The OP asks, "why is the level cap only 20?" Interesting read.
From that thread:
GW is not about reaching the next level, or reaching max level, for that matter. Level 20 is when you stop getting attribute points and health each level, but a large portion of the content will be balanced for parties of level 20 characters. In most games based around leveling, once you pass the level range for an area, that area becomes pointless to play, so when you've achieved a high level, 90% of the game is below your level. In GW, you'll reach level 20, and have a large portion of the game that is challenging to go through, all intended for level 20 characters. Rather than grinding for the next level, you'll be able to play challenging missions and explore the world. You can still gain skill points to learn more skills so you can play around with different setups for your character as well.
I really think that this says it all, despite the length of some of the posts in this thread.
I was thinking about the pre-80 gating. If we were dealing with a game with 20 levels, the game could be more open, whereas having 80 levels forces players into specific content until they reach a certain number.
What specific content might that be?
It is fully possible to level by only doing events.
It is fully possible to level by crafting.
It is fully possible to level by doing WvW.
I don't really see how you need to to "specific content" in order to level. But then again, playing the game might be considered "doing specific content" for some people.
It's not the worst but crafting ATM is broken. Getting a craft to level 400, requires time and gold from the player, and therefore when he has reached max level it is to be expected that he should be able to turn a profit on the stuff he crafts. But due to the drop rates of mats, mats are worth more than almost all of the crafted recipes. Therefore it's become almost impossible for a crafter to make a profit. Crafting just feels tacked on, when almost all the crafted items are worthless. I wonder why ANET just didn't make everything obtainable through mystic forge recipes and get rid of crafting all together.
Thieves are the masters of mobility, stealth and high single target damage. They can be very fragile if you counter their stealth with area of effects or large stacks of conditions, but they trade this fragility in order to have some of the highest burst damage in the game.
So this has convinced me that the Developers don't really play this game... at all. They also apparently don't listen to those of us who do, The fact that they think it's completely okay that thieves have the best resource system in the game, the best class ability (stealth), the highest burst, the most mobility and the most "oh shit" buttons and are still somehow "balanced" because they can be caught in aoe or are subject to condition damage is beyond inane. Honestly I have no idea why the Developers refuse to listen to the massive amount of negative feedback on how the class operates in spvp and wvw and go around patting each other on the back thinking they've achieved anything resembling balance in this class.
I really like the idea of enhance performance, until now i use alchemy trait line for elixir cdr, + vitality and + boon duration; but i feel that if i really want to use well HGH i need to invest 2-3 skill between heal and utily in elixir.
But with EP is faster to stack might(and I'm already pretty addicted to speedy kit+invigorating speed) but then I hesitate because many choices open in front of me, would be better 2 strength+2 hoelbrak+2fire, probably not worth it; 6 strength may be nice because between juggernaut and EP we can always have some stack of might and 5% more damage is nice, but then i see the superior rune of Altruism:
(1): +25 Healing Power
(2): Give 3 stacks of Might to nearby allies when using a healing skill. (Cooldown: 10s)
(3): +50Healing Power
(4): +15% Boon Duration
(5): +90 Healing Power
(6): Give Fury to nearby allies when using a healing skill. (Cooldown: 10s)
The might and fury buff fit perfectly with the EP internal cd and with...sigil of battle (Gain 3 stacks of Might (20 seconds) when you swap to this weapon while in combat) 9 second internal cd, perfect.
Like that we can stack lots of might and take advantage of one of the disvantage of FT, the long channelling time(together with poor power scaling and missing inanimate objects) to switch to medi kit once every 10 second to gain tons of might and return to FT for the next Flame Jet; and we give nice buff to the party without going crazy because our teammate moving/dodging around while we throw elixir to them.
I'm testing something like http://gw2skills.net...kjIHbOuck5MqYKC
And it may sound odd but I'm using rabid armor+rabid or carrion jewel and i know FT is good with power and you think the only condition is the burn from 1 and 4 but is not correct, pistol#2 poison, pisol#4 burn, incendiaty powder(explosive 5) burn, sharpshooter(firearm 5) bleed and now with 2xpistol (or pistol/shield if I want to go defensive) i can have sigil of battle+ sigil of earth for 60% bleed on crit, it's a lot of condition.
However, for my personal preference i use FT on aoe situation and use EG for single target, while still using FT#4 for fire field, probably mine is more a tanky/supportive build than a tanky/dps one, but for now I'm enjoing it doing nice damage
Ironically, this is close to how I feel about elementalists... while it's the engineer that's taken its place. Tougher, less fiddly, more control, less locked into a weapon, and with Elixir Gun and Kit Refinement you can have a healing light field down pretty much permanently without even considering what other support (med kit, thrown elixirs) you might bring to the table.
And while the engineer may be less popular than some classes, I for one am always glad to see someone else rock up with an engineer - I've seen players of other professions that didn't contribute or even made things worse, but I don't recall seeing an engineer that didn't pull their weight.
I could not agree more. I played every profession to level 15+ (variable per prof, but at least 15 for each) during the BWEs and decided on Ele as my main upon launch.
I soon grew bored with it for one reason alone. No weapon swap. Swapping attunements simply wasn't enough.
I now have one character of every single profession yet again because I couldn't decide what to change my main to. Once I got around to making an Engy, I fell in love with it, which I found a pleasant surprise. More on that below.
beadnbutter32, on 29 November 2012 - 01:01 PM, said:
I hate the first 20 levels when rolling an engineer. I ditched one, and came back later with a second.
Glad I toughed it out beyond lvl 20.
I think many people are judging engis based on how boring and weak they are in the beginning.
Once you get your elite and a good bunch of skills, it is a very flexible class.
I also could not agree with this more.
As I said, I tried every profession during the BWEs. During that time on my Engy I had a blast until level 7. When I hit level 7 and didn't get a weapon swap, I started hating the fact that it felt so monotonous. I didn't like the kit(s) that I grabbed much (probably because I didn't really give them much of a try....) and I decided that Engy was my least favorite profession.
While alt hopping and trying to decide on a new main, I really fell in love with my Engy. I really gave the kits a chance, and I found that there was a ton of versatility contained within them that I hadn't noticed during the beta. It was a complete 180 from my BWE experience, and I'm extremely glad I gave it another chance.
Engy has become my main, and I absolutely love it. My other seven toons are collecting virtual dust while I work toward 100% completion for the world map, and possibly even available achievements after that.
I don't like his response and to me it underscores a complete change in core design philosophy for the game. I'll elaborate a bit on each of his points
What the hell happened to ANets developers? It honestly boggles my mind how you can make a game as good as GW2 then only a few months later release a patch as bad as this. Were they replaced by their evil twins or something?
The problem here is where it really comes down to it. Mike is basically saying it's a numbers issue not a design issue.
This feels like what happened in RIFT. The game starts out with a specific and well articulated philosophy, attracts a lot of players, the players who don't like the philosophy leave making a lot of noise, and suddenly we start seeing patches which fundamentally change the nature of the game.
First, marketing: A game is an entertainment product, not a technical product. Success is about the emotional experience of the customers. This is true whether you're producing a Broadway play, making a movie, or opening a Club Med resort. Any idiot can tell you that a movie which tried to be all things to all people would fail miserably.
Now, let's picture a movie whose producers and directors somehow thought they could, advertised that they could, and on opening day every theater is full. In the opening scene we have a high adrenaline car chase / smashed cars / macho guy driving / hot babe with too few clothes on in the passenger seat...and the families with small children get up and leave the theater. This cuts to another scene where a truly eloquent speaker gives an impassioned discussion of minute points of philosophy worthy of a Harvard PhD...and all the people who liked the chase scene get up and leave the theater. Then cut to five minutes of children playing and playground drama between the kids...more leave. Then the folks in the car from the first scene put their clothes on and actually have an interesting drama with a plot...for the handful of people who stuck around.
My first point: developing a game you make decisions who it's for, design the game for that segment, market the game to that segment, and don't look back. On day 1 you sell to a subset of the game market, which you have chosen, plus a some people just there to explore. The people who don't fit your segment will all leave. If you've served the segment poorly, even more will leave. But from that moment on, every time you change direction, even slightly, you signal an additional set of people to leave and you cannot get back the ones who left already, or never came because the game wasn't for them. So a game designer who panics and shifts direction repeatedly guarantees the outcome RIFT had, which is that essentially all the customers left.
My second point: I think that at release there is a shift of power in the game publishers, from the developers, to the bean counters. The bean counters see 2 million units sold, do not understand that a million of those were sold to people the game wasn't targeted to and couldn't possibly retain, and panic when those million leave after a month. They look at the exit polls and identify the fact that the game was designed to plateau instead of having a perpetual gear grind as the cause of those million people leaving, and demand that the developers fix the problem. (In the case of RIFT, it was that speccing a character was extremely complex (counterpoint to WoW) and dynamic world events (again counterpoint to WoW): so RIFT tracked players into cookie cutter specs and gutted the world events.) The problem is that this reversal of direction alienates the other million people, the ones who stayed, the ones the game was designed for.
In fairy tales, this is called killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. I don't know what it's called in the game world.
As a business person, i see it as a total and complete failure of the marketing process, and of the corporate management's stewardship of the asset. Failure to understand who your customers are, and how they will react to what you are doing, is an utter failure at Marketing 101. Even if you have no clue, there are these things called "focus groups" you use to ask a cross section of customers how they will feel about proposed changes to the game. And you run the focus groups after you have the concept for the expansion, but before spending all the development. Or even after spending the development but before release...and have the courage to cancel a patch or x-pac which will alienate most of your customers.
Why do people 'keep playing' ME3? They want to get better at the various maps and AI on offer. They don't do it to grind, they do it because they want to trim time off the last run. It's pretty great to get through waves faster based purely on your own skill, and to know that you're getting better. What ArenaNet needs to do is stick to the power plateau and provide real challenges, and to try and add more challenges (even if smaller ones) to keep the variety up.
And the main priority is for them to work on the AI in PvE and to provide more locales and diverse objectives in PvP. Even a small thing like a new objective in PvP can elongate the game, because people want to get better at doing it. You don't need new armour with increased stats to keep people playing. Games never did.
In fact, think about it. Did Bomberman need that to keep people playing for years? How about Counterstrike? Did people play Counterstrike to have a gun or whatever with better stats? Noap, that was never what it was about. It was about doing better at the content on offer. This iswhy speedruns exist. If a game is fun, you'll want to get better at it regardless. All they need is better AI and to introduce new objectives on a semi-regular interval.
If the game is fun, people will keep trying to improve their ability to play it. No carrot is needed.
It's not a panic reaction at all. It has simply been added because they wanted to fill the time gap in between exotic and legendary gear. Ascended gear fills that gap. It's realising a problem with the game design and adjusting it to make it better. Okay, they added a lot of grind in the process, but they realise that problem now and are working on fixing it. It's all a part of development and it's probably how they made the game over the past five years. I don't think any developer anywhere in the world or in history has released content that is absolutely perfect in every aspect.
Well congratulations on regurgitating ANets rhetoric.
It's probably worth while to inform you it does not fill a time gap because it uses the same resources that legendaries do so any time you spend earning ascended gear is further delaying your time to get a legendary. Simple fact is what ANet has been saying isn't reflected in their actions at all. They say their intention was to minimize grind. What is the reality? A ridiculous grind. It's effectively impossible to make a mistake like that. It just doesn't happen. The idea and concepts of this had to be discussed between different developers, it likely had to pass through programmers and testers and probably other folks too. Something so horribly off base from what their intentions were just cannot get through all those levels without someone saying "Uh... guys? wtf is this?". The only logical answer is their intentions have changed since the patch was released likely because of the giant shit storm it created.
At this particular moment of the "lifecycle" of the game, I'm not surprised at all by their answers about grinding, treadmill, ascended and all that stuff, it was clearly foreseeable that they would have defended their choice on this matter.
And, for a moment, let's put aside everything about ascension/infusion, and let's look at what *else* they said about the game. Almost nothing. Which was and is my major concern.
The state of sPvP now it's really bad, they bloated a lot with the "e-sport" mantra, while leaving this part of the game on a royal e-mess situation. Even there, the only thing that matters is farming (for ranks, for QP), you get to play randomly against PuG or mothafukka top-tier teams (in the absence of a ladder system), only a little bit of builds are really useful due to the only gametype available, and just, yet, 3 maps in tPvP, with 5 in hot join. The only real new thing which is in some ways "good" it's the Temple map.
And, before even talking about the state of PvP, why not a single * was given about the BUGS? I'm not talking about broken and bugging DEs, storylines, etc. I'm talking about the core of the game: traits and skills. Their road, until now, has been "let's try to balance around bugs". This behaviour is just retarded. You can't fiddle with numbers, skills, traits, before debugging core problems that are present in ALL classes.
This, to me, is the most worrying aspect of all the AMA. We don't have just unbalanced classes, we have unbalanced AND uber-bugged classes. Nothing like this was present even at the start of GW1, there were problems in the balancing (as always are in every game like these), but not in skills doing something different than what stated by their tooltips, or nothing at all, or functioning properly with just half of other skills and unproperly with the other half, etc.
And even the lack of information about skills/traits is, quiet honestly, ridicolous. "Trait X gives you healing when doing Y". How much? For how much time? You get the overall picture, because we all now this.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I didn't see a single question and answer about this aspect, and after 3 months since release, and 5 months since the BWEs, the fact that a lot of bugs are still present in the game, speaks volume about where their resources are allocated. Leaving little hope for the future, sadly.