Is ArenaNet doing enough?

This is actually a reaction post to episode 55 of TWIMMO where Gary talks about the GW2 panel at SDCC with Pokket and Mike B.

Yeah, I know this post is very late but I do hope you’ll read it anyway.

So you guys must be wondering, what has this got to do with whether ArenaNet is doing enough, and enough of what? These are good and valid questions and I’ll address those at the end. But for now, join me as I walk through possibly the most painful 25 minutes of my life as a GW2 fan.

I want to clarify beforehand that as much as I’m a GW2 fan, I don’t think I can be considered very hardcore because I tend to forget the source of my information and I only vaguely remember so-and-so saying such-and-such in some interview. I can’t compare to veterans like Izzie or Rubi from GuildCast where they have photographic memory where GW2 is concerned.

But I do scour the Internet for GW2 news though and relish it with as much delight as every fan out there. Hope I didn’t shoot myself in the foot, I just don’t want people jumping on the “he’s a fanboy so he obviously just blindly defends GW2” bandwagon.

Right… are we ready? So jump in and let’s talk some GW2!

Since Pokket and Mike seem to not have a grasp of the basic mechanics of GW2, I’m going to be nice and break it down for them.

So Pokket goes on to say, “Oh hey! RIFT has dynamic events too!” If you don’t fight the invasions, ultimately they’re going to take over the quest hub and you will have to fight to reclaim it. Okay, I’ll admit that I’m really not that familiar with RIFT so I don’t quite know how these invasions work, so I’m going to just take her word as it is.

She fails to realise that these quest hub invasions are very linear and are one-track type of events. They don’t branch off into different scenarios based on what the player do or don’t do. What I gather from what she said – if I’m mistaken, then obviously she’s doing a bad job of explaining RIFT’s game mechanics – is that the invasion comes, mobs takes over the quest hub, players charge in to do battle and regain control of the area. And we rinse and repeat.

But for GW2’s dynamic events, it undergoes several chains depending on how large the DE is and based on the success or failure of the event, it can go in different directions. It’s changing, it’s evolving and it’s not stagnant. And like every ANet staff has been preaching, the DEs have a persistent effect on the world and it has a productive result.

 

Centaurs are no longer just horsemen with bows. You want your people back, you gotta eat boulders first.

 

Compare “I saved the farmer’s field and he sells me watermelons and lucky rabbit’s feet” to “I saved the quest hub and hey, I have access to more quests“. Really Pokket?

And as Gary points out – god bless that gorgeous man for his sharp mind – the invasions will eventually reset if no one comes to free ye enslaved townfolks. Unlike GW2 where the DE will remain at the particular chain until someone comes to do something and it could be days, weeks or even months.

You’d think she’d be convinced by now right? Oh no… she’s like, “That’s where they’re taking it one step further…” Okay Pokket, I know you’re a big RIFT fan – you even have a poster behind you – but I would appreciate it if you would stop trying to define GW2 by RIFT’s boundaries, mmm’kay?

Like Jareth commented on the GW2Guru forum thread, “I could take the blue haired lady’s criticisms about repetition more seriously if she didn’t have a RIFT poster in the background.” Two words, J: Sing it!

 

One step further? I'm pretty sure RIFT's combat isn't as vibrant and dynamic.

 

The only decent query that was thrown out in the first 7 minutes was by Mike who was asking if the server reset (if there are any) would cause the events to reset. Which actually is a very fair and valid question. What I like about him is that he knows when to speak and not shoot his mouth off about everything and play the devil’s advocate at every game mechanic that Gary introduces. Maybe P could pick up a thing or two from him? I’m just saying…

The next concern P threw out was that “once you defeat it (the DE), eventually it’s going to reset… it’s not permanent”. Note to P: One, if you had bothered to try and read up on the basics of GW2, you would have noted that ANet constantly mentions that DEs are meant to have a persistent effect, not a permanent effect. Two, they did explain that if they’re going to create enough DEs to the point where you’ll never have to repeat a DE, they’ll need 10,000 developers (correct me if I’m mistaken), something humanly and financially impossible. Thank you very much.

And now we move on to her next critique which is the fact the DE gets “repetitious” and she gives the example of the centaur DE that Colin mentioned. Cliffsnotes version: Town is overrun, I take back the town, now we go to the centaurs and fight them to get our people back. She was worried that she might have to repeat the event several times because it’s such a simple DE and it resets fast to the point where she gets bored.

She also expresses her concern that players might have to grind on an event several times to reach the quota before they can move on to other zones.

 

Did somebody just say "bored"??? I'll show you a good time.

 

While I do admit that these are legit queries, again I stand by the fact that had Miss P gone to brush up on her ANet/GW2 knowledge instead of spending all her time in the world that is NOT AZEROTH (and Tyria isn’t Azeroth too, why don’t you try it out next time huh?), she would have known that ANet’s philosophy is to take out the grinding factor in MMOs so they would firstly, never put you in a position where you will repeat the same DE on a very frequent basis and two, never make you grind on an event several times to reach the quota before you can hit the next zone.

The final thing that irked me was when she said that maybe the pirate event might result in some item/gear related reward for the players. It just showed me how ill-informed she was because ANet stressed (I’m starting to sound like a broken record) that they didn’t want to do that for fear of people manipulating/griefing the event to get to that particular chain for that particular reward.

I know such vidcasts are meant to spark healthy discussions and provide constructive criticisms but overall it just felt like a very contrived attempt to constantly question the genuinity of GW2 based on a very, very ignorant point of view. Which leads to my question: Is ArenaNet doing enough?

Is ArenaNet casting their net wide enough and educating gamers on GW2’s mechanics and their own philosophy and design goals? Because I felt that the overarching problem was the lack of awareness of the game’s mechanics and the design philosophy. Granted, it’s not completely ANet’s fault – heck I don’t even know if it’s their fault because GW2 is the only other highly hyped MMO besides SWTOR – because the guest speakers should have gone to brush up on GW2 news.

I’m not asking them to be know-it-alls like us but if you’re going to go on Gamebreaker TV and air your views to hundreds of people, it’s only respectful if you know what you are talking about. All the concerns and questions and worries were already answered in interviews, articles and blog posts months and months ago. All they had to do was just go to the website and read, it’s not really that difficult.

I guess that’s the major gripe I have about the episode and the speakers. I felt it was very unfair to go up on such a high profile platform and voice your unfounded concerns to would-be potential consumers who may not be familiar with GW2. And there was no one there to rebutt these concerns save for Gary but he wasn’t that familiar with GW2 as well as others would have been.

 

And to thank you guys for putting up with my rants, I give you Little Miss Blue Mace because she's so darn cute!

 

Am I taking it too personally? Maybe. But I think if you’re going to do something like that, be mindful and respectful of it. Note to Gary/Gamebreaker TV: Please, if you’re going to have GW2 in any future episodes, I would strongly urge you to invite Rubi because though she may be a fangirl, at least she knows what’s going on and is able to give a clear perception on GW2.

So what do you think, fellow GW2 fans? Do you think ArenaNet has done enough or do you think they should do more? Should Miss P take her words and put it where the sun doesn’t shine? Okay, I might be kidding on that one. Do you think we should ask Gamebreaker TV to make it compulsory to get Rubi on every GW2 episode? Sound off in the comments below!

– Written By Damagedself

Check out Episode 55 of Twimmo: http://www.gamebreaker.tv/this-week-in-mmo-55-wabbits/

Further reading:

This entry was posted in Community, Gameplay, Guild Wars 2, Media, PvE and tagged , , , , , by damagedself. Bookmark the permalink.

About damagedself

Hey guys hey! I'd like to think I have the personality of a quaggan even though my articles might suggest otherwise. Hehe. And the only straight I am is a straight up bitch and a geek. But I hardly unleash my inner little monster (get the Gaga reference?) on people unless severely provoked. Relax, I don't bite. Much. ^^ Currently, I'm playing LoL and DCUO and I spend the rest of my time watching television series and obsessing over pop culture. My absolute favourites are Castle and Grey's Anatomy. That is why I constantly fantasize about how happy I'd be if the hospitals were stocked full of gorgeous doctors. P.S. I love McDreamy. And Darren Criss. Oh, and you're more than welcome to talk TV shows with me!
  • Anonymous

    Personally, I think they are doing a good job in getting info out there…however, you can repeat the same information until you’re blue in the face; if people don’t put some effort into paying attention, it’s not going to help. I mean, if you go on any youtube video or article about GW2, you’ll see comments asking if it has a subscription fee!

    People don’t want to listen, and if they’re unsure of something, they latch onto whatever is kinda similar and familiar to them. Even if it’s actually wrong.

    (there’s also the fact that gamers as a whole haaaaate change.)

    • Damagedself

      it

    • Damagedself

      oops. sorry, new at using the comments section here. it’s not just about whether they’re doing a good job of disseminating the information. it’s also about that fact that you need to read before launching into a discussion. i mean seriously, all these information are available on their website. it’s not as if we’re asking you to source for it at some unknown website like we do.

  • Tigerfeet

    The problem isn’t that ArenaNet isn’t getting their message out there enough, it’s in the fundamental fabric of the game.  And not even in the game, the problem lies in a difficulty to grasp said fundamental fabric.  People understand new ideas best by comparing them to things they’re already familiar with.

    Pokket’s concern about Dynamic Events is completely understandable when you realize she must only have experience with RIFT’s rift system.
    • The rifts are exceedingly repetitive, one-off events.  A rift opens and it needs to be closed by killing successively more advanced waves of enemies until you’re done.  (And what constitutes ‘done’ changes depending on how many people are there and their power)  If left unchecked a rift can send out raiding parties that will travel along the roads and attack NPCs, occasionally upsetting quest hubs.  In the case of raiders from a single rift there is really only danger to single travelers on the roads as the NPCs at the quest hubs are perfectly capable of fighting them off.
    • In addition to single rifts, an invasion can spawn.  An invasion happens when there is a critical mass of activity in a zone.  Individual rifts open all over the map and raiding parties are released.  One of the rifts has a more challenging boss and gives more attractive rewards so oftentimes far-flung rifts are ignored and left free to send out raiding parties.  With multiple raiding parties using the roads and converging on quest hubs the NPCs are more easily overwhelmed and the quest hubs destroyed until the invasion is overcome.  An invasion ends (and all attached rifts close) when the main boss is defeated.

    Dynamic events are like rifts because they are public happenings that scale in difficulty depending on the number of people taking part, have the potential to change the game world on a temporary basis and do not require grouping for multiple people to participate.  That is ALL.  The temptation is to take that sentence and connect other dots.  Rewards from DEs are very different from rewards you get from rifts.  DEs can branch, rifts do not.  Rifts are playable options in addition to standard quests, DEs ARE the standard quests.  Rifts are rifts, every one has the same basic formula: Kill generic baddies, kill single more powerful baddy, kill multiple more powerful baddies, kill boss, kill mixed mobs of powerful and less powerfull baddies, kill bigger boss.  DEs, by virtue of being the main playable content, have been designed to be varied in both activity and scope.  Defeating the Shatterer is a dynamic event, so is giving grain to a farmer’s cows to make them happy.

    Her fear of grind and getting bored is also completely understandable.  I wasn’t kidding when I said that the rifts all follow the same formula. (If I’m wrong, please someone correct me)  Through the first zone rifts are a new and interesting mechanic, through the second I found myself skipping them so I could just do my quests to continue in the game and get to the next zone.  They are like a pimple.  They pop up here and again and every so often they explode into a full-blown rash that needs to be dealt with before you can go back to what you really wanted to be doing.

    To sum it up, Rifts are a tiny step further in terms of mechanics and useability compared to the public quests in Warhammer Online.  Dynamic Events are also a step further, but they are different on a fundamental level.  DEs are not additional content to quests, they ARE the quest content.  This is an idea that we, as gamers, have never seen before.  I think a lot of people will just have to play the game before they are truly able to wrap their heads around it.  There are no quests, we have Dynamic Events instead.  Yes, they are a little like Rifts by virtue of being open to the public and impacting the game world for everybody.  They are also a little like quests because they are your main progression content and as such they tell stories and offer varied and interesting things to do.  But most importantly, they are a completely new phenomenon because they are not frozen in time.  Visit a farmer and there may be rabbits plaguing his melons.  Visit him later and his house may be on fire from raiding pirates.  You can have a different experience each time you go but here’s the real beauty, you don’t HAVE to go multiple times.  ArenaNet has developed DEs with the expectation that next to nobody is going to partake in every dynamic event.  They’ve made more than enough to get you to where you need to be.

    • damagedself

      I don’t mind comparing GW2’s DE system to RIFT’s rifts. God knows I compare GW to WoW last time like nobody’s business. But what I’m sore about is that you’re going on Gamebreaker TV (this isn’t podcast that no one watches) and spouting stuff that isn’t even legit considering the answers to her questions can be found at the GW2 website. All you need to do is type and read. It’s not difficult.

      • Tigerfeet

        I didn’t comment on that part of the post because I agree with you completely! 😀  Unfortunately this kind of slip-shod reporting is common even in mainstream media.  Remember the ‘death panels’ debacle?  A Ridiculous representation of a thoughtful service if I’ve ever seen one. 🙁

  • ArcherAvatar

    I sympathize with your frustration DS but, unfortunately, this particular situation is an example of something nobody can do anything about.  If the information has been provided by ArenaNet, it’s not their fault that someone *chooses* to ignore it before talking about the game.

    That word was emphasized for a reason… it’s a CHOICE on her part, and one she is free to make in our society.

    You see DamagedSelf, there are various types of Stupid… many of which are “free-roaming” …and sometimes the best you can manage is to just not get any on you while dealing with them.

    There’s stupid by birth… can’t do anything about that… things just didn’t get “mixed right” and it’s not anyone’s fault but, I say again, you can’t fix it.  (This does not appear to apply to Pokket imo.)

    There’s stupid by chance… this actually isn’t stupid so much as ignorant… the person is an otherwise reasonably intelligent individual but, simply hasn’t been exposed to the information in question.  This is easily the most forgivable form of stupid and can be corrected given enough time and patience.  (Although you clearly didn’t think so, it IS possible Pokket was simply suffering from this form of stupid.  Not everyone has a keen interest in GW2 (yet) and many folks are simply so busy with their lives that they just haven’t made the time to do any research on it.  You do make a fair point about taking responsibility to do that research before going on a show to talk about a subject but, hey, it’s become commonly accepted practice for idiots to talk publicly about subjects they have no clue on… haven’t you seen a political debate lately?)

    There’s also the most fearsome form of stupid, one to be avoided at all costs… Intentional Stupidity.  It’s far more common than most folks realize, and is easily the most dangerous, in my opinion, because it is virulently contagious.  There are many knowledgable experts who believe we are in the midst of an outbreak of Intentional Stupidity that has reached epidemic proportions.  Obviously, this is a far greater concern than merely how it impacts video game development, however, there is no facet of life that is left untouched by this plague, and the games industry, and gaming communities are victims just like everyone else.
    Intentional Stupidity is insidious… carriers, and the infected, can seem to be otherwise normal to all outward appearances.  It is entirely possible that Pokket is merely one of many.  The intentionally stupid individual has actually already been exposed to the information in question but, they have CHOSEN to ignore it completely, as if it did not exist.  The condition causes the individual to make all manner of “justifications” for this otherwise idiotic behavior… they convince themselves they are doing it for a good cause, or for other reasons that seem, to them, to warrant this irrational behavior.

    In the case of video games, often the “excuse” used by the intentionally stupid is the cause of loyalty.  The intentionally stupid person justifies their purposeful form of self-lobotomization by arguing (to themselves) that they are loyal to a particular game, however, merely defending that game on it’s own merits is insufficient to them… they go further, pretending to not know information they have already seen, and even going so far as actively attempting to disseminate misinformation about other games, thinking that this somehow aides the cause of the game they are loyal to.
    Actually, “mindless” loyalty is symptomatic of the condition… just take a look at any political rally.  Those infected with intentional stupidity are not interested in reasonable debate, or in fact, with any type of rational discussion of a topic whatsoever.

    It’s important to note that various stages of the condition are relatively “high functioning” but, make no mistake about it, this condition is degenerative, and although it may take repeated, long term exposure, it IS contagious. 
    Many scientific researchers analyzing the problem believe it is possible the condition originated with cows, and there is some anecdotal evidence that supports this; there are higher than average concentrations of intentional stupidity infections in geographical regions with large cow populations.  However, no one knows where the first cow-to-human transmission took place, if that is indeed the origin.

    The final stages of the condition result in the individuals shambling about, with a shuffling gait… often heard muttering the word “brains” with a long, drawn out slur.  There have been a number of documentaries on the subject…

    There’s a LOT of stupid out there folks… and sometimes the best you can do is to just try to not get any on you as you move through the day.

  • Pingback: This week in Guild Wars 2 news « Quotulatiousness()

  • Is this an mmo blog or a gossip column?

    • Anonymous

      An opinion blog. 🙂

      • haha apparently :P. I think ArenaNet is doing a fine job developing Guild Wars 2! Everyone will be happy when it is finally released ;).

  • OG33

    You are definitely taking this too personally, and also full of shit and terrible at forming arguments.

    • blub

      where’s your argument why she is “full of shit and terrible at forming arguments” ? explain yourself if you know it ow so much better….

  • Fallengrace101

    Well DS it is very hard to read this artical and take you objectivly… It sounds like you got yourself a hate on for this girl just because she is not a complete blind nerded out fan boy such as yourself. I  suggest taking a step back and actually read this blind hate you spewed all over the internet. Calling this a “report” or “review” is complete hogwash.

    • Anonymous

      He called it a reaction post in the beginning, not a report or review. 
      Just as an FYI

    • Anonymous

      He called it a reaction post in the beginning, not a report or review. 
      Just as an FYI

    • Like Izzie mentioned, it’s a “reaction post”, ergo, what I typed out were my feelings and thoughts at that point of time. And to clarify things, this is NOT a personal attack on Pokket. In fact, I fail to see examples of me attacking her in my post.

      I think the word you guys are searching for is “bitchy”.

      I’ve watched her on TWIMMO before and I think she’s a really cool person, I just felt she could have gone to read up a bit before voicing stuff out on Gamebreaker.

      And the Miss P thing is so blown out of proportion, if you watch Gossip Girl, they call the characters by their initial, doesn’t mean they’re “not dignifying the name” or whatever.

  • Stigas

    Yep. You are taking it too personally.

    You spent the majority of the topic making jabs at her, which leaves you doing a piss poor job of explaining mechanics.

    How did you do anything different than her? Because you agree with your opinion more?

  •  Sort of surprised at a slam fest. This kind of thing always happens and will continue to happen. It happens even throughout some of the ‘vets’ that use their name a lot for internet fame, about a game that is in an alpha process and still changing a lot after the demo’s of the past two conventions. It’s almost like an achievement and a special feeling deep in people’s hearts to feel famous on the internet, and looking around the internet, really how many of the people there would you want to all huddle up in a room together and talk? Believing anything on the internet is silly usually. Yet people still do, and they’ll swear by their knowledge learned and gained from the internet is truth.Besides, how many realize that the ‘non demo of the Alpha game…’ has yet to be played

  • and sorry about the craptastic one paragraph. MENOHTML

  • chezball

    Wait.  You really just said its “disrespectful” for someone to be a
    guest on a vidcast and not be totally informed on a subject? 
    Disrespectful to whom?  Ok, yes you, but lets be honest here you feel
    “disrespected”  because your a GW2 fanboy (and you are but its ok cause
    im an xbox and Halo fanboy) and you got your feelings hurt because
    Pokket criticized something you like.  She doesnt get paid to be on the
    show, none of the hosts do.  They are on the show to give their opinions
    on game news and they do it well, yes even if their opinions go against
    your own. 

    To answer your question, yes, you are taking it 100% too personally. 
    One big giveaway that your personally angry about what she said is that
    about halfway through your post you no longer refer to her by her name,
    only by “P”.  That shows that you are no longer dignifying her with a
    name only a letter.

    Will GW2 be a good game?  Yes.  Will GW2 be successful?  Of Course. 
    Will it have more players than most other MMOs?  I say yes to that one
    too, at least initially, because the fact that it doesn’t have a
    subscription is far more enticing to most people than however
    groundbreaking the gameplay might be.  I mean look at how many people
    play Zynga games.  Only time will tell because not a SINGLE game has
    lived up to the developer hype pre-release, not one, and GW2 will be no
    exception.  I for one am keeping my excitement in check until Ive had my
    hands on the game for at least two months.  Only then will we see if
    this MMO is going to be the be all end all that you guys seem to think
    it is.

  • Sounds like one GW fanboy beating on Rift fangirl. While he is doing that he comments on rift without even playing it before.

  • Saline

    Interesting.

    I understand both sides of the argument. In support of the author, I get the main point. A bunch of people using a high-profile platform to talk about a game should do their research beforehand. If it’s an opinion piece, clearly state it as such. Don’t make comments as fact if you’re not sure.

    The personal attacks on Pokket was unnessisary, though. But so was unleashing her wave of fanboys to come and bash the entire site, which is slightly hypocritical since, from what i’ve seen, this blog has some good stuff, not sure how this slipped through.

    Either way, people get defensive when they’re in love, either with a person or a game. This kind of proves it.

  • I always watch TWIMMO, and might even go as far as to say I am hooked on it. I remember this show, and I made it a point in the chatroom to set things straight on what the game is or is not about as the show was going on. You all have to remember that when this is live, there are a lot of things happening, and the panelists do not always have the time to check what the chatroom is saying, especially when there are hundreds of us in there spouting off. That having been said, it is a moot point at this juncture, because ANet IS doing a lot more now to get the word out, and even on tonight’s TWIMMO, Pokket has had more insight into the game. You cannot totally blame the girl for what she did not know about it at the time, as in fact ALL the gamebreaker staff (as well as the whole world) have only recently seriously started to pay attention to GW2.

    Strap in folks, it is going to be a good ride till inevitable launch. In the mean time, try not to read TOO MUCH into what folks say, or how they react. This is an opinion piece, and he had a right to his opinion at the time. He had the cajones to voice what quite a few were thinking at the time.