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#2293260 Why Do People Call GW2's Combat "Action"?

Posted Phenn on 10 February 2014 - 04:30 PM

View PostBeyond Freedom, on 10 February 2014 - 04:17 PM, said:

...GW2 was actually designed to have a trinity, but it has failed at it.

This is the heart of the matter. The supposed Trinity was Damage, Control, and Support. Given the high-mobility facet of the game, the latter two roles would demand a high level of precise timing and teamwork. To that extent, GW2 might have been an fast-paced action game, complete with specific and crucial counters to incoming attacks.

Instead, ANet rushed GW2 out the door, slapped a horrible buff, Unshakable, onto PvE boss mobs, generalized the professions to the level of brown mush ("if everyone's special, no one's special"), and shipped it that way.

Ever since, the devs have desperately tried to argue "working as intended," despite over a year's worth of play time showing otherwise. And rather than fix these fundamental problems, they cling to PvP like rats to a sinking ship hoping eSports will keep them afloat.

Don't get me wrong--I like GW2. I just wish it'd become what it was touted to be.

#2272184 Reddit X-Post CDI: Character Progression Dev Responses

Posted Feathermoore on 17 December 2013 - 01:51 PM

View PostFeatherman, on 17 December 2013 - 05:36 AM, said:

Quote on time gates from Izzy.

What's interesting about this, I think, is that it's written from a perspective where rewards are driving factor for gameplay, but that probably makes sense because he's talking about the importance of spacing out rewards and power. It's a shame that MMOs in general have to go through so much hassle to prevent saturation of power and assets to retain players. Given GW2's the level and hard power cap, though, I personally don't think it would have been much of an issue for the players (not necessarily the game) if they were allowed get ascended as quickly as possible.

This is just me speaking, but I don't think that "mass" should be so highly rated when the amount of interaction between its constituents is low. I also dislike his reasoning that more mass equals more fun, or at least not in the manner he's saying it. Aside from maybe map zerging (for those who enjoy it) what activities are more fun after you've gotten a full party anyway?

0.o How can the pressure to complete a time gate be a negative for people who have a lot of time because it feels like they never get to what they want to do, and a positive to the people with less time because it encourages them to log-in every day and might turn into playing with friends? If the people with lots of time feel like they don't get to the gameplay they want to, there is no way the people with less time who log in for the time gates would ever get to do anything other than the time gates.

This is why I completely ignore all the time gated material. I can't participate in it. I don't have the time to do that even though I would do it if it wasn't gated. I don't know if he just has the statements backwards (with respect to which group of people it is a pro/con for) or if it is an attempt to spin time gate as being friendly to people with limited play time. Because it definitely isn't.

#2272208 Reddit X-Post CDI: Character Progression Dev Responses

Posted MazingerZ on 17 December 2013 - 02:28 PM

View PostFeathermoore, on 17 December 2013 - 01:51 PM, said:


I just like how every time they come down from the mount because silence is causing them damage and unrest, when they open their mouths, it just kind of ultimately works against them if you actually read what they're saying, once the glow of actually opening a dialogue with them wears off.

#2272010 Reddit X-Post CDI: Character Progression Dev Responses

Posted MazingerZ on 16 December 2013 - 07:51 PM

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 16 December 2013 - 09:25 AM, said:

This game absolutely needs borders: they need to understand that they can't please everyone.

Here lies the problem.  They're probably unwilling (and perhaps outright scared) to define this stuff because they have absolutely no idea how it'll affect the bottom line.  They cannot risk people walking away from the game, for any reason, which is why they're stuck in this weird dimension of bi-weekly content releases, but at the same time, anyone who stops playing for 3-4 months is probably going be vastly disinterested when they come back.

Considering the competition coming up in the following year, that's even more incentive to not rock the boat.

#2271920 Reddit X-Post CDI: Character Progression Dev Responses

Posted Baron von Scrufflebutt on 16 December 2013 - 09:25 AM

This CDI does not make sense because A.Net does not know what it wants to do with its game, or at least, they aren't honest about it. GW2, in its core is a horizontal progression game: levelling stops making sense at 20/30 (there's absolutely nothing intriguing about the levelling process from there on), the whole combat is based around dodge invincibility frames (meaning that it completely invalidates the hunt for gear because you either dodge or you die) and the down-levelling process negates the point of grinding gear (as long as the game's endgame will be zerging Larry in Queensdale, you really don't need to move beyond rares at 80). Mix that with sPvP being completely separated from PvE and even WvW upscalling you and you end up with a game that's really horizontally based.
That's the reality of the game. And the problem is that as long as this stays the reality of the game, adding vertical progression goes against the design of the game. It doesn't mean that vertical progression is bad, it just means that vertical progression is bad for THIS game. If vertical progression will be the name of the game, then they need to completely rework combat (you need to start taking hits so that your armour matters) and they need to move the end-game into lvl 80+ areas that they will newly add to the game, ... And since I really doubt that this is what they will do - then GW2 will stay a horizontal progression based game and including vertical progression as its end-game makes the game weaker.

And the problem with the CDI is that they are basically open to everything and everything, even completely contradicting ideas, are "Good idea!"s. This game absolutely needs borders: they need to understand that they can't please everyone. And until they define those borders, and by that I mean once they accept what they'll need to DO once those borders are set (as I said, if they go with VP then combat, downscalling need to be reworked and if they go with HP, then ascended needs to be removed), this is a waste of time for everyone.

#2271968 Reddit X-Post CDI: Character Progression Dev Responses

Posted Baron von Scrufflebutt on 16 December 2013 - 02:18 PM

View PostFeathermoore, on 16 December 2013 - 01:51 PM, said:

And vertical progression is GREAT for this purpose.

A few months ago, RJ also pointed out how vertical progression also makes sense if you tie the progression to a story. That would be another reason to give meaning to vertical progression.
And then A.Net goes and makes all story elements completely optional in GW2.

Their infamous Eurogamer quote:
"Everyone, including casual gamers, by level 80 should have the best statistical loot in the game. We want everyone on an equal power base. The rare stuff becomes the really awesome looking armours. It's all about collecting the unique looking stuff and collecting all the other rare collectable items in the game: armour pieces, potentially different potions - a lot of that is still up in the air and we'll finalise a lot of those reward systems as we get closer to release. And those come off of things like the bosses at the end of dungeons - the raids."

shows that all of this couldn't have been a mistake: horizontal progression really is the core of the game. And as long as this core stays in the game, adding vertical progression on top of it is not the best way to expend on the game: who is going to play a vertical progression end-game in a horizontal progression game? Why not just play a vertical progression end-game in a game that is built, from the ground up, for it?

#2224659 PSA: All Guild Wars 2 servers taken offline temporarily

Posted Lady Rhonwyn on 06 August 2013 - 11:47 AM

View PostAsgarZigel, on 06 August 2013 - 11:45 AM, said:

Elona's Reach is life too. Dat account wallet.
Also noticed that I forgot to get my back item with the kite scraps... derp.
Don't worry, you can still get them.  Go to LA (I think they're also in the other towns, but I"m sure of LA).  Go to the Trading Post, you'll see two weapon merchants there.  There you can exchange all kinds of tokens, such as the kite scraps.

#2171801 New Daily Achievements Options - What's your impression?

Posted Baron von Scrufflebutt on 27 February 2013 - 01:01 PM

View PostResolve, on 27 February 2013 - 10:48 AM, said:

Seems alright so far. They should give you extra laurels if you complete all of them for that day though.

If any changes would be made, I'd prefer to see A.Net change the way laurels are awarded: give players a laurel for each achievement and then raise the number of laurels required for rewards (max 9 laurels per day - or even better: add an additional achievement or reward an extra laurel if you do them all and make it  max 10 per day). That way players can still advance their laurel grind, even by doing one achievement without this silly "all-or-nothing"-type grind.
Plus it would be very much in line with their GW1 ZCoin grind.

#1877260 Camera / control issues summed up for you reading enjoyment

Posted punio4 on 04 September 2012 - 11:49 AM


I've been asked by several people to start a new topic based on this one, which would try to lay out the problems in an organized and well explained manner. I've already made a post in the thread, but it's not as noticable and well written as it should be.

So, in this topic I will try to explain the problems that a large part of the GW2 community has with the camera and controls, reasons why they are an actual problem, and possible solutions.

A plea to the community

Before I begin, I'd like everyone who doesn't have an issue with the current camera and controls to refrain from posting how they don't have issues. That's fine and I'm really happy that you can enjoy this otherwise great game. But dismissing the problem does not contribute to the discussion, since the problem is there, with its roots in the camera algorithm. If you don't experience the problems present now, I assure you that you wouldn't notice any changes if they were made later on, or if the camera behaved differently to start with. And that's perfectly ok.

That being said, the cause of the problem, unless you have problems that would otherwise add to the current one, is not in the hardware / software / network latency. So please, don't advise people to buy a new computer / mouse, reinstall drivers / game or get a faster connection. It has nothing to do with any of those, and you will end up sounding arrogant and foolish.
So now that we have that covered, let's get busy.

The issues

If you stuck with me so far, you probably experienced some of the effects that the current camera has. Some may say that the camera is slow, or that it feels "floaty". Some people experience dizziness while playing and some will just tell you that the camera feels "off". These are all symptoms, and they are all real. But let's get down to the causes:

1) Input lag

What exactly is input lag? It is the time required from the moment you made an input (mouse movement, key press, etc) to the moment that there is a visible change on the screen.
All LCD monitors have some input lag (response time + signal decoding), so in no circumstances will you have 1:1 movement. Video options such as triple buffering and vsync also add to the input lag. The problem with the current camera is that it introduces input lag on the camera controls. That means that there is a noticable delay between mouse movement and the camera response. This is probably not an issue in itself, but a consequence of the later issues such as smoothing and inertia.

2) Negative acceleration

Mouse acceleration is a relic from the times when we had low DPI mice. It can be turned off for the OS  (not the game) in the mouse options, under the cryptic name "Enhance pointer precision", which will also remove cursor snapping to x/y coordinates (toggling this option in Windows will not affect the game, only the OS).
So, how exactly does mouse acceleration work?
If you move your mouse exactly from point a to point b on your mat and back, you would expect the ingame camera / cursor to come back to the same place. Mouse acceleration works by modifying the distance travelled according to the speed of the mouse movement. So if you moved your mouse a -> b slow, and b -> a fast, even though the distances are the same, the camera wouldn't end up in the same place.

We have positive and negative acceleration. Positive acceleration increases the distance travelled with speed, while negative acceleration decreases the distance travelled.
This game seems to feature negative mouse acceleration which is most noticable while trying to do a 180° turn. If you twitch your mouse fast enough, you won't cover the same angle as if you did a slower turn.

3) Smoothing

Another relic from the past. DPI is an abbreviation for Dots Per Inch. Or you could say Pixels Per Inch. That means that if you have a 1000 DPI mouse, you would move your cursor 1000 pixels in 1 inch. In the past, mice had lower DPI so the mouse moved more than 1 pixel per reported dot. That means it skipped some pixels. To make the movement appear smoother, some games introduced mouse smoothing (UT99 pioneered it) which interpolated the movement, adding the missing positions in between.
However, what interpolation did was introduce input lag, since it needed to capture the first few frames to smooth them out, and prediction, to predict where the game thinks you would move the mouse next. You can already see why this is a bad idea.

4) Inertia / easing

This is the bad part. Most of you have experienced inertial scrolling on your smartphones. You flick to scroll, and the screen keeps on scrolling. The same method is applied here, but with an added negative, since the camera requires some time to accelerate as it starts slow.
This is bad because the camera doesn't start moving when you move the mouse, nor does it stop moving when you stop moving your mouse. This makes camera facing really frustrating, and is especcialy bad in jumping puzzles and PvP when you are trying to make fast, precise turns, since you will almost always need to reposition the camera multiple times after the initial movement.

Try playing with the effect duration on this page. Try easeInOutCubic with a duration of 1000 ms and 200 ms. That's an approximation of how the camera easing works in GW2 with regards to the camera speed slider. Here is another example of how the camera behaves in regards to mouse movement: cursor following menu.
What we need is 0 ms of easing, that is, an instant response.

In my opinion, this is the primary reason why the controls aren't as responsive as they should be. Depending on your playstyle, you need to put in the same effort to fight the camera as you would to fight your opponents.

5) A physical camera presence in the world that even gets stuck on terrain

You might have noticed that your camera bumps into stuff. A lot. And that it drags behind your character. That's because the camera presence in the world is too... present.
You will often experience erratic zooming in when there is an obstacle near the camera, or even a camera stuck in a position while your character continues out of the shot (Try jumping over the Asuran Chess in Metrica).

6) Zooming / snapping / bouncing

A side - effect of too much physical camera presence. When climbing up/down stairs, or panning the camera in a narrow space or a one with columns, the camera keeps on zooming in and out in a very nauseating way.
If you hit just the right spot (which is often for me) the camera will keep on bounce zooming in and out until you correct it. Very irritating.

7) Narrow FoV

Now we come to the part why everyone is complaining that they don't see enough and the main cause of the nausea. To put it simple, the field of view is a degree of vision which is rendered in front of you. The default one is very narrow and people try to compensate that with zooming out, leading to more camera / terrain collision, and asking for more zooming out.

The FoV is tied to the focal length of the camera. To explain it better, here's a nice example. Your character is the red bottle in this picture. Notice how the distance to your character hasn't changed, while at the same time you see a lot more of the surroundings. The distortion effect is less pronounced on widescreen images.

The game features a dynamic FoV which can be modified with the screen aspect ratio. Here are some screenshots I made with a very close camera, but with different FoVs: When you compare #1 with #3, the difference is more than obvious. And in a real implementation, you would see more in the vertical axis as well. Notice that I have decreased the height by almost 50%, while retaining almost 100% of the scenery height-wise.

As you can see, you don't really want a camera that's further away. You want a larger field of view which should also increase on the y axis (height), which is currently not the case. Also, this fixes almost all of the nauseating feeling I had while playing.

8) Camera positioning

Try playing in a squished window (greater FoV), zoomed in over the shoulder. It's an awesome experience, which would be even better if the game featured a true over-the-shoulder camera, perhaps even a dynamic one like the one that is featured in UT3 engine 3rd person games such as Mass Effect, Gears of War, Arkham City and War for Cybertron. There is already a dynamic camera present during boss fights, but it's not really that good.
Anyone who has played, for instance Arkham City knows that you have excellent situational awareness and control in all the available camera modes:
  • over the shoulder (walking)
  • centered (running)
  • centered with increased FoV (gliding)
  • 1st person (airducts)
  • zoomed out (group combat)
That said the camera is lacking in this department in GW2. The first person PoV is a must for this game, since the game already zooms into 1st person when you have your back against a wall. The implementation however is not good, and very disorienting, especially while in indoor jumping puzzles. An alternative camera for when you have your back against a wall could be a true over-the shoulder camera previously explained. Norns often collide with ceilings, and the Asura have grass blade problems.

The camera positioning simply needs an all - around polishing to make it feel better.

9) Lockups / erratic movement / other

This is not something that is intended like the previous examples, but simply bugs that need to be fixed. The camera will often lock up, or move really slowly. Sometimes it might even spazz out and you end up looking in a completely different direction. Combine that with the zooming and you have a very disorienting experience.

There are also other numerous camera bugs which can't be categorized easily, such as camera zooming with Asura jumping on platforms, first person view lockups when near walls, not being able to turn with the RMB, etc.

There are videos out there that demonstrate these problems: Even though the problem has been fixed in my case for the previous 2 videos, people are still commenting that the problem is present for them.

Why this matters

A lot of people have been commenting on how the camera and controls don't feel good ever since BWE1. There have been numerous well documented reports on the official forums, GW2 guru, reddit, Twitter, email and support tickets. Clearly people are not just imagining things.
To quote:

View Postvelourfog, on 03 September 2012 - 07:56 PM, said:

You can have a crappy story, crappy graphics, and mediocre content, but if the game still plays great people will play.
GW2 has an awesome story, amazing graphics, interesting content, but terrible controls.  No matter how great everything else is, the potential fun is directly proportional to your ability to control your character.
And tight, precise and responsive controls are the first and foremost thing a competitive game needs.

ArenaNet has stated multiple times that they intend for GW2 to become an e-sport. If the current camera implementation remains, they're in for a rough surprise.
There is no way that a camera that doesn't show you what you want to see, that doesn't respond when you want it to, and that ocasionally stops working will allow a professional player to demonstrate his skill, apart from the skill required to tame the controls.

While there are options in the game that affect the camera motion, such as the camera speed slider, free camera toggle and the keybinding to turn 180°, they don't actually fix the underlying problems, even if they may somewhat alleviate them.

What can be done about it

I believe that ArenaNet has far more pressing issues than camera controls, such as getting the game to work. That said, for a game that focuses around action oriented combat, positional and surrounding awareness, competitive PvP and jumping puzzles, this is not acceptable as a permanent solution.

As we have seen gamepad buttons in the .dat file by datamining, and it has been confirmed that the game was being also developed for consoles at some point, it is also possible that they are using some hybrid gamepad / mouse camera algorithm, possibly even 3rd party. That would explain a lot, since the game often does feel like a bad console port, even if the idea was dropped at some stage of development.
That may suggest that the camera algorithm may have to be completely reworked, but hopefully I am wrong.

In any case, the camera algorithm should be reworked, and options added for people who for some reason prefer the current camera behaviour. What we as a community can do is report the issue, send support tickets, and let the dev team know that the problem is present. This way we can show that this is a legitimate problem which we expect to be fixed in the near future. Here is my ticket. You can also suggest this on the official wiki, confirmed by Reggie.

Thanks for reading

So, thanks for taking the time and patience to read this, geting to know the problem inside out, and what to look for. Hopefully this will be fixed soon. Cheers!