Jump to content
  • Sign Up

The Problem with Anets Balance and Design Philosophy


Paradoxoglanis.1904

Recommended Posts

This post isnt about this patch in particular or how certain classes always find themselves at the top of the meta for unforeseen reasons, but rather about why this design philosophy of lowering the skill ceiling of combat and giving everyone more boons, barrier, aoe etc. is fundamentally flawed. Additionally its about the quality of balance gw2 has seen and how it has depreciated over the years to unacceptable levels.

Nothing better describes the point im trying to make better than warrior banners. Not only are banners inferior sources of quickness, might, fury, but they additionally have the huge drawback of manually having to pick them up and move them around, all while being completely unable to do anything else. This flaw isnt difficult to understand or predict. You compare this to firebrand, harbinger, even scrapper boon sources and there is no question what is the significantly stronger option. Changing the function of banners was done for the reason of "giving players more choice in what boon support role they can bring" when in practice it does the exact opposite. If every class brings the same 2-3 types of group utility (boons, cc, dps) then people will always choose the strongest option. This means no, people wont want warriors for quickness, they will want firebrand even more because the 1 exclusive thing that warrior had is gone.

And with all these boons that are so trivial to obtain, at what point do you just go ahead and make them baseline? Like really, if the expectation is for every group to have 10+ permanent boons regardless of their class composition and skill level, why bother having boon sources or durations at all. Is the act of watching the tiny UI icons really that important to gameplay?

So why is this happening? These kinds of questionable changes arent new, they have been present in every major patch for years. Power creep on this level is ruining combat by removing the fundamental aspects of it that made it fun. The only things that matter now are boons and barrier. The part that is unacceptable in all of this is that the gw2 community has to wait 5 months for a major patch only to find out it ruins so much of what they enjoy. And when there is backlash and criticism we get the blanket statement of "were sorry for not listening, we will do better next time". At this point any communication just feels like empty words because anet has never followed up with any of these kinds of promises. You arent listening to your community. You repeatedly make the same design and balance mistakes over and over and hardly ever use the feedback that is given. How many times do people have to say "Warrior only has like 3 usable weapons" or "Staff elementalist is a buggy piece of trash" before you get the picture? How long do players have to endure the same guard + necro meta in every single gamemode with no effort gone into creating more class diversity? Initially I convinced myself that it was because the dev teams must be stretched thin for resources, but after years of coping with it I can only determine that it comes down to pure incompetence.

 

 

  • Like 15
  • Thanks 6
  • Confused 1
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Josh's words were true about there existing a genuine TEAM since EoD release for balancing, then it's crystal clear that this is a hobby to them and someone forces them to sit in a room for half an hour and complete some spreadsheet with changes and then leave for work. Also they are terrible at it. 

Edited by Grand Marshal.4098
  • Like 5
  • Thanks 2
  • Haha 1
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Paradoxoglanis.1904 said:

This post isnt about this patch in particular or how certain classes always find themselves at the top of the meta for unforeseen reasons, but rather about why this design philosophy of lowering the skill ceiling of combat and giving everyone more boons, barrier, aoe etc. is fundamentally flawed. Additionally its about the quality of balance gw2 has seen and how it has depreciated over the years to unacceptable levels.

Nothing better describes the point im trying to make better than warrior banners. Not only are banners inferior sources of quickness, might, fury, but they additionally have the huge drawback of manually having to pick them up and move them around, all while being completely unable to do anything else. This flaw isnt difficult to understand or predict. You compare this to firebrand, harbinger, even scrapper boon sources and there is no question what is the significantly stronger option. Changing the function of banners was done for the reason of "giving players more choice in what boon support role they can bring" when in practice it does the exact opposite. If every class brings the same 2-3 types of group utility (boons, cc, dps) then people will always choose the strongest option. This means no, people wont want warriors for quickness, they will want firebrand even more because the 1 exclusive thing that warrior had is gone.

And with all these boons that are so trivial to obtain, at what point do you just go ahead and make them baseline? Like really, if the expectation is for every group to have 10+ permanent boons regardless of their class composition and skill level, why bother having boon sources or durations at all. Is the act of watching the tiny UI icons really that important to gameplay?

So why is this happening? These kinds of questionable changes arent new, they have been present in every major patch for years. Power creep on this level is ruining combat by removing the fundamental aspects of it that made it fun. The only things that matter now are boons and barrier. The part that is unacceptable in all of this is that the gw2 community has to wait 5 months for a major patch only to find out it ruins so much of what they enjoy. And when there is backlash and criticism we get the blanket statement of "were sorry for not listening, we will do better next time". At this point any communication just feels like empty words because anet has never followed up with any of these kinds of promises. You arent listening to your community. You repeatedly make the same design and balance mistakes over and over and hardly ever use the feedback that is given. How many times do people have to say "Warrior only has like 3 usable weapons" or "Staff elementalist is a buggy piece of trash" before you get the picture? How long do players have to endure the same guard + necro meta in every single gamemode with no effort gone into creating more class diversity? Initially I convinced myself that it was because the dev teams must be stretched thin for resources, but after years of coping with it I can only determine that it comes down to pure incompetence.

 

 

Yup. You're basically talking homogenization: everybody does everything. Regardless of identity. The thing is: some classes do everything better than others! Also, homogenization runs the risk of RUINING the classes and their identity of those that can't do everything as effectively when you try to force them into this paradigm.

Case in point: Warrior and boons. Warrior is not a boon-giving class. It barely has access to concentration! It also does not have consistent access to protection, aegis, regen, etc. Instead if warrior had an entire spec dedicated to support that DOES NOT come at the expense of its class identity(melee), you can have something there!

But what does it matter? They cater to the raid communities and the speed-run crowd at the expense of everything else. Funny thing is, they don't seem too happy either....

  • Like 4
  • Confused 1
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Shinichi Megure.8061 said:

Yes i agree, the patches have no impact at all necro and guardian dominating everything since years. My warrior is less and less fun from patch to patch.. and i wonder from patch to patch if warrior still can get any worse

Condi harbingers (the problem) was nearly untouched,

power harbingers (all power necro builds, really) were nerfed to the ground.

  • Confused 1
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had a problem with settling on a character to focus on since firebrand launched. Arenanet is showing extreme favouritism towards firebrand (and other op specs), and they need to bring the weaker specs to the same level, but instead they instead chose to whack everything else with a nerfbat, and I don't understand.

 

None of my main chars was affected much, but I fear when my chars will be hit by the nerfbat, and I'm not sure how much I want to play on my chars when they might be nerfed to oblivion at any time, and my time invested will be wasted.

Edited by kleisthenes.6247
typos
  • Like 1
  • Confused 1
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You fundamentally misunderstood the change to Banners.

The change to Banners was made with the goal of removing the unique effects in mind.

The trickles of boons are just the result of that shallow idea to remove the one thing that made Warrior semi-viable in organized group content.

They never actually wanted Warrior to become useful as a Boon Support.

Edited by Fueki.4753
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Uniqueness of skills and mechanics was a large part of why guild wars 1 was so fun. Add in dual professions, and one of your professions could take advantage of another's unique mechanic. Take a Mo/Rit for example. Monks are pretty fine in the healing/protection department but ritualist can provide unique weapon spells that can't be removed. Necro could take advantage of spirits and summons and deaths and get a nice bonus from soul reaping. The fact was that each profession had a uniqueness to it. Some professions just had better raw skills with high numbers and good effects, but other professions had skills that performed in unique ways that gave them a leg up in other areas of the game. Somehow someway they made that work, Im sad that the current devs don't have the same vision or understanding of class concepts other than just color coating skills. If they are going to homogenize the game then they have to balance more frequently, more aggressively, and they need to purposefully shake up the meta so each class has a time to shine so it doesn't feel like 70% of the professions are not meant to be played for any serious content. It's easier to stick to your main when they get nerfed if you know you only have to endure it for a couple months, but when it's years or 5 at a time it almost gets to a point where why would you play the game unless you are a fan of the classes they keep at the top.  After this huuuuuge balance patch, there is still no new build or weapon I can use.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, pallas.8150 said:

If they HAD a design philosophy, they would have shared it.

 

Honestly, it comes across as The Land Of Do As You Please in terms of balance. Leadership needs to pull it together.

Yeah, considering if I understand right they said they'd put out design notes and still have not, it would make the most sense to me that they simply never had any and it was mostly the whim of balance devs, with little to no oversight. Little indications here and there, stuff like all the random and disconnected features that end up in the game and never worked on again... makes me think Anet as a company has a problem of management being basically the opposite of micro-managing; just letting devs work on whatever within a general area of the game they want them working on. Idk maybe that's assuming too much, but it would explain a lot about how messy the game is overall. As opposed to, like, deciding features for a game mode on a more detail level with more oversight and only backing away some on implementation, so as not to micromanage. Granted, it's also possible it's more like the Anthem story, where management is pretty closely involved, but doesn't know what it wants and keeps wasting employee time on going back and forth.

Link to comment
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...