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Wow, I'm wildly disappointed so far.    1. Combo field takes a long to charge up (there are inexplicably no traits that synergize with 'energy'). 2. If you're actually able to drop the

maybe its just me, but at first sight catalyst is the absolute worst espec I have tried so far, by several orders of magnitude.   I had zero trouble easily soloing hot champs and pof bountie

So I tested it, overall it feels nice, it is fun playing it, killed some vetteran karkas is southsun with it. Jade sphere requiring elemental energy to function is an interesting concept, through i feels like it fills too slowly. 

Speaking of speed, I am sorry but even my scrapper hexa is faster with her hammer!  The cast time is too long for any skills apart the 3 skills. 1 is the auto skill, and the casting of it is so long, oh god!  Take earth 2 as example, it prevents you to use any skills and is long to use, big oof. 

Really Anet, all hammer skills shpuld be as fast as fire 3/earth 3/air 3/water 3. It feels like my character is strugling to use any of the skills and it ruins the feels of speed, power or of a dynamic battle. At this point I am mitigated, prefering maybe to keep my weaver which is faster in term of skill cast. 

Also longer skills don't feels more powerful than short one, as i said, earth 2, but also fire 5, air 2, water 5. Those four are long and feels useless, wasting your time where some other are faster and more efficient. Btw coukd you redo either air 2 or earth 2? Those two feel like it is same skill, just copy pasted. 

To end, healing skill feel like the worst i ever seen, prefer the good old glyph of elemental harmony or signet of restoration.

What about utilities? Imho, disapointment. They are useless, to say, currently playing with arxane wave - signet of air and the two elemental summoning glyphs instead of your new eod ones. You should redo the utilities. Maybe 4 skills related to the jade sphere in complement of the one that change with attunement? Jade sphere feels not enough present definitely.

Combos are rares, where are they?

Also permit the 16 hammer skills, only one give boons, fire 5, i mean, what the skritt? There is an issue there!

 

But yeah, TLDR anet: for all hammers skills apart the ones in "3" slot, divide cast time by at least two. Also reduce recharge time too, it slows rotation, I can spam all skills of four ekements then return to my first element and still see half the skills recharging, this is not normal.

 

That's it, thanks, very cool and fun spec Anet, but still need some tweaks, hammer feel slow and clunky, slower than my quickness scramper which is faster. Ele is a kind of fast paced combat style, it feels so wrong, reduce CDs and Cast times.

I would at this point, prefer that hammer is removed from ele and replaced by rifle or longbow to have a range and fast paced spec.

Edited by hugo.4705
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4 minutes ago, Konrad Curze.5130 said:

maybe its just mne, but at first sight catalyst is the absolute worst espec I have tried so far, by several orders of magnitude.

 

I hadzero trouble soloing champs and bouties in all other specs so far but catalyst is a complete no-go

 

its incredibly overcomplicated for seemingly zero payoff, and hilariously weak to boot. it takes  the "downstate ele" meme to new amazing heighs

 

I suppose a big part of that is how few time I've had to train with it, but all other epecs were much, much simplier to do well with, way stronger, way tankier. catalyst is like....horrible all around, absolutly terrible

 

It's not just you. There is almost no payoff to using the F5. People are going to just get combos elsewhere, it's not worth maintaining it. Being able to unleash the F5 at full energy should actually be impactful, not necessarily the 400k Bladesworn damage, but also not as trivial as dropping a combo field

 

Right now the F5 is basically like if the Bladesworn 10 ammo attack did 5k damage. Not to mention the Bladesworn actually has traits, including existing traits on baseline traitlines, that impact the adrenaline/flow.

Edited by The Great Al.2546
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Coming from several thousand hours on tempest its obvious that I have a serious bias.

However I feel it plays clunky, like the above user said. These spheres are NEVER going to pass in wvw as useful. I move around, along with many others in wvw so fast, that there's a reason that the Ventari tablet is useless along with the legendary renegades.

I get the energy thing as well, but again, starting at zero is like criminal. At least start at 50%. It's such a slow build, I assume this is going to be heck to deal with in pve, for what feels like less payoff.

It's going to be hard to tell for wvw, until proficiency is gained. Quite a lot of hours. Again the sphere issue is going to be a problem for its MAIN MECHANIC. May be an out of combat use as preboon. unless im crazy.

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On 9/21/2021 at 1:04 PM, Konrad Curze.5130 said:

its incredibly overcomplicated for seemingly zero payoff, and hilariously weak to boot. it takes  the "downstate ele" meme to new amazing heighs

Yes, it seems a mishmash of ideas that have no real synergy or flow. Yes, I can kill Vet Chak Lobbers, but so what? The whole profession mechanic and hammer skill 3  is just unnecessarily busywork-like on top of clunky slow skills with mismatched ranges that require constantly changing distance to target.   Playing Catalyst so far feels like I'm filling out tax forms - I can do it, but I'll be glad when its over.

I'd rather go back to playing sword Weaver, which was a PITA, but at least had fluidity and coherence. 

After more more time in Dragon Stand playing w/mordrem:

  • Running full Cele feels like I'm running a glass zerker build. 
  • Profound lack of sustain and defense for melee/close-ranged elite. 
  • There's nothing 'catalyst' about this elite.  Slow,  utterly tedious for low payoff.
  • Damage output is underwhelming.
  • Utility skills are laughable.
  • Healing skill is laughable.
  • F5 / hammer 3 skills just 'get in the way' 

There is a glimmer of potential for a good ele hammer build:

  • Get rid of  inane F5 skills and boost base damage on all hammer skills while lowering cast times. The "big payoff" mechanic is costly, dual-gated by CD and energy.
  • Get rid of hammer3 skills, which are ineffective at 600 range.
  • Put the F5 fields in as hammer3 skills w/adjusted damage.
    • Edit: but for this to be meaningful as an elite and not just a hammer spec , it has to be done on all ele weapons. So, since this won't happen, maybe F5 fields are passively generated instead (based on att swap and/or traits)? 
  • Make all hammer skills have consistent 900 range.
  • Build real sustain into the trait line and/or hammer skills.
    • Edit: leave auras to Tempest; change Cat aura traits to sustain traits?
  • Replace Augments with utilities that have actual functionality.

I'm starting to think that Catalyst was created to try to make staff ele look less bad. 

See also my additional comments re Catalyst as mini-games in this later post.

Edited by TheAgedGnome.7520
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so far : 
1) building  up energy (only in combat) feels very slow (tested only on hammer) and it's unrewarding in a fast pasted fractal senario where catalyst has to end  the spheres combo
2) i don't see the reason why should lose all energy -and has to slowly build up again  in pve - with the F5 skill

Edited by ilthelia.8501
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So I loved the look of this during the preview. My friends and I were quite excited for this one in particular. I don't tend to like hammers (they, rightly, always feel slow and clunky since they should "feel" heavy and deliver a correspondingly "heavy" blow)...but the spec as a whole was appealing despite my aesthetic preferences.

 

Hammer 3 in particular looked fun during the preview.  In practice, however, I found it very unrewarding.  The 5s cooldown is basically not enough time to do anything else except attunement swap and hit 3 again.  That's a ton of build up for a final shot that just doesn't do enough to warrant jumping through every attunement and doing no other damage except an auto attack that might sneak into the mix along the way.  That duration needs to be increased to allow at least one, preferably two, abilities to be used at each attunement in the cycle.  That would make for a nice build up. Fire 3, Fire X, Fire Y, Air 3, Air X, Air Y, Water 3, Water X, Water Y, Earth 3, Earth X, Earth Y...unleash! Or start in water, end in fire for maximum damage. Regardless, you'd get this rising power level as you added on stacks of orbs.  As is...just doesn't feel very rewarding or usable.

 

Speaking of unusable...the F5.  Before doing anything, I couldn't figure out why it disappeared almost instantly. Turns out it "needs energy," which is not communicated well at all.  Once I used it in combat, it lasted longer, and I noticed a tiny little orange bar above the icon.

 

Seriously? That's how I know my "Energy" level? That Energy level needs a good and proper UI indicator to show me what I'm at.

 

I mostly PvE though I've been getting into some WvW and likely will more with the upcoming overhaul.  A stationary mechanic like that has limited value in high movement (PvP) or fast kill time (OW PvE) situations. Could be useful on champs...but others are around to create fields for champs and events too.  When I'm running story missions or otherwise solo, it's a bit of a shame to leave the primary spec mechanic largely untouched. 

 

I've been playing Holosmith a lot lately.  Imagine if my heat bar was a tiny little thing I had to search for, and if Photon Forge was only useful within a combo field radius of where I initiated it...

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thx for staunch auras. this trait is the best elite spec ever.

edit to everyone oO @ me:

take away hammer and u got core design. catalyst traitline impact on actual gameplay is 0 except for staunch auras trait.

put staunch auras on a core traitline to give it a chance in this meta.

for catalyst pls start from scratch for f5 as it does nothing.

Edited by shinta.8906
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Ele is too complicated to add energy on top of everything they already manage, not to mention the UI apparently can't even fit it.  Furthermore, if it has energy, why is there a cooldown?  And why do we lose all energy when shutting the Jade Sphere off?

The hammer being range/melee seemed a good idea at first, but in reality it's just a melee weapon because you can use ranged skills in melee, but not melee skills at range.  So you'll bring its greatest potential to bear using all four attunements and it will be balanced as such, and balanced as such the pair of melee attunements and pair of ranged attunements will be too weak to play on their own.

And it's not even really an option to switch off the hammer.  The Jade Sphere is like weaving 2.0, it's new mechanic works against fundamental base elementalist mechanics, albeit in a significantly less disruptive way than weaving. Most of the base eles attunements have either fields, or finishers, not both; with the jade sphere transforming to match your attunement, you frequently find yourself wanting to combo off a certain field but can't have that field because your sphere just changed to match your current attunement, or the attunement you are in doesn't even have any finishers and your jade sphere is just completely worthless in that attunement.  Just like how the Weavers weaving mechanic tries to force you into dagger/sword, this spec tries to force you into hammer, not by the hammer being a positive and fun addition, but by making everything else so dysfunctional that its not an option.

And then when you do put on the hammer you only have 1 finisher each attunement, only 1 gap closer to control the range you play at on this supposedly ranged/melee hybrid weapon, only 1 built-in way to proc the auras that for some inexplicable reason are a third of our traits. And you forgot to give the earth auto bleeding, again.  This is quite possibly the most awkward to play weapon added to date.

My issues wound up growing too much to be contained in a post, find my suggestions: here.

Edited by Conncept.7638
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My initial impressions :


1. The F5 skill is way too unrewarding. It takes forever to build a duration with the energy, and when you cast it, it's a field that sits there while the battle is shifting somewhere else and then your energy goes poof (and so does your irl one).
I feel like the F5 should act like a gyro following you around when you cast it (Some have also proposed to move hammer 3 orbs to the e-spec special).

2. Weapon skills could be interesting if they weren't so clunky : they take forever to cast, and then instantly vanish. If you press hammer 3 your only choice is to instantly change attunement and press 3 again otherwise the orb goes poof (also reducing the radius of the orbs trajectory when attuned to Water and Earth would be handy).
btw, it's sad that Hammer Air 2 features an animation of your character spinning with their hammer, and it does zero damage if you're close to an enemy that isn't in the range of the targeted area.

3. Utility skills... I don't like them. At all. Same for the elite one. I'd be happy if you would scrap them entirely and try to replace them with something that would benefit a team. Heck, this spec seems to be built around combo fields, make them pop some.

-----------------------------------------------
TL:DR
weapon skills ----> too clunky, hammer 3 will vanish before you even cast the next spell
f5 ---> turn it into a gyro/field that follows you.
Utility skills ----> recycle the spirit animations to add/move the combo fields to the utilities.



I feel like the current state of the e-spec is too broken to actually have a good idea of its potential.
It seems like it can be interesting but it's not working at all right now. It's also worth noting that if you take away the hammer, there's no more point using this e-spec right now.

Edited by Tabootrinket.2631
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13 minutes ago, RuQu.8394 said:

So I loved the look of this during the preview. My friends and I were quite excited for this one in particular. I don't tend to like hammers (they, rightly, always feel slow and clunky since they should "feel" heavy and deliver a correspondingly "heavy" blow)...but the spec as a whole was appealing despite my aesthetic preferences.

 

Hammer 3 in particular looked fun during the preview.  In practice, however, I found it very unrewarding.  The 5s cooldown is basically not enough time to do anything else except attunement swap and hit 3 again.  That's a ton of build up for a final shot that just doesn't do enough to warrant jumping through every attunement and doing no other damage except an auto attack that might sneak into the mix along the way.  That duration needs to be increased to allow at least one, preferably two, abilities to be used at each attunement in the cycle.  That would make for a nice build up. Fire 3, Fire X, Fire Y, Air 3, Air X, Air Y, Water 3, Water X, Water Y, Earth 3, Earth X, Earth Y...unleash! Or start in water, end in fire for maximum damage. Regardless, you'd get this rising power level as you added on stacks of orbs.  As is...just doesn't feel very rewarding or usable.

 

Speaking of unusable...the F5.  Before doing anything, I couldn't figure out why it disappeared almost instantly. Turns out it "needs energy," which is not communicated well at all.  Once I used it in combat, it lasted longer, and I noticed a tiny little orange bar above the icon.

 

Seriously? That's how I know my "Energy" level? That Energy level needs a good and proper UI indicator to show me what I'm at.

 

I mostly PvE though I've been getting into some WvW and likely will more with the upcoming overhaul.  A stationary mechanic like that has limited value in high movement (PvP) or fast kill time (OW PvE) situations. Could be useful on champs...but others are around to create fields for champs and events too.  When I'm running story missions or otherwise solo, it's a bit of a shame to leave the primary spec mechanic largely untouched. 

 

I've been playing Holosmith a lot lately.  Imagine if my heat bar was a tiny little thing I had to search for, and if Photon Forge was only useful within a combo field radius of where I initiated it...

I was also initially confused. It’s not clear why you can even hit F5 with no energy. 
 

I completely, 100% agree that hammer 3 requires nearly full attention besides maybe auto attacking. There’s also no payoff for having 4 elements active. 
 

There are 3 changes that can save this specialization:

1: start at full, or at least 50% energy

2: the spirit in the field needs to actually DO something. Attack/pull enemies, generate deflects/shields/etc. 

3:  the hammer 3 should be a combo field. Maybe not always, but if something like at least 2-3 elements are active, it should be comboable. Give a real reason for spending the time to keep the orbs active. 

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Interesting concept but a few pain points:

 

Hammer Skill #3 -> The duration of the orbs is a bit too narrow, forcing you to cycle the entirety of your elements in quick succession to get the full benefit. It would be good to have a slightly wider window to allow for some skills to be used in between. Also as much as I love the idea of positioning yourself to have the orbs hit, it feels awkward if you land in Earth/Water because you need to choose to have the orbs connect or any of your skills to connect. Now because I don't want to completely dismantle the notion of close range for those elements, might I suggest the orb radius adjusts based on your attunement? This would also allow for more play in water/earth as a smaller radius would mean more frequent hits.

 

Jade Sphere -> I think it was more of a shock due to seeing it in the demo vs in action. The gauge fills very slowly and depletes rather quickly. Because it is a stationary field, it would be interesting if the Catalyst could maintain the Jade Sphere so long as they continued fighting? So you continue to gain energy while it is deployed as your normally would. This would give incentive to an aggressive playstyle and have good counters for enemy players (i.e kite the Catalyst to time out there sphere). The above also links to the utilities extra perk feeling a bit lackluster due to the unavailability of the sphere. Another thought would also be allowing the elementalist to choose if the sphere switches element while deployed. As stated in the demo, the best feature is definitely the air version, but you will be forced to sit in air while it is deployed. Another possibility to fix this (but this may be overpowered) is to "build up" boons, so that every element the sphere had continues to pulse its boons.

 

Just some food for thought!

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I like the gameplay of the catalyst, but there is a lot to work on I think.

1) As said before on this thread the hammer skills themselves are really to slow, the best example is earth skill 2. The dmg output you get from that is just not worth it.

2) the duration of the third skill on hammer could be a bit longer. You can use max 2 skills and you need to swap attunements to activate it again, or it's lost. The reward you get from eventually using grand finale is to low, even with 4 projectiles. 

3) I feel like the hammer skills themselves got almost no combo's. Skill nr2 from air and earth could be a whirl. Now we have only 4 blast finisher's, which is nice, but without a combo field other then the f5 skill it's kinda hard to get combo's in, when this spec is all about combo's for aura's.

4) I think there should be a trait that let's the f5 skill follow you, making your "melee" precense a bit more terrifying. Anyone can now just walk away from it.

5) Maybe make the 2de skill of hammer a target skill. Like rapid fire from ranger (longbow) If the enemy is moving, they take only 2k dmg max? That's just not worth it.

6) 4th skill of hammer on fire could be a combo field. When i see an enemy catalyst use it, i can see 4 kinda "lava fields" on the ground, but it's actually nothing.

7) The utility skills are not really making a bit difference when people can just walk away or dodge out of your f5 field. The range of hammer is to low to make up for it.

 

The utility skills could maybe affect the energy field? ex.: When the energy field is up and you use the earth utility skill it could reflect projectiles. But when standing in the energy field, you get also a 3k barrier. Using the water utility skill could heal for 4k to anyone in it and grant aegis... These are just some idea's to make it feel more rewarding or usefull. 

 

 

 

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I tried it but there's nothing interesting in this spec and makes me to want to play tempest instead. 
So many complicated and clunky mechanics (even more than weaver for some reason).

  • Hammer feels completely underpowered, all skills are super slow, they don't synergize well, there's 0 fire fields (WHY?) 0 synergy with fire traits. Hammer is missing any good AOE abilities (out of air 2 which is a really cool skill mechanically). Auto attacks are single target in fire and air makes this useless in open world. Fire 5 is melee range making fire even more clunky to use. Finally, why don't hammer have more combos? Obviously air 2 should be whirl finisher as well earth 2 and water 5. Hammer AA why doesn't apply bleed? Not good. And why hammer doesn't provide ANY field finisher? You need to rely on the clunky sphere which is not good right now).

 

  • F5 Sphere, I don't know how i feel about this mechanic, it doesn't look like you can constantly use it, it has 15 seconds CD AND energy on top of that and you can't maintain it for long. I believe it would have been better if it stayed in the attunement you used it instead of changing with your attunements, because if i want quickness i have to camp air to get value, the moment i change it gives me boons that i don't care. Super clunky. Make it moveable, or remove energy and reduce it's CD and we have something worthy. I believe it would be better to have the F5 stick with one attunement you summon it and you can resummon it with each attunement.

 

  • Healing is meh underpowered.
  • Utilities are super boring, I don't see how you can get any advantage in them, they all have big cast time, they should be instant, they are just buffs they don't provide anything of value. They also have long CD for what they provide and don't feel impactful at all. I don't see how anyone using those.

 

  • ELITE, yeah just rework it, its super useless.

 

  • Traits, I see the synergy you are trying to provide but they just don't feel any impact on the spec, you barely can maintain any "Elemental Empowerment" stack. The whole "empowerment" line (second line) is not well designed for use in anything, disabling to get 2 stacks? But where are the disables outside of air 4 and 5??? We don't have disables in any weapon and you push this trait. It's a hammer, at least make it have more CC on all attunements for start. Dodging to get "empowerment" useless. So this whole line feel clunky and uninteresting. Combos to get "empowerment" on major trait to get auras, but where are the combos??? You don't have many aura generation on ele right now to make this spec have good flow with the traits. 



My biggest concern is that the spec just doesn't feel FUN to use. It's clunky, underpowered, not fun, hammer is slow and feel even weaker than the overnerfed staff (and that sais a lot).

Final thoughts: What is the point of this spec, it does everything mediocre at best, dmg is non existant, synergy is bad, it doesn't provide ANYTHING of value on ele. The question on my mind is this: Why play this when tempest and weaver exist that do everything better and simpler.

Push for a FUN spec instead of this clunky fiesta.

Edited by Vissarion.6509
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Played it for like 30min in WvW and overall it's far too slow to do anything valuable.
Hammer skills are far too clunky to use in actual combat, on top of that the 600 range is quite questionable to say the least since it's impossible to either chase or pin down someone with these skills and ofc wet noodle damage on full Marauder, because why not.
Augment skills beside too long cast time (1/2s on stun break that doesn't even give stability to not get instantly cced to death again) are simply weak, heal skill can't even compare to e.g. Troll Unguent (which can furher be boosted via traits). Utility skills are... barely usable if very lucky enough or needed to see 10s into the future. Elite Skill probably only usable in PvE. The secondary effects of these skills are practically non-existant in real combat that require constant repositioning.
Jade Sphere is a practically unusable in gamemodes which need being dynamic, that means in WvW it's just decoration. You can of course try to combo it with Relentless Fire or Shattering Ice and Meteor Shower, but the amount of time you need to do all of that and also be within hit range is death sentence for whoever tries it.
Traits are... just a stat boost stick, there's null valuable interactions with Jade Sphere that would actually help in dynamic combat, instead it's just static golem benchmarking, again. There's also literally zero reason to make another reactions with Auras while Tempest exists.
Edit: Also getting downed will remove all your energy for Jade Sphere, as if it was easy enough to build it up...

Edited by TrollingDemigod.3041
I forgor
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It all feels like a race against losing stuff. This is negative motivation.

You want REWARDING FUN GAMEPLAY, not punishinng. 

Why not make it differently:

The jade spheres burst of energy when you release them, losing energy until only the combo field lasts (and does not vanish) but the buff and dmg are no longer present. When you change elements the new element has full effect and again starts to lose energy, repeat. Using the f5 replaces the field with full energy. 

Hammer 3: The buff should hold longer and there should be 2 different buffs: 1 gives the rotating sphere, lasting 20s, the second gives the bonus effect, lasting 10s. This way if you are skilled and switch fast you maintain thr buff and the sphere, while if you are slow you still got the rotating sphere. This again, feels more rewarding and less punishing. 

The statboost: a lot is based on the statboost, but usually both power and condi is about maxing out crit chance and duration. So the buff has to be able to comfortably have a 100% uptime to be useful, otherwhise dropping it is very punishing. Maybe let the gm trait reduce the max stacks to 5 or 6 and improve the per stack power to have the same total effect. Or let all the triggers beside the basic 3 refresh all stacks. That way doing nothing would only provide 3 stacks, actively playing would stack it up eventually and perfect playing would stack it up asap. 

Edited by Zunki.3916
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Hammer is way too slow. Tried it with quickness. I was convinced that I was bugged and somehow not feeling the effects of quickness. Popped to weaver and realized, "oh. So hammer is just pitch slow. Got it"

F5 dissapears too quickly, the orbs are not impactful, there's basically near-zero ability to self-combo on a 2h weapon (and forget about swapping out to another weapon in combat because ele) 

Feels extremely clunky to play, EVEN IF it can produce tolerable quickness, the damage it puts out is pitiful compared to everything else in the game.  

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Augments are pretty underwhelming. Using it when not on the correct attunement feels like a mis-click and doesn't feel good. 

EDIT:

 

Adding some more after duelling a bit more in wvw and pvp. Won't be commenting on the hammer too much because it's not a weapon to be used in pvp in it's current state imo. Damage is fine but it offers too little defense. It needs more blocks and/or reflects on its kit. Either that or mobility, but theme-wise it makes sense for it to be more bruiser-y. 

Things I would like improved:

1. Overall the class feels like multiple things rely on cooldowns other than its own. Like, if the heal augment is up, but the jade sphere is on cooldown, it feels like the heal is on cooldown as well because you lose so much of the augment when not used with a sphere.

2. Jade Sphere cooldown needs to scale with how long it was out. Dropping it at low energy  to proc augments should at least mitigate how bad it feels and how much value is lost when not using augments because the sphere is on cooldown. 

3. Also, why does the jade sphere have a 2 second cooldown when switching attunements? I sometimes find myself switching to water or earth for healing/protection but find it awkward that I have to wait 2 seconds to drop the sphere for my heal or earth augment. Sure I can drop it before hand, but if my above suggestion of scaling the cooldown with the energy consumption will be implemented, the cooldown on attunement swap needs to go to maximize low energy jade sphere drops.

So far, those are the 3 main points I think need the most improvement. Otherwise, I like the feel of the class. Won't talk about damage numbers or anything since I'm not an expert on that.

 

Things I like:

Fortified Earth Augment


In summary:

-Using augments on the wrong attunement without the jade sphere feels punishing and feels like a misclick. Also, augments feel like they have two cooldowns: its own or the jade sphere. 

-Jade sphere cooldown should scale with the energy it consumed to enable quick jade sphere deployments to combo with augments.

-The cooldown of the jade sphere should be removed on attunement swap.

Edited by HowlKamui.5120
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