[Support] Formal Thief E-Spec Recommendation: The Shadow Consort — Guild Wars 2 Forums

[Support] Formal Thief E-Spec Recommendation: The Shadow Consort

Zlater.6789Zlater.6789 Member ✭✭✭

Hi Guys!

Background:
A little while ago I was challenged, if you could create a support spec for thief, what would it look like?

Well I pondered that question myself, and actually I decided to take it up as a bit of a challenge. I knew I wasn't going to settle for a half complete spec, I knew I wanted to create something that was balanced but strong and I knew I wanted to create something that was realistic. S.M.A.R.T. is probably the best way of describing my ambition.
I'd seen a lot of elite specialisations that recommended crazy things like totally new weapons and complete reworks of pre-existing design elements, and I decided to completely steer clear of that and instead work within the constraints that presented themselves to me from the design of existing elite specs.

One thing that surprised me was not just the amount of effort I somehow managed to put into this, but also the result of my effort. What was originally just going to be a bit of a collaboration of ideas, also became a deep analysis of the decision making process itself. After I'd designed what I thought would be great, only to inevitably trash it, and redesign it a few times over; I found myself becoming really engaged in the thought process. I started asking myself questions like:
Why this skill?
What's the point of this?
How would a player feel if they used this or had this used on them?
What are some skills that have a similar implementation?
How could this go wrong?
How can this be better? etc.

Unfortunately much of that design process was lost along the way, because it wasn't until the end that I really started to dedicate additional time to exploring these questions on paper. However I did spend the time to revisit every skill, trait and idea that I could think of, to create a number of small individual discussions relating to this topic. If you would take the time to explore, comment, criticize and feedback on the specialisation recommendation itself, I would ask you also to explore the discussion I have compiled that accompanies the specialisation. Just as much as I am interested in a discussion about the proposal itself, I am also interested to hear about your opinion of design principles that I discuss in the following document.

Shadow Consort Elite Specialisation Recommendation:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1qHPSc-_5UvlPTjlCngvMj4Yg3p-NBzq8

Discussion:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1P5gJjNPa3vDwUUoQkTwYEDLNMdXagzZt

I'm grateful to anyone who reads this, more so to anyone who would also share their ideas and opinions and especially to anyone who would pass this on to share with their friends.

Also a big thanks for my friends who have given tonnes of input into this, especially to @SpaceRaccoon.9684 who sat with me for hours to correct me when I'd written stupid things.

Comments

  • Kallist.5917Kallist.5917 Member ✭✭✭

    I really like it, but the Healing skill needs some work, a defeated anything will be a rarity in PVE. Exchange looks like it would be amazingly trollish in WvW, I could see my self popping it and Bloodpact on an enemy commander, pulling them in to my Zerg.
    And for the first time, I kind of want a greatsword on my Thief.

  • Pterikdactyl.7630Pterikdactyl.7630 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I'm on break at work so can't really provide any constructive criticisms, but just wanted to say that I would love to play something like this. A true thief support spec is my #1 dream for this game. I think there are some things that would need some major tweaking in what you have proposed, but as a whole you have some really interesting ideas. I love seeing people's proposed ideas.

  • BobbyT.7192BobbyT.7192 Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 4, 2018

    A few quick things, your description could be more concise. It took me awhile, and a few times reading it to understand what was there. For example you kept mentioning traits early on as part of the description of other skills and traits. it made it difficult to follow as I'm trying to understand this skill but your throwing something that I haven't even seen yet. It was a lot of back and forth, it was Metroidvania of reading.
    I'm only saying this as a person that first read the word doc first because the google doc wasn't loading on my phone properly.

    I also kinda did like the heavy narrative of it, I got a good enough feel of the spec from it, though it did feel a bit too heavy sometimes.

    To spec it self
    I love the idea of a Greatsword support spec, its something different that thematically we haven't seen yet. Also give a reason to get something that isn't a berserker greatsword.
    Only issue I have is that thief already has 2 elite specs with 2 handers, and I would like to see something different that plays with our dual attack mechanic. I could see this fit which a scepter and focus combo with only the auto and stealth skills needing a bit of tweaking. Ghostly blade seems like it would fit almost any weapon combo.
    Dark Deal feels like it would do better as a utility skill as well, leaving room for maybe another offensive skill.
    Only other issue I see is people complaining that isn't a really beserker greatsword spec, but whatever.

    Slot skills;
    Blood pact seems pretty strong when used properly. it does have some counter play, but i have thought of those scenarios where a low health thief uses this on warrior or necro (a slow tether nerco trying to escape from a thief, lol ), 5000 heal and damage, is still a lot for a single utility skill i think. Though since its single target, maybe its fine.

    Love the idea of disorient, was wondering that they could do to come up with a new CC, and i could see this in game. i would imagine it would act like immobilize as your movement is restricted but your still able to use your skills, therefore would both condi cleanses and stun breaks clear this?

  • Zlater.6789Zlater.6789 Member ✭✭✭

    @Kallist.5917 said:
    A defeated anything will be a rarity in PVE.

    I imagine it working like the 3 skill in sirens landing. My understanding is that although mobs aren't actually stomped, their bodies are still considered defeated. I think it's pretty fair to say it might not always be bis in PvE, and I'm ok with that.

    Exchange looks like it would be amazingly trollish in WvW, I could see my self popping it and Bloodpact on an enemy commander, pulling them in to my Zerg.

    Make sure they don't have stab or a stunbreak up. ;D

    @Pterikdactyl.7630 said:
    I think there are some things that would need some major tweaking in what you have proposed.

    Oh yeah go ham and tell me what you think, I'd love to have that dialogue.
    One thing I am is a big fan of Overpowered Design and Balanced Implementation. I feel even when I go back over it some things on their own, they might be totally busted. Lucid Darkened for example is really powerful, even more when you realise that it can counter even unblockable projectiles. But in a different context when I consider what the player would need to give up for it, I feel like maybe there is some way to make it more desirable xD

    @BobbyT.7192 said:
    I'm only saying this as a person that first read the word doc first because the google doc wasn't loading on my phone properly.

    That's really fair to say I did write it in a way that it might be read alongside the spec proposal itself, starting as a live document. But I agree that I could have definitely written it more academically.

    I love the idea of a Greatsword support spec, its something different that thematically we haven't seen yet. Also give a reason to get something that isn't a berserker greatsword.
    Only issue I have is that thief already has 2 elite specs with 2 handers.

    I agree totally, it was really hard to go for a third 2-handed weapon a third time around, it was a conviction of mine to avoid this aswell. But I just couldn't get over GS, I can't give you a better reason other than I just fell in love with it and I hope others do too. That's not really diversity but I think it still holds merit.
    I don't fancy sceptre as a thief, but I do particularly like to entertain the idea of axe, focus, longbow, hammer, torch and warhorn.

    Dark Deal feels like it would do better as a utility skill as well, leaving room for maybe another offensive skill.

    No way Hosea! Where is the love for that dark deal+ infiltrator's arrow spam out, or that sweet ghostly blade precast. Ok I guess it could work, but I think it would need some buffs and a recharge counter.

    Slot skills;
    Blood pact seems pretty strong when used properly. it does have some counter play, but i have thought of those scenarios where a low health thief uses this on warrior or necro (a slow tether nerco trying to escape from a thief, lol ), 5000 heal and damage, is still a lot for a single utility skill i think. Though since its single target, maybe its fine.

    Oh yeah, stick it onto a 30k health necro in shroud and fully reset yourself. I won't lie, I love the idea, finally a way to kill the nomads reaper meme xD

    Love the idea of disorient, was wondering that they could do to come up with a new CC, and i could see this in game. i would imagine it would act like immobilize as your movement is restricted but your still able to use your skills, therefore would both condi cleanses and stun breaks clear this?

    Thanks, I don't think a cleanse should unless they make it a condition, but any stunbreak should do, do you think it should be a bit more impactful as a cc?

  • DeceiverX.8361DeceiverX.8361 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 19, 2018

    Per request, my feedback. Like any other proposal, including reviewing of my own, I'm not going to compromise, and my view is exclusive to PvP and WvW; balancing PvE is a numbers puzzle that will always cause someone to complain or some profession to not be viable, so I don't really care to bother:

    The flavor is neat but really feels far off from what the thief encompasses; the overplay of shadows and lifesteal feel really necro-oriented, and I still stand by that GS is just not a weapon for the thief. While I think the concept itself is interesting and unique, I just don't really think it's compatible with the core thief's kit, and there needs to be a lot further review on some of the concepts and verbiage to keep things in line, as there are a lot of interactions that could seemingly break this spec. Overall, I think the design of this would be bad-kitten instead for MH Focus necro given the brilliant synergy it would have with Blood Magic and necro's MH dagger as far as traits go in order to make Siphoning a much more aggressive and potent damage tool.

    I want to make the OP aware of the nuances of siphoning (Life Stealing mechanic) that many do not realize which is heavily contributing to my opinion as to why I don't think this really fits with the thief:

    • Siphon damage ignores damage resistance effects like Endure Pain and Signet of Stone
      This isn't a problem so much as it is something to be made aware of. Going overboard here can easily break things. I'll note a combo below as to why this is significant.

    • Siphon damage ignores all armor
      This starts getting flaky, especially when so much of the kit can siphon. How much damage is intended to be sourced from this effect and how much potential abuse is there from spam due to the initiative system? How hard to kill does a build embracing siphoning as a form of damage become with damage resistance, resets, and stealth?

    • Siphon damage does not scale with Ferocity/critical damage or any damage modifiers.
      This is a concern for thief because it effectively nullifies any and all real synergy with the Critical Strikes trait line, which is already considered to be an under-performer with a lack of any real synergy with other lines. If siphoning becomes the focus of this concept, CS, despite having the closest thing in concept to it at the moment with Invigorating Precision, becomes even less of a consideration. If the spec deals its damage with high coefficients, all this effort for emphasizing siphoning really won't mean anything unless it's partied with a BM necro/reaper. Further, the thief has exceptionally poor access to raw stats compared to a lot of other professions outside of ironically Crit Strikes. Most of its damage is sourced from % modifiers, which have no effect on siphon damage, making an offensive style/style of play incompatible by nature, which shouldn't happen in any elite spec/class concept.


    -- General: --
    There are a lot of cool ideas but way too much new stuff as far as effects and mechanics go. There's a lot of opportunity for a SC to be gaining a ton of stuff on their bar at any given point in time which is very hard to track. I'd try and cut down on the clutter.

    Inspired Initiative is too strong as a stackable effect as explained below in my traits response. This yields just way too much increased damage. Change it to 7% non-stacking.


    -- About Meld: --
    Ultimately, due to Meld, this spec is just downright overpowered as a support.
    Meld is already insanely strong on thief as a 15s default stunbreak at no cost. With the 33% DR, this would break support thief, as this with Kinship of the Void (baseline) and SA's Resilience of Shadows combined with Durability Runes and Mussels soups starts getting obscene with the damage mitigation (33%+33%+25%+7%+10% = 100%+ additive/72% multiplicative). A D/P SA/Tr/SC build running Hidden Thief would have permanent stealth uptime from Stealth on Steal and Meld, and a party of a few combined would allow for nearly literal permanent immunity to everything depending on DR stacking via Shadow Inscription and would dominate WvW in particular given how crazy strong 50% DR is in larger group play.

    I can't really think of anything to fix it right away, sadly.


    -- About the GS itself: --

    CC-oriented GS with perma-capped vuln and chill and a condi-applying AoE field is overly reaper-esque and frankly, just better than what the reaper does at doing what it's supposed to. Healing water field/dark field and slow on initiative is pretty broken conceptually in the PvP formats because they can be recasted and maintained permanently, and blasts are common and heal a ton, and the kit also has a leap which finishes for a heal similarly. Dark Deal and this combo is in a lot of cases permanent initiative and healing in group play, while still allowing a very slippery tank/support or even damage dealer given skills like Shadowstep, BP, SR, and so on on core.
    If I had to make changes, these are what they'd be:

    • Remove vuln from MH AA chain and distribute siphoning to each hit
    • Remove Chill and siphon from UCharge to prevent efficacy in spamming and give it vuln stacking
    • Delete Shadow Font and make Shadow Scar a channel at 1 initiative/second with pulsing 1/2 second slow.
    • Dark Deal to be 20% current health for 20% of missing initiative. This makes it better to use mid-fight while taking damage and won't just cause you to auto-kill yourself at 30% hp.
    • Ghostly Blade needs to make greatsword and greatsword only attacks unblockable. You set yourself up for some seriously anti-fun gameplay with allowing for other weapons to take advantage of that; DA/CS/SC with P/P + GS and Assassin's Signet and Midnight Silence using Lucid Darkness would allow for 4s of Unblockable unloads at 4k power with no ranged counterplay and no good way to LoS. One could ramp this further by using Serrated Edges making the unblockable damage also be immune to resists. Similarly, D/D CnD+Backstab using the same combo and Void of Light to engage/disengage via Meld.

    -- About Utilities: --

    They generally seem okay for favoring a support/tank style, but I can't really see any reason to run them otherwise. No stunbreaks or reliable cleanses attached really punishes people who want to deviate away from playing GS around Shadow Font/Charon's Compassion or SA. 3s resistance on a 90s cooldown is too long.
    Exchange is also anti-fun. This basically would enable "pin sniping" priority targets in groups at next to zero risk, especially if casted from stealth or immediately prior to it, since it'd either force a teleport/critical escape at the engage of a fight while making a trade of DPS for what we saw above as a literally-invincible stealthed tank.

    Further, Midnight Silence and Dauntless Defiance is just too strong especially if it cannot be stunbroken. I think this is a problem more with Dauntless Defiance, though. It's worth noting you also have no traits to reduce Defiance skill cooldowns. I'd suggest you do this (20%) and lower cooldowns rather than just double the efficacy, especially because the potency of these abilities does not scale well with such further increased potency.

    With the aforementioned suggested removal of Shadow Font and suggestion of removing Exchange, I'd move Shadow Font to a utility skill and remove the Protection. I'd make Terminal Respite apply stability after cast completion to justify the cooldown it has.


    -- About Traits: --

    • Patron's Protection should be 1% per boon. With 13 boons, 26% DR here runs into the same problems as mentioned above with Meld, especially if running with more than one SC.
    • Shadow Union needs revision with a reworked Meld.
    • No means Death should get a name change (doesn't sound right) and I'd recommend moving away from passive attacks. Anyone who's been around for a while remembers what passive Blinding Powder was like when it dealt damage. It'd force reveal and really screwed people up more often than not. If you think a build needs more damage access, look to adjust its numbers on weapon skills or provide damage modifiers, instead. The boon gain is a bit crazy on this, too. Look to make this trait cause your other skills apply extra boons, rather than depending on a passive effect/proc.
    • Charon's Compassion is just too strong. It's a supercharged version of Pain Response which also just got nerfed because it was just way too good. Again, with SA builds, it effectively becomes condition-immune.
    • Lucid Darkness needs reconsideration with a reworked Meld. Projectile denial + stunbreak on a 15s cooldown is basically Bandit's Defense for free into ranged which is where thieves can already struggle. Be mindful to enable counterplay from all professions/builds.
    • Dauntless Defiance is already problematic as mentioned above on multiple levels. Inspired being stackable is just OP. a 15% modifier on some professions translates to close to 25% more damage depending on how their multipliers are stacked. Rework the trait to be Defiance CDR and apply Inspired Initiative as a non-stacking bonus and maybe Siphon each second applied (non-stacking). This gives your group some more oomph but not an extreme amount while giving a little bit of sustain love and extra personal damage for running these traits.
    • I'd need to see the Crossed Shadows number. You may need to put an ICD on it, though. Be careful of the interaction of this with something like Vampiric + Vampiric Presence coming from a necro, especially if on a kit like P/P or S/P which gets a lot of hits in short periods of time.

    Overall, the concept is interesting, but I think there needs to be a lot more work done here and I personally do not see the concept as matching the thief's very much at all while being nightmarish to balance.

    You sure that Sniper idea is as good as you thought it was gonna be?
    Because I think my original idea is better.
    Quit/Inactive. No, you can't have my stuff.

  • Sir Vincent III.1286Sir Vincent III.1286 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I just find it out of character to have the Thief manipulating health, especially blood pact - this is more like a Necro support class than Thief. Thief uses Shadow magic, not Blood magic or Divine magic.

    About the traits. There should be a blueprint for whatever role you want to take. Deadeye is a very good example of this. Top traits are sniper role - heavy offensive, middle is balanced - offensive/defensive, and bottom is support. Then the player can pick and choose to sacrifice defense for either support or more offense, for example.

    The Greatsword skills are great (pun), except for the skill #4 "Dark Deal", I find it out of character for a Thief. I love the skills where the Thief will be manipulating shadows and casting shadow magic, that would be great.

    My Guardian will love that Rune.

    If the Thief will be doing any support duty, it will be about sabotaging targets, crowd control, stealing buffs, misdirection, ambushes, shadow manipulation, etc. These should be the foundation of anything spec related to Thief. If we look at the recent Elite Specs, Deadeye is more related to Thief than Daredevil. Daredevil is more likely an agile Staff Warrior than it is a Thief.

    So moving forward, it would be nice to see further definition of specific professions and their elite spec related to the core profession rather than trying to blur the line between professions.

    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...

  • I've given it a quick peruse and will edit more later if I have time.

    1. Blood pact should be a difference in % health, not hit points. Would make it too strong otherwise I feel.
    2. Shadow Inscription: I think this has to be true damage. It's either A: You take half of the pre-mitigated damage and then use your armor/buffs/boons to mitigate. B: You take half of the mitigated damage as true damage.
    3. Exchange should be ...changed. I suggest swap places with an ally. Ally gets x condis removed. Gain x boons based on what condis were removed.
    4. I know thieves elite suck, so it's not like it's OP that Terminal Respite is on a utility slot, but any aoe rez should be an elite.
    5. Disorient is pretty cool, but pretty gimmicky if other classes don't get it. It needs to be incorporated into core classes and not a thief only condition.
    6. Inspired I think is pretty good too. It should refresh duration on reapplication. My personal belief is that there should be less profession unique aoe buff. But since every class has like a bajillion of them, it's fine.
    7. I don't like the name defiance, but I have not come with a better replacement.
  • Zlater.6789Zlater.6789 Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 3, 2018

    @DeceiverX.8361 said:
    Per request, my feedback. Like any other proposal, including reviewing of my own, I'm not going to compromise, and my view is exclusive to PvP and WvW; balancing PvE is a numbers puzzle that will always cause someone to complain or some profession to not be viable, so I don't really care to bother:

    The flavor is neat but really feels far off from what the thief encompasses; the overplay of shadows and lifesteal feel really necro-oriented, and I still stand by that GS is just not a weapon for the thief. While I think the concept itself is interesting and unique, I just don't really think it's compatible with the core thief's kit, and there needs to be a lot further review on some of the concepts and verbiage to keep things in line, as there are a lot of interactions that could seemingly break this spec. Overall, I think the design of this would be bad-kitten instead for MH Focus necro given the brilliant synergy it would have with Blood Magic and necro's MH dagger as far as traits go in order to make Siphoning a much more aggressive and potent damage tool.

    I want to make the OP aware of the nuances of siphoning (Life Stealing mechanic) that many do not realize which is heavily contributing to my opinion as to why I don't think this really fits with the thief:

    • Siphon damage ignores damage resistance effects like Endure Pain and Signet of Stone
      This isn't a problem so much as it is something to be made aware of. Going overboard here can easily break things. I'll note a combo below as to why this is significant.

    • Siphon damage ignores all armor
      This starts getting flaky, especially when so much of the kit can siphon. How much damage is intended to be sourced from this effect and how much potential abuse is there from spam due to the initiative system? How hard to kill does a build embracing siphoning as a form of damage become with damage resistance, resets, and stealth?

    • Siphon damage does not scale with Ferocity/critical damage or any damage modifiers.
      This is a concern for thief because it effectively nullifies any and all real synergy with the Critical Strikes trait line, which is already considered to be an under-performer with a lack of any real synergy with other lines. If siphoning becomes the focus of this concept, CS, despite having the closest thing in concept to it at the moment with Invigorating Precision, becomes even less of a consideration. If the spec deals its damage with high coefficients, all this effort for emphasizing siphoning really won't mean anything unless it's partied with a BM necro/reaper. Further, the thief has exceptionally poor access to raw stats compared to a lot of other professions outside of ironically Crit Strikes. Most of its damage is sourced from % modifiers, which have no effect on siphon damage, making an offensive style/style of play incompatible by nature, which shouldn't happen in any elite spec/class concept.


    -- General: --
    There are a lot of cool ideas but way too much new stuff as far as effects and mechanics go. There's a lot of opportunity for a SC to be gaining a ton of stuff on their bar at any given point in time which is very hard to track. I'd try and cut down on the clutter.

    Inspired Initiative is too strong as a stackable effect as explained below in my traits response. This yields just way too much increased damage. Change it to 7% non-stacking.


    -- About Meld: --
    Ultimately, due to Meld, this spec is just downright overpowered as a support.
    Meld is already insanely strong on thief as a 15s default stunbreak at no cost. With the 33% DR, this would break support thief, as this with Kinship of the Void (baseline) and SA's Resilience of Shadows combined with Durability Runes and Mussels soups starts getting obscene with the damage mitigation (33%+33%+25%+7%+10% = 100%+ additive/72% multiplicative). A D/P SA/Tr/SC build running Hidden Thief would have permanent stealth uptime from Stealth on Steal and Meld, and a party of a few combined would allow for nearly literal permanent immunity to everything depending on DR stacking via Shadow Inscription and would dominate WvW in particular given how crazy strong 50% DR is in larger group play.

    I can't really think of anything to fix it right away, sadly.


    -- About the GS itself: --

    CC-oriented GS with perma-capped vuln and chill and a condi-applying AoE field is overly reaper-esque and frankly, just better than what the reaper does at doing what it's supposed to. Healing water field/dark field and slow on initiative is pretty broken conceptually in the PvP formats because they can be recasted and maintained permanently, and blasts are common and heal a ton, and the kit also has a leap which finishes for a heal similarly. Dark Deal and this combo is in a lot of cases permanent initiative and healing in group play, while still allowing a very slippery tank/support or even damage dealer given skills like Shadowstep, BP, SR, and so on on core.
    If I had to make changes, these are what they'd be:

    • Remove vuln from MH AA chain and distribute siphoning to each hit
    • Remove Chill and siphon from UCharge to prevent efficacy in spamming and give it vuln stacking
    • Delete Shadow Font and make Shadow Scar a channel at 1 initiative/second with pulsing 1/2 second slow.
    • Dark Deal to be 20% current health for 20% of missing initiative. This makes it better to use mid-fight while taking damage and won't just cause you to auto-kill yourself at 30% hp.
    • Ghostly Blade needs to make greatsword and greatsword only attacks unblockable. You set yourself up for some seriously anti-fun gameplay with allowing for other weapons to take advantage of that; DA/CS/SC with P/P + GS and Assassin's Signet and Midnight Silence using Lucid Darkness would allow for 4s of Unblockable unloads at 4k power with no ranged counterplay and no good way to LoS. One could ramp this further by using Serrated Edges making the unblockable damage also be immune to resists. Similarly, D/D CnD+Backstab using the same combo and Void of Light to engage/disengage via Meld.

    -- About Utilities: --

    They generally seem okay for favoring a support/tank style, but I can't really see any reason to run them otherwise. No stunbreaks or reliable cleanses attached really punishes people who want to deviate away from playing GS around Shadow Font/Charon's Compassion or SA. 3s resistance on a 90s cooldown is too long.
    Exchange is also anti-fun. This basically would enable "pin sniping" priority targets in groups at next to zero risk, especially if casted from stealth or immediately prior to it, since it'd either force a teleport/critical escape at the engage of a fight while making a trade of DPS for what we saw above as a literally-invincible stealthed tank.

    Further, Midnight Silence and Dauntless Defiance is just too strong especially if it cannot be stunbroken. I think this is a problem more with Dauntless Defiance, though. It's worth noting you also have no traits to reduce Defiance skill cooldowns. I'd suggest you do this (20%) and lower cooldowns rather than just double the efficacy, especially because the potency of these abilities does not scale well with such further increased potency.

    With the aforementioned suggested removal of Shadow Font and suggestion of removing Exchange, I'd move Shadow Font to a utility skill and remove the Protection. I'd make Terminal Respite apply stability after cast completion to justify the cooldown it has.


    -- About Traits: --

    • Patron's Protection should be 1% per boon. With 13 boons, 26% DR here runs into the same problems as mentioned above with Meld, especially if running with more than one SC.
    • Shadow Union needs revision with a reworked Meld.
    • No means Death should get a name change (doesn't sound right) and I'd recommend moving away from passive attacks. Anyone who's been around for a while remembers what passive Blinding Powder was like when it dealt damage. It'd force reveal and really screwed people up more often than not. If you think a build needs more damage access, look to adjust its numbers on weapon skills or provide damage modifiers, instead. The boon gain is a bit crazy on this, too. Look to make this trait cause your other skills apply extra boons, rather than depending on a passive effect/proc.
    • Charon's Compassion is just too strong. It's a supercharged version of Pain Response which also just got nerfed because it was just way too good. Again, with SA builds, it effectively becomes condition-immune.
    • Lucid Darkness needs reconsideration with a reworked Meld. Projectile denial + stunbreak on a 15s cooldown is basically Bandit's Defense for free into ranged which is where thieves can already struggle. Be mindful to enable counterplay from all professions/builds.
    • Dauntless Defiance is already problematic as mentioned above on multiple levels. Inspired being stackable is just OP. a 15% modifier on some professions translates to close to 25% more damage depending on how their multipliers are stacked. Rework the trait to be Defiance CDR and apply Inspired Initiative as a non-stacking bonus and maybe Siphon each second applied (non-stacking). This gives your group some more oomph but not an extreme amount while giving a little bit of sustain love and extra personal damage for running these traits.
    • I'd need to see the Crossed Shadows number. You may need to put an ICD on it, though. Be careful of the interaction of this with something like Vampiric + Vampiric Presence coming from a necro, especially if on a kit like P/P or S/P which gets a lot of hits in short periods of time.

    Overall, the concept is interesting, but I think there needs to be a lot more work done here and I personally do not see the concept as matching the thief's very much at all while being nightmarish to balance.

    Oh I really like your feedback, I'm not much of a WvW player myself so I love to read your opinions.
    If I were to describe how I thought of Shadow Consort when designing it, with the words of anet. I would call it a necromancer through the eyes of a thief.
    Necromancer was definitely a distinct reference point I had in the back of my mind when designing it, some others were an old school video game called shinobi, also there was another mmo that I don't think I am allowed to discuss on the GW2 forums. So actually, I'm actually really happy to hear you give reference to necromancers in your post, its probably not everyone's kettle of fish though.

    I notice you talked a lot about inspired initiative, unlike what I think it might have come across to you as being, it isn't actually a 15% dps increase, It could be at best a 15% burst damage modifier. Without improvisation rng and including interactions with other modifiers, it is only at most a 3.17% dps increase. I'm really ok with that though because we have to remember that to bring a shadow consort something else needs to be removed. The numbers themselves comparatively speaking I believe are not too strong or too weak. Compared to Frost Spirit it offers less counterplay because the buff applicator is easier to kill, however it also offers a lot less damage overall as frost spirit offers a theoretical dps increase of 6.19% almost double that of Inspired Initiative. It is definitely something you can build on, and it offers possibly more deadly side effects in PvP and WvW, but honestly these sort of profession buffs, have never really had any significant place in those game modes, even when GotL gave a permanent 15% dps increase.

    I didnt discuss this and I probably should have, its the design of dauntless defiance. This is something I freaking love, whoever in anet designed this is a very smart cookie, Check this:

    • Inspiring Battle Standard (Trait that improves banners)
    • Nature's Vengeance (Trait that improves ranger spirits)
    • Leader of the Pack (Trait that improves stance skills and stance sharing)
    • All for One (Trait that improves Kalla skills)

    These are the strongest and most powerful group dps buffs in the game, and none of them have Cooldown Reduction. You can tell it was done purposefully in the name of easier balancing. Its actually the same reason I decided against cooldown reductions for Dauntless Defiance.
    There are exceptions to this though where there are smaller or more obscure buffs like:

    • Perfect Inscriptions on guardian
    • Conjurer on elementalist
    • Verdant Etching on ranger

    And there is that equivalent on Shadow Consort in the form of Improvisation if I could make that stretch. Also I really hated the terrible synergy between improvisation, a whole new utility type and Brawler's Tenacity. So you know I was really happy when they designed around that detail for Deadeye.

    I loved your feedback on the weapon skills, particularly the auto attack and vulnerability application, also unrelenting charge and dark deal. I also just wanted to stick it out there that GS really doesn't do all that much damage, its not a good choice for +1's or good burst, you really are better off with p/p or dagger mainhand. Inherently it does hit a bit like a wet noodle, and that's good imo, I worry shelving out last 2 burst damage/+1 e-specs for another bursty/+1 e-spec, I think it's better to do something new.

    Also you think exchange is broken in wvw?
    I designed it with some heavy counter play, so it can be stun broken and you can use stability to prevent a port away if its used on you. I imagine that if you popped it on a tag sitting in the middle of a zerg who countered it with some stab or a stun break, then its pretty much a free kill for them... Unless you brought shadow step you're just stealing into the middle of their zerg. At least that's the rationale I have about its use.

  • DeceiverX.8361DeceiverX.8361 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I'm going to just quickly address some of the points you brought up sequentially.

    Inspired Initiative:
    The difference here is mostly about the design of where those damage modifiers are coming from; when you look into Spirits, Banners, and to some extent even soulbeast stances, most of these skills or traits when selected in comparison to others by their very nature are only really viable in PvE (Stance-share is played by some but it's pretty rare and that's basically the limit of the support SB can provide for a group). Banners and spirits are immobile. Soulbeast isn't a larger group-play spec in the PvP modes. Kalla's summons are easily cleaved down in group environments. Further, the gains here relative to all others may only increase DPS by a small amount, but as a standalone buff coming from a nigh-unkillable support build on a class mostly designated to numbers at a max of around 10 players, it provides a huge relative boost in damage relative to what's typically going to be run; the spec isn't making a tradeoff to frost spirit for the group so much as it's just giving a 15% modifier which will scale with others'. It may be temporary, but really aside from fighting warriors, most encounters in PvP environments only last a handful of seconds before a side typically wins. Not only is the buff helping to end fights very early very decisively, it's also enabling a build to prolong them for one's team with things like SA safe-resses and the likes that are somewhat unique to the thief. Generally speaking, it's best to provide one or the other, or you have situations like scourge (which is super overpowered in WvW) which break the competitive modes by providing too much sustain and too much pressure (even if the sustained damage is on the low side). I recognize the math behind why it's not an optimal PvE choice, but it's a hard sell for PvP environments where people do not have boss-levels of HP; a few seconds for a 15% modifier is going to be enough to decide whether someone lives or dies or a fight is won or lost.

    As for cooldown reduction, I generally like this because it helps improve the flow of fights better. It doesn't change efficacy so much as it changes the ability to recast in longer fights which can help a lot in PvP contexts where you may get stretched thin. Duration extensions are obviously great for PvE because you get higher uptime without just making its cooldown too low so a halfway point may do it better.

    GS:
    Without coefficients I really had nothing to go by so I just voiced concerns over potential damage issues, particularly with siphon. Though I will say, I think people will be pretty upset with GS being a low-damage weapon just because I think the general consensus of people asking for GS want some meaty hit akin to reaper. I'm going to stand by the notion that I think Focus or Scepter is a better choice here based on the flavor of the concept (and it could make for some neat dual skills and stealth attacks if you're up for it to maybe fill the voids better), but it's ultimately your thought exercise and your choice to want to look into doing all that work.

    Exchange:
    I think I had a lapse of understanding when I made the response and didn't notice the fact it could be stunbroken.
    Nonetheless, You might want to up the sink to 1.5 or 2s to give it a little more leeway. A position swap is a huge deal in PvP and 1s is on the low side. I think it's one of those things that should be really punishing to use once your opponent is out of resources and as the fight progresses and players move around, rather than just an engage tool or means of 1for1'ing a priority target before they can react. Particularly because if casted from stealth, they have no means to know where they're even going to end up, and the thief casting it can just do so into a dodge roll and negate a lot of punishment even after the port happens.

    You sure that Sniper idea is as good as you thought it was gonna be?
    Because I think my original idea is better.
    Quit/Inactive. No, you can't have my stuff.

  • Hello fellow player.
    as a thief main and an assassin vet from gw1... i took a long and hard look at your proposal and from i see there are a lot of very strong stats and skills you have here. the overall look and feel of it is fine... except for a small problem which i will address in a moment... the only thing that i don't see truly fitting is the greatsword weapon, which i will also explain.
    I am sure you know by now that the thief was the "upgrade" from the assassin in gw1. they couldn't do what they did in gw1 with the attack chain skills mechanic, so they did a complete rework and created the thief... a sly, stealthy, hard and fast hitting glass cannon that utilizes poisons and traps as well as lightly held weapons that can be "hidden" from plain sight(although we never got that stealth weapon part did we?)
    When Thief was given daggers, of course that was a given. quick rapid stabs from stealth and then a quick exit; same goes with the sword, but with a meatier attack. Pistols added a devastating short range attack capability while shortbow added concussion and poison volleys along with an additional way to get around faster. with all these core weapons, each of them blended perfectly with the concept of the thief as all of them added to the bursty, devil-may-care attitude that any thief possesses.
    When HoT came out and introduced the Daredevil, another aspect of the thief was explored... where it was already agile from the stealth movements and skills such as death blossom, staff skills such as vault were again, almost a given. the weapon enhanced the traitlines and the overall feel of what a thief truly is, but also included the gritty side of physical damage. Yet the Daredevil never strayed away from the thief's overall feel and original concept, which i found very satisfying.
    and then... then came the deadeye.
    Although i can see why Arenanet Gave us the deadeye from an overall picture... it's again a stealthy sneaky class that enhances the art of theft with the artform of being a full on sniper. but right there... is where the train went off the rails. a sniper is stationary. a sniper is cautious. silent. deadly from short range and deadlier from long range. but i kind of hoped they were going to use a long bow with this, as a longbow technically is lighter in weight and easier to conceal than a fully equipped sniper rifle(unless you take into account the rifle can be unpacked and assembled) While the feel of the thief is still there, having to stay stationary for a shot makes one very vulnerable, and thieves do not tend to stay stationary for long. am i using the rifle? of course. why not? but from a lore/origin/backstory of what a thief is, i don't necessarily agree with the choice of the weapon(and neither does anyone unfortunate enough to come into my crosshairs).
    A greatsword.... well... a greatsword, if you look at it from the eyes of a thief.. doesn't work very well. it's huge, clunky, and you cannot conceal something as tall as you are, especially if you are asura. it takes great strength to wield a greatsword, and it even baffles me that a mesmer could wield one, but i digress...
    if a thief would be able to wield any new weapon... i would gear more towards axes. axes can be small, lightweight, sharp, and can be thrown. they can be concealed. axes can be used in a variety of ways including closing wounds if an axeblade is heated(aka condi cleanse) an axe can be used to consecrate ground as in the ways of the native americans, or... an axe can be used in meditation as in the ways of the norse. now while you can use a greatsword in the state of something like a katana(i know they are far from being the same) an axe is personal. it's close quarters. and a healing/support thief would definately be in close quarters.
    just a few thoughts. keep up the amazing work!

  • Jack Redline.5379Jack Redline.5379 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Maybe this sounds like along shot but maybe thief could actually become more theif-like
    We have very few stunbreaks and tbh we dont deal much CC if we dont trait for that
    So i suggest thief started counter-attacking
    Lets say we get a torch or axe off hand in next expansion. We could manage to get the 3 4 5 skill depending on the combination with primary weapon to serve as a counter-attack skills. something like war Mace 2 and off hand Sword 5. We would briefly block the attack and then dealt dmg back we are not gaining adrenalin so i suggest we either deal big condi dmg with this = bleeds or maybe fire i would love to get fire
    or we gain back 1 or 2 ini points so it has some meaning
    The utilities would be 1 condition based trap 2 cc base skills like the bandits block was and one completely supportive skill like the shadow refuge is but with more support orrientation so we can lets say heal others with it as well
    we could finally use that Trickery Second lvl bottom skill which name i forget all the time xD it deals tronment on interupt :) so we could boost condi builds back to somewhat normal possition
    the skill 5 would be a field like attack if torch it may be normal field like war has
    if axe it could be smoke field
    lets say teef starts with a big circle casting smoke field around himself like you know he whirled the dust and then if anyone is in the field he whacks the axe in them it would be like 2 lvl skill cast field then attack if you want
    also it could grant some boon lets say regen or swiftness or something meaningless :D
    as far as the name would go
    Pyro for torch
    Brute for axe

©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.