shelter mindless farm or quit that area for good and start doing FotM. The karka island is barely touched by anyone and those who adventure there are doing it for the Rich Ori node. There are still people chasing dragon events and hoping to get a lot of goodies from the end chest, but as time passes, I think more and more people realize that, if they're after getting nice stuff, dragon events aren't providing, so they turn / turned their faces towards FotM, where loot sometimes seems to drop from the sky. I've never had so many rares / exotics (even if exotics are account bound) anywhere in the game and I've explored the world on 5 different chars to level 80. FotM as it is right now, with all the bad things, as uninteresting it is, with all the bugs, with all the long boss fights and so on, is the only thing that anyone would, could and should run if they would be after getting gold, rares, exotics, ecto, T5 / T6 materials and so on. How many people got so many goodies doing AC or TA or whatever other dungeon? How many people out of all the ones who finished a lot of dragon events actually got something nice from the end chest to justify the time spent with the fight and all? How many people playing the open world, doing DE's, helping NPC's around etc, doing JP's or whatever got a lot of goodies by doing all that? I know I never did.

Edited by escada_assassin, 09 January 2013 - 11:19 AM.


#30 XPhiler

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:09 PM

View PostProtoss, on 09 January 2013 - 10:08 AM, said:

I have to wonder - who actually enjoys open world PvE in this game?
View that question in the following context - in GW1 I spend thousands of hours repeating the storyline content. I didn't like farming dungeons, so I did the content I enjoyed. Sure, it was insanely less profitable, but I'd rather play the content that I enjoy than gain shit-tons of virtual gold by doing something I hate.
In GW2, I get insanely bored of the majority of open world content and the content that is interesting, is pretty much dead (aka Group DEs).

So, with people that care about loot being in instances, do we actually have people that enjoy open-world content enough to give up loot for it? Is open world content fun enough to keep people playing for thousands of hours?

Hmm I do and I guess most of the pikensquare server cause even at 5am in the morning you always have people around doing group events no problem!

what server are you on out of curiousity?




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