ANET tries hard to balance GW1 with its huge repertory of abilities. But a few skills seem too hard to balance them as "simple" as some other skills. Finally these challenges become enervated. Because I do love the variety and the resulting possibilities of skills in GW1, I decided to reflect these abilities and their purpose. I thought about the professions and their signification.
To think about improving skills, requires to have the task of the profession in mind to which the ability belongs to.
So I want to expose my mind about the buildup of a "balanced" team.
In preparation for a battle the team has to form up. So the group forms lines.
Like everyone should know, do exist 3 lines in a typical buildup.
Every of these lines has its own features. Because of this different features the professions can be classified to a several lines.
- first line on the battleground --> nearest to foe
- foes have to pass the frontline, to get to the backmost lines
- to attack in melee, the player have to chose the frontline
- hinder foes, who try to pass the frontline
- reduce the damage they gather
- also to deal damage
- Warrior His high armor and many skills to protect him are necessary to stay in the first line. His ability to knock down, helps to hinder foes, who try to pass the frontline.
- Dervish He has not the same amount of armor like the Warrior, but enaugh skills (mainly enchantments) catch up the protection of the Warrior. His scythe allows him to attack multiple foes in front of him. So he is able to release a ravage in the adversary lines.
- Assasine Because the Assasine attacks in melee, he has to chose the first line. Because of his lack of self protection, he has to escape into the midline, if he gets to much pressure.
- Ranger He has the same armor like the Dervish and the Assasine, but a great armor against elemental damage. So he is able to fight in the front. Because of his bow he nearly never fights in the frontline, but as example the bunny thumper does so.
- Elementalist He is able to fill his lack of armor with self protecting enchantments (mainly Earth Magic). So sometimes Elementalists are tanking in PvE.
- pets, Minions
- second line on the battleground --> not next to the foe
- foes have to pass the midline, to get to the backline
- close enaugh for range attacks
Type: Damage Dealer, Counter and Offensive Supporter
- be a cushion for the backline
- deal damage / support damage
- disturb foes
- Ranger He uses a lot Bow Attacks, or Pet Attacks to deal damge to the foes and to disturb them with conditions and interrupts.
- Mesmer His Counter abilities are great. He disturbes the foes by hexes, interrupts and removing enchantments.
- Necromancer He deals damage, supports Damage Dealer, or disturbes foes by using hexes, conditions and minions.
- Elementalist His huge repertory of damage spells is best positioned in the midline
- Assasine The midline is kinda shelter for him.
- Ritualist He deals damage, or supports Damage Dealer by using his Channeling Magic.
- Paragon His offensive shouts and chants support the Damage Dealer, who use weapons to deal damage.
- last line on the battleground --> far to foe
- most save line on the battlefield
- too far for attackin the foe
Type: Healer, Proter and Defensive Supporter
- stay save (very important player, see Heal-Damage)
- heal / support heal
- protection / support protection
- Monk He is the perfect profession for heal and protection.
- Ritualist He heals, or supports Healer by using his Restoration Magic. He should be able to protect allies by using his Communing, but the protection spirits are to weak after the whole game updates.
- Paragon His defensive shouts and chants support the Healer and the Proter.
To balance damage skills isn't easy, but possible by comparing the damage, damage type, energy cost, activation time, the recharge time and the clauses.
To balance heal skills isn't easy, but possible by comparing the damage, damage type, energy cost, activation time, the recharge time and the clauses.
So what about the proportion between heal skills and damage skills?
In Guild Wars1 is a simple rule: 1 out of 4 players should be a Healer. / Every fourth player should be a Healer.
- TA: 1 Healer and 3 Damage Dealer (simplified)
- HA: 2 Healer and 6 Damge Dealer (simplified)
- GvG: 2 Healer and 6 Damage Dealer (simplified)
So it is possible to calculate the proportion between damage and healing.
The Team doesn't only exist of Healer and Damage Dealer and so the Damage Dealer part always supports the heal a bit.
- TA: 1.5 Healer and 2.25 Damage Dealer (simplified)
- HA: 3 Healer and 5 Damge Dealer (simplified)
- GvG: 3 Healer and 5 Damage Dealer (simplified)
Result: 1.5 heal for 2.25 damage --> 1.5heal=2.25damage --> proportion Heal-Damage = 1.5/2.25 --> Damage/Heal = 1.6(period)
Summ up: The heal skills have to be ca. 1.6(period) times as strong as the damage skills.
Every Profession plays a special role and has its own functions in the team. Each attribute of a Profession stays for a function. Only the Primary Attribute doesn't stay for a function. The main attribute of a Profession is kinda of support for the other attributes. In the majority of cases it also is the base of the energy budget of the class.
The Warrior is the standart melee fighter. He is a tank, who can deal a good pressure. He is able to disturb the foe with condition, interrupts and knock down. The Warrior doesn't need much energy. He uses adrenaline and because of that he needs to attack permanent.
- Strength helps the Warrior to protect him self and to deal more damage with his weapons.
- The inherrend effect of this attribute is too weak right now. Maybe it would be clever, if this Primary Attribute would help gaining adrenaline.
- The axe does good damage with a good attack rate. Axe Mastery is good in pressure. Axe attacks are great in inflicting deep wound.
- The hammer deals a lot damage but has a low attack rate. This attribute is great for knocking down.
- The sword is a quick attacking weapon. The main funktion of this attribute is to deal damage. The Swordmanship is good in inflicting deep wound, crippled and dazed and great in inflicting bleeding.
- Tactics helps to defent the player and his allies. It also helps maneging the energy/adrenaline.
The Ranger is the standart range fighter. He is a good Damage Dealer, who can interrupt well and seems to be the master of conditions.
- Expertise is a very effectiv energy source. The skills of this attribute protect the Ranger, or support his Bow Attacks, or his traps.
- This attribute is all about using the very effective, but also hard controllable pets. It helps to protect the pet, to improve his damage and to interrupt. Some skill in this attribute are unfitting to this task and should become changed.
- It is the important attribute for using a bow. It contains many Bow Attack Skill and its main tast is to deal damage and to interrupt.
- This attribute containes the most Nature Rituals and traps. It is a common attribute to defent and heal the Ranger, or to inflict conditions.
The Monk is the standart healer and protecter. He also is able to remove effective conditions and hexes.
- Divine Favor heals with every monk spell. So it helps to take out pressure and it seems to be the perfect healing Primary Attribute. The skills of this attribute support the functions and skills of the other attributes or give energy.
- This attribute is all about healing the group. It also is able to remove effective conditions and hexes
- This attribute is all about protecting the group. It also is able to remove effective conditions and hexes
- Smiting Prayers are a bit strange for a Monk. The aim of smiting prayers is to counter the foes. It's a bit like Domination. It also can increase the damage of allies, remove conditions and hexes and to deal a good damage to undeads.
The Mesmer is the best counter in GW1. He is able to interrupt well, to induce deregenerations and to deal a lot damage/to destroy a lot energy if the foes act in the wrong way.
- Fast Casting decreases the activation time of spells an signets. This is verry usefull for hexes and interrupts. The skills of this attribute mainly decrease the activation time and the recharge time of skills.
- This attribute has some good interrupt spells and many hexes and spells, which damage the foe or destroy his energy, if he does something the Mesmer doesn't "allow" him to do.
- Illusion Magic is full of hexes. Degeneration, decreasing cast time of foes and damaging attacking foes are the main aims of this attribute.
- Inspiration skills prevent damage from the Mesmer and help him to gain energy.
The Necromancer is able to sacrefice his own blood, to support allies with damage increasing effects, or energy. The Necromancer also is the Master of using unexploided corps for undead minions, which he heals with his blood, for wells, or for some shadow steps. He is able to spam conditions (it's the only class, which is able to use Disease) and hexes. His strength is also to remove enchantments and to steal health points.
- It's primary task is to manage the players energy and to give self heal.
- Skills of this Attribute give allies(/or the caster) life steal, or energy.
- Use hexes and conditions to weak the foes in multifarious ways.
- Like the name tells it: This Attribute uses corps or dieing creatures. It's the main Attribute of the Necromancer to deal damage.
The Ritualist is a Profession, which has the specialism to wield many task at the same time. His strength are hyprid builds. The Ritualist can deal damage, heal and prot but mainly supports others. The Ritualist is the only Profession, which can use Binding Rituals, Weapon Spells, or Item Spells. The hidden strength of his skills are the effect they gain of the precondition to hold an item, to wear a Weapon Spell, or to be in a range of a spirit.
- Spawning Power improves the special abilities of the Ritualist. Ghosts and Weapon Spells get improved and Item Spells should get too. The skills of this attribute support all of that special abilities, or improve the energy budget.
- Spells of this Attribute deal damage (mainly lightning), or give energy.
- Communing is the attribute for protection skills. The most are spirits.
- The spells of this attribute heal, or remove conditions.
If I speak about balancing/improving skills, I usually do not speak about PvE-skills.
I can't stand PvE-skills. I will not give proposals, how to patch a PvE-skill.
- Every quest in a PvE district can be managed by using PvP-Skills. There was a time, where human player weren't able to use PvE-skills (not treat: special mission skills). They finished their missions with PvP-skills and they had fun. Even farming guis used PvP-skills. So where is the problem, using PvP-skills in PvE? If one needs PvE-skills to reach a success in PvE, it is simply embarrassing.
- PvE-skills hinder real balancing. If there is a skill which seems to be hard to balance, then the suggestion to split the skill is a terrible bad idea. The PvP-version nearly always is too weak (underpowered). ANET says (well it's not a quotation, simply the impression I gathered): The skill is balanced. It is strong enaugh in PvE and it doesn't imbalances the PvP.
- It's even the source of the PvE-splitt-idea: Skills in PvE need to be realy strong, but in PvP they have to be weak. As long as this idea is in the mind of the people, PvE-skills will suffer GW.
- PvE-skills got the basis for effective PvE-builds. Call-in-groups in PvE very often insistence on the most effective builds and do not pick up you with a build you like to play. PvE-skills are imbalanced compared to normal skills, which can be used in PvE.