Quality of Life

July 18, 2013

There’s a new blog post today. I’m going to assume that anyone reading this blog has read it already, but in case you haven’t, check it out. The major theme of this post was quality of life. There have been a lot of things that have been frustrating much of the dedicated player base with regard to end-game elements and time:reward ratios. It was a huge info-dump, which as coincidence would have it is my favorite type of info-dump.

Colin talked about everything ranging from Living Story, new character progression, new crafting, crafting precursors and ascended gear, WvW, magic find, dungeons, champion rewards, and some casual mentions of PvP and expanding into new markets. While I have thoughts on all of these things, I’m going to limit this post to discussing crafting and magic find. While I am fairly excited for new skills and traits, there isn’t a lot of meat to get into there.

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The Living Story in Review

May 31, 2013

As we’re moving into the final phase of the final phase of our second installment of the Living Story, I thought I would take a few minutes to take a step back and review what we’ve seen from this experiment, and what we have learned. It seems that ANet is really trying to make this content work, and since it is new territory for both them and us, they are trying different things out. We started with a 3 month long series, Flame and Frost, and are about to finish the 3-ish week long Southsun arc.

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First Contact, The Beta in Review:

May 1, 2012

What a weekend! For the first time, we as a community have gotten our hands on this game for more than one hour at conventions. 60 hours of play time, hundreds of thousands of players, and lots of feedback. I’ve written a huge amount of positive text about this game over the past year or so, and most of it has held up under the test of experience. I had a great time, but I certainly have several things I would like to discuss that seem to be on many people’s minds, and most of them include suggestions for improvement. This post will be long, as I will be discussing a huge range of topics befitting of this momentous occasion.

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The Economy of Gems

March 20, 2012

Oh boy. So the new post from ANet is out about their microtransaction system. If you haven’t read that yet, go do that first. Anyway, I knew that this was going to be a hot topic when we were preemptively warned on Guru to read the post carefully and “not jump to conclusions”. If you have to warn people to not jump to conclusions, you have to know that what you are about to say is going to cause controversy. Given that clear understanding, I’m not quite sure why they then proceeded to make as many vague statements as they did. Vagueness will always beget debates that can’t really be resolved because by definition, both sides have only vague evidence. Regardless, we do know (at least officially now) more than we knew before about how the microtransaction system will work. It has some obvious pros and cons, and some of that will hinge on the specifics that we sadly do not have.

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The Big Beta Barrage, Part 1- Traits

February 23, 2012

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past week, all the news has been centered around the GW2PCB event. Dozens and dozens of videos, articles, anecdotes, and analyses later, there is still a huge amount of information being revealed to us daily. I don’t know if it’s even possible to cover all of it in one place shy of simply linking to most of it, but GuildMag  and GuildWars2Guru already have that covered. I wasn’t in the beta myself, so all that I can comment on is content that has been published by others, but honestly, that’s what I do anyway, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Over the course of the next few days/weeks I will try to cover the news that really stood out to me aside from the obvious. Of course, today (the 22nd) ANet officially put up the registration for regular people to get into the beta events in the future, but aside from excitement, there isn’t actually much else to say. Good luck! Anyway, as indicated by the title, this post is going to be about the revamped trait system.

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Phantasms and Clones and Betas OH MY!

December 14, 2011

Although it was already spoiled on Monday, today was the official release of the Mesmer! In fact, I have to admit that I was surprised by the level of detail we received and how much it improved my outlook on the final Profession. Without further ado, I’m going to dive right into the meat and potatoes of the Mesmer’s equipment and abilities.

  • Main Hand: Sword, Scepter
  • Off Hand: Focus, Pistol, Sword, Torch
  • Two-Handed: Staff, Greatsword

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Aggregation of Skills; Iteration in Action:

November 10, 2011

The skill system in GW2 is one of the many features that breaks from typical MMO conventions. Having a reduced skill-set has many benefits, but one of the “challenges” is how to make the acquisition of said skills meet the balance between feeling like good progress/progression and not feeling like a grind. See, if there are a lot of skills and skill tiers, “progression” is easy because you can simply give access to one or two skills every level. As you work through the game, you just get new skills, usually via gold. Aside from whether the costs imply grind, this is a pretty easy balance. However, by removing the massive list of skills, it becomes a bit more challenging. Do you give the skills up front? If so, then you remove that feeling of progression that many players enjoy. On the other hand, if you space them out evenly among levels… you only have say 20 skills (barring weapon skills) for 60 levels. That could take quite a long time to get all your skills, and that just feels grindy. Even worse, most games require you to constantly upgrade your skills to just “the better version of the same skill”. Again, that feels pretty grindy just to keep up.

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