I'm sorry in advance if there are any mistakes in my post, as I'm not an native english speaker, don't hesitate to correct me if you want.
I've played Mesmer in Gw2 since day1. Most of the time, I play PvP even if I sometime enjoy some PvE contents. I wanted to share with you what were, in my opinion, the updates on Mesmer that has affected me the most in terms of gameplay. I'll try to classify it in a chronological order, but it's possible that I make some mistakes because my memory isn't that good.
I'm the kind of Mesmer that really likes to play around 3 things : confusion, stealth and healing power. My favourite weapons are staff, sceptre, torch and pistol. I find axes, shield and left-handed sword "meh", and I hate greatsword, focus and right-handed sword. I'm also that kind of Mesmer that try to not play what is "meta", I always try to find something original, make my own build, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but I still find it funny to make a build based on traits that aren't popular in PvP.
Now, let's the list begin !
June 23, 2015 , AKA specializations update .Of course this update affected everybody. All the mesmer were sad (me included) to see that all the glamour traits have been replaced by Temporal Enchanter, which was in my opinion a very funny trait. But still, it wasn't possible anymore to blind/confuse a pack of ennemies with glamours. Illusionary Persona on default was a very great news for all the mesmer, but this was not what affected me the most in this patch. What affected me the most was in fact a trait that I loved so much that I still remember it : Disruptor's Sustainment Gain bonus healing power (1000) when interrupting a foe. I would play with that trait, Mantra of Distraction and Ether Feast. When on low life, I would interrupt an ennemy before casting Ether Feast and I was full life again. This trait, I miss it so much... But I had to move on and made a funny glamour build with Temporal Enchanter anyway.
October 23, 2015 , Heart of Thorns and chronomancer I was really reticent to play chronomancer at the beginning of HoT. More time had passed and I was really enjoying playing with a tanky build, which revolved around shield, blind, confusion and wells.
January 26, 2016 Well of Precognition no longer grants invulnerability, and Settler Amulet is deleted from PvP Well of Precognition was my favourite well, I understood that it needed a nerf, it became totally useless the moment when it just granted aegis. However, the end of Settler Amulet is still something i'm mourning. As somebody that loved to play tanky, with healing power and condi, seeing the Settler Amulet replaced by the Sage Amulet was ... really a dissapointement.
February 06, 2018 Phantasms' change This has been one of my favourite update about mesmer. I really liked the concept, as I didn't have to hesitate between shattering the illusions or keeping them. I liked most of the change on this update, but there were 2 phantasms that I didn't appreciate as before. 1) The Phantasmal Disenchanter, I really loved how much it was usefull for condi removal, now it only removes the ennemies' boons. 2) The Phantasmal Warlock, altought I was very happy that it spawned 2 illusions, it wasn't the same. I sometime enjoyed doing some troll power build with staff, where the purpose was to stack a maximum of condi on an ennemy, and then do a maximum crit of 10K with the warlock, because the damage were increased for each condi. Sounds OP huh ? Not that much, because it was hard to reach that types of damage, but it was still funny, now when I hit my staff 3, my warlocks kinds of feel... useless. They're only usefull to spawn more clones.
August 08, 2017 Ineptitude changed and moved to Dueling I've never understood that change. Before the changed, it inflicted blind and confusion everytime you dodged or blocked an attack, for me it was legitimate that this trait was meant for Illusion, as that was the specialization that is the most usefull to stack confusion. It paired perfectly with the shield of Chronomancer. Maybe it was to OP, I don't mind nerfs, Malicious Sorcery is still welcome.
September 22, 2017 Path of Fire and mirage Mirage is funny to play, what I like the most about Mirage is the visual and the sounds effect. The gameplay around mirors is funny and I like it. In the beginning, I really enjoyed axes, until it got nerfed. I came back to my scepter.
August 28, 2018 Illusionary Counter creates 2 clones WOW ! This is a super update, perhaps the second best after the Phantasms' update. Because scepter was one of my favourite weapon, I couldn't believe that they buffed it so well.
October 02, 2018, no more glamour traits, welcome Blurred Inscription This... is sad. No more glamour traits. Blurred Inscription should be called Cursed Inscription, as it rendered the two other traits underperforming.
December 11, 2018, signet of Inspiration and portal's change I didn't do that much PvE content, but I still enjoyed playing Chrono support, this change was an hard it for me, because it was the beginning of the end of Chronomancer. The 30sec lasting Portal also destroyed the last usefull glamour skill in PvP.
July 16, 2019, end of Chronomancer I can't believe that this patch happened. Chronomancer is dead. Just dead. Don't forget that I hate to play with greatsword and that I play with condis 99% of time. I made a Rewinder build, it's useless. I made a interrupt build, it's useless. I made a tanky build, it was useless, because there are no more distorsion. No shatter possible during Continuum Split, you can't spam shatters to remove condis with Restorative Illusions. When I try the new Chronomancer, I only think about a meme : This has been the worst trade deal of the history of trade deal, maybe ever. I stopped playing fractales/raid after this patch. I feared a huge nerf for Mirage so I also came back to core Mesmer in PvP.
August 13, 2019 , Chaotic interruption has been disabled in PvP To be honest, even if I avoid taking meta traits, I tried CI and I enjoyed it. I understand that it needed nerf, but during the time when it wasn't available, it just felt unfair that we were given acces to less possibilities. Now the CI is in my opinion useless, but I still try sometime to use it in order to make some troll builds.
February 25, 2020 Illusionary Counter and Phatasmal Warlock is back to 1 clone This update was meant to nerf Mirage, ultimately it just ended the chronomancer in PvP. As if it wasn't dead enough. It was also very hard for my core mesmer to accept the change that Illusionary Counter does only 1 clone again.
March 04, 2020 Mirage with one dodge As Magolith.9412 said on another thread "It's pretty rough." Personnaly, I like the new EM, but IH is still much more valuable for damage. 1 dodge... it's too hard for me. They also nerfed my favourite healing spell (Mantra of Restauration), but I won't mind that because all the healing spells has been nerf.
What saddens me the most is that before these last updates, some original builds could do "OK" even if they weren't meta. Now, I don't even know if there are any "meta" build currently viable for Mesmer, but what is sure is that there are some meta traits and skills that just overshadow the others, and therefore non meta build are just trash.
What were for you the most notable updates that changed your playstyle as a Mesmer ?
TLDR Just read what is written in Bold, Disruptor's Sustainment : never forgive, never forget.
PS : I'm sorry for the mesmer that plays power but I don't like GS, so my personnal opinion doesn't cover all the changes that GS had.
PPS: I'm not here to argue if the nerf were justify or not, but i'm here to share my thoughts on what changed my way to play as a mesmer.