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Dragon's End meta needs to change and here is why

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While there will always be that one person insisting on keeping content unnecessarily difficulty, either because they “lucked” through it and think it happened due to their own efforts, or because they just do not personally care about that kind of progression, I think it is important to look at balance with the context of where and how the content is happening. As far as the Dragon’s End meta is concerned, we are talking about open world content tied to a map meta event. This is very different from instanced content such as fractals, strike missions and raids, and I believe that difficulty should be balanced in accordance with that. I will get into that by first pointing out what I consider the main problems, and then offer a few solutions. This post is spoiler-free, as far as I can tell.


Having said that, what are the main problems?

  1. As mentioned in the intro, we are talking open world content tied to a map meta event. This kind of content will by design be tied to all sorts of players with various skill-levels. While some of this can be circumvented by “map hopping”, there is never the same level of coordination possible as it is with instanced content and designated squads. How is this a problem? I refer to the interview with Mike Zadorojny about balancing the “Icebrood Saga”, where he states that the difference in damage numbers between players go as high as ten times (Source: https://www.pcgamesn.com/guild-wars-2/difficulty). Ever wondered why there is that “easy mode” in the EoD campaign missions? Here is your answer. Open word content tied to a map meta event should be no different.
  2. Why do I keep referring to the term open world content tied to a map meta event? Because this is important for laying out the second problem, which is preparation time and event duration. Not factoring the mentioned “map hopping”, which is currently absolutely mandatory, there is roughly an hour of time spent in order to unlock the boss fight. This is vastly different from previous “difficult” open world content such as the Marionette encounter. If the EoD boss fight could be accessed within 10 minutes, the matter would be an entirely different one.
  3. The third problem is that it is tied to achievements and, most importantly, a new mount. A handful of days in, the number of players being made aware of the current difficulty is relatively low. But what do you think will happen once the large majority of players will find out that they are prevented from accessing the new mount? The chance of success will in fact even further decrease, as more players of lower skill level will flood in. For those around long enough to remember what happened to ranked PvP when they freshly introduced the legendary backpack and achievements, well, basically, a lot of frustration on all sides. Expect complaints to rise as the more casual player base catches up to this content.


So, what could be possible solutions to this? I have thought of three, in order of personal preference, but these are more of a rough draft intended as brainstorming rather than being set in stone.

  1. Remove/change the “green/crystal” mechanics. While I do get why you put them in and understand that cutting content is perhaps not what the designers like to do, I think one has to look at this objectively and acknowledge that it is just not working out in this kind of content. You can keep this in instanced content, where people can be more organized, but I think it is pretty obvious that when people start trying to circumvent this mechanic entirely in order to have a chance at success, the mechanic has not been designed properly. Whether the boss health bar needs adjustment in combination with this removal, I cannot say at this point without having first seen a removal/rework.
  2. Speaking of health bar adjustments, leave everything as it is and cut the boss health bar down to roughly 60% of what it currently has. In that case, while I still think that the “green” mechanic is a poor one, at least a kill will still be possible with a bit of organization, bringing it more in line with the difficulty of existing map meta events.
  3. Remove the story achievement and mount unlock from this meta event. In that case, you have an open world map meta event that is difficult and that will see very little play, but at least you are not unnecessarily alienating the large majority of your player base.


Thank you for your consideration!

Edited by Satenia.9025
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