Herald looks like an amazing concept. I’m coming back to the game (old player), trying to decide what class I want to focus on, and Herald looks right up my alley. All of its skills are dedicated to buffing and I actually like the upkeep mechanic, it seems like it has a lot of potential (though I agree with all the energy concerns). I love the lore, the theme, everything about it. I want to play this class.
I understand there is an ongoing campaign at the moment for people to push ArenaNet to improve the energy management of the class; and while that is all entirely true and valid, even ignoring that, I feel like Herald’s support is way lower than it should be.
For an elite specialization entirely focused around buffs, I feel it is lacking. I compare it to options like Warrior, and with one utility skill they almost match the maximum boons granted by Revenant (For Great Justice). On top of that, they have tons of banners that can be used that completely demolish Revenant in support… and that’s just Warrior. Lots of other classes are preferred for support and provide much better options/buffs/support than Herald does, while doing “solid” dps or providing party healing (which Herald can swap to, but stops all boon generation).
Why is Herald’s support so weak? Why has it been kept this way for so long? Not only is it weak, but it comes with so many strings attached. If you want to actually do some damage, you have to stop using the support to use its damage skills… and while that can be considered a worthwhile tradeoff, the support isn’t even good enough. Trying to maintain a decent flow of boons cripples your ability to use your weapon skills; and for what? It’s not strong enough. Other classes can use their support without worry. Herald has to avoid using a lot of its skills just to try to maintain that support, while other classes can just freely do their rotation, or at worst, set a utility skill or two and use them on cooldown. Those classes only get better at support with things like Alacrity, but that doesn’t benefit Herald’s support at all. I would be totally okay with this if Herald’s support was super strong to compensate maintaining all those facets, but it’s abysmal.
I’ve been researching around the forum, looking at polls, and Herald is considered one of the least popular elite specializations. Many forum users seem to consider it as a necessary evil, including it in their Revenant builds because they feel they have to. In the history of patches, it has received only 1-2 minor buffs (and not to support), but has received a fair number of nerfs. It has never been considered “popular” or “strong” outside of Naturalistic Resonance, which just buffs OTHER, BETTER supports to do THEIR job better. This was promptly nerfed and Herald went back down to the depths. Not only was this not a great defining role for Herald, it gutted the only thing they were actually useful for in support, and made Herald even worse at doing their own job.
With Path of Fire around the corner, and Revenant getting ANOTHER support specialization (???), I feel like Herald is going to fall to the wayside. Am I alone in thinking this could use some buffs? I WANT to play this spec and enjoy it, and I definitely know I’m not alone, but I feel like ArenaNet is just not letting it be that way due to the balance.
I make this post out of concern, and hopes that something can change, or I can be proven wrong that Herald is actually a great support. Maybe I’m just missing something, because even after all the years have gone by since the release of Heart of Thorns, nothing has changed… in fact, it’s only gotten worse.
(edited by Crevox.5806)