Guild Wars 2’s Mike O’Brien elaborates on legendary weapon cancellation

The fallout from the cancellation of further legendary weapon development has been one for the history books within the Guild Wars 2 community. Players have expressed great amounts of rage and disappointment over what many saw as ArenaNet retracting one of Heart of Thorns’ promised features.

Game Director Mike O’Brien followed up his initial announcement with a few statements over the weekend, defending the game and promising that the decision is for the best. “Be angry about legendary weapons, sure, but how about the recent drought of content?” he asked. “That kind of thing happens when we spread ourselves too thin, and when we let the content development pipeline empty out so we can fight fires. What I think we actually owe you is sustainable, predictable, high-quality content. I’m making a decision that’s painful in the short-term so we can position ourselves to deliver that.”

He did take umbrage with players claiming that ArenaNet failed to deliver a full expansion pack. Calling out a handful of accusers, O’Brien said:

“You each posted a variant of an accusation I’ve seen many times over the past few months on the forums, something along the lines of, ‘AN shipped half an expansion with HoT.’ I take issue with that. We shipped a new region full of content, a new mastery system, gliding, guild halls, a new profession, nine new elite specializations for existing professions, and more. Then we shipped precursor journeys for existing legendaries, and said, ‘We’ve been working hard on new legendary weapons, the first handful of which will be introduced in Heart of Thorns, with more to come in subsequent updates.’ While I fully get that you’re disappointed today, this is not about us shipping half an expansion pack.”

O’Brien also assured players that legendary backpacks and armor are still on the table for future delivery.

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RiccardoTavano
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RiccardoTavano

BritoBruno RiccardoTavano Therec Well, I personally would love a splitting too for the sake of an easier balancing for each mode. (even if it would require triple the effort, maybe ? could actually become worse in the end :/ )
But it happened to me to find people that didn’t want it too on reddit or the forums. GW2 cather a lot to a casual community…and a lot of people really do not want to invest the effort needed to practically almost learn three “different” games. At least skill wise.
By the time they will decided to skill split, you will see a lot of players nagging anyway, threatening to leave and so on xD That’s the nature of an MMO. They can’t make everyone happy.
Btw it’s not like GW2 is even special in this case…wanna see a video of LoL which talks about champions being utter trash for 1-2 years, pre and/or post rework ? xD Until they get them high enough numbers to be “competitive”…some where even plagued with bugs xD. My point is, if not even a PvP focused game with only one mode and map and champ with 4 skills+ 1 passive,and make a shitload of cash so they do not even have budget problems, can’t achieve balance and a proper bug polishing, what hope does any other kind of game have (GW2 included) to do so ? XD

Nate Woodard
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Nate Woodard

Xephyr Yeah, Anet is catering to the wrong crowd. It’s gonna cost them their old school players in the long run. Especially with this new bit. I don’t know. The game is in a sad state right now.

Nate Woodard
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Nate Woodard

Finally did the deed and uninstalled. I just can’t believe it. I really hope they can turn this game around. I loved GW1 so much. Eh, oh well.

BritoBruno
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BritoBruno

RiccardoTavano BritoBruno Therec It was Colin who said that “if you don’t accept the e-sport focus as good for the game, you want it to fail.”
Fuck that. He failed as a dev. He can shove his smugness. The focus on e-sports without focusing on SPLITTING the game modes and FIXING the goddamn bugplagues is a scream to the e-sport experiment failing.

Valkyrie Noel
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Valkyrie Noel

If you want to earn some good will Anet. Feel free to make a new game with Guild Wars 1 mechanics and design. I’d come back then.

Xephyr
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Xephyr

Silvercat18 WP has always been fairly honest and critical of GW2 and Anet imo. He’s just usually saving his rants for his livestreams and tries to be more professional in his videos. Even when he does rant he usually still tries to see stuff from Anet’s point of view as well as the community’s, which I appreciate.

Xephyr
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Xephyr

Also last time I checked legendary weapons were content. It took me 1-2 months of playing for several hours a day to get each 1 of my 5 legendaries. Meanwhile Living World season 2 took me about 10 hours to finish in total.

Xephyr
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Xephyr

JayPower I’d say try it for yourself dude, crafting can definitely be a lot of fun, as long as you gather the mats yourself and don’t rush to level 400. The most efficient way is to gather gold and buy everything, and that’s what people find insanely boring, and rightfully so. I’ve always loved gathering in GW2.

Xephyr
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Xephyr

”this is not about us shipping half an expansion pack.”
Uh, except that’s exactly what it’s about.. 

If Mike truly feels that they delivered what they promised and that HoT had an acceptable ammount of content for its $50 price tag then I’m not sure I’m ever buying another GW2 expansion, and I say that as someone who has  more than 3.5 years and 5600+ hours put into GW2 and loves the game.

Layfon
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Layfon

You realize how much you like something after you lose it. It was like this for me when they nerfed dungeons. I did daily speed runs for money, so i was hyped about new stuff to do with HoT. Instead a couple of months down the line i started missing dungeons and Swamp of the Mists didn’t cut it for me. I was hyped about raids since i had good memories about it, from WoW; but for some reason i just couldn’t get into them.
6 months after i’m not playing anymore…just waiting for LS3. I don’t know if i’ll buy a new expansion, maybe if they bring back dungeons.

Midgetsnowman
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Midgetsnowman

paragonlostinspace Greaterdivinity Midgetsnowman Its honestly why i havent even bothered buying HoT so far.

distaste
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distaste

RiccardoTavano rancoffman Last I saw they didn’t pay super well so they have a lot of turnover. They get a lot of new people that just want to get their foot in the door but as soon as a better paying job comes along they are out. If they paid appropriate salaries to the skilled devs and kept them I’m sure development speed would be way faster. Instead they’ve got fresh blood that needs time to get up to speed. Couple all that with management that’s a bit disconnected and you’ve got 3.5 years of 1 step forward and 2 steps back.

Father Xmas
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Father Xmas

Quincha And are they moving these devs to the expansion team?  No, they are keeping them on the live team.  Why aren’t they raiding the expansion team?  Because, and WP pointed this out as well, they can’t simply have another virtual zero content for live because it’s all hands on deck to push out an expansion before the holiday season of what ever year they ship it in.
HoT is simply another Orr, a high level region where you explore once because you have too but doesn’t really have the draw to keep going back or staying.  Look at Karkaland outside of the boss fight or  Dry Top beyond the story.  The only reason Silverwastes is crowded because of the chest farm.  Nobody really wanted to spend time in your max level zones ANet so why give players 3 or 4 more and expect us to be satisfied.

Father Xmas
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Father Xmas

rancoffman Representing still grants you the guild bonuses like waypoint discount so it’s not worthless.  And looking around you still see most players with a guild tag up.
All the gold that poured in via dungeons simply drove up the exchange rate on gems and the price on precursors and legendary weapons, which only encouraged more dungeon speed running.  On top of that it created the zerk meta as well as other very limited tactics to do the dungeons as fast as possible so you could do it again.  Of course that was in the beginning and they tried to discourage it with one reward per path per account but they should have turned the gold reward down soon after that and not three years later.  At that point it was like cutting Social Security.benefits.  Too many people built their game life around that income stream so when it was cut they had no idea how to be poor like those who never devoted themselves to the zen of speed running.
The game has income in the millions true.  But a fair chunk of the profits from the game’s launch 3 years ago were used to pay back NCSOFT for the years ANet was in the red developing GW2.  The money coming in from GW1 after 2007 certainly wasn’t covering the costs.  And with them backing away from NCSOFT with HoT, I’m thinking NCSOFT is no longer someone they can ask for a loan from so any cash ANet is sitting on is better used to even out the cash flow.

Radfist
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Radfist

I wish I didn’t burn out on HoT, but the new overland content didn’t really interest me that much after a few times doing the full events.  I think I just prefer instanced group content, shame that is no longer supported outside of raids. I still log in occasionally to PvP.

Greaterdivinity
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Greaterdivinity

Enikuo I think that’s more in references to the nearly yearlong content gap between the end of LS S2 and HoT launch, a time in which a lot of folks apparently though that Anet would have finished a whole lot more than what was delivered at HoT launch and what’s been delivered since.
We’ll see if they can hold up to his comment, or if they’ll replicate the Blizzard method of repeating themselves but making no discernible effort to actually make good.

Mr_Neeo
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Mr_Neeo

tobascodagama Living Story Season 3 was never suppose to be a part of Heart of Thorns, they are separate things. It was said that they will now use the Living Story seasons to bridge the gap between expansions and continue the story. So not sure where you got that from.

Grimmtooth
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Grimmtooth

People may be raging about these recent announcements but I would rather have the public truth known about anunpopular decision than the deafening silence we got (outside of PR blurbs) from the end of season 2 till the HoT Launch

Vorender
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Vorender

Why put new siding on the house if the foundation is cracked? You dig?

arktourosx
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arktourosx

Polyanna What cracks me up is it’s rumored they didn’t give Sword to Elementalist/Tempest (which is why there was datamined Sword skills) because it was too used of a weapon and it’s like…you’re giving Staff to two more classes…what?  Even then, how hard would it be to give them Axe instead (every Axe skill in the game is all whirly which fits in great with tempest theme anyways).

Quincha I use Nevermore on my Revenant.  Looks good on Norn swinging it around like a giant billy club.

RiccardoTavano
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RiccardoTavano

arktourosx Unluckily the development for HoT was in a complete mess…that’s why they’re taking so long to bring back LS3 (which should come in the third quarter). They were all focused on it for 9 months…and they worked on literally nothing else…moreover the time was still pretty “low”, so the xpac was halfbaked, but most than anything else, unpolished. 
In the next quarter we should see something for WvW and fractals (probably new stages too from what they said in the AMA, but it depends if they make it or not in time for it) and a lot of reworking on HoT to make it more accessible, give it more rewards and so on…
I think the third quarter will deliver quite some meat, but it’s still way too early to tell. Still they know they have to deliver something of content too, that’s why the hold on legendaries, and they’re trying to focus on it. 
We can only wait and see, i’m giving them one year. Will they deliver all this juicy living world that they’re talking about? or not ? Who knows, but i feel like the fate of the game depends on that.

scratches16
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scratches16

Greaterdivinity ComradeStanimir Like the rest of Anet, I’d gather all the CMs are “spread too thin,” as O’brien claims, and, as such, do absolutely nothing but sit around all day wondering how they’re going to get all this work done

RiccardoTavano
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RiccardoTavano

rancoffman They’re actually hiring. Just look at the career section. https://www.arena.net/
Maybe they can’t find a lot of people willing to move ? They only offer “physical” jobs as far as i remember…
I guess they should try to do something like opening an european studio if they will ever get enough manpower and funds. One studio working on live content and the other at the expansion would be pretty sick in terms of production, lol. Even if the second studio is only 70-100 people, while the other 220 are in the LW departement…they could just do wonders.

RiccardoTavano
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RiccardoTavano

Quincha Polyanna arktourosx That was actually their focus. Mace was the next in line if they didn’t put them on hold.
But yeah…obviously not all weapons fits all themes. For absurd a Quip suits more a mesmer than HOPE….at least if he’s not asura.

Esoteric Coyote
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Esoteric Coyote

arktourosx Quincha Why would I want a short bow on my thief when I can buy a sling shot skin for like 1s?  It has unique look and sound.  Sure some people want something more shiny, but for me… sling shot is best bow.

tobascodagama
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tobascodagama

DanielCulbertson RiccardoTavano Therec That’s my feeling, too. They can’t release a new expac while people are still so salty over what they got out of their first one. That just doesn’t make any kind of sense.

flatline4400
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flatline4400

Rheem Octuris O’Brien must suffer!
Wait, not that one!

RiccardoTavano
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RiccardoTavano

DanielCulbertson RiccardoTavano Therec Well, we still need to see. It depends a lot on when they plan to deliver xpac 2. Maybe they made some calculations and estimated that they have enough time to deliver those weapons before it hits.

rancoffman
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rancoffman

This is but a small part if gw2 problems. I have played and ran a large guild for 3 years. A lot of my players came and went. Unless you constantly recruit new players and teaching them players online decline. Now with the way guilds are doesn’t matter they rep or not.I really expected with HOT that a lot of all players would return it never happened. Some login every 2 weeks nothing new and leave. Dungeon money was needed and no new dungeons same old tracts so we are off playing black desert $30 HOT was $50 way more content in bro. Oh and we grinded out a pre for a legendary backspace still not around. When your good hardcore players are leaving you need to het to work. You made millions have 50 employees . Take a few million less profit hire some people commit to your product

DanielCulbertson
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DanielCulbertson

RiccardoTavano Therec I really don’t see why they can’t move some of those 70 developers. It’s not like they’ve announced a release date for the second expansion.  
I’m sure there’s an internal date that they’re shooting for, but if they don’t finish it by that date, they can do what they (and every other mmorpg developer in the world) always do and push the date back.

I mean, pushing release dates back is common practice in this industry. In my opinion, they need to finish the expansion they’ve already sold *first*.

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

RiccardoTavano Greaterdivinity paragonlostinspace Midgetsnowman

More accessible would be a good thing. Agreed. I think for many it comes down to what does “more accessible” mean to them.

hardy83
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hardy83

Therec The sad thing is that the raid zone, as well as the guild hall and some other zones we no longer have access to could be quickly converted to regular zones with some events in them, collections and lore.

I mean quicker than making a whole new zone that is.

Bring us back to Claw Island, bring us back to that place where Glints followers were, cliff something, let us in the raid zones (consider if accessing it after heroes cleared it or something). All FAR easier to do than complete new content.

Nate Woodard
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Nate Woodard

I’m almost glad I have zero interest in GW2 these days. In fact, I’d rather play WoW. And that game bores me to no end. It’s so sad. I loved GW1 so much! It’s aged. It needed a non instanced world. It needed variation in terms of playable races. I love the class combos idea in GW2. I like the active combat. I like jumping puzzles and exploration. Sadly that’s where the cool factor stops. GW2 needs a questing system. A far superior system to area quests. They’re good, but they aren’t nearly enough. I loved Missions in GW1. I loved the dungeons, it needed a higher form of “raiding”. Anet, you really need to go back to the drawing board. You’d earn a lot of respect in my book if you started over. Need subs? Just do it! No one will hate you for it. But implement it in such a way where you can still play the game and not get bombarded by cash shop. Please Anet.

alexjwillis
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alexjwillis

arktourosx The more I think about the cancellation, the less I understand the decision.  Keeping them in seems like such an easy win. I understand that it’s “complicated” in terms of matching it up with all the achievements, but it’s not complicated in the sense of it being a new system that needs inventing. There are literally dozens of precedents for making them work. They’ve ALREADY DONE some since HoT. 

I don’t even care about Legendaries, but I appreciate that some people do, and really, would it have been that difficult to keep working to earn their loyalty? The Legendary system isn’t broken, it’s just grindy and obscure. But…this is an MMO. “Grindy and Obscure” would be a good freakin’ MMO-themed band name, for pete’s sake. 
I also don’t think anybody was actually saying, “devote less energy to Legendaries and more to [X]”. Was *anybody* complaining about the Legendary system after HoT? 
Baffled.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

arktourosx Well at least they covered all of the least used and least useful ones first (other than staff, which apparently every class in the game has to be able to use now).

arktourosx
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arktourosx

Quincha What’s depressing is when you see how many of those weapon types actually get used.  Condi ranger isn’t a thing post HOT so that’s just thief for shortbow.  Both two classes that can use Pistol either don’t have a good focus for it (Thief) or use kits all the time (Engineer).  Axe is somewhere in the miiddle, and admittedly Staff is now like on every class.

arktourosx
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arktourosx

Polyanna Staff, Pistol and Axe made it in, Shortbow is coming.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

So which “new legendaries” made it in under the wire and which ones are “suspended?”

Krem
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Krem

Yangers Season 1 on the living story did exactly what it intended to do, evolve the world and progress the core story – jumping in the game now compared to what it used to look like in it’s original form it’s striking, we are on are third version of LA, hell the second one was basically a continuous combat event and the player base ‘lived’ elsewhere for the longest time.

Season 2 did further the core story a little, however with the way it ended did feel like a whole big advert, to just give intensive to buy HoT which it actually did in the final part with the whole ‘buy now’ breaking immersion totally,  unlike season 1 in didn’t changed the world content directly it just added a few new zones..

Season 1 had the issue of ‘temp content’ where if you didn’t login those 2 weeks you wouldn’t see the content at all, it was deleted (outside of the major changes in the final parts) and season 2 parts were only accessible during the first two weeks for free, if you didn’t login during that time it was a paid content unlock..

Season 3 I’d hope is a hybrid of the two more direct changes but not just temp events only to reset the world back to ‘normal’ after.

arktourosx
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arktourosx

Quincha Those cheatin bastards…that’s how they done it.

arktourosx
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arktourosx

My biggest issue remains they just aren’t delivering.  They had a laundry list of features for HOT, and here’s a big one of those cancelled entirely.  More over, when they announced the quarterly updates they said each part of the game would see updates.  WvW still languishes.  Living story is untouched.  If you aren’t into eSports or Raiding the devs so far have basically given you a huge middle finger.  I rationally get that devoting over a third of your development teams towards future revenue makes good business sense but as a customer experiencing broken or badly designed content, undelivered promises, and now cancellations of even more promised content the last thing I want to even conceive of is another expansion when I don’t feel like I’ve gotten what I paid for in the first place.

I think that really says it best.  If someone asked me if GW2 was worth the $50 for the base game pre-HOT I would have said absolutely without a second thought.  Tons of hours of pretty decent game content and early on there was endless new events and content.  If someone asked me if HOT was worth the $50 for the expansion I’d tell them the only reason they should buy it is for the specializations and masteries because the rest is just plainly a sub-par game for the price tag.

Bannex19
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Bannex19

I would rather have devs be more realistic with their productivity especially after almost 3 years of running the game. HoT was a $20 expansion at most and I think people would be signing a different tune if they originally changed what it was worth with an accurate assessment of upcoming features.

Yangers
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Yangers

Yeah, i feel like they are all over the place. They need to focus on PvE adventuring (sorry dungeons, fractals and raids but you gotta go / be put on hold), PvP and WvW. Everything has to wait. At least until they sort themselves out.
The PvE part is particularly worrysome. That sense of world exploration that GW1 had, where every new expansion took your charcater on a whole new area of the world to explore with a massive self contained story is what, I think, many expected. We were expecting a Cantha or Elona type adventure or story. But that’s not what HoT delivered.

Yangers
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Yangers

I agree. Up until a certain point the game is still amazeballs. But they are struggling with endgame, etc. I really hope they sort themsleves out – i still love the franchise overall.

Enikuo
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Enikuo

Quincha I suspect that he would make the distinction that they’re sacrificing some live content (legendary journey content) for other live content (living story), which is not the same as sacrificing live content for an expansion. I’m not saying that explanation should hold water, that’s just my guess at how he might reconcile it.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

joshua12jd JayPower The game is a ton of fun if you ignore the top-level meta stuff. And Esoteric is right, low-level crafting and cooking is still fun. Harvesting can be fun too.

Yangers
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Yangers

Was it? I thought the LS was supposed to be a bridge between expansions? The main problem was that the HoT story was 1) short and 2) terrible. The whole xpac was rushed. This current fiasco is yet the latest fallout from it.
I still enjoy the game, but they ballsed it up big time. Legendary Weapons are a flop. I made Nevermore (ugh the grind LOL), but not only have they cancelled any more, the weapons that did make it are some of the least used and most ridiculed – Shortbow? Pistol? Axe? Really Anet? Yikes. And even Nevermore was in the game for years as a test model.
I guess they over-reached and over promised. Its a shame Legendary Weapons suffered. The collections were fun. Hopefully they dont rush again, but they gotta do something to fill the gaps between expansions better.

arktourosx
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arktourosx

Quincha I know the list is intimidating, but I have a Nevermore and like all that running around part is nothing.  Can do that all in a day or a few hours.  The legitimately hardest part was getting the Alpha something from Auric Basin on the east side because people couldn’t break his break bar.  Everything else the bulk of the difficulty is literally all cash related.  The 10000 elderwood (yeap) to learn the patterns, the 100+ spirit wood (yeap) you name it…Algmated Gemstones pure freaking money.
I agree though that a lot of the older content can be broken at times, and when they link these legendaries up to that older content it really shines a light on that broken old content and how it doesn’t work.

arktourosx
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arktourosx

alexjwillis I’m with you.  As someone who actually crafted one of the new legendaries (Nevermore) while the process was long I just can’t understand why the process is that involved.  Most cases it was linking items or setting up new items in existing areas.  Like add a text option to X NPC or add a new thing to interact with in Y area.  Reality was the bulk of the time came from gathering the materials like the obscene 100+ Spiritwood or hundreds of Geodes and the like.  So it’s really baffling to me that a similar sized team to the raid team can’t possible generate 3 legendaries and link up various world activities to said legendaries in a similar time frame.

tobascodagama
Guest
tobascodagama

Living Story 3 was supposed to be part of HoT, so until that’s delivered it absolutely is half an expansion.

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