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@"Fire Attunement.9835" said:Raids

  • Raids are a trickier beast. They're a unique experience and community that we want to find better ways to support, the biggest challenge in creating more is the small audience they attract. We gathered data to determine why, and the most common answer was that there is a giant leap in difficulty between raids and other endgame content, and there isn't anything to help players work their way up.
  • Our intention was for Strike Missions to be that intermediary step into 10-person content. As we've mentioned before and you've likely noticed, strike missions are getting harder. Once a full suite of strike missions is complete there should be a graceful ramp up to the existing raid content rather than the imposing leap that previously existed, and our hope is once that ramp is in place, the number of players participating in raids will go up. In addition to that, we're striving to make improvements to Strike Missions themselves to make grouping easier, and to improve the rewards. We hope this will help introduce more people to 10-person content, which will in turn increase the number of people interested in Raids.
  • Regardless of if that succeeds or not, we understand the importance of balancing our efforts between accessible content with broad appeal, and content that appeals to the more hard core audience, and recognize that we need to do a better job of supporting the latter.

I like your addressing of Raids, but you're dodging the real reason (particularly for international players) why you're getting thin numbers playing them.

Me personally, I've always wanted to play raids, but here's the issue - the inherent drawback to these is that you hamstring them to only have weekly rewards. Weekly means every elitist and hardcore raider lining up at weekly reset and going balls to the wall in every raid wing, then nothing (or very limited groups) throughout the rest of the week. It's like 'we've sapped the rewards from the chest, time to go back to WvW... oh wait.. PvP or PvE it'll have to be, and chasing metas'.

Because of the time discrepancy and your reset, you'll have people still asleep in one part of the world, and others either at work or at school in another. By the time I get home from work and try to catch a raid group, that ship has long sailed. The LFG is dead quiet and there's very few people in the Aerodrome trying to get groups locally. Because of my apparent "behind the 8-ball" situation, I haven't been able to get a single raid group since they were part of the GW2 content, so I've tried to get into a practice group (many of them, actually), and none of them are ever on when I'm on, or despite best intentions, the group fails to form.

I do like your "ramp" idea of gettting people smoothly from Strike Missions into raids, but I'm afraid because of the above situation, I won't be able to tell anyone in a prospective raid group "ohh yeah dawg, I'm a boss at strike missions but I got zero experience in raids". As you'd expect, I'd be laughed out of the group while they /kick.

Timing is everything with raids. Not just in playing and rotations, knowing your character, the other 9 people you're with and especially the boss you gotta deal with and their mechanics, not to mention the map mechanics as well, but also when the best time is to get to play raids. I can look at as many youtube vids on how to defeat X boss all I like, but it won't help me being in that room with those people who've done this before, and expecting I'll know how to do my job properly. No, I gotta be on at the right time, and have the appropriate experience for the raid, geared properly, etc... and I'm sorry, but strike mission experience, as good as the intentions may be, just won't cut it in a room full of elitists and hardcores, and those expecting the raid to go 100% smoothly, not to mention those watching your individual DPS, etc.

Bottom line, for me, is that as far as I can see, the only real hope is to find a guild that does raids and is a bit more understanding of my situation, and hopefully they haven't done the whole weekly-reward thing already when I finally get on.

And those going to suggest "pay for a carry", sorry no, that's not how I do things. I'm here to learn this stuff but I'm stuck in a bad situation where I can't get to learn raids at all. I'm not giving up a good paying job just to play a game either.

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Thoughts from a casual who wanted to do raids but never stuck with it.

Largest barrier to entry in raids is the wait time to form a group (partly related to the number of people you need to form a group). I think this is the primary driver of impatience in the raiding groups. I don't think people would get frustrated so easily and quit if they didn't just spend an hour (or two?) waiting around. I've never had issues with fractal wait time, granted fractals are easier but I don't think that's the driving force in the differences in patience in both "communities". Fractal mechanics are much more obvious and can easily learn on the fly, at least more easily explained so there's hope there if things are going south. Explaining raids to people can be bit of an ordeal. Even if they are mechanically sound in their class, not knowing the quirks of the raid can be massively detrimental to the group . Also in fractals, people are more willing to stick with it and iterate if things go south because it's easier to soft carry and coach.

Wait time psychology seems to be the opposite of "buyer's remorse"( you've invested so much you can't let go). Wait time is related to party count. Also difficulty to over come a slightly weak group is related to party count. It easier to soft carry when the party count is lower so people stick around longer for that reason as well.

Wondering if raids had a smaller party count it would have panned out differently.

I think the higher party count in raids combined with its knowledge-of-the-raid based mechanics produces a high upfront cost that is unrelated to gearing and player mechanics. Even if you find a learning guild, trying to coach 10 people willing is far harder than helping out the 1 or 2 people who may be struggling if it was a 5 player group.

Though this is probably all intentional in the design to have raids be only for dedicated/connected players at which point I'll stop crying and get on with it.

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@Asum.4960 said:

@"Antycypator.9874" said:Main problem with small audience in raids are not difficulty, but requirements from players. Currently it's more like "I have to show LI or KP to get into raids, but I have play raids to get LI and KP" which means: it's better if you already have something to show, otherwise we will say goodbye to you. When new raids comes — you have to show KPs from previous raid.It's not easy to get into raids if someone's doing them first time. Same with CM fractals (only Shattered Observatory). Specific and unique currency is taken as KP and we have to show them to join someone. I got info CMs because my guildmates took me for this adventure. I played with experienced 250KP+ players while having literally 0 of them. In normal conditions I couldn't join anyone. I think we have to get rid of unique, content-specific currencies and items.

I don't think the answer is taking away the ability of players to check for experience of PuG's, besides that usually they will always find a way, it just gets more and more contrived the more difficult it is made (such as resorting to AP).

The game simply needs more (difficult) group content to encourage people to get out of their comfort zone for a moment and to join Guild's such as yours, incentivising the forming of communities that will help each other out and get each other into different forms of content, all while having fun together............

I've been thinking real hard about what could be done to grow the GW2 raiding community. The problem we have right now is that those who have the experience don't want to waste their time teaching new players how to raid. Newer players are hitting an entry barrier because of it and have to resort to paying or starting their own groups a suffer the learning curve on their own. We need a way to reward experienced raiders for taking the time out of their schedule to help less experienced players. That got me thinking of WvW commanders, they get extra pips for leading a map, something similar could be done with raids. What if the game tracked your kills,? After so many kills you can qualify and purchase a mentor status. Every squad member with mentor status would get a bonus rewards for every squad member under s certain kill threshold. Throw in a special back pack skin or something for help x mount of people get x mount of kills. That would encourage more experienced people to take on a few nubs in their party.

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@jasonorme.5014 said:

@jasonorme.5014 said:I'd love to start raiding but It's too difficult for new raiders to join raids as groups want proof of experience with a currency we are unable to get because we can't get into a raid group because they want a currency we are unable to get because we can't get into a raid group because groups want proof of experience with a currency we are unable to get because we can't get into a raid group because groups want proof of experience with a currency we are unable to get because we can't get into a raid group because... you see the problem?.

No, I don't see the problem. You can go ahead and acquire KP and LI like the rest of us did. Join groups that are learning or training new people, or make your own groups. But if active players haven't tried raiding in all these years, they just dont care about the game mode and they never will, the LI/KP excuse is just an excuse.

That's not the case at all, people want to raid but elitist gatekeepers push them away.The stupid thing is, as Andrew has stated " raids attract a small audience", and that audience will never grow if more people aren't let in.Raiding needs to become accessible for all, otherwise, Anet won't focus their development time working on raids and those elitist gatekeepers will have shot themselves in the foot.

I think that there is a solution to this that has not been considered yet, at least within the scope of the conversations I have read. I think Anet should develop a specific set of rewards for training new players in raiding to encourage established raiders to bring new raiders into their groups. There is something similar in WvW where a commander receives an extra pip for leading a squad of 5+.

Proposed Incentives:5% more Magnetite Shards/Gaeting Crystals per new raider in squad up to 4 new raiders & 20% increase5% increase on weekly Shard/Crystal capincreased chance at receiving better drops on Boss kill (not sure if MF impacts that or not) per new raider in squad up to 4 new raiders & 20% increase

Proposed Criteria to identify new Raiders:< 5 kills on current Raid Boss.

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@Blocki.4931 said:

@MashMash.1645 said:I guess Alliances are truly dead then huh?Oh well.

Why are you people so obsessed with saying it will never come? They gave us a timeline of what to expect. Swiss needs to be done testing and in an acceptable state first, they are already focusing on finishing the Alliance system, which is built upon some of the swiss tech, right after. You don't need this reaffirmed every single time something about the game is said. This was a post about PvE.

Another one who’s opinion won’t matter regarding WvW. I love when people use the term ‘you people’ . It is enlightening.

Two years. Two years since initial announcement.

????

Hope you have a wonderful day!

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@"Golvellius.7856" said:

Raids are not a "tricky" problem to solve. The tricky part to fixing any problem is not listening to people telling you what the problem is. Imagine going to a clinic, and all the receptionists, nurses, and doctors have headphones in. That's you guys! lol Not you guys specifically - it's all MMO developers when we tell you what the problem with Raids is. It's like...you guys just zone out or something when we give you the root cause.

:)

This^^^^^^^^^^^^ 100%

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@"foozlesprite.8051" said:A 'story mode'/easy difficulty raid with a lower dps threshold like many other games have would allow more people to enjoy 10-man content, and allow people to practice their build in a real-world environment and learn the mechanics of the fights in a lower-stress scenario (for raid fights that take more time to pick them up, since as I said, it wasn't the issue with the strike). Achievement progress/the best loot would be locked to normal and challenge mode versions, as appropriate. I personally think this would do more to step people up to 'normal' raiding than strikes do.

I am glad, that you wrote that, so I can just write "full ack". :)

Players ask for an "easy mode" for raids since the first raid in GW2. I understand that strike-missions are intended to be "easy mode raids", but they are not the same.

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@kharmin.7683 said:I, too, appreciate the communication.

As a (very) casual player, who has read most of the thread, here are my points of view.

I don't raid or strike. This type of content doesn't interest me as a casual player. I do like that it is available for those who prefer that type of content -- good for them. I don't like that completion gets forced into content.

If I read correctly, there are plans to focus on content that appeals more to the hardcore crowd? I hope that this isn't due to the comments on these forums and on reddit that constantly call for this. I'd wager that many casual players don't even look on the forums/reddit because they are casual players -- heck, in my limited casual play group, I am the only one who does. I caution Anet to remember the pre-nerf HoT and the backlash from it.

Anyway, that's what I've got to offer for now.

Pre nerf hot and the backlash from it happened because anet decided to bring harder content to everyone's door without asking who wants it, a raid or a fractal cm isnt something that comming up to you and asks to be done, its something that been released on the side as an option.

Besides, most ppl dpnt use these forums or reddit so the pre nerf hot experience might not have been indicative of everyone, imo the post hot experience of no non raiding content was far worse for the game.

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After some time i had to think on the post and a few talks i found here or there i gotta ask, what are you laying the groundwork for for the last 3 or 4 years? Could we instead of laying the groundwork actually get to enjoy the good content all this groundwork is been laid for? How about a mention of what said content is and why it takes years of groundwork?

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@Bassdeff.1895 said:

@"Ben K.6238" said:"Optimised" is meaningless by itself, since there are varying degrees of optimisation and diminishing returns on the things you can optimise.

It is bizarre that the game still doesn't support DX11 or higher, but that has a fairly modest impact - the overhead required to run GW2 over the last 7 years hasn't increased much, while hardware has improved substantially.

It's certainly not in a state where a properly maintained system with reasonable hardware can't run it without significant performance concerns, and hasn't been for years. So aside from some general upgrades for sanity's sake (like moving off DX9 finally) there's not a whole lot of point in going over the game with a fine-toothed comb to get the last few percent out of it.

The problem isn't that the game runs bad, it does but that isn;'t the problem. GW2 ran "OK" on the PC I built in 2010. In 2018 I built a top notch gaming rig and do you know what kind of improvement I saw in GW2? Essentially none. Sure I gained a couple of frames here and there but the game refuses to use more that 50% of hardware capabilities. I still can't turn shadows up to max, or increase character limit past low and character details past lowestI. Even with those setting I still get 25FPS in some areas and 8 fps when AB meta ends. If I only played GW2 then the money I spend on my rig would have been a total waste. Luckily GW2 isn''t the only game I play.

Are you running it on an ultra-high resolution screen? I'm getting better than that on 1920x1200 with a system the same age (which I wouldn't call top notch, although I did go for a relatively high-end CPU, which is where GW2's bottleneck tends to be).If I raise the character limit to high (I usually set it low with everything else max) and go to a world boss fight, I can get it down to 25FPS but otherwise it's running 90-120 most of the time.

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@zealex.9410 said:Pre nerf hot and the backlash from it happened because anet decided to bring harder content to everyone's door without asking who wants it, a raid or a fractal cm isnt something that comming up to you and asks to be done, its something that been released on the side as an option.Then perhaps it should have been to the side, not in our face by making, for example, strike achieves a requirement for getting the LS metaachieve. Or by making envoy armor the only PvE legendary armor set.

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@Ben K.6238 said:

@Ben K.6238 said:"Optimised" is meaningless by itself, since there are varying degrees of optimisation and diminishing returns on the things you can optimise.

It is bizarre that the game still doesn't support DX11 or higher, but that has a fairly modest impact - the overhead required to run GW2 over the last 7 years hasn't increased much, while hardware has improved substantially.

It's certainly not in a state where a properly maintained system with reasonable hardware can't run it without significant performance concerns, and hasn't been for years. So aside from some general upgrades for sanity's sake (like moving off DX9 finally) there's not a whole lot of point in going over the game with a fine-toothed comb to get the last few percent out of it.

The problem isn't that the game runs bad, it does but that isn;'t the problem. GW2 ran "OK" on the PC I built in 2010. In 2018 I built a top notch gaming rig and do you know what kind of improvement I saw in GW2? Essentially none. Sure I gained a couple of frames here and there but the game refuses to use more that 50% of hardware capabilities. I still can't turn shadows up to max, or increase character limit past low and character details past lowestI. Even with those setting I still get 25FPS in some areas and 8 fps when AB meta ends. If I only played GW2 then the money I spend on my rig would have been a total waste. Luckily GW2 isn''t the only game I play.

Are you running it on an ultra-high resolution screen? I'm getting better than that on 1920x1200 with a system the same age (which I wouldn't call top notch, although I did go for a relatively high-end CPU, which is where GW2's bottleneck tends to be).If I raise the character limit to high (I usually set it low with everything else max) and go to a world boss fight, I can get it down to 25FPS but otherwise it's running 90-120 most of the time.

That is what I mean, sure my top end improved but I saw very little improvement on the bottom end which is what really matters. Getting 120fps doesn't mean a thing if you can't at least hold 60 or even 30 during the most demanding events. I run the game at 1080p cause I play off a big screen and it doesn't like non tv standard resolutions and 4k is to big a hit on FPS for what I get out of it.I was getting 25 fps in boss fights on my old rig which was running at near 100% capacity, now I'm still getting 25fps and both gpu and cpu are running 40% to 50% because the game doesn't know how to take advantage of multi-core cpus. Might not have been a big deal in 2012 but in 2020 where 8 core cpus are plenty and affordable it is a problem. Hence while people have been asking for a revamp of the game engine which will probably never happen.

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@zealex.9410 said:After some time i had to think on the post and a few talks i found here or there i gotta ask, what are you laying the groundwork for for the last 3 or 4 years? Could we instead of laying the groundwork actually get to enjoy the good content all this groundwork is been laid for? How about a mention of what said content is and why it takes years of groundwork?

I've actually been considering this point as well, and there's no denying they've used the 'laying the groundwork....' 'building a foundation for...' argument before, but I think the big factor here is the layoffs last year, soon followed by Mo heading off to start his own studio. I think the layoffs in particular (meaning no disrespect to Mo, I'll add) came as a massive blow, resulting in a lot of restructuring and reassessment. So, in a sense, you could argue they are starting from scratch, building new foundations, laying new groundwork.

I don't know if that argument will hold any sway with you, but it's certainly how I've come to view things. And of course it goes without saying: you've told us, now show us. Proofs in the pudding, as they say. But speaking personally I certainly have more optimism and belief that Anet fully intend to deliver on their promises.

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I believe Guild Wars 2 still has great potential to become an all time great like CoD, GTA or FIFA, but that needs some good marketing moves in 2020. ArenaNet should focus on the competetive aspect of Guild Wars 2 and by that I mean PvP - competetive games are what gets and keeps people hooked. Pay a top streamer to play PvP, give him/her access to cool skins to show off and let them team up with top PvP players. What we can learn from Minecrafts resurgence is that content creators playing games and people creating memes out of them is what makes games spike in popularity. Therefore ArenaNet should:

  • keep the meta healthy
  • pay content creator/s (Youtubers/Streamers) to play Guild Wars 2 and allow them access to skins as advertisement. I am literally talking about people like Tyler1 who are used to 5v5 games and have HUGE potential of creating new memes while playing it
  • develop the PvP menu, create additions to Heart Of The Mist and ease the process of obtaining skins via PvP
  • reestablish the payed esport aspect of Guild Wars 2 by partnering with an esports league - see the 1st place of a tournament as „expense“ for an extra marketing employee, because the winning team is basically that - support in advertisement
  • tell your marketing team to create some fire memes that are actually funny, partner with popular sites on Instagram and Twitter and share them
  • kids love free games and hate getting destroyed - allow „Free2Play“ people access to single elite specializations through purchase via the gem store. Trying the elite specs will make them buy the Ad-ons. Add also free 7 day trails for each elite spec
  • support actual Guild Wars 2 content creators by letting top PvP players create YouTube/Twitch accounts & let them group up with paid content creators as PvP teams to increase their reach

I played Guild Wars since I was 13 years old, now I am 25, work in business administration and when I think back on what made me hooked on it was that it was a literal game about wars between guilds, about the Hall Of Heroes and the sick life action movie like ads Guild Wars came with. We should go back to that concept and let Guild Wars finally get the fame it deserves with it‘s graphics and lore.

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I believe that I also fell out of my chair when I saw this, sincerely: it is a real good thing: FINALLY communication, continue in this direction.From what I see in the announced content, this is just the beginning, so I hope there will be more.

So far except for the prologue that was great, Living History 5 was just bad (really), so I hope that from these famous episodes we will move towards an improvement.On the other hand, I notice that we will be late on episode 3, which will be "postponed", I mean if we have something in between that will be fine (the vision of the past). I hope we will have more answers on what you will bring in this year 2020, and please avoid too much you get caught up in the surprise, I mean: communicate, this is your biggest flaw and players really need to be reassured, did not repeat the mistake of August 30.Cordially,

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@Vinceman.4572 said:

@"Astralporing.1957" said:I'm afraid it's not that simple. The gap exists not because there's no middle content (although there isn't one, which is bad - and strikes do not bridge that gap, for a multitude of reasons, one of them due to them being a 10-man content). It exists, because the game system magnifies even tiny differences in gear, build and skill. The game as it is cannot realistically help players bridge that gap. All it can do (and what you're doing with strikes) is to try to incentivize players to get better. Problem is, the players need to learn
how
to get better on their own - and those players that know how to do that (and have a mindset that is required to follow through with that learning, which most players
do not
have) are improving already, without the need for strikes. For everyone else, it will just be more and more aggravating, as they will just see more and more content placed in front of them, but just outside their reach.

If they ever want to listen to constructive feeback this is the post they should react to at first. I know that we had some verbal foughts in the past but your comment pretty sums up everything I'm thinking about the whole "gap situation".

@Fire Attunement.9835 said:RaidsWe gathered data to determine why, and the most common answer was that there is a giant leap in difficulty between raids and other endgame content, and there isn't anything to help players work their way up.

Instead of putting all these recourses and effort into a new game mode that is supposed to bring people into raids you should have simply focused on raids for people who want to raid and add
difficulty settings
. Those who want to raid will raid. Difficulty settings (easy, normal, challenge) would have made the already existing content accessible for a huge amount of players and added a new form of progression. Add actual repeatable rewards (not one kill per week and once in a life time cm rewards) and boom, you would have had a through and through insanely well made game mode.

These two posts are 100% correct on everything. As is the post about how the community is handling Drakkar.

Its terrible. If the meta fails the elites blame the casuals the causal blame -ANET-. The map chat devolves into a toxic cesspool at that point.

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@Strider Pj.2193 said:

@"MashMash.1645" said:I guess Alliances are truly dead then huh?Oh well.

Why are you people so obsessed with saying it will never come? They gave us a timeline of what to expect. Swiss needs to be done testing and in an acceptable state first, they are already focusing on finishing the Alliance system, which is built upon some of the swiss tech, right after. You don't need this reaffirmed every single time something about the game is said. This was a post about PvE.

Another one who’s opinion won’t matter regarding WvW. I love when people use the term ‘you people’ . It is enlightening.

Two years. Two years since initial announcement.

????

Hope you have a wonderful day!

What else would I say to refer to a subset of people? You want me to always use "Those who believe X" instead of "you" when what I am directly replying to already spares me that work thanks to context?

Two years don't mean jack, because it was announced in it's infancy. It was announced when it was a brainstorm session that they want to put out there as something they will soon work on. That's like getting angry at game devs who say "hey, this game you're waiting for will come out in a few years. Here is this random rock texture that is already done." because in your mind it directly translated to "game is done soon".

They gave us that disclaimer telling us this is very early in development, if they had even started at that point. Since then we've had several updates on it, what else do people want? What should they tell us after they have told us again and again that it's still in the works? Show concepts? Show their dev work to us? That's useless and doesn't make any sense.

So yes, I think it's a bit silly to ask for the concrete status of a WvW update on a PvE post.

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Sorry 4 my eng, it's not my native lang.
What about Raids:1) All of ppl who want to join raid r welcome. Just try to do it in the weekends.2) Kp is imortant, because not all of raiders want to spend their time for new players and it's normal3) Guild Wars 2 (if u can read) contains in title word "Guild", so 1st step to join into raid -- just ask it in your guild (i also joined at my 1st raid like that)4) I Think GM not understand what real problem whith raids. We have some of site (guild site) who tell us best equipment and rotation and it very imortant to be raider, u can complete fractal whithout knowing rotation, but u can't do it in raid. We haven't any variant to learn your 1st rotation if u haven't friends or u don't know specific sites. Also golem (Special forcew arena) is !terrible! u Can't 4 example take equipoment 4 some tests to discover how to improve your dps, so if u just start to collect you 1st ascended set (which hard enough to new players and take about 1 weak) u can't discover which one u should to create 1stly. The game not give us some example of pre sets of skill, rotations or equipments. i often take part in training raids to teach some ppl how to raid and i see a lot of ppl who don't know whats is dps at all.5) old raids players don't have any motivations to going training raid, we can't get some bonus from kiling boss if we already killed it on this weak, also we can't kill cm for new reward so hard to find cm mod in lfg.6) we have thousands of li and kp, which r rubbish, i already have some of leg sets, and i can't get something new for that, so it only take slot in my bags.

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@Blocki.4931 said:

@"MashMash.1645" said:I guess Alliances are truly dead then huh?Oh well.

Why are you people so obsessed with saying it will never come? They gave us a timeline of what to expect. Swiss needs to be done testing and in an acceptable state first, they are already focusing on finishing the Alliance system, which is built upon some of the swiss tech, right after. You don't need this reaffirmed every single time something about the game is said. This was a post about PvE.

Another one who’s opinion won’t matter regarding WvW. I love when people use the term ‘you people’ . It is enlightening.

Two years. Two years since initial announcement.

????

Hope you have a wonderful day!

What else would I say to refer to a subset of people? You want me to always use "Those who believe X" instead of "you" when what I am directly replying to already spares me that work thanks to context?

Two years don't mean jack, because it was announced in it's infancy. It was announced when it was a brainstorm session that they want to put out there as something they will soon work on. That's like getting angry at game devs who say "hey, this game you're waiting for will come out in a few years. Here is this random rock texture that is already done." because in your mind it directly translated to "game is done soon".

They gave us that disclaimer telling us this is very early in development, if they had even started at that point. Since then we've had several updates on it, what else do people want?

Oh. The two updates that happened within 8 months then radio silence? For 1.25 years? Yep. I get it.

What should they tell us after they have told us again and again that it's still in the works? Show concepts? Show their dev work to us? That's useless and doesn't make any sense.

So yes, I think it's a bit silly to ask for the concrete status of a WvW update on a PvE post.

Oh I hear you. And I thank you. It makes it easier to know who to take seriously in the WvW forum.

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In my honest opinion the problem is that there is too much focus on fractals. What's really happening here is that it's "dungeon content" but all being kept in one place and required to be completed daily. In addition to that, literally all of the rewards and some of the most effective ways to make gold are locked behind specifically fractal dailies. This means you must do fractals everyday which is extremely monotonous and will cause burnout real quick. I personally think this game could benefit from spreading fractal rewards back into other parts of the game instead of funneling everyone into that specific niche. Where else could these rewards be spread? Simple: New dungeons. Yes I know the old ones were buggy as heck and everyone will say they do not like them, but that is because they were made with spaghetti code that would doubtlessly not be repeated going forward. What is the benefit to making new dungeons? Connection to the world and story again. The issue with fractals is that they are very loose in the universe. It does have some cool and interesting stories but let's talk about fractals like Deepstone. Deepstone is a missed opportunity because it would have been awesome to have a whole tomb-raiding themed fully-fledged dungeon that could have helped build the world and give people a reason to go back to areas in Elona even if just in passing, as this could have been the perfect chance to expand on the Derelict Delve in the Desert Highlands. What I'm trying to say is, creating a bunch of new and exciting dungeons could be a great way to deliver that same 5-man content people crave while also expanding the world and connecting the 5-man content to said world, thus increasing interest in the living story overall, even for those whose interest is normally only to do content. Think about it, when you're surrounded by a bunch of robot cat golems, you can't help but ask "what the heck is going on with those?" as they meow at you relentlessly. My last piece of feedback is that, first of all, I used to raid regularly, having done all of the challenge modes when they were still new, buggy, and actually hard, and I can tell you with certainty that fractals are much harder. Why? Raids are made with mechanics and patterns in mind that you can eventually learn and memorize; it feels good, it feels satisfying, it feels fair. You know that when you wipe, it's because you did something wrong. Now if we talk about fractals, the opposite is true. It's complete chaos, there's a million high damage AUTO attacks and stuns being spammed in all directions at you and you can't do much about it as you're wailed on by the many DoT instabilities piling up on you. When you get hit once, you're knocked down for a good 5 seconds and there is nothing you can do about it. This makes playing squishy classes and squishier builds like elementalist feel more like a pain rather than fun, and you're rewarded half as much. Why play something squishy when you can play dragonhunter and be stupid tanky and pull out huge damage for 0 effort? Your healing is butts because agony is well... agonizing, and it's overall just a very anti-fun experience. So why is there any fun to fractals at all? Because fractals like Nightmare and Shattered were actually made in a similar (not exact) way to raids. The bosses were made with patterns and mechanics in mind. The only problem here is there's still a lot of bullpoop instabilities and high damage values wailing on you that you can't effectively heal since your healer is crippled by agony; in other words, the chaos is still there on top of those mechanics.

If you want to talk about why raids are not attracting more players: first of all, people don't come to GW2 for a hardcore game. This is known as -the- casual game. Second of all, I think strikes are a great idea, but the execution is a bit poor because there's a lot of visual clutter in these fights. If you want my opinion of good examples of content progression, I think Final Fantasy 14 hit the nail on the head. Dungeons -> Trials -> Raids -> Extreme Trials -> Savage Raids -> Ultimates. In gw2's case I would say something like Trials -> Extreme Trials -> Savage Raids is a good way to progress. If you're not sure what any of that means, I suggest looking up how FF handles things. Good examples in my opinion of normal trials are Tsukuyomi, Susano, Lakshmi, and extreme trials are again Tsukuyomi, Titania, and Innocence. Eden's Leviathan and Titan (both on Savage mode, not normal mode) are hands-down what I consider to be extremely well made and satisfying fights. I don't think guild wars 2 will ever reach that difficulty, nor do I think they should, but maybe anet can learn a thing or two by watching how those fights work and were made to get an idea of what fun and fair mechanics are. Most importantly all of these fights tie into the story and are relevant to the world they're in. Anyone who's done it can easily tell you Tsukuyomi was one of the most impactful fights in the game story-wise with very fitting mechanics and a badass fight.

And one more thing: the solution to Living story maps becoming useless after they are played once, is NOT to break them up into two separate updates. This just means overall we get less content that's equally useless in the long run. Focus on giving quality and replayability to these maps, NOT reducing them. Don't add annoying map mechanics like the brand storm or the snow debuff in the Bjora Marches. These are incredibly annoying. Don't add a plethora of mobs to each map, it completely destroys any chance of fantastic RP spots being used in a game that was originally MEANT to be a casual RPing game. And not every map needs a meta event. Find replayability in other ways because when almost every map has a meta, you spread the playerbase too thin and some of them either can't be done later in the day or just why would someone do Dry Top when you can do Octovine? I personally do not think meta events actually add any real value to the game or maps, but that's just me.

You have a huge highly diverse and expansive world. Use it. Connect it.

TL;DRI think Anet could benefit from spreading the rewards from fractals into new dungeons, which could serve a dual purpose of delivering much needed and wanted variety into 5-man content whilst providing a gateway to making connections with the story of all these new and fantastic maps we have that otherwise go completely unused after their episodic release. Also for new maps: less mobs, less annoying mechanics, more RP spots.

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@"Fire Attunement.9835" said:Generally, as a team, we are placing a greater emphasis on repeatable content (open world events, world bosses, WvW, and yes, even Fractals (hint hint)). We want to make the types of content that have a lasting, positive impact on the game, so expect that design approach to focus on that more going forward.

SMH. Exactly as expected for years now. MORE OF THE SAME. This person and whoever else is directing and designing have absolutely no vision.

There are so many events and world bosses in the game and they all offer the same, repetitive, monotonous gameplay with the same mechanics and rotation. Once it's learned after the first few attempts then it becomes the same stale content over and over and THAT is not endgame content.

The rewards from this content can barely be called rewards and as far as loot, it's incredibly scarce or pitiful.

What keeps players playing and what has lasting and meaningful gameplay? Content built around the character and classes. We create and design and play our characters every time we log in. We spend so much time building them and experimenting with them. Endgame should revolve around this aspect. Not the typical respawn event that comes every few hours and requires a group of players to be able to complete.

Advancing build diversity, options, customization, elite specs, wep choice, and content that further utilizes those aspects in various, challenging, and unpredictable ways, has infinite possibilities and is no longer that mundane experience of events and rinse n' repeat raids/fractals.

Having an instance that alters its base and specific mechanics and aspects in a shuffling, RNG-like system is far more exciting and makes every instance you enter something new, unpredictable, and fun. It makes you think on your feet and really challenges your build versatility and ability to survive. Something that scales so you can solo it or face it with a group and have that option. That type of content could go on for a long time and can advance in many ways.

Yet here, you have nothing lined up that has any relevance or interest. It's just more of the same that we already have and proves that you have no vision and no grasp of what players want or GW 2 needs.

Focus should be on an expansion or a feature pack update. Not the tired LW episodes or world events/raids/fractals that offer little to nothing other than repetition.

GW 2 used to be thriving with new ideas and features. After PoF, it has declined and that isn't to blame on a portion of employees leaving or whatever other internal issues. It's in the direction and choices of those still there. It's in the quality of the writing that keeps repeating the same awful dialogue. predictable scenarios, and undeveloped outcomes. It's in the priority of microtransactions that are anything but "micro". It's in doubling and tripling down on tired old ways that don't last and ultimately weaken the integrity and longevity of the game as a whole. And it's in this mindset, the one apparent in this entire message from Andrew Gray, that shows they just don't get it and don't care to.

The game isn't going anywhere. I believed two years ago in giving Anet the benefit of the doubt and just waiting. Then came LW 5 and message updates like this one that confirms that nothing is on the horizon from what they lined up and the possibility of anything interesting won't be coming any time soon.

It will always be more of the same until someone new gets in there with a strong vision and vitality that finally brings this zombie game back to life.

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@"jasonorme.5014" said:I think the only thing that will fix the issue with raids, is difficulty tiers with scaling rewards.That way players can familiarise themselves with the content, and then increase the challenge when they feel more confident.

This is a great idea. It is like how GW1 had regular missions and then hard mode version of those. At least this way for people who just want to experience the content or learn the raids can do so and still feel like they're not being judged because of what they're doing/ learning.

Once they get the hang of it and want to step up then they can do the "hard" version and those will have better rewards.

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