[Suggestion] Dragonhunter Overhaul — Guild Wars 2 Forums

[Suggestion] Dragonhunter Overhaul

Adamixos.6785Adamixos.6785 Member ✭✭
edited May 1, 2019 in Guardian

I have been playing Dragonhunter pretty much since its release in HoT, and I can't say I never enjoyed it. In fact, it was a nice way to provide Guardian with a rock solid specialization for DPS. However...

It really did not age well. And based on the threads I have been reading as of late in this very forum, more than a few people feel the same way.

Aside of the power dps option it provides in PvE (the near immediate melt-burst on small groups of foes, and then relatively good sustained damage), it doesn't have much to it. The only viable build it actually has, relies on about 4 traits from the specialization, and most of the traps skills have zero use in any game modes overall. Moreover, the concept of the E-spec is confused to the point where elements of it don't make sense with itself. In the next part of my post, I'd like to go over the elements of this specialization, and what I think should be done to them in order to make Dragonhunter a much more fun class to play. Because yes, despite the DPS it can deal in PvE, it lacks the flow a lot of other core builds (including core guard!) and e-spec builds possess.

Let's begin:
Virtues

  • Spear of Justice and Shield of Courage are rather good, and seem to work as intended. They provide something, but in turn, also take away the instantaneous nature of the core virtues. No changes needed here.
  • Wings of Resolve, on the other hand, is nothing but a pain. Its effect of only providing the heal upon landing, coupled with the fact that the caster remains entirely vulnerable to anything while it's being used, makes it a class mechanic that is effectively more harm than help. When it was first introduced, I got all excited that Guardian is finally getting a nice disengage skill, but as it turned out, it only made our virtue of resolve more difficult to use. There are 2 things I'd recommend here:
    1) While it is being cast, Wings of Resolve should evade all incoming attacks.
    2) The Soaring Devastation trait, which currently makes it so that Wings of Resolve damages foes upon landing should also provide 3 or 4 seconds of Resistance, so that in addition to the evade, conditions also cannot kill the caster mid-flight. (More on SD in the traits section)

Longbow

Longbow is a long range weapon, and it was a great addition to Guardian, imo. It is basically meant to be Guardian's long-range CC weapon, yet currently, it doesn't really excel at anything in particular, and for a specialization that is meant to be all about melee mobility (looking at those "physically manifested" virtues, yo), it offers very little. Based on player feedback and my own thoughts, I'd recommend the following changes to its skills:

  • True Shot - for a charged, position-locked attack, it does relatively sub-par damage. Though I can see why changes have been made to its damage in the past, so I'd recommend removing the position locking and allowing the caster to be mobile while casting.
  • Deflecting Shot - This skill should knock back every foe it hits by default.
  • Hunter's Ward - Either increase damage dealt, or bring its casting time on par with Ranger LB's Barrage (from 2 and 3/4 seconds to 2 1/4 seconds). Preferably the latter, and perhaps both. Reduce recharge time to 30 seconds.

Skills

And here comes the meaty bit. To fully realize what Dragonhunter is meant to be, a.k.a the mobile, battlefield damage dealer, Traps should be overhauled into an entirely different skill-type that would solve quite a few issues this E-spec struggles with. The new skill type should be similar to physical abilities, and quite frankly, should be called exactly that. I am sure even conceptually you can get away with it by saying that the DH uses their light-magic to enhance their abilities - or rather create beneficial (to allies) and harmful (to enemies) effects centered around their body (aka, position, just like the virtues!).

  • Purification - The caster immediately heals (for a 25% lower amount than the present sum of the initial and on trigger heals) and breaks stun.
  • Procession of Blades - Similarly to the Holosmith's Laser Disk skill, PoB should do exactly what it sounds like - Create 180 radius field of damaging blades made of light, which moves together with the caster and damages up to 5 foes caught in its range. As before, provides the Guardian with Fury, and damage stays about the same.
  • Fragments of Faith - Breaks stun and provides the caster with 3 stacks of stability, while unleashing 5 Shards of Faith, which provide allies with Aegis.
  • Test of Faith - The Dragonhunter's faith is tested - this skill applies 5 stacks of vulnerability to the caster, but for 6 seconds, damage dealt is increased by 15%, and each strike inflicted upon a foe causes cripple.
  • Light's Judgment - This should be a channeled skill, which will give the Guardian 5 seconds of Retaliation and 10 seconds of Protection, and while channeled (2 seconds), every enemy hitting the caster will gain 3 stacks of vulnerability for each inflicted hit, and will receive Revealed (8-10 seconds) in addition.
  • Elite Skill - Similarly to PoB above, this will create a ring that moves with the caster (for the duration of two seconds), and everyone caught in its radius will be pulled towards the caster and will receive slow for 4 seconds. The caster gains 10 Might as before. Probably should be renamed from Dragon's Maw to something else.

Traits

Adept

  • Major - Piercing Light - Reduces the recharge time of Physical skills by 20%, and when activated, they remove a movement impairing condition from the caster.
  • Major - Dulled Senses - Should stay the same.
  • Major - Soaring Devastation - As mentioned above; in addition to dealing damage, the caster also gains 4 seconds of Resistance the moment the skill is activated.

Master

Including the minor, this category has about alright abilities. I would, however, change around things a bit.

  • Major - Bulwark - This trait is useless and should be replaced with an overhauled version of Pure of Sight. Yes, move the latter from Grandmaster Minor to Master Major. This way, there is some tradeoff of damage for extra mobility. This would also decrease the power creep slightly, really, in exchange for a more fun to play e-spec.
  • Major - Pure of Sight - +120 Power and +120 Precision when wielding a Longbow. Also, Longbow skills' recharge time reduced by 20%.

...But Adam, what will be the Minor Grandmaster trait, then?

Well, glad you asked!

Grandmaster

  • Minor - Hunter's Speed - The Guardian's movement speed is increased by 25%, permanently.
  • Major - Heavy Light - Gain stability and retaliation when knocking back, launching, or pulling an enemy.

And that's about it! Comments and feedback are absolutely welcome!

Dear Arenanet devs,
I also hope you are going to read these suggestions and take them into consideration! I really want to see this E-spec thrive, and I hope you'll find what I've written useful.

Much <3,
Adam

Comments

  • Adamixos.6785Adamixos.6785 Member ✭✭
    edited May 2, 2019

    Addendum

    • Elite Skill - For the duration of 2 seconds, a ring is created around the caster that pulls everyone caught in its radius (180-240) towards the caster, and will inflict slow upon them for 4 seconds. The ring fades in an explosion of light that damages up to 5 foes in a 240 radius. The caster gains 10 stacks of might as before. Probably should be renamed from Dragon's Maw to something else.

    Edit: Having thought more about it, Cantrip might be the best alternative to call the new skill type I have suggested instead of Traps.

  • Arcaedus.7290Arcaedus.7290 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 3, 2019

    I've been thinking of making a post like this, but I think you hit on many points that I would have made, but included even more so I think I'll just leave as thoughtful of feedback as possible:

    @Adamixos.6785 said:

    • Wings of Resolve, on the other hand, is nothing but a pain. Its effect of only providing the heal upon landing, coupled with the fact that the caster remains entirely vulnerable to anything while it's being used, makes it a class mechanic that is effectively more harm than help. When it was first introduced, I got all excited that Guardian is finally getting a nice disengage skill, but as it turned out, it only made our virtue of resolve more difficult to use. There are 2 things I'd recommend here:
      1) While it is being cast, Wings of Resolve should evade all incoming attacks.
      2) The Soaring Devastation trait, which currently makes it so that Wings of Resolve damages foes upon landing should also provide 3 or 4 seconds of Resistance, so that in addition to the evade, conditions also cannot kill the caster mid-flight. (More on SD in the traits section)

    I really like the idea of adding an evade to WoR. While I don't think anyone should be able to deny a DH the mobility of WoR, I'd like to point out that WoR is a powerful heal, and I think being able to interrupt it is important for balance. That being said, It would be nice if we received evade-frames for at least the first half of the jump, and maybe the landing could be interruptible. This way, a skilled opponent (say a thief ready with steal) can deny you the heal.

    • True Shot - for a charged, position-locked attack, it does relatively sub-par damage. Though I can see why changes have been made to its damage in the past, so I'd recommend removing the position locking and allowing the caster to be mobile while casting.
    • Deflecting Shot - This skill should knock back every foe it hits by default.
    • Hunter's Ward - Either increase damage dealt, or bring its casting time on par with Ranger LB's Barrage (from 2 and 3/4 seconds to 2 1/4 seconds). Preferably the latter, and perhaps both. Reduce recharge time to 30 seconds.

    Completely agree with your Deflecting shot and Hunter's Ward suggestions. But trueshot.... I think Anet has made it clear what they intend for trueshot to be: a powerful ranged skill that gives you the feel of charging something up, rather than just a regular arrow-shot that has a cast time. It's best to try and keep Anet's intentions/vision in mind because as objectively good for balance as your overhaul may be, they will never implement any of this if it's thematically against what they intend. I think increasing the damage or adding bonuses to the skill (3/4 s stability while casting or might upon striking an opponent) would be best.

    Skills

    And here comes the meaty bit. To fully realize what Dragonhunter is meant to be, a.k.a the mobile, battlefield damage dealer, Traps should be overhauled into an entirely different skill-type that would solve quite a few issues this E-spec struggles with. The new skill type should be similar to physical abilities, and quite frankly, should be called exactly that. I am sure even conceptually you can get away with it by saying that the DH uses their light-magic to enhance their abilities - or rather create beneficial (to allies) and harmful (to enemies) effects centered around their body (aka, position, just like the virtues!).

    • Purification - The caster immediately heals (for a 25% lower amount than the present sum of the initial and on trigger heals) and breaks stun.
    • Procession of Blades - Similarly to the Holosmith's Laser Disk skill, PoB should do exactly what it sounds like - Create 180 radius field of damaging blades made of light, which moves together with the caster and damages up to 5 foes caught in its range. As before, provides the Guardian with Fury, and damage stays about the same.
    • Fragments of Faith - Breaks stun and provides the caster with 3 stacks of stability, while unleashing 5 Shards of Faith, which provide allies with Aegis.
    • Test of Faith - The Dragonhunter's faith is tested - this skill applies 5 stacks of vulnerability to the caster, but for 6 seconds, damage dealt is increased by 15%, and each strike inflicted upon a foe causes cripple.
    • Light's Judgment - This should be a channeled skill, which will give the Guardian 5 seconds of Retaliation and 10 seconds of Protection, and while channeled (2 seconds), every enemy hitting the caster will gain 3 stacks of vulnerability for each inflicted hit, and will receive Revealed (8-10 seconds) in addition.
    • Elite Skill - Similarly to PoB above, this will create a ring that moves with the caster (for the duration of two seconds), and everyone caught in its radius will be pulled towards the caster and will receive slow for 4 seconds. The caster gains 10 Might as before. Probably should be renamed from Dragon's Maw to something else.

    I actually really like this suggestion. Although I think they originally intended for DH to be a cross between guardian and ranger, I don't think traps were the best "ranger-like" skill to pick for the utilities since they don't compliment the spec very well and just are not guardian-like at all. I highly doubt Anet would do an overhaul this major though since this would require radical changes, however if this kind of overhaul WAS undertaken, I would recommend the following:

    • Test of Faith's current effect (have an unblockable ring of blades pop up around the caster) should be maintained. As a physical skill, this could mean you punch the ground and the ring instantly pops up around you, rather than laying a trap.
    • Your version of Light's Judgement is very powerful. That's a lot of access to protection although I do like that you have a mind on increasing access to Retal. I would say reveal, access to retal, and maybe a blind are appropriate.
    • The elite skill should only able to strike each target once, have a target limit of 5 and the aoe range should be limited (maybe 180 or 240 radius) for balance reasons. Having a 2 second-long aoe that stuns foes is very powerful and certainly worthy of being an elite but it shouldn't be an ez-mode CC that always lands.
    • Purification breaking stun might be very overpowered and simultaneously you may have a weak heal to balance out the stun-break aspect making it not a very good skill. Might want to rethink that one... perhaps give the skill a "physical" feel and have it interact with opponents a bit more? Maybe something like healing 60-80% what it currently does, but healing an additional 20% if you strike someone with the aoe which upon successfully striking someone gives you Protection for 7 seconds (so the protection would be moved from Test of Faith to Purification, not be tied to someone triggering a trap but also requires you to hit someone).

    Traits

    Adept
    * Major - Soaring Devastation - As mentioned above; in addition to dealing damage, the caster also gains 4 seconds of Resistance the moment the skill is activated.

    4 seconds is too much. I would say 1 second (duration of the leap + a tiny bit more) is adequate.

    Grandmaster

    • Minor - Hunter's Speed - The Guardian's movement speed is increased by 25%, permanently.

    So for most of your overhaul ideas that I didn't address, it was because I 100% agree - would rather give constructive criticism than waste time giving praise... however for this one I'm gonna give you praise: 110% YES We have needed this trait for a very long time now. Perhaps not so much since Fireworks runes came out, but it would still be nice to not be constrained to specific runes, especially in pvp where we don't have Fireworks runes.

    • Major - Heavy Light - Gain stability and retaliation when knocking back, launching, or pulling an enemy.

    Not a very good trait. I doubt anyone would take this trait unless they were running a radiance-build and this trait granted like 10 seconds of retal. I would recommend something along the lines of gain 6 seconds of retaliation and 1.5 seconds of quickness (CD of 10 seconds) upon knocking back, launching, or pulling an enemy. That gives DH a versatile bonus for CCing their opponents that they can capitalize on with either a burst, or to pull off a quick heal/f2. You generally don't need stability after CCing and that part of the current Heavy Light is counter intuitive imo.

    I like your overhaul in general. I wish Anet would make most of these changes, especially the longbow-related ones. Cheers!

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