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  • Guild Wars 2 - The Six Big Wins for Path of Fire -

    And now this post will cover the losing aspects of GW2 + Path of Fire

    1) The Expansion is for Endgamers.

    Its nice that one gets a Level 80 boost, but truth be told... the expectation is to have a specialization going into it and preparing for it. This also means knowing your class. Using a Max-Level boost and running to the Expansion means getting your ass kicked.

    This is also means that there are many players who do not know their class and are being carried by others.

    2) HoT-Dependent

    In order to progress through the expansion, you need every bit of strength possible. This means you need to have the HoT Specializations. While new Specializations are great, not all the new ones beat the old ones according to the forums.

    3) Story

    Its nice to have a link to Elona/Crystal Desert and feel so nice about linking Guild Wars 1, but that is the problem. The initial main story of the game had so many holes in the Guild Wars Lore and connecting both games together that it felt that my crime was playing Guild Wars 1. If I didn't play Guild Wars 1, I could have accepted Guild Wars 2's story without dealing with the main Lore. In fact, that has been such a turn-off for players throughout this game's life cycle. The Expansion Stories + Current Living World stories are the saving grace.

    ...and its funny how much one has to actually pay to unlock stories if a new player was absent. Imagine, a game where the penalty for not playing is to pay for content. 200 Gems for each Episode.

    Even worse is the fact that Anet had to resort to finally triggering Guild Wars 1 Nostalgia in order to survive, when Nostalgia THIS GOOD should have been triggered since GW2's ORIGINAL BASE GAME.

    4) Inconsistent Graphics

    The graphics get prettier as one goes through the expansions, along with the Artwork that goes with it. Unfortunately, its very far from Uniform. As new maps came out, the graphics became better. Like you can literally enter an area and say "This is 2012" and then walk to the next area and say "Oh this is 2017" and then when you enter any of the original instances, some look amazing and others look like garbage.

    I dare say that this is a game where as far as base graphics go, has not aged well. Textures in the Expansion look good in a 4K Monitor, but when I go to Lion's Arch, It doesn't look so well that I am stuck playing the game at 1920 x 1080 resolution to keep everything as consistent as possible.

    5) Marketing

    HoT came out during a time where GW2 needed an Endgame badly, and it was advertised for Level 80 characters. Anet even went to claim that it was to breathe new life to those long-term players who made Guild Wars 2 their home.

    PoF was advertised as a new expansion "for everyone who loved Guild Wars 1" and it so it lead to many players purchasing the expansion, just to find out that it is also an endgame expansion. This created problems (continued later).

    6) Mounts

    Mounts are awesome to have, but when a player has to collect different mounts intentionally in order to traverse different parts, it forces the players to go after each relevant mount and forces each player to use each relevant mount when need be. In fact, the forum has a thread dealing with an argument around the cost of the mounts. Some claiming that some cost 20G and in order to get the Griffon mount, some are saying 250G.

    In short,
    Mounts are FUCKING AWESOME, but FUCKING GARBAGE at the same time!

    7) Inventory Space (marketing continued)

    This isn't an expansion where a player can just walk into. Like HoT, a thread exists in the forum about the Inventory Space required to actually do well in this environment and the costs associated in Gold/Gems to get said Inventory Space. Its actually quite staggering. Basically a player has to pay $17 or get 1200 GEMS (remember, minimum is 800 on a sale) to get 3 Bag Slot Expansions. Then its extremely expensive for a new player to get the bags needed to start. The forum suggests 24 - 32 slot bags (if you can afford them). The costs for a single bag over 20 Slots starts to get Ridiculous... where a 32 slot bag is around 250 - 300+ Gold due to cost of mats, Clearly an Endgame Bag for players with money to burn.

    8) Server Woes...

    New players enter a server only seeing a population marker, and not knowing the attitude of the server. Upon entry, a lot of the Low Level Areas have players who are leveling Alts or new players. However, the mid-level areas in the game are pretty much barren and empty; New players are pretty much alone for 20 levels in the game until it picks up again at around Level 50 - 60. Anet knows that many people will abandon maps for examples and that is why Max-Level Boosts exist.

    9) Cash-Shop pushing:

    If a player has 10 hours a day to grind faithfully, one can get what is needed in a few months of playing. However, Arenanet is known for employing certain maneuvers to push people towards spending their money on the cash shop. A lot of the reason why Guild Wars 2 players grind so much is because they do not want to spend real money for Gems. So they grind whatever and even make legendaries on new characters to sell them.

    10) B2P to F2P

    Anet promised players that this game would originally be B2P with unlimited access without any of the P2P/F2P game shenanigans. Then a year later NEXON bought shares from NCSOFT and sent an agent to work with Anet's Guild Wars 2. The Guild Wars 2 Manifesto was thrown out the window completely, and the grind was added to the game (Laurels, Tokens, a lot of currencies, etc). During that period a lot of players including myself left. Eventually NEXON was driven out from NCSOFT a few years later. However, the damage was done. A lot of players had left and the one thing that was done was that the game was forced to be made into an F2P.

    Guild Wars 2 transformed from the game we expected in September, 2012, to what it is today. Like most games, it was a mixed bag.

    11) Little Profession Lore.

    This always bothered me.
    You pick a class and the class just exists in the world.
    The game doesn't do a good job to define where these professions came from.

    All they did was allow all races/gender to be any profession (a good thing), but if everyone can do the same thing, why is culture only defined by the stereotype of "You look different, so your maps look different, and therefore your culture is different... all because you talk differently"

    and this is every single race.

    They try to give each race a difference voice with a different problem and a set of enemies, but when each race can do just about everything (in their cities) as each makes me truly ask "What truly does make you different?"

    For example, I can travel to Japan, China, South Korea, etc and they have Art Forms, Traditions, and Styles that are native to those nations. I walk from Divinity's Reach to where the Charr are, and the only difference is in how the maps look, how the city and their people look, since everyone can do the same + their racial skill!

    Then the fact that each Class can do all the roles (DPS, TANK, SUPPORT, HEAL) always made me feel that was a human thing. Humans are the people in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and RPGs who are Extremely Adaptive in the whole "If there is a way, we will do it"

    Guild Wars 2! All Hail Equality!
    By everyone being the same, we are all different!
    Yay! No more barriers!
    Oh wait....
  • Okay WTF is a MMO? Really?

    Guild Wars 1 is a CORPG. 
    Anet itself conjured up the name due to the fact the game was instanced and did not have a persistent world. 

    I've always determined the "Massive" part of a game based on the number of players who simultaneously are capable of doing something together in-game. In most games I see with the MMORPG-Label, most of the content is designed to be for single parties. Massive to me means a point in the game where entire regions come under attack and all the players in that region/zone have to work together against swarms of enemies. Guild Wars 2 had this during the Scarlet Briar Invasions.

    As it stands: 

    Typical MMO Dungeon is 4 - 8 players 
    Typical FPS Team Deathmatch Party = 8  - 16 players (per team)

    When I see a shooter, I find it to be more "Massive" in the fact more people do things together than the amount of people who do things together in MMORPGs, excluding the minor percentage of endgame content that requires multiple parties to actually win a map. 

    The Genre to me is becoming "Less Massive" and more "Solo-Friendly" by the year. 
    Shooters are becoming more "Massive" and more "group-oriented" by the year. 

  • Blizzard Actively Working to Stem the Tide of Toxicity - Overwatch -

    One of the things I did when making mods for FPS games was that I simply said "Enough is Enough" and Disabled the Chat-Box in Unreal Engine games and Quake Engine games early on. 

    My servers became the heaviest and most-traveled servers because I had eliminated the following: 

    ~People swearing and hurling insults at each other.
    ~People venting to others
    ~Idiotic people complaining that they were killed while typing. 
    ~Random, Idle Chat turning game servers into Social Servers. 

    The Mod encouraged the following: 

    ~More Structured Playing by getting teams to get VoIPs
    ~Less Liability by publisher/developer/modders to deal with toxic people. 
    ~Much greater emphasis on Server Administrators to look for real infractions worth a kick or ban.
  • The 10 Greatest MMORPGs of All Time - 2017 Edition - The List -

    One of the problems of this list is the fact that it shows how displacement and its own form of what I call Gaming Gentrification had occurred.

    When I look at the generation of Ultimate Online, Lineage 1, and Everquest 1, I see the generation of players who were RP gamers who had deep backgrounds in PnP RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars RPG, Shadowrun, BattleTech, Vampire: The Masquerade etc, mixed with tons of Console RPG series like DragonQuest, Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, Tales Series, Chrono Trigger + Chrono Cross, and even single title hits like The Legend of Dragoon and Xenogears.

    These were true fans who spent their time being ridiculed and put down by just about everyone outside their circle.

    I remember 2000s.. (Pre-WoW) where games started to change.

    There was Deus Ex, which was an FPS game with RPG elements. There was also Phantasy Star Online which was the first Online RPG that was on a Console that one could connect to the net that was actually popular. Many including myself bought a Dreamcast just for that game. A lot of console RPGs were being given voice acting and started to become more focused on graphics and FMV (Full Motion Video). Most of the commercials were FMVs to hide away the shitty in-game graphics. Though Xenosaga was my favorite series from this age.

    Of course we had Dark Age of Camelot, Anarchy Online, RuneScape, Star Wars Galaxies, Ragnarok Online, Eve Online, PlanetSide, Final Fantasy XI, etc.

    The fans of MMOs knew to speak of whatever MMO or RPG out there was making strides. Console Gaming JRPGs had become Mainstream, and many new fans started coming into the RPG genre. Since P2W did not exist in the console world, there was still more equal opinion on matters. What we saw the most were a sheer amount of opinion-seekers claiming their favorite series was the best due to having the most fan support etc.

    The forces of Evil also advanced as Bots started to be issues through massive Conglomerates like IGE. Games were being invaded by bots. Bot companies started buying shares of developers and started to enter in deals and arrangements with developers. There was also a massive DRAM cartel that existed at the turn of the millennium.

    By this point, the genre's main business model was P2P; Generating Money from Subscription Fees and Sales of Expansions.

    Then came WoW :)

    What FF VII did to console JRPGs, WoW did to MMORPGs.
    MMORPGs became a mainstream genre. Suddenly the Shock of what happened in Japan when FF XI was released did not seem so unreal anymore... as WoW generated the same response even from its poor launch. Many people skipped worked and put their lives on hold while they played WoW. It actually had international media attention on the matter...

    WoW was such a hit that the industry had to reinvent itself in order to survive. A year later, Guild Wars 1 came out as a B2P game, while many people from other P2P games FLOCKED to WoW. This caused a lot of P2P games to change into the new model called "F2P" or Free To Play, focused and bent on micro-transactions.

    Where the previous generation had players and their guilds camp monsters with super rare drops and sold on Ebay, this generation became the beginning of companies mass-exploiting their populations through F2P models that some of these F2P models towards the late 2000s started being known as "Pay to Win" or a subgenre of F2P games marked by having games masked as a cash-cow attracting players who have enough money to buy their wins.

    During this time, MANY gamers came into the genre...
    They brought their time
    They brought their energy
    Most importantly, they brought their MONEY! ...and tons of it!

    The industry started to cater to individuals with money to keep themselves alive. The definition of MMORPGs changed. It became more about satisfying as many individuals as possible in order to increase conversion rate and improve upon retention rates.

    The old players who shaped the genre and even risked a high school beating by smiling to their peers and saying "I play Role Playing Games" suddenly were no longer important. For every single player that struggled and defended the notion of the P2P and the time sinks that existed, there were 100s of players that had their opinions written and accepted simply from throwing a dollar into it.

    No Longer was an MMORPG about being throw into a large world where it was the purpose of the player characters to stick together and solve the mystery of the world. No! Now the genre was about becoming as strong as possible and PvPing each other to Oblivion. You could become the "KING OF THE WORLD" or even a God.... etc, all you had to do was spend thousands to tens of thousands on your character and victory will be yours.

    The genre went from being one where Time itself was the reason people were not on an equal footing to that of Money being the reason people are not on equal footing.

    So when people talk about what are the TOP 10 games....

    Is that really from the Old School Population that survived to today and managed to play all the games on the list? Or is it coming truly from the idea and influence on market succeess brought forth by the new generation of players and the new identity this genre took?

    I feel that before WoW there was a completely different definition to MMORPGs
    After WoW's impact, the industry revived itself and took on a new identity and redefined the definition to MMORPGs.

    I don't blame WoW.
    Blizzard did what it needed to do!
    Not be lazy and make a game that was high quality and really stick to it.

    I blame the many companies that instead of trying to make a good game, decided to be lazy as hell and surrender. Americans took it to heart when several Korean companies joked that we couldn't make a decent game worth anything in 2003. Once we released the King of MMOs, All our Asian Counterparts can do is introduce the latest Soft-Core Porn-Selling point to their F2P/P2Ws and try to make WoW clones to cash in on Blizzard's Success... From Joking to becoming the Joke itself..... Worse Part... The west had to learn the hard way and it did...

    I don't count games in the top 10 list that are DEAD GAMES.
    We know WoW is a given, however, if a list was made of games before WoW and another of games after WoW, there would be such a big difference between the games and their communities that its not even funny. :P

  • FFXIV Community Scores Big with $21k Raised for Charity - Final Fantasy XIV -

    So I clicked on the Link that Susie posted and it lead me to the Square-Enix FF XIV forums. I then clicked on the link in that post and it lead me to a Reddit Page; Which then in turned lead me to the second link in this thread.

    In that link there is a channel owner and of course the donation money will be going towards.

    Having read the Terms of Service Agreement,
    Tiltify uses around 5% of anything donated as a Service Fee to the site itself. It goes on to further state that all donations are unrestricted gifts when the laws have donation limits.

    The question then goes
    "Does an individual receive a direct-receipt after donating amounts in excess of $250?" It is important because that is the law, yet nowhere does it actually make any mention of the four big laws that most people should know about charities.

    Hats off to the people who play FF XIV who managed to fundraise.
    However, like stated in a previous post.
    If an individual cares deep enough to donate,

    ...they will donate directly to the cause and not to the cause through a third party or middle-man, who through legal jargon can legally keep 85% of every dollar donated. Newspapers today showed a list of Charities to avoid and how to make sure your money gets to where it needs to be.