Yesterday, ArenaNet unveiled their plans for the Lost Shore content update coming this weekend, which sparked some cries of panic from the fans of Guild Wars 2.  Among the new dungeon mode, PvP map, and one-time special events was a section explaining that a new type of item called Ascended would be introduced.  The banshee wails and doomsayer rants commenced at the mention that these Ascended items would be slightly more powerful than the current best Exotic items.  ArenaNet’s Linsey Murdock has responded with a lengthy article detailing the new gear with the hope of assuaging some of the fears.

mmorpg guild wars 2 mmorpg     Gear Progression In Guild Wars 2?

The article starts out by explaining why they felt the need to add a new level of gear stating, “We designed the process of getting Legendary gear to be a long term goal, but players were ready to start on that path much sooner than we expected and were becoming frustrated with a lack of personal progression.”  I’m surprised that ArenaNet wasn’t expecting this given the voracious appetites of MMO gamers.  There should be a rule where all game designers should predict the rate that players will consume content and then cut their projection in half…twice.

The fact is, however, that there currently is a gap between Exotic items—which most casual players can reasonably acquire—and Legendaries—which only the most hardcore players can even dream about getting.  Hence the need for a new item type emerged.

ArenaNet realizes that gear progression is a sensitive topic and states that their goal is to give players a sense of progress without requiring a gear grind.  That’s certainly going to be a challenge, but they have a unique answer to this puzzle.  They are adding a new end game condition called Agony.  A player afflicted with Agony is basically at death’s door as each tick will reduce a player’s health by a percentage.  Agony also cannot be removed like normal conditions and requires a special resistance only available through Infusions.  Infusions are a new upgrade item that can be slotted into gear with Infusion slots.  Infusion slots can only be found (for now) on the new Ascended items.  Furthermore, Infusions come in three different flavors: offensive, defensive, and omni.  Infusions are created via the Mystic Forge and have to be fitted into a slot that matches their type.  Omni infusions can go both ways, however.

mmorpg guild wars 2 mmorpg     Gear Progression In Guild Wars 2?

The new Fractals of the Mists dungeon—coming out in the Lost Shores update this weekend—will be agonizing as it will feature heavy doses of this new Agony condition.  Remember that Fractals is an unending challenging that increases in difficulty the more times you complete it.  As the difficulty grows more intense the prevalence of the Agony condition increases and therefore players will have an increasing need for Infusions and Ascended gear.  The result: gear progression.

If the changes stopped there, it would be difficult to poke holes in the system.  The progression would be there for players who want to descend deeper into the Fractals dungeon and see how far down the rabbit hole they could go.  But for players not interested in Ascended gear or the new dungeon, they could continue collecting their exotic items and not worry about it.  The wrinkle in that plan is that Ascended gear will actually have slightly better stats than the Exotic items.  While the stat increase is minimal, better is better and players who want to be at the absolute top of their game will consider them mandatory to acquire.  The saving grace is that (so far) the only Ascended items will be rings and back items.  At least all of the Exotic armor sets will still be viable after the Lost Shores releases.  I was fearful that players would feel forced to do the Fractals dungeon instead of having the option to acquire many different exotic armor sets, but that doesn’t appear to be a concern at the moment.

mmorpg guild wars 2 mmorpg     Gear Progression In Guild Wars 2?

ArenaNet seems ready to deliver item progression in small steps and have even outlined some future plans.  Ascended items of different types will eventually be added and we’ll even see more Legendary items.  These new Legendaries might also be more than just a financial grind with precursor items being available via a more “scavenger hunt” approach.  Also, if you’re one of the lucky few that already have one of the Legendary shinies, they have announced that they will be updated to be on par with other “best-in-slot” items.  So when Ascended weapons make their way into the game, prepare for a slight power bump.

Players are going to have mixed feelings about the addition of Ascended gear.  I encourage everyone to wait and see how it plays out in-game before yelling, “THE SKY IS FALLING!”  I do, however, share some concerns with the community and I question the need for the Ascended gear to have a stat increase attached to them.  A player who really loves World vs. World will now feel compelled to enter the Fractals dungeon to acquire the new rings that grant them that ever-so-slight edge.  And if they ever add Ascended armor (with higher stats) to the main item slots, then there will be little interest in collecting the exotic armor sets that are already available.  You can make the argument that the stat increase isn’t enough of a boost to make the other sets obsolete, but we all know the MMO mentality.  If the stats are worse and you’re wearing it, then you’re doing it wrong.  Despite my concerns, I’ll trust ArenaNet’s judgment and see where these changes lead us.

Let us hear your thoughts on the new Ascended armor item progression by leaving a comment below.

  • Joseph Legemah

    no.considering a full Ascended set(not available till some time in the future) will have slightly more base stats(not 5% or 10% as claimed, more like 3%) but they will have no rune/sigil effects.

    also, infusion only applies to fractal so far, the gear will actually be worse overall if you’re running any PVE content that doesn’t spam you with Agony. It’s progression, but not vertical.

    • Serephen

      I’d like a source where it says that other pieces of the set will not allow for runes/sigils

  • l a r r y

    Lol now look who is stealing ideas from WoW. Valor ilevel upgrade system. 

    • Corey “Crimzen”

      This system is completely different. You don’t use points to upgrade the gear, there is new gear all together with special upgrade slots. Last time I checked WoW didn’t invent gear progression either.

      • David Hatcher

         Wow didnt event gear progression, they just perfected it.

    • Michael

      This was in GW1, nice try though.

      • Bill Gerrettie Jr

        Just because there was a skill (Spectral Agony), and you had to get you armor (any type) “infused” doesn’t mean they’re identical. These are two VERY different birds. ArenaNet is making a huge mistake with this.

    • Dularr

      Sounds more like a combination of resistance gear and just a plain gear progression.

      With WoW in the past you had to farm Fire Resistance gear for MC or Frost Resistance gear for Naxx.

  • mcfoyle

    hmm so maybe in place of stat progression, it will be resist farming.  agony for thi dungeon, something else for the next (or more agony ‘resist’ required..etc)

  • David Hatcher

    The sky could be falling!

    Depends on if Ascended gear is only accessible via Fractals or not.  If they add crafting, dungeon and boss drops like exotics now (and maybe slightly increase the frequency of exotic and rare drops overall?) and its not super grindy then it will just be another tier of gear.

    Another problem could be players skipping Exotics and going straight to Ascended.

    • Joseph Legemah

      200 crafting recipees ahoy, right in their article.

  • Joseph Legemah

    also, all this really hinges on how their revamped reward system plays out.

  • Corey “Crimzen”

    I guess it’s in the numbers. Even though people will complain about the progression, it shows just how much retention a gear progression system adds to your game.

  • Joshua J. Pate-Terry

    Based on the info from various sites and Linsey’s blog post it is apparent that the ascended items are not intended for me.  I am not a hardcore gamer and my main is still not fully decked out in even exotic gear, so I will likely just skip The Lost Shores content and enjoy the original content with the friends I have invited.  I won’t yell about the sky is falling yet, but nothing I have read is at all encouraging to me.

  • Chris Parker

    This is not unique. Guild Wars 1 did this already in Prophecies. Spectral Agony as it was called then required a special buff on each and every armor piece the player wore in order to stop it from basically one-shotting said player. And @L A R R Y this is not stolen from WoW. This was “stolen” from GW1, get it right.

    • Richie Procopio

      But getting your armor infused in Guild Wars 1 didn’t increase the stats on the items…it just allowed you not be destroyed.  The infusions will help mitigate agony, but the stat increases over exotics is what is making people a little leery.

      • balen arenas

         In addition to the fact that in GW1 you could infuse any armor. Here you can only infuse the ascended gear, which is only obtainable (at this time) in a dungeon. It feels very much like Radiance gear from Lotro (which failed miserably, so much so that they scrapped it and even apologized for putting it in).

    • Dularr

      Was Prophecies an expansion for GW1? How long after launch was it release?

      Blizzard dropped the need for special gear years ago, it was silly to have Fire Reistance or Frost Resistance gear for a particular encounter. Got rid of the “LF dps 25 Naxx, must have Frost Res Gear.”

      • Arvid Cloet

         Prophecies is the original GW1 campaign

    • Serephen

      Except in Guild Wars 1 Ascended gear did not give stat increases compared to non-ascended gear that is what the main issue is. It’s taken away horizontal progression and replaced it with vertical

  • Bračun Rok

    @google-b4651211ba6bba288750eda52c073439:disqus They don’t have slots for sigils but they already have them included in their base stats. Take a look at the Yakkington’s Ring. It has better jewel stats already included when it drops (pictures of the 2 rings above).
    Also i don’t agree that this is not a vertical progression, it wouldn’t be if the stats of the gear would be the same on the max tier, so ascended and exotics would have the same base stats. But obviously the ascended gear has better stats, included sigil upgrades AND it has upgrade slots for agony, which means in no way will it be a worse equipment in general PvE than exotics.

  • Ben Weldon

    I noticed some of these hot coloured items since launch, 

  • Glacius

    Hey, Gary, fix your left / right balance, already.  It’s been messed up for quite a while.

  • Brian Moegling

    I do not trust ArenaNet’s judgement.  The game is ok in some ways, not so ok in others.  It was over sold and under delivered.  Statements were made about things being “in the game already” or “will be in game at launch” and two months later they are not in game and not a word has been said about it.  ArenaNet will not answer questions about MANY topics.  So far their communication is very Blizzard-esque.

    • Bill Lia

       I do not trust your judgement. You have MANY statements that are VERY vague.

  • MikeTsa

    Ascended  items are not just “slightly better” than exotics. From the picture you can see an extra +10 stat and a +3% magic find wich is 67 stat points on exotics right now if you put some other stat there.
    Pretty sure they posted the item with the magic find % on purpose so the difference doesn’t show that much wich is probably +77 stat points from just a ring.
    Imagine a full set when they implement it…

    I guess if you want to WvW now you have to PvE, so much for the no vertical progression they claimed since before launch…

    Hope we can at least get the extra stats if not the infusion/agony resist stuff from other means like crafting, trading post or WvW

    • Arvid Cloet

      Ascended items don’t have a normal upgrade slot though, so the stats they would normally get from that are allready included in item. Going back to the example above, that means there is ‘only’ a +5 power, +5 precision and +3% magic find difference.

      • MikeTsa

         We have only seen 1 ring, I doubt there is only 1 ascended ring and with magic find as a stat. Exotic rings right now have 67 48 48 stats when not a % plus gems have 25 15 15 stats so if you replace the +3% magic find of the ascendant ring with an other stat then we get a better picture. It’s probably bigger than 5 so the difference is more that 15 stat points.

  • Schirf

    The Agony mechanic sounds like the LotRO Gloom/Radience mechanic… a gate progression mechanism that worked fairly well for non-casuals, but didn’t work well for casuals.  It was removed from LotRO.

    • cyanpill

       Gloom was a stat debuff that effected everyone in the zone as soon as you entered. This is a special attack, which can be dodged or healed thru. The only thing that have in common is they can both be mitigated by gear.

      • Jonathan Hornsby

        Agony was actually in GW1, so that makes me feel better. It was a late game ability that only certain creatures had, and you needed infused armor to resist. The thing about Agony was that you really couldn’t heal through it, and this was a game that very much still had the trinity in place. Agony would completely wreak you in seconds, and there was nothing you could do to avoid it without infused armor.

  • St_Draco

    The problem I’m seeing is that, while stat progression is bad and invites power creep, the real issues are that ANet misjudged how fast content would be burned through and Infusions and how the Fractal Dungeon uses the new status effect for progression.

    First, ANet misjudged how fast content would be consumed.  It didn’t help that much of the consumption of content is based on bugs, exploits, botting behavior/manipulation of the economy, and improper dungeon design. They are reacting to this by putting in this gear, and they say as much. What needs to be done is to fix these things and not try to solve a problem with a band aid that introduces new problems like power creep.

    Second, Fractal Dungeons are a great concept except for how Infusions and Agony interact.  You should never introduce a mechanic that artificially makes content easier. When you do, you create all the issues you have with power creep.  If I need Agony mitigation to get further in a dungeon then, I will get it. It’s no different than any other kind of gear check gating mechanic, and gear checks are bad.  I would be much happier to find that it takes player skill to push further into a dungeon in order to overcome Agony. Learning to deal with the mechanic and how to push the limits of what a character can do is far more fun than putting in something that artificially makes it easier. What will happen is that many people will require that players have Agony mitigation before they even step foot into the Fractal Dungeon so that the group can get the max rewards and in the quickest time.

    I love this game, it has so much potential and was built on ideas that solved problems that existed in other games.  The only real problems ANet has had so far is execution. With this, I feel like they are marching towards a slippery slop that they will have a hard time coming back from.

  • Diequex

    Leery, but similar to Richie I’ll wait before I “freak-out.” I will say though, like to WvW/PvP, so if gear progression gets introduced into the game in the future I will genuinely be upset. 

    • Richie Procopio

      I don’t think sPvP will be impacted by this at all.  But yeah….could be problematic for folks who only like WvW.

  • Dularr

    Richie, not sure if I understand why you said you liked the new Agony condition mechanic? Doesn’t seem to be skill based, as you can’t remove it.  (or can you?)

    Just seems to be a gear check. “LF member Fractals, must have 2P Ascended.”

    Does the current back and ring drop from the Fractal dungeons?  Did they indicate if future dungeons will drop difference pieces?  Will you eventualy have to progress through each dungeon to collect a full set of Assended gear?

    • Richie Procopio

      I like the agony/ascended mechanic if it didn’t come with a stat increase.  That way there wold be a form of item progression that was only necessary to people who were interested in the Fractal dungeon.  I think it could be a clever way to keep the gear level plateau intact but still have people seeking out new gear.

      But it doesn’t look like they are going that way with the stat increase.  And you’re right that it’s not a skill-based approach.  It’s more akin to resistance gear, which I never loved.  

      The rings drop in the Fractal dungeons.  I think the back item is a mystic forge recipe.  They indicated that in the future Ascended items of different types including weapons would be seen.  Unknown on your other questions.

      • Dularr

        Thanks Richie for clarifying the mechanic. Wasn’t sure ascended gear added a condition removal or was was a general resistance type gear. 

        My experience from WoW was from collecting a couple of pieces of resistance gear, loading them with resistance gems and enchants for the entry level raids in WoW Lich King. 

  • Logun 24×7

    I appreciate the soft peddle on this but can’t help feel
    like I just took it up the nether regions.

    I was sold on this game on the manifesto and other marketing
    over the last 4 years and was actually looking forward to a MMO that didn’t
    cock-block content with gear.

    The biggest draw for me was I could play this game anyway I
    liked and didn’t get pigeonholed into (X) content in the end if I wanted my character
    to be all he could be.

    I could farm for rare mats and craft exotics or I could run dungeons
    or do my dailies for karma or run the end game zones ….all of these activities
    lead to a path of the best in slot items …. Now players are pigeonholed into
    gear locked content just like every other MMO.

    As the ANet Dev said “The new additions in November are just
    the start of our item progression initiative.” ….so here we go again, this is a
    smack in the face to anyone that listened to ANets Bullshit over the last 4

    Every veteran player can tell you the Pandora’s box  this unlocks, it won’t be long before we see
    player inspections and some form of gear score BS, with the classic …no sorry
    your gear ant good enough for you to run with us … noob area is that way

    This just seems to be playing into the hands of the top percentile
    of hard-core players and shitting on the heads of the larger percentage of us. This
    game was designed to break down the barriers that get in the way of players
    working harmoniously together and this just feels like it goes against that
    core philosophy of the game and the way it was marketed over the last 4 years.

  • TheHolgar

    can i please buy my ascended gear in gemshop, i only wanna do wvw – pretty please :P

  • Revanhavoc

    This illustrates one of the main problems with competition in MMO’s – a problem that sports games and some shooters have already figured out – SKILL should most often outweigh STATS.

  • Bill Gerrettie Jr

    So the WoW players who came to Guild Wars 2, chewed through the content like a fat man at an all-you-can-eat buffet, and then whined that there’s nothing to do are the ones that ArenaNet are choosing to cater to. Well that’s a big F.U. to loyal Guild Wars fans who’ve been with the franchise for over 7 years precisely BECAUSE there’s no crappy gear grind or raiding!

    • Gary Marshall

       Stop. Stop assuming everyone that was asking for more personal character progression for Guild Wars 2 are WoW players. ArenaNet has said themselves they were happy with Guild Wars but wanted more for Guild Wars 2. Simply making a second game just for the fans of Guild Wars was not going to be enough. The items and content are not even in the game yet so it impossible to know exactly how this will effect the game long term.

      Even with the addition of slightly better than exotic gear, you are still able to do the new dungeon without the new items up until you reach a barrier within the dungeon that doesn’t allow you to go further without the new item. Its ONLY a gear treadmill if they next set of Ascended gear you are able to acquire after Fractals requires having the items from Fractals to get. Per the design of the new dungeon, I don’t see this being the case for future ones for those that simply want the item and have no want or desire to dive as far into the dungeon as they can. Sure having the items from Fractals for content after will make getting them easier, but not required.

  • dagatkarimlan

    Nice use of dismissive language there.  No need to concern yourself, folks.  Those people who are vocal on the forums, they’re all just panicking.  If that’s how it works, I should say that people rushed in and tried to calm people down using propaganda words like “slightly better”.  Ascended gear is “slightly better” than exotics in the same way as exotics are “slightly better” than rares.

    rare        : 110 stat points +  6%mf
    exotic     : 126 stat points +  7%mf
    ascended: 136 stat points + 10%mf

  • Eto_Zamamai

    Guys you are being stupid. You can’t put typical runes on this tier of items, only the anti agony defensive infusion. It balances out if you look at it that way seeing as the agony effect will only be in this dungeon.

    • MikeTsa

       Yeah sure, all this fuss is because people are stupid, over 120 pages of stupid people complaining in the official forums with no official response…

      1 the ring shown to us is better than a exotic with a gem even without talking about infusions/agony and the fact that it can’t take a gem is no big deal, if you want different stats get differents rings, it’s still better than exotics.

      2 we do not know if the ascended armor they plan to release someday is capable of having runes or not, you saying it’s worse is pure speculation

  • Anthony Perry

    I really dont see what the fuss about.  There is a pretty big gap between Exotic gear and Legendary gear.  Ascended is just a bridge between the two.  Im sure that a good portion of the player base will not be attempting to run the new dungeo 1000 times to see how far they can push.  I remeber how crazy Spectoral Agony was in the first game, and the buff was needed to get past the halfway point of the story.  As far as the bump in stats, it doesnt bother me.  It would be cool if they had the infusion weaved into the story like GW1 did.

    • MikeTsa

       The bump in stats is the reason of the fuss, not the new items, not the new infusion slots not the actuall stat difference. The bump in stats is basicaly breaking the promise anet made to their fans.

      People are complaining because if they can’t keep their promises and they turn this to just like any other mmo then gw2 is not unique anymore and therefore have no reason to continue playing this and not some other mmo that you have probably invested more time into.

      • Anthony Perry

        But the people are asking for it.  Its not like Anet just came up with it out of the blue.  Legendary will always be the best items to have, and the hardest to get as it should be.   Ascended gear isnt mandatory anyway.

        • MikeTsa

           Yes but legendary weapons have the same stats as exotic this is very important and it goes well with what Colin Johanson wrote:

          “The rarest items in the game are not more powerful than other items, so you don’t need them to be the best. The rarest items have unique looks to help your character feel that sense of accomplishment, but it’s not required to play the game. We don’t need to make mandatory gear treadmills, we make all of it optional, so those who find it fun to chase this prestigious gear can do so, but those who don’t are just as powerful and get to have fun too.”

          Bumping stats was not part of the initial plan :P

          • Anthony Perry

            The stats for legendary items will be increased accordingly, but again the items are not necessary. I myself wont be going for legendry items, any mats i get for those will be going up on the trader  :)

    • Logun 24×7

      Sadly they seem to be cracking under the pressure to shape
      this game into something that more closely resembles the standard fair MMO.

      This scares people, it scares me… especially when it’s a 180
      to what the Dev’s have preached over the last 4 years as what was wrong with
      other MMO’s

      This game really resonates with me on a level more so than any other
      MMO’s for a long time. I get what they set out to achieve with the mechanics they
      have implemented. Fundamentally the game is about large scale open world game
      play that promotes spontaneous group play.

      It does this in a number of subtle and not so subtle ways,
      from removing the trinity, dinamic events and even placing another player’s death marker on your
      What’s key to make this work however is the removal of barriers that
      get in the way of players grouping up,.. and gear and gear blocked content seem to
      be in direct contradiction to the core design of the game.       

      • Anthony Perry

        cracking under pressure?  i think thats a bit much. 
        grouping up is easy, i feel no barriers.  unless you’r looking for a group finder like in WoW.  none of the content really blocked.  the new dungeon can be run without the new gear, but if your guildies or pug wants to make a marathon session out of it, then yes you might need the gear at that point.

        • Logun 24×7

          Yes, grouping is easy but it’s not always a desirable path
          for all players especially in a game that offers a spontaneous open world
          multi-player experience.

          Up to now players had a choice on how to be the best they
          can be. What does this do to crafting? Crafters could make the best in slot
          items, are they out of luck now? Are players going to all be forced into dungeons
          for endgame?

          This move to progression gear that relates to a specific content
          tends to pander to only one type of player and by the outcry over it right or
          wrong a good percentage of people are not cool with that.

          And of course MMO players being MMO players it will not be
          long before we see requests for player inspection and gear score or the classic…
          “Need 1 more for dungeon Ascended deprived need not reply”

          It has the potential to give the game a flavour that tastes
          a little too close to the classic MMO that allot of people were looking to get
          away from.    

          • Dalendria Lotro

             “Need 1 more for dungeon Ascended deprived need not reply”

            This has only been out 2 days and that is already happening.  Check out the forum posts on this.

            People are already being excluded from this new dungeon if they do not meet certain criteria.  And before anyone says “its  Level 80 dungeon”, meaning anyone not lvl 80 is already excluded, let me share what Arenanet did this weekend.  What they did is uplevel everyone to lvl 80 that goes into the new dungeon.  They said they did this so anyone could play it.  You see before all these changes another core tenet of their design philosophy was “end game begins at lvl 1.  anything you can do at lvl 1 you should be able to do at lvl 80.”  They even have a video they released which explains this all in greater detail.

            That video alone should be an embarrassment to them because it is visual evidence but only 2 months after releasing it, they have completely changed their stated approach.

  • Serephen

    If indeed they prevent runes and sigils from being socketed at all, I could see how at least with armour sets It would not provide a benefit over current exotics with superior runes slotted. Guess all one can do is keep their fingers crossed.

  • German Lopez

    One interesting exercise is replacing the “Magic Find” on that gear with “Critical Damage.” Suddenly, the difference in stats becomes a lot more obvious. Then again, that might be more a problem with how these percent-based stats are itemized than it is a problem with the new tier.

    Regardless, the difference is about 7 percent. It’s not enormous, but it is substantial, especially with how multiple damage stats like power and precision, power and critical damage, or precision and critical damage interact with each other.

    The worst part is they are directly forcing people who want the best gear but don’t want to do the new dungeon to do the new dungeon anyway. That’s going to hurt WvW players, even if it’s in a minor way at first.

    I know a lot of fans on Game Breaker, myself included, are going to have a bit of trouble accepting the fact ArenaNet disappointed us. But I think we need to look at it this way: Three months ago, we were vigorously defending the lack of any stat grind. We were saying it was one of the best parts of the game. Now, with articles like this, some of us are trying to dismiss the old model that we defended and loved so much. How does that make any sense?

    I’m not going to quit the game or act like the world is ending, but I’ve come to terms with the fact ArenaNet has disappointed me in a big way for the first time. I guess it can be considered the first strike in what will hopefully be a really long game.

  • Fish Bait

    Typical, only just scraped enough for jewelery items few days ago hehe

  • Rasmus Nielsen

    The Legendaries do *not* have better *stats* than Exotics, they have stats EQUAL to exotics, what they said, was that they would update Legendaries, to be EQUAL to whatever the best rarity was. Making it so Legendaries were, when Ascended Weapons are added, equal to Ascended Weapons.

    There’s *no* stat gap, between Exotic/Legendary weapons atm, it’s all about cosmetics, and “Wow, look at that guy, he sure spent a lot of gold, and time!”

    • Shanaeri_Ryanle

      Exactly. There is no inbetween in terms of stats between legendaries and exotics. The only difference is in the amount of effort it takes to get them. If they meant in terms of the effort involved in getting one then why not just create a new set of skins and keep the stats the same and avoid a whole load of community backlash

      Why not just recreate the greens system? That worked really well in GW1

    • Dularr

      But at some point, Legendaries *will* have better *stats* than Exotics.  So Legendaries have gone from cosmetic/prestige items to a prestige item that will *always* be equal with the best *stats* in the game.

      So Legendaries have transformed from cosmetic/prestige items to a quality of life item.  If you want off the treadmill of gear progression, but still want to experiences the latest content, Legendary gear will always be equal to the best gear in the game.    

  • Dark Blue

     They shouldn’t have bothered with the stat increases with the Ascended gear. Having the fusion to deal with Agony as something you can add to existing gear and have new armor skins would’ve been a much better idea.

     I also see a problem with some professions being able to deal with Agony a lot better than others. Agony may reduce health as a percentage over time, meaning it won’t matter how much health you have, but some professions have health regen more readily available. Those without a way to easily get the boon will suffer as they get deeper into fractals. Regen professions will be preferred to party with even when many have Ascended gear.

  • DoctorOverlord

    I agree that not having stat bonuses on Ascended gear might have cut down on some of the complaining but I’m sure there still would have been a good amount.  

    The additional detail they revealed after this article makes me feel a bit better about the whole thing, but I’m still in the ‘wait and see’ camp before passing judgement either way. 

  • Deitra

    When is the next tier scheduled to come out?

  • Dalendria Lotro

    The items are out. So to update their discussion, here are the facts.  The stats increase is not slight.  Why?  Because the infusion item contains more than resistance.  It also has stats on it.  Infusion items can only be used on Ascended gear.  Also, Arenanet did not say that they “might” add more Ascended.  They said they are definitely adding more Ascended armor pieces.  Also, the infusion items will have levels.  The initial release is Infusion items at Fine level.  So the gear will continue to have an increase in stats over time as you put better Infusion items on it.  This is a gear treadmill.  

    To summarize, Arenanet has confirmed in statements and based on the stats that Ascended Gear will be more powerful than Exotic.  Also, for those that don’t know.  Only about a month ago, Arenanet stated that Exotics was the max stat gear.  And before this patch, Legendary weapons had same stats as Exotics.  Arenanet said this was intentional because they believe top tier gear differences should be based on cosmetics/looks only – once you have max stat they said they would not introduce a new set with better stats.  This is the same approach they used in the first Guild Wars game for the past 7 years.

    Arenanet told people they would not do what they have just done.  This is the reason that the core customer base is upset.  They bought a game based on a key feature – no gear stat progression.  That key feature has been changed not only after 3 months but after 7 years of a tried and true design approach.

  • Dalendria Lotro

     Arenanet said they changed their design philosophy to cater to people that love gear progression.  Those type of people are used to getting better end-game gear with a new introduction of tiers ever so often. They are also used to spending a lot of time in dungeons to get that gear.  If Arenanet plans to make it relatively easy to get Ascended gear, then how will that appeal to the people they are trying to please?  It will not be easy.  It is not easy.  People have already calculated how many dungeon runs it will take to get enough for one piece. It is significant.

    Those individuals want it to be hard to obtain.  Hard as in “those who can’t play a lot can’t get it.”  GW2 was promoted as being a game for people sick of gear progression/treadmills.  If you wanted max stat, it could be obtained playing many different parts of the game and be relatively easy.  After that, you could put a lot of effort in to obtain new gear that was only different based on looks not stats.  So if you had to grind for this stuff, it was your choice.  You did not feel compelled to go for better because everyone had the same stats once they reached max lvl.  Now with Ascended introduction and use in WvW/PVE areas, people will feel compelled to get it because they know that it is better stat-wise (power creep).  This is the approach WOW uses to keep people playing their sub-based game.  Why did Arenanet overhaul its core design approach to appeal to that mindset?

    • saxophone15

      I have been keeping up with the information since I posted my comment. Perhaps they are trying to go for a middle ground? There are still some unknowns about acquiring the armor since the other methods haven’t been implemented yet (and the other armor pieces). I think Arenanet will continue to modify the game based on feedback/statistics (which I think is fine). Personally, I’m fine with whatever is best for the health of the game in the long run.

  • Dalendria Lotro

    How can anyone be okay with what has really happened here?  Yet another
    gaming company has done a “bait and switch.” Sold their product based on
    specific confirmed features then changed those features after a large
    number of people bought their game. 

  • Dalendria Lotro

     Others have pointed this out as well.  It is Radiance 2.0.  Didn’t a Turbine executive apologize for that mess after they removed it?