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Possible Balance Solution?


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Buildcrafting is where I get my jollies in GW2. Spending hours upon hours trying to break the meta in the respective game modes. Balance patches are my content patches giving me new toys to play with. That said, even I, who frequently is experimenting with all the weird and wonderful Traits/Runes/Stat sets that are rarely seen, found myself wondering what possible use had the devs in mind when implementing some of them. The devs have an understandably difficult job balancing the classes and so from what I can tell, will often implement semi-perfect or outright bad solutions to help make things a level playing field for them. Take some of the newer stat sets introduced into PvP: Marshal, Swashbuckler, Wizard, etc... Having a mix of Condi Dmg and Power I found myself struggling to find a use for, PVP or otherwise. Are these Stat sets worthless then? I would say no, as sifting through the millions of combinations they provide may yet yield results or be useful later when things change or are added, but they do paradoxically strain the balance team in the future significantly. Because, imagine a new stat set you want to see in the game, for me I'd like to see anything with Condi Dmg and Concentration on it. So why isn't something like that available? Because although it would be viable on one class, it would be over powered on another. So will I never get my boon spamming, Balthazar rune wearing Tempest? Possibly, but I think I may have thought of a solution for the devs. One that might kill two birds with one stone.

I got to thinking about traits like Armored Attack (10% Toughness -> Power) on Warrior, Instinctive Reaction ( 7% Power -> Healing Power) on Ranger, Power Overwhelming (10% Power -> Condi Dmg) on Elementalist, and all the other conversion traits. By and large these are almost never used, because they ask the player to make very bad decisions on stat sets in order to work that just don't gel. As a result we see pretty much the same 3 or 4 stat sets across all the game modes, either full glass, full glass with a minor stat in Toughness or Vitality, or a no DPS stat set like Magi's or Minstrels. But what if you could make a stat set only available for individual classes? For example, if Necromancer's ever got their hands on a Condi Dmg, Expertise, Vitality Stat set, that would be very overpowered for them. However imagine an Elementalist or Guardian with that Stat set, you could do some fun stuff with that, and since they only have access to a limited number of conditions (bleeding and burning mostly) it would be more easily countered with Condi clears. So how do you exclude classes from certain stat sets? With the conversion traits!

Take the example of Armored Attack on Warrior. Lets say we made it a Grand Master trait, and upped the conversion rate to something crazy like 50-100%. What you've basically done is made new stat sets exclusively for Warrior! Now you obviously would not want to do this with any of the conversion traits that compound offensive stats such as Scourges Fell Beacon trait (7% Condi Dmg -> Expertise) because that would just further incentivize glass cannoning to new and obscene heights. However the conversion traits that turn defensive/utility stats into damage stats and vise versa, could be an interesting way to promote more build diversity and bust out the weird stat sets that were always thematically nice but never viable.

I also think this would be a far easier balance tool for the devs to use than adding/removing/tweaking stat sets, particularly in PvE which I think is why we don't see some stat sets there where they exist in PvP. At this point in the games life the devs need a lot of data and player testing to discover if a stat set is going to be broken if added to PvE, or they're in a bad spot if something goes wrong. Where as a conversion trait can be changed easily.

What class specific stat sets would you have on your wish list?

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