Lewis B: How do you feel the balance of the PvP is shaping up, now that significant pools of players have played the game? From my perspective, I’ve found that the guardian at times feels too important to be without in structured PvP and WvW. Its skill set, being so supportive, is just too valuable to not have one by your side. Is that something you’re trying to address and/or avoid?
Jon: The balance of the game right now is basically at what I call the 80% rule. Things are basically okay, but there are a ton of things that just don’t feel right the more you play. We have done the groundwork of establishing what we feel is a good baseline for balance, but now we begin the “second 80%” of actually making sure things adhere to that baseline. Some of that work has begun for the next beta weekend, but not all of it will be completed.
Lewis B: Still with the guardian, many people I’ve played alongside believe they are “overpowered”—how do you even begin to approach and combat such statements? A guardian can certainly survive for very long periods of time…
Jon: There are a few aspects of every profession that are currently wildly overpowered. If you look around on YouTube, you can see examples of mesmer, engineer, ranger, warrior, elementalist, thief, necromancer, and yes, guardian, being overpowered. It is now our job to bring those things into balance with the rest of the game.
Lewis B: Still with the necromancer and similarly to the guardian, necromancers are commonly seen as unstoppable killing machines through their use of the Death Shroud
mechanic and their ability to almost gain a second life. In a control-point situation, this can buy invaluable time. Are there any current concerns with how long they can survive and what role this plays in structured PvP and the focus on defending control points?
Jon: One of the goals of Guild Wars 2 is that offense is greater than defense in the long run. It doesn’t mean that spec’ing defense is bad or that we don’t want you playing defensively. It means that we want to make sure that stuff dies and there is progress. There is a fine line here, and you have called out two of the biggest offenders on the “too defensive” side of things, but we will not remove this role, as it is fun; it just needs to be viable but not required.
Lewis B: Lastly, what profession have you been spending the most time with lately?
Jon: Engineer, guardian, warrior, and thief
are the four I have done the most with since the beta weekend. Today will probably be some more thief stuff before I move on to the other four. We try to just continually sweep the entire profession list, brushing up the things that need help.