Showing Highly Rated Posts By Gnat.9405:

Collections Disengage Players from Tyria

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Gnat.9405


The question I want to ask is, are collections being used too abundantly in lieu of engaging, immersive content?

If collections are to be used as a primary reward structure, they should occur naturally and with interesting world interaction, akin to Dynamic Events, rather than exist as a checklist of trophies that encourages the player to complete content as fast as possible. Collections should be varied and guided by in-game exchanges with the player character and game world, rather than exchanges between the player and interfaces.

The introduction of collections was a welcome addition to the game, and worked wonderfully as an organizational tool to help players track achievements and better navigate UI components. Now, collections are beginning to bleed into other, deeper game environments where they disrupt immersion and promote rushing through content.

I think one of the primary gripes with the collection system is how it contributes to a sort of division between playing the game and being rewarded for it. To me, MMO is synonymous with immersive, adventurous, engaging, fantastic, epic, escapism, etc. To accomplish this atmosphere there has to be a sense of urgency and connection to the game world’s challenges – the characters’ troubles, the lore, the artifacts and items, the natural world, etc. Dynamic events do a good job telling the story of a map, and have been very effective in keeping the PC a key component in the world. Let’s take a look at DE structure and process:

  • The player is participating in the region
  • Interaction with NPCs provoke some kind of reaction in the world
  • Player Character learns of regional challenges facing NPC population
  • PC learns how to use his/her skillset to contribute
  • PC engages in regional challenges
  • PC contributes to outcome, and is rewarded for going through above process

The most important aspect to note, is that this entire process happens in the game world with minimal GUI interference (event progress/description bar on right side of screen).

Now, if I were to think of a proper antithesis to Dynamic Events, I’d probably come up with something along the lines of Collections:

  • Player opens Collections GUI
  • Player reads what must be done to achieve
  • Player character engages in seemingly random interactions with game world with no real story or substance
  • Player reads next item on list; repeat

Note the difference?
Dynamic events allow interaction between the game’s characters, whereas collections force interaction between the player and interface, with minimal engagement on behalf of the player character.

Some may say it isn’t fair to compare the two content archetypes, considering one isn’t aiming to replace the other, and they exist simultaneously, with some interaction. However, I bring up Dynamic Events specifically in comparison to Collections because they are now the two main rewards structures used for completing any kind of game content.

Since trying to finish my precursor and fractal collection, I’ve frequently been using /wiki, a notepad, and just about constantly opening my collections tab to view progress. Huge distraction from what’s going on around me. It’s reminiscent of my days in another MMO that I quit because eventually the game was practically a text-based adventure with all the necessary interfaces. Although GW2 is no where near the extent of that game, I believe going down the path of putting the game’s content into forms of collections has the potential to completely transform GW2’s world into a mad rush to the next checkpoint, collecting items only to fill a checklist, leaving content without substance.

Close-Up: Specialization Collections
Specialization collections are good examples of almost perfect conditions for a collection to be fun and engaging, and offer meta-level rewards while achieving the final product:

What Worked

  • Thematically appropriate collections
  • Taking PC around the jungle to experience content from all maps (machined weapons, map completion)
  • Incorporating events from vanilla maps that were also thematically appropriate to profession
  • Asking player to chase items that could be used rather than just vended
  • Providing rewards within the collection components, rather than a single reward at the end
  • Asking players to accomplish tasks that benefit their overall progress, rather than isolating the progress to the reward itself

What could have been done better?

  • Text-based lore regarding how/why elite specs came about
  • Explanations as to why some collection components are important to the profession (ex: why is necromancer interested in a Smokescale claw?)
  • Incorporating reasons why certain levels of masteries were important for the collection (further promoting interaction with NPCs and game world)

From the threads I’ve read, it seems as though collections will be much more positively received if there is just a little bit of lore or explanation behind them. Players want a reason to be doing the things they are doing.

When Collections Work, they Work Well
Realistically, we can’t expect the development team to replace or implement every collection as world event. It may even be argued that collections exist for this reason: to add more content easily and without affecting too much of the existing game world. And that’s not bad! When collections make sense, they are incredible! Let’s take an example of a collection that was implemented perfectly, and why:


This collection tasks players with collecting every skin from every dungeon.

Why is it good?

  • It’s content that was implemented with dungeon lore already in place
  • The rewards are useful items that players will continue using after the collection is finished
  • Achievements aren’t haphazard, and occur naturally during regular play
  • Encourages players to try content that they may not be familiar with
  • Considering PvP reward tracks, there are multiple ways to achieve goals
  • The collection is an end result of the content, rather than containing the content within itself

The next question is obvious:

Using the Dungeoneer collection as a model of a hypothetically successful collection, and the Elite Spec Collection as a model to exemplify encompassing vast amounts of content in a collection, how can we model future collections to feel as rewarding and engaging?

Some ideas of mine:

  • Use of NPCs to guide actions requested in the GUI
  • Implement collections that heavily encourage participation in regional events
  • Create collections around successful content, and offer better incentives for content that is less frequented
  • Keep rewards useful, and stay away from rewarding vendor trash to make the collections less tedious
  • Offer variety in content for collection completion
  • Give the PC a reason to be interested in what they are doing

Hopefully something in this wall o f text is useful. All this said, I think ANet has made huge strides in the expansion, from in-game rewards (rather then gem store exclusives to replayability for dynamic events. As always, there is room for improvement, and this is my two cents. I’d love to hear thoughts of players who are experiencing the collection system for the first time, and your ideas on improving the immersion factor for the collection content.

Thanks for reading!

Scarlet invasions impossible to complete

in Dynamic Events

Posted by: Gnat.9405


It’s so simple – implement a vendor that provides rewards for an event-specific currency, similar to dungeons.

Pristine Clockwork Gear
Scale of Tequatl
Fire Elemental Spark
Glob of Coagulated Ectoplasm
Icy Fang

The list can go on. Of course this won’t happen considering any new rewards will be in gem store. One can dream, though.

Necro Finally Finds a Place in Dungeon...

in Fractals, Dungeons & Raids

Posted by: Gnat.9405



Who the hell is resing all of these kitten posts lol

Only 2 more patches

in Fractured

Posted by: Gnat.9405


Oh hey, it’s this thread again

Constructive Halloween Feedack

in Blood and Madness

Posted by: Gnat.9405


Another issue that players have been speaking on is the fact that the story’s progression is locked behind achievements. This would be understandable if the achievements weren’t so unidentifiable with the story. The Achievements are consistent with normal festive achievements, but now that the Living Story content is making its way into annual festivities, the holiday itself is compromised by content that was controversial from day one. The argument has been made many times that the living story was not received well by many players, and is still receiving negative reception (at least on the forums) and yet every aspect of the game is beginning to have integration into this story (as seen by the addition of a permanent dungeon path). As a fan of Guild Wars lore, it is very confusing to follow the path of the story when holidays are made part of the story arc – obviously a story must be cohesive, and the writers are aware of that (as seen by the Scarlet arc), but I can’t fathom how holiday events can be believably and linearly placed within the current GW2 story setting. It makes for a very awkward story, especially when seemingly random arcs are implemented (Tequatl).

With the addition of holidays into the melting pot of living story, I feel it diminishes the value of the annual events.

Further Thoughts

Lately, there has been a lot of reinforcement of forum etiquette, and not without reason. Although, if design implementation conflicts with design integrity, it is difficult to find the words to express criticism without fear of treading on thin ice. What I mean by this, is that if players are to be held accountable for their feedback, it is only fair that developers are held accountable for their actions. I mentioned earlier the interview with a staff member in which he said that players should feel as if playing the game is enough to get them the rewards they seek. The current Halloween weapons are a perfect example of that process failing. I am not calling out the development team, as I said I personally love the event (story wise) but I am calling out the system which was chosen to deliver rewards for one of Tyria’s most favored events.

I hope that I did not cross any lines, or speak out of place. I don’t mean to speak for an entire community but I think it’s important to have perspective as to where the negativity is coming from.

Constructive Halloween Feedack

in Blood and Madness

Posted by: Gnat.9405


Halloween by far is my favorite event in the Guild Wars universe. The Mad King is brilliant and the new addition of his son this year is a very welcomed addition. Kudos to the writing team for putting together such a masterpiece. And this is only 2 days in!

That being said, there is a lot of negative response about this years event, particularly in comparison to last years. From the events, to the achievements, to the rewards, it’s certainly tiring and greatly discouraging reading thread upon thread of Halloween hate.

I was surprised by the methods of acquisition for the Halloween weapons this year. RNG and fairy tale grinds. It was baffling and honestly I wasn’t mad or upset or stressed out – just confused as to why this method was preferred over Last year’s. I had planned on spending this year’s event building The Crossing, but after seeing the recipe requirements I decided against it and dropped all my gold on the item outright.

I understand this is an option for few, and it is really something I shouldn’t even have done – I was saving that money for the Tailoring ascension. This brings me to my next point.

Lately there has been a pattern of content that forces the player to play one way or another. This current living story is the most prolific example. Many players are anxious for festive events because they bring some of the best skin rewards in the game to a wide variety of people. Many were looking forward this year to achieving one of last year’s skins. What we see now, are significantly less available skins, complete removal (as of yet) of particular popular skins, and other popular skins becoming locked behind an unrealistic materials grind.

As per usual, most feedback is coming from the rewards and the current grind for three particular weapon skins. This year, the recipes are locked behind a grind that essentially requires massive amounts of time and gold, as you are unlikely to farm all of the materials yourself. Last year these skins were quite available if you were willing to put in the effort. Recently, there was an interview (PAX) in which a developer stated that rewards should be acquired through playing the game, and that players should not have to deviate from their fun to acquire rewards – many feel that RNG boxes, especially those containing event-specific items, defeat the entire purpose of this paradigm.

Not only that, but the new skins are not even able to be acquired through playing the new content. They are locked in RNG boxes. A method of acquisition that players regularly speak against.