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

Tagged:
<1345678

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.

  • @Swagger.1459 said:

    @Gaile Gray.6029 said:
    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.

    I would also like to suggest that phantasms and clones look completely different than the player character, and more like transparent forms that are visually identifiable. Why? because it's too advantageous in wvw and spvp for a medium base HP class (15k), that can burst for 22k (24k was my most recent incoming damage on a full trailblazer necro) in 3 seconds on a max toughness target, that also has great mobility AND stealth options... Players shouldn't have to waste 3-5 seconds determining who the actual target is, they should be focused on skill decision making.

    This is what I mean....

    So what the point of making clones than can make 50 damage!!! and why did anet made mirage and removed the dodge animation so it's became harder to recognise the real one if you change the look of the clones to be like phantasms then you are out of the track .

    S A R À B

  • Kylden Ar.3724Kylden Ar.3724 Member ✭✭✭

    @Lalainnia.3598 said:
    What does this mean for chronos Chronophantasma trait?

    Yes, we need to know this.

    Leader of PvE/WvW Havoc Guild - Tyrian Adventure Corporation [TACO] - Kaineng since the start, and till KN is no more.

    Do not fear simplification of the game, there is elegance in simplicity that allows more time for playing and less time building.

  • @Robert Gee.9246
    You don't know how much I've been waiting for a change like this. I've been hoping for such a rework for quite a while now. Shattering is a very cool mechanic and even if the mirage probably won't be utilizing it I still think it's one of the best changes you could have made.
    Three Questions:
    Phantasmal Fury: Will this stay? I'd love to see it be changed now that it is rather the mesmer instead of a "pet" attacking constantly.
    Chronophantasma: The most obvious option would be to have phantasms attack twice, is that correct?
    Are changes to other skills' damage values planned? (as the text only refers to "all skills and traits related to phantasms")

  • Xyonon.3987Xyonon.3987 Member ✭✭
    edited February 1, 2018

    Tides of Time was a core skill for producing Quickness aswell. Wouldn't it be possible to instead remove the power damage completely? The Quickness (and Alacrity now) from this skill affects the whole party if positioned right and since the shield isn't an offensive weapon anyway, why not shift it to more support?

    It would be very bad for build diversity otherwise. I really enjoy being able to play accoringly to the Raid boss - like sometimes less than 100% boon duration or duelling/illusion. It would be sad to see only one build viable from now on, don't you think?

    What about Danger Time slow uptime? Do the iAvengers now apply 4s slow instead of 2s to still provide a good uptime of slow? I think that would ne necessary.


    Aside from that, as a minmaxing Raid Chrono / Mirage myself I don't automatically say "that's new and bad!" I wanna see the numbers and try new stuff. I just want to keep up about the same numbers and diversity, so I'm curious.

    I hope my questions get answered from you Robert Gee! >:3

  • Oglaf.1074Oglaf.1074 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Xyonon.3987 said:

    Aside from that, as a minmaxing Raid Chrono / Mirage myself I don't automatically say "that's new and bad!" I wanna see the numbers and try new stuff. I just want to keep up about the same numbers and diversity, so I'm curious.

    I hope my questions get answered from you Robert Gee! >:3

    Well, Mr. Gee already told you to expect a DPS loss though so...

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

  • LadyKitty.6120LadyKitty.6120 Member ✭✭✭

    Are you otherwise boosting damage skills and making phantasms do powerful single attacks? 'Cause excluding condi axe mirage, clone builds have been terribly weak compared to what phantasm builds have been, even as mirage. And even then, phantasm builds have hardly been competent compared to DPS builds of other classes in PVE. Since clones hardly do any damage themselves, the mesmer itself needs some serious damage boosts if it's meant to stay even remotely an option, even more so when thinking about those mesmers who don't have PoF yet and thus can't even use ambushs. And if the phantasms will work like mentioned in OP, that also means a damage boost for already very powerful condi clone axe mirage which will require a massive nerf if you're going to make other clone builds builds even remotely competent with these changes.

    Guess mesmer builds will be the first ones Kitty benchmarks after the balance patch. She has weapons already for all the possible weapon combinations so she can get quite complete results of the numbers to share after the change (though slightly lower than the better benchmarkers but those better benchmarkers haven't released any numbers of alternative weapon combinations this far so...). Kitty will make a thread on these forums after she's got the numbers.

    It's Kitty. The young lady who streams and records videos playing various (non-)metabuilds. Raid/fractal videos at youtube.com/LadyKitty, announcements and news at twitter.com/LadyKittyGW2 and streams at twitch.tv/ladykittygw2 . Build guides at https://kittymarks.wixsite.com/kittymarks .

  • Sir Vincent III.1286Sir Vincent III.1286 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 1, 2018

    @Gaile Gray.6029 said: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.

    This is the very reason why I don't use Phantasm, they are too passive and boring. I'm looking forward to testing these new features.

    Thief F1 must remain an instacast Steal skill. DE will simply apply DE Mark on target on Steal.
    Malice build-up independently from DE Mark. Mark only speed up the build-up, not be the pre-requisite.
    http://sirvincentiii.com ~ In the beginning...there was Tarnished Coast...

  • Haleydawn.3764Haleydawn.3764 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 1, 2018

    @Oglaf.1074 said:

    @Xyonon.3987 said:

    Aside from that, as a minmaxing Raid Chrono / Mirage myself I don't automatically say "that's new and bad!" I wanna see the numbers and try new stuff. I just want to keep up about the same numbers and diversity, so I'm curious.

    I hope my questions get answered from you Robert Gee! >:3

    Well, Mr. Gee already told you to expect a DPS loss though so...

    Which is laughable considering Mesmers are renowned for abyssmally low sustained power DPS anyway. This change will affect Mesmer, regardless of how that damage is output, it just wont affect the Condi Mirage build all that much I don't think, partly because it doesn't rely on Phantasms.
    Sounds like a nail in the coffin for Power players.

    The above was written as part of an attempt to waste time.

  • @Lalainnia.3598 said:
    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.

    Sure, but why bother? Why have a retargeting mechanic when there's no real incentive to keep your current illusions in play? I suppose you could try to track your clone targeting closely enough (in the middle of all the other things you're thinking about) to flip three existing clones from a target that is about to die to a target that has a full health bar just before shattering them, presumably to maximize damage effects, but this would be a lot of cognitive effort for not much gain, and runs counter to the stated goal of making the game (on the whole) more instinctive and less cerebral.

<1345678
©2010–2018 ArenaNet, LLC. All rights reserved. Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, Heart of Thorns, Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire, ArenaNet, NCSOFT, the Interlocking NC Logo, and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCSOFT Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.