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Comment Re:Too Little Too Late (Score 1) 166

The developer *claims* to have listened to criticism, and *claims* to have fixed the game.

By not purchasing the 'fix', the players are sending the message that 'We Don't Trust The Developer Anymore'.

How do they regain our trust? If things actually are fixed and the developers are actually listening, word of mouth will eventually filter down to those of us that hold a grudge. It will take time.

Comment Re:Nope. (Score 4, Interesting) 166

D3 character builds were set by the game design and are very limited compared to D2 character builds.

In D2 I had a crossbow-using Necromancer. That's flat-out impossible in D3. A Witch Doctor (the D3 Necro class) can't even pick up a bow, if I recall correctly.

They severely limited player choices, while giving them free respecs. This destroyed replayability. A character of any class in D3 plays the exact same as any other character of that class. (Or could after a quick respec.) This is a fundamental problem with D3 that the expansion doesn't fix.

It does sound as if the expansion fixes the loot/drop rate fiasco, at least. That's a separate issue, and one that is more important to some players.

Comment Re:And it costs almost as much as a new game... (Score 4, Interesting) 166

Through Normal difficulty, Path of Exile is an amazing game. The character build paths are numerous and distinctive, the item/gem mechanics are interesting, and the skill tree is a genuine work of art. It beats D3 soundly.

But after the end of Normal, PoE starts to seem a little lackluster. I finished Normal at level 35, and I won't see any random maps until the end of Merciless at about level 65. So that's 30 levels -- and two full playthroughs -- to go with no new content. Add to that the fact that character builds that worked at level 35 will probably fail at high level, and specific unique items may be required for high-level builds. I just don't feel compelled to stay with the game. The high-level PoE game looks very intimidating and not very fun.

That's not to say D3 is any better; it's still grinding the same content with very little fresh loot. And D3 (plus the expansion) is expensive while PoE is free. I just wish there was more to do at high levels in both games. Adventure mode sounds like a step in the right direction.

For casual players who don't intend to play through either game the expected three times, I heartily recommend Path of Exile. The new D3 content doesn't make up for the flaws in D3 -- the characters, skills, and combat mechanics are still poorly designed and lack the appeal of D2. PoE has that appeal, plus some innovative charm of its own.

For the heavily invested type of player who loves the grind...I don't know which to recommend. I'm not that type of player.

Comment Re:It's data, and it's a science, so... (Score 1) 139

As an addendum, the day I put 'engineer' on my resume is the day my career is over. My degree is in theoretical physics. I have zero engineering background or training. I'm a scientist, and I can't compete with engineers for engineering jobs, nor do I want to. I've spent decades keeping the word 'engineer' off my job title and resume despite stupid managers trying to tack it on.

Comment It's data, and it's a science, so... (Score 1) 139

Um, I'm a calibration scientist. My job is to pick through data and look for errors, which I then correct. I'm a scientist, not an engineer, because the data and its errors are from real physical processes. (The data I work with comes from multispectral satellite instruments.)

If I can't call myself a 'Data scientist' on a resume, what term should I use? Approximately zero jobs are available for a 'Calibration scientist'.

Comment Re: Value (Score 1) 253

You're right, I don't think I ever found 'sPvP'. WvW is a button on the GUI. I don't even know how to get into an sPVP zone.

All the discussion about traits goes right over my head. My max level character was 26. I never got high enough level for traits to affect my gameplay. At all. They are a completely useless mechanic for new players -- 'new', in my case, meaning I had played for a full year. A game mechanic that means nothing to players after a year of play is a badly designed mechanic.

Comment Re:Value (Score 1) 253

I think you missed the fact that I was leveling several characters simultaneously, all of a different race. Yes, I could have taken my Human mage off to the Charr newbie lands and leveled there...but I had already done that content with my Charr engineer. It's still repeating content that I had already played. There were no level-appropriate zones that I had not already completed. That's how I play MMOs -- I try several different characters until I find the one I like best.

Good suggestion, though. If I ever feel the urge to pick GW2 up again I might give that a try. There may be some replayability in re-doing content as a different race/class. (In other games I'd say there definitely would be, but in GW2 I'm not so sure.)

Comment Re:Value (Score 1) 253

I did my storyline as far as I could. I completed every heart and every exploration point for every zone up to where my storyline was. (So, the first two zones for each race. I think my 26th level mage got to the third zone but didn't complete everything.) I did dynamic events when they happened near me, but I didn't go out of my way for them. I even tried crafting. With all of that, I was still underleveled for my storyline missions and could not handle PvE in the next zone.

My only choice to level was to re-do all the heart content that I've already done, pour more money into crafting, and just generally whack monsters to grind for xp. I can't get into dungeons, I can't survive in any new zones, and I can't progress in my storyline. I had five characters with no choice but to grind or give up on, so I gave up. I'm a casual player; I don't have the time to waste grinding the same content over and over.

(I did have the option of entering PvP. I don't like PvP in general, but I'll play it if it's fair. It's not in GW2. While my low-level character was boosted to level 80 upon entering the PvP zone, everyone else had three more skills than I did and better equipment, not to mention guilds backing them up. PvP in GW2 is very, very unfriendly to solo casual players. I'd prefer grind over PvPing.)

Comment Re:Value (Score 1) 253

I can't speak to WoW; I've never played it. I'm just referring to the classic Bartle theory of MMO game design: Achievers, Explorers, Killers and Socializers.

You make it sound as if there is little social interaction in WoW. Other MMOs have a lot. In some MMOs there are entire zones dedicated to social interaction with no combat possible. (TSW has a nightclub/bar, CoH had a rave, etc.)

Comment Re:Value (Score 1) 253

To help clarify:

2. The first four skills, those defined by your weapon, defined your role. The last four skills were utility skills; seldom used, usually on long cooldowns, and generally not important to the character's role. They also took forever to unlock. I don't think I ever unlocked the last one, so most of my characters only had 5-6 skills to use, with little choice.

5. I played GW2 casually for a year, splitting my attention between 5 different characters. My highest level character got to level 26. That's not even high enough to get into the lowest level dungeon in GW2. If you wanted to gain levels you needed to grind. The story outleveled you quickly; my level 26 character was facing level 30 enemies in her storyline missions, and of course failing. In order to level you had several options, all of them distasteful to a casual player: Grind xp by re-doing zone content (encouraged by the daily reward chests, but who wants to do the same thing over and over again); grind crafting (at outrageous expense that could only be supported by PvE grinding or a guild's funds); or PvP (where you are under-equipped because you're low level). In contrast, a character in GW1 was max level before leaving their newbie zone, at which point the game and the story really began, and in PvP you felt that you could contribute.

In just about every way they made GW2 unfriendly to casual players. They probably decided that fanatics were their main moneymakers so they designed the game for them, and that's fine...but they shouldn't be surprised when their player numbers are low because the casual players stayed away.

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