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Let’s face it, Guild Wars 2 has a lot more going on than epic battles and diverse races. More subtle is the art of character and skill progression. Isaiah Cartwright, one of the game designers working on Guild Wars 2, has a few things to say about the new system and it’s implications. Cartwright explains, “Our goal with Guild Wars 2 is to flatten out the leveling curve, keeping progression simple and straightforward. We expect everyone to make a reasonable amount of progression with each play session.” Progression in GW2 is a multi-dimensional creature, and can be approached in a host of ways. Achievements, trait collection, crafting, dungeons, skill collection, items, etc. are the building blocks of a larger identity that brings your character to life.
As noted before, Cartwright emphasizes that a steep leveling curve is not conducive to a rewarding experience. Moreover, players often feel discouraged at having spent hours playing with nothing to show for. In the case of Guild Wars 2, progression mechanics will work for you, not the other way around. While some may enjoy a nice steady grind session, sheer depth of content will ultimately be the driving force behind player retention.
As illustrated by the graphic, leveling rate will be essentially static, and diminishing returns will cease to exist. Casual players should feel accomplished after a short session, and hardcore players should be able to burn through content at whatever speed they wish. In any case, both parties are catered for. Check out the full post at the official site.
The inclusion of static leveling in Guild Wars 2 is highly encouraging as it implies a focus on end game content. Too many MMOs waste gamers’ time providing a one-time playthrough experience driven by levels and items that all lead to an end without playability, leaving a player the options of a new character or an infinite quest for better items followed by new characters. Hopefully Guild Wars 2 will diverge from this pattern, although its alluring grasp has produced many mediocre games. With no cross-classing in Guild Wars 2, its prospect of having solid versatility is uncertain at this time (even in light of feats and the many skills).
I was disappointed at NCSoft’s decision to leave cross-classing out, to say the least. It seems they want to fill that gap with other progression-oriented features, like you mentioned. I assume there will be a fleshed out PvP endgame, as the dev team will assuredly find it impossible to produce content at the rate it is consumed. We can only hope that they’ve still got a few tricks left up their collective sleeve, right?
I had no interest in GW, but the more I read about GW2 the more I want to try it. *IF* they can keep up with the demand for level-capped content that this leveling curve will demand, I may have to give this a shot.
It’s an optical illusion, but that red line almost looks like it bends DOWN…
I have to say it kind of put me off in the first guild wars when I got to top level well before the end. It was like I wasn’t going to get more power for going through the story, only for ignoring it and going off on widget hunts. Kinda spoilt it and I didn’t finish the game.
Guild Wars 2 will pown wow AND THAT IS TRUE