GW2: Endgame is Everything

Finally got story mode done on the warrior, after an uncountable number of exploration mode runs...

Scree from the Cynic Dialogues has a post-mortem up on why he lost interest in Guild Wars 2 after six months and couldn’t get back into the game despite repeated tries.

His main issues appear to be a foundational disagreement on how traits were designed in the game, and unhappiness with the speed of developer fixes and response.

Which I happen to agree are very good reasons for why one shouldn’t play a game that one dislikes.

I personally have foundational disagreements on how World of Warcraft raids are the be-all and end-all of anyone wanting to play their game in a hardcore manner (with item level and ever-increasing stats being so emphasized), and would probably go berserk trying to deal with pithy Ghostcrawler posts in between the drastic game changes that seem to happen with every WoW patch.

Nor can I really deal with the fundamentally Eve Online concept of paying a good $15-30 a month for the privilege of getting beat up while learning valuable lessons “to get better, for the future” for at least 2-3 months while you skill up, plan, plot, join organizations and eventually get good enough at the game to do well, earn sufficient isk to possibly pay for your account(s) and then proceed to beat on each other and any newbies who stray into your path in an endless political war of power and greed-mongering.

(Though from afar, I do like the episodic pace of change the Eve devs put out with every update.)

So I don’t play World of Warcraft.

Or Eve Online.

And Scree doesn’t play Guild Wars 2.

But I find his outlook on endgame most interesting. He’s not happy with games that don’t have a stated, defined plan for “the end game,” especially if the speed of tweaks to it are glacial to boot.

To him, GW2′s endgame is possibly WvW – which tends to spawn a myriad of similar complaints from primarily WvW players about the game type being ignored or new fixes that make things even worse.

Or it is dungeons and possibly the fractal dungeon which ramps all the way up to fractal level 50 with increasing stat difficulty and the need to grind for a particular Agony stat in order to qualify for higher leveled fractals. Except the rewards are mostly all cosmetic, which makes them optional, and this somehow grates on him.

To him, the endgame is everything.

If it’s not clearly stated and defined, and given substantially tempting rewards and focused developer attention, he loses interest. Fast.

On the other hand, here’s me, five level 80s and 408 days in (2,561 hours – the average is really kinda scary, all those weekends and waiting for Tequatl must have skewed it…) and still not bored.

I haven’t seriously played WvW in easily three months, nor have I visited a fractal dungeon for a long long time.

So what in the world have I been doing?

This week, I’ve been evolving a comfortable routine of trying to catch at least one Tequatl kill a day via the TTS guild, maybe two or three with other characters if I have the time.

Then I work on finishing up the daily with some easy extras for ~7-9AP, the daily reward laurel and that nice sense of checklist done easy satisfaction.

If there’s more time to spare after that, I pull up the LFG tool and see if I can get in on a few easy CoF p1 or P2 runs, or a definitely less easy TA new Aetherpath attempt (two more dungeon-related achievements to go).

scarletisastalker

Or if I’m feeling brave, some of the dungeons I’m less familiar with to become more habituated to them, and maybe even get one of my last few completely unfamiliar and undone paths finished on the way to the Dungeon Master achievement.

1-3 dungeons later, I am decidedly dungeoned out for the day.

(But several gold richer.)

I may pop into Southsun for twenty minutes peaceful farming with a magic find cupcake for incredibly incremental progress on T6 mats for a Legendary.

I definitely visit the Under New Management puzzle for empyreal fragments, and one weekend I visited Skipping Stones on a whim to discover that the Super Adventure Box had decidedly improved my jumping ability yet again.

Or I jump over to one of the Orr zones to run around in the most haphazard manner gathering resources and maybe stumbling across an orichalcum ore or ancient sapling as a bonus – it’s really just peaceful solo time.

Depending on my mood, over the last few weeks, I have also:

  • used a GW2 node website for more focused and targeted node gathering
  • gone to farm Champions in the Frostgorge loop
  • stopped by a world boss or two
  • visited and revisited some jumping puzzles new and old
  • made an attempt at map exploration on alts
  • tried to level up my mesmer further via lowbie zones and personal story
  • bought a new character slot
  • made a temporary necro to regain the skull mask I must have accidentally salvaged off my level 80 necro
  • experimented with various races of warriors while working towards accumulating Black Lion Keys

(By level 7, you can generally get the level 10 Personal Story done, then clean up character, getting a few lucks via salvaging along the way and delete.)

Plus, you get to see all the branching level 10 stories. Hot golemic love action!

Plus, you get to see all the branching level 10 stories. Hot golemic love action!

I also recently discovered that the Daily Activity Participation is rather fun and easy to do. Just talk to the NPC in Lion’s Arch, putz around for one game (and maybe even win it) and then exit one reward chest richer.

I’ve been deriving a certain satisfaction in accumulating and salvaging a ton of blues and greens from my Teq and dungeoneering and oh, Scarlet invasion efforts. Each day, my magic find slowly increments by 1-2% back towards the 180% I was used to previously, except now it’ll apply for the entire account.

I have yet to properly inventory and tidy up my bank and guild banks once more or figure out what kinds of stats I want on each character for Ascended armor and weapons and work towards those. My Artificer is only 465 on crafting, and nothing else has been incremented past 400.

In the past update before Tequatl Rising, my daily routine involved at least one visit of the Super Adventure Box for a round of bauble farming or an achievement or Tribulation Mode attempt.

And so on, following whatever was new per Living Story update.

In a way, this very comfortably harkens back to Guild Wars 1 for me.

There was so much lateral progression you pretty much had to pick and choose what you wanted to get done for the day, according to your own personal goals.

You could PvP with various formats. You could work on your story missions across four chapters till you were done. You could do it all over again in hard mode. Or do it yet again with books to keep track of your repeat progress and reward you. You could vanquish every zone. Or work on map exploring and scraping every last corner of the world. You could run the harder ‘dungeon’-like zones Fissure of Woe, the Underworld, Domain of Anguish with a group or solo with your own heroes. Or follow the Zaishen ‘daily’ and do the highlighted goals. And lots more besides.

The Hall of Monuments worked as a sort of focused vertical progression ‘endgame’ where you could do a whole bunch of lateral activities but gradually increment that final number.

In GW2, ArenaNet points and achievements appear to be a method of coming close to that idea.

I’m a dabbler. I putz around casually a lot, hoard a ton of stuff that may never ever get used, pick a goal at random from a big list and work towards that for a while, then find something else to do.

The cool thing is that everything I choose to do, benefits me and my account in the end, somehow, someway.

Other players, I am sure, do this very differently.

Some spend all their days in WvW, zerging or roaming as their interest takes them. Some fixate on a Legendary they want and single-mindedly work towards that. Some chase dragons, or world bosses, or champions all day long. Some are happy just perfecting the cosmetic look they desire for their characters. Or creating the world’s largest collection of alts, or miniatures, or what-have-you.

For instance, one of my guild leaders seems to be quite a PvP fan, and half the time, I see him on one sPvP map or another. The other half he seems to spend running guild events (which include WvW) and missions and maybe taking some time out to PvE and follow the Living Story.

Another of my guild leaders has 15k ArenaNet Points and still counting. so guess where his focus must be.

The leader of the TTS guild I joined appears to be enjoying himself spending nearly all his time online in Sparkfly Fen organizing one kill after another, and wrangling six (yes, it’s now six) guilds with all the attendant leadership and administration challenges that must follow.

And of course, some content themselves hanging out in Lion’s Arch, or just finishing their dailies, or wandering the open world or roleplaying with a guild.

In Guild Wars 1 -and- 2, the endgame is literally -everything-.

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9 thoughts on “GW2: Endgame is Everything

  1. lothirieth says:

    We seem to often have some interesting similarities. I too recently visited Skipping Stones and found SAB had drastically improved my jumping. :D

  2. João Carlos says:

    “In Guild Wars 1 -and- 2, the endgame is literally -everything-.”

    I can be wrong, but I think they promised it at that manifesto video: the endgame will be everything…

  3. craigschupp says:

    Because “Everything” isn’t vague at all (nor is possible to hold them to it). We’ve never seen a game provide for unlimited content before, the closest being EVE (though as you wisely pointed out its not exactly massively appealing).

    I have a crafted reply, because I KNEW a reply to my post would get a response just like yours. However, I’m going to save it for a reply article ;>

    Also just a headsup that I’ll be likely putting up the final touches on a system that will auto-include a major callout to sites that reply to my articles on MY front page. I’ll let you know when that goes out.

  4. lothirieth says:

    A better reply now that I have time: I’ve found myself becoming bored with GW2. All the stuff that you mention.. I’ve been doing that. I did it all to grind myself out a Legendary and I was grinding for the second one. I only have 3 level 80s.

    There’s several reasons for my boredom.. or also it’s burnout. One is not enough things to do with my friends that I’ve not already done loads of. After a year, my friends and I would be awaiting a new raid in another game, one that took us a few months to clear.

    Two is the temporary content. I like being a completionist but ANet is making that hard and stressful as I must do it on their time. I really loathe dailies now. Dailies get old in other games but those tend to be for a reputation faction or something I’ll eventually cap.. unlike ANets achievement points. I’ve had to force myself to stop caring about them, but I’ve not been completely successful at that. It still bothers me I’m missing out on APs that I can never get again.

    Three would be not a very good horizontal progression. Time-gated APs and uber expensive skins is about all we have to work for. I’d work for ascended stuff but the sheer cost of crafting to 500 really aggravates me… which leads me to number four..

    Money being tied to nearly everything. I wish we could just straight up earn more stuff rather grinding money to buy it. It’s not feasible to grind T6 fine materials, or cores or lodestones or x rare skin drop. I’m sick of grinding money.

    It’s still a beautiful game and I love the combat. But I’ve been finding that I’ve needed to take a step back from the game… which sucks as I have no other group game to play. Lotro’s jumping or really has jumped the shark but will be getting worse and I don’t know if I have the energy to start another one up again like Rift. I always have the desire to get the most uber gear in every game I play rather than just be a casual, yet I’m so burned out on the grinding. :P

  5. Ravious says:

    I like this post. So many small bites. It’s a tapas MMO.

  6. j3w3l says:

    Yes, I the endgame really is everything and that’s why I original loved it so much but I think the scope of the project was just too large in the end.

    The end game needs to evolve and be updated enough that it provides growth to players. If the end game is everything then there are a lot of areas that aren’t growing and I think this is where the game fell short for me.

    It was an impossible task improving all the content and play styles. We get rather simplistic dungeons instead of experiences to delve into, we get an spvp mode that barely evolves in terms of balancing or adding new stats, we get wvw where.. Well…, we get a limited amount of outfits to work towards in a meaningful way, no new weapon types or skills or classes or races for the alt enthusiasts, limited new areas for the explorers, crafting that is more about independence then a part of the economy.

    There are also so many systems now that actively harm the thought of end game being everything. Town clothes and transmutation, a plethora of useless currencies and materials, temporary and fast cycling content, character bound mechanics, ascended freaking gear. I just.. Hmm.

    Going by the amount of updates, end game is now more about collecting money like lothierith says and gaining ascended pieces and the new events seem to revolve around that. It’s just no longer the end game I imagined but I understand that was just wishful thinking.

  7. […] I received a reply from Jeromai at Why I Game. The premise of his article was surprisingly mature and responsive and didn’t at all read […]

  8. coppertopper says:

    This:
    “Three would be not a very good horizontal progression”

    And this:
    “Money being tied to nearly everything”

    Also the fact that the only excitement with loot drops is if you get a named or precursor, since Anet made crafting a waste of money due to too many materials on the market making finished goods worth nothing.

  9. […] words that started with a deconstruction of GW2′s failures went to what exactly constitutes end game and then predominance of repetition. Pick a side and swing a punch or two as […]

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