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Quickness and Alacrity should not be boons


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TLDR: Quickness and alacrity should be turned into attack speed and cooldown reduction stats on gear, and no longer be boons.

With the supposed mega-patch coming in june, its time anet finally addresses the terrible design of quickness and alacrity before they commit and create even more class design flaws.

Reasons why they are terrible as boons:

  1. Only certain classes/builds have access to them.
  2. They completely change your rotation. 100% uptime of these 2 boons can completely change how your class is played. This is terrible design, as it creates a huge barrier into organized pve. Additionally it means there are hardly any open world situations where players can practice "real" rotations.
  3. They speed up combat to be too fast for your average player to handle.

Anet has acknowledged that getting players through the learning barrier of organized pve is very difficult. They have gone so far as to completely change the type of endgame content they make. They are even reworking entire classes so they can fit into one of these 2 boon support roles. This is terrible design practice, all its doing is homogenizing classes and builds without solving any of the underlying issues of getting players into organized pve.

How do you fix it?
Make quickness and alacrity their own stats on gear, so now you have attack speed and cooldown reduction stats.

What does this accomplish?
A builds performance is no longer as dependent on boon supports, which makes class balance easier and reduces the barrier between casual play and organized play. Build diversity and theorycrafting greatly increases. Turns an arbitrary buff into an intuitive stat. Creates more interesting gameplay for pvp and wvw, having varied timings of attacks creates another layer of the kind of complexity that enhances competitive play.

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That would cause huge balance issues, and completely change a lot of specs. Builds, and meta groups are built around those boons, and all this would do is push more people out of support roles, and into DPS roles. Your fix only removes things, without giving back to those builds centered around providing those buffs. You've also not present any problems, unless different classes bringing different boons/conditions is the problem. In which case, I disagree with homogenization for the sake of inclusion. Not ever class has to excel in every aspect.

Edited by Klowdy.3126
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True, it creates the weirdest Holy Trinity I ever seen~ and honestly boon design in general makes this game really weird. Imagine if we could play group content without having to stack directly on top of the whole party the entire time. I'm reminded of how great it feels anytime I hop into a different MMO, lol.

Meanwhile people who hate stacking so much that they don't follow such rules make my Alac Specter sad. >.< 

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1 hour ago, Klowdy.3126 said:

That would cause huge balance issues, and completely change a lot of specs. Builds, and meta groups are built around those boons, and all this would do is push more people out of support roles, and into DPS roles. Your fix only removes things, without giving back to those builds centered around providing those buffs. You've also not present any problems, unless different classes bringing different boons/conditions is the problem. In which case, I disagree with homogenization for the sake of inclusion. Not ever class has to excel in every aspect.

Yes it would be a huge amount of work for anet, but it would be to improve the longevity of the game. The downsides are that it would require major balance overhauls since as you said, there are a lot of builds centered around quickness and alacrity that would have to be completely reworked. However that is what I think is the huge design flaw. All boon support builds are essentially the same, adding more quickness /alac boon builds doesnt improve group diversity at all.

Builds should have other things that they bring to the group, like superspeed, stealth, projectile defence, combo fields, etc. Right now the only things that really matter in pve are barrier and boons, which is a huge shame.

37 minutes ago, Doggie.3184 said:

True, it creates the weirdest Holy Trinity I ever seen~ and honestly boon design in general makes this game really weird. Imagine if we could play group content without having to stack directly on top of the whole party the entire time. I'm reminded of how great it feels anytime I hop into a different MMO, lol.

Meanwhile people who hate stacking so much that they don't follow such rules make my Alac Specter sad. >.< 

Quickness and alacrity are a huge outlier compared to other boons. Instead of having the tank, healer, dps holy trinity, we have the healer, boon support, dps trinity.

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They've already dug the grave. It's too late to redesign the game. I've tried suggesting things for years and just gave up. Particle infested screens with dozens of boons stretching across the screen and everyone stacking on one spot is what gw2 endgame is. It's not attractive or interesting in any way.

Edited by Redfeather.6401
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13 minutes ago, warherox.7943 said:

Or just remove them completely.

This.

 

There is, always will be, and should be a notable difference between the performance of optimized builds in an optimized group and more average builds. Permanent Alacrity and Quickness amplify that difference in performance to a degree that is not at all beneficial to the game.  

Edited by Ashen.2907
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5 hours ago, Paradoxoglanis.1904 said:

What does this accomplish?
A builds performance is no longer as dependent on boon supports, which makes class balance easier and reduces the barrier between casual play and organized play. Build diversity and theorycrafting greatly increases. Turns an arbitrary buff into an intuitive stat. Creates more interesting gameplay for pvp and wvw, having varied timings of attacks creates another layer of the kind of complexity that enhances competitive play.

A builds performance will still rely on boon supports. Might and Fury for example increase the average DPS builds damage just as much as Quickness and Alacrity (something you can easily test in the Aerodrome). While these Boons are currently just implied with Quickness and Alacrity supports, they are just as powerful and "mandatory". While Quickness and Alacrity might be outliers in terms of their effect on rotations, they aren't so in efficacy.

 

For PvP, varied skill timings would be an absolute mess imo. A big part of GW2, both for PvE and PvP, is learning the timings of mechanics and attacks in order to skillfully avoid them (via dodges, evades, blocks, aegis, invuln, mobility, stab etc.). 

Varied timings (beyond Quickness ON/OFF) might sound fun on paper, but never being able to predict when an attack will actually connect would most likely be beyond frustrating to play against in practice - and a massive nerf to active, skill based defenses.

Edited by Asum.4960
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I think they went the wrong way with streamlining boon sharing caps to 5 man. They made an even bigger mess for forming pug groups. Before for alacrity you knew you want 1 alaren. Yeah bad for class diversity but much easier group building. 1 alaren, check.

Now you might get dps/alac or heal/alac and you might get dps/quick or heal/quick. You probably prefer having heal+boon support but if I have 2 hfbs I need 2 dps/alacs... Can anyone you switch to x and you to y?

So what will happen most likely. People will just make up one meta and stick to it, instead of 3 boon supports squad will need 4 and class diversity will go down the drain for at least 50% of the boon supports.

Streamlining boon share to 10 cap would imo be better. 

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To address a few more of your points, especially regarding rotations, in more detail:

Increased Build diversity: It's hard to say if removing Quickness and Alac will lead to this outcome. It basically deletes all builds currently providing either of those boons, and replaces them with groups just looking for the remaining boons, with the rest running min maxed attack speed and cdr stats on the same DPS builds.

 

Learning rotations in OW: Organised group builds don't necessarily make for great OW builds, so generally these will operate differently to begin with - but even if not, with how easy and forgiving OW content is tuned, mobs die way to quickly (with proper builds) to apply any proper damage rotation to them anyway. 

 

And maybe most importantly, Rotations are maybe the last 5-10% anyone should worry about when making, copying or learning a build. While they can significantly increase high end performance in certain situations/encounters, there are not nearly as instrumental as often presented (and there are builds with essentially no rotations that easily do 3-5 times the damage needed to comfortably clear Raids, Strikes and Fractals). 

What is way more important is having a proper constructed build, and then understanding the core concept of that build - the rough damage/burst windows and combos it presents. Glancing at the rotations can help with that, but they don't need to be studied, copied and executed one to one.

From there on, one can apply that general knowledge about how the build operates to various encounters to near maximum effect, much more so than religiously and stressed trying to follow a static golem rotation (especially if one doesn't know how and why it works and how to adapt it given the circumstances, be it burst windows, having to pause to ress someone, phases, etc.). 

Once that is mastered, one can look more precisely at golem rotations to find ways to maximise damage further, if so inclined. 

Having the same attack speeds and CD's between general OW and organised group content won't realistically do all that much here to bridge that misunderstanding in the community. 

While it's certainly a complication of things, it's far from the core issue.

Edited by Asum.4960
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2 hours ago, Doggie.3184 said:

. Imagine if we could play group content without having to stack directly on top of the whole party the entire time. I'm reminded of how great it feels anytime I hop into a different MMO, lol.

Meanwhile people who hate stacking so much that they don't follow such rules make my Alac Specter sad. >.< 

Omg thiiiis tho!

The stack combat behavior this game reinforces has got to be its biggest design flaw for at least its pve group combat. 

The rest of gw2: "freedom of movement is important to our design :)"

group pve: "stand on this ONE spot or be a carry"

Not to mention how hard it is to show how fun the combat can be when your character is just an amalgam of flailing limbs and particle effects.  I've tried to watch raid streams, and I can't, us just visual nonsense.  Watching raid encounter guides is also a nightmare to decipher. 

 

I honestly wouldn't mind how strong boons are, if they weren't shared by lapdancing with your subgroup.

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With the upcoming changes to Exposed it might make sense to move Alacrity and Quickness to limited use skills for ‘burn’ phases.  Think something like Time Warp from Mesmer where every 2 minutes you can ramp up everyone’s DPS via quickness.  That fits into a burn during exposed situation fairly well. 
 

I also agree that boon share should have been made 10 player not 5. I disliked that the way Anet worded this change they suggest that, if you play X profession, you can do group content with a required eSpec. What if I don’t want to play a Heal/Quick/Alac eSpec or build?  What if I don’t have the desire to collect two or more gear sets just in case I need to swap specs or sit?  I’m still in the same situation, and as others have theorized, we eventually will have a baked meta where it’s play this specific build or sit. 

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