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Let's Talk About WvW Balance



  • SWI.4127SWI.4127 Member ✭✭✭

    @Yasi.9065 said:
    Im not a wvw player anymore, ever since PoF release I havent really touched it anymore because of the boon- and corruptspam, the conditiondmg issues etc. So this thread gives me hope I wont have to switch games for my wvw addiction to be satisfied <3

    Imo the rate of boon application, boon corruption and available strong utility skills is really problematic. Things like reflect, stability, aegis, resistance, protection, quickness and all forms of cc are incredibly strong in WvW.
    Im no expert, but looking back to before PoF release (when I was very actively pvp'ing and wvw'ing), most strong skills came with a long cooldown - or some other form of downside. And I think thats a system GW2 should go back to. So that you have to time that skill and then commit to it. The reflect bubble on firebrand tome3 for example could be a channel skill, or have a 20second cooldown. Things like that.

    Honestly the reflect bubble is balanced as is. Yes it is low cooldown but you are using precious tome 3 charges, and that's the most important tome with a really long cooldown. If someone wastes all their charges on a reflect, that's on them.

  • God.2708God.2708 Member ✭✭✭

    So to address the broad spectrum of your inquiry in one big post.

    Background: Two year commander of a 15-30 man guild group on NA. Day one player. Play every class proficiently (though not necessarily expertly) in a zerg setting. My approach will be directed at group fighting as defined as 10+v10+ in all situations (open field, assaulting keeps, GvGs), but will attempt to accommodate roaming. If the balance team wants I will DM them unsanitized clips of my play to provide context to my statements.

    The following will be divided up into a short term look at classes then a longer term play style analysis. I will try my best to define problems, but leave solutions up to the balance team to make

    Short Term: The biggest pain points are the overbearing control scourges have over both melee and ranged. Basically how it's been since the release of PoF. Everything below will be looking through that lense.

    Warrior: As it stands warrior has a lot of options available and it is in one of the better places its been since the advent of HoT. I do not think any short term small changes will add much beyond maybe a look at some of the recent tactics line change numbers which can come off really strong in the right circumstances.
    Guardian: Guardians have a very strong grasp of boons, but it is a necessity with how strong scourges are at the moment. For the short I think the only things worth looking at are the healing outputs available in the Honor line (especially the Force of Will trait that totally shuts down the other two GMs). The fact guardians can be both GW1 prot monks and heal monks is excessive and they should lean towards one (I conceptualize them as prot monks)
    Revenant: CoR needs fluidity added back to it via bug fixes and whatever else. Their damage is in a somewhat appropriate spot, at least in the short term. Making Legendary Renegade Stance useful in zergs would go a long way to diversifying them, but I don't think there's a short term fix there.

    Thief: They have some niche uses in zergs. I do not imagine there will be much benefit to looking at them for zerg play in short term. There is no doubt a lot to say about them from roamers however.
    Ranger: There is likewise nothing short term here. The unique strengths of druid don't work in WvW and so Scrappers and Tempests are the clear choice. They likely need some attention from the roaming perspective though.
    Engineer: These are in a rather good spot. There biggest issues lie in the inconsistency of the function gyro and the fact bulwark gyro is bugged. Their ally stab applicators are also somewhat inconsistent due to either radius or stacks given.

    Mesmer: Chronos likely have a lot to say here. In the short term though I think there are bigger fish to fry from a group fight perspective. There is no doubt some roaming feedback here.
    Necro: Scourges define group fights. There are half a dozen ways to skin this cat, but I will put it like this. I see scourges as being a support via offensive debilitation. As it stands they are a catch all barrier/cleanse support, ranged nuke, melee grinder, and soft CC debilitation. For the short term I would try to eliminate one of those options From Scourge.
    Elementalist: These are with warriors in that they have a lot of options available at the moment in group play. Short term I think the best thing to look at would be the earth line and using some short term number tweaks to help cement the tempests ability to be a group support in a variety of ways.

    Long Term: We are somewhat close to a balanced melee meta. My largest issue with the meta is that it in general feels like I am leading a group either into a western stand off against another group, or I feel like a lion trying to keep the giant cloud of hyenas off my tail. I would prefer more options to fighting another similar sized group, more UTILITY(not damage) tools to deal with larger groups, and would prefer the melee component of my group being stronger so we can stone wall giant enemy clouds of players to some degree. I could tirade some but Turkeys got the point of it just becoming a pointless circular argument so I'm going to follow a 40/40/20 rule that was what ruled during the early days of WvW. 40% Melee, 40% Ranged, 20% Focus/Pick. As it stands right now.
    Melee: Soft buff
    Ranged: Hard nerf
    Pick: Soft nerf

    To buff melee you need to reduce the ability of ranged damage to perform equally well in melee, and melee potentially needs more PRACTICAL tools to close gaps aside from bum rushing with superspeed + stealth.
    To nerf ranged there should be a hammer taken to anything with high range that can essentially win a fight simply by standing in their own damage. Elementalist for example gets to deal tons of damage with staff because if the enemy pushes onto the elementalist in all its damaging AoEs and it comes down to who dies first, it will be the elementalist every time. Against a group of scourges? They win every time, and if you don't push they win. Get rid of 'win or win' scenarios for ranged classes. This is almost entirely the necros game, but it IS augmented by firebrands and revenants.
    To nerf pick/focus I would leave this up to roamers feedback to be quite honest. This will likely happen by proxy through nerfing the strength of overbearing ranged classes and problem roaming builds.

  • Fix Coalescence of Ruin.

    Don’t destroy entire class mechanics and in the process gut classes and make them unfun to play in order to create balance. Scourge and Chrono nerfs were obscene

  • Please make Lance (Mount skill 4) unblockable. its so disappointing not being able to dismount a Guardian just because they are Guardians...

  • way too late for doing this all elitist player already left game

  • Ensign.2189Ensign.2189 Member ✭✭✭

    There are two major problems with WvW, one on the strategic level and the other on the tactical level.

    First, on the strategic level, the major problem with WvW is that there is a single dominant strategy, the map blob with light scouting. In other MMOs they have mechanics to force multiple points of conflict simultaneously. This does more than just force blobs to split up - simultaneous points of contention create potential for differentiation in fight vs rotation, but also gives a high level avenue for, say, engage vs siege as elements complement each other. There's a lot to unpack as to the causes of this and why it doesn't work well in GW2, but suffice to say that there being one clearly dominant strategy for almost the entire history of the game has dramatically restricted the meta.

    On the tactical level, the meta has never developed enough elements to form a quasi-stable and diverse meta. We have had engage, melee-train focused metas, and ranged, pirate ship focused metas, but never a third (let alone fourth or fifth) element necessary for there to be trade-offs in compositions and variations in tactics. It has always been either melee dominates ranged and the bigger and more organized group just runs over the other one (cue complaints about boon share dominating the meta and how mandatory guardians are), or ranged dominating melee and groups have a staring contest and poke each other out, even worse when there are objectives and choke points involved (cue complaints about scourges and the like).

    If there is no strategic diversity, and minimal tactical diversity, you are always going to have a stale meta of basically identical team compositions facing off against each other. It doesn't matter if you nuke Guardians and Scourges from orbit, the structure of the game at the moment has a meta with a single, pure state meta and it will inevitably find its way back to that. You need a mixed state, ideally multiple equilibria structure if you want to even have a chance of balance.

  • Lala.8752Lala.8752 Member ✭✭✭

    for me, the priority is a nerf winds of disenchantement because of this skill it's like impossible to fight in outnumbered because u can't kite full warrior bubbles and u can't all cancel and this skill is really too strong, blob have just to full rush with full bubble and it's easy and full rollface

  • Clownmug.8357Clownmug.8357 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Hi Cal, thank you for opening discussion with players!

    In the current meta the things that stand out to me as "outliers" would be the spaminess of condi Mirage, the stealth uptime of certain Thief builds, and the self-healing of Holosmith's Heat Therapy. I don't want to go into too much detail, but my main grievance with those things is lack of counterplay. Mirage can't be stopped from re-summoning clones while they apply conditions on auto-attacks and ambush attacks. Countering stealth-based thieves is only possible with preparing reveal or marked skills beforehand. Nothing can stop Heat Therapy from activating other than the Holosmith deciding not to use Photon Forge.

    On a fundamental level though, I think the biggest issue with balance has always been power creep. This kind of relates to the stuff I mentioned before. For example, on Mesmer we didn't have things like scepter and staff clones applying torment on auto-attack for several years, and on Thief there was no stealth from healing trait until just a few months ago. I think if we take a look at all the little extra perks added over the years we can start to bring things under control.

  • borgs.6103borgs.6103 Member ✭✭✭

    You can already start trimming some of the power creep easily - the structure auras (Presence of the Keep and Guild Objective Aura). Nerf them or replace them with something that still makes it worth it for the guilds who upgraded them to claim objectives and slot the improvement. The bonus stats are too much.

    You know what, the Guild Hall WvW upgrades probably needs some looking into, like the Armored Dolyaks and Auto Turret upgrades.

    @Cal Cohen.2358 said:

    @Turkeyspit.3965 said:
    So how about ANET decides what the TTK (Time to Kill) should be in WvW, under various situations, and start from there? Once you folks agree on a picture of what that looks like, you'll know right off what needs fixing.

    Otherwise you'll just be tossing out -25% to this or +15% to that and hope it works - which is what I've observed to be the case over the past 20 months I've spent in WvW, and which I'm sure many more seasoned players will confirm has been the case since at least PoF or even HoT.

    Thanks for the communication. :+1:

    This is very much what I was talking about for the long-term, and one of the things we want to gather feedback on through this discussion. It's less about the 25% or the 15% for any given skill and more about defining what the power level should be, then adjusting all skills and traits to fit into that paradigm.

    Just play WvW seriously. Like "it's-part-of-my-job" serious. Play it for a whole match-up, within your preferred timezone. Play with zergs as a meta class and follow the different types of tags, especially those that require voice comms and fight. Hopefully there are still some of those left. Roam around with a party or go solo. You will get a good idea of what the power level should be. You should experience first-hand what WvW players go through.

    Check out the fable of the Boiling Frog.

  • I'd like to see the dominance and safety of zergs get dialed back. Why would anyone run solo or in a small group when they could join a zerg and mostly turn their brain off? It's not fun getting run over by the enemy zerg and not really fun to join your team's zerg for the k-train. Running around in smaller groups shouldn't be a solely risky venture without some type of reward to compensate that risk. I cannot remember the last time I saw a group smaller than 10 or even 15. I'm not sure if it's better to make running in a zerg riskier or running in a small group more rewarding, but I simply want to see more than the same giant blobs every time I log in.

  • Bigpapasmurf.5623Bigpapasmurf.5623 Member ✭✭✭✭

    A fundamental that should be looked at is Risk vs reward. Some classes/builds have little risk vs higher rewards (ie Perma stealth builds, some condi builds). Condi damage in general isn't an issue, its the condi sustain/synergy some classes have with the application of such. Boon spamming can also be problematic in the overall balance of things.

    One issue with correctign things (which im sure you are aware of) is that fixing one thing, can open issues somewhere else (As a trained computer programmer, I understand this on multiple levels lol).

    As mentioned elsewhere, All changes should come with a defined purpose outside of "we changed it for purity of purpose" which isn't really defined...more of a "we did it just because" kind of reasoning.

    Red = Dead...or someone runs away. Either way it's gone.
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  • Xion.5694Xion.5694 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 23, 2019

    Hi Cal,
    How will You communicate about our feedback?
    You (as Anet) stated that you like our ideas, but frankly I dont see them implemented ever. You ask us for feedback, however nothig gets implemented, nor discussed with us. Like in discussion manner, not one way 'thank for feedback - nope'.
    As of now I'll treat this post like another PR talk for several months. I give you a chance, but I think I shouldn't.

    Fellow players, please wake me up in 2020, when Anet post something like below:
    Having seperate teams for balancing the different modes took too much resources, this is why we are happy to announce a merging of the teams. This will speed up the time between balance patches and let us improve your game play.

  • Ok I Did It.2854Ok I Did It.2854 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 23, 2019

    @DKRathalos.9625 said:

    @Cal Cohen.2358 said:
    What issues do you see on a fundamental level that should be addressed? Think outside of the current meta and instead about what you want the meta to look like from a power-level perspective. Keep in mind that a majority of changes should be splits, but feel free to also call out issues that you feel cannot be addressed by splits.

    Firebrand and Scourge? If you have more class who can give stability I think maybe the dependency toward Firebrand could decreased. Scourge? No need explanation here the boon corrupt is too strong.

    Also any class that can instant kill you from invis, or have the ability to nearly down you, go invis before you can retaliate, and they come back from invis to kill you, this is a fundamentally broken mechanic in the game and needs overhauled, if you are going to allow near perma invis classes, then make it then do 50% less damage from invis, and give every other class a way to remove said invis, to even it up.

    WvW needs completely broken down and rebuilt from the ground up when it comes to skill balance, the current format cannot be balanced, without throwing some classes out of the game mode completely, and making others completely dominate. Just look at the recent change to Necro, they ruined it in open world PvE and made it even more deadly in WvW, but that concept has went over them completely, it needed to be toned down slightly in WvW and slightly buffed in open world ( think raids / high end fractals ) but that wasnt done, even after the patch and people complained its been ignored, what about Warriors doing 40k damage with a rifle!

    But ill add i dont honestly have high hopes for this, alliances where announced nearly 2 years ago, we heard in August that they would talk to us in a couple of months about them, and its been radio silence since then, skill balance now cannot save WvW alone, it seems we only ever want to have discussions about these problems but never get around to fixing them or when they think they fixed it, they miss the mark by a mile.

    I hope for the sake of this game mode, this new dev gets to communicate with us, and can actually get WvW back on track, but we've seen this before, we get a few comments followed by 6-8 months of silence.

    Don't say what you mean, it will get you in trouble.

  • Xion.5694Xion.5694 Member ✭✭✭

    Hi Cal,
    One more thing.
    What is Your vision of WvW and PvP.
    I'd like to know that before we start on feedback.

  • Nebilim.5127Nebilim.5127 Member ✭✭✭

    I hope a lot of the talk about bringing the power of everything down, don't affect pve so much. Many classes are in a very good spot right now and nerfing them there achieve basically nothing. Stuff like how old chronos and druids used to be the only good support was bad for the metagame of PvE, but we should absolutely not hand out random nerfs that make no sense to some classes like scourges had recently and then how firebrand tomes increased cooldown in pve for some reason, even though they were only bad in WvW zerging. Scrapper needed a huge nerf in pvp but it absolutely needs to be overbuffed in pve to even be close to supporting like how firebrands, tempests and druids do. That goes for pretty much every single core class and a bunch of other weapons like staff for necro or mace/hammer for warrior.

  • bluberblasen.9684bluberblasen.9684 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 23, 2019
    1. reduce conditions ( uptime and spamable )
    2. reduce AUTO might gain ( we need to separate might gain from for example fire fields and auto generated ) Auto generated are bad / combo fields ARE great.
    3. reduce stabi ( especially short cooldown stabi / quickness in general / auto protection / evade spam.
    4. reduce stealth uptime
    5. reduce condi dead eye poison
    6. reduce outgoing damage AND conditions damage
    7. reduce immunity ( for example warrior can be 10 seconds immun and then it can block ... ) -_- (no warrior bashing i like warriors :D)
    8. rework life on classes. ( the system is from 2011 ? early 2012 ? ) give all classes the medium life and the medium armor set. and then balance new ...
    9. holo still have heat therapy.. ( just REMOVE this skill ) its a bad skill
    10. reduce all stability traits and skills to 45 seconds recharge time or more.
    11. reduce the cooldown of all quickness skills
    12. reduce ALL barrier uptime. ( barrier is a BAD skill and should never be brought to the game ) auto barrier is the worst.
  • Well, how about actually checking the current meta and playing the game mode for yourselves? with playing i mean, actively playing with the public commanders and understanding what they need for a zerg to work. Only asking people in the forums will result in heavily one-sided opinions, especially if yoiu meet people whose main-class got previously nerfed. Gather some staff and actually go into WvW, follow the public commanders and fight with them together over a period of a few months and you will see the real state of the game with your own eyes. This is the best way to get an opinion to the current state and what especially the public commanders have to deal with, which skills/builds are strong, dominant or completely useless. Anyway, many of the changes that have been made in the past already absolutely destroyed complete builds and their roles in a zerg. just to give a hint:
    The changes on signet of inspiration and shatter-skills of the chronomancer absolutely DESTROYED the Boonshare-chrono for public zergs, taking away almost all the utility it gave for big scale fights. before the changes, you had the boonshare, that was vital in situations when you were low on firebrands, which you could compensate with the -old- SoI. The changes made to SoI made the Minstrel-Chrono worthless for the zerg. In addition you changed the shatter-skills to require an active illusion, what resulted in literally disabling Continuum-Split (and the resulting double-veil/double-gravity-well) for all chronomancers in the zerg. They have just been degraded to portal/Veil-slaves as the illusions required for all F-Skills just don´t even last a split-second, making it a gamble to get the CS or not. And even the Invisibility is now in almost every situation provided by Scrappers (Stealth-Gyro-Blast). And with chronomancers in this situation, you decided to nerf the mesmer again ?!? Well, it was not a hard nerf (increase of Illusion of Life-CD) but still, you nerfed a class that has already been nerfed far beyond uselessness in Zergfights. Bring back the boonshare and the chronomancer has finally a unique role in WvW (providing Alacrity, Invisibility and sharing boons to compensate lack of other classes)
    that was my special point to mesmers, as this was the biggest destruction of a whole class in WvW, so i will try to keep my next points more general.
    First of all: keep in mind, that the choice of classes and the amount of them is based on what they can do and how effective they are with it.
    example: the everlasting story of rangers in zergfights. as soulbeast, they have absolutely nothing providing in a big scale fight. not even the stances with the stance-share-trait are even close to be worth for a zerg, because of the high cooldown compared to other buffs and the fact, rangers usually shoot with projectiles (pointing at guardian reflects). Now, thinking of how you could possibly make a ranger worth for zergfights: the answer would be -->Druid. the big problem here: everything a druid provides, can be provided by a firebrand, but in better. i don´t know much about druids tbh, but from just checking the skills available and how to play ranger in general, it doesnt look too good for them. the direct heal may seem bigger from just checking the skill values: (same gear same stats) 3k heal on lunar impact (8s cd) vs 500 heal on guard F2s4 sounds stronger, maybe the direct heal amounts even are higher, the rest of druid skills just provide like, nothing. the same amounts of heal also could be provided by a heal tempest, giving way stronger unique buffs if using the auramancer-build with minstrel gear while maintaining even better heals than firebrands or scrappers.
    coming back to general choices of classes and skills:
    before making changes, think about what each class/specialization could/should be used for, and how you can give it unique abilities to make it worth taking it with you, especially in large scale fights. The minimum should be, to target at least one elite, that provides enough to a zerg, rather than packing everything onto a low amount of classes. For example: currently you have to setup your zerg with at least 1 Firebrand, 1-2 scourges and 1 Herald per group, while adding a decent amount of scrappers to it and filling the remaining slots (usually ~5-10) with dps-weavers/heal-tempests, heal-scrappers, 2-3 spellbreakers and maybe some renegades. maybe, you could fit in a chronomancer somewhere, but this is not even necessary anymore because of the points i already stated above. In the current state, there is no use (sounds harsh, i know that) for Berserkers, Druids, Soulbeasts, Reapers (kinda), Dragonhunters, Daredevils, Deadeyes, Holosmiths (kinda), Mirages and Chronomancers (in their current state). Summarized: there are 10 out of 18 theoretically playable specializations that are just not worth being played in big-scale WvW. This is one big point (in my opinion) to start.

  • Samug.6512Samug.6512 Member ✭✭✭

    Just a quick and kind reminder, there's a really cool and forgotten system of combo fields + finishers, with tons and tons of ideas popping up from players over the years, regarding priorities of finishers etc.


  • I do not have many hours in WvW, but this is what I have generally gathered: Firebrand and Scourge are still major outliers in terms of support and damage in large groups, respectively. Scourge was actually made stronger post-patch due to increased targets on shades. The ideal meta, IMO, is one where those outliers are toned down and classes used less often like elementalists, mesmers, and rangers found a more stable place in all aspects of WvW. Currently an ideal group consists mostly of scourges and firebrands to back them up. Other classes are largely seen as a liability. While all classes, for the most part, have a build that has a role in WvW, most classes really only have one role that they play. For example, Rangers are almost always Soulbeasts and almost always roamers. There's no reasonably spot for, say, a Druid healer in a large group.

    The problem with saying anything on balance is that a LOT of it is predicated on the current best practice of getting as many people as possible and swarming opponents. Power in GW2 scales incredibly with numbers. In big group fights, everything dies instantly. But you all can't balance based on that because then 1v1s on the roads will literally never reach a conclusion unless one of the people keels over IRL from sitting at the computer for too long. So my ideal world might not be best implemented until we see what fallout comes from the updates to rewards that disincentivizes grouping into huge groups.

  • Loosmaster.8263Loosmaster.8263 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Turkeyspit.3965 said:
    You cannot take a micro approach to this - it is very much a macro problem.

    Players are either unkillable or prone to instant deletion - there is very little middle ground, be it in small groups or large.

    And why is that? Power levels? Boon stacking? Corrupts? Crit Chance? Condi spam? Invulns? Evades? Attacking while Invuln/Evades? Ascended gear? Food buffs? Objective buffs/bloodlust? Stealth? Reflects? Buggy abilities/traits? Having a Warclaw? Not having a Warclaw? Server coverage? Server lag?

    The answer: yes.

    The problem is, I don't know what should be considered "normal", so asking me to point out what needs to be fixed is foolhardy. ANET develops the game, it should be ANET to broadcast what their vision is for WvW and how it should work. You show/tell me that, and then I can point to flaws or issues that need addressing.

    Until then, people are just going to tell you what they "want" or "would like", which doesn't suggest, in any way, that it would be good for balance, or the game in general.

    This...otherwise it's just another smoke screen. We'll see.

    Playing the PvE scene because WvW is just "BAD"...

  • First off I want to say thank you for the communication! Competitive players are frequently starved of any sort of communication so this is a great follow-up to the earlier feedback threads.

    My perspective is rather narrow as I am and always have been a Mesmer player in WvW (roaming/zerg, Chrono/Mirage/Core, whatever the situation requires) so I can't/won't contribute majorly to specific class-based discussions, other than Mesmer and the few classes i've experimented with for particular situations and builds.

    That being said:

    • Permanent stealth classes aren't fun, especially when the second they drop out of stealth you're instantly dead in one hit with no counter except constant reveals. Backstab is the largest offender of this, or whatever the Thief dagger skill is that's sort of a sideways swinging animation and they always try to stab you in the butt, but I think it's Backstab. Deadeye rifle skills are very well telegraphed on the other hand and you can actually dodge a potential shot coming at you with visual/audio cues, even fresh out of stealth. (Sorry Thieves I have no idea what your skills are called.)
    • Leading on from above, either lowering the duration of some stealth abilities or giving more varied classes reveals would be wonderful. (As a Mesmer I can manipulate stealth magic to cloak myself, but can't remove that cloak from another person?)
    • Recent Chrono changes and the loss of Illusionary Persona are absolutely atrocious in WvW, as clones have a propensity for getting cleaved out of existence by AoE bomb around a second or so after spawning, leaving the spec effectively unplayable outside of niche situations.
    • Phantasms have the same issue as above, but that is a general Mesmer issue rather than something Chrono-specific, although I haven't extensively tested Chronophantasma in a WvW setting. (Still need to investigate if running Protected Phantasms might somewhat alleviate this for Phantasmal Berserker DPS builds.)
    • Chrono wells are stationary, requiring the group you're supporting to remain standing in them for sometimes up to three seconds - standing still in WvW is almost a guaranteed death sentence, and coupled with the recent changes gives almost no reason to bring a Chrono over any other class.
    • Firebrand remains the most dominant support like it's (almost?) always been since the release of PoF. On multiple occasions I've tried to replicate at least some of the stability-giving functionality of a Firebrand on a full Minstrel Chrono/Core Mesmer (ye olde mantra mesmer from way back) along with the healing potential on a Giver's Druid, and it's evident that I'm just way outclassed in both setups - particularly in terms of baseline boon durations from skills and amount of cleanses.
    • However, healing support classes such as Tempest and Scrapper are both incredibly viable and it gives people a choice rather than shoehorning them into just one healer class, which is wonderful.

    Apologies for the large and in-no-particular-order text wall, but these are just some of the glaring issues I can think of on-the-spot without planning and writing an essay on the subject (it's very hard to stop typing once you start). Any and all changes are definitely welcome as the current balance is already rather stagnant, along with two of the most egregious offenders (Firebrand/Scourge) retaining their dominance, and I feel targeted changes will be necessary to bring things into line.

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  • Za Shaloc.3908Za Shaloc.3908 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you Cal for your contribution so far, and welcome to your new position. Although I don't know all the other previous competitive team devs' game history, knowing that you are knowledgeable, have experience. and seem to care about these aspects is truly refreshing. I for one am very excited to have you in this position. I am at work right now so cannot make a detailed reply, but I am really grateful for you making this thread and for continuing to reply in it rather than abandoning it right after posting it. I urge you to please keep this up. It is something that I, as a passionate gamer, really find hope in, and I know I am not alone in that. It seems you understand that there are a lot of passionate people, and although some salt may come from a bad place, it is most often expressed frustration at the game mode coming from wanting to see it thrive and succeed. I know that balancing WvW is a daunting task and truly an impossible feat to ever reach perfection on, but you having a real dialogue with us makes a tremendous difference because it makes us feel not just heard, but paid attention to. Having a change like the Scourge change with such little follow-up felt like a punch in the gut because it felt like a decision that honestly wasn't thought through very well, and a decision that negatively impacted the spec in the wrong sort of ways; almost an inverse effect of the intention.

    I will write a more detailed response at some point when I have the the time, but again, I really thank you for making this post. Having the devs actually have a conversation with us is really awesome and something that I hope continues.

  • @Cal Cohen.2358 said:

    @TinkTinkPOOF.9201 said:
    Would first like to say welcome, it's been a while since we have had any real communication on these matters by anyone with any kind of competitive mindset. With that said, be ready for lots and lots of negative comments... Maybe even from myself, but would like to point out that its not targeted at you or the new team, but years of frustration by many people who might come off as mad, but they are mad because they still care about the game and want to see progress for it.

    I understand the frustration that comes from being super passionate about something and I don't hold it against anyone. As long as we keep it clean (no personal attacks, general forum rules apply, etc) good feedback can always be gathered.

    Bonus: Here's a video that highlights my thoughts on competitive communities (and really what makes them great)

    We need an updated vial of salt, maybe a legendary pvp amulet called saltmine ;)

    Raid League Admin - gw2raidleague.com - youtube.com/GW2RaidLeague - discord.gg/YkxCMWV
    (rip vabbi.eu)

  • GDchiaScrub.3241GDchiaScrub.3241 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Samug.6512 said:
    Just a quick and kind reminder, there's a really cool and forgotten system of combo fields + finishers, with tons and tons of ideas popping up from players over the years, regarding priorities of finishers etc.

    Ikr? Kind of wish the boon/condi spam wasn't a single action and instead required coordination with said combos...


    Holy Warriors of [Kazo] following Kazo doctrine guided by, Our Lord and Commander, Zudo in the holy Trinity of Him and his two firm glutes.

  • Gamander.7269Gamander.7269 Member ✭✭
    edited October 23, 2019

    Interesting to see a lot of pre-HoT nostalgia. I started playing after PoF but I've watched some old videos. The zerg fights were mostly melee and lasted longer, one side would be lucky to down and kill 1-2 players before regrouping. Today with the Warclaw those killed players would probably be back and fighting before any side gained a decisive numerical advantage.

    Careful what you wish for. Nerf the power too much and you may end up with endless fights with no winner. Or maybe these standoffs could be used in a larger strategy?

    I think currently ranged classes are too powerful. It's particularly painful when you are outnumbered. Just getting close to the enemy zerg is often suicide. The only class I enjoy playing these days is Spellbreaker with the long invulnerability and the blocks. I can run into the enemy, do some CC and damage and run back out. Everything else is either instant death or staying at full range pretending to do some damage.

  • Sleepwalker.1398Sleepwalker.1398 Member ✭✭✭✭


    Welcome Cal and all the best in your new role Ben.

  • There are three areas I see as primary issues in the current meta that are setting precedent for the future, which will be a trip further into the wrong direction.

    1. Boon spam
    2. Corrupt spam

    The focus on boon management and corruption is a poor choice of direction. It removes a lot of the skill aspects of the game that made the gamemode thrilling. Now, if a small, coordinated group goes p against a large, coordinated group, it is, for the most part, a one sided slaughter because there are more scourges then the firebrands can handle. It is no longer a multi tiered approach between health, conditions, boons and outgoing DPS. The fights i've been in recently are mostly waiting until the threshold of FB cooldowns are hit, and then corrupting and killing. It reduces the amount of counterplay and the nuance in group fights that used to be in the game.

    1. 1 shotting to open a fight

    The other issue is 1 shotting, particularly to begin a fight. This used to be mostly LB ranger, now is predominantly thief/DE, and the occasional FA ele. Again, this decreases the amount of counterplay available, thereby decreasing the diversity of builds. It's a trend that is moving the game to escalating DPS as much as possible to kill faster, resulting in quicker fights that are dependant more on numbers then they are on individual player skill. Classes like revenant and spell have high damage as well, but atleast have to build up might, time dodges, setup CC or bursts, and then pull off a combo. They also have higher risk/reward levels then classes like thief, who can stealth away, or ranger, who can bird away.

    Short term, the strength of firebrand and scourge (which has been documented well enough on this thread already) is a problem, as well as the ability to essentially instadown people are what I would consider primary pain points.

    Long term, the trend of maximizing damage at the cost of everything else is the most troubling. It reduces the amount of counter play, build diversity and importance of skill in the game.

    Also, as a warrior main, I am sincerely asking you remove Endure Pain from the game. Okay thanks <3

  • morrolan.9608morrolan.9608 Member ✭✭✭

    @God.2708 said:
    So to address the broad spectrum of your inquiry in one big post.

    Background: Two year commander of a 15-30 man guild group on NA. Day one player. Play every class proficiently (though not necessarily expertly) in a zerg setting. My approach will be directed at group fighting as defined as 10+v10+ in all situations (open field, assaulting keeps, GvGs), but will attempt to accommodate roaming. If the balance team wants I will DM them unsanitized clips of my play to provide context to my statements.

    The following will be divided up into a short term look at classes then a longer term play style analysis. I will try my best to define problems, but leave solutions up to the balance team to make

    Short Term: The biggest pain points are the overbearing control scourges have over both melee and ranged. Basically how it's been since the release of PoF. Everything below will be looking through that lense.

    Basically all the problems of current WvW balance are encapsulated in this post.

    With that being said I just want to raise another glaring issue for WvW beyond balance and the population disparities, which are I acknowledge the 2 most pressing problems with the mode. Completing the triumverate of major WvW issues is there being nothing to play for, no real reason to play the mode as designed, ie winning the matchup. I'm unsure whether this is the right thread for this but as I feel the balance problems have been succinctly summarised in the post above and by others I just wanted to raise it.

  • kiranslee.4829kiranslee.4829 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 23, 2019

    Consider perma stealth thieves, perma evade eles with insane dmg, and ofc mirage. And pls remove stupid rampage.

  • Too many classes have access to perma boons (25 might and prot are the culprits here - see soulbeast and Holo) boons should create windows of opportunity for opponent players to go on the offensive or defensive when they are able to create a small boon advantage, not allow them to be unkillable AND dealing huge damage with no vulnerable windows.

    Corrupts create too much cover condos, requiring huge amounts of condo clear, making builds that focus on a single condi useless or builds that lack consistent condi clear deadweight. Each class (or elite spec) should be tied to 2-3 condos only and should focus primarily on applying those condos. Corrupts should not work on a direct boon -> condo conversation but rather convert any number of boons into a specific condi. Eg a scourge boon corrupt will always strip x boons and then apply always y torment and y cripple (as those are it's class condos). Then mass condi clear can be reduced.
    Bonus idea - condos are split into two groups damage and debuffs. Condi cleanses are split into two groups, mass and singular. Mass cleanses remove all debuffs but never damaging condos, allowing windows of opportunity. Singular cleanses remove the current highest dps condi on you. This prevents damage condos to be covered by debuffs and allows more decesion making during fights.

    Dodge spam - the +30/40% endurance foods are much to strong, now that classes can use Dodge to remain invulnerable AND apply pressure (thrift warrior Holo mirage) remove them. Also look at sigil of energy. Dodges should be a fight changer that is well timed, not something that is spammed constantly.

    Heal spam - too many traits provide massive health regeneration over time for no cost -especially when paired with perma protection and infinite Dodges creates way too much sustain for little investment.

    Permastealth - remove the 'marked debuff' remove cd on missed theif stealth attacks. After 3/4 seconds in stealth characters now start to fade back into visibility while they continue to remain in stealth. Basically after a short while in stealth they should start to look to enemy players like the translucent version of themselves that you see on your own screen when stealthed. This give you short stealth windows while in combat and 'semi stealth' over your long permastealths that a vigilant enemy could still track you in.

    Buff backstab damage but make it apply a short stun/imobilize, and then the damage after a delay. The skill itself is still then a surprise from stealth with big damage, but has counterplay because if the enemy can stun break/condicleanse they are spared the backstab damage.

    Base HP - since the game came out it has become much more spammy with classes having access to more and more skills on lower CDs with high damage. This leaves low hp classes like theif and ele more vulnerable than ever as a single mistake can outright kill them. HP is your blanket against burst but with such low values these classes are forced to invest into it to get any semblance of survivability. When you consider it also takes 3 other attributes to do any considerable power damage you can see why thief is always shoehorned into marauder as their only stay option. This contributes to the prevalence of the current condo theif build as it needs only 2 offensive attributes opening more opportunities to shore up it's low survivability and creating a low skillcap build

  • Combofields -a great thing in "core" Guild Wars 2
    About the TTK- Take a look at gameplay from 2012/13,
    it wasn't a perfect meta but it felt very very good to play compared to now.

  • ZDragon.3046ZDragon.3046 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Ferelwing.8463 said:
    Honestly, I think it starts with boon share first and how many boons/stacks of boons can be pumped out and then it moves to boon corruption. I can understand in the PVE zones the need for boon and boon corruptions to be used on mobs but in WvW, I think the problem is widespread. Going down to the basics on how many boons should be shared and how much corruption to give would be an excellent start. Basically, there's too much power creep and while that is fine in PVE because the base-line mobs are kinda over-tuned in some places, it's not fine when playing PvP or WvW.

    Pretty much this to be honest however in relation to pve zones meets boon corrupts.

    if he were to ask this question about pve i would say that boon corruption should be extremely minimal at most
    Most pve mobs dont generate boons and the majority of the ones that do are usually within fractals under certain instabilities only and in some raid instances.

    ideally in both situations wvw and pvp boon share, generation, and application need to come way way down. Then adjust boon corrupts like you said to be roughly minimal so that its still a key feature of necromancer but not a blockade tool where 1 profession is built around managing the other 8. This is bad design for the health of the game and general and the necromancer class as it cannot be built or adjusted higher potential in areas necromancer players have been asking for because "well you have boon corruption in super generous amounts" but it only has that because its being forced to pretty much solo manage the other 8 professions who splatter boons allover themselves. The fact that it had a whole elite designed around this where every single one of its utilities even its heal corrupts boons says something is wrong.

    I would 100% support the reduction of boon corrupts only if first boons in general return to pretty much what they were pre HoT where classes that could self generate high might count were limited in other boons much like the necromancer still is while other classes who can generate a wide range of boons generally cant generate much might at all or are suck at a much lower self might cap.

    The moment you look at pve the boon corrupts become nearly pointless and useless as a mechanic wasting necromancer potential. I hope they open a pve thread so I can discuss the idea of most boon corrupts replaced or getting additional effects against boon-less foes in pve only.

  • @Cal Cohen.2358 said:
    I do want to have a bigger discussion about the current state of the warclaw, but that's a separate topic. For now I'm trying to catch up with this thread, and we will definitely be keeping an eye on other threads moving forward.

    I got constructive feedback waiting for it.

    @Cal Cohen.2358 said:
    This is really the crux of a lot of things we want to address. Boons vs corrupts, damage vs healing, stability vs cc, among so many other things. These are all in the state of being extremely powerful as a way to counter the other side being extremely powerful, and are all things that we want to address moving forward. It's important to keep these balanced against each other, but we want the power level to come down.

    Just be sure to tweak them in pairs. Don't lower (example) corruptions without lowering some boon spam in the same patch to kind of keep things level. Unless one is drastically weighted favorable already. Otherwise the balance will tilt one way or the other way to hard.

    I think if you want to make outlier classes like ranger/ thief ect feel like they matter more for larger scale combat you should look into downstate. You can pick someone at 1k+ range/port in and burst them but finishing them before their 49 buddies pick them up is nigh impossible. Making your effort wasted. Downstate is something I've disliked about guildwars2 since day one. That could be a discussion thread on its own most likely.

    In regards to cc and stab......this one is tricky. I think the only classes that have a surplus is really warrior and holosmith (to a lesser extent ele? but its heavily wep load-out reliant.) Its when it gets blobby that it gets out of control and the lack of a CC DR or immunity that isn't removable makes the issue rise to the surface. Stuns should feel powerful but shouldn't be spammy and oppressive. Not sure if making stability an effect like superspeed would be a good or bad thing but its a thought that crossed my mind. Obviously it would need re-balancing duration and application. Maybe tied to stun breaks so more classes that lack stab get a little love. By tied to stun breaks I mean set it so that IF you break a stun THEN you get say 2 seconds(random number for example) of un-stripable cc immunity so you can do something. If you don't break a stun then you get nada. Just thinking outloud.

    The salt video made me laugh +1

  • Baldrick.8967Baldrick.8967 Member ✭✭✭

    Remove retaliation from wvw, or give it an internal cooldown so it ticks once per second or so.
    Give thief skills a cooldown between use of 0.5 seconds so their 'muscle memory' (read macros) will have to be adjusted so instead of 6 skills in 0.1 of a second you might have a chance of reacting before he's disappeared again.
    Scourge needs a general kicking or you need to work on how several scourge effects pile up.
    Boons and boon strips in general need a rework. Boons need to be spread over more classes with lower maximum stacks and/or lower duration and targeting less people.
    Rapid fire should be changed to one fast unblockable arrow IF other changes to maximum damage per skill is also changed, as below:

    **No skill should remove more than 20-25% of a player's maximum HP. ** the actual figure is up for debate.

    A cap is needed to maximum damage received and/or maximum damage output per target per second. You could still instantly die but it will be damage from multiple sources.

  • LetoII.3782LetoII.3782 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 23, 2019

    @Chaba.5410 said:

    @Tuchanka.5148 said:
    Combofields -a great thing in "core" Guild Wars 2
    About the TTK- Take a look at gameplay from 2012/13,
    it wasn't a perfect meta but it felt very very good to play compared to now.

    Someone gets it!

    There was certainly a feeling of more teamwork during the combo era. Even if nobody cared about anything but blasts.
    But, group action was also much easier then. Guardian shouts and virtues for example had 1200 range. The much smaller contemporary buff radius makes interaction by movement the new group challenge. Though many defeat that by standing still and relying on a chokepoint.

    [HUNT] the predatory instinct

  • @AllNightPlayer.1286 said:
    WvW balance needs a limit on boons and conditions.
    It shouldn’t be possible for player character to get 25+ stacks of bleeding or 10+ stacks of burning for example. Or conditions, which lasts longer than 20 sec.
    It shouldn’t also be possible, to get or stack boons up to a duration beyond 1 min. It should only be possible for skills/traits to provide a boon or boons with 30 sec max. by 100 % boon duration.

    You bring up an excellent point. I suggest diminishing returns on conditions and boons. Condition / boon application 1 through X (where X is an amount to be determined fair, such as 5 stacks of stability or 5-10 stacks of bleed) will be at 100% duration, effect Y application of the same effect will be at decreased duration.

    Example : Subject applies 5 stacks of Stability through Stand Your Ground. This Subject then stands on a stability road from a Revenant using the Dwarf Legend. The pulsing stability has its duration reduced by say 10%. Subject then has 6 stacks of stability and is effected by another Stand Your Ground, bringing the stability count up to 11. The third application of Stability is reduced in duration by 50% or more.

    I suggest including a checksum to ensure that each condition / boon has a duration of at least 1 second if it has a duration over 1 second.

  • God.2708God.2708 Member ✭✭✭

    @Chaba.5410 said:

    @Tuchanka.5148 said:
    Combofields -a great thing in "core" Guild Wars 2
    About the TTK- Take a look at gameplay from 2012/13,
    it wasn't a perfect meta but it felt very very good to play compared to now.

    Someone gets it!

    It used to take coordinated teamwork to get that 25 stack of might and other boons on everyone. Now it is just forehead and combo fields are almost an afterthought, except for stealth though.

    Make Combo Fields Great Again

    I'm just going to point out to everyone in rose tinted glasses that the TTK is basically the same. You stack 50 people together and someone getting obliterated is going to happen. The two fundamental differences between now and then that give the appearance that TTK was really high is

    1. Everyone rallies. There was no 1 to 1. Both groups contact and drop 3+ players each and shortly after most of them are right back up because someone got finished.
    2. Stability being a stack and corrupt being rarer meant it felt less 'bad' to run into a fight because you wouldn't turn into a bouncing pinball and then drop, which drastically changes how you perceived TTK.