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The graphical and design department did an outstanding job as usual. New content looks and feels amazing during play, this is no surprise as Anets team of artists produce some of the best results Ive seen in any game, including the leading subscription designers.
Its too bad that the logistics department was not as gifted with the same levels of talent as their artists. New end boss content that mirrors holy trinity type of play with massive amounts of aoe and range damage that will only further encourage players to seek heavy ac classes to group with and therefor increase the chances for success and reduced finishing time. Anet seems to be on the warpath to completely push the light and “squishy” character types out of PVE altogether, and create a dystopian “warrior nation” environment.
The new fractal LFG messages already are beginning to flood with “warrior only” groups and will continue to do so as long as the heavy ac classes are not allowed to do what they are supposed to do, soak up damage. Im still amazed why Anet even bothered to create 3 different armor classes in a game that is totally unprejudiced on dispensing hurt.
I did find it rather dispiriting that they decided to limit the pristine reward to 1 per account per day instead of 1 per character per day.
I also thought it was a mistake to remove the shortened game play from the odd numbers, as the time it takes to complete 4 fractals is already excessive for many players. Leaving an option to shorten the duration while still playing the content was at least to some, a reason to keep playing.
All in all I believe that the new content isn’t the lifeboat for fractals that Anet wanted it to be, and will probably backfire with the addition of much tougher end bosses that are now mandatory to finish even if you have already completed your daily.
But for now, new content is new content, so everyone jump on your warriors and go have fun!