Raids in my GW2? Well i shouldn’t really call it “my” since i’ve not played for almost two years now. Regardless, when i heard ArenaNet were implementing 10-man raids with the new expansion, i couldn’t help but sit up in my chair and get excited. I immediately clicked over to their website to see how much they were changing for the expansion. Another case of a short teaser trailer getting the job done as far as advertising goes i suppose. Will it be enough though? That all depends on how well they’re received and how well they actually work.
I absolutely loved every other aspect of the game from the world itself to the way leveling worked. To this day it’s by far my favorite leveling experience of any MMO i’ve ever played. Even the art style was a perfect mix of realism with a bit of cartoony flair. I mean the game world encouraged exploration for pete’s sake. Yet another aspect that fit my playstyle perfectly. So why did i move on despite loving almost every aspect of the game?
The main reason i stopped playing GW2 was specifically because i found the group PVE content lacking. That aspect is what i live for, why i play, and why i got into the genre in the first place. I enjoy difficult and organized group content built for more than one group or party, depending on how you look at it. At the time of my departure, all we had were Fractals of the Mists, which were never ending and scaling dungeons. They were locked to five players and involved basically getting your resistance to Agony as high as possible just to stay alive. I really wasn’t a fan of that mechanic or the fact that it was locked to five players so i moved on.
The new raids, or raid i suppose, will be bumped up to ten players. That’s a pretty significant change in my eyes. One that i wonder what the reaction will be towards from the playerbase. I know a lot of players that stopped playing for the exact reason that i did but i also know just as many that continued because they were done with the whole raiding aspect. GW2 offered them exactly what they were looking for while the pro-raiding players could go back to you know where. Again, execution will be everything.
The first benefit that came to my mind when i heard this news was actually about the UI elements. How i begged Anet to let us link multiple groups together and form a raid/alliance group for World vs. World. I hated the complete clusterfuck it felt like sometimes when we had our entire guild out for reset night. There was no way of keeping tabs on everyone since they were all in their own groups. Players would get scattered and separated and unorganized beyond belief. We ended up just making five man groups and sending them out on different missions just to cope with the system. It really didn’t feel like we were playing as a guild.
Now i’m curious if they’ve solved this issue with the ten-man raids or if they’re going to take the lazy way out and just leave it be. Two separate groups trying to work together to overcome objectives. Sure it’ll be easier since it’s way less players than open world PVP but i hope they fix the UI elements to allow multiple group linking. Hell, maybe they did already since i’ve not played for so long? Someone let me know in the comments below! At either rate, if they do this right i think it’ll fix two issues with one stone, so to speak.
The other issue i see is how exactly the encounters will work. If they’re just going to be zergfests with respawning and running back over and over, then i feel they’ll be colossal failures. This is something raiders, myself included, don’t like very much. It cheapens the encounter and encourages sloppy play. I saw this enough with the five-man versions and it really turned me off. I’m actually not sure how they plan to fix this issue with anything short of a complete rethinking of what a raid can be. Instead of basing encounters off damage, they’d need to base them off completing tasks or puzzles. That sounds very interesting to me for sure. Whether or not Anet goes in this direction is yet to be determined, but i don’t see any other way short of changing the combat system to a trinity based one.
Well damn did this post become way longer than i had anticipated. I could probably go on for a few more paragraphs but i’ll stop here for now. I will say that i think the expansion has enough for me to consider coming back. Whether or not i stick with it will be completely dependant on how well the group content will be moving forward. I’ll use any excuse to whip out my legendary shortbow again and cover the skies with unicorn rainbows. Hopefully they haven’t changed that yet again into something unrecognizable. Anet seems to be following Etienne’s philosophy, which i can admire.