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What do you think of the Trait Lines in GW2?


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#1 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:22 AM

A simple question up for discussion; we've talked extensively about gear but most of the impact a person has in game actually comes from traits and getting the skills "just right" so to speak resulting in anywhere from bolstering your conditions by 80% in some cases to producing a latent 50% more damage or having a base critical rate of 33%. However I also feel that there are a lot of weaker traits or "points" in the trait line where none of the traits are really any good even if the stats are conducive to the build itself.

It's a coin toss for me really; 50% of the traits are useful in my opinion and 50% are almost filler even if there are only 60 traits you can choose from per character enough have such little impact that they are easily forgotten or overlooked. I personally prefer gameplay to have 100% meaningful abilities and subabilities but I understand that not everyone feels the same way so how do you feel about the traits in the game? Their depth? Their accuracy to the class and whatever line they happen to be in? Even their placement in the trait line?

#2 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 02:08 PM

I think Diablo 3 is a superb example of traits being done right, or at least better: the game only has a few skills per class (which would be in line with GW2's aim for balance) and then each of those skills has multiple versions, some differing just slightly and some gaining completely different functionalities. Those kind of traits would be interesting, especially since A.Net created the impression in beta that that's how traits would actually work.

But as it stands now, traits are just a reminder of A.Net failing to deliver: traits should have been one of the cores of the game's horizontal progression, but instead nobody gives a shit about them because of how utterly plain and uninspired they are.

#3 Alex Dimitri

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 02:46 PM

I think that GW2 has very weak and flimsy trait system !
Reason for me thinkin this is basically lack of diversity, those 70 points don`t give any headroom in terms of creating uniq builds, all of them are just simple derivates from meta build. And those minor traits are no changable which makes things even more quirky and uninteresting. Skill tree systems are way better and offer players much needed diversity in build branching and support or offensive roles!
Sadly even if trait system is better it would be heavily hindered by gear, let`s say you want to play 2 different builds you simply cannot change traits and get results, you need to change gear and weapons to which is kind of pain in the butt (pocket).

There are so many strange decisions Anet made when creating GW2 that i`m prone to believe that their quest for "originality" just made things worse !

p.s. If they wanna make intresting or diverse aproach to builds they need to change this weak system or make armor/weapons stat changeable (specially taken into consideration the requirements when creating Ascended gear) it`s just to damn expensive and basically return is just not worth the trouble !

#4 Miragee

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 03:33 PM

I think there a some interesting ones but the majority is just boring +x% dmg/-x%recharge. They are too simple. It is obvious what to take and there are next to no interesting syngergies between traits that would lead to combine traits for a greater effect beyond the simple "more dmg".
Just to give one simple example, an interesting trait for me would be something like "Burning fields also chill in addition to burning" in the ele water line. But something like that alone wouldn't be interesting. The whole of the traits needs to be designed that way (and like some already interesting traits).

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 19 January 2014 - 02:08 PM, said:

I think Diablo 3 is a superb example of traits being done right, or at least better: the game only has a few skills per class (which would be in line with GW2's aim for balance) and then each of those skills has multiple versions, some differing just slightly and some gaining completely different functionalities. Those kind of traits would be interesting, especially since A.Net created the impression in beta that that's how traits would actually work.

But as it stands now, traits are just a reminder of A.Net failing to deliver: traits should have been one of the cores of the game's horizontal progression, but instead nobody gives a shit about them because of how utterly plain and uninspired they are.

I think nobody should take d3 as an example for skill/trait systems. It has neither high variety in viable game play option nor does it provide better balance than more complex systems. That's the problem: Such simple, dumbed down systems are still too complex for devs to balance but don't deliver enough depth for variety in gameplay, counters etc. so the balance can't come with players building counters against everything. It also leads to stuck metas very fast but that's just another problem.

#5 El Duderino

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 04:02 PM

The linear min/max way in which the combat in this game lends itself towards, in my opinion, makes the trait skills boring because they are almost obvious. There is almost always a "right" way to do traits depending on what you are trying to do. I think if they made more options available to players in regards to support/control then there would be real consideration for traits - especially when talking about an entire team's build and not just for a solo player. As it stands, the game is really built more around solo-ing than team building which inhibits the whole thing.

#6 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 04:23 PM

View PostMiragee, on 19 January 2014 - 03:33 PM, said:

I think nobody should take d3 as an example for skill/trait systems. It has neither high variety in viable game play option nor does it provide better balance than more complex systems. That's the problem: Such simple, dumbed down systems are still too complex for devs to balance but don't deliver enough depth for variety in gameplay, counters etc. so the balance can't come with players building counters against everything. It also leads to stuck metas very fast but that's just another problem.

Oh, I definitely accept that D3 has balance issues.  But at the same time, I had more fun with the D3 skill system than the GW2 one, despite D3 being even more dumbed down than the GW2 one. Despite the fact that D3 has less options (or maybe even because of it, since a lower number of options actually allowed the devs to create unique options. The opposite can once again be see in in GW2, where the game has so many classes that A.Net simply didn't know what to do with them and they ultimately all ended up doing the exact same thing), the options that are present are much more intriguing than the GW2 ones.

Edited by Baron von Scrufflebutt, 19 January 2014 - 04:25 PM.


#7 Epixors

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 05:42 PM

To touch on the D3 system, even though it may be more dumbed down and with even less options, it does offer very clear descriptions of what something does, it gives one skill many different touches and most important of all IT HAS TONS OF SYNERGY. In D3 it's possible to create a build where almost all skills can work together as a whole to provide a strong result (CM Wizard) where as in GW2 all you do is trying to hit as many damage modifiers as possible so your auto-attack and burst rotations are better.

The reason I believe the GW2 system is flawed is this:

1. Even though they promote it as a really flexible and customizable system it's very inflexible. You are forced to spend a certain amount of points for traits you may not even want to get just so you can get that one Grandmaster trait that is appealing and there isn't even any choice for the minor traits.

2. There is very little improvements in terms of builds/utilities. Most things come down to: apply x when you do y, improve x by y%, reduce the cooldown of x by y%, etc. Now this may not even be that bad if there were tiers, but there aren't. You can't improve more on cooldown than on damage and vice versa, you are forced to pick it and can't change any values. There are very little things that do something interesting for utility skills that really change them or make them worth using over the base variants of inherently better utility skills.

3. Stats shouldn't be related to trait lines, it's just annoying.

#8 Konzacelt

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 05:52 PM

I hate them.

I understand why ANet made them this way, but I still think it is a lousy way to implement character customization.
  • First of all, by choosing one trait line because of its primary attribute, I'm forced into accepting a secondary attribute I may not even want; for instance, if my guardian wants points in Toughness I have to accept zerker Crit Damage % along with it?
  • Secondly, the traits themselves often don't make sense and don't synergize in the traitline they are in; for instance having the good Ranger trap skills in the Precision and Crit Damage % line...
  • Thirdly, the minor traits we don't get to choose at all and are often not wanted at all; for instance that immensely annoying minion summon in the toughness traitline of Necros.
I get they are doing all of that to force any trinity-like or "overpowered" builds away from players, but it in the end all it does is create a system that forces you to build your toon in the few "acceptable" builds ANet wants you to have.  Does anyone remember back before the BWE's that the abilties themselves(Power, Prec, Vit, Toughness) were slightly manually adjustable?  I wish they had kept that...even if it brought about a more "trinity-like" feel to the game.  At least we would have had more control over what we wanted.

#9 lalangamena

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 06:52 PM

the trait lines have much potential but badly implemented.

in the current situation the feel random at most, and some of them made just to fill the slot.
also, as people mentioned no actual depth in developing a character, no real choices.

they could be much better if they were in the following setup where with every point you had the choice which stat you get, and the stat lines are clear:

line 1 -> burst damage (aka active damage) you chose between: power and critical chance
line 2 -> condition damage (aka passive damage) you chose between condition damage and condition duration
line 3 -> mitigation   (aka passive defense) you chose between toughness and vitality
line 4 -> support  (aka active defense) you chose between healing power and boon duration
line 5 -> class specific  the special class mechanic utility.

critical damage should be removed from trait lines. it should exist only on gear/buffs etc.
(or it should affect everything including healing, conditions and  boons and be set a s a secondary stat on line 5 )

and the traits should fit the lines and not be random. when the grandmaster trait should define the line.
for example: guardian/soldier/engineer grandmaster trait in toughness line can be that wielding a shield grants you passive 20% damage reduction.

grandmaster trait on condition duration line can double the base duration of all CC conditions.

grandmaster trait on support line can be either double the coefficient of healing power on all skills all double the base duration on all your boons.

grandmaster trait on burst damage can be something like fury boon on each weapon skill5 use, or stacking effect on critical hit (something like a sigil that caps on 25 stacks until you die or switch map)

Edited by lalangamena, 19 January 2014 - 06:53 PM.


#10 Featherman

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 08:12 PM

It's uninteresting for for several reason:

1) There are too many obvious choices and they're often not spread out in a way that would create interesting trade offs.
2) Most of the aforementioned choices have to deal with making skills they affect slightly stronger. They don't change playstyle.
3) The skill system complimented by traits is uninteresting and spammy, which veers player choices towards maximizing DPS and dumping the rest in marginal utility improvements.
4) There are a few interesting traits that define playstyles but they're only relevant in PvP. These traits range from gimmicky to overpowered, I believe this is due to the PvP meta being based around hard counters rather than skill.




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