Guild Wars 2: Broken Stuff

  By Shamus   Sep 4, 2012   153 comments

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Guild Wars 2 continues to impress. Having said, that, there are some really annoying problems with the game that are keeping me from enjoying it to the fullest. I don’t want you to go running off and buy the game, only to have you blame me for not giving you a proper heads-up. Some of these problems are serious, some are minor, some are situational. This is not a comprehensive list, it’s just what I’ve run into.

Fair warning: One of these complaints might not be entirely genuine. It is left as an exercise to the reader to figure out which one.

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EDIT: As of this morning, the trading post is working for me. Looks like this one is solved, or very close. That was an abrupt fix after so much dysfuntion, but I’m glad it’s been sorted. Original hand-wringing follows:

The in-game auction house has been broken since launch. First it’s down. Then it’s up, but the search doesn’t work. Then up again for 15% of the population. Then it seems to work, but it eats money without delivering the product.

This wouldn’t be a problem, but they didn’t give players any sort of direct-trade interface. The only way to trade items is to mail them, which is vulnerable to people simply running off without paying / delivering. Basically, there’s no safe way for strangers to trade.

They have designed a game that is balanced around the idea of public trade, and now that it’s launched there isn’t any. All of this is painful if you’re trying to do any kind of crafting, since crafting consumes more materials than you will acquire during the normal course of play. Also, it’s probably strangling the economy, since you’re supposed to be able to sell the rare items you find but can’t use. Bank space is limited, so there’s only so many you can stockpile. This means a lot of valuable magic stuff is just getting dumped on the in-game vendors for basically nothing.

Note that the in-game store &#8211; where you buy goodies from ArenaNet for real money &#8211; is working just fine. This includes being able to pay real money that will give you access to a valet who will let you access the trading post while in the field. The BROKEN, useless trading post. Which means you can pay money to have someone deliver you an Out Of Order Message. Awesome. Note that this valet is <em>consumed</em> on use.
Note that the in-game store – where you buy goodies from ArenaNet for real money – is working just fine. This includes being able to pay real money that will give you access to a valet who will let you access the trading post while in the field. The BROKEN, useless trading post. Which means you can pay money to have someone deliver you an Out Of Order Message. Awesome. Note that this valet is consumed on use.

What’s really worrisome is just how little progress we’re seeing. They usually only enable the trading post for 15% of the population for testing purposes. Likely a lot of those randomly-chosen 15% don’t even know it’s available to them. Also, a trade system where a random 15% of the population can trade with each other using a system that might vanish at any moment is not terribly useful, meaning even among the portion of the 15% who know about it, a lot of them won’t waste time with it. We’re talking about a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the population, here. And yet, it’s still painfully slow and unresponsive.

There’s a multiplicative effect that happens in systems like this, where doubling the population will result in more than double the traffic. Conversely, halving the population will reduce the traffic by more than half. What I’m getting at is that during these testing times, the system is probably experiencing less than one-twentieth of the traffic it needs to handle. If it’s slow under these conditions, how is it ever going to handle the full load?

The original Guild Wars didn’t have an auction house, so this is likely ArenaNet’s first attempt at solving this particular problem. My fear is that their design was fundamentally flawed and simply can’t perform at the required scale. It’s possible this isn’t just “launch day troubles”, but a serious engineering problem that might send them back to the drawing board.

This is all conjecture on my part, mind you. Still, over a week of downtime and brokenness leads me to believe this is more than just “launch day problems” or a few bugs.

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Reader Steve C (and others) report that the boxed disc is basically worthless, and you will end up downloading the game in its entirety after you install. This can be a problem if you have a slow or metered connection. Also, some people are having trouble getting the download to work at all.

One interesting bit of trivia is that ArenaNet has halted digital sales of the game from their own site until they can ramp up their server capacity to meet demand. I think all online games have some degree of queuing, or connection problems, or issues with people getting in at launch. Usually this results in the company taking your money and saying, “Thanks, come back in a few days and try again.” This may be the first time a company has inflicted deliberate financial loss on themselves in order to avoid this.

The next time some company is holding your money and not delivering on their game, you can point to this: ArenaNet stopped taking money until they were sure they could meet the commitments implied by the transaction.

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The game balance is a little off in places. In the Harathi Hinterlands there are two public events going on, both of which involve holding off waves of attacking centaurs. In both cases the attackers are supposed to scale with the number of players.

One event was so weak that the foes basically vanished as they entered the attack range of the players. It was such overkill on the part of the players that I had trouble landing any hits. By the time my fireball reached the guy I was aiming for, he was dead. I was still getting participation XP, but it was kind of boring and there wasn’t any challenge.

I went a bit north and tried the other event. The attacking centaurs outnumbered the players five to one. There were three or four of us, and a huge cluster of centaurs that were very, very hard to damage, even with my big show-stopper attacks. We were wiped in a few seconds. Then as I was face-down in the dirt, panning the camera around to look for other players who might come along and help me up, I saw another wave of centaurs coming across the bridge, as big as the first wave.

Since nobody wants to face hopeless, unrewarding certain doom, everyone sticks to the cakewalk event, which only exacerbates the overcrowding problem.

This isn’t as much of a problem in the early game zones, but the Harathi Hinterlands is a level 30+ zone and I think the balance needs a bit more tuning in those areas.

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The game has issues with “overflow” servers. If the server is full, it puts you into a separate but concurrent copy of the world. That’s fine. Champions Online was built around this idea. The problem isn’t the system, it’s the interface.

When you get shoved into an overflow server you get a dumb little “Click Ok” popup that tells you. Then sometime later you’ll get another popup, telling you that a slot has opened on the real server and you can transfer there now. You can then choose to go to the main server, which will put you through a pointless loading screen just so you can find yourself standing in the same spot. (The mobs, players, and resource nodes around you won’t have the same state, obviously.) If you were taking part in an event you’ll lose your progress.

If you refuse this second popup, it will just appear again later. It will keep pestering you every couple of minutes until you agree to go to the main server.

Then when you move to a new zone you get bumped to overflow and the whole process can begin again. Sometimes the slot will open up while you’re still entering the new zone, meaning that when you spawn you’ll have TWO popups in your face, one telling you you’re in overflow and the other telling you you can leave overflow now.

Just.. what? Who designed this? The rest of the game is so sleek. The interface is tidy and unobtrusive. Then then we have this awful system of popups like we’re running Update on Windows 98. Just terrible. There’s no reason for this. If you’re playing solo and you’re not doing PvP, then there is no reason to care which instance of the server you’re on. The only thing bad about the system is that the game won’t shut up about it. I wouldn’t even know this was happening if not for the popups and the needless loading screens due to instance-jumping. Just leave me on the overflow server. I don’t care. Just get out of my face.

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The game is much too pretty. It’s completely ridiculous how good-looking this thing is. It’s like, does everything I see need to be a visual feast? Haven’t you guys heard of copy & paste scenery? Does every location need to be a hand-crafted architectural wonder? What’s with the endless diversity of plant life, atmosphere, color tone, and the rich soundscape that lurks beneath every lush vista? Everything is much too open to exploration. In all my hours in the game, I don’t think I’ve ever had to run through a single serpentine canyon rat-maze just to get from A to B. Instead the game forces me to travel over open ground where I’m always seeing the wondrous horizon or set-piece locations.

By making their game vibrant and engaging, ArenaNet has basically ruined me for all other online games. For this I may never forgive them.


A Hundred!202013We've got 153 comments. But one more probably won't hurt.


  1. GM says:

    Hmm the last complain is false. :)
    p.s. Spoilers

    Anyway Vindictus has a working marketplace and mail system, althrough I don´t know if they had problems at start.

  2. Zaxares says:

    Yeah, I was baffled at the lack of direct player-to-player trading in GW2 as well. My first thought was that maybe it was done to combat illegal botting/gold farming, but that doesn’t make any sense since you can just mail the money/items to the buyer.

    Personally, the trading post being down hasn’t affected me in the slightest, but I’m still putzing around the early areas, gathering resources and occasionally crafting a new bag, which means I haven’t needed to purchase any additional materials or items. I do agree that the “random 15% of the population” testing method is absolutely dumb; for all I know, I’ve been slotted to use the TP on occasion, but because I’ve never used it at all, the testing went to waste.

    I’m still below level 10 on all my characters, so I can’t really comment on balance at higher levels. So far it’s possible to solo all of the Personal quests, but you need to be darn careful sometimes. I’m presuming they’re balanced so that people can still solo the quests, but it’s leaning more towards “make one mistake and it’s all over”, which I dislike.

    I haven’t had issues with the overflow servers either, but then again, what usually happens is that I’ll head into a city/zone, and then I will spend the next 3 – 4 hours in that zone wandering around, finding vistas/points of interest and completing dynamic events. I’m sure that once I get higher in level and start zipping between cities and zones on a frequent basis, it may get annoying. Still, I’m hoping by that time the servers will have settled down and the overflow queues will no longer be an issue.

    You also didn’t address the BIG question, Shamus… Is GW2 the WoW-killer spoken of in prophecy (whether it deliberately set out to do so or not)? ;)

    • Zaxares says:

      I forgot to mention one thing though. That picture of the sleeping Quaggan on the “down for maintenance” sign is so adorable that even were I annoyed at not being able to use the TP, I would forget my rage.

    • Skyy_High says:

      The stated reasoning for the lack of player-to-player trade is three-fold:
      1) It’s supposed to eliminate scamming, since everyone can (theoretically) sell and buy whatever they want on a completely transparent market,
      2) It reduces trade spam, and
      3) The marketplace benefits from 100% player participation, because it tracks prices as well as buy orders, which means that prices will be more accurate the more people are using the system.

      Mailing trades are instant and available anywhere for trade between any two parties that trust each other (friends, guildies, etc).

  3. Rack says:

    The Overflow system is bizarre but I never noticed because it’s a source of xp for me. I’ll complete an event, the overflow window will pop up and I can sometimes complete the same event on the real server. In one instance I appeared inside a wall we were tasked to destroy and as a result all my projectiles would hit it while normally I’d only be able to hit it with a certain arc. The resulting scene where my character burst out of a solid rock wall and proceeded to lay the smackdown on the nearby enemies is one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had.

    • hewhosaysfish says:

      Did you yell “OH YEAH!” when you burst out the wall?

    • Mari says:

      Not to mention that they also reset the resource nodes between servers so I get double XP for harvesting resources and additional crafting supplies.

      Also: I’ve discovered that the surest way to trigger the move between an overflow server and the “real” server is to talk to a merchant or sit down at a crafting bench for a long exploration of the recipe discovery screen. Inevitably when I’m in the middle of one of those I’ll get the popup that I’m being moved to another server. Or, alternatively, when I’m just running through a server on my way to another zone.

    • Hitch says:

      I’ve been hoping that the overflow is a temporary measure and once things stabilize we hardly ever see it again. I played WoW during times of player demand overwhelming server capacity. I’ve been assuming the inconvenience of overflow dialog boxes and loading screens are an alternative to the up to 2 hours spent waiting in a queue to get into WoW at all.

      As to the last point, I think of Shamus every time I look at a distant mountain or look down on the plains from a high vantage point and notice the distinct lack of the oh so familiar obvious tiling of repeated textures. It hardly seems like a video game without those.

      The Trading Post problems have been disappointing, but understandable. I didn’t realize until reading this that GW1 did not have that feature. People have been asking why all of this wasn’t solved in beta. Well, it’s really hard to test something like the TP without thousands of people actively using it. When you can only play the beta for a weekend at a time, not many people want to spend much of that staring at the TP interface. They want to get out and “play the game.” Why waste your limited time playing the TP for gold that will disappear as soon as the game is released anyway? Yeah, playing the first couple weeks is paying to be a beta tester for the TP system, but that’s pretty much to be expected.

  4. S. Richmond says:

    I do feel for online games. Like most other high quality games it is on the cutting edge of some form of technology whether its graphics, AI, interaction, storytelling, etc. But UNlike most games, the online game has to run the full gamut of technology streams. Stuff like network, CPU, memory and database (That’s the market problem bottleneck in GW2) server scalability are problems the likes of Google and other giants such as Facebook have to deal with, and take in-house cutting edge iterative improvements by the best and brightest to solve.
    For companies like ArenaNET its understandable to me when they trip over such obstacles – They haven’t got a small army of professional architects solving all these problems from each stream before they occur. All they can do is attempt to implement the methods of those before them and fight the fires as they come.

  5. StranaMente says:

    Now that i just came back from the store with a retail copy of the game you tell me the problems! Also the problems with the retail copies!
    The disc is in the tray and supposedly installing the game…. :-( I guess I’ll find out soon enough if that’s true.
    Speaking about the trading post it seems fine now, at least so they say…

    Also, what should I roll? Suggestions?

    “halving the traffic will reduce the traffic by more than half” did you mean population here?

    • Vipermagi says:

      It should be installing fine if it started the install. It’s also probably just downloading.

      As for what you should roll: I couldn’t tell you. Each profession gets a wide plethora of toys to make everything dead with, and I don’t know what you would like best. Never thought I’d like the Engineer a lot, but there’s my engineer being my highest level character… Grenades are amazing.

      I will however give you the advice of spending Trait points (you unlock these at level 11, setting you back 10 silver) on Toughness and/or Vitality, even if you’re fighting at range. Monsters can hit hard, and they will hit hard. This goes double for Dungeons; those guys are MEAN :( (but we totally killed them with just three people)

    • Mari says:

      I had a friend go out and buy the retail disc last night and install it just fine. Steve C. is the only one I’ve heard from that’s had a problem (not that I’m dismissing his problem – it’s rage-making to purchase something, look forward to using it, and be unable to do so and I totally get that.) I guess my point is that YMMV. But even if the disc doesn’t work for you, there are work-arounds.

      As far as what to roll…up to you, dude. Personally I’m fond of classes that can set things aflame easily and often which boiled down to guardian (think paladin) or elementalist. I opted for guardian for now because I’m not normally an MMO player and while I’m getting used to how to play the game I wanted a class that would be forgiving of my mistakes – one with high armor and high hit points. I’m having a blast with it and apparently guardians are highly prized on dungeon runs if the babble I see in world-chat is any indication.

      • Ysen says:

        I installed from a retail disc with zero problems. I did have to download some stuff, but it was only about 1GB instead of 25. I assume it was just updates since I didn’t install right on launch day.

      • Zagzag says:

        Yep, I installed from disc too, and didn’t have to download the whole game, just half a gig or so of patches, so I don’t know where Steve C is getting their information from.

    • StranaMente says:

      I was trying to join the Henge of Denravi server to be with the twentysided guild, but it looks like it’s full, and trying to pick another it says that if in the future I want to change I will have to purchase a world transfer.
      Any suggestions?

      • Adeon says:

        For the moment server transfers are free so pick a random server and keep checking to see if you can transfer to Henge. That’s what I did.

        • Joshua says:

          Also, as I understand it the plan is that they won’t start charging for server transfers until they get the cross-server teaming working, at which point your home server matters a whole lot less. (I guess it still would for WvWvW? Haven’t explored that at all yet.)

      • Mephane says:

        Stupid me. I have always been wondering why almost the entire Eikosi League seems to be in the zone “Henge of Denravi” all the time, and assumed it was some popular higher level place that I just had not yet heard of.

        But it’s the name of the server, and apparently shows the name of the zone only within a given server (and in different color, that I could figure out at least). It’s actually very clever this way, and I feel very dumb for realizing only now. Heh.

      • Abnaxis says:

        It was like that for me. I just resolved to check every time I logged on to see if it was still full. Eventually it went from “Full” to “High” population, and there I am. It doesn’t cost anything to do it this way (yet)

    • Hitch says:

      One suggestion you might try. (Well, probably too late for StranaMente, but other people reading this.) If you buy a retail copy, use the key off that to make your account, then go your account management on the website and download and install the client from there. You have a better chance of getting the latest version and even if you install from disc, you’ll still have to download all the updates they’ve done in the past week anyway.

      • StranaMente says:

        Luckly I didn’t have any problem with the installation. There weren’t even any patches, so the content worked without downloading anything. Really enjoying my Asura necromancer! :-D

  6. Mephane says:

    By making their game vibrant and engaging, ArenaNet has basically ruined me for all other online games.

    Exactly my thoughts. All remaining interest in other MMOs, including the (in some areas quite superb) TSW and the upcoming WoW expansion, have completely faded. There is so many aspects where GW2 excels, among them the dynamic event system and the renown hearts (which together replace traditional quests so neatly that I don’t ever want to see an NPC with an exclamation mark over their hear).

    The combat system, which is fast-paced and mobile yet not just a reflex test. The way skills are tied to weapons (of which I was highly skeptical when I read about it), giving you a certain kind of uniqueness in your play style yet the flexibility to swap weapons before and to a limited extent (depending on your profession) in combat.

    The world – oh the world, the last time I was so captivated by the world presented in an MMO when I started WoW for the first time, back in 2005 (or was it 2006?). It’s not just the visuals and art direction, also the ambience sound well-done and quite immersive. I particularly missed hearing my character’s footsteps sound different on different ground, something that many players might not notice, but adds tremendously to the atmosphere.

    However, to add at least something negative, yesterday I was shocked when I learnt – the hard way, of course – that certain crafting material is account-bound after acquisition. I not am talking about rare and hard to obtain stuff that some games like to gate with raid bosses etc., but really simple stuff like citrons or even butter. It had not even noticed this until my better half brought four bags of citrons and found she could not give them to me so I could just make her some citron cake.

    • MelTorefas says:

      Yes! This is exactly how I am feeling about GW2. I can’t say how glad I am that Shamus’ praise convinced me to give the live game a try. They seem to have scaled the damage enemies do WAY down from the Beta, where you’d just die all the time. Now I am having a blast, and no longer resentful from thinking I wasted a bunch of money.

      Your comments about WoW were especially resonant. I was thinking pretty much the exact same thing playing my guardian yesterday.

  7. Cody211282 says:

    If normal people are running into this many problems I wonder how bad Josh has it?

  8. Zukhramm says:

    My biggest problem with the game: The armor designers were not informed that the Charr were playable, that characters would have arms, and that the Norn have hair.

    http://www.thecrouchmode.com/pictures/uploads/gw2arghaarhaghg.jpg

    The hair and the hand I can live with, that’s only for some specific combination. It’s bad, but not that important. But something that’s an issue on pretty much all non-Charr specific armor for one of the five playable races? Really? Did they not notice? Did they not care? Do they just hate me?

    • Sagretti says:

      Some of the helmets look downright disturbing on the Charr. They try to extend them down the neck somewhat, and it just looks really stretched out and awkward. I doubt my Charr guardian will have “Show Helmet” checked on at any point.

    • Incunabulum says:

      there’s a ridiculous amount of clipping on all the models – armor and weapons. I can accept a certain amount of that when mixing and matching parts from different armor sets (I’d rather be forced to tolerate some of this than be forbidden from mix-matching to prevent it) but all the weapons sheathed on the waist clip through coats.

      Its a shame considering how much care went into the details of the rest of the world.

  9. Hoffenbach says:

    One issue I keep having is that blinking short distances with my Mesmer skills sometimes puts me under the world. This is no problem unless the closest waypoint is pretty far away, or if I’m somehow still stuck in combat. It is pretty strange to be swimming under the world though.

    • Mephane says:

      Heh, accidentally getting under the terrain seems to be a problem that plagues all MMOs. I am really wondering whether it is impossible/too costly to programmatically check for this condition and teleport the player character (or even an NPC) vertically up until they are on solid ground again, or whether developers just decide that it is too rare a bug to bother.

      • MelTorefas says:

        I vividly remember the Fields of Bone in Kunark in original EverQuest, being constantly assaulted by skeletons and scaled wolves attacking from beneath the terrain. The GM I talked to said that zone was so bad the devs called it “the pit”, and were constantly having to go in and clean up the enemies trapped under it.

        Also in early days WoW, charging as a warrior or getting feared by a warlock would often run you under the world. In their case, you’d just fall to your death.

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        Under scenery does seem to be a problem for everybody, but it’s kind of fun. I’ve got a screenshot from underneath one of the Norn lodges. All the furniture is a full-on 3D model, but the floor and ceiling is not: if you’re one the wrong side, you see the undersides of furniture and can make yourself feel like a real perv looking up the NPCs’ skirts. On the plus side, getting out is a matter of just teleporting to a convenient way-point, so the amount of actual harm a tiny hole in the geography can cause is pretty small.

        • Zagzag says:

          I’ve managed to get on top of a mountain you weren’t supposed to get to, causing me to be able to see into a cave area, as there were no textures put on top from the outside, since you normally can’t see them. The weird thing is that I could still walk on the roof of the cave, but the actual surface was invisible, since it only had textures on the other side.

  10. mumak says:

    Something i noticed about Harathi hinterlands is that if you know what you’re doing you can farm the area for extremely easy levels and a lot of loot. There are 2 major events happening at once that both yield great amounts of xp and loot. The first one is a centaur event near top left corner of the map that has around 4-5 parts to it(each giving a huge amount of xp. These events also have a huge amount of centaur mobs so if you can do aoe damage and tag the mobs you get a ridicilous amount of loot. The other event is also a chain that starts with killing a huge giant and if anyone has met them before you know they take for ages to kill. After that you get a lot more trash mobs and a lot more loot.
    Now heres the catch. The events usually always overlap(in my experience)this allows you to take part in the centaur event then rush to the giant event after finishing the centaurs and thus taking part in both event. After finishing the giant event it takes around 15 minutes for the centaur event to restart meaning you can go farm that again. it’s a vicious cycle.
    I did this for a few hours and went from around level 40 to level 46. In this time I earned at least 1 gold(from vendoring blue and green items), gained a huge amount of crafting materials(salvage and the bags the centaurs drop), found 6 yellow items(netting me at least 1 more gold) and I gained at least 10k karma.In no other area have I seen such a abusable event cycle and in my opinion arena.net should change the timing around a bit.

  11. Jarenth says:

    One consequence of the appallingly terrible Overflow system is that it often makes grouping nigh-impossible. I’ve come to believe there can be different Overflow servers for each zone; I’ve stood in one spot, voice-communicating with other people who reported being in the exact same spot, all of us in Overflow but unable to reach each other, too many times to count now.

    Guild Wars 2 isn’t really designed for group play as-is, what with it’s easy of soloing and complete absence of forced-group quests. This Overflow system is just the icing on the cake. I don’t think I’ve actually grouped up with friends to do anything PvE-related more than twice last week.

    Edit: Still a good game, mind. But Guild Wars 2 embodies the ‘Massively Single-player Online’ trope better than any MMO I’ve seen so far.

    • mumak says:

      cant you use the join function to join the same overflow server? I only used it once but it seemed to work fine.

      • Phill says:

        The join function that is meant to get everyone in the same party on the same server / overflow is erratic. Sometimes it works. More often, in my experience, it doesn’t. In fact I don’t think it has ever worked when my wife and I are tyring to get on the same server when in a party together. But it probably depends on ther load on the server you are transferring to to some extent, and ours seems to be a high pop server.

        • Zagzag says:

          They actually listed the join function not working properly as a known bug that they were working on. It was connected to the trading post being down apparently, since some server somewhere wasn’t doing what it should, and this meant that there was a queue to switch servers. When you were pressing “Join in XXX”, the game was adding you to a list of people who wanted to move instance, and would get to you in the end if you waited.

          They seem to have fixed this by now, at least for my EU server though.

    • Vipermagi says:

      Well yeah, there’s multiple overflows. You should be able to right-click your party member’s portrait and select Join In to join the same overflow :)
      It has had its moments of dysfunction due to server load though.

    • Rack says:

      I’d agree that grouping is a pain with the overflow system, but I can’t agree that it’s a massively single player game. Even if you aren’t grouped you’re always playing with other people. In WoW other players are generally either a non-entity or an annoyance, in Guild Wars 2 they are allies.

      • Abnaxis says:

        Indeed.

        I have yet to join a party, yet I have helped and been helped by other players more times than I can count, in just two days.

        It’s like Capitalism Ideal: the MMO–everyone just does their own thing, and by doing so, helps everyone else surrounding them do their own thing. It’s nice.

        • Joshua says:

          Well, it’s multi-player in the sense that you are often helping other players or being helped by them. However, it feels very single-player in the social aspect, since there is little reason to group unless you’re with people you already know, therefore you have less reasons to meet new people.

          • Jarenth says:

            Pretty much this, yes. While it’s a cool notion that all these other players running around are people just doing their own thing and that that leads to emergent cooperation, and while I’ve had a few genuinely amazing moments of actual unintended teamwork (the Cave of Infinity Flame Legion Soldiers springs to mind), the truth of the matter for me is that these entities running around in and around the gameworld are often functionally indistinguishable from bots.

  12. Kira says:

    Just for reference, the trading post permanently went up (supposedly permanently) 4 hours ago. Finally offloading all my crap, makin moneh!

  13. kanodin says:

    Gamestop/Impulse still has digital copies, or at least still did yesterday, for anyone that really wants in. Also since they’re only selling a serial code you don’t need to keep their app installed.

  14. Jjkaybomb says:

    The Auction house is the only game-crippling problem I see here. With the wonky scaling, I just assumed they designated some quests to be harder than others. There was this one area in the Asuran starting area, a blown out powerplant. Anything you did there was tough, ending in the mother of all kill-everybody boss battles. This is next to, you know, go talk to some kids and impress them.

    And admit it Shamus, the overflow popups are a nitpick at best =P Two windows you have to click that are sometimes annoying?! THE HUMANITY!!!!

    • Shamus says:

      I do a LOT of teleporting around, because I’m doing a lot of exploring. This results in a lot of popups, none of which are needed. And it’s not just the popups, but also the loading screens. Getting bumped to overflow and harassed back to main doubles the loading screen jumps.

      • Vipermagi says:

        I am totally with you tbh. There should be an option to disable *at least* the Travel to Main popup. It’s just one click per window, but they can pop up a lot. :/

      • Danman says:

        Any extra clicks are bad design, that’s UI design 101. That doesn’t mean that they’re not sometimes necessary.

        Yes, it’s a nit-pick if it comes up once an hour. And if you run from zone to zone, that’s probably how often it will come up.

        However, any time you make it so that you can do something that will cause extra clicks to happen gets painful to the user. I know people (read: ME) who complain when the “teleport” system (whatever it is) is 1. Click to open map 2. Click to choose teleport 3. Click “Confirm” (yes I want to teleport here). When someone is already annoyed at 3 click, a fourth is actually a big deal. Especially if you are doing this activity a lot

        • Zukhramm says:

          If you do the personal quest line you’ll running back and forth between zones with great frequency, pretty much putting you in permanent overflow.

        • Mephane says:

          I have had enough occasions where the teleportation confirmation prompt saved me from accidentially teleporting all across the map, from where I would have had to teleport back and run to the place I had actually been before that. Accidental clicks on the map do happen, I have had it often enough that I am very glad that the game asks for confirmation.

        • Incunabulum says:

          Just double click the the icon on the map and it will bypass the confirmation dialogue.

        • Jjkaybomb says:

          Honestly, how much more streamlined can that teleport system get? I can see the “you’re in the overflow!” popup just being a little fade-in-fade-out message, but how else would you make the teleporting go smoother? you have to open a menu to see where you want to go, and a map makes it easy to see /exactly/ where you’re going. And if you teleported in just one click, thats a lot of small accidents that take your money and time away from you. Isnt that more annoying than a confirmation window?

          I can see where the systems can be annoying, and where it can be improved. Like a “dont remind me!” option would be nice, and probably easy to fix. But, saying that, I think it’s great thing that one of the few problems in the game is “stupid occasional popups,” and not something much, much more damaging XD

          • Danman says:

            I can’t tell you any way to make the teleporting system any better. I’m just saying that when you’re teleporting around a whole lot, 3 clicks starts to get annoying. Again, extra clicks are sometimes necessary. That’s a fact of life. However, in my opinion, 3 clicks is in that range of annoying but still in the realm of necessary. The almost guarentee to add 1 more click (at least while the game is still so popular) and the possibility to add another is bad design. 3 is in the upper reaches, 5 is rediculous

        • Sumanai says:

          I could often deal with three clicks, but what really puts me off is whenever a game decided to put the confirmation buttons somewhere far away from the cursor.

          Civ4 is a good example of this type of irritation for me. In the main menu everything is in the middle, except for the Confirm and Back buttons, which are in the lower corners. And as resolutions go higher the distance grows.

          It’s really strange how many games ignore the very basic rules:
          The fewer clicks the better. *1
          The shorter moving distance for the mouse the better. *2
          The easier the button is to hit, the better. *3
          Avoid having “screens” or scrolling. *4

          *1 Except when it costs the user more time/effort, e.g. from mistakes.
          *2 Except when it makes it challenging to hit the correct option.
          *3 Except when it makes the button cover too much from the interface. Also *1.
          *4 Except when it would make the interface confusing because of information overload.

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        I can charitably rationalize the pop-ups for now as being “Let’s get people REALLY AWARE of the whole overflow mechanism during the rush, so we can change it and make it tolerable later.” The later mechanism being something more like

        * you get dropped into overflow shard and queued for a slot in main
        * you get a little indicator in a corner of your screen that tells you that you’re in the queue.
        * when you’ve queued through and have a slot on the main server, the indicator changes and starts a countdown of some reasonable time (like maybe 10 minutes).
        * if you click the indicator before it expires, at your convenience, it moves you over the the main server.
        * if you don’t click it, you stay on the overflow shard and re-enter the queue for another pass though.

        That fixes two problems at once: it gets rid of the nag box that’s in the middle of the screen and needs to be addressed to do anything, and it also moves the state switch to when the PLAYER is okay with it happening. You still get another 15-secodn loading screen EVENTUALLY, but it doesn’t have to happen now, and it’s long enough that if you’re just passing through an area en route elsewhere, you might be able to make the whole leg of the journey on the overflow shard without it ever becoming an issue.

      • Skyy_High says:

        Thought you’d like to know, this was in tonight’s “State of the Game” update:

        “We’ll add an option to stop queueing for your home world, for players who want to remain on an overflow server indefinitely without being asked.”

    • Mephane says:

      I am thankful those “you are now in an overflow instance” popups go away by pressing ESC. Since I found that out they don’t bother me at all (though I would still prefer them abolished completely, or an option to turn them off).

  15. Lovecrafter says:

    There’s one other annoying “feature” I’ve noticed: I’m playing a Charr engineer and as such, I’m constantly using ranged weapons like rifles, pistols and turrets. Turns out that if you try to attack an enemy that can’t his you back (because, for example, the enemy only has melee attacks and you’re standing on a ledge above him, or there’s a gap in between your platform and his), the game flags that enemy as invulnerable after about two hits. I don’t know if rangers or spellcasters have the same problem, but I find it frustrating that I cannot use my range as a ranged profession.

    And of course, enemy ranged attackers have no problems whatsoever with attacking you from a place you cannot reach.

    • Zukhramm says:

      Happens all the time for me too, but without seemingly having anything to do with their ability to reach me. It just happens.

      • Incunabulum says:

        Some of the mobs have abilities that make them invulnerable for a short time and some are set (usually event mobs) to be invulnerable until the get into a specific area. I’ve seen lots of mobs that are invulnerable while rushing to an event but are easily killed once they get into the zone.

        • Peter H. Coffin says:

          Also, there may be an upper limit to how many players can attack something at the the same time, and the thing is just invulnerable to everything that’s further out than the closest X active threats. It seems to happen a lot less with groups of centaurs, for example, than single giant things attracting dozens of players.

    • Incunabulum says:

      Its a crappy mechanic, but one that’s common to pretty much all MMO’s. Its there to prevent xp farming exploits – you can’t leave a tab-bot there and have it farm xp all day unattended.

      • krellen says:

        There are infinitely better ways to combat bots than by screwing players out of their abilities. What is the point of ranged attacks if I cannot use them to snipe things – you know, killing things that cannot retaliate, one of the primary advantages of projectile weaponry in the real world?

        If game designers don’t like you fighting things that can’t fight back, take the City of Heroes approach – give everything a ranged attack.

        • Vipermagi says:

          You still can, it just involves a little bit more effort than waiting for your autoattack to kill an entirely helpless monster. Namely, a cripple, disable, or swiftness boon. Oh, no.

      • Steve C says:

        Those kinds of bots don’t exist anymore. They all died out to much smarter bots that make decisions. It’s like setting up a radar trap to only catch people going too slow. It’s a non issue. Stopping something that doesn’t exist when it hurts the game experience is bad design.

    • Adeon says:

      I’ve noticed it a bit but since my Engineer mostly uses his Flamethrower I’m generally at close range anyway so it’s not a huge problem.

    • Hitch says:

      I believe that’s characteristic of the genre. It’s designed to prevent the players from exploiting the terrain for easy kills. In WoW if you attack a mob from a point they can’t path to to retaliate they automatically evade your attack. As a matter of fact in WoW if anyone tries to attack a mob in such a way that they evade, the mob will evade all attacks and reset to full health. Used to be a major problem in raids with players standing in the wrong spot and resetting the boss. From what I’ve seen in GW2 the mob is simply invulnerable to the attacks from the one player in the wrong spot, but others can damage it as normal.

      • Lovecrafter says:

        To me, it comes as a surprise since the first Guild Wars never did this. You could even damage mobs through walls if you had a spell without a physical projectile.

        Regarding only the gunner being unable to attack: it might be a bit wonkier than that. Oftentimes, if the mob can attack another player, I’ll be able to damage it as normal. Not always, mind, but often enough to notice.

        Seems like the devs have quite the number of things to iron out.

  16. Abnaxis says:

    Reader Steve C (and others) report that the boxed disc is basically worthless, and you will end up downloading the game in its entirety after you install. This can be a problem if you have a slow or metered connection. Also, some people are having trouble getting the download to work at all.

    I had (and resolved) this issue as well. This is what seemed to be happening: the first thing the discs install is the download client, and (I think) the download client installer then executes some code to tell the download client to install the game from the disc instead of downloading it. If the installation goes awry for any reason (I overheated my computer doing other stuff while it was copying the metric butt-ton of files), or if you cancel the installation midway, the download client will no longer look to your discs for installation. Whether you have the disc in the drive or not, it will instead opt to download the butt-ton of files from the internet. This is problem, because even if you manually run the .exe on the disc it just opens the download client.

    The workaround for this (worked for me, anyway) is to uninstall the download client before you try to install the game again. If you do so, the trigger that tells the client “install from disc” will reassert itself.

    • Irridium says:

      Phwew. Got worried for a second.

      The reason I ordered the physical copy was because of my not-so-great connection. It works for playing online (usually, sometimes), but it’d take ages to download this game.

      I’ll be sure to keep this in mind.

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        There may also be some patch-level dynamic going on as well. My current game folder has three files in it, and the .dat file is 14 GB. I don’t off-hand know how much is on the installation DVD, but it was probably closer to 10 GB than 15 GB. When I first installed the game, it copied a LOT off those DVDs, then it went out and sucked down another 10 GB from the servers, and every day or two, there’s another 10, 15, 25 MB of patches coming down. Usually, patching doesn’t involve rebuilding a master copy except at major release points, so odds are that going download-only means that you’d have to download all of what’s on those DVDs first, then download all the patches to date anyway, in order, so if the same chunk of data got patched six times, you get to download and overwrite it six times. It’s wasteful, but that’s the only way to keep those daily downloads in the 25 MB range instead of downloading the whole 14 GB bundle every time, and keep the patching robust enough not to be a failure waiting to happen and requiring the player to reinstall the whole thing. Eventually, they’ll get to a major release (“Service Pack”, in Windows vocabulary), roll up all those cumulative patches, flatten them into a single image, and the old DVDs really will be useless, because you’ll need to download the whole service pack to bring yourself current enough to start with the cumulative patching again…

    • Steve C says:

      You are literally the first person I’ve heard about that was able to use the discs in some productive way. (The 2nd is further down in the comments.) However I found tons of people who could not use the discs while I was trying to troubleshoot this.

      I had the discs in the DVD drive, plus I had copies of all the files from the DVD in the same directory it was trying to install to (my %temp% which I had to reassign) and it still never accessed them. There was no uninstall option for me because install didn’t work. I even searched my registry (winxp) and there was nothing in it associated with the game.

      Do you remember how many Gigs you had to download before you got a working game? Perhaps a log somewhere on your computer or router?

      Btw: The files on the DVDs are 13.52 Gigs. The up to date installed game is 14.2 Gigs

      • Abnaxis says:

        I’m not saying I didn’t need to download anything at all, I’m saying the discs actually installed something for me, with a bit of finagling. YMMV, of course.

        What I did was start the installation, wait for the disc change, and then went to the grocery. The full game was installed by the time I got back. There is no way in heck it managed to do that if it downloaded the entire client.

  17. Michael says:

    Trading Post
    We’ve been expanding the Trading Post’s capacity to handle the huge volume of requested trades. After our test yesterday, we’ve been working to resolve some issues reported by players. We expect to have the Trading Post online for all players this evening.

    Status Updates, Mon 3 Sep

  18. Ecco says:

    The discs worked for me just fine. Out of curiosity I interrupted the installation and tried to do the download way, but the downloaded installer STILL used the disc inside the drive, even though I didn’t run it from the disc.

  19. spelley says:

    I was able to access the Trading Post this morning. I am getting the feeling they are close to getting it fixed, as it was running very smoothly this time (it wasn’t t he last couple times it was up) but we will see if the shit hits the fan when we have more concurrent users online (I checked this at 7am this morning)

  20. Abnaxis says:

    SOOOOoooo…

    According to what I just read, you apparently need to “represent” a guild to get anything out of it. I was wondering why I wasn’t seeing any guild chat at all.

    I shall rectify this tonight!

  21. I-Spy says:

    An interesting bit of information: people asked for the overflow warning popup.

    In the earlier beta weekends, there wasn’t a notice you had been put in an overflow server. The only hint you would find was on the mini-map, which gave you the region name and told you if you were in overflow if you moused over it.

    Obviously, such a hidden alert wasn’t good enough for most people, and after receiving the complaints Arenanet gave us this. I didn’t really have issue with it until recently, when I started getting that duel “you’re in overflow” and “the main server is open! What are you waiting for?”

  22. Abnaxis says:

    What’s really worrisome is just how little progress we’re seeing. They usually only enable the trading post for 15% of the population for testing purposes. Likely a lot of those randomly-chosen 15% don’t even know it’s available to them. Also, a trade system where a random 15% of the population can trade with each other using a system that might vanish at any moment is not terribly useful, meaning even among the portion of the 15% who know about it, a lot of them won’t waste time with it.

    That’s assuming a bit. What you say is true if you’re assuming they’re just taking a fully random 15% block of people and flipping the “can trade” switch to the ON position, but that would be a dumb way to conduct the test.

    The smart way to do it is to allow the first N people into the trading post who try to get in, where N equals 15% of the population. It’s not a not-quite-random sample, but that’s because your sampling scheme is controlling out fluctuations (whether the person needs/expects the trading post to be up) that you don’t care about.

    Since TP seems to be fixed at this point it’s all academic. Still, it’s a pet-peeve of mine to see people throwing around statistics that always assume simple random sampling.

    • Shamus says:

      On the dev blog on Reddit they said it was random.

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        Random is a heck of a lot easier. And if they’ve got a couple hundred thousand players, 15% is probably enough to get a few hundred users on for testing purposes…

      • Mephane says:

        Maybe it was random among those trying to access it? Randomly giving access to people not even trying to would defeat the entire purpose of testing how much stressing the thing can withstand.

      • Abnaxis says:

        Yeah, but the method I said was random too. The number of people who are trying to use the TP over a fixed amount of time will be distributed as a Poisson random variable (with a few generous assumptions). Random != uniform probability. It just means you don’t know what the outcome will be ahead of time.

        I’m just saying, that 15% block could have actually been a full 15% block sample, if they did it right. It probably wasn’t, because very few companies/people pay attention to gathering statistics in an efficient, credible manner. That’s the source of my peeve, and hence why I post here…

  23. Incunabulum says:

    The overflow interface is doubly annoying – not only does it have all the flaws mentioned, te pop-ups for me are usually delayed juuuuust long enough for me to move, click on something, whatever and then this damn pop-up shows up that won’t let any of the rest of the interace work until I acknowledge that I know I’m in overflow. And as you said – who cares?

    I don’t know why they didn’t go with a system similar to the town instancing in GW1 where people fill a world instance until its full ad new one’s are spawned and despawned according to load and player movement. Then you might actually be able to met up with people for dungeons.

    • Hitch says:

      I’ve been believing that it’s a temporary measure while they ramp up server quantity and capacity and the population stabilizes. Much like at peak time WoW has a login queue where you have to wait to get into the game at all, in time the overflow will disappear except for the occasional surge. They could solve the problem by just launching a lot more servers and going overboard on capacity, but if they end up not needing that on an ongoing basis, that’s a lot of money wasted.

  24. Muspel says:

    For what it’s worth: there is a disadvantage to being on an overflow server. When your server does well at WvW, everyone on it earns various minor bonuses (extra experience, gold, defense, more crafting materials while harvesting, etc), but you don’t get any of these benefits while on an overflow server.

    I agree that the current warning messages are intrusive, but there’s at least some rationale for that.

  25. ps238principal says:

    This may not be the place to post this, but I’m going to anyway.

    To alleviate my Spoiler Warning jones, I’ve been watching old episodes, including the original Fallout 3 episodes. They worked fine last night, but now when I go to the eps done with Viddler, I get a triangle with an “!” in the middle telling me the “free trial has expired” and that I should “upgrade now.”

    Is this just my mucked-up browser playing tricks? Does Shamus need to renew something? Can Josh save the episodes to YouTube? Will Reginald Cuftbert ever find true love?

    • Shamus says:

      They seriously have begun charging people to ADD CONTENT TO THEIR SITE ARG!

      No, we will not being paying them. That would eb silly. About once a month and Josh I say:

      “We should upload our old eps to YouTube.”

      “Yeah, we really need to do that.”

      “Agreed.”

      We’ve been doing that for a year.

      • ps238principal says:

        Wow, that stinks. Given that they generate ad revenue off of videos they didn’t even produce, it seems a rather strange business model unless they just want to be evil for no real reason. I’m sure someone could say that X videos aren’t paying for their server space in ad clickthrus, but it’s not like Viddler has exactly endeared itself to the ‘net for reasons other places have (i.e. YouTube for ubiquity, Vimeo for not being as heavily policed by lawyers with takedown notices for simple music videos, etc.).

        Ah, well. At least it means Josh has the files saved somewhere, and that’s what’s important.

        …I just invoked Murphy’s Law, didn’t I? Is Josh insured for fire?

      • Indy says:

        I could upload the first two seasons in low quality 360p. The quality would be terrible but the content is the same. Minus the Viddler comments of course. This way, neither you nor Josh have to get involved in the process, so that’s a plus.

  26. Xapi says:

    So, all these posts have stirred my interest, so I have some really really basic questions about this game, mostly commercial.

    Is it subscription based or do you just pay once?

    What’s the cost?

    Is it on Steam or something like that, what sort of DRM does it use?

    Does it have stuff that can be unlocked via real money (be it areas, race/class or direct gear purchase?

    • Shamus says:

      Pay once.

      It’s probably still $60 USA BUX.

      Not on Steam. No DRM, aside from, you know, logging in because it’s an MMO. No secuROM or such.

      Yes. It has a real money thing. HOWEVER, so far they aren’t selling power. You don’t need to pay to keep up in PVP or to slow the leveling grind. A lot of the stuff for sale is cosmetic, and the rest is convenience. I’ve never bumped into any of the free-to-play shenanigans where they burden you for not paying for gear or whatever.

    • Mari says:

      You only pay for the game – $60. You can also do micro-transactions for goodies that enhance the game but none are necessary. These are things like a consumable that gives you access to the bank while you’re in the middle of nowhere, additional bank storage, purchasing gold for real money, etc. There are no races or classes that can be purchased as a micro-transaction.

      I have no idea if it’s available on Steam but I would suspect not since A-net has suspended their own digital sales to foil gold farmers who were purchasing digital account keys by the thousands on the first few days of the game. You’ll likely have to go to an actual store and purchase a physical copy of the game or wait until digital sales are turned back on.

  27. Mari says:

    I’ve found another one or two trifling annoyances in the game. One of the skill point challenges in, I believe, Diessa Plateau (or could have been Plains of Ashford) is intermittently bugged. You’re supposed to fight waves of ghosts or some such but off and on for hours at a time you click the thing to trigger the challenge and a wave of blue flame encompasses the area but no ghosts appear for the killing. Not a huge deal but it was annoying to me because it was the only thing standing between me and 100% of that area map.

    Also I have several short-range teleport combat abilities and they can be a bit wonky at times. I’ll be staring at an enemy, running right towards him, trigger a ‘port, and end up shooting past him and two other guys into the middle of ten enemies somewhere else entirely. That’s frustrating, especially when the ten guys I ‘port into kick my butt and leave me dead on the ground with no support nearby.

    Also, Arenanet – stop giving me so many goodies! I complete a zone map you give me loot. I kill stuff you give me loot. I play a lot you give me loot. I have way more loot than bank space. And I have no idea what purpose the transmog tonics serve since I can’t get titles for using them this time but they sure do take up space. I end up sitting in the middle of a crafting area turning into a blue moa and then a snow leopard and then an eagle raptor and then something else just to get them to stop taking up inventory/bank space. Although I did enjoy the eagle tonics. I flew all over Divinity’s Reach as an eagle, played tag with a little boy and a dog, and dive-bombed players. Unfortunately none of the rest of the transformations have done much for me.

    • Skyy_High says:

      The tonics are cute, and part of me is glad they removed the title aspect of them (to the uninformed: in GW1, tonics that changed your appearance gave you “Party Animal” title points, so people would just sit in town spamming the stuff), but you’re right, I get way too many of them to use, and most of them I wouldn’t want to use anyway…so I just delete them.

    • Dianne says:

      If you find issues like this, please report them! Type the /bug command and fire off a report to ArenaNet, ticking the “Blocking Issue” checkbox if it’s blocking your progress (eg Skill Challenge blocking map completion progress).

      I found a skill challenge that was not working in Plains of Ashford the other day and reported it. They fixed it fairly quickly after that and I was able to complete the map.

      • Mari says:

        LOL Can I also use that for the personal storyline mission that I can’t beat even though I’m 5 levels above the supposed “recommended level”? I was just doing some internet searching and discovered that I’m not the only one. Apparently a fair few of us in the elementalist and guardian classes are thoroughly outclassed in this mission and have a lot of difficulty beating it. I was really hoping to find out I’m just an idiot and overlooked something incredibly obvious that I could do differently/better. Instead I’m finding out that the only good ways of dealing with the mission that most people in my profession have found are either A) waiting to continue their personal stories until they’re level 80 or B) getting other people to do the mission with them to add better ability to pull the mob and balance out the fact that the inherent class abilities are essentially negated by the enemies.

  28. Bentusi16 says:

    From what I’ve been told, they’ve intentionally throttled the ‘main’ servers to prevent them getting flooded, which is why the overflow is always getting players shunted into it.

    I’m not sure if they plan to decrease that control and allow more players joining/more players total into the main servers, but I can kind of understand the reasoning behind it. It’s still really annoying to go through the clickyclick over and over.

    There’s some minor balance issues (ranged weapons in the WvW), but otherwise man it’s fun. My only other real complaint is that, having bought the digital version, I found out that it doesn’t save your progress if your internet crashed or you shut down the download. You have to start over from the beginning :(

    Also, I’m on a crappy laptop with all the settings at low and the game still looks brilliant. Stupid arena net.

    • Abnaxis says:

      I know! My wife was looking at it, saying “it looks good but it’s not as flashy as most other modern games…” I opened up the settings box and everything was set to minimum. Makes me want to see it with the settings cranked.

  29. Adeon says:

    As someone who loves crafting the lack of the auction house is extremely frustrating.

    That being said I find the logic behind the setup for crafting materials in general to be somewhat bizarre. The raw crafting materials are extremely plentiful and also nearly useless. The items that you actually need to make final items (which are the only things that give decent crafting XP) are all monster drops. While this does introduce a combat element to crafting it also feels rather weird. I think I’d like it a lot more if there was the option to level up crafting using only the basic resources to make simple white quality items.

    As in most games the items you can actually craft aren’t really superior to the random drops you’ll get anyway which raises the big question of why on earth am I even bothering? I enjoy crafting but the sheer amount of farming necessary to get the materials to level it is starting to be a deal breaker.

    For the moment I’m just not working on crafting at all but I’m also giving serious consideration to dropping one of my current professions and leveling cooking instead since unlike the other professions the monster-kill ingredients don’t level up with you.

    That being said the basic setup for crafting is quite nice. Most characters can take an armor skill and a weapon skill and cover the majority of their gear. All armor skills get bags as well so that’s covered. The other two skills (Jewelry and Chef) offer some other interesting options and actually look to be better balanced in terms of materials (disclaimer: I haven’t actually tried them so that’s just my impression).

    • Vipermagi says:

      Strangely, three out of five [Ni] members have better gear from crafting than from killing monsters. I suppose it helps that I’m just dumping all my crafting materials on them so they can keep up, but the stuff they craft outpaces everything so far. I’m fifteen levels higher and they can still craft me useful gear :/

      • Adeon says:

        Fair point, it probably does depend on material availability. I’ve been resource starved (first due to lack of trading house and now due to a lack of funds to buy materials from the trading house) so most of my crafted gear is 5-10 levels lower than the gear I’m getting from drops.

  30. Lame Duck says:

    I feel like such a pedant for pointing this sort of thing out, but you did say you’d rather these things get corrected so: “One if these complaints might not be entirely genuine.”

  31. Drew says:

    My complaint: Black Lion Chests. These are the one situation in GW2 where I feel like they’re trying to milk me for more money. “Here’s some loot. If you want it, pay for it.”

    That’s just out of line. I understand you’re not getting anything game-breaking in the chests, but it reminds me of the Promethium Lock Boxes in DCUO. At least DCUO was open about being a “free to play” style game where you expect to have to pay money along the way to access more content. Guild Wars advertises itself as a “pay once” model, and aside from the Black Lion Chests, I’d never have felt pestered for more money.

    Otherwise, I’m having a great time so far.

    • Adeon says:

      The upside is that the items they drop aren’t really things I want anyway so I pretty much just delete them unless I already have a key.

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        Heh. I was carrying around a looted key for two real-world days before I finally got a chest to unlock with it. I suspect that the two halves drop about equally.

        • Shamus says:

          Counterpoint: I have 30 chests and no keys. :)

          Although, I’ve been doing a TON of exploring and I think that gives a lot of chests. (My map is 37% complete and I’m only level 41.)

          • Peter H. Coffin says:

            Heh. I suppose that would indeed motivate the desire to be able to acquire keys..

            • Hitch says:

              I’m pretty sure the keys are much harder to come by than the chest. If you don’t count buying keys on the gem store. Why a cynical mind would think they’re just trying to entice people to buy gems (preferably with real money). Note that gems are also purchasable with in-game gold and the exchange rate is (currently) not bad at all.

              • Mari says:

                I’ve got 2 chests right now waiting for keys. I’ve come pretty close to 50/50 on chests to keys considering those two chests are the 15 and 16th I’ve picked up. But very little in the chests interests me anyway so I looked at selling them at the Auction House. They’re very high demand but also very low value – when I looked yesterday bidders were only offering to pay about 4 copper for them. Meh, I’ll hang onto them until I get a couple more keys.

          • Mephane says:

            Same here, all chests, no keys. Could open two chests very early on when some quest gave me 1 key and the first chest gave a second. Apparently the chests give nothing extraordinary anyway, the transformation potions are nice fun stuff, XP, Karma etc gain buffs not bad either, but nothing inside seems to justify spending any real money on keys. Maybe if there are really people with a massive overabundance of keys, we could do some trade-swapping keys vs chests to even it out a bit?

    • Josh says:

      I guess they have to pester you somehow, or else they won’t make their money, and this isn’t so bad. I’ve opened about 10 chests so far with the keys they give you for free. I’m considering buying into their micro-transactions because I feel they deserve an income just as much as Blizzard does. Maybe $5-10 per month. On the other hand, I have played a whole lot of WoW and never paid anything but the subscription fee, because hey, they are getting enough of my money.

      • Alexander The 1st says:

        Thing is, it’s already a $60 game.

        It’s kind of like soliciting evil. “Hey, now that you’re here, would you like to buy this fancy key to get the thing behind chest number 2? No? What about chest number 8000? Still no?”

        Without being able to understand what you’ll get for that chest, it’s even worse. You might be paying to unlock a piece of meat. Gambling, from a certain point of view.

  32. BlckDv says:

    The first time I got a black Lion Chest it annoyed me as an apparent Money Grab as well, but since then I have gotten more keys than chests as loot drops, and so I now think of them more as the free sample of the food court, trying to put a few of the pay buff items in my hands so I can develop a taste for them.

    My bone-headed thing I did not figure out for way too long is the Collections tab. I had assumed it was some kind of deposit one of each for some kind of completionist kudos thing, and promptly ignored it, figuring I’d maybe work on it once my craft skills were all nicely leveled.

    Only by dumb luck of seeing a friend chatting with another buddy new to the game did I learn you can deposit vast amounts of items to the Collections tab right from the Inventory interface, then withdraw them when at the crafting station. Sadly I learned this shortly AFTER having grimly decided to sell all my cooking mats for bank space rather than keep waiting on the Trading Post to open. Now I have way more bag space, and can go a lot longer without returning to town. Huge game changer.

    • Muspel says:

      At higher levels, the supply of chests is likely to outpace the supply of keys, unless you get lucky. Because you can still get keys randomly, though, it’s not terribly egregious, and I like the fact that you can get cash-shop items from the chests without needing to pay money.

      • Ysen says:

        Speaking of getting lucky, yesterday I got a key to open a chest… which contained another key. Which I used to open another chest…

        Five chests later, I finally got a pickaxe instead of a key. I was starting to think it was broken and I should fill out a bug report.

  33. Josh says:

    Something needs to be done about the combat sound effects. Whenever there’s a warlock fighting nearby, the hoots and howls of their pets drown out everything else.

    On the other hand, a warrior with a rifle sounds awesome.

  34. Will says:

    God I want this game…

    But my computer SUUUUUXXX

    (What Arenanet did for the digital sales thing actually made me cry manly tears.)

  35. SolkaTruesilver says:

    Regarding the landscape and beauty of locations…

    Shamus, have you been to the Owl Abattoir, in the Snowden Drift? (lvl 15-25). I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more tragic location in gaming.

    It’s when you see owl ghosts wandering around…

  36. ENC says:

    How about some actual complaints:

    – The game’s dynamic events are still group quests where you compete against others. Only one person can pick up an item from the ground in order to turn it in The end result is people will camp the few item spawns (15-25 charr area northwest corner) and your 20 minutes of effort gets bronze participation.

    – Same applies for regular quests; you have guys going around tagging everything and drawing it to you. If you die (because they misjudged your skillset) they run, but if you live they get quicker xp. Likewise people camping mob (portal for the charr area) spawns on particularly grind-heavy quests.

    – The most grindy quest I found was having to give ale to a guy from a cart not 5m away; I had to do this 20 times and it was the most boring part of the game for me thus far because of how mind-numbingly boring and pointless it was, but was faster than the alternative of spending 30 minutes running around town trying to complete it.

    – Because you can pickup and play any quest as you near it you don’t really know why you’re doing the quest in the first place besides ‘this dude said so as he’s having some problems’. Even more immersion breaking are dynamic events that repeat every 10 minutes over and over.

    – As an extension of this, whenever I did go to do a regular quest with others nearby I’d have to race to mobs for fear of them dying too quickly (see above), but because this game has nowhere near as many quests as WoW does I can’t just ‘swap zones’ or go somewhere else.

    – The lag is the worst I have experienced in any MMORPG to date, and one of the worst I’ve experienced in any game. The majority of Aussies agree with me, especially on Whirlpool (without being a circlejerk). For example, there is an event in the 15-25 Charr zone with a giant you have to kill who does a stomp that you can dodge except the yanks were dodging as soon as his foot hit the top of its arc, whereas if I did it then I’d get hit, but if I did it before the bottom of his foot passed his ankle I’d be fine (and I’d finish my dodge before his foot even landed!)

    – The game seriously lacks in tutorials; this is worse than EVE Online.

    – Lack of a dungeon finder; at least for SWTOR I could message every single level 50 online from within the station, but now I have to go to the zone or lion’s arch to be able to spam people.

    – I don’t see where the processing power is going in this game; I can run the likes of BF3 and metro 2033 on maximum at 60FPS yet struggle to get 35 here when this looks like it takes a lot less. I was told it’d run a lot better on release especially with nivida drivers but I don’t call a 10FPS improvenet ‘a lot better’.

    At least the positives trump the negatives but the game certainly isn’t the holy grail it’s made out to be by any measure.

    • Ysen says:

      I’ve heard that performance on this game is really bad for some people, but fine for most, for some reason. My computer is pretty decent but not spectacular and I’m getting 70FPS+ in most areas, even when there are a bunch of other people running around, so I’ve got no complaints.

      • ENC says:

        This is on my GTX670: On my 4850HD (overclocked to 620 no less) I was getting 20FPS on medium/40 on low.

        • Adeon says:

          Have you tried upgrading to the Beta Drivers from Nvidia? When I first installed GW I got a pop-up recommending that I download the Beta drivers for my graphics card (a Nvidia 400-series). I did and haven’t had any problems.

    • Stranger says:

      I think the praise is for the game it could be if the mechanisms all worked flawlessly rather than breaking or needing tweaks. Most reviews I have read so far from the usual places pretty much say:

      “This game is a great concept, and it’s executed pretty well . . . now can we fix what’s broken so it can be better?”

      And by “broken” they mean the obviously not-working stuff, like Black Lion, Overflows, grouping and instances, and some events which simply don’t properly work some of the time. (I’ve seen a couple which just get stuck and refuse to finish for some reason.)

      As far as performance . . . I’m running this game on Boot Camp in a 2yr old Mac Mini. Aside from a little warning about RAM being slightly under spec (1.8 GB instead of 2.0 GB) the game runs about as well as the original . . . so long as I stay the heck out of massive sieges in the World vs World arenas.

      (Though the Overflow servers always perform a little worse, in Lion’s Arch. Sometimes it takes a bit for things to properly load, which I blame on my computer being barely capable.)

      Overall? That it runs at all and doesn’t crash every 10 minutes makes me more than happy.

  37. Joshua says:

    Here’s another complaint: accidental cartwheels/barrel rolls. It’s pretty darn frustrating to get to the top of a vista or similar landmark and accidentally roll yourself off the slope instead of just slightly turning or moving to the side.

    Having the option to turn them off would make these easier.

  38. Steve C says:

    The annoying thing about those overflow popups is that they are in the middle of the screen. If they were or could be moved to the corner they would be fine. I kind of abuse the overflow server though. I gather nodes or do events in the overflow and then hit it all again in the primary.

    BTW: At least you were down for maintenance. My trading post is blank.

  39. Rosewire says:

    They’ve fixed the popup thing, some at least. When it pops up, you now have an option to go to the main zone, requeue, or leave the queue entirely and stay where you are.

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