Global Chat: The frustrations and joys of Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns

    
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The player debate and analysis over the virtues and vices of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns has — unsurprisingly — evoked strong opinions on both sides of the aisle.

Blogger Bhagpuss at Inventory Full said that he’s a satisfied customer: “For once I’m getting what I want. It feels these maps have been made with my playstyle squarely in mind. Instead of achiever maps with a nominal nod to exploring these are real, explorable maps with a few lifebelts scattered around for drowning achievers to cling to.”

Alternatively, Creeping had an epic-sized rant about how the expansion felt like a bait-and-switch from the beta. “I really, really, don’t understand why they had to add the hero point grind, on top of the masteries grind on top of a story arc grind,” she wrote.

Agree? Disagree? We’re only getting started with a look at the opinions across the MMO blogosphere today!

Stars of the Spiral: My favorite things about Pirate101

KingsIsle’s 101 games don’t get a lot of attention these days, but there are some serious fans of those titles, including dedicated blogger Kelsey. In this post, she lists 11 features of Pirate101 that she adores, including the housing system.

“The way they built the houses is amazing,” she said. “They’re usually very large where you have the room to decorate whatever you want. When you walk around in one, you can’t help but love the personal touches, the roomy feel, and the beautiful design.”

Leo’s Life: MMOs and stickiness

Using the examples of several popular MMOs, Leo tackles the issue of game “stickiness” — what gets us to stay in an online title for a long, long time. According to him, there isn’t any one magic key to this issue.

“Designing stickiness is hard work,” Leo writes. “Looking at one item alone isn’t enough; it’s the sum of all the parts. A game could have great dungeons but no group-finder. It could have superb guild tools but nothing for the guild to actually do.”

ECTmmo.com: SWTOR/EA/BioWare, you lost me!

I can’t help but feel bad for Kaozz, who was banned from SWTOR for reasons unknown and faced a wall of frustration in trying to reach out to support to deal with the issue. Instead of help, she only found customer service reps who were annoyed with her requests.

That was the last straw for this blogger: “In the end, my account was banned, without receiving an email or any way to find out why. My money taken. I was blown off as a customer. I was lied to by your support. You lost me, not just as a SWTOR customer, as a blogger, a fan, a supporter, an enthusiast, and lastly as a customer of all the games I supported.”

WildStar Core: Housing spotlight #2 — Sazz Genetic Clinic

Whenever I want to feel really bad about my lack of housing decoration accumen, I need only turn to posts like this where players much more talented than I have created insanely wonderful spaces in MMOs. Check out this tour of a “genetic clinic” in WildStar as one of the examples of how housing can become much more than another virtual apartment.

Tales of the Aggronaut: MMOs worth playing — Lord of the Rings Online

It’s been a while since I’ve personally been in my old favorite Lord of the Rings Online, but I completely back up everything that Belghast is saying in this piece. It truly is a special MMO.

“The hook of this game is and will always be that you get to wander around in the Middle Earth Setting from the Tolkien novels,” he writes. “The biggest take away from the setting that I can give you is that it is huge, and feels more like a real world than most MMOs do.  There are all sorts of little things that draw you into the world.”

Through Wolfy’s Eyes: Dungeons already done right

“The problem with those maps is that those dungeons are, literally, designed as hallways,” Wolfy writes. “They don’t feel like an experience so much as they do a Tunnel of Love. If, of course, the point was to be murdered by monsters instead of snuggle time.”

Wolfy doesn’t just lament how linear modern MMO dungeons are but points out that games like Wizardry and Zelda have shown how diverse and interesting dungeon crawls can be. Maybe it’s time that MMO devs take a look back to the past for inspiration?

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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tominva2012
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tominva2012

BritoBruno tominva2012 Yes, I’m afraid so. It’s too bad they can’t adopt a better business model. Still, I think the game is worth the subscription for a month or two at a time, anyway.

BritoBruno
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BritoBruno

tominva2012 Is SW:ToR still extremely unforgiving towards F2Players?

KirkSteadman
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KirkSteadman

ihatevnecks annoyedbadger Explain what is a massive grind? Getting 25 hero points in maguuma if you tomed to 80? or is it getting the exp for your masteries? Were you stacking xp boosting items for mastery exp? I have taken three of my 80’s through Maguuma, two of which where lvled with tomes, and they all have their elite specs and I have all the masteries I need to do any content in the new zones as well as all the language masteries so I can use the vendors.  This took me one week of maybe 3-4 hours game play a day. I almost feel like it’s to easy now with the hp reduction but I understand 400 points for people with more than a few alts is painful. Not trying to be snarky I am just curious at what part is holding you up, it may be something you can fix by popping a booster, using food and maintenance items, and doing a few meta events to fix.

RiccardoTavano
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RiccardoTavano

Esoteric Coyote RiccardoTavano Siphaed Main problem is that the action of “grinding” is repeating the same quest or content to level up as fast as possible….grinding is boring by nature,because it’s repetitive. Even if you could level masteries with dungeons…it would still be boring after repeating the same paths over and over and over, but that in any kind of game, not only GW2. They only way to not make it so it would be to put a quest that changes every time it’s done without even taking longer than what it’s supposed to take to be “optimal exp”.
People still try to tackle this game as if it was the typical MMO or even worse an asian MMO…just to bash their face at the end of the “grind” wall because they burned everything they had to do too fast.

tominva2012
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tominva2012

I thought GW2 was great fun right up until the Living Story. Then, along came HoT, a bold, dramatic step in the wrong direction, imo, with ArenaNet managing to turn a once-fun game into a … complete aggravation.
SWTOR, on the other hand, is really evolving into a better game than ever. I may return to GW2 eventually, assuming future expansions are more like the base GW2 game and less like the HoT expansion. I wish I could get my money back from HoT, but at least I’ll be a lot more careful not to buy any further GW2 expansions until I’ve read player reviews and reactions.

arktourosx
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arktourosx

Really don’t get the bait and switch argument for the Hero Points in GW2.  They never said how we’d unlock Specializations at all.  It was this huge mystery.  So there was no “bait” it was more of a “surprise!”
Even getting to 400 represented at most around 20 hours of uneducated play on a brand new level 80 character (IE: You leveled it up with Tomes) getting 200 from Tyria (around 12 hours) and 200 from HOT (around 8 hours cause you have no idea how to navigate).  However now that it’s 250 it’s even less of an issue because you can walk into HOT with 80% of your HPs done.  Now that I have been in there and done the run on multiple characters it’s more than feasible to do a HP train and be done in a few hours from 0 points to 250.
People just like blowing things that truly don’t matter out of proportion. Hero Points?  In a month no one will care.  Oh did some people choose to boringly farm COF to grind Tyria Masteries while getting no gold, no karma and just XP for 8 hours straight?  Who cares I got the same thing doing map completion and walked out with tons of mats/karma/gold/etc?  In 6 months no one will even care.

tobascodagama
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tobascodagama

BryanCole MatthewRiddle AFAIK, there are only two Verdant Brink HPs that requires a champion kill. The one at the bottom of the map near Mordy’s roots and the Sensor Console one in the canopy. The other 9 are Commune nodes. Auric Basin has a slightly higher proportion of Champion nodes, but it’s still less than half of the HPs in that zone.

You can easily get your whole Elite Spec unlocked now without defeating any Champions.

RiccardoTavano
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RiccardoTavano

jaif RiccardoTavano Dude, you can level them by doing pretty much any kind of activity in Maguuma and in core tyria for the other masteries. I could consider it work if i needed to do the same identical activity over and over and over just to level them..but that’s not the case…from exploring, to story, events and adventures…i have a wide array of stuff possible.
I’m just taking them easy and they level pretty much fast even without farming for them. and I do not even mind because while they’re levelling i’m simply doing my stuff in core tyria and maguuma.
You clearly never played any kind of old school MMOs…and by that I mean stuff even before WoW…THAT was work. Taking 1 year to do one level…with quests that needed a shitload amount of time and/or luck.
Even stuff like text based MMOs, which are much more similar to a paper RPG, but online. I remember one in which you could take a hellishly long quest which required a lot of stuff and a lot of super hard deeds, but which let you become an actual god in the server (the other ones where the GMs) with all the powers related to it.
We’re doing a lot of “work” right now for the guild hall, but we’re doing it happingly. Organizing stuff and events to gather the necessary mats and so on…because it’s nice to have a goal and works towards it with everyone.

RiccardoTavano
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RiccardoTavano

Craywulf Siphaed It was made to give something extra to do…who knows when the next specs will be released…maybe in a future LS…maybe the next xpac…and when it will be ? 1 y ? 2 ? 3 ? 
Giving a sense of class progression instead of just “bing ! you got it!” is still a nice thing for an RPG game….It would be like playing DnD with characters at lvl 20 from the start imo.
The need to relabel and recompile them was due to the fact that people with full world completition would have just got them straigth away….if they put it at 60 like other lines…it would become instaunlocked by them. It was a selling point for the expansion…and moreover it’s a form of class progression…so some kind of process to attain them was really something obvious…they simply choose to use the HP instead of the classic job advancement quest. (i know it’s not a proper advancement since it’s not permanent, but you get the idea)
It would have been the same for 100 and so on till 200….so 200+ was the best solution…at the same time hero points had to value more…even if the maps are big and all, you can’t overflow them with HP just to get for example 50 more and at the same time they had to make the spec attainable all in HoT. So 1 point each wouldn’t have been enough…neither 5..since 40 challenges are just 200 points. And to makes thing even they choose 10 points each, for a total of 400 points…which got lowered to 250 now after the community feedback. 
So call it bullshit or whatever you want…they could have just put a collection to mimic a quest and still had you do all the work in an unskippable and “static” way, i mean…you can choose which hero points to do now…if it was with a collection/quest it would have just been “do this”, period.

Esoteric Coyote
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Esoteric Coyote

paragonlostinspace Esoteric Coyote Superbrak I’m confused the point of this post.  I don’t think I’ve ever replied to you, nor was speaking with you.  (gasps)