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Baron von Scrufflebutt

Member Since 02 Jun 2012
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Where did Blizzard go wrong with D3 and what A.Net could learn from it.

12 November 2014 - 12:03 PM

This week's Blizzcon brought us a panel on D3.

A quick summary:

Posted Image

A few things that stand out and seem very similar to what we are experiencing in GW2 (stolen from the summary quoted above ^^):
  • So players were avoiding Elites.
    • Farming pots all the time.
    • Playing the Auction House instead of the game.
  • Fantasy: You should feel like an epic hero!
    • But to become that epic hero you need gear.
    • What was the most efficient way to get gear?
    • The Auction House!
  • Difficulty changes with the addition of Monster Power
    • Allowed players to experience all content.
    • Still provided a challenge to the best players.
  • Auction House
  • Was intended to protect players from dodgy third party item sellers like they exist for Diablo II.
  • Instead, became the primary way of progression, even for players who would have not otherwise used it.
  • It destroyed the entire reward-loop, essentially making the game pointless.
  • Thus, it was a non-winnable scenario for Blizzard.
    • Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm prompted changes to the Diablo AH's structure.
    • In a meeting discussing possibilities, Mike Morhaime noticed that Josh Moshqueira hadn't said anything.
    • Being asked, Josh said that he honestly though that killing the whole thing was the best thing they could do.
    • Within 20 minutes, basically everybody agreed and the removal was announced shortly afterwards.

The question is, is there anything that A.Net could simply copy from D3 (which was improved massively though its patches) in hopes of improving the game?

Personally, I never saw the need to remove D3's AH, I was perfectly satisfied with the loot updates themselves, so you won't see me arguing for the removal of the game's TP. At the same time though, GW2 suffers from a massive problem of gold being the game's core currency and gold being sold in the cash shop.
We also have the same continuous issue of players "avoiding elites and farming pots" (aka, avoiding events and farming either champs or playing shovel knight).
Or when basically every veteran is bitching about the NPE and A.Net's answer is that "the NPE isn't meant for vets", and yet, they still force everyone to suffer though it.

So, could D3 be a learning experience for GW2?

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

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.

GW2: a true successor to GW1

16 September 2014 - 08:20 AM


Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

The idea behind only including the link (without further explanations) was to force the folks, that thought of taking part in this discussion, into reading the post made by Avarre. I still hope folks will do that, but I shall also add some of my thoughts in the OP.

I was recently reminded of Avarre's post and after re-reading it, I found a number of similarities between the state of GW1 and GW2. As much as I adore GW1 (it is definitely my favourite game of all time); one easily forgets that GW1 was a fairly flawed game. It doesn't mean one can't enjoy it (on the contrary, as I said, it is my favourite game), but that doesn't change the fact that the game is flawed and a number of those flaws were the result of A.Net's poor understanding of the game. I think it was also Avarre that popularized the view that "A.Net didn't know what made their game great: they lucked into it", something that I feel also applies to GW2.

Interestingly enough, there are some elements, that Avarre mentions, that have been worked on in GW2. Most noticeably: the PvE/PvP skill split. Avarre argued for keeping the game unified, and that is exactly what we are seeing in GW2. The problem though, is that A.Net didn't seem to understand the point of this idea: the point of a unified skill system is that it forces the devs to design PvE under the same rules that PvP is designed under. In GW2, PvE doesn't play the same way PvP does (for instance: 5v1 battles, Defiant, monster skills, ...) basically negating the point of a unified system.

Outside of those elements, we still see the exact same issues being carried over from GW1 to GW2: communication with the playerbase is GW1-like appalling, and, more importantly, the lack of a vision is as shocking: A.Net is willing to modify its game based on feedback, but they don't really think how this will fit into the whole game. They change individual systems, even if said systems then end up being completely contradictory to the game's core rules. A.Net simply fails to play to its strengths.

The result is very much what Avarre pointed out: a step into mediocrity. The game certainly isn't going to die (as in, "nobody will be playing it": at least not any time soon), but, at best, the game is certainly failing to improve. Sadly, this seems to be where the Guild Wars legacy is showing.

Moderator Note: The post linked talks about how making changes to a game's systems that run counter to the core design in order to pull more players in or appeal to the new crowd damages a game. This is the point the OP is referring to. Without reading Avarre's post (and really Sha Noran's too) you really can't comment on this. The posts analyze apparent mistakes in GW1's design later in life.

New mouse?

30 July 2014 - 02:48 PM

It seems my Logitech g400 is crapping out on me; the left button isn't working well enough. Probably too many salvages. <.<

So right now I am looking at:
Logitech G400s - 53€.
Logitech G500s - 64€
Razer DeathAder 2013 - 67€

Maybe even:
Logitech g502 Proteous Core - 75€

I only use left/right and the wheel button in the most games I play, with GW2 and D3 being the most noticeable exceptions: I use one or two additional buttons in these two games.

Currently, I am leaning towards G500s: mostly because I like the way it looks.

Any suggestions/views?

The new daily system.

10 May 2014 - 08:07 AM

It kind of sucks, doesn't it?

I am very much a fan of the unification of the daily system: I love the idea of being able to finish the daily by not being forced into a single mode. But at the same time, especially in line of the daily/monthly AP cap, did they really have to reduce the number of daily activities to 10 between all 3 modes? Also, why does Ambient killer and areas specific kills still exist? And why doesn't WvW defender count for player kills also?

Can we please get another daily rework?