Why do you think the game is over once you've leveled? That's a personal definition, the game doesn't delete your character once you hit level 80. So you need a story to officially tell you when you've finished the game? Do you need a tier of gear to tell you when you've finished the game? Do you need to complete all crafting professions for the game to tell you it's finished? Do you need to completely clear the quest log to know when you've finished the game? These are all "artificial barriers" that restrict players, the difference is with GW2's levels you can do nearly anything and progress through the levels. You gain experience from crafting, events, kills, WvW activity, story, and pretty much everything else in the game. How is that not more open compared to GW1 or any other game? What game is actually giving you this ideal freedom?
What content is being "shoved down our throats"? Are you saying you don't want to participate in any of the zones before the Cursed Shore? I play the game, the levels come as a result. If you don't want to play the game I can see how that could be a problem, but the question becomes why are you logging in?
So I'm just wondering what you would do so differently if there were no levels. How would the game be structured? What gating and progression mechanics would be used? Even single player games have gating and progression. There is no such thing as that ideal freedom you're thinking of, and levels provide more choice than you are seemingly willing to see.
I would never say a decision is right just because Anet made it, they don't do everything right and have publicly apologized for mistakes in the past. In the same vein I would not say gating and progression in GW2 is only because of the presence of leveling, they would both be there without levels in a more restrictive form.
It's not abstract at all, as I have been saying, and you agreed with, without levels other gating mechanisms will be used, which would be more restrictive. Levels are just a unified meter of a variety of systems. There is gating and progression with levels in GW2. There would be gating and progression without levels in GW2. Removing levels alone won't do anything because levels rely on the gating and content pacing decisions. Every other gating and progression system is less open
than leveling in GW2.
That's not disagreeing, it's either not understanding or giving up. If there is any particular point that needs clarification I would be happy to explain it further or in another way.
Do "ranks" that you "rank up" with "rank points" collected by killing opponents and doing specific tasks count as levels? Sounds like the definition of levels spelled a different way.
By definition elite hunting is not more open than leveling. You have to do one
activity in one
zone by doing something very specific. Compare that to leveling in GW2 where you are granted experience for nearly everything in the PvE and WvW worlds. What offers more choice, leveling (crafting, story, events, hearts, map completion, WvW, and so on) or elite hunting (one activity in one zone finding one boss to kill). It's clearly many choices versus none. No choice is not open. That elite hunting could be considered optional, but in the same sense so is leveling, if you only ever want to be in Queensdale there is little reason to get to level 80. Move on to other zones and you might find a need for added capabilities. Personally, skill hunting was a chore not a freedom, there is zero choice with that process.
Power progression is a pretty simple topic. Power should be added as needed to create a sense of progression. Scaling needs some work, but it removes power that could be abused or trivializes content. Going forward you could use additional power, but that should not impact going back.
Edited by Krazzar, 20 February 2013 - 11:43 PM.