This has been sitting in my drafts for a bit now and I’ve been debating whether to post it. Meh, why not flog the dead horse further.
Last rant I swear =p
New news from GW2 this week is the addition of Ascended weapons complete with more account bound materials and time gating. And apparently ascended armor by the end of the year
My mind is so full of.. Just.. Ugh.
The amusing part is coming out with this just after they had a recent interview at GWHub attesting against these exact same tired ideas. Here’s some choice quotes.
We came out with a game that is really a game that’s not about continued vertical progression and gearing up
Yes you came out with a game like that… This is not that game anymore.
The typical thing to focus on would be for players of a certain level or certain level of equipment and you’d say “Oh players are starting to run out of things to do, lets lay out more runway” and you’d develop more gear progression, more raids and new harder things to accomplish. They’d do that for a while and start complaining and they’d say “Nothings challenging any more, I’m running out of things to do” and you’d make more higher progression. That’s a pattern our industry was in and it’s a pattern that works for some players but I think players are kind of maturing past the point of wanting to be on that treadmill – wanting to be in that obvious pattern of every time I catchup you’re wanting to put that carrot in front of me.
Are they delusional? It certainly is hypocritical to even elude to such things. Are they seeing a pattern that I am not because from where I’m am as a regular gamer the most they have added in terms of progression is all vertical.. Straight and narrow gear grind all the way just without the illusion of content gating. I’m not exactly against gear progression as I don’t really see where a theme park could go without it but to pretend it’s not influencing your development is asinine.
The way of gaining exotics was actually quite well done as there were a lot if avenues to attain them but now, with the addition of even more ascended pieces, time gates, and account bound materials this is changing. They set out to alter the gear grind zeitgeist but they just keep digging that hole further and further. I am actually wondering at what stage they will start creating content that is tuned specifically for ascended gear, it would make sense to do it in a way as there is already some heavy obsolescence to past content and zones due to the leveling process and available rewards. It would also provide the structure and challenges people are craving.
Now many would think this is mostly inconsequential to the average Player and you would be right to an extent. The average player is a PvE one but when these increasingly large stat gains are affecting PvP it becomes an issue. It becomes more of a required thing rather than optional and has implications to build changes, alting as well as unsettling the balance between the casual and hardcore even further.
I think the distinguishing mark is that there are things to do in the world that are new, challenging and bring players together that require players to learn new skills. To come together to defeatp bigger and badder challenges.
Yes, I believe that was the original idea and they have certainly created a lot of “content” that is new, but challenging… Not so much. The level of coordination needed for most open world content is minimal at best, the invasions were getting better I guess but people still followed the unceasing blob. The new Tequita might be better but I don’t see the change when there are a plethora of other events requiring little skill and coordination that are comparable in rewards.
They call this content as well and while I may admit you could call it that in the mildest sense it is not comparable to other updates from even its predecessor. The worst of it is that to me this is meaningless fluff. Atleast in the gear grinds of old it had a certain amount of challenge to it that made it more enjoyable to me. Completing those initial during hard modes and decent raids gave a euphoric rush and the gear gained was incidental. After that it becomes a good indication but there are many other positives to having this style of structured group content for the individual and groups. Map zerging is not comparable and adding a plethora of time gated mechanics without any sort of purpose is incomparable.
Because the Living World updates are free, is this a sustainable model? Can you do it for a long time?
Mike: As you know Guild Wars 2 has this unique business model and we love our business model. You’ve probably seen our earning reports where we have a very stable revenue base in the game right now and so we’re funding these Living World updates through our revenue base.
Stable for now. Hmm, as a company I would be aiming for more then just stable for now. This is a very volatile genre in terms of players and profit and aiming for just stable seems dangerous. I guess by now they probably have their reasonably stable base population who like the update style and gameplay and will stick around for awhile to come so it might just be a sustainable business model.
Going by City of heroes though sustainable probably won’t placate NCsoft for long. Yes I’m aware of Arenanet’s status but NCsoft would still have a certain amount of influence over it.