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Reader Comments (91)

Posted: Mar 6th 2012 11:13AM Xo1o said

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people just built up so much anticipation for this game and know so little about how it actually plays that they freak out about anything they don't understand (yet). If you followed the development for some time and see how often the word "iteration" gets used by devs and how much thought they put into every aspect of the game, you'd think that fans shoudl have a little more faith in the ability of the devs. Even if this isn't the best system I'm sure it'll eventually get tweaked to the point where it is one of the best. Feedback is ok and valid, but panic and bigotry is not

Posted: Mar 6th 2012 11:55AM hassaun2006 said

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@Xo1o I understand their (the fearful uneducated masses) concerns; no one wants to be told to tank or heal when they dont want to, and at the same time there are people coming towards GW2 who really love that style of play, and want to do that, and arenanet has found a way to both provide a way that while you cant 'tank' or "heal" as it is in other games, you can help keep people alive and help them take less damage, while also making sure that if you dont want to run like that, and you want to be in a five man damage dealing crew, you can, so long as everyone understands they'll have a much thinner safety net. I love this, myself.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 1:24PM JuliusSeizure said

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@Xo1o

Yeah, people just see something that has a vague resemblance to something they don't want and assume that's what it is without looking at context.

I mean, the existence of one, single attribute to increase a character's buffing ability doesn't mean that buffing is going to be a dedicated, immutable and necessary role. No one thinks that. Meanwhile, look how many attributes increase damage output. It's at least 5 and typically 6 including the class-specific. Is each one of those an individual, necessary role? Of course not.

Look at the trait system. The way the trees are structured clearly implies a design meant to create a very diverse and flexible character. Your choices are about the feel and look of what you can do, and the linked attributes look to have been chosen for contrast and diversity rather than complementing each other.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 3:07PM DancingCow said

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@hassaun2006

But seriously - what value does this system add to the game?

I'm probably going to buy GW2 - there's a lot to love about it - but I look at this system and feel less in love with it. This is supposedly about giving players more freedom with roles but I just see it as adding unnecessary math. It's complexity for the sake of complexity.

Without traits players can choose a different role in any profession by switching weapons and the open slot abilities. Mission accomplished.

Do I want to have to number crunch? No. Never. I'm incredibly good at math - I often topped these classes at school and uni - but it's not my idea of fun.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 3:23PM Synthetic said

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@DancingCow

You don't have to run numbers.

I'm sure there are going to be whole websites dedicated to maximizing the benefit of every aspect of this game and you could always just go to those sites and copy & paste onto your character.

At times there is the urge to do just that, but I do not. As you said, number crunching isn't your idea of fun; well, neither is it mine when I just want to play a game, so I've made the choice to only use in-game resources when it comes to performing whatever role I set for myself and my character.

The only way I see this being an issue is you enjoy min-maxing your character.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 5:32PM DancingCow said

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@Synthetic

One doesn't have to "enjoy min maxing" to not want to be gimped or prefer not to even have to think about it.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 8:18PM Mikx said

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@Xo1o "people just built up so much anticipation for this game and know so little about how it actually plays"

Exactly. In terms of the Trinity, what it means is that Gamebreaker's MikeB was right, it still exists, they just don't call characters tanks, even if someone was performing that role. Rubi, and a lot of others were expecting otherwise.

If you still need to routinely go in and pull aggro off of an ally I'll be happy enough though.

The trait system has depth, but its still a complicated mess with some very niche mechanics embedded into its core.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 8:37PM Mikx said

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@Synthetic No, you don't have to run numbers, but the problem is that what they implemented isn't what we were promised, either.

GW2 wasn't going to have the spreadsheets, or, by extension, the websites that tell you what to do to min-max your character or the calculators telling you how to wring 1% more damage from your character given your available gear and prof/build. That's changed. And not for the better.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 9:49PM Synthetic said

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@DancingCow

What would you consider being a gimped player, though? Not being the best you could be? Not performing your role adequately? Not performing your role better than X percentage of other players? Not being able to complete certain objectives in the game world?

I stand by my assertion that one need not compute all variances to an Nth margin of error in order to be a(n) very effective character. I will also concede your point that this will now require more thought than what was previously indicated for Guild Wars 2, in that sense the game will be less enjoyable for those that just want to get stuck into it. And yes, that includes those that don't want to min-max: the average player.

I sympathize with your concerns, for sure, but I'm hoping that in practice it's better than what we assume.

@Mikx

In brief my response to you is that I agree.

The buzzword for GW2 is 'support' and they insist that the traits system is just a layer of customization, a-bit-more-than-just-flavor system. The fact that all classes have been designed to bear the weight of the Trinity means its distribution over classes should prevent a necessity for players to assume the standard roles of tank/healer/dps. Again, we'll have to wait and see how it plays out once we have our hands on the game. If there are, and I'm leaning that there will be, cookie-cutter Trinity builds, then perhaps the cost for such will outweigh the benefit and we wont see many in game.

For now I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and say that this Trait System (and it's 70 points to allocate somehow) will do what we're being led to believe. That is to say that it will provide rich, enjoyable depth to character development and customization that extends beyond the character creation screen(s).

Of course, I could have a horrible understanding of everything I've read and have no idea what talking about and be completely wrong.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 10:21PM Bhima said

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@Mikx

Except MikeB is wrong if he is assuming the "tank" can be a tank like he can in WoW. No single class regardless of gear or spec can tank a full encounter in a dungeon even in story mode and live to tell the tale... no "healer" can effectively heal their team through a full encounter in a dungeon either. The Trinity as we know it isn't just that there are tanks healers and dps, it is that those roles must be specific to each player to succeed. GW2 still requires people to "tank", but it will require EVERYONE to take aggro at some point within any given encounter, just as it will require EVERYONE to dps and EVERYONE to heal themselves and help mitigate damage with either defensive abilities, dodging, CC/snares, or weaker HoT spells.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 11:00PM Mikx said

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@Bhima Right, but it is all about the cooldowns and, say, whether a class has 2 weapons that allow him to do essentially the same thing. For some profs/abilities like the Guardian walls, its easy to see how you could essentially have your role defined as one thing, even if you're doing incidental damage on the side. Your role in the group would be to plop down shields and walls.

The other thing is arenanet has been saying all sorts of things to all sorts of people. Anet has told the "I want to be an ele but I only want to use fire" people they can play that way. And they've told the "I want to be a warrior and I only want to use a sword and shield" people they can play that way. In each case though, you won't be playing optimally. What does that mean? Can you sill complete an elite event or a dungeon without being a significant drain on their team? Who knows.
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Posted: Mar 7th 2012 3:44PM Adeptus Enginus said

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@Mikx Can't speak for elite events, but it's very much known that anybody will be able to finish a dungeon.

Dungeons come in two difficulties, Story Mode and Exploration. Story Mode is, for all intents and purposes, an absolute cakewalk. You can go in with a dunce hat and a stick up yer' arse, and if you have any grasp on reality, walk out with some loot. It's designed specifically so that anybody can clear it, experience the story (Again, Story Mode) and move on without feeling like they missed out on a part of the game. If you want to go dig up the Curse videos from the NDA drop, they have the entirety of the first dungeon recorded. In it, the played so bad that the fanbase facepalmed in perfect unison as they watched, but they still managed to clear the whole thing. It stands as evidence that Story Mode is effectively idiot-proof.
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Posted: Mar 8th 2012 9:09AM Bhima said

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@Mikx

I think your cases are a bit extreme because they are trying to create roles based on the fact of a minority of players trying to play GW2 in a very narrow way. Sure, a guardian that picks literally only defensive bubble skills will probably be successful as long as everyone else can dps fast enough to make up for the loss in dps and mitigate damage when defensive abilities are on cooldown. I also can bet that Anet won't allow you to weaponswap between the same sets of weapons and still have their cooldowns refreshed. My guess is the minute you swap sword/board to sword/board you are gonna see the same 5 skills on cooldown.

I also think you are equivocating on this idea that if players perceive roles as being optimal, then people will be forced into them. The game design does not require a specific build to be successful, so if people want to believe it does then those are the people you or I just choose not to join a dungeon with.
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Posted: Mar 10th 2012 12:37AM kalipou134 said

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Lots of people actually love Healing as a role.

I don't see them making a semi-focused healer as a problem. Everybody likes to sit back and take it easy for a while from time to time.

So long as they don't start making tank/spank fights or fights that REVOLVE around having someone healing you non-stop.

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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 11:26AM donweel said

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Good read. I was not hugely interested in Guild Wars but that interest is growing daily thanks to articles like this.

Posted: Mar 6th 2012 11:49AM DarkWalker said

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@donweel

On the other hand, the required gold and travel to change specs has me looking a bit more carefully at TSW, and perhaps making it my MMO of choice for this year and the next. Even WoW - with dual specs and the upcoming ability to change talents whenever outside combat - is looking a lot more interesting, to the point I might return to it if Blizzard solves the LFR loot drama.

I do recognize that I put a lot more weight on character flexibility than normal, though - to the point I stopped playing DCUO even though I have a lifetime sub, and refused to even get TOR, just because no single character in any of those games can be all roles.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 3:51PM Eamil said

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@DarkWalker

I actually saw a pretty good argument in favor of requiring travelling to respec: If this didn't happen, you'd end up with people going "spec X for Y boss fight" through dungeons. The system lets you swap out major traits and all of your skills at will, and even your weapon skills mid-fight via the second weapon set, so I don't see anyone really needing much more flexibility in the field than that. And if you do need it, the game's fast travel is instant and cheap.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 10:25PM Bhima said

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@DarkWalker

"Travelling" in GW2 to respec is no more than hitting "M", finding the waypoint to your respec NPC and pressing it to instantly be there. Do the reverse to get back to where you were. Hell you can do this with a sammich in your other hand.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 11:42AM (Unverified) said

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In describing this soft-trinity interpretation of yours, not only have you shown you don't fully understand the combat mechanics in GW2, but you have further damaged this trinity debate by perpetuating this incorrect belief from your highly visible soapbox.

You cannot spec to tank and you cannot spec to heal. You can spec to favor support but you cannot spec to be a Support class. You can spec to favor control, but you cannot spec to be a Control class.

You will be doing support, control, and damage as the situation demands it. All three; ebbing and flowing. Traits just make you a little better during the times you have to do the thing you are best at. Not your profession. YOU.

In summary, if you think the dependence on someone else's ability to heal you will make or break the content you are doing, you are doing it WRONG.

Posted: Mar 6th 2012 11:55AM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) In addendum, that Lewis B piece linked at the end of the article gets it this issue exactly right. Everyone should go read that!
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