I am a person that historically stick with my chosen class for years, through good and bad. Well, that used to be me but i have played too many games and too many mmo's and have found this behaviour to be one i end up paying the price for because i have a tendency to pick that which has mechanics other classes fear and gets it nerfed down and down and down and down.
Well, i have been here only 2 years thus far but i have decided to retire my only played 80 char, my mesmer, and reroll. The experience has become too lousy.
Major culprits are:
Power mesmer is ruined by chronos traits, chronoplasma waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much power is packed into this trait, and if you don't have it your power scaling becomes garbage, and mechanically it is ineffective and turns power into damage over time, and for pvp it's truly garbage and extremely easy to avoid as well as clones getting gutted in aoes.
Chrono due to continuum is extremely hard to play right, and any small disturbance can wreck your setup, as well as our dps is balanced around it's perfect usage which is unrealistic unless the most organized scenarios. Additionally it's just not fun to have your class power packed into a loong cooldown and better hope it's get a good chance to be used to be worthwhile. I truly loathe this ability and how it turns your rotation into annoyance of the maxed level, and it has ruined chronomancer for me 100%. I do not enjoy it. There was a time i played the hardest classes in games i could get my hands on but over time i turned away from that. The reason being that these classes become so hated when you do them well, that they become balanced about not even being as good even with perfect execution, execution which becomes a serious nuisance to perform for years on a row, and also not practical to do always. It's ungrateful.
Initially i actually started condi axe and was enjoying it until you gutted it well and good, and you split it so heavy form pve/competitive it's not resembling the same specc and far crappier for competitive modes. It totally killed my joy, it was the good old play a hard to execute class perfect well and itll be nerfed so hard its hardly even comparable. After all the gutting you shafted axe autoargeting to take one of my most beloved flavors away and i didn't play it much since that, losing all will.
Running around now in wvw's and facing random necros splatting you solo for 11k crits, actually even some classes stealth oneshots sometimes and more, and i'm just so frustrated with what you have done to my mesmer. You took away EVERYTHING we had, anything resembling power has been gutted and now you gotta line up the whole arsenal and pray they don't countner anything. And for what? other classes when they catch you in melee drop your full health in seconds. Our shatters don't even hit harder than other classes big hitters, for many ability setups, and what not.
Speaking of things you kept gutting till there was nothing left. Mirage cloak. It's such a small duration now, it's ridiculous. I'm seing classes with 8-10 players attacking them for 8-10 seconds before starting taking damage and everything of our powers getting gutted because players fear the mesmer.
Also i should mention we don't really have any meaningful autos outside of axe condi autoattack, everyting else is like nothing. And that is a problem, you just lolling around waiting to spam the weapon cooldowns hoping they don't block you. Maybe sword but that can only work for pve and lets face it none of our builds are worth a kitten in serious pve content anymore. Maybe boon chrono but that is such an unejoyable experience of a clunky specc requiring long setup and static motion to make any kind of sense.
I recently ended up talking to a guy who meant only the best, as he advised me to level another char for any serious fractal play, continuously explaining me how in the hardest fractals most groups wouldn't fit you into it at all and woudn't be welcome and how i would be so much happier with another char of x and y kind. He was genuinely trying to help me out giving me good advice as i wanted to play fractals but i just felt so dead and demotivated for days after talking to him. Because i know he was right. I then went ahead to craft something that made sense and made a boon chrono but only to find out how bad it plays in fractals moving fast.
I have now retired my mesmer to be an open world event farmer/tagger, with zerker/diviners + speed runes(for 100% increase duration swiftness 66% speed) as greatsword mirage with stamina runes and spawning clones on dodge and regenning full endurance for kills. It tags amazingly, and does very good aoe damage when kills keep rolling with high dodge uptime. I will eventually make another set for nighmare runes instead for event where i need health instead. It really is amazing for any random trash content, but it is not a serious build that can perform when challenges get hard.
This last part now is just speculation on my part, but i have estimated it to be true. It was said even before the nerfs, that mirage was only overrepresented on lower pvp brackets, that ins serious pvp is was not as good as many oher classes. This is to mean, against players with a clue it was never the max-beast class, it was mostly good against randoms, but you kept nerfing it and nerfing it till the point it's nothing much special anymore even against randoms, but what happened to the top end? Mesmer is useless now. This is what happens to classes who are mechanically overpowered/feared, they get butchered because players fear and cries and end up getting shafted and shafted and shafted. You have way overnerfed mesmer and undermined the core strengths time after time until it has become a shallow shadow of itself.
What do i think could be done?
I think clones, clone generation and shattters need to be revisited.
Shatters need to be felt far more, when i chose to shatter, you gotta feel it. That cannot be possible now because you can generate clones way too easily. That is also why condi mirage was so nasty, i could unleash the most insane axe condi stack in a few seconds it was nasty, because i could just pump out clones. What happens if you slow down clone generation? Well, they die easily before you generate enough to unleash it. Therefore clones need to be much more durable, spawn 1s invulnerability, have 66%-100% of my health, and actually give them a part of my damage so that you have to optimize for their optime. More traits that protects them weaved into rotation clone aegis etc. This will give you more steady damage, also make clones maybe not targeted but more like minions for say up to 30seconds that doesn't despawn when their target dies but will target your target where possible. To really make it confusing, instead of centering them around you, make them give a random x position somewhere around you and then normalize their spread so they arent tight spacked if they all spawned to one side, essentially you'd never know if the real mesmer was the central one or one of the outer even though most likely the center.
Also abolish chronoplasma and current iteration of time split entirely, they just make the whole class play bad as hell and forces all the power packed into them. Just make time split focused about health and survival, maybe just make give you like up to 1 seconds invulnerability and up to 7 seconds window where you can choose to activate it again to reset all health, shield and endurance levels. Put all our power back into our steady flow of damage.
Sigil of energy needs to die, too many builds abusing this, and for mirage particularly it makes you destroy mirage cloak, but also undermines powers of traits that trigger on dodge, which need to be nerfed to kept in line. Return more power to mirage cloak, at least 1s duration. Not -50 endurance in competitive mode unless you wanna make it full normal duration.
Improve damage on weapon sets throughout, nearly no attacks are good anymore on any weapon.
Either way i'm turning my back on this class now, my love has been shattered too deeply and an infatuation with another class has taken root.