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Damage, Support, and ControlFollow

#1 Nov 22 2010 at 8:06 AM Rating: Decent
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I knew Guild Wars 2 was attempting a game without a healer, one perk for a such a system they mentioned, is that there would be shorter waiting times when making a party. As for tanking, control is their style of tanking. Blinding and knocking down opponents for example, its kind of similar to Guild Wars now. But can this system work effectively and not turn into a frustration curve over a difficulty curve through progression?

Typically in games, higher level enemies get more attacks and do more damage. Without a healer topping you off manically you're going to die. In Guild Wars 2, a support spec'd player or collectively as a group, (where you are going to have to manage spells,) it's your job to protect players from incoming damage. Putting it this perspective, it's a glorified healer but something I like the idea of. But a concern I have is that, there might be a stage of the content where someone just becomes a gimped healer. The optimal PvE monk's of Guild Wars has a balance of healing and protective spells, something I can't imagine a RPG non turn based game not to have without removing difficulty.

As for a control role, I really like the idea of such a role. When deciding which profession to pick back in 2005 for Guild Wars, I interpreted the Mesmer would be the spine of a team in battle, preventing enemy attacks and weakening opponents (It was something like that in PvE :P). With the game to be designed to account players controlling enemies it sounds a clever model opposed to a player taking all the damage and as well its coincide with the support model.

They really need to nail this for it to work in my opinion. A simple tank/heal/damage model is a tried and tested way, ArenaNet have pushed the boat out and are going into a new level of combat balancing, I hope it works!

edit:grammar

Edited, Nov 22nd 2010 9:08am by Kernave
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#2 Nov 22 2010 at 2:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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I hope it works too. I enjoy being the "center" of the battle, but I also enjoy doing damage to my opponents. So I've always found myself to be a bit torn when I try to pick a character. Maybe Guild Wars will finally make a game where every class has some viability in two different roles.
#3 Nov 22 2010 at 5:55 PM Rating: Decent
36 posts
Or all three!!! 8D

My main has always been my monk, but I do agree with ArenaNet on the idea that I spend almost all of my time looking at the UI, and not on the actual fight. I still want to play mainly support, but I'd love to be able to lay the smack down on everyone, and push them to the ground too! That's why I an't wait to see hoe the BML plays out, because if it's how I'm hoping it is, then I'll have my support main that can smack a hoe whenever I feel like it! XD
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#4 Nov 23 2010 at 12:38 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
The optimal PvE monk's of Guild Wars has a balance of healing and protective spells, something I can't imagine a RPG non turn based game not to have without removing difficulty.


This is perhaps an unfortunate side-effect of all MMORPGs playing almost the same. It isn't difficult to imagine a team-based FPS without a primary healing character. Similarly, WoW Arenas and Bloodline Champions function without a dedicated healing character. Nevertheless I expect the powerful protection line of Guild Wars to return in the sequel, most probably in the form of the unrevealed Heavy profession.

As far as the difficulty of encounters is concerned, imagine bosses in single-player action-RPGs like Soul Reaver, sidescrollers like Metal Slug, FPSes like HL and Quake 1/2, semi turn-based RPGs like BG2 and KOTOR, Roshan in DotA, Baron Nashor in League of Legends and all of Diablo 1/2. There is a whole bevy of games with difficult encounters that do not require tank and spank (with a dedicated healer) to succeed at. If Guild Wars 2 can emulate the basic feel of this sort of combat then there would be no need of a dedicated healer in PvE or PvP.

Once again, despite the above, expect a profession geared towards support in GW2. Expect that there will be certain professions who excel at certain roles despite the impression ANet gives.
#5 Nov 23 2010 at 11:28 AM Rating: Decent
6 posts
if you get in to the way of thinking that to stay alive isn't just healing, but sort of negating damage, and putting up buffs/spells/wards etc to stop constant flow of damage or reduce damage taken, that's the kind of support Anet is aiming for...

Imagine a party of 5, and everyone was to support someway...with taking the 4 professions, making them into a party, the flow of the team could be like so:

2 Elementalist
- 1 who's spells heal directly while damaging the enemy
- 1 who's spells support the team, i.e extra armour, health regen etc

1 warrior
- can buff/support the party with extra armour or remove conditions
- can put down banners that do an aoe heal

1 ranger
- im not 100% sure of what to expect, but possibly higher movement speed buffs maybe?

1 necro
- marks and wells that heal and remove conditions
- has fear which can be a form of crowd control

in essence what im trying to make a picture of is the fact that the whole party is the monk/healer, i'm sure within the dungeons some fights the elementalist will be the one doing the majority of the healing, but only because the situation calls for it, and that is what anet is aiming for that there could be times where a dedicated healer is needed for a few fights, but that will change as you progress because the situations deems it so, and at times it could be the warrior who changed to a bow and arrow and does the majority of supporting.

With this, there won't be a 'spec'd healer' since you can change your specs throughout the whole dungeon. Which leads to another type of thinking that people might have to get into...is that there won't be 'roles' anymore and the majority of preparation before a dungeon/event will be make sure u have enough lock picks/energy potions or something and your starting traits/last 5 skills, you won't be preparing your entire build because you will build your skill bar/traits IN the dungeon to fit the situation.
#6 Dec 12 2010 at 11:46 AM Rating: Decent
5 posts
That's why I like this idea!

I am a healer/supporter, I don't need to bathe in blood and glory while showing my DPS-meter
I rather stand back and make small changes to the flow of combat!

Letting people switch is ideal, if I get sick of supporting or the next fight needs more damagedealers then I can just switch there instead of feeling useless

I think PvE will be fine, I'm more worried about PvP where loads of things can happen
#7 Dec 12 2010 at 9:41 PM Rating: Decent
32 posts
From the sound of it, we should be able to switch between roles multiple times in a given fight, not to mention switching in between fights.

That said, the question of course, is whether the players will allow that, or if they will insist on rigid roles in groups. Unfortunately that tends to be the safest and most productive way to do things, particularly in a PUG situation - without voice comms it can be very messy if everyone is constantly changing roles whenever something goes wrong.

The big issue is that when people don't have set roles, everyone tries to respond to every problem, and there's not enough time to assign role changes on the fly. An ally's health is dipping low? Well, every single person just dropped what they were doing and tried to save the vulnerable player. This means no one is doing DPS, no one is controlling, and a bunch of skills are wasted because everyone used skills on top of each other. Even with a group on vent, that knows each other and has good chemistry, these sorts of on-the-fly tactical changes are hard to pull off - it's going to be very unusual for it to work well in a random group of strangers who can't talk to each other.

I have a feeling that in practice, we'll have semi-set roles for each player: This elementalist will focus on maximizing healing, and though they'll be doing damage, it will never be their priority. This warrior will focus on control and keeping mobs away from squishy allies. This ranger will just focus on maximizing damage - they might throw some control out on the focus target, but should never let their damage suffer in order to do so...

Perhaps things will be just as fluid as ANet hopes they will be, but I'm not yet convinced that the player base is enlightened enough to support that just yet.
#8 Jan 17 2011 at 1:57 PM Rating: Decent
28 posts
Some of the most intelligent discussion in the forums I've seen in a long time is coming from GW and GW2 fans. It's a breath of fresh air. I liked Stackd sample buildout, and I myself am imaging game dynamics where fights change what is required during the fight (we've all seen this sort of thing before). What i'm hoping for is something where I'm reacting to the area or monsters as I move through it, and not in a cheesy OMG theres an elite sort of way.
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#9 Jan 18 2011 at 11:14 AM Rating: Decent
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Micajah wrote:
I hope it works too. I enjoy being the "center" of the battle, but I also enjoy doing damage to my opponents. So I've always found myself to be a bit torn when I try to pick a character. Maybe Guild Wars will finally make a game where every class has some viability in two different roles.


GW had that. Warriors could tank, but they were better at DPS. Monks could heal, tank, or do a little damage with the right set up. Els were versatile too.
#10 Jan 21 2011 at 12:21 PM Rating: Decent
8 posts
Well, With the ability to switch between weapon sets we are given the ability to essentially change our role. Whether it be from being a distance/aoe fighter to melee/touch spell fighter or a Tank/dps to healer we can adapt to changes in battle. So I'm pretty sure fights will be very interesting and will require a decent amount of skill from the player. I really see a lot less of the typical "Know your rotation" mechanic we often see to more of a "Hmm... What skill would best suit this situation." With this in mind I see players really considering every mechanic of their profession. Additionally, since everyone can res an ally we can probably count on ArenaNet pushing the difficulty up in dungeons (meaning fights will probably UNDOUBTEDLY be different from what we normally see).

Personally I love playing caster DPS. I love seeing the numbers pop up all over the screen, the boss or person dying, and walking away with a feeling of accomplishment (ahh.. memories). But, I'd be upset when I'd have to completely change my spec, gear, or even character to fulfill another role. So I like the idea of being able to play 1 character and have them fulfill all of these roles accordingly. It cuts down the wait time and the more than annoying "Sorry, We don't need you right now, we need a (insert role here) for this run" message you get from your guild leader or guild-mates. After a few balancing patches I feel the mechanics will work perfectly and we, or at least I will be happy.
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#11 Aug 25 2011 at 8:16 AM Rating: Decent
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I really don't think it will be hard for them to balance the game without the traditional holy trinity. The control abilities just have to actually work. I mean, in the current games I play that use the tank/dps/heal formula, I have abilities like Binds, stuns, polly's, slows, MC's, and so on. But %99 of the time, they only work on trash mobs... I think they're just going to make a game where these abilities don't just become toys to use in pvp or trash pulls, or while you grind.
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#12 Aug 25 2011 at 1:43 PM Rating: Decent
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Well it's been a few months, we've seen some new classes and more footage. Nothing really significant has came about to ease the concerns of this model. From what we can see, the solo play in Guild Wars 2 looks pretty awesome. We've been able to get a glimpse of the catacombs dungeon in terms of teamwork and there were some positive words about the challenge. But that's about all we've had. Of course we have had some PvP content to see but that's a whole new level of balancing.

@Kristo
Yeah, I hope they make use of all the utility skills and don't just make the majority of enemies immune to them like in another popular MMO. It would be nice to cycle through a larger pool of skills knowing that you are helping your team. Just the main worry is, can the maintain a challenge in the end game content? With limited healing, will the end game be punishing enough and will the support skills be too/not effective (enough)?
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