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#2117036 A seven-step guide to fix GW2's PvE

Posted Alleji on 13 December 2012 - 05:37 PM

Before fixing anything, let's quickly identify the core problems with GW2's PvE today. And by "PvE", I mean only the open-world PvE here, not personal story or dungeons.

So, the problems:
- The world is dead. Other than cursed shore, the dragons, and lion's arch, it's largely empty.
- "Dynamic" events are hardly dynamic, as we were led to believe.
- The reward structure is really, really bad. This is actually the main reason for the first problem.

...aaand now how to fix all this, starting with the pre-requisites and moving on to more complex changes:

1. Better event scaling. Currently events don't scale well for large number of players (10+). You just get more mobs in pre-set spawn points that get aoed down just as easily. Anyone who's spent 30 minutes in Cursed Shore knows this. Some improvements were made in this regard compared to a few months ago, but it's very little. Events with more players around need to spawn veterans and champions and add additional spawn points, not just additional mobs. Basically, things that are not negated by AoE.

2. Iterative difficulty scaling for events. Most events never fail. Why not? Because they're too easy. Anet needs to add difficulty scaling that's not dependent on number of players, but based on the number of times the event was successfully completed previously (on top of number-of-players scaling in #1, not instead). Every event stats at difficulty 0 after a server reset. Each time it's completed successfully, the difficulty goes up by 1 point. 1 point of difficulty translates into 1 additional mob per wave, +3% mob health and damage, etc.

So instead of facerolling Shelter's Gate Camp for loot every 10 minutes, one day you might come there and get zerged by veteran spiders. Woah, what happened? Well, see, the last defense barely succeeded and turned the difficulty from 7 to 8. And they had more people than you did, so tough luck. But now that the event failed, the difficulty scale goes down by -3, so next time the event will be at difficulty 5. This system will calibrate itself to the average number of players in an area and add a huge amount of variety to the same events, while the +1/-3 system still ensures it succeeds most of the time. (The scale is hidden, so people don't intentionally avoid scaled-up events.)

3. More events. More, more, more. There are a handful of basic event "templates" in the game and 95% of all events fit in these: defend a point, assault a point, escort an npc, kill a boss, kill mobs until the bar gets to 0 (or 100%). I honestly don't see why anet isn't minting these like crazy. I highly doubt they take a lot of time to make, given that you already have all the components... just need to put the pieces together in a slightly different configuration in a different area. BAM, new event. Reduce the frequency of each individual event to keep the number of concurrent events the same, but increase the variety. I'm not asking here for a brand-new zone with brand-new armored crabs and a ton of scripting to be used one time and then abandoned. This would probably take far less work.

4. Balancing rewards. The base reward for completing an event is pitiful. 1.5 silver, some experience that you don't need at 80, and a bit of karma that's grossly outweighed by the daily jug. (The daily jug was a good idea, but it's just... difficult to outperform it. That's a different subject.) The bulk of the reward comes from the drops and drops from a single champion are much worse than from aoeing waves of mobs for 4 minutes. Most of the time the champion takes more effort too!

The second problem is the disparity between zones. Events in Orr are well-known (so everyone does the easy ones), highly populated and give max rewards for level 80. Events in every other zone are the complete opposite. To balance this:

- Normalize the silver/exp/karma rewards for lvl 80s throughout the world. Seriously, it's a tiny amount of money anyway and getting 1.5s or 0.9s won't really impact anything. All it does is make lower-level events look bad.
- Improve drops from champions. Duh. To avoid causing inflation, do not flat-out make them drop 15 silver, but simply add a chance for each champion to drop zone-specific items. Each zones or a group of zones could have things like unique armor sets and unique weapon skins. There are zone-unique weapon skins in the game currently, such as "Steam" weapons in Charr areas, but they're easily obtainable and thus can't serve as an incentive to go there.
- Also add tokens to champions. For X tokens from champions in Charr lands, you can buy a rare armor skin (that also drops only in this areas), but weapons can only be gotten as a drop. Something like that.

5. Worldwide and zone-wide event notifications. Another very simple addition, but once you've really made events dynamic (points #1 and #2), added more of them (#3), and gave the players a reason to go there (#4), tell people about them! Display all events happening in the zone on the map, with an option to toggle it off, and display MAJOR events happening in other zones on the world map, like Orr temple assaults, dragons, swamp monster in Queensdale, etc. People will see events and flock to them instead of wandering about empty zones alone or farming events in Cursed Shore as a zerg.

Also, display this next point in the corner of the screen (under your personal story) at all times:

6. Daily zones. Now we're getting into more ambitious things. It's time to really create a dynamic world. Each day 1 or 2 zones could become event hubs. Balefire means business today and made a pact with the ogres to attack Ebonhawke! The entire area turns into a warzone. You know, the Charr are really attacking. Basically, turn the area into Cursed Shore + difficulty scaling (#2).

Hearts are disabled (Farmer Joe doesn't really care about shooing away the gryphons from this cabbage when THE CHARR ARE ATTACKING). All regular events that fit the war theme are enabled with a majorly increased frequency (remember, we reduced it in #3 and increased the total number of events). There are additional events active: every outpost gets assaulted on a regular basis and after a successful defense, there are events to march out and take down a champ or recapture a lost outpost. Again, this is all just copy/paste stuff (#3). Optimize the templates and then make more events!

As a bonus, drops of zone-specific rewards are doubled for the day when that area is a warzone.

As a second bonus, if a critical number of events is failed during the day (this could be a rather high threshold), the zone is under Flame Legion's control for next 1-3 days, every waypoint is disabled, you still can't do hearts in it (Farmer Joe is dead, his head is on a spike, and so are the cabbage-loving gryphons), and after these 3 days, the map becomes a warzone for the day again. Same events are running with the aim of recapturing it. This time it can't fail.

7. Live GMs. All of the above would do a good job of making the world appear dynamic, as it was advertised in the beginning, but dedicated game-masters controlling the world would make it REALLY dynamic. Provided there's a good framework for creating events (#3), anet could expand it to create events out of pre-set pieces on the fly. Starcraft's map editor did it in 1999 by allowing you to create custom missions using building blocks already provided with the game, why can't we do it on a live server in 2013? This outpost is getting attacked by X waves, each one consisting of Y mobs for Z minutes. Oh and there's a dragon at the end, which I'm going to personally control and target people with it. Go!

A GM per server or even 1 GM per few servers could further spice up the "daily areas" and add an occasional special event to other places in the world. And once again, I don't mean "occasional" and "special" a la brand-new invisible precursor-dropping crabs that take months of development for one night of lag. No, "special", as in, there will be a unique event somewhere a few times per day that's not part of the game's default package. You know, something new.


Well, that's pretty much it. A game like this would almost certainly keep me playing for years, paying a sub fee, and buying all the expansions. (Provided those expansions also expanded the above model).

#2019976 Criticism of personal storyline

Posted relyk on 15 October 2012 - 06:45 AM

Most people have talked about how bad the ending was or about trahearne the archaeologist-to-commander transformation. What I haven't really seen yet was how bad the writing is in general. Half the lines from my human elementalist made me cringe and they only got worse as the end neared.

The first section that truly made me cringe was the The Trial of Julius Zamon, where I had spent the entire last quest trying to incriminate him only to be forced to kill him as he invokes some ancient law for trial by combat. This is of course all Caedecus's fault, but couldn't he kill him after delivering a prison sentence? Did we have to fight a minister and some strange pet he happened to have next to him for the entire trial? They could have at least had Zamon killed after we sentenced him to prison instead of this convoluted plot device. I don't need to fight stuff at every single point in the story.

Imagine my joy to find that Gameinformer's latest article (pg.40, issue 235, for those with undying curiosity) was pretty derisive of the personal storyline while praising the other aspects of the game. It didn't even go into detail, just summed up the storyline as "poorly written, shoddily executed, badly conceived personal story solo-instance adventures that sprinkle your journey from level 1 to 80." I am sure I did as much eye rolling as the author did skipping through the dialogue and couldn't describe it in better words.

The only part I found touching was Tybalt and the journey with the Order of Whisperers, where my ally offered comedic relief and friendship, and I only realized I'd grown attached to him after a perplexing plot twist.

I didn't mind the plot for Guildwars, from prophecies to eye of the north it kept me fairly enticed and connected with the characters. I mean, I could fight with Aiden, Devona, Mhenlo, and the others. I don't even see or fight with Destiny's Edge for the majority of the game because they are too busy throwing hissyfits for vague reasons that don't get resolved until the game is pretty much over. Instead I get this guy trahearne, who is much less enthralling than a group of heroes that took down dragon champions on their own. The Guildwars storyline was decent, the problem is I was 14 years old at the time. Given all the time they had, Arenanet seems to have failed to grow up with its audience.

#1964654 Do other players revive you?

Posted Maconi on 24 September 2012 - 07:06 PM

You can blame ArenaNet for not letting rezzes near DEs count as participation towards said DEs. If you could get a Gold medal (not Coin) for running around rezzing people you'd never see a person on the ground for more than 2-3 seconds.

Hopefully that gets put in the game eventually.

#1964711 Cultural Armor price is a joke!

Posted velourfog on 24 September 2012 - 07:29 PM

View PostObbiShadowdragon, on 24 September 2012 - 05:36 AM, said:

This is my one and only MMO i want,like or need and if any of what you quoted that i wrote didn't make sense to you then reading clearly isn't for you.

Again, if you think any of what you said makes sense, MMOs are not for you.

#1919166 Game addiction, or lack thereof.

Posted PinCushion on 11 September 2012 - 08:14 PM

So, someone finally invents an MMO with the most casual level grind in history and you blow through it in a couple of weeks and complain about being bored?

I play every day and I'm not even level 50 yet.  I don't have to rush to max level.  I can savor my gaming (finally).  I explore the world, talk to NPCs, craft, play the market, dabble in PvP and WvW, and generally just dither around.  I've rolled a few alts and got them up to level 20 just to see how the mechanics work, and to reserve names for later.

I refuse to apply my usual MMO routine to this one.  I refuse to grind the hell out of this game and burn out in a month.  And, even if I did, there's still more to do.  I intend to go back to GW1 and unlock all of my Hall of Monuments skins.  I intend to become much more involved in WvW than I currently am.  I'll probably level one of my alts entirely through crafting just for the sake of doing it.

This isn't a game like football, where you play hard so you can win big.  This is more of a "project," like putting a jigsaw puzzle together with your family.  The faster you finish it, the sooner the fun is over.

#1931228 Player attitude major problem with the game

Posted Lord_Demosthene on 14 September 2012 - 03:44 PM

View Postrodarin, on 14 September 2012 - 02:49 PM, said:


People that think it is all about getting good loot are already sadly mistaken. Most guys had the very best possible gear in the  game within 4 days basically before it even went live. Hell most of those are probably already on their 3rd 80, focusing on PvP or playing a new game.


In agreement here. Even in the Orr maps, I've to do many events completely alone, then a guy or two comes along whe he stumbles upon an orange circle on the map when the event is almost finished. Some events are not touched with a barge pole, like the shark boss in Straits of Devastation, further reinforcing the silly "omg I suck underwater so the content there must be bad" argument.

Last time I checked GW2DB, the stats of legendary weapons were slightly increased above the level of exotic weapons, just to pander to the very same "WoW mentality", that even if something looks like crap it's "better", because it has "+1 strength" compared to the set one tier below.

These people are so desperate chasing non-existent carrots once hearts run out and they have their exotic gear, that I start to wonder what people expect from MMORPGs these days. Competition? Fun? Social experience? Exploring? Achievements? Prestige gear? All of that is here, in this game, right under your nose! And the best part is, you don't need carrots for that. You do what you want - unless you want to chase carrots, in which case you might want to become a gardener in your spare time instead of playing MMOs.

#1929269 New content to be announced soon.

Posted Beorn The Berserker on 14 September 2012 - 03:05 AM

I hope they make more end-game events spread out all over the world that gives comparable loot and karma rewards as Orr.

#1927940 ArenaNet are a bunch of trolls

Posted Herr Roy Raven on 13 September 2012 - 07:34 PM

But it's awesome.  The whole "lets hold Mesmer as the last profession despite it's obvious" thing... to being able to eat an experimental ooze that poisons you, to picking up unexploded mortar shells that explode in your face.

Well, I didn't expect such a tiny critter to kill me, especially one that is friendly.

I know it's a cliche title, but it made me crack up.  This was the funniest death I've ever experience in GW2.  I was laughing the entire time.

Oh, and to the people that can't take a joke... no, I'm not bashing ArenaNet.  I love that they added little things like this into the game.  If the title is too offensive feel free to change it.

#1924796 Anti-farm code and Magic Find: A farmer's Perspective

Posted Red_Falcon on 13 September 2012 - 12:37 AM

Even in GW1 you weren't meant to "farm" a particular zone for extended periods.
The game would take note of the last things you farmed and only resets if you go somewhere else to farm.
This is to prevent farming of one particular item or currency, and also to prevent people from "taking over" or crowding a particular area.

Those are very valid reasons to not allow people to sit for too long farming an area or a DE.
Farm 20min in one area then move on.

It's not that you're breaking a rule or something, but if everyone was allowed to do this you know how this will end.
Good zones will have dozens of people in and another player will be unable to farm at their pace.

Adapting to your next person's needs is one thing you will have to do in many environments, not just gaming.

#1922441 Every type of NPC in this game

Posted chase128 on 12 September 2012 - 01:44 PM

I love how trolls like this totally ignore posts that logically disprove their point.

OP is a joke.

#1922248 Every type of NPC in this game

Posted Red_Falcon on 12 September 2012 - 01:04 PM

51 types with 5 to 35 sub-types each, prolly about 300-400 or so in the end.

For instance, Trolls are divided in Cave Trools, Snow Trolls, Jungle Trolls and Forum Trolls.

#1910402 Could it be that B2P have saved Anet?

Posted Volkon on 10 September 2012 - 10:55 AM

View PostDevil Fruit, on 10 September 2012 - 10:53 AM, said:

It seems you entirely missed the point of the OP.

OP set a narrow goal. OP raced to goal. OP says "Now what?"

What exactly did I miss?

#1917447 The 2nd Trait book. Do you really need it?

Posted Kaguchan on 11 September 2012 - 02:46 PM

Well the more traits you can put into your character the better it will do in PvE (for example dungeons) and in PvP (WvWvW). I'd buy it in any case, simply because it feels like there would be something important missing.

But your topic question is "do you need the 2nd trait book?" and not the 3rd :o. Because I am interested if you can just buy Trait book 1 and 3 and skip the 2nd... to save 1 g. Is that possible?

#1892016 Arenanet Created The Worst Griefing Of All

Posted Linfang on 06 September 2012 - 04:36 PM

hah, I see none of you played Everquest. When someone yelled train you got the hell out of the way.

#1886058 A series of unfortunate events. Solved by GW2.

Posted AmbrosGaming on 05 September 2012 - 06:35 PM

View PostYumiya, on 05 September 2012 - 10:25 AM, said:

How are the little kittens? I bet they're really cute!

View PostSaintray1, on 05 September 2012 - 12:21 PM, said:

This thread lacks kitten pictures. You do realize that don't you?

Since it seems to be such a high demand for kittens, here they are lol

Posted Image