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Will the Feature Pack Really be Everything We Want?

March 27, 2014 - 8:58pm -- Lee B.
Will the Feature Pack Really be Everything We Want?

On April 15th we all know that the Feature Patch is incoming with some sorely needed updates to the game. This patch is turning out to be something rather impressive and huge. The fact they announced another feature to the patch today, with more still to come, only reaffirms that fact. A question on my mind, however, is why are we getting all these features upfront and on this specific date?

This patch is a hugely important update as it covers some of the much needed quality-of-life improvements we have been waiting for. The problem with this particular patch is that these improvements seem just a tad bit rushed. They provide features we want but they seem more like band-aids that covers over the main issues that these improvements needed to address.

Wardrobe Feature

For instance one of these improvements is the new wardrobe system. This system now allows us to put all the skins of various armors into a clothes locker so we can change and adapt clothes on the fly. While this is an amazing system a particular issue arises when we look at town clothes.  The issue is that some town clothes will be reduced into packaged “outfits” and some town clothes will be made into infinite tonics.  That doesn’t seem to be a particularly useful system as it plainly reduces the effect those clothes were meant to be for and that is the customization of you character in town clothes. Without the ability to pick and match these clothes freely only takes that customizable variety of clothes to make truly unique styles.

This is just one of many issues that are starting to pop up as people scrutinize these updates announcements. With what we know so far this Feature Patch is turning out to be a "Band-Aid Patch" to satisfy the players’ long list of desires in one massive patch. The problem is clear: Too many projects and not enough time for this patch. So why are they doing this instead of focusing on one issue at a time?

Well if you have been paying any attention to the MMO market you will know Wildstar and The Elder Scrolls Online are slated to be released soon. This means that people will potentially look away from Guild Wars 2 and no company wants to that to happen. With this Feature Patch, the Living World Season 2 and the Spring WvW Tournament coming out about the same time it seems as if the guys at ArenaNet are making a strong multi-release push to show that Guild Wars 2 is still a very relevant game.

Dye Feature

With this sudden surge in features you can bet that you will see ads and discussions spring up all over the top fan sites to discuss Guild Wars 2 and its “resurgence”.  This is a marketing campaign to feature “expansion-like content” for absolutely free in order to pick up the casual gamer or the gamer on a budget. This allows them to stay relevant as new MMOs hit the market and to keep the current player base satisfied with an update.

This is not meant to be a doom and gloom statement about this update. We’ve needed these fixes for a long time coming. The only problem is that I think that enough time is invested into these projects and we will be left with new frustrations or features that will be revisited in the future to implement them properly.

Disagree? Want to talk more about it? Leave a comment below or shoot a message to Lee at @CanadasMathlete on Twitter. 

almost there
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"tad bit rushed" - according to the feature post, they started working on this when Wallet was released  - last August.  That's not exactly a rushed release to me.

Did you have other examples besides the town clothes issue or are you actually just upset about that one issue?  You say this update is a "band-aid" twice without ever really explaining that metaphor.  It seems more like a significant surgery given the depth and breadth of these changes.

Lee B.
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You're right. The wallet was worked on but was it worked on long enough? I feel like they pushed it out the door when they resolved most the issues and said "We'll make a quick fix to the town clothes for now and address the issue if the players make a big enough stink." I mean we're waiting so long for Polymock, the "full suite of Guild improvements" they promised awhile back and the scavenger hunt. Hopefully for a fully finished product that makes sure to answer all problems that arise.

To name just a couple more issues:

The critical damage changes are only one part to a much needed overhaul to the entirety of the stat systems and to combat over-all. The critical damage changes only lower the amount of DPS in the game which only slows the game. It won't change how the game is being played.

They talk about changing the economy some through the champion loot and gold drop, Zommoros, the dyes and armor repair costs but I figure the biggest issue is the Trading Post. That feature has remained untouched since they implemented it. The economy is basically made by the Trading Post and for reasons, some of which I can guess, they won't touch it.

Also when I say the word "band-aid" I mean to say that a larger, more harmful issue is simply being covered with a thin resolution. Releasing these things on their own does nothing to address a problem. Just "staunch the bleeding" if you will.

Today's release on the PvP Reward Track is possibly the best feature to be announced to date. It actually addresses problems we've been having and works to resolve a core issue with PvP. It didn't just cover it up like Glory did.