Tags: games, Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
Inventory space is a kind of mini-game. It’s designed as a hurdle, a challenge to be overcome in most games. Managing the room you have available with items that come in through drops, deciding what to pick-up, discard, salvage, or sell is a choice designers want you to make. Some people like this, some people don’t. I’m a fan of Bathesda type games where it’s based mostly on weight. You can drop less valuable but heavier items and take back light but profitable items to a merchant.
In Guild Wars 2 it’s based mostly on space. You start with a 20 slot bag, and can start adding 8 slot bags almost immediately by picking up a crafting profession. This adds up to about 52 inventory spaces with little to no cost.
Right now I’m at 88 inventory spaces. I decided early on that the 15 slot bags were the optimal cost to space ratio. They cost about 50 silver to make compared to the 2 gold for 18 slot bags and 10 gold for 20 slot bags. You have to admit that an 8 gold difference for 2 inventory spaces is…. quite a mark-up. I wasn’t about to pay the difference between 15 and 18 either, especially when 80 slots is more than enough space for just about anything you’ll be doing in Guild Wars 2. I can bring along salvage kits, food buffs, my magic find set, gathering tools, cash shop items, and more while still having more than enough room for items I pick up.
There are plenty of reasons you don’t need the 18 or 20 slot bags. You can salvage materials that stack together, throw items up on the auction house, deposit collectibles from anywhere, bring out a cash shop bank or merchant NPC, and drop by any number of in game merchants or heart vendors to sell your inventory.
You don’t need to waste ten to 40 gold on 5 to 20 inventory spaces. Especially when Arenanet is rather generous with a lot of the storage it gives you, particularly with collectible items. Or when it gives out 20 slot bags as it did during The Lost Shores event.
However, I have bought 7 bank panels. This arguably changes my perspective quite a bit compared to other people. I bought them cheap and early while gems were still at a premium for gold in that first month. This gives me 210 more inventory slots than anyone who still has the one panel. It feels luxurious. I’ve got a panel for runes and sigils, one for dungeon tokens, one holding future gear for alts I’m leveling, one for my legendary materials, and more.
Personally I think that 600 gems on bank panels is far more cost effective than the 400 gems for bag slots and won’t be spending a single copper on those. The added cost of finding a bag to put in the slot when I’m already comfortable with amount of space I get with four 15 slot bags just isn’t worth it.
All that being said I did end up buying one 18 slot invisible bag. I needed an invisible bag and I’m sitting on over 150 gold, it was a luxury I didn’t need but I went for it anyway. So now I can deposit all collectibles and keep my mini-pets with me. It was a complete waste of 1.5 gold but I think I’ll be able to live with myself.
Tags: Books, fantasy, Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
I have not spoken of the upcoming 3rd Guild Wars 2 novel since May of last year. At that point the publication date, a placeholder, was set in February. Since then the placeholder date had moved to August, and at this point Simon & Schuster is listing July as a target, while Amazon lists June 25th. Okay. Not frustrating at all.
Now I haven’t been paying buttloads of attention to the book news for the past few months, other things have been going on, but when I dropped by the books page on Amazon/S&S I noticed the synopsis was available.
The lost kingdom of Orr lies beneath the ocean waves, an entire civilization swallowed by an ancient cataclysm. For centuries, the depths have lain dormant, those ancient secrets lost. Until now. The Elder Dragon Zhaitan has risen. In its wake, the drowned kingdom of Orr is reborn—and another destroyed. The city of Lion’s Arch, for generations a cornerstone of civilization in Tyria, is brutally swept beneath the waves, leaving nothing but ruins. Among the survivors is Cobiah Marriner, a human sailor shipwrecked by the tsunami and stranded at sea. When he is rescued by a ferocious charr, Cobiah knows that he’s been plunged into a world forever changed. Now, Zhaitan’s undead servants dominate the sea, destroying port after port and slaughtering anything in their path. In the midst of ruin, Cobiah vows to see Lion’s Arch rebuilt. Amid the storm of the dragon’s rising, Cobiah must become a hero to his crew and an admiral to the pirate fleet, and face the ghosts of his past. Only then will he master the Sea of Sorrows and crush the armada of Orr.
I suppose there isn’t a whole lot of new information here aside from the identity of our hero. We already know he was the man to unite the pirates and rebuild Lion’s Arch. You can find a couple references to Cobiah in game, his grandson is a commodore in Lion’s Arch in fact.
Aside from that the atmosphere is being set and it should make for quite the book. I can’t wait to live blog it. Yes, I am doing that again. I know it’s pointless. I know nobody gives a crap. Consider it liveblogged!
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
I love Guild Wars 2. I love it so much I’ve hardly needed to blog since the very first time I played it, so long ago now. Nothing in life is perfect however and that includes Guild Wars 2. But what would I do to bring the game just that much closer to perfection? What would I change about the game? Well, I’d fix a few things.
If I were an Arenanet god the first thing I’d do is take the random number generators out of the cash shop. The Black Lion Chests don’t bother me all that much to be honest but the festival items? Give me a break. I know Arenanet has to make money but there have to be better ways than essentially exploiting peoples willingness to take a chance on getting something good. Gambling. Festivals shouldn’t be about this kind of crap. It should be about getting a bunch of free goodies and buying some even better stuff straight from the cash shop. Those rare minis that only came out of the mystery box? The insane rarity of permanent choir bells? Why weren’t they insanely rare from presents but available to buy from the shop? Maybe account bound ones? How come that doesn’t make sense to Arenanet? Instead I see the richest players in the game buying hundreds of thousands of presents and confirming the drop rates for choir bells and unending tonics at something like .003%. Everyone should have a chance at this stuff, not just the super rich.
In beta this was my favouritist event evers. I have not seen it since launch on my server. We should get this thing up and running maybe? Just a thought.
I’m not sure the current implementation of town clothes works. I never use them, never think of them, never want them. Costume Brawl isn’t my thing. I’d think about it a lot more if maybe I could wear them in battle or something. Right now it just feels like I’ll never have any need to buy town clothes.
I have a lot of dungeon tokens. I’m getting to the point where I just spend them to free up space. Arenanet seem to be moving towards being able to deposit them (if you right click them there is a greyed out option to deposit them) but this won’t help me if I can only depsoit 250 at a time. You’re usually saving up 250 to 330 for various pieces of gear anyway. Token storage needs to have room for at least 500 to 750 tokens.
Champions and Chests
I could write an essay on rewards in Guild Wars 2 and how generally speaking it’s been the worst aspect of the game so far. Certainly Arenanet has made progress on this front, the Fractals dungeon has the best drop ratios of anywhere in the game I’ve seen and other dungeons have improved as well with wondrous bags. However, champions and chests still drop virtually nothing. In my guild 2 things are announced with such regularity that it is slowly driving me insane. Black Lion Chest drops and blues from champions or chests. My guild thinks it’s important to sarcastically inform me how irritated they are with their most common and recent disappointments. For the sake of my sanity Arenanet, please adjust the drop rates off champions or chests.
No, not the guild recruiters spamming chat, I’m talking about gathering tools and salvage kits. I just want tools and kits with 250 uses. I don’t want to jump through hoops or spend way too much to get them. Just put them on a merchant and mark up the price a respectable amount. Now before the glaringly obvious comments about Lyns or Mystic Kits come in, yes, I know, I play the game too.
World vs World Buffs
My guild doesn’t claim keeps or fortifications. We play in small numbers and aren’t typically focusing on getting to claim something first. What I’d like to see is buffs for WvW that work without having to claim a keep. The nature of WvW is a fair amount of chaos anyway, so why not give the members of a guild a special WvW only buff of some kind that is outside the scope of the fortification buffs?
I’d really like to experiment with my builds, and more importantly switch to builds that would be effective depending on what I’m doing. Specific builds for specific situations, dungeons, WvW, farming or whatever. A quick easy way to switch between these builds would be fantastic, and yes, go ahead and charge me the ridiculous respec fee if that is what you truly feel is necessary, just don’t make me go to an NPC. I’m pretty rich at this point, I can take the cost, but not the busy work.
I don’t even have to say what my gripe is with blueprints. Anyone reading this, anyone who has played World vs World in Guild Wars 2 and seen blueprints knows what the problem is. Why in hell are they Soulbound? They quite obviously and most assuredly need to be Account Bound.
Long Standing Racial Biases It Would Seem
Some of the very first feedback Arenanet got years ago was concern over repeated and annoying dialogue. Now that’s a combo. People didn’t want to hear the one-liners and zingers that were heard in the first elementalist video. Death, good! They were afraid they’d be repeated too often, get old and boring, and generally weren’t impressed. I’ll pass this along to the Pale Tree. Arenanet claimed we’d have the ability to turn them off. Outhouses? We don’t have outhouses. A few months after launch I think we can say they completely ignored that feedback. I hear repeated dialogue everywhere I go. I have every single conversation near the bank memorized. Your face is funny, all squished and weird. No your face is funny, it’s like a little raisin.
Sigh. Guesting. I feel like Arenanet isn’t paying any attention to this issue. I think I understand why it’s not in. Something to do with gathering nodes on multiple servers. Can you imagine what bots would do with that? Or maybe it’s some other reason, I don’t know. What I do know is this is keeping me from playing with people I know. It’s caused irreparable harm to WvW. It’s probably even putting a dent in Arenanet’s wallet considering gems were supposed to be spent on server transfers. So why in god’s name is this so hard to implement? You’d think it would be a priority. I guess not.
Some classes have extremely long swiftness skills. Ranger and thief have 25% speed boosts as long as they have a signet equipped for crying out loud. So what would be so bad about giving me a mount. Everybody loves mounts. It’s the one thing I’d be thrilled to throw money at if Guild Wars 2 had them. But no, I’m stuck on one of the few classes without a decent running option.
You can talk all you want about how PvP in GW2 needs a spectator mode or more maps, but if you ask me it needs far better stat keeping. For me, especially in WvW. Leaderboards, kill/death ratios, kill streaks, stuff you can brag about or compare with friends.
As the game stands now, that’s what I’d most want to see. I’m not necessarily promoting giant new features or content but fixes to already existing things. Well, aside from mounts maybe. I know most people probably have many suggestions of their own but for the most part I’m happy with my list. Obviously there are a few big missing things like better class balance and bug fixes but that is a whole other post I could go on and on about, I’m an engineer people.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
In an interview in December Colin Johanson commented on future updates to Guild Wars 2. It’s his job in these interviews to hype Guild Wars 2, talk big, be energetic about the future and generate excitement.
We had a huge Halloween update in October, we just had a big one in November, we have a giant Christmas update coming in December, and all of those have gone over really well, and I think in December people are going to be really excited. But January and February are actually are biggest updates to date. They’re even bigger than all the stuff we did in October, November and December. And I think that when people see how much stuff they’re gonna get for no monthly fee in January and February, they’re probably going to be blown away. These two months combined are basically an expansion’s worth of content for free.
So for the past month I’ve run into several people where the first words out of their mouth were something along the lines of “have you heard that we’re getting an expansions worth of content?” And I think people are getting the wrong idea. It’s fine as long as people keep their expectations reasonable but we will not be getting an expansion worth of content, not by any traditional standard anyway, until an actual expansion comes out. This is just typical enthusiasm from Colin.
He even commented further on the official forums.
In saying this will be an expansions worth of stuff in these releases, we’re talking about the number of new features that will be rolled out across PvE, WvW, and PvP in early 2013, which usually you’d only find in an expansion for a traditional MMORPG.
I’m sure we’ll be getting a lot of things in the upcoming updates I just wish the word expansion wasn’t thrown around so carelessly. I think most people expect a fair amount more content from an expansion than we might actually end up getting.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
I wasn’t going to write this post. It’s been sitting in my queue for more than 2 months. The problem was that as time went on it became less interesting and less important. You see, in my guild, a couple of people chose to first acquire magic find gear instead of more powerful gear.
Meanwhile myself and others had chosen to get more powerful gear as we learned how to progress through new dungeons and challenges. There was a very clear difference in mindset. Those of us who wanted power to trailblaze through new content, and those of us who wanted to make money.
It kind of irritated me really. Here I was putting everything I had into the right stats, the right gear, and worrying about whether I was making the right decisions to better help my guild and not be a burden. Here they were deliberately shedding stats for potential personal gain.
You know at first I thought that Magic Find wasn’t a big deal, that it wouldn’t have much of an impact on playstyle or gear choice. My understanding is that with 100% magic find that a 1 in 1000 chance becomes a 2 in 1000 chance. That seems paltry, but practically it is a big difference if you spend any time farming at all. It’s the difference between drops off a few things and drops off of many things. And as such people started making important decisions on whether to get magic find gear or not.
So we would go into dungeons and 2 out of 5 people would have all magic find gear and audibly complain that they were dying too easily or not doing enough damage. Oh, you think?
Eventually they got real gear. Dungeons became easier the more we knew about them. I didn’t have to complain or nag anyone that they were slowing us down, not playing their part, a burden.
There are still people out there doing this however, particularly in Fractals since the drops there seem so much better. I saw this on reddit. A gentleman who admits to burdening PUG groups with his substandard gear. Just another reason to avoid PUGs, if you didn’t have enough already.
I’ve worn my own magic find gear in dungeons a couple of times. Dungeons that we knew really well with competent teammates who’ve all got the run down to a science. I didn’t exactly make a fortune but things didn’t go horribly either.
In the end it all comes down to altruism or selfishness. Make money or pull your own weight. All in all I’d rather people wore their best gear when they’re with a group and go farm on their own time. That’s what I plan to do.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
Wintersday was the biggest and most popular festival in Guild Wars so Guild Wars 2 had a lot to live up to with Wintersday 2. I’m glad to say that the festivals so far have blown the original game out of the water.
It seems surprising that they’ve actually managed to put together so much content in such a seemingly small amount of time since Southsun Cove was released. Their production teams must be running on all cylinders. Guild Wars festivals had a lot of content but typically they were built up over the course of years, I feel like Guild Wars 2 has trumped them on Halloween and Wintersday their first time out.
Fully original set-pieces for the mini-dungeon, snowball fight, jumping puzzle, and bell choir. Decorations strung up everywhere, skins, and cash shop items available aplenty. Very little of it is disappointing.
The things I like the most are probably that we get to build our own mini, although I’m saddened that seemingly we don’t get build each one, unless I’m misinformed. Some of the skins are really great, like the slingshot. The slingshot is genius. The earmuffs as well.
As usual the chests are not worth buying. While I’m sure there are a ton of things in them to entice people to buy them, the vast majority of people who do will be disappointed. With the gem exchange becoming virtually useless for changing gold to gems for the average user, it’s best just to avoid random number generators.
As for the activities. I like them a lot actually, but I’m much better at describing faults than pointing out victories.
A long time ago, years before Guild Wars 2 was released, I blogged about the musical instruments of Lord of the Rings. Players there can learn songs and play them for others on various musical instruments. I had wanted Guild Wars 2 to incorporate the same thing. I can’t find the post. In any case I was lead to believe that wouldn’t happen, and, pleasantly surprised during the 3rd beta weekend when I came across an organ in Caledon Forest that you can play. And now with Wintersday we have both bells that you can acquire and play songs with, and the Bell Choir.
Bell Choir is a bit of fun similar to a Guitar Hero like game. And if you like that you’ll like this, but I’ve never been a fan of those types of games. I did play it enough to get the achievement and a few extra rounds for gifts so I do have some observations.
I thought the wait times were too long. Nothing more interminable than having to wait and wait and wait just to be bad at something.
I kind of thought rewards could have been handed out after each round as well, so that I could come and go as I please.
As for the difficulty, it does take a lot of practice just to get to a point where you’re not making a fool of yourself. I thought the timing of when you’re supposed to hit the notes could use some work as well. It seemed counter-intuitive to hit the notes after the lights disappear rather than at the point they cross the line. Took me a while to figure that out.
The free play portion is great, for anyone who can play or understands music. I do not. That’s a full minute of wasted time for the vast majority of people.
Winter Wonderland is a fantastic contrast to the Mad King’s Clocktower of Halloween. It really shows off what is good and bad about both.
Probably the worst thing about the MKC was that the vast majority of your time was spent in that first 5% of the puzzle. So if you’re not any good at jumping puzzles you were stuck with the same aggravating problems over and over. With WW that problem is thrown out the window with 3 different paths and the timing gets tighter at the end of the puzzle, not at the very beginning.
The difficulty is a lot easier for Wonderland too, while MKC threw in a few twists in difficulty throughout the puzzle (some intentional, some not) WW has a few specific hurdles that you can quickly get a grip on. I think that’s also reflected in the rewards. MKC gave up exotic boots, but the most you should hope for from WW is 3 ugly wool sweaters, one of the currencies at the Wintersday vendor. Fair enough.
The snowball fight is really well done and I would say one of the best festival PvP schemes they’ve put together, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have gripes.
For one I think the scout skillset needs some work. It’s tied to some of the regular games issues with longbow on ranger not being accurate enough. It’s just too easy to dodge the scout making the class weaker than the others.
Another complaint is just the starting area. I really despise having to face plant or take falling damage the moment the game starts. You can avoid it most times through some extra effort but I don’t see why you can’t just start running to the gift.
Which is another thing, the achievements get in the way of a good game. It’s hard enough to be paired up with a competent team, you’ll likely either dominate or be dominated when in snowball fight, but if half your teams motivation is either to bring gifts back or stop gifts from being brought back, not to wait for the next gift or play strategically, then we’ve got an annoying problem.
Finally Tixx’s mini dungeon. It’s actually pretty spectacular. The destructible model houses are obviously the best part as the actual objectives are fairly straightforward and uncomplicated. I thought the end boss could be more complicated, there’s really only one boss move you have to avoid, but it was fine with decent rewards. I have to wonder if any of that will change up for its future locations but at least the setting is amazing. As with the rest of the festival.
The last time I commented on one time only events I was dismissive and ridiculed the idea. In truth there are both reasons to like the events and reasons to dislike them. So here’s a more thorough hashing out of the issue.
It brings a lot of people together at one time. Seeing a giant crowd around you, having your whole guild in one place to do the same event and talk about it to each other can be really fun. Certainly it can be a memorable occasion, some might consider it epic. And there is a great sense of working together, certainly when the zone was opened for the first time the zerg that rampaged through the events was a lot of fun.
There is no reason whatsoever that it can’t be arranged to occur more than once for people who can’t make it. Family obligations, work, time zones, friends and having a life.
Further, having everyone at one place at one time over the past few days has caused some epic lag issues. Both the first day in Lion’s Arch and today in Southsun it came to the point where I could not use skills, could not see enemies, could not see allies, could not see enemy skill effects, had a terrible frame rate and was disconnected twice. I think I must have been rolled over by an invisible mob 10 times, hit by invisible poison a half dozen times.
Even Further, massive populations meant half my guild was on one overflow server while the other half was on another. Neither group was on our home server with the rest of our community. Not exactly a great guild or community builder.
The rewards can be pretty good. You will find no one complaining about the rewards they recieved on Sunday. Two exotics, two rares, the accessory and bag. All generous and lifted my spirits and opinion of the event as a whole. I find myself wondering how much of the rewards are for the meta event and how much for the one time only event. I presume it’s all one time only, it’s rather generous for even a world boss kill.
I didn’t receive my reward from the Miyani scavenger hunt on the first day due to bugs. On the second day the event went away. On my server the quaggan was stuck in a post, the largos didn’t do anything, the sylvari bugged out, and the asura disappeared completely. Jumping around to overflow servers helped but at no time did the Kessex Hills zone need an overflow. If you plan a one time event, bugs are a surefire way to screw it up.
The cinematics have been pretty cool. A great way to be introduced to the new Mad King or the karka. I think the creatures themselves are a bit grindy but such is the nature of scaling when you pull everyone together for a one time only event. Certainly destroying something iconic like the lighthouse (fixture of Lion’s Arch in the original game) adds some weight. And I liked some aspects of the events, like toppling trees or causing landslides or flinging rocks using steam vents. The scavenger hunt events were fun as well if you could get them to work. I like how lore has been handled, the writing, the setup, all very good.
Okay aside from lag making events unplayable, and bugs making events unplayable, the only other complaints I would have would be length and grind. 2 and a half hours is a long time to be at the final event. I saw multitudes of people taking breaks, getting fed up, quitting. The population of my overflow shrank a bit towards the end. People quit due to length, sure, but I think the main reason would be the “reinforcement” rounds with the Ancient Karka. The frustration of having things spawn on top of you is one thing but the length of time it took to kill veteran after veteran after champion after champion was a little much. Way too grindy.
Personally I don’t think it’s worth it. Giving players something massive to do together is great, but Arenanets servers have not been up to the task and multitudes of people are left out.
I also feel horrible for the people who missed out on the excellent rewards at the end, two guildies of mine were disconnected, several more were at work. What’s worse is I have to mention to them what the rewards were when they log in. “Oh yeah you could have gotten a precursor, too bad you’re a responsible adult who can’t log in to an MMO on the whims of the studio.”
I’m actually quite concerned that the excellent rewards will placate people into not giving appropriate feedback. I feel like I’ve been bribed to like the final event when throughout it I wasn’t having much fun.
I don’t know what Arenanet is really thinking on this one. Big events like this cause a lot of hype and players to come back and money to be spent and create an atmosphere that makes it seem like the game is alive. But the number of people they’re aggravating with poor implementation and scheduling surely alienates as many people as it excites.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
Guild Wars didn’t have gear progression. You could get to level 20, buy a cheap set of armour, slap on some superior runes, and still be just as powerful as someone who had been playing for years. Progression in that game came with the multitude of skills you could acquire, the skins, titles, location unlocks, and other aesthetic goals.
Guild Wars 2 is a different game. Among the updates coming this week are rings that are slightly better than the current max stat rings available to players. Ascended gear. Not including whatever the infusion adds to the unused slot.
Personally I suppose I expected gear to progress with an expansion. You don’t make a game that is this gear dependent and then do nothing with gear when an expansion is released. I fully expect progression of several types in the future as Arenanet have said they’re going with a more traditional expansion model. Seems like they’re probably thinking about that too.
Adding item progression is a delicate process normally undertaken in an expansion, but we feel it’s important to strive to satisfy the basic needs of our players sooner rather than later. – Linsey Murdock
What I did not expect was gear progression to come in this soon. 2 and a half months in and the exotic rings I finished making last week are going to be replaced next week. But to me that’s merely a minor annoyance. Others aren’t taking things nearly so well.
There is a lot of outrage at how this seemingly flies in the face of Arenanet’s philosophy that gear progression should be based on aesthetic looks rather than stat-based power. The thing is I don’t think they ever said there would never be any sort of gear progression. They just said it wouldn’t take you thousands of hours to get gear that is comparable to the rarest sets in the game.
“Here’s what we believe: If someone wants to play for a thousand hours to get an item that is so rare that other players can’t realistically acquire it, that rare item should be differentiated by its visual appearance and rarity alone, not by being more powerful than everything else in the game. Otherwise, your MMO becomes all about grinding to get the best gear. We don’t make grindy games — we leave the grind to other MMOs.”
-Mike Obrien, President of Arenanet
A lot of the outrage likely comes from the perception that Arenanet isn’t doing what it said it would do.
Exotic gear is difficult to get but reasonably difficult. Legendary weapons are difficult to get but unreasonably difficult. These rings, the back piece, for all we know are reasonably difficult. It’s probably only as grindy to get them as any other max stat ring.
What is more important a question to me personally is whether this sort of lateral progression, the infusion, is the direction Arenanet wants to go. This could easily create an atmosphere where groups don’t want to take a player with them because they don’t have anything infused.
The original Guild Wars had a type of infusion. The Mursaat had a skill that was called Agony and the only protection from which was infusion on your armour. Plenty of room for speculation about that in another post. But I certainly remember running Iron Mines of Moladune on every single one of my characters trying to do missions in Guild Wars with someone who was not infused and seeing people kicked out of parties due to their lack of infusion.
On the other hand infusion seems like a reasonable way to laterally progress gear, if only the stats didn’t seem to better on that ring. And I think Syp would probably have something to say about lateral progression systems.
All that aside I’m pretty sure this is a little bit of genius planning on Arenanet’s part. Argue about the possible hypocrisy if you like, but most major MMOs begin to have a big fall off in activity after their first 3 months. Adding in a bit of gear progression just as some of the more hardcore players begin to be done with the game is a very strategic move. The Lost Shores is timed extremely well if you ask me. 2 and a half months after launch.
As for me, am I a fan of the idea that Guild Wars 2 will have plenty of gear progression? I’m going with optimism on this one. This doesn’t have to be such a bad thing. I’m not really thrilled that I’ll be replacing my rings but I’m happy that I’m going to have more stuff to do and that Arenanet is charging forward with new content and ideas. I’ve done gear progression in plenty of other games it was always cool to get something better. Whether its Skyrim, Borderlands, Runes of Magic, Minecraft, or virtually any other video game ever, gear progression is not the worst thing in the world.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
It was clear from the beginning that Arenanet didn’t want people hopping servers solely for the purpose of joining a successful WvW team. It’s just too bad they failed to put in place any sort of deterrent. Here we are months later and entire guilds are still free to jump ship and add their weight to already successful worlds.
This is the result of free transfers which I was under the impression would end within weeks of launch. 2 and a half months later the only deterrent seems to be a 7 day wait before you can return to your old server, as if that’s likely.
We’ve already seen large alliances shifting around to the already successful servers. What a difference they make moving 5th place servers up to 3rd place contenders! Meanwhile my own server is absolutely outnumbered by every server we go up against. We lose more and more people every day to other servers. I’ve never been a big fan of the PvP personality type and this is why. We do okay in WvW matches but it only takes one week of losses to set the tears flowing and have guilds migrate elsewhere. Which only leads to even lower morale and worse showings.
One of my main concerns is that servers that are already successful are getting plenty of players to continue that success. Meanwhile my own server will continue to sink in the rankings. All because Arenanet have essentially twiddled their thumbs on this issue even when they knew far in advance it would be a problem.
This all stems to guesting not having come in, but at this point I’d be far more willing to wait on guesting and have a cost associated with moving servers than continue to allow rats to abandon the various sinking ships. If I recall correctly the idea was that full servers would cost more gems while unpopulated servers would cost less. Let’s get on that Arenanet.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of dungeons and I’ve been experiencing a balance issue that is less about the difficulty of the bosses and more about the placement of waypoints. It’s a quality of life problem.
In Guild Wars 2 dungeons it is often an invitation to suicide if you were to stop and res a teammate. Being the diligent teammate it often becomes your responsibility after dying to immediately teleport to the closest waypoint. Sometimes these waypoints are close by, but at others it is an insanely long distance. In fact I’d go so far as to say that almost every dungeon has a notoriously long run back from a waypoint somewhere, sometimes in multiple paths.
Perhaps the most well known run amongst my regular guild is the run back to the second encounter with Subject Alpha in Crucible of Eternity. Between the waypoint and the location of the fight you’ve usually killed, depending on the path, a number of bosses, elites, and champions not to mention the challenge of completing a laser grid puzzle to unlock the waypoint in the first place. I’m not sure how long it takes to run back to the SA fight but it is quite a distance.
And on some level that is fine. A challenge is a good thing and a penalty for failing is a way to make the fight matter. But there a number of things that come to mind that make the penalty so much more bitter.
To begin with you have little chance to rally. There are tendrils in the fight that you can kill to get up, but they are not a guarentee of success. I can’t be the only one who has damaged something while downed only to not rally when it is defeated. Nor can you always be in a location in this particularly small room to be able to hit one of the tendrils. One might rely on a teammate to res you if it weren’t impossible 80% of the time. The combination of the difficulty of successfully ressing someone combined with the chance that you might die as well means hesitation, lack of confidence, fewer people taking the chance. Then there are the crystals. Some professions can deal better with these than others, and it takes quite some effort to free teammates before they are targeted by the Aoe. Not to mention being encased in one usually means certain death. So if you get crystalled you will get downed, if you get downed you will die. No rally, no res.
Hence the bitterness of what feels like a 2 minute run back to the fight. A fight which is still going and in urgent need of your assistance.
One of the worst byproducts of these runs back is something I’ve seen a few times now with Subject Alpha and other bosses. A vicious circle of a single player alone with the boss, desperately trying to stay alive and keep the boss in combat and the fight going. That player dies just as another player runs in to do the exact same thing, repeated and repeated again.
And you don’t even unlock a waypoint after this encounter. You have to fight two (two!) more bosses to unlock a waypoint. It’s just a mess.
There are plenty of other bosses with similar problems. The fire golem in story mode of Sorrow’s Embrace is a prime example. The chain knockbacks of Sure-shot Seamus in Caudecus Manor, and any number of other dungeons where you have a long run back.
I haven’t even begun to get into some of the balance issues with the actual bosses. Some fights can be done while browsing reddit. Others require intense concentration and reflexes.
The difficulty never seems to correspond with the reward of a waypoint either. In fact, placement of waypoints seems to make little sense at all. Many dungeons place one after the first boss fight, mere seconds from the original waypoint, and never seem to award another waypoint at all. Few bother to place one at the midpoint of the dungeon which would seem like a logical location. Twilight Arbor is a good example of some of these problems.
I have a history of taking note of these types of scenarios. In Runes of Magic I wrote this post. It’s about how long it takes to run back to a dungeon after a wipe. Some of those dungeons took 5 minutes to return to the same boss.
Guild Wars 2 can be frustrating in this respect but it’s nowhere near as bad. In fact I feel a bit like a spoiled brat complaining about this issue. Particularly when better tactics or better players probably have much less trouble with some of these bosses.
But that’s the way Guild Wars raised me. Instant travel. No corpse runs. Spoil the casual player. Let us play when we want to play without the grind of a death penalty. And that’s what we’re encountering with these runs back. A death penalty. The thing is, I thought failure was supposed to be the death penalty. Not the waypoint costs in zones, not the temporary health reduction, not the damaged and broken armour, but failure itself.
One of the worst penalties in gaming is wasting the time of the player. It’s a commodity that is valuable to us not just in gaming but in the rest of our lives as well. So when you waste it, you had better have a damn fucking good reason.
Fine, whatever. Failure makes success that much more sweet right? I guess I just wish there was less of that miserable feeling of being screwed out of rallying culminating with a walk of shame.