I was going to save this link until Dolyak Delivery but having continued to read the thread over the last few days, I felt it merited its own discussion here on Guild Wars 2 Hub. The thread on the official forums discusses the disparity between offensive and defensive skills, with the game having a clear focus on the offensive. The original thread starter supports defensive skills being brought into line with offensive, in terms of cool downs and potency. He highlights the differences between skills, seeking to have defensive skills boosted so that they can be used as frequently in a fight.
I’ll make no bones about this, implementing what the original thread started is seeking would single handily cripple Guild Wars 2 and return it back to the days where people seek out pure supportive characters. Considering the potency of bunker builds already, realigning support skills (boons and direct utility skills) to have higher potency or lower cooldowns would have irreparable consequences. What I find frustrating about this thread is the fact its misses the point: ArenaNet want all players to have independence in Guild Wars 2. The implementation of each profession having its own heal and the ability to resurrect others is a clear indicator of this, combined with the fact that all professions are fully capable of dealing good damage.
Were we to shift the goal posts, to allow others to specialise exclusively in support (at the total or near total expense of damage) would undermine all that has been attempted by ArenaNet in moving the genre forward, away from the stagnant roles we used to take part in. What I also feel is missing from the thread starter is the realisation that support can come in all forms, that it doesn’t have to be a boon or direct healing to be considered supportive. Airblasting a foe away from a downed party member, using stability to complete a stomp or stealthing your party to move through a pack of enemies is all support, albeit an offensive variant. As an Engineer in tournament PvP who doesn’t use the Elixir Gun or Healing Turret, you might argue I’m offensive. However, in terms of support I provide:
- Supply Crate, complete with healing turret and bandages.
- Airblast to knock foes off control points or away from my downed party members.
- Napalm as a combo field to provide might to allies if blasted, or burning for projectiles.
- Magnetic Inversion to knock foes back and provide area of effect combo’s to my party.
- Stability or Stealth from Elixir S to aid in escape or stomping.
- Condition removal by throwing my Elixirs onto allies.
All of these elements are supportive, drawn from offensive skills, but it is the mindset of how we view support that is key. Continuing to seek out a clear definition isn’t appropriate in Guild Wars 2, where players should be comfortable in the gray, rather than requiring black and white. I appreciate that there will be many players whom have ventured from other MMOG’s who enjoyed nothing more than to sit back, heal and let others do the work but to be blunt: there is no place for it here and the game is all the better for it.
What are your thoughts on the matter?