User talk:Tennessee Ernie Ford/Rants/WoC evaluation/Original

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Worth a suggestion?[edit]

Is it too late for Anet to tweak some of these problems via feedback page? --Falconeye 22:15, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

I dunno. It didn't actually occur to me to turn my whinging into a suggestion. (I will rethink that now — thanks for the idea.)
On the whole, tho, the only things I think they absolutely must fix are the things that look to me like bugs:
  • An ineligible-for-WoC toon sees WoC-spawns if they join someone else who has started WoC (which is backwards for playability and lore and is inconsistent with the rest of the game); I can't imagine that ANet meant for this.
  • The ridiculous increase in the number of scavengers in MiniCho — pre-WoC: it's a 200-foe VQ; post-WoC, it's been reported to be 300–500. I also cannot imagine that they realized that. (Harder spawns? sure. But both hard spawns and 50% more? No.)
The only other thing that I think they absolutely should fix is the ability to opt-out. Maybe they shouldn't make it as easy as I suggest, but they should allow people to try-before-they-buy.
The complaints on this page are mostly minor grumblings: I wish ANet had though through what it feels like to replay this story. However, if parts 2 and 3 are full of typical ANet goodness (see: Mustering a Response and Battle for Lion's Arch), then I'd much prefer they concentrate on their original plans, rather than worry about whether there's just one Cleansing Kaineng Center to cover 3-4 of the zones or whether Cleansing Zen Daijun focuses on killing all the borked Zunraas in one spot (instead of repeating An Unwelcome Guest with new spawns).
However, as I said above, lemme revisit whether I actually have a productive suggestion or two... or whether I just want to complain. — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 00:25, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I'd certainly support any move towards encouraging ArenaNet to add a "revert zone" feature to WoC as they did so nicely for WiK, It's quite despicable that we are faced with the choice of not doing WoC on a character because we don't want to lose "classic Cantha" forever. WiK would have been just as bad if the zones affected didn't revert to classic Kryta on abanding WiK quests. (A Kryta overrun by Peacemakers forever would have been really destructive to that nicely designed and balanced region.) Morgaine 13:06, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
PS. An argument to put before Anet: If you are developing content which players choose not to play because of the lack of zone revert, you are both wasting developer time and reducing players' willingness to enjoy the content repeatedly on multiple characters. WiK's automatic zone reverts after completion or abandoning of WiK quests was very flexible and player-friendly, with no bridges burned behind you. WoC should work the same way. Morgaine 13:24, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Even though the wiki doesn't officially state it, I'm fairly certain the actual requirement to start WoC is FINISHING Factions as opposed to just reaching Kaineng, unless you can 100% confirm this? (This is because you wrote: "newbie toons are still forced into WoC, even if they are low-level and/or haven't finished Factions.")Windjinni 17:39, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
The requirement to start WoC is as you say. However, if your newbie toon is trying to get to Viz Local accompanied by my non-Canthan, WoC-started toon who wants to unlock that outpost, then the mobs in the Undercity will be WoC. One of my toons had their first death on this otherwise easy quest because of this bug. In other words, newbie toons are forced into WoC if they are being helped by veterans who have started WoC, the exact opposite of what happens for WiK and nearly every other situation in the game.
However, the context wasn't clear in the original phrasing; I'll fix that (thanks for the note/reminder). – Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 17:52, 4 December 2011 (UTC)


I like your reference to the Canthan Revolution. :-) It's certainly shaping up into an attempted coup d'etat by the Ministry of Purity, so perhaps Anet is polishing this political angle on purpose, possibly using the recent revolutions in the Middle East as a cultural reference. :-) Morgaine 03:32, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks! I hope you started phase II, otherwise I've spoiled some surprises. :-/ (FWIW, a friend suggested that Phase I was more like 1930s Germany or Italy...or even 1950s USA.)Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 06:14, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Spoilers don't work on me, fortunately. :-) I get so deeply immersed in the events of the moment that it doesn't matter what I've seen or heard before, it doesn't affect the experience. That's the same for me in all forms of virtual world created in the mind, not only 3D games but films, books, theatre, etc., anything that creates a mental world in which I immerse. I bet it would apply to campfire stories too, lol. So keep 'em coming. :P Morgaine 12:52, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I did finish Part II in NM on both mains before starting with HM. (Incidentally, you should rename your "Phase" to "Part" in the parent page I think. Not exactly sure what Anet calls them, but I don't think it's "Phase".) This is one of the reasons why I'm so upset with the game designers --- they've compromised both my mains now, neither one being able to play classic Cantha with other people in the zones affected, nor redo parts with the classic spawns as a personal choice for whatever reason. That's nothing short of despicable. In effect, they have destroyed parts of the game for me on my two most important characters. Never again am I going to touch WoC on any other character under these conditions. Just shows that even great developers can be total idiots sometimes, not realizing that they are destroying something that is highly valued. Morgaine 16:02, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
People seem to have forgotten that during WiK's phased release, you couldn't return to classic Kryta; even now, you are stuck with the tougher mobs until you complete the storyline (and, if you stop halfway through, some areas are nearly as tough to navigate as some of the harder WiK-quests). There's no way to opt out.
On the other hand, I doubt very much if ANet realized that WoC-storyline progress is dominant over Factions-progress, since everywhere else in the game, the newbie storyline trumps that of any other party members. Another big difference is that WoC can reset all of Cantha (depending on storyline progress), while WiK only affected Kryta (most of which could be avoided for those who had finished Prophecies.) I think they did this for Lieutenant Langmar's vanguard quests (to prevent power-leveling) and re-used some of that code, without fully appreciating the consequences (not all that difficult to imagine given the size of the live team, which has only a few people to code, validate, test, regression test, document, etc.)
Some loose ends: the official site refers to WoC Chapters, but that's really only a temporary artifact of the content's phased release. For example, no one cares any longer that WiK was released in stages (heck, as mentioned above, no one really remembers how that played out at the time). For the purposes of temporary documentation and/or commentary, I think it's ok to use Phase/Part/Chapter interchangeably (for some reason, the wiki got hooked on phase). Also: I'm glad nothing on this page spoiled your enjoyment. Thanks again for your comments. – Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 16:27, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Side note: phase probably became common use because of the phasing technology used in other games. It's not actually appropriate in GW because every party has a separate instance and every member of a party is within the same instance/phase of instance (thus everything is phased, so nothing is phased), but it's common termonology nonetheless. -- Armond WarbladeUser Armond sig image.png 17:35, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Eh, it's still kinda weird that we've (accidentally) settled on phase, because most single-player RPGs use chapter to indicate storyline progression (going back to Baldur's Gate, but even as recently as The Witcher and Dragon's Age). – Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 17:52, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Good point about WiK not being switchable on demand at the time, until it was completed. Well that's not an excuse for WoC not being switchable, instead it points out that the live team is using equally bad technology for WoC as it used for WiK.
The way that both WiK and WoC should work is that they should each appear as primary quests in the Quests window, allowing each of them to be abandoned at will to reset their spawns to classic mode. Then, when you wish to advance the storyline of either, you just approach the appropriate NPC in some major city and click on the "Remind me, what was the problem here?". After being explained the local troubles, you're offered the primary quest again and you're back on track at where you left off. Very easy to arrange from a player perspective
From an implementation perspective this should be equally easy to achieve because all zones are already instanced and parametrized by storyline state, and a player's position in the storyline is already saved, so using that state data can be enabled and disabled at any time. It's just a matter of loading the state or not when entering a zone where it applies, and that can be made conditional on whether the relevant primary quest is active. No big technical hurdles AFAICS. The big difficulty is a people one: somehow convincing Anet that they've screwed up and made life unnecessarily troublesome for players by not organizing it this way. Morgaine 10:56, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I think opting out of Beyond will be more challenging than you've implied. Near as I can tell, there are several programming flags used to generate Factions-instances; the game not only needs to preserve that state, but keep track of progress in other quests (that affect some of these flags) and sort out the order-of-priority among them. If it was as easy as you suggest, then (a) I don't think Nick's appearances in Kryta would have ever been bugged and (b) they would have been able to fix them more easily (in particular, their last such adjustment was to brute force Nick to spawn rather than to fix the underlying issue). (Near as I can tell, the original programming might have made things overly complex to tweak, even though I think it ended up being useful to prevent 99% of the type of dumb bugs that plague other games.)
Mind you, I still think they should allow folks to opt-out, but I'm okay if that means losing all progress in Beyond/Tyria or Beyond/Cantha or even Beyond/everywhere.
Finally, while I agree with you that the more fundamental issue is convincing ANet that there's an issue, I don't think it's articulated correctly above. ANet made a good and reasonable choice: you are not able to opt-out of any other storyline in the game, so why should you be able to do so in Beyond? For example, you cannot return to pre-Searing, you cannot get Koss back until he's rescued, you cannot return to the Nightfallen Garden after Jennur's Horde etc.
Rather, the issue is to convince ANet that the same principle does not apply to Beyond. Primary storylines are primary content, but Beyond is optional content and therefore, should allow people the option of opting out. – Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 16:47, 7 December 2011 (UTC)