“Tyria Talking” is our new column here at Dragon Season where we will pick up an interesting topic that has been talked about among the Guild Wars 2 community recently and link you to all the interesting posts.
The first topic is underwater combat and its seemingly uncertain future which I saw written about by our friends over at Guildnews.
Since not everybody knows German, I will give a short summary of what this post contains: Epi starts by looking back at the teaser trailer from 2009 and the underwater scenes shown there. In hindsight, he says that underwater combat was fine after release with exploring underwater caves and having some variety between land and underwater combat. Over the years, however, satisfaction with underwater combat has dropped. This is partly due to players not being able to orientate themselves that well when underwater (because of the 3D nature of the environment) as opposed to only fighting on land. At the same time, he says, it is well known that ArenaNet is not too satisfied with underwater combat either, as can be seen by them taking it out of sPvP and no underwater weapon skins being released with the black lion weapon skin sets. Epi ends his article stating that we will likely not see a focus on underwater combat with Heart of Thorns as we will be in the jungle with this expansion. But he also reminds us of the unnamed Elder Dragon residing under water and he hopes that ArenaNet won’t drop this feature, but will instead expand on it with the specialization system in the future.
If you ask me, the question whether underwater combat will be expanded or forgotten about (until we get to the appropriate Elder Dragon) is a very interesting one. I looked around and saw that Epi isn’t the only one wondering about the future significance of underwater combat and where it could be on the developers’ list of priorities. The topic has come up in the official forums and on Reddit as well. Aidan Eigththrain asks whether underwater combat will be “a thing again” in PvE, PvP and WvW. The answers there are pretty similar to what Epi wrote: It does not seem to be a priority now, but it may be the focus again when we get to the Deep Sea dragon and that it needs to be reworked to make it more “strategic” and interesting.
The topic about underwater combat on Reddit is a bit older already, having been posted almost a month ago. There is a bit more controversial debate going on with some players not liking underwater combat at all. The result seems to have been the same: Underwater combat needs some love to get it on par with the regular combat on land. Legendary underwater weapons seem a bit pointless. But there definitely is interest in underwater combat from some players.
Last but not least, underwater combat questions related to Heart of Thorns content are emerging as well. Dr_Celestia wonders if there will be elite specs for underwater combat – or which skills the Revenant will have for underwater combat. So far, we have not heard anything about those skills, so we can all just guess. Once again, the Deep Sea dragon is mentioned. And we also don’t know yet if the Reaper shroud will work underwater. We don’t know about this either yet, as ArenaNet hasn’t told us anything about underwater combat in Heart of Thorns.
ArenaNet has unfortunately been rather quiet about this topic in general, not only related to HoT. I guess this does mean that it’s not high on their list of priorities for features to work on currently. But I do hope that it will not just be forgotten, or worse, taken out of the game. I guess with new legendary weapons arriving in Heart of Thorns, we will be able to predict which route ArenaNet goes: If there are no new legendary underwater weapons, then this feature has certainly lost its importance to them.
Looking at the various posts about underwater combat, it is pretty clear that there is a certain amount of interest for this type of combat, but the community also seems to agree that underwater combat needs an overhaul or some changes, at least.
So what do you think? Will ArenaNet focus on and improve underwater combat in the future? Do you want them to or would you prefer they took out the underwater combat?