GW2 Ascended Gear, A Step In The Right Direction

GW2 Fractals Loading Screen

There has been quite a stir over the recent addition of Ascended Gear to Guild Wars 2.  A few weeks ago you could have a full set of Exotic gear like me and think to yourself that you had the best gear in the game.  Exotic gear is relatively easy to obtain as it is craftable with only about a week’s worth of casual farming. To be honest, there was a huge problem with how quickly players reached the top.  That is essentially why I stopped playing — I ran out of things to do.

Ascended Gear is an attempt to fix the problem of players running out of things to do, and inject a little bit of character progression into the game.  The problem ArenaNet ran into is that they violated their own “Manifesto” (like a constitution for their game) and created a gear-grind when they said they wouldn’t.

To get Ascended Gear players actually have to participate in progression-oriented content and gather token-like currency.  While a gear-grind, and not my my favorite form of character progression, it’s actually something.   ArenaNet says that Ascended Gear is the step between Exotic and Legendary, and should have been in at launch.  They also admit the current implementation doesn’t provide players with enough flexibility, and pigeonholes all play-styles into a PvE grind.  Obviously an issue when such a system is tacked on to solve a fundamental problem.

I think they’re on the right track though.  Ascended Gear needs to be in the game because it represents a sense of purpose.  Make it less grindy, allow it to be earned a number of ways, and don’t harshly gate content.  After that, I’d like them to consider some sort of character progression system for WvW, but one thing at a time.

Hopefully the GW2 community gives ArenaNet time to get the Ascended Gear system figured out.  I’d like to have a reason to log in and progress my characters.  I’d also like more reasons to get together with friends and delve into content.

  • Ascended Gear basically killed my interest in the game. Prior to the Lost Shores events I was having a blast in WvW and starting to appreciate the whole server pride aspect of the game after several weeks of hard-fought close matches. That is all the sense of purpose I need or want.

    Afterwards, I just can’t bring myself to log in, knowing I’d have to grind out yet another set of gear to stay competetive. Worse, I’d have to grind PvE dungeons, which I consider the weakest aspect of GW2. They’ll probably add ascended gear to WvW eventually, but as it stands, they’re basically saying dungeons are their endgame.

  • So much for GW2 re-inventing the wheel. And before the haters chime in, GW2 is a GREAT GAME. But someone has to figure out a way to create meaningful end-game content in a brand new way. And GW2 couldn’t do it.

    Who will? And more importantly, what the heck can end game content be without new content dropping every 4 weeks that doesn’t constitute grind?

  • I’m a bit surprised as to how you can see this as good thing when this system (Radiation, anyone?) has so spectacularly failed YEARS AGO in Lord of the Rings
    so much about reinventing mmo I guess

  • I know people scream bloody murder over weapons degrading but it does provide a continued purpose without the normal fear grind. It also supports the economy and making crafting more worthwhile. Maybe having an upkeep cost for high end gear like swg had.

  • While I’m not happy with this change I could live with it. What’s killing the game for me is no LFG tool. I’ve done a grand total of zero dungeons in the game.

    Now my mmo time is me logging into wow and hitting a dungeon or two on my leveling monk. So about 30 min to an hour a day. I’d rather do that in GW2 but I despise spending time yelling in map.

    The decision to gate endgame in dungeons while dividing and sub dividing the population while not giving the players a tool to easily find others in their subdivision is just really bad design.

  • Ascended Gear = that one type of dungeon progression. The stats aren’t great enough to be a MUST have over exotics.

    The gear isn’t so great that you have to have it to beat someone in WvW or to do the other dungeons. They added another avenue of character progression for those people that felt they need it. There is still the progress for world completion, legendary weapons, achievements, and weekly server pride in WvW.

    That said, for those that do not feel they need progression, but just want fun stuff to do. Plenty of new events and jumping puzzles to complete or re-do.

    As long as you have an avenue to have fun, it doesn’t matter. However, if you HAVE to have that feeling of progression, then so be it. They just gave you another avenue.

  • I agree with Fergor though on the LFG tool. This has been my largest disappointment since KGC died to only a handful of players. It’s a much needed social aspect since there isn’t a chat that’s global.

  • I sinceresly think that it’s a step in the *wrong direction*.

    You have plenty of games with tiered gear and vertical progresion that makes it a lot better that GW2, for example Lotro, Rift and of course Wow.

    I choose to play GW2 because i allows me to exit the hamster’s wheel of others MMOs and play only for fun, i don’t need bigger numbers to makes me feel better or to own newbies in a single hit.

    I play a lot of GW2, mainly WvWvW and i enjoy every moment and the last character i’m playing are currently at 78 playing only WvW since level 5 but now they change the game from horizontal progresion to vertical progresion to please only wow-like players, and i’m sorry but that is a mess.

    Probably would make that people lime me leave the game (i’m not going to gring equipment) and i doubt that a lot of players return because they would be playing other games with better vertical progresion.

    Time would tell, but alienate you old players (GW1 players and players that choose GW2 only because it didnt have vertical progresion) to please players that choose aa plying stile from other games don’t seems a wise thing to do (at least for me).

  • The problem is that the way it was rolled out it appeared either a) ArenaNet was unprepared or unsure of their design at launch or b) Intentionally misleading players as to what to really expect.

    It just doesn’t make sense to add something as large as this less than 2 months into the game. Unless it was reactionary and not well thought out.

    Which is what I believe we have.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would prefer character progression in all of it’s vertical beauty – that’s why I play WoW. But doing it the way they did – and adding a gating mechanic like Agony – is absolutely the wrong move for GW2.

  • I’m actually surprised at this blog entry from you. But to each their own. For me, personally it’s made me lose interest in the game. Was enjoying the WvW but…. I can’t stand the whole Ascended Gear design thing. An instance you have to grind over and over….and not to mention the instance gains “levels” each time you complete it forcing you to LFG for people on the same dungeon level as you… it’s ridiculously dumb. I did my gear treadmill time in WoW… i thought I was done.

  • ArenaNet says that Ascended Gear is the step between Exotic and Legendary
    People keep repeating this quote as if it made any sense. Legendaries were exotics with different graphic effects, and they were very difficult to get. They wanted a step in between the two, so they added a higher tier of stats. No, that doesn’t make any sense. There are red socks (easy to find) and blue socks (hard to find); to create a step between the two types of socks, we are added armor-plated pantyhose and then putting armor on the blue socks. Wait, what?

  • As someone who really dislikes Ascended gear, I have to disagree with this:

    “To be honest, there was a huge problem with how quickly players reached the top.”

    I *loved* how quickly players can reach the top. I wanted to get full exotics for one reason only: so I’d never have to think about gear again, and I could just play the game. Considering GW1 was very successful and allowed players to ‘reach the top’ even faster than GW2, I’m not sure why it’s a problem. A lot of players, myself included, prefer it that way.

    “That is essentially why I stopped playing — I ran out of things to do.”

    I also think this is unfair, and kind of dishonest. Did you get 100% world completion? I know you didn’t do much sPVP, dungeons or finish the personal story. The truth is that there were still a ton of things you could do – you just weren’t interested in them. Which is fine of course, but it’s important to make the distinction because right now you’re framing the problem as Arenanet’s lack of content when in reality it’s just not the type of game you enjoy.

  • @Fidjit – You can’t use the strawman of “did you do EVERYTHING?”. The fact is, and ArenaNet agrees by their actions, the practical and tangible character progression for players all but dried up… they were leaving in droves, and this is a drip mechanic to keep them playing. Just like any other game… they need players to make money. Box sales aren’t enough.

    I’m still convinced this is a reactionary, unplanned move. I mean, otherwise they would have given Legendary items a *tiny* stat boost over exotics.

  • @Lethality

    I’m not trying to say that you need to do *everything* before you can complain or ask for more. What I’m trying to say is that people shouldn’t use “I ran out of things to do” as equivalent to “I got the best gear”.

    As far as ‘players leaving in droves’, it’s probably best to keep out sensational language that isn’t based on actual numbers (since we don’t have any).

  • @Fidjit: Xfire would suggest ‘droves’ is indeed correct.

    The most confusing part about Anet adding a resist grind so soon is why. They knew day one GW2 would not have high retention (no sub fee), so why add something aimed at increasing retention? Were gem sales really THAT low? Was the overall population dropping far faster and lower than even they expected?

    Something pretty drastic must be going on for them to basically scrap their “MMO formula fixing” manifesto and get their game right into the basic MMO themepark treadmill.

  • I feel after reading these last few posts, I must reiterate:


    Compare the stats between exotic gear and ascended. The few points difference does very little for those who have it versus those who have exotic. It will not break a 1v1 fight. That said, I do know some are complaining about the extra few percent of magic find, but that can be negated by magic find on other gear or magic food. Again, the over all affect of this is only for those who actually care about the new dungeon. If you are used to playing WvW, then why are you even worrying about this?

    That said, if ArenaNet continues it’s vertical progression, then I would agree we have something to complain about. This current step up in gear stats, however, does very little for there to be this much deal made about it. The stats of Ascended gear have not made exotic suddenly worthless …

  • Let me reiterate that I do not agree with how the Ascended Gear is currently implemented. I believe if it were to remain this way it would harm the game more than help it.

    I do, however, think that adding content for players to work and progress through is good. I think adding gear that players can work towards achieving — by doing content — is a good thing. This is really no different than the days of DAOC’s Darkness Falls tokens. We had to grind those to buy items too. The difference was that the dungeon (DF) was tied to ownership of WvW objectives.

    I think Darkfall actually has a decent solution. Take the tokens and tie them to ALL activities. Make them like Player Points. Let players earn them by completing jumping puzzles, taking keeps in WvW, completing dungeons, completing public quests, etc. Then let them go buy them, andl et them choose which type of gear they want — gear with special resist powers to enter into special dungeons, or gear with some sort of PvP stat or something.

    @SynCaine: Some form of progression other than 100%’ing jumping puzzles and exploration should have been in at launch. I don’t think it was ever too soon, but too late, and that’s their problem. That’s why they rushed it so quickly and messed it up.

    @Fidjit: I get bored when I have everything. WvW offered no progression for me. PvE had no replayability for me. I wasn’t interested in 100% world completion as something to do. I’m not an achievement whore in that way — it does nothing for me.

    @Zubon: Unless they changed something in the last month, Legendary items are better than Exotics and took so much grinding (or money) that I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in obtaining them. Ascended Gear is infinitely easier, but harder than a week’s worth of casual farming. That sounds like a step between to me.

    @Thallis: See my initial statement in this comment.

    @Juanrdp: Sounds like you don’t want what is typically expected in a MMO. GW1 wasn’t a MMO for a reason. People want progression — even sandboxes have character progression. It doesn’t have to be a gear grind, but it has to be something.


    No thanks. If that is what the dame devolves to, I’m out.

    (Yes, DEVOLVES is the correct word)

  • @Blargh – Agreed. That said, with only one iteration of vertical progression and with stats that are hardly better than exotics, I do not think we can say it’s time to jump ship just yet.

    But as others said, I don’t want/need vertical progression. If the continue this, then they have lost another player. That said, if this stays a one time deal and isolated to a single dungeon with it’s affects, I’m very okay with it. I’m not interested in the FOTM dungeon. I’ve only run it because it was part of the monthly or others needed help for the monthly. Outside of that, I have no interests what so ever in the Ascended gear.

  • @Blargh: I think they’ve clearly stated that this will not be a WoW gear grind. For this to be anywhere near a WoW grind we have to see a second tier requiring the first tier to complete. IE: If they add another set of fractals that require completing all the previous fractals and gear objectives.

    As it stands now, it is completely within the traditional MMO boundaries. DAOC had a similar system for obtaining gear well before WoW even existed.

    The proof is in their actions: GW2 needs some sort of character progression. Jumping puzzles alone do not keep people playing. WvW without any sort of reward or incentive does not keep people playing. Dungeons that were a waste of time to run even once do not keep people playing. GW2 was almost like an action game to me when I reached max level and spent a week or two getting some items. To be quite honest, Call of Duty has more character progression than GW2 does.

  • The whole Ascended Gear debacle has me rolling my eyes. Basically you have a faction of players who whined because there wasn’t enough gear progression in the game, and a faction who is now whining because there is gear progression in the game.

    I feel like I’m the only person who cares about actual gameplay as opposed to the presence or absence of some sort of gear grind.

    The fact of the matter is that you do not need ascended gear or even exotic gear to enjoy the fractals instance. The presence of ascended gear has almost no effect on actual gameplay.

    While I don’t like all of the design choices that were made with FotM (the level gating system irks me), the content is actually fun. I’ve enjoyed every fractal I have done so far and I like the randomness and expandability of it.

    If the content is fun, it should not matter if you have to or don’t have to grind it. If the content is not fun, then adding (or not adding) a gear grind will not miraculously make it fun.

  • I just wish people in general weren’t so obsessed with “character progression”. It’s like when it comes to doing content a lot of players are more concerned about the size of the gold star the developer hands out than how much fun it is.

    I don’t know, maybe I’m in the wrong genre or something. Instead of getting bored when I have the best stuff, I am the happiest because I can finally ignore gear stats and focus on enjoying content for its own sake.

  • @Fidjit: If I wanted a game where character progression wasn’t a concern I would go play Street Fighter. I play MMORPG’s to have a character, develop him, go out and do content, and challenge myself to reach new goals.

    In a sandbox, character progression might be seen as building a house or gaining enough skill in weapon to be able to defend myself while I travel across the world. In a themepark like WoW a character can only progress by earning gear to be able to get more gear — or put different, do content to be able to do other content or compete in pvp to earn more pvp gear to be better in pvp. Earlier MMO’s like EverQuest emphasized the leveling process for progression.

    Bottom line, MMO’s are entirely about progress. They aren’t one off matches like a game of Counter Strike. What you do tomorrow should build upon what you did today.

    Guild Wars 2 took a whole 3 weeks to a month to max out and run out of ways to progress. Yes, players could even 100% world explore and obtain every piece of the best gear in that time.

    If you’re like me and you play MMORPG’s to have a game to progress in, you couldn’t find that in GW2.

  • @Fidjit – I agree with your last post. I’d rather focus on enjoying the content rather than some form of progression. I think that there are a lot of people who decided to play GW2 for that particular reason, hence the outcry against adding another tier of gear.

    @swarmofseals – Supposedly, as you go farther up the line of fractal strength into the 30s and beyond, now only do you have the affect of agony, but the bosses supposedly (or will in future patches) add more mechanics to the fight. As such, one could argue that those players that never progress out of fractals 1-10 will never get to see such “content” (the added boss mechanics … although after just reading someone’s account of Level 31 fractal perhaps this is still missing at the moment). In any case, the rewards are supposed to be increased the higher you go making it a tug of war for some that might otherwise prefer to just enjoy the content at the lower levels for what it is. So then you have players debating whether they prefer the rewards over just enjoying the content. Perhaps I’m extending this discussion too much, but I’m sure you understand where I’m going with this.

  • @Steeldragoon: Most people want character progression in their MMO’s, even those people who play(ed) GW2 — except maybe for Fidjit. What they, and I, don’t want is a gear grind as the only form of end-game character progression.

    ArenaNet had to do something. They took action. I applaud them for at least acknowledging the lack of ‘stuff to keep people playing’.

    I still think people need to consider the Darkfall idea I mentioned.

  • @Keen – MMO’s do NOT have to be entirely about progress. An MMORPG such as GW2 simply has to be an RPG with multiple player social aspects whether it be dynamic events/questing together, WvW, jumping puzzles in a group, etc.

    The fact that you feel you need some kind of progression goal simply means that GW2 may not be for you. I don’t like level, gear treadmills (although the building a house aspect doesn’t sound horrible especially there is content to play after the house is built). I have fun playing WvW with only weekly goals to dominate and have server pride. While the DF aspect of DAOC was fun, I had more fun going against people in RvR and using equipment to siege the keeps.

    Again, I propose that perhaps GW2 simply isn’t the MMO you are looking for. That said, it doesn’t mean it’s a failed model. As is evident by at least 3 other people here and hundreds on reddit, there is a following of people who prefer to just enjoy the content at an MMO level without requiring a treadmill.

  • I might be willing to concede that MMOs need at least some progression, but I would disagree that gear progression is the only route for a themepark to take. The most appropriate example to bring up would be Guild Wars 1. They ran a very successful themepark MMO based on cosmetic progression (through item sets and titles). I was hoping GW2 would be the same because I really dislike gear progression.

    Oh well. As Steeldragon has said, Ascended gear could be a lot worse than it is now, but I still don’t like it.

  • @Keen – First, the agony mechanic is not new. It was part of GW1 and therefore it is entirely possible that as was mentioned previously by one of the devs that this was a missing tier of armor that was originally intended to exist. As such, it may also mean that the treadmill as it were is meant to stop at where it currently exists and will be extended no further.

    Secondly, grind and “progression” (or if tied to levels or gear … treadmill as I prefer to call it) can be a slippery slope. What may feel like progression to one, may feel like a grind to someone else (especially to those who would prefer no such treadmill exist).

    Third, while ArenaNet may not have a pay to win model with their cash shop, this could also be a window in to their greed if you will. they could be attempting to introduce a much slower treadmill than is normally introduced into “progression” type games in order to maintain the presence of both types of players (those that like treadmills and those that don’t).

  • Okay, let’s clear some stuff up. I also agree that a gear grind is not the only way to do progression.

    I also never said that MMO’s have to be ENTIRELY about progression. What I said was that progression needs to be a concern.

    Keeping things in context with Guild Wars 2, I felt like I lost any sense of purpose. I would ask myself, “Why am I doing this? What is the point? What do I get or what outcome will I see?” I didn’t have an answer for any of them exceot for “what is the point?” My answer was: Fun. But that fun ran out when I the actions became repetitive without progress.

    That’s why Ascended Gear is a step in the right direction. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a good solution. But it shows me that at least I can begin to expect Guild Wars 2 to give me a purpose to play and see progress again.

  • @steeldragon — Yes I see where you are going with it, especially if they add new mechanics. As it is now though all that gets added is agony, so you are basically getting a very similar experience at fractal difficulty 1. You can see the content and have fun with it even with crap gear.

    Also, even if you do want to see all of the difficulty levels… you will get the gear just by leveling through the fractals. It’s not that insanely hard to get.

    I do like progression but people have become way too focused on it. When I played Legend of Zelda as a kid I played the game not because I wanted that cool looking level three sword, but because I wanted to defeat Gannon. The powerups in Metroid were a means to getting to Mother Brain, not an end in themselves. Sure finding a new gun in Doom or Doom 2 was fun and I wanted to have all the guns to use — but again, the goal wasn’t to collect the guns. It was to kill ALL the demons.

    Nowadays all too many players just skip all the dialogue and story elements. It’s not about defeating Zhaitan or killing Jormag — it’s about getting the shinies. I bet most players don’t even really know what the Fractals of the Mists even are other than a thing you do to get more shinies. This pattern is a result of choices made by players, not developers.

  • @Swarmofseals: In all fairness, you’re referencing games that weren’t about progression. I didn’t play Counter Strike to progress either, but that’s because Counter Strike wasn’t about progressing a character or obtaining something.

    Use a game like Planetside 2 as an example. What happens if you can’t earn certs or unlock anything? What happens if objectives can’t be captured, and your side can’t be rewarded for going out and fighting? The game loses cohesion.

    Progression is at the core of every MMORPG. Fail to implement it well, and it will destroy your game. Cleverly implement it in such a way that it gels with the natural flow of simply “playing” (Guild Wars 2 leveling up, for example) and it will continue to reward you.

  • @steeldragon – the problem is, ArenaNet started to see too much of the “maybe this MMO isn’t for you”. At some point, it has to start being *for someone* in order for them to survive. And by their actions, it seems the players who didn’t want more character progression were in the minority.

    I have no doubt they needed more character progression… Ascended tier of gear was an odd choice especially at this point in the lifecycle.

  • @Keen I disagree. I think that Zelda and Metroid were just as much about progression. Heck, take classics like Final Fantasy 6 and 7 — those games had ever heavier progression elements.

    In all of those games a major goal of gameplay was to gain access to tools that would make your character more powerful. In fact, some of these games have even harsher gating mechanics than most MMOs do. In Metroid, for example, it was common to reach a point where you literally could not go further in the game until you obtained a certain powerup. Some MMOs have very strict content gating, but GW2 is not one of them. You can do the vast majority of GW2’s content with sub-optimal gear.

    I can’t speak to Planetside 2 as I have not played it.

    The thing about MMOs is that they are generally more open-ended games. Classic single player games generally set out a very specific goal — save the princess, kill mother brain, etc. In an MMO you get to define what your goal is yourself. It might be to finish the story mode, or to clear all the dungeons, to kill every son of svanir you see or whatever. True sandbox MMOs are incredibly open-ended, whereas themepark MMOs are open-ended with limitations. If the game is “about progression” for you it’s because you CHOSE that focus for yourself.

    Also you can’t make the argument that classic games are more story driven than MMOs because many MMOs have just as much if not way more story than just about any early video game.

  • “I think they’re on the right track though. Ascended Gear needs to be in the game because it represents a sense of purpose.”
    It represents the wrong sense of purpose if you ask me. I played GW, I was more than happy with grinding to get a specific set of gear ONLY because of the looks (stats where IDENTICAL to what I was already wearing).
    To me this not only is ANet breaking their promise, it’s a giant leap in the WRONG direction for the game if you ask me. It’s exactly what MMOs doesn’t need…

  • Also, it does not matter if the stat difference is minor and negligible, because the players will make it dealbreaker, they will be standing around yelling “LFM x dungeon, Ascended geared only”.

  • I hate the idea of the new ascended gear due to the impact that it will have on WvWvW which is the only reason I play GW2. Scale down the stats to match exotics in WvWvW and I will be fine with the carebears getting their shiny new gear grind.

  • @Proximo: Right or wrong, it’s gives players a direction and a sense of purpose. Hence a STEP in the right direction, not the precise course they should follow.

    I’ve said this numerous times: I quit GW2 because I would log in and have nothing to do. I had no goals, no direction, and no way to progress my character. I was ‘done’. I ‘beat the game’. It wasn’t just the fact that I had no more carrot to chase, but I lost a sense of purpose. That purpose doesn’t have to be a grind or a treadmill. I didn’t even feel a purpose for going out and fighting in WvW to win because winning meant nothing, and was reset on a schedule.

    Guild Wars 2’s population will dwindle substantially within 6 months if they can’t give more people a reason to log in.

    @Humakt: What if you could WvW to get the same gear? Reality is, gear disparity will always exist. Those with exotics destroy those without them. Allowing people to WvW and earn tokens to buy Ascended level gear makes sense to me.

  • @Keen: In the right direction for you, and the type of players that needs those kinds of carrots to keep playing. “Problem” is however that not every player wants that, some actually doesn’t want vertical progression AT ALL. GW was full of these players, they sold millions of copies of the GW campaigns to players like this. These are (among others) the people screaming that ascended gear is bad for the game, because that’s how we feel.

    While you felt no purpose in continuing the game because you had “nothing to stretch for”, it’s the opposite for me. I felt I could stretch for getting other armor models, but it’s all optional. Getting BETTER gear is never optional, and therein lays the problem.

    Now I agree that to keep a huge pool of players satisfied they needed to add gear progression, because the facts are in the numbers, most people want gear progression to justify their time spent ingame. That doesn’t make it the right choice for me though. I’m not deluded to thinking ANet wants to give away an opportunity to earn more money, so I understand very well why they did it, but it still is a step in the wrong direction for me. I’d take a game with 200k active players with NO vertical progression over one with 20million active players that has vertical progression any day.

  • @Keen:
    Unless they changed something in the last month, Legendary items are better than Exotics
    No, that is wrong and was only the case for about one night when they accidentally bumped legendaries to Ascended when they added Fractals. A Pearl Quarterstaff has the same +stat value and damage as The Legend as The Bifrost. Check the wiki for any exotic and the legendaries.
    An exotic X is an exotic X whether it is crafted, dropped, precursor, or legendary.

  • Vertical progression is a placeholder for fun. If the game or the activity is fun and satisying by itself then you really dont need vertical progression. However, if the game or the activity you engage in is boring or dull then vertical progression will help you get over these dull moments. It is a crutch…it seems to be especially important to themepark MMOs.

    GW2 needs to incorporate more fun activities – for a themepark that would most likely mean cranking out new and interesting content on a monthly basis…if they cannot do this, they need to rely on vertical progression to close the gap and to keep people entertained.

    As an example – Themepark v. Sandbox dungeon

    Themeparks have the problem that everything is designed from the ground up in order to control content – that means if I experience that content for the first time – it is likely to provide me with a certain minimum level of entertainment (which will make it fun and interesting). However, every additional encounter with the same content will be less satisfying and eventually be boring. Vertical progression takes the edge off.

    In a sandbox dungeon, you dont know what will happen. The experience could seriously suck or it could be awesome – this dungeon has a sense of adventure. Maybe the dungeon is crowded (non-instanced) and the whole experience is annoying. You get it to yourself with your friends and you make bank or find good loot. Maybe the spawn today is especially tough but you make it through it…maybe you find some extra good random loot – maybe you find squat…maybe there will be a group of PK’s entering the dungeon killing you and your friends…you can can run this dungeon many times and vertical progression may not really matter. However, even with this, vertical progression may be required to take the edge off the bad experiences 9which may be random in Sandboxes but which are increasing with time as you repeat content in themeparks)

    WvW is the only thing I see in GW2 that could be fun without vertical progression but it isnt there yet – in order to get there – you need something…a sense of accomplishment, realm pride, a sense of adventure,…you need something. Howeverm as mentioned before, vertical progression even has its part in this aspect of the game.

  • This i/f doesn’t have a quoting mechanism does it?

    @Blargh: I think they’ve clearly stated that this will not be a WoW gear grind. For this to be anywhere near a WoW grind we have to see a second tier requiring the first tier to complete. IE: If they add another set of fractals that require completing all the previous fractals and gear objectives.


    But we already do. You need the resist gear to do into the higher levels of FOTM, to get the better drops. Thats two tiers right there.

    What would make or break this for me is whether the resist is added onto the normal stats or whether the resist’s “value” is deducted from the overall “value”

    If the former, the improved stats will affect WWW and PvE, and that is what would put me off the game very quickly, and probably permanently.
    If the latter, higher resist gear would actually perform no better or possibly worse than normal gear outside of FOTM (and other hypothetical future dungeons), which I am perfectly fine with.

    Do note I am staying out of the whole “is a gear grind a good thing for MMOs” discussion.

  • @Blargh: I agree that if you want the resists on it you should lose other stats. That makes sense.

    Even with needing gear to do harder Fractals, I don’t see it as a gear treadmill yet. I see it more like oldschool MMO’s where you do content and you get better gear, and some of that gear is really helpful in harder content.

    GW2 isn’t at the point yet where it’s like WoW. Right now in WoW there’s a Mogushan Vaults raid and you need the gear from there to go to Heart of Fear, which you need the gear to go to whatever the latest raid is called (Terrace or something). Within each of those raids you need to get gear to get the gear from the harder bosses, etc.

  • I think adding this is more of a bandaid, I agree with much of what Argorius said. I do see a need for some kind of progression at max level, but I think gear grind is a poor solution, once people get the ascended gear what then? More gear? Or back to where they are now.

    Personally I would prefer more of an Alternate Advancement solution, at end game add more skills, add more weapons or even just more variety in weapon abilities, take a page from GW1 where you can swap your hotbar abilities out in town to get a little variety in weapon attacks. Something for players to continue to work towards that, at least to me, is more fun than getting a piece of gear with +x stats on it.

  • @Imem: I completely agree. Bandaids are definitely a step in the right direction, even if inadequate. Alternate advancement would be a good addition. I would still want fresh content to go along with it.

  • The problem is that their class system is so bland it offers absolutely nowhere to go, as far as actually having horizontal progression. There is no multiclassing and each class has about 25 skills to learn and about 12 useful traits on each class. What sort of horizontal progression was there going to be when you control class creation with an iron fist?

    Sadly the only way for them to go was vertical progression do to their own limited class design.

    They broke promises with this and it has destroyed their reputation. It has divided their community. It has alienated and ticked off their most loyal fans. A lot of their biggest supporters are now theif biggest enemies.

    And now what? Not a new exciting game as promised but the same old crap.

    Guild Wars 2 just became WoW Jr. In a few months all the people they sought to appease will go back to WoW or on to Toesl.

  • “But GW2 was designed without those restrictions, and we’ve always expected that we will someday raise the level cap in GW2.” – Mike O’Brien, ArenaNet.

    That’s right, so there will be some form of treadmill coming. WoW Jr. Maybe. Not sure. It depends on how innovative they make the level increases. If it’s just higher levels with higher level gear, I’ll start looking else where because I’m not going to stick around to run a treadmill.

  • @Keen

    Your are terrible wrong but also right about me at the same time.

    “Sounds like you don’t want what is typically expected in a MMO. People want progression”

    You are right in the sense that i didn’t want power creep progression as stat progreseion, numbers that each day/month/season/expansion/whatever becomes bigger and bigger to fight monsters/players that also have bigger numbers and in the end remain at the same place (but only with bigger numbers).

    I want a progresion that allows me to make diferent things or the same things in diferent ways:

    – Cosmetic/titles (i want to be proud to show my archivements in my avatar): check we have some this one in the way of cosmetics (not a lot) and very few titles, that could improve a lot.
    – Persistent world tied to archivements: When i get the Balrog down in Lotro we where proud, when we could show that we down the balrog by showing the housing item to everyone that visit the kinship (aka guild) house or even the neighborhood we where trully proud. I want that kind of archivement on a game, not 10% stats to fight a 10% harder moster or what is even worse, 10% stats to fight the same moster and make the content trivial in dificulty
    – I want new skills, but not the same skills that is “old skill+1 damage” but diferent skills that allow me to customize the character in the way it fits better my taste.
    – New items, but no items that is only stat X+1 where we have previously stat X but items that have new stats instead, for example we have stats that give us critical chance and critica damage, why not add stats that give us critical chance reduction?, or resistances to certain damage types? or even invulnerabilities?.. ofc that need to be balanced and it’s dificult… i known it’s a lot easier to give stat+1, that didn’t need a lot of balancing.

    That are only some ideas of the character progresion that i would like, i see it in a very diferent way as you seems to see the same:

    For me a stat progresion where the content also progress in the same rate to don’t trivialize the game dificulty isn’t a progreesion at all, all the people remain at the same place as a hasmter in a wheel never move, but oh my friend if you choose to not “progress” then you are punished….

    That’s the problem that i’ve with character progresion thru stat increases.

  • I am not too happy about the new gear added but I understand they do want to add it for progression seeking players. And I don’t think the new gear is going to turn GW2 to WoW Jr simply because you can still do everything with old gear, so no content is really gated. And if they keep their promises of a shallow power curve and making new gear easy to get through other means like WvW, I don’t see it having a big impact on the part of the game I care most (WvW).

    However what I am worried about is their pacing of implementing the whole system. As we can see from the responses, the decision has really pissed off a large portion of ANET’s loyal fan base, and I doubt the new system is going to bring back a lot of players that already left. So unless ANET do something soon to appease the current player base, I fear a massive exodus will happen soon…

  • When I played GW, our guild used to arrange dungeon runs every now and then, and we did it because it was FUN! Yeah I know it sounds really weird for a MMO gamer, to not do the dungeons to get better gear, but we already had the best gear in the game (so did everyone else who hit lvlcap within a week or two after starting the game), and still we could do the same dungeons and have fun? Weird concept, but I kinda miss it…

  • Well, we don’t see any party require exotic gear for dungeon runs right now anyway and it’s not going to happen with ascended gear as well. The only exception is when you are doing 30+ level fractual but by then you should have got the gear anyway…

  • I don’t either, yet… And there’s the problem, I think with this kind of powercreep it’ll show it’s ugly face sooner or later. I’m hoping it won’t, but I still think it will.

  • I am only seeing minor differences between gw2 and wow now. The only thing gw2 has going for it is wvwvw and it has no monthlh sub.

    Had they made the ability to unlock new skills, not same skill +1, but different skills and allowed you to customise your character more their vl progression might have worked. As it stood it was pretty shallow. So they went vertical progression instead.

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  • Ok first off. I would like to say that this is “a step in the wrong direction”

    But hold on. I am not just a troll coming up here to hate everything. I actually have some sense to my words.
    First off arena net originally made this new rarity because in quote “the most dedicated players were achieving ther set of exotic gear, and hitting the legendary wall”.
    Now what they mean by this is that MOST players were making it to the end of the level progression, and from there most player would be unable to get legendary(wall). So because people would hit the end of the gear grind. Arena net thinks they would have nothing to do. so they thought they should have another rarity to separate legendary from exotic, and give players something to do…………..ok stop. First off people were hitting the exotic gear because that’s how the game was suppose to happen. Legendarys are not suppse to be end game. they are supose to be those things that are made for Those hard core player. which by the way make up less then halve the players.It’s after u hit exotic that there is no gear grind. You are done. Now you can go a wvwvw, and Dungeons. Which by the way……it not much. Simply because dungeons are a disapointing, and wvwvw is fun yet it does not appeal to everyone. Really arena net should have only added new content(. Lost shores was an excellent expansion for dungeons. ) Instead of simply adding a grind for players to waste there time . instead of actually having fun. Really just because a game has something to do does not make it fun.

    But let’s go over why most people down right hate this thing. Like arena net stated ( the most dedicated players were hitting there set of exotics). This population is made up of people that have spent a ton of carma, gold, crafting. In other words people that have spent a LOT of work in order to get the end game gear that they wanted. But the simple. Ever so simply fact that there will be a higher tier of armor/weapons. Is heart breaking for those that have spent all of there time heading for what they thought would be the end of the grind. Only to have wasted there time and energy. Sure arena net have said that the legendary weapons will get the boost in stats if there comes the time when we get acended weapons(oh god no). But hay. What about the rest of us. “The most dedicated players”. All of our work for our exotic gear will be wasted. I will probably just stop grinding the other dungeons because the armor i will get from them is now gay. Really what can i keep from my now old end game. What will we keep from it? Maybe the skin if its worth keeping. But other than that it was a waste of time and effort.

    Really sure we don’t have acended weapons/a few armor pieces now. But the simple fact that the acended tier is not complete will encourage arena net to finish the tier. Which would have been a mistake.
    Arena net has gone against thir own philosophy. Some people say this is ok. Assuming the philosophy was wrong it begin with. WHICH IT WaS NOT!!!! What made guld wars 2 such a hero to us mmo players was that it SET US FREE!!!!! The simple fact that they are going back on their word, and are locking us in chains of the philosophy of other mmo’s (grinding is fun o0…mind control). I know that arena net did a simple thing. But they made a huge mistake by doing it.

    What arena net should have done? Ok first off they should not have added the new tier considering there reasons they added it. Just because people do not have enuff things to do at end game. Does not mean you should add more to the work effort. Why. Because work is not fun. By adding a new thing that we will have to work for (because it is now a must have as it is the new end game). Really they should have added only new things to play in the game. Not things to work to play in the game. The fractals of the mists was a beutiful example of what they should be doing. Which is making more things that players can CHOOSE TO DO. Not things that players HAVE TO DO. They should have added a exotic gear that has infusion slots. That way people can get the protection they need. Withought having to chain all the players regardless if they like it or not.

    What they should do? Really the simple fact that their is only a few acended gear out there. There are no acended weapons yet (thank god). So arena net still has a chance to fix themselves before its too late. They should nip it at the bud while they can. They should do this by getting rid of the acended rarity. Lower the stats slightly on the acended gear(which is now exotic). now people that want to have protection in the dungeons can, and the rest of us do not need acended gear in order to have fun. If they come out with more armor/weapons. They should be exotic with infusion slots. After that they should not simply “give us something to do”. Instead they should add more content, and in other words “give us something to do that’s fun”

    Really what makes a game fun is freedom. With mmo’s there really is not that much freedom. Until gw2 that is. Well at least until they broke the heart of thousands of people by chaining them up, and getting rid of its previous freedom.

    William Wallace once said ” FREEDOM! “, and that is what this game has lost. Freedom!

  • GW series cannot be compare to traditional MMO because its not. If ascended gear stats stay even with exotics i have no issue with the added tier. If you want an Apple MMO go play Apple, GW should be kept as an Orange like it was and not cooked to be an Oranple. I recall ppl dislike the original GW and said WOW was better. I told them its two different concept in design.