Jump to content

  • Curse Sites
Help
- - - - -

Incredibly ordinary?


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Rhoellan Alts

Rhoellan Alts

    Fahrar Cub

  • Members
  • 23 posts

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:28 AM

I really like GW2.  Kudos to the game designers and how they took a bold step to do something different.  I think the story line mechanic, art style, dynamic events and "twitch" combat making it one of the most promising MMOs I have played (I have played quite a few).  I have played hybrids in almost all games and hate "cookie cutter" builds and being pigeonholed.  This game offered all that and then some.

Be careful what you wish for.

If you spec toughness and vitality, who is the best tank?

If you spec glass cannon, who is the best DPS?

If you spec balance, who is the best hybrid?

If you spec healing, who is the best healer?

The nature of these questions is very subjective; I get that.  Many will argue my choices and many won't agree on the answers.  My concern is the classes that are not on this list.  Do those classes excel in PVE over others on this list?  Do those classes excel in PvP/WvW over others on this list?  In my opinion, they don't, which creates a lot of imbalance.

Point is; I think the premise of this non-role specific archetype is to allow anyone to fulfill any role.  I don't think that is the reality.  In fact, the reason I even made this post is that it isn't even close.

I love the flexibility and non-concrete specs and roles.  But don't imply that everyone can tank when they can't.  Everyone can heal when they can't.  So everyone is a hybrid, typically ranged or glass cannon, which leads to more homogenization of the classes, not less.  This is not a "what is viable" thread, as that is highly debatable.  This is about the core differentiation between this game and the other vanilla MMOs and whether or it is helping the game grow or killing it.

What say you?

#2 Captain Bulldozer

Captain Bulldozer

    Vanguard Scout

  • Members
  • 392 posts
  • Guild Tag:[SoDF]
  • Server:Isle of Janthir

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:40 AM

The problem in my view is that you're still thinking in trinity terms rather than trying to understand how GW2 is actually quite different.

No one is the best tank, because tanking is pretty much a no-no in this game. Virtually all professions can deal excellent DPS (though some do it better through AoE and some do it better through single target damage), and a player playing well in any profession can easily outshine a player playing poorly in a different profession.  The game has no real healers, though again, some are designed for more supportive roles than damage roles (ele and guardian obviously have some decent heals, but those have such long recharges that you can't really consider them "healers").

I do kinda of agree with you that most professions can be played quite well as hybrids, (though I wouldn't say my guardian warrior or thief function that well at range), but after playing multiple classes to lvl 80 and ALL the professions to at least lvl 20, I can say that all the professions feel distinct, even if the abilities they have doesn't.

#3 Zedabi

Zedabi

    Vanguard Scout

  • Members
  • 298 posts

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:52 AM

View PostRhoellan Alts, on 14 February 2013 - 02:28 AM, said:

But don't imply that everyone can tank when they can't.  Everyone can heal when they can't.

They never implied this.

They said every profession can provide support (which isn't limited to straight up healing; A Thief can support his allies by creating a Shadow Refuge to give respite to characters who are waiting for their heal to come off cooldown / ressing a downed player), and every profession can provide control (which isn't the same as 'tanking'; A Mesmer can 'control' by putting Feedback around a ranged mob).

As for it helping the game or not; I dunno. I could argue it is, because it's something different, and also argue that because it's different and others are trying to play it like a Trinity game, it doesn't help the game.

#4 Osiris Neits

Osiris Neits

    Asuran Acolyte

  • Members
  • 94 posts

Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:04 AM

View PostCaptain Bulldozer, on 14 February 2013 - 02:40 AM, said:

No one is the best tank, because tanking is pretty much a no-no in this game.

I would say no-one is the best tank, because tanking requires the ability to draw aggro, and once some of the bosses in this game fixate on one person, there is no way at all to pull them off.

While fighting the Champ outside Caer Shadowfain , my elementalist drew aggro, and was promptly killed. I rezzed at the waypoint, and as soon as I returned to the area of the fight discovered to my dismay that I still had aggro, after a good 30 seconds of 10 other people beating on the boss. In fact he ran from a distance outside his aggro range, straight to me as soon as I stepped outside the gate. This happened 3 times, so it wasn't a fluke.

I have also watched the Champion Troll in Sparkfly Fen aggro on a player at the start of a fight, then chase her in circles for the entire fight while she never hit him again, and 3 other people trailed him and killed him taking almost no damage.

While I like the idea of getting rid of the trinity, there are definitely aggro mechanics in the game, and they are in need of some serious tuning.

#5 Trei

Trei

    Golem Rider

  • Members
  • 2929 posts
  • Server:Jade Quarry

Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:27 AM

Which profession being inherently"better" at a role is, as you said, rather subjective.

Every profession has the tools to fulfill almost any role in the game, to varying efficiency.
It's not so much which is better but more of how skilled and knowledgeable the individual player of a profession is at the role he wants to play in.

In other words, the first question one should be asking isn't which prof is better at tanking etc. but which player, regardless of his chosen profession.

If he built his character for it and knows how to make it work, even a thief can "tank". He just won't be doing it the same way a guardian would.

Then we ask the second question: does he fit your group comp? Or rather, do you know how to fit him in?

If you have 3 group mates with heavy defense oriented builds, do you ask them to change their builds to fit your tactics or do you change your tactics to optimize the use of 3 tanky allies?

I prefer the latter way but slight build changes are usually inevitable, as long as it does not impact too much on each player's strengths.
I like the challenge of making any group makeup work.

Therefore it does not matter to me which is the best anything.
In GW2, I can afford to have it not matter.

Unfortunately, this type of challenge is also something a lot of players can't be bothered with.

Edited by Trei, 14 February 2013 - 03:46 AM.


#6 Redhawk2007

Redhawk2007

    Vanguard Scout

  • Members
  • 156 posts

Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:37 AM

View PostOsiris Neits, on 14 February 2013 - 03:04 AM, said:

I would say no-one is the best tank, because tanking requires the ability to draw aggro, and once some of the bosses in this game fixate on one person, there is no way at all to pull them off.

While fighting the Champ outside Caer Shadowfain , my elementalist drew aggro, and was promptly killed. I rezzed at the waypoint, and as soon as I returned to the area of the fight discovered to my dismay that I still had aggro, after a good 30 seconds of 10 other people beating on the boss. In fact he ran from a distance outside his aggro range, straight to me as soon as I stepped outside the gate. This happened 3 times, so it wasn't a fluke.

I have also watched the Champion Troll in Sparkfly Fen aggro on a player at the start of a fight, then chase her in circles for the entire fight while she never hit him again, and 3 other people trailed him and killed him taking almost no damage.

While I like the idea of getting rid of the trinity, there are definitely aggro mechanics in the game, and they are in need of some serious tuning.

I agree. Perma-aggro that persists even after death definitely sucks and needs to be eliminated from the game.

#7 Rhoellan Alts

Rhoellan Alts

    Fahrar Cub

  • Members
  • 23 posts

Posted 14 February 2013 - 05:38 PM

To clarify, I am a fan of the mechanic that currently exists.  I, like you, like the challenge of getting different specs and classes to work.  My concern; hence the topic title, is that the goal or implication of allowing flexibility has in fact, put everyone in the same genre, making it less unique.  You had the trinity and now you have hybrids and DPS. Granted, a plethora of different hybrids, but hybrids nonetheless.

It honestly makes me scratch my head and wonder what the end goal was and whether or not it was achieved.  Having played all the classes, I see less diversity and more imbalance. I see certain classes are geared towards certain trinity functions and others don't seem to have a function whatsoever

Easy Questions:

Who can "tank" better (equal player skill, "tank" gear, group makeup), a guardian or a thief?

Who can do heal better, a elementalist or a thief, having speced to do so?

Who is better support, a "support speced" engineer or a necro?

Tougher questions:

If purely speced glass cannon, who does more DPS, a warrior or a thief?  A elementalist or a necro?  A guardian or a engineer?  A ranger or a mesmer?

Some of these will still be argued, but some will agree on the answers because they make sense.  But where it gets confusing for me is what do the losers of these scenarios do better than another?  What class defining ability do they have that a group really wants, but doesn't need?  Are they more for PvP or WvW?  

My problem is; everyone can do everything, to some extent, but not as well as others.  If it is truly a "non-role specific" game, how can this be?  Before flaming me, I understand that each class heals and DPSes differently, with different mechanics.  But shouldn't the end result then of a thief spec'ed for healing be somewhat close to a elementalist spec'ed for healing?  Why do +healing and + this and that scale better and differently for other classes?  I am concerned that this is the reason that such a great game isn't getting the traction or retaining the amount of players most thought it would.  Maybe I am wrong, but thanks for your input either way.

#8 ben911993

ben911993

    Vanguard Scout

  • Members
  • 266 posts
  • Guild Tag:[YAAR]
  • Server:Sea of Sorrows

Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:08 PM

View PostOsiris Neits, on 14 February 2013 - 03:04 AM, said:

I would say no-one is the best tank, because tanking requires the ability to draw aggro, and once some of the bosses in this game fixate on one person, there is no way at all to pull them off.

While fighting the Champ outside Caer Shadowfain , my elementalist drew aggro, and was promptly killed. I rezzed at the waypoint, and as soon as I returned to the area of the fight discovered to my dismay that I still had aggro, after a good 30 seconds of 10 other people beating on the boss. In fact he ran from a distance outside his aggro range, straight to me as soon as I stepped outside the gate. This happened 3 times, so it wasn't a fluke.

I have also watched the Champion Troll in Sparkfly Fen aggro on a player at the start of a fight, then chase her in circles for the entire fight while she never hit him again, and 3 other people trailed him and killed him taking almost no damage.

While I like the idea of getting rid of the trinity, there are definitely aggro mechanics in the game, and they are in need of some serious tuning.

This, definitely.

I've also noticed, as many other players have, that having decently high toughness results in drawing significantly more aggro. This causes a counter-intuitive balancing of attributes. On my warrior I actually survive more by going glass cannon, rather than taking some toughness. This is partially because the warrior has very little in the way of defense other than high health and heavy armor. But in dungeons that health and armor isn't nearly enough to survive when mobs are locked on you.

I used to run cleric's gear on my warrior, along with healing shouts, and I found myself going down in almost every single fight because most monsters would train on me. My 3.2k armor and 22k health didn't mean crap when regular enemies could hit for 5k damage. I switched to rampager's gear, bringing no toughness at all, and now I almost never go down as long as I'm smart about kiting/dodging. Doesn't that seem a tad backwards?

To address the OP, I honestly feel that the game and its combat system would work a lot better if aggro worked differently, if it were random like it should be for a game focused on breaking the trinity and discouraging tanks. In the current system, a guardian (or two) with high toughness is the best option for tanking, simply because guardians have the means to withstand that kind of damage--if they're skilled and smart about what they do. But if aggro were less toughness dependent, then we would hopefully see enemies attacking at random, encouraging everyone to bring a bit of defense and run a hybrid build. That's the system I think GW2's combat was trying to aim for.

But you're right, there are still roles. Every profession can fill pretty much every role in some form or another, but some professions will do it better than others. I think this is just a result of creating unique and different professions. I mean, if every profession was equally good at doing everything, then we wouldn't much have different professions, would we? It would instead just be different animations and text to accomplish the same goals. I think having some professions be better at certain roles is a necessary part of having unique professions.

That said, I think GW2 came very, very close to breaking the trinity. The role of the healer was certainly removed, but due to the way aggro works, tanks are still necessary, or at least viable. However, "tanking" in GW2 doesn't rely on stacking crazy high resistances and damage-decreasing buffs (a la Prot Spirit and Shield of Absorption in GW1), but instead tactically using blocks, protection, blinds, control, and other abilities to defend yourself. Tanking is still viable, but at least it requires more skill and is more engaging than in other games. As I said though, GW2 would be much more focused on hybrid builds and self defense if aggro weren't so heavily imbalanced by toughness.

#9 Lunacy Polish

Lunacy Polish

    Vanguard Scout

  • Members
  • 455 posts

Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

This is an interesting topic, especially now that we’ve had a chance to see GW2 mechanics in action.

I think I agree with the crux of what the OP is observing, that you can’t necessarily make each profession do each of the three “roles” (damage, support, control/utility) equally well, but that’s only true in a given context.  Change the context and who can be most effective changes too (although I would argue there that some professions work better in more contexts than others), and I think the problem with the basic observation here is it has to be given context, and it’s in that spirit I answer the question.

Quote

Easy Questions:

Who can "tank" better (equal player skill, "tank" gear, group makeup), a guardian or a thief?

I don’t think this is an “easy” question.

In most common PvE situations, where you are looking for a damage sponge, it’s likely the guardian, especially if they have lots of condi removal, aegis effects, health recovery, maybe a protection boon, and possibly some knockbacks or other forms of control that keep mobs from attacking.  But if you think about it, many of these elements are not old school tanking, just keep that in mind.
And if you think about the purpose of a tank, to take heat off of everyone else by absorbing melee damage that would otherwise kill them, a thief can do this just not in this traditional way.  A friend of mine runs the most hated of thieves, the sword/dagger thief.  And stacks toughness.  Yeah, toughness on a thief!

I’ve seen him in action.  He can’t take absorb more than a couple hits, but he doesn’t melt like ice on the sun either as most thieves seem to.  He can negate hits and avoid them like a champ however.  With his blind spam and on demand stealth and immobilize poison and thieves’ guild elite for when it all goes to pot, he can lock targets down, etc.  Think now about all the crazy crap that Guardian is dong to “tank” though.  Are they really that different?

The key is neither of these characters can really “tank” for the whole group regardless of who is “better” at it.   You also have to define context, and what you mean by tanking.  Even if we go with the definition of tanking that favors the guardian, you have to consider the context of the situation in the game and who is doing what to determine who is actually contributing more, and that’s where it gets messy.

Quote

Who can do heal better, a elementalist or a thief, having speced to do so?

What kind of healing?  A thief can actually heal himself better than an ellie can self heal, but a thief can do some group healing with the right traits and skills.  The ellie is probably better at healing the group though all told.

Now even if we say it’s group healing, while the ellie will post bigger green numbers than a thief will, but the thief also heals you by stealthing you, which means you don’t take even more damage, which is something ellie’s healing can’t do.

I don’t think this is an easy question at all I think it’s fairly complex.

Quote

Who is better support, a "support speced" engineer or a necro?

I don’t even know where to begin here I can argue that either way.  I haven’t leveled my personal engi though, so get back to me in a year for a better opinion.

Quote

Tougher questions:

If purely speced glass cannon, who does more DPS, a warrior or a thief? A elementalist or a necro? A guardian or a engineer? A ranger or a mesmer?

To what target?  From what range?  For what purpose (PvE or PvP)?

Quote

Some of these will still be argued, but some will agree on the answers because they make sense. But where it gets confusing for me is what do the losers of these scenarios do better than another? What class defining ability do they have that a group really wants, but doesn't need? Are they more for PvP or WvW?

This is hard to quantify.  I think part of the problem when we have class balance discussions is we all do come from different contexts where things will work differently.  It’s really an art form to weigh whose opinion should carry more weight.

Ideally the developers would create many contexts in the game so all characters when played well can excel somewhere, so there’s a purpose to all builds for all professions.  I think that is so subjective though, because we tend to pick the context we like best and hang out there.

This doesn’t answer the question but I don’t have an answer really.

Quote

My problem is; everyone can do everything, to some extent, but not as well as others. If it is truly a "non-role specific" game, how can this be? Before flaming me, I understand that each class heals and DPSes differently, with different mechanics. But shouldn't the end result then of a thief spec'ed for healing be somewhat close to a elementalist spec'ed for healing? Why do +healing and + this and that scale better and differently for other classes? I am concerned that this is the reason that such a great game isn't getting the traction or retaining the amount of players most thought it would. Maybe I am wrong, but thanks for your input either way.

I don’t think you’re “wrong” and you pose some very interesting game design questions, but rather consider this.

There are essentially two approaches to RPGs.  Characters can be based on classes that give an assigned set of abilties, at least the combination of which is unique to that class somehow, or they can give you a blank slate and you build your capabilities yourself.  There are some that blur the lines to try to capture the best of both systems too but they generally resemble one more than the other.

The classic design problem with the “tabula rasa” no class approach is that eventually someone discovers the most optimal combination or combinations, and everyone just does that because once it’s figured out there’s not a lot of point in repeating the same work over again.  Humans do that, one caveman invents fire, all the other cavemen start to use fire too.  An optimal template emerges (there are ways to address this problem in a classless system but it’s not material to the discussion).

The whole purpose of separate classes is in fact to force iniquity and ensure not everyone has the optimal template.  Some classes are better than others, it’s going to happen.  It is inevitable.

The thing is though, even in this situation, if you can create parity (not equality but parity) between the classes, and give the players enough elements to customize, you suddenly get multiple optimal templates, one for each class.

But more importantly if you have mechanics like class choice which allow for mutually exclusive choices between A, which MIGHT be good, and B, which MIGHT also be good, the discussion to find what's optimal in the game as a whole can be a lot more sophisticated, with different people demonstrating different solutions effectively.  Obfuscating the problem to create a problem solving exercise creates entertainment.  That's the whole idea.

Now there’s a lot more to it than that but that’s the basic idea of professions yes?  If you somehow manage to make every profession optimal at each thing  there is to do in the game, have you not just recreated the problem of there being only one optimal template like in the first example?

I think it’s better to just make how “good”  most things are contextual and try our best to not make these contexts too broad or too narrow or else mitigate the problem somehow.  There should ideally be just enough complexity we have some general ideas about what professions are supposed to be good at, but enough subjectivity  and contextual dependence to make it a mystery who is objectively the best.  It’s like a magic show, not quite knowing what all is going on is part of the fun.  Balancing will be a matter of art and managing perceptions more than churning numbers in any event.

I can’t remember his name or the game but a developer for another game once said something about how he designs games with some deliberate rough chunks, some deliberate inequalities and inefficiencies, just to give players some tough and interesting choices, and that for him the challenge was giving the player something that he personally liked better while making him realize that the other choice might have been good too, to leave some mystery in the comparison essentially.  Basically that developer knows he’s introducing a negative property of inequality into the system but it’s on purpose because the effect on design and play is so positive.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users