Redpost Roundup

The Arena Net team has been in the forums, again, and have written a series of quality posts that I would like to quickly round up today, and time permitting, go into detail about next week.

Mike Ferguson on WvW

Mike Ferguson
Systems Designer
Basically, Mike Ferguson went into a thread and just started answering questions. Some of the questions answered we already knew the answers to, but still, Mike went into details explaining the behind the scenes reasons for the way certain things are.
Each [siege] weapon takes up some small amount of resources on the server because we register a few pieces of data for each weapon in the field. One thing we absolutely cannot do is remove the [despawn] timer entirely or else we have a situation where someone can put down a ton of weapons that could potentially be around forever (or until matches reset) and it would start to cause bad things to happen to the server.
He goes on to provide some new information about why the team does not do certain things which helps us understand the philosophy behind Arena Nets vision for WvW.
Kill/Deaths ratio is something we would like to avoid having. We don’t want people changing the way they play because they would rather protect their KDR instead of helping their allies in the game. We want people playing and fighting, not worrying about deaths impacting their stats.
We also get some details about the future of WvW,
We would actually prefer to just make the blueprints tradeable, but there are a couple of funky code interactions that happen to make that impossible for us currently. It’s something we’d like to address at some point, but it’s not very high on the priority list currently.
We tried changing blueprints to being account bound and it completely broke the pack up skill when holding the blueprint so we can’t do that either unfortunately. I’m hoping that someday may find some programmer magic that can solve this so we can at least get rid of them being soul bound, but nobody is looking at it currently.
We’ve talked about a number of improvements we’d like to make to the commander system as a whole, but it’s not on anyone’s schedule right now.
Finally, when asked about Ascended Gear in WvW and Badges of Honor usefulness he had this to say, 
We are working on a number of different updates that should address these issues over the next couple of months. We are still working out all the details, but the team has been working on some pretty exciting stuff that should address many of the very valid points you folks brought up. I can’t say much more than that quite yet, but we’re aware of it and we’re working on it.
 As far as being able to play just in WvW and never have to leave if they don’t want to, that most definitely is our goal, and I think we’ve done a fairly good job at that so far. We do need to make sure ascended gear is obtainable in WvW, but other than that I think we’ve mostly made it so you never have to leave WvW if you just want to play there forever. Feel free to point out why I’m wrong about that
Anyway, for context and more from Mike Ferguson go check out this thread. This is one of the best question/answer sessions I have seen out of Anet, so I say, CHEERS to you Mike Ferguson. Thank you for doing this Q/A on the official GW2 forums (none of that reddit crap) and thank you for taking the time to be honest with the community. Great posts!

Colin Johanson on Precursor Scavenger Hunts

Colin Johanson took to the forums again to answer some questions about the Legendary Precursor Scavenger Hunt that has been hinting at by the developers for sometime now. Colin always seems to get stuck with the tough ones as he delivers some grounded yet bad news,
My go to stock photo of Colin.
Mr Johanson is Game Director.
Just a quick update on where the whole scavenger hunt system stands since I know that’s a topic many of you have brought up recently. We’re not currently actively working on building any sort of legendary precursor scavenger hunt, this is something we want to do in the future and we’re in the midst of designing how this would function, but no one is actively building this feature and you should not expect in the Jan/Feb/March releases at this point. 
We are however working on expanding reward systems to make them more re-rewarding across all parts of the game, making the open world more rewarding, and adding new ways you can earn precursors as rewards via new reward systems taking advantage of our open persistent world. 
Some of these additions will come as early as the January release, and will get covered in more detail in the next week or two as well release all the details about this release once testing has signed off it’s all ready to go in January.
And for added clarity he added in,
Lindsey is indeed working on designing the system by which we’d add precursor scavenger hunts to the game. We are not actively implementing that design yet, it hasn't been finalized, and building it that will involve a much larger team. 
No conflicting statements here, as a game designer when they are working on something, usually that means they are designing it, as that is their job.
I do not want to talk about this much here as I will most likely write an entire article on this topic, but to touch on some of the key points in Colin's post. We, the community, have been assuming for a while now that Precursor Scavenger Hunt is right around the corner. I guess I personally thought that because of how bad I feel the current system is. I thought that Anet would want to get a fix out for this as soon as possible, but in retrospect I see how that logic, although nice in my head, does not conform to the reality of budgets and physics. It is, however, nice to read that we will be seeing some changes to the reward system in general. Now is the time to start thinking about how this will effect the market, namely, I can see the prices on yellows and oranges dropping.

Jeffrey Vaughn on Respawn Timers

As I have been levelling my Elementalist I have noticed a number of places where I feel the respawn timers are completely out of whack. Mobs seem to spawn faster than I can down them and advance into the next area. This has lead me to just skip entire sections and just press forward. This is why it is nice to see Jeff in the forums discussing the technical hurdles to designing proper respawn timers.
Jeffrey Vaughn
Game Designer
Anyway, I wanted to say that I’m enjoying this conversation, and I hope that I don’t give the impression that I’m trying to shoot down every idea—I’m simply trying to point out the practical issues that come up when we’re looking at systems like this. (Can it be abused? Will it kill server performance? Etc. etc.) 
I’m not a programmer, so I’m limited in what I can do, and I can’t provide any promises/ETAs, but this has some up in designer conversations before. Scaling respawn timers based on map/sector population seems reasonable, as does scaling the timers for veterans/champions. We wouldn't want to do a very long timer (like 5m for all respawns) since it is an MMO, and it wouldn't be fun to show up late to the party and find out another group has cleared out an entire heart or other area already.
This thread is more of an on going discussion between the players and Mr. Vaughn. It is an interesting read that will give you insight into how Anet is addressing these issues and looking for solutions. The discussion spills over into this other thread as well where we get a couple other good details. I recommend checking out both threads if you are interested in the respawn timers or have ever noticed funky respawns.

Words of Wisdom from John Smith

John Smith is the in house economist for Guild Wars 2 Trading Post. He is a RL economist and often drops into the forums with short eloquent posts that infuriate the forum trolls, but provide a great deal of insight into his mind and the economy in GW2. I have a couple of these posts below.
You should never be surprised that your preferences are not representative of the preferences of the population.
Said, in response to someone complaining that they do not want to spend money on gems, but in general, this is just an awesome quote. When something in the game pisses you off you have to remember that Anet is trying to satisfy large numbers of people. What does not work for you, might work for others or in fact the majority.
The economy is so massive and filled with good players that RMT (real money transfers) holds relatively little total percentage of the economy. To give some perspective on banning for exploits. Our last round of snowflake banning encompassed greater than 275,000 illicitly created ectos 
Interesting. Counter to what a lot of players think the gold farmers actually hold a small proportion of the economy, which is probably because, they are most likely to take advantage of the exploits available in the game and then get banned. Also, Anet is constantly attacking bots, spammers, and RMTers constantly keeping them from being able to build wealth. Also,
There are several good reasons why wealth distributions in game don’t mimic the US Economy. [A] reason is that the growth of wealth is exponential in many developed economies, where it’s closer to logarithmic in GW2.
 I don’t mean that the wealth of the country grows. I mean that individuals with wealth will create more wealth an a significantly higher rate than those without wealth. It takes money to make money essentially.
The entire set of reasons would be a very interesting discussion…Well for me at least
For me as well John. I have been working on an article discussing this vary topic that I hope to publish next week, but it is a very interesting topic. Just to give you an idea of what is being discussed google exponential growth vs logarithmic growth. There is a huge difference and it is interesting to see John comment on this
Inflation is a really tricky topic. One important thing to understand about inflation is that it isn't a change in the quantity of money available, it’s a change in prices (not individual prices). It’s easy to double the money supply and not inflate the economy. 
I won’t speak to our specific strategies, but there are a couple of different ways to go. An interesting strategy that not many people think about is allowing the economy to inflate a bit, then pulling the money back out in a cycle ( many countries do this, but not on purpose :P ) There are specific benefits to this, that only occur as benefits in games.
This should be interesting to anyone that has read anything about Macroeconomics. In fact the relationship between the Guild Wars 2 economy and the real world economy is really interesting, and I am always glad when Mr. Smith throws us a bone.

Anet asks for your help

Arena Net has opened two new threads asking for players help in dealing with and reporting two serious issues, firstly, on bot hot spots, and secondly on map art issues including places to get stuck. Head over to these threads and give Anet some help if you can. It is awesome that they are doing this outreach and we should do out best to help them out.


I hope you found this round up interesting or I at least saved you a trip to the troll invested waters. I will try to post more details about these posts next week when I hope to have an article on the precursor scavenger hunt and one on exponential vs logarithmic wealth growth. Until then, don't forget to check out my contest where you could win GOLD just for posting a comment on my contest post.

1 comment:

  1. Great summary =) Nice for a guy like me tahat has not the time to look through the official forum too often =)