User:MA Anathe

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The Great Elite Niche Project (Section In Progress)[edit]

The Great Elite Niche Project (TGENP) is a pending and/or on-going compilation of self-generated feedback suggestions for elite skills in guild wars. It is termed "Great" due to the scope of the design goals, rather than the quality of the suggestions. TGENP suggestions are each created according to the following design premises:

  • Elite skills are special in a way that exceeds even Mythic Rares of Magic the Gathering. In terms of Magic play, there is no mechanical difference between Mythic Rares and Commons. In Guild Wars, however, you can bring only a single elite during normal gameplay. Thusly, every elite skill in Guild Wars should have an effect that promotes its use above all other elite skills in certain respects. Or, simply stated, every elite skill in Guild Wars deserves a niche.
  • A niche is not synonymous with "conditionally better". Unlike Magic, Guild Wars has no sideboard system. Similar skills that perform better only in certain, uncontrollable situations are typically inherently problematic to game balance. Either the universal skills are more desirable except when the metagame stagnates, or the universal skills are almost always less desirable due to the strength of the conditional skills. Thus, although a skill can have a niche with a nearly identical function, the TGENP primarily relies on exploring unique roles.
  • Guild Wars is an established game with much of the code solidified. Although genuinely novel functions may be explored, they should be employed extremely sparingly. Thus, new effects should be generated primarily through interactions of existing functions.
  • High-end Guild Wars PvP, low-end PvP, and PvE are each distinct environments. Acceptable changes to skills in one environment may result in unhealthy stagnation in another. The balance of organized PvP is especially susceptible due to the direct, interactive competition among players. Therefore, the TGENP seeks to limit the impact to PvP by promoting roles that, while playable in low-end PvP and/or PvE, are fundamentally irrelevant in high-end PvP.
  • Although a PvE/PvP skill split function has been implemented, skills having different effects solely as a function of where you're playing instead of who you're playing against are inherently undesirable. Players transitioning between formats should be learning how the dynamics of human-monster and human-human interactions differ, not relearning what skills do. Splitting should only be employed when the function of the skill can not be be mediated as a function of the target's ability to think and respond.
  • The present balance/imbalance of the game is what it is. The TGENP does not seek to rebalance the game. Conversely, it does not seek to continue to push the boundaries of game balance. When a skill suggestion intentionally or unintentionally promotes an imbalanced role, the imbalance should exist independently of the suggested change. Thus, should Live team ever choose to tone down problematic skills, the suggestions will automatically follow without requiring change themselves. As stated in the first two lines, any suggestions that do promote the use of one of these imbalanced skills will not be intended to make that role perform even better. Rather, such suggestions will only increase the accessibility of that role to other characters, each with their own flavor. Such suggestions should be made sparingly.
  • Not all elite skills currently lack niches. Rather, their support for that niche may be insufficient to support more than occasional experimentation. In these cases, the present functioning should not be entirely eliminated. Thus, changes should expand on the existing niche, or their new functioning should still support the existing use by players. Accordingly, research on how players use (or don't use) each elite skill is a necessity before proposing any changes. The converse of this point is that skills without a valid niche are fair game for dramatic changes, bearing little to no similarity to present function.
  • Flavor is an unnecessary, yet still significant aspect of the game. Many players do appreciate the thematic ties that connect the skill names, icons, attributes, and skill functioning together. A designer ignores flavor at their own peril.

(Conclusion to be added later)

Game Mechanics: On-End of Enchantment Effects[edit]


H1: All "lose all enchantments" (Extend Enchantments, Release Enchantments, Mystic Sandstorm, Contemplation of Purity, etc.) skills function identically in terms of enchantment removal order.
H2: All enchantments are removed by these skills in a consistent order irrespective of when cast, remaining duration, or other factors.
H3: All enchantments fall mechanically into two categories, subsequently labeled as Type 1, and Type 2. For the purposes of spells like Pious Renewal and Vow of Piety, Type 1 enchantments removed simultaneously will trigger the "on-end" effect, while Type 2 enchantments will not.

Observed Results[edit]


The following enchantments were all tested with a Dervish/X using Pious Renewal in every situation. In all Dervish enchantment trials, Mystic Sandstorm was used to strip all enchantments. Additional trials on Dervish and Monk enchantments included the use of Contemplation of Purity, Release Enchantments, Extend Enchantments, and Winds of Disenchantment.
Vow of Piety was also tested for several Dervish and Monk enchantments.
No results were found to be inconsistent among different trial conditions.

Type 1:

Pious Renewal
Aura of Thorns
Dust Cloak
Balthazar's Rage
Mystic Corruption
Staggering Force
Grenth's Fingers

Type 2:

Mirage Cloak
Heart of Holy Flame
Vow of Piety
Zealous Renewal
Extend Enchantments
Faithful Intervention
Heart of Fury
Mystic Vigor
Watchful Intervention
Armor of Sanctity
Fleeting Stability
Mystic Regeneration
Sand Shards
Shield of Force
Vital Boon
Attacker's Insight
Veil of Thorns
Featherfoot Grace
Grenth's Aura
Guiding Hands
Harrier's Grasp
Lyssa's Haste
Rending Aura
Intimidating Aura

Type 1:

Divine Boon
Divine Intervention
Spell Shield
Watchful Healing
Watchful Spirit
Dwayna's Sorrow
Healing Breeze
Live Vicariously
Restful Breeze
Supportive Spirit
Vigorous Spirit
Life Attunement
Protective Bond
Protective Spirit
Reversal of Fortune
Reverse Hex
Shield Guardian
Shield of Absorption
Shielding Hands
Spirit Bond
Vital Blessing
Balthazar's Aura
Balthazar's Spirit
Holy Wrath
Judge's Insight
Judge's Intervention
Reversal of Damage
Strength of Honor
Zealot's Fire

Type 2:

Smiter's Boon
Patient Spirit
Pensive Guardian
Purifying Veil
Aura of Stability
Spotless Mind
Spotless Soul

Type 1:

Blood Renewal
Demonic Flesh
Hexer's Vigor

Type 2:


Type 1:

Boon of Creation
Explosive Growth
Spirit's Gift
Ghostly Haste

Type 2:

Renewing Memories
Sight Beyond Sight
Spiritleech Aura

Resultant Hypotheses[edit]

H1: All Prophecies and Factions enchantments are Type 1 enchantments.
H2: All Eye of the North enchantments are Type 2 enchantments.
H3: Nightfall enchantments are inconsistently Type 1 and Type 2.

Theoretical Explanation[edit]

All skills in Guild Wars are tagged with a unique Skill ID. "Remove all enchantments" effects, and likely similar effects, are scripted to remove the relevant skills according to their order within the array. Thus, since skills are added to the game and assigned their Skill ID in a roughly chronological order, you see the results above. All of the enchantments with a Skill ID smaller than Pious Renewal are remove before Pious Renewal, and thus trigger its effects. Conversely, all the enchantments with a skill ID greater than Pious Renewal are removed after Pious Renewal and have no effect. Thusly, all skills from Prophecies and Factions will trigger Pious Renewal in these circumstances, all skills from Eye of the North will not, and skills from Nightfall perform variably.


If this is true, one could increase the effectiveness of Pious Renewal in Mystic Sandstorm builds by assigning it an arbitrarily large ID that exceeds those of all other enchantments.

Armor Penetration[edit]

Armor Penetration is in an awkward place right now. The function is intuitive enough, but the result isn't. For positive armor penetration values less than 100%, the greater the armor of the target, the greater the relative damage on that target. That appears logical enough. The issue arises when you look at the absolute damage. You get more actual damage from armor penetration the LOWER the target's armor is. See chart.

File:User MA Anathe ArmorPenetrationChart.jpg

To me, armor penetration conveys a sense of piercing. The damage to a person wearing cloth (60 Armor) seems like it shouldn't be affected much, as cloth armor provides no damage reduction below the base. Yet, in all circumstances, however much extra damage you get from armor penetration on a higher armor target, you always get that much and more on a lower armor target.