I’ve been thinking about an idea for a while now to make combat in GW2 more dynamic, with an additional benefit of further differentiating AoE and single-target/cleave attacks. I thought I would present the idea here to get feedback.
The inspiration for this idea came from first-person shooters. GW2’s combat system is designed to be action-oriented and was most likely-inspired, in part, by FPS gameplay. I will talk about one aspect of FPS gameplay that could be useful if incorporated into GW2. In a FPS game, when you use an explosive weapon such as a rocket launcher or grenades, you risk harming yourself in the explosion. Consider if GW2 implemented this idea in the following way:
Your own AoE attacks affect both enemies and yourself (but not your allies).
Obviously, AoE attacks can’t affect allies, or there would be game-breaking levels of team-killing, both intentional and unintentional. But if you could be affected by your own AoEs, this would encourage situational use of AoE attacks rather than the rampant “use them for everything” response we see now. The objective of this change is to encourage selective use of AoE abilities rather than simply using them when they do more damage, for example.
Certainly, this change would require significant overhauls to skills and traits, with some of the following considerations:
1) not all AoE attacks should affect the user. For example, Guardian symbols should not harm the user and Necro marks shouldn’t be triggered by the user.
2) AoE attacks that harm the user should be rebalanced. For example, Engineer bombs would be unusable in their current state if they harmed the engineer. They may need a longer fuse and correspondingly increased damage/radius, for example, to allow the engineer to avoid their own bombs.
3) Traits can be selected to give the user partial or complete protection from their own AoEs. For example, Elementalists may find a Fire trait which makes them immune to their own fire AoEs. Rangers may find a trait which reduces the effect of their own traps on themselves.
4) Combo fields need to be considered – Blast, leap, and whirl finishers in fire and poison fields, for example, may be discouraged by this change. Because of this, skills that are important field generators likely need some inherent or optional immunity for the user (e.g. as part of the base skill or through traits)
Finally, I am addressing this idea as a primarily PvP/WvW player. Someone with more PvE experience may need to comment on the viability of this change in that environment, but it may also require changes to some PvE content.