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The game's content is poorly distributed, while its progression is simply lacking


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#1 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 07:42 AM

With the New Player Experience (the NPE), A.Net set out to redistribute the game's progression, in hopes of making the game more appealing. My core issue with this idea is that they focused on a system that isn't poorly distributed, but rather a system that is simply lacking; the problem is that there's simply not enough progression to stretch it over 80 levels, regardless of how it's distributed. In terms of progression, the game simply fails to justify why it has 80 levels.

The game, on the other hand, does justify its 80 with the amount of content it has. Each time I level up a guy, I reach 80 with around 1/3 of the world explored. And its this system that I can see being improved on with a "simple" redistribution. The game currently cramps 10 to 15 levels worth of content into each map. What I would like to see is the game simply offering maps that span 5 levels. Players would then need to be forced to complete more maps, but we wouldn't be forced to complete almost every single element in a specific map. Not only does such playstlye offer more freedom to player (in terms of how said players want to tackle each map), it also leaves more options in terms of endgame content: maps that are currently used for levelling could include more elements that are important at endgame, because maps would offer much more content than a player actually needs to do, allowing A.Net to transform some of that optional content into endgame content (think of GW1's Rotscale: it was an endgame encounter in midgame, but because the game offered enough midgame content in other places, players could skip it and return to it later).

Content redistribution is something I would very approve of, whereas progression redistribution is simply a waste of everyone's time. If A.Net wants to focus on progression, then they need to add more of it: there's really no way around it. The progression system simply isn't rich enough.
But if they want to focus on redistribution instead, then redistributing content is the only way to go. The game has more than a sufficient amount of content, so any redistribution attempts should be focused on the systems that are rich enough and can afford to being stretched out.

#2 typographie

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 02:58 PM

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 17 September 2014 - 07:42 AM, said:

The game currently cramps 10 to 15 levels worth of content into each map. What I would like to see is the game simply offering maps that span 5 levels. Players would then need to be forced to complete more maps, but we wouldn't be forced to complete almost every single element in a specific map.

Maybe I'm missing the point, but what you describe here sounds much like the way it already works. You'll get many levels if you go for 100% completion, 10-15 sounds like a fair estimate. Or you already have the freedom to complete whatever you want to complete (perhaps 5 levels' worth) and move on. You aren't being forced to complete every element in a specific map as it is. Especially since, as you say, there is so much more open-world content than is needed to get you to 80 so you often have many options available.

Additionally, some early- and mid-game content is already end-game oriented. Tequatl and the Triple Wurm are literally in mid-game areas. Some world bosses relevant to end-game players start immediately from the first zones.

Edited by typographie, 17 September 2014 - 03:00 PM.


#3 Kymeric

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 09:27 PM

If there were better rewards for a level 80 character in mid-level zones, it'd help move all of that content into the "endgame".

There have been plenty of suggestions on how to do that without simply moving all level 80s to the lowest level zones and creating more loot-trains.

IMO, GW2's strength is the large world with its DE chains, beautiful scenery, and hidden story gems.  The "living story" should have been a steady addition of new DEs, story webs, and zones that expand on the wholistic story of GW2 rather than this shoe-horn of linear, single player RPG story into an MMO.  Unfortunately, the players didn't go gaga when ANet added the first new DEs and world content so they got grumpy, took their toys back, and decided to blow up parts of the world and give us Scarlet.

#4 Alex Dimitri

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 09:42 PM

Biggest problem of GW2 isn`t leveling or LS (even later is really bad) ot`s lack of endgame, 2 years into a game and we only got 2 maps to expand Tyria ? ? ?
We need new high level areas to roam free and farm, without that development looks like crazy dog chasing it`s own tail !

#5 Butcher

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 11:42 PM

The "New Player Experience" offers nothing more than anyone who's played this game since beta. All it does is inform you (in an exciting way) that you've "gained" something in the process of going forward in your progression. On top of that, the item rewards are pure and utter crap. However, to a new player, those crap items might look like pure gold. This is in the same flavor as WoW's leveling system. This "New Player Experience" is more gimmicky than pyramid schemes.

Honestly, the level cap sould be set at 60-70, but for the sake of reletive competition; it was set at 80. Numbers (reletive to the american dollar) mean nothing. So to say...hrrmmm...12 cents could be comparable to a dollar bill. Therefore, even if the level cap was lower, the experience would be the same, albiet, slower. By making the level cap so high ANet has made it seem like you're doing more when, in fact, you're not. This is similar to many progression style games.

#6 Haggus

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 02:03 PM

View PostButcher, on 17 September 2014 - 11:42 PM, said:

The "New Player Experience" offers nothing more than anyone who's played this game since beta. All it does is inform you (in an exciting way) that you've "gained" something in the process of going forward in your progression. On top of that, the item rewards are pure and utter crap. However, to a new player, those crap items might look like pure gold. This is in the same flavor as WoW's leveling system. This "New Player Experience" is more gimmicky than pyramid schemes.

Honestly, the level cap sould be set at 60-70, but for the sake of reletive competition; it was set at 80. Numbers (reletive to the american dollar) mean nothing. So to say...hrrmmm...12 cents could be comparable to a dollar bill. Therefore, even if the level cap was lower, the experience would be the same, albiet, slower. By making the level cap so high ANet has made it seem like you're doing more when, in fact, you're not. This is similar to many progression style games.

Welcome to MMOs.  Most use this method.  Unless you are playing TSW, you are going to get this experience; and TSW sacrifices combat and animation quality to put more into the story and immersion.  I was a big opponent of the NPE, at first.  after doing it, I can say this: at least it's less a ramp up of abilities, then grinding 50 levels just to raise the stat bars.  If you're a vet player, just approach it from a fresh perspective.  A true new player will enjoy it more than they would the old experience, which was just dealing with level raising, with no feeling of actual accomplishments after you got your elite skill access and rare items.  

As for item rewards being crap, I've been leveling two players since the update, and both get items equivalent to their level.  I even started getting rare armor at the right level, unlike the crap rewards you got for doing the PS.  It actually rewards you, now, for playing the game and leveling, no matter what your play style.  That is an improvement.

#7 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 08:01 AM

View Posttypographie, on 17 September 2014 - 02:58 PM, said:

Maybe I'm missing the point, but what you describe here sounds much like the way it already works. You'll get many levels if you go for 100% completion, 10-15 sounds like a fair estimate. Or you already have the freedom to complete whatever you want to complete (perhaps 5 levels' worth) and move on. You aren't being forced to complete every element in a specific map as it is. Especially since, as you say, there is so much more open-world content than is needed to get you to 80 so you often have many options available.

Additionally, some early- and mid-game content is already end-game oriented. Tequatl and the Triple Wurm are literally in mid-game areas. Some world bosses relevant to end-game players start immediately from the first zones.

The persistent content in a map (POIs, hearts, vistas, ...) should give you around 3 levels worth of XP in a 10 or 15 level map. You then need to do things like gathering, events or killing trash to get the remaining 5-10 levels to be able to leave the map. This is where I find the game to be problematic for players: the game presents mandatory content as optional.
This means that the game game either need to create more content that players will perceive as mandatory (new quests, new hearts, ...) or the "optional" content needs to be truly optional: and that means that they need to change the level gating.

#8 MCBiohazard

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 05:26 PM

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 22 September 2014 - 08:01 AM, said:

The persistent content in a map (POIs, hearts, vistas, ...) should give you around 3 levels worth of XP in a 10 or 15 level map. You then need to do things like gathering, events or killing trash to get the remaining 5-10 levels to be able to leave the map. This is where I find the game to be problematic for players: the game presents mandatory content as optional.
This means that the game game either need to create more content that players will perceive as mandatory (new quests, new hearts, ...) or the "optional" content needs to be truly optional: and that means that they need to change the level gating.

I'm not sure that 3 levels per map is accurate these days. The leveling feels much faster to me after the feature update, I unlocked the first personal story chapter at 10 before I was halfway through map completing Queensdale. Add in the natural XP spikes of daily achievements done during the course of normal play and the XP from doing the personal story as it unlocks and I was well ahead of the map level curve by the time I finished Kessex Hills and stepped into Gendarren Fields.

Unless I'm misunderstanding your post and the curve you mentioned is your proposal for how it *should* work.

#9 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 07:57 AM

View PostMCBiohazard, on 23 September 2014 - 05:26 PM, said:

I'm not sure that 3 levels per map is accurate these days. The leveling feels much faster to me after the feature update, I unlocked the first personal story chapter at 10 before I was halfway through map completing Queensdale. Add in the natural XP spikes of daily achievements done during the course of normal play and the XP from doing the personal story as it unlocks and I was well ahead of the map level curve by the time I finished Kessex Hills and stepped into Gendarren Fields.

Unless I'm misunderstanding your post and the curve you mentioned is your proposal for how it *should* work.

They sped up the levelling from 0-15. (If they'd apply that levelling speed to every level, that would be pretty darn sweet.) Outside of that, there have been no changes. So, I don't see why those 3 levels of XP from persistent content wouldn't be true any longer.

#10 MCBiohazard

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 12:35 PM

Well even after 15, I managed to outlevel Gendarren Fields before I even got to a 1/4th of it after completing my Orders personal story. By the time I was done with the zone, I was level 40-ish and ready to tackle any of three other zones that had the traits I needed. It might slow down after that possibly but by then, I'll be trying to hunt for traits more than I am worrying about beating the level curve. Which might be what A-Net is wanting to happen but I've outlined the way they should start to improve the trait system going forward already, namely by opening up multiple unlock options for each trait via different types of world content and possibly opening up more types of currency exchange unlocks aside from skill points such as badges of honor. Actually going for trait unlocks at the moment seems to be a little intimidating to a potential new player, a lot of it is content that is somewhat hard to initiate or complete on a whim such as specific event chains (Lord Ignius, Foulbear chieftain), world bosses (Fire Shaman, Ulgoth) and minidungeons. Some minidungeons are kind of best done once for the experience and then left alone as well so maybe elite tome style items should come back for traits, letting you unlock them for free if you've unlocked them on any character on your account already.

#11 Veji

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 04:48 PM

Its an MMO until you hit WvW.  Then it becomes more of like a massive MOBA, than anything else.  They're falling into the same pitfalls as Warhammer Age of Reckoning is, where the PvE content is good enough to get you to 80 and then after that, its all realm vs realm or World vs World.  If it weren't for the fact that have done a good job initially balancing classes for WvW and it being "F2P", i'd of gone back to WAR ages ago.

#12 Tranquility

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 12:26 PM

The game would have been better served just going with the method that a similar title called Guild Wars did.

Hit max level within the first 20% of the content, then the other 80% of the content is geared towards that max level. Having the content spread over 80 levels does nothing when 60+ of the levels are just empty levels that do nothing. Currently the level range is nothing but a barrier to entry for lower levels, and creates a waste of time for higher levels.

But it doesn't matter at this point. Game is past the point of no return. No point in debating on the arrangement of deck chairs on the Titanic. Just point and laugh at the turd as it circles the bowl.

Edited by Tranquility, 28 September 2014 - 12:27 PM.


#13 Haggus

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 02:41 PM

View PostTranquility, on 28 September 2014 - 12:26 PM, said:

The game would have been better served just going with the method that a similar title called Guild Wars did.

Hit max level within the first 20% of the content, then the other 80% of the content is geared towards that max level. Having the content spread over 80 levels does nothing when 60+ of the levels are just empty levels that do nothing. Currently the level range is nothing but a barrier to entry for lower levels, and creates a waste of time for higher levels.

But it doesn't matter at this point. Game is past the point of no return. No point in debating on the arrangement of deck chairs on the Titanic. Just point and laugh at the turd as it circles the bowl.


The funny thing is, until the last few updates, they had the early-game content set up in a way that at least gave replay ability for max level players of low-level content.  I think they have gotten myopic in providing that "traditional" MMO experience for their new market, at the expense of the other markets.  PvP is still sad; WvW is still just a "follow-the-zerg" strategy; and the LS idea is dragged out too long for what little content you get.

If Archeage had come out a year ago, I wouldn't have thought about it.  The way this game has gone, now, there isn't much difference in the grind after 80; and at least I can have flexibility in class and gameplay, other than the DPS whack-a-mole GW2 has become.  Plus, crafting actually means something in that game.

#14 Sparkee

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 09:53 PM

Honestly, being a new player I don't know what the game was like before. All I know really is that it is very enjoyable and MUCH better then games like WoW and SWTOR. I can't really complain about whatever ANet did

#15 Veji

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Posted Yesterday, 05:08 PM

Current thoughts 9/29/2014:

Yeah, thats how it goes.  You come into any given MMO, and begin your honeymoon phase all the way to cap and then about a month after you hit cap, you begin to see the real flaws and starting posting your issues with it on the forums.  Thats with any MMO out there, GW2 or WoW.

At that point, its up to the developing company to either fix the issues or provide content to keep things going.

WAR - They patched a few things.  Never fixed bugs.  Depended on the initial development, but without bug fixing and PvP balancing, the game died.
WoW - Continues to reinvent itself every expansion with no content and drastic alterations to all the classes and then feigns that PvP balance is ongoing.
FFXIV - Yeah...just, yeah....These people sold a public beta and then expected everyone to sit around and wait until they made it more like FFXI.  /gg
AION - Never played it.  Korean grindfest F2P. /notforme
Every other Asian MMO - Please see "AION"
GW1 - Interesting.  I never played it. no clue what it's downfalls were.
GW2 - Living on the initial development, with LS installments that are more or less, illusional content patches of super-hard content that only the diehards can win at.  Most everyone else struggles with it and goes back to leveling alts, once they get enough of the achievements.  WvW is the premiere interest here, as it drives the end game crafting and gearing.  Again, development is living on the initial release of the game and not much else, but it is balanced, if you can ignore the people who've hacked the game and use hacked DLL files to run it.
Every other American MMO - I never played the rest of them, but apparently they are clones of everything i listed above, so "meh".

Pick your poison.  All MMOs have a psychological process with you.  The only thing that keeps you coming back are the people you game with, believe it or not.

#16 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted Today, 08:14 AM

It just hit me that the easiest way to fix this issue would be to simply apply the:

Quote

Low-Level Experience Curve
  • Reduced the amount of time it takes to reach level 15.

to the whole game. Just buff the XP all around. A.Net gets to keep the "slow introduction of confusing elements by time-gating them" and "we need 80 levels to compete with other MMOs", but these 80 levels would then  be much more in line with the amount of content in areas and the overall amount of progression. If they double the XP gains, the game would effectively just have 40 levels (compared to the current state) and that would come very close to making sense.

#17 Miragee

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Posted Today, 08:24 AM

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 30 September 2014 - 08:14 AM, said:

It just hit me that the easiest way to fix this issue would be to simply apply the:



to the whole game. Just buff the XP all around. A.Net gets to keep the "slow introduction of confusing elements by time-gating them" and "we need 80 levels to compete with other MMOs", but these 80 levels would then  be much more in line with the amount of content in areas and the overall amount of progression. If they double the XP gains, the game would effectively just have 40 levels (compared to the current state) and that would come very close to making sense.

Wouldn't you outlevel every area then?

#18 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted Today, 10:13 AM

View PostMiragee, on 30 September 2014 - 08:24 AM, said:

Wouldn't you outlevel every area then?

1. As I said, each map gives you around 3 levels worth of XP of on-demand content. That's 3 levels worth of XP in a 10 or 15 level map. Doubling the XP would push that to some 6 or 7 levels. That's 7 levels in a map that spans 10 or 15 levels. Add the PS, add events, gathering, ... and players could easily get the needed XP.
Heck, this would could lead to folks not needing to explore the full map before moving on: which, as mentioned, is something I am a massive fan of because it leaves content on maps that players can return to.

2. Downscaling. If players gain too much XP, the game downscales said players making sure that the content is still challenging.


Doubling the XP gains for the whole game is as close to being the best solution for this mess that I can see: the game is made more approachable while A.Net isn't force to waste hours upon hours on fixing things.

Just double the XP for everything.

#19 Miragee

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Posted Today, 10:25 AM

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 30 September 2014 - 10:13 AM, said:

1. As I said, each map gives you around 3 levels worth of XP of on-demand content. That's 3 levels worth of XP in a 10 or 15 level map. Doubling the XP would push that to some 6 or 7 levels. That's 7 levels in a map that spans 10 or 15 levels. Add the PS, add events, gathering, ... and players could easily get the needed XP.
Heck, this would could lead to folks not needing to explore the full map before moving on: which, as mentioned, is something I am a massive fan of because it leaves content on maps that players can return to.

2. Downscaling. If players gain too much XP, the game downscales said players making sure that the content is still challenging.


Doubling the XP gains for the whole game is as close to being the best solution for this mess that I can see: the game is made more approachable while A.Net isn't force to waste hours upon hours on fixing things.

Just double the XP for everything.

I see, I wasn't aware of this (or maybe I removed it out of my mind after such a long time of not leveling any alts). Thanks for elaborating.

#20 Tranquility

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Posted Today, 12:41 PM

View PostVeji, on 29 September 2014 - 05:08 PM, said:

GW1 - Interesting.  I never played it. no clue what it's downfalls were.

Time, mismanagement, and GW2...in that order, mostly.

It was different than other MMOs in that it wasn't really a race for "new content". The core of the game was fun and engaging, so there wasn't a need of a neverending treadmill of reskinned content with items that have higher stats. Every profession had near infinite depth, then heroes that you could customize just as much.

Guild Wars PvE had incredible depth in general compared to most MMOs, past and present. The party staying alive was more than just spamming heals on a tank. Enemies just kind of had quasi-random targeting, so you had to predict who was getting hit with damage when, remove hexes that you knew was going to tear up your party, etc. Then you had support type classes that did some damage while also providing some useful utility...debuffs, cleansing, offheals, etc.

The "war on the trinity" concept of GW2 is missing the point, which is amazing since the original actually shattered all issues that the "trinity" has. Tanks doing nothing but tanking, healers doing nothing but spamming heals on tank, dps doing nothing but spamming their rotation. All other MMOs are super boring, but Guild Wars has incredible depth. No roles were absolute, healers had to be ready to be spiked, dps had to be ready to kite and debuff, etc. They should have embraced blurring the lines of the trinity, rather than completely removing everything besides DPS but...

GW2 just fails to capture that essence. Every class is just a boring DPS race, with some being better than others at it. The only depth to combat is pressing the dodge key when you see red. It feels more like a hack and slash action game than the teamwork that happened in Guild Wars.

Basically...if you haven't played Guild Wars...I recommend playing it. It has aged fairly well, and enjoyment is only loosely tied to population. Well worth the cost of entry.

#21 Tranquility

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Posted Today, 12:54 PM

Actually, I'm firing up Guild Wars right now.




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