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All Posts by aesperus

All Posts by aesperus

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Last I checked, the primary guy working on SAB was one of their best designers inhouse. It's not the least surprising they'd want him working on core stuff for the expansion given that HoT is coming out soon and they need it to do well. Simply put, it sounds as they they are pooling their best assets (artists / programmers / etc.) to focus on Heart of Thornes, and once the dust settles a bit they'll probably get some time to go back to some of those side projects.

However, given the complications HoT is currently having, it could very well be a year after the xpac until we see another SAB return.

It is kind of a shame though, SAB was easily my fav minigame within GW2.

Originally posted by Viper482
I refuse to pre-order until they fix the class balance they just completely destroyed with the last patch. Arenanet is full of f'ing idiots.

Some things are out of wack, but the balance doesn't seem nearly as screwed as a lot of people seem to be making it out to be. I'm not getting completely annihilated in sPvP by conditions, WvW is about the same (but with a new form of cheese), World Bosses are a bit easier, but everything else is basically the same.

It just means that older builds aren't as good anymore, new builds are better, and people are still learning to adapt to conditions actually being useful again.

Originally posted by Vixgame
Originally posted by aesperus

There's a lot of feature creation / adjustments being made for this; much more than just additional content. Which makes it overall a more complex product to deliver, but unfortunately it's difficulty that won't get appreciated by the average gamer.

Piss poor excuse for saying Anet has to find a way for characters to progress, since they never had a plan at launch. I guess we should be sympathetic, though? Maybe two and a half years ago. However, Anet is finally realizing the collective patience of the playerbase has run out. It's time our wallets do the talking.

It's not an excuse for anything, it's simply how they chose to design their game. Love it, hate it, or just think it's meh.

The status quo of MMO has seen its shelf-life, and it's running out. It's the reason games like Wildstar aren't doing so hot, because there are diminishing returns on that kind of progression.

Anet has been doing things differently with GW2 since the start, that IS their plan. They are trying to make an MMO based on a different set of rules. To a large degree they've accomplished this, though not everyone likes this style of MMO.

- They've definitely made a good amount of mistakes and errors, but tbh that's the price you pay when trying to innovate. It's more risky, has more complications, and we've seen that w/ GW2. Luckily they have been working on fixing a lot of those errors, whereas many other companies would've wrote it off as a learning experience and simply made a new game.

As for character progression, they're using ideas that are staples of some of the most well known, well designed video games in history. They weren't piss poor in megaman, or zelda, or metroid, or castlevania. So why are they automatically terrible when applied to an MMO?

Originally posted by DMKano

I honestly don't know what level character I have - it was max level during launch month which was the last time I logged in. My experience is what the scaling was like when ga!e launched - I have no clue what changes were done afterwards.

I remember hitting max level in 3 weeks and then PvPing at max level with my guild for another week and then I never played again.

The thing is, you're never actually weaker when downscaled. If anything you're actually a bit stronger, because you have access to more tools (skills / traits) than someone does who is actually at that lvl. Furthermore (though it seems to have gotten tweaked in the latest patch) it was only the highest end gear that skewed the power curve (again, making you stronger than normal, not weaker), because exotic / ascended gear gave you stats higher than what would be available for someone at that lvl.

That said, everything else is completely subjective. The game having lvls at all is  essentially a smokescreen, because the game really doesn't need to have them. They are literally only there to give a false sense of progression (for the gamers that insist on needing lvls to 'feel stronger'). When you get downscaled in the game (and this was true at launch), you're not actually getting weaker at all. The numbers may not seem as flashy, but if you're 1 shotting 80s, you'll still be 1 shotting lvl 10s. But instead of doing 3k dmg on a 2700 hp mob, you'll be doing 300 dmg on a 270hp mob.

Originally posted by DMKano

Ah thanks for clarifying this - the last time I logged into the game was the launch month, so I have no clue what changes were done in the last couple of years.

There's been a lot of QOL and systems improvements over the years, but the base gameplay is more or less the same.

 

Originally posted by nolic1

So after seeing many posts about the new down scaling I decided to go research it my self to see just how much different it was and found some things that made me wonder even more if it was intended or was supposed to be there in the first place. Check out the link below to see the video I did on it.

Video Link : Guild Wars 2 Down Scaling

I hope you all have your own input for this and see you in game.

Good vid man, and you're absolutely right.

However, the problem w/ GW2 is that Anet is essentially stuck in a Catch-22 situation.

They have designed (and like to design) games that are not based around the typical vertical progression models. However, the majority of gamers are still hooked on that type of design. It's why nearly every game nowadays has some kind of arbitrary leveling system (shooters, racing games, etc.).

So, as you're vid points out, the levels are mostly there as an illusion. They cater to that sense of progression, without really affecting gameplay. This is both good and bad, because on the one hand they help bring more players into the game; but on the other they mask what would otherwise be a fairly seamless experience (in being able to play w/ friends).

You also get people (like some of the other posters in this thread), who are used to that artificial power curve, and don't like when a game appears to take it away from them. Even though, as you point out in your video, the differences really aren't that severe.

- Personally, I would prefer the game to not have levels, but I also know that would throw a lot of people off. The amount of "what am I supposed to do in this game!?!" 'anything you want' "I don't get it!" would increase, which is really unfortunate. That said, you are correct in that they have the setup to where they could normalize all the levels without affecting gameplay much.

Some fair points all around.

A couple things, though:

Some people are going to blow through the content no matter how much there actually is. There were people who blew through the base game in a weekend when it originally launched. There are people who have managed to take games with 1000 or so hours of content and complete a fraction of it in a few days, calling it 'complete'.

As for Anet not labelling everything in the expansion, it's tough to say. It's clear that they are still working on a lot of the expansion as we speak (specializations clearly show this, as we know they will exist, but they are still fine-tuning some of them, and others haven't had a ton of work done quite yet). That's the problem with ambitious projects, there's a ton of work involved, and you don't always have the luxury of waiting until everything is 'done' to market your product.

- In this case, they probably should've waited until they had a more clear release date. However, that decision is often not up to the devs themselves, especially with larger companies / partnerships. It's often the producers / marketing that impose such deadlines, and the devs have to work their asses off trying to meet them.

** We'll see how things turn out, how much content there actually is, and whether or not it seems worth the price. There's a lot of aspects to this expansion that are unorthodox, so it's not exactly reasonable to try and treat the expansion exactly like every other one released. There's a lot of feature creation / adjustments being made for this; much more than just additional content. Which makes it overall a more complex product to deliver, but unfortunately it's difficulty that won't get appreciated by the average gamer.

Originally posted by smitty0356
It has become the Detroit of mmo's. 

It's still a bit early to be making claims like this, but WoW is indeed a far cry from what it once was.

If you're looking for the Detroit MMO there's a few other ones that are much better contenders.

Originally posted by YashaX
Originally posted by Torval

Wait, wut? So including the previous content at no extra charge is now crappy? Those bastards! What a selfish gouge giving away stuff.

The price of the expansion is inline with other box fees. Are people ignoring the point repeatedly made that Blizz just charged $50 for their xpac PLUS the sub-fees. Squeenix just charged $40 for their xpac PLUS the sub-fee and you still need to pay for the base game if you're a new player - how very benevolent of them (because this is opposite world).

I think a lot of players did boycott decisions made by SoE and LucasArts. You really showed them didn't you. How's SWG working out now?

Its strange that some people see this as a rip-off; I see it as yet another example of the people behind GW2 really striving to be consumer friendly in their pricing model.

It's one of those annoying phenomena in consumer psychology. We like to assume dollar amounts as an absolute portrayal of value. So, something with a perceived value of ~60$ will be treated as such. However, when stuff starts being given away (for free), the way it's handled has a huge impact on how the average person perceives it's value.

You offer a 100$ product at a discount with another 100$ purchase, and it seems like a great deal. You offer that same 100$ product for free with a candy bar, and it sounds like crap.

Originally posted by grimal
Originally posted by Gaia_Hunter
Originally posted by grimal
 

So this expansion guarantees a year of playtime?  I didn't even get a years worth of playtime from the original game.  

I got 3 years of the base game.

So $50 seems fine for me. In fact if they asked $200 I would probably have bought it still.

If you lasted only a few weeks, why do you even care about the expansion?

I've played on and off since launch but I know my accumulated hours are far below a year's worth of game time.

The ironic thing is that the same would be true if we were talking about a standard themepark MMO with a subscription. You'd be paying substantially more for about the same amount of content (or less); and yet for some reason that is MORE acceptable to a lot of people (on these forums).

Originally posted by Loke666
Originally posted by Gaia_Hunter

If by a lot of places to explore you mean set trails you couldn't get off.

Anet won't double or triple the size of the world with an expansion.

Their strategy is to avoid deserts.

No matter what game you have, if you keep increasing the real estate by 50%+ with each expansion you will get ghost towns.

If you can't justify $50 for at least a year of content, that is your opinion.

A year of content seems a tad optimistic unless you play really casual. Most players complete any new content for any MMO in weeks nowadays. The only exception is when content like raid content is time locked so you can't get the gear you need to progress until you got enough good loot from daily or weekly raids.

I think it will take the average player more like a month to do close to everything in the expansion. That is however still more time than I spend in most single player games so for me it is worth the money easily but for the rest of you decide by yourself.

Honestly, I think it's reasonable to expect it to be similar to the base game.

Those who are still trying to play the same MMO they've been playing for years now are going to do what content locusts typically do. They're going to burn through the most obvious content as quickly as possible, check the game off their list as 'done' and move on to do the same thing w/ the next game & the one after that.

However, GW games have never really functioned on that mentality. Those who choose to play that way are free to do so, but those who are actually enjoying these games tend to have a MUCH longer shelflife when it comes to fun & things to do. Both games, but GW2 specifically has always had a ton of things to do in it. There are very few people who have actually done 'everything' there is to do in the game.

Regardless of where each individual stands on the value of the expansion, there are 2 things that are reasonable to expect from it. 1) Longevitiy. We can safely expect at least a years worth of content. We already know the next season at least is tied to the expansion and NOT part of the base game. There's a bunch of new achievements, puzzles, etc. coming with it along with the lengthy legendary weapon quests (which we don't know exactly how long they'll take, but we do know there will be a lot of them).

2) Freedom. Just like the base game, the expansion will allow players the freedom to play how / what they want out of the game.

Just like the base game, there will be stuff for both the hardcore & the casual player. What it won't have, is forced raiding. Which annoyingly a lot of people still ask for, even though there's multiple examples of games which didn't do well with such a setup. Unfortunately for many, 'hardcore' has become synonymous with 'raiding' when it comes to MMOs.

Honestly, the more I play w/ this system, the less extreme the imbalances seem.

I do suspect some things will get toned down (like burning), but outside of maybe WvW the new system is actually very refreshing. I see a lot of people (and I was one of them initially) freaking out about it, but really it just comes down to you needing to try out new things. New builds, etc. And there are some very fun ones out there atm. I've got at least 1 char for each class, and I have yet to play a class that feels completely screwed by this latest update.

Eles are super strong, but they've been that way for a very long time. It's why they've been getting nerfed with every balance patch over hte past year or so. Because of the versatility of the class there is so much they can do, and when you start adding on items which augment that it gets somewhat complicated to balance. I will say that some of the newer traits they got from earth (diamond skin, and there's another where they can't be crit) are complete BS and should probably be removed. They're way too strong, and this current developing meta just highlights that.

Thief is awesome atm, and the double steal is quite good.

I'm having a ton of fun w/ the new mesmer.

Guardian seems mostly the same, but still very good & the new elite is amazing.

Necro seems mostly the same but still good (my build hasn't' changed much).

Warrior seems mostly the same.

Ele is super good.

LB Ranger isn't as ridiculous as it used to be (thankfully)

I'm still experimenting w/ Engi, but they seem pretty good from what Iv'e seen so far.

sPvP is a ton of fun atm, and there's a lot of experimentation going on. World Bosses are too easy w/ the new stacks (but they've been kinda easy for a while now). Dungeons feel about the same.

Originally posted by observer
Originally posted by aesperus
Originally posted by Dakeru
Originally posted by observer

It's kind of weird they just offered an extra character slot to the Deluxe and Ultimate versions, which makes it 2 slots now.  They should have just offered 800 gems to them, which is the price of a character slot, instead of just giving them a slot that they probably didn't want.

I believe a slot is "cheaper" to provide for them.

Well cheaper is a strange term for a virtual item which they can just keep on creating for free.

But I think you know what I mean.

Actually, no, the character slot is the way to go. It is definitely cheaper for Anet. They aren't free, but they should be fractions of a cent to maintain (it's still data that has to be stored).

While on paper 800 gems is a better deal (I would personally take the 800 gems), the average person would prefer something more tangible. It's easier to understand 'oh nice! I get a free character' vs. 'oh great, they're trying to get me to use their cash shop'.

It doesn't make much sense logically, but psychologically that's how that dynamic would likely breakdown. Hell, it's still tough trying to explain to people just how much value they are getting w/ GW2, and how much you can get in that game for free.

From a marketing viewpoint, 800 gems is the better option.  You entice more players to visit the gem store, and possibly get them to buy even more gems, and offering gems gives the players a choice, and that outweighs any kind of negative feelings of compulsion to purchase more stuff.  It shows that Anet trusts them with their own decisions.  Each individual is different though, so this is just a generalization.   I understand what you're trying to say though.

edit: As for the "data storage slot", it would probably cost them more money, since another character stores more data, and uses more resources like animations, client/server info, etc.

On paper, sure.

Problem is most people have an adverse reaction to things like cash shop currency. Just look at the premium version they are offering, it comes w/ like 4000 gems, and noone gives a crap.

Simply put, from a rational (logical) standpoint, 800 gems IS the better deal. However from a behavioral one, 800 gems doesn't 'feel' as good as getting a free character slot, or a skin / etc. And marketing is all about manipulating behavior to try and achieve the best price point for yourself (or your company).

It's unfortunate that what's best for the consumer is often not what works from a marketing perspective, but there are numerous examples that demonstrate this phenomena. So, from a marketing standpoint it would be better to go w/ the option that feels better to the average player, than the one that's less tangible but more cost effective. The way Anet treats it's cash shop behaves kind of like a bait & switch. They hook you in w/ the base game first, and then try and offer all these incentives to spend more via the cash shop (which works to varying degrees).

- It is a generalization, but when talking about things like marketing you have to generalize. Sales aren't interested in the unique individual doing their own thing, but rather what the largest obtainable market is and how to capitalize on it.

As for the character slot, you'd be surprised by how little data actually needs to be stored per character. Things like animations are not necessary to store per character. The game has a general 'while revenant, if using axe skill #1; play "skill_name animation file"'. That is an oversimplification, and the actual code looks completely different and takes up more lines, but that's the basics of how that works. Much of the bulk data is account based, leaving primarily item codes (what your character is wearing, how it's dyed, which special features are currently activated, storyline progress, feature codes from character creation, what items / bags are in your inventory). Depending on how efficiently that's all setup we're generally talking KBs of data. That does add up when you have 100s of 1000s of players with an additional slot, but it's still not bad.

 

 

Originally posted by Dakeru
Originally posted by observer

It's kind of weird they just offered an extra character slot to the Deluxe and Ultimate versions, which makes it 2 slots now.  They should have just offered 800 gems to them, which is the price of a character slot, instead of just giving them a slot that they probably didn't want.

I believe a slot is "cheaper" to provide for them.

Well cheaper is a strange term for a virtual item which they can just keep on creating for free.

But I think you know what I mean.

Actually, no, the character slot is the way to go. It is definitely cheaper for Anet. They aren't free, but they should be fractions of a cent to maintain (it's still data that has to be stored).

While on paper 800 gems is a better deal (I would personally take the 800 gems), the average person would prefer something more tangible. It's easier to understand 'oh nice! I get a free character' vs. 'oh great, they're trying to get me to use their cash shop'.

It doesn't make much sense logically, but psychologically that's how that dynamic would likely breakdown. Hell, it's still tough trying to explain to people just how much value they are getting w/ GW2, and how much you can get in that game for free.

I applaud Anet for at least doing something, but the way they are handling this is just /facepalm all around.

A) A character slot should've been standard, for everyone. Nearly every game that's featured multiple characters and new 'classes' with an expansion has provided one, including the expansions from GW1. The fact that they not only didn't do this, but seem to have not even prepared for that as a possibility is worrisome.

B) Much of the troubles comes from horribly presented information, mixed with a slightly higher pricepoint. The result being a lack of incentives for most of their target audience, bundled with no clear 'goal' as to what you're buying with your money.

C) They end everything by 'ensuring' people they are going to be making the exact same mistake for every future expansion they may (or may not do). Like, why?!

- The saddest thing about all of this, is if they handled this correctly, they could actually be making MORE money (not even talking about charge backs), and people would've actually been happy. What do I mean by this?

1) Bundle a character slot with every purchase, that should be a no brainer, and there really shouldn't nearly as much trouble as they're making it sound to be.

2) Add in some prepurchase skins (or black lion tickets) for extra incentive, but most importantly are as follows:

3) Give a release date. If you aren't sure, than give a ballpark (i.e. Q4 2015, or Q1 2016) etc. It's not as good as a solid date, but it's good enough to appease most people.

4) If you're plan is to bundle the base game(s) with every expansion, then do the following:

- Raise the price of the expansion. Make the base package like ~60-70$. Say you go with a base cost of 65$ for Heart of Thornes. For everyone who already has a GW2 account, allow them to link their CD-Key (game-key) to their purchase, for a discount of ~25 or so dollars, to offset the price back DOWN to a reasonable pricetag. This would hit the 40$ price point most people seem to want, not punish those who just bought your game on sale, present a fantastic incentive for new players (65$ and I get all the games? That's a steal!), and we wouldn't have any of these questions about whether or not Anet has a clue about how to manage their own game.

I know I'm not a market psychologist, but this should be a no-brainer. This just seems basic, as far as marketing goes. Anet already has it rough by going with a feature-rich expansion vs. a content-rich one. The amount of features they're adding / changing is really good, but most players aren't going to appreciate that. They're going to either see 'why aren't there a ton of new dungeons' or 'why weren't these features in the original game'.

Originally posted by orionblack

Would you guys think that Sony did much better than Microsoft ?

I would believe so between this and the FF7 remake....I'd personally give it up to Sony having the better show this year.

Personally I think Sony crushed MS this year. However, tbh I think Sony's always had the better product. There's only a couple titles that are exclusive to XBox, and personally I think that they are overrated (was never a huge Halo fan). MS tends to do a lot of fairly generic games, and focuses more on pushing random features that may or may not be worthwhile. Sony on the other hand has always had good / better hardware, and has a lot more interesting games (imho) than Microsoft does.

This year seems like an especially good one for games, though, and I'm definitely excited to see what results. The FF7 remake is excited (I hope to god that SE doesn't fk that one up), but there's so much more than that. No Man's Sky looks amazing, the guys who did Little Big Planet have a cool concept in the works, new fallout, new batman, last guardian, etc. etc. etc. the list goes on.

Originally posted by DMKano
Originally posted by rodingo
Originally posted by DMKano

There's a lot more to visuals than high poly counts, slick textures and vfx.

While some might like this to me the style and atmosphere trumps all, and this just looks like another assassin's creed game.

Something tells me you haven't played an "Uncharted" game yet.  No biggie if you haven't, specially since it's primarily a console title I believe, however about what you said trumps all: style and atmosphere is in the Uncharted games in spades.  The games are very linear, but the atmosphere, sound, visuals, and how the protagonist moves and interacts with the environments is definitely top notch amongst single player games in the same category.

I am talking strictly visuals and atmosphere, not gameplay. Look at Okami for PS2, look at Bastion, Transistor, Ori and the blind forest, Limbo, heck Journey. Amazing art and atmosphere can be done without photo realism. That was my entire point - as the OP claimed "most impressive visuals of any game" - I disagree.

It's funny you say this, because Naughty Dog has some of the best artists in the industry working for them. It's also one of the hardest studios to get into (second to maybe Valve). Creative vision and having an artistic eye are two of the main things they screen for on all positions having to deal w/ content creation. I've even seen them turn down TDs with crazy resumes because they weren't artistic enough for their vision.

Furthermore, while I do agree that visuals are only part of what makes a game, Naughty Dog has already demonstrated that their games are more than just pretty. They handcraft their environments to be more than just photoreal, it's insane how much work goes into them. Most studios (Ubisoft / Assassin's Creed included) make environments that look good enough, but are cluttered with filler elements. Naughty Dog is one of the few studios that actually layer their environments properly, starting with gameplay, visuals, and making sure each scene has a history to it that makes sense within the context.

Perhaps the best example of this was in 'The Last Of Us'. Granted, I'm not nearly as excited for uncharted 4 as I was for the last of us, but the talent is still there. Would be nice to see them branch out a bit more, though.

Originally posted by Rhoklaw
Well, it was a glitch cause I was applying dyes and it was giving me transmutation costs as I was changing colors. Now it's showing 0 transmutation costs instead of 6.

Yes that's either a glitch -or- a misunderstanding of how the new transmutation feature works.

Since you haven't played in a while (I think the new transmutation system was added with the dye change you were talking about) Whenever you attempt to apply a new skin to your equipment, you will get a transmutation cost (most things cost 1 charge, some skins will do it for 0 (free) though).

The reason I bring this up is because it can be easier for returning players to accidently apply skins to their equipment without realizing it. Basically if you are trying to dye equipment that you've accidently put a skin on, it won't apply until that skin is either removed or transmuted.

- I'm not saying that is 100% what's going on in your case, but it is something to look at. GW2 is a much more UI heavy game than most. It has a lot of hidden features loaded onto the UI that can be easy to overlook / miss / or trigger by mistake.

Originally posted by Loke666

It is pretty simple, if you think the expansion is worth 50 bucks/45 Euros you buy it. If not then don't.

Nothing say you can't skip a MMO expansion or wait a while since all games and expansions drop in price. If it is worth it or not really is up to you.

Comparing the content to other games is pretty pointless, particularly if those games have monthly fees. Only you can decide if it is worth it or not.

As for me it is more the queastion if I should fork in another $25 (or even 50) for that character sklot or not but what is right for me might not be right for you.

Whining and saying it is only worth $35 for you is pointless though, just don't buy it in that case.

This ^

Wooden Potatoes also released a vid that I think sums up the situation pretty nicely.

All in all, in it's current iteration there's just not much incentive to pre-order. That doesn't mean people shouldn't (or won't) buy the expansion, but it does seem to indicate that if you are unsure about the value of what you're getting for 50$, then a 'wait and see' approach makes a lot more sense.

In general I would argue that pre-ordering is a bad idea, and even though so many people fall into that trap, they still pre-order.

Yes, it would be easier to build a game using existing assets, always.

The problems are a) if they want money, it's going to be tough to mod someone else's MMO and get permission to profit off of it.

b) not all companies are open about modding (even if it's not for profit)

c) not all games have enough base material to warrant being modded / or to make an interesting MMO.

However, a mod of EQ / WoW / SWG / UO / etc. could certainly work (if the developers were allowed to do so). A lot of bigger developers are also trying to recycle more assets from previous games to make production times faster and more efficient.

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