It really has more to do with target audience. You weren't a part of it at the launch of GW2 (or really at any time) so naturally you disagreed with many of us around here that were a part of that target audience. Unfortunately, they've ignored even us at this point, seemingly choosing instead to cater to new players rather than those that are already here.
This, IMO, is one of the biggest issues fueling player dissatisfaction. ANet doesn't seem to have a target audience. As far as I can tell, they're trying to please everyone, and their "iterative approach" and tendency toward big ambitious ideas means that they will develop the game for six months in a way that pleases one target audience, only to seemingly abandon it completely in favor of another big push for the next six months. Pre-launch looked like the more casual, immersive player, a period of adding a new gear tier and revamping/adding dungeons for the traditional MMO player, another period with guild missions and world boss revamps for the large, coordinated guild types, periodic stabs at WvW and sPvP.
At some point any given player can end up on either side of "this just isn't the game for you" because the overall vision for the game, as far as I can tell from design priorities, keeps lurching between competing goals.
GW2 launch success might have been the worst possible thing for this game. I fantasize about what it might look like if they had sold a fraction of the boxes they did, but still enough to keep the game profitable to continue developing.
Phenn, on 02 November 2014 - 08:14 PM, said:
And I'll admit, when the gemgate thing broke, watching Vayne and LordKrall on the OF get after ANet for the change was nothing short of demoralizing. When some of the strongest white knights for the game and the developers have bad things to say...
Yes. While I've felt like the game was going south for a long time now, seeing some of the really adamant defenders start to admit there are things they are unhappy about feels like the last nail in the coffin, so to speak. Vayne has admitted spending significantly less time in game than in the past.
That, and Dulfy's comments on Reddit further drove the spike of despair through my proverbial heart. ANet is killing its player loyalty for New Players.
What is this referencing? I tried googling, but didn't find anything.
My level 80 characters have become more like museum pieces than anything else.
That struck a cord with me. A week or so ago, playing GW2 with my son, I realized my thief was level 78 and had been for a very, very long time. The ridiculousness of it struck me, so I hopped in EotM and ran around for two levels. Went and bought him exotic armor. Transmuted to a look I liked. Then couldn't think of anything I really wanted to do with him.
I've been seeing him in that decayed pirate armor on my log-in screen for so long, I thought, "Hey, now he'll look as good as the other characters."
Your line I quoted captured something I was feeling. Like my last goal left is to have a row of nice dolls in completed outfits to look at on the log-in screen.
Well the gaming industry is still fairly young. What are 15-20 years compared to other business compartments? Sure it works now. But will it still work if the industry grows up? For the sake of the gamers I hope it won't...
I don't know, seems to me that the more mature, the more you will have tried and true formulas. But there will always be innovators trying something new, too, and occasionally one will hit with the public and revolutionize the industry.
I'm thinking of movies, which are going on 100 years old. Look at the vast amount of formula-driven, play-it-safe drek we are offered from Hollywood. So many slick, soul-less movies designed to cash in on opening weekend and then disappear. But creators are still out there trying to follow their vision, and every once in a while someone manages the backing and marketing to take off and influences the success formula a bit. Of course, it's just a matter of time before they get swallowed up by the businesses that grew huge off of innovation but no longer innovate.
Recent breakout indie game titles give hope. And the industry seems to be trying to find a way for the bigger companies to foster those indie visions.
MCBiohazard, on 26 September 2014 - 07:23 PM, said:
They should really just put their heads down, decide on a clear design path to go forward and stick to it even if it alienates a part of their playerbase.
I wholeheartedly agree with you here. This is, in my opinion, the core problem with GW2. Back during development and for a while after launch there were plenty of detractors for the game, but ANet was very communicative and had a clear vision for what they wanted for the game, and it made for a very different tone in discussions about the game.
Ultimately, I don't think it's specific things in the game that are causing community toxicity, but a deep sense of uncertainty. ANet's silence keeps enough hope alive, while their shifting design vision pleases then alienates sections of the player base in turn.
What the game desperately needs is clarity of vision. That way people really can make a choice about whether it will ever be the game for them, and "this just isn't the game for you (or me)" would could be a legitimate response.