(This is going to be one of at least three posts. I am splitting up a draft called Double Down into more digestible sections.)
With certainty, ArenaNet is working on more content and updates. Halloween is sure to have lots of holiday fun, but it isn’t clear what permanent offerings ArenaNet is considering. There are two clear routes to take: (1) create wholly new content such dungeons or zones, or (2) double down with the content already in place.
Now that people have had plenty of time to play Guild Wars 2, it is becoming very clear where there are holes in content and gaps in fun. Is it worthwhile to go back and patch these, or is it better to press ever onward?
The biggest hole in my mind coming from pre-launch featurettes is the lack of content surrounding my home instance. I do have a home instance. Everybody does, and it feels like the most placeholder object in the game. The gate to the Crystal Desert in Ebonhawke is a tease at the future. My empty house portraying nothing from my personal story or other accomplishments is a sad content void.
This is coupled with the apparent detachment of players to their racial cities. Not only do I not really have a home, but Lion’s Arch becomes the only city I need after about 20 or 30 levels. Imagine bits of lore and stories that keep appearing in the home instance. Might as well heap on a free port to home, whenever, wherever. That’s the deal, my dear. Now, people want to go back to racial cities.
It will be interesting to see how ArenaNet finally implements home instance content. Will I just all of the sudden have 100 trophies from my adventures? Will it just be from my personal story? I think either way it will provide a late game draw back to the racial cities.
Hoelbrak, the norn’s racial city, is a bit luckier because ArenaNet had time before launch to add a small content cookie in the form of Keg Brawl. Keg Brawl widens its arms to account for an entire tab of achievements. It’s another great reason to head back home, and hopefully every racial city will have their own achievement-oriented activity.
Except Keg Brawl, while a blast to play, is very insular in rewards from PvE. Why doesn’t everybody get booze as rewards? Players can either drink up or sell it for gold. I mean like rugby, people should be drunk while playing Keg Brawl, right? Right. I don’t mind warping to the Mists, then Lion’s Arch, then Hoelbrak just to play a few rounds of Keg Brawl, but at least give me some little 100 proof carrot juice for doing so.
What is important is a lot of developer time has been taken to create pretty amazing racial cities? There are tons of voiced conversations, tons of street scenes, and not to mention pretty fantastic architecture. It will be sad if ease of access and lack of racial city activities distills all 6 cities into Lion’s Arch. I think that the home instance and activities like Keg Brawl (with good rewards!) will go along way towards drawing people home.