Thursday, January 10, 2013

Making Guild Wars 2 more attractive to ALL players

Making Guild Wars  2 more attractive for ALL Players.

Guild Wars is a franchise that has been active in my personal  MMORPG gaming  world for over 8 years now and like many others I know that Guild Wars 2  can easily be the best MMO we have ever played.

That being said, there are many things  that I think could be fixed and implemented to make the game more attractive for the non-hardcore/dedicated fan of ArenaNet/NCsoft's work, and for those of us who have been around for a long time. In this rather lengthy post, I will discuss what I think Guild Wars 2 can do in the near future to help growth and keep the game  living.

Suggestions List:
  • Leveling - (Personal Story/Quests/Hearts) and Hard  Mode!
  • Crafting
  • Dungeons
  • High Level Content
  • sPvP
  • Character Variety/Usefulness.
Leveling - (Personal Story/Quests/Hearts) and Hard Mode!        

  In Short: Feel awesome at Any level. More attractive Hearts/Quests

In guild wars 2, currently it feels as if you don't have true potential to be great until you are level 80. More often then not you will find yourself in situations where looking for a dungeon at level 40 opposed to level 80 you lack in the power, experience, and overall character development and no smart team will take you. Not only this, but you level at such a rapid pace in Guild Wars 2 when you get new gear for your level 40 and not 2 hours of game-play later you have out leveled that gear and that money you spent on it was wasted.

  • More Lower level Accessible Dungeons
  • More diverse Quests/Hearts
  • Town missions!
  • Hard Mode!
  • More  difficult Leveling
  • More Choice with Personal Story

Lower Level Accessible Dungeons
     A common problem I have noticed among players that have left the game, and or are having a hard time finding out what "role" or "class" it is they want to play is that  they don't understand how they fit into a group Having Lower level accessible dungeons for low levels only would help  players begin at an early stage of character development in understanding their role on a team. Regardless of if the game is trying to do away with the standard tank and healer roles, Guild Wars 2 still very much has characters with roles they play on each team. 
    I also understand that some dungeons (Caudecus's Manor, Ascalonian Catacombs) have the "low-level" stamp of approval on them. However, for most players who have gone through the game, we all understand that these just are not simply done on someone who doesn't have the armor, weapons, and traits to go through it. Also most lower players don't understand  their role on the team yet so they suffer in the dungeon because of it. Often times also lower level players get the bad end of the stick because most teams would rather have a Exotic Level 80 rather then a Green Level 40.
 More Diverse Quests/Hearts
    When I am level 2, I understand that one of the most important things I can really do for the Local Farmers is feed the Cattle they raise. Or I can help kill off the vermin in the area. But as I continue on my journey to level 80, I tend to feel as if I am being thrown in a washing machine; rinsed then repeated. I want to have more hearts where I feel I have a purpose in what I am doing. I am not suggesting that Guild Wars 2 takes out the hearts, I just think they should have more purpose then protecting a very important cow.
My gaming philosophy is:
If it doesn't make you AND your character look and feel awesome why is it in the game?
This is Me and a cow ^
     What I am looking for here is Quests that engage my mind, and  also my play style. Not one person gains any skill, or benefit from doing similar hearts with different circumstances. This is also a major reason many people do not want to 100% the game if they have stayed thus far playing. Hearts that seem to have no purpose in the world are just not worth spending time on. Solving  this problem could be difficult but could also be very simple, here is what I think should happen.At this point in the game the hearts are not leaving, too many people have had to go through them and complete them to gain what ever it is you gain other then the gift of exploration from 100%.

My solution to solve the problem with hearts is to bring back a GW1 system similar to  
"Town Missions"
Town Missions
     This is one of many examples of what Guild Wars 1 did to inspire many of my thoughts for this blog. Town Missions did a few things in Guild Wars 1; Engaged the player in the story, Brought people together, and a goal for winning. I don't think that Guild Wars 2 should adopt the same "8 person team  private instance" archetype, but I do think that the idea of these missions should be expanded into a broader more Guild Wars 2 feel. 

     My Suggestion - Take each explorable area (i.e.Kessex Hills) and make a mission that you must team up with other people to accomplish. These missions can sort of be similar to a miniature dungeon, and can help to get players ready for whats ahead in the game. Story's missions of each area can:  
               A. Help players understand  what their character can do
               B. Give players more incentive to team up at an early stage
               C. Make each explorable zone MORE INTERESTING
         Here are some examples of what I am suggesting:

         Level 1-10 Zone:   Farmer Bob has lost his cattle to a pack of Ettin to the north, break through              
                                        their defenses and escort them back before they eat the cattle!
         Level 70-80 Zone: A Dragon has been spotted above the Ruins to the east. We need you to take  
                                        control of the Centaur's Seige weapons and take the dragon out of the sky long                
                                        enough for a counter attack before it destroys Divinity's Reach.

              On top of adding these "mini dungeons" to each area, one more simple solution can be added to
              add that good old fashion Guild Wars 1 flare to Guild Wars 2.

Hard Mode 
     Hard mode in Guild Wars 1 was the greatest thing that was added to the game. Not only did it create new opportunities for teams to meet up and overcome a more difficult familiar adventure, but it gave greater reward to those who could actually do it! 

     Right now dungeons are sitting at this awkward stage of being too difficult for the players who don't fully understand them, and too easy  for the people who understand everything about them. If hard mode was implemented, there would be no excuse or complaining about it being "too hard" because it is Hard mode! Of Course its too hard!!!!! This addition to the game would be sure to make some of the  more aggressive players happier  and more casual players excited to explore the easy side of dungeons.

More Difficult Leveling

     Here is where I have faced the most criticism for my stance. I think leveling should be more difficult, plain and simple.  I know some people want to grind to the highest level as fast as they can but in order to have a game where I feel great with my new level 40 gear without having the "well ill just out-level it in 20  minutes so no" philosophy I need to sit on that level for just a bit longer.
  Having a sense of achievement at every 10 levels even would make the leveling process far more exciting and worth the time. When I get to level 20 I want to feel as if I have achieved something. Give players something new and exciting to look forward for at different intervals. As of right now I have 5 level 80 characters, 3 of which I crafted up to level 80 in 6 hours each.

     This is because after the first 2 times going through the game, I know that characters are basically useless to high level teams unless they are exotic'd out and have a good set of traits. Having the low level only dungeons I talked about earlier would also help in making people feel good about the time they spend on each character and how the character works will be much more defined with a longer more enjoyable leveling experience.

More Choice with Personal Story

"Guild wars 2 is YOUR story. Your choices determine how your personal story evolves; with thousands of possible variations, no two players will have the exact same experience."
-Guild Wars 2 official website here

     Here is my biggest problem with the leveling/freedom of each character. Though the choice is given for you to "evolve" your own story,  the story actually is rather linear. Whatever you do in the game will always have the exact same outcome. Within this layer of "choice" that each player is given; the exact same objective and quest line is given in a different way.
For Example: 
          When allies with Durmand Priory, Order of Whispers, or Vigil you will always have the same choices      
     for no matter which alliance you choose. Each line has the same goal and finds out information on the
     same final achievement but it is coated with a different title.

What I am looking for in the personal story is a different outcome for different situations.
I am the hero in a story, and Trahearn is the hero in the other, while another NPC is the hero in
another. The end we kill the dragon always, I understand that but what if the dragon lived
through the fight, and your characters devoted his/her life to never loose another battle?

Overall, I feel the Personal Story in Guild Wars 2 was very rushed and is lacking alot.
My friends and I often sat through some not so interesting quests leaving you wonder... "whats  
the point" and awkwardly put together cinematic/voice acting with glitches and kinks visibly
noticeable to any eye. Having "thousands of possible variations"  doesn't account for much
when all the variations have the same ending. 


In Short: Make it harder and more worth your time.

"In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience  first; the cash will come later."
-President of ITT corporation Harold Geneen

       The best thing that Guild Wars 2 could do to boost its economy would be to make you only able to  have 2 crafting professions. Right now Crafting does nothing at all for you but gain you some extra levels and make it accessible to craft legendary weapons. No one makes a significant amount of in game gold from any crafting because EVERYONE can be level 400 in anything very easily too.


  • More difficult leveling professions
  • More worth your time
  • Limited amount of professions
  • Precurser Weapon Crafting

More Difficult Leveling professions
             QUESTION: People already have enough problems getting the gold to level up the
                                    professions so why make it more difficult!???
              ANSWER: Having a higher difficulty of getting a profession to the highest level, gives more    
                                  incentive and want for the things that it makes.

The problem with crafting as it stands right now is that ANYONE can do ANYTHING.
Everything that any profession can make is useless because none of it has value if everyone can do it.
The best solution to the problem would be to make crafting professions more difficult to level but also
to make leveling them......
    If players were given some reason for getting to the highest level other then that the Legendary calls for it more would go for it.
For example:
          All of which you must be active in the profession  to have the boost.
          Huntsman: Have a boost to Ranged weapons once they reach max level.
          Weaponsmith: Same thing but with melee weapons
          Artificing: Can create potions that grant stealth abilities
These are just examples I thought of off the top of my head but you get my point.
Limiting amount of Professions
     Right now every character can have 8 professions. With a small fee you can switch to any of the 8 at any given time. What if, you drop a profession you drop the levels that come along with it? This would give higher value to items that professions have so that players don't have to give up the crafting they have done just to achieve a higher goal.

Precurser Weapon crafting
     The most un-attractive thing of getting a legendary weapon is the precurser. Basically... the only way to get a precurser weapon other then buying one is to throw 4 weapons into the Mystic Forge and pray to Dwayna that some how magically you may get it. With the limited finds  of precurser's and the few percentage of players controlling the market, the price for these weapons is near impossible for most players.
                What I don't understand is that everything else that has to do with Legendary Weapons    
            is not based on luck. 
Fixing this large divide between who gets lucky and controls the market, and who have thrown  
hundreds of weapons in the forge with no luck is easily fixed. Make. Precursers. Craftable.
Precurser Recipe: 10g
250 ectos, Gift of Metal, 250 hilt, 250 blade

  In Short:  More Dungeons,  and Dungeon Finder.
     The amount of dungeons that people want  to do in Guild Wars 2 greatly out weighs the amount of dungeons that are available to do. For high level teams especially, currently in the game the "end-game" content is very lacking in things to do. Dungeons are the do all, the end game, the final punch to Guild Wars 2 and the way the system is built is kind of getting old.

  • Dungeon Finder
  • Hard Mode Dungeons for Better Rewards
  • Fix Diminished Return System
  • More Dungeons!!
Dungeon Finder
     Yes! A Dungeon Finder! If not a dungeon finder then a simple team finder would be nice and let us, the player decide what we will do. This is one of the biggest wants in the game  that I have seen up to this point and I really hope to see it implemented soon. One way to use an existing system for finding a group is the sPvP Tournament system. All you have to do is create a roster and people can join up!
All you have to do is que up for a dungeon, continue questing and when the team is ready you teleport 
to the random dungeon or chosen dungeon.  Players would only be eligible for dungeons that they            
have done story mode on. This would finally give players a reason to complete story mode, and 
make finding a group for it much more desirable.

Hard Mode for Dungeons - (better rewards)
          Again, as I talked about earlier in the blog; WHERE IS HARD MODE!!!? 
     If Hard Mode were implemented back into the game dungeons would have a whole new twist on the way people perceive the game. I already see in Fractals of the Mists where they possibly are going with dungeons in the future and I hope that they continue to do so. Better rewards for better organized, skilled teams would  create much more want to spend time in dungeons. Right now, some dungeons paths are already difficult with a terrible reward at the end of the dungeon. So if players had  a reason to spend 2 hours in a dungeon, maybe they would.

Fixed Diminished Return (DR) System
This is a suggestion more for the hardcore players then the casual players. 
Diminished Returns are
     Let me explain. The system was put in to prevent botter's and exploiters  from destroying too many paths of too many dungeons too quickly. So this means that for teams that are beating dungeons the legit way, and are having fun doing so; if they finish more then 4 dungeon paths within 2 hours they get DR. This leaves the Dungeon connoisseur with absolutely nothing to do.
This way of doing things is telling me two things:
"You cannot play the game how you want to"
"You will be punished for playing more"

     Trust me, I hate botters and exploiters just as much as the next guy but punishing real dedicated players who are just trying to have fun in the game rather then searching for things to do is the wrong way to do things. The simple solution to the problem is; Make more required out of dungeons! I am not saying add 2 hours of additional bosses that have a ridiculous amount of hit points, I am saying make players do more so things like skipping, and exploits do not happen!

For Example:
         Citadel of Flame Path 1: Can be  completed in 8 minutes with a regular team with a brain.
              Fix: Make Middle boss that EVERYONE skips REQUIRED to finish the dungeon.
              Result: The dungeon is now 5-10 minutes longer. BINGO!!!!!
Fixes like this will be sure to result in players beginning to Play the dungeon rather then play the 
dungeon to see how they can exploit and skip things to get through it faster.

More Dungeons!!!
Like I said early, right now the End Game is Lacking content. The best solution to the problem without having to release explorable areas one after another is to release a few more dungeons. If this is part of the end game content it needs to be more thrown in the players face, so that all players have more to work for, and to be excited about. This could also be resolved by adding  the "mini-dungeons" I talked about in the TOWN MISSIONS section. 
                 More content where players are forced to team up to conquer a greater evil = Awesome.
In Short: Put my full exotic level 80 to use!

     For a PvE player the only thing to do beyond 100% the low level Explorable area is to play Dungeons and Karma farm. The problem with doing that  to much is DR. So what else?? What I am missing in Guild Wars 2 right now is more level 80 zones. I am confident more zones will be popping up as time goes on, but this is something that I feel alot of players are leaving the game for. Some people want to do amazing quests and missions that you can ONLY do if your the max level. 
A common MMO Mentality of:
"the game doesnt start til your 80"
is missing so they move on.

What I would like to see are more interesting hearts, more interesting areas with a journey that you 
go through each time you enter the world. I think the addition of Town Missions, or mini-dungeons 
would add quickly to make more high level content attractive to people who have maxed out their 
characters. Coming from a guy no free space for more level 80 exotic characters, I am ready for it.
And so is everyone  else.

In Short: Let me be me.
     I worked for about 500 hours to get this character 100%, with full T3 armor and my Legendary weapon... only to walk into PvP and show off a look of armor that I had at level 1. I want to play my character in PvP not be completely generic'd out. If this means adding an option to where you can just keep the look of your PvE gear but mess with the stats like it is PvP gear then why not!? I understand the ability to let players play PvP to its full potential right when they begin, but let us at least look the way we want? Guild Wars 1 did it. So where did it go? Also, in PvP I lack a sense of reward for anything other then pvp rewards. PvE players want something they can show off, that's a good  possibility why no  one goes in sPvP.

  • Let me Keep my Look!
  • More Competitive Environment
Let me Keep my Look!
Guild wars 1 nailed this one right on the head. You could play for hours on your PvE character
then jump straight into the PvP system and have the character you have been with since the start.
In Guild Wars 2, you play as Generic Guardian #1 which is..... well............
No one wants to feel like this. Especially those who have spent the time to get something worth
looking at.

More competitive Environment
When in doubt, remember  Guild Wars 1 (Alliance Battles).

     What Guild Wars 2 sPvP is  missing is a simple "War Game" structure where 16 on 16 fight with 2 bases and a certain amount of capture points to take over. This would be a miniature version of WvW and would serve those who want to still be their PvE character in  a big PvP match while not being in the WvWvW situation getting owned by a zerg every 3 seconds...
If there were some more competition (Kurzick vs. Luxon Guild wars 1) players would have much
more of a competitive nature and be more excited to play PvP with their friends whilst not being over
run by an entire guild.

Character Variety/Usefulness.

In Short: I want to feel useful. On Any character. And More variety of Skills

I can say, after rolling a Theif, Ranger, Ele, and Warrior not ONE of them do I ever feel like I benefit the team like I do with a Guardian. Right now in the world of Guild Wars 2 I feel most classes are so "balanced" and can heal and survive that they hardly do much for the team the way most people play them. What I want to know is why not make each class a necessity, so that everyone has a huge role on a team in their own way.


  • Make every class a necessity
  • More  variety/range of weapon skills

     Make every class a Necessity!
     If every single class in Guild Wars 2 was needed on every team, making a team would never be a struggle. No one would feel like their class is useless and no one would feel pressured to be other classes because the one they chose is just not that great. A solution to this could be to add some skills that give unique uses to each class.
For Example:
     Warrior: A banner that creates a temporary spawn point for your 5 person team
     Necro: Creates a undead version a teammate that just died(controlled by that teammate)
     Ele: Creates fire/ice/earth/air boon that turns all teammates attacks into that  damage type.
     Engi: Creates a drone in which enemys run to attack
     Mesmer: Can teleport  down'd allies out of battle and put a clone of that allie in place of
     Guardian: Well guardian is pretty useful already.....
     Theif: Can steal the enemys weapons leaving them without one for a few seconds..

     These are just random examples I just thought of just now, but if each character had a feeling of IMPORTANCE on every team, no one would be left out.

More variety/range of weapon skills
     Guild wars 2 needs much more variety when it comes to weapon skills. Everyone having the exact same 5 weapon skills with every weapon starts to get old. What I would like to know is what happened the the wide range of choice that Guild Wars 1 had? If your wondering, check out these warrior skills from GW1.

     I am not saying add a ton of skills, I think the game only needs 1 additional weapon skill per weapon really. This way in PvP and PvE you would have such a diverse range of players and this would enable players to make their warrior or theif their own. 

    WHERE ARE THE ELITES!!?!? Each character in GW2 gets 3 elites and not one of them most of the time makes you feel "elite" at all. I know that me and alot of other people would like to see much more with elites in the future and maybe we can see some old elites make their way into GW2.

  As you can see I have a diverse range of thought that I have put into what could be done to make the game better. There is alot more to be said, but these are some primary focus points that  I wanted to address.  I feel right now that the game is somewhat pushing away people because of the lack of higher level content and character freedom as far as skills go; also Diminishing Returns forces the more Hardcore players to feel like they are being punished for wanting to play the game more.

I cannot wait to see what this game has in store for the future, and I believe it has set the bar for MMO's in what to be expected. Not to mention it is a beautiful game  

Please let me know what you think about my ideas, and if you have any of your own!!


1 comment:

  1. Very interesting ideas although you do tend to become obscure and technobabble your way through a lot of it with the assumption that whoever is reading this understands the jargon. Try explaining what your talking about for example, what is a Zerg? Not everyone will have played starcraft to recognise the reference. That aside, you have made some pretty good points.

    I'm not a big fan of PvP so I wont even go there. I find it annoying and very antisocial, but thats just from personal experience. I do, however like the idea of town missions and more renown tasks, although I think that over time more are going to be added anymay. However a lot of what you suggest slides us back to GW1 which imo would be a mistake. Dont get me wrong I am nostalgic for a lot of GW1 features, however making professions required in dungeons for example would be bad.

    The main reason why all professions are self supporting is to avoid hours of waiting for the right person to come along. That is one aspect of GW1 I dont miss. We would spend 8 hours or more in Urgoz warrens waiting for (eg) a spirit rit to show up to fit a particular build. During those 8 hours people in the party would get bored, drop out, have other commitments etc get annoyed have arguements etc. No I think this would be a big mistake.

    I Do agree on a better variety of weapon skills. I find that the current system is too limiting. Especially the Elementalist and Engineer classes that do not have a weapon swap function. This is offset slightly by the fact that Elementalists can change ele class by using the function keys and engineers can completely change their weapon skills by using different tools such as flame thrower etc. Downside of that is it takes up a utility slot/s for engineers and the function keys for the elementalist.

    Thinking here that maybe we ought to be able to customize the weapon skillsets. If not by swapping out skills then at least where each skill sits on the skillbar.

    Ok onto crafting. I find its current level challenging but well balanced. Not much needs to be changed there. I've made plenty of cash making components as well as complete items. You dont need a customer for these. just post them on black lion market then forget about them. Never EVER sell directly to highest bidder but match lowest offer. More often than not you will get 2-5 times more for it.

    One feature of GW2 imo that needs to go is WvW.

    It's PvP mixed up with PvE and for those who do not like PvP but like mapping or collecting pets WvW is a necessary evil. You cannot complete either without WvW. (norns can get away with collecting pets if they choose a wolf for rangers at character creation). Keep PvP and PvE apart and at arms length is what is needed.