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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

I've been playing Ele since launch and I've played every type of core, Tempest, and Weaver builds you can think of in Open World, T4/CM fractals, Raids, PvP, and WvW. I love them all and they all have their own niche, but I'm having a harder time with Catalyst for it's niche. I'm very passionate about Ele and I have a lot to say because I want this to shine. 

The Good Stuff

- The concept of Catalyst is pretty unique. By playing hammer, it both reminds me of playing a tempest and a weaver at the same time. The fact the benchmark and casual play for this spec promotes using all elements is fantastic and makes the spec in general feel more of a mage. 

- The spec promotes a lot of combos and finishers to do more damage and to perform better overall. The unique thing about Ele in general is the use of creating fields and comboing to your advantage. It makes you feel more rewarded for getting those combos. You'll be most rewarded in PvP and WvW play, but even group play in PvE, end-game content will be beneficial since someone is always putting down a field. 

- Going along with the point above, it promotes the use of using more skills within each weapon set. Instead of using a skill that's mainly only for CC (example, earth dagger 4), it can be used for both CC, some damage, and a buff to yourself.

- Staff is a great example of using Catalyst for both boon and heal support. Using Harrier's gear, it's possible to give 100% quickness, some might, some resolution, fury, swiftness, protection with the ability to keep blasting/comboing fields of auras. I've tried this in replacement of the "meta" comp of quickness heal Firebrand. It works extremely well (except for the fact that I can't bring aoe stability, aegis). This mostly works only in staff as support, but I feel it's such a unique kind of support that I dig this 100%. 

The Meh Stuff 

- Kinda countering the points above..while the Catalyst promotes the use of comboing off fields, there are not a lot you can do with hammer. Unlike other weapon sets, Hammer is the only one without any skill that can produce a field, esp a fire field. This makes it hard to land combos because you're extremely reliant on your F5. While on the golem, you can upkeep your F5 pretty well, but in an open world scenario it takes long and is hard to get enough energy to have a full length of the F5. In addition, having no fields in fire attunement makes the grandmaster trait in fire Persisting Flames. Since Catalyst seems to require you to switch attunements often to reap the full potential and F5 being your only fire field, you rarely can take advantage of this trait.

Suggestion: Make hammer 4 a fire field (or 3 since the skill itself is essentially 3 aoes) for about 4 seconds. With the grandmaster trait, this can go up to 6 seconds. This will give players a chance to blast or combo either from the fire 5 skill, or something from another attunement. This will also make the grandmaster trait useful as you can get multiple % buffs due to the lasting fire field. Currently each of the aoes does it's own separate damage tick in raw power and burning. If this changes to an ongoing field, maybe reduce both the raw damage and the duration of the burn to be balanced. 

- Continuing comboing, it feels off that both hammer 2 in earth and air attunement are not Whirl Finishers. Animation wise, you literally spin like crazy longer than any other class. In addition, these are VERY long cast times. In PvP and WvW, this can be easily countered because the Catalyst takes too long to cast the skill and both aoes don't do that much damage. It feels highly unrewarding, even with quickness. 

Suggestion: To allow more combos since it seems to be the theme of the spec, allow both hammer 2 in air and earth attunement to be Whirl Finishers. This can allow more usage of the Catalyst traits such as the minor Elemental Epitome. Since there's a long downtime for your F5 to come back, there's not much you can do to combo with fields. The current blasts that are available right now are most likely on cooldown from the player comboing during the duration of the F5. Allowing Whirl Finishers gives the player more options to upkeep the minor trait + feel more rewarding to cast. Another potential outcome of this change is that Catalyst players can give Poison or more Vulnerability comboing with the F5 as they produce poison fields, lightning fields respectively. If Catalysts can get the suggestion above, then players can combo with a fire field and produce more burn stacks. 

- The F5 feels unrewarding in terms of what it can do. As I said above in the good section, the F5 does do a great job in giving boons such as quickness to folks. Thus, making Catalyst a potential optimal option for end-game and hardcore content such as Fractals. Though, anything else it feels extremely hard to pull off in situations where encounters are either mobile or even open world in general. The current implementation of the F5 is that you need energy that can only be gained by dealing as many hits on a mob as possible. This isn't so bad when dealing with a group of mobs, but it can be difficult to get energy on bosses or anything singular. Since the F5 does not automatically start off with 100% energy and it depletes while not in combat, it doesn't make it fun or reliable to use in situations where you're solo or raids. On top of this, when you cast the F5 it's stationary for a long time. If you try to cast it again, it goes on a 15 second cooldown and the energy depletes. This makes it impossible to feel like you're playing a unique class rather than core ele with an added bonus effect. Not to mention, even if the F5 is ready to use, there's a like a 1.2 second cooldown when you swap attunements. This doesn't feel good to wait that 1 second after swapping to cast what field you want. 


Suggestion (1): Allow the F5 to be charged another way without having to be in combat or to hit mobs. There's a trait that almost solves this problem which is Energized Elements. I believe this trait should be (at least the energy gain on swapping attunements) to be passive within the spec itself and can work out of combat. This will allow players to have their F5 ready for any encounters, even if it's not nearly 100% by the time they can charge it..but enough time to have a sustainable impact. 

Suggestion (2) Allow the F5 to either act like a Ventari Tablet when you can most it at will after casted or act like a Gyro where it follows the player. To place down an F5 then having to move to a new location is not applicable to many situations, esp open world, PvP, WvW. Allowing the F5 to be mobile will help in both group play and solo. It will allow the Catalyst to take full advantage of the F5 and feel more engaging against different encounters or encounters that are dynamic. This can also help with players that accidently casted the skill off or in a wrong place to correct themselves without having to wait another 15 seconds to cast it again.   

Suggestion (3) Remove the cooldown of the F5 when swapping attunements. It's not an attunement. There are many many skills that changes depending on what your attunement is such as Glyphs that don't go on cooldown when you swap either. Since the F5 is what makes this spec unique, it will flow and feel better to players not having to wait 1.2 seconds to cast it. I don't see that it's necessary. 

- Hammer 3 in general is a very cool concept, but is kind of stressful to maintain and to apply. With the duration only being 5 seconds per cast, refreshing it via other attunements is somewhat hard when you don't have quickness or alacrity. This is due to the low duration of the orbs and because other damage-dealing skills such as the earth 2 and air 2 are extremely long cast times of 3 seconds. It is possible to upkeep the orbs almost 100% of the time, but even casting the earth 2 or air 2 before casting the orb puts the player at high risk of losing the orbs. Also..it sometimes doesn't feel good that both water and earth 3 have longer cooldowns than fire and air. And lately, the orbs do not hit targets with small hitboxes in melee range. For a spec that is mainly melee, this can be frustrating that the work you did to upkeep your orbs aren't doing damage. The counteract with this statement, one of the main reasons the current benchmark is so high is because the orbs hit multiple times within one cycle on a large hitbox since it stays in the hitbox the entire time. When you do a small hitbox benchmark, it drops significantly and you have to position yourself just far enough to be maximum melee range and not too close. 

Suggestion (1): Make hammer 3's duration last longer. Even 2 seconds will benefit most players and feel less stressful to upkeep. Esp since the cast time of some skills are extremely long. This will allow players to take advantage of what makes hammer unique to bring. Upkeeping in PvP and WvW this is generally very hard so it will allow more pressure to enemies. (Catalysts are still at a disadvantage in PvP and WvW since it requires them to be melee and skills are low damage, long cast time). 

Suggestion (2): Make hammer 3 in all attunements have the same cooldown time of 14 1/2 seconds (currently only fire, air). The flow of these two synergizes well, but it can be frustrating to swap to either water or earth and have the 3 skill still be on cooldown. This puts a lot of stress to the player to upkeep the orbs. Having the 14 1/2 cooldown allows the players to not have to wait at their current attunement before swapping knowing that they can upkeep their orbs safely. 

Suggestion (3): Make the hammer 3's hitbox be able to hit enemies in very close range to the player (even inside the player's hitbox). For a skill that is meant to allow the Catalyst to be an ongoing bruiser, not being able to hit in melee range does not feel good and very unrewarding to upkeep. 

- Hammer 2 skill looks like 3 separate projectiles, but only count as 1 attack. 

Suggestion: Make the skill hit 3 strikes. Since it's a cone AOE, the closer the target, the great the chance of hitting the 3 projectiles and for targets further, hit only 1. 

- All Augment skills feel unrewarding and doesn't bring anything to the table. Each have a bonus effect that can occur when you cast a specific type of Augment with the same type of F5. But in the concern above, the F5 can sometimes be hard to combo with in some situations. The benefits gained of comboing the appropriate Augment also doesn't feel rewarding enough to want to do it. Most of the benefits seems it should be passive with the skill itself regardless of comboing. The elite does not feel like it's doing much either. With only a duration of 8 seconds and a 90 second cooldown, the benefit is weapon skills can be reduced by 8 seconds. I don't believe this is worth the benefits because you'll be swapping attunements anyway in this spec so most skills that you'd want to cast again are still going to be indirectly in cooldown because you swapped attunements. Most times, the skill will be off cooldown by the time you go back to the original attunement even without the elite skill. The boons granted depending on when you activated the skill feels unrewarding as well. To only get 1 boon for an elite skill doesn't provide enough self-sustain or buff. 

Suggestion (1): I'm honestly not sure how to make them better besides to rework them. Rework them as, give them something more unique that feels like it's own skill. For example, Glyphs are unique to each other because they offer either a buff to the player, an attack, group support, or minions. Augments are all simply some sort of buff towards one self, but buff slightly differently. I would prefer to see some dynamic reworks such as fire Augment mostly staying the same way (maybe remove the cast time), water Augment to cast AOE chill on targets, air Augment to do some sort of evade frame, and earth Augment to have some sort of counter skill if you block. On top of all this, the current additional ability gained when doing an appropriate Augment to a sphere should be more rewarding such as increasing the special effect or providing more boons. 

Suggestion (2): For the elite, Elemental Celerity, it doesn't feel rewarding enough to take it over Glyph or FGS. To make it better, I would suggest increasing the duration just slightly to about 10 seconds and instead of gaining a boon based once activated, gain a boon every changing attunement when you're in range of an active sphere. Maybe allow the elite to reduce the cooldown of attunement swapping and the F5. This will allow a more meaningful and impactful way to give players more self-sustaining boons and more time to reduce cooldowns for skills such as blasts and hammer 3. 

- Now to the traits..in general, most feel simple and maybe that was intended. I don't feel as rewarded as I should be when using specific trait combos such as 2-1-2. It's somewhat difficult, esp in situations without quickness and alacrity, that getting the benefit of Empowered Empowerment is hard to maintain. This is mostly due to the fact that hammer Catalyst doesn't provide many boons or combo finishes/leas/whirls. 

Suggestion (1): Vicious Empowerment - Increase the Elemental Empowerment from 2->3 stacks. Even with perfect boons, you need to time all your limited blasts and combos perfectly to get the 10 bonus effect from  Empowered Empowerment. I know in a fractal or raid that others will provide fields, but this goes back to the suggestion where hammer should get another combo of some sort.

Suggestion (2): Energized Elements - I mentioned this earlier, but make this work out of combat (in addition to having energy not deplete out of combat). This can provide a way for players to start off with the sphere such as boons and fields to stack their Elemental Empowerment. 

Suggestion (3): Empowering Auras and Elemental Epitome - Either make Empowering Aura duration last longer or remove the ICD of Elemental Epitome (at least for PvE). In some PvE situations (and never in end-game fractals/raids), you would rarely never be paired with a Tempest or maybe another auramancing Catalyst giving you auras. Allowing either of these changes or both will allow the player to self-sustain themselves, but also still be open to allow other auramancers to support them. At the moment, it's very difficult to upkeep the 5 stacks consistently. 

Suggestion (4): Spectacular Sphere - Change to give out boons once per attunement swapping while a sphere is active. The only use I can see from this trait is pre-booning, but it still is not many boons since you only to pick 1. If you do change with what I suggested, then it might be powerful enough to swap with the grandmaster trait, Stauch Auras. This allows a interesting trade off between Spectacular Sphere and Sphere Specialist. Do you want boons every time you swap attunements while your F5 is active or do you want more boon duration? 

 

- Last note..this one is very much a stretch, but I'd like to see something other than the hammer to use the orb mechanic. It really does make the class feel unique with it's added bonuses and the way it functions. But, without hammer you can't use it. 

Suggestion: Going back to the Augment suggestions, what if each Augment summons the orbs (same ones from hammer 3). For example, the fire Augment will summon the fire orb for 5 seconds. If using hammer and the player already casted the fire orb, then refresh the duration instead of two fire orbs. This will allow Catalyst players to be able to use the orbs with other weapons. I feel the F5 Sphere is unique to the class..but not enough. The orbs feel great to use and also feels unique to Cata and not just hammer (I know hammer is unique to the spec). If going this route, then you can disregard the changes I suggested earlier with Augments because this would be powerful enough for each Augment to feel unique. 

 

Anyway, I hope this helps. I tried my best to be reasonable with each suggestion and not make things powerful for the sake of making the spec stronger. Overall, I see a lot of potential but still is missing that special feeling that both Tempest and Weaver have that make them unique. I'm sure not all these suggestions will be implemented, but I hope that it can bring some new ideas or lean to a more defined direction with the spec. 

Edited by Peureki.3647
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Greetings DEVS, 

-This elite spec needs a "look over" on its intentions which decides what the mechanics will be for it. Right now, I see what its trying to do but the skills and traits don't synergize enough.

-If we are going to actually be a literal "Catalyst" it seems like having access to our f5 combo is paramount. Building energy, its cooldown, its placement, no mobility etc needs to be optimized. Another possibility is having it on a cooldown but have it be permanent with not granting boons. The trade off IS the concept in the elite-spec....the extra combo bonuses!

-I can see the argument of the utility skills are "simplistic" because we have access to 20 weapon skills but I think that's a misperception. We "could" possibly have access to 20 weapon skills but if we love one element/attunement we should never be restricted for that. Hammer skill 3 should be optimized in a singular element....its too complicated to spam all 4 attunements for that fancy looking effect with minimal pay off. It possibly could be a skill on a timer where we can generate up to 4 spheres for its buff and effects with the possibility to fire them in the one attunement.

-I don't understand the traits for auras when the class itself doesn't create nor have much access to them.

-I think all hammer skills or at least most should be combo-finishers ....its a Catalyst right? This also makes the elite skill even MORE better.

-The augments should less "elemental" in origin and more on their execution. They GET more elemental when cast near the actually f5 Jade Sphere....The augments are augmenting because their augmented. lol Win-win. For example, for the healing skill it could be "Soothing...." and whichever jade sphere is out is the modifierSoothing Water heals more, Soothing Fire cleanses, Soothing Air grants barrier, Soothing Earth gives protection etc.

-Having just one extra bonus per just one Jade Sphere hampers this elite spec professional mechanic.

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Catalyst is, once again, a poor name. There's nothing new or interesting that's been added to the elementalist class. They were given a slow, clunky hammer, and an F5 was slapped onto it. The energy is a pain because you can only gain it while in combat and landing hits and the F5 skill doesn't last long at all. For you saying 100 is a better number than 30 or 50 for something like warrior, I dont see why you didn't do it for the ele too. The F5 skill is unmovable, so you have to fight in it. I figured it would work more like an engineer gyro that follows you or moveable like druid nature spirits. Mainly relies of weapons like scepter, dagger off-hand, and staff, or you just have to use hammer for the combo fields and auras. It doesn't offer much range at all. Isn't that the Elemenalist's specialty? Ranged? Why is this elite a mid-close range just like the other two that we already have? I'll stand by that a spell-slinger with dual-pistol or a bow would have been better than this... 

 

Skills are pretty and actually match the class (unlike the mystery of Willbender Harbinger, and Vindicator all sharing the same color-scheme for their class weapons), but other than that... I'll stick to my Weaver.

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Playing this spec for a bit in the PvP arena (Air/Arcane, Arcane/Water, Marauder's), it does not feel like a class that was built with PvP as a focus. 

 

Hammer skills are clunky, the cast times are a bit ridiculous to be used in PvP (especially Hammer 5), and is not self sufficient.

To maximize DPS, you're supposed to cycle attunements, but you're stuck with core ele swap CDs. It makes the damage predictable, and if you don't cycle attunements, you just don't have damage.

 

I can see how Catalyst might be good in PvE. The Hammer 2 skills do a good chunk of damage, but landing it is next to impossible (except for Air 2) on player hitboxes. Even if you want to combo CC into Hammer 2, why does Air 4 self stun? In the time it takes to recover from the self stun and walk up to hit, the CC has already worn off. 

 

I'm sure there is a theorycrafted build out there that focuses on auras and the GM trait that gives stability on auras, but since that requires not using Hammer, what is the point of elite weapons if there are no reasons to use them?

 

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There are already several much better and in-depth commentaries on catalyst, so here's my quick take:

Overall, it's not horrible, but it's just mediocre compared to the core profession and substandard compared to any given elite spec.  Elite specializations shouldn't necessarily outperform everything else, but they should always feel like a step up from their base profession instead of just a lateral extension.  Catalyst just feels like a particularly mediocre flavor of core elementalist.

Weapon skills:  Hammer is an interesting choice, it feels new and different and it has a generally well-balanced skill set.  It also has weird melee-range holes in its striking distance when using long range skills, so it's still a bit buggy.  Overall, it's just different.  It's probably fixable, and several other people have offered solid suggestions to that end. 

Utility skills:  Functional, but generally lackluster.  All gain some marginal value-added bonus when and if the character happens to be standing in a Jade Sphere field of the same element, but that is a depressingly rare circumstance.  They need to be reconsidered with an eye toward whatever a catalyst is supposed to be.

Profession mechanic:  This is where every elite really should stand out from its core profession in a good way.  For the catalyst, it gains the Jade Sphere, a tiny immovable elemental field of minimal consequence.  It's also something that will be on cooldown more often than it's actually deployed.  If the field were larger and it was something that could be deployed any time it wasn't already active, this might be something of real consequence.  As it stands, the Jade Sphere only exists to create tiny combo fields that grant boons and to justify slotting one or more augment utility skills.

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Hi all, I managed to come up with some viable builds with the elite spec beta classes, *as is*, via mixing & matching traits, skills, equipment & weapons! If you're struggling, try this out, it has all 3 elite specs that have very good survival & decent dps! The Catalyst has massive healing potential if you f2 & 1-5 (which also gives a frost aura), before doing an f1 for the dps again >> (With a Staff of course!) These experiments are, *as is*, so feel free to change them up, but yup, overall they work! So check them out: >>

 

 

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So there's been plenty of posts that have suggested replacing the sphere mechanic with the orbs found on hammer, but I think it would be interesting if they combined the 2 ideas. Forgive me if this has already been suggested but it's tough to follow a thread this lengthy.

This could work by moving the 3 skills into flip-over skills on attunements that only become active when a sphere is deployed. These skills could then work more like scourge shade abilities, where they create an effect around the Catalyst and the sphere itself. The spinning projectiles would appear around the caster and the perimeter of the sphere, but the buffs would only be applied to the Catalyst. In place of these buffs, the sphere could be modified with a new pulsing effect. A sample tooltip could look something like this:

 

Air Attunement > Crescent Wind

Attune to air magic. Summon projectiles of air that circle you and your active jade sphere, damaging and weakening foes they pass through. While this projectile is active, gain increased chance to critically hit. Your active jade sphere now pulses vulnerability in addition to it's current effects.

Damage: 141

Crescent Wind: 7% critical chance

Weakness (2s)

1 Vulnerability (8 sec) per pulse

Duration: 8 sec (duration is refreshed if another projectile is summoned)

18 sec cooldown

 

Notice that the duration has been increased for greater flexibility. Also worth noting that each new skill would still function as an attunement swap, but they could also be used while attuned to that element. The skill would then swap back to regular Air Attunement once cast, using the ammo recharge UI to show the cooldown of Crescent Wind around the border until swapping back if a sphere is active.

If a sphere expired before the effects did, then only the effects localized around the sphere would disappear; the Catalyst would retain all accumulated buffs and projectiles until their duration expired or a new one was cast to refresh the duration with a newly deployed sphere.

This could create interesting synergies across the profession, and would allow the Catalyst to further modify and enhance their sphere by "catalyzing" the elements for additional effects regardless of what weapon they chose.

 

Grand Finale would be an interesting skill to balance with the new dual effects. I think an interesting trade-off for the extra power would be to make it flip over on the F5 skill only once all 4 orbs have been summoned. This skill would then fire all projectiles orbiting the Catalyst with the effects they have now, while detonating all projectiles orbiting the sphere in a blast that deals big damage and applies all the new pulsing effects at once. It would also have a longer cooldown to compensate for the greater effects.

 

Lastly, this would free up room for 4 new skills on hammer that could allow for any combination of better field use, combos, sustain, cc, or additional pressure.

Edited by Tempest.8479
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So far? Took me a minute to get used to Catalyst, but it's actually made Elementalist a playable class for me finally! Yes, it really shines most when you dance thru the elements, but I have mine working just fine in Fire pretty exclusively. I benefit from the other elements as I need them, but I don't like having to play a keyboard just to be effective and not die constantly. This now lets me play the way I want to play, and have more options to increase from there. 

 

 My favorite part is that 2 of the elements are not melee exclusive, which allows me better ranged functionality with a class I've always felt was idiotic to pigeon hole into melee to begin with. Hopefully in future expansions or content releases, we can see ele getting more access to ranged weapons such as magic pistols/rifles or magic arrows with bows (elemental archer would be KILLER!!)

 

I am currently geared out in Full Maurauder gear with Ogre runes, and the only spec change I've made is to change from water to fire spec to maximize burn potential and power. The added dog pet spawn makes my life much easier and increases output of damage along with the Ogre power increases as well. This is deffinatly one of my favorite elite specs released so far!

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17 hours ago, kapenike.6793 said:

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

 

 

 

Against stationary targets it could work. But for pvp and wvw where no one is a still bot, the spec falls short in all aspects of combat. F5 unmoveable, augements dont do enough compaired to 2xtwistoffates, or armor of earth, teleport, or mistform. As for support goes it offers no team healing, except for a blast feild and the boons it gives out are better on tempest. When given the time and slow basicness of raids and pve, this spec can preform well. But under fast pace real combat it slow and uncompetitive.

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The auto attack hammer skill for earth StoneStrike just feels bad and feels like it is missing something.  It might need to apply some debuffs or a bleed or a some kind of stacking protection for the wielder.  

 

I would love for a more fluid way to switch between the attunements especially on how the hammer # 3 skill works. 

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I had a strange idea, in case someone else didn't suggest it. But I almost feel the utility skills themselves could be the unique mechanic and the Jade Sphere should just be wells. I feel it would play much better if the Unique mechanic was more focused on blast finishers and having access to wells would help with that, while the Unique mechanic could still be an F5 that gains bonuses based on if you're comboing in a field or have comboed while its active.
 

I Do kinda like the 4 utility skills. The heal and the Elite are very meh, but the 4 utility could actually compliment the spec quite a bit. And it might flow a lot better.

The hammer itself needs a lot more combo field potential. At the moment it has so little and where it does have it is so minor. Like why doesn't the air skill 2 act as a whirl finisher? Why isn't earth 2 a combo finisher?

 

I Do think doubling down on combo finishers could make the spec a lot more unique than it is now.

 

As for the hammer itself, I do think it needs a lot more work. Make it feel like a meaty weapon to use. At the moment most the kit feels kinda bad to use. Especially fire. And Fire and air both need 900 range.

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I like the base idea and the idea of the elite spec being more engaging but,

 

- The jade sphere needs to basically act like the necro shade, because right now the time, CD, and effort it takes to get it working for the pay off isnt working, as many many others have said

- Please make the utility skills more impactful. For the most part, aside from stun break, there is literally no reason to have them around in place of other utility skills, ESPECIALLY relying on both the jade sphere and cooldowns. 

- Hammer 3 needs lower CD and longer sustain time, what do you test your professions against, stationary golems?

- The healing skill sucks, it can still suck, but then add more healing in the hammer water attunement skills, skill 4 should probably have some healing per condition removed or something. 

- Biggest complaints period are def the jade sphere mechanic, which should just be a shroud type at this point, does nearly same damage anyways and doesnt include burning, lengthen skill 3, and use some imagination with the utility skills. This feels like someone started filling in some specs and decided to give up half way through. Same with most of the elites so far, far from polished, seems to be developed completely outside of an applied setting. If you are worried about the headache of balancing pvp vs pve, cant you change the effect of some skills and specs according to each one? I thought that's how it used to work in the past at least with both skills and attributes. 

- Hammer water skill 2 seems underwhelming and just a gap filler if you are trying to stay in attunement longer to heal or something. maybe increase damage, or apply vuln each strike and end with an application of chill. 

 

Right now as nice as this is just because it is new, I see absolutely no reason to play this in game over weaver and tempest. 

Edited by Alekos Basileou.4931
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As someone who really enjoys both catalyst and hammer, I think the spec is fundamentally sounds and mostly in need of QoL and minor buffs. After spending a good amount of time absorbing the mechanics and skills, I think these are the most critical areas:

  • Augmentations are probably the weakest part. There's not a huge reason to use them compared to the strong utilities eles already have, and they are heavily dependent on the sphere to have an acceptable effects. A good buff would be for them to provide energy when the sphere is not up.
  • Hammer is solid, but could use a few more finishers. Some would clearly do well as a whirl, like Earth 2 and Air 2, moreso the first as it's the weakest hammer skill overall. Orbs could use a small duration and AoE buff to make them more consistent.
  • Air 4 is also a bit too heavyhanded with the recoil. It's easy to accidentally use it and put yourself in a very inconvenient place, including stuck inside objects.
  • Sphere does not need an ICD when swapping attunements. This is one of the worst feeling parts of it as it is very easy to interrupt your cast over and over.
  • Recalling sphere should have some type of refunding effect when you have energy. Possibly lowering the recharge by how much you had left over. This would also make it easier to reposition.

 

 

Edited by gandlethorpe.2641
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On the other hand, it is nice, it is interesting and more sought after, correct than the other specializations. On the other hand, not only is it not my style, but I just have the impression that in terms of originality it remains nothing: I would say just an improve and copy-paste version of Tempest. It is really and almost the same principle but better. On the other hand the hammer is really slow, the jade sphere is almost non-existent in the design, and ... have died really too easily.
I still wonder how they thought they could attract anything with this kind of "rotten fish". 😔

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Spvp feedback:

- Catalyst with dagger/focus fire arcane seems strong with insane amount of stab in teamfights and stats due to all fields that exist. You don't need berserker either and it can stack might pretty hard even without expulsion.

- Every weapon works better than core since catalyst is really core on steroids. Staff in particular seems best with catalyst compared to all elites but it still feels subpar.

- Spheres traited with bottom master are always worth casting even at low energy  (access to resistance to counter blind/weakness spam or fury for fire line etc) and the water field /quickness/weakness combo are always nice. People aren't used to it yet to get value. The cd seems high but also could be op at lower level.

-Utilities = trash, heal skill = trash, elite = trash ,traits = borderline op

-Hammer =Completely unusable in pvp. This is not trash..This is just trolling us 😄

 

Other wise its pretty boring. I mean the playstyle gets carried by how well core flows (attunement swapping and 1,5 global icd) with an extra twist and we get better teamfight without going support tempest. But it is not weaver 😞

 

 

Edited by Avead.5760
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8 minutes ago, gandlethorpe.2641 said:

thats great pve no joke, but to things that can stun brake, and move around youre toon its all ineffective. those mobs u pull, they stand still and take all your damage. try that in wvw or pvp atm.

Edited by Eddbopkins.2630
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I’m coming around to a catalyst way of thinking.  Powerful aura trait and arcane skills really makes the spec work.  Almost on demand auras, particularly shocking aura in wvw.
Or arcane trait for immobilize, sunspot, and dagger or focus to reach empowered empowerment threshold.

Jade Sphere has the potential to be the longest combo field in the game and the only one that can transform.  A five second combo field on a 15 second cooldown is pretty typical. 
Still augments need work. I dare you to make the fire augment inflict burning on every strike because you’ve not done it for ele yet and they should be a fire master.

The jade sphere goes on cooldown with attunement swap.  First expectation is you can place this immediately. It’s taken some adjustment to not try to target its placement for a second, otherwise it doesn’t matter where my mouse is, it’s not going to activate. . Is this cooldown really serving a purpose though?

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I would have to agree with the negative feedback towards spvp with catalyst. After a few matches it becomes obvious that the spec isn't anywhere near the utility of other specs such as weaver. There's no weaver stances or barrier, no constant boon buffing and damage of tempest overloads, it's a style that feels very naked and without any real strength to compensate, just a slow moving hammer with the most disappointing damage and a well that is pointless to anything requiring movement The spec feels like a regression of before even some hot specs, let alone trying to match it with all the crazy utility/damage/tankiness of pof specs. Catalyst needs a lot of work when it comes to pvp and augments are probably creating the biggest gap in the spec, elite spec utilities should be part of what compliments it and provides synergy and if there's is any spec that needs it, it's catalyst.

 

On the bright side other weapon combos seem to provide more benefit towards catalyst than hammer, I hope anet considers them in any redesigns as to not be pigeon holed to one weapon like most elites.

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