Phantasm rework bad for PvP in hindsight? — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Phantasm rework bad for PvP in hindsight?

Quadox.7834Quadox.7834 Member ✭✭✭
edited March 21, 2018 in Mesmer

If you would have asked me a couple days after the patch, I would have unequivocally said "Yes, I like the rework". But ask me now I have to say the opposite. I understand why the change was done for PvE, but from a PvP perspective, it just made some problems worse and created some new ones.

  1. Clone generation is slower than before. Especially on some weaponsets like staff. Makes for a slow "build-up" kind of playstyle.
  2. More unreliable, you need to wait and hope that your AI doesn't bug out in order to get the clone. Which means it's inconsistent esp. vs for example thief which stealths or teleports away, kitten up phantasm AI.
  3. No more choice, between shattering or keeping your phantasm. More straightforward.
  4. Probably some more problems that I don't recall right now.

First, you have the shatter build. Phantasms are summoned as fast as you can. Since they might just walk around mindlessly for 5 seconds or suffer from any other arbitrary bug of your choice, it feels like you are working with a random-duration countdown timer. You pray to RNGesus that they might one day turn into clones but you don't count on it, especially since it is likely they will just die to AoE before that anyway. It's ok though, with Shatter Mirage you don't really have to care about phantasm management anyway. A basic MB + Daze mantra + Jaunt + Mind Wrack combo gives you a 3 clone shatter right on target anyway.

Second, you have the new phantasm builds and variations thereof. I'm speaking of the SS / Staff builds. Similar to the shatter build, this build's phantasm/clone management revolves around spamming out your phantasms as quickly as possible, periodically shattering just to clear your illusion limit. Don't keep track of your phantasms or make sure they hit their skills or anything, they are too slow and inconsistent to do anything interesting with anyway; better to just spam them out and then go on with your regular attacks/kiting. The phantasm attacks intermingled with the shatters will provide such a constant stream of damage that you can't and don't have to do any interesting combos with it, and your opponents can't dodge or do any interesting counters. It's basically just as uninteresting as the phantasm builds of vanilla gw2, but this time they are actually viable. It's kind of a Spirit Ranger situation in my mind.

The rework just promotes a spammy fire-and-forget playstyle where you spam out phantasms, then ignore them and play your build like normal while the phantasms "tick in the background". Phantasms can sometimes remain for way longer than intended if the enemy stealths / moves away / goes into LOS, so that the AI can't complete its attack. This results in a build-up of phantasms which can quickly get very overwhelming and unfun to fight against, and that's not even mentioning Chronophantasma.

Sorry for the rant-y post. Would love to hear feedback, esp if you play Shatter. If you really stop and think about it and compare playstyle to before patch, what are your feelings about the effects of the rework on PvP?

Sidenote; Why not give phantasms a second skill activation so can / have to have to choose when to attack like every other summon/minion in the game?

// Yanim

Comments

  • Abelisk.4527Abelisk.4527 Member ✭✭✭✭

    What if Phantasms were as glassy as clones?

  • Levetty.1279Levetty.1279 Member ✭✭✭

    The rework just promotes a spammy fire-and-forget playstyle where you spam out phantasms, then ignore them and play your build like normal while the phantasms "tick in the background".

    No they changed it from that to something else.

  • @Abelisk.4527 said:
    What if Phantasms were as glassy as clones?

    While I know there is a difference in health pool phantasms are already quickly destroyed so making them even weaker in that regard would constitute a drastic increase in personal damage.

  • OriOri.8724OriOri.8724 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Couple issues I have with your post:

    1 - Clone generation is actually up significantly with the phantasm rework. Clone skills were not affected whatsoever, and we even got a new passive clone generation skill. Further, all phantasms just turn into clones now. Yes, that happens slowly, especially with CP. Yes, I want to see that addressed. No, this does not mean clone generation went down.

    2 - Again, clone generation went up, but overall phantasms are just as reliable as they were pre patch. Warden would be my biggest grievance in terms of how it operates now.

    3 - We never had much of a choice between keeping phantasms alive and shattering them really. Technically yes, but the downsides to our long term damage and general utility was hurt so significantly by shattering a phantasm that it was never much of a choice. Depending on the content and build you were playing, you were either going to shatter them after their first attack, or not shatter them at all in most situations in the game.

    4 - Every other complaint you listed, while some are more valid than others, boil down to the fact that Anet has not had time to release a balance patch for this yet. This was a huge change, and, sorry Anet this is not personal just how game balance works, it was impossible to have gotten it well balanced on the first attempt. Hold these complaints off until at least after the next balance patch to give Anet a chance to balance the spec.

    Eyyyy I unlocked signatures

  • OriOri.8724OriOri.8724 Member ✭✭✭✭

    All of that said, I have been considering whether this was the best possible way to do phantasms. I don't know right now if this could be balanced, but its interesting to think about, for me at any rate.

    What if phantasms no longer despawned into a clone after their one attack, but stayed persistent for up to X attacks (maybe a single cap, maybe individual for each phantasm, but generally balanced such that the phantasm despawned before the skill came off CD), and the skills flipped when you used them. The flipped skill would destroy the summoned phantasm and then generate the clone.

    This gives us more choice back as to whether to keep phantasms out or not for their attacks, but we still wouldn't have to worry about shattering them anymore. It also gives us more control over when the clone is summoned, but I don't think it would be balanced.

    Eyyyy I unlocked signatures

  • apharma.3741apharma.3741 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @OriOri.8724 said:
    Couple issues I have with your post:

    1 - Clone generation is actually up significantly with the phantasm rework. Clone skills were not affected whatsoever, and we even got a new passive clone generation skill. Further, all phantasms just turn into clones now. Yes, that happens slowly, especially with CP. Yes, I want to see that addressed. No, this does not mean clone generation went down.

    2 - Again, clone generation went up, but overall phantasms are just as reliable as they were pre patch. Warden would be my biggest grievance in terms of how it operates now.

    3 - We never had much of a choice between keeping phantasms alive and shattering them really. Technically yes, but the downsides to our long term damage and general utility was hurt so significantly by shattering a phantasm that it was never much of a choice. Depending on the content and build you were playing, you were either going to shatter them after their first attack, or not shatter them at all in most situations in the game.

    4 - Every other complaint you listed, while some are more valid than others, boil down to the fact that Anet has not had time to release a balance patch for this yet. This was a huge change, and, sorry Anet this is not personal just how game balance works, it was impossible to have gotten it well balanced on the first attempt. Hold these complaints off until at least after the next balance patch to give Anet a chance to balance the spec.

    Actually clone generation is probably not changed too much, there’s no illusionists celerity but on the other hand GS and Staff have the ability to get 1 extra clone so depending on your build you may see a little more or a little less clone generation however celerity also reduced the cool down on those skills which gave more blinks, damage or blocks depending on the weapons used.

    Phantasms turning into clones from a shatter stand point hasn’t changed the clone generation as they would have been shattered anyway, the only thing that’s really changed is that mesmers can now have the 3 clones up and have 2-4 phantasms up doing their attack, shatter before they convert so you have 3 clones run at the enemy and 3 from converted phantasms.

    I agree it was a positive change though and disagree with the OP, mechanically the change is sound, there just needs to be a bit of numbers tweaking and some L2P from other players, I rarely see anyone dodge the mage attack or try to LoS phantasms.

  • EpicTurtle.8571EpicTurtle.8571 Member ✭✭✭✭

    There are two specific situations I can see it being a problem

    1. Your main tactic was to try and distract your opponents while your phantasms dish out the real damage. It's a pretty transparent gambit and I doubt it'd work on most opponents since people see glowy pink and break it ASAP
    2. Your playstyle was the infamously shatterspam which I personally thought was kind of meh, but logically it doesn't really seem like it removed all that much as far as shattering goes there's more than enough workarounds to get 3 clones up quickly.
  • Quadox.7834Quadox.7834 Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 26, 2019

    @OriOri.8724 said:
    Couple issues I have with your post:

    1 - Clone generation is actually up significantly with the phantasm rework. Clone skills were not affected whatsoever, and we even got a new passive clone generation skill. Further, all phantasms just turn into clones now. Yes, that happens slowly, especially with CP. Yes, I want to see that addressed. No, this does not mean clone generation went down.

    2 - Again, clone generation went up, but overall phantasms are just as reliable as they were pre patch. Warden would be my biggest grievance in terms of how it operates now.

    3 - We never had much of a choice between keeping phantasms alive and shattering them really. Technically yes, but the downsides to our long term damage and general utility was hurt so significantly by shattering a phantasm that it was never much of a choice. Depending on the content and build you were playing, you were either going to shatter them after their first attack, or not shatter them at all in most situations in the game.

    4 - Every other complaint you listed, while some are more valid than others, boil down to the fact that Anet has not had time to release a balance patch for this yet. This was a huge change, and, sorry Anet this is not personal just how game balance works, it was impossible to have gotten it well balanced on the first attempt. Hold these complaints off until at least after the next balance patch to give Anet a chance to balance the spec.

    Long bump but i wanted to revisit this topic.
    1. I was talking about how slow clones are to get out in the first place, not the total average amount of clones you can generate (obviously...). This is why i talked about staff and focus which are the slowest-attacking phantasms (focus movement speed is fixed but attack still very slow).
    2. They were unreliable before patch as well, especially staff and torch, but back then it didn't matter as much because you would still get value from the shatter without having to wait/hope for the phantasm to finish its super slow attack.
    3. Were you talking about PvE here, because I don't see how it makes sense for PvP. The PvP "meta" was to shatter after the phantasm's first attack usually, but back then you would have the option of waiting for 2nd berserker attack for example. Or shattering before the first attack for unreliable phantasms like torch, staff, focus.
    4. One year of balance patches and it's still the same, but with some bandaid fixes to warden (it now has an insane movement speed that looks hilarious).

    My stance on this is still the same, and this rework promoted builds that spam phantasms and don't care about keeping track of their attacks, timing, illusion management, and so forth. For instance bunker Chrono (just spam as many phants as possible), as well as 1v1 builds in general.

    Now, an enemy who is running away from you or who is moving a lot (thief), most phantasms are now useless whereas before you could at least shatter them to get value. Now, a phantasm can get killed at any point and you can't do anything about it whereas because a Mesmer with good awareness could shatter the phantasm to get value out of it, and you could even stunbreak (with shatter) for the phantasm if they got ccd by hammer warrior aoe for example.

    As we aren't going back (mainly due to PvE), maybe it would be possible to do something like this to make Mesmer less about spam, unreadability, and filling up the screen with illusions:
    1. Phantasms no longer turn into clones after attacking. They can be their own thing.
    2. Heavily buff the skill that the Mesmer performs when summoning phantasms. Might make a new post about this after the upcoming patch, because this was a great idea from ANet. Add missing skills to remaining phantasms (warden, warlock, maybe some more iirc). Maybe staff gets a heal/condiremove and focus gets back the immobilize or something.
    3. Increase movement speed of phantasms (warden already has it) and decrease aftercast (berserker is a good model).
    4. Buff shatters if necessary (to compensate for lower clone generation).
    5. Remove chronophantasma. This trait highlights all these problems and makes every issue with phantasms twice as bad.

    // Yanim

  • Lincolnbeard.1735Lincolnbeard.1735 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I always advocate how phantasm rework was trash for pvp. Phantasms attacks got slower, with a more wind-up animation, most do less damage, and take them forever to change into clones.
    You had less illusions out at a time, yes, but who cares if you could shatter insanely faster before.
    Clearly it was a pve change who ruined pvp, once again.

    The degenerate

  • Quadox.7834Quadox.7834 Member ✭✭✭

    @Lincolnbeard.1735 said:
    I always advocate how phantasm rework was trash for pvp. Phantasms attacks got slower, with a more wind-up animation, most do less damage, and take them forever to change into clones.
    You had less illusions out at a time, yes, but who cares if you could shatter insanely faster before.
    Clearly it was a pve change who ruined pvp, once again.

    Exactly, it was just to make Mesmer gameplay more active in PvE (and probably worked as well). What do you think about my suggestions/steps?

    // Yanim

  • Lincolnbeard.1735Lincolnbeard.1735 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Quadox.7834 said:

    @Lincolnbeard.1735 said:
    I always advocate how phantasm rework was trash for pvp. Phantasms attacks got slower, with a more wind-up animation, most do less damage, and take them forever to change into clones.
    You had less illusions out at a time, yes, but who cares if you could shatter insanely faster before.
    Clearly it was a pve change who ruined pvp, once again.

    Exactly, it was just to make Mesmer gameplay more active in PvE (and probably worked as well). What do you think about my suggestions/steps?

    I think a simple revert would suffice.

    Would like to comment on some stuff on the thread.
    Torch phantasm hit like a truck and the animation was not obvious, it was more reliable than the new one.
    Sword phantasm was changed before the rework, and I made a thread about that one, some people disagree but the new one is absolute garbage, does less damage, is slow and unreliable, a simple sidestep will void all damage whereas the old one was a consistent poke with huge numbers.
    The focus one was also better before, even if it was not that good.

    And the summon skill damage was nothing but a nerf disguised as a buff so you can't remain stealthed after summon a phantasm.

    The degenerate

  • Quadox.7834Quadox.7834 Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 26, 2019

    @Lincolnbeard.1735 said:

    @Quadox.7834 said:

    @Lincolnbeard.1735 said:
    I always advocate how phantasm rework was trash for pvp. Phantasms attacks got slower, with a more wind-up animation, most do less damage, and take them forever to change into clones.
    You had less illusions out at a time, yes, but who cares if you could shatter insanely faster before.
    Clearly it was a pve change who ruined pvp, once again.

    Exactly, it was just to make Mesmer gameplay more active in PvE (and probably worked as well). What do you think about my suggestions/steps?

    I think a simple revert would suffice.

    Would like to comment on some stuff on the thread.
    Torch phantasm hit like a truck and the animation was not obvious, it was more reliable than the new one.
    Sword phantasm was changed before the rework, and I made a thread about that one, some people disagree but the new one is absolute garbage, does less damage, is slow and unreliable, a simple sidestep will void all damage whereas the old one was a consistent poke with huge numbers.
    The focus one was also better before, even if it was not that good.

    And the summon skill damage was nothing but a nerf disguised as a buff so you can't remain stealthed after summon a phantasm.

    About revert
    Of course a revert would suffice, but I am suggesting a different way of improving mesmer as reverting the rework will never happen for these reasons:

    1. Anet generally doesn't like to "kill their babies" (which is somewhat understandable). They probably worked hard on the rework.
    2. The rework was probably beneficial for PvE (I don't play it so can't say 100%, iirc mesmer used to just summon 3 phants then sword auto).

    That's why i think my suggestions would make mesmer more fun, active and less spammy and annoying to fight - in all 3 gamemodes.

    About phantasms
    Maybe i forgot some patches, but the torch phantasm i remember stuggled to hit wvw dolyaks, and did terrible damage when it actually hit (also did condicleanse iirc). The new one is actually one of the better ones, but needs movement speed buff like focus got. The old staff phant on the other hand did hit like a truck (10k +-).

    You are correct that the new sword phantasm is much worse than the old one.

    I used to think old focus phant was better but i changed my mind; new one hits very consistently, has a big radius and impossible to dodge. This is why focus is seeing play on shatter mesmer (mirage) now for the first time in years and years. At least on NA.

    About mesmer summoning skill
    You are correct about the purpose being a stealth nerf, however the mechanic itself it a great idea that can make mesmer more fun, interactive, and make phants less fire-and-forget. Let me draw up some examples off the top of my head to showcase what i mean:

    • Warden - throws axe that immobs target. Alternatively put up shield that reflects projectiles.
    • Swordsman - leap/mobility skill.
    • Mage - burn/daze aoe.
    • Berzerker - high damage grestsword boomerang throw?
    • Warlock - heal yourself and remove condition.
    • Pistol - like current one but stronger.

    There are infinte fun possibilities really.

    // Yanim

  • Lincolnbeard.1735Lincolnbeard.1735 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 26, 2019

    @Quadox.7834 said:

    @Lincolnbeard.1735 said:

    @Quadox.7834 said:

    @Lincolnbeard.1735 said:
    I always advocate how phantasm rework was trash for pvp. Phantasms attacks got slower, with a more wind-up animation, most do less damage, and take them forever to change into clones.
    You had less illusions out at a time, yes, but who cares if you could shatter insanely faster before.
    Clearly it was a pve change who ruined pvp, once again.

    Exactly, it was just to make Mesmer gameplay more active in PvE (and probably worked as well). What do you think about my suggestions/steps?

    I think a simple revert would suffice.

    Would like to comment on some stuff on the thread.
    Torch phantasm hit like a truck and the animation was not obvious, it was more reliable than the new one.
    Sword phantasm was changed before the rework, and I made a thread about that one, some people disagree but the new one is absolute garbage, does less damage, is slow and unreliable, a simple sidestep will void all damage whereas the old one was a consistent poke with huge numbers.
    The focus one was also better before, even if it was not that good.

    And the summon skill damage was nothing but a nerf disguised as a buff so you can't remain stealthed after summon a phantasm.

    About revert
    Of course a revert would suffice, but I am suggesting a different way of improving mesmer as reverting the rework will never happen for these reasons:

    1. Anet generally doesn't like to "kill their babies" (which is somewhat understandable). They probably worked hard on the rework.
    2. The rework was probably beneficial for PvE (I don't play it so can't say 100%, iirc mesmer used to just summon 3 phants then sword auto).

    That's why i think my suggestions would make mesmer more fun, active and less spammy and annoying to fight - in all 3 gamemodes.

    About phantasms
    Maybe i forgot some patches, but the torch phantasm i remember stuggled to hit wvw dolyaks, and did terrible damage when it actually hit (also did condicleanse iirc). The new one is actually one of the better ones, but needs movement speed buff like focus got. The old staff phant on the other hand did hit like a truck (10k +-).

    You are correct that the new sword phantasm is much worse than the old one.

    I used to think old focus phant was better but i changed my mind; new one hits very consistently, has a big radius and impossible to dodge. This is why focus is seeing play on shatter mesmer (mirage) now for the first time in years and years. At least on NA.

    About mesmer summoning skill
    You are correct about the purpose being a stealth nerf, however the mechanic itself it a great idea that can make mesmer more fun, interactive, and make phants less fire-and-forget. Let me draw up some examples off the top of my head to showcase what i mean:

    • Warden - throws axe that immobs target. Alternatively put up shield that reflects projectiles.
    • Swordsman - leap/mobility skill.
    • Mage - burn/daze aoe.
    • Berzerker - high damage grestsword boomerang throw?
    • Warlock - heal yourself and remove condition.
    • Pistol - like current one but stronger.

    There are infinte fun possibilities really.

    I don't think they'll revert it too, ANet's devs are stubborn.
    Sure they could improve, give phantasms faster animations and convertion rates and stuff like you suggest which I think would help, but I don't think ANet wants it, plus the clueless community backlash would be immense, I mean these guys already call mesmer nerfs - mesmer buffs.

    Yeah you're probably right, I mistoke the old staff phantasm with the torch one. Still I don't like the new torch, it's soooo slow...

    I know a mesmer streamer made focus popular. And it's kind of funny you mentioned that, when the legendary focus was released, I made it and talk about it to a friend saying something like "The binding of ipos is so cool, too bad focus is trash on mesmer" to which he responded "go play in NA, anything works there."
    Focus damage is slow and if you're fighting more than one player at the time, damage is pathetic too. The old one with the right pull did a ton of fast damage.

    Summon skills could be cool like those examples, sadly I don't think ANet has any interest in them to get better, I mean, they reasoned 300 damage on boomerang as a way to give mesmers more sustain damage...

    The degenerate

  • I don't really like the change but I've gotten used to it. That's basically how I feel about the profession as a whole. I haven't liked much of what they've done with mesmer since they deleted the clone death traits way back with HoT. I'm just now warming up to chrono but that's only because of the new lost time :P

  • Odik.4587Odik.4587 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Lincolnbeard.1735 said:
    I don't think they'll revert it too, ANet's devs are laid off :trollface:

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