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Weapon Swap and the Woes of Autoattack Spam


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Given how there is nothing to stop players from blowing all their cooldowns on a single weapon (especially in PvE), most weapon "play-styles" are often dominated by auto-attack spam. In both PvE and PvP, people often carry weapons that are "utility" swaps (i.e weapons that often carry a level of stigma typically because of the kind of auto-attack that the player is going to be stuck with for anywhere between 5-8 seconds). GW2's weapon design has always been pretty flawed solely due to the cooldown-based balance (weapon swap is 10s, but the vast majority of skills on any weapon bar have a 10s recharge minimum). On top of this, it's not like most weapons aren't mostly concerned with anything but damage: conditions deal damage, CC deals damage, movement often deals damage, damage is damage. If weapons were designed properly, the concept of a "utility" weapon might actually exist in GW2 (one principally concerned with a role other than "damage"); but since weapon swapping in GW2 is typically just part of a basic damage rotation, weapon identity and potential play-styles are typically just lost in the din of DPS. Using nothing more than cooldowns to balance an RPG loaded with bloat is not a good idea, but at the very least, the situation with weapons trapping players into bad autoattacks can be addressed with a single, relatively simple change:

  • Weapon Swap global recharge reduced from 10s to 3s.
  • Weapon Swap now has a ¾s cast-time.

Now there is suddenly a lot more skill fluidity during what would otherwise be a bunch of monotonous down-time. Players would get to choose their auto-attack sequences and maybe modify rotations into more efficient possibilities, but there would now be a time investment in doing so instead of the instant gratification of pressing a button for 5 new buttons to mash. If PvP people get mad that they can't instantly spam a bunch of extra skills all of a sudden, then they can keep the old weapon swap. It's not like anybody uses weapon swap to do cool things like cancel leap animations anyway. PvP movement is all teleporting, and PvE movement is all mounts. We aren't losing anything.

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