Point of this thread is to drop your subjective points of views on the current intra-class balance post S14, from the class or classes that you main.
I'm going to give my subjective points of view from the perspective of a Ranger main. During S14, I mained DPS Soulbeast and Bunker Druid interchangeably depending on which was more advantageous to play during the given match. I chose to play Bunker Druid over Boonbeast because although Boonbeast is a better 1v1 than a Bunker Druid in terms of slightly more DPS for kill power, the Bunker Druid is still a better 1v2 node stale, and better in 2v2s or team fights because it can heal team mates. All in all, current Boonbeast and the better Bunker Druid setups are almost identical in the use of axe/axe and specializations selected, outside of the difference in their elites.
Spellbreaker: Damage is maaaaaybe a bit too high after buffs to Forceful Greatsword, and I feel it is beginning to lack sustain. Not in a bad place but could be better.
- As DPS Soulbeast - Either kill or get killed immediately.
- As Bunker Druid - Stalemate in most cases. Though the new sword/shield Spellbreaker variants or just very high DPS variants in general, can be capable of killing a Bunker Druid if CCs are landed at the correct time. Likewise, they are squishy enough that the Bunker Druid can kill them if the stars do not align and they are unable to land CCs at the right time.
Herald: It's in a good place from what I've seen, but it requires just the right team comp to play be able to play correctly.
- As DPS Soulbeast - Heralds counter DPS Soulbeasts so long as the Soulebeast doesn't sucker punch them before they are ready to engage.
- As Bunker Druid - Axe 5 retaliation alone counters Heralds. Then the Druid has too much sustain for the Herald to kill and the Herald's heal skill is useless when the Druid wins with attrition damage instead of burst damage. Druids counter Heralds.
Core Guard: Clearly the dominant Core Class, viable amongst meta, not actually meta.
- As DPS Soulbeast - Pretty equal match up actually.
- As Bunker Druid - Bunker Druid counters Core Guard in the same way Boonbeast counters Core Guard. Mainly due to Axe 5 retal, and high defensive values that the Core Guard ultimately cannot keep up with.
Firebrand: Eeeeeeeh I've seen good ones and I've seen bad ones. Seems like only the GOOD FBs kept playing after tome CD increase. Not so easy to spam FB anymore.
- As DPS Soulbeast - DPS Soulbeast counters FB hard. This is a primary reason to log out/back in as a DPS Soulbeast for certain matches.
- As Bunker Druid - Saying "It's balanced" doesn't even begin to adequately describe the tears that happen when a FB and a Bunker Druid meet on a neutral node 1v1 and get locked into a combat that goes no where while both players are waiting for a + to show up.
Boonbeast: It's a better 1v1 than a Druid as it can deal damage to actually kill an opponent or run it off a node in the long run, but it is still not as good of a 1v2er as a Druid because it lacks the extreme defensive measures that Druid provides, and a Druid is still better in 2v2s or team fights because it can heal its team mates. Not sure if I'd say Boonbeast is still OP or not, hard to tell from the perspective of a Bunker Druid.
- As DPS Soulbeast - The Boonbeast counters DPS Soulbeast for many reasons.
- As Bunker Druid - Stalemate, if both players are good, neither player can kill the other without a bit of luck or a +, but it isn't as boring of a fight as against the FB. Both players actually have to pay attention or they could die if they get lazy & sloppy.
Holosmith: Lots of variant builds going around lately. I don't think it's necessarily OP, but some of it's attacks still need to be addressed in terms of how much random ultra range they have. <- That's for certain.
- As DPS Soulbeast - They're an easy kill after the change of SRD into EE, if you can get the jump and lead in damage on them. Not so easy of a kill if they are ready to engage that first burst. I'd say it's a solid balanced match up if the DPS Soulbeast can play well.
- As Bunker Druid - 9/10 Holos are easily countered by Bunker Druid, again for those Axe 5 retal reasons. If the Holo is good and avoids retail, he will eventually run the Bunker Druid off a node in the long run, and possibly have a chance of killing it if the Bunker Druid messes up his kiting.
All Forms Of Thieves: Maybe I have bias because I run Ranger specs which are known for countering Thieves, but I feel Thieves are underperforming at this point as compared to previous seasons & metas, specifically in the sustain department. In this power crept high DPS meta, they get hit hard by EVERYTHING, including random 1 autos from something like a Bunker Druid. I would like to point out that players should give good Thief players props, because in this current DPS meta, they are playing GW2 on hard mode.
- As DPS Soulbeast - It just counters and destroys Thief specs unless the Thief gets an enormously powerful lead in attack.
- As Bunker Druid - Absolutely no chance of a Thief spec killing this 1v1 unless the Druid lags or his mouse starts bugging out, or the Druid is drunk or way too tired to be playing. The only exception to this is a top notch Deadeye. Sometimes a good DE can get you if they stealth in and play sneaky, stay patient, and catch you off guard.
All forms of Necromancers: I feel like Reaper is in a great place, but Scourge is a bit lack luster at this point. Scourge had many of it's boon corrupts removed to nerf it in the past, but since then so many buffs have happened to increase the frequency of boon application on other classes and their durations, that Scourge may need some of its boon corrupts reimplemented to maintain its class function and purpose.
- As DPS Soulbeast - The most severe counter possible vs Necromancers.
- As Bunker Druid - Lately I can 1v1 Reapers or Scourges on nodes, due to the virtue of weakness spam, and deal enough damage over time to actually kill them. I don't think I would say Bunker Druid is a hard counter so to say, but they win the end.
Mirages & Chronos: I'll let the persistent Mesmer complaint threads handle most of this, but I will say that although Mirages & Chronos may not necessarily be OP, they are the most obnoxious and not fun class to play against. Every other class feels fun to engage, with straight forward intuitive dynamics. Even Deadeyes "which are commonly complained about due to their high stealth uptime", are at least straight forward to deal with when they reveal granting an opening, or stealth and you have to LOS attempting to lure them into a bad situation. Engaging Mesmer based classes on the other hand as of 2019, it feels like you're standing in a big confetti storm, can't see anything, and there are 10 people who look the same, running around you in circles while firing taser guns at your face. This ultra silly gimmicky play gets old and just feels cheap after awhile. Maybe Arenanet should consider lowering the total amount of clone spam frequency, but slightly increasing the power of those clones to compensate. This would lower the pixel spam and in general reduce the amount of unintended advantages that clone spam grants.
- As DPS Soulbeast - You can kill power based Mesmer builds, but just run from condi based.
- As Bunker Druid - You can 1v1 most Mesmer based builds and eventually kill them, but the better players while on Condi based specs, can eventually decap you or possibly kill you, if you mess up at all. Druid is on the other hand very strong vs power Mesmer based builds.
Weavers: They are in a much better place now and at least viable, still not a meta.
- As DPS Soulbeast - You explode all ele builds due to lowest health pool.
- As Bunker Druid - You can kill DPS based Eles pretty quickly, but good Eles that are sustainy turns into a 1v1 stalemate.
A few other suggestions/concerns/comments:
- Match manipulation & 3rd party program use seemed lower this season. At least I wasn't effected by it as much. Felt like less shenanigans.
- There are way too many people using alts to block top 25 leaderboard positions. I am sure they probably own these accounts and that technically there probably isn't anything going on that breaks the TOS, but is there really nothing that can be done about this?
- Boosters - Would it be possible to implement special boosters that effect spvp directly and nothing else? Maybe boosters that say "+25% gain to reward track progress and maybe even pip progression", and they would work for a certain amount of matches instead of a timer count down. The timer count down for spvp is just a bad design considering wait times between ranked and ATs, also when a player wants to leave the mists to do something else. The normal booster timers just get wasted in spvp and are better used in pve farming for wvw, where gains made are actually worth the use of the booster.
- Please re-add the 2v2 ATs, that was a lot of fun. Just fix the arenas so the gates close after the match starts, and it spits each team into the actual arena, so they can't camp the spawn.
- Remove some of the obstructive visual clutter around the side nodes in the Djinn map. That map's objective also needs a lot of buffing.
- You guys gotta seriously considering omitting f2p accounts from playing in ranked mode at all. There are several reasons for this that I don't have the time to go into.
- Oh and, pvp guild missions need some kind of a serious overhaul. I'd love to see there be a reason to run teams through a guild again. That'd be great.
~ Welp, that's about it. Ty for your time.