Gamers without Remorse
As many of you know from reading this blog, I love Guild Wars 2. The game is beautiful and well designed. However, there was some concern about endgame in it. It seems that those concerns aren’t without merit.
When the game launched, the massive Dynamic Events on Orr and other zones were supposed to be the X to Y replacement for raiding. The ability to experience group content without the exclusivity of raiding. While these were amazing to experience, the events started to feel stale and missing the challenge of raiding.
ArenaNet wanted to bring a new type of endgame to the playing field. Allowing the whole world to be accessible and challenging at max level. Exploring new areas, discovering new vistas and solving jumping puzzles. They didn’t want raids because they were a treadmill of doing content to get gear, to do more content.
After playing for a few months, I find myself growing bored with the endgame they propose. I can only level so many characters (not an altaholic like some) and I can only do so many dungeons or fractals before I miss raid nights.
So why doesn’t ArenaNet want raids? As I mentioned above, they didn’t want a treadmill. But I have to ask, with the design of the 5 man content being that you do Explorables to get tokens to buy good looking gear. You need to run a single dungeon many times to get a full set. That’s a Treadmill. You run Fractals to get to harder content so you can get better (Ascended) gear. So you can do harder content. That’s a treadmill. So why not larger group content?
I believe that if done correctly, it could work well in their game. ArenaNet has designed content to be mostly Horizontal. Gear gained from doing content isn’t any better than any other gear pieces of the same quality earned elsewhere. So crafted gear is just as good as a Dungeon Set. The same idea could apply to Raid content. Skins or tokens would be earned for doing raids, nothing outside of the power level already established elsewhere.
What horizontal progression does for PVE content is make it all relevant. Gaining new gear doesn’t make old content any easier. Only the skill of the group you’re with. So raids that came out months or years ago are still fun and challenging content as the newer content.
So what content should be in raids if GW2 was to include them? Personally, I think side stories should be raid content and major events (say, fighting Jormag himself) would be a world Dynamic Event. Say before the event, Anet released a 10 man raid where a group of heroes uncover the location of Jormag from one of his minions. Because of this, the kingdoms of Tyria have started to move on Jormag in his lair, which is where the world events kick off.
Additionally, I think the fractal design could be a good 10 man setting. Constantly working towards higher and higher level fractals with a larger group of players. This is the very definition of progression, which many of us want in Guild Wars 2.
Will ArenaNet ever include Raids? Possibly. I think they’ve been fairly good at addressing gaps in gameplay that are missing. But they do seem to have a rather distaste for the concept of raiding. Hopefully they would reconsider their position and address it in the GW2 style and change it to fit their game. Without it, many players from other games wont make the move to GW2. Raiders might make a minority of players, ignoring them would be a bad move on ArenaNet’s part.