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Analytics should not drive the direction of the game...


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And I'm glad that for the most part it hasn't. A lot of the new content in the latest releases have stemmed as a response to the accessibility of raiding, with strikes being the driving force behind the design of the content. However, if this is a response to analytics, then what's being done is in my opinion, a bad way to push players in. As a whole raiding in this game is probably more accessible than it is in any other MMORPG out there on the market right now. It really boils down to the statement "how bad does the player want it", and it's been that way since raids were released. Now there seems to be a lot of hostility (that I've brought a lot of light to) from the community of players as a whole because the players have created a division between "casual" and "hardcore" and I myself have done so in the past admittedly joined in, but I recently changed my mind in looking at players as one or the other. The way I see it everyone in the game no matter how serious you play is a player, not a casual player, not a hardcore player, but just a player.

Raiding is not the factor that creates this division either, the reality is that players are not even trying at all to adjust, understand, or develop skill and then trying to enforce this weird thing everyone also cultivated called a skill cap as if it were some sort of domino effect on everyone. When looking at the behavior and mindset of everyone asking ANET to push out different difficulties for things, they don't see that what they're doing is actually degrading the quality of the fun that the game brings about. I wish I could explain in detail how this works, but it's hard to put the words together without actual experience, but from other's mistakes the game developers at ANET.

However the major contributor to the only game that has ever started the idea of raiding is in fact WoW, and it's greatest downfall became how Blizzard used analytics to create a for-profit experience as opposed to a for-fun game. From a business perspective being greedy and hostile to your audience for money (which is not what ANET is currently doing) is exactly what led to the downfall of many businesses and products. KFC did it to Colonel Sanders to reduce the cost of his original chicken formula, and now they use his face and belittle his memory as their trademark, now Popeyes dominates over fried chicken fast food, than KFC does. In the world of MMORPG Blizzard did the same thing to their beloved WoW and the creators were absolutely destroyed by what happened and even made their own accounts at how evil it was to make their game for profit.

They introduced multiple raiding difficulties expecting higher profits, which it did but not in the long run, and that led to the downfall of the game, raiders hated that because it reduced the quality of the incentive to even do raiding. Take this man named Harry that I knew from GameStop when I was 12. Harry at the time was 35 and loved wrath of the lich king and he had a static group for doing ICC. What happened is he did ICC on normal about 150 times. I'll let that sink in for a minute, 150 times! In essence Blizzard chose to spend more time and effort making the game easier as opposed to pushing out quality content to maximize their profits, and when they did this the number of raids in an expansion went from 25 to 5. What was a journey in which you traveled with your guild suddenly became less of a journey and more of a free-for-all for profits. When Harry's group finally said they were going to do heroic mode he was so fed up as naturally anyone would be, of doing this stupid raid again and just quit the game for good.

And this happened more and more down the line. Eventually in Mists of Pandaria expansion they introduced LFR which was a joke of a mode where you can just die and afk for each boss at will and come out with the kill no questions asked, and that ruined even more of the incentive to do raiding. Now imagine, in wow right now you have 4 difficulties of raiding, and you need a certain ilvl to progress. When you finally reach Mythic raiding you've already beaten normal and heroic twice, you have good gear, and realistically you could just do Mythic+ dungeons for armor or just raid on Mythic like a full time job. By the time you've reached Mythic raiding you're super exhausted from doing the raid as a whole and just leave the game. Mythic raiding as a whole is an expensive frustration-ride and is the actual real boss that you don't fight in LFR, normal, and heroic. This means you've been fighting fake bosses for the last two weeks only to fight the real one and wipe 50+ times for 1 kill. You also have to work your butt off to get the potions of unbridled fury. And Blizzard did this deliberately for profits to keep the player running on the hamster wheel and I will tell you that collectively, WoW is just not fun. Don't get me wrong the Raids are fun it's raiding that's not fun.

In contrast in Guild Wars 2 you get the real boss no questions asked and there is no line to cross to get into it other than being able to dodge roll out of orange circles and using the right builds. Knowing mechanics helps and so on. And you don't even need to look up guides that much, as guilds will go out of their way to train you if you're serious. In wow my first experience with LFR literally sucked out my soul from my body into a vortex, because here I thought I was going to get a challenge that I go through with friends I'll make in group finder and I barely pressed a button to kill the boss, I literally ran around like an idiot swinging my sword and the boss died like nothing in less than 5 minutes. At the end I asked, "That's it?" And literally just felt robbed out of fun.

I use raiding as an example because raiding as the community calls it is not a for profit game mode. But realistically speaking it could be any aspect of the game even WvW. If they start abusing the player for money more it just ruins the quality of the game. If anything, many raiders would agree that raids are incredibly accessible and that anyone and I mean anyone can have access to raiding, you just have too have a positive mental attitude and a willingness to succeed. There's no reason to slash off raiding simply because you can't do it, and then mask off the negativity as content you need ANET to monetize in order to do. Don't destroy the quality of something you have that you've never used in a product. If I have a product and this product has many different features that I never use, but could be of great value to me, it would be my fault for not reaping the benefits of the features not the designer of the product. Likewise like an instruction manual, the ANET guides for raiding on the wiki are pretty good, you don't need Snowcrows builds and all of that nonsense to be successful even though it's the norm (here's the guide from ANET https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Spirit_Vale ). I would add pictures personally but they spare you from that so you experience the fun not watch it.

Note that through cause and effect, ANET makes the game easy because some stupid numbers are telling them to, then players who play everything easy will dominate the game. That actually reduces the quality of your MMORPG. Skins and visuals would effectively be the only good thing about the game, and that will wear off quickly it's why so much of the initial launch population left, literally no investment in anything fun, and everyone was just grinding for that shiny skin. And that alone is unorthodox and really mundane. You'd see the Aerodome empty and no real reason of doing raids to begin with as a group just solo it. Just do the raid solo...the most paradoxical statement on the planet.

While I use WoW as an example a video Asmongold (the most popular WoW Twitch streamer) reacted to a Game Dev of the original Vanilla WoW's comments who explains exactly what I mean:

Profits does not mean fun it simply means profits. It's as Kevin Jordan calls it:"Analytics defining fun you know, you don't sound like a game designer you sound like a ... computer, that's trying to evolve into a sentient AI that's trying to determine an emotional quality based on data."

As I've mentioned earlier, the only thing gating players from raiding is literally a mindset, and nothing else. Anything in this game that's gated by anything whether it be getting a legendary or anything in particular, is all only gated in the mindset of the player. Quite literally I saw a post from someone who decided to take that leap and actually push himself to have fun raiding! That felt so amazing to read about his account only proves that it's just the mindset. With that being said, I hope ANET doesn't use analytics to say what's fun. Nobody told Nintendo how to make Super Mario fun, Super Mario is fun because it is challenging!

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@Aridon.8362 said:

As I've mentioned earlier, the only thing gating players from raiding is literally a mindset, and nothing else. Anything in this game that's gated by anything whether it be getting a legendary or anything in particular, is all only gated in the mindset of the player. Quite literally I saw a post from someone who decided to take that leap and actually push himself to have fun raiding! That felt so amazing to read about his account only proves that it's just the mindset. With that being said, I hope ANET doesn't use analytics to say what's fun. Nobody told Nintendo how to make Super Mario fun, Super Mario is fun because it is challenging!

Im, gated from raids due to my timezone, ive done them in the past when i was in a different time zone, they where fun sure, but now..its impossible for me to do. ive tried multiple raiding guilds out over the past couple months searching for one that had training raids offered during an earlier time zone, or one that didnt require LI for training raids(Why?) and it never panned out, at this point ive just given up on trying, hell the person i reached out to about buying runs wasnt even able to due to our timezones being off :/

Also: For newer players there is another gate, and its lack of people willing to train new players.

The thing is though and this is from alot of the raiders i know, they are finding it harder and harder to keep statics together. those players are quitting the game. due to ANET A.) not releasing any new raids, and B.) even when they did release new raids the cadence wasnt fast enough for them. I honestly think anet had no choice but to either make raids easier or force players to get better(not even forced. im of the opinion that when a strike gets released with a boss thats actually at Raid level, alot of players will stop right there and just not do it.), otherwise they would have risked them becoming like dungeons.

PS: in case you didnt know, anet sends out random questionnaires im sure they use the information and feedback gathered from those to change the game. I know that a few things i mentioned in the last one they sent have been either worked on or improved already. Anet making raids(Which the -knew- would only be played by a small portion of their playerbase) more accessible is not a bad thing IMO.

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The thing is different players want different things and sometimes those things are mutually exclusive.

An MMO aimed for the lower skilled players does not mean that the MMO is bad quality. It's just not designed for players looking for a challenge.

And that is just fine. Not all games will be able to cater to all types and all genre of games should have games in it that cater to a variety of different player types.

Guild Wars 2 aims at the casual player who doesn't necessarily have the time and/or desire and/or ability to be highly skilled.

This is why all builds for the most part are viable for the majority of the game's content.

This is why most open world maps and story instances tend to be nerfed and made easier if they end up requiring too much skill.

Right now they're plan for making raids more accessible seems to be using strike missions. Strike missions on average get a little bit more difficult each time. So that players can gradually learn the skills needed in order to raid. That does not lessen or worsen the raids currently available in game.

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@Aridon.8362 said:Raiding is not the factor that creates this division either, the reality is that players are not even trying at all to adjust, understand, or develop skill

Being able to digest carrots doesn't mean you enjoy eating carrots.

Not liking them does not mean you:

  • aren't a skilled chewer
  • don't realize the nutritional value of carrots
  • don't acknowledge that some people love them
  • wish to ban carrots from the market.

Some people have tried carrots and tried them in a number of different ways and decided, ultimately that they don't like the taste or the feel or the smell of them. They aren't picky eaters - they know what they like. They're interested in supporting their local grocer, but can't stomach what's being sold.

If they suggest an alternative vegetable be added to the market that is similar to carrots, but more palatable to them, and you tell them they're unwilling to develop an acquired taste or not smart enough to appreciate carrots as they are, you have the exact situation GW2's raids have:

People have tried them, people have learned them, and they've still determined they don't like them and either prefer not to play them at all, or would be willing to play them at reduced levels of difficulty. Reduced difficulty raids with reduced rewards. Hard mode and big payoff for those who like carrots, and easy mode with long-term reward goals for those who prefer baby carrots.

The reality is that both styles of play are equally valid and both should be taken care of when it comes to secondary game modes, particularly if ArenaNet wants them to be popular and profitable.

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@Seera.5916 said:

An MMO aimed for the lower skilled players does not mean that the MMO is bad quality. It's just not designed for players looking for a challenge.

Except, that is never how GW2 was marketed in the first place. Yes, it was marketed to people who game more casually than others, but it was never marketed only to them. From the start they've told us that the game would have both easy and challenging content. In fact, at the start of the game dungeons were that challenging content, because they were a lot harder than they are now. Fractals of the Mists, back when it only went so far as level 50, was a lot harder than Fractals are now. Level 50 then was harder than level 100 now. This is what people always seem to forget when they talk about the demographic the game is aiming for. GW2 has, and was always supposed to have, both easy and challenging content. I truly believe that people complaining content is too difficult (except for people with disabilities) are the kind of people who just flat out refuse to improve and want everything handed to them as easy to swallow bits. Either that, or they have the wrong expectations based on faulty data.

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I really like what Asmon says in the end, that the emotional fulfillment is the thing that matters, not the gear, the challenge, the content nor story.

He says making a game really hard doesn't make it a good game.Completing a raid with a 40man guild of people you've been playing together is way more fulfilling than beating a mechanically hard raid with 10 (also feels more massive to me).

Well Asmon himself says he hates encounters with individual responsibility in retail raids, because one person can mess raids up, that they're the most unfun part about retail raiding to him.

Pretty much what I dislike about current raiding in WoW, GW2 and every other game. The social aspect isn't the focus anymore, It's the mechanics and finding players that can do them.

Pretty much the reason I enjoy everything else in the game currently, it's just more fun and fulfilling for me.Once you start playing to maximize rewards, instead of playing for fun, It'll just feel like a grind.

Content created should focus on what's fun. A good example of good content would be Torghast, which a lot of people, Asmongold included, seem to enjoy.

So I agree, basing the direction of the game on analytics, if this majority of players flock to a gamemode only because it is the most rewarding content (like stated in the video), or just because it has a unique reward to lure people in, instead of the gamemode actually being fun or fulfilling, is wrong.

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Raiding was always a mess in WoW, guilds would routinely meltdown and shatter when new content came along. Perhaps these game modes just don't stay 'fun' long enough; the lure of new shinies plus getting sick of your current raiding community translates to less fun.

I dunno, I enjoyed raids back in my time but was clearly an activity that would go off the rails fast. I doubt Anet should expect more of their player base to enjoy them. Sure, it would be nice to support raiders more, but I don't see it paying off.

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The main misconception that MMO devs typically have, is that they think making things more accessible (Which typically means "Make them braindead easy"...) garners a healthier playerbase.

However, it tends to only seek to alienate people who like to have engaging content, while it simultaneously causes the players who don't want to put in any effort at all to figure out how to play the game just put in even less effort because nothing they're doing actually promotes them to do more.

It has been a core problem with WoW since WotLK added in the LFD tool and started the slope of enabling lazy casuals, starting with dungeons being nerfed because "They're too hard" until every new dungeon is released as a faceroll. This then lead into the LFR tool at the end of Cataclysm, but again, "Too hard nerf plx" until LFR content was so easy you had to actively have the entire raid TRY and fail... Then we started getting easier Normal modes, Heroic modes and eventually by WoD, Normal mode was about as difficult as Cataclysm's LFR and it's been the same since...

If anything, MMO's need to start going the other way with things and making general content more challenging to try and illicit a response from players to actually bother to play the game.

Gamers aren't allergic to difficult games. The popularity of Dark Souls and thus the rise of the "Souls-like" genre says much about how people (Even disabled people, as noted with Sekiro when Journalists tried to be woke and talk about how the game was too hard for disabled people which miffed off tons of disabled people who loved the game)

Of course, things don't have to be too challenging, since a common argument is that people play video games to relax after work. But the constant diminishing of need to actually engage with the game is not healthy for population.

Meanwhile, when focusing on making things "More accessible", it should be just that. More tools to find groups, more places to practice content to get relevant experience before jumping into your first ever raid (Which would be possible by making raid-esk difficulty content in other areas of the game, so that it's not such a leap from non-raiding into raiding), more ways to check personal performance etc.

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I'm not going to get into any details or join this discussion, but I am going to link to the original video Asmongold is actually reacting to:

on Kevin Jordan's Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs2ibGVoXSsoqcbv-VKel_A)

In general, it is always best to use original sources and not reaction videos. The video is worth a watch and sheds an interesting light and perspective on different issues MMOs and games face.

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If you want harder content, gw2 is not the place to look. You're just banging your head against the wall.

My son played for about 6 months and then quit because he said it was too easy. He won't even come back. There are many flavors of games. The Guild Wars 2 flavor might not be for you, but many are VERY happy.

BTW, the OP desperately needs a 'TLDR'(also, Super Mario is not fun it's a platformer. I was cured of those back with Donkey Kong)

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@TheNecrosanct.4028 said:

An MMO aimed for the lower skilled players does not mean that the MMO is bad quality. It's just not designed for players looking for a challenge.

Except, that is never how GW2 was marketed in the first place. Yes, it was marketed to people who game more casually than others, but it was never marketed only to them. From the start they've told us that the game would have both easy and challenging content. In fact, at the start of the game dungeons were that challenging content, because they were a lot harder than they are now. Fractals of the Mists, back when it only went so far as level 50, was a lot harder than Fractals are now. Level 50 then was harder than level 100 now. This is what people always seem to forget when they talk about the demographic the game is aiming for. GW2 has, and was always supposed to have, both easy and challenging content. I truly believe that people complaining content is too difficult (except for people with disabilities) are the kind of people who just flat out refuse to improve and want everything handed to them as easy to swallow bits. Either that, or they have the wrong expectations based on faulty data.

I never said that GW2 was. I was just countering what the OP said. That aiming an MMO at the lower skilled playerbase creates a bad quality MMO. Hence me saying MMO and not GW2.

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@"Hashberry.4510" said:Well, folks that use terms like 'lazy casuals' are part of the problem. I sure don't want to spend any time with that stuff.

I assume that's a dig at me.

In part because you think that my usage of the term "Lazy casuals" is implying that all casuals are "Lazy", rather than me specifying a subsection of the "Casual" playerbase whom are lazy.

Not all casuals are bad players. Not all casuals don't bother to learn how to play. Not all casuals disregard looking up boss tactics to be able to be prepared for a raid.

However, some are lazy and don't bother putting literally any effort into the game at all and then cry when things are "Too hard" for them until developers gut the content so they can complete it.

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@TheNecrosanct.4028 said:

An MMO aimed for the lower skilled players does not mean that the MMO is bad quality. It's just not designed for players looking for a challenge.

Except, that is never how GW2 was marketed in the first place. Yes, it was marketed to people who game more casually than others, but it was never marketed only to them. From the start they've told us that the game would have both easy and challenging content. In fact, at the start of the game dungeons were that challenging content, because they were a lot harder than they are now. Fractals of the Mists, back when it only went so far as level 50, was a lot harder than Fractals are now. Level 50 then was harder than level 100 now. This is what people always seem to forget when they talk about the demographic the game is aiming for. GW2 has, and was always supposed to have, both easy and challenging content. I truly believe that people complaining content is too difficult (except for people with disabilities) are the kind of people who just flat out refuse to improve and want everything handed to them as easy to swallow bits. Either that, or they have the wrong expectations based on faulty data.

People aren't complain its too difficult, it's the style and nature of gsmeplay that does not fit into casual gameplay, I. E play the build you want, and not have to play the min max rotation game while jumping in and out of circles.And watching dmg meters. Casual players don't want raids in its current format that's targeted at a niche.

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I'm gated from raids due to my timezone, which includes ping and time issues.

I lack interest in raids because I can't remember the 50-90 or so button presses in some "optimal" rotations, and a lack a sense of personal agency durring the raid. Even if we win, I can't say I had fun doing so.

I show my lack of interest by not visiting raids, hoping that if enough people do the same, Anet will focus on other projects. So, I for one hope Anet follows the analytics if strikes fail to create new raiders.

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An analogy

There's a party with 100 people at it, 90 like pop music, 10 like heavy metal. The dj plays heavy metal, and the 10 heavy metal fans think those other 90 will learn to like heavy metal if they just keep enduring it. They don't, because people know what they like. They leave the party and wish there was a party with pop music near by.

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There's a lot I disagree with in your post. You seem to be laboring under the assumption that harder content is more fun content, which is true for a percentage of the people but not true for all people. You're laboring under the assumption that people don't raid because they're some how incapable of raiding. You're laboring under the assumption that a guy that does hard content a lot of times is more valuable than more people who do content fewer times. There's a lot of assumptions in your posts.

Analaytics need to be part of the decision making process, but they perhaps shouldn't be the entire decision making process.

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@vesica tempestas.1563 said:

An MMO aimed for the lower skilled players does not mean that the MMO is bad quality. It's just not designed for players looking for a challenge.

Except, that is never how GW2 was marketed in the first place. Yes, it was marketed to people who game more casually than others, but it was never marketed only to them. From the start they've told us that the game would have both easy and challenging content. In fact, at the start of the game dungeons were that challenging content, because they were a lot harder than they are now. Fractals of the Mists, back when it only went so far as level 50, was a lot harder than Fractals are now. Level 50 then was harder than level 100 now. This is what people always seem to forget when they talk about the demographic the game is aiming for. GW2 has, and was always supposed to have, both easy and challenging content. I truly believe that people complaining content is too difficult (except for people with disabilities) are the kind of people who just flat out refuse to improve and want everything handed to them as easy to swallow bits. Either that, or they have the wrong expectations based on faulty data.

People aren't complain its too difficult, it's the style and nature of gsmeplay that does not fit into casual gameplay, I. E play the build you want, and not have to play the min max rotation game while jumping in and out of circles.And watching dmg meters. Casual players don't want raids in its current format that's targeted at a niche.

Except that's exactly the reason why some people cry it's too difficult, because they don't want to put in the work. ANet designed this game with skills that interact with each other, not just your own skills but also skills between players. That's a large part of what makes a rotation. What's the use of putting in a skill mechanic if you're not going to create content that is designed to make the best of that mechanic? With jumping in and out of circles I assume you mean the enemies' aoe's? They are everywhere in the game, including open world. So at the least people shouldn't be unfamiliar with that mechanic and at best they know how to deal with it.

And by the way, if you know the mechanics of every boss you don't need to do a meta rotation to kill the boss. You don't even need ascended gear. But you won't get there by just auto-attacking either. There's open world for that. Instanced content in GW2 has always been of a higher challenge than open world content. It's been that way since the release of the game, with dungeons. The people that lamented the difficulty of dungeons back then are the same (kind of) people who complain about Fractals and Raids these days. But it's always been a part of the game. And yes, they do complain it's too difficult. This forum is riddled with threads saying just that.

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@vesica tempestas.1563 said:An analogy

There's a party with 100 people at it, 90 like pop music, 10 like heavy metal. The dj plays heavy metal, and the 10 heavy metal fans think those other 90 will learn to like heavy metal if they just keep enduring it. They don't, because people know what they like. They leave the party and wish there was a party with pop music near by.

In my experience you'll always find a few people among those 90 pop music fans that appreciate heavy metal as well. This coming from a lifelong metalhead who also happens to like quite a bit of pop music. Your analogy is under the presumption that the 2 are mutually exclusive, but they're not.

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@Aridon.8362 said:As I've mentioned earlier, the only thing gating players from raiding is literally a mindset, and nothing else.

The mods will probably delete this viewpoint for spurious reasons again, but the reason people don't raid/strike/play PvP/ etc... is because the people who love those modes have a reputation of being the sort of folks you don't want to spend your game time with.

It's unfair and most assuredly a hashtag;notallraiders type of deal but it's true and folks need to stop ignoring it. Anyone who truly wants more people doing the underplayed gamemodes needs to go on a PR offensive to prove that the reputation is untrue. The devs and community managers especially.

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@"Aridon.8362" said:As I've mentioned earlier, the only thing gating players from raiding is literally a mindset, and nothing else.So it's okay to force people into doing something they don't like or have no interest in doing because that matches up with what you think is the "correct mindest" while you're arguing against Arenanet and others for essentially asking you to not focus so much on raiding AKA changing how you view raids in GW2?

Not everyone likes raiding. Analytics are helpful in determining which areas for a company to focus on. Just because some companies misread or skew analytics to say what they want doesn't mean analytics are bad and no one should use them—they're a tool, nothing more. In the case of GW2, raiding was never a part of the original plan and in its heyday it was still a minority of raiders who raided, a number that has steadily dropped from wings 5-7.

If <5% of players are participating in content that can take 50%+ of the PvE resources, that's not fair to the other 95% of people. Not everything has to have raiding. Not everyone has to raid. Not Everyone likes to raid. There are other MMOs with raiding out there if that's what you want, don't demand GW2 and GW2 players change just so your personal tastes can be catered to.

Also, raiding in GW2 is not accessible.

  • No automatic LFG tool
  • Complicated encounters that need research
  • High skill floor for everyone in a raid
  • The only DPS tester is in an obscure room
  • No official mods
  • One unofficial DPS metre that can be confusing for people to install and crash their game
  • Groups willing to take new(ish) players are few and far between
  • Having to search for training groups outside of the game
  • Said training groups often fill up fast the moment they announce a run
  • Common cheese/speed-run strategies that confuse people because they intentionally ignore mechanics

Other MMOs you can hop into a raid fairly easily from my experience. GW2 requires effort, time, gold, and willing to spend multiple hours trying to find a group. That's not even going into how toxic raiders are and what people are expected to listen to over voice chat. Throw in how many bosses have a mechanic that wipes the group if even 1 person doesn't play perfectly and it's just not fun for a lot of people and those people aren't wrong for not liking it and they don't need "convincing" for them to like it.

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My problem with raid are these 2.

  1. Li tresholds.

Everything under 100 Li is basically like having 0 Li.Meaning that you have to join 100 low Li/ training runs before you even can get a decent group.

The next treshold is 250 Li.

Thats 250 Boss Kills before it feels like you actually start raiding.

Its like a gear requirement but worse.

  1. There isnt even a reason to raid.

Skins and AP are the only rewards thats are maybe interesting. Legendary Armor and Ring are easier to get from WvW.

Now you must ask yourself. Are 250 boss kills worth the time investment only to get a single skin you like or maybe the few AP from some boss kills you need 250 Li for?

TLDR: It takes way to long to get into "real" raiding for little to no reward worth the time effort.

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