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Depth & The Trinity


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#1 El Duderino

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:59 PM

One of the posts at the official forums caught my attention. Ensign, a well known member of the GW1 community posted the following in response to the lack of combat depth and the trinity as it applies to GW2.

LINK: https://forum-en.gui...e/4#post1831709

Quote

Strong healers are really toxic to all aspects of play. They have very little play to them, and it’s incredibly difficult to prevent anything they are a part of not turning into a DPS vs HPS race.

GW1’s backline play was strong because it was so strongly built upon prot and the debuff/cleansing cycle, not healing. When strong healing skills were introduced, a lot of the fine structure of the game fell apart as it devolved into more of a damage vs healing race.
PvE tanks have always been this abomination of stupid aggro mechanics grafted with insipid power healing wrapped in a thick shell of gear checks. Those systems were specifically designed to have monsters choose to attack the least threatening foe possible, where their attacks would be the least effective – and the worse a target you were, the better you were doing your job as the tank.

I do not mourn the loss of that garbage at all.

Now, GW2 does have a problem. Its problem is that there should be trade-offs between damage and utility that are interesting and support the group in different ways. In GW1, for example, your offense required both raw damage dealing and offensive disruption to be effective – your heavy damage couldn’t kill much through protection and debuffs, while your disruption wasn’t going to kill on its own but could set up your offense by purging the protections that kept them safe.

A well designed, no-trinity version of GW2 would still be anchored in damage, with a layer of buffs and debuffs augmenting combat – and a layer of removal, both of buffs and debuffs, over which the tides of the fight would be waged.

Unfortunately that is, for the most part, totally absent from GW2.

Yes, there are a handful of buffs and debuffs – of course, the debuffs do not work in PvE against any foe that matters, which only amplifies the problem. Removal, on the other hand, is largely absent. Defense is built around invulnerability frames, against which there is no answer; dodges and bubbles conquer all. Many buffs are totally impervious to removal. The handful of the ones that are vulnerable to removal are straight stat boosts, totally uninteresting, and only vulnerable to a small handful of skills.

It is as though they understood that these elements needed to be in their game, but did not understand that they were the foundation of their game. Not the pretty murder barbie game, but the strategy aspect of it, the part that gave it depth.

So to the original point – even without an insipid hard trinity, there’s a place for a ranged support class, one that is focused on providing tactical buffs, cleansing debuffs, controlling space, and enabling movement. That class is totally consistent with everything they set out to do with this game. Yet it’s impossible to actually create, because the tools are not there; instead of a rock/paper/scissors of damage being trumped by buffs/debuffs being trumped by removal – which gets beaten down in a vacuum by brute force – you just have a game of rock/rock/rock, where rock fights rock and the best rock wins.

The game doesn’t need a trinity of one-dimensional characters. But it does need depth, depth that is sorely lacking.

Personally, I think he nails it. Discuss?

Edited by El Duderino, 15 April 2013 - 08:28 PM.


#2 Daenerys

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 05:13 PM

I completely agree. ANet's removal of the trinity was pretty a pretty cool idea but they just didn't implement it right. From conventions to panels to even their Manifesto (maybe, right?), they made it seem like a player could be relatively self-sufficient by keeping their own health up and being able to last through a fight. My necro has one heal that removes conditions, and very few buffs that can be activated without removing awesome utility skills like the speed buff or Epidemic or Well of Suffering.

Just for the sake of examples, look at LOTRO's class, the captain. Their red line was for "dps" which was pretty bad and not worth a spot in a raid that could be filled by a ranger, their yellow line was for buffs or tanking (I think) and their blue line was for healing. Though LOTRO's trait lines followed the traditional, well, line format, I think those different areas could still be implemented. Now we have something like that with the traits that boost vitality and healing and such, but they don't unlock special new buffs and heals in a neat way that would allow people to show that they can really play their profession.

Didn't a dev recently talk about expanding traits and such soon? Hopefully we get to see some positive changes and additions.

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#3 Trei

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 05:17 PM

Buffs and debuffs?

Maybe I am just reading this wrong but I do not consider playing the UI to be any form of depth.

#4 Daenerys

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 05:21 PM

I think that buffs and debuffs can be added and improved without creating too much of a focus on the UI. Players should be able to play without them, but people who really know what they're doing with their profession should be able to show it. Even if the F1-4 skills had a bit more use in more professions, it would be a start.

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#5 Krazzar

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 05:32 PM

View PostMockingjay74, on 15 April 2013 - 05:21 PM, said:

I think that buffs and debuffs can be added and improved without creating too much of a focus on the UI. Players should be able to play without them, but people who really know what they're doing with their profession should be able to show it. Even if the F1-4 skills had a bit more use in more professions, it would be a start.

With my necromancer I wouldn't be as effective without buffs, namely protection.  Ever since 2005 in GW1 I really liked the Siphon/Steal health mechanic, so in GW2 I go dagger/warhorn and scepter/dagger and generally work up close, transfering conditions often and stealing health.  With wells I create advantageous space and apply protection. Without those buff/debuff areas (wells) and protection I wouldn't be able to get that close and last very long.  In Southsun Cove during the special event I remember making the fights super easy by debuffing, though, that might have been patched out, though.

Condition damage is supposed to get some kind of change to bring it up to par with direct damage. I don't know what that entails but it might be enough to get some to spread away from DPS alone. The bigger foes being immune to debuffing and most CC doesn't help, though, they need some kind of mechanics for that.

#6 ShezuTsukai

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 05:45 PM

It's a matter of perspective and profession. Debuffs are wrapped up in conditions and some classes are better at applying and removing them than others. And of course the same goes for buffs.

I agree there is no one class that masters this aspect of the game. But I would argue that all classes can buff/debuff and once again some are better at it than others. The Mes and Necro are two excellent examples of debuffers. I have witnessed several players bleeding out or confusing themselves to death for lack of a heal or condition removal. At the same time I've watched Eles and Guardians completely negate a Necro's bleed build and destroy them.

GW2 does not need a dedicated master buff/debuffer because it goes against the gestalt character concept. Every class can do the trinity's jobs with lesser and greater degrees of strength and in different ways.

The continued remorseful musing of GW1 adherents lamenting GW2's existence rather than another expansion of GW1 grows tiresome and is not helpful to improving GW2's concepts and direction.

I would rather see an expansion to trait lines, utility skills and weapons building and reinforcing GW2's design. But once again I would encourage those that remember where GW1 started and where it ended are miles and miles apart and so shall GW2.

#7 Lunacy Polish

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 05:57 PM

Overall I agree with the substance of the critique but I think the game takes a lot more beating than it deserves here.  I just disagree that it's this horrible disaster so many seem to think it is.

The depth of the game is only meaningful in certain scales, it's the big picture that I think is the problem.  Every game has that problem though, the collective intelligence of the player hive mind is always better than the developer's ability to challenge it.  In other words, everything that comes out gets out-meta'd shortly.

I don't think the implementation is just flat out fail either.  While it's true all my characters do amount to their own self contained trinity and that does create a certain blandness, they all play quite differently and prop up different arms of the triangle at different angles, if you will.

Look when you're a Hammer Warrior fighting a D/D ellie, you can bet your ass that 2,3,1 will have a very different outcome for you than 2,4,5 depending on what phase of his damage rotation the Ellie is in and what boons he has up.

The problem is that's a small scale example and once you step out of that scale (put this in the bigger context of SPvP or WvW where it doesn't matter so much), these bigger trends tend to crush such nuances.  I think that's where the devs need to work on it, especially in the context of the PvP modes.

I personally see solutions in terms of both changing how the game itself works (which they've done in PvE instanced content at least) and keep tweaking traits weapons and skills to try to make more different things viable.  In short, maybe this is how things are now but less than a year after launch I expect the game to be at its lowest point.  Whether they can make good decisions to continue to survive to a point it improves is speculation.

But I'm not going to sit here and call it some unplayable mess no one can enjoy.  The internet's love of absolutism and hyperbole doesn't do much for me.  The perfect is the enemy of the good.

#8 El Duderino

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 06:09 PM

View PostLunacy Polish, on 15 April 2013 - 05:57 PM, said:

Overall I agree with the substance of the critique but I think the game takes a lot more beating than it deserves here.  I just disagree that it's this horrible disaster so many seem to think it is.

The depth of the game is only meaningful in certain scales, it's the big picture that I think is the problem.  Every game has that problem though, the collective intelligence of the player hive mind is always better than the developer's ability to challenge it.  In other words, everything that comes out gets out-meta'd shortly.

To be honest, I think part of the problem is that in PvE the encounters are far too generic to show whether the combat has depth and in sPvP conquest doesn't allow for much tactical combat as well, which results in the same general lack of giving us something to build combat strategy around.

However, I still think the depth in this game is lacking where in GW1 it was done so well. (Prophecies and Factions)

View PostShezuTsukai, on 15 April 2013 - 05:45 PM, said:

The continued remorseful musing of GW1 adherents lamenting GW2's existence rather than another expansion of GW1 grows tiresome and is not helpful to improving GW2's concepts and direction.

But this isn't it at all. There are things that most people will agree were inherently better in GW1 and by figuring out WHY it was better, can help be ported over to GW2 without making huge changes to the new system of mechanics we have.

Combat in GW1 did have more depth than it does now. I don't even think this is an opinion. I think this is a fact.

Once you realize that one game, whether it is GW1 or LoTR or WoW or Chess or CoD, does something better, you can use that knowledge to figure out why, and then how to make it better in your game. GW1 is useful in that it is 1) familiar to many and 2) had inherently good qualities that seem to be lacking in GW2 by many.

View PostTrei, on 15 April 2013 - 05:17 PM, said:

Buffs and debuffs?

Maybe I am just reading this wrong but I do not consider playing the UI to be any form of depth.

So smashing 1-5 to make big white numbers pop up equals depth? Sorry, but you need more than damage to create depth in combat. Also, keep in mind that ANet did gracefully make conditions a part of the feel of the game, and not just a part of the UI. The screen darkening for blindness is just one example.

Edited by El Duderino, 15 April 2013 - 06:11 PM.


#9 Lunacy Polish

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 06:21 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 15 April 2013 - 06:09 PM, said:

To be honest, I think part of the problem is that in PvE the encounters are far too generic to show whether the combat has depth and in sPvP conquest doesn't allow for much tactical combat as well, which results in the same general lack of giving us something to build combat strategy around.

I like the idea that we need something more to create a game "around".

I think GW2 has a clever idea going at its core.  The damage/boon/condition system is a simple mechanic allowing for many permuations, but I accept it's currently in a messy place just as I accept it will keep being changed as long as the game is live.

The problem is when your four objectives are:

1.  Zerg big nasty mobs to death.
2.  Zerg hordes of enemy players to death.
3.  Speed run a predictable instance.
4.  Run and stand on a magic circle ASAP.

There's just not a lot to do with those mechanics when your underlying goals are so underwhelming.

The whole Trinity or lack thereof just seems irrelevant to me, although I guess a Trinity mechanism allows you one more layer of depth.

1.  This group absorbs hits from this big nasty mob.  This group heals everyone being hit  by the big nasty mob.  This last group actually kills the big nasty mob.

So I guess from that perspective you can add some depth with clearer differences between professions, but surely there are other ways as well.

#10 Trei

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 06:23 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 15 April 2013 - 06:09 PM, said:

So smashing 1-5 to make big white numbers pop up equals depth? Sorry, but you need more than damage to create depth in combat. Also, keep in mind that ANet did gracefully make conditions a part of the feel of the game, and not just a part of the UI. The screen darkening for blindness is just one example.
I did not comment on the current state of combat depth in GW2...

#11 El Duderino

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 06:32 PM

View PostLunacy Polish, on 15 April 2013 - 06:21 PM, said:

So I guess from that perspective you can add some depth with clearer differences between professions, but surely there are other ways as well.

I don't think what I quoted in the OP is saying there needs to be a hard line between classes. I think, instead, he is saying that the system of buffs/debuffs and removal are largely inefficient and boring as we have them now.

Quote

Yes, there are a handful of buffs and debuffs – of course, the debuffs do not work in PvE against any foe that matters, which only amplifies the problem. Removal, on the other hand, is largely absent. Defense is built around invulnerability frames, against which there is no answer; dodges and bubbles conquer all. Many buffs are totally impervious to removal. The handful of the ones that are vulnerable to removal are straight stat boosts, totally uninteresting, and only vulnerable to a small handful of skills.


What I think is good about the post is that he is still arguing for the system of no hard trinity or specialization in classes, but the lack of meaningful buff/debuffs and cleansing, regardless of how it is implemented on skill bars is lacking. And that is why instead of having a balance between DPS, buffs/debuffs and cleansing, we have DPS vs. DPS vs. DPS. A lot of this could be made better without breaking anything we have in place now.

View PostTrei, on 15 April 2013 - 06:23 PM, said:

I did not comment on the current state of combat depth in GW2...

By referencing your dislike for buffs and debuffs and how it relates to depth, and the fact that GW2 employs buffs and debuffs in its game, yes, yes you were referring to GW2 and any game that has buffs and debuffs. Unless of course, you think there is some other kind of mechanic in GW2 besides buffs, debuffs and DPS, then it stands that, based on your post, you assume that damage is all that is necessary for good depth. If you think there is something other than DPS, buffs and debuffs to this game, I urge you to tell us as I can't think of what they are.

And don't say dodging, that is a buff. In fact, it is the best buff. See the following quote from the OP quote:

Quote

Defense is built around invulnerability frames, against which there is no answer; dodges and bubbles conquer all.

Edited by El Duderino, 15 April 2013 - 06:49 PM.


#12 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 06:40 PM

Your playstyle is determined by your weapon-bar (your non-weapon skills mostly have recharges that are measured in years and are simply not relevant to most battles) and each weapon-bar needs to be designed so that it's able to kill (this being a solo game that also needs to be cater to the dumb-ass who can't build his bar). With those rules in place, how can we expect GW2 to be anything other than a simple damage-fest?

#13 El Duderino

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 06:43 PM

View PostRitualist, on 15 April 2013 - 06:40 PM, said:

Your playstyle is determined by your weapon-bar (your non-weapon skills mostly have recharges that are measured in years and are simply not relevant to most battles) and each weapon-bar needs to be designed so that it's able to kill (this being a solo game that also needs to be cater to the dumb-ass who can't build his bar). With those rules in place, how can we expect GW2 to be anything other than a simple damage-fest?

1. Because 7-9 (even 0) on your skill bar are able to be switched out for utility, such as buffs/debuffs and cleansers.

2. Because 1-5 many times have utility built in to them regardless of DPS.

3. Because encounters could be made better to provide an experience where these things matter more.

Of course, this is all if the devs wanted to do this and spent the time to do this, which I'm not sure they will even if they think it could be better.

Each character in this game has its own mini-trinity. Instead of the group being the device for the trinity with a player playing each part, it is the skillbar than encapsulates the trinity. This is necessary for solo play - which is pretty much done well.

What they haven't done well yet, IMO, is making group combat meaningful. By making buffs/debuffs and cleansers more meaningful, team combat becomes more meaningful. Therefore, PvP and dungeon encounters become better. Of course, they will need to revamp dungeon encounters to really make it shine if it were to happen. Hell, they should revamp dungeon encounters regardless.

Edited by El Duderino, 15 April 2013 - 06:45 PM.


#14 ShezuTsukai

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 06:45 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 15 April 2013 - 06:09 PM, said:


Combat in GW1 did have more depth than it does now. I don't even think this is an opinion. I think this is a fact.


I disagree with the "fact" simply because you knew what you were facing in GW2. ie Kill the monks first. Get ready with hex and con removal if you see a Mes or Necro. Start blocking and blinding if you see a Sin, Ranger or War. etc.

The PvP combat was quite shallow because you always, always knew what you were facing. The meta changed a little but the class roles were set in STONE!

Fast forward to GW2 where me (Thief) and Ranger guildie swap roles all the time during combat to go from ranged to tank to healer to buffer to debuffer to kiter to aggro focus etc.

Depth will come for now when the players widen their vision and look for the potential in each class instead of min/maxing what they think is their best build as dictated by some wiki or "pro" meta. Depth will come later as the traits and skills and weapons are added/adjusted.

#15 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 07:00 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 15 April 2013 - 06:43 PM, said:

Of course, this is all if the devs wanted to do this and spent the time to do this, which I'm not sure they will even if they think it could be better.

This seems relevant:
http://www.guildwars...and-jon-peters/

Quote

... So I think one of the things is that the warrior and guardian are pretty straightforward professions. And creatures tend to be more straightforward for players to fight, so warrior and guardian tools are are straightforward tools that work well toward these more straightforward creatures. We could just make our creatures less straightforward, and that would actually kind of solve some of these problems, but it would create a new problem for players that are not good at dealing with these less straightforward situations. We would have a lot harder time balancing our encounters if we made our creatures that way. ...


#16 El Duderino

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 07:08 PM

View PostRitualist, on 15 April 2013 - 07:00 PM, said:


Yes, unfortunately, I saw that.

View PostShezuTsukai, on 15 April 2013 - 06:45 PM, said:

snip...

I think you are assuming that I think that we need to go back to specific class roles in order to make combat deeper. That is not what the post is about. It is about the lack of meaningful buffs/debuffs and cleaners in the game, regardless of how they fit on skill bars or what classes carry them.

#17 FoxBat

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 07:13 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 15 April 2013 - 06:09 PM, said:

Combat in GW1 did have more depth than it does now. I don't even think this is an opinion. I think this is a fact.

Would you be referring to the days when warriors could effortlessly aggro/body-block foes into a ball for triple echo'd meteor showers to fall on their heads? Or a single tank holding a gear/book while bonded out the wazoo for invincibility? Maybe a 55 monk soloing the elite missions was more to your flavor? Perhaps a mass of AI minions and pets walling in groups to be barraged to death.

Putting together builds and team composition was more involved in GW1 PvE, but as for executing those builds, many of them basically played themselves, while so much of "strategy" came down to the tiresome chore of pulling mobs properly.

Quote

It is about the lack of meaningful buffs/debuffs and cleaners in the game

This would be more bull. Condi damage stacks higher than -10 degen cap ever did, "stability" was much rarer/limited in GW1, cripple/chill is more devastating to melee since casters don't have to stop kiting to cast spells, poison has a stronger anti-heal than deep wound, and dungeon groups are all about stacking as much might/fury as possible. There are some buffs/debuffs that are not meaningful (hello pve confusion), but it's not an overwhelming majority compared to that huge pile of useless hexes from GW1.

Cleaner balance is not so clear cut. How "meaningful" are conditions when your party monk can clean all of them every 2 seconds? In PvP this led to conditions having to be basically spammed or else reserved for spikes, any long-duration rare-app skill (i.e. opportunity for tactical application) was out the window. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we had the interminable meta of hex stacking and removal that could rarely keep up with hex overload builds. I don't know that GW2 is where it should be, but at least it's somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.

Some players legitimately love overcomplexity and theorycrafting to find one indisputable, stand-out best conclusion. That's fine, but don't try to pass that off as combat depth, which should be defined as tactical choices within the flow of combat, not before and after it.

Edited by FoxBat, 15 April 2013 - 07:28 PM.


#18 El Duderino

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 07:17 PM

View PostFoxBat, on 15 April 2013 - 07:13 PM, said:

Would you be referring to the days when warriors could effortlessly aggro/body-block foes into a ball for triple echo'd meteor showers to fall on their heads? Or a single tank holding a gear/book while bonded out the wazoo for invincibility? Maybe a 55 monk soloing the elite missions was more to your flavor? Perhaps a mass of AI minions and pets walling in groups to be barraged to death.

Putting together builds and team composition was more involved in GW1 PvE, but as for executing those builds, many of them basically played themselves, while so much of "strategy" came down to the tiresome chore of pulling mobs properly.

Did you read the original post? It addresses much of what you are saying.

As for the rest, in competitive GW1 PvP, no those builds did not play themselves. Also, I don't think they did for a lot of PvE in GW1 either. However, I think the litmus test for combat depth is found more in PvP than in PvE for reasons that focus mostly on the fact that you have a living intelligent person playing the other side and not AI.

Even so, PvE in GW1 had more depth than PvE in GW2. You're hyperbole of "builds playing themselves" couldn't be more true than in a game where smashing 1-5 upon recharge is as efficient as doing anything else in the game.

Edited by El Duderino, 15 April 2013 - 07:20 PM.


#19 El Duderino

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 07:30 PM

By the way, before this becomes a GW2 has more depth than GW1 thread, I will quote another poster who might have more weight than me, because I understand that many people simply don't like it when I post and think I am wrong no matter what.

View PostFeathermoore, on 21 February 2013 - 06:54 PM, said:

My opinion on the matter? GW2 went sideways. Sadly, by going sideways they effectively went backwards because they failed to further develop from previous systems. GW2 is a hack and slash. That doesn't mean I don't get any enjoyment out of it, or that it can't possibly ever challenge me (currently it is too easy but that can be fixed). It is just the defining feature of the combat. It isn't anything new or special. GW was much more dependent on doing a certain action at a certain time and managing resources. It was said a lot in the past and I wish I could come up with some other comparison, but GW was a real time version of Magic. GW2 didn't develop anything from GW's combat. It just completely hopped to a separate game type.

This disappointed a lot of fans. GW2 lost the depth that GW had. It greatly decreased the barrier of entry to start playing, but lost the flair (in my mind).

So it isn't a step backwards, but it is a loss. It isn't like the combat is worse. It is just less interesting.


#20 Fizzypop

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 07:57 PM

The PVE in this game lacks variation and difficulty. This is born out of the poor implementation of the class skills. They pigeon holed themselves when they decided each weapon has set skills- they really should've given us more skills for each weapon, made the traits have a bigger impact, and not tie the stats to the traits. Would've allowed them more room in how difficult some areas could be. I know they might have been tight on resources, but the game was already largely imbalanced they could've later fixed that. Instead they dumbed stuff down way too much now I'm regretting defending the dumb down (thinking that orr and later areas would've been harder). I want longer combat that's more engaging. Right now mass effect 3 has more engaging combat on normal than GW2. That's horrible.

#21 Feathermoore

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 08:14 PM

Please tone it down. Stop arguing against the poster and discuss the points at hand. Too many people are taking it personally when someone disagrees with them.

One liners, sarcasm, and attacking another poster are not giving this subject the attention it deserves. Too many people are focusing on who or how something is said instead of what is said.

Discuss the topic at hand, or do not post.





Also, will you please link to the original thread in the OP? I respect Ensign too much not to want to read the thread in its entirety and I suggest anyone who considers posting here at least reads Ensign's posts if there are more. Attributing this to "GW1 players wailing about the differences in GW2" is laughable (and not contributing to discussion).

Edited by Feathermoore, 15 April 2013 - 08:17 PM.

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#22 Darkobra

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 08:22 PM

If they hired Ensign, I believe GW2 would have been a game that would have actually been recognised in terms of combat. He's proven himself over the years, even with me. The old team is gone and the new team thinks purely of money.

Before, businesses used to think "What product can I make that will be enjoyed enough by all to make a lot of money?" Now they think purely of money.

#23 El Duderino

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 08:38 PM

View PostFeathermoore, on 15 April 2013 - 08:14 PM, said:

Also, will you please link to the original thread in the OP? I respect Ensign too much not to want to read the thread in its entirety and I suggest anyone who considers posting here at least reads Ensign's posts if there are more. Attributing this to "GW1 players wailing about the differences in GW2" is laughable (and not contributing to discussion).

Link added.

Really, his whole post made me realize that my original opinion, which was the lack of trinity led to the loss of depth, is not entirely true. Not because there doesn't need to be a trinity, but that it doesn't need to be based on individual parts of the larger team. The trinity, in his post, is damage balanced by buffs/debuffs balanced by removal/cleansing. This can be done with the current system we have without needing to go back to the trinity which was my original thoughts.

I was always hesitant to post about healing and almost always wanted to include prots in my posts because I agreed that prots were more important then healing - both in combat and in the depth in which it related to GW1's combat. Of course, I always thought this because I played prot monk in PvP ^_^.

Anyways, I never realized that prots were really just a form of buffs and things like deep wound were debuffs and it was that interaction and the need for removal, both to damage targets as well as save team members, that made combat interesting.

It actually gives me hope that there is a chance for meaningful PvP in this game, not because I think they devs will execute these ideas (I honestly don't know if they care enough) but that the opportunity is there to make combat more meaningful and interesting with the mechanics we already have. Previously, I thought it was impossible.

#24 MisterB

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 09:58 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 15 April 2013 - 08:38 PM, said:

Link added.

https://forum-en.gui...g-class/1830399

This is the correct link for anyone else trying to locate it.

Edited by MisterB, 15 April 2013 - 09:58 PM.


#25 Trei

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 01:43 AM

View PostEl Duderino, on 15 April 2013 - 06:32 PM, said:

By referencing your dislike for buffs and debuffs and how it relates to depth, and the fact that GW2 employs buffs and debuffs in its game, yes, yes you were referring to GW2 and any game that has buffs and debuffs. Unless of course, you think there is some oth...
It's amazing how you managed to pull all these assumptions out of one sentence.

But you seem to have failed to comprehend a second time in a row.

I never denied referring to GW2, I said "current state of combat depth".

I never said I dislike buffs and debuffs, I said I don't consider paying attention to the UI to keep track of multiple such indicators on the UI to be able to add more depth to the game.

I don't actually have an opinion yet with regards to combat depth, or the perceived lack thereof, in GW2.
I merely said the buff idea doesn't sound like the appropriate solution; making buffs more complicated doesn't make combat more deep to me.

But I want to point out one thing.
I don't fully agree with the author you quoted in your OP that the there are no tools.

For a start, think about all those skills in GW2 with dual or even triple uses. Depending on situation, I could be using some of those skills for entirely different purposes from one fight to another.

Look at the simple Line of Warding: I can use it offensively to force knockdowns on melee opponents, or divide the enemy and separate them, or delay their escape.
I can use it defensively to escape or help my allies escape, or block the enemy from advancing.

Or I can just use it as a light field if I really need one.

That is part of what I consider true depth. It is something that can be a lot more multi
dimensional than just adding more complicated buffs or debuffs, or simply make them matter more.

I am just on the fence for now on whether GW2 had enough depth or too little, because I don't think I'm that wise or experienced enough in MMO combat mechanics to have already gained maximum understanding of the current system's potential.

Edited by Trei, 16 April 2013 - 01:53 AM.


#26 Xunlai Agent

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 01:51 AM

You have quoted some excellent points and I am struck by the fact that ArenaNet is not heeding Ensign's arguments more closely. He was one of the best voices on PvP balance in GW 1 and he has made some superlative statements on the GW 2 forums. How is this guy not working for them yet? Removing the trinity was an enlightened move but not replacing it with a rock/paper/scissor system really hurts the long-term viability of the game. I am unsure whether it is too late for ANet to make massive changes to combat to address the points being raised here. Maybe an expansion that has the support character of which Ensign speaks along with major tweaks to all classes? Maybe it's too late, we shall see...

#27 El Duderino

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 02:06 AM

View PostTrei, on 16 April 2013 - 01:43 AM, said:

snip

I apologize.

I did assume that you thought that GW2's combat has enough depth for your tastes. If you do not, then I apologize as my assumption would not be correct.

However, I don't think that he is suggesting that the buffs and debuffs need to be more complicated, just that they be more effective.

In GW1, for example, regardless of how well the UI was integrated with the experience which is clearly better in GW2, you knew when you had deep wound - and it was a problem.

Similarly, buffs did stuff other than raise and lower stats - guardian and aegis blocked melee attacks, protective spirit reduced enough damage to keep a spike from killing you on the first skill, etc, etc.

In most cases you had to account for these buffs and debuffs and the cleaning system was robust enough to handle them, yet stingy enough that you had to use them wisely. Energy management went a long way to making this possible as well. You couldn't just spam remove condition as some have stated in this thread - because you had to account for energy management. But that is getting into an issue that is beyond the scope of this conversation.

The point is, that in GW2 most debuffs, such as conditions, are not severe enough to really be worrisome and the buffs are both uninteresting as they are mostly stat enhancements and also by the fact that many are impervious to removal which leads to no counter which leads to uninteresting play as well.

So, I don't think they need to be more complex - they just need to be more relevant.

Also, I really am sorry about my immediate jump to criticize your post. I was wrong to make an assumption based on how I think you feel about the game.

Edited by El Duderino, 16 April 2013 - 02:09 AM.


#28 ShezuTsukai

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 03:02 AM

I have to agree that most conditions can be ignored for a time as it is not as visible an effect as in GW1. When I saw 10 arrows drawing my health down quickly it grabbed my attention. So maybe that would invigorate the UI of conditions by doing something visible in the health bubble instead of just coloring the edge of the screen.

To be honest I play on a 15" laptop and sometimes do not notice the edging.

And I most certainly agree the Boons are lackluster in respects to visual game play. If it wasn't for the little icon above the skill bar would we even notice boons?

On a side note I'm glad the discussion has turned away from trinity and to something that really could enhance GW2 by proving, expanding, and visually expanding conditions and boons.

#29 Arewn

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 03:43 AM

On the subject of combat in GW2, specifically about dungeon bosses and boss-like mobs:
I strongly feel they need to start implementing unblockable, undodgeable, heavy damage (in some cases AoE) abilities that the boss uses periodically (at 1 or 2 minutes intervals) and can be interrupted using CC and put on full cooldown in so doing.
This would add something to the fights that you can't just lolAegisNope, or dodge out of the way with your >5sec cd on dodge. It would also increase interaction with Defiance and the significance of CC against boss mobs, as you would be forced to strip the bosses defiance in a timely manner in order to periodically interrupt these abilities.
It's not something that would necessarily be on every boss mob, and there would be differences in the abilities themselves (a heavy single target melee attack, a beam you have to LOS, a wide scale AoE, etc.), but would be found commonly enough that people would be used to it as a "regular mechanic".

I also think these are the kind of changes and potential improvements we should be looking for improving GW2's combat, as the base combat is already fairly solid (balance aside), it's the encounters and group interaction that need work.
So far as improving the base combat goes though, I do agree a bit with the general idea the OP presents for the need of additional definition in the roles, and buffs to none-brute force play tactics.

#30 Trei

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 04:27 AM

Let me try to expand on my point.

Buffs and debuffs being more relevant and dangerous/helpful, that's the gist of it right?
Well, to me that only adds complexity, not depth.

Let's take a very rough example - suppose poison is very strong, and requires specific cure instead of the general condition clear we have now.

What are the chances of a team getting rolled just because they did not bring that one specific cure skill? I'd say high, we've seen such similar build wars happen.

Build wars is not depth, not to me.

It often boils down to specific solutions for specific problems.
Matches were won before they were fought, simply because the team lucked out and chose a comp or build the other's has no counter for.

I would like simple mechanics that has room to expand due to player ingenuity, that's what I see depth as. I gave an example in my last post, line of warding.

But conditions? Either clear or die. That's it as far as my limited understanding goes.
Whoever memorises the most indicator effects wins.

Arguments could be made in plays to bluff or force opponents to clear decoy conditions etc but we already have that to an extent.

Does it need to be more involved than this?

Focusing just on buffs etc may perhaps be too narrow a scope here.
Think about this: what if our condition clears are tied more heavily to other utilities one would typically not want to use at the same time?

Then it becomes a matter of tactical choice; do I save the clear so I can do something else more critical at a particular moment since the skill has more than one function? (we already have some skills like that too)

In effect, it accomplishes nearly what energy mechanics do.

I want choices and options in combat, not before.

Edited by Trei, 16 April 2013 - 04:41 AM.





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