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  1. #1
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    Default Redone guild wars

    One of the things I've doing outside of class is coming up with was to make guild wars better. Guild wars to me seemed like a game with a lot of good ideas, but poor execution in a lot of them, and lack of development of a lot of them.


    I'm curious for other people playing it what sorts of things they didn't like about the game and did like about it. Hopefully it doesn't degenerate into q typical whine fest on a computer game (As some forums tend to do), but it will possibly help with ideas.


    The first idea I've come up with is using some sort of threat method. It's an obvious steal from other types, but one of the reasons I stopped playing guild wars was the monster behaviour, where they would often go for weaker party members and avoid stronger ones, or sometimes run around semi-randomly thanks to AoE attacks, or other similar effects. A threat system would not help the running around randomly, but would help with monster targetting issues, as while it is more realistic, perhaps, to target a weak player with less defensive ability, it made a lot of types of skills much less useful and pointless to bring along. (I have thought of what the threat system would be like, but will save it for another post.)

  2. #2
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    I'm curious for other people playing it what sorts of things they didn't like about the game and did like about it. Hopefully it doesn't degenerate into q typical whine fest on a computer game (As some forums tend to do), but it will possibly help with ideas.
    Since no one else answered, I though I would. There were two major points that I wanted to throttle Guildwars over.

    1) Before they improved the AI, there were two major problems... but the fixes weren't improvements. The first was with the mob behaviour - the farming and such that came from being able to herd mobs into area effects was... well, it ruined the balance of the game quite a bit. I suppose I could of ignored this, but it did irritate me. But the fix - the running out of area effects drove me even more bonkers. I would rather the game have the farming, inflation, etc than broken AI.

    The same goes for the AI henchmen. I swear to god the humber of times they stood in the poison water, got stuck, randomly ran... and the way they chose targets, gah.

    I stopped playing before the allies got improved, however, so I don't know how much better that got.

    2) The equipment system kinda sucked. I understand that the entire game was balanced around PvP so they avoided the whole "tier" problem that you have in WoW and similar... And there wasn't a grind for the equipment... but the whole equipment thing seemed empty. If they had removed the grind entirely, that would of been fine, but instead it was a skill capture grind - way way worse than the wow grind. Course, you can buy the skills now, but that just plain sucks since I still can't create a character that can PvE at 20. I still have to grind and capture. So I guess the problem was that the equipment grind was replaced with a skill grind, but it didn't really change your character significantly. Once the missions were done, PvP was all there was.


    And lastly, the major problem I had was with rubberbanding. I know lag is always an issue, but I've played a dozen MMOs... and rubberbanding like this, in instances, is an auto-fail.

    (I have thought of what the threat system would be like, but will save it for another post.)
    The threat thing isn't a big deal to me, although it probably would of helped the poor monks out some... I didn't have a problem until the Titan missions, which I still haven't finished (Non and I play with henchmen, making it virtually impossible. We tried with people and well... yah. People suck.). At that point, without threat, you can never tank properly and it makes it extremely difficult to do.

    Without the major boss fights, I don't see a huge need for it... I think guildwars was well designed around the PvP aspect, but that left the depth/RPG side of the game lacking. I don't see how the two can be balanced together completely... There just wasn't much depth to the co-op play. Limited skills, events, AI, mobs were balanced by the graphics and the well scripted missions...

    In that sense, it really was like Diablo... just more technical and with a grind, which for me made it much less enjoyable.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Since no one else answered, I though I would. There were two major points that I wanted to throttle Guildwars over.

    1) Before they improved the AI, there were two major problems... but the fixes weren't improvements. The first was with the mob behaviour - the farming and such that came from being able to herd mobs into area effects was... well, it ruined the balance of the game quite a bit. I suppose I could of ignored this, but it did irritate me. But the fix - the running out of area effects drove me even more bonkers. I would rather the game have the farming, inflation, etc than broken AI.
    This was half the reason I quit (As i think I said above). I didn't really mind the farming, as I never really used the traders except for occasional runes or, very rarely, the traders, but the various AI changes made it a pain in the ass to play.

    The same goes for the AI henchmen. I swear to god the humber of times they stood in the poison water, got stuck, randomly ran... and the way they chose targets, gah.
    I did manage to learn to control the henchmen somewhat, though there were a few times I was going nuts about the way they worked.



    2) The equipment system kinda sucked. I understand that the entire game was balanced around PvP so they avoided the whole "tier" problem that you have in WoW and similar... And there wasn't a grind for the equipment... but the whole equipment thing seemed empty. If they had removed the grind entirely, that would of been fine, but instead it was a skill capture grind - way way worse than the wow grind. Course, you can buy the skills now, but that just plain sucks since I still can't create a character that can PvE at 20. I still have to grind and capture. So I guess the problem was that the equipment grind was replaced with a skill grind, but it didn't really change your character significantly. Once the missions were done, PvP was all there was.
    One of the other changes I've thought up is to reduce the amount of skills in the game, since a lot of them in now are redundant, or are just using as many permutations of effects as people can think of.

    In terms of skill changes, what I would probably do in a redesign would be to make all skills available at least at the halfway point for PvE characters, and make elite skills more easily capturable, so that characters would have the skills available for the final parts, and could get them with less headaches.

    And lastly, the major problem I had was with rubberbanding. I know lag is always an issue, but I've played a dozen MMOs... and rubberbanding like this, in instances, is an auto-fail.
    I haven't had very much lag in guild wars, this one might just be random chance.

    The threat thing isn't a big deal to me, although it probably would of helped the poor monks out some... I didn't have a problem until the Titan missions, which I still haven't finished (Non and I play with henchmen, making it virtually impossible. We tried with people and well... yah. People suck.). At that point, without threat, you can never tank properly and it makes it extremely difficult to do.
    With some of the later AI changes, monsters would go straight for people with low armor and lots of death penalty, and avoid people using defensive skills, which made a lot of those skills useless. Threat would simply be added in to allow defensive skills to be useful, and to actually provide an explainable system for how monsters decide to attack certain people.

    Without the major boss fights, I don't see a huge need for it... I think guildwars was well designed around the PvP aspect, but that left the depth/RPG side of the game lacking.
    This I would agree with, the AI problems, class skill problems, and such seemed like they were generically copied from other RPG type games, without really thinking through what could be done with how the guild wars system works. (For example, with primary/secondary professions, and everything done in teams, there isn't a need for healer/protector classes to have damage dealing skills on their own, unless they are integrated well with how their defensive skills work, since teammates will take care of all the damage.)


    Edit: I do have to say I liked it better than Diablo, the lesser item dependence and faster time to max level, as well as ability to adjust characters all the time, made it more fun for me.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    I did manage to learn to control the henchmen somewhat, though there were a few times I was going nuts about the way they worked.
    Ring of Fire missions = eternal hatred. That and the frozen mountain paths. Most irritating.

    One of the other changes I've thought up is to reduce the amount of skills in the game, since a lot of them in now are redundant, or are just using as many permutations of effects as people can think of.
    I rather like the skill system... I liked being able to redesign my character, find the right skills for the mission. What I hated was the equipment/runes + skill grind that came from it.

    I spent hours and hours capturing elite skills... trying to get them all... But if I wanted to take my PvE character into PvP, I had to have an entire second set of armor with different runes... Since my main was an elementalist, I tended to have a fire or air build, likewise I needed to avoid air spikers whereas I needed the fire set for the ring of fire. And of course, even for PvE, I needed the water skills to deal with the RoF, since fire... sucked. I did it with air, but yah... Less than ideal (although those double bosses made me love my Ele/me, interrupts were nice...)

    These are grinds without the payoff. In WoW, at least when I grind, I get my addiction fed by the "OMG, purple!" in the loot box. In diablo, the "Tink" of a ring falling was the "hit space to see if it's unique!!!"...

    There was some sort of movement forward. In GW, the grind was... well, a grind without the grind. It stayed hidden for a while... then kind of ramped up at the end of the game.

    In terms of skill changes, what I would probably do in a redesign would be to make all skills available at least at the halfway point for PvE characters, and make elite skills more easily capturable, so that characters would have the skills available for the final parts, and could get them with less headaches.
    Mission design was the best part of the whole thing. I loved the storyline and the missions. That's what kept me playing. I loved being able to jump around the world instantly... I loved having a goal, not having to schedule things and the general flexibility of the game... I loved having henchmen available.

    But all of that would of been better if I could of had the skills available. I could of changed from fire to water, water to air, without having to hit "level 40". Without having to shell out insane amounts of money for the +3 runes (I tended to go with +2 as a result...). That's what I think they did wrong in terms of design.

    With some of the later AI changes, monsters would go straight for people with low armor and lots of death penalty, and avoid people using defensive skills, which made a lot of those skills useless. Threat would simply be added in to allow defensive skills to be useful, and to actually provide an explainable system for how monsters decide to attack certain people.
    Yup... I don't know about the expansions, but the Titan missions in the original were impossible with henchmen. Not "hard", but "alpha-strike your healers, mesers and necros" in 3 seconds kind of impossible.

    Although I hear some people did it eventually. It wasn't fun, however, and there was only that an PvP left at that point. It was about gaming the game, not playing through the mission. I gave up on the game after trying the Kryta one a dozen or so times.

    This I would agree with, the AI problems, class skill problems, and such seemed like they were generically copied from other RPG type games, without really thinking through what could be done with how the guild wars system works. (For example, with primary/secondary professions, and everything done in teams, there isn't a need for healer/protector classes to have damage dealing skills on their own, unless they are integrated well with how their defensive skills work, since teammates will take care of all the damage.)
    I always wondered about that... I was recently playing Fable and I realized just how little character development MMOs really have. GW had a great story (certainly worked better on me than WoW or such) but it just isn't the same thing. There is some element missing for it to be called an RPG...

    That made the game feel empty to me. I'd rather play UT than Pvp in GW. I'd rather play Wow than GW for the grinding parts. I'd rather play Fable/Morrowind/etc for the story, if that's what I want. It just didn't hold onto me enough to let me get beyond the irritations.

  5. #5
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    I had been writing up a threat system a few days ago, but a power outage occurred while I was doing it. I'm still a bit miffed, so will write up other smaller changes.

    Henchmen: Henchmen will now operate with a similar skill picking system as nightfall heroes. (For those who don't know, nightfall heroes are customized henchman like characters that people can bring along into groups. Players with the heroes can use any unlocked skills with them, equip their weapons, off hands, runes, and insignias.) Henchmen skills would become available based on region, non-elite skills purchasable in the region would be available to henchmen, elite skills would open up based on which ones were capturable in certain areas. In parties with more than one person, the leader's henchmen skill sets would be the ones used in the party.

    Instead of being a fixed level, henchmen would simply be the average level of the human characters in the party, rounded down. Infusion would be a similar effect, if the majority of player characters were infused, the henchmen would be as well, if not, they would not be. Heroes would be changed to automatically level up with the character.

    (I don't know any simple changes to get henchmen to act smarter, so am not making up new A.I. for them, but I figure skill adjustment would help out somewhat with henchman problems.)


    Skill Availability and purchasing:
    All non-elite skills would be sold, or otherwise gettable, by around 1/2 to 2/3 the way through the PvE campaign. In the original one, Droknar's forge or Amnoon Oasis would have all the skills buyable on reaching it then, with Ring of Fire likely remaining the areas with the skill trainer offering all non-elite skills. In Factions, probably about 2/5 the skills would be available in Shing Jea Island, 2/5 in Kaineng city, and the remaining 1/5 would be at house zu Heltzer and Cavalon. Harvest temple would continue to be the area with all non-elite skills available. In Nightfall, Istan, Kourna, and Vabbi would each have about 1/3 of the non-elite skills, with some spot like Bone Palace or Gate of Torment having all skills available.

    Skill quests would be changed, so that after the beginning profession quests, they would just give "skill tokens", which could be turned in to skill trainers for the skills. Otherwise, skills costs would stop at 500 gold for a skill (Instead of the 1000 that they were when I was last playing.) Factions and Nightfall would have more skill quests added as well.


    Loot: To deal with farming issues, total drop rates would be multiplied by (Maximum party size+3*actual size)/(4*Maximum size), or some other similar multiplier. Maximum size would be determined from the outpost the party came from. The idea behind this is that if someone comes up with a neat character idea that can solo an area, they can do it without getting nerfed, and may end up with a bit of extra loot, but the amount of loot per time is still relatively close to what a full party would get. (The loot from the multiplier is higher, but a single character will probably kill much slower, so overall it averages out the same.)

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    I have a threat system mostly worked out, but still am thinking of a way to handle Single target damage skill vs. multiple target damaging skills (Because of the primary/secondary system tank classes would have access to AoE skills for holding attention, but I'm interesting in keeping single target skills as useful for threat in this made up system.)

    I've also come up with some skill reductions. (For people whop haven't done factions or nightfall, those two campaigns added a ton of new skills, a lot of them just permutations on ones already existing, though some were good additions.) The assassin dagger skills are hard to reduce, since I don't really know how well all the potential attack chains worked.

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    The first go at a threat system. (I also have an AoE spell idea but will write that up on these forums later.)

    Effects on Enemies
    Distance: Closeness adds 50*(distance from monster/aggro radius). Threat from other effects is also multiplied by 1-(distance from enemy/(4*aggro radius)), down to 0.

    Direct Damage: Causes 1 threat per damage for each enemy.

    Interruption: For spells, threat caused equals the mana cost of the spell, for attacks, threat from the interrupted monster to the interrupter equals half the damage that would have been caused.

    Damage reduction: the monsters who's damage is reduced has extra threat on the reducer equal to ½ the damage not done because of reduction. (This would be the person who cast a hex, enchantment, defensive stance, etc.)

    Attack speed reduction/miss chance: Counts the same as the equivalent damage reduction.

    Armor reduction: ½ the extra damage caused causes threat to the reducer of the armor from the monster whose armor is reduced.

    Healing reduction: ½ the healing lost is the threat gained by the person who reduced the healing. The monster who has the effect on them gains threat.

    Hexes: Causes additional aggro to targeted monsters equal to the mana cost.

    Conditions: Cause additional 10 aggro every 5 seconds. Daze interrupts cause aggro for whoever directly causes the interrupting damage, ¼ that aggro is given to the daze causer.

    Slow: Causes an extra 5 aggro each second the slowed enemy tries to move.

    Mana loss: Causes aggro equivalent to twice the damage.

    Effects on Friendly Targets
    Healing: Causes threat for the healer equivalent to ½ the damage caused. Effects all aggroed monsters, distance effects are multiplied both by both the healer and healed player’s distance.

    Defensive skills: Causes threat for the user of the defensive spell equivalent of the damage reduction threat above.

    Energy gain: ½ the energy gained causes aggro. Same otherwise as healing.

    Enchantments: 1/2 the mana cost of enchantments is causes the same mana as equivalent healing aggro.

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    Mission Changes:

    This is mainly a way to try and deal with some PUG issues that crop over and over again (People not working together, not focusing on the same target, not bringing interrupts, etc.) The idea is to put in early on missions situations where people will have to (focus fire, interrupt, etc.) to win, along with someone pointing out the required tactics, in situations where the party won't get killed,just slowed down a ton, to get players used to doing stuff like this. I'm not actually sure how these things would work for most problem players, but some would likely be helped out by these changes.

    In Prophecies:

    Fort Ranik: There would be a couple groups of 2-3 Charr casters near a "charr healing circle". Before fighting them, some ascalon soldiers say something like "There are some charr healing circles. We will all need to attack one charr to overcome the healing powers", if too long passes after the fight starts, the ascalon soldiers will say something like "I will direct the attacks, follow me", and in team chat will call the targets. The idea of this is that instead of the mission failing, it just goes on and on unless people figure out to focus fire, and/or read team chat and follow pulls (Or until people start leaving, which is something I'm not sure how to deal with in mission structure.)

    Ruins of Surmia: Something similar would occur, only with Rurik directing. 2 healing circles would appear.

    Nolani Academy: A similar Healing circle would appear in the middle of the city.

    Borlis Pass: A large group of Dolyaks could keep the focus fire importance going in the early game, so a few would likely be added in the mission path. Also, Interrupts start to appear for several classes at this point, so having some stone summit groups with long cast time, dangerous spells, plus a friendly dwarf saying "We need to stop those guys casting, use yer interrupts", or something to that effect, would provide a way to include that sort of stuff in the mission.

    Frost Gate: The same sort of stuff as Borlis Pass could be added in here.

    Gates of Kryta, D'alessio Seaboard, Divinity Coast: Pulling might be added here, or a threat system, along with some additional strong healing groups and groups to be interrupted.

    Jungle Missions: The jungle missions seem to have a lot of stretches where people just run along killing stuff, so interrupt requirements, focus fire groups, etc. would be worked in to those stretches, probably using healing plants and possibly shining blade people and white mantle pointing it out and calling targets occasionally.

    Riverside Provice/Sanctum Cay: At this point is where the early game pointing out of how to work as a team should star to pay off, these missions requires some tricks and coordination to get through.

    Factions:

    Minister Cho's estate: This had a bunch of tutorial elements dealing with things like focus fire, calling targets, and related abilities, so probably wouldn't be changed much. The big change would probably be suggesting that people bring along utility skills like interrupts, damage reduction, and such, which come in handy in the last fight.

    Zen Dajun: Some of the "groups of people needing focus fire, needing interrupts, etc", would be added to this mission, as well as the boss at the end, along with Togo continuing to point this stuff out. The bosses at the end are also pretty challenging, so pointing out the skills needed should help in showing people how to fight this sort of stuff

    Seitung Harbor to Kaineng city: This was a big jump for a lot of people, so some extra primary quests would probably be added. First, the character would have to go up to Kaineng city, which has the next armor upgrade, and talk with some official of the emperor. Than, the character would be sent through smaller groups of Am Fah, with some sort of scout or spy to take them through less dangerous areas, than they would go to Vizunah Square by the normal routes.

    Vizunah Square: The missions hit full level 20 ones here, so only the beginning of Vizunah square would continue on the "how to work in a group" tutorials, against the Am Fah, Jade Brotherhood, and small groups of afflicted. There would only be one big fight in the square, probably in the middle of the mission, instead of the three already in.


    Nightfall:

    Chabekh Village: This wouldn't be changed much, it already is pretty much a turorial mission, with a small amount of skills involved.

    Jokanur diggings: Kormir and the traps are perfect for adding in healing groups, monsters where interrupts are needed, and more called targets.

    Blacktide Den: The pirates/Kourna Soldiers would probably serve in the roles of "person who points out stuff like focus fire", and groups of bog creatures would be added that would work as the necessary long stuff to kill.

    Consulate Docks: This is where a lot of "how to work as a team" stuff could easily get introduced. Kormir is running with the group, and could point this sort of stuff out, and the various Kournana bosses all provide different challenges that would show the types of utility skills needed to fight different types of tough enemies.

  9. #9
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    I really like guild wars! I play it all the time. My ISTP husband plays it too.

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