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Guild Wars 2 Column: Loot Equality

By David North on December 13, 2011

Our trials in Guild Wars 2 likely will not go like this: Axes and swords pierced through his armor.  Our wounds were closed shut by our supportive priests.  Fire and lightning rained down from the skies, hitting our foe with great force.  As our barrage continued, the boss gave less and less fight until he fell to his knees.  The enemy was defeated, but the fight was not over.  Our party walked to the chest that held the treasures we had come for.  After opening the chest, we all drew straws to see who would receive loot.  The ten of us looked at each other, with only three pieces of precious treasure, with a great disgust.  Though we all fought together as a team and took equal active roles in the fight, only a few were rewarded.  The rest of us would have to return for another small chance at obtaining the prize.

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This has happened to me on several occasions, in fact, it has been the story of my life when it comes to MMOs.  I join a party, I go into a dungeon, and I receive nothing in the end.  My record of having to redo a dungeon for loot was nineteen.  That’s right, I had to do a dungeon over and over again nineteen times to receive an axe, so that I would have a high enough rating to go into another dungeon.  You would think with this silly rule ruining so many games, someone would come forth and set things right.  Well, ArenaNet already has with Guild Wars, as each player gets a crack at opening the chest and receiving a piece of loot, but is that enough?  The players have been very happy with this, but ArenaNet isn’t stopping there, they are ramping things up to help make receiving loot more fair, and more fun.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

Loot, in many ways, is a form of measurement for strength in MMOs.  The better the loot a player has, the more respect they receive, as the best loot is from the toughest dungeons in the game.  How many times does a player have to run through a dungeon to get this type of loot though?  As I stated earlier, I once had to run through a dungeon nineteen times in order to get one item.  Having to do the same thing, over and over again, really takes the fun out of the game. It makes you want to quit, which is the very opposite thing a game is supposed to do.  The first step in fixing this problem is Guild Wars 2's idea of having all active players in combat receive loot after the battle is over.  That’s right, as long as you take an active and meaningful role in combat, you will receive some loot.  The game actively monitors what you do in combat, so there is no way a player can just sit back and let everyone else do all the work and receive a reward.  This keeps everything fair for everyone.

Now if a player tries to piggy back on a group, it does not mean that the difficulty of the mobs or bosses will get harder.  The difficulty only goes up after new active players enter combat for a set time, so don’t worry, a noob’s attempt to ninja loot is not only stopped, but it doesn’t make your life harder.  The joke is on them. 

So by fine-tuning an old way of giving loot, ArenaNet is done fixing the issue, right?  Nope, they decided to go forth and make loot in Guild Wars 2 the best in the genre. To achieve this, each dungeon you conquer has its own set of unique armor and weapon sets.  I don’t just mean unique in the way of stats, but also in the way of looks.  Each dungeon will not only have its own look and feel in order to make its experience one of a kind, the rewards it gives will have a similar look to match the experience a player had gone through to receive that loot, where in other games it is just a re-colored version of some other armor set you had earlier in the game.


Dungeon loot should look epic and unique, not the same as every other axe you can get in the game.

I am sure some of you are wondering how unique the loot will really look.   Many will probably think that it means the light, medium and heavy armors will all look the same.  The truth is that they will all have some similarities in design, such as the use of feathers or other materials.  Aside from that, the looks for all three armor types are completely different, so you can truly wear the spoils of war with pride.


Weapons will also be in sets for dungeon rewards. All weapons will have a certain look to tie them all together.

To think that all these years players have been redoing dungeons multiple times for a chance at loot, loot that is only to soon be replaced and is underwhelming visually, is depressing.   I remember the loot system for dungeons in Guild Wars being a huge relief for me, but with the upgrades in Guild Wars 2, I believe ArenaNet is setting a new standard.  And to think, all a game has to do is deliver unique cool looking loot, to everyone who participates in a battle!  Well, let’s hear what you all have to say.  Have the woes of looting been fixed?  Do you feel this is just a bunch of hogwash?  Leave a comment below and tell us.

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