Shattering the Status Quo — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Shattering the Status Quo

edited February 1, 2018 in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

A message from Robert Gee, Guild Wars 2 Systems Team:

Today I wanted to give you all a heads up on some important changes coming to the mesmer profession in the coming update. These changes affect phantasms, which are a core part of the mesmer profession mechanic (illusions) and as a result, will have a large effect on how the mesmer profession plays after the update.

In one sentence, these changes can be summed up as, "Phantasms become clones after their initial attack."

Here are the specific details of how it works:

  • Phantasms no longer will persist indefinitely. Instead, a phantasm will attack once and then automatically be destroyed. If interrupted during its attack the phantasm also will be destroyed.
  • Phantasms still can be targeted by skills and take damage while alive. Phantasms can be destroyed by damaging skills before they finish their attack.
  • A destroyed phantasm will be replaced with a clone based on your current weapon set. This clone will spawn regardless of how the phantasm was destroyed. The clone is spawned at the location of the phantasm at the time it was destroyed.
  • Shatter skills no longer destroy phantasms, and phantasms no longer count towards the maximum illusion limit.

This is a pretty large gameplay shift so I wanted to talk a little bit about why we are doing this and what it means for your mesmer gameplay.

The Illusion of Choice

Mesmers always have had a tension between clones and phantasms; this tension was designed into the profession when the game launched. The idea was that shattering clones would be good for burst damage while leaving phantasms active would be an option for sustained damage. Choosing whether or not to shatter was intended to be one of the core decision points for those playing mesmer.

However we've discovered as the game has developed and evolved that providing this tension usually ends up removing the incentive to use the profession's core mechanic and leads to more passive gameplay. This can be seen in a lot of "optimized" builds for mesmers involving summoning three phantasms and then auto-attacking for extended periods of time in order to avoid destroying the phantasms by using another illusion skill.

Mirrored Gameplay

In the past, we've made some corrections to professions with this type gameplay as seen with the changes to the warrior's Adrenal Health and Berserker's Power traits, which previously rewarded saving adrenaline over spending it. Phantasms are a mechanic entirely based on discouraging the use of shatter skills and as a result, correcting this has touched a larger number of skills and traits than it did for warrior. However our primary goal with these changes is the same: to create a more active profession gameplay loop that rewards spending profession resources over saving them. For mesmer this means play patterns which revolve around generating and shattering clones while phantasms can be summoned for utility, bursts of damage, or some combination of the two.

Power Return

Because the power level of phantasm skills and traits usually assume that the phantasm will not be destroyed immediately, we have done an extensive balance pass on all skills and traits related to phantasms as well as several related traits and skills. We've also taken this opportunity to re-evaluate some of the under-performing phantasms to rework them into more impactful skills. For example, the Phantasmal Defender skill now taunts foes instead of buffing allies and the Phantasmal Warlock skill summons two phantasms, each with a new attack.

Phantasmal Feedback

While we're committed to making this change to phantasms as we feel it will improve the gameplay health of the mesmer profession, we also recognize that there will be an adjustment period where players will need to adapt to these changes. This is one of the largest changes we've undertaken for a single profession short of creating new specializations, and we realize that it may be jarring to some players. We'll be watching the feedback on our official forums after these changes go live and make adjustments where necessary.

P.S. I'm sure that at least a few of you are wondering what this phantasm change means for Chronomancers in raids because the phantasmal avenger is a key component of keeping up alacrity for the party. For more information, please read today's forum post about alacity.

Gaile Gray
Communications Manager: ArenaNet
Fansite & Guild Relations; In-Game Events; Community Showcase Live

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Comments

  • Like it. Rip phantasm Mesmer for raids ofc, but for my Power mesmer wvw roaming.. this seems fun. ppl need to adapt to new things i guess... we ll see how the traitchanges, etc. will work out, but for now, i do like it :)

  • Oglaf.1074Oglaf.1074 Member ✭✭✭✭

    What about SIgnet of the Ether? Won't it lose all viability with Phantasms just blowing themselves up?

    Please Anet give us a hide Chest Armour-option. Tattoo-clad Norns everywhere beg of you.

  • Ben K.6238Ben K.6238 Member ✭✭✭

    Disenchanter may need a significant boost yet again, I think.

  • Soo no more shattering phantasm

  • @Oglaf.1074 said:
    Awww... no longer just summoning 3 Duelists and afking at world bosses...

    I get the meme, but this was never really possible. Most world bosses destroy your duelists fairly quickly. But anyway, less afking possible from mesmers.

  • ThomasC.1056ThomasC.1056 Member ✭✭✭

    Hello,

    Thanks for the really interesting input of what's going to happen. I think it's a necessary thing to have a dedicated mechanic for phantasm that has a clearer split with clones, because of the tension you are talking about. It's also very good for mirages that had a very strong red flag towards phantasms (they can't use ambush skills). This may incentify them more.

    I'm only perplex about :

    @Gaile Gray.6029 said:
    However we've discovered as the game has developed and evolved that providing this tension usually ends up removing the incentive to use the profession's core mechanic and leads to more passive gameplay. This can be seen in a lot of "optimized" builds for mesmers involving summoning three phantasms and then auto-attacking for extended periods of time in order to avoid destroying the phantasms by using another illusion skill.

    As much as I've seen, it's the exact contrary : I've seen far more condi clone bombing builds than phantasm autoattacking. Especially in WvW, but it's also effective in open PvE. Won't that change be too much of a push towards the clone bombing way of playing ? On another hand, clone bombing is more or less the "spending resource" you're talking about, so...

    Look at that—you broke Scruffy's sarcasm meters. ~ Taimi.

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    This is interesting hope it plays out well and mesmer in pve gets to press more than 3 buttons.

  • Vallun.2071Vallun.2071 Member ✭✭✭

    Well-written explanation Robert

  • @Oglaf.1074 said:
    What about SIgnet of the Ether? Won't it lose all viability with Phantasms just blowing themselves up?

    The phantasms will turn into the clone for whatever weapon you're currently using when they blow up.

  • Sodeni.6041Sodeni.6041 Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 1, 2018

    This is what I wanted since Mesmer came out! I am so happy right now! Finally I can use all of my 5 weapon skills when playing clone mirage and I won't have a dps loss with phantasms! I love these changes so much <3 Thanks Robert and the dev team!

    If illusionary ambush became a f5 for mirage by default everything would be perfect for me because I think mirage deserves this skill as f5 because it fits this spec perfectly (clone retargeting and mirage cloak) and because you usually don't shatter in pve as mirage but with the phantasm changes I am also very happy :)

  • Ben K.6238Ben K.6238 Member ✭✭✭

    @Robert Gee.9246 said:

    @Oglaf.1074 said:
    What about SIgnet of the Ether? Won't it lose all viability with Phantasms just blowing themselves up?

    Signet of the Ether's passive has been changed and heals when illusions are summoned. The active should still be viable since it still lets you recast the phantasm for another attack.

    @Ben K.6238 said:
    Disenchanter may need a significant boost yet again, I think.

    It's been updated to remove multiple boons and deal significantly more damage.

    Both good to hear, though part of the interest I had in disenchanter was its condition-clearing potential. It's always been a questionable choice in WvW owing to the necessity for a good condition cleanse if you want to survive long. Disenchanter has always been a cleanse... but an unreliable one and thus a puzzle to fit into a utility slot.

  • Is this going to be a loss in DPS for condi mirage in raid? This is a huge concern that has come up with my guildies since much of the sustained dps is coming from the phantasms. If it is, many of them are thinking of ditching it altogether. In my opinion that would be sad as condi mirage was almost the only viable dps for raid as a Mesmer.

  • Sephylon.4938Sephylon.4938 Member ✭✭✭✭

    for phantasm builds; definitely. If your friend is playing clone mirage, we have to wait and see what's going to be done with the rest of the traits.

    I am a giant tomato filled with love. I have come to sell you a house made out of pancakes.

  • Wouldnt it been easier removing phantasm all together

  • Oglaf.1074Oglaf.1074 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @ThePlayMaker.1058 said:

    @Oglaf.1074 said:
    Awww... no longer just summoning 3 Duelists and afking at world bosses...

    I get the meme, but this was never really possible. Most world bosses destroy your duelists fairly quickly. But anyway, less afking possible from mesmers.

    Meme? I literally rolled a Mesmer alt a few days ago and it is all I've been doing during these fights. I wasn't aware it was a meme.

    Please Anet give us a hide Chest Armour-option. Tattoo-clad Norns everywhere beg of you.

  • @Robert Gee.9246 said:

    @Shayd.9648 said:
    Is this going to be a loss in DPS for condi mirage in raid? This is a huge concern that has come up with my guildies since much of the sustained dps is coming from the phantasms. If it is, many of them are thinking of ditching it altogether. In my opinion that would be sad as condi mirage was almost the only viable dps for raid as a Mesmer.

    We're expecting rotations to change for DPS mesmer builds. Clones builds now have more flexibility to summon phantasms, and shattering in general will be more usable, but there may be damage losses from other changes. We're looking forward to seeing what new builds appear and will continue to make adjustments if things end up too far out of line (in either direction).

    Honestly i think best option would be remoce phatasm we wont be using them anyway just a wasted slot on kitten effect

  • Alacrity Gaile, not alacity at the end of the post.

  • Cool. Now maybe nerf the fact that Necros can just AOE condi a point making it impossible to take in a mode where taking points is part of the game and we'll be in business.

  • SloRules.3560SloRules.3560 Member ✭✭✭

    So can i shatter a phantasm before it becomes a clone?

  • @Stunned Duck.8725 said:
    What, then, was the point of introducing illusion retargeting with PoF? If the general goal is to A. make play more click intensive, so to speak, and B. get rid of the tension between resource expenditure and slower effect buildup, why have a mechanic for extending a clone's already brief existence by an ever-decreasing amount of time as gameplay speed spirals ever upward?

    Not to mention adding traits such as Phantasmal Force.

  • Lalainnia.3598Lalainnia.3598 Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 1, 2018

    Illusion re targeting is still perfectly fine as you can re target your clones im guessing like they stated traits that heavily involved phants traits are getting overhauled.

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