I mentioned that I have been writing on a rework like my thread on the old forums. Considering that there have been some changes since I started and I don't want it all go to waste, I'll just put it out there now. Probably won't get much better at this point. This is more of a fun project for myself but maybe it gets theorycrafting for others going as well.
Which ideas do you like? Which not so much? Do you have any interesting ideas yourself?
Important: This rework is based on conceptual ideas. I want to strengthen themes of the Mesmer class - either some they still got or lost during the developement of the game. Examples are boon removal or Distortion. While I do want it to be fun to play - and reasonable to play against - I didn't go to much into numbers. I also focussed on a limited amount of themes per traitline while ensuring some cross-traitline synergies to not pidgeon-hole players into a specific set up depending on their preferred playstyle. I did not consider all possible existing meta builds or gameplay scenarios and modes nor do I aim to push any specific playstyle to become meta because this would limit new ideas too much. I want stuff to be viable. And I want there to be a sufficient amount of viable (not meta) builds.
P.S.: I have seen some similar ideas floating around since the recent patches. I don't call dibs on anyhting.
Shatter traitsI tried to continue the trend of more single-purpose Shatter traits and instead tuning up those specific effects. While it doesn't work smoothly all the time, I do believe this makes balancing traits way easier which in the end will benefit the health of the overall class performance. There might be a risk of overloading specific F-skills with effects. However, in return there are less incentives to just roll through all F-skills just to grab certain passive effects. I also tried to focus on a limited amount of F-skills per traitline.
Interrupt traitsWhile some interrupt traits gained benefits against defiance bars they mostly remain situational and are mainly appealing for PvP / WvW. I still feel that the amount of dichotomy of those traits is overall dissatisfying. On the other side, they are frustrating to fight against if they work which has frequently lead to them being nerfed. Right now, CI has it coming. Therefore, I tried to split the effects to reduce variance in effectiveness of those traits while keeping their original purpose. Yes, this makes interrupt builds easier to play which experienced players might not appretiate. However, I prefer this over having those playstyles being stuck in an endless nerf-cycle everytime some efficient build surfaces.
Utility traitsI reallocated Utility traits so there is at least one trait per traitline which associates with a Utility group. Right now, Inspiration is crowded with those traits which dillutes the theme and purpose of some Utility groups. While Inspiration lacks non-Utility options, other traitlines lack purposeful interactions with Utility skills.
Phantasm traitsI reworked most Phantasm traits to work similar to Phantasmal Haste to put a stronger focus on the Mesmer him/herself.
DistortionFor the purpose of this rework, Distortion no longer prevents point capture or related mechanics.
I reworked the traitline to dominate - who would have expected that - and overpower your enemy. This is mainly achieved through buffing yourself with Might, debuffing your enemy in several ways or by keeping your enemy in check by interrupting his actions. Since Might at this point is mainly provided by Chaos and Illusions, I reworked and shuffled some effects around. I also extended a little bit on Boon removal related mechanics in similar way a Spellbreaker works. When it comes to Boon removal, Mesmers will always fall behind Necromancers due to corrupts innately being more powerful. However, it has been a Mesmer-theme since day 1 and the new Dune Cloak coincidentally shows that ANet still thinks so.
I. Dazzling - Dazes and Stuns apply Vulnerability. Apply additional stacks when successfully interrupting a foe.
- Imagined Burden - GS #3 becomes a charge skill. Increased radius, removes an additional Boon and Cripples your foes.
- Confounding Suggestions - No change.
- Illusion of Vulnerability - The attack-effect of Phantasm-skills causes additional Vulnerability. Clones apply Vulnerability on hit.
II. Rending Shatter - F1 causes Vulnerability per Illusion, F2 causes Cripple.
- Egotism - Gain Might when applying CC (ICD p. target). Additionally gain Quickness when interrupting a foe.
- Shattered Concentration - F3 removes 1 Boon per Illusion. Additionally, deal damage whenever you remove Stability from a foe.
- Enhanced Inscriptions - Signet trait, moved here from Inspiration. No longer grants Distortion. Instead reduces CD by 20%.
III. Fragility - No change.
- Narcissism - Gain Might when removing a Boon. Might affecting you grants you more Power but less Condition damage. Duration is increased.
- Power Block - Now applies Weakness when CCing an enemy (ICD p. t.). If interrupted, deal damage and increase the cooldown of the affected skill.
- Mental Anguis - Now only affects F1. Additionally, F1 has +% critical hit chance (former effect of Master of Fragmentation).
Utilities and Weapons
- Signet of Domination - The passive effect now improves Power damage instead of condition damage.
- Greatsword - Phantasmal Berserker now summons 2 Phantasms by default. Damage is adjusted accordingly.
While Duelling already got three rather distinctive themes, the traits are a bit all over the place and especially the defensive options have been nerfed into uselessness the last few months. I cleaned up and merged some traits. I also moved Manipulations to Duelling and removed Desperate Decoy because its passive effect was meh at best to begin with.
I. Critical Infusion - Unnerfed/Unsplit from PvE
- Duelists Discipline - The chance to Bleed is now 50% on crit and 100% on crit when whielding a Pistol.
- Master of Manipulation - Moved here from Chaos. Now grants 1s of Distortion instead of Superspeed.
- Ferocious Duelist - Gain Ferocity while under the effect of Fury.
II. Blinding Evasion - Replaces Sharper Images. Blind nearby enemies after dodge rolling.
- Cry of Pain - Reworked. Replaces Blinding Dissipation. F2 blinds your foes. Gain 10 Endurance per shattered Illusion when you're under 50% health.
- Fencers Finesse - Instead of granting a Ferocity buff, reflect projectiles when evading while whielding at least one Sword.
- Phantasmal Fury - Phantasms spawn with 3s Fury. Gain 1.5s Fury when summoning a Phantasm.
III. Master Fencer - No change.
- Ineptitude - Duration of Confusion is increased.
- Deceptive Evasion - No change.
- Superiority Complex - No change.
Utilities and Weapons
1. #1.3 - Damage against targets with Boons is increased by 30%.
2. #3 - No longer summons a Clone at your target. Instead perform a Leap at your target and leave behind a Clone. 3.2 swaps back to your Clones position.
Just as Duelling, Chaos already got some strong themes going on (Boons, Conditions, self-sustain). However, most of the options are a bit too same-same and therefore choices are neglectable most of the time. I picked Chaos to be the place to reintroduce a Glamour-trait. For this purpose, Prismatic Understanding had to be moved somewhere else. Additionally, I tried to flesh out the available themes a bit more, so they offer more distinct gameplay options.
TraitsI. Metaphysical Rejuvination - Now grants 3s of Regeneration whenever summoning a Phantasm.
- Descent into Madness - No longer casts Chaos Storm on heal, which just lead to too much offensive gameplay. Instead grants allies Chaos Armor.
- Illusionary Defense - No change.
- Invigorating Disillusionment - F1 grants 1s of Fury per Illusion, F2 grants 1s of Vigor per Illusion shattered (s. former Bountiful Disillusionment).
II. Illusionary Membrane - No change.
- Chaotic Dampening - No change.
- Chaotic Transference - I really don't like this trait but couldn't come up with anything useful.
- Auspicious Anguish - Had something similar in mind for Elusive Mind. But oh well... no change then.
III. Chaotic Persistence - No change.
- Chaotic Interruption - Now grants Chaos Armor when applying CC (ICD). On interrupt, Immobilze and apply a random condition (incl. damaging conditions). This trait no longer provides any Boons. Other Interrupt traits provide those Boons instead.
- Bountiful Disillusionment - Reworked. Distortion now reflects. Gain Stability and extend other Boons on you by 1s per Illusion shattered.
- Prismatic Glamours - New. Glamours now grant additional Boons. Nullfield pulses Resistance. Feedback pulses Retaliation. Veil pulses Protection. Portal grants Aegis on use. Time Warp pulses Swiftness.
Utilities and Weapons
- Veil - Reworked to be a circular field like Shadow Refuge. CD reduced to 60s and now breaks stun.
- #4 reduced CD to 25s. No longer applies condition on cast. Instead swaps over to 'Transmute Chaos'. #4.2 transforms a random condition on nearby allies into a Boon. A random Boon on nearby foes is instead turned into a condition.
- #5 reworked to work like Choking Gas. Now dazes per pulse when the target is affected by at least 5 conditions.
Inspiration was kind of difficult since there is an overabundance of Utility traits and mostly healing traits - while most of them are rather underwhelming and hardly force any meaningful decision making. I reworked the traits to focus on either heal, counter damage or reduce incomming damage. This might also bring back a broader use of Retaliation to Mesmers.
TraitsI. Menders Purity - No change.
- Medics Feedback - No change.
- Restorative Mantras - Additionally, using a charge heals yourself for a small amount.
- Sympathetic Visage - No change.
II. Healing Prism - Reworked. A percentage of healing you apply to yourself is also applied to nearby allies (compare to Medical Dispersion Field)
- Wardens Feedback - No longer reduces CD. Instead, summoning a Phantasm grants you 1.5s of Retaliation. The duration is doubled when whielding a Focus
- Inspiring Distortion - Moved here from the Master Minor. Duration is increased to 3s.
- Phantasmal Protection - Phantasms spawn with 3s of Protection and 3s of Aegis. Gain 1.5s of Protection when summoning a Phantasm.
III. Illusionary Inspiration - Heal nearby allies when summoning a Phantasm.
- Mental Feedback - The damage of your Retaliation and of reflected projectiles is increased by a certain percentage.
- Restorative Disillusionment - F4 now heals yourself for a significant amount per Illusion shattered. Additionally, remove 2 conditions per Illusion.
- Mental Defense - Additionally, Protection you gain lasts 20% longer.
Utilities and Weapons* Mantra of Pain - CD/recharge is normalized. No longer deals damage nor applies Vulnerability. Instead grants nearby allies Might and Fury. Charging the Mantra no longer grants Might but partly recharges the CD of F1-F2 (s. Mantra of Distraction).
Moving Prismatic Understanding here aside, I didn't change too much about Illusions. Most changes are due to my Shatter trait reworks.
TraitsI. Master of Misdirection - Changed functionality. Diversion now affects 5 targets (s. former Master of Fragmentation)
- Shatter Storm - No change.
- Peristence of Memory - No change.
- The Pledge - No change.
II. Compounding Power - No change.
- Maim the Disillusioned - F2 now inflicts Torment. Applies additional Confusion per Illusion to targets with 50% health or less.
- Phantasmal Haste - No change.
- Escape Artist - Additionally decreases the effect of movement debilitating conditions while stealthed by 25%.
III. Master of Fragmentation - Renamed from Master of Misdirection. No change in functionality.
- Malicious Sorcery - No longer increases casting speed. Instead increases Confusion duration. Also increases duration of Torment when whielding a Scepter.
- Phantasmal Force - No change.
- Prismatic Understanding - Moved here from Chaos. Might removed. Vigor and Resistance added as possible Boons.
While I do appretiate the addition of exclusive Chronomancer Shatter-skills, the loss of IP is a very irritating change. Shatters are an innately flawed mechanic in plenty of situations due to a target requirement and a rather slow build up of resources (Clones) when leaving aside Mirror Images. Making IP innate to the class didn't fix this but still was a smart work-around on ANets side. I really hope this is changed back again because it makes playing Chronomancer unbearably clunky. Assuming that IP is restored, I feel that Chronophantasma und CS - as fun as those are - need a rework or at least slight changes to make them more managable from a balancing perspective. As it stands now, they hold most other skills and traits hostage.
MechanicShatters are replaced by Rifts, comparable to the already existing Continuum-Shift. Each Rift retains the original purpose of the respective Shatter. However, their effect is applied in pulses around the Chronomancer and a Rift is left behind which can be destroyed. Each Rift has a swap-over called Shift. Shifting prematurely ends the pulsing effect but applies Slow to foes nearby. Continuum Shift is slightly reworked to reduce the balancing issues due to the duplicate use of skills. After using F4, the Mesmer receives but also deals 50% damage.
Trade offChronomancers can't shatter from range but have to be in close combat to affect their foes instead. Additionally, Rifts offer counter-play by destroying them. Overall, Rifts can be as powerful as baseline Shatters. However, they require specific prequisites to be that efficient (s. recently introduced Chronomancer-Shatters). If this is not enough, make Might on Chronomancers be less efficient.
TraitsI. Time Splitter - Reworked to include above listed information.
- Delayed Reactions - CCing a foe grants you 1s of Alacrity (ICD p. t.). Interrupting a foe applies Chill.
- Time Catches Up - Gain 3s Superspeed when creating a Rift (10s ICD). Rifts spawn with Aegis.
- All's Well that Ends Well - Changed functionality. The final effect is more effective.
II. Flow of Time - No change.
- Danger Time - No change.
- Illusionary Reversion - Remove one condition when a Rift ends. Additionally, heal yourself when using a Shift-skill.
- Improved Alacrity - No change.
III. Time Marches On: No change.
- Lost Time - CCing a foe casts Lost Time (ICD p. t.). If the foe was interrupted, Lost Time deals +100% critical damage.
- Seize the Moment - No change.
- Chronophantasma - Gain 2s of Alacrity when summoning a Phantasm. Phantasms deal significantly more damage. Probably controversial and boring, I guess. But CP just breaks to much when it comes to balancing Mesmers. The combination of Alacrity and bonus damage should be able to compensate at least for lost damage.
I was very excited when the Mirage was showcased even though I don't enjoy condition builds that much. I always loved evasive playstyles and still prefer those builds over classic shatter builds. However, after just reworking various skills and traits so baseline Mesmers are encouraged to actually use their class mechanic, ANet somehow managed to aliente this mechanic on Mirage yet again. It's not like Shatters don't work on Mirage but there are plenty mechanics and traits that encourage you not to shatter at all. Additionally, Mirage traits are rather weak and it is mainly carried by bloated effects of Mirage Mirrors and spamming skills and dodges. I reworked Mirage to be more compatible with baseline Mesmer and incorporated its most unique effect - Infinite Horizon - into its core mechanic.
MechanicShatters are replaced by Enchantments. When activated, Clones perform an attack at your current target (s. Ambushes and Infinite Horizon) and then dissipate. Their damaging component is reduced and the debilitating effects increased. The Mesmer gains an 1s window per shattered Illusion for his Ambush-attack. His attack is enchanted with additional effects based on which Shatter is used (e.g. F1 = area damage around your target etc.). F4 grants 1s of Distortion and turns your Illusions into Mirage Mirrors.
Mirage Cloak is removed. Instead, Mirages gain Distortion when dodging. Gaining Distortion also grants 1s of Superspeed.
Mirage Mirrors no longer grant Mirage Cloak. They refill Endurance instead. They still apply Weakness to foes, but no longer damage them.
Trade offMirages can no longer dodge-roll. Additionally, their Phantasms deal significantly less damage.
TraitsI. Mirage Cloak - Reworked to include above listed information.
- Desert Distortion - All sources of Distortion now grant access to Ambush-Attacks for 1s.
- Renewing Oasis - Gain regeneration when hit under 75% health (ICD). Now also affects Poison.
- Self-Deception - Picking up a Mirage Mirror temporarily increases your Condition damage and Expertise.
II. Nomads Endurance - Gain 2s of Vigor when evading an Attack (5s ICD).
- Riddle of Sand - Activating your F-skills now breaks targeting (10s ICD).
- Speed of Sand - Gain 5s of Swiftness (10s ICD) when evading an attack. Damage you receive is reduced by 5% while affected by Swiftness, Superspeed or Vigor (stacks up to 15%).
- Mirrored Axes - No change.
III. Elusive Mind - You are immune to the side-effects of Poison and Weakness while affected by Vigor. Gain 50% Endurance when breaking a stun (ICD).
- Infinite Horizon - The range of your Teleports and Shadowsteps is increased. Gain 3s of Superspeed after successfully using a Leap-finisher (ICD).
- Dune Cloak - Radius is increased.
- Quicksand - Your Torment deals more damage. Your Cripples lasts longer.
Utilities and Weapons
Mirage Thrust - No longer Dazes. Instead removes up to 5 Boons (Mesmer).
False Oasis - Instead of granting Vigor, now creates an ethereal field that pulses Regeneration to allies. Leaves behind a Mirage Mirror after expiring.
- Sand through Glass - Now also grants Vigor. Leaves behind a Mirage Mirror at your initial Location.
- Crystal Sands - Now creates an ethereal field. Pulses Torment/Cripple to enemies. Leaves behind a Mirage Mirror.
- Illusionary Ambush - Leaves behind a Mirage Mirror at your initial location. Now also Dazes your target.
- Mirage Advance - Leaves behind a Mirage Mirror after returning to your original location instead of creating a clone.
- Jaunt - No longer deals damage or Confusion. Instead blinds nearby foes and grants nearby allies 3s of Superspeed.