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I agree that the Catalyst takes ages to charge, not really tested the damage yet, but the utilities skills seem pretty underwhelming without the jade,. for example, the Earth one, you only gain barrier if cast within the jade, and the heal skills seems useless, 1468 of healing? That's hardly anything. 

Okay, the Catalyst charge isn't that slow at a higher level, but it does go down pretty quick.

Edited by John.8507
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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

not reading 14 pages worth of feedback. but this class is too complicated on the elemental rotation and that f5 button is just too much for me. 
the 3 skill duration is way too short, I feel like I'll gain carpal tunnel just to try and maximize it
1 earth is slightly and utterly pointless, and slow
utility 7-0 skills are too, must be in that element to make work best focus
the mix of melee/range shorter then a scepter is a pain
I feel squishier then when i play weaver/dd ele.

I play ele as my main but I cannot even tolerate 10 minutes with this build and know I'll hate it. I'll still attempt it because, lore/game mechanic, but I feel like I'll have more fun out of warrior and rev then this spec, and i don't even know how to play those two that well

why a freaking hammer?!

I'll leave the people who do more indepth anylises to this, but I hate this spec

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If I'm being honest, I thought the Catalyst felt wishy-washy.

 

-Overall hammer attacks felt too slow.

-Hammer having 2 elements close range and 2 mid range makes the game play overly complicated. I I think having the skills all mid range would be better and more cohesive. The earth skills for instance can be very easily changed to become mid range, and still keep it's effects.

-Hammer Skill 3 is not bad but the thing that makes it special is having multiple elements surrounding you. The problem I found is that the duration was so small that I was having to spam through my elements in order to try to get them all going and even them it was very easy to get interrupted and have that whole chain broken. Again the different range of elements makes the switches not worth it. Having the projectile auto launch towards the targeted enemy at the end of the skills duration would also be an improvement.

-The healing as well as the utility skills were also very lack luster. There was nothing really special or new to the elementalist there. I ended up taking all of them out with the exception Shattering ice in hopes to increase my AOE.

-The spheres are not bad but I would prefer them follow the elementalist like the Gyros as oppose to being stationary. Because again this is forcing a melee combat and and the hammer for instance lacks that consistency.

- The elite is not flashy, but I can see it's application, so that one wasn't bad.

- As far as the traits I don't know how I feel about it to be quite honest. I don't see anything really bad I just don't see myself using most of them.

 

The one thing that I really likes was all the skill animations for the hammer... well with the exception of the water skills which were bland. The air skills in particular makes me want to play with the hammer.

 

In all I think that the Catalyst was designed  too much like the Weaver. It relies heavily on changing attunements rapidly, and there's also too much focus on melee, which again is very much what the Weaver does. As a matter of fact the Augments are really just stances that interact with the sphere, and basically 3 of the utility skills for the Catalyst are pretty much a copy and paste of their Weaver counterparts. Right now it's too sporadic. Devs need to fine tune what is suppose to be unique about the Catalyst and focus on that. Hammer melee is definitively not it though, so ya'll can start work there.

Edited by SkinnyT.5382
Edited an adjective to beter reflect what I meant to say.
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Guys seriously what the heck happened here? I am wondering how this made it to the beta. 

I'm not sure if this is like a useless scourge with the f5 or a messed up old style scrapper. 

Sorry to be blunt but really scrap it and rebuild from scratch! 

You are giving the slowest weapon, to the squishyest class, with no defence whatsoever on the weapon itself nor the utilities, and the mechanic is based on a very slow building resource that depletes so quickly and the mean of it is creating a small aoe where we are supposed to stay inside it to get the small benefits of utility skills that doesn't even provide any decent defence? 

To make a comparison with scrapper has a trait that coverts damage dealt into barrier, and his hammer 3 gives 3 secs of block + 5k barrier every 10 seconds (also an extra dodge on skill 4 hammer by the way) 

With catalyst i don't have barrier via trait as scrapper, and to have 3k barrier i have to:

1- build energy

2- put down the earth field with the sphere

3- stay inside the sphere field to activate a long cooldown utility

...and all this just to get 3k barrier, by the time I get it I'm dead already. 

 

This is so emblematic

The only interesting thing is the hammer 3, but is useless as too low duration and its like a projectile going around you so it never hits as not and actual aoe unless you shoot it, very clunky to use anyway. 

Dunno anything would be better than what you actually done with this sorry don't really like it, felt squishy than ever and no reward in playing the mechanic, dunno maybe its me. 

Edited by Aedil.1296
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Overall catalyst is too slow alone with broken mechanics, without any purpose and almost no synergy with other spec and utility skills.
Here some ideas to make Catalyst less complex, easier to handle, with more gameplay, more synergy, more roles available ... and funnier.

I also consider the benchmarks on youtube. I'm not looking to increase damage, on contrary it might balance it; but just to make it easier for all with more choice.

 

HAMMER.
Hammer is fun but alone it is really to slow, lacks mobility / sustain, but also lack synergy / combo with the catalyst main new mechanic.

  1. FIRE
    Surging Flames : Projectile finisher
     Triple Sear  : 3 fire fields, pulsing damage (last 2sec)
  2. WATER
    Crashing Font : Heal allies
    Cleansing Typhoon  : Cleanse condition to allies
  3. AIR
    Hurricane of Pain  : Grant Swiftness or superspeed for 3sec.  Skill will be both DPS and mobility/escape
    Wind Storm  : Rewor ranges, to keep the player in range of the foe for the next attack.
    Shock Blast  : See Wind Storm, may be increase range to 900.
  4. EARTH
    Whirling Stones : speed the animation, whirl combo, apply cripple on each strike too.
  5. CIRCULAR PROJECTILES ("Orbs" / Skills #3)
    Increase velocity of antimation ?  Fix the hitbox (larger projectile?) and damage against small and large hitbox or make it "aoe pulse".
    Duration increases (double) when player within the range of jade sphere.

JADE SPHERE

  1. ENERGY
    Energy is the first issue, too slow to build no matter the weapon, to fast to consume.
    I think it could get a full rework of Energy to copy for example revenant's mechanic, recharge energy when swapping etc. But at least, increase the maximum energy, help to build energy faster.
  2. RECALL JADE SPHERE
    Detonate all auras in range of Jade sphere. KEEP the remaining energy.
  3. DEPLOY JADE SPHERE
    I honestly think boons last too long by default. Reduce duration to 10sec for might and 1sec for other would encourage to gear with concentration or take the related trait to increase boon duration, if player want to play a support way.

AUGMENTS

Honestly ... they're not worth it.

Just look at Soothing Water and Ether Renewal. Tell me why I would take the augment ? I need to build energy, use Jade sphere, in water, be in range, stay in range, stay in water ... It's too restrictive. Even in instanced PVE no one will ever get the secondary effect. Some augments should be changed (and renamed)

  1. Soothing Water
    Heal or cleanse allies too ?
  2.  Fortified Earth
    Block attacks. If the blocks end within range of Jade Sphere :
    -gain barrier in earth
    -gain Superspeed in air
    -gain fire aura in fire
    -grant heal in water
  3. Relentless Fire
    I think its okai.
  4. Shattering Ice
    Your successful attacks will trigger an additional strike on nearby enemies. If this is cast within range of your Jade Sphere, additional strikes apply a condition based on the affinity #sec interval
  5. Invigorating Air
    I think its okai. No idea.
  6. Elemental Celerity
    Reduce Interval to 1/2 sec. Gain a boon based on the current element. +100% energy earnt if this is cast within range of your Jade Sphere.

Edit : Why not trigger the second effect for allies within range of jade sphere, no matter the caster is inside or not ?

TRAITS

I really think it sucks. No real synergy with other specs, with weapons. Too much traits on the same element. A bit the same issue as Harbinger, to real choice of mix, traits are dependent on one another and can't work well on their own.

  1. MAJOR ADEPT
    I)
    Hardened Auras
    I think it's okai
    II)Vicious Empowerment
    I think it's okai. 
    III)Energized Elements
    Gain fury when you switch attunements. Fury you earn grants +2energy. icd : X sec   (Synergy with the elite skill, with the fire blast skill, with Air traitlane etc)
  2. MAJOR MASTER
    I)
    Empowering Auras
    I think it's ok.
    II) Trait arround Augments
    20% CD reduction. All additionnal effects granted within range of Jade sphere are shared with allies.  (except elite's energy ofc)
    III)Spectacular Sphere
    Also, Reduce duration of boons. Apply boon also at end of field. OR, reduce recharge of Jade Sphere. Or, increase maximum energy. Something to help spam the field / build up energy.
  3. MAJOR GRANDMASTER
    I)
    Staunch Auras
    Also, Stab reduce incoming damage. Grant stab to allies whenever you detonate an aura. (synergy with earth traitlane, cantrips tornado and armor of earth...support and personnal sustain)
    II) Empowered Empowerment
    (Against a golem with quickness/alacrity, with 9000 APM, the maximum stack has 50% uptime. Now, imagine alone in pve or in competitive modes ????? It doesn't work)
    Elemental Empowerment last +33% longer and is +50% stronger (duration 20sec, 1.5% per stack). It seems weaker, but the fact you'll pile up the maxium stack more easily ... make it stronger.
    III)Sphere Specialist
    Also, allies within the range of Jade Sphere gain +120 concentration.

It's not perfect. May be even too OP all of them applied.
And optimisation, arround support builds mostly, can be clunky in my configuration.

But I think the important part is to give options to catalyst to support allies with UNIQUE BUFF, gameplay arround keeping field active, or ending it for aura detonation,with more energy management (elite skill, fury, increase maximum ...)

Edited by Zhaid Zhem.6508
arrange traits
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Rain of Blows is a cool animation but hits like a wet noodle. 
At best in PVE with hammer, I can get 9 stacks on elemental empowerment, which makes missing empowered empowerment’s all the more frustrating.  I guess this trait is for other weapon sets, or traited arcane skills.

Catalyst is most fun if you just totally ignore augments, auras and combos to make auras, so basically everything about its design, and just flow through the hammer skills as you like.
This has otherwise become a lot less critical response since first trying it.  I otherwise love the hammer skills.

Edited by Matt H.6142
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After more time playing with this spec I got comments as ele is my main class.

A lot of the mechanics do not synergize well with each out.

 

For Jade Sphere I do not understand why they put an energy mechanic here. This skill should either of been on cooldown or energy but not both and honestly the cooldown would be way simpler then the energy. Building energy takes so long with Hammer for both Air and Fire autos are single target which are the power dps elements and at range. No fields on Hammer hurt cause it has to rely on long build up, cd and stationary long field and if you remove it then it loses all energy and is on cd. Also the only way this is useful is if this follows you around like Scrapper since it already feels like an underpowered version of it.

 

Also do not like that Persisting Flames trait is useless if you use hammer cause there is no fire fields on weapon skills.

The trait Elemental Epitome is the only reliable way to get Elemental Empowerment buff but without the easy and consistent aura access like Tempest there is little in the way of solo getting to max buff.

Entire trait lines are dependent on auras like the top row are dependent on auras but lacks tempest access and weavers combo potential (Sword 2 each element either leap, blast or field). Hammer only has longer cd weapon skills with the combo potential where other weapons like staff, (sword or warhorn too but no access). Hammer 3 is very hard to time where you only get a few seconds but most skill2 abilities have long cast times.

 

I feel like this was designed based on traits that the longer you are in combat the better you are but there is not enough sustain to even get to that point.

I do not like that all the utilities and healing skills rely on the jade sphere to get the effect with the one specific element. Because in it takes so long to build up energy you have to plan around the sphere and hope no one else moves away to get full effect. It's very hard with the healing as it is one of the few ways to get condi cleanse with new skills but you have to be in water with sphere and in f5 to get it. 

I don't get the point if the whole spec as does not work between the traits, weapon, F5 or utilities in combination.

As it stands Catalyst is extremely poor in solo PvE and I only imagine it's worse in PvP/WvW against real people who can just move out of the Jade Sphere. If it follows you always get the buff even in air and fire which are ranged it is more vital with the boon applications then the damage output aways.

There is not enough sustain to justify the long ramp up.

 

At this current stage it is not nearly as good as Tempest or Weaver.

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Hi! 7+ year PVE elementalist player (not, like, continuously, mind; I took breaks). Mainly open-world stuff, some fractals.

I'm trying not to be the "it's different, I hate it" person. Maybe: it's different and I don't understand it? My overall impression: interesting, but not really sure what to make of it. I have not tried Catalyst yet in group content, maybe it'll make more sense there with allies throwing around combo fields too.

1. Finding time to use the F5 is hard. I can't open the fight with it, because energy decays between fights. By the time I've whacked enemies enough with it to have a meaningful charge, normal enemies are already squished. It doesn't, in itself, have any immediate impact. In easy fights with random mobs I don't need it; in challenging fights, I always seem to have higher-priority things to do. Maybe I'm underestimating it, and it really doesn't get its full potential until I get good enough at the class to start planning combos ahead of time. (I *love* Weaver's whole thing with planning what 4/5 weapon skill you'll use 4s ahead of time!)

1a. It's really weird that switching elements puts F5 on cooldown. I'm used to thinking, oh, I want a combo field for something? F1-->Lava Font-->Arcane Wave (or whatever), in very rapid succession. (Actually the hard part is teaching fingers how long Lava Font vs. Static Field vs. Frozen Ground vs. Healing Rain take to cast, because they all have different cast times and if you're too fast on the finisher you don't get the combo). So it's really weird that I can't do F4-->Jade Sphere-->Fortified Earth quickly, because Jade Sphere doesn't come out (it's on CD !) and Fort Earth doesn't get the boost; a 1s CD + 0.5s cast time delay here is really punishing. It took me a bit to notice that CD, actually, and I was thinking the problem was that I was cancelling jade sphere during its 1/2s cast? Removing the attunement cooldown on Jade Sphere would give me a lot more windows to cast it, and making it instacast (even if that meant removing damage altogether! I have plenty of damage skills) would make it much easier to fit into combo rotations.

(was using those Lv. 75~80 Risen casters as medium difficulty practice enemies, and their chill on Jade Sphere's 1s attunement CD made Jade Sphere very hard to use. Doubly so when I need a water field down *before* my condition cleanse works!)

2. Slotting an augment tells me I should prioritize one specific sphere to get the full benefit. But when I choose the right element based on tactical conditions, I feel smart. I like feeling smart, that's why I play elementalist. So the two problems here are that it's a disincentive to take two different augments (counterpoint: so do the existing utils, because they're really good), and if I do take an augment, it kinda makes my tactical choice for me on the loadout screen. (Water and Fire bonuses I can live without, but heal/earth/wind feel like I shouldn't take them unless I know I'm getting the bonus too.)

3. It's a little weird how few finishers Hammer has. It seems like Earth2 and Air2 were both intended to be whirl finishers? Could Fire2 be a projectile finisher? Invigorating Air a blast finisher? Obviously you know it has no fields, and I can't imagine you never tested a hammer with some fields... but having only 1 field button on a 15s CD translates to not that many fields on a solo fight. This feels to me like strong incentive to run Arcane Blast/Wave/Shield if I want to play with fields, more than the actual augments.

4. General request: could you 'badge' combo field/finisher skills icons to make them easier to spot? Like a little spiral mark for whirl finishers, or a solid circle for fields, on the bottom-left corner of the icon, so I can glance at my skillbar and see what combo pieces I have available.

5. It's hard to judge depth/distance for the orbiting Hammer3 skills, and harder to judge the time remaining. Could we get a ground hazard ring marker like bosses have? (or something with pretty magic circle-y art?) It'd make it easy to show time remaining too, by having the circle fade or blink or change colors or whatever.

6. Minor: Catalyst gets so many auras, and yet hammer has no transmute skills! This feels like a miss, because I want to run fire mastery Smothering Flames and there's no way to get the 2x condi cleanse effect, or get rid of an aura before re-applying it to get the on-aura triggers again (eg Stoning -> Transmute Earth -> Stoning).

7. Most of the masteries relate to getting invisible passive stat/number buffs. I like having buffs and optimizing things, I just worry that most of the dps optimization vs. hard content is going to be about managing Elemental Empowerment stats in ways that the player doesn't get lots of feedback on. Auras are big and visible and look cool (fire aura may be more impressive visually than mechanically, actually).

Good Stuff !!

1. I love the ranges on hammer! I love that it operates at somewhat inconsistent ranges, and wants you to maintain very precise positioning for maximum effectiveness. Good positioning makes me feel smart (MOBA background?) and my 2nd biggest letdown with Tempest is that the position it wants you to be in is only ever "in a big clump of allies vaguely near the enemy." (#1 letdown is that Weaver's dual-attunement is by far the most interesting and fun way to play GW2.) I like the position control play on Staff; Hammer's very limited on dashes compared to dagger/staff/sword, but as long as it has other positioning control tools that's fine -- different weapons should play differently.

2. I love the little holographic dragons! Turtle cute ❤️

3. It gives me a reason to play Flame Axe! Flame Axe has two fire fields, a blast finisher on a short CD, and two dashes, one of which is a leap finisher; it fills a lot of tactical gaps hammer has. Lightning hammer is still good as always, Earth shield probably isn't ideal... oh that reminds me, could you look at combo finishers on Frost Bow? Frost Volley dumping 5 fire or poison(!) finishers is /really good/. (Frost Volley + Field Combo + Cata Frost Augment = bursty.) Frost Fan used to have 20% combo if I recall correctly? My suggestion is:

  1. 100% Projectile (like Stoning), or if that's too good 50%; or finisher if has a stack of Water Arrow. too complicated
  2. 20% Projectile; or since there's exactly 5 shots, just make the first shot (only) always a finisher.
  3. 3 Projectile finishers, one on the center projectile, and one on each edge. (So you still *can* dump multiple finishers on somebody, but you need to have perfect positioning, and you get only get 3 instead of 5.)
  4. as-is
  5. 100% Projectile

4. Excited to have an mass auramancer option for group play that isn't Tempest!

5. Poison field is nice :>. Every now and then I consider equipping the Asura Radiation Field; it seems fun but I can never justify the 60s CD. (I know why the racial skills have to be bad for game health reasons, and I get it, but they're so cool and flavorful...)

6. Meta comment: I'm a "wizard player" across RPGs in general. Normally that means clever use of toolbox skills to keep enemies from closing, and dying fast if they get into close combat anyway. (Secondary playstyle: tank, using skills tactically to keep enemies close to me and not allied wizards.) In my head, casters use staffs for adventuring, knives for rituals, wands for being wimpy schoolchildren, and swords if and only if they're literally Gandalf. It took me a really long time to warm up to Dagger and Tempest; I played Staff Weaver for years before giving in and learning Sword. If I had wanted a primarily melee experience, I would have picked Warrior in character creation; if I had wanted caster-duelist, Mesmer. Tempest and Weaver were both melee-oriented, with Tempest's extra skills only working at close range. Fortunately dual attunement works great with Staff, even if that wasn't the primary design vision -- y'all did an amazing job making Weaver feel good at every range with every weapon. I haven't experimented as much with Staff Catalyst, but it seems to work well, what with the zillion fields and 100% finisher on Earth1. My request is: if you ever make a 4th ele spec, could long-range be in the primary identity?

7. I'm not sure how to express this in a way you'll get the full impact that I intend, but, thanks. GW2 is a genuinely good game. My friends mostly play other MMOs, and every time they complain about how grindy their game is or how bad the quests are or how there's crap inserted solely so you'll pay to avoid it, I just smile. Also I smile at a lot of ambient dialog, the Sylvari/Charr/Asura skits are always good. Also when a map full of total strangers comes together to win a map meta, and a lot of other things. (Brown cow on labyrinthine cliffs! Precocious Aurene / Egg Chamber loading screen! Marjory and her girlfriend, whatsername! Rox meeting the Olmakhans and having feelings! Taimi! Turning into a snow leopard and chunking things! Griffon plushy mini and potion and mount! Making dozens of gold speculating on snowballs, then 5k gold on the exchange when 4-stat jewelry first became tradable, hehehe)

Edited by Adam Beth.6842
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I feel bad for the individuals who worked so hard on this spec. Saying "it's trash, scrap it" is hardly constructive. Furthermore, it's possible there are strategies the community hasn't yet figured out. I hope they are able to filter through the useful feedback from that which is not.

All that said, I do look forward to the next iteration of Catalyst. Hopefully with a bigger emphasis on playing with combo fields, since that is literally our profession mechanic.

Edited by Kain Francois.4328
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2 minutes ago, Kain Francois.4328 said:

I feel bad for the devs who worked so hard on this. Telling ArenaNet "it's trash, scrap it" is hardly constructive. Furthermore, it's possible there are strategies the community hasn't yet figured out.

All that said, I do look forward to the next iteration of Catalyst. Hopefully with a bigger emphasis on playing with combo fields, since that is literally our profession mechanic.

I agree. The component are all there it just needs a whole lot tuning and smoothing out the clunky stuff.

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How is it acceptable that with all profession enhancements, 25 might, fury, alacrity, quickness, 25 vulnerability on golem, warrior banners, druid spirits, class auras:

 

And fire hammer autoattacks at 25 might on a 25 vulnerability target are critting in full berzerker gear for 4-5k? Water and Earth melee elemental attunement autoattacks are barely better, all their skills hit for 8-12k damage at full might and vulnerability.

 

In fact, the only skill that feels like it does any damage on full berzerker with all boons is the Hammer air attunement #3.

 

This spec does even less damage than the pathetic Vindicator. How is that even possible?

 

Let's assume you wanted to leave Weaver as the dedicated power DPS spec for elementalist, and want Catalyst to be a PvE support spec akin to quickbrand and quickness scrapper.

 

Even there, it sucks. It has this humongous ramp up for energy to place the quickness well, which is stationary with low base duration quickness. Why in hell would you ever take a Catalyst over a firebrand or scrapper who can just vomit out quickness immediately, with more utility than just quickness and some auras?

 

And the worst part is the hammer, the iconic weapon to the spec, is the worst at generating energy.

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Changes that would make it feel better to me:

  1. Jade Sphere can be permanently down, just nix the energy mechanic altogether. To balance this a little, feel free to remove any damage from it, so it's basically a permanent combo field ele can bring. This also means it doesn't matter that hammer can't bring any fields since anyone with hammer has a permanent combo field available in the attunement of their choice. This also solves the problem that energy feels icky to use in basically any environment that isn't hitting a long lived boss, and means you can get quickness up on your group as soon as combat is joined like... any other quickness support would be expected to.
  2. Remove the f5 cancel skill. You can now f5 again with a cast time as a downside to replace the field. Give it a short cooldown like 5 - 8 seconds if necessary.
  3. Change the field to give boons on placement and attunement switch instead of pulsing them. This rewards attunement dancing, and has a really nice interaction with fresh air giving out quickness. The length of the buffs may need to be slightly increased since they'll be happening less often.
  4. Augments no longer affect you at all. Instead, they affect anyone inside your field. This is a nice way for ele to bring some group support without needing to go full tempest to do so, which is a perennial ele complaint. I'd also rework a few to make them more interesting, e.g. maybe projectile block instead of / as well as superspeed for air, group stunbreak (but again you have to be inside the sphere to be affected) on the earth as well as the barrier. [Edit] To clarify, it shouldn't rely on you matching your attunement to the augment, that's a bit too much. There are plenty of ele skills that do different things based on attunement, but their versaility is what makes up for their being more finicky to use -- you get 4 different options from the one skill. Here you are locked into the one skill but still have to wait for the right attunement.
  5. Change the elite completely. It turns your sphere into a damaging field for a short period of time, pulsing damage and a condition based on attunement onto enemies within it. Cooldown would then be shorter, potentially with charges, and it would have a nice interaction in pvp where enemies could be in the field safely most of the time, but your elite makes it more costly for them to do so.
  6. I like the focus on auras and getting more out of them selfishly, as opposed to the tempest being an aura support, but the rest of the talent tree is fairly boring. Stat buff may be effective but it's a bit bland. I guess it may be too late to change this, but I'd really like it to tie better into the new mechanics. There should be interactions with the sphere and the augments -- e.g. a talent that makes augments affect you personally more, but allies less, a talent that does a pulse of damage or condis when sphere is placed or changes attunement.
  7. I don't really love any of the GM talents. Stability on auras is fine. Empowered empowerment while a great name seems super punishing -- absolutely no benefit unless you can maintain a full ten stacks which is pretty hard to do? Sphere Specialist is powerful but boring. I'd much prefer if it had a more active component to it -- e.g. maybe combined with the above change to it giving boons on attunement switch, it could now give the outgoing attunement's buff on switch as well as the incoming one's?
  8. Hammer autoattack damage feels very, very low. I thought it'd be fun, having a reasonably damage focused water spec to use it with the water damage talents, such as piercing shards, but it felt very unrewarding, even with full buffs vs the dps golems, let alone in the open world or pvp.
  9. I like the hammer 3 skills, although I echo everyone else in that they need to last much longer. I actually think it'd be fun to maintain them permanently, and instead of having the finale attack, and then losing them all, I'd much rather have a way to keep them going once you hit the fourth one up.
Edited by illuminosity.8537
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Absolutely love the Catalyst elite spec. I've been in the training area since the beta and even ran as a quick/fury for some strike missions, the rotation felt great. I especially love how its setup to reward players who actually attune all elements by combining and extending your 3 abilities and blasting your fields with 5 abilities. As it sits Catalyst can give great damage as a power dps (i haven't tried condi yet), and still stays up there while running diviners for perma quickness. All this said I do feel that air augment and elite augment just don't make much sense for the class.

 

Earth augment is just downright amazing, ele needed a better block than arcane shield. Fire augment is a great dps boost and im sure the unblockable effect is going to make some waves in pvp/wvw. Water augment is a necessity to get your jade sphere energized when engaging on a raid/fractal boss ... but the air augment just doesnt make much sense to me. I guess when combined with vigor it could be strong but to combine a field thats so important like jade sphere that requires work to setup, and is immobile with a boon that usually means i need to gtfo of here seems odd. Especially when ele has a lot of access to superspeed already. I feel air augment would be better suited as: an assist with quick uptime, replenish endurance when cast inside air sphere, or maybe something like gale song from tempest trail line. I feel if it stays where its at it won't get much use.

 

Elite augment feels pretty useless to me 😕 basically over 8s you can reduce your other weapon skills by 8s ... the only benefit that really has is maybe allow a single heavier rotation for an opener or mid fight but I can't imagine its benefits outweighing an additional effect or damage from just using FGS or glyph of elementals. For example: I'm currently running into an issue on my quick rotation where i've ran out of things I can do for about 6s so I have to camp air 1 until lightning storm is up and then I recast my air jade sphere. So at first attempt I would cast elite augment before I knowingly would get to this portion and yeah, I had abilities to use but then they werent available for re-entering rotation. I've filled the gaps with altering my rotation rather than relying on elite to change my rotation around entirely just to fit in an extra bit of damage. It just complicates things out of the realm of enjoyment (for now). Maybe the devs have a perfect rotation with it hidden up their sleeve .. but I feel theres a better option.

 

Every (valid) complaint about Catalyst i've heard has been related to the jade sphere. Its strong as all hell imo which is why i'm assuming its so difficult to use. Its setup to be your dps grounds and leaving it is a major punishment to the class. I love that and it makes sense to me. But you have a great option here to allow the elite augment to benefit a catalyst strongly without even doing damage. If elite augment allowed a player to better sustain their jade sphere I think there would be a much better reaction to the class. My personal preference would be to allow the player to relocate their jade sphere (maybe multiple times within a set amount of time). This would really help catalyst during fights that aren't stationary. Second option would be to allow jade sphere cooldown to be reset somehow ... maybe like the current effect it has on weapons could apply to jade sphere too. Lastly even enabling energy regen for your active jade sphere would be great!

 

Really though, the class seems solid and i think it'll find great use as a dps. I'm going to struggle making it work as a main quickness/fury source but I believe at 85% boon duration im gonna be solid, even when bosses relocate. P.s. give beta classes more runes and sigils 😧

 

Current early attempt at a quick dps build, seems to be viable in theory! Although re-entering rotation after recalling jade sphere is gonna be a tough one. Plz consider my elite augment recommendation xD

 

 

 

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Gave Catalyst another go today. I am reminded once again that I am so over this combo-field-aura-generating mechanic. How am I going to generate aura if I am using other weapons? Not all elementalist weapons have combo finishers in each element. 

Example, staff fire and air can't do combo thus can't generate aura. Staff water has 3 combo fields already and 1 finisher, it doesn't need the Jade Sphere for aura generation. Earth would probably be the only attunement that can benefit from Jade Sphere when using staff. The only good thing you can get from Jade Sphere when on staff is probably Quickness from air. 

Tempest and Weaver are not entirely dependent on the weapons used for their mechanics to work. You can use whatever weapon and still be able to perform with it.

Edited by Quadehar.4379
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hammer feels like just a bastardized version of D/D while D/D feels like it fits the spec a lot more than the weapon it's introduced with, one of the reason is due to it being able to charge up the energy mechanic a lot more, and hammer feels like it's trying trying to cover a broader area instead of pinning it with a single role/identity: it can go ranged(fire/air), close (water/earth) and by a bit of extension, mid; it doesn't have enough gap closers to be become a bruiser since it's only and single gap closer that it has is water 4 and it isn't quite reliable, and ele and catalyst doesn't have the tools to cover it. and it's damage is just bad

 

the sphere mechanic just really doesn't fit well with the hammer, staff maybe but it sure plays well with D/D despite the fact that it only has 4 blast finishers. the mechanic shows promise but the energy mechanic of it just really holds it back

 

 Not sure how sure if the scrapper treatment for it would work well, on one hand the scrapper's niche might just be overtaken by the catalyst, while on the other you'd got a support oriented catalyst which is just a mix of scrapper/tempest with moving combo fields that's forced to be on close combat.

 

 

the traits are just utterly forgettable and it doesn't really go well with everything the class/spec has.

Edited by Rising Blade.9206
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When it was leaked that ele was getting hammer, I was legit bummed. Most elemental players I had heard from wanted a range weapon. I had only held out hope that we would be able to provide some sort of buff like quickness or alacrity. I was stoked at first to see us providing quickness in the video, but playing it, it's not viable.

The F5 needs to have the energy reworked. Either do something like druid where you can easily see the energy, change it so it stays out of combat (why you don't want them starting with a field, idk), starts higher, or make it easier to charge up. I've read a lot of suggestions and opinions from several threads and this seems to be a major complaint. I've seen some amazing suggestions on the first page alone that would really help this feel better. Not just mobility wise. Also, having a long cooldown plus the energy maintaining is a bit too much.

I do enjoy the 3's mechanic, but I do wish they lasted longer. Not by much. Maybe a half second or a full second. Doesn't sound like much, but it would make an impact.

 

Overall, and this has been said by many, for a class that seems to need to focus around combo fields, it's mainly has finishers and not a ton at that. In my opinion, the earth and fire utility are nice but the water and air feel...useless. It would be great if each of them could provide a field or something similar to how gyro fields are where they move with the player.

Hammer as a whole feels a bit slow and clunky even if I LOVE the animations. I think they're gorgeous. In general, I think just taking a look at timings and some damage outfit will be nice.

I was wondering if possibly F5 in water could do healing since the healing skill we are provided... sucks. Truly. At it's current stage, I will take the glyph or since my ele is sylvari, even the seed. xD

 

As far as the ultimate, I'm undecided on it. On one hand, it has some mad potential for dps spam. On the other, it feels underwhelming in comparison to a lot of others.

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23 hours ago, Lyanna.9875 said:

Unfortunately it feels like I thought it would when I saw the teaser image. 

 

Hammer is so so so slow even compared to staff (the only other two handed weapon that Ele has), same goes for the F5 skill.

 

Since I brought it up let's talk about the F5 skill a little more: 

it feels that the field, since it is a projected field by the Arcane Sphere it should be able to follow you around, static like that when the profession is both ranged and melee it is not good especially if you swap between the two.

 

The duration of Hammer 3 is really laughable. If you have to fight off a mob and use any other skill instead of H3 on all 4 attunements (with all their cooldowns) you don't have enough time to chain all 4.

Also the damage done on full celestial is very very very low even with all Elemental Empowerment traits. 

Weaver is a faster elite spec that feels more rewarding to use both in power and in rotation. 

 

I'll try it some more today and come back to you 😀

Addding to this... I tried it with both Staff and D/D in Fresh Air (Air - Fire) and it actually is more fun than with the hammer. 

My impressions on the hammer stays the same. 

I tried also using both Celestial and Berserker gear. Celestial is more viable than Berserker. 

Anyway, D/D and Staff help a lot more in increasing the energy for the F5. With the Hammer it is just too slow in doing that.

I add that Hammer 3 should be one of the core mechanics of the spec and not tied to Hammer. It can be tied to attunement swap, when you have all four in the air swapping attunement/overloading can shoot the projectiles or it can be done automatically at the end of the duration that should still be longer than it is

Edited by Lyanna.9875
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5 hours ago, SkinnyT.5382 said:

If I'm being honest, I thought the Catalyst felt wishy-washy.

 

-Overall hammer attacks felt too slow.

-Hammer having 2 elements close range and 2 mid range makes the game play overly complicated. I I think having the skills all mid range would be better and more cohesive. The earth skills for instance can be very easily changed to become mid range, and still keep it's effects.

-Hammer Skill 3 is not bad but the thing that makes it special is having multiple elements surrounding you. The problem I found is that the duration was so slow that I was having to spam through my elements in order to try to get them all going and even them it was very easy to get interrupted and have that whole chain broken. Again the different range of elements makes the switches not worth it. Having the projectile auto launch towards the targeted enemy at the end of the skills duration would also be an improvement.

-The healing as well as the utility skills were also very lack luster. There was nothing really special or new to the elementalist there. I ended up taking all of them out with the exception Shattering ice in hopes to increase my AOE.

-The spheres are not bad but I would prefer them follow the elementalist like the Gyros as oppose to being stationary. Because again this is forcing a melee combat and and the hammer for instance lacks that consistency.

- The elite is not flashy, but I can see it's application, so that one wasn't bad.

- As far as the traits I don't know how I feel about it to be quite honest. I don't see anything really bad I just don't see myself using most of them.

 

The one thing that I really likes was all the skill animations for the hammer... well with the exception of the water skills which were bland. The air skills in particular makes me want to play with the hammer.

 

In all I think that the Catalyst was designed  too much like the Weaver. It relies heavily on changing attunements rapidly, and there's also too much focus on melee, which again is very much what the Weaver does. As a matter of fact the Augments are really just stances that interact with the sphere, and basically 3 of the utility skills for the Catalyst are pretty much a copy and paste of their Weaver counterparts. Right now it's too sporadic. Devs need to fine tune what is suppose to be unique about the Catalyst and focus on that. Hammer melee is definitively not it though, so ya'll can start work there.

I concur, Hammer skill 3 should be self-contained within the one attunement, why do we HAVE to deal with the hassle of changing attunements since just one mess up or even a 1 or 2 second delay and its all for nothing. Maybe let it be a self-timer mechanic to where we can generate more projectiles over the course of the 5 seconds and the trade off is we can make more of that same projectile (up to 4) and then the true countdown begins so we can choose to let them spin and damage and get the buffs OR choose to eventually shoot and burst them. OPTIONS are sexy.

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Ight, feedback brief, suggestions a bit more detailed:

Pressing an additional skill, F5, feels terrible after playing years of Elementalist/Tempest/Weaver. It just does. There is no rational for why a new button was added when, Weaver, proves we can just tack it on to an existing attunement button.

We get a new mechanic, Energy, that is not explained well. The UI bar is tiny, and gives no numerical data on the amount without moussing over it. Generating Energy from empty feels absolutely abysmal, and resetting to zero in-between fights even more so. 

The Jade Sphere mechanic is stationary, slow to build, and does not play nice with the rest of the kit. It is a mechanic without ... mechanics to interact with it. This is a huge missed opportunity for making the specialization more interesting, complex, and fluid! 

The Hammer has fantastic *potential* but needs value adjustments, more Finishers where they make sense, and for the 3 skills to be standardized to be "valuable" in each attunement and on different sized hitboxes to prevent Raid Target viability swings. The variable "ranges" of melee to mid range is a fantastic idea, and will need some modest tweaks to make it work better than what we have now.

Augments currently offer nothing of strategic value, and really don't "interact" with the Jade Sphere other than "missing out" on value if not used inside it *while* in an specific attunement. Absolute missed opportunity to have them impact the Jade Sphere itself.


To address all of the above, with minimal changes needed to respect the workload of the development team, I propose the following:

 


Jade Sphere and Energy Changes

Deployment - Jade Sphere is deployed by pressing the attunement button you are currently attuned to, which spawns the Jade Sphere at your location.


Repositioning - While the Jade Sphere is Deployed, pressing the Attunement button allows the sphere to be Repositioned up to 900 range to a ground targeted location at a cost of 10 Energy. (Ventari Tablet style movement) This helps with both movement and with using the Sphere on ranged weapons.

 

Energy Bar UI - moved above the attunements, structured like Revenant resource mechanic.

 

Energy Threshold - Energy resets to 25 while out of combat, with a maximum Energy cap of 50 while in combat (current is 30).

 

Energy Generation - Energy is now gained strictly from gaining Elemental Empowerment. Each new stack +5 Energy. This includes the 15s cooldown that adds 3 Elemental Empowerment stacks baked into the minor trainline (So a free 15 Energy every 15 seconds essentially.)

 

Energy Consumption - The current consumption of 2 Energy per second to maintain the Jade Sphere would remain, but the option to reposition the Sphere as mentioned above provides a new strategic energy cost if needed .

 

Hammer 3 Orb Adjustments

Variable Orbit Radius - The orbital radius of any active orbs now adjusts based on the currently active Attunement. The rotational velocity adjusts to ensure the same rate of application is achieved at both close and mid range.

Fire and Air - The current orbital radius remains unchanged.

Water and Earth - The orbital radius is reduced by 50%, and the rotation speed is reduced by 50%

Hit Cap Limit - Each orb now has a maximum hit cap of 3 times per orb per target, and this resets when new orbs from another attunement are added. This ensures the same or close to the same values on small and large hitbox targets. This also rewards good timing on activating the next attunement's orb.

Duration - Each orb now has a base duration of 8 seconds, which resets with the next orb application. Rotation velocity should be sufficient that an orb would be able to hit a stationary target three times over its 8 second duration.

 

Addressing Missing Combo Finishers on Hammer:

Hammer 2:

Finishers - All hammer 2 skills will now include a Finisher, to ensure each Attunement has access to at least two Finishers total:

Surging Flames (Fire) - Projectile Finisher

Rain of Blows (Water) - Blast Finisher - add a final hit similar to 100-Blades on Warrior to improve damage and add blast.
 

Hurricane of Pain (Air) - Whirl Finisher
 

Whirling Stones (Earth) - Whirl Finisher

 

Hammer 3: 

Grand Finale 
- Each Orb is a Projectile Finisher

Augments - Making them Useful and Interesting!

Modal Usage - Augments now have two primary uses, each of which supports the Jade Sphere and Energy system by either repositioning the Sphere or generating Energy depending on the context.

Base Effects - Augments will have a base effect that happens no matter what, which matches the current live Augment's "if used in right attunement and inside orb" effect baked into them as their core functionality.

Positioning - When any Augment is used while the Catalyst is outside of their Jade Sphere, it will immediately position the Sphere to their current location. It will activate its normal ability components as well.

Energy Generation - When an Augment is used while the Catalyst is inside their Jade Sphere and it matches the element of the Attunement, the Augment will generate 2 Elemental Empowerment stacks (+10 Energy) in addition to its normal effects. This rewards good management of your positioning and Attunement / Augment matching with additional Sphere uptime and stat bonuses.

Elemental Celerity (elite) - Now has two Modal effects. It will always reduce weapon cooldowns, will reduce them further

Always: Reduces Cooldowns of Weapon Skills by a flat 4 seconds

Inside Sphere - Reduces Cooldowns of Weapon Skills by an additional 4 seconds and generates Boons.

Outside Sphere - Immediately generates 25 Energy and deploys the Sphere if it is not already deployed (bypasses the normal 15s cooldown).

Small Trait Adjustments

 

Depth of Elements (minor) - wording changed to "Build up elemental energy when you generate Elemental Empowerment. Energy is consumed to imbue the Jade Sphere with different elements, creating combo fields and granting boons to allies in the area. Energy can be spent to reposition the Sphere.
Gain access to Augments.

 

Elemental Empowerment (minor) - wording changed to "Gain Elemental Empowerment while in combat, which grants a stacking increase to all attributes and generates Energy."

 

The above changes take care of 90% of the "clunky" and unintuitive aspects of Catalyst and allow for the remaining numeric balance adjustments to be tailored as needed to ensure it is viable in raids, open world, pvp et al.

The core "idea" behind the Catalyst is fantastic, and with the above changes, it should enable a much more fluid gameplay loop of setting up your combo fields, moving them as needed, managing your energy, ensuring you are landing those finishers, and keeping those Empowered Elements flowing in depending on how you select your Traits and how well you match your Attunement and Augments to manage energy.

Edited by Swiftwynd.1685
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After a several hours wrapping my head around it, hammer is starting to grow on me.

 

Soloing champion mushroom king

Build: [&DQYlHikpQzd0AHQATgEAAL4BAAAcAQAA9xoAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA=]
Gear: Armor/Weapon-Grieving, Trinkets-Celestial, Runes-Leadership, Sigils-Force/Concentration

 

We've had access to the catalyst and its hammer for only about a day and a half. Please keep that in mind before calling it unusably bad. I'm not gonna say it's god tier or anything, but we surely have not seen it being used to its potential yet. Even a non-elementalist weapon set takes time to learn and develop muscle memory and intuition. Hammer catalyst is that multiplied by at least 4, plus another completely new and complex mechanic on top of that. I think I've spent an above average time learning the mechanics and nuances of this weapon and spec compared to the player base (and even ele mains) and still feel like I've barely scratched the surface. Still, in the clip I managed to start off pretty strong before fatigue kicked in a bit past the halfway point. And I know some other professions can pew pew this thing down easily with a few buttons, that's not the point. This is the damage it can do without even considering the strong AoE boon support.

 

I used to think hammer needed a field on its weapon skills, but now I'm not so certain (but plz ANet fix Persisting Flames to make the sphere give the buff). It was clearly designed to have the most synergy with the sphere. Many of its skills hit multiple times to generate energy. I see orbs getting a lot of flack for being weak, but clearly they're for utility and not damage. Overall, the kit also seems balanced on having quickness, as the skills can be excruciatingly slow without it. Luckily, permaquickness is absolutely achievable. Finally, its dual melee/ranged nature lessens the impact of the field being stationary, and in the most important attunement (air) you'll be ranged.

 

The only big issue I see with hammer is that orbs have issues hitting things on uneven terrain. They could also maybe use a small duration increase and/or faster cast time, but they're honestly just something to cast when the heavy hitter skills are on cooldown for the passive energy generation and minor buffs. As flashy as it is, the barrage isn't meant to be a nuke. Though not needed, it would be nice to get a few more combo finishers as well, so we aren't totally dependent on the situational lasts.

 

With catalyst as a whole, the ICD of attunement swapping applying to sphere is pretty painful and unnecessary. Removing this would be a single biggest improvement in its current state, imo.

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Hi all, i don't know if you will read me but here what i thought on the catalyst so far:

I saw the trailer was hype, 

I saw the stream was really hype,

Gets hand on the spec was sad.

The spec overall is kinda special, hammer is slow, 3 is hard to maintain and is by far the most fun skill, and class mecanics with field are really bizarre can't move it, no damage, few boons, so she doesn't encourage you to use it. 

I don't pretend i'm aware of all the work or test you have already done in it, but here my suggestion. the idea is to keep a lot of the existing and mixed it up to improve a lot.

 

Core Mecanics:

you no longer pop field using jade sphere. Now each time you switch an element, you pop up a little jade sphere that goes around you and give damage, condi and passiv (like the actual 3 of the hammer). Each time you switch you pop (if you don't have the element one) and reset the duration (5s) of the current jade sphere. Each time they go throught a target, they provide little cantha energy that fill the F5.

New F5 (Super Sayan mod icon) 

When the bar is complete, you can imbue the spirit of cantha in your sphere. You can no longer swap attunment for a swap duration (9s) and empower your current element (pop that cantha god animation around you): All your jade sphere switch to the element (up to the 4 sphere) and bring you special power. They now make more damage, more condi, more passiv and bring you a boost in a stat (based on the current attunment: fire: power (and/or condi), water: healing (and/or concentration), air: ferocity (and/or precision) and earth vitality (and/or touchness)). At the end of their duration (5s), they rush to your current target dealing damage and condi. After this you have a downtime with no sphere and no possibilities to get one (maybe during the couldown (15s) of the F5).

Hammer, more unique, the field master:

Now you don't have jade sphere 3 anymore. So what do you use it for? You bring the old mecanics in your 3. While you press 3 you make a field on the groud of the current element, it provide effect based on your attunment. Each time you switch, field switch element too. You can now press 3 again to increase the duration and the power of the current field (rewards you of keeping it). If you press 3 without swaping, you make the field explode, doing effect and granting you an aura. If you want to move field you explode it, and cast the next field after swapping. 

Here what field does:

- Fire : damage + power --> Explosion : burning and fire aura

- Water : Healing + regeneration --> Explosion: dispell and ice aura

- Air : Stun (limited to one per refresh field) + celerity --> Explosion: SuperSpeed (or alacrity) and stun shield

- Earth : Area of Reflect projectile + Stab --> knockback + Protection

Augments:

You just change boost effect to "when cantha god mode" instead of in your jade sphere.

Traits

Now you have to make just little change to make the already one talent works. You can make things like, when you empower, you gain a another stat (like fire: condi, water: concentration, air:precision and earth touchness). you can provide a unique way to support ally with bringing them little jade sphere with little effect when you empower. etc.

 

Thank for reading me, hope i gave you little idea.

Kind Regard,

Moonaker

Edited by Moonaker.7431
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