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About SUPPORT and CONTROL


lakdav.3694

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A mainly PvE oriented story...

Guild Wars 2 supposed to have its own trinity instead of the usual Tank-Healer-DPS of most other MMOs, specificall Support-Control-Damage. If I read around in the forums here, I can see that Damage is discussed all the time - after all it is the most varied and diverse output of any player interaction. There are videos, benchmarks and races between the professions and builds to reach and surpass some arbitrary ever-rising borderline, you know what I mean. There is healthy variety and competition going on, relatively speaking.

SUPPORTSupport has fewer but ever-so prominent topics. When is the Druid and the Chrono going to be nerfed, how will they be overnerfed, who will take on the same roles, should Anet rather buff every other support option in the game?But I suspect that whichever path will be taken will only postpone a real solution, for one reason: The best will always be the best. Should Chrono be nerfed to oblivion and for some reason elementalist take on its present role perfectly, or if a Revenant/Firebrand combo dethroned Druid/Chrono, the issue would remain: The best most optimal tactic will be known and groups would quickly learn to rely on a single build or tactic, demanding it for high-end PvE and WvW and disregarding the other options. It is Min-Maxing mentality, and it cannot be avoided safe for playing with a selection of like-minded friends who dont mind spending 10+ more minutes on a content. I'm not bashing on min-maxing though. It exists, it's a thing, would be pointless fighting it.

The problem with support, I think, is that it is competitive within a group that is supposed to work together. It isn't as horrible as conditions were way back at release: Weaker characters do not overwrite the support output of dedicated support builds, but when there is a support combo that can cover every conceivable boon 100% of the time, any plus support option that hybrid DPS/support builds put out (that are not unique buffs like ranger spirits or warrior banners) just disappear, rendered pointless and useless in the statistics game.

There is a not-at-all-simple solution that I haven't seen discussed here before that I would like to put forward: Intensity-stacking boons.Condition builds became a thing technically only after the big Condi changes. Before that, Bleeding had a 25 stacks cap and once that hard limit of 25 stacks was reached, every other application was wasted. All the while, Burning and Poison had a single stack that went on forever. I see this to be the exact problem with boons and support via boons these days.What if a selection of boons were made stackable? What if the only stacking boon, Might's hard cap was raised to about 100 and a sort of "diminishing returns" system was implemented? Extra applications would still make a difference, without powercreeping it into the high heavens. What if fury didn't give a flat 20% crit-chance increase, but stacks of fury could build up to and above that, again with diminishing returns? Protection's 30% damage reduction? Alacrity's 25%? The 50% speed-increase of Quickness? Could Regeneration be an actual thing that way?

One thing I'm quite sure about, it would make pinpointing the perfect most efficient tactic much more difficult. The topic of the month would be "What works best?", instead of "Nerf this next!"

CONTROLIs control ever discussed? Outside of the mesmer's Moa and Gravity Well, I didn't see a lot of discussions about it, maybe I should have checked WvW forums. Control is a thing in PvP for sure. Players are effected by Control, soft (debilitating conditions) or hard (stun, daze, launch etc), anytime. Support affects players all the time, there is not a single effect that I know of that prevents a character from being effected by boons (maybe Poison's healing reduction is the only distant resemblence). Control in PvE however is... turbulent, depending on your target. Technically anything with a breakbar is completely immune to Control except for that window of opportunity when you can melt their break-bar. But even then, its all for just a 5 second stun and +50% damage, sometimes a change in behavior afterward. There is no difference between putting out that effect with a single Gale or an entire build's worth of debilitating conditions that effect the boss for that small fragment of the fight and never again. High-end PvE is about bosses with breakbars 80-90% of the time. Anything else melts in seconds with minimum fuss and next to no Control needed. Wells of Darkness and Sandstorms and Nighfalls, pulsing blind is technically all that makes a noticable difference even in those cases, but no group search will ever say "Need control".

What if Defiance bosses suffered reduced, maybe stacking effects from debilitating conditions? Don't change the conditions themselves, or their durations, but how bosses are effected by them. (I'm pretty sure the greyed-out condition icon is probably considered as a different effect than the actual condition that applied it, maybe?) For example: Blind. An application of Blind should give the boss a 20% chance to miss with an attack until he actually misses once (or the blind duration expires). If there is another application of Blind before that eventuality, it stacks to a total of 40% chance to miss. Up to a 100% chance to miss, when the Blind will completely dissipate and the stacks can be built up again. Heck, make the effect reduction scale along with the boss in Open World! Could other debilitating conditions work similarly? Weakness, Chill, Cripple, Slow etc?


So, these were my two cents. Feel free to shred it.How would you crunch the numbers? Do you think the significant effort put into such a project -along with balancing it all- be worth it? Would it solve anything, or am I naive? Tech-savants, do you think these "fixes" would strain servers like we were made to believe regarding Conditions before the Condi change?

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Control is discussed frequently, but it's usually just called CC, or not mentioned at all and people just talk about defiance bars. Which is fine if you already know what that means, but it's not particularly helpful for new/casual players who don't realise that someone typing "CC" in chat means "please use all skills which trigger control conditions now because we need them to break the bosses defiance bar to block it's big attack/stun it" or which conditions those are...and then get shouted at for not understanding something no one has ever explained.

I know defiance bars probably seem trivial compared to how control effects work in PvP, but whether you break the bar in time or not can be the deciding factor in whether you win or lose a fight, especially against things like legendary bounties.

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Also that trinity you mention would be really lovable if truly recognized by Anet, but I think is not. There are many other variables that diminish the notion of such trinity on the game.I'm personally a CC guy, I just love it, but I don't think I can really specialize on it. While GW2 makes a great effort to include CC in the content, I don't think it is ingrained enough to have a real relevance when compared to pure DPS.

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GW2's basic character design, which was based around PvP, brought serious challenges to basic MMO PvE endgame design, which is based around groups of players facing single boss (for the most part) opponents. For quasi-action PvP to work, all characters had to have access to control, both to lock down an opponent for a second or two to pull off burst damage on otherwise constantly-moving opponents, and to prevent the opponent from landing crucial skills. That much CC used against a single opponent in PvE would completely trivialize any boss encounter.

So, ANet has tried two iterations of PvE CC resistance on bosses -- Defiance and Break Bars. While I believe Break Bars are superior to the older Defiance mechanic, neither mechanic seems to dynamically adjust to lower or higher numbers of players so as to make CC an equally viable option for a wide range of fight participant numbers.

So, I think there is some merit to the OP's request for a third pass on CC resist, perhaps as a refinement to how Break Bars work. Percentage chances on soft CC effect would be one way to do so, but I wonder whether the effect would result in a dynamic where the effects would be seen as needed. Also, it's questionable whether the skull work and effort involved would result in changes worth having expended that effort.

On the topic of support, I think any effort to have boons such as Might stack intensity -even with diminishing returns -- is going to result in further power creep, which is not to my mind desirable.

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