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What about Firebrand?

Zero.3871Zero.3871 Member ✭✭✭

Hello fellows,

would like to ask a greater round of people what do you think about state of firebrand, cause i dont want to just shout out something broken or op?

i personally have the feeling this class is just too necessary right now in wvw. the reason for it i see in the buffs of most cc`s in game with the great balance patch some month ago and guardian still the only good source for stability in game and still great healing and general boon support. everytime my team struggles in wvw to fight another group of players we mostly just change 1 person to firebrand and we can instantly fight twice the number as before. and i dont have this effect by any other class.

when i remember some days in hot meta, where support meta in most zerg and small scale groups was a set up of 1 druid for healing, guard for stability and ele/scrapper for condi remove i would personally say, that meta was better since a greater variety of supports where viable. atm its more or less just firebrand.

imo a treatment like scourges (changing target cap from 5 to 2) or mirages (reducing dodges) on firebrand tome charges could help here. reducing it to e.g. 3 charges could bring him down to a more balanced state. what do you think?

Comments

  • Tao.5096Tao.5096 Member ✭✭✭

    Guardian was always #1 class to take into WvW and it was always on tanky and supportive spec.
    It's Core, Firebrand - doesn't matter really, it always was about it's support skill-set.

    For Anet it was always easier and better to nerf counters than actual core issues...

  • Infusion.7149Infusion.7149 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 24, 2020

    Changing target cap from 5 to 2 on what skill? If it's anything to do with stability you're probably going to just make it a pirateship meta.

    Tome skills have been nerfed already: other than unbroken lines' 200 toughness (Courage 5) and Eternal Oasis' 20% heal modifier (Resolve 5) , there really isn't anything amazing about them. Boon duration is atrocious on the Legendary Lore trait now so many people opt for lower mantra cooldowns or quickness.

    Aegis heals and mantra of solace were both nerfed as well as MI (merciful intervention).

    Mantras are not in line with mesmer mantras, but that is a separate issue.

    P.S. scrapper and tempest are better at healing.

  • Mini Crinny.6190Mini Crinny.6190 Member ✭✭✭✭

    The lack of Stability on any other class just means Anet do not want to balance much on this, so having 1 class give stability makes things easier for anet

  • Aeolus.3615Aeolus.3615 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 24, 2020

    @Mini Crinny.6190 said:
    The lack of Stability on any other class just means Anet do not want to balance much on this, so having 1 class give stability makes things easier for anet

    Wich only 1 class gives stability, there isnt much stabiluty outside guardian stuff for AOE but theres alot of stabily for personal gain on th eother classes.

    Also for more aoe stacking...
    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Inspiring_Reinforcement
    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/True_Nature_(dwarf)

  • subversiontwo.7501subversiontwo.7501 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 24, 2020

    The Guardian has always been popular because its core design is so important for WvW. No one likes being constantly stuck.

    It is up to other classes to encroach on that territory. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. These days especially, with so much variety from especs, it is quite interesting that no other class has been given an equal- or better access to stab/breaks without other things that the Guardian can do better than it, but worse than others.

    There was a recent thread about Thieves and Rangers for example and the Soulbeast in particular remains curiously pre-nerfed in its stance sharing even if that could open up the meta quite alot if it was more competetive in uptime and cooldown management.

    The Mesmer also has pretty nice design for picking parts of the Guardian's role but that class has been slogged and reshaped so many times now that there is little obvious or appearant functionality for that left, beyond the fact that the core mechanics for it are still pretty good (ie., the break/stab mantra works pretty well mechanically or is reasonably fun to use).

    Anyway, it is things like these with which to approach the status of the Guardian. Sadly most threads about them comes from people who want there to be even less stab and cleanse because they think they will get an easier time picking freely from backline then. Not only are those people wrong in their assumptions but that would also lead to a much less diverse environment and far more boring experience to play WvW.

  • God.2708God.2708 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 24, 2020

    Given the recent scourge changes, I wouldn't be opposed to some changes to firebrand at this point. I'm not sure I would inherently target firebrand itself though, the big 'keeping' power of firebrand at the moment is simply the combination of A. How powerful and consistent SYG (most other stab sources people bring up as usable are NOT consistent to the same degree SYG is), and B. the fact they have multiple other sources of it to fill in when SYG fails.

    So, for example as a revenant of some sort, I could lay down my road and/or use my Dwarf True Nature, but if that gets stripped/removed what do I have to help my party with now? Keep in mind stability in excess is ABSOLUTELY SUPER DUPER KITTEN IMPORTANT AND VITAL to WvW having healthy large scale gameplay. If every spawn had a little special action key akin to a banner that one player could pick up and follow his zerg around and pulse 1.2k AoE 5 stacks of stab every 10 seconds or something, firebrands (more specifically support firebrands) would vanish almost overnight.

    Like, look at what the old(/Current) zerg meta use to offer in stability
    Firebrand: SYG Mantra, Courage tome, sometimes hallowed ground
    Herald: Nature Dwarf, Inspired reinforcement
    Scourge: Trail of Anguish (pulses stab to people that run on it, fun little known fact)
    Scrapper: Defense Field, Fear conversion
    Mesmer (sometimes): Power Break
    Soulbeast (rarely): Shared Dolyak stance

    Like, think about this. This is LITERALLY almost every single skill that provides stability to allies IN THE GAME all squeezed into the typical meta party. And what is one of the most common and frequent complaints on forums? "There's to much CC, I feel like a pinball."

    If you want to adjust firebrand, and IMO that is the next step WvW balance should be looked at from its current state, this is the million dollar question @Cal Cohen.2358: What is the best route mechanics wise to create windows of opportunity in large scale combat using CC? Because so long as GW2's combat being agile and reactive is it's big selling point, people are going to pursue making sure they can use it with an intense fervor, and parties/squads will reflect that. If CC is in excess party compositions will be designed to answer that. The reason firebrand is everywhere is its ability to bridge the gaps to make those windows of opportunity small/non-existent, but getting rid of that ability will make the game play inherently ugly and not fun.

    So... yes, I'm at the point where I'm in favor of seeing firebrand dragged out of its seat like Scourge recently was. But... that requires a look at a lot of things that aren't firebrand and will likely involve a lot of discussion.

  • Mini Crinny.6190Mini Crinny.6190 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Aeolus.3615 said:

    @Mini Crinny.6190 said:
    The lack of Stability on any other class just means Anet do not want to balance much on this, so having 1 class give stability makes things easier for anet

    Wich only 1 class gives stability, there isnt much stabiluty outside guardian stuff for AOE but theres alot of stabily for personal gain on th eother classes.

    Also for more aoe stacking...
    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Inspiring_Reinforcement
    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/True_Nature_(dwarf)

    This is true, but in terms of what Firebrand does compared to any other class is what I meant

  • ArchonWing.9480ArchonWing.9480 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 24, 2020

    See, before Firebrand, the king of support was core guardian. But that was mostly about stab, retaliation, and protection. Not healing-- guardians in zergs didn't subscribe to this minstrel garbage. Guardian lost to.... itself. In many ways Firebrand is simply a straight upgrade, gaining access to things it really shouldn't have, namely water fields and resistance. OTOH, the supportive nature of tomes also means firebrand becomes a strict support and does not attack.

    I would remove the resistance completely from Tome 3 and replace it with someone else (more taunt? Something offensively related) as well as the water field from tome 2. This isn't really a nerf as it is more about getting rid of things that intrude upon other niches.,

  • Zero.3871Zero.3871 Member ✭✭✭

    @Infusion.7149 said:
    Changing target cap from 5 to 2 on what skill? If it's anything to do with stability you're probably going to just make it a pirateship meta.

    nah, my idea was reducing the charges/chapters on firebrand tomes from currently 5 (8 if traited) to 3.

    @ArchonWing.9480 said:
    See, before Firebrand, the king of support was core guardian. But that was mostly about stab, retaliation, and protection. Not healing-- guardians in zergs didn't subscribe to this minstrel garbage. Guardian lost to.... itself. In many ways Firebrand is simply a straight upgrade, gaining access to things it really shouldn't have, namely water fields and resistance. OTOH, the supportive nature of tomes also means firebrand becomes a strict support and does not attack.

    I would remove the resistance completely from Tome 3 and replace it with someone else (more taunt? Something offensively related) as well as the water field from tome 2. This isn't really a nerf as it is more about getting rid of things that intrude upon other niches.,

    i see, the problem with firebrand is, that in comparison to other elite specs of other classes there is no tradeoff when using firebrand in comparison to core, just overall buffs.

  • subversiontwo.7501subversiontwo.7501 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2020

    Since this thread got bumped again, let me add two short things:

    If you find the best stab-provider in the game to be an issue, the best way to adress that is to severely limit the amount of hard CC.

    Similarly,

    If you find the best cleanser in the game to be an issue, the best way to adress that is to severly limit the amount of control conditions or soft CC.

    That is how you affect their importance and open up diversity. There is no option in the game where eating alot of stuns and immobs is functional.

    Let me spell that out again: Nobody. Likes. Not. Getting. To. Play. (ie., being stuck, unable to move, use dodges or skills). That is not fun.

    The more we get of that relative freedom-oriented boons (like stab), breaks and cleanses, the more important stab and cleanses become and the more those classes will be stacked. So the only result you get out of "Nerf FB plx" is people stacking more FB.

    Fixing FB rather involves things like nerfing stuns amounts and durations, immobilizing condition amounts and durations, adding more abilities with stunbreaks in them and buffing abilities like Dolyak stance, Mantra of Concentration, Bulwark Gyro / Elixir B and Rock Solid (there's things like Trail of Anguish and Inspiring Reinforcement too, but I would be more cautious with those classes as there are things like oversaturation too). There's even more shared breaks but that's also something to be more cautious with and perhaps better to build into more self-targeted mechanics than group-shared mechanics.

    Personally, I'm firmly in the camp of "less is more" where less CC could allow the developers to also have less covers against CC to make the base movement feel more normative, make CC more impactful through being unique and make the counters to CC more flavoursome by being unique but also less of a requirement should getting controlled not be a chain-success, something that gets you killed too easily or something where a few personal abilities would be enough to countermand (ie., CC should be impactful because people did not push the buttons they had - in time - not because they did not have enough buttons). Overall it leads to less spam and strain on the game's traffic.

  • ASP.8093ASP.8093 Member ✭✭✭

    @Zero.3871 said:
    i see, the problem with firebrand is, that in comparison to other elite specs of other classes there is no tradeoff when using firebrand in comparison to core, just overall buffs.

    Everyone's obsessed with "tradeoffs" but here's the way character builds actually work in practice:
    1. A character gets three trait lines.
    2. One of those trait lines can be an elite spec, which comes with a bunch of extra stuff and modifies your class' special mechanics in various ways.
    3. For any given role, if an elite spec is the third most useful trait line for it or better, you will pretty consistently use the elite spec.

    Firebrand is a really strong support line for Guardians. That means it's a no-brainer on support-oriented builds, and a viable third trait line for certain kinds of damaging builds that want to roll a bit of party support as well (not mobile/bursty builds you see in WvW roaming, though — note how Core Guardian and Dragonhunter both eat their lunch there). Hence the ubiquity of it for support Guards, which have always been Guardian's main job in zergs.

  • Zero.3871Zero.3871 Member ✭✭✭

    @subversiontwo.7501 said:
    Since this thread got bumped again, let me add two short things:

    If you find the best stab-provider in the game to be an issue, the best way to adress that is to severely limit the amount of hard CC.

    Similarly,

    If you find the best cleanser in the game to be an issue, the best way to adress that is to severly limit the amount of control conditions or soft CC.

    That is how you affect their importance and open up diversity. There is no option in the game where eating alot of stuns and immobs is functional.

    Let me spell that out again: Nobody. Likes. Not. Getting. To. Play. (ie., being stuck, unable to move, use dodges or skills). That is not fun.

    The more we get of that relative freedom-oriented boons (like stab), breaks and cleanses, the more important stab and cleanses become and the more those classes will be stacked. So the only result you get out of "Nerf FB plx" is people stacking more FB.

    Fixing FB rather involves things like nerfing stuns amounts and durations, immobilizing condition amounts and durations, adding more abilities with stunbreaks in them and buffing abilities like Dolyak stance, Mantra of Concentration, Bulwark Gyro / Elixir B and Rock Solid (there's things like Trail of Anguish and Inspiring Reinforcement too, but I would be more cautious with those classes as there are things like oversaturation too). There's even more shared breaks but that's also something to be more cautious with and perhaps better to build into more self-targeted mechanics than group-shared mechanics.

    Personally, I'm firmly in the camp of "less is more" where less CC could allow the developers to also have less covers against CC to make the base movement feel more normative, make CC more impactful through being unique and make the counters to CC more flavoursome by being unique but also less of a requirement should getting controlled not be a chain-success, something that gets you killed too easily or something where a few personal abilities would be enough to countermand (ie., CC should be impactful because people did not push the buttons they had - in time - not because they did not have enough buttons). Overall it leads to less spam and strain on the game's traffic.

    i personally dont see problem with firebrand in its function as stability support. because it was always like that. and like you say, as long as stability is necessary people just stack more fb if anet nerf that. its like scourge got stacked more and more when anet nerfed boonhate without reducing boonspam. but if you would reduce firebrand heal capability. then most parties would need another class as heal supporter (e.g. a druid or ele for group heal). that would open up class diversity at support roles i guess.

  • subversiontwo.7501subversiontwo.7501 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 1, 2020

    @Zero.3871 said:
    i personally dont see problem with firebrand in its function as stability support. because it was always like that. and like you say, as long as stability is necessary people just stack more fb if anet nerf that. its like scourge got stacked more and more when anet nerfed boonhate without reducing boonspam. but if you would reduce firebrand heal capability. then most parties would need another class as heal supporter (e.g. a druid or ele for group heal). that would open up class diversity at support roles i guess.

    Well, then that begs the question of why you made the thread. Thumbs up on your last reply though.

    The Firebrand is not the best healer. It is also not the source of the boon-spam (which mainly comes from Heralds and the ping between Scourges and Scrappers, that just convert and reconvert condis and boons instead of clearing them out of the count).

    Role overlap:

    You also already have multiple classes that fringes on the role of a general no-healer types of support or some-healing but no boons type of support with Dwarf Revs, Soulbeasts (even if they remain pre-nerfed after almost 3 years) and Shoutbreakers. Like I clamped in spoilers above, even more classes add pulsing/grounded stab now even if they may not be looked upon as in a support role and it probably isn't desirable to do so.

    So it is obviously better and more direct to, for example, buff Soulbeast stance-sharing to enter into a fifth/balance role with Dwarf Revs, than turning the Firebrand even more into core Guard and Dragon Hunters just for the sake of making people stack let's say Tempests and Scrappers. I mean, to some degree people already kinda are stacking tripple support in some cases with FB+Scrap+Temp or FB+Scrap+Healbreaker cores not being too uncommon in parties.

    As far as the actual thread topic goes, people can stop reading here :3

    General balance and roles:

    On a more general level, managing roles and the core idea of "everyone being able to be everything" is pretty difficult since it rubs against the logic that something is always going to be the best at something and balance is more about tolerable differences than equality. I kind of like the diversity that this game has and I don't think it should give that up, but we also see quite alot of issues stemming from how the same classes keep popping up in all roles all of the time while other thematically or mechanically more outlying classes get stuck in gimmick roles. I definately think that the WvW balance can be put into a situation where they are a bit more careful in overlapping roles yet still being able to keep the game diverse. There are enough mechanics in game for the mode to be diverse (with different kinds of support for example) without necessarily shaping everything into the same mold that does everything at once.

    Given how diverse Warriors already were, giving them things that were taken from eg., Scrappers (passive healing) and Druids (%dmg buffs) was a very poor design choice. The same goes for eg., the pulsing stab on trail of anguish. Necros overall are definately diverse enough to not need a shareable important boon spam like that. If anything they'd need better personal stab/break/mobility options instead so the shared effects do not push other classes with less diversity or support compounded from supportive or balancing roles. In a sense, some parts of roles are good to see more encroaching or infringement on while other are not or some classes could use more of it while others certainly do not because they already have multiple roles.

    I often keep comming back to the Ranger in these kind of discussions, but it makes a good example for this since the general consensus still is that they have no role or place in groups: Its elite specs have concepts or design that is specified towards given roles. The Druid has (or had) a niche of a ranged support class that is pretty unique. They could easily roll back or reshift some changes there to make that better, more clear and more popular in WvW. The Soulbeast has stance-sharing which could be very, and I mean very, positive for general balance of freedom in large-scale gameplay and let them take a frontline role. They are there on a concept level but not on a balance level.

    Let's further explore that example:

    They do not stick out enough or lack volume to become more popular even if they initially were designed to be somewhat of a re-counter to the bubbles and corruption-spam that got added at the same time with the no-new boons mechanic balanced by the no-new soft CC mechanic. It's there in design, it's just not there in balance and bubble/stun or bubble/imob has been a menace since as a result, staying extremely popular for 3 years and remaining a fun-adverse combination today because you can end up pushing all your buttons and still be helplessly stuck in bubble/stun/imob spam, letting that account for a considerable amount of large-scale kills.

    Even if they were made stronger and the class became more popular in those roles it may still not be "meta". You may still prefer eg., a Dwarf Rev in a balance role for most parties, but it would at least hit the tolerable balance mark where people would accept a Soulbeast if there was no Rev available, right? It would also hit the super-meta mark where more experienced or specialized groups could draw on the combination of a fitting role and other advantages in the class mechanics to actually nudge it into meta over time or where at least some groups at a large pickup scale that perhaps has more experienced players would at least begin to be more welcomming of that class in such roles. A beast + freedom role is more positive than a beast + CC role overall, no?

    That too can over time shift meta or at least establish certain places where that class is considered a more broadly appealing alternative. It really is as easy as taking away the 50% modifier on stance sharing for the SB and moving the damage modifier from the Spirit back to glyphs and GotL for the Druid (or just skill splitting that for WvW). It won't make every tag out there ask for a bunch of Rangers instead of Guardians but it will certainly cement their already existing design a bit better and open up diversity with alternatives that could be considered more of sidegrades than upgrades or too-slooping downgrades.

    So as it stands the Soulbeast is a stance-sharing espec that is never really used to stance-share with and has mostly power appeal that got a weird condi/hybrid damage weapon that could easily (on both MH and OH) be reshaped into weapons with more large-scale cleaving appeal. The Druid is still a ranged general healing, stealth and offensive support class that synergizes nicely with ranged classes but the offensive support sits in things like Spirits or has been reshaped into might stacks that just doesn't have situational appeal for large-scale WvW. So again, the design is there but the volume or situational/environmental adaption isn't there to cement the role and make it easier to motivate (even if you can already play it).

    Ed. this just kept growing and growing, so it needs some headers. I guess I should sort of apologize too, I never meant it to be this long or theoretical but I got carried away and if people care about the topic what's said in the lower headers is still interesting enough even if it's far beyond the topic of the thread

  • Zero.3871Zero.3871 Member ✭✭✭

    @subversiontwo.7501 said:

    @Zero.3871 said:
    i personally dont see problem with firebrand in its function as stability support. because it was always like that. and like you say, as long as stability is necessary people just stack more fb if anet nerf that. its like scourge got stacked more and more when anet nerfed boonhate without reducing boonspam. but if you would reduce firebrand heal capability. then most parties would need another class as heal supporter (e.g. a druid or ele for group heal). that would open up class diversity at support roles i guess.

    Well, then that begs the question of why you made the thread. Thumbs up on your last reply though.

    The Firebrand is not the best healer. It is also not the source of the boon-spam (which mainly comes from Heralds and the ping between Scourges and Scrappers, that just convert and reconvert condis and boons instead of clearing them out of the count).

    Role overlap:

    You also already have multiple classes that fringes on the role of a general no-healer types of support or some-healing but no boons type of support with Dwarf Revs, Soulbeasts (even if they remain pre-nerfed after almost 3 years) and Shoutbreakers. Like I clamped in spoilers above, even more classes add pulsing/grounded stab now even if they may not be looked upon as in a support role and it probably isn't desirable to do so.

    ** So it is obviously better and more direct to, for example, buff Soulbeast stance-sharing to enter into a fifth/balance role** with Dwarf Revs, than turning the Firebrand even more into core Guard and Dragon Hunters just for the sake of making people stack let's say Tempests and Scrappers. I mean, to some degree people already kinda are stacking tripple support in some cases with FB+Scrap+Temp or FB+Scrap+Healbreaker cores not being too uncommon in parties.

    ive read all of it....proud of myself B) . and thx 4 your input.

    i agree, there are different type of support:
    dmg reduction (e.g. by rev dwarf)
    heal
    boons
    stability (special case)
    utility (mesmerportals, engi smoke fields for invis....)
    ...

    my thoughts are just:
    1. fb can do TOO MUCh of that support activities in ONE CLASS so the overall potential of FB to support teammates is blocking other classes from becoming viable.
    2. nerfing the outliers (the way cmc is currently searching for balance) is better then buffing some classes into the meta.

    you said (i understood it that way, plz correct me if im wrong) in your later topics that classes already are designed to fit into those roles (e.g. SB stances), but their mechanics are just not strong enough to compete with meta builds/classes (currently mostly Firebrands) or people are just not used to those classes.

    but as long as Fb remains in its current state, those classes probably wont ever come to that state of being viable. i think FB can supply to much boons (offensive+defensive) while healing(with dodge, staff 2+4, f2 tome, ....) a lot AND still have tons of cc, so it is a nearly perfect alrounder(maybe not the best in a particular area,but still very good as alrounder) so that makes everything else redundant, because if you have to choose between, having 4 different supports for getting max heal, boons, cc,...OR just choosing 1 support to get all of that just a little bit less, you would choose the easier option with just 1 support, so you can better put 4 dmg dealer next to that 1 support instead of 1 dmg dealer next to the 4 supports. the only supportive mechanics that are used next to firebrand are those, which doesnt get applied by FB (e.g. dmg reduction by rev dwarf, invis by mesmer/engi,....) so my thougths are, if you take away some supportive components from FB and take out its potential as allrounder, you open up the door for other classes. before that happens, i see no way to get more diversity in support role on one side.
    AND firebrand still gives groups a too easy option to get overall support by 1 source. so lowering fb would make the game/set up organisation way deeper than it is now.

  • borgs.6103borgs.6103 Member ✭✭✭

    I honestly rather have the role of FBs stay with FBs.

    • If they nerf FBs, they have to compensate by buffing other classes and we'll be back to the issue at hand.
    • If they buff another class that can do what FBs can, then people will just use that and FBs.
    • If they nerf FBs and don't compensate, the game mode won't be fun because people will always use the best tactic for minimal effort. (CCs galore!)
    • If they nerf FBs and crowd control, everybody will just play ranged.

    Are they over-peforming? Of course they are. No arguments there. But what can we really do? Just think of Firebrands (and Guardians in general) like death and taxes. You hate it but it's unavoidable so just learn to deal with it.

    Check out the fable of the Boiling Frog.

  • That's the same kitten Scourge players said. I lol'ed.

    Με χίλια ονόματα, μία χάρη, ακρίτας ειτ’ αρματολός, αντάρτης, κλέφτης, παλικάρι; πάντα ειν’ ο ίδιος ο λαός.