Guild Wars 2 State of the Game March (Part 2)
Welcome to part 2 of March's State of the Game for Guild Wars 2!
WvW and sPvP Interaction
Nero points out that the World vs World PvP and the structured PvP have a huge gap between them, with the gains from World vs World not carrying into the structured games. Tyler explains that the huge gap between the two was originally a deliberate design decision but the data they've been watching and studying has shown how many sPvP players do play the PvE content as well, so it is something they are likely to begin easing up the separation on in the near future.
Xeph asks about the incentives to play sPvP, pointing out there is nothing specific or unique to the PvP maps to give PvP or PvE players a reason to play on them. His suggestion was a set of armor unique to sPvP. The point was recognized but also shot down, stating that a set of sPvP-exclusive armor is currently impossible. It is something being considered for possible implementation in the future.
As an additional note, Tyler notes that players who log out while in the Heart of the Mists will have their character displayed in character select in their PvP gear.
Next they begin discussing each class in the game, starting with Elementalist. Karl immediately notes that the class has only one real build in high-level play. It is a single build that can do quite literally anything it needs to, from bunkering a point to heavy DPS. This was somewhat deliberate, as the class was intended to be a jack of all trades but master of none. Naturally Arenanet wants to correct this by making other builds more viable.
The class is also known very much for its healing ability. Karl confirmed that is a design decision, and that the goal is for Guardian to be more capable of healing in small doses over time, but for the Elementalist to retain its burst healing.
Xeph pointed out that the combination of self-protection and heavy burst healing makes the class almost unbeatable one on one in the hands of a skilled player. Arenanet noted that they are considering increasing the cast time on the heal and also giving other classes benefits against target stacking boons like an elementalist can.
Karl notes that they are implementing improvements to the engineer turrets, buffs and tweaks, such as causing the thumper turret to cripple in addition to its damage while increasing the damage on the rifle turret. They are also reworking the trait Kit Refinement so that it is less about damage output and more about overall utility.
The design intention for the class is to make it a mid-range area defense specialist to use zone control. Xeph points out that the class is very pigeon-holed. Either it does a lot of damage with no survivability or it survives everything without doing any damage whatsoever. He also mentions that the turret skills are boring, lacking any interaction once being placed.
Arenanet notes that some players actually prefer the playstyle that involves as few utility button-presses as possible (like a Signet Warrior) and enjoy the turret-style build. In addition, the turrets are also meant to be used as defensive abilities, with the overcharge abilities intended to grant extra options simply by being near.
Grouch asks about the random number generator basis on many of the engineer skills and whether that is going to be changed or remain as-is. Karl gave the nod, stating that while they are not looking to entirely remove the RNG from the engineer or the other classes who have effects that similarly are effected by it that they are looking to limit or otherwise control it so that a given class is not luck-based.
Jon further gives the example of the Mesmer, where originally it could apply any of seven random boons or conditions which early playtesting realized was simply too many. RNG on that level could not be planned or played around, which made it unfun and removed much of the skill involved.
Continued with the Guardian in Part 3!