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In a reddit AMA, ANet's devs accepted the 20-70 wasteland issue as valid and said 'we'll have to figure something out'.
An MMO that is top / bottom level heavy isn't anything new but compared to other MMOs, apparently this issue was more extreme.
It also doesn't help that most DE will constantly fail if there isn't enough players involved which means most players can't progress and see the next one. Since DE was suppose to be GW2's most hyped feature (as an aside, remember the 'zones will change!' lie? ANet, what happened? T_T), having it constantly in a failed state highlights this issue even more.
So what are the major design decisions that made this issue into such a big one?
1. Level scaling. Having a constant challenge by scaling is a game design decision that is mostly in racing games now and for good reason. If you are at level cap in WoW or other MMOs, going to any area that isn't the 'high end' doesn't really concern you. You will ROFL-STOMP everything in that zone so there is little barrier on actually doing it.
Not in GW2. Whether you like this design or not, it is manifesting in GW2 with the 'wasteland' problem as there will be less players willing to go to a zone if there are little rewards for a lot of risk.
2. Too many mobs / areas have too many invisible walls
The GW2 map shows a game world that screams 'arificial'. There are no 'curves' or anything. Just straight up rectangles filled with invisible walls.
The mob intensity makes it really difficult to travel from point A to point B and so people are less willing to do it.
3. Self-recursive problem
The problem itself of 'less people in the world' causes issue 2 to become even worse which in turn causes more people to avoid going out into the world.
I said 'curious' cause I don't think they were thoughtout that well and now ANet is trying to figure something out.
They mentioned that they don't like the henchmen idea but I don't see a solution without redesigning their game which is probably the last resort. I don't mind having henchmen cause they worked great in GW1 so not sure why the resistance now.
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.