Found this Forbes interview done recently, that was picked up by Massively Overpowered, and I have some constructive feedback for it.
“You can’t go halfway on a world,” he argues. “A world is such a powerful thing. It’s where your friends are. It’s the relaxing place where you hang out in the quiet moments between challenges. It’s the home that you grow to love, and that you’re ready to fight to defend when the story asks you to. We came to realize that the world wasn’t the setting; the world was the game.”
“About 90 percent play a lot of PvE content, about 40 percent play a lot of World vs. World or PvP content, and about 30 percent play a lot of both.”
I'd like to address the above 2 quotes...
First, I completely agree with the statements made about the game world. However, I find that professions and combat are as equally important, but both of those areas do not receive enough continued development, balance passes and reevaluation. So there has been a common sentiment along the way, by the critics, that professions and certain combat designs (stuff like stealth and condi mechanics…) are basically “halfway” made and maintained.
The characters we create are used to navigate through the game world, fighting our way through encounters, face off against other players in pvp and wvw... and so much more... Yet, it is the mostly the PvE side that profession weapon skills, slot skills, traits, elites specializations, playable roles, stealth design, condi designs, UI for support roles… are built for. That IS frustrating when “about 40 percent play a lot of World vs. World or PvP content, and about 30 percent play a lot of both.”… Reading the article also made me think back to the large “Top 5 wish” thread we had in the wvw section and we were told... (paraphrased) “We are looking for balance wins that won't mess over PvE”… Talk about frustrating.
I am not brining any of this up to be negative, disruptive or trying to make any call outs… but I hope the team can understand the frustration some people in the 40% group feel with regard to profession and combat development here. Anet offered Spvp and WvW as playable modes to this game, yet, two of the most important aspects for these modes, next to the game world, are not given nearly any real dev attention or continued development. I have never in my mmo experience seen as many “please redesign X” threads as I have in this game. Anet created some amazing elements to GW2, yet almost nothing is done to move professions and combat to the next level. None of the frustrating designs, skills and mechanics are changed to make the game more enjoyable, and less frustrating to play… Classes and combat here have potential to be some of the best designed of any mmo, but time keeps ticking away.
I will provide some specific suggestions in the near future about these areas, but I wanted to say this… Anet created a really good game, with some really good designs, but profession, and some combat mechanics, have only gone “halfway” in development. And judging by those quoted percentages, I think maybe it is time to hit the drawing board and make a plan to go "all the way" in these areas. You can have unified profession designs and quality combat mechanics that work well, and fit, into every game mode. You can have active, fast paced and twitch based combat, yet still remove all the clunky controls and skills from the game, so our characters and combat are a ton more smooth and enjoyable to play. You can create quality skills and stealth mechanics and condi mechanics.. for every mode... So much more can be done to make this game far better, you just have to do it!
Now that PoF has launched, and was focused all on content, I do think it's time in the cycle to bring us a professions and combat 2.0 revamp... I believe doing so will create a positive buzz through the game community, generate a lot of great press, competitive sides will grow even stronger and you'll have a lot of happy, old and new, players.