Thursday, July 5, 2012

Guild Wars 2 Hub Interview

GW2 Concept Art

Lewis B over at the Hub created an excellent two-part interview  with Jon Peters over the latest beta changes as well as spending substantial time on profession balance.  The questions were skillfully written (even if they were just as long as the answers), and the answers were equally well-crafted.

Jon: I don’t think this system is ever going to allow a full-on “soft trinity”because we made a number of decisions that directly counter it—from the small set of boons and conditions to everyone having a self heal. That being said, the point of the builds is to help define areas where your character can feel they have a sense of specialization, which I do believe is accomplished within the limits of the system.
Jon provided a great answer about the "soft trinity" debate, an accusation that has plagued Guild Wars 2 since it's inception.  You won't be able to solely tank a boss encounter, or only heal your friends, it won't get you through the encounter.
Jon: One of the goals of Guild Wars 2 is that offense is greater than defense in the long run. It doesn’t mean that spec’ing defense is bad or that we don’t want you playing defensively. It means that we want to make sure that stuff dies and there is progress. There is a fine line here, and you have called out two of the biggest offenders on the “too defensive” side of things, but we will not remove this role, as it is fun; it just needs to be viable but not required.
A philosophy that I completely agree with.  There was a reason in WoW, that a debuff was needed for flag carriers. Personally, I hope we will see guardians and necromancers losing a bit of their durability between now and next beta. (Though both professions could use some help offensively.)
Jon Peters: I try not to worry too much about BWE metagame. People are just learning the basics of the game compared to what we see in our internal tests. I can tell you that the builds people think are strong are really not the ones to be the most worried about, as there are some absolute monster builds in the current internal meta that thankfully have not seen the light of day in our weekend events.
Well damn.  We have absolutely no clue what is strong yet, a fact which I find pleasantly surprising and revealing towards the complexity of the system.
Jon: The balance of the game right now is basically at what I call the 80% rule. Things are basically okay, but there are a ton of things that just don’t feel right the more you play. We have done the groundwork of establishing what we feel is a good baseline for balance, but now we begin the “second 80%” of actually making sure things adhere to that baseline. Some of that work has begun for the next beta weekend, but not all of it will be completed.
Another reiteration that balancing is nowhere near complete. I'll be really interested to see what changes make it to the next beta.
Jon: We want there to be glass-cannon builds, but there are a number of extreme ones right now. The worst one is actually an elementalist build, which I won’t describe here because I don’t know if I will have time to completely remove all forms of it before the next weekend.
I know what I'm going to be doing between now and next weekend. Finding that elementalist build. Okay, probably not, but that just sounds terrifying. Jon, can we have a better hint please? Is it something with fire? It's always more fun with fire.

Head on over to Guild Wars 2 Hub for the great profession-oriented questions/answers. Engineers, mesmers, elementalists, guardians, and necromancers were all addressed quite well. A large amount of information was covered, and many of the questions revealed some of the philosophies behind balancing.
Part One:
Part Two:

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