GW2: The Constructive Criticism Postscript to Raids

Ok, I lied. In the spirit of being positive, let’s not end on a downer note.

What are some viable things that Anet can do in the future to improve the GW2 raiding experience?

Personal DPS meters (with serious enforcement of bad behaviour/harassment of others)

Since we seem to be past the point where masking the numbers make sense, let’s have them shown to ourselves only, possibly only in specific places like raids, Heart of the Mists and/or a separate PvE testing area (perhaps in our guild halls.)

If that’s too much work, then a copychat command to save the combat log in text form will let third-parties construct parsers for it.

If a certain amount of exclusion is unavoidable, then let’s at least have them be based on objective fact, especially the actual practical dps you’re outputting in a raid environment, which can be very different from theoretical dps.

Any resultant swings in player favor of one class over another is then impetus for better overall class balance.

To stave off the bludgeoning of weaker players with a DPS meter and waving of e-peen around, Anet should commit to seriously enforcing reported verbal harassment, in a similar way that FF14 comes down on DPS meter reports in-game (it’s don’t ask, don’t tell there, apparently.)

You shouldn’t get punished for saying “Hey, Player X, your dps is insufficient for our group to finish this boss. Could you swap in skill/trait Y?” “Or sorry, until you get Z stats, we have to remove you from our raid group for now.”

But “lolfuking n00b, he only got 1k dps, boot his sorry ass” consistently over time ought to build up to a couple days’ suspension / time out for toxicity.

Dial Back Enrage Timers or Remove Them Entirely

Enrage timers reduce the pool of viable choices, reducing variety and options for players who might like to play certain classes or stats. Why punish group creativity if that particular guild is willing to accommodate certain players with a more novel group composition?

As mentioned to Ravious, a group of ten people in Nomad’s would still have trouble on certain boss mechanics of the Vale Guardian (lacking condition damage, controlling tank aggro would be hilarious) and already be imposing a time penalty on themselves by taking way way longer to clear a boss than other groups.

Players will naturally try to speed up over time. Dungeons have no enrage timer and competitive speed clearing was still very much a thing, with PUGs still insisting on zerker gear to clear at a “normal” acceptable speed.

Failing which, keep the over-tuning enthusiasm for the final bosses of each raid wing, and dial back on the first / earlier bosses so that players can at least have their learning and progress scaffolded a little more, rather than get immediately shut down on entry.

Being a little more lax on timing gives some leeway for latency, so that players around the world aren’t as disadvantaged or immediately excluded, instead of only limiting the raiding subset with the fortune to live near wherever the servers are hosted.

Institute a Wider Spread of Stepped Partial Consolation Prizes

Getting a few magnetite shards for getting the first boss past 50%, and other health milestones is a good first step, but the concept could still use more iteration.

I’ve mentioned the bronze/silver/gold suggestion from Reddit user Mireles before, and this would be nice in conjunction with dialed down enrage timers. Gold would be the current enrage limit (or silver, and make gold even more insane) and bronze would at least help to encourage all those groups who are hitting the current 5-10% health before wiping.

More Flexible Ways to Swap Gear without Clogging Inventory/Bags and Taking Too Much Time

I think this goes without saying, build saving / loading has been a constant wishlist item.

Ideals would be something akin to the current PvP design – once you have a piece of Ascended armor of a certain weight, rarity tier and stat spread, it’s unlocked for your account and you can swap into it at will.

A stopgap measure that at least solves The Rune/Sigil Switching Problem is to have a way to make upgrade extractors in-game and/or lower the gem price so that they aren’t insanely costly. Perhaps say, 10 silver a rune/sigil extraction?

Hell, make the upgrade extractor a permanent tool like the salvage-o-matics and charge 10 silver a pop for it.

Improved LFR tools

Stopgap measures would be swapping the text on dungeon tabs like another Reddit user suggested (whose link I don’t seem able to currently locate) so that the categories more accurately reflect current player interest.

Later improvements could be things like:

  • Making it easier for raid leaders to see and invite to squad (rather than their current workarounds of leaving squad, joining party, chatting, asking the person to squadjoin or come to the same map instance for a squad invite, whatever…)
  • Tools that let someone post an advertisement for a certain class and leave it up while logged on, while being able to log onto a second character to get other things done like map exploration or leveling. (Currently, it looks very awkward if you advertise as one class and people see you on another class altogether.)

Yes, the intent was for people to do raids as a set, organized group, but as we can already see, there’s always going to be floaters / mercenaries and groups that need one or two people to fill spots from time to time. (Especially with a ten-man hard limit.)

One may as well help the two parties to meet up a little better.

An Alternate Option for Legendary Insights

The best way to avoid accusations of “feeling forced” to do content is to provide an alternative. At least then the player has a choice of the lesser of two evils, even if he does not like either.

Several alternatives would, of course, be preferable.

Thoughts along this line would be things like:

  • Solo challenges on a Liadri and higher (8 orb Liadri, and even worse than Liadri) scale
  • Guild group WvW challenges on a similar scale (perhaps Yakslapper-like WvW league achievements that can be contributed to by guild members over time playing WvW, or hold X territory for however many hours, or whatever – and each player would have to meet a certain level of participation to qualify for the seasonal reward)
  • and/or making the Legendary Insights sellable/tradeable (depending on if it’s desirable to have Legendary armor be like old weapon legendaries or the new ones)

I think instituting some or all of the above would go quite a long ways to making the GW2 raid experience more palatable to more player types in the population.

Ok, now I’m done.