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[Column] Guild Wars 2: Gear or Character Progression?

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

A recent blog post on the Guild Wars 2 site has generated quite a storm of activity in the community as it focuses on gear progression and the worrisome thought that PvE players will be forced onto the gear treadmill. We have a few thoughts to share on the subject and then we'd like to hear what you think in the comments.

I can’t help but feel a little worried when I saw Linsey Murdock’s Gear Progression piece pop up on the official Guild Wars 2 site the other day.  Part of me knows that ArenaNet is going to be very delicate when it comes to “gear progression” and treadmills.  I highly doubt we’ll see insane statistical inflation as we have in other games, but the precedent is there and that’s why it’s worrying.  The stat differentials between Exotics and the new Ascended items might seem miniscule now, but how will it look in a year when we’re on to some other form of higher level gear? Is GW2 approaching the dreaded PVE gear treadmill?  Or is it just one way players can progress in the game? If so… I certainly hope there are other ways coming soon. 

Read more of Bill Murphy's Guild Wars 2: Gear or Character Progression?

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • snapfusionsnapfusion San, CAPosts: 954Member

    I never understood the adversion to end game charcter progression.  How on earth can someone do the exact same thing over and over and over in a PROGRAMMED game, a game with no real variations do to natural causes and get nothing out of it?

    The pat on the back for doing it only goes so far.  Sorry you can play the socialist angle where everyone is equal and you get nothing for your effort, but Im a capitalist, I want real progression and rewards for my efforts.  Not a useless achievement marker in some screen Ill never look at.

    What is wrong with rewarding people for their efforts?  Nothing.

     

     
  • skydiver12skydiver12 burgundPosts: 432Member

    Let's just say you are the company which promised progression outside gear, .....and all you can add is gear progression when the sky is limitless...violating your own agenda....

     

    That is all.

     

  • nolic1nolic1 Kingman, AZPosts: 687Member Uncommon
    I have been reading alot of the stuff others are saying about this and I kind of agree as to why add gear progression. I dont remember gear progression being the main drive for me in most games I play but when you make a game and say that there is no gear progression that all gear is equal and then add something that changes that even in a minor way its adding gear progression. If I need to have infused gear to do something in game then it better have meaning like in GW1 for the Mursat not just for the Fractural dungeon and future dungeons but like the Mursats return to the game.

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    To me I enjoy gaming I dont play to be uber I play to have fun. If a game is not fun to me guess what I move on and play something else till I find one that is. When I find that great game and not sure if in my life time there will be one I hope it has everything I want in an mmo.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    "Is GW2 approaching the dreaded PVE gear treadmill? Or is it just one way players can progress in the game? My gut feeling is that it's the latter."

    This has the situation entirely backwards.  The problem is that Guild Wars 2 was sold as a game that wasn't a grinding treadmill.  You seem to think the question is whether it will be a treadmill where you have to grind one thing, or a treadmill where you have to grind a bunch of things.  What about the "not a grinding treadmill at all" option?

  • FromHellFromHell NY, NYPosts: 1,311Member

    Is it still popular? Just a little too many columns and articles on this game for my taste :-/ would rather read more about upcoming titles.

    Every MMO gets a treadmill at some point, also this one

     

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  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon

    I really see this a great excersise how Anet will deal with asplit community. They said they want to gain the players trust first befiore anythignelse.

    lets see if this holds true.

    I liked the idea of skill points beign more difficult to earn and beign used in endgame content as an alternate to Ascend gear.
     
    that woudl really please the explorer players ingame.
  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon

    I liked the idea of skill points beign more difficult to earn and beign used in endgame content as an alternate to Ascend gear.

     

    that woudl really please the explorer players ingame.

     

  • InFlamestwoInFlamestwo HindPosts: 662Member

    I want more weapon skills, elite skills, healing skills, utility skills and racial skills.

    Gear progression is ok as long it's for a type of content and doesn't affect the whole game. Infusions is only used for the new dungeon, the Ascended gear is a new tier that is more powerful and they should be nerfing it. I don't really care as long as it doesn't affect the rest of the game.

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  • GMan33GMan33 Sterling Heights, MIPosts: 79Member Common

    First of all the only people that complain about gear progression are the carebears, the ones who dont have the time to get gear, or the lazy ones, and the ones who are just plain jealous of ones who do have such gear.

    Listen, GW2 is a fkin grindfest at the moment. Dont tell me people arent logging in and not grinding their characters, striving to get those acheivements, those jumping puzzles, those fluff armor sets that are just for looks....and of course the most epic grinding item in mmo history probably...the legendary weapons.

    So GW2 is in fact one of the MOST grinding mmos out there.....and you know what, everyone is happy in the game. They all love GW2................but..........

    Now you throw in minimal gear stat item upgrades..........and all of a sudden, the shitstorm hits and most are now complaining about grind to get such items????

    I ask...what the hell have you been doing up to this point? Have you not been grinding for meaningless stuff anyways? Why now when there is an actual reward item....you are now complaining about grinding?

    And btw, getting any tier armor in this game is a JOKE. There is barely any effort to attain rares, exotics. So dont complain....oh....now i have to get ascended, my exotics will be useless (which they wont), i put so much effort to get them! Yeah you mean the 5min it took at lvl 80 to buy them all on market?

    Anyways, GW2 is a great game, and putting rewards like these are a great feature to cater to ones who want to chase that. If you dont, then continue playing the other 95% of the game.

  • WhitebeardsWhitebeards TokyoPosts: 778Member
    GW2 was advertised as a MMO where focus will be on keeping all stats equal in the end and only introducing new appearance gear and not stats. people can do there own research and if they can find one quote before release where Anet devs talked about introducing increase in stats through new armor set.... just one quote. it will end this debate for good.
  • QSatuQSatu WarsawPosts: 1,735Member Uncommon

    I am happy they are adding it b/c I always felt the game was lacking in progression. We had exotics which were too easy to get and legendaries which were too hard. nothing in between. Don't kid yourself players love progressing and getting stronger otherwise Diablo 3 and WoW wouldn't be so popular.

    Few weeks ago I even made a post on official forums how they should add some rewards in between so the journey to legendaries was more interesting. They obviously were working on this already but you can blame me for this change ;P

  • someforumguysomeforumguy HomePosts: 3,540Member Uncommon

    Yes, I am still worried. PVE content is balanced against the different gear tiers. If you raise the stat cap, it is to be expected that new content will be balanced against the new stats. Lindsay specifically mentioned getting an edge over new content.

    Atm it is a small increase, but even Chis Whiteside's reaction doesn't ease my mind about this. Apart from the infusion, which will be just used for that dungeon, the new gear they showed as example in the blog, also has higher base stats (compared to exotic+slotted upgrade).

    For many players this will feel like a mandatory next tier, because they want to prepare their characters as best as possible. Something they thought they finished doing with exotics.

    The raise in stats was not needed for their explanation and is the main reason why I doubt Anet on this.

     
  • black_isleblack_isle IstanbulPosts: 239Member Uncommon

    Look, my character really didn't change much since i hit 20, skill-wise. I nailed down my weapon preferences and purchased the skills i wanted and now i'm playing the same character for days and days until the endgame dungeons. Maybe do something about that instead of putting in stupid systems in the name of progression and shaming your own manifest. Give me real progression instead of new stats to chase.

     

    Well i guess that manifest was just for marketing hype and creating new buzzwords.

     

    PS: What the hell is "elder game"? You can't use the word "endgame" because Anet tried to sell it's game as "there is no endgame, all the game is endgame" and now everyone realizes it's just BS and writers try to cover Anet's BS up?

     
  • DrWookieDrWookie Portland, ORPosts: 252Member
    Originally posted by snapfusion

    I never understood the adversion to end game charcter progression.  How on earth can someone do the exact same thing over and over and over in a PROGRAMMED game, a game with no real variations do to natural causes and get nothing out of it?

    The pat on the back for doing it only goes so far.  Sorry you can play the socialist angle where everyone is equal and you get nothing for your effort, but Im a capitalist, I want real progression and rewards for my efforts.  Not a useless achievement marker in some screen Ill never look at.

    What is wrong with rewarding people for their efforts?  Nothing.

     

     

    Snap, the reason people call it a "treadmill" is because while it SEEMS like progression, it isn't progression at all.

    If you release a new "tier" of gear with +10% stats, and make the new dungeons all have enemies with +10% stats...you are essentailly in the same place you started except with higher numbers floating around. It doesn't change the challenge of the game, it doesn't make the enemies harder. It is just an artificial way to "appear" like you are progressing when really you are just running on a treadmill in the same place. 

    Those of us who don't like gear treadmills recognize that as the "easy way" out when it comes to designing endgame, because it is really just repetition over and over again with no real forward movement. We want something else. We want dungeons that are challenging because of NEW enemy mechanics, or NEW skills that the enemy brings to the table that we need to figure out how to counter. We don't just want a gear check where the dungeon says "Oh wait you don't have enough infusion to fight off the agony, you lose sorry try again later". THat isn't a challenge, that is just a gate that requires a key that you need to get via grinding. It is an artificial timesink that MMO developers put into the games to waste our time so we don't go through their content too fast.

  • MattissimoMattissimo ViennaPosts: 58Member
    Boring and unimaginative design afterthought. Wake me up when anything exciting happens!

    If you are not accustomed to eating kiwi, go slow at first.

  • ironhelixironhelix fairfield, OHPosts: 448Member
    This game needs about 20 more skills per class, not more gear. After level 15, your character ceases to progress. You have EVERYTHING you will ever have, as far as skills go. After spamming the same 3 skills 10k times, I got bored. Not sure how anyone wouldn't.
  • KhebelnKhebeln DoncasterPosts: 691Member Uncommon

    Well i left GW2 due to everyone being the same clone, no one is special, there is no progression in engame, no real variation in building your character, very few skills etc.

    Other than that Gw2 is great game. But i cant play a game i feel there is no reason to play.

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  • KuppaKuppa Boulder, COPosts: 3,292Member Uncommon

    This is definately going to be interesting. They don't really want to go for gear vertical progression and many want horizontal progression. What could they do? More titles? More skills? Some sandbox like elements like housing?

     

    I don't see them adding a ton of skills anytime soon. It goes COMPLETELY against their pvp vision. They had explained the reason they removed the big amount of skills in GW2 was for pvp purposes and balancing. If they add tons of skills they will probably screw up the pvp community.

     

    To me none of this is an issue since my endgame is pvp. But to the pve players that don't want vertical gear progression its a problem. I want to see how Anet handles it in the coming months.

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  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    When this hits PS3 they should just let everyone be level 80 right off the bat and open it up to true world pvp.
  • ValentinaValentina Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,675Member Uncommon
    The big problem with this is that they promised they would NOT do the gear treadmill, that content over gear is what was important, and their design philosophy was to focus on making fun content, while exotic armor and legendary weapons stayed the top tier of gear and new items added would mainly just be a cosmetic difference to motivate players, and it works. They're completely going back on their word and slowly gonna be turning this game into "just another mmo" when it stood apart and had the potential to really be it's own, innovative game. So much for that, though and once you start lying to your playerbase like they apparently did then it's only a matter of time before people leave your game. They would be wise to scrap this idea, and find alternative paths of progression post 80 rather than taking the easy, boring, overdone route. People came to this game to get away from the carrot on the stick, and HERE they are adding it in...
  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by snapfusion

    I never understood the adversion to end game charcter progression.  How on earth can someone do the exact same thing over and over and over in a PROGRAMMED game, a game with no real variations do to natural causes and get nothing out of it?

    The pat on the back for doing it only goes so far.  Sorry you can play the socialist angle where everyone is equal and you get nothing for your effort, but Im a capitalist, I want real progression and rewards for my efforts.  Not a useless achievement marker in some screen Ill never look at.

    What is wrong with rewarding people for their efforts?  Nothing.

     

     

    Actually it has nothing to do with capitalist or socialist.   People who have more left-side economic ideas also want to be rewarded for effort and not not wanting flat equality for everyone.

     

    Besides don't mix games with politics please.

  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 2,931Member Uncommon

    It's amazing how truly dividing this issue is.  For me it's a step in the right direction, but not quite enough to get me committed to GW2 again.  But even such a small step is enough to put some people into a rage.  If the ascended gear is available as world drops, as they seem to sugest, and is also craftable, I don't see the issue.

     

    The game badly needs character progression, if they have some clever way of making it appealling without resorting to gear treadmills then that's great.  Otherwise, a mini gear treadmill isn't a huge deal.  Each so called tier in GW2 is so very close to the next that it would take a year of such gear improvments to actually represent a full tier between say rare gear and the top level.

  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member

    Elder Game...image

  • QSatuQSatu WarsawPosts: 1,735Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Psychow

    Elder Game...image

    It is funny how they call it but at the same time you are scaled to lvl 80 when you enter it and the Agony mechanic kicks in on higher difficulties. So it is an "end game" dungeon you can do from lvl 1 theoretically.

     
  • VorthanionVorthanion Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 2,121Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by snapfusion

    I never understood the adversion to end game charcter progression.  How on earth can someone do the exact same thing over and over and over in a PROGRAMMED game, a game with no real variations do to natural causes and get nothing out of it?

    The pat on the back for doing it only goes so far.  Sorry you can play the socialist angle where everyone is equal and you get nothing for your effort, but Im a capitalist, I want real progression and rewards for my efforts.  Not a useless achievement marker in some screen Ill never look at.

    What is wrong with rewarding people for their efforts?  Nothing.

     

     

    The aversion to most end game progression mechanics is due to developers who put all that end game progression into one single play style and screw over all the others.  This is suppose to be a casual game, yet the first real content and end game progression goes towards mechanics that hardcore gamers enjoy?

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