The immense success of Fractals : Applied to the future of Raids — Guild Wars 2 Forums

The immense success of Fractals : Applied to the future of Raids

Zagerus.8675Zagerus.8675 Member ✭✭✭
edited September 27, 2019 in Fractals, Dungeons, and Raids

I may be hypothesizing but I'm willing to bet if we looked at metrics we would find that Fractals of the Mists are some of the most played content in GW2 to this day. They've been in the game since late 2012 and are still going strong. You can usually either find or create a group at all hours of the day. People like Fractals. I think this is because Fractals of the Mists have literally all of the hallmarks of exceptional group content and they do nearly everything right to cover all of the bases of what the community craves.

  1. Groups are 5 man - awesome, you don't have to sit around waiting forever to build a potent group. I think this is a huge reason as to why fractals have survived and stayed 110% out of life support territory (in addition to the rewards ofc.) Get two or three in the group and usually the rest fill pretty rapidly (even at off peak hours!!).
  2. The group play is intimate. With the meta shifting over to firebrand/alacrigade for most daily groups, we have a pristine window from which to view the majesty that is GW2's combat system. I've rarely had a bad time with a group with this kind of skill/profession interplay. It's amazing. Even in fractal groups where we whipe 2 or 3 times the energy of the group is focused on solving the task at hand rather than raging at each other.
  3. The difficulty is tiered. A new player can climb the mechanical skill ladder and have a fairly good experience while learning the mechanics of group play even alongside veteran players. Increasingly difficult Instabilities encourage players to be resourceful and adapt while trying to stay in rotation/fulfill the group role.
  4. The pacing of the fractals allows them to be picked up and sat down relatively easy. Again, having a 5 man cap for the group yields more time for random players to actually play the content alongside other random players. This also goes a long way in preventing the group from getting stagnant (and ragey) before they even start playing.
    tl;dr ease of access, path to mastery of content, low wait time before playing content, good rewards, excellent avenue for new players/veteran players to play alongside each other.

I believe all of these amazing traits can be seized upon and used to pave the way toward a new future for Raids. ArenaNet has always been a company that strives to pull players together and GW2 was born with the mindset of tearing down traditional pitfalls that prevent virtual communities from really coming together and sharing a bad kitten experience together. Iterate on what works and make it even more amazing. The hardcore GW2 community has long craved a challenge suited to their mechanical skill (based on feedback found in these forums,) and new players have yearned to just experience something epic and fun when they log in. So, is it possible to give both types of players exactly what they want while also pitting them against insurmountable difficulty in the exact same instance (just for fun?) .. Why not?

3-4 Lane 5-10 man group content leading to an epic climax: Raids would essentially end as 25-30 man encounters for the final boss, but would be accessible/able to complete via two 5 man groups from the start. Each lane would have it's own difficulty (Novice, Veteran, Champion, Legendary ect.) with respective rewards for successfully completing the instance. As an example, the novice lane could have waypoints placed throughout so if you die you can res up at the checkpoint and continue forward. Legendary lanes would be no-down, entire lane resets upon full wipe. HP values, trash mob mechanics ect. could be based relative to the difficulty so each lane would usually take the same amount of time. Maybe 10-12 mins max of hardcore play for the Legendary lane.

The Boss: The bosses would essentially have to be a suicide mission for the Legendary and Champion lane groups. 1 Hit KO's, unblockable 80% health sapping floor damage ticks that make healers cry, all that. The bosses would have a particularly deep-seated urge to annihilate these two groups as fast as possible, and both groups would absolutely need to coordinate on the fly/resort to muscle memory to complete mechanics. In contrast, the novice and veteran lane groups would play supporting roles around the final boss fight areas. Most of the mechanics would be easy for these groups to complete and would grant extremely helpful boons to the champ/legendary groups. These boons wouldn't be required to complete the encounters on Legendary difficulty, however, just nearly required. Should the Legendary and Champion groups succumb to failing their assigned mechanics, they would be sent to the beginning of their lane in a fresh instance with a few extra copper in their wallet while the novice/veteran groups close in to finish off whats left of a downscaled raid boss.

I really think that this kind of raid format would go a long way in catering to each niche of the GW2 community while also bringing them together to complete a common goal. Personally I would be sticking to the Novice lane for eternity. Just some random thoughts!

Comments

  • maddoctor.2738maddoctor.2738 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Zagerus.8675 said:
    I may be hypothesizing but I'm willing to bet if we looked at metrics we would find that Fractals of the Mists are some of the most played content in GW2 to this day.

    Most played compared to what? Which levels and since when?

  • Rico.6873Rico.6873 Member ✭✭✭

    I would like it if you can enter with multiple 5 man groups.

    Each team with their own objectives to slay down a titan of a monster

  • sigur.9453sigur.9453 Member ✭✭✭

    @Vinceman.4572 said:
    The reason why fractals are played regularly is the rewards. It's around 20-30g in a single run under an hour and therefore beats most of other stuff in the game except boring farming. Gut the rewards and T4s + CMs will be a desert like Tier 1-3. That's what has happened to dungeons btw.

    This
    Plus the rewards are obtainable daylie,
    Raids on the other hand weekly

  • maddoctor.2738maddoctor.2738 Member ✭✭✭✭

    It's interesting to note that Vale Guardian has the same statistic as Fractal level 75 (73 is the exact value, at 30.5%), meaning less players proceeded to Fractal T4, than killed Vale Guardian. Also worth noting is that those beating Sabetha and reaching Fractal level 100 have the same number (20%).

    Furthermore, while fractal yes were released in November of 2012, they never reached high levels of popularity until Heart of Thorns in October 2015 revamped them completely. This is evident by the lack of any content releases for Fractals for 2 whole years, from November 2013 (Fractured) up to the release of the expansion. And it wasn't until July 2016 that Fractals started getting new content again.

    Finally everyone that played Fractals remembers the Swamps of the Mists. It wasn't that Fractals were popular as a concept or idea, but rather the rewards were better than anywhere else, as is evident by the amount of farming Swamp got, that got developer attention, and then all the other Farms, from level 40, to underwater and so on. Rewards, Dailies and (for a time, maybe not now) the Legendary Precursor collections added with Heart of Thorns are what is keeping Fractals alive.

    Tiered difficulty or being 5-man group content means nothing

  • I would say that in longterm, the only reason why fractals succeded is that you can earn that 20g +/- + some asc stuff. Doing same content daily for years is boring af.

  • @amidare.9561 said:
    I would say that in longterm, the only reason why fractals succeded is that you can earn that 20g +/- + some asc stuff. Doing same content daily for years is boring af.

    long term repeatable pve content is obviously only successful because of the reward structures. The next factor is gameplay style, i.e min/max build/gear versus casual access.

    "Any path that narrows future possibilities may become a lethal trap. Humans do not thread their way through a maze; they scan a vast horizon filled with unique opportunities." - The Spacing Guild Handbook.

    Beware the meta!

  • Asum.4960Asum.4960 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 28, 2019

    While I always enjoyed and played with the idea of splitting up a Raid group into two 5 player teams to eventually rejoin at the end, I don't think we will ever see anything to that extend of what you suggest in GW2, even if some of those ideas are pretty interesting.

    What keeps content alive with engagement though is just the prospect of a future for that content, and what gets people interested in the first place is rewards.
    Fractals always felt like they were getting additions, so people kept being engaged with them, and the rewards kept bringing in new people.

    If you contrast that with Raids, or even Fractals itself looking at CM's which themselves are on life support, it's always a question of will there be more and when?
    It's not just necessarily that there aren't many people playing CM's or Raids and therefor there isn't that much frequent or any content for them, it's because there isn't that much frequent or any content for them that not many people are playing it.

    If GW2 had 4 PvE endgame teams and instead one LW team, not only would the Raid/Fractal player base dwarf any other content at this point, imo the game as a whole would have been much more popular at this point, but that's another topic.

    R.I.P. Build Templates, 15.10.2019

  • Miellyn.6847Miellyn.6847 Member ✭✭✭

    @Asum.4960 said:
    If GW2 had 4 PvE endgame teams and instead one LW team, not only would the Raid/Fractal player base dwarf any other content at this point, imo the game as a whole would have been much more popular at this point, but that's another topic.

    Because the rest of the game would be an empty wasteland? Just accept it. The majority doesn't play instanced content. Not even in WoW. They don't even reach 90% raid participation with their easy mode LFR with auto grouping. The game would have died long ago without the LS teams.

  • Asum.4960Asum.4960 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 28, 2019

    @Miellyn.6847 said:

    @Asum.4960 said:
    If GW2 had 4 PvE endgame teams and instead one LW team, not only would the Raid/Fractal player base dwarf any other content at this point, imo the game as a whole would have been much more popular at this point, but that's another topic.

    Because the rest of the game would be an empty wasteland? Just accept it. The majority doesn't play instanced content. Not even in WoW. They don't even reach 90% raid participation with their easy mode LFR with auto grouping. The game would have died long ago without the LS teams.

    90% participation in endgame content is insane to expect, and more than double what endgame content needs to represent to keep an MMO healthy.

    Also Living World (which btw, only has an engagement of about 30% of the playerbase at this point, which is on the level of Vale Guardian completion of Raids) turns itself into a wasteland with each new economy breaking farm map to desperately lure the player population into them.

    Endgame content on the other hand doesn't cannibalize itself with new releases, with old Fractals and Raids not becoming dead, while new Fractals and Raids just enrich the roster of daily and weekly played content.
    That coupled with the players engaged with that content explicitly being there for the content and gameplay itself, not some farm where ever profitable and if it is Silverwastes for a decade, means frequent new content is much more important.
    How many times do open world players go back to all these maps for active play, in comparison to the daily encountered and enjoyed Fractals, and weekly Raids?

    Additionally, casual players logging in weekly or even just quarterly for a few hours obviously have a much different content consumption than hardcore players being engaged for hours weekly, if not daily.

    Having 4 content teams supporting extremely casual content to be enjoyed for a few hours before going back to the same old farm map and one team for all of hardcore content keeping people engaged for hundreds of hours each seems therefor rather backwards to me, and it's no surprise the game is leaking hardcore players at an alarming rate since ages.

    We have been playing the same two and only Fractal CM's every day for over two years now, meanwhile how many maps that no ones cares about because they aren't a gamebreaking farm and kept people busy for just a few hours have been added? I can walk through some of these maps for 2 hours and maybe meet 3 players, outside of some loot showering Metas in some maps, of which there are more than enough (and which don't need new maps to be implemented and could easily be added by less teams into existing content).

    R.I.P. Build Templates, 15.10.2019

  • Killthehealersffs.8940Killthehealersffs.8940 Member ✭✭
    edited October 7, 2019

    @Asum.4960 said:

    Endgame content on the other hand doesn't cannibalize itself with new releases, with old Fractals and Raids not becoming dead, while new Fractals and Raids just enrich the roster of daily and weekly played content.

    The community does a great job with the cannibalization :)
    Expect others to be perfects on the dps meters/charts , and later on whine at the company for not investing more money on hard istanced contents :)

    (for some reason 8 months , feel like 1,5)

  • Astralporing.1957Astralporing.1957 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Zagerus.8675 said:
    I may be hypothesizing but I'm willing to bet if we looked at metrics we would find that Fractals of the Mists are some of the most played content in GW2 to this day.

    You might lose that bet. I am quite confident that Fractals, even at their height, were still significantly less popular than dungeons during their golden days. And now that popularity also went down by a lot, due to the average difficulty of fractals going up with reworks and adding new fractals that for the most part (with the sole exception of deepstone, maybe) are at well above average difficulty for this content.

    1. The group play is intimate. With the meta shifting over to firebrand/alacrigade for most daily groups, we have a pristine window from which to view the majesty that is GW2's combat system. I've rarely had a bad time with a group with this kind of skill/profession interplay. It's amazing. Even in fractal groups where we whipe 2 or 3 times the energy of the group is focused on solving the task at hand rather than raging at each other.

    Complexity of group play is one of the last things most players that were doing fractals at their height were interested in. And it's also one of the reasons why their population is now way down.

    1. The pacing of the fractals allows them to be picked up and sat down relatively easy.

    At lower tiers, yes. Get up to some of the fractals at t4, and it's no longer as true. Well, it may be true for most of the players that remained in fractals, but there's a reason for their popularity drop within last years.

    tl;dr ease of access, path to mastery of content, low wait time before playing content, good rewards, excellent avenue for new players/veteran players to play alongside each other.

    First and third - true. those are very important. Second matters only for minority of players (and can even be a turnoff for many). And the fourth... getting new and veteran players together usually ends up being very painful for both of those groups. It's definitely not something i'd advocate.

    The whole point of a social game is to play with the people you want to play with, not be forced to play with the people you don't.

  • Quite frankly the boss blitz event was insanely popular.

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