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#2097773 AMA Post-Mortem Discussion, What You Got Out of It

Posted Daesu on 27 November 2012 - 06:18 AM

At least ArenaNet came forward and addressed this situation with their customers, I'll give them that.

However, since there will continue to be vertical progression going forward, today's AMA was the last straw that helped to make up my mind.  Bye bye GW2.

#2097763 AMA Post-Mortem Discussion, What You Got Out of It

Posted BnJ on 27 November 2012 - 05:53 AM

What did I get out of it?


I don't care how they want to spin it, the game was marketed as a revolutionary step for MMOs and the big selling point for me personally was no boring grind.  With the latest patch I don't understand how they can say they've stayed true to that statement.  The new ascended gear in their current form are a mammoth grind, I don't think anyone can claim otherwise.  If it was purely cosmetic, like legendaries, I wouldn't give 2 shits.

This AMA confirms vertical progression and the grind that comes with it are the way of the future and that's disappointing for those of us that expected something completely different.

At this stage I don't really care.  I got my 60 bucks worth and will continue playing casually until another game peaks my interest, but I won't be supporting this game any further through the cash shop or future expansions.

#2097708 AMA Post-Mortem Discussion, What You Got Out of It

Posted DuskWolf on 27 November 2012 - 04:33 AM

View Postparadiselight, on 27 November 2012 - 02:03 AM, said:

I'm going to keep quoting this wonderful post so that people understand why we are upset.
Why The Stat Cap Is So Important
That is a fairly remarkable post, and there's much I agree with in it.

He was being diplomatic regarding vertical progression, though. I feel that vertical progression is for the young, those who've forgotten how nice it is to reach a culmination. The power plateau is that culmination, and vertical progression is the antithesis of it. I see the power plateau as reaching the last chapter of a really good book. You can then read it again, or go back and casually paw through the pages of your favourite chapters.

If you introduce vertical progression, it's like... having the last chapter of a book dangled in front of your nose. But you have to read the previous chapter 20 times in order to 'earn' it. Then when you get that one, it isn't really the last chapter, it's a bunch of dramatic padding. You feel short-changed and you decide to put in the grinding time to get the next chapter, hoping that one is the ending. Eventually, you do enough of this that you condition yourself to believe that doing this is okay, that just being given a good ending to the book is contrary to what you'd believe is fun.

I'd say that vertical progression is a cancer to game design for that reason, due to endlessly moving goal posts. You can never reach the power plateau and then go and explore all the nooks and crannies of the game at your leisure because you haven't reached the end. You haven't hit that power plateau. And as that power plateau is pushed ever further and further away, and future 'chapters' (future content) is gated behind the endless grinding required to get in, you lose interest.

That's the problem, vertical progression eventually and inevitably leads to gated content. ArenaNet have pretty much told me at this point that they're going to get to a point where there's going to be a lot of gated content that I either have to pay money for gems to enter (likely as well as buying the expansion pack), or I have to grind grind grind my way there. I don't think that's fun. I have a clear idea of fun and that's not it. To me, that seems like a cancer that's eroding good game design amongst MMOs. There should be a power plateau, an end point. All good games have that.

Otherwise it's an incomplete experience. And nothing bothers me more than that.

Furthermore, contrary to the post, there are MMOs out there which actually do have a power plateau, and I enjoy them. Guild Wars 1, Star Trek Online, Champions Online, and so on. Now what this means is that I've dumped GW2 in favour of other games, because I don't want to be chasing goalposts. I want to be able to play the game leisurely. And in my opinion, if you haven't hit the power plateau, the game does punish you with cheap mechanics (like one-shots which are caused purely by a foe's numbers being better than your numbers).

Maybe if GW2 wasn't so obsessed with the notion of my numbers versus those of my foes and was actually a more skill based game (like, say, Mass Effect 3's multi-player), then perhaps the power-plateau wouldn't be necessary. But in a game that fetishises stats to such a profound degree, GW2 needs that power plateau. We were promised that power plateau, that end to vertical progression. That was a lie. Almost hoping someone will have up for that, to be honest, because by saying that they're including vertical progression now, the promise of a power plateau was a total lie.

The post makes a great case for why GW2 needs a power plateau.

But what game doesn't have a power plateau and does decide everything by numbers? Oh, that's right. WoW. Weren't we here because we didn't want to play WoW?

#2097707 AMA Post-Mortem Discussion, What You Got Out of It

Posted asbasb on 27 November 2012 - 04:33 AM

View PostKhlaw, on 27 November 2012 - 03:32 AM, said:

but I don't see ascended as proof of a gear treadmill.

Okay, there are 3 aspects that are commonly thrown together when it comes to defining a gear treadmill:
Does it devalue the previous highest gear tier on a statistical level?
Is the time investment to acquire this gear high enough to be called a grind?
Is the gear necessary to experience and/or complete unique content?

The first criteria answers the question of whether it is a gear treadmill of not. Whether or not you need the gear to experience unique content is irrelevant for the definition of a treadmill, as the motivations to get best-in-slot gear reach far beyond that for most players. A gear treadmill also can't exist without extending the power plateau.

New gear can be made incredibly easy to acquire, so that it requires basically no grind at all. Grind is not needed to have a treadmill, because having to replace your gear with a statistical superior version that was not available at the time you got your current gear still fulfills the treadmill criteria.

The last criteria that comes with a typical treadmill is content gating, which is usually introduced in order to make people feel more compelled to acquire it, and to increase the longevity of a certain piece of content. Although it is frequently coupled with the addition of new gear, It too isn't needed to have a gear treadmill.

So, with these three aspects of a typical gear treadmill dissected and defined, let's look at ascended gear and their confirmed plans for it.

Ascended gear is statistically superior to what you could get up until it's introduction. It was introduced 3 months after the game's release, so it was impossible - unless you are precognitive - to spend your time and money working towards it from the beginning. ANet intentionally draws out the release of the complete set to preserve the sense of vertical progression, while at the same time trying to keep the steps of the gear treadmill as small as possible, which also combats power creep a little bit. ANet also confirmed that they are going to release higher tiers of infusions in the future, effectively continuing the "sense of progression" by releasing more powerful upgrades that devalue the ones you will have worked towards up until then. There are currently four item tiers that are statistically more powerful than the "Fine" tier: Masterwork, Rare, Exotic and Ascended.
Once the complete ascended gear set is released(12 pieces, each carrying its own infusion), players would have to get a set of 12 infusions every time a new infusion tier is introduced, in order go stay at the top of the power plateau.

They have setup a system that allows them to move the power plateau further without having to design new gear or going through the trouble of coding in new tiers. They keep the steps between gears small at first by only releasing a few ascended gear pieces at a time, but that doesn't mean that there are no steps. The steps are there, and they are going to get bigger in the future, from what we can tell. Getting a full set of infusions for your gear with the amount of work that you have to currently put into getting one is going to take a good while. But that's not the point. The amount of grind can always be reduced, and I'm pretty sure it will be. The point is that the treadmill exists and was intentionally introduced. The steps are there. They may not be big, their grind may be reduced in the future, and they're may not preventing you from experiencing unique content, but the treadmill is there. You will have to continue working so your gear stays on top of the power plateau. They want you to never feel truly done with gearing up, in a manner of speaking.

The gating aspect of Ascended gear is actually something that I can mostly ignore. I have no idea how much future content will require agony resistance, but as it stands right now, you can enjoy every mini dungeon of the Fractals at least a few times without needing agony resistance. The dungeon with its levels fractured(see what I did there?) the community, so people with lower Fractal scores are discriminated against, as they are slowing down higher scored players. Ascended armor and the dungeon doesn't gate the content, but the kind of players you play with. IMO that is still very bad, but it's not as bad as not allowing you to experience the content at all. The 5 player requirement for a dungeon is much more of a gating mechanic than FotM is at the moment.

#2097684 AMA Post-Mortem Discussion, What You Got Out of It

Posted n00854180t on 27 November 2012 - 04:11 AM

View Postobsie, on 27 November 2012 - 03:58 AM, said:

Can't believe I waited so many years for this game. In hindsight that was a stupid idea!

To be fair to those of us that waited (yourself included) there was no indication that ArenaNet was going to * everyone over like this and abandon the design and vision they spent 7 years working on in order to appease the WoW locusts.

#2097668 AMA Post-Mortem Discussion, What You Got Out of It

Posted Red_Falcon on 27 November 2012 - 03:54 AM

I kept thinking about the progression issue and evaluating all data and opinions during this time, I think I got to my answer.

Progression is indeed needed to keep a MMO alive, but not necessarily in the form of new levels or gear tiers.
The aforementioned are bad forms of progression, and a lazy one to implement (yeah, add 5 levels and 5% stats, expansion done!).
What I want to see is customization progression.
I want to be able to customize and empower my current skills.
I want more customization for stats on my gear.
I want more slots for mods on my weapons, and more mods.
I want new weapons, new skills and new traits, even if doing new content is required to unlock their best versions.

NEW, MORE, CUSTOMIZATION. These are the words of progression for me.
Not 5% more stats. Not 5% more weapon damage range. Not a new item color. Not 5 more levels.

This patch did not add anything to our characters.
It added a new, awesome dungeon system that I hope they keep sticking to, but in regards of character progression and customization it did absolutely nothing.
This is the wrong way of doing progression and I hope they realize it.

#2097499 AMA Post-Mortem Discussion, What You Got Out of It

Posted asbasb on 27 November 2012 - 12:52 AM

What I got out of it? Closure. They intend to increase the time it takes to gear up and keep devaluing what you worked for by releasing more powerful upgrades. Basically, they want to make sure there's always something you can grind/work for to get more powerful, even if it's just an infusion.

I cannot play a game that won't let me get over the gear work part, in order to start working towards things I really like(skins/titles). I can't enjoy horizontal progression without having finished vertical progression. It feels like I'm wasting my time if I go for looks over power, even if the increase in power is just 0.1%.

Vertical progression was in the game from the beginning in the form of leveling to 80 and gearing up in exotics, but the process was short enough for me to soldier through/ignore it while I let myself get distracted by events, personal story and the details in the world around me. It also had a definite endpoint, a plateau that we all were sure of is never going to be surpassed. Now, with vertical progression being basically open ended, there's no chance I will ever reach a point where I can stop worrying about working to reach the top.

I'm done.

#2097495 AMA Post-Mortem Discussion, What You Got Out of It

Posted MazingerZ on 27 November 2012 - 12:49 AM


E9:There are no ways to repair inside of fractals aside from cash shop items, providing an inherent advantage to people who pay for advantages. Can this be fixed?

Well it certainly wasn't designed to be a monetization resource, however i do see your point. We wanted to get rid of rez rushing and focus more on parties working together to not die and die less (-: We will continue to monitor the need for repair in the fractals and go from there.

Sorry if i am not giving more details here but this is something i would like to get metrics on.


Oh, who the hell is he kidding?

#2097438 AMA Post-Mortem Discussion, What You Got Out of It

Posted ScoutMATH on 26 November 2012 - 11:56 PM

i was expecting Chris Whiteside saying "Sorry we *ed up. We will stick to our manifesto. Thanks."

#2097383 AMA Post-Mortem Discussion, What You Got Out of It

Posted n00854180t on 26 November 2012 - 11:17 PM

What I got out of it is that they think everyone who bought the game on the stated premise is an idiot and that they've now abandoned those players in favor of the WoW game-hoppers, and are fully committed to obsoleting our gear (via increased stats on Ascended items over time) and catering to the no-life grinders.

Basically, a giant "* you" to fans of the game.

Edit: And yeah, I'm not spending any more money on gems after this, and thus far I've spend a fair amount (cost of the game at least). Nor will I be recommending the game to any of my friends or encouraging them to play.

#2097361 AMA Post-Mortem Discussion, What You Got Out of It

Posted MazingerZ on 26 November 2012 - 10:51 PM

I won't be posting anymore quoting AMA that is currently on-going, despite the fact that the Guru News link hasn't been updated in over an hour, instead let's talk about what was discussed.

Vertical progression is here to stay.

Ascended gear was imagined post-launch.  They claim it should have been in there at launch.  This is a fix to what they perceive to be a design error in the gear progression.  Never mind the fact that Legendary-Exotic-level max stats were supposed to be balanced around the end-game.

Looks like the game's going to introduce a shallow power curve.  They won't introduce any new item tiers.  They are just going to raise the stats on new items.  Like WoW epics.

However, don't worry, ArenaNet is looking into the idea that maybe their grind is too much and re-evaluating the costs.  I'm sure they'll patch a price fix around the same time that Cash->Gem->Gold sales taper off from people trying to purchase ectos and other stuff off the TP.

In short, I will no longer be paying money to support this game.

#2098447 Anet on why there is vertical progression

Posted DuskWolf on 27 November 2012 - 05:51 PM


How is introducing VP respecting the player? Because it's fun to be challenged and rewarded.


It's a sad state of affairs when ArenaNet themselves are being as intellectually dishonest as the fanboys. For me, this is the final nail in the coffin. Let me translate, so that you may understand my ire. What he's said is this: A game that doesn't have vertical progression isn't challenging and/or rewarding.

Okay, so... Grand Theft Auto: Vice City wasn't? Saints Row III wasn't? L.A. Noire wasn't? Portal wasn't? Alan Wake wasn't? Left 4 Dead wasn't? VVVVVV wasn't? I'm sorry, but that's like insisting to me that the sky is always the same shade of green no matter what the time of day or night. It's ridiculous. Unless you're touched, you're going to see the obvious truth here. That all of these games were fun, challenging, and rewarding without the necessity of any form of vertical progression.

Here is a truth: Vertical progression is what you do when you're too lazy to create a good game, because there are always weak-willed saps who'll be easily conditioned to believe that they're having fun with vertical progression.

(Bah, this was riddled with typos. Fixed now. That's how much this has annoyed me, really. To say what he's saying is to spit in the face of every awesome game that has done away with vertical progression. He's a bloody charlatan.)

#2089665 So Andrew Macleod Threw His Jughead Crown In On Ascended and Gear Score / Checks

Posted Sandpit on 20 November 2012 - 06:11 PM

So, teh whole agony thing is there just to block access to anyone that doesn't have the right gear? If you do have the gear then you can play on?

Or is it something else?

#2088886 So Andrew Macleod Threw His Jughead Crown In On Ascended and Gear Score / Checks

Posted Alleji on 20 November 2012 - 07:16 AM

Ascended gear would've been perfect without additional stats except for the agony resistance.

#2086211 Ascended Items

Posted ScoutMATH on 18 November 2012 - 07:14 PM

Point is that A.NET didn't stick to their manifesto/philosophy, changed their words in span of just few months. I would not wonder if suddenly they say, "Guild Wars 2 will now have monthly subscription". This is not far from happening.

the issue is not adding better stat items in game. the issue is that the maker of the game doesn't stick to their guns, has no word of honor and loves *ing up shit,

To be on topic, the Book of Secrets zerker back slot will cost you 80-90gold to craft. that's *ed up.