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Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 

General Discussion  » This is great. Guild Wars 2 is clearly working.

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273 posts found
  Dream_Chaser

Novice Member

Joined: 4/14/11
Posts: 1054

 
OP  3/21/12 11:23:47 AM#1

One of my prime hopes for Guild Wars 2 was that it would have people re-evaluate things, possibly on a large scale, that it would have people looking at stuff that occurs that we take for granted as part of the system. That it would shake things up and prove that things set in stone don't need to be set in stone.

I'm familiar with the concept of a paradigm shift from a scientific viewpoint. Eventually something comes along, a new theorem that no one cares to accept, and then the evidence starts piling up in support of it and slowly you get more and more supporters. It really pisses people off, and everyone hates the change, but at the end of the day everyone still has a better understanding of the inner-workings of the Universe than they did prior.

And I really think that we need to do some deconstructionalist analysm of MMORPGs in general, there are many things that we accept as set in stone that clearly... well, aren't. The accepted paradigm of the MMORPG has a linear flow to it, and one that many developers have been afraid to break. It's something that's been so ingrained via both classic conditioning (pavlovian responses) and oeprant (consequential) conditioning that people believe it has to go that way.

What those who play a singleplayer or co-op game expect is vastly different to what those who play an MMORPG accept. And I think that the MMORPG has fallen into an unhealthy, stagnant rut. So what do we accept?

  • You pay a subscription.
  • You can't buy anything of worth in the game with real money.
  • You have to make time investments (called 'work' by some) in order to acquire resource units.
  • These time investements are massive and favour those without real life responsibilities or connections.
  • Excessive time investments cause MMORPG players to consider the genre 'hardcore' because of that.
  • Those who invest time ('work') control the economic flow.
  • Those with the best gear get into the best raids.
  • Those who make large time investments are entitled to exclusive content that no one else is.
  • Further content should take greater time investments and not be completed quickly.
  • In order to substantiate these time investments, a 'carrot' is needed.
  • this 'carrot' is exclusive gear, which is then used for further exclusive content.
  • That's when the raiding treadmill occurs.
This is a fascinating concept. Not only because I can't really understand the appeal, but because of the divide it creates. First of all, I want to cover not understanding the appeal. The lack of appeal in my case is that I can't understand why you'd want to waste your life for a constant chain of 'carrots.' There was one Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw video that summed this up eloquently.
 
It went something like this:
 
"So why are you raiding?"
"To get better gear."
"Which gives you?"
"Bigger numbers."
"Why do you need those?"
"The boss has bigger numbers."
"What do you get from the boss?"
"Better gear!"
"And what do you do with that?"
"Kill the next boss, duh!"
 
Imagine that.
 
The problem is is that not everyone is able to make these ridiculous time investments. You have people with children, a family, a job, social obligations, and so on. The sort of people who're considered 'casuals.' Now, the usual MMORPG talks about these people in derogatory ways, often considering them not 'leet' or not 'hardcore' enough. Because having a job and a child isn't 'hardcore.' So they sneer at such people and demand that the game be made more for them, creating more time investments.
 
But where did this begin?
 
It all started off with subscriptions. In order to justify a subscription, you have to pad out content. This means that instead of a ten minute mission in Mass Effect 3, you're doing a five hour questing slog. Really, it shouldn't be that long, but it is. So you get to the quest vendor and they offer you these 'carrots,' these rewards. The idea here is that more weak-willed people get hooked on the idea of somehow, somehow being better than other people. In some small way... better.
 
It takes advantage of them.
 
So via conditioning and peer pressure, the average MMORPG gamer then continues to spend their life playing the game, without even realising the harm it might be doing to them. What they get out of this is the feeling of controlling the economy, of being able to separate themselves into haves and have-nots, in order to sneer down at those who don't have the same level of access to the game that they do. That's what it's all about. That shiny mount, that exclusive raid, that high-end armour? It's all to be better than someone else. One-upmanship, plain and simple. It's not a difficult concept.
 
However, things are changing now. And that has those people terrified, because they can't handle change. What this means is that there's no grind, there's no gruelling slog. This in turn means that there's no carrot. That means that they have no way to be better than other people. This is something I've discussed before - Guild Wars 2 enforces player equality. It's an egalitarian game. Everyone gets the same chance at the game, through different methods of content.
 
At the power plateau, it won't matter if you've put eight hours into the game or eight thousand, you're all equal.
 
This is a terrifying concept to those who've ruled with time investments. Because for the longest time MMORPGs have been whispering delicately into their ears that their way is the only way. Subscribe to our game, we'll let you be better than other people. But the market is changing. More and more developers are realising that these people who want time investments to rule the economy are a vast minority (vocal, but still a vast minority).
 
There are casual players out there just waiting for the MMORPGs that are designed for them to play. And those are on the way. One of the first is Guild Wars 2.
 
And like I said, it's working.
 
What Guild Wars 2 is doing is shaking things up, it's altering perceptions. It's saying that what was set in stone was an illusion, and that things can be completely different. Those who helped set those rules in stone are going to rail against that. Of course they are. No more exclusive content for them. Yes, that's going to suck for them. Because the reason they play an MMORPG, even in PvE, is just to be better than someone.
 
But there are games out there for them. Games which encourage competitive PvE, games which encourage people being arseholes to each other, and games which encourage player inequality. And they'll always have those games. But they're worried that one day... they're going to run out of games and they'll have to play our games, the games of casual players. And yeah, that scares them.
 
I mean, look at WoW.
 
WoW, from the ground up, conditions you to want to be better than someone. It puts in various ways to force you to compete. You can easily accidentally flag yourself as PvP, resource nodes are instanced globally rather than per player, which makes people fight over them, and the whole thing is one massive sociopathic circlejerk. It's just people being horribly indecent to each other. But again, the old MMORPG player, the time investor, they're comfortable with that.
 
In Guild Wars 2 they'll actually have to socialise with people, they'll have to be nice, they won't be in complete control, they'll be equal. This turns everything they know on its head. And that's why we've had so many threads about this. It's old MMORPG players damn near having a brain aneurysm at all of the rules they thought they knew being turned upon their heads.
 
No longer lords and ladies. Just peons. Like the rest of us.
 
They have to come back down to the real world.
 
But what we're getting instead now is that they're seeing the other side of the equation. Just because there's equality, they're blowing it out of proportion and saying that money ivnestors will be on top. That's obviously not the case, but that's the fear that they have, because they're having these crazy slippery slope theories. You know? Oh no, we've lost our regal status, soon our slaves will be our masters, and we'll be the slaves!
 
That's not going to happen, but they're seeing things from the side of the have-nots and the results?
 
The results are frankly hilarious.
 
If I were a vindictive person, I'd pester ArenaNet to actually include an $80 monocle in the game, just so that I could buy it, wear it, and flaunt it at the time investors. But I'm not a vindictive person. Like I've said before, my approach to the game will be to find the most sensible, utilitarian armour I can and stick with that. I don't really give a shit about being the prettiest pony on the block.
 
But if you understand the paradigm shift, here, if you understand how the patterns are changing, then you understand why every one of these new threads exists. It's forcing people to question all that was supposedly set in stone about GW2. And like I said, that says to me... GW2 works. I am pleased.
  isgrim

Novice Member

Joined: 7/07/09
Posts: 1

3/21/12 11:36:21 AM#2

I'd love to upvote your great post for style of writing format and the thought you put into this topic.

Instead I just thank you and congratulate you.

+1!

*edit: Oh and yeah this was the first thread I really wanted to comment on in years :). I like it that much.

  Rhianni32

Novice Member

Joined: 3/23/10
Posts: 223

3/21/12 11:39:58 AM#3

Great post and you make a lot of good points. Too often we see the "back in my day MMOs did X and thats how they are supposed to be!" arguments. I think what excites me most about GW2 is that it is different and does challenge these traditions. If its successful perhaps we can finally get away from a WoW clone with 1 small difference and claim to be innovative.

  Dream_Chaser

Novice Member

Joined: 4/14/11
Posts: 1054

 
OP  3/21/12 11:43:42 AM#4

Exactly!

@_@

You know, I'm just so tired of clinging to the past.

If singleplayer games were like MMORPG players, we'd still be playing Pong. It just gets really frustrating how much older MMORPG payers can't realise things can change. Even the casuals get it into their head that things can't change. It makes me sad. But then you get something like Guild Wars 2 which turns all these elements that supposedly can't change on their head.

Is this topic supposed to be controversial? No. It's supposed to be very controversial.

It's supposed to get people thinking, it's supposed to make people question why they grind for ten hours to do something that takes 20 minutes in a game like Skyrim or Mass Effect 3. It's to make people wonder just how much content MMORPGs actually have versus padding. The whole thing is to jsut get people to deconstruct the idea of an MMORPG in their heads.

And sometimes you just need to bang someone around the head with a clue-by-four before they can do that.

Edit: What I'm saying is that I want people to maybe just post back, and then actually go away, think about it, and start deconstructing the MMORPG in their head and wondering whether I have something of a point. The fact of the matter is (and this is a fact) the sky isn't falling. There's room enough in this industry for all of us.

If a person wants a time investment game where there's no cash shop, or where the cash shop is useless, then there are games out there for them. But they're going to be very alone in those games, soon, because instead of casuals just putting up with how things were, they're going to jump to games like Guild Wars 2.

And then these long time time-investors will have to ask themselves about whether any of what they were responsible for was very cool, at all. No, they don't have people to show off to any more, but what did they have to 'show off' in the first place, anyway? It's a game. You don't really have anything to show off in a game other than you just wasted a week of your life. That's not going to impress anyone, it's just going to either annoy people, or make them feel sorry for you.

But hey, if people want to do that, that's up to them. They can invest as much time as they like, but they're no longer able to dictate how MMORPGs should be run because of their time investment.

I suppose what I'm saying is that Guild Wars 2 is picking up the embodiment of entitlement, and gutting it with a Very Big Sword.

  User Deleted
3/21/12 11:45:59 AM#5

I too approve this message! ~TheTrueKing

 

Well said good sir.  For the past few years I've been complaining about the MMO round up and what we've been forced to accept as our entertainment.  For years we've been allowing developers to keep releasing garbage that is only after one thing and that definitely isn't to give  customers a great game...

 

Because of just the hype, I don't care if they do fulfill their promises, it is starting to change our hopes and desires in a game.  Now I actually do care if they fulfill their promises cause if they dont I wont have a game to play for even longer...  My point is that because they have made these statements of things us gamers have wanted and agreed upon un acceptable things from current games it has started a slow but surely revolutionary way of thinking...

 

Wait we don't need a subscription in order to have a great game?

We don't need specific professions to be stuck playing specific roles?

We don't need to put pay 2 win items in the cash shop?

If we make a game our customers love we'll make money?

We do not need to build end game content for only a small percentage of our customers to participate in??

 

What a concept I can't wait to how this game and its vision will further change the future of our games!!!

Thank you for your thread,

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Guardians of the Garter (GG)

  User Deleted
3/21/12 11:51:37 AM#6

+1! Super post. I hope people will take the time to read it and understand.

  adam_nox

Elite Member

Joined: 7/31/06
Posts: 1989

3/21/12 11:52:57 AM#7

Are you being misleading on purpose?

[quote]

  • You pay a subscription.
  • You can't buy anything of worth in the game with real money.
  • You have to make time investments (called 'work' by some) in order to acquire resource units.
  • These time investements are massive and favour those without real life responsibilities or connections.
  • Excessive time investments cause MMORPG players to consider the genre 'hardcore' because of that.
  • Those who invest time ('work') control the economic flow.
  • Those with the best gear get into the best raids.
  • Those who make large time investments are entitled to exclusive content that no one else is.
  • Further content should take greater time investments and not be completed quickly.
  • In order to substantiate these time investments, a 'carrot' is needed.
  • this 'carrot' is exclusive gear, which is then used for further exclusive content.
  • That's when the raiding treadmill occurs.

This is a fascinating concept. Not only because I can't really understand the appeal, but because of the divide it creates.

[/quote]

The first six have nothing to do with the division created by the later bullets.  And GW2 doesn't even have raiding so pretty much all your defense of their new P2W system is irrelevant because it rests on misconceptions.

I'm not even against being able to buy good items.  I'd rather the money go directly to the players though.  I need absolute proof of the devs motivations and intentions, and when they are pocketing the money, there's no way to have that.  When there's no ceiling to what one account can spend, there's no way to have that.  People just don't get it.  There's what in other industries would be called a 'conflict of interest' here.

Every game I've seen with a cash shop has been an unpleasant experience of discovering what you DON'T have access to and being annoyed that you then have to buy it.  Obviously it won't be that way when GW2 first comes out, but it likely will in time.

  Margrave

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/10/06
Posts: 462

3/21/12 11:53:14 AM#8

That was an excellent post. I cant believe I read the whole thing! You make some great points as well. Your style of writing and broad vocabulary made it worth reading all the way through.

 

I too am excited to see just what GW2 can change in this genre. It has become stagnant as of late.

  Squatchin

Novice Member

Joined: 7/01/11
Posts: 94

3/21/12 12:09:32 PM#9

Excellent post! Very well written. I believe that this post will be Very Controversial.

Things really need to be shaken up in the mmo world, and I am glad that Arenanet has taken this upon themselves to do so. The tired mechanics of mmo's as we know it need to be refreshed because as you stated, not everyone can dedicate the time to be "Leet" or "Hardcore" I am one of them.

I work 40-50 hrs a week, I have obligations and will not make the time to grind out raids and whatnot to be "better" then the next person who runs by me.

Thank goodness that Guild Wars 2 will not be like this, that we all can be on a level playing field.

 

Again OP EXCELLENT POST!


  dzoni87

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/23/08
Posts: 553

3/21/12 12:09:50 PM#10

If i ever meet you in real life, sir, you will have a Beer on me :)

 

Nice read, see you in game.

Main MMO at the moment: Guild Wars 2
Waiting for: Pathfinder Online

  musicmann

Novice Member

Joined: 12/25/05
Posts: 1122

3/21/12 12:11:43 PM#11

The only problem i have with the OP's post is the Old MMORPG mindset that he seems to go only as far back as WOW. The real Old MMORPG mindset goes back to when this genre was about player interdepenency and virtual worlds. Even though WOW was not a bad game, it clearly ushered in a era of letting the devs do the thinking for the players and the repetative carrot on the stick design that almost every game all the way up to today has followed.

If GW2 can break out of the norm mode that has plagued this genre for the last 7 yrs. then it just might do enough to change how these games are made.

  Madimorga

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/26/10
Posts: 1780

3/21/12 12:13:26 PM#12

The only shift in perception I have over the cash=diamonds=gold possibility is a shift toward an interest in an economics-based pvp based game.   While economics-based pvp does interest me, I have only dabbled in it in the past.

 

There is no reason to believe that players who buy diamonds to sell for gold will be on an even footing with players who have more time to play.  The same people who have time to farm the gold to buy the diamonds will also be farming and crafting the vast majority of leveling gear that will go on the AH.  So you will buy their gold for diamonds, then you will buy the items they put up on the AH for the gold you just bought from them.  It's the circle of getting ripped off for diamond sellers.

 

As an example, if I do this, I'll rush to level 80, saving gear drops and checking the auction house to see what gear sells, both drops and crafted.  I'll also be vendoring trash items as I go for gold.  I'll sell you the vendor gold from countless and ridiculous hours spent farming, and then I'll sell you the drops for the gold I just sold you for the diamonds I get to use to buy DLCs.  Plus I'll still have gold left over to buy my toon what I want in game.  Or if I don't, I can hold onto some of the diamonds I bought from you until inflation sets in and I can get far more gold per diamond than you got from me. 

 

Time wins over cash every time in this system.

 

 

I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.

~Albert Einstein

  Dragonantis

Novice Member

Joined: 12/16/10
Posts: 967

3/21/12 12:15:09 PM#13

This was a great read, I agree with all of your points.

Well done good sir!

  spacebot

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/11/04
Posts: 147

3/21/12 12:15:15 PM#14

So.. to sum up... *scraches midevil beard* GW2 is better cause it has no subscription and no reason to play?

I jest! I jest!

Or do I?  *cue duhn duhn duhnnnnnnnn*

 

 

I'll be playing it. I just have to wonder about the hostle tone towards carrots. GW2 won't have carrots? Perhaps beets? I understand. I hate cooked carrots and they are in everything.

  Vorthanion

Elite Member

Joined: 7/02/11
Posts: 1829

3/21/12 12:15:19 PM#15

That's the raider mentality in a nutshell.  The problem is that people have known this for a long time, yet never tried to change the genre so that other play styles could be afforded the same amount of attention.

I love Arena.Net's willingness to broach this really huge "elephant in the room" issue.  What has yet to be seen is their ability to resist caving in to these very "hardcore" pressures that end up dominating every single AAA MMO on the market so far as well as the majority of all MMOs in general.  Yes, they managed a nice balance in Guild Wars 1, but that wasn't a persistant world game and the dynamics for GW2  will be completely different as well as drawing in a completely different subset of MMO gamers who are very vocal and very pushy.

  User Deleted
3/21/12 12:17:44 PM#16

Amazing post my friend.  I nominate you good will ambassador of GW2 for life.

 

This section of your elequant thesis was spot on and I loved it very much:

and the whole thing is one massive sociopathic circlejerk. It's just people being horribly indecent to each other. But again, the old MMORPG player, the time investor, they're comfortable with that.

 

The ways that Anet is going through to create a social and community first sort of MMO is the #1 reason why I am so hyped for this game.

  Margrave

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/10/06
Posts: 462

3/21/12 12:19:19 PM#17

I agree, they are a very vocal and pushy group at times.

Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, but sometimes the annoying wheel just gets replaced.

  Nevulus

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/23/06
Posts: 1184

3/21/12 12:22:54 PM#18

1. Op, you take MMOS WAAAY too serious.

2. Guild Wars 2 is not shaking ANYTHIG up other than every fanboy's hopes.

3. How do you know what works and doesn't work when the game is NOT EVEN OUT. Your entire post is an assumption, and a very bad one at that which discredits your ENTIRE point of view.

4. See 1.

  Connmacart

Novice Member

Joined: 2/24/12
Posts: 693

3/21/12 12:23:11 PM#19
Originally posted by adam_nox

Are you being misleading on purpose?

[quote]

  • You pay a subscription.
  • You can't buy anything of worth in the game with real money.
  • You have to make time investments (called 'work' by some) in order to acquire resource units.
  • These time investements are massive and favour those without real life responsibilities or connections.
  • Excessive time investments cause MMORPG players to consider the genre 'hardcore' because of that.
  • Those who invest time ('work') control the economic flow.
  • Those with the best gear get into the best raids.
  • Those who make large time investments are entitled to exclusive content that no one else is.
  • Further content should take greater time investments and not be completed quickly.
  • In order to substantiate these time investments, a 'carrot' is needed.
  • this 'carrot' is exclusive gear, which is then used for further exclusive content.
  • That's when the raiding treadmill occurs.

This is a fascinating concept. Not only because I can't really understand the appeal, but because of the divide it creates.

[/quote]

The first six have nothing to do with the division created by the later bullets.  And GW2 doesn't even have raiding so pretty much all your defense of their new P2W system is irrelevant because it rests on misconceptions.

I'm not even against being able to buy good items.  I'd rather the money go directly to the players though.  I need absolute proof of the devs motivations and intentions, and when they are pocketing the money, there's no way to have that.  When there's no ceiling to what one account can spend, there's no way to have that.  People just don't get it.  There's what in other industries would be called a 'conflict of interest' here.

Every game I've seen with a cash shop has been an unpleasant experience of discovering what you DON'T have access to and being annoyed that you then have to buy it.  Obviously it won't be that way when GW2 first comes out, but it likely will in time.

Must be grim in the world you live in, so much negativity about something that has a very slim chance of happening. Also there is no conflict of interest, but feel free to think so.

  User Deleted
3/21/12 12:24:34 PM#20

Great post !!I totally agree with you, Im one of those casual players thats really looking forward to this game because its all balanced out. Im kinda laughing about it because the real hardcore players are so in panic, only look at the gem posts on the internet, its crazy.

 

Change is good, it means that people think about it again, instead of just doing the same. The 2nd thing is that it has to work, but I trust Anet to do this.

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