I think I've been a reasonably good boy this year. I mean, there was that one incident with the quaggan, the chocolate sauce, and the Volkswagen, but that was all the way back in March and I'm sure that Tixx has totally forgotten about it...
In any case, it's that time of year, when we beseesh the greater powers for riches beyond compare. For some people, that's parents, loved ones, politicians, or Santa Claus. I'll go with ArenaNet and put together my wish list for Guild Wars 2 for the new year and beyond. There are some serious topics below, but nothing that I think requires a momentous rebuilding or couldn't be done in early 2016.
Dear SantANet, all I want for Wintersday is...
...an easier mode for the raid
No, I'm not calling for massive nerfs to the raid, or identical rewards for less work. But my guild just tweeted out last week that they finally got down Gorseval after 29.5 hours' worth of attempts, four or five nights a week. I'm sure that to hardcore old-school progression World of Warcraft raiders, that must seem like a pittance, but to people who don't like bashing their heads against cement, it isn't. It's a vast departure from what we're used to in Guild Wars 2.
Granted, my only top-end raiding experience is in The Lord of the Rings Online; it might have taken us a few weeks to take down a raid boss, but that was with one, or maybe two attempts per week. Knowing it'll take more like 30 hours of obsessive raiding doesn't make me want to try GW2 raiding, ever. I've moved on from that kind of “elite raider” mentality, and I'd bet many other Guild Wars 2 fans have, too. My quite-friendly guild's offered to try and help me through parts of the first wing, but I'm still sensing bits of elitism and low tolerance for mistakes that I just don't have the desire to wallow through it all.
If you do want to do that, great! I've got no problem with that! But I'd still like to experience this content, see the pretty bosses, and feel just the slightest rush from beating them, without feeling like crap for wiping 50 times beforehand. I'd like to see an incrementally easier mode for the raid, perhaps somewhere between a hard dungeon/fractal and the current raid, something that a skilled – but not necessarily spectacularly coordinated and near-perfect – group can accomplish, so we can just see this content that you've worked so hard to create.
And like the challenge, the rewards should be substantially lower, somewhere greater than a typical dungeon but much lower than the actual raid, perhaps with no chance to get the best unique drops, like the minis or legendary armor bits, and maybe not even the achievements. Keep it on a weekly lock, with the same timer as the “main” raid, so groups can decide to do one or the other, but not both.
...a re-evaluation of core goals
This is somewhat related to raids, above, which seemed to do away with the “play your class any way you want” mindset that was a focal point of early Guild Wars 2 marketing. “No more waiting for a healer” has turned into “You'll need a healer... but, anyone can heal... well, certain classes do it well... if they have the right gear... which they'll probably have to get because all they have now is 'zerker gear... oh, and you'll need a tank, too...”