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The 2/3 Theory | Greibach's Normal Form


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#1 Greibach

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 04:24 PM

If you're in for a very long read, take a look at my latest article. I believe firmly that each profession fills 2/3 of the roles (damage, support, control) more strongly than the third. I make my case for each profession and then talk a bit of theory about the ramifications for playstyle and team building.

http://greibach.word.../the-23-theory/

Quote

The two-thirds theory

To some extent, this idea of every profession filling every role is quite true. Some professions seem to be able to fluidly switch between any of these roles, sometimes accomplishing all three at once. However, now that we have a much clearer picture of the professions, I feel fairly strongly that each profession has two main focuses out of the three while being able to perform the third as more of an off-role. Honestly, that makes perfect sense to me from a design point of view; you do want your classes to feel different and it is very hard to do that if everyone is as good as everyone else at doing all the same things. Further, even the support and control roles do good damage; no role is entirely devoid of damage like tanks and healers are in the classic trinity.


#2 Sard

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 06:09 PM

That's a pretty cool article, Greibach. It's a good illustration of the profession "matrix" idea I've been inflicting on readers for quite a while. There's a visual to be designed for all of this next-gen profession design somewhere, if someone cleverer (and more artistic) than I am should care to create it...lol.

You may get a little flak from some whose main is not portrayed the way they see it (strong opinions in the profession threads), but overall I like that you chose a spectrum (that matrix thing again...lol) approach rather than a linear one (read dinosaur game design). Iirc, we still have a lot of skills, details, traits, etc. to learn about, but so far I have to agree with your thesis. Nice work.

Cheers

#3 Thunderios

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 11:10 AM

I honestly haven't read all of it, but you seem very convincing in the parts that I did read. I think the support thief might be more viable if they change one of those skills the thief has two of when they dual-wield certain weapons into a support skill.
Another thing I realized when I read the guardian piece is that their moving orb attack isn't actually meant to deal damage, but for control purposes: to force the enemy to dodge/move away.

All in all, I think it was a good article, and I might read it in its entirety, if I don't forget it with my messy head -.-

#4 Geikamir

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 01:24 PM

I just read the whole thing, lol. I agree that the Thief has no real support in his line up. I've been saying it for a while now. It sucks.

Also, I still feel the Elementalist is a little too versatile. I'll have to try it myself to know for sure, but having one profession that can do so much, so well, so easily... is a bit worrisome.

#5 theory

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 04:07 PM

Wow, incredible job. Truly one of the best articles I've read so far! Really good job with the arguments, I agree with pretty much everything you've said - as a Necro enthusiast myself, I even suffer from the same fear as you do!
Again, big thumbps up!

#6 Greibach

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 04:56 PM

Many thanks all, it took what seems like forever to write. Anyway, overall I like the state of things, and one important thing is that even the professions that don't specialize in support as I define it can still play supportively. As I was attempting to express, most control conditions can be used either offensively (to prevent an enemy from getting away or help you kill him) or defensively to prevent an ally from getting killed. In effect you are supporting your team, you are just using tactics to support instead of having it built into your skills.

Anyway, I'm out for a few days for Christmas. Have happy holidays everyone!

#7 ediT

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:50 PM

Good write-up. Well done Greibach.

#8 sashpimp

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:59 PM

Geikamir said:

I just read the whole thing, lol. I agree that the Thief has no real support in his line up. I've been saying it for a while now. It sucks.

Also, I still feel the Elementalist is a little too versatile. I'll have to try it myself to know for sure, but having one profession that can do so much, so well, so easily... is a bit worrisome.

From izzys definition it seems that The theifs support oriented skills are more in nature of increasing damage output instead of stopping or preventing other from attacking.

It is in a sense a "type" of support

Great write-up though. I enjoyed it

#9 ElexAio

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 08:23 PM

I think part of the issue is that we choose to define things in three ways. I suppose its possible but it would be more of a three way vendiagram with significant overlap. Damage is a type of control. When you're damaging someone you are influencing how they play and restricting them a bit. It often influences them to play more defensively, taking pressure off of your team and in this way you are supporting your team by reducing the damage they take. The same can be said for control- it is often damaging but definitely a type of support in that you can get the enemy of your teams back or out of an area you may want. Likewise by supporting your team it can either directly contribute to damage (agressive buffs) but also make it easier for your team to focus more on aggression rather than defense and thus damage and control more.

Backlining in Guild Wars 1 was a significant form of support while simultaneously being control and damage also. This is for example how the Thief would most often support their team.

#10 Howl

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 10:14 PM

Nice theory but I think that control is just another form of support.
For those interested in this kind of analysis I think you should start focusing only on Damage/Support, there isn't any other thing than that, and yeah those two relates somehow too, but control is too redundant.
I blame the old trinity on this ^^ for me, now it all comes down to damage and support, just that.

#11 Geikamir

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 11:46 PM

Howl said:

Nice theory but I think that control is just another form of support.
For those interested in this kind of analysis I think you should start focusing only on Damage/Support, there isn't any other thing than that, and yeah those two relates somehow too, but control is too redundant.
I blame the old trinity on this ^^ for me, now it all comes down to damage and support, just that.

I definitely disagree here. I feel basically how he does.

Damage is purely lower the enemies health.
Control skills hinder your enemies in some fashion.
Support skills directly benefit you and your team.


You could argue that everything is technically Support. Since by dealing Damage and killing them faster helps the team, or that Control is Support in the same way.


That is just lumping differing combat functions together for the sake of convience or simplicity, but it's not completely accurate.

#12 Meva

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 02:17 AM

Great meditation Greibach.

My only objection is the elementalist. I played it twice on Paris, almost all the time with staff although I gave scepter + focus a chance, and they really shine in all three aspects in a pretty balanced way. You have already covered in great detail damage and support, but control is absolutely here as well: for example, staff has Frozen Ground, Gust, Static Field, Unstable Ground, Shockwave, which means a control available almost every 5 seconds. And the same can be said for dagger + dagger and scepter + focus.

#13 Ornio

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 02:27 AM

Great article. One of the best articles I have ever read. I really don't like the Support Thief. The Elementalist does seem to be a little too versatile just like Geikomir quoted.The Warrior seems to be the prof. to play.

Edited by Ornio, 25 December 2011 - 02:30 AM.


#14 Endoka

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 05:22 AM

Very descripetive, many if not all of the good examples although I find there is still more to know with regards to the game, alot about the professions we still don't know about as I wish to understand this elusive "Support-Thief".
Thank you and happy holidays.

#15 mrbig

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 02:16 AM

Very good article greibach. I would argue, anyway, about thief "control" part, since it's one of the blandest among all classes. And, like geikamir said, the thief actually sucks. And it's a bit sad, since i'm a thief lover.

I would argue too, about enlisting weakness and vulnerability among the "control" options: those could be easily enlisted amond the "support" options, since they practically are indirect support ( no different from giving might to all allies attacking the enemy you made vulnarable or no different from giving protection to all your allies being attacked from the weakened enemy)

Warriors and elementalists are the real classes to play, at least until now.

Edited by mrbig, 26 December 2011 - 02:20 AM.


#16 Greibach

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 11:17 PM

Howl said:

Nice theory but I think that control is just another form of support.
For those interested in this kind of analysis I think you should start focusing only on Damage/Support, there isn't any other thing than that, and yeah those two relates somehow too, but control is too redundant.
I blame the old trinity on this ^^ for me, now it all comes down to damage and support, just that.

I do understand your point, though personally I see it as Damage/Control, which is only a difference in semantics. Essentially, it boils down to the fact that you have to draw the lines somewhere when you are discussing any given topic, otherwise you can make a roundabout argument about almost anything and talk yourself in circles. I do acknowledge that you can use your control skills to assist (support) an ally. Again, it comes down to semantics which is why I defined them as I did:

Damage is well, damage without any ancillary effects.
Control is effects directly applied to opponents to hinder them.
Support is effects applied to allies to strengthen them.

These are by no means the only way to define roles in combat, but they are the means by which I was analyzing the professions. There are many others such as utility, range, sustainability, etc. The reason I chose to define them as such was that control and support as I define them are essentially perpendicular effects. If you apply control to one guy, it doesn't help your ally very much if 3 other guys are wailing on him. In this case, giving a supportive boon (or protection) will make him more effectively able to withstand their attacks and may cause them to disperse. However, that one guy that you controlled is faced with no good options individually because it doesn't matter who he attacks, it will be worse off for him because he his being controlled. Control effectively is better for screwing one guy than protecting one guy (unless you can do large area control which there is not much of for the stronger conditions). Support is better for protecting one or more people regardless of how many are attacking them.

Obviously, there are some exceptions like large area control, but I think you will understand my point. If you have to choose between what I define as a single target control or single target support skill, they have different amounts of utility based on the situation. I hope that all makes sense; I tried to define them for the sake of my article's purpose rather than to say they are the only way to view such things. I think setting up guidelines for a piece of work or theory really fascilitates discussion. If this isn't making sense, blame the fact that I just go home after driving 5 hours :zzz:

#17 Servio

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 11:20 PM

Well written article  Greibach. Thanks for taking the time to put it together. I think your article will really help players pick the right kind of profession for their play-style. I think there are many skills that have not been revealed yet that can make major changes on which 2/3 a class is good at.
While I hope to be able to bring the heat as a Guardian, I know that I will have to endure the pigeonholing of traditional mmo players that will expect me to be GW2's "healer" class. I do like to support and mainly played Monk in GW1.
Again, good job.  =)