Tyrian Times - Is Guild Wars 2 Dying?
By Meredith Watson, OnRPG Tyrian Reporter
Just like Chicken Little declaring the sky is falling, some gamers are claiming Guild Wars 2 is dying. Granted, the game is now out of its honeymoon phase but hardly does this mean a death is imminent. Events while levelling aren't as populated as they were a couple months ago but I've yet to do one alone. Also, judging by the numbers of people that turned up for the first night of the Lost Shores event I would say that Guild Wars 2 is anything but dead. Where the confusion comes in is in the fact that Guild Wars 2 isn't necessarily a game that can be played like other MMOs. For starters, it is just too new and lacks the depth of older games. That will all come in time. It seems most just pop in and out of Guild Wars 2 while playing their “main” game. As with Chicken Little, the proclamation that the game is dying is nothing more than fear mongering after a bad couple weeks.
Fear mongering aside, quite a lot of players are frustrated right now. Whether that is due to the Lost Shores Event or the overall game experience so far is questionable.
While the game certainly isn't on its death bed, it does need certain features implemented. In particular, a looking for group/dungeon tool would not go amiss. With the Fractal of Mists and given the way they scale, general chat is almost exclusively requests for specific level fractals. Already Fractals of the Mist, while popular, are splitting the community in terms of finding other players of a similar FotM level for grouping. However, it seems ArenaNet does not have any plans:
There are currently no plans to implement a dungeon finder. If you are having trouble finding groups for dungeons, you can use our LFG system. Open up your contacts menu in-game, and there should be an option in there for grouping. That way it’s not just people standing out in front of dungeons shouting LFG until someone invites them. This system does not stretch across servers, or to other maps. -ArenaNet
The current LFG system is nothing more than flagging yourself as looking for a group, which certainly isn't very effective or as one forum poster puts it “you don't launch an MMO in 2012 without a LFG system. Especially when you know it is going to be expected.”
The economy appears to be in a state of flux with prices for items like unidentified dyes sky rocketing. The November 5th update was simply, “On November 1, we introduced a change that unintentionally increased the drop rate of Unidentified Dye. Today’s game update corrects the drop rate for Unidentified Dye.” Players are now saying dyes are dropping at the most once a week. When the game was first released the unidentified dye drop rate was quite good. Again, this is problematic because dyes are not account bound which is something players have been asking for. Is this game changing? Of course not, but for some it is part of the fun factor. The gold to gem ratio is quite high and has been for a while. Theories for this range from too many people have left the game to there isn't a large gold sink to waste gold on. Whatever the reason, it has more than a few players annoyed.
Another thing that may leave a bad taste in the some gamers’ mouths is the lack of a traditional end game (this is when they pop over to their main game). ArenaNet has stated “we designed the game to avoid a common problem in many MMOs: grinding through chunks of boring, repetitive content to get to the occasional pockets of fun”. This sounds great but with high level zones either bugged or for some, very difficult, it doesn't inspire much confidence in ArenaNet's idea of fun. And this leads us back to Fractals of the Mists as the thing to do at level 80 for PvE, which as stated previously needs a LFG/dungeon finder tool.
Guild Wars 2 certainly isn't dying. Is it tapering off after a much hyped release? Why, yes. Of course. It is disheartening that ArenaNet does not have plans to do a LFG/dungeon tool but hopefully they can make other changes that will keep the playerbase happy. As long as we show up for their event releases and buy their expansions, ArenaNet may or may not give us what we want.