Conversation with an angry “fan”


Dang, great job. I built this map and I was thinking maybe 5% of people would make it to the top. Did not expect success vids within a couple hours!
So you're the dick responsible for this poorly tested piece of shit. Between this and the giant middle finger that is the Holiday skins, did you come up with anything that you intended to simply be fun for everyone? 5%? You created this, with an estimated 5% success rate? For a holiday event? Seriously, go fuck yourself. The fuck is wrong with you?

I mean what the fuck are you thinking, shoehorning platforming into a an engine with collision and camera as bad as GW2? Then forcing us to do it in a group? The only reason this thing is remotely hard, is you used cheap ass tactics, and fake difficulty combined with the limitations of the engine, that you made no attempt to work around.
That's fair criticism. I am very aware that MMO's are NOT the best platform (pun intended) for jumping challenges. Physics and camera simply can't be as tight as they can be on a dedicated platform game engine. So our JPs do push the limits where payoff and inherent weakness of the platform are pushing against each other. That's why we didn't make any JPs part of any critical path and only a small part of our content. Thanks for the feedback.
No. Thank YOU for making holiday content, that exposes every technical flaw in the game, and was designed exclusively for a tiny portion of your playerbase.
Let me ask you this. If you know the limits of the engine. Why jumping puzzles at all? Couldn't you get creative and come up with some other form of content as an aside from the grinding?
Why would you design a holiday event that you assumed only 5% of would fully enjoy? Is a holiday really the best place for exclusionary content design?
The truly sad thing is, is that you went out of your way to make it as frustrating as possible.
Even one or two easy fixes would have prevented a lot of rage.
1. Make it a solo instance (this really is a no brainer)
2. Remove the wait time between each attempt. (pointless frustration)
Yeah, those are indeed no-brainers. And was my initial design. Sadly, the back-end server realities put the kibosh on that.
and yet you reserve space for the absolutely pointless home instances. Personal stories, etc.
that also doesn't excuse everything else that purposefully did to make this event exclusionary, when a holiday even should not be. It's bad enough you made the skins available only to the really lucky, or really wealthy.
It is nice to see that you intended on making it more enjoyable at some point
Well it sounds like we just have different design values. I agree that we don't have everything balanced perfectly yet. MMOs are incredibly complex machines with a lot of constantly moving parts and so many different people working on so many different systems. We get better as we go. Hopefully someday our intent will be perfectly implemented and everybody will be happy. :)
Please for god's sake don't try any of this 'jumping challenge' bullshit on wintersday. I've spent about 13 hours so far on this crap and still haven't done it. I have to run it in like a 600x400 box because my PC isn't fast enough for this and I still only get about 15 FPS. I keep hitting invisible walls or it fails to jump when I press space. Guild Wars 1 events were good because you could easily try everything before halloween was over and didn't haemorrage from the difficulty.
Hey Valdraya. Can I ask you something? Do you feel like the other Halloween content is so sparse that you are compelled to do this one map you dislike? I'm just curious what your perception is. We definitely don't want anyone to feel like they HAVE to do any jumping puzzles in Guild Wars 2. So if you feel you have to I'd like to know where that feeling is coming from so we can communicate better through our design. Thanks!
Well lets see.
You can walk up to pumpkins and press f 150 times.
You can buy costumes for cash that can't be used in combat.
You can grind in a big square room.
You can look for ghosts that tell you one paragraph death stories (once).
You can waste money on boxes with joylessly greedy drop rates. or spend a fuck ton of money trying to craft one.
People WANT to play this map. Thats the problem, you made it some ridiculous effort, just to give players some epeen polish.
I hear you. You forgot about our two activities, Lunatic Inquisition and Reaper's Rumble. Plus the rest of Halloween still has to play out, and there's more content with that. All said, it's WAY more content than I've ever seen in any MMO for a holiday event. But I think I can see where you're going with this. If you don't find the game fun, no amount of content is going to be fun for you. On the other hand there are 2 threads with hundreds of thanks gushing over this particular map. So..
Hey check out IMDB.
It's a really interesting site. It proves that no matter how bad something is, there will always be an audience that LOVES IT.
Two threads full of people gushing over it? What a coincidence, there are tons of people who loved White Chicks! Nevermind all threads about how badly designed it is.
There would be more threads about how shitty it is, if your moderators didn't merge them all into one thread.
Don't get me wrong, some of the holiday is fun. But it's a small amount.
Well I'm glad to hear you like SOME stuff. :) And your White Chicks line was well played! But the threads I'm talking about are on Reddit. No mods there. I like the real, gritty, hard core feedback. The kind you're giving me. Hurts so good. But seriously, I DO appreciate valid negative crit. Makes me better.
My only point is that some love it and some hate it. If MOST people hated it, I would stop making stuff that most people hate.
Your welcome. I'm happy to see you can take it in stride. Bioware devs could learn a thing or two from you. But one last point, you can't prove what most people like or hate. You CAN however, choose to make a holiday celebration inclusive, and save that hardass, pinnacle hair pulling content for side things.
Though I will thank you, for not making it part of the meta. Despite what I said before. I actually like most of the event.
Cool. Wintersday is going to be much more chill, if that helps. Whoah, another pun!  And you're correct that it's impossible to get an accurate reading of a player base from forums. Most players don't post, and those who do have statistically relevant factors that make them non-typical. So... we just do the best we can.
I gotta say, outside this one instance, I think you do amazing work. The world design in GW2 is pretty phenomenal, especially Lion's Arch. Very intricate. I must apologize for last night. I acted terribly and there is no excuse for the level of vitriol I gave you. You don't deserve that. I still don't like the puzzle, but that's no reason to act the way I did.
Enjoying the boss fight so far.

No problem. I've got thick skin.  And I honestly like to know where people are coming from. Good chatting with you!


LineNoise said…
Linked over here from KillTenRats. And I have to chime in to echo one point that was brought up in that thread, on the inclusivity of "Holiday" content.

I actually really enjoy a lot of the Jumping Puzzles, and I think the world design is one of the big selling points of GW2. But I had a serious problem with the Mad King's Tower, because it's so enormously visible. I love that there's stuff in this game that's really honestly *difficult*, and there's some stuff there that I might not ever actually beat (Griffonrook Run, anyone?).

But I have to say that I really don't think that "incredibly challenging" and "holiday event" go well together, as a design decision. You're allowed to disagree, of course, but it just feels inappropriate to me to be crafting content that is going to gate out a huge chunk of the population, and then pushing it as part of a content package that's widely publicized and only going to be available for a week.

If you make a big deal out of the content, and then tell everyone you're going to take it away in a week, then there's going to be enormous social pressure to try to get *ALL* the shinies, as fast as we can. Even if it's "optional" by some rational metric, you can't stop that Pokemon mentality. And when "gotta catch 'em all" meets "only 5% of you can have this"..... 95% of the playerbase is left with a bitter pill to swallow.
Ben K said…
Descent 3 as well? I knew your name was familiar... I used to play and build missions for that series before Interplay went under.

I actually enjoyed that puzzle - it was a challenge to figure out how to beat the start without running behind the clock, but afterwards it became strangely relaxing. Switched to an alt account to try it the next night and couldn't believe I managed it on the first try.

By the comments on the GW2 forums I get the impression I cheated by using those awful vision-impairing charr. :]

Good work on this - it's nice to have an unusual kind of challenge in this game, and even better to see there are people from Outrage still working in the industry.
Cool. I don't run across many who played Descent 3. I did all the textures for it. And then got to do some multiplayer maps and that ginormous space station level in Mercenary.
ChildrenofAmroy said…
Wow, you actually blogged this...Hahah..
Just so you know, not a fan. Sorry, no one who makes content, holiday content, for less then ten percent of their player base is a good designer.
Sorry dude.
Yeah, I thought this was a particularly interesting exchange. And I'm quite content to be a poor designer in your eyes. Or, even to be a poor designer objectively. I still love trying!
ChildrenofFamory said…
I have to say as much as I dislike the Haunted Tower, I really do enjoy your Super Adventure Box. It's original, creative and fun.

So much so, that's arguably more enjoyable than the main game.

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