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Let's Talk About WvW Balance


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Outliers? Simple, those annoying red circles scourges and firebrand!!! Something has to be done.

Here is something to be considered in any gamemode and who got neglected for too much time.Engineer's turrets. They have to be fixed. They have to be useful, they must have a place where peoples actually want to use them. The supply crate is the worst Elite ever. Mortar is really meh, and well what does this sneak gyro add apart stealth? Not even bonus damages whereas it's an elite.Here is a very good thread about that: https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/87029/thoughts-hopes-ideas-about-engineers-rework-on-pistols-turrets-and-kitsKits also feels really clunky how they are: Only grenades/flamethrowers and bombs are mostly used, you will almost never see an elixir gun or the bad gadget kit.Some suggested to put kits within F skills and replace them with glyphs. Whereas I think kits is kinda part of the profession it's also due to those nasty kits that us, engie still don't have weapons swap after 6 years. Whereas a swap between hammer-rifle as example would be more than nice. (Adapting to situation CC or Ranged).

I really want to make a little parenthesis about cast times. The hammer is slloowwwww that you can end up with a short period where you can't use any skills = dps loss.But the worst is elementalist, please take a look on glyph cast time, it's even longgggeeeeerrrrrr you have the time to be killed 30x times by enemies. Try summoning an elemental when a blob is charging on you.

Ah and for the sake of Undyne, buff longbow dragonhaunter! B U F F THAT L O N G B OW. I'm serious. Reduced recharge trait or whatever!

To end my opinion, I ask to fix holographic shockwave graphic, the way it renders just look like a bug or an unfinished skills. I don't see the nerf to 300 range, 600 must be kept but without CC or Throwing enemies or even easier adding a limit to 3 affected foes max. I like how it got nerfed stupidly whereas in same time mesmer gravity well is okay.... especially why not keeping the skill how it was at pof release for PvE? How it is annoying? Only monsters!

I MISS THE TIME OF PRE-HOT when my engie used to have 3200 armor and 3200 power, strong in PvP, strong in WvW, strong in PvE. The players got nerfed but the foes can still inflict you insane amount of damages.This isn't normal to see everyone using only berserk or condi sets! All the others are useless, what went wrong?

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I feel that WvW is plagued by a disproportional amount of powercreep that came from PvE, mainly the stats, food and then all the stat buffs from objectives which further exacerbates builds and make stuff incredibly overpowering to the point armor literally don't matter and you can hit people for over 15k even if they have 3400 defense.

Fixing all of this seems almost impossible due to the fact is already rooted in the mode. We can't remove food, unbalanced runes or sigils or remove trailblazer from the game like how spvp have it. However, i think there are some things we can to help mitigate the incredibly amount of powercreep wvw has compared to traditional SPvP. The first thing is to remove ALL passive buffs that increase stats from every single objective. Instead of making players stronger, give them better rewards, more exp, or help towards winning the match up. Second, which would be a bit too hard to pull off, but i would do a blanket damage debuff across everything in the mode. Every class will deal 50% less damage, 50% less boon/condi duration and heal for 50% less, this should greatly help towards making fights a bit slower instead of ending in a blink of a second.

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My opinion on what should be fixed or balanced first is the overpowered rewarding builds from individual/small scale level.

Examples are below with some clips showing some examples:

  • thieves stealth perma and one shotting people from stealth ( should not be possible at all ), thieves forever dodging and evading WHILE DEALING DAMAGE ( staff/condi/constant interrupt build is too rewarding for little skill required and not enough counter play to it ),

  • boonbeast rangers druids everlasting builds ( rotations that can be made to make a character unkilable or barely hit are no fun for anyone but the player using them ),

  • holo has the same unkilable problem altho not as bad as boonsbeast

  • mesmers/mirages ( why a class has so many invul/teleports and huge damage output from a safe position, they stealth and press a few buttons for lightining fast mirages clones to bomb the sh... out of a person and if they fail stealth and run away long enough to try again since the cds for the burst are short compared to many others defenses for such 20 to 30k damage instantly )

-warriors have a problem that is shared from other classes too but they do it better that is constant stun after stun after stun ( too much heavy CC that renders a class vulnerable for too long, sure we can stun break but the cds are low and can be repeated sooner than the stability stun breaks cds and this class on full berserker does easily over 20k damage in 3, some times all it takes is one stun and a burst for a huge 3 hit crits and less than 3s )

I refuse to play firebrand as i think the elite is just too broken so i do not comment but im sure people will.

Resuming, these points addressed would have improve the fights at a smaller scale while reaching our commander or simply caping the camps and sentrys made more fun as a thrilling fight can last longer and more coordination needed in a group that requires actually thinking focus and using more skills other than a 2 3 hit one shot combo.

On a bigger scale i think the boons are the main problem, constant boons being spammed and rushing to just mindlessly spam on top of another zerg does not give a sense of achievement as most of people just dont understand how impactfull they were after the other zerg died.

Also finally, please remove mounts from wvw, that did not help the game mode. Make a pol for it at least if players want to have it removed or not.

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Would first like to say welcome, it's been a while since we have had any real communication on these matters by anyone with any kind of competitive mindset. With that said, be ready for lots and lots of negative comments... Maybe even from myself, but would like to point out that its not targeted at you or the new team, but years of frustration by many people who might come off as mad, but they are mad because they still care about the game and want to see progress for it.

As you might see a trend already, some people talking about boons, others about corruption etc etc, my stance is that both have become bloated and need to be brought back under control together, changing or "nerfing" only one side will for sure change the meta, but I think would end up making it worse without the extremes of both sides being done together. The power creep (both dmg and boon etc) has seemingly gone on unchecked for some time that when brought down to small scale can result in some broken builds and very low TTK in some cases without a pocket support. You also end up with some builds that can not, even with perfect rotations take down some of the sustain builds without being full glass. The delta from high DPS builds to sustain builds has been growing, there has always been a delta, and some cases in the early GW2 days we had some stand out issues as well, but not at the scale and extreme ends we have currently.

While this might be on the back burner, we have many troll builds that exist, and in many cases are not even as good as meta builds.. However the main issue with the builds are that they are not fun to fight. There are some of these builds that I have a 80-90% win rate against, yet are one of the builds I see and just dread going into the fight even though I know I have high chance of winning. One example of a horrible "fix" for the stealth monster they made with DE was the affect of marked (Detected!), however using a passive upgrade or the like to effect fights at random depending on location is just horrible, it also affects builds that were not a part of the stealth problem.

@Pansoul.9436 said:When will alliance come out?

Agreed.

However....First question might be if the new balance team has anything to do with population/matchup changes, they may or may not have anything to do with it.

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@Turkeyspit.3965 said:What we have to say carries little weight. Whatever I have to say about 'x' will be rebutted by those who main 'x', often with an invitation to 'git gud', as well as a comparison to 'y' as evidence that 'x' is fine.

So how about ANET decides what the TTK (Time to Kill) should be in WvW, under various situations, and start from there? Once you folks agree on a picture of what that looks like, you'll know right off what needs fixing.

Otherwise you'll just be tossing out -25% to this or +15% to that and hope it works - which is what I've observed to be the case over the past 20 months I've spent in WvW, and which I'm sure many more seasoned players will confirm has been the case since at least PoF or even HoT.

Thanks for the communication. :+1:

Please listen to this guy!!!! Its exactly what needs to be done

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To be honest, it's a bit too late for me to even be able to grasp all the problems in the balance nowadays. So many things have gotten so out of hand since 2015-06-23 pre-hot patch.

At this point the only thing I can really say are:

  • I miss the power level of the game before the 2015-06-23 patch (pre-hot).
  • DRASTICALLY reduce all damage multiplication (and the corresponding defense spam)
  • Remove the Boon vs Boon-removal Whack-A-Mole mini-game.
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Outliers

The biggest outlier in the history of outliers is easily scourge, specifically the trait sand savant. If there was anything in WvW that couldn't be adressed by a skill split, this would be it. The absolute power that the increased target cap gives not only makes scourge far above many damage options, but also actively discourages all melee just by existing.

Things like strength warrior, condi rev, power guardian, staff thief, reaper, and a multitude of other melee options are shutdown by the sheer cleaving power and pressure scourge provides, even with the recent changes to shades. If anything were to happen to normalize the power in WvW removing scourges 10 target capability would be the first step 100%

The other outlier would be firebrand, and how its a jack of all trades while also being a master of some. It has the best access to two of the most powerful zerg boons in the game, aegis and stability, while also doing everything else to a great degree (excluding stealth and superspeed). The spec simply does literally everything, and like scourge crowds out many support options unless they can bring something completely unique to the table like antitox scrapper did. The specialization needs to actually specialize, and decide whether its purpose is hardcore boon support/healing, or damage mitigation and ressurection potential.

 

 

Fundamental Balance Issues

Ever since Heart of Thorns the fine warriors of WvW have been engaged in an eternal war between boons and boon removal. The addition of concentration and several new powerful boons, aswell as the rise of the toilet bowl meta years ago, have caused arenanet to answer in turn with more and more boon removal options, culminating in a cold war of balance where you have nukes on both sides stagnating fights into whoever can get their bomb off before their enemies' bar fills back up to the brim with boons.

 

Boons and boon removal have gotten to an insane degree and both sides have to be brought down to a much lower level. Why practice smart and careful stab usage when you can press a button and have more stab than you know what to do with, degrading combat from a reactionary right move at the right time to a almost pve rotation like style of play. Pretty much every fight plays the same way now and the boon/corrupt war is to blame for a fair portion of it.

 

 

This is more of a personal gripe, but I really hate how ranged damage has outstripped melee damage as the years go on. You've always had your rat wells and meteor showers, but in the last couple of years melee has basically been put into the dirt in favor of ranged bombs. Scourge is a big reason for this problem yes, but the support is available if such a playstyle was wanted, but why would you when ranged is so much more effective? Revs hitting like trucks from 1200, eles powercreeped to where 9k meteors are the norm, scourge shades peppering the battlefield at every turn hitting 10 targets each, theres really no way for a melee spec to compete in the PoF meta.

 

 

Overall

guild wars 2 remains the best pvp mmo I've ever played, and its a shame how its fallen by the wayside. Pretty much every fight for the past 8 months has been the exact same thing, with the exact same engages and disengages, bombs and sustains, its jist gotten really stale I guess. Perfect balance is impossible, but if we could get to a state where classes like scourge dont crowd out a multitude of other options, and the meta specs are meta but not required to function at a decent level, the game would be enjoyable for another 7 years to come.

Oh and buff shattered aegis

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No offense, I get you're new and really looking to make a difference. However, we've already beta tested literally everything that's been dropped on us for ANet already, leaving virtual volumes of feedback here on the forums with little to no response or even evidence that we're making a connection through the changes that come and now you'd like us to tell you what's wrong with the competitive modes?

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Can start by removing aegis when mounting up , make the lances for dismounting unblockable, remove instant finish war claw skill (superiour maul) , add a cooldown on remounting if you were killed and respawned ( to prevent people from coming out from spawn after just dying and contesting capture points infinitely) . Or just remove Warclaw in general. Thats how you can balance WvW right now.

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Outliers: I'll let others comment

Big Picture: Balanced small scale (5-10 player group) mechanics become broken in large groups. Things like:

  • projectiles - 1 support class in a 5-person group with a bubble or wall may have eg. 20% projectile block uptime. When that scales up to 5 supports in a 50-person group, that's 100% projectile block uptime. That means all projectiles are effectively useless against a coordinated group rotating bubbles/walls because the skills block all incoming projectiles. That heavily skews the meta toward non-projectile damage - which is exactly what we see.
  • conditions - In small-scale combat, conditions often last 7-10s or longer before players are able to cleanse. In large scale combat, support classes are able to cleanse quickly and frequently, so conditions almost never last more than 1-2s (or if they do, resistance means they apply no damage). This significantly reduces the effectiveness of condition classes. A power revenant or ele throws out huge bombs from relative safety, and they land for mostly full damage (aegis + protection sometimes mitigate). A condi engi, on the other hand, has to get in melee range to blowtorch the enemy, but the condi is erased immediately and it hits for maybe 5% of its potential damage.
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@"Cal Cohen.2358" said:

So, for the purpose of this discussion, consider these two future updates. First for the short-term: What outliers do you see in the current meta?

i am roamer so my opinion is small scale focused, if this has any value in this discussion.

  1. Currently there are builds with too much uptime of dodge+blocks+invuls+invis. this mechanics should be very limited to deny a singly spike at the correct moment to win a fight. but currently there are builds

e.g. thief builds endlessly evading (with vault, normal dodges+some traits skills regenrating great amount of endurance). there is no option to deny 80% dodge uptime. so you just can wait until his dodge rotation has end. that forces you to be passive, since you cannot actively working against this dodgerotation, these class is hitting you with 8k+ on a dodge skill (where you cant counter pressure him). its boring for me as player to wait/kite until his dodge skills are all on cooldown and then he just disengaged instantly with high mobility.

same goes for soulbeasts which are chaining gs3, gs 4,smoke assault, LB3, normal dodges in an endless chain of dodge/blocks/invis.

these two are just examples (there are more classes with that potential)a. sigil of energy and endurance regenerating food create way too much additional evades.b. while classes are already overloaded with complete dmg negation mechanics/ skills that are not just negating dmg but also doing great dmg itself.

  1. too much base heal in game. classes like warriors and holos creating insane healing output for themself without any invest in healing power.

e.g. warriors can have 700 heal ticks per second with healing signet + adrenal health (7k heal in 10 seconds without any invest in healing power.also just 1 example of several classes that have to easy access to great heal without any invest for it.

make more skills/traits more dependend to healing power.

  1. there are too much dmg modifiers like farsighted(trait)/sick em(skill) on ranger or warriors peak performance /and berserkers power (again, just some examples for tonnes of those modifiers). they alsocan increase dmg for MORE than 20%. thats huge.

  2. too many classes can too easy create 25 stacks of might by themself(solo) (revenant, soulbeast,...). the increased dmg by thatis also one of the main problems.

Then think about the big picture: What issues do you see on a fundamental level that should be addressed? Think outside of the current meta and instead about what you want the meta to look like from a power-level perspective. Keep in mind that a majority of changes should be splits, but feel free to also call out issues that you feel cannot be addressed by splits.

overall i would be fine if classes play as glass cannon (That means great dmg, but also great risk to die fast). but in current meta you have a lot of FAKE glass cannons that go completely offense with their build and defensive wise they are saved by too much uptime of dodges/invuls/blocks/invis and too big overall base heal by skills/traits. only heal skills should have great heal without much invest in healing power.

thanks for discussion with anet.

i wish you good evening. :-D

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In current zerg meta projectile hate is one of the biggest outlier. Firebrand as example can keep projectile reflects up almost permanently with no effort.Because of vast projectile hate, you are forced to use non projectile ranged damage, or be melee (meleeing is also near impossible because of scourge corrupts and the spellbreaker elite, making ranged pressure most popular type of damage).

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The biggest outlier I see is that Scourge has all the AoE and hits 10 targets for some reason. There's just no other class that comes close to that amount of cleave, and it takes very minimal effort or skill. Press 1 button and hit 10 targets around you.

As others have mentioned, boons are a huge problem as well. Even if shade damage was nerfed (which it has been many times), any zerg will still need scourges to corrupt the enemy boonball. It's a balancing act and I'm out of my depth, admittedly. But those are the main factors at play I see in zerg vs zerg.

Also I have no idea if you'd be able to change mount skills, but please remove mount stomping from the game. It just incentivizes staying out of combat mounted for the cheese finish.

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Personally the overall issue is time to kill is to low regardless of Meta. Most have touched on a key point, boon application is too much and this has started to be addressed last balance patch. Skills should be more focused in my opinion, 2 boons or two condis max per skill.

Condi duration food should not exist in wvw, it is extremely excessive, allowing for bunker builds to dish out way too much damage.

Torment and confusion should have their base damage removed. Torment only dealing damage and I moving targets and confusion only dealing damage to skill using players. They are the PvP conditions and should be returned to such.

Reducing max stack amounts on various condis will help promote a blended meta

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@"Cal Cohen.2358" said:Hi Everyone,

I wanted to clarify something from today’s blog post while also kicking off a discussion on a topic that’s near and dear to most competitive players: balance.

It’s important to understand that as competitive handles competitive balance, we will continue to primarily use skill splits in order to minimize the impact on the rest of the game. It’s certainly true that not all issues can be addressed through splits, and we will continue to work with the skills team to make sure we are making the right changes for the entire game when splitting is not a viable option.

Mini Balance Roadmap

We have identified the overall power of the game has become an issue and we wish to address this in the competitive game modes.

The next balance update is going to be smaller than usual. We want to make a handful of very targeted changes to address the biggest pain points in the current meta, but we also want to bank some time for bigger plans moving forward. For a future balance update, we are looking at major adjustments across the board. The goal is to re-establish what the overall power level for competitive modes, and then bring everything down to meet that. In true gw2 fashion, everything is on the table.

With that said, we’re not going to nerf just for the sake of nerfing. Every change should make sense, and every change should be working toward a bigger goal. This patch is still super early in development, so I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it’s definitely something we want to talk about more moving forward. As mentioned in the blog post, we want to keep the community involved early and often when it comes to balance.

So, for the purpose of this discussion, consider these two future updates. First for the short-term: What outliers do you see in the current meta? Then think about the big picture: What issues do you see on a fundamental level that should be addressed? Think outside of the current meta and instead about what you want the meta to look like from a power-level perspective. Keep in mind that a majority of changes should be splits, but feel free to also call out issues that you feel cannot be addressed by splits.

This post is intentionally starting a broad discussion as a jumping off point into the new communication of the Systems team, but keep in mind that in the future our posts are generally going to be more targeted at specific issues as we won’t have as much time to handle giant discussions.

I wanted to keep this initial post fairly short, so please ask questions about anything that is unclear. Otherwise, let’s talk balance.

cmc

Thank you for the post! Here is my feedback!

https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/90360/stream-feedback-multiple-topics

The below link is in the above thread, but I wanted to highlight it as a starter, because it’s related to the topics of skill splits and power creep mentioned in your post...

https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/88428/mark-jacobs-has-the-right-ideas-about-combat-and-anet-has-the-tools-to-do-something-about-it#latest

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Go back to pre-HoT....look at all the modifiers and start chipping away.Stick with it doing little changes over time and treat it like a marathon consistently fine-tuning.BUT, don't disappear after a single thread. Keep us updated.Look at all the work that needs to be done not as an insurmountable task bur rather as job security :)

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@neven.3785 said:Condi duration food should not exist in wvw, it is extremely excessive, allowing for bunker builds to dish out way too much damage.

Torment and confusion should have their base damage removed. Torment only dealing damage and I moving targets and confusion only dealing damage to skill using players. They are the PvP conditions and should be returned to such.

Reducing max stack amounts on various condis will help promote a blended meta

I have to disagree.

  • Condi duration food is fairly meaningless, given that the vast majority of condi is cleansed long before it ticks out.
  • I don't see why condi should be nerfed (max stacks, torment/confusion changes) when power skills are allowed to hit for full damage. If anything, condi is underpowered compared to power at the moment, given how easily it is cleansed or resisted. If there's an issue with certain condi being applied too easily, then that could be addressed on a class by class basis or on individual skills.
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Working towards spreading out stability would be a great help. Sometimes you just don't have enough FBs to go around, and need to pester everyone into swapping, or just figure you're going into battle with not enough stab/sustain. Not saying give it to everyone, but another 2 classes (ele? rev? ranger???? (the chaotic evil option)) would even things out in fights and make it less so that if you're not running the ONE PERFECT COMP you're at least guaranteed a fighting chance vs another zerg.

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@Cal Cohen.2358 said:

@shiri.4257 said:One side argues there are too many boons. another argues that there are too many strips. what a giant clown fiesta of gamers we have.

Right, but fixing one can negate the other.This was the mess created by ANET in which boon share was too OP so they had to counter that by making corruption easily accessible.Look at the biggest 'needs' in wvw. FB (must have), scourge to be carried by and counter opposing FB, bubbles? See where this is going?You have to start somewhere.

This is really the crux of a lot of things we want to address. Boons vs corrupts, damage vs healing, stability vs cc, among so many other things. These are all in the state of being extremely powerful as a way to counter the other side being extremely powerful, and are all things that we want to address moving forward. It's important to keep these balanced against each other, but we want the power level to come down.

THe best starting point I could possibly give would be to look at the pre-HoT meta for WvW and start tuning things from there. Obviously the new especs will need tuning in order to fit but in that meta neither boons nor boon stripping where out of control, combo fields had to be co-ordinated and used in order to gain boons for engagements and the power level was such that one job didn't dominate the scene. The one addition to that I would make would be that even in the pre-HoT days many jobs had no space a all in wvw but with the addition of especs and with them being tuned properly at the right power level professions that went unused pre-HoT could be viable.

In PvE you have roles, roles need to be defined in WvW and then decide what profession and what espec will fill that role for the zerg, mid scale(GvG or 20v20), small scale and roaming.

edit: a lot of these changes should be looked at by your PvE team too honestly, raid content has been made trivial no matter the mechanics you create with the ease of access to boons, ccs, dodges and invulns in the current meta.

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my pet peeves:thieves. A class that can engage and disengage at their own terms, should not be able to do that much damage. Also thief portals? Dumbest idea ever.mirages. same basicallyspellbreaker. block block block evade evade block evade block block nuff said.necros in general but scourges in particular. how this class can still have among the highest base hp AND dish out insane barrier without their damage/stripping/corrupting abilities impaired I never understoodsoulbeasts. before you even can pop any block or evade you are down. Thanks to rapid fire's damage being way too high. Also no los and 1500 range? Really? That is balanced? Are we standing in AC fire? Oh, no, it is a single ranger . . .Revs. hey, lets make a class that can rival weavers in damage output, all other classes in boon output AND be very mobile AT THE SAME TIME. Balanced?Weavers. Piledriver? I am sorry, you are rooted now. Meteor shower? I am sorry, you can't move. But hey, why are you playing it? Play rev, it is so much better. And does not suffer from the most stupid and klunkiest mechanic in the game. Also all ele elites suck (except the tempest one's. That one is just very situational).Holo. The whole class is a bad joke.Burn-guard. Have fun running into it. so much fun. Oh yes.Chronos. Poor guys still did not get the message to spec mirage.Tempests. We just crippled you in the last balance run. Deal with it.firebrand reflects. because we hate ranged classes. Go play scourge.

Game was certainly more fun before PoF dropped. Also less laggy.

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I think it's better if some of the devs would play WvW intensively for a week and do changes themselves. That is, anonymously, without the Anet guild tag. You'll meet the new gen of thieve and mirage roamers, the infinite kite builds, the +40% endurance regen food spam, the insane damage, etc. So many things were added in this game without thinking about the PvP. It's not just the numbers, it's the design of the classes and skills itself that is the problem. But still, WvW players adapt by abusing whatever is available.Capturing empty towers and keeps isn't interesting and neither is waiting for the enemies to fight them with consent. The most fun and tactical fights are inside objectives where the terrain and walls allow more tactics and also allow solo players to participate. These fights are too rare because 1. WvW isn't active enough for it 2. Objectives are worthless since tiers mean nothing so no reason to siege up a t3 keep (not to mention the fact that this is too hard to siege anything). In the end, I would rather see a simplification of what WvW should be, not another balance patch. Think Fort Aspenwood

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@AllNightPlayer.1286 said:WvW balance needs a limit on boons and conditions.It shouldn’t be possible for player character to get 25+ stacks of bleeding or 10+ stacks of burning for example. Or conditions, which lasts longer than 20 sec.

Why though? If a player gets hit by enough skills to apply 25+ stacks of bleed or burn, they should absolutely take the damage. If they got hit by that many power skills, they would just have instantly died. Players just don't like getting killed by DoT's and won't accept (or don't realize) that they got hit by the skills in the first place.

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@coro.3176 said:

  • projectiles - 1 support class in a 5-person group with a bubble or wall may have eg. 20% projectile block uptime. When that scales up to 5 supports in a 50-person group, that's 100% projectile block uptime. That means all projectiles are effectively useless against a coordinated group rotating bubbles/walls because the skills block all incoming projectiles. That heavily skews the meta toward non-projectile damage - which is exactly what we see.

This is rarely mentioned, but it should be looked at in my opinion. Currently there is no space for projectile based damage dealers (or even supports, if you want to toss elixirs). Giving unblockable to ranged classes would just start an another arms race, similar to stab <-> cc, boon <-> corrupt, so there should be a cap for destroyed/reflected projectiles.

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