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When’s enough enough (elite specs)


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I’m sure this has been brought up  before but where is the ceiling when it comes to class specializations? Don’t get me wrong I understand it keeps the game fresh for people who never take breaks and brings the ones back that do but when does it stop? Every expansion we just gonna get more and more until every class can use every weapon? That’s a lot to balance when other existing  specs and weapon skills could use some love without adding new for the sake of shiny.
 

Thoughts? 

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Do other games really add actual classes?  Wow's I didn't know that! You know why I didn't know that?  Because arguably (still) the largest MMO in history World of Warcraft hasn't added a new cla

A player can choose not to use elite specs.

I think elite specs were probably the wrong way of doing things, even if it looked easier to implement than full professions. The core game was designed around different professions having differ

Other games add actual classes. Sure it's hard to balance. But enough will be enough when people stop wanting more classes, which will be never. 

The fact is, for content that doesn't get a lot of content (PvP, WvW), this shakes things up. Makes new metas. Gives people reason to keep playing. 


I get the argument, but I think the benefit of new specs every couple of years is an investment in the future of the game.

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I think elite specs were probably the wrong way of doing things, even if it looked easier to implement than full professions.

The core game was designed around different professions having different access to weapons, with less options available at one end (Engineers with only 4 possible combinations) and more at the other (Warriors with 21 possible combinations).

 

Every time you add a weapon to a profession through elite specs, you dilute this balance, with a core feature of the Warrior profession being devalued each time.

 

Entire new professions would have been harder to implement, to be sure (although they could very easily have grabbed the old ones from the first game, like Dervish, Paragon and Ritualist), but would have resulted in a more balanced game with less power creep.

 

Because that's the other problem with elite specs; they completely devalue core professions. Once unlocked, it's rare that you see anyone playing anything other than an elite spec, because they're just better than core.

The game was originally designed around the idea of Exotic stat gear being the highest in the game, and professions not having access to entirely new, overpowered skill trees through elite specs. And that's why core Tyria offers no challenge to elite spec characters in ascended quality gear.

 

Unfortunately, it would be incredibly difficult for ANet to reverse this design decision now, as too many other things are tied in to the elite spec systems, and they'd annoy a huge percentage of the userbase.

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1 hour ago, Grimlineman.6759 said:

Every expansion we just gonna get more and more until every class can use every weapon?

"Every expansion" means once every 3-4 years, and not necessarily gonna go on forever.

 

For all we know, this may be the last expansion they ever do (though I would get there's gonna be a bunch more Living Story afterward).

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There's enough elite specializations once Arenanet decides the game received enough expansions.

 

While it'd be a growing nightmare to balance, do not forget that there isn't all that much of balancing going on with the game.

All we get are half-hearted attempts at best.

 

Elite specializations keep the game feeling fresh, that's far more important.

A new profession per expansion might have been nice, but that's still less freshness than an elite specialization per profession.

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On 9/19/2019 at 9:49 PM, starlinvf.1358 said:

 

 

27 minutes ago, ASP.8093 said:

"Every expansion" means once every 3-4 years, and not necessarily gonna go on forever.

 

For all we know, this may be the last expansion they ever do (though I would get there's gonna be a bunch more Living Story afterward).

I doubt it, as long as the game remains profitable ( I see plenty of people playing that have pretty skins so I think they doing ok) there will always be another expansion unless they do the gw3 reboot.
 

 That would be like McDonald’s saying this gonna be the last cheeseburger we ever make.  Ain’t gonna happen with people sitting in the drive through. 
 

i just think they would do well to add to the world not the classes but I understand they keep the game fresh side of the coin. Just worried about the bloat in the long run but guess this is the nature of all mmos they have done a fair job up to this point keep things like gear and level bloat out of the game. 

Edited by Grimlineman.6759
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1 hour ago, Vayne.8563 said:

Other games add actual classes. Sure it's hard to balance. But enough will be enough when people stop wanting more classes, which will be never. 

Do other games really add actual classes?  Wow's I didn't know that! You know why I didn't know that? 

Because arguably (still) the largest MMO in history World of Warcraft hasn't added a new class since 2016, 5 years ago a.k.a 2 expansions ago. 

Do you know what we got for the Shadowlands latest expansion? 8 new skills and you can ONLY use 2 of them at any given time because it's only 2 per covenant and you can only be in one covenant at a time. Switching covenants was also time gated by like 30 days or something ridiculous like that until players had enough and now they're changing it for 9.1.5. 

Do you know how many of us pleaded with the devs to just make those 8 skills as talents (which are essentially the equivalent of specializations here)? 

Some of yall have no idea how spoiled you are and how grateful you should be...

Oh and BTW, that game has a $180 + expansion cost price tag for any given year with the mandatory monthly sub.

Edit: Another example, ESO hasn't added a new class for two expansions (Greymoor/Blackwood) and in that game, they didn't even add new skills to your existing classes skill trees since the Necromancer release in Elswyr. 

Edited by Marikus.1875
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1 hour ago, Grimlineman.6759 said:

I’m sure this has been brought up  before but where is the ceiling when it comes to class specializations? Don’t get me wrong I understand it keeps the game fresh for people who never take breaks and brings the ones back that do but when does it stop? Every expansion we just gonna get more and more until every class can use every weapon? That’s a lot to balance when other existing  specs and weapon skills could use some love without adding new for the sake of shiny.
 

Thoughts? 

I have an inkling that they will eventually redo the old trees when they run out of ideas. They will eventually have to start recycling weapons, or making new ones. Warrior is almost capped. If they redid one of the existing trees for each class to act differently while in the 3rd slot, and redo a weapon that wouldn't be used in that build normally (condi hammer rev), they could add new elites into the game, without altering theme of said tree too much. 

 

That said, I hope they continue to add more elites to the game. Its quite impressive that they've done so much. Each elite is almost like a new class, as far as gameplay and feel goes. I love testing out new elites, and often find myself adding a new class to my regular rotation based on the new playstyle (not a ranged player, but I love my reaper). 

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56 minutes ago, Mungrul.9358 said:

The core game was designed around different professions having different access to weapons, with less options available at one end (Engineers with only 4 possible combinations) and more at the other (Warriors with 21 possible combinations).

 

Every time you add a weapon to a profession through elite specs, you dilute this balance, with a core feature of the Warrior profession being devalued each time.

I don't think other classes having a scarcity of weapon choices is foundational to warrior balance. It can't be, because at the end of the day Warriors still just pick 2 weapon sets and use those for the duration of an encounter.

56 minutes ago, Mungrul.9358 said:

The game was originally designed around the idea of Exotic stat gear being the highest in the game, and professions not having access to entirely new, overpowered skill trees through elite specs. And that's why core Tyria offers no challenge to elite spec characters in ascended quality gear.

Core Tyria is pretty easy with core-only professions in exotic gear, too, though. The one open-world section that wasn't supposed to be got some nerfs over the years to make it less difficult for fresh-80 players.

There are times when especs have come along with a feature that feels excessive (Firebrand Tomes) or like a fix to a long-standing class design error (Daredevil Staff for thief PvE DPS, Weaver Dual Attacks giving Ele way more actually-good weapon skills than you get by playing base Ele, even with the same weapons as base Ele), but for the majority of the classes there's pretty little difference between running around in all-ascended gear with an elite specialization and going core-only exotic here.

Also, you have to remember: the game was originally released with players only being able to use 2⅓ trait lines at a time (typically distributed 1+1+⅓ or 1+⅔+⅔ in builds) and didn't allow Expertise and Concentration as full-fledged stats.

Edited by ASP.8093
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1 hour ago, Grimlineman.6759 said:

I’m sure this has been brought up  before but where is the ceiling when it comes to class specializations? Don’t get me wrong I understand it keeps the game fresh for people who never take breaks and brings the ones back that do but when does it stop? Every expansion we just gonna get more and more until every class can use every weapon? That’s a lot to balance when other existing  specs and weapon skills could use some love without adding new for the sake of shiny.
 

Thoughts? 

You are assuming:

1. that balance is attainable or desired. I'd argue that is neither possible nor the case. The game could be perfectly balanced, and you would still get the same, if not more complaints about balance because it is in the nature of humans to blame others than themselves

2. adding new elite specializations adds another elements for players who solo class or stick to only 1 class. Interesting enough, it seems players will rather change to another elite than play a different character. This becomes relevant or of significance when specific performance is required (say specific boons, utility, support, etc.). Just think of how much the firebrand and renegade spiced things up group compositions wise

3. existing weapons and talents will see less and less rework going forward. Why should they be changed drastically when they have worked well enough so far?

4. there will be an ende to elite specializations, once the developers find something to properly replace what they bring to the table or once the majority of classes can perform a majority of the roles in this game

The current system with new elite specializations is a mix of both worlds: a new class mechanic and new systems built on older systems, without making something entirely from scratch and keeping many changes limited and self-contained to the elite specialization. Also the reason why over all the years every single thread demanding all weapons be made available baseline or other demands along those lines were completely unrealistic. Elites need to be self-contained due to the mechanic creep they bring.

Edited by Cyninja.2954
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The word that some other MMORPG communities use for this is "homogenization." It's usually used in a derogatory fashion for when classes begin to mix their themes and lose their identity. People don't usually take issue with it until it's too late.

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49 minutes ago, Marikus.1875 said:

Do other games really add actual classes?  Wow's I didn't know that! You know why I didn't know that? 

Because arguably (still) the largest MMO in history World of Warcraft hasn't added a new class since 2016, 5 years ago a.k.a 2 expansions ago. 

Do you know what we got for the Shadowlands latest expansion? 8 new skills and you can ONLY use 2 of them at any given time because it's only 2 per covenant and you can only be in one covenant at a time. Switching covenants was also time gated by like 30 days or something ridiculous like that until players had enough and now they're changing it for 9.1.5. 

Do you know how many of us pleaded with the devs to just make those 8 skills as talents (which are essentially the equivalent of specializations here)? 

Some of yall have no idea how spoiled you are and how grateful you should be...

Oh and BTW, that game has a $180 + expansion cost price tag for any given year with the mandatory monthly sub.

Edit: Another example, ESO hasn't added a new class for two expansions (Greymoor/Blackwood) and in that game, they didn't even add new skills to your existing classes skill trees since the Necromancer release in Elswyr. 

You're equating a general norm to two games. I've seen a number of MMOs that release new classes on a regular basis just to keep it fresh. Elsword, PSO2 NGS, FFXIV, Blade and Soul, TERA Online, Black Desert to name a number of them. 

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15 minutes ago, ChronoPinoyX.7923 said:

. Elsword, PSO2 NGS, FFXIV, Blade and Soul, TERA Online, Black Desert to name a number of them. 

FFXIV: Is the literal OUTLIER of your entire selection and possibly the MMO space in general. The reason they are able to deploy classes every expac is because every class plays the exact same. There is ZERO class differentiation between player 1 and player 2 and therefore, balancing is infinitely more streamlined and simple at the cost of build diversity and player agency over their classes.

Black Desert Online: LOL. No comment.

Blade and Soul: this game was literally on a dying trend, the population has completely stagnated and not grown and if anything its in decline...because they focused on the WRONG things and also P2W.

PS02 NGS: A game that took like 8 years to come out in NA?

Elsword: what even is this???

You're equating a few cherry picked and bottom of the barrel MMO's (less FFXIV) to industry norms. Yeah, I don't think so. 

 

Edited by Marikus.1875
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6 minutes ago, Marikus.1875 said:

FFXIV: Is the literal OUTLIER of your entire selection and possibly the MMO space in general. The reason they are able to deploy classes every expac is because every class plays the exact same. There is ZERO class differentiation between player 1 and player 2 and therefore, balancing is infinitely more streamlined and simple at the cost of build diversity and player agency over their classes.

Black Desert Online: LOL. No comment.

Blade and Soul: this game was literally on a dying trend, the population has completely stagnated and not grown and if anything its in decline...because they focused on the WRONG things and also P2W.

PS02 NGS: A game that took like 8 years to come out in NA?

Elsword: what even is this???

You're equating a few cherry picked and bottom of the barrel MMO's (less FFXIV) to industry norms. Yeah, I don't think so. 

 

You literally chose 2 of the most generic MMOs in existence as an example, when there's a vast number of different MMOs that follow the trope of new classes if they can

The fact that you don't even know some of the games makes me think you haven't explored enough MMOs to really see that it's bog standard practice for MMOs to release new classes in order to keep the game going...

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You do NOT need additional classes to keep an MMO fun and engaging if anything THAT is an unsupported claim. Show me in the data where games that released classes in a regular cadence maintained and grew in popularity because of said content.

 

I'll wait. 

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I understand they keep things fresh again don’t deny that. But at the same time it takes away from the game in other ways. Homogenization  as someone else said it better than I did.  Plus I like the idea of most of the core classes but they only get left further in the dust with no updates to visuals or performance. 
 

 It was just a topic to discuss  if you got out of that what I said is sooo wrong then fair enough. 
 

Also This is coming from a person who’s been married 20 plus years hasn’t moved many times and has had the same type Job all my adult life so I’m not one to need constant change to be content. *shrug* 

This be the last post from me on this topic I’ll continue to read and enjoy what others have to say.  Thanks for the replies! 

Edited by Grimlineman.6759
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32 minutes ago, Marikus.1875 said:

You do NOT need additional classes to keep an MMO fun and engaging if anything THAT is an unsupported claim. Show me in the data where games that released classes in a regular cadence maintained and grew in popularity because of said content.

Oh I don't disagree with that, I would personally prefer content with a better replay value, but adding new classes is an approach many companies have done over the years. I don't know if it actually does impact a game in the long term, but then again I've never worked on community numbers, so I wouldn't know if it's a good or bad thing for companies to do. 

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I disagree with the premise that balance necessarily becomes more difficult with the addition of new specializations.  In fact, there are opportunities to lessen disparities between classes.  For example, boon support with alacrity is monopolized by renegade and sometimes mirage.  If there were other viable options, the meta might splinter to choosing one or another class for alacrity based upon their particular synergy with other elements in the group.

Likewise in competitive modes, classes may balance each other.  A build that is overtuned but has a couple of hard counters that are prominent in the meta may not be as big of an issue as it would have been had those counters not existed.

Regardless, elite specs are an important part of keeping the gameplay and resulting metas fresh.  In some ways I'm sure it does complicate things, but overall I think the game needs this.

I do agree, however, that they need to address the issue with core specs.  The current design essentially makes it so that elite specs only have to be the third best option for a given build in order to be a better choice than taking a third core traitline instead.  They also provide exclusive utilities and weapons on top of access to everything core specs have.  This is too much.  I think core specs should received exclusive utilities and an F-skill unavailable to elite specs to compensate.  

Edited by AliamRationem.5172
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1 minute ago, LucianDK.8615 said:

Core can take 3 core proffession traitlines. Especs cannot and have to sacrifice one. Thats your unique core flavor.

 Maybe next expansion, instead of releasing a new elite, Anet will allow us to dual-wield elite specs!  😏

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