After watching some streams, vids and reading the reports about heart of thorns I’ve come to one conclusion. A conclusion I really should have come to a while ago but had become more distracted with other things… chasing my tail as I usually do with certain rants. Shared loot is bad.
Not just bad either, but a particular nasty cancer that has spread it’s disease across Guild Wars 2 to be the zerging mess around grind that it is today. It isn’t enjoyable content. It isn’t rewarding most times and it’s a style of play that I would have to say is the weakest out of everything that is available within mmo’s right.
I’ve always enjoyed playing with others in mmo’s. I’m the kind of person that randomly befriends whoever’s next to me ad then quest together for a while. Even in tera recently I went most of the way from 60 to 65 playing with someone. Guild Wars 2 makes me want to solo. To ignore people for fear of it devolving into that meaningless zerg grind I hate. And I really do absolutely hate it.
It has caused numerous problems within the system as it is now bu the main thing is just encouraging people to congregate and then roll over content. Completely and without any sort of resistance most of the times. A mass of people rolling over the landscape; unstoppable in nearly every way. Constantly moving and killing.
It is the easiest, quickest, and most rewarding playstyle within gw2 which is absolutely ridiculous as well. They’ve frequently nerfed the other areas earnings yet this area has stayed pretty much the same. With everyone adding a certain amount of damage to an enemy being eligible for the reward it adds to the unbalanced nature of it as well. Every mob is theoretically a viable reward for most of the zerg, or at least a large percentage of it.
Why bother doing anything else when you can hope on board the zerg train to earn quick and easy rewards. If this was balanced better to maybe being group based, or even using the new raid based party make-up with it kills, tags or whatever else only going to that group then you would see far less of this zerg style gameplay and more group – actually group gameplay forming. It would spread people out better, it would reward support roles more, and maybe just limit a zergs appeal… just a little.
Much of the earlier open world content is pretty irrelevant now, broken by the insane mass of players that descends down upon it. There is little point behind it except for some kind of mild nostalgia to experience it away from the zerg. In every other time neither the mechanics, the enemies or the intent are important.
Even many of the zone boss events were subject to this, some getting buffed yet others just left alone which makes their problems even more obvious. As time’s gone on they’ve slowly balanced these larger encounters around the obvious zerg taking them over but there is a hard balance there to achieve. Make it too hard, and for competent skilled players and the average zerg will not being able to complete it. It then becomes an encounter just for the hardcore and organised like TTS. What’s the point of making content for that 5, maybe 10% of raid interested individuals.
Make it too easy and it becomes irrelevant to most. A smaller organised group will pull it through and the rest get carried through. How do you even reward these as well? How much, is too much to expect of the random player just travelling around and joining in with an open world event?
Then there is the incredibly selfish attitude this whole zerging mess reinforces, and an overwhelming sense of entitlement to rewards.
It promotes the mindless attack meta that persists through much of the game. Focus on doing as much damage as possible to as many things as you can. Anything else means less rewards for you. In that respect it becomes a very self focused activity. Even though you’re in a group you are only thinking about yourself and those rewards.
It is completely unrewarding to play any kind of support role in this atmosphere, except for the bigger events. While you will make it easier for everyone else there, because you aren’t doing enough damage you will not receive as much of a reward. And so, that continues to push towards a selfish damage focus.
I guess it is just one symptom of the current disease that is infecting mmo’s. A mechanic that adds to the selfish, Anti-social style of play that perpetuates through. Small changes at first, always small and often welcomed but changes which have vast effects over time. This is one, and I think we could do without it from now on.