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[Suggestion] Let's do something about Guild wars 2’s over-reliance on collections


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Intro

Hi! Guild wars 2 is my favorite mmo, and I would like to keep it that way. I started playing GW2 at launch and I have played it off and on since then. Even though the game had quite a number of bugs and issues back then, I quickly found myself completely immersed in the game; enjoying guild wars 2 fluid and dynamic combat, exploring every corner of tyria, build-crafting a huge variety of interesting and fun builds and playing trough genuinely fun content. It didn’t take long to have over 10 friends and acquaintances join. Having a rich and beautiful open world game that doesn’t force you to push through a moat of jarring and boring early game quests before you can get to the fun content was very strong selling point of GW2. No more: go collect 30 rabbit foots, good, now go collect 30 fox tales, go collect 30 of the next thing, etc. This fun first approach was maybe even revolutionary in the mmo scene back then.

GW2 continued strong in the years following; experimenting and innovating, writing an interesting and rich story with iconic characters, delivering fun and quality content, experiences and concepts. It was always clear the team was committed and passionate to bring their player base fun content. Until the winds started changing. ArenaNet went through a rough patch as most of us know. This was also a period were I lost my interest in the game for multiple years, and with me the rest of the people that were still playing in my guild. I know that in this period it must have been awful to work at ArenaNet, especially considering all the insecurity around the organizational changes and layoff at the studio.

Guild wars has earned itself a special place in my heart. Seeing that times seem to know have changed for the better, is great for everyone that works at the studio, as well as everyone who like the game. The hype and excitement around EOD also had me installing GW2 again last year. The open communication to the community and ambition to not only further develop but also improve existing content is amazing. Where for too long Arenanet has been a blackbox, the studio is now much more open and transparent in their communication, even actively asking their community to engage and provide feedback.

My issue with collections

It is this that has me hopeful that there might be a chance Arenanet hears my feedback and might have a second look at one of the ruminant’s of the studio’s difficult period: collection blockades.

Yes, I know collections have been in the game as long as I remember. However, until around the time PoF was released collections were always something optional. Something you could chose to do for a cool title or other small little reward if you were interested. Since then it seems like the studio has decided to lock away the games coolest mounts and most desirable items such as legendary accessories behind a wall of endless collection achievements.

Most of them seem disturbingly similar: go find 30 items on this map, good, go find the next 30 spots on this map (I’m looking at you skyscale), etc, etc, etc. The exact type of content, repetitive and uninspiring, I once praised GW2 for not putting for not pushing on their player base.

I am fine with having collections in the game for those who enjoy them, but please stop gate-keeping desirable in game goals with them, or at least bring them back to an acceptable level rather than stacking collection upon collection upon collection. From asking around in game I know I am far from the only one who does not like this content. Most people tell me they ‘suffer’ through it because they want to unlock the reward, not because they actually like doing the collections.

A friend of mine put it best: “I’ve stopped playing because it started feeling like work, except for that I actually enjoy my work”.

Realistically, probably about 99% of players will be completing them by finding an online guide or installing an add-on sends them from point to point to point whilst being mentally completely absent. Even though I have given up on collections, I have tried and tried again, only to find myself hours on the wiki or online guide, following steps and instructions instead of playing and enjoying the game.

Thus I wonder, if the first rule in GW2 design guidelines is that the game should be fun, why does ArenaNet force a ton of repetitive collections upon the players who want to progress their account?

Solutions

I think there could be many ways to change these collection blockades for the better. A quick and easy fix for existing collection barriers could be give players the alternative to buy their way out of it. Even if it is very expensive, players could opt to play the content they enjoy to collect the gold or other items.

For collection barriers to-be implemented, I think I would be great if ArenaNet could wrap obtaining 'that new mount', 'item' or other feature in a neat little story that players can play trough rather than having to wiki through, breaking immersion. I feel that it was a lot more fun obtaining the mounts that were first obtained trough playing the personal story. I think it could be really cool to have a tab with “side stories” much like the story journal with small stand-alone stories we can play through to unlock these cool things. I understand that would be more work than having a lot of collections, but if the only option is to add easy to produce content that is generally perceived as not being fun… why add it at all?

[Update] after reading some of your feedback

So I’ve learned that, next to the people who are also discontent about these collections, there are way more of you that like collections then I expected. This came as a bit of a surprise because I could not find so many people in game that share that same passion. Never the less, I think it is great there are so many collections in GW2 considering many if you enjoy them, and I am not here to take that away from you.

I think it would be great if we can try to prevent letting this thread devolve into a polarized back and forth in the form: “We hate collections and they should be stripped from the game” and “Collections are the best thing in the game, if you want your mount just suck it up or go play Tetris”.

Arenanet is well aware that not all content is for everyone, for instance: people who don’t like the Battle for the Jade sea meta event can buy the Turtle Egg required for the Siege turtle from a vendor. I am not saying Arenanet should do exactly the same for the “go fetch 50 objects” collections. Instead, I would like to invite you to think about and discuss possibilities in the game that would make these collections more bearable for people who dislike them deeply, without spoiling or degrading the fun for people who are very much into them.

If you’d like to express that you either dislike collections or that you love them and absolutely don’t want anything changed. Please consider doing that by giving a blue heart to a previous poster that best reflects your opinion, just so we can avoid this becomes a lengthy thread repeating the same opinions over and over again.

Edited by baseendje.8452
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Players expect MMOs to occupy them for hours a week over years of time.

There is no way to produce enough content to keep them busy.

That's why there are lengthy collections with sweet rewards.

Story-rich collections increase the dev time to player time ratio, and diminish the developers' ROI.

When MMOS get too grindy, take a break and immerse yourself in a story-rich single or dual-player RPG.

__________

I recently finished Aurora and spent a significant amount of time chasing BL keys for a BL exclusive item I wanted. I realized the idea of starting up another achievement wasn't sounding fun anymore, so when I'm not playing GW2 with my kids, I'm sinking into Disco Elysium for the first time. It's a nice change of pace from repeating Draconic Mons hearts and running countless characters through level 60 and Bloodstone Fen.

Edited by Gibson.4036
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On 11/4/2022 at 8:50 PM, Gibson.4036 said:

Players expect MMOs to occupy them for hours a week over years of time.

There is no way to produce enough content to keep them busy.

That's why there are lengthy collections with sweet rewards.

Story-rich collections increase the dev time to player time ratio, and diminish the developers' ROI.

When MMOS get too grindy, take a break and immerse yourself in a story-rich single or dual-player RPG.

__________

I recently finished Aurora and spent a significant amount of time chasing BL keys for a BL exclusive item I wanted. I realized the idea of starting up another achievement wasn't sounding fun anymore, so when I'm not playing GW2 with my kids, I'm sinking into Disco Elysium for the first time. It's a nice change of pace from repeating Draconic Mons hearts and running countless characters through level 60 and Bloodstone Fen.

Thanks Gibson,

Though I understand the miscommunication, my point is not about grind or time consumption. I must have played thousends and thousends of fractals and still enjoy them, I also played many meta events (especially HoTs), strike missions and raids over and over. The difference between that content and completing collections for me is that one is enganging and entertaining (even if you repeat) where the other is at least for me non-immersive and boring.

I came to reallize that around the release of PoF, Anet started to lock away a lot of things behind collections rather then unlocking them trough story (such as most PoF mounts) or by collecting (grinding) a lot of gold and materials from different places. Most people I talked to in game about this feel quite similar so I was looking to start a discussion about it on the forums here. 😃

So do I understand correctly that you would like collections exactly as they are? What would you think about the option of having alternative means in game to unlock certain things. Say for simplicity: collecting 3k gold in materials to unlock the skyscale?

Edited by baseendje.8452
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25 minutes ago, baseendje.8452 said:

What would you think about the option of having alternative means in game to unlock certain things. Say for simplicity: collecting 3k gold in materials to unlock the skyscale?

This enters into ‘pay to win/pay to play’ territory. When items can be bought in game by converting cash to gems to gold, and that item gives a player an advantage it changes how we treat these items. 
 

Instead of asking for less collections, I would prefer to see more engaging collections.  The eSpec weapon collections are a good example of a diverse collection that allows players to enjoy the game in different ways. 

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5 minutes ago, Mungo Zen.9364 said:

This enters into ‘pay to win/pay to play’ territory. When items can be bought in game by converting cash to gems to gold, and that item gives a player an advantage it changes how we treat these items. 
 

Instead of asking for less collections, I would prefer to see more engaging collections.  The eSpec weapon collections are a good example of a diverse collection that allows players to enjoy the game in different ways. 

 

Yes, I agree, having engaging collections or say a nice questline would be ideal. However, when the argument against that best case scenario is that Anet does not have the resources to do that, I would much preffer gathering lot's of resources with enganging content over doing waay to many uninteresting collections.

Though I see some players might opt to buy the gold with gems I don't see this as a huge issue, they won't all of a sudden get better in pvp or get better at raids because they did that. The option is currently already available for legendary weapons that can be bought on the tp, I don't see a lot of people taking a lot of offense of that even though that one might actually give you some competitive advantage.

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If you're not interested in collections, 90% of the game becomes "oh, no point keeping that", "Oh, no point going there". It's just not fun. I love the gameplay and story, and exploring the world, but man, I just throw away everything that isn't immediately sellable on the trading post because sure enough, it's tied to some random collection.

 

I totally agree with the OP here.

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Many players enjoy collections. Me included. It gives me something to do. Sure there are always metas and other stuff, but I like to have a variety of things to do so I don’t get bored. Collections and achievements is a good way to do just that. If I could repeat Aurora, Vision or skyscale collection I would dive right in since it’s been so long since I did them and it was a lot of fun.
 

If you don’t enjoy the collections, then don’t do them. You’re not missing out on something you don’t enjoy. With the logic that if you don’t enjoy something, it should be removed or changed. Then every player in this game would want something gone or changed. For me that would be PvP since I despise going there.
 

There are items I want from pvp, but I don’t think it’s worth going through the agony of playing there. I know other players enjoys it, so I just leave it alone. I don’t go to forums and ask anet to change it since they are locked behind pvp. I accept it is what it is. It’s part of choosing to play an mmo.
 

There should be something for everyone to enjoy, but all aspects of the game will not be appealing to every player. 

Edited by Freya.9075
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No. Collections are one of my favourite elements of the game and I have really enjoyed seeing them become more prominent over the years, while still remaining fully optional. Collections are a natural way to fill the gap left by the fact that there is no traditional quest log — because, of course, events are not traditional quests, which is the main draw of this game in the first place. However, traditional quest logs are an extremely satisfying checklist for the sake of "completionism," and while dynamic events are a lot cooler than quests, they don't really offer a feeling of completion on an individual player/account basis.

 

That's where the optional collections system comes in, and having both events and collections ensures that the game content is enjoyable for all types of players. I'm not sure quitting the game because of collections is really a rationally sound take, because after all you are never required to pursue the completion of collections. Like the wardrobe system, they are there for the sake of individual account progression; both systems offer an amount of content that is nearly impossible to fully complete, which means that you have that carrot to chase if you want it. At the same time, the rewards for this type of completion are purely cosmetic at the least, helpful but not necessary at the most. Quitting because of the collections system is like quitting because of the wardrobe system, or the quest log in most other RPGs. You wouldn't quit an RPG because there are quests you don't want to do. You simply don't do them.

Edited by Elricht Kaltwind.8796
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47 minutes ago, Freya.9075 said:

Many players enjoy collections. Me included. It gives me something to do. Sure there are always metas and other stuff, but I like to have a variety of things to do so I don’t get bored. Collections and achievements is a good way to do just that. If I could repeat Aurora, Vision or skyscale collection I would dive right in since it’s been so long since I did them and it was a lot of fun.
 

If you don’t enjoy the collections, then don’t do them. You’re not missing out on something you don’t enjoy. With the logic that if you don’t enjoy something, it should be removed or changed. Then every player in this game would want something gone or changed. For me that would be PvP since I despise going there.
 

There are items I want from pvp, but I don’t think it’s worth going through the agony of playing there. I know other players enjoys it, so I just leave it alone. I don’t go to forums and ask anet to change it since they are locked behind pvp. I accept it is what it is. It’s part of choosing to play an mmo.
 

There should be something for everyone to enjoy, but all aspects of the game will not be appealing to every player. 

 

Your comment gets right to the core of the point that I try to make. Indeed, I don’t like collections and therefor I have skipped many of them. Though I don’t agree there is nothing I am missing out on. I really had to push myself in order to get the griffon collections, but I absolutely love flying that thing. Similarly, I’m sure I would enjoy the skyscale, however the idea of doing all of those collections is just daunting to me, I feel the same for legendary trinkets.

Of course everyone has their preferences, and as you said you don’t like PvP. Even though there are cool things you could unlock there. Legendary armor, Transcendence and The Ascension are the first things that come to my mind. The difference there though is there are actually excellent alternatives for you out there. You can get Legendary gear from WvW, fractals, raids and even the new amulet Prismatic Champion's Regalia from doing collections. The difference is that there are no alternatives options for people who do not like collections in most cases.

My point is not that I want to have collections removed from the game. My point is that collections have become the one and only gateway to some of the most desirable unlocks in the game, without any alternative routes. There is really a big difference in GW2 up until PoF where you could do collections if you like them and after PoF where every cool new thing or feature seems to be locked behind them.

Edited by baseendje.8452
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31 minutes ago, baseendje.8452 said:

 

Your comment gets right to the core of the point that I try to make. Indeed, I don’t like collections and therefor I have skipped many of them. Though I don’t agree there is nothing I am missing out on. I really had to push myself in order to get the griffon collections, but I absolutely love flying that thing. Similarly, I’m sure I would enjoy the skyscale, however the idea of doing all of those collections is just daunting to me, I feel the same for legendary trinkets.

Of course everyone has their preferences, and as you said you don’t like PvP. Even though there are cool things you could unlock there. Legendary armor, Transcendence and The Ascension are the first things that come to my mind. The difference there though is there are actually excellent alternatives for you out there. You can get Legendary gear from WvW, fractals, raids and even the new amulet Prismatic Champion's Regalia from doing collections. The difference is that there are no alternatives options for people who do not like collections in most cases.

My point is not that I want to have collections removed from the game. My point is that collections have become the one and only gateway to some of the most desirable unlocks in the game, without any alternative routes. There is really a big difference in GW2 up until PoF where you could do collections if you like them and after where every cool new thing or feature seems to be locked behind them.

I can understand your point about the mounts. Griffon, beetle and skyscale is locked behind collections with no other way to get them. I am not sure what other way they could make them available though. Adding the mounts for gold would be considered pay to win for some players. I do however see these mounts as optional mounts and not mandatory like the other mounts. They are for convenience and fun. (I just remembered the turtle 👀 I use it so rarely I tend to forget it exists. add that one to the bunch!)

There are ways to get around collections by using tacO as a tool to show you where the collection parts are with very little effort and time spent doing them. Wiki is good, but tacO is the best tool when it comes to these things. 

I am curious though. You said you finished the griffon collection and love flying it. It’s indeed an amazing mount. Do you feel it was worth doing the collection looking back? Cause that’s the thing here. Finding out if it’s worth it or not for you. 
 

And one of the items I want in pvp is the ascension. Since I love the skin. I have ad infinitum but it’s so ugly I just use my quaggan backpack as skin. So there is no alternative there for me as well since it’s the skin I want. 

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1 hour ago, Freya.9075 said:

I can understand your point about the mounts. Griffon, beetle and skyscale is locked behind collections with no other way to get them. I am not sure what other way they could make them available though. Adding the mounts for gold would be considered pay to win for some players. I do however see these mounts as optional mounts and not mandatory like the other mounts. They are for convenience and fun. (I just remembered the turtle 👀 I use it so rarely I tend to forget it exists. add that one to the bunch!)

There are ways to get around collections by using tacO as a tool to show you where the collection parts are with very little effort and time spent doing them. Wiki is good, but tacO is the best tool when it comes to these things. 

I am curious though. You said you finished the griffon collection and love flying it. It’s indeed an amazing mount. Do you feel it was worth doing the collection looking back? Cause that’s the thing here. Finding out if it’s worth it or not for you. 
 

And one of the items I want in pvp is the ascension. Since I love the skin. I have ad infinitum but it’s so ugly I just use my quaggan backpack as skin. So there is no alternative there for me as well since it’s the skin I want. 

 

Getting the ability to fly through GW2’s beautiful maps on probably one of the best mount designs in online gaming. Of course I feel it was worth it! It unlocks a whole new way to enjoy the game. However, I don’t think “how much unenjoyable content are people willing to put up with before they give up” is a healthy angle to approach game design. At least Arenanet could try to introduce some variety in these collections rather than leaning so heavy on go to a ton of different spots and hit interact.

 

P.S: I would happily trade my Ascension skin with you for a skyscale if it were possible. =p

Edited by baseendje.8452
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6 hours ago, baseendje.8452 said:

Realistically, probably about 99% of players will be completing them by finding an online guide or installing an add-on sends them from point to point to point whilst being mentally completely absent.

For me this is the reason I do not find most collections "FUN". There is nothing fun about looking at a guide, it no longer feels like I am playing a game as it is completely immersion breaking and I lose any satisfaction I should have gained by finding the items myself through common sense/logic/problem solving.

Edited by Vavume.8065
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9 minutes ago, Vavume.8065 said:

For me this is the reason I do not find most collections "FUN". There is nothing fun about looking at a guide, it no longer feels like I am playing a game as it is completely immersion breaking and I lose any satisfaction I should have gained by finding the items myself through common sense/logic/problem solving.

Yea there is also that option to not look at a guide like the one writing said guide had to do.

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2 minutes ago, Linken.6345 said:

Yea there is also that option to not look at a guide like the one writing said guide had to do.

The one writing said guide usually did not figure things out alone, it usually a community effort, just like the collection that got added for extra life, there is a reddit post where people are joining together to figure things out. Also most people are not willing to struggle through the skyscale collection without a guide, it would be just to painful, which is the point, collections should not be so painful that they require a guide, they should be able to be more easily figured out which would actually be fun. 

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I'd wager more people would rather do collections on the whole than fractals or raids, and that's the problem. You can do fractals and raids over and over again, because they entertain you. I'm relatively sure that the vast majority of the playerbase doesn't consider themselves raiders, wouldn't choose to do raids, and find raids unaccessible, whether they are or not.

 

The fact is, collections aren't there for players like you. They're there for players like me. For me, collections have been a huge boon to the game. That doesn't mean I love every collection or that I have no issues with specific collection requirements. I do. But over all, as a type of content, collections have been pretty well received by the playerbase.

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I mean, I think we all know what collections are.  Collections are Anet’s solution to questing without actually calling them quests.   People who enjoy doing quests can sort of scratch that itch by doing collections.  Likewise, people who dislike quests can avoid collections or may like them because they have a different label and  it’s not your stereotypical quest.  
 

I think events, hearts, and collections come together to encompass traditional questing, but with a slight spin. 

Edited by Tom.8029
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About your Intro
If you have a good idea, just say it. If it is really good, you do not need to rely on an artificial reputation push. If you have to rely on this extra-procedure, you show me that you do not trust your own idea.

About simple/easy/quick alternatives to collections
I take it from one of your answers, that you are familiar with group content. When there is an easy work-around, it is almost impossible to make people do things the intended way. For example Old Tom in the Uncategorized Fractal, which is currently done by out-healing the poison and ignoring the mechanics. Thaumanova Reactor, Heat Room, Cooling Rods. I can go on a lot more, but I'm sure you get my point. There is no reason to do it the boring/oldfashioned way, when there is a cheap/quick alternative.

We would be back to players grinding certain maps/events for gold-farming only. So they can just purchase every single collection item they need. And as this will be the most-efficient way, the guides will obviously tell new players to screw the collections straight and just farm gold.

"But those who enjoy collections, can do them anyway. I only want an alternative for people who do not like collections!"
You know it does not work that way. The only option to keep the content active is to make the pay-wall extremely high. And when we talk about this, we get automatically to the PayToWin discussion. 

I do not want GW2 to change into that direction.

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