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View Full Version : The role of Core/Pve Skills



Wuzzman
21-04-2008, 10:20
There is alot of talk about the role of races. My view is that while they probably will add special passive abilities, those abilities won't pass over to pvp. I wonder if it will go further then that, even down to the skills, how many templates do think the GVG/HoH crowd really need for guild wars. If you go by guild wars prophecies meta mentality, or the go back to prophecies mentality, you discover that to be honest only 64 skills between 5 classes (war,monk,ele,ranger, mesmer) was actually the "drawing" pool in which the game was considered balance. If you put that number even more conservative terms by which variation of the same build template is the most popular (basically what players thought was the best "mod" to a balance build), you find you might just need 30 skills, 40 at the maximum. Considering we had a game(prophecies) that housed 450 + skills, we considered it normal that less then 1/10 of those skills to be usable in pvp, and those skills that are in the 9/10 range was considered "gimmicky" if they had any application in pvp at all they were considered gimmicky at that.

When the game dumped 300+ skills per campaign + 2 new professions to the game, the pvp community held on to only letting a maximum of about 64 skills to be remotely usable in "respectable pvp". This brought the number of skills that should be playable for pvp'ers at about 1/25, or 4% of the skills in game were considered balance and about 96% were either gimmicky or worthless. It's easy to then understand, that while the meta was evolving that evolution wasn't liked at all and Anet was pestered to keep 96% of the skills in the game from being playable in pvp. Now of course it wasn't too successful, the end result is more or less what the arm chair game designers wanted but it happened way too slowly and at this point while they still care, they do admit under their breath that they got most of what they wanted.

What we have now with GW2 approaching is whether or not Anet will appeal to the casual/pug community of guilds wars or the rawr cup/hoh holder section of guild wars. while on one hand the casual/pug wanted 96% of the skills available in game to be usable in competition, the other side obviously attempted to steer the game at 4%, both casual and experience/hardcore left pvp over the pvp class war so to speak.

With Guild Wars 2 possibly expanding the roles of pve only skills, I wonder how many skills in the game will be pve only and how many will be pvp only. It is already a given that pve will have way more skills then pvp but by what ratio? For example if Anet learned from GW 1 pvp experience and decided to cater to the more "serious" crowd, wouldn't it be prudent for them to make about 40-60 core skills and have those skills the only skills usable in pvp (World pvp not included). The small amount of skills will allow for easier balance, decreasing the chance of facing an undesirable playstyle or build. However if they are aiming to attract casual players 60 skills that won't change unless broken, that will not cut it for that matter. You will probably face the same situation in GW2 like you do in GW1, where a vast majority of those claiming to pvp some do so in the lower regions of pvp RA/AB. While at the same time avoiding HA/GVG/TA like the plague and only playing when prodded by friends. This is natural but can become a serious problem once you consider that the HA/GVG/TA playerbase eventually gets old and leaves.

I wonder if Anet will save itself the headache and bad rep and talk about this stuff while we still speculating on the beta lol.

amcoolio
21-04-2008, 17:46
Well, for one, as someone who played over a 1000 hours the first 6-8 months GW was released, and about 400 hours in the past two years (the expansions), I can say that the 1/10 of skills in the prophecies era and 1/25 of skills in the expansion era is a bit of an exaggeration. Sure, it depends on the metagame, but I can remember using or seeing at least 1/2 the skills in pvp in the prophecies era.

I think the pve-only skills are a load of crock and I refuse to deal with Eye of the North or anyone who relies on these skills. Some of these skills (the ones I have seen. Remember, I haven't played in the past year, and just started playing again) are so overpowered it takes a lot of the skill and fun out of creating builds in pve with groups of friends. The friends I play with don't use any EotN skills at all.

As much as I wanted new skills when Factions came out, I think it killed the game for the most part. GW was so much more fun when you were trying to create the next build that would take the community by storm. Simple skills, 64 skills per build in GvG and Tombs, all varyingly different. Factions repeated a lot things, and things just got worse with Nightfall and EotN introduced (old skills rendered useless, and new skills so overpowered you have to use them to keep up. The monk class has been effected the most by this change.)

I'm one of those that thinks Factions killed the playerbase for the most part, for several reasons. Nightfall was definitely more worthy of an expansion, whereas Factions and EotN were not. Anyways, I'm not trying to derail your thread so I'll change the subject.

As for GW2, this is what I'd hope they will do. And they have the possibility to get it right, and make GW the best PvE/PvP experience in all of gaming.

100 or so skills for each profession, with varying skills for each race. This isn't to suggest less skills for one race+profession, but rather a slight variation to keep people on their toes and allow more variety in builds. For instance, different necromancer races can raise different types of minions, some with advantages over others but always balanced so one race isn't better than another. Slightly different fire magic skills for each elementalist race. Again, keeping balance.

The skills would be balanced to the effect that there shouldn't be a need for PvE-only and PvP-only skills. I had no problem going through prophecies when it first came out with a frickin' mesmer, when mesmers were not as buffed as they were today and they were completely canceled out by rangers. I don't see why it would be a problem with GW2.

I'm on the less skills, but with wildly different effects bandwagon. I figure if you have a pool of 100 skills for each profession, with varying skills for each race, that should be plenty to sustain builds for both PvE and PvP. This will give both PvE and PvP players something to cheer about.

I think your biggest problem is what GW2 NEEDS to do to keep players in the game and interested, and attract a whole lot of more players. They need to figure out away to meet people in game so you can join a good guild and work with them through PvP. If you are playing by yourself, it is much much harder to play and get into PvP in Guild Wars. Without friends, you already miss out on the best part of PvP (Guild Battles) and the second best (Hall of Heroes), both of which are infinitely better with friends who will help you develop or you can develop together. This is why I am a proponent of in-game voice chat in instanced areas, missions, dungeons, PvP, and the guild hall.

Wuzzman
21-04-2008, 18:47
well you can say that 1/2 of the skills were usable for pvp but not any of them was considered balance. Lets take how many skills it would take to run a typical balance build, 2x shock war= 7 skills, 2x esurge mesmer = 7 skills, 2x boon/prot = 7 skills, 1 cripshot = 7 skills, 1 air ele = 7 skills = 35 usable skills + 1 rez = 36. Now you have a few templates that you can use to mod the above build, 1 migraine = 7 skills, 1 earth ele = 7 skills, 1 devastating hammer = 7 skills = 14 skills + 36 skills = 50 usable accepted skills. Now lets get even deeper, some skills were in the shadow of their better counterparts, like backbreaker vs devastating hammer or powerblock vs energy surge, some skills were used for simple utility and weren't always included like distortion and draw conditions, that puts the number of skills consider balanced between 10 - 20, add that to 50 and we have a variation of 60-70 skills consider balance by the pvp community at the time.

Now that is still less then 1/10 but what happens with the other 9/10? Well those skills were either useless like mantra of flame, or incredibly effective when the right combination is found, IE iway, vimway, m/e lightning orb spike, ob ele spike, air ele spike, vimway, minion factory, and hexway (some people did figure out that migraine + curse necro = win, before nightfalls). And probably even more combinations in prophecies alone given the community enough time (meaning more gimmicks). One of the main, wait, ONLY complaint about factions and nightfalls was that they increased the number of "gimmicks" in gvg/ha. In fact the number of playable skills increased exponentially, which lead to this game being considered heavily imbalanced. While yes we have a couple of options now, all of them are considered gimmicky and ultimately your still stuck with 1/25 of the available skills being considered playable and balanced no matter how you shake it.

amcoolio
21-04-2008, 19:13
Well, you are talking about one build, then discrediting the numbers of skills for "gimmicky" builds that were still viable and a large part of the Tombs experience. For the record, I played in balanced builds that went beyond the two shock, two e-deny, etc. build you were talking about.

There is a way to decrease the number of gimmicky builds in GW2, like I outlined above. However, I don't see what is so wrong with them. One the best things about pre-factions GW was figuring out how your group can dispose of spirit spam or Iway and still make it to the HoH. We created some really creative builds that worked for a while.

Wuzzman
21-04-2008, 19:35
Well, you are talking about one build, then discrediting the numbers of skills for "gimmicky" builds that were still viable and a large part of the Tombs experience. For the record, I played in balanced builds that went beyond the two shock, two e-deny, etc. build you were talking about.

There is a way to decrease the number of gimmicky builds in GW2, like I outlined above. However, I don't see what is so wrong with them. One the best things about pre-factions GW was figuring out how your group can dispose of spirit spam or Iway and still make it to the HoH. We created some really creative builds that worked for a while.

Its the casual vs hardcore question, the casual players will keep playing the game as long as experimentation and being allowed to keep their playstyle and perfect it is allowed. the hardcore, while they are responsible for finding most of the "broken"
combination in game, they call them gimmicks because they are successful outside of the 40 something skills consider balance. There is a stigma against the creative side of guilds wars 1000+ skills that exist even when the game had only 450+ skills and that is a fact. Though there are nerfs that hit the accepted templates most of the balances are directed toward the deviations, eventually driving those builds out of the game. the hardcore are far more interested in keeping the game as "skillful" as possible and that as been the direction of skill changes in game. I never counted the skill bars of gimmick templates because they are bound to be nerfed anyway, and we would have a non-issue if an r/d or the old iway warrior was considered competitive along with a shock axe. But that is obviously not the case.

NeferJackal
21-04-2008, 19:43
Leaving me wondering why Anet havent taken the stance from the designers in magic the gathering when they found unbalanced cards. Ie by having unrestricted and restricted formats.

In unrestricted anything would be allowed, but in restricted there would be several limitations applied. Such as limitations on key skills, like perhaps limiting it to one in an entire team or outright banning it, ie turning it off entirely.

That would fix any issues of pvp badly hurting pve, think of the poor paragons and mesmers.

Unsrestricted would be Random Arena, Fort Aspenwood, Jade Quarry and Team Arena.

Restricted would be Heroes Ascent and GvG.

amcoolio
21-04-2008, 19:50
Still disagree. I think that the skills could have way more variety than they currently are (and were) in Guild Wars, but there is no need to limit them. If you are worried about spikes, then there will always be skills to cancel them out. I believe ANet will have learned from their mistakes and seriously investigate skill balancing before releasing it to the public, so it shouldn't be an issue. There is still no need for PvE-only or PvP-only skills.

semantic
21-04-2008, 22:51
I assume there won't be any need for PVE only skills in GW2. The way the current dichotomy evolved is probably part of the push toward a totally new system. I assume they're fencing structured PVP off in its own game space so they don't have to resort to creating PVE specific skills. Under the new system, skills can be allowed to scale beyond balance under PVE or world PVP, but at the same time be bounded within structured PVP so that they're balanced. If Cripshot or Aegis need to be adjusted to bring them into balance, they can simply move their maximum values within structured PVP without affecting the way they perform elsewhere in the game. So in effect all skills will have a PVE only version and a PVP version.

Akirai Annuvil
22-04-2008, 13:16
So in effect all skills will have a PVE only version and a PVP version.

So you think the total number of skills available, PvP to PvE ratio is 1:1.

I'm gunning for 1:2. Not sure why, more of a gut instinct.

raspberry jam
22-04-2008, 13:52
I hope you mean 2:1. Twice as many PvE-only skills as PvP-allowed skills? That would be weird.

Akirai Annuvil
22-04-2008, 14:58
I hope you mean 2:1. Twice as many PvE-only skills as PvP-allowed skills? That would be weird.

No, twice as many PvE allowed skills as twice as many PvP allowed skills, or general skills available in both modes. In other words, for every skill available in PvP, there are two skills available in PvE.

raspberry jam
22-04-2008, 17:06
No, twice as many PvE allowed skills as twice as many PvP allowed skills, or general skills available in both modes. In other words, for every skill available in PvP, there are two skills available in PvE.Ah ok. Yes that makes sense.

Though it would be even better if they did it so that all skills could be used in PvE and PvP alike without creating interest conflicts like we see in the current GW, I think.

Akirai Annuvil
22-04-2008, 17:07
It'd be better, and it is of my preference, but I expect there to be seperate PvE skills.

amcoolio
22-04-2008, 20:07
Why again is there a need for twice as many PvE skills, and what was wrong with Prophecies when the same skills worked for each area?

kyln
22-04-2008, 20:56
Why again is there a need for twice as many PvE skills, and what was wrong with Prophecies when the same skills worked for each area?

Guildwars is a combat centered game. That combat is centered on skills. I think it would be difficult to sell a game expansion that was just new environments and skins. Without new skills, it would get repetitive faster imo.

I don't understand the "GW was perfect with just Prophecies" mindset.
I enjoy the expansion material. I would have quit playing the game a long time ago if it were not for added content.

I don't see how GW2 will survive long if there is not meaningful content additions.

I see them splitting skills between PvE and PvP, as they have been fairly unsuccessful so far in making both camps happy with balance changes. I am waiting to see what happens with the upcoming birthday and ATM changes though........ It might give some clues as to the direction they are looking at taking with GW2.

Skyy High
22-04-2008, 21:22
When the game dumped 300+ skills per campaign + 2 new professions to the game, the pvp community held on to only letting a maximum of about 64 skills to be remotely usable in "respectable pvp". This brought the number of skills that should be playable for pvp'ers at about 1/25, or 4% of the skills in game were considered balance and about 96% were either gimmicky or worthless. It's easy to then understand, that while the meta was evolving that evolution wasn't liked at all and Anet was pestered to keep 96% of the skills in the game from being playable in pvp. Now of course it wasn't too successful, the end result is more or less what the arm chair game designers wanted but it happened way too slowly and at this point while they still care, they do admit under their breath that they got most of what they wanted.
WTF? Apparently there's only been one accepted build, ever, run in PvP.

An argument predicated on this biased a view of PvP-ers is just going to lead to flaming...

raspberry jam
22-04-2008, 21:30
Why again is there a need for twice as many PvE skills, and what was wrong with Prophecies when the same skills worked for each area?There was nothing wrong with Prophecies, but plenty of wrong happened since then.

Wuzzman
22-04-2008, 23:11
WTF? Apparently there's only been one accepted build, ever, run in PvP.

An argument predicated on this biased a view of PvP-ers is just going to lead to flaming...

1. I'm a pvp'er, haven't pve'ed since 2005
2. Name one build that competed equally with the accepted balance build that wasn't called a gimmick or had a mechanic that people considered gimmicky.

Tru Reptile
22-04-2008, 23:38
I don't understand the "GW was perfect with just Prophecies" mindset.

It's because each new campaign introduced new skills which made it harder for the devs to keep the game balanced, then add in the new professions and it becomes a nightmare. Not to mention Anet added things that altered the game in negative ways, such as linking PvE skills to title grind, overpowered PvE skills like UB and stuff like consets.

People loved the skill quests Prophecies had, but for some reason Anet abandoned them in Factions, and despite the outcries, repeated the same mistake again in Nightfall. Many people despised the timed missions in Factions, but again Anet added them in Nightfall.

If Anet does add expansions I really hope they don't repeat their mistakes and go "Oops, we screwed up, let's make GW3."

semantic
22-04-2008, 23:49
So you think the total number of skills available, PvP to PvE ratio is 1:1.

I'm gunning for 1:2. Not sure why, more of a gut instinct.

No, like I said I don't think there will be any PVE-only skills (with the possible exception of a few gimmick skills that only interact with the environment). Since every skill will have built-in PVE and PVP modes, there's very little need for PVE only skills.

kyln
23-04-2008, 00:04
It's because each new campaign introduced new skills which made it harder for the devs to keep the game balanced, then add in the new professions and it becomes a nightmare. Not to mention Anet added things that altered the game in negative ways, such as linking PvE skills to title grind, overpowered PvE skills like UB and stuff like consets.

People loved the skill quests Prophecies had, but for some reason Anet abandoned them in Factions, and despite the outcries, repeated the same mistake again in Nightfall. Many people despised the timed missions in Factions, but again Anet added them in Nightfall.

If Anet does add expansions I really hope they don't repeat their mistakes and go "Oops, we screwed up, let's make GW3."

There are a lot of generalizations and opinions thrown around in there-

Factions had skill quests, they were just limited to the beginner island.

I liked that in Factions you could pick from any skill at the trainer in Kaineng..... I hated that it changed in Nightfall back to limited skill offerings from trainers.

Most of the Mission's I remember in Nightfall were not timed for the bonus. Off the top of my head only the one at the Mirror of Lyss was timed for the bonus rewards and Abbadon himself.

Not everyone hates PvE skills or Consumables, just look at the relevant threads and polls.

..........So does one group of players really want there to never be new professions and skills in expansions? Really?

Sorry, that just seems odd to me..... I just can't relate.

i enjoy the new professions and skills

I also fail to see how GW2 can have meaningful expansions if it does not add professions and or skills to the game. New scenery is not enough of a gameplay change to make me shell out more money.

I think Anet is in an unenviable spot trying to add new content and balance it.

One idea, as has been mentioned before, is to take a que from Magic The Gathering. I would suggest maybe to have different sets of skills usable in different arenas. This way you could do campaigns with some skills that are essentially identical to those from a previous campaign, but without both being able to be on the same bar in high end competition. GvG for example,players could only use skills that were core or from the most recent expansion. That way the can effectively add new skills, without having to balance every skill ever introduced into the game. Once a campaign is cycled out of high end competitive play by the new one, more casual settings like RA or even PvE could use the skills without fear of being nerfed, as they are no longer being used in high end competition.

amcoolio
23-04-2008, 02:40
Um, I never mentioned not having new expansions or skills. I was talking about pvp vs pve skills. I also agree with the posters above that they need to bring back skill quests, and have limited skills on skill trainers. Factions was awful at this. It was like taking the easy way out. Made pve no fun at all.

kyln
23-04-2008, 03:20
Um, I never mentioned not having new expansions or skills. I was talking about pvp vs pve skills. I also agree with the posters above that they need to bring back skill quests, and have limited skills on skill trainers. Factions was awful at this. It was like taking the easy way out. Made pve no fun at all.

I for one, was responding to a sidetopic in the thread that was dealing with expansions and skills. I think the relevance of how to keep skills balanced, together or seperate, is pretty strong and should take into account Anet's business model for GW, and the pitfalls that future expansions might pose for GW2.

((I liked the Factions level of skill accessibility at trainers. I incredibly disliked how limited skills were in Prophecies. It basically forced you to play certain attribute lines on your first time through. No thanks.))

I am guessing that they will be separated, but how exactly I'm not sure, though I still think Anet's cryptic reference to future ATM balances not affecting PvE at all holds clues to what their thinking.

amcoolio
23-04-2008, 06:32
Your join date suggests you played GW before Factions was released, so I don't understand where you are coming from. Lots of people were disappointed in the hour it took to get to level 20 in Factions compared to the 15-20 hours it took to get to level 20 in Prophecies. Many more were disappointed in the lack of creativity in the new skills of the original 6 professions ANet put out in Factions and Nightfall, making a lot of them useless and a clutter of skills on the list.

I believe ANet thought it had a creative and great buisness model in making Factions (and then Nightfall) standalone games instead of expansions. I think they regret it from a fan-relations standpoint, but obviously not from a buisness standpoint. I would be disappointed if ANet continued this trend in Guild Wars 2.

For one, they had to figure out how to get the Factions-only crowd to catch up quickly to the rest of the player base, because they were already disadvantaged in PvP, behind the transfers from Kryta in PvE. Its almost like they didn't think of this until just before releasing the game, so they quickly threw something together. They made it so you could get to lvl 20 really easily by throwing out ridiculous (compared to Prophecies) experience and skill points all over the place. They made it so you can buy any skill from any trainer, even on starter island. Nightfall corrected this issue a little, but not by much.

takplayer
23-04-2008, 14:06
For one, they had to figure out how to get the Factions-only crowd to catch up quickly to the rest of the player base, because they were already disadvantaged in PvP, behind the transfers from Kryta in PvE. Its almost like they didn't think of this until just before releasing the game, so they quickly threw something together. They made it so you could get to lvl 20 really easily by throwing out ridiculous (compared to Prophecies) experience and skill points all over the place. They made it so you can buy any skill from any trainer, even on starter island. Nightfall corrected this issue a little, but not by much.

As a player who started GW at the E3 for Everyone pre-beta event, I liked the faster progression of Factions (NF was the perfect rate though) compared to Prophecies not to mention the freedom to pick your build (rather than not being able to run an even half way decent earth ele till 85% through Prophecies). Also, you cannot buy all skills from any trainer - you have to get off the starter island first (Kaineng and Senji's being the first places you can get all Factions skills).

Skyy High
23-04-2008, 14:20
1. I'm a pvp'er, haven't pve'ed since 2005
2. Name one build that competed equally with the accepted balance build that wasn't called a gimmick or had a mechanic that people considered gimmicky.
The point is, you really think every balanced GvG team ran exactly the same 64 skills? You have a very limited opinion of GvG build-making.

And I'm with tak; the level progression in Factions was much preferable to that of Prophecies. Drawing out the process to get to lvl20 just made the max level seem overly important; it's not important, it's where the game really begins.

kyln
23-04-2008, 18:23
Your join date suggests you played GW before Factions was released, so I don't understand where you are coming from. Lots of people were disappointed in the hour it took to get to level 20 in Factions compared to the 15-20 hours it took to get to level 20 in Prophecies. Many more were disappointed in the lack of creativity in the new skills of the original 6 professions ANet put out in Factions and Nightfall, making a lot of them useless and a clutter of skills on the list.


That is kind of my point. I have been playing since a couple months after the games release. I have a different opinion than you about the choices that they made. I am pointing out that neither of us can claim our opinions are inclusive of all other players.


I am a hardcore advocate of a stronger separation between PvE and PvP.

That being said, I would be open to them remaining connected if Anet where to do something like the rotation concept I mentioned earlier.

The benefits of high end PvP using only core skills and the newest expansion's skills imo:
-Fresh metagames
-Small number of skills to balance
a core of skills that are extremely well balanced and provide a continuity of experience.
-Older skills are not balanced regularly if ever, as they play no part in higher levels of competitive play.
-PvErs and casual players can play around with whatever skills they want, knowing that the newest skills may be frequently changed, but the core skills and older expansion skills are stable build platforms they can always return to.
- Possibility of locating areans in each expansion that retain PvP in the state of that expansion and core skills only. (i.e. if you really liked GW2 exp.2 PvP, you go to exp. 2 and the arena there accepts core and exp.2 skills only. You can relive the glory days with those of like mind.)
- "repeated" skills have no impact on high level PvP because only the current incarnation is usable.

Draw Backs to such a system:
- To remain competitive in high level PvP players must have the newest expansion (though I imagine this is true in any system).
- Questions of what to do with expansion professions.

I see this as solving the problem of needing fresh metagames, the hindrance of trying to balance too many skills, and the effect of balances intended for PvP on Pve play.
........it might make both sides happy.......if that is even possible.

amcoolio
23-04-2008, 18:56
Like I said, I think ANet realized they screwed up when they made Factions and Nightfall standalone and therefore had to recreate a lot of things and lessening the quality of the overall game. However, it brought them lots of money so they didn't publicly complain.

I have to go to class so I'll respond to this argument later.

Wuzzman
23-04-2008, 21:46
The point is, you really think every balanced GvG team ran exactly the same 64 skills? You have a very limited opinion of GvG build-making.


you tell me a gvg build that doesn't have the accepted skills and is not considered a gimmick and you may have a point.