Guild Wars State of the Game: on skill balance and stagnant PvP

Guild Wars by NCSoft - Image 1Two experts share their thoughts in the latest Guild Wars State of the Game, as they talk about the MMORPG’s constantly changing metagame and stagnant high level play. Idiot Savant’s Ensign and ArenaNet‘s skill balancer Izzy discuss the problems high ranking guilds face now that optimum skills have been identified and are often used in GvG.

Get a skinny on what vets think at the full article!

Guild Wars - Image 1

In the latest State of the Game issue for NCsoft‘s MMORPG Guild Wars, veteran guild-versus-guild player Ensign from the famous Idiot Savants guild and ArenaNet‘s skill balancer Izzy agree that despite constant balance updates, the current metagame has grown stagnant. Even after the skill changes applied recently, they still believe a lot of work has to be done to shake things up.

As the two go deeper into the discussion of skill balance in Guild Wars, it appears that the problem isn’t about overpowered skills or those not efficient enough to be viable in GvG. With countless skills made available by previous campaigns and the Eye of the North expansion, there usually are alternatives for any skill, but there are some favorites that date back to Guild Wars‘ early days.

Ensign, co-founder and core member of Idiot Savants with championship victories under his belt, shared his sentiments:

Currently, things are indeed balanced in the sense that everyone runs the same basic three or four builds with slight midline variations: two Warriors, two Monks, Ranger, Mesmer, Blinding Surge Elementalist, and a flag runner. Many matches thus end up being boring mirror matches, where the teams are pretty even, but not very interesting.

True enough, it’s a rare occasion nowadays if a high ranking guild tries something new. Gone are the days when Last Pride, War Machine, and other big names impressed the crowd and invented strategies for GvG. Izzy agreed, saying “the top level of PvP is stagnant, especially as compared to the past.”

For Ensign who has seen numerous battles and fought through them with tactics that often trampled the opposition, Guild Wars today is simply not the same. Back then, “you weren’t ever sure what your opponents would have on their Skill Bars,” he said. Now, it’s easy to predict the bombs enemies will try to drop on your team.

ArenaNet’s skill balancer pointed his finger at Nightfall‘s skills that upped the damage guilds can dish out and made 8v8 setups more attractive than split builds, but mentioned that Core skills are still being used the most. Izzy admitted the difficulties ArenaNet faces when releasing a new batch of skills in campaigns, which ultimately led to the relatively low number of new skills Eye of the North introduced.

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