An article on reddit made me think a little today, I had never really thought about it in that way before and now that I have it really seems to resonate with how I feel about the game. The title pretty much says it all but there is bit more to it then just being about better gear. Reading that thread I kind of had one of those epiphany moments, it revealed that one niggly little feeling in the back of my head which has been spoiling a bit of my gameplay of late. Guild Wars 2 was supposed to be more casually orientated where it was more about grinding for outfits than for gear but i don’t think they achieved that aim very well. I know people have thought this for a while but the extent of it was just out of sight until recently.
While exotic gear isn’t too hard to get, when combined with the great customisation inherent in the classes with weapon and trait swapping it just becomes a headache as gaining multiple sets for each spec you like from Carion to Beserkers or Soldiers is actually a big ask for the average player. I have had the time so far so I have 3 sets of gear for my one main class but there is more I honestly would like given the chance but anyone else without the time is unfortunately going to be stuck with the one.. Maybe 2 major roles fully geared out.
Then there is this problem which becomes multiplied by the inherent design towards people alting. The different classes are a lot of fun to play even if leveling them isn’t and a part of the fun to the game is enjoying these classes in the games different aspects. But gearing up one character for the different circumstances that may arise takes enough time as it is, now we are multiplying that per class. It is a shame not to enjoy a class’s different to aspects due to the grind and time that goes with gearing but that’s what happens. I haven’t even finished leveling the Ele and I’m already dreading the fact of getting more gear for it, doing dungeons all over again makes my skin crawl (even speed running them feels awful , or grinding out these Lagons that everyone is piling onto at the moment. I just don’t want to and even if it does eventuate i can never imagine myself doing it for another character.
And then we have Ascended gear which have a huge time value attached to them, around a month just to attain a single piece from the laurel vendor. Anyone who wants to progress now has to play everyday otherwise it is going to take far longer. While I still don’t have a single Ascended piece and honestly don’t plan too I am still rather unhappy with the system because due to the time factor the Ascended system makes the classes more limited then any other factor. We’re looking at months right now just to fill up the jewelery slots, imagine when we have armor and weapons to contend with. That then is just one for one stat combination, what happens when i want to switch to a different spec, lord knows if I actually want to play an alt.
You can see how that then becomes the primary factor in a person’s choice of character, if you want to remotely min max you are limited to one character and one spec. Now people do say that it is inconsequential anyway, the difference on an Ascended item and exotic is minimal but when you add up having an entire set it is actually a decent increase. For a beserkers set you were getting a 7% increase in power, 6% for crit chance, and 12% for crit damage… now think when we can get ascended for each piece of armor and weapons.
Now this may not matter much for fighting random ai in dynamic events or in dungeons but when it comes to pvp every bit matters, and believe me that that increase does matter. But then even if it doesn’t matter is it ok that progression wise all you can hope to achieve in the foreseeable future is to upgrade one spec of one class… It just doesn’t feel right as the time factor involved is exorbitant. As many Laughs points out in his recent homage to GW2 I am indeed bored of this grind, I don’t even have to be playing I just get bored thinking about what I would have to do to get it all.
We were promised many different avenues for progression before release and I was expecting a lot more from them.. Interesting outfits, abilities you find in the world, unlockable events and contents not this. Hell as it is right now I would prefer the dungeon grinds for gear rather then this prolonged time based restriction. I remember getting our entire guild geared up through raids in rift in a much shorter time then it takes to get just the Ascended trinkets and I enjoyed that far more. I can even come back with alts for another run if I wanted to as content and progression weren’t account bound.
Now there do seem to be a few better options here that keeps the systems that have been designed already and allow people these avenues for progression but which may also appease the many of us who don’t want to feel forced to complete a daily everyday or run through recycled fractal content.. that want to enjoy they class customisation or even other alts. Firstly why not have these token purchased items account bound and second why not allow people to trade them in for a different set and just add a price for the convenience. I wonder if there are any more ways this model of gear progression could be better suited to the foundations of the game… i hope so and I hope Arenanet can better mold this system into matching their original manifesto, that one that was oh so alluring until it was promptly crushed.
Oh and need moar horizontal progression.. I don’t really like most of the dungeon models so all I really have now is to collect all the dyes… I thought we would have had more gear models added by now.