I've seen many threads so far about how "Elite Specializations are a failure", "they should be removed", "this one isn't what I wanted change it nao" etc. all discussing the so-called inability of Elite Specs to provide what thousands of people want at the same time. I think all of these problems can be boiled down into 3 distinct issue statements that, once understood to be the core problems, can be fixed:
The new Elite Specializations (and to a more limited degree, the HoT specs) just aren't all that great
This is a ridiculous statement on the surface, but at its core what it is really trying to say is that the Elite Specializations are not truly specialized. I play Weaver, so I'll use it as an example: Tempest was created with high-level cleave and bursting in mind (which it excelled/excels at even in spite of heavy and necessary nerfs to bring it in line with everything else) which means it is, by definition, specialized as its intended use is defined, specific, and useful. The issue with Weaver is that it was supposedly to be a condition-based, frontline bruiser build but went only halfway on it while trying to be too many different things all at once, therefore all options within it suffer (except for staff, but power staff has been the bane of ANET balance since it was created).
The fix: I love having options, but they shouldn't be within the Elite Specs to the degree they are. IMO, ANET should actually specialize them so they aren't trying to do too many things all at once. Weavers, for example, should be balanced around the frontline condi bruiser it was intended to be in the first place. Now that we have two elite specs, this also offers the opportunity to perform the same action on the HoT specs. DD/DE is a great example of how this differentiation should work; one being extremely up-close and personal with mobility and the other being stationary, high-range
"The Crowd Pleaser Problem"
While related to issue #1, this warrants a separate point. ANET does very well with its mentality of trying to give everyone something, but at the end of the day that's not long term feasible as the hundreds of thousands of players will ALWAYS have differing opinions. Someone's sugar will always be someone else's salt. Part of the reason #1 is an issue is because of trying to make the "play as you want" statement feasible within _Elite Specializations rather than _across them when it should really be the other way around.
"There will be time, there will be time"
Finally, the last point rests on the players' shoulders and thus is the most difficult; Patience. Many of the HoT Elite Specializations didn't really find their groove until well into Balancing (much of which was originally due to the points #1 and #2, as only having 1 Elite Spec meant that it was effectively required to use it in order to be competitive, thus ANET wanted to have as many options as possible within each at the start). As balance passes go through and the dust settles from people learning how to use the new specs, these things will get closer to where they should be. Yes, it's frustrating to load up your Weaver and not be effective with the sword, but this was true at the start of HoT as well due to people not really knowing how to play as well as they do now combined with simply having something new they weren't used to. Most of us seem to have forgotten how many problems people were having in the first few weeks simply because of not being used to the new stuff yet, and it would behoove us to remember that and have a little patience. ANET just put out a 2 year labor of love and a massive effort to give us all this new stuff and I for one think we should give them at least a little bit of a grace period before kitten-ing all over their hard work, especially if what you are kitten-ing about is a 1-2k dps loss.
To any Dev that reads this, thank you for your hard work and effort. We criticize because we care, but we often let that criticism be unconstructive and forget to praise all of the incredible things y'all have done. Thanks for doing so many wonderful things for us.
To players; luv u bb, kill all those bounties and hail to the grind, baby
"Beware those who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."
Tempest, Spellbreaker, Mirage, Scourge
[AGNY] - Eternal Agony Guild, Sanctum of Rall