Discussion About Detrimental Weapon Kit Changes For All Classes — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Discussion About Detrimental Weapon Kit Changes For All Classes

Trevor Boyer.6524Trevor Boyer.6524 Member ✭✭✭✭
edited July 17, 2019 in PVP

The Ancestral Grace nerf, removing the evade frame, has completely removed Druid from competitive play. Druid had 1 person representing it at least in NA, capable of playing it into a Plat 2 level. 1 person with enough class loyalty to actually find a way to make it work when most players regarded it as Renegade tier bad in competitive play. Was the 20% reduction to pet attributes not enough? Were the CA nerfs upon PoF release not enough?

This is the best way I can thoroughly explain why removing the evade frame off Ancestral Grace was the final nail in the coffin for Druid's competitive status:

  • The Druid's entire kit is designed around survival through raw healing alone. There are no stabilities or aegis or prot or resistance or mass condi clears like a FB kit, which allows a FB to stay in combat while cycling its kit. So to be able to use the Druid's kit competitively, the Druid must be able to guarantee a disengage through the use of https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Druidic_Clarity and https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Celestial_Shadow so it can heal and reset and come back to the combat. Those two traits are and always have been mandatory to use on competitive Druid builds. No Druid build can function without them.
  • Now what allowed Druidic Clarity and Celestial Shadow to do their job, was the single evade frame on Staff 3 Ancestral Grace. It is important to note that Druids in competitive modes do not camp Staff-side, they use a damage weapon side and then use Staff-side for defensive measure, which is disengagement so they can use their Druid kit. Without the ability to guarantee a disengage, the Druid kit is completely useless in competitive modes and I do mean completely. All of the heals have been nerfed and DPS is so high intra-class dynamic wide, that trying to spam heals with CA is pointless. Standing there trying to do so, makes the Druid a sitting duck. Again, the CA kit is no FB kit for the purposes of staying in combat to use. The Druid must be able to disengage to be able to use the CA kit at all, competitively. The evade frame on Ancestral Grace was the only thing that guaranteed a Druid the ability for a quick swap and disengage up to 1,200 range, so it can use its kit.
  • Example with evade frame intact: The Druid is engaged in combat, 1v1 or 1v2 or 1v3 doesn't matter. The Druid begins taking heavy focus fire. He is currently on his damage weapon side, but then swaps to Staff side and is able to immediately use Ancestral Grace for its evade frame, to disengage the situation up to 1,200 range, while ignoring damage and CC that would lock him in place if it landed. Once he has disengaged, he can pop CA for Druidic Clarity and Celestial Shadow.
  • Example with no evade frame on Ancestral Grace: The Druid is engaged in combat and begins taking heavy focus fire. He is on his damage side and goes to swap to his Staff side to disengage with Ancestral Grace. While attempting the disengage, the Druid is still being hit by everything. This includes the game changer skills like: Warrior gap closers, Guardian pulls & knockdowns & JI, Unrelenting Assault from Heralds, Thief steals & Head Shot & Death's Judgement, Every %^&*ing thing a Holosmith does with its inordinate amount of range and ability to Netshot, Ranger Rapid Fires, LB#4 knockbacks, Smoke Assault follows into Worldy Impacts & Mauls as well as various immobilizations, Reaper & Scourge AoE DPS and CCs and gap closers & chill procs & boon removals, MESMER CC LOCKS & HIGH BURST SHATTERS with teleportation follows, Even Ele can set up a pot shot follow when he sees AG animation appear.
  • In mid to low tiers, a Druid player could still get away with viability. But while approaching higher tiered competitive play, better players quickly figure out that Ancestral Grace is THE moment that you kill the Druid, when he tries to use it. During the animation of Ancestral Grace, if the Druid is immobilized, he has to finish the animation of AG before he can do anything else, which renders the Druid a sitting duck while players wail on him, which denies him of his ability to even utilize his kit. Again, the CA kit is not like a FB kit that can stay in the fray of combat while using it. When the Druid is already being focused and tries to use AG there is so much CC in the game now and DPS, that more often than not, the Druid will be hit with a hard CC before he can disengage or sometimes just so much raw damage, that he's going to be downed before leaving the AoE damage pit, because AG no longer has an evade frame to avoid it. And before you say to me "Just use Stability" I'd like to point out that unlike some other classes/builds that have almost 100% uptime of Stability, Core Rangers and Druids have access to only 1 Stability skill, and that is Strength of the Pack. Good luck avoiding all the boon removal to keep it active upon use.

So what we're looking at here is not only was this an unwarranted nerf in general, possibly THE most ridiculous unnecessary nerf we've seen yet since the game released, but it actually removes the use of Staff completely from competitive play, which removes Druid from competitive play, and this is wvw included. The only reason Staff had a purpose, was that it guaranteed that disengage and guaranteed that blast with AG on the Staff#5 Water Field, due to the evade frame. Staff also was designed for small heal ticks with the auto, to work for CA purposes. Without Staff practicality & purpose intact, we have no Druid for competitive play. In wvw terms, that Staff 3 evade was THE thing that allowed a Druid to escape a zerg bomb. Druid is terrible without Staff use so INB4 discussion about that. If anyone reading this does not understand why, I'm not going to argue with you or explain it.

On a side, I want to point out that this change did absolutely nothing for pve purposes either. It takes 18s to swap back and forth from set 1 to set 2 back to set 1. So the idea behind "Land on an ally and get CD of 20s reduced to 15s" is actually 100% completely useless. Druids do not camp Staff side even in pve. They swap back to Warhorn as often as possible, to use WH#5 for the party regen, and for the damage & soft CCs that roll of Axe main hand. Staff is only used for a fast burst in pve. So regardless of -5s reduction, players in pve are still looking at 18s before being able to use AG again anyway. This change doesn't matter at all. All it was, was a nerf that removed evade frame. In no way was this some kind of an equal trade off skill alteration.

This particular nerf scares me, concerning the future of the competitive balance of Guild Wars 2, which is disappointing to say the least. Removing that evade frame off Ancestral Grace, which was crucial to the role & purpose of any Druid build, was as detrimental & destructive of a change as if they were to do things like this to other classes/builds:

Competitive builds in Guild Wars 2 are completely fundamentally designed around the kits of the weapons they use. Yes, when you really break it down, something like an SD Thief is a Sword with a Dagger & a Shortbow, that has trait selections & utilities that accommodate those kits. It doesn't work the other way around. We don't design a build of traits & utilities first, and then just toss on whatever weapon we want. The traits & utilities & sigils & runes & amulets have many options and combinations that can be used, whereas the weapon kits are 5 skills that cannot be altered. So we as players have to evaluate which weapon kits are currently good or at least practical for a job role & purpose, and then best situate traits & utilities & sigils & runes & stats, to go with those kits that are "as is". In other words, the weapon choices dictate the ENTIRE rest of the build structure, and if it is ultimately viable or not. The weapon choices by far impact a build and its direction much more than any trait or sigil or rune or utility selection. Simply put: A Power Reaper has based his build entirely around the kits of Axe and Greatsword. As soon as he equips a Scepter over the Axe or a Staff over the Greatsword, it immediately invalidates all of the other choices. However, if he were to change a trait selection or two, or a couple utilities, or a rune or a sigil, it doesn't effect the build that much. A traitline could be entirely REMOVED actually, and the build would still function somewhat the same.

^ The point being in bringing all of this up, is that Arenanet needs to be very careful when they start chopping up and Frankensteining around with the weapon kits that all of our competitive balance has been based around for so so long. Altering a trait or two or some utilities, doesn't normally change too much. Even turning the numbers up or down in weapon skills, doesn't change TOO MUCH. But adding or removing base fundamental mechanical functions from weapon kits, completely changes EVERYTHING about a build structure that uses that kit. It can immediately grant it a state of broken Saiyan like strength, or instantly remove it from viable competitive play, just from a simple change like what is listed in the bullets. Can you imagine what would happen if this https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Whirling_Wrath had even a 1s evade on it? You guys need to be more careful with this stuff.

I'm feeling like it's a good idea to leave the core mechanics of weapon kits alone unless players are complaining about something being truly overpowered, or suggesting that something needs a rework because it feels clunky. A good example was the rework on Deadeye Rifle. That was something that needed to happen and it made the class "Feel" a lot better to play. But simply random targeting & mangling the mechanics of some said given class's weapon kit that has neither anyone complaining about it or making suggestions of how to make it better, is a great way to kitten off & disappoint the player base that represents that class. I mean, of all the ways to maintain player base and have people stay interested in Guild Wars 2, this is not one of them.

I think it's safe to speak for everyone when I say: We would all greatly appreciate it if Arenanet would stop investing design time into changes that create balance issues, and start investing design time into changes that fix balance issues.

Sorry to the dev team if this all sounds terrible, but man, it needed to be said.

Comments

  • HeadCrowned.6834HeadCrowned.6834 Member ✭✭✭

    Hideous Hero approves. Im a bit relieved that staff often isnt the best weapon choice for druid in this meta, but this nerf is very uncalled for.

  • AsiraasiB.7165AsiraasiB.7165 Member ✭✭✭

    I didnt even peep that nerf... This is literally the only class i play since anet gutted thief... Not only did u take the evade frames but added 2 secs on the cool down..
    Lul this game man. This game.

  • Miyu.8137Miyu.8137 Member ✭✭
    edited July 17, 2019

    I want this to be hear so I add my voice too. I personally didn't play Druid anymore as IMO it became low tier and there are much better and more competitive builds. I would really like to know what's behind this nerf as it was absolutely inappropriate.

    The last "balance patch" in general brought actually even more unbalance than balance and I have the feeling Anet balances according random forum posts and random streamers wishes which is very disapointing.

    I am Khaime, veteran PvP player with 15k+ games played and 8,5k+ on ranger itself. Being platinum 2/3 each season.

  • Ouk.5914Ouk.5914 Member ✭✭

    I Don't like seeing druids in my rank games....so i'm kinda happy this has happen but overall I agree this nerf was NOT needed. Actually this nerf came out of no where lmfao almost like the reaper nerf. No and I mean NO ONE has complained about reaper or druid. The only HoT spec that needed nerfs/rework was Scrapper and that was also gutted beyond believe.

    Don't be shock if the reason for this was simply because they plan on dropping a new expansion very soon.

  • Eurantien.4632Eurantien.4632 Member ✭✭✭

    Yeah but with staff reduction and Quickdraw if you swap and hit an ally or a pet, the skill instantly resets. So you could take some kitten traits and traitlines and swap, stealth, and then use it again to GTFO. Kinda neat. Still you'd probably die without evade frames lol

  • Exedore.6320Exedore.6320 Member ✭✭✭

    Once ANet gets around to nerfing all the PoF power creep, druid should be fine without the evade.

  • Chiral.8915Chiral.8915 Member ✭✭

    @Exedore.6320 said:
    Once ANet gets around to nerfing all the PoF power creep, druid should be fine without the evade.

    So like in 3 years?

  • coro.3176coro.3176 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I dunno. I've been getting by with no evades on Rocket Boots for a long time. It sucks to Rocket Boots away and die to a 6k autoattack in the back from 1800 range or get speared by a DH and pulled back mid-flight, but you get used to it.

    Still, I don't think Druid deserved that nerf. Why that skill and why now? Doesn't make much sense.

  • kappa.2036kappa.2036 Member ✭✭✭

    Druid is a pure pve spec carried by core spirits and spotter. There's nothing fun or useful in their kit anymore. The spec just needs a COMPLETE RE-DESIGN, but considering they have recently re-designed spirits, nerfed pets, and nerfed staff, i don't think anything will happen.

  • Vagrant.7206Vagrant.7206 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 18, 2019

    @kappa.2036 said:
    Druid is a pure pve spec carried by core spirits and spotter. There's nothing fun or useful in their kit anymore. The spec just needs a COMPLETE RE-DESIGN, but considering they have recently re-designed spirits, nerfed pets, and nerfed staff, i don't think anything will happen.

    You don't want a redesign. Scrapper just got its second one, and hoooooo nelly is it bad.

    The great god Lagki demands sacrifice!

  • Yannir.4132Yannir.4132 Member ✭✭✭✭

    There must be some real negative bias in the balance team towards druid as it's been getting hammered patch after patch for years now, before PoF even came out. So you can't even blame them for Soulbeast favoritism because this mentality predates Slb.

  • Durzlla.6295Durzlla.6295 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I will say that the CD reduction is nice with QuickDraw since it allows you quite a bit of burst healing, but without the evade frames you’re just gonna get interrupted or die anyway so what’s the kitten point?

    Now if they changed Primal echoes into a daze + self stealth? Maybe you could get away with it, but I doubt it.

    This nerf was completely and utterly unjustified, and after our “drawback” being added if anything druid needed some previous nerfs reversed rather than slamming it with more nerfs.

    Looking at you Resounding Timbre, my sweet beautiful boy.

    "But my children sing to me. Listen. They sing dark, delicious notes about power and family. As their mother, I have to grant them their wish."

  • DH / guard has gotten away without no evade frames on leaps since they were released. Even though the nerf war unwarranted, it's not nearly as detrimental as you're making it out to be.

  • Trevor Boyer.6524Trevor Boyer.6524 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 18, 2019

    Druid needs mechanics to avoid damage entirely, not to try and heal through it. It has enough healing.

    If you look at EVERY remaining class that is in viable meta play, they all have many mechanics tied to them, that allow them to avoid damage entirely. Lots of dodges, evade frames, distortion, invulns, blocks, resistance buff, sometimes damage converts into healing. Stability uptime and stun breaker frequency also plays an enormous role in being viable, which makes sense in a power crept meta. The more power creep that happens damage wise, the more important raw damage avoidance becomes, and the less important damage mitigation through healing/cleansing becomes or even prot & tough.

    I'll say it again, the reason why FB works is because its kits are laying down aegis blocks & resistance & cleanse & prot & counter pressure CC & stabilities & more aegis. <- All of this works great for staying in combat, whereas the Druid's kit is just raw healing, that's it. There are no measures in the CA kit for the Druid to stay in the fray to make sure that heal kit works. He has to disengage in competitive modes for it to work, or be hiding behind people in a zerg while isn't being focused.

    Another problem with Druid In competitive modes, is that having many reapplications of small duration boons is better than having a single application of a very long duration boon, due to how much boon removal/conversion is in the game now. Firebrands have many small boon reapplications that are very frequent, including those frequent random aegis blocks. Druid has no boon application in its kit at all, and is drawing only from Core Ranger utilities & traits like Strength of the Pack, which is the only application of stability that Druid even has access to, and it isn't even able to be shared with a party.

    I don't know what the hell the plan is with Druid here, but if the idea is to slowly convert it into more of an actual support as intended and not a side node player, they better start working on buffing that CA kit. Pushing numbers up, Adding boon applications, Enhancing mechanical use, all of it. It's going to need at least that, if they are wanting to remove its damage avoidance and are expecting it to face tank the power crept meta.

  • Trevor Boyer.6524Trevor Boyer.6524 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 18, 2019

    @AngelLovesFredrik.6741 said:
    DH / guard has gotten away without no evade frames on leaps since they were released. Even though the nerf war unwarranted, it's not nearly as detrimental as you're making it out to be.

    The comparisons you're trying to make between Druid & Guardian/DH play, have absolutely nothing to do with each other at all.

    What you said there was like if I had made a comparison such as this: "I've gotten away with not having a Waterfield on my build's heal skill, so I don't think it would be detrimental to remove the Waterfield from Healing Turret."

    Not trying to be a jerk, just pointing that one out there. Not sure non-Druid players quite understand the importance that 1 evade frame held.

  • otto.5684otto.5684 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @AngelLovesFredrik.6741 said:
    DH / guard has gotten away without no evade frames on leaps since they were released. Even though the nerf war unwarranted, it's not nearly as detrimental as you're making it out to be.

    How is DH fairing? Last viability it had was 3 years ago? Evade frames are not the only issue for either, but druid was nerfed like 4 patches in a row, for a build that had zero viability.

  • witcher.3197witcher.3197 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 18, 2019

    @Exedore.6320 said:
    Once ANet gets around to nerfing all the PoF power creep, druid should be fine without the evade.

    Coincidentally once Anet nerfs all the elite specs, the next set of elites will drop that makes them look even worse :)

    Also I'm not sure if you've been paying attention but the elite specs that received the harshest nerfs happen to be HoT ones - druid, scrapper, daredevil, herald. Meanwhile specs like holo and spellbroken go untouched.

  • Trevor Boyer.6524Trevor Boyer.6524 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @witcher.3197 said:

    @Exedore.6320 said:
    Once ANet gets around to nerfing all the PoF power creep, druid should be fine without the evade.

    Coincidentally once Anet nerfs all the elite specs, the next set of elites will drop that makes them look even worse :)

    Also I'm not sure if you've been paying attention but the elite specs that received the harshest nerfs happen to be HoT ones - druid, scrapper, daredevil, herald. Meanwhile specs like holo and spellbroken go untouched.

    Oh DD Condi is making a strong comeback as of about 24 hours now.

  • witcher.3197witcher.3197 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Trevor Boyer.6524 said:

    @witcher.3197 said:

    @Exedore.6320 said:
    Once ANet gets around to nerfing all the PoF power creep, druid should be fine without the evade.

    Coincidentally once Anet nerfs all the elite specs, the next set of elites will drop that makes them look even worse :)

    Also I'm not sure if you've been paying attention but the elite specs that received the harshest nerfs happen to be HoT ones - druid, scrapper, daredevil, herald. Meanwhile specs like holo and spellbroken go untouched.

    Oh DD Condi is making a strong comeback as of about 24 hours now.

    I don't understand why though. The ones I've seen haven't even been running the preparations, just the same old build. What changed?

  • Need to agree. Each balance is worst and time to fix all issues.i like the way they buff a berserker but did nothing with a core war or sb. This nerf for chrono is "the best"

  • Swagg.9236Swagg.9236 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Less evades tacked onto free movement or damage. Just keep stripping them away. The less the better.

  • HeadCrowned.6834HeadCrowned.6834 Member ✭✭✭

    @Swagg.9236 said:
    Less evades tacked onto free movement or damage. Just keep stripping them away. The less the better.

    Shall we strip damage in this game as well then, shall we?

  • Psycoprophet.8107Psycoprophet.8107 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Swagg.9236 said:
    Less evades tacked onto free movement or damage. Just keep stripping them away. The less the better.

    Lmao yeah so classes that are dependent and balanced around evades and mobility for servival/sustain by being given a lack of multiple blocks,invul,protection, dps reduction and barrier skills etc will just be free bags for u. Good balance idea on ur part lmao. Or having a class like thief that's low mobility with a bunch of blocks,invulnerability and barrier skills definitely sounds like it matches the class archetype lol. That and the fact arenet doesnt seem to know how to competently compensate classes for things that their amazing balance decisions have destroyed regarding builds lol

  • Swagg.9236Swagg.9236 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 19, 2019

    @HeadCrowned.6834 said:

    @Swagg.9236 said:
    Less evades tacked onto free movement or damage. Just keep stripping them away. The less the better.

    Shall we strip damage in this game as well then, shall we?

    Hey, not a bad idea considering the time to kill is wretchedly low for a game that automatically aims its attacks for players. Better yet, just strip attack skills in general: just start removing them. Consider this: if you have a skill that can deal near-lethal damage if it lands, what more do you need? Why do you need 4 of those skills? Or a bunch of other random weapon bar skills that are either brainless, filler attacks or so worthless that they go entirely unused (until they get powercreeped into oblivion)? Why not just center the damage potential of a weapon or build around one attack with a relatively low recharge and some risk associated with its usage? The rest of a set-up could be associated with movement, buffs, area control or support rather than any further damage. It stops weapons and builds from feeling so generic and it also gives opponents a clear tell to watch if they don't want to get destroyed. It's almost like every other game with decent combat.

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