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So, this is always a thing before/after a patch release, an expac, test, etc, etc. In this case, about the DE, I read SO many people saying various different things, such as:
Low damage (lol…. just lol guys)
Akward mechanic of kneel
Other smaller stuff
I’m going to say it bluntly, no filter or kitten. Before assuming a class to be bad, or not doing enough damage, or any other aspect, try to question yourself: am I doing things right?
I suppose many of the people that cry over DE are either very low rank, or made a bad build.
Many player’s experiences with the class were ridiculous (mine included), I even got around 80% win rate in the preview weekend and I played around 100 matches, and a few other people in the forums had similar experiences.
I’m not going to explain how I and many other people played it, you can read it here:
The class has some issues and bugs? Absolutely. Are them detrimental or definitory of the class overall performance? Not even close.
You may say, well… you just were lucky to be matched with good teammates, while this is true in some ways (sPvP is a team game), you also can’t contribute having around 80% winrate in a relative large a amount of matches to being “lucky” with the matchmaking, you also have to be doing things right, and in some cases even carring the team.
I’m not claiming to be the God of thief PvP, I’m not even close to being that, I was at Plat 3 in both prev seasons, If you consider the rank sistem in most competitive games, they are most of the time the same distribution ( Normal Distribution/Gauss Bell ), so you could say i’m a bit above average, I may be wrong in what I claim the DE to be, yes, but I would prefer to listen to opinions of the class of players higher ranked than me.
Simply said: the class is good, just build it and play it accordingly and you will get very good results, it’s not going to get buffed, if any, it will get nerfs.
I do agree on many things you said, but not all of them:
1) The range is ridiculous as it is, why? Because if you have a more or less good build, and by that i don’t even mean a glass cannon build, take for example the one i stated in my post (not saying it’s good, i’m saying it worked for me at least), I was disrupting the mid teamfights with easy, even more, if a meele class tries to catch me, i just shadowstep away, keep shooting, when he gets near, shadowstep back, keep shooting, stealth, etc. The idea of range, is that you don’t do as much damage as meele since you have an advantageous position, but in this case, you have range and heavy damage.
2) As I described in the post, the delay on the stealth attack works well if you use it, and immediatly use another skill, since both skills will arrive at the target roughly at the same time, ensuring that he will not have enough time to react to it, and land 2 skills at the same time. But I can see the point tour point in the proyectile being slow.
3) The playstyle of the class is not meant to be like the regular meele thief (fast phased), for DE you have to be patient most of the time, and I assure you, it pays off, if you want to expand on this, check the “1v1” part of the post.
4) The cantrips, as you said, are meh, I only used 2, Shadow Meld and Shadow Gust, the other ones I found very useless, at least for the build I was going for.
5) The cast time for Sniper cover/Kneel, was not a problem at least for me, if you move cleverly you can confuse most enemies, I detailed more of this in the post I made.
6) The stolen being removed when the mark goes away is stupid as you said, it makes no sense at all, I hope it gets revised
Finally) I hear many people complaining about the class being underpowered, wich completely opposes to my experiences with it, actually, I’m VERY positive that it will recive some nerfs on many aspects of it before or shortly after release.
Sorry if I quote my post a lot, I sound like a advertisement lol, but I went over almost all the important points and aspects of the class/build with a lot of detail, and it took me quite some time, so I don’t really want to write all that again.
It sounds like we were playing different classes altogether, I’m gonna link a post a made some days ago if you wanna check it out, I explain things with much more detail there, but to sum it up, I played a large amount of matches during the preview weekend with DE, I think around 100 or so, I can easily say that I did not find myself stressing over anything that you guys stated above:
Rifle does insane amounts of damage, I’ve been able to bring down druids/necros/guard in around 10 seconds if they were not careaful, I was doing 3,5k crits with autoattack, and around 13k with Judgment.
Defensively, I’ve never been caught a single time when I did things right, I do kitten up here and there with skills (hitting a target while trying to get away in stealth, etc) and end up getting killed, but aside from those, I literally left even daredevils in the dust trying to catch me using stealth, shadowstep and retreat. For a detailed explanation please read the Defense part of the post that I made.
The change of Malef Seven for that talent (quickness +200 power +200 prec) works insanely well to decimate your target fast in combination with 3rd skill spam and might stacks, you can easily kill any squishy and medium enemies.
For the Shadow Refuge I can see it’s uses, but I still prefer to keep another stun break at least in sPvP, because as times goes on, other classes will start to look for DE in fights more often, when they realise that if they leave you alone, you will end up killing all of them, you will start to notice more pressure on you, since Shadowstep has quite a long cd. Another advantage of Retreat is that you can deplet all your initiative spamming 3rd skill, get 25 might, and then use it to gain the 6 initiative needed for judgment, and be able to shot a 7 malice, 25 might, Judgment shot; again, just another option to it, I liked your variations tho.
Yeah Shadow’s Embrace works really well in most situations, I just find the Last Refuge useful in some situations where I don’t have stun beraks cds, and the only thing left to save me from a chase is the stealth, but again, Shadow’s Embrace works better in most of situations.
The D/P adds more versatility to the build, but I prefer to stick with rifle at all times and rely on stealth and mobility, but I can see your point on D/P.
Thanks for the comment!
This build is focused on deadliness and defense, as weird as it sounds, your principal defense mechanism is stealth. If you pop your utilities and skills right you can get around 18 seconds of stealth (Sniper cover-Elite-Shadow gust-Heal-Sniper cover-Elite-Mark), if you cast sniper cover and immediatly dodge to the side they won’t know where you are, even if they are chasing you, after that you can cast elite and keep chaining from there; or just shadowstep and go from there, there are many posibilities. While in stealth you run 50% faster, regenerate health and initiative, so it’s your ideal state to be in betwen burts. (you can even change Last Refuge for Shadow’s Embrace to cure condis in stealth)
You have 2 stun breaks, Retreat and Shadowstep, so be wary of their cd when engaging.
For condi cleansing, use Death’s Retreat if the condi class in question is near you, until you get as far as possible, you also have Hide in Shadows wich will heal the most dangerous conditions (burn, poison, etc), if that is not enough you can use shadowstep for extra cleansing; if the enemy team has too many condi-spam, go for Shadow’s Embrace, and stay in stealth if you get condi bomb.
As I played the class I felt like it had many advantages of the ranged classes while conserving high damage and very good defense, so I can’t help but feel that if will get nerfed in the release. Again, this is me thinking out loud.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the build and ideas for improvements wich i’m sure there is a lot of space for!
Sorry for the long post
This were the most fun situations, how to handle it varies depending on the class in front, if it’s a warrior, necro, engi, guardian or rev, just keep your distance, start shoting and building might and malice, when they get near use shadowstep and keep shooting, when they get near again, shadowstep back to your position and keep pulling the trigger, once they get closer again, pop stealth(elite+shadow gust+sniper cover/cancel+heal) wait for the mark to be at maximum and judgment him, you have 2 shots until you deplet your initiative, after that your mark will probably worn off. Stealth again, mark, repeat. If you are careful you won’t have any problem with those classes, some may take more time than others, and some may require you to keep a higher distance, most of the time they will just leave the fight, since your mobility is higher and you can pop 12 seconds of stealth in 3 seconds. The ranged weapons were suposed to be safer since you are not near the fight, but hit less than meele, but in this case, since you can build insane amounts of might, you can combine the mobility and stealth, with the safety and sheer firepower of the rifle.
With mesmers it’s a bit more trickier, since they have a lot of defenses (distortion, new evade, swap with ilusions, etc), and they can chainlock you with disables, so you should always keep a fair distance and engage only if you have your shadowstep and retreat on cd. The way to aproach this is similar to before, you mark and start wearing him down, building might and damaging until your mark reaches at least 5 or 6 stacks, after this you need to have some might ready, enter stealth and wait some seconds for him to panic (most of the time they pop defensive utilities or stealth trying to predict the burst), when you see the right time, use judgement from stealth and medium range to ensure a hit, this will sure leave him in <50% or instantly kill him if he was not full hp, if this fails, immediatly stealth again and try another Judgment before the mark wears out. If the mark dissapears, mark again, and go at it again. With this you should always be extra careaful, since it can nuke you down easily if you get caught with no stun breaks.
Finally, the most fun of them all, another thief, the idea is similar to the mesmer fight, but in this one, you will have to make use of your stealth, since most meele thief builds don’t have much stealth time, but in sheer mobility he will be able to outrun you, with this in mind, the strategy is to get in stealth, wait for it to be almost over and use stealth attack and immediatly 3rd skill, do this while standing, don’t use kneeling until you have enought to execute with judgment because the time it will take you to stand and move may be enough for him to catch you. Also use the shadowstep strategy above in here as well. Keep doing this until your malice is over 5 or 6, then, like before, stealth for at least 8s and wait for him to pop defenses or enter stealth, if he does the later one, your stealth will last longer than his (and you can add more seconds to it) the instant he reveals use Judgment twice, this will ensure that if he dodges the first one, the second one might hit in the time windows for him to react, if both of them don’t land, retreat with stealth and Death’s Retreat. At this point, you can wait a bit for your cds, mark again and engage if you want to hold him off there, or move to another point, it all depends on the game. Note that this fight is the hardest for this class, so it’s only expected to be complex.
As you can see, the strategy requires time and patience, around 20 seconds (the time for the mark to be effective) with thieves and mesmers, it may take less with other classes, this differs a lot from the conventional meele thief, you won’t have this kind of time in a game, so be mindful if you want to commit to the fight.
The build that I found myself most comfortable with (sPvP)
Rifle (Exploitation and Oportunity) / Shortbow (Cleansing and Energy)
Marauder amulet / Rune of the Scholar
Traits and skills in the image attached
Generals of the build
It basically relies in range, always keep the longest distance possible the target/s.
I did not find a clear situation where the build fell short, yes it is better suited for mid fights and +1ing from afar, but it performed quite well in all situations.
It makes use of stealth a lot, either for positioning yourself or running away.
The choice of Trickery i think it’s pretty much selfexplanatory (initiative/damage/boon steal/cooldown on deadeye mark), since the most you will be using in this build relies on initiative.
The idea is that the damage comes basically from the rifle and some traits, and the rest of the utilities are merely defensive. I went for Shadow Arts instead of Deadly Arts because the rifle already does enough damage with the malice mechanic and 25 might stacks, it’s better to ensure survival and sustain over time than adding more unnesesary damage.
The choice of shortbow over a meele weapon it’s because of mobility and the choking gas anti res, the build best shines in +1 fights, so you need to be able to move fast betwen points. In some ocasions, depending on who is defending the point, you can go decap far even. You can stay in stealth for a long time, and even run 50% faster in it, that combined with the shortbow makes you very mobile.
Some uses and situations
This is one of the best scenarios for the build, you should take cover in high and hard to reach places, for example above graveyard on legacy, above castle in svanir, above mid in capricorn, platforms above mid in skyhammer, you get the general idea. It should be noted that you must prioritise distance over altitude, the enemius could easily bring you down, so try to stay as far as possible. Try to get to the point ASAP, use your shortbow to get there faster, and once you are near it, stealth yourself with elite and shadow gust, position yourself and enter sniper cover (you can use then cancel it and use it again, to get 8 seconds of stealth since you won’t be exiting it for the time being), when the enemy team is near, mark their tank and then focus another enemy, the idea for this is that the tank will survive long enough for your mark to reach max stacks, in the meantime bring down other targets spamming 3 skill, once you have 6 or 7 stacks of malice, use Judgment until your mark wears off, then mark again and continue. This would be an ideal situation where the enemy thief/mesmer ignores you, wich won’t be the case most of the time.
Not much to say about it, keep your distance, let your teammate fight the enemy head on, and melt the target’s face
So, introductions apart, the skills:
Deadeye Mark: It’s a big change from the usual steal, not only because now it does not shadowstep you to the target, but because it changes the skills that you steal and has a cast time.
Not much to say about the shadowstep, since you wont want to get close to the target if you are using a rifle; the cast time was not a huge deal taking into account that you can do damage, heal yourself, get an additional skill all from the safety of 1200 meters
The new steal skills are where it gets funky, the new skills differ greatly from the older ones, mainly because all of them are essencialy the same thing (damage+condi+buff or heal), the older ones had more versatily to them, you could steal a thief and stealth yourself, or a warrior and get reflexion, or a necro and get a fear, etc, so it that terms, you could say they are worse. A good thing tho is that the new ones have instant cast time, so you can add a bit more of damage/condi to the damage burst. I understand that most people will not like it, but I think keeping the old ones would make the overall rifle build a bit too overpowered for reasons that i will discuss forward.
Rifle 1 skill: the normal shot, it inflicts vulnr to the target, and extra if that target is your mark. The stealth counterpart of it I found it pretty good, it converts boons into conditions and has a bit of a delay until it hits the target, I liked the delay that it had, since I could shoot it and immediatly shoot the 3rd skill, and both skills would arrive at the target mostly at the same time, so they had no time to react to them.
Rifle 2 skill: I found myself not using this skill much of the time, the damage was on par with the 1 skill, I only used it if the target would try to get away, or to spam immob on a focused target (immob on kneel)
Rifle 3 skill: This was the skill I used the most, it’s seriously ridiculous, each shot hit gives you 3 might for 6 seconds, you shot 2 bullets standing, and 3 bullets while kneeling, so basically 6 or 9 might almost instanly, and the cast time is pretty fast, so you can spam it and get 25 might with for 12 initiative (kneeling and hitting all shots). This was the skill that i used the most until the target had enough malice to use Judgement, wich is a nuke with 25 stacks of might. I seriosly think they are going to nerf it somehow, the gain from it is nuts.
Rifle 4 skill:
Death’s Retreat, it costs 5 initiative, shadowsteps you back 600m, cleans a condition and poisons foes at the starting location. The cast time is 1/4 second, INSANE, you can spam up to 3 of them, gaining 1800m of distance from your target. I saw some people saying that it should cleanse 2 conditions instead of 1, and I strongly disagree with that, the skill is VERY good as it is, in fact, I think it will receive a nerf, it makes it impossible for meele classes to catch you, I can’t count the times a warrior and a rev tried to catch me, I simply press 4 three times and watch their tears from afar. A thing to point out is that it was a bit buggy, sometimes it would cast the skill but you would stay on the spot, stuck on a little brick on the floor or something.
Death’s Judgment, the big boom, the kill shot, the 12k crit from 1500m, you name it. It costs 6 initiative and deals massive damage to targets, the more stacks of malice you have, the bigger the damage is (I was able to 1shot an ele for 14k), this skill should be used near the end of the mark, as you get the most of it when your malice is at maximum, you can shot up to 2 consecutive shots with full initiative. One strategy that i used is marking one target, bring him down spaming skill 3 and gaining 25 stacks of might, and when someone tries to revive him I would Judgment him istead. It will deal >50% of the health of ANY class, you might even 1shot some squishy ones (ele, thief). As it costs a lot of initiative you should be mindful when to use it, as a dodge, a block, aegis, obstruction, etc, might ruin it, another thing is that it has a red laser that alerts the target about it, the cast time is not much, so you should try to use it from stealth, so you don’t give time to react. Again, it was a bit buggy, sometimes the shot would get obstructed over nothing, I hope it gets fixed by launch.
Rifle 5 skill: Kneel/Sniper cover, the iconic mechanic of the class, you kneel and become immobile, in this state your shots are 50% faster, with this you can pretty much spam 3 skill from a distance, get 25 might and melt any class, or at least force them to pop their defensive skills. It has 2 charges, and a 10 second recharge time. It gives better versions of your other skills, and changes Death’s retreat for Death’s Judgement. The sniper cover trait is basicaly mandatory, you can even use it defensively, use both your charges is quick succesion and gain 6 seconds of stealth (8 seconds if you run shadow arts), wich will give enough time for another charge to pop and another 3/4 seconds of stealth. I read many people not liking the kneeling, everyone wants to be a kitten and have 100% benefits with 0 counterparts, but that should not be the case, if you want balance that is, so in exchange for an insane range/speed/damage/skills, you become immobile, still I did not find myself in bad situations because of this, if you are mindful of your surroundings you will be fine, you can even dodge in it. (I will explain more in the build)
Note: I’m not the owner of the truth, nor I claim to have it, this is just an analysis made from my experience with thief for years, and many matches with deadeye in the preview weekend, I’m more than open for feedback, discussion and changes
There might be some grammar mistakes, english is not my first language so cut me some slack.
To start off, the general feel to the class is WAY different to the normal thief playstyle, I still felt like an assasin, but a ranged one (no kitten sherlock). But is this better or worse in terms of the class idea? Well it’s neither. As the devs said, Specializations are ways on how a class sees another one, but on the lenses of said class, eg: spellbreaker is the way a warrior would become a mesmer, so on that note, the idea of the specilization is to differ from the normal playstyle of a thief (close and personal). That being said, at the begginig it was really difficult for me to addapt to it, I’ve been playing thief since the launch of the game, and I dont really have another main class, so the tempt to get closer to the target was only natural to me, but in order to apreciate the class for what it is, I had to think that it was a different class altogether, and I gotta tell you, I loved it.
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oh didn’t see that, thanks bro, but… are they going to “fix” it?
I was wondering why if you equip the COF breastplate the COF pauldrons won’t show… it’s quite lame
It’s actually true what you say about downed state, but, the elementalist is the only class that has 20 skills to use at a time, you have 10 more of other classes has at a time, so you have much more skills to survive, for example… if you use almost all of your skills (strange thing to happen, but anyways) and go down, and have some kind of stun, or something that can buy you time to use the 3rd ability or time to get an ally to revive you, and you get up again you will have most of your skills ready wich is a bit… not right i think. I believe if you have the most versatile class if makes sense that is rly dificult to master, if you go down with an ele you are dead that’s for sure, but if you have a good reaction and are familiar with the ele skills i can assure you, you won’t die so easily
Hi ANet, i must say that GW2 is the best game I’ve played so far.
I thought that the steal tool from thieves should have more variety of skills, i’m not saying that the ones that actually exist are poor, but…
For example in PvP when you steal from an elementalist you always get the same skill, i suggest adding a diferent skill per different tipe of element, or when you steal from an engineer that is using a flamethrower or a grenade kit, or any other kit you get a different skill for each kit that the engineer is using at the moment you steal from him.
That would be really awesome.
And regarding the EXP rewards… as i said before guild wars 2 is the best game I’ve played, and that’s why i don’t it to finish so quick, i feel like you give TOO much exp rewards, but that’s not a bad thing, the bad thing i believe is the AMOUNT, you lvl way to fast, i think that if you lower the amount of exp gained from everything you do, you can enjoy the game way better, anyway, it’s just my opinion, i hope it’s usefull for you.