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Member Since 07 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:20 PM

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In Topic: Thoughts on the September Feature Pack?

Yesterday, 09:00 AM

View PostRandolfRa, on 01 September 2014 - 06:46 AM, said:

Aye, but in the end a customer is only interested in the actual product and how it compares to other similar products in the market. Whatever internal problems a company may have aren't relevant to the customer. If your services suck, they suck. In the long term it doesn't matter why.

For example in our context, I could care less how updated and streamlined the code base of the Guild Wars 2 client is. I care solely about what I experience in game.

Well, optimization will noticeably affect your game performance in situations where your system is taxed. A lot of people are affected by large scale WvW battles and engine optimization will make that experience better. Likewise, revamping the code base means that they can actually push out content and features faster in the future. If they're smart, they'll think about the long term rather than the short term in terms of code design and optimization. Dropping a bunch of new systems doesn't really mean anything if they can't expand on them after they're released. Whether A-Net is thinking long term is outside of our purview, we can make educated and uneducated guesses but we really don't know. And therefore it's unproductive to assume the worst or the best. It's better to just take incoming news neutrally. Do the upcoming features actually improve the game? If yes, good enough. If not, get ready to move on.

In Topic: Thoughts on the September Feature Pack?

31 August 2014 - 10:50 PM

Tech debt takes considerable resources to dig yourself out of. You can look at League of Legends for a great example. When they went into beta, they cobbled together a lobby client out of spitballs and bailing wire (and Adobe Air). They borrowed Pando to serve updates for chrissakes. Then the game got swole as heck and everything they had put together didn't scale up enough to accommodate the millions of players they started to have. It took them 2 years to rebuild their client into something stable and 4 years to rehaul the interface and get rid of all the old tech. They still don't have game replays even though that's been something the community has been wanting for freaking ever and have been ♥♥♥♥ing with 3rd party solutions to get.

That's how game design is, especially something as fluid and dynamic as online game development. You work under time constraint and budget concerns and you cut corners to release a product at all. Eventually that stuff comes back to bite you and you will pay the debt or stop growing completely. But it's never anything immediately noticeable to the end user or at least it's not as flashy as giving them new toys to play with. It's optimizations (something that is actually a major feature in the upcoming patch even if it's not glamorous), it's occasionally scrapping parts of the game to rebuild from scratch to the same end result but less unwieldy to code around. Or in this case, aligning the code base between different regions. Diss GW2 China all you want but it's a newer code branch and they will eventually have to make up the difference with the NA/EU clients.

It's easy to be petulant about the lack of visible progress but that doesn't mean nothing's happening behind the scenes.

In Topic: Thoughts on the September Feature Pack?

30 August 2014 - 12:32 PM

Welp, I don't run a game company, so I don't really know what's going through the heads of their senior management.. All I know is that if the game doesn't appeal to me at this moment, I won't play it. i have plenty of other distractions to take up my free time. I still harbor some interest in where GW2 will go though so it's not a black and white situation for me. I don't have to abandon it forever, if it gives me what I've been wanting eventually, then I will play this game some more. If not and I burn out what it can offer me at this very moment, then I will stop playing and burn my entertainment hours elsewhere until I think I want to start playing GW2 again. It really is no skin off my back, even if I've spent gem store money on the game. They won't go away if I leave for a while, it'll all be there when I get back. This would be different if I had to maintain a massive guild like Phineas but I play this game casually and don't generally get myself attached too heavily to any one guild, especially large ones. To them, I'll repeat my advice again. Find a game that suits you and keep your guild together if you have a strong emotional attachment to them. GW2 isn't the end all be all. But it will still be there if you ever decide to come back.

In Topic: Thoughts on the September Feature Pack?

30 August 2014 - 10:26 AM

While we would like to know what's going on, we also know it's a dangerous policy to actually implement. Because gamers are nothing but spiteful, if you promise something or even bring up the possibility of something and then don't deliver, there will be no understanding. Players will just be pissed off. The few companies that have maintained an open relationship with their playerbase have all eventually had to back away slowly from revealing their thought processes completely. The two examples I can think of are Riot Games and Cryptic Studios, They both were very open with their playerbase, But over the years, they've withdrawn. Riot not completely, they still try to be open with their now very large and opinionated playerbase but many of their more outspoken devs have since stopped talking as much with the community simply because every statement they post gets twisted apart and taken way out of context. We would like transparency but we would sooner kill the thing we love than to admit that they have faults that we should tolerate instead of ripping them apart and going for the jugular every time we believe they've wronged us by misinformation or inability to fulfill expectations.

In Topic: Thoughts on the September Feature Pack?

30 August 2014 - 08:59 AM

Only. Again, this isn't GW1. Realistically, MMOs spend the first year or two playing tech catchup, fixing or implementing everything that they wanted to do by launch but just didn't happen. It really is past those first rough years that any MMO starts to hit a stride in terms of content and feature release.

I've mentioned it before in a couple of other threads, but Star Trek Online is probably the example I would point to when it comes to how MMOs launch with major issues and eventually they get fixed within the first 4 years. They've hit their 4th year anniversary recently. When they launched, all they had was the strength of their space combat engine, everything else was anemic. Missions and progression were terrible, ground based combat was as well. They launched with two factions but only one of them was fully fleshed from the start, the other was incomplete until year 3. Crafting was a mess. But year by year, they started to fix all the issues that plagued them from the start.

STO started out as a sub based game but eventually shifted gears into a freemium game with a game currency <-> real money currency exchange system like the gem store. If they were in for the short term gain, they still would have made money off of the hundred thousand or so Trekkies that bought in right away. But they were genuinely passionate about their game and tried their best to fix things one at a time while adding new features like passive background progression through their duty officer system and a user based content generator. The ground combat was revamped, they went back and smoothed out the progression for Federation players and when their free expansion level patch update came out with a new pseudo faction that could go blue or red, they fleshed out the red side completely and continued to refine existing missions while eventually picking up enough steam to release regular content that is structured much like LS2 is currently with story missions and permanent queued team based instances. For their fourth year anniversary, they finally rehauled the vestigial crafting system into something actually worth looking at. Now they're looking to increase the level cap and introduce even more features in the near future.

Point is, that game launched with serious issues that got smoothed out not in the matter of months but years. GW2 had a much stronger launch but we realistically shouldn't expect the world to change overnight. It will take time and we are free to put it down while we wait for something good to happen. I have left STO for several months at a time, checking in occasionally to see if anything new caught my interest. They managed to clean up their act eventually and I can feel comfortable recommending it to anybody who wants a decent but not particularly difficult single player experience with queued team instances that are likewise not difficult. It will appeal to a certain type of player. GW2 will too. If you don't feel you're the sort of player being catered to, find something that does. You'll always have your serial, GW2 will keep developing while you're away. And if it turns into something you feel you might actually like again, as I've said, feel free to come back anytime.