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#2337408 Thoughts on the September Feature Pack?

Posted Shayne Hawke on 29 August 2014 - 03:32 AM

View Postdraxynnic, on 29 August 2014 - 01:16 AM, said:

Except those colony collapses are happening. Formerly large and established guilds are steadily disintegrating into long lists of players that haven't logged on for weeks or months on end, including players who were once quite fanatical and notable figures in the community.

Now, balance changes are nice and all, and the new LS is a step up from the last (not that that really represents a high bar to clear) but at the moment it really feels like ArenaNet has no vision for actually further developing the game - just to keep it ticking over. Meanwhile, it's been haemorrhaging respected names from the staff. One of my guildmates was looking to the 'fresh start' title with some hope (or at least, a kind of suspension of pessimism?) and having been caught low gem-wise for the sale, I was considering putting some money in if the right sales came up and ArenaNet showed some sign of having found a direction. Instead, we get a revised levelling system. Well, that's nice and all, but... As Phineas says, it really doesn't do anything to address GW2's structural problems. I'm all for supporting companies that deliver the proverbial goods, but it's increasingly feeling like NCSoft nowadays is just looking for a quick buck at the expense of long-term sustainability, and I just don't feel like I can justify putting money on a game that's increasingly feeling abandoned by both players and, a few band-aid measures aside, the company.

Seriously, GW1 made it to nearly the release of GW2 without developing this feeling of staleless and abandonment, despite ArenaNet being explicitly focused on something else for much of that time. GW2 only just hit its second anniversary. It should NOT be feeling less fresh and supported than a five-year old game that was explicitly just marking time until the release of the sequel managed to.

As someone who never spent any attention on the state of any large or notable guilds and was never a part of one, I can't say I ever felt like a collapse was in motion, but maybe the bargainers and white knights on the official forums were what really gave me that impression.

I don't feel like ANet has ever had long term plans for GW2, and I don't know whose fault that is - theirs, or NCsoft's.  I have no tangible evidence to pin blame on NCsoft, but it seems possible to me that they could be managing ANet in such a way that ANet can't make any long term plans, because NCsoft can just jump in and say "do this, this, and this, or else".  It's possible that ANet is otherwise just so terrible on the whole that they themselves don't know where they want to take their game a year to a half down the line, but that seems a little too ridiculous for even me.  Blame aside, the lack of commitment to a plan or principles is devastating.  Whenever questions are asked about what ANet is working on, they don't want to talk about it because it could change.  Whenever they're asked about whether they'll work on something, they might say it could be important, but always that they don't know.  Decisions on issues the community brings up don't seem like they're answered with a consistent design philosophy, but rather whatever ANet feels works best for them at the time.  Not only does ANet not have any sort of roadmap that they want to talk about for where they're taking the game, but nobody has any idea what that roadmap could be because the way ANet chooses what to work on and how they would change it is totally arbitrary to any outsider.  This is why that forum post from Mike about wanting to communicate more with the playerbase was a total joke.  Players can't communicate with ANet when all they get in response is "we don't know anything about anything" and "this is how we feel right now, but don't hold us to that after five minutes".

Getting into GW2 for me when it first came out was an investment.  When the time arrived for GW2 to go on pre-sale back in April of 2012, I looked back at the time I had spent in GW and all the things I'd done and the fun I'd had, and I thought about how much entertainment I was setting myself up for for the money I was about to put into it, and I immediately went all-in (so far as a standard box can be considered "all-in").  The betas and stress tests were incredible fun.  The first time I got to play, combined with the thought of how much more of the game there was to go through, left me with such an incredible high that I could feel a withdrawl in the days after the beta ended.  In the first two months past release, I bought gems, I used the store, I used the gem exchange, and I genuinely believed that a lot of great things were to be coming and times were to be had in the coming years.  It all came to a gigantic ♥♥♥♥ing full stop in November of that same year.  The images I had about those things to come and what I could expect out of ANet, in their own words, dropped like a norn fart in a moot.  Since then, I've had no idea who ANet is catering to or selling to, and they've done nothing to create an image to seem like they're looking to appeal to any base in particular.  It was the moment I stopped spending any kind of money or serious time on the game.  At that time, I couldn't justify ever spending anything more on this franchise, and ANet has certainly done nothing to make me regret that decision.

Much of what was made for GW was made before the end of 2007.  The announcement of GW2 first came with a projected release date in 2008.  Players were happy enough to play their new expansion and everything else they had until that time, but of course it was pushed back, and pushed back, to the point where nobody knew when it was going to be released, except that it was "soon enough that I can continue having fun in GW while I wait".  Much of why GW still had life in it past 2008 was for all the people grinding their titles and filling their HoM in anticipation of GW2.  The patches and bits of news kept many of us strung along until more tangible GW2 information would come out, or until we could eventually play the game, and there would be stuff to grind for in GW in the meantime.  GW likely couldn't have survived so well past 2007 if it got the same kind of treatment from ANet with no intention or announcement for a sequel.  GW2, by comparison, has no defined future and hardly has any kind of present.

The timeline from the release of Prophecies to the release of EotN was only four months past two years.  The announcement of a sequel didn't even take two years.  One only needs compare GW2 to the growth of its predecessor in equal time to understand how it can feel so dead in relation.


#2337396 Thoughts on the September Feature Pack?

Posted draxynnic on 29 August 2014 - 01:16 AM

Except those colony collapses are happening. Formerly large and established guilds are steadily disintegrating into long lists of players that haven't logged on for weeks or months on end, including players who were once quite fanatical and notable figures in the community.

Now, balance changes are nice and all, and the new LS is a step up from the last (not that that really represents a high bar to clear) but at the moment it really feels like ArenaNet has no vision for actually further developing the game - just to keep it ticking over. Meanwhile, it's been haemorrhaging respected names from the staff. One of my guildmates was looking to the 'fresh start' title with some hope (or at least, a kind of suspension of pessimism?) and having been caught low gem-wise for the sale, I was considering putting some money in if the right sales came up and ArenaNet showed some sign of having found a direction. Instead, we get a revised levelling system. Well, that's nice and all, but... As Phineas says, it really doesn't do anything to address GW2's structural problems. I'm all for supporting companies that deliver the proverbial goods, but it's increasingly feeling like NCSoft nowadays is just looking for a quick buck at the expense of long-term sustainability, and I just don't feel like I can justify putting money on a game that's increasingly feeling abandoned by both players and, a few band-aid measures aside, the company.

Seriously, GW1 made it to nearly the release of GW2 without developing this feeling of staleless and abandonment, despite ArenaNet being explicitly focused on something else for much of that time. GW2 only just hit its second anniversary. It should NOT be feeling less fresh and supported than a five-year old game that was explicitly just marking time until the release of the sequel managed to.


#2337381 Thoughts on the September Feature Pack?

Posted Shayne Hawke on 28 August 2014 - 11:13 PM

It's a symptom of the business model.

GW is B2P and started with no in-game store, so the only way they had to raise money was to put out an expansion (or campaign), and that meant content.  The in-game/online store came later, first with the means to buy the campaigns (and some convenience items?) and later with more convenience items and skins when content was no longer being heavily produced.

GW2 is also B2P, but the store they started with and what was offered gave them another source of revenue right away apart from the game itself.  To continue earning money, they are no longer pigeonholed to the task of creating additional expansions full of content and can instead lean heavily on the store.  This means making more cosmetics and boosters and upgrades, and less content.

It seems that people currently in the community are starting to fit into one of two camps: those who continue to dump their life's savings into vanity items as quickly as ANet will let them gobble them up, and people who feel like ANet isn't giving them good ways to spend money or time and choose to not buy anything in the store.  ANet is either unable to turn or ineffective at turning the second crowd into the first, so they won't do it because it would take more time and effort and understanding on their behalf than what they expect to get out of doing so.  Or, those people will leave and come back later and probably become spenders again, so they just need to wait them out.  Or, they'll stick around for whatever reason, which is also fine to ANet, because bandwidth is cheap to be retaining warm bodies that make their game look like it's alive.  They could continue to focus on the first camp, but they have recently discovered something else they can do to make money: get new players to buy the box, like the old days!

And that's exactly what happened when GW2 was released in China.  A whole new market of players who took an interest in buying the box showed up, and ANet made the business decision that it would be better to work on the new player experience to attract more new buyers and retain more new buyers, hopefully to become gem store shoppers in the near future and tap into all of those vanity items and upgrades and boosters that ANet has already made.

ANet doesn't have any interest in catering to the enormous guilds or collections of players because nothing they have in their business model sells better to that crowd than the kinds of people they are currently catering to.  They have determined that these large guilds are fine to ignore because they will survive on their own size.  Players in these groups will accept playing old, broken, uninteresting content that they have been through many times before just because they are able to experience it with other people, because that connection between people is something that they like enough to go back for.  The groups are so large that even if a few handfuls of players jump ship, others in the community will rush in to take their place, and even if they don't, there are probably still enough people left over for everyone to still be entertained by everyone else.  Only something like a colony collapse could crash such communities, and ANet knows that for how long those people have been around, one more month without interesting content to do is not going to trigger anything like that.

The feature pack has been rather underwhelming because everything announced has either already shown up in China (leveling changes and crafting backs), doesn't have a huge impact on the game (tag colors, lame balance, megaserver changes), or doesn't provide that much else new to do (WvW tourney is same old WvW).  It's even worse when ANet tries to hype it since people have been taken on that train ride enough times already to know better.  It just comes off as disingenuous.

But it's not quite as bad as the silver-fed salvage kit, and not as astronomically stupid as anyone who bought one.


#2337378 Thoughts on the September Feature Pack?

Posted Miragee on 28 August 2014 - 11:13 PM

Wasn't their "remove old players and get new ones on board instead"-approach the one they used from the very beginning when they decided to abandon the GW community? I think the improvements to the first time experience are pretty much in line with this.


#2337306 Billiard and Ensign

Posted Feathermoore on 28 August 2014 - 01:06 PM

I can do secret research tooooo!


#2337351 Thoughts on the September Feature Pack?

Posted Phineas Poe on 28 August 2014 - 07:52 PM

I don't feel like they're at all addressing any of the actual needs of the game. New backpacks, a cleaner crafting UI, and new commander colors are all very nice things. But where is precursor crafting? Where are instanced guild missions? Where are better guild missions? Where is the fractal loot overhaul?

It feels like they're avoiding any of the real issues that currently plague the end-game and are instead focusing all their efforts on the leveling experience or tackling the simple solutions. For a game that's two years old and for a community that is on its knees begging for a new dungeon to do it sounds weird that they'd pause the Living Story to announce features that don't affect them or affect a very small aspect of the game that the majority of the active community has already gone through.

The April feature patch brought us the wardrobe, account-wide WvW ranks, and reset-able traits. The September feature patch is bringing us backpacks and red commander tags.

Is anyone else as disappointed as I am?

Edit: Just for further clarification, and because I think I really poured out how I really felt about all of it on Reddit already, I'll just quote what I put there in here:

Quote

There's no monthly fee but I know most everyone here has spent real money on this game beyond the box price. I know I have. And it's one thing if the game is just no longer being supported and ArenaNet has decided that GW2 has enough content in it.
It's funny because if they came out and said that, I'd at least walk away knowing I've had fun with what it had and that I need to just move on. But that's not what they're doing. They're dedicating a lot of their time and resources into stuff that is just explicitly unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Fractal loot is still broken. Some dungeon paths are still buggy. Getting into the proper overflow for Teq and Wurm still is a strenuous process of right-click selection. These are the kinds of things that should be going into the feature patch. Grander overhauls that redefine how the game is played, just like how the April patch did.

And rather than work on any of this stuff, they're focusing on the leveling experience. Ask yourself: throughout all of those CDIs, did anyone ever once say that the leveling experience was ever "overwhelming" for new players? Or that the downed mechanic needed to be staved off until level 5 for sake that I might forget to breathe with so much going on? Did we really weapon skill unlocks to be even simpler?

No, we really didn't. We asked for guild halls. We asked for GvG. We asked for more dungeons and fractals. We asked for better methods to organizing Teq and Wurm. We got some of these. We didn't get all of it. And that's fine. But we're getting shit we never even asked for. It feels like they're just pushing China on us, and what my guild did all this time isn't a part of their vision. God, they even say it themselves in the missions update:

> We are working on further improvements that are focused on larger guilds.

Okay. Great. Thanks. I guess we'll just have to wait on that. But great job empowering those 5 man guilds that are the driving force behind the community! I guess EG, TTS, and other large guilds that organize large-scale stuff like Teq and Wurm can ♥♥♥♥ off then. Continue right-click selection to get into the right map.

But thanks for the new crafting UI, guys! Because that's really more important than being forced to slowly give myself carpal tunnel trying to do what little content that's in this game to do with my guild.

I know I can come back to GW2 with ease when they actually feel like fixing all the obvious problems of the end-game. What I sweat over is that they don't seem all that concerned to fix them. And it is skin off my back because I have invested money into this game on the assumption they were going to support us. I am clearly not a part of their target audience any longer and it infuriates me that their vision is now muddled. If I knew they were going to do everything they could to simplify the game so any knuckledragger could play it, I would've moved on already.

The April feature patch brought us the wardrobe, account-wide WvW ranks, and reset-able trait lines. The September feature patch is bringing us backpacks and a new crafting UI. This is coinciding with the lightest releasing of PvE content over the past 6 months that has included more breaks than content releases.

What. The. Eff. I dedicated two years of my life to this game because I loved it and its vision. I was a very vocal Guru/Reddit/forumite player that tried to help shape the engineer meta. Google "engineer pve" and tell me what you see. I helped manage a very large successful guild that did everything under the sun. We killed Teq daily. We participated in fractal and dungeon tournaments. We helped Dulfy compose her guide on guild missions, Dry Top, and Wurm.

How did we get to this point to where I (and a lot of my guild) feel(s) like I am not a part of their target audience? It's baffling. It's like I just woke up one afternoon and we don't matter anymore. I asked for Flame Blast to be a blast finisher on the Flamethrower back in September of 2012. I guess we're finally getting that one.

How long will it be until they fix hobo sacks? Or rather, how many backpacks will they release between now and when they do?

I am just beside myself right now. Sorry for all the ninja edits. I am just so very upset and the thoughts keep flowing. But yeah, keep downvoting guys. Whatever helps you feel better about the state of the game, I guess. I just can't blind myself to this anymore.

http://www.reddit.co...r_being/ck338fy

Blah blah sad story whatever. I just can't believe this is all we're getting.


#2337183 GW2 has a content, not a feature problem.

Posted Baron von Scrufflebutt on 27 August 2014 - 08:47 AM

View PostI post stuff, on 27 August 2014 - 01:02 AM, said:

Being critical of the game doesn't always mean solely looking for more things to whine about.

If we are dealing with constructive criticism, does it matter if folks point out issues instead of pointing out positive elements? Why would folks need to spice up their posts with off-topic positive comments just for the sake of posting positive elements?



View PostMCBiohazard, on 27 August 2014 - 03:38 AM, said:

I'm pretty sure I know the difference between constructive and nonconstructive criticism. The latter is what I am tired of and there is a lot of it mixed in with the actual discussion of real issues with the game. Check every long thread in this subforum (there's probably at least one or two such posts in this one) and you will see random jerks chime in with statements that have no substance besides "this game sucks". No thought or critical weight behind the statements, just undisguised and often incoherent contempt for the subject. Doesn't that bum anybody else out at all? I mean, if you want your own criticism to be taken seriously, do you really want dudes like that bungling the delivery for you?

If the posts bring absolutely nothing constructive to the discussion, report them and get them removed. Or respond to them and showcase how shallow they are.
But it's utter bullshit to be running around and going "somebody posted something somewhere and now the whole thread/forum sucks". There's absolutely nothing productive about such comments.


With that in mind, there's probably nothing on-topic about this discussion either. :)


#2337113 GW2 has a content, not a feature problem.

Posted Baron von Scrufflebutt on 26 August 2014 - 07:12 PM

View PostMCBiohazard, on 26 August 2014 - 05:31 PM, said:

Don't take my statement as a personal affront but there are quite a number of users here that pop up out of the woodwork every time there is fresh news and have not contributed one positive or even neutral remark to any discussion they've been in to my knowledge. I'm not intending to start a witch hunt though so I'm not going to list them. There's always signal to noise issues in any forum but guru seems to be more susceptible just because the userbase is smaller than official forums and they reverberate in the echo chamber a lot louder.

So a negative remark (or a bunch of them, even) means that they "hate" the game? I think there's a difference between "hating" the game and being critical of it. Because being critical of the game means that a player can still very much like, or at least want to like, the game, whereas "hating" the game doesn't allow for that option.


#2336816 2nd Birthday gifts

Posted Alex Dimitri on 25 August 2014 - 10:15 AM

Mediocre at best, gun can be used for farming runs i guess that`s kind of cool.....
I really expected Anet to step up in the end this should be reward for being faithful to them for 2 years now !


#2336576 Kate Welch and Martin Kersten left Anet

Posted Andemius on 24 August 2014 - 05:19 AM

well, i don't know what they did at anet, but if they're being paid to do something which is being ignored i cannot blame them for jumping ship.

Re: above me - The amount of flip-flopping, backpedaling and general poor execution of anything from anet in gw2 sounds like a reasonable reason to be frustrated with one's employer to me.


#2336522 Kate Welch and Martin Kersten left Anet

Posted Shayne Hawke on 23 August 2014 - 11:33 PM

Posted Image

I guess Martin was done putting up with ANet's crap.

This trainwreck ANet has been responsible for lately and the backlash they've been getting, this seeming like part of it, has gone so far past tragedy to just be amusing.  I feel more anticipation for hearing about what kinds of ways ANet plans on sinking their ship further and the community's response to them than any promotion they've done for the second part of the living story.


#2335577 2nd Anniversary Predictions

Posted Neo Nugget on 15 August 2014 - 09:40 AM

I saw someone in chat ping a few things that were probably second birthday gifts. One was a scroll to boost a character to level 60, another was a sort of party popper gun, and the third...I can't remember for the life of me right now.

If it's legit, then it automatically makes it better than Jennah-fest 2013 (at least in my book ^^).


#2335964 Contest: Guild Wars 2 Memes

Posted Konzacelt on 19 August 2014 - 04:10 PM

Posted Image


#2335979 (How) Would you recommend GW2?

Posted deluxe on 19 August 2014 - 07:05 PM

View PostCalypso589, on 19 August 2014 - 05:35 PM, said:

And when your friends would ask you specifically why its a pile of trash you would say....
- non-existant pvp compared to GW.

That's all they need to know.
A lot of my friends bought GW2, but barely played it, while a lot of us had 10k+ hours on GW.


#2335292 The Off Topic Thread Part iki

Posted Kattar on 12 August 2014 - 10:28 PM

View PostStargate, on 12 August 2014 - 10:05 PM, said:

Don't mock people with difficulties and for the record my mother tongue is certainly not English.
He wasn't mocking you. Relax.

I can always tell the Canadians and Euros because they use "uni" instead of anything else.