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Fractal Random Mistlock Instabilities


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  • ArenaNet Staff

A message from Benjamin Arnold, Content Programmer – Fractals / Raids:

Mistlock Instabilities were designed as a way to add variation to gameplay and difficulty when players are repeating the same fractals multiple times. The intent was to provide unique challenges and promote new playstyles based on which instabilities are active for a given fractal scale. Unfortunately, the original implementation did not quite succeed at this.

Initially, instabilities were hard coded for each scale, and would change only if we manually altered them on patch days. As a result, rather than feeling like the gameplay varied at Tier 4, you got the same set of instabilities every time you did a fractal, and it got stale, or worse, felt consistently un-fun. In addition, the manual nature of the instability list was hard for designers to maintain.

In the very near future, instabilities will be randomly assigned to each scale, and will change each week, with one instability at Tier 2, two instabilities at Tier 3, and three instabilities at Tier 4. Instabilities will be enabled via a per-map whitelist, so designers can easily update which instabilities will ever be available for a certain fractal.

We believe that this added variation will improve the fractal experience for dedicated players, and help keep daily achievements from feeling stale or unchallenging. Going forward we will continue to look for new instabilities to add and improvements to implement, in order to make the system more enjoyable and understandable.

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@Roul.3205 said:Might consider removing Social Awkwardness then ^^'

Why do you care Roul? You always solo them anyways :p

@CptAurellian.9537 said:Random instabilities don't sound too bad and, most importantly, you mention the whitelist approach. I'm already curious about the new instabilities.

We did a lot of testing to try to figure out what felt fair and unfair, and are open to more feedback when it ships on if people feel anything is particularly unfair or unfun. Its very easy to change the whitelist. It was NOT easy to change the system before.

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@"nortask.8351" said:or hamstrung (he says wishfully)

Hamstring us fine honestly. Im more scared about thing like toxic trail. But not so much that id ask for it to not be included.

Also Ben said this "Mistlock Instabilities were designed as a way to add variation to gameplay and difficulty when players are repeating the same fractals multiple times." Outside of cms this doesnt happen.The incentive to repeat a fractal is pretty damn low if its bit a daily or if it was and u already did it.

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If you're going to make instabilities random, can you consider removing some of the instabilities that aren't particularly fun?

  • Social Awkwardness: This one is really frustrating, especially in fights that have a lot of zoning. If you have to move a lot to avoid damage, it's very annoying having to constantly check that you're not standing too close to an ally. It's especially frustrating when playing with pugs that constantly run on top of you. I just want to be able to focus on the fight rather than constantly monitoring my position relative to 4 other players.
  • Mists Convergence: This one is just too random and feels like it gets in the way rather than adding anything meaningful.
  • Last Laugh: This isn't hard to deal with most of the time, but it just makes cleaving trash more annoying. In most boss fights this doesn't add too much challenge anyway.

At the very least can Social Awkwardness removed? It's just so annoying being able to stack perfectly in every single raid encounter, but then not being allowed to do so in many of the Fractals.

Edit: Removed salt/fixed grammar.

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@Gilburt.9146 said:If you're going to make instabilities random, can you consider removing some of the instabilities that aren't particularly fun?

  • Social Awkwardness: This one is really frustrating, especially in fights that have a lot of zoning. If you have to move a lot to avoid damage, it's very annoying having to constantly check that you're not standing too close to an ally. It's especially frustrating when playing with pugs that constantly run on top of you. I just want to be able to focus on the fight rather than constantly monitoring my position relative to 4 other players.
  • Mists Convergence: This one is just too random and feels like it gets in the way rather than adding anything meaningful.
  • Last Laugh: Why is this a thing? Not hard to deal with most of the time, but it just makes cleaving trash more annoying. In most boss fights this doesn't add too much challenge anyway.

At the very least can Social Awkwardness at least be removed? It's just so annoying being able to stack perfectly in every single raid encounter, but then not being allowed to do so in many of the Fractals.

Were not deleting any instabilities or adding any new ones for episode 2, but we are always open to feedback on these things and swapping in new ones is never out of the question.

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@"Benjamin Arnold.3457" said:Some people have wanted to see the whitelist, I see no problem with disclosing the current iteration since people will figure it out anyways and there's no point to hiding it.

https://imgur.com/a/ChoU5

I may be alone here but I personally think that hamstrung is one of the harder instabilities for pugs and for beginners, especially for lower tier groups because they won't likely have any support or anything. At least for volcanic and swampland, I've had t2 and t3 groups that just quit on them or just do a lower fractal level version without hamstrung. Volcanic is just rude because once you take damage you slow down, when you slow down you take damage, pugs get so rattled by it.

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@Benjamin Arnold.3457 said:

@Gilburt.9146 said:If you're going to make instabilities random, can you consider removing some of the instabilities that aren't particularly fun?
  • Social Awkwardness:
    This one is really frustrating, especially in fights that have a lot of zoning. If you have to move a lot to avoid damage, it's very annoying having to constantly check that you're not standing too close to an ally. It's especially frustrating when playing with pugs that constantly run on top of you. I just want to be able to focus on the fight rather than constantly monitoring my position relative to 4 other players.
  • Mists Convergence:
    This one is just too random and feels like it gets in the way rather than adding anything meaningful.
  • Last Laugh:
    Why is this a thing? Not hard to deal with most of the time, but it just makes cleaving trash more annoying. In most boss fights this doesn't add too much challenge anyway.

At the very least can Social Awkwardness at least be removed?
It's just so annoying being able to stack perfectly in every single raid encounter, but then not being allowed to do so in many of the Fractals.

Were not deleting any instabilities or adding any new ones for episode 2, but we are always open to feedback on these things and swapping in new ones is never out of the question.

Have you thought of changing the social Awkwardbess instability to something more akin the pretrify/aoe agony like mechanic in cairn?

1 player gets it the playe who has it yells it and then that player needs to mind their positioning.

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@Gilburt.9146 said:If you're going to make instabilities random, can you consider removing some of the instabilities that aren't particularly fun?

  • Social Awkwardness: This one is really frustrating, especially in fights that have a lot of zoning. If you have to move a lot to avoid damage, it's very annoying having to constantly check that you're not standing too close to an ally. It's especially frustrating when playing with pugs that constantly run on top of you. I just want to be able to focus on the fight rather than constantly monitoring my position relative to 4 other players.
  • Mists Convergence: This one is just too random and feels like it gets in the way rather than adding anything meaningful.
  • Last Laugh: This isn't hard to deal with most of the time, but it just makes cleaving trash more annoying. In most boss fights this doesn't add too much challenge anyway.

At the very least can Social Awkwardness removed? It's just so annoying being able to stack perfectly in every single raid encounter, but then not being allowed to do so in many of the Fractals.

Manaage your cleave better so you kill all the adds around the same time. Easy.

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@nortask.8351 said:

@"Benjamin Arnold.3457" said:Some people have wanted to see the whitelist, I see no problem with disclosing the current iteration since people will figure it out anyways and there's no point to hiding it.

I may be alone here but I personally think that hamstrung is one of the harder instabilities for pugs and for beginners, especially for lower tier groups because they won't likely have any support or anything. At least for volcanic and swampland, I've had t2 and t3 groups that just quit on them or just do a lower fractal level version without hamstrung. Volcanic is just rude because once you take damage you slow down, when you slow down you take damage, pugs get so rattled by it.

The main idea of including it in tier 2 was that it was a good opportunity to teach players that personal healing (or support) is important. At that tier it is the only present instability so you can focus more on learning it, whereas if it started popping up at tier 3 where overall damage is higher and there is another potentially damaging instability, learning it will be much more difficult. I do see where you are coming from though and I don't disagree.

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@Benjamin Arnold.3457 said:

@Benjamin Arnold.3457 said:Some people have wanted to see the whitelist, I see no problem with disclosing the current iteration since people will figure it out anyways and there's no point to hiding it.

I may be alone here but I personally think that hamstrung is one of the harder instabilities for pugs and for beginners, especially for lower tier groups because they won't likely have any support or anything. At least for volcanic and swampland, I've had t2 and t3 groups that just quit on them or just do a lower fractal level version without hamstrung. Volcanic is just rude because once you take damage you slow down, when you slow down you take damage, pugs get so rattled by it.

The main idea of including it in tier 2 was that it was a good opportunity to teach players that personal healing (or support) is important. At that tier it is the only present instability so you can focus more on learning it, whereas if it started popping up at tier 3 where overall damage is higher and there is another potentially damaging instability, learning it will be much more difficult. I do see where you are coming from though and I don't disagree.

Well when you put it like that... I get where you are coming from and I can totally understand that. I guess I was in the special case where I played the original fractals then took a 2-3 year break and came back and had the personal level and AR to just jump right into t3s without learning anything about instabilities. Only time I ran t2s was with my buddy who was in a similar case as me, so we both were not good at managing the instability.

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@Benjamin Arnold.3457 said:Were not deleting any instabilities or adding any new ones for episode 2, but we are always open to feedback on these things and swapping in new ones is never out of the question.Okay, thanks for keeping an open mind about them. :)

@zealex.9410 said:Manaage your cleave better so you kill all the adds around the same time. Easy.I said it wasn't a difficult mechanic to counter. :astonished:

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@Bugabuga.9721 said:Hamstrung in swampland is extremely unfair and sadistic. Especially with toxic trail. Do you really think players enjoy that particular combo when t4's whisp carry timer is very tight as-is? I understand it in twilight oasis (as that's mostly for higher organized teams) but swampland? ?

You're probably right here.

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@zealex.9410 said:

@"Gilburt.9146" said:If you're going to make instabilities random, can you consider removing some of the instabilities that aren't particularly fun?
  • Social Awkwardness:
    This one is really frustrating, especially in fights that have a lot of zoning. If you have to move a lot to avoid damage, it's very annoying having to constantly check that you're not standing too close to an ally. It's especially frustrating when playing with pugs that constantly run on top of you. I just want to be able to focus on the fight rather than constantly monitoring my position relative to 4 other players.
  • Mists Convergence:
    This one is just too random and feels like it gets in the way rather than adding anything meaningful.
  • Last Laugh:
    Why is this a thing? Not hard to deal with most of the time, but it just makes cleaving trash more annoying. In most boss fights this doesn't add too much challenge anyway.

At the very least can Social Awkwardness at least be removed?
It's just so annoying being able to stack perfectly in every single raid encounter, but then not being allowed to do so in many of the Fractals.

Were not deleting any instabilities or adding any new ones for episode 2, but we are always open to feedback on these things and swapping in new ones is never out of the question.

Have you thought of changing the social Awkwardbess instability to something more akin the pretrify/aoe agony like mechanic in cairn?

1 player gets it the playe who has it yells it and then that player needs to mind their positioning.

I like this idea far better. It creates team play, instead of "get away from me!!!!!!"Certain fights in the fractals are in very confined spaces, making it very hard to do just because of the instability, not the actual fractal level.If its one player and its more clearly shown, like an orange ring around em or something. Players can turn the instability in a team play thing . "You have SA? Ok you go shoot from there, we'll go to the other side".That makes it more fun. Instead of how now if a fractal daily has it, players in pugs tend to avoid or skip it entirely.

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So, Last Laugh on Aartsariv 100 CM. Am I right that every little add will have the effect then?

And Flux bomb will cover tiles on Arkk and it's very possible that you don't see where you move to? What about the flux bomb indicator and the skull? Is it possible to see both of them?

I also think Social Awkwardness on Aartsariv is ...... since you have a realistic fighting area of around 90 - 120 degrees. For this encounter it was a bad instability in the past and it will be in the future!

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