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Friday, March 23, 2007

Guild Wars: Fixing Hexes

Phelann has an interesting post on fixing hexes over at the Guild Hall. Specifically, tweaking single hex removal skills to remove 1 hex per 2 hexes on the target, rounding up - so Holy Veil removes 2 on a target with 3, but only 1 on a target with 2. Makes covering hexes still have a point, but overwhelming hex stacks not so useful.

Could be one approach for fixing the all-or-nothing nature of hexes that seems to be a bit of a problem right now. Some hexes are fine - notably water snares and some of the mesmer domination line - but most are only worth it if the whole build is devoted to them. I'm not sure that this really solves the issue but it does at least provide a solution to the rock-paper-scissors metagame that narrow mass removals like Divert Hexes are currently providing.

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Blogger Sausaletus Rex said...

It's an interesting thought. I'm not sure if it wouldn't require some further balance tweaks and all – Izzy seems to want to have hexes viable these days because, you know, otherwise there's no point to Necros even though I think it's apparent the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction – to hex prices and related skills. It would add a bit more strategy to hexes beyond “pour them on” or “cast as many as you need to cover the important stuff”.

But I think the main problem with hexes is that things like the Water and Dom hexes that work fine are covered by the same mechanics as the ones that don't. What you really want from hexes are ones that are quick acting or hurt both when they're left on or flashed off. The various water snares and things like Mind Wrack are perfect examples of how hexes should work. Things that need to sit around for a while in order to last, like Shadow of Fear or Price of Failure are examples of hexes that don't work, design-wise, and need to have weak/broken removal in order to thrive. The former take some skill and planning to take advantage of while the latter just require you to pour them on and sit back and cackle. And I think the current problem is that we're emphasizing the latter instead of the former.

My latest solution which, sigh, I've been meaning to post for a while now is to drive hexes to be faster, cheaper, and quicker acting. Another issue that hex heavy builds flag up is GLE and the reason they do that is because most hexes are pretty pricey to reflect how long they act as well as their affect. What I'd do is slash prices across the board (Everything must go!) but also take a hatchet to durations. Price of Failure, for example, I'd put around 5 energy for a 3+1/2Curses seconds duration but with a 5 second recharge (And maybe a casting time decrease or boost the damage effect a bit, maybe 15+3~4xCurses instead of the 2x it's at now.). It would stick around a lot less, making it more situational, but it could be put up a lot more (As a general rule, even with infinite energy I don't think you should be able to maintain a hex on more than two targets indefinitely) and with more timing and precision like, say, Blinding Flash. I'd take a similar approach to many hexes with the exception of the energy denial stuff. There shouldn't be many hexes, in other words, that you couldn't fit on a Warrior's bar because they'd be cheap enough for them to. Not only would that tone down on the effectiveness of hex stacks, I think it might encourage people to consider running only one or two interesting hexes instead of, as you say, devoting a whole build to supporting the really nasty ones. That makes hex removal more common and that forces heavy hex teams out of forefront of the metagame, too.

3/23/2007 07:36:00 PM  

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