Crowd Control: a Defiance Bar Tutorial Proposal — Guild Wars 2 Forums
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Crowd Control: a Defiance Bar Tutorial Proposal

Hailsa!
So, after a few years have passed since the Defiance Bar was added as a combat mechanic, i have often wondered, "would there ever be a tutorial for new players?"
I posed this question several times. I have been asked this question countless times when teaching new players how to play the game. We have the ability to dodge shown to us in certain areas of every starter zone out there. we have the ability to hover over our skills to reveal tooltips as a way of explaining how each skill works. Vet players will often teach new players how to use and make effective use of combos and finishers, and we have, when they were necessary, explained to new players what a defiance bar was, and what CC (crowd control, for those of you new) was used. With CC being a now more heavily used mechanic in all game modes, I feel that there legitimately needs to be a definitive tutorial to what CC actually is, how effective it can be, and... why it is necessary.
While I am not quite sure how a tutorial of sorts can show how to counter crowd control techniques in the competitive modes, I do, however, think I have an idea of how to teach new players how to break that defiance bar. it involves the starter zones, and what already exists in certain places in the zones: the champ fights.

aside from the invasions that happen from Joko's minions, there aren't many champs running around the starter zones, and for good reason. the average new player would have difficulty attempting to 1-man or even 2-man a champ in a fight. when it comes to the bandit champs in queensdale, the chance that the executioner spawns drastically reduces this possibility, as i have seen countless bodies hit the ground from an executioner, either by the players running away, or the executioner ending them quickly. Largely, this has to do with the fact that the champs are very strong, the legendaries even stronger, and it kind of puts the players in a position of needing a group effort to take them down. The champs have a defiance bar, and vets will likely run to the champ, break the bar, and make the fight easier. but during these fights, nothing is shown to the new player how that defiance bar could be broken by them.

here's my proposal.
somewhere, in the starter zones, there would be a champ that is not so powered up, but not so easy to defeat. it could be fenced off or in an area that a player would have to deliberately go to. an NPC would be nearby waving the player over to them upon approach. provided the player speak to the NPC, the NPC would warn the player about the danger of the champion, but offer a solution. if the player could, somehow, remove the champions defiance (we could call it a shield, if this was even possible), the player would have an easier time, and a reward would be given for their effort. to reduce the possibility of farming, the reward would be something simple, no higher than the recommended max level of the map, and possibly account bound on acquire (idk, make something up that makes sense here).

The new player would have to agree to the terms of the fight then enter the fight. this mechanic exists as it is used on a few hero challenges. the NPC could, if the player asks "how do i break this defiance bar(shield), explain that certain skills have the ability to (insert something such as pull push knockdown knockback stun daze confuse immbobilize or cripple) the champion, and that "surely the player might have such skills." what this does is 2 things: first, it causes the player to actually look at the tooltips to see what their skills do. if they find their skill can create CC of some sort, then they have the tools needed. if not "perhaps you will return when you do?"

regardless of how or when this happens, the player eventually succeeds in entering the fight. throughout the fight, there could be oppurtunities for the bar to reset (perhaps at 50%, let's make it easier) asking the player to break the bar (shield) again. the fight can either succeed or fail, and yes the player can be defeated. I say this because this should be a teaching moment, but it should also be a challenge. similar to the dodge tutorial where, if unsuccessful, spikes would come up causing knockback and possibly bleeding damage, the failed attempts would "thwap" the player for an unsuccessful attempt.

why this works: New players these days learn their skills as they obtain them. while it has been blatantly clear that auto attack skills can easily dispatch mobs in the starter zones this would actually be a way to enforce the need for the player to use other skills to make the challenge work and the CC skills taught. the player would gain a better knowledge of what their skills do, as well as obtain CC knowledge that, if retained, would overall benefit them in the long run, especially if they enter competitive modes. it is a way that not only rewardss the character for "hard work" but teaches them what they can and can not do.

but what if... the beginner's skills do not have CC attached to them? could they ask for help? yes! and this would encourage group play.

lemme know what you think. feel free to bash it. i already know that is gonna happen.
thanks in advance.

Comments

  • I think defiance itself is the issue. I know about it. I know how it works. I know how to counter it and to use what skills. But I forget about it. It is simple as that. I do not watch the healthbar of a foe that much. there is more then enough screenclutter and to be frank, I do not care about his health. He'll be death when he'll be death. There is another type of effect that involves the healthbar and that is change of enemy behaviour. This happens most commonly in Raids, but also during certain story bosses and world bosses. But that effect is very much visible in the game itself. The boss is doing something else or suddenly the event changes to defend the megalaser and it's batteries.

    To make defiance work for me, I do not need a tutorial, but I need two things.
    1: less screen clutter. Make sure information given during fights are important information.
    2: a strong visual effect to make sure you know and see you need to do something else. A good example could be to give the boss a strong coloured auro to indicate that it's defiance bar needs to be broken, and also make a circle on the ground around him visualising the bar. Make it stand out

  • Asum.4960Asum.4960 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 11, 2020

    While a tutorial itself won't be bad, it's not a solution for GW2's issues.

    They can't just put a mechanic tutorial into the starter zones and then forget about it in the next 100h of content a casual player will play either.
    If Anet actually wants to reduce the skill gap of players, then they need to stop shying away from making the game progressively harder, numerically and mechanically, as the game progresses in story and levels, which would require them going back to old content and to alter it, by raising the bar, instead of keeping up with releasing every new LW and story as yet another snooze fest barely qualifying as gameplay, or even going back to past content and nerfing it into the ground because players who haven't learned to play the game are struggling with it.

    Casual players don't even think about breakbars (and most other mechanics) because they don't matter in the content they play, since everything is so easy you can just auto attack while auto walking in a circle and be fine through 90%+ of GW2's content.
    And whenever they follow their vision to create an interesting and fun game with some challenges, they cave to the expected push back of some struggling vocal players, and instead of letting them grow with the content, nerf it into the ground before they have the opportunity to do so, so people can keep on auto attacking, missing out on what the game actually has to offer in terms of systems and gameplay.

    As long as Open World and story stays in the realm of being beatable by resting your head on the 1 key and taking a nap, players will keep hitting a seemingly unbeatable wall when trying to breach some of the challenging content in game, to which all interesting game mechanics have been relegated to exclusively.
    Similarly, they can't put in one story instance with a boss that suddenly has a breakbar, no matter how easy the fight other wise is (see Eater of Souls), and then forget about it again, as even that will be like a brick wall to those players. The game needs to consistently challenge people on at least some level, so players keep in mind to cover certain mechanics in their build, like bringing some CC and being mentally prepared when and how to use it.

    Showing someone something once and then forgetting about it and never using it is not how you teach, consistent exposure and challenge until it becomes natural is.
    If players consistently encounter breakbars with meaningful consequences for failing to engage with the mechanic, both in open world and story content, you can be sure they will grow as players (while complaining about it at first until they learn), and eventually will be capable of more seamlessly transitioning into the more engaging parts of the game, which can then get more development focus due to the higher population.

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  • @blackheartgary.8605 said:

    but what if... the beginner's skills do not have CC attached to them? could they ask for help? yes! and this would encourage group play.

    This is the real issue. In all likelihood, no starter character WILL have CC, as I dont even think any of the profession start weapons even have, much less waiting till all weapon skills are even unlocked.

    Asking for help? Sure, but from who? Another starter with no CC, or a higher level who is there for some reason? The higher level would either obliterate this thing, or "best case" do the CC and the new player learns nothing anyway as that is already the issue people have with it: a few players do the CC and the rest are just autoing because they dont understand the mechanics.

  • One big problem about CC tutorial would be that certain weapon combos have pretty much 0 CC and the class is lacking in CC utility-wise, too. looking at elementalist
    Meanwhile, some classes have a CC of some sort in auto-attack, like cripple on thief's pistol auto-attack.
    Thus it'd be a mess trying to make a tutorial that works for all (and it'd need to work on all to be any useful).
    Kitty already kinda started making a series on how much various skills CC so guess she should stop procrastinating and get on with it.
    So, click Helpful on this post if you'd like Kitty to continue this series.

    It's Kitty. The young lady who streams and records videos playing various (non-)metabuilds. Raid/fractal videos at youtube.com/LadyKitty, Kittymarks test results at youtube.com/Kittymarks and tinyurl.com/Kittymarks and streams at twitch.tv/ladykittygw2 .

  • sokeenoppa.5384sokeenoppa.5384 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Thorstienn.1642 said:

    but what if... the beginner's skills do not have CC attached to them? could they ask for help? yes! and this would encourage group play.

    This is the real issue. In all likelihood, no starter character WILL have CC, as I dont even think any of the profession start weapons even have, much less waiting till all weapon skills are even unlocked.

    Asking for help? Sure, but from who? Another starter with no CC, or a higher level who is there for some reason? The higher level would either obliterate this thing, or "best case" do the CC and the new player learns nothing anyway as that is already the issue people have with it: a few players do the CC and the rest are just autoing because they dont understand the mechanics.

    There could be environmental weapons around with CC.

    I'll have two number 9s, a number 9 large, a number 6 with extra dip, a number 7, two number 45s, one with cheese, and a large soda.

  • @sokeenoppa.5384 said:

    @Thorstienn.1642 said:

    but what if... the beginner's skills do not have CC attached to them? could they ask for help? yes! and this would encourage group play.

    This is the real issue. In all likelihood, no starter character WILL have CC, as I dont even think any of the profession start weapons even have, much less waiting till all weapon skills are even unlocked.

    Asking for help? Sure, but from who? Another starter with no CC, or a higher level who is there for some reason? The higher level would either obliterate this thing, or "best case" do the CC and the new player learns nothing anyway as that is already the issue people have with it: a few players do the CC and the rest are just autoing because they dont understand the mechanics.

    There could be environmental weapons around with CC.

    I guess. But then it would have to try and make it very clear that "in some point in the future" you will have skills etc that can serve that function, as there wont be environmental weapons and such in normal encounters.

  • otto.5684otto.5684 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Not against a Tutorial. All you need is exposure to it once, or twice to understand how it works.

  • @otto.5684 said:
    Not against a Tutorial. All you need is exposure to it once, or twice to understand how it works.

    precisely why i had this idea. it doesn't have to be super mega difficult. just a way to explain how it works, what defiance is, etc.

    that said...
    the moment i put my fingers on the keyboard to type out this concept, i knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it would take immediate heat from people. I knew, regardless of the fact that i was attempting to promote change with a new idea, there will ALWAYS be 10-100 people immediately condemning it, then instantly complaining about the rest of everything else that they feel is wrong with the game. mind you, no ideas are being offered to actually correct what people feel are "wrong", just like in several other threads on the forums. people are simply expressing their opinions, be it negative or otherwise.
    so you see, I was expecting a negative response. and i got just that.
    for those of you thinking the idea of a way to teach crowd control is a good one, thank you. to everyone else, i respect your opinion, and thanks for the response.

  • How about also updating skill tooltips to include defiance bar damage? Then players can see their actual values outside the wiki, note the differences between (and the existence of) soft vs hard cc, and maybe even those with max dps tunnel vision will start taking notice.

    Some suggestions:

    • Keep the tutorial short but not skippable, so that players who know the drill can breeze through quickly but players who don't (but would otherwise assume they do) can't skip it without learning something.
    • In a personal instance, so players can't carried by other people without understanding the mechanic themselves.
    • Against some object with no hp bar, so they can't brute force their way through the tutorial by killing it.
    • At least the initial object should be nonthreatening like the clams in Ember Bay, so they won't be distracted by their own health or trying to avoid attacks, and they can take the time to read defiance bar info and tooltips. There can be a later mob that does damage.

    Maybe a good place to place for this instance would be at level 10 when players have all five weapons skills and unlock weapon swap, but they get sent here before they get the letter to start the next personal story step. While a racial + class specific trainer would be cool, it would be hard to explain for revenant, so maybe just a racial specific trainer with the dialogue for revenant being similar to: "Hmm, never seen anyone do/fight like that before."

    Inside the instance there could be two tables: one with all of the weapons of the player's class for temporary use, with maybe some descriptions of cc types and how traits can also apply them. The other table could have an assortment of the environmental weapons like rocks and branches, accompanied by snarky comments from the trainer.

    However, placing the tutorial at an early level would also require that some mobs in the leveling maps be updated with defiance bars. (When's the earliest mob with one? Orr?) I think without the constant reinforcement of the mechanic, by the time players actually meet one, they'll have forgotten about it.

  • i love the above idea. to clarify... the earliest mob with a defiance bar is in queensdale... the bandit champs are all equipped with one. in ascalon, the champ ogre. in all starter maps, the joko invasion champs.
    perhaps make an elite mob with a defiance bar for the tutorial?

  • Rauderi.8706Rauderi.8706 Member ✭✭✭✭

    FFXIV has The Smith, which is a "how to play your dungeon role" tutorial string.
    GW2 needs to do something similar. Specific, targeted exercises in a restricted (possibly instanced) space. Use the UI to guide new players to it, and put a Combat Trainer in every capital city. Give rewards for each task completed, with a collection reward for finishing them all.
    But please something more than an easily-dismissed text box that occurs randomly while leveling up...

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  • Defiance Bars in Queensdale for beginners? Did you forget that such complicated actions confuse new players? Remember what they did in the norn start area. Catching fish and give it to the cute small bears was too complicated for new players.

  • @Abdel Muhti.6431 said:
    Defiance Bars in Queensdale for beginners? Did you forget that such complicated actions confuse new players? Remember what they did in the norn start area. Catching fish and give it to the cute small bears was too complicated for new players.

    I am not sure how to respond to this , but i will give it a try.
    First... since Living world season 3, there have been bandit Champions with defiance bars in queensdale. it's been a thing for a bit. I know that might sound strange to some, but trust me, they are there.
    2. what you are stating here about the bears. yes i remember that. but let's not grossly overgeneralize the population of new players. To assume that new players would find pressing f to perform an action is complicated... sounds sophmoric at best.

  • Daddicus.6128Daddicus.6128 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I don't think a tutorial would be useful, unless it were HUGE. There are SO many different kinds of break bars that it would take hours to cover them all.

  • Westenev.5289Westenev.5289 Member ✭✭✭✭

    The perfect training dummy already exists. The chak supporters (not sure of their name) deal no damage and can't be damaged unless they have their breakbars broken.

    So, maybe Chak should invade the starter zones...?

  • All of these things should have been introduced in the Personal Story. Not just once, but start simple and easy and continue to increase in complexity as your character progresses through to level 80. There could be plenty of instances where a character may have to defeat monsters with a hard carapace but do little damage indicating certain skills or weapon combos are required to CC. An arrow can flash over the correct skills as a hint to players the first couple times.

    Maybe even these arenas can be repeated for people who need the extra time.

    It's a matter of handholding at first to show what the game requires at higher levels.

    "That's what" -- She