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  1. #1
    GWOnline.Net Member shardfenix's Avatar
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    How to Fix HA: A Guide for Arenanet

    In this short article/post I will detail why nobody plays Heroes' Ascent anymore, and how it can be fixed. The opinions suggested in this post are the culminations of ideas from many of my friends, who used to love HA, but now find it utterly disgusting. Hopefully Arenanet will see this post and actually use their heads. I will NOT mention any other arenas, for the purposes of keeping it simple.

    The way it used to be
    Heroes' Ascent (and Tombs of the Primeval Kings) were never perfect. There were always complaints about it, and there were always "gimmick" builds - builds which can be run effectively without much skill or thought. Many seasoned players agree that the Hall of Heroes ladder was at its best during Prophecies, when the only real gimmick was air spike. Every build had a counter, and every build had a stretegy. With the exception of gank maps (burial mounds, broken tower, scarred earth, and Courtyard), if your team was good, you would win most of the time.

    With the removal of multi-team maps before Factions was released, getting to HoH became easier for pressure builds and spikes. Like it had always been, holding teams would climb through the maps in an effort to fend off the pressure caused by two teams ganking you. The mechanics for HA were made the most fair after Factions was released, when the only "gank maps" were altar maps, in which the defending team had an advantage anyway.

    Why Heroes' Ascent Sucks
    Today, Heroes' Ascent maps have three main objectives:
    • 1: Gank and farm the weakest team
    • 2: Have more snares than your opponents
    • 3: Run meta or lose


    Kill Count
    With the introduction of multi-team kill count matches, the stretegy is simple: Get the easiest kills faster than the other guys. Why make it a fair 3-way when you can race another team to see how many of yellow you can kill first?

    In a 3-way, who don't you attack? Obviously you will try to avoid the team who presents the biggest threat to you. Since 99% of teams in HA run metatrash (2 sins, 2 eles, 2 monks), when a "different" build comes along to broken, they naturally become a threat. This prevents new builds from forming, and it prevents innovative teams from winning.

    SOLUTION TO KILL COUNT: Nerf the overpowered defensive builds, then make kill count a 1v1.

    Relic Runs
    Relics have always been an integral part of HA. It prevents overly defensive teams from winning (they cant win if all they do is live). However, there are far too many and too convenient ways of snaring opponents. Freezing gust and shadow prison are now placed in EVERY HA build. Running a relic with a permanent 66%-90% slowdown is impossible. People don't even fight on relics anymore.

    Heroes' Ascent relic runs are even worse. People who play with me in game know how stupid I think 3-way relic runs are. There isn't a word for it yet, but it would be a mix of pointless, waste of time, retarded, and thoughtless. The winner is determined when the match starts. It's simple: If you have more snares than the other teams, you win. Watch observe in HoH right now. Find a match with a relic run and press "o". Notice how nobody ever takes damage?

    SOLUTION TO HOH RELIC RUNS: Discontinue them.
    SOLUTION TO OTHER RELIC RUNS: People with relics can't move faster or slower.

    Build Dynamics
    If the above two flaws with HA are fixed, only one problem exists: Too many overpowered skills exist in the game. Gimmicks will always exist. Lazy and bad players will always find new ways of winning without having skill or a thought process. This is fine, but not when you can thoughtlessly give your team invincibility via skills (yes it can be done). This is solely Isaiah's job, whether he gets it right or not is up to him. I was very pleased with the last balance. He looked at which overused skills are overpowered, and changed them accordingly. He didn't add any random nerfs or random buffs. We need more skill balances like this Izzy, even if you only do a few skills at a time.

    As a final suggestion to the people at arenanet, I beg of you, read the forums and listen to your fans. Doing the 100% opposite of what we suggest has only ruined your game. Trust me, the players know what will make the game better.

    Also, fix uncharted isle's doors.[ /bugreport]

  2. #2
    GWOnline.Net Member Tucks's Avatar
    Posts

    759
    The way it used to be
    Heroes' Ascent (and Tombs of the Primeval Kings) were never perfect. There were always complaints about it, and there were always "gimmick" builds - builds which can be run effectively without much skill or thought. Many seasoned players agree that the Hall of Heroes ladder was at its best during Prophecies, when the only real gimmick was air spike. Every build had a counter, and every build had a stretegy. With the exception of gank maps (burial mounds, broken tower, scarred earth, and Courtyard), if your team was good, you would win most of the time.

    With the removal of multi-team maps before Factions was released, getting to HoH became easier for pressure builds and spikes. Like it had always been, holding teams would climb through the maps in an effort to fend off the pressure caused by two teams ganking you. The mechanics for HA were made the most fair after Factions was released, when the only "gank maps" were altar maps, in which the defending team had an advantage anyway.
    Air spike was the only gimmick? Are you kidding me? Alot of the most notorious gimmicks came from then. IWAY, Spirit spam, Bloodspike and Rangerspike.

    Why Heroes' Ascent Sucks
    Today, Heroes' Ascent maps have three main objectives:

    * 1: Gank and farm the weakest team
    * 2: Have more snares than your opponents
    * 3: Run meta or lose
    1: Not always, usually people go for the non-gimmick, as they perceive it to be weak. In my experience the "weakest" team can usually turn this into an advantage by positioning themselves in a manner where the teams cant fight them without exposing their back line to the third team, then sweeping in and pinching a team while they are engaged.

    2: Take a decent dom mesmer, or any sort of shutdown and lock the snare guy down. It isn't hard.

    3: You're an idiot/poor player if you think that.

    Kill Count
    With the introduction of multi-team kill count matches, the stretegy is simple: Get the easiest kills faster than the other guys. Why make it a fair 3-way when you can race another team to see how many of yellow you can kill first?

    In a 3-way, who don't you attack? Obviously you will try to avoid the team who presents the biggest threat to you. Since 99% of teams in HA run metatrash (2 sins, 2 eles, 2 monks), when a "different" build comes along to broken, they naturally become a threat. This prevents new builds from forming, and it prevents innovative teams from winning.

    SOLUTION TO KILL COUNT: Nerf the overpowered defensive builds, then make kill count a 1v1.
    99% of the teams run the "metatrash" because they think it is good, and it is extremely easy to run. Drop AoE and sin spike some ****.

    I used to hate killcount, but now i like it on broken but hate it on courtyard.
    Leave Broken as it is, but change courtyard somehow, maybe make it an old school 1v1 altar. Why do i hate courtyard? It is one huge network of narrow paths, except an area in the middle that you don't use anyway, as you will get pinched. This encourages AoE builds way too much (partly why people run 2sins, 2eles, 2monks so much).

    Relic Runs
    Relics have always been an integral part of HA. It prevents overly defensive teams from winning (they cant win if all they do is live). However, there are far too many and too convenient ways of snaring opponents. Freezing gust and shadow prison are now placed in EVERY HA build. Running a relic with a permanent 66%-90% slowdown is impossible. People don't even fight on relics anymore.

    Heroes' Ascent relic runs are even worse. People who play with me in game know how stupid I think 3-way relic runs are. There isn't a word for it yet, but it would be a mix of pointless, waste of time, retarded, and thoughtless. The winner is determined when the match starts. It's simple: If you have more snares than the other teams, you win. Watch observe in HoH right now. Find a match with a relic run and press "o". Notice how nobody ever takes damage?

    SOLUTION TO HOH RELIC RUNS: Discontinue them.
    SOLUTION TO OTHER RELIC RUNS: People with relics can't move faster or slower.
    Relic runs are fine, run a decent dom mesmer and the snares are gone. The problem is the fact that in a 6v6 format people aren't taking as much utility. The utility that is taken tends to be extra defense, such as wards or blind.

    Relic runs are also one of my favorite maps, because it encourages people to play tactically. As to the whole "If they have loads of snares, they win" thing, i call Bull****. There is hundreds of ways to get around that, for example force them to split the monks, overpower one, kill the person he was guarding, oh look - you have killed their ghost, runner, or snarer. Granted it isn't always that easy, but (this isn't meant to be bragging) with my guild we rarely loose relic runs, no matter how many snares they have.

    What does need changing is the map designs - the choke in the first relic run. Fix that, or fix the "Z axis" bug, and the fact you can block an entire team into their base with 1 guy in the second run.

    With 3 decent teams in the halls it isn't like that. It generally ends up a very close match, as the teams allocate their snares/blocks as to who is furthest ahead.

    If it is Team 1 - 6, Team 2 - 3, Team 3 - 5, Teams 2 and 3 will snare/block team 1, team 1 will snare/block team 3. This allows team 2 to catch up, slowing down team 1 most, team 3 a bit, and team 2 not at all. Anyone who is slowing down team 2 is pretty stupid if they are that far behind.

    Build Dynamics
    If the above two flaws with HA are fixed, only one problem exists: Too many overpowered skills exist in the game. Gimmicks will always exist. Lazy and bad players will always find new ways of winning without having skill or a thought process. This is fine, but not when you can thoughtlessly give your team invincibility via skills (yes it can be done). This is solely Isaiah's job, whether he gets it right or not is up to him. I was very pleased with the last balance. He looked at which overused skills are overpowered, and changed them accordingly. He didn't add any random nerfs or random buffs. We need more skill balances like this Izzy, even if you only do a few skills at a time.
    That has to do with the mentality of the players in HA, and the fact that 6v6 is too limiting. The skills aren't that bad, but people aren't packing the counters anymore.
    Last edited by Tucks; 19-03-2007 at 08:04.

  3. #3
    GWOnline.Net Member B Ephekt's Avatar
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    3,939
    Shard your posts are always great comedy.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tucks View Post
    I used to hate killcount, but now i like it on broken but hate it on courtyard.
    Leave Broken as it is, but change courtyard somehow, maybe make it an old school 1v1 altar. Why do i hate courtyard? It is one huge network of narrow paths, except an area in the middle that you don't use anyway, as you will get pinched. This encourages AoE builds way too much (partly why people run 2sins, 2eles, 2monks so much).
    I agree with parts of this. I think it should stay a 3-way but not kill count for the reasons you state about map layout. However, don't put it back to the original altar capping mechanic where the team holding altar at the end wins (otherwise known as 3-way staring match for 8 minutes). Use the newer mechanic seen in HoH objectives, where you earn points the longer you hold altar. This means you fight the whole ten minutes rather than just the last two.
    ~Bella Sera~
    PAL it up!
    No trees were harmed in the sending of this message but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

  5. #5
    GWOnline.Net Member Tucks's Avatar
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    759
    Quote Originally Posted by bellissima View Post
    I agree with parts of this. I think it should stay a 3-way but not kill count for the reasons you state about map layout. However, don't put it back to the original altar capping mechanic where the team holding altar at the end wins (otherwise known as 3-way staring match for 8 minutes). Use the newer mechanic seen in HoH objectives, where you earn points the longer you hold altar. This means you fight the whole ten minutes rather than just the last two.
    I said 1v1 altar, like broken tower used to be.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tucks View Post
    I said 1v1 altar, like broken tower used to be.
    And I said I thought it should stay 3-way and take the new King of the Hill mechanic. Was there some confusion or are we allowed to have different opinions?
    ~Bella Sera~
    PAL it up!
    No trees were harmed in the sending of this message but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

  7. #7
    GWOnline.Net Member Tucks's Avatar
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    759
    Quote Originally Posted by bellissima View Post
    And I said I thought it should stay 3-way and take the new King of the Hill mechanic. Was there some confusion or are we allowed to have different opinions?
    Eh - sorry misread. Need sleep -.-.

    I assumed where you said "However, don't put it back to the original altar capping mechanic where the team holding altar at the end wins (otherwise known as 3-way staring match for 8 minutes).", that you thought i wanted it as 3 way.

  8. #8
    GWOnline.Net Member B Ephekt's Avatar
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    Holding was more fun. Kill count isn't that bad, but it has just as much randomness as alter holding ever did. You can still get ganked, you still have scrubs winning with one dimensional builds, luck still plays a part in winning, etc.

    Relic runs are fine. Pre-veil the runner, prioritize condition removal, body block, snare and you're fine.

    The problem is that tombs just isn't fun anymore. I doubt anything they do will change that, the community is gone. Every decent player has either moved on to GvG or quit GW entirely, only a handful remain and they're just farming their remaining fame `til r12.

  9. #9
    GWOnline.Net Member shardfenix's Avatar
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    616
    Quote Originally Posted by Tucks View Post
    Air spike was the only gimmick? Are you kidding me? Alot of the most notorious gimmicks came from then. IWAY, Spirit spam, Bloodspike and Rangerspike.
    Iway came LONG after air spike. I started pvping a few weeks before spirit psamming got nerfed, and until that december, IWAY hadnt existed yet. I was talking about the ~4 month period where the only gimmicks were air spike and kindle arrows spike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucks View Post
    2: Take a decent dom mesmer, or any sort of shutdown and lock the snare guy down. It isn't hard.
    Yeah because dom mesmers fit so well into 6 man builds. And shutting down 1 guy when 4 have snares is a really thoughtful solution. Use your head before saying something stupid.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tucks View Post
    3: You're an idiot/poor player if you think that.
    K you run a "new" build in broken tower and see if you win. 9 times out of 10, you won't. Read the entire post before opening your very loud mouth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tucks View Post
    99% of the teams run the "metatrash" because they think it is good, and it is extremely easy to run. Drop AoE and sin spike some ****.
    Which brings me to another good point: People who HA a lot are stupid. If you think meta is good, I have two letters for you: RC. I can't remember the last time metatrash beat me when I had an RC monk.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tucks View Post
    I used to hate killcount, but now i like it on broken but hate it on courtyard.
    Remember when you called me an idiot?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tucks View Post
    Relic runs are also one of my favorite maps, because it encourages people to play tactically. As to the whole "If they have loads of snares, they win" thing, i call Bull****. There is hundreds of ways to get around that, for example force them to split the monks, overpower one, kill the person he was guarding, oh look - you have killed their ghost, runner, or snarer. Granted it isn't always that easy, but (this isn't meant to be bragging) with my guild we rarely loose relic runs, no matter how many snares they have.
    Again, read the whole post before blabbing your big mouth. Did you happen to read the part where I said "HoH relics" You know the ones where you don't need a ghost to cap?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tucks View Post
    What does need changing is the map designs - the choke in the first relic run. Fix that, or fix the "Z axis" bug, and the fact you can block an entire team into their base with 1 guy in the second run.
    The "Z axis bug" is not a bug, it's a function of heightmap terrain. They will never fix it because they can't.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tucks View Post
    With 3 decent teams in the halls it isn't like that. It generally ends up a very close match, as the teams allocate their snares/blocks as to who is furthest ahead.
    Which equals the worst team not getting ganked, and the best team getting ganked. This is "fair" how?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tucks View Post
    The skills aren't that bad, but people aren't packing the counters anymore.
    Wow I don't say this very often in PvP forums, but please pvp before posting here.

    The only thing they improved about HoH is the new altar objective. Being "Hold the altar longer than everyone else" instead of "12x sandstorm at 15 second mark cap at last second" is much more challenging.
    Last edited by shardfenix; 20-03-2007 at 02:29.

  10. #10
    GWOnline.Net Member Tucks's Avatar
    Posts

    759
    You just proved that you are an idiot, Good job.

    Quote Originally Posted by shardfenix View Post
    Iway came LONG after air spike. I started pvping a few weeks before spirit psamming got nerfed, and until that december, IWAY hadnt existed yet. I was talking about the ~4 month period where the only gimmicks were air spike and kindle arrows spike.
    You said during proph, not during the first 4 months of the game. Next time say what you mean? It wasn't balanced anyway, it is just that the gimmicks weren't thought of yet, and that the general skill level was lower then current.

    Yeah because dom mesmers fit so well into 6 man builds. And shutting down 1 guy when 4 have snares is a really thoughtful solution. Use your head before saying something stupid.
    Dom mesmers are excellent if your team is decent. 4 people never have solid snares (not shadow prison or **** like that, but stuff like freezing gust that can be maintained. Holy veil > longer snares like prison.) I didn't say something stupid, it is just that you are a bit dense and don't understand how the game works. Sorry :(.

    K you run a "new" build in broken tower and see if you win. 9 times out of 10, you won't. Read the entire post before opening your very loud mouth.
    Which brings me to another good point: People who HA a lot are stupid. If you think meta is good, I have two letters for you: RC. I can't remember the last time metatrash beat me when I had an RC monk.
    I do, regularly. And i win a lot too. 9 times out of 10 i do win. This isn't bragging, just the truth used to make a point.

    Remember when you called me an idiot?
    I'm an idiot? Oh sorry, actually taking the map design and positioning into account is idiocy? I'd better quit Guild Wars as you OBVIOUSLY know so much more about it then me.

    Again, read the whole post before blabbing your big mouth. Did you happen to read the part where I said "HoH relics" You know the ones where you don't need a ghost to cap?
    If you didn't notice, i talked about both types of the runs. How about you stop being a hypocrite?

    Which equals the worst team not getting ganked, and the best team getting ganked. This is "fair" how?
    No, it means the team that is currently ahead being ganked. The ones with the most speed buffs? The best team will pull somthing out of the hat near the end and jump ahead one, the bad ones will mindlessly run relics.

    Wow I don't say this very often in PvP forums, but please pvp before posting here.
    Meaningless flame. I could list all my stuff to show that i do have experience, but to be honest i don't see the point. I already know you are probably a bad player from what you said, so I'm not going to whip out my Epeen. (It would crush you anyway)
    Last edited by Tucks; 20-03-2007 at 10:14.

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