The truth sometimes is an uncomfortable chair
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CruxisinhibitorMember Since 30 Jun 2012
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Posted Lucas Ashrock on 18 December 2012 - 08:02 AM
The truth sometimes is an uncomfortable chair
Posted raspberry jam on 27 November 2012 - 01:17 PM
Posted Zero_Soulreaver on 04 December 2012 - 06:36 PM
Anet in a nutshell:
I wish more people saw this side of them beforehand.
The bad part is so many people are disappointed by Anet that it doesn't even matter what they do at this point.
Posted Skolops on 04 December 2012 - 05:54 PM
I decided to come back and concluded that I still highly enjoy the core premiss of the game, namely having fun with guildmates/friends online in a beautifully crafted game. Sure it has it's downsides but let's not pretend the entire game has lost itself solely based on this one (worrying) development. Give Anet a chance to once again prove themselves as being responsive to their community and I'm sure they make right and we'll see player numbers stabilise to past numbers or reasonable/expected population.
Since were talking about roles I guess I'll chip in. I get people that miss having a more clearly defined role to play in order to help themselves and others. IMHO Anet has softened role boundaries, they haven't made them obsolete. If you choose to do so, you can help out on many levels and in many ways. For example my main is a warrior, I like to switch to a more supportive weapon set and jewellery setup if the situation presents itself. Let's say in massive events or dungeons. I mostly watch players health and try to maintain helpful buffs by shouts or banners. There's nothing stopping you from doing anything other than what you want to do. Keep in mind that I don't have experience with all the professions, certain professions can be more helpful in different situations.
I haven't noticed a drop in the number in players that directly affects the game or forces me to adapt to an altered reality. I do believe however that there may have occurred a small drop in player numbers. In any case it's obvious that players have moved on and the initial rush of low level players in low level areas has died down and people have spread out on areas and servers.
It has been asked before but would you rather have waited even longer for them to perfect the game more?
The problem is that the degree to which people can fulfill roles is so limited that it's really the same as if there were no roles at all.
I've used this example many times before, and I will again because I think it's a good one. In SWtOR, the Sentinel/Marauder class is the warrior MMO archetype. It's pure melee damage. It does, however, have one ability which can be triggered every once in a while which gives a team-wide heal over time. It's a throwaway heal, really. It certainly adds up with any other healing going on by healers, but it's really not worth much on it's own and is really an afterthought to other effects of that ability.
Now in GW2, the most heal oriented guardian or elementalist I've ever heard of really only is able to put out a regeneration about as strong as what that SWtOR class can do - maybe a tad bit stronger, and it can be done on a more continuous basis rather than being accessible only occasionally. Nevertheless, it's still a heal which is about on par with what an afterthought throwaway ability a pure DPS class in a "trinity" MMO has.
That is just not something that will ever satisfy someone who likes to feel like he has a role to fill and a job to do. What those kinds of players are left with (and there are an enormous number of them) is being another DPS+ player amongst a group or zerg full of DPS+ players.
Posted Zero_Soulreaver on 01 December 2012 - 06:58 PM
In GW2's case, the major problem is the fact that Anet are too busy following everything everyone says. They have been trying to please instead of just making a stable game. Most MMOs do not do this and don't patch things on the fly to suit the needs of certain people.
An example is the Halloween event. People were already annoyed at the drop rate, so many decided "ok let's not buy those chests anymore". The problem escalated when Anet suddenly decided to "fix" the problem by adding new free chests, why is this an issue? Well people felt even more cheated than they did when they first bought the chest. First, you feel cheated for losing out on money then you feel more cheated they released a patch to fix it and you could have just saved money in the first place.
Posted Baron von Scrufflebutt on 27 November 2012 - 07:33 PM
People may well have been unhappy (and are free to be unhappy now, I'm not arguing against people's opinions) but I'm not sure where the surprise is coming from.
I think the anticipation was that A.Net would remove the things that destroyed GW1 and focus on the things that worked when they decided to re-boot the game with GW2. But, as it turns out, it seems that the things that destroyed GW1 were actually the things that A.Net thought were worth building GW2 on, and the things that made GW1 what it was, were the things that were holding A.Net's vision back and needed to be removed.
Posted Brizna on 27 November 2012 - 05:52 PM
What is not acceptable is selling a game under the premisse that vertical progression would be very limited and then changing your mind once you have customer's money.
And I don't care how small the difference is, I know at this point it is barely noticeable outside fractals, but you know what, just outside Kay Santuary in "Prophecies" there was a buddy who sold armor just barely short of top gear and no one bothered to buy it becuase top armor was just around the corner and it was just a waste, ascended gear does that to exotics, the only reasson exotics are worth a dime now are: Ascended gear is limited to rings and backpack (for the momment) and ascended gear is ridiculously hard to get and can't be traded, if they could be traded exotics would already be worth merely their average ecto worth to get ascended stuff as is anything under exotic right now.
Horizontal progresion lovers are prevented any progression until they get max tier equipment, it's stupid losing your time geting a skin you'll be throwing down a sink next week.
Posted raspberry jam on 27 November 2012 - 04:18 PM
Unlike GW1, but like most MMOs, GW2 is built like a cash machine.
Posted Racthoh on 27 November 2012 - 03:54 PM
Posted Dasryn on 27 November 2012 - 03:44 PM
i think when a dev says something is a mistake, it means they fully meant to implement/do what they did, but because of an overwhelmingly negative response from their playerbase do they actually try and ReNeg.
Posted raspberry jam on 27 November 2012 - 01:51 PM
GW1 wasn't stagnant, it was just difficult to make money on it for years and years. He's lying through his teeth - again.
Posted Alilei22 on 02 December 2012 - 05:05 PM
Posted Corvindi on 29 November 2012 - 08:44 PM
Pick your poison.
Point being: Whether you play sub games or f2p games, neither have a desirable game design to them.
Sadly this sums up the conclusion I'm coming to as well.
What a shame, I remember my first hours in my first MMO as a time of wonder and amazement. All those avatars running around were real people that I could communicate and adventure with. I was hooked. Of course, I would also swear those people used to be a lot nicer than they are now.
Posted DuskWolf on 29 November 2012 - 08:06 PM
What this proves is that predatorial, exploitative, insidious business models can exist in both pay-to-own and subscription models. What we have to watch out for in the future isn't the financial model, but whether any of the people involved have acted like sharks. I know I won't trust an NCsoft product ever again. Blade & Soul, WildStar, and any future titles are all off my list solely because they're NCsoft. With NCsoft being obviously owned by Nexon at this point, it's clear that future games will only be more predatory, not less.
And I'm not the kind of sheep who'll roll over and take bad punishment up the butt. I actually respect myself enough to not stand for that. So NCsoft isn't getting any more of my money. So long, ArenaNet. It was nice knowing you when you were you. Back when you were the ArenaNet that put together the likes of Prophecies, when you actually believed in your passions, rather than the shameless construct of exploitation you've become today.
Posted Alleji on 29 November 2012 - 07:16 PM
Now, on to the conspiracy theory. If you don't feel like reading a wall of text, there's a tl;dr at the bottom.
GW2 is centered around its cash shop, which is not unreasonable, because Anet wants to make money and the cash shop is going to be a significant (if not primary?) source of that. The other one being box sales. Compared to a traditional sell-the-box-and-done games, Anet is committing to keeping up the servers for an indefinite period of time and putting out monthly content updates for free (as opposed to paid DLCs in most other games). So naturally, they'd be interested in players using the cash shop.
Prior to GW2's release I wouldn't bat an eyelash at that. Yeah, sure, if they want to go with a cash shop instead of sub, that's cool. It's cosmetic-only stuff, right? No problem there.
But then I realized just how deeply the presence of the cash shop influences the game design. I'm going to use WoW as a counterpoint here, but people familiar with multiple sub MMOs will find them largely interchangeable.
The basic idea is: Anet wants everyone to stay poor. Because if you don't have enough gold, you can always go to the cash shop and get more. They want you to get more. How did they change the game design to facilitate this?
- Low-scaling rewards. A lvl 10 completing an event will earn about 0.5 silver. A lvl 80 gets 1.5 silver. Compare to a lvl 10 quest in WoW rewarding 3.5 silver and lvl 60 in vanilla about 50 silver (it varied and I can't remember exactly - been a long time). A maxed character in GW2 earns 3x more for doing basic activities than a low lvl character, whereas a maxed character in WoW made 15x more.
- High taxes everywhere. To continue the above example, a waypoint to a nearby place at lvl 10 costs 10 copper. A waypoint at lvl 80 costs 1.5 silver. In other words, a 15x increase, when rewards increase only 1.5x. WoW doesn't have waypoints, but flight paths don't scale with level at all, just with distance (and ones in expansion areas are more expensive, but we're talking no expansions here). Trading post tax is also quite high at 15%, compared to WoW's 5% tax off the profits + variable listing fee, which almost never came close to 10%.
-Lack of a trading function. This very heavily compounds the trading post tax by taking away an option of bypassing it. People would be trading bulk amounts of materials and expensive items such as precursor between themselves, which is less gold taken out of the economy, which is bad for the cash shop.
- Dye drops. There's a thread right now where people are talking about the recently reduced dye drops. Unidentified dyes are fun to open and I can see why people are upset. I'm also upset, but I'll say that it makes sense for dyes to be more rare that they even are currently. Why? Cash shop. Why would anyone buy dyes from cash shop if they're 3 silver on the TP? Anet saw that and patched it up. A sound decision all around, but unfortunately, the simple existence of dyes in the cash shop takes away a tiny bit of fun from the game here: finding and identifying dyes.
- RNG everywhere. I'm not going to go into a detailed explanation here, because I think everyone knows this one. Suffice to say that RNG instead of guaranteed whatever is good for anet because gambling in any form takes the gold out of the economy.
- Inflating prices on the already-expensive crafting components. I first saw this as a simply stupid design decision, but it's actually quite intelligent, if you only look at the bigger picture. Why use piles of t6 crafting materials and ectos to craft the new ascended gear? Well, because those materials are already in demand for creating legendaries! Kill two birds with one stone: create a new gold sink and make the old one bigger by inflating some of the crucial ingredients. Meanwhile, we get a rich orichalcum vein which significantly devalues a semi-rare material that's not really a limiting factor anywhere.
- This is a bit of an anecdotal evidence, but I think ecto salvages have been stealth-nerfed in November's update. Whereas I was not getting ectos from about 20% of the salvages before, now I'm failing to salvage them from over 30% of rares. (I've actually recorded some stats, but the sample size only around 100 rares and it's in no way conclusive because there may be other factors involved, such as the type of item).
EDIT: Apparently lots of people on official forums thought so too, but it's been statistically proved wrong since. I'm still getting terrible results from salvaging rares.
- Worldwide economy instead of server economies. This serves to largely eliminate a "middle class" : a casual trader or a crafter, who would spend some of his time at the trading post for a profit that's well above average, but not sky-high to the point where he can pay his rent by selling gold. In a worldwide economy, only the most dedicated market players can compete and there's no room for crafting because there's 5000 instead of 50 crafters online at any given time willing to undercut each other. As a result, 0.1% of players (Occupy Lion's Arch!) may become absurdly rich and never need to use the gem store in their life, but the 4.9% that would've been moderately rich are instead locked out of the trading game and kept at a controlled level of income that anyone can get from farming Orr or dungeons or whatever. The remaining 95% are unaffected.
- Lastly, the very existence of the cash-to-gold conversion is bugging me. 300g for a Dusk is a huge amount of gold to me. I have about 100g at the moment and I play quite a bit. Probably about 2 hours a weekday on average and much more on a weekend. So it would take me hundreds of hours to get a legendary, which is working as intended. But, I could put down roughly what I make it 2 days at work and buy that Dusk. (Slightly more if you make minimum wage, but for anyone with a job, with the only exception being that 0.1% professional in-game trader, RL-income is higher than game-income.)
I'm not about to do that, because it feels like cheating and I don't think I'd get much satisfaction out of buying my legendary with cash, but the idea that you can do that certainly diminishes the game as a whole for me. Moreover, there are people doing it and they're increasing the cost for everyone else by taking the gold out of the economy.
TL;DR: The cash shop in GW, although not directly selling power, influences the game in a lot of ways. The existence of the cash shop and gold-to-gem exchange makes it Anet's prerogative to keep players poor so they are tempted to buy stuff or gold with cash.
- Rewards don't scale well between low and max lvl characters
- There are high taxes built into the game in form of AH fees, WP fees, and lack of trading function.
- Drop rates get normalized to be in line with cash shop items, not with "fun". Dye nerf is an example of this. Requiring a ton of t6 mats and ectos to craft the new stuff and deter people from their legendaries is another.
- Global market as opposed to a per-server economy eliminates a "middle class", downgrading them to the baseline income/
- Ability to buy the most desired items in the game with cash via gold-to-gem, which just shouldn't be there.
I wish Anet just charged 15$/month for this game and never had this cash shop.