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Let's Talk About WvW Balance

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to clarify something from today’s blog post while also kicking off a discussion on a topic that’s near and dear to most competitive players: balance.

It’s important to understand that as competitive handles competitive balance, we will continue to primarily use skill splits in order to minimize the impact on the rest of the game. It’s certainly true that not all issues can be addressed through splits, and we will continue to work with the skills team to make sure we are making the right changes for the entire game when splitting is not a viable option.

Mini Balance Roadmap

We have identified the overall power of the game has become an issue and we wish to address this in the competitive game modes.

The next balance update is going to be smaller than usual. We want to make a handful of very targeted changes to address the biggest pain points in the current meta, but we also want to bank some time for bigger plans moving forward. For a future balance update, we are looking at major adjustments across the board. The goal is to re-establish what the overall power level for competitive modes, and then bring everything down to meet that. In true gw2 fashion, everything is on the table.

With that said, we’re not going to nerf just for the sake of nerfing. Every change should make sense, and every change should be working toward a bigger goal. This patch is still super early in development, so I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it’s definitely something we want to talk about more moving forward. As mentioned in the blog post, we want to keep the community involved early and often when it comes to balance.

So, for the purpose of this discussion, consider these two future updates. First for the short-term: What outliers do you see in the current meta? Then think about the big picture: 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.

This post is intentionally starting a broad discussion as a jumping off point into the new communication of the Systems team, but keep in mind that in the future our posts are generally going to be more targeted at specific issues as we won’t have as much time to handle giant discussions.

I wanted to keep this initial post fairly short, so please ask questions about anything that is unclear. Otherwise, let’s talk balance.

cmc

aka cmc
Game Designer on PvP/WvW

Tagged:
<1345678

Comments

  • 🐵🐵🐵🐵 Up Thief 🐵🐵🐵🐵

  • Strider Pj.2193Strider Pj.2193 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for the focus. Agreed that tweaks are vital, and I will leave it to more knowledgeable posters to discern which would be valuable.

    Any splits between PvE and WvW would be welcome to me, even if it means I play a different class.

    Thank you.

    Thank You for the {MEME}

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    This is more of a system wide change but hey why not state it. I would love for conditions to see a rework, i believe it would be overall more healthy for the game if certain skills were turned into dot abilities to preserve the dot playstyle and condies themselves took a backsit from dmg and instead mainly focused on debuffing and weakening.

    Ofc some condies make sense to deal dmg but imo something closer to gw1 would be overall easier to balance, wouldnt scale to silly amounts of dmg/stacks and would overall feel nicer to the player than the current system.

    This is a longterm suggestion btw, im not expecting something like that to happen soon but i think for the longevity of the game its necessary.

  • Lonewolf Kai.3682Lonewolf Kai.3682 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Cal Cohen.2358 said:
    Hi Everyone,

    I wanted to clarify something from today’s blog post while also kicking off a discussion on a topic that’s near and dear to most competitive players: balance.

    It’s important to understand that as competitive handles competitive balance, we will continue to primarily use skill splits in order to minimize the impact on the rest of the game. It’s certainly true that not all issues can be addressed through splits, and we will continue to work with the skills team to make sure we are making the right changes for the entire game when splitting is not a viable option.

    Mini Balance Roadmap

    We have identified the overall power of the game has become an issue and we wish to address this in the competitive game modes.

    The next balance update is going to be smaller than usual. We want to make a handful of very targeted changes to address the biggest pain points in the current meta, but we also want to bank some time for bigger plans moving forward. For a future balance update, we are looking at major adjustments across the board. The goal is to re-establish what the overall power level for competitive modes, and then bring everything down to meet that. In true gw2 fashion, everything is on the table.

    With that said, we’re not going to nerf just for the sake of nerfing. Every change should make sense, and every change should be working toward a bigger goal. This patch is still super early in development, so I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it’s definitely something we want to talk about more moving forward. As mentioned in the blog post, we want to keep the community involved early and often when it comes to balance.

    So, for the purpose of this discussion, consider these two future updates. First for the short-term: What outliers do you see in the current meta? Then think about the big picture: 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.

    This post is intentionally starting a broad discussion as a jumping off point into the new communication of the Systems team, but keep in mind that in the future our posts are generally going to be more targeted at specific issues as we won’t have as much time to handle giant discussions.

    I wanted to keep this initial post fairly short, so please ask questions about anything that is unclear. Otherwise, let’s talk balance.

    cmc

    First, thank you for the communication. It’s great to see at least some interaction with the community. That being said, I do get concern from a lot of the suggestions I see for balance from my fellow players and hope you take some of these with a grain of salt. There’s a reason some companies keep balance a closed topic and for good reason.

    Second, sounds like we’re going to see some dps reduction. That’s fine and all, but please be sure to hand out these nerfs to ALL professions and not just a handful. Also, keep in mind the sustain/defense abilities. It’s already a bit ridiculous how much sustain is given with just a few supporters. This will only worsen if dps is nerfed.

    That’s all I have for now.

    “Be like water”-Bruce Lee

  • Ferelwing.8463Ferelwing.8463 Member ✭✭✭

    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.

    A meta I would be interested in (even if it's a pain) would be one where every class had a place in group raids. Currently, some classes are over-represented and other classes just aren't welcome. While there is the option of inviting scouts/roamers into squads for participation, in my experience only some commanders actually do this. Generally, if they're not with the commander then they're not welcome. Some classes just aren't welcome in squads period because they have very little to offer. I would love to see that change. I think a truly balanced meta would give each class something to offer to the group as well as options to roam/scout.

    I agree with some of the posters about the FB issue. I play a lot of Firebrand, and sometimes I'm staying in game way past when I want to because the need for stability in groups There need to be either other classes who offer it or perhaps we could introduce food that can give stability or something else (potions etc). A bandaid to the problem would be offering food, as in a new one created by Grandmaster chef's or something.

    Also, one of my biggest complaints is the perma--stealth and that so few classes have the ability to break it. Having the traps is practically useless in certain maps (mostly the red map). Nothing is more annoying than a thief/mesmer running all over your base when you have a full squad and can't isolate them to kill them (admittedly this is more a red-map thing than any other map). Either make it so you can drop more than one trap or do something about the perma-stealth.

  • @AllNightPlayer.1286 said:
    WvW balance needs a limit on boons and conditions.
    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.

    why do you want to nerf https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Persisting_Flames ?
    iam using it since years... its a good trait and not over powered.
    stop nerfing balanced traits.

  • shiri.4257shiri.4257 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @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.

    The level is considered balance, when I'm winning. ;)

    Spectre [VII] - Wood League Champion. Making "fight guilds" stack on higher tiers since 2013.
    Michelin rated WvW guild since 2015. The gold standard. Never transferred, never reformed, adapting and reloading with or without Anet.

  • hugo.4705hugo.4705 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 23, 2019

    Outliers? Simple, those annoying red circles scourges and firebrand!!! Something has to be done.

    Here is something to be considered in any gamemode and who got neglected for too much time.
    Engineer's turrets. They have to be fixed. They have to be useful, they must have a place where peoples actually want to use them. The supply crate is the worst Elite ever. Mortar is really meh, and well what does this sneak gyro add apart stealth? Not even bonus damages whereas it's an elite.
    Here is a very good thread about that: https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/87029/thoughts-hopes-ideas-about-engineers-rework-on-pistols-turrets-and-kits
    Kits also feels really clunky how they are: Only grenades/flamethrowers and bombs are mostly used, you will almost never see an elixir gun or the bad gadget kit.
    Some suggested to put kits within F skills and replace them with glyphs. Whereas I think kits is kinda part of the profession it's also due to those nasty kits that us, engie still don't have weapons swap after 6 years. Whereas a swap between hammer-rifle as example would be more than nice. (Adapting to situation CC or Ranged).

    I really want to make a little parenthesis about cast times. The hammer is slloowwwww that you can end up with a short period where you can't use any skills = dps loss.
    But the worst is elementalist, please take a look on glyph cast time, it's even longgggeeeeerrrrrr you have the time to be killed 30x times by enemies. Try summoning an elemental when a blob is charging on you.

    Ah and for the sake of Undyne, buff longbow dragonhaunter! B U F F THAT L O N G B OW. I'm serious. Reduced recharge trait or whatever!

    To end my opinion, I ask to fix holographic shockwave graphic, the way it renders just look like a bug or an unfinished skills. I don't see the nerf to 300 range, 600 must be kept but without CC or Throwing enemies or even easier adding a limit to 3 affected foes max. I like how it got nerfed stupidly whereas in same time mesmer gravity well is okay.... especially why not keeping the skill how it was at pof release for PvE? How it is annoying? Only monsters!

    I MISS THE TIME OF PRE-HOT when my engie used to have 3200 armor and 3200 power, strong in PvP, strong in WvW, strong in PvE. The players got nerfed but the foes can still inflict you insane amount of damages.
    This isn't normal to see everyone using only berserk or condi sets! All the others are useless, what went wrong?

    Shiny links, take a look!
    ->Ideas: Housing , Designing a new lounge , New GameMode
    ->Project: ASURAN/PRIMORDIUS EXPANSION available on WIKI.
    ->NEW: Crucible of Eternity path 4: Legacy on WIKI
    ->NEW Asurapedia

  • Nebilim.5127Nebilim.5127 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 23, 2019

    I feel that WvW is plagued by a disproportional amount of powercreep that came from PvE, mainly the stats, food and then all the stat buffs from objectives which further exacerbates builds and make stuff incredibly overpowering to the point armor literally don't matter and you can hit people for over 15k even if they have 3400 defense.

    Fixing all of this seems almost impossible due to the fact is already rooted in the mode. We can't remove food, unbalanced runes or sigils or remove trailblazer from the game like how spvp have it. However, i think there are some things we can to help mitigate the incredibly amount of powercreep wvw has compared to traditional SPvP. The first thing is to remove ALL passive buffs that increase stats from every single objective. Instead of making players stronger, give them better rewards, more exp, or help towards winning the match up. Second, which would be a bit too hard to pull off, but i would do a blanket damage debuff across everything in the mode. Every class will deal 50% less damage, 50% less boon/condi duration and heal for 50% less, this should greatly help towards making fights a bit slower instead of ending in a blink of a second.

  • TinkTinkPOOF.9201TinkTinkPOOF.9201 Member ✭✭✭✭

    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.

    As you might see a trend already, some people talking about boons, others about corruption etc etc, my stance is that both have become bloated and need to be brought back under control together, changing or "nerfing" only one side will for sure change the meta, but I think would end up making it worse without the extremes of both sides being done together. The power creep (both dmg and boon etc) has seemingly gone on unchecked for some time that when brought down to small scale can result in some broken builds and very low TTK in some cases without a pocket support. You also end up with some builds that can not, even with perfect rotations take down some of the sustain builds without being full glass. The delta from high DPS builds to sustain builds has been growing, there has always been a delta, and some cases in the early GW2 days we had some stand out issues as well, but not at the scale and extreme ends we have currently.

    While this might be on the back burner, we have many troll builds that exist, and in many cases are not even as good as meta builds.. However the main issue with the builds are that they are not fun to fight. There are some of these builds that I have a 80-90% win rate against, yet are one of the builds I see and just dread going into the fight even though I know I have high chance of winning. One example of a horrible "fix" for the stealth monster they made with DE was the affect of marked (Detected!), however using a passive upgrade or the like to effect fights at random depending on location is just horrible, it also affects builds that were not a part of the stealth problem.

    @Pansoul.9436 said:
    When will alliance come out?

    Agreed.

    However....First question might be if the new balance team has anything to do with population/matchup changes, they may or may not have anything to do with it.

    "When you power creep the game and make it so that spam gameplay is nearly as effective as deep knowledge and nuance, the quality of players will decrease." -Exedore

  • @Turkeyspit.3965 said:
    What we have to say carries little weight. Whatever I have to say about 'x' will be rebutted by those who main 'x', often with an invitation to 'git gud', as well as a comparison to 'y' as evidence that 'x' is fine.

    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:

    Please listen to this guy!!!! Its exactly what needs to be done

    SnoopysRevenge

  • Acheron.4731Acheron.4731 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Caysadia.7405 said:

    Oh and buff shattered aegis

    lol, i knew that was coming

    Don't Worry, My Dutch is OK

  • In current zerg meta projectile hate is one of the biggest outlier. Firebrand as example can keep projectile reflects up almost permanently with no effort.
    Because of vast projectile hate, you are forced to use non projectile ranged damage, or be melee (meleeing is also near impossible because of scourge corrupts and the spellbreaker elite, making ranged pressure most popular type of damage).

  • SWI.4127SWI.4127 Member ✭✭✭

    The biggest outlier I see is that Scourge has all the AoE and hits 10 targets for some reason. There's just no other class that comes close to that amount of cleave, and it takes very minimal effort or skill. Press 1 button and hit 10 targets around you.

    As others have mentioned, boons are a huge problem as well. Even if shade damage was nerfed (which it has been many times), any zerg will still need scourges to corrupt the enemy boonball. It's a balancing act and I'm out of my depth, admittedly. But those are the main factors at play I see in zerg vs zerg.

    Also I have no idea if you'd be able to change mount skills, but please remove mount stomping from the game. It just incentivizes staying out of combat mounted for the cheese finish.

  • neven.3785neven.3785 Member ✭✭✭

    Personally the overall issue is time to kill is to low regardless of Meta. Most have touched on a key point, boon application is too much and this has started to be addressed last balance patch. Skills should be more focused in my opinion, 2 boons or two condis max per skill.

    Condi duration food should not exist in wvw, it is extremely excessive, allowing for bunker builds to dish out way too much damage.

    Torment and confusion should have their base damage removed. Torment only dealing damage and I moving targets and confusion only dealing damage to skill using players. They are the PvP conditions and should be returned to such.

    Reducing max stack amounts on various condis will help promote a blended meta

  • Swagger.1459Swagger.1459 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 23, 2019

    @Cal Cohen.2358 said:
    Hi Everyone,

    I wanted to clarify something from today’s blog post while also kicking off a discussion on a topic that’s near and dear to most competitive players: balance.

    It’s important to understand that as competitive handles competitive balance, we will continue to primarily use skill splits in order to minimize the impact on the rest of the game. It’s certainly true that not all issues can be addressed through splits, and we will continue to work with the skills team to make sure we are making the right changes for the entire game when splitting is not a viable option.

    Mini Balance Roadmap

    We have identified the overall power of the game has become an issue and we wish to address this in the competitive game modes.

    The next balance update is going to be smaller than usual. We want to make a handful of very targeted changes to address the biggest pain points in the current meta, but we also want to bank some time for bigger plans moving forward. For a future balance update, we are looking at major adjustments across the board. The goal is to re-establish what the overall power level for competitive modes, and then bring everything down to meet that. In true gw2 fashion, everything is on the table.

    With that said, we’re not going to nerf just for the sake of nerfing. Every change should make sense, and every change should be working toward a bigger goal. This patch is still super early in development, so I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it’s definitely something we want to talk about more moving forward. As mentioned in the blog post, we want to keep the community involved early and often when it comes to balance.

    So, for the purpose of this discussion, consider these two future updates. First for the short-term: What outliers do you see in the current meta? Then think about the big picture: 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.

    This post is intentionally starting a broad discussion as a jumping off point into the new communication of the Systems team, but keep in mind that in the future our posts are generally going to be more targeted at specific issues as we won’t have as much time to handle giant discussions.

    I wanted to keep this initial post fairly short, so please ask questions about anything that is unclear. Otherwise, let’s talk balance.

    cmc

    Thank you for the post! Here is my feedback!

    https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/90360/stream-feedback-multiple-topics

    The below link is in the above thread, but I wanted to highlight it as a starter, because it’s related to the topics of skill splits and power creep mentioned in your post...

    https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/88428/mark-jacobs-has-the-right-ideas-about-combat-and-anet-has-the-tools-to-do-something-about-it#latest

  • Acheron.4731Acheron.4731 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Go back to pre-HoT....look at all the modifiers and start chipping away.
    Stick with it doing little changes over time and treat it like a marathon consistently fine-tuning.
    BUT, don't disappear after a single thread. Keep us updated.
    Look at all the work that needs to be done not as an insurmountable task bur rather as job security :)

    Don't Worry, My Dutch is OK

  • coro.3176coro.3176 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 23, 2019

    @neven.3785 said:
    Condi duration food should not exist in wvw, it is extremely excessive, allowing for bunker builds to dish out way too much damage.

    Torment and confusion should have their base damage removed. Torment only dealing damage and I moving targets and confusion only dealing damage to skill using players. They are the PvP conditions and should be returned to such.

    Reducing max stack amounts on various condis will help promote a blended meta

    I have to disagree.

    • Condi duration food is fairly meaningless, given that the vast majority of condi is cleansed long before it ticks out.
    • I don't see why condi should be nerfed (max stacks, torment/confusion changes) when power skills are allowed to hit for full damage. If anything, condi is underpowered compared to power at the moment, given how easily it is cleansed or resisted. If there's an issue with certain condi being applied too easily, then that could be addressed on a class by class basis or on individual skills.
  • Working towards spreading out stability would be a great help. Sometimes you just don't have enough FBs to go around, and need to pester everyone into swapping, or just figure you're going into battle with not enough stab/sustain. Not saying give it to everyone, but another 2 classes (ele? rev? ranger???? (the chaotic evil option)) would even things out in fights and make it less so that if you're not running the ONE PERFECT COMP you're at least guaranteed a fighting chance vs another zerg.

  • Prophet.1584Prophet.1584 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 23, 2019

    @Cal Cohen.2358 said:

    @Acheron.4731 said:

    @shiri.4257 said:
    One side argues there are too many boons. another argues that there are too many strips. what a giant clown fiesta of gamers we have.

    Right, but fixing one can negate the other.
    This was the mess created by ANET in which boon share was too OP so they had to counter that by making corruption easily accessible.
    Look at the biggest 'needs' in wvw. FB (must have), scourge to be carried by and counter opposing FB, bubbles? See where this is going?
    You have to start somewhere.

    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.

    THe best starting point I could possibly give would be to look at the pre-HoT meta for WvW and start tuning things from there. Obviously the new especs will need tuning in order to fit but in that meta neither boons nor boon stripping where out of control, combo fields had to be co-ordinated and used in order to gain boons for engagements and the power level was such that one job didn't dominate the scene. The one addition to that I would make would be that even in the pre-HoT days many jobs had no space a all in wvw but with the addition of especs and with them being tuned properly at the right power level professions that went unused pre-HoT could be viable.

    In PvE you have roles, roles need to be defined in WvW and then decide what profession and what espec will fill that role for the zerg, mid scale(GvG or 20v20), small scale and roaming.

    edit: a lot of these changes should be looked at by your PvE team too honestly, raid content has been made trivial no matter the mechanics you create with the ease of access to boons, ccs, dodges and invulns in the current meta.

  • coro.3176coro.3176 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 23, 2019

    @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.

    Why though? If a player gets hit by enough skills to apply 25+ stacks of bleed or burn, they should absolutely take the damage. If they got hit by that many power skills, they would just have instantly died. Players just don't like getting killed by DoT's and won't accept (or don't realize) that they got hit by the skills in the first place.

  • wasss.1208wasss.1208 Member ✭✭✭

    @coro.3176 said:

    • projectiles - 1 support class in a 5-person group with a bubble or wall may have eg. 20% projectile block uptime. When that scales up to 5 supports in a 50-person group, that's 100% projectile block uptime. That means all projectiles are effectively useless against a coordinated group rotating bubbles/walls because the skills block all incoming projectiles. That heavily skews the meta toward non-projectile damage - which is exactly what we see.

    This is rarely mentioned, but it should be looked at in my opinion. Currently there is no space for projectile based damage dealers (or even supports, if you want to toss elixirs). Giving unblockable to ranged classes would just start an another arms race, similar to stab <-> cc, boon <-> corrupt, so there should be a cap for destroyed/reflected projectiles.

  • Yasi.9065Yasi.9065 Member ✭✭✭

    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.