A kind request to rethink the future of fractals — Guild Wars 2 Forums

A kind request to rethink the future of fractals

OmniShift.1529OmniShift.1529 Member

I've been out of the game for quite a while, but eventually (like so many people), I came back because I wanted to continue playing with friends and there was a bunch of new content in the meantime to try out. By far the content of the game I played the most, all the way since the launch of the game, was fractals. I knew I would be rusty and I would probably die a few times, but that'd be okay, so long as I would still have fun. Unfortunately, after getting back into the game, I was back to nearly the skill level I was before in every part of the game (including raids), except fractals. Fractals just isn't what it used to be.

  • On launch (lets call it the first iteration), fractals was a series of random levels you played in a row. No breaks in between. To my knowledge, this taught the developers it was better to split them into separate levels, so people didn't have to all levels over if they failed only the last one.
  • In my opinion, the time after that (the second iteration) was the best suited style for fractals. It was accessible to all, people learned the mechanics of each fractal as they increased their personal fractal level, and even at tier 4, it could be forgiven if 1 person of your party wasn't as good as those who've done it for a long time. This made it so anybody could join, even at the highest tier. No toxicity or elitism required, and good rewards to keep it interesting for everyone. Sure, at some moments, people really wanted a specific party composition to blaze through it as fast as possible (e.g. 4 minion masters and a chrono), but other than that everyone could play it the way they wanted and in my experience, there was very little complaint if someone didn't run a meta build.
  • After not having any updates to fractals in a while, it was given attention again (the thirds iteration). New fractals were added and existing ones were revamped to clarify the stories they were telling. The Chaos, Nightmare, and Mistlock Observatory fractals created an interesting arc, though the length of these got increasingly longer, introducing the problems from the first iteration back in. It also introduced Challenge Motes, which opened up the path for people who were looking for more challenge (mostly raiders who were limited to rewards per week instead of per day). A less desirable side effect of this was that these people would also do T4, but demanded meta builds and parties. This also led to more toxicity and elitism, making fractals less accessible to everyone and more to those who wanted more challenging content. The big difference between raids and CM fractals at this point was the fact that boss fights didn't take as long and were not reliant on mechanics.
  • At this point, I hadn't played in a while and when I came back, there was a fourth iteration of fractals. After having played the old and new fractals, with revamped mistlock instabilities, I don't know to who fractals now is supposed to cater. Several combinations of mistlock instabilities and fractals are now total party kills if 2 players are not at raid-level or have meta builds with proper mastery of a rotation. The new fractals remain longer, have more bosses, more mechanics, and higher difficulty. The prime example of this is Siren's Reef, where the final fight at T4 will have you fight not only a boss that moves around, but also dozens of enemies, environmental knockback, green circles, red circles, and a relatively small area to place these red circles. This is a very large jump in difficulty from the fractals in previous iterations. This would also strangely enough make the fractals in this iteration harder than most raids, party because a death in fractals reduces your party by 20% instead of 10%, so compensating is much more challenging.

All this concludes to my question: what is the purpose of fractals in light of the content it adds to the game? Given that only 1/3rd of all fractals are either challenging or have a challenge mote, people who are looking for a challenge will be bored by 2/3rd of the content. It also doesn't cater to raiders who were looking for similar content, because unlike raids, fractal bosses don't rely much on observation, timed/reactive mechanics, or cooperation. It doesn't cater to people who played fractals before either, since updates to fractals make it less and less like it was and more like something completely different. And finally, it doesn't cater to people who just want to casually play (though that has never really been the case). People who can play up to T3 will find a very large gap when trying to get into T4, given the additional mistlock instability and expectations of other players.
Personally, I would really like the difficulty to be scaled down and leave CM as-is for those who want to keep the challenge for those who want more of that in the game. Raids will be there for those who wish for a tight cooperative experience. Fractals can then be played by anyone with basically any party composition or be a step in between difficulty of open world and raids.

I hope you'll take this feedback under consideration.

Comments

  • knite.1542knite.1542 Member ✭✭✭

    The lower tiers are less difficult. Your wish has been granted.

    Where did you get that from? I'm not making a claim either way. I don't make assumptions like this to push my ideas ... and neither should anyone else.

  • Cyninja.2954Cyninja.2954 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 21, 2019

    @OmniShift.1529 said:
    All this concludes to my question: what is the purpose of fractals in light of the content it adds to the game? Given that only 1/3rd of all fractals are either challenging or have a challenge mote

    There is 2 fractals which have a challenge mode 99 and 100. The other challenge modes are not being run and only part of the Ad Infinitum collection and serve basically no purpose outside of that one.

    @OmniShift.1529 said:
    people who are looking for a challenge will be bored by 2/3rd of the content. It also doesn't cater to raiders who were looking for similar content, because unlike raids, fractal bosses don't rely much on observation, timed/reactive mechanics, or cooperation. It doesn't cater to people who played fractals before either, since updates to fractals make it less and less like it was and more like something completely different. And finally, it doesn't cater to people who just want to casually play (though that has never really been the case). People who can play up to T3 will find a very large gap when trying to get into T4, given the additional mistlock instability and expectations of other players.

    True, the only semi challenging fractals are CM 99 and 100, and even those become easy once a person has mastered them. Normal T4s are quite easy if people don't just face tank everything and put in just a little effort in team composition. The problem is rather that the vast majority of the player base has become worse over time with healers covering for lack of player knowledge and skill.

    @OmniShift.1529 said:
    Personally, I would really like the difficulty to be scaled down and leave CM as-is for those who want to keep the challenge for those who want more of that in the game. Raids will be there for those who wish for a tight cooperative experience. Fractals can then be played by anyone with basically any party composition or be a step in between difficulty of open world and raids.

    Fractal challenge difficulty has decreased over time. You are simply back after a long hiatus and are comparing current fractals to the probably easiest and most cancerous version of them in the past (selectable fractals, overpowered HoT builds, not adjusted difficulty, etc.).

    Fractals have a very high chance of ascended loot compared to any other content in this game. Not having them semi balanced and to easy would create issues. This was not the case in the past when there was only rings available. If you want easier fractals, the loot would have to be scaled down, hard.

    Max rank fractals were always designed as semi challenging content. They were not designed to afk through.

  • @Cyninja.2954 said:
    True, the only semi challenging fractals are CM 99 and 100, and even those become easy once a person has mastered them. Normal T4s are quite easy if people don't just face tank everything and put in just a little effort in team composition. The problem is rather that the vast majority of the player base has become worse over time with healers covering for lack of player knowledge and skill.

    There, you mention something that's right on the mark: "If people don't just face tank everything and put in just a little effort in team composition". Although I think that's an exaggeration, and I can't think of any reason why players have become worse (so I will assume that's a subjective experience), you also note that there's emphasis on team composition. Like I mentioned, this wasn't always the case. If 2 friends of mine did fractals with me, we could take 2 random people with no class, role, or DPS requirements and we would usually do well so long as the player at least understood the mechanics and had the AR. We could compensate for any mishaps or unlucky RNG, but that's no longer possible. Now, you need party composition, which I think shows how the purpose of fractals as content within the game is thrown off.

    @Cyninja.2954 said:
    Fractal challenge difficulty has decreased over time. You are simply back after a long hiatus and are comparing current fractals to the probably easiest and most cancerous version of them in the past (selectable fractals, overpowered HoT builds, not adjusted difficulty, etc.).

    Fractals have a very high chance of ascended loot compared to any other content in this game. Not having them semi balanced and to easy would create issues. This was not the case in the past when there was only rings available. If you want easier fractals, the loot would have to be scaled down, hard.

    Max rank fractals were always designed as semi challenging content. They were not designed to afk through.

    As I mentioned, I expected to have to get back into it, but I have for every other type of content except this. Even raids didn't take very long to pick up again and I think that has higher requirements of a player than fractals. I definitely don't think difficulty has decreased, nor do I think the difficulty is disproportionate to the ascended gear drop rate, since that's required for people to reach 150 AR and be able to do all fractal levels.

  • Vinceman.4572Vinceman.4572 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 21, 2019

    @OmniShift.1529 said:
    Like I mentioned, this wasn't always the case. If 2 friends of mine did fractals with me, we could take 2 random people with no class, role, or DPS requirements and we would usually do well so long as the player at least understood the mechanics and had the AR. We could compensate for any mishaps or unlucky RNG, but that's no longer possible. Now, you need party composition, which I think shows how the purpose of fractals as content within the game is thrown off.

    That's definitely not true. Maybe you and your friend have become worse than before. I can still join every T4 group in the LFG and get the skritt done as long as there are 1-2 competent players knowing what to do even in glass cannon builds for dps. I would rather agree with Cyninja. Lately (talking about more than a half a year at least), I encountered that lots of T4 players don't even know the basic boss mechanics or care about enemy indicators. I had people who could not make it to the last platform on Solid Ocean for at least 3 tries, dying to tentacles but also have no clue in bringing back wisps at the beginning of the Swamp fractal. Instead of condi cleansing utilities or leaps they don't change anything there and die horribly 2-3 meters after picking up the wisp. Also, many players can't handle the start at the dredge fractal with the switches and die repetitively. Not to speak about ooze at Thaumanova or Mai Trin and those are there in their current version for a very long time now. People still don't get it.
    This phenomenon is not only due to the already mentioned things it's mostly because you don't need to care about indicators in the open world or when they go down they get an easy instarezz answered by "ty" - as nothing has ever happened. Additionally, several veterans have left the game after not having new content in adequate time spans and a good chunk of them are doing CMs + T4s + Recs in one run with more or less meta builds & strat so you won't meet those in every other T4 run. What's left is a gambling so you see many meta lfgs for T4 as well because you can't trust every "chill" group being successful in fractals that are there for years.
    I agree that Siren's Reef is still too overcrowded. I don't like it and I avoid it when it's in the daily rotation except when I run with friends or people that can definitely handle it without getting into troubles. On the other hand I disagree: Nightmare is a very short fractal - CM and non-CM as well as Chaos. But it's funny, indeed Shattered Observatory and Nightmare often aren't advertised but when they are people are so bad in them although those have proper damage indicators so you just have to react to them while many other fractals have stuff in them that isn't intuitive at first.

  • Cyninja.2954Cyninja.2954 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 21, 2019

    @OmniShift.1529 said:

    @Cyninja.2954 said:
    True, the only semi challenging fractals are CM 99 and 100, and even those become easy once a person has mastered them. Normal T4s are quite easy if people don't just face tank everything and put in just a little effort in team composition. The problem is rather that the vast majority of the player base has become worse over time with healers covering for lack of player knowledge and skill.

    There, you mention something that's right on the mark: "If people don't just face tank everything and put in just a little effort in team composition". Although I think that's an exaggeration, and I can't think of any reason why players have become worse (so I will assume that's a subjective experience), you also note that there's emphasis on team composition. Like I mentioned, this wasn't always the case. If 2 friends of mine did fractals with me, we could take 2 random people with no class, role, or DPS requirements and we would usually do well so long as the player at least understood the mechanics and had the AR. We could compensate for any mishaps or unlucky RNG, but that's no longer possible. Now, you need party composition, which I think shows how the purpose of fractals as content within the game is thrown off.

    There was not enough AR during vanilla to survive agony. So no, you were not doing max rank fractals back then. At least not with unskilled players.

    Also team composition was always a factor, only less developed. Guardian was almost always taken in every team, as was to a lesser extent mesmer.

    @OmniShift.1529 said:

    @Cyninja.2954 said:
    @Cyninja.2954 said:
    Fractal challenge difficulty has decreased over time. You are simply back after a long hiatus and are comparing current fractals to the probably easiest and most cancerous version of them in the past (selectable fractals, overpowered HoT builds, not adjusted difficulty, etc.).

    Fractals have a very high chance of ascended loot compared to any other content in this game. Not having them semi balanced and to easy would create issues. This was not the case in the past when there was only rings available. If you want easier fractals, the loot would have to be scaled down, hard.

    Max rank fractals were always designed as semi challenging content. They were not designed to afk through.

    As I mentioned, I expected to have to get back into it, but I have for every other type of content except this. Even raids didn't take very long to pick up again and I think that has higher requirements of a player than fractals. I definitely don't think difficulty has decreased, nor do I think the difficulty is disproportionate to the ascended gear drop rate, since that's required for people to reach 150 AR and be able to do all fractal levels.

    I have no issue carrying a team with a heal firebrand as long as people don't totally brainafk. Or on heal scourge if I want to.

  • I can't think of any reason why players have become worse

    Players aren't worse in the GW2 community.

    It's just easier now to carry a team, which makes it possible for players who are less skilled to believe that they are doing well. Similarly, it's far, far easier now to reach the maximum-required AR of 150 than it was to reach the equivalent threshold years ago... i.e. the old barrier to entry to top tier was experience; now the only barrier is coin.

    As a result, fractals have never been more accessible, which is great for people trying to break in. And the dark lining to that silver cloud is that better players are going to run into people who are as skilled (and might not even realize the difference for a long time, if ever). That gives the perception that people have gotten worse, when it's just that the pool has expanding to accommodate a wider variation.

    Mind you: it's "interesting" to see some supposedly DPS PUGs doing less damage than some utility/support builds. That's both the beauty and the horror of playing with randoms: anything can happen (and usually does).

    Hype is the path to the dark side. Hype leads to unfulfilled expectations. Disappointment leads to anger. Anger leads to disgust. Disgust leads to "oh, new shinies! I'm back!"

  • thrag.9740thrag.9740 Member ✭✭✭

    pre-hot fractals absolutely required a lot less consideration concerning team composition. Essentially 1 ps warrior + 4 dps was enough to be pretty smooth. Sure a guardian for reflect and maybe stability/aegis was nice. But back then, the most common dps picks were ele, guardian and thief. All 3 of them have access to a projectile protection of some type. And although only the guard had aegis, the theif and ele could always blind if it was just trash mobs, and if things really went south the ele could always hop to water to blast a heal (such as during old sab cannons).

    Then Anet made druid, a healer with so many offensive buffs they could literally do 0 dps and still be adding more dps to the group than another dps player (remember when gotl was a unique buff not just might?). Suddenly everyone was running druids. This went hand in hand with a slow change to Anet's design philosophy. Nearly all Incoming damage in fractals was originally intended to be handled by player dodging. But with healers in the game, Anet changed their design philosophy. Dodges where now purposed to avoid the largest attacks, while healers were meant to handle a steady stream of much less avoidable damage. I'm sure someone reading this will exclaim that on some fights you can pull off no healer. That's true (although soul cleave summit or condi/power druid isn't exactly 'no healer'). But I think social awkwardness (the old one that did damage), toxic trail, and all the trash mobs in sirens reef are pretty distinctly different from dodging arch diviners hammer autos.

    Additionally after hot, quickness was no longer a boon only obtained from either a guardian or a mesmer using their elite skill. It was now possible to upkeep 100% of the time. So of course, everyone brought a chrono. But then of course also, Anet had to balance around the higher dps.

    And then finally, adding boon removal to fractals. Not every class can do this (at least not without really hurting personal dps).

    While previously, groups only had to coordinate: might + fury + banners (all handled by 1 support). Now, they need to coordinate might/fury/quickness/alacrity/healing/boon strip, typically all passed out to 3 players.

  • Yasi.9065Yasi.9065 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 22, 2019

    @thrag.9740 said:
    Essentially 1 ps warrior + 4 dps was enough to be pretty smooth.

    It still is. Declining understanding of basic principles in the gw2 playerbase however make people think you NEED at least one healer, 100% boons and perma aegis+stab to survive.

    @thrag.9740 said:
    Then Anet made druid, a healer with so many offensive buffs they could literally do 0 dps and still be adding more dps to the group than another dps player (remember when gotl was a unique buff not just might?). Suddenly everyone was running druids.

    In the beginning, most actually werent, or insisted on power or condi druid.

    @thrag.9740 said:
    This went hand in hand with a slow change to Anet's design philosophy. Nearly all Incoming damage in fractals was originally intended to be handled by player dodging. But with healers in the game, Anet changed their design philosophy. Dodges where now purposed to avoid the largest attacks, while healers were meant to handle a steady stream of much less avoidable damage. I'm sure someone reading this will exclaim that on some fights you can pull off no healer. That's true (although soul cleave summit or condi/power druid isn't exactly 'no healer'). But I think social awkwardness (the old one that did damage), toxic trail, and all the trash mobs in sirens reef are pretty distinctly different from dodging arch diviners hammer autos.

    You DO realize that old SA reduced incoming healing by close to 100%? The only healer build that could heal through old SA was heal rev. Toxic trail you could avoid, mind you that also was to a time where staff weaver/tempest still was a thing, so while it was annoying, it wasnt forcing anyone to run a healer. Trash mobs on sirens reef you want to aoe cc and cleave.

    @thrag.9740 said:
    Additionally after hot, quickness was no longer a boon only obtained from either a guardian or a mesmer using their elite skill. It was now possible to upkeep 100% of the time. So of course, everyone brought a chrono. But then of course also, Anet had to balance around the higher dps.

    Actually, anet hasnt balanced around higher dps, thats exactly the problem we have. Hence why high dps groups can rush through t4+cm fractals. The problem is that newer and remaining players arent really invested in the game anymore. They play whatever is suggested on SC website as best in slot, or they play some randomly generated build without knowing what which trait does, why there's a certain rotation that works well, and/or how to adapt a build to any given situation.

    @thrag.9740 said:
    And then finally, adding boon removal to fractals. Not every class can do this (at least not without really hurting personal dps).

    There is nullification sigil and absorption sigil for builds with lots cc.

    @thrag.9740 said:
    While previously, groups only had to coordinate: might + fury + banners (all handled by 1 support). Now, they need to coordinate might/fury/quickness/alacrity/healing/boon strip, typically all passed out to 3 players.

    For fury you should look at personal fury uptimes on most dps builds. Quite a lot need only some starter fury or < 20% additional fury uptime. While alacrity is nice to have, its actually not that important in fractals. Healing and boonstrip see above. Might is important, yes. But theres a handful of builds capable of buffing 25 might, so that really shouldnt be a limiting factor. No, the really limiting factor is a clueless, unimaginative, meta-loving playerbase that cant problem-solve anymore and overestimates their own skilllevel immensely.

  • Astralporing.1957Astralporing.1957 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Vinceman.4572 said:

    @OmniShift.1529 said:
    Like I mentioned, this wasn't always the case. If 2 friends of mine did fractals with me, we could take 2 random people with no class, role, or DPS requirements and we would usually do well so long as the player at least understood the mechanics and had the AR. We could compensate for any mishaps or unlucky RNG, but that's no longer possible. Now, you need party composition, which I think shows how the purpose of fractals as content within the game is thrown off.

    That's definitely not true. Maybe you and your friend have become worse than before.

    I remember that happening when it hapened. First, Chaos went in. We had some problem in our original squad, but we eventually managed to adjust. Then Nightmare happened - and it turned out that our previous group just couldn;t do it at t4. The difference between it and all the previous fractals was extremely visible. Since that time, most of the new fractals (with the notable exception of the Deepstone, that was more representative of the previous difficulty level) were well above the older fractal difficulty. If we add to it things like Swamp rework, then yes, the average difficulty level of T4 fractals went up. Way up.
    Seriously, before new fractals and reworks, it was trivially easy to clear t4's with a group that had an average dps of 4-5k (probably, i wasn't running arc then, but i do remember the builds we used, and those were really bad) and was made of builds that would nowadays be considered a joke. And then suddenly you hit a wall and had to shed players if you wanted to continue.

    I had people who could not make it to the last platform on Solid Ocean for at least 3 tries, dying to tentacles but also have no clue in bringing back wisps at the beginning of the Swamp fractal. Instead of condi cleansing utilities or leaps they don't change anything there and die horribly 2-3 meters after picking up the wisp. Also, many players can't handle the start at the dredge fractal with the switches and die repetitively. Not to speak about ooze at Thaumanova or Mai Trin and those are there in their current version for a very long time now. People still don't get it.

    It was always like that. The low tier of fractal pugs hadn't changed. There was a reason why Mai Trin was considered to be very difficult, and Thaumanova was commonly called Traumanova. Now that difficulty in many of the fractals is higher than before, it's simply more visible.
    Also, most of the mid tier players in fractals just left. Those players (not the full meta hardcore ones) originally formed the meat of the t4 groups. Now that they're gone, the groups are a mix of high and low tiers. So, the high tier players now see far more of the low tier players than they were used to (and probably far more than they want to). And the opposite is equally true.

    But it's funny, indeed Shattered Observatory and Nightmare often aren't advertised but when they are people are so bad in them although those have proper damage indicators so you just have to react to them while many other fractals have stuff in them that isn't intuitive at first.

    It's not a matter of damage indicators - it's how those two are punishing of even small mistakes. Most of the original fractals weren't. Even if you got downed, it was easy to recover.

    The whole point of a social game is to play with the people you want to play with, not be forced to play with the people you don't.

  • Eramonster.2718Eramonster.2718 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Imo the large difficulty jump is when instabilities are added into fractals. Back then, players just need to focus on the mechanics to get things done. Healer is not a requirement even for CM Nightmare PuGs (the only CM at that time).

    Most fractal mechanics have no presence in T1 & T2. Only begins at T3 & mostly T4, where players need to learn what to avoid and keep watch. For players that have been following fractals, instabilities is an addition to that basis. While newer players see it as whole (fractal mechanics + instability), which can be overwhelming to learn especially with the instability changing everyday. T4 will prove to be a challenge with more instabilities combination interacting with the mechanics.

  • Vinceman.4572Vinceman.4572 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Astralporing.1957 said:
    I remember that happening when it hapened. First, Chaos went in. We had some problem in our original squad, but we eventually managed to adjust. Then Nightmare happened - and it turned out that our previous group just couldn;t do it at t4. The difference between it and all the previous fractals was extremely visible. Since that time, most of the new fractals (with the notable exception of the Deepstone, that was more representative of the previous difficulty level) were well above the older fractal difficulty. If we add to it things like Swamp rework, then yes, the average difficulty level of T4 fractals went up. Way up.

    Seriously, on Nightmare 99 you can just stand in front of MAMA over 70% of the whole fight. Even if she slams you back you won't be in downstate as a glass cannon and the latter 30% can be handled very easily as well if you know how and when to press your dodge button. I'm surprised that people are dying constantly (not all) in the first 70% here and there and the reason is not the instability. Siax isn't different from that, just avoid standing in the indicated spots. In T4 nobody would care if you range here even if it means you won't get boons. The problem is players are soaking all the damage up like there's no morning. Ensolyss is a bit above that but again you can just do fine if you stop wasting your dodges and know the fight. I spare you and us the summary of SO but it's not different and the best sign for not so competent players is the bloom phase on Arkk. This one is so kitten braindead but almost always players make it to a clown fiesta and shooting those orbs in every direction but the pilars.

    Seriously, before new fractals and reworks, it was trivially easy to clear t4's with a group that had an average dps of 4-5k (probably, i wasn't running arc then, but i do remember the builds we used, and those were really bad) and was made of builds that would nowadays be considered a joke. And then suddenly you hit a wall and had to shed players if you wanted to continue.

    You can still do that but you can't facetank every mechanic for aeons which you could before almost the entire time. I remember the time of 5 condi reaper (4 + 1druid) in pugs back in the days. That was literally "I don't care"-thinking and in my opinion it was not justified to hand out the existent fractal rewards with that. But even if you think it's not possible any longer then try out 5 x Power Reaper. Also very brainafk for players who know what's going on.

    It was always like that. The low tier of fractal pugs hadn't changed. There was a reason why Mai Trin was considered to be very difficult, and Thaumanova was commonly called Traumanova. Now that difficulty in many of the fractals is higher than before, it's simply more visible.
    Also, most of the mid tier players in fractals just left. Those players (not the full meta hardcore ones) originally formed the meat of the t4 groups. Now that they're gone, the groups are a mix of high and low tiers. So, the high tier players now see far more of the low tier players than they were used to (and probably far more than they want to). And the opposite is equally true.

    Not really, I didn't have to leave groups because they were incompetent to handle the mechanics. Before the change of Mai Trin I could literally carry bad groups with my core warrior and taking shake if off instead of another usual utility of the standard build and rezz the ones that died in the cannon phase. After the change I was and still am able to play heal druid there and keep the folks alive. But this has changed dramatically because players don't know that they have to run out of circles and newly there are lots of players running away and making it worse and with that and I don't mean the mechanic of Mai (that was always a struggle) but completely ignoring the stack for heals & boons.

    It's not a matter of damage indicators - it's how those two are punishing of even small mistakes. Most of the original fractals weren't. Even if you got downed, it was easy to recover.

    If you go down in Solid Ocean several times than you certainly are not prepared to play T4s. And even if you go down in other fractals it wouldn't matter you can easily get a rezz but if you die over and over again nobody will continue to rezz. You should avoid getting downstates beforehand and this can be avoided by learning the fractals and not buy your AR, go into the fractal and try to brute force it.

  • Cyninja.2954Cyninja.2954 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 22, 2019

    @Vinceman.4572 said:

    @Astralporing.1957 said:
    Seriously, before new fractals and reworks, it was trivially easy to clear t4's with a group that had an average dps of 4-5k (probably, i wasn't running arc then, but i do remember the builds we used, and those were really bad) and was made of builds that would nowadays be considered a joke. And then suddenly you hit a wall and had to shed players if you wanted to continue.

    You can still do that but you can't facetank every mechanic for aeons which you could before almost the entire time. I remember the time of 5 condi reaper (4 + 1druid) in pugs back in the days. That was literally "I don't care"-thinking and in my opinion it was not justified to hand out the existent fractal rewards with that. But even if you think it's not possible any longer then try out 5 x Power Reaper. Also very brainafk for players who know what's going on.

    This right here.

    Way to many players advanced to T4 with cheese builds (by the way, 4-5 scourge still works for all T4 fractals easy) or just by buying their ticket in with ascended gear being dirt cheap by now and ascended trinkets getting flung around left and right.

    Overall fractals went from skill based dodging (during vanilla) to: bring the right build and outsustain the fight if you are unwilling to play the mechanics.

    I will give though, there were some times in the past which had fractal T4 rewards handed out almost like candy:

    • directly after HoT was launched and the severe power creep which made old fractals hilarious easy
    • cheese 4 necro+druid builds (or similar)
    • multiple swamp daily fractals with old mossman which one could cheese

    Now the question is: Should the content be balanced around when it was broken easy, or around it supposed to be endgame challenging content (debatable since experienced players still rush through this as though it was nothing) with rewards tied to that?

    EDIT: just so I'm not misunderstood, I'm fine with the current T4 difficulty given the average skill level of this player base. I'm just opposed to making it even easier.

  • Vinceman.4572Vinceman.4572 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Cyninja.2954 said:
    EDIT: just so I'm not misunderstood, I'm fine with the current T4 difficulty given the average skill level of this player base. I'm just opposed to making it even easier.

    Agreed.

  • Astralporing.1957Astralporing.1957 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Vinceman.4572 said:

    @Astralporing.1957 said:
    I remember that happening when it hapened. First, Chaos went in. We had some problem in our original squad, but we eventually managed to adjust. Then Nightmare happened - and it turned out that our previous group just couldn;t do it at t4. The difference between it and all the previous fractals was extremely visible. Since that time, most of the new fractals (with the notable exception of the Deepstone, that was more representative of the previous difficulty level) were well above the older fractal difficulty. If we add to it things like Swamp rework, then yes, the average difficulty level of T4 fractals went up. Way up.

    Seriously, on Nightmare 99 you can just stand in front of MAMA over 70% of the whole fight. Even if she slams you back you won't be in downstate as a glass cannon and the latter 30% can be handled very easily as well if you know how and when to press your dodge button. I'm surprised that people are dying constantly (not all) in the first 70% here and there and the reason is not the instability. Siax isn't different from that, just avoid standing in the indicated spots. In T4 nobody would care if you range here even if it means you won't get boons. The problem is players are soaking all the damage up like there's no morning. Ensolyss is a bit above that but again you can just do fine if you stop wasting your dodges and know the fight. I spare you and us the summary of SO but it's not different and the best sign for not so competent players is the bloom phase on Arkk. This one is so kitten braindead but almost always players make it to a clown fiesta and shooting those orbs in every direction but the pilars.

    Yes, sure, if you're skilled and know the mechanics you can kill Ensolyss (yes, it was Ensolyss that had stopped us then). It has nothing to do however with the fact that this fight was significantly harder than what we had before.

    Seriously, before new fractals and reworks, it was trivially easy to clear t4's with a group that had an average dps of 4-5k (probably, i wasn't running arc then, but i do remember the builds we used, and those were really bad) and was made of builds that would nowadays be considered a joke. And then suddenly you hit a wall and had to shed players if you wanted to continue.

    You can still do that but you can't facetank every mechanic for aeons which you could before almost the entire time. I remember the time of 5 condi reaper (4 + 1druid) in pugs back in the days. That was literally "I don't care"-thinking and in my opinion it was not justified to hand out the existent fractal rewards with that. But even if you think it's not possible any longer then try out 5 x Power Reaper. Also very brainafk for players who know what's going on.

    Again, doesn't really address my point - yes, some build setups could find it easier than the others. Again, that has nothing to do with the fact that the average difficulty level in fractals went up when compated to what it was before Chaos.

    It was always like that. The low tier of fractal pugs hadn't changed. There was a reason why Mai Trin was considered to be very difficult, and Thaumanova was commonly called Traumanova. Now that difficulty in many of the fractals is higher than before, it's simply more visible.
    Also, most of the mid tier players in fractals just left. Those players (not the full meta hardcore ones) originally formed the meat of the t4 groups. Now that they're gone, the groups are a mix of high and low tiers. So, the high tier players now see far more of the low tier players than they were used to (and probably far more than they want to). And the opposite is equally true.

    Not really, I didn't have to leave groups because they were incompetent to handle the mechanics. Before the change of Mai Trin I could literally carry bad groups with my core warrior and taking shake if off instead of another usual utility of the standard build and rezz the ones that died in the cannon phase. After the change I was and still am able to play heal druid there and keep the folks alive. But this has changed dramatically because players don't know that they have to run out of circles and newly there are lots of players running away and making it worse and with that and I don't mean the mechanic of Mai (that was always a struggle) but completely ignoring the stack for heals & boons.

    Those same players were ignoring boons before. Heal too, if it was present, although then it wasn't that common yet. And it was pretty common to have half the party dead after each bombardment phase.

    It's not a matter of damage indicators - it's how those two are punishing of even small mistakes. Most of the original fractals weren't. Even if you got downed, it was easy to recover.


    If you go down in Solid Ocean several times than you certainly are not prepared to play T4s. And even if you go down in other fractals it wouldn't matter you can easily get a rezz but if you die over and over again nobody will continue to rezz. You should avoid getting downstates beforehand and this can be avoided by learning the fractals and not buy your AR, go into the fractal and try to brute force it.

    And again, nothing to do with what i said.

    Your points are about how the fractals are fine if you're skilled and know/do the mechanics, and how the current difficulty level is okay. Mine were about how they are more difficult now than they were before. It's like you were talking about something completely different, and just quoted my post by mistake.

    The whole point of a social game is to play with the people you want to play with, not be forced to play with the people you don't.

  • Vinceman.4572Vinceman.4572 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Astralporing.1957 said:
    Your points are about how the fractals are fine if you're skilled and know/do the mechanics, and how the current difficulty level is okay. Mine were about how they are more difficult now than they were before. It's like you were talking about something completely different, and just quoted my post by mistake.

    Nope, my key point is: Nowadays people fail the easiest fractals like Solid Ocean which was not the case some years ago (except pre-HoT aera) where you could just hop into every T4 group and be successful. Indeed some fractal mechanics or whole fractals are harder but the overall T4 crowd is worse in terms of skill than before due to reasons mentioned. To be clear it doesn't surprise me but it's noticeable.

  • thrag.9740thrag.9740 Member ✭✭✭

    @Yasi.9065 The point of my post was summarized in the very first line:

    @thrag.9740 said:
    pre-hot fractals absolutely required a lot less consideration concerning team composition.

    Yet miraculously this is one of the only lines you didn't address. So why don't you address it now? Make your view clear for us all. Do modern fractals require more attention be paid to team composition, less, or the same?

  • Yasi.9065Yasi.9065 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 23, 2019

    @thrag.9740 said:
    Yet miraculously this is one of the only lines you didn't address. So why don't you address it now? Make your view clear for us all. Do modern fractals require more attention be paid to team composition, less, or the same?

    Quoting myself. Fun.

    @Yasi.9065 said:
    For fury you should look at personal fury uptimes on most dps builds. Quite a lot need only some starter fury or < 20% additional fury uptime. While alacrity is nice to have, its actually not that important in fractals. Healing and boonstrip see above. Might is important, yes. But theres a handful of builds capable of buffing 25 might, so that really shouldnt be a limiting factor. No, the really limiting factor is a clueless, unimaginative, meta-loving playerbase that cant problem-solve anymore and overestimates their own skilllevel immensely.

    Ill translate it for you: really "necessary" is only a chrono OR quickbrand. Everything else -> luxus. Quickbrand can be heal or not, doesnt matter. Chrono can be minstrel, or not... doesnt matter. Guess what, thats the same as before HoT, when you had to have a PS warrior.

  • thrag.9740thrag.9740 Member ✭✭✭

    @Yasi.9065 said:
    Ill translate it for you: really "necessary" is only a chrono OR quickbrand. Everything else -> luxus. Quickbrand can be heal or not, doesnt matter. Chrono can be minstrel, or not... doesnt matter. Guess what, thats the same as before HoT, when you had to have a PS warrior.

    Wrong.

  • Astralporing.1957Astralporing.1957 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 23, 2019

    @Vinceman.4572 said:

    @Astralporing.1957 said:
    Your points are about how the fractals are fine if you're skilled and know/do the mechanics, and how the current difficulty level is okay. Mine were about how they are more difficult now than they were before. It's like you were talking about something completely different, and just quoted my post by mistake.

    Nope, my key point is: Nowadays people fail the easiest fractals like Solid Ocean which was not the case some years ago (except pre-HoT aera) where you could just hop into every T4 group and be successful. Indeed some fractal mechanics or whole fractals are harder but the overall T4 crowd is worse in terms of skill than before due to reasons mentioned. To be clear it doesn't surprise me but it's noticeable.

    I'm quite sure less people are now failing mechanics that failed mechanics then (i've definitely seen enough of people that had no idea about even the simplest mechanics then. Having to solo carry at Jade Maw or Aquatic was by no means uncommon if solo pugging). It's just you see them more.

    Fractal population is much smaller nowadays, and, moreover, the mid tier that was the majority of fractal runners before is practically gone now. Additionally, the high tier players' fractal population also isn't big. Before, when running fractals, you were mostly doing it with players within your own tier - the low tier with low and mid, the high tier with high and mid, the mid with everyone. Nowadays it's usually low and high tier players thrown together, so not only you see the worst fractals have to offer more often, but it's more glaring because there's no middle ground - there's a massive gap between those two groups with noone in the middle.

    In short, then your groups probably filled faster, with more decent players, and thus you were simply mostly unaware of the other t4 groups that at the same time were filling with people on the other end of the skill scale. Now, you have less good players to choose from, and there's no mid tier to pad the numbers if there aren't enough good players around. There may not be more low tier players, in absolute numbers, but they make up more of the fractal runners percentage-wise than then.

    Also, if you think people didn't fail Solid Ocean T4 then, you weren't paying attention.

    Still, i do admit there's a lot of "meta" players that got so used to having a healer around that they feel lost without one. They existed then too, it just wasn't the lack of heal that killed them then, but lower group dps than they were expecting, or lack of things like reflects, stability or protection.

    The whole point of a social game is to play with the people you want to play with, not be forced to play with the people you don't.

  • Vinceman.4572Vinceman.4572 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Astralporing.1957 said:
    It's just you see them more.

    Yes, ty for underlining it. Proves my point totally.

  • Astralporing.1957Astralporing.1957 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Vinceman.4572 said:

    @Astralporing.1957 said:
    It's just you see them more.

    Yes, ty for underlining it. Proves my point totally.

    Not really. It's not like there's more of them, it's that you see them more. They were there before, you just didn't see them.

    The whole point of a social game is to play with the people you want to play with, not be forced to play with the people you don't.

  • Vaeo.4097Vaeo.4097 Member ✭✭

    Fractals are a strange thing now.

    When Nightmare fractal appeared I thought that fractals becomes serious instanced content. Instanced content should aimed at accurate execution of mechanics. And Nightmare is exactly about mechanics. As well as Shattered Observatory.

    But Twilight Oasis, Siren's Reef and Deepstone are totally different. These fractals are aimed at team composition, not on accurate executing of mechanics. Especially Siren's Reef.
    Same way I feel about most of the new instabilities. For instance, "We bleed fire" and "Flux bomb" are mechanics because I must actively do smth. "Last laugh", "Frailty", "Outflanked" and many others are not mechanics because there's nothing I should do to avoid damage.

    Overall, I'd like to see mechanics based content, not team composition based.

©2010–2018 ArenaNet, LLC. All rights reserved. Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, Heart of Thorns, Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire, ArenaNet, NCSOFT, the Interlocking NC Logo, and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCSOFT Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.