Guild Wars 2 team addresses gear grind complaints

Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet has directly addressed fan complaints about the new Ascended gear type and what it may mean for the direction of the game.

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Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet has faced some scrutiny over its decision to introduce Ascended armor to the game. The company had previously promised the game would be free of gear grind, and some fans see the new armor type as crossing that line. So the company brass took to the Internet to address some of its harshest critics.

Several studio execs took to Reddit (via Eurogamer) to answer fan questions, and criticisms were scattered among them. "We made some mistakes with the way we introduced Ascended gear," said ArenaNet co-founder Mike O'Brien. "I don't think they invalidate the fundamental concept that GW2 can have gradual stat progression without being a gear treadmill game."

Design director Chris Whiteside said the reaction to the gear was "definitively expected," and believes it would have been better to have Ascended gear at launch. This would have introduced a progression between Exotic and Legendary items, and avoided upsetting fans by introducing a new tier. He also noted that the team has no plans to introduce new rarity gear aside from the Ascended sets.

"Instead and as we evolve, the game's existing rarities will evolve over time," he said. "However, these will not be common occurrences. For example, full Ascended gear will be introduced over a long period of time and will be earned through lots of different parts/activities of the game." Later, he said, "We have never said there would be no vertical progression. We do intend to focus on horizontal but we will have vertical progression moving forward with the focus on zero grind and a very low power curve." He added that he doesn't feel these changes work against what was said in its "manifesto" against grinding.

O'Brien also pointed out that the team "always expected that we will someday raise the level cap in GW2."

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  • reply
    November 27, 2012 10:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Guild Wars 2 team addresses gear grind complaints.

    Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet has directly addressed fan complaints about the new Ascended gear type and what it may mean for the direction of the game.

    • reply
      November 27, 2012 12:13 PM

      I need to go back and play some more of this. Played for maybe a week until Borderlands 2 came out.

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      November 27, 2012 12:56 PM

      Still loving this game, though I'm taking a small break in order to check out Dishonored. I've been playing since launch, I have 1 level 80, and another one in the high 40s, and so far I haven't even had to bother with the high level gear.

      It's nice that that stuff is there, and I may work for it one day but there is so much to do in this big world that I still haven't even seen all of the zones.

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      November 27, 2012 1:04 PM

      I'm getting this soon. Whats the shack guild status?

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        November 27, 2012 1:08 PM

        I hop on now and then, usually 5-6 on in the guild that I can see. The low level zones sure are barren now though, was leveling my warrior 28 atm and there is normally 2 or less people doing events now. Used to be 20-30 at least.

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          November 27, 2012 1:15 PM

          You could see this coming since day 1. Once players start levelling up it makes it near impossible to do some of the events as there is no-one around. The same thing happened with the public events in Warhammer Online.

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            November 27, 2012 4:44 PM

            I leveled my necro to 80 recently and never felt like I was alone in the zone. I even managed to 3 man a champion spider for a chest in Timberline falls. Since the events scale, it's really not much of an issue. The large "group" events aren't an option in the lower zones unless you've happen to have a group on, but they're most likely happening without people doing the lead-up any way.

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            November 27, 2012 4:47 PM

            depends on the server your on. I don't see that issue on Jade Quarry

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        November 27, 2012 1:45 PM

        I want to too but is there some deal coming up?

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          November 27, 2012 2:46 PM

          A semi-local store here has it 20% off, so I've got a friend to get it to me.

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      November 27, 2012 1:14 PM

      people can be so dumb. the point of FotM isn't to sit there grinding it 5 hours a day to begin with. it's that you can casually pick up a round or two every day and just have some fun on your level 80. it's frickin amazing played like that.

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