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Guild Wars 2 – endgame and balancing discussed in latest blog posts

Saturday, 15th September 2012 20:43 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Endgame in Guild Wars 2 wasn’t something AreaNet wanted players to experience only “after a hundred hours of gameplay,” or some other “arbitrary number,” the firm has said. Instead, the team wanted players to take their time and experience everything the MMO has to offer.

Speaking in a blog post over on the Guild Wars 2 site, quality assurance manager Mike Zadorojny said during development, ArenaNet introduced game elements normally associated with “endgame at every level and every possible opportunity.”

“We want the experiences that players will have while progressing through the game to be a journey that they take with their character, something that they will remember and cherish,” wrote Zadorojny. “Once your character reaches max level, we’ve created new and interesting ways to challenge you as a player, but we didn’t want to force you to master an entirely new subset of the game.

“As players reach the max level of 80, the dynamic events become larger, the battles more spectacular, the circumstances more dire. Each of the high-level maps in the corrupted land of Orr contain battles on a grand scale against Zhaitan’s forces, an epic war with shifting fortunes and frontlines.”

When starting Guild Wars 2, players dig almost immediately into a boss encounter and then once vanquished, players can just stroll around the place at want doing crafting quests, fighting more bosses, exploring dungeons – whatever their heart desires. Thus, endgame-type content is all over the place.

”The launch of Guild Wars 2 is just the start,” Zadorojny concluded. “With the game now out in the hands of the players, we can focus our efforts to adding new types of events, new dungeons, new bosses, new rewards, and new places for players to explore.”

Speaking of “new” things, another post regarding balancing was also recently posted, in which balancing was discussed, and how ArenNet’s taking a”wait and see” approach to things.

“In the past we made balance updates fairly frequently. While we will continue to be responsive to serious issues, we also want to make sure that we let the basic meta-game stabilize before making too many changes,” wrote designer Jon Peters.

“If you see something that is really strong please try and find counters to it before assuming it is overpowered. We have put a lot of hours into the game already and there are still many things we are learning about the depth of the combat and the balance. There are also finally enough players consistently playing that we can actually gather metrics on skills and make some more informed decisions about what is too weak/strong.”

You can get the latest list of minor game updates through here.

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26 Comments

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  1. roadkill

    Does anyone have too much money and wants to buy this game for me!? Any Diablo 3 customers around?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Talkar

    But if the game doesn’t have a proper endgame, doesn’t that mean they are alienating people who like to raid?

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Phoenixblight

    @2

    Well they have alienated people who like to heal by not having a class that specifically heals.

    If you like to raid a la WOW this is not a game for you.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Talkar

    @3
    Yeah, i love to raid and i hate to PvP. :P

    #4 2 years ago
  5. DSB

    What they’ve tried to do is redefine the formula.

    It takes ages and ages to reach the max level, and that’s because their whole philosophy was to take raid-style content and put it in the world itself.

    The result is that doing that content becomes very unfocused. It’s like a PUG in a more traditional MMO, and that’s certainly not my favourite part of the game.

    Depending on the day, people will constantly be doing their own thing, completely neglecting the objectives, and killing themselves in the stupidest possible ways.

    And then they just respawn and run right back to the boss until either he dies, or they get tired of it.

    It does have a lot of PVE, but the actual focus is the levelling itself. So what that does is make the levelling a lot more fun than any other MMO, but ultimately you don’t have the same moviation to do it. Because that’s the core of the game right there.

    What it does have is awesome scenery, awesome gameplay and a fairly no-hassle approach to enjoying it. The mesmer is pretty much the coolest class I’ve played in any MMO.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Phoenixblight

    @4

    Yeah definitely not a game for you because the end game comes to crafting,exploring, few dungeons,then WvW or structured PVP.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. GwynbleiddiuM

    I think for raider types like me, WoW remains the perfect fix. Even though the RNG gods hate me with a passion, I still don’t have Gurthalak HC cuz it never drops, and even if it did what’s the point? I needed it 2 months ago :<

    I still can't win a roll, it became a legend in our guild, as our guildmaster always shouts /rw Jormungandr L2Roll FFS!!!

    But in spite of all that I still like raiding WoW style.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Talkar

    @5
    Didn’t someone reach max level before the game was even released?
    Either way i need my raid fix ^^ However since GW2 doesn’t have a sub fee i can come back any time i feel like it :D But so far the leveling has just been boring… I think SWTOR really has me hooked on the whole focus on story telling :/ Maybe it is just because i love to RP, be it D&D or via computer games, i just really enjoy it x)

    @6
    Then i’ll stick to SWTOR :P

    @7
    Yeah i pretty much agree with you. I hardly ever get any good drops, but for me it is the focused action, with dozens of people collaborating on voice chat and succeeding! Especially when a new raid is released and you get to figure out all the mechanics of the different bosses, and even the dungeon itself. There’s just nothing like it ^^

    #8 2 years ago
  9. absolutezero

    The last time I played WoW no one worked out anything you just pushed buttons when whatever add-on you had told you to.

    All those Add-ons are now built into the UI aswell. Plus thanks to public testing its not even as if when a new raid finally comes out its fresh to everyone playing it. Everyone knows all the bosses already and its just following out routine patterns.

    Move out of the puddles. 2nd Phase wait for Enrage before nuking. Move out of puddles while nuking.

    Healers press 3.

    The Secret World has a much better story and its far better integrated into the World around you and the game itself than ToR. You might want to check it out before it dies….like ToR.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. DSB

    The tricky thing was never pressing the right buttons though. It was making 25 guys do it at the same time, while absolutely maximizing your efficiency.

    25 guys who are constantly trying to get absolutely every little tic of damage or healing in, while still having to stay alive and watch whatever the boss is doing.

    That’s why the bosses in GW2 are such a pain. Everybody’s doing their own thing, they don’t want or need to coordinate, because instead of being limited to 25 guys who have to perform, you have 50 guys who are just spamming and dying over and over again.

    I can see why it’s awesome for the casual crowd, Guild Wars 2 includes everybody like no other MMO on the planet, but those boss fights are not pretty.

    It’s hourses for courses. I think Guild Wars 2 is a nice relaxing MMO. I’m not gonna play it forever, but it does the trick. I gave up on The Secret World within a week. It’s Champions Online’s combat system, wrapped in eminent Funcom art, but those “investigation” puzzles that people love so much just bored me to death.

    Googling those quests isn’t my idea of a good time.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Talkar

    @9
    The Secret World didn’t bring anything new to the table at all. And the old things it brought with it was just the same old in a new wrapping that was quickly torn apart and left scattered in front of you to see. Atleast SWTOR have the fully voiced dialogues, which really does spice questing up for me. Sure it might be the “kill 5 rats” quest that everyone hates, but here you know why you are killing the rats. Of course if you are one of the individuals that skip all the dialogue then SWTOR is not nearly as good as WoW for example, and that is fine, everyone should play the game they want instead of the one they are “supposed” to play.

    Damn that was a lot longer than i expected it to be xD

    #11 2 years ago
  12. magnumfinger

    This game is even worst than that MMO Tantra.. just my opinion.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. John117

    Only me who thinks they should balance classes? I find warrior insanely OP against mobs while having a hard time playing as a caster such as mesmer unless I switch to sword thus becoming more a melee class.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Hybridpsycho

    @2

    Currently playing a lvl 80 Warrior. What you should like if you wanna play this game: Grind more than you ever did in WoW (which I believe the majority played).

    Do 5v5 “arena/BG’s”.

    Zerg WvW.

    What you can do and what I’m currently trying to do (because I got bored of all the other stuff) is to farm some dungeons (I’m mainly a PvE’er, but can enjoy PvP if it’s not a zerg) to be able to buy some good gear.

    Guild Wars 2 has a solid leveling experience, at least for the first character you make (if you set your aim to explore the majority of the zones you probably don’t wanna level that way again), fortunatley you can always level through other means: PvP and Crafting.

    The end-game so far? If you want a “goal” apart from: Zerg random people by the name ” Invader” there’s not alot for you to do if you don’t enjoy hours of boring farm to gather gear you don’t need for anything in particular.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. GwynbleiddiuM

    @Talkar SWTOR is charming, and this comes from the guy who hates Star Wars. I just loved being a pure evil faction, it gave me ridiculous amount of pleasure to be addressed as Lord everywhere I go. Doing a bit of evil here and there, I actually had more points on the light side of the force, occasional boos also for rolling a good choice in dialogues that made my experience really unique. Waiting for winter so I can continue my adventure for free. But probably the road will end there for me.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. OlderGamer

    I, for one, am thrilled the game doesn’t have that classic EQ style group dynamics(dedicated healer, tank, dps). I have played wow for years like many of us, and I hate end game raiding. I think GW is a breath of frsh air in those regaurds.

    But unfortuantly, for me, the game falls a bit short in other areas. The thing to keep in mind, I think, is that ths game was just released. Wow, love it or hate it, is extremly well polished at this point. No newly launched game is going to have that level of shine right out of the gate.

    I think GW2 is a good game. But I get the feeling that, like almost every game out scince, most long time wow players will feel something is missing from GW2. Just is what it is.

    My advice: go play wow. And when you get bored of it, remember why your bored of that end game grind the next time you think something is lacking in a new/different MMOrpg. If you don’t get bored playing WoW, more power to you.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. GwynbleiddiuM

    @17 Well OG in no way GW2 is a bad game, and you raised a good pint there, “when you get bored”, that happens a lot between content patches. When you cleared an instance for instance on heroic difficulty enough times, you get borred, you wanna do different things and since GW2 doesn’t have a sub, it’s the perfect title to play it, it’s always there. I wanna do that.

    personally if I had GW2 2 months earlier I wouldn’t be this bored. Because all my guildies stopped after we killed madness HC a couple of times, and I wanted to do other raids meanwhile, but they either stopped temporarily until MoP or have quit, those are here aren’t willing to do anything else. So I’m left with toon leveling, I have twelve 85 toons already, and I have to level them to 90 in a week, that is already a facedesk situation for me.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. DSB

    That’s what I mean about the motivation. In WoW you suffered the grind because you knew it was leading to something that’s a lot more fun.

    In Guild Wars 2, you’re seeing all you’re gonna see right off the bat. Level 5 isn’t going to be much different from level 20, and level 20 isn’t going to be much different from level 40. It’s the whole game, right there.

    Once that gets boring, then there’s really no reason to do anything.

    Then again, I really don’t understand the people who played WoW without raiding. Personally I’d find that too tedious to bother.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. absolutezero

    Its odd despite being stupidly popular and having a pretty dedicated fanbase I don’t think anyone here actually played the first Guild Wars.

    Structured PvP with a guild is where the endgame is more or less, it becomes something akin to a favoured server in TF2. The goal of reaching endgame is to get better armour, better traits and a solid grasp of what skills to employ and when.

    One of the primary reasons that every class has a healing slot is because of everyone in Guild Wars 1 rolling a Monk as a secondary profession for the dedicated heals. So you would get silly combinations like Necro/Monk or Mesmer/Monk. If you give people healing spells right off the bat then they can concentrate fully on the strengths of their primary profession.

    Guild Wars is a PvP game at heart only now its a PvP game with a load more options to keep you entertained if you don’t really fancy fighting, or are waiting to join a match.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. OlderGamer

    +1 AZ

    I played GW btw.

    Also have to beg to differ DSB, I don’t enjoy the raids in end game wow. I don’t like the gimick laden fights(things like the dance), I don’t like the structure(do this, then this, then that, followed by one of these), I don’t enjoy the social interaction that often forces you to work with often elitest collage age kids that want to use you for their gain, the need to be obligated to logging on at a set time, etc… Too much stress. All of that is my two cents, of course.

    I just don’t enjoy that, it isn’t a reward for leveling. I am much more journey then a destination type of guy. And for what in wow? Grind for better gear, so you can enter harder DGs in order to grind for even better gear. Meh’. Ya know?

    #20 2 years ago
  21. TheWulf

    I played the original Guild Wars. :|

    It’s added a lot of context to the game for me and how it’s changed. Though there are also a lot of things which are reminders of how they were. Seeing Lion’s Arch sunk (the Old Lion’s Arch point of interest), of the statue of Pyre Fierceshot (which I had to stand and salute to, because Pyre was always my completely reliable wingman in any Guild Wars 1 effort, and the same was true for everyone if they specced him out properly).

    As for end-game? Eh. I’m an altaholic. So I’ll be playing the three Orders before I even fully do end-game. And I’ll be taking my time. This isn’t a game where basement dwellers spend their entire lives p laying it, and if you’re playing it like that then… well, get other things to do, maybe? You shouldn’t ever devote your life to one game, or one hobby.

    Learn to write, or learn to art? Maybe you can sculpt? But if you’re playing games all day, every day (which some of the people who’re already at end-game are), then that’s pretty pathetic. This game was always aimed at a casual audience who wouldn’t be doing that. This isn’t WoW. This doesn’t have life-sucking raids, it doesn’t do that.

    Games like WoW are a life vampire. Some people go into GW2 actually hoping it will be and that scares me, it just terrifies me what WoW has conditioned its playerbase into expecting. GIVE UP YOUR JOB, GIVE UP YOUR SOCIAL LIFE, GIVE UP YOUR CHANCE AT A PARTNER, GIVE UP YOUR RIGHT TO CHILDREN, GIVE UP EVERYTHING AND PLAY ME. And that’s what WoW is. That’s what WoW does. I had to break a roomie out of that and it was NOT easy. I’ve never seen a game which can addict people like WoW.

    If I hadn’t had to first-hand break someone out of a WoW cycle, who actually appreciated the effort, I might not have believed it, either. And I suppose when you’re spending every night grinding for pots or raiding, you find it easy to try and convince yourself every night that you’re having fun. And you go to GW2 with the shakes, with withdrawal, and you play it 24/7 and you rush your way to 80.

    But that’s not how it’s meant to be played. WoW fans are really not going to find a lot of worth, here. In fact, GW2 has more in common with Guild Wars: Prophecies than WoW, and I say this as a Guild Wars player. It feels like Guild Wars. It’s not about the rush through the levels, it’s about enjoying them.

    It’s not about doing the event which gives you the most XP, it’s about doing things you enjoy and have fun with. I just think that some people (especially the end-game raider sorts) are coming at this with entirely the wrong mindset. And I do blame WoW for this. Yes I do. And after what I had to do for my roomie, don’t you dare tell me that it isn’t a game that tries to addict people so much that they give up every other facet of their life in favour of it. Every WoW gamer I’ve seen has been like that.

    Welcome to GW2, which isn’t like that. Try enjoying it for what it is.

    -Edit-

    And yes, to state this again as I feel I have to in every news thread… GASP! I’M NOT HAUNTING NEWS COMMENTS LIKE YOU GUYS. Maybe I have better things to do and I just check this when I have a free moment?

    #21 2 years ago
  22. DSB

    @21 There’s the eyore I know :P

    I wasn’t trying to say “everyone should enjoy raiding”, I’m just saying WoW didn’t have a lot of content besides that. You had casual PvP, 5-man dungeons, and that was pretty much it. Arenas were as hardcore as the raids.

    I helped build the top raiding guild on my server, so we were viewed as some kind of elite. But one guy with an ego does not a guild make. If they weren’t dedicated to the rest of the guys, or they just weren’t nice people, then we weren’t interesting in taking them in, or keeping them for that matter. A guy who was ready to learn was always worth more than a guy who thought he was the shit.

    Some people did fit the stereotype you set up, and fair enough if an online ego made their day, but we founded that guild as ten guys with no raiding experience, without any expectations beyond being a social group, and we ended up being the best raiders on the server two years later. And we were all great friends, including the newcomers. We lost maybe two out of the original ten, and we never meant the guild to go there, but we did it.

    A lot of people use stuff like gear to make it seem less than it is, but all gear does is shorten the fights. It doesn’t make them easier or harder, and with something like two items per boss, it takes ages to get everybody geared up, and most progress raiders don’t have time for that. You have to go with the gear you have, not the gear you want, if you want to stay ahead.

    I think there were something like two bosses with rage timers that made them impossible before you did a few runs, but in general, it really wasn’t as essential as some non-raiders would like to make it.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. OlderGamer

    ;)

    #23 2 years ago
  24. viralshag

    I think people are trying to enjoy it for what it is, which is the problem. This isn’t a game which requires much or any dedication. But it’s also a game that doesn’t have much to offer if you want to log in for a quick half hour. Like DSB said, to me level 70 doesn’t feel any different from level 30. Still using the same powers and tactics. The trait system offers marginal improvement on your skills and mostly falls into the percentages game buffing duration and damage numbers.

    I’m really pushing myself to 80 anyway I can at the moment but I have to say it’s becoming more of a chore than anything else. I’m an altoholic but I can’t see myself levelling many as you really need to enjoy the sPvP or WvW to do so, which sadly I don’t.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Puggy

    Then again, why should Guild Wars 2 offer anything for the endgame? You see, WoW and other subscription based games have to keep people interested and hooked up in order to generate revenue. No people, no money. Guild Wars 2 is mostly an over the shelf Game. you get it you pay it, that is it. Some people might buy some minor DLC (Gems), but I would say most of them do it while leveling, So I would assume most of the money comes from box sales and thus there does not have to be a big endgame thing.
    In fact they do not even have to offer that much new content. What for? It costs money but does not generate that much money in return. Sure people still have the romantic ideas of game designers who work for free, Servers that run without the need of maintenance, Energy and staff, and all the “Devs” want is to make the best game ever. I however would think that every decision made is basically based about “How much money will it cost us and how much will we get in return?”

    As for WoW addicting people, I would not say it does. The game itself is not addictive, what is so “dangerous” about the game is the “gang Syndrome”. Players get their need for social interaction and most importantly Ego boost from the game. Be it by having PvP ranks, being the top something something in the something something, or whatever, but if you have that, you have others that congratulate you and make you feel appreciated, loved and, well, wanted. That is, in my eyes at least, the big pull of the game.
    Saying the code itself is written to be addictive, would be giving it too much credit really. It is always the people and their behaviour patterns.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. GrimRita

    I have found that for me, I dont see a need to rush to end game like I did with say SWTOR. Maybe its because SWTOR has so little too offer in terms of exploration or maybe I wanted to get to the end to see if SWTOR was worth paying £8.99 a month.

    With GW2, the game is just huge and although so much of it appears to be just kill X mob to gain XP, with some live events thrown in, I dont see this as an issue.

    Im trying out a few classes to see which one I like best and really enjoy WvW, apart from when the clueless come on and run around like headless chickens.

    My biggest gripe has to be the Q times to enter WvW – a 3 hour wait on Saturday – THREE. Arena also need to pay attention to time zones when matching up servers.

    Now that WvW is a week long thing(excellent!), its annoying to wake up the next day, to see that all your hard work in capturing locations was wasted because server X has a 2 hour + time difference. Not a big issue imo, just a waste of cash with upgrades! lol

    Overall, I am really enjoying GW2 – having lots of fun and there is still so much to see and do.

    #26 2 years ago