(edited by RebornbyFire.7913)
SoulBeast, thoughts and Suggestions
Suggestions for Improvement
should matter; it should feel like something. Entering and at least leaving it should also probably count as a Pet Swap, for the sake of on-swap effects. There should be some sense, gameplay-wise, of having become more powerful by merging with my pet — and, while small buffs are given based on which type of pet is merged with, they do not feel like enough. The Ranger’s pet is a valuable and useful companion, and giving up access to it for a time should be worth it. At very least, I would suggest that entering Beastmode always:
- Grants me whatever boons, buffs, effects, etc. are on my pet when I merge (even if that must include, for balance, also my pet’s conditions). At the moment, this is a trait, and only includes boons — but I just merged with my pet; why would it not be baseline for their boons/etc. to be transferred onto me and combined with my own? Needing a trait to receive this functionality seems absurd, particularly when considering that, once already IN Beastmode, anything that would buff my pet automatically buffs me instead.
- Grants a Vitality bonus
- Grants a Toughness bonus
- Grants a small Attack-Speed bonus (say, 15%)
If camping Beastmode becomes a problem, simply give the bonuses a limited duration (say, 10-20 seconds, or whatever). The reason for this is, first of all, gameplay feel, but second, the fact that — no matter which pet I give up — I am always losing out on an ally with extra damage, health, utility, etc. whose stats are essentially part of the Ranger class and were taken into account when determining my Ranger’s base stats. Unless and until something of this nature is done (i.e., the buffs given for merging are expanded and improved), Beastmode will always feel like it makes my Ranger generally weaker rather than stronger. And certainly it will remain disappointing to enter it in the middle of a fight.
probably does not need much work. I confess I am somewhat disappointed to see its Skill 2 basically just do more of what the auto-attack chain already does, and I would like to see instead some kind of survivability-help skill in that slot, or something. But, again, perhaps all it really needs is some numbers tuning and more practice on my part.
could, I think, use a little tuning. Mostly, One Wolf Pack needs some added functionality (the damage it offers is just too little and too slow to justify an elite slot, and raising it enough to make it worthwhile over other options would probably make it too powerful for spikes). Another option for it could be to extend its duration and/or drastically reduce the cooldown, so that it offered at least a frequent and consistent damage boost.
Griffon Stance has a functionality that I would rather see linked to a trait and granted on entering Beastmode (more below). Here is my suggestion for a much more interesting functionality:
: (4 seconds) When you successfully evade an attack, you gain evade for 1/2 extra second. Griffon Stance’s duration is refreshed when using a skill that counts as a Leap Finisher.
are where I would most love to see some serious work done *(and my suggestions are in the next post).
(edited by RebornbyFire.7913)
are where I would most love to see some serious work done, although I will not waste time going through all of my various critiques. Instead, I offer my suggestions for organizing and improving them below. I have organized all of the tiers into three distinct themes: A damage and evasion/timing-based Bird-of-Prey theme, a defensive Large, Powerful Animal (bear/dolyak/etc.) theme, and an offensive condition-based Jungle Hunter/Carnivore theme. The Adept Tier is entirely concerned with offering choices for what entering (and maintaining) Beastmode will do; the Master Tier offers three distinct options for improving some aspect of Beastmode (all of which have a survival-focused component); finally, the Grandmaster Tier continues the established themes with three more powerful options with effects that are not tied to Beastmode. I have also tried to follow what seemed to be sort of the original intent and purpose of the spec and its traits (damage/duration numbers are purposefully left out, as that sort of specificity is not my specialty):
My only issue here is with the Minor Master trait, which only improves power-based damage on an elite spec that receives a condition/hybrid weapon. I would like the see “Condition damage is also improved while under the effects of Fury” added to the functionality.
- : Entering Beastmode restores your endurance and grants you (for — seconds), which doubles your endurance regeneration. While in Beastmode, you gain might when you successfully evade an attack.
- : Entering Beastmode breaks stun and grants you a (meaningful) health barrier (for — seconds). While in Beastmode, you ignore the next control effect against you (-- ICD).
- : Entering Beastmode grants quickness and makes your attacks unblockable (for — seconds). You gain swiftness while in Beastmode (duration=ICD).
- : Evade Attacks while executing a Beast ability. Using a Beast ability grants you offensive boons (same boons as currently).
- : Knockback and damage nearby foes when leaving Beastmode.
- : Entering Beastmode causes your attacks to steal health from bleeding foes (for — seconds). (The amount of health stolen here should be enough to make somewhat of a meaningful recovery, or at least enough to provide meaningful sustain.)
- : You deal more damage to foes with a lower percentage of health than you.
- : While in Beastmode, if you would be downed you instead fall out of Beastmode and recover health. (Unchanged)
- : Applying Cripple to a foe also applies (ICD). Hunter’s Mark expires after 1 second, causing you to teleport to that foe and on them, Knocking them Down and dealing Damage.
A few final thoughts regarding the traits: , again, should be baseline (and should also include any other effects on my pet, such as shouts), which is why I have replaced it. It should be obvious that the recommendations offered above offer obvious themes and organization throughout but also have a considerable amount of cross-synergy with each other and with other Ranger trait lines and skills. As an example, my new recommended version of , in particular, would combo beautifully with the entire top line (as well as with Skirmishing, daggers, and both kinds of swords) offering daring players an opportunity to play highly-damaging but dangerously fragile melee builds with a high skill ceiling. (On the other hand, would offer the sword and several other weapons some control that they have never had before, as well as synergizing well with various Beast skill.) Further, none of the lines lock the player into a particular type of damage. Perhaps most importantly, though, all of the choices are significant, and all of them offer the player meaningful choices for how they will utilize and interact with the Beastmode functionality and the elite spec in general.
And finally, if anybody (and especially if a sympathetic developer) has made it all the way through this, thank you for taking the time to read through something that I have taken a lot of time to offer. I am highly anticipating the expansion, in large part because Nightfall was my introduction to the GW franchise and still remains my favorite story and favorite memories, Elona my favorite continent, and Dervish my favorite class. Returning to Elona (and crushing Joko) is something I have waited and hoped for since before the first release of GW2.
Comments and suggestions are welcome. Please keep them meaningful. Thanks again, and have a wonderful day!
(edited by RebornbyFire.7913)
Very thoughtful and interesting critique, Reborn. I think it’s the best summary of observations I’ve seen on the new elite yet.
I especially agree on your criticisms of just the “feel” of what beast mode is like now. Though I love the flexibility and complexity that the new elite adds, I think it doesn’t sell the powerful fantasy of merging with the pet. If some or all of the new dagger attacks had the effects and beastly themes of greatsword and sword, for example, they would FEEL more powerful than they currently do.
Dagger 2 should have a dodge on it, like Dagger 4.
Stab while dodging with the right hand, then stab while dodging with the left hand!
Of course, the absolutely worst and most disappointing part of Soulbeast has to be the Charr’s animations (World’s Wimpiest Punches and Kicks on what should have been the most beastly race) and the particle effect upon entering the fartshroud.
Some of these are just brokenly OP.
Track the wounded with a 1 second ICD to teleport, knockdown and do dmg…. so basically constant knockdown on sword auto? What happens if I trait traps and plant them home. Instant self portal back to home while my enemy tries to decap and is knocked down in traps with no tell. That is rediculous. What happens with longbow 5 vs groups of enemies? Just random teleport around to anyone you hit and knockdown?
Griffon’s stance stuff isn’t a “beautiful combo.” It would be worst than perma evade thief.
Those two aside, I do like the idea of a trait that does something when you unmerge with your pet. Also agree with the general idea that new skills don’t feel beastly.