As a disclaimer: I've been playing this game since release, I'm level 80, and I'm decked out in full exotics with the armor skins of my choice. All of which were bought with gems and some money I've obtained from running CoF P1. Now then, let's get started.
It's absolutely no mystery that this game has delivered many empty promises, but the ones I want to focus on today are the "no grind philosophy", "play your way" and how they effect players on the PvE level of the game. Let me begin by saying that you will be grinding, and you will not be able to play the way you want to so long as you wish to progress in this game. As with many MMOs the main fun factor is the amount of joy a player experiences as they progress their characters in level, and power. Leveling isn't a problem. It's actually pretty fun as long as you avoid the jumping puzzles that interfere with GW2's terrible camera angles. After 80 though, what should one do? Many resort to gear progression or move onto another game. And here's the woe: gear progression.
There are many ways to progress in this game after 80. Here's the list I've come up with.
- Run CoF P1 over and over again for a little over 1g per pass.
- Somehow become a TP wizard and manipulate the market in order to turn 20%+ profits.
- Spend coin on a magic find set of gear then run Orr events and dungeons with it for a slight chance of getting profitable loot/exotics.
- Buy gems and trade them for gold.
In my time playing this game, I've spent over 100 USD on gems to get the gear I want. The reason why? I don't have the time, to run CoF over and over again, nor do I have in-game-made gold to create an MF set. I know a lot of people facing the same dilemma on my server as well as most people in my guild. This brings me back to the "play your way" philosophy. I like to RP, and explore the world. Yet, exploring the world yields little to none in coin or Kharma rewards. That's a problem. At the end of the day I should have been sitting on a good 15g after hitting level 80, even with spending money on gear upgrades in the TP, repairs, travel costs, and buying manuals from my trainer. Instead, I ended up with 3g. That's bogus.
Oh, and that Kharma thing they put in the game. Yes, it's useless for the most part. Aside from using it to buy produce, race weapons and Orrian gear, it's a failed currency. I don't think it's necessary for me to go too deep into Kharma, because it really is useless. Currently I'm sitting on over 100k of it with nothing to spend it on.
I really don't want to get into the issue of the TP, other than it's completely controlled by day one tycoons, and some gold selling companies. Seriously, who wants to spend over 200 USD on a single legendary item? To this day I don't have a legendary, and I have no desire to get one simply for the fact of how much it disgusts me that a small amount of the player-base has manipulated the TP in order to make it nearly impossible to get a legendary at a reasonably decent price. What disgusts me even more is how ANet decided to make legendaries a painful grind item rather than making them profession specific items that one can only acquire through a tedious storyline (like EQ or the Paladin mount in WoW). Simply put: ANet decided to put the power of the economy in the players hands, compounded the TP to span all servers within a region, and look what happened.
Now let's take a look at crafting. Here we have a system in the game that allows every player access to every crafting profession, and the ability to gather every kind of crafting component in spite of a players current crafting professions learned. Honestly, it's a mostly broken system in this game, but that's best saved for a different topic, because it's a very long one. I'll just say it effects the economy, and not in a good way.
Here's another thing that really bugs me out: the gem store. There's simply not enough to buy in the damn thing. After level 80, most of the items are pretty useless, other than services, dye packs, keys and boosters. The cosmetic gear options are pretty lame too. I've rarely spent any gems on stuff in the gem store. I've only really converted gems, because that's the only way to make use of them fully. Oh and BTW, how about they give a Divines be damned coin booster!? Nvm, that'll never happen, but a man can hope.
Alright then, I'm going to move along now and get to the TL;DR part of this post. Here are my very few and very reasonable ways to fix this game in a way where players will be happy, and ANet will still make tons of money off of the gem store (since that seems to be the only thing they care about, or at least Nexon). Here it is!
- Put every kind of legendary item and dungeon rewards in the gem store for a set amount of gems that will fluctuate with the gem market over time as the conversion amount goes up or down.
- Balance dungeon rewards
- Increase world event profits
- Decrease legendary precursor RNG
- Decrease component requirements for many items within the crafts.
- Coin booster in the gem store, please.
- Finally implement a player to player trading system.