This is a summary of things that bother me about the current state of the game. Although there will probably be quite a few people who look at this differently and see several of the points on this list as ridiculous, it’s the total sum of all these that brought me to post this, hoping that ArenaNet will take this to heart and will take action to solve them.
My apologies for the multiple posts, but I just can’t fit all this into the forum limit of 5000 characters…
Let’s start with a simple one, that I do count as a ‘broken promise’ even if this will surely be fixed over time:
1. “The game will be released when it’s done”.
Yet at release date several of the things that were promised and were sometimes even indicated as being ‘top priority’, weren’t “done” (and several of those still aren’t available):
• account security measures (these were only implemented after launch, when the damage was already done)
security is a big, big priority for us.
We are taking account security very serious and there will definitely be ways to protect your account.
• measures against botting (still being implemented)
Discouraging the use of third party programs that exploit the game and negatively impact the experience of others is a top priority for us.
• no guesting (still not available)… which is becoming more and more of a concern now that world transfers are limited to once a week:
When Guild Wars 2 launches, you will also have the option to play with your friends on another world with our free “guesting” feature.
• no rollback functionality for accounts (still not available)
And I won’t even mention spectator mode or ladders for pvp, as ArenaNet has been evasive about when those would be made available from the very start (and I’m not much of a pvp person anyway).
2. Dyes are character bound, not account bound.
In short: a lot more grinding is required (or cash shop purchases) to get all the dyes you want on all characters.
And what we do is, as you find sets of dye, you unlock them for your account. So as you unlock dyes for your account, your characters just have them available for them.
3. No dedicated healers, every profession was supposed to be equally viable in all roles, and every profession would be equally welcome in a party.
Once you unlock the color, it will be available across your entire account, not just the individual character.
Yet (for example) the guardian (with most of its stills being support/healing based) is so close to a healer that he is always welcome in a party, 90% of his skills are support oriented, whereas a thief or ranger (with much less support options) are often refused from parties and are much harder to spec for support (with far less options). In short: ArenaNet’s implementation of professions failed to make them all truely equal.
4. No need for “LFG” for hours to get into a group.
Yet the cities and the lower level zones are filled with people just looking for a group who wants them so that they can play through a dungeon in explorable mode. This is actually a follow-up to the previous point… if all professions would be equally effective at all roles, then nobody would have a reason to refuse people from their party because they are a ranger and not a guardian.
Also, there isn’t enough motivation to play through story mode dungeons with lower level players. A level 35 player wanting to do Ascalonian Catacombs will have to spend a long time looking for a group, because very few groups actually want a level 35 stranger in their party when they do dungeons. There isn’t any kind of reward for the party for playing with lower level players.
5. Ever branching story
: with only 1 ending and several knots where branches come together again, these story branches are extremely disappointing. See also the flowchart here
I would at least have expected different endings if you choose The Vigil, the Durmand Priory or the Order of Whispers.
Every race has three branching dynamic stories right off the bat where they can pick from. So, for example, the humans you can pick to be from the city streets, the city nobility, or a commoner, and based on that choice you get a completely different personal story than somebody else. And then within that story, there are more branches that you can make decisions that further branch the story in other directions. So, I can be from the commoner class and you can be from the commoner class and we might experience a different story because of that. And then if you take that and say, all those options are available just for humans, then the other four races all have all these other completely different branching stories you can do as well.
-> This is just plain misleading. Very few of the branches are only available to one race, most of the branches actually are identical and not race dependent at all.
It’s not a branching story, it’s a ‘merging’ storyline… it starts off with a couple of different branches per race, but it quickly merges into one main storyline, with a few very small branches (paths) along the way that quickly merge back into the main story. After the first few levels, what race you took and what options you chose at character creation quickly become irrelevant, and you are all merged back into the one story thread.
6. No grinding dungeons for tokens.
Earlier on in the development, PC Gamer spoke to Eric Flannum, and he confirmed
Flannum says “It’s more of a badge system, so this is something that we did in Guild Wars 1 as well. Our basic philosophy is that you should never complete a piece of content and get something you don’t want. So it’s going to be the case where you go through and are guaranteed to get a piece of gear that you didn’t have before, and that you’re going to want.” So, you’re guaranteed to get a piece of gear every time you do a dungeon? “Yes.” Sweet.
By now we all know how much grinding is required to get the dungeon pieces.
In fact, there wasn’t supposed to be any need for grinding at all.
On top of that, there is a severe lack of personal goals once your have reached max level and you have explored all the zones. There aren’t any long-term goals worth going for, other than the dungeon gear (or the legendary gear). So if you don’t want to pvp, all that’s left to do at max level, is the repetitive grind.
Most MMOs these days make you grind and do really repetitive, boring content over and over again. There are moments of fun, but then you’re back swinging your sword over and over again, chasing around a moth or an ogre that’s standing around in the world doing nothing. That’s the part of the genre we think players are done with. We want to make something that’s better than that.
I think MMOs have two primary stigmas attached to them that non-MMO gamers hear and drives them away. The first one is the ‘grind’, the idea that you’re going to have to do a repetitive task over and over again… we wanted to eliminate that.
We don’t want the player to ever have to grind and do something they don’t want to do to progress in the game.
7. No gear treadmill
We expect content—not long, grindy progression—to be the deciding factor that keeps people playing our game. We want everyone to stick with Guild Wars 2 because our content is fun and enjoyable, not out of some dogged determination to slowly, slowly advance.
... yet after we reached max stat gear (exotics), ArenaNet first introduced Legendary weapons, now Ascended armor, and in the future Legendary armor… all with better stats. The rare gear (legendaries) was supposed to differ only in skin, not in stats:
The rarest items in the game are not more powerful than other items, so you don’t need them to be the best. The rarest items have unique looks to help your character feel that sense of accomplishment, but it’s not required to play the game. We don’t need to make mandatory gear treadmills, we make all of it optional, so those who find it fun to chase this prestigious gear can do so, but those who don’t are just as powerful and get to have fun too.
8. Zones remaining “relevant”:
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.
although the level scaling is a great idea, as it is right now, the game encourages grinding in only 1 zone: Orr. If you’re playing in Orr, you can easily make 6+ gold per hour and you can work on gathering resources that can be used to craft legendary gear. If you’re playing in any other zone in the game, then you can count yourself lucky if your “scaled up” rewards net you 2 gold per day, and you can forget about those legendaries.
Which is the main reason why Orr is still full, and most of the other zones are almost empty. There is nothing in those zones to entice players to keep coming back and do the events there again. Meaning that in many zones (even on full servers), a player playing through those zones will never be able to do the group events or take on the champions… because there’s simply no one else around to help out.
So please up the rewards in all other zones in the game and give every single zone something unique and worthwhile, to make it more interesting for max level players to return to every single zone and replay them over and over again.
On top of that, the scaling still doesn’t work too well, making lower level content far too easy if you’re scaled down from level 80 in full gear… even more so if you’re in a group. It doesn’t “remain challenging” as was the intention.
Right now, instead of addressing this problem of replayability, ArenaNet is spending most of its time into making new and higher level content to give players something new to grind for… and if that works, then Orr could soon see a significant drop in population as well.
9. No crafting of throwaway items.
As it is, the tradingpost is a joke. Some higher level items are in huge demand and cost a fortune, while the TP is filled with loads of lower/medium level items that nobody wants. Players who want to level up their crafting skills are forced to make a fair amount of throwaway items.
Our goal with our crafting philosophically is that you’ll never make an item that is a throwaway item. You’ll always be making something that is going to be valuable to someone. Whether it’s for yourself, whether it’s to put on the auction house, whether it’s a consumable that people want, there’s never a time when you’re just making something to increase your skill and then you’re just going to vendor it or chuck it or whatever else you’d do with it afterwards.
And finally, a few more of my concerns:
• The rates on the trading post and the currency exchange (gems) are ridiculous
(15%/36%). Have a look at the rates on auction sites like ebay, as they are much more reasonable.
• Inflation on gem prices is ridiculous.
On release date you could buy 100 gems for around 25 silver. Right now you’ll need closer to 90 silver for those same 100 gems. And still very few people actually consider it worthwhile to pay real money for gems to transfer them to gold.
I have been a Guild Wars player for more than 6 years, and have been looking forward to Guild Wars 2 for the past 3. I have hung on every piece of information ever since the first announcement, and have been an active moderator on a GW2 dedicated fansite for the past 2 years. All of this because I have seen (in the original Guild Wars) the great things ArenaNet could do, and I had faith in them.
Unfortunately, with the several broken promises (last of which the recent introduction of a new level of armor stats in the upcoming ascended and legendary gears), that faith is now gone.
And with all the above, this game has simply stopped being ‘fun’ for me. So, although it pains me to be forced to do this, I am going to stop playing until ArenaNet get their act together and get the game back on the right track (if ever).