OK now before you flame me, here’s the TLDR:
They should be called Sub Class Specializations NOT Elite Specializations.
Here’s my reasoning:
They change the way you play a class that you have, giving it more of a sub class feel.
They are not MORE powerful or more difficult to play in any way than the vanilla classes.
The problem with giving ANYTHING the title”elite” in gaming is that a small subset of rabid players assume that if something has the elite tag on it that only they should be able to have it. They also assume that it should be very difficult if not almost impossible to obtain.
The Guild Wars 2 (GW2) Elite Specializations are not THAT elite let’s face it. They are VERY fun to play, but they are not so over powered that they should have the elite tag OR the original super high price point.
Maybe some of the ITEMS they hid in with the Elite Specializations are. That of course is subjective.
The items could have been part of an ‘elite’ story line. They could have been only obtainable through raids. These could also be items that could only be obtainable through a hefty grind like the iridescent armors, some GW2 back pieces and legendary weapons.
The sub class skill lines DID NOT need to be gated.
If the PvP’rs do not have to unlock these sub-classes, then they cannot be THAT elite otherwise too many people would be complaining of a PvP pay to win situation.
With that being said, if PvP’rs do not have to unlock these sub-classes why does the rest of the game have to?
Because like that one kid in the front row of the classroom who always reminds the teacher to assign homework, there’s a subset of gamers who say they want ‘more challenging content.’
Though what they REALLY want, is some special snowflake item that is super rare and hard to get. This way they feel like they can stand out among the masses as someone that has truly accomplished something.
Come on kids, getting a fancy helm in a video game is not an accomplishment, it’s an unlock. Curing cancer, preventing wars, or even finding time to play games while holding down a full time job and keeping your squealing, projectile pooping, newborn alive are accomplishments.
The downside is that these kids are the ones that have more time to haunt the forums. They get their entire twitch channels to log into x, y or z game and demand whatever it is they want.
Sadly a lot of developers capitulate to this because they think that it must be what the players want.
The truth of the matter is that the silent majority is too busy with real life to bother looking at the forums. They’re spending their precious free time actually playing the game not roaming the forums bitching about it.
As one person states in the GW2 forums, it’s not the casuals that ruined GW2. It was a casual game from the start and was advertised as such. It’s the purportedly “hard core” gamers that are trying to ruin the game for the casual players by complaining that they want more difficulty.
IE, trying to turn the game into World of Warcraft.
Developers are willing to make these changes because hey, they want more players.
The problem is that then they piss off ALL of the players that have been paying for the game the whole time.
An actual compromise is the best way to go and honestly ArenaNet did a good job with this. Leaving the actual grind of the masteries but reducing the hero point cost for people who just want to try the sub-class specializations on more than one class.
Now however the “hard core” gamers believe that the entire game is ruined. Not because there’s easier access to the sub-classes, but because other players will be able to wear the same helm.
I am dead serious, that is one post in the forums at the moment. I mean really, did this guy assume that NO ELSE was going to unlock the Reaper, EVER? Now that is naive.
Keep in mind that these are probably the same players who blindly follow commander tags, stand on top of one another for buffs and always, ALWAYS use whatever build is the meta at the moment. All of which leads to getting the most done in the least amount of time possible so that they can stand around complaining that they don’t have enough to do while watching “let’s play” of 6 different games. This is the GW2 “hard core” player.
These “hard core” people are also stating that they can obtain all of the Hero Points in 2-3 hours. Now has anyone posted screenshots, how to’s or videos on how to complete the masteries, stories, content AND obtain the Hero Points in 2-3 hours?
That I’d love to see.
To wrap things up let me just state that while I agree with ArenaNet’s changes I can’t say that I fully agree with gating skill based content in games. I get that they have to do it to a point for players who get the jibblies when things aren’t just so. Thing is though, I really hope that in the future they don’t try to force the point cap to huge quantities. Hopefully they keep in mind that they built a game with a lot of fun classes and that the bulk of their players like to play more than just one at a time.
Making challenging content is one thing. Telling people who WANT to play more than one class that they better have a crap ton of time on their hands or just choose one toon is not challenging. It’s a slap in the face to people who enjoy experiencing the game using more than one class and who have invested the time in those classes.
Not to mention the people who have invested the MONEY in additional character slots.
After all, who is going to be worth more cash over time. The handful of people who have one main that they push through the content at release and then bugger off to the next new game as soon as it’s available, OR the people who take their time and play an army of alts through the content.
It was a smart move on ArenaNet’s part. Seriously.