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High Level Inspiration For Build Diversity


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Take a little trip with me down memory lane so I can explain where I'm going with this thread...

The below are not my videos, but I did happen to spend thousands of hours (in CoH) participating in pvp modes with 22 unique characters, and had a heck of a lot of fun playing every role... especially support roles... I was very "hardcore" about pvp long ago, but I lost all real interest in GW2... I run around in wvw, but I don't take it seriously. I'm rank 20 in spvp since launch. And despite some good elements to combat, like an overall general smoothness to gameplay and the freedom of movement while attacking, there are many design choices that leave a lot to be desired for a quality pvp combat experience... On with the show...

“City of Heroes (CoH) was a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Cryptic Studios and published by NCSOFT. The game was launched in North America on April 27, 2004, and in Europe by NCsoft Europe on February 4, 2005”

Fast paced and pulse pounding pvp mode, that had a ton more build diversity and options, and more balanced designs and combat mechanics… than GW2 currently offers… AND was actually fun! AND there weren’t any “clunky and funky” class designs either (clunky as in druid and ventari healing designs, learning to play the piano on ele and be forced to choose 1 weapon that is either good at melee, mid or long range (same with eng), while everyone else has 2 weapons… And funky designs like rev needing both energy and cooldowns, while thief can just spam attacks, and other class designs are straight forward… necro gated shroud mechanics and over dependency on those same gated shroud mechanics to find success…)

But Swagger, that CoH game had Tanks…

You mean you could play an offensive support build that didn’t have a resource gate (like druid) so you could support your team properly, and actually have fun doing it (unlike any support role or build offered in GW2)?

GW1- Launched April 26, 2005... 1 year after CoH... Gameplay looked boring and uninspiring, but apparently it had way more build diversity than GW2, and more UI options.

GW2 launch August 28th 2012, and still has unnecessarily unbalanced profession designs and very low viable build diversity. Not exciting to watch or play spvp, especially coming from CoH.

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Soooo in GW2 we all want more build diversity, and that’s one of the devs high level goals… So let’s start with some ideas to look at and think about… Gaze upon the vast amount of classes, playable roles and class build options available to players in CoH… AND realize MOST class power sets were viable and fun for pvp! You could totally make viable solo pvp builds, team based pvp builds and hybrid pvp builds… out of these class options! Was spectacular!!! AND the best part is that every build had offensive skills while still bringing unique roles to any team! Players didn’t have funky and clunky mechanics to mess around with, while getting smashed in your pixelated face, you just played and had fun! And you could easily pick up any class to play because, for the most part, all classes had the same core controls, and felt similar by design! Uniqueness came from the actual skills, roles to play and builds a player used… AND the best part is that there were so many different viable team compositions too! Was totally awesome! Let’s take a look!

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Archetypeshttps://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Blaster“The Blaster is an offensive juggernaut. This hero can deal a ton of damage from a distance. But the Blaster must be careful, because he's somewhat fragile compared to other heroes. The Blaster can't stand toe to toe with most opponents at melee for long. His best defense is a great offense!The Blaster's power sets are:Primary: RangedSecondary: Support”

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Brute“Brutes live to fight, and as a Brute you revel in hand-to-hand combat. With strong offensive power sets to inflict pain and impressive defenses to take it, you're the best there is in a straight fight. Protracted battles only makes you mad, and the madder you get, the more damaging your attacks become. You do lack ranged attacks, which could leave you vulnerable to hit and run tactics without some allies to cover you.The Brute's power sets are:Primary: MeleeSecondary: Defense”

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Corruptor“Corrupters twist the forces of the universe to do their bidding. As a corruptor, you might strike your foes down with blasts of fire, entomb them in ice, infect them with radiation, or curse them with pure darkness. As your foes are weakened, your scourge ability kicks in, increasing your damage to an enemy as their hit points drop. You can even impart a portion of your twisted power to your allies to protect them from harm, heal them, or increase the damage they deal. This wide array of abilities comes at a price. Your defenses aren't strong, and you can quickly attract the ire of your enemies if you aren't careful.The Corruptor's power sets are:Primary: RangedSecondary: Buff”

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Defender“The Defender tends to help his allies, and attack his foes, from a distance. The Defender excels at powers that assist friends, but can also hinder his enemies. The Defender is able to attack at quite a range, however, the Defender is not built for hand to hand. He might be able to dodge a few attacks, but the Defender won't last for long.The Defender's power sets are:Primary: BuffSecondary: Ranged”

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Dominator“As a Dominator, you control a devastating combination of control and assault powers. A Dominator can freeze foes in place, render them unconscious, or cause them to flee in terror. Dominators can also smite their foes with a selection of single-target melee and ranged attacks, with devastating effectiveness. Additionally, each time a Dominator attacks, he comes closer to unleashing his true sadistic power of Domination. With so much emphasis on diverse offensive powers, Dominators lack in defenses and work best with teammates who can provide protection.The Dominator's power sets are:Primary: ControlSecondary: Assault”

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Scrapper“The Scrapper is a fierce melee combatant. In hand to hand, no other hero can compare. But the Scrapper is not as resilient as the Tanker, and might find himself in a little trouble if he heedlessly wades into combat. The Scrapper's aptitude for melee is countered by a total lack of long distance attacks. Scrappers possess Critical strike capability. Their melee attacks have a chance to sometimes do double damage.The Scrapper's power sets are:Primary: MeleeSecondary: Defense”

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Stalker“Skill can divert clumsy raw power, and precisely applied force can solve many problems. As a Stalker, this is the core of your specialty. You do your best work when attacking from ambush, and can even hide in plain sight to escape foes. Deadly attacks and good defenses make you a dangerous combatant and assassin, but you can be overwhelmed if you're not careful.The Stalker's power sets are:Primary: MeleeSecondary: Defense”

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Tanker“The Tanker can take it and dish it out all at once. The Tanker primarily can absorb vast amounts of damage, and hold his own in a fist fight. But the Tanker lacks any long range punch. The Tanker would prefer just to charge straight ahead anyway.The Tanker's power sets are:Primary: DefenseSecondary: Melee”

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Controller“The Controller is at the same time the weakest and yet the most powerful of the archetypes. The Controller has few offensive attacks and possesses few hit points. But the Controller has access to a range of powers and abilities that no one else does. Armed with these powers, a Controller can affect the behavior of villains, from freezing them in place, to putting them to sleep, to routing them away. Armed with such abilities, the Controller is the backbone for any super group, but the Controller depends upon their teammates for protection.The Controller's power sets are:Primary: ControlSecondary: Buff”

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Mastermind“As a Mastermind, you excel at using others to do your dirty work. Perhaps you build killer robots, command deadly Ninja, order hardened soldiers, or summon the undead to do your bidding. Whatever your choice, you have an army of minions at your beck and call. You can summon them when needed, order them to work your will, and even use your own powers to enhance them or weaken your foes. The Mastermind is a difficult class to play, often demanding constant attention to control your minions and stave off the retribution of your enemies.The Mastermind's power sets are:Primary: SummonSecondary: Buff”

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Peacebringer“Peacebringers, along with Warshades, are one of the two Epic Archetypes for Heroes. They are available to players who are VIP or who have purchased an unlock from the Paragon Market. All Peacebringers are of Natural origin.Peacebringers are formed from the fusion of an alien energy being called a Kheldian and a willing host. While Peacebringers take more damage from most attacks, they make up for this weakness with solid Hit Points, a good variety of Energy attack powers and strong defensive powers, inherent Flight, and eventually even gain access to two shape-shift forms. Peacebringers become stronger when teamed with non-Kheldian heroes, gaining bonuses to their own powers based on the archetypes of their teammates.Alignment: HeroThe Peacebringer's powersets are:Primary: OffenseSecondary: Defense”

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Warshade“Warshades, along with Peacebringers, are one of the two Epic Archetypes for Heroes. They are available to players who are VIP or who have purchased an unlock from the Paragon Market. All Warshades are of Science origin.Warshades are former Nictus who have left that dark path behind and reformed, joining with a willing host. While Warshades take more damage from most attacks, they make up for this weakness with solid Hit Points, a good variety of Dark Energy attack powers and strong defensive powers, inherent Teleport, and eventually even gain access to two shape-shift forms. Warshades become stronger when teamed with non-Kheldian heroes, gaining bonuses to their own powers based on the archetypes of their teammates.Alignment: HeroThe Warshade's power sets are:Primary: OffenseSecondary: Defense”

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Arachnos_Soldier“Arachnos Soldiers, along with Arachnos Widows, are one of the two Epic Archetypes for Villains. They are available to players who are VIP or who have purchased an unlock from the Paragon Market. All Arachnos Soldiers are of Natural origin. While NPC versions of these archetypes are typically male, PC Arachnos Soldiers may be female. An Arachnos soldier is called Spider in the targetting window.Characters with Arachnos Soldier training begin their careers as Wolf Spiders. Wolf Spider characters have a strong mix of Melee and Ranged attacks and strong protective powers available via their power armor. Beginning at level 24, the player has to choose whether he will progress down the "Crab Spider" or "Bane Spider" path. Crab Spiders gain access to the "backpack" and the powerful claw/cone attacks it provides, while the Bane Spider track provides stealth and a stronger focus on melee.Arachnos Soldiers who go the Bane Spider route gain the ability to do automatic critical damage with any of their primary melee attacks when attacking from Hidden status. These criticals do one and two-thirds times normal damage. Bane Spiders become Hidden the same way Stalkers do, by using their secondary Cloaking Device power or primary Placate power. (However, the stealth granted by Cloaking Device is slightly less than that granted by a Stalker's Hide, and Arachnos Soldiers must also use some other source of Stealth or enemy -Perception to approach Boss and higher-rank targets reliably.)Alignment: VillainThe Arachnos Soldier's power sets are:Primary: SoldiersSecondary: Gadgets”

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Arachnos_Widow“Arachnos Widows, along with Arachnos Soldiers, are one of the two Epic Archetypes for Villains. They are available to players who are VIP or who have purchased an unlock from the Paragon Market. All Arachnos Widows are of Natural origin. While all NPC Widows and Fortunata are female, PCs may be either gender. An Arachnos Widow is called Widow in the targeting window.Characters with Widow Training begin their careers as Blood Widows. Blood Widow characters begin with modest melee, ranged and buff skills. Beginning at level 24, they may choose to switch to the "Fortunata" path or remain on the "Widow" path and become "Night Widows." Night Widows gain considerably stronger melee capabilities, and only have modest ranged abilities, while those who go with the Fortunata path learn stronger ranged attack abilities and control abilities.Arachnos Widows who go the Night Widow route gain the ability to do automatic critical damage with any of their primary melee attacks when attacking from Hidden status. These criticals do one and two-thirds times normal damage. Night Widows become Hidden the same way Stalkers do, by using their primary Mask Presence or Placate power. (However, the stealth granted by Mask presence is less than that granted by a Stalker's Hide, and Night Widows must also use their Smoke Grenade power, or some other source of Stealth or enemy -Perception, to approach their target reliably.) Fortunatas are also able to perform this type of attack using the Fortunata Mask Presence power, however, lacking Placate or Smoke Grenade, they are unable to do so as often.Alignment: VillainThe Arachnos Widow's power sets are:Primary: TrainingSecondary: Teamwork”

Look at all these cool skills below, that all class had available to round out their unique builds, and to help bring more balance between all the other classes! This was an awesome design choice!

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Power_Pools“Power Pools are supplemental power sets available to all archetypes, beyond the primary and secondary power sets selected during character creation. A character may select powers from up to four power pools per build. Unlike primary and secondary archetype power sets, a character may change their power pools during a respec. Each power pool has either four or five powers, which are unlocked at various levels, as described below.Pool powers aren't as effective as their cousins in primary and secondary power sets. However, they can be used to cover a weakness in your power sets (Aid Self for a Blaster), provide support abilities to your teammates (Maneuvers for a Defender), or have a surprising twist or contradiction on your Archetype and power sets (Provoke for a Mastermind). The Travel Powers also come from the power pools. Utilizing power pools may require skipping one or more powers in the primary or secondary power sets of the character.Power pools purchased on the Paragon Market were a new twist on the concept in that they included their own travel power, and only one purchased power pool could be used per character.”


And there were even more build options for balance!!!

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Ancillary_Power_Pools“Ancillary Power Pools, also known as Epic Power Pools, become available to hero-aligned and villain-aligned characters at level 35. A character can only select one Ancillary Power Pool. Additionally, Patron Power Pools open at level 35, but require doing a Patron arc to unlock, so only characters of villain alignment can unlock these pools (though they stay unlocked for that character regardless of alignment after unlocking).Warshades, Peacebringers, Arachnos Soldiers and Arachnos Widows do not get access to Ancillary Power Pools.Unlike the regular Power Pools, these are restricted by Archetype. The powers in these pools are selected from other Archetypes, and are designed to give each Archetype access to types of abilities that they do not normally have: holds and ranged attacks for melee Archetypes, armors for ranged Archetypes, etc.Just like the regular Power Pools, you can choose a different APP/PPP during a respec.”

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Patron_Power_Pools“Patron Power Pools are the villain equivalent of Ancillary Power Pools, and attempt to balance the Archetypes' builds. Unlike Ancillary Powers, Patron Powers must be earned by completing a story arc that becomes available for a Villain at Level 35. The Villain can see Arbiter Rein, who then outlines the gravity of the situation in choosing an Arachnos Patron: Black Scorpion, Captain Mako, Ghost Widow, and Scirocco. Once selected, the story arc leads the Villain on a quest to become a true disciple of the Patron, with an Accolade rewarded at the end and all four Patron Power Pools being unlocked within the level selection screen.”

So what is the whole point of this Swagger? The point is that if we all want more build diversity, it starts with making sure that all professions have access to quality designs, weapons, skills and playable roles. That the focus shifts from trying too hard to make each profession design mechanically different, and forcing in major design disparities in the name of “uniqueness”, and more of a focus on viable build diversity, viable roles to play, a balancing of extremes in every area AND, importantly... the fun factor of playing X build in X mode… NO, I’m not suggesting we assign hard design roles (tank, healer, yadayada) to each profession, I’m suggesting we look at the concept designs of the classes, skills and mechanics above and what that team was trying to achieve with combat gameplay…And that the GW2 team adopt the "professions first" attitude, that Paragon Studios had for classes in their game... An if anyone doesn’t understand the above sentences, here is an old video that still sums up the current extremes, and polar designs, of everything profession and combat related in GW2… And that needs to change if the high level goal is to create build diversity…

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