[GW2] Unshiny Armor

There is a clever attrition mechanic in Guild Wars 2 with armor repair. Sure the developers get points for replacing death penalty and energy with something that basically gives players a few tries before getting penalized. It’s really clever because it’s so maddening.

A good, sane player will never repair armor until it becomes broken, where it no longer provides an armor value. Sure players will die every now and then, but apart from dungeons, actual death should occur less than a few times per level. This all depends on player bravado and sought efficiency of play, but in the beta weekends, I seemed to be replacing armor enough that damaged armor was never an issue. In other words, money is wasted on repairing armor, especially if it’s just going to be mulched to a salvage kit anyway.

The reason that devilish designer is so gosh darn clever is there is an icon that makes sure to let me know that my armor has a dent in it. It’s a small thing for sure, but so is my three-year old, who can give me headaches like you wouldn’t believe. The nasty icon just sits there glaring at me making sure I know how unclean I am walking around like a family minivan with a finger-painted “Wash Me” etched in to the dirty glass. It only thinks it pretends to sit there unjudging with no condemnation for trying to avoid gold-sink tricks.

So, I do my duty and head to the armor repair NPC. It’s nice enough that he lets me know I am doing the right thing, like how the auto mechanic makes me feel good for changing a $300 fluid that is still marginally okay. And, I feel stupider for it.


10 thoughts on “[GW2] Unshiny Armor”

  1. Maybe I’m just not reading this correctly, but what is the clever attrition mechanic being talked about in this post?

    The “damaged armor” icon appearing when armor is even slightly damaged, rather than when it is heavily damaged?

    1. The “attrition” being talked about is to your bank account. The cost of travel, the cost of the repairs, and the cost of being out of the action and not earning adds up to quite an amount.

  2. I can’t remember if armor repair is on a straight sliding scale (so that you pay 10% of the Fully Broken fee to repair 10% damage etc) or whether it’s a flat fee no matter how much damage there is. I’ve played MMOs that use both systems.

    I don’t like gear damage/repair systems in principle. Annoying make-work. I understand they are there to take currency out of the game but I’d much prefer that to be done with a behind-the-scenes tax than for me to have to make an arbitrary, immersion-breaking visit to a vendor who is able through some inexplicable means to fully restore any and all damage to anything instantaneously.

    I don’t hold it against GW2 though. It’s a lazy mechanic that many MMOs use automatically, like having bears drop magic swords and letting level 1 untrained non-magic-using fighters swim across lakes in full plate carrying six backpacks full of iron ore. I just blink and pretend I didn’t notice.

    1. Armor works in a two state fashion: you have a damaged state, “broken” unusable state. Each time you die, one of your major pieces of armor become damaged (this is randomly chosen), and each subsequent death damages an additional piece of armor (again randomly chosen). A damaged piece is still usable and has no direct penalty. If you die after all your armor is damaged, your armor becomes broken and any stat bonuses from that piece is no longer applied.

      Also, to further answer some of the questions in the comments. No, to repair your gear, you repair all of your gear currently equipped. There’s no 10% repair, or any mechanic of the sort.

      Also, something worth mentioning is the fact that when a piece of armor becomes broken, it also becomes missing on your character. There’s a direct visibility to repair mechanic that I really like. Hey, I’m not wearing a shirt, that must mean it’s broken, etc.

  3. Unless you know, you do WvW.

    Then you’ll be dying more than a few times a level unless you never participate in any large scale battles.

    A lot of players have actually brought this up: deaths in WvW shouldn’t cause equipment damage.

    1. Well it is pretty obvious that WvW is meant to be their biggest gold sink. Repeated deaths, the relatively low amount of drops (especially early on, better when you get proficient) and the large sum of money that siege weapons cost. Then again as the thing to do at lvl 80 I guess those things are less of a gold sink and more of a “what I want to spend my on.”

    2. That would give people who level via WvW an unfair advantage. Also, the difficulty of WvW is pretty much a constant whereas I imagine PvE scales in difficulty, especially when you throw dungeons into the mix. There’s also the expense of map travel unless you skip trips back to town or run really long distances once you’re beyond the beginning zones. That said, drops are far too scarce in WvW. That’s what I would like to see improved. It’s far behind PvE content in terms of acquisition of crafting mats in particular, and money in general. Boosting income potential is better than removing a particular expenditure.

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