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Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 

General Discussion  » Anet's curious game design decisions that caused the 20-70 wasteland

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170 posts found
  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3475

 
OP  1/08/13 5:28:39 AM#1

In a reddit AMA, ANet's devs accepted the 20-70 wasteland issue as valid and said 'we'll have to figure something out'.

An MMO that is top / bottom level heavy isn't anything new but compared to other MMOs, apparently this issue was more extreme.

It also doesn't help that most DE will constantly fail if there isn't enough players involved which means most players can't progress and see the next one. Since DE was suppose to be GW2's most hyped feature (as an aside, remember the 'zones will change!' lie? ANet, what happened? T_T), having it constantly in a failed state highlights this issue even more.

So what are the major design decisions that made this issue into such a big one?

1. Level scaling. Having a constant challenge by scaling is a game design decision that is mostly in racing games now and for good reason. If you are at level cap in WoW or other MMOs, going to any area that isn't the 'high end' doesn't really concern you.  You will ROFL-STOMP everything in that zone so there is little barrier on actually doing it.

Not in GW2. Whether you like this design or not, it is manifesting in GW2 with the 'wasteland' problem as there will be less players willing to go to a zone if there are little rewards for a lot of risk.

 

2. Too many mobs / areas have too many invisible walls

The GW2 map shows a game world that screams 'arificial'. There are no 'curves' or anything. Just straight up rectangles filled with invisible walls.

The mob intensity makes it really difficult to travel from point A to point B and so people are less willing to do it.

 

3. Self-recursive problem

The problem itself of 'less people in the world' causes issue 2 to become even worse which in turn causes more people to avoid going out into the world.

 

I said 'curious' cause I don't think they were thoughtout that well and now ANet is trying to figure something out.

They mentioned that they don't like the henchmen idea but I don't see a solution without redesigning their game which is probably the last resort. I don't mind having henchmen cause they worked great in GW1 so not sure why the resistance now.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  Volkon

Novice Member

Joined: 9/14/10
Posts: 3813

Facts do not require fiction for balance.

1/08/13 6:57:53 AM#2

You don't actually play GW2, do you?

 

Level scaling keeps zones competitive. In archaic games like WoW, people simply don't go back to the lower level zones because they out-levelled them rendering them completely useless. In GW2 the zone still can give you a challenge and you're rewarded based on your level, not the level of the zone. 

Invisible walls? I don't recall running into any at all. At least, there's nothing invisible about a massive mountain range, for example. The shape of the zones is beautifully hidden by the artistry of them. It feels like a breathing world, not a static box.

The only place I've seen the "state of fail" issue with DEs is Orr, the end area. That problem lasts about as long as it takes to annouce that an event is up to change that. People arrive, the push is on and before you know it you're checking out exotics from the vendor.

Oderint, dum metuant.

  User Deleted
1/08/13 7:10:23 AM#3
Originally posted by Volkon

You don't actually play GW2, do you?

 

Level scaling keeps zones competitive. In archaic games like WoW, people simply don't go back to the lower level zones because they out-levelled them rendering them completely useless. In GW2 the zone still can give you a challenge and you're rewarded based on your level, not the level of the zone. 

Invisible walls? I don't recall running into any at all. At least, there's nothing invisible about a massive mountain range, for example. The shape of the zones is beautifully hidden by the artistry of them. It feels like a breathing world, not a static box.

The only place I've seen the "state of fail" issue with DEs is Orr, the end area. That problem lasts about as long as it takes to annouce that an event is up to change that. People arrive, the push is on and before you know it you're checking out exotics from the vendor.

I disagree with this.  The DE's reward Karma at a rate that's appropriate for that particular zone.  On top of that, the Karma vendors in those zones only sell items that are within the recommended level range for that zone.  

There's very little incentive to go to lower level zones unless you're looking for map completion

  Nibs

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/26/04
Posts: 195

1/08/13 7:15:01 AM#4
Originally posted by fat_taddler
Originally posted by Volkon

You don't actually play GW2, do you?

 

Level scaling keeps zones competitive. In archaic games like WoW, people simply don't go back to the lower level zones because they out-levelled them rendering them completely useless. In GW2 the zone still can give you a challenge and you're rewarded based on your level, not the level of the zone. 

Invisible walls? I don't recall running into any at all. At least, there's nothing invisible about a massive mountain range, for example. The shape of the zones is beautifully hidden by the artistry of them. It feels like a breathing world, not a static box.

The only place I've seen the "state of fail" issue with DEs is Orr, the end area. That problem lasts about as long as it takes to annouce that an event is up to change that. People arrive, the push is on and before you know it you're checking out exotics from the vendor.

I disagree with this.  The DE's reward Karma at a rate that's appropriate for that particular zone.  On top of that, the Karma vendors in those zones only sell items that are within the recommended level range for that zone.  

There's very little incentive to go to lower level zones unless you're looking for map completion

Actual loot drops and XP are suitable to your actual level. Karma, I suspect, is hard coded at a set amount. You can still spend taht karma at any karma vendor though, thus still getting level appropriate gear for it.

  Raekon

Novice Member

Joined: 3/05/04
Posts: 551

1/08/13 7:17:20 AM#5
Originally posted by fat_taddler
Originally posted by Volkon

You don't actually play GW2, do you?

 

Level scaling keeps zones competitive. In archaic games like WoW, people simply don't go back to the lower level zones because they out-levelled them rendering them completely useless. In GW2 the zone still can give you a challenge and you're rewarded based on your level, not the level of the zone. 

Invisible walls? I don't recall running into any at all. At least, there's nothing invisible about a massive mountain range, for example. The shape of the zones is beautifully hidden by the artistry of them. It feels like a breathing world, not a static box.

The only place I've seen the "state of fail" issue with DEs is Orr, the end area. That problem lasts about as long as it takes to annouce that an event is up to change that. People arrive, the push is on and before you know it you're checking out exotics from the vendor.

I disagree with this.  The DE's reward Karma at a rate that's appropriate for that particular zone.  On top of that, the Karma vendors in those zones only sell items that are within the recommended level range for that zone.  

There's very little incentive to go to lower level zones unless you're looking for map completion

You are right that the vendors are selling appropriate things.

However, the drops have changed for a long time now and if you are as example level 80, you will get drops that go up to level 76 from starting areas and level 80 stuff after the level 25-30 areas (as far as I remember).

To finish dailies it's easier in the lower level areas and get's faster.

Also materials are an incentive since higher level mobs won't drop the same ones.

  botrytis

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2445

1/08/13 7:18:43 AM#6
Originally posted by fat_taddler
Originally posted by Volkon

You don't actually play GW2, do you?

 

Level scaling keeps zones competitive. In archaic games like WoW, people simply don't go back to the lower level zones because they out-levelled them rendering them completely useless. In GW2 the zone still can give you a challenge and you're rewarded based on your level, not the level of the zone. 

Invisible walls? I don't recall running into any at all. At least, there's nothing invisible about a massive mountain range, for example. The shape of the zones is beautifully hidden by the artistry of them. It feels like a breathing world, not a static box.

The only place I've seen the "state of fail" issue with DEs is Orr, the end area. That problem lasts about as long as it takes to annouce that an event is up to change that. People arrive, the push is on and before you know it you're checking out exotics from the vendor.

I disagree with this.  The DE's reward Karma at a rate that's appropriate for that particular zone.  On top of that, the Karma vendors in those zones only sell items that are within the recommended level range for that zone.  

There's very little incentive to go to lower level zones unless you're looking for map completion

Not true - the idea with level scaling means just the that - all the rewards are equivalent. GW2 also has flat leveling, meaning to get to the next level you need to get the same amount of exp as the previous. THere is incentive to go to lower levels - you can also get drops equivalent to your current real level. You don't play the game do you?

"In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  Zeus.CM

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/13/10
Posts: 1792

www.croatian-maniacs.com

1/08/13 7:19:01 AM#7
Originally posted by Nibs
Originally posted by fat_taddler
Originally posted by Volkon

You don't actually play GW2, do you?

 

Level scaling keeps zones competitive. In archaic games like WoW, people simply don't go back to the lower level zones because they out-levelled them rendering them completely useless. In GW2 the zone still can give you a challenge and you're rewarded based on your level, not the level of the zone. 

Invisible walls? I don't recall running into any at all. At least, there's nothing invisible about a massive mountain range, for example. The shape of the zones is beautifully hidden by the artistry of them. It feels like a breathing world, not a static box.

The only place I've seen the "state of fail" issue with DEs is Orr, the end area. That problem lasts about as long as it takes to annouce that an event is up to change that. People arrive, the push is on and before you know it you're checking out exotics from the vendor.

I disagree with this.  The DE's reward Karma at a rate that's appropriate for that particular zone.  On top of that, the Karma vendors in those zones only sell items that are within the recommended level range for that zone.  

There's very little incentive to go to lower level zones unless you're looking for map completion

Actual loot drops and XP are suitable to your actual level. Karma, I suspect, is hard coded at a set amount. You can still spend taht karma at any karma vendor though, thus still getting level appropriate gear for it.

Actually I think money and karma gain is something in the middle. Reward for doing low level event with high level toon is not as low as the event level, but not as high as level 80 either, something in between, I believe.

 

@OP, I must admit there seems to be a problem with underpopulated zones, starting zones are ok, but some middle level zones, specially those that are unpopular are having problems with player sortage. It all depends on the server, but the problem is general.

As for invisible walls, that's a lie, all zones are surrounded by a natural obstacle, mountain or sea, but I agree that they shouldn't all be rectangles.

  User Deleted
1/08/13 7:19:39 AM#8
Originally posted by Nibs
Originally posted by fat_taddler
Originally posted by Volkon

 

 

Actual loot drops and XP are suitable to your actual level. Karma, I suspect, is hard coded at a set amount. You can still spend taht karma at any karma vendor though, thus still getting level appropriate gear for it.

Sure, but why would someone want to go to a lower level zone only to get a fraction of the Karma that they could get from a higher level zone.  On top of that, they're down-leveled so the challenge and time investment is still there yet the reward is much less.  

 

  User Deleted
1/08/13 7:25:53 AM#9


Originally posted by jpnz

It also doesn't help that most DE will constantly fail if there isn't enough players involved which means most players can't progress and see the next one. Since DE was suppose to be GW2's most hyped feature (as an aside, remember the 'zones will change!' lie? ANet, what happened? T_T), having it constantly in a failed state highlights this issue even more.

So what are the major design decisions that made this issue into such a big one?

1. Level scaling. Having a constant challenge by scaling is a game design decision that is mostly in racing games now and for good reason. If you are at level cap in WoW or other MMOs, going to any area that isn't the 'high end' doesn't really concern you.  You will ROFL-STOMP everything in that zone so there is little barrier on actually doing it.

Not in GW2. Whether you like this design or not, it is manifesting in GW2 with the 'wasteland' problem as there will be less players willing to go to a zone if there are little rewards for a lot of risk.

 

2. Too many mobs / areas have too many invisible walls

The GW2 map shows a game world that screams 'arificial'. There are no 'curves' or anything. Just straight up rectangles filled with invisible walls.

The mob intensity makes it really difficult to travel from point A to point B and so people are less willing to do it.



Well DEs sure are a letdown and simply don't exist in the scale they announced them. But my personal issue is there are to few. And those who do appear are boring chore one's with no depth. (attack on the mole base every 5 minutes, defeate 10 waves of 3 mobs, rinse and repeat).

Even tiered events are rather a 5 minute herp derp event each with 5 npcs standing on a different location on the end not very world changing and really no depth to it. At best you get a risen ambient greenish fog.

In the end you are grinding map completion.
And then there is Orr. Group events which don't scale down despite YOU are the ONLY one in this whole friggin zone. *sight*. And when you take the time to grind down solo or duo those you end up with the above mentioned.


Yeah the invisible walls within a zone are an issue too, there are many doubious points where you simply can't go over that tiny mole hill despite you made it almost all the way up. It would even bug you out the map or anything, it's just blocked. Sucks.


And then there is the scaling. Not fixed despite all the feedback. Once you wear level appropiate gear and got some points for Traits (lvl 30+) you can one shot lower zone enemies. There is really no difference to other games here besides i get white and blues drops according to my real level.
Of course with lot of bugged events, chests and enemies who still give out zone level stuff to a lvl80 char(r).


doesn't mean GW2 is a bad game, but just so much broken and no sign of willingness to fix it.

If they wanted to fix this game, they need a complete new buildup from scratch for how DEs work. Proper scaling of level and events. Then, maybe people would bother with lower level zones.

  BeansnBread

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/19/06
Posts: 5540

1/08/13 7:29:06 AM#10
Which themepark style game are you playing that has all the mid-level zones bustling with people? 

SWTOR is the greatest mmo ever!

  Scarfe

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/21/12
Posts: 287

1/08/13 7:29:35 AM#11
Originally posted by Zeus.CM
Originally posted by Nibs
Originally posted by fat_taddler
Originally posted by Volkon

You don't actually play GW2, do you?

 

Level scaling keeps zones competitive. In archaic games like WoW, people simply don't go back to the lower level zones because they out-levelled them rendering them completely useless. In GW2 the zone still can give you a challenge and you're rewarded based on your level, not the level of the zone. 

Invisible walls? I don't recall running into any at all. At least, there's nothing invisible about a massive mountain range, for example. The shape of the zones is beautifully hidden by the artistry of them. It feels like a breathing world, not a static box.

The only place I've seen the "state of fail" issue with DEs is Orr, the end area. That problem lasts about as long as it takes to annouce that an event is up to change that. People arrive, the push is on and before you know it you're checking out exotics from the vendor.

I disagree with this.  The DE's reward Karma at a rate that's appropriate for that particular zone.  On top of that, the Karma vendors in those zones only sell items that are within the recommended level range for that zone.  

There's very little incentive to go to lower level zones unless you're looking for map completion

Actual loot drops and XP are suitable to your actual level. Karma, I suspect, is hard coded at a set amount. You can still spend taht karma at any karma vendor though, thus still getting level appropriate gear for it.

Actually I think money and karma gain is something in the middle. Reward for doing low level event with high level toon is not as low as the event level, but not as high as level 80 either, something in between, I believe.

 

@OP, I must admit there seems to be a problem with underpopulated zones, starting zones are ok, but some middle level zones, specially those that are unpopular are having problems with player sortage. It all depends on the server, but the problem is general.

As for invisible walls, that's a lie, all zones are surrounded by a natural obstacle, mountain or sea, but I agree that they shouldn't all be rectangles.

I generally agree with the underpopulation having jumped into the game again (briefly- got bored again) on my level 52 and finding every zone I visited almost entirely devoid of players. 

I think the OP used the wrong phrase with 'invisible walls', perhaps 'artificial walls' would have been more apt, because the game is full of them and they feel just that, artificial. 

currently playing: DDO, AOC, WoT, P101

  botrytis

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2445

1/08/13 7:29:39 AM#12
Depends on the middle zone - Gendarran Fields is always busy as is Fields of Ruin.

"In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  User Deleted
1/08/13 7:33:45 AM#13
Originally posted by colddog04
Which themepark style game are you playing that has all the mid-level zones bustling with people? 

Haha, good point.   However, ANet designed DE's to be an integral part of the leveling process which is where the problem lies seeing as many DE's require a group.  

 

And to your point, WoW's new cross-realm zones have made most zones much more active and has even revived world pvp to some extent.

  BeansnBread

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/19/06
Posts: 5540

1/08/13 7:34:49 AM#14
Originally posted by fat_taddler
Originally posted by colddog04
Which themepark style game are you playing that has all the mid-level zones bustling with people? 

Haha, good point.   However, ANet designed DE's to be an integral part of the leveling process which is where the problem lies seeing as many DE's require a group.  

 

And to your point, WoW's new cross-realm zones have made most zones much more active and has even revived world pvp to some extent.

No, not really. I've been playing some WoW on the side and the zones are all empty while leveling.

SWTOR is the greatest mmo ever!

  Scalpless

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/22/07
Posts: 1272

1/08/13 7:37:09 AM#15

Their Jan/Feb/March patches will supposedly address this issue, but I don't think it's that big to begin with. Sure, empty areas (Hi, Lornar's Pass!) are a bit boring to level in, but most areas are quite populated. It's not a wasteland. Most DEs are also quite solo friendly and them being in a failed state is actually better leveling wise.

If anything, zones have too few group DEs and are too easy.

  Mardukk

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Joined: 2/05/11
Posts: 1366

1/08/13 7:39:46 AM#16

Well I don't agree with much of what OP is saying.  I actually appreciate the mob density and wish they would really up the difficulty of the middle zones to the later zones.  Take out a few heart quests and up the mob difficulty would make the game much more interesting and rewarding.  I agree that the middle zones are a bit of a bore due to low solo difficulty and boring heart quests.

One item that is a concern of mine with the middle zones are the lack of people usually means I level through heart quests as there are very few DE's going.  I suppose I could have figured out a way to trigger them but that isn't very obvious most of the time.

 

I think they will make the game more interesting if they make the middle zones a bit more like the later zones as those are the zones that really saved the game for me.  When zones were really easy the game can be quite boring for solo PvE.  Luckily the later zones really make you feel like you accomplised something when you get a point of interest/waypoint.

  dwarfus

Novice Member

Joined: 1/30/11
Posts: 88

1/08/13 7:40:29 AM#17
Originally posted by colddog04
Originally posted by fat_taddler
Originally posted by colddog04
Which themepark style game are you playing that has all the mid-level zones bustling with people? 

Haha, good point.   However, ANet designed DE's to be an integral part of the leveling process which is where the problem lies seeing as many DE's require a group.  

 

And to your point, WoW's new cross-realm zones have made most zones much more active and has even revived world pvp to some extent.

No, not really. I've been playing some WoW on the side and the zones are all empty while leveling.

I agree. I have also been playing some WoW lately and the only open world fight I've gotten in was getting my level 18 ganked by two 90s outside the Warsong Gulch vendor. Unlike GW2, Wow doesn't use the scale down leveling which allows ganking in Wow. I have not seen this "revived world pvp" due to cross-realm zones as you describe in any lower or mid levels.

  bcbully

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Joined: 3/03/12
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1/08/13 7:41:53 AM#18

 

  botrytis

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2445

1/08/13 7:43:13 AM#19
Originally posted by skydiver12

 


Originally posted by jpnz

 

It also doesn't help that most DE will constantly fail if there isn't enough players involved which means most players can't progress and see the next one. Since DE was suppose to be GW2's most hyped feature (as an aside, remember the 'zones will change!' lie? ANet, what happened? T_T), having it constantly in a failed state highlights this issue even more.

So what are the major design decisions that made this issue into such a big one?

1. Level scaling. Having a constant challenge by scaling is a game design decision that is mostly in racing games now and for good reason. If you are at level cap in WoW or other MMOs, going to any area that isn't the 'high end' doesn't really concern you.  You will ROFL-STOMP everything in that zone so there is little barrier on actually doing it.

Not in GW2. Whether you like this design or not, it is manifesting in GW2 with the 'wasteland' problem as there will be less players willing to go to a zone if there are little rewards for a lot of risk.

 

2. Too many mobs / areas have too many invisible walls

The GW2 map shows a game world that screams 'arificial'. There are no 'curves' or anything. Just straight up rectangles filled with invisible walls.

The mob intensity makes it really difficult to travel from point A to point B and so people are less willing to do it.

 


 


Well DEs sure are a letdown and simply don't exist in the scale they announced them. But my personal issue is there are to few. And those who do appear are boring chore one's with no depth. (attack on the mole base every 5 minutes, defeate 10 waves of 3 mobs, rinse and repeat).

Even tiered events are rather a 5 minute herp derp event each with 5 npcs standing on a different location on the end not very world changing and really no depth to it. At best you get a risen ambient greenish fog.

In the end you are grinding map completion.
And then there is Orr. Group events which don't scale down despite YOU are the ONLY one in this whole friggin zone. *sight*. And when you take the time to grind down solo or duo those you end up with the above mentioned.


Yeah the invisible walls within a zone are an issue too, there are many doubious points where you simply can't go over that tiny mole hill despite you made it almost all the way up. It would even bug you out the map or anything, it's just blocked. Sucks.


And then there is the scaling. Not fixed despite all the feedback. Once you wear level appropiate gear and got some points for Traits (lvl 30+) you can one shot lower zone enemies. There is really no difference to other games here besides i get white and blues drops according to my real level.
Of course with lot of bugged events, chests and enemies who still give out zone level stuff to a lvl80 char(r).


doesn't mean GW2 is a bad game, but just so much broken and no sign of willingness to fix it.

 

If they wanted to fix this game, they need a complete new buildup from scratch for how DEs work. Proper scaling of level and events. Then, maybe people would bother with lower level zones.

 

 

 

I don't think they are broke - they just don't work the way you want them to. A.Net is trying to make sure things are fixed properly - they already got bit by one patch (the Karka issue) and are probably trying to make sure they don't break things. You either get patches fast and break things or you get them a little slow and fix things - which do you want?

"In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  User Deleted
1/08/13 8:07:33 AM#20


Originally posted by botrytisI don't think they are broke - they just don't work the way you want them to. A.Net is trying to make sure things are fixed properly - they already got bit by one patch (the Karka issue) and are probably trying to make sure they don't break things. You either get patches fast and break things or you get them a little slow and fix things - which do you want?

If you put out that question, of course i want them to fix things (neither slow nor "fast").
However some things don't need "fixing" they need an overhaul in my opinion.

For both, fixes as well as complete and partial changes to the core of systems, you need first acknowledgement. Which is my point, there is none. Polite threads asking if there is something missing or broken, or even just asking if it is WAI, get either deleted in the offical forums or no response.


And the term "slow" does not apply to this handling at all. A lot of people told them that back in BETA. And i bet my Account in one year it will be still like that, because they don't work on that at all. I've seen to many developers to know when something is beeing worked on.

Taking the lesser of two evils which this kind of behaviour implies, means ANET considers the scaling WAI, and those "events" that never can trigger thanks to lack of scaling of initial conditions. Which exactly leads to the title of the thread.


Besides, "i want them to" is a strange term, if someone tells me i can viable do lower content i expect it, i don't expect the EXACT same challenge if any. But in no way or shape "ONE SHOT" ranks within common sense or reasonable. And yes i one shot lvl 70 Risen with my thief, as well as i did one shot and/or 3 hit stuff at lvl 44 scaled in queensdale. (i mean regular mobs!). My Warrior, my Guardian, my Engineer etc do it too.

If this is truly how people at Anet define "You can still do lower zones viable", i'd say this was a complete waste of ressources.

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