Arena.Net: Set my people free

I’ve been revisiting Guild Wars lately (btw, the Zaishen quests seemed to reactivate things somewhat, so kudos there). If you’ve been reading these pages for a while, you know GW has a special place in my heart. No, I’m not married to it, it’s not even my girlfriend or a crush or anything like that. But it’s been a good friend, and we had a lot of fun together over the years.

Nobody’s perfect, though. However, just as in real life, you glance over other people’s imperfections just to maintain your sanity and play well with others. The problem with GW-as-a-friend is, to put it quite simply, it’s a very bossy friend. It’s a good friend, no doubt about it, fun to be with, special and entertaining. But there’s no escaping its rails; most of the time you do things the way GW wants you to do them, and may God help you.

With GW2 around the corner (ha!) maybe there’s still time for Arena.Net to take a look at the new friend they’re building up, and maybe make it a little bit more accomodating. The dynamics, I think, definitely need to change and players need to be given more freedoms.

Freedom of Movement: This is a given, and from what I’ve gleaned in previews and interviews, something is tasking itself to improve. We have to think that it will be 2032 when GW2 comes out (I kid, I kid) and we really can’t have an ultra-instanced world which, to top it off, is exceedingly bound by geometry and invisible walls. Players need to be free to jump, run or walk, drop off any height at their own peril, swim and so on. The world needs to change as well. Tyria in GW is a wonderful, amazing setting… that feels much less than it could be thanks to being completely shattered by instancing. It could be so much more, and feel more cohesive. I’m extremely glad this is being taken care of for GW2, but until we can see it, the warning remains.

Freedom of Appearance: Players can’t be so severely bound by their class even down to their very looks. This needs to change. If an Assassin wants to spend the money and get herself some lighter and prettier Elementalist armor to chill at her Guild Hall and not look ‘business’ all the time, then that’s her own problem and her own money. Introduce penalties for wearing ‘heavier’ armor, if you wish, but do not take the option out altogether. This is a large immersion breaker that is usually overlooked.

Freedom of Allegiance: I’m pretty sure chaining Guild membership to accounts instead of characters was a move that originally had something to do with PvP and to prevent spying of some sort (just as in “other games” if you roll in a PvP server you can’t have characters spread between factions). But come on now, we must admit that nowadays this is totally silly and if CCP manages to exist just fine with characters being able to sleaze their way into an enemy corp, taking it over and having a bake sale with their assets… I think can survive a few players having separate characters in separate guilds. This is almost a no-brainer.

Freedom of Choice in Equipment: I fully realize I might get some flak for this, but I’ll say it anyway – “Normalizing” all the weapons and equippables just so they all have the same stats and only differences in some bonuses is silly. It’s silly because it’s a false choice; it suggests a choice when in reality there isn’t much of one. I’m sure this was also done to keep PvP being “about skill”, but FotM builds, silly tactics and other maladies override this anyway. This is also another large immersion breaker that is often passed over; the fact that all weapons of its own class inflict the same damage, and there might be 300 scythes available at the high end, but they’re all about the same. Sure, one might say “Ah, but customization, inscribables, blah, blah…” which is true up to a point. The point of finding a green weapon that for some obscure reason can’t be customized or inscribed or blah-blah’ed, so your options are to use it as is, or try to sell it. Even if it’s not a game that revolves around gear and items, itemization needs to be critically reviewed for GW2.

Freedom from Trade: Notice I said “from” and not “of”. We already have Freedom of Trade in GW. Limited, but freedom nonetheless. What I mean by Freedom “from” Trade is that players need a way to avoid spending (x) hours standing like an idiot in one place hitting the lacking trade interface until some buyer is miraculously found. Other games manage to avoid this just fine by creating a place tended by NPCs in which players can drop off the items they wish to sell and, for a modest fee, those items get added into a list that other players can browse and purchase from. Other games managed to do this almost a decade ago. This is yet another no brainer. Don’t wanna call it “Auction House”? Fine, call it something else. Whatever you want. But this also needs to be revised. Of course, leave the trade interface and mechanics existing as it is, in parallel, just so we don’t drive away all the scammers, but players need to be free from this madness and need to be given a way to offload their items easily other than to trash them at a vendor.

Freedom of Speech: Yes, I completely understand that I’m reaching by calling this “Freedom of Speech”, but I couldn’t think of any other way to say – Fix the chat system. Zone-wide, character voice channels are a bad idea. A channel for emotes is unnecessary. Introduce a “/say” with limited range so what I say is not heard by “|x|Mongo The Magnificent|x| [cOcK]” a game mile away at the other end of the zone.

That’s about it. I have no doubt that if manages to improve at least somewhat in these points, GW2 will be a fantastic game that will give any other game a serious run for their money, if not surpass them altogether. But on the other hand, if these points are not improved we run the serious risk of ending up with another GW in a prettier disguise; which is not bad  at all, but would it be enough in 2385 AD when it comes out?

25 thoughts on “Arena.Net: Set my people free”

  1. GW has Freedom of Choice of Equipment. It’s the only MMORPG I know that does. Because of the normalisation of stats combined with the way the skill system works, it means there are multiple weapons at the high end. Every other game I know of has only one weapon at the high end for a given class spec. Every other weapon is worse: it’s not actually at the high end.

    Take the standard Shock/Axe W/E build. You can go with I think five ways on how you itemise your axe, depending really on what you’re expecting to fight. Compare this to say, WoW, where a sword-specced Arms warrior at the moment is only looking at the Voldrethar sword as their weapon. Any other weapon is subpar compared to Voldrethar, and is just a placeholder.

    This is something that needs to be grokked though. Until people recognise what high end actually means, most think they have a freedom of choice when in fact they have a progression of choices towards one single choice. They choose whether to fill the gap with something slightly subpar until they can finally get that one piece of top-tier equipment, or whether to wait it out for it.

    The ones with the ‘false choices’ are the other MMOs, I’m sorry to say.

  2. I don’t particularly agree with that. I think it’s a bit discouraging to know beforehand that once you get your hands on a high end weapon, shield, focus item or what have you… then that’s it. You won’t find anything better.

    Sure, you can customize it to a degree, but there’s only a few “universal” customizations you can do which will serve you all across the board, while the majority are both situational and random (aka, chances to trigger something, or reductions to blind or bleeding which are of no use if you’re not getting blinded or bled). Plus, many of the very high end weapons, as they are now, are green and not customizable via inscription or upgrades.

    So if I get my hands on a green scythe, for example, I know that’s it, and that any other green scythe I could possible come across in the game it’s either going to be exactly the same stats with a different skin, or have slightly different effects I may or may not care about (lifestealing, sundering, +1/-1 energy and so on). I fully realize GW is not a ‘gear’ game, and that’s fine. We need non-gear games. But I think there’s no need to go to this other extreme and making all the offerings bland and almost identical amongst their own classes.

    It’s a skills game, so the problem with itemization is like saying “You can capture over 400 skills, but they all cause more or less the same effect, some a little less, some a little more, but that’s it”. There’d be very little incentive in going out, if one were so inclined, and get those skills.

    And of course I agree with you that on ‘gear’ games there will always be The One Weapon(tm) which all players will tend to gravitate towards and eventually acquire. But it’s the same problem; those games have a false choice because to have maximum efficiency, there’s only one choice. And GW presents a false choice as well on the other extreme, because by making all items almost identical in their own families, the only “choices” are largely cosmetic and there’s really not much to look forward to once you start getting to the high end.

    I’m sorry if thinking …”I can get the high end scythe that has a chance to sunder, the high end scythe that steals life, the high end scythe that generates energy on hit… but they all have the exact same damage range and many even look the same”… doesn’t sound terribly exciting.

  3. What’s the solution to that, though? If they keep increasing weapon damage they’ll need to scale monster and player hp, and we’re back to the problems of WoW, mudflation and item-centric character progression.

  4. Let me illustrate with a real life example: I just ran my A/D through the main quest line of Prophecies for the hell of it (well, actually to fill up the Flameseeker book, but same deal). I got to King Dwarf and exchanged my Deldrimor token for one of these:

    Now, if I were playing this from the beginning and went through Factions, Nightfall and Eye of the North in order, can we realistically say I would find anything better? No, we can’t. Sure I would find similar top end scythes, but I already know they will either be Lifestealing (which I don’t care about and can’t remove from it), Sundering (which is nice, but a proc so not reliable) or another +1/-1 energy (which I already have, so what’s the point). I can go through 3 expansions back to back, visit any and every forsaken place there is and won’t find anything better than what I got by finishing the first campaign.

    It can make -some- sense now, with all the GW expansions already behind us, but if GW2 follows a similar model with the expansions (and it should), I could finish GW2, get my weapon or whatever I choose, and then later go through (x) GW2 expansions over (y) years and not find anything better. I would find weapons that do the same damage and with effects I may or may not care about, but that’s it. Years of this.

  5. It sounds like you’re Yet Another DikuMMO Player who doesn’t “get” that Guild Wars is NOT a DikuMMO. (Not an MMO for that matter, but I digress…)

    All I’m reading here is “QQ it’s instanced and my gear doesn’t matter.” So? Why does gear have to matter in every effing game? Actually, gear can matter if you seek out gear that will make your build even more efficient. It isn’t about getting your “epic” +2K Glowy Sword of Glowy Uberness and Macross’ Shoulderpads of DOOM. There are plenty of run-of-the-mill DikuMMOs for that. It’s about gaining a diverse collection of skills and making a skill deck that works for the situation, with your group and hopefully against your adversaries. Like a CCG, Magic: the Gathering style, or I suppose these days it could share similarities with Wizard101.

    Look at some of the most effective builds and the fact that each weapon type has a maximum dps isn’t a factor. What is a factor are the weapons’ modifications and how they synergize with that build to make the skills cast faster, last longer, or add more damage to your weapon’s strike. It’s not the bare weapon that matters like it would in any generic fantasy DikuMMO.

    On my monk it took me quite awhile to get just the right staff, scepter and focus item to go along with the particular healing build I use in PvE, and they make a helluva difference with 20% chance of half casting time and half refresh time. For PvP I had to go out a long time to get just the right protection staff to match the build I use there too. And just the right shield that will give me as much extra armor as possible without any extra mod that I can’t use as a monk. I have a favorite build with my dervish and it took a long time to find just the right scythe to complement that build, and yes it makes a noticeable difference if I use the same build with a different scythe.

    Too many players assumed (and we know what happens when we assume, right?) that GW is/was an EQ clone DikuMMO with no monthly fee. Just because it’s a 3D fantasy RPG with a hotbar doesn’t mean it will play just like every DikuMMO out there.

    Then again, GW2 is sounding more and more like WoW with art and no monthly fee, which makes me sad…

  6. Freedom of Appearance – I feel only LOTRO’s costume system really allows for this. EotN tries to help though with sunglasses, glowy arms, and shiz like that. Also, like WAR’s class specific armor, the big reason that this is so, is again for PvP… players don’t want to have to decide whether that’s an elementalist or an assassin in elementalist gear. Sure they could allow you to look like something else outside of PvP (and they do somewhat with hats and tonics, etc., but that’s more dev time.

    Freedom of Allegiance – I don’t think that was the design reason for tying an account to a guild. I think the design reason is because PvP players continually re-roll characters. If you had to be re-invited every single time… Regardless, I like this system. I like knowing that I can fiddle around with alts and automatically be with my cool guild without waiting for an officer to be on. I hope it does not change in GW2.

    Freedom of Choice in Equipment – If you read a lot of the GW2 hints closely… it seems that PvE will have a more diku-style gear program, but PvP gear will be a flat amount. I am not sure about this. If they go logarithmic, I think it will be great. It is fun getting better loot. If they follow WoW’s power level… not so much.

    Freedom of Speech – Your gripe is more a problem with instancing. I think GW’s system works fine, and is great for when you want to heckle the other team. I think that the chat system will have to change in the persistent GW2 zones. Plus, IMHO, my favorite chat UI is from GW. I love how it works. Very easy to turn channels off that bug you.

    I know this comment is long enough, but I think that A.Net are well aware of all these things. They say GW2 second half of this year (likely after Aion launch).

  7. I hope they are aware of that, and to be frank most of the bits and pieces of information I’ve read all point to that. We’ll see.

    And for the record, I don’t think there’s anything “Diku” about removing complication and making a game more accessible and straightforward. In the very few points where I rag on GW, I don’t rag on it because “it’s not Diku”. I rag on it because it’s (opinion) needlessly complicated. Whether removing those layers of complication puts the game closer or farther from Diku is completely irrelevant to me.

    10 or 20 years ago, yeah sure I would’ve played something needlessly complicated because it was different, just to try to figure the mechanics and their execution out. I had the time. Nowadays I’ll take straightforward complexity over layers of complication 10 times out of 10.

    Complication does not equal complexity. GW2 should remove its complications while retaining its complexity, and there’s nothing Diku about that. It’s common sense.

  8. Freedom from Grind: Let players jump in and experiment. The instant level 20s for PvP was a great idea, and I’d like to see a PvE version of that. Of course, content would have to be limited, but it’s a valuable way to show players what they can expect later in the game without burning hours grinding through the levels. Yes, GW is great in the leveling game, yes, it’s fast compared to nearly anything else, but there are still those who just want to jump in and play without dealing with the leveling mechanics. If nothing else, instant capped characters could be a tool to fight (or aikido into usefulness) the silly notion that “the game begins at the level cap”.

    Freedom to Change: GW already has free flexible respecs (in town, anyway), and the ability to eventually change your secondary. I’d like to see the ability to change *both* your primary and secondary class any time you’d be able to respec. Let people play different builds with the character they have been playing with. This is somewhere between the instant characters above and the Final Fantasy Tactics notion of class changing. People get invested in characters, but may still want to make changes, especially if they wind up getting some interesting loot. (So instead of shuffling it off to an alt or selling it, they could actually play with their new shiny toys as soon as they can make it back to town. There’s already precedent for that where anyone can wield anything, just with different levels of effectiveness.) Why make them create alts to experience different play options? (Though, keep the ability to make alts; people like them for different reasons.)

  9. I’d really like Freedom From Trade. And I say this as someone who’s routinely super-rich in MMOs. It’s too damn much work and I’d like to be able to stop worrying about it.

  10. I don’t like logarithmic upgrades. They have them in Free Realms (armor, not weapons), and the upgrades feel so slight that they pressure a choice between upgrades or freedom of appearance. I often find myself discarding a point of defense to keep a reasonable colour scheme.

    A diku-style gear system would be a shame. All they really needed was the ability to, with effort, make a custom weapon with perfect stats for your build. This was too difficult in some cases and unavailable in others.

  11. Yeah, I’m also going to chime in in favour of the current weapon system. It’s nice to be able to choose the weapon I want to use (whether that be for modifiers or just appearance) rather than periodically swapping my weapon for an objectively better model whenever available.

    Besides, guild wars just isn’t a game about character advancement; it’s character customisation. Diku isn’t the only way to design a game.

  12. All comments below for PvE.

    Movement: agree on increased movement options. Instancing is good and bad, good in that you don’t have the “monsters pop back up a minute after you kill them / boss camping” of other games. Bad in that people can’t freely wander around. Only solution I can see to have the best of both is non-instanced but stuff doesn’t spawn unless the spawn area is clear of all players, and monsters re-spawn in random locations within a given area so camping becomes pointless. That needs a large and seamless world too.

    Appearance: absolutely NOT! Everyone would just be a generic mish-mash of armor types. While actual character features (hair, face, etc.) could be completely interchangeable and probably will be more like Aion, armor should stay class specific. Leave the “can be any profession” to games like Free Realms (fun game!) please.

    Allegiance: nah, too much hassle being in multiple guilds, get another account if you want to do that.

    Equipment: I think the problem is really more that the various mods, as Julian mentioned, aren’t really all that different or, for many of them, are even useful. Improvements here could be to make a wider range of weapon damage stats, with the higher ones only dropping towards the later parts of the campaigns or maybe a wide selection of useful mods only dropping later in the game, but max damage weapons being available earlier. I like the current GW way, but it does need tweaking, as the only real reason to get other weapons right now is really the skins or hunting for the right mod.

    Trade: completely and totally agree!!!! They should spend some of that money from the new (over-priced) item shop stuff to put in a limited Xunlai (auction) House in GW1. Right now it is smarter to just sell most everything to the merchant as in the time it takes to sell something (if you can even find a buyer) you can easily make far more just killing stuff. Auction house of some type is a must have for GW2, I won’t touch it unless it does.

    Speech: I think Julian’s ideas would work fine as long as there are other channels for trade, party grouping, etc., but make those truly global across the game. Right now I think most players use team / guild / alliance channels for the most part and just ignore much of the local chat, so some improvements in chat options would be welcome.

  13. I think looking at things overall, the main issue we’re dancing around is over-specialization. I think (opinion) that some specialization is fine, but there is such a thing as too much of of and that’s the point where what once started as layers of complexity, which added depth to the game, turn into layers of complication which really add nothing of note and are there as barriers.

    Example: Bleeding. Bleeding is essentially a DoT that can be triggered by some skills, or some skills under some conditions. Problem is that it’s not used as a DoT. Instead it’s generally used as a condition that needs to be present to trigger something else (Ex. a Deep Wound skill further down the attack chain). Bleeding by itself is negligible. It can be mitigated or even eliminated by all classes who equip even a modest heal. It has little reason to exist other than to set up the conditions for a later Deep Wound, which is a more ‘meaty’ skill.

    Bleeding has a duration, which gives you a longer window in which to throw the Deep Wound, and this window can be expanded by the appropriate weapon upgrade (33% longer duration). It doesn’t increase the D, just the T.

    So I ask, other than for its own sake, what’s the point of having Bleeding in this current state since it does no other thing than set a condition for a later skill? What’s the point of having it if substantial sections of the bestiary are immune to bleeding anyway, rendering your chain rather useless?

    Let’s not beat around the bush too much; real, in-game uses of bleeding are to set up a Deep Wound and little else. If I want to increase bleeding damage for whatever reason, I can’t. If I want to increase the time window, I have to waste a weapon upgrade “slot”.

    Something like this is what I mean when I say “needless complication”, because those are barriers and limits that do not add depth or choice. I read around (can’t remember where) that they were looking to simplify skills for GW2 and something like this – which isn’t by far the most complicated skill or chain that depends on conditions – is a great example why that simplification needed to be done. GW at times feels over-specialized for the hell of it. It needs to be simplified for its own sake, and has nothing to do with Diku or anything else. The system is complicated on purpose just to give the appearance of complexity, but it’s not. It’s complication.

  14. Addendum: And if I -do- want to use a weapon slot to increase the bleeding window, I can’t go to a merchant and buy one. I have to either be lucky finding a similar weapon that has the correct upgrade -and- have the correct salvaging kit to extract the upgrade. Or I can spend anything from 1 minute to 10 years asking in Trade if anyone is selling the upgrade.

    Needless complication.

  15. @Julian

    “Now, if I were playing this from the beginning and went through Factions, Nightfall and Eye of the North in order, can we realistically say I would find anything better? No, we can’t.”

    Actually, we can. Ebon Scythe Snathe for fighting off Warriors, and Icy Scythe Snathe for synergies with Spinal Shivers/Shivers of the Dead builds if they’re not looking at Winter or it’s being denied.

    But honestly, your argument has boiled down to, “I like MUDflation.” That’s you making an opinion call, not an argument for why it is better than the alternative.

    And this is before we get to the fact that divorcing item quality from the items themselves – the PvP gear for example – allows Freedom of Appearance to an extent. When you introduce MUDflation to gear, you essentially impose identical outfits when people are actually playing the game (as opposed to roleplay outfits, a seperate issue). If I make a PvP character, I can make statistically identical characters who look entirely different. This is a good thing for Freedom of Appearance.

    ““You can capture over 400 skills, but they all cause more or less the same effect, some a little less, some a little more, but that’s it”. There’d be very little incentive in going out, if one were so inclined, and get those skills.”

    On the contrary. Consider the following two skills.

    A does 1 damage and has a 1 second cooldown.
    B does 5 damage and has a 5 second cooldown.
    C does 5 damage over 5 seconds and has a 5 second cooldown.

    They do the same dps, but are desirable for different purposes. B is much better for burst, A is better for filling in gaps that other longer cooldown abilities may leave you with to maintain pressure, or for proccing on-hit effects, and C is better for a hide and seek playstyle.

    Depending on what playstyle you felt like engaging in, you’d seek out different skills. Certainly, you might not have an incentive to collect every skill, but you have an incentive to search out skills nonetheless, despite them being normalised.

  16. I fully believe that ArenaNet is aware of how people are playing their game and what they want out of the sequel. But I do understand why they made the decisions they did for Guild Wars. From the beginning, A.Net thought they were making a superior Diablo-like that lead to a PvP endgame. Of course, it turns out the Venn diagram of PvE and PvP players only overlaps a little, so the focus changed over the next three boxes. GW2 gives them an opportunity to have more flexibility is separating PvE and PvP, but they made a valid decision for the current game.

  17. Julian, I think you may be missing the point of Guild Wars a little bit. The game is designed to be a more horizontal than vertical in progression. The limited item stats make the combat more about skill. Twinks ruin PvP (unless you’re the twink), and Guild Wars is designed to be anti-twink.

    It sounds like your the kind of guy that likes to get his epic lewt of noobslaying, with a 0.001% drop rate via endless raiding and then go berserk in arenas. If that’s the case, then you are playing the wrong game. Guild Wars has rare drops but it’s all about the skins, not the stats. This makes grinding for cool gear ‘optional’, which is a huge positive in my option.

    The only thing I agree with in your post is the trade stuff. Guild Wars really sux in the equipment trade department, which is something I really hope they change in GW2.

  18. The discussion of Bleeding reveals a very PvE-centric grasp of the game. It’s true that Bleeding in and of itself is easily mitigated, and it’s also true that a lot of the spike skills use Bleeding to set up Deep Wound or some other condition, but the real issue with bleeding is that it can both act as a cover and be covered. As a result, within a PvP scenario where part of the strategy is to force the healers to use energy, constant conditions like Bleeding will put pressure on the backline. Eventually, the backline crumbles, toons start to die, and a team emerges victorious.

    PvP builds can be primarily pressure or spike. However, a really good pressure build will have the ability to spike, which means that several conditions will be spread around the team. When you can see that the opposing team is having a hard time keeping over 50% health, then you can call a spike to take down a good target.

    Skills have been reworked significantly over the course of the game so as to keep the PvP balanced, especially with both the introduction of new skills into the game via the new chapters and the inventiveness of the players. Previously, any PvP skill adjustment affected PvE. This sometimes made PvE areas extremely difficult, especially if an underused skill received a buff. Now, though, there’s more separation between PvE and PvP versions of the skills.

    GW2 will supposedly use fewer skills for PvP, which will greatly simplify the problem of balancing the skills. This will be a good thing, I believe, but hopefully we’ll see similar kinds of inventiveness with respect to the builds of both characters and teams.

  19. I guess one of the main differences of opinion we’re having is that where you guys see customization I see overspecialization. “This is your weapon against warriors. That is your weapon against warriors running (x) build. That other one is your weapon against warriors running (x) build when you wanna counter with (y) build. This is your weapon against Rangers. Of these other two, one is for Assassins who Shadow Step a lot and the other one is for Assassins who don’t. This weapon synergizes well with your Bleeding build, that other does it with your Blinding build…”

    Come on now.

    You are raising very good points and they’re all well taken, but I do take exception to this: “It sounds like your the kind of guy that likes to get his epic lewt of noobslaying, with a 0.001% drop rate via endless raiding and then go berserk in arenas.” because that’s way far from the truth.

    And I’m not even saying I don’t like horizontal progression, but what I am saying is that I dislike -this- horizontal progression because I feel it’s largely cosmetic and overspecialized. That doesn’t make a me a fan of vertical or a Diku-head or anything of the sort because I don’t think it’s either GW’s way of doing things -or- Diku. It’s not a XOR.

    More thoughts when I finish waking up in a few hours :)

  20. About the gear relation. AoC had this one feature from Guild Wars, that made it the reason I continued to play…

    In Age of Conan, gear did not matter except for visuals.

    But, thanks to the rants and raves of the whiners wanting gear to mean something, AoC will soon become World of Conan Warcraft, thanks to NEEDING specific gear to get through levels, and the constant gear grind…plus combat was physically slowed down to accommodate this thus getting the whole WAR a REAL TIME COMBAT system? Stupid.

    I will always appreciate what Guild Wars has done, and I consider it a killer online game in it’s own right, and way better than any other MMO on the market.


  21. Freedom of Movement: Agree.

    Freedom of Appearance: Disagree. It’s immersion-breaking to see mages wearing plate mail, not to mention makes it much harder to pick out particular classes on the battlefield.

    Freedom of Allegiance: Agree/disagree. Account-wide guild membership removes the retarded process of having to invite all your alts to the guild, and to have more than half of the guild roster as really being some dude’s alts (especially consider how often people roll PvP characters in Guild Wars). It’s quite difficult to keep track of the names of everyone’s alts etc. On the other hand, it would be nice to be part of multiple guilds. However, you’d have to have a restriction that you need to be in a guild for XX duration before being able to play league GvG matches.

    Freedom of Choice in Equipment: When you say something like this, I wonder why you’re playing Guild Wars at all. First of all, if you want to grind and get some weapon that does 20% more damage than the weapon I have access to, then you’re playing the wrong game, please go back to WoW.

    Secondly, Guild Wars is one of few games where you are able to customize the skins for your weapons completely independently of the stats, giving you *ultimate freedom of choice*, instead of forcing you to take an ugly weapon because you like its stats, or forcing you to take a weapon with subpar stats because it looks good.

    Thirdly, your points about Green weapons are moot. They are not the “high end” weapons, they are meant to be easily achievable, nice looking, max stats weapons. Inscribable weapons of the same stats will cost you more to put together, but will potentially look much cooler and can have stat combinations that the green weapons can’t. What exactly is wrong with that?

    Freedom from Trade: Yes, agree, auction houses are good. However, other games can actually learn something from the trading system in Guild Wars, which is that there is a price guideline set by the NPC’s according to supply and demand, to prevent people from inflating prices randomly.

    Freedom of Speech: I… can not comprehend what you are talking about when you say “fix the chat system”. Guild Wars has the most hands down user-friendly, intuitive chat interface of any online game that I have played. In regards to the example you gave, yes, they could introduce one more tab to be *really* local…. or you could just PM whoever you wanted to talk to, or talk in team chat, or guild chat, or alliance chat.

    And in response to one of your comments, what game are you comparing Guild Wars to when you say that it has needless layers of complexity? The fact that you don’t need a spreadsheet to optimize your damage, and that there are only 8 skills on your skill bar to manage at one time, and the condition system which minimizes the number of stupid icons that people have to remember the function of, etc, seem to make it a lot easier in my book than other games such as, say, WoW. Now, it could stand to be made simpler still – namely by removing all the useless skills. But compared to other MMO’s? I think not.

  22. So if I want a better weapon, that’s grind, but if I want a different skin or a different upgrade it’s not a grind? I can pick those up from any vendor right?

    You guys are telling me to abandon the vertical rat race not because it’s vertical but because it’s a grindy race, at the same time that I’m being told to embrace the horizontal search for upgrades, skins and little cosmetic thingies that for some magical pixie dust reason apparently is not a race or a grind.

    Does not compute much does it?

  23. There is a difference between optional grind (horizontal) and compulsory grind (vertical). Guild Wars is designed to be mostly optional, whereas WoW is mostly compulsory. There is no right or wrong, it’s based on your own preference. Your post makes it sound like you want to convert a horizontal game into a vertical, in which case I recommend to just play a vertical MMO (i.e. WoW).

  24. I haved played GW since it’s release and am still playing to this day. It’s non-pay by the month is the best. On the above points I will give my opinions.

    Weapons- I think the weapons sets are fine. I like the fact that its based on cooler skins = more $ instead of more power. The introduction of perfect salvage kits fixed most problems for me and I’m fine buying perfect ods and building the perfect weapon set for each build.

    Armor- Armor restriction here is a turn-off for me. I think that any character should be able to wear any kind of armor they feel like. Like Julian said just give me different spec alterations to go with it, heavey armor=slower casting time and so on.

    Instancing- I beleive instancing is only good if people who meet in a common area can share current quests. I love playing AoC and finding some poor soul trying to kill a tough boss and being able to help. Felt like real life! After some time we’d have a band of random advenurers riding around and killing thing together. I felt sad when it was time to break up. In GW sometimes I’m relieved to leave a group and get the chest cause it took so long to assemble the group in the first place.

    Freedom of Movement- Big huge plus here! Needs to be more like TES:Oblivion where can ride anywhere you want. Also being able to enter buildings would be nice.

    Level Cap- I never understood the purpose of a level cap. Why even have one? Perhaps someone could explain to me. Perhaps having no cap would be good. Like if original GW’s had no cap then a character you’ve played for 4 years would be like level 467. It wouldnt make you more powerful but every who sees you would know youve been around. The respect factor would be great.

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