I have to believe that the issue is me, not the game, not ArenaNet, but me. Evidently, since the release of GW1, WoW, LotRO, AoC, to now, some tectonic shift in the MMO demographic has occurred and I just didn’t notice.
I thought SAB was a quirky thing to toss in for an April Fool’s gag. Sure, it grabbed immersion by the collar and shook it like a stray dog would a rat, but it was April Fool’s. I hoped that, when the update page showed signs that SAB would be coming back, that it was just some information about either making it a separate game you can log into or just some news about updates that will come with its release again in April.
Instead, it’s back, again, and with “Back to School” as its tagline… just as children in the US are enjoying back to school sales at the local Target.
Is there a general outcry? Are people lining up en masse saying, “At what point did you decide the lore behind the game, the legacy of GW1, was just an inconvenient barrier to introducing content the way Six Flags offers rides?” No, it’s met with widespread praise.
I am clearly not part of the group this game has been built to appeal to. Unlike a Disney movie, I can’t sit down with my child and enjoy it as much for how it influences her as I do the incredible artwork.
I made the mistake, three weeks ago, of thinking that the QP updates and information regarding more permanent content were a sign the game was heading back in a direction I could get behind. I could forgive the made for teens narrative as the gameplay was good enough to keep me engaged while the more weighty content came in. I spent a little money on gold (gems->gold) and extra character slots… now I have tremendous regret over those purchases.
Jumping Puzzles. Blatant F2P monetization. Quaggan backpacks. SAB with “Back to School” updates. Ascended gear. Loss of build diversity. Made for teen writing. Lack of even a conversation about what’s wrong with the PvE content meta-game (where pure zerk dps is all that matters). Legendaries like “The Dreamer”.
What happened to the soul of this franchise? I want to love the game for what it is. My purchase history shows that, partially as homage to the memories of GW1 and partially out of hope for what this game could be, I was willing to give it a serious chance.
This SAB update has stripped me of any desire to play. Not even to feel like I got something out of the cash investment. I’m sorry, but the game has gone from a fun twist on fantasy to just being silly. It’s Jake and the Netherland Pirates rather than Pirates of the Caribbean. There’s a demographic that loves Jake and his treasure hunting friends, but I’m not a part of it. I’m sure I’ll kick back by from time to time, it requires no subscription afterall, but what little hope I had left for the world of Tyria is fading.
Like the Diablo franchise after Diablo 3, GW2 was my last automatic purchase from ArenaNet. Years worth of brand loyalty, that would have come along for the ride here too, has been snuffed out.