Say what you will about Guild wars 2’s lack of Structured PvP features or even the state of balance right now but they certainly managed create a compelling, fun and more complex mmo pvp system. I have played many many different iterations on the mmo arena format it this is the best feeling one, it is widely unpopular but for different reasons then you would usually see.
I find myself having a surprising amount of fun whether it be hot join chaos or the mroe refined tournaments… of course I’m a bit more experienced so I’m not completely getting smashed every match but I really do think it has a lot of potential. When Matchmaking and better systems for picking and choosing matches are enacted I hope everyone will be able to enjoy it just like I do.
They key to the brilliance of the system comes down to the class and combat design. While at times it may come across like your playing your standard hot bar mmorpg once you enter PvP it really does stand out, and no it’s not t
he dodge mechanic as it would still be brilliant without it. It is that your character is no longer bound to the strict roles of heal, tank, and dps
Sure you can usually build your characters towards survivability and being a tank through toughness or healing, or focus more on support but without the defined roles of classes in many other systems it brings out a lot more complexity during play. The strategy as well and the changing meta feels far more different but also more fun, and while complex at ties it seems like it is much easier to learn.
If you look at a few of the other games that have reached a popularity as an Esport none of them have a single dichotomous and rigid system like Healing and Dps. There are always a few roles in these games and roles are important but they are mostly rather changeable and more dynamic during play. The classes or load ours are changeable so that you can usually provide a few different roles or enact different strategies depending on your and your enemies composition.
Guild Wars 2 does this rather well, you have certain defined roles like support, damage, and point guard but the important thing is that many classes can fulfill these roles and the way they fill them can be very different. I may have discounted the complexity of combat in SpvP in a previous post but that was only in relation to WvW, right now the startegy and meta goes on right now is an infinite amount better then what I am used to.
Usually mmo pvp strategy revolves around kill the healer but here being free from that the strategy of combat has evolved in new and interesting ways. We have skills and classes combining creating a wonderful rich network during play not just in ways of creating combo fields in finishers like I discussed before but complex patterns of play and timing… and everyone can be a part of these without being chained by these types.
I think this is the way forward for mmo combat, the defined roles of classes to healing and such have been a severely limiting factor of competitive play. Classes don’t seem to evolve and fit into an evolving meta other than following along with FotM class build. There are systems wherein a class does have flexibility but as long as there is a heal role you become a slave to the simplistic system.
But then the issue is that the Tank, Dps, heal system works remarkably well when it comes to pve,in particular dungeon experiences. PvP has been stuck in this system for a long time so it is amazing to see it freed from these restraints but I don’t wish to doom PvE at the same time. Would it be possible to have a switched system for pve and the competitive pvp side.