Wednesday, December 26, 2012
The year is rapidly coming to a close, and the rewards have been rolling out for Guild Wars 2. GW2 has won best PC game by IGN, best MMO of 2012 (and also "Most Disappointing") by Massively, and came in second just behind Pirate101 over at MMORPG.com (yes...that was certainly surprising.) It seems that everybody has something to say about Guild Wars 2.
Guild Wars 2 has certainly been successful. Every other major MMO company that released this year has suffered layoffs, restructuring, and replacements of top employees. ArenaNet has been the exception...(arguably I am not counting the realignment currently going on at Guild Wars 2's publisher NCsoft.) However, with success often comes criticism. I think we can all agree, ArenaNet hasn't done everything right. So with that being said, here's my list of the top 5 things I hope to see change in 2013, listed in no meaningful order:
1. A Massive Increase in Cosmetics.
For a game touting horizontal progression as a viable end-game, there hasn't been a great deal of expansion on gear since launch. I would like to see a massive increase in gear, ever-lasting tonics, weapons from WvW, dungeons, world events, and vendors. I would love to see tools like Auction House previewing, a dye system for weapons, and some new types of neck pieces (like scarves for example) and more back pieces. I would love to see some different color variations of each too. The Gem Store options are also terribly slim, with only 3 armor sets offered (not counting town clothes). ArenaNet could make a ton of money by simply adding more armor sets through the Gem Store.
2. Removal of RNG from the Cash Store.
This topic has attracted a great deal of debate from the community. I tend to lean on the side that views randomness in a cash store as unethical. To me, it fosters the development of gambling to less than appropriate age groups, and is simply not fair to players. Players have a right to get something for what they pay for. And no single-use tonics and a boost simply does not cut it. And finally, the poor clarity of wording on the chests offered in the Black Lion Trading Company are not helpful either. Even lottery tickets are required by law to provide accurate chances of winning on the back of them.
3. More Permanent Content
With all three content patches since launch focusing on temporarily available content, I feel that ArenaNet is not adding enough to the game for players in between those one time available events. Yes, I had tons to do when each of those three patches came out, and I do recognize that some permanent content was added (namely a dungeon, jumping puzzles, mini-dungeons, events, and bug fixes), but there just seems to be large areas of nothing to do. The new zone introduced in the Lost Shores patch is absolutely a barren wasteland. Orr has lost it's appeal long ago, the only people who still go are farmers, bots, and people leveling for the first time. WvW hasn't seen any new content since Launch, and some would argue lost content (via Orbs for balance reasons). There's also little reason to do WvW, dungeons, or events once you have the karma, WvW, or dungeon gear, unless of course you personally enjoy the content. Now bear in mind this next part is solely an opinion, an opinion that many in the community would disagree with... events haven't been dynamic or even unique enough to really be fun several months post-launch, nearly all paths of each dungeon have been run numerous times, and WvW offers the only area of fun that simply lacks rewards, and can sometimes accurately be described as a "zergfest."
4. Revamping Rewards
ArenaNet has definitely seemed to struggle with balancing difficult content with good rewards. Fractals is perhaps the only successful areas where it's been done well, but it's been done well where for most players, the opitmal way to make money is to simply spam run Fractals. Yes there are some other small options. If you want maximum rewards from the world, just farm Plix with some Magic Find gear. If you want maximum rewards from dungeons, just run the easy paths (CoF 1 and 2 both come to mind quite quickly.) If you want maximum rewards from WvW, well...good luck. No seriously, you may even lose money in WvW if you are responsible enough to bring some siege equipment. The tokens are close to useless, only providing a single type of gear (Toughness and Vitality) and more siege equipment.
I hoped that Guild Wars 2 wouldn't resort to Grind Wars 2. And the only content that doesn't feel grindy, is WvW which simply doesn't any viable rewards other than a tank-like set.
I propose adding extremely challenging in-world events that provide better rewards. Add dragons the way they were meant to be. Make them hard, and have them scale properly so they can't simply be zerged. Make WvW rewards in-line with Fractals rewards (specifically loot scaling to the time of the killed player's last death) Think a system like bonus experience. If you kill a player that hasn't died for several hours, you receive better rewards.
5. Emerging as an E-Sport
This is definitely a feature that is in the works. ArenaNet has stated several times about their intent for Guild Wars 2 to become an E-sport. This requires a spectator mode, dueling, constant interactions with the community, sponsored and rewarding tournaments, and overall class balance. Most of those features have been confirmed to be deep in development, and I hope to see ArenaNet unveil these throughout the year.
And that's it for me. How's my list? Massively provided a post with a similar idea, but I became pretty dismayed at most of the author's choices.Guild Wars 2 has many problems, but I found most of the problems to be out of touch with the community at large.
Anyways, I hope you had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!