Tomes should have been grandmaster trait choices — Guild Wars 2 Forums
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Tomes should have been grandmaster trait choices

Kodama.6453Kodama.6453 Member ✭✭✭✭

In my opinion, a problem with firebrand's design comes from this one aspect.

Instead of making the 3 tomes a grandmaster trait choice (like the dodges for daredevil or how the adept tier traits let scrapper chose between 3 versions of the function gyro), firebrand gets access to all 3 tomes by simply picking the elite spec.

These tomes provide way too much.

  • healing the same as other dedicated healer builds
  • pumping out tons of boons, including some of the most valuable ones like quickness, stability, aegis, resistance....
  • still dealing good damage through conditions

If they had made it a grandmaster decision, then firebrands would have to pick one thing they want to be great at.
Do you want condition damage? Pick the tome of justice.
Want healing? Pick the tome of resolve.
Want to provide boons? Pick the tome of courage.

But how the system currently works, firebrand gets the best of 3 worlds. No wonder they are top dogs in high end PvE content.

Comments

  • Kodama.6453Kodama.6453 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 13, 2020

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    Still need to have the stats and traits to back it up. Can't be healer and DPS at once, and while ToC is fairly stat-independent, it has a long cooldown and what it provides isn't all that essential in high-end PvE content.

    Similar to how elementalists always have healing, power damage, and condition damage on their weapons (apart from scepter, which is all offensive), but stats and traits determine which skills are actually an important part of your build and which just aren't worth activating or are at best a hail mary when things go south. There's a big difference between the fire+earth condition tempest and the water+air heal tempest, even if they're usually using the same weapons.

    Similarly, there's a big difference between a zeal/radiance condi DPS firebrand and an honour/virtues healbrand. Sure, the condibrand can pull out a healing tome, but you'd really prefer they didn't unless things really went south and their low healing coefficient might just be the difference between scraping through on low health and people getting downed... but either way, this is about the same as your DPS tempest going water. If it's a factor at all, things have gone wrong.

    Want to point at why guardians are prevalent?

    They're a source of party quickness, which is basically them and chronos. (Which is better than pre-firebrand when it was chronos or bust.)

    They're a profession that doesn't get rebuilt from the ground up every couple of years, so people who have a guardian geared are likely still able to play guardian, while for a lot of other professions there are probably people who have geared them up and then had their build nerfed out of the game (whether by being rendered uncompetitive or literally removed).

    But most importantly - they fulfill the basic promise from the original manifesto of professions being able to play multiple roles rather than being pigeon-holed into one, unlike some professions which have basically one thing they can bring to high-end PvE and struggle to find relevancy in other roles.

    The game doesn't need guardians to be cut down "because they're too prevalent in high-end PvE". It needs other professions to be given more options so they have the same versatility that guardians do.

    Fortunately, there's an expansion being worked on which will hopefully bring a new set of elite specialisations.

    Making the tomes a trait choice would still allow the guardian to fulfill different roles depending on the build.
    All it would do is that it wouldn't allow the firebrand to play 3 roles at the same time, being damage, healing, and boon support.

    Yeah, these roles need stats to back them up. But it is not like you can't have all 3 stats required for these 3 tomes in the same build. You basically just need condition damage, healing power, and concentration.

    Firebrand is simply one of the best supports in the game right now, because it adds tons of utility and healing to a party, while still providing good damage compared to other support elite specs.
    Druids buff the damage of their team, but don't really provide much damage themselves.
    A healing scrapper basically deals no damage whatsoever even, because they have to camp the med kit to get comparable healing.

    If firebrand can have all 3 of these really powerful tomes, why can't we allow daredevil to get all 3 dodge enhancements at the same time? Why not give scrapper all 3 versions of the function gyro at the same time?

    Other classes have to make choices at what they want to excel at, but not firebrand. They get basically 3 weapons kits just for playing the spec, each focused on a different role and with that they can basically provide these 3 roles at the same time.
    Either they should make it an actual choice or cut down the tomes to a point that they need way heavier investment to become actually good at their respective role.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    To answer your attempt at a rhetorical question first:

    The distinction between firebrand tomes and the choices that scrappers and daredevils have is that what scrappers and daredevils have are all extra bonuses associated with specific activities, and in each case it's essentially a matter of using the dodge or activating the function gyro and going back to what you were doing beforehand. This is not, in any way, a fair comparison to firebrand tomes. Firebrand tomes are individually activated, are balanced according to having separate cooldowns (Justice being fairly short, Courage is fairly long) and unless you drop the tomes early (thereby squandering some of the potential benefit, although sometimes that is the right move), you're locked into that tome for your weapon skills... which for Courage and Resolve means DPS loss because there's virtually no damage in their skills.

    The equivalent would be if Scrapper had three function gyro skills, each with a separate recharge (but they'd probably all be longer than the current one so the total number of gyro stomps/resses you get is about the same). The equivalent would be if Daredevil had all three dodges but each had a separate endurance bar. Even putting aside the awkwardness of having three dodge buttons, I'm pretty sure most daredevil players would prefer the current circumstance of having the dodge that fits their build over having three separate bars for three separate dodge types and never being able to do the same dodge twice on a row.

    If you're going to make that analogy, you'd have to make it so that the chosen tome was about as readily available as Tome of Justice is now. Because taking a grandmaster to be able to use Tome of Courage or Tome of Resolve once a minute or so is not a reasonable trade. You'd want it to be around 30s or so (y'know, about what function gyro is) and... that would probably be a buff to support firebrands, because they'll have more access to the tome that's actually useful rather than having theoretical versatility that they don't actually use. Because regardless of your claims to the contrary, firebrand builds do specialise, just like elementalists do, even if they still technically have the skills available.

    Speaking of which... your idea of a condition damage/healing/concentration "can do everything" firebrand just suggests that you're not all that familiar with where guardian DPS comes from. There is no guardian weaponset and precious few guardian utilities where you don't have a significant amount of your damage coming from strike damage, which means you can't just neglect your power/precision/ferocity stats without a noticeable DPS loss. This is why the optimised condi firebrand gear has a bit of Grieving in there, rather than the full Viper's or Viper/Sinister mix that most PvE condi builds use. A CD/HP/Conc set, if it existed, would probably result in a similar DPS loss as the current Harrier's healbrand, possibly even greater.

    So let's move on to its position among supports. It's comparable to druid, but from everything I've seen, druid is still considered the preferred option, in tenman at least, due to the offensive bonuses it brings (even if its personal DPS might be lower) and because in the hands of someone who's good at it it provides more useful healing generally (healbrand brings a bit of sustained healing across the party and an oh kitten button on a long cooldown, druid can deliver big heals on a target more often if needed). With respect to heal scrapper...

    ...to be blunt, heal scrapper is a good attempt at making a support build out of something that still isn't really made for it. Heal scrapper underperforming against healbrand isn't a firebrand problem, it's an engineer problem. Either scrapper needs a row of traits that are actually oriented towards supporting allies, or engineer needs a third elite specialisation that brings a support role akin to druid, firebrand, and tempest. (Note that none of those are locked into being support, although druid is probably closer to it than the others). Which is kinda my point - the problem isn't that guardian is too versatile, the problem is that a lot of other professions aren't versatile enough, often being in a position where they're almost able to perform a role, you can see skills and traits that are supposed to help them get there, but they just don't quite get over the line. Let's get the other professions over the line rather than tearing down those who have managed to cross it, shall we? Or will we be seeing the tall poppy crusade moving to mesmer and/or revenant after guardian gets torn down and people realise that mesmers and revenants are just as versatile and almost as prevalent in high-end PvE?

    Plus, as a final observation: I don't think your suggestion would have the desired effect anyway. DPS firebrands would just use ToJ, and still have decent DPS. Healbrands would just use Resolve, and maybe they'd lose a bit of DPS and utility, but it would still be bringing healing, quickness, and other offensive boons to the table and that's what's really wanted. Where it would really hurt would be competitive modes, but that's not the context you claim to be thinking about.

  • otto.5684otto.5684 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 13, 2020

    @Kodama.6453 said:
    In my opinion, a problem with firebrand's design comes from this one aspect.

    Instead of making the 3 tomes a grandmaster trait choice (like the dodges for daredevil or how the adept tier traits let scrapper chose between 3 versions of the function gyro), firebrand gets access to all 3 tomes by simply picking the elite spec.

    These tomes provide way too much.

    • healing the same as other dedicated healer builds
    • pumping out tons of boons, including some of the most valuable ones like quickness, stability, aegis, resistance....
    • still dealing good damage through conditions

    If they had made it a grandmaster decision, then firebrands would have to pick one thing they want to be great at.
    Do you want condition damage? Pick the tome of justice.
    Want healing? Pick the tome of resolve.
    Want to provide boons? Pick the tome of courage.

    But how the system currently works, firebrand gets the best of 3 worlds. No wonder they are top dogs in high end PvE content.

    Beside the fact that FB is top dps in high end PvE is flat out wrong (it is not even top 3 condi dps), this would never work and is pointless. FB dps only use ToJ. You do not want to use the other tomes cuz your dps drops down to nothing, and ToR barely heals without healing power. Outside of an emergency, I would never even attempt using ToR and ToC. In fact, I much rather have ToJ and core or DH resolve and courage over the tomes for dps. It would work better in every game mode, since they have no or short cast time with immediate effects. There is a reason there is not a single FB build that does not use healing power in PvP.

    Trying to compare scrapper gyro with guardian virtues is silly. You can compare guardian virtues to engi tool belt. Imagine if using holo only limits you to one tool belt skill. You lose the elite but it does not go down from 5 to 1. Same with guardian tomes. Cast time, and weak to no initial effect are major weakness for tomes, unless you invest heavily in healing power and boon duration.

    FB can be played as dps, healer, support or hybrid. However, this is does not make it OP, just well designed. It does not do all three at the same time. If you go healing, you deal less damage. Support (quickness, boon duration and aegis) does even less damage. Full dps only provides aegis through heal mantra. If you say that 1 aegis every 12 sec is strong support I agree. Is it game breaking? No.

  • Dadnir.5038Dadnir.5038 Member ✭✭✭✭

    While I agree with the idea that tomes should've been selected as grand master trait, the issue in my opinion is more on how this would have translated in game. Tomes replace virtues and many core traits are tied to virtues, what happen with your idea? Where is the tome? Is it still tied to the virtue? How does it work?

  • Kodama.6453Kodama.6453 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Dadnir.5038 said:
    While I agree with the idea that tomes should've been selected as grand master trait, the issue in my opinion is more on how this would have translated in game. Tomes replace virtues and many core traits are tied to virtues, what happen with your idea? Where is the tome? Is it still tied to the virtue? How does it work?

    I don't see the problem there, tbh.

    Guardian has 3 virtues baseline. Picking the associated grandmaster trait would replace the correlated virtue with the tome instead.
    So you have 1 tome and 2 core virtues.

    Especially since Anet recently changed the wording of traits now to unify the system even if elite specs are altering the mechanic. Why should it be problematic?

  • otto.5684otto.5684 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Kodama.6453 said:

    @Dadnir.5038 said:
    While I agree with the idea that tomes should've been selected as grand master trait, the issue in my opinion is more on how this would have translated in game. Tomes replace virtues and many core traits are tied to virtues, what happen with your idea? Where is the tome? Is it still tied to the virtue? How does it work?

    I don't see the problem there, tbh.

    Guardian has 3 virtues baseline. Picking the associated grandmaster trait would replace the correlated virtue with the tome instead.
    So you have 1 tome and 2 core virtues.

    Especially since Anet recently changed the wording of traits now to unify the system even if elite specs are altering the mechanic. Why should it be problematic?

    As I explained before, this would be a buff, not a nerf, in every situation, but support builds. Is this what you are looking for? It will specifically be a major buff in sPvP for dps builds. Core justice is better than the tome. Core resolve is better than the tome unless you have 1k Heaing power. The main weakness of core virtues is courage and thus that would be the one I would use the tome for.

    I would love this, but it would be over powered. This is what happens when you make suggestions you do not understand.

  • Kodama.6453Kodama.6453 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @otto.5684 said:
    As I explained before, this would be a buff, not a nerf, in every situation, but support builds. Is this what you are looking for? It will specifically be a major buff in sPvP for dps builds. Core justice is better than the tome. Core resolve is better than the tome unless you have 1k Heaing power. The main weakness of core virtues is courage and thus that would be the one I would use the tome for.

    I would love this, but it would be over powered. This is what happens when you make suggestions you do not understand.

    I never said that there won't be any more changes to the system, did I?

    Obviously, such a change would have to come with a massive overhaul to the entire elite spec, since we are changing the system it works on from a fundamental level, up to the point of getting rid of the current grandmaster traits and replacing them with the tome choices.
    Did you really expect to change that system so drastically and leaving everything else as it is currently?

    What I was pointing out in this thread here is that firebrands mechanics was done wrongly from the very beginning in my opinion. I can't grasp why Anet creates e-specs on one hand with the mechanic of having to chose what your elite spec mechanic will cover (how it was done for scrapper and daredevil), but firebrand completely ignored this and got 3 tomes at once when it would have been the perfect candidate for another "pick a trait to change up your mechanic" specialisation.

  • otto.5684otto.5684 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 17, 2020

    @Kodama.6453 said:

    @otto.5684 said:
    As I explained before, this would be a buff, not a nerf, in every situation, but support builds. Is this what you are looking for? It will specifically be a major buff in sPvP for dps builds. Core justice is better than the tome. Core resolve is better than the tome unless you have 1k Heaing power. The main weakness of core virtues is courage and thus that would be the one I would use the tome for.

    I would love this, but it would be over powered. This is what happens when you make suggestions you do not understand.

    I never said that there won't be any more changes to the system, did I?

    Obviously, such a change would have to come with a massive overhaul to the entire elite spec, since we are changing the system it works on from a fundamental level, up to the point of getting rid of the current grandmaster traits and replacing them with the tome choices.
    Did you really expect to change that system so drastically and leaving everything else as it is currently?

    What I was pointing out in this thread here is that firebrands mechanics was done wrongly from the very beginning in my opinion. I can't grasp why Anet creates e-specs on one hand with the mechanic of having to chose what your elite spec mechanic will cover (how it was done for scrapper and daredevil), but firebrand completely ignored this and got 3 tomes at once when it would have been the perfect candidate for another "pick a trait to change up your mechanic" specialisation.

    You keep saying that having 3 tomes is an issue, without demonstrating why, and ignoring that by default you have 3 virtues. The tomes have weak to no initial effect, lock your weapon, require multiple skill castings and cannot be used simultaneously, like core and DH can. These are very significant downside to flat out ignore.

    And for performance, which game mode is FB over performing in? It is nearly out of the meta in sPvP. In PvE, It is solid as condi dps or as support, but is not over performing as either. If this is a blob PvP (zerg WvW), blob is never ever balanced. Feel free to make WvW only suggestions though.

    The point is, you are making claims of over performance with zero logical backing and failure to provide an performance criteria (or comparisons) supporting your position. You are just saying "tomes are mean and there is 3 of them." If you do not like FB do not play. If this is an sPvP argument, you are like 3 months late to the party. Feel free to complain about blob PvP. It never is the basis for any balance, since by design it is inherently kitten.