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SoulBeast, thoughts and Suggestions

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

The Traits 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):

MINOR
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.

MAJOR

Adept Tier

  • Falcon’s Agility: Entering Beastmode restores your endurance and grants you Falcon’s Agility (for — seconds), which doubles your endurance regeneration. While in Beastmode, you gain might when you successfully evade an attack.
  • Unstoppable Union: 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).
  • Stalker’s Ambush: Entering Beastmode grants quickness and makes your attacks unblockable (for — seconds). You gain swiftness while in Beastmode (duration=ICD).

Master Tier

  • Live Fast: Evade Attacks while executing a Beast ability. Using a Beast ability grants you offensive boons (same boons as currently).
  • Protect the Cubs: Knockback and damage nearby foes when leaving Beastmode.
  • Carnivorous Appetite: 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.)

Grandmaster Tier

  • Oppressive Superiority: You deal more damage to foes with a lower percentage of health than you.
  • Eternal Bond: While in Beastmode, if you would be downed you instead fall out of Beastmode and recover health. (Unchanged)
  • Track the Wounded: Applying Cripple to a foe also applies Hunter’s Mark (ICD). Hunter’s Mark expires after 1 second, causing you to teleport to that foe and Pounce on them, Knocking them Down and dealing Damage.

A few final thoughts regarding the traits: Fresh Reinforcement, 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 Griffon Stance, 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, Track the Wounded 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)

SoulBeast, thoughts and Suggestions

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Suggestions for Improvement

Beastmode 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.

The Dagger 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.

Stances 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:
Griffon Stance: (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.

The Traits are where I would most love to see some serious work done *(and my suggestions are in the next post).

(edited by RebornbyFire.7913)

SoulBeast, thoughts and Suggestions

in Ranger

Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Howdy all (and especially Developers),

I’ve been considering the SoulBeast since the Beta Weekend event, and I’d like to offer some praise, some constructive criticism, and some organized suggestions for improvement — most particularly regarding the traits, which feel, at best, somewhat jumbled (but more on that below).

Praise

The merging mechanic is fun to play with and potentially opens up a lot of new gameplay and build opportunities. Figuring out when to switch in and out is interesting, and the fact that things normally affecting my pet affect me while in Beastmode is one of the coolest things to come around for Ranger, in my opinion.

The dagger feels fun, mostly because of its 2-charge-carrying leap that also grants quickness. This skill alone makes me feel like a tiger leaping/prowling through the forest, and the quickness on hit is a cool reward that offers a lot of potential synergy with other skills.

The stances offer some interesting options, often with instant activation, which can potentially combo well with other Ranger utilities and traits.

Constructive Criticism

While the Beastmode mechanic (and getting access to new skills) is fun and intriguing, the fact remains that Beastmode does not feel “beastly” or powerful at all, and entering it does not feel like a power-up or really any significant change at all. I am fairly certain that I am generally more dangerous and powerful with my pet active than when I am merged, and merging does not in any way make my character feel (or play) noticeably stronger, or more cat-like, bear-like, hawk-like, or anything else-like. This is a very disappointing feeling. Suggestions for improving this are in the next section, below.

The dagger feels a little lackluster, apart from the excellent leap skill. As a condition weapon, I doubt that it holds up to the shortbow, and it offers no survival skills to make up for it being a melee weapon. Still, the leap is fun, and perhaps the main issue is just some numbers tuning, or myself needing more practice/time with it.

The Stances are sort of a mixed bag; some are good, and others feel rather weak. Most of them just don’t seem to last long enough to matter much. The Elite Stance, particularly, needs some more functionality, and Griffon Stance feels too short and weak to really justify its use.

The traits, while they do offer some extra damage and a couple of interesting ideas, are my most serious problem with the class. They feel disorganized, random, and mostly weak and boring, especially when compared with other elite specs or even the other Ranger trait lines. (It is very similar to how the Dragonhunter traits felt during the beta for HoT.) Most significantly, there are very few options really relating to Beastmode and how it plays/feels, which results in a lack of versatility and choice, and I could discern no obvious themes or overall organization guiding the various trait lines.

Suggestions for Improvement are in the next post

(edited by RebornbyFire.7913)

Everyone calm down

in Ranger

Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

I mean… I just want to say, particularly since the change to core specializations a few months ago, my Ranger has always felt flipping awesome. Especially now. I do tons of damage, have multiple means of easily maintaining permanent swiftness, fury, and regen on myself, my pet, and often most of the party, as well; I have all kinds of useful abilities and allies for various situations, and Druid is a ton of fun to play and offers a potentially very powerful new means of supporting parties/groups in dangerous areas/encounters. I see far, FAR too much whining on her. Yeah, Lingering Light’s nerf kind of sucks (and I feel like the ICD makes it a bit too unpredictable to be terribly useful, now), but, really, it’s still pretty powerful, can still be useful with traited glyphs and other things, and, to be perfectly honest, it was all kinds of broken before. Just relax; WHaO is one of our best skills now, because Irenio and the rest of the team kept an eye on it and fixed it to where it needed to be — and it was still an excellent skill before the buff! If LL sucks after the update and some play time, they’ll fix that too.

Can we please go back to constructive suggestions, instead of constant whining and conspiracy theories?

Vine Surge

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

I would love to see Vine Surge improved a bit; it could also REALLY use a little longer root, and/or a damaging condition component. Ideally, it would be slightly larger, root slightly longer, move slightly faster, and include the functionality: “Your pet’s next attack inflicts Poison for 8 seconds.” (Or something like that)

swap smokescale f2 back please

in Ranger

Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Going to be investigating this. It may require some change to Smoke Assault, since the active skills are intended to be a little stronger than the passive skills.

Thanks, Irenio; I really appreciate you looking into this. A quick note, though: The majority of the pets actually already have their most damaging attacks as passives — it’s the tactical abilities that are ordinarily on F2, and that’s the way it should be. For the most part, the few pets who have essentially nothing but more damage on F2 are mostly under-used, because they lack effective utility. I can’t see any reason to nerf Smoke Assault any more just because it’s going to go into the same slot that wolves (for instance) use for a highly-damaging, long-duration knockdown, and Drakes for a highly-damaging AoE blast finisher.

F2 should be for tactical choices: Control, buffs, fields, finishers, etc. Pure damage should remain on passives — and ideally remain as the first skill the pet auto-uses upon entering combat, like it was before and is on most pets, which allows us to still control it fairly effectively with a little extra effort and skill.

Thanks again for your time and effort. And also for the OOC degen removal for AF; CAF feels MUCH better, now!

Suggestion: How to fix astral force gain.

in Ranger

Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Or we could just ditch the entire AF resource thing, which is mostly frustrating and nearly impossible to properly balance anyway, and just give CAF a 20 second duration and a 10 second CD.

Or, alternatively, allow AF generation and CAF use outside of combat, give AF a standard, permanent passive fill-rate (that amounts to 0-Max AF in about 15 seconds), and, instead of a duration for the Form, let AF be used as the cost for Celestial skills (or drain while channeling them), reduce the CAF CD to 5 seconds, allow us to keep our AF when leaving the form, and allow us to enter the form at any level of AF (and kick us out when it hits 0). Then, allow healing and application of boons to slightly contribute to AF generation, as well, and possibly look at adding some AF-generation and/or Celestial skill cost-reduction stuff to some traits.

why the CA nerf?

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

I think a large part of the CA issue, honestly, is simply the fact that the entire game, from the get-go, has been built around the idea of NEVER HAVING a dedicated, powerful, healer class, capable of keeping a party’s health topped off on his own. PvP, PvE, the individual classes, etc. are all built around the assumption that each individual player should have multiple ways of sustaining themselves and avoiding/mitigating/recovering from damage on their own, as well as a few ways of helping their allies to do the same. In an environment where party-wide healing previously had to be a coordinated party-wide effort (blasting fields and so on), offering one class frequent access to aoe healing that can keep everyone alive through even difficult boss fights is almost certain to break many parts of the game — or else it will be entirely unnecessary for any skilled group.

Hence, the concept of Druid, while potentially really awesome and fun, seems extremely difficult to balance in the current state of the game. Further, if it is balanced around group content, it becomes almost useless in solo situations; if balanced around solo play, it becomes entirely overpowered in groups. I love the concept of the class, and it can be really fun to play — but I question the wisdom of introducing it into this particular game.

Could We Please, Possibly...

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

…Stop knee-jerk over-nerfing new Ranger things? I mean, seriously, I’m sure that at some point things will get fixed, but if a mechanic is a little overtuned, I just don’t believe that the right way to go about fixing it (especially right on launch day of the shiny new expansion) is to flatten it into the ground in multiple ways at the same time with the nerf hammer.

  • WHaO was too powerful — but then it got nerfed way too hard, and only just now was picked back up.
  • Celestial Form was possibly a little too easily maintainable (although still only with just the right weapon/skills in the right situations — and I thought those were the situations it was made for) — but it’s been nerfed in so many ways, all at once, that now it’s frustrating, clunky, almost worthless, and very difficult to use.
  • Smokescale did too much damage with Smoke Assault — but not only has that been nerfed by a whopping 50% (in one go), but it’s previously fantastic F2 skill (the smoke screen) has been switched with a rather boring move that does nothing but damage (and which could previously be soft-controlled anyway, since it was normally used by the pet immediately upon entering combat).

Why can’t we just try sticking to one nerf at a time, instead of slamming things so hard in so many ways at once (and right off the bat) that all of the Ranger players who were super excited about Heart of Thorns become incredibly disheartened, disappointed, and angry with having to play with clunky, broken, over-nerfed, difficult-to-use crap, instead of the shiny new toys they were promised and which other classes are enjoying? BWE3 and the Druid/new pet reveal were far better and much more fun than this.

swap smokescale f2 back please

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Agreed, over 9000%. Damage reduction (at least to some extent) was needed; switching the F2 skill is absurd and makes the pet a boring, about average damage-dealer. Please give us back our controllable, on-demand smokescreen on F2. There was no need to switch it.

CAF -- SO MANY gates

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

So, following BWE3, the overwhelming response was that AF generation was very high (pleasantly so) with staff and/or Troll Unguent, but unnecessarily gated behind those two things while being utterly inaccessible to anyone not running one or both of them. Even weapon-swap felt useless while running Druid, because as soon as one swapped away from staff, AF generation became so abysmally low as to be almost unnoticeable.

In response, on launch day, when I was ridiculously excited (from the other announced changes) to get in-game and start rocking on my Druid, I found out that not only had AF gain from non-staff sources NOT been improved to any meaningful level, but CAF itself had been essentially nerfed into the ground by the addition of every gate (downside) from every other class mechanic — all without any increase to the actual power of CAF itself or any addition of damage for the sake of pressuring opponents or even tagging mobs. I was very much crushed by how horribly inaccessible my otherwise fun new class mechanic has suddenly become.

Celestial Avatar Mode now:

  1. Requires AF generation (like Necro life force and Warrior Adrenaline, but much slower and less generally accessible)
  2. Requires the use of staff and/or Troll Unguent (Unique to Druid, to have new mechanic gated behind using a particular weapon)
  3. Requires Max AF before entering the form (Unique to Druid)
  4. Removes half of remaining AF if left early (Unique to Druid)
  5. Is unusable outside of combat (Unique to Druid)
  6. Degenerates outside of combat (like Warrior’s Adrenaline, only much faster)
  7. Cannot be generated outside of combat (like Adrenaline)
  8. Degenerates (much more quickly than it did in BWE3) while being used
  9. Has a cooldown (like most other class mechanics — not that you can generate AF fast enough for this to even matter, as it currently stands)

That’s at least nine gates to its use, and I feel like I’m still forgetting some. Plus, it has no synergy with pets at all and is not generated by them. Further, it still does no damage (therefore no tagging or pressure) and does not give the player an extra health bar (like Necro death shroud). Honestly, we had enough unique gates already (and some of those — like requiring staff and TU — were ridiculous and unfair, and needed to be removed); why in the world were we given the downsides of both Shroud and Adrenaline, with none of their unique bonuses?

By far the worst issue is its degeneration out of combat. That sucks. It’s absolutely awful. It’s possibly the very worst thing you could have done to CAF other than removing the form entirely. If I have to do the work to build the resource up over an extended fight (which I do, because currently it does not generate quickly), then I absolutely should be able to keep ALL of it, all the time that I’m running around, and I should be able to arrive at the next fight — or any random fight — and immediately start saving people — without first needing to enter combat. If you’re worried about Druids managing to heal from so far away that they’re still themselves out of combat (although I don’t see how that could realistically happen), then just put a tiny bit of damage on each of the CAF skills, and BAM — healing someone will put us in combat. But this locking and insta-resetting every time I leave a fight is absolutely horrible to play with.

As far as I know, Regeneration ticks can’t count towards building AF, because other players’ regen will overwrite ours — but you could make condi damage ticks count; you could up the amount that actual damage fills the bar; and you could absolutely (I think) make the application of boons contribute to the bar.

OR You could just get rid of the AF idea entirely, since it’s almost certainly never going to be properly balanced unless you go through every Ranger weapon and utility and put AF generation on them at various places like Necros have for their LF, and gate the form behind nothing other than a simple cooldown, like most other class mechanics.

Please: Druid actually has a lot of neat stuff they can do, and they can be really fun, but CAF is horrible to play with right now and almost impossible to properly use.

Beta Weekend Druid Feedback Thread

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

After some further play and a couple PvP matches (in which I failed utterly to really rotate and combo my skills anywhere near optimally), it seems like things that sounded overpowered on paper and felt that way against NPCs are not (at least, so far) such against players (due largely to stability access, dodging, increased movement, etc.). I rescind my earlier comments on the need for a shorter daze on Lunar Impact and a longer ICD on Ancient Seeds. Leave them alone; I love them. :-P

In other news, here are a couple more suggestions:

STAFF

  • The staff skills need some pet synergy, as several have suggested. How about:
    Staff 2: Pet attacks against this foe inflict poison (while the wisp is present) (or inflict burning, or steal health, or something). Or even, “Your pet’s next attack inflicts poison.”
    Staff 3: Your pet evades for the duration of this skill and activates a blast finisher at the end (or, “and is healed at the end”).
    Staff 4: Your pet’s next attack causes blindness.
  • I still love the mechanics on staff 1. Also, I’m still hoping for a slightly larger and more sunny-colored beam, with some on-hit effects for both enemies and allies, so we can see more clearly just who is being affected.
  • The wisp on staff 2 should deal damage to enemies it passes through. If this cannot be baseline for power reasons, then could we at least add it to the Lingering Light GM trait?
  • I would love to see staff 4 have a shorter cast time. At the moment, I almost need my enemy to already be immobilized in order to reliably hit with it. Then again, maybe I just need to L2P better. It would be great to see some bleeding on this, as well.
  • Also, what are the chances of having some evade on staff 3? Or, alternatively, at least having it grant some stability for its duration, and end immediately upon reaching its destination, rather than hanging around for a while as a wisp if we don’t move far?
  • Staff 5 — please let us keep the (secret) water field; it’s awesome! Otherwise, good stuff. Wouldn’t mind the suggestion of another player that walking through it could: cleanse a condition, or grant stability, or something for allies, and/or rip a boon from enemies. Either way, it’s a good skill. I actually really like the staff’s kit.

GLYPHS

  • It’d be great if one of these could offer stability.
  • The cripple/weakness one could use some damaging conditions. Some bleeds, maybe some poison… Otherwise I’d be much, much better off (for the most part) with a traited Flame Trap, or something more utility-oriented. Also, the condition cleanse on it in Celestial form is really pretty redundant; maybe in CA mode it could grant protection or stability? Or, alternatively, it could damage in a different way: “Burn foes around nearby allies.”
  • Still would love for Tides to pull on normal use, push on Celestial.
  • The healing glyph is super weak. Sure, it offers some healing to allies, but I’ve already got so much of that (and already had easy access to perma-regen for the party, as well, if I wanted it) that it just seems redundant. All of my other healing options are far superior, and Troll Unguent is obviously loads better for filling up my AF bar. Maybe it could cause my and my pet’s next several attacks (or attacks over the next several seconds) to heal us (and apply a lesser healing in a small AoE around us); this would be pretty fun and interesting, and it would synergize well with filling up the AF bar and would also offer an attractive option for running non-staff weapon sets. The celestial version could apply the effect to nearby allies, instead.
  • The elite glyph sounds awesome but has two problems: If I run it, I lose out on my best stability skill, and, moreover, it doesn’t have nearly enough range. It could also use a slightly longer duration — maybe like 7 seconds. It’s fine if I need to be almost on top of someone to cast it (I suppose), but the tether, at least, needs a longer range. And it’d be nice if it pulsed some stability on me when I use it normally, and on my and allies when I use it in Celestial.

CELESTIAL AVATAR

  • CA 1 is really difficult to hit a moving target with. But I love the graphic FX from the bottom of my heart; please don’t change that at all. Could we have a lowered cast time, though, or possibly a sped-up animation, or even just a slightly larger aoe?
  • CA 4 (the channeled water field) is interesting, but it needs something — and what it needs is stability. If we have it nowhere else (and I do understand the need for a class with this much healing and control to be somewhat weak, in turn, to enemy CC), this skill, at least, should definitely pulse at least 2 stacks of stability a second, each second, to the caster and anyone in the aoe. Otherwise, with all of the other healing in CA form, it’s really just mostly redundant and silly. With stability, though (and it’d be really great if it also broke stun, especially since there’s no way to cancel the skill once you’ve started it, so you couldn’t spam it and go right into…. anything), it becomes our one difficult-to-interrupt powerful heal (with the potential for allies to blast more heals) that we can channel to save allies in the midst of heavy/potential CC storms — and also it would suddenly have great synergy with the Elite Glyph. Otherwise, I may as well stay at 1200 range and spam 1, 2, and 3. Wouldn’t hurt for it to also poison enemies in it.
    TRAITS
  • I support the idea of a minor that does something along the lines of: “when you heal an ally, deal damage to foes around them equal to 10% of the healing.” A target limit of around 3, or so, for this would be sufficient, I would think.
  • I also love the idea of Natural Stride becoming our GM Minor trait, and having the stacking healing buff take its place as a Master Major.
  • Grandmasters: We already have healing. Tons of healing. Loads and bags and carts and barrels of healing. We have so much healing we don’t even know what to do with all of it. With the Grandmaster traits, let us choose our offense:

Let the condition-damage reduction one also cause CA skills (or at least CA1) to burn (or cause other damaging conditions). [CA damage] Alternatively, if it can’t be a minor, then let this be where we are offered aoe damage of some kind around targets we heal.

Let Lingering Light also cause wisps to siphon health, or pulse damage, or poison, or burn in an area around them. [Staff Damage/AoE].

Leave Ancient Seeds the way it is. [Control/condition Damage].

  • I wouldn’t mind having “Entering CA mode gives stability for x seconds” as a bonus on a trait somewhere.

I think that’s about all for now. It really is looking and feeling great so far.

BWE 3 Guardian Feedback (Core/DH)

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Howdy Karl! Thanks for your continuing work on this; DH is feeling much more responsive and powerful this time around. There are just a few pretty minor improvements that I think would finish it out nicely:

VIRTUES

  • Spear of Justice: Would be awesome with a knockback or knockdown on hit, and/or a flip skill that pulls (and breaks the tether).
  • Wings of Resolve: Could still use some evade, even if that means a little less healing. It’s really easy to interrupt right now — but I do love how cool it looks.
  • Shield of Courage: Is working much better now; thanks! It could use a little bit of a CD reduction, though, and I’d still love to see it be a Light Field. _Bulwark_’s size increase (or something in between) should probably be baseline. Bulwark is a silly trait right now.

TRAPS
I am actually really enjoying most of these. I like traps in general, and I love the graphic FX on these. They mostly feel pretty powerful now, and I’ve only got a couple suggestions:

  • Purification: Honestly, just make this a stun break when placed and it’d be worth taking, I think. The heal is very strong, and with both blind and (traited) daze on it, it can turn a fight around fairly well. Boon strip/steal of some kind would also be a really interesting and useful functionality.
  • Procession of Blades: Could we please have this be a Whirl Finisher? And applying a decent-duration bleed with each hit wouldn’t hurt, either.
  • Light’s Judgement: This would be a great option for a Light Field, and I also kind of like the other poster’s idea for having it pulse Blind.
  • Dragon’s Maw: Still does not seem to actually hold more than one enemy; it’d be really great if, since it’s an elite skill, it actually affected up to 5 foes. It could also use something extra, like a stun, or an extra powerful hit at the end (and/or the ability to Finish foes, as others have suggested).
  • Test of Faith: This is currently the most ridiculous trap. Sure, it offers some area control, but mostly, it’s just weak and silly. Give it a fire field that pulses Torment (instead of burning), and/or let it rip boons, or drain endurance, or just make it a Ring of Warding, or something. Without any effect on enemies actually caught in it, and simultaneously without the ability to actually keep them from leaving it (and entirely avoiding it with a simple dodge-roll), it’s mostly useless at the moment.

LONGBOW
Is feeling much, much better. Thank you again for the burning on the symbol!

  • That said, the auto-attack could really use a little more style and uniqueness, and better synergy with Justice: Can we please make it a chain that fires 1, then 2, then 3 light-arrows? The damage could remain around the same, but the multiple hits would guarantee one untraited Justice proc at least once per chain, and 2 traited procs, making it a little better at crippling with Zealot’s Aggresssion, and a little bit more condi-friendly with Supreme Justice/Permeating Wrath.
  • LB4: I wholeheartedly agree with the suggestion to have this clear conditions, instead of applying Vigor. Many classes already have significant access to Vigor, and it is difficult to hit with the symbol — and even more difficult for anyone who is actively dodging to remain in it and get the full benefit. Condition cleanse on each pulse, however, would be extremely useful, both for group and solo play.
  • LB5: Light Field? Flip skill to teleport into the middle of it? Flip skill to pull nearby enemies to the center (destroying it)? And most of all, could we at some point please have a more Guardian-like animation on this? I love the skill, but the re-use of Barrage’s animation makes me sad (even though I love my Ranger).

TRAITS
Some of the improvements here are fantastic, and a few changes could really make this trait line fantastic. Could we please have:

  • Zealot’s Aggression and Pure of Sight switched? ZA would make an amazing Minor GM trait, and Pure of Sight would be tolerable as a major, although it is terrible as a minor. Also, if we’re supposed to do some ranged control and have access to cripple for it (but no real access to better movement for ourselves), then we really shouldn’t have to waste a major trait to get reliable cripple access. ZA is such a huge part of what makes DH good, I can’t imagine ever selecting a different trait in this slot right now, which is not how major trait slots should work.
  • Pure of Sight, once it’s major, should either be rolled into Heavy Light and replaced in the major slot with “Cause bleeding when you strike a crippled foe,” or it could remain on it’s own and have the added functionality: “Inflict Bleeding (or Torment) when you apply Cripple.”
  • Defender’s Dogma has pretty limited synergy and use; could we please have it also recharge Virtue Actives by a set amount when you block an attack?
  • Bulwark: is mostly just weak and silly. Make part of it baseline, and then replace it with Hunter’s Fortification, which I still don’t think should waste a GM slot.
  • Fill that newly-opened GM Trait slot with: “Gain quickness and taunt nearby enemies when you activate a Virtue.” This would have amazing synergy with a large number of things, and it could be a lot of fun to use, as well as a worthy GM trait.
  • Big Game Hunter would be a lot more interesting if it: Stripped boons instead of causing Vulnerability, or also caused you to “inflict bleeding when you strike a burning foe,” or caused you to “Inflict Torment whenever you inflict Burning.”
  • Heavy Light still feels…. odd. If nothing else, could we increase the True Shot CD to 5 seconds and then let Heavy Light include a 20% LB CD reduction?

Well, that’s about all I’ve got for now. Maybe more later, but thanks again, and keep it up! It’s starting to feel pretty fun to play! God bless, and happy hunting!

Beta Weekend Druid Feedback Thread

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Hey Irenio, I’ve got to get to bed, but I’ve just logged a few hours trying out Druid (have been a main Ranger since pre-original-launch), and I wanted to say a couple things:

THANK YOU!!! I cannot tell you just how awesome, stylish, and fun this is to play!! And the synergy — I could run an incredible build with almost any other combination of trait lines/weapons, and they’d all be different, but still potentially awesome.

Now, on to the constructive criticism/feedback. I’ll save my longer thoughts for later, but here are a couple things:

  • I love the piercing/healing effect on staff 1; it fits the Ranger style (along with the piercing arrows) really well and make healing and damaging with it active and fun. The entire weapon, in fact, just feels awesome: Decent damage, packed with utility, and it fits the theme and still feels Rangery. Possible bug: Spamming staff 1 out of combat was filling Astral Force really fast, even though nothing was being hit or healed; my wife tried the same thing, and said it wasn’t doing it for her character. So… probably not intended, but I’m not sure how it glitched.
  • Contrary to a couple other posts, I feel like an AoE king right now (although self-targeted); Running Staff/GS, Marksmanship longer daze duration trait, Ancient Seeds, and I just leap/Astral Grace into the middle of things and hit the daze glyph, aoe damage/weakness glyph, maul, f5, astral 3 —> astral 5 (maybe some more astral skills until I can hit 3 again), exit, and then spam whatever; I’m still in celestial gear (except weapons), but I basically can’t die and everything around me just get trashed, at least in Verdant Brink. The glyphs are fantastic, at least with the glyph trait and ancient seeds.
  • Probably the daze on Lunar Impact is too long. If I run Marksmanship, I can more than maintain it while in Avatar Mode, and it’s basically spammable — the havoc this could cause in team fights in PvP is just…
  • Ancient Seeds is an incredible trait (and possibly should have closer to a 15 sec. ICD, although I would love to leave it as-is). Most of the traits, really, are fantastic. The other two grandmasters feel pretty weak, though, and I agree with some others that some aoe on the staff would be nice. Also, Lingering Light feels a little silly, if the wisp doesn’t also heal you — What if Lingering Light also caused Wisps to damage/siphon health from enemies they pass through (or are attached to)?
  • Some of the healing may need to be toned down, or at least have its base lowered and its scaling buffed, so that it is not quite so powerful on a full zerk (or otherwise non-healing-invested) build. In return, though, it really would be nice (for the sake of tagging/etc.) if there were some damage (or a way to trait for it) on some of the celestial skills — at least on the Auto-attack. Or burning, or something otherwise offensive.
  • Bug: Right now, the reduced pet skill recharge bonuses from Beastmastery don’t seem to affect the Wyverns’ skills (I haven’t checked the others yet). The tooltip, at least, stays the same.
  • Glyph of Tides would make a lot more sense, I think, if the functions were reversed: Pull on normal use, Push away in Celestial form. I am much more likely to want to extra room while I’m trying to heal, and much more likely to want the pull when I’m fighting. Also, the KB puts enemies out of range of the other glyphs, traps, melee attacks, and etc, which somewhat hurts its synergy with Ancient Seeds and general beatdown.
  • Bug: Lunar Impact states it’s a blast finisher, but does not proc one when cast on a field (or at least does not give the visual indication of proccing one).
  • It would be nice if there were a way to somewhat improve the amount of Astral Force generated through most heal skills and somewhat weaken the amount gained by Troll Unguent (which right now nearly fills the entire bar on one cast, once it’s pulses have finished). I would also approve of a trait that allowed regeneration and life-steal (from us or our pets) to fill the bar, particularly if something were changed to allow some amount of life-siphoning, like, say, pet attacks on enemies struck by staff 2 (while the wisp is orbiting them). Or maybe regen could fill it somewhat as baseline functionality, which would offer more diversity in our potential heal options (since HS already causes regen and traited WHaO does, too) and would even make other shouts potentially useful as bar-fillers.
  • There were a few other things, but I’m too tired to remember them right now. Thanks again though, and please, while I know some things are definitely too strong right now, don’t let us lose this amazing feel and synergy. It rocks.

In general, this is the most fun I have had on any class in a long time, it looks and feels incredible, and in general, while I realize I’m probably vulnerable to heavy control builds, I feel ridiculously powerful, stylish, and generally awesome. And I love the effects (although I agree with a slightly larger, more sun-colored, including-on-hit-lens-flare-or-something-effect staff 1 upgrade)! My Ranger has now truly ascended and is indeed closer to the stars.

(edited by RebornbyFire.7913)

We Heal as One Feedback [merged]

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Thoughtful Constructive Criticism

Hey all, if anyone is still reading this for constructive feedback (and I really hope someone in ANet is), I’d like to give mine: The first thing is that, so far as I can tell, WHaO is a pretty powerful heal already, and I liked it so much after the update that made it a shout that I ran it all the time, just to have a strong heal on a short recharge that also gave regen and swiftness — so I thought it was sort of an odd place to put such an obviously powerful buff.

That said, let’s talk about the actual functionality of the buff, as well as what it actually gave us that we didn’t already have easy access to:

  • It was obviously very powerful, but the main issue seems to have been the ability to stack up too much quickness, and possibly too much protection. Even then, however, nobody could maintain perma stability, because it doesn’t stack duration, nor could you realistically maintain permanent quickness in solo play. Still, permanent (or at least extremely high uptime) on protection (albeit through the use of “Guard,” which is an otherwise relatively weak and silly skill, for the most part) was possible, and that is almost certainly bad for the game. So fine, it needed a fix (although I am a little shocked that nobody realized this before it went live in the first place), at least in the areas of protection and quickness.
  • I already had permanent Fury, Regen, and Swiftness, all the time, while running around in PvE, both for me and my party (and about 99% uptime on protection for my pet), while doing tons of damage — and it was fairly easily possibly in PvP, although possibly it made one’s build less than ideal for other things. Rangers also have access to fairly high vigor uptime, if they spec for it. Of course, the new buff to WHaO makes that easier to maintain and allows a couple of other options for maintaining it, but really, the main bonus functionality we were getting was: Superior Might Stacking access (finally!), another way to access protection (in a way that synergized with an otherwise fairly weak pet-related shout), and far too much quickness. Since all of that has been nerfed into the ground (the transferred protection duration is the same as what we get on a dodge roll from a minor trait), the buff is hardly noticeable at all, now, especially for the build I typically run.
  • The question now is, “What was the point of this buff, at this point?” All I get from it now, essentially, is an extra 3 Might. Further, by limiting the might stacks (especially by limiting them so drastically), you’ve destroyed any synergy with the Nature Magic line, since there’s no point in seeing how many stacks of might I can get on my pet (one warhorn 5 or Clarion Bond proc or Jungle Stalker f2 or blast finisher on a fire field or whatever is enough) for the purpose of transferring them back to me. Already it required some careful strategy and placement (the Ranger and pet need to be near each other for maximum effectiveness), and it offered me an incentive to keep better track of where and when I was activating skills and swapping pets, which made things more difficult and interesting but offered a higher reward — it even offered a potential incentive to actually NOT run Zephyr’s Speed, because of the potential benefit of keeping one pet out and buffed. Now, however, it offers basically nothing.

On the Bright Side, it is still a decent buff to a skill that I already liked and used in almost all of my builds. If nothing else, I typically gain a little extra might from it, or a couple more seconds of quickness, which can be powerful. It’s just, three stacks of might when I use my heal skill isn’t really anything to write home about, and compared to the momentary feeling of warrior, necro, and ele levels of might-stacking — coupled with beautiful synergy with my pet that made me really feel like it mattered — it’s not much. Could we at least raise the protection duration to four or five seconds, and the might cap to ten?

swiftness tied to combat only

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

so basically its in places you cant really go because it would ruin any kind of useful build… right

Nonsense. Signet (power-based spike) builds in general are fairly popular, and signet of the hunt normally shows up in those, as I understand it. Much more importantly, Beastmastery is a very strong trait line right now, and Resounding Timbre is fantastic. We Heal as One has a short enough recharge that you can spam it as you run places for a speed boost, and stacking it with Strength of the Pack gives permanent swiftness. Or, you could just run “Guard” and spam it all day, for permanent party-wide swiftness and regen, and permanent protection on your pet — along with condi cleanse if you run runes of the trooper. My Ranger has more mobility than anything besides — maybe — a warrior.

Let's tone down the 'healer' tunnel vision

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

I mean, if nothing else, Druid brings a TON of control potential, and then, of course, party support in the form of condition cleanses and healing. It’s also got a couple of extra blast finishers, and, honestly, I don’t see any real reason why you couldn’t run it with an otherwise mostly damage-based set-up, make use of Celestial Form and those blasts on Healing Spring (or on Fire fields, if you’d prefer the might stacking), and still do plenty of damage in even current PvE content while also being able to absolutely crush break bars on bosses and sustain yourself and your buddies to a greater degree than is currently possible.

I would love to see some damage (or at least a condition? Burning, maybe?) on some Celestial Avatar skills (other than just 5), maybe on skill 1, even if a trait is required to get it, but really, even if all you got out of the E-Spec was 5 seconds of auto-entangle every 10 seconds and several bonus interrupts/immobilizes, along with projectile defense, you’d still be getting an awful lot. And it’s not even finished yet; we’ve still got a Beta to test it and offer feedback.

Indirectly, it offers a potential buff to a number of different builds and Ranger playstyles, even if just from the functionality of a couple of the traits and glyphs.

Smokescale pet during stream issue...

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

It should remain in perma-evade (therefore immune to everything) mode as long as it’s in the smokescreen area; that’s what the actual Smokescale enemies do. If it’s not working come Beta Weekend, I’m sure Irenio will take note of the relevant feedback and fix it.

Need more wings plz

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

I agree. Especially since they already went to all the effort of making those sweet wings for Resolve (and clearly meant them to be a really exciting part of the spec — along with the Spear of Justice), I was really hoping to see them in more places. Flared wings and/or levitating would look really great on some of the Longbow skills, for instance (especially LB5, in place of the silly Ranger barrage rip-off, as well as LB2, when firing the powerful shot), and, while we’re at it, it might not be a bad thing to see the Shield of Courage effect actually look a little more like a physical shield (since that’s the idea, after all), instead of just a wavering light field.

I had also really hoped to see the Dragonhunter actually “fire massive projectiles at a ferocious velocity,” as the reveal post claimed — something like huge light-javelins or giant burning laser-bolts that look like they might actually hurt a dragon — instead of the sissy Thief-arrows with a small glow that we actually have.

Some better and more unique/fitting/exciting animations on the Longbow (as well as better functionality on the AA), including more wings, would go a long way to making the class feel more exciting and interesting to play.

Balance Changes

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Welcome back, Irenio. Druid looks amazing, exciting, and polished, and I can’t wait to try it out. The buff to We Heal As One looks incredible, and I’m extremely excited to finally have some condition damage on my pets. Keep it up, man; it’s a good time to be a Ranger.

Revealed (Suggestions + Discussion)

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

I can agree with most of this, including the following comments suggesting that Stealth-related bonuses should really only apply upon entering/leaving stealth, so that camping it is less encouraged. The OP’s idea for “Spotted” is pretty good, as well as the following suggestion that stealth-attacking into a block/distortion/dodge/etc. should apply “spotted” to the attacker. I also like the idea of some bonus for hitting non-stealthed players with the various revealing skills.

I would suggest that “Spotted” in general should have a longer duration and/or more ways to apply it than the current “Revealed” mechanic, but it should have a limited effective range: Once the “Spotted” player has gotten far enough away from the player who applied spotted to him, the effect should be dropped. Possibly, even breaking Line of Sight for more than a second or two should drop the effect.

BWE 3 Dragonhunter Specialization Changes

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Additions to the initial notes:

Puncture Shot: Increased damage by 10%.
True Shot: Increased damage by 25% (instead of the 12% increase we had indicated) note: The overall damage potential of the ability wasn’t quite up to where we wanted to test it at, so here we are!
Wings of Courage: Increased leap distance to 800, up from 600. note: This has been in discussion for a bit. Now’s a good time to check it out, being as there’s a lot of conversation on it here already.

-Karl

Thanks for the update, Karl! I’d also love to hear how traps are progressing and if there’s been any consideration of reworking/replacing the Minor traits (Defender’s Dogma and Pure of Sight) for greater synergy, as has been repeatedly suggested.

Also, re: Puncture Shot — more damage is great, and we did need it, but could we please see somewhat of a rework of the graphic FX and functionality of this skill? Right now it feels more like I’m showing off my shortbow trick skillz on some cans with a kids’ arrow than like I’m firing a mighty javelin of light to cripple the largest and most powerful monsters yet to appear on Tyria. Let Thieves keep their Trick Shot; it fits them. Could we please have something that fits us?

Dragonhunter Virtues Suggestions

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

One thing, the reason why the guard community has a problem withy he new virtues:


Virtues are already a trade off mechanic. We trade the passive effect for the active.
———— We now have a DOUBLE trade off, cast time and passive loss.

Not asking for cast removal but pointing this out.

Well, that’s the reason for suggesting improvements. The new Virtues are both more costly and more difficult to use (even the Shield only blocks attacks from the front), and they are also the main defining mechanic of the Dragonhunter, so I feel like they really ought to be meaningful, powerful options. Justice, especially, has a very powerful passive effect, and as it currently stands, not only does it do nothing to give the player the feel of striking something with a large spear and tethering them with a chain (there’s no real impact, and nothing the chain does to hinder enemy movement), but it will almost never be worth casting over simply leaving it alone and maintaining the passive effect. Have you got any ideas of your own?

Dragonhunter Virtues Suggestions

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Hey all,

I thought it might be handy to have a few separate threads for useful suggestions/feedback on, respectively, the Virtues, Traits, and Traps for the Dragonhunter (and possibly for the Longbow, as well). This thread is dedicated to the Virtues. I would love to see your suggestions.

Before You Post:

Recognize that this E.Spec. is purposely asking you to trade the instant cast on Virtues for a more physical presence and powerful functionality on them — so don’t just post “make them all instant cast!” because it’s probably not going to happen, as posted by Karl. Also try to think about what’s likely to be actually possible to implement and possible to balance, while still fitting the Dragonhunter’s particular take on the Guardian’s role and abilities.

Pointless, rude, and off-topic posts will be reported. Helpful suggestions, on the other hand, as well as meaningful discussion of the actual Virtues and various suggestions for their improvement/modification, are very welcome.

I will try to update this top post with whatever various ideas seem to be the best, most fitting, or most highly favored (as well as possible alternatives), in order to keep it organized and easy to read.

My Best Ideas So Far:

Spear of Justice: Needs more impact, more use of the tether (and reward for maintaining it), and more reason to actually cast it, instead of just keeping up the passive. I would love: Stun on impact. Flip to chain skill (after a few second CD) that offers a pull.
For the pulsed burning damage, I would also love to see (if it could be implemented) a more meaningful effect for maintaining the tether over a period of time: Burning duration could start at one second from the first pulse, and be applied for 33%-50% longer on each successive pulse. This way, it would be impossible to insta-spike someone with the Spear, but it would have the ability to apply significantly more burning stacks and damage over time (while you did other things) than merely using Justice’s passive effect. It would also become an alternative means of effectively applying powerful burning damage (albeit with a ramp-up time) for condition or hybrid Guardians who did not wish to trait Supreme Justice, possibly opening up some other build options.

Wings of Resolve: This needs to have some utility and reliability, more than it needs an absurdly high healing number. Removing immobilize at the start of the cast was a great step in the right direction, but it could use some more. How about adding: Stun Break. Evade during leap. Leap Finisher. (Adjust healing accordingly, as well as the power of Soaring Devastation trait). I would also love for this to have 900 range, especially since it is our only real mobility skill — although the 800 Karl just raised it to is at least much better than the original 600.
Here again, we would begin to see some build diversity possibilities open up, as well as more reason to utilize Wings of Resolve in various situations and a generally better feel to it. With this for a stun break (and the possibility of also having one on Shield of Courage), we may have some room on our bar for traps, after all, without totally giving up all hope of surviving a fight or an ambush.

Shield of Courage: This just needs… Something. Something to make it feel more powerful and unique, especially since the Revenant has nearly the same thing on a much shorter cast time, with a dark field, on a weapon, and doesn’t have to sacrifice a class mechanic/buff to get it. Also, it wouldn’t hurt if it fit the DH theme of attacking, etc. How about: Blast Finisher (and/or Light Field). SoC delivers a retaliatory attack (maybe in the form of a light beam that falls on the enemy, a little like Light’s Judgement?) whenever it blocks an attack. Chain skill: Throw your SoC forward, knocking back enemies in its path (600 range?).
This would make Shield of Courage actually somewhat worth a large-ish cooldown and an activation time, I think — besides adding a lot of interest and a unique feel to it. If it retaliated against attacks it blocked by striking the attacker with a light beam (or whatever other visual FX), besides feeling more unique, it would also maintain the DH’s theme of turning his defense into offense and maintaining an advantage over the opponent. It would also significantly boost its effectiveness/uses even if the retaliatory attack did not do insane amounts of damage, simply because of the chance to proc. passive Justice and sigil effects. Finally, a flip skill which offered the ability to cast the shield forward at a reasonable pace (with it still blocking projectiles as it travelled) to knockdown opponents would make for an interesting offensive use that also would combine well with the general “control the field of battle,” “save allies,” and “get enemies into your traps” playstyle.

Well, those are my best ideas on those skills to date. I recognize that of course various numbers balancing and CD times would need to be done with those changes. But I think that the biggest problem with the DH right now is that too many of the skills feel bland and shallow, especially when compared to how tightly packed many of the other elite specs are with content and functionality, and I think that what we need most is not merely bigger damage and lower cooldowns (although that may be part of it, in some places), but more interesting and better mechanics, because that’s what adds interest, skill, and depth to a class.

I would welcome anyone’s thoughtful input on this, as well as anyone else’s ideas.

And Karl, if you read this, I would really love to hear your own thoughts on whether this sort of feedback is helpful, and whether there’s any chance of such things making it into the game.

(edited by RebornbyFire.7913)

BWE 3 Dragonhunter Specialization Changes

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Hey Karl, is there any chance we could see some more unique and/or flashy animations on the Longbow, and especially a more unique and interesting auto-attack? I love the functionality of some of the skills, but the re-use of Thief Shortbow auto-attack and Ranger Barrage animations/functionality is really just not giving me the powerful, threatening, impactful, “I-take-down-giant-dragons-with-this-thing” light magic archer/hunter feeling that I was really hoping for from the announcement.

Could you possibly re-visit some of these for some stylish new visuals/sounds? (And maybe functionality on LB1? Like an attack chain? Please?)

BWE 3 Dragonhunter Specialization Changes

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

My take on Traps: I dont think Traps should be Fields or Finishers. Traps are hard to control as is because they are enemy triggered. You would need to run back into the Trap to drop a Field in the case where Traps are Finishers, or to use a Finisher there in the case the Trap is a Field just to combo. I dont find it convenient.

That’s really not likely to be entirely true. In the first place, the Longbow has projectile finishers, which are good from any range and would benefit quite a bit from a fire field — or even, in the case of supporting melee allies fighting enemies caught in the traps, a light field. In the second place, there’s always the obvious possibility of stacking traps (which is normally how traps are meant to be used, anyway), so that if, for instance, Test of Faith created a fire field and Procession of Blades was a whirl finisher, a condition or hybrid Dragonhunter could get quite a bit of extra damage from simply using them together. Likewise, if Light’s Judgement were a light field, it could be combined with Procession of Blades for some aoe condition cleansing, even on yourself — which is something (self-cleansing) with the Greatsword’s Whirling Wrath, if I understand things correctly. Alternatively, since consecrations are now all area-cast, it would be relatively easy to cast one of them on top of Procession of Blades, if it were a whirl finisher, and one could always then Judge’s Intervention or GS Leap in, fire off a Spear of Justice for the immobilize (from Radiance), and hit Whirling Wrath for a second whirl while still on top of the flames. Or the blast finisher on Hammer could be used to assault an enemy caught in Light’s Judgement (if it were a light field) to start the fight with a light aura. Or etc.

In short, a few fields and finishers on traps would be fantastic for this class, rather than awkward, and would open up quite a few interesting and useful combinations while making traps generally more powerful and interesting utilities (and more in line with, say, the Ranger’s traps, at least two of which are fields). They would easily find synergy with each other, with the projectile finishers on the LB, with area-cast consecrations, and with various melee weapon options — with no bonus running back and forth required.

BWE 3 Tempest Specialization Changes

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

…So, I have quick question: In the Guardian forums, we’ve repeatedly mentioned the problem with an obviously Longbow-related damage bonus on a minor trait which is required in order to even equip the Longbow; the bonus damage should either be baseline, or else it should be a major trait. As a minor, it’s a waste. It seems we sort of have a similar problem here with the Tempest minors. So the question is, If you can’t even overload an attunement without slotting the Tempest trait line, why are all of the minor traits focused on buffing overloads? If overloads need all of those things to be even usable, then those things should obviously be baseline for them, and the minor traits should be something else.

Therefore, it seems like it would make a lot more sense if the base functionality of overloading an element was tweaked in whatever manner necessary to make it potentially useful without the bonuses from the current minor traits, or else those bonuses should just be made baseline for all overloads, and the minor traits should instead deal with something Tempest-related but not only performable by a Tempest.

Wouldn’t it make more sense for the minor traits to offer some kind of reward for remaining in an attunement for a given length of time? And, perhaps, for being in close proximity to enemies/allies, or for sharing boons, or for attunements on cooldown?

BWE 3 Dragonhunter Specialization Changes

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

I’m a little unclear on the lust for condi damage on traps. The ranger traps rely on condi damage and that’s part of the reason they’re held in such poor regard, while the last set of changes the DH traps got was straight up and substantial buffs to their direct damage. While longbow 4 does some burn, the other skills are all direct damage. Why not stick with a more power/precision based set of traps rather than splitting the stat focus?

Actually, I love my Ranger’s traps (and they’re useful in PvP) precisely because they apply so many conditions, as well as creating useful combo fields. It does certainly look like they’re trying to go a more power-oriented route with the Dragonhunter, in order to make it feel a little more unique, and I’m mostly okay with that, but I don’t really see why we can’t do both.

As to the reason for people asking for it, I think there are a few reasons: First, cripple and bleeding access was promised as part of the elite spec, and neither was really properly delivered; cripple access is improving, but bleeding has been entirely removed, and it contributed a pretty significant amount of damage to the traps, as well as a useful cover condition. Second, Guardians feel like they apply a lot of burning, but it’s really almost entirely from passive Justice procs. It would be nice to have a couple other utilities that offered some condition damage, and that of perhaps a different variety. Finally, conditions and the fields that apply them are often a powerful means of offensive (and sometimes defensive) utility, which is something that the traps are currently very weak in but will require in order to be useful.

Again, though, I don’t see why we couldn’t or shouldn’t have both. A fairly easy solution which I will continue to advocate (with more synergy and general use than the old bleed-on-trap-hit trait) is to make “Justice’s passive also cripples” our GM Minor trait, and in it’s place in the Master Major slot put a trait that offers: “Inflict bleeding when you strike a crippled foe. Deal more damage to crippled foes.” Then the traps can remain largely power based, but condition builds of all weapon and utility varieties will have wide access to bleeding, should they desire it. Finally, some of the traps really could use a combo field, a finisher, and/or some other utility/damage effect to make them feel more fully-packed and worthwhile.

BWE 3 Tempest Specialization Changes

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Suggestion

The idea seems to have been (and I believe was stated in the PoI to be) to offer eles a more frontline brawler (seems to have been a common theme with almost all the E-Specs, really) role (although daggers already fill that fairly well) that offers some allied support and uses a more deliberate and thoughtful attunement-swapping pace. So I suggest that overloads do the following:

Overloading an attunement should continue to be a channel (although perhaps somewhat shorter than currently) which pulses some kind of supporting effect to you and nearby allies (and some damage/negative effect to enemies) while channeling, which when completed kicks you out of that attunement into the next one but imbues your next several attacks (say, ten or fifteen) with an appropriately powerful effect from the overloaded element, and possibly also generates an appropriate field that follows you around.

  • So, for instance, overloading Fire would, upon completion, kick you out of Fire into Air (and put Fire on an appropriately long recharge), but you would then be followed by a burning fire field for several seconds and your next (say, ten) attacks would be imbued with a powerful fire effect — like causing a firey AoE explosion on the target, or dropping a flaming meteor on the target/target area, or creating a lava font on any struck targets, or… you get the idea. Use your imagination!
  • One of the Grandmaster Major traits should cause this next-several-hits buff to also apply in some form to nearby allies.
  • Bonus Points: Let each overload have a flip skill that removes the field/weapon charges from you in exchange for area casting (say, 600 range) the overloaded effect in the form of an appropriate elemental tornado that persists for however long the effect was going to remain on you for.

No comment on the actual idea but one issue that will likely occur with such a suggestion is the complaint (and rightly so) that such would take control of skill usage away from the player. Having the game auto-kick you from an attunement into another will come with more problems such as Air pushing you into water attunement when you might not need to swap into it and thus putting you in a situation where you need to swap again and put water on cooldown which will then leave you in a troubling predictable state.

Commenting more on the idea now, why do you feel it is better to push you out of an attunement and give you an attunement-specific effect for X amount of spells vs just making that attunement’s spells have greater attunement effect? I.e., taking your flame burst for fire overload as an example, just give your fire skills a chance to flame burst or give your next X attacks flame burst or any foe touched by your flame tornado will explode in a flame burst if hit by a fire spell. Doing so retains control for the player and gives a specific new style of utilizing your attunements.

I agree with you about the undesirable effects of being forced into the next attunement, rather than having a choice about it, and my only real thought on that was that it would need to be considered by the player as part of the possible risk. Honestly, though, my only real reasons for kicking the player out of the overloaded attunement were: 1) Interest — adding more fire to fire skills, for instance, is really a lot like that on-crit trait in Arcana and not necessarily interesting or different (i.e., I would still remain in water for healing, air for single-target damage, etc.); and 2) Balance — I’m not sure how well an overload that adds more of the same type of power to skills that are already appropriately powerful in that area can be balanced (i.e., a Lightning Whip that causes a healing burst or raises water geysers or drops small ice fields for a limited time while you are locked out of water attunement might be fairly balance-able and still an interesting/powerful option; a Lightning Whip that does even more lightning damage/control while not really preventing you from accessing anything else might be almost impossible to properly balance without it being so weak as to be utterly unexciting). Really, though, you’re entirely right — and if the cooldown of the Overload is long enough, it should still be able to be balanced and awesome at the same time (hopefully). I also really like your idea that the on-hit effect could require the enemy to be in the persisting field to proc. That’s fantastic, and mechanically interesting. Further, I would love to see some organization of the Overloads to all have some sort of general common theme while also offering something powerful and at least a little unique — or at least not always easily available; right now they are sort of all over the place and bland.

On that note, I would love to see —

  • Each Overload offer some kind of Finisher while casting
  • Each Overload offer some kind of Field on completion, which follows the player for the next several seconds and causes some kind of continuing effect to allies/enemies.
  • Each Overload have a flip-over skill which allows this field to be cast off of the Tempest (around 600 range or so) to sit at a location for its remaining duration.
  • Each Overload offer a powerful on-hit bonus (appropriate to the element overloaded) when the Tempest strikes an enemy in this persisting field, whether currently following the Tempest or cast somewhere else.
  • A Grandmaster Major trait that causes the attacks of nearby allies to also cause this on-hit effect when striking an enemy in one of the Tempest’s fields.
  • A competing Grandmaster Tier trait that offers powerful pulsing boons to allies standing in the Tempest’s fields — or, alternatively, copies boons from nearby allies to the Tempest as he channels the overload, and then spreads all of the Tempest’s current boons to allies standing in his fields.

For Instance, perhaps completing Overload Fire could cause a burning fire field to follow the Tempest around (when range cast, of course, it is centered around the flame-nado that currently exists). Striking an enemy in this field could cause a smaller flame-nado to whirl out towards them and chase them for a couple seconds, proccing burning (and a whirl finisher). Or it could cause a flaming meteor to fall on their head. Or something else appropriately damaging, firey, and awesome.

Each Overload, then, also needs an appropriate persistent field graphical FX — since we’ve already got two tornadoes, I see now reason why the theme couldn’t be continued — an air twister (with thunderclouds?) in the middle of a static field and ice or water twister in the middle of an ice or water field would look quite nice.

Make ground targeting consecrations optional

in Guardian

Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Someone has suggested that this should be a Quality of Life UI change for all ground-targeted skills: Right click the skill to select between auto-casting at your feet or manually area-targeting it. It really is a fantastic idea; I have no idea, though, how difficult it is to implement.

BWE 3 Tempest Specialization Changes

in Elementalist

Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

We added two things to overloads today:
Overload Air will imbue allies with electricity, giving them the Static Charge buff. An ally with this buff will deliver a Lightning Jolt to the first enemy they strike.

This is a great idea, and honestly it’s what I really think the Overloads should be focused around. Right now, they have a number of problems (disorganization being one of them), and I think the “add an effect to the next several attacks” method might actually be the most interesting way to fix them.

Problem

While the overloads are a cool concept, at the moment, they mostly feel either pointless or overpowered, depending on numbers, because all they really have done is given eles an extra skill in each attunement that does mostly the things that other skills in that attunement already do. They offer nothing essentially new, but come at the price of interrupting the ele’s normal attunement/skill rotation. Further, without a new main-hand weapon, the ele’s essential combat style is not likely to change very much. In this state (as basically just bonus skills for each attunement), overloads are very likely to never really be satisfying or properly balanced: They’ll either be overpowered enough that everyone uses them whenever they can, instead of even bothering much with ordinary skills, because they’re so good, or else they’ll be fairly balanced and therefore irrelevant — because eles already have 20 weapon skills with similar effects and power.

Suggestion

The idea seems to have been (and I believe was stated in the PoI to be) to offer eles a more frontline brawler (seems to have been a common theme with almost all the E-Specs, really) role (although daggers already fill that fairly well) that offers some allied support and uses a more deliberate and thoughtful attunement-swapping pace. So I suggest that overloads do the following:

Overloading an attunement should continue to be a channel (although perhaps somewhat shorter than currently) which pulses some kind of supporting effect to you and nearby allies (and some damage/negative effect to enemies) while channeling, which when completed kicks you out of that attunement into the next one but imbues your next several attacks (say, ten or fifteen) with an appropriately powerful effect from the overloaded element, and possibly also generates an appropriate field that follows you around.

  • So, for instance, overloading Fire would, upon completion, kick you out of Fire into Air (and put Fire on an appropriately long recharge), but you would then be followed by a burning fire field for several seconds and your next (say, ten) attacks would be imbued with a powerful fire effect — like causing a firey AoE explosion on the target, or dropping a flaming meteor on the target/target area, or creating a lava font on any struck targets, or… you get the idea. Use your imagination!
  • One of the Grandmaster Major traits should cause this next-several-hits buff to also apply in some form to nearby allies.
  • Bonus Points: Let each overload have a flip skill that removes the field/weapon charges from you in exchange for area casting (say, 600 range) the overloaded effect in the form of an appropriate elemental tornado that persists for however long the effect was going to remain on you for.

Reasoning

While this would require a considerable amount of thought for each of the particular weapon effects, I think it would make for a highly desirable and interesting choice for elementalists. It would, at least, fulfill the purpose of creating a somewhat new style of play, while also making overloads powerful and meaningful but still fairly balanceable (between numbers of charges, damage numbers, cooldowns, and duration of effect). But they would be interesting because they would offer players a chance to get a particular element’s effect while using a different one — but at the cost of being temporarily locked out of the first element. So one’s water attacks could temporarily call down lightning bolts, or one’s fireballs could heal nearby allies or chill or cause vulnerability or some combination of those. It’s at least an improvement in mechanics and interest and possibility from what we have right now, I think.

Thoughts?

(edited by RebornbyFire.7913)

BWE 3 Dragonhunter Specialization Changes

in Guardian

Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Minor traits of other Elite specs:
Herald
Improved Endurance Regeneration (while using class mechanic)
Improved Boon Duration (global bonus that works at all times)
Work with every Build, synergy with Runes that provide boons, stacks with Runes that provide Boon Duration.

Chronomancer
Improved recharge(Alacrity) (while using class mechanic)
Improved Movement Speed (global bonus that works at all times)
Reduced Movement-impairing conditions
Work with every build, stacks with Runes that reduce Condition Duration on you.

Reaper
Extra Chill on Fear (similar to an extra sigil)
Improved Chill Duration (equivalent to an extra sigil)
Reduced damage from Chilled foes
Work with every build, synergy with Sigils/Runes that cause Fear, stacks with Sigils/Runes that increase Chill Duration.

Berserker
Instant Adrenaline gain once (Not that great of a trait)
Improved Attack Speed (while using class mechanic)
Work with every build.

Tempest
Swiftness on Overload (while using class mechanic)
Protection on Overload (while using class mechanic)
Work with every build. Same action provides both boons.

Daredevil
Health gain on successful Dodge (while using class mechanic)
Endurance gain on Steal (while using class mechanic)
Work with every build. Synergy with Runes that provide Boons on Dodge.

Scrapper
Boon on Revive/Finish (while using class mechanic)
Improved Stun Duration on foes (equivalent to an extra sigil)
Reduced Stun Duration on you (equivalent to part of a Rune’s effect)
Work with every build. Stacks with said Sigil and Rune.

Dragonhunter
Defender’s Dogma
1. Does NOT work anymore the moment you press F1.
2. Has no effect if you were already at full stacks of Justice. (20% of the time)
3. Inflicts only 1 stack of Burning for only 1 second to only 1 foe on your next attack.

Pure of Sight
1. Among the damaging skills, does NOT work with over 60% of them because said skills can never reach beyond that range threshold in the first place.
2. Only works on at most 1 skill on each of our Melee weapons, said skill having 15-30s cooldown on said weapons, and whose damage value is only worth 1 auto-attack.
3. You still have to fulfill the range threshold requirement on the skills it even works with. (Which means it does not always work on skills it even affects)
There are more builds where this does NOT work than builds where this works.

Thank you, Turtle Dragon; that was clearly and concisely written, and the comparison makes the appropriate point.

Hence my repeated pleas to make the new Master and GM minor traits offer “Swiftness when you activate a Virtue” and “Justice’s passive effect also cripples,” respectively.

BWE 3 Dragonhunter Specialization Changes

in Guardian

Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Wow, thanks, Karl! I really appreciate your continuing work on this elite specialization, and I appreciate even more the obvious evidence that you’ve taken our feedback into consideration. I’ve still got a few things that I would really like to see happen to finish everything out nicely, but first, a couple highlights:

  • Reduced cooldown on the Virtues is exactly what we needed; could we please get this on Shield of Courage, as well? As the E-Spec’s only really defensive skill, a 75 second wait in between casts really just feels too long. Alternatively, maybe find a way to tie a shortened recharge into the use of something else — like each pulse from SoJ’s tether reduce SoC’s recharge by a couple seconds, or something.
  • Wings of Resolve removes immobilize at start — oh thank goodness. It desperately needed that.
  • SoC now blocks melee attacks as well — Yes!! Thank you so much!!
  • LB 4 gets more, instead of less, burning and is fireable behind the character — again, thank you so much for listening!!
  • Lower cast on traps — once again, fantastic; we needed this desperately. The long cast times were killing us. And I do have a number of recommendations for these (but they might require another post).
  • Traits — these are far improved over what we previously had, and for that I am very grateful. There are still some out-of-place and/or weak ones, though, and I feel like we’re missing one or two that we really ought to have to fully finish the class, as it was intended/as we’d like it to be.

So, Suggestions for Improvement:
In General, what these amount to, is the plea that most of our skills be given some more interesting and powerful mechanics, rather than just bigger damage/healing numbers and smaller cooldowns. Yeah, everyone loves big numbers, but honestly it seems to me that those can always and easily be changed, but the main things that make a class fun to play are: Interesting mechanics/synergy (skills that do something, other than just damage/heal), and frequent access to those mechanics (skills that don’t have prohibitively long cooldowns).

  • Longbow — I would really like to see:
  1. LB1 become a chain attack (to a single target, either with or without a small explosion radius or minor piercing) — even single shot --> Double Shot —> Triple Shot would be so much more interesting, useful, and thematically fitting than what we have.
  2. LB2 is actually fine, so long as it does enough damage to compensate for its root and cast time. Although, there’s always the possibility of modifying its functionality to deal a little less outright damage but, for instance, drop a small fire field underneath each struck enemy, or a damaging symbol, or something of that nature, just for the bonus mechanical interest.
  3. LB3 is where I would really love to see an update to make it the gloriously interesting, unique, and versatile skill it could be, and to really make use of its skill-shot functionality and intended diversity of purpose. I would really love for the projectile to move pretty quickly but leave behind a veil for a second or two that continues to block projectiles. This way, it could actually be fired at an opponent (and would effectively block their projectiles as intended), but it could also be much more effectively fired across the field of battle to protect an ally, or hinder a different enemy. It would also allow it to be useful even against strafing opponents, or while strafing, since one could fire it while moving to the opposite side of the veil. Bonus points for letting the veil be a static or light field.
  4. LB4 is great. Thanks again for the increased burning and projectile speed.
  5. LB5 is pretty great, too, although sometimes pretty difficult to land. Rather than improve that, I would actually love to see this have a flip skill that shadow-stepped/teleported the Guardian to the center of its AoE. That way, it could have an interesting dual function: Offense, if you caught opponents in it, or defensive kiting, if a powerful melee enemy outran it and reached you as you finished casting it. It also would offer an interesting choice between cancelling or finishing the ability even against an enemy that had already avoided it.

Virtues

Spear of Justice is still a little lackluster and pointless, honestly. Making it unblockable is an excellent and mechanically interesting choice, but right now, striking an opponent with it offers essentially nothing to either power or condition builds (compared to what you lose from the much stronger passive effect), and even traiting Big Game Hunter doesn’t really do enough to fix that. It would be nice if the burning its tether caused lasted longer, so that the damage over time could ramp up better the longer the tether held for, but it seems to me that the most thematically fitting and interesting way to fix this is to simply allow the spear to have a flip skill that pulls opponents, or, as an excellent alternative, let the spear taunt enemies it strikes. Even better (but probably too powerful), would be to implement both of these: taunt on impact, plus a flip skill that pulls. Or, since DH is a ranged spec, it could always function like “Point Blank Shot”, causing knockback on impact based on the target’s nearness (no KB past about 600 range, obviously) — and then flip over to a pull skill after a short CD (say, 5 seconds, to prevent too much chain control). This would fit the feeling of a huge, powerful spear impacting on an opponent and then tethering them to the Dragonhunter. Further, it would offer something unique, powerful, and interesting/useful on SoJ use for almost every style of play, and which would fit with both LB and Traps, as well as a great many other weapons. In this case, I am all for less damage and cooler/more powerful mechanics/control. It’s got a chain, after all; I would love to make some use of that for control. And the ability to push and pull enemies into traps or away from me would be awesome.

Wings of Resolve: It would really be perfect (and it seems fitting) if this could both remove immobilize and be a stun break at the start, while also evading during the animation. Lower the heal accordingly. I mean, sure, it’s great to have such a giant heal off of this, but I think that really we’d all much rather have some more utility and reliability on this skill (in a way that fits) than just a bigger heal. Could it maybe also be a Leap Finisher?

Shield of Courage I’m still hoping for a small AoE knockback on cast for this. Alternatively, causing the shield to proc a retaliatory attack on enemies whose attacks it blocks might also be interesting. Along with that AoE KB, it’d be great if activating it counted as a Blast Finisher. Finally, someone had written that the blocks from this shield actually register in-game as an “absorb” instead of a “block,” causing it to fail to proc any of our on-block traits (which seems to actually be an issue with a great number of our attack-stopping abilities). If this is the case, could you please devote whatever attention is necessary to fix this issue?

Traits
These have come a long way from what they first were, and I’m excited for most of the changes. There are a couple of really important things I would love to see happen, though, which are:

Zealot’s Aggression as the new GM Minor Trait, and Pure of Sight added to Heavy Light. In an elite specialization focused, among other things, on ranged/area control and announced as giving us access to cripple, it just seems a little silly that we would have to use a Major trait slot to actually have any sort of reliable cripple access. Also, as has been repeatedly discussed, Pure of Sight is just a weak and boring Minor trait. Could we please at least have the cripple on Justice passive portion of Zealot’s Aggression as the new GM Minor trait?

Then we could have a new Major trait, replacing Zealot’s Aggression in the Master tier, with this functionality: Inflict Bleeding when you strike a crippled foe. Deal more damage to crippled enemies. That way, our GM Minor will supply broad and reliable cripple access without being too powerful, and we will again have the promised access to bleeding that so many of us were looking forward to, rolled into a Master trait that is useful for both condition and power (as well as hybrid) builds.

Defender’s Dogma still seems entirely unfitting and out of place for the spec, as well as being really rather weak. Couldn’t we have something like, “Gain Swiftness when you activate a Virtue?” Or some other, more fitting functionality? Possibly, “Your Virtues recharge faster whenever you apply Cripple to an opponent?” Or… something else that fits?

Hunter’s Fortification, finally, really doesn’t need the damage reduction; so many attacks apply conditions so often that it’s very rarely going to be in effect, and, honestly, even if it were in effect all the time, a flat damage-reduction trait on an offensive e-spec seems sort of out of place. Could we please just move the condition cleanse portion of this to Bulwark, where it obviously fits and belongs, and replace it with some other, more fitting/powerful GM trait? Considering that the Daredevil — an elite spec focused on evades and having almost unlimited access to them — has a Master tier trait that removes a condition on evade (and considering the passive condition removal options other classes have — and even our own, on Pure of Voice), I really don’t think this would be overpowered. We really don’t have that much access to blocks, especially if we try to run a build without Focus. This trait is good, but it just feels far too weak and unfitting for the GM tier (and also Bulwark needs the help, anyway, since it’s far too weak and silly at the moment). In a Damage and Control focused E-Spec, we should be able to use our GM tier for one or both of those roles, not waste it on situational condition cleanse.

In place of Hunter’s Fortification (once the condi removal is rolled into Bulwark), I would really love to see a trap-focused GM trait — something like, “Gain swiftness and remove movement-impeding conditions when you place a trap. Gain quickness when a trap activates (1 sec. ICD).” This would match the play style of traps perfectly, and it would be a powerful option for trapper builds, allowing them the mobility and spike potential to make full use of their traps and unique play style, while still not giving them the powerful healing and support options of other utilities. However, if it’s impossible to implement a second trap-related trait, then something like the following would also be an interesting and powerful option: “Taunt nearby enemies and gain quickness when activating a Virtue.” Just imagine the possibilities, both defensive and offensive, with this! And, it would encourage the actual use of the Virtue Actives, something that currently is not really incentivised enough in the specialization.

Big Game Hunter: It’s true, this allows power builds to deal more damage to tethered enemies, but it’s really still a little bit weak (especially for condition builds or anyone relying on Zealot’s Aggression for cripple) for the trade-off. Also, we have a number of other ways to apply Vulnerability already — although this is also a powerful and fun option. Still, I think this trait could use a little work. I would love to see one or more of the following ideas implemented, and if the vulnerability on hit or something needs to be removed to balance it, then so be it.

  1. BGH could also simply allow the user to retain Justice’s passive after activation. This is the simplest and most obviously powerful option.
  2. BGH could cause the burning pulsed by the tether to double in either duration or frequency, allowing it to also be a powerful option for condition builds.
  3. BGH could cause each (or every other) pulse from the tether to steal a boon from the affected target (and give it to the Guardian, obviously — in a shortened duration, or smaller-stacks form, if necessary). This, I think, is by far the most interesting option, and it fits the idea of a vengeful hunter taking down big game by weakening them with a powerful magic spear on a magic chain. Plus, it would let the DH offer Guardians something unique that they currently have no access to: A way of dealing with enemy resistance/stability/etc., thereby making it a worthwhile trait and empowering both SoJ’s active and even traps/etc. (since if you strip the enemy’s stability, Dragon’s Maw is that much more powerful).

One final note, if you’ve made it this far: Could we please see some updated/reworked more exciting/flashy/Guardian-like animations and visual FX for the Longbow? Right now most of the animations and projectiles just feel rather less than inspiring and don’t really fit the “Light-Magic-Hunter-of-Giant-Powerful-Foes” theme that we’re supposed to have going on.

That’s all I’ve got time for right now, but I’m really looking forward to this Elite Specialization and the direction it’s heading. Thanks again for your time and receptivity to feedback, Karl (and everyone else working on this)! God bless!

[Edited for a couple minor things.]

(edited by RebornbyFire.7913)

What's the point of Pure of Sight?

in Guardian

Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

…But much more to the point, even if we were a primarily ranged class that could perpetually camp out beyond that range threshold, it’s still just a horribly boring GM Minor. I want my E-spec traits to do something that changes the mechanics of my class or offers me some new option I didn’t have before or significantly alters my capabilities — not just a damage increase. I mean, sure, it encourages me to stay at range, but if I had a range weapon I was already going to do that, and Pure of Sight does nothing to help me do that better. It just gives me a little more damage while I’m doing it. In the process, though, it limits the options I have in terms of what I can use without wasting a trait I couldn’t change, does nothing to actually alter or add interest to my play style, and artificially gimps the Longbow’s damage in the process — which is likely to result in it always being weaker than scepter, which is already preferable in most cases anyway because of its better synergy with passive Justice and kiting and the fact that it leaves room for focus or torch. In fact, on that note, the LB AA really should be a chain with 3 hits on the third attack, so that it will at least always proc Justice every chain — thus increasing its synergy with Zealot’s Aggression and Justice in general, and somewhat mitigating the need for Supreme Justice.

What's the point of Pure of Sight?

in Guardian

Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

So, what existing specs can maintain range?

Daredevil Thief, at least: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AbVXooJU7yg

Lol.

What's the point of Pure of Sight?

in Guardian

Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

A 10% damage increase over 600 range only works with LB and Scepter, essentially its a LB trait since its in DH, but what is the point of that as a minor trait? Its always taken and totally useless for melee guards.

Why not just put +10% damage to LB as a baseline, its essentially the same thing. Then a good GM minor could take its place.

It just seems like a pointless, redundant trait.

Seems to me you answered your own question… it’s a trait to give you more damage on LB. It’s not on Baseline because Anet want to provide choices, not just a high damage ranged weapon.

…No, the point isn’t that it’s a trait, but that it’s a minor trait in the E.spec line that you have to take in order to even equip a longbow. So it’s not a choice at all; if you equip a longbow, you will have the trait, which means that the longbow will be artificially weakened and balanced around always having a 10% damage increase (at range), since there is no way to take a longbow without also having that trait. It’s the fact that it’s in a minor slot that makes it silly. If it were part of Heavy Light, in the GM major slot, it would be fine.

What's the point of Pure of Sight?

in Guardian

Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

A 10% damage increase over 600 range only works with LB and Scepter, essentially its a LB trait since its in DH, but what is the point of that as a minor trait? Its always taken and totally useless for melee guards.

Why not just put +10% damage to LB as a baseline, its essentially the same thing. Then a good GM minor could take its place.

It just seems like a pointless, redundant trait.

Regardless of whether or not others agree that “redundant” is the correct word choice here, you’re entirely right. In the first place, a mere percent damage modifier is a pretty boring choice for a minor trait. In the second place, it artificially gimps the longbow (even if it sort of helps the scepter in doing so — but we don’t want our new profession to sacrifice it’s chance at being good just for a measly 10% damage boost to an already popular weapon, do we?), as Turtle Dragon and others have pointed out. In the third place, ANet has stated that, particularly for elite specs, the minor traits are supposed to define the general role and focus on the main theme of the specialization — as well as, ideally, work with all possible weapons. And let’s be honest — even if we run longbow and scepter, given our relative lack of mobility and the fact that DH minor traits currently do nothing to either help our mobility or hinder the enemy’s, it seems likely that there will be many times where the damage bonus will not apply, even with a full-range set up. The Longbow needs its damage increased, it’s auto-attack reworked to be more interesting, cause multiple hits, possibly inflict bleeding or torment, and not lose functionality in 1v1 fights, and Pure of Sight’s damage bonus should be rolled into the Heavy Light GM trait.

It would be much, much better — and far more fitting and interesting — if our minor traits actually gave us some of the tools we need to do the mobile/trapper/area control job that they seem to have given us: For instance, the new Zealot’s Aggression would be an absolutely fantastic GM minor trait — cripple on passive Justice procs fits the theme perfectly and works with all weapons all the time at any range, while still obviously helping ranged control. Likewise, Defender’s Dogma — on a decidedly non-defensive and definitely not blocking-related E.spec —doesn’t really fit, and would be much better being replaced by something movement-speed related, like, for instance, “Gain swiftness when you activate a virtue. Your virtues have 20% reduced cooldown.” Or something of that nature. Even if the bonus damage against crippled enemies is too strong for a GM minor trait, the cripple on Justice should still be put in that slot, and the damage bonus could be added to a new Master level major trait that reads: “Inflict bleeding when you strike a crippled enemy. Deal more damage to crippled enemies.”

Those changes, and suddenly our trait line starts to make some sense. The minors give us the ability to move and hinder enemy movement. The majors offer various damage increases and the ability to inflict bleeding (which was supposed to be part of the class, and which I and several others have hoped for broader access to, rather than the complete removal of), among other things. All we’d need then is condi removal on block moved to join Bulwark’s functionality, the creation of an interesting trap-related GM, and for BGH to allow Justice’s passive to remain after activation, and we’d have a pretty great trait line to work with and balance skills around.

Mordrem Invasion Update: 11 September 12:30 PM

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

So, after playing this event several times through, I feel like, honestly, it’s really close to being good — in fact, it basically is a pretty decent, fun event, except that the reward system is terrible and encourages exactly the wrong sort of play, especially in a newbie-friendly event stationed in newbie areas.

Here are the main problems, as I see them, and my suggested solutions:

  1. The Reward System Encourages Poor Behavior. As it stands, it is difficult to attain even ten stacks (and essentially impossible to reach 20) of the reward-granting buff by playing through the events normally (that is, completing one before moving on to the next). Since the rewards are based on how many events each individual nominally participates in rather than on how many events are completed in a map, the only way to maximize rewards is to selfishly tag a couple things and keep running. Further, while it seems reasonable that the mobs would not themselves drop loot or give exp, the lack of even event rewards removes the value of trying out a lower-level alt in the areas, punishes players for waypointing in order to take part, and slows the progression of new players who wish to take part.
  2. There is no end boss or other sufficiently climactic finale to the event. The lack of an end boss, a final rush for something, a cutscene, or any other appropriate finale makes the whole event feel… weak. It just ends. That’s it. No matter whether many or few events were completed on the map, whether it was a success or a failure, the Mordrem withdraw, but nobody feels any closure.

So, for solutions, I feel like it really isn’t anything terribly complicated.

  1. Rewards should be map-wide and encourage teamwork, involvement, and commitement. Suppose each event gave an ordinary event-like reward (like they do in the Silverwastes, for instance): A few blooms, some exp, karma, and a small amount of gold, all of which scaled based on player participation (bronze/silver/gold) in that individual event. Then suppose that each player who participated received the majority of their reward from how many events were completed on the map as a whole. Sure, there might be a few afk-ers, but for the most part, the players would suddenly be appropriately encouraged to work together as a team, map-wide (which would encourage commanders and guilds to do what they’re supposed to be doing and actually organize people into effective groups over large areas), as well as to participate to the fullest in each individual event in order to receive the maximum amount of rewards.
  2. There should be a boss encounter or other appropriate finale event. Besides the obvious satisfaction of the closure one receives from defeating the boss after he comes out to “finish this himself” when his other plans have been thwarted, this fits well with the above-suggested reward theme. Simply let the boss’s appearance depend upon the number of events completed in the map as a whole — that way, few players will really want to afk the event, since doing so will lower both the chances of the boss spawning and of them being around to fight it. Further, it continues to encourage full participation in each individual event and both small and large scale coordination, at least to some extent, in order to finish the events quickly enough to spawn the boss. If you want to hard-cap the map-wide rewards, then simply cause the boss to spawn as soon as a certain number of events are completed, instead of at a certain time — even more discouragement, then, for even partal afk-ing. If you want to soft-cap the max map rewards, then cause a countdown timer for the boss’s arrival to begin when a certain number of events have been completed, but let them continue occurring until the boss arrives.
  3. Finally, the boss should have an at least partially unique drop table. Sure, everyone will want the max rewards anyway, but besides offering a bonus reward of the regular Mordrem Bloom (or whatever) event reward currency for defeating the boss, it should certainly have at least a chance of dropping something(s) which is only obtainable in there — something that people will want to defeat it for.

The only other suggestions I have are that, while the random spawns are a pretty neat idea, for an event like this that is supposed to encourage not only map-wide cooperation but also include a lot of new players who do not have full (or maybe even 50%) completion of these areas, and which requires such swift movement between events, I would recommend choosing several larger sections of the map and putting all of the spawns there in semi-random locations. Let there be a limit, as well, on the number which can be active in each area at once and then let a new one spawn a little ways away almost as soon as a previous one is wiped out. This way, even if a new player does not have much map completion, he/she can at least choose an area to run circles around and fight in, without having to run all the way across the map, and still receive full rewards for participation.

One last thing: Since this seemed like it was also geared towards newer players (particularly the F2P crowd, who can’t even use the Trading Post fully), it seems highly unlikely that any of the meaningful rewards are within their reach, given the high gold cost. 10g for what used to be a cash shop item is great; 10g for a new level 20 F2P player is impossible. It would be highly beneficial, I would think, to also provide some rewards clearly geared towards new players — not crappy rewards, just interesting and useful rewards that older players would very likely not need or already have, but which would be fun and/or useful for newer players. Alternatively, simply promising to keep the reward vendors around for an extended period of time (like at least a few months) and to have further events that utilize/provide this currency in the future would also do the trick nicely. If I had made a new character, found this event, joined in gleefully, but then realized that, although I had the event currency, I was nowhere near the gold I wanted for the cool elite items, it would be very encouraging to know that at least I could have the time to work towards that gold before the event vendor was gone — or that I could later on make up those last 25 blooms I just couldn’t quite get.

Otherwise, the actual individual mechanics of the events were neat ideas, and they were fairly fun to participate in (although sometimes so over-zerged that it was impossible to meaningfully contribute). The main issues were the reward system and the lack of a boss or other finale. Thanks nonetheless for the event, for listening to and reading feedback, and for all of your hard work. God bless.

BWE 2 Dragonhunter feedback thread:

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

And I agree that the Longbow should have a 3-hit chain for its auto-attack, as I’ve suggested several times, including here: https://forum-en.gw2archive.eu/forum/professions/guardian/DH-Bow-Skills-Need-a-Better-Look-Feel/first#post5471408.

I really do think that the best way to make the Longbow AA feel more unique and interesting would be to make it a chain; it could even have each hit fire a slightly different sort of projectile, or something. Certainly it would be better than the unfitting tiny arrows and Thief-shortbow-like skill that we currently have.

Also, Skill 2 (True Shot) really could use a more impressive animation, and maybe a better on-hit effect, so that it feels more like firing a massive laser cannon or enormous light-javelin, and Skill 5 (Hunter’s Ward) would just feel so, so much better if instead of being a copy of the Ranger’s Barrage (which doesn’t really fit the Guardian or Dragonhunter aesthetic at all), it had a levitating animation similar to GW1 Paragons (complete with transparent wings) while summoning light beams to spike up from the ground and finally firing an enormous light projectile straight into the target area.

…But all of that and more is in the post I linked.

BWE 2 Dragonhunter feedback thread:

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Hey, here’s a quick thought: What if Traps had a flip skill that summoned the trap to your location — whether it had activated yet or not — and granted you a boon?

The traps are, after all, made of light that the Guardian controls (rather than mechanical devices), as others have pointed out, so they don’t necessarily have to obey all the normal rules of traps. Moreover, this would offer Dragonhunter traps a somewhat more unique feel and mechanic compared to other trapper classes, and it would fit their aesthetic.

It would also help them further control the field of battle and retain their ability to gain the upper hand through ambush, since, even if a placement went awry and they were attacked unexpectedly, they could suddenly summon one or more traps to their location and turn the tables on their ambusher.

I would think that 1/4 sec. cast time (no more than 1/2 sec.) would be a good place to start for the summoning ability — and then let each specific trap’s summon skill also grant the Dragonhunter a specific and fitting boon, or aura, or some other effect.

And voila, suddenly you have traps that still must be pre-set, but that can then be moved back for defense or forward for offense, and you have a few new options for offering the Dragonhunter some trap-related boons/utility, without having to make the individual traps pulse those things.

As a side note, if instead of teleporting the trap (in whatever state it was currently in, activated or not) instantly to his location, the DH caused the trap to actually move (quickly) towards himself, that could open up other interesting options, if it could be coded properly: i.e., Dragon’s Maw would pull anyone stuck in it along with it; Test of Faith could be pulled through an enemy for multiple hits; Purification could be pulled through enemies that had avoided it in order to gain the heal and blind them; etc.

Alternative 1: If the pulling effect works, but bringing a trap to yourself and gaining a boon is too much, a really awesome effect would be to have the trap pulled to the DH’s location, and when it arrives it returns its light/power to him, disappearing in the process but granting him an appropriate boon and briefly causing an effect similar/fitting to the trap around/on him.

For instance:

  • Dragon’s Maw could grant stability and cause his next attack to knock down or stun.
  • Test of Faith could grant swiftness and cause a damaging firey explosion on the next attack that burns and immobilizes or cripples.
  • Light’s Judgement could grant a light aura, cast reveal on nearby enemies for a couple seconds and cause the DH’s next several attacks to also summon a light beam onto the struck enemy that caused damage and inflicted vulnerability.
  • Procession of Blades could grant retaliation and summon a couple Swords of Justice on the next struck enemy, or make the next several attacks deal extra damage and proc a whirl finisher on the DH’s location.
  • Fragments of Faith could break stun and grant protection, and cause the next couple attacks to spawn an aegis-granting shard. Etc.

Alternative 2: Even if the traps cannot be moved, a flip skill that destroyed the trap in exchange for returning its power to the Dragonhunter, granting him a boon/effect and imbuing it into his next one or more attacks (as suggested above) would be extremely fun and almost certainly awesome. It would still be a trade-off, in part because of the obvious aoe and area-control abilities of the traps and the more single-target nature of imbuing a portion of the power back into his attacks, and in part because the traps, left to deal their full damage, should be obviously more powerful. But the boons would be helpful, and the on-hit effects should be strong enough to matter and flashy enough to look and feel awesome. Also, it would encourage even more active and strategic/well-timed play, since, for instance, trapping an enemy in Light’s Judgement and Procession of Blades for a significant portion of their duration and then destroying them shortly before they finish could actually result in additional damage.

It certainly seems to me that this would be an awful lot of fun. And really, who doesn’t want to be able to get those beautiful sky-lasers to strike enemies on-hit?

BWE 2 Dragonhunter feedback thread:

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Also, I would love to see some serious aesthetic (and some practical) changes to the Longbow, especially (most of the traps actually look pretty cool), as detailed here:

DH Longbow: Aesthetic/Practical Feedback

—Then it would feel/look truly exciting to use. Thoughts?

DH: Bow Skills Need a Better Look & Feel.

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

So to begin, with some of the upcoming changes, I’m excited for Dragonhunter, and I really hope to see it evolve into the excellent and fun specialization that it has the potential to be. That said, the Longbow, while currently okay (and the upcoming changes Karl announced will help it, certainly), really could use a great deal of aesthetic and some practical work, in order to make it really feel and function in an exciting and unique manner that fits the Guardian’s aesthetic and the Dragonhunter’s role.

Guiding Quote from the DH Reveal Post:

“Instead of shooting arrows, the guardian will focus on firing massive, single projectiles at a ferocious velocity.” — This certainly sounds exciting, but in its current implementation, most of the attacks are actually arrows, none of the projectiles are even very large (certainly not “massive”), most of them do not move at anything even approaching a “ferocious velocity,” and several of the animations/mechanics are simply re-used from other classes: Notably Thief Shortbow 1 and Ranger Longbow 5.

So my guiding purpose here is that I would love to see the DH LB skills actually match the given description, fit the Guardian aesthetic and DH theme/role, and feel both unique and impactful to use — just like the excellent work done on the new Reaper, Chronomancer, and Berserker skills.

A quick, trait-related note:
The first thing to be done, I still think, is to make the new Zealot’s Aggression (which will cause passive Justice proc’s to also apply cripple) the GM Minor trait, so that, no matter what, a Dragonhunter will always have access to Cripple at least every fifth attack. But now for the main thing:

Longbow Skills

LB1: Practical — How can we make this unique? Make it a chain. How about the first two attacks each fire a single-target projectile that explodes on impact, placing a stack of a new debuff, “Light’s Burden” on target and up to two other nearby enemies (in a very small radius), which slows movement speed by, say, 10%, stacking up to two times. The final attack in the chain fires three homing light projectiles which track to enemies affected by “Light’s Burden,” detonating the stacks and causing damage and blindness in a small aoe for each stack detonated. If the homing thing doesn’t work for their engine (although I think it does), then simply let the final attack fire a spread of three projectiles in a very narrow cone which have the same effect. A significant portion of the damage on this final hit should come from the detonation of the “Light’s Burden” stacks, so that, while the damage could be increased somewhat against a single target, it will not actually be tripled. If the third attack detonating stacks of “Light’s Burden” proves to be difficult to code properly to benefit multiple Dragonhunters attacking the same target, then simply let all projectiles cause a stack of “Light’s Burden,” and let the debuff explode on its own when it reaches 3 stacks. Bleed, rather than Blind, would also be acceptable on detonation, since Guardians currently have not a single weapon which causes a damaging condition on auto-attack.
Aesthetic: Let’s have those projectiles look and feel awesome — a light orb that leaves a short tail behind it and feels impactful on hit would be nice; larger ones on the third attack, of course. Maybe a minor light-chain effect around the legs of players with the debuff? The ANet artists are absolutely amazing, and I’m confident that if they took the time for it, this could be really cool looking.

LB2: Practical: Honestly, I’m pretty happy with the functionality of this skill. Even the root can be okay, so long as the damage is raised high enough to make it really worth it.
Aesthetic: For the main, powerful, damaging attack on a spec/weapon that supposedly fires “massive” projectiles “at a ferocious velocity,” this skill feels aesthetically less than impressive. It does, at least, move quickly. But please, if we’re going to be rooted in place for a significant time in order to fire something hugely damaging, I would love to really feel like that’s what I’m doing — I want something that feels more like a laser cannon than a small glowing arrow. What if the Guardian raised his (right) hand to gather light, then fired a truly spectacular-looking, large, laser-like projectile made of glowing light? Let it feel like there’s a kick on it — if that means a tiny aftercast, then reduce the cast a tiny bit accordingly — maybe give some effect or sound on-hit so it really looks/sounds/feels like we blasted something with that big wind-up.

LB3: Practical: Karl has already said the size of this, at least for blocking, has been increased, and the rate of movement slowed. I say, let the movement remain relatively quick, but let it leave a blazing trail of light on the ground behind it which reflects projectiles. Then, let the knockback on the “Heavy Light” trait apply only to this skill and to its trail — so that it functions, for a brief time, like a “Line of Warding.” Just imagine how much more interesting, unique, and fun to play with this skill would be with such functionality — it would then actually in practice fit the description given in the original reveal article: “If your enemy is using a projectile attack and is attacking your allies, you can fire your Deflecting Shot in its path and, with the right timing, destroy all of your enemy‚Äôs projectiles along the way.” Plus, it would give the DH its own unique access to another reflect — something Guardians are known for but actually only possess one of — but one that still required skill and timing to use, and perfectly fit the DH LB’s theme of controlling the field of battle.
Aesthetics: I’ve not much to say here for this one; if the practical changes above were made, and the projectile-reflecting light trail were appropriately visible, I think it’d be just fine.

LB4: Practical: Actually, with the announced increase in velocity and ability to fire behind oneself, this one seems pretty good — except, as most others have said, could we please keep the burning explosion on impact? It would help to make the impact damage matter (as it really should, since it’s difficult to hit with), and, especially if the above changes are made to LB1 so that it causes bleeding, it would help make the LB a unique and viable condition weapon, which would be a nice thing for Guardians to have access to.
Aesthetic: I’m fairly okay with this one, really. Maybe the impact could feel/sound/look a little more impactful, but otherwise, it’s alright. Anyone else have thoughts on it?

LB5: Practical: The functionality of this skill is mostly alright, although somewhat difficult to use, and a little much of a Barrage rip-off. The cooldown being lowered to 45 was definitely a help. It would, however, be really nice if it also created a Light Field for a couple seconds after completing the cast, and if it had a toggle skill that allowed the barriers/field to be destroyed in exchange for pulling nearby enemies to the center of it — this would fit quite nicely with the traps, and would allow a little more area-control (and therefore ally support) even when enemies are moving quite a bit. Further ideas I’ll address below.
Aesthetic: To be perfectly honest, while the effect of this skill is alright (and fits the DH), I was honestly ridiculously disappointed with the animation. That the Ranger’s Barrage animation, sound, and everything else were so completely copied — onto a class that is supposed to be “firing massive projectiles of light,” — just feels really out of place and boring. I don’t know about anyone else, but if we’re going to be rooted anyway during the cast, it would be awesome if we could raise our hands and levitate, gathering light in our hands as we summon light beams/auras to spike up from the ground in the target area, and finally firing that light from our levitated position in a large glowing lance directly towards the target area — on impact causing the same light burst and fences which already exist. I would even love to see the return of the ghostly light-wings effect on our character as he/she levitates that was so prevalent in long Paragon casts in GW1 — besides, it would give the developers another place to use those awesome light wings they designed for Wings of Resolve, which look so cool that it’s a terrible pity to not see them used in at least one other place. Now, if we really want to talk interesting/powerful functionality, it would be especially cool if we could actually move during this casting animation, and (even if not), if the final light-lance-projectile actually knocked-back anything in its path directly into the target area. Now that would make for some interesting area control and play options. Even without that functionality, at least the above-described animation would look and feel an incredible amount more like a Guardian’s version of Longbow, and would be enjoyable to watch and use.

A Final Note on Heavy Light

As above, please allow the Knockback from this trait to affect only Deflecting Shot (and its suggested trail). Stability should remain tied to True Shot. A functionality which fit the above suggestion for LB1 and caused “Light’s Burden” to also reduce affected enemies’ attack speed slightly might be interesting. Either way, “Purity of Sight’s” damage bonus should certainly be removed from the minor line and added to this trait.

Conclusion

Again, I think the Longbow, the traps, and the Dragonhunter in general have an awful lot of potential — potential I would really love to see realized. I’ve addressed a number of practical/mechanical trait, trap, and etc. issues in other posts and threads, and so my primary purpose for this one was the Longbow — a few practical functionality issues, certainly, but mainly the feel, look, and overall aesthetic of it. One of the huge disappointments of the DH to me (since numbers can always be changed, traits reworked, and so on) has been that it just didn’t feel very unique or interesting. The attacks on the longbow felt boring, looked lame, and didn’t fit the Guardian’s aesthetic at all — from the sounds, to the animations, to some of the functionality. With the above changes, I really feel like the Dragonhunter’s Longbow would become not only a useful and fearsome, but also a fun, interesting, fitting, and awesome-looking weapon to use. What are your thoughts?

BWE 2 Dragonhunter feedback thread:

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Just a quick note:
I may be in the minority here, but I see tons of potential from Fragments of Faith. This skill has so much synergy with the Guardian’s Aegis and block based traits. With the upcoming change to Hunter’s Fortification, this skill could be a powerhouse.

I’m already really enjoying its use and the CD (when traited) feels quite appropriate to me. If the other traps were as well thought out as this one, Dragonhunter would be excellent (at least with some of the better recent trait changes).

P.S. passive knockback still sucks though . . .

Agreed. Fragments of Faith is one of the most interesting things we’ve gotten. Given its innate complications, though (as an enemy-triggered trap), I really feel like the fragments should also each remove a condition, or else grant Resistance, or something. I really can’t imagine that being overpowered, and it would make it feel a little more like a powerful alternative to shouts/consecrations. If I or my teammates have to work harder to get my skill’s Aegis, I want it to feel like it’s worth it.

Dragonhunter Changes for Next BWE!

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

I’d really love to see Deflecting Shot move fairly rapidly but leave behind a light trail for a couple seconds that also reflects projectiles. Then the Knockback on Heavy Light could apply only to Deflecting Shot and its trail, so that we would have a reliable/predictable knockback and also a much more interesting skill with a myriad of play options, whether traited or not.

Tried Pure DH. My Experience

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

All people playing Guardian for 2 years or more said that traps were bad and DH sucks, they have done everything in this game, and know much better than newer guardians, so it’s true and by no means hate, we just want something different and fun to play, not ‘’Imma AFK and throw the dice to see if this guy’s dumb or not’’….

Oh and btw, Traps ARE BAD!

Sorry to disappoint, but I’ve liked my Ranger’s traps since pre-release more than three years ago, have most recently run a trapper build on my Ranger in PvP, with considerable success, and, while traps would not have been my first choice for a Guardian elite spec, I have been playing my Guardian for nearly three years now (my second-most-played class, by far) and I don’t really have a problem with traps as such. If everything is fixed, buffed, tuned, and so on to the point that it needs to be, I will be quite happily running around with a Dragonhunter in the open world, dungeons, and even PvP — especially Stronghold.

So no, not “every Guardian playing for 2 years or more” has said that traps are awful.

Tried Pure DH. My Experience

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

But no the trait is garbage and not helping at all or enough … because it does not clear 3 condis at once and goes on CD for 40 secs.

traps are plain kitten because no one walks in them… oh .. my…. god. this is just the worst arguemnt ever. there is no pvp map without extremely good choke points to place them. you have to go through them. If you dumb enough to let you enemy see you placing them well what can I say… you really dont understand how a trap works.

I think more constructive feedback – which is there – would be the better choice from now on.

Hah, agreed. The updated, clear-a-condi-on-block version of Hunter’s Fortification that Karl posted a while back is definitely a move in the right direction, as are a few other things. Daze on trap activation will probably turn out to be very powerful, since large stacks of stability (or pulsing stab) will now be necessary to make it out of a stack of traps that includes Dragon’s Maw, and the new Zealot’s Aggression (“Justice’s passive effect also applies Cripple”) finally offers the DH frequent, non-weapon-specific, access to cripple (one of it’s core new mechanics, and something necessary for the spec. to work as intended). My only problem with most of those is that I still think they are placed wrong in the trait line, and we’re missing a couple other necessary/helpful traits.

Considering we’re supposed to be a damage and control-based specialization, and also considering that DH does not give much extra access to block (and has none of its own condi removal) within it’s own traits/skills, Hunter’s Fortification really just doesn’t deserve to be in a GM slot — esp. since the -10% damage thing is just boring and useless. Drop that, merge the condi-clear with Bulwark (which is also otherwise weak and boring), and we’ve got a great Master trait, synergistic access to condi clear, and room for a better and more fitting Grandmaster -- something like swiftness and condi clear on trap placement + quickness on trap activation, or traps spawn symbols, or whatever — something that fits the specialization’s concept better than an obviously defensive trait. Zealot’s Aggression, likewise, really should have the GM Minor slot that Pure of Sight currently occupies. Etc… But I’ve already posted most of that elsewhere.

Anyway, agreed on the constructive criticism, and on the fact that people are just not using traps the right way. Admittedly, however, that is sometimes difficult to do, given the fast pace and movement-oriented approach of the game. And in PvE, I’m a little concerned that they actually encourage corner stacking/pulling, rather than more active and exciting play. Still, I always liked my Ranger’s traps, and if DH is fixed up nicely, I could learn to love these, as well.

Tried Pure DH. My Experience

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

@Silhouette: I just want to say, your original post and various replies have given me many smiles and laughs. Thank you. I entirely support you and your use of, success with, and excitement for the Dragonhunter specialization. To be perfectly honest, I’ve been pretty excited about the idea of it, although there are a good number of practical and aesthetic issues that leave me rather disappointed (at the moment) with its current implementation.

However, the fact that you actually used not one or two, but the full array of traps, all at once, in PvP, and used them the right way, makes me very happy, indeed. Even you, though, have to admit that they and the LB could use some buffs, that the LB could use a good bit of aesthetic (and some practical) adjustment to make it feel more exciting and powerful, and that the trait system, on the whole, could use quite a bit of work (especially the minors). But since you enjoyed things so much, please, by all means, go check out some of my and others’ suggestion posts on the BWE feedback threads and add your voice to whatever changes you think make sense and would be fun and fitting for the class. We desperately need some more happy and uplifting voices of reason that will take the DH and its skills for what they are meant to be, and then offer appropriate feedback regarding how to make them fit and perform that job better.

Edit: Also, @Fashion Mage and others complaining about lack of support: Two things — first, half the point of DH is to make it so that “support” is not the only way to play Guardian. Second, and much more importantly, controlling areas and annihilating enemies is totally support. Preventing advance, slowing retreat, area denial, or even outright killing enemies all “support” your allies. If Dragonhunter and traps can reach a point where they do that job and do it well, they will be fantastic and fun for those who can enjoy that playstyle.

(edited by RebornbyFire.7913)

Defender's Dogma - Why?

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

Really, again, think about what the DH is supposed to be and do, and then remember that the minor traits are supposed to really define in broad strokes the theme of the specialization and give it the base tools it needs to do its job in any of a number of particular ways. What we need from minor trait line is mobility for us, so we can hunt and position ourselves, and the ability to destroy the enemy’s mobility, so that we can hunt and catch them. Defender’s Dogma doesn’t belong in the minor trait line; we need a mobility trait there — one that fits the DH theme and rewards the use of its new mechanics. Something like, “Activating a Virtue grants swiftness.” In the GM Minor slot, we don’t need Pure of Sight, we need the updated version of Zealot’s Aggression: “Justice’s passive also causes cripple.” Those two changes, and all of a sudden, we have a theme, and the foundational tools to do our job. Then if the active effect of Spear of Justice were buffed enough to make it worthwhile, like by giving it a flip skill pull, or making it pulse more damage, or something, and if Big Game Hunter also caused the passive of Justice to remain after it was activated, we’d be in business, at least in the Virtues side of things.

Defender's Dogma - Why?

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

While I can see the points Asmodal is making, I have to agree with the OP and others: Defender’s Dogma is an absolutely awful and ridiculous trait for Dragonhunters, especially as a minor. If we already had a fantastic set of minor and major traits and one extra trait slot that no one had a good idea for, it might possibly be useful there; but we don’t, and one of the reasons we don’t is that nobody seems to be able to figure out just what they want DH to do.

Yes, defensive traits are great, and yes, defensive and on-block abilities fit the vanilla Guardian theme — but for the most part they do not fit the Dragonhunter theme, and since Guardians already have fantastic access to defensive and on-block trait and skill sets, they really should not occupy a central or major part of the trait set-up for a specialization that plays very differently and has in its own skillset very, very little access to block. We really, really need to start focusing on what the Dragonhunter is actually supposed to be (which is something along the lines of a relatively selfish ranged, pre-emptive, area control damage-dealer). Otherwise, it will continue to lack focus and try to go in too many directions at once.

Defender’s Dogma would fit the Radiance trait line great (in fact, it’s almost a rip-off of the trait already in that line); or it would fit a spec. that specialized in blocking things and passive boon use. But the Dragonhunter specializes in neither of those; it is an offensive hunter class with specially-designed active Virtues that are meant to be activated. If the traits and virtues don’t begin to be reworked to reflect that idea and reward the active use of the virtues more than they punish it, then the spec. will never mean anything, because no one will ever use any of the new stuff, because it will be more powerful to not bother with it. Nobody really wants that, because then it would defeat the purpose of having an elite specialization in the first place.

I realize not everybody wants or likes a relatively selfish, ranged damage/area control class with traps, especially as the E.Spec. for Guardians, but come on, people, since that’s what we’ve got, let’s at least focus on how we can make it do what it’s supposed to and do it as well and in as interesting, powerful, and fun a manner as possible, rather than trying to make it do everything that it can’t and shouldn’t.

(edited by RebornbyFire.7913)

BWE 2 Dragonhunter feedback thread:

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Posted by: RebornbyFire.7913

RebornbyFire.7913

After further play, I really do like the new Virtues, at least in their ideas. The previously-suggested updates are still desperately needed, however:
All: Reduced Recharge (20%?), or each individually re-balanced for DH— otherwise DH players will still basically be forced into the Virtues spec line (and/or Renewed Focus), which severely limits their available build options.

  • Spear of Justice: Needs to deliver something more powerful/rewarding for tethering enemies with it, or else it will continue to be simply not worth it — longer duration for the pulsed burns, the addition of pulsing damage, and a flip skill that allows a pull would all be good options. Also BGH needs to allow its passive to remain after activation.
  • Wings of Resolve: Still think this needs to be an evade and a stun break. This, coupled with reduced recharge, would help to make traps a viable option, even without their own stun break.
  • Shield of Courage: Should block all attacks (including melee) that come through its area. Also could use a knockback on activation, or to knockback melee attackers when it blocks them (with an appropriate ICD per enemy), or to deliver an attack to enemies it blocks, or some combination of the above. All of them fit the aggressive nature of the DH, and add some impact and flavor to an otherwise somewhat lacking skill.