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.
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.
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.