Guild Wars 2: The State of the Game Summary (Part 3)

A second roundtable chat between top PvP players of Guild Wars 2 to discuss the current status of the game from a competitive standpoint. Part 3 discusses the balance of abilities and what the players themselves would change if they could.

Editor’s Note: This is the last of a 3 part series. Miss the earlier installments? Check them out: Part 1Part 2

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Ability balance

Discussion ensues about ability balance in general, noting that certain abilities are being debated as possibly being too powerful in Guild Wars 2’s PvP when these top-tier players think that balance would be better focused taking the skills that are not currently viable to take into PvP, of which every class has many, and making them viable choices to try and help minimize the trend of considering one given build to be strongest.

Agreement was had, however, that evading skills being usable while immobilized is a problem that should be fixed, while full condition-damage teams are not viable against anything but a very specific team composition.

Of the players

The question was then put out asking what the players in the chat would change if they could implement whatever changes they wanted into Guild Wars 2 and put them immediately into effect.  Java stated that he feels there are too many issues that could not be instantly fixed to pick anything, that the game has a great deal of issues in its basic interface and how it runs PvP that would need to be fixed gradually.

Vain, for his part, specified that he’d like the game to have more skill shots in more classes to raise the overall skill cap of the game, would like the game’s bugs to be handled faster when discovered, would like to hear more about what is currently being worked on, and he also thinks that character swapping in mid-tournament should be locked to prevent players from specifically trying to counter their opposing team after the tourney has already started.

Helseth very definitely wanted a viable solo-queue in the game, specifically to be able to play alone or with a single friend (not having a full team) and being able to be competitive, which leads into a larger discussion about how long it will take the game to achieve certain basic objectives in the format for the tournaments, agreeing that Arenanet needs to do better at keeping people informed about when they can expect updates.

Grouch’s idea on what he would change would be to make the game’s PvP, the Mists itself, a free to play game.  This would immediately attract a great many new players, which would rapidly boost the amount of people and the amount of voluntary money brought in, giving Arenanet more incentive to make the necessary changes rapidly.  The agreement on that idea was simply that Guild Wars 2 needs to make its PvP profitable.

In closing

The game is in a fairly good place, in terms of balance.  Obviously it has some abilities that are stronger than others, but the classes are largely balanced, with even the classes that are not seen often at high-level competitive play still being useful, just with more specific teams or roles.  Once Guild Wars 2‘s interface and PvP management gets up to speed, it should be explosive.

State of the Game should be occuring monthly, with Arenanet having a member of its development team present for the next one.  Stay tuned!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 

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Writer, gamer, and generally hopeful beneath a veneer of cynicism.