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Stacking players breaks immersion


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Hi Guys,I was trying to formulate what exactly bugs me about GW2 (of which I have been a long running fan, since beta), and I concluded that I hate the concept that in many game espects (raid, fractals, dungeons, even some open world PVE content, and sometimes wvw), you need to be stacked on top of each other, for reason. The reasons are obvious, you get the boons, you get the heals, and it has been the overall tactic to tackle any obstacle in PVE settings since headstart. But here is my (own and objective) problem with that:

I play videogames to leave behind the real world for a short time, and to immerse myself in a fantasy world, where I can do cool things. I am not necessarily a roleplayer, but I do like immersing myself into the character that I am playing. Which is hard to do in GW2, because you always have to be stacked on top of each other in most instanced content.. which is like... not immersive? I feel weird, when I want to play a Renegade with a shortbow or an Elementalist with a staff and I am standing in mellee range on top of others, the boss hitting my face from less than a meter away. And i know this is more of a complex issue:

Ranged specs should not be more powerful than melee specs. You might be saying "Allright, you are allowed to not stack in not high-end pve content", to which I would say "Fine, but if I want to feel like a legendary archer and conquer some difficult foes, I wish to have the ability to do so, or at least feel like it.

So, my problem is not inherently with the fact that only melee specs are viable in higher end PVE content, but that this aspect of the game, along with many other similar game mechanis virtually make it impossible for you to play as a ranged character. Raids? Forget it, you need to stand close to get the buffs. And I really dislike it.

I guess one way of "solving" this would be to extend the radius of healing and buffing skills, so that ranged players would also get it.

Anyway, I really am not sure if I was the only one with ideas, let me know if anyone else feels "wrong" for always (always, always, always...) stacking on top of other players whenever s/he wants to do something other than kill open world pve mobs.

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@zallesz.1650 said:

@"ArcanistSeven.8720" said:i dont think MMO's are for you then. if you want to feel like a kitten archer you should try single player RPG's.

Hey there, thanks for the note, but last I noticed in all other MMO-s I am playing or used to play, it was never an issue. Am I missing something?

What he means is ... GW2 is no ordinary MMO or you just need your personnal Dps to be effective or that you can just target your healing skills from far away as a healer.

There's no such things as targeting a single ally in GW2. The "tank" is a class that provides advantages too and needs the healing and the other advantages from other classes. These skills doesn't have huge area of application so the best way players have found to be the most effective is to stack on top of each other.

NB : notice that some game mechanics requires you to be split from the party . so it really depends. Some easy content (such as fractals low lvl) doesn't force you to stack.

Solution: try to play a selfish class that can benefit from its own buffs to maximize its dps.

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I agree but for different reasons, never been a fan of stacking. But I disagree that the answer is extend boon range, instead I would side on the side of add collision. Make positioning matter. Now as most will side, downside to collision is increase in latency, but would still like to see tests run. Same applies to WvW, you are in a fight and losing, you shouldn't be able to just run back thru your side to escape, you pushed to the front, there you stand.

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@zallesz.1650 said:So, my problem is not inherently with the fact that only melee specs are viable in higher end PVE content, but that this aspect of the game, along with many other similar game mechanis virtually make it impossible for you to play as a ranged character. Raids? Forget it, you need to stand close to get the buffs. And I really dislike it.

I play ranged characters in Raids just fine I don't know what you are talking about.

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@TheGrimm.5624 said:I agree but for different reasons, never been a fan of stacking. But I disagree that the answer is extend boon range, instead I would side on the side of add collision. Make positioning matter. Now as most will side, downside to collision is increase in latency, but would still like to see tests run. Same applies to WvW, you are in a fight and losing, you shouldn't be able to just run back thru your side to escape, you pushed to the front, there you stand.Player collision is a horrible idea. Surely you can see why it isn’t a good idea, right?

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@phokus.8934 said:

@TheGrimm.5624 said:I agree but for different reasons, never been a fan of stacking. But I disagree that the answer is extend boon range, instead I would side on the side of add collision. Make positioning matter. Now as most will side, downside to collision is increase in latency, but would still like to see tests run. Same applies to WvW, you are in a fight and losing, you shouldn't be able to just run back thru your side to escape, you pushed to the front, there you stand.Player collision is a horrible idea. Surely you can see why it isn’t a good idea, right?

Alternatively, we could uncap the number of targets per aoe, that would give opponents reason to not stack too much.

For instance, in open world, if bosses could just down all 30 players which are in melee range with a few blows, people would notice that stacking isn't the better tactic anymore.

Longer boon range (I think 600 is enough) + aoe target limit increase = better to stack less.

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@"gateless gate.8406" said:This is only true for T4 and raids. Any other content, you don't need buffs to complete.

Exactly. Now let's say I have an hour to day I could freely spend on playing GW2, and a longer one maybe on a raid night. I can either do profitable, high end, value-generating content such as raids and T4, where I am forced to stack and play the game in the META mentality, or I could do fun stuff, open world stuff, events, exploration, etc. where I am not required to play "in one single very specific way" and I get to play however I want. One is enjoyable, the other is rewarding. Here lies my problem.Obviously not the end of the world, but damn I wish I could do both at the same time.

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@phokus.8934 said:

@TheGrimm.5624 said:I agree but for different reasons, never been a fan of stacking. But I disagree that the answer is extend boon range, instead I would side on the side of add collision. Make positioning matter. Now as most will side, downside to collision is increase in latency, but would still like to see tests run. Same applies to WvW, you are in a fight and losing, you shouldn't be able to just run back thru your side to escape, you pushed to the front, there you stand.Player collision is a horrible idea. Surely you can see why it isn’t a good idea, right?

No I don't. Prefer games with it. With it; PvE, if you push in too close and don't know when to pull back you pay for it. In WvW if you are support and get out of position, you pay for it. In either if you are too squishy and shouldn't be that lightly armored you pay the price for it. The only downsides to collision is lag. Now a counter to this is but I wouldn't be able to get a hit in on a PvE target. But with collision someone that runs full in moves outside of the range of support and will need to pull back out or be dropped by the target since they moved outside of the range of their boons and buffs, but again risk versus reward. In more balanced logic range should do less because less risk less damage, tanks are tanks because they should have toughness/vit and should be able to take some hits. Support should live in that mid ground. DPS shouldn't just abel to stand and take it because they just stand in it. To me one of the reasons dungeons failed is because stacking mitigated the code by allowing people to stand still on top of each other and not move. There is no lasting gameplay to that, it's boring and there is no replayability. In WvW if you run full in there you can always run back out. Some of the best game play in prior games was in holding a line, range supporting your lines from behind and you melee looking to turn flanks and get to the backlines. Here we can just zerg stack. Take World Bosses, they would probably be a lot more challenging if everyone didn't just stack in the same spot and spam 1. But I do agree that's not for everyone, which is why we don't have it here. Plus the player-base doesn't have the mindset for it and people don't do well with change and this would be a big one.

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@Skotlex.7580 said:

@TheGrimm.5624 said:I agree but for different reasons, never been a fan of stacking. But I disagree that the answer is extend boon range, instead I would side on the side of add collision. Make positioning matter. Now as most will side, downside to collision is increase in latency, but would still like to see tests run. Same applies to WvW, you are in a fight and losing, you shouldn't be able to just run back thru your side to escape, you pushed to the front, there you stand.Player collision is a horrible idea. Surely you can see why it isn’t a good idea, right?

Alternatively, we could uncap the number of targets per aoe, that would give opponents reason to not stack too much.

For instance, in open world, if bosses could just down all 30 players which are in melee range with a few blows, people would notice that stacking isn't the better tactic anymore.

Longer boon range (I think 600 is enough) + aoe target limit increase = better to stack less.

In PvE, Bosses should have no cap on targets they can hit in range, that would be a good change. In WvW I think they also capped it since the engine couldn't take the calculations which is also why collision would fail since don't think the engine could take it. But at least freeing the PvE bosses would be a good change.

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@TheGrimm.5624 said:

@TheGrimm.5624 said:I agree but for different reasons, never been a fan of stacking. But I disagree that the answer is extend boon range, instead I would side on the side of add collision. Make positioning matter. Now as most will side, downside to collision is increase in latency, but would still like to see tests run. Same applies to WvW, you are in a fight and losing, you shouldn't be able to just run back thru your side to escape, you pushed to the front, there you stand.Player collision is a horrible idea. Surely you can see why it isn’t a good idea, right?

No I don't. Prefer games with it. With it; PvE, if you push in too close and don't know when to pull back you pay for it. In WvW if you are support and get out of position, you pay for it. In either if you are too squishy and shouldn't be that lightly armored you pay the price for it. The only downsides to collision is lag. Now a counter to this is but I wouldn't be able to get a hit in on a PvE target. But with collision someone that runs full in moves outside of the range of support and will need to pull back out or be dropped by the target since they moved outside of the range of their boons and buffs, but again risk versus reward. In more balanced logic range should do less because less risk less damage, tanks are tanks because they should have toughness/vit and should be able to take some hits. Support should live in that mid ground. DPS shouldn't just abel to stand and take it because they just stand in it. To me one of the reasons dungeons failed is because stacking mitigated the code by allowing people to stand still on top of each other and not move. There is no lasting gameplay to that, it's boring and there is no replayability. In WvW if you run full in there you can always run back out. Some of the best game play in prior games was in holding a line, range supporting your lines from behind and you melee looking to turn flanks and get to the backlines. Here we can just zerg stack. Take World Bosses, they would probably be a lot more challenging if everyone didn't just stack in the same spot and spam 1. But I do agree that's not for everyone, which is why we don't have it here. Plus the player-base doesn't have the mindset for it and people don't do well with change and this would be a big one.

It’s an MMO. If you give people model collision, we can just stand in front of an entrance and hallway and now we blocked it off, can’t get through because of model collision. Adding it is a terrible idea for an MMO.

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@TheGrimm.5624 said:

@TheGrimm.5624 said:I agree but for different reasons, never been a fan of stacking. But I disagree that the answer is extend boon range, instead I would side on the side of add collision. Make positioning matter. Now as most will side, downside to collision is increase in latency, but would still like to see tests run. Same applies to WvW, you are in a fight and losing, you shouldn't be able to just run back thru your side to escape, you pushed to the front, there you stand.Player collision is a horrible idea. Surely you can see why it isn’t a good idea, right?

No I don't. Prefer games with it. With it; PvE, if you push in too close and don't know when to pull back you pay for it. In WvW if you are support and get out of position, you pay for it. In either if you are too squishy and shouldn't be that lightly armored you pay the price for it. The only downsides to collision is lag. Now a counter to this is but I wouldn't be able to get a hit in on a PvE target. But with collision someone that runs full in moves outside of the range of support and will need to pull back out or be dropped by the target since they moved outside of the range of their boons and buffs, but again risk versus reward. In more balanced logic range should do less because less risk less damage, tanks are tanks because they should have toughness/vit and should be able to take some hits. Support should live in that mid ground. DPS shouldn't just abel to stand and take it because they just stand in it. To me one of the reasons dungeons failed is because stacking mitigated the code by allowing people to stand still on top of each other and not move. There is no lasting gameplay to that, it's boring and there is no replayability. In WvW if you run full in there you can always run back out. Some of the best game play in prior games was in holding a line, range supporting your lines from behind and you melee looking to turn flanks and get to the backlines. Here we can just zerg stack. Take World Bosses, they would probably be a lot more challenging if everyone didn't just stack in the same spot and spam 1. But I do agree that's not for everyone, which is why we don't have it here. Plus the player-base doesn't have the mindset for it and people don't do well with change and this would be a big one.

I’m only going to respond to your “the only downside is lag.” That’s not even remotely accurate. You can’t see the griefing potential with this? Look no further than fractals with SA.

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@"Goettel.4389" said:Just imagine it's part of how this particular make-belief world works.

Indeed

If you are immersed in Tyria, and accept that there are boons in its universe, then it makes sense that clever combatants would learn to stack rather than spread out. In my view, it's only weird if one still has one foot stuck in some other game.

Mind you: that doesn't mean that players have to enjoy the mechanic; the OP doesn't like stacking and that's perfectly fine. Just make that the argument; there's no need to justify a personal preference by appealing to some imaginary moral highground of "immersion."

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To be fair, most skills have a decent range that you don't actually have to stack on top of each other, this is just an old misconception. You can spread out a bit and still receive the benefits, and it actually benefits your party since it reduces the impact of enemy AoE's, etc.

My guild always moves around constantly in circles around opponents (its a habit from older games), and it works just fine. It help keeps the same player from being targeted all the time, spread boons, cleanses and heals out evenly, and makes alot of enemy skills miss entirely.

If anything I would say that stacking invites excessive damage to the party, plus making a habit of standing still all of the time whacking the enemy except when its time to dodge makes for boring and bad gameplay long-term, players who become used to this end up unable to handle more unpredictable and "noisy" encounters like some open-world bosses where that playstyle leads to frequent downs.

Which is part of why raiders are kind-of bad in open-world PvE, and I don't even want to think of what they're like in PvP.

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@Hannelore.8153 said:Which is part of why raiders are kind-of bad in open-world PvE, and I don't even want to think of what they're like in PvP.

... What?

Endgame raiders can't pvp or play open world because stacking has made them unable to dodge or position themselves correctly around a boss? I don't think so.

In this game, buffs are generally given in a 360, 600 or 900 unit radii. This is swell if everyone is playing melee around the boss, but causes problems when your unbuffed weaver snipes from outfield while your dedicated support tries to keep everyone healthy and buffed. It's even more of a problem when said weaver gets poked to death by adds, and needs to be res'ed.

Stacking is ideal in instanced content because it's the most efficiant way to res allies, maintain buffs (like protection, stability, condi clears, distortion, aegis, regeneration, among other things) and control mob and boss positioning (stacking in a corner will cause all hostiles to gather in one place, leading to faster clears. This is especially important since cc doesnt work on bosses anymore, so you can't pull that ghost graveling in ascalon p2 over a baited trap using skills). Despite this, you still need to position yourself and dodge to avoid damage.

Fractal and Raid builds fall off in open world because battles are dictated by sheer numbers. This means buffs are going to be wasted on players mashing 1 on their quest to tag every farmable mob for loot, and focusing on single target dps will lose you loot. You're almost always better off just pulling out a ranged weapon and tab-targeting adds or the boss for loot.

Personally, I've always seen stacking as somewhat boring... But we really have no viable alternitive beyond using modern broken builds which can selfishly boon themselves and dps.

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@zallesz.1650 said:

@"gateless gate.8406" said:This is only true for T4 and raids. Any other content, you don't need buffs to complete.

Exactly. Now let's say I have an hour to day I could freely spend on playing GW2, and a longer one maybe on a raid night. I can either do profitable, high end, value-generating content such as raids and T4, where I am forced to stack and play the game in the META mentality, or I could do fun stuff, open world stuff, events, exploration, etc. where I am not required to play "in one single very specific way" and I get to play however I want. One is enjoyable, the other is rewarding. Here lies my problem.Obviously not the end of the world, but kitten I wish I could do both at the same time.

You can make plenty of money in the open world. In fact, it's one of the best ways to make money.

Anyways, why not look at it a bit differently? Instead of "I'm forced to play X way," think "I choose to play in the most optimal way, because this content is challenging." Most MMO raids incorporate positional requirements -- it's part of their challenge. More generally, optimizing and improving play is one of the basic elements of most videogames -- as you play the game more, you start to learn ways to improve your play.

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@AlexndrTheGreat.8310 said:

@TheGrimm.5624 said:I agree but for different reasons, never been a fan of stacking. But I disagree that the answer is extend boon range, instead I would side on the side of add collision. Make positioning matter. Now as most will side, downside to collision is increase in latency, but would still like to see tests run. Same applies to WvW, you are in a fight and losing, you shouldn't be able to just run back thru your side to escape, you pushed to the front, there you stand.Player collision is a horrible idea. Surely you can see why it isn’t a good idea, right?

No I don't. Prefer games with it. With it; PvE, if you push in too close and don't know when to pull back you pay for it. In WvW if you are support and get out of position, you pay for it. In either if you are too squishy and shouldn't be that lightly armored you pay the price for it. The only downsides to collision is lag. Now a counter to this is but I wouldn't be able to get a hit in on a PvE target. But with collision someone that runs full in moves outside of the range of support and will need to pull back out or be dropped by the target since they moved outside of the range of their boons and buffs, but again risk versus reward. In more balanced logic range should do less because less risk less damage, tanks are tanks because they should have toughness/vit and should be able to take some hits. Support should live in that mid ground. DPS shouldn't just abel to stand and take it because they just stand in it. To me one of the reasons dungeons failed is because stacking mitigated the code by allowing people to stand still on top of each other and not move. There is no lasting gameplay to that, it's boring and there is no replayability. In WvW if you run full in there you can always run back out. Some of the best game play in prior games was in holding a line, range supporting your lines from behind and you melee looking to turn flanks and get to the backlines. Here we can just zerg stack. Take World Bosses, they would probably be a lot more challenging if everyone didn't just stack in the same spot and spam 1. But I do agree that's not for everyone, which is why we don't have it here. Plus the player-base doesn't have the mindset for it and people don't do well with change and this would be a big one.

It’s an MMO. If you give people model collision, we can just stand in front of an entrance and hallway and now we blocked it off, can’t get through because of model collision. Adding it is a terrible idea for an MMO.

I can't find the video of it, but people were trolling people finishing the tutorial in Queensdale by using the random plant tonic to turn into the pineapple blob in the doorway. Even without collision, there were tons of new players running around trying to find out where to go because to a new player it looked like scenery.

Anet actually moved the post-tutorial spawn point outside of the building because of people like that trolling people who did not know better and GW2 may have been their first MMO, so they would have zero frame of reference.

Also can you imagine trying to get to a bank or event merchant if there was collision? People would form a ring around them and AFK. A new zone with only one physical entrance? People standing in the way. Fighting a world boss and are melee? Hope you enjoy watching the fight and getting no credit. WvW? Watch as the troll meta shifts to be unkillable tank characters that just walk in a wall and prevent people from getting anywhere.

Player collision in MMO's is a bad idea.

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@phokus.8934 said:

@TheGrimm.5624 said:I agree but for different reasons, never been a fan of stacking. But I disagree that the answer is extend boon range, instead I would side on the side of add collision. Make positioning matter. Now as most will side, downside to collision is increase in latency, but would still like to see tests run. Same applies to WvW, you are in a fight and losing, you shouldn't be able to just run back thru your side to escape, you pushed to the front, there you stand.Player collision is a horrible idea. Surely you can see why it isn’t a good idea, right?

Yea, all that pushing and shoving would create an annoying experience. Imagine trying to get to a merchant or vendor.

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Despite all the bad consequences, I must admit I'd still love to see collision-detection. It would just honestly be that much fun in WvW.

(Also, enable pushing them at cripple speed, solves some of the problems, and creates more interesting new ones like pushing others off cliffs! yay!)

But yes, the receipt for instantly killing off WvW for good:

  • Collision Detection
  • Remove target limit on all aoe
  • Enable friendly fire

There wouldn't be enough popcorn in the whole world.

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@joneirikb.7506 said:But yes, the receipt for instantly killing off WvW for good:

  • Collision Detection
  • Remove target limit on all aoe
  • Enable friendly fire

There wouldn't be enough popcorn in the whole world.What the kitten are you talking about, WvWers have been requesting this for years. Everyone loves it. And if I know WvWers, they would never suggest any ideas on the forums that could possibly kill off WvW.

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