So I set out to logically think my way out of that contradiction, but found it near impossible to do for one reason; Fractals of the Mists ruined Guild Wars 2.
Let me just slip into my flame shield before I explain that. There we are….alright. So what possible reason could I have for making that claim? Well look at what this game mode is. By its very nature Fractals of the Mists is entirely focused on –its “core engagement” to the player- is what is often considered the worst part of traditional MMO endgame, even by players who prefer traditional MMO endgame; repetition. This is literally the dull and repetitive “endgame” content that you repeat ad nauseam while waiting for new content and grinding out better equipment with low drop rates. That is what Fractals is. Period. You go in and repeat a random selection of the same few dungeon rooms over and over again while hoping for a lucky drop.
But that isn’t all. As pathetic as it is that could be forgiven because it does, to an extent, offer the “hardcore” players some place where they can get something vaguely reminiscent of a challenge. But sadly the flaws don’t end there. Fractals was designed and implemented as a way of facilitating that one thing nearly everyone who Arena Net lured in with their early marketing didn’t want; statistical gear progression. Not only was Ascended gear initially limited to Fractals (as low probability drops) but Fractals also demanded that progression through the agony system. It was, in short, traditional MMO endgame forced onto the GW2 community.
True or not the prevailing perception to this day is that if you didn’t have the best gear you would be destroyed in WvW and couldn’t get into a group for PvE. And the only way to get the best gear was Fractals. And you needed better gear to reach the higher level Fractals so you had better odds of getting the best gear. It was the same treadmill, the same endless cycle, and the same plague that spread out and infected other game modes and playstyles. Were it not for Fractals I wouldn’t have to grind dailies and monthlies for a month or more just to get a damned amulet I don’t want only to be told I still can’t PUG because I don’t have the rings that go with it. So you’ll forgive me for being a tad bitter.
But wait; there’s more!
- Fractals segregates the overall community (Those who play fractals get the best gear faster and often won’t play with people do lack that gear).
- Fractals segregates its own community (Why party up for level 2 fractals when you can get better drop rates in level 40?)
- Fractals facilitates the necessity of gem-store consumables and “pay-to-win” attitudes (You need instant repair cans so you don’t slow down the party or worse; cause a wipe due to broken gear).
- Fractals invalidates crafting (not only could you not craft Ascended items for a long time, you still can’t currently trade these items. This makes Fractals the only place to reliably obtain Ascended items if you don’t or can’t afford to craft items. This is severely detrimental to the already struggling crafting community).
Edited by Arkham Creed, 19 November 2013 - 07:12 PM.