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Level 80 in GW2. What’s next?

My ranger (Glumshanks) has dinged level 80.  This momentous occasion actually happened many days ago… for some reason I never included it in a blog post.  I find myself at that pivotal moment in any MMO where I ask myself, “What’s next?”

Leveling in GW2 was fun — a lot of fun.  It was never slow, never boring, never without something to do.  Entertainment was at my fingertips.  Exploration was fun while leveling, doing hearts and dynamics events were fun, and I even enjoyed WvW while leveling up way more than I thought I would.   How about level 80?

I get the distinct impression that many people are reaching level 80 and finding themselves bored.  I have very, very keen senses when it comes to ‘feeling’ the mood of the players.  I feel like a lot of people are reaching the end and feeling like they have nothing left.  GW2 doesn’t have the raid progression, or the PvP progression, or the gear progression (okay it sorta does, more in a minute), or … actually, what is there to do?

When you look at it that way, GW2 doesn’t offer much of anything to the end-game player.  It’s all in the mindset, folks.  This is why WvW isn’t a runaway hit.  It’s not being treated by the players like it matters.  I’m having trouble qualifying why people cared so much about RvR in DAOC.  No, wait, Darkness Falls.  Heads up ArenaNet:  It’s time.

The novelty is wearing off for most people.  Jumping puzzles were cool beans a week ago.  Exploring a zone and finding all the vistas was entertaining, but the average 80 isn’t interested in those anymore, or perhaps has even completed most of them.

As for myself, I have been making my own fun.  My guild has been the focus for my enjoyment so far because we’re doing things together every night.  We have a schedule for most nights of the week where we trade off PvE, WvW, and fun silly activities.  We had a night this week of Asuran RC Golem battles.  The winners walked away with prizes from the cash shop.  We run dungeons together (lower level ones, exploration mode) and get itno a WvW group to be organized and make a difference.  It’s fun.

I recommend people pace themselves.  I can see many more weeks of enjoyment because my guild will do a couple dungeon runs a week, and there are many paths to explore in each dungeon’s exploration mode.  I can also see having fun in WvW with my friends because we roam together.

I’m currently ‘farming’.  Yeah, I’m grinding mobs and events to earn money or find drops to break down into ectoplasm.  I’m trying to craft myself an exotic Berserker set.  My goal is simple: That’s what I need to be able to forget about PvE and just go into PvP.  Despite what a lot of people have said, gear matters a lot.  Gear determines whether your arrows hit for 500 or 1000.  I’d rather my rapid fire add up to 14,000 instead of 6,000 — one almost kills the average player and the other lets them heal up.  That matters.

Shifting gears back to players in general, I think setting goals is important.  I haven’t seen the complete story yet.  I still need to finish my own.  I think most people haven’t even done Arah or fought the story boss.   There is a very legitimate point to be made here that once the story is done, the boss defeated, the gear made, and WvW has been fought back and forth for a few weeks — what’s next?  What happens in a themepark when you ride all of the rides?

  • Mcface says:

    while i’m not bored of the game yet, i’m starting to get bored of my 80 for sure.

    also, i have my 80 exotic set in full already. i actually had it all 2 days after dinging 80, just by buying it super cheap on the TP. i have very little reason to keep playing my ranger other than guild events or PvP.

  • silvertemplar says:

    Well, you’ve just described classic Theme Park MMOs. Rush to the level cap and be bored with the “end game” .

    I kinda expected this scenario, from the start i could see GW2 doesn’t offer anything particular different than WoW in terms of the “leveling game”. And end game, just like in GW1 is pretty much PvP/Arenas which is actually again a totally different progression path.

    Luckily, i’m now use to the concept of playing MMOs as “3-monthers” or even “2-monthers”. I expect no less from GW2 here, at least now i can take my time since there’s no sub chasing me through the content.

    The Secret World, same thing, enjoyed the game, initially thought this thing is designed for infinite progression, but alas, it ends..at the level cap, like 90% of all MMOs out there.

    Good thing, looks like i might end up having time to play some SWTOR F2P afterall 😉 .

  • Argorius says:

    hmm if a million+(?) people decide that WvW doesnt matter, it isnt because they have the wrong mindset, it is because, to them, it doesnt matter. I do enjoy WvW myself but I am leveling and I am not participating all of the time. Plus, if I do particpate, I do get experience and I get a direct benefit from it. Fun AND character progression.

    However, it isnt the most efficient way to level and there is no doubt in my mind that your average MMO player will always choose the most efficient way to progress his character no matter how unfun it is. Efficiency is king, fun takes the second fiddle.

    If I was 80, you sort of take out the character progression part of WvW and what are you left with? Potential fun gameplay…benefits like 2% to crafting…you simply cannot have an RPG game which is about character progression and then take out character progression and expect people to be happy about it. Activities are fun if you do them sometimes, but if you are supposed to do that same activity for months and months…maybe even years…you need character progression as a driving force. Even Darkness Falls wont save that…it would be a temporary bandaid until the novelty wears of. Part of the excitement about DF in DAOC (once the novelty wore off) was to get into DF, run to the other side and wipe out whoever was in therebefore so that you could get them precious RPs.

    WvW is only potentially fun. If you are in a guild and get an organized group, well, it can be pretty cool. If you arent in that situation then it may be fun if your server is putting the smack down. It can also be very frustrating and boring if your server isnt doing so hot…

    DAOC was successful because it had LONG TERM meaningful character progression. WOW PVP provided short term meaningful character progression which got recycled over and over (which is also annoying). GW2, at the moment, has no WvW character progression.

  • Danath says:

    WvW also provides no realm specific rewards.. oh you do get some buffs, 1% more critical crafting success and such, but that resets, who REALLY cares. It’s just a temporary bonus that will reset, and you’ll move on, probably not even noticing the difference until you click “b” and see that the bonus numbers have all reset to 0.

    Theres no permanent realm bonus, theres no ability or gear progression (RvR provided alternate ability progression through bonus stats or brand new abilities), theres no special dungeons or rewards for being #1 aside from… being #1. I don’t like gear treadmills, but alternate gear, appearances, ranks, WvW doesn’t provide any of these things. I feel the areas are not very large either, DAoC had ENORMOUS frontier lands, wheras WvW simply provides no speed boosts, which makes it feel like you’re plodding along.

    WvW also doesn’t bring much realm pride… there’s server pride sure, but with how often opponents change to provide a challenge, it’s hard to feel invested, there’s no enemies you familiarize yourself with, no “enemy faction”, it’s all just you fighting you. Theres no real enemy faction, nobody to specifically direct your anger and aggression, it’s all like a little tournament ladder, except you can’t see any rankings.

  • bhagpuss says:

    With a business model based around selling boxes and then charging nothing more, with a “cash shop” from which anything can be purchased without paying ArenaNet anything at all, does it matter if people play for a few weeks then stop?

    So long as most of the same people come back each time there’s an expansion box to buy and new people can be found to buy the base game, is there a problem?

    As Syp said yesterday, GW2 is probably the ultimate AAA casual MMO. Traditional MMO players used to devoting a lot of both their time and emotional energy to games may well tire of it quickly but are there more of them then there are of pootlers and potterers who’ll dip in and out for a few hours a week year after year?

    Far, far too early to tell where the long-term audience for GW2 is going to come from, or how large it will be.

  • sikk says:

    I was worried this would happen and can see it on the horizon. I’ll probably hit 80 in a day or so and I might hit it from crafting which I have just started to do in the mid 70’s. My friends have asked me if I’m totally digging the game and all I can say is I’m still undecided. There has to be stuff to keep people playing in mmo’s, period. Progression ending in any way can make or break mmo’s and, well, progression is about to halt for me and fast. Sure I can pvp, but to be honest I don’t think the pvp is mechanically that sound or balanced to keep me interested long term. Underwater combat I wish didn’t exist, and the carrot needs to be bigger in WvW, ALOT bigger. With huge releases just around the corner people WILL hop ship for greener pastures. Also for those that said this wasn’t a 3 monther, ya still saying that now? Cause I’m pretty sure some could call this a 1 monther if they don’t like the pvp. I for one will probably play through another character to experience the game in 3d since I hear it’s amazing and I just snagged a 3d vision 2 and a lightboost monitor. After that though I dunno, WoW will be launching, borderlands 2, black ops 2…..and then my brain will explode of overload or the world will end lol.

  • Argorius says:

    The term 3-monther started as an insult…by today’s standards it is almost a compliment.

  • Kenng says:

    I think you guys have played too many MMOS and are basically Jaded, i don’t think GW2 is for you never has been, you already knew ArenaNet’s vision before the game came out.

    this is a slow burner take your time forget about being 80 forget about endgame trust me you will sleep better at night, i wish they had taken levels out of it.

    whats the alternative back to WOW with gear grind and raids? no thanks, personally this scratches my fantasy MMO itch which leaves me free to try new things like Planet Side 2.

    this link clarifies it for me.
    https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/the-endgame-reimagined/

  • Ettesiun says:

    For the first time, I can hope to see the last part of a MMO. I am lvl22 on my first character, I have started a second on (lvl 2) and I have been playing a lot those two last weeks.
    On hour a day is a lot for me !

    This game is not aimed at everyone, and as Syp said, it is mainly aimed at casual gamers.

  • Steeldragoon says:

    I can’t believe that people are already saying they are bored. They must be still stuck in the WoW mindset because if they were to only think differently there is still WAY too much to do!

    Have you seen all of the dynamic events? Are you interested in the story? If so, which parts and have you don’t all 3 stages? Have you beaten the end game dragon?

    How can you be bored of jumping puzzles? I want to do them ALL and some of them I love repeating. I found some that didn’t give any achievements but were the most fun jumping puzzles I’ve ever done!

    Also, I just read on reddit that you can do certain emotes in the game and it unlocks stories, events, and chests. I passed some of those zones that were mentioned and feel I have to go back and experience them for myself. They just sound too awesome not to!

    I’ll post a link to that reddit in the GW2 sub-forum.

    My only down fall of this game is that while I love being in KGC, I fear I won’t be able to enjoy the dungeons because dungeons require a 5 man group to do and my time doesn’t always line up (going to bed earlier … coming on earlier while they play other games, etc). So I’m faced with skipping that portion of the game, or wishing that GW2 would have a better LFG for things so that I could enjoy the game further.

  • Renko says:

    I never do dungeons in an MMO and never will do, so the only sad thing about GW2 for me is that I won’t get to see the conclusion of the personal story. Other then that I’m still enjoying the game at the level cap.

  • […] 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 […]

  • Stargrace says:

    Some times you really make me wonder if we’re even playing the same game. I’ve been 80 for some time now (reached it 11 days in), and I’ve never been bored, nor heard of any of the other 80s that I constantly see being bored. There’s SO much to do. The game for GW2 really begins at 80, the numbers mean pretty much nothing and the only thing level 80 does for you that level 53 or 32 or 65 doesn’t do for you is remove the level restrictions of zones, so when you walk into one you’re not thinking “hmm, am I too small for this?”.

    100% map completion. Legendary weapons. PvP. WvWvW. Dungeons. Crafting. Cultural armor. Personal stories. There is a LOT to do. Collecting 200 skill points for a single legendary weapon is no small feat. Unlocking 100% map completion on a single character, same thing. While these things may not be for everyone, there is certainly no shortage of “stuff to do”. It’s just that the “stuff” is not what the general populace may have expected. If you played GW1 at all, it’s exactly what you expected.

  • Jenks says:

    @Steeldragoon

    Those all sound like things that can be better served in a single player game, but that is what the MMO experience has become, isn’t it.

  • Shintar says:

    I find this discussion oddly reminiscent of SWTOR.

    “Okay, my class story while levelling up was great. Now what?”
    “Roll alts of all the other classes and see all there is to see! It’s like eight games rolled into one! Plus, you know, exploration, flashpoints, operations…”
    “But… it’s not the same. /quits”

  • Steeldragoon says:

    @Stargrace – well written.

    @Jenks – Well, not really. I just did 3 jumping puzzles in World vs. World and had to fight the opposing servers while I did them. And while I left WvW off my list, I shouldn’t have. I also enjoy that as well.

    As for the events, many people do them, so definitely not single player as I love when it scales in difficulty due to several people.

    In fact, almost everything I do with the exception of crafting usually involves other people and as such makes everything more enjoyable.

    @Shintar – except I don’t even think Keen finished all of the story. I believe it is just that he’s been 80 for a week without any gear treadmill reminiscent of WoW to keep him busy. In other words, I think he’s still stuck in the same old WoW mindset.

  • Keen says:

    @Stargrace: I have a sense for these things. I don’t personally feel this way yet, but as evident in the comments here already I was right. I’ve seen it in the attitudes of players, in their tone, in their behaviors (are they logging in less, etc).

    There may be ‘stuff’ to do, but do the people who are bored care? That’s not their thing. They don’t care about getting 100% zone completion, finding every skill point, or making a legendary weapon. They don’t see that as character progression. THey see it as something to do one, be done, and be right back to having nothing to do. I guess what I’m saying is the carrot isn’t much of a carrot at all for them.

    @Steeldragoon: On Saturdays we’ll be doing things during the day, and as more people get into level ranges to do dungeons I hope we’ll get some things going at times other than official sanctioned events.

    Please be sure to read the post. I’m not talking about myself. I’m talking about what I am observing as a trend. If you read, you’ll see I have plenty to do still. I actually give advice for how people can stop feeling this way.
    (1) Pace yourself. There isn’t an end, so don’t try to get it all done tomorrow.
    (2) Set goals if you feel like there’s nothing to do. Example: I want to get exotic gear.

  • Neuronomad says:

    All my 9 characters are still around 20-22. I continue to take my time leveling up multiple characters. Every time I start to settle on a main I remind myself that there isn’t a major end game yet, so no reason to rush to it, and I continue to have great fun at the lower level zones. That plus being able to contribute to WvW without having to be level 80.

    So far I have about 130 hours total into the game and while I have scaled back the amount of time that I play to a hour or two a night during the week the game still is fairly fresh to me. That said with Torchlight 2, FTL and the Planetside 2 Beta out my time is going to start being shared among the other games as well.

    Guild Wars 2 is certainly one of those games that there really isn’t any reason to rush to end level.

  • Drathmar says:

    This makes me glad I have been so busy I haven’t been able to play much this past week. I was sad to miss the RC Golem tourney though 🙁

  • Steeldragoon says:

    @Keen – I apologize. When you said you were making your own fun, it sounded like you were struggling to me. Then take what I said and apply it to others. After all, I don’t see how the e-sport or continual gear treadmill from WoW was any fun.

    That being said, I hope your observations are partially wrong. I say that some might have been WoW players playing this as a back up, but still addicted to their gear treadmill that they’ve been paying into for years. And I hope the other camp that isn’t signing into GW2 as often is like me … they’ve been ignoring other responsibilities and now that they’ve hit one of their milestones on their list (hit 80 for example) they are returning to a more stable schedule.

  • Keen says:

    I think another big factor at play here is that people are treating Guild Wars 2 like it isn’t a MMO. That’s not necessarily their fault, given the fact that it’s also designed like one.

    For example, is Batman Arkham City a bad game because people spent 15 hours, play through once, and never touch it again; Or are those people doing it wrong if they beat the game in 10 hours, don’t find all of The Riddler’s puzzles, and simply play through the story and move on? Not at all. It’s an amazing experience that you can play and love, but move on at your own pace.

    Guild Wars 2 is very similar to the above example, except I’ve put over 150 hours into GW2 (with MANY more to come) and I only put 10 into Arkham City. The difference is that some people are expecting GW2 to be different because of previous experiences with MMOs.

    @Drathmar: We have more fun events scheduled. 😀 I think we’re going to Keg Brawl which can be fun.

    @Steeldragoon: By making my own fun I mean that I am in control of my play-time. I have a direct impact on my own fun — I make it. I help organize events like RC golem battles and tournaments, I set goals to farm and make a gold a day, I’ll go WvW and do it my way. Many, many, MAAAAANNNY people expect the game to give them things to do, but GW2 isn’t one of those games.

  • Goom says:

    Yea thought it was a pain, back in old WoW at least you had a goal that was achievable and took awhile with getting dungeon sets and then raid sets. When others saw you after a few days they could tell you had to put in some work for your new gear, whereas gw2 looks like everyone rode rides and got the shirt afterwards with zero challenge or difficulty and most likely nearly boredom already. I can see trying this when its on sale for $20 but until then no thanks, no more challenging than any of the single player games i’m finishing up now so no rush to do anything in gw2

  • Keen says:

    @Phandy: Good resource. I’ve picked up a few ideas off there to use for myself.

    I think the biggest issue here, like I mentioned to Stargrace above, is that people who are bored already are looking for a different type of game. They’re not the player who wants to go for achievements or 100% completion, and they won’t be happy with “Buy a Box o’ Fun and throw a party in Lion’s Arch” (that’s on the list) as an idea for something to do at level 80.

    Whether they’re right or wrong for feeling that way I think isn’t up to us to decide — they just do, and we have to appreciate the validity of their position.

  • Steeldragoon says:

    @Goom – I believe GW2 has TWO major challenges:

    1 – Obtain a legendary weapon (maybe even all of them but I don’t even know if this is possible … yet).

    2 – Beat Zhaitan

    Anyone feel free to correct me or add to the list.

  • Tzak says:

    The island of Orr……but.more people need to get to 80…..

  • Caldazar says:

    I got 100% completion 🙂

    I am also rather bored with it though, but I also agree the current endgame might not be for me. I like group events (more than 5 players) that are not pvp. I suppose one can say ‘Do end area events’ but those are zerg fests that are rather boring the third and fourth time(and I’ve done most if not all events in the highlvl maps, and done all dragon events)
    I have my set of exotic gear, maxed my crafting, went completionist, done 90% of the jumping puzzles (I will fix those last few soonish). And I do not feel the point in grinding the same dungeon over and over again for tokens, nor see the point in spending a lot of gold on bad (rare) gear because it is cultural. I bought and farmed what I wanted for looks though.

    I also played GW1 extensively, and I really miss the difficulty from that game in some areas.

  • Karast says:

    The thing is though even at 80 there is a lot you can do. There are the dungeons and explorable with all their various sets.

    There is maxing out crafting, getting full exotics, and working on a legendary.

    There is doing all the big zone bosses like the shatter, shadow behemoth, tequatl, and the rest.

    You have the jumping puzzles / mazes, as well as the quirky “hidden” events where you have to bow or emote or do something silly to trigger special events.

    There is both tournament pvp and WvW.

    So there is actually a lot to do. It’s just that the endgame of GW2 is not the typical raiding model with some big bad buggy broken raid instance to hammer at and have replaced in 3 months.

    Although I will admit that it can get boring at 80. I get bored myself some times. I like WvW a lot of if your on a high pop active server the queues can be pretty bad. A lot of the non WvW content tends to be group orientated as well. So you need an active guild on a low pop server to make the best of things.

  • qbert says:

    WvW realms were finally settled for a week-long match instead of daily balancing. This has been a noticeably significant event for my (relatively large) guild. A LOT of players were wanting to get into WvW but did not perceive there to be any ‘goal’ to it if realms were to be rebalanced daily. If there is anything that is the cornerstone of PvP design, it is that there remain a clear & present goal you are fighting to achieve.

    Now that the realms are set for the week, a lot of players have stated that they are ready to start caring about WvW.

  • João Carlos says:

    Keen, I just get to level 80 and I have a lot of things to do: cvomplete my story quest, craft for me a full exotic gear, get my cultural gear, complete the world, complete the dungeons story mode, I need try WvW (never tryed it), get at least one legendary.

    I am sure all taht will need more than 3 months. And my guild are at range 20-50, I am the first one to get to level 80…

    However, IMHO, the first legendary weapon will happens before the end of this month.

  • Spidubic says:

    I am not in a rush to 80. Am actually trying to prolong the journey. I have a 33 Warrior and a 30 Engineer along with alts below 10. Looking to level my Elementalist to 10 next then perhaps 20. I am actually finding myself doing stuff in areas well below me in level. Just now I am really starting to explore the 15-25 areas at level 33. I know I should be beyond them but I am having way to much fun just running around harvesting and grabbing events nearby. IMHO rushing or wanting to be max level is a recipe for getting bored and moving on.

  • Argorius says:

    I am nowhere close to being 80 nor am I bored but some (a lot?) of the suggestions for things to do at 80 seem to be pointless things…do these things just to have them done…if these things were worth doing then people would simply jump on them and actually do them without needing reminders. Get your trade skills maxed…if people dont sit there thinking that maxing their trade skills would be awesome then it probably is because it isnt worth the effort to them.

    Checking off things for world completion is a nice feature to have but is this part of the end game…maybe if you are OCD…but obsessively completing content doesnt sound like fun even for OCD people…hey, I dont see MONK having a hoot if he has his OCD moments…it actually looks a little painful.

  • Sekrit says:

    If you have to give advice on how not to be bored when the game has been live now less than a month it might be an indicator that it’s a 3 monther (if it’s lucky).

    Character progression is huge for many of us. Take away the progression and jumping around completing maps just to say we did it doesn’t seem that cool for very long.

  • Fergor says:

    @Sekrit

    It is necessary when your model is foreign to people used to a certain skinner box as “endgame”.

    No game appeals to all people. For instance MMOs that have raiding/gear grind end games = 3 monthers for me now. For instance, if I get MoP I’ll be done with it in a few weeks. TSW, SWToR, etc all lost their luster before I reached cap because I felt the chill of the impending gear grind to stay competitive. Raiding lost its appeal in Vanilla WoW.

    GW2 on the other hand I’ll be playing for the next year at least. I’m 80 and I have plenty to do. I enjoy the world, the combat, the classes, etc. I know that I don’t have a massive grind now that I’m 80 to get competitive gear. I can just enjoy the game.

  • romble says:

    the problem as i see it.. its simple.. the game is too easy. Like all the other games since Wow. You progress to fast, you get items too easy, death is meaningless, you accomplish your goals quickly and therefore your done.

    All the old original games kept people playing a long time because the lvl curve was long, the solo combat near impossible, death was painful but accomplishments meant a ton and getting to the end game alone was satisfying achievement.

    Give me a Dark Souls MMO….this is what I want.

  • Proximo says:

    I expect a LOT of players to drop GW2 like a hot potato within 1-3 months, not because there’s nothing to do but because a huge chunk of the playerbase came into the game expecting it to be something it’s not (and something it was never intended to be). Personally I think and hope I’ll be playing it casually for at least a year, prob more if ANet adds to the game as I suspect they will.

  • hanic says:

    Damn I miss the days of UO, Anarchy Online, and EQ. Back when people didnt declare a game fail after one month, or claim they were bored at the so called “end game”. Do we need a new MMO coming out every 2 months? So exactly now what is the next big MMO on the horizon? /sigh

  • sekrit says:

    @fergor

    The masses need the skinner box to stay interested and its what made EQ and WoW successful. When you remove it all that’s left is roleplay.

  • sekrit says:

    @hanic

    I think romble is right. Most people didn’t used to hit Max level in 2 weeks.

  • Zederok says:

    I find posts like this amazingly silly. Sorry Keen but it just sounds like you no longer like MMO’s, besides its not like the last few years you have been MMO hopping like mad. My suggestion jsut give up MMO’s for a few years or play the game the way it was meant to be played.

    Ive been 80 for 2 weeks now. I am 44% through world completion, have only stepped foot in Orr for a total of 3 hours and have rarely scratched the surface of WvW (one full day of fighting with my guild who are WvW pros by now), have only done 2 dungeons (story mode only) have only aquired 2 pieces of exotic (one through a drop and the other through luck in the mystic forge), have only faught Tequatyl, still need to do claw and the other world dragons.

    I basically have so much things to do that I log in every day after work and have to calm myself down because there is so much content left to be done. (my priority right now is 100% world completion) and I have to pull myself together every single day to make sure I dont go off track from my intial goal. Once that is done my mind still can not fathom what to do next because I have so many choices. In fact I believe I am in information overload stages right now as my7 goals are interfering with my ability to do things my guildies are doing but I sit back, take a deep breath and tell myself Sooon, so very sooon.

    BTW I only play 3 hours per day, so if its a time issue, but then I have always thought that MMO’s shouldnt be played 16+ hours a day, especially with newly released games.

  • Keen says:

    @Zederok: I’m curious. Did you read my post?

  • Zederok says:

    @Keen, yea I did. You havnt even reached your goals and yet your bitching about endgame. Well thats what I got out of it.

  • Argorius says:

    Yeah, like Xu Shiyang said…at 80…why not make your own gold selling company…great idea! (this previous comment is likely to be removed so then this makes no sense anymore)

    @Zederok: I read that he observed discontent in other players but that he is making his own fun and is having a good time. He even put in suggestions on how to keep things fun at 80…

  • Anakh says:

    I’ve been playing the game slowly, and enjoying it – but I never level fast in any game. There’s a lot to do in GW2, and after it’s done, people can be completionists, make their own fun, or whatever they want. If they want to leave, that’s fine too. I’d say a major advantage of GW2 is that they built it this way, with no traditional endgame progression, so they won’t be freaking out about players leaving, or desperately changing their model to keep the fickle high level playerbase.

  • sikk says:

    A couple of things I feel are important are missing from GW2’s content.

    1. Lack of identity equaling lower social interactions.

    This sounds weird but it directly ties into the lack of the “mmo trinity”. Without individual roles it seems like players sort of meld together. Instead of “oh we need a tank now, let me look at my list of tank friends and see which one I want to bring”, you get “hey we need 1 more person, don’t care who it is as long as you pew pew so we can zerg this dungeon”. Those two scenarios have after effects that are crucial to the success of mmo’s.

    In the first scenario, which is a mainstay in mmo’s you have a need of a role in the trinity empty and needing to be filled. To solve this you either find a pug or call upon your resources of friends you made by interacting with them at some point, probably socially in a dungeon, which you did specifically to help yourself later on in a situation just like the one you’re in at the current time. See what happened there? There is a need to want to make friends, a need to interact. This doesn’t really happen in GW2.

    Since you eliminate the trinity, players no longer have true roles and thus are just another body. Easily replaced, no need to invest more effort than type their name in the invite box and hit a button. No longer will people judge your performance because no one can tell if you’re doing anything. As long as you move with the group and look like you’re contributing you’re golden. You have no identity other than another body that enemies might attack instead of the others in your group. Sounds harsh but it is how it is.

    The only interaction with others I ever did was ask some questions in the /map or join a convo in the /map. That’s pretty bad design to me and a direct side effect of not having true roles in the game.

    Last but not least I have two minor complaints.

    1. Why does it not auto show when players in my friends list log on/off or people in my guild. Is there a way to turn this on? Do they really not want us to know without having to check the list all the time? It should be implemented and is really dumb that it is not in a mmo, that is a social game, where you play with hundreds of other people, yet they don’t want us to know when they are online or off.

    2. Why on earth can you not always be with your friends in spvp? Really AN? My friends want to pvp together and you split us up so we’re against each other? Smart! Whatever genius thought of this one gets my “Moron” award for the year.

    In the end lack of endgame is going to push so many people away from this game. It’s just how it is. When the content dries up there’s nothing you can do. It could have easily been solved too is what’s sad. In an age where endgame is what fuels the genre why would you eliminate it? And if you do decide to eliminate it, at least make the trip to max level long enough or hard enough to justify eliminating the endgame. I don’t care who you are, the journey was WAY too short. I’m pretty sure leveling to max in vanilla WOW was longer. It may sound like I hate the game but I don’t…..yet. I’m still not sure how I feel about it but I’m slowly dissecting reasons why I feel how I do and I think Keen and others are in the same or similar boat right now.

  • Argorius says:

    @Sikk: You are saying that without the trinity, people dont have true roles, and might just be following the group around and another body and doing some pew pew and nobody knows what they are actually doing…wouldnt that make you suspicious of strangers…wouldnt that mean that you would prefer to go to your friend’s list and grab someone you know…wouldnt that give you incentive to make friends?

    Also, wasnt that the situation for DPS characters in other MMOs…before prgrams became available that tracked what everyone was doing? The same programs could theoretically do the same in GW2…(hope not)…

    With the holy trinity, you could just grab random healer #145 and be good to go. Without the trinity, there is no need to tell your “friends” Dick, Tom and Harry to not bother coming because they are DPS and we need a tank or healer.

  • Keen says:

    @Zederok: Ok, just making sure. I had a feeling you didn’t read it, and I was right.

    The lack of the trinity in GW2 is very debatable right now. On one hand my guild can literally throw whoever is online into a group. On the other, in events it feels like people just throw their bodies around while everyone is a DPS class. There are a dozen other back and forths I’ve had with this subject.

  • Fergor says:

    @sikk

    If you want to play with your friends in sPvP join a tourney. It’s built that way on purpose so you don’t have the premade steam rolling pugs issue.

    Also, GW2 is way more social then any MMO I’ve played in the last few years. If you have a guild made up of people of all level ranges there are always activities you can do together. These activities wont be trivialized by the high level people with their uber raid gear.

    And as Argonius said, the trinity system made you exclude friends in many cases. If you need a tank but your friends online are all DPS or healers you dont play with them.

    I can count on one hand the amount of real friends I’ve made in an MMO. I don’t play games to try and make friends. I play them to play with the friends I have. If I do make one great but I don’t want the design to try and force it at the expense of excluding my real friends.

    Regarding endgame, there is no lack of it in GW2. There is a lack of endgame catered toward raiders. People confuse the two because they are so conditioned to the gear grind. Will the WoW masses leave when MoP comes out? Yes. Will there be a stable population after they do who enjoy GW2 endgame more then raiding? Yes. Arenet knows this. Thats why they were careful to not go hog wild opening servers ala SWToR.

    People need to stop conflating their wants and needs with everyone’s. Not all gamers want the same thing. I’m glad there are multiple MMOs out there catering to different player bases. Naysayers need to realize this and stop saying every design decision is ‘fail’ because they dont meet their needs.

  • Goom says:

    Well I haven’t played but from the comments on different sites it seems people keep saying there is an endgame but in reality there isn’t as has been said. Endgame is something to do when you reach the max level…but many things people suggest are things to do while they level and then just finish them after max because you level so fast and easily you hit max before you complete them such as 100% hearts or maps. That to me isn’t much of a challenge and isn’t a goal. If I hit max give me a real goal such as working towards property, a ship, or perhaps an election, not exploring maps in some corner of the world that was not important enough to visit before.

    I never hit full map exploration in UO, EQ, or WoW, as well as the other 4-5 MMOs that occupied a few weeks here and there such as CoH, so why would I wish to do it now, just because they track it and so many are achievement whores now a day? No thanks…make it s challenge and cool, make it easy and may as well continue to enjoy sp games. There is no sub so they have no reason to keep people around so smart on their part, enjoy the 1-6 months you can have and hit the next game. I’m waiting for ToR to kick in their fp and then I’ll ck gw2 when I can grab it for $20 and enjoy 2mths. I never buy Xbox games new either, wait for it and enjoy the discount.

    Perhaps one day the right balance of challenge vs reward MMO will be produced again, until then I’ll just keep on with the Xbox I suppose and waiting for the right iPad rpg to come along such as Baulders Gate enhanced edition. The new project on kick starter looks good too though

  • Fergor says:

    @Gloom

    So in your opinion the only MMO with endgame that’s come out recently is TERA…

    Arenanet always said after 80 you’ll be doing what you did before 80. Its the way the game was designed.

    PS. There is plenty of challenge in GW2. Take for example an encounter with 3 lvl 80 mobs. If I play well I can get out near full health. If I mistime a few abilities or am slow on a dodge I’ll die.

  • coppertopper says:

    Bored? Not even close. I havent touched SPvP, even though I enjoyed the crap out of it in the beta weekends. No alts because the Engineer is such a well rounded class that I am completely satisfied. I’ve only done 2 dungeons because story mode gives you too much exp IMO, as I leveled right past the 45-55 zone from dungeon runs and crafting exp. I can only afford 1 crafting profession, but look forward to doing cooking and artifice after I eventually hit 80. The TP is fascinating – the gem to gold ratio goes up and down by the hour so there is money to be made there if you pay attention. I find myself itching to log in and have too many 3AM mornings lately to actually be a little concerned. Haven’t been this excited about an MMO since DAOC.

    If you really enjoy MMOs, I don’t see how you can become bored of GW2 as it has perfected every aspect (ok grouping is done to PERFECTION in Rift and I wish that concept had been copied by Anet) of the genre.

  • Cthreepo says:

    GW2 has perfected every aspect of the genre? Thats quite a clame to make 😀 Lets get down from the fanboy horse and be a bit objective yes?

    It is a good game, but there seems to be many bugged events once you get to the 30+ zones. They seem to get stuck, or some NPC is missing etc. Allso, while the RVR is fun, its very zergy, and one servers seems to dominate, despite it being 3 worlds fighting each other. Allso, the dungeons seem to range alot in difficulty, some are easy and others are really hard. In fact the first dungeon at lvl 30, is much harder than some after that, which seems odd. The zones are not that equal either, the human zones seems to have much more stuff to gather and more events.

  • merlyn4180 says:

    I think part of it is that ANY mmo now, regardless of the mmo or company behind it has the challenge of the “speed racers”. I heard within days on GW2 there was already an 80 or a few 80s. Like Keen has said before, if that’s you thing, I will not begrudge you for that, but you have to realize that a game that took developers years to bring to market is NOT going to immediately going to be cranking out new content and expansions after release because people choose to treat it as a race of some sort. That being said, developers have to realize the mmo is not a new concept and there is a very large player base out there who have done every conceivable gathering type quest or escort quest, etc. out there so when you develop one for your mmo, you have to expect the time to complete said quest will be shorter as players have “been there, done that.” Therefore, developer may want to release a mmo with an expansion already being in development to get it out there, somewhat, more quickly, as your captive audience does not have an infinite attention span and will move on to the next “shiny” thing.

    For myself, I am only lvl 32 in GW2 and still enjoying it immensely, but I play mmos more like I did that ancient artifact of a software game called Myst. I wanted to figure everything out on my own and not have folks tell me the easy way. I wanted to see all the graphics and images the developers put into Myst so I wandered endlessly. So for GW2, I may hit 80 in about a month or 2, I am taking my time wandering though zones finding events, talking to NPCs just to see what they say, etc.

  • Lethality says:

    The problem isn’t so much that there isn’t anything to do… there’s plenty.

    However, ArenaNet set themselves up for the end-game paradigm by having 80 levels. That stops when you get to level 80.

    Which feeds the bigger problem of all if character progression you had while leveling up is now gone – levels, story (world and personal), stats, everything just stops.

    To me that’s the biggest fault of GW2 end-game – complete lack of character progression, and forced into a grind (that seems to surpass even the most Aisan of games) for skins.

    Now, I’m coming at this from a pure PvE perspective. WvW seems to be turning out as nothing more than zerging a door. As predicted, no meaningful things come out of your real winning.

    It seems like Anet tried to fish for intrinsic play value, but baited the hook with extrinsic reward structure and schedule. That’s the collision we’re seeing now.

  • Fergor says:

    I’m 80 and I still enjoy logging in as much as I did when I was leveling. I hate grinding and don’t feel the grind as I do what I enjoy and slowly move toward things. I still learn new ways to play my character and I still love the mechanics.

    WvWvW has a lot of meaning for the guilds who take it seriously and want to move up the ranks versus the other worlds. Door zergs can be countered if you have coordinated people on your sides. If you play against zergers they will wither under the onslaught of a more organized group.

    Again, just because design decisions don’t work for you doesn’t mean they are bad. I dislike strawberry ice cream. Whoever designed that failure of a flavor should have known everyone would dislike the flavor of that terrible ice cream. They should have known everyone prefers chocolate……

  • coppertopper says:

    Everyone who is blaming wvw for being bad because its a zergfest might want tio ask whose fault that is: Anet or yourself. EvE pvp is referred to as “blobs” for the same reason – its easier to follow then to lead. Yet supply camps in GW2 can be taken by 4 players. WvW is the sandbox in GW2 so don’t blame Anet for playing like a sheep.

  • coppertopper says:

    @cthreepo
    Yes I am a fanboy. A lot can be said about GW2 that was also said about WoW after it shook off its release issues (lag, server queues, balance issues), but the base game was above and beyond anything else out there in the mmo genre. GW2 has balance issues for sure, but the mechanics are solid and improve on every system in other MMos to date. Sure, there are niches it doesn’t fill and never will (so back off Darkfail/EvE fanboys), but as a mainstream MMO it scratches all the itches and leaves little to not recommond to anyone that enjoys WoW, LotrO, ect.

  • Umberhill says:

    If you look at any MMO there will always be a percentage of the player population who will be bored once they hit 80. It’s the classic MMO must level mindset. There are people playing GW2 who have no interest in WvW, no interest in the rich storylines, no interest in exploration, no interest in 5-player dungeons, no interest in dialogue cutscenes, no interest in joining rich vibrant social guilds to enjoy the game with. GW2 is not for them. Nor should it need to be – there are plenty of other games that would do a better job of holding their interest.

    GW2 is the ultimate refinement of the themepark MMO. It won’t be the first nor the last to offer this. I suspect though the most popular online gaming genre at this time is that of “the online blog” which seems to feed on itself and the negative feelings of MMO players. Be careful what you wish for. You will never be satisfied.

  • Goom says:

    @Umberhill,

    The title of ultimate theme park may be a little extreme…I think many people want a social MMO they can enjoy for months but also want a challenge. From everything I’ve read it’s 50/50 or maybe even 70/30 that GW2 is not the answer to their wishes…for instance running a dungeon 100 times is a bore not a challenge and neither is a boss fight with zero strategy.

    The comments here are interesting and go both ways with whether gw2 at 80 is enjoyable or not http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/09/15/arenanet-guild-wars-2-takes-the-end-out-of-endgame/

  • Anon says:

    I think there’s simply very little tolerance for ‘difference’ in expectation.

    It’s like saying “All Horror movie’s *must* have X,Y and Z.. otherwise they suck”.

    That’s just an extremely narrow way of looking at the world.

    Anet have built GW2 to be ‘different’. They’ve fiddled with various game systems to try and see if something new can evolve. Of course, a lot of people are too busy projecting their several years of ‘conditioning’ in the MMO space onto them.

    GW2 doesn’t “need” to be like MMO’s. We have dozens of “other” mmo’s. As for roles, I think as the game evolves and people actually learn the in’s and out’s of their classes, the game will evolve.

    If we’re looking at the same situation in a year, then I’ll be convinced the systems have some fundamental issues.

  • Varenius says:

    I find this hilarious. Guild wars is far better than WoW. Perhaps not vanilla but then we’re only 3months in. It’s more entertaining it’s harder. Those saying its a casual MMO, WoW post TBC is a casual MMO, grind 400 BoH in PvP for ONE piece of exotic gear? If that’s not grind I don’t know what it is.

    I actually wonder if any of you have played anything other than freakin runescape

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