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Let's Talk About WvW Balance


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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

While I commend your professed wish for better communications with the community I believe your intended approach for balance is flawed. Please stay with me here.

Why do we need splits between profession abilities between modes? Balance couldn't be achieved years ago when you arguably had a larger work force and you had the moneys to affect change in that direction. This is arguable fact and isn't meant to cast recriminations. We are where we are today or we wouldn't be in this thread right now.

Flash forward to today -after having lost a lot of key personnel and with the budget constraints forced upon you by NC soft being more restrictive than ever before. Isn't it time, perhaps, to lower the power creep in PvE first?

I'm serious here and I'm not being divisive when I say this. All that should matter in fractals, raiding, world boss, or overworld content are their respective encountre mechanics. If this means lowering damage output of professions across the board, as well as commensurately lowering the health pools or certain bosses, trash mobs, and or other mobs found throughout the game world then so be it. If it means changing or removing certain mechanics -even though they're seen as cool- so that something game breaking isn't allowed into competitive modes, then do it.

Solid, fast flowing, well-balanced play -agueably guild war's two's strong suit owing to its combat engine- should never be sacrificed on the alter of 'Cool.' It's a bitter pill but one that's best swallowed now to make certain your professions stay on the same page across all modes going forward.

Here's my reasoning and you're free to disagree. The game's only getting older at this point. In order to retain or even gain new players you have to be able to not just provide balance but also new attractions within the respective game modes. It means that if you haven't begun to already then you need to start developing with an eye toward stretching what human resources and development dollars you're given so that balance and future development of playable, repeatable content is achievable.

We have twenty seven separate professions to be worked on at present thanks to elite specs. Possible splits bring this up to fifty four or more. These are important numbers to keep in mind.

Ask yourselves this; Given what human and financial resources are at your disposal today, are you happy with the job that's been done to date balancing twenty seven professions(fifty four with splits)? If the answer isn't a unanimous, "Yes," around the meeting table, ask in turn whether you honestly believe that you'll be able to do as good or better a job with thirty six if more elites are added(seventy two with splits). Again, if you're being brutally honest and you aren't able to say yes to this unanimously then you need to consider the suggestions above.

The budget's only going to keep shrinking. Splits are a short-term band-aid. Further balance on them, if required in future, is also going to be a tangled mess. Splits aren't a reasonably attainable or maintainable solution. You need to develop with the long-term health of the game in mind. Balance across both sets of modes needs to stem organically from the PvE side of things. Especially if the lion's share of your other development is going to be for PvE content.

The status quo -dropping new PvE content on everyone only to find that there's no more budget afterwards to correct the problems that later crop up in competitive modes- hasn't worked. Measure twice or even thrice, then cut once. Err on the side of doing the least harm.

Get your house in order, please?

Thanks for your time.

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Suggest Improvements: I suggest do minimal/minor changes.Give details and examples: The current balance is mostly ok, because I was tr any "overpowered build", and as my opinion not have big luck.Also, without any personality I have opinion that most player never try use "overpowered class and have great success"

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@"Cal Cohen.2358" said:~snip~

Hello Cal, hello all.

Thanks for the communication. I'm not sure I'll be able to split my thought in short-term/big picture, but I'll try to be as structured as I can. First of all, my point concerns small scale, because that's most of what my friends and I are involved in.

Diagnostic

If I had to point the most blatant issue of WvW, I could word it : some players just don't want to fight.

It's provocative and probably exaggerated, but it makes some sense when you think It's been a while since various current-flavour OP builds are pointed here, with a constant "build x can oneshot anything with little to no risk". The whole recent dismount topic (players on mounts could plainly avoid fights) say the same thing. The dismount skill is mostly used for easy fights, and players will mostly engage in fights they're sure to win in the shortest amount of time.

There're mostly three reasons behind that behaviour :

  • Player psychology : roughly "It's a game, why should I bother ?" or "Why would I want to be put in a nasty IG situation on my leisure time ?"
  • Game mode functionnality : things like rewards, and incentive to fight. The intrinsic pleasure of fights as well
  • Opportunities availability : the game allows me to build in such a fashion, or provides a mechanic like the mount that allows me to avoid a fight.

Player psychology can't be controlled, and game mode functionnality is a whole other topic that's worth for itself, which leaves the questions How can the game avoid the one-sided fights ? and How can the game provide engaging fights ?

This concerns fight mechanics, and class design philosophy, which will be my two topics, which broadly overlap with short-term/big picture split.

Fight mechanics

I'll first say I totally agree with @Turkeyspit.3965 who said the relevant indicateur should be the time to kill.

One of the first issues is WvW's default skills are PvE skills, which are designed for encounters with foes with a very high HP pool. Moreover, teamwork allows for very high potency, mostly because of raids, which require a constant max boons uptime, huge DPS, and huge sustain (healing output). When this design is transferred to WvW, where foes are PC with a comparatively tiny HP pool, it leads to a lot of possibilities of instant down.

Second issue is, as @"SoV.5139" stated, there're too many possibilites of extremely potent builds with very few trade-offs. High reward, with very low risk. A related point is the whole system tends to "Attack is the best defence."

Here's a list of ideas related to figures that may help solve the issue :

  • Adjust all figures around the idea of 20k HP foes ;
  • For most calculations : lower the base value, and increase the multiplicator. It could help with the trade-off idea ; only HP pool could be raised ;
  • Make the boons and condi stacking not linear : in the current state, 20 bleed ticks make 20 times the damage of 1 tick, which is what linear means. Other formulas could allow for a cap. For example, n ticks would deal DMG=MAX(1-exp(-kn)) damage, with MAX, a max damage value, and k a value that'd increase with the condi stat (the higher k is, the less stacks you need to reach MAX)

More specifically on the trade-off topic :

  • Invulnerability shouldn't allow any damage
  • Remove damage on hard CC skills : either a stun/daze, or damage. Both allows for stunlock-death mechanics, which are frustrating and lead to one-sided fights. Allow a special effect to trigger on interrupt through traits.

On the boon topic, the aim should be : "significant, but not determining." It would allow for more build diversity, and make the corrupt/strip less painful. Some ideas :

  • Lower their potency : either by lowering the max stacks, or the figures, or the amount one PC can have at a given time ; other idea would be : increase their rarity, but it's less easy in the current state of the game ;
  • Index their potency on stats ;
  • Limit the availability of boons for each class. There currently are 12 boons. Let's say each given specialization would allow for 2 boons. This would make each build have only 6/12 boons available.

On the condi topic, it's a bit more intricate, because damage dealing conditions can be the core damage output of builds (which is ok), and other conditions should also be "significant, but not determining." A limited overhaul is suggested at the end.

  • Limite the availability of condis for each class. With a limited set of damage/debuff/movement skills etc.
  • Split skills so that they only work on a specific condition type. Which goes for application, transfert, conversion...

Design philosophy

I think the keyword here is choice. The amount of choices players are given to take part in the gamemode in an enjoyable way, and the impact a choice has (trade-offs again). WvW is a great gamemode with a lot of potential. Unfortunately, it's mostly boiled down to the PvP topic, and fights (small scale, PvD, zergs, etc.). This reduces the choices given to the player to "fight." This is a game design issue.

Now, given the only thing to do in WvW is fight, what are the options ? This leads to the balance issue. Balance allow for specific build to have a high potency with low risk in a given situation (zerg, roaming...) which therefore become mandatory. The only effect of balance patches is to shift the meta to other builds, but doesn't fundamentally change the situation.

To me, the first thing to do is add mechanics that'd be enjoyable, impactful and rewarding, and not be centered around fights. Also, the choice of a given profession, of an elite specialization, of the other specialization, should mean a specific gameplay/role, and come with strong significant trade-offs. Single target or AoE ? Play for myself or for others ? Melee or range ? Condi or DD ? Bunker or glassy ? Such choices have to be more meaningful. An interesting example is the dodge trait for daredevils, which flavours a game mechanic. Then, more choices should bring value to some stats, stat combinations, runes so that more build would be viable.

Condi overhaul suggestion

The idea is to split the conditions into categories, and limit the condi output of a given build to 1-2 of each. I'm using current condi names with slight effect changes.

  • Damage conditions : stack intensity. Bleed, burn and torment. No functionnality change
  • Punishing conditions :
    • Blind : next attack misses and reverts x% damage (blind is removed)
    • Confusion : next skill inflicts x damage (confusion is removed)
    • Poison : incoming heals are reverted to x% damage (like, you heal for 2000, it's negated and hits you for 500dmg)
  • CC conditions :
    • Immobilized
    • Fear
    • Taunt : functionnality change : puts all skills to a 1-2s cooldown, with an interruption of cast skills.
  • Debuff conditions :
    • Chill : no functionnality change
    • Crippled : movement and endurance debuff
    • Vulnerability : no fucntionnality change
    • Weakness : reduces outgoing damage (including condi ticks)
    • Slow : no change

Thanks for reading !

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@"Cal Cohen.2358" said:

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.

  1. You have to choose carefully which traits and skills revise: the risk is to kill the game.. lot of players have left GW2 tired and disappointed cause months and months of no sense changes and patch notes.

Take for example Dagger/Pistol power Daredevil classic build (with dash dodge, DA, Trickery and DD): before PoF release its damage was much higher than the current damage: now a backstab makes from 5,5k to 9k.. before PoF you could reach 12-13k.. With same gear and runes, If you switch to Deadeye your Malicious Backstab makes 10-17k..

I used this example just to say: not all build and classes need their power level to tone down. You have to act on the right levers.

  1. When you think about WvW, please keep in mind the difference between zerg builds and roaming builds.. Don't kill roaming!
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i have quit quite some time ago but what driven me away is simple thing u mentioned already...the power creep if its not raw dmg it would be insane amount of conditions some1 can slap on u constantly or in few seconds.

also i think some classes lost all their identity, i mean thief is no longer that annoying hard hitting tit nope its turned into a wet noodle class that is still pickinghis fight but if u know how to play thief u can most of the time deal with thiefs when u face on if ur playing something else.and go on i liked core gw2 more where certain classes where really pushed into a side and u would excell at it.

now u have made almost everything the same but certain classes like ranger mesmer thief holosmith and maybe some others are just useless cus others do the same but better...i can solo roam on scourge and out dps a thief i can blob on scourge and out dps a thief i can havoc on scourge and out dps thief or w/e i do on scourge ill do it better then a thief...its just sad how u made other classes shine at everything..

i mean personally i doubt ill ever return to gw2 i just dont like the game anymore since HoT then PoF came and then stupid mounts came to gw2 it was more or less the end for me i tried to play with mounts etc but it was just retarded.

for me to try this stuff again i would really like to see classes being put back to what they where suppose to do and not being able to shine at everything while others cant shine at everthing.

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@"Kalan.9705" said:Your better balance initiative is doomed to fail unless you admit WvW and PvP combat are fundamentally different, and therefore MUST have separate balance teams (who can consult of course, but need to utilize autonomy and split states).

Otherwise you only have 3 bad outcomes:

  1. deference to PvP balance makes WvW combat bad.
  2. deference to WvW balance makes PvP combat bad.
  3. trying to do half n half makes both WvW and PvP combat bad.

quoted for truth...

would also add a 4th point in there for PVE...

Also outliers really fall into 3 categories: boons, strips, bugs.1) Strips: shades hitting 10 targets. This is now the only offensive AOE in the entire game that is not subject to the 5 target cap. This has taken what was a powerful WvW class and mechanic, and pushed it over the edge into the overpowered realm. Consider making it obey the 5 target cap that all other classes, abilities, etc are subject to. What i DONT want to see is a flat: "nerf scourge and boon strip into the ground", boon strips are a good mechanic and SHOULD remain the counter to boons.2) Boons: only one class and build type having good access to buffing stability. this means its mandatory to have a 1:5 ratio of that class since there are no alternatives. Obviously the ability to spam stability becomes even more important in a meta where strips are also OPed. Consider focusing on buffing other dedicated support classes and builds by giving them access to this buff. What i DONT want to see: "nerf firebrand into the ground" or "nerf stability". Absolutely NO ONE wants to play a CC fest. (If they do there are plenty of MMOs out there (both new, old, and remade old MMOs) where you can sit and watch your character be CCd into oblivion.)3) Bugs: Fix the COR pathing bug already please!

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I've seen a lot of stealth mentions including my own. Another aspect that could be added is that movement under stealth must be done at walk speeds. In order to be stealthy one must also be quiet. You could also add that heavy armor can't stealth(makes a lot of noise and you can't hide) if they are moving at full speed. Or make players shimmer at high speeds other than walking.

Also of note on stealth - you can't use siege under stealth. Once you click on a piece of siege you become visible.

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

IMO alliances should not happen unless ANET implement/ensure the following things are achieved/maintained as a priority.

1. Fix LAG skill delay - They could fix this easily or too hard idk?, reduce the number of players allowed on a map , instead of 70 vs 70 vs 70 lower it all until no skill lag (easy????). Obviously that means bigger queues for some servers in its current state pop wise, however if they ensure balanced population across all servers then you will achieve also a more balanced overall lower queue number.

2. Make WvW more fun - Stronger teams/guilds/players/servers should not be fighting vs much weaker enemy and MUST BE matched vs similarly skilled players, smaller Good Groups should be able to kill larger groups again. Time spent doing nothing or the bare minimum should be kept to a minimum, i.e running, exploring, seiging, gathering. reparing. The action part should last the longest the fighting/war experience, reduce boons and reduce boon rips spammmmmm. Since HoT we saw power creep and now its just a meme. The core game was fun and now its way less fun since HOT and POF has been released and ive had to pay for the game to be less fun?>??? makes no sense. Id pay alot of real money to have core only version again though. Melee trains, backline, focus party meta was the best, fights that lasted longer than 60s and where individual skill and group skill really showed. REMOVE CLOAKING WATERS, REMOVE DRAGON BANNERS etc if you want to know the reasons why you obviously dont play this game or lack understanding. remove mounts remove gliding from wvw. remove the watchtowers and remove or lower max stealth durations. PPT yawn delete make matches alto shorter like spvp. Lastly and by no mean least, skill balance.

3. (Active) Population balance - will never happen due to anet making money from transfers/current system, unless they can monitize it in some way. And this is where the whole alliance thing fails. An alliances success will impact one or more major goals, especially involving growth, if they cap the amount of players in one alliance then how will it grow? it wont and how can they make money from a static group of loyal players, hope the people that joined the alliance are kicked and then they have to find another alliance??. The success of the alliance develops or reinforces a core competency, especially one which provides a competitive advantage and / or blocks a competitive threat, bandwagoning is ANETS butter and the linking, relinking system is anets BREAD.

4. GvG system implemented - will never happen and idk why. But they need to atleast bring in some rewards and support the scene way more than they have previously.

5. Player/guild ranking system - more stats more things to make the gamemode more competitive. Rank 1 guild fights rank 2 guild (obviously a points system needs to be made based around wins/loses etc etc.

6 Better rewards equal to pve. I dont want to pve to get X, i enjoy playing wvw. Get fresh blood into the game mode and reward those that play it. Growth & Sustain.

7 Unban my perma'd main account xD

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@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.

I sense you maybe mocking my clown friends for thumbs up? but infact You are all thumbs, yet you have observed well and managed to piece the puzzle together infront of your class mates, little do they know you are unaware on what the puzzle is. (spoiler alert = all the clowns are infact correct ;-))

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What issues do you see on a fundamental level that should be addressed?Stealth in this game is too plentiful, too easy to get too much of, and the mechanic is broken/overpowered becuase it lets you pause combat, makes me miss other games. its incredibly/too troll friendly, it makes the game less fun for everyone else, too much mobility combined with too much stealth is really just bad game design.Also, buff ele. All ele staff auto attacks should instantly connect similar to ranger, and have lower cast times (its magic ffs). Classes need less invuln. in general

Condi ticks should not keep you in combat when opponent stealths, only hits. I have no idea why you didnt fix that before, its very important for balance in general

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Thank you for reaching out, hopefully this reflects a change in the game's design philosophy moving forwards.

Damage vs Healing: If what's on the table are skill splits between modes, the first change you should make is to damage and outgoing healing % modifiers. Cut them in half for all professions in competitive modes, on all traits and skills. This would change TTK so every fight isn't a shootout or matter of who can chain invulns longest.

Once that's done, look for high base damage or base healing on every profession. No one should be able to go from 1-100% in a second with no healing power. Similarly, no one should have a skill that deals enough damage to one shot another player. I know that's an unpopular opinion, but it's not how the game's mechanics are set up since some classes have 0 access to defensive cooldowns other than dodge. There was nothing enjoyable about fighting the old sic 'em ranger builds for a reason.

Boons vs Corrupts: This will be a little harder to manage with skill splits because it has spiraled completely out of control. This needs functional changes, like removing many boons from skills/classes completely instead of just reducing the number of stacks or duration. I think it's been said a few times now that more classes need access to aoe stability since that's the driving force behind a firebrand per party. If all you're willing to do right now is skill splits though, I'd start with reducing might generation from warriors, guardians, and heralds. Then i'd look at access and duration of aoe protection and resistance. Maybe reduce herald's fury output and give access to aoe fury to other classes.

For corrupts i'm not even sure where to start. 10 target ranged sand savant was a poorly thought out change because it backed you into a corner from a design standpoint, with just skill splits you can't reduce the corrupt to something lower than 1 per target. Reducing devouring darkness to 2 corrupts was a good change. I think corrupts are in an alright spot right now other than sand savant. Winds of disenchantment is very powerful, but only really dangerous with a coordinated group that stacks tightly and moves in melee as a group to body block for the spellbreaker so they don't get interrupted. The only skill split you can do as far as corrupts is lowering break enchantments to 2 boons removed per target down from 3, but that's pretty low impact.

Stealth: Reduce durations of all stealth granting skills, traits, and combos by 1s except veil. There's nothing enjoyable about hunting down a deadeye that can remain in stealth permanently, portal other players into structures, and remove revealed at will. There's also nothing enjoyable about being zerged down by 50 people who are all in stealth- the fight is either over instantly or within a minute since you can't recover from losing half your group to a stealth bomb. While a good stealth engage should be a strong advantage, right now it's an i-win.

Stability vs CC Is actually in an okay spot right now. I think you guys had the right idea with reducing Stand Your Ground! from 5 stacks to 3, but you need to give access to aoe stability to other classes as well. An easy change would be to trail of anguish, bump its stability up to 2 stacks from 1. This would reduce reliance on firebrands and force players to cycle stability access from other classes.

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Hello @Cal Cohen.3527 ;

Other than my 100% agreement with @"Turkeyspit.3965" the only thing I want to add is that you should really take a look at this poll on stealth, it has one of the few reasonable discussions here about how to make it better for PvP modes, including WvW.

But all I gotta say is a lot of my 2 guilds have not played much, at all, in the last month (other than Whiskey farming the Halloween labyrinth as is tradition). You got your work cut out to pull us back. Good luck.

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The holy Trinity and its necessity

Alot of the issues that have come from the expansions extend far further than people like the admit, and fewer people understand. Originally in guild wars 2 everyone was DPS. There were no true supports and there were no tanks, merely the notion everyone could bring boons and buffs to the group and from there you just dps and this worked in the earliest stages of the game because back then it was far less technical. Over time however the game has changed and so has the community and it's players and at this point I Feel like The "holy trinity" is the only way to fix the pluthra of issues we have now.

Tanks counter Melee dps, Melee counters healers and ranged while ranged/healers often times counters tanks. This kind of give and take allowed for specific classes to have more toys to play with without being a huge leap ahead of people. At the time of writing this the game has attempted to stick at its roots with a very tiny toe in the waters of the trinity system. We have a few "supports" if you can call them that and I guess you could say we have "Tanks", in reality they aren't and they don't hold a candle to what those roles offer and what they do. For example we wouldn't have issues with a firebrands and scourges if we had true tanks, a tank could in theory wade through all the aoe spam and lock down the enemy with minor support. This then means if we had multiple tanks in a group their job would be to hold the front-line while our Dps did what they were good at, killing our hated foe. Unfortunately for us its all about Deeps right now, you have to bring hardcore cleave and tons of AoE dps with conditions and boons galor because that is how the game has been designed to this point.

Now removing that is a good start but what comes after that? We've been here once before when HoT released and A-net decided that it might be a good Idea to fix Condition damage, and look where that has left us. We need roles and specific niches for our spec's and even perhaps for Core; So this way the team can build a class or say future E-specs to work accordingly to what we currently have. When everyone can do massive dps everyone will immediately go for the massive dps, I have tons of friends who won't touch this game because it is as it is now. Archeage Unchained has been released and frankly its so refreshing because it has the kind of systems to make a tank or make a healer and be good at that role without having to do dps. I feel like its a good example of what the Trinity can be when its not enforced because you can really run whatever you want, but each class you create has a role its designed for. Guild wars 2 doesn't need to make a Hard trinity system, It can have a soft trinity but it needs to fully delve in and design the game around a soft trinity for it to work. The game itself would benefit because the dev's would know how to go forward, right now its like walking on egg-shells if they make something new it could become inflated and overpowered because of what core has ONTOP OF what it offers (Firebrand is a good example.)

WvW and it's glaring problems

Not long ago I made a post about the direction I FEEL WVW SHOULD TAKE. It is entirely my opinion but I would and STRONGLY urge A-net to at least give it a good read, consider it. Because I address a lot of the issues in the post, and even though a good few of the vocal minority bashed it the point still stands as a fact. The game mode was intended to be guild wars 2's and A-net's answer to RvR and WvW fails to fill that role from its very foundation. It doesn't know what it want's to be and this is an issue that extends to the game at large and is not limited to this one set of issues. We need more of a reason to do things (Outside of rewards) we need more nuance and flare to the game mode, we need more energy and life plugged into the realms of WvW. As of now there is no tactics, no thought or even any real need to do much more than face-roll your keyboard and spam aoe faster than the other guy. Our tactics now are ===>Scrapped stealth====> Mess portal ===> Scourge/firebrand AoE===> WoD===> Herald's use hammer to apply what preassure you can. (This last one is subjective.) That is what everyone is running, and its boring to all of the lowest pits of the darkest depths.

Ever since you added the warclaw roaming has become difficulty, and with all the gimmicky one shot builds out there you run into a lot of the same classes. They are the same ones within the zerg meta. With mirages, thieves and soul-beasts making up a good bulk of the rest with maybe a few Rev's and the occasional Weaver but other specs and even core classes? Nah. Because they can't compete with the amount of stuff the other specs offer, and often times are just downright inferior to the specs they would be competing with. I don't want warclaw removed because I enjoy having a mount, But I do want roaming to recover and the quickest way to do that in my opinion? Equalize the classes specs, and core to be on equal footing in terms of what they bring and how they bring it. Each spec and trait-line should have something in it that people want and is good. They can't have all of them but if all of the traits are good and all the traitlines work, then it would make deciding harder and open theory crafting further as it would mean its you tailoring you character to YOUR preferred playstyle. As it stands now its Conform to the meta or GTFO because if you go off meta, even if you are skilled you will have to work a billion times harder than an average player running a competitive meta-build.

Give this a good read, tons of Ideas about the game mode within.

https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/88775/world-vs-world-reborn#latest

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Only simple change needed: Revert all buffs/nerfs back to when PoF was first launched. It was more balanced then and there were far less broken/improper working skills.

No matter what changes are implemented, it won't work. The mode has and always will be dictated by numbers. People running in spamming their skills, or ranged spamming their skills will obliterate a smaller group. There is absolutely no way around this. All those balance changes implemented, may (and take may with a grain of salt), have a difference in a small group setting (aka PvP mode), of 5 players or less.

For example, reducing the rangers longbow attack by 14% or whatever it was, makes no difference when 99% of their attacks won't penetrate a zerg. Altering the way a Scourge shade works, either by giving a 10 target cap in 1 spot, or 10 targets over a large area won't matter if the group you're fighting has more people doing the same thing. People just have to accept the fact that the only balance in WvW that matters is population. Skill alterations do not matter. A larger group spamming 1 into a smaller group when there is mega lag will (you guessed it), give the larger group the win.

Another thing; PvE balance doesn't matter at all. Anyone can take any class in any build with any weapon and armor set and rip through 99% of the content with ease. Balancing WvW around with raids in mind is a battle that is already lost but also completely unnecessary.

What does make a difference though is when Anet tries to alter a skill and in turn breaks how it functions.. then leaves it for weeks or even months; that affects game play.

Just roll back all those changes to when PoF was launched and leave them, don't touch them again.

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PoV from a player that primarily plays in zergs.

Short term: The ten targets on shades still seems to be an outlier. They can be punished more in melee range which is nice but they still feel oppressive. almost everything else is very powerful but feels like it needs to be that way because of he overall power level as mentioned.

Long term balance: I enjoyed the feel of WvW the most during the base game. It wasn't a "toilet bowl" meta were no one died, it wasn't full pirate ship and some guilds ran gank squads to focus casters in the back line. I probably have nostalgia glasses on but the time to kill felt less punishing as well.

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This may be more of a PvE note, but to read that there's a gap of like 10 times the damage between top players and bottom players, is part of your challenge to shrink that gap? What do you think of some of these tricks like jumping or stowing weapons during attacks that the top players can take advantage of that most players wouldn't think to do?

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Playing this game i find there too many classes who lack effects and you have classes who simply have all of the effects on high out put. I suggest adding in ways to lets all classes build for any roll in a wvw environment and cut back on the classes whom are able to already do every thing in the game at a high out put.

Any thing out side of that suggestion i would get into talking about the ele class and ele class alone and i do not think this is the places for that class aimed suggestions.

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@Aeolus.3615 said:There’s to much of everything in low CD, wich creates the massive boonstacking, aoe spam and high damage builds with low risk gameplay...And IMO the reason that sucks is due to the effect, not the low cd. If anything, there is too high cd on too many skills.

GW2 differ itself from the archaic MMOs of casting a fireball while stationary on a minutes cd in that it has fast, responsive combat. Attack, dodge, attack. The enemy use a skill, you block it. The enemy put condi on, you cleanse.

But over the years with all the durations slapped on and skills doing more and more at the same time, the skills have become bloated. You could half the duration and effects of almost everything and cut cd.

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These are my high-level observations as a dedicated WvW player who has for a few reasons been mostly a roamer/off-hours do-it-all for the past few years.

  1. Roaming specs are in a bad place, IMO. For years I played specs that were intended to be able to handle various kinds of fights and situations, to turn fights into chess matches and allow for play and counterplay, and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, those builds were all systematically nerfed and/or made obsolete by power creep. All the roaming builds now are built around the same concept - full glass extremely high burst, coupled with high invuln and evade uptime. Warrior is the worst in this regard - most roaming warrior specs take forever to bring down even with 3 or 4 people on them, and can usually disengage and get away any time they want. But holo, soulbeast, dragonhunter, weaver, deadeye, and mirage roaming specs all operate on the same principle. So these fights just turn into burst > die or burst > run away and reset > repeat.

  2. You're probably going to see some seemingly contradictory opinions here for group combat about both the sustain being out of control and the power being out of control. Can it really be both? My observation is, yes, because they amplify each other. My biggest observation on this front is that the current meta is too advantageous to organized groups. I do believe that a comped and organized group should be at an advantage in an open field fight against equal numbers of uncoordinated players, but the way the meta synergizes now it's far too skewed in their direction. I have seen big zergs that can sit under 6 sup ACS firing on them on a gate and just sustain through it without anyone dying. I've seen them run inside our garrison farming kills for an hour against superior numbers and siege, unable to be pushed out because they can't be killed, until they got bored and left. And because of the amount of sustain a good guild group puts out, everyone else in the zerg can build for huge burst, so most zergfights are just one pushes now. A lot of it is the combination of scourge + FB res abilities. Anyone who goes down is picked up immediately. The only thing that can help a smaller defensive force against this right now is timely Warclaw stomps, otherwise it would be even worse.

So basically I think the curve needs to be flattened so that coordinated groups have an advantage, but they have to play strategically to use it. To make it so that in an assault, there actually is an attrition factor and they have to actively deal with the defenses instead of just pumping out boons and barrier. To use another example, zergbusting used to be a thing because a guild group couldn't just hard carry 30-40 pugs doing whatever - they were a liability. They would die easily and rally the enemy, the core wasn't invincible and had to coordinate stabs, heals, cc, etc. during combat. Now a well-comped guild group just needs the numbers around them as a meat shield and to pump out damage, because they're not gonna go down.

  1. If there's one simple specific thing I'd want to see changed, it's that the defensive buff you get on the oil pot is corruptible, rendering the thing just as useless as ever. Just give the defender Defiance on it and be done with it; force the attacker to have to deal with the siege instead of making it a deathtrap for newbie defenders.
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Don't want to post a long monologue, as I tend to get lost in the point I'm trying to make, but to state simply, I feel that in regards to WvW skill balance, every profession should have viable playstyles that offer enough counter-play options so as not to have one profession/specialization completely dominate a particular role, (or one profession spec dominating several roles, like we see in raiding) which shoves out other playstyles that could compete in that role. As has been mentioned, boons and condis being so prevalent on top of many singular skills being too frontloaded leads to difficulty in balancing a competitive environment, and I feel that's what make it feel like a desired playstyle is great to play.

Stated differently, I'd like to see profession specs fulfill certain roles (dps, bunker, bomber, etc.) differently in a way that doesn't lead to one spec being the only go to choice for a particular role, while each having sufficient trade-offs to allow for skillful counter-play. One thing I also saw mentioned that I agree with is determining the "time-to-kill".

In regards to WvW itself as just some things to bring up; I feel - as has also been stated earlier in this thread - that there needs to be more reward incentives that are more centered around actual meaningful participation as a player, rather than participation only for pips and reward tracks. While the rewards we have are nice, I recall that originally, winning objectives in WvW translated to bonuses earned for one's server or "world". It'd be cool to have both, especially once the Alliance system rolls out.

Edge of the Mist has also fallen by the wayside due to the pip reward system, as there isn't much reason to play when you aren't getting as much rewards for doing nearly the same thing you would be in normal WvW. I hardly see anyone on it when I play, although it does make for a good environment to teach other players the basics of playing in WvW as a result.

Sorry if what I said was either vague or convoluted, but thanks for reading! Looking forward to see what changes are to come!

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projectile hate needs toning down, can be done with a nerf to bubbles and blocks so they absorb set number of projectiles

skills that hit 5 enemies or more must not do more than X damage on each target (can crit for more ofc)

boon spam needs toning down, specially sharing boons

boon corrupt needs toning down

condi spam needs toning down

stealth spam needs toning down

more classes need to be included in the "meta"

AOE healing from skills needs toning down, going back to water field blasting

remove downed state skills + lower downed state health

skills with 120-180 range need a dmg buff, some more than others

make stability a non corruptible effect, reduce duration

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