Criticizing Guild Wars 2

DISCLAIMER: If you want to criticize my post, feel free to do so (constructively, of course). However, if you want to do so, please READ it. Especially point 4 and its subject line: I complain about their marketing strategy. I do NOT complain about the skimpy armor. I even say so in the text. Read it, then complain about the actual content and not about what you THINK I wrote. Thank you. :)

First things first, as a regular or even casual reader of our blog, you’re well aware of the fact that I’m a huge fan of the game. But let’s be honest: the game isn’t perfect and I know it never will be a perfect game. Why? Several reasons. For one, no game is ever perfect. They’re too complex to get them bug-free and especially MMORPGs evolve and get content added, mechanics changed, etc. All of that means plenty of risks for adding new bugs. But even when not looking at bugs, there just can’t be a perfect game out there simply because there are too many players who all like and dislike different aspects. Some won’t accept a game without PVP in every region, others need their weekly raid evenings, and so on. That means that we will always have people argue about a game and its (lack of) perfection. And it also means that the probability of a game company developing a game in exactly the way that I want is very slim/non-existing.

Guild Wars 2 is still in beta, so bugs are to be expected. In general, I am always very careful when criticizing games in beta. It is a work in progress, after all, and I wouldn’t want to hurt a game’s – and company’s – reputation by writing something too negative about the game before it’s even been released. On the other hand, if we never speak up and say what we dislike, how are the developers supposed to know what the players think of something? There’s a reason companies have beta tests and ask for feedback.

Having said all that (should my intros be shorter, I wonder…), I’m now going to list a few things about Guild Wars 2 that I know will annoy me – more or less strongly – and that will probably make the game less perfect for me – but not “bad”! That’s a big and important difference.

1) Mystic Chests
Syp over at Massively wrote a good piece about lockboxes in MMOs. To be honest, I was shocked when I saw my first lockbox in Guild Wars 2. I’ve always found it cheap when games had those and it was disappointing to see it appear in this game. While there may not be any “advantage” in there, I still think it’s a terrible way to earn money. What annoys me is the whole gambling part: You never know if spending money on yet another key will result in you getting that special item from the lockbox.

If you ask me, it’s abusing a weakness of us humans when it comes to calculating probabilities. Some spend 50 times 1 dollar trying to get a specific reward and end up empty-handed instead of just buying it for 35 dollars, for example… mostly because there is the probability (albeit a very, very low one) that they might get it on their first try and end up having spent only 1 dollar. And then they spend another dollar, and another and another and at some point, they think that now they have to finally get it, right? And they have already invested so much money that quitting would mean they have simply lost their investment without earning anything.

Bookahnerk has also found an interesting comment about this system on Reddit, where a poster mentioned Lunia and that in this game, you drop keys and need to buy the boxes from the shop. It sounds less tempting this way. After all, you don’t have the “item” wrapped in a box in your inventory already. You only have a key. And if you ever feel like getting a box to use this key, it’s fine. And if not, no harm done because there’s no item rotting in your inventory, just a key. Yes, I’m aware of the fact that it’s technically exactly the same thing. But the perception is a different one. And I’m pretty certain that there’d be less temptation to buy boxes whereas if you have lockboxes drop in your game, your players will probably buy more keys from the shop than they would buy boxes for the dropped keys. We’re curious and can’t calculate probabilities correctly (well, I’m sure a lot of people can but from personal experience, I’d say that this is the minority). In other words: It’s an easy way to earn money. But from where I stand, it’s cheap and dirty.

However, this is me criticizing something I haven’t seen the full scope of so far. We do not yet know enough about what will be in the lockboxes (exclusive items or not), if they will have keys drop in the game, if the lockboxes have a (e.g.) 90% chance of including another key (I think I read somewhere that a player found a key inside together with an item), if we’ll be able to sell the items we find in the lockboxes, etc. I’m just saying I really dislike this general concept, but I am curious how they will handle it specifically.

2) Voice of female norn

Norn are supposed to be really tall. And with that, naturally, comes a deeper voice than we would expect from the average human. If I hear the voice without looking at the screen, it fits and it sounds like a wonderful choice, but once I see the norn’s doll-like face, I’m not so sure anymore. It just doesn’t fit to hear her with such a low voice. But maybe this isn’t a problem with the voice at all but rather with the next point…

3) Idealized female characters

I’ve mentioned it before, to which Kadomi had reacted as well. ArenaNet’s stance can be found in this interview:

Univers-Virtuels: So, at the moment the humans are very young and it’s not possible to make it older as a character, or it will be possible to turn off the make up for woman?
Kristen: I’m not sure, we have some variety in there, but largely we want an idealized beautiful base face, so I think the humans are probably going to remain within a certain spectrum.”

I was happy to see that they have added one face that makes the character look a bit older. Then you can further customize it by changing the look of the nose, mouth, chin, etc. But that is only for the human and it’s only one face. The others still have that certain doll-like look. It’s especially annoying for norn because they’re tough! It seems weird to have them appear with a doll-face. I also don’t like the sound of “idealized beautiful base face”. Yes, this idealization is what we’re seeing in women’s magazines every day. This is what’s called one of the reasons for the rise of eating disorders (in women and men)… I understand that they want to add beautiful faces. I would assume that more people choose those faces than faces that the general public wouldn’t call “pretty”, “beautiful” or something like that. I just do not get why they refuse to add some more regular faces. Especially as the question above was aiming at faces “without that much make-up”. Either way, I will go for the regular face they have added because I find it more believable (ah yes, I know we’re in a fantasy setting, so theoretically everything is possible and thus, believable. But still…). On the other hand, we can see that you can go for some extremes when creating your characters. I’m not sure they would call the nose that you can see in the screenshot “idealized beauty”. But at least, we can reenact Cyrano de Bergerac. ;)

I will most likely play asura and charr as my main characters, so it won’t bother me that much. And I do like having a pretty doll character – but I would really love to have more variety. What is the harm in having an older face (one with wrinkles or just more defined facial features)? After all, they are in the game for the male characters. They have added one face for the female humans, though. So there is still hope we could maybe see something like that for the norn as well. Something that makes them more equal to the choices we have for male characters.

4) Armor and ArenaNet’s marketing strategy

As mentioned above, Kadomi wrote about the faces but in the same entry, she also addresses the “armor issue” which goes hand in hand with the idealized faces (and she says it much better than I will here, so if you’re interested in this topic, go read her blog post about it). Why do they present the female characters in suspenders? A word, by the way, that I only learned now thanks to Guild Wars 2 – that is, the English term for it, of course. What does it tell you about a game that teaches me the English terms of “sexy underwear” (“Reizwäsche” in German, by the way… in case you were wondering). I’m not happy with them presenting this as the typical clothing for some of their classes (mesmer and elementalist most of all) as this is what the characters look like when creating them.

After playing for a bit, I did get to see cloth armor that wasn’t as revealing and they have a system in place that makes it possible for me to merge the better stats of an item onto a piece of clothing that I like. So I’m not annoyed that they have revealing armor in the game. I am annoyed, however, that they presented us only this sexy underwear as armor. And even though there was a large outcry (not just from me, I might add!) in their fanbase, they did not add pictures of different armor in order to show us that when they said we would have choices, they didn’t just mean “a choice between a bra or bikini top”.

5) No scenery screenshots
This is something that makes me grind my teeth and scratch my head. I just don’t get this decision at all. ArenaNet doesn’t want us to take screenshots of the scenery without featuring our own character because they want us to get attached to our character. I love looking at screenshots of the game’s world but I am not interested in looking at some person’s character at the same time. This doesn’t interest me at all. Also, I do get attached to my character and if I want to take a screenshot of “me in Lion’s Arch”, I will do so. But if I want to take a screenshot of “this nice windmill”, then please let me do that without having “me in front of this nice windmill that you can’t see because my dear character is blocking the view”. There is a workaround, by the way. You can either /sleep or /sit and then work with the camera angle to get a screenshot without your character on it. I used /sit for my screenshots and unfortunately, my charr’s horns can be seen in a few of them. Oh well. Most of the time, it works just fine but why do we have to resort to such a workaround in the first place? Guild Wars 1 allowed us to zoom in and I haven’t heard anybody complain about the game and its design because we can do that.

While this workaround is fine for taking screenshots, video makers need to ability to move around without having their own character centered all the time. Machinimas probably won’t work in Guild Wars 2 and that’s just really, really sad if you ask me. There’s a not too old discussion about this on GuildWars2Guru.

And that’s it for today. All in all, it’s not a “list of things gone horribly wrong” or something like that. It’s just some things that bug me and that I wanted to get out of my system. I have to say, however, that the inability of taking screenshots or making videos without having my character in the center is the biggest issue I have here. The other parts probably won’t spoil my general fun in the game (especially the marketing – who cares about that in a year, right?) but taking pretty screenshots is what I really enjoy. I have a ton of screenshots from all sorts of MMOs I’ve ever played or tried out stored on an external hard drive and I’ve taken 640 screenshots in Guild Wars 2 so far and that was after only playing for 4 days! And most of those screenshots are from Lion’s Arch… I can’t wait for doing the same in Hoelbrak, Divinity’s Reach, Black Citadel,… (but next time, I will choose a character without horns! Asura would be perfect… *hint*)

37 responses to “Criticizing Guild Wars 2

  1. 1) During the first BWE I spent most of the Gems they gave us on keys just to see what was in them. I got 3 item stacks each time. The first was a stack of 3 tonics, although fun they are complete cosmetic, some people are going to love them, some like me me use them if I get them for fun but never seek them out and still others are going to ignore them. But no advantage. Second was a boosts of some sort. Either XP, Karma, Magical find whatever. Everyone of these were just as easy to get in the store. Now the 3rd item was an item which either a high level harvest tool, perfect salvage kit, Instant repair item or another key. Of them all the item was nice but at the same time nothing that I could not get either form the store or buy from a merchant…or at least I think I saw a perfect salvage kit.

    So what I am saying is although I don’t really care for the chest I don’t think they hold anything that you have to have. If I get a key in the course of the game I will use it, other wise I will sale my chests in the AH.

    2) Didn’t play a norn so have no comment

    3) Yea I agree

    4) Although I agree that for the most part starting caster armor for females is skimpy, at least it is not the only choice. I think I saw more casters in more “normal” clothing then I saw in sleep wear armor after about level 7 or 8

    5) I am still on the fence with this one it may take a little more time before I get to miss being able to take a SS without seeing me

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    • I’m most worried about there being “great items” that you can only get from such a lockbox but it has a 0.01% drop chance. I just prefer knowing exactly what I get for my money. But I guess we’ll just have to see where they’re going with it. And they did say that the stuff they’re selling in their shop can still change, so I’ll wait and see. :)

      About the “normal clothing”: I guess that’s because the default look of the items you drop around that level is more regular-looking. And I guess not too many people used the transmutation stones yet. But that’s not my point. I’m just annoyed that when they showed off their armor pieces, it was only with revealing cloth items and even though people asked for those non-revealing pieces, none were shown by ArenaNet.

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  2. I think you mean “garters,” not “suspenders”… The latter are what hold up trousers and go over the shoulders, the former are what hold up stockings and can be considered “underthings.”

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    • Funny. I saw “suspenders” used by somebody else and looked it up in LEO (online dictionary). Aaaah. Just looked it up again: British for “Strapse” (which is the German word for that lingerie thing and nothing else… ^^).

      Here is the entry.

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      • No. That’s not “Strapse”. It’s “Hosenträger”.

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        • http://dict.leo.org/?lp=ende&search=suspenders

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspenders = (…)are fabric or leather straps worn over the shoulders to hold up trousers. (…) In British English the term suspenders or suspender belt refers to a garment used to hold up stockings, what in American English is called a garter belt.

          In other words: You’re wrong here UNLESS you want to tell me that American English is the ONLY kind of English that exists. Now, please go away.

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          • I sincerely apologize if I somehow offended you in a way that warranted your hostile reply. Yet, when I look at the possible interpretation of words, I tend to go with the most common interpretation. Even in BE, “suspenders” isn’t always as clear as you make it out to be. But yes, in the light of your original article you might be right; I might have forgotten that portion of the text when I scrolled through the comments. Again, I am sorry if I wasted your time.

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          • I just found it hostile from you to add this comment to my comment in which I had explained where I got the word from and why I used this one instead of the AE one. So, that seemed to be offensive from your part and then, yes, I did get defensive… maybe a bit too much. Sorry about that.

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          • Token Brit

            In BE, yes it is, the other things are braces

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  3. I too have never been a fan of lockboxes, since they take up inventory space and it just sits there until you can spend money on a key. The good side to GW2 way is that you can acquire a key as a random drop but, I still like the other method of attaining keys and buying the boxes. Overall an easy way to make money.

    I love the idealized look of men and women in games but, I agree there needs to be some diversity. Similar to the way Kristen addressed the “Skimpy” armor look of women in games, the same should be said for looks. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that but there should be some face options that people think of as everyday faces.

    You spoke of the Norn in this instance and I recall a face that was clawed up and looked a bit more masculine that would match the rough female voice albeit it was a bit over the top. A step in a the right direction would be to add scars or something in the character creator. It would still be a doll-face but a scratched up doll-face! :D

    Speaking to the armor bit, it would be nice to add additional options in the character creator to show various outfits such as in, Tera and Aion.

    In the end the game is going in the right direction in my ends since in the end, the worse we can complain about is lockboxes, art direction and a lack of First Person camera. Or perhaps we’re still fanboys in the end no matter what we do ^^

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    • I’d like to know how often those keys are supposed to drop but it is reassuring to hear that they do drop. So far in beta, I’ve thrown away all lockboxes.

      There are more regular outfits in GW2. So I’m not concerned about my mesmer and her look (also, she’ll be an asura and from what I’ve seen so far, they’re not showing their non-existant cleavage). But that’s not what they have shown us whenever they showed us screenshots or concept art of the cloth armor in game. All human and norn women wore skimpy cloth armor. I would have loved to see something different, especially as players were asking if it even exists.

      I definitely need to dig through character creation videos now as I don’t remember such a face. I loved being able to have scars on my characters in Warhammer Online. It was a rough world there and it just seemed very fitting to have scars. It would also work well in Guild Wars 2. I like having pretty characters but I also like having characters that look like they’ve been through a lot already.

      And you’re right. We aren’t complaining about how the game isn’t working, how it’s full of bugs and how it shouldn’t be released for another year, at least, in order to get rid of all the problems and issues. We’re not arguing whether it was the biggest mistake ever to use this specific graphic engine and how it will never work with the game they made, etc. I’ve seen it all in other MMOs before they were released and shortly after and I’m glad this isn’t the case with Guild Wars 2. :)

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  4. I got some of those boxes during the beta weekend but thought the keys were sold by some NPC in the game for in-game money. If we need to buy the keys with real money then I am disappointed in Arena Net. That kind of thing is pretty much gambling in another form and that is not something I like the idea of.

    The issue with screenshots also annoy me and hopefully they will change it. After all there is absolutely no technical issue for not allowing us to hide our characters in the screenshots. I can’t see any design decision to not allow it either. It simply doesn’t make sense!

    As for other point they don’t bother me much…. I guess it is because I already got used to much, much worse games. *coughs*Lineage2*coughs*. But I can see how it would bother people and I agree diversity would makes things more interesting. I will even go out on a limb here and say to give a look at Skyrim. There are plenty of women there with practical clothing and armor that not only look cool but they have a certain attractiveness in a warrior-like way. I would say mage-way too but I didn’t spend too much time with the mages yet. :p

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    • I have to say that my expectations with ArenaNet are a LOT higher than, say, expectations I’d have about a game by the makers of TERA (I forgot their name… BlueByte?). So, of course, they have to suffer from me being grumpy here and complaining. ;)

      Gambling is something I do not and cannot approve of and yes, it is basically gambling. Although they can make it ‘alright’ by having the keys drop in the game.

      They said that they want you to get attached to your character and that’s why there is no first person view, which also means that you cannot zoom in to take those screenshots. I can’t find the source anymore but it was mentioned in the linked Guru thread. I have to say, I don’t believe them. It sounds like a weird reason. At least, I can’t remember any MMO where people said: If only I could get attached to my character. Alas, there is first person view and that makes it impossible! ;)

      As I said, I’m not so much bothered about the armor per se. I’m more bothered by them promoting their game with the revealing armor but not showing off the non-revealing armor when players were all up in arms about those clothing items.

      My favourite outfit in classic WoW was some black leather outfit. Totally non-revealing but very tight. It doesn’t always have to show cleavage and flesh to be sexy. ;)

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      • I don’t remember the name of the makers of Tera but I can see why you hold ArenaNet to higher standards. Even though it took me forever to actually go out and buy Guild Wars, I always felt they were type of people who will do their own thing and do it for very pragmatic reasons. That is also the feeling I am getting with most of the Guild Wars 2 design too. So the things you point out does seem to clash with that kind of philosophy.

        Ah, yes! I remember you mentioning before that was their reasoning for the lack of first person view for screenshots! And indeed, it still doesn’t make any sense. Again, to use Bethesda’s games as an example, they are all FPSes, yet I always grew found of my characters there because of what they could do and my decisions in the game. Lack of a decent 3rd person view never made that any harder than in any other game.

        Ok. I think I get it now. If not, please pardon me as I can be rather dumb some times. If that is the case this will be the last thing I will say on the topic here.

        You don’t like it because you feel the marketing (and the character creation screen) only shows one side of the clothing options. When there is a lot more diversity of clothing items that could be interesting not only to see but also to even look forward to acquire as the game is released.

        Kinda like if the marketing team only showed screenshots and info of Mesmers, Elementalists and Necromancers. Then if someone who just stumbled on Guild Wars 2 would think you can only play the game with mage-like classes. When in reality there are far more diversity in terms of classes and playstyles.

        If so, I am still in agreement with you. And apologies for not having commented that from the beginning. Like I said, I can be rather slow of thinking. :x

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    • you can buy them with ingame money (people will sell gems on the auction house) You can also find them as random drops and quest rewards (sometimes they are even in the chests)

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      • I know about the gems part. And even if the items are non essential or that you can get the keys as random drops it still bothers me. Simply because there can still be real money involved with it, even if indirectly. And there is no way to guarantee what item you will be getting out of it. If there was no real money transactions involved *at all* I wouldn’t mind it.

        Now, that doesn’t mean I am against RMT. I will even buy fluffy stuff if I think the item is cool and the price is right. The only reason this bothers me is because, again, there is no way of knowing exactly what we’ll get out of it. It might be an item that is useful to the player who bought it or it might be something crap that even the NPC won’t buy. That is just too much risk to have real money involved with to my tastes.

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  5. I think it’s worth noting that keys for Mystic Chests would also drop randomly from mobs, so you technically don’t _need_ to buy them. I believe they can also be sold on the Auction House… I mean, the marketplace (what is it with ArenaNet and different names for no purpose?).

    That was a great post, and it’s something more people should do. It’s good to keep it cool and remember that games have down sides, even when we’re absolutely stoked about them.

    I might write a post about it as well, I do have my own personal grudges about GW2. :)

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    • It’s also important to note that this is what I find negative about the game. It’s neither a “complete list” for me nor does it count for every single player out there (as some people on other websites where this blog post was linked to may infer… ^^).

      I have seen several people mention the keys and that they drop. I have seen several lockboxes drop but I have not seen a single key drop. I believe people when they say that keys dropped but… of course, there are more lockboxes than keys and for me, this may still come down to a gambling aspect (unless one key is enough because lockboxes give you a high chance of having yet another key within them – but that remains to be seen). In general, I just don’t like the concept of having something that you can spend money on without knowing what you will get. I prefer to spend money on stuff knowing exactly what I’ll get. ;)

      I’d love to see your negative thoughts about GW2 (not saying it’s a bad game but I’m interested in your opinion)! I’m sure there are a ton of things people find bad/annoying. As I said, they’re different for everybody. ;)

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  6. ANet showed the different options for armor way back when in a blog post about armor in which they also addressed the sexy armor issue. They did seem to have the less revealing armor as the starting set in previous press betas so I’m not sure why they changed it. I don’t mind it for humans, but it was not very norn-ish and if they want to subvert the “norns are just tall humans” attitude, it would help if the starting armor was more reflective of norn culture. The other races had different versions of the starting armor, so I’m not sure why the norn were identical.

    There is somewhat of a disconnect between some of the norn faces and the speaking voice but it’s nothing compared to the female charr. The speaking voice is okay, but they sound like guys when they fight.

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    • Hmm… I know they showed different armor for medium and heavy armor. I just don’t remember screenshots for light armor (without the revealing items).

      I probably should have made it clearer, though, that I do not mind having the skimpy armor in the game. On the contrary, it’s nice to look at! But I do mind them marketing with the armor without telling those who were concerned that, of course, there’s non-revealing armor if you choose and featuring those items. I remember seeing several bloggers upset etc. and it’s just sad that they didn’t react to that part.

      If I remember the lore-part correctly, then it makes sense for norn to not wear much armor. Much more sense than for humans. But all in all, they do look quite similar.

      I actually love the voice that female charr have. My concern was that their breathing sounds were horrible. It sounded like Darth Vader to me which I’d mentioned to Stéphane LoPresti when he asked how I liked the game… but he said that more people complained about that and ever since the BWE, it’s not been in the game anymore. In general, I like that they sound really, really tough. Maybe even male. But they’re strong fighters, so why not? I admit that I didn’t pay that much attention to how “deeper” the voice sounds during combat than during regular speaking… I’ll have to pay more attention when the next BWE starts. :)

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      • Oh, I’ve always told people we should be lucky the norn wear anything at all. They are norn, they don’t need armor. It’s more the frilly “foofoo”ness of the armor than the amount of flesh showing that’s out of character. The female norn may as well be sipping a cosmo than chugging ale.

        I think ANet’s thinking on the armor was probably along the lines “we already talked about this” but they have only themselves to blame for making the very first thing players see/wear the skimpier attire. After all, not everyone who played has seen or remembered their stance on armor.

        As for charr, it’s very much a (different) male voice grunting in combat than the speaking voice, possibly even the same grunts used for the male. If it was the same voice all the way through, I wouldn’t notice but it was such an obvious contrast between the speaking voice and the grunting voice that I didn’t even realize the grunts were coming from my character at first.

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  7. I don’t see an issue with the mystic chests, they seem to be nothing like the TF crates, that have rare items and such inside. The Mystic Chests only contain tonics, a boost, and/or a salvage kit/harvesting item, nothing game breaking at all as anyone can get the items inside (minus the tonics) by other means.

    On the skimpy outfit issue, there are tons of different cosmetic armor (skimpy/conservative) choices and with transmutation stones you are not restricted to wear those which show off too much skin.

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    • I am going to quote what I wrote up there. I’m really wondering why people complain about me complaining about skimpy armor itself when that’s exactly what I’m NOT doing:

      “After playing for a bit, I did get to see cloth armor that wasn’t as revealing and they have a system in place that makes it possible for me to merge the better stats of an item onto a piece of clothing that I like. So I’m not annoyed that they have revealing armor in the game.”

      See?

      A) I found there’s non-revealing armor
      B) I mention the system with the transmutation stones
      C) I say ” So I’m not annoyed that they have revealing armor in the game.”

      My problem is something completely different and that’s what people seem to miss… though I have no idea why because I thought I made myself clear in the above paragraph:

      I am annoyed, however, that they presented us only this sexy underwear as armor. And even though there was a large outcry (not just from me, I might add!) in their fanbase, they did not add pictures of different armor in order to show us that when they said we would have choices, they didn’t just mean “a choice between a bra or bikini top”.

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  8. I simply must respond to the mystic chest complaint.
    Chests give random items from the cash shop so if you don’t like gambling just buy the item instead. It does not give any rare equipment/loot type items from the game.

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    • I haven’t found a posting by ArenaNet (not saying it doesn’t exist, just saying I haven’t been able to find one) where they said that there’s nothing exclusive in there and that they’re not going to add exclusive items. So that’s what I’m worried about – while saying that yes, we do not know, so I’m not bashing them but simply state that I’m skeptical about systems like this.

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      • I did open a couple of mystic chests using looted keys, and I can confirm what Everett mentioned. These chests usually have tonics to transform you into an animal (unable to fight while transformed), one or more boosts for limited-time bonus to experience, crafting, magic find, etc, and some other items of minor importance like salvage kits and other mystic keys.

        Doesn’t mean that they won’t ever include gear there, but for now there’s very little reason to expect anything beyond minor buffs from them. I don’t see a reason why anyone would pay cash on chests or keys.

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  9. Pingback: Guild Wars 2: The Bad | Kemwer Game Blog

  10. One day aftter the post and already ~30 comments?!? Definitely kicked an ant nest here!
    lol
    #1: I share your low opinion of all things “cash shop” that require players to pay real money for random chances at random loot. It’s not just gambling… it’s obscene. The fact that nothing in the mystic chests is “game breaking” or “unbalancing” is completely beside the point, and immaterial to the debate. The issue is RMT for RNG pixels, and that represents the absolute worst of MT cash shop abuses. The fact that players actually spend money on anything like this is simply mind-boggling. It honestly shouldn’t even be an issue because it should be failing so spectacularly that the DEVs just pull it from the game due a completely inability to generate any income from it at all. Any player that spends real money on this should be ashamed of themselves, and this sort of crap should actually be illegal for DEVs to even try.

    On a related topic; as bad as “pixel gambling” for real money is in the case of the mystic chest keys, it pales in comparison to the dye packs! If a change is not made to the absurd system currently in place where players are being asked to pay real money for RNG chance of getting the dyes colors they are looking for it will be an abomination that will stain an otherwise benign cash shop, and will steadily erode the goodwill of the player population the longer it is left in.

    It’s BS like this that always made me avoid games with MTs like they were carriers of the plague, and I will be deeply disappointed with ArenaNet if they don’t step away from this abussive crap prior to launch. IT DOES NOT MATTER if it’s only cosmetic if you step over the line towards “rob them blind” RNG gambling like this. If players need to pay real money just so they can get the dye colors they want, I may not like it, it may feel a bit “too much” to me, but I could at least accept it if the player ACTUALLY GETS WHAT THEY ARE PAYING FOR, and not just a “chance” to “maybe” get what they’re looking for, which is entirely unacceptable.

    I read the rest of your post… honestly… but none of the other issues you brought up could even hold the door open for the BEAST that is RMT gambling. If this is a negotiation tactic on the part of ArenaNet it’s GOING TO WORK. Simply remove the RMT gambling and most players (with any common sense at all) will be so happy that they will be ten times more likely to accept whatever other agenda you want to push through.

    RMT Gambling = Developer GREED and desperation.

    I’ve always heard ArenaNet DEVs talking about how they are satisfied with the income generated by selling content and options to players that the players feel is worthy of the investment… what changed? I can’t be the only player who was already planning on spending money in the cash shop for character slots, and inventory space, and then cosmetic non-sense afterwards just so I could continue to vote for this game with my wallet. I would be happy to use the cash shop, even for cosmetic stuff I won’t even bother using, but not if they’re going to include this RMT gambling abussive crap. It’s an insult to me that it’s even there, and it should be an insult to every single player who sees it.

    ArenaNet should have the common decency to not treat their players as if they were complete morons… even if they are. (And make no mistake about it… this isn’t just a “personal preference” issue… if you participate in RMT gambling for pixels and support it with your funds, you ARE a complete f***ing moron. At least have the common f***ing sense to GET WHAT YOU’RE PAYING FOR, even if it is just pixels.)

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  11. I totally agree with the lockbox thing. I have a feeling that they got the idea from the Man Co. Crates in Team Fortress 2, given that that sPvP system is obviously inspired by TF2 as well i don’t think it’s too big of a stretch to make that connection. But I think there’s some things that can be learned from TF2’s system.

    First and foremost I HATE IT. I 100% agree with you that getting an open world loot drop that takes up your bag space but you cant actually access is totally retarded. The improvement though over the Mystic Chest is that the TF2 crates have series numbers and different series crates have different loot tables, so at least you have a marginal idea of what item you might have a chance of getting. Duly noted the % chance of you getting something of actual value is exceptionally low but at least you know what you’re buying a key for. The interesting thing that this caused is that over time certain crate series gained exceptionally high trade values because of their unique loot tables so this created an interesting trading system that people would actually keep the crates with no intention of opening them for the sole intention of using them as trade collateral for actual items. At least you can auction off the mystic chests so even if you have no intention of ever buying any keys you could, in theory, sell a bunch of chests and then trade the gold you get for gems, buy some keys and open a chest or two. That seems like a really roundabout way of getting items out of your chests but they drop so damn frequently it does seem like a good thing to at least think about.

    As for the armor I agree with you to an extent. On one hand I do think there are some armor sets that could definitely use a little more armor, but on the other if you compare GW2 to any number of Korean games I’d definitely say that the characters in GW2 are more than covered up. The only gear that I’ve seen to really say “yeah that’s somewhat skimpy” is the starter caster gear, and even that isn’t really all that bad. Yeah it’s skimpy but at least it’s tasteful. It’s not stripper garments. The other thing we have to consider is that we’ve only seen gear up to around level 30, so there’s another 50 levels worth of gear that we have left to see. Sure there might be a few pieces of gear that are a little less than really armor, but this is a stylized fantasy RPG, so that’s kind of expected.

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    • A lot of people seem to miss the point of the paragraph about the armor:
      “So I’m not annoyed that they have revealing armor in the game.”

      “I am annoyed, however, that they presented us only this sexy underwear as armor. And even though there was a large outcry (not just from me, I might add!) in their fanbase, they did not add pictures of different armor in order to show us that when they said we would have choices, they didn’t just mean “a choice between a bra or bikini top.”

      It’s about the marketing. They said we’d have choices but then they only showed the sexy cloth armor. Now that we’re in the game, we can see for ourselves that there is other armor. But why did they hop on the “sex sells” marketing train? ;)

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  12. Pingback: A discussion about sexism in Guild Wars 2 | A Division by Zer0

  13. Pingback: GWOnline.Net » Guild Wars 2 Weekly

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