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The OG Druid: The Design that could have been


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Tthis is gonna be a long one and its more a hypothetical discussion.

Right after the HoT announcement i got really hyped for druid comming to guild wars. I always loved the plant magician theme and it really got me pumped when i heard that druid would work with aspects.

Now the longer it took to reveal the druid, the more hype was build and the more i was let down by the overall design druid ended up with.

What rubbed me off the most was the astral form and how it actually contradicts pre-established lore by being the only thing one could channel that is not tyrian nature. Which is the celestial bodies.

Staff was a nice weapon choice, but i will die on the hill that staff is to one dimensional and AA is the worst part of it.

Now the only thing i really liked was the second biggest dissapointment that was still good. The glyphs. On on hand they provide fantastic PbAoE skills, are fast and diverse in mechanic. But the astral form aspect made them worse than they could have been.

Also the traits had good intentions but still felt misplaced in many ways. Some parts were utility, most healing and a tiny bit CC.

Right after PoF rolled arround i was playing druid for about 2 years consistently with a condition PbAoE trapper build and ancient seeds. Good times. I enjoyed it, but i still felt that astral force was just a tagged on mechanic (which it basically always has been).

Then soulbeast dropped and it basically came clear to me what druid should have been.

The soulbeast interacts with nature on a spiritual level as do druids in gw lore. They have different archetypes that change certain game play behaviours which could perfectly well work with glyphs. Also some of the beast abilities have a very CC, tank and supportish feel to them. I think the only outlier that would not quite fit a druid like theme is wordly impact. All others would be very well suited for it. Which also shows that a lot of scrapped druid design got repurposed.

It basically shows that druid was an unfinished design and that it would benefit formal mechanical rework.

Soulbeast is good from a design standpoint and feels cohsive. But everytime i think about it, it also could have been the OG druid.

So imagine, an AoE heavy spec, that has good access to support abilities, group buffs with different beast passive bonusses. Glyphs with up to 5 different versions for each skill and plant magic flavored skills tied to the staff. It would have been the absolute dream for me.

So how would you design the druid as if it would have the best mode capabilities of the soulbeast?

I am curios to discuss.

TLDR: scrapped druid mechanics got baked into a better designed e-spec which is the soulbeast and the OG druid could have been so much more than what it is now.

Cheers

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@LughLongArm.5460 said:If I remember correctly, based on data mine during HOT development, druid had much more ambitious design vision, compared to what we got at the end.

Afaik they wanted the SB merge ability to be druids ability. But had to scrap it due to technical issues. Also why druid was revealed last.

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The Druid suffered from over-design imo. They tried to cram too much into one spec thematically and it resulted in the current wishy-washy-ness.

First of all, there's no reason why the Druid should have retained the pet mechanic. It makes no sense. That's a ranger and Soulbeast thing. Druids don't usually have pet companions.

Secondly, I wouldn't have gone with the lunar/celestial theme. Druid should have been a summoner type working with helper wisps and spirits. So more of a mystical forest theme, but also more roots/thorns type abilities like Staff 4. Traditionally, Druids could somewhat control the weather and nature so why not some thunder or geomancy type spells?

Thirdly staff should have been a hybrid (viable for power or condi builds) weapon with some poison, bleeds or even burning on it. Staff 1&2 are terrible, useless abilities.

Biggest mistake was how CA was designed. Long animations + low impact abilities + cooldown = bad idea. For what CA does now, it actually doesn't require the resource meter or a cooldown. Another option would be to make CA 1-5 much more impactful and retain the current mechanic.

I remember the designer (I forget his name) really cramming this "Druid is meant to be a pure support" philosophy, which obviously didn't work for spvp and wvw. They ended up gutting the healing coefficients, so the Druid remained a diluted, anemic spec in those game modes. And now, pure support specs aren't even allowed to exist in spvp.

Druid needs a full rework due to ANet's back and forth on their design philosophy. It's been left in the dust. Sad.

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@mistsim.2748

To discuss some points you made:

  1. I think druids having a pet is thematically fine but i agree that keeping the pet as is and tacking on an arbitrary mechanic was a mistake
  2. 100% agree on theme. It should have been more mistical and forrest themed, on the fence about lighting and geomancy though
  3. I think empowering the pet and only getting a singlempet would've been the best choice, also interacting with pet supporting weaponskills would have been awesome. Maybe giving the pet a more spiritual look for flavoring.
  4. Staff shoul have been more AoE focussed. 3 and 5 are great tbh. 4 needs to pally some bleeds and generally scale better damage wise, summong roots like entangle does also would have been dope. 1 should have been similar to guardians old staff AA, not quite the same loot stick and at leats an AA chain but the same conal support/damage field. 2 would been cool if you could made a light field attached to an enemy that pulses burns and heals allies.
  5. @Irenio CalmonHuang.2048 i think was the designer. And i agree with yourmpoints taht its design had major flaws that werent accounted for
  6. For a full rework i think its too late but improving on its mechanic is direly needed. Staff could easily be improved and CAF could be like it is now but with a second form that you can swap like a petswap and your normal petswap gets removed. So you have like a sunny CAF that focusses on damage and a Moon form that focusses on heals. F4 is used to swap CAF forms and F5 is to activate it. Revert the pet damage nerf and hamper druids by just having one pet at the time. The CAF form you have currently have enabled could also affect your pet, so you would not be able to burst as much when you are healing etc.
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@The Boz.2038 said:Druid pets should have been temporary celestial summons that buff you stats much like SB merge does, but while out.But then again, Druid should have been... a lot of other things, to.

Yup I like this.

It's very clear that pets were an afterthought for the druid.

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@The Boz.2038 said:Druid pets should have been temporary celestial summons that buff you stats much like SB merge does, but while out.But then again, Druid should have been... a lot of other things, to.

Ouu i really like this. So it could have been an overcharged pet that boosts you and your allies while out and it could change depending on archetype and the healing could have been centered arround staff and utilities/support pet.

So it would be the opposite of soulbeast basically. You summon a temporary pet that boosts allies and gives you benefits while out.

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Yes, exactly that. Celestial mode summons your pet, which, much like a banner with doubled standards, boosts your team's stats, and yours by twice that.That, and the wonderful, glorious skin change of every pet into a BLAZING SHINING CELESTIAL AVATAR OF LIGHT AND HOPE.Ah, what could have been....

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@LucianDK.8615 said:Balance druids in wow uses celestial magic. If you use the glyph to remove the owlkin look, you pretty much gain a 'celestial' form for your heavenly magics.

WoW is not gw2. Druids in many fantasy games also have animal shapes (like DnD or Pillars of eternity etc.). Druid in gw2 are more akin to forrest mages than animal mages and they commune with nature spirits until they become one with nature (aka mosshearts, oakhearts and other treants and druid spirits). This also means that druids should not be involved with celestial magic for lore reasonsmunlike druids from WoW.

I think the idea is fine. I just have a gripe with the fact that they slapped it on druid except something that would fit better lore wise.

Edit: some clarification.

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@The Boz.2038 said:Yes, exactly that. Celestial mode summons your pet, which, much like a banner with doubled standards, boosts your team's stats, and yours by twice that.That, and the wonderful, glorious skin change of every pet into a BLAZING SHINING CELESTIAL AVATAR OF LIGHT AND HOPE.Ah, what could have been....

Ah man. I am gonna make a new druid redesign draft out of this.

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When ANet annouced the druid, I literaly pictured GW1's druid (Big etheral plant farting spirits and traps). I thought that it would be a bit redundant but, well, why not...When ANet showcased the druid, I just felt disappointed. For me, it just wasn't "GW's druid". Worse, coming from GW1, it wouldn't even have occured to me to associate "druid" with "healing". A very anoying condi spec with ton of bleed, poison and hard CC but slow as hell? Yes. A healing freak? No!

I do agree with your opinion on celestial Avatar, staff and even glyph. However, like I said, for me it's more the corruption of what I pictured as a druid that bothered and still bother me. If they intended to create something so wastly different from GW1's Druid, they should have named it differently.

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@"Dadnir.5038" said:When ANet annouced the druid, I literaly pictured GW1's druid (Big etheral plant farting spirits and traps). I thought that it would be a bit redundant but, well, why not...When ANet showcased the druid, I just felt disappointed. For me, it just wasn't "GW's druid". Worse, coming from GW1, it wouldn't even have occured to me to associate "druid" with "healing". A very anoying condi spec with ton of bleed, poison and hard CC but slow as hell? Yes. A healing freak? No!

I do agree with your opinion on celestial Avatar, staff and even glyph. However, like I said, for me it's more the corruption of what I pictured as a druid that bothered and still bother me. If they intended to create something so wastly different from GW1's Druid, they should have named it differently.

I mean for me its a bit of the same. Mechanically its not coherent enough to be enjoyable and the CAF just feels tagged on. But the flavoring of the mechanic is what really puts me off. Idc if i could be a better healer but i care if my nature based caster shoots arround with starlight, blackholes and alien plants instead of proper roots, insects, plants and spikes.

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@InsaneQR.7412 said:

@LucianDK.8615 said:Balance druids in wow uses celestial magic. If you use the glyph to remove the owlkin look, you pretty much gain a 'celestial' form for your heavenly magics.

WoW is not gw2. Druids in many fantasy games also have animal shapes (like DnD or Pillars of eternity etc.). Druid in gw2 are more akin to forrest mages than animal mages and they commune with nature spirits until they become one with nature (aka mosshearts, oakhearts and other treants and druid spirits).

I think the idea is fine. I just have a gripe with the fact that they slapped it on druid except something that would fit better lore wise.

I think you misunderstood what I wrote. Im saying that both of the druid types have a celestial magic theme.

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@LucianDK.8615 said:

@LucianDK.8615 said:Balance druids in wow uses celestial magic. If you use the glyph to remove the owlkin look, you pretty much gain a 'celestial' form for your heavenly magics.

WoW is not gw2. Druids in many fantasy games also have animal shapes (like DnD or Pillars of eternity etc.). Druid in gw2 are more akin to forrest mages than animal mages and they commune with nature spirits until they become one with nature (aka mosshearts, oakhearts and other treants and druid spirits).

I think the idea is fine. I just have a gripe with the fact that they slapped it on druid except something that would fit better lore wise.

I think you misunderstood what I wrote. Im saying that both of the druid types have a celestial magic theme.

No i think you misunderstood that i aknowledge that both have celestial themes but dont like celestial themes on my druid in gw2 due to lore reason.I barely gave wildshape as an example that WoW is not gw2 and that the name does not indicate the mechanics 1:1.

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I don't mind the theme of Druid, Celestial magic with glyphs and healing still work well in my opinion. But gameplay-wise I wish it was different.

The one thing I wish I could change is the CA Mechanic, a spec mechanic that last 15 seconds and is locked behind a gauge and a cooldown just isn't fun to me. I'd rather less healing on the skills if I could have the freedom to toggle in and out of CA. This would fix the issues I have with Glyphs too.

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Personally I love the lore of Druids in GW, they’re based pretty heavily on OG Druid themes and all of that. However the elite spec missed the Mark a lot of the time, but I see where their head was at and like the general “direction” it fell flat in execution.

GW2 Druid has a duality thing going on with it that I really wish they would’ve embraced further, all of our Glyphs in normal form are all offensive and aggressive and the animations are tied to terrestrial Magic/elemental magic. EX: Alignment Roots/earth spikes shoot up and CC and damage, Enpowerment I believe is fire/wind swirls around everyone, Tide shoves people back with water etc, but when we go Celestial everything turns supportive and becomes celestial themed, and I personally love that.

However where it falls flat imo is the staff weapon, and then not doing anything with the pet, also being a little stingey with some of the glyph animations but w/e it’s fine.

The staff instead of being the full on Nature counterpart to Celestial Avatar is some half assed Celestial + terrestrial abomination, imo they should’ve just went full on aggressive ranged CC (maybe some minor healing) weapon that’s all plants and elements (probably plants to not step on elementalist toes) and/or wisps.

As for the pet I think they missed an opportunity to go with the easiest and honestly most common route of games where Druids have pets. Druids in most games typically have a SINGLE super powerful pet, Ie buff the pet up and get rid of pet swap, and imo make celestial avatar do stuff with the pet, maybe it originates around them too, maybe it just full heals them idk, work it into the mechanic.

Another option for the pet is to go the OTHER common approach of Druids with pets, they don’t have a persistent one, but they summon the whole damn forest to come to their aid, HOWEVER I don’t think this should be done in Gw2 because we already have the avatar state (and imo with how Druids in GW ascend to a spiritual being should KEEP the avatar state), so I don’t think this option should be used for Druid. But you bet your ass I want to see it on like Warden or Bunny Thumper, give me A summoner ranger elite spec.

TLDR: Druids in GW2 lore and normal history are really big on both celestial and terrestrial (plants, animals, nature) stuff so they should’ve embraced the duality nature of it instead of doing the half assed met in the middle approach we ended up with. Cool theme, bad execution

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@Durzlla.6295

I agree. Th idea is acceptable but the execution was really bad.

I personally would like it if the druid would only get 1 pet. Default the pet would be celestial (moon) avatar and would be support and CC heavy but lack damage. And when you toggle the CAF switch (instead of Petswap) you would switch into CAF and your pet would become this nature (or sun) imbued spirit that focusses on area damage, mobility and conditions. Possibly giving you the ability to direct the spirit even like staff 3.

So basically your the druid while your pet is the avatar and your pet becomes the druid when you are the celestial avatar.

That would be fantastic tbh.

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