Follow me on this...
I have seen maybe a couple of Necro GS builds since HoT released. Players have begged for a competitive power melee necro build, but nothing is done to improve reaper GS or add other weapons to make that happen. Meanwhile, I've seen loads of Guardians, Warriors, Rangers and Mesmers (although it's ranged) using GS builds. So why is there a huge disparity on the Necro GS? It can hit hard, right? yes, ok. But the 1 and 2 skills are super slow and telegraphed.. A bunch of other class melee weapons get positional/movement skills, evades, fast and hard hitting attacks.... But not Necro GS... ... ...
I've not seen an Axe/Axe ranger. Or an Axe/something ranger. Or a something/axe ranger. Not because of damage... It's because there is no movement or utility to main hand axe, that's good for pvp or wvw. Axe OH 5 roots a player (skills that root are bad for movement based combat), and Axe OH 4... you peeps really want us aiming a mini ground skill in hopes it hits all these moving targets (and you wonder why many players don't want to heal with druid or venatri in spvp and wvw on all those moving allies)?
New Soulbeast dagger? Not seen a 1 in wvw. Dagger OH maybe in a niche build, but the damage and utility leaves a lot to be desired...
I could go on and on with various weapon skill designs, but I will lay out what types of qualities make for decent competitive weapons and skills...
-High Base Damage.
-Skills that do not root a player.
-Certain skills designs that work well for movement based combat (For example... I would take Healing Rain as a skill, over Sublime Conversion any day).
-Large AoE radius for offensive and support skills (because everyone moves around constantly).
Soooooo... Here we are with the balance patch coming and Ranger Axe gets a damage buff... It's useless, unless it were to be buffed up to like 10k crit hit damage per hit... Ranger axe OH is still useless because of the mini reticle I'm being asked to hopefully get targets to stand still in that narrow path, and axe OH 5 needlessly roots me in place... I'd still take Ranger GS or Sword over dagger MH any day.... Still no truly viable Ranger Condi builds for competitive modes. GS Reaper will still sit on the shelf gathering dust when I enter wvw, and so will hopes for a real quality melee build for Necro, Reaper or Scourge... And the list goes on and on with weapons that just don't work on professions for spvp and wvw, so we are stuck forming all decent builds around those same old weapons that do work.
...The team can change numbers all day long, but I believe you all are missing a huge opportunity to really open up competitive build diversity by not looking through all professions and their weapon skills with a set of competitive eyes. All the current changing of numbers are, more or less, keeping us in the exact same places on each profession.
Edit- And this is what I'm talking about with looking at weapons with a usefulness inside of spvp and wvw too... Yes, I like to add a lil comedy in some of my posts, but I do look at more things from a competitive standpoint and am more serious than not... Would suggestions like the below be perfect? I don't know, but I do know changes like these would open up more builds and options for spvp and wvw, and wouldn't harm anything on the pve side.
-We need this weapon to be a better ranged support weapon with useful skills.
Staff 1- Add 1 burning condition to the 3rd attack tick. The low damage and low healing make adding conditions to this skill ok.
Staff 2- Add 1 burning condition and increase radius to 300. All effects hit 5 enemies and allies within the radius. The current 130 radius is not enough to support allies so the increased radius would help. This change would also be a useful for helping to contribute to breaking up the tight zergs.
Staff 4- Make this a circular patch, like all those other aoe patches, and add bleeding. The current cone design is awful to use in any movement based combat, so the aoe design allows this skill to be useful. This would also make the skill useful for zerg breaking and sieging structures in wvw.
Staff 5- Make this skill an aoe dome. The current small rectangle design is as useless as vine surge. This change allows us to support better during mass combat situations.”
“New GS description… Fast attacks, like Reaper Shroud skills (when traited), with moderate damage. Your Necromancer will no longer be crappy in melee because we have finally made useful skirmishing and position skills . Enemies will no longer laugh when they catch you running outside of your zerg because you will be able to fight back now. (Reaper specialization only)
GS 1- Speed up the attacks. Like for real. 1 second chill to balance out the increased attack speed.
GS 2- 600 leap attack. No, not a reticle aiming skill. Ty.
GS 3- Death Spiral… You become a kick kitten drill of dark energy with your blade and dash forward to drill the kitten out of enemies. This drilling rends the armor of foes in front of you. 600 dash range.
GS 4- Nightfall… Teleport to your target and call down a growing column of shadows that damages and applies conditions on foes per pulse. 900 teleport range that uses a ground targeting reticle.
GS 5- All good”
“Overall, both daggers need complete reworks because they are really mediocre weapons (especially in wvw and spvp) comparatively, but there also needs to be some extra umph to them too… We really need to get our own cool “naturey” version of the “Backstab” skill, but not exactly like “Backstab”, though, more like a stealthy “frontstab” that does a major critical (ya know like up to like 20k on thief). It should also critical like that from the flank too. This would be very balanced because we have this in-game already and the devs are cool with it.
I’m thinking we just add a lot of heavy hitting skills, and some evades, and more movement skills and target tracking and some stealth skills… So something like this revised idea…
Dagger 1- Groundwork Gouge- Add target tracking. 3 targets.
1- Leading swipe – 3 targets.
1- Serpent Stab- Add evade. 3 targets.
FREE Skill from stealth (Just like Backstab)- “Nature Stab” aka Deadly Delivery- 1 target.
Dagger 2- Double Arc- 3 targets.
Dagger 3- Instinctive Edge- 3 targets. “Nature Step” (Just like Steal). Add evade. 10s stealth on hit. 1,200 range. This is the set-up skill for “Nature Stab”.
Dagger 4- Dagger Barrier- 5 targets. AoE damage. Bleeding. Reflects projectiles. Stability. 300 radius. You can move.
Dagger 5- Port-O-Potty- Create a “nature” portal and port to target. 300 radius. 5 target AoE “nature” damage explosion. 1,200 range port. EDIT- This is a ground target skill that can be used on walls and cliffs just like some thief and mesmer skills.
5- Port back to original spot