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#2216653 "It's unlikely Guild Wars 2 will ever get an expansion pack" by E...

Posted draxynnic on 04 July 2013 - 12:28 PM

View PostLordkrall, on 04 July 2013 - 01:11 AM, said:

I keep wondering what would be different having content coming out every two weeks vs the same content coming out bunched up once a year, and why some people seems to to prefer the latter?
There's a few things:

First, think of the distinction between Star Trek TNG and Babylon 5, or between Merlin and Game of Thrones. Living story, at least so far, has proven to be rather episodic in nature - it's been proving to be a case of "what's the problem we're going to have to deal with this month" without having much of an overarching story. Yes, we're getting hints at this mysterious 'personal nemesis', and there are callbacks to previous episodes, but that's just like how pretty much every Smurfs episode is Gargamel trying to find some way to wipe them out - having a single Designated Badguy does not mean that the story is actually progressing. Focusing entirely on Living Story is starting to look like it'll end up feeling like a series of Monster of the Week episodes that don't really progress the story - and as long as it keeps being temporary content, it has to be that way to avoid new players completely missing out on a critical plot event. An expansion is more like a season of B5 or Game of Thrones, or a book in a book series - when you get to the end, you come away feeling that the plot has actually progressed in a significant manner.

Unless the book is written by Terry Goodkind.

Second, there are a lot of things story-wise that people would like to see happen - and which are much larger in scope than the Event Of The Month we've been getting. People want to visit (and deal with the problems in) Elona and Cantha, launch campaigns against the remaining dragons both known and unknown, investigate the ruins of the underground asuran empire, find out what's going in in the Maguuma, and so on. These are things that are much grander in scope than the Living Story we've seen so far, and exploring a new continent one zone at a time as they get introduced through Living Story just doesn't seem like it would do it justice.

Third, people are also looking for mechanical advancements as well as just story. Races, possibly professions, new weapons, utility skills, and traits. These are things that are just too big for the Living Story stuff we've been seeing. A new race would mean a new city, likely new starter zones (even the tengu, bordering on Caledon, would probably want something to take them up to level 10 or so, which is where the tengu gate comes out onto the Caledon) and new personal story at least up to level 30. New weapons, skills, and traits are something that would probably work better being released at a block so they can be balanced as a block (although, to be fair, Team Fortress does seem to work well enough with it's 'class updates', but I think I'd prefer them all to come out at once rather than having some profession that misses out because it's last on the list).

Fourth, the fear of how the economics will work out has to be considered. Expansion packs, generally speaking, tend to represent better value for money overall than microtransaction extensions that players opt in and out of on an individual basis - and let's face it, when you convert them to real money terms, the prices in the gem store aren't really all that 'micro'. Buying individual features also smacks of pay-to-win - even if not deliberate on the company's part, no balancer is perfect and odds are sooner or later some microtransaction item is going to become a must-have - while expansions tend to carry the assumption that if you're serious about the game, then of course you'll get the expansion.

Finally, we're a couple of months away from the point where it's fair to start comparing GW2 to GW1 post-Factions release. GW1 after one year had two new zones, a set of new quests that tied off loose ends in the main story rather than going off on a tangent, and a couple of festival events... and two new professions, a near doubling of the options for the existing professions, new PvP maps, and a whole new continent to explore with a story about half the length of the Prophecies story. Unless the next couple of months greatly exceed expectations, GW2 looks likely to fall well short of that yardstick. Now, considering that they've just reorganised how they do LS, it might be fairer to compare to immediately post-Nightfall in another eight months after we've had an opportunity to see what the new LS starts producing - but unless the LS starts producing at the very least double the amount of permanent content it has been, it's likely to fall well short.

Thing is, while LS is certainly better than nothing, a lot of us have essentially been regarding it as something to keep tiding us over until an expansion rolls around with the real added content. If Living Story is really all there's going to be from here on in, than the Living Story teams are really going to have to pull their collective fingers out to keep people engaged.

#2202319 On Lottery (RNG) Boxes

Posted MazingerZ on 15 May 2013 - 07:32 PM

Posted to GW2 Forums, I don't expect it to last.  Please comment there as well.

TLDR: Points are boiled down here, but I encourage you to ready the body.

The Right to Make Money

No one is arguing against any individual or company’s right to make money.  What is generally a point of contention is how that money is made.  If oil was a clean, safe resource to produce, with absolutely no environmental impacts and operated in more of an open market than say, OPEC, there would be very few people who could complain about how they do business.  If the market crash had not occurred due to irresponsible lending and selling of securities, no one would have an issue with how much money the banking industry makes.

What this piece attempts to do is describe how poorly these practices are for consumers (ie: you) not just in terms of yourself, but for the game as a whole, and your fellow players.

More Money than a Flat Rate?

The product could in theory be sold on the  Cash Shop for a flat rate, especially if they are already being offered for a limited time.  The question becomes, why not?

There are various reasons.  The return on investment (ROI) of the lottery boxes is higher than that of a flat rate.  The cost of a flat rate in order to equal the return that the lottery boxes provide, a flat rate would appear to be too expensive, with too large of a price tag to pay in one expense.  This goes towards the wedge of individual experience, further below.

If it were a flat rate, you could determine whether you liked the product enough for it to be worth the flat rate quoted.  Or you could consider the product to be worth no money at all, at which point the company has lost your sale and has to make up the difference from a user who wants the product.

The drop rates are unknown until someone bothers to invest and do the research, either by grinding a lot of boxes or buying them outright, the latter of which is a net-positive for the company.  And by the time the results are recorded and posted, the company has already seen sales from consumers assuming that the drop rate cannot be that bad.

The Wedges of "Individual Experience" and "Personal Responsibility"

Divisiveness is the greatest weapon of any entity against a collective to shield from its greatest weakness. You want the populace to be split on issues because if a high percentage of the body every aligns itself against you, you will feel its effects.

The randomness of these boxes creates a variable experience.  However unlikely it is, it is possible for a lucky person to get the products he needs by opening a mere ten boxes.  Suddenly, his experience is “this is the best thing EVER.”  For another individual, they could open box upon box upon box and spend a large amount of money without getting a single claim ticket.

Since experiences vary, its harder to reach a consensus on drop rates.  There will be people satisfied with their experience and others who feel as if its unfair.  Some will be accused of merely being “unlucky.”  Some will engage ad hominem, attacking other consumers for buying so many boxes irresponsibly, despite that being the intent of the company.  Strife ensues and its much harder to direct blame against one specific entity as the customers squabble amongst one another.

It is therefore much harder to get consensus on implementation than if the product had a flat rate.

They benefit from these wedges to keep their customer-base from coming to a consensus on anything, even as far as debate the value of the implementation instead of the value of the product being offered for the price.

Instilling Urgency Artificially: Limited-Time Offers

If you could just grind these out through normal activity (gameplay), there are always going to be those who stick with the grind over the shortcut of buying the product outright.  So to convert even a tiny percentage of those people (a net positive for the company), the company has a limited time offer on the product.  That is greed.  The limited time offer on the product is nothing more than a trick, to artificially give a sense of urgency.

In games like Tribes: Ascend everyone can get access to everything.  If just takes time.  You can choose to grind it out or you can buy it outright.  There is no limited time offer.  There are sales to incentivize a period where you would like to see more income, but a gun in Tribes: Ascend is never going to disappear because you did not buy it this month. It is a psychological trick meant to make you spend more money, and is an anti-consumer practice.

This operates much like the Disney Vault, in which Disney only releases a movie for a limited time every seven years or so on home media.  This increases the scarcity of the movie and instills urgency to purchase the movie when it eventually becomes available.

Worse than Gambling

Gambling can be viewed as an experience. You play the game and the money is the barrier for playing the game, with more money as a reward for winning.  One usually goes in knowing that you will likely lose money, but there's also a chance you could come out of ahead.  It can get impersonal, such as with video poker machines or slot machines, but generally, it's an experience at playing a game of chance.

Common wisdom is that the results are stacked in the house's favor, and there is generally a poor outlook on people who think they can regularly come out ahead by playing, or in other words, playing to win.

Or going to a Dave & Buster’s (or Chuck E. Cheese’s).  Sure, you may be attempting to win tickets for a particular prize, but you are usually paying as much for the experience of playing the games themselves.  You get the experience.  It is a poor value and poor sense to play at these places just to win tickets and win prizes, especially without a particularly good run of luck, you would end up buying the prize outright than trying to win it with tickets.

But these lottery boxes are different.  You are not paying to gamble for the experience, generally.  There is actually no experience, or at least less of one.  The similarity is very much like buying a box of cereal you hate because it has an item you really want.  At that point, you are just ripping open the box, pouring out the cereal for the product and potentially getting nothing for your trouble.  Rinse and repeat ad nauseum until the limited time offer (artificially created sense of urgency) expires or you get the prize you want.

The Company’s Gamble

The company has its own gamble going.

It is relying on the obfuscated nature of its game of chance, with its accompanying ability to change the odds at their leisure, to keep its customer base arguing and speculating over the factual details as much as the subjective details.  If you knew all the details, it would be much easier to base an argument for (or against) purchasing the product outright and there would be less coloring and argument from individual experiences.

It is relying on the artificial sense of urgency to push people into buying the product without spending a lot of time thinking about it, as well as pushing those who attempted grind it out to ultimately buy into the lottery boxes from the Cash Shop at the eleventh hour.

It is relying on human nature.  There are people out there who are gullible, naive, have little foresight and in some cases, an addiction to gambling.  These people with a clinical lack of self-control who will hand over money to engage in this process in hopes of getting the rush of a win.

Defending the Indefensible

The fact of the matter is that there will always be people attempting to defend these practices.  Usually, the sum of the arguments is that the company has a right to make money.  But why?  Why are these practices worthy of money?  And why do these people, who can only benefit as a consumer if these practices were revised to be less abusive, defend them?  Why implement these practices over a flat rate, offered through the Cash Shop, unless this lottery box implementation makes more money.

I tend to look towards a rather quotable piece of TotalBiscuit:

What the hell happened to gamers looking out for each other?  When did that suddenly fall by the wayside in favor of being an unemployed PR representative for a company that has been milking you for money?  When did this happen? Was this with the advent of the Internet?  Is this a recent thing?  I can’t exactly pinpoint when it happened, but fanboy culture has gotten to the point of being actively detrimental to video games.  It benefits nobody whatsoever other than the companies in question.

It’s wonderful that they’ve got a small little army of people that are willing to actively suppress dissent.  Actively lie about the game.  Actively try to character assassinate people.  Engage in ad hominems.  Slam them over social networks.  Downvote videos.  Lie in the comments section.  It’s wonderful if they’re willing to do that, if you happen to be [the company] or any other company that has people like that.  It’s terrible for the rest of us.  It’s really really bad.

Gamers don’t look out for each other anymore.  And that’s really depressing.  The last thing that should be happening is gamers actively trying to mislead other gamers because they want to feel better about their purchase.  Or because they want more players in their game, even though the game is clearly not up to spec.  Where do you get off doing that?  That is morally bankrupt.  That is ethically unsound in the worst possible way.  It sucks, and you suck for doing it.

People who defend these practices want the games they play to succeed regardless of how the company in question behaves, because they have some investment.  They either want the game to have more players, be more successful so it will stick around for a long time, get more development, release expansions, etc, etc.

TLDR: Ultimately, it boils down to the idea that the lottery boxes offer a better return on investment than just simply slapping a flat rate on the product.  It adds nothing to the product itself and is just a method for increasing profits, without doing anything.  It is a form of predation on consumers, it should not be tolerated, but there will always be people willing to defend a company’s decision either out of apathy, a belief it does not nor will ever affect them or some other selfish reason.

Edit: I lost a ton of formatting moving from Google Docs, and I'm adding it back in.

#2203197 ArenaNet ceases Guild Wars 1 live development, automates game

Posted Grey on 17 May 2013 - 10:29 PM

The last day dawns on the Kingdom of Ascalon. It arrives with no fanfare, no tolling of alarms. Those who will remember, will speak fondly of the warm morning breeze. People carry on with their daily lives, unaware that in a short while… everything they have ever known will come to an end.

#2165822 Should the cap have been level 20?

Posted Strawberry Nubcake on 18 February 2013 - 09:47 AM


Believe it or not, some of us don't live in Orr or camp dragons.  There is actually a whole world to explore and Anet has been trying to make the loot more appealing.

#2164741 Lunch with Colin Johanson - Give Us Your Questions!

Posted Colin Johanson on 16 February 2013 - 01:29 AM

I'd like to ask him why he likes to troll the forums so much.

#2159812 Flame and Frost: The Gathering Storm

Posted Craywulf on 07 February 2013 - 05:03 AM

Bunch of cynics. Where do you people get the impression that it's going be more of the same?


The situation worsens for the citizens of Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau. Volunteers have eased the burden, but more refugees hobble down from the Shiverpeaks. The storm there gains momentum, but the forces of good are beginning to rally. They’re sending their heroes to defend the land and its peoples. Someone must hold back the gathering storm.
In Flame and Frost: The Gathering Storm, the second installment in this four-part series, the stakes are raised, and battles rage, in the foothills of the Shiverpeaks.

You're all basing your opinions on a prelude and one paragraph synopsis of next part.  Did you expect them to spoil it by itemizing every aspect the story? None of us know the exact scope of the story, so lets be fair and hold our judgement until AFTER we seen it play out.

#2159016 Sell laurels in the gem store

Posted Lordkrall on 06 February 2013 - 10:53 AM

The Laurels are there for people that PLAY the game. Selling them in the gemstore would be rather illogical.

#2157895 Daily achievements change

Posted Volkon on 04 February 2013 - 06:25 PM

I think what's being overlooked is one thing that's very important... there's no required grind involved. Whether or not you have an ascended amulet or a crafted exotic won't make a difference in your effectiveness, your ability to do anything in the game, etc. Ascended gear is marginally higher in stats and fills the time-gap between the time required to get exotics (nearly instant) and legendary weapons (you can feel yourself age). This is what the manifesto was about... no forced gear treadmills, no forced grinds to enjoy the game. If you choose to go for an ascended ring you now have multiple ways to do so and more will be added later as we progress. If you want to take the time to get an ascended piece you'll have options on how to spend that time... do dailies for laurels, run Fractals, something else later (like WvW)...

Now, regarding the dailies. Personally, they're so in tune with normal game play you can get most of them simply by getting off your rump and doing things. I do a lot of WvW personally, so that will give one quick example... after a daily refresh, I was in a group that flipped a supply camp. Bang... four Veterans, a few dodges, piece of cake. Kill krait to flip the quaggans, underwater complete. The only thing I didn't fill up just running around WvW was crafting, so I burned half a minute in L.A. taking care of that for metal bars I'd need to make regardless. If you don't want to WvW there are plenty of other ways to accomplish these base goals. Go to Orr... plenty of veterans there. Heck, take on a Vet. Risen Giant. You'll get a vet kill and plenty of dodges avoiding grub spit. Besides, an Asuran mesmer looks pretty hot taking down a Risen Giant. You can find downed NPCs all over the place there. Orr not your thing? See what's happening at Nageling (sp?). If the giant is taking the town you'll have more NPCs to rez than you can handle. If not, there are usually a few downed ones outside the walls.

I guess the point there is this... don't use the dailies to define how you need to play... use them to guide you a little bit while you're playing. Instead of running by or swimming across that lake, take an underwater route and plow a path through it. Revive NPCs. Mine that ore, chop that tree. And, for the love of the Great Holy Kitten, dodge!

#2148684 Flame & Frost: Prelude

Posted Maarius on 23 January 2013 - 01:10 AM

just something for the people who believe in mounts (as horses), dragons (as Jormag and Primordus) or Cantha:

Posted Image

#2148517 Community Playdate: Metrica Province

Posted Neo Nugget on 22 January 2013 - 08:56 PM

Posted Image

Who: You and friend or two (or three!).
What: Introductory guesting party!
When: Tuesday, January 29th starting at 5pm Pacific Standard Time [NA]/ 7pm GMT [EU]
Where: Metrica Province (Jade Quarry [NA]/Aurora Glade [EU])

Level an alt, tackle the jumping puzzle, shoot for map completion, or just hang back and play some Golem Chess with your friends and fellow forumites. Our introductory guesting party aims to fill zones to the brim with players looking to have a good time. If you can't make the start, don't worry about it! Just stop in whenever you can and soak in the action. Remember, you can only guest to two servers within a 24 hour period, so if you aren't on Jade Quarry, make sure you save a slot for the event.

Also, feel free to bring a friend and spread the word. We're looking to completely fill up at least one instance of Metrica Province, so we're going to need some help from all of you to make that possible. If this event has a solid turnaround, then this will no doubt become a regular thing in the future. This will be a great time to play with your friends, and even make some new ones.

Thanks, and I hope to see you all there!

#2148194 Flame & Frost: Prelude

Posted Lordkrall on 22 January 2013 - 02:51 PM

Flame and Frost?

Jormag and Primordus incoming? :D

#2144081 Cosmetic Reward is not the best carrot for an MMO

Posted ilr on 16 January 2013 - 10:36 PM

View PostThe Comfy Chair, on 16 January 2013 - 09:46 PM, said:

I think the best carrot is no real carrot at all. People bored of a game? let them leave for a bit.

The first year of Guildwars1's release, I think I played all of 2 or 3 weeks before I got too frustrated with trying to get my NON-Minimaster Necro over IronHorse Pass ... I went and played City of Heroes the rest of the year instead.  I didn't come back until my CoH supergroup all decided they needed a break from COH and we all played through Prophecies together and that's when I really started getting into GuildWars.  Then they released Nightfall with customizable heroes, and I never looked back, I quit playing COH almost completely and did nothing but Guildwars & TF2 averaging 4000 hours each of playtime between both of them.  It's fine if the first year doesn't appeal to EVERYONE.  It doesn't have to as long as they actually try to innovate later on and add things people want.

This time around, instead of just waiting and hoping that they'll add the right things, I plan to be more pro-active by trying to more directly provide the more diverse art resources that others were obviously clamoring for in this thread..  I've already got a good start on some of the more classic styles from Gw1 for the Seraph theme and hope to start building them in Maya once I get the whole Workflow learning hurdle out of the way.

#2144050 Cosmetic Reward is not the best carrot for an MMO

Posted The Comfy Chair on 16 January 2013 - 09:46 PM

I think the best carrot is no real carrot at all. People bored of a game? let them leave for a bit.

If a game *needs* a carrot as it's only form of enjoyment, it's a bad game. If a player *needs* a carrot to enjoy a game, then that's a pretty bad case of conditioning ><

Although there are a lot of players who are definitely in the latter category :P

#2143034 Colin Johanson on Guild Wars 2 in the Months Ahead

Posted Mr_Finesse on 15 January 2013 - 06:34 PM

Hopefully we're getting token storage soon since we're getting yet another kind of token to have to carry around.

#2142951 Colin Johanson on Guild Wars 2 in the Months Ahead

Posted BlairPhoenix on 15 January 2013 - 04:33 PM

View PostProtoss, on 15 January 2013 - 04:07 PM, said:

Does that mean we'll see new tiers in 2014?

With no free waypoint travel, ZQuests 2.0 will get really old, really fast. Not only that, but the fact that you could do dailies ANYWHERE in the world was what made them worth doing.

Oh fantastic! Lets promote super huge guilds even more, shall we?

Server pride? Really? So I am guessing folks on shitty WvW servers should move now before they get stuck?
So you can't find one single thing in that entire blog post to be positive about?