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Gear and intentions - questions for Anet


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There are some things I don't understand very well about the design this game's gear has gotten to. I'm gonna put some questions below and in the event that Anet never answers any of these, you can consider them questions to provoke discussion about how gearing works, or if you believe you have an answer based on the game's history, that's certainly welcome.

1) Is there a purpose to level 80 blues and greens at this point? (other than as salvage). As far as I know, they don't have stat select options at max level, so for most stat combinations (over 30 last I checked) they aren't usable. Rares, as far as I know, are in a similar place, with the exception of weapons.

2) What is the goal with stat combinations that have special routes to get to? (ex: elegy armor with grieving stats) And is it intended to have new stat combinations unavailable for a period of time on stat select exotic and ascended gear?

3) Is AR design still working as desired?

4) What is the vision for vertical progression in general? EoD introduced jade bot vertical upgrade in HP, however small it is. Is this part of any broader intention to have more character-based vertical progression or a one-off design?

5) More generally, how is character progression viewed vs. account bound progression? Gear is sometimes character bound, sometimes account bound. Specialization unlocks are character bound.

Feel free to add your own questions, if there's anything you don't understand about the point gearing is at that I missed here.

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1) weirdly so, some beginners have difficulty getting certain gear (only in first month). Greens and blues are easy to start, but most will have at least rare gear when they reach lvl 80. For veteran players yes green and blues are purely for salvage options. I know some people use green or blue gear only to transmute them into a fine looking armor purely for roleplay purposes. 

 

2) There are a lot of unknown perfect combinations which people can use for solo play or other roles. Those stats are underused completely because they are hard to acquire and therefore less used in meta combinations or because they are 1% less strong then the metagear sets.. Most people base their stat combinations on highend guilds who make top benchmark DPS. But those are especially designed for group play of 5 or 10 players. Who knows maybe you actually find a perfect build setup with the lesser known ones! 

 

3) i dont know 

 

4) the vision of Anet is that you can always play the game. If you are gone for a year, you can come back and you can directly join top geared content, without grinding every new expansion for new top gear. You can still get lot of valuable gear and stuff from HoT, the same as in EoD. And that is what a llooottt of players enjoy the most about this game. 

 

5) no idea.. lol 

Edited by Cronospere.8143
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Gear below exotic is a major source of luck (magic find) as well as tier 5 and 6 mats and ectoplasm in case of rates, that are used to craft ascended gear in form of ectoplasm refinement.

It's about keeping us busy with complex tasks, which also partly answers the second question. Specific stat combinations on ascended weapons and armour can be swaped in the mystic adding another step to crafting, while accessories make you play the new content.

The AR means infusions, which in turn are keeping most of the metas and festival gambling alive, so I doubt any changes are forthcoming.

As a non-progressive mmo, there is no vertical progression, only new stat combinations and utilities that resault in the power creep. The jade bot was the first stat increase since they introduced ascended gear I believe.

Character progression involves the story and map exploration, while account progression involves masteries, acheavements and accountwide and accountbiund stuff. There is also the player progression that is not quanifiable in the game and is based on skill, knowlage and understanding of the game mechanics or something like that.

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50 minutes ago, Labjax.2465 said:

There are some things I don't understand very well about the design this game's gear has gotten to. I'm gonna put some questions below and in the event that Anet never answers any of these, you can consider them questions to provoke discussion about how gearing works, or if you believe you have an answer based on the game's history, that's certainly welcome.

1) Is there a purpose to level 80 blues and greens at this point? (other than as salvage). As far as I know, they don't have stat select options at max level, so for most stat combinations (over 30 last I checked) they aren't usable. Rares, as far as I know, are in a similar place, with the exception of weapons.

2) What is the goal with stat combinations that have special routes to get to? (ex: elegy armor with grieving stats) And is it intended to have new stat combinations unavailable for a period of time on stat select exotic and ascended gear?

3) Is AR design still working as desired?

4) What is the vision for vertical progression in general? EoD introduced jade bot vertical upgrade in HP, however small it is. Is this part of any broader intention to have more character-based vertical progression or a one-off design?

5) More generally, how is character progression viewed vs. account bound progression? Gear is sometimes character bound, sometimes account bound. Specialization unlocks are character bound.

Feel free to add your own questions, if there's anything you don't understand about the point gearing is at that I missed here.

1) Salvage for mats and luck. That is about it....except possibly for self handicapping for challenge.

2) To drive people to specific content while maintaining the perception of them as a reward rather than just another stat set.

3) No. Not any longer.

4) Only ANet can say if they have changed their attitude toward vertical progression. The recent additions are very minor examples of VP. I hope they do not represent the company testing the waters for more.

5) As far as I know only ascended and legendary gear are account bound after equipping it. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong. The point of them being account bound is the difficulty in acquisition.

Personal addition:

Is there any possibility of having ascended trinket drops be made stat selectable in the future? Even if it was restricted to a few limited choices (as is the case for some collection based ascended weapons) it would be nice. And to be clear I dont mean freely re-selectable like legendaries.

 

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1 hour ago, Labjax.2465 said:

1) Is there a purpose to level 80 blues and greens at this point? (other than as salvage). As far as I know, they don't have stat select options at max level, so for most stat combinations (over 30 last I checked) they aren't usable. Rares, as far as I know, are in a similar place, with the exception of weapons.

I think it's fairly save to say that one thing GW2 didn't get right is loot. That's unfortunately largely a consequence of the extension of MTX usage - where for example GW1 had plenty exciting cosmetics to chase in game in as random drops in particular locations in the world and as rewards for certain content, most of the more exciting cosmetics are relegated to the store here. 

Since there (luckily) is also no gear grind through, that doesn't really leave much room for rewarding or exciting loot to exist, with the vast majority just being vendor trash or meaningless gear drops which are really just materials with extra steps through salvaging.

 

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2) What is the goal with stat combinations that have special routes to get to? (ex: elegy armor with grieving stats) And is it intended to have new stat combinations unavailable for a period of time on stat select exotic and ascended gear?

I think it's entirely intended. Anet likes to use these techniques as a form of player reset to encourage/force engagement with the newer content at hand. It's the same reason so many currencies exist in the game. 

With the pace of content releases and especially in-game reward additions being what it is, Anet is likely afraid that players will just use their piling up resources/currencies to instantly get any new rewards, without engaging much or at all with the new content that introduced them, leading to lower/shorter player retention. 

Their solutions are ever new currencies and at least temporary reward exclusivity to certain (new at the time) content. 

 

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3) Is AR design still working as desired?

I'm guessing you mean Agony Resistance? For many this will likely be an emphatic no - but personally, while it certainly has it's flaws, I personally don't believe it to be as big of an issue as often made out to be of late - at least compared to how hard of a fix it would be at this point. I think many players just want to jump straight into T4's+, but I don't recall struggling too much with AR by naturally progressing through Fractals way back - and AR became exponentially easier to acquire since, cutting down in price to just about 1/3 of what it used to be. 

It's possible to fully deck out a character with AR in a matter of <5h of even low level solo Fractal play (or fairly cheaply bought instantly). I don't think that's an excessive investment. 

Would an account wide system be better? Most likely, AR always has been a weird alt-unfriendly thing, but that's a very difficult transition to make at this point as Anet would have to find a way to not invalidate potentially thousands of gold in AR investment of many very dedicated or AR hording players (if not tens of thousands for players who invested into Stat boosting AR infusions). 

Also as further mentioned next, the game imo is becoming more and more alt-unfriendly rather than not as game direction. 

The focus seems to be more for players to main a certain profession/character, and for each profession to viably be able to provide all roles (if we'll get there, esp. with the game and combat system still healthy, or if that's desirable at all, is another question). But this apparent design direction would solve most player complaints about AR as well.

 

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4) What is the vision for vertical progression in general? EoD introduced jade bot vertical upgrade in HP, however small it is. Is this part of any broader intention to have more character-based vertical progression or a one-off design?

5) More generally, how is character progression viewed vs. account bound progression? Gear is sometimes character bound, sometimes account bound. Specialization unlocks are character bound.

Now that is something truly only Anet can say or time will tell. 

At least from the community side, I think Account progression is largely favoured here, but that's really just conjecture on my part. 

In my personal opinion, there is a lot of conflicting design here though. 

The reason gear has different binding levels (character vs account), in my analysis of the design, is that while the initial character journey is intended to be a personal one - once players reach "Endgame" with more high effort big-ticket items such as Ascended or especially Legendary gear, things are supposed to open up more and the focus shifts towards progression of the account, or at least being able to share much progression between characters. 

More recent developments like Build "Templates" being made character bound rather than account Upgrades (likely a choice entirely made for monetization reasons) heavily fly in the face of the alt-friendliness which is supposed to open up for players especially at that point in the game where such systems become relevant. So do new minor additions like the Jade Bots. 

I really can't tell you what Anet is thinking there though in terms of game vision/design goals (other than making money and hoping for more long term player retention with new layers of character based progression as experiment).

Edited by Asum.4960
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