Yesterday, John Peters, Game Designer for Guild Wars 2, had a few interesting things to say about the diminishing returns some players are seeing for rewards such as karma during dynamic events. These diminishing returns, it seems, were put in place to stop bots and economy-breaking exploits, and not normal players who happen to be enjoying an endgame gear farming session. The problem? It’s affecting everyone, even some players at lower levels.
Guild Wars 2 is a game about freedom. We want you to be able to explore the world and engage in a huge variety of activities, focusing on whatever best suits your tastes.
Some players have run into “diminishing returns” thresholds we put into the game to provide a safety net against unanticipated economy-breaking issues. We do have these thresholds in place, but it’s not our intention that normal players should ever run into them. We’ve recently had bugs and imbalances that have caused normal players to hit thresholds, and we’ll fix those.
These systems are put in place to protect the economy from botters and exploiters. We will close exploits as quickly as we can. These thresholds help create a safety net to keep the economy safe when we aren’t there to deal with the offender. It’s important to have a safety net in place. It would be bad for everyone if, for example, a group of players learned how to speed-clear a dungeon in 5 minutes, with full rewards each time, and then repeated that continuously. When one activity emerges that’s order of magnitudes more profitable than anything else in the game, it forces everyone to either engage in that activity or get priced out of the economy.
While we need a safety net to stop unanticipated economy-breaking exploits and botting, we have no desire to stop farming. Farmers are a part every online economy and when they are doing normal game activity they do not cause any harm. If a player finds a normal game activity fun and would like to keep doing it, that’s fine with us.
Initially we have to rely on smaller data sets, instinct and some guesswork to find the correct cutoff. What this means is that some players are going to bump into the edges of these systems for a while as we get them sorted out. Please bear with us while we gather more data and lower the safety net until it’s only providing critical economy protection. Looking at the numbers this morning, we believe some of the threshold systems are just too harsh empirically and we’ll be adjusting those systems within the next few weeks to ensure that fewer legitimate players are being impacted.
I hope this helps to explain why a game like this needs systems such as this to protect its economy. I also hope it gives some insight into our philosophy about botters (BAD) and exploiters (BAD) vs. farmers (GOOD). Thanks for your support and we will see you in game.