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Off and on since launch. Can't get into it.


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I've had the game since release day but have never been able to get into it for more than a month at a time. Not for lack of trying but none of my friends ever liked the game either.

Of all the MMO out there though, I always come back to this one. I have fun, get back into the combat but I always hit the same wall. Every single time I return, I'm soon reminded why I left.

I enjoy the world and the expansions but as soon as i hit level 80 and clear all the maps......it loses me.

I finally figured it out all these years later.The games "endgame" content is not only extremely non-accessible but all modes are at odds with how the game is presented and taught for the first 80 levels.

For 80 levels you're taught to faceroll as you race from icon to icon. And then once you're expected to participate in endgame, none of that works.

For 80 levels you're given a hodge podge of gear which you will find out (through external sources) has really stupid stats and needs to be replaced.The gear rewards make zero sense and thus teach the player nothing.

Dungeons are taught to be avoided almost instantly. Instead of experiencing a low level dungeon, you're met with an antiquated, text based LFG tool that is ripped directly from 1999.Which leads to Dungeon content being unnecessarily gated by other players.

For 80 levels you're taught this wonderful, hassle free, organically cooperative loop in the world. Then suddenly all that is handed over to a small handful of fractal/raid/wvw players to gatekeep.

SPvP is a mess every time I return. It's such a jarring shift from PvE to PvP. For 80 levels you're taught what works and what doesn't, you're taught a very specific pacing and time to kill. Then all of that is tossed out when you enter PvP. It's too different of a game.

WvW is probably the biggest offender for accessibility. Apply everything from above plus;

  • a confusing map that makes very little sense and provides zero direction.
  • not a single effort made by the game to teach a new player anything or direct them to the action.
  • a deep skill tree that seemingly puts a new player at a disadvantage and immediately deters participation due to the long grind to "catch up"
  • gear matters thus destroying any semblance of balance that was trying to be achieved in conquest. Also deters new players due to too long of an investment to "catch up".
  • dependency on high level, consumable item buffs. These last 2 alone are a big reason people won't ever play WvW.

Basically each game mode is too different from the core game that is taught for 80 levels. In order to progress to another game mode, you have to start over and unlearn all the things the game incorrectly taught you. That is an exhausting amount of energy to put into a single game imho.

Arenanet had some really great ideas for gw2. But to have such an immense disconnect between all the modes, isn't one of them.

Not complaining just had an epiphany about my love/hate relationship with this game. Lol

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@DMO.4158 said:But to have such an immense disconnect between all the modes, isn't one of them.I disagree. I like that the game offers different modes such that players aren't required to play them all. I almost never venture into WvW... it's not my preferred style of game, and neither is PvP. I'm glad that these styles are not incorporated into Open World game play.

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I agree in large part also as someone that never really gets into GW for more than a month at a time (I picked the game back up 1-2 weeks ago? Already feeling the burn.) I was never interested in the PvP side, even though GW2 looks properly built for it, but even for PvE I can see how things like builds, dungeons, non-core open world can really slam the door in the faces of a lot of newer players, including myself. I took PoF (barely stepped a foot into HoT) as a realization I needed to up my game and work on my builds, but without looking up guides I was mostly picking what sounded nice based on what I understood and I can say I found something that works for me? Kind of weird to be a self-motivating warrior that NEVER SHUTS UP, but at least I'm hard enough to kill and my damage isn't crap?

It's ironic, but for all the seeming simplification and consistency of mechanics across all classes, builds can be amazingly complex things. Despite picking a total of 9 major traits and having 9 minors, keeping track of how it all interacts can be a bit overwhelming. And how many people think to look at conditions and boons to keep themselves alive? I'm still telling myself to do that! Suddenly an ability that causes weakness on the enemy for 4 seconds sounds REALLY nice where before I was "meh," both because leveling was face-tank easy and damage output was my primary concern and because I'm already inundated with a plethora of other boons and conditions.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that PoF asked me to up my game and think of more than just raw damage output and the occasional dodge roll, if I can even see the attack coming through the ridiculously hard to notice-yet-obscuring ability effects (seriously, next to other MMOs and RPGs I've played, Guild Wars 2 has a real problem in its clarity with relaying information at ALL times in ALL things. It's maddening.) However, I don't play Magic the Gathering or Hearthstone for a reason - putting together a valid deck and making it work is just beyond my comprehension. I've always half-joked if I have to take note of more than three things I'll get confused.

Outside of that, my hoarder tendency and altitis makes it hard for me to want to craft things or pursue any goals that require spending too much gold and materials, personal problem though. Also, customizing One's appearance is a bit pricey and somewhat lacking - a lot of armors in the game are just... uninspired. Going 80 levels holding practically the same word only works if I like how it looks. Chances are though, I'm just working with the same crappy gray stick I had at level 1 despite the stats being those of a level 79 weapon, I'm not feeling too attached. 80 I can transmute and trust it won't be gone in an hour, but before that? Boring.

Anyway, that's my gripe. Builds are hard to wrap my brain around and I imagine for a lot of people it's the same. Skill plays a big part in Guild Wars 2, but the right build can make or break the experience.

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I don't agree with all you've said about what should be changed about the disparity between the game modes, but I would agree that there's an issue with the original 2012 levelling combat design compared to where the game has evolved in high-end PvE. For example, as a fractal trainer one of my biggest hurdles to overcome is to get people off of their ranged weapons and piling up near each other so they can actually be booned and healed (and revived, if necessary). It's exactly opposite of everything the game had been teaching them to do up till that point. HoT is not forgiving enough to teach people otherwise and PoF probably isn't either (though I'd have to give that more thought). But I don't know how it could be fixed besides redesigning the original game, which is probably not feasible.

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Once u hit 80 there's no carrot to work towards but cosmetic or personal achievements which is perfect for some and not enough for others. I couldn't do pve once I finished personal story cuz found it boring and definitely couldnt make it thru the lw's tho I tried. Been pvp and wvw only for yrs now but even that's a no go cuz balance is hot trash.

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Wait, it took him almost 8 years to realize that PvE and PvP are not the same? I understood that before even playing the game, it's never the same no matter what game you play that has both modes. People say this game is easy for a reason, it is...I don't do any of the build things, my traits work with my weapon, I don't change them...I can get through all open world content and not care about the dungeons, raids, strike missions or any other stuff because it doesn't interest me. I don't do WvW any more because it's nothing like it was the first year, and PvP has never been one of things I play games for, if I wanted to beat on people or kill them I'd do it for real, not in a game.

First mistake they made was nerfing Orr, had they never done that and left it as it was at release then no one would've complained about HoT or PoF, even without the vertical progression that is NOT this games point, it's all about HORIZONTAL progression and VISUALS for your character. It's ENTERTAINMENT, shouldn't be something you have to think about...there's plenty of other things for that.

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@Bridget Morrigan.1752 said:I don't agree with all you've said about what should be changed about the disparity between the game modes, but I would agree that there's an issue with the original 2012 levelling combat design compared to where the game has evolved in high-end PvE. For example, as a fractal trainer one of my biggest hurdles to overcome is to get people off of their ranged weapons and piling up near each other so they can actually be booned and healed (and revived, if necessary). It's exactly opposite of everything the game had been teaching them to do up till that point. HoT is not forgiving enough to teach people otherwise and PoF probably isn't either (though I'd have to give that more thought). But I don't know how it could be fixed besides redesigning the original game, which is probably not feasible.

As someone who mains ranged in every other game it irks me every single time I obediently cluster with the boonbots to dutifully receive the buffs I must have to maintain a reasonable output. This is so....like. Why even MAKE classes ranged. There are perhaps 2 fights in the entire game that benefit from ranged and even THEN you don't have to. Bounties come to mind with the in and out circles.

Boons should hit everyone in your party within like 5000 range. Same for heals. But this is a discussion for another time and place and I doubt it is the OP's issue anyway. Sounds like they really wish their friends would play, but don't really care for the games their friends play. There I can sympathize. I don't play Borderlands or Diablo 3 or the first person shooters or Animal Crossing or League of Legends. I am in voice with them while THEY play, and I just go about my solo stuff in GW2 or SWtoR. Every so often I try to get them here(I have succeeded for some, but not all, our Discord is about 40 folks now, off and on) but some LIKE grinding. One lovingly described Runescape and how they had achieved so much and how many hours doing this and that and I was horror-filled. Boils down to not everyone likes the same things. Just how it is.

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You're not wrong. The core game is not representative of the later game. However, I'm not really sure how this is any different from other MMOs. Does leveling a character in WoW, ESO, or FFXIV open world prepare you for PvP? Or does participating in PvP prepare you for PvP?

As for that gear disparity, you're talking about 5% between gear you can farm in whatever stat flavor you want in very little time and the absolute best gear you can get. That's really not a barrier to entry, in my opinion. In fact, this game makes it much easier to jump into whatever game mode you prefer than any other MMO I've played. Most require performing the same content repeatedly through varying levels of difficulties while upgrading gear. I don't know how it is now, but when I played WoW they even had gear progression in PvP! Talk about your barrier to entry! Pick your poison, I guess?

On WvW skills, it gives some sort of progression in the game mode, but most of the upgrades are not a barrier to participation. For instance, it isn't really necessary that you have maxxed out skill in seige because, presumably, you won't be building or operating it on your own. Somebody else can perform that function and you can put those points toward skills that are more useful to you individually. Again, this is something that you can "catch up" on quite easily just by participating. WvW is very casual that way, in fact, as you progress simply by playing.

I don't understand the "high level consumable" complaint either. That sounds very specific to me? I feel like most players are fine running whatever food buff they want, including reduced level versions of more expensive foods (which is exactly what I use).

I agree that LFG is not as easy as simply queuing up. Perhaps they should consider such a system? However, one thing I observed in my time over in WoW is that, while far more convenient, these systems do remove a lot of the interaction that exists when players are forced to communicate a bit in order to set up their group. A small consideration, perhaps, but I found it meaningful. Still, I do not necessarily disagree with what you're saying here.

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With the lack of Mmorpg's lately, it's hard to see how the mmorpg's that are still alive, aren't really doing anything "New". This is especially true with Guild Wars 2. It's been essentially the same for 8 years.

While I don't mind what Guild Wars 2 is trying to do, keeping the level 80 as max, and only having cosmetic items to reach for "end game", the only real thing I can say they've changed was adding mounts, and gliders, which other games have done far before Guild Wars 2. It's like Guild Wars 2, is trying to play "Catch Up" in a manner that won't irritate their current player base, but at the same time, it's barely bringing in any new players at all, and those who are new, are only looking to quench their thirst for an Mmorpg, and will soon move on afterwards.

The progression "End Game" seems to be (from what people have told me in game, and forums), is get mastery points, mounts, craft Legendaries, etc etc. I have to admit, the crafting system in Guild Wars 2 at launch, before Fractals was even a thing was amazing, at least coming from someone who doesn't particularly enjoy crafting in mmoprg's to begin with. It was simple, didn't take too much time, and within an hour at most, you were back on your way with new gear, and back in action. Crafting Legendaries, and "Mastery Points" going around unlocking mounts, and other perks (to me anyways), feels like a God Awful chore now. I bought the Living expansion bundle, before reading up on how you go about getting the Skyscale, probably a mistake a on my part but lesson learned. Skyscale sounds like an extremely LONG, and BORING Process of the game, much like crafting Legendary gear. Sure, it's meant to be an achievement, and those of you who have these things should feel good about yourselves, but for those of us who don't really enjoy dedicated time to these long and arduous tasks, it kind of kills the fun of the game, and feel pretty burnt out in no time, seeing as this is what "End Game" is. (I won't lie though, I seen someone with a Bow that shoots out Unicorns, that made my day in a dungeon).

During the launch, or beginning of Guild Wars 2, I found it awesome, that I didn't really have to do anything to level up quickly, and that the experience gain for each level was essentially the same process, and the time it took to go from one level to another, was the same. That being said, I tried a few dungeons early on, and without the "holy trinity" system which at the time was Guild Wars 2 "Major" thing they had going for them, it was neat, that was until you realized all the dungeons soon afterwards almost always had at least one member who was focused more towards being a "Water Elementalist" due to the fact they were one of the only classes that could heal decently. After beating a couple of dungeons, and coming to the conclusion I wasn't really rewarded with anything special for doing them, and the lack of a "LFG Finder", and the remainder of the lack of it, I wasn't about to wait around spamming "LFG" in map/world chat all day trying to wait for people to do dungeons that didn't matter, nor handed out anything different than just continuing on with the game. Having just come back, i am NOW just starting to do the Story Dungeons, mainly to see what I was missing out on, which doesn't turn out to me much. The exploration dungeons might be different I don't know, and can't say I'm all to "hyped" to even try it out to begin with. Even when the Fractals came out for the first time, I didn't see much point in doing them, and I don't think I still do.

Hopping back on from time to time is fine and all, and I remember when "Karma" used to be the only other form of currency, other than Gold. Now when I open up my wallet it's like "Wow...." All these different types of currency are just shoved right in front of your face, and you kind of get the feeling, "What did I really miss? And how important are all these different kinds of curency?" The amount of currency there is now seems just silly, it's like every year the game has been alive, they decided to throw in another random form of currency and say "It's content, have fun!", while almost nothing else changed.

I'm pretty sure I was around (on and off again) for the first Living Story, or whenever Lions Arch went through it's first change, soon after left, came back a couple years later, only to find out that the Living Stories that were said to be a "one time" thing, are actually now accessible through paying money for them. (And or accessing them for free during the events, which I'm doing with Icebrood Saga), even now, I haven't touched a single Icebrood Saga story as of yet, or whatever I got from it anyways.

Well, these of course are my opinions, I could be wrong, as I am not incredibly experienced with this game. All I know is not much has changed in 8 years, a few new "Elite Specilizations", Mounts, 20 types of different currency I have no clue what any of them do, and I guess "Raids and Strikes", but for the most part, I hear nothing good about either of them, and a very small portion of people actually do them.

Now would be a perfect time for a game like Guild Wars 2 to change, again with the lack of Mmorpg's. Only a few on the way, and I think that's all it will take to take some players away. I know at the end of this month, I'm hopping on Phantasy Online 2. Played the Japanese version, but even that game is around 8 years old, and still added a crap ton of more content than Guild Wars 2, and it's free. Guild Wars 2 is simply me killing time until the English Release of PSO 2 on PC. And I'm really trying to get into GW 2 again before then. I'm having fun with my new Minionmancer/Reaper build, almost finished the Story again, and will soon move onto the Living stories and expansions, but not too sure how long that will keep me going.

I personally think, Guild Wars 2 is struggling to find what kind of game it is. And like I said, it's trying to appeal mainly to their current playerbase, and just doing "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", which again, is good and all, but the very few new players who are joining/trying Guild Wars 2 out, are not going to be telling their friends about it. (for the most part)

(and yes Phantasy Star Online 2 IS 8 years old, and HAS seen way more changes than Guild Wars 2 albeit different games, and not really open-world based)

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Guild Wars 2, although a decent game, tried to please too many types of people at once and just ended up struggling through it all. You have the role-players, endgame pve chasers, pvp players, wvw players, open-world players, fashionistas, there's a lot of people to manage. I used to be more vocal about gw2 as a whole, but these days since pvp is pretty much all I play, I pretty much only criticize that, and even then only certain things. However, I do hold the community as a whole accountable for the state of the game since they drive the life of it. I know it's popular to always blame the devs...I was guilty of it myself...but as time goes on you realize that the communities and the culture within them do more to ruin games than the business side themselves. This goes especially for MMOs. An MMO is basically just a persistent world that never ends unless the server pulls the plug on it. The experience doesn't have a clear end. As time goes on, either of two things happen: you get sucked in or you slowly become more and more bored with the game due to the time-consuming nature of it. A lot of MMOs have mechanics and aspects that are designed to siphon your time and life away and to keep you playing. And that's all that really matters in an MMO: to keep you playing in some way shape and form.

Then again, this is par for the course for MMOs, especially these days that try to live in WoW's shadow. I used to be into them, but the more I play them, the more that I find that they don't matter in the scheme of things. There's too much infighting among communities (as with the real world!) and it just ends up collapsing! An MMO, as with the real world, basically then ends up as a massive political project to placate communities in order to financially maintain the game alive, hence you face the wrath of its more zealous "hardcore" players. gw2, from my experience, goes the mile in trying to maintain the community unlike other mmos. However, looking at Reddit, you'd think that ANet is the devil! Again, I'm not protecting the devs, I'm saying that the community has more pull that it gives out.

As for me, the pvp and wvw is ok, especially after the major update. That's my main reason for playing gw2 to this day. This will be my first and only MMO. (I don't consider gw1 an mmo) When you've played for 8 years, you've seen and done it all, overtime your zeal for the game never really matches that from your first days of it. After that what's left? Again...MMOs don't really end! Because overtime, the more dedicated, zealous portions of the community are the ones keeping it alive.

gw2 is just going what every MMO goes through, living in the shadow of WoW. That's the reality for MMOs, if you've played one you've played them all! Even if there was a shakeup in MMOs, the nature of them doesn't change. That's why I don't really play them.

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@"DMO.4158" said:The games "endgame" content is not only extremely non-accessible but all modes are at odds with how the game is presented and taught for the first 80 levels.I think the bolded part of that sentence is your major problem: you expect to passively sit back and let the game do the job of "teaching" you how to play it. More so you expect it to "teach" you 8 years of evolution in the course of a couple of days.

It doesn't matter if you wait for the game to magically rain full understanding from the sky or other players to condense said experiences so you can grab them from a quick youtube video. You expect stuff to be presented to you free of charge.

The game doesn't work that way. It's a hugely complex game world with a wealth of knowledge to discover and experiences to make. Try to go out and actively figure things out. Go into expansion maps, pay attention to animations and acustic cues, to buffs and debuffs both on yourself and the mobs you meet, to tooltips and npc shout-outs. Try to explore, to learn, to piece together what works and note what doesn't to avoid it in the future (or maybe drag it back in a situation where you realise that it might work after all).

Yes, there are players in game that don't like to deal with others still learning, that are elitist and try to exclude those with less experience and/or understanding than themselves, and you will find more of those in those game modes/areas that in other games are known as "the endgame", but GW2 has much more to offer than just instanced group pve or pvp. Go into a map and ask in map chat for people that might have fun joining you on the journey to exploring the game. You'll find new people like yourself as well as veterans that like to show people around or just join others to help out. As in wvw for anyone willing to show you around, either to be your body guard while you figure out how the gamemode ticks, or to show you the basics if you'd rather be taught than learning yourself.

Get active, try to figure out how things work, try to find like-minded people or just those welcoming to people still learning and exploring the game (hint: there's lots more of those in all gamemodes than the elitist veterans that try to gate you from playing with them). You can even put up your own lfg, something like "new/inexperienced player looking to try my first dungeon - no rush" and you'll be surprised how quickly you'll find people who are chill and have fun joining you on your journey.

There is no right or wrong way to play this game, no right or wrong way to teach or be taught. It's shallow on the surface but incredibly complex and flexible once you give it a try. What it does not do is "teach" you the one right way to play, nor does it put carrots just out of your reach to lure you along a preset path through the game. You have to be active, seek out knowledge, learn rather than be taught, grow your own carrots. Once you no longer expect the game to come to you but start on your journey into the game, find what you enjoy, that's when the fun really starts.

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I have liked this game since release. Did have a looooong break from 2013-2019 for other reasons. (Didn't play games a lot at all during that time.) It is my first MMORPG where I reached max level with one char ... and made even 9 chars (1 for each class) to level them to max.

WvW isn't my thing. Too zergy. PvP needs some time to get into it: Find a build you like. (Doesn't neet to be "meta" as long as you just play for fun and don't care about ranking up.) Try to get familiar with the maps and their secondary mechanics.

PvE: The core story and maps where you level to 80 ... are imo just the tutorial. Back then at release (without expansions) the end game were the world bosses (still available now), orr meta and maybe southsun which got added later I think as first new map. The later parts now seem to have added meta event chains as main thing to farm/grind (while doing your achievements and collections and working towads other stuff). Less renown hearts (some repeatable ones and HoT maps even without them) or grind for hero challenges. (Instead the ones in the expansion give 10 points per challenge. So less of them giving more reward.)

I don't do raids and dungeons and fractals. Some seasonal events (Turai Ossa in queen's gauntlet) and some story achievements were interesting just because they needed you to change your previously learned style. (Trying different builds for that specific boss/achievement/situation.) Helps to learn your class a bit better when having to try different stuff. (Mabye using traits and skills you barely used before.)

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I get where you're coming from, even though I disagree. I personally enjoy non-linear learning curves in games. If I seit in a comfort zone too long it gets boring, and with GW2 I have the option of breaking out of a comfort zone and really learn, understand, and implement new strategies.

As far as gearing is concerned, I'm too much of a veteran to RPG's to be able to identify what about equipment is unintuitive. From the very beginning of open beta, I understood the stat system and could identify which stats would be important in any given build. If you don't usually play RPG games, I could see how the gear system could be complex. Again, I'm not sure what about the gear system would be hard to understand, just that there exists a set of circumstances in which a person would find it hard to understand.

As far as the difference in PvE and PvP combat, think about it a little bit. There is no way to be able to script a set of functions that enables the npc's to fight like people do. For this to happen, we would need to develop ture artificial intelligence. I'm talking about the kind that easily passes a turing test just as a start. We, as a species, are no where near capable of doing this. So combat between simulated intelligence and actual sentient beings will be very different.

As far as dungeons go, I can easily create dungeon groups and do them. Not every group is perfectly great, because humans are very different from each other and some of them are pretty cranky for whatever reason. Overall, it's not bad.

As far as unlearning everything, that may be a bit hyperbolic. If you play chess at a low elo, you'll habitually make moves that work against these players, but at higher elos these are straight up horrible moves that will lose the game. Doesn't mean you unlearn everything when getting better at chess. Same applies here. The combat system doesn't completely change at any point in the game. All fundamentals still apply, and are the building blocks when learning new encounters. Skills may change, enemy attacks may change, but the combat system never does. If you feel you have to unlearn everything, then you don't really understand the basics of the combat system to begin with. One is, don't get hit by attacks. In some games, you can't help but get hit, that's part of the system. In GW2, this isn't the case. If you haven't learned to avoid getting hit in 80 levels, I'm not sure how to help. Not getting hit by attacks is one of the fundamental principles when analyzing how to fight something. It's extremely basic and is what I'm talking about when mentioning fundamentals and that the combat system never changes.

I can't comment on WvW very much. I haven't done it since I became blind, so it was a very long time ago that I was last in WvW. From what I remember, I just went in and did stuff. Sometimes I followed a zerg. It's pretty open ended. I can understand if this is your complaint, not knowing what to do. Some people don't like to figure out what to do and need to be told, preferring to use their brains on other things. This is just personal preference. As for the other points (mastery trees and gear) I can understand where you're coming from. I don't agree with your conclusion, but this is just difference in opinion.

Overall, you bring up some subjective points. It comes down to personal preference, and no objective changes are required for the game. Similarly, there are other games that I just really dislike. They're not bad games, just not for me.

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Very relatable post. I started playing in early 2013 and I levelled my first character to max level. Then interest kind of fizzled out as I didn't really know what to do and the people I played with moved back to older MMOs. Then I would return around the beginning of the living world and I truly enjoyed the living world at first, but I was always very alone and the game itself did not really encourage communication, and I'm not one to blindly join a random guild in the hopes of making friends. People might argue that this is a personal problem, and it is, but I think it's worth looking at what early WoW (and Classic WoW), as well as what SWTOR did that caused people to actively talk to strangers in the game. In early WoW and in SWTOR I never had to apply to a guild, I was always invited by people I got to know by playing with them first.

But I digress. I returned to GW2 again for about one-two months ago with the intent of actually learning sPvP. When I went from WoW to SWTOR the familiarity of the game mechanics made it easy for me to pick up on how to play SWTOR and, as such, I was good at it from the get-go. This was not the case in GW2. Whenever I tried I felt bombarded with information and I couldn't tell why I was dying. I was a complete and utter scrub and the learning curve seemed too daunting, so I kind of gave up on trying. What's different this time around is that I've accepted the fact that I am a scrub, and so I've managed to enjoy sPvP. I've climbed from the bottom of silver up to bottom of gold, which feels like a personal achievement. However, other areas of the game still eludes me. I managed to finally level up a crafting profession to 500 and I found the whole experience to be unnecessarily complicated. There are a billion different resources in GW2 and I don't think it's indicative of good game design if you have to /wiki every single one of them to know what they do. The same goes with currencies... so many currencies.

So yeah... I'm having fun with sPvP right now and I hope it'll last... because the MMORPG-scene right now is really, really dry. :(

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@"Kathkere.3068" said:I think it's worth looking at what early WoW (and Classic WoW), as well as what SWTOR did that caused people to actively talk to strangers in the game. In early WoW and in SWTOR I never had to apply to a guild, I was always invited by people I got to know by playing with them first.This argument shows up regularly when people find it difficult to socialize in GW2. Personally I think it's much less a question of design but a question of people being different.

To me GW2 makes socializing much easier than older MMOs I played ever did, exactly because it does not force me to group up with people. I'm the kind of person that likes to stop and smell the roses, not race towards goals, and I found a lot of my in-game friends by casually grouping up for content and getting to talk to and know people. It's easier to find "my kind" of people in this game precisely because it does not herd you into specific content avenues the way I've experienced in other games.

There's nothing stopping guilds from getting to know people by playing with them and asking them to join. In fact one of the guilds I've been in for years I found by chatting with people on the old dungeon forum, getting asked to join their dungeon and fractal groups and eventually their guild. The variety of players and guilds in this game however does make finding people that mesh with what you are looking for in the game more complex. However that is a "problem" you can't fix technically unless you are willing to curb the variety by making the gameplay more restricting to only one (or a few) right way(s) to play.

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@"DMO.4158" said:SPvP is a mess every time I return. It's such a jarring shift from PvE to PvP. For 80 levels you're taught what works and what doesn't, you're taught a very specific pacing and time to kill. Then all of that is tossed out when you enter PvP. It's too different of a game.

That's because you fight against people not mobs, it's gonna be different in every game out there and the biggest difference between most PVE encounters (excluding the harder PVE content) and PVP matches is that PVE teaches you that you will always win a fight. Meanwhile, in PVP you won't always win, because you fight other players and it's impossible for both sides to win. With ratings in place you will fight players of a lower mastery levels first, and as you win you will progress and fight stronger and stronger players until you reach your limit.

WvW is probably the biggest offender for accessibility. Apply everything from above plus;

  • a confusing map that makes very little sense and provides zero direction.
  • not a single effort made by the game to teach a new player anything or direct them to the action.
  • a deep skill tree that seemingly puts a new player at a disadvantage and immediately deters participation due to the long grind to "catch up"
  • gear matters thus destroying any semblance of balance that was trying to be achieved in conquest. Also deters new players due to too long of an investment to "catch up".
  • dependency on high level, consumable item buffs. These last 2 alone are a big reason people won't ever play WvW.

I disagree with everything you posted here. Accessibility of WvW is the same as accessibility of open world PVE. Follow other players and/or commander tags so as to get used to the map layout and to get to the action. The skill tree is mostly irrelevant in WvW battles involving many players. You might not have that ram mastery, but someone in the squad will, especially older/more experienced players. Gear doesn't really matter if you want to participate in large scale WvW fights, your stats are upscaled and you can contribute to the war effort without having optimal gear. Run supplies, kill dolyaks, repair walls, use siege weapons, call out enemy movement on the map, capture camps. None of which requires any gear investment.

The only part of WvW where high level, gear and consumables play an essential role is if you want to roam and/or duel other players, or when your guild participates in Guild vs Guild events. Otherwise they are as required for the WvW experience as they are when you play a PVE open world encounter. Do you need high level, optimal gear and consumables to fight Tequatl? No you don't.

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Deep skill tree.... I'm sorry, what?

For WvW specifically, the reason relatively few people play it is because it's got fundamental structural problems that haven't been addressed in 8 years. Gear and consumables are so far down the list of concerns that they're almost irrelevant. Their only substantial negative contribution is power creep - the gap between player gear in this game is one of the smallest you can find in a game in the RPG genre.

For the rest of it, build permutations in this game are very shallow and the effects of traits and skills are largely self-explanatory. The only challenge is in finding the synergies between them and using them appropriately. (I suppose this is coming from a player of GW1/PoE though, which tend to be complex to a fault and make GW2's build design look like it's on rails.)

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GW2 has a variation of endgame unlike many other mmorpgs. What do people do in WoW for example? pvp, raids and mythic dungeons and after they cleared all the content of the expansion they wait for a new expansion. This is how the life of mmorpgs works.

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One of the first issues is that you expect content from 2012 to be able to tell you how to play other content that is post-HoT. At this point, core Tyria is just a tutorial/chill MMO with a focus on lore and exploration and it won't be able to teach people how to play in raids or fractals when neither of those were on the table when GW2 was originally in production.

WvW and PvP were, but one of the things about MMOs is that they change over time. It's common knowledge that if you stop playing an MMO for several months to several years, you will have to relearn things or grind out entirely new sets of gear if you return.

WvW hasn't changed much mechanically since launch. The main things I can think of are the addition of Desert Borderland, changing how experience works, and adding masteries to it. There's some changes here and there such as map tweaks and a mount (which they have nerfed repeatedly since adding it so it no longer has much of an impact on anything) but the bulk of the change is skill changes and player strategy changes. Skill changes happen in an MMO and Anet can't control player strategies. And personally speaking, I find it the objectives really clear, albeit some of them are boring if you're playing it solo.

I don't PvP so can't speak to that other than PvE =/= PvP. When I poke my head in there is a lot of info and it can be overwhelming, but after adjusting to that it's fine. Which isn't really strange when it comes to completely different modes or video games.

It seems one of the things you don't like is that GW2 doesn't hold your hand the whole way through everything. There are gaps in teaching, I agree, but that's something they are now addressing—strikes teach people raid and fractal basics and are easy to jump into and the upcoming map looks like it will teach some WvW basics. PvP they can't really do much with, especially after all but doing away with the stronghold mode. Though as early as HoT they did incorporate finishing downed enemies into PvE.

But there's only so much Anet can do without being patronizing or making everything ridiculously easy. If they gave out BiS gear when you hit 80, there would be no reason to buy or craft anything else and you'd never have to think about stats because you were automatically given them. Even using the level 80 boost only gets you soldier stats because it's a balance of offering survivability and keeping decent enough damage up, but it's training wheels. What you get from your level up rewards isn't even max level and doesn't offer a full rune set because it was never meant to be permanent and is supposed to look off to encourage people to look at what else they can use.

I also don't know what you mean by "deep skill tree". Assuming someone jumped into WvW or PvP without playing to 80 in PvE, there's 5 options and each of those has 3 other options and you can change them at any time outside of combat/a match. I've played single-player, multi-player, and so many other MMOs that have convoluted UIs and dozens upon dozens of choices you can't change once you hit "Okay". Of course if you aren't used to a UI, it will be confusing at first, but GW2's skill/trait UI is extremely streamlined and forgiving compared to other games out there. You also have to accept a certain degree of responsibility of your own confusion if you willingly jump into a mode where everything is unlocked instead of gradually unlocked so you can learn about them without getting overwhelmed.

And ironically, GW2 was designed so that players such as yourself aren't punished for not playing daily for years. It's supposed to be an MMO that can be your primary game or a supplementary game that you come back to from time to time. And even people who are hardcore into raiding/open world/fractals/WvW/PvP often find other modes in GW2 confusing because they're so different and require different knowledge and ways of thinking, so don't be too hard on yourself for not learning how to play each and every other mode well in a matter of days/weeks. If hardcore raiders who sell CM runs can fail on Forging Steel, you can be forgiven for not knowing the meta way to play everything while having the muscle memory to do so.

@Rasimir.6239 said:

@"Kathkere.3068" said:I think it's worth looking at what early WoW (and Classic WoW), as well as what SWTOR did that caused people to actively talk to strangers in the game. In early WoW and in SWTOR I never had to apply to a guild, I was always invited by people I got to know by playing with them first.This argument shows up regularly when people find it difficult to socialize in GW2. Personally I think it's much less a question of design but a question of people being different.

To me GW2 makes socializing much easier than older MMOs I played ever did, exactly because it does not force me to group up with people. I'm the kind of person that likes to stop and smell the roses, not race towards goals, and I found a lot of my in-game friends by casually grouping up for content and getting to talk to and know people. It's easier to find "my kind" of people in this game precisely because it does not herd you into specific content avenues the way I've experienced in other games.

There's nothing stopping guilds from getting to know people by playing with them and asking them to join. In fact one of the guilds I've been in for years I found by chatting with people on the old dungeon forum, getting asked to join their dungeon and fractal groups and eventually their guild. The variety of players and guilds in this game however does make finding people that mesh with what you are looking for in the game more complex. However that is a "problem" you can't fix technically unless you are willing to curb the variety by making the gameplay more restricting to only one (or a few) right way(s) to play.

I have to agree. Forced socialization is the best way to make me put down a game or refuse to do content. I find that extremely stressful and it sets off my anxiety something fierce. GW2 has it set up so you know clearly if you're going to do organized group content instead of springing it on you out of the blue. Even group events and world bosses in open world PvE don't force you to talk to anyone if you don't want to but you still work together on everything. As a result, I'm far more social in GW2 than in any other game I've played other than Team Fortress 2.

I can understand why some would like content/systems that force people to talk and interact, but those things end up alienating others as well. I think GW2 does a good job of encouraging socialization without making it a requirement, it just requires a bit more pro-action on the part of people who do want it.

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@Rasimir.6239 said:

@"Kathkere.3068" said:I think it's worth looking at what early WoW (and Classic WoW), as well as what SWTOR did that caused people to actively talk to strangers in the game. In early WoW and in SWTOR I never had to apply to a guild, I was always invited by people I got to know by playing with them first.To me GW2 makes socializing much easier than older MMOs I played ever did, exactly because it does not force me to group up with people. I'm the kind of person that likes to stop and smell the roses, not race towards goals, and I found a lot of my in-game friends by casually grouping up for content and getting to talk to and know people. It's easier to find "my kind" of people in this game precisely because it does not herd you into specific content avenues the way I've experienced in other games.

I'm not one to race towards a goal either and I too like to stop and smell the roses, but you are correct in that people are different. Personally I need a reason to talk to people, else I won't. Which is why the design of GW2's content made me talk to absolutely no one aside from the people I already knew going into the game. It gets kinda awkward whenever you try to strike a conversation with a stranger as you don't really have anything to talk about.

When I tried Classic World of Warcraft I was afraid that all talk about the social nature of early WoW had been hyperbolic and that we, as a playerbase, had since moved far beyond that. But in my experience with Classic World of Warcraft I did actually start talking more to others. Communication became a lot more relaxed, in comparison to modern MMORPGs. SWTOR was also different. There's a quote from a developer Q&A of SWTOR from before the game was released and it's a quote I really like. They were asked if PVP content was going to be cross server, to which the developers responded:

No. We believe that fostering rivalries and memorable encounters with recognizable players are important in building a good PvP community on a server. We suspect cross-server queuing compromises these key tenets.(source: http://www.swtor.com/info/news/news-article/20110916)

I liked that answer when I first read it but I liked it even more over time as it proved to be absolutely true. In World of Warcraft, rivalries would spark in World PVP as that is where you would find and fight familiar faces (and these encounters would often trigger banter on the online forums from the participants). In contrast, in the instanced battlegrounds you would be grouped up with a bunch of strangers taken from an enormous pool of players, and among those who spoke they were mostly toxic. I never befriended anyone in all my years playing instanced PVP in World of Warcraft. Meanwhile, in SWTOR, I made friendships that still lasts to this day even though we don't play together. It wasn't necessarily that I was speaking during a game of PVP, but I proved to be a solid player and I wasn't toxic. Similarly minded people would band together over time. It was truly a wonderful experience, and it would never had happened had SWTOR had cross server PVP.

I envy you for finding GW2 to be a platform that makes socialization easy! That has not been my experience in the slightest, unfortunately.

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