Guild Wars 2 ‘end-game’ (updated)

Update: Of course, I hadn’t played GW2 yesterday so didn’t see the blog post on the GW2 website about this very topic. Glad to see they are communicating about their vision for long-term involvement!

Guild Wars 2 is certainly generating a lot of debate in the blogosphere.

Other than the economy debates of last week, the lack of traditional gear-progression focused end-game seems to be the hot topic. I have read some positive posts about the game’s take on content: Ravious of KillTenRats, and Syp of Bio Break are both pretty upbeat about the game not needing to ape WoW or others to keep players playing. For the counterview you can see Keen’s post or In An Age both have posts showing concern over whether GW2 will suffer from playerbase drop-off.

Personally, as I’ve said before, I’m optimistic that the buy-to-pay model will help the game immensely as there’s no “one month free time” or “three/six month sub renewal” dates, those dates that in subscription model games usually sees the casual crowd leaving en-masse. The multiple storylines for the races, the five starter zones and the strong differentiation of how classes ‘feel’ to play certainly makes this an attractive game for alt-creation.

I can understand the viewpoint expressed by Keen over the lack of direction at endgame, not necessarily because there is nothing to do, but rather that it’s less obvious or narrowly focused as it would be in other theme park MMOs. But I also remember feeling the slightly jarring sense of “what now” in Rift when I dinged 50 on my cleric. It wasn’t that I had nothing I could do with my gear, but given the very linear progression through zones and content up to that point, it was confusing to then have numerous grindy alternatives to continue my gear progression beyond the final zone. I’ve also read a few complaints that the dynamic events get old soon. I just have to roll my eyes at such comments, I can only assume that those making such comments have played at least one major theme park MMO over the last 5+ years? All these games make an ‘end-game’ out of repeating the same small and usually very linear instanced zones (a k a dungeons) ad nauseum for random loot drops or token rewards. This of course is usually arranged in level tiers and difficulty modes just to slightly break up the moronic repetitiveness. If I had a £1 for every time I ran Hall of Lightning during the Wrath era of WoW…  Needless to say I will, personally, not get bored of running the same dynamic events for a long time. Why? The events may play the same sequence of events, but the reaction of a random selection of players (number, group make up, play skill etc) can make each time feel very, very different! Give me dynamic events over raids any day!

With Guild Wars 2 I really hope that ArenaNet ignore the calls for a standard end-game. I assume that they have a development plan for more content going forwards, I would guess more big open world bosses, some way to continue the overall story arcs, the odd new dungeon for a change of pace and a drip-feed of new dynamic events to mix up the main bulk of the existing content every so often. This plan seems the way to maintain the games attractiveness as a casual game or second game. Bolting on a raid end-game would destroy the core that makes this game something a bit different from the crowd.

Perhaps ArenaNet needs to market the more hard-core options that are in game such as the mega-grind for legendaries or the map completion exploration goals to make it clearer what you can do at the level cap? But then this game isn’t about super linear, sign-posted power leveling to cap, so the game wasn’t designed for some players and will never satisfy them, IMHO.

I’m certainly really happy with how the game plays and I can see myself being at home in the reborn Tyria for a very long time.

This entry was posted in Guild Wars, MMORPG. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Guild Wars 2 ‘end-game’ (updated)

  1. Hunaiam says:

    I finally bought and downloaded the game last night. Not because I’m bored with ToR, but that there are people there I want to hang with. Heres to hoping the game is as fun as it seems from the blogs I have read.

  2. Zach says:

    “This plan seems the way to maintain the games attractiveness as a casual game or second game.” This is the root of the problem people have with end-game. Many of us pushing for an actual end-game don’t want this to be our second game. We want it to be our primary game. I don’t see how this will make the game any less casual, as you wouldn’t have to participate in those arenas. The casual/second gamers could go happily about their day doing hearts, dynamic events, and map completion. This does not negatively impact their style of gaming. However, for those of us for whom casual/second isn’t enough, it does negatively impact our overall experience. The less people making gw2 a priority in their gaming timeslot means less gems being bought and less sustained income.

    • Telwyn says:

      That depends what you want for an endgame though, doesn’t it? If you mean adding in the standard tiered-raiding model then I’m dead against that, that would be taking the Guild Wars franchise and WoW’ifying it. Guild Wars 2, like its predecessor has cosmetic gear grinds, completionist style activities and PVP as an endgame already (whether they need improving or not, they are there).

      • Zach says:

        WoW’ifying is a rather, ignorant way of putting it. WoW is most certainly not the first MMO and subsequently nowhere near the first game to introduce a tiered level of progression after reaching a certain cap or milestone. This is actually a very common, tried, and effective way of increasing a characters power in a stepped fashion rather than increasing it in an exponential fashion as is what happens with a leveling system using the logistic curve which nearly all RPG style games use. Essentially, your character is statistically finished once you hit 80 and get your exotics. The only place to go then is a prolonged legendary grind for a marginal increase, but some fairly cool looking weapons.
        How does a tiered improvement system on a character negatively impact your casual gaming experience, seeing as how you are against it and would not be participating? WvW is normalized, SPvP is as well. Where is your argument against it?

      • Telwyn says:

        I used the controversial term for a reason, because WoW, like EQ2 and other theme parks with traditional end-games have suffered from developers attempts at the impossible task. No developer has the resources to produce enough tiered content to keep the playerbase from demanding ever more. The stat inflation that comes with new levels or even just new tiers of such gear can really mess with the games balancing across the levels.

        Guild Wars 2, like its predecessor may never need a level increase, expansions in the past were new campaigns to play through without invalidating the previous content – I personally much prefer this model of horizontal expansion to an ever higher ladder to climb. Think what it is like for new players joining later, I have faced this in LoTRO, ‘catching up’ with the end game becomes a huge deal if that’s where the majority of the playerbase is stuck while they grind dungeons or raids. What’s the solution in this type of game? Well Blizzard’s solution to this was super-boosting leveling so it’s trivial.

        IMHO, it is much better to keep the players involved in the open world as much as possible regardless of their level. ArenaNet have a system for that in GW2, they just need to tweak rewards or loot for higher level players in low level areas (as many other bloggers have already covered). I do not believe endgame tiered dungeons/raiding is healthy for having an active game world – if it’s added to GW2 then we’ll just have yet another game where players never see each other. This happened to a certain extent in Rift after launch, players switched from open world content (the rifts in the game’s title!) to dungeons and raids and open world content died from lack of players to support it.

  3. Brain Games says:

    Nice blog here! Also your web site rather a lot
    up fast! What web host are you the use of? Can I
    get your associate hyperlink to your host? I desire
    my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

Comments are closed.