This guy used to tag up all the time in the past, why not anymore? Guilds don't do open raids anymore? Guilds complain about recruiting but find open raids so painful that they don't utilize them for recruiting? Why do all commanders stack on same server?
Well here are the answers
Before if enemy had ACs, you could take them down with smart ballista/treb placement. Even take the wall down from far away and portal bomb them.
Then came claim buff, stat buff that attacker can't play around. 400 stats from tower or camp is outplayable, but still not enjoyable. 800 stats is just adding 13% damage and 20% defence on one side, needless to say these stats lead into 20 v 20 turning into 20 v 25. But it still feels like you lost 20v20. Your crits feel small, you sustain feels small, you just feel a few inches smaller than the enemy near enemy objectives, not a man but a boy.
Obviously if the stat advantage was constant, you could play around it by getting stronger but it changes between every camp, every tower, randomly on open field, leading to 800 and 1600 stat differences between almost every spot across map. The spots you can have a good fight in, are so limited. Incombat gliding is also another issue because it move with superspeed speed but it only comes into play like once a day per player so while it should be fixed, it isn't as urgent.
Any moment you feel like tagging up in WvW, you will tag up and go hit enemy objectives. Now enemy can sometimes defend without commander due to the stats, the other times they get a commander there is no guarantee he is willing to leave his claim buffs. So often it can just become thumb twiddling competition, which is just boring. Not everyone leads due to their egos, but for the thrill of good combat.
Keeps and castles upgrading several times faster than pre-HoT also leads to big issues in upgraded mapstates. This combined with scoring change means that even if you reset enemy keeps and such, they will upgrade back up in less than 3 hours. The reward for the effort just isn't worth it. Also not like there will be great enjoyable fights while doing it due to claim buff giving weaker players that aren't smart enough to place siege, a massively higher chance.
The reasons for stacking itself links with the defender advantages because the necessity arose for server communities to get strong to attack things and have fun. No one just wants to sit at their keep waiting for enemy to show up, sometimes they just want blood. So they attack, and to do this you stack with guild commanders and players.
Relinkings also removed any hope for community building because you put in just a little bit effort and your server is set permafull. The players transfer around to links with 500 gems but rarely stick around. These days commanding has very few long-term benefits so leading through the bad times just doesn't feel worth it. And this doesn't just affect commanders, the players will also log out easier if things go south, so chances of things getting better unless you're on a stacked server if you keep going is very very small.
Now out there are a few servers that adapted to the misery caused by massive defending powers by building themselves extremely strong. Every open tag is basically has a base formed out of same 3-4 active guild players. For normal servers to win a fight against them without at least 15 player guild core, is just impossible. There should be some people out there that find pleasure banging their head to a wall, but most commanders already realised this is a wall their head can't break. So they joined them. Then most quit the game because they realised gameplay thrills weren't that great, just boring, even on the other side. Enjoying winning without challenge just isn't for most people.
Compositions have become very one dimensional: spellbreaker, scrapper, firebrand, revenant, scourge/reaper. Everyone needs superspeed and any control over the battlefield with pulsing fields is gone with everyone moving so fast. So it is just 1-dimensional stacking meta, you don't only stack because you want superspeed but because superspeed itself makes any other strats less effective. Creativity regarding compositions or playstyle is dead. Simplest way to describe it is that faster movement speed made ranges and fields too small.
Commanders are usually firebrands as it is best for it and firebrand can't focus on just leading but also has to be skillful at the game. Firebrand is found rather boring in this often one sided superspeed meta so there is a lack of them also. Lose a few fights? Firebrands log out first. There are not many thrills for firebrands in the combat system. Regular open leading often only exists for egoistic or social reasons, since community building reasons are minimal these days.. In addition the skill limit and mapstate analysis knowledge to be a commander became a turn-off for lot of old commanders that just turned their brain off and liked run around.
Main issue with current split of minstrel players and DPS dealers is that if you're full minstrel and there isn't much happening, hitting the lord hard or ganking the few enemy around isn't as fun as in the old cele meta. So while the good moments have gotten worse, the bad moments have gotten worse also. So most people on pug servers opt to play DPS instead which leads to compositional issues as playing an unfun build on a server that doesn't win almost every fight just isn't fun.
Cooldowns have also gotten ridiculously low, commander doesn't need to wait 40 seconds for well bomb anymore to break enemy melee. Just axe 3s, scepter 3s, dps guardian symbols, lava fonts, revenant hammer skills etc are enough to break them. So bombs are naturally up almost always, every 10 seconds. This is also issue with superspeed, it is almost always up. One of the hardest things to be a good commander was learning to keep track of cooldowns and not wasting them, now the fight just plays out itself with commander being another player out there.
Current system with relinkings, claim buffs, weird siege balance and extremely fast upgrade times is very illogical and doesn't promote one-persons contribution so most of the smart people reduced the hours they play to minimum which for most was zero. With extinct long-term sieges, removal of server projects and very linear superspeed meta they just didn't get the thrill their brain needed. So they stopped.
So we are left with people that either have something to prove, are on nostalgia spree or don't put any effort in the game. Needless to say this leads into players being silent and also uncreative in the rare cases they communicate. But commanders communicate and put in the effort. So they feel misplaced whenever they tag up, like a cat in a pack of sheep. Prove is in that your own servers old commanders came back to the game for a week or two multiple times, but never sticked around despite having big plans to do so at the start.
The games balance just doesn't support new players, solo players, fair fighting, dueling, sieging or community building anymore. The meta is very one dimensional and increased movement speed ruined any creativity within the combat system.
Most fixes however are very easy, just tuning down claim buff, fixing shield gen balance, removing link servers from population equation, increasing upgrade times of keeps/castles, reducing power of short cooldown skills and tuning down superspeed effectiveness would suffice. Simple changes that all take together a few days work. It worries me that Anet hasn't spotted these obvious mishaps of the system yet, do they even play WvW?
Ri Ba - Charr of logic
~Key to fixing WvW with minimal effort resides in my post history~