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Baron von Scrufflebutt

Member Since 02 Jun 2012
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#2339628 GW2: a true successor to GW1

Posted Shayne Hawke on 18 September 2014 - 01:21 AM

GW2 has the same problem GW had: zero design philosophy pertaining to their game.  Everything gets done for the sake of pushing units or sales.  You see this in the recent feature pack in particular with the "New Player Experience", a system designed with the sake of bringing in as many new players as possible by dumbing down the game to a lower common denominator whose wallets have not been yet sufficiently tapped.  You see this in just about every two week update where new stuff shows up for people to buy with their gems while new skins that appear in the rest of the game are locked behind arbitrary time walls or grind.  When the game first came out under the pretense of not having grind for things, they announced the addition of a new, higher tier of gear not even three months later.  This gear, which had better stats than the tier before and new functions not found in any previous tier, first came out as obtainable only by doing one part of the game and through combinations of lucky drops token grinding, both to acquire and to upgrade.  Not only were many pieces of this tier of gear locked behind time gating, but its development was even time gated, spread out over the course of over a year rather than being obtainable from the first introduction.

Even as far back as the days of Prophecies, this kind of attitude existed.  As some pointed out in the open letter threads, GW was a game originally designed as a PvP game that had a PvE experience meant to lead you to that PvP.  Instead, it was found that many people bought the game for the PvE experience and strayed from doing any PvP.  Instead of using later campaigns or expansions as a way to reconfigure or reinforce their game to fit this original vision, they caved into the larger PvE crowd that wanted to buy their game for that experience and spent more time and effort towards them over their PvP crowd for which they had first made their game.  The purpose was to push more boxes, get more people to buy the game so that more money can be made to make new campaigns and new expansions with bigger and more intense PvE experiences.  I say this from the perspective of someone who was in that PvE crowd, having never spent any serious time in GvG or HA, but it always stuck with me how players, major PvPers in particular, would say that this game that they got into for the PvP was being left neglected for a crowd that the developers didn't intend to serve so well.

The most popular sighting of this disconnect comes from the ever-so-popularly-cited manifesto for GW2.  When some person or group releases a manifesto, it gives the impression that it means something.  It's making a statement about what kind of beliefs are held by those people or that group, and the expectation is that those beliefs will be followed through on.  Whenever ANet does something that strays from that message, people point back to it and say, again and again, "What did this mean to you?  What was this supposed to mean to us?  Why do your actions not seem to follow your words?"

It's because ANet has zero design philosophy.  There are no central tenets to anything that they develop that I can recall them sticking to, except for, "our games will have no subscription fee," and, "we have an iterative development process."  The first one has a little bit to do with their games, but much more is about their business model, and they will in fact change anything in their game to serve this model (as in, get more people to buy their boxes).  The second is just a fancy way of saying, "we work on things that we find are broken or don't work," and, "we are always working on developing something," which are just givens in any industry such as this where you can modify the product/service you provide the customer (i.e. every business ever).  Everything else that they put out is at risk for being "iterated" upon to serve the purpose of selling more boxes.  Nothing ANet says about how they're making their game or what direction they're going in can ever be trusted (long-term) because none of it is ever set in stone, for that very reason.  This kind of flaky approach might be good for making them a great business, but it doesn't allow them to put together a good game.

Here is a post by Regina from six years ago, in response to the second open letter:

Regina Buenaobra said:

From what I gathered, you feel that developers should place more importance on balancing a game for existing players rather than new players, hence the criticism that making the game "too easy" is bad for players as a whole, and that GW:EN and the introduction of PvE-only skills contributed to this. Your opinion is that Guild Wars has strayed too far from its original vision and now lacks depth, which it once had. These changes have been made over a relatively long period of time and can't be addressed all at once. There are reasons behind each design decision, though some players in the community may not agree with them. As you admitted, one of the things ArenaNet needs to do is try and please everyone. With the number of different perspectives and play styles out there, this is a monumental task and we do our best.

I'm going to address the points you made under your section, "So what can you do?" because they are areas that we're currently taking action on and/or seriously exploring for the immediate future.

One of the underlying points that I'm getting from your letter is that you want more transparency. One of your points is the need for players to understand why the developers make the decisions they do. We recently started making major Dev Updates, which explain the rationale behind changes made to the game, more visible to the community at-large by including them in News Posts on the official website. Not everyone reads fan forums or wikis, and this was the reasoning behind making Dev Updates more visible by linking to them more frequently in News Posts.

We are exploring other ways in which we can communicate developer design decisions to the community. I have been discussing this issue with players, and several have suggested creating a Developer Blog, in which various staff at ArenaNet could post and give their insights into the design process, amongst other types of content. I have been soliciting and collecting feedback on what sort of content players would like to see in a Dev Blog.

Another point you made is regarding the collection and organization of community feedback. The design team does regularly consult with and solicits feedback from experienced and knowledgable players. I and other members of the team are accessible through our wiki pages and through PMs on the forums as well. I and the other members of the community team have been communicating with players through email, forum PMs, in-game, on the wiki, and in the forums at large. However these discussions are dispersed through many different mediums and there is no single, unified place where feedback is visibly given and read.

Forums can be a great place for discussion, they are not necessarily the best place for organizing feedback in such a way that people (players and devs) can easily find it, search for suggestions that are the most popular, or figure out which pieces of feedback rank highly in terms of importance to the community.

The official wiki, which is another place where we view, discuss, and solicit feedback, is a great place for documentation, but it's not conducive to discussion, search, or ranking in terms of importance/popularity.

We're currently exploring ways in which we can use technology to collect feedback in a more intelligent and visible way. If you have any suggestions, please let us know.

I can assure you that our team has a strong goal for what we want to accomplish with Guild Wars 2, and hopefully we can get this across in future communications.

Thank you.

It's frightening how much this mirrors recent events with the push for the NPE in GW2.  The concern for the gameplay being dumbed down, the efforts by the devs to become just a little more transparent on what they're thinking, the downplaying of criticism from any one source because, "we look at feedback from many places, so your specific concerns here can't be that important," avoiding direct communication with or giving answers to troubled players by redirecting them via PR speak to pretty blog posts and videos, it's all here.  In particular though, I and my past self both liked that second to last line.

"I can assure you that our team has a strong goal for what we want to accomplish with Guild Wars 2, and hopefully we can get this across in future communications."

If your efforts to communicate this were to make an official forum thread where devs can circlejerk with random passersby, congratulations.


#2339607 The game's content is poorly distributed, while its progression is simply...

Posted Kymeric on 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.


#2337414 Tyria's Next Top Model (Applications Now Open)

Posted Aldon_Vinetwig on 29 August 2014 - 04:05 AM

Hey guys! I'm new to the forum but a long time Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 player. I'm really keen to start up and host a competition for Guild Wars 2 that is screenshot based. It will span over a number of weeks and will hopefully give people something to follow and get involved in actively. A chance for players to reconnect with a forgotten character and explore some awesome locations throughout Tyria.

Tyria's Next Top Model

As you can probably guess from the title, it's a Guild Wars version of America's Next Top Model. You will basically submit an application as one of your in-game characters and if they are chosen to compete you will be required to send in screenshots each round to model that weeks theme or concept. Just like in the show.

If any of you were around back on Guild Wars Guru, you may even remember that this was done (with many spin-off and consecutive seasons) and was a huge success and delivered some really top notch screenshots that really inspire players and showcase the games sometimes overlooked beauty (although I think with GW2 it's hard to overlook that!).

How this season will run:

Casting will last 2-3 weeks, dependant on how many applications I receive. So a tentative date here will be 21st of September - but possibly closing sooner if we get a flood of applications. Fair warning will be given if this changes though.

Each week there will be a theme and the contestants will have 5 days to complete the job and send in THREE images that they think captures their model meeting the criteria of the theme.

The judges will pick the best of the 3 photos from each of the contestants and then score them. At the end of each week, one person will be eliminated.

Eliminations will hopefully be presented in the form of a video that can be viewed on Youtube.

Who can enter?:

I initially planned that this competition would be open solely to human characters. However I found it hard to justify this. I want this competition to celebrate diversity and showcase that ALL the races of Tyria are amazing and awesome. If your male charr secretly thinks he's got what it takes, then let him prove it to the world! So any race, and any gender can enter this competition. Hopefully we can get a nice mix.

Send applications to: [email protected]


To Apply Fill in the following Application:

Username on GW2Guru:
In game character's name: (this is the name of the character you wish to enter the competition).
Your Age:
Country you are from:
How many hours of GW2 you play on average per week:
Your character's profession:
How far through the game they are: (include their level, and map completion)
A bit of history about your character: (give your character some life - for the sake of fun)
Describe their personality: (again, just for fun - it will hopefully give the competition a bit of a role-play vibe - after all you may end up meeting a lot of contestants (or even viewers) in game).

Finally - send in THREE screenshots:
1) Photo One must be of your character wearing no armour. No costumes. Just a straightforward picture of them in their most basic form. Try not to be too zoomed out - this screenshot needs to showcase your character's appearance as best as possible.

2) Photo Two must be of your character posing as a model. For this they can be clothed.  Remember that not all armour is a sensible choice for a model. Emotes will be your friend here, as will location and lighting etc.

3) Photo Three should be an action shot. Have your character performing some kind of action but remember to focus on your character, don't lose them to magical auras swirling round them or other in game effects that can be caused by the use of skills. This one will give us a true insight into your understanding of how to take an interesting screenshot but still capture your character as a model.

I will personally respond to each applicant to let them know we've received and judged their application. After the cast is revealed all successful applications will receive an email and in game message.


Additional Information: Cropping is allowed - but that is it. No photoshop or other enhancing programs. Guild Wars 2 is a beautiful game that doesn't need any of that in order to produce stunning screen captures. Especially if you put time and effort into finding the right locations etc. Cropping is an extremely important tool in ensuring you keep the focus on your model and not other part of the screen shot.

The Judges will most likely be in game friends/guildies who I will ask. HOWEVER, if you feel like being a judge as opposed to a contestant, feel free to email [email protected] and give a brief statement about who you are, why you think you would be  good as a judge, and please ensure that you can prove you are active and available to potentially skype/teamspeak/whatever. Judges will be required to make public opinions (sometimes not overly positive critiques) of the screenshots and so as a judge you need to be ready to hear people disagree with your decision.

Similarly, as a contestant you are agreeing to, and understand that your work may not always receive positive feedback. You may think your picture is perfect but a judge may disagree. In the end this competition will hopefully be about positive critiquing in the hopes of seeing improvement along the way - but contestants must be mature enough to handle the good and the bad comments. Also note that non-judges will also view and comment as well and we cannot be responsible for what they might say.

Finally, good luck to everyone who applies. I hope that this will be a really exciting competition and also interesting for people to follow along.

- Aldon Vinetwig.


#2337396 Thoughts on the September Feature Pack?

Posted draxynnic on 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.


#2337008 Continued Improvements to the Megaserver System

Posted shanaeri rynale on 26 August 2014 - 10:39 AM

View PostDatenshi92, on 26 August 2014 - 03:48 AM, said:

Soooo.... NA and Europe players may finally play together if the shards allow it?

That's not what is says alas :(

It means the single guild shares upgrades across regional servers and that this feature applies to EU and US regions although I'm not sure splitting people into mutually exclusive regions can be called global. But anyway..

Having a guild that shared it's members across regions would be totally pointless if they couldn't actually play together. Mind you, there are so many pointless, missing or sub-par guild management features I'm not sure that would stop them ;)


#2333915 New mouse?

Posted Quaker on 30 July 2014 - 10:04 PM

I've gone through a few (3 or 4) mice since my MX518 died a couple years ago. Some were too small (G9?) some were uncomfortable (R.A.T.7), and some I don't remember.
In the end, I now use a Logitech G500s. It works well and fits my relatively large hand. Funny thing though, I bought it because my R.A.T.7 would occasionally just end up looking straight up in the air and/or spinning in circles, but the G500s also randomly looks straight up (but no spinning). (Btw, I found the RAT to be impossible to adjust to my hand, but it cost so much I was determined to use it anyway .... until the look-up/spin problem became just too annoying.)


#2333897 New mouse?

Posted packotictacs on 30 July 2014 - 05:34 PM

I've been using my DeathAdder for a few years now, still running fine :) I can't say much about the other two. I haven't even heard of them lol.

Also you may want to keep an eye out on http://steelseries.c...es/guild-wars-2

It's 50% off right now but out of stock. Not sure if they'll restock or not.


#2331857 GW2 has a content, not a feature problem.

Posted Alleji on 13 July 2014 - 05:24 PM

GW2 will always have a content issue because of the way it is designed.

Game has no replayability, so whatever content they put out is going to be played through quickly and left behind and it's impossible to produce content faster than players will go through it if there's no replayability. The worst part is that the content they already produced in the past isn't even there anymore for new players or players who took a break.

I don't think it's even possible to create content with high replayability value ("endless grind" doesn't qualify) in GW2 without overhauling the core of the game. It just wasn't designed that way and changing it now seems way too late. It needed to happen in 2012.


#2330036 Help me pinpoint this...

Posted Datenshi92 on 01 July 2014 - 01:13 AM

View PostI post stuff, on 30 June 2014 - 11:59 PM, said:

I like it better. It makes no sense when in an MMO you are supposed to be "the chosen one" except there are two million others like you.

How much the world turns... I used to have that mindset as well, until I realized just how silly it is.

Technically speaking there's thousands of Geralts of Rivia, Shepards and silent heroes from KoA: Reckoning - do I feel like a tiny cog in those plots just because of the amount of people that play those games? No. In fact, why should that even matter? Why can't I be the chosen one in the canon story? Ins't that the point? If I want to be regular Mary after and make myself a part of the GW2 world, in a different light, then that's my choice as an RPer, but I don't want to be singled out by force from the main story just because of the excuse that there's more people playing this game... or rather, I don't want my efforts hindered by it. I don't want to get a cheap story just because the devs are afraid that someone people might feel left out - either make a game with everyone in mind or focus in treating every one of them as the "chosen one" in their own playthrough.

I consider the main story to be a separated thing from the social aspects of an MMO. An MMO, IMO, is just like a "single-player connected to the internet 24/7" and, metaphorically speaking, the other people are super-advanced AIs that serve a role somewhere in the game (the same could be said about me from their perspective). In fact, there's no better example than GW1 where there was tons of people in there but in no way they ever interfered in your story, ever. I wasn't shadowed by anyone, my efforts weren't hindered by thousands of other people and their choices and in return, they weren't shadowed by mine.


#2330954 The Gates of Maguuma

Posted Haggus on 06 July 2014 - 03:44 PM

View PostKonzacelt, on 04 July 2014 - 05:24 AM, said:


The lore?  Didn't really interest me in the slightest.  This probably has something to do with hating LS1 so bad I boycotted the entire season since Southsun.  I could care less about a new Dragon at this point, but whatevs.  I keep getting the feeling that the "new" Dest. Edge group is one Scooby Snack away from solving crimes in their Mystery Machine.  Good Lord, is this game made for tweenies?

le sigh

I'd say the new group is even closer to Scooby Doo territory.  You got Fred and Daphne, the couple(Marjorie and Kasmeer; You got Thelma the genius(Taimi); and you have Shaggy(Braham) and Scoobie(Rox.  well, she's a cat; but it is an animal).  In both LS 1 and LS2 they are wandering around Tyria, solving mysteries and getting into trouble.


#2318926 Necromancer Screenshots

Posted Cuyima on 21 April 2014 - 01:04 PM

since i crafted the crossing a few day ago my necro got a new look and i have to post it somewhere. wardrobe is aweseome!
Posted Image
Posted Image


#2329844 Help me pinpoint this...

Posted Haggus on 29 June 2014 - 10:11 PM

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 29 June 2014 - 08:20 AM, said:

And I don't like playing those RPGs because how how much they push the story onto me. I absolutely adored just following the green pointer in GW1; all while randomly sampling the lore. The lack of the green arrow was actually my initial concerns for GW2; I dreaded that I'll need to read through walls of text before being able to start/continue my killing spree. But then, just the opposite happened: after completing the training level, the story becomes completely optional. And the problem is made even worse because of how much content one needs to do and how much content one can find in a single map: folks are constantly recommending to explore other races' areas to get the needed XP to be able to continue. But the PS is tied to a map, the map you just left to grind the XP somewhere else.

Don't get me wrong: I love the accessibility that comes from not being forced into a very specific lore (For instance, factions in other MMOs are one of the primary reasons why I don't play those games: I get that they create immersion, but I'd rather play with my friends, access all the gold I have on my account or play an engineer sylvari.), but if one is going to create a living world, then players need to feel a connection with said world. And, as I said, I think that this connection is way too optional in GW2.
Keep in mind that this connection doesn't have to mean just restrictions: for instance, I think that giving the players the chance to access the PS from anywhere in the world, by simply pressing a "Start mission"-button in the PS panel would be a decent addition. As would the ability to replay it. It would certainly have to mean certain restrictions, but there's a lot of room between GW2's take on lore and something like Baldur's Gate.

I think they didn't spread out the PS enough.  They crammed too much into it too soon, which makes it feel meaningless by the time you hit level 50.  I could give two steaming turds, at that point, what Trahearn thinks.  It's all in the writing.  If you're going to have the living story be such a big part of the game, you need to be willing to make it matter more than a few map changes.  Maybe even change up parts of the original story.  I think enough idiots have saved Orr that we can maybe make it start to green up, like after Trahearn stuck his sword in "the source"(talk about sexual imagery with a hammer!).   Since Zhaitan is dead(yeah, spoiler whatever.  anyone reading this should have done that by now.  If not, get off your butt!), How about throwing another baddie into the mix?  Who knows? Maybe that is where the game is headed.  Unfortunately, they're taking their sweet time with it, which kills any desire to do more than maybe log on every so often.

Yes, there are many ways you can find to keep busy; but I want to be interested in the game, not just "keep busy." And guess what? the more interested I am...the more likely I might be to actually spend money in the cash shop.  They can only sell so many games before they have to rely on their big bread winner.


#2329442 Show Us Your Ranger!

Posted Wuj_Zenon on 25 June 2014 - 11:22 PM

here are my rangers

Posted ImagePosted Image

Posted ImagePosted Image


#2328443 Unlocking traits.

Posted Mordakai on 17 June 2014 - 01:47 PM

View Postzwei2stein, on 17 June 2014 - 01:34 PM, said:



This seems like a right answer.

I am sure that they ran numbers on which areas are completed least, which minidungeons and explorer achievements are undone, which world bosses/mobs see no action, which story steps are most postponed.

They are added bosses that will be harder to realiably do once megaserver is up (everything that is not on big timer).

If that was the problem, then they need to improve those maps and dungeons, not just add a new trait system to artificially inflate numbers in those areas.




#2328158 Unlocking traits.

Posted Bryant Again on 15 June 2014 - 03:58 PM

View PostI post stuff, on 15 June 2014 - 12:31 PM, said:

I feel no sympathy for people that complain about the trait system. They cried for over a year because build wars was gone and there was no reason to explore/kill stuff.

I had plenty reason to explore/kill stuff. Nevermind how good the game and all of its areas look, I had a pretty good time actually going around each area and talking to people. Some have different dialog depending on your order, even in low level areas. Some will have a dialog alluding to 'doing something' or taking a certain action then boom, they'll be the person who starts an event. Each heart quest giver always have a handful of things to say, and it's different once you've completed their quest (it also allows the letter you've received for them make sense: You've actually met them!).

Top it all off with what used to be a fairly open-ended means of progression. I used to be able to unlock all my abilities and reach 80 progressing through the PvE game world in any manner I chose. I don't really see how losing that is much of an improvement.