PvP/WvW: Mainhand Sword changes are a nerf, and don't won't achieve Anet's intentions. — Guild Wars 2 Forums
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PvP/WvW: Mainhand Sword changes are a nerf, and don't won't achieve Anet's intentions.

PvP/WvW centric take on Sword Changes:

Sword has always been a utility weapon, chosen for mobility and evades. The upcoming balance changes nerf both of these properties and leave sword in exactly the same position but with decreased effectiveness.

  • Hornet Sting (HS) cooldown increased from 8 to 15 seconds.
  • Serpent Strike (SS) moved behind Monarch's Leap.

Increasing the cooldown on HS means that sword offers less evade time, and less mobility, cornerstones of why sword is selected at all.

Putting SS behind Monarch's makes the skill almost useless for the two reasons:

  • It is no longer an on-demand evade (you now have to telegraph via a vulnerable 1s Monarch's Leap in order to have access to it for 5 seconds).
  • SS is buggy and doesn't always land correctly unless your target is moving in a certain way (strafing). Now that the skill is only accessible after Monarch's, when an opportunity to land the skill offensively presents itself, you may not always have it available.

Since release, there has never been a serious build that relied on mainhand sword to do damage. Sword has always been taken for its utility in mobility and evades, and paired with a warhorn to assist damage in the other weaponset, or dagger to increase overall defence.

Therefore, given that these changes:

  • Decrease the uptime of evades
  • Reduce the amount of mobility available by almost doubling HS cooldown
  • Provide nothing to make up for the above

I would argue that these changes are a direct nerf to mainhand sword.

In the patch notes, Anet states their intentions are "to increase the flow of sword in combat and make the skills easier to understand" however I fail to see how these changes achieve that.

After these changes, sword will remain a utility weapon, albeit with far less utility than it has now. It will have mobility abilities split across two buttons, and Rangers will be forced to Monarch's Leap at suboptimal times purely to get access to an important evade.

What these changes will achieve is increasing the uptake in greatsword (and by extension longbow), and harming the already almost non-existent Ranger build diversity.

For these reasons, I'd like Anet to reconsider pushing these changes or at least provide some sort of additional change to offset the loss if utility in the weapon (adding a short evade frame to Monarch's, or changing the cooldown of HS to a more manageable 10 seconds)

I'd be very interested in hearing what you ladies and gents think of these changes in the context of PvP/WvW roaming, and whether you think these changes will achieve Anet's intentions.

Veypa Saltpaw
Mreow [HD]

Comments

  • InsaneQR.7412InsaneQR.7412 Member ✭✭✭✭

    It's only a nerf for people skilled enough to use it and exploiting camera direction.
    It has better usability with less effort to put in to give it a good weapon feel.
    Honestly I would've put hornet sting on the position of stalker strike and made a chain with stalker strike and serpent strike.
    This way dagger has a niche as a mobility/snaring weapon and main hand sword has decent utility.

    Overall I am happy with the changes just because the weapon will feel better to use.
    Its power level was always good but pretty feel bad in use. Especially because you used the skills only when you had kitten cooking not when you want to deal damage.

    The monarchsleap, hornet sting huge range mobility is still there just splitted and the frequent ccess to monarchsleap will even increase ranger mobility.

  • @InsaneQR.7412 said:
    It's only a nerf for people skilled enough to use it and exploiting camera direction.
    It has better usability with less effort to put in to give it a good weapon feel.

    That's exactly what it is. Both GS and Sword changes are nerfs to skilled higher ceiling plays on ranger.
    In case of sword it was previously clunkier to use but offered more, now its just a 'feel good' version of it while bumping up every CD on it.
    This "QoL" change makes it even more funny considering GS5 and Axe5 are still rooting us and much clunker than Sw skills were. Both of those are instumental in getting kill setups btw.
    I guess they wanted to make it more offensive, but as I just mentioned ranger melee just keeps getting toned down. I don't think you will be able to do better pressure now even with the buffed dagger. There will be maybe more shenanigans with Sw/D with Griffon Stance to troll people 1v2 on far, but when it comes to pressure its just not there.

  • InsaneQR.7412InsaneQR.7412 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 26, 2019

    @Atronach.8520 said:

    @InsaneQR.7412 said:
    It's only a nerf for people skilled enough to use it and exploiting camera direction.
    It has better usability with less effort to put in to give it a good weapon feel.

    That's exactly what it is. Both GS and Sword changes are nerfs to skilled higher ceiling plays on ranger.
    In case of sword it was previously clunkier to use but offered more, now its just a 'feel good' version of it while bumping up every CD on it.
    This "QoL" change makes it even more funny considering GS5 and Axe5 are still rooting us and much clunker than Sw skills were. Both of those are instumental in getting kill setups btw.
    I guess they wanted to make it more offensive, but as I just mentioned ranger melee just keeps getting toned down. I don't think you will be able to do better pressure now even with the buffed dagger. There will be maybe more shenanigans with Sw/D with Griffon Stance to troll people 1v2 on far, but when it comes to pressure its just not there.

    Ranger has sadly pressure mostly in rnage or on GS burst. That's the niche they fulfill.
    I favor the better usability of sword. Especially because you can now engage and disengage. After disengage you still have an evade available.
    I think it's a fair trade off that serpent strike is behind the monarchsleap.
    Both are evades so you can still chain evades effectively.
    The kit overall is still available and instead of: fight in melee, 3,fight bit more, 2,2 fight bit more.
    Its now 2,fight,2,fight,3 disengage.
    Sure you have longer CD but the offensive utility it gets in return is really valuable and opens up weapon choice

    Slightly offtopic:
    GS root isn't that bad. It's a fast stun and the animation has good counterplay ability but still has good rewarding results.
    Axe 5 is stupid that it roots is because it is really just for defense although we have no decent pressure on one handed weapons.
    Slow movement is already counterplay able, and if they think it's still to strong then remove the conditions and the boon and it would be in a good spot.

    Back on topic:
    Overall I think sword playability increased a lot and it's more accessible for newer players or non PvPers/WvWers that want to use that weapon in that game mode.
    I think it's overall usability isn't that compromised. Especially because serpent strike was really predictable and is still accesable in melee.
    The increase in HS CD is not as bad as many ppl think. It will be a press and run away skill where 15s is more than enough.
    The weapon playstyle will change but the usability will increase.

  • @Irenio CalmonHuang.2048 said:

    Ranger

    • Hornet Sting: This sword skill has moved to weapon slot 3. It now recharges Monarch's Leap if it hits. Its recharge has been increased from 8 seconds to 15 seconds.
    • Monarch's Leap: This sword skill is now the primary skill in weapon slot 2. Using this skill flips it over to Serpent's Strike for 5 seconds. It now has an 8-second recharge.
    • Serpent's Strike: This skill is now the follow-up skill to Monarch's Leap. It no longer has a recharge.

    The things that's bothers me here is it's easier to use on paper, but limits the potential. You previously had Hornet Sting/Monarch leap on 8s CD, and Serpent's Strike on 15s. Now CDs are basically swapped, but you don't have that instant evade of Serpent's Strike. SS lasts 1s and has first 0.75s evade, with the dmg part of 0.25s at the end of animation plus the aftercast. HS has also evade frame which lasts 0.5s ** BUT** it isn't the first 0.5s it's more like after the sword swing and the roll starts. It is harder to evade the dmg with it.
    So if you wanted to avoid pressure you needed to SW3, dodge, then SW2/2 and Owl1 yeet away. How it's going to be now is that you won't have that on demand evade from SS, and HS isn't that reliable at all to evade. Disengaging will be tougher for the most part. Using SS after you leap away is kinda wasted. And you can't use it on demand in fight as it's locked behind the leap.
    The combination of the above makes it a lot more situational use.
    I would like a lot more if we had SS+HS on the same skill bar, as you could chain evade a lot more reliably. Make CD recharge on Monarch's leap be on either SS dmg or HS dmg.

  • Vendetta.1958Vendetta.1958 Member ✭✭
    edited September 27, 2019

    The things that's bothers me here is it's easier to use on paper, but limits the potential. You previously had Hornet Sting/Monarch leap on 8s CD, and Serpent's Strike on 15s. Now CDs are basically swapped, but you don't have that instant evade of Serpent's Strike.

    I agree that potential is absolutely limited by these changes. Instead of having a decent save on a 15 second cooldown, we're limiting SS's availability. The only reason I can see is purely because the HS into Monarch's chain can be difficult to learn, which I don't believe is a valid reason to nerf something.

    After these changes, sword will gain nothing, yet lose easy access to its main combat dodge, and have half as many HS as before.

    If Anet wanted the weapon to be easier to use, what they really needed to do was change the pathing of SS to not bug out and miss its target half the time, and add 100 extra range to Monarch's so it could hit a target without the player having to take a step forward after HS'ing away from it.

    Veypa Saltpaw
    Mreow [HD]

  • Vendetta.1958Vendetta.1958 Member ✭✭
    edited September 27, 2019

    Ranger has sadly pressure mostly in rnage or on GS burst. That's the niche they fulfill.
    I favor the better usability of sword. Especially because you can now engage and disengage. After disengage you still have an evade available.

    You can easily engage/disengage as it is now. Bind about-face and HS+Monarch's at your enemy. After these changes, disengage will be harder as HS's cooldown is double what it was. Thus the point I'm making - these changes are a nerf to the current abilities of sword.

    SS being after Monarch's doesn't really assist in disengaging as the aftercast allows the enemy to catch up to you.

    It's only a nerf for people skilled enough to use it

    Exactly. Anet should not be dumbing weapons down, every weaponset should take a modicum of skill to use effectively.

    Veypa Saltpaw
    Mreow [HD]

  • Tazer.2157Tazer.2157 Member ✭✭✭

    @Vendetta.1958 said:

    What these changes will achieve is increasing the uptake in greatsword (and by extension longbow), and harming the already almost non-existent Ranger build diversity.

    For these reasons, I'd like Anet to reconsider pushing these changes or at least provide some sort of additional change to offset the loss if utility in the weapon (adding a short evade frame to Monarch's, or changing the cooldown of HS to a more manageable 10 seconds)

    I'd be very interested in hearing what you ladies and gents think of these changes in the context of PvP/WvW roaming, and whether you think these changes will achieve Anet's intentions.

    I agree completely, chaining the leaps together took skill and made the sword a weapon that can improve mobility. The sword was always about evading and kiting, it was not about dps. The change where the leap is chained to the serpent strike makes me think that these changes were done with dps in mind. Ranger players never leap into combat with a sword. That is not how we as rangers use the sword. The greatsword already has a forward leap which makes more sense because a greatsword is a dps weapon. The serpent strike was also a skill that was used to improve positioning to then chain the leaps, but now that its locked behind the forward leap, it can only be used after leaping out which interrupts the combat flow (such a bad design decision). Overall the new changes give the sword very less utility and will most likely be used even fewer times.
    I agree with the comment that changes should not be done to simplify things. The new changes does not make the sword more inviting to play because you simply get more dmg out from the greatsword and longbow which are easier weapons to use. The sword fulfilled a role in the game. Please do not morph it into a greatsword or a dps weapon. I feel like this change will have the opposite effect.

  • Hornet Sting itself, even on a 8s CD, never mind almost double that (15s) is a poor skill. It's hard to hit with, has low range (130 in front and just 400 backwards), strange evade frame and non existent dmg.
    As I mentioned above, it would make a lot more sense to chain Hornet Sting with Serpent Strike. Make so that successful hit of Serpent's Strike recharges Monarch's Leap or something. Right now it's attempt to make it more dps-ish is just not enough as no Sword skill does actual dmg.
    I'm not against sword or other ranger weapon changes, I think we need them, but as it stands now it's not really an upgrade indeed.

  • Archon.3987Archon.3987 Member ✭✭
    edited September 27, 2019

    How does it make sense to evade backwards with skill 3 to jump back into combat with skill 2 and then do the serpent strike which takes the place of skill 2?

    The "hit" > "evade/jump backwards" > "jump back in" should be one follow up skill because that is much faster than having two skills in slot 2 & 3 for that.
    I also want Serpent Strike readily available if I need to evade and not jump into combat while I am in front of my target to gain access to Serpent Strike.
    How the heck do I even evade an attack when I have to klick monarch leap? While I gain access to Serpent Strike by clicking Monarch Leap in most cases the reason I wanted to use Serpent Strike has alrady rode past.

    It does not make any sense how they want to do it now.

    Why should I have monarch strike readily available all the time? Standing in front of the enemy and jumping into combat? kitten?
    Also Hornet sting (which has a doubled recharge time now) recharges Monach Leap IF(!!!) it hits? So I leap back out out combat and if I missed I can walk back to the target. Srsly?
    They even increase the recharge times to achieve what?
    Nobody using onehand-sword on ranger anymore because it is slow and non fluid and just not fun anymore?

    The onehand-sword changes are even a bit worse than the Greatsword nerfs and those are already horrible.

  • Tazer.2157Tazer.2157 Member ✭✭✭

    Yes, we need to get anet to read this discussion. The changes to sword are just bad. Hopefully they leave the sword as it is or give the sword better utility rather than dumbing the weapon down and reducing its utility.

  • Lazze.9870Lazze.9870 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 27, 2019

    So they end up nerfing utility and mobility instead. Great..

    Why aren't these kind of changes discussed with the players beforehand? Because it's less important than discussing number juggling with the wvw squad meta classes?

    Also, how can they be taking a look at the sword and not even adjust the target count in the autochain..? It's a remnant of the old chain.

    The only good thing about this patch is the off-hand dagger buff, which they even admit themselves had fallen behind just about everything else in the game. Took them two years, though. And it still won't be used all that much anyways.

  • Dahkeus.8243Dahkeus.8243 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I don't know...I still like this.
    (and before the trolls quote this post with the same hurpehdurp stuff they're saying over and over around here, yes, I'm comfortable using the camera switch to reverse the backwards leap and such)
    I mean, I mostly like it from a PvE perspective since it just makes the skill more intuitive. But, the fact that the leap is by far used as a forwards leap with the camera swap more often than it's used as a backwards leap shows that this needed to change. This will also make the forward leap a better skill for playing aggressive against an enemy that's trying to disengage.

    Locking the evade behind a flip skill will be tough to get used to, but I'm ok with that.

  • Here's how I try to look at it:

    • Monarch's Leap is now readily available on a pretty reasonable cooldown; it's a leap finisher and it is the highest damage move sword has by a pretty good margin. So we get easier access to a more damaging skill and it's easier to use with combo fields.
    • Serpent's Strike is now attached to a lower cooldown than before, so we technically have more evade uptime with this change if we're actively using Monarch's Leap (and the patch notes don't say anything about needing to hit with ML to gain access to SS). I do agree that it sucks that we lose the 'instant' evade of it being a stand alone skill.
    • Hornet Sting has always been a really bad skill - Even if used properly doing the flippidy-doo-das with the about face button (which isn't hard so I wish people would stop saying that). It does now reset the CD for Monarch's Leap which gives use even more access to leaps and evades and lends itself to the acrobatic style of the sword.

    In my totally imaginary scenario, I would buff up and leap in with Monarch's Leap, evade something with Serpent's Strike because you know they're mashing, Hornet Sting out (resetting ML cooldown), drop target, turn around and Monarch's Leap again away from the opponent and switch to longbow. On paper you're now 1,000 Tyrian measurement units away and can continue the pressure with longbow.

    I think the biggest blow we took here, and this has been referred to already, is that we have lost an additional instant evade; and it's a pretty big nerf. I think this could be fixed by making the Hornet's Sting evade frames active the moment you touch the button.

    Also Monarch's Leap applies cripple which will play well with the new OH dagger changes. I'm still not convinced dagger will be worth taking in a power build but if they end up being better than I think they are, you get more evades with Stalker's Strike.

    TL;DR - I'm not convinced they're nerfs just yet and I see potential in the new version of sword.

  • Acyk.9671Acyk.9671 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 27, 2019

    People complained about not being able to get stealth through monarch's leap directly, now they can. Sure it isn't perfect but with the changes sword 2 is all about going forward and sword 3 backward which is more reliable when it comes to mobility. As for evades on demand, don't worry ranger doesn't lack evade nor mobility.
    People wanted better melee weapons mechanics to play along a group in WvW, it exactly achieves this, same for GS.

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

    With the sword changes we actually have MORE evade uptime than we previously did, Serpent Strike is now an 8s CD (due to being attached to Monarchs leap), and Hornet Sting also resets the CD of Monarch/Serpent Strike so we'd be able to use Serpent Strike MORE than we used to be able to, just not as on demand.

    Also, Monarch Leap is swords big damage ability and is now on demand, pretty sure we'll be able to combo this with axe 4 for some nice on demand burst. Personally I really really like the changes for Sword on paper, we'll see how it actually works in reality though.

    "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."

  • Kilrik.6320Kilrik.6320 Member ✭✭✭

    I am seriously in doubt of the effectiveness of these changes toward their proposed goal. I am fearful of the gated evasion of Serpent's Strike and the double-length cooldown of Hornet's Sting. I have never really had any issue with the reversal for sword 2. If that was the legitimate reason for these changes, why not just do what was suggested many times many years ago. All they would really have to do is extend the timer on the availability of Monarch's Leap. Even the most novice of players could use the current sword if Monarch's Leap stayed up for say 4 seconds. Imagine, break away with Hornet's Sting, heal, make a smoke field, re-enter the battle or flee, 4 seconds is ample time. Another past proposal was to reverse the order of the sword 2 skills, meaning Monarch's Leap then Hornet's Sting. I would find this more tolerable as far as changes go, though I would still want a longer duration for the secondary part of the chain.

  • To add to this: the loss of an on demand evade is huge. After trying the changes, I'm even more opposed to them.

    The rediculous cooldown on HS makes the skill basically useless, and having to Monarch's constantly to be effective makes sword ranger very predictable to play against.

    I would like to see these changes reverted for PvP/WvW.

    Veypa Saltpaw
    Mreow [HD]

  • I would like to see these changes reverted for PvP/WvW.

  • @Swagger.1459 said:
    Nah, it had a huge utility buff and better for combat.

    Interesting. Could you please elaborate?

    I'm genuinely interested in the reasons you believe it has more utility after the patch.

    Veypa Saltpaw
    Mreow [HD]

  • Swagger.1459Swagger.1459 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 5, 2019

    @Vendetta.1958 said:

    @Swagger.1459 said:
    Nah, it had a huge utility buff and better for combat.

    Interesting. Could you please elaborate?

    I'm genuinely interested in the reasons you believe it has more utility after the patch.

    It’s a better pressure weapon, that still offers movement skills and evades. Players have direct control over what their character is doing, either I can decide to go forward on the offensive, with a built in evade, and still have my back out evade. That back out evade skill hits and you have a gap closer and follow up evade again...

    Seriously, go run around wvw and use it for more than 5 minutes.

    I mean, maybe some of you like melee weapons that are easy to avoid and don’t apply offensive pressure, but some don’t. Some of you peeps are mentally stuck on the old cruddy design.

  • Swagger.1459Swagger.1459 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Also, some of you aren’t even paying attention... If these weapon skills hit then you get 1 more gap closer attack and evade... or are some not aware that a hit with skill 3 refreshes skill 2?

  • Sansar.1302Sansar.1302 Member ✭✭✭

    It is a nerf in my opinion, many have pointed out why so wont go there.

  • Kovu.7560Kovu.7560 Member ✭✭✭✭

    The muscle memory is screwed up more than anything, which is an inconvenience more than a nerf, but the cooldown on 3 is a little disconcerting, too.
    Until they adjust the movement abilities on sword to be more streamlined (like greatsword) or allow you to simply click in the direction you want to travel like other professions I can't see myself swapping back to it.
    Glad some people are getting more out of it, however.

    ~ Kovu

    Ranger, Necromancer, Fort Aspenwood.

  • Revolution.5409Revolution.5409 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 5, 2019

    Remove Hornet Sting leaving us only Monarch's Leap and Serpent's Strike, so Ranger doesn't miss an evasion and the sword becomes a more direct weapon with less chance of disengaging.
    I think this is better than what we have obtained and easier to learn.

  • narcx.3570narcx.3570 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 7, 2019

    You technically get 2 serpent strikes now tho... Although less on demand. It's whatever really.

  • DemonSeed.3528DemonSeed.3528 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 8, 2019

    After playing more with a sword/dagger combo, I really feel the fluidity in the animations. For example, I can [Monarch Leap]==>[Hornet Sting]==>[Serpent's Strike]==>[Stalker's Strike] etc. Also just holding down the key chains the animation smoothly [for me] from the monarchs leap into serpents strike. When you daisy chain the leap/sting/strikes with each other + your normal dodges and swoop if you have a bird & even more with the griffon stance/lightning reflexes - I can easily give a lot of classes some pain& trouble, it feels like a thief yet not a thief if you know what I mean. I am still doing some testing, but atm I've run into some trouble with some kind of bug where I cannot use my f1-f3 keys when I'm camping in beast mode. With hornet sting resetting my monarchs leap on a hit has also been really useful. I was defending a camp against 2 spellbreakers and they ended giving up and I don't blame them because I was able to kite them and avoid being chain stunned and kept them from capping camp until they realised they couldn't do anything to my build. Anyway, there's more testing to do. I don't think I would've been able to do this with the past iteration of sword, but I am still going to try and learn the strengths of the new version. I would say just give it some time to get used to the new mechanic whether you like/dislike it. It may or may not grow on you, but you'll be able to feel the fluidity of it somewhat. That is what I have gotten out of it and how I am dealing with it.

    Wishful thinking: can we add a leap finisher to hornet sting? XD