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What needs to be Gw2's future balance direction?

mixxed.5862mixxed.5862 Member ✭✭✭
edited January 6, 2021 in PVP

Well, what even is the purpose of balance changes? At the most basic level it comes down to three things:
A ) Make the game play as fun as possible. (That's really the whole point of it being a game!)
B ) Promote build diversity and try and create an as level playing field as possible by adjusting outliers. (Choice is fun and this is an MMORPG!)
C ) Change for the sake of change. (Keep the game fresh!)

Usually the balance changes we see should serve all of these goals at the same time. Like nerfing nade holo and kala sustain renegade - they were unfun to play against, spammy, one-dimensional and definitely out of whack. However now it becomes increasingly evident that it won't be as easy going forward. If Anet continues to only nerf the obvious outliers - like shortbow shiro renegade - we will shift even further towards a sustain centric meta, which is slow, unrewarding and unfun. Worst case scenario : Bunker meta where noone ever gets a kill. Heck, duels on a side node shouldn't be a boring chore, an indefinite stand-off between bunker builds! It's latest inception : Side node scrapper. What's next? Water weaver? Decap druid? Defense spellbreaker? When conquest is more about getting the kills and the map momentum it's simply more fun.
However, is the right solution setting shortbow shiro renegade as the new standard for offensive builds - as I've seen suggested recently? Hell no, it's a spammy, one-dimensional build and inherently unfun in the very design that makes it superior to others : Just spam your dps off cooldown until you win. Very short cooldowns on your shortbow skills and high damage coefficients offset the need to time any of it against your opponents defenses.
Adjusting the outliers should not be up for debate. However sustain needs a nerf as well - in a comprehensive manner - so we don't see the next bunker spec pop up yet again.

As a more general concept:
What even is "fun design" in PvP?

  • Interactive gameplay achieved by having opportunity for counterplay. Make every button pressed serve a specific purpose, have solid consequence, opportunity cost and counterplay. Thus make every build play most skillfully.
  • A diverse and (reasonably) fast-paced meta.

Stale, slow 1v1's that draw on indefinitely are clearly counter to both of these premises.
We need to finally find a sensible balance with neither power-crept offense (= button mashing ftw!, like pre-february) nor overpowering defense (= stalemate meta, like it is right now). Can't be that hard to achieve, right?
I still hope CMC can make it happen.

tldr;
Keep adjusting the outliers and broadly reduce sustain. Unleash CMC.

(edited heavily to make my point more clear)

Comments

  • Multicolorhipster.9751Multicolorhipster.9751 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 1, 2021

    I agree with your 3 major points, A, B, and slightly C.
    Fun should take priority over balance.
    Build diversity and experimentation should be encouraged.
    I think balance changes are good for keeping things sorta fresh, but actual content updates would do more I think. Balance updates usually only reengage interest for about a week(if at all) then its off to some other game. Honestly I think balance patches should be more hands-off than hands-on, and when they do require some hands-on attention, being done in more creative ways that make PvP more enjoyable and don't just shut down a way to play.

    That being said, I don't think sustain needs or needed big nerfs. Aside from the occasional outlier extreme example, it was perfectly fine when damage was still in the game.
    The real reason fights drag on forever now isn't because of bunkers have too much sustain, but because both types of damage took a pretty big dive. Toughness, Condi Cleanses, and Vitality all still function exactly the same in a world where damage and condi application is much lower.
    You could nerf sustain for every class into the dirt, it's not going to change much if damage is still so low.
    Or if you wanted to be even more unreasonable, you could remove even more sustainy amulets to cover up an inability to balance sustain in this low damage slogfest clown fiesta.

    I also agree on your ideas on fun design.

    Unless CMC's philosophy changes, I don't have the same faith.
    The Feb25th patch was their passion project.
    They were quoted saying: "Buffs in 2020 OMEGALUL"
    Unless that changes to: "Buffs in 2021 FeelsGoodMan" then I am terrified. Please hold me MonkaS

    Ranked DuoQ 😡👉🚪
    Patch-culture is awful
    Nerfs should be reserved for extreme cases and only done in creative ways that make the game more interesting to play and watch.

  • Ovark.2514Ovark.2514 Member ✭✭✭

    Less persistent aoe and removal of most aoe CC. This alone would make the game far easier to follow, more skillful, and consequently more fun.

  • mixxed.5862mixxed.5862 Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2021

    @Multicolorhipster.9751 said:
    I agree with your 3 major points, A, B, and slightly C.
    Fun should take priority over balance.
    Build diversity and experimentation should be encouraged.
    I think balance changes are good for keeping things sorta fresh, but actual content updates would do more I think. Balance updates usually only reengage interest for about a week(if at all) then its off to some other game. Honestly I think balance patches should be more hands-off than hands-on, and when they do require some hands-on attention, being done in more creative ways that make PvP more enjoyable and don't just shut down a way to play.

    That being said, I don't think sustain needs or needed big nerfs. Aside from the occasional outlier extreme example, it was perfectly fine when damage was still in the game.
    The real reason fights drag on forever now isn't because of bunkers have too much sustain, but because both types of damage took a pretty big dive. Toughness, Condi Cleanses, and Vitality all still function exactly the same in a world where damage and condi application is much lower.
    You could nerf sustain for every class into the dirt, it's not going to change much if damage is still so low.
    Or if you wanted to be even more unreasonable, you could remove even more sustainy amulets to cover up an inability to balance sustain in this low damage slogfest clown fiesta.

    I also agree on your ideas on fun design.

    Unless CMC's philosophy changes, I don't have the same faith.
    The Feb25th patch was their passion project.
    They were quoted saying: "Buffs in 2020 OMEGALUL"
    Unless that changes to: "Buffs in 2021 FeelsGoodMan" then I am terrified. Please hold me MonkaS

    I entirely agree, balance patches are not enough to keep things fresh and exciting. We need new content and new elite specs, even if they always mess up a lot.

    The way I'm seeing the whole sustain vs damage debate that sparked from the february patch is probably a bit simplistic.
    1) On the one side of the spectrum you have builds that 100 to 0 you in a second.
    2) On the other side of the spectrum there are the builds that can handily resustain every burst they eat.
    Both are definitely unfun and need to be purged.

    While we hardly see the former category of builds anymore (which is great), we see too much of the latter. Therefore mostly sustain needs a nerf, although buffing up the damage on some of the CC skills that they made an especially poor job of back in february seems like a good idea.
    Ideally we even find a good balance for the sidenode meta that way : Where every 1v1 on a side node finds a timely victor.

  • JusticeRetroHunter.7684JusticeRetroHunter.7684 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2021

    The problem with talking about "fun" is that it's very subjective. One persons idea of fun, is another persons idea of not fun. it's too abstract to quantify "fun" in any meaningful sense.

    But about the content of your post, all 3 things should be a thing. We all want the game to be fun, we all want choices to mean something and matter, and we all want content to keep us engaged when things start to get stale and boring.

    But...and a big but...is that these 3 things are basically "easier said then done." We've seen what happens when new content is introduced...it fails miserably...why? Maybe because it wasn't fun...

    Meanwhile other newly introduced content seems fun...but for no real particular reason.

    I could go on, but basically these things are way to abstract to talk about with any measure of objectivity. We can tell the devs to make the game more fun...but what does that exactly mean? how? What do they need to exactly do to make it fun. etc...

    Diversity on the other hand can at least can be objectively talked about because there are sciences related to it that's been explored courtesy of biology. Diversity is not a simple to understand concept its very deep and requires a very heavy level of understanding about some math and science to really understand what needs to be done in order to INCREASE diversity.

    The problem with what you said in the post is that the exact behavior you outline in the conclusion is what leads to LESS build diversity. I would go to explain why but i've explained why so many times that im actually exhausted of saying it over and over again. Abridged version: nerfs and buffs (especially to outliers) are equally as useless as trying to ask Santa for presents. Balance, is like someone said recently, an illusion. It can not be achieved through numerical nerfs and buffs alone and CMC's vision is a farse so long as he can not change skill functionality and mechanics. In addition, trying to balance in the above manner actually means compromising diversity in order to do so. This kind of thing is called "Complementarity." Both things although seemingly contradictory or separate phenomenon, are part of the exact same structure...You can't have diversity if everything is equal to one another. Think about that for a moment and try to understand what that means. Diversity is the MEASURE of differentiation...the measure of how different things are to one another. If two things are different how can they be equal? It's fundamentally impossible to reconcile that.

  • Dantheman.3589Dantheman.3589 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Change for the sake of change is often the best imo. Such as daredevil being given a new steal and skills that barely even functioned right like necro Rez signet and ranger protect me. But it also breeds some that ppl don’t like- like necros losing the well trait for something completely useless, that’s where this idea failed, maybe they fixed 1 issue but made the game unfun with an F tier trait

  • Stand The Wall.6987Stand The Wall.6987 Member ✭✭✭✭

    we do NOT need more nerfs at this time lol, increasing a by reducing b and c is moronic!

    te lazla otstara.
    fingers crossed meta ~

  • mixxed.5862mixxed.5862 Member ✭✭✭

    @UNOwen.7132 said:

    @mixxed.5862 said:

    @Multicolorhipster.9751 said:
    I agree with your 3 major points, A, B, and slightly C.
    Fun should take priority over balance.
    Build diversity and experimentation should be encouraged.
    I think balance changes are good for keeping things sorta fresh, but actual content updates would do more I think. Balance updates usually only reengage interest for about a week(if at all) then its off to some other game. Honestly I think balance patches should be more hands-off than hands-on, and when they do require some hands-on attention, being done in more creative ways that make PvP more enjoyable and don't just shut down a way to play.

    That being said, I don't think sustain needs or needed big nerfs. Aside from the occasional outlier extreme example, it was perfectly fine when damage was still in the game.
    The real reason fights drag on forever now isn't because of bunkers have too much sustain, but because both types of damage took a pretty big dive. Toughness, Condi Cleanses, and Vitality all still function exactly the same in a world where damage and condi application is much lower.
    You could nerf sustain for every class into the dirt, it's not going to change much if damage is still so low.
    Or if you wanted to be even more unreasonable, you could remove even more sustainy amulets to cover up an inability to balance sustain in this low damage slogfest clown fiesta.

    I also agree on your ideas on fun design.

    Unless CMC's philosophy changes, I don't have the same faith.
    The Feb25th patch was their passion project.
    They were quoted saying: "Buffs in 2020 OMEGALUL"
    Unless that changes to: "Buffs in 2021 FeelsGoodMan" then I am terrified. Please hold me MonkaS

    I entirely agree, balance patches are not enough to keep things fresh and exciting. We need new content and new elite specs, even if they always mess up a lot.

    The way I'm seeing the whole sustain vs damage debate that sparked from the february patch is probably a bit simplistic.
    1) On the one side of the spectrum you have builds that 100 to 0 you in a second.
    2) On the other side of the spectrum there are the builds that can handily resustain every burst they eat.
    Both are definitely unfun and need to be purged.

    The thing is that while builds could 100 to 0 you, they generally didnt, because you could stop them. The average fight lasted 30 seconds to a minute, and thats a good number to aim for. The good burst was balanced out with good defense and reasonable sustain.

    While we hardly see the former category of builds anymore (which is great), we see too much of the latter. Therefore mostly sustain needs a nerf, although buffing up the damage on some of the CC skills that they made an especially poor job of back in february seems like a good idea.

    We dont actually see any of the latter. Because there is no point at all. Why go full bunker if you can be unkillable while playing a glass cannon build? The problem is entirely that damage is too low, to the point where you need very little sustain to negate the damage.

    Ideally we even find a good balance for the sidenode meta that way : Where every 1v1 on a side node finds a timely victor.

    We had that. It was called the pre-february patch meta. We should just return to it, rather than double down on the current spammer's delight.

    I think it doesn't matter what you call them. The beefy builds have too much sustain right now, they slow down the game by too much. Even if node scrapper has some decent AoE pressure, it's still very much a defense focused build. And even if shout spellbreaker is support first and foremost, it offers too much self-sustain. Nerf 'em!

    I remember that pre-february the only way to bunker a node was as a water weaver spaming evades. The damage and burst being put out constantly were on another level. I don't want to go back to that. I still want fights to last for a couple of seconds longer - I believe it's more skillful and fun. Just make the fast-paced and skillful team comps the most rewarding to play again, instead of the slow and sustain-heavy ones.

  • Bazsi.2734Bazsi.2734 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Future balance direction could be... to have one at all. One minor nerfing patch every 6 months won't cut it.

  • Ragnar.4257Ragnar.4257 Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 3, 2021

    Honestly I've been pretty happy with the direction through 2020, it was just the rate of change.

    The community (no, not the forums, what people actually decide to play in ranked in P2+ or in tournaments) is pretty good at identifying within a few weeks of a patch what's broken and what isn't. But for some reason, despite the consensus being pretty clear, we usually have to wait more than 6 months for any meaningful change. Not always, they've been on the ball sometimes, but more often than not, no. Like, they were pretty quick about fixing Symbolbrand and Ranger at the start of 2020, and fairly quick at fixing condi-Rev and symbol-monkey in the summer, buuuuuut, Nadesmith and Renegade have been an issue for, like, 9 months now, and are only just starting to come into line.

    And that's just talking about the over-performers. There's been basically no attention paid to the under-performers.

    The only thing I'd really take issue with is the policy of removing amulets instead of fixing classes.

  • UNOwen.7132UNOwen.7132 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @mixxed.5862 said:

    @UNOwen.7132 said:

    @mixxed.5862 said:

    @Multicolorhipster.9751 said:
    I agree with your 3 major points, A, B, and slightly C.
    Fun should take priority over balance.
    Build diversity and experimentation should be encouraged.
    I think balance changes are good for keeping things sorta fresh, but actual content updates would do more I think. Balance updates usually only reengage interest for about a week(if at all) then its off to some other game. Honestly I think balance patches should be more hands-off than hands-on, and when they do require some hands-on attention, being done in more creative ways that make PvP more enjoyable and don't just shut down a way to play.

    That being said, I don't think sustain needs or needed big nerfs. Aside from the occasional outlier extreme example, it was perfectly fine when damage was still in the game.
    The real reason fights drag on forever now isn't because of bunkers have too much sustain, but because both types of damage took a pretty big dive. Toughness, Condi Cleanses, and Vitality all still function exactly the same in a world where damage and condi application is much lower.
    You could nerf sustain for every class into the dirt, it's not going to change much if damage is still so low.
    Or if you wanted to be even more unreasonable, you could remove even more sustainy amulets to cover up an inability to balance sustain in this low damage slogfest clown fiesta.

    I also agree on your ideas on fun design.

    Unless CMC's philosophy changes, I don't have the same faith.
    The Feb25th patch was their passion project.
    They were quoted saying: "Buffs in 2020 OMEGALUL"
    Unless that changes to: "Buffs in 2021 FeelsGoodMan" then I am terrified. Please hold me MonkaS

    I entirely agree, balance patches are not enough to keep things fresh and exciting. We need new content and new elite specs, even if they always mess up a lot.

    The way I'm seeing the whole sustain vs damage debate that sparked from the february patch is probably a bit simplistic.
    1) On the one side of the spectrum you have builds that 100 to 0 you in a second.
    2) On the other side of the spectrum there are the builds that can handily resustain every burst they eat.
    Both are definitely unfun and need to be purged.

    The thing is that while builds could 100 to 0 you, they generally didnt, because you could stop them. The average fight lasted 30 seconds to a minute, and thats a good number to aim for. The good burst was balanced out with good defense and reasonable sustain.

    While we hardly see the former category of builds anymore (which is great), we see too much of the latter. Therefore mostly sustain needs a nerf, although buffing up the damage on some of the CC skills that they made an especially poor job of back in february seems like a good idea.

    We dont actually see any of the latter. Because there is no point at all. Why go full bunker if you can be unkillable while playing a glass cannon build? The problem is entirely that damage is too low, to the point where you need very little sustain to negate the damage.

    Ideally we even find a good balance for the sidenode meta that way : Where every 1v1 on a side node finds a timely victor.

    We had that. It was called the pre-february patch meta. We should just return to it, rather than double down on the current spammer's delight.

    I think it doesn't matter what you call them. The beefy builds have too much sustain right now, they slow down the game by too much. Even if node scrapper has some decent AoE pressure, it's still very much a defense focused build. And even if shout spellbreaker is support first and foremost, it offers too much self-sustain. Nerf 'em!

    Those "beefy" builds are glass cannon builds. The damage just isnt there to even kill glass cannons. There isnt any reason to go for a proper bunker build, you just give up damage for nothing.

    I remember that pre-february the only way to bunker a node was as a water weaver spaming evades. The damage and burst being put out constantly were on another level. I don't want to go back to that. I still want fights to last for a couple of seconds longer - I believe it's more skillful and fun. Just make the fast-paced and skillful team comps the most rewarding to play again, instead of the slow and sustain-heavy ones.

    Depends on how you define "bunker". If you mean "able to hold it without ever dying no matter what the enemy does", then sure. But thats not healthy in and of itself. Being able to hold a node for a minute though? That was the norm. Every sidenoder could do that. As I said, the average fight lasted 30 seconds to a minute. That was more skillful and fun. Now, fights dont end at all until outnumbered. You literally cant die, even if youre a glass cannon. That is boring. So boring that in that big tournament a while back, some players started synchronised dancing instead of 1v1ing because of how pointless it was.

  • @mixxed.5862 said:
    I entirely agree, balance patches are not enough to keep things fresh and exciting. We need new content and new elite specs, even if they always mess up a lot.

    The way I'm seeing the whole sustain vs damage debate that sparked from the february patch is probably a bit simplistic.
    1) On the one side of the spectrum you have builds that 100 to 0 you in a second.
    2) On the other side of the spectrum there are the builds that can handily resustain every burst they eat.
    Both are definitely unfun and need to be purged.

    While we hardly see the former category of builds anymore (which is great), we see too much of the latter. Therefore mostly sustain needs a nerf, although buffing up the damage on some of the CC skills that they made an especially poor job of back in february seems like a good idea.
    Ideally we even find a good balance for the sidenode meta that way : Where every 1v1 on a side node finds a timely victor.

    I feel you.
    I guess its just a difference in philosophy really. Finding a balance there is actually really difficult, bordering on impossible whether nerfing or buffing.

    Personally i'd rather they changed things for the sake of changing things up like @Dantheman.3589 said.
    Something fun. Maybe buffs, tradeoffs, or creative nerfs.

    I find nerfing builds in the dirt(or purging); even if its something I don't play, to be super boring.
    I don't think anyone actually enjoys that either. They might say they do, but they usually only beg for nerfs because they think their counters getting nerfed will make them mechanically better at the game.

    Ranked DuoQ 😡👉🚪
    Patch-culture is awful
    Nerfs should be reserved for extreme cases and only done in creative ways that make the game more interesting to play and watch.

  • Yasai.3549Yasai.3549 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2021

    Just a throwaway idea guys :

    Players have Breakbars, and Stability prevents Breakbar damage.
    Unlike PvE Mob Breakbars, Player Breakbars have only 3 segments, and one is lost upon getting hit by a Stun/Knockdown/Launch/Fear/Taunt and half is lost on being Dazed.

    Breakbars do not regenerate until completely consumed, and inflicts a 2s stun on the target.

    Stunbreaks are used to recover Breakbar health.
    Also Stability no longer stacks, and is a 5s Duration which is refreshed

    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.

  • Leonidrex.5649Leonidrex.5649 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2021

    @Yasai.3549 said:
    Just a throwaway idea guys :

    Players have Breakbars, and Stability prevents Breakbar damage.
    Unlike PvE Mob Breakbars, Player Breakbars have only 3 segments, and one is lost upon getting hit by a Stun/Knockdown/Launch/Fear/Taunt and half is lost on being Dazed.

    Breakbars do not regenerate until completely consumed, and inflicts a 2s stun on the target.

    Stunbreaks are used to recover Breakbar health.
    Also Stability no longer stacks, and is a 5s Duration which is refreshed

    tldr, CC no longer exist in 1v1 or 1v2. in 1v3+ you get insta stunned and insta gibbed as you cant remove stuns.
    kudos to IH mesmer for daze sword spamming, the only thing that can still CC anything.

    EDIT
    my enemy is casting a healing skill, I just need to daze him 6 times to prevent it!
    OMEGALUL

  • Yasai.3549Yasai.3549 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Leonidrex.5649 said:

    tldr, CC no longer exist in 1v1 or 1v2. in 1v3+ you get insta stunned and insta gibbed as you cant remove stuns.
    kudos to IH mesmer for daze sword spamming, the only thing that can still CC anything.

    EDIT
    my enemy is casting a healing skill, I just need to daze him 6 times to prevent it!
    OMEGALUL

    I mean yu may laugh at it, but this could force players to play in a radically different way than they were previously playing.
    The game would go from CCing at key moments to using Stunbreaks to "repair" yur own breakbar to prevent getting stunned, and dodging CC skills.

    Keeps people on their toes and turns Zerg stab spam into potential mass Fear which cripples the entire zerg ho ho ho ho.

    Like I said, throwaway idea, it's never gonna happen, and no one is gonna consider it.

    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.

  • Kuma.1503Kuma.1503 Member ✭✭✭✭

    might be an interesting concept for an elite spec

  • UNOwen.7132UNOwen.7132 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Yasai.3549 said:

    @Leonidrex.5649 said:

    tldr, CC no longer exist in 1v1 or 1v2. in 1v3+ you get insta stunned and insta gibbed as you cant remove stuns.
    kudos to IH mesmer for daze sword spamming, the only thing that can still CC anything.

    EDIT
    my enemy is casting a healing skill, I just need to daze him 6 times to prevent it!
    OMEGALUL

    I mean yu may laugh at it, but this could force players to play in a radically different way than they were previously playing.
    The game would go from CCing at key moments to using Stunbreaks to "repair" yur own breakbar to prevent getting stunned, and dodging CC skills.

    Oh, sure it would. No one would use CC Anymore other than teamfighters that use it to insta-gib everyone. Its a pretty rubbish idea.

    Keeps people on their toes and turns Zerg stab spam into potential mass Fear which cripples the entire zerg ho ho ho ho.

    It doesnt really keep anyone on their toes. Either the enemy wont even bother trying to cc them, or they will be ccd without being able to do anything. Might as well go with the flow at that point.

  • mixxed.5862mixxed.5862 Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 6, 2021

    @UNOwen.7132 said:

    @mixxed.5862 said:

    @UNOwen.7132 said:

    @mixxed.5862 said:

    @Multicolorhipster.9751 said:
    I agree with your 3 major points, A, B, and slightly C.
    Fun should take priority over balance.
    Build diversity and experimentation should be encouraged.
    I think balance changes are good for keeping things sorta fresh, but actual content updates would do more I think. Balance updates usually only reengage interest for about a week(if at all) then its off to some other game. Honestly I think balance patches should be more hands-off than hands-on, and when they do require some hands-on attention, being done in more creative ways that make PvP more enjoyable and don't just shut down a way to play.

    That being said, I don't think sustain needs or needed big nerfs. Aside from the occasional outlier extreme example, it was perfectly fine when damage was still in the game.
    The real reason fights drag on forever now isn't because of bunkers have too much sustain, but because both types of damage took a pretty big dive. Toughness, Condi Cleanses, and Vitality all still function exactly the same in a world where damage and condi application is much lower.
    You could nerf sustain for every class into the dirt, it's not going to change much if damage is still so low.
    Or if you wanted to be even more unreasonable, you could remove even more sustainy amulets to cover up an inability to balance sustain in this low damage slogfest clown fiesta.

    I also agree on your ideas on fun design.

    Unless CMC's philosophy changes, I don't have the same faith.
    The Feb25th patch was their passion project.
    They were quoted saying: "Buffs in 2020 OMEGALUL"
    Unless that changes to: "Buffs in 2021 FeelsGoodMan" then I am terrified. Please hold me MonkaS

    I entirely agree, balance patches are not enough to keep things fresh and exciting. We need new content and new elite specs, even if they always mess up a lot.

    The way I'm seeing the whole sustain vs damage debate that sparked from the february patch is probably a bit simplistic.
    1) On the one side of the spectrum you have builds that 100 to 0 you in a second.
    2) On the other side of the spectrum there are the builds that can handily resustain every burst they eat.
    Both are definitely unfun and need to be purged.

    The thing is that while builds could 100 to 0 you, they generally didnt, because you could stop them. The average fight lasted 30 seconds to a minute, and thats a good number to aim for. The good burst was balanced out with good defense and reasonable sustain.

    While we hardly see the former category of builds anymore (which is great), we see too much of the latter. Therefore mostly sustain needs a nerf, although buffing up the damage on some of the CC skills that they made an especially poor job of back in february seems like a good idea.

    We dont actually see any of the latter. Because there is no point at all. Why go full bunker if you can be unkillable while playing a glass cannon build? The problem is entirely that damage is too low, to the point where you need very little sustain to negate the damage.

    Ideally we even find a good balance for the sidenode meta that way : Where every 1v1 on a side node finds a timely victor.

    We had that. It was called the pre-february patch meta. We should just return to it, rather than double down on the current spammer's delight.

    I think it doesn't matter what you call them. The beefy builds have too much sustain right now, they slow down the game by too much. Even if node scrapper has some decent AoE pressure, it's still very much a defense focused build. And even if shout spellbreaker is support first and foremost, it offers too much self-sustain. Nerf 'em!

    Those "beefy" builds are glass cannon builds. The damage just isnt there to even kill glass cannons. There isnt any reason to go for a proper bunker build, you just give up damage for nothing.

    I remember that pre-february the only way to bunker a node was as a water weaver spaming evades. The damage and burst being put out constantly were on another level. I don't want to go back to that. I still want fights to last for a couple of seconds longer - I believe it's more skillful and fun. Just make the fast-paced and skillful team comps the most rewarding to play again, instead of the slow and sustain-heavy ones.

    Depends on how you define "bunker". If you mean "able to hold it without ever dying no matter what the enemy does", then sure. But thats not healthy in and of itself. Being able to hold a node for a minute though? That was the norm. Every sidenoder could do that. As I said, the average fight lasted 30 seconds to a minute. That was more skillful and fun. Now, fights dont end at all until outnumbered. You literally cant die, even if youre a glass cannon. That is boring. So boring that in that big tournament a while back, some players started synchronised dancing instead of 1v1ing because of how pointless it was.

    Yeah, that's exactly what I understand by bunker builds: Builds that manage to sustain a node indefinitely 1v1. In my opinion such builds will always be unhealthy for conquest. If they also offer decent node pressure to peel for themselves in a 1v2 versus e.g. a squishy thief they become a real problem. They stalemate the game. That's why kalla renegade recently was meta and scrapper is right now. The problem is that once scrapper gets nerfed the next build will rise on the very same premise. I'd suspect it'll be water weaver and druid - although they don't have the same amount of node pressure, so I hope they'll be a little more manageable when outnumbered.

    Either way, I believe we're stuck with bunker builds for a while. Even if we hope for a better side node meta already with more balanced builds such as strength spellbreaker, fire weaver, even core ranger and such. For those builds sustain is already close to where it should be, although they could do with a bit of a nerf as well.
    -> Reduce sustain comprehensively.

  • Liewec.2896Liewec.2896 Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 6, 2021

    what should the future balance direction be? buffs!
    enough of the nerfs, noone gets excited when the bi-yearly balance patch comes around and literally EVERTYTHING has been nerfed.
    (looking at you feb 2020...)
    but a big balance patch that buffs up a ton of underpowered stuff? thats a great patch!
    the best times in this game are theearly days after a big buffing patch when everyone is experimenting with weird builds

  • mixxed.5862mixxed.5862 Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 6, 2021

    @Liewec.2896 said:
    what should the future balance direction be? buffs!
    enough of the nerfs, noone gets excited when the bi-yearly balance patch comes around and literally EVERTYTHING has been nerfed.
    (looking at you feb 2020...)
    but a big balance patch that buffs up a ton of underpowered stuff? thats a great patch!
    the best times in this game are theearly days after a big buffing patch when everyone is experimenting with weird builds

    That'd be great not gonna lie. But first: Moar nerfs!

    Btw I just edited the opening post because honestly re-reading it I didn't myself get what point I was trying to make.

  • @mixxed.5862 said:
    Well, what even is the purpose of balance changes? At the most basic level it comes down to three things:
    A ) Make the game play as fun as possible. (That's really the whole point of it being a game!)
    B ) Promote build diversity and try and create an as level playing field as possible by adjusting outliers. (Choice is fun and this is an MMORPG!)
    C ) Change for the sake of change. (Keep the game fresh!)

    Usually the balance changes we see should serve all of these goals at the same time. Like nerfing nade holo and kala sustain renegade - they were unfun to play against, spammy, one-dimensional and definitely out of whack. However now it becomes increasingly evident that it won't be as easy going forward. If Anet continues to only nerf the obvious outliers - like shortbow shiro renegade - we will shift even further towards a sustain centric meta, which is slow, unrewarding and unfun. Worst case scenario : Bunker meta where noone ever gets a kill. Heck, duels on a side node shouldn't be a boring chore, an indefinite stand-off between bunker builds! It's latest inception : Side node scrapper. What's next? Water weaver? Decap druid? Defense spellbreaker? When conquest is more about getting the kills and the map momentum it's simply more fun.
    However, is the right solution setting shortbow shiro renegade as the new standard for offensive builds - as I've seen suggested recently? Hell no, it's a spammy, one-dimensional build and inherently unfun in the very design that makes it superior to others : Just spam your dps off cooldown until you win. Very short cooldowns on your shortbow skills and high damage coefficients offset the need to time any of it against your opponents defenses.
    Adjusting the outliers should not be up for debate. However sustain needs a nerf as well - in a comprehensive manner - so we don't see the next bunker spec pop up yet again.

    As a more general concept:
    What even is "fun design" in PvP?

    • Interactive gameplay achieved by having opportunity for counterplay. Make every button pressed serve a specific purpose, have solid consequence, opportunity cost and counterplay. Thus make every build play most skillfully.
    • A diverse and (reasonably) fast-paced meta.

    Stale, slow 1v1's that draw on indefinitely are clearly counter to both of these premises.
    We need to finally find a sensible balance with neither power-crept offense (= button mashing ftw!, like pre-february) nor overpowering defense (= stalemate meta, like it is right now). Can't be that hard to achieve, right?
    I still hope CMC can make it happen.

    tldr;
    Keep adjusting the outliers and reduce sustain more broadly. Unleash CMC.

    (edited heavily to make my point more clear)

    A and B are good

    With C I have a big problem on multiply levels :
    1.) They have enough to do if they would take A and B seriously because some of it requires change of base mechanic like stealth this would take anyway all time they have for balance patchs or the rework of some base classes like ele or engi.
    2.) Such patch caused problem in the past or better suddenly stuff got missing like fall dmg skills which I later noticed are good in 30-40% of all jumping puzzles or changed which later came overpowered out to be not be changed after this like eles earth condi changes or aura cleans stuff in PvP.
    3.) You are 'always' in for a kitten because people like to play the game like it is. Even when I'm effected by it we do make jokes in the guild how this goes possible on internally in Arena.NET. Do they draw sticks who takes the next kitten(next balance patch) ? Do they get promoted by how many of them they got ? Are there a competition who makes the next balance patch to get the next kitten ?^^

  • UNOwen.7132UNOwen.7132 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @mixxed.5862 said:

    @UNOwen.7132 said:

    @mixxed.5862 said:

    @UNOwen.7132 said:

    @mixxed.5862 said:

    @Multicolorhipster.9751 said:
    I agree with your 3 major points, A, B, and slightly C.
    Fun should take priority over balance.
    Build diversity and experimentation should be encouraged.
    I think balance changes are good for keeping things sorta fresh, but actual content updates would do more I think. Balance updates usually only reengage interest for about a week(if at all) then its off to some other game. Honestly I think balance patches should be more hands-off than hands-on, and when they do require some hands-on attention, being done in more creative ways that make PvP more enjoyable and don't just shut down a way to play.

    That being said, I don't think sustain needs or needed big nerfs. Aside from the occasional outlier extreme example, it was perfectly fine when damage was still in the game.
    The real reason fights drag on forever now isn't because of bunkers have too much sustain, but because both types of damage took a pretty big dive. Toughness, Condi Cleanses, and Vitality all still function exactly the same in a world where damage and condi application is much lower.
    You could nerf sustain for every class into the dirt, it's not going to change much if damage is still so low.
    Or if you wanted to be even more unreasonable, you could remove even more sustainy amulets to cover up an inability to balance sustain in this low damage slogfest clown fiesta.

    I also agree on your ideas on fun design.

    Unless CMC's philosophy changes, I don't have the same faith.
    The Feb25th patch was their passion project.
    They were quoted saying: "Buffs in 2020 OMEGALUL"
    Unless that changes to: "Buffs in 2021 FeelsGoodMan" then I am terrified. Please hold me MonkaS

    I entirely agree, balance patches are not enough to keep things fresh and exciting. We need new content and new elite specs, even if they always mess up a lot.

    The way I'm seeing the whole sustain vs damage debate that sparked from the february patch is probably a bit simplistic.
    1) On the one side of the spectrum you have builds that 100 to 0 you in a second.
    2) On the other side of the spectrum there are the builds that can handily resustain every burst they eat.
    Both are definitely unfun and need to be purged.

    The thing is that while builds could 100 to 0 you, they generally didnt, because you could stop them. The average fight lasted 30 seconds to a minute, and thats a good number to aim for. The good burst was balanced out with good defense and reasonable sustain.

    While we hardly see the former category of builds anymore (which is great), we see too much of the latter. Therefore mostly sustain needs a nerf, although buffing up the damage on some of the CC skills that they made an especially poor job of back in february seems like a good idea.

    We dont actually see any of the latter. Because there is no point at all. Why go full bunker if you can be unkillable while playing a glass cannon build? The problem is entirely that damage is too low, to the point where you need very little sustain to negate the damage.

    Ideally we even find a good balance for the sidenode meta that way : Where every 1v1 on a side node finds a timely victor.

    We had that. It was called the pre-february patch meta. We should just return to it, rather than double down on the current spammer's delight.

    I think it doesn't matter what you call them. The beefy builds have too much sustain right now, they slow down the game by too much. Even if node scrapper has some decent AoE pressure, it's still very much a defense focused build. And even if shout spellbreaker is support first and foremost, it offers too much self-sustain. Nerf 'em!

    Those "beefy" builds are glass cannon builds. The damage just isnt there to even kill glass cannons. There isnt any reason to go for a proper bunker build, you just give up damage for nothing.

    I remember that pre-february the only way to bunker a node was as a water weaver spaming evades. The damage and burst being put out constantly were on another level. I don't want to go back to that. I still want fights to last for a couple of seconds longer - I believe it's more skillful and fun. Just make the fast-paced and skillful team comps the most rewarding to play again, instead of the slow and sustain-heavy ones.

    Depends on how you define "bunker". If you mean "able to hold it without ever dying no matter what the enemy does", then sure. But thats not healthy in and of itself. Being able to hold a node for a minute though? That was the norm. Every sidenoder could do that. As I said, the average fight lasted 30 seconds to a minute. That was more skillful and fun. Now, fights dont end at all until outnumbered. You literally cant die, even if youre a glass cannon. That is boring. So boring that in that big tournament a while back, some players started synchronised dancing instead of 1v1ing because of how pointless it was.

    Yeah, that's exactly what I understand by bunker builds: Builds that manage to sustain a node indefinitely 1v1. In my opinion such builds will always be unhealthy for conquest. If they also offer decent node pressure to peel for themselves in a 1v2 versus e.g. a squishy thief they become a real problem. They stalemate the game. That's why kalla renegade recently was meta and scrapper is right now. The problem is that once scrapper gets nerfed the next build will rise on the very same premise. I'd suspect it'll be water weaver and druid - although they don't have the same amount of node pressure, so I hope they'll be a little more manageable when outnumbered.

    They also usually dont exist. And hell, by that logic every build right now is a "bunker" build. Even a glass thief can hold a node indefinitely. The damage just plain isnt there.

    Either way, I believe we're stuck with bunker builds for a while. Even if we hope for a better side node meta already with more balanced builds such as strength spellbreaker, fire weaver, even core ranger and such. For those builds sustain is already close to where it should be, although they could do with a bit of a nerf as well.
    -> Reduce sustain comprehensively.

    No. Reducing sustain is just doubling down on the poor state of the game. Damage needs to be increased.