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Thoughts on the September Feature Pack?


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#1 Phineas Poe

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 07:52 PM

I don't feel like they're at all addressing any of the actual needs of the game. New backpacks, a cleaner crafting UI, and new commander colors are all very nice things. But where is precursor crafting? Where are instanced guild missions? Where are better guild missions? Where is the fractal loot overhaul?

It feels like they're avoiding any of the real issues that currently plague the end-game and are instead focusing all their efforts on the leveling experience or tackling the simple solutions. For a game that's two years old and for a community that is on its knees begging for a new dungeon to do it sounds weird that they'd pause the Living Story to announce features that don't affect them or affect a very small aspect of the game that the majority of the active community has already gone through.

The April feature patch brought us the wardrobe, account-wide WvW ranks, and reset-able traits. The September feature patch is bringing us backpacks and red commander tags.

Is anyone else as disappointed as I am?

Edit: Just for further clarification, and because I think I really poured out how I really felt about all of it on Reddit already, I'll just quote what I put there in here:

Quote

There's no monthly fee but I know most everyone here has spent real money on this game beyond the box price. I know I have. And it's one thing if the game is just no longer being supported and ArenaNet has decided that GW2 has enough content in it.
It's funny because if they came out and said that, I'd at least walk away knowing I've had fun with what it had and that I need to just move on. But that's not what they're doing. They're dedicating a lot of their time and resources into stuff that is just explicitly unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Fractal loot is still broken. Some dungeon paths are still buggy. Getting into the proper overflow for Teq and Wurm still is a strenuous process of right-click selection. These are the kinds of things that should be going into the feature patch. Grander overhauls that redefine how the game is played, just like how the April patch did.

And rather than work on any of this stuff, they're focusing on the leveling experience. Ask yourself: throughout all of those CDIs, did anyone ever once say that the leveling experience was ever "overwhelming" for new players? Or that the downed mechanic needed to be staved off until level 5 for sake that I might forget to breathe with so much going on? Did we really weapon skill unlocks to be even simpler?

No, we really didn't. We asked for guild halls. We asked for GvG. We asked for more dungeons and fractals. We asked for better methods to organizing Teq and Wurm. We got some of these. We didn't get all of it. And that's fine. But we're getting shit we never even asked for. It feels like they're just pushing China on us, and what my guild did all this time isn't a part of their vision. God, they even say it themselves in the missions update:

> We are working on further improvements that are focused on larger guilds.

Okay. Great. Thanks. I guess we'll just have to wait on that. But great job empowering those 5 man guilds that are the driving force behind the community! I guess EG, TTS, and other large guilds that organize large-scale stuff like Teq and Wurm can ♥♥♥♥ off then. Continue right-click selection to get into the right map.

But thanks for the new crafting UI, guys! Because that's really more important than being forced to slowly give myself carpal tunnel trying to do what little content that's in this game to do with my guild.

I know I can come back to GW2 with ease when they actually feel like fixing all the obvious problems of the end-game. What I sweat over is that they don't seem all that concerned to fix them. And it is skin off my back because I have invested money into this game on the assumption they were going to support us. I am clearly not a part of their target audience any longer and it infuriates me that their vision is now muddled. If I knew they were going to do everything they could to simplify the game so any knuckledragger could play it, I would've moved on already.

The April feature patch brought us the wardrobe, account-wide WvW ranks, and reset-able trait lines. The September feature patch is bringing us backpacks and a new crafting UI. This is coinciding with the lightest releasing of PvE content over the past 6 months that has included more breaks than content releases.

What. The. Eff. I dedicated two years of my life to this game because I loved it and its vision. I was a very vocal Guru/Reddit/forumite player that tried to help shape the engineer meta. Google "engineer pve" and tell me what you see. I helped manage a very large successful guild that did everything under the sun. We killed Teq daily. We participated in fractal and dungeon tournaments. We helped Dulfy compose her guide on guild missions, Dry Top, and Wurm.

How did we get to this point to where I (and a lot of my guild) feel(s) like I am not a part of their target audience? It's baffling. It's like I just woke up one afternoon and we don't matter anymore. I asked for Flame Blast to be a blast finisher on the Flamethrower back in September of 2012. I guess we're finally getting that one.

How long will it be until they fix hobo sacks? Or rather, how many backpacks will they release between now and when they do?

I am just beside myself right now. Sorry for all the ninja edits. I am just so very upset and the thoughts keep flowing. But yeah, keep downvoting guys. Whatever helps you feel better about the state of the game, I guess. I just can't blind myself to this anymore.

http://www.reddit.co...r_being/ck338fy

Blah blah sad story whatever. I just can't believe this is all we're getting.

Edited by Phineas Poe, 28 August 2014 - 08:18 PM.


#2 MCBiohazard

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 09:13 PM

Unfortunately, your only recourse is to step away until the things you want start to happen, which you have sensibly decided to do as stated in your last post on the engi forum. Whether or not your guild remains intact until then is up in the air and I sincerely hope you can take your loyal rank and manage to move or expand to somewhere where you feel comfortable in the meanwhile.

But I have to say, part of the buy once play free appeal is the ability to play the long game without sinking any additional resources of time or money into it if it isn't delivering what you want. I took several breaks during LS1 precisely because I had no interest in Tequatl or Marionette or Wurm. But I picked it back up again when there was content that was more accessible to my tastes. Granted I was not trying to hold together a 500 man guild, that kind of dedication and focus is not what I'm looking for when I play. I can afford to be patient because this game doesn't have to consume large parts of my free time due to social obligations. And since you had to, your reasons for being disappointed are perfectly valid. But I'm sure that A-Net isn't blind to the needs of larger guilds. It may be that the development pipeline that we're not privy to has those things further down the line than the low hanging fruit but immediate gains of streamlining (and aligning with GW2 China) the new player experience and cleaning up some of the issues that the April feature patch introduced. They even capitulated on the WvW commander tag feature being color changeable after the initial negative feedback.

Good luck in Archage, hopefully it gives you what you're looking for.

#3 Katsumi Kei

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 09:18 PM

Well, i am disappointed that there is no precursor crafting/GvG/Guild halls/ legendaries/more weapon types.

That being said, this may be a fantastic update! Class balance changes are awesome for WvW/sPVP players, WvW improvements with commander tags and new skills are good, but overall game optimization is a HUGE thing! Also making this megaserver improvements will finally make guild missions not being a drag to organize.

Not to mention, that there are more features coming with collecting and trading. If they improve trade post- that would be enough for me.

Sorry, but i do not agree with you. This is clearly not PVE focused patch, but is improving two other aspects of the game.

#4 Phineas Poe

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 09:22 PM

View PostKatsumi Kei, on 28 August 2014 - 09:18 PM, said:

Sorry, but i do not agree with you. This is clearly not PVE focused patch, but is improving two other aspects of the game.

I couldn't disagree more. The only stuff WvW is getting are siege golem mastery and a new trap. How is that substantial or feels "focused" to you?

#5 Calypso589

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 09:30 PM

View PostMCBiohazard, on 28 August 2014 - 09:13 PM, said:

Unfortunately, your only recourse is to step away until the things you want start to happen, which you have sensibly decided to do as stated in your last post on the engi forum. Whether or not your guild remains intact until then is up in the air and I sincerely hope you can take your loyal rank and manage to move or expand to somewhere where you feel comfortable in the meanwhile.

But I have to say, part of the buy once play free appeal is the ability to play the long game without sinking any additional resources of time or money into it if it isn't delivering what you want. I took several breaks during LS1 precisely because I had no interest in Tequatl or Marionette or Wurm. But I picked it back up again when there was content that was more accessible to my tastes. Granted I was not trying to hold together a 500 man guild, that kind of dedication and focus is not what I'm looking for when I play. I can afford to be patient because this game doesn't have to consume large parts of my free time due to social obligations. And since you had to, your reasons for being disappointed are perfectly valid. But I'm sure that A-Net isn't blind to the needs of larger guilds. It may be that the development pipeline that we're not privy to has those things further down the line than the low hanging fruit but immediate gains of streamlining (and aligning with GW2 China) the new player experience and cleaning up some of the issues that the April feature patch introduced. They even capitulated on the WvW commander tag feature being color changeable after the initial negative feedback.

Good luck in Archage, hopefully it gives you what you're looking for.

There's literally no further answer needed than this one.

Well said and my thoughts exactly.

#6 Satenia

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 09:41 PM

Well, admittingly it was a bit of a sober sight so far - however, aren't we like only knowing 2/3 of the changes yet? There is still a week worth of anouncements to be had, no?

As far as the "collecting" goes, I'm very much hoping for updates on all kind of currencies (mats, dungeon tokens, etc.) as well as precursors... but hey, maybe that's just my endless optimisim :P

#7 Miragee

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 11:13 PM

Wasn't their "remove old players and get new ones on board instead"-approach the one they used from the very beginning when they decided to abandon the GW community? I think the improvements to the first time experience are pretty much in line with this.

#8 Shayne Hawke

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 11:13 PM

It's a symptom of the business model.

GW is B2P and started with no in-game store, so the only way they had to raise money was to put out an expansion (or campaign), and that meant content.  The in-game/online store came later, first with the means to buy the campaigns (and some convenience items?) and later with more convenience items and skins when content was no longer being heavily produced.

GW2 is also B2P, but the store they started with and what was offered gave them another source of revenue right away apart from the game itself.  To continue earning money, they are no longer pigeonholed to the task of creating additional expansions full of content and can instead lean heavily on the store.  This means making more cosmetics and boosters and upgrades, and less content.

It seems that people currently in the community are starting to fit into one of two camps: those who continue to dump their life's savings into vanity items as quickly as ANet will let them gobble them up, and people who feel like ANet isn't giving them good ways to spend money or time and choose to not buy anything in the store.  ANet is either unable to turn or ineffective at turning the second crowd into the first, so they won't do it because it would take more time and effort and understanding on their behalf than what they expect to get out of doing so.  Or, those people will leave and come back later and probably become spenders again, so they just need to wait them out.  Or, they'll stick around for whatever reason, which is also fine to ANet, because bandwidth is cheap to be retaining warm bodies that make their game look like it's alive.  They could continue to focus on the first camp, but they have recently discovered something else they can do to make money: get new players to buy the box, like the old days!

And that's exactly what happened when GW2 was released in China.  A whole new market of players who took an interest in buying the box showed up, and ANet made the business decision that it would be better to work on the new player experience to attract more new buyers and retain more new buyers, hopefully to become gem store shoppers in the near future and tap into all of those vanity items and upgrades and boosters that ANet has already made.

ANet doesn't have any interest in catering to the enormous guilds or collections of players because nothing they have in their business model sells better to that crowd than the kinds of people they are currently catering to.  They have determined that these large guilds are fine to ignore because they will survive on their own size.  Players in these groups will accept playing old, broken, uninteresting content that they have been through many times before just because they are able to experience it with other people, because that connection between people is something that they like enough to go back for.  The groups are so large that even if a few handfuls of players jump ship, others in the community will rush in to take their place, and even if they don't, there are probably still enough people left over for everyone to still be entertained by everyone else.  Only something like a colony collapse could crash such communities, and ANet knows that for how long those people have been around, one more month without interesting content to do is not going to trigger anything like that.

The feature pack has been rather underwhelming because everything announced has either already shown up in China (leveling changes and crafting backs), doesn't have a huge impact on the game (tag colors, lame balance, megaserver changes), or doesn't provide that much else new to do (WvW tourney is same old WvW).  It's even worse when ANet tries to hype it since people have been taken on that train ride enough times already to know better.  It just comes off as disingenuous.

But it's not quite as bad as the silver-fed salvage kit, and not as astronomically stupid as anyone who bought one.

#9 Phineas Poe

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 12:25 AM

Yeah I love that they came out with it on a few weeks ago and now it's on sale.

That's not underhanded or anything.

But that's being a bit negative, so I guess I shouldn't say that.

#10 draxynnic

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 01:16 AM

Except those colony collapses are happening. Formerly large and established guilds are steadily disintegrating into long lists of players that haven't logged on for weeks or months on end, including players who were once quite fanatical and notable figures in the community.

Now, balance changes are nice and all, and the new LS is a step up from the last (not that that really represents a high bar to clear) but at the moment it really feels like ArenaNet has no vision for actually further developing the game - just to keep it ticking over. Meanwhile, it's been haemorrhaging respected names from the staff. One of my guildmates was looking to the 'fresh start' title with some hope (or at least, a kind of suspension of pessimism?) and having been caught low gem-wise for the sale, I was considering putting some money in if the right sales came up and ArenaNet showed some sign of having found a direction. Instead, we get a revised levelling system. Well, that's nice and all, but... As Phineas says, it really doesn't do anything to address GW2's structural problems. I'm all for supporting companies that deliver the proverbial goods, but it's increasingly feeling like NCSoft nowadays is just looking for a quick buck at the expense of long-term sustainability, and I just don't feel like I can justify putting money on a game that's increasingly feeling abandoned by both players and, a few band-aid measures aside, the company.

Seriously, GW1 made it to nearly the release of GW2 without developing this feeling of staleless and abandonment, despite ArenaNet being explicitly focused on something else for much of that time. GW2 only just hit its second anniversary. It should NOT be feeling less fresh and supported than a five-year old game that was explicitly just marking time until the release of the sequel managed to.
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#11 Shayne Hawke

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 03:32 AM

View Postdraxynnic, on 29 August 2014 - 01:16 AM, said:

Except those colony collapses are happening. Formerly large and established guilds are steadily disintegrating into long lists of players that haven't logged on for weeks or months on end, including players who were once quite fanatical and notable figures in the community.

Now, balance changes are nice and all, and the new LS is a step up from the last (not that that really represents a high bar to clear) but at the moment it really feels like ArenaNet has no vision for actually further developing the game - just to keep it ticking over. Meanwhile, it's been haemorrhaging respected names from the staff. One of my guildmates was looking to the 'fresh start' title with some hope (or at least, a kind of suspension of pessimism?) and having been caught low gem-wise for the sale, I was considering putting some money in if the right sales came up and ArenaNet showed some sign of having found a direction. Instead, we get a revised levelling system. Well, that's nice and all, but... As Phineas says, it really doesn't do anything to address GW2's structural problems. I'm all for supporting companies that deliver the proverbial goods, but it's increasingly feeling like NCSoft nowadays is just looking for a quick buck at the expense of long-term sustainability, and I just don't feel like I can justify putting money on a game that's increasingly feeling abandoned by both players and, a few band-aid measures aside, the company.

Seriously, GW1 made it to nearly the release of GW2 without developing this feeling of staleless and abandonment, despite ArenaNet being explicitly focused on something else for much of that time. GW2 only just hit its second anniversary. It should NOT be feeling less fresh and supported than a five-year old game that was explicitly just marking time until the release of the sequel managed to.

As someone who never spent any attention on the state of any large or notable guilds and was never a part of one, I can't say I ever felt like a collapse was in motion, but maybe the bargainers and white knights on the official forums were what really gave me that impression.

I don't feel like ANet has ever had long term plans for GW2, and I don't know whose fault that is - theirs, or NCsoft's.  I have no tangible evidence to pin blame on NCsoft, but it seems possible to me that they could be managing ANet in such a way that ANet can't make any long term plans, because NCsoft can just jump in and say "do this, this, and this, or else".  It's possible that ANet is otherwise just so terrible on the whole that they themselves don't know where they want to take their game a year to a half down the line, but that seems a little too ridiculous for even me.  Blame aside, the lack of commitment to a plan or principles is devastating.  Whenever questions are asked about what ANet is working on, they don't want to talk about it because it could change.  Whenever they're asked about whether they'll work on something, they might say it could be important, but always that they don't know.  Decisions on issues the community brings up don't seem like they're answered with a consistent design philosophy, but rather whatever ANet feels works best for them at the time.  Not only does ANet not have any sort of roadmap that they want to talk about for where they're taking the game, but nobody has any idea what that roadmap could be because the way ANet chooses what to work on and how they would change it is totally arbitrary to any outsider.  This is why that forum post from Mike about wanting to communicate more with the playerbase was a total joke.  Players can't communicate with ANet when all they get in response is "we don't know anything about anything" and "this is how we feel right now, but don't hold us to that after five minutes".

Getting into GW2 for me when it first came out was an investment.  When the time arrived for GW2 to go on pre-sale back in April of 2012, I looked back at the time I had spent in GW and all the things I'd done and the fun I'd had, and I thought about how much entertainment I was setting myself up for for the money I was about to put into it, and I immediately went all-in (so far as a standard box can be considered "all-in").  The betas and stress tests were incredible fun.  The first time I got to play, combined with the thought of how much more of the game there was to go through, left me with such an incredible high that I could feel a withdrawl in the days after the beta ended.  In the first two months past release, I bought gems, I used the store, I used the gem exchange, and I genuinely believed that a lot of great things were to be coming and times were to be had in the coming years.  It all came to a gigantic ♥♥♥♥ing full stop in November of that same year.  The images I had about those things to come and what I could expect out of ANet, in their own words, dropped like a norn fart in a moot.  Since then, I've had no idea who ANet is catering to or selling to, and they've done nothing to create an image to seem like they're looking to appeal to any base in particular.  It was the moment I stopped spending any kind of money or serious time on the game.  At that time, I couldn't justify ever spending anything more on this franchise, and ANet has certainly done nothing to make me regret that decision.

Much of what was made for GW was made before the end of 2007.  The announcement of GW2 first came with a projected release date in 2008.  Players were happy enough to play their new expansion and everything else they had until that time, but of course it was pushed back, and pushed back, to the point where nobody knew when it was going to be released, except that it was "soon enough that I can continue having fun in GW while I wait".  Much of why GW still had life in it past 2008 was for all the people grinding their titles and filling their HoM in anticipation of GW2.  The patches and bits of news kept many of us strung along until more tangible GW2 information would come out, or until we could eventually play the game, and there would be stuff to grind for in GW in the meantime.  GW likely couldn't have survived so well past 2007 if it got the same kind of treatment from ANet with no intention or announcement for a sequel.  GW2, by comparison, has no defined future and hardly has any kind of present.

The timeline from the release of Prophecies to the release of EotN was only four months past two years.  The announcement of a sequel didn't even take two years.  One only needs compare GW2 to the growth of its predecessor in equal time to understand how it can feel so dead in relation.

#12 Hybrid

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 06:58 AM

I'm pretty much in the same boat as the OP. The feature pack thus far has been incredibly underwhelming and disappointing. This is made even worse when you consider the fact that a bunch of these "features" are already implemented in the Chinese version of the game and yet Anet insists on creating unwarranted hype by locking the announcements and saying "we can't go into details until it's released". These revamps they are doing just feel like they are nitpicking at things that were never really big issues or should have been squeezed in one of the patch notes as a little side note. Personally I feel like the game is having a problem with retention so it's very awkward to see their focus shift to new players (when no substantial changes have been made that would result in an influx of new players) rather than trying to keep old ones engaged. The living story can only help so much. I can't even step into WvW without someone mentioning how the game is dead.

One of the recent announcements said something like, "downed state is very overwhelming for new players" as a reason for removing downed state until level 5. WHAT?! Then it goes on to talk about how new players need more direction and how the personal story needs to get changed and all this other nonsense. If they are choosing to focus on these types of fixes, why not on something more important like WvW (stuck bug on siege since day 1 of release, or the bunch of other exploits that have never been touched), class skill bugs, Engineer hobo sacks, unlocking traits, the problems associated with large guilds, precursor crafting, Skyhammer/ranking in sPvP, etc. Stuff that has had significant outcry for a very long time now. Things like official GvG, additional sPvP maps, new PvE maps, expansions, and new game modes are suitable for content patches. The issues I mentioned are not considered content, it very well could have been stuff that should have been addressed in this feature pack (according to what Anet defines as a "feature").  I just don't get it anymore, and I don't think Anet does either. /Rant

Edited by Hybrid, 29 August 2014 - 07:23 AM.


#13 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:30 AM

If they'd revert the FP1's trait changes, I'd consider FP2 a massive success.

#14 FrogKnight87

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:31 AM

I'm excited about a few things like the guild merging, but it is true that it's already like that in china which means it's not really that big of an update in itself. Also the down state being removed untill level 5 sounds to me like a way to try to piss off some key farmers xD

#15 Calypso589

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 12:15 PM

View PostFrogKnight87, on 29 August 2014 - 08:31 AM, said:

I'm excited about a few things like the guild merging, but it is true that it's already like that in china which means it's not really that big of an update in itself. Also the down state being removed untill level 5 sounds to me like a way to try to piss off some key farmers xD

It does stand the chance of being annoying, but the down state doesn't happen as often during a farm as you might think. There's only really one or two instances where it's a threat.

Besides, the checkpoint system and the fact that your progress isn't lost if you die means that dying during a farm really only results in a few seconds being lost.

#16 FrogKnight87

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 01:55 PM

View PostCalypso589, on 29 August 2014 - 12:15 PM, said:

It does stand the chance of being annoying, but the down state doesn't happen as often during a farm as you might think. There's only really one or two instances where it's a threat.

Besides, the checkpoint system and the fact that your progress isn't lost if you die means that dying during a farm really only results in a few seconds being lost.

You're right. I just know that sometimes I go down quite a few times in the level 10 instance and that if you break a piece of armor it becomes soulbound until repaired (I'm using runed up weapons and armors that are account bound to make runs faster)... It happens quite a lot where I get to level 10 instance being only level 4, so yes this is potentially an annoyance :)

#17 MorgannaLeFey

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 02:20 PM

I had never realized any of these issues because I have been such a sporadic player during the time I was in college. I just graduated and now am finding the time to play around some more. For as extremely casual of a player as I have been lately even I am vastly disappointed in this new FP. I never once felt overwhelmed during the downed state, even my bf who is hopeless at anything not a racing game did not feel overwhelmed when I simply said "you're fighting to stay alive right now" and he got the gist of it. The trait system....if they had kept it at the point where it originally unlocks and combined it with the free tier unlocks at certain levels and the ability to find extra traits in the wild I would have been completely happy.

Anyways, I was starting to get off track, maybe there is more interesting stuff to happen in this FP...who knows? From what it sounds like (and like I said I am talking from the point of view where I have yet to play all of the existing content yet and so I am still on the fence about end game issues) it really seems like the only way they can get the wind back in the sales is to release something on the scale of an expansion pack. Maybe the next dragon to defeat? Add more weapons? MAYBE a new class? Unlock one of those continents we see on the map but can't get to? I could forgive them for the silliness they are doing if it is because they are working on an expansion like item and don't want to completely shut us off from new stuff...but how likely is that?

#18 kalendraf

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 02:28 PM

The apparent emphasis on levelling items and improving the content for newer players is rather bewlidering to me.  While it's important to make the game attractive to attract new players, it's also important, probably more so, to provide the needed updates to retain and satisfy existing players.  Thus far, these changes don't appear to adequately address that latter need.

Edited by kalendraf, 29 August 2014 - 02:29 PM.


#19 Thorfinnr

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 03:02 PM

I do see some pluses, as have been mentioned before. Multi-color Tags for Commanders(and they listened and made them swappable), unifying cross-server guilds is a good thing. Several of the things are good (omg, how long have we waited for better GPU optimization, but lets see how that goes before I start getting all giggly about it)...just small things...and I am sure they see it as many companies do..."lets get some small wins, and work up to the bigger ones"...but we, as a community have been through enough small wins...I need Anet to come on strong with a BIG win. I'm no fanboy level...but even I am getting wore the f-out on hearing about how awful, dead, weak, slow, too cumbersome, easy, unrewarding, etc. the game has/is becoming.

I am interested to see what they do the the Norn Forms...as that is something that many of us Norn-Players have been clamoring about since launch. But lets be honest...I am not holding my breath for anything too earthshaking to be done there...hell I'd be happy if the onyl thing they changed was to make it last for 60 seconds, and shorten the CD to 180 and start the CD when you activate the Form(make it 90 and start the CD after I leave the Form, I'm good with that too)...I mean really...what's 60 seconds of every 180 in a form...seriously.

Another week of announcements to go...I hope(and, sadly, its getting harder to say that) that next weeks reveals are a bit more up to what we had hoped would be coming. If we get the weapons sharing opened up or maybe some new weapons for each class...that would be a little exciting.

And give me a Freakin' trade window so i can trade directly with my friends...so i can distribute the potions i made to everyone if we forget to do that using the Guild Storage before leaving town to go to a fractal or dungeon without getting "spam" blocked because I have to mail each one a damn potion...sheesh!

Edited by Thorfinnr, 29 August 2014 - 03:05 PM.


#20 draxynnic

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 03:26 PM

Something gives me the feeling that ArenaNet doesn't consider making life harder of key farmers to be a bad thing. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if while they're changing up the PS rewards, they'll remove it altogether. (Possibly replacing it with a key further on in the PS - they want to give new players that free first taste, after all - but I'm pretty sure they'd prefer the only practical way to get them in decent numbers being through the gem store, not something that can be conveniently farmed.)

View PostShayne Hawke, on 29 August 2014 - 03:32 AM, said:

The timeline from the release of Prophecies to the release of EotN was only four months past two years.  The announcement of a sequel didn't even take two years.  One only needs compare GW2 to the growth of its predecessor in equal time to understand how it can feel so dead in relation.
For real embarrassment, compare the Living Story to Guild Wars Beyond in 2010-2012. The Live Team of about half a dozen with some assistance from art people working on their own time as a break from GW2 managed to do a pretty good job of making GW1 feel alive again. What they managed to do simply from reusing existing maps with new twists and storylines that were actually fairly compelling was amazing. It may be exaggerating the point and/or looking back with rose-tinted glasses to claim that Beyond achieved nearly as much as the Living Story has... but hey, it's close enough that the comparison can be made with a straight face, and when you're comparing a half-dozen people in a pod to a company of a couple of hundred, that's indictment enough.

On the guilds thing: Obviously, I can't speak for everyone. I do know, however, that Phineas' EG was and I think still is one of the bigger and more recognisable builds on Sanctum of Rall, and now on the megaservers that SoR players are likely to be fed into: if they're getting disillusioned and drifting into other games (or migrating en masse into Archeage: either way) this is a symptom of a problem. More personally, I have friends in Relics of Orr and occasionally join them to do various things - their leaders stopped scheduling guild missions because they found there were no longer enough members turning up to be worth it, and the average people online (representing or not) at any given time has dropped significantly since I joined. And I keep seeing and hearing similar problems in other guilds. I'm sure there are some guilds full of like-minded people that are all able to resist the growing ennui rather than dropping off one by one... but I'm pretty sure they're not representative of the majority.

Thing is, all this focus on the new-player experience really does feel like a bandaid approach to try to get more players and box sales. However, I'm not sure even that's going to work for them. People aren't likely to jump into a two-year old game, that hasn't had any serious expansions in that two years, without recommendations from current players... and I know I'd have reservations about recommending GW2 to anyone right now, however much I'd like to see the company succeed.

To stall the game's slow decline, ArenaNet really need to do something spectacular... but that's not something they seem to be willing to do. To draw an ironic analogy, ArenaNet now feels a lot like Adelbern after the Searing - too afraid of risking losing what he has left to take any action that might actually improve his position, and so by default his position steadily deteriorates until he's forced to pull the plug.
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#21 Katsumi Kei

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 03:40 PM

View PostPhineas Poe, on 28 August 2014 - 09:22 PM, said:

I couldn't disagree more. The only stuff WvW is getting are siege golem mastery and a new trap. How is that substantial or feels "focused" to you?
First of all, commander functionality is strongly desired by WvW-ers, it's a thing for us. Also optimization is a huge thing for the mode, making GPU handle some of the CPU's work will massively boost the frame rate for those with slower processors.
After all it's not a content update, so i am not expecting new maps and stuff.

I said  "not PVE focused" and I did not want imply it's focused at something else.

I was quite happy with the last feature patch, this one does not address all my issues with the game, but i am very happy for some of it's features. That does not make it bad at all.

#22 Phineas Poe

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 03:59 PM

View PostKatsumi Kei, on 29 August 2014 - 03:40 PM, said:

First of all, commander functionality is strongly desired by WvW-ers, it's a thing for us. Also optimization is a huge thing for the mode, making GPU handle some of the CPU's work will massively boost the frame rate for those with slower processors.
After all it's not a content update, so i am not expecting new maps and stuff.

Commander tags are a PvX feature, so I omitted it from the list of changes coming.

#23 Senatic

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 04:46 PM

Extremely underwhelmed so far is my thoughts. Personally I care nothing for any of the changes announced so far.

Edited by Senatic, 29 August 2014 - 04:48 PM.


#24 MCBiohazard

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 06:12 PM

The ennui is justified. I honestly think the best solution for anybody who is feeling it strongly is to put GW2 down for a while and play something else in the meantime. If you have a guild or at least a core group of players that you want to keep together, branch out into something else that you all enjoy and play that for a while as you wait for A-Net to get their arse in gear. The emotional attachments to your personal communities and relationships are more important than the game itself. When it becomes something that you feel you can enjoy again, by all means pick it right back up where you left off. It will still be here. MMOs tend to die very hard, especially ones that get a large following from launch, which GW2 incontrovertibly had.

Then again, NCSoft is sadly notorious for having that slight cocaine high jagged edge unpredictability to their who lives or die policies. They axed City of Heroes after 8 years of profitable tenure (something I am still fairly unhappy about even after almost two years), and previously killed Auto Assault and Tabula Rasa before they had a chance to grow into anything. A-Net is their flagship western studio though, I will be very surprised if such an announcement comes any time in the near future no matter what the issues are now or develop later on with the game.

Edited by MCBiohazard, 29 August 2014 - 06:13 PM.


#25 Calypso589

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 02:02 AM

View Postdraxynnic, on 29 August 2014 - 03:26 PM, said:

Something gives me the feeling that ArenaNet doesn't consider making life harder of key farmers to be a bad thing. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if while they're changing up the PS rewards, they'll remove it altogether. (Possibly replacing it with a key further on in the PS - they want to give new players that free first taste, after all - but I'm pretty sure they'd prefer the only practical way to get them in decent numbers being through the gem store, not something that can be conveniently farmed.)

For real embarrassment, compare the Living Story to Guild Wars Beyond in 2010-2012. The Live Team of about half a dozen with some assistance from art people working on their own time as a break from GW2 managed to do a pretty good job of making GW1 feel alive again. What they managed to do simply from reusing existing maps with new twists and storylines that were actually fairly compelling was amazing. It may be exaggerating the point and/or looking back with rose-tinted glasses to claim that Beyond achieved nearly as much as the Living Story has... but hey, it's close enough that the comparison can be made with a straight face, and when you're comparing a half-dozen people in a pod to a company of a couple of hundred, that's indictment enough.

On the guilds thing: Obviously, I can't speak for everyone. I do know, however, that Phineas' EG was and I think still is one of the bigger and more recognisable builds on Sanctum of Rall, and now on the megaservers that SoR players are likely to be fed into: if they're getting disillusioned and drifting into other games (or migrating en masse into Archeage: either way) this is a symptom of a problem. More personally, I have friends in Relics of Orr and occasionally join them to do various things - their leaders stopped scheduling guild missions because they found there were no longer enough members turning up to be worth it, and the average people online (representing or not) at any given time has dropped significantly since I joined. And I keep seeing and hearing similar problems in other guilds. I'm sure there are some guilds full of like-minded people that are all able to resist the growing ennui rather than dropping off one by one... but I'm pretty sure they're not representative of the majority.

Thing is, all this focus on the new-player experience really does feel like a bandaid approach to try to get more players and box sales. However, I'm not sure even that's going to work for them. People aren't likely to jump into a two-year old game, that hasn't had any serious expansions in that two years, without recommendations from current players... and I know I'd have reservations about recommending GW2 to anyone right now, however much I'd like to see the company succeed.

To stall the game's slow decline, ArenaNet really need to do something spectacular... but that's not something they seem to be willing to do. To draw an ironic analogy, ArenaNet now feels a lot like Adelbern after the Searing - too afraid of risking losing what he has left to take any action that might actually improve his position, and so by default his position steadily deteriorates until he's forced to pull the plug.

Can we stop acting like development for GW1 is comparable to development for GW2 please?

GW1 wasn't even an MMO. It was a cooperative instanced RPG (that's straight from Colin's mouth). It didn't have a persistent world with hundreds of thousands of players and events occurring within it.

Beyond was great, but it was also easy to do. Hence the size of the team that did it.

Designing episodes of the LS as well as the new zones and quests, armors, creatures, cinematics (love them) that take place therein........all within a persistent world full of players interacting live with each other all at once......that is NOT easy. And it takes time.

More time than it would take to develop content for a game that literally doesn't have to worry about it's content supporting a persistent world at all, such as GW1. Especially if that game reuses existing zones.

Your comparison isn't an indictment at all or an embarrassment.

It would be if the work that goes into developing content updates for either game was the same because then of course it would be embarrassing to have GW1 coming out with larger content updates.

But the work is not the same. At all. So please stop comparing them. You're allowed to be underwhelmed by the LS but don't hold it up against what was done in GW1 to illustrate that feeling.

It's like comparing how long it took Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel to how long it took Picaso to paint a bowl of fruit and arguing that Picaso was able to produce a complete package in a day so why couldn't Michelangelo? lol


EDIT: I doubt the key farming is going anywhere. It's been around for two years and Anet is well aware of it. If the plan to stop it was as simple as moving the key reward to someplace else, then they would have done it by now.

Seeing as how they haven't I assume that they value new players being tickled by it, thus giving them incentive to buy more in the store.

As for removal of the downed state, it's a non issue.

You never die during the human 1-10 story missions and even if you do, the checkpoint system has you up and about in less than a second with no progress lost.

Edited by Calypso589, 30 August 2014 - 02:17 AM.


#26 draxynnic

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 04:40 AM

Sure, things were probably easier to do with GW1's system (apart, of course, for the things that were simply impossible) but what you're ignoring is the difference in resources available that should make up for that. The team for Guild Wars Beyond was about half a dozen people assisted by volunteers working on break - while the entire company is focused on Living Story. The net addition to the game for GW2 since release is not much more than Beyond added to GW1, apart from generating more art assets (including new and reworked maps) - in terms of gameplay changes such as new skills, stuff where being a true MMO versus GW1's official CORPG status really shouldn't matter all that much, I would say GW:Beyond did more (sure, technically they didn't introduce any actually NEW skills, but through fundamentally redesigning old unused skills into things that were actually attractive options, they achieved the same effect on gameplay).

The same difference in manpower can be pointed at the heyday of GW1's post-release development in 2005-2007. I don't recall exactly how large ArenaNet was around then, but I think it was around the hundred mark. The difference between a hundred-ish people and three-hundred-ish people should make up for a lot of difference in complexity on the base game. Certainly, while to be fair not all of the company is involved in actually developing the game, I'd expect the whole company to be able to achieve something that is more impressive than six people (however talented) squirreled away in a pod. The difference in complexity between the game structures - MMO versus instanced CORPG, full 3D versus pseudo-3D - is not THAT great.

Another problem is that we have a disconnect between the impression we were given before release and the reality. We were told that while it was unlikely new professions would be introduced, there would be new weapons, utility skills and traits for existing professions. We've had... one new heal skill shared among all professions (which most people haven't bothered unlocking because outside of being able to remove a specific effect that is rarely seen, it's just plain bad, and being able to remove miasma is simply not worth 25 skill points or the alternative price), one heal skill per profession, and a handful of new traits per profession, including reworks. We were given the impression that the initial explorable area would only be the starting point - we've had Southsun and now Dry Top, and a handful of temporary or reworked maps. Indications coming from ArenaNet is that this is a philosophical choice - they'd rather keep the playerbase concentrated in a confined area rather than spread thinly across a wide world. Problem is, they're focusing on keeping their proverbial pie (the playerbase is the pie) limited to a smaller number of slices at the expense of having a bigger pie: people are leaving the game that might come back, or might not have left in the first place, if they had new places to explore.

The bigger problem is the perception that ArenaNet and/or NCSoft is focusing on short-term gain, through the gem store, over long-term longevity, with the latter having a focus on making a quick buck out of GW2 then replacing it with it's next thing rather than really wanting it to be something that lasts for years. This perception may be totally untrue... but it's one that both companies need to work on dispelling if they truly want the franchise to succeed in the long term. Certainly, when I look at the fancy graphics of all the finishers and permanent harvesting tools and such, I can't help but think that some of that work could have gone into developing new skill effects, new enemy models, and so on. And has been noted... whenever new artwork available for PCs crops up, the smart money is always on it being a gemstore item.

At the bottom line, though, GW2's been losing interest and players at a steady rate. All the excuses in the world won't change the fact that unless ArenaNet does something spectacular to reverse the idea that GW2 has just been left to tick over without direction, then its decline in the eyes of the community is going to continue.
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#27 Calypso589

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 05:29 AM

View Postdraxynnic, on 30 August 2014 - 04:40 AM, said:

Sure, things were probably easier to do with GW1's system (apart, of course, for the things that were simply impossible) but what you're ignoring is the difference in resources available that should make up for that. The team for Guild Wars Beyond was about half a dozen people assisted by volunteers working on break - while the entire company is focused on Living Story. The net addition to the game for GW2 since release is not much more than Beyond added to GW1, apart from generating more art assets (including new and reworked maps) - in terms of gameplay changes such as new skills, stuff where being a true MMO versus GW1's official CORPG status really shouldn't matter all that much, I would say GW:Beyond did more (sure, technically they didn't introduce any actually NEW skills, but through fundamentally redesigning old unused skills into things that were actually attractive options, they achieved the same effect on gameplay).

The same difference in manpower can be pointed at the heyday of GW1's post-release development in 2005-2007. I don't recall exactly how large ArenaNet was around then, but I think it was around the hundred mark. The difference between a hundred-ish people and three-hundred-ish people should make up for a lot of difference in complexity on the base game. Certainly, while to be fair not all of the company is involved in actually developing the game, I'd expect the whole company to be able to achieve something that is more impressive than six people (however talented) squirreled away in a pod. The difference in complexity between the game structures - MMO versus instanced CORPG, full 3D versus pseudo-3D - is not THAT great.

Another problem is that we have a disconnect between the impression we were given before release and the reality. We were told that while it was unlikely new professions would be introduced, there would be new weapons, utility skills and traits for existing professions. We've had... one new heal skill shared among all professions (which most people haven't bothered unlocking because outside of being able to remove a specific effect that is rarely seen, it's just plain bad, and being able to remove miasma is simply not worth 25 skill points or the alternative price), one heal skill per profession, and a handful of new traits per profession, including reworks. We were given the impression that the initial explorable area would only be the starting point - we've had Southsun and now Dry Top, and a handful of temporary or reworked maps. Indications coming from ArenaNet is that this is a philosophical choice - they'd rather keep the playerbase concentrated in a confined area rather than spread thinly across a wide world. Problem is, they're focusing on keeping their proverbial pie (the playerbase is the pie) limited to a smaller number of slices at the expense of having a bigger pie: people are leaving the game that might come back, or might not have left in the first place, if they had new places to explore.

The bigger problem is the perception that ArenaNet and/or NCSoft is focusing on short-term gain, through the gem store, over long-term longevity, with the latter having a focus on making a quick buck out of GW2 then replacing it with it's next thing rather than really wanting it to be something that lasts for years. This perception may be totally untrue... but it's one that both companies need to work on dispelling if they truly want the franchise to succeed in the long term. Certainly, when I look at the fancy graphics of all the finishers and permanent harvesting tools and such, I can't help but think that some of that work could have gone into developing new skill effects, new enemy models, and so on. And has been noted... whenever new artwork available for PCs crops up, the smart money is always on it being a gemstore item.

At the bottom line, though, GW2's been losing interest and players at a steady rate. All the excuses in the world won't change the fact that unless ArenaNet does something spectacular to reverse the idea that GW2 has just been left to tick over without direction, then its decline in the eyes of the community is going to continue.

I hear what you're saying but I honestly can't entertain this notion that the game is steadily losing players when there's no evidence to back it up save for the anecdotal (which is easily countered by saying for every player that quits there's one that joins).

I encountered all kinds of new players just today actually who were wondering why everyone was getting into a party to fight the Dragon Shaman. lol Now that I stop and think about it there were actually quite a lot spread out over the various bosses as I made my "rotation."

I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to development on GW2 versus GW1 simply because I am not in the chair doing the coding itself.
I can only logically say that development on GW2 would be more complex than it's predecessor but I can't elaborate on much else than that and neither can you. No matter how much you want to believe the difference in complexity is not that great you can't honestly say it is or isn't.

We can only say that it's harder since that's obvious.

Btw, can you link me to where it was said we'd be getting new weapons, utility skills and traits? The only bit I recall is a reddit AMA years ago when new weapons were brought up but they neither confirmed nor denied it would happen so what about the rest?

With the gem store, it's entirely possible there's a long term agenda being pushed by short term gain. I mean, I personally find the discussion concerning short term versus long term redundant anyway since any developer of an MMO should ONLY be thinking about the long term as that's the only logical direction in which to apply the money being earned. They don't just bank it (assuming they care about their own game which I think they do lol).

This feeds into the very fact that you stated which is the game will die if either an expansion isn't launched traditionally or delivered via the LS.

I mean they can't NOT do it. lol It'd be suicide.

MY bottom line is that we don't know what they are or aren't working on. I've always told people that just because your'e not getting what you want now doesn't mean it's not in the pipeline to be unveiled in the future.  Like I said, i'm giving them the benefit of the doubt because I'm not in the chair and because it's only been two years.

Most MMOs release the first expansion sometime between year two and three and I feel they deserve that third year.

If by August 2015 we have nothing substantial to speak of save for new skins, another "Dry ToP" or more tourney announcements........then I will join the rabble and assume they have no plan.

#28 Phineas Poe

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 06:18 AM

View PostCalypso589, on 30 August 2014 - 05:29 AM, said:

it's only been two years.

Only?

#29 draxynnic

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 08:56 AM

As Phineas said.

Less flippantly, word has been out that profits from GW2 were channeled into NCSoft's other projects. This is, in fact, not unreasonable - GW2 in development was supported by NCSoft's consolidated revenue for years, so it's only fair that it gives something back. There is, however, little sign of enough resources being channeled back to go towards a genuine expansion (at the level normally expected of an MMO expansion) or the equivalent.

Your comment about August 2015 is telling in my mind. You've now set your tolerance for stagnation - three years. Different people's tolerances are, well, different. In the meantime, I've seen a lot of people who persisted through GW1, including the lean years between the end of EOTN's honeymoon period and beginning of Beyond, and who were significant figures in the community both then and at the start of GW2... now? Last logged on: X months ago. Or, simply, 'Unknown'. Basically, though, in saying this, you've basically agreed with me - it's just that your tolerance is higher. (Personally, in discussions with people who have either since left or are thinking about leaving, I've commented that 2014 is going to be make or break for GW2. I took exactly the same stance as you are now, except with the deadline roughly 6 months earlier. If nothing substantial changes in the next six to twelve months, are you going to be feeling as I am now, or are you going to be looking for reasons to give them more time? Either possibility is equally telling, in my mind.)

Besides, when it comes to industry standards, let's look at the example that always comes up when MMOs are compared. Burning Crusade came out close to exactly two years after vanilla WoW... and while I haven't been able to find the exact date, from memory it was announced at least six months before. They've been putting out expansions every two years since (give or take a couple of months). Yes, I know, Blizzard is Blizzard, but even so, the clock is ticking and the perception is growing. You could persuade everyone in this discussion, heck, everyone who still posts in these forums that it's more appropriate to give ArenaNet three years... but that's going to be a drop in the water, and even then, the clock is ticking for them to either announce something big, or demonstrate that they can do more than a couple of new zones and maybe a dozen or two new character options (including reworking unused and obsolete traits) per year.

On new weapons and skills: No, I can't provide a link. Largely because it's actually been said often enough, both before and after release, that I didn't think that in a year or so's time I'd have someone asking me for a link, because I had confidence in ArenaNet. I may even have a hardcopy floating around, but I've moved twice in the past six months and can't always put my hands on nonessentials.

And sure, you could say that for all we know that for every player that leaves someone joins... but that's just hiding behind the fact that ArenaNet hasn't been releasing the data (and as you may of noticed, when an MMO is growing strong, that's something companies like to advertise). There's almost always going to be a trickle of new players, but the off person asking for clarification does not offset the overwhelming testimony of people who are either leaving themselves or who have seen their guilds and friend lists overwhelming filled by people who haven't logged on for months.

Edited by draxynnic, 30 August 2014 - 09:12 AM.

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#30 MCBiohazard

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 08:59 AM

Only. Again, this isn't GW1. Realistically, MMOs spend the first year or two playing tech catchup, fixing or implementing everything that they wanted to do by launch but just didn't happen. It really is past those first rough years that any MMO starts to hit a stride in terms of content and feature release.

I've mentioned it before in a couple of other threads, but Star Trek Online is probably the example I would point to when it comes to how MMOs launch with major issues and eventually they get fixed within the first 4 years. They've hit their 4th year anniversary recently. When they launched, all they had was the strength of their space combat engine, everything else was anemic. Missions and progression were terrible, ground based combat was as well. They launched with two factions but only one of them was fully fleshed from the start, the other was incomplete until year 3. Crafting was a mess. But year by year, they started to fix all the issues that plagued them from the start.

STO started out as a sub based game but eventually shifted gears into a freemium game with a game currency <-> real money currency exchange system like the gem store. If they were in for the short term gain, they still would have made money off of the hundred thousand or so Trekkies that bought in right away. But they were genuinely passionate about their game and tried their best to fix things one at a time while adding new features like passive background progression through their duty officer system and a user based content generator. The ground combat was revamped, they went back and smoothed out the progression for Federation players and when their free expansion level patch update came out with a new pseudo faction that could go blue or red, they fleshed out the red side completely and continued to refine existing missions while eventually picking up enough steam to release regular content that is structured much like LS2 is currently with story missions and permanent queued team based instances. For their fourth year anniversary, they finally rehauled the vestigial crafting system into something actually worth looking at. Now they're looking to increase the level cap and introduce even more features in the near future.

Point is, that game launched with serious issues that got smoothed out not in the matter of months but years. GW2 had a much stronger launch but we realistically shouldn't expect the world to change overnight. It will take time and we are free to put it down while we wait for something good to happen. I have left STO for several months at a time, checking in occasionally to see if anything new caught my interest. They managed to clean up their act eventually and I can feel comfortable recommending it to anybody who wants a decent but not particularly difficult single player experience with queued team instances that are likewise not difficult. It will appeal to a certain type of player. GW2 will too. If you don't feel you're the sort of player being catered to, find something that does. You'll always have your serial, GW2 will keep developing while you're away. And if it turns into something you feel you might actually like again, as I've said, feel free to come back anytime.

Edited by MCBiohazard, 30 August 2014 - 09:08 AM.





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