Guild Wars 2 wants to bring former players back to Tyria with new initiative

    
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Every MMO player in existence has almost certainly, at one point or another, taken a break from a game and come back to it later only to be left wondering what the hell’s even going on anymore. It can be an overwhelming experience, and it can put off even the most perseverant of players from returning to a game they once loved. The folks at ArenaNet realize that, and that’s why they’re undertaking an initiative to help get returning Guild Wars 2 players back into the fold. Guild Wars 2 Content Marketing Manager Rubi Bayer announced the news on the official GW2 forums yesterday:

“When you take a break from a game, one of the things that makes it difficult to start back up again is the feeling that you’ve missed too much to ever catch up. We want to offer to help former Guild Wars 2 players who might feel that way, so starting next Monday we’re going spend five weeks getting those members of our community re-acquainted with Tyria. We’ll show how to get your first mount and play through Living World Season 4, pointing out helpful features and updates along the way. Members of our partner program will be joining too, leading players through various open world events.”

The initiative will be a multimedia effort of sorts, comprising “livestreams, guides, and some more surprises” that ArenaNet isn’t pulling back the curtain on just yet. Bayer says that “there will be a full outline and schedule on [GW2’s] site Monday morning,” so if you’re a former GW2 player who wants to jump back into Tyria, be sure to check in next week and see what the team has in store.

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wayshuba

Let’s see….

I played LOTRO for three years. Left for a little bit and came back.
Then I played SWTOR for a year, left for GW2 then left GW2 and went back to SWTOR for a year.
Now have been in ESO for almost two years.

In my times going back, never did I feel like it was about being “overwhelmed”. What mattered to me was had certain improvements been made that interested me in coming back. Just don’t see that the core things that caused me to get bored with GW2 have changed – so no interest from me. Besides, I am pretty happy in ESO at the moment.

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PanagiotisLial1

As long as they take this only as starting point and dont stop on making a few vids but instead start working on the game seriously they could get on track.

If they end up just doing these vids, no, they wont bring many people back

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Matthäus Wey

When your only game suddenly becomes important again. Can’t wait to see what the new manpower brings to gw2

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Arktouros

The problem with getting caught up is every time I start their story I’m reminded how much I absolutely hate it and the direction it’s gone. Like the very end of Season 3, Path of Fire, and all of Season 4 was just atrocious nonsense to me from jumping the shark a half dozen times to actually recycling their premise from Nightfall I’ve lost any possible interest where they can go from there.

Then there’s the more practical day to day matters like them continuously shoving more desirable items behind RNG boxes or them constantly fucking up class balance every other patch for game content I don’t want to do (thanks for the PvE nerfs because some 0.001% of the playerbase raiders!).

GW2 was simply better when it was trying to be it’s own game focusing on open world game play and world content on a regular basis than this Blizzard style quarterly updates that focus on instances and raiding content bullshit.

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Annoyed badger

going to go back to their manifesto promises? get rid of RNG lootbox obsessed grind? Nope, thought not.

Also, going to stop charging people for content they dont manage to complete on time according to Anets schedule?

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Nathan Aldana

I mean. Its a nice idea. but the problem is less what theyre addressing and more..to truly catch up i have to complete a huge number of zons I havent played yet.

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yoh_sl

Pffff, hahahaha. Good fucking luck with that.
You can keep your shallow, hollow husk of a game. I’m really not interested in having my time wasted thanks.

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Anton Mochalin

Why, GW2 is a very good game.

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Nate Woodard

What makes it a good game for you? Sometimes people just don’t agree on a game style.

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Anton Mochalin

Well it just has a lot of things to do, things one can do solo and things that are fun with a group, lots of quality content. Graphics and music are top notch. I don’t play games for story but GW2’s story is ok, I even remember some characters from it. I understand that if one plays a lot there can be a moment when there’s nothing to do even in such a huge game but it’s normal to leave a game, why not.

However I don’t think lack of orientation in newer content is going to be the largest problem for a returning player. Official wiki is very good and there’s a ton of unofficial resources. And that’s troubling: it looks like such initiative is part of a “deal” with “higher management” like “You need to improve player retention!” – “Oh maybe we should help returning players…”. Actually GW2 is a very healthy game right now and doesn’t need any marketing effort like this.

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Bruno Brito

Actually GW2 is a very healthy game right now and doesn’t need any marketing effort like this.

Considering their last report, it isn’t. GW2 is not healthy, but it is stable ( which in gaming jargon is “stagnant” ).

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Anton Mochalin

The playerbase is huge, wherever I go I see a lot of players – in low-level zones, high-level zones, everywhere. There’s usually not a very long time to wait before strangers arrive to help you with a world boss and dungeons matchmaking is fast. As a multiplayer game relying on playerbase to work it is absolutely healthy. Which “last report” are you speaking about?

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

That’s because of the Mega Server system which is sort of like an on the fly version of server consolidation.

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Bruno Brito

The playerbase is huge

What is huge in your opinion? Because i don’t see GW2 sharing it’s population.

wherever I go I see a lot of players – in low-level zones, high-level zones, everywhere.

Anedoctal. I had the opposite experience while trying for my world completion. Maps were empty, or had minimal people in it. The most crowded places were known farm spots.

There’s usually not a very long time to wait before strangers arrive to help you with a world boss and dungeons matchmaking is fast.

Again, anedoctal, altho i’ll give you the World Bosses, since they’re still core for what is essentially a farming game.

As a multiplayer game relying on playerbase to work it is absolutely healthy.

Again, anedoctal. You’re perceiving your own experience as fact, which means mine is too, and my experience was as it follows: Starter zones are ALWAYS crowded, mid range ones aren’t, except the ones with world bosses or maps that are required as connections to new maps. The most crowded maps are the ones where you farm stuff, since GW2 is essentially a farming game nowadays. The game has years old bugs in it, the pvp scene is a mess, the wvw scene is a way bigger mess, and the pve scene is now raiding, which means most of the core players are kept outside the game. The game has two paywalls, which powercrept the game in it’s entirety.

Which “last report” are you speaking about?

The 2018 4Q report, which claimed NCsoft took a 41% dip on it’s profits. While Bree claims that 2018 wasn’t a bad year for GW2, which i don’t think it was, when a game perform in the same numbers of it’s previous year, some people will call that stable.

I call it stagnation.

NCsoft 4Q 2018 financials: Mobile made almost twice as much as all NCsoft’s other MMOs combined

Also, this won’t ever fly in the face of the fact that a while ago, Anet fired 143 employees. Including GW2 employees. While it was mostly because of the mismanagement of said workforce, it’s a pretty showing off that GW2 is not funding Anet’s new projects, which means they need to bet all their chips in GW2.

A game that’s been out for six years now, still has six years old bugs, and one of the worst powercreeps in the history of online gaming.

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Anton Mochalin

Yes what I say is “anecdotal” because what I was asked about was “why I consider GW2 a good game” and that’s my player experience. The game works as a multiplayer game, there are enough players for all sorts of activities. However, let’s look at Q4 fact sheed provided by NCSoft:

Operating Income Margin (%) 36%
Pre-tax Income Margin (%) 37%

That’s for all NCSoft and we see a very healthy margin. If we look at GW2 game sales we have 5 non-mobile titles in NCSoft report and GW2 is right in the middle at third place (less than B&S and Lineage and more than Aion and Lineage 2).

GW2 sales over 2 years was:
1Q 2017 14 226
2Q 2017 13 557
3Q 2017 20 145
4Q 2017 34 903
1Q 2018 23 647
2Q 2018 19 860
3Q 2018 20 957
4Q 2018 15 699

So we see a peak in Q4 2017 (Path of Fire released on Sep 22 2017) but 1 year after the expansion release in Q4 2018 the sales are still higher than in Q1-Q2 2017 before expansion release. If you look at any healthy game you’ll see similar results: a peak right after new content drop which then decreases to the same plateau. And that’s in a very competitive PC games market where there’s new big success stories of ESO and Black Desert, continuing success of FF14 and WoW and miriads of other distractions including single player games and online games of other genres like Warframe or Fortnite. It’s a very healthy result for a 6 y.o. game.

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Bruno Brito

Being “healthy” is an opinion we do not share. This is NCSoft we’re talking about. They may be way more patient nowadays ( considering Wildstar ) but this is STILL a studio that just laid off 134 employees.

Also:

4Q 2018 15 699

Yeah, this is stagnation. PoF peaks mean that they’ll need a new xpac in the works, with 134 less people in the team.

Again, the writing in the wall is right there: GW2 cannot keep Anet’s afloat to drift themselves to any side projects, which mean they now have to bet in GW2 to keep themselves alive.

This is a six years old game. Don’t expect any huge changes.

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Anton Mochalin

This is a six years old game. Don’t expect any huge changes.

GW2 is a great game and I expect to have much fun with it at least for a couple more years. So yeah you’re right I don’t expect huge changes from a good game doing fine, which is quite predictable. I wouldn’t call it stagnation because new content is constantly added and the playerbase stays high. Q4 2018 result is very much explained with no Living World update during that quarter. And the game still brought in some very good revenue – 15.6 bln Korean won is still almost $14 million which is more than enough to feed 300 employees and return some profit for NCSoft shareholders. And 300 employees is basically the same number ANet had on GW2 launch. So yes other projects ANet worked on seem to be closed now but GW2 is doing fine.

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Bruno Brito

is constantly added and the playerbase stays high.

Again, we don’t know how many players are in there, so “High” is a stretch.

nd 300 employees is basically the same number ANet had on GW2 launch.

Irrelevant. Don’t try to spin a layoff of 134 employees as something positive. It isn’t. Period.

As for GW2 being a great game, i disagree. It’s a good, functional game, but nowadays, it’s pretty much a mediocre shell of all the dreams they once had.

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yoh_sl

I would classify GW2 as a jack of all trades, master of none. It seems to want to dip it’s toes into a whole bunch of things, but never commits to anything. Making the overall experience rather shallow.
Second, everything developed for the game is seen through the prism of monitization. Absolutely everything.
Story content, pay for it.
New skills and traits, pay for it.
New modes of travel, pay for it.
New zones, pay for it.
And let’s not forget their mountains of cosmetics.

Anet have shown that they have very little interest in fixing, developing or adding anything that can’t be turned around and monitized. This is why the game goes years without even simple bug fixes. Let alone adding new skills, classes, weapons, etc. The only time you might get anything like that is via an expansion, ie montization. It informs all their decisions.

I’m all for them making money to keep themselves afloat. But when said montization doesn’t go towards actually making the game better, but instead actively becoming more stagnate because they simply refuse to not work on parts of the game that won’t see an immediate return, then I have a fucking problem with how they operate. They’ll make fluff all the live long day, but they won’t make the game more enjoyable to play.

And 3rd, the game was fundamentally built on a poor foundation that has never been addressed. The game is fundamentally a solo player experience that happens to include other people. You never really have to interact with anybody, because roles don’t exist outside of a few narrow instances. 99% of the time your an island onto yourself, completely self reliant, with only one role, DPS.
And every class is just another version of the same idea over and over again, what flavor of DPS are you. Thus builds are essentially unimportant.
All you need to do is throw out damage, and dodge the light show. No one ever needs to work together in any meaningful sense, you just roll you face over the keyboard and zerg everything down otherwise.

Exploration is the only thing to write home about, because again they montizated the hell out of it.

I want to have experiences that are worth the time I put into them. And GW2 is simply content in wasting my time while charging up the arse for everything.
No thanks.

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Anton Mochalin

Being recently on a budget I’m totally fine with their monetization model. I’m on F2P tier now and having a ton of fun and will buy first expansion if it’s on sale or when I’m done with all the game has for F2P tier (and that’s not likely to happen soon). I’m considering myself a rational consumer and huge F2P tier helps me to make a rational choice. Definitely not wasting my time.

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Anton Mochalin

And 3rd, the game was fundamentally built on a poor foundation that has never been addressed. The game is fundamentally a solo player experience that happens to include other people. You never really have to interact with anybody, because roles don’t exist outside of a few narrow instances. 99% of the time your an island onto yourself, completely self reliant, with only one role, DPS.

I don’t think I’m the only gamer who doesn’t like to be pushed to social interaction. And I really like it that GW2 allows me to choose when to go solo and when to group up. The online game I play the most, Warframe, also has this approach where its content is all solo-able. But if I need a group I’m matched very quickly with someone who’s up for the same content. Same for GW2, very easy to find a group for any content. And I’m really thankful to ANet that the “poor foundation” you’re speaking about “has never been addressed”.

hurbster
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hurbster

Sure, just set it in the past and let me have adventures in pre-searing Ascalon. Before the murdercatbastards destroyed everything.

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Castagere Shaikura

Murdercatbastards I love it. I always hated the Charr and when you could play one in GW2 I was surprised and hated them even more. I guess most playing now never played GW1.

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Nate Woodard

I have a vane hope that they’ll somehow get back to that. Those really were the glory days of Guild Wars.

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Winter Angel

I went back and played Gw1 after i played Gw2 for a while. GW1 is awful. How any of you vets played that game and stayed is truely amazing. No jumping, a flat almost 2D experience, horrible graphics compared to other games that were out at the time, World of Warcraft for instance (where i was back then). It’s a different type of game them WoW’s mmo sure, but still the graphics were behind the times.

So as far as murdercatbastards it was fun to see where they started and I love that they are a playable race in GW2. They are much more enjoyable now. Plus i love all charr guilds the rp aspect is so fun.

Also i prefer the MMO RPG version of guild wars 2 to the Solo player experience of GW1. You could still have a solo player experience in gw2, just not stuck in story as the currently have it, which imo is a direct reference to gw1.

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Bruno Brito

I didn’t play much GW1, but the core systems are years above GW2. That’s all it needs to be a better game than GW2.

frevens
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frevens

the gw1 core system is outdated and it sucks compared to gw2

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Bruno Brito

It’s way better. It gives you way more customization and makes your character something to be invested. GW2 talent tree is a carbon copy of the Mists of Pandaria talent trees, with some singularities.

GW1 core systems are LIGHT YEARS better than anything GW2 related. Specially when you count the manifesto which created the meme: “Swing a sword, swing a sword again” for them to proceed to give us autoattack progression tied to weaponry, which is a terrible idea.

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PanagiotisLial1

When played GW2 I never understood why have so many skills when you can put just a tiny fraction of them on your skill bar

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Bruno Brito

The idea is to make something of your liking. Not all builds are best, but they sure beat the GW2 engineer having to play Chopin to do everything a Warrior does when pressing a Stance button.

Why do i need 45 skills to stance-dance when i can have six, tailored for the content i’m about to do? It’s way better.

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PanagiotisLial1

Funny part is I actually played a Charr Engineer

the viable builds had a lot to be desired on that class

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Bruno Brito

I played Engineers of all kinds. Racial skills are a mess on GW2 and worthless except when they have some kind of imbalance like Seed Turret and Bear Charge had. The only racial skill i remember being good was a Engineer using Technobabble. It was cool.

But other than that, there’s really not much customization in GW2. If you’re a core Engineer, you use kits because Engis are balanced around them, which is I D I O T I C. If you play Scrapper, you cried into a corner until the last round of buffs, where they’re absolutely immortal now as a support class. If you play Holo, you bash your head against your keyboard while you Commando the entire screen into their laser deaths.

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PanagiotisLial1

Yes I wanted to play with turrets mostly in first play through, the plan seemed to fail early and remade toons a few times trying out things before giving up. It seemed only switching around through kits worked and that left a sour taste to me. Then searching for builds on net I realised how screwed the class was

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Bruno Brito

To be fair, that’s mostly a staple for GW2 classes. Warriors use stances because anything other requires suboptimal builds, which while functional…yeah, no.

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starbuck1771

Personally I think it is time for more playable races and classes.

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PanagiotisLial1

The only race I liked in GW2 was Charr

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Kross Vilalobos

Whoa comeon man what with the Charr hate those murdercatbastards were not so bad just killing a chunk of snake bois here and there. Then these like bipedal hairless murder hobos came out of nowhere swinging their hairless gods at women and children and good ol daddy Khan.

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Dean Greenhoe

Sounds interesting… will keep my eyes open for news.

Swifty
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Swifty

GW2 was a fun toy for a while, but it was never going to be a “home” like other MMOs were in the past. My main reasons are the lack of character progression (cosmetics are not enough), no true housing, and I missed targeted healing.
So I went back to FFXIV, more my type of game.

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Winter Angel

I like how GW2 doesn’t have the holy trinity (or didn’t use to have it ;) – tank, heals, dps) and people are more reliant on themselves to dodge and stay alive.

It would be fun to see new maps where like real life you don’t encounter mobs every 10 yards and seeing most animals in the wilds is a rarity. At night the woods are more active vs daytime for instance. Seasons and weather patterns change and are not static, but none of this is GW2 so yea…

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Bruno Brito

I like how GW2 doesn’t have the holy trinity (or didn’t use to have it ;) – tank, heals, dps) and people are more reliant on themselves to dodge and stay alive.

Which descended then to “Everyone is dps with active defenses”.

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Anton Mochalin

Which descended then to “Everyone is dps with active defenses”

What’s wrong with that? However you can build full-DPS or maximize other things like healing.

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Bruno Brito

No, you can’t. Else you’ll be carried.

GW2 is literally DPS/Spike Damage with active defenses. very few builds run passive defenses, and the one that do, run them as a crutch.

If you don’t see how a design decision pidgeonholed 9 classes into one role,and how awful that is, i have nothing to say to you.

What i CAN say is that Necros are still the only class locked in by design and a focus target for everything because of it. They’re the quintessencial pubstomper that falls flat against the minimum of coordination because of how the game is designed ( spike damage too high + elitespect brought balance/number issues ) and how they’re designed ( passive defenses in the form of Shroud + Health, which is complete idiocy, given that Life Force is a resource they NEED, and it can be spiked without much effort, specially when Necros need to be in the thick of fightning to recover LF, and they can’t because of bad mobility ).

This should NEVER happen in a game that made it’s debut as a “esport”.

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Anton Mochalin

If you don’t see how a design decision pidgeonholed 9 classes into one role,and how awful that is, i have nothing to say to you.

It’s you thinking that’s “one role” meaning “no holy trinity”. There are many many people who don’t like “holy trinity” and don’t want to play a game forcing them to choose between dps, tank or healer.

Else you’ll be carried.

Aren’t tanks and healers always “carried”?

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Bruno Brito

It’s you thinking that’s “one role” meaning “no holy trinity”. There are many many people who don’t like “holy trinity” and don’t want to play a game forcing them to choose between dps, tank or healer.

Again, the issue isn’t the holy trinity, is the lack of another foundation. The game is basically 5 dps in a dungeon with active defenses. That’s NOT good design.

Aren’t tanks and healers always “carried”?

No? When mechanics depend on them, they aren’t, they’re REQUIRED. Going anything other than DPS in GW2 is gimping yourself.

I get that you’re passionat about the game, but honestly, try to see the bigger picture. Whiteknighting about GW2 will take you nowhere.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Oh they brought in the Trinity, but the BS Elites turned into a Vanilla WoW situation where only one build/class tanks, and only one or two acceptable healers in that rigid early 00’s style of Meta Builds they have there.