Reflecting on Secrets of the Obscure — GeekTyrant

ArenaNet recently launched the final quarterly update for Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure (SotO). This update added a few things and concluded the story for Nayos and the Kryptis. More recently, Game Director Josh Davis shared a blog post reflecting a little on what the team has learned and what we as players can look forward to in the next expansion releasing later this year.

I wanted to go over some key points in Davis’ post as well as share some of my own thoughts regarding SotO now that it has concluded.

Before we begin I will disclose that I’m typically a Guild Wars 2 fanboy. I absolutely love this game. Sometimes because of its flaws, though many times in spite of its flaws. Yes, my opinion is very colored by that, so take it for what you will.

Also, this was the first expansion under the new model the team is using of releasing yearly expansion content with quarterly updates. This restructuring was to make sure that new content was released more consistently.

First, what did SotO add to Guild Wars 2? Here’s the quick list: Weaponmaster Training allowing for all specializations within a profession to use all weapons available to the profession, the Wizards’ Vault as a reworking of the Daily and Weekly achievements, Convergences, one new weapon for each profession, legendary relics, two tiers of the new legendary armor, a new fractal (I haven’t tried it yet), some quality-of-life updates such as the rework for converters/gobblers, three new maps (Skywatch Archipelago, Amnytas, Inner Nayos), one new hub (The Wizards Tower), the new story, and a new way to obtain the skyscale mount. There were quite a lot of things that came out between the launch of SotO and now.

How did all of this land with players? Well, in my experience and by looking online, it’s a mixed bag. I personally loved SotO at launch. I thought it started out very strong with two new maps, the new method for the skyscale, the initial chapters for the story were great, and I personally love the Wizards’ Vault. Sadly, with each release, I got less and less excited about SotO.

The story felt like it quickly shifted into a much more generic and bland experience that mirrored just about every prior story. New threat shows up so we need to put together a team of allies to go fight an epic war that we don’t actually see and we eventually beat up the new big bad evil boss thing.

I barely spent any time in the new SotO maps after the first quarterly update and rift hunting got exhausting after a while. The progress bar based story chapters were tedious and fluff more than anything. I’m sorry, but Convergences are so boring to me that I’ve only ever done them two, maybe three, times.

Here are some things I would like to see addressed going forward. First, it’s too late to save the SotO story, but please make the next expansion’s story more unique than past stories. Don’t just have us create an army to fight the big bad. We’ve done that countless times in Guild Wars 2. Let’s think of something new. Also, get rid of the progress bar sections. That’s what meta events are for.

Second, make Convergences feel better. I think my biggest problem with Convergences is the amount of time they take and how little I felt rewarded for completing them. It also doesn’t help that public instances only happen every 3 hours and there’s only a 10-minute window to join.

I think my fix for Convergences would be to let them happen more often, have a bigger window to join, and either make them quicker or improve the rewards. Third, I’d like to see Rift Hunting expanded to all maps. Right now, it’s only on select maps and so you do have to be more purposeful about Rift Hunting.

I wish it was available in all maps all the time so that as I run around completing whatever my goal is for the day I could see a rift happens to be just off my path and so I take a small detour and help out with it before carrying on.

To me, that’s a more enjoyable way to do rifts and when it does happen in the current system I enjoy it. You could maybe include bigger rewards or something for select maps, but being able to do it across the entire map would be fantastic.

Enough of my complaining though. Let’s explore what Davis said in his reflection on SotO. I appreciate the admission that SotO’s story was not what they were hoping for. Davis admits that the team had much more ambition than what they could actually achieve which led to lackluster results.

He also admits that the way they rolled out the Inner Nayos map was not as good as it could’ve been and committed to handling things a little differently for the next expansion.

He briefly talks about how the Guild Wars 2 team has been focusing more on addressing current game systems rather than implementing new ones lately (a mentality I personally like) and teases that some new system will come with the next expansion.

I personally hope that over the next couple of expansions they continue to go back and rework different things to trim the bloat such as the 20 gajillion currencies that we have to juggle (Research Notes are terrible!).

Davis does share that the team will be “a bit more ambitious with our next expansion” regarding new features and I’m cautiously optimistic about it. I do love the Wizards’ Vault, but the new feature can’t just be more masteries and currencies.

Davis closes the blog with a tease for the next expansion. The tease shows a character swimming with a spear and then walking onto land with a spear in hand. Looks like we’re getting the option of bringing spears to land? Many are currently speculating what it could mean.

Some say it’s just a staff skin, others that we’re getting a whole new weapon that’s a spear or polearm of some kind and the character in the trailer just had the same skin applied to the aquatic and land weapons, others still think that the system is being reworked where your aquatic weapons (or at least the spear) will become usable both on land and in the water which would be a big rework of systems.

I guess we’ll just have to wait until June 4 when more information for the next expansion is revealed.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button