[GW2] One Shot

Maybe it’s a matter of scaling, but the GW2 tutorials (and several early events) have the horrible design of including bosses with AE one-shot abilities. The boss spawns, activates an attack you’ve never seen before, and 15 people are on the ground. This is not a fun introduction to the game.

Maybe they’re trying to introduce everyone to the “downed” mechanics during the tutorial. You struggle with that while the people who were not in the AE finish the tutorial event. Congratulations on your victory, hero!

Don’t assume someone five minutes into the game will recognize what is about to happen.

: Zubon

29 thoughts on “[GW2] One Shot”

  1. This bothers me as well. Even after spending many hours in the game, when bosses in the new starter zones kill me (as they tend to) I usually have no idea why. It feels like a case of poorly labelled AoE attacks more than anything.

  2. I think it is absolutely an intro to the downed state, I have been completely unable to avoid getting downed during those “first boss” encounters, regardless of what I do, and it is impossible to die or fail that encounter, and it is quite hard to avoid getting rallied after getting downed. The feeling is usually; Wtf just happened? Ooo! What are these new skills? Which is pretty much what they are going for in my opinion. Personally, I far prefer “the deep end” to the 45 minute tutorial of patronization we are all so used to.

  3. It is an forced intro to the downed state, thats the full purpuse of thosse starting bosses. Knowing that, it actual makes sense to ensure that such an important part of the game is encountered by all new players immidiatly. I also prefer this to the usual long tutorial intro

  4. i think it’s totally about the downed state. but i remember an interview months ago in which it was said that players should expect the downed state to be a normal process of the game. in that, you’d more likely find yourself dying more than some other mmos.

    i find that a little refreshing. mainly because it’s something different and, as was also mentioned, it adds a little zest to the experience. as though every fight is a challenge, rather than being able to faceroll 99% of the game.

    i’m loving it.

  5. Yeah, I think I read a dev saying that was intended to introduce the downed mechanic. A bit shocking to those who don’t realize it for sure.

  6. After seeing this post, and somewhere else where the poster talked about the tutorial not explaining character mechanics (can’t remember if it was here or biobreak or something) I’m starting to think that arenanet had no intention of doing either in the tutorial.

    Many other parts of the game are set up as ‘learn as you play.’ You don’t get all of your starting weapons attacks at once, you unlock them as you play. I can imagine everyone who played at some point went “Oh look! A new skill, I wonder what that does?!?!” And then same when they decided to switch weapons, they realized there were even more skills to be had and unlocked.

    Front-loading everything the game had to offer into a tutorial, even if they made it a 45 min long tutorial would have been incredibly confusing and forced the player to memorize everything at once. Weapon skills, utility skills, weapon swaps, the intricacies of each profession mechanic, dodging, down state, rallying; and all of this on top of the incredible basics like movement and such.

    Plus, I’m having a hard time imaging how they would introduce all of this without ruining any sort of world immersion they built up with the story based tutorial. There’s only so much you can get away with using text boxes or pop-ups on the ui. I enjoyed how the game tried to put your attention on the situation around you instead of trying to master the game within 5 minutes.

    I do agree though that something should be changed about the flow of the tutorial. From what I heard some people who didn’t have the right timing for entering the Asura tutorial (myself included) missed a key story element about a npc being involved in the mayhem.


  7. I actually submitted this as feedback after the event. If the intention was indeed to introduce the downed state, it just doesn’t work. At all. A melee character might not even see that there WAS an attack.
    There’s plenty of opportunity for players to get downed in their first 10 minutes out in the world, if they leave one or 2 events there that aren’t tuned down too much in difficulty.

  8. I think this could be handled better. I made a lot of new characters throughout the 3 beta weekends and it seemed to be quite a difference experience depending on how many other players were doing the initial event, among other factors.

    My worst one was as a Norn, I ran up to fight the worm with a lot of other players. The worm spun around and downed me and the 4 downed skills popped up. I stopped fighting and started hovering over each skill to read what it did, but before I even finished that the worm was dead and another cinematic started up.

    I would like to see them add the 4 downed skills to your Hero panel, where they show all your weapon skills. Then you can look at them and learn what each does at your leisure, versus trying to figure out what they are in the middle of a hectic battle where you’re just trying not to die.

  9. As a downed-state tutorial the boss fight totally fails. Its not very smart to teach something during an ‘epic’ boss fight. People are focused on downing the big bad, not on reading tooltips.

    Just move that part of the training to a solo instance (first story piece?), where its very clear that the enemy is going to one-shot you, and here is how you recover (kill a minion or something to recover). It’s not like sRPGs have been doing the whole “early game big bad insta-death fight” since the 80s or anything…

    1. Exactly, I still think that was the problem with the Flame Shaman. There was just too much action and too many players on the screen to stop and think about what was happening.

      Moving things like this to the personal story is a great idea. The problem is people may very well go into the downed state before ever getting to the first soloable personal story step.

      But in terms of introducing enemy abilities the personal story could be a good introduction… could be. The problem is certain story steps are incredibly difficult already, in part because of the abilities mobs use already (summoning adds, in the norn area, etc) and with utility skills and weapon choices (and weapon drops off mobs), arenanet really can’t dictate what abilities the any given player will bring into the encounter.

      Guild Wars 1 had a complicated endgame, with lots of skills. But GW2 has, in its own way, a complicated early game, with lots of skills.

      For example, one thing the betas taught me is that engineers should probably get a thumper turret as soon as possible, at least for use in the personal story. It won’t be good against all enemies, but it has high health and it is invaluable when you need to get some breathing room.

  10. I agree. I started a Norn character, get one shot during the first boss fight, was downed, had no idea how it worked to get back up, and somehow the fight ended in victory (from NPC help as I thought I was the only one in the battle). I was then hailed as a monster slayer (despite not slaying anything), and still had no idea how the downed mechanic worked.

    Every time I was downed from then on, I didn’t have a chance to see what each button did, else be killed, so I clicked randomly, which didn’t help either. I think its a good system, but it really needs to be explained better, or maybe let us see our downed abilities when not in a downed state.

  11. I still don’t understand how it works. I just mash buttons and hope I get back up. Never had the time to try and figure it out as I’m urgently trying not to die.

    1. I think this is part of the problem with the game. It only tells you to look at the skill tab once you have the option of purchasing a utility skill.

      Ideally you should have a choice of weapons at the start (I still hate having to unlock skills for a weapon I have no interest in using) and show you the skill tab, so that you can read at your pleasure and make an informed choice. In this tab it should also have your class mechanics and downed skills. Problem solved. For those of us who know what we are doing, you can just close the tab and be on your way, for new players they can read and learn just as much as a tutorial.

      The information is already there, well most of it, they just need to point you at it a bit earlier than lvl 5.

    2. This is why I’ve always advocated for it to happen in a calm state. You walk up to an NPC near that starting hub of NPCs (found in any starting zone).

      NPC: I see you like to chew. Maybe you should chew… ON MY FIST!

      Player: Uhhh… what

      [Player is downed next to NPC who is now laughing. A punching bag panda appears available to target.)

      NPC: Maybe you should start at Level Zero, and learn to get up!

      (Player can then calmly kill the punching bag panda.)

    3. That can work, most times. you don’t want to mash button 4 though, and if you play a warrior, you don’t want to mash button 3 because it will kill you.

  12. Yeah it’s pretty clumsy. If they explained it all it would be one thing, if they didn’t try to explain anything it would be another thing, but forcing someone into a state without explaining its forced or what to do in it is just an awkward way to do things.

    1. yes, it is hard to say what is best, the tutorial forced down state should tell you that, but if it downs you, and then the action pauses while the on screen paperclip tells you what the UI does wouldn’t be good either.

      In some ways I think if each tutorial had a simple voice over from the captain of the guard telling you that if you get downed, don’t worry and keep on fighting that would be about the best balance between now and something really intrusive.

  13. Weirdly enough, I actually made a character (Guardian) that was not “downed” during this first battle. Who knows what I did differently to the six or so other toons I also made over the various weekends that _were_ downed?

    I’ll also say that I never saw any special attack coming before characters were knocked out. Perhaps the pacing of the initial battle is a little too high energy for someone like me, but I like things to unfold slowly in a narrative arc.

    Being thrown into a boss battle with virtually no explanation, then have a voice-over (without subtitles, which I had turned on) occur as the boss’s death cinematic is playing, then being immediately ported to the next (starter) zone…too much sensory input.

  14. Happened to me when I made a cabbage elf. I ran towards the huge, extremely impressive and exciting Wood Dragon and *BOOF!!* Dead on the ground. Never saw what hit me.

    I thought at the time that if I was a complete novice I would be pretty annoyed at that point. Show me something really impressive then kill me. Moreover, by the time I revived, which was only seconds, the zerg had killed the Dragon and I was in Tyria with no real transition that I had time to be aware of.

    All MMOs these days seem to have an obsession with starting with a huge, crazy, super-urgent fight. That’s all very well but it also needs to be comprehensible. Of the three GW2 intros I’ve done, the Human one is reasonably well-paced, the Charr is somewhat overwhelming but not impossibly so but the Sylvari one is confusing chaos from start to finish.

    I hope they got some useful feedback and have time to make some changes. I certainly sent a blistering comment in my feedback form.

    1. A related issue is sometimes you don’t know why you get revived. I’ve revived several times, without killing anything and without getting a rez from others.

      I’m grateful, and I figure someone else in the area killed an npc, but it is still disorienting.

      The only other complaint I have is with lag, sometimes you clearly heal before you’re downed, but it still downs you anyway. I’ve never had it down me and when I get back up, my heal is on cooldown as if I had actually healed, however.

  15. I don’t think that they need to take it out. What I think they need to do is add a popup tutorial whenever something major like this happens.

    The first time I got into the downed state (as an Elementalist you get one-shot a lot), for me it was “oh yay, more buttons to randomly push until I die and res at the beginning again”.

  16. It is a pretty stupid time to introduce the downed mechanic – from a story/NPC interaction perspective it sets up the character for a “you need to save us, hero” scenario with some epic-type enemy.

    Most people will not become particularly analytic and check out in detail what they may be able to do in this state. They will be pushing whatever buttons work to try to recover.

    And if they actually try to do some analysis they will find that the event is completed without them having contributed anything in particular and the whole thing will feel a bit disappointing.

    If they have a big “epic” fight that early that should be an opportunity to apply what people may have learned in earlier stages – not encounter some mechanic for the first time.

  17. It is for the sake of introduction, but awkwardly handled. I’d rather be introduced to the downed state naturally through game play, or at least a popup like we’re otherwise afforded for anything new. Otherwise, I rather like the tutorials. I’m glad they responded to feedback with additional tips on things like dodging. In the first beta, the only things introduced via the tutorial were dynamic events and the downed state.

    Beyond the tutorial, it was an issue of scaling. The elemental in the asura zone was off, it was a known issue. That said, it was never a mystery how I died. Red ring of death from ember lava fonts accompanied by instant knockdowns that didn’t afford me the chance to get out of the red ring of death because I died before the stun was over. I look forward to the fight once it’s scaling properly.

  18. I think they had two options: to make a 10 minutes tutorial or to make a fast one minute introduction. I think they choosed the later one…

  19. It is a bit clumsily handled, but the hint that this is a tutorial about being downed can be seen in the fact that you cannot die during the first boss battle. If your are downed, you keep hovering at 1 HP regardless of how much mobs are hitting you.

    If anything I think the problem is that the fight is pretty short. This is good for those making alts, but on some occasions you barely see each boss attack once before he is dead, which certainly doesn’t give you the time to read downed skill tooltips or even realise that you are perfectly safe the whole time.

    I don’t think it’s a big deal though: People will figure it out soon enough and the impact of a big “whoa, fight, chaos, big boss!” moment early easily outweighs the clumsy downed tutorial.

  20. They should have some NPC, be it the “Blind Master” or some punk, down you. Maybe run off with your purse.

  21. Standard disclaimers: I love GW, want gw2 to succeed, etc. The problem with gw2 is that it was designed in an Asura lab for 5-player groups. Period. It was not actually designed as an mmo. It does not scale properly and I worry that it is a core dysfunction which will be extremely hard to plaster over.

    Also – I though mesmers had to be redesigned since interrupts weren’t going to be in. Both rangers and engineers had interrupt ability this past bwe. Wth?

    1. Interrupts were always in gw2, they’re just not their own skill anymore. Stunning, dazing, knockdown, things like that interrupt.

      I’m pretty much convinced the mesmer plays best solo. They can still control enemies, but they actually need to be in total control to do it effectively.

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