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A New Build Wars

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Since GW2's release almost 8 years have passed. In this post I will be trying to explain how GW2's build system could be improved, at least from my point of view. I'll try to keep my points concise.

Traits Feel Truly PassiveGW2 offers a lot of customization options to the player. However this customization in the form of traits mostly provide passive bonuses to skills. There appears to be little build crafting. Some tratis are just outright better than others with no trade-off. I propose a design change of traits in the direction of talents found in other games. Instead of merely improving base stats and adding boons/conditions, the idea is to change or adapt the behaviour of skills to your playstyle. Imagine a trait changing the nature of a skill which comes off cooldown quite often to one which hits harder but also got a longer cooldown. Or a healing skill affected by one trait line could behave differently than if it were affected by another. There is so much potential! Let me get excited in the build crafting process!

The Mystery Of OverkillMissing some sort of energy mangament feels flat coming from GW1, RPGs and MOBAs. There are multiple reasons skills in those games cost energy and go on cooldown. They add to decision-making and counter play. Do you burn that high-powered-high-cost skill to secure a kill, knowing it will put you ad a disadvantage in the next fight? Or do you play it safe? Are you a patient hunter, or go in swords blazing? Everything comes with a cost. How much overkill is too much? This is a mystery worth solving! Observing your player would reveals if they are burning through energy and cooldowns. Add a subtle effect to players if they spend energy.

Therefore I propose introducing an energy system to all professions. E.g. Add the Thief's initiate resource to them. There are two ways to introduce it. Either keep all skill costs as they are now and add a cost to skills changed by traits, or add a cost to all of them. Personally, I promote the first option, because it doesn't alienate the player base that much while introducing them to Build Wars realized by traits and new energy mechanic. In any case, players are tasked with building an engine. New traits could then be added to provide players with various ways of fueling their engine.

Dodge for EnergyOne of those ways could be dodging. Add energy gain to the dodge skill. This allows dodge to be used proactively or reactively depening on the situation.

Meaningful Boons and ConditionsIn GW1 boons and conditions refreshed their duration when stacked. They were always at their maximum potential (if skilled correctly). In GW2 players need to spam many stacks for conditions to reach their max potential. This causes a constant battle between power and condition builds in GW2. I propose to unify these two worlds by just using the model from GW1. Same goes for boons. At the same time this change could level the playing field for various support classes and fix some of the skill lag people experience in WvW and the newer maps.

Lame Elite SkillsI make this quick: a lot of elite skills don't really feel like a build defining, battle winning skill. They feel more like a free-out-of-jail-card or coalescence of boons and conditions to me. I am spoiled by mobas and GW1, tho.

ConclusionSince the meta rarely changes, I consider GW2 to be solved. There is not that much to talk about. Additionally, in 8 years, a lot can happen. Especially the gaming industry moves very fast. Maybe it is time to revamp some of the older systems in this game.

What do you think?

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