So, I have been doing a lot of thinking (read Soul Searching) lately about GoW. I am deeply entrenched in the game, my guild, and this community. And despite these affiliations, I am finding myself struggling more and more to log in and play beyond my requisite obligations.
This has led me to reflect. And I have come across a slightly different perspective regarding the state of the game, which I would like to share with you.
GoW began as a card collecting, casual match-3 game with rpg elements. This was successful. People earned resources for the time they put in and grew their collections. Guilds added a social element but did not really alter the game structure, it was still a solo game where your pace determined your reward and your Guild was merely another source of increased resources.
Then something shifted. People correctly point at GW as that new element that shifted the game focus. AND they accurately identify that the game became LESS casual with the invention of Guild Wars. HOWEVER, and this is where my new perspective begins, I think that we as a community have been hung up on the wrong thing. The argument is NOT casual vs competitive gaming, but rather resources.
You see this game, when you strip away all of the game mechanics comes down to one thing: CARD COLLECTION. The REASON I match 3 is to earn gold, glory and souls. The gold and glory allow us to purchase keys which unlock TROOPS which we level up with souls. That is WHY I match 3. The REASON I play dungeons is to earn diamonds to craft TROOPS. And the reason I COMPETE in Guild Wars is to assist my Guild in achieving a high enough rank to… you guessed it… EARN MORE RESOURCES!
Nowhere am I motivated by competition, nowhere am I inspired to see my name on the top of the Leaderboards. And yet, the game has forced my hand, has forced my play style to shift.
Not because I am a competitive gamer, but because I am a collector and the only feasible means for me to not merely maintain, but improve my collection is to play in a way that is against my nature.
What does all of this mean?
To me, it means, we have missed the mark here in this community. Our focus should NOT be fixing Guild Wars. They work… for ONE type of gamer. They are a wonderful incentive/motivator/resource for the competitive hard core gamer. What GoW has lost is an EQUITABLE outlet of RESOURCE GAIN for the NON-COMPETITIVE player.
SoulForge is a HUGE step in the right direction… BUT without the gem intake provided by being in a top GW team, I can no longer purchase gem bounties AND save up for the next mythic drop. (Remember this game is about Card Collection!) And if I leave my guild, then I start purging gems each month and then as a COLLECTOR I see that there is NEVER a chance to complete my collection and the draw to play is gone.
How can you increase the resource gain to the vast majority of players? To be more transparent: If I were to leave my Guild, which I probably should at this point, I would be forfeiting a great number of resources that can ONLY be attained via GW? Those resources should be attainable elsewhere, perhaps in a smaller quantity, but in some way… imho.
Another way of phrasing this: The devs have chosen to REWARD competitive players with GW. Perhaps it is time to REWARD casual players.
(In my mind this is like the Solo Campaign in an FPS. I love solo campaigns, but despise the multiplayer modes. Which is why I am so excited about Star Wars Battlefront II and why I played BF 1 for about a week and put it away.)
GoW USED to be a solo campaign with bonus resources for being a social gamer. Now it is Battlefront 1 and I am getting very close to putting it back in its case and walking away until GoW 2…
tl;dr: As a casual gamer one USED to be able to maintain a collection and “win” in GoW, now casual gamers are doomed to “lose” as troops are being added more frequently and resource gain is being nerfed.