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Guild Wars 2 Preview
developer: Arena Net
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Aug 28, 12
|» All About Guild Wars 2 on ActionTrip|
Having spent some time with Guild Wars 2, our MMORPG expert, Vince, has a brief chat with Matt Wuerffel, Content Designer at ArenaNet.
ActionTrip: I understand that Guild Wars 2 is not to be confused with a traditional MMO with players assuming one of the holy trinity roles. Itıs been nice playing a game where I am not pigeon holed into the best buildı for a particular class. However after going into some of the dungeons, it seems as though either I am doing things wrong or there is a need for the game to be pushed back a wee bit towards the holy trinity mechanics. Things like maintaining agro control for boss fights and the ability to provide better/more healing. Are there any plans to change classes for more specialization or is there going to be a way for players who are a bit too Pavlovian with standard MMOs (like me) understand how to better play GW2?
Matt Wuerffel: One of our goals is to provide a variety of toolsets for players to tinker with and find their own way to engage with the content. Dungeons (and repeatable-mode dungeons in particular) are intended to present a wide variety of challenges, even from encounter to encounter. Taking advantage of the fluidity in the skills, weapons, and trait system is really a key aspect to being successful in some of the dungeons. What skills can you swap out? What weapons help maximize the party's efforts, or mitigate the enemies? What traits would help with the specific mechanics of this boss? Should I swap out gear? Are we using the right combo fields?
Don't wanna mess with that guy.
Love that sword like it was a part of me.
There are a lot of systems in play, even before you start looking at the mechanics and balance of individual encounters in the dungeon. So there's definitely a lot to take in. We're currently looking at all of our dungeons, combining external and internal feedback to make the experience more consistent and fun. Part of this process will be to look at how we can teach some of these systems to players by introducing them a little more gradually in dungeons. We've also improved the messaging on some of these systems through the hints, online tutorials, and the way we introduce them in game, but it's an area that we need to continue to work on.
As for the general question on specialization, we're always looking to expand and improve the toolsets that we're giving to players. Sometimes this means creating new options, and sometimes it means better messaging to existing systems that allow for deep specialization already. It's definitely a continual process of revision and iteration, but we want people to find the play style that really works for them.
AT: The auction house economy is sometimes confusing. When looking to list items for sale quite often the system tells me you have to list items for more than you can sell it to a vendor for. However, there are orders from people looking to buy it for less than that value and you are stuck in a catch 22. Why list it when buy orders are below the value you can list it for? Again, is this an education issue or something that needs to be tuned up?
MW: In this specific case, there was a bug that was allowing some players to post buy orders below vendor value. But in general, there are definitely a lot of things in flux. It will take some time for some of these markets to level out, and there may be a few odd situations along the way. But we'll continue to make adjustments to the economy to promote and maintain a healthy market that finds a non-vendor-based equilibrium.
AT: Do you see the economy in general balancing out as you expected with player made items? Is it in need of any adjustment or is any adjustment planned?
MW: We're making a lot of adjustments to the economy to keep it healthy and vibrant. There have definitely been some markets that were out of balance, and we've made changes to those markets to bring the supply and demand in sync. We also implemented limited time Mystic Forge recipes to address the large surplus of some materials (I'm looking at you, butter).
We want to provide an engaging experience and powerful tools for players that use the market - tools that help players find what they are looking for, or create value and wealth from the items they've gained as they play the game. As time passes, the market will continue to stabilize. But you can be sure that we'll continue to monitor everything closely to maintain a healthy economy for all of our players.
For anyone interested in more detail, our own John Smith has made a couple of posts on our blog concerning the virtual economy in Guild Wars 2.
AT: The collectorıs strategy guide was also very well done. However I have heard from quite a few other players there are a lot of mechanics within the game that they are not very easy to understand or figure out. Are there plans for more details to be released or better in game help systems to help noobs figure things out? Such as using the Mystic coins for the Mystic forge.
MW: We revised the hint system to provide more information on various systems throughout the game, but there's always room for improvement. We'll continue to expand this system to explain new functionality (or to better explain existing systems), as well as look for locations to add ways to learn new systems and mechanics through gameplay.
Mystic coins were added as a part of hidden recipes for the Mystic forge. They're intended to be similar to the discovery mode in crafting; some players really get a kick out of figuring out recipes and seeing what they make, while others might just go to the wiki and look things up. Both ways are great, and get you to use the forge to make cool stuff, but we wanted to leave room for mystery and discovery in the Mystic forge as well.
AT: You had a record breaking launch with an arguably mostly smooth launch. How has the general feedback from players been to this point?
MW: In general, we've gotten very positive responses from players. We've also gotten a lot of criticism, constructive and otherwise J. Even the bug reports that we receive from players often have nice things to say about the game, which is mind-blowing. We really have an amazing community that is focused on helping us make the game better, and that is really a tremendous asset for us.
AT: What are the most common complaint you have heard from players? What is the team doing to address those complaints?
MW: The way that we set up some reward structures was really incentivizing players to play the game in ways that weren't fun. To address this, we made some changes to the way that dungeons are rewarded, and we're in the process of evaluating and updating lots of other reward structures in the game as well. This covers lots of different content. Karma generation, jumping puzzles, open-world encounters, prop bosses, dungeon rewards - we're reviewing all of these to see how we can better reward players for their time.
Another issue that came up often was account security. Account security is something that we take very seriously, and we're working hard to protect our players. We've created a password blacklist to help ensure that players don't select a password that we know is already in the wrong hands. We added e-mail authentication, and we're working on two-factor authentication with the Google authenticator. Mike O'Brien actually posted on account security in great detail on our blog, so that's a great resource for people who want to know more.
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