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Reason for cap on bleeding stacks

bleeding conditions

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#1 Istaro

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 09:03 AM

So the number of bleeding stacks that can be on one target is capped at 25, right?  The more I think about this, the more it seems that this cap has significant cons and no pros other than, potentially, server load.

In a game with WoW-style effect stacking, where there's just one timer that gets refreshed every time the effect is re-applied, there must be a hard cap because otherwise the effect could just get stacked indefinitely high given enough time.

But the way that intensity-stacking effects work in GW2, they're self-limiting.  Since each application of the effect has its own timer, for a given rate of application, an equilibrium will eventually be reached at which the stacks fall off at the same rate that they're being applied.

This is true no matter how many people are involved and no matter how fast they're applying an effect (here I'm talking about bleeding, although presumably the same argument goes for vulnerability and confusion).  If you've got a zerg of 30 people, many of whom are applying bleeding, then in the absence of a hard cap, the equilibrium would be at a pretty high number of stacks—but equilibrium there would be.

And here's the key part: builds that aren't based on conditions have no scaling limit.  10 players with non-condition builds will deal roughly 10 times as much damage as one; 50 players with non-condition builds will deal roughly 50 times as much damage as one.  The hard cap on the number of bleeding stacks makes it so that condition builds (primarily bleeding builds) do not "play well with others" in the same way; their contribution (not their relative contribution, which of course decreases, but their absolute contribution) to a DE decreases as the number of players increases, reaching zero before long.  This seems to contradict the ANet design philosophy of making it so that players are always happy to see other players.  In the current state, if I'm running a condition build and I see a DE, I might run to it, but then if I see several other players with condition builds already there, that'd make me sad because I wouldn't be able to contribute.

Some people might have a knee-jerk reaction of "it would be 'OP' to allow bleeding to stack indefinitely", but it wouldn't stack indefinitely, it would just stack to a degree corresponding to the number of players, which is exactly the same thing as allowing multiple non-condition-build players to simply attack the same mob simultaneously.

Condition builds already have the disadvantage that a cleanse can wipe out a huge amount of work.  That seems fair, to counterbalance the advantage of ignoring armor.  I wonder, though: are they intended to also have the disadvantage of not being able to contribute to DEs?

It couldn't be a client performance issue, because if I'm not mistaken, you only see damage numbers from your own conditions.  It might be a server performance issue, though, given the way that bleeding works (i.e. as the number of stacks increases, instead of the size of each packet increasing, the interval between packets decreases), but it that's the only reason for the cap, it surely could be worked through, such as by consolidating stacks for the sake of computational convenience.

#2 Nyth

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 12:08 PM

Totally agree with the condition issue.

I had been playing a conditionmancer quite a bit in the last BWE and there were several occassions where I'd come up to an event and figured I'd pop in and have a good time. Only to see the boss already at a steady 25 bleed stacks.
At that point I feel almost completely useless. I might as well try to find a stick on the ground to wack with, and i'd probably make me more valuable.

This is actually incredibly bad game design. And I feel that if it isn't changed in some way that the meta game that will develop will semi-force everyone into a non-condition reliant build. Because if your group reaches a certain "mass" then you will get 25 bleed stacks purely from passive effects like sigils or as a side effect from DD builds that also apply bleeds.

This means condition based builds will be limited almost exclusively to dungeons and competetive PvP. Now in many ways that might be considered the "end game" so in those regards it can be considered not having too much of an impact there; but frankly I'm just disappointed when I stumble upon an event, or participate in WvW and can already see from the group size my absolute contribution (it's good the OP made the distinction between relative and absolute) is quite low.

#3 Istaro

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 01:02 PM

Thanks, Nyth, I'm glad it's not just me.

By the way, if the beta forums are still up and if you or anyone else reading and agreeing with this can access them, maybe you could post something about this?  I would but there's a problem with my account and I haven't been able to access the beta forums since the first day they went up in April.

Oh, by the way, I thought more about vulnerability and confusion and realized that a cap may be justified for them (short version: in the absence of a cap, the marginal increase in damage a DE boss takes due to the vulnerability mechanic would scale with the square of the number of players involved, and likewise for confusion; if anyone wants me to go into detail let me know), so I'd like to head off any digressions and say let's focus on bleeding.

#4 Morghana

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 01:34 PM

I have asked for this concern too before, and it was a bit frustrating..

Let's see, not only your contribution should be rather difficult to determine if alredy exists a full stack of bleeding... but also how it should be when you construct your damage with other players .. how is measured and/or managed everyone condition damage or duration?

It comes to my mind a full crit thief or ranger, with sigil if earth vs a condition builded necro with tons of condition damage and additional duration..

Not talking about conditions can't crit..

The only way I can take this, it's that every one may have his own conditions stack (like many other games out there)

Edited by Morghana, 12 June 2012 - 10:00 AM.


#5 Istaro

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:46 AM

You're talking about the fact that different people's conditions do different amounts of damage per tick because of different amounts of Malice, right?


The wiki says that each stack of bleeding is treated separately for all purposes other than the UI and cleansing, so if someone with no extra Malice puts on 10 stacks of bleeding and someone with a full Malice build puts on 10 stacks, then there'll be 10 small ticks and 10 large ticks per second.


So if a couple of condition necros get a DE boss up to 25 stacks of high-power bleeding and then a crit thief/ranger with a Sigil of Earth comes along, well, the Sigil of Earth won't do anything, but that's not too bad.

But if a few crit thieves/rangers with Sigils of Earth first max out the bleeding cap with low-power bleeds, and then a condition necro comes along, not only will he not be able to do much (except for Feast of Corruption every 10 seconds, which is better than a bleed elementalist could do) . . . the presence of the low-power bleeds gumming up the works will actually be detrimental.

Blech.

#6 Morghana

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 06:32 AM

So each unit in the stack seems to be managed separately.. but then, it has no sense.. or you allow each source to have its own stack, or not hard cap the max size of this stack.

#7 Geikamir

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:48 AM

I 100% agree with you and have thought this myself. A full 5 man condition PvP team will never be viable like this, where as any other group set up would be.

On top of that, things like siege weapons and the sPvP treb. don't take condition damage. Its like they want to purposely gimp condition builds or something.

#8 Nostredeus

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:53 AM

I couldn't agree more, I winced every time another Necromancer or worse two popped up with a sceptre bleed stacking build in PvP.

#9 voodoo mouse

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:16 AM

My understanding is that there are warrior, elementalist and ranger builds that can be built around bleeds as well as the above mentioned conditionmancer.  If the conditionmancer on their own can approach the 25 stacks cap then it makes it sub-optimal to run a 5 man with any of these other builds as it will significantly decrease your potential damage ouptput as a group.  In explorable mode I'm guessing people will lean towards optimal rather than otherwise so we may end up seeing:

"LF1 more for hard mode AC - no conditionmancers, sword warriors, short bow rangers or earth ele's....."

The fact there needs to be a cap is unfortunate (i presume it's a server load thing) but to have it set at 25 feels so incredably low.  I get that 100 bleed stack combined with epidemic is OP but they could just remove epidemic? (which I adore in pve but would rather loose it than be gimped to the point of just support/control and minimal effective additional dps in group fights)

#10 Morghana

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:28 AM

Epidemic should spread its caster own conditions (those previously stacked in the target for the necromancer casting epidemic, aka cond with the same source.. NOT spreading all the cond ), at least this way I understood its description. Also keep in mind that its radius of action is minimal, and on top of that, it should have the max target limit of 5, like every other AOE.

But I'm agree, the main problem here is pve, because in spvp with only a few persons on every fight, and all the condition removal skills rolling around.. I may see condition damage skills working better together.

But on a PVE, or larger groups pvp, perspective with the actual design in mind, the more condition focused builds you have in your team, the worse performance you achieve..

Edited by Morghana, 16 June 2012 - 02:28 AM.


#11 Istaro

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:02 PM

Yeah, the cap can even be a problem in sPvP or dungeons, but in DEs . . . it just renders a whole class of otherwise fun build almost completely pointless.  Maybe it'll be a little better after the game's been out for a while and DEs tend to have fewer people, but still.

Can anyone think of a reason why they might have done this?

#12 roachsrealm

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 08:46 PM

View PostIstaro, on 12 June 2012 - 01:02 PM, said:

Can anyone think of a reason why they might have done this?

To test how it worked and what the effects of gameplay were / player reaction was / before trying to use it on other conditions?

View PostGeikamir, on 12 June 2012 - 09:48 AM, said:

On top of that, things like siege weapons and the sPvP treb. don't take condition damage. Its like they want to purposely gimp condition builds or something.

Wood doesn't bleed!

#13 MikeFish

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:23 PM

/agree

I would really love to hear an official stance on this. It gives one player the ability to gimp another player whose attacking the same target. One player should never be able to make another less effective. It's just bad design.

#14 Ivarr_Ironfist

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:58 PM

I think it's there to promote different style of play rather than everyone just using bleeds, especially in PvE. From a Warrior perspective, bleeds are the way to go if you want sustained single target DPS and I am pretty sure this is the case for other professions as well. By limiting the number of bleeds to 25, you limit the number of bleeders a party can have to one or two, hence opening the door for a larger variety of builds to be used by the remaining 3-4 people.

I do think balance comes in to it as well. I can hardly see ArenaNet being thrilled with people stacking 60+ bleeds (potentially 6k+ armour ignoring DPS) in a few seconds, spreading them to the entire opposing party with Epidemic and then using AoE CC for a few second so the bleeds cannot be removed. Even relatively defensive people would fine themselves dead in a few seconds with 60 bleeds on their person.

Edited by Ivarr_Ironfist, 13 June 2012 - 12:02 AM.


#15 Istaro

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 01:19 AM

View PostIvarr_Ironfist, on 12 June 2012 - 11:58 PM, said:

I do think balance comes in to it as well. I can hardly see ArenaNet being thrilled with people stacking 60+ bleeds (potentially 6k+ armour ignoring DPS) in a few seconds, spreading them to the entire opposing party with Epidemic and then using AoE CC for a few second so the bleeds cannot be removed. Even relatively defensive people would fine themselves dead in a few seconds with 60 bleeds on their person.

If conditions do significantly more damage than direct damage, then that's a numerical imbalance that can and should be fixed by tweaking the numbers.

If it is not the case that conditions do significantly more damage than direct damage, then there's no difference between "people stacking 60+ bleeds in a few seconds" and "people doing the equivalent amount of damage in a few seconds via direct damage".

If AoE CC is the problem, there's no qualitative difference between 1) first stacking bleeds and then using AoE CC, and 2) first using AoE CC and then pounding them with direct damage.  If there's a quantitative difference, that's a numerical imbalance that can and should be fixed by tweaking the numbers.

Right?

#16 blakdoxa

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:53 AM

You want them to change the damage formula for bleeds? There's no way in hell they are going to increase the cap for bleeds and still have it deal the same amount of condition damage as before.
Having more stacks means: bleed damage will buried in the dirt, though you'll see a significant increase in their duration to compensate.

#17 FrancisCrawford

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 03:17 AM

Three scepter elementalists, playing together against a single target, are already enough to fill the limits of 1 burn + 25 bleeds. (And that's if they coordinate.) Any additional ones would have to think to stack vulnerability instead.

I see no way to fix that without lifting the caps for bosses with large numbers of attackers.

#18 Ashkelon

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 07:18 AM

Remove the bleed cap on boss type mobs. And allow for multiple iterations of burn and poison to occur once the initial gets stacked up to a certain amount of time. (Ex. Once the burn stack hits 30 seconds, a second burn is created with the remaining duration, which creates a third when that hits 30 seconds, so on and so forth. 30 seconds is just a stab in the dark.)

There, problem fixed. For those conditions at least.

Edited by Ashkelon, 13 June 2012 - 07:18 AM.


#19 Shamadamun

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 07:23 AM

I actually never even thought about this before... and this is kind of a big deal!

#20 Draehl

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 07:32 AM

I was ranting and raving about this before any of us ever even played the game. They said "play the game first, you can't have any idea whether it will work or not." Basic logic is enough to realize this is a bad idea. This isn't something you need to playtest. Playing together should have more synergy than the sum of their parts. With bleed builds you actually have less effectiveness in groups, running contrary to basic Anet design policy of wanting us to play together. With the current implementation of bleeds I actually want to stay away from other bleed players.

#21 FrancisCrawford

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:36 AM

View PostAshkelon, on 13 June 2012 - 07:18 AM, said:

Remove the bleed cap on boss type mobs. And allow for multiple iterations of burn and poison to occur once the initial gets stacked up to a certain amount of time. (Ex. Once the burn stack hits 30 seconds, a second burn is created with the remaining duration, which creates a third when that hits 30 seconds, so on and so forth. 30 seconds is just a stab in the dark.)

There, problem fixed. For those conditions at least.

Good idea for the hybrid duration/magnitude stacking! I might argue for 20 seconds, however. Even that doesn't fully address my concern, but probably would wind up working out reasonably OK from a balance perspective.

#22 TDude

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:37 PM

I've thought about this, and while I agree that it is really terrible for players that want to focus on bleed builds, there is a reason for this hard cap (the same reason there was a hard cap in guild wars 1):  balancing armor and toughness.

It is very very difficult to balance how much mitigation should be granted by armor when it's unknown how much incoming damage is going to be mitigated.  If there is no limit to the unresisted damage a team can deal, then the developers designing pve monsters has no idea how much armor to give the monster to make various team compositions kill the monster at similar speeds.

The result is simply this:  players shouldn't be making pure bleed builds.  Honestly, this is fine in the long run.  Bleeds should be viewed no differently from other special effects in the game.  They are suppliments to damage dealing abilities, just like other conditions as well as boons.  You can't have everyone on your team focused on maintaining the Fury boon and have everyone fully contributing either, right?  This is true with almost everything.  You just don't want to have multiple players focused extremely heavily on one special effect.

There are two ways to deal with this as players:  either specialize while avoiding others that specialize the same way or don't specialize so much.

#23 blakdoxa

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 06:41 PM

View PostTDude, on 14 June 2012 - 05:37 PM, said:

I've thought about this, and while I agree that it is really terrible for players that want to focus on bleed builds, there is a reason for this hard cap (the same reason there was a hard cap in guild wars 1):  balancing armor and toughness.

It is very very difficult to balance how much mitigation should be granted by armor when it's unknown how much incoming damage is going to be mitigated.  If there is no limit to the unresisted damage a team can deal, then the developers designing pve monsters has no idea how much armor to give the monster to make various team compositions kill the monster at similar speeds.

The result is simply this:  players shouldn't be making pure bleed builds.  Honestly, this is fine in the long run.  Bleeds should be viewed no differently from other special effects in the game.  They are suppliments to damage dealing abilities, just like other conditions as well as boons.  You can't have everyone on your team focused on maintaining the Fury boon and have everyone fully contributing either, right?  This is true with almost everything.  You just don't want to have multiple players focused extremely heavily on one special effect.

There are two ways to deal with this as players:  either specialize while avoiding others that specialize the same way or don't specialize so much.
You speak the truth.
Even for such an idea to be considered, the damage formula for bleeds would have to change significantly.
Malice/condition damage's effect on bleeds would have to be reduced by a lot to compensate for just an increase in the cap.
Duration and stacks applied from all sources of bleeding would need to be modified and re-balanced.
Sigil of earth could be knocked down to 20-30% chance for 8 seconds, ele, warrior, necro and ranger traits/skills would need to be cut up, ranger's bleeding pets neutered and, worst, it will take longer to stack for high damage.

You guys aren't considering the possible implications of these changes....
Might be doing yourselves more harm than good.

#24 soloria

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 08:01 PM

View Postblakdoxa, on 14 June 2012 - 06:41 PM, said:

You speak the truth.
Even for such an idea to be considered, the damage formula for bleeds would have to change significantly.
Malice/condition damage's effect on bleeds would have to be reduced by a lot to compensate for just an increase in the cap.
Duration and stacks applied from all sources of bleeding would need to be modified and re-balanced.
Sigil of earth could be knocked down to 20-30% chance for 8 seconds, ele, warrior, necro and ranger traits/skills would need to be cut up, ranger's bleeding pets neutered and, worst, it will take longer to stack for high damage.

You guys aren't considering the possible implications of these changes....
Might be doing yourselves more harm than good.

One reason I can understand to having a cap is because bleeds are not mitigated by armor or invulnerability. This might be fine for pve. For PvP though, not having a cap would be a complete disaster.

#25 FrancisCrawford

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:16 PM

Bleeds aren't the problem, dynamic events aside, because even two flat-out bleeders won't seriously bust the cap. (A scepter elementalist spamming bleeds -- which is a good thing to do -- hits about 10 stacks.) But in dynamic events the problem is a huge one.

Burning is the bigger problem. A scepter elementalist spending 1/2 his time in fire will waste burning even if the opponent NEVER removes conditions, and also be susceptible to a large fraction of DPS being removed by a single condition removal. Two elementalists attacking the same target are almost certainly affected, and that's even if they avoid large numbers of traits and skills such as the powerful Signet of Fire. A large fraction of all elementalist fire skills cause burning, and the mechanics for applying burning damage aren't well-matched to that.

#26 Reiden221

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:35 PM

I never heard anyone complain about this sort of thing in games where condition stacking didn't exist, and yet players still played condition based builds.

I absolutely see the point being made, I just feel that it requires a very specific situation.  Basically, you need a ton of players and a ton of constant applications of conditions to a single target, bleed seems to be the main example, and there just aren't that many situations where you run into this.

In the example being used, the end boss of an Event Chain, sure there is a good chance there will be plenty of players and I agree you are likely to run into this situation.  However that seems to be the only time this is an issue.  All the other portions of the DE, there are plenty of targets so no excuse to have that many people focusing on a single target.  In sPvP, you really don't have enough people to run into this situation, and if someone is bleeding that much, they aren't going to be alive long enough for it to matter.  WvW... well you should be attacking other players (again should be plenty of targets), or using siege weapons.  Your really only going to be using your character attacks to destroy enemy siege weapons when it doesn't matter, the fight is over, the enemy is fleeing, etc.

I think the system is fine the way it is.

Edited by Zrevyx, 14 June 2012 - 09:36 PM.


#27 Maeverra

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:43 PM

View PostZrevyx, on 14 June 2012 - 09:35 PM, said:

*snip*
Wait a second, does this mean that each boss/monster shares condition stacks? Like, if there is more than one person with a bleed build, and they go for the boss, those bleeds all contribute to one stack of 25? Or does each individual player get their own stack on the boss/monster?

If it isn't individual, that's going to make me feel really useless in boss battles during PvE. D:

#28 FrancisCrawford

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:55 PM

View PostZrevyx, on 14 June 2012 - 09:35 PM, said:



I think the system is fine the way it is.

Do you play heavy condition builds yourself?

#29 chuckles79

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 12:02 AM

I think there needs to a limit because they don't want everyone to be a condition spammer.  25 may be too low (perhaps increase it with the area difficulty.  Going up to 100 on the end Dragon?)

#30 Drekor

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 12:04 AM

View PostScarlet, on 14 June 2012 - 09:43 PM, said:

Wait a second, does this mean that each boss/monster shares condition stacks? Like, if there is more than one person with a bleed build, and they go for the boss, those bleeds all contribute to one stack of 25? Or does each individual player get their own stack on the boss/monster?

If it isn't individual, that's going to make me feel really useless in boss battles during PvE. D:
It's not individual. If you have 5 people they only get 25 stacks altogether not 25 each.





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