Tiered Traits/Skills Confirmed

#1 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

Not sure if we're allowed to link to other forums, but there is a discussion about it over at guru:

http://www.guildwars2guru.com/topic/38382-confirmed-tiered-traits-and-utility-skills/

Apparently traits will be tiered so that you will be forced to invest deep into a particular trait line in order to just unlock a trait you want (some traits will no longer be unlockable at 10 or 20 points, but only at 30).

From what I can tell:

At 10 trait points, you can choose traits 1-6

At 20 trait points, you can choose traits 1-10

At 30 trait points, you can choose traits 1-12

This means that if you want trait #11 or 12 you will need to invest 30 points into a trait line. In the last BWE, there was no restriction on when you could select a trait as all the traits were unlocked at 10, 20, or 30 points. This also means that you can't have both trait #11 and 12 in the same build anymore.

That seems like a huge step backwards for this game IMO as it greatly restricts what builds people are able to run. Let's hope this is short lived.

Same thing will happen to skills. You won't be able to unlock everything at the start, but that's not really an issue.

#2 Posted by Grillbar (1872 posts) -

you are allowed if the content of the link is not some spam shit and so on.

and thx for the heads up

#3 Posted by Maystack (906 posts) -

Makes perfect sense. I like being rewarded for focusing on a few skills rather than being a jack of all trades.

#4 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2564 posts) -

Woah - cool. Nice find.

The lincolncast is about to record, so I guess we'll talk about this there : D

#5 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3387 posts) -

I actually appreciate this. Not only does it make balancing less of a struggle, but I find that the more focused builds become, the less you have inexperienced players loading their bar with complete nonsense.

#6 Posted by Benny (1953 posts) -

This has been known about since those patch notes leaked.
Also, since the beginning they've said all traits and skills won't be accessible from the start and will require some sort of quest, e.g. The thief one that gives +5% sword damage could require you to travel Tyria in search of sword masters you need to defeat before you unlock the trait.
I seem to recall them saying it will be a similar challenge to unlock skills too, not just skill points. Though that does seem like a lot of work and perhaps they won't go that far in the final game.

#7 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

My problem is the constraint they put on customization.

Ever since this blog post (http://www.arena.net/blog/play-your-way-jon-peters-on-traits-and-attributes) Anet has emphasized being able to play the game "your way". They specifically highlighted the trait system as being condusive to this type of customization.

"Hey everybody, Jon Peters here with a look at how traits and attributes provide a deep level of customization to your Guild Wars 2 character."

"When we first introduced the trait system, it was a flexible way to modify your character that helped build late-game customization and differentiation between characters."

"Investing 10, 20, and 30 points in a single line will unlock a major trait slot for the player. Each line has 12 different major traits that may be slotted into a major trait slot. These are major upgrades to player abilities and are designed to provide a lot of customization."

With this change, it seems like they're going back on their word IMO. I can see where they're coming from in terms of balance. Some traits were distinctively better than others. However, rather than creating tiers that limit builds, I think it would have been better to just modify some of the OP traits.

#8 Edited by Maystack (906 posts) -

@UssjTrunks: Yeah but to be fair, if all developers stuck to what they promised and actually implemented it, Peter Molyneux would be the richest man in the world.

#9 Edited by Dark_Lord_Spam (3387 posts) -

@Benny said:

Also, since the beginning they've said all traits and skills won't be accessible from the start and will require some sort of quest, e.g. The thief one that gives +5% sword damage could require you to travel Tyria in search of sword masters you need to defeat before you unlock the trait. I seem to recall them saying it will be a similar challenge to unlock skills too, not just skill points. Though that does seem like a lot of work and perhaps they won't go that far in the final game.

The skill point discovery system actually replaced their initial plans for the traits' discovery system, so that all traits and skills can now be bought with their respective currencies. They changed it to be more conducive to cooperation between people attempting to unlock different stuff.

#10 Posted by Grixxel (768 posts) -

Balance issues cancel out all other needs. It's a step in the right direction.

#11 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3387 posts) -

Reviewing the new information, I feel like the OP is burying the lead. While I'm totally cool with trait tiers, skill tiers seems like a move in the wrong direction. I watched the archived PC Gamer stream from the dev server, and the guy playing stated over and over that higher skill tiers were more powerful. Personally, I'm sure it's not true, because that's not how A-Net has been structuring their game, but it clearly gives people the impression that later unlocks are worth more.

#12 Posted by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

Response from Anet on this on Reddit:

There were a number of problems with the old system that we felt required a change. We believe this new system keeps the spirit of the old system, while actually working better in the long run. Here are the problems we believe this change solve:

1) Best builds were all 30,10,10,10,10. There was always a super strong trait in every line which made each player only put 10 points into that trait line and still gain a very powerful benefit. In the new system this will still be true, but it will be tempered because people will be giving up going 20 or 30 points into multiple lines. This has allowed us to shift traits around so that more of them get play at different levels, meaning they don’t all have to compete against each other at tier 1.

2) This system is so much easier to balance. It is not reasonable to make 12 equally useful traits, particularly given how some of them had niche effects. Making 12 equal traits is harder, takes longer and ultimately leads to some traits seeing a lot less use. Finally an important point is that balance creates more choice as well because unbalanced and bad builds aren’t really options. The old system created a very small subset of über-builds which stomped out a lot of the good builds along with the bad ones.

3) Opportunity Costs are what make interesting choices. Trait tiers allow us to split the traits. 6 allowed in slot 1, 10 (6 tier 1 and 4 tier 2) allowed in slot 2, and 12(6 tier 1, 4 tier 2 and 2 tier 3) allowed in slot 3. The final 2 tier 3 traits are "elite"-like, in the sense that you can only ever have one of them on your build at once. If I'm making a damage warrior I am going to put 30 points into strength, same as every other big damage warrior, but now those characters are all guaranteed to be split at least in half forcing you to not take one of the two exclusive final traits. Before, anytime a character went 30 points in a line they were taking the same 3 (maybe 3 out of 4) traits.

4) Option Shock. New players at level 20 were clicking on a trait line for the first time and seeing 12 options which was very overwhelming. This gives them a bit of a reprieve to pick between a smaller number of traits at first and then learn more as they have played their character more.

5) Putting 30 points into a line left you with a climax of picking the third most interesting trait which did not feel good. Players want to feel like that decision to go 30 is a big decision and that when they make it they get to make a big decision that simply could not happen in the old system. Now when you commit to 30 points you are rewarded with an important choice as well as options that you didn't previously have.

Finally, these are not the final balance numbers or often even the final traits/functionality and we will be iterating on this system as we move towards release. I know for certain there are already a number of changes I wish I could have made before this weekend, but they will have to wait until next time. If you had a really fun build before this change and it is lost now, post it in our beta forums and we can figure out how to make it viable. The intention here was not to remove fun, good builds but to create more viable builds that will increase the variety of characters in the game.

Jon P

I found this last bit the most interesting:

If you had a really fun build before this change and it is lost now, post it in our beta forums and we can figure out how to make it viable. The intention here was not to remove fun, good builds but to create more viable builds that will increase the variety of characters in the game.

#13 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3387 posts) -

@UssjTrunks: Again, I completely understand the reasoning behind trait tiers. The skill tiers are what I think are limiting the build system the most and doing so arbitrarily.

#14 Posted by PeezMachine (240 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam: Right on. The skill tiers just felt obtuse and unnecessary. By the time you're unlocking skills, you've played enough to get your bearings, so I think you'll be fine picking from the master skill list.

#15 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2564 posts) -

@PeezMachine: @Dark_Lord_Spam:

Third'd

I had my hopes for the skill tiering system, but as it stands I hate it. Well, perhaps it isn't that bad for some of the classes, but for others it's horrid (for example, I felt that for the necromancer they made you buy far too many niche skills before getting to the good stuff) - I'll upload this week's live stream at some point, where me and go deeper into our criticisms.

#16 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam said:

@Benny said:
Also, since the beginning they've said all traits and skills won't be accessible from the start and will require some sort of quest, e.g. The thief one that gives +5% sword damage could require you to travel Tyria in search of sword masters you need to defeat before you unlock the trait. I seem to recall them saying it will be a similar challenge to unlock skills too, not just skill points. Though that does seem like a lot of work and perhaps they won't go that far in the final game.
The skill point discovery system actually replaced their initial plans for the traits' discovery system, so that a ll traits and skills can now be bought with their respective currencies. They changed it to be more conducive to cooperation between people attempting to unlock different stuff.

I actually prefer the tiered system over the freeform one. By level 26, I had already unlocked 2 tier 3 skills - my choices were no longer limited - it just gave me a much better sense of progression, and I gave all the available skill more thought and consideration, whereas I just disregard most of them with the freeform system of BWE1. It's about pacing, and it's better this way. And that's completely besides giving the developers more control over balancing, and allowing for more interesting builds.

#17 Posted by makari (600 posts) -

The skill tier system is strange for some classes because some classes don't have a lot of really compelling 'power' slots for pve. The necromancer springs to mind immediately. If it's not a minion it looks, on paper, that most of its skills are pvp or support related because most of its slots are focused around the necro class' duality/control/attrition focus. The skills you are putting points into aren't useless, but they're not exactly screaming 'buy me for solo pve ezmode' like the raw damage slots of a warrior or ranger for example. This isn't so much a problem with the tier system as it is the range of slot skills available to the class to begin with, as some classes work perfectly fine with the tier system and may encourage you to try new skills or build differently as you level.

What I do dislike is the tiering of elite skills. Having tier 2 elites be 30 skill points is fine (the tier 2 elites are typically the juicy carrot on the stick you really really want) but having to spend 20 points to get to them is a little obnoxious.

That said, if you crunch the numbers, assuming four zones (two each, like the other races) with an average number of skill point challenges for the Asura and Sylvari in the 1-25 range, if you're diligent with full-clearing zones and WvW of skill points you could have your dream build of three t3 slots and a t2 elite by the time you're 30-35, which is super early all things considered.

#18 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

I ended up liking the trait tiers. It forced you to make trade-offs. Like for warrior, you had to pick either "bursts cost less" or "burst recharge is shorter" you couldn't do both anymore.

The skill tiers are stupid though. I don't see the point there.

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