Short Term, Long Term, Transitions

City of Heroes needed to implement “enhancement diversification,” a massive nerf in which marginal diversity was achieved by taking away the strongest options, for the long term health of the game. It was a good balance decision, but when the transition happened, it really hurt to log in and see your damage halved.

Guild Wars 2 is making good changes in the big April 15 update. The wardrobe is more or less exactly what I have asked for, the new traits are a good thing, the new sPvP build interface is more streamlined, unified WvW ranks make WvW much more alt-friendly, and let’s give ArenaNet the benefit of the doubt that all the other changes like runes and sigils are similarly good.

In the short term, you need to rebuild every character several times. Your PvE traits were reset, your sigils and runes may have changed, your sPvP build and traits were reset, your WvW ranks were reset, your… I was excited about learning the new options for a character then found it extremely discouraging to need to address three sets of options for each of eight classes, both new options and changes to old options, and then changes to old content.

In a way, this is a breaking point for players. If the newness excites you, this is probably the game for you, have a great time. If you look at re-learning the game as a huge slog, this might be a good time to explore 2014′s new MMO offerings. Or go outside.

: Zubon

Also, at the moment I’m kind of bitter that there are now 10 options for dailies including sPvP, rather than about a dozen plus sPvP.

17 thoughts on “Short Term, Long Term, Transitions

  1. Ravious

    Yup, no idea what they are doing with dailies. That just seems silly to lower the rotation amount. I can’t imagine many people seeing that as a good change.

    Reply
  2. bhagpuss

    I agree. Overall I’ve enjoyed re-fitting all my characters although my attention was wandering by the time I got to my Thief and Warrior and I still haven’t looked at my second ranger or my Engineer. I was in the “it’s not broken, it doesn’t need fixing” boat, which is what I still think, but no MMO dev ever wants to captain that ship so I am inured to perpetual fiddling for the sake of fiddling and as that goes I’ve seen a lot worse.

    I don’t give a toss about the wardrobe either way, but I think there are a lot of people who very much don’t like how it’s been handled. Some very bitter complaints about it on the forums and with some sound reasons it seems to me. Most of those were people who were really looking forward to it until they found out how it worked so its an objection to implementation not principle.

    WvW ranks is a change hard to argue against. Runes and Sigils, most people won’t even notice I think.

    The Dailies, though… what’s that about? It sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb as a pointless and unnecessary change. It would have made sense for them to ADD some not take some away.

    Reply
  3. Jeromai

    Amusingly enough, all I remember from Enhancement Diversification was that my invul/ tank was no longer a god. I got into City of Heroes just barely a month or less before it hit, so I never had time to get used to a character with 6 slot damage. I was far too busy with being amazed that the game could contain such a broken concept as an invul tank being able to herd every last effing mob on a world map into a dumpster.

    My lowbie tank never quite made it to that level before ED, but I -do- remember surviving unsidekicked in a mission that was about 20 levels higher where every last mob was deep deep purple. From an outside, unattached perspective, it was obvious that ED and fixing invul -needed- to come. I also suspected it was a change for the very long term, since they could now let you slowly build up to those levels of power again when Inventions came along – previously, there was just nowhere up to go because you were already THERE.

    GW2-wise: In theory, you don’t -have- to do all 8 classes or characters at once. I fixed up my essential mains to a passable standard and left everything else for later, personally. Trying to rush for Runes of Strength now, for example, would leave me bankrupt. The possibilities for necro are still blowing my mind since I haven’t decided one way or another what I want that character for.

    Loving the wardrobe here, though it hasn’t freed up the bank space I thought it would, since I’m a little too miserly to give up the free change per skin. Used it twice so far to really prettify two sets of armor/looks, still only using the free charges from PvP rank and I’m really happy with how it works.

    I’m a little miffed about the town clothes tonics being undyeable. Gandalf the Grey charr is no more. Hope they’ll eventually consider reusing those assets and making them into dyeable armor or something some day. Fortunately the greater part of the town clothes I had made the conversion into helmet skins, but I can understand why others who got the ridiculous color schemes of the endless tonics forced on them would be angry and unhappy.

    The only folks really happy about the streamlined daily change are those who previously were compelled to finish every last one of them per day. And yeah, they’re out there, I think I know two on my friends list.

    Me, I’m feeling the pinch of lack of options just a little. Used to be able to complete 5 without an issue, probably hit 8-10 in the course of a day and add on 4 more if I felt like PvPing. Now the maximum is 10, period, and I’ll have to hit PvP and/or WvW every day if I want that or just end up settling for 5.

    It’s a change for the long term, I guess. I think players were separating too far along an AP curve exponentially, depending on how many dailies they did. Those that did them all were hitting 16k-20k+. Those who did most were in the 11k-15k range. Everyone else who skipped days or did the minimum, I suspect were in the 5k-9k range. And folks are starting to judge dungeons based on that as a very twisted (and off-the-mark) guideline. Hence, the 10k total AP limit and a cap on how much AP is possible per day from dailies.

    Reply
  4. Leohan Rush

    Background and Player History
    ——————————
    I am a long time player and major supporter of Arena Net I have run a community within the games for 7 years and spent a large chunk of my time and money enjoying the people around me and the experience Anet as provided. Guild Wars is truly a unique experience that as enriched so many life’s.

    Guild Wars 1
    /age: 14,044 hours over the past 85 months (7 years)
    /money: 3 GW1′s/ 6 Expansions/ /Bonus Mission Pack/ 26 toon slots/ All Costumes. = $630 or so

    Guild Wars 2
    /age: 3,914 hours past 600 days (1 year and 8 months/ since beta weekends)
    /money: Collectors Edition / Digital Heroic Edition/ Digital Deluxe Edition/ $320 Buying Gems/ 3 Novels/ Original Soundtrack/ GW2 Mouse Pad. = $1,650 or so.

    ====================
    The Wardrobe System and how it makes me feel.
    ——————————
    When first hearing about the system (GW2.1 update) it felt like finally Anet gets it, we are getting the game that was Anet vision to begin with. However the current implementation is not what should have happened.
    Changing a product people bought with their hard earned money to something we did not pay for is not something I thought Anet was capable of. I am all for making things better. However the current system as downgraded town clothes purchases people bought in good faith towards the company. Making a $5 to $10 item in the store into a trading post tonic item is shocking.

    This one decision as brought into question, for me and others, if financial support towards the game is viable. If something is paid for there is a understanding between the two parties that the product paid for will remain in a constant state.
    Example; I do not buy a car, than 3 months later told by the dealer that they are changing my model to a moped for the sake of the environment.
    My guild members of 150+ roster are also questioning their past support, if Anet is trust worthy of any future store purchases.

    Now the game is a digital product and digital companies think they can do whatever they see fit as its in the terms of use that they can. However there comes into question responsibility to honor the customer, to respect the customer and to keep the trust.
    There are deadlines to be made, and people to answer to on the developing side. However not delaying an update to a game when you know full well it is not ready and is going to hurt your long time business was not a good choice.
    The company knew that this was going to be bad, as they are were offering refunds before the update.
    https://help.guildwars2.com/entries/45944258-Town-Clothes

    This update as brought in so many good features, but being over shadowed by one glaring choice, that needs to be acknowledged and changed.
    The man hours and money need to be put in, to correct a design flaw in the current iteration of the town clothes/wardrobe.

    ====================
    How to Fix it in my opinion.
    ——————————

    * The current town clothes that are tonics, need to be included into the outfit section of the wardrobe.
    * The Outfit wearable need to have customized square for each piece like before.
    * Being able to dye each piece, like it is now, needs to remain.

    This is easier said then done. Anet as made the current choice, for a reason as maybe they wanted to do it one way, but had to compromise for now.
    Someone at Anet needs to speak up and say something, to let us know you are least trying to make it better.

    ====================
    Conclusion / No Money being Spent.
    ——————————
    I was buying Outfits with the old system in the gem store, but with the current system, unless there is an expansion pack. All faith and support towards Anet through the gem store is lost from me. All this money I spent supporting the game was worth it. However this feeling of being cheated out of my money buying town clothes is something as a consumer, I have to deny Anet for any more future funding.

    Still be playing the game and having fun, with the GW community. However will just be sucking up bandwidth and costing Anet money for now on, until I get the town clothes back I paid for in good faith. Thank you Anet for so many years of fun, I do hope to continue the fun for many years to come. Thank you for giving me the choice to financially support the game or not to. I really want to, but at this time, can no longer.

    The wardrobe system should have been the crowning example of Anet’s hard work and dedication towards the community. Instead it comes off to a giant gesture of ill will.

    Reply
    1. Zubon Post author

      I have no town clothes other than the free hats and such that have been given out, so I will defer to Leohan on this one.

      Reply
    2. Merus

      Given that they’re offering refunds for town clothes that were affected, I think this is part and parcel of making changes to the game that needed to be made. Town clothes were a failure as a concept, irrelevant to all but town bunnies, and they were built in a way that makes them incompatible with every other kind of item in the game (other than head slot items, which is why they all came through just fine). To fix them, ArenaNet would need to completely rebuild the item, and in that case you’re still not getting the item you paid for, because the item you paid for is fundamentally incompatible with the rest of the game.

      I think this is a melodramatic overreaction. This is a problem with an easy solution – appreciate the time you had with it, and take the money.

      Reply
      1. Leohan Rush

        Appreciate the time I had with the town clothes, this is not some ex-lover we are talking about. This is paid for product, where a mutual understanding the function of said product would work.

        So its to much to ask, for the team of 300 people or more to take the time and make the town clothes/ outfits work with the new system? Its better to alienate the many customers who bought a certain product, with the understanding of its usability.

        If they have to rebuild the items from the ground up because of an oversight, so be it. This is a multi-million dollar company we are talking about not some indie dev just trying to make a buck in this world.

        The wardrobe system is fine, it a nice addition. I still fail to see why a simple function as wearing an item that I paid (real money) to wear can no longer be used in the game. Tonics is the a poor substitute. They may as well just deleted the town clothes out of the game, because that how it feels.

        That’s a nice iPhone 5 you got there, unfortunately the new software as some bugs and will have to take the phone away from you and give you an iPhone 3 instead. Here’s your refund of some gems.

        Gems as a refund, when they took hundreds of dollars from me for the product I paid for. Yup sounds like a smashing deal. How can I trust anything Anet does now through the gem store, if they are willing to pull this stunt.
        What is next, changing Mini Pets system, but since the new system in not compatible all current mini pets are turned into tonics? Here’s your gem refunds.

        Oh by the way if you talk to the NPC and change your town clothes to tonics or outfits, you no longer qualify for the refund. No where in game does it tell you this.

        I can not wait to see the class action lawsuits in Europe as they have very strong consumer rights over there.

        If you didn’t spend money on the product/item, then you won’t understand. I hope anything else someone bought in the gem store does not turn into a tonic, tradable in the trading post, while losing all of its previous functions. That would be a real shame.

        Reply
        1. Vatec

          They’re offering a refund. Hence I fail to see the problem. Ask for your money back.

          They’re not just replacing your car with a moped. They’re replacing your car with a moped and offering a refund if you’re not happy with the replacement. There is BIG difference between those two scenarios….

          Reply
          1. Leohan Rush

            They are not giving my money back. I some how, do not qualify for the refund according to the employee. How magical is that? The refunds are all a big farce.

            All I can do is keep resubmitting, I guess.

            Again read the link.
            https://help.guildwars2.com/entries/45944258-Town-Clothes

            So if you bought a car, and it was replaced with a moped, and your refund was a gift card. After fighting for days or weeks for that gift card. Everything would be cool, perfectly fine? You would roll with it and be chill?

            Hey man, I got a kickstarter, a paypal and a ebay you can spend your money. Now don’t get mad at me, when the product you paid for a Pen get’s changed into a Pencil. I will offer you a refund, but deny that refund and offer you store credit, but deny that store credit refund as well.
            I mean you wanted a Pen, but a Pencil is just as good right? Also I give the appearance to others, that I am offering a refund to you. So you end up looking like the bad person. It’s a win, win for everyone.

            If it does not effect me who cares, right? It’s the attitude to have.

            Reply
            1. Vatec

              Refunding in “store credit” is a very common practice. I see no problem with that. Not getting a refund at all when one has been promised? Sure, that would be a problem.

  5. Merus

    I find it a bit odd that people aren’t making a bigger deal about the unification of sPvP to the rest of the game. (Particularly here – I recall a post about these sorts of changes being necessary on Kill Ten Rats.) I’m curious to see what the long-term effects are, there’s some worrying reports of people deliberately losing in PvP to grind reward tracks, but I’d expect to see quite a lot of new talent in sPvP instead of it being the red-headed stepchild of game modes.

    Reply
    1. Jeromai

      New people, yes. Talent is debatable, as not that many will make a professional go at it.

      Is it good for the health of the game mode regardless? Yes, because a wider spectrum of players playing means more can have fun and not just end up with professionals destroying and discouraging amateurs who think to dip their toes in.

      But for the longest term effect on PvP, I’d have to say the onus is on the designers to create new maps and gameplay objectives other than three capture point conquest. (Instead they REMOVE a map, great, even less variety.)

      Team deathmatch, capture the flag, assault/defend, surely all of these are already established standards in the FPS/PvP sort of genre? We’re getting seasonal experiments, but no introduction of any of this sort to sPvP – no idea why, designers desperately seeking to limit the amount of stuff they have to balance, I guess, but it’s not like the game mode is terribly balanced regardless with team stacking/quitters as a perennial problem, or a minute few established meta builds for each class. Or perhaps they were frightened of diluting their tiny playerbase even further before the introduction of PvP rewards.

      Reply
      1. knivesmith

        They replaced a Conquest map with a TDM map. As a response to some of the TDM routines that has happened and to see how much of the playerbase gravitates to it.

        Team stacking has disappeared, at least for official servers. All 8v8 servers have been removed and the 5v5 servers quickly fill up. If a person leaves their slot is almost immediately filled. The spectator system added since launch solved one or two design problems too. A few complaints on the forums have asked for more 5v5 servers to be opened, at least in the short term.

        Reply
        1. Jeromai

          Except the TDM map is only available on player-created custom arenas, which probably limits the amount of exposure much of the population has to it. I haven’t made an effort to even go find the Courtyard map, for example.

          And it strikes me more as a 1 vs 1 or 2 vs 2 sort of dueling map, rather than TDM, from the description given in the patch notes anyway. I might be entirely mistaken on this count, having never even seen the map, but that’s my impression of “small map with no capture points” anyway.

          I think it’s more accurate to say that team stacking is masked. Removing rank displayed at the end has helped a bit, but I think there’s still a pretty strong incentive to sneakily overstack a team based on observations of who are running strong PvP builds, kill well and so on.

          From a logic standpoint, it’s great that they’ve turned hotjoin into 5 vs 5 only, since if that’s what they’re balancing around and have solo/team queues at that quantity, then that’s what beginners should also learn with and get accustomed to.

          I’ve had better luck actually finding small 1 on 1 fights I might actually win on capture points, for example, versus the usual expected scenario of 3-5 people arriving to zerg me down over time,

          From an emotional grouse standpoint worthy of Bhagpuss, I kinda -liked- the chaos of 8 vs 8. More stuff happening at any one time, more encounters, more targets, faster kill time and ability to pressure a bunker, more excitement and teamwork – sorta havoc squad style, rather than small scale duels. (I guess in FPSes also, I’ve always been the sort to gravitate towards maps with the largest caps and plenty of players on.)

          But yeah, it’s weird to transition from that into formal ranked 5 vs 5, which tends to have a different flow and pace to it.

          Reply
    2. Leohan Rush

      The new changes to the sPvP is to me a long time coming, Anet was murdering it for the past 2 years. Hopefully this 3rd complete redo is the fix needed.
      As a PvPer all the skins I have unlocked and glory gained as been nice to wear, wherever I go now.
      Now they took away glory that’s fine to me, I didn’t use my credit card to gain glory, it was just something that accumulated.

      The wardrobe combining all armor skins from PvE, PvP and WvW is a very nice addition to the game.

      With new blood comes the, “I want the path least resistance”.
      The good old days of GW1, of red resign day so people could farm the Hero title, come to mind. I always went there (Hero Battles) to piss people of by not resigning and fighting.

      Right now lots of people trying out the new system and ways to play, PvP like everything else will calm down after the weeks end.

      Reply
  6. Leohan Rush

    I just want to point out, that is article was about short term and long term transitions.
    In the short term, I not happy, I feel cheated and the current state of some parts of the game is made poorer for it.
    Do I think in the long term that things will be fixed and made better? Yes I do.

    However in the short term, the companies of Anet and Ncsoft have proven that 10 million dollars in profit every quarter is not good enough for them and wish to make less money for certain portion of the player base who cared about the gem store, community and a challenge.

    The Mega Server in it’s current state is a joke. Trying to get guild members on the same map takes way to much effort. Waypoints that are contested don’t show up as contested, so it becomes a guessing game to move around the map. All the boss battles are just giant zerg fests, where things die in 5 seconds. Any sense of challenge or playing the game in a personal manner is gone.
    Trying to find anyone from the same server is even a challenge.

    Having the world bosses on a set schedule, only showing up 3 times a day instead of 12. So you have to be logged in the game 12 hours a day to fight a certain boss you enjoy fighting?
    So much for dynamic events. Even doing the pre-events for the world bosses they do not show up. As it’s not on Anets time.
    What happen to caring about the player’s time?

    In the short term this update was not ready for production. Anet needs to stop beta testing on the production servers. Other companies use open test servers for a reason.

    Anyone can defend Anet to high heaven, but I seriously doubt those people have logged into the game and played it for a large amount of time, while trying to play with friends, guilds or community members you know. Without being in a party.
    Yes trying to get a group of 20 or more people together that you know, is a nightmare in the game, right now.

    If you have not seen this issue or understand what I am talking about than you don’t have or not playing with more than 5 people at a time.

    Reply
    1. Jeromai

      Oddly enough, I got into megaserver Fireheart Rise without effort to join 15+ TTS guildies who wanted to do CoF story mode at the same time in three teams. I didn’t even have to party up with them, I just zoned in and there they were, standing in front of an already opened dungeon.

      There was, admittedly, some minor grousing about paying for two waypoint fees from various players over voice chat. I briefly considered running through Flame Legion to get to the entrance, but consciously chose to be lazy since the completed dungeon was going to return more silver anyway.

      Imo, the world boss schedule could stand to be reworked a little, preferably with more simultaneous bosses spawning at the same time to spread players and offer more variety of choice, rather than one gigantic 15 minute-interval train.

      Especially since there appears to be some overlap – I tried Modnir Ulgoth today and he ended up spawning half an hour later than the designated time because the pre-events decided they wanted to run TWICE before letting him spawn. Thus missing two other bosses in the given sequence.

      TTS seems to be having issues right now coordinating Teq and Wurm back to back as there’s less than an hour spawn time between them, and the leaders seem to want at least an hour to get prepped and train people, etc. This is probably a matter of time and patience before folks figure out some kind of solution, but more frequent spawning at various times would greatly help scheduling, I suspect. (Of course, it may be a sneaky attempt to -slow- progress and prevent the daily farming of these bosses, but it’s a lot less fun without my daily Teq and Wurm attempt, personally.)

      Reply

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