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GuildCast - Guild Wars 2 Show - Episode 52

Panic on the streets of London…

But enough Smiths references, there’s no need to be running around waving your hands in a frantic manner for ArenaNet, NCSoft‘s “realignment” announcement isn’t related to Guild Wars 2 in any way, as confirmed by Martin Kerstein today. We discuss the ramifications of the sad news of job losses for NCSoft and the way ArenaNet’s staff model seems to differ to that of many MMO developers.

Colin Johanson got chatty this week and revealed some saliva inducing info for PvP worshipers. Is the infrastructure that could get competitive eSport PvP on its way? How long will it be until the work the designers are putting in right now bears fruit? We ponder the possibilities and talk about eSports and MMOs in general.

Also we are apparently about to be blown over by a tidal force of new content. Enough new bells and whistles in January and February will be added to add up to a free expansion’s worth of content. First of all, that’s a bit good isn’t it? But does this set up a precedent that will be difficult to match? Is ArenaNet planning on a constant deluge of new awesomesauce?

With patch notes and viewer questions — yes my overlords, they are finally getting your triumphant message, I am preparing them oh masters — the crew is on hand to guide you through.

Join Gary Gannon, Massively‘s Elisabeth Cardy and Richie Procopio with some odd English bloke from ZAM for this week’s GuildCast!

A veteran MMO player of over 13 years, Scott is a writer, editor and educator with a passion for gaming. He can be found smiling blankly over his guardian in Guild Wars2, lane running in League of Legends, or pulling off audacious headshots in Battlefield 3. Scott is Editor In Chief for ZAM and a regular co-host on GuildCast.
  • Igor Lesi

    Guys and Elisabeth, you are interesting no matter what subject you are discussing, even if you don’t have any. Gary, no worries. You are all doing a great job!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Sardella/1422784105 John Sardella

    Those are pretty big shoe’s they have put before themselves. I hope they fill them. Can’t wait to check it out though!

  • http://twitter.com/chumppi Riku Marttinen

    What’s wrong with the video server? Can’t watch the video in HD, keeps buffering.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.joel1 Lee Joel

    after hearing the comment about them not being money grabbing, I had to chuckle. I think you guys are forgetting how bad farming is atm and its forcing people to buy gold with actual money to try and get t6 items.

    • http://www.kaiketsu.enjin.com/ Corey “Crimzen” Jenkins

      The time it takes to grind something is a completely separate issue then having a cash shop. The more people who convert gems to gold, the less gold you’re eventually going to get for doing that anyway.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Alvino/1094406295 John Alvino

      The game doesn’t FORCE you to do anything you don’t want to… saying it does is just ignorant.

  • crothcipt

    I have never played guild wars, or 2 for that matter.  But I do enjoy your show.  Keep up the good work guys.

    I also don’t want to fall in love with a new mmo either.

  • Logun 24×7

    I’ve been a big fan of Gamebreaker.TV, but you guys have
    lost allot of integrity skirting around the real issues that are pissing off
    the community. 5 seconds on the official forums will give you guys more real
    topics to discuss then you could fit in one show.   

    • http://twitter.com/RichieProcopio Richie Procopio

      If you feel like there are issues that we’re not addressing, please send in questions to submit@gamebreaker.tv or post the questions on Facebook when Q asks for them the day of the show.  

    • http://twitter.com/QSatu QSatu

      You mean official forums where people complained that selling gems for gold was not worth it and now complain buying gems for gold is not worth it? Official forums are full of people who don’t even know what they want and complain literally about everything for the sake of complaining. No wonder most mmo companies treat them as necessary evil, pretend they listen to them but do what they want.

      • Logun 24×7

        No, I mean the players that want the game they were
        promised, the game GW2 set out to be, and not the pigeonholing, money sucking,
        grind fest its turning into.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/W76UOX2IDTRMMYTPASSJDLXLRM Bob

          See, you’re the typical idiot who exaggerates “issues” enough that MMO companies will just laugh or ignore whatever point you’re trying to make. I’ve spent $20 on the game total, so I don’t see how it’s money sucking. Grind fest? Sure, if you want to get an item that purely cosmetic, knock yourself out. At the very least there is nothing in the game that makes you grind to see content, so I’m happy there too. How about you come up with valid criticisms or else you just come across as a whiny child.

  • Krzysztof Kotarba

    I want 2 hand AXE for warriors and make fun less CD dependant utility skills, it’s so annoying when your skills refresh for minute or more (thief has some cool and fun utility skills).

    I hope AN won’t burn up. So much content… I still don’t have 80lv

  • RBHgamer

    I love when Elixabeth is laughing … she is the best thing on the internet!  And what’s wrong with pugs when your guldies are full of mercenaries…. there are only a few guildies i will run with. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Alvino/1094406295 John Alvino

      That’s not true… Porn is the best thing on the internet! :3

  • RBHgamer

    damm, cant log onto GW2.  someone is hacking… best game ever and its the only way to compete.

  • Hicks64

    Agreed, Trahearne got the most badass sword for just liking a tree woman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rasmus.nielsen.75491 Rasmus Nielsen

    I like Trahearne >_<

  • http://twitter.com/Zax19taken Zax19

    I fricking hate Trahearne, he’s so lawfully good and just bland, not to mention a necromancer at the same time. The worst part is that there is no way to avoid meeting him other than not finishing the personal story.

  • Joel Viola

    Well I dnt like to be that guy but i need to talk about this.
    GW2 is loosing players as we speak, the game is good yep but its not what some people expect. And the hosts on this show refuse to admit that the game is shrink and not growing in terms of community ( im not saying that is dying pls dnt flame me). The game isnt that huge as you guys talk about, admit it and the show will be even better if you “get real”.
    When Rift lost alot of players, GB shut down the show and get over with it till a new expansion came but we all know why they choose to talk about rift again.
    When SWTOR failed to be the next top dog mmo, THE Republic became an hate/flamming show that only reason why isnt canceled isnt SWTOR fans but the SWTOR haters that love the show and love to flamme the game. I like Gary, I genuinely do but man your hosting on The republic is awful man, i know the game failed in many things ( i dnt even play it anymore) but man the only thing you do or talk about swtor is trolling, even the good things that they are trying to do or some new ideas you just dnt even listen, you just go troll mode.
    TSW was declared failed almost 2 weeks after realease here.
    WoW is constantly criticized here for some of his ideas and implementations, and im not saying that you are wrong im just saying : you point fingers.
    Where im going with all this is, you ( Gamebreaker ) were completely relentless on the other games “fails” and “bad ideas”, and to be honest I like that style , I like real and now you are protecting GW2 like a little child that dont deserve to be criticized. Why? You honestly think the game isnt shrink? or that they are doing it right?
    I mostly do spvp tournments, so i dnt know really know that well whats going on in the world, but my friends keep telling me that they see less and less people as time the time pass, they are still many around but its already noticeable.
    In fact, I read in some blog about mmos, sadly i cant find the damm post, a guy claiming that GW2 has less players than Rift or SWTOR, to be honest I dont think this is true BUT for him to think that way or want to bug ppl about it its because the population of the game isnt that great.
    Stop protecting GW2 please, as player I prefer the truth!
    Feel free to delete my post if you find it inappropriate but I dnt think I was disrespectful. 

    • http://twitter.com/Veldara Veldara

      Even if GW2 loses all the players they gained from the initial hype run of the game’s release the population will drop off back to GW1′s numbers.  The numbers even then were solid and the game still sold millions despite being pretty niche.  If GW2 doesn’t break any record numbers anymore that’s fine, the title has a healthy enough following that it can survive off of.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Caliolo/100003765889295 Robert Caliolo

      Every game, be it console or MMO loses players after some point and further on down the line. It happens in every game.
      This day and age too many people are in for a quick fix to their habit. Get it and need a new quick fix. This fuels the markets and we the people are more then happy to spend money to keep the engine running.
      To be honest, the only true MMO that would survive the downfall of lost “subs” GW2 has none… is a totally Skill based system where gear makes zero difference but any points you would gain by playing go into skills to improve your character. That and obviously a good game foundation to be playing on.
      GW2 as much as people love the game, it does have it’s limits. Just gaining graphical changes to your character as you level is just not a great concept. The fact that they introduce new content is a huge plus and does keep people playing…up to a point.
      Players like the reward. Something that improves their character, some don’t care but the majority want that bone thrown to them. Be it a grind to get that bone or just sent in the mail.
      Those that Raid support MMO’s more then anything else in the market. PvP is fine but does not support the MMO. Raiders continue to raid because there is that gear grine that keeps them coming back to equip all raiders and they move on to the new content, be it an expansion or free. The cycle continues. SWTOR’s downfall was not PvP it was their Raid system and lack of improved gear in the various levels of instances along with no true content. But to be honest it has not even been a Year and SWTOR’s group had the year planned out and would not budge and caved.
      RIFT has their plan and it works, people left that game early also. People left WoW early also but then it caught on also.
      Back to GW2 and Fractals is a good start for them, but there needs to be gear progression, I’m sorry but just graphic A for this greatsword and Graphic B for that greatsword will only get you so far. There has to be the challenge to get greatsword X that improves my character other then just making it look cooler. It’s like if you have a rideable mount. Now you go get another and another next you have 50. You can only ride one at a time so why buy another…sure it looks cool but still it only does the job of the others. Just like Greatsword A B or C.
       All MMO lose players, always have always will. The trick is to figure out what will keep them the longest. I hate to say it but WoW is the only game to keep a large amount of their players and refresh their game, as simplistic as it is, enough to have older players come back even if just for something as simple as a Panda Bear as a playable race.
      GW2 can have Polar bears as a playable race, Birds also. And that would probably bring players back to play for a longer period of time, but then those will leave as there is no raiding.

    • zoonib

      Hate for hate is valueless. You maybe entertained but you should question why. I am as critical as it gets and think GW2 is a bug fest but I play it everyday and love WvW. A console game costs $50 bucks and it’s over in a few days or if it’s good a week or 2. GW2 for $50 bucks keeps going and you don’t have to spend real money but can if you want. Some people are tired of any game within a few weeks. So. Does a game need to own the world to be good. A game simply has to be enjoyable and GW2 is that. Go troll some other area of the internet if you need to fill your hate bucket.

      • Joel Viola

        Ok my english isnt great so I may had explained my point badly.
        In one sentence what I tryed to say was: why does Gamebreaker is being so nice go GW2 since the 1st minute till this day, if they were totally relentless with all other games? Or its just my point of view? Could be, not being ironic.
        Im not looking for hate, I dont want them to hate gw2 or any other game…it just seems to me that they are overprotecting the game and I only care because I play the game and I want to know all whats going on, good or bad.
        If I didnt play gw2 why did I care? Never understood those guys who stopped playing a game but still give themselves the work to go troll and post stuff on the forums.
        But anyway seems my post was troll labelled, so I wont bother posting about this again since I will get the troll and hater flag.

        • Logun 24×7

          I have to agree with you Joel, I come here because I want to
          hear the real topics and concerns discussed in a fair and balanced fashion. Not
          the rose colored glasses soft pedal of “oh gee golly look new free content” …. And
          let’s get real nothing is for free. I’m going to bet that all their core player
          base has spent more on this game at this point then had it been a strait up
          subscription based game….me included.   

          It’s not hate for the sake of hate, it’s reporting and discussing
          issues that are important to many players. I lost half my guild over the November
          patch and I have to admit I’m losing interest as well. Hands down, no arguments
          GW2 is a good game, but it’s got on a path at this point I’m not about to
          follow it down.

          They admitted they rolled out the November changes to the
          game poorly yet they just keep plowing forward instead of fixing the things
          they broke. Karma and crafting mat drops keep getting stealth nerfs and it
          feels like the only way to get anywhere with this game is to buy Gems and
          convert them to gold.

          Karma was the currency that allowed you to play the game
          whatever way you wanted and still get into the best gear in the game, that
          changed with Ascended gear and infusions (the new must have dungeon gear), and
          a path to the best gear through crafting was also nerfed. Yes, Arena Net said
          they would add other paths to Ascended gear outside of the fractals, but all we
          have is words and no time line as to when they’ll fix the this hamster wheel.  

          Open world areas are suffering with a lack of participation
          as players are now whisked away into the fractals mini 5 man co-op dungeon … “Not
          my idea of an MMO”. This works against their open world design where dynamic
          events need a critical mass of players to make GW2 endgame open world areas
          viable yet they are doing nothing to revitalise these areas or make them
          worthwhile for players.

          One of their core ideologies was to remove things in MMO’s
          that prevent players from playing together. That’s why they removed the
          trinity, it’s why we have a side kicking system, it’s why WvW and PvP players
          can jump in and play on even footing, yet they thought it would be a good idea
          to fracture the community up with a dungeon that gates players by how many
          times you complete it? …dua!

          I was attracted to GW2 because of its fresh approach to their
          open world design. After launch all I see is more content that takes them on a
          path to a “ME TOO” instanced endgame grind. I played that game for the last 8
          years and I was ready for a new one.

          Arena Net is a smart development house but, the live team seems
          to be taking the game in a direction that is in conflict with the core philosophies
          and game mechanics preached to us over the last 4 years.

          So I’m open to hear how I’m wrong or hear about how what I
          said above is right so to Gamebraker’s crew lets set aside the “oh golly gee”
          thing, and discuss the hot topics in the community.

          What were the effects of bots on the economy? What has the crackdown
          on bots done on the economy?

          What’s happening with the open world endgame? Is it still
          viable? Are you happy with world drops? What can Arena Net do to keep the open
          world dynamic systems viable?

          Is Ascended gear and the Agony mechanic a move to expand on
          the instanced dungeon endgame? What about the open world? How will this shift affect
          the game and the push and push back systems in the open world endgame? Is there
          room for both systems in a game with dynamic events?

          How do you feel about crafters no longer having a path to
          the top level gear? Has the karma currency been made less important? Is there
          too many currencies? Should the currencies be scrapped in favor gear drops?

          Has the game become more of a grind since launch or less?
          ANet seems to preach one thing and do another, why is there a disconnect between
          what they say and what they do?

          Arena Net has done some brilliant things with their MMO designs
          but their train seems to have jump off the tracks.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/W76UOX2IDTRMMYTPASSJDLXLRM Bob

            Losing players badly? You lost me at that point since it really isn’t true. GW2 is still #6 on Xfire out of all games. In comparison, WoW is #4 and LoL is #1. There’s plenty of people playing the game, they just aren’t playing what you want to play.

          • St_Draco

            You want to discuss the hot topics? Well lets see; Bots are a global industry issue that every major game developer is handling in similar ways and has been discussed.  There is nothing new on that front to discuss.

            Open world gaming has been discussed. Right now you are dealing with player choice and behavior.  In 2 content patches ANet released 50+ new events, 5 new jump puzzles, 2 new mini dungeons, and a new zone. The perception that the open world is empty compared to dungeon zones is based on seeing players. Open world is huge and players are spread out. Dungeon entrances are a gate way where players are forced to gather. It will always seem like more people are lined up for dungeons than out in the world except when a content patch releases and people move out to see what is new.
            Ascended gear has been discussed and as it is, its a non-issue.  The outcry and the complaining is all based on theoretical implementation and effect.  It doesn’t actually look at the practice.

            Crafting is still a path to top end gear.  ANet has maintained that.  You still need crafting to get legendary gear and crafting still provides exotic gear. 2 items is all we are talking about here. You still need Karma to purchase the items needed to make those top tier items.  The rest is design philosophy, something that has been discussed many many times and is only being brought up by those late to the party.

            The “grind” is only there if you choose to do it.  It is not a more or less grindy game.  This again is a topic that has been discussed to death in the past and is a non-issue.  The people who complain that GW2 is a grind are the same people who complain that ANet removes farm areas and farming exploits.  They choose to play the game that way. You don’t need any of the stuff that people “grind” for to experience game content.

            The “disconnect” has been the topic of discussion in several GuildCasts and was even discussed in this one.

            The only people I see jumping the tracks are those people who react and make assumptions about everything ANet does or does not do. The game is too hard, the game is too easy, the rewards are too RNG, Tokens are bad, the game is too grindy, I can’t farm effectively, skins only as a reward is boring, ascended gear and vertical progression is the devil, bots are ruining the game, suddenly things are more expensive on the TP, etc etc etc.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Alvino/1094406295 John Alvino

      Yeah you are right… lots of people are leaving the game…

      That’s why 3 weeks ago 4 servers were full and the rest were on high and as of this post 14 are full and the rest are all on very high and that’s just the US servers…

      Your post seems legit… GTFO Troll… Back to WoW for you. :3

      • Joel Viola

        “Your post seems legit… GTFO Troll… Back to WoW for you. :3″
        Why do I even bother to share my opinion? in my post i said that i play gw2 man…

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/W76UOX2IDTRMMYTPASSJDLXLRM Bob

          Well, if you tell a untruth or exaggerate a point that is easily refuted (check out the top 100 games on Xfire, GW2 is #6) then it’s easy for no one to listen to your points. I’ve had absolutely no problem finding people to do events, WvW or fractals. Dungeons are a bit harder because everyone loves the fractals at the moment.

    • http://twitter.com/inkthedink INKS

      I think the larger issue is the game is almost designed to be droped and picked up on the fly. this is not good for overall population. generally.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Johnson/1353890372 Michael Johnson

      “Loosing”

      Jesus Christ, dude…

      • Jado Cast

        “Loosing his mind!” – fixed it.

  • Mo A. R

     One thing i cant get out of my mind is: SKINS SKINS SKIN. Why are weapons/armor skins not being produced by Anet as a source of income. Look at how Riot are profiting from just making skins/introducing discounts on older skins on a weekly basis. I realize its different in MMO’s but how difficult/bad could it be?

  • DoctorOverlord

    It is odd how sparse the GW2 cashshop is.   I know I would like there to be much more options for armor skins than what currently exists. I bought the Profane armor skin just out of boredom of waiting for more (which might be part of the plan)

    In fact, I guess I wouldnt be surprised if ArenaNet has one of those secret developer long-term plans that Scott mentions only in this case it’s just about cash shop items rather than game mechanics so it’s not that troublesome.

    The just released the Wintersday video and I have to say those are some pretty sweet townclothes but I want to see armor skins.