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Monday, January 29, 2007

Guild Wars: Jagged Bones

Only got a few rounds of GvG in over the weekend - the guild hall was pretty quiet. One of the games I did play was against a Jagged Bones build, a top 100 ranked guild. Previously the only one I'd played against wasn't so good and I just camped on the JB guy and Diverted him all over the place while our split team won the game for us.

These guys had enough clue to have Hex Breaker on the JB necro and we didn't have a Wild Blow to get it off. He had Distortion as a panic button for warrior defense but wasn't dumb enough to cast one of his key spells (JB -> Death Nova -> Taste of Death) while he didn't have Hex Breaker up.

We did split against them but they could send back enough hex shutdown to slow down the split team while their massive pressure and energy engine overran the flag team. I spent quite a while thinking about the match and I'm not really sure what you can do about that build. If you can't shut down the Jagged Bones engine you're pretty much hosed because all those necros will be pumping out Infuse Health, Aegis and expensive hexes like no tomorrow due to the fact they effectively have 15 pips of energy regen.

There's a discussion thread on the best way to fix the problem over at GWGuru. I think that the real fix is to deal with Soul Reaping - I'm liking the energy regen options people are proposing. But that would be a major change requiring a lot of testing. A band aid solution like making Jagged Horrors give no Soul Reaping energy would be better than nothing right now.


Anonymous omgkillmonkfirst said...

Sounds rough.
Some of the necro team builds I see around here and there are ones with things like Scourge Healing and whatnot throw in there for good measure.
Almost always on Burning Isle or Corrupted otherwise.
Perhaps its the same build you're talking about, I don't know.
Seems pretty cheap to me, as the Obsv chat window was filled with "Go back to Halls, noobs (in reference to popular Halls guilds I see around)" or "I hate how gimmick teams get away with this on Burning" and whatnot.

My impression is that balanced teams, unless you're of the elite top 20/top 5 cohort haven't quite found a way to fudge a win? I was watching Peace and Harmony (at the time rank 5) take on I believe Forgot the Ghostlyyy, another infamous Halls guild. I've seen PnH play and they might not even be top 20 material, but certainly aren't pushovers. In short, they got rolled.

So yeah, a change to Soul Reaping would be nice, I suppose.

1/29/2007 01:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PnH isn't top 20 material? Seriously.

1/29/2007 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger Clamatius said...

PnH is a strong guild, no doubt.

There are a bunch of guilds in the top 100 right now running JB. I'd guess some of them "deserve" to be there, i.e. they'd be there regardless of the JB situation, and some don't. Unlike the obs mode people mentioned, I have no rancor against those running JB or similar "cheap" builds - whatever wins, wins. If you do you're probably slotting yourself right into Sirlin's classic scrub definition.

Having said that, there's clearly an issue with Soul Reaping - let's hope it's addressed with the upcoming balance weekend.

In the meantime, if you have any tips for shutting down the JB/Hexbreaker engine I'd love to hear it because right now I've got nothing except having a Wild Blow guy set up camp on their face - which isn't terribly practical since the JB guy can easily be in their backline.

1/29/2007 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Sausaletus Rex said...

Soul Reaping

I'm one of those people saying it should be regen based. There are a lot of ways of going about it but the idea of making it give you 3 pips of regen for a time equal to your Soul Reaping rank is the one I currently favor - you'd get the same amount of energy it would just be spread out over a longer period of time (And by making it non-stacking you'd limit Necros to a maximum of 7 regen or, what, 2 1/3 energy a second, when things are dying instead of the absurd effective regeneration they can get to now which allows them to do things like take all those good, expensive skills and spam them. Near-infinite energy engines are a nice thing but the game really can't abide them. Not for long, anyway.). The problem would be that it stretches out that regen to the point where you might not have it when you need it - unlike the current version which lets you blow your wad to get a kill and then get a large portion of that back to start the ball on the next one (Or minion or whatever task you're spending that energy on, really.) - but I don't exactly mind that change.

It would be a lot of work and require a lot of testing to figure out what to do with a lot of the Necromancer stuff - minions in particular were built and priced with that Soul Reaping refund in mind. But if it needs doing, and I think it does, then it's worth it to get it right. Leaving it broken and lingering because you're afraid of paying the price, so to speak, of fixing it just means the wounds going to fester.

Your band-aid is a good temporary fix but it doesn't really address the underlying issue. At some point down the line, something else is going to pop up involving Soul Reaping that's going to be a problem - it's happened in the past, it's happening now, and it's going to happen again. Slap a quick fix on the Jagged Bones if you must but not if it's going to prevent fixing the real problem.

Even something like halving minion reaping (as it is with spirits) or doing away with it entirely (not just for Jagged Bones) doesn't although it might be interesting to try in one test weekend or another. The other way to go would be to have Jagged Horrors leave exploited corpses or something - like Flesh Golems so you can't keep recycling them or using them for renewable energy sources (Since the cost of enchanting one is far less than the energy you get back with decent Soul Reaping, after all).

The larger issue is a long term project but, hey, that people are clamoring for it is exactly the kind of thing I'd hope they wanted to get out of the test weekend. And since it seems to have gone well, there should be plenty more of them.

I mean, there's going to be whining heard across the land if and when they ever do address Soul Reaping because it's going to take a bat to the idea of a MM in any venue - they work now because they don't have to worry about energy. But, really, it has to be done - MMs should never have been allowed to thrive for as long as they have. Fiddle with the costs, lower the degen rate on minions, whatever you have to do, but that they've become a PvE standby is a bad thing, not a reason to keep from doing anything.

1/30/2007 05:22:00 PM  

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