Sunday, July 29, 2012

Guild Wars 2: Warriors, Dodge, and You

Hello, this is my first BWE3 movie.  The main focus of this movie is on evading and avoiding attacks.  I'm using the burst warrior as my opponent in this movie for a variety of reasons.  First, their attacks are relatively easy to identify (and thus avoid) when compared to the other GW2 professions.  Second, pretty much everyone is familiar with greatsword and axe warriors due to Moldran popularizing them.  And third, there have been a lot of player complaints about burst build warriors.

There is no doubt that a greatsword/axe warrior can put out tremendous burst, but they need to set it up and generally they need the support of a team to execute that burst.  I'll leave it for the tournament players to talk about that aspect of the burst warrior.  What I'm going to talk about are 1v1 situations against a warrior.

Now, you might say that 1v1s don't matter in this game but you would be wrong.  A point defender or attacker is going to be forced into 1v1 situations quite often.  For the defender, it's not necessarily about winning the fight it's about holding off the attacker long enough for help to arrive.  Of course, if you are able to beat or drive off an attacker 1v1 that benefits your team greatly since they can send resources elsewhere.

With that said, a burst warrior is probably not the best choice for a solo point attacker as will be demonstrated in the movie.  If you are able to evade and/or avoid the warrior's burst combinations they are going to find themselves losing pretty badly.  If you turn that around and look at it from the warrior's point of view that means that everything depends on their opponent.  If their opponent has a bunch of blocks, blinds, roots, etc then the warrior is going to have a difficult time winning the fight.  If their opponent is good at evading attacks then the warrior is going to have a difficult time winning the fight.  If their opponent is a master at PFL then the warrior is going to have a difficult time winning the fight.

In the movie I talk about three different ways to avoid a burst warrior's attacks.

1.  Anticipation

Avoiding a warrior's attack through anticipation requires predictability from the warrior and game knowledge from the defender.  I give several examples of using anticipation in the movie.  For those warriors who watched Moldran's movies, equipped a greatsword and axe, and went out to pwnfaec you might want to pay special attention to those parts of the movie.

2.  Reaction

This one is the hardest to explain.  Sometimes when I look back at clips and see what I have avoided I can't really pinpoint how I did it.  Perhaps I can see into the future.  Perhaps my evil future self uses a time machine to manipulate events as they unfold around me.  Maybe it's just PFL.  I don't always know.

It can be pretty hard to distinguish between reaction and PFL.  Evading eviscerates from full range is one thing but evading point blank eviscerates is another.  On the eviscerates, I'm typically reacting to both sight and sound.  If someone jumps up in the air, spins around like a maniac, and savagely lunges at you with an axe while making a swooshing sound in real life you would probably move out of the way.  That applies to games as well, right?

Perhaps it's my training from jumping intercepts and charges in World of Warcraft, but I just naturally react to the sudden burst in speed and swooshing sound that a player makes when doing eviscerates or using gap closers.  How I have my dodge bound also plays a key factor in this.  I've grown accustomed to putting defensive abilities that I need to use quickly on mousewheel scroll back.  You can't bind to mousewheel directly at the moment so I bound dodge to "j" on my keyboard and then bound "j" to my mousewheel.  You should probably avoid using double tap to dodge.  Binding dodge to your keyboard is fine but you will be a fractions of a second faster if it is bound to your mouse and those fractions of a second do count in this game.

3.  PFL

PFL stands for Pure Kitten Luck.  No more explanation is really needed on this one.  ;)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Guild Wars 2: Where is the Skill?

Link to Reddit thread on the movie
Link to GW2 Guru thread on the movie

Lately, there have been some complaints that Guild Wars 2 PvP lacks complexity and depth and also lacks skill.  That is, "all you do is mash buttons as they come off of cooldown."  I want to address the complexity and depth criticism first since that one does have some validity.

When you have your weapons and utilities set up, you really don't have that many abilities to manage.  Furthermore, much of the action/counteraction play in Guild Wars 2 has been simplified when compared to other games.  Just as a very basic example, let's take a TBC era rogue from World of Warcraft.  Evasion and cloak of shadows were two of several defensive abilities available to the rogue.  Evasion worked against melee attacks while cloak worked against spells.  It would be considered bad play to use evasion against a spell or cloak against a melee attack.  In GW2, your defensive abilities pretty much work against anything that is thrown at you.  You don't need to choose a specific defensive manuever to counter a specific type of attack.  This is an example of what people mean when they say GW2 lacks in depth and complexity, and they are right in this respect.

There are many different ways to avoid an attack in Guild Wars 2.  You can dodge the attack.  You can block the attack.  You can blind the attack.  You can stun the attack, and so on.  You don't have to choose any of these counters over another because of the type of attack that is coming your way.  That decision process has been mostly removed and thus that aspect of PvP has been somewhat dumbed down in Guild Wars 2.

So, does that mean it doesn't take skill to succeed in Guild Wars 2?  No, it takes skill and in some respects it take more skill than other games.  Skill is a hard thing to define.  One way to measure skill is in how you react to an opposing player's actions.  In order to react to what an opposing player is doing, you first have to know exactly what it is that they are doing.  This is where Guild Wars 2 is a bit more difficult than some other games.  Some other games have dumbed down this aspect of PvP by adding castbars into the UI.  Castbars and cast times nearly make it trivial to react to or interrupt what an opposing player is trying to do to you.  To make matters worse, some other games allow UI mods to dumb this down even farther.  There are actually UI Mods that play a voice file telling you what your opponents are doing.

You aren't going to have that luxury in Guild Wars 2 and I suspect that some of the people complaining that all you do is mash buttons in GW2 are people who have grown too reliant on UI mods in other games.  In Guild Wars 2, you won't be playing your UI.  You will be playing the game.  You will have to use both sight and sound to be aware of what your opponent is doing.  That will require learning the animations and sounds of pretty much every move in the game.  You will need to do this since it won't just be enough to learn what abilities you need to avoid.  You will also need to learn what abilities you don't need to avoid so you can conserve your counters and your dodge rolls for the moves that really do matter.  That is going to require a substantial amount of game knowledge.  In general, it's also going to require some pretty impressive reaction times.

Most abilities in GW2 are instant with fast animations.  That's not always the case, of course.  Some things like the rifle warrior's kill shot are channeled and are therefore easier to avoid.  Some animations, like the hammer animations are slower and therefore easier to avoid.  However, many animations are quite fast and it will take considerable reaction speed to, first of all, notice what ability is being used based upon the animation and then being fast enough to counter the move with dodge, blind, block, knockback, knockdown, stun or whatever else you might have available to you.

The action in Guild Wars 2 can be quite fast paced and being able to consistently avoid many of it's abilities will be similar to being able to consistently counter blinds with shadow word: death in WoW.

Be sure to use the CC option on Youtube.  It's quite enlightening and helpful!

"Hello, missus record kato's though and I want to take some time to talk a little bit about skill plant our latest course too.   One measure of skills is how you react to an opposing player's actions.  Are your reaction harvey keitel? 

Some other teams supplied the process by adding kaspar said he thought.  Kaspar spurgeon almost trivial reacted but not the player's actions.  Some games even allow mods popovich text of what you're going to be excusing but you could please audio sound file telling you what ability proposing. Players he's come to realize that you are not super quick to have a hard time transition to get worse too because you're going to have to react based off of innovations contained celebs. 

Here's an example of reacting based off of an animation.  Notice house's warrior has pulled their ever back I've notice intimations somplace like him a warrior myself and practice against headquartered in PC admits.  Debating that knocked back was crucial since we were fighting over that control point.

Here's the same ability from which are warrior PC admits.  Noticeably forces hammer back behind him before deeply resented animation not be back.

Takes a pretty good reaction speed to avoid a lot of the of the attacks societally since a very quick and are not to be channeled abilities. 

That's menioned earlier sometimes you react to a better player's action viking sounds.  For example, both unloading and life transfer pretty distinctive game sounds. 

Keeping a close eye on weapons flops is also going to be very important your worst too.  Both you just don't need to watch for what that's what you need to know what abilities you have to avoid wind someone swaps to a certain weapon.

In the past, I suppose that a couple of interesting what you want to get some engineer.  Able to avoid his first big bonfire dating and use my sexual offences so it could build a fence.  Nicely done.  Resurrected a chicken descriptions of state for it. 

Not only is it going to be important to know what abilities shield must arch, you need to know what abilites you don't really need to dodged.  Security code:  PRETTY BIG MISTAKE because I can do wasting might products parts and pistol shots.  Unit sets me up for a preview of next week combo attention airport.  Engineer proffer bomb into the bomb flame throwers.  Since I was out of interest from my earlier dodges, I wasn't able to start out of that  and I don't quite have the muscle memory built yet to activate my purchased walk-a-thon type of situation.

Celebrity to visit since near don't know what to look out for what we would try to avoid.  But, did not want to get pulled into that big bombing adverse combination again.   


The big right serve on the ground eans that they placed the bomb and you can see that they have switched to the point so far, so we know what's coming next.

Here is that seat once again in regular speed.

Honestly, I'm not really sure how consistently I could do something.  However, there is one thing that you know:  due to to something like that you were rewarded.  The engineer was never able to recover from just that one instead in this fight."

Area Control Guardian (Scepter/Shield/Staff) BWE2 footage - Part 2

The following movie is the second part of my BWE2 footage of my Guardian using Staff/Scepter/Shield.  This one was done mostly for entertainment.  I'll do some commentary style movies for the Guardian with my BWE3 footage.  ATM, I'm thinking I will switch to Scepter/Shield and Scepter/Focus since Martyr is being moved to a utility (and a few other reasons).