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Reddit's AMA with Chris Whiteside

ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,395Member Uncommon

...is underway. You can see the whole thread here:

http://www.reddit.com/r/Guildwars2/comments/13tuac/im_the_studio_design_director_on_guild_wars_2_ama/

...and ANet's answers here:

http://www.reddit.com/user/ArenaNetTeam

Click on "Context" to see the question an answer concerns. Yes, I hate Reddit's UI, too.

Edit: The people from official forums made a list of questions. You can see the list and the answers Chis wrote here:

http://www.reddit.com/r/Guildwars2/comments/13tuac/im_the_studio_design_director_on_guild_wars_2_ama/c776dmy?context=3

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Comments

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,395Member Uncommon

    So far, the most interesting reples have been:

     

    Regarding Ascended item costs:

    "We are currently discussing these particular items and it is fair to say that we don't want have such big hikes in requirements moving forward."

     

    Regarding Ascended gear only being found in FotM:

    "Our intention is to deploy ascended components and gear across the whole of the game rather than focus it in one particular location. This was a a mistake and one that we will not be making moving forward. We do hope to find a balance and ensure that the world of Guild Wars 2 is as accessible and populated as possible and moving forward you will be able to see how we intend to execute on this goal."

     

    Regarding the purpose of Ascended items and vertical progression:

    "Ascended Gear is designed to fill the 'Time' gap in regard to the distance between exotic and Legendary in terms of progression and in retrospect would have been better to have been rolled out pre launch.

    I would also like add that we have never said there would be no vertical progression. We do intent to focus on horizontal but we will have vertical progression moving forward with the focus on zero grind and a very low power curve.

    Please understand that we see the community as a 'whole' and therefore are not intending to design again for one specific type of player over another. This is a misconception and one that is not promoted by the team. We will continue to develop the game for the community as a whole offering game play that caters to lots of different types of players in a unified approach that will evolve over time based on feedback and the direction the team as a whole wants to take."

     

    Regarding the Manifesto and tiers of gear grind:

    "We do not believe we have gone against any of our principals, but we do understand the concern regarding potential grind. We absolutely design everything we do with minimal grind and will continue with this principal moving forward.

    1: I would prefer that we never say never but our intention is that in terms of 'Named Tier (Rarity) of Loot' Ascended will be with us for a long time and we will not introduce a higher tier of loot for the foreseeable future. There will be loot with different stats and new infusions within the current tier that will be spread over long periods of time (for example Ascended gear will be deployed over the whole of next year). 2: Ascended gear will be obtainable throughout the whole of the game aside from sPvP and in retrospect it would have been better to have rolled different acquisition methods out at the smae time os the FotM."

     

    Mike O'Brien on the Manifesto and the quote that's often used to prove ANet lied:

    "Obviously the key phrase I’m going to point you to in that quote is, “if someone wants to play for a thousand hours to get an item that is so rare that other players can’t realistically acquire it”. That really is the litmus test we’ve used. That’s why, at ship, we gave better stats to exotic gear and didn’t give better stats to legendary gear.
    More generally, I hope we’ve been clear that GW2 is not a game with virtually no stat progression in it like GW1 was. That’s why GW2 shipped with a higher level cap, and with a hard separation between PvE and PvP. In GW1 we never advanced the level cap through four campaigns/expansions. The game design didn’t allow for it. But GW2 was designed without those restrictions, and we’ve always expected that we will someday raise the level cap in GW2.
    That’s why we’ve always said that GW2 rewards players through both progression and collection, whereas GW1 primarily rewarded through collection. Presumably players aren’t shocked that GW2 rewards through progression, since it has a level 80 cap.

    I wonder if the core sentiment is more this: It’s only been two-and-a-half months! We don’t even all have exotics yet, and already you’re introducing another tier. Is this the start of a power progression curve that I’ll never be able to keep up with?

    I certainly appreciate that worry. I myself don’t want a constant struggle, as exists in some other games, to keep my equipment viable.

    Then we’re left with a balancing act. Some progression is ok, but pushing players onto gear treadmill isn’t ok and isn’t what the game is about.

    So I would ask you to judge us by details, and not by making slippery-slope arguments. We introduced a ton of new content in November, and the sum total of new progression rewards we added to go with it provided a 5-10% stat increase in 2 of 12 slots. I hope you’ll agree that that kind of very shallow and gradual progression does not force people onto a gear treadmill.

    I think it’s important for GW2 to be able to have this kind of gradual progression. Of course we made some mistakes with the way we introduced ascended gear. (See ChrisW’s answers for details.) But those are addressable issues. I don’t think they invalidate the fundamental concept that GW2 can have gradual stat progression without being a gear treadmill game."

  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIPosts: 2,601Member Uncommon

    Really should have kept his mouth shut, these comments are not going to help the situation at all.


    Biggest mistake was saying "we have never said there would be no vertical progression".


    Then he says they intend to focus on horizontal progression but will have vertical progression. Slowly rolling out a tier over the course a year then introducing another higher tier doesnt count.


    But he also insists that they design the game with everything having little to no grind. How can anyone lie that badly with a straight face? Its so laughably bad you cant get angry at it.

  • muffins89muffins89 Yakima, WAPosts: 1,306Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Xiaoki

    Really should have kept his mouth shut, these comments are not going to help the situation at all.


    Biggest mistake was saying "we have never said there would be no vertical progression".


    Then he says they intend to focus on horizontal progression but will have vertical progression. Slowly rolling out a tier over the course a year then introducing another higher tier doesnt count.


    But he also insists that they design the game with everything having little to no grind. How can anyone lie that badly with a straight face? Its so laughably bad you cant get angry at it.

    he also goes on to say they are still looking at how it is currently implemented.

     

    just because you don't like what he says doesn't make it a mistake or a lie. 

    I think the prostitute mod corrupted your game files man. -elhefen

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,187Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Xiaoki

    Really should have kept his mouth shut, these comments are not going to help the situation at all.


    Biggest mistake was saying "we have never said there would be no vertical progression".


    Then he says they intend to focus on horizontal progression but will have vertical progression. Slowly rolling out a tier over the course a year then introducing another higher tier doesnt count.


    But he also insists that they design the game with everything having little to no grind. How can anyone lie that badly with a straight face? Its so laughably bad you cant get angry at it.

    So he keeps his mouth shut as you say and the people bitch that they aren't communicative.  The problem is there is a group of players that love to do nothing more than pull whatever they can out of an interview and distort it out of proportion as much as possible.

    He admits they didn't do everything right the first time and that they intend on keeping with their philosophy.  The interview sounds good to me.  Trion looks to have a little competition on their hands with response to community, communication, agility for improvement.  Let's see if Arena Net can keep it up.  So far I'm happy with they're offering.

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,395Member Uncommon

    Yes, I think he's doing quite well, all things considered. One of the first things he said is that they think Ascended items are too grindy atm, addressing one of the main concerns the community has. Now he seems to be answering that mega-list of questions that was made on official forums and that's also a good thing.

    Of course, he pretty much has to answer those question, because ignoring them would cause so much RAGE ANet never fully recover.

  • CalerxesCalerxes LondonPosts: 1,630Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Torvaldr
    Originally posted by Xiaoki

    SNIP!

    So he keeps his mouth shut as you say and the people bitch that they aren't communicative.  The problem is there is a group of players that love to do nothing more than pull whatever they can out of an interview and distort it out of proportion as much as possible.

    He admits they didn't do everything right the first time and that they intend on keeping with their philosophy.  The interview sounds good to me.  Trion looks to have a little competition on their hands with response to community, communication, agility for improvement.  Let's see if Arena Net can keep it up.  So far I'm happy with they're offering.

     

    I agree, he at least admits there are problems, many a time companies don't even do that, looking at Funcom and Bioware here and thats got to be a positive.

    This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.

  • eliteroelitero fremont, CAPosts: 263Member Common
    E1: Can we get a direct, on-the-record answer on where vertical progression will be headed? Specifically as it applies to gear-checks, gated content, and the addition of gear tiers? Will there be an amendment to the manifesto, or plans to retro-actively align with the manifesto again?


    First of all in retrospect it would have been better to have included Ascended Gear at launch. It is designed to give users a progression path that is between Exotic and Legendary (Legendary Items will be at the same power level as Ascended) and the gap between them in terms of time is very large.

    So to the question of vertical progression. So as we know there is already vertical progression in the game and we do intend to keep moving forward with this philosophy. However we have no intention of adding a new Rarity of Gear such as Ascended. Instead and as we evolve the game existing Rarity's will evolve over time.

    However these will not be common occurrences, for example full Ascended gear will be introduced over a long period of time and will be earn able through lots of different parts/activities of the game. We had intended for example for the first release of acsended items come from other parts of the game but sadly it did not work out this way. Moving forward this is how it will work however.

    In regard to gear checks specifically all increases in the power curve will be minimal and therefore there should be no straying from the intended power curve that you see in the game now, in terms of trajectory.

    In regard to gated content via gear then i think that this is something we are going to give more thought to. Specifically if the reward at the end of the activity applies to players that are not just looking to do a specific type of content. Note that this statement is somewhat contradictory to the philosophy laid out above if the required items do not drop elsewhere or the ultimate rewards don't either. This is something we are going to fix.

    Personally i do not feel that the latest changes are against what we said in the manifesto. I do however feel that we do have to be very careful in regard to progression design turning into grind and i believe there are some instances of this kind of grind that predate the launch of the game. It is for this reason that we are looking to revamp some aspects of the game whilst connecting other parts increase the overall experience of fun in our progression mechanics.
    ok so there is one answer (-: I am going to head over to another question and then come back. Thanks for your patience and any typos.
    Chris
  • Zeus.CMZeus.CM ZagrebPosts: 1,788Member

    People are mostly concerned about ascended gear. As I am. To get full exotic gear I was required to get around 30-40g (gear + accessories). It was obtainable within a week of farming gold/materials. And now they introduced ascended back slot and rings. My experience: I had to grind 40g just to get back slot. ALso, it's been 6 days since I've been doing level 10 fractals and still not a single ring dropped.

    Ascended brought what we feared the most in GW2 - the grind. I really hope they reduce the amount of materials or make better ring drop because as it is now, it's a bad grind.

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,395Member Uncommon
    Based on what I've read, rings drop (mostly?) in lvl 20+ Fractals.
  • QSatuQSatu WarsawPosts: 1,733Member Uncommon
    So far this AMA is what I feared the most. Everyone will keep screaming about gear and all other aspects of the game will be ignored. How many times do we ned to hear that Ascended gear is here to stay and we should deal with it?
  • Zeus.CMZeus.CM ZagrebPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by Scalpless
    Based on what I've read, rings drop (mostly?) in lvl 20+ Fractals.

    At level 10-18 you have a chance to get ascended (non-infused) ring from bonus chest after defeating the boss (at level 10,12,14,16 and 18) but that chest can be obtained once a day. At levels 20+ you can get ascended ring ( but infused) just like at lower levers from bonus chest once a day.

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,395Member Uncommon

    Oh, ok. Thanks for the info.

    Originally posted by QSatu
    So far this AMA is what I feared the most. Everyone will keep screaming about gear and all other aspects of the game will be ignored. How many times do we ned to hear that Ascended gear is here to stay and we should deal with it?

    The fan-made list I linked to in the OP has a ton of questions that don't have anything to do with new gear. It's just that gear-related ones are on top of the list.

  • Rommie10-284Rommie10-284 Systems CommonwealthPosts: 238Member Uncommon

    The shorter: Don't take what we said in the past as the truth in the present.  And don't take what we say in the present as the truth in the future.  We'll do what we *must* do.

     

    IOW, the same thing every company ends up saying and doing.  MMO's are too dynamic to hold them to things they promise.  According to them, anyway.

     

    The only saving grace for GW2 is no recurring fee to play. But the easier they make it to go do something else, the more people who will.  And the current ascended gear and the FOTM are doing that right now, so they have to change that yesterday if they don't want a mass exodus.

    Avatars are people too

  • eye_meye_m Notta Chance, ABPosts: 3,133Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by QSatu
    So far this AMA is what I feared the most. Everyone will keep screaming about gear and all other aspects of the game will be ignored. How many times do we ned to hear that Ascended gear is here to stay and we should deal with it?

    ^  ^

    All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

    I get banned in the forums for games I love, so lets see if I do better in the forums for games I hate.

    I enjoy the serenity of not caring what your opinion is.

  • Zeus.CMZeus.CM ZagrebPosts: 1,788Member

    Hi Bila,

    I agree that the crafting materials required for Ascended Gear are to much of a grind and we are looking to balance the requirements in a manner that is fair for all involved and we had always intended for their to be multiple ways to get Ascended Gear it just didn't make it the FotM build.

    Chris

     

    Okay, some of my concerns have been answered. 250 tier 6 materials and 50 ectos are really expensive and require more than a week of heavy farming, to get. Imagine what would happen if they introduce full ascended gear where each piece require that much materials.

     
  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon

    Mm hmm.

    So what I'm seeing is - we make no promises either way that there won't be more, "never say never".

    They will satiate those on the fence by lowering the grind factor and over 6 months it will all seem so smooth and nonchalant to get. New people will enter the game and be overwhelmed by 14 pieces of gear they have to get and either jump in enthusiastically to "grind" or just leave. At least then they will know upfront I suppose. The fence straddlers will forgive them because they were offered less grinding 'in future'.

    Good thing no one held them accountable to this claim. Last time I saw, no one is doing their fractals with henchman.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/guild-wars-2-preview_4
    Guild Wars 2 will also still be fully soloable. As with the Heroes in Guild Wars Nightfall, players will be able to use their own customisable companion as a henchman to help them through the game, and will receive buffs if they
    decline to use this option. "We can't fully explain the companions system yet, but we can say that the game will
    be soloable," says studio head Mike O'Brien. "This goes back to that accessibility issue - we want players to be
    able to pick up the game and play it in the style that they want to play it. If they want to solo, we want to enable
    that... if they want to play with a group of specific people, we want to enable that as well."

    Psshaw, who remembers things from years ago.

    Just as no one will remember now when the gear is fully fleshed out, they don't remember the previous claims so keep believing, I personally believe in gnomes, my shoes always seem too clean for all the bull we encounter daily.

     

  • CalerxesCalerxes LondonPosts: 1,630Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zeus.CM

    People are mostly concerned about ascended gear. As I am. To get full exotic gear I was required to get around 30-40g (gear + accessories). It was obtainable within a week of farming gold/materials. And now they introduced ascended back slot and rings. My experience: I had to grind 40g just to get back slot. ALso, it's been 6 days since I've been doing level 10 fractals and still not a single ring dropped.

    Ascended brought what we feared the most in GW2 - the grind. I really hope they reduce the amount of materials or make better ring drop because as it is now, it's a bad grind.

     

    Why are you grinding Ascended gear? what do you need it for? can you play other parts of the game effectively without Ascended gear? 

    This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.

  • eliteroelitero fremont, CAPosts: 263Member Common
    Originally posted by Rommie10-284

    The shorter: Don't take what we said in the past as the truth in the present.  And don't take what we say in the present as the truth in the future.  We'll do what we *must* do.

     

    IOW, the same thing every company ends up saying and doing.  MMO's are too dynamic to hold them to things they promise.  According to them, anyway.

     

    The only saving grace for GW2 is no recurring fee to play. But the easier they make it to go do something else, the more people who will.  And the current ascended gear and the FOTM are doing that right now, so they have to change that yesterday if they don't want a mass exodus.

    Hey Bro, your feels are showing.

    /hug

  • fiontarfiontar Dana, MAPosts: 3,719Member

    So far, very disappointed with the AMA. there are many good questions there, even after weeding out all the chaff, but in three hours very few answers. It almost seems as if every answer needs approval from the higher ups and maybe has to be parsed by a lawyer before they can answer a question.

    I really hope they answer the questions assembled on "that unofficial GW2 fan site". A lot of good questions, most of which have nothing to do with Ascended gear and most of which I'd really like to see an answer for.

    Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated
    image

  • Zeus.CMZeus.CM ZagrebPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by Calerxes
    Originally posted by Zeus.CM

    People are mostly concerned about ascended gear. As I am. To get full exotic gear I was required to get around 30-40g (gear + accessories). It was obtainable within a week of farming gold/materials. And now they introduced ascended back slot and rings. My experience: I had to grind 40g just to get back slot. ALso, it's been 6 days since I've been doing level 10 fractals and still not a single ring dropped.

    Ascended brought what we feared the most in GW2 - the grind. I really hope they reduce the amount of materials or make better ring drop because as it is now, it's a bad grind.

     

    Why are you grinding Ascended gear? what do you need it for? can you play other parts of the game effectively without Ascended gear? 

    Without it I cannot play fractals beyond level 12 or so. Arenanet stated they will be adding more content to fractals, more dungeons. So, If I want to do it on higher levels I am required to make ascended gear... I'm a type of a person that want to be 100% efficient and when it comes to mmos that means to have max gear. I play GW2 because achieving that was not as time consuming as in other mmos. By playing 2 hours a day I could have max gear within 2 weeks or so. This will not be the case anymore, unless they improve the way to get it. The most concerning thing is that ascended gear introduced gear requirement to enter a group doing a certain level of a dungeon.

  • nationalcitynationalcity Decatur, MIPosts: 330Member Uncommon

    lol, so much for GW2 not having a gear grind next time I hear one person say how GW2 is so different because it doesn't have a gear treadmill I'm going to point them directly to this AMA............

     

    You mark my words by the time full ascended is in your not gonna be able to do anything without a full set....

     

    It's going to just as elitist as every other MMO out there.......

  • PaRoXiTiCPaRoXiTiC Denison, TXPosts: 576Member Uncommon

    The crying will never stop. This is exactly how an MMO should be. Gear released throughought an entire year and you taking some play days to farm/grind for the gear. Its not like your grinding your life away.

    People please go back to your consoles. We are so sick of hearing you cry about how it takes to long to get items in an MMO. Please, again, go away. Go play something else if you have a problem with it.

  • Zeus.CMZeus.CM ZagrebPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by nationalcity

    lol, so much for GW2 not having a gear grind next time I hear one person say how GW2 is so different because it doesn't have a gear treadmill I'm going to point them directly to this AMA............

     

    You mark my words by the time full ascended is in your not gonna be able to do anything without a full set....

     

    It's going to just as elitist as every other MMO out there.......

    Luckily, this 'gear threadmill' is limited to one dungeon which is <1% of content. In the AMA they said they understand that it feels like a grind to get it atm, so they will rebalance it and introduce more ways to get it. We shall see. It's still not as bad as other mmos.

  • Zeus.CMZeus.CM ZagrebPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by PaRoXiTiC

    The crying will never stop. This is exactly how an MMO should be. Gear released throughought an entire year and you taking some play days to farm/grind for the gear. Its not like your grinding your life away.

    People please go back to your consoles. We are so sick of hearing you cry about how it takes to long to get items in an MMO. Please, again, go away. Go play something else if you have a problem with it.

    The problem is that they destroyed their manifesto with this patch and raised concern among their loyal GW1 playerbase (which is a major percentage, including me), that's why so many questions are about that gear.

  • HorrorScopeHorrorScope Norcal, CAPosts: 612Member
    Originally posted by PaRoXiTiC

    The crying will never stop. This is exactly how an MMO should be. Gear released throughought an entire year and you taking some play days to farm/grind for the gear. Its not like your grinding your life away.

    People please go back to your consoles. We are so sick of hearing you cry about how it takes to long to get items in an MMO. Please, again, go away. Go play something else if you have a problem with it.

    We can since it's no different.

    Imo their game can't compete on a dungeon level with the best dungeon/instance based mmo's.

    This was the games signature (horizontal) that and open world de's. In a couple months now they have gear progression and almost all level 80's for PvE are running a dungeon. This is in line with the likes of Failcom, no joke. No one, but no one would have thought this was possible at release and anything suggesting it would have been called the biggest troll ever at mmorpg.

     

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