EDIT: i conpletely revamped the soulbeast section. Greetings and thx to @Wondrouswall.7169 , most of the ideas are his and i took such a liking to them that i wanted to replace my old suggestions with this new ones.
As i stated in my other 2 parts so far (you can find the traits here & the skills here ), i will look at the Elite Specs of Ranger and give suggestions to generally improve on them. I will look at traits, Slot-Skills (Heal, Utility, Elite) and the weaponskills. I will try to stay as balanced as possible. Generally i will look at the mechanics and want to make them more engaging and streamlined. I will comment on my suggestion so there is a mutual understanding why i made the suggestion in the first place. I will start with traits and will then go to the Weapon and slot-skill changes. I will not look at core ranger mechanics or petskills. these will come later on.
Please stay constructive, good feedback is welcome.
Druid has 3 distinct component which makes it difficult to handle in regards to changes. First part is support, second part is control and last part is tankiness/Avatar-Utility.
Note: I do not look into CAF generation or anything like that, so i will not comment on the first minor. This includes the CA skills. Anything else that does not find any mention here is considered ok IMO. I will list the whole trait Setup though to give an overview how i want to shuffle the traits arround.
I will change the Lines specifically into these three distinct lines: Glyph Focussed (CC oriented), support focussed (heal and buffs) and Competitive orientation.
1. Celestial being
2. Live Vicariously
3. Cultivated Synergy
No changes they are just swapped.
(You can give me feedback how strong this would be though, maybe would need some tweaks in competitive modes)
Glyphs and CC Line:
Same effect as we know it but now an adept. I moved it to adept so it will not conflict with the new staff trait which will be a master. So you can still use the glyph and the staff trait at once.
Trigger a Lesser Glyph of Equality (The Regular One) when weaponswaping.
Has the ICD of any normal weaponswap trait. (maybe differ in competitive mode)
It was a good trait but it was more an escape tool to daze someone before whispering away with staff. this way it can be used more universally.
As we know it.
So the idea about this line is for PvP or aggressive PvE usage. It gives some cleanses, some CC and some condis. but mainly it is for close combat use and aggressive play.
Natural Stride: Is now a party wide buff. Similar to spotter.
(you can give me feedback on that too, it was a spontanious idea and i thought a party wide movement buff would be nice for WvW and condi reduction is always something)
Maybe it could reduce condi duration overall so it has uses in condi heavy encounters in Pve but i dont know if this would be to strong, also here i would like to here some feedback.
New Staff Trait. Combines the effect of natural mender with a CD reduction of staff.
Makes staff automatically more potent
Grace of the Land:
As we know it.
All of these are altruistic traits that still have their benefits to the druid himself.
Blasting a field will now dmg and blind up to 5 foes and heal up to 5 allies.
Heal and blind stay at the same values i suppose.
Staff has a lacking N°2 and N°4. N°5 just could use some QoL otherwise no changes.
AA: dmg and heal wise its good IMO. the targeting is kinda off, improvement on this would be neat.
Astral Wisp: Still bind a Whisp to your target but the wisp now has a lightfield that damages up to 5 targets in the area and heals allies.
In addition to that your enemy is now caring a blastable field arround him which would play into lingering light. indifferent on duration and dmg, may be increased may be not.
Ancestral Grace: Nice, keep it.
I actually like the skillshot aspect of this skill, but the dmg is kinda meh and its hard to hit.
Simple improvement would be to just add 2 additional Vines. The skillshoot has now a conal shape/ three vine surge ground targets in a conal arrangement.
Behaviour of the vine will not change in any other regards.
This way it has more AoE potential and a higher chance of hitting targets. Dmg could be increased if necessary.
For this i have a simple change: Make it a circular ground target.
Just to better protect allies from projectiles.
Atm i feel like there is only 1 glyph that truly is useful in all aspects which is Glyph of Equality, all other Glyphs feel very lackluster or just useless.
So i want to improve on these and the roles they play. I will not touch equality, as i said i like this skill as it is.
Additionally i think glyphs do not feel very accesible and are very rarely used in CAF so i just want to unsplit the CD of the different glyph forms, so you can use them indipendently from another. CD of the glyphs can also be ajusted indipendently from another ( and thus there could be PvE-PvP splits if needed)
I wanted to improve on its condition aspect, a better tie in with ancient seeds and just an overall dmg increase and AoE capabbility to make this the DMG glyph.
Does no longer apply poison, it will now apply 3 stacks of bleed instead, so it can stack with ancient seed bleeds.
In addition to that the Impact radius of the Glyph cascades outwards, so it will pulse 3 times after every pulse increasing its radius. Similar to "Feel the Burn" of tempest., but faster.
increase its raw dmg by a reasonable amount so it will be a decent AoE skill on power builds.
Keeps its effect but inherets the cascading character of the base form. So 3 healing cleansing waves with bigger radius after every pulse.
This gives better AoE cleanse and heal and gives more AF which prolonges the time in the avatar mode.
Good basic concept but i think the effects do actually exxactly the opposite of what they should do.
So i swap just the effects of the two glyph forms.
In CAF you want space from you and your target so you can reheal in peace and attack afterwards, so the push makes sense on CA.
In base form you would profit from pulling targets towards you and destroy them in melee range.
This change is mainly PvE oriented to be more aggressive against mobs, but it could be used for defensive tactics in competitive play.
This skill is mainly used in raid scenarios or other group content.
I do not often use this skill but its functionality is proven. Only thing i want to change is the CD of this glyph.
Because it is often used in group content and does not bring anything else to the table i want to reduce its CD to 12s (Maybe 15s if 12 is to low).
So you would have higher uptime of the glyph and more GotL spam together with verdant etching, which would just improve its overall performance in groups.
Glyph of Unity:
This Glyph has its issues and it is used most often just for gotL spam.
I wanted to Simplify its mechanic but also improve its performance overall.
Imbue yourself with a powerful field that heals allies everytime you deal dmg
Imbue Yourself with a powerful field that pulses dmg to foes everytime you heal yourself.
So i twisted the effects a bit and removed the teathers and replaced them with a field that just effects targets within it. It will just have a simple outline so there is no visual clutter in crowded scenarios.
This way the elite can be used as a AF generator outside CAF and works as a dmg tool in CAF. (It would may need an ICD similar to one wolf pack to prevent brutal abuse of CA N°4)
I would renamed it to GLYPH OF DUALITY so it would fit better the theme.
This was my part on druid, if there are any feedback what you liked or what you disliked, please elaborate so we can have a discussion over it.
Beastmode has great versatility in its uses. Atm its swap in and out mechanic is most often used in PvP/WvW because the beastmode provides better burst but outside beastmode you have more utility. In PvE on the other hand you lose a lot of dmg when leaving beastmode this does especially fit all condition soulbeast builds.
So i will provide trait suggestions which offer different playstyles, including a trait that will offer faster reswapping into beastmode or keeping the bonusses from archetypes while outside Bmode etc.
I will not make stuff baseline here just to keep the spec as active as it is now and make the GM choices more interesting.
I want to distinct them more from each other. Atm there are 3 different archetypes that have vitality and i am not very fond of that.
I will change 2 Archetypes so they 1. fit better into their role and 2. are now more distinguished between eachother. the F3 abbilities are good IMO and do not need any change except 1.
Versatile Pets: Do give increased Boon-Duration and Condi-Duration. Both have the same value/give the same percentage, which will be a bit lower as the current concentration bonus for balance reasons, but not much. So there is no clear winner and this archetype can be used for condi and power builds alike. Both benefit from boonduration because of longer buff duration and power builds will benefit from longer cripple, chill etc duration if they use marksmanship and condi builds have obvious benefits from condi duration.
Supportive Pets: Increased outgoing healing. Deacreased incoming condition duration/dmg ( i am indecisive regarding duration or dmg, both would be fitting and useful).
NOTE: Increased outgoing healing includes the soulbeast so just for the record: THE "FIX" OF MARCH 2018 SHOULD BE REVERTED.
Stout Pets F3: Unflinching Fortitude: This skill should be instant. It has the effect similar to stone signet and dolyak stance and both of them are instant. For a "oh kitten button" this is a must.
Here comes the total overhaul part.
The traits have 3 distinct lines.
1. Defensive competitive
The columns themaelf all have similar functions except the GMs which will change the gameplay conpletely.
The Minors are here to give Sbeast just a useful buff for every build and the benefits of using the F skills.
Adept: Elevated Bond
Master: Live Fast
GM: Furious Strength (Now gives 10% bonus dmg and 10% condi duration)
Increased dmg of furious strength to benefit power builds and the condi duration to give Soulbeasts more room with gear.
All these traits could be used in all builds thus fitting minors.
Break stun and gain unblockable for a short duration next time you enter or leave beastmode.
Unblockable duration is now 3s instead of 4s because of higher access.
This trait is now a buff that will be consumed by pressing F5 and then gives said benefits. After an ICD it will reappear.
(I dont know if this is necessary, but i put it in just to be sure. I think the idea of a consumable buff seems rather elegant and gives track of the ICD. You can give me feedback on this.)
Protection reduces incoming condition uration. Gain protection when gaining unblockable.
This has just overall usage with signets, WH and unstoppable union. Even some uses in Hybrid competitive builds with WS.
Eternal Bond: Swapping Pets resets the CD on Beastmode.
This would provide more fluid rotations especially in competitive modes.
It will also solve the petswap in beastmode problem in a way.
Main reason why i put an ICD on UU.
When entering beastmode copy the boons of your pet to you, when leaving copy your boons to your pet.
Just make it work both ways, otherwise not a big change.
Essence of Speed:
While affected be quickness your pet gains its archetype bonus. You gain 40% additional archetype bonus while under the effects of quickness.
(push the numbers guys it sounds strong but its reasonable).
This is just to give it a straight out bonus to all of the players which have high quickness uptime or playing group content. It benefits all kind if builds.
Twice as Vicious:
Retain the archetype bonus from your last pet you merged with for a short duration after leaving beastmode.
So if played right you always gain the stat bonus, which would benefit swap heavy builds.
Gain lesser Vulture Stance when entering or leaving beastmode.
Duration can be increased by GM-Trait.
This is just to provide nice condi dmg and selfbuff everytime you swap modes. Clever play leads to a steady stream if might and condi dmg.
Steal health when you apply poison. Gain increased dmg and condi duration against foes with a lesser health percentage than you.
This just straight up plays into eachother. Apply poison reduces heal of target, gives you health and you gain increased dmg and duration if you have a higher health percentage.
Leader of the Pack:
Stances Have higher duration.
Stances are shared with allies.
This one just stays as is. I did not mention the shortened duration for allies, but idc if this stays or not.
Stances are not bad in concept but are lacking in their execution. Some just need tweaks, others are good as they are and 1 particular is just straight out bad and needs a rework.
Overall change i make on stances is: Your pet automatically gains the unique buffs of the stance but not the boons (except you have NM). These bonusses will not be transfered to the soulbeast though when merging with the pet. (This would just lead to unbalanced stuff)
This stance has good utility but its base heal is lacking and its condi cleanse does only come gradually.
I will speed up the condi remove, i will not touch the heal per condition but increase the base heal a bit.
Increase the base heal for 10%. This will give a base heal of 5.5K. Just to give it a better use for better overall play quality.
The Intervall of condition removal has been changed. It will now only remove one condition per pulse but it will pulse every half a second instead of every second.
This will not change the potential heal but will accelerate the condition removal, so they have less time to tick.
Good Stance i like it.
Increase the duration for PvE only would be neat though (but this is more a desired wish than an ernest suggestion)
It is a good stance but it kinda gives inconsistent amounts of boons and it has a longer duration than even the elite.
I will bring all effects up to 8s ,but will reduce the overall duration of Moa stance down to 8s from 10s.
So protection is now 8s instead of 3s, fury is 8s instead of 6s, swiftness is 8s instead of 6s and regen stays at 8s.
Together with the increased Boon duration of the stance these will last actual 10.5s .
Overall durationaybe ajusted in competitive modes.
This is the main culprit here that is basically worth to totally redesign.
I want to keep the evasion and endurance part and i give it a matching boon in addition to that.
New Effect: Gain endurance and evade attacks for a short duration. After the duration you gain vigor.
Griffon stance has an ammunition mechanic and has 2 charges.
20s to recharge a charge. (Maybe lower in PvE)
Evade Duration is 2s. Endurance gain is 50.
(This skill maybe really strong in competitive play so i hope 50 endurance is not to much)
It is now an active evasion tool that gives you endurance for more evasion and after the evade frame, in addition to that you can use that to party mitigate dmg with the GM.
One Wolf Pack:
(Personal Taste Note: I would call it Alpha Wolf Stance actually. Just sounds better, but this is also more a desire wish than an ernest suggestion.)
I like this stance and i like how it works.
Dagger itself is a solid dmg weapon but it has its flaws.
Dagger 2 is a great dmg tool but it does not bring any utility with it and its hardly distinguishable from the AA
Dagger 3 is decent but there are more so often situation where you just die mid air because you can be hit during the animation
Double Arc: Improve animation so it is better distinguishable from the AA. Additionally id say that the base attack should apply heavy poison instead of heavy bleeds. And the pets attacks interupt enemy attacks the next two hits.
This is mainly to give it some tactical use and better synergy with predators cunning.
Instinctive Engage: During the leap you now evade attacks. Just some QoL/Improvement to use it as an aggressive tool even during enemy attacks.
I hope you had a good read. Any constructive Feedback is welcome.
As i mentioned above, many ideas of the soulbeast traits are not mine, i modified some of them minorily and structured them on my own though.