The GW2 events are not quite that awesome (which is probably the most amazing event in MMO history) - but the temporary nature is what gets people playing again. I know I came back just to play that for a bit - and now I might buy some bank slots. That's a win for GW2.
They have a different and very difficult business model. They can't do things like WoW does. It doesn't make sense for them. They want to get players playing NOW and get them to buy stuff in the gem store. If you go but then later come back - not a problem. Because its not a monthly fee there is no entry barrier. But they do need incentive to return.
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I don't think she entirely disagrees with you. There is stuff you can do when you are 80. That's not endgame though. Endgame is the stuff you do right before you WIN the game. That's the endgame is chess.And once again, the term endgame, for MOST MMO players, simply means what they do at max level. In GW2, that can be fractals, farming Orr, farming achievements, running Explorable Mode dungeons, do Keg Brawl, etc, etc. Just because YOU don't personally agree with this statement, DOES NOT make it untrue. And just because something doesn't fit a VERY NARROW definition in your mind does not make it any less true.
If you use the chess analogy - think about the series of moves you make to capture the King. That's the endgame. The dancing and celebrating you do after you beat Kasaparov - that's the stuff you do in GW2 after the endgame. But you have already 'won' the game because you have exotics in all the slots and have completed all the 'character improving' content.
Her theory is both logical and correct IMHO. Think about other video games. If you beat Mass Effect 3 you can go back and play it again but with better gear and I think a harder level. They have a +game mode so to speak. That's not really the "endgame' though. The stuff you do to win the game vs. the Reapers in the final bit - that's the endgame. Just because you can continue to play on multiplayer mode or play the +game mode does not mean that's not the endgame.
I don't see the issue here. GW2 purposely has limited endgame. It also has other activities for the hardcore player to kill some time with if they so desire - but so do regular games. Heck I think even Mario had some modes like that..
Likely you are the type that doesn't believe MMOs have endgames. (I think they most assuredly DO).. For example in WOTLK - the endgame is the stuff you do to beat Arthas. You might do other stuff - like beat Arthas on Heroic. But in my mind the the player that beats Arthas has completed the endgame.