GW2: The Pigeon-holing is Real

This is fast becoming a pet peeve.

I’m going to quote Reddit user isaightman:

“The stat difference isn’t so great that the raids are actually balanced around ascended, however the perception of other players and ascended-elitism will be the real barrier to entry.

As has been seen in basically every game ever, “LFM link achieve/gear” will become the norm.”

And also echo the commenter under him who mentioned that ArenaNet didn’t do the playerbase any favors by suggesting that players will need full Ascended to kill the final boss. (Naturally, this becomes, in playerspeak, “Entry requirement to the raid: full ascended pls.”)

So not only do newer players have a catch-22 gearing problem (Ascended gear can be earned in raids, but they have to be accepted in raids in the first place), it also is bankrupting veterans who are considering switching roles / builds to help raids along.

The perception of the players is the problem.

I was busy gritting my teeth when a raid leader took a look at the two guardians in the raid group and went, “Gee, I hope one of you can tank.”

There were revenants in the raid group, but nope, the leader didn’t look twice at them (I guess their new pigeonhole is passive might stacker), and even a reaper who actually volunteered to tank, and there was sooo much hesitance on the leader’s part to say, well, ok.

(For the record, the reaper did great. That’s what I’m planning to run when I eventually figure out, practice and can afford a tanky build. There is even video proof of another successful Vale Guardian kill with a reaper tank. The amount of damage he can output, coupled with his survivability makes me drool.

I’ve played zerker guardian and zerker necro, I can tell you which one is naturally tankier while still doing decent damage and it ain’t the guard. You can make an unkillable guardian for the tradeoff of him hitting like a wet sock.)

Condi somehow equates to engineer. Well… maybe necro or ranger or mesmer if someone is feeling kind. But really, they’re all second-best, that 47-skill rotation engineer is king, never mind if it’s actually humanly possible to perform the rotation consistently or no.

“We need a healer!” All eyes suddenly look at the rangers in the raid hopefully. (It’s as if the concept of blasting water fields died with WvW now in decline. And I am honor-bound to point out that just off the top of my mind, eles, guards, revs, necros can all put out healing, that engineers have a healing turret, rangers have a water field self heal and warriors have banners that can be traited to pulse regen… just sayin’.)


It’s just too easy to take shortcuts and label classes into roles, when really, we should be asking the players themselves what role they are comfortable playing and what build they’ve chosen. (And if there’s too much of one, then yeah, see if someone can swap.)

Our ragtag group of castoffs actually managed to get as far as bringing the Vale Guardian past 33% health, which wasn’t too shabby for what was essentially a training raid and getting people familiar with the mechanics.

(Just the third attempt for me personally, and each attempt has seen more progress, admittedly with different people. This time the strategy was sound and we had a consistent tank – which I must point out again was a REAPER *coughs*, so stop pigeonholing, sheesh.)

What tended to end up causing group wipes was that the circle running dps group hadn’t quite figured out a strategy to either consistently push the red seekers away and/or heal up the damage from the distributed magic lightning strike.

If that can get solved, then the last facet of the puzzle is improving dps to the required amounts before the enrage timer hits.

Which frankly, is a rather questionable design decision by Anet, because the need to improve dps means things like a) a call for dps meters (Syl has some great rants about them), and b) more pigeonholing of classes that can produce all the required boons and still do great dps before c) getting individual players to work on their builds and rotations, not to mention d) might be somewhat susceptible to ping.

Try as one might for class balance, players are going to find the ones that fit their perception of what is “best” and run with those. No one has ever kicked my warrior from a fractal or dungeon. I’m sure the same cannot be said for necros or rangers once upon a time.

This casual prejudice really annoys me.

That is not to say that I don’t know how to circumvent or make use of it. When in Rome do as the Romans do and all that. If some people want cookie-cutter, then it’s easy to blend in by just shrugging and going cookie-cutter.

But it’s just the dumb ignorance that makes pigeon-holing such a pet peeve.

(eg. Toughness-based aggro has been in existence since the beginning of the game. I picked up on it ever since trying out an anchor guardian build – and getting chased in circles by Lupicus during my first time in Arah, much to my guild’s amusement. I have personally manipulated it in dungeons like the Aetherblade facility. Somehow it is being heralded as a completely new thing since the expansion. It makes me boggle. It’s about time it became common knowledge, is all I have to say about that.)

I hope more people take up the challenge of proving the ignorant wrong – develop viable roles and builds for all the classes, successfully clear raids with them, maybe even clear Vale Guardian in exotics perhaps.

Prove that it’s player skill, teamwork, coordination/communication and practice that makes the difference, not one set recipe of cookie-cutter classes.

10 thoughts on “GW2: The Pigeon-holing is Real

  1. This is all very disappointing and entirely predictable. I’m not really joking when I say GW2 and WoW are turning their supertankers around with the intention of crashing them head-on. They’re stealing each others’ clothes so fast they must be getting fabric burns.

    I can afford to feel relatively sanguine about it because at worst it’s going to put GW2 into the same basket as most of the other MMOs I’ve played and enjoyed. It’ll have a raid-based, gear-grind endgame about which a lot of loud elitists yell and argue but which I will never play or care a whit about (other than to enjoy the drama vicariously once in a while when it blows up spectacularly over some supposed nerf or other).

    The issue is how much development time and resources get re-allocated to Raids and the raid-based endgame content. If it turns out to be all of them then there will be a problem too big for me to ignore. I doubt it will go that far, though. If there’s one thing you can say about MMO devs it’s that they have short attention spans. Give it six months to a year and they’ll all be on board a new hype train. I just hope it’s going in a direction that suits me better.

    1. The resource allocation was the one thing that worried me about Heart of Thorns. I didn’t buy the expansion until your, Jeromai’s, and Ravious’s posts convinced me that there was enough content that wasn’t for the super hardcore elites. Since they haven’t said anything about future content releases other than more raids, I’m back to worrying.

  2. I wonder if DPS meters would be better if they were personal only, i.e. you can only see how much damage YOU did. That’s generally how damage meters in WoW are *supposed* to be used, but of course since you can see everyone’s damage you naturally compare yourself to them. If you can’t see anyone else’s damage, you’re encouraged to use the damage meter just as a training tool, although obviously there’s nothing stopping you comparing numbers in part chat or whatever.

    1. My personal opinion is that I actually like the idea of personal DPS meters, as I’m very much into objective-based evidence and the idea of personal improvement for those who want to do so.

      I link Syl because she has more fun rants against them all as a matter of course. 😉

    2. I *think* you can get enough data from the detailed combat log to calculate your own damage and DPS. With GW2’s no-modding policy there aren’t any tools to pull that out automatically, but I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point someone wrote a tool that let you copy/paste it and get your stats.

  3. The best and most unique thing about GW2 combat is precisely how flexible roles are.

    So far, I have seen the first raid boss killed with warrior, reaper, scrapper, guardian, and revenant as tanks. I have also seen successful groups using support in form of a dedicated full cleric druid as a healer, or in form of healing and damage buffs as revenant or tempest.

    The most common reason why groups are failing the first boss is because of missing the circle or drop in DPS due to reaching the circle.

    This problem can be solved by having classes that have a lot of mobility like thieves and mesmers, but people are just so focused on DPS DPS that they ignore that lack of mobility in this fight can also result in significant DPS loss and that engineer that they are thinking to be condi DPS king is spending half his time running to and from circles instead of actually doing DPS.

  4. Holy hell the damage the Reaper does while tanking the boss is amazing.

    There’s already people saying they have PUG’d the raid. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think I’m going to practice tanking with my Guard/Necro a few times, and form a core group with my circle of friends. Less complaint and pidgeonholing that way.


  5. Yep, Definitely sounds like they need to learn from the wvw crew, more than say the dungeon based meta.

    It a few moments we would be able to stack, call water fields and blast then be full health. Not to mention the many other defensive strategies that came from it.

    I generally liked that heal off soul transfer too – ended up aoe healing about 2-3k in soldiers each time

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