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EphraimGlass

Member Since 09 Jul 2012
Offline Last Active May 22 2015 08:06 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: 2-Part Specialization Blog Posting

25 April 2015 - 04:47 PM

View PostShayne Hawke, on 25 April 2015 - 03:33 PM, said:

snip

I basically agree with everything you've said here. I particularly like the clarification you made regarding efficiency, whimsy, and fun. In this regard, my primary grievance with GW1 was that too many players idolized the highest efficiency as the only way to play. It wasn't even just that whimsy was punished but that being unfamiliar with net-bars, not having this or that specific elite, or simply wanting to make any deviation for the sake of preference was ridiculed. (As an aside, I really disliked how badly some players ridiculed others who fell into the "trap" created by GW1's false choices. Players who made "best possible" bars out of suboptimal skills deserved praise IMO.)

Consequently, I am cautious of any argument that praises efficiency as a virtue. (I realize that efficiency IS a virtue.) It's also why I am okay with the "dumbing down" of GW2. It has capped the effectiveness of efficiency sufficiently that some whimsy (read: variety) is permitted. I don't think that they've achieved the ideal solution - only that I prefer a game that permits some whimsy to one where the content combined with the community permit only high efficiency.

Regarding the present changes to the trait system, I don't think it significantly affects the efficiency/whimsy balance, which is probably the fulcrum of many other people's complaints about GW2 in general. I would enthusiastically welcome changes that would genuinely reward and encourage a variety of builds. I'm much less enthusiastic about changes that increase the apparent complexity of the game while, in reality, just introducing a broader diversity of false choices. That would only confuse some players and frustrate others by showcasing the increasingly many ways in which the game could be played suboptimally.

In Topic: 2-Part Specialization Blog Posting

25 April 2015 - 02:04 PM

Shayne Hawke, I think that you make some good points. I find myself a little bit miffed by your diatribe against "stupid people" but that's because I agree with Datenshi's point that "you have to choose between efficiency and fun". I found that as true, if not more, of Guild Wars, as I do of GW2.

Between you and Datenshi, I think the core of the problem becomes clear. You emphasize that they're reducing the complexity of the game. She points out that there's no incentive to explore even the existing complexity. I think that both are true. I only play 'Zerker on 3/8 of my characters but even on the other five, I look at a lot of the options and they're just lackluster. They're "false" options, just filler to make it seem like I have more choices than I actually have. If the simplification of the skill system between GW and GW2 and the proposed change to traits slashes the complexity but focuses on retaining the viable options, it has the potential to be an improvement.

The other side of what constitutes viability, of course, is the game environment itself. I dispute that the game actually demands 'Zerker for highest efficiency. For 'Zerker to be efficient, it also requires quicker reflexes and more game knowledge than some players possess. (To be perfectly honest, I'd rather spend my game time being mediocre at most games than reading up to be great at them.) I still think they could do more, without making this a "trinity" game, to permit other builds to be viable and efficient.

In Topic: 2-Part Specialization Blog Posting

23 April 2015 - 05:35 PM

I like the bit about limiting players to just three specialization tracks and binding the elite profession variant to one of them. One, it provides a mechanism by which the elite variants can't be automatically and strictly better than the non-elite. Two, I believe that limitations breed creativity. In this case, it seems like the limitation to three  tracks (pretty common anyway, from what I've seen) and unlocking ALL of the minor traits for that track at once will make the choice of which three to choose more relevant.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about not being able to use a Master or Grandmaster slot to pick a lower-tier trait. I suppose that the reduction in the total number of traits and changing some of the useful-but-boring stuff (ground-targeted wells!) to a universal standard should make it less likely that I'll want a second Master trait instead of a Grandmaster trait.

In Topic: Revenant Worries; GW2 Worries: The Good and the Bad

21 February 2015 - 03:38 AM

I still feel like there is a lot of work to be done on the base classes. Ideally I think the base classes should be positioned as "jacks of all trades" who act as general hybrid classes and can play in many roles, and multiple roles at once. Conversely the specializations are just that; specialized versions of each class with a narrower focus, but greater synergy among skills and traits.

I hope that this is the implementation that prevails. Particularly, I hope that they introduce enough specializations that all of the reasonable ways to play each profession get one sooner rather than later. I have a couple of generalists on my roster (engineer and elementalist, maybe guardian) that will probably stay "base". It would be exciting if I could get options to trick out some of my characters, though. I'll admit that I'm not crazy about this one-specialization-per-profession business that they're launching with. Without enough directions for each profession, I'm afraid that the specializations will turn into the one efficient way to play a profession resulting, as you suggested, in the abandonment of the base classes.

In Topic: I’ve been playing GW2 wrong, and loving it.

16 February 2015 - 01:17 PM

View PostI post stuff, on 16 February 2015 - 11:44 AM, said:

People like you are the reason why I pug with a Cleric Guard.

Why do you say this like it's a bad thing? Being able to soak and heal a little bit to increase a suboptimal team's survivability is a good thing. This thread is a microcosm of the game at large. There are people who care about efficiency, people who care about choice, people who care about reconciling the two, etc.

I've encountered plenty of groups that explicitly state that they're not looking for any build in particular. Are runs with them slower or more difficult? Perhaps. On the other hand, people time dodges incorrectly, aren't familiar with a particular boss's pattern, or play while tipsy. Whether they're playing a meta-optimal build or not, players of "average skill" will introduce their own inefficiencies.

Playing some flavours of non-meta build can be in recognition of that fact. To wit: I have a thief in assassin gear but I'm not quick enough to use it to its utmost and I end up on the floor much more often than I'd like. My guardian in soldier gear has lower DPS on paper, I'm sure, but I can play him effectively.