I’m going to focus less on individual skills/traits and more on overall philosophy. Feel free to add your own views as well.
- MORE FREQUENT BALANCE PATCHES!: This is without a doubt the most important one. There’s letting the meta settle and then there’s letting it languish for half a year. I would be satisfied with small patches every 2 months with minor tweaks every month. I can’t claim to know how things work at ANet but I DO know that in GW1 we received patches much more frequently.
- More Variety (Especially with Heals): From what we know thus far, the next balance patch is focused around this, which is great. However, most classes are still stuck using one heal generally with the odd build taking advantage of another one. Warrior is the best example of a class that can pretty much build to be whatever you want. It may not be the best at it, but you can do it. I also want to point out that many of the games’ most interesting utility skills (imo) like Gadgets, Physical, and Tricks simply aren’t viable in most game modes. There are some exceptions but generally they simply lack utility so you see people running comparably boring utilities like Stances, Signets, and Elixirs which generally boil down to “press this for a buff” as opposed to “press this to shoot a ram on a spring and send your foe flying.”
- Build Weakness as Opposed to Class Weaknesses: One of my favorite aspects of this game is that every class can fill any role. This means that in theory if your team needs a role filled you just have to change your gear and traits as opposed to your entire class. Gone are the days of “LF Monk” for three hours. However, many classes are simply hard countered by a certain playstyle/class. The example I’m most familiar with is Necro almost hard-countering Engi. Even running with the Elixir heal and 2 others with 409 your cleansing capability is not that high. In addition, it forces you to hold on to your utilities for cleansing rather than using them for offense. Even if you do use them well a good necro will use just enough condis to force you to use your Elixirs and then drop their Signet of Spite and it’s GG Engi. With Warrior on the other hand, their counters depend on what build they are running. Any control build is countered by someone with high Stability up time since they can’t strip it. Condi is countered by anything with good cleanse. That is how I feel every class should be. You should be able to have any role you want that has its own strengths and weaknesses. It’s a tall order, but I can tell that the framework for it has been there since day one but didn’t have enough time to fully develop the concept.
- Changing the Mechanics so you have to make Fewer Changes to the Classes: GW2 isn’t like other MMOs, there is not set class trinity but the roles are still there. The capability for tanking and healing are all there, it’s just that when it comes to PvE the game doesn’t generally force people to run those specs because the agro formula is wonky and many fights boil down to “avoid the red circles or die” so healing isn’t really needed. Some bosses have tried to change that but most dungeons can be completed by raw DPS alone. I really enjoyed the Agro Bubble of GW1. The tank would go in and get all the mobs on them, the healer would keep them up while everyone else mows them down. I don’t hate the circle/dodging part of the game but as I said why bring a dedicated healer when you can avoid much of the damage by dodging. If the agro mechanics became more predictable and the damage was more equally distributed between AoE circles and actual direct attacks it might help the trinity actually come into play. Without changes to how PvE itself works I don’t think any number of buffs to support will ever make them worthwhile. There’s also the issue of conditions and CC in PvE as well. I can’t say I know if it’s as straightforward as raising the stack cap and lowering/removing CC immunity while increasing the bosses strength in over areas or if doing so would make PvE content even easier but it’s another barrier to player choice.
As for PvP, I’ve said it a bagillion times but the points are too darn small which encourages AoE and having one person being able to totally deny a cap encourages tanky builds. If these things changed I feel that both playing and watching PvP would be much more interesting.What has kept me playing this game is that despite all its issues I can clearly see that there are so many genius ideas behind it. Rather than destroying the trinity it wanted to make classes all capable of any role but with a different spin. That’s a fantastic idea seeing as few like to play a dedicated healer but if you make guild wars 2 gold so anyone can easily get the gear to fill that role while not forcing them to do nothing but heal is cool. The combat is so much more satisfying than other MMOs that it keeps me from wanting to play any others. I like the idea of my skill/build being more important than my gear. It’s a good game, but seeing so much potential not being expanded upon can be frustrating.