Changing trait trees to allow core lines to become elite if placed in the bottom slot. — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Changing trait trees to allow core lines to become elite if placed in the bottom slot.

Iozeph.5617Iozeph.5617 Member ✭✭✭
edited December 23, 2018 in Professions

Just something I'd floated in the Engineer forums and wanted players of other professions to chime in.

Would you be interested in a change to trait trees that converts core speclines into elite speclines when placed into the bottom trait line slot? If placed there they are given much-improved versions of their major and minor traits. Lines placed into the top and middle slots stay as baseline versions without these enhancements.

The intent of this proposed change is to allow Core spec lines to remain competitive with current and future elite spec lines and to facilitate better balance between them in order to avoid the feeling of power creep and that one must chase certain metas to be viable across various game modes.

Edit: Bit of clarification based on some comments mentioned below. These aren't going to strictly be six new elites. The proposed change is that the core spec lines will have slight additions or in certain values and modifiers will be adjusted higher in order to bring them more in line with the performance levels of current elite spec lines relative to what they actually do.

Some Examples; A couple talents in the Engineer's Firearms and Inventions tree respectively-

Firearms:

No Scope:

Baseline:
Critical hits within the range threshold have a chance to grant fury. Fury grants you ferocity.
Percent: 100%
Range Threshold: 300
Fury (4s): 20% Critical Chance
Ferocity Attribute Adjust: 150

Enhanced:
Critical hits within the range threshold have a chance to grant fury. Fury grants you ferocity. Rifle, Pistol, Speargun, and Mortar kit Attacks fire 10% faster while under the effects of Fury.
Percent: 100%
Range Threshold: 600
Fury (5s): 20% Critical Chance
Ferocity Attribute Adjust: 250

Inventions:

Experimental Turrets:

Baseline:
Turrets create a reflective barrier when built and grant boons to allies around them on a regular interval.
Flame Turret: Applies Might (10s): 90 Power, 90 Condition Damage
Healing Turret: Applies Vigor (3s): 50% Endurance Regeneration
Net Turret: Applies Swiftness (10s): 33% Movement Speed
Rifle Turret: Applies Fury (5s): 20% Critical Chance
Rocket Turret: Applies Retaliation (3s): Reflect incoming damage back to its source.
Thumper Turret Applies Protection (3s): -33% Incoming Damage
Reflective Shield Duration: 4s
Interval: 10s
Boon Radius: 600
Reflective Shield Radius: 180
Reflects Missiles

Enhanced:
Turrets create a reflective barrier when built, grant boons to allies around them on a regular interval, and are deployable via ground targeting.
Flame Turret: Applies Might (10s): 180 Power, 180 Condition Damage
Healing Turret: Applies Vigor (4s): 50% Endurance Regeneration
Net Turret: Applies Swiftness (12s): 33% Movement Speed
Rifle Turret: Applies Fury (6s): 20% Critical Chance
Rocket Turret: Applies Retaliation (5s): Reflect incoming damage back to its source.
Thumper Turret Applies Protection (5s): -33% Incoming Damage
Reflective Shield Duration: 5s
Interval: 10s
Boon Radius: 900
Reflective Shield Radius: 180
Reflects Missiles

The above are the types of changes proposed. They won't be elite lines created from the ground up but rather refinements and enhancements built upon the pre-existing lines we have. Those playing expac-based elite specs won't have access to them just as those using an enhanced line won't have access to expac-based elites as secondaries. There's no overlap here save that both will use baseline spec lines as secondaries. And as shown above this could also be a way to restore some of the functionality lost from core spec lines when expac-based elites were introduced.

Changing trait trees to allow core lines to become elite if placed in the bottom slot. 35 votes

Yes, I'm would be interested in such a change. Profession balance and maintaining the viability of core specs is important to me and to the life of the game.
42%
Leo G.4501sokeenoppa.5384Zilong.1407InsaneQR.7412ZeftheWicked.3076Elmo Benchwarmer.3025Eme.2018Kumouta.4985Luindu.2418SnowMochi.7602Dajas.4715RavenStar.1206Phantom.2976Detergente Ariel.8147Tycura.1982 15 votes
On the fence. Don't know whether I would or not. I'd have to see and hear more before I got on board.
17%
Curunen.8729Westenev.5289Laila Lightness.8742Cyric.7813ToySoldiers.4509jchacon.5269 6 votes
No, I'm happy with things as they currently stand. I don't want this.
40%
Ayrilana.1396Sigmoid.7082yoni.7015flog.3485Zin Dau.1749Dadnir.5038DonArkanio.6419BattleRattle.5420Mat H.2859steki.1478KeoLegend.5132AlexndrTheGreat.8310LaGranse.8652Vrath.1754 14 votes

Comments

  • RedShark.9548RedShark.9548 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Wont ever happen, how is anet supposed to sell xpacs, when the especs bring no improvements

  • Why would ANet invest time into creating six elite lines per profession when it's a core selling point of expansions? Plus, it's already tricky to balance the game as it stands. It seems evident that it takes a lot of their attention to build elite specs that fit into the game well (and even with all that care, a lot of the community considers the results to be mixed).

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

  • Iozeph.5617Iozeph.5617 Member ✭✭✭

    @RedShark.9548 said:
    Wont ever happen, how is anet supposed to sell xpacs, when the especs bring no improvements

    If we're to take Anet at their word, Elite specs were never intended to be hands-down better than core specs. They were intended to offer something to the professions -a method of play, or a new weapon, which they hadn't had access to before then. I don't see why there isn't room for both to exist here.

    Some players will want to keep to a certain core-based theme, others are going to continue to want for whatever is shiniest and newest at the time. At the utter least this sort of change would bring back some much needed build diversity, but that's just my opinion. I'd love to see what others have to say.

  • ZeftheWicked.3076ZeftheWicked.3076 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 22, 2018
    Yes, I'm would be interested in such a change. Profession balance and maintaining the viability of core specs is important to me and to the life of the game.

    Funny how the guy asks "if you want it", but player's rush to answer why a-net won't...

    This is the work that is needed to set the game's balance right, and propel the game itself into a bright future.
    A true balance is needed to shake up games's fossilized meta, like the infamous "chrono +druid, no necro!" in raids.

    This lack of balance between especs and core specs is already causing massive damage to game. Both it's fun factor (cores not welcomed in raids or high end competitive) and image (almost not P2W) suffer because of the issue.

    Proper balancing of core specs vs elites will boost the sales! Not via sudden hype boost but by people staying and word of mouth. Just look at League of Legends! They aren't afraid to toss time and money into sometimes even complete old champion reworks and balance passes to ensure game stays fun and balanced. No P2W schemes whatsoever, yet their position as MOBA juggernaut stays secured and somehow i don't see them going bancrupt because the whales couldn't buy unfair advantage for $$. If Riot can, a-net can as well.

    It'll most certainly not be money wasted, quite the opposite.

  • RedShark.9548RedShark.9548 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Iozeph.5617 said:

    @RedShark.9548 said:
    Wont ever happen, how is anet supposed to sell xpacs, when the especs bring no improvements

    If we're to take Anet at their word, Elite specs were never intended to be hands-down better than core specs. They were intended to offer something to the professions -a method of play, or a new weapon, which they hadn't had access to before then. I don't see why there isn't room for both to exist here.

    Some players will want to keep to a certain core-based theme, others are going to continue to want for whatever is shiniest and newest at the time. At the utter least this sort of change would bring back some much needed build diversity, but that's just my opinion. I'd love to see what others have to say.

    Have you heard me saying i wouldnt like that change? No, yea me neither.
    What anet says and what they end up doing is another matter.
    Imo an espec should be exactly that, a specialization for specific things, not more or less, but the way they handle it speak a whole other language, so yea, epsecs will always be better, as long as they are coming out new and are the biggest selling point in the game

  • mindcircus.1506mindcircus.1506 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Guild Wars 2 does not need more power creep.

  • starlinvf.1358starlinvf.1358 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @ZeftheWicked.3076 said:
    Funny how the guy asks "if you want it", but player's rush to answer why a-net won't...

    This is the work that is needed to set the game's balance right, and propel the game itself into a bright future.
    A true balance is needed to shake up games's fossilized meta, like the infamous "chrono +druid, no necro!" in raids.

    This lack of balance between especs and core specs is already causing massive damage to game. Both it's fun factor (cores not welcomed in raids or high end competitive) and image (almost not P2W) suffer because of the issue.

    Proper balancing of core specs vs elites will boost the sales! Not via sudden hype boost but by people staying and word of mouth. Just look at League of Legends! They aren't afraid to toss time and money into sometimes even complete old champion reworks and balance passes to ensure game stays fun and balanced. No P2W schemes whatsoever, yet their position as MOBA juggernaut stays secured and somehow i don't see them going bancrupt because the whales couldn't buy unfair advantage for $$. If Riot can, a-net can as well.

    It'll most certainly not be money wasted, quite the opposite.

    Balance doesn't sell....... especially in PvP/WvW. All sides are looking for any advantage they can get, and unbalance is really the only way class Asymmetry works as a concept. But to make the system look fair, you either make the unbalance fluid, or pit them directly against each other (ie the counter play approach). The builds most often called OP are ones which don't have a proper counter, or have no counter part to compete against it. Hence Mesmer/Chorno's current dominance, as it can unbalance combat at a base mechanical level in a way no other class can.

    The second problem is stagnation. Even when given a lot of viable options, the meta wants to be exclusionary. And once its settled on something, the only way to disrupt it is to change things up. Your own example of LOL and DOTA is a huge indication as to why those games were NEVER properly balanced, and constantly rotates changes to keep the meta evolving. The word your looking for is "Competitive". Unlike a "balanced" meta, a competitive meta is proactively trying to both exploit and/or mitigate aspects of interplay to disrupt an opponents strategy for an unfair advantage. The reasons its always sounded stupid in PvE, is because the enemy almost never changes in response to player success. Which is why Raid meta inevitably becomes static, unless you change the classes to disrupt it.

    Which brings us to why Especs dominate positions in nearly every meta. The reason is pretty simple..... Every Espec has to be compatible with 5 Core specs, where as the Core specs only need to be compatible with a sub set of mechanics. This is on top of the fact that Especs also tend to address a Classes' primary weakness in its core concept. So in practice, classes with flexible a Core don't lose that feature when adding Especs. But if a Core isn't flexible, the Espec is forced to be that supplementing element for the class to see wide spread viability.

    For example. Necro's core is built around tanking and self sustain, but is weak against almost every other mechanic in game. Both Reaper and Scourge give Necro offensive power, which now allows Necro to capitalize on its self-sustain. If the Especs weren't able to carry that short fall, no would ever use it..... and did happen when Reaper lost too much of its offensive power, and then later overshadowed by Scourge's ability to front load a ton of trait procs. That reliance on trait procing is what makes Scourge sit on a knife's edge when it comes to viability; and every subsequent minor adjustment in that area results in a dramatic change in scourge's overall performance.

    Ranger would be an example of spec dichotomy, and over specialization in Core. Core Ranger doesn't syenrgize internally, and instead is an additive system. Every choice it makes is a substantial trade off between damage, self sustain, and group dynamics. Druid being Support-only pushed that mutual exclusion problem even further (and was the only Espec to ever do this). Which is why the later increased investment it costs the ranger, pushes it ever further into a pigeon hole, and the binary status that comes from it. Soul Beast on the other hand is a very diverse spec, offering damage, self sustain and group support build options via trait selection. It has internal synergy with all 5 specs, but is additive enough through the Beast mode skills to avoid being a major trade off in the process. This allows SlB to be highly flexible, but doesn't do deep specialization the way druid did (and had to, since Druid wouldn't be worthwhile otherwise).

    Then theres Guardian. Core Guard has the strongest set of core skills in the game, but is coupled with the LEAST useful profession mechanics in the game's history. Even Necro's shroud as a second healthbar did more for that class then the Virtues did for Guardian. Both Especs retool tool Virtues into much higher utility skills, adding to any existing build without even needing to trait specifically for those skills. And while Espec traits specialize in specific areas, the Guard's inherent versatility combined with its innate offensive and defensive support, allowed it to comfortably exist in every single meta. Min/max Raids is the only place where its even remotely iffy; largely because it doesn't have the insane narrow band performance the other classes are getting, to push them into the meta scene.

    The problem here is True Balance is nigh impossible to accomplish. And whenever a game comes even remotely close to that, it immediately gets less interesting beyond its statistical stability. More importantly, True balance means it would NEVER have a reason to want to change. But change, growth, evolution, instability, and the challenge it presents, is exactly what makes it interesting in the first place. From PvP to PvE, if the enemy is too static, they become too boring to be worth our time. Ever wonder why why nearly every single PvE discussion keeps going back to "rewards"? Because so much of modern PvE design is barely engaging beyond its role as an arbitrary obstacle, to some arbitrary reward.

    Which is why a smart Dev never shots for perfect balance, and instead tries for evenly weighted asymmetry. That way, when things get boring, they can just poke it with a stick, or throw something at it, and watch it reorder itself in response.

  • Leo G.4501Leo G.4501 Member ✭✭✭✭
    Yes, I'm would be interested in such a change. Profession balance and maintaining the viability of core specs is important to me and to the life of the game.

    I suggested something similar in the past.

    Looking at the idea now, I think the reason it won't be done is because the professions are already running out of gimmicks, so much so, that the devs have to take away functionality from the core specs just to add it to an elite spec to then sell via an expansion pack.

    That rationalization aside, I think doing such wouldn't be that difficult nor be that extensive if they look into a sort of structure to manage such a feat. For example: rather than changing all the traits and passives, how about just changing the passives and GM traits if the line were set in the "epic" trait slot. Add even more "to do lists", have these additions locked until you perform some quest or whatever. Some of the things you can do is have the 1st passive add changes to a specific weapon(s) that the line could "specialize" in like how Guardians have a trait that changes a hammer skill into another or how Rangers have a trait that add functionality to an Axe skill...but rather than just a single weapon skill, it could be the whole weapon line.

    It could be a means of limiting functionality to make balance easier, like adding/moving functionality to utilities when used in the "epic" slot.

    I think such a change could do a lot to diversifying builds without needing an expansion and a bunch of extra content to do it or pushing this asinine whack-a-mole balancing practices that tend to result in non-problematic playstyles being deleted for the sake of adding other changes that nobody asked for. For example: give me my phantasm Mesmer back, even if I can only use it as a Mesmer with the Illusions tree in the epic slot.

  • ZeftheWicked.3076ZeftheWicked.3076 Member ✭✭✭✭
    Yes, I'm would be interested in such a change. Profession balance and maintaining the viability of core specs is important to me and to the life of the game.

    -snip-

    Balance does sell. Sure it's perfect version where no changes can occure is slow death, but that's like talking about heatwaves when standing on North Pole. RIght here and now, we're in a place where one profession cannot do end game content without it's elite specs (necro) while another can't do with it (scrapper). In a place where we have a handful of viable tanks and healers that can do their job well, but due to mesmer's and druid's overloaded kits they don't get the time of the day in pugs.

    Ofc we can say that it's a player mentality and community issue, but you can' only blame ppl so much, when there are huge, glaring differences in how the meta pick performs vs the rest of the pack. Just looking how much and how easily chronomancer can apply 2 extremely important yet scarce boons (quickness and alacrity) for his entire party makes it very obvious why he's the only tank in meta. Not to mention party-wipe saving distortions.

    On topic of elites vs core there are quite a few cow sized issues.

    • Core necro's dps being around 1/2 of other core professions?
    • Thief having 2 elite specs, yet no role other then pure dps?
    • Mesmer elites being plain overloaded and without much counterplay (mirage) or competition (chrono)?
    • Defensive spellbreaker having damage on pair if not surpassing Berserker's?
    • Holosmith being completely busted when compared to core engi?
    • Soulbeast being essentially a Ranger upgrade, rather then a separate playstyle, with own strengths, but also weaknesses when compared to core?

    ..to name but a few off top of my head. Balancing this elite vs core discrepancy will do a game huge favour, and enage players much deeper. Anyone can pick a chronomancer and learn it over time. But do you play GW2 to do what they tell you to do, or to play your own way? Also there is always the "underdog" push. People want to play offmeta professions and roles and look classy doing so, as long as they got good grip on their character, and it's upcoming challenge. If your game can deliver that then you're in for some big $$.

  • @ZeftheWicked.3076 said:
    Funny how the guy asks "if you want it", but player's rush to answer why a-net won't...

    What if the question was, "would you be interested in ANet increasing the gold generated by dailies to 10g"? That's even easier for ANet to implement. Whether players want that isn't really relevant, because it won't happen.

    The OP identified a solution to a perceived problem rather than starting a discussion about the nature of the issue. And it's not a simple one. There's a design choice on ANet's part to ensure that players have reasons to purchase expansions. There's a fairness question when it comes to competitive game modes. There's a playstyle preference: some people simply prefer the vanilla profs better. Assuming that we could convince ANet that this is worth discussing (or revisiting, even if we players don't participate in the conversation), there are all sorts of ways to address it. Adding six elites might be the most costly among the, and introduces other issues.

    So, no, some of us didn't "rush to answer why ANet won't;" we hoped to convince the OP to rethink the question to take into account some of the issues it raises.

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

  • ZeftheWicked.3076ZeftheWicked.3076 Member ✭✭✭✭
    Yes, I'm would be interested in such a change. Profession balance and maintaining the viability of core specs is important to me and to the life of the game.

    Discussions ™ lead to nothing being agreed upon and solutions coming to a century near you!
    He straight up proposed a solution and yes or no vote - i like his approach!

  • Zin Dau.1749Zin Dau.1749 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 23, 2018
    No, I'm happy with things as they currently stand. I don't want this.

    @Iozeph.5617 said:
    The intent of this proposed change is to allow Core spec lines to remain competitive with current and future elite spec lines and to facilitate better balance between them in order to avoid the feeling of power creep and that one must chase certain metas to be viable across various game modes.

    1. Why should we care that Core specs be equally is viable as elite specs? That's your false assumption.

    2. Why would you think making Core specs stronger lead to better balance? That's another false assumption.

    3. Wouldn't making Core specs stronger lead to more power creep, which goes against your wanting to avoid? Self-contradiction.

    4. How do you avoid that one Core spec become better than and desired over others, and thus become the meta over all other Core specs?

    5. Generally speaking, is how people misunderstand what meta(game) is, and somehow feel think can control it or direct it (especially with such vague, unreachable, unprovable methods or justifications like "better balance").

  • Kas.3509Kas.3509 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 23, 2018

    It would mean they need to create like 5x elite trait tress per profession - so like 45 elite versions of traits - that would be balanced and not OP or UP. I don't think its possible :P See how many balance issues there are already.

  • sokeenoppa.5384sokeenoppa.5384 Member ✭✭✭✭
    Yes, I'm would be interested in such a change. Profession balance and maintaining the viability of core specs is important to me and to the life of the game.

    Sword/dagger thief buff you Said? Im all in for that :p

    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.

  • Laila Lightness.8742Laila Lightness.8742 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 23, 2018
    On the fence. Don't know whether I would or not. I'd have to see and hear more before I got on board.

    Yeah but also not entirely> @Iozeph.5617 said:

    @RedShark.9548 said:
    Wont ever happen, how is anet supposed to sell xpacs, when the especs bring no improvements

    If we're to take Anet at their word, Elite specs were never intended to be hands-down better than core specs. They were intended to offer something to the professions -a method of play, or a new weapon, which they hadn't had access to before then. I don't see why there isn't room for both to exist here.

    Some players will want to keep to a certain core-based theme, others are going to continue to want for whatever is shiniest and newest at the time. At the utter least this sort of change would bring back some much needed build diversity, but that's just my opinion. I'd love to see what others have to say.

    Take a look on war power dmg core war is more preffered over spellbreaker. Condi its berserker but dont say core spec dont compete with especs for some proffesions has terrible especs. Even core guard is accepted.

  • ZeftheWicked.3076ZeftheWicked.3076 Member ✭✭✭✭
    Yes, I'm would be interested in such a change. Profession balance and maintaining the viability of core specs is important to me and to the life of the game.

    @Laila Lightness.8742 said:
    Yeah but also not entirely> @Iozeph.5617 said:

    @RedShark.9548 said:
    Wont ever happen, how is anet supposed to sell xpacs, when the especs bring no improvements

    If we're to take Anet at their word, Elite specs were never intended to be hands-down better than core specs. They were intended to offer something to the professions -a method of play, or a new weapon, which they hadn't had access to before then. I don't see why there isn't room for both to exist here.

    Some players will want to keep to a certain core-based theme, others are going to continue to want for whatever is shiniest and newest at the time. At the utter least this sort of change would bring back some much needed build diversity, but that's just my opinion. I'd love to see what others have to say.

    Take a look on war power dmg core war is more preffered over spellbreaker. Condi its berserker but dont say core spec dont compete with especs for some proffesions has terrible especs. Even core guard is accepted.

    Yes, but it's not a rule, more like exception to it. Most cores fall behind elites. Even if their dps is tied (and that's not a frequent occurrance) elites win out with wastly superior utility and fixing a core's crucial weakness while introducing a much less dangerous one of their own, or straight up lacking any clear weaknesses (hi soulbeast and holosmiths).

    In WvW core guard is certainly in no way competitve with a firebrand, just as scourge is meta, while on core necro you're just being hipster. Core Mesmer may be able to do 30k dps, but it's chronomacers ppl want, not core mesmers.

  • Zin Dau.1749Zin Dau.1749 Member ✭✭✭
    No, I'm happy with things as they currently stand. I don't want this.

    @ZeftheWicked.3076 said:
    Yeah, people like you.

    like me what? that's your lame argument?

    you're the naive ones who think more options magically lead to more 'diversity' and 'balance'. we already have 9 professions each with 7 specs lines = 63 specs altogether, with exponential combinations amongst them. but that's still not 'diverse' and 'balanced' enough for you.

    people like you will never be satisfied with enough 'diversity' and 'balance'.

    Also "Meta" can be ignored as long as the differences in performance aren't that high. Just look at raids and dps slots. Almost any profession can fill those and do fine.

    so you're saying that if you ignore the meta, you can already play 3 cores. therefore, there are no problems with the core specs as they are right now. so what are you complaining about again?

  • Westenev.5289Westenev.5289 Member ✭✭✭✭
    On the fence. Don't know whether I would or not. I'd have to see and hear more before I got on board.

    It seems like an interesting idea, although one would question if Elite specs would also have a "normal" trait counterpart. I wouldn't mind playing Deadeye with a staff, for example!

  • Iozeph.5617Iozeph.5617 Member ✭✭✭

    @Westenev.5289 said:
    It seems like an interesting idea, although one would question if Elite specs would also have a "normal" trait counterpart. I wouldn't mind playing Deadeye with a staff, for example!

    Well the intention was to bring core specs, whichever spec chosen for the bottom slot, up to a similar level of performance(respective to that spec line's focus) to an elite. Apart from that I don't know that allowing a watered-down version of an elite to be used as a secondary would be advisable. As much as I want to see core spec lines remain viable and competitive with the newer elites I also understand that part of the draw for new elites is the access to weapon types, hitherto inaccessible to the profession before their creation.

    By keeping elites separated in that fashion- so that they're restricted to only being placed in that bottom slot, the hope is that a good measure of their uniqueness and the attraction to slotting them is preserved. I don't want them eliminated, I believe they have their place. I just want to see the field a bit more even and more easily balanced going forward for all lines.

    Also- happy holidays everyone.

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