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Reader Comments (79)

Posted: Feb 29th 2012 8:53AM Bhima said

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@Mikx

But if you wanted to be a conditions/buff guardian, aren't you ALREADY limiting your choice of weapons to use regardless of the trait system?
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Posted: Mar 1st 2012 4:42PM Mikx said

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@Bhima Good, point, and to Hassan with similar points.

But it is still a problem (and possibly as big of a problem) because you may need or want certain conditions, but you don't need others, or any more is simply overboard. And yet they are still incentivized to play a certain way and choose complimentary weapons.
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Posted: Feb 29th 2012 12:47AM (Unverified) said

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I hardly think allocating one point to a choice of 5 lines every time you level up is "turning the game into a spreadsheet" or "preparing to have fun instead of having fun".

I guess I don't quite understand what you're asking for. You seem to be simultaneously panning this design for being too complicated and too simplistic.
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Posted: Feb 29th 2012 1:16AM Mikx said

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@(Unverified) I don't think this trait system is too simplistic, what it does though is remove choice. Your minor traits are selected for you, your trait points give you stats (in two different stats!) which encourage you to play a certain way, etc...

It is rather obvious that they bit off more than they could chew with the traits, (the +2 additional bone minion trait and other "change how the skill functions" traits are nowhere to be found) but this revision is just sad. It's not only affecting the traits, its tampering with the stats and the weapons for no reason at all.
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Posted: Feb 29th 2012 1:36AM hassaun2006 said

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@Mikx oK If you want to cause conditions, that in and of itself discourages weapons that dont have skills that cause them, doesnt it? If the only weapon set that did was greatsword for some reason, and you wanted to build around conditions, then you would also want to build around the greatsword, which is more than possible. now of course you can use any weapon still although they wouldnt be maxed out, but GW2 isnt a Min-Max game. You can never just sit and do one thing in combat, so you have to not think about "i can only do what I specced into." If i spec into blood magic as a necro, you can bet that if the situation calls for it, i'll be using minions. Since you can max out two trees, you have more flexibility than I feel you're making it sound like. in addition, they are trying to avoid a gear treadmill, and leaving attributes to solely gear begs for just that. We have no idea how many attribute points/combos we'll get from gear, but I would suspect not as many as you get from maxing traits.
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Posted: Feb 29th 2012 1:41AM hassaun2006 said

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@Mikx also, they designed the system, so I wouldn't say they "bit off more than they could chew." with the previous incarnation of traits. I don't know if you've read about their exact iteration process, but if they come up with an idea that they find amazing, they dont try to find some way to ham-hand it into the game, they are willing to go back and tear down whatever doesnt work with the idea so they can get it in and it feel organic. They have said that they reserve the right to change whatever aspect they wish as drastically as need be to make the best game possible. There's no knowing what changes exactly contributed to this form of traits to be chosen, but as each change has been for the better, I'm willing to bet that I would probably support it if I did.
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Posted: Feb 29th 2012 1:52AM hassaun2006 said

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@Mikx Just to be clear, it sounds like you believe that without traiting into them, using abilities with bleeds or crits, or whatever wont be useful, which is not the case. They wont be as maxed out as specialized versions, maybe, but they will still be worth using. My non-defensive guardian will still have access to all of the same abilities as any defense traited guardian, but depending on the traits my skills wont behave the same. If i was wearing defensive gear, then for that encounter there wouldn't be that much difference between our performance, depending on how much gear attributes to your ability to damage, support, or defend
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Posted: Feb 29th 2012 11:01AM (Unverified) said

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@hassaun2006

"Just to be clear, it sounds like you believe that without traiting into them, using abilities with bleeds or crits, or whatever wont be useful, which is not the case"

You can't know that. None of us can know that until through testing is done on all this crap. You're regurgitating ANets own words back at us as though they were physical laws. As potential customers, we cannot afford to blindly trust the developers own rhetoric on this subject. They have a vested interest in downplaying these sorts of issues so they don't drive people away.

Given how this sort of scenario has played out before in other games before (Warhammer's original Tactic system was very similar to the old Trait system for instance, before it was scrapped to include talent trees). Mikx's expressed fears of pigeon holing and rigidly enforced roles, specs, and gear selections are very valid.

By voicing these fears and concerns now we can hopefully get some dialogue going with the developers so we can either help mitigate the damage this new system could cause the game at launch or be assuaged that the blog post was poorly written and conveyed messages that were incorrect.

I want to like GW2. I think the vast majority of us in this comment section do. I want to play a newer version of DAoC. I want fun PvE encounters that I can do casually with my guild for kicks instead of in the name of pure, unbridled power advancement. But near every damn thing I've seen ANet put out in the last year is plastered with big WARNING stickers that remind me of other games that were hyped to hell as being the "next big thing" only to see them launch as terrible failures that did nothing to advance the genre. Games like Vanguard, Warhammer, and SWTOR to name a few.
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Posted: Mar 1st 2012 4:11PM Mikx said

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@hassaun2006 Yeah, what unverified said, we simply don't know the numbers. The bonuses from the trait points may be completely trivial, I doubt it though, depending on what people think is trivial.

I know this is almost a necro post now, but thanks for the discussion, it was fun.
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Posted: Mar 1st 2012 4:28PM Mikx said

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@hassaun2006 They explained the system by saying that traits would change the way skills functioned, and I think they said they wanted it that way because players no longer had total control over the skill bar. Instead you have the weapons, and mandatory heal, utility and elite slots. You had less choice, but you also had traits that would make you stand out from other players. More damage just doesn't do that, and 20% to apply burning doesn't really do that either.

Inscription doesn't really live up to that ideal in WoW, and gw2 really doesn't either. Modifying many or every skill is a lot of work. It is safer to just put a number buff on it.
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Posted: Mar 1st 2012 4:19PM Mikx said

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@ unverified: "I hardly think allocating one point to a choice of 5 lines every time you level up is "turning the game into a spreadsheet"

But why do they give you a point per level? is that their "you leveled up award"? If they really wanted to give out trait points, they should give out 1 point every five levels, and you get an automatic trait when you spend the point.

1 point every level means you can go for odd trait builds like putting 11 points into one line and 14 into another. Is there a clear benefit to doing that? It doesn't seem like there is, but we have absolutely no idea because we don't know the numbers. But the game, as explained, certainly lets you do it. Why?

All that compounds the complexity of the system, and as it is, people will certainly spend hours shuffling numbers from one line to another even if the odd trait builds are banned.
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Posted: Feb 29th 2012 5:34AM Panicbutton said

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Basically they've overcooked it and are trying to hard.

I like involved character customization and trait/talent systems generally speaking, it's fun to experiment and have extra layers of depth. Having said that this looks a little too complicated and fiddly.

The gating with the books/tomes whatever you have to get is unnecessary.

Linking traits to two attributes and having that be different for each trait line and character class is overly complicated and will be a pain for people to remember.

Not being able to respec on the fly is very 2005, not something I would expect from a next gen MMO and tying it in to a cash sink is a very dated approach as well.

They've really opened up the door to cookie-cutter builds, theory-crafting and moving towards having the holy trinity of group roles again.

I can see this system getting revisited post-launch if they leave it as is. To me it feels like a missed opportunity and that they're trying too hard to be an MMO.

It's not putting me off but it is disappointing.

Posted: Feb 29th 2012 6:14AM hassaun2006 said

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@Panicbutton why would there be cookie cutter builds in a game where there's no single roles? and how is a small gold fee a huge cash sink? Overly complicated? You can't remember five different attribute combinations for one class? How would you play an MMO this large with hidden areas, events, and surprises if you couldn't manage that? I speak not of you specifically, but anyone that wouldn't be able to manage this idea. People can keep track of twice this many stats and not batt an eye at it, some even relish the idea. This is MMO country, where people spreadsheet and minmax and simulate data just because they can, even if the game's mechanics don't entirely reward that.

Tying attributes to traits is a way of avoiding gear being the sole or main contributor to character power, which I'm all for. Besides which, the entire point of this change is to allow for more styles of play since in the post they admit that you only had two styles of combat: do larger hits, or do more crits and keep track of the effects. They do this so there's more flexibility in the styles of combat people can create.

tl;dr = Stay calm, the game isn't out yet, Arenanet has made it clear that if they see their decisions don't work, they have no problem changing them, so if beta doesn't respond to this trait system(I think it will) then they'll implement a new one before release.
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Posted: Feb 29th 2012 6:18AM hassaun2006 said

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@Panicbutton Also, the mechanics for the original trinity dont really exist in this game, there's no threat tables, and out going heals do very little healing in relation to self heals, all of which are on 20 second plus long timers, so there's no such thing as sustained healing, no matter how hard you trait into it.
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Posted: Feb 29th 2012 9:24AM MithranArkanere said

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Looks to me that instead the 1319 skills and less than 30 'meta' builds we have, plus countless worthless combinations, we'll have less skills, but way more usable combinations.


So instead having the possibility of horrid skill combinations and people with bad builds hindering others and doing more bad than good (see Ranger Spirits and Traps, that are rarely used excepting in a few places) we have many viable combinations.

In solo competition, making bad builds is just your problem, but in coopearation and team competition, you having bad builds bothers others, as you can't choose your allies.


If it was in my hands, GW1 skills would have been like this:
- 10 skill slots.
- No elites from secondary profession (skill hunter title would be account-wide)
- Number of secondary profession skills limited to 3.
- No more than one self-healing and 3 party healing skills, but at least one self-healing.
- No more than one resurrection, but at least always one.
- No more than one elite, but at least always one.
Whenever you'll add a skill that would break these rules (e.g.: a 4th secondary skill, a skill that it's not a self healing, elite or resurrection when there's 7 skills that are none of those, a 4th skill that can heal other party members, a second elite skill), you'll get a green message similar to those you get when you try to add a 4th PvE-only skill, and if you have a build that doesn't match these rules outside the training areas ('training areas' being the Isle of the Nameless, areas before reaching the Port Towns), you can't enter level 20 Arenas, post-training Missions, dungeons, elite areas and mission-like quest.

Posted: Feb 29th 2012 1:39PM hassaun2006 said

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@MithranArkanere ^ This.
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Posted: Feb 29th 2012 1:10PM kgptzac said

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"After a character has spent their trait points, they can visit a trainer to reset their traits and refund their previously spent points for a small fee."

^this is good.

Posted: Feb 29th 2012 2:41PM Eamil said

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I don't have a problem with having to pay to respec your traits, but it does seem like it would be better to let you change them at will out of combat the way you could with attribute points at outposts in the first game.

Posted: Mar 1st 2012 2:50AM OrangeGamer said

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I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit worried. I'm all for GW2, but the cookie cutting will probably begin, despite many roles and traits being perfectly valid. Then again, even if things weren't this way, min-maxing would've happened in some form or fashion.

That said, I like the idea of the naming scheme and whatnot overall.

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