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Some thoughts on balancing


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Since this will be kind of a doomer post, I'll start with something positive:I'm pleasantly surprised we got back to more frequent balance patches and actual communication. I honestly thought we'll get the silent treatment with maybe 1 balance patch every 6 month until pre-patch for EoD drops. I'm making this post because of that, this feedback might even get to the devs in some form.

The last few balance patches hit all the right targets. So there are no problems identifying problem builds. The way nerfs/adjustments are rolled out however, that I find extremely problematic.

Overnerfing:Some overperforming builds just get cut in half, or literally chopped to pieces. Renegade and burnguard springs to mind, these builds were absolutely smitersbooned. Yes they were too strong, but they needed adjustments, not straight up deletion. Cutting effects/durations in half, tripling cooldowns... could we not? This is actually just creating problems on the long run. By deleting FoTM builds(and hurting builds with overlapping traits) you just give rise to new/old problematic builds, which noone even saw as a possibility few patches prior.

Be less radical with nerfing please, and consider rebuffing whenever you overnerf.

Balancing through removal of options:Not actually balancing. "My arm hurts, guess I'll cut it off" - There is only so many times that you can pull this off before you run out of limbs. The passives gutted 14 months ago are still useless... they just got smitersbooned. Expertise and concentration amulets got removed, and a myriad of playstyles along with them. And ever since that infamous february patch, almost every patch we see more amulets go. Mender's and Marshal's are up next.

Don't! Please stop! Balance the builds causing the meta being slow. You created this situation by removing true support amulets and lowering damage to the level that support classes can outsustain it wearing bruiser amulets like menders. If anything I would go in the opposite direction, adding back healing mainstat/concentration amulets and nerfing the scaling with healing power on every ability in the game. That way supports would not be able to do damage(which would actually make people care not to overstack them), and would be reliant on boons. Not to mention the sustain of every bruiser would be hit aswell. We had metas like that, and they were more healthy than what we currently have.

Where the past year of balancing has led us:If I look at the changes one by one from the past few patches, all of them seem to solve a problem. If I add them up and look at them togheter however, they create a new problem: We are running out of options. PvP is becoming bland and boring. PvE has way too many playstyles and builds that have no PvP counterpart anymore. I hope at least the pre-patch for EoD adds all of those back, not having most stat combos and passive traits (or whatever you rework them into) is dumbing PvP down to the level I can hardly tolerate anymore.

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@"Bazsi.2734" said:

Balancing through removal of options:Not actually balancing. "My arm hurts, guess I'll cut it off" - There is only so many times that you can pull this off before you run out of limbs. The passives gutted 14 months ago are still useless... they just got smitersbooned. Expertise and concentration amulets got removed, and a myriad of playstyles along with them. And ever since that infamous february patch, almost every patch we see more amulets go. Mender's and Marshal's are up next.

I agree with that part. Most of the options removed were compensated by nothing, however i feel like, there are plenty of options to bring some builds back to life with jsut new runes and sigils.

So for every removed thing one could wish one introduced thing. For example rune of perplexity from PvE can bring certain mesmers builds up, and even some other classes too.For example, take a look at trapper runes — this thing alone made burn DH build viable. It could get addressed first without actually killing the class in pvp with overwhelming nerfs.

Regarding mender part — what if you change power stat to precision one, for example. This will lower the strenght level of bunkers to a certain degree, without killing the bunker/support part.

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@"Bazsi.2734" said:Since this will be kind of a doomer post, I'll start with something positive:I'm pleasantly surprised we got back to more frequent balance patches and actual communication. I honestly thought we'll get the silent treatment with maybe 1 balance patch every 6 month until pre-patch for EoD drops. I'm making this post because of that, this feedback might even get to the devs in some form.

The last few balance patches hit all the right targets. So there are no problems identifying problem builds. The way nerfs/adjustments are rolled out however, that I find extremely problematic.

Overnerfing:Some overperforming builds just get cut in half, or literally chopped to pieces. Renegade and burnguard springs to mind, these builds were absolutely smitersbooned. Yes they were too strong, but they needed adjustments, not straight up deletion. Cutting effects/durations in half, tripling cooldowns... could we not? This is actually just creating problems on the long run. By deleting FoTM builds(and hurting builds with overlapping traits) you just give rise to new/old problematic builds, which noone even saw as a possibility few patches prior.

Be less radical with nerfing please, and consider rebuffing whenever you overnerf.

Balancing through removal of options:Not actually balancing. "My arm hurts, guess I'll cut it off" - There is only so many times that you can pull this off before you run out of limbs. The passives gutted 14 months ago are still useless... they just got smitersbooned. Expertise and concentration amulets got removed, and a myriad of playstyles along with them. And ever since that infamous february patch, almost every patch we see more amulets go. Mender's and Marshal's are up next.

Don't! Please stop! Balance the builds causing the meta being slow. You created this situation by removing true support amulets and lowering damage to the level that support classes can outsustain it wearing bruiser amulets like menders. If anything I would go in the opposite direction, adding back healing mainstat/concentration amulets and nerfing the scaling with healing power on every ability in the game. That way supports would not be able to do damage(which would actually make people care not to overstack them), and would be reliant on boons. Not to mention the sustain of every bruister would be hit aswell. We had metas like that, and they were more healthy than what we currently have.

Where the past year of balancing has led us:If I look at the changes one by one from the past few patches, all of them seem to solve a problem. If I add them up and look at them togheter however, they create a new problem: We are running out of options. PvP is becoming bland and boring. PvE has way too many playstyles and builds that have no PvP counterpart anymore. I hope at least the pre-patch for EoD adds all of those back, not having most stat combos and passive traits (or whatever you rework them into) is dumbing PvP down to the level I can hardly tolerate anymore.

Without forgetting nerfs to shadow art..."nerf the scaling with healing power" ...sure...we do that after reworking defensive skills across the board and overall :

1) Specs become "problematic" when a team wins official tournaments while running 3 iterations of the same class or when your typical PvP match comprise of 5 players out of 10 running same class2) Specs are not problamatic because some forum overlord lost his duel in the arena3) The GW2 community started the whole circle jerk of amulet removal, you all started this circus out of convenience :https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/103077/remove-knights-amulet and similar threads ; you all cried and cried until the specs you were losing to got removed...now people cry wolf...because their favourite build/class is being touched as well, it only hurts when it burns you am I right?

Said years ago and will say it again : nerfs will eventually get back at you,and right now you're asking to nerf bruiser because of support specs...eventually "your class" would get nerfed even if it doesn't rely on healing power trust me

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Removing amuletts might not be the smartest move but pvp had always (only once not hot man that was so not fun) limited stats variaty, keep in mind eod is coming thus year and we don't know anything about the especs, but I am pretty sure there gonna be broken af, and not all but most builds that are brokenbunkers or decapper use menders or MarshallI would like to have a somewhat kinda playable meta till eod before we rly get into big balance steps

To be fair, classes that are broken should not be balanced arround stats but we are in this meta since a while and removing the amuletts did work pretty well for the to strong builds that where out there, I would not like to see if cavalier Ranger would be still arround, you were tanky as fuck but still criting with the 8k's

Imagine decap druid would run this now or scourge or guard with knight Amulett

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@Avatar.3568 said:I would like to have a somewhat kinda playable meta till eod before we rly get into big balance steps

Funny thing about this, we are still in the middle of fixing the chaos that the release of PoF caused. We never settled into a balanced state since 2017. Both vanilla and HoT saw a few reworks/rebalances simply aiming at changing things for the sake of change, to keep the game fresh. But since PoF came out, powercreep, reworks, more powercreep, and since last february it's just flailing around with the nerbat to get the leftovers escaping the initial weave.If we were to reach a meta with a semblance of balance, now is the time. Before the new expansion stirs things up big time. Even with the dumbing down of the trait system, and the removal of most stat combos, PvP balance will have to consider 9 new elite specialisations, things wont get easier or faster to manage once EoD is out. If we can't get balance now, we won't get it ever.

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@Bazsi.2734 said:

@Avatar.3568 said:I would like to have a somewhat kinda playable meta till eod before we rly get into big balance steps

Funny thing about this, we are still in the middle of fixing the chaos that the release of PoF caused. We never settled into a balanced state since 2017. Both vanilla and HoT saw a few reworks/rebalances simply aiming at changing things for the sake of change, to keep the game fresh. But since PoF came out, powercreep, reworks, more powercreep, and since last february it's just flailing around with the nerbat to get the leftovers escaping the initial weave.If we were to reach a meta with a semblance of balance, now is the time. Before the new expansion stirs things up big time. Even with the dumbing down of the trait system, and the removal of most stat combos, PvP balance will have to consider 9 new elite specialisations, things wont get easier or faster to manage once EoD is out. If we can't get balance now, we won't get it ever.

The problem is that the february patch way overshot. We're now in a powerdip state, and until we can escape that, there won't be balanced. But nerfs only make it worse. We need major buffs to damage across the board.

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Necros and holos don't need buffs, but I do think thieves need a damage buff. Mesmers need a sustain buff.

Honestly, I'd say just nerf holo and the various necro builds and don't touch anything else. Sort out the rest after the new elite specs are released.

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@Bast.7253 said:Necros and holos don't need buffs, but I do think thieves need a damage buff. Mesmers need a sustain buff.

Honestly, I'd say just nerf holo and the various necro builds and don't touch anything else. Sort out the rest after the new elite specs are released.

Thief and mesmer do not need damage buffs, especially before dealing with SA and IH

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I don't get your problem with removing Mender's. While build diversity is cool in an MMO we're talking about sPvP - a very specific game mode that gets insanely boring when half the players run a bunker build. Removing Mender's is the most effective and only viable way to fix that right now.

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removing menders will do absolutely nothing. ppl will switch to prot holo, avatar/ sage/ marshal ventari rev/ druid/ scourge/ tempest/ core guard. with the heal sigil essentially nothing will change, damage might be higher but these are still bunker builds so ppl will complain about higher damage bunkers. maybe some fruity paladin bunker bruisers will emerge from less represented classes. damage needs buff, some cds need lowered.

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@Stand The Wall.6987 said:removing menders will do absolutely nothing. ppl will switch to prot holo, avatar/ sage/ marshal ventari rev/ druid/ scourge/ tempest/ core guard. with the heal sigil essentially nothing will change, damage might be higher but these are still bunker builds so ppl will complain about higher damage bunkers. maybe some fruity paladin bunker bruisers will emerge from less represented classes. damage needs buff, some cds need lowered.

They already said Marshall will go with menders, when they go

Avatar and sage aren't nearly as bad, probably no one gonna use avatar because sage is better in every way but ye

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@Avatar.3568 said:Removing amuletts might not be the smartest move but pvp had always (only once not hot man that was so not fun) limited stats variaty, keep in mind eod is coming thus year and we don't know anything about the especs, but I am pretty sure there gonna be broken af, and not all but most builds that are brokenbunkers or decapper use menders or MarshallI would like to have a somewhat kinda playable meta till eod before we rly get into big balance steps

To be fair, classes that are broken should not be balanced arround stats but we are in this meta since a while and removing the amuletts did work pretty well for the to strong builds that where out there, I would not like to see if cavalier Ranger would be still arround, you were tanky as kitten but still criting with the 8k's

Imagine decap druid would run this now or scourge or guard with knight Amulett

EoD is coming 2022

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@Bazsi.2734 said:

@Avatar.3568 said:I would like to have a somewhat kinda playable meta till eod before we rly get into big balance steps

Funny thing about this, we are still in the middle of fixing the chaos that the release of PoF caused. We never settled into a balanced state since 2017. Both vanilla and HoT saw a few reworks/rebalances simply aiming at changing things for the sake of change, to keep the game fresh. But since PoF came out, powercreep, reworks, more powercreep, and since last february it's just flailing around with the nerbat to get the leftovers escaping the initial weave.If we were to reach a meta with a semblance of balance, now is the time. Before the new expansion stirs things up big time. Even with the dumbing down of the trait system, and the removal of most stat combos, PvP balance will have to consider 9 new elite specialisations, things wont get easier or faster to manage once EoD is out. If we can't get balance now, we won't get it ever.

My problem with the Balance these days is that is done on AT level and its batting AT builds in the head, might be done correctly but some things lingered for far too long, this is probably good for the expansion as making a general baseline, but by just reducing stuff and not fixing old problems is just kicking the can for the future all the while there is less ways to play right now , which in turn just makes everyone bored, since there isn't anything new to be excited about .I also find issue with leaving some classes/elites to rot without giving them purpose to exist since they lack identity or worse elites overlap each other and one is clearly superior.First one that pops to mind is Chrono which got reworked 50 times for pve cause the didnt know what the fuck they want with it, when its played its on the slot of roamer assassin these days even though the one dodge miracle performs better, so what does chrono have, shield and aoe support wells so it should probably be a support/bruiser of some sort but noo lets leave it clunky and go against its core idea for whatever reason.Then we have the Berserker which that got nerfed because of trait changes to make spellbreaker a thing and then it got a rework that made it less clunky but it also broke its traits to fit an RP that does not function for PVP since oneshots are stupid but ok more damage might be playable , next patch nerf damage don't do shit about the negatives that were introduced to get the damage. Now the playstyle revolves about kiting and thinking for every move you or the opponents make instead of you know going Berserk and fighting which the name implies. It needs some reason to exist idk roamer, teamfighter bunker killer or something, anything.

Core ele, engi and rev. Ele just lacks something special that its elites have to bring it on par with them, I think they added retroactively a special skill on rev which would probably work on ele too or give core ele weapon swap of some sorts or conjure weapon, something that when taking the elites is lost. I mentioned Rev since they added a band aid but i don't think they ever intended rev to function well without elites so this one lacks a reason to be anywhere since the elites fill every niche better.Core engi has the elite tool belt slot but they kind of suck and are outright worse then the elites (Even though scrapper is kinda lacking on being special by being just engi++), so some touch ups here and there would be nice.I think the only class currently that has clear identity on all its specks is necro, every build revolves around fighting multiple opponents but in a different flavour, which also gives them some leeway to pick up a secondary position, so for example Reaper is great at +1 since it has the damage and cc to crack bunkers but it has bad 1v1, while core necro has good 1v1 these days but lacks the oomph of reaper in the teamfight damage department and scourge which is bullshit POF area denial speck, but it can support which the other builds are not that great at.So it would be nice if all professions were more like necro and had distinct playstyles that all have their place and merits to be used.

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@mixxed.5862 said:I don't get your problem with removing Mender's. While build diversity is cool in an MMO we're talking about sPvP - a very specific game mode that gets insanely boring when half the players run a bunker build. Removing Mender's is the most effective and only viable way to fix that right now.

Or maybe just make damage worth playing.

Still plenty of bunker-friendly amulets in a bunker-friendly meta.

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@Arheundel.6451 said:

@Bast.7253 said:Necros and holos don't need buffs, but I do think thieves need a damage buff. Mesmers need a sustain buff.

Honestly, I'd say just nerf holo and the various necro builds and don't touch anything else. Sort out the rest after the new elite specs are released.

Thief and mesmer do not need damage buffs, especially before dealing with SA and IH

None of them NEED damage buffs. The overperforming spammy easy damage professions need nerfs to bring them down with everything else more than anything.

Have any of the last few mirage metabuilds even used IH? I use it on glass builds but then I sacrifice condi cleanse and a stun break and have to be much more careful with my playstle.

And with the amount of aoe cleave from reapers, holos, and auramancer tempests clones die pretty quickly and can be easily los'd.

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I do not believe in the balance approach that destroys options and build diversity and out right deletes specs from pvp with no compensation.

And I certainly cannot believe in a balance team that takes its direction from select individuals on discord. What kind of professional credibility lends itself to a team and a company like that? what is wrong? is the team lacking in vision, in numbers, in capable hands or all the above?

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@Bast.7253 said:

@Bast.7253 said:Necros and holos don't need buffs, but I do think thieves need a damage buff. Mesmers need a sustain buff.

Honestly, I'd say just nerf holo and the various necro builds and don't touch anything else. Sort out the rest after the new elite specs are released.

Thief and mesmer do not need damage buffs, especially before dealing with SA and IH

None of them NEED damage buffs. The overperforming spammy easy damage professions need nerfs to bring them down with everything else more than anything.

Have any of the last few mirage metabuilds even used IH? I use it on glass builds but then I sacrifice condi cleanse and a stun break and have to be much more careful with my playstle.

And with the amount of aoe cleave from reapers, holos, and auramancer tempests clones die pretty quickly and can be easily los'd.

Nah, no one plays with IH. Mirage doesn't need more damage, it needs more sustain. Faster cooldown on heals would be nice.

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I think removing menders is a bit short-sighted. I also think lowering healing multipliers makes healing power worthless. Start buffing damage on weapon skills and nerf mender scourge. That is all. Lowering auto attack damage hurt a lot of the ability to apply consistent pressure in fights. Power ele felt it and so did thief. You basically have 1 or 2 burst skills and then mediocre damage for the rest of it.

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@FrownyClown.8402 said:I think removing menders is a bit short-sighted. I also think lowering healing multipliers makes healing power worthless. Start buffing damage on weapon skills and nerf mender scourge. That is all. Lowering auto attack damage hurt a lot of the ability to apply consistent pressure in fights. Power ele felt it and so did thief. You basically have 1 or 2 burst skills and then mediocre damage for the rest of it.

The damage having been lowered was a good step away from power-creeped one-shot metas.But sustain, AoE pressure, CC and condition damage still need to follow.

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@Fueki.4753 said:

@FrownyClown.8402 said:I think removing menders is a bit short-sighted. I also think lowering healing multipliers makes healing power worthless. Start buffing damage on weapon skills and nerf mender scourge. That is all. Lowering auto attack damage hurt a lot of the ability to apply consistent pressure in fights. Power ele felt it and so did thief. You basically have 1 or 2 burst skills and then mediocre damage for the rest of it.

The damage having been lowered was a good step away from power-creeped one-shot metas.But sustain, AoE pressure, CC and condition damage still need to follow.

It wasnt. It replaced power creep with power dip. Which is the same, but in reverse, and much worse for the game. They completely overshot, and now we need to start increasing damage across the board.

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@lovemghool.7613 said:I do not believe in the balance approach that destroys options and build diversity and out right deletes specs from pvp with no compensation.

And I certainly cannot believe in a balance team that takes its direction from select individuals on discord. What kind of professional credibility lends itself to a team and a company like that? what is wrong? is the team lacking in vision, in numbers, in capable hands or all the above?

Effectively balance becomes worst every time the balance team listens to the forum rather than these selected individuals at the very least these individuals have tried all professions against actual decent players and not potatoes or golems , for how questionable their judgement may be...it's still preferable to those who barely play a single spec from a single class and dare to talk about balance

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