Sooner or Later

Earlier today, Tilion, from over at Dragon Season, tweeted the following:

And it got me thinking. Which one would I prefer?

Previously, I had generally been on the side of “later but better”. For example, the base game itself had taken forever to be released. I know, ArenaNet tends to work on a “when it’s ready” schedule, and they didn’t want to release a game that was unfinished, but it still was a very long time from announcement to release – several years, the sort of timespan that generally means death for a game. It was made bearable, though, because of the fact that ANet was also being very transparent about the production process, and giving us a constant stream of info.

The info was more spaced out, of course – if I remember correctly, the pattern for most of the pre-release period was “big bit of info every six weeks”, about – but it was consistent. We knew that every few weeks, we’d get more stuff announced, and as the game got closer to completion, the amount of info that was released picked up consistently.

What we are facing now, and have been for several months, is a drought, with the occasional small rainshower. The parched ground quickly absorbs the rain, but it’s not even close enough to break the drought.

Heart of Thorns was announced at the end of January. We have gotten some info since then, but it’s been inconsistent. Several weeks of elite specializations in a row, and then nothing. Guild halls were announced with prepurchases last month. Yesterday the Shiro legend for revenants was teased. It’s the weeks of radio silence, coupled with short bursts of small bits of info, that get wearying after a while.

Combine that with the fact that we actually know very little about what we’re getting in the expansion, and it’s understandable that people are losing patience. Now, I’m not one of those people who have somehow come to the conclusion that “three biomes” means “three maps are ALL THE GAME CONTAINS”. But it would be nice to know a bit more about HoT. What are the remaining specializations? What new legendaries are we getting? How much new map are we getting to play with? Not even how many new maps in total, but just an idea would be nice. What kind of group content will we be seeing?

These are the things that people want to know. These are the things that we aren’t getting. And with how much they’re stretching out the info they are giving us, it’s not making me hopeful for the expansion to release any time soon. Back in January, at announcement, the most popular speculated release date for HoT was late August, to coincide with the base game’s birthday.

August 28th is in a month and a half. The chances of it coming out then are currently extremely small.

The info drought is bad enough, but then combine it with the content drought in GW2 itself. It’s been six months since the last real content we’ve gotten. I don’t expect a whole lot, since most of the effort is going to be on the expansion, but something to do would be nice. It’s July – where’s Dragon Bash? Festivals are always fun. It wouldn’t be new content, but it’d be something. For that matter, it’d be nice if they did something like just open up the Pavilion in Divinity’s Reach indefinitely. It’d be a change of pace, and then we’d also have the Gauntlet to play. And, sure, the Gauntlet is old content. However, the changes to traits would effectively make it new content, since most of the things that used to work there (particularly against Liadri) very likely would not any longer.

I’ll be fully honest – I don’t play GW2 much right now. I have done basically everything available in the game more times than I could count. I have 16 characters at level 80 – two of each profession, which was my goal for HoT. I’ve done more than my fair share of dungeons and fractals. I don’t especially enjoy events like Tequatl and Triple Trouble. Silverwastes can be fun, but I’ve farmed it too much and have no desire to do so anymore. Most of the legendaries I like, I’ve made, and I don’t want to work on a new one with the changes coming. There is essentially nothing to do, and as such I generally only log in to get my daily rewards and, if I remember to, gather in my home instance.

So, while a few months ago I’d say “release later and be more polished”, at this point I’d rather HoT be released sooner, but be a bit rougher around the edges. We need the deluge to end the drought, and at this point, I don’t think anything short of the expansion’s release will do it. There’s only so much nothing that we can get and still have patience, and by now, I think I’d rather have something to actually do, imperfect it may be. And if we aren’t getting any sort of content in GW2 itself, that leaves the expansion. Please, just give us something already.