I guess I may be out of touch with current gaming trends, but what more do people these days need to play games than to be engaged within the experience? Does the skinner box supersede aesthetic in MMOs? Honest questions, because I'm truly baffled.
Not for me.. but it seems like there's a definite subset of gamers who want the little pellet that's dispensed when you press the button more than they want a lively, engaging world.
If there is one thing I've "learned" from all of the mmos I've played, it's never optional if it has any kind of statistical advantage.
This is what bugged me most about the ascended gear as implemented - it simply wasn't optional (if you think it's optional, you simply don't care about your contribution to the group you're playing with), and there were no alternative routes. People can say that as they are now, a 2% or whatever stat increase is insignificant .. and that's true. But it was the future I was so concerned about - and I couldn't support the idea of continuing on with such necessary stat increases behind such obtuse, grindy mechanics.
It does sound like they've heard that feedback loud and clear, even through the carefully phrased image-management.
It just seems to me like they aren't sure who to target for their metrics. If you look at the players that have 1000+ hours logged already, those who may have been farming non-stop or manipulating the markets, the costs of these ascended items are high, but not compared to the wealth they have. When you compare it to someone like myself, who has about 300 hours, they look awfully steep. When I see these statements about "wanting minimal grind" after introducing items with objectively superior stats that take 300 ecto + other mats to attain each, I have to imagine that they are panicking about the number of players that are rolling in money. In my opinion, this is a poor group to look at. Those who want to achieve vast wealth will always do so; you can't keep them at bay without enacting measures that cripple anyone else, so I don't believe that they should be looking to them for what they determine as the baseline. If they want content to be virtually unattainable for the vast majority of players, that's one thing, but their stated goals disagree with that. There is a disconnect somewhere.
I agree completely. It's like there are two different groups in Arenanet itself - one pulling towards the super hardcore, the other the soft inclusive one. They have to find a middleground that doesn't alienate either camp completely.. what they have now isn't it.
All I know is that I had thought Guild Wars 2 would be a fresh air - and for three months, it was.
Now the spectre of grinding one dungeon for 60 hours in a row confronts me. And more, in future, when they release more new gear. I really had thought Arenanet would have the balls to stick to their GW1 game plan.
I'm just.. I think, if I don't hear something spectacularly 'mea-culpa'-ish in the AMA today, that the MMO genre is soured for me... forever. I'm sorry.