Feedback:User/Guild Wars 3 perhaps/Tactical Inactivity and Auto-targeting
| Tactical Inactivity and Auto-targeting|
|User||Guild Wars 3 perhaps|
Player vs. Player
Go here to see a list of my other GW2 suggestions and discussion contributions.
I'm not yet clear on how opponents are targeted in GW2; TAB button, mouse click, some other key press? Regardless, from the demo videos I've seen, it's obvious opponents are targetable; they glow with a red highlight around them for enemies and - if I'm not mistaken - with a green highlight for allies.
Even though the little red dots on the compass/mini-map/radar to indicate enemy positions have been eliminated from GW2 (from what I've seen in the demos, anyway), it's still apparent that a player can rapidly cycle through auto-targeting opponents using whatever mechanic has been established for doing so.
Furthermore, there does not appear to be a distance limit to this auto-targeting. As long as an enemy is visable on a player's screen, it appears they can both be manually selected as a target and eligible as a target for auto-targeting by rapidly cycling through targets using the TAB key or whatever.
My suggestion is not to do away with this behavior, but rather to modify it a little bit.
If a player in PvP mode stands absolutely still and does not activate any skills, I would like to see that player removed from the list of eligible auto-targets. An enemy player can still target you if they manage to see you in your hiding place by hovering their mouse cursor over your position and clicking on you. But that same enemy player will not be able to target you by simply pressing the TAB key multiple times until the inactive player is auto-targeted.
This will add some strategic and tactical depth to PvP; especially in the larger arenas/WvWvW servers. Now, while large armies are duking it out on the battlefield, some loan scouts, saboteurs, or infiltrators can be stealthily creeping around the enemy's flanks to accomplish some task behind enemy lines. If they're careful to use the environment to camouflage themselves and move:freeze:move:freeze, they can avoid the enemy. Now the enemy forces have to consider setting up patrols to counter this tactic. So instead of the large scale PvP maps devolving into simply massed human wave battles, there will be a greater variety of strategic and tactical options available to players with differing play styles.
Likewise, in PvE mode the ability of computer controlled enemies to detect and aggro on that player will be reduced by some factor. For example, if a monster would normally detect and aggro on a player from 100 feet away, now the aggro and detection won't happen until the monster gets within 25 feet of the player who is standing still and not activating skills. Of course, once detection and aggro have occurred, if the player breaks inactivity, moves, activates skills, and then attempts to return to being inactive, that won't break the monster's aggro or ability to detect the player. Freezing in place and not using skills would only work if the monster hasn't already detected you.
Understand that I'm making a distinction between my suggestion and a Thief's stealth/cloaking ability. In my suggestion above, players who stop moving and are not activating skills are still fully visable. While frozen in position they just won't be auto-targetable in PvP and will have their aggro circle significantly reduced with respect to computer controlled enemies in PvE. But to truly leverage this to its fullest potential, it will still be up the player who is trying to go undetected to choose their hiding places well.
For example, in a PvP arena a dark-clothed player decides to freeze in position in the middle of a white snow-covered meadow. They will still stick out like a sore thumb to every enemy player on the map; freezing in place notwithstanding. The enemy players may not be able to auto-target them with the TAB key while the player remains frozen in position, but it won't take much effort to place the mouse cursor and click on their not-so-hidden opponent to make them the active target.
Conversely, a player who uses shadows, obstacles, and elevation changes in the environment to hide behind and stay out of enemy view will be rewarded when they freeze in those hiding places by not being auto-targetable. They can still be manually targeted if a sharp-eyed opponent notices that something doesn't quite look right about the silhouette of a certain "tree". Otherwise, sneaky players can make effective use of this technique for avoiding head-on confrontations and infiltrate the enemy's territory without falling prey to rapid pressing of the TAB key by their opponents.
So as to prevent abuse of this feature in the middle of a fight as means of avoiding targeting by enemies, give it an "activation" time. If a player stops moving and stops using skills, they won't be removed from the eligible auto-targeting list in PvP or from detection/aggro by computer-controlled enemies in PvE for a few seconds (maybe 3 to 5). Also, once a player has been targeted by another player or computer-controlled enemy, they remain targetable until such time as they have moved out of line-of-sight (in PvP) or out of detection/aggro range (in PvE); even if they attempt to freeze in place again.
For example, player Sneaky McSneakerstein is creeping around the WvWvW server map, running to this tree, freezing in place, running to that farmhouse, freezing in place, ducking into those shadows, freezing in place, etc. Enemy player Eagle Eye Iverson - peering into the shadows - thinks he sees a weird shape crouched there. He puts his mouse cursor over it and clicks and - sure enough - he manages to target Sneaky McSneakerstein. He closes the distance and they're now engaged in combat. Ol' Sneaky manages to cripple Iverson and runs off into the trees ahead of his hobbled foe. But he's not run out of Iverson's line-of-sight yet.
Sneaky then freezes in position when he reaches the treeline in the hopes of breaking Iverson's ability to auto-target him. But, because Iverson did manage to target him previously and Sneaky didn't manage to break Iverson's line-of-sight when he ran for the trees, Iverson can now auto-target Sneaky. With a press of his TAB key he does so and manages to finish off the surprised Sneaky with a longbow attack. If Sneaky had instead kept running deeper into the forest before freezing in place, he would have broken Iverson's line-of-sight. Iverson then would not have been able to auto-target Sneaky. He'd have to go back to looking for him through the trees and manually targeting him with his mouse (so long as Sneaky remained frozen in position, of course; as soon as Sneaky moves he's subject to the normal rules governing targeting).
Thanks for reading.
Update: Please see the discussion tab for some additional excellent suggestions by Kormon Balser.
Guild Wars 3 perhaps 23:16, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
 Update #1
After watching more recent videos of WvWvW, it's apparent that enemy players have the generic title "<world> Invader" or <world> Defender" floating above their head. Consistent with Kormon Balser's suggestion on the Discussion tab, if players stand still and don't activate any skills, not only will they be removed from the list of eligible auto-targets (per my original suggestion) but the title floating above their head will disappear, as well. Once the player moves or uses any skill, their title will re-appear.
Thank you for reading.
Guild Wars 3 perhaps 18:32, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
 Update #2
I never explicitly stated this in the original feedback suggestion, but I never intended that a player who freezes in position and doesn't activate skills will have their name hidden from allies. The player's title and healthbar would only be hidden from enemies in PvP. Their allies will still see their name and healthbar floating above their head; even when they go inactive. This will also help counter any one who would attempt to use this mechanic for leeching. The enemy won't see them, but their allies will.
Thank you for reading.
Guild Wars 3 perhaps 18:40, 2 August 2012 (UTC)