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Additional Gear Tiers: Economic Inevitability

tiers gear economy economic exotic legendary weapons armor expansion pack

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#31 asbasb

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 03:58 PM

Now, if they force agony on us in an expansion to fight Jormag or whatever,


I would hazard a guess and say that that was their plan when they published their first ascended gear blog post. The statement that they want to eventually bring infusion slots to lower tiered gear speaks a pretty clear language.
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#32 MazingerZ

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 04:06 PM

Adding gear to simply make you strong leads to power creep which is why I posted the video. Sure, it's not bad now with just Ascended Gear, but continuing the trend is what we are talking about, not what we have now.

Also, it is fairly pointless and lazy to add a gear treadmill if the gear doesn't actually provide a new experience. Hell, I'd rather have a gear treadmill that does something cool and new than a gear treadmill that just happens to make you incrementally better but not significant enough to make a difference.

Overall, Ascended Gear, regardless of its need, is a lazy addition to the game, precisely because it has little to no value to players in making their experience easier or better. At least by gating content behind gear there is a better sense of progression regardless of its inherent bad side effects.


Gated content is bad. But look at what's been added.

We've had limited events in Halloween, Karka, Christmas and SAB.

I wish I could do tables...

But since August 28th, when WoW released the 5.0.4, the pre-expansion patch, the same time GW2 launched. Since then, WoW has released a new raid with mechanics better than anything GW2's PvE content offers. In fact, most of what GW2's offered have still been one-time events (stretched over a long period, but ultimately silly repetitive game-play) that ultimately leave no impact upon the game.

WoW gave Isle of Thunder and Throne of the Thunder King and Troves of the Thunder King (1 player scenario)

GW2 gave us The Lost Shores, The Living Story (zerg those events) and two rather boring 'Living Story' events to one-man.

I honestly think WoW's PvE content, thanks to phasing especially, makes a much more impact on the world than GW2's content post-launch has. Yes, in Orr and stuff, you can see the effects... but GW2's isn't persistent. It resets, so on some level, the effect is even worse. Considering how much PvE farming you have to do, your 'impact' on the world is even less enhanced by the fact that you come back to the same people trying to recapture the Temple of Balthazar. Only no one gives a shit about the Temple of Balthazar anymore.
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#33 Krazzar

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 05:27 PM

I think you're missing something here. I agree that playing a game without any sense of progression would be dull after a while. However, progression doesn't need to be vertical. Horizontal progression, such as new skills, or new types of gear stats (not better, just new), allows for progression without the unnecessary and unfortunate side effects of power creep.


Horizontal progression is rather dangerous. While I'm fairly certain it will be there there will be vertical progression as well. Vertical power creep is largely managed already through scaling, but too much horizontal power creep (gaining new abilities and skills) has no balancing factor outside of re-balancing the entire game, which creates a cycle of imbalance and cuts out build choices.

Economically horizontal progression can add some items to the market but vertical progression resets the standard for all items, so it impacts all current items. By using both horizontal and vertical progression they can vastly increase the number of impacted players and items. If you want people playing your game that's a good thing. For me it will be annoying at one point or another to get more gear regardless of implementation, especially across 8 characters. It just has to be backed by content that is worth playing to not be an immediate annoyance.

Personally, progression is probably the only thing I am not that fond of in this game (and even more of it might make me quit - I nearly did so in November), and I don't really see a particular need for it. Games don't have progression because gamers ACTUALLY want it, games have it because progression is cheap. You need to balance comparatively little for it, no area needs to be designed, and so on. It's just a dial.

Let's say that Arenanet finally sticks to their original plans and has no progression anymore. What happens?
Gear gets cheaper.

The question here is: Why is this a problem? Why should that gear always retain the value or even grow in value? This argument you make isn't logical and doesn't follow - if gear has less value, then other things grow in value instead. Like it always happens in games without gear progression.

Additional tiers aren't inevitable - they're just the laziest way to appease the lowest common denominator. If they actually do it, it'd show they really didn't have much in the idea department.

Personally, I'd prefer progression in form of being able to discover more by the world actually changing large scale frequently. That, by the way, fuels progression-less games.


Rarity of new skins will add in new high-value items, but their pull will be the same as legendaries, limited and weak. Most people simply won't care. To get everyone to care they will probably have some reason to gain better stats, like agony or additional levels. Currently there aren't any goods that grow as "staple" items drop in price, I don't know what kind of things would grow in value without making those things required to play, which is worse than additional items in ascended gear or legendary gear.

Anet also has to consider the wealth effect as well. In GW1 it took a very short period of time to get everything I wanted out of an expansion because I had wealth built up, I could simply buy out most things once I got through the completely linear gating. With regards to an expansion pack eliminating that wealth effect, which would increase the pull of the game across the board, can do one of two things. Either it will require large amounts of wealth you can gather in the core game or uses a newly created currency. I would think a new currency would most likely be used, at least that would be more fair.

Horizontal progression will definitely be there, in the case of an expansion it should be about the size of the core game worth of content, but would horizontal progression be a strong enough economic force? We would have new materials, probably new currencies, maybe new item categories (new weapons), potentially other goods. For the full force possible to motivate players I think they will be mixing horizontal progression with vertical progression. They will most likely fill in the ascended tier and legendary tier as time goes on, along with using the infusion mechanic.

Edited by Krazzar, 11 April 2013 - 05:37 PM.

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#34 El Duderino

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 06:03 PM

Horizontal progression is rather dangerous. While I'm fairly certain it will be there there will be vertical progression as well. Vertical power creep is largely managed already through scaling, but too much horizontal power creep (gaining new abilities and skills) has no balancing factor outside of re-balancing the entire game, which creates a cycle of imbalance and cuts out build choices.

Economically horizontal progression can add some items to the market but vertical progression resets the standard for all items, so it impacts all current items. By using both horizontal and vertical progression they can vastly increase the number of impacted players and items. If you want people playing your game that's a good thing. For me it will be annoying at one point or another to get more gear regardless of implementation, especially across 8 characters. It just has to be backed by content that is worth playing to not be an immediate annoyance.


First, I agree that horizontal progression, managed poorly can lead to unnecessary complexity. However, managed properly, can add much more depth to a game without the problem of power creep.

Second, you are basing your entire argument on the idea that the markets are going to continue to go down. Not only do I disagree that this will happen, I disagree with your statement that it is happening.

First, one reason it isn't happening is because most of the "end gear" stuff simply isn't available on the trading post. Second, you base your ideas that supply is going to outweigh demand. I have not seen this either. As long as people continue to create alts and purchase the game, along with the fact that this game is so very RNG heavy, I highly doubt we will see the kind of plummeting prices you suggest we will, or already have, seen.

If you would like to provide specific examples from gw2spidy that shows a precipitous drop in prices, that would be beneficial. My own searched yield prices that are not only remaining steady, but climbing.

Therefore, "resetting" the economy is not necessary. Nothing is losing value or appears to be on the brink of losing value.
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#35 Krazzar

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:54 PM

Spoiler


Is denial always your go-to?

http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/26408
http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/28131
http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/25975
http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/33429

Supply is greater than demand in more cases. There are also examples at all throughout the spectrum because volume is not controlled and it is not a standard market, some items require more effort than others and obviously the more people farmed Orr the more Orrian weapons are on the market. On the higher volume items (staples) the trend is the same, though, overall reduction in price as supply increases. GW2 spidy doesn't show items actually being sold, though, only the listings, so it doesn't actually show activity. That means the "demand" and "supply" aren't actually demand and supply but items posted as "WTB" or "WTS".

All I know is I can kit out a character with far less gold than two months ago and more gold is generated every day. Individual item prices fluctuate due to other variables, but it would be foolish to say prices have not been dropping overall because we all know inflation exists. The economy will be reset, though, due to inflation and due to inequality as we go into the first expansion pack.
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#36 Kerrath

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:27 PM

Gated content is bad.

I would dispute this.

Gated content CAN BE bad. But it can also be done well. If the gates subjectively feel like artificial walls that stand between you and your content--yes, that's extremely lame. But if the gates feel more like a natural progression path that is fun to travel down--I actually like that. To me, a good RPG experience is much like a good story. The fights and explosions and the final boss are all the best part of the game much like the climactic moment in a story, but without proper buildup it feels empty. You need to get to know the protagonist, the antagonist, and the dynamic connections between them in order to become emotionally involved. And I am not just referring to story quests, I am referring to player experiences.

I realize that, semantically speaking, you weren't referring to my latter definition of gated content and were probably referring to arbitrary grinds and time sinks--but I feel that it bears value to say that I think that that is only part of gated content.

I honestly think WoW's PvE content, thanks to phasing especially, makes a much more impact on the world than GW2's content post-launch has.

WoW vs GW2 is apples to oranges for me. There are other outlying factors present.

WoW has a significantly higher pool of money with which to invest in the future of the game given that:
a) it is fundamentally older
B) Blizzard is a much more financially successful and globally recognized brand
c) it has a subscription attached to it
d) in addition to said subscription, there are multiple mandatory expansions that must be bought on top of the vanilla game
e) there are several services (transfers, character alterations, etc) that players are inevitably going to make use of and which cost more than the same basic functions as GW2

On the other hand, GW2 has no subscription and is still only a few months old. You buy once and play forever.

I'm not saying that wow's model is better for every customer because as it is the game itself is a heavy investment, but the model does give it more finances with which to create new technology and to innovate. For a subjective dollar-to-entertainment ratio, I expect GW2 is a more financially enjoyable game for the frugal man.

Additionally, not everyone likes phasing. It does have outlying issues that are ignored here.
a) You can only see people who are on the same phase as you. If you are ahead of your friend, even if you are in the same place, you will not be able to interact.
B) You cannot re-do phased events without making a new character.

Edited by Kerrath, 11 April 2013 - 08:27 PM.

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#37 Feathermoore

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:28 PM

Is denial always your go-to?

http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/26408
http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/28131
http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/25975
http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/33429

Supply is greater than demand in more cases. There are also examples at all throughout the spectrum because volume is not controlled and it is not a standard market, some items require more effort than others and obviously the more people farmed Orr the more Orrian weapons are on the market. On the higher volume items (staples) the trend is the same, though, overall reduction in price as supply increases. GW2 spidy doesn't show items actually being sold, though, only the listings, so it doesn't actually show activity. That means the "demand" and "supply" aren't actually demand and supply but items posted as "WTB" or "WTS".

All I know is I can kit out a character with far less gold than two months ago and more gold is generated every day. Individual item prices fluctuate due to other variables, but it would be foolish to say prices have not been dropping overall because we all know inflation exists. The economy will be reset, though, due to inflation and due to inequality as we go into the first expansion pack.


I am more interested in the sudden spike in supply in March on all four of the items you linked which cause the prices to drop. Supply and demand were relatively stable then they spike, if it was due to time there would be no spike.

I don't follow the market because I haven't bought anything off of it, but did something happen then that caused that?
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#38 MazingerZ

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:41 PM

@Feathermoore

In the Feb 26 update:

> Increased the drop rate of exotics in the profession gear boxes sold by laurel vendors.

Other than some invisible market tweaking, it's the only thing noted in the patch notes about item drops around that time.
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#39 Millimidget

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:49 PM

GW2 is doing extremely well sales wise. they are making more money with the gem store than with a normal subscription. - trust me on that.

Do you work for Anet?

All of the ascended gear basically is either: a backpack, a ring, an amulet, or a trinket. No exceptions. None of those ostentibly have skins--though I will concede that in a rare few cases you might see a back slot with a skin.

We already know Ascended weapons are coming at some point, and it's safe to assume Ascended armor will as well.

Horizontal progression is rather dangerous. While I'm fairly certain it will be there there will be vertical progression as well. Vertical power creep is largely managed already through scaling, but too much horizontal power creep (gaining new abilities and skills) has no balancing factor outside of re-balancing the entire game, which creates a cycle of imbalance and cuts out build choices.

Invariably they'll fall into the pattern of FotM builds; horizontal power creep at least adds to the gameplay experience, rather than cycling through already existing gameplay on the basis of what's being nerfed/buffed this week/month.

Edited by Millimidget, 11 April 2013 - 08:55 PM.

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#40 El Duderino

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 10:08 PM

Is denial always your go-to?

http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/26408
http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/28131
http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/25975
http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/33429

Supply is greater than demand in more cases. There are also examples at all throughout the spectrum because volume is not controlled and it is not a standard market, some items require more effort than others and obviously the more people farmed Orr the more Orrian weapons are on the market. On the higher volume items (staples) the trend is the same, though, overall reduction in price as supply increases. GW2 spidy doesn't show items actually being sold, though, only the listings, so it doesn't actually show activity. That means the "demand" and "supply" aren't actually demand and supply but items posted as "WTB" or "WTS".

All I know is I can kit out a character with far less gold than two months ago and more gold is generated every day. Individual item prices fluctuate due to other variables, but it would be foolish to say prices have not been dropping overall because we all know inflation exists. The economy will be reset, though, due to inflation and due to inequality as we go into the first expansion pack.


Did you honestly think I would have asked for examples and said what I said without proof of my statements?

http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/26133
http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/27318
http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/10634
http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/79

The fact is, I found these in record time. Literally everything I looked at remained relatively even or went up slightly. Of course, there are going to be some market variations, but as a whole, there is no evidence that the market, especially exotic or "end game" gear is going down at all.

Also, supply and demand is not "WTB" and "WTS" on the TP. WTB is often just snatched off the market without a buy order because of it's convenience. As someone who started this game playing the markets a bit (I invested $50 in gems to gold) I can tell you that there is very little to be gained looking at buy and sell orders as it relates to supply and demand.

Here is what I know.
  • Most "end game" gear cannot even be traded on the TP. 80% of exotic armor is unavailable on the TP. Ascended Gear is all account bound.
  • Any gear you equip becomes soulbound
  • There are numerous gold sinks in this game. The precursor gold sink is gigantic, although it may be upstaged by the waypoint gold sink in overall game wide gold lost.
These things that I listed are all controls used to prevent the very thing you are saying is going to inevitably happen. You definitely put together a hell of a case, but you refuse to accept the mechanics that stop your assumptions dead in their tracks.

Sorry, but it looks like your denial is the only thing that is apparent.
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#41 Kerrath

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:06 PM

We already know Ascended weapons are coming at some point, and it's safe to assume Ascended armor will as well.

Generally speaking, the slippery slope argument is considered a fallacy. Devs have also stated that they have no intention to make a gear treadmill.
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#42 Arewn

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:17 PM

On of my guesses is that it will go something like this:
-GW2 released with exotic
-A couple ascended piece were added a few months later
-Additional ascended slot are added every month or two there after
-All slots are eventually filled with ascended
-Expansion releases, raising level cap by X, no (new)max level ascended gear out yet
-Few months later, a couple ascended pieces are added
-Cycle goes on...

This is a very slow progression of gear, where you can get a full set of the gear you'll need right off the bat (full exotics), and additional stronger gear is slowly released, slot by slot, over the course of the expansion for those who want something to chase without causing gear necessities for those who don't want to.
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#43 El Duderino

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:21 PM

May I ask why everyone keeps talking about an expansion like it is coming soon? As far as the devs have told us, they don't even have one planned as they are working on developing the living story.

I would expect to see additional ascended gear introduced to the game long before and expansion, and not available for trade on the TP.
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#44 Desild

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:26 PM

The fact is, I found these in record time. Literally everything I looked at remained relatively even or went up slightly. Of course, there are going to be some market variations, but as a whole, there is no evidence that the market, especially exotic or "end game" gear is going down at all.


The problem here is that most of the going down happened in the first month of the game after the trading post opened its doors.

That, and what most elitist jerks want is that Exotics could be as rare as Ascended (or as equally as time consuming to get) so they can exploit the economy further and get more money. That's why prices of things are always down (in their prespective, Exotics should be worth 20g and only they should afford them), so they keep complaining. Capitalism, oh!

That being said, they could sure improve lower tier items so they can retain a degree of relevance. Most of them are only used for crafting junk (and junk is bad), and their price goes from "dirt cheap" to "clearly flipped over by capitalists who want to make more coin out of my misery".

And people ask me why I'm a communist. Sheesh...

Edited by Desild, 11 April 2013 - 11:28 PM.

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#45 Featherman

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:31 PM

@Feathermoore

In the Feb 26 update:

> Increased the drop rate of exotics in the profession gear boxes sold by laurel vendors.

Other than some invisible market tweaking, it's the only thing noted in the patch notes about item drops around that time.


There's also the world boss loot and the fact that those weapon types and stat combinations are some of the least desired. Except for the rifle, I don't know anyone who'd risk mace, scepter or torch exotics in the mystic forget for their legendaries.
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#46 Millimidget

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 05:16 AM

"clearly flipped over by capitalists who want to make more coin out of my misery".

They can only flip the price up to wherever supply and demand meet. If I were you I'd be looking to Anet to increase supply in some way.

Besides, the major advantage of capitalism, the efficient allocation of resources, is largely lost in this setting. If the goal was to produce legendary weapons as quickly and efficiently as possible, the flippers would be the driving force behind that. That's not to say that they won't contribute to the final cost by including a sizable profit in there, merely that they have the dedication and wherewithal to actually crank the things out, whereas most of us probably won't even complete one, let alone multiples, and certainly not at anywhere near the rate they can.

Though it's worth saying that while capitalism is the best and most equitable economic system mankind has developed for managing finite resources, it's not an evil necessary to inflict upon MMOs. If there's anywhere to fiddle with alternative economic systems, its MMO gaming.

Personally, I'd love to see a developer take a radical approach to the role a trading post or auction hall plays in their game, drastically limiting what can be sold on the TP/AH while emphasizing personal effort in the acquisition of gear (though lazy developers would just slap BoP on everything and call it a day).
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#47 Krazzar

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:22 PM

Generally speaking, the slippery slope argument is considered a fallacy. Devs have also stated that they have no intention to make a gear treadmill.


The defintion of gear treadmill is up for debate. Generally they seem to think it isn't a gear treadmill if it's backed by content and has more than one way to get something in the family. Whether you think that's a gear treadmill or not is subjective. Individual items, just like in a market analysis, are not subject to that protection but the classification as a whole is, so all acsended gear as a tier would be evaluated as a gear treadmill and pass the check. Dungeon items pass the check in the same way because you can get statistically equivilent gear from other methods, even though that's probably one of the biggest "grinds".
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