Jump to content
  • Sign Up

Traits were always the problem.


Recommended Posts

You ever wonder why espec-targeted nerfs consistently and disproportionately impact core-only build options?

You ever note how so many weapon sets are worthless at baseline and/or completely dependent on passive elements for "viability"; or ask why espec weapons often outperform all other options despite still being extremely generic?

You ever wonder why this game's PvP is so heavily skewered toward pre-game set-up (build/comp match-ups) and map rotations rather than just raw player execution (i.e. there are such things as "bad fights" and there isn't much to do but avoid them entirely if possible)?

You ever think about why GW2 PvP produces so many "what just happened" moments (particularly for new players or around expansion/patch drops)?

You ever think about precisely why this game's expansions have historically been the target of "p2w" jokes or criticisms?

 

Traits have always been there to ruthlessly and efficiently bottleneck the player combat creativity and expression of this game.

- Why make more weapon/utility options just to lock them behind passive gameplay elements?  Players can't experiment with potential synergies; and to make up for the fact that everything gets segregated, all of those non-interacting elements get over-buffed to the point of homogeneity so that they can all be independently "viable" without any effort.

- Why not just make skills strong rather than define them by a myriad of passive buffs which only muddle combat legibility?  What if getting hit by a skill combo would consistently produce a predictable effect rather than certain weapon types seeing wildly different results based solely on what bubbles you filled in on a UI panel before the fight even started?

- Why not make the core elements of elite specializations into actual elite skills in the utility skill pool?  Beyond some super basic number adjustments and an ounce of effort, what's really stopping this game from letting me drop the elite skill "Tome of Justice" onto my utility bar alongside a trap and then going in with a double sword build on Guardian?  Or slot "Jade Mech" with gyros and sword?  Heck, the Tempest overloads are already just an elite glyph skill (without the opportunity cost).

 

tl;dr:  Regardless of your favorite class or skill level, traits are actually the big problem that you are all screaming and crying about--whether you know it or not.  If this game ditched traits and just made all the espec skills baseline on every class (with less emphasis on weapon sets and more on non-defensive utility skill choices), you'd not only see a lot more weird, fun, and creative builds, but you'd probably see the kind of culling/ability compression which this game needs to actually forge some proper roles and playstyles from within the heat of this dumpster fire.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Well, generally, more "choice" and more options is always a problem when it comes to balance.

Alternative would be to have specific locked builds for each class or e-spec.  This would make balancing far easier at the cost of "build variety"  

Edited by Reikou.7068
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Reikou.7068 said:

Well, generally, more "choice" and more options is always a problem when it comes to balance.

Alternative would be to have specific locked builds for each class or e-spec.  This would make balancing far easier at the cost of "build variety"  

"Specific, locked builds" is already the target for which especs and the current trait system aim.  They don't succeed, and the main reason why is because gw2 is just not complex enough to foster that kind of purposeful element diversity.  By that I mean, well, for example you can see it unfolding in real-time by looking at the current, large "Willbender needs a nerf" thread.  The main gripe is that it's just "better Herald;" and they're right. 

GW2 with only core specs already had a huge issue giving any class a unique role without resorting to just doling out thoughtless powercreep to everybody for the sake of keeping things "viable" or "competitive."  Every class melted into the same, homogenized mush of low-effort/high-output rotations.  Especs only fixed the game's path firmly within that paradigm and basically hit maximum powercreep saturation with just HoT.  Now the problem is so obvious that even the average gw2 player realizes something is wrong (which says a lot).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Traits are outdated garbage concept. Just like laughable crit % chance, variable dmg instead of fixed etc. Good moderm action rpgs already got rid of that long ago or introduced special mechanics. Like backstab in dark souls being a crit basically. Gw2 class system is a relic of the past just like the dx9 being the only dx option for so long. But generally speaking mmos are not made for pvp anyway

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Scoobaniec.9561 said:

But generally speaking mmos are not made for pvp anyway

I'd beg to differ on that one - at least theoretically. It's basically the only reason why I am personally - and probably some others - considering playing an mmo at this point tbh.
Otherwise I generally prefer coop rpgs since they typically aren't designed in a way that promotes kitten predatory game systems and life cycles that either milk their playerbase, completely burn out devs without an end in sight or both, with bigger emphasis on a more engaging gameplay loop instead of artificially keeping the players engaged with stuff like daily chores so they hang around long enough to shove new cash-cosmetics down their throat every now and then.
There are obviously exceptions in both genres, especially when it comes to gacha mechanics, but in general I think this is still true (or at the very least it applies to the games I usually play).

At least that's what I'd like to think, sadly almost no rpg game dev studio puts competition first apart from maybe Blade & Soul 1v1, so you are right in a sense that "generally speaking no game dev/publisher cares about pvp in their mmo anyway".
Honestly I think the only thing that's holding mmorpgs back from being successful when it comes to competitive e-sport are the devs and publishers themselves. If pretty much every other genre (fps, br, rts, moba, tcg, ...), that has pvp encounters, manages to keep a decently large (professional) competitive scene around them I really don't see a reason for mmorpgs, that inherently stems from the genre itself.
Devs usually either neglect pvp entirely or design it in a non-competitive way (for example by keeping gear/grindable stats a big factor in player-encounters).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DoomNexus.5324 said:

If pretty much every other genre (fps, br, rts, moba, tcg, ...), that has pvp encounters, manages to keep a decently large (professional) competitive scene around them I really don't see a reason for mmorpgs

Those games types are built different and cannot be compared. Mobas have characters with usually a set of 4 skills and some passive. There are characters who fullfill x role and they have x counterpick which keep them in check. End result is many viable playable characters which u pick on depending on enemy or even ur own comp. I talk about moba and ignore others cuz they are closest example to mmos and being a master league in Smite for few seasons i know thing or 2 there (i dont recommend it in current state)

Even if devs gave a f about pvp here how are you going to solve it? Getting a proper good balance is impossible in current state the way gw2 is designed. U cant have x class being able to do everything like the community wants or have many builds on said class. Balancing the gw2 would mean locking classes and it elite specs into specifically designed roles along with skills instead of being as flexible as they are right now. For example rev would be forced into shiro+glint with no way to change it or it weapons.

Due to design mmos arent possible to balance. And honestly speaking why would they even be? As far i remember MMO always catered to pve folks with optional pvp for funnies. The only mmo which is focused on pvp is Albion. And guess what? Its basically plays like open world moba. The moment you allow a class to do many different things at once with ability to pick up it skills or traits it becomes a huge mess to balance. Youll always have options that overshadow rest while others being on the underpowered side.

The older i get the more i understand it, i too wanted good mmo pvp few years ago but it aint gonna happen. Gw2 cater to pve folks, easy to see if you look at where all the contest goes in. And thats basically all mmos out there. If someone want good pvp experience i got bad news - you are in wrong place to do so. Lets say Anet nerf willy and ham that everyone complain about. What it will do? People will move on to new thing to complain about like untamed or even cata. Its endless cycle with no win for devs nor players.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Scoobaniec.9561 said:

But generally speaking mmos are not made for pvp anyway

I would say "generally speaking mmos are not made for competitive pvp". If you want to make a competitive pvp game you need to go all in and also be prepared to change basic systems to sustain the game. You just can't have any reliance to some other game modes. The separation we have here is not enough. But then you have a separate game.

What mmorpgs can full fill is lets call it the role playing casual pvp. Ill make a pirate thief put on a pirate hat and this sword that looks like Captain Hook's and yaaarrr Ill go stick some land dwellers with my sword because I'm a pirate. Balance is desired but not a must. All these traits and options that are mostly just bloat, traps and limitations just further serve the rpg player so he can have more choice and feels that this is his character. The rpg player in me likes this type of pvp, because I like to dabble with stats, traits, talents, whatever and like to stick swords in other players with whatever I put together (or find in the world). But I don't expect some serious competitive scene. For that I play dedicated games.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be interesting to see elite spec lock a trait line and/or utility type from core. Like daredevil couldn't take acrobatic, mirages couldn't take.... manipulations? Idk. I wonder what kind of game we would have in case.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 5/11/2022 at 6:26 PM, Scoobaniec.9561 said:

Even if devs gave a f about pvp here how are you going to solve it? Getting a proper good balance is impossible in current state the way gw2 is designed. 

Due to design mmos arent possible to balance. And honestly speaking why would they even be? As far i remember MMO always catered to pve folks with optional pvp for funnies. The only mmo which is focused on pvp is Albion.

I don't disagree with what you are saying but want to comment on this part.
The neat part regarding balance in a mmorpg is: You don't. Or rather, you shouldn't.
I think it's dangerous to expect every class and spec to be equally viable in all game modes and roles.
That's as if you'd expect League of Legends to balance all 140+ champions to be equally viable on every lane/jungle and role, which would be insane.
I will agree tho, MMOs usually cater to a different target audience (unfortunately). It is normal for mobas to just kitten some champions and nerf them into oblivion, especially when new ones are released. And while everybody is obviously annoyed most moba players won't quit because of it, even if they've invested thousand of hours in mastering it and it suddenly becomes unviable.
Meanwhile MMO players (gw2 in particular for some reason) usually threaten to quit the entire game if their fotm isn't S-tier in every content type they are currently interested in. But in the case of gw2 it is imho a self-inflicted issue from Anet, due to conditioning the community and catering first and foremost to casuals.

Regarding Albion being the only pvp mmo: I don't know for sure, probably depends on the definition of what makes a pvp mmo a "pvp mmo" instead of just a regular mmo.
BDO for example is mainly a grinder and pvp mmo I'd say. Mortal Online (2) is also very pvp heavy and obviously Blade and Soul still has a 1v1 esport league (I'm not sure if they still run or just in Korea or something, can't be bothered to look it up rn tbh, sry).
Even Guild Wars 1 started out as a primarily pvp heavy mmo and while they've massively focused on pve afterwards Anet back then still cared a lot about pvp for its entire active life cycle. 

In any case, in my opinion this is one of the major advantages of mmorpgs tho. To combine (massive) coop pve and (large/small scale) pvp content. I often find myself bored from constantly playing only pve or pvp, I like to mix things up. Also some friends only play pvp while others pretty much only play pve and I want to be able to spend quality time with both groups.

Edited by DoomNexus.5324
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

For anyone thinking that mmo/gw2 balance cannot draw insight from other games or genres, why?  Seriously why is this constantly a rebuttal when anybody criticizes gw2 on a level of fundamental design philosophy?  There are plenty of lessons to glean from other games from MOBAs to Age of Empires II to Dark Souls to Team Fortress 2 regarding why certain games succeed in competitive encounters, mechanics, and role design.

To keep it simple, the main fulcrum of success is giving everyone a delicate blend of universal options (more often than not this comes in the form of universal damage mitigation through temporary invulnerability tied to a resource, raw movement or class-generic self-healing options) while retaining a level of trade-offs among the speed one leverages damage, the amount of damage one can deal over a fixed period of time, and the risk associated with achieving that amount of damage.

Gw2's problem is that it just bottlenecks its options into a single narrow sluiceway of homogeneous, risk-insulating options which removes the gamble and gamesense from PvP encounters.  Beyond all of the passive damage negation baked into most attacks nowadays, traits are probably the biggest offender here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like bait but I'll bite.

So basically what your saying is you want the combat system simplified with more focus on a couple of key mechanics rather then alot of smaller different ones?

So basically what your asking is remove all of the power from traits and place them into weapon and utility skills and then make more of both to increase the variety rather then through augmenting a smaller set of weapon and utility skills.

I don't think your proposal would actually fix anything.

That wouldn't change how rock-paper-scissors the game can be at times.  It would lock People into roles harder then before which would making the rock-paper-scissors aspect stronger. Without traits weapon skills would become less multi use and have more direct purpose, meaning your build would have a stronger defined role, when for example you pick hammer warrior.

 

I wouldn't make the game much less confusing, there would be less smaller things to learn I suppose but it wouldn't fix the game's visual clarity issue. There would still be a large amounts of builds to learn from every class and presumably classes would have a large amount more skills to learn.

 

It wouldn't fix the game's "P2W" critisms at all. Even if those weapon skills and utilities are available to the base class as long they are locked behind the

 expansion then the same critisms remains. In fact it would be even worse. A customer that purchases only 1 expac would be at a severe disadvantage compared to someone to purchased 3 expac s.

It wouldn't fix circlewars. That's a problem with conquest's ruleset, and I think we should switch to 2v2 death match.

 

You're not only asking for a major restructuring of the game but also asking for the game to designed in a fundamentally different way. The same skills and attacks wouldn't fly without traits.

This design would require a large amount of increase time and resources from anet for animations. 

While I do full heartedly agree that GW2 combat needs a full overhaul, I think that's the problem of the game being designed for PvE first, PvP last.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I sorta get what you're saying OP but I think the real problem is that many of the traitlines are only designed to work in PvE with no though as to their usefullness in PvP. If they were updated to do both I think there would be much more build diversity.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Killthehealersffs.8940 said:

Why not make core traits that are 100% mandatory+defensive  , into an Core elite trait and then we buff it ? Or create carbon-copy of existing traitlines into an improve form for Cores ?

"Run in fear !"

Because that solution only plays into the same creativity bottleneck that the current trait system uses to choke out player expression in GW2.  Even if you made the "elite core" spec the best espec, you just moving goalposts at the end of the day.  Even if the core espec were outside the purview of expac p2w memery, you're still going to have some kind of paradigm of low-effort, high-impact builds that rule a metagame without trying.  They'd just be core.  No real change at all.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/14/2022 at 5:09 PM, Ovark.2514 said:

I sorta get what you're saying OP but I think the real problem is that many of the traitlines are only designed to work in PvE with no though as to their usefullness in PvP. If they were updated to do both I think there would be much more build diversity.

There's no reason how turning espec trait elements (i.e. Berserk Mode, shrouds, Holo Mode, the Firebrand books, overloads turned into a single glyph, Continuum Split, etc) into actual skills that could be slotted into the utility bar couldn't make for viable PvP and PvE options (or even options which could see success in both modes).  There would be way more build option variety with the increased selection pool combined with the higher opportunity cost per elite option.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...