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The intended balance direction is making this game worse


Nothing.8564

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From someone who's seen every state of the game, from its best, to its worst.
10,000 hours /age, I started a few months after launch.
16,500 PvP games
4,600 on Engineer
3,645 on Ele  
3,400 on Necro
2,000 on Thief
1,000 on Warrior

 

Speaking only for myself, it pains me to see the direction game 'balance' is heading for this game.


Removing amulets, sigils, & runes.
Removing dmg on CC skills.
Removing class identity by nerfing or removing what made a class unique.

 

When this game was at its best, amulets such as vipers and diviners were in the game, high boon up time but necros had a significant amount of corrupt.
Classes felt unique, I remember reading a dev post when they increased necro's corrupting capabilities saying that it was an essential part of their
unique design and they wanted more emphasis on it. They tried emphasize each classes unique aspect and it was great.

From a veterans perspective, everything feels watered down or gutted. The S tier builds now are just braindead beefy brawlers.


When this game was at its worst, probably was after HoT's release when the 'nothing died' meta began, where nothing would die.
However, this new era of PvP balance is like watching the life be drained out of what was once amazing, which feels worse.

Its too late to do anything for this new era, but hopefully someone on the balance team will come along that can do this amazing game justice.

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I have no idea why, if they're determined to give each spec a "support boon" they don't make one Grandmaster in each class's core line [Give Boons On Class Mechanic Use] and just have those boons carry by which elite spec you have equipped.

That way we can stop sacrificing cool Grandmaster traits on the alter of "inclusion," can maintain some semblance of class identity, it's easier to balance, people have choice, and LITERALLY EVERYONE WINS.

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46 minutes ago, FirePowerr.1820 said:

I have no idea why, if they're determined to give each spec a "support boon" they don't make one Grandmaster in each class's core line [Give Boons On Class Mechanic Use] and just have those boons carry by which elite spec you have equipped.

That way we can stop sacrificing cool Grandmaster traits on the alter of "inclusion," can maintain some semblance of class identity, it's easier to balance, people have choice, and LITERALLY EVERYONE WINS.

Yeah. Its crazy to think about, but really the game's new balance design boils down to literally what boons a build can/cant give. What happened to a class being defined by its kitten abilities/art/playstyle/uniqueness.

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4 hours ago, Nothing.8564 said:

When this game was at its worst, probably was after HoT's release when the 'nothing died' meta began, where nothing would die.

For me, it was where game began to be really fun. Ranger was finaly viable. However, I agree with most of your post, but I can understand why they do what they do.

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On 6/11/2023 at 4:35 AM, Nothing.8564 said:


From someone who's seen every state of the game, from its best, to its worst.
10,000 hours /age, I started a few months after launch.
16,500 PvP games
4,600 on Engineer
3,645 on Ele  
3,400 on Necro
2,000 on Thief
1,000 on Warrior

 

Speaking only for myself, it pains me to see the direction game 'balance' is heading for this game.


Removing amulets, sigils, & runes.
Removing dmg on CC skills.
Removing class identity by nerfing or removing what made a class unique.

 

When this game was at its best, amulets such as vipers and diviners were in the game, high boon up time but necros had a significant amount of corrupt.
Classes felt unique, I remember reading a dev post when they increased necro's corrupting capabilities saying that it was an essential part of their
unique design and they wanted more emphasis on it. They tried emphasize each classes unique aspect and it was great.

From a veterans perspective, everything feels watered down or gutted. The S tier builds now are just braindead beefy brawlers.


When this game was at its worst, probably was after HoT's release when the 'nothing died' meta began, where nothing would die.
However, this new era of PvP balance is like watching the life be drained out of what was once amazing, which feels worse.

Its too late to do anything for this new era, but hopefully someone on the balance team will come along that can do this amazing game justice.

It's both the approach itself but also the consequences of the expansions.

Especially EoD just watered down the meta so much. At one point it's impossible to actually balance because there are so many different specializations and traits up in the air, something is always going to offset something else. So naturally everything gravitates towards being the same, so one particular specialization will never step on too many toes.

But at the same time this IS their balancing approach, to remove identity and anything that "sticks out". Instead of a dynamic meta with a few outliers that could/should be nerfed, you just get this bland kitten where all the meta classes are a chore to fight against on the one hand, and you have a bunch of utterly useless classes on the other.

So it's kind of a 1+1=3 effect.

This game's PvP mode deserves better. It is by far the most immersive and dynamic PvP out of any MMO, hell it has some of the most immersive combat out of any multiplayer game out there. It's so sad that all of that immersion is getting ripped out, both in terms of class identity and different playing styles (the experience of driving people crazy as a Mesmer, ripping boons and kitten as Necro, nuking people with all sorts of cycles as Ele, etc.), as well as the interesting dynamics of the competitive combat this game used to have (and what little it still has).

Edited by SevlisBavles.3059
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Ya, the removals was probably the worst possible thing the game could have ever done and has ever done…and it didn’t take a super brain to figure out what the logical conclusion was going to be when the “remove and nerf everything” philosophy was in motion...

The end result was going to be everyone playing 1 amulet…1 damage 1 duration 1-everything…all skills would have just collapsed to just being some lifeless stripped version of its former self…or to just nothingness altogether for the sake of balance (the homogenization problem)

but on the bright side…it’s over…they stopped the removals or year or so ago now (I hope) and the information to gleam from analyzing the problem was probably the best thing that happened in my life (I guess I should mention that I did maybe 4 years worth of math and formal logic to prove that this balance philosophy was flawed) believe it or not…it was a huge surprise to me that these problems were highly related to deep deep physics.

I encourage folks to look at this problem not as just an Anet is dumb thing but like a case study…theirs a lot to learn from this mistake and the fact that they exercised that philosophy shouldn’t ever be forgotten ever. The balance problem and by extension the homogenization problem is way more universal (extending to balance problems  in nearly every game, and practically any system in the natural world as we understand it)

Anyway I think your right that it’s kinda late for the game to turn it all around…so much damage was done and there’s so much work to do to get things shaped up…and really I believe anet doesn’t even know why their philosophies failed or what the one they should implement should be. 

But generally speaking as the science behind this problem becomes more well known in the general public, there will definitely see systems and games being built from these newer more knowledgeable perspectives on game design…perhaps coming more from indi-devs rather than triple A’s till they catch up.

Edited by JusticeRetroHunter.7684
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2 hours ago, JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:

but on the bright side…it’s over…they stopped the removals or year or so ago now (I hope) and the information to gleam from analyzing the problem was probably the best thing that happened in my life (I guess I should mention that I did maybe 4 years worth of math and formal logic to prove that this balance philosophy was flawed) believe it or not…it was a huge surprise to me that these problems were highly related to deep deep physics.

What actually prompted me to write this thread was that they removed almost all of necromancers corrupt boons in the preview for this upcoming patch. I don't even play necro anymore so this on paper would be a 'win' for me as Engi and Ele get hit hard by corrupts, but instead its a super depressing change where they're just further marching towards stripping classes of their identity.

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last time i got really annoyed with balance was in the harb/wb meta, meta had ups and downs since then but every game has this issue.

 

What bugs me more is the matchmaking

It's been a while we've been seeing gold 3 skill players at top 10 just cuz they exploit the kitten out of matchmaking, the duo q q dodge offhours strategy, while good players are sitting around 1500 rating cuz they solo q mostly and not afraid to put their rating at risk, ppl that used to be top 10 in 2018. Funny thing is, if this ppl that are 1500 now and were top back then get 1 more gold 3 player in their team and get match against these "high rated" duos, they will completely wreck the duo most of time, the skillgap is pretty clear, so is the exploit.  

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 Soon all classes gameplay will look like this.

Ele is almost there at beta siege turtle lvl. Just few more patches, some with fake nerfs to hide the bias until they buff it again. On the other end of the food chain: Mesmer/ Thief at that point will be unkillable and braindead spam too but without the dmg to kill something. So equally braindead but useless. Skillful builds will be obsolete as devs promised. At least they kept one promise i guess!  

Edited by doozer.7063
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11 hours ago, Nothing.8564 said:

What actually prompted me to write this thread was that they removed almost all of necromancers corrupt boons in the preview for this upcoming patch. I don't even play necro anymore so this on paper would be a 'win' for me as Engi and Ele get hit hard by corrupts, but instead its a super depressing change where they're just further marching towards stripping classes of their identity.

Interesting I suppose I should look at the preview. I guess I’ll come back with an edit. I’m hoping it’s not as bad as it sounds.

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12 hours ago, Khalisto.5780 said:

last time i got really annoyed with balance was in the harb/wb meta, meta had ups and downs since then but every game has this issue.

 

What bugs me more is the matchmaking

It's been a while we've been seeing gold 3 skill players at top 10 just cuz they exploit the kitten out of matchmaking, the duo q q dodge offhours strategy, while good players are sitting around 1500 rating cuz they solo q mostly and not afraid to put their rating at risk, ppl that used to be top 10 in 2018. Funny thing is, if this ppl that are 1500 now and were top back then get 1 more gold 3 player in their team and get match against these "high rated" duos, they will completely wreck the duo most of time, the skillgap is pretty clear, so is the exploit.  

Not enough players in spvp (especially above plat) , so it can be easily abused. They can't do much but make it solo que only. And even tough they would still snipe each other.

Spvp is niche and has been in maintenance mode for years

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14 hours ago, Nothing.8564 said:

What actually prompted me to write this thread was that they removed almost all of necromancers corrupt boons in the preview for this upcoming patch. I don't even play necro anymore so this on paper would be a 'win' for me as Engi and Ele get hit hard by corrupts, but instead its a super depressing change where they're just further marching towards stripping classes of their identity

You hit the point. Ele gets way harder hit by corrupt than simple boon remove since they can spam boons like crazy. That necro as one of the very few things that can hurt Ele gets its strength vs Ele removed from a Dev that loves ele/ warrior is for sure pure coincidence 😎

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22 hours ago, Nothing.8564 said:

What actually prompted me to write this thread was that they removed almost all of necromancers corrupt boons in the preview for this upcoming patch. I don't even play necro anymore so this on paper would be a 'win' for me as Engi and Ele get hit hard by corrupts, but instead its a super depressing change where they're just further marching towards stripping classes of their identity.

So I skimmed the patch notes last night.

I'll be honest I can't really make heads or tails of it. On the surface level this is what it looks like to me:

1) Cooldown reduction on many skills, in order to remove cooldown reduction traits, some of which seem to be getting different effects all together. In theory these two operations should cancel each other out (making these lower cooldowns baseline across the class) and with new mechanics on those traits, this technically should lead to more depth to the game.

2) Functionality changes to skills to make skills easier to play. Such examples would be Fire Grab getting a larger area of effect (60 degrees to 90 degrees) or Dagger Earth 5 being more "mobility" oriented...stuff like that.

3) Things I can't categorize, like removing corruptions across the board on Necromancer and focusing on centering builds toward PVE boon uptime and role compartmentalization (trying to box classes into roles, by giving them all the ability to fart out the same boons)

To me...the above are contradictory philosophies...wanting more diversity by removing unique mechanics is like saying one wants lemon in milk tea. The two things are polar opposites so :classic_huh: that doesn't make much sense to me.

I basically don't have any real analysis or opinion on what this patch is really even supposed to do, who it's for...whether it will be good or bad. I can see the good intention...they want to fix unused stuff, and fix gameplay clunkiness, and those are good things for the game. But I think this also leads back to what I said prior; That they don't seem to have a proper conceptual framework for how to execute changes that induce the behavior they are really after (diversity and complexity). It seems rather arbitrary...more like someone said "you know this should fix the class" and make changes based off hunches like this. As altruistic as that may be...useful technologies and design aren't just hunches there are methodologies involved...there's order to the chaos, and that requires conceptual frameworks that express those notions formally.

That lack of conceptual framework isn't entirely A-nets fault. Science in general has not established the infrastructure for such frameworks cause they haven't caught up yet...and I suppose just a little bit of science history; is that right now there is no universally accepted framework to model let alone form theories of a complex system (which is what Guild Wars 2 is, a complex system). Mainstream science has always struggled with trying to model anything that isn't hyper idealized, and by and large this is the reason we don't have a unified theory of physics...due to it's failure of modeling real, complex systems, as much as they like to brag about how good the standard model is at describing reality.

Most of the advances in post-modern day science, things like Chat GPT and AI, are from sciences that have actually focused on  modeling systems as complex systems...specifically to AI; as Networks. So because of the lack of real academic attention to the subject area, there is not enough education on it in STEM and so when you get programmers learning how to make games, they are deriving their knowledge from the Newtonian/modern paradigm of logic...which as mentioned, succeeds at modeling very simple idealized systems (particles in a box, spherical cows), but fails at modeling anything complex because those old paradigms are built on flawed assumptions.

Long story short here...designing a game especially a truly complex one like gw2, requires a proper conceptual framework based in science that nobody knows much about or understands just yet (Complex Systems). Even after these few years, / am not surprised that patch notes still seem rather aimless like they've been for the past 11 years...but on the bright side, it's not Feb 2020 levels of bad which, was in fact, the worse philosophy they could have ever done...so at least be glad that, that isn't what we have now...and lets just hope that things don't return to that paradigm...and that the trend of removing identity doesn't continue

Edited by JusticeRetroHunter.7684
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7 minutes ago, JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:

Long story short here...designing a game especially a truly complex one like gw2, requires a proper conceptual framework based in science that nobody knows much about or understands just yet (Complex Systems). Even after these few years, / am not surprised that patch notes still seem rather aimless like they've been for the past 11 years...but on the bright side, it's not Feb 2020 levels of bad which, was in fact, the worse philosophy they could have ever done...so at least be glad that, that isn't what we have now...and lets just hope that things don't return to that paradigm...and that the trend of removing identity doesn't continue

The human element mixed into the complex system does make it exponentially more difficult to balance. Before diversity was 'balanced' out of the game, the amount of build diversity was insane. I often would take breaks from the game and return to a meta that could easily be broken by creating a counter build. The main issue PvP faced back then was that the human element consisted of too many sheep that didn't break from the meta which gives devs the difficult choice of either breaking the balance or telling players to try new things. A very long time ago the devs stated warrior was in a good state when the class was poorly received by the community, then a hammer warrior build popped up out of nowhere and smacked the meta into a new phase. Around this time I made a condi 1vX warrior build that dominated the meta and even won a few tournaments with it. Honestly, throughout most of this games history the main balance problem was the community flocking to meta builds and ignoring the possibility that they had counters. What I absolutely loved about GW2 was that I could spend a few hours theorycrafting a build and end up with something amazing that I could play for months and months while being unmatched and unmirrored.

This game has immense potential but 'balance' seems to be a spotlight that randomly moves to different areas highlighting the good while leaving the rest in the shadows. Its only nowadays that the light the spotlight casts is shrinking leaving us with less than we ever had.

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6 minutes ago, Nothing.8564 said:

The human element mixed into the complex system does make it exponentially more difficult to balance. Before diversity was 'balanced' out of the game, the amount of build diversity was insane. I often would take breaks from the game and return to a meta that could easily be broken by creating a counter build. The main issue PvP faced back then was that the human element consisted of too many sheep that didn't break from the meta which gives devs the difficult choice of either breaking the balance or telling players to try new things. A very long time ago the devs stated warrior was in a good state when the class was poorly received by the community, then a hammer warrior build popped up out of nowhere and smacked the meta into a new phase. Around this time I made a condi 1vX warrior build that dominated the meta and even won a few tournaments with it. Honestly, throughout most of this games history the main balance problem was the community flocking to meta builds and ignoring the possibility that they had counters. What I absolutely loved about GW2 was that I could spend a few hours theorycrafting a build and end up with something amazing that I could play for months and months while being unmatched and unmirrored.

This game has immense potential but 'balance' seems to be a spotlight that randomly moves to different areas highlighting the good while leaving the rest in the shadows. Its only nowadays that the light the spotlight casts is shrinking leaving us with less than we ever had.

Ya man, totally. I think this is exactly what happened over the years. There's also good reasoning that shows that this problem, of balancing the game into mediocrity, is a feedback loop, that happens in the following manner; The more builds get balanced into mediocrity -> the more likely players attempt to find builds that have an advantage over these "balanced" builds -> the more likely those counters get balanced into mediocrity -> and so on until everything is just mediocre sludge pile of 1% damage increase traits and 1 second duration skills because nothing can ever be "too strong" on this relative scale. So the act of trying to forcefully balance the game is a death spiral.

My perspective for maybe 2 years now has been, that the game should only be about the exact notion you mention in your comment...that what makes the game fun, and what makes a game persistently novel and diverse, is the act of theory-crafting new builds, to find counters to enemies (that are doing the same thing) and that this property shouldn't be squeezed out of the game. That, it is the act of exploring the landscape of possible encounters, builds, combinations, permutations theories and group compositions... that makes the game, a game. More abstractly, there is good evidence, that this same mechanism is also a balancing mechanism...where the larger this landscape is the more balanced such systems become...and that this is how one manages to get both diversity and balance like one sees in natural systems in biology.

Basically balance teams...have been doing the complete opposite of what the best balance developer to exist (mother nature) has ever done...it then comes as no surprise to me now, to notice the trend, that many of these games from these top multi-billion dollar companies are constantly self-sabotaging their own games. 

So ya man, I totally get you, and on a personal note, the same essentially happened to me...and why I stopped playing the game myself: Most of the theory-craft has been squeezed out of existence. There's nothing really to play other than "the meta" where most skills in this game are just "Do damage X, give boon Y..." and i think people inadvertently asked for that without realizing how detrimental it was later down the line.

 

Cheers,

 

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yes the balance is disgusting,  necros with 3 hp bars,  warrior bladeworn  cant die and just kill everything, te robot of the engneir does like 3 times his damage?  you can just target a person and robot will do all for you,  or even when is down, the robot can take 100% of your hp will you trying to down the enemy.

 

but they sell the expansion and forget about the development of the game,  

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6 minutes ago, kima.3045 said:

yes the balance is disgusting,  necros with 3 hp bars,  warrior bladeworn  cant die and just kill everything, te robot of the engneir does like 3 times his damage?  you can just target a person and robot will do all for you,  or even when is down, the robot can take 100% of your hp will you trying to down the enemy.

 

but they sell the expansion and forget about the development of the game,  

Bro if by robot you mean mechanist, let me tell you that this spec is garbage in spvp

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