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How do you feel about the imminent balance patch, and why?


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Eh. Low expectations seems to be the way to go. Given that smaller balance attempts don't seem to be properly tested by whatever 'internal testing' procedures they have in place, there's no logical reason for a much more ambitious effort to turn out any better. That said, things have changed around the Anet studio - namely the cancellation of other projects and actually having a balance team. That might be enough to change things this time.

Then again, these are the people who changed ranger shouts to "commands" for absolutely no reason other than to destroy another ranger option, and nerfed druid staff 3 well after nobody played bunker (at least effectively) anymore. That kind of nonsense doesn't get solved by more staff, it gets solved by... a basic understanding of a class/game mode/game itself.

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I'm just looking forward to all the posts about being nerfed/changed/toned down. "My class needs that to do this", "Why did you nerf ? Without it I can't do that", "What about this other class?!", "You changed the wrong thing" aka didn't do what I personally thought was best, "My muscle memory!!!!!", "You ruined my class/build", etc.

People have gotten way to used to the elevated level of power over the past few years and the patch should be and hopefully is a massive system shock.

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@Ben Phongluangtham.1065 said:It's going to be somewhat chaotic for a while. And I'm sure there will be overlooked things or unintentional problems. The number of changes is so large that all possible interactions are impossible to predict. Our goal is to be able to respond relatively quickly to issues that come up. And there will probably need to be a decent size follow-up release to continue to refine. Balance is a long term commitment, not a one release solution.

Like Chronomancer ?

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It's hard to say what I feel about this patch since we don't really know what the scope and goal of it is, let alone any pre-patch notes.

For balance alone, 800 changes seems...insane. One thing a lot of people ignore is that the game right now is actually pretty balanced if you are looking at it from the perspective of every class having some viable niche to fill. So for 800 changes to be needed, I'm guessing that there are at least a few redesigns on the table and the goal is to change how the game feels more than how it is balanced. If that's the case, then it's kind of impossible to give any opinion on what these changes will bring without at least a basic preview. Right now all we know is "LOL WE CHANGED EVERYTHING!!!11oneone!!!"

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@Hiraga Taichiru.1580 said:

@Ben Phongluangtham.1065 said:It's going to be somewhat chaotic for a while. And I'm sure there will be overlooked things or unintentional problems. The number of changes is so large that all possible interactions are impossible to predict. Our goal is to be able to respond relatively quickly to issues that come up. And there will probably need to be a decent size follow-up release to continue to refine. Balance is a long term commitment, not a one release solution.

Like Chronomancer ?

I wouldn't count on it.

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@Master Ketsu.4569 said:It's hard to say what I feel about this patch since we don't really know what the scope and goal of it is, let alone any pre-patch notes.

For balance alone, 800 changes seems...insane. One thing a lot of people ignore is that the game right now is actually pretty balanced if you are looking at it from the perspective of every class having some viable niche to fill.

sure, unkillable warriors, thieves and mesmers oneshotting you out of stealth (and even if they unload five skills in 0.2s it still results in a onshot), soulbeast damage (over 1.5k. Ignoring LoS), holosmith.

The game is not balanced. It hasnt been for a long time and ANET should have acted at least a year ago.

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@Obtena.7952 said:

@Obtena.7952 said:The volume of changes they hint at is the OPPOSITE of what they need to be doing

And what exactly should they be doing, according to you?

Somehow me knowing exactly what they should be doing is an indication of knowing what they shouldn't be? Some bad logic right there.

Judging by your tone, you believe that introducing so many changes at the same time is the correct path? Tell me, what makes you think that's going to work for them THIS TIME, considering in all the balance patches in the past, they demonstrate they struggle to achieve with the few changes they make? Didn't I just read they made HUNDREDS of changes in splits? Are you honestly going to sit there and tell me you think I'm wrong? I guess you REALLY want me to come back and call you out after the patch or something?

I actually agree with you for a change. While I've long thought they needed to do more with balancing, they probably should have just made some general announcements about what they were planning then increased the scope and frequency of iteration.

Part of me is excited, but I'm not totally convinced making 900 changes in one patch is the right way to go - numerous games have utterly killed themselves trying things of that magnitude. It's even more true without a full test strategy involving players. Seems like something an out-of-touch or amateur dev/leadership team would do.

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@Ben Phongluangtham.1065 said:It's going to be somewhat chaotic for a while. And I'm sure there will be overlooked things or unintentional problems. The number of changes is so large that all possible interactions are impossible to predict. Our goal is to be able to respond relatively quickly to issues that come up. And there will probably need to be a decent size follow-up release to continue to refine. Balance is a long term commitment, not a one release solution.

This makes me very hopeful, as a comprehensive and quickly iterative process of changes is exactly what the game needs at this point. I almost don't care if all my builds become irrelevant in the process as the stagnation in WvW is one of the main reasons I don't play so much now, I'm looking forward to a new meta and a move away from the instagib cheese builds and the unkillable bunker builds that frankly ruin small scale as a solo player. And yes, I'm saying this as a deadeye main, you can have the permastealth instagib DE build if other classes lose their equivalent builds and the game is more fun as a result.

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@SPESHAL.9106 said:

@"Ben Phongluangtham.1065" said:It's going to be somewhat chaotic for a while. And I'm sure there will be overlooked things or unintentional problems. The number of changes is so large that all possible interactions are impossible to predict. Our goal is to be able to respond relatively quickly to issues that come up. And there will probably need to be a decent size follow-up release to continue to refine. Balance is a long term commitment, not a one release solution.

Nice attempt at spin already. PoF has been out for years now. Why are "the number of changes so large that all possible interactions are impossible to predict"? What have all the other balance patches been? Are you admitting that they were all failures? What can't you internally test and predict at this point with PoF??? Is it a staffing issue or a competency issue?

If it's a staffing issue, just take more time. It's better to get things right than look foolish and not catch things players catch immediately.

If it's a competency issue, release the patch notes prior to going live and get some feedback.

The reason you're in this boat to begin with is that you released patches without internally testing stuff and predicting the interactions. If you are ALREADY admitting that will be the case with this balance patch, you've failed from the start.

Nobody could take your internal testing seriously before when you released fewer changes that had to be hotfixed. Many of those things that had to be hotfixed could have been identified in 10 minutes of internal testing or 1 button push. Some changes weren't enough and classes went a full year and counting being OP. Now you're already admitting similar issues with this patch? WOW...forgive the pun...cuz that's the game I'm playing now (classic) because you guys failed so miserably.

Thanks for the warning at least.

While I get your sentiment, Ben is correct in saying it's pretty much impossible to change 800-900 variables in a system as complex as GW2 and get predictable results right off the bat. Most iterative processes change one variable at a time while keeping others constant as controls to accurately judge the effect, this number of changes is going to be unpredictable to a degree no matter what they do.

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I'm hopeful because even if PvP was deleted I wouldn't play Gw2 that much less.

Would really prefer some chaos and content. That's what new skills are - content.

You sit in the game and build & test specs until you've tried everything and then hopefully find a new fun, effective spec to play.

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Radical idea: Have a public test server or a private one where people can test changes before they go live and give feedback. Including a wvw server instance (just make it one EB map) so guilds and pugs can test changes and give feedback.

Launching such huge changes without proper testing will mean we'll have lots of issues which could have been avoided with some player testing.

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It is pretty much just going to shift the meta to a different class/build. There will always be a meta, it is unavoidable, unless there is only one class/build combination that all players must play. The best that could happen is the meta is closer to the other classes in effectiveness.

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Low expectations.

Allow me to elaborate - I just recently came back to GW2 after about 7 or 8 years of a break. I loved WvW even back when there were no rewards for it, but time and other interest made me put the game aside.

I paid full price for the base game. I can't afford the expansions right now, which basically means WvW is a lot of running around far behind the "zerg" getting picked off by the usual mounted enemy players. The fact that in WvW gear imbalance (when I left, exotics were highly sought-after, and a precursor weapon already got you in the top-tier performance bracket, heh) compounds class imbalance between xpacs and core game didn't really make me want to hang around much, despite really liking, conceptually, that game mode.

This made me check out sPvP. The first tens of matches were a very interesting learning experience, but the longer I play, the more the power imbalance between core builds and expansion specializations becomes clear. Sure, maybe top players can take something core and still win against others, but what I see from the effects of the xpac specs is that they massively lower the skill level necessary to get extremely good results. Hell, I just had a match where my DPS warrior was getting out-healed by SB's pet after I managed to drop the owner. I had matches where my DPS thief was doing 300 damage to enemy SB while I was getting critted for 3000 by each barrage hit. Then you have the nigh-invulnerable FBs running around, Daredevils trololoing through entire groups with near constant evade, Weavers, and bears, oh my.

I don't have great hopes for any incoming changes, because I strongly suspect they will have an even greater impact on core builds than they do on the "meta" xpac ones.

I saw somebody on this forum throw a very interesting suggestion - give core professions also a "specialization" line - whether by turning one of the already existing ones into "core-only," or a brand new. Make them not just a poor man's choice for (at my skill level) mostly feeding, but actually capable of going against the "meta" xpac builds.

Again, I'm not a "free-to-play" account. But if having expansions is required to have a non-frustrating experience in PvP, especially at lower skill level, you won't be getting too many players to sustain the usual attrition of player base.

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Hi :)I would suggest devs to bring some more love to dead specializations in pvp/wvw(Renegade, Chronomancer, Druid, Tempest).I am mostly loving to play renegade in pvp(i am good one, platinum) but there are few problems with that class.

First of all shortbow spell 2 "Bloodbane Path" fires 3 arrows from different angles, and belive or not if target is moving(not even dodging) arrows miss/not hit the target.Shortbow spell 3 "Sevenshot" it is just impossible to hit your target with all 7 arrows. You need to be 900 range distant from target, you need to aim and your target needs to not move.We need rework on these 2 spells for renegade's shortbow because those spells are just bugged, bad.Like give me 3 sec retaliation arrow on 2. spell that does 0 dmg better than something that is bad but also rework 3. spell to spread arrows from center to max range instead of merging them...

Next thing,F3 renegade spell "Citadel Bombardment" is just not worth to use, that spell costs too much energy for so low rewards, missiles that barely hit anything even if you aim perfectly.F2 gives aoe might to allies and yourself, F4 gives alacrity to allies and yourself, why wouldn't you just rework F3 to give retaliation to allies and yourself?

Next one,Renegade traits: Major Adept "Blood Fury" and Major Master " Heartpiercer" that gives bonuses to bleeding, i would merge these 2 traits into one trait.

To fill empty trait slot i would design new trait that would increase number of your "Kalla's Fervor" stacks to 10 from 5.

There is another clunky, not useful trait and that is: Major Master "Sudden Reversal".Mechanic behind this trait is really good, but what we need about that stun break-knockdown instead of just going for protection(boon)-summons trait is: larger radius like 360 or larger and unblockable knockdown, other words it is just not worth to use ever(you gamble to maybe use that knockdown for sustain....).

Summons are easy to interupt/kill and when they are disabled/interupted, you lose their effect and you waste energy. I would give initial stability for 3 seconds to all summons.

Bleeding in renegades kit is just not enough, you need to reduce power in specialization and increase condition-bleeding option. Renegade just has auto attacks, spell 2 that is very bad and summon that isn't that powerful for bleeding damage. Bleeding damage is lowered and harder to success maximum amount of dps than other classes like mesmer,necro, ranger etc. I suggest you to either add more bleeding options/spells/unique traits like ranger has/necro/mesmer(on crit apply bleeding) or just remove bleeding from renegades kit.

Personally i think renegade is designed for doing mixed and life siphon damage but i don't personally think it should be just only for doing damage, instead it needs some unique mechanic that will make it funny to play, i think khalla's fevor is not funny design and its effect needs some changes( not rework, because many things are designed over it). About khalla's fevor, i would like option for it to be consumable effect, like get 10 stacks of it and you get ability to consume its stacks for some unique iconic effect that is designed over renegade.

About chrono, i think you need to rework it again, buff clones health, add chill combined with slow as you gave quickness combined with alacrity, to fit faster time/slower time design for class.

About druid, it is just purely pve healer class that is played in pvp as bunker that has not very good at the moment, i am not sure what i would change for it but it needs some more love over its design.

About tempest, it is viable in pvp and wvw but it needs more sustain as all your overloaded spells are melee. It just has very high cooldowns and class is predictable and counterable but its real power is not that big. In order to balance it with current long cooldowns and predictable/counterable playstyle, you need to make Auras more powerful for their duration, like enchanced fire, water, air, rock effect than just normal current ones.

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@Ben Phongluangtham.1065 said:

@Ben Phongluangtham.1065 said:It's going to be somewhat chaotic for a while. And I'm sure there will be overlooked things or unintentional problems. The number of changes is so large that all possible interactions are impossible to predict. Our goal is to be able to respond relatively quickly to issues that come up. And there will probably need to be a decent size follow-up release to continue to refine. Balance is a long term commitment, not a one release solution.

You keep talking about the size being really big but how big is it compared to a pretty normal balance pass like this?

He did say every skill and trait has been reviewed. Should give some idea about scope and size.

Reviewed but not necessarily changed.

He said the amount of changes will be hard to even put out on a note. Does that explain it better?

How is writing patch notes hard? You just type them. If I was typing patch notes instead of my own post I'd be doing it right now. Think about that.

Typing up the notes itself isn't the problem. For the splits alone, the list is finished. We're discussing how to present the notes a digestible way and in a way that makes it easier on us to follow feedback conversations.

Late to this party. I would personally divide changes as follows:

Overall changes to game systems (if any)SystemsSigilsRunesStats

Changes by class (duh!)Unsplit changesWeaponsUtilitiesTraits

Split changes, denote if it is sPvP or WvW or both. If different values right the value for each game modeWeaponsUtilitiesTraits

If presented for discussion, I would probably post the overall changes (assuming none of these are PvE) in the sPvP forums and WvW forums.

For each class, I would post a thread for feedback in that class' forum.

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@Jugglemonkey.8741 said:

@"SPESHAL.9106" said:

Nice attempt at spin already. PoF has been out for years now. Why are "the number of changes so large that all possible interactions are impossible to predict"? What have all the other balance patches been? Are you admitting that they were all failures? What can't you internally test and predict at this point with PoF??? Is it a staffing issue or a competency issue?

If it's a staffing issue, just take more time. It's better to get things right than look foolish and not catch things players catch immediately.

If it's a competency issue, release the patch notes prior to going live and get some feedback.

The reason you're in this boat to begin with is that you released patches without internally testing stuff and predicting the interactions. If you are ALREADY admitting that will be the case with this balance patch, you've failed from the start.

Nobody could take your internal testing seriously before when you released fewer changes that had to be hotfixed. Many of those things that had to be hotfixed could have been identified in 10 minutes of internal testing or 1 button push. Some changes weren't enough and classes went a full year and counting being OP. Now you're already admitting similar issues with this patch? WOW...forgive the pun...cuz that's the game I'm playing now (classic) because you guys failed so miserably.

Thanks for the warning at least.

While I get your sentiment, Ben is correct in saying it's pretty much impossible to change 800-900 variables in a system as complex as GW2 and get predictable results right off the bat. Most iterative processes change one variable at a time while keeping others constant as controls to accurately judge the effect, this number of changes is going to be unpredictable to a degree no matter what they do.

The point is that PoF has been out for years and there SHOULDN'T be a need to change 800-900 variables at this stage if they didn't screw things up previously. I'm totally ok with them fixing things at this point and it being a large patch. However, Ben is admitting the SAME problem that caused them to screw things up previously. Thus, you are just shuffling the deck instead of truly FIXING things.

I'm saying they should take whatever time is needed or release the notes PRIOR to release to get as much intel as possible. It really shouldn't be that hard at this stage of PoF to predict things...assuming they have actually been playing the game all this time and have competent individuals.

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@SPESHAL.9106 said:

Nice attempt at spin already. PoF has been out for years now. Why are "the number of changes so large that all possible interactions are impossible to predict"? What have all the other balance patches been? Are you admitting that they were all failures? What can't you internally test and predict at this point with PoF??? Is it a staffing issue or a competency issue?

If it's a staffing issue, just take more time. It's better to get things right than look foolish and not catch things players catch immediately.

If it's a competency issue, release the patch notes prior to going live and get some feedback.

The reason you're in this boat to begin with is that you released patches without internally testing stuff and predicting the interactions. If you are ALREADY admitting that will be the case with this balance patch, you've failed from the start.

Nobody could take your internal testing seriously before when you released fewer changes that had to be hotfixed. Many of those things that had to be hotfixed could have been identified in 10 minutes of internal testing or 1 button push. Some changes weren't enough and classes went a full year and counting being OP. Now you're already admitting similar issues with this patch? WOW...forgive the pun...cuz that's the game I'm playing now (classic) because you guys failed so miserably.

Thanks for the warning at least.

While I get your sentiment, Ben is correct in saying it's pretty much impossible to change 800-900 variables in a system as complex as GW2 and get predictable results right off the bat. Most iterative processes change one variable at a time while keeping others constant as controls to accurately judge the effect, this number of changes is going to be unpredictable to a degree no matter what they do.

The point is that PoF has been out for years and there SHOULDN'T be a need to change 800-900 variables at this stage if they didn't screw things up previously. I'm totally ok with them fixing things at this point and it being a large patch. However, Ben is admitting the SAME problem that caused them to screw things up previously. Thus, you are just shuffling the deck instead of truly FIXING things.

I'm saying they should take whatever time is needed or release the notes PRIOR to release to get as much intel as possible. It really shouldn't be that hard at this stage of PoF to predict things...assuming they have actually been playing the game all this time and have competent individuals.

There's no point for a few reasons:

  • A lot of people on the forums are incredibly biased.
  • A lot are first order thinkers and you would need second order thinking at least.
  • Many have a poor grasp of all aspects of the game leading to bad ideas.
  • You need to understand the relationships between classes, traits, skills, roles and what's holding everything in line.
  • There will be a lot of disagreements which might not lead to anything actionable.

To put it bluntly the scope of changes is so big and complex that quite frankly it's going to be a mess for a few months and outside of something being very over represented or needlessly oppressive the community should be ignored for a while so devs can focus on their job.

As for PoF, what led to the state of the game now isn't directly the balance patches and changes, it was the mentality and philosophy behind the expansions and elite specs. They were marketed as side steps, to fill a niche or bring a new role, what specialisations ended up being is trait line++ almost feeling like it was 2 or 3 trait lines in 1, same with skills. The player base also has their share of blame too, we went out and bought it all, we played it all, we sent back the data to them saying "We love elite specs and we love being overpowered" where it's taken this long to convince the captain that the ship isn't OK, it's on fire and that's a reef ahead.

The real question people should be asking is has there's been a change in leadership/goals/philosophy and how long are they willing to commit to this idea that the game was better when it was slower.

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Nice attempt at spin already. PoF has been out for years now. Why are "the number of changes so large that all possible interactions are impossible to predict"? What have all the other balance patches been? Are you admitting that they were all failures? What can't you internally test and predict at this point with PoF??? Is it a staffing issue or a competency issue?

If it's a staffing issue, just take more time. It's better to get things right than look foolish and not catch things players catch immediately.

If it's a competency issue, release the patch notes prior to going live and get some feedback.

The reason you're in this boat to begin with is that you released patches without internally testing stuff and predicting the interactions. If you are ALREADY admitting that will be the case with this balance patch, you've failed from the start.

Nobody could take your internal testing seriously before when you released fewer changes that had to be hotfixed. Many of those things that had to be hotfixed could have been identified in 10 minutes of internal testing or 1 button push. Some changes weren't enough and classes went a full year and counting being OP. Now you're already admitting similar issues with this patch? WOW...forgive the pun...cuz that's the game I'm playing now (classic) because you guys failed so miserably.

Thanks for the warning at least.

While I get your sentiment, Ben is correct in saying it's pretty much impossible to change 800-900 variables in a system as complex as GW2 and get predictable results right off the bat. Most iterative processes change one variable at a time while keeping others constant as controls to accurately judge the effect, this number of changes is going to be unpredictable to a degree no matter what they do.

The point is that PoF has been out for years and there SHOULDN'T be a need to change 800-900 variables at this stage if they didn't screw things up previously. I'm totally ok with them fixing things at this point and it being a large patch. However, Ben is admitting the SAME problem that caused them to screw things up previously. Thus, you are just shuffling the deck instead of truly FIXING things.

I'm saying they should take whatever time is needed or release the notes PRIOR to release to get as much intel as possible. It really shouldn't be that hard at this stage of PoF to predict things...assuming they have actually been playing the game all this time and have competent individuals.

Like I say, I don't necessarily disagree with you in sentiment. Previous patches have been much smaller in scope so the effects should have been much more predictable, so you're correct in that regard, but looking at the scope of this patch there will be some uncertainty simply because of the scale of the changes. Making 5 changes to a condi build on a particular elite spec per patch (often less than that) that only affects PvP or WvW along with a few changes that nobody knew needed making is not comparable to 800-900 changes currently finalised just from skill splits, the implication being that there are more changes to come. Of course I'm assuming that these are meaningful changes; we'll find that much out when the patch drops.

I'd also argue that the idea of elite specs is fundamentally flawed and that this is the real root problem facing the devs, especially when considering PoF elites. Some are flawed in a conceptual way (like scourge and deadeye, they're either going to be OP or kinda pointless due to their design choices and in deadeye's case it combines all the things that make people hate fighting rogues) and some are flawed because they simply do too much (firebrand being too good compared to other supports and holo skills basically making core engi redundant) or too little (druid post nerf) and some suffer from both causes (renegade). There is so much that needs changing and to their credit they've been trying to address that in recent months by introducing trade offs to particular specs (swipe, druid pets etc) although the results are debatable. In some ways having one massive patch that tries to deal with everything at once is better than 3 years worth of protracted smaller patches, if only as people don't get so fed up waiting for stuff to get looked at. This is in part why I'm cautiously optimistic, if they mess with everything at once and foul it up they are pretty much forced to commit more resources to fixing it than before, they have to do it faster than they have in the past because it will affect their bottom line if they don't.

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@Flandre.2870 said:Trash, just like always.The last patch that was actually put up by this cmc guy was worst patch in history of pof. game is ufnun.even this ben guy made a statement today that they know they don't know what they're doingand that there will be a need for future corrective balanced patches retrospectivelyreminer anet employees promised swiss in 2017dont expect anything from this companybuncha liars

I am with you... but be carefull.

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