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The Guild Wars 2 Thread

Kev Inkline

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A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Jorma is a male name in Finnish, also an euphemism for penis, exactly like Dick.
 

ChronoGuru

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Oct 7, 2022
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8
I finally got around to booting up the new expansion.

So far I've been met with about 30 minutes of gameplay and what feels like endless forced dialogue and loss of character movement.

Maybe it's the fact there's literally zero actual story this early on, and maybe we're supposed to be in "awe" of video game take on asian city #9998, but I'm bored to tears. This is the first time in GW2 that the content feels like it's actively working against me.

I do enjoy GW2 but my God, I really hope this thing picks up and quits relying on the shitty tired side characters for commentary on things. I can't shake this feeling they're trying to be like FFXIV, another game that bores me to tears.
 
Joined
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So far I've been met with about 30 minutes of gameplay and what feels like endless forced dialogue and loss of character movement.

Hang on to your butt, because I'm half way through the story and nothing has happened yet either aside from the chase setpiece at the beginning of the expansion. So far it's just been 4 hours of juvenile pirate melodrama and the game trying to tell me that I should let mass murderers off the hook just because they said how sorry they were.


maybe we're supposed to be in "awe" of video game take on asian city #9998

I think Seitung is visually pretty and comfy, though I wish there were more villages and it wasn't packed to the brim with hostile mobs. New Kaineng, however, is just your usual gritty cyberpunk/modern urban city you've seen countless times before (or live in IRL), with concrete buildings, neon flashing lights, drones, 24/7 news cycles, unions vs megacorporations, etc. Wish it had leaned towards a more romantic steampunk slant instead.


I can't shake this feeling they're trying to be like FFXIV

Yeah, I suspected that with the grandiose "Arena Net Presents... End of Dragons" cutscene. GW2's format of the storytelling happening in gameplay rather than in cutscenes, with the player's camera zoomed out too far away from the character's faces doesn't lend itself well towards engaging character drama. JRPGs like FF14 utilize the presentation of cutscenes or facial portraits to make the character drama more interesting. And then, ofcourse, there is the actual writing itself that has to get you to care about the characters, but Americans have abdicated their storytelling capabilities. GW2's strength never was in character drama, but in adventure, which is why HoT was great. You had 4 hours of adventure. You'd think that the devs would know that, but apparently not.
 

mediocrepoet

Philosoraptor in Residence
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Codex 2012 Codex+ Now Streaming! MCA Project: Eternity Divinity: Original Sin 2
EoD's story was alright, as far as that sort of thing goes. I enjoy GW2's set piece battles breaking up the faffing about of zone completion stuff. I haven't found any of GW2's story to be mind blowing though, but it's serviceable. You could do far worse in the MMO space.
 

ChronoGuru

Literate
Joined
Oct 7, 2022
Messages
8
So far I've been met with about 30 minutes of gameplay and what feels like endless forced dialogue and loss of character movement.

Hang on to your butt, because I'm half way through the story and nothing has happened yet either aside from the chase setpiece at the beginning of the expansion. So far it's just been 4 hours of juvenile pirate melodrama and the game trying to tell me that I should let mass murderers off the hook just because they said how sorry they were.


maybe we're supposed to be in "awe" of video game take on asian city #9998

I think Seitung is visually pretty and comfy, though I wish there were more villages and it wasn't packed to the brim with hostile mobs. New Kaineng, however, is just your usual gritty cyberpunk/modern urban city you've seen countless times before (or live in IRL), with concrete buildings, neon flashing lights, drones, 24/7 news cycles, unions vs megacorporations, etc. Wish it had leaned towards a more romantic steampunk slant instead.


I can't shake this feeling they're trying to be like FFXIV

Yeah, I suspected that with the grandiose "Arena Net Presents... End of Dragons" cutscene. GW2's format of the storytelling happening in gameplay rather than in cutscenes, with the player's camera zoomed out too far away from the character's faces doesn't lend itself well towards engaging character drama. JRPGs like FF14 utilize the presentation of cutscenes or facial portraits to make the character drama more interesting. And then, ofcourse, there is the actual writing itself that has to get you to care about the characters, but Americans have abdicated their storytelling capabilities. GW2's strength never was in character drama, but in adventure, which is why HoT was great. You had 4 hours of adventure. You'd think that the devs would know that, but apparently not.
I couldn’t agree more with your explanation of it. I think you’re right about GW2’s strength in adventure, built into the zone as you play it. I loved HoT.

I’m early in, maybe it’ll change, but I do dislike this new direction they’re flirting with. Their writing of characters just isn’t good right now.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2022
Messages
1,077
End of Dragons

U3aY6UP.jpg

Looking back at the promotional art for this expansion, it's curious that Kasmeer is advertised as a major character... and yet she's offscreen for almost the whole story. Taimi is also offscreen for for the whole story, and yet even she has a lot of dialogue over the radio.

In retrospect, it feels like Marjory and Kasmeer hardly did anything in GW2's storyline. The most presence they had was in seasons 1 and 2, and after that they just sorta faded away into the background. Marjory came back at the end of PoF... only to then immediately disappear until End of Dragons.



Maps

New Kaineng in the distance. It took GW2 a decade to start putting stuff into skyboxes.

The harbor area of the first map, Shing Jea, looks gorgeous with water reflections turned on, reflecting the pink trees and red painted wood on the water and the floating piles of petals.


As pretty as Shing Jea is, it isn't as immersive as it could have been. There are only two settlements (the harbor village, and the gated mansion neighborhood), and the rest of the map is packed with pirates and zombies. Contrast that with say, the Jade Forest from WoW, where there were dozens of settlements populating the zone, and you could actually stroll through the woods unmolested.



The second map, New Kaineng, looks like a cool smoggy cyberpunk city you would see in Ghost in the Shell. Except that's the problem. It's a smoggy cyberpunk/modern urban city with ugly concrete streets, skyscrapers, neon lights, air pollution, 24/7 new cycle, advertisements, power grid failures, megacorporations crushing small businesses, people losing their jobs to automation, and so on. I play fantasy games because I want to explore a fantasy world, not wind up back in my own crappy world. Oh sure, the Asura were also high tech, but their aesthetic at least leaned towards aetherpunk and egyptian pyramids, and their themes were still escapist fantasy. If New Kaineng had looked a more romanticized slant, ie less Shadowrun and more Sakura Wars, I'd be more into it.



There is a new laser guided zipline mechanic. It's neat, but I find that most of the time that the zipline is too short and that I would go faster if I had just used a mount. The pictured zipline is one of the rare ziplines that goes for quite some distance and is worthwhile.



The third map is Echovald Wilds. It feels like it is made of Auric Basin/Tangled Depths assets and doesn't really have an identity of its own. It doesn't even utilize the verticality of the HoT maps that it imitates. Everything is on the ground floor.



The only memorable area in this map is skiffing down the river surronded by huge trees, but that area is only about 10% of the map. If the whole map was like that, Echovald could have been a lot better. Echovald is overall disappointing.



The interiors of the abandoned cathedral mansions with the beautiful stained glass windows are wasted. You go inside, grab the mastery point, leave, and then never come back again. There are no events inside or NPCs to talk to.


Wish the floating jade shards swirled around the Harvest Temple, rather than just being still in midair.

The fourth map is Dragon's End, which is set on the Jade Sea. Sadly the Jade Sea part is barely 1/3rd of the map and the rest of the map is pretty forgettable, so hopefully we will get a patch map that is 100% Jade Sea. The meta event is quite lackluster and is poorly designed, but I will get to that in the story section.



There is a jade cavern that stretches under 40% of the map. Ofcourse, the devs decided to create this cool, expansive area... and then never gave you any reason to come down here.


The fifth map is... oh wait, there is no fifth map. This is pretty sad. This is a $50 box expansion and you only get 4 zones, and they're rehashes of places I've already been to in GW1 Factions. No new original locations. And the maps you do get are nowhere near as well designed as HoT's maps were. Much of these maps are poorly utilized or outright unused.

Hopefully we will get to see new, original East Asian fantasy zones in season 6, but who knows how many we will get. Season 6 could get axed like IBS was. I'm not confident in Arena Net. We'll see.



60 players per map limit

Prior to EoD, you could have about 100-150 people in a map. EoD's map are hard capped at 60 people. I can't fathom why this is, but it's bad for gameplay. In GW2, whenever a map gets a relatively "low" amount of players, the servers begin counting down for 60 minutes until they close that instance and kick everyone to a relatively more populated instance. In pre-EoD maps, a map closing down usually doesn't happen, but when it does you really do want to join the higher population map. In EoD, though, the maps are constantly closing down and moving people to other instances. You may have been progressing an event chain in one instance, and then you get kicked to another instance, and then you see that no one in this new instance was doing the event chain, so you effectively lost all of your progress. You also lose all stacks you had accumulated, such as sigil of bloodlust stacks or fishing stacks. I feel like I am constantly losing progress.

Worse is when you are trying to join a group that is doing a meta-event. Because a map in which a meta-event is being progressed is usually full with 60 players (everyone is trying to join the instance in which the event is actually being progressed and quickly abandon instances in which the event is being progressed), you can't get in. So you have to either get to the meta-event early and hope that the other people who want to do the event also get in your same instance, or you have to join a premade group and spend 10-20 minutes quickly zoning in and out of a map trying to force the servers to create a new instance just for your group so your whole 50 man premade have a map all to themselves.

And then you have people who aren't participating in a meta event, but are on the same instance as an event that is being progressed. A player fishing in Dragon's End, trying to get his elite specialization's ascended weapon, is indirectly harming the chances of any group on that instance that is trying to progress the meta event, because the fishing player is taking up a slot that could be used for another player who could help kill the boss within the 20 minute timer (which is pretty tight). The fishing player will be loathe to leave because he has already spent a couple hours building up his fishing stacks. Changing to a new map instance would be a huge loss of time for him, so he stays.

It's been 8 months since EoD released and the 60 player cap has not been lifted. Historically, Anet doesn't go back and change things after the first few weeks, so at this point the cap will probably never be lifted. I fear this is going to be the standard going forward into future maps. I have no idea why Anet decided to do this.



Masteries

There are fish that can be pretty difficult to keep the slider on, but I was so frustrated trying to catch the Stingray that I just didn't want to fish anymore and just recorded one catch for this post.

The fishing minigame is... okay. It's a tad fun. The gameplay of driving your skiff around searching for schools of fish, and then trying to keep the slider on the fish is much more engaging than WoW's where you clicked the bobber when splashed. It is also not stupidly overcomplicated like FF14's fishing system, where you had three dozen different buttons to press and had to spend hours reading a 60+ page google doc and charts and you still didn't understand what was happening. You also don't need to keep your inventory clogged up with two dozen different baits and fishing items.

I do have two complaints: first is the insane RNG, and second is making fishing ridiculously rare fish a requirement to obtain your elite specialization's ascended weapon. I spent three hours in Seitung trying to fish for the Stingray, the last item I needed to complete the Untamed's hammer collection. The Stingray only required 150 fishing power and I had 99 skiff stacks, for a total of 450 fishing power, so I certainly met the requirement to catch it. 3 hours of fishing the and I never saw a Stingray. I'm not going to waste any more time on this fruitless endeavor so I will probably never get the hammer. :(

Boating around Cantha on the Skiff and seeing the reflections in the water is cool, but there is hardly any reason to use the skiff. It takes a while to get up to speed, and there are only a small handful of maps in the game with huge expanses of water to traverse. Old maps have waypoints everywhere so you don't even need to use the Skiff; you can just port right near where you wanted to go.



The Jade Bot is a mixed bag. Controlling the drone is neat, but you can only do it a couple times during the story. We might get to use it a couple more times in 6th season set in Cantha. I will be surprised if it will be used past that. Otherwise, being able to thrust upwards while gliding is nice for areas where you can't use mounts, such as jumping puzzles. However, the Jade Bot adds tedious busywork to the game, as you have to go to Cantha every 2 hours to stack up on the buffs that give you +150 stats and 30 seconds of every buff in the game upon entering combat, and you lose the stacks every time you enter instanced content like a story mission or a strike.



The Siege Turtle is a two player combat mount. The owner of the Turtle drives while a second player hops in to man the cannons. It's a nice change of pace, and it's great for exp farming since the gunner can tag lots of mobs using the AoE cannons. However, the turtle deals subpar DPS and doesn't give boons (in a meta where boon stacking is everything), so it's not worth using for boss fights. You also can't mount during combat, and it is sluggish, which is very bad in a game designed around zergs rushing from point A to point B to point C within seconds. If you dismount the turtle to change to your roller beetle or griffon, you're kicking off your gunner (who may or may not have mounts) and leaving him behind, which means you won't deal more damage with the turtle anymore and have to hope that someone else hops into your turtle. If you stick with the turtle then there is a decent chance you won't make it to the next event in time to get credit.

The Turtle also doesn't open up more of the world to you like the other mounts did. You can't use the turtle to smash through cave walls to access new areas or push boulders to solve a puzzle. Missed opportunity.



The last mastery is upgrading the Arbstone hub. Aka, grind over and over so you can give Arborstone utilities that other cities already have for free. Pretty blatant padding to cover for the fact that the expansion only really has two masteries that meaningfully impact your gameplay (the Jade Bot and the Turtle). At least I didn't have to cough up gold to unlock the utilities like with Icebrood Saga's hub. The central hall does look quite pretty. Wish there was an exterior balcony area.



Story

There are two crippling problems with EoD's story: the plot structure, and the dialogue.

Plot structure: it's an 11 hour long story, but the only exciting adventure stuff happens at the beginning with the airship setpiece, and at the end when you fight Soo-Won and then the Dragonvoid. The 8 hours in between is almost entirely standing around listening to pathetic pirate melodrama, or doing dull stuff like waiting at the DMV, or fixing people's air conditioners, or rummaging through people's apartments for clues. Boring. GW2 isn't FF14 where it has an engine and an animation budget that can allow for a lot of cutscenes to make watching characters stand around and talk for hundreds of hours palatable. GW2's strength is in adventure and setpieces and that's what the campaign should have delivered on, which it didn't.


80% of this expansion's pre-rendered cutscenes was wasted on soap-opera. What happened to cutscenes of island sized dragons falling out of the sky?

The dialogue is awful. There are too many examples to pick out. I maxxed out my screenshot folder and had to start another one. I could spend several hours putting together a massive collage of EoD dialogue. The writers can't write dialogue that sounds like something a human being would say. The dialogue is so bad, it is cringeworthy. The characters talk like they are twitter. I never want to hear a character say "amirite" in my fantasy game ever again.

Someone was paid to write this, and did not read aloud what they wrote. You can tell the voice actor is trying to make the best with what they got, but there is no salvaging this. A polished turd is still a turd.

I am also not fond of the sheer amount of sarcasm that is infused into the dialogue. Nobody can be allowed to be sincere.

There is also a lot of vulgar language suddenly. People taking God's name in vain and dropping f-bombs. Not just in the campaign, but in open world events you are expected to farm dozens and dozens of times to upgrade your Jade Bot or farm materials for Aurene-themed legendary weapons. I live next door to a family whose kids play out in front, and I used to be able to play computer games with my window open to let the cool air in to keep the air conditioner bill down. Seems I can't do that when playing EoD content, or perhaps any future GW2 content.



At several points in EoD's story, my character's personality inexplicably changes. My PC has always been a stoic man who never throws out petty insults. If the PC does make a retort, it's usually more subtle (Balthazaar at 10% HP: "I am fire! I am war! What are you?" PC: "Still standing"). He doesn't feel the need to have the last word in a conversation. Sometimes the old PC's personality is there, like at the start of the expansion when Minister Li is posturing and threatens the PC, and the PC says "understood" and just moves on. But then at other points, the PC just starts spewing out gibberish like in the picture above.

Another expansion where we go to distant land, and... everyone sounds like a coastal city Californian. If GW2 can acquire celebrity voice actors then I'm sure they can acquire people with different accents as well.

So, to recap: 11 hour long campaign. 8 hours of it is spent listening to the whining, sarcasm, and swearing of unlikeable narcissists, and genuinely terrible lines. What a thrilling fantasy adventure!

What about those 3 hours of actual adventure?



The opening setpiece where you jump between moving airships that are travelling through hyperspace was visually cool. However, it was very buggy for me. Multiple times I would jump to another airship or platform, only for my character to be teleported to the side and slide off and fall.

There were a couple entertaining moments sprinkled throughout the story, like the tour through the underwater powerplant, or stumbling upon Canach's party airship. The Minister Li fight was cool.

Now I will talk about the Dragon's End meta event, which is the first meta event that the PC canonically participates in. The Dragon's Stand and Dragonfall meta events canonically took place while the PC was doing the story instance battle. The Water Elder Dragon, Soo-Won, is defeated in the meta event rather than in the story instance which takes place after (in which you instead fight the Dragonvoid, a different entity). EoD also guides you to do the meta event since you have to go around setting up the extractors inside the map, whereas in HoT you could beat the story without having ever stepped foot in Dragon's Stand outside of the story instance, having never seen the meta event.

The Dragon's End Meta event is poorly designed. The final fight is really tight, so you have to arrive at least 2 hours before the final fight (bear in mind that your 50-man group has to spend a lot of time zoning in and out of the map trying to spawn an instance so that everyone gets in) and do 1 hour of events so you can gain 10 stacks of a buff to increase your stats. Unfortunately, the events during the first hour are very meh. Soo-Won is absent for the first hour and you're just doing random stuff like putting boxes on a wago, or fighting naga. It doesn't feel like you are doing anything meaningful, and this is supposed to be the climatic meta event that ends the 10 year long Elder Dragon storyline. Contrast that with Dragon's Stand where you were constantly pushing towards Mordremoth, or Dragonfall where the early events had you do stuff like establish a base camp, and gather materials so you could weaken Kralkatorik.

The second problem is the RNG on the final fight. Once the final battle begins, you have 20 minutes to kill Soo-Won. She has two lengthy invulnerability phases, and then on top of that she has several attacks that make her invulnerable while her animation plays. You can have the group get serious and adopt high DPS meta builds, but it won't matter because you can get screwed over by RNG with Soo-Won becoming invulnerable too often.

In this attempt, we had more than enough DPS to kill her within the remaining time, but it didn't matter because the game decided she should use an attack that made her invulnerable.

You also get no rewards if you time out and fail, which feels disrespectful of your time given that you have to dedicate at least 2 hours to this. You might have blown a lot of money on banners, raid food, and boosters too.

Story wise, Dragon's End is disappointing. You fight alongside a bunch of factions and characters that were just introduced a few hours prior, and the writing has done its best to make them as unlikeable as possible. Apparently the Pact does show up on an airship towards the end, but I didn't see any Vigil or Pale Reavers or Charr. I only heard Logan's voice over the radio. Dragon's Stand and Dragonfall were cathartic because you were fighting alongside factions and people you cared about.

The one thing I will give the Dragon's End meta is that the final fight against Soo-Won atop the tower is more engaging than stabbing Kralkatorik's 12 scabs at the climax of Dragonfall, or fighting the disembodied heads of Jormag and Primordus in Dragonstorm. I think hopping from island to island to fight the Mouth of Mordremoth in Dragon's Stand was cooler, though.



Then you have the story instance, in which you face the Dragonvoid, the final boss of Guild Wars 2... and he doesn't even get a unique his own model! He reuses Soo-Won's model, which you just beat 30 minutes prior. He doesn't even get unique music either. He just resuses Soo-Won's theme, which again you already heard 30 minutes prior.

Narratively, the Dragonvoid is unsatisfying. Season 2 established the Void as being an intangible threat that you couldn't solve by beating something up. That is one of the reasons why I got invested in seeing how the Elder Dragon magic plot would end. Then you reach EoD and the solution is... to just beat up a personification of it. And before anyone says "well it's a videogame. It has to climax with you beating up the source of the conflict!" I would point to The Banner Saga 3, in which the climax was defending a wizard from a vengeful mercenary as he fixed the tear in the fabric of reality, and that was satisfying.

It's also hard to care about Soo-Won or the Dragonvoid. I only had a 2 minute long conversation with Soo-Won before she went crazy. And the Dragonvoid comes out of nowhere during the last hour of the game. Neither manage to kill any of the heroes or wreck a city or deal any visible lasting damage to the world, or damage that I care about. The Dragonvoid is most egregious. He causes a world ending apocalypse, but no one dies and no cities are wiped out. In the epilogue, you go to Divinity's Reach and you don't see any destruction. it's as if the apocalypse never happened. Zhaitan managed to wipe out Claw Island and killed several characters. Mordremoth wiped out a couple towns in Tyria and killed Traehearne. Kralkatorik killed Blish, and his brand damage spans across several maps and can be quite visibly seen every time you open your world map. Primordus forced the Asura to flee to the surface of the planet, and Jormag devastated the Charr. The Dragonvoid is supposed to be the amalgamation of all 6 Elder Dragons, and yet he fails to inflict as much damage as any one of them.




Then you have the ending. The expansion is also called, I don't know, "End of Dragons". I was expecting Aurene to sacrifice herself and magic to disappear from the world to break the cycle. Something along those lines. Instead, she can apparently contain the magic of all 6 Elder Dragons without exploding or being warped into an ugly obese dragon or going insane or unbalancing the world, in complete and utter contradiction of the rules that the story had established prior. The expansion pulls the phrase "dragon magic filtering" out of thin air to handwave that problem away. I wonder how the writers are going to try to keep the now all-powerful benevolent dragon from solving any threats going forward.

(Also, if Annka used the extractor to take Aurene's magic - which included Joko's resurrective immortality - and infused that magic into Soo-Won, then shouldn't Soo-Won now be immortal? How could she possibly die? The second extraction to get the magic out of Soo-Won and transfer it back to Aurene failed. Soo-Won dying and Aurene absorbing her magic at the end makes no sense).

The story never answered how Soo-Won's name was forgotten.



The rest of the expansion

EoD doesn't offer a new PvP mode, or a new SPvP map, or a new WvW map. No new raid or fractals. The new elite specs were broken on launch and many still haven't been fixed. I play Ranger, and not only is Untamed in a bad place design wise, but it also got the short end of the stick when it came to art and animation. This is the beastmaster spec, but now my pet is covered in ugly green goo and I can't turn that off. My new teleport ability, Unnatural Traversal, doesn't even have an animation. And when using a legendary hammer, the Untamed's green hammer swing trails are still there, rather than being replaced by the legendary hammer's trails. Also, no Kirin or Saltspray Dragon ranger pets? Come on!

Overall, a very underwhelming expansion and a sorry ending to the GW2 story. It certainly wasn't worth botching the Icebrood Saga and throwing away Primordus for. Story should've ended at season 4. It's going to be hard to care about the story going forward if the devs couldn't be bothered to execute the second half of the Elder Dragon storyline properly and if the bad writing is here to stay.



Wishes for the future
  • A full season of visually imaginative Cantha maps, with HoT map design.
  • A new WvW map.
  • New SPvP maps.
  • Untamed gets the art and animation touches it should have had (improved Unleashed Pet art or option to turn off the green goo, Unnatural Traversal gets an animation, legendary hammer trails, etc).
  • Untamed gets a gameplay design pass.
  • Hire good writers.
  • A brand new cast of characters to adventure with. PLEASE don't pull a FFXIV where the heroes "disband" only to immediately get back together again in the next patch. I like Gorrik but I don't want to join his private detective agency that features Kasmeer and Marjory and Ivan. I don't care about them.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 3, 2022
Messages
1,077
Normally you can earn like a fraction of a ONE gold per hour by exploring killing and looting in the main game world.

Don't bother trying to gold farm until you reach Icebrood Saga and End of Dragons. Doing your weekly IBS and EoD strikes gives you a couple dozen gold for just an hour of effort, which is more than enough for most of your needs ingame (buying exotic gear, runes, food, etc). The only exception is if you want to get the Griffon mount (250 gold), the Skyscale (50+ gold), or buy a legendary weapon (3,000 gold), in which case you're going to have to whip out a credit card because working a minimum wage job is 50x more efficient than farming Dragonfall or Drizzlewood.


Even with that many rare/magic items salvaged: I barely boosted my MF.

IIRC the rate at which you increase your magic find stat sharply decreases after 100%. I've been playing for coming up on 8 years and my magic find stat is only 240%. The only way you can possibly max out your magic find is if you dump a few hundred dollars into buying gems, convert it into gold, and then buy stuff off of the auction house to salvage for luck and brute force increase your magic find. But honestly it's cheaper to just straight up buy whatever you wanted in the first place rather than spending money to boost your magic find and hope you get a lucrative rare drop.


the skills are limp as fuck

I find GW2's combat to be much more kinetic than WoW or FF14. From the animation of a character hefting a heavy hammer around, to the camera shake after a big attack, or your skillbar exploding when you enter berserker mode as a berserker, and so on. Comparatively, WoW's and FF14's combat feels flacid.


you are 100% button mashing the same 2 to 3.

Your rotation is as intense as you want it to be. You can run a rifle engineer with 5 signets who just autoattacks. Or you can replace those signets with buttons to push, and decrease your cooldowns so you can press buttons more often. It's up to you.
 

TedNugent

Arcane
Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Messages
6,414
It's a bunch of meaningless visual feedback, with meaningless stacked effects from meaningliness combos
from almost meanningless button presses.
What are you talking about bro

How is a combo meaningless? Are you talking about combo fields or boons?

It's a bunch of meaningless visual feedback, with meaningless stacked effects from meaningliness combos
from almost meanningless button presses.

Sounds like you don't like games centered around combat.

I don't like gigantic games with great potential self-cucking to simply be centered around the elements of combat rather than having a real combat system.
What bro

Look, I'm stunningly average in ranked arenas, and I play an inflexible meme build (core warr) without much in the way of a toolkit, but it is hard for me to believe that abilities are meaningless.

Invulnerability windows, evade frames, positioning of persistent AoE, traps, pushes/pulls, teleports/leaps, boon rips/conversions, condition cleanses/stun breaks, and obviously boons and combo fields obviously matter. I've had many, many node duels and teamfights, thousands in fact, in ranked arena, and it's a rather raw game in terms of timing and placement. Careful timing, quick reflexes and an understanding of the underlying mechanics are profoundly rewarded and mean the difference between life and death.

Take something simple. You down an opponent in a 3v3, while one of your mates is also downed moments later. The enemy warrior prepares to place a clutch banner which will both execute your teammate and revive his, and you must interrupt his 2 second cast timer while dealing a sufficient amount of pressure to prevent F revive. Obviously that banner landing is going to net the opposing team the win, whereas a well timed kick would potentially clinch if you can sustain. Imagine additionally the threat of a dragon hunter landing a trap on top of the scene of this hectic action providing critical area denial, or an AoE fear being placed in the same area, allowing the opposing team sufficient time to resurrect their ally.

Conversely, take another simple thing. Your health bar is at 20%. Do you hard cast your main healing ability? Probably not, as you'd likely be interrupted by an opponent with basic skills, putting the healing ability on CD. It's often a much better ability to use a short distance leap such as sword 2 on warrior to create a gap and hopefully LoS, or use an ability that gives you a short evade frame to juke the interrupt before hardcasting. If I have a straight heal, it's better for me to minimize my sustained damage, whereas if I have an ability that heals based on damage intake, it would be best for me to be in heavy combat during the window to maximize the value, before exiting due to the comparatively long cooldown. In fact, whether I take that ability that heals me based on damage affects my entire playstyle and burst time windows.

Or consider if there is a light field. While I normally would not want to stand on top of a condi vomit field, the light field allows me to pulse cleanses on certain abilities, making it viable. I can't cast a light field, so ally composition and placement is critical if I want to make use of that combo.

The real problems with the combat system right now come down to the boon and condi spam getting a little out of control, IMHO. The fundamentals of the combat system are actually quite strong, and it's hard to argue that the combat is extremely dynamic when the numbers put pressure on players to perform and use their toolkits.

The difference in survivability between a player that uses their evade frames and tools versus a player that adds ~500 toughness to their build is enormous. I've seen classes that are effectively unkillable by certain builds strictly because of their use of terrain, evade frames and mobility skills. Time to kill is all about avoiding damage rather than mitigating it. While it drives me crazy, and it's IMHO not an RPG combat system at its core, at all; it's hard for me to deny that as a fast paced action combat system, it has all the necessary ingredients. But that's what I'd effectively call it - a fairly robust and complex action combat system. If you're going to commit to being dense about what the mechanics allow you to do, there's no point in you commenting further. The skill ceiling is already far higher than I will ever be capable of attaining.
 

TedNugent

Arcane
Joined
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Messages
6,414
As for Boons and Conditions. From what? You're acting like your skillbar is full of interesting choices.
It's not.

You have a couple skills you use, and everything else you do is literally minor addition.

Your skill selection is not causing all these buffs/boons. Nor is anyone elses'. Assuming these buffs/boons do anything, at all it just varies rhythm of combat
not the fundamentals of fighting.
You're trolling me bro
 
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This week's WvW Alliance beta... *sigh*

The beta was announced on the WvW subforum with 2 days notice.

2 days.

Most GW2 players don't visit the forums, let alone visit every day.

Naturally, the beta event came as a complete surprise to many people, and whoops! Many people in our guild hadn't found out about the event and didn't tick the correct guild they wanted to play with in time, so now they got sorted to random teams playing with random people and can't play with us. A lot of people just gave up and decided to sit the beta out rather than play with strangers.

I was one of the few who got notified just in time to tick the right guild to play with. At primetime, our 50 man squad formed up, and we spent 10 minutes trying to get into EBG, trying to get the bugged out WvW menu to work and pressing F on the gate to EBG. We spent 2 hours in EBG and didn't find anyone else to fight.

It was primetime, and there was no one to fight on the most popular WvW map in the game. People on the other maps were saying there was no one to fight on the other maps either.

People were cracking jokes in chat about how much content there was. Then people logged off.

Anet says they care about WvW as a cornerstone of the game, but they don't mean it. No new maps in 7 years. Rewards haven't been updated. The current WvW game design is still vapid. No one defends keeps, escorting supply caravans doesn't matter. It's just people flipping the same camps over and over again and two zergs playing whack-a-mole. Taking over the map doesn't mean anything. Matchmaking is terrible. I don't know why it has taken 4.5 years and a dozen betas and Anet still doesn't have a decent matchmaking system yet. It reallys feels like these WvW exp events are only trotted out to get PvErs to dabble in WvW for a little bit to get Gifts of Battles for their legendaries, and maybe buy a $20 Warclaw skin off of the cash shop.
 
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DAoC had this figured out decades ago...

One of the sources of WvW's matchmaking headaches is that it does not have distinct factions with their own lore and aesthetics and exclusive classes. There is no Camelot vs Hibernia vs Midgard, or Horde vs Alliance, or Order vs Chaos, or Ascalonians vs Charr. Because you do not have distinct factions fighting each other, GW2 had to come up with something else. For the purposes of WvW, everyone on the same server is on the same team, fighting against two other visually identical servers that they are matched up against every few months.

In 2014, GW2 introduced the megaserver system. Everyone in North America can raid together, be on the same guild, use the same auction house, etc. The servers only matter as far as who you fight with or against in WvW. Because GW2 players do not have faction loyalty (you might continue playing Horde even though you're losing because you like being a Tauren Shaman, or remain loyal to the Alliance because you want to be a good guy), and since your choice of server doesn't matter outside of WvW, that means the only differentiating factor between servers is the WvW community on those servers. After GW2's population began to decline, WvW players began consolidating on certain servers, which then became full and people can't transfer to those anymore. Those full servers with more WvW inclined players began to dominate servers that had fewer WvW minded players.

The devs tried to compensate for this in 2016 when they introduced server linking, where two servers are paired up with each other (so effectively you have 2 vs 2 vs 2, though WvW maps only allow in 100 players from each side so it's still 300 people max in a map). So theoretically a full WvW server would be paired up with a server with a low WvW population, facing off against equally balanced foes. But what wound up happening is that WvW players just transfer to server that is paired up with the full WvW server and stomp everyone else. The pairing also inhibits WvW community growth. If you enter EBG and alongside with other people and get to know them, they might not be on your server. They might be from the paired server. When server pairs are reshuffled in a few months, you might never see those people again.

In 2018, Anet announced that they would restructure WvW to an alliance based system. Basically, you tick which guild is going to be guild you want to play with in WvW. Your WvW guild will be placed on a team with other guilds, and then that team will fight other alliances with a similar WvW ranking. Last year, Anet finally began doing beta events testing Alliances, but it's functionally no different from before. Rather than transferring to the servers with the biggest WvW populations and crush smaller servers, you just join the biggest WvW mega guilds and crush smaller guilds and unguilded players.
 
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Studio update and roadmap:

Since 2021, we’ve put a renewed emphasis on developing Guild Wars 2 with a player-centric approach, where step one in our development process is to seek out and understand the problems and frustrations that MMO players face.
If they want to refine the game, the first thing they could do is remove agony resistance from Fractals. It makes no sense. Any player who joins GW2 is going to naturally think "oh, I do the 5-man instanced content (fractals) before I progress to 10-man instanced content (raids and strikes)", but fractals have a higher barrier of entry than 10 man content. You need to obtain ascended armor and acquire agony resistance, whereas with 10 man content you can just ding level 80, buy a set of exotic armor and runes off of the auction house, and jump in.

Historically, with few exceptions, Living World seasons have required the focus of nearly the entire Guild Wars 2 development team to deliver them at the size, quality, and cadence that our players expect. This made it difficult to simultaneously develop expansions while supporting the game with regular content updates.
Aka "no you're not getting quality AND quantity anymore, like you did from 2015 through 2019 where you got a complete episode with a brand new map every 60-90 days. We don't have the budget or the talent to deliever that any more".

It also meant that many areas of the game went undersupported.
New fractals, raids, WvW and SPvP maps when?

Rather than launching an expansion every two to four years with a season of Living World in between, we’ll be releasing smaller expansions more frequently at a slightly reduced price and adding additional content for those expansions through quarterly updates, meaning that the next big release is only ever a few months away.
End of Dragons was already an embarrassingly content light expansion, with only 4 halfbaked PvE maps and new elite specs that are still broken one year later, and nothing else. If these new "expansions" are going to be even smaller, then what are we looking at here? 2 new halfbaked PvE maps with 3 broken elite specs or none at all?

The first release in an expansion cycle is the launch point for a new story arc, bringing with it two new open-world maps, two Strike Missions, new gameplay and combat features, new Masteries, and new rewards. In the following quarterly updates, we’ll add another open-world map, additional story chapters, challenge modes for the Strike Missions, a new fractal dungeon and challenge mode, new rewards, and additions to the new systems introduced in that expansion. Once that expansion’s story is complete, the next expansion will be just around the corner.
Oh. So it's 3 PvE maps and one fractal for your box purchase, and that's it. No new elite specs, no new raids, no new SPvP or WvW maps. Just asset reused story boss fights with higher tuning. Got it.

The next chapter of Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons arrives on February 28. With familiar allies like Detective Rama and his hat at your side, you’ll travel to a new location in Cantha and come face-to-face with a deadly foe that resides deep within the Jade Sea.
That's a pleasant surprise.

I hope this area is a strike platform against some other boss that isn't the Deep Sea Monster. If the Deep Sea Monster is not fought in the water, that will be quite disappointing. This area looks pretty cool, though. This is what I want out of my high fantasy RPGs.

That storyline will conclude a few months later with an update that introduces additional playable space to the map
Uh oh, they didn't say new map. Is this just going to be a piecemeal addition to a pre-existing map, like season 2 with Dry Top and Silverwastes?

It still boggles my mind that we are regressing from "one new full map every 60-90 days from season 3 through season 4" back to "each patch adds a small section to a preexisting map ala Dry Top and Silverwastes in 2014".

In the first half of the year, we’ll release the Soo-Won legendary weapon skin variant collection
Hopefully there will be a final Dragonvoid legendary collection?

two profession balance updates
Fix Untamed please!

multiple updates for World vs. World
New map when?
 

Rahdulan

Omnibus
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Messages
5,181
Studio update and roadmap:

Rather than launching an expansion every two to four years with a season of Living World in between, we’ll be releasing smaller expansions more frequently at a slightly reduced price and adding additional content for those expansions through quarterly updates, meaning that the next big release is only ever a few months away.
End of Dragons was already an embarrassingly content light expansion, with only 4 halfbaked PvE maps and new elite specs that are still broken one year later, and nothing else. If these new "expansions" are going to be even smaller, then what are we looking at here? 2 new halfbaked PvE maps with 3 broken elite specs or none at all?

The first release in an expansion cycle is the launch point for a new story arc, bringing with it two new open-world maps, two Strike Missions, new gameplay and combat features, new Masteries, and new rewards. In the following quarterly updates, we’ll add another open-world map, additional story chapters, challenge modes for the Strike Missions, a new fractal dungeon and challenge mode, new rewards, and additions to the new systems introduced in that expansion. Once that expansion’s story is complete, the next expansion will be just around the corner.
Oh. So it's 3 PvE maps and one fractal for your box purchase, and that's it. No new elite specs, no new raids, no new SPvP or WvW maps. Just asset reused story boss fights with higher tuning. Got it.
Details pending it's sad it took them ten fucking years to realize this. Players wanted GW2 to follow the GW1 content update formula of having yearly expansions rather than monthly Living World episodes they started out with. I think key here will really be pricing and going uphill since these will also be categorized as expansions that have to go against the existing three, though.
 

ADL

Prophet
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Oct 23, 2017
Messages
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Nantucket
Writing aside, End of Dragons was fantastic. A little light on content but hard to complain when it's only $30 and contains some of my favorite zones in the game and that's a high bar when Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire exist. If they can make something half as good as any of those and release it every 12-15 months with some elite specs and features to boot then that's enough to keep my interest.

I just wish these decisions came 10 years sooner. Living World always felt like a waste of their resources coming off GW1's release cadence. Heart of Thorns expansion simply took too long.
 
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1,077
Preview of the new map releasing tomorrow from GW2 twitter:


Looks like more underground, more hope that it is a completely underground zone.

Looks like the Void is back, even though the Dragonvoid was slain and all dragon magic has been absorbed into Aurene and Taimi said at Arborstone that Aurene would be able to contain it. So did Aurene explode or leak Void magic or something? I thought the whole point of EoD was that we were done with Elder Dragons and moving on to other things, like the vampires or the Purists that Minister Lee sent to open up Raisu Palace in Drowned Kaineng or the Deep Sea Monster.

Looks like the same legged mining mech that you can see in the Northern area of Dragon's End. I wonder if the new map is set underneath DE and there was a collapse that caused it to fall down? Or is this another mech?

They're keeping the weird green goo color of the "jade".
 

mediocrepoet

Philosoraptor in Residence
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Looks like the Void is back, even though the Dragonvoid was slain and all dragon magic has been absorbed into Aurene and Taimi said at Arborstone that Aurene would be able to contain it. So did Aurene explode or leak Void magic or something?

It turns out that Aurene is particularly hazardous to the fate of the world after Taco Tuesday. I told her getting the Chalupas Supreme combo AND the Doritos Locos combo was a bad idea. She just brushed me aside, scoffing, "I am the Last Scion!"

Next thing I know, this black vapour was everywhere and she's been locked in the bathroom for over an hour.
 
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Design wise, the new map feels lackluster. There is only one layer. It's not multilayered like Tangled Depths or Draconis Mons was, which had far more playable space packed into the same area. It feels more like a flat map with a ceiling rather than a vast cave network. Once you've been down the three lanes, you've seen most of the map. After the boss battle, 5 other arenas open up where you have a Dragonfall-esque victory lap against minibosses, but that's it. Maybe it's because I'm using the griffon and roller beetle to get around, but it feels small. Also, your ability to explore the map is limited by meta event progression and the map closes 15 minutes after the end boss fight, and thus far I have had no luck opening up LFG and trying to join other squads are in an instance that is further along so I can explore more. After beating my first meta and then getting kicked out 15 minutes later, I had to join a fresh instance and then wait half an hour for it to progress far enough that I could grab screenshots.

The meta event finale is rather lackluster too. It culminates in three boss fights on the three platforms, but the bosses are just slightly tall humanoids. I was expecting a huge monster. The spectacle of giant boss fights is what GW2 shines at. Maybe we will get one in part 2.

Each of the three lanes has two gates that can only be destroyed by Siege Turtles. A nice way to make them relevant, though stomping on a gate for two minutes isn't very fun.

Further into the dungeon, you find more and more GW1 teal colored Jade, so hopefully the second half of the map that is coming in a future patch will be more of that.



Story

The story wasn't exciting.

At first I was excited at the prospect that it was going to be something sinister like an evil Void Almorra clone or the Void twisting the souls in the Mists, but nope, the writers played the dead character nostalgia card straight. It feels weird for the writers to play the nostalgia card with dead characters after the conclusion of the main storyline. It also doesn't have as much impact as it could have, since this is the the third or fourth time they've done it, first with the Mordremoth final battle, then in S4E4, and then again during the Dragon's End meta event when Soo-Won knocks you off the tower and you're jumping back up, and now here.

It feels weird for the PC to be feeling guilty over Eir. She died 7 years ago and the PC never had an emotional hangup over her, or anyone really. The convo with Almorra also seems weird looking back.
Almorra: "You will be the end of the Charr!"
PC: "I'm sorry!"
At first glance it sounds like she's talking to me (since I play Charr), but in retrospect it was a reused voiceline of her talking to Bangar in IBS. Why is the PC feeling guilty over something he wasn't responsible for?


You adventure with Gorrik, Rama, and Yao. They're not a well rounded cast of characters. It's weird that the game expects me to care about Yao, since he only had a 30 second cameo in the EoD storyline, giving you a Jade Bot. Otherwise, he only appeared in the New Kaineng meta event. He's boring. He's pleasant. The group needs edge. Swap him with Rytlock, Marjory, or Canach.



On a side note, I am pleased that visuals were added to Unnatural Traversal.
 
Last edited:

mediocrepoet

Philosoraptor in Residence
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Combatfag: Gold box / Pathfinder
Codex 2012 Codex+ Now Streaming! MCA Project: Eternity Divinity: Original Sin 2
You adventure with Gorrik, Rama, and Yao. They're not a well rounded cast of characters. It's weird that the game expects me to care about Yao, since he only had a 30 second cameo in the EoD storyline, giving you a Jade Bot. Otherwise, he only appeared in the New Kaineng meta event. He's boring. He's pleasant. The group needs edge. Swap him with Rytlock, Marjory, or Canach.

Who's Yao? :lol:

I think I have selective amnesia about dumb MMO stories and characters.
 
Joined
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Who's Yao? :lol:

I think I have selective amnesia about dumb MMO stories and characters.

Yao is your local agender engineer.


The only real thing he does is introduce the new map. Apparently Yao (who currently works for Xunlai Jade) was a member of the Jade Brotherhood gang. The Jade Brotherhood decided to go legit and start mining, when they dug too deep and miners started going crazy from the Void and the heroes get called in. Yao insists that "no my old gangboss is really a good guy, honest!". Otherwise he is an NPC you have to escort down one of the three lanes for the map meta event. In the story instances, Gorrik is already there as our tech guy to do science exposition, making Yao redundant. Maybe the writers will do more with him in the next patch. IDK. He's boring.
 

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