Guild Wars 2 Defiance Changes & Wyvern Boss
So chances are that if you’ve fought a boss in Guild Wars 2, you’ve been using the Defiance system. If you don’t know what that is I’ll explain in a second and how it’s changing to be more understandable in combat. Also, the visual effects team wanted more realism when fighting the Wyvern but didn’t want to kill computers with detailed particles. A bit of an explanation on just how they did that will be mentioned as well.
Defiance: What Is It And How It’s Changing?
Basically Defiance is an effect bosses get to negate status effects. Players have to use status effects in order to remove the stacks to apply status effects. Note that blind doesn’t remove stacks. The way Defiance will work in the future is that there will be a bar at the bottom of the boss’ health bar. This bar depletes with status effects, even blinds affect it.
This works way better instead of stacks because different status effects with different effect times will deplete the bar accordingly. For example, a 3 second immobilize will deplete the bar more than a 1 second blind. This also is more visually easier to see Defiance level. Finally it opens up the way boss phases work. The example they used for the Wyvern is that if you don’t get the Defiance stack off in time, the Wyvern will go into flight and be untargatable while it rains down fire attacks.
Visual Effects: Wyvern Fire
Speaking of fire, the visual effects team wanted to bring life like fire effect to the Wyvern fight. However, more particles means heavier frame rate loads on computers and that’s a big no no for them and pretty mush for all MMOs that have a set PC specification. So to have the best visual effects with good PC performance, they made a custom lava decal with well placed fire particles for ground fire and a custom glow on the Wyvern’s stomach and mouth for the dragon breath tell.
I really like how they explained it, be sure to take a look at the post if you’re interested. I noticed on the last POI episode that the fire details have been improved and I like reading about how game visuals are improved while keeping optimal performance. I mean look at that picture, that’s really intense and I can’t wait to see what else the visual effects team comes out with for Heart of Thorns.