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Have ANet responded to weapon/skill criticism? A question about ANet transparency.


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#1 Lajm

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 09:13 AM

Hello!

I rarely visit the forums but I have seen after a bit of searching that I'm not the only one who finds the skill system very boring and static. I have found a lot of threads on different forums where people agree on this, but no word form ANet.

Have ArenaNet ever "answered"/"acknowledged " these complaints. Not that they must instantly "fix" it because some people don't like it. But I'd hope that they would at least say either that they will look in to it and "fix" it, or that it's just what they want it to be and i'ts not going to change.

And from a bigger perspective, are the GW2 devs transparent with what they are doing, and are they "interacting" with the community?

#2 Senatic

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 09:49 AM

No.

Combat being "Boring and static..." is a incredibly generic complaint that could mean any of a thousand things. Furthermore boring is a completely subjective perspective that is unhelpful in determining exactly what it is that makes you not enjoy this aspect of the game. As for combat being static, depends on in which way you mean it - if you are talking about the combat being static in the sense of WoW or even GW1 where you run up, use your skills and don't move, then you are just plain factually wrong. If you mean it in the sense of that the meta of the game is not dynamic enough and that each run of a dungeon is much the same as the last one, then well yes but people are gonna figure out the most effective way to do something no matter how you design the game.

There are problems with GW2 combat for sure, lack of meaningful interaction between professions, the constant stack and LOS tactics, trash mobs being skip-able, bosses (for the most part, not always) being giant HP sponges that take way too long to kill without a full dps party, bosses without meaningful differences in combat mechanics, the defiant mechanic and so on and on. I could make a long list of things that needs addressing and to my knowledge none of these things have been officially acknowledged by Anet as things they are working on, mind you that doesn't mean they aren't.

From a bigger perspective I would say ArenaNet is not at all transparent with the community, and for the most part (there's a few exceptions with a select few devs on the forums) they are not interactive with us either. Even with something as the CDI it's more us giving feedback, them reading it and picking and choosing what to work at without interacting with us much at all. They will never ever announce anything they are working on unless they are weeks from releasing it (because they think the community can't handle it if they need to scrap the system or rework it so it gets delayed.) Take the living Story S02 as an example, we're 4 weeks away from the start of the next season of the Living story and all they did for a release page was a picture of a portal and a date, no real information what so ever. And they are extremely tight lipped about patches in general, often sneaking in updates to dungeons and various parts of the game without putting them in the patch notes. So overall I'd personally rate ArenaNet's transparency and interactivity with the community at a 3/10.

Edited by Senatic, 05 June 2014 - 09:58 AM.


#3 Feathermoore

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 12:42 PM

ANet has a "don't tell till we are about to release it" policy. They typically don't release any information about their plans or thoughts on systems or the development of new features. Sometimes they will post on little things, but the current mindset is to avoid annoying players by not delivering things. This was likely largely sparked by some of the large changes or missing features at release (and/or currently) that were big deals during development where they released a lot of information about systems and design goals/plans that didn't come through. ANet currently operates by releasing teasers just before content releases and barely ever talks about non-content related development unless that content is being released in a week or two.

I personally think that it is the wrong mindset to have since it gives the impression that they don't care about player feedback or even pay attention to it. They implemented the CDI when it became clear that their policy was resulting in this image, but the CDI is not the same as being interactive in player communication since it is controlled and usually involves such little interaction that you can't tell if it is a dog and pony show with no substance.

Frankly, I scratch my head at the policy as one of the stated goals is to develop a vibrant community in GW2. A large part of that is to interact with the community on a non-PR level. I just don't see how they are trying to develop a community when they fail to interact with it. That is on top of the large lack of basic community related tools that exists in the game itself. You can't develop a community without supporting it at all levels and the support is lacking.

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#4 Lajm

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 01:45 PM

Thanks for the responses!

View PostSenatic, on 05 June 2014 - 09:49 AM, said:

Combat being "Boring and static..." is a incredibly generic complaint that could mean any of a thousand things.

I didn't intent to make this yet another thread on exactly what is wrong and why.

To keep it simple, the weapon spells are the ones that gives the most impact, and they are static. Sure you can try a different weapon, but i maybe loved 2 skills on my 2 handed weapon, and now I'm stuck with 3 spells i don't like! Also, I doubt that all players like all the weapons anyway that leaves you with even less weapons to choose from, and every time you use a great sword its exactly the same experience.
Then there are the utility skills. Some are good but most of the skills have much less impact, and are just boring (signets for example). They don't do as much as the weapon skills. And you only get to choose 3 of them, one is bound to be a healing one, and the last one to be a LONG cd elite.
Just so little customization! :( I played GW1 (very much) and WoW prior to GW2, and both of those games have much more skill/build customization in different ways.
Other than that I love the GW2 combat idea of moving and dodging! It's just the lack of skill-customization i miss which makes the game very repetitive to play unless i solo a champion or something!

Sad to hear that you rate their transparency so low as well :(

View PostFeathermoore, on 05 June 2014 - 12:42 PM, said:

ANet has a "don't tell till we are about to release it" policy. They typically don't release any information about their plans or thoughts on systems or the development of new features. Sometimes they will post on little things, but the current mindset is to avoid annoying players by not delivering things. This was likely largely sparked by some of the large changes or missing features at release (and/or currently) that were big deals during development where they released a lot of information about systems and design goals/plans that didn't come through. ANet currently operates by releasing teasers just before content releases and barely ever talks about non-content related development unless that content is being released in a week or two.

I personally think that it is the wrong mindset to have since it gives the impression that they don't care about player feedback or even pay attention to it. They implemented the CDI when it became clear that their policy was resulting in this image, but the CDI is not the same as being interactive in player communication since it is controlled and usually involves such little interaction that you can't tell if it is a dog and pony show with no substance.

Frankly, I scratch my head at the policy as one of the stated goals is to develop a vibrant community in GW2. A large part of that is to interact with the community on a non-PR level. I just don't see how they are trying to develop a community when they fail to interact with it. That is on top of the large lack of basic community related tools that exists in the game itself. You can't develop a community without supporting it at all levels and the support is lacking.
Yeah i agree with you! Seems strange. I'm a bit sad this happened. During the development they seem much more transparent and I loved to read about the plans. Even though some things they talked about where abandoned I'd rather be in for that than not knowing anything at all! That's just me though..

#5 davadude

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 02:02 PM

Arenanet do not give us insight into their development or feedback collection processes in the fear of creating expectations.  This rule came into hard play after they announced the precursor hunt more than a year ago that would be implemented by the end of 2012, and community outlash came when they did not implement it due to a change in the loot systems.  Since then, they've kept their lips shut about the process.
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#6 RandolfRa

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 09:22 PM

Quote

Combat being "Boring and static..." is a incredibly generic complaint that could mean any of a thousand things.
It's bloody obvious what it means in this context though. You can literally face roll most of the encounters in this game. That if anything, is boring.

Quote

I could make a long list of things that needs addressing and to my knowledge none of these things have been officially acknowledged by Anet as things they are working on, mind you that doesn't mean they aren't.
Doesn't mean that they are either.

Edited by RandolfRa, 06 June 2014 - 09:40 PM.


#7 I post stuff

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 01:24 AM

*generic "most of the encounters are face roll, ded gam" comment*

#8 MCBiohazard

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 03:55 AM

Most game companies are once bitten twice shy about being open with their playerbases. And honestly, you can't really blame them, the signal to noise ratio even in dev/community relationships that were touted to be very open and interactive (Cryptic Studios during their City of Heroes days, early Riot Games) is so low that it drives even the most friendly and outgoing devs into hiding after words are twisted, supposed promises are broken, mountains made out of molehills, the worst kind of hyperbole, ad hominem, tinfoil hat conspiracies and downright gamer cynicism about everything. There's an adversarial component these days to just about every game community where some players seem to somehow not believe that the devs are doing their best to maintain and improve the game they apparently are so passionate about that they scream and yell about every single change that comes down the pipeline and continue to scream and yell long after they're tired of the game but not of their own screaming and yelling. It does go both ways, though. Game companies will screw the pooch hard sometimes too and they should expect to be called out on it. They need a thick skin to survive this business. But just because skin is thick doesn't mean you can test it with a flamethrower all the time. Perspective is needed on all sides.

#9 Galphar

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 04:18 PM

A-net was very open during GW. You would have Gaile Grey show up at least once a week in LA (or Kamadan later) and talk with the community. It was a great way for the players to voice their concerns or give praise about the game. With them now having "Official" forums, it's not surprising that you don't see any ANet people ingame doing discussions like in GW.

The surprising thing is the lack of communication on the "Official" forums. Seems only way to even talk to someone from ANet now is to put in a support ticket and hope you get a real person to respond and not a form letter telling you the problem is taken care of.

#10 fireflyry

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 04:00 PM

They had to be more open and responsive with GW1 in regards to the skill and combat system as the balancing issue was a huge ever changing behemoth of a creature in comparison to this game.Without good...ok decent...rapport with the community it would have been a mess, or at least more of a mess.At the least it would have made their job ten times harder. GW2 has no way near the amount of complexity or possibly harmful repercussions, exploits, bugs, etc that skill or combat changes can or could bring about as every player and class in GW2 is really just a subtle variation of a handful of pre-set builds and mechanics that are tightly and intentionally restrictive and controlled by their very design.

Changing a skill in GW2 is like dropping a pebble in a pond...in GW1 it was often like rolling a boulder into it....off a cliff.

GW1 was also, at least for the first few years, far more focused on their skill > time mantra and far more so on competitive PvP like GvG as opposed to the far greater PvE focus of GW2 with more casually focused PvP formats like sPvP and WvW.

If you want a PvP focused game to be taken seriously, and more so release well and continue to thrive, you HAVE to have healthy and frequent contact with the player-base.

In saying I don't think they will ever change the fundamental combat outside subtle differences and tweaks.It is what it is, either deal with it or play another game would be my thoughts in regards to how Anet views this issue, more so when I am honestly of the opinion that the majority of players prefer the game this way.Observe the episodic dumbing down of PvE content in GW1 if you need an example of where Anet and the majority of players were heading.This would explain the silence.Better to keep quiet than piss off a subset of the player base by saying it's never going to happen and although comparatively I'm not a huge fan of the combat either I think learning to accept it and deal with it is a far better alternative than to have such lofty and unrealistic expectations as a complete overhaul.

Sad to say this is a minority complaint from niche players in a franchise that has openly and publicly evolved from a skill based game into a mass-marketed theme park that wants to cater to the masses and more casual player as opposed to the handful that complain on forums like this.Sucks if you are in that minority to be sure but really...it's just good business and lets be realistic here...are you still playing the game?Not saying that's justification for bad mechanics mind you but why change it if in reality those handful of players will have a little whine every now and then..get over it...go log back in and enjoy themselves anyway?

As such I see about as much chance of a weapon/skill overhaul in this game as I do of Keanu Reeves winning the best actor oscar.

Not totally impossible...but pretty close to it.

Edited by fireflyry, 08 June 2014 - 04:07 PM.


#11 Lajm

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 09:56 PM

Thanks for the reply!

And yes, I'm still playing the game (95% PvE player)! I thinks it's very good in many aspects, the skill system is the thing that I dislike the most in the game, but not enough to keep me from playing. It is, however, what ultimately makes me bored of the game and a big reason why I play it in "waves".
Again thanks everyone for the replies! It made things clear to me at least!

Edited by Lajm, 08 June 2014 - 09:56 PM.


#12 Kymeric

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 01:25 AM

It wasn't just during GW1 that they were more interactive and transparent.  Right up to launch they were pretty open and responded to the community.

I was sad to see that shift over to PR speak and leashing the development team to keep them from speaking out of turn, as it were.

One of the things I touted about the game in the days leading up to launch was the transparency.  I remember the stark contrast from Trion in the year leading up to Rift.  I had little excitement about Rift in spite of some of the interesting things they were trying, because they didn't elaborate on it at all.  I had no idea by the time Rift launched why I should think it was going to be anything special.  GW2, on the other hand, had a clearly communicated vision and many glimpses into the journey development had taken.

At launch, I got a GW2 that was almost exactly what I expected because ArenaNet had been so open about it.  Of course, that quickly changed, and now I have very little idea what to expect is in store for GW2.

You can see it in the reaction of the player base.  Living Story part 2!  Hurray?  ArenaNet has done their, now typical, vague messaging that they've been listening, things will be better, they're iterating their hearts out for us.... but there are so few details to feed any hope that LS2.0 will be all that different (story log thingy aside).  So people want to hope manage to cobble some together while the people who feel burnt shrug and expect that it will be more of the same and the forums are filled with a low-burn animosity that comes from uncertainty.

#13 fireflyry

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:28 AM

View PostKymeric, on 09 June 2014 - 01:25 AM, said:

At launch, I got a GW2 that was almost exactly what I expected because ArenaNet had been so open about it.  Of course, that quickly changed, and now I have very little idea what to expect is in store for GW2.

True.

I guess as somebody who came from 7-8 years in GW1 this all comes as no surprise, especially after the release of Nightfall.I pre-ordered that expansion and being the PvP fan I was at the time squealed like a little girl after watching the included "behind the scenes at Nightfall's development " DVD where it was put on record that the next expansion would be PvP focused.They said it in black and white, not in some easily taken back or disputable/forgettable website/forum post, but on camera.

Then EotN dropped.

From that point on I kind of gave up on Anets transparency and communication to the player base as it was pretty clear that they were heading in a new direction I really didn't care to much for and the small group of passionately vocal players who caught them out on this were largely ignored or quelled with ambiguous and infrequent feedback. PvP slowly died and morphed into Botwars and PvE, now with a ton of grind and easywin options, became the new meta.

In some ways I admire the attitude, come along for the ride or get off, your choice.In other ways it seems so counter-productive to start moving in one direction, which was so critically welcomed by both players and the larger gaming community,  only to do a complete 180 a few years later, more so with the games sequel.It's like a country band winning a grammy only to then release a death metal album while ignoring the totally confused cowboys turning up to their gigs.

In this regard while I agree that many players are running around like headless chickens wondering whats next I truly have very little expectation in Anet ever openly communicating the "why?" of their decisions.They really just seem to go in the direction they want and it's up to the player to either like it or move on.In saying this is a company that has a record of releasing expansions that can totally change their game in one foul swoop so who knows?

I'm not a fan of the way they alienate criticism now though.Unless it's a major bug it's a "zip lips and throw away the key" attitude for the most part.

Edited by fireflyry, 09 June 2014 - 02:33 AM.


#14 pumpkin pie

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 01:48 PM

No respond does not mean they aren't looking into it, i've posted some  graphical anomaly on the official forum over a year ago (approx) couple of weeks ago, to my surprise, they have actually fixed it.

weapon skills compare to a graphic anomaly is a huge different, i am pretty sure they are working on something, we just don't know it. that's all.

#15 Arquenya

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:32 AM

View Postpumpkin pie, on 10 June 2014 - 01:48 PM, said:

weapon skills compare to a graphic anomaly is a huge different, i am pretty sure they are working on something, we just don't know it. that's all.
Well .. at least they changed things like account wide unlocking of dyes and removing magic find gear. Which are good.

But yes, I agree the weaponskill system is rather limiting. For each class there's only a few good combinations - and the rest is hardly ever used because the corresponding skills are subpar. Effectively reducing the number viable options to about ~20% (if you're lucky) of what's avalable.

This is clearly a design flaw. It would be nice if you had, for example, 2 or 3 skills per weapon/slot to pick from so every weapon build could be equally effective. Of course there will still be a limited number of highly effective skills but at least you can actually use every available weapon combination, most of which are redundant at the moment.

#16 zwei2stein

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:50 AM

Quote

Have ArenaNet ever "answered"/"acknowledged " these complaints.

Does anyone else find this very weird?

I would expect players demading response to ... major bugs, prevalent quality of life issues hurting vast majority of players, other players abuses (cheating, botting, wvw griefers) or server downtime/instability.

But to integral feature of game, "design flaws" in content?

Responding to every concern of players is not a good thing to do - there are so many of them. They are often contractions of each other. For example, I like current limited system and would be severelly annoyed if it was closer to GW1 system of enabling crappier builds instead of giving everyone ballanced-ish standart.

Developers weighting most arguments and being transparent about it would add incredible amount of busy work for them that is not productive.

#17 mythil1984

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 10:21 PM

View PostGalphar, on 07 June 2014 - 04:18 PM, said:

A-net was very open during GW. You would have Gaile Grey show up at least once a week in LA (or Kamadan later) and talk with the community. It was a great way for the players to voice their concerns or give praise about the game. With them now having "Official" forums, it's not surprising that you don't see any ANet people ingame doing discussions like in GW.

The surprising thing is the lack of communication on the "Official" forums. Seems only way to even talk to someone from ANet now is to put in a support ticket and hope you get a real person to respond and not a form letter telling you the problem is taken care of.

People don't really want to use the main forums as, well if you say one bad thing about Anet or GW2 on the official forums, a totally legitimate comment it'll get removed and you will get strikes on your account. They don't want anyone saying anything bad about the game, it will just get removed and the poster and replies punished.

#18 Haggus

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 11:06 PM

I think part of it is, looked what happened during the time they were working on GW2.  Remember Tabula Rasa?  Warhammer Age of Reckoning?  Age of Conan?  Three big name games, Two with great IP and one by the guy who gave us friggin' Ultima Online.  Two failed miserably and one barely saved itself by going FTP.  All happened around the same time they were starting work on GW2.  I think they took heed and said, "Let's make sure the game is ready before we release it.  Let's give as little out as possible, so one, players will be surprised, and two, the bloggers won't have anything to tear apart."  

There are times, however, when you need to get input from players, and not be afraid of people complaining.  There is an old saying: a happy sailor is a bitching sailor.  If players are complaining, it means you are getting enough right that they feel passionate about the game, and want to point out these things so the game can continue to be successful.  I'm sure the guys at Rasa and W:AoR wish they'd had half the griping populace this game has.

They need to have a better head of PR: one of the devs, maybe, to pop on and just let people know they aren't being insular.

#19 ExplosivePinata

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 03:14 AM

I think f you find the skill system boring you need to bail asap. The trait update is mundanity in a nutshell.

#20 Rifky Rayn

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:16 AM

I think I must be the only one who remembers them speaking about adding new skills... Sorry, I can't find a reference now, but it went like this: their philosophy from the start was "weapons are builds", so they're very hesitant about adding more flexibility in build making, but they probably will increase the set of skills for each weapon, so you can make some tweaks to the fixed builds. However! The plan for the process of adding skills was, or still is, to add new healing skills, then new utility skills, then new elite skills, and then new weapon skills. It was said around the time of adding new healing skills, so quite a long time ago and the process hasn't moved forward so far...

#21 I post stuff

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 11:58 AM

The criticism on the forums is usually so low quality that Anet just ignores them. I mean, meta complaints give lots of forum cred, so people copypaste them dozens of times each day. Anet probably replied to one of those at some point  but this got buried by all the spam.

Me? I don't really care, a fundamental change to how this game works might make it a lot worse. Yes it might get better, but knowing Anet's tendency to half-ass greatness it will probably be worse.

#22 Soki

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 01:26 PM

I just want options in weapon skill slots.
That's all I want.

#23 Doctor Gonzo

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 10:57 PM

I think Anet should increase base hit points for all classes by around 5,000-15,000 hit points because without it I don't think most builds could handle a weapon skill overhaul.
  I felt like the Thief was the easiest class to pick other builds apart, mostly because  they're the only class that weapon skills are resource based, and I would like to see atleast half the classes change from the full cooldown weapon skill setup to resource based ( or something similar to ) weapon skills.

        The full cooldown skill set works for some classes ( even more so in pve) , but in pvp with dodges and blocks leading to you missing on a 20+ second cooldown skill ( which most skills after weapon skills 2 or 3 are ) makes for alot of auto-attacking.  And with some classes able to dodge for a better part of a fight this gets ridiculous.

        Some might argue that a move towards more weapons without cooldowns would change the pace of combat for the worse, but I believe if the hit point increase is handled appropriately the pace of the combat doesn't need to change much if at all.

        Now the hit point increase would seem counter-productive with dodging and blocking making nearly any build a tank of sorts, and some classes no longer having weapon skill cooldowns could lead to some really long and annoying stun locks, fears, and snares ( which can already stack up to very long durations ).  But if you could also trade a bar ( or so ) of endurance for a snare or crowd control removal this has the potential to cut back on dodging and make pvp much more reactionary rather than hoping half your skills don't get dodged.

        I would also like to see crowd control abilities relying on a cooldown have a 2-3 times longer disabling effect, which wouldn't be as annoying as some might think, unless you're dodge spamming then eat a long crowd control ability.  This would add a bit of depth and strategy to pvp.  Some other skills I would like to see the range increase such as the Guardian greatsword pull skill and the hammer aoe barrier.  These range and duration increases on some utility and CC skills along with the ability to break CC or snare with endurance could I think make pvp and potentially pve a much more enjoyable experience.

        If possible more skill combos would be a welcome addition as well.  Similar to aoe fields and blast finisher combos but not aoe based combos.  More like a debuff applied with one skill ( that lasts 2-3 seconds ) and the potential to have a follow up skill ( used by yourself or ally ) with added effect through the applied debuff.  This could lead to things such as simply doing extra damage with certain skills appropriate for the debuff, and healing or shielding an ally.  I also think this could be used in a similar way for allies to break eachother out of CC's ( say a full CC lasting 8 seconds could be broken early by an ally ).

        Back to the weapon skills.  Rather than just add new weapon skills all around for all classes some variety would be nice.  Maybe add the option for a second attack chain / combo behind other weapon skills for some classes ( some classes already have things like this but other classes could benefit greatly from it as well ).
  Maybe allow the Necromancer ( which I believe without greatly changing them should remain with cooldown based weapon skills ) to slot some utility skills ontop of certain weapon skills to add the effect onto the weapon skill ( I always felt like I could use just a bit more utility to play melee necro the way I want ).

        I also want a UI button that remembers two builds, gear, and slot skills that you can use to swap between in combat ( I think this would work in WvW but I don't think this should be usable in spvp / tpvp ).  I'm not sure if it would be better to have this template swap option run on a hefty cooldown ( say 20-30 minutes ), or make it have no cooldown but come with limitations for a little while after use.

        The template save and swap button could open up new ways to design bosses, where you might want to dps hard first part of fight then swap templates to prepare for whatever the boss throws at you next ( a condition removal needed phase or maybe the boss has a berserk phase you may need to have someone switch mid-fight to a tank type build or healer set ).

        This also holds the potential of doubling my playtime.  I get bored playing after a while for many of the above reasons and some I didn't mention, but a saved template swap would go a long way to keep things fresh,  even more so if the swap can be used in combat.

        With all these dream changes of mine pve enemies would have to be changed.  Anet could go the easy lame route and just increase enemy damage and hitpoints.  But if possible I'd like to see only a slight enemy damage / hitpoint increase and add a skill or three to the enemy's skill set.

        I have many more ideas for this game and it's easy from the outside looking in to argue for all these things but realistically some of this isn't possible I'm sure.  I know if Anet made even some of these changes I would be back to playing regularly,  and it would've been nice if they had made some changes like these before starting up LS2.

#24 Ensis

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  • Location:Shing Jea Monestary
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Posted 15 July 2014 - 05:51 AM

View PostSoki, on 08 July 2014 - 01:26 PM, said:

I just want options in weapon skill slots.
That's all I want.

I could maybe see them having different sets of weapon skills available to choose from. Not sure if I would like it if they implemented the GW1 style.

Edited by Ensis, 15 July 2014 - 05:51 AM.





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