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Baron von Scrufflebutt

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#2348045 Mastery System = vertical progression?

Posted raspberry jam on 27 January 2015 - 12:06 PM

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 27 January 2015 - 11:27 AM, said:

This is slightly long, so I hid some of the parts under spoilers and bolded the most interesting parts. Feel free to read the whole thing.

Colin during PAX:

Colin for the MMORPG interview:

Based on the information we have, it seems like we are dealing with a gating system that's founded in vertical progression. It feels similar to GW1's reputation grind or D3's Paragon system. It seems that players will grow stronger, rather than simply progress through the game.

Now, the question isn't if it's good or bad (although feel free to share your views on it), the question really only is; how do you perceive this system? Do you see it as a horizontal progression system or do you view it as a vertical one? Why?
True vertical progression systems require you to go A, then B, then C in order to reach Z. And as you progress you will become more efficient at the game. Z is always better than A. The typical thing about vertical progression is that once you have Z you don't need to bother with D or B anymore since Z is more better. Sometimes, as with levels, you are mechanically prevented from using D or B (when you are level 80 you cannot be level 3 - now GW2 downscaling confuses the argument but is ultimately the same thing). In other cases you simply have a much better sword now than the one you started out with, so there's no reason to use that first sword.

True horizontal progression allow you to jump straight to F and then to Z without getting A, B or C first. However getting Z won't make you more efficient than getting A would, it just makes you more efficient for the case where Z is a better choice than A. Having Z won't invalidate any (or most) of the things you previously obtained or that you can obtain, since with everything you get you become more versatile instead of more powerful - the definition of horizontal progression. Typically, you obtain important pieces of your capabilities early in the game (e.g. GW1's Frenzy is the first skill that a warrior earns).

Horizontal vs. vertical progression refers to player efficiency under certain mechanics of the game. It's too early to say how efficiency is going to be affected. It does smell like a gimmicky and thus failed horizontal progression system (for example, the hang glider is either fantastic meaning everyone will go for that first, or it's pointless except in certain special cases), with ranks for each type of mastery sure, and there may be gating hidden in that somehow.

#2347823 I’ve been playing GW2 wrong, and loving it.

Posted Shayne Hawke on 26 January 2015 - 05:03 PM

View PostArkham Creed, on 26 January 2015 - 06:36 AM, said:

Here is the thing; the GW2 content/gameplay problem isn’t an issue of design or mechanics. One of these days I’m going to have to get my act together and start that youtube show “Blame the Fans” I’ve been dreaming up….anyway, the deal is we’re the problem. Or I should say you’re the problem, since I’m not doing these things. You see I am the head of a very small semi-casual guild. Not one of us has a single piece of Ascended gear, only one of us bothers with zerker stats, we rarely read the wiki or boss guides, and often don’t know what we’re doing in dungeons. Yeah; we’re bad. But you know what else? It’s a freaking blast.

This attitude is so quintessentially "I play-for-fun" that it makes my stomach turn.

You and your friends are so blinded by being entertained by shallow gameplay that you can't even see the contradictions in your own opening statement.  It somehow isn't the fault of the developers that people find problems in the game, and yet you admit to/claim that

"content is so zergy and everything can be DPSed down in seconds... a lack of challenging content or defined player roles... someone is going to find the right place to stack to EXPLOIT AI pathing or targeting bugs, everyone is going to repair their zerker gear, and the whole server is going to break the game and then complain that its broken."

...which is all entirely the fault of ANet because it's the way they chose to make their game.  ANet is (together with NCsoft) solely responsible for every decision they've made about how to build and present their game, and you somehow have the audacity to fault the playerbase when they call out ANet for having not designed the game in a manner which meets the studio's own touted goals and objectives.  If ANet wants players to behave a certain way, and players end up behaving differently, it's because ANet, as the one in charge of all of the interactive bits and systems and laying everything out to manipulate player behavior, did not design a game that makes players behave that way, and that is their fault.  Video games as a medium are all about shaping player interaction, and you are like someone who would blame clay for not turning itself into a vase rather than the potter that can't figure out how to work their wheel.


When you DON’T use an optimized zerker build, and when you DON’T stack in exploitive areas, and DON’T mindlessly zerg the game is great.

Again, there are all these things you point out that players have figured out and regularly do that demonstrate how poorly thought out and designed this game is, and if only players didn't do these things, they could see how great the game really is.  You would rather blame the player for playing too efficiently than the designer for designing poorly, because it's not as though the designer could possibly have made the game in some other way that didn't allow for or encourage that behavior.


Play the game wrong. You just might find that you like it.

If playing like shit is the way you get through the game, then something else is shit - the game or your standards, or both.  Bad games have bad solutions which are bad for any number of reasons (cheap, simple, lazy, easy, obvious, etc).  Not caring that those bad solutions exist or that the developer should do anything about them is a bad standard.

Go cram your casual guild in some corner of the world and keep playing terribly with your thoughts to yourself.  It's obvious that you don't care about the condition or quality of the game or about improving it, or you'd otherwise have some understanding about why and how the game is where it is and who to hold responsible.  Stand down and let other people challenge ANet for a better game.  You and your friends will find a way to gimp yourselves into finding it fun anyways.

#2347739 I’ve been playing GW2 wrong, and loving it.

Posted raspberry jam on 26 January 2015 - 10:47 AM

It's not your job to nerf yourself until the game becomes fun. If the game isn't the most fun when you play the game as good as you can (including having the best build you can think of), there is something wrong with fundamental parts of the game design.

If this was a real situation and you had the real option to utilize your foe's stupidity to win, of course you'd go for it. Challenging yourself when you know there's a much easier way to win is immersion breaking as all ♥♥♥♥.

Medieval knights had armor made of metal, not made of paper, for a reason.

#2347256 What will need to be announced on Saturday...

Posted raspberry jam on 23 January 2015 - 09:04 AM

  • Level cap reduced
  • Monk (primary healer) class introduced
  • World is now fully instanced except cities/villages
  • Crafting skills replaced with crafter NPCs
  • Freely selectable skills for weapon instead of a locked bar
  • End of LS: we'll stop removing content from the game
Any of these might make me want to take a serious look at GW2 again. In general though I agree with above that regardless of what they announce it probably won't be as good as it sounds once they release it, if they even release it in the form that they talk about.

#2346300 Is GW2 dead now or is it just the forums?

Posted raspberry jam on 14 January 2015 - 12:54 PM

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 14 January 2015 - 09:13 AM, said:

GW1 feels like grabbing a bunch of friends, shoving them into a car and going on a road trip. GW2 feels like bumping into people in the mall.
Is one better than the other? Depends on what you are looking for. Personally, I agree with RJ; GW1 felt more meaningful and I prefer it over GW2.
I love how GW1 actually gives the feeling you have when you sit down with a group of friends and play D&D.

The GW2 version would be playing D&D on your own, surrounded by people that you might or might not know and who are also playing on their own, and then some of those people suddenly joins in your game and leaves at random.

#2346135 Is GW2 dead now or is it just the forums?

Posted raspberry jam on 13 January 2015 - 03:20 PM

View PostPhineas Poe, on 12 January 2015 - 04:08 PM, said:

Guild Wars 1 wasn't really an MMO. One could call it that only in the loosest sense of the term. What you call an exception--replacing persistence with instancing--is precisely what makes it not one.

The "meaningful" element of MMOs isn't about personalized experience but interacting with a community.
What is your problem with genres? If the meaningful element of MMOs is about interacting with a community, GW1 was certainly an MMO because there was a community, players interacted with it all the time. Sure, they could choose to play on their own, but when was choice a bad thing? Or is it choice that you object to, since you apparently don't like personalized experiences?

The reason I mentioned personal experience is that, as I explained if you even bothered to read the post, that personal experiences appear more meaningful. If you kill a boss together with 6 other guys that you just spent three hours together with trying to reach said boss, it feels meaningful. If you randomly run around and then a dragon appears for reasons that you don't know about and then you attack said dragon together with 30 other people who might or might not - you don't know - have been running around as randomly as you and know as much about the dragon as you, well that might be fun the first time (but not the 7th or 19th, especially if it happens while you are trying to get other things done), but certainly won't feel as meaningful.

#2345730 This is why Guild Wars will always be great

Posted raspberry jam on 08 January 2015 - 03:31 PM

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 08 January 2015 - 12:44 PM, said:

Honestly, this

is starting to rival Tasca's Demise as my favourite GW-related piece.
This thread is not called "Why Guild Wars 2 will always be sappy and trivial".

#2345370 Arenanet PAX South appearance

Posted Kymeric on 02 January 2015 - 03:16 PM

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 02 January 2015 - 09:06 AM, said:

It would be shocking if it's not an expansion: announce an expansion, release the next LS season to hype and tie it into the current world and then release it in the fall. The big question though is how they plan on delivering it: GW2's cash shop model really works best with a low entry barrier, so forcing the playerbase to buy the expansion, just so that they keep exposing themselves to the cash shop might not be the best idea.

I honestly wouldn't find it surprising if the expansion is simply a massive, free patch.

Release new zones and "story" as a massive free patch so that everyone who is still playing can keep playing, but drop some of the biggies that people want into the cash shop for the revenue to support the expansion.  Things like a new playable race, new profession, new weapon unlocks for existing professions wouldn't lock non-payers out of continuing with the game, but would be tantalizing enough to get a lot of players to fork over some money.

#2344710 Gaming Sales & Deals - Now in six zesty flavors!

Posted Lemming on 18 December 2014 - 09:10 PM

Steam winter sale is live.

Go read /r/GameDeals' threads so that I don't have to put the effort into doing the same stuff.

$6 is an alright price for MGR. Buy Civ 5 Complete for $12.50 instead of vanilla for $7.50. DS2 has a DX11 rerelease next year, so consider waiting another year.

#2344611 Introducing the New Daily Achievement System

Posted raspberry jam on 17 December 2014 - 01:29 PM

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 17 December 2014 - 12:23 PM, said:

I have to wonder if that's actually the case. Now, I am not disputing that it's done in a way that does not benefit the game, but I wonder if GW2's playerbase even cares. GW2 is seemingly in a position where its core players are either forced to suck it up or give up on the MMO genre. And as the declining profits show, there are people that are giving up, but as the profits themselves show, there seems to be a lot of people that aren't willing to give it up. (Heck, we probably wouldn't be discussing it here if we weren't still attached to it. ;))
You have a point. They are doing it badly, but it doesn't matter because it represents an investment great enough for players to not switch to some other game - so they really have nowhere to go (except giving up).
I wonder what effect a game in the same genre as GW1, but released 2015 or so, would have on the market.

#2344563 Introducing the New Daily Achievement System

Posted El Duderino on 16 December 2014 - 05:45 PM

View PostSatenia, on 16 December 2014 - 03:02 PM, said:

What evidence do you have of the contrary? Such speculation is pointless. If you want to believe an official statement, they said that the NPE was done based on euro/us feedback and not just cause of the china launch. Why put so much effort into that if not to accommodate new players?

Personally I think that for us veteran players it's easy to forget that you can put a lot of hours (and money) into the game just casually playing through the campaign and the zones. A MMO today can attract a far broader crowd then a few years ago.

The fact that they have yet to have announced hitting 5M Western sales. Seems like it would be an important milestone that would be announced. The fact that revenue is stagnant. I mean, there certainly is more pointing to the fact that they aren't attracting new players rather than the opposite. But, that was never my point. You were the one that was using ANet attracting new players as a point - therefore,  it is on you to prove that point or concede that you can't use it as support for your argument.


This would only be relevant if the upcoming daily achievement change was replacing additional content. However, it is not. The actual content is the recycled wintersday from last year (and the one before) and by all means you can complain about that as much as you want, but it is entirely unrelated to the daily achievement system change.

I still don't think you understand my point. Giving people incentives just to LOG IN to a game is a completely desperate attempt at, well, getting people to log into a game. If the game was good enough, you wouldn't have to dangle a carrot in front of the customer simply to get them to engage with it, regardless of actually needing to play the game - which is the whole point of a game's existence.

I feel this really may be going over your head, because you think I am complaining. I'm not. I don't really care. I just think it is an incredibly sad state of affairs for GW2 if they have to give people rewards simply to log in. In fact, you can add this back to my first point as another reason why it seems the game isn't gaining new players and is stagnant.

#2344536 Introducing the New Daily Achievement System

Posted El Duderino on 16 December 2014 - 01:20 PM

View PostSatenia, on 16 December 2014 - 12:33 PM, said:

Actually, I said they do well to stick to the spenders as well as new players which can result in the former. Obviously, just sticking to what you have won't work long-term, that was never my point. However, not chasing after the ever-complaining one-time purchasers clearly was. To differentiate between profitable as well as unprofitable customers is entirely legitimate.

How are they gaining new players if they aren't doing anything different? What evidence do you have that they are actually gaining new players enough to make up for attrition of old players?

View PostSatenia, on 16 December 2014 - 12:33 PM, said:

I'm not even sure why you think they are doing a bad job based on these numbers. An average is to be considered with care in a f2p environment due to the previously mentioned gap between those who spend a lot and those who don't spend anything (or close to) at all. LoL for example is very far down the list, simply because it has so many players, so the average value gets butchered. I do however believe it would be a mistake to claim that the game is doing bad.

You were the one that brought up the fact that ANet only makes $3.88 a player and that is the reason why they can't/won't make better content. Seems to me that a company that can't innovate because they aren't making enough money... isn't doing that well. Also, ANet has not only said that they will never make an expansion, they also haven't done so in 2 years. Thinking that they will at some point is just wishful and naive thinking.


A handful of scenarios spring to my mind:

I think you missed the point of my post completely. I'll try and make it more clear. A Skinner Box != a game. Hence, making your game more like a Skinner Box (E.g. giving people rewards for simply logging in and not actually playing the game) is rather boring, and pointless, game design. In fact, it can't even really be called game design, because it has nothing to do with actually playing or implementing anything to do with a game.

But, I suppose that not everyone expects much out of MMO's and GW2; whereas there are some of us that actually expect game designers to make objectively good game design choices. Such is life.

#2344530 Introducing the New Daily Achievement System

Posted raspberry jam on 16 December 2014 - 09:32 AM

View PostNerfHerder, on 16 December 2014 - 12:33 AM, said:

When you reduce the argument to "login = win game", it seems derpy. However, some players have busy lives. Ive been in the middle of my dailies and been called in to work, family stuff, etc. Now you get a reward, thats not game breaking, if you dont get time to play or have to leave in a hurry. At least we get a QoL improvement than no update at all, right?
I don't know where to begin. But I'll try to skip the part about how you literally get a reward for a repeating, repetitive quest in a game that was touted as not being repetitive and grindy (I failed, I guess), and go right on to the part where it is apparently QoL to get rewarded for not playing the game. I mean what did you pay for anyway? Not playing the game is sort of the default state that you had before even buying it! So what is being rewarded here exactly? Doing family stuff instead of playing the game? But wait... :eek: It is, isn't it?? Is this finally the Extended Experience update we've been waiting for?!?!? Of course!!!! Thank you Arenanet for rewarding us in every part of our lives!!! :angel:

View PostEl Duderino, on 16 December 2014 - 04:14 AM, said:

Seems to me if people like the game, they don't need to be incentivized just to log in.
Not be incentivized? What is this I see? Heresy?

All hail S:t B.F. :angel:

#2344524 Introducing the New Daily Achievement System

Posted El Duderino on 16 December 2014 - 04:14 AM

Doesn't it just seem so desperate to have to give people rewards simply for deciding to turn on the game? I mean, do people have no other reason to turn on the game than to simply get a reward? And, then what? Is that all they care to actually do and then they log off? The whole thing seems derpy to me as if it is some last ditch effort to try and push people to play the game.

Seems to me if people like the game, they don't need to be incentivized just to log in.

#2344476 Introducing the New Daily Achievement System

Posted raspberry jam on 15 December 2014 - 11:17 AM

On second thought, I feel that this update is a bit lacking. Yes, it's all good and well to get rewarded for logging in. But what about all those players that are making their very best effort at logging in, but can't click that icon? Maybe they have Parkinsons and when they try to move their mouse cursor to the Guild Wars 2 shortcut on the desktop their hand will be like shaking all over the place and they will fail to click the right thing and because of that accidentally start up some other interesting game such as The Binding of Isaac or Notepad instead. I know that happened to me several times and I don't even have Parkinsons. I feel that these people should at least get a silver reward for attempting to participate.

tl;dr: is reward for opening Notepad a good idea? y/n