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Stacking mechanic


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What do you guys think about stacking , isn't it so boring to stack with 10 persons spaming boons without having your personnal gameplay , every fractal and strike missions i played , everyone just glue himself to the rest and it makes me feel like a robotic gameplay , why not increasing the boon duration or range so at least ranged players feel like they are actualy a ranged class , so it becomes more enjoyable to watch  rather than seeing 10 hp bars stacking on each others , im realy curious about others opinion on this , i think removing stacking will make the game way more enjoyable.

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Has been suggested many times for it to be wider by me and many others. The general consensus is that people like it for whatever reason, and A-net doesn't want to change it. It's a moot and dead point at this time. I wish it was wider like other MMOs for ranged to be actual ranged, but it is what it is.

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27 minutes ago, Doctor Hide.6345 said:

Has been suggested many times for it to be wider by me and many others. The general consensus is that people like it for whatever reason, and A-net doesn't want to change it. It's a moot and dead point at this time. I wish it was wider like other MMOs for ranged to be actual ranged, but it is what it is.

Stacking is a side effect of some big design decisions that can't easily be undone.  First and foremost the "non-trinity" design.  If players didn't need to stack for boons, they'd need to stack to control enemy movement instead because we have no reliable way to do so like they do in trinity games that are designed with tanking in mind.

Since encounters weren't designed with this in mind, there's also the matter of ranged roles having nothing designed specifically to challenge them.  This exacerbates the issue of range vs. melee.  While your melee roles are running around dodging and performing split mechanics, etc., your ranged DPS and support can just stand back and tee off from safety.  The encounters simply weren't designed with this in mind.

Then there's the UI.  Most of our support abilities are area effects centered on the caster.  In order to facilitate ranged support, you would either need to give these effects a massive range or change the UI to allow for targeted effects on allies.  I suppose there's nothing wrong with the idea of expanding the range on these effects, but it seems a bit like you're freeing up ranged DPS while doing nothing to make the support gameplay more engaging.

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Hehe, I don't do fractals or strikes very often so almost all of my stacking is in WvW. At least for me, in that game mode, stacking is not the least bit boring. The tag, where the stacking usually happens, is always moving. Even if they are giving out directions in Discord vc, trying to stay stacked on tag in a fast changing battle environment, with massive visual effects exploding continually all over the screen, is quite challenging for this old guy. Of course, given the amount of reflects in WvW, ranged attackers have to be very careful so they don't wipe out everyone they are stacked with. 🙃

(Strikes and fractals are a very different environment though, and I suspect my comments don't apply there.)

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Seems like mainly a buff to ranged builds, which don't really need to be buffed. So... bad idea. Some encounters already have mechanics forcing people to spread out, so if you want more interesting fights, ask for more of those mechanics instead of making fights even easier for ranged builds, which often are already favored anyways.

Edited by Sobx.1758
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20 minutes ago, AliamRationem.5172 said:

Stacking is a side effect of some big design decisions that can't easily be undone.  First and foremost the "non-trinity" design.  If players didn't need to stack for boons, they'd need to stack to control enemy movement instead because we have no reliable way to do so like they do in trinity games that are designed with tanking in mind.

Since encounters weren't designed with this in mind, there's also the matter of ranged roles having nothing designed specifically to challenge them.  This exacerbates the issue of range vs. melee.  While your melee roles are running around dodging and performing split mechanics, etc., your ranged DPS and support can just stand back and tee off from safety.  The encounters simply weren't designed with this in mind.

Then there's the UI.  Most of our support abilities are area effects centered on the caster.  In order to facilitate ranged support, you would either need to give these effects a massive range or change the UI to allow for targeted effects on allies.  I suppose there's nothing wrong with the idea of expanding the range on these effects, but it seems a bit like you're freeing up ranged DPS while doing nothing to make the support gameplay more engaging.

     Yes, I have heard all that before, but the thing is I don't care for the reasons stated. I know it will make some encounters easier and all that, but I just get annoyed that ranged will never truly be ranged. Just make the boons/heals 900 -1200 so it covers most ranged professions. Have the support more in the middle so they cover the melee and ranged with that new distance. It doesn't need to be more engaging in my opinion as long as the ranged get to stand back.

     Yes, I know my opinion on it goes to counter to a lot, but frankly, I stopped caring about their take on it and the stuff they come up with as for why. I know this is a lost battle, so I generally just keep to myself with it and take it as is and try to warn others with my view to do the same. No point fighting a lost battle.

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Just now, Doctor Hide.6345 said:

     Yes, I have heard all that before, but the thing is I don't care for the reasons stated. I know it will make some encounters easier and all that, but I just get annoyed that ranged will never truly be ranged. Just make the boons/heals 900 -1200 so it covers most ranged professions. Have the support more in the middle so they cover the melee and ranged with that new distance. It doesn't need to be more engaging in my opinion as long as the ranged get to stand back.

     Yes, I know my opinion on it goes to counter to a lot, but frankly, I stopped caring about their take on it and the stuff they come up with as for why. I know this is a lost battle, so I generally just keep to myself with it and take it as is and try to warn others with my view to do the same. No point fighting a lost battle.

Really?  It doesn't matter to you that you'd just be standing there teeing off 90% of the time because the mechanics weren't designed with that in mind? Hey, to each their own I guess. 🤷‍♂️

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1 hour ago, AliamRationem.5172 said:

Really?  It doesn't matter to you that you'd just be standing there teeing off 90% of the time because the mechanics weren't designed with that in mind? Hey, to each their own I guess. 🤷‍♂️

Which is ironic considering the complaint about standing around ... maybe standing further away is special 🙂

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51 minutes ago, Khisanth.2948 said:

Which is ironic considering the complaint about standing around ... maybe standing further away is special 🙂

     Fine, I  will bite. I never complained about standing around. And yes, fighting further away is special because it matches the weapon theme better. I care more about weapon theme than actual mechanics. If you are using a pistol, I except you at least use it at 900 away. If you have a rifle, I expect you to be at 1200-1500 away to match the theme of the weapon. Ranged weapons should be at ranged most of the time and not in melee otherwise you ruin the theme of them. So yes, further away is special because it means it matches the weapon theme. It was never about standing for me.

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I think stacking is a bit strange. I understand why it exists, short range and duration boons requiring continuous upkeep, healing being much easier when players are close to each other, and because there isn't a traditional "tank" role that other MMOs tend to have it is easier to control and predict enemies when your squad are in the same space.

The problem, at least the way I see it, is that the stacking meta becomes very difficult to read when you have many allied AoEs, pets (mechanist jade golem...), 10 players on top of each other with name tags, health bars. Then you throw in enemy AoEs, it does get a bit hectic. Newer encounters have better telegraphed attacks and AoEs which helps, in fairness. But the combination of all of these can lead to a confusing scenario for some players and people watching streams/videos.

I think stacking is only really a problem in 10 player content (anything more than that, ie open world and wvw, is going to be zergy, can't do much about that). In 5 player content that's half the AoEs, half the players, and then you get fractal instabilities that prevent or make it harder to stack. 

A solution could be to increase boon range, but then it makes healing and reviving more difficult as players space out more. So the stack would remain to keep the healing roles effective. Or you make heal AoEs bigger... then you end up with a snowball effect. I suppose you have abilities like Search and Rescue which provide ranged revives, but that isn't available for every class.

One other potential solution could be make encounters that promote splitting the squad. 10 player squads are usually split into 2 sub groups for effective boons and healing - creating encounters that take advantage of that would mean you have 2 smaller stacks rather than 1 large one. Reasoning for this - stacking isn't such a visual mess in 5 player content. And each subgroup (in optimal play) would have "one of each" - heals, boons, dps, a tank depending on encounters. Each sub group should be effective as it's own unit.

Although in reality the worst part of stacking is the visual clutter from AoEs. If there was a way to hide or reduce the effects of less important AoEs, hide other's pets, reduce flashiness, it would go a long way without having to deviate from the way GW2 is currently designed.

 

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6 hours ago, Doctor Hide.6345 said:

     Fine, I  will bite. I never complained about standing around. And yes, fighting further away is special because it matches the weapon theme better.

Build your ranged squad -or even subsquad- then. You also don't need a permanent boon uptime to be viable in pve content. Also as it was already mentioned, there are clear encounters which vastly favor ranged over melee anyways. Overally the reasoning of "ranged can't ever be truly ranged" is false. All this complaint/change proposal aims at is trivializing the game further and that's not a good change. All that even moreso when:

6 hours ago, Doctor Hide.6345 said:

I care more about weapon theme than actual mechanics.

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GW2 is all about blobbing. Its favorable in boss fights, needed in fractals, strikes, wvw. This is not the game where healer casts aoe group heal and everyone in party gets healed dont matter where they are.

I fully understand people frustration with this, mainly because of visual blob around encounter, but it is as it is.

Ranged are great in open world bosses, champions, harder veteran mobs on so on.

One thing i got from playing this game, every encounter favors specific class or specialization. Like why would you go ranged if boss fight is melee?

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It's simple combat efficiency; if op wasn't such a die-hard phiw they would experience the joy of boons and heals which are rewarded for standing in the right place. If you want to range, then do that, but realise that everyone else is carrying you in terms of dps.

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7 hours ago, Reborn.1738 said:

The problem, at least the way I see it, is that the stacking meta becomes very difficult to read when you have many allied AoEs, pets (mechanist jade golem...), 10 players on top of each other with name tags, health bars.

Don't forget Untamed and their green spheres that completely block you from being able to see anything...

Stacking wouldn't be such an issue if you could turn off other players' effects so you can actually see telegraphs and when you (or someone else) is about to drop a pain puddle in the group. As it is, you either range and do without boons and passive healing or you join the blob and hope you get healing/aegis/stability/might/no one drops pain on you.

In instanced PvE content, there's no reason why boons couldn't have a larger range. Sure stacking would probably be more preferable still but at least give people the option to stand 5ft outside the stack without it tanking their DPS.I don't hate stacking as a mechanic but it's not engaging gameplay while also punishing people who don't go along with it and forcing people to deal with the effects of others. Kinda hard to "action combat" bosses when you can't see any of their tells whether you stack or are 1200 units away.

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I guess it's mostly a holdover from the game launching with no dedicated / targeted healing. I don't really see why the buff/heal radius shouldn't be increased in pve content along with the inclusion of more spread and positioning mechanics. It must be hard to create interesting fights when they have to design around everyone being in one 5 foot diameter murder blob 90% of the time.

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1 hour ago, Sweetbread.3678 said:

I guess it's mostly a holdover from the game launching with no dedicated / targeted healing. I don't really see why the buff/heal radius shouldn't be increased in pve content along with the inclusion of more spread and positioning mechanics. It must be hard to create interesting fights when they have to design around everyone being in one 5 foot diameter murder blob 90% of the time.

It's that or make every boss stationary or contrive passive tanking mechanics like they do in some raid encounters.  Otherwise they'll just run all over the place, making melee builds more or less obsolete as you aren't just dealing zero DPS while performing splits but also have to chase the boss around continuously.  Basically, in order for this to work properly they have to give up on the failed "no trinity" experiment and redesign their game around traditional tanking and support roles.

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10 hours ago, Reborn.1738 said:

One other potential solution could be make encounters that promote splitting the squad. 10 player squads are usually split into 2 sub groups for effective boons and healing - creating encounters that take advantage of that would mean you have 2 smaller stacks rather than 1 large one. Reasoning for this - stacking isn't such a visual mess in 5 player content. And each subgroup (in optimal play) would have "one of each" - heals, boons, dps, a tank depending on encounters. Each sub group should be effective as it's own unit.

You would still have the problem with revives. Not just the issue of distance but also potentially requiring allies to cross over multiple hazards.

10 hours ago, Reborn.1738 said:

Although in reality the worst part of stacking is the visual clutter from AoEs. If there was a way to hide or reduce the effects of less important AoEs, hide other's pets, reduce flashiness, it would go a long way without having to deviate from the way GW2 is currently designed.

The AoEs are stacked because that is where the enemy is. Even situations with multiple enemies that needs to be killed within a short time people will alternate instead of splitting

Then there is enemy behavior. Melee enemies will switch targets making them run all over the place rendering ground based attacks mostly useless. That technically solves the stacking AoE problem. If they are useless then people will stop using them. Ranged enemies will often focus on ranged players giving everyone else free hits which also renders being at ranged pretty much useless.

41 minutes ago, AliamRationem.5172 said:

It's that or make every boss stationary or contrive passive tanking mechanics like they do in some raid encounters.  Otherwise they'll just run all over the place, making melee builds more or less obsolete as you aren't just dealing zero DPS while performing splits but also have to chase the boss around continuously.  Basically, in order for this to work properly they have to give up on the failed "no trinity" experiment and redesign their game around traditional tanking and support roles.

Downed state also needs to be removed. Does it count as a failed experiment if they never did the experiment properly? Seems a bit disingenuous. Enemies still behave like it's a trinity game in that they would usually pick a target and stick to it like glue unless there is some other fixation mechanic specific to the encounter.

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