To clear the air about Berserker

To clear the air about Berserker

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Posted by: Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Blood Red Arachnid.2493

There are 3 berserker threads on the front page now, and all 3 of them are littered with the same stuff:

People arguing with each other about how is a worse human being.
People threatening to quit if Anet does/doesn’t make changes to berserker
People are throwing insults back and forth
People complaining about how GW2 should/shouldn’t be like GW1
People having no idea what the issue is.

Hopefully, this thread will help to clear the air a bit. Now, from an non-partial standpoint (I am neither casual or elite), I will explain what the problem is, and more importantly, what the problem is not.


Section 1: What the problem is.

The whole zerker problem isn’t obvious to the casual observer. In fact, it isn’t obvious to the devs, either, which is why there is a “problem” to begin with. The “problem” itself is actually multi-faceted, so it will take some time to explain.

As you know, the game is designed on the premise that you can play as you want. This is meant to mean that a player could choose a particular style in which to play, and not have to suffer from being restricted in their chosen class to play, the style in which they play that class, or the race that was chosen to play. This is in stark contrast to what most other MMOs have, which require some kind of trinity system for cohesive groups, specific races running specific classes to accomplish their classes goal, and inflexible class design that shoehorns players into doing only one thing with that class and that race.

Now, this goal to play how you want comes predicated on several conditions that are hard to fulfill, but nonetheless are necessary for such a system to truly work. The goals, of course, is to encourage equality among different equipment loadouts as to objectively encourage build diversity. Anet has, for the most part, accomplished these goals by doing the following, but has made a few mistakes.

#1: By having small ratios between damage and survivability, the game is not heavily emphasizing one or the other, and thus everyone can both survive and do damage at the same time.

#2: By including the dodge and the heal skill, there exists a form of defense that works independent of all circumstances, allowing a player to always be capable of defending themselves that does not involve stats.

#3: Support and control utilities also act independent of stats, allowing players to fulfill multiple roles even within the same equipment set.

#4: By introducing the down state, this makes all classes and builds capable of large scale healing, as well as introducing a wider margin of error in combat.

#5: By having players heal automatically outside of combat, a player is ultimately not dependent on any outside influence for sustenance, instead requiring a player to merely survive an encounter before continuing on. This has other benefits, too, but they aren’t pertinent.

So, what is the problem then? Well, Anet failed to account for balancing around dodging and utilities being statless (#3), and following basic enemy design has led to an environment where, regardless of circumstances and many times even regardless to player skill, it is always best to equip yourself in pure DPS gear.

That is not good, because it leads to no one being happy. Those who do gear themselves for maximum damage (objectively superior overall) find the game easy and unrewarding, because content cannot be balanced around only the pure DPS playstyle. Those who do not gear themselves for pure DPS have to constantly deal with the pressures and difficulties of being objectively inferior, and suffer greatly each time Anet “compromises” between the two, or balanced rewards off of the most efficient instead of the average player.


Section 2: What causes this problem specifically?

This comes down to how damage, active defense, and enemy offense behaves. Now, there is a saying I used to hear around City of Heroes, and it holds true here as well:

Death is the ultimate debuff.

The best thing you can do to any enemy is kill it. A dead enemy does no damage, does not heal, does not debuff, and does not block attacks. The faster something is dead, the faster you get money from it, and the faster you can go and do something else.

There is an often overlooked aspect to damage: the faster you do damage, the more durable you are indirectly because of the fact. For example, assume it takes 10 seconds for you to kill an enemy, and it does damage to you during this 10 seconds. If, say, you built yourself to do double the damage, but take double the damage, you’d end up taking the same amount of damage because the enemy will live only half as long.

(edited by Blood Red Arachnid.2493)

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Posted by: Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Blood Red Arachnid.2493

This fact can cause wide swaths in balance if one isn’t careful. Anet has done a remarkably good job with this, however. If I were to compare a DPS build (say, Obal’s DPS guardian build: http://en.gw2skills.net/editor/?fUAQNAR8dlUgiC3FSHEf4ESODRCBtZAQHUli45eA-jACBYfCZkfQUBDZOzUZNPVQs4qIas6aYKXER1SBExwI-e) together with another similar build in full Soldier’s Gear (http://gw2skills.net/editor/?fUAQNAR8dlUgiC3FSHEf4ESODRCBtZAQHUli45eA-jwBBofERzkfQUBDZO1sIasFXFRjVZDT9iIqWKgIGGB-e), we’d get the following effective power before modifiers:

DPS build: 4376
Same build w/ Soldiers: 2871

And to compare effective HP (assuming base armor of 1836)

DPS: 12,871 HP
Soldiers: 29,152 HP

So, while the DPS build by itself does 52.4% more damage (and thus reduces incoming damage to 65.6%), the Soldier Build has 2.26 times the effective HP, thus reducing damage to 44.2% of what it originally was. Thus, under standard MMO practices, the soldiers build would stay alive for 48.4% longer, doing that much more damage the whole time.

The problem is not in the stats themselves! The overall combat potential between the two is only different by 2.7% between each other. Granted, the DPS is preferable because it works faster (and thus gets rewards quicker and can do more stuff), but when comparing effectiveness, they are nigh the same. In fact, if you wager average skill on part of the player, then pure GC gear might not be faster, because downing and dying greatly increases how long it takes to kill an enemy, and if a more survivable builds don’t involve as much risk.

But… this is where active defense comes in to play. I hate this part, because we move out of the realm of numbers and into more abstract concepts. But in general, when Anet designed these monsters, they made active defense too important.

The way you can think of active defense is this: every player has a certain number of moves they can mitigate through the use of dodges, skill dodges, blocks, invulnerability, blinds, stuns, immobilize, reflects, heals, and condition cleanses. Enemies have to go through this barrier of “moves” in order to do damage to the player. This barrier acts strangely, since it is identical for both a glass cannon and a tanky build. Only once you go past this barrier does the standard “player DPS + EHP vs. enemy DPS + EHP” principle take effect.

The fact that active defense is identical for both builds is important. Both builds above are only balanced under the assumption of constant damage, and under the assumption that active defense doesn’t exist. But, as we all know, that is not true! With active defense, the builds become horribly imbalanced, and without constant damage, the builds become even more imbalanced.

#1: Active defense: Enemies need to make so many moves before they get through active defense. The faster an enemy dies, the less moves they make. The less moves they make, the less likely they are to go through your active defense. With this in mind, it is very easy to do so much damage that an enemy dies before they can go through your active defense.

In contrast, by having lower DPS, enemies take longer to die, so they get more attacks, and so they go through your active defense more easily. The end result being that, by making yourself more durable, you end up taking more damage than if you had built for DPS. This is exacerbated by the second fact:

#2: Enemy DPS isn’t constant. Its quite the opposite, actually. Enemy attacks are slowly paced and well telegraphed, meaning that you can stop most of it with active defense. The second problem is that enemy attacks have a lot of damage (AND I MEAN A KITTEN TON OF DAMAGE) all loaded into these attacks. So much damage, in fact, that they can plow right through passive defenses. That 226% higher HP just means that, instead of dying in 3 attacks, you die in 6 attacks.

By contrast, regular enemies in the overworld do so little damage that there is no need to dodge at all. You just plow right through regular enemies and continue on as if nothing happened. But, silvers, champs, and enemies in dungeons do so much damage that there’s no point in passive defenses.

This has left the damage vs. survivability aspect of the game completely broken. While it is sound mathematically, it doesn’t work in practice due to how the game is designed.

The obvious solution is to fix the way enemies work. Of course, this is not an easy solution, since it would revolve around redesigning every enemy veteran rank and above. Then again, it was Anet’s enemy design that dug this hole in the first place.

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Posted by: Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Section 3: What this problem is not.

#1: This is not about skilled players or elitists. The overt zerker dominance in PVE hurts everyone. Even zerker users in the long run. This is about bringing back the basic balance in builds, and giving advantages to lesser builds instead of taking away the advantages of greater ones.

#2: This is not about unskilled players or bads. The philosophy of playing how one wants is based on equality in diversity, and works by appealing to a wide audience of players. Not on the notion that a player has to be ineffective if they want to use the gear that they want.

#3: This is not about punishing players for their investment. When a balance issue arises, the fact is that correcting the mistake will be at the disadvantage of those who stand on the heavier scale. This isn’t out of personal spite, but an unfortunate fact of the universe that will never change.

This issue exists outside of the players who exist in it. There’s so much hostility and mud slinging that Anet has to trudge through, and all that does is make the issue worse.

EDIT: as for my more in-depth suggestion on how to resolve the berserker meta, I already posted in another thread. Its another two posts, so I’ll just link to them here:

https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/balance/PvE-Revising-the-DPS-Meta/first#post3480109


tl;dr Anet didn’t balance for active defense, and everyone who whines about other players being at fault is wrong and just making the problem worse. The zerk issue hurts everyone. Read the kitten post to know why.

(edited by Blood Red Arachnid.2493)

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Posted by: mahariel.4981

mahariel.4981

need a tl;dr

Sanctum of Rall (NA) | [LOD]
Morrï Mahariel | Serah Mahariel | Morrï
A bunch of amateur solos from yours truly

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Posted by: J Eberle.9312

J Eberle.9312

Just read the first part, def needs a tl/dr.

People arguing with each other about how is a worse human being.
People threatening to quit if Anet does/doesn’t make changes to berserker
People are throwing insults back and forth
People complaining about how GW2 should/shouldn’t be like GW1
People having no idea what the issue is.

All these things- will probably happen in this thread too.

I’m swift on my feet.
#FreeDolan

(edited by J Eberle.9312)

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Posted by: Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Blood Red Arachnid.2493

I wrote this for Anet as well as the players. To talk to Anet, I have to explain everything. Unfortunately, everything is quite a lot. I’ll try to put a tl:dr in, but I get the feeling that it’ll just lead to people not reading the reasoning.

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Posted by: Carighan.6758

Carighan.6758

Very good thread. I know people want a TL’DR, but really, read it in full. It explains the problem, or rather why the problem isn’t as simple as people seem to think it is, very well.

I’ll try a TL’DR:
Offensive and defensive setups are balanced fine before active defence – like dodging or blocking or Aegis – comes into play. These are the same for everyone, but end up benefitting offensive setups worlds more as a result of not being part of the main balance and of shorter fights.

The strength of heart to face oneself has been made manifest. The persona Carighan has appeared.

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Posted by: Taku.6352

Taku.6352

TL;DR.

Read the godkitten thing. He put a lot of effort into it and it was a very good read. Stop being lazy.

[KING] Desolation
“Quaggan likes you!”

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Posted by: LordByron.8369

LordByron.8369

tl;dr Anet didn’t balance for active defense, and everyone who whines about other players being at fault is wrong and just making the problem worse. The zerk issue hurts everyone. Read the kitten post to know why.

its totally the opposite…

Anet didn t balance for PASSIVE defense.

Active defense works too well….see endure pain, Aegis, reflect etc etc etc.
You can go zerk without giving up active defense that is the one keeping you alive, while passive is useless and just reduce dps prolonging battles with no advantage.

“We want to avoid “whack-a-mole” style balance.”
“Want to bring down cantrip Ele without affecting lesser used builds”
“We don’t make grindy games” ArenaNerf

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Posted by: spoj.9672

spoj.9672

Im surprised but I completely agree with this post and most of his suggestions to fix it.

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Posted by: Teutos.8620

Teutos.8620

Good explanation for everyone who was not aware of what the topic is about.

This has left the damage vs. survivability aspect of the game completely broken. While it is sound mathematically, it doesn’t work in practice due to how the game is designed.
The obvious solution is to fix the way enemies work. Of course, this is not an easy solution, since it would revolve around redesigning every enemy veteran rank and above. Then again, it was Anet’s enemy design that dug this hole in the first place.

At the end your so called obvious solution is not a solution at all. Maybe try to think of something concrete.
F.e. Do you want to change the over-time-ratio, that the damage and durability from the mobs will get constantly reduced the longer the fight goes on? I don’t think that would be a good solution at all.

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Posted by: Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Good explanation for everyone who was not aware of what the topic is about.

This has left the damage vs. survivability aspect of the game completely broken. While it is sound mathematically, it doesn’t work in practice due to how the game is designed.
The obvious solution is to fix the way enemies work. Of course, this is not an easy solution, since it would revolve around redesigning every enemy veteran rank and above. Then again, it was Anet’s enemy design that dug this hole in the first place.

At the end your so called obvious solution is not a solution at all. Maybe try to think of something concrete.
F.e. Do you want to change the over-time-ratio, that the damage and durability from the mobs will get constantly reduced the longer the fight goes on? I don’t think that would be a good solution at all.

The full solution, with all its little tangents, is something I posted in another thread. It was good there, so I left it there and just linked to the solution at the end of the posts. This thread is more about what the problem is, and as such stands on its own.

In short, PVE enemies currently are just filler attacks with senseless gimmicks. PVE enemies need to be made to kill you: they should kite when ranged, they should chase more effectively when melee, they should have weaker rapid attacks alongside of strong and slow attacks, etc.

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Posted by: natsos.3692

natsos.3692

Ok the original post is gold, and the post after is platinum.

This explains the exact problems, proffesions are fine the way they are built, armor stats also, it is the enemy that has to be reworked since it actually punishes anything other than DPS.

Nobody wants to punish the hardcore elite Zerk players. That kind of playing is not for me, but still it is part of the game and I believe that currently its not challenging, it is steamrolling.
Making the enemies harder,with the above suggestions, will actually be a better challenge for everyone(hardcore players included).

If I was a theist I would pray ANet takes ideas from this post.

Natsos, Necromancer
Officer of Spartians GR[SPGR]
Gandara EU

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Posted by: fadeaway.2807

fadeaway.2807

Why did this need another new thread when as you said, we already have many?
I get that everyone wants their opinion heard and thinks it is the best, but if everyone created a thread (looks like they are doing this) then we end up making a mess of this new balance subforum.

(edited by fadeaway.2807)

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Posted by: haviz.1340

haviz.1340

By contrast, regular enemies in the overworld do so little damage that there is no need to dodge at all. You just plow right through regular enemies and continue on as if nothing happened. But, silvers, champs, and enemies in dungeons do so much damage that there’s no point in passive defenses.

I couldn’t disagree more with this. You completely chose to ignore sustain which is one of the biggest contributor the extreme survivability of tanky builds. Passive defense plus sustainability achieved by regen, protection and other traits (soothing mist, adrenal health, healing symbols, etc) give you so much survivability that you don’t have to use any active defense (including dodges) at all.

Skill Clickers [sC]

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Posted by: Dalanor.5387

Dalanor.5387

Why did this need another new thread when as you said, we already have many?
I get that everyone wants their opinion heard and thinks it is the best, but if everyone created a thread (looks like they are doing this) then we end up making a mess of this new balance subforum.

Because this thread didn’t get burried under a ton if whine. Yet.

To the OP: great post, i hope it draws attention from the balance team.

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Posted by: Carighan.6758

Carighan.6758

Passive defense plus sustainability achieved by regen, protection and other traits (soothing mist, adrenal health, healing symbols, etc) give you so much survivability that you don’t have to use any active defense (including dodges) at all.

But that’s the OP’s point, in a way. There’s no point gearing/building for what you describe.
You got the active defence anyhow. It’s there whether you want it or not, you cannot spec “out of Dodge”.

And since Dodge, Aegis, Block and Blindness cover a quite substantial amount of incoming damage, the value of passive defence plummets. Especially given how if the fight is shorter, less blows need to be avoided, and hence the frontloading of our skill’s CDs becomes a bigger factor.

That’s the thing, ignoring active defence, passive defences are balanced, and what you say makes sense. But the active defence is always there. And including it, balance goes haywire.

The strength of heart to face oneself has been made manifest. The persona Carighan has appeared.

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Posted by: haviz.1340

haviz.1340

But that’s the OP’s point, in a way. There’s no point gearing/building for what you describe.
You got the active defence anyhow. It’s there whether you want it or not, you cannot spec “out of Dodge”.

So why people are whining? They can complete same content with tanky builds, they can pretend they play other games, they can roleplay they are some kind of tanks and healers, etc.

That’s the thing, ignoring active defence, passive defences are balanced, and what you say makes sense. But the active defence is always there. And including it, balance goes haywire.

If you match berserker’s and soldier’s against each other and none of the active defense would be used, soldier’s wins by a large margin. I wouldn’t say that passive defense are balanced in that case. It’s obvious that without active defense, passive ones are vastly overpowered.

Skill Clickers [sC]

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Posted by: DHK.8406

DHK.8406

The problem is simple, it is not complicated, it does not take pages to explain. It can be summed up in once sentance.

In PvE if you learn to dodge, you can survive any encounter in the entire game regardless of gear and/or traits.

So if you dont need toughness, or vitality, or healing to survive they instantly become useless stats and you are left with only berserker.

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Posted by: Vargamonth.2047

Vargamonth.2047

In order to achieve that “even ground” where defensive stats matter, it might seem that a stream of “small” but constant damage going on is needed, but that wouldn’t work at all.

Lets imagine enemies performing multiple small autoattacks between big spikes which are meant to be fully avoided by active defenses (common to every character).
The viability of zeker wouldn’t be just about a perfect use of active defenses, but absolutely reliant on downing the boss before the constant pressure (unavoidable, just mitigable through protection) kills players.
So would probably be for PVT too, but that’s just because this stat combo, even if popular, is one of the most unneficient sets available for PvE.

That’s because vitality is basically an anti-burst stat that just offers:
- Surviving a big spike that otherwise could have downed the player (or allow a higher amount of failures)
- A longer survival time under pressure, which only outperforms raw damage (which would have killed the enemy faster), if it’s just enough to succeed by pulling a really efficient healing output (like using #6 skill twice), highly unlikely to happen as a norm.

You only stack vitality when it means the difference between surviving or dying to a missed evade and you think that’s something likely to happen. You just buy room for error, which is a choice that needs to be unefficient by its very nature.
Valkyrie achieves similar results while keeping a lot more damage output, and a high enough toughness, which works a lot better as sustain tool, can also work while freeing room for damage (knight, cavalier) or proper sustain (healing power).

PVT will almost never be a viable alternative to berserker not doing enough damage to kill this kind of enemies in time. In fact, it’s quite similar, just being slower and next to incompatible
If berserkers are reliant on downing a boss fast enough, any party member being replaced by a PVT one just increases the risk of failure. Any berserker getting downed too soon on a PVT is not as dangerous, but still can achieve the same result.

A change like this would benefit mainly 2 setups or a mix of both:
- Pure sustain, based on toughness and healing, where PVT can work, but being inferior to Knight or Cavalier, and which is even more incompatible with melee berserker.
It doesn’t necessarily involve a less amount of player skill as long as big spikes are deadly enough. If not, however, it enables a lot of room for error (since recovery is quite fast) and eases the game.
- Ranged, where berserker would still be king and which is clearly less skill demanding than the current melee meta. You also can’t effectively punish this setup by granting enemies ranged attacks since it isn’t really screwed by AoEs and all of us already know what happens when you design an enemy with projectile moves.

In short words:
Berserker would still be the prefered option as long as the damage output could be achieved. Non berserkers would have even a harder time joining groups since their presence doesn’t slow down the dungeon run anymore, it simply makes it fail (already happens with some bosses and tactics).
If melee berserker isn’t viable anymore at some dungeon fights, those will just be played at range. Nothing else changes.
If melee berserker is overall unusable, then you just destroyed a whole playstyle while shifting the “meta” to something that probably makes easier and already easy game.

Seriously, there’s no easy fix for this. A fair solution requires a complete overhaul of AI and encounter design.

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Posted by: phys.7689

phys.7689

imo, the solution is not to make more guaranteed dmg, but make active defenses be effected by other stats. Berserker gives a bonus to active damage, but Toughness is doing nothing for and defensive skills.

They could make the game more passive, but its unlikely that will make it more entertaining.

Perhaps they could have been better off with no gear stats, but its too late now.

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Posted by: Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Blood Red Arachnid.2493

By contrast, regular enemies in the overworld do so little damage that there is no need to dodge at all. You just plow right through regular enemies and continue on as if nothing happened. But, silvers, champs, and enemies in dungeons do so much damage that there’s no point in passive defenses.

I couldn’t disagree more with this. You completely chose to ignore sustain which is one of the biggest contributor the extreme survivability of tanky builds. Passive defense plus sustainability achieved by regen, protection and other traits (soothing mist, adrenal health, healing symbols, etc) give you so much survivability that you don’t have to use any active defense (including dodges) at all.

Sustain? Do you mean heals? Boons and Heals themselves fall into a strange spot, since while they are not fully active like dodges and blocks, they aren’t fully passive like equipment. Boons are not fully offensive or defensive, either, and often what boons you have are dependent on class specifics more than anything else. Heals are also dependent on class, and don’t discriminate on gear, since the quicker an enemy dies, the less damage you have to heal away.

But alas, the reason why I didn’t factor in boons is because they aren’t equipment dependent. I stuck with an apples to apples comparison with Obal’s build to demonstrate stat balance. When you start changing builds, you’re no longer dealing with just berserker vs. other loadouts.

Heals do not allow you to facetank everything without having to dodge. Some prime examples include the temple events in orr, where the Statue of Dwayna and Priest of Melandru will plow through however much armor and health you have, especially in a zerg. The priest of grenth uses fall damage to bypass your armor, and often will drop you from the roof multiple times, killing you regardless of build. Then there includes the molten facility bosses, who will knock you off of a platform for instant death, and also have their own instant death attacks. Then you have the clockheart, who can obliterate nearly any build with a combination of environmental damage and his big AoE attack…

The list goes on and on. For a personal example, the final boss of HotW P3 has a summoned jellyfish attack that, at base medium armor, does 11k-12k damage per hit. I have just over 12K HP on my zerker thief. I also have valkyrie gear, which would raise my HP to 18K. At 18K HP… I still die in two hits. After taking a fish to the face, I can heal up to full before I take another. So, in that circumstance, there’s no reason for me to use valkyrie there.

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Posted by: haviz.1340

haviz.1340

Sustain? Do you mean heals? Boons and Heals themselves fall into a strange spot, since while they are not fully active like dodges and blocks, they aren’t fully passive like equipment. Boons are not fully offensive or defensive, either, and often what boons you have are dependent on class specifics more than anything else. Heals are also dependent on class, and don’t discriminate on gear, since the quicker an enemy dies, the less damage you have to heal away.

I categorized regen as passive because you don’t have to time it at all. It stacks in duration, not intensity so there’s virtually no punishment for using it mindlessly (except if you stack it more than 9 times). Traits like soothing mist and adrenal health are passive, there should be no discussion here.

But alas, the reason why I didn’t factor in boons is because they aren’t equipment dependent. I stuck with an apples to apples comparison with Obal’s build to demonstrate stat balance. When you start changing builds, you’re no longer dealing with just berserker vs. other loadouts.

Another fallacy of your opening post. You compared builds while the thread title is about gear.

Heals do not allow you to facetank everything without having to dodge. Some prime examples include the temple events in orr, where the Statue of Dwayna and Priest of Melandru will plow through however much armor and health you have, especially in a zerg. The priest of grenth uses fall damage to bypass your armor, and often will drop you from the roof multiple times, killing you regardless of build. Then there includes the molten facility bosses, who will knock you off of a platform for instant death, and also have their own instant death attacks. Then you have the clockheart, who can obliterate nearly any build with a combination of environmental damage and his big AoE attack…

They do. You can facetank lupi with 0 dodges just by using heals and tanky gear.

Another thing, no boss scales its damage by the number of participants. The always do same amount of damage, disregarding if it is a zerg of a single player.

Melandru, especially in a zerg, stops using any attacks very frequently.

Falling off the platform has nothing to do with this topic.

Clockheart deals about 1,500 dmg with his autoattack. Compare it to high level archdiviner or mossman, it’s about 15-20 times more with a similar frequency.

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Posted by: Carighan.6758

Carighan.6758

phys, that’s an interesting idea. Elaborated further, we could have a stat giving +% on endurance regen, we could have a “Will to survive”-stat which caps max damage per hit taken (down from 100% without it), and so on.

Hrm… come to think of it, I always felt that Precision is a meh stat for class balance (not Prowess, only Precision). I’d remove it, rebalance traits and weapons and classes (some classes should have higher base crit rates, crit traits can be stronger and more noticable, sigils can be too, etc), and add +enduranceregen as a stat.

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Posted by: Sirendor.1394

Sirendor.1394

tl;dr Anet didn’t balance for active defense, and everyone who whines about other players being at fault is wrong and just making the problem worse. The zerk issue hurts everyone. Read the kitten post to know why.

/thread

Well said, sir. It is indeed a problem with active defense being too strong for everyone, even non-tank builds, so that tanks have a nearly redundant advantage in defense, but a big lack of damage, when compared to non-tanks.

Anet made tanks and healers useless (cause they wanted to break the trinity), but gave us the options to get tank/heal gear in a game where they’re unbalanced, solely by damage mitigation through active defense. And they made one of the trinity extremely powerful, namely DPS.

/salute to my 5 dead guilds

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Posted by: Fenrir.3609

Fenrir.3609

It would require a combat mechanic and mob attack pattern overhaul in order to change the current situation. Something unlikely to happen.

We are more likely to see a nerf which will only make things worse.

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Posted by: Vargamonth.2047

Vargamonth.2047

But alas, the reason why I didn’t factor in boons is because they aren’t equipment dependent. I stuck with an apples to apples comparison with Obal’s build to demonstrate stat balance. When you start changing builds, you’re no longer dealing with just berserker vs. other loadouts.

But that’s absolutely necessary.
Builds are designed to cater a playstile and be used in conjunction with some gear.

Full damage trait allocations expect the build to be used for pure offense, so combined with Berserker or any other damage oriented gear. Obal’s build, for example, looks horrible in cleric gear.
However, put the same cleric gear on a 0/0/30/30/10 Hammer/McSh build, designed for tank/sustain, and you get something that can facetank about 2k DPS (even more if allies are in melee to trigger bigger AH heals) without using any active defense, which has a lot btw.

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Posted by: Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Blood Red Arachnid.2493

It is big, so I’ll have to snip it up. Just remember that I’m responding to trains of thought, and not only the snippit I quote.

Lets imagine enemies performing multiple small autoattacks between big spikes which are meant to be fully avoided by active defenses (common to every character).
The viability of zeker wouldn’t be just about a perfect use of active defenses, but absolutely reliant on downing the boss before the constant pressure (unavoidable, just mitigable through protection) kills players.

This, I have to disagree with. Running zerkers in place that has a steady stream of attacks, such as PVP, makes zerkers an extremely high risk set. Replicating the circumstances would lead to the results. Likewise, the solution is multi-faceted in that enemies will do a whole lot more than just attack rapidly.

Combat does have a bit more depth to it. In particular, the steady stream of damage is meant to do two things to squishy builds:

#1: Increase risk to offset the higher kill speed of zerkers
#2: Increase disengage time. Disengage time is when the player backs off to heal and buff, attacks with ranged weapons, and also tries to lose aggro from the enemy they are fighting.

By doing this, bulkier builds can stay engaged longer (thus doing more damage) and draw enemy aggro for longer (thus letting others do more damage). Support builds that use heals will be more valuable since they recover the damage others have suffered, allowing them to stay engaged and do more damage. Protection is more important since the long-term mitigation actually mean something, weakness will be better for the same reason, regen will be better since the heal to damage ratio will be much higher, retaliation will worthwhile since enemies will suffer greater damage, confusion will also do more damage, and to help with disengage against melee enemies the soft CC from cripple/chill/immobilize will also be more useful.

The exact amount of damage is ambiguous, but that is no reason to assume that it will automatically be too low to be meaningful.

That’s because vitality is basically an anti-burst stat that just offers:

There is a bit more to that. Vitality has another use, that I call “Healing capacitance”. It is a little abstract, so bear with me. In short, the more damage you can take, the more capacity you have to be healed up.

It isn’t uncommon for a player to take a big hit, then heal themselves up to maximum health, and then sit on their heal skills at max health for awhile. The player is locked into a maximum number of hits they can take before they go down, and despite how infrequently they take those hits, this limit will never change. But, with higher maximum health, when the player takes additional hits, they have that additional spare healing on hand, making them last much longer.

It is kind of hard to explain, but it is the main reason I even bother with valkyrie on my thief. In full zerker gear, my thief will die in 2 to 3 hits. In full valkyrie, I can buy an additional 1 or 2 hits. I use the signet of malice, and I spend the majority of my time either at maximum health with the signet doing nothing, and if I’m not at max health I’m kissing pavement (wherein the signet also does nothing). But, with valkyrie gear, I can survive longer and heal more. I end up surviving an additional 5 or 6 hits instead of 1 or 2, since I can heal up so much more damage without dying off. This also makes team heals more useful for me as well.

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Posted by: haviz.1340

haviz.1340

But that’s absolutely necessary.
Builds are designed to cater a playstile and be used in conjunction with some gear.

Full damage trait allocations expect the build to be used for pure offense, so combined with Berserker or any other damage oriented gear. Obal’s build, for example, looks horrible in cleric gear.
However, put the same cleric gear on a 0/0/30/30/10 Hammer/McSh build, designed for tank/sustain, and you get something that can facetank about 2k DPS (even more if allies are in melee to trigger bigger AH heals) without using any active defense, which has a lot btw.

There’s nothing that would prevent you from running berserker’s gear + 0/0/30/30/10 or cleric’s + 15/25/0/5/25. In fact, during my brief adventure with WvW, I used the former one.

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Posted by: Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Valkyrie achieves similar results while keeping a lot more damage output, and a high enough toughness, which works a lot better as sustain tool, can also work while freeing room for damage (knight, cavalier) or proper sustain (healing power).

I think you confused Valkyrie with Knight, since Valkyrie gives vitality, and knight gives toughness. Regardless, I actually find Soldier to be ineffective when compared to knight, since the secondary power/precision is only equivalent roughly to the primary power of soldier.

PVT will almost never be a viable alternative to berserker not doing enough damage to kill this kind of enemies in time. In fact, it’s quite similar, just being slower and next to incompatible

I did the math on post #2, and it shows otherwise.

If berserkers are reliant on downing a boss fast enough, any party member being replaced by a PVT one just increases the risk of failure. Any berserker getting downed too soon on a PVT is not as dangerous, but still can achieve the same result.

This is still *true now. It is the zerkers curse, and why running zerker is hard in pugs, but easy in full zerk groups. That said, it isn’t completely true, since the zerker can still disengage, and the more durable players can take aggro while the zerker hangs back for a bit. The more durable players can also raise the downed easier, as they are not dependent wholly on active defense for their survival.

I run zerker in pugs the vast majority of the time. The zerkers curse is more a product of habit and mindset than anything else.

A change like this would benefit mainly 2 setups or a mix of both:

The in-between of the extremes is an intra-personal mix of both extremes presented here. That said, this idea is too simplistic. A single healing guardian/engineer/elementalist/mesmer is more than capable of bolstering the sustainability of a group. The more you have, the longer GC can maintain engagement. But, the fewer you have, either the less they are needed because the other builds are either more durable and don’t need as much heal, or they do more damage and the enemy dies quicker, thus doing less damage.

Experienced players already switch seamlessly from melee engagement to ranged engagement to disengagement. The difference with these changes is that glass cannon setups will higher risk, and thus more likely to, without additional support, have to switch to range or disengage. Also, I would suggest giving more mobs ranged attacks, as well as making melee enemies more capable of chasing players.

In short words:
Berserker would still be the prefered option as long as the damage output could be achieved. Non berserkers would have even a harder time joining groups since their presence doesn’t slow down the dungeon run anymore, it simply makes it fail (already happens with some bosses and tactics).

The point is that damage output would be much, much harder to achieve. The need for disengaging and the much more severe threat of downing and defeating counterbalances with builds that have more durability, and thus higher engagement and less down time.

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Posted by: haviz.1340

haviz.1340

This, I have to disagree with. Running zerkers in place that has a steady stream of attacks, such as PVP, makes zerkers an extremely high risk set. Replicating the circumstances would lead to the results. Likewise, the solution is multi-faceted in that enemies will do a whole lot more than just attack rapidly.

The only result you would get is the requirement of more heavy professions, hammer guardians especially. Spamming hammer autoattacks is not exactly extremely risky yet it is the “speed clearing” meta for high level fractals where mobs do have a steady stream of attacks (ascalon, dredges, cliffside) and there is a lot of mobs you fight at the same time so you do not cleave all of them at the same time, unlike in old dungeons.

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Posted by: Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Another fallacy of your opening post. You compared builds while the thread title is about gear.

You’ve missed the point completely. I picked out a random build, and compared different gear loadouts with that exact same build. The only difference, and hence the only point made, was the gear difference.

They do. You can facetank lupi with 0 dodges just by using heals and tanky gear.

Another thing, no boss scales its damage by the number of participants. The always do same amount of damage, disregarding if it is a zerg of a single player.

Melandru, especially in a zerg, stops using any attacks very frequently.

Falling off the platform has nothing to do with this topic.

Clockheart deals about 1,500 dmg with his autoattack. Compare it to high level archdiviner or mossman, it’s about 15-20 times more with a similar frequency.

Unless they’ve changed it recently, bosses do scale the amount of damage they do depending on the number of participants. I’m going to go with the wiki + my own experiences on this one when they say enemy stats can be increased. You are also selectively ignoring the points I’ve brought up in my examples, and trying your best to distract from them with irrelevant facets that aren’t even correct half the time. I will not be fooled. Either stay sincere, or take it elsewhere.

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Posted by: Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Blood Red Arachnid.2493

This, I have to disagree with. Running zerkers in place that has a steady stream of attacks, such as PVP, makes zerkers an extremely high risk set. Replicating the circumstances would lead to the results. Likewise, the solution is multi-faceted in that enemies will do a whole lot more than just attack rapidly.

The only result you would get is the requirement of more heavy professions, hammer guardians especially. Spamming hammer autoattacks is not exactly extremely risky yet it is the “speed clearing” meta for high level fractals where mobs do have a steady stream of attacks (ascalon, dredges, cliffside) and there is a lot of mobs you fight at the same time so you do not cleave all of them at the same time, unlike in old dungeons.

Not this heavy nonsense again…

https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/balance/Real-PvE-issue-is-not-zerks/

I already did the math for it here. “Heavy” is irrelevant.

EDIT: darn, forgot this part.

You know the meta with fractals that makes the hammer guardian useful? That’s part of what I’m aiming for. As of right now, using hammer guardian in the overworld and in dungeons is useless, since teammates can just dodge and block whatever is coming. Many people who run fractals don’t do it in full berserker gear for this same reason.

Of course, I hope for this to be done better, and do this without having enemies with ridiculous HP counts.

(edited by Blood Red Arachnid.2493)

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Posted by: LordByron.8369

LordByron.8369

You did wrong since being “heavy armor” is paired with extremely strong low CD utilities and uberdps.

Give all classes shake it off and endure pain etc.

“We want to avoid “whack-a-mole” style balance.”
“Want to bring down cantrip Ele without affecting lesser used builds”
“We don’t make grindy games” ArenaNerf

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Posted by: Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Blood Red Arachnid.2493

You did wrong since being “heavy armor” is paired with extremely strong low CD utilities and uberdps.

Give all classes shake it off and endure pain etc.

Ergo, their utilities are what make them strong, and not their armor. Seriously, warriors are only middling in DPS, and guardians are paper if they get hit in GC gear.

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Posted by: LordByron.8369

LordByron.8369

You did wrong since being “heavy armor” is paired with extremely strong low CD utilities and uberdps.

Give all classes shake it off and endure pain etc.

Ergo, their utilities are what make them strong, and not their armor. Seriously, warriors are only middling in DPS, and guardians are paper if they get hit in GC gear.

that is 100% true if all you do is Killing pvp golems and veterans in orr.

At that point mesmer is top dps.

“We want to avoid “whack-a-mole” style balance.”
“Want to bring down cantrip Ele without affecting lesser used builds”
“We don’t make grindy games” ArenaNerf

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Posted by: haviz.1340

haviz.1340

Unless they’ve changed it recently, bosses do scale the amount of damage they do depending on the number of participants. I’m going to go with the wiki + my own experiences on this one when they say enemy stats can be increased. You are also selectively ignoring the points I’ve brought up in my examples, and trying your best to distract from them with irrelevant facets that aren’t even correct half the time. I will not be fooled. Either stay sincere, or take it elsewhere.

They are correct, sorry to make you realise the hard truth but the only stat that is being scaled up is vitality. If you do not believe me guest on dead server, go solo melandru (easiest pre-events) and take a note how much damage you receive by his whirl or any of his attacks. Answer is about 10k with heavy armour and 12k with light armour per hit. Now go with zerg and take the same note. You will receive same amount of damage (within the damage range).

I am selectively correcting you because you are selectively making mistakes.

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Posted by: haviz.1340

haviz.1340

Not this heavy nonsense again…

https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/balance/Real-PvE-issue-is-not-zerks/

I already did the math for it here. “Heavy” is irrelevant.

EDIT: darn, forgot this part.

You know the meta with fractals that makes the hammer guardian useful? That’s part of what I’m aiming for. As of right now, using hammer guardian in the overworld and in dungeons is useless, since teammates can just dodge and block whatever is coming. Many people who run fractals don’t do it in full berserker gear for this same reason.

Of course, I hope for this to be done better, and do this without having enemies with ridiculous HP counts.

You seem to assume that I think that difficulty while playing with heavy armour users is easier solely because of their 13% damage reduction in contrast to light armour users. That is completely false.

Both heavy armour users, guardians and warriors are arguably the easiest professions to play at the high level with a lot of room for mistakes. This has nothing to do with their armour but rather sustain, abundance of reflections, easiness of performing optimal dps and many others. Again, if you think it’s a wrong statement, go ahead and test it “live”. I did, with scales 49-79 fotm.

People that do not use hammer guardians in high level fractals while using only full glass cannon builds are often wiping or at least going down randomly in places they shouldn’t.

Also, hammer guardian gameplay is nothing that should aimed for. It’s one of the most boring and least active gameplays in the whole game, probably on the similar level as spirit ranger.

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Posted by: Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Why did this need another new thread when as you said, we already have many?
I get that everyone wants their opinion heard and thinks it is the best, but if everyone created a thread (looks like they are doing this) then we end up making a mess of this new balance subforum.

A few reasons:

#1: So many of the threads have devolved into nitpicking and insults that, even if I were to post a big explanation as to why things are going down, the likelyhood that it’ll be read or taken into consideration by anyone, Anet included, is remote at best.

#2: The zerk threads talk about solutions, just have open discussions, or were negative responses to the idea, but none of them really bothered to delve into what exactly the problem is, why it should be fixed, how it came about, why it is unique to GW2, etc. Hell, originally I didn’t even plan to include a solution in this thread, since Guang’s thread was enough.

So much of the other threads has delved into madness that I felt an escalated voice was necessary. It is unfortunate, though, since I would like this thread to serve more as an explanation for the zerker issue, rather than to discuss particular solutions to it.

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Posted by: Vargamonth.2047

Vargamonth.2047

There is a bit more to that. Vitality has another use, that I call “Healing capacitance”. It is a little abstract, so bear with me. In short, the more damage you can take, the more capacity you have to be healed up.

It isn’t uncommon for a player to take a big hit, then heal themselves up to maximum health, and then sit on their heal skills at max health for awhile. The player is locked into a maximum number of hits they can take before they go down, and despite how infrequently they take those hits, this limit will never change. But, with higher maximum health, when the player takes additional hits, they have that additional spare healing on hand, making them last much longer.

It is kind of hard to explain, but it is the main reason I even bother with valkyrie on my thief. In full zerker gear, my thief will die in 2 to 3 hits. In full valkyrie, I can buy an additional 1 or 2 hits. I use the signet of malice, and I spend the majority of my time either at maximum health with the signet doing nothing, and if I’m not at max health I’m kissing pavement (wherein the signet also does nothing). But, with valkyrie gear, I can survive longer and heal more. I end up surviving an additional 5 or 6 hits instead of 1 or 2, since I can heal up so much more damage without dying off. This also makes team heals more useful for me as well.

If you are receiving a constant stream of small healings from both your signet of malice and ally regenration/heals, having more or less vitality doesn’t change anything.
If the damage you are receiving is higher than the healing, your HP will go down at the same exact speed. You just will be able to survive for longer in this situation, while dealing less damage because of your investment in vitality.
If you stop receiving damage for any reason, the amount of healing / time needed to top you is still the same.

For vitality to be really useful in the situation you describe, you would need to receive at some point a high enough “spike” of damage to deplete your “natural” health pool.
It’s just impossible to heal you for more than the damage you take.
If you never go under the bonus HP mark, then the fight would have been completely viable, and faster, without that vitality.

Toughness adds sustain because it reduces the amount of damage you take (so less healing / time is required to top you again). So do Healing Power because it makes those heals stronger.
Vitality just protects you against damage bursts that could have killed you otherwise.

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Posted by: Aza.2105

Aza.2105

There is a bit more to that. Vitality has another use, that I call “Healing capacitance”. It is a little abstract, so bear with me. In short, the more damage you can take, the more capacity you have to be healed up.

It isn’t uncommon for a player to take a big hit, then heal themselves up to maximum health, and then sit on their heal skills at max health for awhile. The player is locked into a maximum number of hits they can take before they go down, and despite how infrequently they take those hits, this limit will never change. But, with higher maximum health, when the player takes additional hits, they have that additional spare healing on hand, making them last much longer.

It is kind of hard to explain, but it is the main reason I even bother with valkyrie on my thief. In full zerker gear, my thief will die in 2 to 3 hits. In full valkyrie, I can buy an additional 1 or 2 hits. I use the signet of malice, and I spend the majority of my time either at maximum health with the signet doing nothing, and if I’m not at max health I’m kissing pavement (wherein the signet also does nothing). But, with valkyrie gear, I can survive longer and heal more. I end up surviving an additional 5 or 6 hits instead of 1 or 2, since I can heal up so much more damage without dying off. This also makes team heals more useful for me as well.

If you are receiving a constant stream of small healings from both your signet of malice and ally regenration/heals, having more or less vitality doesn’t change anything.
If the damage you are receiving is higher than the healing, your HP will go down at the same exact speed. You just will be able to survive for longer in this situation, while dealing less damage because of your investment in vitality.
If you stop receiving damage for any reason, the amount of healing / time needed to top you is still the same.

For vitality to be really useful in the situation you describe, you would need to receive at some point a high enough “spike” of damage to deplete your “natural” health pool.
It’s just impossible to heal you for more than the damage you take.
If you never go under the bonus HP mark, then the fight would have been completely viable, and faster, without that vitality.

Toughness adds sustain because it reduces the amount of damage you take (so less healing / time is required to top you again). So do Healing Power because it makes those heals stronger.
Vitality just protects you against damage bursts that could have killed you otherwise.

I read your entire post and solutions, I agree with them. Good stuff.

Note: People mention up gw2 needing to play like gw1 because it played as the suggestions you made to change pve. In short, gw1 pve mobs were just like enemies in pvp. So skills like boon strip, control, defense and damage were equally important.

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Posted by: Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Blood Red Arachnid.2493

You seem to assume that I think that difficulty while playing with heavy armour users is easier solely because of their 13% damage reduction in contrast to light armour users. That is completely false.

Both heavy armour users, guardians and warriors are arguably the easiest professions to play at the high level with a lot of room for mistakes. This has nothing to do with their armour but rather sustain, abundance of reflections, easiness of performing optimal dps and many others. Again, if you think it’s a wrong statement, go ahead and test it “live”. I did, with scales 49-79 fotm.

People that do not use hammer guardians in high level fractals while using only full glass cannon builds are often wiping or at least going down randomly in places they shouldn’t.

Also, hammer guardian gameplay is nothing that should aimed for. It’s one of the most boring and least active gameplays in the whole game, probably on the similar level as spirit ranger.

The biggest problem with the heavies mentality is that the most elite groups aren’t enforcing it at all. The ease of use is interesting, and probably true, which is why the bearbow ranger had such popularity for awhile. But again, things shift over time, and the standard player will eventually catch up to the fact that heavies are not superior to other the other classes.

As I said, I hope to do better than the hammer fractal meta This means making hammer guardians helpful instead of not necessary, and making other forms of support more helpful, and making other build types more useful. It takes more than just faster attacks to accomplish this, but I did lay out an 10 additional points in my solution on Guangs thread about it.

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Posted by: Quickfoot Katana.8642

Quickfoot Katana.8642

I’m surprised by the accuracy of this thread in describing our current meta-state and what causes it. Congratulations OP.

@Anet Hire this man.

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Posted by: Blood Red Arachnid.2493

Blood Red Arachnid.2493

If you are receiving a constant stream of small healings from both your signet of malice and ally regenration/heals, having more or less vitality doesn’t change anything.
If the damage you are receiving is higher than the healing, your HP will go down at the same exact speed. You just will be able to survive for longer in this situation, while dealing less damage because of your investment in vitality.
If you stop receiving damage for any reason, the amount of healing / time needed to top you is still the same.

For vitality to be really useful in the situation you describe, you would need to receive at some point a high enough “spike” of damage to deplete your “natural” health pool.
It’s just impossible to heal you for more than the damage you take.
If you never go under the bonus HP mark, then the fight would have been completely viable, and faster, without that vitality.

Toughness adds sustain because it reduces the amount of damage you take (so less healing / time is required to top you again). So do Healing Power because it makes those heals stronger.
Vitality just protects you against damage bursts that could have killed you otherwise.

The whole point is that I am not receiving constant damage from the enemy. No one is. The amount of damage taken changes depending on circumstances. Having more health leads to less downs, and additional healing increases the margin for error beyond just healing to max at at lower health.

I also suspect you underestimate how powerful the signet of malice can be a times. However I digress: teammates also provide heals, which adds on to healing capacitance outside of what the class normally has. Under low HP circumstances, that additional healing accomplishes nothing and doesn’t contribute to your survival. However, with high HP, upon taking more damage instead of downing you survive, and that additional healing works to counterbalance the damage received, making you capable of objectively taking more hits.

Of course, healing capacitance doesn’t mean anything if you and your team have low healing capabilities. Healing capacitance works on the principle that, throughout a certain timeframe, there is additional healing potential that is wasted due to being at capped health As you said, if you are healing less than the damage you are taking, and then this won’t work.

I find myself with additional health and healing potential the majority of the time, though.

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Posted by: DiogoSilva.7089

DiogoSilva.7089

The problem with the “play how you want” philosophy is that, even if all stats and playstyles were equally viable, players would still pick the fastest route and get much richer than other players.

For that reason, in addition to making all stats and playstyles equally balanced, team content should always demand the three GW2’s core roles (control, damage, support) in order to finish said content, and those roles should demand different stat combinations. Would it be slightly more restrictive this way? Yes, but it would be for the best of the game, it would greatly increase build diversity, and it would reward thoughtful party setups.

Keep in mind that if such a thing happened, it would still be far from having the problems of the old mmo holy trinity. The holy trinity is more rigid (heal and tank instead of the broader support and control playstyling), and mmos with holy trinity usually have more specialized classes. GW2 would still be a game with a soft trinity, with every playstyle having the potential to fulfill all three roles at once, even if not equally.

Elementalist.

(edited by DiogoSilva.7089)

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Posted by: oZii.2864

oZii.2864

The op is just awesome i will now look through bloods post history and read his other topics.

+++1

[Good Fights]Sinndicate{Ele}Sinactic{Engineer}
Sinnastor{Warrior}Sinnacle{Mesmer}Sintacs
{Thief}

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Posted by: islarose.7356

islarose.7356

tl;dr Anet didn’t balance for active defense, and everyone who whines about other players being at fault is wrong and just making the problem worse. The zerk issue hurts everyone. Read the kitten post to know why.

its totally the opposite…

Anet didn t balance for PASSIVE defense.

Active defense works too well….see endure pain, Aegis, reflect etc etc etc.
You can go zerk without giving up active defense that is the one keeping you alive, while passive is useless and just reduce dps prolonging battles with no advantage.

Depends on your profession.

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Posted by: islarose.7356

islarose.7356

It would require a combat mechanic and mob attack pattern overhaul in order to change the current situation. Something unlikely to happen.

We are more likely to see a nerf which will only make things worse.

I’m afraid you’re going to be right.

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Posted by: DanteZero.9736

DanteZero.9736

OP, very insightful and well written post! I never thought of the problem in that manner (balancing for passive defenses but not active defenses).

Also, do you think you can add some formatting to them? It’s a bit eye-straining to look at it in it’s current format.

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Posted by: Nike Porphyrogenita.8137

Nike Porphyrogenita.8137

Still waiting to hear what the “problem” is. In a good player’s hands, pve dps builds are objectively superior.

SO WHAT? Please explain why and how this is a “problem” that requires “fixing.”

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