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Why are weapons tied to Elite Specs?


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I have been wondering since 2015, why some weapons are tied to Elite Specs? This game is already piss poor when it comes to build variety, all you're doing by tying weps to elite specs is lower build variety.

Seriously, what's the reasoning behind this? Balance??? Are you gonna tell me that a Staff on core ranger is gonna be OP? Are you gonna tell me that a Dagger on core warrior is gonna be OP? Or is having the Axe on Chrono supposed to be game breaking?

In my point of view, this was a very dumb decision by anet, one that has been going for over two years. Tying Elites and utility is enough of a bad thing for creating builds. Tying weapons to Elite Specs is just stupid.

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The most logical reason why they'd do it is balance. They can more closely monitor the impact of a scourge's torch if it's tied to the elite spec rather than wonder how the torch would impact both core necro and reaper on top of scourge as well. This also has a couple of benefits:

The first is that since new weapons are tied to elite specs, it means two elite specs can use the same weapon in different ways, which works to the benefit of warrior the most. It would get kind of awkward if we suddenly reached a point where Engineer finally had access to every weapon, but the other professions missed out on several weapons that they could have used because they couldn't wield new weapons.

The second is that the weapons can be tied thematically to the elite spec, which makes them much more exciting than trying to make sure the weapon ties thematically well with the core class, which doesn't really change. The reaper's greatsword works with darkness and ice themes, which don't fit the firey/sand themes that scourges use. What's more, the torch isn't exactly core necro material, we have a single trait that deals fire damage in a limited circumstance, and even scourges don't wield that much fire, so torches on a dark/ice themed class doesn't mesh too well. This isn't exactly true with all classes, mirage cloak certainly seems something that core mesmers could do, and the chronomancy as a whole is already introduced in a couple of areas for mesmer (alter time, temporal curtain, the time themed glamour trait that applies superspeed i think), and the warhorn and sword work quite well for core elementalist, but I think the trend for tying weapons to elite specs works to the designers favour. As much as I'd love a mix mirage/chronomancer wielding an axe/shield combo or for guardians to have longbow as a core weapon, I think it's simply for the best that the design remains as is. Besides, as many would say, they have a tough enough job with balance as is, no need to add fuel to that fire.

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@castlemanic.3198 said:The most logical reason why they'd do it is balance. They can more closely monitor the impact of a scourge's torch if it's tied to the elite spec rather than wonder how the torch would impact both core necro and reaper on top of scourge as well. This also has a couple of benefits:

The first is that since new weapons are tied to elite specs, it means two elite specs can use the same weapon in different ways, which works to the benefit of warrior the most. It would get kind of awkward if we suddenly reached a point where Engineer finally had access to every weapon, but the other professions missed out on several weapons that they could have used because they couldn't wield new weapons.

The second is that the weapons can be tied thematically to the elite spec, which makes them much more exciting than trying to make sure the weapon ties thematically well with the core class, which doesn't really change. The reaper's greatsword works with darkness and ice themes, which don't fit the firey/sand themes that scourges use. What's more, the torch isn't exactly core necro material, we have a single trait that deals fire damage in a limited circumstance, and even scourges don't wield that much fire, so torches on a dark/ice themed class doesn't mesh too well. This isn't exactly true with all classes, mirage cloak certainly seems something that core mesmers could do, and the chronomancy as a whole is already introduced in a couple of areas for mesmer (alter time, temporal curtain, the time themed glamour trait that applies superspeed i think), and the warhorn and sword work quite well for core elementalist, but I think the trend for tying weapons to elite specs works to the designers favour. As much as I'd love a mix mirage/chronomancer wielding an axe/shield combo or for guardians to have longbow as a core weapon, I think it's simply for the best that the design remains as is. Besides, as many would say, they have a tough enough job with balance as is, no need to add fuel to that fire.

Thing is, a weapon can only have 2-5 skills. How hard is it to monitor something this minuscule? If they're having trouble monitoring 2 weapon skills, that's something wrong with the dev. I do not believe this is adding any fuel to the fire at all. If every weapon had 10-30 skills, sure, if they had trouble with balance, they sure will have more trouble. But 2-5 skills? I mean, that's just laughable. At least that's how i see it.

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@"Nuka Cola.8520" said:Thing is, a weapon can only have 2-5 skills. How hard is it to monitor something this minuscule? If they're having trouble monitoring 2 weapon skills, that's something wrong with the dev. I do not believe this is adding any fuel to the fire at all. If every weapon had 10-30 skills, sure, if they had trouble with balance, they sure will have more trouble. But 2-5 skills? I mean, that's just laughable. At least that's how i see it.

The reality is, how do those 2-5 skills interact with every traitline, every heal/utility/elite and how they also interact with the rest of the weaponsets available for use.

It's not "just" 2-5 skills. It's the interaction of those 2-5 skills with every possible combination.

As it is right now, each weapon interacts with their specific traitline and a combination of 2 traitlines. Using that combination a single weapon interacts with 10 variations of traitlines if we assume it is as it is right now. We're not even going into the specifics of other weaponsets, how many ways you can pick a traitline or any of the heal/utility/elite skills. Let's just talk traitlines.

If the weapons were released for the core class, then that weapon would now interact with another 10 variations if we assume they work with the second elite specialisation. And then we get into the variations of having 3 core elite specialisations (which I want to say the number is about 18 without doing the rigorous math behind it).

So where a single weapon would interact with 10 variations of traitlines as it is, if they were implemented into the core class, we're looking at easily thirty eight traitline variations.

And then there's how a player chooses the traits in each traitline. 3 choices per tier, 3 tiers per traitline. That's a lot of variation as it is. Imagine that for over thirty either variations of traitlines.

And then on TOP of all of that, we're now looking at another weapon set or the completion of the weaponset using those skills. then the way that the weapon interacts with other various heal/utility/elite skills, how that varies with the different class mechanics depending on the elite specialisation (and the utility skills that come with the elite specialisation).

So no. Saying it's "just" 2-5 skills completely misses the number of interactions a new core weapon would add to the game. The reality is more complicated than it seems at first glance.

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@castlemanic.3198 said:

@"Nuka Cola.8520" said:Thing is, a weapon can only have 2-5 skills. How hard is it to monitor something this minuscule? If they're having trouble monitoring 2 weapon skills, that's something wrong with the dev. I do not believe this is adding any fuel to the fire at all. If every weapon had 10-30 skills, sure, if they had trouble with balance, they sure will have more trouble. But 2-5 skills? I mean, that's just laughable. At least that's how i see it.

The reality is, how do those 2-5 skills interact with every traitline, every heal/utility/elite and how they also interact with the rest of the weaponsets available for use.

It's not "just" 2-5 skills. It's the interaction of those 2-5 skills with
every possible combination
.

As it is right now, each weapon interacts with their specific traitline and a combination of 2 traitlines. Using that combination a single weapon interacts with 10 variations of traitlines if we assume it is as it is right now. We're not even going into the specifics of other weaponsets, how many ways you can pick a traitline or any of the heal/utility/elite skills. Let's just talk traitlines.

If the weapons were released for the core class, then that weapon would now interact with
another
10 variations if we assume they work with the second elite specialisation. And then we get into the variations of having 3 core elite specialisations (which I want to say the number is about 18 without doing the rigorous math behind it).

So where a single weapon would interact with 10 variations of traitlines as it is, if they were implemented into the core class, we're looking at easily
thirty eight traitline variations
.

And then there's how a player chooses the traits in each traitline. 3 choices per tier, 3 tiers per traitline. That's a lot of variation as it is. Imagine that for over
thirty either variations of traitlines
.

And then on TOP of all of that, we're now looking at another weapon set or the completion of the weaponset using those skills. then the way that the weapon interacts with other various heal/utility/elite skills, how that varies with the different class mechanics depending on the elite specialisation (and the utility skills that come with the elite specialisation).

So no. Saying it's "just" 2-5 skills completely misses the number of interactions a new core weapon would add to the game. The reality is more complicated than it seems at first glance.

I am always pleasantly surprised when I see something like this. A lot of people do not understand what Balancing a game actually entails.

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@Coulter.2315 said:To control balance and give each spec a unique playstyle and feel. This is a good system.

On paper it might be good.

In reality there's a huge problem with this. Not all classes are created equal.Engineer has 3 weapons for its base Rifle, Pistol and Shield. Warrior on the other hand has literally 9 unique weapons to core out of 14 land based weapons.This is going to lead to a really bad design nightmare unless we never have 3 more expansions to cover the two weapons warrior has gained acesss too via HoT & PoF.

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@TexZero.7910 said:

@Coulter.2315 said:To control balance and give each spec a unique playstyle and feel. This is a good system.

On paper it might be good.

In reality there's a huge problem with this. Not all classes are created equal.Engineer has 3 weapons for its base Rifle, Pistol and Shield. Warrior on the other hand has literally 9 unique weapons to core out of 14 land based weapons.This is going to lead to a really bad design nightmare unless we never have 3 more expansions to cover the two weapons warrior has gained acesss too via HoT & PoF.

Warrior and Engi are structured around the weapon selection they have, the very core of the class is set up around these themes (engi has self made weapons in form of kits and warrior is a master of martial weaponry). The game was launched like this, the "problem" isn't changing with elite spec additions, I don't see your point.

If you're worried about a warrior running out of weapons they can give a new elite spec access to dagger and torch with completely different skills (they can only do this btw by sticking with the current system).

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@Coulter.2315 said:

@TexZero.7910 said:

@Coulter.2315 said:To control balance and give each spec a unique playstyle and feel. This is a good system.

On paper it might be good.

In reality there's a huge problem with this. Not all classes are created equal.Engineer has 3 weapons for its base Rifle, Pistol and Shield. Warrior on the other hand has literally 9 unique weapons to core out of 14 land based weapons.This is going to lead to a really bad design nightmare unless we never have 3 more expansions to cover the two weapons warrior has gained acesss too via HoT & PoF.

Warrior and Engi are structured around the weapon selection they have, the very core of the class is set up around these themes (engi has self made weapons in form of kits and warrior is a master of martial weaponry). The game was launched like this, the "problem" isn't changing with elite spec additions, I don't see your point.

If you're worried about a warrior running out of weapons they can give a new elite spec access to dagger and torch with completely different skills (they can
only
do this btw by sticking with the current system).

My concerns about the current state of elite specs go far beyond just the weapon limitations. It also extends to how each of the baseline classes are defined currently.

Now then, sure engineer is designed in such a way currently as to have access to kits, but it's because of this very poor choice that engineers have never had a viable elite spec that either didn't need to be gutted completely or had to be coded to work around the baseline functionality of the class. In fact one could quite simply put it like this

Because engineer is designed around having kits, its weapon skills have to be weaker, its traits have to be weaker and the overall strength has to be turned down so much so that they are the jack-of-all class. Now this might sound great again "On Paper" bur we are currently working with a system that rewards specializing. Now i turn your attention to Scrapper specifically for this, guess what happened when Engineer who by the way already had a tanky trait line in alchemy, was given scrapper ? They became "TOO TANKY", so much so that their a majority of their traits had to be gutted as well as the weapon had to have its block duration cut by 2 seconds as well as having to remove an extra leap because apparently that's OP.

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@TexZero.7910 said:

@Coulter.2315 said:

@TexZero.7910 said:

@Coulter.2315 said:To control balance and give each spec a unique playstyle and feel. This is a good system.

On paper it might be good.

In reality there's a huge problem with this. Not all classes are created equal.Engineer has 3 weapons for its base Rifle, Pistol and Shield. Warrior on the other hand has literally 9 unique weapons to core out of 14 land based weapons.This is going to lead to a really bad design nightmare unless we never have 3 more expansions to cover the two weapons warrior has gained acesss too via HoT & PoF.

Warrior and Engi are structured around the weapon selection they have, the very core of the class is set up around these themes (engi has self made weapons in form of kits and warrior is a master of martial weaponry). The game was launched like this, the "problem" isn't changing with elite spec additions, I don't see your point.

If you're worried about a warrior running out of weapons they can give a new elite spec access to dagger and torch with completely different skills (they can
only
do this btw by sticking with the current system).

My concerns about the current state of elite specs go far beyond just the weapon limitations. It also extends to how each of the baseline classes are defined currently.

Now then, sure engineer is designed in such a way currently as to have access to kits, but it's because of this very poor choice that engineers have never had a viable elite spec that either didn't need to be gutted completely or had to be coded to work around the baseline functionality of the class. In fact one could quite simply put it like this

Because engineer is designed around having kits, its weapon skills have to be weaker, its traits have to be weaker and the overall strength has to be turned down so much so that they are the jack-of-all class. Now this might sound great again "On Paper" bur we are currently working with a system that rewards specializing. Now i turn your attention to Scrapper specifically for this, guess what happened when Engineer who by the way already had a tanky trait line in alchemy, was given scrapper ? They became "TOO TANKY", so much so that their a majority of their traits had to be gutted as well as the weapon had to have its block duration cut by 2 seconds as well as having to remove an extra leap because apparently that's OP.

I'd argue that's not a problem with the system in and of itself, that's just something the balance team will have to work on balancing properly. There is a good balance that can be achieved, the numbers just have to be tweaked and some traits need to be adjusted or replaced.

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@TexZero.7910 said:

@Coulter.2315 said:

@TexZero.7910 said:

@Coulter.2315 said:To control balance and give each spec a unique playstyle and feel. This is a good system.

On paper it might be good.

In reality there's a huge problem with this. Not all classes are created equal.Engineer has 3 weapons for its base Rifle, Pistol and Shield. Warrior on the other hand has literally 9 unique weapons to core out of 14 land based weapons.This is going to lead to a really bad design nightmare unless we never have 3 more expansions to cover the two weapons warrior has gained acesss too via HoT & PoF.

Warrior and Engi are structured around the weapon selection they have, the very core of the class is set up around these themes (engi has self made weapons in form of kits and warrior is a master of martial weaponry). The game was launched like this, the "problem" isn't changing with elite spec additions, I don't see your point.

If you're worried about a warrior running out of weapons they can give a new elite spec access to dagger and torch with completely different skills (they can
only
do this btw by sticking with the current system).

My concerns about the current state of elite specs go far beyond just the weapon limitations. It also extends to how each of the baseline classes are defined currently.

Now then, sure engineer is designed in such a way currently as to have access to kits, but it's because of this very poor choice that engineers have never had a viable elite spec that either didn't need to be gutted completely or had to be coded to work around the baseline functionality of the class. In fact one could quite simply put it like this

Because engineer is designed around having kits, its weapon skills have to be weaker, its traits have to be weaker and the overall strength has to be turned down so much so that they are the jack-of-all class. Now this might sound great again "On Paper" bur we are currently working with a system that rewards specializing. Now i turn your attention to Scrapper specifically for this, guess what happened when Engineer who by the way already had a tanky trait line in alchemy, was given scrapper ? They became "TOO TANKY", so much so that their a majority of their traits had to be gutted as well as the weapon had to have its block duration cut by 2 seconds as well as having to remove an extra leap because apparently that's OP.

This is just upset with balance, which I promise you will not be helped by unbinding weapons from elite specs.

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@castlemanic.3198 said:I'd argue that's not a problem with the system in and of itself, that's just something the balance team will have to work on balancing properly. There is a good balance that can be achieved, the numbers just have to be tweaked and some traits need to be adjusted or replaced.

I'd normally agree with you but Scrapper has never been fixed meaning it's not just a numbers thing. It's a core design issue. Generalist + Specialist = Doubling down on any general strength. The same issue also happened with tempest.

It's a problem that the design team is going to have to solve, and i hazard the only way for them to solve it is to go back to the board for both Ele and Engi and make them have a defined theme and playstyle for the base traitlines and reworking all of their current specializations.

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@Coulter.2315 said:This is just upset with balance, which I promise you will not be helped by unbinding weapons from elite specs.I never claimed they should, i just claimed that the current system is only good on paper. Which by the way, you've only acknowledged by your proposal to just make existing weapons go to new elite specs when they run out of design space, which is the exact flaw im point out. They've pigeonholed themselves design wise. The literally are on the clock and have 3 expansions max to figure out what they're going to do when they reach the existing limitations in the system of there only being 14 unique weapons and there being a class with access to 11 of them currently.

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@castlemanic.3198 said:The most logical reason why they'd do it is balance. They can more closely monitor the impact of a scourge's torch if it's tied to the elite spec rather than wonder how the torch would impact both core necro and reaper on top of scourge as well. This also has a couple of benefits:

The first is that since new weapons are tied to elite specs, it means two elite specs can use the same weapon in different ways, which works to the benefit of warrior the most. It would get kind of awkward if we suddenly reached a point where Engineer finally had access to every weapon, but the other professions missed out on several weapons that they could have used because they couldn't wield new weapons.

The second is that the weapons can be tied thematically to the elite spec, which makes them much more exciting than trying to make sure the weapon ties thematically well with the core class, which doesn't really change. The reaper's greatsword works with darkness and ice themes, which don't fit the firey/sand themes that scourges use. What's more, the torch isn't exactly core necro material, we have a single trait that deals fire damage in a limited circumstance, and even scourges don't wield that much fire, so torches on a dark/ice themed class doesn't mesh too well. This isn't exactly true with all classes, mirage cloak certainly seems something that core mesmers could do, and the chronomancy as a whole is already introduced in a couple of areas for mesmer (alter time, temporal curtain, the time themed glamour trait that applies superspeed i think), and the warhorn and sword work quite well for core elementalist, but I think the trend for tying weapons to elite specs works to the designers favour. As much as I'd love a mix mirage/chronomancer wielding an axe/shield combo or for guardians to have longbow as a core weapon, I think it's simply for the best that the design remains as is. Besides, as many would say, they have a tough enough job with balance as is, no need to add fuel to that fire.

But in lore, wouldn't someone be able to use any magic they have once they know it? The limitation is mechanical, Id think a necro can use reaper and scourge magic in the same fight

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@TexZero.7910 said:

@Coulter.2315 said:This is just upset with balance, which I promise you will not be helped by unbinding weapons from elite specs.I never claimed they should, i just claimed that the current system is only good on paper. Which by the way, you've only acknowledged by your proposal to just make existing weapons go to new elite specs when they run out of design space, which is the exact flaw im point out. They've pigeonholed themselves design wise. The literally are on the clock and have 3 expansions max to figure out what they're going to do when they reach the existing limitations in the system of there only being 14 unique weapons and there being a class with access to 11 of them currently.

Games don't last forever so you do not need an infinite series of weaponry. Your worry about what happens to warrior weapon development after the game has been out for 11 years is a little premature and pointless since they can reuse weapons as I mentioned above. Were you hoping for some infinitely repeatable paradigm which allows GW2 to produce warrior weapons until 2100? This is not pigeonholed design space, it just means the skyscraper has a roof.

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@Fenom.9457 said:But in lore, wouldn't someone be able to use any magic they have once they know it? The limitation is mechanical, Id think a necro can use reaper and scourge magic in the same fight

Not sure where lore was brought into it. I agree that they should, lorewise, be able to use core and both elite spec mechanics in a single battle, however this discussion is focused on the design/mechanics side of it. Revenants especially embody the ability to use everything at once, but I think it works across all classes.

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@castlemanic.3198 said:

@Fenom.9457 said:But in lore, wouldn't someone be able to use any magic they have once they know it? The limitation is mechanical, Id think a necro can use reaper and scourge magic in the same fight

Not sure where lore was brought into it. I agree that they should, lorewise, be able to use core and both elite spec mechanics in a single battle, however this discussion is focused on the design/mechanics side of it. Revenants especially embody the ability to use everything at once, but I think it works across all classes.

You explain it in lore by saying each spec requires a different mind set or focus or chant or runes to perform and they contradict each other.

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@TexZero.7910 said:

@Coulter.2315 said:To control balance and give each spec a unique playstyle and feel. This is a good system.

On paper it might be good.

In reality there's a huge problem with this. Not all classes are created equal.Engineer has 3 weapons for its base Rifle, Pistol and Shield. Warrior on the other hand has literally 9 unique weapons to core out of 14 land based weapons.This is going to lead to a really bad design nightmare unless we never have 3 more expansions to cover the two weapons warrior has gained acesss too via HoT & PoF.

Welp then warr will get a new weapon come the time a new soec is to be released.

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@Coulter.2315 said:You explain it in lore by saying each spec requires a different mind set or focus or chant or runes to perform and they contradict each other.

It's a fair point, so that each battle you get into a different mindset depending on what you wish to do. I don't think it entirely holds up though, and besides, mechanics do not always have to be connected to lore (being defeated in lava).

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@castlemanic.3198 said:

@Coulter.2315 said:You explain it in lore by saying each spec requires a different mind set or focus or chant or runes to perform and they contradict each other.

It's a fair point, so that each battle you get into a different mindset depending on what you wish to do. I don't think it entirely holds up though, and besides, mechanics do not always have to be connected to lore (being defeated in lava).

That's not lava, it's actually slightly too hot tomato soup.

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