Guild Wars 2: Testing the Curve

A playthrough of Queensdale and how Renown Hearts affect leveling in Guild Wars 2.

There have been a few accusations of poor content implementation at early levels in Guild Wars 2

Finding those criticisms very much different to my experience, I decided to approach the game in the way that I thought was causing the issue: Renown Heart grinding.

There's been a lot of discussion of how those hearts alter the perception of content flow for players -- the latest including an excellent write up by Elisabeth Cardy -- including how their prominence on the map leads to a false perception of their importance.

 

Screenshot

The video below is my run through Queensdale on my fresh Engineer where I try to get a feel for gaining XP when using the renown hearts as the guiding path for exploration.

Several times issues arise in regards to meeting the level curve, but is that the fault of the game? And is there easy to access content as you run around in the renown heart circle?

The answers lie within!

Have a watch and let me know what you think in the comments section.

 

                                                                                       Scott "Jarimor" Hawkes, Editor in Chief

Comments

Post Comment
sdfqwfqw
# Sep 12 2012 at 9:09 PM Rating: Decent
2 posts
no, that's not the game's fault. That's gamers being obstinate and unwilling to play the game they've been given, while instead, wanting one they've already played. When seated at a chess board, I'm not going to complain about a lack of dice. When people come to Guild Wars 2, that's the game they've being offered. Stop asking for something else.
sfaqw
# Sep 12 2012 at 9:09 PM Rating: Decent
2 posts
sdfqwfqw
The issue is the player
# Sep 11 2012 at 10:04 PM Rating: Decent
2 posts
I haven't come across a game that provides more avenues for leveling -- ever.

The problem here lies with the inability of players to adjust to a new style of play. And no, that's not the game's fault. That's gamers being obstinate and unwilling to play the game they've been given, while instead, wanting one they've already played. When seated at a chess board, I'm not going to complain about a lack of dice. When people come to Guild Wars 2, that's the game they've being offered. Stop asking for something else.

Some will argue that the hearts are too prominent and that they force people along a linear leveling path. Stuff and nonsense. There are many indications that events are triggering around players, including updated event log, bright orange circles on the minimap, and prominent text displayed right in the center of the screen. All this is accompanied by an audible chime. Resources are also displayed on the minimap, all of which provide still more XP. Finally, the personal story is always available and the next step to completing it is always displayed on the event log. The green starbursts on the map pointing the way, make it almost too easy.

If folks choose not to take advantage of those leveling options, they have themselves to blame. And if they don't like those options, tough. That's what the game is about. But to say that these leveling paths aren't clear enough is just bogus. The indications are everywhere. Exercise some personal accountability and learn to play.
amazing, a game that rewards you for playing it
# Sep 11 2012 at 8:05 PM Rating: Decent
2 posts
I have four toons of different races on the go, sitting at levels 12-16 and not one has completed their own starting zone. You get xp for doing virtually EVERYTHING. I spend my time exploring, doing my personal story, trying to 100% the map, harvesting every node I come across, and crafting. Basically, enjoying everything the game is throwing at me. I haven't even done WvW or sPvP yet. Anyone complaining about the leveling curve is simply (but understandably) doing it wrong.

With that said, I definitely agree that the game is over emphasizing the hearts on the map when you talk to your first scout. I could understand how this would distract the average player from exploring what is out there. A lot of mmos follow the old 'quest hub' formula and people will naturally gravitate in that direction. Arenanet should maybe change the intro voice/text to emphasize that the hearts are a guide and encourage exploration but I imagine a lot of players simply get the gist of it and cancel the tour clip anyway so some other creative mechanism might be needed.

Having never played Guild Wars 1, i'm totally new to the brand and this dynamic world is one of the big reasons why I started playing the game.
The RNG in leveling.
# Sep 11 2012 at 6:28 PM Rating: Decent
2 posts
Problem is without doing WvWvW, or going to things like other race's starting zones you need to be lucky with the RNG of the leveling experience. The Dynamic events are random, so your mileage will vary on how your level to your area is. If you make it possible to "100%" an area people assume you've completed the area enough to move on, and that's not always the case.
The leveling game.
# Sep 11 2012 at 5:47 PM Rating: Decent
5 posts
Yes doing Dynamic Events when you visit Renown Hearts, POI and Vistas are the key to leveling. Also doing some crafting and personal story helps a lot in leveling up too.

Just to add, In your run though the low level part of Queensdale you missed about another eight DEs. I also noticed you ran out of inventory space and I'm sure a lot of other players do too. So crafting extra "bags" help and cooking low level foods will give both crafting exp and exp buffs when consumed. Another convenient source of exp is to look around the awesome city of Divinity's Reach.
____________________________
AKA PsiLord
The leveling game.
# Sep 11 2012 at 6:20 PM Rating: Decent
Scholar
Avatar
*
75 posts
Indeed Jymm there are a number of other DEs -- I mention them but don't show all of them purely for reasons of time. As I said there are 4 alone just at the first farm.

I didn't make the bags or do any other form of crafting to show the xp curve without that facet -- just as I didn't do Personal Story or WvW -- in order to show what's generally available in the area itself.

And certainly you can get a lot of XP in exploring Divinity's Reach, but this video is intended as a response to those who are following the renown hearts meticulously.

Thanks for commenting.
The XP issue is real.
# Sep 11 2012 at 5:47 PM Rating: Decent
Avatar
3 posts
Glad you did this, because it was a problem I experienced all throughout beta and live... I also feel the dynamic events in beta were popping a lot more than on live, so I was even a little better off then.

The reason it's the game's fault (not the players) is because the very first thing they do when you get to the map is ask you talk to a scout who circles hears on the map, so you have no other understanding at that point other than to do what they just instructed you to, and that must be the flow of the game.

So in my mind, the game has to do a better job introducing the players to the concepts they're championing - exploration and dynamic events. Right now, and I've heard this from loads of people in game, they assume hearts are the hubs you progress through.
The XP issue is real.
# Sep 11 2012 at 6:23 PM Rating: Decent
Scholar
Avatar
*
75 posts
Hey Machineman,
As far as I remember -- which considering my sleepiness isn't concrete fact -- the renown hearts weren't originally in the game but were added due to a concern by the devs that the players felt too lost and so wanted to add pointers towards general areas to loo in, a pointer for confluences of content.

I very much understand wanting that kind of indicator, but I agree that the hearts can often be confusing to those who are educated on quest hubs.

I do think that it doesn't much deviation off the beaten path at all to find the content that creates level parity, so though I agree the messaging could be better, I do think it isn't a huge chore to ask players to explore a bit.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
The issue real.
# Sep 11 2012 at 5:45 PM Rating: Decent
Avatar
3 posts
double post.

Edited, Sep 11th 2012 7:50pm by Machineman|WH
Karma Gear
# Sep 11 2012 at 5:19 PM Rating: Decent
One of the things I learned after completing two full maps (all waypoints, hearts, poi, and vistas) is that each of the heart quest givers is also a Karma gear vendor. If you buy the karma gear as you complete each heart, then you will be better equipped for the next map. Also, you can gather resources as soon as you purchase the tools, and you receive experience for gathering resources as well. This game is a perfect example of the old saying "you get back what you put in."
Post Comment

Free account required to post

You must log in or create an account to post messages.