Is there any chance that the combo system will get an overhaul? It was certainly something that I thought was interesting prior to the release of GW2. However, it's not really living up to its potential right now.
Partly, the issue is that powercreep has made it so that single skills can directly, predictably do what combos used to do. Partly, the issue was always that combos felt like a random, unpredictable side bonus rather than an intentional aspect of gameplay. Especially in groups, where there were so many fields that overwrote others and the battlefield was a blur of particles.
It seems to me that this mechanic is long-overdue for a rethink. If it was as much a main mechanic as other things like boons, conditions, CC, etc., it would be another tool to balance professions and make some stand out from others. Elementalists would be a natural fit for the combo-support+DPS profession.
Just a few suggestions, if you are planning to take a look at combo mechanics:
- Don't overwrite fields. Instead, stack them. You wouldn't let players override each others' damage or support AoEs, and no longer do so with condi applications, so why do so with combos? Obviously, this may result in the need to rebalance combos, or limit more strictly how many times a field skill can apply the combo effect.
- Consider using the field-providing player's stats for the magnitude of the combo effect (while the finisher player could determine things like range, AoE size, or number of targets), and let both halves of the combo share participation/tag credit (unless that's already the case?). Maybe even make the magnitude something that can vary from field to field, to provide more control over balance.
- Be more sparing with fields on skills -- it should be an actual meaningful mechanic of the skill that is considered in skill balancing, just like damage or conditions or CC; not something just slapped on because it's thematically appropriate.
- Let combo fields pulse an actual "combo" effect with a brief duration (something like the guardian justice effect, but probably stackable?) which is removed when a finisher is used. Aside from probably being necessary technically to stack combos, it will also give a little more visibility as to what will happen when a player uses a finisher, allowing combos to be used more intentionally.
- Consider building out the system more -- e.g., a new finisher class, or ways other than fields to apply combo effects.