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The first three Beta specializations and take aways to improve them, and future specializations for WvW.


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The first three specializations have done their rounds, and post-beta I was reflecting on what felt like was missing. Here is my attempt at feedback. I'd like to keep the topic on simple design hit and misses, leaving out the number crunching.

The first thing that somewhat surprised me was the total lack of unique modifiers. Now, I'm not one to clamour for more superspeed or create an old druid 2.0, but a couple of unique features struck me as odd to leave out.

The first of those was reveal. Stealth is... something that's often talked about on these forums. The fact none of the specializations introduced a new way to apply the effect was a touch surprising, especially as it seemed somewhat in theme for two of them (Willbender and Harbinger). I think it's a shame, given how blandness was one of the leveled criticisms of the traits, that a unique approach to applying this wasn't done (IE. Harbringer using an elixir to apply a lock-on effect like engineer has, with the possibility of sharing it)

And the second is unblockable. This is, IMO, an absolute must in some form for Virtuoso. It seems obvious from the reveals and dev talks that the specialization is imagined to have some ranged nuke elements for larger scale fighting to try to help bring mesmer into zerg play more. Except almost everything it wants to do is reflectable or blockable. Meanwhile wells, marks when traited, and main hand weapon skills of necro are not. There's little reason to pick purple over green for that purpose, which seems a shame.
The unblockable feature seems less thematic for harbinger and willbender, but there could be a creative direction to take it.

I'd also be interested in hearing Dev feedback on how specializations are envisioned in participating in WvW, and if there was anything about their use during the Beta that surprised them.

Edited by God.2708
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Hm, I'll try to be brief, we'll see how that goes.


The Virtuouso feels like it does what it was designed to do in WvW. I saw the Teatime yesterday where they complained about the blades being reflectable and so on but I think it sits in a pretty decent place between abilities that can be reflected and abilities that can not. It is still Mesmer so as far as I am concerned, if it primarily is designed to be a large-scale range spec, I think it sits quite well inbetween easily applied ranged damage, squad utilities and more risk-rewarding ranged damage ontop.


The Harbinger felt like others have said before: That the general idea is good and that the core mechanics and shroud skills feel well designed but that the elixirs and their (lack of-) interactions feels like an afterthought. It has solid fundamentals but needs polish. I am assuming that it is meant to be a faster roaming alternative to core in WvW. It felt to fit into that quite well when I played it. It blends the general Core feeling with Renegade balance offensively and Scourge balance defensively.


The Willbender was my least favourite. Not because they massively pre-nerfed it for the beta but because it felt so much slower and less intuitive to play than Sword Thief, Boon Beast or Shiro Rev builds. It felt slow for something built to be fast and its utilities also felt like an afterthought or a concept design (speed + martial arts) that does not take the general WvW environment into account or just feels like it is lacking a larger gameplay and synergies thought put into it. It is really just "more stuff" to use when you have used your mobility to engage and setup; which is then hampered by that your abilities do not have very strong setup, so these skills have little impact on continuation choices for pressure, finishing or escaping. I don't mind the F-skills or flames too much, those can be tweaked and balanced, but the physicals just felt out of place and the class felt out of place with existing utilities and traits. Little thought seems to have gone into that, how to use it and combine it with things. At least for WvW purposes. It just felt weird application wise and that you'd kinda just use it as an alternative in the power-staff spectrum of builds. Not what you'd expect it to excel at and interact best with.

Edited by subversiontwo.7501
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Harbinger: Super Duper happy that it isn't another OP Necro Elite for Wvw. 

And I hope it stays this way. 

Willbender: Super Duper happy that it isn't another OP Guardian Elite for Wvw. 

And I hope it stays this way. 

Virtuoso: The Former Toolbox class now has the potential to get bags. Which is nice. 

Basically Still Toolbox mesmer with 2 new AoE skill on the bar, a new weapon and a usable class mechanic. 





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