Beliefs in a WvW Blog

A hypocrite says hello for one last GW2 rant.

More talk regarding plans for wvw recently and there is a lot of information in this new post about the plans Devon has for WvW in the future. He acknowledges many of the issues that WvW has such as the dominance of zergs, commanding tools, siege, and player activities. Another point was that they may be introducing a flux events type mechanic from GW1 could make it more interesting again, changing the rules of play occasionally would enable them to quickly test changes but also help in changing the meta a little.

However all of this right now comes off as rather shallow to me, lofty claims of vast updates that sound eerily familiar so excuse me if I don’t offer an enthusiastic woo as support just yet. The Jaded guild Wars gamer has heard this song and dance already. Just wait another month for a game changing updates. Major pvp patch in November, wait not January.. Hmm not quit yet. Sorry was there a big WvW patch I seemed to have missed it. Oh, you mean the patch that improved my ability to kill npc’s and brought the emergence of arrow cart wars, I am eternally grateful.

I thought your talk of innovation and experimentation was amazing at first but now I see this is just a watered down version of whatever idea it was the originally captivated us simple-minded the masses. I honestly don’t know what happened to them, could the pressure of profit taken its toll or like many well-meaning developers did they succumb to the qq and abandon their vision to start trying to appeal to everyone. Everyone who plays WvW excessively seems to have an opinion on the subject, the forums are a jumble of mismatched views and it could be hard to ascertain peoples issues occasionally but mostly, the issues that matter are plainly obvious and have been since the game launched.

Unnngh… I don’t think I will discuss guild Wars WvW on the blog anymore as it starting to come off as entirely too negative and overly critical. I may write about more positive items or gameplay experiences but all this gw2 ranting just makes me upset. It has potential, everyone who plays or has played is aware of that but how long to you give a game for it to realise that potential, or realise just a part of it. To me if feels like any meaningful changes aren’t going to happen within a decent time frame, I don’t see how considering what over 9 months has brought. The living story updates and over the top holiday activities are great but are not the focus of my play and enjoyment. There have been a number of decent WvW updates, I just don’t see it as enough… is that me just being spoilt, maybe, regardless it seems Guild Wars 2 just isn’t for me.

I still have fun and will until the near future, but now I think it comes primarily down to the quality of the company rather the quality of the content.

7 thoughts on “Beliefs in a WvW Blog

  1. ANet seems to have some major development issues with WvW, things that go far deeper than just tiny, zerg happy maps and pitiful class balancing.

    Most importantly, I don’t believe ANet had any major plans for adding on to WvW when the game shipped. I can all but guarantee that all of the PvE events and additions to the game were being worked on or finished at launch because drawing up all those design docs, getting them approved, drafting the art assets, creating said art assets, implementing the content, and then running QA and the whole bug fixing routine takes a hell of a lot of time. If ANet did have plans to expand on WvW at launch, then I believe it’s safe to say that whatever those plans were they are now either scraped or being massively reworked.

    As support for my hypothesis I point out that the ONLY additions to WvW in 9 months has been a tertiary exp system and the elements associated with that system (UI elements, database changes, spreadsheet adjustments, etc). Which isn’t impressive in the slightest.

    The root of this issue is that ANet seems to be of several minds about WvW. Pre-launch it seemed clear that ANet considered WvW to be ‘casual pvp’ as mentioned in most of their WvW oriented blog posts. I doubt ANet expected WvW to be anywhere near as popular as it turned out to be, hence the many weeks of absurdly long queues and the addition of 3 more servers just after launch, so they never felt to need to develop a lot of content for WvW.

    Post-launch I think some of the developers are coming around to the idea that WvW can be just as casual or hardcore as sPvP/tPvP, but I doubt the sentiment is shared by everyone. Right now I suspect there is an internal conflict about WvW within the company. About how many resources and development time it deserves and who should get the short end of the stick if it DOES get those additional resources.

    We can see shades of this in the last patch with the WvW ascended gear farce. They implemented a totally neutered and hamstrung system that reeks of compromise. I imagine that whoever is in charge of the ascended PvE content was NOT very happy about the idea that people would be able to get ascended gear “more easily” through WvW than PvE. Which is why the accessories, the newest piece to be released, have absolutely no badge component to their price and just use the exact same price as the laurel system, and the laurel system was DESIGNED for extremely casual players. Even the damn rings are massively overcosted, again probably because someone threw a shitfit about players not having to do fractals for their rings.

    I suspect that when the dust settles WvW will still end up getting the shaft. ANet obviously puts a lot of effort into the whole eSports thing with sPvP and it seems to me that they would be unwilling to pull resources out of their imagined cash cow to make WvW better. Likewise for PvE, which I imagine is the primary focus of the vast majority of the playerbase, I doubt ANet would take resources away from their primary breadwinner for something as seemingly contentious as WvW.

    The only way I can see that changing is if they eventually decide that the whole esports thing is a total bust, which will probably happen eventually because the sPvP devs seen to be trying to tapdance on quicksand attempting to make the damn thing fun and popular. Sadly I doubt it will happen before WvW becomes a ghost town.

    • No, I don’t think they had any long term plans for it either, preaching to the choir my good man. After some may months they have only recently hired someone to lead a WvW development team, a team which I’m guessing also didn’t exist until recently. They didn’t think content for WvW was important enough post release to have its own team and supervisor who specialise in open world PvP… It makes me sad.

      I think I most developers would have many design documents detailing plans, ideas, and timeliness for at least a year after release they missed WvW though, apparently this was meant to be its final form. No new maps, skills, or content just ridiculous skis to siege during holiday events.

      No other maps because it’s just too hard and too much work. Worried about balance yet the borderlands are barely balanced as it is… Trebling bay from garrison has been going on since beta.

      The single biggest change we’ve seen to WvW was the “fixes” and new options about culling, an issue which really should have been noticed and fixed during alpha.

      I think everyone underestimated how popular WvW would be and how fervent the playerbase is. It just came at a good, there were no other big releases and it’s still slim pickings for pvp mmo’s. It isn’t that popular though. Looking at the player caps on the zones, the amount of servers, and some fancy guesstimation the WvW playerbase is probably only between 50 to 100 thousand… A drop I’m the bucket compared to PvE and sales. I would like to see how much we buy in comparison to other modes though.

      We’re still leagues more popular than SPvP though, you wouldn’t suspect going this by the amount of development. I think SPvP could become an esport but not an overly popular one and not within any reasonable time so it’s hard to guess whether there investment in it us going to be worth it.

      • I doubt anything particularly meaningful will happen on the esport front. They might achieve some minor success, after a lot of clumsy, wasteful, fumbling about, but I can’t fathom it becoming the big cash cow ANet obviously wants it to be.

        Honestly I don’t understand their obsession. How many times have they reworked tournaments now? 3? And they keep trying to tie the bloody things into the gem store too for some reason when it seems like they should be focused on trying to make tourneys more popular instead of shoving in ATM guarded barriers to entry.

        Not to mention the fact that they STILL lack so many of the tools I would call baseline for any game that aspires to the esport title: lots of individual player stats and leader boards, spectating, recording, phone apps, etc. Not to mention its just plain unexciting to watch because the metagame is dull as all hell.

        I won’t even get into class balance because I suspect that’s another area where the various dev groups have vastly differing opinions and that’s why nothing seems to get done.

        On another note, I get annoyed when people say that culling was a WvW improvement. It wasn’t. It was a general game improvement. And I highly doubt the fix would have been given any priority if it didn’t also help smooth out the experience at those big open world events ANet seems fond of throwing money at. Specifically I think the culling fix was spurred on by all the complaints about the karka event back in November and the WvW benefits were just a bonus.

      • Haha, it is sooooo freaking boring to watch. Nothing really that interesting happens, the meta is very simplistic, class roles are very restricted, and their is no foreplay to the action. Just boom, lots of flashy partical effects and it’s over.

        I have the slightest of hope that they may eventually make something of it but their ineptitude at getting basic features into the game is appalling. Like you said, the either have no idea what they want to or or there is a lot of conflict between people on how to do it. It’s never even going o approach the slightest of fame other games have.

        Oh and don’t get me started on the ridiculouslessness of the cash shop. Grumble Grumble. Tournament tickets in the begginings was appalling, although I’m half hearted on the cost of servers (I may just get one to bring back some casual 5v5 servers). It’s not a free game yet they are trying to milk the players like it is. I think it’s also how split up the playerbase is as it’s mostly constricted by server still unless you know others.

        As for culling I say WvW improvement since that is the area of the game it helped the most. I have no doubt the Kharka event was also a maim reason behind then making it a priority, and it’s also helped many of the PvE events but it overwhelmingly helped WvW fir the better. WvW also got many of the options on how it affects people. Cudos are required because even if there aim wasn’t WvW it still improved the experience for us dramatically.

  2. I just don’t like it when people insist that I be grateful for stuff when the business obviously doesn’t actually give a lick about me that’s all. Mostly culling is used as example that PvEers and fanboys trot out when WvW players complain that they haven’t gotten jack in 9 months.

    Beyond that though, I see you recently started playing TSW again. Did you notice how much better their cash shop is compared to GW2s? I was laughing at it the other day after coming back after a few months break. It’s absolutely ridiculous how many more cosmetics and useful things Funcom has put in. Took me like 20 mins to view all the new clothing items alone. I was also interested to what WASN’T there; no bloody “pay us $2 for a 0.5% chance at a new hat” items to be found. Glorious.

    • Fair enough, I’m far from a fan girl though. I understand that point though as I’m very much over there lack of interest in the mode and will be glad when there is an actually challenger to gw2’s WvW so they might actually have to create real changes.

      I looooove TSW’s cash shop. It’s full of items to buy that are entirely cosmetic, are interesting and fit with the theme and they add to it pretty regularly. The way the cosmetic system works, the stuff available, and the little options like buying account wide items for a little more as well as always having them available all say to me that they are thinking of the players first before profit.

      Funnily enough the original Guild Wars had a decent cash shop too, now all I say is wtf. I gave up on gw2 cash shop a little while ago now because of that.

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