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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Flexibility of professions: skills, equipment, and combos

    I do like flexible professions, and seeing how the Engineer works, it got me thinking... different professions have different ways of being flexible...

    Equipment

    This is the most obvious, as the first 5 skills are normally due to the weapon you equip. Clearly, the warrior has far more choices of skills based on equipment with 9 weapons to choose from, and 19 different ways to combine them. But this requires you to decide before the fight what you will need, and equip it ahead of time. By contrast, the engineer has 3 weapons, and only 3 ways to combine them.

    Skills

    The elementalist has the attunement, which for a long time was thought of as the "flexible" profession of choice. Now we learn that the engineer has kits which works in a similar way except for taking a skill slot (I think). Also, thieves get stealing, elementalists get conjures, and rangers get forage.

    Also, some skills have multiple functions. Attack chains. Minions can be disposed of. Turrets can be overcharged. Weapon spells can be ordered to do a finishing move. Signets have a passive and an active effect. Virtues can be kept or given.

    -----

    Discuss.

    Are you planning to take advantage of your profession's flexibility?
    If so, how?
    How will that impact gameplay?
    Will players who don't take advantage of this be gimped?
    Are some professions really not that flexible?
    Will this make gameplay too complex?
    Last edited by Gorani; 29-08-2011 at 18:20.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaris View Post
    Are you planning to take advantage of your profession's flexibility?
    If so, how?
    How will that impact gameplay?
    Will players who don't take advantage of this be gimped?
    Are some professions really not that flexible?
    Will this make gameplay too complex?
    Of course every last possible way of drawing use of skills, mechanics and other effects will be used. How, I have no idea yet and really don't care until I know more.

    Leading on, yes it's damn logical people who don't use the tools they have available will be inefficient and it's damn right that they should be. Otherwise there'd be no point in having them in the game since variety can already be derived en masse from the selection of race, class, story and game modes.

    They do seem to be flexible, but it depends on what level of flexibility you expect. Is is flexible to just be able to deal damage in different ways? Ranged vs. melee? Single target vs. AoE? Or does it need to be flexibility within the role of a supposed team?
    If so, I could have my doubts but it remains to be seen with additional skills and objectives within the game.


    Too complex a game, lol.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaris View Post
    Are you planning to take advantage of your profession's flexibility?
    If so, how?
    How will that impact gameplay?
    Will players who don't take advantage of this be gimped?
    Are some professions really not that flexible?
    Will this make gameplay too complex?
    I think it's safe to say that yes, all professions will be flexible in one way or another and I plan on taking full advantage of it. Heck I'll probably end up switching weapon sets just to mix it up a bit and to better acquaint myself with the skills in case I find myself in a situation where I might actually need a change to survive. That said, I don't think it will destroy simpler players who find the one thing they like and stick to it. As long as they are good with what they've got, I think they should mostly be fine. They might not be able to deal with every situation in a way someone mixing it up could, but I don't think the game is out to kill you for making the mistake of bringing a dagger instead of a focus.

  4. #4
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    I figured I might answer my own questions...

    I do like flexibility, so I'll be finding out what I can about my professions and practicing it.

    I think a big aspect of flexibility will be ranged vs melee vs support. Melee-only players for example might need to switch to ranged in some fights. Likewise, support players will need to adapt to the type of support needed. Outside of that, I think that players not using their flexibility fully will only suffer a very mild loss in effectiveness.

    I think some professions, especially physical damage ones (e.g. warrior, thieves, rangers), are less flexible once they enter combat at least in access to skills. This is in part why they also have more weapon choices (except thief, but he has steal, stealth, and shadowstep).

    Gameplay complexity is more akin to chess... easy to learn, difficult to master. It'll be fairly easy to access the skills you want, but harder to select the right ones for the highest effectiveness, especially as combined with all the buffs / debuffs present on the ground, position of foes and allies, etc. I think GW2 will offer more of a difference in power between good and bad players.
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  5. #5
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    Honestly, I don't plan to take advantage of the flexibility THAT much. I plan to use it as a way of playing a profession the way I want. For example, I want to make a Warrior, but I don't really want to be a tank. I like having the ability TO tank, but I prefer being in a support role and using banners / shouts to help the group.

    If we were talking about a normal game or GW 1, I'd probably switch roles so I could get groups to achieve my goals. But, since GW2 is supposed to be mostly "group free," I'll probably just use the flexibility to play how I want.

    I think this gets at most of your questions.

  6. #6
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    Flexibility and the Elementalist (my analysis based on stuff I compiled)

    Equipment
    Everything has to happen before the battle begins, as Elementalists only have one weapon slot and can't swap once in combat. The choice a player has to make is to stay at range (Staff) or get closer to the foes (mid-range/short-range weapon combos)

    Attunements
    IIRC, the Attunements could be changed pretty fast in the demos, so a player that will be able to combo elements via Attunements can create more synergies that a player who will not swap in mid battle. Efficient players will swap for synergies of skills, less efficient players will swap when they see a change on the battlefield.

    Signets & Glyphs
    Passive signets provide a continuous buff (comparable to the virtues of a Guardian, but with taking up a slot on the skill bar). Taking two or three of those (to skill slots 7-10), will reduce your flexibility with skills, but provide you with a strong foundation of buffs.

    Traits
    Probably only changeable outside of combat, those can enhance your personal game style: If you are fine with not changing your main weapon, chose e.g. "Staff Mastery", which will increase your damage of skills (1-5) while wielding a staff. If you love and are able to execute a certain combo of skills, chose their "Improved" traits of single skills. The player which loves his passive signets might buff himself with the traits from the Arcanum line, which provide base buffs to the ability scores.

    Nimble fingers
    Certainly my point of weakness in GW1. The ability to move across the battlefield with the keyboard and pushing WASD. GW2 will be a lot about positioning on the battlefield and of course there will be no auto attack.

    Know your enemies
    Knowing a certain weakness of foes always helps.

    Conclusion:
    GW2 will have a wider gap between bad players and good players than GW1 has right now (often seen in the PvP leet vs. PvE noob division). On the other hand, I think that a good PvE player in GW2 will be closer to good PvP gameplay than in GW1. Efficient and deadly players will most likely come from the hard core PvP crowd, but that should not surprise anybody.
    Last edited by Gorani; 04-06-2011 at 21:27.
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  7. #7
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    Good analysis Gorani.

    I think traits work on a per weapon basis, so you can setup a set of traits for each weapon, and only those of the equipped weapon apply. Not sure how that works with elementalist, if it's also per element (so you get 4 sets of traits per weapon).

    I think knowledge of foes will play a greater role than in GW1, with all professions so far bringing some disables... but more so with the elementalist (so far) because he can switch easily between elements... snare for melee, blind for range, etc...
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  8. #8
    The flexibility is brought to another dimension when we consider cross-profession combinations, and how players will support each other. This, I'm sure, is something which will be difficult to master and will require experience and skill.

  9. #9
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    Sometimes I worry that as a frontliner (Guardian) it'll be hard to know where to put my effects... and that moreover it'll be hard to take advantage of buffs others will have.

    I might end up preferring Engineer because of that...
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaris View Post
    Sometimes I worry that as a frontliner (Guardian) it'll be hard to know where to put my effects... and that moreover it'll be hard to take advantage of buffs others will have.

    I might end up preferring Engineer because of that...
    You know that's not supposed to be a bad thing

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