Oh, you like that Exotic weapon you've got? Yeah, but is it Ascended? That's the name of the newest sort of gear in Guild Wars 2, another addition to extend the MMO's endgame and give hardcore players more to do in the already gigantic game.
In a new post at the ArenaNet website, ArenaNet's Linsey Murdock details how Ascended gear will work. The key difference is infusion:
Ascended gear works a little bit differently than other gear types. The stats and functionality normally added to gear through upgrade components are actually built into Ascended items. Instead of upgrade slots, Ascended gear has Infusion slots, and rarer versions of the items also come with additional Agony Resistance built into them. Players will be able to acquire Ascended Rings in the Fractals of the Mists dungeon, and Ascended items worn on the back can be acquired through special Mystic Forge recipes.
However, the update has got a good number of Guild Wars 2 players angry, with most of them saying that this is a move towards Guild Wars 2 becoming a more standard, treadmill-ish MMO.
In a fleshed-out reddit post, user Shanaeri breaks it down thusly:
• It puts GW2 in the ‘me-too' category of gear checking, gear treadmill games. Not only does it undermine Arenanets reputation, but it also undermines a key differentiator of the game. One in which seems to be a key factor in many people's choice to play the game. • For WvW players, it a problem because your best-in-slot gear may now be exclusively found in dungeons. • For casual PvEers, it's a problem because you'll be behind the gear curve, and more hardcore players will start to exclude you because of it. This means you'll have to keep playing just to keep up. • For die-hard PvEers, it's a problem because you'll be pressured to do the latest dungeon (the one with the best stats and neccessary infusions) to the exclusion of all else. Otherwise you too will drop off the gear treadmill just as you do in WoW.
It's the kind of thing that gets dicy — developers want to give their most dedicated players something to do for, well, ever, but it can be tough to do that without somehow rigging the system to draw things out.
I'm curious what you all think, though. I love Guild Wars 2, but not nearly enough to have progressed to the level that most of this stuff concerns. Is Ascended gear a good thing? The sign of worse things to come? Is this a lot of sound and fury over nothing? Sound off in the comments.