Those of you who frequented the official mesmer subforum in some capacity during the BWEs might have seen me make one of these threads. Mainhand pistol threads! Oh yes, I've been trying to force this idea through the pipeline for a while now.
Thing is, though, I don't honestly think I was sharing those with an audience that was experienced enough with the PvP and PvE to tell me that I was an idiot who doesn't understand balance.
So, GW2 Guru it is! Until the official forums are open again and I can make noise there. Perfect place for me to get myself told I'm an idiot who doesn't understand balance. (Can you tell yet that I don't know my ass from my elbows when it comes to min/maxing?)
More seriously, I really really think the mesmer could use the ability to mainhand a pistol. The obvious reason is there -- don't give a player a gun and then tell them they can't use it! It's just frustrating knowing my gun is sitting right there! That I need to summon a phantasm to shoot stuff for me. That there's a trait called "Duelists Discipline" that increases my pistol range for me and my phantasm, but my phantasm is the one who gets to actually take advantage of it! Why does that ungrateful shell of myself get to have all the fun?
I know probably the best "fix" is to just play a thief instead, but I kind of refuse to believe the mesmer is a finished class. Two mainhand weapons versus four offhand? Really? It feels like the mesmer is starved for weapon options here. You pretty much have to justify any weapon equip combo that isn't sword/pistol + staff because of it.
Okay, for all my preamble about how I really really do not understand a metagame for most games... it still seems to me somehow that the mesmer is hurting for mid to long range combat options. That despite being a scholar class, they have to get up real close to all of their enemies to be effective. That's okay to some degree, because it seems to me a good mesmer is constantly mobile (aside from those odd moments in PvP where you pretend to be a normal clone). But is it wrong to suggest they really could use some extra range damage that doesn't force them to equip a greatsword? That they have to put themselves in harms way, compared to the other clothies? I don't think the answer lies in the scepter, which more specifically has a place in shatter-oriented builds.
So... yeah. Do want a mainhand pistol. And I'm pretty much unwilling to stop barking in ArenaNet's ear about it.
It's funny, because people are arguing for more choices, but the choice without tiers is so superficial it may as well not even be there. Choosing between some trait choices is like choosing between eating a handful of gravel or an ice cream cone (assuming no lactose intolerance). I'm sure you could find someone with some kind of mental deficit who will choose the gravel, but good luck. Basically 100% of the population is going to eat ice cream.
Lets use a Guild Wars 2 example now. If I am a Ranger and I want to deal Bleeding, I am going to use this Trait setup with an Axe/Dagger and a Snow Lynx, maybe with 30 in Precision or 20 in Power instead of 10 in Nature Magic. This is objectively the best bleeding setup for a Ranger. There is no better bleeding trait setup. This build will not only defeat the Warrior who takes Slashing Power, Weapon Specialization, Sweeping Strikes, Gun Mastery, and Deep Cuts, obviously a bad build, but it's going to defeat a Ranger with a similar build (note the change in pet trait as well) which is pretty okay. It's just objectively the best build by which a Ranger can apply bleeds. What's a Ranger to do if he wants to apply Bleeds, then? He's going to use that build. What choice does he really have? A secondary weapon, a secondary pet, ten extra trait points, and utility skills. Oh boy.
His choice is between choosing a build that can get a 30 second 2-stack bleed on a 7 second cooldown, a 20 second 4-stack bleed on a 10 second cooldown, and then his own 6 second 5-stack bleed, his 8 second 3-stack bleed, and the bleeds from sigils, criticals, and utility skills, and a build which can apply far fewer bleeds than that. That's a build where if it can't get to 25 stacks on its own with increased damage on those stacks, it gets pretty close, or a build which really has no hope in doing so. There's no choice there: obviously you're going to take the build that gets close to 25 stacks.
But how do you fix that? Those traits are definitely reasonable on their own. Without Speed Training and Malice Training together, Maul only reaches the cooldown on its bleed. Commanding Voice and Malice Training is a similar situation. Sharpened Blades is really only stellar when you have the big pet bleeds to back it up. Expertise Training is really just icing on the cake. You have to find a way to limit that combination from happening. So you take Sharpened Blades, which gains effectiveness as you invest in Skirmishing, and make it Grandmaster, take Commanding Voice and make it Grandmaster, and take Malice Training and make it Master. Now you have to invest 80 trait points to get that same build, which is impossible, and have a choice: do I want to have more bleeding myself or more bleeding from my pet? This is actually a meaningful choice. No matter what you do, you'll have a drawback. If you lean heavily on your pet, which has less health and armor than you, then you have a high chance of losing that effectiveness, but if you lean too heavily on yourself, then you lose a substantial amount of bleeding potential. What is more important to you: sustainability or damage? Then after making that choice, you have the choice of what to pick from the Master trait in Beastmastery if you leaned on the pet. What would best suit your build? Would it help to just bring Instinctual Bond and keep two cats or would you try to invest in a different type of pet? Or you have the choice in Skirmishing. Would it help you to bring Traps or is granting your pet might on crits more important to make up for lost bleeds? What about the Marksmanship Trait in Adept? Is Sharpening Stone at 75% health that effective? Maybe you want might when you activate a signet. You actually have to make meaningful choices now.
It's paradoxically limiting choice to create choice. We had complete freedom in Guild Wars Classic to do this kind of thing. How many people actually made their own builds? How many people just went to PvX Wiki? Does anyone remember the story Colin Johanson had about the lady who called Eye of the North impossible because she didn't want to sit in town for hours working through her heroes and she didn't want to look at an outside resource to simply play the game? It's the same situation. We can't pick the absolute best things anymore. Instead we choose between a couple of best things, like ice cream, saltwater taffy, and fudge. None of these is the absolute best thing. That's a good thing. It's called choices and, yeah, they're scary, but the game will be much better for it.
TL;DR: This new system is absolutely so much better.
And no I don't want to use your bleeding ranger build. YOU think your build is the best bleeding ranger build, but it is not.
It's just YOUR way of playing a bleeding ranger.
This is what people aren't getting. What kind of egotistical nonsense that has people so far gone as to believe that one and only one build is the most efficient way to play.
Do you not see what people, trying to maximize only one specific type of damage, have done?
You have stifled your own creativity by believing that YOUR bleeding ranger build is the best and only viable bleeding ranger build out there and NO ONE should even attempt to make another, cause within YOUR beliefs it will always be subpar to YOUR build.
This is utterly ridiculous that this kind of fostered here. Players shouting at the top of their lungs they have the best, are the best and that nothing can best them.
Casuals don't give a single damn about min/maxing and trying to impose min/max ideals and conclusions on them isn't doing anyone any good in the long run.
Can't you see beyond your narrow, short-sighted and conceited views to see how this is going to crush the creative processes that go into making an unique, imaginative build for the many individual who do not care one bit for mix/maxing???
How did you EVER scrounge up such a ridiculous idea that people will not make not make their own unique and interesting ideas? Just because it happened in Guild Wars? Is that what you are going to make your case with?
Like has been said many times, tiers don't help at all and it's amazing this whole min/max charade brought all this crashing down on our heads.
That's rather naive. No amount of balance will ever have all the traits on equal ground. Meta game shifts and FOTM classes/builds are inevitable. We do not live in a perfect world and not a single game has ever been 100% balanced. After reading some of your posts such as:
it is evident you really have a lack of understanding as to why they went with tiered traits. Before you call people's posts garbage, you should honestly try to understand the positives of this system as opposed to strictly the negatives that you're focusing on.
the only positive is that there truely is no other way for anet to balance the traits
None of this will matter 3 months into the release when everybody has everything unlocked anyways.
It will always matter because it will invalidate 10/10/10/20/20 type builds, or similar things, because players will be compelled - and rightly so - to go all the way down a line because that's where the "best" will be.
Same with utility skills, now needing to purchase X number of skills to get to the next tier... grinding out skill points. I think this is a more serious problem even than traits.
Basically, people loved the freedom of the trait system in BWE1. People would rather deal with some imbalance than have freedom and depth taken away. People would rather have the team work on fixing any trait that becomes out of hand rather than just restricting them from using the trait. People would rather NOT have more powerful traits, but rather a selection of equal but "different flavor" traits.
We're talking vertical progression versus horizontal progression. Vertical is a step backwards.