1. To understand this Elite Spec better, one important thing to note, the name very poorly describes what this spec does and what it’s designed to do.
The Firebrand is a lot like a Priest from WoW
A lot like Mercy or Lucio from Overwatch.
Get it now? Immediately after seeing those analogies, you instantly get what this spec is about.
If you try to play the Firebrand like Core Guard or Dragonhunter, you are already doing it wrong.
I started out doing this exactly, slotted in radiance a few mantras and shouts thinking I can charge into battle like a Guard/DH…no no no. Very quickly it felt clunky, odd, and out of place. The Tomes/traits and skills available didn’t match the playstyle I thought I could do.
I started playing around with the tomes, switched to Meditation trait to use the tomes more often, used Honor instead of Zeal and went more supportive route. HUGE DIFFERENCE.
I was literally the difference between pug zergs dying, and pug zergs surviving! The Firebrand is a Support Healer Caster in it’s truest form from classic MMO archetypes.
Firebrand’s are Mid-Range, Mid-Line Support. Core Guardians are Front-line support, and DH are straight up long-range to close ranger damage dealers.
All in all, this feels super rewarding if you ever played a Mercy in Overwatch or a WoW Priest, that sense of healing your allies and you bringing in all that HP juice goodness, you will love the firebrand!
Also you will get super kittened when friends and allies don’t rez you are protect you, because guess what, if they don’t, they die too (especially if they are pugs). I got so mad soo many times for teammates ignoring me, until they see the value and whole point of the Firebrand.
Otherwise, an amazingly complex and intricate support/healer spec, with supplementing mid range dmg mix condi/dd. Very nicely done.
2. Feedback and Criticisms
Switching and Activitating the tomes themselves feel very odd and clunky. The 1 second castime to use a tome and to another just doesn’t feel smooth.
Not only that, I see: Archivist of Whispers- Minor Trait and Loremaster – Grandmaster trait MANDATORY, you need to make these baseline. Otherwise the cooldown is way too long and too short of usage for the essential skills to be of any use.
3. Suggestions and Solutions.
Right now, it’s a kitten caster with a kitten core guardian. COMMIT, make a full amazing support caster in all it’s glory. Here’s how.
With the tomes, make it function like Engineer tool kits in terms of toggling and switching/ or Ele attunements. Quick and easy to switch around, will be nice and smooth
“But wouldn’t that be OP? You get to use these skills all the time?”
NOPE! and here’s the catch, you see the cubes right beside the tomes?
MAKE THEM FUNCTION LIKE THIEVES INITIATIVE!!!!! So you have the smoothness and switching of Engineer kits, but make each skill of the tomes recharges be spent and used like Thief initiative skills.
This way, one it’s easier to balance with more control (I.E. how fast the cube pips recharge, and the cost for each tome skill) with the added benefit of feeling smooth to use for the player switching between each tome smoothly. And encourages a playstyle to enjoy the tome usage!
4. Final thoughts
Firebrand is 90% the way there!!! It’s a really good spec, with a lot of intricacies and thought put into it.
I can see this competing with Druid in Raids, and highest Mid line Support in WvW Zergs
Hope this reaches an open-minded dev!!