Note: this post can be originally found (written by me) on Mattsta.Ninja
Last week a bomb shell exploded that resulted in a lot of commotion. Unlike most dramatic instances that have been happening in the last year, this time around it’s pretty warranted. Of course I’m talking about the new legendary precursor journeys being indefinitely suspended.
For those who don’t know, ArenaNet President and temporary Game Director Mike O’ Brien got on the forums last Friday and dropped the news that after the release of the Legendary short bow in April, Chuka and Champawat, all work on the new legendary weapons will be indefinitely suspended. The team that worked on this content will be shifted to work on Living World style content.
Alright so first off, let’s talk about the word “indefinitely”. It has two meanings. For an unlimited period of time or unspecified period of time. So yes, there’s a chance that the weapons are cancelled but there’s also a chance they’ll work on them later but I wouldn’t expected anything extra this year in terms of legendary weapons.
Another thing that I have a problem with is that O’Brien referenced the Guild Wars 2 Design Manifesto that came out in 2010. That was a bad move because things change over time but mostly because it validates players to reference Guild Wars 2 blog posts concerning legendaries in accordance to this suspension. The most notable one concerning legendaries was the “Looking Ahead: Guild Wars 2 In 2013” post. It says in the Legendary Gear and Precursors section:
“… what I can say is you will see a specific way to build precursor items on your way to a legendary. On top of this, you’ll also see new legendary weapons and new types of legendary gear in 2013“.
Well, it’s obvious we didn’t see anything like this in 2013 whatsoever but that post also says near the end “As always, the content above is subject to change as we test and iterate on these systems.”
There’s also the blog post titled “Hot (not HoT) New Legendary Weapons” made shortly before release of Heart of Thorns that says “… we will be releasing new legendary weapons in small groups at regular intervals until the full set of sixteen has been added to the game“. Note that they said game not expansion which leave room for a huge time table to release them all. Given we initially thought all the new legendaries would be accessible at HoT launch to begin with, I feel that many players thought that it was heavily implied that the legendaries would be regularly released within a reasonable amount of time after the release of Heart of Thorns. I think that’s a fair assessment to make given the information we had at the time.
I’m not saying ArenaNet is right or players are right with all these quotes, I’m just saying this is what I see in these posts. Enough about wording and such. Let me talk a bit about what I think of the news. If there were two words to describe the situation it’d be disappointment and concern.
Let’s do the disappointment part first. Despite the format of releasing new legendaries, I believe it’s not unfair to say that the goal was to have sixteen new legendaries and their journeys in the game within a reasonable amount of time. Let’s say a year or so after HoT release, all sixteen new weapons were suppose to be in the game. After all this time, with only one new legendary journey coming out after the newest first three journeys, you can obviously see ArenaNet can’t deliver on this. At least not right now.
It could be really irritating for players that consider legendaries their end game. There’s also players that have been waiting months to craft their Legendary shield or greatsword and have been holding out just to see what the new ones look like. These players have to take the hit in order for the new Living World content to come out on time or faster.
Now let’s talk concern. I think this is the first time in all my years playing Guild Wars 2 I’ve been truely concerned about the development process. It’s been 5 months since the release of Heart of Thorns. Let’s say they had a month off (Christmas and all). So 4 months of development on new legendary weapons and their journeys.
You’d think ArenaNet would have a good understanding of the time and resources needed to make legendary journeys at a reasonable pace. They did give journeys to all the original legendary weapons and we did get 3 new legendary journeys. Buggy or not, that is what was delivered. However there could have been issues within those months that hindered progress like communication between teams, tech problems, or working on HoT bugs on the side (especially the Legendary journey ones).
On the flip side, one Legendary after 4 months isn’t so hot. I know there’s a lot that goes into making the journey such as connecting events and NPCs to the collections, making new items, developing the lore background of the weapon and so on. But, again, I feel like ArenaNet should have had a good understanding of how fast this process would take on a regular basis. Maybe they overestimated themselves if this is the case. I can’t really say, just speculate.
Staying on the concerned train of thought, I have to ask: why is this team now going to work on Living World content? Is this content behind if the Legendary Weapons team doesn’t help? Is it to speed up the timetable of Living Story Season 3 because of the recent content drought?
These questions were the first things to pop into my head and quite honestly scare me as it’s the more important issue that O’Brien’s post brings about. There’s also the mention of work on expansion two which makes me ask: shouldn’t most of the issues in the first expansion be fixed and evaluated with feedback from the community first before working on another expansion? The reason I say this is that there are a lot of issues right now in every mode of Guild Wars 2. Some of these issues might be mirrored into the next expansion which is just overhead to fix once fixed in Heart of Thorns which means more wasted time on development.
In the end, I do like the transparency and I am glad that Mike O’Brien did come out and say ArenaNet can’t do legendary journeys, at least for now. It’s a sad thing to happen but Living World hits a much bigger audience than people who want to make legendaries. I feel like the timing & phrasing for this news could have been better though. After all, the April quarterly patch is just around the corner and would have resulted in a less blow back. This news does however bring up concerns about how resources are being managed right now seeing all these issues and delays on features. It’s always important to keep in mind that people are mad, disappointed, or concerned because they love Guild Wars 2. Seeing this one forum post about indefinitely suspending work on expected content raises a lot of questions.
All I know and can say for sure is that something has to change.
Today, ArenaNet Game Desginer Linsey Murdock wrote a post on a feature a lot of us are looking forward to when Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns comes out: Precursor Crafting! Let’s hop right in and explain how it will work.
How It Works In A Nutshell
So as you probably saw from pictures of the mastery system that there are 4 Tiers, the last tier unlocking Heart of Thorns precursor crafting. The other 3 tiers weren’t explained so I assumed that it meant tier 1 would be the underwater weapons and off hands, tier 3 would be Dawn, Dusk etc. This is not the case.
The first three tiers are used to unlock the crafting of the original GW2 precursors; the fourth to unlock HoT precursors. In fact, completing the first tier will unlock the starting point collection for making them:
First Tier: Unlocks a themed collection for the precursor you’re trying to make. You’ll be fighting creatures of Tyria for trophies. Finishing the collection unlocks a receipe for the first part of your precursor which is a non-tradable exotic and skin which is a dulled down version of the precursor.
Second Tier: Unlocks a collection that requires you to hone a certain craft by talking to experts and “doing research”. Finishing the collection unlocks a receipe for the second part of your precursor which is, again, a non-tradable exotic and skin of the precursor.
Third Tier: Unlocks a themed collection where you participate in activities associated with the precursor you’re trying to make. Finishing the collection unlocks the receipe for the precursor.
Some Things To Note
All existing precursors will be updated to give off a feel of their legendary form. All the original precursors made via crafting method are tradable but the new precursors coming in Heart of Thorns will not be tradable. The original precursors can still be obtained via drop and mystic forge in addition to the crafting method. You can make each precursor via crafting only once.
Maps Will Be More Helpful For Crafting Legendaries
Maps in Tyria, excluding the starter zones, will have bonuses applied to them so that you’re rewarded for doing events and activities (like jumping puzzles and dungeons). Most rewards will be crafting materials like T6 materials (including loadstones), cores, and ectos. Maps like Dry Top and Silverwastes will give you drops you can trade in (for example geodes in Dry Top).
The goal of this is to help players get the materials they need and to show players where they can get them.
This is amazing. The crafting system seems a little easy for making precursors but I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t say 100%. I guess all the various farming I’ve done in Guild Wars 2 makes it seem easy. I’m glad that ArenaNet made a limit of making each precursor max once. This will help in keeping the Trading Post stable. I’m also glad that the new precursors can only be obtained from the collections. It makes it more meaningful to make.
Overall, I like the system as it makes me travel Tyria, making the maps and NPCs have meaning. We may also find new things we’d never have seen without these collections. I personally can’t wait to make every single legendary now that this method will exist in Heart of Thorns!
Special thanks to Bog Otter and Mattsa Ninja for this one. Both compiled the masteries available in the demo so I’ll get to talk about these. Sadly the Fractal Mastery Line were “obscured by the Mists”. Also note that the mastery points you spend per tier is cumulative. For example, you would spend 1 point for the first tier then 3 points to unlock the 2nd tier; therefore you’ve spent four points in total. Also, these masteries might be for demo purposes but for sure these Mastery lines will probably change somewhat for release (it is a demo after all).
Legendary Precursor Crafting Mastery Line
Why wait for stuff I know you guys want to know about first. So there are four levels of this line to unlock; right now it takes 10 points to unlock . The first three unlock tier 1, 2 and 3 of the precursors currently in the game. So I assume Tier 1 would be the underwater weapons, the off hand weapons, and the mace (The Energizer). Tier 3 would be the sword (Zap), greatsword (Dusk/Dawn), dagger (Spark), staff (The Legend), the hammer (The Colossus) and Tier 2 would be everything in between. The fourth level of this mastery line unlocks the precursors found in Heart of Thorns.
This is a good setup because it makes you work for the more expensive precursors and you can’t get the new precursors off the bat. Also it sets up for future precursors in later expansions (new tier of precursors).
Gliding & Mushroom Mastery Line
As described at PAX South, the Gliding Mastery line allows you to have a glider and improve it to fly longer, use updrafts, launch yourself farther and so on. Pretty basic but you’ll probably have to max this in order to do content down the road.
Mushroom Mastery is similar but has some combat utilities as well you can eat mushrooms to run faster, recharge skills, heal/cleanse and of course, jump higher on large mushrooms.
Exalted Lore Line
This is a combat mastery line. But first I want to talk about the Exalted. It seems that this could be the race that were thought to be the Mursaat. Very interested to learn more about them.
It basically gives you more passive defensive or offensive capabilities versus Mordrem such as less conditions affecting you or being able to do more damage. There are two other tiers that interested me. One allowed you to decipher their language to gain secrets of their civilization. I wonder if this is lore related or of theirs areas in game that players will be able to reveal. The other is the ability to fight a Champion in the Gold City (area in Heart of Thorns) and unlock their finest treasures. So I think it’s something like killing a Champion at the end of a puzzle to get the chest. Both these tiers might unlock a collection of some sort or needed for precursor crafting.
Itzel & Nuhoch Lore Line
Pretty similar to the Exalted line but for Hyleks (the frog people)! There’s a tier in Itzel that specifically unlocks rare collections. The final Nuhoch tier allows you to go on hidden trails which is pretty sweet. This definitely makes me wonder if there’s hidden paths that you need Mastery tiers for. I plan to fill all my Mastery lines as fast as possible so I’m really excited to find out.
And that’s what was available in the Mastery System. Be sure to check Mattsa.Ninja for more detailed descriptions! If you rather listen than read, here’s Bog Otter’s breakdown video (and the sequel) of the Mastery System from the HoT demo: