Summon/Pet Builds [Conflicts and Solutions] — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Summon/Pet Builds [Conflicts and Solutions]

Lily.1935Lily.1935 Member ✭✭✭✭

Pets, as they're called in other games, are not very engaging in Guild wars 2. Not only that, they are fairly difficult to battle when they are effective given GW2's combat systems. What this translates to is these builds being nerfed into uselessness to give them the stigma of being boring and weak builds which has lead to their unpopularity. Over the years Arena Net's AI with pets has greatly improved and their response time and reaction is much better than it used to be. It's not perfect but it is very responsive. With all of these elements combined we have a neglected and dilapidated pet system that could use some serious updating and rebalancing. In this post I'll be using pets and summons to mean any summoned creature or animate object such as turrets.

Pet builds get a bad rap because of these problems and the struggles of balance team and player fun really makes this difficult. But pets could be improved and redesigned to be more engaging for both the Pet players and the people fighting them. This isn't an insurmountable task at all to achieve but the lack of support from the player base does put a damper on this. If it got the support it needed the game would be better off for it and I'm going to suggest some changes that could aid in these builds and improve the combat against these builds so we can bring in more playstyles into the game.

improvements to be made

The primary professions that need this sort of update are Engineer and Necromancer. To a minor extent, Elementalist and Ranger as well. Maybe Mesmer, but I think they work as well as they should.

The two Summoner classes necromancer and engineer have much of their identity missing in the build space of the game. Minions are an open world meme build at best and Turrets are a passive farming build which doesn't provide much for the players in terms of engagement long term. Both are somewhat useful but lack the playstyle that these builds really should engage with.

I'm a bit bias when it comes to these two classes. They are my two favorites and I absolutely adore summoning builds. And it's a shame because I see such great potential with it since other games do so well with similar concepts yet GW2 doesn't. Although technically Scouge is a summoner elite spec and I'll argue with anyone who says otherwise until I'm blue in the face, which is why I was surprised when the Shades weren't summoned creatures that could be killed but don't tell arena net that, we don't need more nerfs.

Minions
Minions are lacking in a few areas. Their damage is fine but taking all the minion traits is a dps loss even if you're running a full minion build. Which shows you how little they matter to your dps. Their controlling abilities can be petty good but don't have the punch they probably should have.

  • Bone Minions: Bone minions absolutely should function on the charge system. They should summon at intervals of about 5 seconds until they reach the normal numbers they're summoned at. And the number of them should be increased from 2 to 3. This would make them much better in their usability. They struggle now and it's hard to control where they are.
  • Shadow Fiend: Shadow fiend is honestly fairly solid, but it's better stand alone than with friends. So a simple suggestion I would make for Shadow that would probably make it the most useful minion in the lit would be to make its Huant ability teleport Bone Minions, Unstable Horrors and Jagged Horrors to the target you decide to haunt. This would give this skill fantastic synergy with Bone minions and give the player more control on how the flow of the battle works.
  • Bone Fiend: Bone fiend is not all that great. It's fine but could use a bit of a push. I'd change rigor mortis to a ground targeted Aoe bone rain type skill that deals a bit more damage.
  • Flesh Wurm: Cut the cast time by quite a bit. The skill is kinda a flow breaker.

Minions are closer to being viable than turrets are and they're far off the mark. With a couple of changes they would make for a much more engaging build type players could get behind.

Turrets
Turrets used to be extremely dominant in PvP bunker type builds to my knowledge but were never that great in PvE. After the nerf that made them vulnerable to conditions they dropped off hard. It was like arena net had banned them from competitive formats. But even if they didn't the highly mobile chaotic pace of both PvE and WvW prevents them from seeing much play.

  • Charge System: First off I want to suggest that rather than relying on the unreliable system of pickup to recharge your turrets, the primary means of being able to deploy them again should be the charge system. Now this does suggest that the self destruct skill on most turrets would be removed, however I wouldn't suggest removing it for the one turret in particular, healing turret. For others I most certainly would. This would give them a better flow and response as you could toss them out and keep moving without the concern of leaving them behind. I'd keep the pickup function to gain something like half a charge so this option is still available.
  • Number of turrets For some turrets I'd increase their numbers from 1 to 2 so you could put a bit more pressure in the open world. Riffle Turret and Flame turret would be the ones I would suggest could have more than 1 in the open world. These would give the player some wiggle room if one gets destroyed to not have to worry entirely about their dps being cut as they could use this with the charge system to keep them active for longer. The numbers are important as the turrets are competing with kits for a skill slot.
  • Toolbelt skills: Another aspect of turrets I'd like to adjust is their toolbelt skills. They're unrelated to the turrets function just do similar things which is fine, but doesn't really offer much. I'd have these be flip skills that can be active as normal when the turrets aren't out and turn over to a new skill that influences the turrets behavior in some way. For example napalm would instead cause the Flame turret to shoot out napalm blasts from each of the flame Turret to a target location or Rocket turret could drop a barrage of explosions rockets at a target location. Thumper tool belt skill could stun break you and allies around it. These aren't necessarily the skills that need to be implemented, but it should give you an idea. Force the player to engage with the turrets more makes their decision making more impactful.
  • Limited Lifespan: With these changes I wouldn't make the turrets last nearly indefinitely. I'd take a note out of the Scourge's book and put their duration to about 20 seconds until they break. I think this is a good time with what I'm suggesting. Somewhere between 15-30 seconds is honestly perfect.
  • Player distancing: If the player is too far away from the turrets your toolbelt skills should revert back to their normal function and the turrets probably should become inactive so that passes play is limited in places like PvP and WvW.

General Change for Pets[summons]

Probably the biggest change I'd make to the pets would be scaling. Their stats should change with your stats. So a turret build or minion build should be noticable different if running full berserker vs Magi gear for example. The damage of the pets should be noticable and their health and armor should be improved a bit more less so so they don't just become impossible to kill.

Pet builds should show up on other classes, so consider these philosophies I'm putting out there to be future proofing. Since another pet build in the future we could see being the beast master spec for Ranger which uses a pack of animals as opposed to just one is a real possibility.

Counterplay against pet builds

In Guild Wars 1 the primary pet builds, Minion masters and Spirit spammers had specific opponents they really struggled with. Nukers from the elementalist, mostly fire but also earth. Smiting Monks with holy damage. And the specific hate skills from Dervish and Paragon which specifically dealt bonus aoe damage to summoned creatures. This is an element of GW1 I'd bring back. And I wouldn't limit it nearly as much as it was in GW1.

  • Bonus damage skills/traits: With specific professions and elite specs I'd add additional effects to existing skills and traits that care about if it strikes a summoned creatures. So elementalist for example would be extremely effective at fighting these pet builds with fire magic. I'd have Lava font for example I'd have it deal a large amount of bonus damage to summoned pets like minions and turrets. While Elite specs like Spellbreaker absolutely should have abilities to deal bonus damage to them. It's on theme with them. I wouldn't limit it to that as Guardian, necromancer, mesmer, ranger, revenant, engineer all should have a good number of skills to dispatch them.
  • Specific Target Cap increase: What I mean by this is that the target cap is usually limited to 5. This is a problem when you have 10 minions or 8 turrets around on the Battlefield and you need to quickly clear them out before the Master of them breaks your formation. So giving specific skills a bonus to the number of targets they can hit to also strike the pets as a secondary effect could work. So if you have a fireball that strikes 5 targets it prioritizes those 5 targets as the players first before anything else. If there are fewer than 5 players it checks for pets and strikes that in the 5 targets as well. Then it has a secondary check if there are pets in the area. So even if you strike the 5 players the secondary check looks for pets and strikes them in addition to the 5 players. Probably between 5-10 pets struck depending on the balance. So in total throwing something like a fireball could be very satisfying as you roast a team and watch as the minions burn. Arena net already prioritizes targets with buffs so they could do the same for enemy damage.

The important thing is that pets need to be both engaging for the players to use and to fight against. A lot of players hate pet builds because of the reasons I listed. And a lot of us desperately want these builds to be good. Pet builds should absolutely be good to use and feel good to play. They are a fundamental part of the MMORPG genre. You lose potential players who might be interested in the game because of this weakness in playstyle. So for a longevity perspective improvement on the pet/summoner builds of the game and their counterplay aids the health of the game.

When a Minion master player or a Turret Engineer finally hits max level and wants to do WvW or Raids and is told that not just their build and armor but the very type of build they like to run is complete garbage by the players of the game this immediately gives a really bad impression of the game for them. There are going to be a lot of naysayers In the comments. And I expect that. But this topic really does not get enough attention. And other suggestions are out there that might be better than mine or alternatives. So let's open this discussion up.

Comments

  • Dadnir.5038Dadnir.5038 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Probably the biggest change I'd make to the pets would be scaling. Their stats should change with your stats. So a turret build or minion build should be noticable different if running full berserker vs Magi gear for example. The damage of the pets should be noticable and their health and armor should be improved a bit more less so so they don't just become impossible to kill.

    I disagree with that. Pets stats should stay their own and shouldn't be influenced by the player's stats.
    Now if there are some traits that make the minion master sacrifice something in order to significantly strengthen the minion's stats, I kinda agree, but the player's gear shouldn't ever have an impact on minion's stats. On this point I fully support ANet.

    Now, minion's active skills should be subjected to the player's stats (at least in the case of the necromancer and the engineer), but the "passive" aspect of the minions (it's own stats and AA) hell, no!

    I'm not against against minions being strengthened by their master but it does have to be in the context of a coherent e-spec putting minions at the center of the main mechanism. Out of this context, minions just shouldn't be strengthened and the focus of the developper should be on taking advantage of the active skills instead of the passive aspect of the minion.

    At the moment, only Mesmer and rangers have specs that can be said to be truly dedicated to their minion and, well, they do work. The elementalist is a special case since it's minions were mostly seen as useless until now that they can summon a swarm of them.

    The reason minions doesn't really work for the necromancer is that ANet's devs imagine them as a main mechanism while they aren't. DM imagine that the main mechanism is minion related but, let's face it, shroud have nothing to do with minions! All 4 traits related to the necromancer's minions are focused on making them passively stronger and ignore the active skills that are "poor" even at their best.

    The reason that turrets doesn't work for the engineer is different. Simply put, having the turret trait make or break them. Individually the turrets are just so "poor" that without the trait there is barely any reason to ever think of using most of them.

    What minions need is a bottom line of usefulness. The necromancer's reach this bottom line while the engineer's don't. After that they need a dedicated trait that make them situationally good, not passively good. The necromancer do the opposite, focusing on the passive while the engineer somehow follow the right logic.

    What need to be done:

    • Raise the bottom line of usefulness of the engineer's turrets. (increase passive hit rate at the cost of passive hit utility and sometime damage)
    • Remove what make the necromancer's minion passively good and create a trait that make them situationally good. (reduce/remove passive traits and add a trait that proc on the minion's active skill use)
    • Other: Put DM's death nova passive minion's generation into one of the DM's minor. This would make minion's available for all build taking DM and justify the existence of multiple major traits that only work when you got minions (which is currently the biggest nonsense of this traitline).
  • Lily.1935Lily.1935 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Dadnir.5038 said:

    Probably the biggest change I'd make to the pets would be scaling. Their stats should change with your stats. So a turret build or minion build should be noticable different if running full berserker vs Magi gear for example. The damage of the pets should be noticable and their health and armor should be improved a bit more less so so they don't just become impossible to kill.

    I disagree with that. Pets stats should stay their own and shouldn't be influenced by the player's stats.
    Now if there are some traits that make the minion master sacrifice something in order to significantly strengthen the minion's stats, I kinda agree, but the player's gear shouldn't ever have an impact on minion's stats. On this point I fully support ANet.

    Now, minion's active skills should be subjected to the player's stats (at least in the case of the necromancer and the engineer), but the "passive" aspect of the minions (it's own stats and AA) hell, no!

    I'm not against against minions being strengthened by their master but it does have to be in the context of a coherent e-spec putting minions at the center of the main mechanism. Out of this context, minions just shouldn't be strengthened and the focus of the developper should be on taking advantage of the active skills instead of the passive aspect of the minion.

    At the moment, only Mesmer and rangers have specs that can be said to be truly dedicated to their minion and, well, they do work. The elementalist is a special case since it's minions were mostly seen as useless until now that they can summon a swarm of them.

    The reason minions doesn't really work for the necromancer is that ANet's devs imagine them as a main mechanism while they aren't. DM imagine that the main mechanism is minion related but, let's face it, shroud have nothing to do with minions! All 4 traits related to the necromancer's minions are focused on making them passively stronger and ignore the active skills that are "poor" even at their best.

    The reason that turrets doesn't work for the engineer is different. Simply put, having the turret trait make or break them. Individually the turrets are just so "poor" that without the trait there is barely any reason to ever think of using most of them.

    What minions need is a bottom line of usefulness. The necromancer's reach this bottom line while the engineer's don't. After that they need a dedicated trait that make them situationally good, not passively good. The necromancer do the opposite, focusing on the passive while the engineer somehow follow the right logic.

    What need to be done:

    • Raise the bottom line of usefulness of the engineer's turrets. (increase passive hit rate at the cost of passive hit utility and sometime damage)
    • Remove what make the necromancer's minion passively good and create a trait that make them situationally good. (reduce/remove passive traits and add a trait that proc on the minion's active skill use)
    • Other: Put DM's death nova passive minion's generation into one of the DM's minor. This would make minion's available for all build taking DM and justify the existence of multiple major traits that only work when you got minions (which is currently the biggest nonsense of this traitline).

    The aspects of the stats changing the pets such as minions and turrets was an idea that went both ways. Both make them able to bit harder and tank more damage but also be more susceptible to damage and not hit as hard depending on how you are stated. So if you're a zerker the pets would strike harder and be struck harder.

    But that's fine if that's not a part of them.

    I do think the utility skills of these pets do need to change a bit. Shadow fiend carrying your small minions to your desired target with a chill let's you combo with a haunt into a putrid explosion. That sounds engaging and decent to me. With the bone minions having charges and a new one spawning automatically as long as you dont use all of your bone fiends sounds pretty good for pressure. The turrets also using charges let's them be far more mobile. You have to remember that I want them to be good not just in PvP but wvw and pve too.

    Now the idea of the Turret Masters and Minion masters sacrificing something in order to strengthen their pets? I can get behind that. I would actually like and engage with that.

  • Lily.1935Lily.1935 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Something to take note of is that Turret Builds in another RPG Genre called ARPGs actually do function and have been shown to function extremely well. So why am I bringing up ARPGs? We'll because when we compare the GW2's system and an ARPG's system like Diablo III or path of Exile the big difference that is relevant to our conversation is just how mobile you are in comparison to GW2. Guild wars 2 is a very mobile game, you're always on the move from point to point to point. But its no where NEAR as mobile as an ARPG. So if an ARPG can design an interactive and effective turret build, which are stationary in those games too, than there is absolutely no reason Arena Net couldn't do it for GW2. They Often use a charge system for their Turrets/totums and if you summon one beyond the maximum number the oldest vanishes. This is what I would like to see in GW2, because I know it could function and could function very well.

  • Thornwolf.9721Thornwolf.9721 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Honestly overwhelming an enemy with undead horrors is part of the necromancers theme, its something they are known for in fantasy. You could do this with Guild wars 1 and even to some extent Diablo 2; It can be done but several things need to be done. Id argue most minions would need to be completely remade to have something viable about them, jagged horrors should be something horrific and something that causes bleeds.

    bone minions should be skeletons or something similar to the original game, and all of the minion skills should summon multiple of the same minion type to make sure we get this "face my army of the damned" feeling. Right now minion-mancer sucks and honestly I don't play my necromancer because TO ME who has played other games with necromancy, It doesn't feel like a necromancer. Even ESO's necromancer does a better job, and they have few minions but they at least get the theme right with bone, souls and so on. Guild wars 2's necromancer just has inky black gunk with a green hue, a shroud mechanic which is ok I guess? The closest thing we got to feeling like a necromancer would be reaper. It captures melee-mancer extremely well. But core necromancer has never, and probably will never feel, look or give what a necromancer is because for some reason when they ported it to this game their bright Idea was to just strip it of all the things that made it unique and cool in guild wars 1. (It,dervish and ritualist were my main three classes. Two of which don't exist outside of a homage class which I now main, and the one who remains feels nothing like itself.)

    We don't talk about scourge... because I don't know... feels too close to the ritualist while not being the ritualist just like renegade. It has a small portion of flavor but is weird... I mean it uses SAND... lame...(Could of used ashes, like how hard is that?)

  • Lily.1935Lily.1935 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Thornwolf.9721 said:
    Honestly overwhelming an enemy with undead horrors is part of the necromancers theme, its something they are known for in fantasy. You could do this with Guild wars 1 and even to some extent Diablo 2; It can be done but several things need to be done. Id argue most minions would need to be completely remade to have something viable about them, jagged horrors should be something horrific and something that causes bleeds.

    bone minions should be skeletons or something similar to the original game, and all of the minion skills should summon multiple of the same minion type to make sure we get this "face my army of the damned" feeling. Right now minion-mancer sucks and honestly I don't play my necromancer because TO ME who has played other games with necromancy, It doesn't feel like a necromancer. Even ESO's necromancer does a better job, and they have few minions but they at least get the theme right with bone, souls and so on. Guild wars 2's necromancer just has inky black gunk with a green hue, a shroud mechanic which is ok I guess? The closest thing we got to feeling like a necromancer would be reaper. It captures melee-mancer extremely well. But core necromancer has never, and probably will never feel, look or give what a necromancer is because for some reason when they ported it to this game their bright Idea was to just strip it of all the things that made it unique and cool in guild wars 1. (It,dervish and ritualist were my main three classes. Two of which don't exist outside of a homage class which I now main, and the one who remains feels nothing like itself.)

    We don't talk about scourge... because I don't know... feels too close to the ritualist while not being the ritualist just like renegade. It has a small portion of flavor but is weird... I mean it uses SAND... lame...(Could of used ashes, like how hard is that?)

    So I don't think we'll get a complete rework of the minions. Its just not in the cards unfortunately. I've been barking up that tree since 2013. So my request for this is to make the Minions at least usable so they could have some more interactive gameplay. The issues in their design can only be solved in a limited capacity. But for getting the play style that you and I REALLY desire we would need an elite specialization dedicated to it that uses the Life force mechanic Much like scourge uses it. You can read my Deathcap concept if you want to see what it could look like. Don't need to agree with the flavor but the design is there.

    As for how the Minions look. Well, they look like Stygians. I know this was reusing assets on Arena Net's part but this does suggest that Minions are formed from dark energies from the Mists and especially the realm of torment, so I quite like their Hobbled together masses of flesh.

  • Yasai.3549Yasai.3549 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Minions and Turrets are both bad because they take a utility slot but provide very little utility.
    Almost all Turret toolkit and Minion flip skill are damage oriented.

    Only few which do not do that are Heal skills and Stunbreaks (Thumper and Wurm)

    If yur gonna spend a utility slot to do DAMAGE and nothing BUT DAMAGE, it will be extremely weak because they CAN BE MITGATED and essentially wastes a cooldown.
    Minions are vastly worse because the Minion in question has to be alive to even use the flip skill, which is another downside to Minions.

    They need to seriously buff flip skills and toolkits for these skills to make them a worthy pick.

    If I play a stupid build, I deserve to die.
    If I beat people on a stupid build, I deserve to get away with it.

  • Dadnir.5038Dadnir.5038 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Lily.1935 said:
    I do think the utility skills of these pets do need to change a bit. Shadow fiend carrying your small minions to your desired target with a chill let's you combo with a haunt into a putrid explosion. That sounds engaging and decent to me. With the bone minions having charges and a new one spawning automatically as long as you dont use all of your bone fiends sounds pretty good for pressure. The turrets also using charges let's them be far more mobile. You have to remember that I want them to be good not just in PvP but wvw and pve too.

    Now the idea of the Turret Masters and Minion masters sacrificing something in order to strengthen their pets? I can get behind that. I would actually like and engage with that.

    On the topic of "sacrificing" something in order to strengthen their pet, I believe this only belong in a true dedicated spec (which neither the necromancer nor the engineer have). I think that a trait transfering a %age of some stats of the master onto it's pets would be needed (For example, a trait would make the necromancer lose 50% of it's power and precision and the pets in play would all gain 50% of the amount of stat reduced. Which mean that in PvE for a full buffed berserk build with roughly 4k power and 2k precision, the necromancer's stats would be reduced to 2k power and 1k precision and the pet would benefit from a 1k power and 500 precision buff.)

    As for the minion's active skills there is really a need for ANet to put some work on them. It's an issue that it's not worth using them in a lot of case however, I don't think the idea of the shadow fiend carrying bone minions is realist.

    For the necromancer I think it would be necessary to at least work on putrid explosion and rigor mortis. Putrid explosion need it's explosion priority to be set on "the closest minion to the target" instead of the current "the closest minion to the master". This is the very bare minimum required for putrid explosion. As for Rigor mortis, the 50 second CD and the minion's cast time it have for what it does is greatly exagerated.

    On top of that, I think death nova should give the necromancer a death response whenever he use a minion skill. It would proc on it's feet the poison field whenever he use a minion's active skill which would be welcome without being OP. At worst ANet would just have to reduce the damage coefficient in sPvP/WvW.

    As for engineer, like yasai said, the turret need more utility on it's active skill/toolbelt skill and less damage. Net turret is to focused on immobilising (it's impressive to see that necromancer's rigor mortis get a 50 second CD where net turret immobilize for roughly the same duration automatically every 10 seconds... and have 2 active skills that immobilise on demand...), Riffle and rocket turrets need different tool belt skill that put something else on the table (just like thumper turret does).

  • Jheuloh.4109Jheuloh.4109 Member ✭✭
    edited March 21, 2020

    When I tried out Necromancer, I was admittedly off-put by the 1 minion per spell thing and poofing em' out of thin air, no real relationship to the whole "Reanimate a corpse to do your bidding" theme.

    The overall effect was like I had a menagerie of weird birds following me around or something. I didn't even have to kill something to get my Flesh Golem!

    Turrets were weirdly short lived, too hard to perceive the effect of, and uninspiring looking as they're a warm grey which blends into the surroundings and their shape is barely anything more than a cylinder with legs.

    Minions/turrets/pets as basically mini-characters I don't think would be such a big deal if other classes had equally obvious and potent sounding features, like Elementalists casting biblical sized storms or warriors being able to Kool-Aid man it through walls and throwing boulders bigger than the enemy's future.

    But in Gw2 AOE fields from players are the size of most people's personal space bubbles, Kool Aid Man aint happening unless you're on a roller beetle with a specially labeled wall for it, and pets/minions are rage inducing nuisances the second enemies have to start paying attention to them on top of their owner.

    Stat wise, I think in PVE it'd be fine to beef up minions. Gear stat scaling seems like it would require the development of new tech and raise more design questions than answers - does glass cannon player = tank minion? Or glass cannon owner beget glass cannon minion? I could see traits touching on this, the Beastmastery traitline for Rangers has the foundation for this.

    From Core to PoF monsters that aren't trash mobs have been power creeped like players have. They have more tricks up their sleeve than bosses of yore and have shorter windup times to do anything noteworthy. HoT and PoF ranger pets are similarly potent compared to their Core predecessors. Minions & Turrets seem like they could stand to be scaled similarly.

    In PVP, nobody likes having to split their attention between owner/pet, PVP already has enough info to process as is and a pet that has to be watched essentially represents an additional enemy player to keep track of. I think there was a missed opportunity to make pets/minions in PVP more about team support rather than just being an extension of the player's damage dealing capacity (which inevitably dies in any real fight.)

    Then again, Nature Spirits were also much maligned way back when they were meta, I believe this was during the e-sports heyday.

  • Lily.1935Lily.1935 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Jheuloh.4109 said:
    When I tried out Necromancer, I was admittedly off-put by the 1 minion per spell thing and poofing em' out of thin air, no real relationship to the whole "Reanimate a corpse to do your bidding" theme.

    The overall effect was like I had a menagerie of weird birds following me around or something. I didn't even have to kill something to get my Flesh Golem!

    Turrets were weirdly short lived, too hard to perceive the effect of, and uninspiring looking as they're a warm grey which blends into the surroundings and their shape is barely anything more than a cylinder with legs.

    Minions/turrets/pets as basically mini-characters I don't think would be such a big deal if other classes had equally obvious and potent sounding features, like Elementalists casting biblical sized storms or warriors being able to Kool-Aid man it through walls and throwing boulders bigger than the enemy's future.

    But in Gw2 AOE fields from players are the size of most people's personal space bubbles, Kool Aid Man aint happening unless you're on a roller beetle with a specially labeled wall for it, and pets/minions are rage inducing nuisances the second enemies have to start paying attention to them on top of their owner.

    Stat wise, I think in PVE it'd be fine to beef up minions. Gear stat scaling seems like it would require the development of new tech and raise more design questions than answers - does glass cannon player = tank minion? Or glass cannon owner beget glass cannon minion? I could see traits touching on this, the Beastmastery traitline for Rangers has the foundation for this.

    From Core to PoF monsters that aren't trash mobs have been power creeped like players have. They have more tricks up their sleeve than bosses of yore and have shorter windup times to do anything noteworthy. HoT and PoF ranger pets are similarly potent compared to their Core predecessors. Minions & Turrets seem like they could stand to be scaled similarly.

    In PVP, nobody likes having to split their attention between owner/pet, PVP already has enough info to process as is and a pet that has to be watched essentially represents an additional enemy player to keep track of. I think there was a missed opportunity to make pets/minions in PVP more about team support rather than just being an extension of the player's damage dealing capacity (which inevitably dies in any real fight.)

    Then again, Nature Spirits were also much maligned way back when they were meta, I believe this was during the e-sports heyday.

    I don't think its a good idea to get players into the habit of tunnel visioning for PvP. Pets force engagement which might seem frustrating but is actually a good thing for the players to do. Also, Pets get disbanded when the player dies. So it becomes a question of how well can you fight the summoner in the time you have to ignore the pets. Also, you're forgetting a detail I mentioned which is the counterplay changes I suggested. Such as beyond target cap for pets specifically and bonus damage to summons.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Lily.1935 said:
    Turrets
    Turrets used to be extremely dominant in PvP bunker type builds to my knowledge but were never that great in PvE. After the nerf that made them vulnerable to conditions they dropped off hard. It was like arena net had banned them from competitive formats. But even if they didn't the highly mobile chaotic pace of both PvE and WvW prevents them from seeing much play.

    What I think actually killed them in PvP was the removal of a trait that used to exist which allowed turrets to self-repair. Turret engineers were basically the original point bunkers, sitting on a point (ideally mid or far) and defending it and not moving much. Without that trait (and taking tool kit so you can repair them that way makes it hard to actually be a turret build) you tend to be in a bit of a catch-22 when your turrets are damaged in a fight - you can trade them out now and risk being attacked while they're still on cooldown, or you can leave them and then risk being without them soon into a fight as they get destroyed.

    (I must admit, though, I do wonder how well the old turret engineer would have fared in the current, let alone preceding, meta. I suspect "not well".)

    The proposal to rebalance them as relatively short-term creations (justifiable by the presumption that they have limited ammunition) is probably a good approach. IIRC, that's how ARPGs work with them - the 'turrets' in such games are generally something that sits there for a few seconds pumping out attacks, not something that you expect to be fighting around for minutes.

    @Dadnir.5038 said:
    I disagree with that. Pets stats should stay their own and shouldn't be influenced by the player's stats.
    Now if there are some traits that make the minion master sacrifice something in order to significantly strengthen the minion's stats, I kinda agree, but the player's gear shouldn't ever have an impact on minion's stats. On this point I fully support ANet.

    I see where you're coming from, but... pretty much every time that pets have ended up being broken has been because it was possible to make the summoner extremely tough while the pet dished out the damage. That's what happened with engineer turret builds, and it's what happened with druids. MM necromancer probably survives - as much as it does - in part because making the minions really effective requires spending multiple major traits, often directly competing with durability traits.

    Nerfing the pets so that they're in line with durability builds often means nerfing them so they're no longer a significant boost for DPS builds.

    As a result, pets and summons having independent stats may well be a sacred cow that needs to be made into hamburgers. Possibly not universally, at least not right away, but with turrets already being something that is generally only taken for the toolbelt skill and maybe the player will actually think to drop the turret itself occasionally, I think ArenaNet can afford to use them as a testing ground. Linking their stats to the engineer's would mean that it becomes possible to get good damage out of them, but only if the engineer commits - you can't have high-DPS turrets and an engineer that is nearly impossible to kill.

    @Dadnir.5038 said:
    As for engineer, like yasai said, the turret need more utility on it's active skill/toolbelt skill and less damage. Net turret is to focused on immobilising (it's impressive to see that necromancer's rigor mortis get a 50 second CD where net turret immobilize for roughly the same duration automatically every 10 seconds... and have 2 active skills that immobilise on demand...), Riffle and rocket turrets need different tool belt skill that put something else on the table (just like thumper turret does).

    Rifle turret's toolbelt skill is fine. In fact, rifle turret is pretty much the only turret outside of healing turret that sees common use, entirely because Surprise Shot is a significant DPS boost even without Static Discharge. Rocket turret's toolbelt skill... yeah, that's pretty weak. Could probably do with a flatter trajectory and a more impressive impact (whether in terms of more damage or applying some form of CC) if you do get it to land on target.

  • Lily.1935Lily.1935 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    @Lily.1935 said:
    Turrets
    Turrets used to be extremely dominant in PvP bunker type builds to my knowledge but were never that great in PvE. After the nerf that made them vulnerable to conditions they dropped off hard. It was like arena net had banned them from competitive formats. But even if they didn't the highly mobile chaotic pace of both PvE and WvW prevents them from seeing much play.

    What I think actually killed them in PvP was the removal of a trait that used to exist which allowed turrets to self-repair. Turret engineers were basically the original point bunkers, sitting on a point (ideally mid or far) and defending it and not moving much. Without that trait (and taking tool kit so you can repair them that way makes it hard to actually be a turret build) you tend to be in a bit of a catch-22 when your turrets are damaged in a fight - you can trade them out now and risk being attacked while they're still on cooldown, or you can leave them and then risk being without them soon into a fight as they get destroyed.

    (I must admit, though, I do wonder how well the old turret engineer would have fared in the current, let alone preceding, meta. I suspect "not well".)

    The proposal to rebalance them as relatively short-term creations (justifiable by the presumption that they have limited ammunition) is probably a good approach. IIRC, that's how ARPGs work with them - the 'turrets' in such games are generally something that sits there for a few seconds pumping out attacks, not something that you expect to be fighting around for minutes.

    @Dadnir.5038 said:
    I disagree with that. Pets stats should stay their own and shouldn't be influenced by the player's stats.
    Now if there are some traits that make the minion master sacrifice something in order to significantly strengthen the minion's stats, I kinda agree, but the player's gear shouldn't ever have an impact on minion's stats. On this point I fully support ANet.

    I see where you're coming from, but... pretty much every time that pets have ended up being broken has been because it was possible to make the summoner extremely tough while the pet dished out the damage. That's what happened with engineer turret builds, and it's what happened with druids. MM necromancer probably survives - as much as it does - in part because making the minions really effective requires spending multiple major traits, often directly competing with durability traits.

    Nerfing the pets so that they're in line with durability builds often means nerfing them so they're no longer a significant boost for DPS builds.

    As a result, pets and summons having independent stats may well be a sacred cow that needs to be made into hamburgers. Possibly not universally, at least not right away, but with turrets already being something that is generally only taken for the toolbelt skill and maybe the player will actually think to drop the turret itself occasionally, I think ArenaNet can afford to use them as a testing ground. Linking their stats to the engineer's would mean that it becomes possible to get good damage out of them, but only if the engineer commits - you can't have high-DPS turrets and an engineer that is nearly impossible to kill.

    @Dadnir.5038 said:
    As for engineer, like yasai said, the turret need more utility on it's active skill/toolbelt skill and less damage. Net turret is to focused on immobilising (it's impressive to see that necromancer's rigor mortis get a 50 second CD where net turret immobilize for roughly the same duration automatically every 10 seconds... and have 2 active skills that immobilise on demand...), Riffle and rocket turrets need different tool belt skill that put something else on the table (just like thumper turret does).

    Rifle turret's toolbelt skill is fine. In fact, rifle turret is pretty much the only turret outside of healing turret that sees common use, entirely because Surprise Shot is a significant DPS boost even without Static Discharge. Rocket turret's toolbelt skill... yeah, that's pretty weak. Could probably do with a flatter trajectory and a more impressive impact (whether in terms of more damage or applying some form of CC) if you do get it to land on target.

    There is still the matter of the mobility issue. They need to be as simple and as effective to place as the Kalla Warband. Which honestly would work better with Engineer since they're not built as a melee martial profession. I will still argue In favor of the charges even if rifle turret doesn't get 2 out in the world at once.

    I would like to use these skills in PvE and WvW. Not just in PvP were capture the point is the main gameplay.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I have a vague feeling that there used to be a trait that allowed you to throw turrets, but that got removed along with the ranger trait that allowed you to throw traps (that one I really miss). That said, turrets do feel as if they're still a reasonable fit for engineer gameplay - most turrets are fairly long-range, and for those that aren't, engineer is already a profession that's intended to get into close range occasionally.

    Regardless of what the history may have been, I agree about the mobility issue. At the time, they were good if you were reliably fighting in one location for a while, not so good when there was any mobility required. Nowadays, they're technically more suited for mobility (since overcharge happens only once when deployed, they're stronger in the first few seconds after deployment than they would be later), but they're still largely balanced as something that could be sitting there shooting for minutes at a time. A shorter duration could mean that they have more of an impact during that duration, but aren't going to be a constant presence.

  • Brujeria.7536Brujeria.7536 Member ✭✭✭

    I like your ideas of necromancer minions, especially the bullet mechanic for Bone minions. I agree with your idea that pet stats should scale of your stats, but only the real added stats trough gear. The pets for this regard should also scale much, much different on the DPS side. For example: Bone Minions should scale with power / crit / accuracy. Shadow Fiend should scale with thougness / vit. bone Fiend should scale with condition damage and duration, etc.

    Basicly you then have the options:
    1. Do i pick a single minion that fits my gear and playstyle to improve the DAMAGE- a burst pet like bone minions for a power burst build, a tanky pet that scales of my defenses to add some damage.
    2. Do i pick a certain minion for its utility aspect - these aspects / secondary skills should all be greatly improved and set appart from the scaling / damage component
    3. Do i pick mostly minions for a minion master build.

    You could go even further and give pets reduced stats depending on how many you have summoned - this causes that minions will be usefull, even if you have just one on your bar. Lorewise it would fit as your power over the dark arts is strongest when channeled into a single minion, and weakens if you need to keep up different ones.

    You can also apply this logic to other classes and their "minion like skills".

  • Lily.1935Lily.1935 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Brujeria.7536 said:
    I like your ideas of necromancer minions, especially the bullet mechanic for Bone minions. I agree with your idea that pet stats should scale of your stats, but only the real added stats trough gear. The pets for this regard should also scale much, much different on the DPS side. For example: Bone Minions should scale with power / crit / accuracy. Shadow Fiend should scale with thougness / vit. bone Fiend should scale with condition damage and duration, etc.

    Basicly you then have the options:
    1. Do i pick a single minion that fits my gear and playstyle to improve the DAMAGE- a burst pet like bone minions for a power burst build, a tanky pet that scales of my defenses to add some damage.
    2. Do i pick a certain minion for its utility aspect - these aspects / secondary skills should all be greatly improved and set appart from the scaling / damage component
    3. Do i pick mostly minions for a minion master build.

    You could go even further and give pets reduced stats depending on how many you have summoned - this causes that minions will be usefull, even if you have just one on your bar. Lorewise it would fit as your power over the dark arts is strongest when channeled into a single minion, and weakens if you need to keep up different ones.

    You can also apply this logic to other classes and their "minion like skills".

    I don't think it should be too complicated. One thing that I would suggest though for minions specifically is changing the traits. I personally believe that they give too much toughness and survivability when it should be sacrificing your own survivability to make them stronger. But that's just my opinion.

  • Jheuloh.4109Jheuloh.4109 Member ✭✭
    edited March 24, 2020

    Ok, reading through the counterplay section more closely:

    I would say as a conceptual alternate to AOE abilities seeking out minions to blast or dealing boosted damage, perhaps have CC abilities with innately increased potency vs minions, to the tune of +50%. Possibly spreading between 2-3 minions by default. (1 minion is stunned, 1 or 2 others are KO'd with the original target in, say, a 300 radius bubble.) With existing stun breaks for the owner being allowed to break minions out of stun.

    Minions and turrets seem rather easy to splatter with focused fire, without any real thought from the attacker's part or consequence unless I'm underestimating how much health they have. More than half-way into a fight (whatever that means) seems fair to have the minions drop off. Earlier than that seems like it's thoroughly in the "Why bother?" territory unless they're treated like Team Fortress 2 turrets.

    Team Fortress 2 turrets are oppressively high damage but have a reaction time that allows an observant demo-man or soldier to take the turret out and resume contesting territory. The turret is little more than a glorified distraction on its own, but it has to be dealt with. If backed up by players (that aren't the Engineer) it's still helping the Engineer's team hold territory by its mere presence, and the Engineer's dispenser is servicing the team in other ways.

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    I see where you're coming from, but... pretty much every time that pets have ended up being broken has been because it was possible to make the summoner extremely tough while the pet dished out the damage. That's what happened with engineer turret builds, and it's what happened with druids. MM necromancer probably survives - as much as it does - in part because making the minions really effective requires spending multiple major traits, often directly competing with durability traits.

    Nerfing the pets so that they're in line with durability builds often means nerfing them so they're no longer a significant boost for DPS builds.

    As a result, pets and summons having independent stats may well be a sacred cow that needs to be made into hamburgers. Possibly not universally, at least not right away, but with turrets already being something that is generally only taken for the toolbelt skill and maybe the player will actually think to drop the turret itself occasionally, I think ArenaNet can afford to use them as a testing ground. Linking their stats to the engineer's would mean that it becomes possible to get good damage out of them, but only if the engineer commits - you can't have high-DPS turrets and an engineer that is nearly impossible to kill.

    Having minion attributes scale to be a reflection of their owners would make sense, then. Glass cannon owner begets glass cannon minion. Tanky, low damage owner begets tanky, low damage minion.

    Healing/buff focused owner theoretically limits the "best" minion/pet choice to anything that can take advantage of that. For more "regular" pets, they would stay at their base attribute values and be proportionately weaker than a glass cannon or tank owner + pet.

  • Lily.1935Lily.1935 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Jheuloh.4109 said:
    Ok, reading through the counterplay section more closely:

    I would say as a conceptual alternate to AOE abilities seeking out minions to blast or dealing boosted damage, perhaps have CC abilities with innately increased potency vs minions, to the tune of +50%. Possibly spreading between 2-3 minions by default. (1 minion is stunned, 1 or 2 others are KO'd with the original target in, say, a 300 radius bubble.) With existing stun breaks for the owner being allowed to break minions out of stun.

    Minions and turrets seem rather easy to splatter with focused fire, without any real thought from the attacker's part or consequence unless I'm underestimating how much health they have. More than half-way into a fight (whatever that means) seems fair to have the minions drop off. Earlier than that seems like it's thoroughly in the "Why bother?" territory unless they're treated like Team Fortress 2 turrets.

    Team Fortress 2 turrets are oppressively high damage but have a reaction time that allows an observant demo-man or soldier to take the turret out and resume contesting territory. The turret is little more than a glorified distraction on its own, but it has to be dealt with. If backed up by players (that aren't the Engineer) it's still helping the Engineer's team hold territory by its mere presence, and the Engineer's dispenser is servicing the team in other ways.

    I'm not saying all skills should have the added specific cap and the increased damage to minions. Some might but not all. I think having some skills cause a stun of sorts makes sense though. I'm on in addition solution for this issue so I can get behind that.

    We do need specific builds that can fight summoner/pet builds effective. Like a soft counter as I would be against a hard counter of any kind. As some builds should be soft countered by pet builds.

    What I want to see is the mechanics and flavor of these pet builds not to be restricted by the current limits of the way the game flows. But we also can't have 10 target aoe skills for things like WvW. Scourge proved that one. At the same time minions in particular would buffer the clash damage too much and I recognize that. So having a specific cap I feel is needed even when considering the more nuanced balance of PvP.

    But I'm glad you're engaging with me on this discussion. I want to love pet builds in gw2

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    One possibility that could help there is to have some things like minions just not count for the AoE cap. Mind you, that might create a weird interaction where minions are really resistant to AoE in PvE, and then melt to it in WvW. (Mind you, I don't think discouraging pet builds, with the exception of ranger pets, in WvW zergs would really be a bad thing...)

  • Lily.1935Lily.1935 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    One possibility that could help there is to have some things like minions just not count for the AoE cap. Mind you, that might create a weird interaction where minions are really resistant to AoE in PvE, and then melt to it in WvW. (Mind you, I don't think discouraging pet builds, with the exception of ranger pets, in WvW zergs would really be a bad thing...)

    That was part of what I was trying to suggest. AoE would check for players first. So if there are 5 in the aoe radius of the blast and 10 minions the 5 players would be struck first. The secondary effect of the skill which would say strike upto 5 summons would then strike 5 of those minions. If there was 1 player and 10 minions it would strike that player and 9 minions.

    But with your suggestion is sounds like pets wouldn't be counted at all. Now I think it could work as two strikes. The primary and secondary. Primary only checks for players and what we'll primary NPCs and the second strike hits only summoned creatures like minions, turrets, spirits, kalla Warband, elementals summoned by the elementalist. I'd probably classify a ranger's pet as a primary npc as opposed to a secondary. But now I'm getting into the nitty gritty.

  • Every since they changed Guardian' spirit weapons, I wanted them to do the same to Necromancer's minions :

    While its the shame that Necromancer would essentially lost that "Master of Undead Army" feel (to be fair, it doesn't really exist now), I feel like its a a necessary evil, because Minions skills will never be good enough if they have to be attached to AI mobs. We saw the rework of Gyros skills, so why not Minions.
    Each skill would summon an untargatable minion, they do their things, they disappeared (or exploses with a trait in Death Magic!). Allow a Necromancer to equip the Putrid Explosion skill, and when pressed, the Necro would quickly summon an untargable Bone Minion that would exploses at a location. Make a couple of changes when necessary, and tadaa, you have better skills, for they don't rely on AI anymore.

    Blood Fiend - the heal minion, maybe acting like A.E.D. (a minion taking the fatal hit instead of its master!)
    Bone Minion - the direct dmg summon, would explosed for more dmg for each Vuln stack on the target
    Bone Fiend - the rebranded-condi-dmg summon, would apply Bleed or something
    Flesh Wurn - the utility summon, for the mobility and stun break
    Shadow Fiend - the softCC summon, with the Blind/Chill/Weakness application
    Flesh Golem - the hardCC summon, with the big ol' Launch

    Have a gransmaster trait in Death Magic that reduces Minions skills CD, give Death Carapace stacks on activation, and have the minions finish their sacrifice skills with a Death Nova. Or maybe take a look at what Mesmer is doing with Chronophantasma and Bountiful Blades - either have more visuals minions spawn, with nerfed effects on each, to emphazis that horde feeling.

    That way, you cut out the passive way of playing Necro Minions, your stats actually matters in your minions skills dmg, and again, you don't relly on AI.

  • Lily.1935Lily.1935 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Heukalyptus.9270 said:
    Every since they changed Guardian' spirit weapons, I wanted them to do the same to Necromancer's minions :

    While its the shame that Necromancer would essentially lost that "Master of Undead Army" feel (to be fair, it doesn't really exist now), I feel like its a a necessary evil, because Minions skills will never be good enough if they have to be attached to AI mobs. We saw the rework of Gyros skills, so why not Minions.
    Each skill would summon an untargatable minion, they do their things, they disappeared (or exploses with a trait in Death Magic!). Allow a Necromancer to equip the Putrid Explosion skill, and when pressed, the Necro would quickly summon an untargable Bone Minion that would exploses at a location. Make a couple of changes when necessary, and tadaa, you have better skills, for they don't rely on AI anymore.

    Blood Fiend - the heal minion, maybe acting like A.E.D. (a minion taking the fatal hit instead of its master!)
    Bone Minion - the direct dmg summon, would explosed for more dmg for each Vuln stack on the target
    Bone Fiend - the rebranded-condi-dmg summon, would apply Bleed or something
    Flesh Wurn - the utility summon, for the mobility and stun break
    Shadow Fiend - the softCC summon, with the Blind/Chill/Weakness application
    Flesh Golem - the hardCC summon, with the big ol' Launch

    Have a gransmaster trait in Death Magic that reduces Minions skills CD, give Death Carapace stacks on activation, and have the minions finish their sacrifice skills with a Death Nova. Or maybe take a look at what Mesmer is doing with Chronophantasma and Bountiful Blades - either have more visuals minions spawn, with nerfed effects on each, to emphazis that horde feeling.

    That way, you cut out the passive way of playing Necro Minions, your stats actually matters in your minions skills dmg, and again, you don't relly on AI.

    ABSOLUTELY NOT! Spirit weapons had a lot of issues with summoning and unique skills. Minions have had issues but never to that level. Minions are supposed to be dumb and disposable. Minions need to be more zergy, not specialized.