This is a thread about diversity. More precisely, the lack of it. This particularly relates to PvP, but it touches on all areas.
Dialing back about 6 month ago (2 balance patches ago to be precise), there were multiple viable PvP builds as follows:
Not all of these were top tier, but all were viable enough to take a competent player to at least P2 (and beyond depending on your skill level).
The Nov 2018 patch effectively eliminated aegis shatter and hammer. Last patch eliminated harrier FB, and for the most part zeal GS, since that build was heavily reliant on damage to survive. All core builds were hit by about 15% damage nerf and 15% HP nerf. They are still viable, but way out of the meta. We went from 7 builds to 3, with really only FB support and dps/support remaining competitive. And the funny thing, last balance patch was supposed to add "diversity."
Since last patch was about radiance grand master diversity, I just want to demonstrate the lack of knowledge here. From all 7 lines pre-last balance patch:
Zeal, only Symbolic Avenger is used in any game mode. There was no change to any of the other traits.
Valor, only Monk's Focus is used in any game mode. There was no change to any of the other traits.
Honor, is a bit more complex. But arguably, Force of Will is the only one that is frequently used. There was no change to any of the traits.
Virtues, Battle Presence is not used in any build.
Dragonhunter, Hunter's Fortification fell out of favor. It had its uses in the past, but as it DH currently stands, there is no reason to spec into a defensive trait.
Firebrand, Stoic Demeanor is not used anywhere. I have a special issue with this one in particular. With all the GM traits, I can at least see a remote use in open world PvP. But this has no use anywhere and for anything.
Radiance was the only line with all three GM traits being effectively used.. anywhere. And yet it is the only line that had a change. Why was everything else ignored..
As for PvE, power builds are pretty much locked into DH GS/scepter, with the only possible improvisation is using sword instead of scepter. Hammer, remains out of contention. FB seen a few buffs, but it is also locked into axe/scepter and torch.
And to be clear, this is not about a specific trait, skill or build. But clearly, there little understanding and thought being put in any of the changes as of late. Instead of having more options, we are mostly down to 2 in every game mode. Especially, that there is no expansion in sight, unless there are more options, the class will just.. lose its player base. And honestly, outside of FB support, there are better options, than every guardian build, in every game mode.