Guild Wars 2 addresses build templates and third-party programs in light of ‘collected feedback’

    
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Ever since ArenaNet’s announcement that it’s finally adding proper build templates to Guild Wars 2, the community, or at least the highly online and vocal part of it, have been awash in confusion, drama, and even debunked ban rumors. It’s all launching next week, and ahead of that, the studio has put out a recap piece to try to explain it all again and calm everyone down in light of the “feedback” the studio says it’s collected. Essentially, it works like this:

  • You get character-bound build templates with utility skills, specs, and traits, which you can swap on the fly. You get three for free and can buy more.
  • Then you get character-bound equipment templates to store armor, weapons, and upgrades. This part of the system lets you store gear outside of your normal inventory and customize legendary gear different ways per template. You get two of these for free and can buy more.
  • Then you get an account-wide build storage so you can share builds between your other toons. It’s not unlimited, though; you get three spaces for free, plus another three will be free in the cash shop for a month, and then you can buy quite a few more.
  • Finally, you’ll also be able to share builds by exporting and importing build codes (similar to Guild Wars).

As players have noted, this overview of the system doesn’t really sound any different from the last overview, so it’s not entirely clear which feedback from the playerbase was taken into account.

ArenaNet’s Stephane Lo Presti also reiterates the studio’s position on third-party programs – essentially, that the company won’t endorse or declare safe any such program, but nobody will be penalized for using them unless they do so in violation of the game’s TOS and code of conduct. While the word ArcDPS – that’s the player-made build template tool folks have used before now – isn’t actually uttered, it does kinda sound like ArenaNet is obliquely referring to it here, though it still isn’t clear whether altering the DLLs to continue using it for build templates will be considered a violation of the rules.

Meanwhile, ahead of next week’s update, ArenaNet has also reminded everyone that PvP League Season 19 will likewise kick off on the 29th and run through December 23rd.

Source: Templates, PvP
Update 12:30 PM EDT
ArenaNet also put out a quick update from the systems team today, welcoming Cal “cmc” Cohen as the new Systems Team competitive designer, in place of Ben Phongluangtham, who’s moving to a Design Manager spot. The team discusses balance and says it will “increase [its] presence on the forums and be more open about upcoming changes to get feedback early” on the changes it aims to make.

“Balance is important to the entire game. In the past, we’ve split skill changes between the three core game modes: PvP, PvE, and WvW. Previously, skills designers oversaw all balance changes with sign-off from designers working on competitive content. PvE balance will remain in the hands of skills designers, but PvP and WvW balance will now be handled by competitive designers. This will give our competitive-focused team members a bit more control over how players interact with their content, and it will allow the skills designers to focus on PvE balance and other Systems work.”

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Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I understand the criticism regarding BT’s from GW1 Players that had this as baseline with the original game, how ever Mighty Teapot made a great point 1.5 weeks ago during his Podcast which pointed out that if players had infinite build templates for free then players would in essence have unlimited storage which would invalidate Bag Slots and Bank Tabs.

Queue my bro from Brazil chiming in with ‘Pay Wall!’, you are not wrong (but we’re talking something that could have invalidated an original paywall that players like me already spent money on which would have me demanding a refund).

Reader
Bruno Brito

Depends on the implementation, honestly. I don’t see a issue with infinite templates if they’re tied to the number of bank slots you have. Let’s assume you have 3 sets. If your bank/inventory space can withhold the number of sets you need, the template swap can be done without hiccups.

When you change your template and some items are missing, you get a warning saying “your template itemset is incomplete, and will equip only the items avaliable.”

There. Solved. If they have a issue with that, it’s because Anet is trying to reinvent the wheel.

AGAIN.

Reader
mrstealth82

That would solve the issue of two templates that share some items still taking two full monetized template slots. It would also make moving around ascended/legendary gear much easier, since they’re not stuck in per-character templates. Maybe make it a bit better by having a new equipment bank tab with slots that can be purchased, so it’s not mixing/cluttering the normal bank space.

Mordyjuice
Reader
Mordyjuice

Either they’re limited by their engine, limited by their developers expertise, limited by their resources, or they’re trying to actually nickle and dime their players (which could be a possibility as well).

Reader
mrstealth82

I can see the handing of hot swapping out of a shared space being a potential blocker. Especially with account bound/cross-character gear, as that could be the current gear set for multiple characters.

I’d save the nickle and diming reason for the build template part.

Reader
mrstealth82

That does apply to equipment templates, but build templates have no impact storage space. They only include skills, specs, and traits. It’s essentially the same system that GW1 used in PvE, except we have to pay money to make it really useful. Nothing would be invalidated by having unlimited build templates, Arenanet is simply monetizing them because they can.

In GW1, PvE templates only included skills and attributes. PvP had gear templates, but PVP gear was already an unlock-and-equip system that used no inventory space anyway. PvE gear had no templates, and unequipped items always took inventory/storage space. GW2 should be adopting a system like that, just with the addition of their limited/monetized PvE equipment templates.

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Dug From The Earth

This is almost as bad as Swtor selling extra hotbars for your abilities.

Think it’s time we add anet to the list of once great companies who have now lost their way

– Blizzard
– Bethesda
– Bioware
– Arenanet

Bungie is riding on thin ice… Probably a good thing we got a non-B named company on the list first.

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Mallus

How so? They’re giving away free stuff (build/equipment templates) we’ve never had before. Swtor took away hot bars then charged for them…

micedicetwice
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micedicetwice

GW1 had them free. Players waited for 7 years for them to be added in GW2, got a very limited version and charged for them.

Reader
Mallus

We’re talking GW2 which is a completely different game from GW1. The build templates are coming to GW2 and you will get free ones with the option to buy more if you want.

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Bruno Brito

GW1 players had them. GW2 players are getting them behind a paywall.

Reader
Mallus

Reading is hard:
Character-bound build templates – You get three for free and can buy more
Character-bound equipment templates – You get two of these for free and can buy more
Account-wide build storage – You get three spaces for free, plus another three will be free in the cash shop for a month, and then you can buy quite a few more

Reader
Bruno Brito

You get three for free and can buy more

PAYWALL.

Reader
mrstealth82

Three free for a character that has two elite specializations, in a game with three game modes, and widely varying content/gameplay styles within those modes. A game where build/playstyle/customization is a primary selling point. Just one of the three modes alone could easily eat up three+ build template slots. But they won’t even give us enough slots to have a single build for each spec/mode combo.

So yes, for a good portion of the playerbase, this feature is largely useless unless you pay. My average is five builds per character in PVE alone, and that is excluding builds that are rarely used or minor variations. Three templates is just insulting to someone that plays more than one game mode.

If they want to charge for something, charge for character-based templates and make account-based unlimited. Something workable for free, or pay for more convenience. Instead Anet decided to monetized build templates twice over. Because charging for gear templates wasn’t enough.

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Matthäus Wey

There was a free to use add-on for this too but its no longer in active development thanks to this.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

Game functionality that should have been in the game on day one should be 100% free when it finally gets added.

3 is only 100% free if you don’t ever want more than that.

micedicetwice
Reader
micedicetwice

If you don’t want rumors to spread then don’t ban people without any fucking explanation. Simple as that. ANet has a bad habit of communicating only after shitstorm hits the news. And it doesn’t look like they’ll ever learn.

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McGuffn

I did like the old way of publicly shaming the people they banned.

The only bad thing about it was they didn’t sell rotten food in the cash shop that we could throw at the transgressors.

Mordyjuice
Reader
Mordyjuice

Wasn’t around for that but didn’t a Dev log in as Dhuum and assassinate the player in game?

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mrstealth82

Dhuum would appear the kill the player with a scythe just as the ban happened, though I think it was an automated process rather than a controlled character. Either way, it was hilarious to see an already mass-reported player get their public punishment right after crossing the line while a dev is monitoring the chat.