The Price of Progress #8: One is the Loneliest Number
Welcome to the Price of Progress, an ancient textual series, soon to be vlog, detailing the intricacies of Guild Wars 2 structured PvP, all of the newest builds, and Guild Wars 2 news sprinkled in as needed. In today’s edition, I’ll be covering class synergy and what it means to play off of each other in terms of team skill dynamics. Heavy stuff right? It’s really not. I promise. That being said, I hope you guys enjoy the new simplistic discussion based format I've been tooling with, and as always feedback is heavily encouraged. Let’s go!
Our questions to be answered today will include:
What does it mean to be synergistic?
Why is the “LETS 1v1 DAWG” not an accurate measuring stick for skill in Guild Wars 2?
What classes benefit the most from having a supporting cast?
In the MMO genre, class synergy typically comes from a variety of skills coming together to form a cohesive relationship on a targets face. An example would be a Warrior Immobilizing the target, allowing a guardian to get an easy ranged Burn and Teleport off, and when completing the teleport, dropping a projectile reflecting shield on the immobilized enemy, making for a relatively safe window of damage for both of our vicious vikings.
Using less complex examples, skills that bleed and a slow, AoE poison and burn, etc., all allow for opportunities to capitalize on a targets poor cooldown usage or generally naughty disposition. With a lack of condition removal, these basic and easy to execute synergies can send a player packing very quickly, allowing an early victory chant and subsequent feast.
In past MMO’s
1v1ing has been a great source of information in terms of cooldown usage, general skill timing in reference to your opponent, and waving it in their face when they got stomped. But is this as accurate a yard stick as it was in say, Aion? Or World of Warcraft? I’ll elaborate.
In previous MMO’s the objective was always to kill. There was no “Conquest mode” per say, and even if there was, like Battlegrounds in World of Warcraft, the games central system of balance was tailored to an Arena style of PvP, and not the casual, albeit insanely addictive, massive team raid formats.
So where does this leave us in terms of Guild Wars 2? One thing is for certain, Same class 1v1’s will always be viable to attain a better understanding of one’s class, but further building on this, balance and synergy should be looked at in pairs of two or three, for example, a Thief and Elementalist. I won’t go into exactsies, as I’m just the catalyst. You have to crunch the numbers.
What Classes Benefit the Most from having a supporting cast?
We’ve seen in past beta videos that we have classes that can hold their own in 1v1 scenarios by slowly whittling down their opponents, whilst surviving at a pretty comfortable amount of health, but not necessarily optimizing their damage by being alone in a fight. Take for example the Necromancer, Mesmer, Thief, and Engineer classes.
All of the aforementioned have the obvious capability of doing damage, otherwise they wouldn’t be viable. But putting the pushing and CC power of your Necro behind a Warrior, accumulating absurd amounts of bleed, and throwing an Elementalist/Ranger into the mix to really pack a punch, would round out a 3-2 split very nicely, with the remaining 2 players consisting of your Thief and Ele/Ranger gank squad.
Build of the Week
This week’s build of the week is my newest iteration of the “Support Thief”, in which I replace our previous creation’s Shadow Refuge skill with Blinding Powder, allowing itself to be used offensively without space restriction, meaning I’m not limited to a set point in space for trying to force the increased damage out of stealth buff that we used to get from our prior focus on the Shadow Arts tree.
Our new state of mind gives us the following:
- Poison on steal
- Damage on steal
- Swiftness on Evade
- Dodging removes Cripple and Chill effects
- Returned endurance on dodge
- 10s of regen and remove damaging DoTs at 75% health. 45 Second CD.
- Increases damage by 10% when endurance not full
- Gain 2 Initiative every 10 seconds
- Stealing gives you 3 initiative
- Leave Caltrops behind on dodge
- Increases max initiative by 3
- On steal gain protection and regen for 5/10 seconds respectively
- Damage +2% for each point of initiative
- +4 initiative on using a healing skill
I’ll leave the majority of conversation regarding implementation and changes from last beta to all of you, with careful consideration to not monopolizing the thought process and allowing you to deduce for yourself what is viable about this build and what is not. I will leave you with this: There is a reason that it is a Thief, and not an Assassin. On that note, have fun Etch-a-sketching, and as always, fight for the user.
GW2guru forum discussion covering this blog: