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  1. #1

    Can this game ever become an E-Sport in its current incarnation?

    So, I know I'm going to get hell for this, but some important questions about this game need to be asked.

    GW2 PvP is fun, dynamic, in many ways breaking the mold. But with a few design changes that they've deviated from the standard other games have followed, is it possible for people to take this game seriously competitively?

    Issue 1: Class Icons
    There are no class icons over characters heads unless you target them and look at their target bar at the top of your screen. Everyone's health bars are also red with no options for color-coding by class. This on the surface is meant to make you pay attention more, and helps out pet classes like Mesmers who rely on confusing you with duplicates and guardians. The problem with this, is it encourages competitive players to not only roll the same race to make it harder for people to prepare for you as you run into them (ideally Asura, as their casting animations are the hardest to notice), but to also transform your gear so you look as similar as possible, and to make your names as similar as possible with confusing letter choices like..
    Aexiandar Friliauso
    Aexaindar Friliauso
    Aexaindar Friliuaso
    Aexiandar Friliuaso
    Aexiander Friliauso

    With players stealthing, vanishing, blinking, and duplicating themselves, with an array of proc'd and summoned pets and guardians, confusing the field of play with trash while trying to duplicate each other as much as possible becomes a viable strategy, rather than rewarding solid play of the games combat system.

    Solution: At the very least, put icons on players nameplates so you can quickly assess them when you see them coming, and call out targets. Class colors may be going too far into the WoW direction, but shouldn't be off the table entirely.


    Issue 2: Cast Bars
    I've argued with friends, and seen a few discussions pop up on the forums, but at the end of the day I feel the positive benefits of putting cast bars on player nameplates is crucial, and far outweighs the alleged negatives it brings to a game. I'm told that with cast bars, people tend to stop watching "the field of play" and instead just start staring at bars over characters; that without them, you are forced to watch for animations which ups the skill-cap of the game.

    The problem with this, is as with the first issue, the field of play is not a viable thing to be watching for in terms of casting animations. This again, gives the player incentive to play the small race as to not be as noticeable. Not only that, but if to be taken seriously as an E-Sport, commentators need to call out what is happening, and if the players don't know what is happening, how the heck can an announcer call it for the viewer? Did I just get a clutch interrupt on a player, or did I hit a pet? Was he even casting what I thought he was casting if I did interrupt him?

    Solution: The pros of cast bars far outweigh the cons. There is a reason that first-person MMO's that have interrupts use cast bars, because the alternative just isn't viable in group fighting. It allows a lesser player to perform by cheesing a confusing fight under the radar, as opposed to skilled timing and CC.


    Issue 3: Combat Logs
    I've griped about this on here before, but I'll say it again, because it needs saying. If they're not going to implement a combat analyzer like "Recount" that shows a teams performance in interrupts, damage hit/crit breakdown, and incoming healing/debuff/damage taken, they need to at least put all of that info into the combat log. Currently boon/condition uptime is not shown on your combat log. That goes for bleed, burn, poison, etc damage, as well as regen HoTs. That's not to mention how good it is for players to see when your protection fell off, and then seeing the difference in damage that you took in any given fight. Without being able to assess and analyze the data of a fight, it makes it exponentially harder to prepare a build and a strategy, and leaves room for broken bugs that may not get noticed and reported because there's no way to go back and see what happened. In short, without it, the game cannot be taken seriously.

    Solution: If the developers are insistent on not allowing third party addons to trash their game the way they did to WoW, they must develop at the least a working combat log, and at most implement a Recount-like combat breakdown that players can pore over after a fight to see what they could have done better.

    That's all! Happy flaming guys!

  2. #2
    The Insane DrakeWurrum's Avatar
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    The first one is honestly pretty easy to figure out within a matter of seconds. Also, you can already press Ctrl + T to call out specific targets to the entire team, and it will show a crosshair above that enemy no matter what they do.
    The second one is a matter of skill. It's honestly NOT that hard to see what your enemy is doing, even when they're asura - that being said, they really need to add a toggle option in graphics to "emphasize" your spell effects... or rather, to de-emphasize the spell effects of other players, allied and enemy alike. Would help cut down on some of the clutter. Tired of enemies being covered in blue fire for several seconds, making it impossible to see any animations.
    The third one is already in the game. Seriously, try exploring your chat window for once.

    Also, the first two are entirely the result of a design decision at the very center of GW2 combat design - they do not want you to play the UI - they want you to play what you see on the screen as much as possible. Part of what makes this game interesting is the fact that you're not watching for cast bars and recognizing skill names. You're watching for specific animations that you have realized are worth watching for.

    Hell, tbh, usually which profession an enemy is doesn't matter half as much as what skills he's using.


    The only thing preventing GW2 from becoming a proper e-sport right now is a lack of spectator mode, unless they added that when I wasn't looking.
    Last edited by DrakeWurrum; 2012-09-30 at 03:27 PM.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by DrakeWurrum View Post
    The first one is honestly pretty easy to figure out within a matter of seconds. Also, you can already press Ctrl + T to call out specific targets to the entire team.
    A matter of seconds? You are fighting a Mesmer, a Thief, and an Elementalist. The Mesmer is constantly moving between his identical mirrors, the thief is cloaking, and the Elementalist is wearing similar cloth gear to the Mesmer. They are all the same race with essentially the same name. While your team is easy to pick apart due to a mix of names, gear and race, you are spending that much more time trying to follow the cup game on your screen, which -you can downplay it all you want- is costing you.



    ---------- Post added 2012-09-30 at 03:58 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by DrakeWurrum View Post
    Also, the first two are entirely the result of a design decision at the very center of GW2 combat design - they do not want you to play the UI - they want you to play what you see on the screen as much as possible. Part of what makes this game interesting is the fact that you're not watching for cast bars and recognizing skill names. You're watching for specific animations that you have realized are worth watching for.
    And you'll see that at the center of my argument is that design decision is not successful, and is a major flaw that will plague this game for those who want to play it competitively. It's a nice idea, but in practice is just fails, and in the worst case scenario encourages players to exploit things that never were issues in games like WoW which accounts for them.

    The only thing preventing GW2 from becoming a proper e-sport right now is a lack of spectator mode, unless they added that when I wasn't looking.
    I would agree, as WoW pvp was deathmatch focused as opposed to GW2 which spreads characters out over a point-hold map.
    Last edited by Danur; 2012-09-30 at 03:59 PM.

  4. #4
    Mechagnome Hjalmtyr's Avatar
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    I think the problem isn't not being able to see someone's class. I don't even think being able to see their profession is all too important, because loads of people use different builds which have to be countered in a specific way. Since many builds are viable at one time, it's about watching what they're doing rather than watching what profession they are.

    I used many addons in WoW and I simply can't PvP without about 400 different bits of information being thrown at me. That's just me, I'm someone who likes to use a UI, but I think that the professions aren't so important, the builds are and how you counter them is merged together since profession-specific debuffs and buffs basically don't exist, it is simply conditions + boons.
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  5. #5
    Warchief barackopala's Avatar
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    There are no "champion identification" on each champ in LoL/DotA, yet you get to know them.
    You can get all your friends to have the same nickname (same-ish) but it's not that common on serious teams. (the only case that would be complex was between 2 starcraft players that have actually never met each other on big tournaments, d.KiLLeR and TSL.Killer, so it's not a big issue either)
    The castbar issue goes to the same spot as moba's, you have to be good and cautious on your gameplay.

  6. #6
    Probably not despite Anet intentions. It just looks like a mess w/ no clarity or strategy observable to casual viewing. No spectator mode either.

    I think the game is too shallow, frankly.

  7. #7
    I agree whit DrakeWurrum, visual information is key in pvp when it comes to Gw2.

    It aint wow where you see a castbar of whats coming, you see an animation instead.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by barackopala View Post
    There are no "champion identification" on each champ in LoL/DotA, yet you get to know them.
    There are portratis that denote each champion. Riot specifically have gone on record saying the most important visual element of League is how easily distinguished champions are as individuals and from the errata of the battlefield.

    DOTA puts a lot of emphasis on clearly seeing and hearing champions from both a player POV and a spectator POV. Quite a lot of their updates improve that sort of clarity.

    "Very clear, easy" to quote my Norn.

  9. #9
    I would actually like to know how many people actually play pvp alot here...

    But to OP:

    I think Gw2 is not ready for E-Sport just yet. Not for any of the problems above, but just because the game is too fresh and full of exploits problems, a lot of bugs with skills not working as intended (looking at necro :O!), and everywhere is literally flooded with people complaining about literally every angle.

    I do agree with Drake.

    The Combat Log is there, and if you literally pay attention to the game you will actually SEE what's happening to you regardless of the data/numbers. It is different than what you mostly see in other games full of macros, decimals numbers to analyze and to lean on. But after some getting use to you will actually see things coming, know what's happening to you and how to counter, it's just instead of relying on numbers and logs you just have to come up with your own ideas (Much more realistic too).

    About the Cast bars is probably the only point where I really miss from gw1. BUT it doesn't mean they should implement it...dodge is here to help "oh noes" situations, the things you should be worried about will have a bigger tell than other skills. It's just about knowing more and more about the game, knowing the tells and you are set, no need for cast bars.

    About the super-teams of clones. I think I've encountered maybe 2 teams like that on my tournaments matches, if they were serious or not I cannot tell but they failed. Sure is annoying, sure I would like it to be "restrained" somehow BUT, just by how the toon was attacking you could tell the class, and if you are being torn apart by the full team attack that just means you are using the wrong tactics here. If they are all together, split. If they are split their own "troll" thing is way less effective and will come down to a normal match where is about skills.

    I disagree with Fencers. It's not shallow. And I think it will become a E-Sport just have to give more time. People are still trying to play GW2 as any other MMO, first you need to adapt to the game and realize that Gw2 is a game of adaptation and quick impactful decision making. It does require more of the average "possible spectator", meaning you won't really enjoy watching the a match of Japanese Chess or Go if you don't know anything about it, but the moment you understand more of the strategies, the tells and etc you enjoy alot more.

  10. #10
    Gambreaker.tv talks about this quite a bit. I think Mike B. is big into "casting" (commentating eSports). From their perspective (and I'm, by no means, an expert - or even an amateur...I'm parroting here) one of the "big" issues is the wonkiness of the camera. And spectator mode. And "caster" (screen, or video-cast, not magic cast) mode (so the commentators can have multiple windows from multiple positions/angles to know where the action is and be able to jump there in an instant). And that even with the complexity of the game for people who haven't played, with a good caster and good tools (ability to fly around, multiple screens, etc), pretty much anyone can enjoy a match if the caster can narrate what's happening well enough.

    I hope ANet pulls it off. Watching the BuildCast footage and hearing Mike B. do bits of casting, looks like this as a real eSport would be cool to watch.

  11. #11
    Warchief barackopala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    There are portratis that denote each champion. Riot specifically have gone on record saying the most important visual element of League is how easily distinguished champions are as individuals and from the errata of the battlefield.

    DOTA puts a lot of emphasis on clearly seeing and hearing champions from both a player POV and a spectator POV. Quite a lot of their updates improve that sort of clarity.

    "Very clear, easy" to quote my Norn.
    The portraits dont give that much information either, you have to know who the champ is/what does it do, skins are messy then and sort-of interfere with the portrait.

    Same could be said for Broodwar/SC2 on ZvZ, it's a freaking mess, but when you understand what's going on, it's a piece of art-

  12. #12
    Well, at this point there is skillcap issues and imbalances that cause issues and add to that plenty of unresolved bugs. Add to that, no updates what so ever in sight and silence from the devs. Can make the list long, but if they continue to neglect their pvp community in silence and meaningless response it will be hard to get any kind of working competitive pvp go on at all. One can dream though, I know I still am.. even if a blog post seem to make 2 weeks + to make... and imagine the time it will take for the updates
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by barackopala View Post
    The portraits dont give that much information either, you have to know who the champ is/what does it do, skins are messy then and sort-of interfere with the portrait.
    The portraits do tell information; they clue you in that each champion is unique within that game.

    You see the Blitzcrank portrait beside the Sona portrait and know instantly they represent 2 differing champions. The other tells in animation, skill effect and so on communicate to players even further. This is the point Riot are getting at when they speak on visual clarity.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    The portraits do tell information; they clue you in that each champion is unique within that game.

    You see the Blitzcrank portrait beside the Sona portrait and know instantly they represent 2 differing champions. The other tells in animation, skill effect and so on communicate to players even further. This is the point Riot are getting at when they speak on visual clarity.
    And to add onto this, in case people are missing it, being able to duplicate your teammates name and appearance so much makes it that much harder to cope in a clutch situation where you all need to be on the same target as he's bouncing around in the fray of clones and pets. Other games account for this either by having all players look very distinct as LoL does, or with class colors/icons as WoW does.

    Any anecdotes as to how people aren't doing it yet, or aren't doing it successfully aren't worth their weight. Just because no ones doing it yet (no ranked tournies right now anyhow, everyone is just playing around farming glory) and even if the playerbase opts to not exploit it on the whole, it doesn't mean a few individuals will. And even if at the end of the day, this kind of cheesing only works in the lower brackets, and that the higher skill players at the top manage it well, it still doesn't make it OK to the more casual players who are getting rolled via clusterf*** as opposed to being outplayed.

  15. #15
    Mechagnome Hjalmtyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    The portraits do tell information; they clue you in that each champion is unique within that game.

    You see the Blitzcrank portrait beside the Sona portrait and know instantly they represent 2 differing champions. The other tells in animation, skill effect and so on communicate to players even further. This is the point Riot are getting at when they speak on visual clarity.
    I think the LoL comparison is a bit of an extreme example, personally. The LoL champions are very specific in their actions. If I see this lineup, for example: Alistar, Warwick, Annie, Caitlyn, Taric - I instantly know who will be where and what their roles are. You can't draw this from simply seeing the professions or classes in an MMORPG.

    I know just from the loading screen how I'm going to have to play the entire game. If I see an elementalist turn up on a battlefield, I don't know what he's going to do. If he's trying to shower me in fire, if he's playing defensively, if he's playing both, I won't know. I see Taric + Caitlyn, I know they're going AP Carry/Support in bottom lane and Taric is going to try to dazzle while cait unleashes a burst. I see Warwick, I know to ward next to my lane so I don't get ganked. I see Annie, I know she'll be mid and to keep my distance from her in a team fight. I see Alistar, I swear at the screen and throw my keyboard out of the window.

    LoL gives a lot of information very simply because of how much information you can draw from a portrait in that game. You can't do the same in any MMORPG, I don't think, because these champions often have just one incarnation of their metagame, whereas you can play a profession or class in an MMORPG very differently, often.
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  16. #16
    current incarnation?
    No. See: http://www.reddit.com/r/gw2esports/c...sports_on_gw2/


    Here's a list of improvements to Structured PvP and eSports that the PvP Community is looking for in order to develop a competitive enviroment in Guild Wars 2.
    This by no means is a list of demands, if not a list of features that we believe are needed to improve players experience when they do PvP, any point here is subject to discussion and if the community believes such feature is not needed, it's going to be removed from the list.
    This might help keep ourselves organazied and let know what the community wants from PvP.
    If you have any suggestion please comment on this post.

    General Bugs
    • Dry Bones Light set bugs when toggling the display of the helmet and shoulders.

    Heart of the Mist
    • Add the possibility to duel.
    • Add dummies that heal themselves.
    • Give Rank NPC's more options to spend Glory Points (Dyes, Finishes, Mats for the Forge, etc).

    Hot-Join
    • Add the possibility to join as a party.
    • Allow 5v5 Hot-Join PvP.

    Tournaments
    • Add a MMR/ELO System for solo and team queue.
    • Add Paid Tournaments.
    • Add Custom Tournaments. // This whole feature could be replaced with a Custom Match option //
    1. Let teams wear their own logo/icon/flag.
    2. Pause/Unpause or Reset Map.
    3. In depth Brackets (Single elimination, double elimination, BO3 & BO5 options).
    • Add Training Mode.
    1. Players should have the option to invite others team.
    2. Select the amount of rounds and maps on each.
    • Reset the map rotation every week or so.
    • Reduce the warm-up time from 5 to 2:30 or progressively reduce by 30s when a player hits "I'm Ready!"
    • Add rent servers protected with passwords

    Spectator Mode
    • Add a Spectate Friend Option
    1. Give the possibility to follow the same game by right clicking the name of your friend.
    • Add a spectator browser
    • Player Search
    • Filters by Map, ELO/MMR or type of tournament.
    • Every tournament should be able to be spectated.
    • Add a Replay System
    1. Add the possibility to watch replays with friends.

    MMR/ELO System Ladder
    • Possibility to check it online and trough the Wall of Champions.
    • Add full roster up to 10 members.
    • Add individual stats for each members.
    • Add Seasons (6-8 months)
    1. Top teams of the season should be rewarded with a special chest.
    2. Top teams should be rewarded with some icon on the portrait or title depending on their standing.

    UI Features & Bugs
    • Fix the feature where you can see your party member as a blue dot on the minimap.
    • Fix the feature that let you see nicknames on the minimap.
    • Add better score tracking (Kills, Deaths, Assists & Points).
    • Class icons on nameplates.
    • Add a sound fx when someone pings on the map.
    • Add a LFT chat channel.
    • Add a Rank/ELO-MMR display somewhere in the nameplate or target.

    Map Fixes & Bugs
    Raid of the Capricorn:
    • Sharks critical damage is too high, as also the normal damage output.
    • Review Sharks mechanic to make it viable for tournaments.
    Battle of Kyhlo:
    • Sometimes when using the trebuchet, players get stuck and even after dying the bug persist, they need to restart the client.
    • Add a timer on the Repair Kit.
    Forest of Niflhel:
    • Randomly spawning some players on keep.

    Others Bugs
    Fix Salvaging PvP Items giving PvE Materials.
    Last edited by Larynx; 2012-09-30 at 10:17 PM.
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  17. #17
    And I just noticed the argument that it's more important to see what abilities someone is using than their class, due to the variety of builds. I agree. But the point you are missing is, once I see there is Thief/Engi/Guardian/Mesmer/Ranger, I want to be able to quickly point out and attack my target of choice on the screen without clicking through 4 different nameplates in front of me first every time to find the right one. I see the thief is the biggest threat, I don't want to confuse him with his own pets or the Mesmer as they come running in as a group looking nearly identical.

  18. #18
    I am Murloc! Thelxi's Avatar
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    No. For the same simple reason wow's arenas never became an e-sport: it is near impossible to spectate. GW2 took a page out of blizzard's book and made pvp all about buffs/debuffs and CC, add to that the enormous amounts of overwhelming effects, GW2 pvp is just not fun or easy to watch.

  19. #19
    Bloodsail Admiral Riavan's Avatar
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    Probably, the last one had tournaments with money and etc.
    I really want them to move away from only capture and hold gametypes in spvp though.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Hjalmtyr View Post
    <sniP>LoL gives a lot of information very simply because of how much information you can draw from a portrait in that game. You can't do the same in any MMORPG, I don't think <snip>
    I agree with both of these to an extent. The problem is in how you are contextualizing information in this case. Information is presented by portrait in LOL. It's not mechanical information- but that isn't actually important. As a number of developers from Carmack to Morello and Icefrog have expressed.

    I don't need to know Blitzcrank's move set. What I need to know is he is distinct on the battlefield. Biggest tripping point in e-sports; communication to the audience.
    Last edited by Fencers; 2012-09-30 at 11:39 PM.

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