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Reader Comments (77)

Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 10:16AM Ehra said

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As far as endgame goes, I hope you don't mind me copying a comment I made recently on the original guildcast site. Personally I have no investment in the idea and I trust Anet to make a great game, but some harmless speculation can be fun.

"This is now in reply to endgame and what it might mean for “everything” to be “endgame.” My thoughts on this when I read this was that it’d be kinda like City of Heroes before they brought out the Incarnate System. Sure you eventually hit the max level and there was new stuff to do at that level, but low level content wasn’t “obsolete.” In a game like World of Warcraft, if you take your level Badass Paladin back to Deadmines you’re still going to be level Badass and the Defias pirates are still going to be level suck; you’re going to steamroll the place and none of the rewards will be relevant. In City of Heroes if you would take your level 30 or whatever hero and join a group for a level 11 Task Force you’d be temporarily bumped down to level 11 for the duration of the Task Force. Even though you had a super high level character, you still couldn’t breeze through low level content. And once you finished the Task Force you were given merit tokens which could be traded in for rewards that were relevant to even a high level character.

Guild Wars 2 looks to be doing similar things. When you go to low level areas, your character’s level is adjusted down to roughly match that of the area so you’re not 1 shotting event bosses that are meant to require groups of people. Completing events grants you Karma which you use to buy various goods for vendors; even completing a “low level” event as a high level character will grant you karma you can spend on high level loot. I’d imagine dungeons also take advantage of this level adjustment feature, so even the “beginning” dungeon would still be worth running as a max level character, as far as rewards go (not to mention that each dungeon is supposed to have its own unique looking armor and weapons).

When I hear “everything is endgame,” to me that means you can do any content you want and still feel like you’re progressing your character."

Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 10:47AM Felladin said

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@Ehra Exactly this. There are a bunch of dungeons already revealed in the game. And when you go back there with your lvl 80 asuran elementalist you get bumped down to a suitable level.
And these dungeons will evolve both depending on what choice you make going in there, but also through random events.

It won't be like running into the same dungeon for the tenth time to get that specific drop you MUST have to be able to the next dungeon two hundred times to get THAT specific drop you MUST have.

You will want to go back to the "dungeons" in order to get that specific look of armor or find out what happens if you go a different way.

And then we have the huge, everchanging world with hidden locations and events you couldn't see the last time you were there. And since, well atleast according to what Arena Net has said, we will have our capabilities lowered to make all areas challenging, there is a huge "endgame" and "raidsystem" there.

Just imagine getting a few guilds together and have 50-100 players attacking one of the dragons just for fun.
No need to team up or anything, just get a whole bunch of people together in the open world and play. There's your 100-man raid. ;)
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 12:14PM scrubmonkey said

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@Ehra

Supersweet.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 3:54PM Daemodand said

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@Ehra And then City of Heroes added an end game because the end-gameless approach failed to appeal to a lot of people (though I personally was fine with it).
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 4:04PM Ehra said

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@Daemodand

The only real "problem" (if you could call it that, I don't actually have much experience with the Incarnate system so I can't say much either way) with what CoH ended up doing was how it segregated the players into the haves and have-nots. You couldn't do the later Incarnate raids unless you had unlocked enough incarnate stuff to overcome the arbitrary level penalty they slapped you with. If they had just kept that aspect out and provided ways to get incarnate stuff in addition to the raids (which, from what I hear, is in the works now anyway) then I don't see what would have been wrong with it. Incarnates would have just been another form of character progression, and the raids would have been just another type of content that was available for players to choose partake in or not.


Anyway, the original Guild Wars hasn't done that sort of thing so I think we don't have much to worry about in that regard.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 4:47PM Lethality said

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@Ehra So then, what would be the point of having levels at all? Which, by the way, I am fully in support of such an idea. Levels do not make sense to contribute so heavily into the game mechanics, and should be rather a mark of progression and achievement (and be perpetual.)

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Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 5:11PM Ehra said

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@Lethality

Because people like seeing their numbers go up. That's literally the reason why the level cap is 60 now as opposed to 20 in the original Guild Wars; because quite a few people were upset that the level cap was so low. So they bumped it up so people still get that sense of progression, but didn't make it the end-all-be-all of what content you can or can't do.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 5:22PM Nepentheia said

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@Ehra

I remember early EQ... where *every* level counted, where getting every new level was a Big Deal. Where it took long enough to get through levels that each level felt important and rich with its own content for that level range. The concept of "rushing" to get to the top level wasn't really possible way way way back when, so people really experienced every zone and all the content possible.

And then, for instance Guild Wars--Factions specifically--where you got to the top level rather quickly on the small starter island, and *then* the game really started for you when you went to the mainland.

And running around in Rift, where, after reaching top level, romping around on Ember Isle is like this one big awesome playground with all sorts of fun things to do--but... so many empty zones for those mid-range levels that I so wish could be experienced more thoroughly by people because the zones are so interesting and fun to play in.

But people rush to the end-game now. And because of current design formulas in MMOs (making lots of zones for people to level in but people rushing through them as fast as possible to get to the top level), there are so many empty, rushed-through, abandoned, unused mid-level zones out there.

It seems Arenanet is going to see to it that doesn't happen in Guild Wars 2--that the entirety of the gameworld will be lived in and thoroughly experienced.

It's about g'damned time! :-)
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 5:23PM silver001 said

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@Ehra Level cap is 80.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 5:43PM Ehra said

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@silver001

You're right. My bad.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 12:53AM ArcherAvatar said

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@Lethality
The level advancement allows ANet to keep certain story elements in a roughly chronological, linear fashion.

As you reach certain levels, corresponding dungeons, etc, open up, and the stories told in those areas, are thus able to be delivered in a linear fashion.

There are other reasons as well, but this is an important one...
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 10:24AM Xo1o said

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Arenanet have so far shown great cunning in how they went for new solutions in the genre. What's calming my "anxiety" the most is that they seem to know the underlying concepts of why stuff works and how it works so well, which is demonstrated clearly in the approach to class roles for example.
I'm still worrying if I will like pve enough, if the story is interesting enough to me, if crafting is complex enough etc., but so far these guys have only surprised me in the most positive of ways.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 10:28AM yeppers said

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Great article. Endgame is highly overrated. It means different things to different people.

As for my non-raiding self, WoW's endgame were pugged, heroic 5-mans. I always felt jipped when there was talk about endgame that furthered the story because I would never get there.

I knew a guy in his 60s whose endgame was farming material in the Barrens... seriously. His computer and vid card couldn't handle entering the main cities. Day in and day out he was running up and down the Barrens. He loved it.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 10:28AM Genkides said

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My first thought was, for the 'traditional' mmo's and the way they are set up, maybe the 'endgame' part is actually the real game they sell and market. So, the other stuff, the quests and what not, to get to max level should now and forever be called 'pre game', The stuff you do to get to the 'game'. That way we can eliminate the silly 'endgame' terminology and just play the 'game'. Which is what I think GW2 is bringing to the table, we will play the 'game' and be able to do or play whatever we want basically whenever we want.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 12:06PM Braiks said

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@Genkides I couldn't have said it better myself. I think most MMOs are almost exclusively centered around raids and pvp at max level, therefore the whole leveling process seems like just a way to get there, an annoying one in fact, with or without voice overs. I think eliminating the treadmill will also eliminate my need to chase after my friends who can play more than double my available time and at the same time hopefully make the game equally enjoyable for them.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 12:38PM Genkides said

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@Braiks well thank you, but I am sure you could have said it very well yourself! I do not tend to write very well. Hence why I am not a journalist or writer by trade. I tend to have run on sentences, tangets and more. I write like I chat! haha. I like how we can just go into the game to play and then be able to go where we want, when we want to just experience events we like or did not see. With new DE's being added, and using DEs as maybe some festival events , there are alot of possiblities of it not becoming stale.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 10:29AM CZL said

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This is the best article I've read in a long time. It cuts through the usual GW2 apologetics/evangelism and strikes a reasonable tone with reasonable analysis of the game's features.

Of course fans of the traditional MMO structure will be a little unmoored in GW2. I'm such a fan and it took many months and the helpful MVOP guild for me to learn GW1. Now I'm 31/50 in my Hall, and have taken time off to play SWTOR. There is a difference between the games, and not everyone will make that transition fully enjoying each experience. Which is OK. Choice is good.

But some of us won't be choosing because we can enjoy traditional games (SWTOR, Tera) as well as different games (GW2) at the same time. See you all in-game!

Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 10:34AM Dunraven said

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I really wish more Americans could have seen what happened at Gamescom...you could tell that every developer to the man ( or in Ree Soesbees case really hot woman) detested..let me repeat that word "Detested" the Raid mentality and what Raiders bring to a gaming community. These guys are Vet Pen and paper Role players for the most part. I liked how it was put by one developer.

"It's incredibly wasteful and yeah really dumb to create these wonderful areas with cities deserts ad forest only to cats them aside when you reach max level so you can whack a pinata for epic loot"

Folks who are looking for a Raid game GW2 simply isn't it.....and this time you can't invade their forums with a smear campaign like you did in TOR because they don't have forums for that exact reason.

GW2 is different it is different than anything I have ever experienced. In TOR you care about your character in GW2 from the small bit I played at Gamescom you care about your character the world the history and what will happen if you fail.

That my friends is innovation.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 10:55AM hassaun2006 said

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@Dunraven that is EXACTLY right. I started wow the weekend it released, and loved it, LOVED it. Every zone was brimming with story, every dungeon an adventure, and the fact that you were constantly running into people just made it more fun to me, the randomness of who and what you might see(at the time) amazed me.

Every expansion since vanilla has introduced amazing zones and thats great, but I now know the sad inevitability: that eventually, when everyone hits max level, NO ONE is going to come back to these zones, to these dungeons, it will all sit empty and unused, like a santa suit in june. and that's a shame, because the devs put months(back in the day, years) of work into this content, that we blow through as fast as we can, just to....sit around in cities waiting for queues to pop so we can get into some instanced pvp/raiding/heroics. I cant imagine its all that different in any other traditional game.

I want something different.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 11:53AM Saker said

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@Dunraven Good post! Sounds like these people know what they're talking about! Excellent! I hope their thinking prevails over the worthless useless voices of the d@mn money-men (who I know to be the ones behind so much that is bad in these games).
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