It's been a week since Path of Fire™ has launched and I've had plenty of time to play around with the Soulbeast.
Lemme just start and mention that despite its flaws, bugs and necessity for lots of tweaks, I really like it, and I think ArenaNet is in the right direction in terms of theme and concept.
This specific thread will be exclusively related to the Dagger Main Hand weapon, so do try to limit comments, feedback and constructive criticism to the dagger please!
The dagger main hand is ArenaNet's Response to the lack of a proper condition-centric main hand weapon. Does it deliver?
Well, for the condition aspect, yes, but it offers minimal utility. A lot of bleeds, poisons and vulnerability stacks, with good attack speed, but currently, it is a High Risk, Low Reward weapon - Very close ranged, cleaves only 2 targets and it builds its damage over time, leaving the player rather vulnerable. It does offer some limited utility through it's attack number 3, Instinctive Engage but it could offer something more.
The change between the preview weekends and the live game are extremely appreciated - it used to feel extremely slow, it now feels more fluid. The power coefficient are very low, but hey, it is condition focused. The one suggestion I'd make for the auto attack chain would be to slightly boost the direct damage coefficients - nothing game breaking, but just enough to say ''I can still deal some damage without relying on building up lots of stacks of vuln, bleed and poison''
The weapon's second skill currently covers a single purpose: Condition application. Again, this weapon requires the Ranger to jump into danger at very close range, so there is one very simple change that would be welcome by all: Add a short evade frame. I'd also strongly suggest changing the skill's animation - it is really hard to tell if the skill was successful, as it is very similar to the auto attack animations! The Thief's Dagger Dual Skill (with no off hand) Twisting Fangs would perfectly fit this skill's name, and would give a proper visual queue of the skill being cast.
This skill is interesting in that it offers no condition, because it is a utility-focused skill. It deals some damage, grants quickness on successful hit and is a leap finisher on 400 range. Oh and it uses the ammunition system, with 2 charges on 15s cooldown (12s when traited)
It is an interesting skill, but oddly enough, it offers no synergy to our Minor Traits! Being a condi weapon, it has no real synergy with Furious Strength (affects direct damage, not condition damage) and it has no synergy with Twice as Vicious
Being a utility skill, I won't suggest anything related to damage, instead, something related to utility - A very short daze on hit. Just for the interrupt, and to synergize with Twice as Vicious. The cooldown, even traited, stays very reasonable (I mean, look at Thieves' Headshot )
If deemed too 'powerful', the daze could be conditional;
I believe those changes would add functionality in PvE, and for PvP and WvW, a little more utility and survivability.
We don't need a full rework, just minor tweaks, and I believe the suggested tweaks would keep a healthy balance while adding something unique and feel more rewarding. The damage is fine, the utility is lacking.