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Collaborative Development Topic- Living World


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#1 Arkham Creed

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 09:25 PM

I just thought I'd go ahead and link this here, so we can have a place to discuss it.

https://forum-en.gui...ic-Living-World

Quote



Hi All,
We are now moving to the discussion phase of this initiative. The topic with the most votes in this area of the game was Living World (Note: The topic tally was aggregated across all Community Forums per supported languages). The Coordinators for this thread will be myself and Colin if he has anytime (-:.
As discussed here: https://forum-en.gui...ve-Development/
First I would to lay down some rules for as we move forward regarding how we collaborate with one another:
1: This initiative is all about discussion.
2: We will not be disclosing information pertaining to what is currently in development.
3: Anger and emotion will have less impact than intelligent discussion.
4: Together we will share and evolve design philosophies which will impact how we develop the game moving forward.
5: Aggression and disrespect to a fellow community member or developer will not be tolerated, and in the extreme could lead to the shutting down of the initiative.
6: The teams primary focus is work toward the development of GW2 and therefore posting of discussion and commentary may not be as frequent as you like. Please do understand that the initiative is taken very seriously by us all and that we will be reading the discussions and joining in as often as it is possible to do so.
We will be closing the thread on Monday November 4th, and shortly after we will have an open discussion about what worked and what did not in regard to the process of the first topic discussion.
Until then thank for taking the time to take part in this and I look forward to discussing the game with you.
ChrisW
P.S: it is likely that we will watch the discussion for a few days before posting.

I'd like to call some extra atention to point number five in Chris' post. Given what we know about how insane forum moderation has become over there, I get the feeling this line is just there because they already plan to shut down the initiative, and the whole thing is noting but "lip service" in an attempt to quiet down the community a bit and build some positive PR before the holiday rush.

#2 Desild

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 09:55 PM

I'm quite suspicious on one hand, on the other I can't stop feeling this is a good way to tackle how the community feels about living story. We all have people with discent voices but they are left largely unheard. This time, we have an actual developer, as dubious mister Whiteside might be, asking us the golden question: what do you feel about this?

And while it feels zealous about what aggressive comments might be, it might be more helpful for them if they simply shoot down comments that boil down to "living story sucks". ArenaNet isn't known for having thick skin, sadly, after 6 years of mass adorarion from its fans.

This coming from me is worth it's weight in gold. I'm all about skepticism and spite. Hope it doesn't stain my street cred.

Edited by Desild, 28 October 2013 - 09:58 PM.


#3 Echou

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 10:47 PM

Now let's cross our fingers and do all kinds of chants and rituals that this will take us somewhere.

Edited by Tyrant Crimson, 28 October 2013 - 10:47 PM.


#4 Cube

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 02:04 PM

I posted this:
Spoiler

I am posting it here too because I don't know if it will get removed or not.

#5 MazingerZ

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 03:10 PM

View PostArkham Creed, on 28 October 2013 - 09:25 PM, said:

I'd like to call some extra atention to point number five in Chris' post. Given what we know about how insane forum moderation has become over there, I get the feeling this line is just there because they already plan to shut down the initiative, and the whole thing is noting but "lip service" in an attempt to quiet down the community a bit and build some positive PR before the holiday rush.

I give this some credit, if only because there's been more PR hand-holding with this game (or maybe its more obvious) than any I've ever seen.  And yeah, considering how haphazardly moderation is on the forums, without special instructions, I can see how any real criticism can get removed.  I don't think its an escape clause (but what good agency doesn't have one for themselves, when they control the process), but it wouldn't shock me that they're making some sort of holiday push to increase the user base.
It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#6 ChuyDog08

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 03:49 PM

The post sounds like a developer wrote it without someone with guest service skills editing it.  I have a few developers on my team with this type of personality.  They mean well, but are very dry and strait forward.

#7 Kymeric

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 03:59 PM

I think Chris just sounds that way when he's being official.  Take a look at the thread that spawned all this collaborative development stuff.  The initial post was terribly stilted and received many comments about it's PR tone.  When he came back to respond to people later in the thread he came across 75% less robot, and said it was because he was writing on the fly.

I'm waiting to see when, and how much they take an active part in this conversation.  The last thing we needed was everyone to vote on a topic for the playerbase to rehash what they've been saying for months and months all over the forums.  The missing component has always been substantive responses on the devs' part to the hot-button issues.  If they just come back with "I understand your concerns, we'll work on it" then we've made absolutely no progress.

#8 Phenn

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 04:41 PM

Why is there a point number four in his list? There's never a point number four...

On a serious note, I'm skeptical as well. The fact that they chose the Living Story to be the focus of collaborative development to me says they're off base with their most loyal players. There are so many fundamental aspects to the game that need to be addressed before the Living Story. If the "core" of the game is weak, then the frills on the outside will be fundamentally just as weak.

Furthermore, I full agree with the above about the OTT moderation. Good collaboration necessarily involves criticism and "hard" moments in which tension fills the room. The maturity of both parties to handle that tension and produce something from it is what will make or break this initiative. But so far ANet hasn't shown a whole lot of maturity. And, to be perfectly honest, a large portion of the official forum goers haven't either.

So TL;DR? I'll believe it when I see it.

#9 nerfandderf

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:59 PM

Do you honestly think they will steer this in any direction except away from what the players want?

They have scrubbed the forums clean - anyone who really cared with feedback doesnt dare post now due to above.

That leaves the we love you crowd and the tame left over to steer in the direction they want. All the while saying look we be awesome.

They control the tone and direction and they control any outcomes - sorry all predetermined. It wouldnt surprise me if certain "posters" where told to post "things" and they would then latch on and go in that direction. It is a classic plant PR move and done all the time.

Sorry but this is just another PR stunt in the guise of making things better and the holiday people seeing how active anet is with the community.

Same stuff different colour - wish I wasnt so jaded but they do the same stuff time and time again and people just dont see it.

On a side note - when other games devs are openly criticizing you on your own forum saying we may have made mistakes but hey we aint anet.
I think there is an issue.

Edited by nerfandderf, 29 October 2013 - 06:03 PM.


#10 Swoopeh

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:12 AM

View Postnerfandderf, on 29 October 2013 - 05:59 PM, said:

Do you honestly think they will steer this in any direction except away from what the players want?

They have scrubbed the forums clean - anyone who really cared with feedback doesnt dare post now due to above.

That leaves the we love you crowd and the tame left over to steer in the direction they want. All the while saying look we be awesome.

Have you read the replies in that thread? There's a lot of good critique in there that hasn't been deleted. I do notice that some very aggressive posts I saw yesterday have been removed, and rightly so as they crossed the line. The entire thread is filled with critisism on LS - that's what the thread is for. Maybe they won't do anything with the input but that's their prerogative, and to their own detriment because there's some really good feedback in there. They're not steering it away from "what the players want" because 1) they're a company who rely on making the customer happy for income, not a bunch of trolls acting out of spite and 2) "what the players want" are many different things. Maybe they steer it away from what you personally want, that's something else entirely.

Edited by Swoopeh, 30 October 2013 - 09:16 AM.


#11 Kymeric

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 04:04 PM

View PostPhenn, on 29 October 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

On a serious note, I'm skeptical as well. The fact that they chose the Living Story to be the focus of collaborative development to me says they're off base with their most loyal players. There are so many fundamental aspects to the game that need to be addressed before the Living Story. If the "core" of the game is weak, then the frills on the outside will be fundamentally just as weak.

Yeah, I was disappointed in the topic chosen as well.  It's one of the areas they've ackowledged and already started adjusting.  "Two weeks feels too rushed" so they've been overlapping some of them, giving us four weeks to finish.  "It sucks to have everything temporarily added" so they've been doing some more stuff that sticks around after.  The cynical part of me feels like they chose this because it was a safe topic they're already slowly addressing.

In fact, I was disappointed that they even felt a need to do a "top three concerns" thread at the start of this process.  In the original Collaborative Development thread, I pointed out to Chris that all he really had to do was look back at the last few pages of each forum to see which topics the players are currently passionate about.

It feels like sharing something important with someone at great length, only to have them turn to you and say, "Sorry, did you have something you wanted to say?"

#12 nerfandderf

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 11:57 AM

I do find it funny that reading the replies - they are active in the PVE side but there are 0 replies in the WvW side of the collaboration

think that says something.

I was scanning through and didnt see 1 red post.

Edited by nerfandderf, 01 November 2013 - 12:03 PM.


#13 Cube

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:16 PM

It upsets me to hear them having to remind us that "we don't have enough money". What does that mean really?

I thought they where doing well with all of the gemstore sales and everything, I really did. But maybe they are not? Anyway, it sucks to know that there's so many limits to what they can do as they do not have enough money or it's too expencive.

Edited by Cube, 01 November 2013 - 03:17 PM.


#14 MazingerZ

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:33 PM

View PostCube, on 01 November 2013 - 03:16 PM, said:

It upsets me to hear them having to remind us that "we don't have enough money". What does that mean really?

I thought they where doing well with all of the gemstore sales and everything, I really did. But maybe they are not? Anyway, it sucks to know that there's so many limits to what they can do as they do not have enough money or it's too expencive.

Could you cite this?  I can't find the reference.

Anyway, it can't be doing that well if they feel the need to cut the game by 40% at this point.  They obviously feel the need to infuse the game with fresh blood.
It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#15 El Duderino

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:35 PM

View PostMazingerZ, on 01 November 2013 - 03:33 PM, said:

Could you cite this?  I can't find the reference.

Anyway, it can't be doing that well if they feel the need to cut the game by 40% at this point.  They obviously feel the need to infuse the game with fresh blood.

Right before Q3 earnings release too...

#16 El Duderino

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:49 PM

On a more serious note, they don't offer any questions or things to think about. They merely offer a bunch of rules on how your answers shouldn't offend anyone.

I dunno, would it make sense to try and narrow the focus of the topic to a few things?

Also, #4, "Together we will share and evolve design philosophies which will impact how we develop the game moving forward." is comical. I expect the developers to be competent enough to come up with their design philosophies, not the consumers.

What I do expect is for them to listen to their community when a majority of people that wish to communicate with them, are saying "this isn't that great, maybe it could be better?"

I don't think they need a separate forum to pander to people who think they might have a voice. They need to use their noodles and be able to read the writing on the wall as people try to communicate normally. Furthermore, they cannot call these people a vocal minority and then pretend they are going to listen to them as long as it is through some "special thread". Either their voices are relevant or they aren't.

#17 Arkham Creed

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 05:25 PM

Such a shame. But if they aren't making enough money with the gem store I have just one word for them.


Expansion.

#18 El Duderino

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 05:56 PM

View PostArkham Creed, on 01 November 2013 - 05:25 PM, said:

Such a shame. But if they aren't making enough money with the gem store I have just one word for them.


Expansion.

I don't get this either. I understand the reasons for not wanting an expansion, but I don't think the LS necessarily solves those problems either. At least give the players what they want in terms of an expansion through the LS, such as new lands to explore, new classes, skills, etc. And, not at the excruciatingly slow pace that they may be doing it now, if they are trying at all.

I know this is going to come out poorly, but it is one of the reasons I feel that the game isn't doing as well as people think. There just doesn't seem to be any desire to really put a lot of time and effort into expanding the game as I feel the LS is more of a "keep them happy and paying for micro-transactions til the game dies" approach.

#19 MazingerZ

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 07:04 PM

The issue is that most expansions are developed in parallel with content patches to the current release.  Apparently, if they aren't already working on it, their resources are stretched just doing the updates every two weeks.  They can't do an expansion without running into the red and hoping an expansion fixes everything and makes back their money to development.
It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#20 Kymeric

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 08:06 PM

View PostMazingerZ, on 01 November 2013 - 03:33 PM, said:

Anyway, it can't be doing that well if they feel the need to cut the game by 40% at this point.  They obviously feel the need to infuse the game with fresh blood.

I've missed whatever this is referring to.  What's this cutting 40%?

A lot of the game feels like they were trying to make a game for 200,000 people and 2,000,000 people showed up.  So instead of continuing to make that game for 200,000 and counting the other 90% as bonus who could choose to stay or go, they suddenly tried to make a 2mil customer kind of game.

Even more than vertical gear progression and other reversals of the vision with which they sold the game, the Living Story Initiative is kinda scary given what it might reflect behind the scenes.  Only three months after launch they made a huge decision to completely restructure their development teams and start a major new initiative?  That doesn't seem like something you do if you had a successful launch.

And for some reason the Divinitiy's Reach shooting gallery sticks out to me.

It's clear they were pressured to launch before they were really ready.  It's possible their ambition would have meant they never would have said they were ready.  But it's very weird that things like the shooting gallery and portal to the polymock arena sit there over a year after launch reminding every player who passes by.

Edited by Kymeric, 01 November 2013 - 08:14 PM.


#21 MazingerZ

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:32 PM

View PostKymeric, on 01 November 2013 - 08:06 PM, said:

I've missed whatever this is referring to.  What's this cutting 40%?

Recent one day sales
It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#22 shanaeri rynale

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 09:14 AM

I too was a little disappointed at some of the official responses, particularly around the 'We're not going to change the 2 week cadence' even when it's clear the feedback is that it's burning people out. I thought 'nothing was off the table'

The end result of this consultation exercise cannot be that nothing changes, nor that the participants feel ignored or run roughshod over. When I say cannot, well of course it can but not if Anet want a positive outcome in community relations terms.

The no expansion line, while courageous and innovative does nothing to bring new players in, or old players back. Only those who frequent forums and social media with a Gw2 news feed will know about what's next in the LS. So to me it feels like the LS is a life support system. It feels like Anet are feeding the population on snacks, which while ok for a time is no substitute for a good hearty meal. Man cannot live by living story alone :)

While we can offer a customer eye view of the game, the true test as to the state of the game will be the Q3 figures and indeed the Q4 ones.

#23 Arkham Creed

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 05:16 PM

At this point I’d say Arena Net is what the older generation would call “set in its ways.” Basically they don’t have any intention of changing anything. They might claim to care what their costumers think, and maybe on some level they do, but they still won’t act on such. They have already decided what direction they are going with their game and how they plan to get there, and they will keep racing at full speed toward that cliff until they go over it. The only question at this point is will that attempted suicide kill the game outright, or will it survive long enough for Arena Net to realize its mistake and begin trying to fix it.

#24 Karuro

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 05:57 PM

View PostKymeric, on 01 November 2013 - 08:06 PM, said:

But it's very weird that things like the shooting gallery and portal to the polymock arena sit there over a year after launch reminding every player who passes by.
Don't forget about the waitress who's asking for Bouncers, only to end up in a peaceful bar without the barkeep she told you to talk to.

Edited by Karuro, 03 November 2013 - 06:00 PM.


#25 Cube

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:12 PM

View PostMazingerZ, on 01 November 2013 - 03:33 PM, said:

Could you cite this?  I can't find the reference.

Anyway, it can't be doing that well if they feel the need to cut the game by 40% at this point.  They obviously feel the need to infuse the game with fresh blood.

If you really want me to I can attempt to find all the comments where money or time is a reason for why they can't do something or can't answer etc. I really don't want to thought xD But in that thread specificity there's a part where he mentions money. And then there's another part where they mention how expensive certain things are(like voice acting). And if I recall correctly when the first feedback thread thing was made he seemed to put a lot of emphasis on that he doesn't have any/much time to reply. And then there's two other where they said they work very hectic or a lot(sorry for lack of wording, I'm not English).

What I just meant is I don't like hearing they don't have time for stuff, they don't have money and that they work very much. And then take into account the reviews of them as a company. It just seems a shame, I don't really get why they are lacking money.

#26 Karuro

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:54 PM

View PostCube, on 03 November 2013 - 10:12 PM, said:

If you really want me to I can attempt to find all the comments where money or time is a reason for why they can't do something or can't answer etc. I really don't want to thought xD But in that thread specificity there's a part where he mentions money. And then there's another part where they mention how expensive certain things are(like voice acting). And if I recall correctly when the first feedback thread thing was made he seemed to put a lot of emphasis on that he doesn't have any/much time to reply. And then there's two other where they said they work very hectic or a lot(sorry for lack of wording, I'm not English).

What I just meant is I don't like hearing they don't have time for stuff, they don't have money and that they work very much. And then take into account the reviews of them as a company. It just seems a shame, I don't really get why they are lacking money.

Well with that 2-week release schedule, I'm not surprised they work very much and don't have a lot of time.
Yet they still continue..

And finding those posts would be tiresome too, with the search still being broken.

Edited by Karuro, 03 November 2013 - 10:58 PM.


#27 Elcee

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 04:47 PM

View Postshanaeri rynale, on 03 November 2013 - 09:14 AM, said:

I too was a little disappointed at some of the official responses, particularly around the 'We're not going to change the 2 week cadence' even when it's clear the feedback is that it's burning people out. I thought 'nothing was off the table'

The end result of this consultation exercise cannot be that nothing changes, nor that the participants feel ignored or run roughshod over. When I say cannot, well of course it can but not if Anet want a positive outcome in community relations terms.

The no expansion line, while courageous and innovative does nothing to bring new players in, or old players back. Only those who frequent forums and social media with a Gw2 news feed will know about what's next in the LS. So to me it feels like the LS is a life support system. It feels like Anet are feeding the population on snacks, which while ok for a time is no substitute for a good hearty meal. Man cannot live by living story alone :)

While we can offer a customer eye view of the game, the true test as to the state of the game will be the Q3 figures and indeed the Q4 ones.

So if they won't change the release plan and they can't get a lot of resources(which iirc is why the Elona content from Guild Wars Beyond never finished)...what exactly are they looking for from us?

If they aren't willing to change the two-week thing, which has led to some buggy, rushed, and incomplete content that is temporary on top of all that, then they're probably not going to get much useful feedback. Are people going to come back every once in a while for some temporary content in a world they feel no connection to because they haven't been playing much/at all? I doubt it.

Honestly, I've never been confident in Anet's storytelling ability, even in Prophecies, and I was really down on it after Eye of the North followed by War in Kryta and Gwen/Thackery thing(which imo had some of the worst dialogue outside of translation errors that I have ever seen written in a game and this is not an exaggeration). Reading about the Living Story to this point hasn't changed my mind about that in the slightest. But maybe this is another story(pardon the pun) and possibly too late to change. :)

Edited by Elcee, 05 November 2013 - 04:48 PM.


#28 Zhaitan

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 06:47 PM

View Postshanaeri rynale, on 03 November 2013 - 09:14 AM, said:

I too was a little disappointed at some of the official responses, particularly around the 'We're not going to change the 2 week cadence' even when it's clear the feedback is that it's burning people out. I thought 'nothing was off the table'

The end result of this consultation exercise cannot be that nothing changes, nor that the participants feel ignored or run roughshod over. When I say cannot, well of course it can but not if Anet want a positive outcome in community relations terms.

The no expansion line, while courageous and innovative does nothing to bring new players in, or old players back. Only those who frequent forums and social media with a Gw2 news feed will know about what's next in the LS. So to me it feels like the LS is a life support system. It feels like Anet are feeding the population on snacks, which while ok for a time is no substitute for a good hearty meal. Man cannot live by living story alone :)

While we can offer a customer eye view of the game, the true test as to the state of the game will be the Q3 figures and indeed the Q4 ones.

Many great points here.

I think ANET needs to get out of this Meta Achievement checklist concept from their living story. It is vastly stupid and many a time counter-intuitive. For example, Sanctum Sprint. It is actually a pretty neat mini-game. How many people have you seen running in reverse to collect crystal to get to 100, 500 collection mark for 5 AP instead of trying to beat opponents in the sprint? Or for that matter in WvW.. how many people have you seen putting up yellow swords at places where you need absolute secrecy in troop movement?

In GW2, for a story to be living, first thing it should be based on a compelling event driven storyline that people would love to follow and not dependent on a checklist that people would like to grind.

#29 Phenn

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 07:08 PM

View PostZhaitan, on 05 November 2013 - 06:47 PM, said:

In GW2, for a story to be living, first thing it should be based on a compelling event driven storyline that people would love to follow and not dependent on a checklist that people would like to grind.

Point made here.

There's actually been a lot of good discussion in recent pages. Either 1) the devs are truly listening and interacting or 2) they're really good con-men.

I, for one, would like to believe the former.

#30 Illein

Illein

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 07:49 PM

Reading your praise, I decided to read up on it myself and I have to say - I applaud their effort to listen and communicate for once, that's highly commendable and if they draw some lessons out of that, it might lead to Tyria being a better place in the future.

One can only hope.




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