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Toxin; the anti-zerg?


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#1 Arkham Creed

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 01:59 AM

So I was watching Guildcast and early in they started discussing the new cross-profession healing skill coming with the next patch. And naturally this lead to speculation of what exactly this strange new “condition” called toxin could end up being. Now obviously it is going to be some manner of hindrance if not a direct damage condition, but between all the other options we have what kind of DoT is left for us to deal with (and hopefully start working into our builds)? Then it hit me; disease.

For those who didn’t play the original Guild Wars, or who may have simply forgotten, disease was a simple damage dealing “degeneration” condition in the same family as bleed, poison, and burning. As far as damage goes it was at about the same level of damage as poison. However there was a catch. Something about it that made it awesome, and something that made the disease applying cross-profession skill “Signet of Infection” a mainstay of my DPS ranger build; disease was contagious.

Not only could it “jump” to adjacent or nearby enemies (be they PvE mobs or PvP players) but it could actually jump back. It could essentially re-infect mobs or players who just cleansed it if an infected ally got too close. Not only could this skill decimate entire swarms of foes, but it required careful skill and coordination to use in PvP or when facing “human” adversaries in PvE because it was entirely possible to inadvertently infect your own party and cause a wipe.

Imagine if this condition made its way into Guild Wars 2. Just think of its impact on WvW or world bosses. Players needing to spread apart and play skillfully together because a single diseased player could wipe an entire zerg; starting a chain reaction of infection and reinfection that can’t be dealt with by uncoordinated groups. And those same uncoordinated groups wiping themselves with careless use of the condition. So what if one guy can cure himself; it will just keep bouncing back to him, perhaps even stacking higher and higher as the infection spreads and gets applied and reapplied by an ever increasing number of infected. Not even AoE condition removal would help; as there would inevitably be players who don’t recognize what is happening and wander out of the area; preserving the condition and spreading it anew.

I can’t say with any degree of certainly that this is what toxin will turn out to be, but I sure as hell hope so.  What about you?

#2 Nyid

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 02:35 AM

Seems unlikely. From what I've heard of toxin there will be one particular skill that cleanses it that will be made available to every class. In my opinion it seems more likely that toxin will be seen in one particular part of the game (dungeons) in an agony-esque way. If I am wrong and toxin does functions similarly to GW1 disease it won't be a zerg breaker. The condition could easily be removed by blasting a light field.

#3 Arkham Creed

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 02:45 AM

View PostNyid, on 27 October 2013 - 02:35 AM, said:

Seems unlikely. From what I've heard of toxin there will be one particular skill that cleanses it that will be made available to every class. In my opinion it seems more likely that toxin will be seen in one particular part of the game (dungeons) in an agony-esque way. If I am wrong and toxin does functions similarly to GW1 disease it won't be a zerg breaker. The condition could easily be removed by blasting a light field.

As I covered in the OP; an AoE condition removal only works with a coordinated group. If you happen to be zerging in WvW and someone has the “lol zerg is unstoppable” mindset, he isn’t like to be the type to throw down, or even stand anywhere near, a light field or other condition removal skill. If that happens this one bad player just re-infected your entire group while your cleanse is on cooldown. At the very least a disease like condition could easily be used as a “zerg breaker” as it would force people to spread out for fear of infection. Especially if it could build more damaging stacks by being reapplied by your allies.

Now as far as being used in limited content; I honestly don’t see that as likely. It may not be widely used, but I doubt they would bother giving potentially every players a skill specifically for removing it if it was only going to appear in small percentages of content. After all Arena Net’s unconcern with small percentages is well known. Besides the rolled torment out in small dozes, and it is becoming more and more noticeable in the game.

#4 sjrmoo

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 02:52 AM

While I am not the biggest fan of the zerg, if they bust it they are going to kill wvw play.  Most people just follow the zerg around and if they can't do that, then why bother.

#5 Phenn

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 04:42 AM

View PostNyid, on 27 October 2013 - 02:35 AM, said:

The condition could easily be removed by blasting a light field.

Not to nit-pick (or is that Nyid-pick?), but this'd drop AoE Retaliation. :) There's no easy access (a la blast finishers) to AoE ConD removal.

Arkham makes sense to me, given that every profession is given access to an AoE ConD removal that takes care of Toxin. This'd do at least a little something to stem the tide of Toxin if it's transmittable. I'd love it if the Necro got access to Toxin and ways to manipulate it... Finally give us a unique edge.

Edited by Phenn, 27 October 2013 - 04:42 AM.


#6 DonZardeone

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 07:30 AM

Hah, I'm Charr, I don't get your human diseases and last I heard, them salad guys can't be corrupted

I like the idea of it being a zergbust but we do have 5 different races, so a GW1 style disease ... dunno

Then again, wvw isn't meant to be fair so infecting all the norn in a zerg or infecting all the humans. Charr is the least played race and all my dudes are charr, would I get an advantage?

#7 Conkers

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 11:10 AM

View Postsjrmoo, on 27 October 2013 - 02:52 AM, said:

While I am not the biggest fan of the zerg, if they bust it they are going to kill wvw play.  Most people just follow the zerg around and if they can't do that, then why bother.

Because most people that actually play the game largely for WvW don't like the zerging (zerging as in massive blobs as opposed to groups of 15-30) and the PvE "achievement" hunters will not be in WvW long term.

And the only reason many WvWer's are still playing GW2 is because there is a lack of competition on two fronts, firstly there are not many games with a WvW type of gameplay, they are mostly either ancient like DAoC or rather niche like Darkfall Unholy Wars (full loot PvP is an acquired taste). Secondly there are not many alternatives if you want an "action(ish)" type of combat, you have Tera, but the being rooted puts many off that, Vindicus (or however it si spelled), but that isn't really an MMO, or Darkfall, but again full loot is niche.

So their problem is, that next year there will be competition, Wildstar & TESO for instance, so unless they want a lot more of their servers to end up like Vabbi they need to make improvements, additionally it is also in their interest to reduce the blobbing from a technical point of view as their game engine is simply not up to it.

Edited by Conkers, 27 October 2013 - 11:10 AM.


#8 raspberry jam

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 12:25 PM

GW2 desperately needs a zerg-breaker. But it needs to be something more general than a condition.

#9 Feathermoore

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 01:55 PM

I am unsure whether Anet would ever bring the GW1 disease style into GW2. Not because it isn't a great skill, but because of the potential of trolling. If a world boss were to have the contagious condition as part of the fight making it so players have to spread out, you are going to get people who find it amusing to sprint around through the battle purposefully infecting pockets. The internet is a wonderful place.

Maybe they would though. It isn't like disease ever was the complete cause of a death, it was just really powerful consistent pressure. Toxin also just doesn't sound like something that is contagious.

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#10 Reason on Cooldown

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 03:28 PM

View PostDonZardeone, on 27 October 2013 - 07:30 AM, said:

Hah, I'm Charr, I don't get your human diseases and last I heard, them salad guys can't be corrupted

Considering all combat is basically magical by nature, I'm quite sure someone can conjure up a magical disease that has no specific species immunity.  Last I checked Charr are certainly not immune to dragon corruption..........now that would make an interesting condition, dragon corruptions.  I'm quite certain the Inquest are working on it. :)


View PostFeathermoore, on 27 October 2013 - 01:55 PM, said:

I am unsure whether Anet would ever bring the GW1 disease style into GW2. Not because it isn't a great skill, but because of the potential of trolling. If a world boss were to have the contagious condition as part of the fight making it so players have to spread out, you are going to get people who find it amusing to sprint around through the battle purposefully infecting pockets. The internet is a wonderful place.

Yes the possibility of trolling is high.  Although they can only do it for so long before succumbing to it, and there is always the chance of inadvertent condition removal cleansing it off them.  I'm not sure trolling would be any more effective at spreading it than overall ignorance of the general populace in how to deal with it.

The best way to break a zerg, is to make people not want to zerg.  Not force some game mechanic that punishes them for doing so.  Because some people won't get it....especially since GW2 didn't introduce anti-zerging habits early on.

#11 raspberry jam

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 03:48 PM

View PostReason on Cooldown, on 27 October 2013 - 03:28 PM, said:

The best way to break a zerg, is to make people not want to zerg.  Not force some game mechanic that punishes them for doing so.  Because some people won't get it....especially since GW2 didn't introduce anti-zerging habits early on.
Exactly, this. There needs to be some fundamental zerg-breaker deep in the mechanics, not something tacked on outside.

#12 Macha

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 04:20 PM

Scaling on events and bosses is supposed to work like that, but we all know that except for Grenth, it doesn't work anywhere else... Zergs win :mellow:

#13 Nyid

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 04:51 PM

View PostPhenn, on 27 October 2013 - 04:42 AM, said:

Not to nit-pick (or is that Nyid-pick?), but this'd drop AoE Retaliation. :) There's no easy access (a la blast finishers) to AoE ConD removal.

Arkham makes sense to me, given that every profession is given access to an AoE ConD removal that takes care of Toxin. This'd do at least a little something to stem the tide of Toxin if it's transmittable. I'd love it if the Necro got access to Toxin and ways to manipulate it... Finally give us a unique edge.

Mixed up my finishers. Using a physical projectile or whirl in a light field removes conditions. Whether or not it removes conditions from allies or just the user, I don't know.

#14 Reason on Cooldown

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 05:31 PM

View PostMacha, on 27 October 2013 - 04:20 PM, said:

Scaling on events and bosses is supposed to work like that, but we all know that except for Grenth, it doesn't work anywhere else... Zergs win :mellow:

Does Grenth scaling break the zerg, or just discourage large numbers of people from showing up at all?  I wouldn't consider driving people away from an event as a zerg breaker.  Of course the alternative is just add health bars....either to the boss, or by adding more mobs.  And the only real thing the scaling does is apply a hand brake to the zerg.

The best way to break a zerg is to provide multiple simultaneous objectives to complete that all contribute to succeeding.  But hopefully can't be broken by farmers gravitating to whichever objective provides the best loot.

#15 Arkham Creed

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 05:43 PM

View PostReason on Cooldown, on 27 October 2013 - 05:31 PM, said:


The best way to break a zerg is to provide multiple simultaneous objectives to complete that all contribute to succeeding.  But hopefully can't be broken by farmers gravitating to whichever objective provides the best loot.

Arena net tried that with Scarlet's invasions. Just as soon as most people got their achievements they stopped caring about succeeding at all and just let the events fails while they happily farmed objectives with the best loot. Now since the invasions don't spawn as regularly anymore nobody pays attention to them at all. The only way "multiple simultaneous objectives" would work is if none of them gave loot at all, and you only get rewarded for finishing the meta event. Of course in that situation unless the meta has high odds of giving something really, really good people are just going to completely ignore it.

I get that people want some mechanical aspect that will bust up a zerg, but that sort of thing is the same as a MMO with universal appeal; a pipe dream that will never happen. The simple fact is that the vast majority of MMO players like zergs and will zerg anything they can simply because they can. The only way to stop a zerg is to make the act of forming a zerg equivalent to suicide.

#16 Macha

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 06:00 PM

View PostReason on Cooldown, on 27 October 2013 - 05:31 PM, said:

Does Grenth scaling break the zerg, or just discourage large numbers of people from showing up at all?
I'd say it has both end results. People are discouraged to join Grenth to not make the event scale upwards... Which then makes the zerg a lot smaller. But still, after the attacking phase, everyone is welcome to join the defending phase, thus reinstating the zerg...

#17 AKGeo

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 08:49 PM

View PostNyid, on 27 October 2013 - 02:35 AM, said:

Seems unlikely. From what I've heard of toxin there will be one particular skill that cleanses it that will be made available to every class. In my opinion it seems more likely that toxin will be seen in one particular part of the game (dungeons) in an agony-esque way. If I am wrong and toxin does functions similarly to GW1 disease it won't be a zerg breaker. The condition could easily be removed by blasting a light field.

Because retaliation is a great condition remover.

View PostPhenn, on 27 October 2013 - 04:42 AM, said:

Not to nit-pick (or is that Nyid-pick?), but this'd drop AoE Retaliation. :) There's no easy access (a la blast finishers) to AoE ConD removal.


Soldier runes on guardians and warriors. Mesmer Null Field. All of which should be in abundance in any large zerg encounter with known conditions applied to allies.

Edited by AKGeo, 27 October 2013 - 08:50 PM.


#18 Arkham Creed

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 09:23 PM

View PostAKGeo, on 27 October 2013 - 08:49 PM, said:

Soldier runes on guardians and warriors. Mesmer Null Field. All of which should be in abundance in any large zerg encounter with known conditions applied to allies.

Ah but there is the thing; that would require some degree of coordination. This concept, to me, isn’t so much about wiping zergs as it is discouraging uncoordinated play. Think about it; with the limitations of ally effecting AoE skills (they can only affect a maximum of five “nearby” players, and prioritize party members first) it would actually take a massive amount of team-play to deal with a contagious DoT condition. Say you use the skill when someone gets infected, but one of your allies nearby happens to have something meaningless (like a single about-to-expire-blind), well that is one less person you can actually cure of toxin/disease.

Furthermore think about just how rapidly this thing would transmit. Even if severely crippled; meaning it can only jump to one other target per “tick” per infected, and poetizes uninfected before stacking, it would still spread through a zerg almost unmanageably quickly. One infected becomes two, a second later two becomes four, by second three you have eight infected; more than a simple AoE condition remover can handle. That means your party or zerg would have to recognize and react to the infection almost instantly, otherwise it would spread way too fast for even multiple AoE clearing players to deal with. You can add, I assume, so even if the first AoE cure goes off perfectly and cures its maximum of five infected, if that happens on second three or after it won’t be enough. By second four you’re back up to six infected (once again more than a single condition removal can handle), then twelve, then twenty-four…without a massive coordinated effort it would simply spread too fast to be dealt with no matter how many anti-condition shouts and null fields you have. Especially if you end up with cover conditions like blind or cripple.

In the end this wouldn’t so much “kill” zergs as it would force them to spread out.  Using this would cause zergs to make the choice to split themselves into smaller and thereby more manageable groups. This would restore the multi-pronged assaults Arena Net intended in WvW as players would be reluctant to form single massive zergs due to the high risk of doing so. It could even be used in WvW or PvE dungeons to disrupt that now overused “stack on boss” strategy. Imagine giving it to a keep lord or other boss. Suddenly those zerker stacks are dropping like flies because they simple don’t have enough condition removal to keep deal with the rapidly spreading infection. Give it to a keep lord in WvW for an even more drastic effect.

Addendum:
Also imagine if this thing could jump to “nearby” targets rather than being limited to “adjacent.” Suddenly it can start jumping outside the range of your AoE condition removal. Someone on the far edge of that null field might get cleared, but he just infected someone outside of it. This person doesn’t notice right away, and moved away from the known infected, wanting to avoid getting it. He carries it away, spreading it further and further, and before long you simply don’t have the range do deal with it, even if you do have enough condition removal skills off cool-down.

Once again it would require coordination. Not only would you need a large number of condition removers, you would need them evenly spread out in the zerg for maximum coverage. Once again dealing with this just wouldn't be possible with a large number of "bads" in the zerg or party. And in the end isn't that what we all want but (at least some of us) wouldn't actually say? "Learn to play or GTFO."


Addendum II:
Hey I just realized; this would also make support a much more valuable role in basically all forms of play. So a contagious DoT condition would go an extremely long way toward doing that other thing we all –much more vocally- want out of Guild Wars 2; less dependency on pure DPS for high level content and an increased need for control and support.

Yes; even control would come out more important because of this. After all if you know that mob A likes to use an AoE toxin applying “aura” skill I imagine your party is going to want to keep that thing locked down with cripples, knocks, and immobilize just to keep it away from you.

....

It is a shame I am banned from the official forums, otherwise I'd make a suggestion thread for this. The more I think about the less I think this would simply be "cool" and the more I think that the game actually needs this condition.

Edited by Arkham Creed, 27 October 2013 - 09:46 PM.


#19 Phenn

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 09:39 PM

View PostArkham Creed, on 27 October 2013 - 09:23 PM, said:

~snip~

All makes sense in my estimation. My comment above about lack of "easy" access to AoE ConD clear still stands. Unlike blasting Water fields for spammable heals, or Fire for spammable Might, you can't spam ConD clear. The closest you can get is the Necro's many, many ConD manipulations, but even then it's not spamming. So I agree...toxin, if it works this way, will simultaneously open up new build routes for certain classes, and force coordinated play.

Edited by Phenn, 27 October 2013 - 09:40 PM.


#20 Arkham Creed

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 09:56 PM

View PostPhenn, on 27 October 2013 - 09:39 PM, said:

All makes sense in my estimation. My comment above about lack of "easy" access to AoE ConD clear still stands. Unlike blasting Water fields for spammable heals, or Fire for spammable Might, you can't spam ConD clear. The closest you can get is the Necro's many, many ConD manipulations, but even then it's not spamming. So I agree...toxin, if it works this way, will simultaneously open up new build routes for certain classes, and force coordinated play.

Agreed, although I would be remiss not to point out that there is a semi-spammable form of condition removal easily available to three professions.  Specifically shouts. Warriors, guardians, and rangers can all slot at least three shouts on their skill bars at one time, I think warriors can actually use more but I’m not sure as my experience with that profession is limited.  Additionally the sixth set bonus for Superior Runes of the Solider causes all shouts to remove a single condition from all valid nearby allies. Still maintaining the five cap of course.

So technically these professions could, in theory, have shot “spam bursts” of condition removal. Even so the range issue from my first addendum remains a valid point, and you must take into account cool-down times on those skills. So in theory a zerg or party could deal with something like this theoretical toxin, but it wouldn’t be easy and would –once again- demand a high level of zerg wide player coordination.

#21 MisterJaguar25

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 10:17 PM

I'm in favor of more skilled group play, I just hope it doesn't result in most pug dungeon runs going terribly. I would think, tho, the the average human being would have enough situational awareness to avoid going near party members while they have a dot that will infect them going back and forth endlessly, but my experiences in wow tell me otherwise......

Still tho, I hope your theory is what happens.

Edited by MisterJaguar25, 27 October 2013 - 10:18 PM.


#22 Arkham Creed

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 10:23 PM

It all depends on how common something like this is an how it scales. As I said it existed in the original Guild Wars and everyone found a way to live with it. In fact after a while it was just another condition, no one bothered to make specific mention of it. The game and its community had adapted to it, figured out how it worked, how to best use it, and how to best avoid it. I imagine the same thing would happen here. It gets added and there is a near instant forum fire; people both complaining about how it exists and about how it forces them to alter their builds or play styles. A few patches down the line people would have just learned to cope however, and that would be that. No one would notice or talk about it anymore, but just having it there would forever –subtly- change the game. A change for the better in my opinion.

#23 Phenn

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 10:26 PM

For sure--there's shout clears are definitely the most spammable access to ConD clear in GW2, BUT it necessitates traiting for it. Ultimately, such a necessity will push the support role closer to "viable" as it's hardER to maintain decent DPS and still run shout support. I'm all for more role specialization.

#24 Arkham Creed

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 10:30 PM

Phenn, clearly you and I are on the same page with this one.

#25 MisterJaguar25

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 10:40 PM

View PostArkham Creed, on 27 October 2013 - 10:23 PM, said:

It all depends on how common something like this is an how it scales. As I said it existed in the original Guild Wars and everyone found a way to live with it. In fact after a while it was just another condition, no one bothered to make specific mention of it. The game and its community had adapted to it, figured out how it worked, how to best use it, and how to best avoid it. I imagine the same thing would happen here. It gets added and there is a near instant forum fire; people both complaining about how it exists and about how it forces them to alter their builds or play styles. A few patches down the line people would have just learned to cope however, and that would be that. No one would notice or talk about it anymore, but just having it there would forever –subtly- change the game. A change for the better in my opinion.

I would hope that that will be the case, that the devs won't give in to bad player whining and nerf it like blizzard does.

#26 ZCKS

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 11:22 PM

I dunno, to me there seems to be much easier ways to break zergs in WvW then to come up with a brand new condition. (just dramatically raise the limit on AOE, especially from seige)

As for zergs in PvE, yes they are more complicated to break but not impossible. (Make bosses be able to dodge/block/parry, then give them more access to more of the existing conditions & give them a good chunk of + condition damage. Poof you now need more corrdination or you wont beat the boss.)

That being said a new condition similar to disease could be nice, though I don't think it would be a good idea for it to be as easily spread back - forth & be able to re infect people as easily as it did in GW1. Especially considering the existing problems with poison & burning (IE how easy it is for 1 person to keep them up forever & the fact the person with the most condition damage always takes precidence, thus making many peoples condition damage wasted)

Edited by ZCKS, 27 October 2013 - 11:23 PM.


#27 draxynnic

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:29 AM

View PostFeathermoore, on 27 October 2013 - 01:55 PM, said:

I am unsure whether Anet would ever bring the GW1 disease style into GW2. Not because it isn't a great skill, but because of the potential of trolling. If a world boss were to have the contagious condition as part of the fight making it so players have to spread out, you are going to get people who find it amusing to sprint around through the battle purposefully infecting pockets. The internet is a wonderful place.

Maybe they would though. It isn't like disease ever was the complete cause of a death, it was just really powerful consistent pressure. Toxin also just doesn't sound like something that is contagious.
That would be my concern as well. In GW1, disease worked because you could control who was in your party - you might have to take a risk on a PUG occasionally, but if they actively try to kitten you over you can note who they are and make sure they can't do it to you again. The same would apply for organised group play like dungeons and sPvP, but any situation where you have zergs, you also have no way of preventing troll-players from using any tools available to deliberately sabotage the group.
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#28 Darkobra

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 02:17 AM

View PostAKGeo, on 27 October 2013 - 08:49 PM, said:

Because retaliation is a great condition remover.

http://wiki.guildwar...cts_by_finisher

Points for trying.

#29 Miragee

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 08:37 AM

View PostMisterJaguar25, on 27 October 2013 - 10:40 PM, said:

I would hope that that will be the case, that the devs won't give in to bad player whining and nerf it like blizzard does.

Uhm they did that already with dungeons for example. Heart Quests are also a result of (not "bad" but rather not self-contained players) whining players.

View PostZCKS, on 27 October 2013 - 11:22 PM, said:

I dunno, to me there seems to be much easier ways to break zergs in WvW then to come up with a brand new condition. (just dramatically raise the limit on AOE, especially from seige)

Siege already has a cap of 50 (at least arrow carts). Others might be less.

If not for complete changes in the system that would support smaller groups instead of punishing zergs, I would personally rather higher the AoE cap for CC but not for Damage. AoE Damage Cap increase will just result in only range fights, making melee obsolete (and yes, melee is currently too strong).

However, both options would not kill zergs. It just may help because smaller groups are possibly more effective then. Zergs would be still the way to go for any not coordinated group.

#30 Tevesh

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 10:14 AM

Anti-zerg condition? You must be kidding. Contagious aoe poison is not going to stop any zergs anytime soon especially with the abundance of mass condition cleanses zergs run.

Three easy steps to remove zerging from the game:

1. Remove aoe target cap. You get into range = you get hit. Enough with this casual stuff.
2. Make all attacks hit friendlies if they are in range.
3. Remove downed state from the game. If you die, you die.
4. Remove the combo fields from the game, they do nothing to incenitive a skilled and strategic combat pace but rather lead to mass abuse and degenerate uses.
5. Make some weapon skills that are not just 'DUUUUU DOMOGEZ' but have actually complicated and strategic effects. Combat system as it is now is complete and utter failure.

In other news:

None of these will ever be implemented because of their shitty netcode and server architecture and total pandering to casuals, which renders anything but encouraging blob zergs near impossible.




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