[Elite Specialization Idea] Imbuer / Dualist — Guild Wars 2 Forums

[Elite Specialization Idea] Imbuer / Dualist

Jeyzer.1605Jeyzer.1605 Member ✭✭
edited February 16, 2019 in Elementalist

Why I'm proposing this spec

The jack of all trade aspect of the Elementalist has always been one of its strong points, but also its biggest weakness. As pointed in You can't design a hybrid class like ele and expect it to work, the hybrid aspect of Elementalist clearly does not work and is tremendously hard to implement properly.

I believe the problem does not necessarily reside in the Elementalist being a multi-facet class, but by being TOO much of a multi-facet class. Having access to an AoE damage element, a CC/damage element, a sustain element and a survival/CC element AT THE SAME TIME is what I believe hurts the potential of the class. Elementalists cannot be allowed to shine in any of those aspects because they have too many other features to back it up and could easily degenerate. It also makes coming up with a specialization hard and fuzzy, as we've seen with the two previous ones (probably my two least favorite specs of the game). They do not specialize the class but try to maintain its quad-element-good-at-none facet. This is why I'm proposing a new approach today.

Another problem is the fact that having only one weapon, they can only be full melee or full ranged. Unlike all the other classes that have access to both, Elementalists are locked behind one range and being squishy, they struggle to survive melee if they wish to deal decent damage in any competitive player vs player game, which is why they are currently the worst possible class for PvP and roaming WvW.

Imbuer / Dualist

The Imbuer / Dualist (I couldn't come up with a better name yet so I'll just call it Imbuer for now) sacrifices two elements in order to fully master the remaining two. In essence, they lose their natural versatility in other to be allowed to access other sorts of versatility, more ranged based.

Wielding a trident as a two-handed weapon, they channel their elemental wrath through focused meditation in order to augment their affinity and conjure the wisdom of the missing ones.

They can choose two elements to attune (kind of how revenants choose their legend). They lose their F2 to F4 attunement swap in exchange for only an F1 skill that swaps between the two. They also have access to a new F2 skill and a gauge mechanic. Fighting fills the gauge (similar to holo's heat or warrior's adrenaline).

Now, I've come up with two takes of the class so I'll list both and wait for your suggestions and input.

  • Option 1 (the least likely one): Losing two elements, their weapon skills count has been reduced by half (10 instead of 20). To make up for that, they can either have a secondary set of weapon OR have the weapon swap skill transform their main handed weapon into a ranged weapon or melee weapon (example: Trident have a 300 range and weapon swapping makes it a 900 range weapon with slightly or totally modified skills). The F2 skill acts as a toggle facet: activating it consumes the gauge for each skill and attack used, and augment them with the secondary element (more on that below).

I believe option 1 could become really complicated and might overtune the specialization, forcing it to be toned down in other aspects to prevent it from being OP and thus, coming back to the same problem as now. This is why I've come up with another idea instead:

  • Option 2 (the more logical one): Instead of having access to a weapon swap, they remain with 10 weapon skills, like the other classes (5 per element). However, the F2 skill now extends the range from 300 to 900 or 1000 by imbuing your attacks with a secondary element (more on that below).

An example of that

You have Fire + Air as your elements. You are attuned to fire and your attacks fill your gauge. Wielding a trident, you have 300 range max (maybe less?). When activating your Imbue skill, F2, your attacks consume that gauge at a rate that depends on the skill (Say, #1 uses 3%, #2 7%, #3 10%, #4 20% and #5 30%) and add a secondary element effect.
Say, Trident #2 on Fire is a thrust forward that does damage and burn. When imbuing, the skill has a 900 range thurst, the first 300 doing fire damage and burning while the remaining 600 doing air damage (animation wise) and maybe inflict weakness? Or Trident Fire #5 is a rapid whirl that does AoE damage around you, the imbued version extends to a 480 or 600 radius and blinds in that area.

It would give access to a consistent and varying range, something that Elementalists are the only ones lacking currently. (Staff is absolutely useless in melee for PvP).

Utility

Something that could go nicely with that is Meditations / Physical / Trick. They would give access to some utility and mobility skills, that would depend on the chosen elements.
The healing and elite skills could use the missing two elements and the 3 utilities would grant an effect depending on your equipped ones. Here are some examples/suggestions.

Healing skills Prayer to the Forgottens (3/4s cast, 25s CD)
Call upon your missing attunements to heal yourself and provide an effect to you, depending on the missing elements.
Missing Fire: Remove 2 boons from your enemy
Missing Air: Break stun and grant superspeed for a few seconds
Missing Water: Remove 2 damaging conditions
Missing Earth: Remove 2 movement impairing conditions

Example: You have Fire/Air attunements equipped, leaving you with no access to condition removal. The healing skill would remove up to 4 conditions from you, providing you with a little bit of cleansing (could tune down the number to 2 instead of 4, if it ends up being a lot).

Utility #1: Elemental Assault (1/2s cast, 20s CD)
Dash forward a bit (300 range maybe), the attack gains an effect based on your current element. If your gauge is above 50%, gain your secondary element effect too.
Equipped Fire: Blind foes in your trail
Equipped Air: Shadowstep mid-dash to your target (150 then it shadowsteps for 600 range max and finishes the 150 remaining, extending the range to 900. Kind of like Shiro's dash)
Equipped Water: Chill foes in your trail
Equipped Earth: Evade attacks during the dash (1 sec)

Utility #2: Attuned Counter (25s CD)
Break stun and prepare to evade the next attack for 1 second. If you're attacked during that window, counter with your primary attunement. Above 50% gauge, gain a boon based on your secondary attunement.
Equipped Fire: Counter - Inflicts heaving damage and burn your foe. Boon - Gain 2 (50% gauge) to 6 (100%) stacks of might for a few seconds.
Equipped Air: Counter - Inflicts heaving damage and stun your foe. Boon - Gain 1s (50%) to 3s (100%) of quickness.
Equipped Water: Counter - Inflicts moderate damage and transfer 2 conditions to your foe. Boon - Gain 1s (50%) to 3s (100%) of vigor.
Equipped Earth: Counter - Inflicts moderate damage and knock down your foe. Boon - Gain 1s (50%) to 3s (100%) of protection.

Utility #3: Elemental Reversal (25s CD)
Convert 2 conditions into boons, depending on your current element. Above 50% gauge, convert 2 more depending on your secondary element.
Equipped Fire: Gain 1 stack of might for each condition lost
Equipped Air: Gain 1s of quickness (or superspeed) for each condition lost
Equipped Water: Gain 2s of vigor and regeneration for each condition lost
Equipped Earth: Gain 2s of protection for each condition lost.

Elite skill: Forgotten's Intervention (30s or 45s CD)
Call forth your lost attunements to assist you one last time, gaining a boon per missing element for a few seconds, double duration above 50% gauge.
Missing Fire: Gain 10 stacks of might for a 5 seconds.
Missing Air: Gain 3 seconds of quickness.
Missing Water: Gain 1.5 seconds of resistance.
Missing Earth: Break stun and gain 2 seconds of stability.

I've decided to go for a smaller effect, smaller CD Elite skill as elementalists have in general long CD with a bigger impact (Just kidding they have no impact, their current Elite skills are the worst of all classes). This way, you can weave the Elite skill more often, for a smaller but consistent impact.

Possible Traits ideas

There could be a grandmaster trait that grants the boons from the utilities to allies around, making it a strong support class.
The gauge specific boost above 50% of the utilities could also be a trait option if some tuning is necessary.

Build potentials

The idea of this specialization is to provide Elementalists with the means to focus on certain aspects. They can go heaving damage/CC with Fire+Air (possibly taking Fire+Air as traits), support or Water+Earth, mobility survival with Water+Air, damage survival with Fire+Earth etc. It offers them many options to specialize in SPECIFIC areas, rather than 1 option to be a bit of everything.

For example, a list of possible builds I can image running Imbuer:

  • WvW Staff Fire / Air backline: Low durability with very high damage
  • WvW Staff Fire / Earth backline: Medium/Low durability with great damage and CC potential
  • WvW Staff Water / Air backline: Offensive support with some CC and great healing potential
  • WvW Trident or DF Water / Earth frontline: Tank with good durability, CC and some healing
  • WvW Roaming Trident or DD Fire / Air: Highly mobile and bursty roamer, made of paper
  • WvW Roaming SF Fire/Air: High Burst super squishy Fresh Air roamer
  • WvW Roaming SF Air / Water: High damage Fresh Air with a bit of durability and condi cleanse

  • SPvP Trident or DF Water / Earth: Point holder with some team capability

  • SPvP Trident or DD Fire / Air: Highly mobile 1+ and decapper
  • SPvP Trident or DD Air / Water: Great 1v1 potential
  • SPvP DD or SF Fire / Earth: Condi with some durability

  • PvE Trident or DD Air / Water: Offensive support that provides some quickness and durability

  • PvE Trident or DD Fire / Air: High burst damage dealer
  • PvE Trident or DD Air / Water: Offensive support than provide a good amount of might and quickness to the party

If their two attunements are displayed from the get-go, they'd also have clear counter plays as you could easily tell what possible build an Imbuer could be running based on the situation and chosen elements.

Closing Notes

The gauge mechanic idea was introduced in order to limit their bursting and survivability potential, even if you equip them with plenty of mobility (they're not thieves so they shouldn't be able to go in, OS and go out. The gauge makes it easier to balance around that.)

What they lose in complexity from the removal of 10 of their weapon skills, they gain in the F2 range modifier skill and gauge management, as well as keeping track of your attunement effects on your utilities.

Let me know what you think of this idea and if you would like to see it in the game, as well as any concern you may have. I'll try coming up with trident skills idea later, feel free to drop suggestions.

Comments

  • Stallic.2397Stallic.2397 Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 18, 2019

    I think they're great ideas. Instead of having complicated mechanics that change rotations or remove essential skills, you have a gauge mechanic that boosts your abilities without any drawbacks. Utility 2 and 3 are great ideas because they're nothing compared to ele's previous skills. Ele desperately needs a counter that triggers boons/bonuses. Plus, Converting condi's to boons is something ele desperately needs. Lastly, I liked the possible trait ideas. It gives different flavors to how you want to play. Maybe even a trait that decreases the percentage requirement for upgraded skills would be nice.

    Things for change: There was a poll not too long ago asking for a fan favorite new weapon. The majority picked Longbow. Staff is the only other 1200 ranged option. The AA's are lackluster and the other skills are aoe's or control mechanics. A ranged, target focused weapon is greatly needed. Even though trident would be interesting since it'll be the first time the weapon is introduced out of water, Longbow is still a fan favorite.
    There was also an idea to implement weapons that coincide with certain attunements. So kinda like a weapon swap, or option 1 as you referred to. It's never been done before and the devs mentioned how they wanted to implement a weapon swap with the next elite spec. With option 2, you'll have to create a gauge mechanic with new weapons and old. Each weapon now needs an upgraded ability after 50%, which can be a lot of work. With a weapon swap, you create a new weapon, and instead of using gauge to change your range, you just swap weapons. Of course then, gauge will just affect your utilities and not your weapons.

    Either option though, they're great ideas. I'm sick of the sacrifices ele has to make with it's elite specs. Imbuer doesn't seem to have a buff that coincides with a weakness which is pretty nice.

  • Thank you for the feedback!

    @Stallic.2397 said:
    Things for change: There was a poll not too long ago asking for a fan favorite new weapon. The majority picked Longbow. Staff is the only other 1200 ranged option. The AA's are lackluster and the other skills are aoe's or control mechanics. A ranged, target focused weapon is greatly needed. Even though trident would be interesting since it'll be the first time the weapon is introduced out of water, Longbow is still a fan favorite.

    I missed the weapon poll, so I didn't hear about the LB choice but I believe it would pose the same problem as the staff: A weapon that is ranged only. Every class and most of their builds have access to a mix of melee and range through weapon swap (expect a few highly tanky + mobile ones such as spellbreaker and core mediguard for example). Even engineers with only one weapon have strong melee + range capabilities with the rifle #3, #5, forge, kits and toolbelt, whereas an elem have only access to a full melee build (with long cast time for some reason, even though they are in paper) or full ranged build, with subpar durability and not many ways to get out of danger.

    I believe longbow would pose the same issue: It would lock elem behind a ranged only, provide no escape nor mobility to the class. If another class gets into melee, and they will, given how many teleports thieves, revs, guards, and rangers have, an elem with a staff or longbow would have no mean to survive and get popped within a second.

    Another issue I find in longbow on a 4 attunement spec is that they would not be given access to enough damage to justify being a squishy long ranged damage dealer. Due to having permanent and mandatory access to water and earth at all time, they cannot be designed to have high damage while keeping water and earth useful for survivability.

    For that same reason, because of water and earth "burden" on DPS builds, they have absolute trash utility skills. An example of this is how pretty much every weaver build includes Twist of Fate: a 1s evade on a 40s cooldown that breaks stun. Mesmers and thieves have access to a multitude of similar yet better version of this spell and don't even need to include them in their build, given how much survivability they already have and how better are some of their other utility skills. Primordial stance, a skill that is on most weaver builds for PvP as well as PvE, is probably the worst utility skill I've seen across many classes.

    @Stallic.2397 said:
    There was also an idea to implement weapons that coincide with certain attunements. So kinda like a weapon swap, or option 1 as you referred to. It's never been done before and the devs mentioned how they wanted to implement a weapon swap with the next elite spec. With option 2, you'll have to create a gauge mechanic with new weapons and old. Each weapon now needs an upgraded ability after 50%, which can be a lot of work. With a weapon swap, you create a new weapon, and instead of using gauge to change your range, you just swap weapons. Of course then, gauge will just affect your utilities and not your weapons.

    If a weapon swap is on the work, and the devs are willing to put the necessary (yet tremendous) effort to make it work properly, that's super exciting to hear!

  • Auburner.6945Auburner.6945 Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 18, 2019

    The idea of a weapon swap is something that I would really love to have on ele, but that would be a bit confusing as the whole class wasn't created with the weapon swap in mind. A weapon swap would require a full rework to all weapons and still the weapons barely have any synergy because weapons were made to literally be "EVERYTHING CAN BE ANYTHING". Also, ele lacks the weapons to have a swap, 4 weapons on core, 5 with an e-spec. Ele most likely won't get more core weapons as it would require also some rework to the already existing ones. Therefore, I am with giving up some attunements to finally allow a specialized ele to exist.

    For the weapon choice, I don't care that much about the weapon as long as it won't lock us into melee for eternity, or being ranged and staff-like (useless in duels). The weapon should be useful because ele has 6 weapons only with the e-specs (only dagger for both hands). A useless weapon would be upsetting.

    Healing Skill:
    I would say the effects of this healing skill would be more of a utility skill, why? Because 3/4s of cast in order to heal is a bit too much; there has to be a reliable source of sustain, which should be the shorter/easier to access option. A heal is used mostly as a defense or backup to continue the fight, it should be instant/fast cast and completing to what's missing when a disengage is truly needed (defensive skills/options beside heal). The boon control can be introduced into one of the utilities, unless the cast time is shorter which is unlikely to happen because boon removal on a heal is quite good.

    Utilities:
    a) 1st utility is more like staff 4, dagger 3 or focus 4, all which have an issue to actually land the burning effect, because of the width of the skill and it's like a visible DH trap but with way lower numbers. I would most likely want a boons/cc skill, with the effect per attunement as on your healing skill suggestion. Since the healing skill effects seem strong; the cc or boons accompanied with the effect would be soft, for cc, or short/low stacks for the boons. This would allow some boon/condi control with little extras. Still there will be the problem of the overkill from too many boon control on ele if utility 3 also had boon-play.

    b) 2nd utility is actually good, I would love it to be some sort of a parry than an evade because Twist of Fate has the evasion + superspeed. The parry would apply damage or cc when on offensive attunements and heals/cc on defensive ones. The thing with on-hit effect is that it's not useful when trying to DPS, something like a transmute can work but it will be broken with transmutation.

    c) 3rd utility: It's good but the cooldown might have to change. It feels confusing on 25s (can be broken or bad), but with 2 attunements only like Revenant, I can't quite tell.

    Elite: It's frustrating - some boons are a bit lacking given the cooldown, and boons as the main focus is a bit like Unravel but with stronger boons. For example, 30s cd for 2s of a single stability stack is a bit low, but boons like Quick./Resist. are things ele can only dream of. Since ele can't generate boons without Arcane (other trait lines barely provide boons, which is why this skill is good and bad; no more Arcane). Maybe adding in buffs can do the trick

    Trait Line: I just want a useful line that actually focuses on the mechanic and can mostly carry its own without relying on other lines. For example, Powerful Aura would be good as a minor trait on Tempest, it would synergies with Elemental Bastion and still the healing would be low or high according to the gear, the need for Water line would be less. Weaver is the worst line I can think of, the trait line is lacking, lacking a lot that it needs babysitting of not only one core spec, but both, and it still might not be enough; it's really that bad that it doesn't even know what mechanic it's addressing. That being said, the e-spec should have a line that carries its own, which is to me more important than anything else that comes with the spec because the 'anything else' would be weak without a line backing it.

    The Mechanic: The gauge seems like Adrenaline + Holo-mode. I feel that it's good and bad, but it has to make up for the missing attunements. Maybe the gauge can have its own F1-F5 skills that work in some sort of way as Rev's energy does for their weapon skills. Either direction the mechanic is, the trait line is needed for further understanding to see how it affects the utilities and the mechanic. I don't know how it would perform practically, but the mechanic should be worth sacrificing 2 attunements.

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