Guild Chat - Episode 62
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Guild Chat - Episode 62
- The following is an unofficial, player-written transcript of the episode. The accuracy of this transcription has not been verified by ArenaNet.
The episode of Guild Chat aired on May 11, 2018. Join Rubi with guests Karl McLain, Jessica Croft and Irenio Calmon-Huang as they discuss the recent changes to underwater combat.
hi guys happy Friday and welcome to guilt chat I'm your host Ruby and we're here with some of our devs to talk about the latest update to Guild Wars 2 so I will let you guys introduce yourselves and talk about what you do here and what you did for this last update all right there my name is Cara McLean I am a game designer I'm working on the skills and balanced side of things and for this update did a bunch of the reworks and balance changes to underwater skills I'm Jessica I am a systems designer working with Carl and already here spoilers stole your thunder please like that there please don't leave and I primarily worked on the underwater reward loop so this one speed infusions all that good stuff yeah I'm a renewal Kalman Quang I'm a systems designer I worked as Carl did on a bunch of the underwater skill changes as well as vetting some of the stuff that Jessica was doing with the underwater world loop listen alright well let's talk first about kind of the overall goals about why we decided to go back and revisit underwater well underwater hadn't been touched in ages so it was something that we frequently try and go back to update stuff that has not had a good pass to bring it up to speed like our design standards have changed over time you can see this through like part of thorns and path of fire we've gotten better about designing many things and if you don't revisit things they lag significantly behind and underwater was kind of one of those things that we thought we could really like update a significant amount I doing so it's kind of a natural design process for an MMO to try and keep everything up to date as much as you can yeah yeah because it'll it's never done you always go back you look at something and think well you know our standards have changed in the last few years let's try and bring that up to date make it good with the current standards yeah we've been looking at underwater for quite some time and saying is now the time can we do it now like and just say like because we as as things come out like the hearth or no fire we're like we have so much cool new tech here we have you know these these this new functionality and we want we would I'd love to be able to update this your combat underwater and additionally it was in the initial design of it it was it was expected to be a little bit slower and the end it was supposed to be you know cuz like you're underwater you're in this 3d space it's gonna be you know underwater was like slow we're gonna be slow swinging kind of doing a little bit less damage and so that was that was sort of the initial design behind it and looking back on and we were like it probably shouldn't be slower like slower time to kill or just have that that yeah we try to under some of the the kind of floaty feeling that you get underwater you know there's just water has resistance it's mm-hmm super strong and doing so and like we wanted initially with Guild Wars to launch to have that kind of feeling of resistance in water so things were slower and kind of felt a little floaty to rep to like call back to reality um but in this case some of that resistance and floaty floatiness played into the your time to kill as Carl called out your your speed of movement and things like that and that actively pushed against a lot of the feeling of Guild Wars to combat where things are a bit more fast-paced where you you know what what you do moment to moment matters significantly more and so this was an opportunity to kind of bring those two pieces together where the fast-paced nosov standard combat and underwater were out of alignment so we tried to make underwater combat a bit more fast a bit more furious in this room at all and what's happening we've got to get our feet wet with the conversation you said you weren't gonna call this out I was saving it for the camera oh so thank you chat for starting the underwater puns before we went live because we were watching and now we can't stop making this we're gonna have a great time we're already we thought was the perfect time to dive right in alright everybody got one you can have another one in ten minutes how's that timer start synchronize our watches like a little pun counter mark write that down okay so one of the things you were saying was we're looking very serious right now one of the things you're talking about I can't look at you right is that we were going back and asking is now the time is now the time and I mean when Guild Wars 2 launched underwater combat was great the first time I saw it I didn't work here yet but I was I remember thinking it's one of the games that finally got it right but time has also passed the tech has gotten better we can do more and your time is also very limited I told you to turn your phone off so it is it's nice than it was finally time and it was we were finally able to find the time and find the bandwidth to get in there and do that I want to talk a little bit about some specific things like the new underwater legend mmm I have to go look at a bit over that one okay well the underwater legend is jealous it's the legendary dwarf it was one that we wanted to include for a long time because it felt really limited if you were a revenant and you were underwater and you only had two legends to choose from when you have two legends you can use at a time there's no there's no choice there so we wanted to add some real choice there for quite some time and we have been unable to do so in part for various reasons we have to be pretty judicious with regards to our resources and the like and jelous was one of the natural options to go with because it it is one of the first legends that you learn so we're we tried to include him in particular the thing that we were held up by was inspiring reinforcement because that's a ground targeted ability and it's kind of hard to do that when there's no ground right goes all the way to the ocean floor yeah so we had to rework the skills a little bit in order to make it so that they can actually be used underwater it helped that the vengeful hammers was one of the abilities that wouldn't have worked before because they used to fire multiple missiles around you and those were missiles and they would stick to the ground again same issue so you ever tried to fire it we tried this in testing times if you tried to use the ability and you were underwater you would have the pair of the missiles appear and then they would just like float down below you all the way to the sea bottom and stick down there you know you were up here so yeah there's a lot there was all sorts of issues with at first with getting the that legend underwater yeah I would love to hear more because these are fun for me would you say it added a lot of depth it has not been ten minutes no I would not miss big splash I would say it made things feel very fluid things that happened in testing loved if you like turned on jealous you just sunk considered some stuff like you like you were just constantly sinking in a little bit if you started channeling jealous but yeah other funds other about fun stuff we've experimented with a lot of like different trying to get the legends to work underwater and you know I would say that they are each of them has their own unique issues as with many other skills in the game that we haven't been yet to haven't yet been able to transition to underwater a lot of them are that we have are there on land skills they are ground decals I would say like the effects they play they have to play on a surface ground images so anything the play is kind of on the surface of something since we're in water we're trying to transition it water it doesn't there's no surface for it to play on other than like directly below where where it would be and it really makes for a disconnect in in combat and so you know like that's one of those things we have to we have to take the time we have to rework the effects we have to rework the abilities themselves usually yeah like that was some of the with the things we were able to get through on this underwater past we worked out that was a some of the ever that was made is to rework some effects and make get usable underwater trying to make like a significant chunk of that in particular with jealous was that inspiring reinforcement in addition to the actual visual effect being something that plays on the ground having to fix that we had to make it so that it felt like you were still firing the same skill it still has much the same feeling you're granting a bunch of stability to your allies you're doing some damage to your enemies in the process and this is something that in on land is in a path in front of you so you're setting up this road for people to gain that stability underwater it there's no roads and you're working in a 3d space where you know a path on a 2d space works just fine so we had to make this into a bubble instead and it's going to be around you this way there's this extra tactical component of hey look I want to have be near my allies where my allies want to cluster near me in order to get these benefits so changing things to an underwater space where you go from 2d to 3d allows us to include those kinds of elements I mean a really common question I hear is like why don't you just take X skill and make it work underwater it's jealous but what yeah the answer the answer issued if you've gathered from this is because it would probably look terrible in addition to playing badly and one of the things that's important to us and that I hope you guys have noticed with our underwater combat is we try to make things actually look correct for that environment it's it's interesting to note how much more is involved under the hood than just we'll just take the skill stick it underwater it's fine it's the opposite of fine it is very much not fine like you're talking about the missiles just would spin around and yeah oh they're gone there's something says where like you'll be underwater you activate them these are in things we've tested and then like this will be like above above you on the surface and like they would just they go directly above you oh yeah it's like oh look that's not that's not right if you were close enough to yea ground level then instead of you going down to the sea floor it would go up to the water surface and treat that as though it were a surface it this is kind of awkward we run into things like that frequently like a bunch of other stuff that we have to change them people generally don't think about when they're like yeah I would love to see the stability used underwater oftentimes we would - it's that we have to deal with things like there are underwater animations we can't play adjust the same animations that we do on land because then it looks like you're standing on ground and that's it looks incredibly awkward so we have to time and pair up and underwater animations that we have with on land animations so that I keep a similar kind of feeling if we don't have those kinds of animations then we have to tweak things pretty heavily to get them to work and sometimes we can't get them to work without feeling really really pared down it also provide it almost sounds like you're having to rebuild every skill you want to take underwater with just a little guideline to start from on land to the non that is accurate some of them we have we're lucky with and they can translate directly but if there's any trouble at all in translating one of them there's usually a lot of trouble there's basically so did that kind of hold true um with the Trident again just just stick a trident in my hand and it's fine so the revenant wielding a trident which is its new underwater weapon which is also baseline - any any remnant who loads up we had you like get some code support you'd be like hey can they use a trident yeah nothing like we had to go and basically give them a whole new set of weapon or whole new set of skills and sort of you got we got shunned here tearing it up please chance and then like we were able to luckily with this weapon said since we knew we were that we're going to do a complete underwater pass and we're going to make brand new skills it was really it was really cool we were able to get lots of effects support from our art team be able to you know take a lot of the the ideas we've had for the revenant and kind of put a lot of that technology into it and there's there's some other stuff we able to do actually utilize the 3d space so that the of of underwater yeah I think this is probably one of the most ambitious weapons that we've added to the game yeah in that yeah it utilizes a 3d space as Carl points out it also has a lot more projectile interplay like you can do some cooler things with it we set up combos with it and probably the thing that I enjoyed the most while we were developing it was the design to have the weapon do something different based upon what legend do you were channeling it gives you a significant amount of versatility on the fly it means you're really dynamic and what you're doing from moment to moment because if you swap legends suddenly the the left half of your of your skills does something slightly different they keep they keep the same feeling but they achieve their goals in a different way can you give some examples well the Trident to skill 3 skill and 4 skill based on whether you're as shiro applying vulnerability creating a different type of combo field or actually no or if you're jealous applying weakness and again applying a combo field that in this case is is light that is more defensive it's like weakness being applied to your enemies reduces damage that's kind of in jealous esteem whereas applying vulnerability as Shero increases the damage that your deal that's more his kit the combos that you play off of the combo fields that you create with the 4 skill can be used really really heavily with Carles five skills yeah if I skill there you wanna hang over that one just for just for a second there yep yeah yeah yeah the specialness no I'm the ocean yes destroy it all so this is this is one that you know does it fires a bunch of projectiles and we're I'm really happy about this one that we were actually able to fire the missiles from different vectors toward and make it sort of do a rotation around the character and so if you're firing oh there's a big champion there isn't there I can do it you can use that skill I love the skill cuz it looks so anime yeah completely around your character and each one of them has a percent chance to inflict the condition what we're talking about with the rift of pain is the three skill that one changes your knees combo field that it creates based on which which legend you're currently in like Shiro it's lightning it's gonna actually inflict any projectile you launched through it's gonna inflict more vulnerability Malick's is gonna life steel because Malick's needs more the the demon stance seems more or health to them because they're usually yeah under condition or duress and then jealous is like got that that light field means he's gonna heal ashen cleansing can cleanse conditions off allies and so yeah and we want to make sure there's plenty of combo potential with it with the projectiles that are going on with this with this weapon itself yeah so what are some of the skill reworks underwater that you were happiest with I can't tell if you're be excited I've got a bottom call me what would come be yeah exactly as Jessica said uh bits of both us we went went through a significant bit of trial and tribulation in order to get some of them working in ways that felt smoother like one of the things that felt a little bit clunky early on with underwater skills was the the engineers kids they they had several toggle abilities and that that felt not particularly great in a 3d space because if you have to in particular the the to skill for them fires a series of minds and those would just pass through foes kinda antithetical II and then detonate when you actually hit the button again which is you was as an example changed so that as soon as it just reached an enemy it would blow up like my God would do I'm pretty happy about that with a lot of those skills that we that had detonates that were kind of difficult to understand like where am I when do I really want to want to blow this thing up I have to like tilt my camera yeah figure out where it's at or be a really reactionary it like as soon as it hits opponent then I have to hit the skill exactly it was required more to get that it was required a lot more than I think we wanted in order to get that at that full payout swing a lot of those detonates type abilities without judging distance in 3d space is actually kind of hard it can be in this space in particular like it makes me feel good to hear you say that because that was an underwater thing that I struggled with and never did really feel great with me and I was I was just like well clearly I'm terrible so thank you for compensating for our pleasure yes yeah on top of the the engineer stuff I I like a lot of the stuff that came out of that one there's a couple of functionalities that came out of the underwater stuff that I feel like we would yes we wouldn't really do this many other places but it felt really good to do underwater which was there are a few abilities that increase as you spend more time charging your enemy it it you're the what your the end results like builds and builds and builds and eventually you get to like if you hit something at like maximum range for like I think the example this one would be the elementalists water trident is that the big it's just cool I'm not sure what exactly kill the scale is called right now it's like if you get to the end of that you have basically the one of the highest single strike multipliers in the game that you can possibly have yeah I think Ranger and necromancer also got similar treatment in that like they each have movement based abilities that scale with the amount of distance that you travel you know you're building up momentum and so when you actually strike them it the damage is huge speaking of which I think the one that I liked the most of those was the necromancer one which isn't actually just when you strike them it's purely the amount of damage that you but while you're while you're traveling towards them every moment that you're traveling you're unleashing a small piranha that's gonna collide with them when you finally reach them and so it's like you get there you smack them and then this barrage of piranhas just just kind of ours yet with that for that one I like that I like that particular weapon because we will - we took these the number one skill yeah it's called Crimson Tide and we turned it from like this magic attack single thing of like like which was not really readable and it couldn't be very powerful because it was like this long-distance instant attack and we turned it into a projectile yes and then from that projectile we were able to said like this is really cool to like see it like floating toward your enemies and like kind of nibbling on them yeah and so all of the abilities yeah all of the abilities on that weapon is we said we like we like how this functions you know and like I want to see how it will we could put this particular skill and make that the focus of all of these other abilities yeah and so each ability the fire on that trident will release some little nibbling piranhas it kind of bound the whole egg and tied tied toward your yeah your enemies and like eventually like you're just gonna overwhelm them that was like with a bunch of little hits well since you're talking about rewards especially since we were watching like things just pour in while Chun was playing oh that was unintentional [Laughter] so was it came about from the fact that we know you guys you're not like we can rework underwater combat to the end of our days and make it the best thing ever but she gets tough you know I can go underwater so so the ruler the roared loop was kind of made to address that to make there be some benefit for actually exploring the water again because one of the things about our game is you know pretty much where everything is online if you site on land a lot of things are online - yeah I know where too many things are online but yeah on land on land there's there's not a lot of surprises left because you've explored for which everything underwater is a different story I mean just like in real life on for most people the underwater regions are unexplored other than like maybe the PIO is for map complete and we wanted to get people actually go in and start exploring underwater again which for me that is one of the core fantasies of the idea of like deep-sea diving just going to places that seem kind of alien to you and with the underwater reward loop we wanted something that would be something you really sink your teeth into work at overtime so the natural the natural thing that everybody wants to do is go fast right so that that's where the idea of doing that water speed underwater movement speed infusions came from and it it was a bit of a happy coincidence but it also it also works well that the faster nature of movement underwater now after you start getting a bunch of infusions plays really well with the underwater skill changes and makes it makes the fighting underwater feel a lot more kinetic which is kind of what we're going for a more arcadey feel to underwater as opposed to the floaty feel that we started with yeah so what about so the underwater the speed boost is awesome can we talk about the rebreather the rebreather because I love it there's a few things I really love about the rebreather one is rebreathers the issue of them is most of them are only visible from the front of your face because they're rebreather they're like they go right here yeah I do a Bane voice but I can't do a band voice I'm sorry please the cool thing about the bubble helm is you can see at 360 like it's actually something that is completely visible and kind of fitting in with the fantasy of being underwater that you can see from behind yourself from the perspective the most players will play at it takes a while to get not going to lie but again we're going for rewards that you know you work towards overtime and I think we hit a really nice a really nice medium with the underwater content and something that one of you had mentioned to me the other day was that we're we want players to have a reason and have good stuff to upgrade their underwater equipment because mine is garbage and I know I'm not the only one I like underwater every time I go yeah every time I go underwater it's like oh yeah underwater oh crap my Spears basic as soon as as soon as this came out I I immediately went built a new try name for myself I'm like I'm I will not be caught yeah it's like Joel I made a chair it was like okay this is this is actually usable it's gonna has the sigils required and yeah pretty pretty happy with it been playing I've been playing kind of a conditioned renegade and this really helped this it fit it right in with my build nice so he's pretty happy with that yeah we've done a not fabulous job in the past of rewarding you for underwater content and again this was kind of a way to update that and bring it up to our good design specs by making this this entire set of content a lot more available like similar to Carl I had basically my level up rewards as some of my underwater geared up and this has made me go and revisit it and now I'm kind of excited every time I go and do my daily crate kill get my key and get some more infusions because I know I'm actually gonna be able to use those yeah and they're they're cumulative it's a it's a long-term goal that I know have I think we should also keep remind people that this is a this movement speed is additive no yes you what is girl yeah yeah it stacks with like swiftness and everything else because we didn't want to like negate like your ability to grant yourself swiftness or anything like that so not go fast yeah Irene you mentioned keys let's talk about the keys and the underwater reward chests a little bit and how those work but you had a thing to say nope I had a thing to say it was Jessica can totally cover this one all right cool thing about the sunken treasure chests is at least for me it really plays towards what I feel the fantasy is behind diving and treasure hunting really involved like if you if you think about it like most treasure in real life is actually it's actually in the sea because like you know nations will transport their goods by a ship and ships ships tend to sink think about next time another show just kidding ships don't think that much he says so much but yeah I mean who doesn't love the idea of finding treasure like finding that pirate treasure at the bottom to see and like we when I when I've been working on like reward stuff I want to try and make every aspect of it kind of fit in with this overall fantasy to reinforce itself and that's why you have characters like dive master Stora who will who will give you her her crazy plan for like finding all this sunken treasure that someone's looking for because everyone's looking for treasure on land which is not where actual treasure is euler's most times away yes all silver but I see what you're saying yeah also the loop is in some ways designed not to be like super inclusive like there's a daily to get a key and then you can get keys through just general like roll drops you might find she's more often off of crate and it's it's all like it's all intended to be this this this process that you work at over time not something that you Russia I say this but I know how you guys are it's not really a process you've intended for you to just rush out and like knock out in like five days or something god help you that's what yeah but the thing is we all play games and they all play our game and we know because sometimes we might do it too that's true there's also the freebooter title we should mention the hell yeah I'm passing yeah there's a title for doing all of the I mean if you looked at a sheet and panel you've probably seen it but if you do all of the underwater chest and you accomplished a treatment you'll get the nice freebooter title yeah and then all the chests unlock and you can do them all again to get more loot and you can you can repeat that that meta achievement as many time like a whole bunch of times I think it was worth like what 50 achievement points in total 75 every time you do it it's set up like that to to discourage some of the more let's say aberrant play styles where you're like people will camp a chest or something because this way you do actually have to do all the chests before you can do the same chest so the alternative would be a situation where you've got someone that just is just sitting with a key waiting for that chest over and over and over and ya know instead of playing the game we know how you guys are again it's through familiarity and we know I know exactly what I would do if that were an option well is there that was kind of what I wanted to cover is there anything else that you guys would like to address the floor is yours we have a pawn in at least like five minutes would you say the sea floor is ours not to make waves but like we have standards and our standards start at the pond level so I'm really having this incredible sinking feeling I am - tell me your favorite thing about this update well for well not just you everybody's gonna have to do the the puns have been fun but yes my favorite thing I think it would be is still the fact that we get to go back and revisit something and make it better and get to use all of our knowledge it's like the new of the things we've learned over the years - I mean speaking of that I certainly hope that our decisions in this latest update reflects the fact that we've been developing this game for a long time we've we have picked up on things you guys like and don't like for the most part shocker my favorite part about underwater is just I like the idea of the underwater and the underwater environment as a mysterious place that you don't where you don't know where everything is and even though like water has been part of the game since launch I still feel for a lot of people it's been an untapped experience and being able to try and motivate layers - what yeah no you wouldn't do that did iPod yes that's not that's barely a pun we're kind of region at this point oh my god thank you a little bit sorry but ya know the idea that we only we have previously only gotten you to explore like say maybe 75% of the game's landmass and now like with with the motivation go back underwater we get to explore that other 25% completely arbitrary numbers don't quote me on that that's exciting to me I'm also also kind of interested about the the player-versus-player potential in terms of like real world because these for worse world as well and what's that you stole the thing that I was most excited for you explained your excitement as well I mean this year no no I'm gonna choose that yeah he's gonna we're gonna double up yeah but the sheer amount of possibilities for underwater combat in world versus world I remember back in the day where when I was running world view world there were certain avenues of attack for certain keeps in certain maps where underwater combat felt bad so people who were on land would just be plinking into water to take people out because you're on land skills are so much more useful and now it's gonna be potentially the reverse where you're you're gonna be just trying to jump into water to potentially wreck people who are on land because that is an option the underwater combat is also going to be potentially much bigger and more on moss like you've got a thora of options there suddenly I have a I have a theory and that the I think the first the first person in water yeah when your weight if there's like if you're like doing like an engagement you're like Oh trouble you know get I got a retreat you know I you know dive down into the water you might have yourself an advantage oh yeah if they try to follow you in because they're they're not going to be immediately they're not gonna have their stuff immediately available to them well you've got like plus 20 swim speed you and they've got it's true none you're most of your make a dash out of there pretty pretty big advantage yeah also so those people who actually play more underwater during this this this fresh period they're going to have an advantage against people who haven't touched underwater combat in quite some time like this is one of those times where oh look I've actually got some experience everyone's suddenly a fresh like player again so those who get on with this are going to have it a huge tactical advantage yeah get in there you guys the water's fine I'm sorry now I'm a little bit sorry now now we're just trying to find time yeah I regret that not much but that's one of the things right as you should thank you for admitting it thank you guys for your time I know as always everybody's really busy so I appreciate you coming here hanging out with us and hanging out with them for a little bit it's great fun pleasure thank you guys we do not have a show next week but we will be back in two weeks to talk to some of the devs behind the episode to trailer so I will see you in two weeks thank you guys again