While ArenaNet was shifting towards Guild Wars 2 production, they created a new rewards system based on re-using content. Obviously they were aware that any Live Team would not have the resources of a new zone, or the like, and so the Zaishen content was created bringing new life to old content. For Guild Wars 1, this was possibly the only option.
Guild Wars 2 is different because the studio is entirely focused on Guild Wars 2. There are resources for new zones, dungeons, etc., and new things are exciting and shiny. The biggest question is still whether to press onward or iterate on what is available. For instance, exploring the Henge of Denravi in Guild Wars 2 was huge, in my opinion. A lot of mystery still surrounds the druids of Guild Wars 1, and with the current conflict surrounding the Henge, I felt the actual content was a tad underwhelming. For me the area downplayed my memory instead of ramping it up, like it did with Sorrow’s Embrance. A team at ArenaNet could decide to push a lot more focus on this out-of-the-way area, but is that worth it?
This leads me to Orr, which a large part of an “end game”. For casual players, I think ArenaNet’s vision holds true with nearly all of the game being playable at any time with anyone. For people working for wealth and legend, Orr is it for the open world. Orr is the biggest source of top tier ingredients (except gorram herbs). It has huge streams of events, and unlike Frostgorge Sound, it has two whole zones dedicated to level 75+ content. This is important because level 75+ items are the most valuable.
Unlike creating more content for the Henge, creating and iterating on the content of Orr is going to have huge impact. It also will just put more emphasis on Orr, which is something I am not sure if ArenaNet wants.
I think for open world PvE, decompression of rewards is pretty important. Right now it feels like I can explore and have fun in other zones, or make money in Orr. I have been fairly dungeon light, but I wonder if the same effect correlates with dungeon-runners hitting low-level explorable dungeons compared with the level 80 explorable dungeons. I don’t expect a complete decompression of rewards. Orr is tougher, and should be more rewarding. Yet, I really didn’t feel rewarded for all of Mount Maelstrom until the very end when I completed the zone and got two exotics. I can only do that once.
I am still working on exploring all the PvE zones, with Fields of Ruin in my sights next. Yes, I will receive quite a few level 70+ items on my run through Fields of Ruin, some of which when salvaged may yield some Tier 6 materials. That is baseline money making from Orr. In Orr, I will get chances at nice rares and godly chests. About the only thing I can hope for as a money boost in lower PvE zones are herbs… gorram herbs.
With permanent content coming with Halloween, ArenaNet has planned their first move. This “first move” could patch, iterate, or advance content. Perhaps all three. I hope it will give players a clear picture of where ArenaNet intends to lead players, including level 80s.