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When are the rest of elite spec trade offs?

LaFurion.3167LaFurion.3167 Member ✭✭✭
edited August 7, 2020 in Professions

Holosmith is the major offender. Same with reaper when compared to any other power version of core necro.

Firebrand also needs looking at. I see zero trade off here.

Even reapers shroud has a CD. Holosmith can go in and out whenever, and can use utility skills lol.

What about tempest, what's the trade off from core ele? Its better than core in every way, you can to overload attunements. And dont just band aid another -300 trait to the elite spec. Penalty traits like scrapper, berserker, mirage are all terrible ways to "solve" (if it can even be called that) the problem.

Or are things fine as they are, with some classes having tradeoffs, while others tradeoffs are minimal, while others have none at all and perform like 5 of the core professions combined?

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Comments

  • LaFurion.3167LaFurion.3167 Member ✭✭✭

    For core necro, the shroud change was.... weird to me. Core shroud also takes you into close range, while reaper will always outshine it. There are zero situations in wvw pvp open world fractals or raids where core is better than reaper up close.

    An example of a "good change", or at least what I would do, is to change core shroud to be ranged. The auto for shroud does more damage the farther away the enemy is. The 2 ability, while nice, needs looking at. With the update you just gave us the ability to choose when to go in, but it's like a quality of life loss for some reason. Shroud 5 hmm...its okay I guess but reaper is 10000xbetter.

  • Moradorin.6217Moradorin.6217 Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 7, 2020

    Well TBH I think the whole trade off convept is pretty misguided. IMO the trade off argument came into play after PoF because the new PoF specs performed better generally vs core of the same class. Some times very much so, but not always. Core guard, core mes, core thief all still did very well in pvp during this time as did others, but not all, and many solid core builds could be countered hard by other PoF builds. People also still complained about druid, chrono and some other HoT especs along with all the PoF specs in general.

    A mindset began to form in the player community that balance should mean core works as well as especs. Part of me is inclined to agree with this because it seems like it would give "the most even balance" if that is actually even a realistic thing. (not sure)

    Part of me then and now feels that this thinking is flawed and is actually causing all kinda problems. Why? Well let me try to explain what I mean.

    PvP has allot of factors that impact how fun it is to play. For many Ranked is are what we mean when we talk about PvP so I will only talk about that.

    Ranked has some issues with match manipulation. One of the things people sight as an common issue is top players using multiple accounts and various ways people can use multiple accounts to make ranking placeholders or just throw a bot into the other match. How much these things happen is a source of debate. Im just saying this seems to happen and people have complained about it a long time. It seems to me that F2P (free to play) accounts offer obvious fodder for doing these sorts of things. Also F2P accounts are core only. So in effect, it seems that by worrying about core balance over Expac balance what, at least in part, is happening is these practices and behaviors (bot problems anyone?) are benefiting from the idea of trade offs for especs.

    It seems pretty obvious to me that we would see less bots running core if it was less effective and it would provide less benefit to people who like to manipulate rank holdings with mutiple F2P accounts.

    If it was accepted that its ok for especs to have more build options than core and thereby have an obvious advantage over Core then the idea of tradeoffs no longer makes much sense. It would also seem like it would encourage legitimate players to upgrade from F2P which is good for Anet and the game as a whole because it generates revenue. It would also limit the negative impact that F2P bots, trolls, people spamming map chat with political kitten, etc which is all facilitated and encouraged in some sense when F2P core is supposed to be as strong in pvp/wvw as payed accounts w expacs.

    TBH I think the game would be in a much healthier place is a few years ago the mindset that F2P should be balanced against payed accounts wasnt adopted. I think it has lead to a less happy population of actual players, more unwanted spam in map chat in pvp loby, more issues w cheaters, hacks, bots in pvp and wvw alike. In other words, its actually bad for the game in the long run and is arguably part of what is killing PvP.

  • Taril.8619Taril.8619 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Honestly, the main issue is the way they've implemented elite specs.

    Most elite specs are just core class mechanics, with something extra tacked on (For example, Tempest is literally core Elementalist with the extra ability to Overload). Or core class mechanics but stronger (For example, Dragon Hunter and Firebrand both just get stronger versions of Guardian's Virtues)

    As such, there's this need to try and balance this obvious powercreep, which ends up resulting in things like slapping on a stat penalty or something.

    Whereas if elite specs actually changed the class mechanics rather than simply adding to them, then that is inherently a trade off and nothing else needs to be done. I.e. Scourge doesn't need a stat penalty because it trades off the functionality of Shroud as a transformation mechanic and its associated benefits, for a unique mechanic of utilizing Shroud skills by way of F buttons. AKA it trades off the core class mechanic, for the new Scourge class mechanic.

    But alas, at this point, they've seemingly committed to creating half-baked elite spec designs where they simply tack on some extra abilities or buff the existing core mechanic and call it a day.

    Especially when they consider things like Holosmith to be "One of the best designed E-Specs" despite the fact that it is just insane powercreep over core Engie (By way of "Trading off" the absolute omegatrash tier F5 skills, for the Holoforge a ridiculously powerful transformation skill that even powercreeps over Necro's Shroud by way of allowing all utilities to still be usable while active...)

    Cat: Meow.

  • otto.5684otto.5684 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 7, 2020

    @LaFurion.3167 said:
    Holosmith is the major offender. Same with reaper when compared to any other power version of core necro.

    Firebrand also needs looking at. I see zero trade off here.

    Even reapers shroud has a CD. Holosmith can go in and out whenever, and can use utility skills lol.

    What about tempest, what's the trade off from core ele? Its better than core in every way, you can to overload attunements. And dont just band aid another -300 trait to the elite spec. Penalty traits like scrapper, berserker, mirage are all terrible ways to "solve" (if it can even be called that) the problem.

    Or are things fine as they are, with some classes having tradeoffs, while others tradeoffs are minimal, while others have none at all and perform like 5 of the core professions combined?

    I think there is a confusion here. The trade-off is publicity stunt, it is not a real thing. Beside core necro and ranger in PvP, are any core builds viable anywhere? No.

    Can we please accept that this is just a publicity stunt by Anet, like "expansion" level content for Ice Brood Saga, and move on?

    @Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:
    Holosmith loses the elite toolbelt skill. Reaper Shroud burns away twice as fast as regular shroud. Tempests get increased attunement cooldowns on overloads. Firebrand loses the instant-cast virtues for their books.

    I agree, but you also have to look at it from a broader prospective. I will use guardian as an example, since it is my main. There are tons of trade-offs regarding the tomes, that ignorantly or maliciously, people ignore. These include locking your weapons. long cast times on mostly weak effects. ToR is near useless without healing power. Loss of instant effects. However, is there a reason to use core guardian over FB or DH, in any game mode? No.

    I do not take Anet devs seriously when they claim stuff, cuz the result is rarely consistent with the claim. Wither it is intentional or not.

  • Fueki.4753Fueki.4753 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 7, 2020

    Tbh, Arenanet needs to revert this trade-off stuff.
    For example:
    Berserkers need their Core F1s back, and lose the Toughness punishment.
    Why are we being punished for doing the main mechanic of the spec anyway?!
    It feels like enemies always focus me when I play Berserker and the -300 Toughness really hurts.
    On my Chronomancer, I also often see Warriors being focused first by the monsters.
    It's almost like Arenanet wants Berserkers to drop like flies.

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

    @Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:
    Holosmith loses the elite toolbelt skill. Reaper Shroud burns away twice as fast as regular shroud. Tempests get increased attunement cooldowns on overloads. Firebrand loses the instant-cast virtues for their books.

    Almost all correct, but how it currently is tempest is the last elite spec that doesn't have a trade off in Anet's sense.

    Anet's trade offs are supposed to be permanent penalties on the class, not just temporary disadvantages like increased cooldowns for the attunements.
    Look at soulbeast. Technically, soulbeast lost access to their pets when they were merged. But this was still not a trade off how Anet defines them, since soulbeasts had all control over when they have access to their pets and when not.

    A soulbeast could do the exact same stuff a core ranger can do, but had the additional option to lose their pet temporarily for the benefits of their merge mechanic.
    Tempest also has everything that core elementalist has, but the additional option to increase their attune swap cooldown to get the benefits of overloads. They have full control over that downside, it is not permanent but it is a choice.

    So OP is right about tempest, they still need to get their trade off introduced. All the other classes they mention already have their trade offs installed, tho.

  • So I wholly disagree that trade-offs are the problem. As a concept, trade-offs are the only reason elite specs work. By losing access to certain mechanics and gaining access to others, an elite spec can actually carve out a playstyle that's different from what the core professions can offer. I just think that because there's no standard for what a trade-off looks like, they've been implemented inconsistently across the board.

    I might be in the minority, but I'm actually of the belief that elite specs should be trading access to a weapon and set of utility skills for their own set of exclusive tools and mechanics. That way devs can actually ease some of the mechanical penalties they've added to classes like berserker and mirage, buff elite spec mechanics accross the board to make them feel more distinct, and maybe look to overhaul or rework some elite specs that feel like there isn't enough of a difference in the playstyles they offer from core. I actually think core specs should have the most access to weapons and skills at any given time, while elites should trade some of that versatility for access to powerful, specialized mechanics that make them excel in certain ways that core professions could never do on their own.

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

    @Tempest.8479 said:
    So I wholly disagree that trade-offs are the problem. As a concept, trade-offs are the only reason elite specs work. By losing access to certain mechanics and gaining access to others, an elite spec can actually carve out a playstyle that's different from what the core professions can offer. I just think that because there's no standard for what a trade-off looks like, they've been implemented inconsistently across the board.

    I might be in the minority, but I'm actually of the belief that elite specs should be trading access to a weapon and set of utility skills for their own set of exclusive tools and mechanics. That way devs can actually ease some of the mechanical penalties they've added to classes like berserker and mirage, buff elite spec mechanics accross the board to make them feel more distinct, and maybe look to overhaul or rework some elite specs that feel like there isn't enough of a difference in the playstyles they offer from core. I actually think core specs should have the most access to weapons and skills at any given time, while elites should trade some of that versatility for access to powerful, specialized mechanics that make them excel in certain ways that core professions could never do on their own.

    The problem is that such a trade off would first require a heavy rework of the engineer class.

    Losing access to a weapon hurts engineer quite alot, considering that core engineer just has 3 core weapons: pistol, shield, rifle. Other classes like warrior or ranger can still do fine and have alot of different build options even after losing 1 weapon from their arsenal, but doing that to the engineer would really hurt their build diversity.

    Losing access to a utility skill type is difficult, since engineer isn't like the other professions when it comes to the number of their utility skills. Other classes have 5 different utility skill categories with 4 utility skills each. Engineer on the other hand just has 4 different utility skill types (elixirs, kits, turrets, gadgets) with 5 utility skills each.
    Losing one utility type would be unfair for engineer here, since they would lose 1 more utility skill than the other classes.

    The only ways to fix this imbalance in utility skills would be to either rework one skill of each utility type they have into a new 5th utility type or giving every new engineer elite spec 5 new utility skills instead of the standard 4.
    Both would require some work.

  • otto.5684otto.5684 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Fueki.4753 said:
    Tbh, Arenanet needs to revert this trade-off stuff.
    For example:
    Berserkers need their Core F1s back, and lose the Toughness punishment.
    Why are we being punished for doing the main mechanic of the spec anyway?!
    It feels like enemies always focus me when I play Berserker and the -300 Toughness really hurts.
    On my Chronomancer, I also often see Warriors being focused first by the monsters.
    It's almost like Arenanet wants Berserkers to drop like flies.

    I think berserker should Be like soul beast pet merge. It is and on and off with 10 CD, but no duration (so it can be on indefinitely). You deal more damage When in berserker but take more damage. When outside of berserker you can use core burst attacks normally.

    It would still operate thematically similar to what it is now, but would actually... work.

  • @Kodama.6453 said:

    The problem is that such a trade off would first require a heavy rework of the engineer class.

    Losing access to a weapon hurts engineer quite alot, considering that core engineer just has 3 core weapons: pistol, shield, rifle. Other classes like warrior or ranger can still do fine and have alot of different build options even after losing 1 weapon from their arsenal, but doing that to the engineer would really hurt their build diversity.

    Losing access to a utility skill type is difficult, since engineer isn't like the other professions when it comes to the number of their utility skills. Other classes have 5 different utility skill categories with 4 utility skills each. Engineer on the other hand just has 4 different utility skill types (elixirs, kits, turrets, gadgets) with 5 utility skills each.
    Losing one utility type would be unfair for engineer here, since they would lose 1 more utility skill than the other classes.

    The only ways to fix this imbalance in utility skills would be to either rework one skill of each utility type they have into a new 5th utility type or giving every new engineer elite spec 5 new utility skills instead of the standard 4.
    Both would require some work.

    Hey Kodama!

    We actually talked about this in the thread I created a little bit ago. I completely agree with you that it would require a rework of the structure for core engi utility skills. I suggested combining some functionality to reduce the number of utilities per type down to 4 and creating a new skill type for core engi altogether, or taking four of the established utilities and reworking animations to create a new skill type from what's already there. I don't think the limited weapon pool would be as much of a problem because of kits, but if devs felt that it was too oppressive to engineer they could give engi a new weapon to be used across all specs by default or make an exception for the weapon loss if they remove kits.

    This was actually what I had suggested for holo, by removing kits and instead giving them enhanced heat interactivity while giving holo in-combat weapon swap, all while not removing a weapon from their arsenal to compensate.

  • Anchoku.8142Anchoku.8142 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 8, 2020

    I won't comment on other professions, though I do play them, but core Necro seems difficult to bring up to the level of Reaper, for example, because everything available in core specializations is also available in elite specializations except for Death Shroud.

    Arenanet might be thinking about core traits and damage or sustain multipliers and how to spread them around so that taking 3 core trait lines has roughly the same value as 2 core + 1 elite. Elite specializations normally add some capability and value to a profession that was poor or missing in the core profession.

    Reaper provided power-cleave that core Necro lacked so much that it was often banned from dungeon groups. Scourge and the earlier Blood Magic rework gave a support build option that did not conflict for compete directly against Druid, Chrono, or banner-slave Warrior.

    Finding new niches for each profession feels difficult when thinking of 9 new elites but bringing core and elite specializations closer to similar value is worthwhile. Some core professions are in better shape than others when compared to an elite but balancing value between specializations in a profession could require some major changes.

    Edit: Arenanet could set up trait lines so the third line can only be one of 2 or 3 of Core's 5 and the elite specializations may have blocks on certain core specializations. Massive rework of traits would result, though.

  • @Anchoku.8142 said:
    I won't comment on other professions, though I do play them, but core Necro seems difficult to bring up to the level of Reaper, for example, because everything available in core specializations is also available in elite specializations except for Death Shroud.

    Arenanet might be thinking about core traits and damage or sustain multipliers and how to spread them around so that taking 3 core trait lines has roughly the same value as 2 core + 1 elite. Elite specializations normally add some capability and value to a profession that was poor or missing in the core profession.

    Reaper provided power-cleave that core Necro lacked so much that it was often banned from dungeon groups. Scourge and the earlier Blood Magic rework gave a support build option that did not conflict for compete directly against Druid, Chrono, or banner-slave Warrior.

    Finding new niches for each profession feels difficult when thinking of 9 new elites but bringing core and elite specializations closer to similar value is worthwhile. Some core professions are in better shape than others when compared to an elite but balancing value between specializations in a profession could require some major changes.

    Edit: Arenanet could set up trait lines so the third line can only be one of 2 or 3 of Core's 5 and the elite specializations may have blocks on certain core specializations. Massive rework of traits would result, though.

    As it stands right now, I completely agree with you that core seems difficult to bring up to the level of elites. And I'm not sure if we should be looking to improve core through sheer numbers. I think removing access to certain traitlines would also swing too far in the other direction in terms of removing build diversity. Rather, I feel that core professions should become much more versatile in the tools available to them than elites in exchange for specialized output. This is why I suggest removing skills from elite specs and actually adding a core-exclusive weapon(s) and set of utilities. To compensate, the mechanics, skills and traits exclusive to elites themselves should become more powerful (and in some cases overhauled to become more distinct and specialized from core). The way I see it, core should be reasonably good at most things, but elites should be incredible at a few things. I made a thread about it not too long ago:

    https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/111135/rethinking-elite-specializations

    In the case of core necro to reaper, I'd like to preface by saying that it's also one of my favorite professions to play. That being said, I think that reaper should lose access to staff and spectral skills by default. This would immediately create a niche for core necro because it would now be the only way to effectively use lich form, while tuning lich form down without access to as many damage modifiers inherent to reaper. It would also lock reapers into close-to-mid range combat, creating room for core necro in modes like WvW. To compensate, reaper's shroud, shouts, and reaper-specific traits should be buffed and given additional functionality. That way, there's an increased risk without some of the defensive capabilities, but higher reward if a reaper plays to its strengths. Or take the safer, more versatile approach afforded by core necro.

    As a crazy example, imagine if being in reaper's shroud also granted a moving, pulsing, 180 radius PBAoE chill field, but it would become a lot easier to kite and cc without the access to staff and spectral skills. This would create a big upside for reapers who could manage to keep their enemies close, but create more opportunities for counterplay with ranged damage. Note that this would also accompany serious numbers tweaks and other improvements that I can't think of right now, but I hope it illustrates my point well enough.

  • Ganathar.4956Ganathar.4956 Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 9, 2020

    Elite specs do not actually need trade-offs when compared to core. It really depends on how you want to balance the game. The main reason why you'd want trade-offs is so you can choose to play core builds instead of elite specs, thus creating some build diversity. If you can only choose between 2 elite specs, build diversity is very limited. I think the easier solution is to just make more elite specs and scrap the concept of trade-offs. For example, if there were 5 elite specs per class, there would be no need to balance core at all. Adding more elite specs is probably easier than making core classes good anyway, because core is by its very nature more restricted.

    I have seen a few posts suggesting to make one of the core specs exclusive to core builds and add more to it, but that ends up turning core into an elite spec anyway. You are better off adding new elite specs instead of converting a core spec and to an elite.

  • @Ganathar.4956 said:
    Elite specs do not actually need trade-offs when compared to core. It really depends on how you want to balance the game. The main reason why you'd want trade-offs is so you can choose to play core builds instead of elite specs, thus creating some build diversity. If you can only choose between 2 elite specs, build diversity is very limited. I think the easier solution is to just make more elite specs and scrap the concept of trade-offs. For example, if there were 5 elite specs per class, there would be no need to balance core at all. Adding more elite specs is probably easier than making core classes good anyway, because core is by its very nature more restricted.

    I have seen a few posts suggesting to make one of the core specs exclusive to core builds and add more to it, but that ends up turning core into an elite spec anyway. You are better off adding new elite specs instead of converting a core spec and to an elite.

    But elite specs have trade-offs built in by design. If there were no need for trade-offs then scourge wouldn't need to lose death shroud, deadeye wouldn't need to lose steal, chrono wouldn't need its own shatters, etc. The goal with elite specs was to provide a different way to play a profession. If every elite spec was just a more powerful version of their core counterpart then there wouldn't be differences so much as additions. These trade-offs are also what distinguish elite specs from each other, and create new playstyles for a profession.

    Even though I don't agree with making certain specializations exclusive to core, those posts all look to address one of the fundamental balance problems that's cropped up since elite specs were added. That being that all elites have access to all of the aspects of core classes and more. This means that any buff to a core weapon, skill, or trait serves as an indirect buff to every elite spec, and any nerf intended to tone down a paticular elite spec hurts core. Regardless of how many elite specs exist, core is always going to need to be balanced because certain elite specs are bound to make different aspects of the base professions overpowered. At the same time, it needs to be acknowledged that core professions have their own playstyles and they should be just as viable as an elite. Therefore, I do think we need to be treating core professions more like an elite spec. I'm just suggesting removing a set of skills rather than a particular specialization from elites to accomplish those goals.

    I actually think core should feel less restricted than elites. That way there's actually room to add something like 3 extra elites per profession in the first place. If elite specs aren't a bit more restrictive, than there would quickly become a point where adding a new elite just becomes redundant because there's already one that does the same things as good or better. It would be better for build diversity and the longevity of the elite spec system as a whole.

  • ASP.8093ASP.8093 Member ✭✭✭

    Something to seriously keep in mind — since an elite spec is accessed by selecting a trait line, it's only competing for third best trait line for any build. E.g. Firebrand doesn't have to be strictly better for support healers than Honor, since they're not actually competing for the same slot: it just has to be better than Dragonhunter and 3/5 of the core traits.

    One of the reasons elite specs are so common isn't that they give you more stuff (they do! but sometimes you don't even want most of the extra stuff), it's that a lot of classes have only 1-2 core trait lines that really focus on a particular role.

    To the extent that "tradeoffs" represent interesting changes to the class mechanics, they're pretty cool. Keeps the classes from getting too bloaty with extra additions. And, more importantly, it means your elite spec can transform what your other trait lines do (altering the value of all your Beast-focused traits is, for example, the entire basis of Soulbeast). Stuff like "why don't we take away some of the Scrapper's hp, for balance!" seems silly and dull, though.

  • Obtena.7952Obtena.7952 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 9, 2020

    The introduction of trade off concept is pretty backwards. It's just a significant indication that Anet really doesn't know how to balance for performance (well of course they don't, they never did it!) Elite specs were supposed to be flavour, not performance driven, yet we have tradeoffs ... because of performance. As far as I'm concerned, the tradeoff already exists ... being forced to take the elite spec line.

    If you're on a highway and roadrunner goes "beep beep"
    Just step aside or you might end up in a heap

  • FrownyClown.8402FrownyClown.8402 Member ✭✭✭

    Elite specs should be designed to change how the class plays. Tempest gave ele better support and weaver gave better damage options. The problem i feel is that if you go weaver you can still have a viable tank build and if you go tempest you can still have a viable dps build. Elite specs should only have 1 identity, hence why people choose them. Soulbeast was made in part for better boon sharing and team support. The option to not have a pet out was made with wvw zerging in mind. It should have traits that support that concept and nothing else, otherwise its just an alternative dps option.

  • Mini Crinny.6190Mini Crinny.6190 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 9, 2020

    @LaFurion.3167 said:
    What about tempest, what's the trade off from core ele? Its better than core in every way, you can to overload attunements. And dont just band aid another -300 trait to the elite spec. Penalty traits like scrapper, berserker, mirage are all terrible ways to "solve" (if it can even be called that) the problem.

    Any elite spec for Ele is instantly better because Core ele is absolute trash since being nerfed into the ground all the time, Core ele needs to be given something that Neither Tempest or Weaver can get

    TLDR: the tradeoffs anet are doing are pretty trashy, Scrapper and Chrono are good examples of this since Anet have either removed what they did (Chrono) or reduced the tradeoff given to it at first (Scrapper) If we're going to talk about Tempest not having a tradeoff, then we can always talk about how Holo tradeoff is literally nothing imo, Firebrand and Dh tradeoffs are nothing too

  • ASP.8093ASP.8093 Member ✭✭✭

    I think many of these discussions are too tunnel-visioned on class icons. I encountered at least three distinct Tempest builds last night in WvW. If you pigeonholed that spec harder so two of those three became slightly weaker core ele builds instead — or just stopped being viable entirely — what positive difference would it make for the metagame?

    Ultimately, the reason that a lot of elite specs get played is that, like a lot of expansion content in video games, they address real gaps in the starting lineup. The risk with the "tradeoffs" project is that it's mostly about artificially introducing new, jankier gaps to try to appeal to some kind of sense of symmetry on paper. That doesn't mean all the "tradeoffs" were terrible, but it does mean that ultimately I think trying to use "tradeoffs" as some kind of design philosophy for elite specs is a dead end, which is why attempts to impose the "tradeoffs" have produced very mixed results.

  • @ASP.8093 said:
    Something to seriously keep in mind — since an elite spec is accessed by selecting a trait line, it's only competing for third best trait line for any build. E.g. Firebrand doesn't have to be strictly better for support healers than Honor, since they're not actually competing for the same slot: it just has to be better than Dragonhunter and 3/5 of the core traits.

    One of the reasons elite specs are so common isn't that they give you more stuff (they do! but sometimes you don't even want most of the extra stuff), it's that a lot of classes have only 1-2 core trait lines that really focus on a particular role.

    To the extent that "tradeoffs" represent interesting changes to the class mechanics, they're pretty cool. Keeps the classes from getting too bloaty with extra additions. And, more importantly, it means your elite spec can transform what your other trait lines do (altering the value of all your Beast-focused traits is, for example, the entire basis of Soulbeast). Stuff like "why don't we take away some of the Scrapper's hp, for balance!" seems silly and dull, though.

    I agree with you with regards to specializations, and I think creating new trait synergies is one of the primary reasons why I wouldn't advocate for specializations to be locked out of certain elite specs. I just feel that they should be more limited in the practical means by which they apply these traits (skills and weapons) in exchange for more powerful elite-specific options.

    @FrownyClown.8402 said:
    Elite specs should be designed to change how the class plays. Tempest gave ele better support and weaver gave better damage options. The problem i feel is that if you go weaver you can still have a viable tank build and if you go tempest you can still have a viable dps build. Elite specs should only have 1 identity, hence why people choose them. Soulbeast was made in part for better boon sharing and team support. The option to not have a pet out was made with wvw zerging in mind. It should have traits that support that concept and nothing else, otherwise its just an alternative dps option.

    I think we're pretty much on the same track here. Weaver is my favorite class to play, and I think it has too many defensive tools at its disposal. Because of this, all the best focus skills, as well as sword's defensive skills, have been nerfed. If you were to remove a weaver's access to focus and something like conjured weapons, for example, you could limit the amount of defense available at any given moment in exchange for better quality in what's left. That's not to say that I don't think weaver shouldn't have a viable tank build or tempest shouldn't have a viable dps build, it's just that they shouldn't be optimal. The way I see it, a tanky weaver or a dps tempest shouldn't be that much better than core, but a dps weaver and support tempest should be the optimal variants of each respective playstyle.

    @Mini Crinny.6190 said:

    @LaFurion.3167 said:
    What about tempest, what's the trade off from core ele? Its better than core in every way, you can to overload attunements. And dont just band aid another -300 trait to the elite spec. Penalty traits like scrapper, berserker, mirage are all terrible ways to "solve" (if it can even be called that) the problem.

    Any elite spec for Ele is instantly better because Core ele is absolute trash since being nerfed into the ground all the time, Core ele needs to be given something that Neither Tempest or Weaver can get

    TLDR: the tradeoffs anet are doing are pretty trashy, Scrapper and Chrono are good examples of this since Anet have either removed what they did (Chrono) or reduced the tradeoff given to it at first (Scrapper) If we're going to talk about Tempest not having a tradeoff, then we can always talk about how Holo tradeoff is literally nothing imo, Firebrand and Dh tradeoffs are nothing too

    You're hitting the same points I agree with. The reason core keeps getting nerfed is because all elite specs have access to the same tools core does and more. By limiting what elites have access to + giving core an exclusive weapon and slot skills, it could create room to actually buff core without it making a particular elite spec op. I don't think that trade-offs have been trashy per se, just more of a work-in-progress. There just isn't a standard for what a trade-off looks like, so they've been implemented pretty inconsistently imo.

    @ASP.8093 said:
    I think many of these discussions are too tunnel-visioned on class icons. I encountered at least three distinct Tempest builds last night in WvW. If you pigeonholed that spec harder so two of those three became slightly weaker core ele builds instead — or just stopped being viable entirely — what positive difference would it make for the metagame?

    Ultimately, the reason that a lot of elite specs get played is that, like a lot of expansion content in video games, they address real gaps in the starting lineup. The risk with the "tradeoffs" project is that it's mostly about artificially introducing new, jankier gaps to try to appeal to some kind of sense of symmetry on paper. That doesn't mean all the "tradeoffs" were terrible, but it does mean that ultimately I think trying to use "tradeoffs" as some kind of design philosophy for elite specs is a dead end, which is why attempts to impose the "tradeoffs" have produced very mixed results.

    I don't think tempest should have any less viable builds, just several playstyles that aren't necessarily better than core. I agree with you on why a lot of elite specs get played, I would just advocate for more of those gaps to be closed within the core professions themselves by adding all the missing skills on certain skill types and giving core an extra weapon and set of new slot skills. That way elite specs have room to be a bit more specialized without needing to be a straight upgrade to core in every aspect. Rather, they would be as good or slightly weaker than core in most aspects, but excel in a few. That way elites would be defied more for their mechanics and optimal playstyles, but not necessarily reducing what's considered viable.

  • LucianDK.8615LucianDK.8615 Member ✭✭✭✭

    They said Reapers does not need any more tradeoff due to that we lose access to Death Shroud. Plus Reaper's Shroud already decays faster than Death Shroud.

    Death shroud decays with 3% in all modes except pvp which is 4%. Reaper's shroud decays with 5% however.

  • Anchoku.8142Anchoku.8142 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 10, 2020

    I like the suggestion of locking out certain core weapons and utilities for elite specializations proposed by @Tempest.8479.

    For myself, I prefer elite spec's to be tunable between at least two extremes. That is why there are nine selectable traits grouped into what are typically damage, sustain, and personal or group utility.

    However, GW2 provides horizontal progression rather than vertical so, while a profession may have its role and/or play style changed by an elite specialization, its value compared to core should remain roughly equal.

    Core Necro always had very specific and potent limitations: low cleave, low mobility, low stability access, etcetera. In return, it had boon corrupt, conditions that increased sustain, more base health, Shroud for blocks if it is charged and so on.

    Both elite specializations made Necro capable of something it was not, previously. Reaper has lots of cleave and is capable of consistent dps with power and condition builds at what is supposed to be a cost in shroud (defense) time. Scourge is in a wierd spot right now in that it was tunable to be good at support or condition damage but its effect on WvW was too strong and has since lost some of its original focus. Arenanet's intent was there, though. The problem was core Necro's value was still too low in PvE for anything but casual Minion Master. Arenanet then went back to buff core's Death Shroud because it was the only thing they could do that would not also buff the elites but core still has a lot of PvE limitations.

    At the end of the day, all professions should have core and elites with equal value in at least two niche situations where one may represent a new capability and the other(s) may overlap in role while providing flavor context. Preventing power-creep while giving an equally valuable role to core professions is difficult but, I think, worthwhile for the game.

    Making some skills and/or traits exclusive to core has merit worth considering.

  • Fueki.4753Fueki.4753 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 10, 2020

    Originally, elite specializations were presented as being equal to core.
    But what they should have been turned into power creep, possibly to help ship more expansion copies.

  • Moradorin.6217Moradorin.6217 Member ✭✭✭

    @ASP.8093 said:
    I think many of these discussions are too tunnel-visioned on class icons. I encountered at least three distinct Tempest builds last night in WvW. If you pigeonholed that spec harder so two of those three became slightly weaker core ele builds instead — or just stopped being viable entirely — what positive difference would it make for the metagame?

    Ultimately, the reason that a lot of elite specs get played is that, like a lot of expansion content in video games, they address real gaps in the starting lineup. The risk with the "tradeoffs" project is that it's mostly about artificially introducing new, jankier gaps to try to appeal to some kind of sense of symmetry on paper. That doesn't mean all the "tradeoffs" were terrible, but it does mean that ultimately I think trying to use "tradeoffs" as some kind of design philosophy for elite specs is a dead end, which is why attempts to impose the "tradeoffs" have produced very mixed results.

    well said.

  • Yasai.3549Yasai.3549 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:
    Holosmith loses the elite toolbelt skill. Reaper Shroud burns away twice as fast as regular shroud. Tempests get increased attunement cooldowns on overloads. Firebrand loses the instant-cast virtues for their books.

    Firebrand has no trade offs, just mechanic alterations.
    I don't know how anyone can see 15 extra spells as a tradeoff.

    If I play a stupid build, I deserve to die.
    If I beat people on a stupid build, I deserve to get away with it.

  • @Yasai.3549 said:

    @Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:
    Holosmith loses the elite toolbelt skill. Reaper Shroud burns away twice as fast as regular shroud. Tempests get increased attunement cooldowns on overloads. Firebrand loses the instant-cast virtues for their books.

    Firebrand has no trade offs, just mechanic alterations.
    I don't know how anyone can see 15 extra spells as a tradeoff.

    The original virtues are instant-cast, while the books all have animations and are much slower.

    Make no mistake, these "tradeoffs" are not equal among all professions. Far from it. But they are still technically tradeoffs. Firebrands lose the original functions of the virtues.

    "Self awareness is knowing when you're sitting at the throne of ignorance." --Leo G.

  • Laila Lightness.8742Laila Lightness.8742 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 11, 2020

    Trade of could be you cant use core skills only espec skill. And weaver is alot stronger than tempest. Holo has downsides like overheating is actually very dangerouse

  • Astyrah.4015Astyrah.4015 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 11, 2020

    daredevil's swipe (F1) is just the same as thief's steal (F1) they just changed the name. fuction is similar if im not mistaken.
    EDIT: the range is different. so that's the tradefoff my bad

    deadeye trades off the free shadowstep/gapcloser (Steal/F1) for a "ranged steal" (if running a Rifle build this isnt a tradeoff since F1/Mark will act as a range finder where you know you're exactly at 1500range if you're far away and attempting to close in on an enemy prior to engaging kneel)

  • ASP.8093ASP.8093 Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 11, 2020

    @Astyrah.4015 said:
    daredevil's swipe (F1) is just the same as thief's steal (F1) they just changed the name. fuction is similar if im not mistaken.
    EDIT: the range is different. so that's the tradefoff my bad

    deadeye trades off the free shadowstep/gapcloser (Steal/F1) for a "ranged steal" (if running a Rifle build this isnt a tradeoff since F1/Mark will act as a range finder where you know you're exactly at 1500range if you're far away and attempting to close in on an enemy prior to engaging kneel)

    Kneel itself is a 1500-range rangefinder; select a target and then look at the red bar under the skill.

    Compared to Steal, Mark:

    • Doesn't teleport you (either a blessing or a curse, depending on the build and situation)
    • Has a cast time (!!)
    • Gives you a different kind of stolen skill, generally a bit weaker but also much more consistent (boon for you, condition for them, stealth if at >5 malice)
    • Benefits from the unique Deadeye mechanics that instantly reset it when you kill your marked prey
  • Taril.8619Taril.8619 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @ASP.8093 said:

    @Astyrah.4015 said:
    daredevil's swipe (F1) is just the same as thief's steal (F1) they just changed the name. fuction is similar if im not mistaken.
    EDIT: the range is different. so that's the tradefoff my bad

    deadeye trades off the free shadowstep/gapcloser (Steal/F1) for a "ranged steal" (if running a Rifle build this isnt a tradeoff since F1/Mark will act as a range finder where you know you're exactly at 1500range if you're far away and attempting to close in on an enemy prior to engaging kneel)

    Kneel itself is a 1500-range rangefinder; select a target and then look at the red bar under the skill.

    Or look at the blue ring that shows you your range limit while kneeling...

    Cat: Meow.

  • Astyrah.4015Astyrah.4015 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 11, 2020

    @ASP.8093 said:
    Kneel itself is a 1500-range rangefinder; select a target and then look at the red bar under the skill.

    Compared to Steal, Mark:

    • Doesn't teleport you (either a blessing or a curse, depending on the build and situation)
    • Has a cast time (!!)
    • Gives you a different kind of stolen skill, generally a bit weaker but also much more consistent (boon for you, condition for them, stealth if at >5 malice)
    • Benefits from the unique Deadeye mechanics that instantly reset it when you kill your marked prey

    +

    @Taril.8619 said:
    Or look at the blue ring that shows you your range limit while kneeling...

    yeah kneel is a range finder too as is the blue ring but when you're far away it's sorta awkward to kneel on and off to check if you're within range, ofcourse it's also just easier to run to midrange where most of the people are (this is what i do mostly when playing deadeye rifle, since being at 1500 range has the inconvenience of the boss being out of range by just moving slightly off)

    just wanted to add thief into this thread since i didnt see it being mentioned yet :p

  • KrHome.1920KrHome.1920 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 11, 2020

    @LaFurion.3167 said:
    Holosmith is the major offender. Same with reaper when compared to any other power version of core necro.

    Firebrand also needs looking at. I see zero trade off here.

    Even reapers shroud has a CD. Holosmith can go in and out whenever, and can use utility skills lol.

    What about tempest, what's the trade off from core ele? Its better than core in every way, you can to overload attunements. And dont just band aid another -300 trait to the elite spec. Penalty traits like scrapper, berserker, mirage are all terrible ways to "solve" (if it can even be called that) the problem.

    Or are things fine as they are, with some classes having tradeoffs, while others tradeoffs are minimal, while others have none at all and perform like 5 of the core professions combined?

    Reaper is the spec that tradeoff and different playstyle thing started with. They designed the shroud as 100% melee and added an increased life force degeneration, so that you have a maximum shroud uptime of 20 seconds, even when nobody hits you. Core is the whole opposite. More sustain, higher shroud uptime and range, but less pressure.

    Beating core and reaper requires a completely different approach.

    Every other elite spec was just a flat buff to the core spec at the beginning and some still are, because anet seems to have more important things to do.

  • @Yasai.3549 said:

    @Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:
    Holosmith loses the elite toolbelt skill. Reaper Shroud burns away twice as fast as regular shroud. Tempests get increased attunement cooldowns on overloads. Firebrand loses the instant-cast virtues for their books.

    Firebrand has no trade offs, just mechanic alterations.
    I don't know how anyone can see 15 extra spells as a tradeoff.

    Well, Imbued Haste should really have - instead of + when using a tome.

  • Laila Lightness.8742Laila Lightness.8742 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 11, 2020

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:

    @Yasai.3549 said:

    @Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:
    Holosmith loses the elite toolbelt skill. Reaper Shroud burns away twice as fast as regular shroud. Tempests get increased attunement cooldowns on overloads. Firebrand loses the instant-cast virtues for their books.

    Firebrand has no trade offs, just mechanic alterations.
    I don't know how anyone can see 15 extra spells as a tradeoff.

    Well, Imbued Haste should really have - instead of + when using a tome.

    Tomes should be changed to have a 10 dur like back then they were elite skills and 240cd . https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Tome_of_Courage_(elite_skill)

  • @Laila Lightness.8742 said:

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:

    @Yasai.3549 said:

    @Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:
    Holosmith loses the elite toolbelt skill. Reaper Shroud burns away twice as fast as regular shroud. Tempests get increased attunement cooldowns on overloads. Firebrand loses the instant-cast virtues for their books.

    Firebrand has no trade offs, just mechanic alterations.
    I don't know how anyone can see 15 extra spells as a tradeoff.

    Well, Imbued Haste should really have - instead of + when using a tome.

    Tomes should be changed to have a 10 dur like back then they were elite skills

    That wouldn't change much though really, they'd still have access 15 extra skills to spam with zero reason to NOT take FB over an extra core trait line.

  • Laila Lightness.8742Laila Lightness.8742 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 11, 2020

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:

    @Laila Lightness.8742 said:

    @Heimskarl Ashfiend.9582 said:

    @Yasai.3549 said:

    @Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:
    Holosmith loses the elite toolbelt skill. Reaper Shroud burns away twice as fast as regular shroud. Tempests get increased attunement cooldowns on overloads. Firebrand loses the instant-cast virtues for their books.

    Firebrand has no trade offs, just mechanic alterations.
    I don't know how anyone can see 15 extra spells as a tradeoff.

    Well, Imbued Haste should really have - instead of + when using a tome.

    Tomes should be changed to have a 10 dur like back then they were elite skills

    That wouldn't change much though really, they'd still have access 15 extra skills to spam with zero reason to NOT take FB over an extra core trait line.

    Trade of they cant swap weapons and maybe not be able to use shouts and concentrations. Also old tomes as elitr was at same lvl as racials. Virtues are basicly signets. And they lose passive effect of virtues. I see especs as why should they use skills tied to core instead for being locked skills actually tied to their e spec. Like druid shouldnt have pet and spirits only glyphs as it was designed and intended to be a glyph user. Same with dh it was meant in design to use bow and traps

  • Mirage was allegedly going to get its own shatters so where are those?

    If one dev spent months doing this last meta then they CAN assign one dev to work on all elites. They really should make that a priority over new content because we literally have to play said content from the gameplay.

  • Svarty.8019Svarty.8019 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @LaFurion.3167 said:
    When are the rest of elite spec trade offs?

    Anet don't like to revisit existing content. They are design sharks, they have to move forwards.

    This post contains my opinion.

  • misterman.1530misterman.1530 Member ✭✭✭

    @LaFurion.3167 said:
    For core necro, the shroud change was.... weird to me. Core shroud also takes you into close range, while reaper will always outshine it. There are zero situations in wvw pvp open world fractals or raids where core is better than reaper up close.

    An example of a "good change", or at least what I would do, is to change core shroud to be ranged. The auto for shroud does more damage the farther away the enemy is. The 2 ability, while nice, needs looking at. With the update you just gave us the ability to choose when to go in, but it's like a quality of life loss for some reason. Shroud 5 hmm...its okay I guess but reaper is 10000xbetter.

    In the past few weeks, since I've gone full Core Necro with Antitoxin runes, I have yet to lose a 1v1 vs a reaper. Note: I am not that good, it's just that the core necro is that powerful and difficult to kill.

  • Zawn.9647Zawn.9647 Member ✭✭✭

    where are herald/renegade drawbacks?
    DH/firebrand?
    reaper?
    holo?
    tempest?

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

    @Laila Lightness.8742 said:
    Trade of could be you cant use core skills only espec skill. And weaver is alot stronger than tempest. Holo has downsides like overheating is actually very dangerouse

    I disagree, Tempest right now is alot stronger than Weaver

  • Mini Crinny.6190Mini Crinny.6190 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 11, 2020

    @Zawn.9647 said:
    where are herald/renegade drawbacks?
    DH/firebrand?
    reaper?
    holo?
    tempest?

    Overloads bro, Staying in attunement to get the overload and if a tempest doesn't overload, are you even playing tempest? Core ele is designed to switch between attunements, not camp one for a long time

    Reaper shroud loses more life force than Core

    Holo loses elite toolbelt skill

    Dh and Firebrand are generally upgrades

  • Zawn.9647Zawn.9647 Member ✭✭✭

    @Mini Crinny.6190 said:

    @Zawn.9647 said:
    where are herald/renegade drawbacks?
    DH/firebrand?
    reaper?
    holo?
    tempest?

    Overloads bro, Staying in attunement to get the overload and if a tempest doesn't overload, are you even playing tempest? Core ele is designed to switch between attunements, not camp one for a long time

    Reaper shroud loses more life force than Core

    Holo loses elite toolbelt skill

    Dh and Firebrand are generally upgrades

    tempest just needs to cast an overload for a couple seconds then it can switch again... lol
    holo can use every weapon and utility...
    reaper shroud in stronger than core

    none of these seems a tradeoff compared to what soulbeast/druid/mirage and even Deadeye/Daredevil got

    if you gonna say "its still a tradeoff" then you can count DH and Firebrand as tradeoffs as well using that same genious logic :)

  • @Mini Crinny.6190 said:

    @Zawn.9647 said:
    where are herald/renegade drawbacks?
    DH/firebrand?
    reaper?
    holo?
    tempest?

    Overloads bro, Staying in attunement to get the overload and if a tempest doesn't overload, are you even playing tempest? Core ele is designed to switch between attunements, not camp one for a long time

    Reaper shroud loses more life force than Core

    Holo loses elite toolbelt skill

    Dh and Firebrand are generally upgrades

    dh is upgrade but firebrand loses the active effects like heal instant aegis and such but you dont get that on fb you must cast it so yeah you kinda give up. also its not like core guardian is useless its max dps is actually higher than dhs

  • Lan Deathrider.5910Lan Deathrider.5910 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Berserker lost core F1s and takes a awful stat penalty in Berserk Mode. Can we get that stat penalty taken away now? kthnxbai. Otherwise there are several especs that need their own stat penalties in addition to the 'trade offs' that they have.

    (full disclosure scrappers can also have their vitality back if they give berserker's their toughness back).

  • Turkeyspit.3965Turkeyspit.3965 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 11, 2020

    I find it funny that players still don't understand what they are talking about when they use the word "tradeoff". They think it means the "take" part of "give and take", meant to suggest choosing between core and an elite specs is a choice. Such decisions would have been part of the original design for the elite specialization, but these "Tradeoffs" of course, weren't, at least for most of the elites being talked about.

    Daredevil, Mirage, Scrapper, Soulbeast, just to name some examples, had their "tradeoffs" added in many years after the specialization was released...and that was done because they weren't "tradeoffs", they were just nerfs to the specialization that the developers coined as "tradeoffs".

    So stop heating up your respective brains trying to find the logic in the illogical or design in the random. Whatever you think about trade offs, if they are good, bad, or nonexistent, remains irrelevant, as we are all at the mercy and whims of the ANET dev team in their attempts to balance / toss darts at the balance board.

    Hey, remember when Scrapper had Detection Pulse? And then they didn't? And then they did again, only now it was for core, but nobody uses it since the utility it is now tied to isn't worth taking in the only game mode (WvW) where pulse is actually useful, and while Scrapper lost their F5 toolbelt, the revised Function Gyro F5 is far more useful than any toolbelt ability from an elite skill. Remember when Scrapper was meant to become a "tank" and gained the ability for Barrier, and all of a sudden the forums was in an uproar over Scrappers being unmovable from a PvP node? 7 months later the changes to Impact Savant reduced Scrapper vitality by 300, only to then see that reduction changed to 180 only three months afterward. A tradeoff built into the design? lol...sure, for a game in BETA testing maybe.

    From the beginning, the difference between Core and Elite specs should have always been about synergy between 3 Core Traitlines, and swapping to 2 Core Traitlines + 1 Elite Tratilne should offer some benefit, but at a cost somewhere else. Sadly terribly designed traitlines that lack usefulness or synergy has always been one of the major failures in the design of this game, and so many elite specializations just became flat out upgrades vs. a third core traitline, and in most cases that I can think of, that remains the case, though what ANET went and did was just apply negatives downsides to other aspects of the spec.

    Daredevils saw a nerf to Steal, Druids saw weaker pets while Soulbeasts lost the ability to swap pets in combat, etc. Nothing proves my point better than the great changes to Mirage, where the loss of 1 dodge occurs in competitive modes only . Tradeoff or nerf? Seems pretty obvious to me.

    One of the main complaints about Soulbeasts in competitive modes was their ability to unload massive amounts of damage with a Ferocity pet, swap to Supportive pet like Own, and use their newly gained mobility skills to peel off. Yet after all that forum hand wringing, ANET comes out of the blue and announces Soulbeast's "tradeoff" would be the loss of pet swap in combat? And how is Core Ranger doing in PvE content again? Oh yeah, right. Another "tradeoff" that only seems to have an impact in competitive modes. Hmmmmm.

    Please stop grinding your teeth over things you don't have any control over. If other professions or elites are doing better than yours, then either playe them, wait until yours gets buffed / the other is nerfed, or just behave like an adult and deal with the reality that complete balance in an MMO is impossible, has never happened, and will never happen, ESPECIALLY not from the folks at this studio.

    But all these "gotcha" type posts made by players with a rudimentary understanding of the game are just tiresome.

  • Sobx.1758Sobx.1758 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 11, 2020

    @Turkeyspit.3965 said:
    So stop heating up your respective brains trying to find the logic in the illogical or design in the random. Whatever you think about trade offs, if they are good, bad, or nonexistent, remains irrelevant, as we are all at the mercy and whims of the ANET dev team in their attempts to balance / toss darts at the balance board.

    Is it so random though?

    Implementing "tradeoffs" is just a way for the e-specs to not be direct upgrades over the core specs. And that doesn't mean they can't be stronger, because we know that's not exactly true -it just means that they can't be like core versions of the classes but obviously stronger because of the additional stats/mechanics/skills/whateverelse added.
    Due to the naming, it's mostly seen as some kind of "add 1, subtract 1" (hence "why does this espec gets this and this but only loses that?! NOT A TRADEOFF!"), but that's not the reason tradeoffs were added in the first palce.

  • Turkeyspit.3965Turkeyspit.3965 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 11, 2020

    @Sobx.1758 said:

    @Turkeyspit.3965 said:
    So stop heating up your respective brains trying to find the logic in the illogical or design in the random. Whatever you think about trade offs, if they are good, bad, or nonexistent, remains irrelevant, as we are all at the mercy and whims of the ANET dev team in their attempts to balance / toss darts at the balance board.

    Is it so random though?

    Implementing "tradeoffs" is just a way for the e-specs to not be direct upgrades over the core specs. And that doesn't mean they can't be stronger, because we know that's not exactly true -it just means that they can't be like core versions of the classes but obviously stronger because of the additional stats/mechanics/skills/whateverelse added.
    Due to the naming, it's mostly seen as some kind of "add 1, subtract 1" (hence "why does this espec gets this and this but only loses that?! NOT A TRADEOFF!"), but that's not the reason tradeoffs were added in the first palce.

    I'll try to present my thoughts this way. Let's take a Power Guardian, Greatsword + x/Focus, running Litany, Bane Signet, Sword of Justice, Stand your Ground, Feel My Wrath - pretty standard stuff for Fractals or just open world - , running Zeal + Radiance traitlines.

    A Core Guardian is able to run the Virtues traitline, which adds a ton of passively generated utility/boons to the player and allies.

    • Inspired Virtue
    • Virtue of Retribution (which synergizes with Radiance traitline for extra damage and crit chance; is refreshed by Renewed Justice)
    • Absolute Resolution
    • Indomitable Courage

    This is awesome stuff, and a benefit to the player and any group. Problem is, a Power Guardian is meant to do Pew Pew, and the only really DPS boost Virtues provides is Unscathed Contender, which if you don't have a support player to maintain your Aegis (like in a raid), you won't see much uptime on that damage boost except on a test golem, which is why Core Guards bench well.

    Contrast that with running Dragonhunter traitline instead of Virtues.

    • Zealot's Aggression (10% damage)
    • Pure of Sight (5% damage)
    • Big Game Hunter (15% damage)

    30% in damage modifiers, all easy to maintain, vs a 20% damage modifier that requires you to not ever get hit, though with better uptime on a 10% damage modifier for having higher Retaliation uptime.

    We're not talking about access to traps which are replaceable, or being able to use a longbow which is pretty much garbage. We're talking about the DH traitline alone just lets a Power Guardian do way more damage than running a third Core trait line, and that is why Dragonhunter is meta over Core in terms of Power DPS.

    You could make the argument that Core gives more utility at the cost of damage, but that utility is pretty minor compared to what you get from a support player, and the cost in damage is to significant to justify it.

    How it should work is that the damage output of both Core and DH would be comparable, and then it falls down to preferences in individual mechanics.
    eg:

    • I like AoE condition cleanse on Core F2 vs. I like the leap / escape of DH F2.
    • I like using Traps vs. using other Guard utilities.
    • I like using Longbow (lol)

    It will never be equal, and on a spreadsheet / benchmark, one will out damage the other, so min/maxers will always proclaim one to be 'meta'. But in real terms, and by which I mean, outside of very specific environments where Unscathed Contender actually works , Core Guardian isn't even in the ballpark with Dragonhunter in terms of Power DPS - they are outside serving hot dogs at the tailgate party. And to me that's a real shame, as I would much prefer to play Core Guardian over DH for content like Fractals, but it becomes a selfish choice.

    So what is the tradeoff for DH vs Core? There isn't one. We can argue about the changes to F1-F3 you see when you run as DH vs. Core, and I've covered the utility Core Guards gain via F1-F3 running Virtues, but in an T4 Fractal, a Power Guardian's job is to DPS - the rest doesn't matter.

    My use of the word "random" is hyperbolic, and it is unlikely that these changes are implemented randomly (unlikely, yet still possible!). In reality it is just terrible design. Even after the Soulbeast's "tradeoff" was added, if your role is DPS, the loss of a pet swap is meaningless, and Core Ranger remains obsolete because just like the DH, the Soulbeast traitline boosts (PVE) ranger damage output to such a degree that the loss of a pet swap is meaningless.

    I repeat: these aren't tradeoffs, they are just nerfs (largely because of competitive modes), that the devs decided to brand as tradeoffs

    Do you know what a real tradeoff to Soulbeast would have been? Not having any pet all. Soulbeasts would be permanently merged with their pets, and would swap the 'spirit' of their pet like a Rev swaps legends. Then you have no pet to tank NPCs, follow targets around LOS, or have access to any of the pet's abilities like a smoke field from Smokescale. But that's now how it all unfolded.