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[IDEAS] “Heroes” System + Masteries for GW2

Svennis.3852Svennis.3852 Member ✭✭✭
edited April 5, 2018 in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

General note: my concept of this is more akin to Star Wars: The Old Republic's (SWTOR) companion system than GW1's Heroes.

I had an idea for a “Heroes" system for PvE wherein you can "recruit" certain NPCs into Dragon's Watch and add one or two of them to your party at a time.

This seems like the kind of concept they could build a mastery system around for an expansion, with perks and bonuses to you and those heroes when they're in your party. Perhaps a “commander" mastery that makes their AI smarter as you level. A mastery to be able to edit/swap out their skills or weapons, maybe runes, etc. A mastery to improve their armor and/or weapon rating (rare to exotic, etc).

I could see a tactics system similar to that found in Dragon Age, were you can set up commands and prompts for your companions AI to follow when certain conditions arise.

Altogether this Heroes system would be very customizable, and ANet could have a core set of recruitable characters and perhaps release new ones periodically.

I'd err on the side of creating original companions for this though, or using non-Dragon’s Watch members as your "Heroes." Despite liking them a lot, it'd probably neuter their ability to do anything with them storywise (kill them off, leave Dragon's Watch, change form somehow, etc). The recruitable heroes can just be incidental and non-crucial to the plot of GW2, so they're just kind of tagging along with you.

Would totally love them to be voiced and have personalities and such though, maybe dialogue chains or personal quests you can take them on (maybe to get cooler armor skins for them, or better weapons, etc). Could be very interactive and fun.

I think there are a lot of existing characters that could work really well for this. Ones that were relevant at one time in the story, then kind of faded from the plot despite popularity.

Some ideas:
Malyck
Lord Faren
Phlunt
Sayeh al' Rajihd
Deborah
Livia
Sya
Surviving Destiny’s Edge members
Ogden Stonehealer
Any of the Sunspears
NPCs from your Order

It’s also an opportunity to include characters from NPC races and “lesser” races like Tengu, Largos, Skritt, Hylek, Quaggan, Kodan, Centaurs, etc. Heck, even some kind of liberated Awakened (bring back Demmi or Belinda!)

There’s also options from the custom personal story like your Charr’s warband, Asura’s crewe, etc. That might be harder to pull off, but I think there are so many NPCs that could be brought back for a much deserved second chance with this kind of feature.

Comments

  • derd.6413derd.6413 Member ✭✭✭✭

    why would you want such a system from a game play point of view? open world and the story is just one step above kirby games difficulty wise.

    I Have No friends, so I Must pug

  • Svennis.3852Svennis.3852 Member ✭✭✭

    @derd.6413 said:
    why would you want such a system from a game play point of view? open world and the story is just one step above kirby games difficulty wise.

    I enjoy companion systems.

  • derd.6413derd.6413 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Svennis.3852 said:

    @derd.6413 said:
    why would you want such a system from a game play point of view? open world and the story is just one step above kirby games difficulty wise.

    I enjoy companion systems.

    just because you 'like' companion systems doesn't mean it's a good idea.

    I Have No friends, so I Must pug

  • derd.6413derd.6413 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Svennis.3852 said:

    @derd.6413 said:

    @Svennis.3852 said:

    @derd.6413 said:
    why would you want such a system from a game play point of view? open world and the story is just one step above kirby games difficulty wise.

    I enjoy companion systems.

    just because you 'like' companion systems doesn't mean it's a good idea.

    Just because you don’t doesn’t mean it isn’t.

    i don't dislike your idea, i think it would be piontless

    • open world PvE is already way to easy.
    • everybody is perfectly self-proficient.
      so why from a game play perspective would you take a npc 'hero' with you.

    I Have No friends, so I Must pug

  • RoseofGilead.8907RoseofGilead.8907 Member ✭✭✭✭

    As was indicated above, GW2 is already very solo-friendly (and some would argue that it's too solo-oriented). I, personally, really liked the Heroes/Henchmen of GW1, but I don't think adding them to GW2 while it's still very active would be the best thing for the game.

    Oh look. I have a signature now.

  • crepuscular.9047crepuscular.9047 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Svennis.3852 said:
    I enjoy companion systems.

    create a Ranger and get a pet, there's your companion; or play GW1

    [RIP Fashion Wars 2005-2018]     [TTS] [KA] [SI]     [RIP Fashion Wars 2005-2018]
    Praise the Inevitable Eternal Transcendent King Palawa Ignacious Joko, the Beloved and Feared Undying Eternal Monarch of All !!!
    ... til Aurene ate him for dessert 😭
  • zidane.5194zidane.5194 Member ✭✭

    I wouldn't mind having a system like this. It would help with the content no one does. For example, I rarely see anyone doing dungeons. Even in my guild it is hard to find anyone that wants to do a dungeon. With this system, I could do a dungeon when I want to. As @Pifil.5193 pointed out with story missions. I still need some of the achievements from LS2. I can't find anyone that wants to do these either. So, yes. I support this idea.

  • Svennis.3852Svennis.3852 Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 6, 2018

    I do prefer the solo play, always have since GW1. If I’m exploring the maps or doing story instances I’m generally not going to party up unless I have to for something like bounties and meta events. There’s not a lot of aspects of PvE that forces you to play with other people, and I don’t think this will change it that much.

    I loathed how much I needed a party to progress through the story of GW1 because either they were jerks, or they had no ability to coordinate and/or listen (I mained a monk).

    Like @zidane.5194 mentions, this would be nice for certain modes to make them more doable. I don’t imagine these heroes would enable you to solo a legendary enemy or anything, and they could very easily be blocked from certain situations/modes like mounts and gliders.

  • Svennis.3852Svennis.3852 Member ✭✭✭

    @BunjiKugashira.9754 Thank you for expressing so eloquently what I did not. Your thoughts/ideas are wonderful.

    I can't say I've forged any lasting relationship with players in GW2 unless I knew them outside the game. I feel like a companion system helps people personally/emotionally invest in the game to some degree - which I realize will sound like complete bonk to some players, but for many it's very much true. And perhaps the GW1 companion system was flawed - personally I disagree - but you can't say those characters weren't pretty beloved. There's a reason why they are referenced in GW2 so frequently.

    In my mind, the value of a companion system is far less about combat and more about relationships and story, and the sense of connection a player develops with said companion. It's why I love roleplaying games in the first place, especially games like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Jade Empire, KOTOR, BG2, etc. I think this kind of system appeals to a certain demographic, and one that's fairly prevalent in RPG games like GW2. Sure, it might not be meaningful to players that prefer PvP or WvW, but that's why elite specs are often so geared toward PvP/WvW while things like gliders, mounts, etc are there for PvE exploration and navigation.

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Considering that this is an MMO, some interaction with other players is to be expected. Well over 90% of the game can be accomplished solo. Adding the ability to do the other 10% hinders the social aspect of the game.

  • mindcircus.1506mindcircus.1506 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Sounds like a lot of development resources that could be better spent doing things the game needs.

    "We recognize that some players are not able to complete all content." Gaile Gray 01.10.19

  • Svennis.3852Svennis.3852 Member ✭✭✭

    If anyone has played SWTOR, I am thinking more in line with that than what GW1 provided with Heroes.

  • Ashen.2907Ashen.2907 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    Considering that this is an MMO, some interaction with other players is to be expected. Well over 90% of the game can be accomplished solo. Adding the ability to do the other 10% hinders the social aspect of the game.

    this

  • crepuscular.9047crepuscular.9047 Member ✭✭✭✭

    GW1 heroes' AI is like tree stumps, putting it into Gw2 will just open a whole can of worms

    [RIP Fashion Wars 2005-2018]     [TTS] [KA] [SI]     [RIP Fashion Wars 2005-2018]
    Praise the Inevitable Eternal Transcendent King Palawa Ignacious Joko, the Beloved and Feared Undying Eternal Monarch of All !!!
    ... til Aurene ate him for dessert 😭
  • GrubySzymek.1362GrubySzymek.1362 Member ✭✭✭✭

    The hostility in some comments here really makes me think.

    Heroes would allow people who have troubles with socializing or simply don't want to get involved into relationships with other players to complete group content. On their terms, builds and at speed they want to. That would obviously be disabled for PvP and WvW, however I would love to see such feature e.g. for dungeons - as a test. If it works we can make it part of fractals and even raids.

    Heroes could be gold/money sink on its own and with hero skins/armors anet can earn more money.

    Outside of development time... what are the cons? They have time to manually place chairs for people to sit so they can spend this time on other features aswell.

  • No please. I play mmos precisely because they are not single player rpgs with companions and parties to manage. I don't want an npc companion, but it would make you stronger so I would pretty much have no choice. Imagine if you could leave everybody behind in dragon age and go fight a boss or whatever without them, you'll basically die. Everything is balanced around that and future gw2 content would now be balanced around it basically making your actual character, weaker. Not to mention the tiny social aspect gets killed off where all you have is a chatbox now, as others have said.

    Old content and areas, achievements, dungeons, that you can't do solo... okay. If you can never find a single soul who doesn't also need/want it (I doubt this), there are better ways for devs to make adjustments with far less resource devotion.

  • Brother.1504Brother.1504 Member ✭✭✭✭

    The game already uses the npc henchmen as tools to advance the story mode narrative. Personally I would like to be able to change the “hero companion “ ai or swap out ones I like better. But I don’t get the impression that hero companion skills are balanced in the same way as player skills are. Heroes are ether underpowered or overpowered with only the concern to serve the script.

  • MarshallLaw.9260MarshallLaw.9260 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Consider that GW2 is designed to be an MMORPG.
    If you dislike playing with others, try out a standard RPG or just avoid aspects which specifically require other players.
    IMO there's no reason for ANet to accommodate for players who wish to be more withdrawn.

  • I like this "companion system" idea :) It's actually pretty close to my dream-idea (which is to play with 2 characters "at the same time", i.e. bringing my guardian and my warrior together and swapping to one or the other like we do with weapons or pets).

  • Einlanzer.1627Einlanzer.1627 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 24, 2019

    Here's the deal with heroes - we already have them in the game. They are the player's various companions you fight alongside in instances.

    The problem is that this isn't a fleshed out system and it should be. They should have bios in the story journal, appear in a HUD during combat, have adjustable AI & skills, and a light-weight way to mange them as companions. Entering a story instance should let you preview your fixed companions, let you modify their skills/AI, and let you add one or two optional ones that are featured as "unlockable". You should be able to acquire them as a collectible and take them into classic dungeons as well as story instances. All of that would be amazing.

    They should not be usable in the open world.

  • ugrakarma.9416ugrakarma.9416 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 24, 2019

    dude the game barely manage our "companions" in history mode. most players think of them as annoyance them something helpful.

    main pvp: Khel the Undead(power reaper).

  • Ashantara.8731Ashantara.8731 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Malediktus.9250 said:
    No. Heroes were already a mistake in GW1

    I think they were the best addition to GW1, so much fun to equip and control. They could have blocked them in certain content (UW, FoW), but for map exploration and missions, I think they were good to have.

    @ugrakarma.9416 said:
    dude the game barely manage our "companions" in history mode. most players think of them as annoyance them something helpful.

    So true. The story NPCs are useless. As for Heroes in GW2, they would have to create special future content for them, as they don't fit into the already existing one. The game is too easy already, it would be very boring with an OP team of NPCs. The old content would require a complete overhaul on their behalf.

  • kharmin.7683kharmin.7683 Member ✭✭✭✭

    For me, heroes in GW1 were extremely useful as I really didn't game with too many others. In GW2, the map content isn't instanced like in GW1, so I have less need for AI assistance that heroes could provide.

    I am a very casual player.
    Very.
    Casual.

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Heroes in GW1 as progression relied on more than just you personal character. This is far from the case of GW2. I can also see this having issues in the open world. Heroes should not be the solution if players are unwilling to use the LFG.

  • Svennis.3852Svennis.3852 Member ✭✭✭

    Why are y’all resurrecting this thread and blowing up my notifications

  • Gryphon.2875Gryphon.2875 Member ✭✭✭

    @Svennis.3852 said:
    Why are y’all resurrecting this thread and blowing up my notifications

    Cause someone liked your idea.

  • Svennis.3852Svennis.3852 Member ✭✭✭

    @Gryphon.2875 said:

    @Svennis.3852 said:
    Why are y’all resurrecting this thread and blowing up my notifications

    Cause someone liked your idea.

    hey that's a first

  • Poormany.4507Poormany.4507 Member ✭✭✭

    Really do not like this idea for GW2, personally seeing how heroes made GW1 a solo game and removed almost any need for playing with anyone else in game.

    Also, seeing how they're handling build templates, heroes/companions would likely be completely paywalled and not worth getting at all for most players (arguably even pay to win for farming), since the game is already really easy in open world and story instances.

    Strongly prefer they spend their time/resources on adding something useful to the game or fixing bugs that have been in game for years.

  • starlinvf.1358starlinvf.1358 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Kheldorn.5123 said:
    The hostility in some comments here really makes me think.

    Heroes would allow people who have troubles with socializing or simply don't want to get involved into relationships with other players to complete group content. On their terms, builds and at speed they want to. That would obviously be disabled for PvP and WvW, however I would love to see such feature e.g. for dungeons - as a test. If it works we can make it part of fractals and even raids.

    Heroes could be gold/money sink on its own and with hero skins/armors anet can earn more money.

    Outside of development time... what are the cons? They have time to manually place chairs for people to sit so they can spend this time on other features aswell.

    This is flawed premise on multiple levels though...... especially on a technical level.

    If we completely disregard the social aspects of the situation, Companion NPCs are still a massive problem on their AI alone. The amount things required to compensate for that is very extensive, and have (over time) have been adding various forms of soft immunity to them during Story missions to prevent them from being a total liability.

    The issues are as follows:

    • The AI is incredibly simple, and can only manage "move to marker" and "IF target_inrange=TRUE, THEN attack; IF FALSE THEN move_toward_target". Their attacks fire off cool down with some conditional caveats (like delays before they're allowed to use them), or fired off in specific sequences (became a new standard form LS3 onward).
    • AI lacks the ability to be fully aware of their surroundings, nor playing off other ally's actions, or form complex strategies. Those elements have to be baked into the level/event scripting, group compositions, and their individual skill times/sequences.
    • The above conditions make them incapable of opportunistic behavior that isn't governed by single IF variables.
    • Heroes would not be able to understand buildcraft or skill rotations and combinations, which is foundational to how these classes operate.
    • How and when they decide to engage has always been a problem, and off loading that to the player requires very granular controls.

    The reason Heroes even worked in GW1 was a fluke of the Skill system, and mobility/positioning being practically a non-issue to combat.

    • The freeform skill bar let you organize skill chains using simple left to right priority, and the targeting requirements of most skills made for easier conditional checks.
    • That set up allowed for functional combat with very reactionary AI, and the Trinity Comp structure mitigated a lot of the edge cases
    • Range and positioning where much lesser issues, since the majority of skill were single target, targeted AOE or PbAOE. Cleave didn't exist, dodging didn't exist, and any skills with a cast time required you to stand still.

    Why this doesn't work for GW2 as it stands:

    • Despite AI being superior in terms of reaction time, Positioning is too important in any combat that isn't just a 1v1 slug fest.
    • The moment you introduce AOEs , CCs and highly mobile enemies, combat shifts very heavily toward predictive thought processes, counter strategies, and dynamic threat prioritization. I remember fighting Modrem in the Silverwastes BEFORE the overwhelming damage and shutdown power of Especs..... at a time when the only substantial difference between a player and NPCs were players using dodges whenever they took too much damage. The feral mordrem WRECKED an entire population of players, because the majority had never actually fought something that could fight back before.
    • Even at its height of environmental awareness, the AI never got much further then understanding what an AOE circle was, and simply moving toward and past the closest edge. The only major advancement in their outward behavior since then is how they handle target selection.

    In order to be even marginally worth using, Heroes would need the following systems added to get past the liability threshold.

    • Positioning control to avoid ground hazards and lining up multiple targets. Since AI will probably never get that far, this falls on a granular and easy to hotkey Waypoint system, and complimenting behavior controls when and how far to engage targets. Considering the GW1 implementation, and some of POF missions explicitly built around this concept, theres no way this will work without monopolizing the players attention. And given how much attention is needed to survive combat in post expansion content, even one Hero becomes a heavy burden on management. But without it (using the current auto-pilot minion behavior) you can't hope for anything greater then Ranger pet's 2 state system.
    • Heros would have to have their own bespoke skill system designed to work around their AI. The problem I see with this off the bat, is how those skills would have to be incredibly strong to be even marginally effective. This has a compound effect with how their HP and defenses have to be managed, since its nigh impossible to replicate a player's efficient use/management of Dodges and active defenses without stronger predictive capabilities.
    • For defense, the next closest feasible solution is a matrix of defensive reactions tailored to each class/type skill profile of enemies, so the AI knows how to appropriately act when fighting one. This sounds good on paper, until you actually start making a list of attack types found across the game...... POF mobs have almost entirely bespoke attack skills, while HOT uses modified versions of player skills. Core Tyria Mobs use either older/modified versions of Player skills, or use the same archetypal skills as Ranger pets. This could easily give the Mystic Forge a run for its money on manual upkeep. Theres also a risk of their defense reactions majorly interfering with their offensive actions. In fact.... if we look at the behavior of players, most go all in on offensive for a faster kill; as being put on the defensive is can quickly snowball with how strong many enemy attacks are.
    • And even with all that in there, it would STILL need most of the special advantages already given to major named NPCs during story missions, in order to offset the substantial difference in combat effectiveness between Players and everything else. Things like universal damage reduction, downstate replaced with temporary disable, and condition purging/immunity.

    However, I still have one more HUGE problem with the whole thing.................... Allowing this in open world creates a whole new level of scaling problems that is currently isolated to WvW. **GW1 never had this problem, because the entire game is instanced based. ** Heros also had an entire game structured around a party system that they could easily slot into, and would not change any of the balance considerations since they are (at best) comparable to a player. But with the open world format of GW2, and how its balanced around Solo players.... if a Hero NPC is even close to supplanting another (even casual) player in terms of combat power, this creates a power creep problem that the open world Events/Metas and random enemies are going to have to take into account. With companions, every player that congregates in the area realistically adds an extra 30-60% to the damage output on top of the their own. That means events and bosses would have to scale as if there were 50% more players then there actually are, otherwise risk them being finished way too easily. We've already seen several instances in the past where event scaling was broken in either direction; and shown us how delicate the tuning for these things are.

    When viewing the idea as a whole, from a purely technical and game play perspective, the only way this doesn't break the game is to limit it to Story instances. But theres a catch 22 in which Story missions wouldn't require more systems then whats already being used, since it would be far more efficient to bake many of those options into the story missions themselves. IE.... Its either a create system that has to be universally compatible with old content (which is difficult, time consuming, and breaks a couple of paradigms the game is built on); oooooorrrrrr........ build missions and mission areas explicitly around this concept, and limit it to that content block only. In nearly every conceivable way, the latter approach is as optimal as we can get, based on how the overall game is designed.

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 25, 2019

    Playing with other players is kind of the point of MMO’s and why they’re different from single player RPG’s. Over 90% of GW2 can be done solo so I don’t see this as an issue.

    Allowing heroes would also create balancing issues, as well as performance issues, in the open world. Imagine doing Teq with every player bringing their full set of heroes. Or any other group meta event. You’d essentially trivialize it at the expense of server performance.

  • Ayakaru.6583Ayakaru.6583 Member ✭✭✭✭

    My main concern is that the game is so easy it doesn't even take 1 whole player to get through everything. Wouldn't a hero like we had in gw1 just make everything and every fight redundant?

    To defeat the dragons, see the good in them.
    Zhaitan reunites lost ones, primordus creates fertile land, mordremoth spreads the green, and jormag..
    ..jormag? Who's that?

  • kharmin.7683kharmin.7683 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Ayakaru.6583 said:
    My main concern is that the game is so easy it doesn't even take 1 whole player to get through everything. Wouldn't a hero like we had in gw1 just make everything and every fight redundant?

    I believe that to be the point.

    I am a very casual player.
    Very.
    Casual.

  • If this "hero system" was really implemented - in a viable way, considering everything said so far - I don't think it would force players to use it; those who don't see any advantages in the system wouldn't use it.

  • kharmin.7683kharmin.7683 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @TheLadyOfTheRings.9148 said:
    If this "hero system" was really implemented - in a viable way, considering everything said so far - I don't think it would force players to use it; those who don't see any advantages in the system wouldn't use it.

    I wonder the percentage of players in GW1 who did use it?

    I am a very casual player.
    Very.
    Casual.

  • Gryphon.2875Gryphon.2875 Member ✭✭✭

    @kharmin.7683 said:

    @TheLadyOfTheRings.9148 said:
    If this "hero system" was really implemented - in a viable way, considering everything said so far - I don't think it would force players to use it; those who don't see any advantages in the system wouldn't use it.

    I wonder the percentage of players in GW1 who did use it?

    I did. I even bought the tokens to make my own.

  • Poormany.4507Poormany.4507 Member ✭✭✭

    @TheLadyOfTheRings.9148 said:
    If this "hero system" was really implemented - in a viable way, considering everything said so far - I don't think it would force players to use it; those who don't see any advantages in the system wouldn't use it.

    Only way I could see it forcing players to use it would be enabling level 80 zone (semi) afk mob farming for those with heroes, giving them an advantage over those without them.

    In GW1 post-hero content was much harder to do with just henchmen, so the choice was pretty much to somehow find a multiple person party that can work together to clear content or go the easy way and use heroes. Pretty sure you can guess what most players (including myself) picked and what ultimately, turned GW1 into a single player game (not that that's wrong, but I don't think that's something Anet would want for GW2, which is much more heavily advertised as a cooperative game).

  • Yeah, I don't think the system should be viewed as an "advantage" that makes one player stronger than others without the system (and for that reason I don't think it would "kill" the cooperation in the game) but rather as one more way of having fun. :)

  • I could see ANet eventually implementing a single hero system eventually, similar to what they had intended to implement upon launch. The player base in spread so thin throughout the game, that some people could certainly use the help when trying to get some older content done. If a player isn't able to get enough help via the LFG, and wants to get some champs done in Ember Bay (which has been hopelessly empty for a long time) then a "hero" NPC could certainly help get that done.

    It's not an ideal solution, but I could see it being done when the game gets put on maintenance mode and ANet knows they aren't going to make any further content. The game is already mostly single-player, so putting in the option for a hero companion doesn't 'break' the game as much as it just plays into a problem that has always been there.

    Back during the betas and at launch, there were so many people playing, that you could get help with just about any event on any map. These days, not so much the case. A player who may struggle to get Heart of Thorns hero points done solo is going to have a hard time when the HP trains eventually stop running. The ability to take a companion to absorb aggro and deal a token amount of damage, would help in that case.

  • Aeolus.3615Aeolus.3615 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 26, 2019

    @Malediktus.9250 said:
    No. Heroes were already a mistake in GW1

    For pve content I would not bother, maybe u could even use your toons has heroes, and make ur own dragon watch :)
    It could help it, a lot of players even started to buy outfits to theme up their cac heroes on gw1.

    Gw1!had that sistem, they could add a veteran/ hard mode has well.

    Slayers [XD] NSP Guild
    Yao Chen Herald/Ventari
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