Update: This change has been officially confirmed on the GW2 website.
So the newest GW2 patch notes for the Chinese client, which were copied and posted on Reddit, talked about the camera changes, new faces and some class changes. Tucked in the middle of it all sat one of the biggest announcements (IMHO):
WvW removed from map completion
This has been a little PvE vs PvP controversy since GW2 first launched, and an issue that rubbed me wrong on more than one occasion. In order to complete 100% of maps in GW2, players were forced to also clear maps in the PvP areas. Whether you liked PvP or not… whether this was even possible due to your server’s WvW standings… it didn’t matter.
The GW2 devs have said more than once that they have a “Try it, you’ll like it!” idealism towards PvE-only players. They wouldn’t remove WvW requirements from map completion because they thought if they could somehow dangle that carrot hard enough, they could show PvE players that WvW was something FUN!
What that ended up doing was annoying PvE players and pushing them the other way. I promise you, the moment a game forces me into “trying” something I don’t view as fun, I’m much more likely to quit the whole thing… and possibly even the game itself… to do something I DO think is fun. Which is exactly what happened.
Syn and I spent hours and hours and hours uncovering the maps in GW1 to get our Legendary Cartographer title. Sometimes it was frustrating, but for the most part, we had a lot of fun doing it. But, when it came to GW2 map completion, we worked on it a bit, and even had a guildie try to help us with capping things in WvW. But after the frustration of getting ganked and the unpleasantness of WvW maps, we gave up on it all together.
For us, world map completion was something that could have held our interest for quite a while at end game. I could have seen us even doing this on several characters, because this kind of thing is fun to us.
But that WvW barrier was just too frustrating. And seeing the devs not backing down, even with plenty of feedback asking for a change, made me just resentful (on top of all the other issues I’ve had with GW2’s direction).
Update: This has now been announced with its own post on the GW2 website. Nice work, guys!
I find it interesting that more isn’t being said about this. Perhaps the PvE folks who would have cheered for this change two and a half years ago have long since wandered away for the same reasons I have. I find it interesting that such a very big change (to me) is tucked quietly away in the middle of a list of patch notes about camera changes and new face cosmetics. Perhaps Anet didn’t want to make too big a deal about it because… well, that would mean that someone there would have to admit they’ve been wrong this whole time.
Is this enough to entice me back to putting some time into my abandoned map completion project in GW2? I don’t know. That door has really long-since closed. But I’ll never say never. I’d just have to be pretty bored before I put that much time into GW2 again, I think.