First, thank you for giving us this beta week-end. I’ve played many hours with the Spellbreaker, and would like to submit this initial feedback.
To put it in a nutshell, I feel that the specialization offers an interesting gameplay, but lacks too much impact to be relevant yet. I however believe that after some buffs, it should be playable and enjoyable.
The positive things, which made me enthusiastic about the specialization:
- The full counter mechanics is nice. I like that it adds a new survival option, plus does unblockable damage and may remove one boon with Dispelling Force. It feels like a good use for adrenaline. The tell is obvious, so should hopefully allow some counterplay. Congrats on that design!
- The elite allows a nice area control, and I had some fun using it in WvW. However, I believe it should bring more to the table, in terms of buffing allies.
- Rewarding hard control feels good, especially now that we can remove boons. I hope that stability will always be removed first, so that we can benefit better from our builds. I believe that further enhancing hard control would be interesting (besides Dispelling Force and No Escape).
There are many shortcomings though, which cause the specialization to be lacking:
- One has to trade too much damage, survivability and mobility in order to get the debuff capabilities. I am firmly convinced that some buffs are in order here.
- Reserving one bar of adrenaline for counter is fine, but limiting the burst to one bar of adrenaline is not. All burst-enhancing traits lose too much value. In my opinion, burst skills should be able to use up to two bars of adrenaline.
In terms of builds, we have some choice to make, which is good. I do belong to the “Fast Hand Mandatory” faction, so will not play without Discipline, especially for a power warrior. I have tried power warriors based on:
- Defense / Discipline / Spellbreaker, using dagger/dagger and sword/shield. The point was to be resilient, so as to make full use of debuff capabilities during the fight. The build did a correct job, but I would have loved more damage/mobility on the dagger set. This would open new alternate weapon options (especially hammer-based builds, which have so much potential).
- Strength / Discipline / Spellbreaker, using GS and dagger/shield. The point was to play aggressively, but in this regard it felt a bit inferior to the core warrior, even with the debuff options. The gameplay was however enjoyable.
Let us review daggers:
- #1 is fast enough I guess, but the damage is too low. I would recommend a damage buff of around 50%, and/or would consider granting might on all three attacks of the chain.
- #2 is okay, the “Slow” somehow compensating for the lack of damage. However, I would buff the range of the skill from 300 to 450 (or even 600), to improve the mobility of the weapon set.
- #3 felt weird, as mixing utility with average damage seems to be lacking in focus. I would change the skill completely, for instance: evade all attacks, and daze your target after evading. This would improve the survivability, which we are in need of.
- #4 was underwhelming. Even with the damage boost, the overall damage is too low. Considering it requires a setup (hard CC), I would buff the damage by at least 50%.
- #5 felt weird as well, again mixing utility and damage. The skill loses a lot of value when facing non-projectiles attacks.
- Dagger F1 is definitely good. I liked the unblockable attack with a 450 range.
- Counter F2 is excellent, as previously stated.
I’ll review skills and traits I used thereafter. Those I do not mention, I did not try because they looked either underperforming in regards of other skills (Natural Healing, Break Enchantments, Guard Counter, Enchantment Collapse), or downright underwhelming or irrelevant (Sight Beyond Sight, Imminent Thread, Pure Strike). One has to remember that Spellbreaker does not bring mobility, damage or survivability – only debuff – which introduces many build balance constraints.
- Featherfoot Grace was not bad at all, but worse than expected. Even with the added stun breaker and the superspeed (both of which being very good), it feels inferior to Berserker Stance, with its pulsing resistance and adrenaline generation. However, I have to say I did not pay enough attention to all the new condition attacks, and may have taken more hits than I usually do (condi-bombed).
- Winds of Disenchantments was very nice, both in WvW and PvP. I do feel that it lacks a little something for an elite, ideally a one-time buff to allies (which could be addressed by introducting a meditation trait, see below).
- Dispelling Force is a very nice minor trait. It is something that was once discussed in this forum as a potential buff to physical skills, so it is nice to see it come to life now. Thank you.
- No Escape was interesting, as it somehow help neutralize stun breakers (of which the game is rich). However, I would extend the application of the trait to all hard CC effects, and not just daze and stun (especially for Bull’s Charge).
- Loss Aversion, Slow Counter, Sun and Moon Style: I tried all of them, but do not have an opinion thus far. More testing is in order.
- Revenge Counter was opay, but similarly I did not really perceive the advantage it brought. More testing is in order as well.
- Magebane Tether was useful and enjoyable, like an automatic DH F1. I liked it very much.
Some additional suggestions:
- It would be nice if we could have a meditation trait granting a boon on use, to self and allies (e.g. stability or resistance). Meditations are a bit too weak in my view, and this would improve the overall survivability.
- Also, it would be great if we could further enhance hard CC. For instance, I would love a trait granting a 100% damage boost to the attack following any hard CC.
Cheers for reading, hoping to play with a new Spellbreaker soon!