After the AMA on Reddit yesterday, many players realize that GW2 is not going to be the game they had thought it was going to be. I've already aired my views on the matter of ANET, their manifesto and what happened. It's time to move on.
One of the good things that came from this whole fiasco is that many of us now have a much better understanding of what we want - and do not want - in a game, beyond the terms "casual" and "hardcore". It turns out that there are much more quantifiable and objective game design commodities that divide the potential customer base than simply "how much time you play".
IMO, "how much time you play" isn't really a meaningful or significant issue post-GW2. There are a few game-design issues that more realistically and functionally define the divide in the desires of gamers and potential gamers.
1. Stat-progression vs Stat-capped end game
2. Gear-gated content vs non-gated content
3. Grinding vs non-grinding
4. Vertical progression vs horizontal content
After reading the 11,000 post thread in the GW2 official forums, it is my view that a financially feasable section of the market (myself included) wants an online, persistent, massively inhabited fantasy world experience that has permanently capped stats, no gear-gated content, and no grinding. We want endless horizontal content, not endless vertical progression.
In future posts I'm going to tackle those issues and more, define them meaningfully and explore how they might be implemented in future games. I'm also going to take a look at some of the things that GW2 got right which should, IMO, be carried forward to new games intended to appeal to what I call the "hon-vertical MMOG market", or the NV-MMOG