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Thoughts on Non-replayability of PS and LS?


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#1 Konzacelt

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 02:22 AM

First off, I realize ANet is striving for a "Living World."  And that to ANet that means story elements are supposed to be realistic in the sense that once they happen they don't happen again.  Like real life I guess.

I suppose I'm wondering what player's thoughts are on this; pros, cons, and everything in between.

Thanks in advance!

#2 BLONDE WENCH

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 02:28 AM

It would be great if their goal was to make a game that's fun to play, instead of "striving for a Living World".

#3 Featherman

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 02:41 AM

There's the difference between the mechanical workings of something and how it's perceived by its audience. By making content temporary, the game is more mechanically like real life, however the style and quality of the writing kill the perception of a living world because, unlike real life, the writing is shallow, myopic and is not detailed enough to enforce a sense of logical consistency. Case in point, the logic behind the LS can be summed up as "because Scarlet." The LS is effectively more of a moving story than a living one.

The "living" and "breathing" aspects of the LS are nothing but PR blurbs. Non-permanence a method of compelling player logins.

Edited by Featherman, 01 February 2014 - 02:55 AM.


#4 I'm Squirrel

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 04:22 AM

completely pointless. gw2's replay value is as low as it is. i'd say 75% of us log in just to do the dailies and monthlies and log back out until next month.

#5 BLONDE WENCH

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 05:40 PM

View PostI, on 01 February 2014 - 04:22 AM, said:

completely pointless. gw2's replay value is as low as it is. i'd say 75% of us log in just to do the dailies and monthlies and log back out until next month.

Sad, but true

#6 Noob On Steroid

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 10:48 AM

Since the Living Story is such a bad story, I'm actually happy it's not permanent ...

#7 Heretiko

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 11:08 AM

I have a dream...a dream of some permanent, raidlike content like wurms and tequatl BUT....

....startable from the guild panel. Not in this shitty-developed overflow and ultraboring LS.

#8 davadude

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 11:22 AM

They need to make the personal story replayable.  It was possible in GW1, and should be replayable here for story buffs.  They're already instances, it cannot be that difficult.

As for the Living Story, I can understand why they don't want/cannot make it permanent.  It would also be challenging to make it permanent in terms of changes... imagine if a player stepped in the "Nightmare version" of Kessex hills, and then began the story about its transformation.  That may sound okay, but wrapping your head around the story would be become a headache.

They should be able to make flashback-esque content related to the Living Story.  Events like the Southsun storyline with Canach would make for perfect minor story content, outside of the PS (perhaps also providing some additional endgame for the lore or story types).  Especially the closure for that story, namely that of the Canach dungeon, makes it work.  Events like the Scarlet storyline and Flame and Frost could not be implemented, as they've been through too much.  You could not create content to the same effect, as the combat zones are no longer player instances, but multiplayer instances.

I'd be willing to be far more accepting of the LS if they simply made some of the isolated storylines into permanent content (see my previous example).  I'm also really looking forward to the end of the Scarlet storyline... some of the new intel floating around suggests some excellent new ideas for a living story, and the more recent patches are beginning to have less and less cons (we're nowhere near zero cons, but we're slowly getting to a good point).  Let them take the lessons (in both story and issues such as scaling mechanics) and hopefully turn some of the isolated content into permanent content, and I feel like they'll have a solid release method.  As of now, it's either a serious hit or a serious miss.  If they can get rid of Scarlet, make a more interesting story, work on their scaling, and bump up the amount of content in a release along with unique permanent content, I would be able to state they have a serious 7 / 10 or perhaps even a 8 / 10 release cycle.

One thing is sure, however, regarding the entire game and the Living story.  They should avoid using Guru for any form of feedback or suggestions.
Davadude - Guru Village Idiot

#9 Miragee

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 12:28 PM

@davadude: However they have to implement something that is actually worth replaying. Stories in gw1 were possible to replay. But the way they are structured is that they are rather linear (like PS in GW2) as a Quest/Mission-line. GW2's LS isn't like that. It's a handful of instanced story missions (sit down and remember, it's really only a handful) spread over an entire year. They aren't really connected with each other to build a line. Then there are open world events. How would it be possible to let all DE's that were ever introduced with the LS to continue in a persistent world? That's something that would outright kill any immersion in PvE and areas would be filled up very fast. Then one should recognise that a lot of the actual "content" of the LS is grinding boring achievement. How do you make that replayable? Adding up numbers to kill 5000/10000/50000 enemies of the same type? Dungeons could be replayable, that's the only thing right now. Dungeons do also provide the possibility of replayability in the form of what Story-->Explorer Dungeons do atm. But that would mean extra work for anet.

Going through all this I don't see a good possibility to make LS content replayable in a persistent world. It isn't made for that (and neither for narrator driven story telling). A living story is better told by actions of the players rather than a living story concept by the developers. Like in EVE. And narrator driven stories with characters etc. should better be done in instances (which would also remove the problem with no-replayability).

As it stands, GW1's system is far superior to tell stories that are written and rather linear while persistent world have the opportunity to let the players create their own story - but only if you give them the freedom to do so. And GW2 isn't giving any freedom like most MMO's in this era.

#10 MCBiohazard

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:04 PM

I hope one day, though it's very unlikely, that they'll go back and revise the latter half of the personal story. I get that Trahearne is their personal gary stu and all but it makes no sense for anybody who isn't a sylvari to give two damns about him when they've never met him before Claw Island. Give each race their own Orrian prophecy of destiny with their own flavor and their own partner. And by partner, I mean somebody who isn't going to upstage you for half of your adventure. You should have been the one to transcend your membership of any one order and become the Marshal. You can be the leader, that's what happened in Nightfall after Kormir got her eyes snacked on.

You could reskin the Orrian dream mission for each of the five races, it doesn't have to be the Mother Tree. Humans could easily invoke their own gods for a vision, Asura already have a future predicting precedent what with the Infinity Ball storyline. Norn could call on the animal spirits for a sign. Charr probably don't need an actual vision, they're pragmatic enough to see that cleaning up Orr will suit them just fine. Some kind of tribune gathering and politicking for that campaign to happen could easily be their vision quest.

Personal story had potential early on and I liked that some characters make recurring appearances later but it's all dragged down by the fact that you're not in control anymore for the latter half of the game. Your 'partner' goes and takes the credit for fixing everything and then orders you to go fight a dragon.

#11 Karuro

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:16 PM

Simply put: I don't like it.
They could just add a "Replay Story" button in the PS Log, so not to clutter the map.
Something similar could surely be done with LS.

#12 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:20 PM

There are three primary problems with LS.

1. It isn't adequately instanced: Normally I'm against instancing content because having an open-world outlook is a great way to go but a lot of LS should be instanced behavior and furthermore none of it should be completely open-world. The one thing I can say about Marionette and other non-instanced open-world LS's before is that no one should be entirely dependent on the competency of others to complete the LS. If the LS must be present it must be easily completed without reference to group content itself. Technically Marionette does follow this as it allows for you to just "show up" in a daily whether you win or lose but I feel that this depreciates the point because it plays out like the other dailies, you log on, fail, and leave. This is not "content" so much as "filler" in that respect.

2. It isn't continuous: In conjunction with building an instanced world it should also be a continuous story released in segments of three rather than segments of one. The reason is that a story with no "flow" is dull; no one plays a game just to get through one cut-scene a day and then quits and that's exactly what LS is all-the-way through. The instancing would allow for a greater merged behavior between open-world and the player because perhaps you have bosses released at the same time across the map ( filling it no less ) with different objectives but also design and release multiple "mini-arcs" to the story. In this instance we could combine the "How they got to where they are" with "What they did" and "Why they did it" for Marionette giving rise to an Aetherblade Boss for How, obviously the Marionette for "What", and perhaps a boss swarm from all factions for the "Why". Furthermore LS does not capitalize on it's parts; in EoTN ( last segment of ToN ) you find yourself solving puzzles in relation to the factions under Scarlet but there's not really much known as to real motives and no depth to the reasoning. "The Krait believe their homeygod is chillin' in these stones" was not good enough in my opinion for players and there was no connectivity between why they believed Scarlet to begin with and why they would work with the Nightmare Court. It's just never explained and there's so many opportunities to give incredible depth to it in instanced content that should be current since if you're going to release a story segment by segment you must present it in a manner that does not demand recall from 60 days ago without cues.

3. It's dry: Not much to say here; political intrigue in the land of Tyria! < - > We killed an Elder Dragon a week ago wtf do we care?
Insane malicious Sylvari attacks! < - > We killed an Elder Dragon two months ago, what do we care?
Impregnable Fortresses arise! < - > Oh look, an annoying tower, did I mention we killed one of the primeval evils of the Tyrian world that seeks to do nothing but enslave us?

To stop there the point is simply why is our "bad guy" so small? They remind me of the bravest heroes horse who gained the knowledge of the universe and became paralyzed; Scarlet is at best a waste of resources and unless she serves an Elder Dragon ( which may be the case but they sure are making it dull as hell to find out ) and is attempting to awaken or strengthen him she seems like such a pissant character.

#13 Phineas Poe

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:21 PM

They've already found a good solution to keep the Living Story "alive" while giving players the ability to re-do the content: Fractals of the Mists.

They added two fractals related to the LS, Molten Facility and Aetherblade Retreat, as well as the Molten Duo and Mai Trin fights as boss fractals. I think this is the perfect way to keep LS content around, because it preserves their idea of a shifting open world while still giving the players the ability to replay it in FOTM without breaking lore or continuity.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see more of this kind of stuff in the future. I'd especially like to see them re-work the Marionette fight as some kind of fractal.

As for replaying the Personal Story: unless there's some kind of hard mode attached to it, I'll pass.

Edited by Phineas Poe, 03 February 2014 - 02:23 PM.


#14 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:24 PM

View PostPhineas Poe, on 03 February 2014 - 02:21 PM, said:

They've already found a good solution to keep the Living Story "alive" while giving players the ability to re-do the content: Fractals of the Mists.

They added two fractals related to the LS, Molten Facility and Aetherblade Retreat, as well as the Molten Duo and Mai Trin fights as boss fractals. I think this is the perfect way to keep LS content around, because it preserves their idea of a shifting open world while still giving the players the ability to replay it in FOTM without breaking lore or continuity.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see more of this kind of stuff in the future. I'd especially like to see them re-work the Marionette fight as some kind of fractal.

I feel LS content should be forward facing instead. FoTM are all instances related either to the past or incongruent / alternate universes.

#15 Phineas Poe

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:29 PM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 03 February 2014 - 02:24 PM, said:

I feel LS content should be forward facing instead.

I don't understand what this means.

#16 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:31 PM

View PostPhineas Poe, on 03 February 2014 - 02:29 PM, said:

I don't understand what this means.
FoTM is a reflection, not a continuation, of LS. In a sense it is the same as looking in a history book in relation to LS for the most part presuming it's congruent and not just an Alt. Uni.

#17 Phineas Poe

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:36 PM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 03 February 2014 - 02:31 PM, said:

FoTM is a reflection, not a continuation, of LS. In a sense it is the same as looking in a history book in relation to LS for the most part presuming it's congruent and not just an Alt. Uni.

I think you misunderstand. The Living Story should continue progressing as it is in the open world as shifting/temporary. But they should make a point to take snippets or highlights and put them into FOTM as they already have with the Aetherblade Retreat and Molten Facility.

You guys are having a discussion about keeping the LS "alive" while allowing us the ability to replay content without understanding that they've already found a solution to this.

#18 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:40 PM

View PostPhineas Poe, on 03 February 2014 - 02:36 PM, said:

I think you misunderstand. The Living Story should continue progressing as it is in the open world as shifting/temporary. But they should make a point to take snippets or highlights and put them into FOTM as they already have with the Aetherblade Retreat and Molten Facility.

You guys are having a discussion about keeping the LS "alive" while allowing us the ability to replay content without understanding that they've already found a solution to this.
That's not equivalent.

"Replay" and "Reference" are not the same thing so if I was looking to replay a portion of LS or PS I wouldn't want a "direct reference" and esp. not in the form of an incongruent snippet. The original FoTMs were all the same thing with references to events in the past presuming no Alt. Uni. which is fine but they still lack a direct connection to the LS that isn't based entirely on a reference system.

In short: "Why wasn't this just in LS?" A key example is the Thurma. Reactor Fractal; when you start the game it's already happened, it got released almost 2 years later. The ability to do this marks all of that content as purely reference.

#19 Phineas Poe

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:49 PM

What you're asking for just simply isn't possible. You're not going to be able to "replay" the Marionette fight by yourself. Most Living Story content is designed with the open world in mind. You can't just go back and replay that content thinking you're going to get a 1:1 presentation of how it was when it originally launched.

They're going to have to re-design it in a lot of ways to fit what you're asking for in a way that is probably inferior to how they handled AR and MF in fractals. They retained the spirit of what made that content fun while cutting out the fluff, invigorating life into content that had otherwise grown stale (FOTM). They cut out the thirty minutes of trash you have to fight through in Molten Facility, and instead are given the two fights that made the place fun: the experimental weapon and the Molten Duo. And they gave us the Azurite nodes back.

#20 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:50 PM

View PostPhineas Poe, on 03 February 2014 - 02:49 PM, said:

What you're asking for just simply isn't possible. You're not going to be able to "replay" the Marionette fight by yourself. Most Living Story content is designed with the open world in mind. You can't just go back and replay that content thinking you're going to get a 1:1 presentation of how it was when it originally launched.

They're going to have to re-design it in a lot of ways to fit what you're asking for in a way that is probably inferior to how they handled AR and MF in fractals. They retained the spirit of what made that content fun while cutting out the fluff, invigorating life into content that had otherwise grown stale (FOTM). They cut out the thirty minutes of trash you have to fight through in Molten Facility, and instead are given the two fights that made the place fun: the experimental weapon and the Molten Duo. And they gave us the Azurite nodes back.

Create a Hall of Memories, lock the achievements, instance the content. Done.

Think of it as a FoTM where you can pick the scenario you want to repeat. Add an LFG feature to it.

To be honest this also fixes the problem of exclusivity people were talking about in another thread.

Edited by gw2guruaccount, 03 February 2014 - 02:51 PM.


#21 Miragee

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:51 PM

View PostPhineas Poe, on 03 February 2014 - 02:21 PM, said:

They've already found a good solution to keep the Living Story "alive" while giving players the ability to re-do the content: Fractals of the Mists.

Wouldn't fractals be cramped soon if they were to make all content replayable in them?

Also fractals are pretty bad in telling stories because of their short nature. Dungeons already had to be shortened. And how do you make storyline instances work there (assuming there will come some in the future)?

#22 Phineas Poe

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:55 PM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 03 February 2014 - 02:50 PM, said:

Create a Hall of Memories, lock the achievements, instance the content. Done.

Think of it as a FoTM where you can pick the scenario you want to repeat. Add an LFG feature to it.

To be honest this also fixes the problem of exclusivity people were talking about in another thread.

But you can't just "instance" Marionette or the Nightmare Tower. They would have to go back and re-design it so that it is solo-able, essentially in the same fashion they did making them fractals.

#23 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:55 PM

View PostMiragee, on 03 February 2014 - 02:51 PM, said:

Wouldn't fractals be cramped soon if they were to make all content replayable in them?

Also fractals are pretty bad in telling stories because of their short nature. Dungeons already had to be shortened. And how do you make storyline instances work there (assuming there will come some in the future)?
Well you can't for another reason. FoTM are points in time, specifically, that have something unstable about them. To that end making a storyline out of fragmented time is not going to be simple because you don't have a central pivot point that would make it work. For instance a centralized character in all of the Fractals.

If you did otherwise with FoTM you're actually sort of breaking the rules of it's universe.

#24 Phineas Poe

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:57 PM

View PostMiragee, on 03 February 2014 - 02:51 PM, said:

Wouldn't fractals be cramped soon if they were to make all content replayable in them?

Cramped? The main criticism of fractals right now is that there aren't enough.

I don't think all LS content would be replayable, either. Does anyone really want to run around and get 50 power cores again?

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 03 February 2014 - 02:55 PM, said:

Well you can't for another reason. FoTM are points in time, specifically, that have something unstable about them. To that end making a storyline out of fragmented time is not going to be simple because you don't have a central pivot point that would make it work. For instance a centralized character in all of the Fractals.

If you did otherwise with FoTM you're actually sort of breaking the rules of it's universe.

Except LS content is already in fractals!

#25 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:58 PM

View PostPhineas Poe, on 03 February 2014 - 02:55 PM, said:

But you can't just "instance" Marionette or the Nightmare Tower. They would have to go back and re-design it so that it is solo-able, essentially in the same fashion they did making them fractals.
No, the instancing wouldn't make them easier; I didn't say "make it soloable", just instance it so it can be revisited. It would still take X people. Mind you the ToN is more like a regular dungeon; it can be done with 5 people and does scale appropriately throughout. If nothing else it gives players the opportunity to make that decision for themselves while also prevent "late comers" from never being able to play. Besides it's good for guild runs and practice. There's just many benefits to this freezing where the boss is kept as is and not rebalanced or redesigned outside of reason at all.

View PostPhineas Poe, on 03 February 2014 - 02:57 PM, said:

Except LS content is already in fractals!
Not quite. LS references are in fractals. LS content is not. That's what I meant before when I said "referencing =/= replaying".

Edited by gw2guruaccount, 03 February 2014 - 02:59 PM.


#26 Phineas Poe

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 03:06 PM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 03 February 2014 - 02:58 PM, said:

Not quite. LS references are in fractals. LS content is not. That's what I meant before when I said "referencing =/= replaying".

I'm having my doubts that you've actually played the content I'm talking about. Your differentiation between "replaying" versus "referencing" really wouldn't work if you had, as they literally cut the first half of the Molten Facility and pasted it into fractals. They then took the second half of the instance, cutting out all the fluff trash content, and made the Molten Duo into a boss fractal by themselves. Did they copy and paste every nook and cranny? No, but why do you want to kill trash for 20 minutes? What made MF fun was the experimental weapon boss and the Molten Duo: both of which have been literally copied and pasted into fractals.

I don't know what else to tell you, but if we're going to continue arguing around semantics, I'm going to end my input here.

Edited by Phineas Poe, 03 February 2014 - 03:07 PM.


#27 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 03:10 PM

View PostPhineas Poe, on 03 February 2014 - 03:06 PM, said:

I'm having my doubts that you've actually played the content I'm talking about. Your differentiation between "replaying" versus "referencing" really wouldn't work if you had, as they literally cut the first half of the Molten Facility and pasted it into fractals. They then took the second half of the instance, cutting out all the fluff trash content, and made the Molten Duo into a boss fractal by themselves. Did they copy and paste every nook and cranny? No, but why do you want to kill trash for 20 minutes? What made MF fun was the experimental weapon boss and the Molten Duo: both of which have been literally copied and pasted into fractals.

I don't know what else to tell you, but if we're going to continue arguing around semantics, I'm going to end my input here.

For some reason I don't think people have ever learned what "Semantics" actually is. It's the most misused term ... on a forum ever.

Also, I specifically stated a lack of Alt. Uni.; same place, different bosses = alt. uni.

But please end your input here for the good of all that is sacred, sensible, and holy.

http://wiki.guildwar...Furnace_Fractal

Partial Repeat. Historical Alt. Uni.; I decided to actually make sure I was correct and look it up because maybe my memory failed me. No, it has not failed me.

Edited by gw2guruaccount, 03 February 2014 - 03:14 PM.


#28 Miragee

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 03:14 PM

View PostPhineas Poe, on 03 February 2014 - 02:57 PM, said:

Cramped? The main criticism of fractals right now is that there aren't enough.

I don't think all LS content would be replayable, either. Does anyone really want to run around and get 50 power cores again?

Yes cramped. It may not be right now. But just imagine how it will be in the future if that's the solution for the next 5 years of LS. It will be cramped eventually.

And that power core thing (that's the entry thingy for scarlets base right?) is not content. The base is. The power cores are just another mechanism to gate story/content behind a wall of grind. Like those achievements at halloween. I would also put that in the fake-content category anet loves to use nowadays.

Another point against that would be that I don't like the trend of making the mists a solution to all problems that occur. We see that a lot in gw2 and it takes away the compelling part about them. Also: As long as the fractals were just random fractals it was kinda ok but since they introduced the story dungeons/thauma nova into them by "investigation" they broke a much higher part from the mists than most players seem to realise - the mists are manipulatable now to a certain extend. You can search for specific things which makes the mists more a tool (on two sides actually, taking into account the first part of this paragraph) instead of a "place" (for a lack of a better word).

#29 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 03:18 PM

View PostMiragee, on 03 February 2014 - 03:14 PM, said:

Yes cramped. It may not be right now. But just imagine how it will be in the future if that's the solution for the next 5 years of LS. It will be cramped eventually.

And that power core thing (that's the entry thingy for scarlets base right?) is not content. The base is. The power cores are just another mechanism to gate story/content behind a wall of grind. Like those achievements at halloween. I would also put that in the fake-content category anet loves to use nowadays.

Another point against that would be that I don't like the trend of making the mists a solution to all problems that occur. We see that a lot in gw2 and it takes away the compelling part about them. Also: As long as the fractals were just random fractals it was kinda ok but since they introduced the story dungeons/thauma nova into them by "investigation" they broke a much higher part from the mists than most players seem to realise - the mists are manipulatable now to a certain extend. You can search for specific things which makes the mists more a tool (on two sides actually, taking into account the first part of this paragraph) instead of a "place" (for a lack of a better word).
Absolutely correct.

Fractal Stability, when introduced, was conceived as a standard of "Something is Wrong"; it played out in a very specific alt. uni. behavior such as for instance The Searing fractal Urban Battlegrounds. Thurmanova is wrong however as it expresses a real event in our GW2 universe which should never happen.

#30 Phineas Poe

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 03:19 PM

View PostMiragee, on 03 February 2014 - 03:14 PM, said:

Another point against that would be that I don't like the trend of making the mists a solution to all problems that occur. We see that a lot in gw2 and it takes away the compelling part about them.

Well, let's make sure we're certain about the volume of content we're talking about here. Since November 2012 we've gotten a grand total of three new fractals and two boss fractals. Is five fractals in fifteen months really oversaturation to you?

And what was so compelling about fractals in their pre-LS state? The vast majority of players never participated in them outside of getting their ascended rings.

I'm pretty sure most people reading this thread don't have a Personal Level over 30.

Edited by Phineas Poe, 03 February 2014 - 03:20 PM.





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