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Build diversity should be the main focus of the Dev team..no meta balancing

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  • Arheundel.6451Arheundel.6451 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 21, 2020

    @Hirosama Nadasaki.6792 said:
    Dunno where people get the idea that balance and build diversity are opposite things. The main reason build diversity rises or lowers is because of balancing.

    Build diversity is about allowing a large amount of different builds to be viable, that is entirely a balance issue. You can log into the game right now and make whatever wacky build your imagination can come up with, but current balance state will make most of those builds you just made irrelevant due to getting outshined by some much stronger meta build. To stop such powerful builds from overshadowing other custom builds is entirely a balance issue.

    There is no such thing as "focusing build diversity over balancing" when most of what Anet does is number changes. The only situation where balance and diversity go in opposite directions is when they remove abilities and traits for the sake of balancing, and they don't usually do that.

    Huh? They remove trait/abilities all the times! In the name of meta balancing they often go and destroy entire builds by "changing" the main traits that build used to rely on, they don't change functionality..they simply either remove it or number changing for the worst

    Instead than removing builds they could introduce soft counter builds while creating additional roles for other professions, that would shape up a varied and fun to watch meta. Yeah I know, the forum mob would start with :"power creep power creep" even when they don't even know what it means, used mostly as a Buzz word to appear l33t lol

    Of course we're talking about work so......

    -A wise man once said- "Fight cheese with cheese or be cheesed in return, mind not those who will accuse you of being a cheese as they like cheese themselves"

  • Stallic.2397Stallic.2397 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 21, 2020

    @Hirosama Nadasaki.6792 said:
    Dunno where people get the idea that balance and build diversity are opposite things. The main reason build diversity rises or lowers is because of balancing.

    Build diversity is about allowing a large amount of different builds to be viable, that is entirely a balance issue. You can log into the game right now and make whatever wacky build your imagination can come up with, but current balance state will make most of those builds you just made irrelevant due to getting outshined by some much stronger meta build. To stop such powerful builds from overshadowing other custom builds is entirely a balance issue.

    There is no such thing as "focusing build diversity over balancing" when most of what Anet does is number changes. The only situation where balance and diversity go in opposite directions is when they remove abilities and traits for the sake of balancing, and they don't usually do that.

    I'm confused as to how number changes is the only thing perceived to be changed. Plenty of traits are useless in Pvp because of simple "number changes". 2 classes are unviable because of "number changes" and many weapons for classes have faced the same fate. This is all in the name of balance, which is understandable; but, Pvp will become dead at this rate... if it's not already.

    In its current state, diversity is not focused at all. This perspective is based upon specializations rather than classes. A tempest and a Core Ele are the same class, but not nearly similar in play style. The same can be said with a Reaper and a Scourge, or Core Engi and Scrapper, etc. Why even create so many different specs if they're not to be viable/played in Ranked Pvp (which is an endgame function worthy of focus)?

    Sure, some specs will shine better in different modes. But that's not where Pvp is. As of now, a few specializations stand out and the rest are down right beaten to the ground. The middle ground is so far and between. It's sad that players think, if there's one meta build for every class, then everything is okay. At this point, there isn't even 9 meta builds (1 for each class). Such a mess of balance and diversity all together.

  • XenoSpyro.1780XenoSpyro.1780 Member ✭✭✭

    @Shiyo.3578 said:
    too much creativity and options in builds is BAD.

    Translated : "FUN DETECTED. REEEEEEEE"

  • @Arheundel.6451 said:
    Huh? They remove trait/abilities all the times! In the name of meta balancing they often go and destroy entire builds by "changing" the main traits that build used to rely on, they don't change functionality..they simply either remove it or number changing for the worst

    I mean, they changed some traits in the big balance patch, but before that I think it was well around a year since the last time they made some big change to classes functionalities, and as I said number changes are a balancing tool. Changing numbers causing certain builds to become unviable is just bad balancing, after all how is it balanced if one build is completely dominating another?

    @Stallic.2397 said:
    I'm confused as to how number changes is the only thing perceived to be changed. Plenty of traits are useless in Pvp because of simple "number changes". 2 classes are unviable because of "number changes" and many weapons for classes have faced the same fate. This is all in the name of balance, which is understandable; but, Pvp will become dead at this rate... if it's not already.

    Same answer as above, if a trait is useless compared to another that's a matter of balancing. The entire concept of balance is to equalize two different things as much as possible. If one is heavily outweighing the other, that means they're unbalanced. 2 classes are unviable because of a horrible balancing job from Anet. Y'all are going off the assumption that Anet is focusing balancing and actually getting results on that front, when the entire problem here is that they suck kitten at balancing.

  • JusticeRetroHunter.7684JusticeRetroHunter.7684 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 23, 2020

    @Hirosama Nadasaki.6792 said:

    @Stallic.2397 said:
    I'm confused as to how number changes is the only thing perceived to be changed. Plenty of traits are useless in Pvp because of simple "number changes". 2 classes are unviable because of "number changes" and many weapons for classes have faced the same fate. This is all in the name of balance, which is understandable; but, Pvp will become dead at this rate... if it's not already.

    Same answer as above, if a trait is useless compared to another that's a matter of balancing. The entire concept of balance is to equalize two different things as much as possible. If one is heavily outweighing the other, that means they're unbalanced.

    Read my first post. You can't equalize skills that are different without making them the exact same skill, and as a consequence you eliminate player choice. That's why the traditional game definition of "Balance" is not real...it's a Sisyphus parable... and it's impossible to attain balance in this way without making the game completely homogeneous.

    Diversity and balance are two sides of the same coin, this is true...but the traditional "game balance" is not "real" balance.

    we can see real balance in balance systems we see in nature and the real world. It's hard to describe how it works without an understanding in complex systems theory, chaos theory and other closely related sciences like evolutionary biology...

    But as i said in my first post, real balance comes about because of anthropics, and competition, and this is the kind of balance we get to achieve in highly diverse systems.

    I mean just imagine for a second that you are a developer trying to balance the ecosystem of Antarctica...probably the easiest to quantify biosphere on the planet... how would you try to apply "game balance" to that? Nerf a little bit here a little bit there, Penguins too OP, buff seals? ...You'd ruin the ecosystem, because it's incompatible. So is it so surprising that you would see the same consequences from this sort of balance implementation in guild wars 2?

  • Psycoprophet.8107Psycoprophet.8107 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I think gw2 fails in its balance cuz they tried messing with the tried and true way other vids balanced to avoid these issues and instead of being unique ended up a clown fest, in gw2 a tanky class can get burst by a glass bust type class and laugh while out bursting the burst class, the glass or low hp classes like ele and guards are compensated in ways that allow them to have low hp and out sustain a high hp class. Uve got classes with high bursts AND sustained damage AND high sustain. The balance and efectivness of classes compared to each other are a complete joke in this game. A tank build should do low to moderate dps, some should be moderate across the board but not great and any one thing. A burst class should have enough dps to down a class quick if it out plays the class but be punished hard if mistakes are made etc. There basically no rules in gw2, being a tank like build doesn't effect ur burst and vice versa, theres a reason why in past mmos certain archetypes were good in a type of playstyle but not effective at others. Trying to make all classes viable in all playstyles is a fail as we see here.

  • @Hirosama Nadasaki.6792 said:
    Dunno where people get the idea that balance and build diversity are opposite things. The main reason build diversity rises or lowers is because of balancing.

    Build diversity is about allowing a large amount of different builds to be viable, that is entirely a balance issue. You can log into the game right now and make whatever wacky build your imagination can come up with, but current balance state will make most of those builds you just made irrelevant due to getting outshined by some much stronger meta build. To stop such powerful builds from overshadowing other custom builds is entirely a balance issue.

    There is no such thing as "focusing build diversity over balancing" when most of what Anet does is number changes. The only situation where balance and diversity go in opposite directions is when they remove abilities and traits for the sake of balancing, and they don't usually do that.

    well.. instead of trying to up and nerf few stats and spells depending on what is outperforming and what is not, why not up and change everything that isn't played at all or completely obsolet?

    making everything op is the best solution in a game with so much diversity. or you will have only the meta build that will dominate the rest.
    nothing is op if everything is.

  • I completely agree with this post! As such, I am simply BAFFLED by the posts deriding it.

    Build diversity is absolutely necessary and healthy and, most importantly, neglected in GW2. My friends and I love Theory Crafting new builds as much as we love trying them out! As soon as I find something that works, I then spend hours, sometimes days, tweaking it to make it fit my style of play. This is half the fun! Having a viable build is just as important as your game play.

    When there are only FIVE viable meta builds out of NINE core classes and another 18 Elite Classes, it's absolutely depressing and, quite frankly, criminal.

  • Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 25, 2020

    @KrHome.1920 said:

    @Spellhunter.9675 said:
    If you look at history of most MMORPG with successful PvP scene, it is not about perfect balance or build diversity, it is all about regular meta shifts.

    Yes, that's the lazy/cheap way of keeping the game experience fresh as people have to change builds every few months.

    They don't even try to achieve build diversity, which would have the same effect but is more complex/expensive.

    There are only so many possible combinations that you can make with this build system and there are only so many desirable combinations within that for a particular game mode. It's simply not possible to have several top tier builds for every game mode on every class. And websites only displaying one or two of these possible combinations, along with herd mentality is what is the real drama with build diversity. You can play any number of viable builds in this game.

    I disagree that meta shifting is a bad thing, I loved it in GW when they would buff particular skills or nerf others and create a meta shift. because you would always get a flavor of the month build and then after a short time of that dominating, people would create a hard counter to that build and it would fall out of favor.

    Having a couple of builds exist within a game mode for a long period of time makes it boring.

    @MementoMortis.4258 said:
    I completely agree with this post! As such, I am simply BAFFLED by the posts deriding it.

    Build diversity is absolutely necessary and healthy and, most importantly, neglected in GW2. My friends and I love Theory Crafting new builds as much as we love trying them out! As soon as I find something that works, I then spend hours, sometimes days, tweaking it to make it fit my style of play. This is half the fun! Having a viable build is just as important as your game play.

    When there are only FIVE viable meta builds out of NINE core classes and another 18 Elite Classes, it's absolutely depressing and, quite frankly, criminal.

    Viable according to whom and what metric?

  • JusticeRetroHunter.7684JusticeRetroHunter.7684 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 25, 2020

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:
    Viable according to whom and what metric?

    The metric for something being “viable” is that the build has to be useful in some meaningful sense.

    In evolutionary biology, creatures that can not adapt to their environment will eventually die out. This is the analog to “autonomous agents being able to achieve autonomous goals.” In the case of evolutionary biology, those goals would be to survive, long enough to reprocreate (to continue the species)

    For gw2, builds follow the same general rules. If an autonomous agent choose a random assortment of traits and skills, these skills and traits need to be able to accomplish the goal of the autonomous agent. If it can not achieve that goal, then the build will eventually “die out.” Such a goal would be “to kill an enemy players to win an spvp match” or to “heal your allies so that they don’t die in a WvW Zerg fight.” If the traits and skills you picked can’t do this than the build you made isn’t considered as having any meaningful use.

    This is why build diversity isn’t the number of choices available to you... diversity is the quality of meaningful choices available to you.

    Again, the metric is that If you can select even a random assortment of skills and traits and still be able to achieve your autonomous goals, then it can be considered viable, and that’s real diversity.

  • @JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:
    Viable according to whom and what metric?

    The metric for something being “viable” is that the build has to be useful in some meaningful sense.

    In evolutionary biology, creatures that can not adapt to their environment will eventually die out. This is the analog to “autonomous agents being able to achieve autonomous goals.” In the case of evolutionary biology, those goals would be to survive, long enough to reprocreate (to continue the species)

    For gw2, builds follow the same general rules. If an autonomous agent choose a random assortment of traits and skills, these skills and traits need to be able to accomplish the goal of the autonomous agent. If it can not achieve that goal, then the build will eventually “die out.” Such a goal would be “to kill an enemy players to win an spvp match” or to “heal your allies so that they don’t die in a WvW Zerg fight.” If the traits and skills you picked can’t do this than the build you made isn’t considered as having any meaningful use.

    This is why build diversity isn’t the number of choices available to you... diversity is the quality of meaningful choices available to you.

    Again, the metric is that If you can select even a random assortment of skills and traits and still be able to achieve your autonomous goals, then it can be considered viable, and that’s real diversity.

    I don't agree with that metric being the one in actual use. There are vastly more viable builds by that definition than there are "unviable" ones.

  • Garret.1965Garret.1965 Member ✭✭

    Animal Kingdom: Dinosaurs op af, plz nerf nature.

    Nature: Sends a meteorite to annihilate them from the face of the earth

    Dinosaurs: Fun while it lasted.

    Dodos: Could we get a buff? We can't even fly.

    Nature: ??????

    Dodos: Rip.

    Nature sucks at balancing :anguished:

  • JusticeRetroHunter.7684JusticeRetroHunter.7684 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 26, 2020

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:

    @JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:
    Viable according to whom and what metric?

    The metric for something being “viable” is that the build has to be useful in some meaningful sense.

    In evolutionary biology, creatures that can not adapt to their environment will eventually die out. This is the analog to “autonomous agents being able to achieve autonomous goals.” In the case of evolutionary biology, those goals would be to survive, long enough to reprocreate (to continue the species)

    For gw2, builds follow the same general rules. If an autonomous agent choose a random assortment of traits and skills, these skills and traits need to be able to accomplish the goal of the autonomous agent. If it can not achieve that goal, then the build will eventually “die out.” Such a goal would be “to kill an enemy players to win an spvp match” or to “heal your allies so that they don’t die in a WvW Zerg fight.” If the traits and skills you picked can’t do this than the build you made isn’t considered as having any meaningful use.

    This is why build diversity isn’t the number of choices available to you... diversity is the quality of meaningful choices available to you.

    Again, the metric is that If you can select even a random assortment of skills and traits and still be able to achieve your autonomous goals, then it can be considered viable, and that’s real diversity.

    I don't agree with that metric being the one in actual use. There are vastly more viable builds by that definition than there are "unviable" ones.

    I would disagree. Most traits in the current state of the game don’t contribute much of anything to builds. As an example, Heal Ele in WvW usto take the Arcane Traitline for a single trait, which was Arcane Resurrection . Every other trait was basically useless (with the exception of Evasive Arcana) for that build and pretty much any build you could make with the traitline. Once Arcane resurrection was nerfed, Heal Ele could no longer compete and it was dropped from being viable.

    The more these traits become useless (300 second ICD traits) or inconsequential (1 might on crit on a 10s ICD) than the traits no longer contribute to build composition...and the builds that were made with them lose strength. When enough of those abilities are nerfed it will no longer be able to compete and go extinct.

    I would be inclined to hear examples of builds that aren’t currently meta that are actually useful...and these builds have to be different to the meta in some way where they actually Function different than the current meta builds.

    For example you can’t show me a D\P meta thief that runs Maurader, and then show me a D/P thief that uses berserker and say they are different builds. They might have different attributes but their functionality is too similar to say they are different. For instance, Condo thief and DP thief is an example of two builds that function differently enough to say they are different. Like comparing Bob to Joe, both of them are still Homosapians.

  • @JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:
    I would be inclined to hear examples of builds that aren’t currently meta that are actually useful...and these builds have to be different to the meta in some way where they actually Function different than the current meta builds.

    Give me a role to fill and I'll give you a non-meta build that can do it.

  • JusticeRetroHunter.7684JusticeRetroHunter.7684 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 26, 2020

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:

    @JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:
    I would be inclined to hear examples of builds that aren’t currently meta that are actually useful...and these builds have to be different to the meta in some way where they actually Function different than the current meta builds.

    Give me a role to fill and I'll give you a non-meta build that can do it.

    I can name quiet a few things you can’t come up with...like a A Viable Healer or Viable Cleanser for Zerg fights on necromancer, mesmer, thief, or ranger...or a viable mobile decapper on necromancer, warrior, guardian...

    but I think your missing the point.

    It’s not about being able to create a single build that can fit a role... and the goal to be achieved is not in a vacuum. It’s a‘bout achieving a goal in a competitive environment, where other agents are often competing with you with the same goals or goals that come directly in conflict with yours.

    For example, you can in practice make a group-based healing off-meta necro build...because there are a few traits that allow for it...but the build is actually terrible especially in comparison to its competitors, like Ele, Scrapper and Firebrand.

    So just because you CAN create a build for a role, doesn’t mean it’s good enough to accomplish an autonomous goal...especially in a competitive environment where others are competing with or against you.

  • otto.5684otto.5684 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:

    @JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:
    I would be inclined to hear examples of builds that aren’t currently meta that are actually useful...and these builds have to be different to the meta in some way where they actually Function different than the current meta builds.

    Give me a role to fill and I'll give you a non-meta build that can do it.

    Sure, but this is not the point.

    Any player with 1k games under their belt in one class and key bond all skills can take any synergistic build to P1. But why go through all this effort, versus playing the meta build on your class. Not to mention, these builds would not work pushing deeper and will be a laughing stock in and AT or +1,600 game.

    Generally, you want between 4-5 builds Per class between B and A tiers. Most classes have 1. 2 classes have zero. It was never great, but now it is even worse. Add to that no population, so match making is barely working. This is the worst sPvP experience since I started playing this game. Sure, first few month after HoT and PoF release had some ridiculously OP builds. But at least things were new, and there was a large room for experimentation and fun. Now, it is stagnant experience with limited options. And if you are in an uneven game (as it typically is now), you will be twirling your thumbs on the winning side and chain CCed on the losing side. Sadly, no matter how repetitive OW can get, it is far more fun now than sPvP.

  • @JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:

    @JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:
    I would be inclined to hear examples of builds that aren’t currently meta that are actually useful...and these builds have to be different to the meta in some way where they actually Function different than the current meta builds.

    Give me a role to fill and I'll give you a non-meta build that can do it.

    I can name quiet a few things you can’t come up with...like a A Viable Healer or Viable Cleanser for Zerg fights on necromancer, mesmer, thief, or ranger...or a viable mobile decapper on necromancer, warrior, guardian...

    but I think your missing the point.

    It’s not about being able to create a single build that can fit a role... and the goal to be achieved is not in a vacuum. It’s a‘bout achieving a goal in a competitive environment, where other agents are often competing with you with the same goals or goals that come directly in conflict with yours.

    For example, you can in practice make a group-based healing off-meta necro build...because there are a few traits that allow for it...but the build is actually terrible especially in comparison to its competitors, like Ele, Scrapper and Firebrand.

    So just because you CAN create a build for a role, doesn’t mean it’s good enough to accomplish an autonomous goal...especially in a competitive environment where others are competing with or against you.

    I didn't ask you for a specific build for a specific class, I asked you for a role to fill. There are loads of builds out there that are viable and successful, but because the websites do not list them and people these days are drones, it is assumed the only possible thing to be viable is what is listed, like the people maintaining the sites have played every permutation of every build possible to decide.

    My friend, it is you that has missed the point. My point in asking you for a role to fill is that you cannot possibly fill every role there is with a build for every class. You can't make a guard so mobile that it makes a good decapper and you can't make a thief able to heal and support team mates without directly breaking every single thing about the whole game.

    So, in practice, an off-meta support necro is actually fantastic, if you put one or two in the squad. Its still able to do decent cleave, remove/corrupt boons, remove conditions, provide good barrier and also teleport your downs away from bombs and revive them very quickly. You are able to have hybrid roles and assigning one or two people to teleporting and rezzing downs is a huge advantage that nobody does because its not a meta role.

    @otto.5684 said:

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:

    @JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:
    I would be inclined to hear examples of builds that aren’t currently meta that are actually useful...and these builds have to be different to the meta in some way where they actually Function different than the current meta builds.

    Give me a role to fill and I'll give you a non-meta build that can do it.

    Sure, but this is not the point.

    Any player with 1k games under their belt in one class and key bond all skills can take any synergistic build to P1. But why go through all this effort, versus playing the meta build on your class. Not to mention, these builds would not work pushing deeper and will be a laughing stock in and AT or +1,600 game.

    Generally, you want between 4-5 builds Per class between B and A tiers. Most classes have 1. 2 classes have zero. It was never great, but now it is even worse. Add to that no population, so match making is barely working. This is the worst sPvP experience since I started playing this game. Sure, first few month after HoT and PoF release had some ridiculously OP builds. But at least things were new, and there was a large room for experimentation and fun. Now, it is stagnant experience with limited options. And if you are in an uneven game (as it typically is now), you will be twirling your thumbs on the winning side and chain CCed on the losing side. Sadly, no matter how repetitive OW can get, it is far more fun now than sPvP.

    You can't possibly have between 4-5 builds per class, its simply not possible within the confines of the game and the roles that exist.

    How would you know off-meta builds would be a laughing stock if nobody tries anything but whatever the website tells them?

  • JusticeRetroHunter.7684JusticeRetroHunter.7684 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 27, 2020

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:

    I didn't ask you for a specific build for a specific class, I asked you for a role to fill. There are loads of builds out there that are viable and successful

    I’m going to explain this very carefully.

    Let’s say you have player A and Player B, and let’s assume they are the same in terms of skill, so this sets our control group.

    Both Player A and Player B have some different configuration that constitutes a build, which sets up our Variable Group. Now you make these two players fight each other over and over again, with the option each time, to be able to change their build configurations for each fight, then tallying their wins and their losses.

    Let’s now say that Player A simply can not defeat Player B. Player A changes their build until player A can now defeat Player B. This is ADAPTATION, where Player A continues to alter their build until they find something which can achieve their autonomous goal.

    Let’s now say that Player A was only able to defeat Player B once using that configuration, and there after Player A wasn’t able to defeat Player B. Again Player A must continue adapting their build until they are able to compete with Player B in some meaningful sense...which can be arbitrarily defined....winning 30% of the time...50%...75%....

    It’s only when Player A can compete with Player B in some meaningful sense, where the build that was created can be considered “viable.”
    ———————————
    We can take a similar example, where instead of two agents facing against each other, we can have two agents that seek to cooperate with each other.

    In a cooperative setting you are vying for a position in a group with only a finite of available spots. So in essence you are also competing with your allies, in addition to your enemies.

    If your builds performance, relative to the group is not sufficient enough to warrant a place in that group, you will not be accepted...so your build must reach some level of performance in order to compete for those available positions among your allies.

    In turn the same conclusions we arrived at in the first example is roughly the same in this example, where Player A must adapt until they have a meaningful contribution to the group.

    So again, you can have some off meta build that can do something...but it has to have a level of consistency to secure its place in a competitive environment, and that is the metric of its usefulness. Maybe you win one or two engagements with your off meta build...but that is not enough to say it hads some meaningful use.

    My friend, it is you that has missed the point. My point in asking you for a role to fill is that you cannot possibly fill every role there is with a build for every class. You can't make a guard so mobile that it makes a good decapper and you can't make a thief able to heal and support team mates without directly breaking every single thing about the whole game.

    That was never my point. Roles is something that never had a place in the conversation to begin with until you asked for one...and as I properly pointed out to directly address your question you asked -

    Give me a role and I’ll find an off-meta build that can do it.

    Like I pointed out, “Healing your Allies in a Zerg fight so that you win” is a goal. And also what I point out is that half of the classes can not even achieve this. Even on a specific class like Scrapper which has a viable build that can heal in a Zerg setting, there is only two build configurations that can actually compete. Name any other scrapper heal build other than Purity of Purpose Meta and it’s close cousin Altruism Engi, that can compete for a healing position in a squad.

    So, in practice, an off-meta support necro is actually fantastic,

    If you have an off meta support necro id be surprised. Can it compete on the cleanse meter? How bout HPS? Does it actually keep a Zerg alive? Can it fight for a position in squad so that it can replace a scrapper, an Ele or a Firebrand?

    I’m a theorycrafter and have tried probably every configuration in this game and have yet to identify a practical healer necro build that actually works in a Zerg squad setting.

    Anyway, what we are arguing over is a minut detail of a very large and complex problem. I’m not gonna sit here and talk about what builds work and which builds do not. The overall issue is that build diversity in this game has been on the decline, and given how many possible combinations there are in the game to configure a build, there is a very large disparity between what works and what doesn’t.

    This directly contrasts the build diversity in gw1 which was exponentially larger. In Gw1 we had hundreds of different meta viable Team compositions...each that functioned so differently to one another that they required their own build pages on the (old) PVX website, Spiritway, Ebomb, Invoke Spike, RainbowWay, Iway, Flareway, Eleball...believe me, I can keep going all day.

    How many functionally different team compositions do we have in Spvp or WvW? Pirate Ship, Balanced and MurderBall...these three for the past 5 years in WvW. For Spvp I think it’s only been Balanced Way since the beginning.

    The disparity is unquestionable and to think that it is just a balance issue shows a lack of application of analysis to the problem.

  • Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 27, 2020

    @JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:

    I didn't ask you for a specific build for a specific class, I asked you for a role to fill. There are loads of builds out there that are viable and successful

    I’m going to explain this very carefully.

    Let’s say you have player A and Player B, and let’s assume they are the same in terms of skill, so this sets our control group.

    Both Player A and Player B have some different configuration that constitutes a build, which sets up our Variable Group. Now you make these two players fight each other over and over again, with the option each time, to be able to change their build configurations for each fight, then tallying their wins and their losses.

    Let’s now say that Player A simply can not defeat Player B. Player A changes their build until player A can now defeat Player B. This is ADAPTATION, where Player A continues to alter their build until they find something which can achieve their autonomous goal.

    Let’s now say that Player A was only able to defeat Player B once using that configuration, and there after Player A wasn’t able to defeat Player B. Again Player A must continue adapting their build until they are able to compete with Player B in some meaningful sense...which can be arbitrarily defined....winning 30% of the time...50%...75%....

    It’s only when Player A can compete with Player B in some meaningful sense, where the build that was created can be considered “viable.”
    ———————————
    We can take a similar example, where instead of two agents facing against each other, we can have two agents that seek to cooperate with each other.

    In a cooperative setting you are vying for a position in a group with only a finite of available spots. So in essence you are also competing with your allies, in addition to your enemies.

    If your builds performance, relative to the group is not sufficient enough to warrant a place in that group, you will not be accepted...so your build must reach some level of performance in order to compete for those available positions among your allies.

    In turn the same conclusions we arrived at in the first example is roughly the same in this example, where Player A must adapt until they have a meaningful contribution to the group.

    So again, you can have some off meta build that can do something...but it has to have a level of consistency to secure its place in a competitive environment, and that is the metric of its usefulness. Maybe you win one or two engagements with your off meta build...but that is not enough to say it hads some meaningful use.

    My friend, it is you that has missed the point. My point in asking you for a role to fill is that you cannot possibly fill every role there is with a build for every class. You can't make a guard so mobile that it makes a good decapper and you can't make a thief able to heal and support team mates without directly breaking every single thing about the whole game.

    That was never my point. Roles is something that never had a place in the conversation to begin with until you asked for one...and as I properly pointed out to directly address your question you asked -

    Give me a role and I’ll find an off-meta build that can do it.

    Like I pointed out, “Healing your Allies in a Zerg fight so that you win” is a goal. And also what I point out is that half of the classes can not even achieve this. Even on a specific class like Scrapper which has a viable build that can heal in a Zerg setting, there is only two build configurations that can actually compete. Name any other scrapper heal build other than Purity of Purpose Meta and it’s close cousin Altruism Engi, that can compete for a healing position in a squad.

    So, in practice, an off-meta support necro is actually fantastic,

    If you have an off meta support necro id be surprised. Can it compete on the cleanse meter? How bout HPS? Does it actually keep a Zerg alive? Can it fight for a position in squad so that it can replace a scrapper, an Ele or a Firebrand?

    I’m a theorycrafter and have tried probably every configuration in this game and have yet to identify a practical healer necro build that actually works in a Zerg squad setting.

    Anyway, what we are arguing over is a minut detail of a very large and complex problem. I’m not gonna sit here and talk about what builds work and which builds do not. The overall issue is that build diversity in this game has been on the decline, and given how many possible combinations there are in the game to configure a build, there is a very large disparity between what works and what doesn’t.

    This directly contrasts the build diversity in gw1 which was exponentially larger. In Gw1 we had hundreds of different meta viable Team compositions...each that functioned so differently to one another that they required their own build pages on the (old) PVX website, Spiritway, Ebomb, Invoke Spike, RainbowWay, Iway, Flareway, Eleball...believe me, I can keep going all day.

    How many functionally different team compositions do we have in Spvp or WvW? Pirate Ship, Balanced and MurderBall...these three for the past 5 years in WvW. For Spvp I think it’s only been Balanced Way since the beginning.

    The disparity is unquestionable and to think that it is just a balance issue shows a lack of application of analysis to the problem.

    Ok, I agree that is what makes a build viable in that scenario but that's only against that one other build and you have the option to build specifically to counter that other build. You can't really do that in this game. It's not like GW where you get a meta shift due to the buff of a couple of skills and after a while of that gimmick dominating, people develop a hard counter and the gimmick falls out of favor. I get what you mean though, builds go through filters of effectiveness until only X options remain which results in the meta builds. But there are many areas in this game where non-meta builds will perform very well when you build them around a specific role. For instance, a mid point only support/bunker who's job it is to bunker mid 1vX until your team arrives at which point you are able to support them by mitigating damage, removing conditions on them, healing and increasing allies damage all while also dealing some damage yourself. You need to have a role first before you can make a build to suit it. A lot of those are specific niches.

    I'm a theory crafter too, right now I have 7 tabs open with different builds I'm working on and all are off-meta to perform some specific task. I've got bank tabs of ascended gear from build testing.

    It got a nerf in Feb, but its still quite viable. WvW hybrid support scourge.. You can teleport out of harms way and rez 5 downs in seconds by hitting F4, casting Well of Blood and then starting to rez one of them. Getting 5 downs back up and at 80% health in seconds turns the tide all the time. And no, its not going to compete for a spot with a Ele/Scrapper/FB healer because its not made for that role. It would compete with a DPS role, you replace one or two of your Scourges with the Support Scourge so while you lose some DPS, you gain a lot of support in return and also the ability to rez downs like nothing else in the game.

    Edit: I actually forgot my point in the end there, that is, I agree more build diversity is needed and a good thing, but many many people overlook the ability of classes to fill niche roles and use those builds, there are tons of them and I think it just displays a lack of creativity on the part of the community. In sPvP, it is severely limited by gear selection too, though.

  • @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:
    Edit: I actually forgot my point in the end there, that is, I agree more build diversity is needed and a good thing, but many many people overlook the ability of classes to fill niche roles and use those builds, there are tons of them and I think it just displays a lack of creativity on the part of the community. In sPvP, it is severely limited by gear selection too, though.

    The point of this thread by the OP is that the implementation of balancing the meta with nerfs/buffs is killing off build diversity.

    My position on the topic was that loss of diversity is a direct consequence of forcefully balancing the meta which is a fundamentally flawed procedure, and that Diversity itself is what leads to a complex system like gw2 to become balanced, therefor the OP’s stance is in proper form.

    Most people believe that nerfs and buffs is the only way to balance things here and it is simply not true, and in fact I prove it to be wrong. I point out numerous examples of systems in the world who’s very existence is dependent on the system being highly diverse in order to be self balancing, and the reason it can self balance in the first place is due to mathematics (Anthropics, Complex Systems Theory and Chaos Theory). These mathematics aren’t complicated but they are more elegant than those here trying to procure examples like “1+1 = 2 therefor balanced”

    Now we could also sit here and blame metabattle or GodsofPvp or players of the game because they lack creativity, for the games balance issues...but that’s not very constructive because you can’t necessarily prove that to be the case. Even if you could, how would you solve that. It’s just not a very logically sound position to take on the issue.

  • Lonami.2987Lonami.2987 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 27, 2020

    The problem with ArenaNet is the nerf mentality. They never buff or add counters, they just kill fun for the sake of balance, and never bother replacing it.

    That's why most of the professions are just terrible, there's no fun and no build diversity, everything was ruined by the constant nerfing. Elementalist is pretty much dead since years ago due to this.

    Edit: Typo.

  • I did reply, but its been deleted or something because its gone now. In essence, what I'd asked was can you define exactly what you want when you say build diversity and how to get it without buffing or nerfing anything already in game?

    @Lonami.2987 said:
    The problem with ArenaNet is the nef mentality. They never buff or add counters, they just kill fun for the sake of balance, and never bother replacing it.

    That's why most of the professions are just terrible, there's no fun and no build diversity, everything was ruined by the constant nerfing. Elementalist is pretty much dead since years ago due to this.

    Mate, I think a lot of things DO need nerfing because burst damage in this game is out of control, it's ridiculous.

  • Psycoprophet.8107Psycoprophet.8107 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Garret.1965 said:
    Animal Kingdom: Dinosaurs op af, plz nerf nature.

    Nature: Sends a meteorite to annihilate them from the face of the earth

    Dinosaurs: Fun while it lasted.

    Dodos: Could we get a buff? We can't even fly.

    Nature: ??????

    Dodos: Rip.

    Nature sucks at balancing :anguished:

    Nature sucks at balancing? Imagine dinosaurs weren't extinct and were allowed to continue to roam? I think nature made the right decision, as much as it sucks we'd be matured next smart choice lol

  • JusticeRetroHunter.7684JusticeRetroHunter.7684 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 27, 2020

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:

    I did reply, but its been deleted or something because its gone now. In essence, what I'd asked was can you define exactly what you want when you say build diversity and how to get it without buffing or nerfing anything already in game?

    So the solution to the problem is multi-faceted. Before i can explain the solution, i have to explain how it works in the first place, and why such a solution would make sense:


    The central tenet of trying to achieve diversity and by proxy self balance in a complex system is through what's called Anthropics. The best way to explain this is with a in-depth example:

    Suppose you have a very small finite pool of creatures in a petri-dish, lets say about 10 of them... and all of these creatures are ALMOST completely homogeneous, which means that the differences between them is nearly the same but non-zero...

    Suppose now you introduce another creature...a virus that can infect this pool of creatures. Lets say that the immunity rate against this virus is .000001%...which means that if a creature becomes infected, it has a 1 in 100,000 chance that it can be immune. Because of how small the pool of creatures are, all 10 of them will most likely die when we introduce this virus.

    So now, if our goal is to keep these little creatures alive, there are two routes that we can take here. We can either A: Make the group of creatures less homogeneous, and turn it into a heterogeneous group, or B we can increase the number creatures, so that at least 1 of them can survive.

    • Option A: By making the group less homogeneous, the immunity rate against the virus will increase in this petri-dish...why? because if the creatures are too different from one another, then spreading it becomes more difficult for the virus. If these creatures are different enough to one another, the virus will be completely unable to spread.
    • Option B: Increasing the number of creatures, to say 100,000 at least 1 of those creatures will have an immunity and survive.

    So now, what exactly does this mean? Here comes the leap in understanding. Both Option A and Option B, where option A seems to be WAY more effective then option B, are actually two sides of the same coin. Both of these options are consequences of one singular principle of Anthropics. The reason comes down to a mathematical truth from Chaos theory, that differences in initial conditions can drastically change the state of the system at a later time (or after many iterations). The difference between option A and B, is that in option B, the creatures are still a homogeneous group...and so the differences in initial conditions between them is exponentially small, and will take some time (iterations) before you get to see the state diverge. It's like taking the number 2 and 2.00001 and squaring them over and over. At first you will see that the numbers remain roughly close to each other...but eventually the two will exponentially diverge. (at 37 iterations the difference between squaring those values diverges by 52 million!)

    So following this logic right...the more you adjust the initial condition...to be more different, than the exponential divergence will happen FASTER. like previously mentioned, instead of squaring 2 and 2.00001... we can make that 2.01...then it will take a fraction of the iterations than previous to reach an exponential divergence. This is what you are seeing in option A...by increasing the difference between each creature, we are allowing this exponential divergence to occur faster in less iterations. So you can imagine that as the creatures begin to diversify...and tweak them to be initially more different, In option A we are actually just following the same procedure as option B... in a more compressed and efficient way.

    Now given the above information, you can see why a completely homogeneous system will never be able to overcome the problem of exponential divergence. A completely homogeneous Petri-dish with an infinite number of creatures will have a 0% immunity to our example virus and be wiped out. But the moment you introduce more and more diversity, the problem of divergence begins to equalize exponentially fast, and the system can actually remain at an equilibrium, given enough creatures and enough of the virus coexist in the petri-dish.


    Going back to Guild Wars 2. Nerfs and Buffs operate under a fundamentally flawed construct, in which the idea is to forcefully "equalize" builds. Now I've already explained this a few times in this thread, but balancing in this way it is an impossible task without removing player choice, IE: making the game completely homogeneous. Based on Anthropics, you can see why homogeneity is a problem, does not work, and why we do not see it in naturally occurring complex systems in the real world.

    The proposed solution is to instead of going in the direction of homogeneity we go in the direction of heterogeneity. In addition The example of Anthropics above is proof that you can achieve diversity without increasing or decreasing the number skills or traits... or things in the system.

    Heterogeneity is itself multi-faceted but it just means two things :
    1)Being useful
    2)Being unique

    We've already talked about usefulness. But i will briefly go over what each one means and expand on what being unique means in the context of gw2.

    Useful
    Being useful, including what we've already spoken about, just means that traits, abilities and skills need to have some kind of meaningful use. This is also a multi-faceted and layered thing we can talk about, but it includes:

    • Global Applicability
      These are traits and abilities that instead of being exclusive within a class should be inclusive, to be useful in more than a single scenario or build.

    • Synergy
      This should be self explanatory...but synergy is an important aspect into making things useful in general.

    • Scale In-variance
      This is a bit more of a complex topic, but this means that the majority of abilities should scale invariably with all scales...Currently i do not believe the trait system as it is now, is able to support scale in-variance without sacrificing global applicability. But just to explain, it means that all skills and traits should be useful in a 1v1 scenarios, 5v5 scenarios, squad v squad scenarios and zerg v zerg scenarios.

    Unique
    Being unique means that builds and by proxy associated traits and abilities should be as unique from each other as possible...to the point where each class has something to bring to the table which is desirable to everyone else. For example, Aura's are a good example of a unique mechanic, owned mostly by Elementalists. This uniqueness should be the defining philosophy when it comes to designing or reworking traits, and should generally carry that same idea with boon distribution, or any other buffs that we are able to share with one another...in that everyone should all provide something unique and useful enough to a group or a fight that makes them desirable. In addition, abilities on a class should also be unique from one another, so that no skills operate the same, or in similar fashion.

    Another analogy is that classes and hell, even players shouldn't be considered "disposable" or "replaceable." Each player and each class should be providing something completely unique to the table in a group setting. So in the event that you want to switch someone out for someone else, you aren't replacing them, you are trading their unique properties for the unique properties of something else, and loosing the properties of the person you traded away. In other words you aren't "JUST DPS" or "NEED A HEALER" you are more than that.

    I could go into more specifics about Uniqueness, but it's pretty self explanatory...that uniqueness needs to be in the design philosophy. Having traits that add 5% damage is not unique if everyone also has a trait like this. It's traits like this which boil the game down closer to homogeneity.

    In conclusion, buffs and nerfs aren't required in this model of balancing, which is itself borrowed from real self-balancing systems that exist in the real world. One could say that making something useful is in a way a "buff" but making something useful goes beyond just that definition. Just because you "buff" something does not make it useful. nerfs are equally as bad as buffs, but they are generally worse because you are adjusting abilities, with the intention of giving them less meaningful use. Making something unique also doesn't fall under this category of buffs and nerfs.

  • ~snip!~

    Thanks for that explanation, I understand what you are talking about now and I agree that unique mechanics are needed. Would you also think that having specific counters to those mechanics is a good thing?

    But anyway, we need 9 unique mechanics, one for each class. Auras for Eles is one, care to brainstorm others?

  • JusticeRetroHunter.7684JusticeRetroHunter.7684 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 27, 2020

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:
    Would you also think that having specific counters to those mechanics is a good thing?

    So as briefly alluded to it before, that Anthropic's is a sort of more elegant form of "Law of Large Numbers" a statistical/probabilistic solution related to Complexity, and Chaos theory. In Chaos theory, systems that exhibit convergent and divergent behavior have solutions where the system comes to equilibrium and exhibit patterns of stability (which is the self balance i'm pointing out.). The reason this happens is because the same laws that apply to our creatures in the previous comment's example, also apply to our virus. So, if we were to let out our system evolve, if the conditions are within the solution space that lead to a stable state, then the population of the creature and virus will constantly fluctuating back and forth between positive and negative feedback loops, which is a self-balancing state.

    Extrapolating this, you can go into a system with thousands...millions of components, and due to Anthropics, counters will just naturally appear, because all the components in the system are following the same rules of adaptation and competition...so if Build A appears, then out of the millions of possible builds that exist in this system, there will be at least some fraction of those millions of builds that directly or softly counters it. In those fraction of builds there exists a counter to those builds, and to those builds and so on... And In addition, like we proved earlier, the higher the diversity, the easier it is to reach the solution space in the chaotic problem and arrive at a stable state in the system.

    So to answer your question directly, it's not even necessary to intentionally design counters. They will natural occur as diversity is added to the system because of Anthropics.

    In addition, I've linked a video here by Veratasium that sort of explains what i said above, in a more visual manner.
    But If you don't have time to watch this video, i highly suggest doing research on both Complex Adaptive Systems and Chaos Theory, as to fully understand the nuance of the problem with guild wars 2.

  • Garret.1965Garret.1965 Member ✭✭

    @Psycoprophet.8107 said:

    @Garret.1965 said:
    Animal Kingdom: Dinosaurs op af, plz nerf nature.

    Nature: Sends a meteorite to annihilate them from the face of the earth

    Dinosaurs: Fun while it lasted.

    Dodos: Could we get a buff? We can't even fly.

    Nature: ??????

    Dodos: Rip.

    Nature sucks at balancing :anguished:

    Nature sucks at balancing? Imagine dinosaurs weren't extinct and were allowed to continue to roam? I think nature made the right decision, as much as it sucks we'd be matured next smart choice lol

    Nature overbuffed the dinos, then nuked them from orbit. Yup, nature sucks at balancing. But now we got these kitten homosapiens who're broken af.

    Here we go again...

  • @JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:
    Would you also think that having specific counters to those mechanics is a good thing?

    So as briefly alluded to it before, that Anthropic's is a sort of more elegant form of "Law of Large Numbers" a statistical/probabilistic solution related to Complexity, and Chaos theory. In Chaos theory, systems that exhibit convergent and divergent behavior have solutions where the system comes to equilibrium and exhibit patterns of stability (which is the self balance i'm pointing out.). The reason this happens is because the same laws that apply to our creatures in the previous comment's example, also apply to our virus. So, if we were to let out our system evolve, if the conditions are within the solution space that lead to a stable state, then the population of the creature and virus will constantly fluctuating back and forth between positive and negative feedback loops, which is a self-balancing state.

    Extrapolating this, you can go into a system with thousands...millions of components, and due to Anthropics, counters will just naturally appear, because all the components in the system are following the same rules of adaptation and competition...so if Build A appears, then out of the millions of possible builds that exist in this system, there will be at least some fraction of those millions of builds that directly or softly counters it. In those fraction of builds there exists a counter to those builds, and to those builds and so on... And In addition, like we proved earlier, the higher the diversity, the easier it is to reach the solution space in the chaotic problem and arrive at a stable state in the system.

    So to answer your question directly, it's not even necessary to intentionally design counters. They will natural occur as diversity is added to the system because of Anthropics.

    In addition, I've linked a video here by Veratasium that sort of explains what i said above, in a more visual manner.
    But If you don't have time to watch this video, i highly suggest doing research on both Complex Adaptive Systems and Chaos Theory, as to fully understand the nuance of the problem with guild wars 2.

    What I meant by counter is since there isn't a direct counter to specific mechanics in GW2 do they need to be added? Stances (for example) right now, there is no way to counter them or remove them from a foe, should a skill that removes Stances (Wild Blow/Wild Throw in GW) be added? Same goes for Auras and the other unique mechanics.

    At first I wasn't going to agree there are enough variations but when you take into account even just the truncated sPvP gear selections, there are extreme amounts of possibilities.

    @Garret.1965 said:

    @Psycoprophet.8107 said:

    @Garret.1965 said:
    Animal Kingdom: Dinosaurs op af, plz nerf nature.

    Nature: Sends a meteorite to annihilate them from the face of the earth

    Dinosaurs: Fun while it lasted.

    Dodos: Could we get a buff? We can't even fly.

    Nature: ??????

    Dodos: Rip.

    Nature sucks at balancing :anguished:

    Nature sucks at balancing? Imagine dinosaurs weren't extinct and were allowed to continue to roam? I think nature made the right decision, as much as it sucks we'd be matured next smart choice lol

    Nature overbuffed the dinos, then nuked them from orbit. Yup, nature sucks at balancing. But now we got these kitten homosapiens who're broken af.

    Here we go again...

    Holos and their Orbital Strike guddammit!

  • @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:
    What I meant by counter is since there isn't a direct counter to specific mechanics in GW2 do they need to be added? Stances (for example) right now, there is no way to counter them or remove them from a foe, should a skill that removes Stances (Wild Blow/Wild Throw in GW) be added? Same goes for Auras and the other unique mechanics

    Alright I see. I don’t see any obvious drawbacks to adding counters in this manner, But again I don’t even think it’s necessary. Adding specific counters usually means that you relegate a skill to be exclusive (exclusive to a specific scenario) which goes against that global applicability mentioned earlier. This is probably why Wild Blow and Wild Throw weren’t exactly popular choices back in Gw1. However there isn’t any reason to say other than that, that it isn’t a healthy design choice.

  • I really learn something new from ur post hahaha.
    I never heard about anthropics principle, and that link with chaos theory was brilliant :).