Hello fellow Eles,
I thought it was time for another tread about the current (=poor) state of elementalist and - even more so - weaver.
Ele very much has an identity crisis atm (and the past year or so) and it feels like Anet isn't quite sure yet, what they want to do with it.
So I thought it would be a good idea to give them some collective feedback.
Personally Im more of a PvP-player, so I will focus more on that side of things.
I will try to give my 2 cents on PvE aspects aswell tho, since I regularly do T4s and occasionally even raid (cleared all wings except wing 6).
Also....for anybody wanting to contribute I would like to remind you, that the goal of this thread is to point out "whats wrong with the spec" rather than everybody throwing different solution and "fixes" at each other....So I will try to refrain from doing that myself too much.
Furthermore..... this post WONT COVER TEMPEST at all!
Overall I think the gameplay of weaver is fun. Seriously, I enjoy it. It's very fast paced with lots of different options and approaches to various situations.
However, because of this fast paced playstyle, playing Weaver sometimes feels very stressful and exhausting, if you want to play it successfully.
Minor kitten-ups can be very punishing...wheter its about DPS numbers or survivability. Which brings me to the next point.
For a melee spec, Weaver is exceptionally squishy. Lowest health pool and lowest armor tier make it super easy to be punished.
For PvE grp content you are VERY reliant on your supports, while in solo content it really comes down to "who dies first"-scenarios more often than not.
The reason for that comes mostly from the weavers NEED to stick to their target in order to do any dmg. We simply lack mid-range options (for sword and/or dagger specs that is).
This is even more prevalent in PvP/WvW as melee ele specs are super easy to kite in comparison to literally any other melee type in the game.
I already made a different thread for this specific issue --> https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/62577/pvp-sword-dual-skills-range-buff-pretty-please#latest
Area denial and AOE spam massively hinder your dmg output, cause of the aforementioned "who dies first" kind-of-gameplay. Fighting scourges or well necros is a good example for this issue. They pop desert shroud / stand in their own wells and you HAVE TO back off. You have no tools to put pressure on them while they can essentially throw free damage in your face. Fighting dps-guardians or holosmiths feels somewhat similar (altho not that bad)....it's just that there's times when you dont WANT to trade hits with somebody and dont really have the disengage/engage tools to effectively do just that.
If focus was a proper mid-range offhand wepons, this would probably be less of an issue.
A lot of ele traits seem outdated, with a good portion of traits just not being a viable option for any gamemode.
I do however like how some traits interact with other traits outside their own traitline. Like woven stride and cleansing water or sunspot and elemental shielding.
Then again ....it actually feels like this actually limits you more in your trait choices than not. Playing a weaver in competitive gamemodes always makes me feel like Im just one traitline short.
It also is feels very limiting (again, for PvP) to have arcane as such a mandatory pick. All of our relevant boons come from this single traitline. Swiftness, protection and mightstacking are so mandatory in PvP that picking arcane is a no-brainer. Especially since none of the other traitlines offer those boons on their own (without some other skill/trait interaction).
This will be the section where I most likely will break my own rule about "not throwing around specific solutions" the most. So bare with me.
Fire traitline is actually nice. The interaction between sunspot and smothering auras actually gives some defensive value, while still retaining the offensive theme of the the traitline.
I wouldn't really change anything apart from maybe "pyromancer's puissance"....needs to do something extra to be able to compete with the other 2 I feel like.
Water is purely defensive. Not that there is anything wrong with that. BUT, then again, other than raw healing, this traitline really has to be paired with other specific traits to offer anything more. Cleansing water and Powerful auras are nice choices, but overall limit you in the choices you have from other traitlines. Again, this is not a bad thing per se.... on other classes I actually tend to complain about a lack of THIS kind of trait interaction....but it doesnt diminish the fact of limited building options.
**2c) Air **
Kind of in a weird spot. I mean its purely offensive. But other than raw ferocity and some proc-dmg it really doesnt do much. Why is there no swiftness access on this traitline (Zephyr's Boon is a meme, lets face it)? And while ferocity is nice to have, you still have to invest massively into cirt chance to even consider picking up Air. Overall it needs more utility in form of swiftness and maybe CC....altho that seems to somewhat be Anets goal considering the last few patches.
In general I think it's fine. Personally however, I would like to see a more "independent"approach to the stability and protection access on it. 2 seconds of stab is too little and protection on aura gain limits you - again - in your building choices. Also, I would like this traitline to be more of a defense / condition dps hybrid choice instead of a pure defense choice.
Now this is a big one, I think. As already said above....this is a mandatory pickup for any build in the competitive modes. It simply as all the relevant boons. No arcane means no swiftness, no protection and no might. Elemental Attunement needs to be broken up and divided to the other traitlines imo. Like have Empowering flame give 150 extra power AND give might on swapping to fire. Give Zephyr's Speed 150 precision AND swiftness on swap to air.
Also ....the mid-collumn traits seem somewhat meh. Arcane Ressurection is somewhat nice...but then again exposing yourself to cleave damage on the squishiest class in the game is a double edged sword. Elemental Contingency is a trait the player has literally no control over....The extra boons sure are nice to have....but its not a very reliable source for the specific ones (namely fury from the air proc).
For my last actual suggestion, I think it would be nice to rework Elemental Enchantment as well. Give it's "reduced attunement recharge" component to arcane prowess (that trait is super meh anyway since its reword) and merge it with Bountiful Power to look something like "Reinforced Potency" from Herald. This would open up a whole new grandmaster slot for Arcane, that can do really anything. Gonna close this arcane section with saying that Arcane Precision also needs to be actually useful.
Generally I think this traitline is mostly fine. Its rather independent from your other traitline choices and focuses more on counteracting the "weaknesses" of a base ele melee spec.
It gives extra HP, Stability, some mobility, flexible extra stats. It genuinely is a well designed traitline. Personally I think it just just needs some "shuffling" and maybe something extra on "Elemental Pursuit", since that one is a bit underwhelming. For the "shuffling" part , I think that "Masters Fortitude" should be a minor trait...also drop the "when wielding a sword" requirement for the extra vitality bonus (limiting build choices n all that). Swap it with Elemental Refreshment and add something extra to that one.
This also is kind of a big one. Most non-elite-spec utilities are super outdated and could need some love.
Instead of going over each skill individually I ll try to keep this concise and try to address them in general by categories (with a few nitpicks here and there).
By far the most useful / only real choice in the competitive modes. They mostly are oriented to compesate eles' lack of defense and they are doing a great job at that.
They really just need some minor tweaks imo. Armor of Earth could use pulsing boons on an interval; vapor form maybe a reduced CD. Personally I would like for cleansing fire to work more like guardian's "smite conditions"....on a much lower cooldown with less cleanses but deal additional burning if you cleanse stuff.
3b) Conjure weapons
Not going into specific skills here....but their overall usage feels clunky. In PvE, I actually find them stressful to use. You have to be very mindful of where to drop them on encounters where you constantly move. Also the fact that they despawn after 30 seconds when not picked up, just adds more needless complexity to the already hard(er) rotation. Plenty of people have already come up with suggestions that include the removal of the "drop for allies to pick up"-component at the gain of cooldown reduction or use of the "charge"-system....which I second very heavily.
Not really sure what to say about those. They are pretty straight-forward, mostly damage oriented skills. I really like the more "group oriented" approach taken towards Arcane Power....but it is a tad underwhelming tbh....maybe if it worked more like "glyph of empowerment" from druid (with a fixed duration rather than for X attacks), it would see more play but I dunno.
Storms and Elemental Power are fine and actually see some play. The other two are mostly useless. Nothing more to add here, I feel like.
The heal signet obviously is the only really useful one here. Overall ele signets need some love. Fire is somewhat fine (although it should give power instead of precision imo but w/e)....but then again, if you look at Warrior / Thief / Mesmer signets, they generally dont do enough imo.
I generally like the stances. Twist of fate doesn't really feel like a stance, since it doesnt really have any residual effects but since its a mandatory defensive skill for PvP I dont mind (never mind my bigotry). Primordial Stance is also a really good one. The others are kinda meh ....especially Unravel, but I guess Anet is aware of that as well. Its kinda weird, that we dont have a anti-condi stance, so Id like to see that one added to something. Other than that, stances are mostly fine tho.
This section is a bit iffy. Its kinda hard to talk about those for weaver, when their main issues lie in the actual profession mechanic (dual attuning).
The most "problematic" aspect of the dual attunment mechanic most certainly is the fact, that we dont get immediate access to our #4 and #5 skills.
While this might not be a biggie in PvE, it actually is a rather big issue for PvP and WvW.
Unless you play 4d chess and know exactly what an enemy player attempts to do 8 seconds ahead of time, you will often find yourself caught in awkward positions.
If you need access to Gale, Swirling Winds, Obsidian Flesh, Magnetic Wave, Burning Retreat, Comet, Unsteady Ground, Shocking Aura, Magnetic Aura or Static Field, you need it immediately...and not in 4-8 seconds from now (depending on your current main attunement). Camping an attunement cause you predict to need those abilities soon also isn't a viable strategy really. For the competitive modes, this is extremely poor design and Anet needs to face the fact, that taking "Unravel" wont change this.
There are some ideas floating around that could improve this. Like that attuning to the same element as your current main element should have a much shorter CD.
And tbh, this probably is the best thing they could do. Obviously some trait interactions need to be looked at for this to be implemented (like electric discharge i.e), but when the alternative is to literally rework every weaponset avaiable to weaver, that definitely is the better end of the deal.
This about sums it up for me.
Keep in mind that is my personal opinion, so there inevitably is some bias to it.
Feel free to share your thoughts on the current state of Elementalist/Weaver in whatever gamemode you play.
Also, please keep in mind to point out what specific problem you want to address when you post balance suggestions, since I think it is more important to point out what the actual issues are, instead of just throwing "fixes" around .....Yes, yes ....I im very comfortable in my glasshouse, never mind me.