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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'm disappointed in the Catalyst. 

The main benefit of the Catalyst should be about using the Jade Spheres to force the enemy to reposition themselves, and gain some positioning control for yourself or your team. Currently the damage is not there to do this - so actually something like Scourge ends up being a way better option to achieve this. Scourge doesn't require you to build up energy, yet Catalyst does. The payoff is not there.

The F5 Skill feels rushed, and doesn't have a purpose. Compare the F5 mechanic to something else like Holosmith. Holo feels powerful: you get your own unique visuals and you can clearly see when someone is in their Holo Forge. The enemy is obviously in Holo Forge and you can see when he/she is overheating....Now look at what ele gets. You don't even get a Jade Sphere passively floating above you as shown in the Artwork (It's only there when you activate your field, but the field vanishes quickly). The field animations looked pretty in the Trailer but in combat they don't feel as powerful or look as good as other classes. You also have no way of telling your own elemental energy apart from a tiny UI bar above your F5. Not even a nice glow or anything like that? Come on. I understand that the current UI might be a placeholder (Well - I really hope it is) but this feels RUSHED to say the least.

The benefits of F5 don't feel worth it whatsoever. They do not do damage, nor much support right now. The idea is you're supposed to augment and do some crazy stuff, but none of that seems to be working well in PvP at least. Hammer is just not viable. I imagine in Raids it could be useful on non moving targets but that's about it.

Also, you need to build up energy to use it. By the time you end up getting the energy, you're likely dead because you're an elementalist. I much prefer the Holosmith design where you get access to F5 straight off, then have to moderate usage depending on what's going on with combat. The fact you start off weak just makes ele always have to play defensively. 

Some of the traits have some interesting combinations with Auras, but you barely get any Auras from Hammer. There are some defensive skills but they are all keeping you in close combat which just promotes a gameplay style that just isn't fun for Eles. 

And finally...Wtf is that Elite Skill? Please take a look at this and change it completely. It literally provides some reduced recharge on weapons, and one boon for the exchange of a 120 second cooldown?! That is on the same level as a minor traitline, I got no idea why you thought that was fun.


More self quickness, probably add a trait that gives quickness. Hammer needs to feel much faster and hit MUCH quicker.

More self applied auras - This could be achieved by adding more combo fields onto the skills or making the F5 combo fields last much longer. 

Give the utility skills more of a purpose - they just are underwhelming - not enough damage and also don't sustain you much either. They really just achieve nothing.



Edited by girlwars.5217
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I'm by no means an ele main, but from my first impressions:

I personally like the hammer, it's a little clunky but enjoyable apart from juggling #3's short duration (haven't tried the weapon anywhere too serious yet). That said, a) Hammer has way too little access to fields and combos for a spec that is supposed to emphasise those heavily, I expected the #4 skills to at least provide fields but they don't. Leaving it to a solitary, unmoving F5 field isn't enough, at the very least the utilities could provide fields too, but really there need to be a few more on the weapon itself. Dagger dagger has much better access to combos as it stands right now, simply by virtue of having access to fire fields (along with the blasts in ice and earth), hammer lacks fields of its own and is thus too reliant on F5 alone.

b) Catalyst feels extremely squishy, even for elementalist, especially if you take Catalyst utilities and not standard elementalist ones. Running zerker gear, I feel far more survivable on Tempest with dagger + warhorn or focus with the healing + hard CC those combos provide. Even Weaver with Twist of Fate + some of its dual skills fare better. I'm really not feeling the brawler vibe here using hammer with how glassy it is - I'd rather not have this spec become Weaver but with a hammer. Perhaps some inbuilt tankiness like how Harbinger gets extra vitality to offset not having deathshroud or barriers, albeit in this case to offset ele's reliance on mobility (which hammer lacks) and other mechanics (Tempest does aura spam better and Weaver has better evasion/barrier)?

c) Heal, utilies, elite: The payoff for these, e.g. the earth utility that gives you barrier if in the correct attunement, is very, very bad. For most of these, it feels like standing in the correct sphere gives you what the skill should give you in the first place, not a bonus on top of an already okay skill. With the sphere in the wrong element, I feel like I'm getting half a slot's value in several cases and would just be better off taking core skills for consistent, higher value and flexibility. Comparing to the other especs, Weaver's heal for example feels flat out better for a melee brawler than Catalyst's does.

d) Timings. The #3 skills on hammer force you to attunement swap very fast to capitalise and several traits have such low refresh durations they similarly force you to spam out skills just to keep them active, all while not really having a big payout (this goes for comboing #3 and stacking traits). The traits need higher durations, as does hammer #3 (so you aren't forced to just burn through attunements). Elemental empowerment takes too long to ramp up in many fights as well.

Edited by Drakonhammer.2148
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This feels bad tbh. I'm fairly desperate for any fields whatsoever to the point i wish i had a tempest to babysit me. I feel short on combo finishers, the few i have being on long cd nukes or cc's makes them feel unavailable. They feel like skills i should be holding for a specific moment, rather than throwing out on cooldown to get an aura. I'm tempted to go into arcane for the utilities but the only trait i really like in arcane is evasive arcana so thats unappealing.

The long animations, short range on attacks, lack of movement speed, gapclosers, stability and low defensive stats aren't a good basis for a melee class. I dont feel like im doing consistent damage unless armor of earth is available and standing around the sameish spot for any length of time just gets me killed.

The sphere is basically never available, the 3 skill doesn't last long enough. Dont rate the utilities much.


It feels like it could potentially be fun despite that


EDIT: Sigh

Energy drops to 0 when downed, is that really necessary?

Edited by Caid.4932
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I'm not sure why Hammer 3 and F5 aren't swapped. Combo fields aren't really a new and interesting mechanic for the Elementalist.. more like the bread and butter.

Turn Hammer 3 into combo fields, F5 into swirly avatar mode. Suddenly you have a weapon that can actually combo by itself and and interesting mechanic that's not totally kitten in almost every game mode by being stationary.

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When I saw it last week very excited to play it however just feels like theres something missing. Doing some pvp felt tanky than normal, dmg was ok once i went dagger/ focus (helped with aura's to)  but the sphere felt pointless dropped it hit a blast finisher maybe got an aura off it then it was gone but not only gone on cd? Got to build energy and it has a cd feels like one or the other to me?  i felt like i was playing tempest but I banned from using overloads...


This spec needs something to show it appart from core/ tempest is the new f5 right thing? I think could do really well with wall/ ward ele that people asked for...

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Sooo tested it in PVE:

1. Hammer does close to no dmg. Even my celestial arcane weaver does way more damage than this. Specing more dps traits/zerk gear didnt helped (but i died faster). 

2. Sphere mechanic is meh. It has an energy bar AND a cd of 15 secs. Energy is lost even if you deactivate it 2 secs after its activation. Energy gain is too slow. Either remove the energy mechanic or lower its cd to 2-3 secs. And plz make energy not dissapear while ooc.

3. Blasting fields feels like a very bad and unrewarding mini game since you definetly dont get enough profit for doing it instead of damaging.

4. Stacking +all stats buff is a pain because you need to keep an eye for aura blasting/timing dodges/damage and etc. Either prolongue the effects duration or change stacking mechanics.

5. Hammer #3 skills have short duration, you either have time to prolongue them by constantly attunement swapping just for that sole purpose or loose them if you actually want to press any other skills. 
6. Utilities aside from healing one and shield are kinda useless. Ultimate utility is either bugged or badly designed because it only loweres the cd of ACTIVE attunement skills (rip my hopes of fast cd MS)

Overall it feels like you have to juggle a lot of minigames to get lower results than other elites/classes. And it seems that Catalyst doesnt actually know what it is meant to do, cause it has mechanics that reward you for attunement camping (for ex.quickness gain from sphere, buffing yourself and/or your group, damage is clearly coming from fire(semi condi)/air(pure power) attunements) and swapping attunements mindlessly (for ex.hammer #3 skills and aura blasting). And these mechanics counter each other since you actually need all of the mentioned above to stay competetive even in PVE and you simply could not accomplish it in its current state. 


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2 hours ago, hugo.4705 said:

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

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

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

I have to call you out on this... ONLY Earth Attunement with hammer is slower than Scrapper hammer. Air and Water Attunement have the fastest skill activation out of any Hammer profession, and Fire Attunement is on par with other professions Hammer skills.


Whirling Stones & Ground Pound (Earth 2 & 5) could certainly use with a damage increase, given they are the slowest of all Catalyst Hammer skills and their damage is noticeably less than their next closest skills in both speed and function Hurricane of Pain & Molten End (Air 2 & Fire 5). Hurricane of Pain hits almost twice as often as Whirling Stones and does almost double damage per hit, as a ranged ability no less, and that is before you factor in the 9 stacks of Vulnerability that Hurricane of Pain applies vs the pitiful 1 stack of Bleed per hit of Whirling Stones... Whirling Stones should do significantly more damage per impact than Hurricane of Pain does by merit of it being both slower and melee. Ground Pound is in a similar situation, though not as big of a gap. Molten End deals ~30% more direct damage than Ground Pound, but Ground Pound does also apply 5 stacks of Bleed, but the bleed damage is over a period of nearly 12 seconds. The delay on he bulk of Ground Pound's damage makes it feel significantly weaker, and this issue is compounded by the fact that the much faster Cleansing Typhoon (Water 5) does almost as much damage as Molten End with half the activation time. I would say Cleansing Typhoon & Ground Pound should have their direct damage swapped. Ground Pound will still feel weaker than Molten End initially, but the impact of the 5 stacks of bleed will be more immediately noticable bringing the two skills more on par with eachother, and by bringing the damage of Cleansing Typhoon down, it make the slower activation of the other two skills feel much more impactful.


Air 2 and Earth 2 are similar, but still far from copy/pasted skills... yes, they play the same attack animation, but Air 2 is a ranged ability dealing damage at your target marker location while Earth 2 is purely melee. You also have the fact that they have different attack speeds to them as mentioned above. They also share similarity to Scrapper's 2 (Electro-whirl) but are SOO much more effective, given that the slowest of the two (Whirling Stones) hits 5 times more often... Speaking of Electro-whirl, I am kinda disappointed that neither Hurricane of Pain nor Whirling Stones are tagged as Combo Finisher: Whirl, they really should be...

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Imagine having to manage four attunements, another f5 skill that requires an energy bar, it's like they thought hey lets drop druid startup onto ele and see how that works!


Geez just make the f5 be usable after switching through a full cycle of the four attunements or something, and maybe make it work like scrapper gyro wells instead of a stationary field that's next to useless in wvw, because you have to be constantly next to it to combo with skills but you're constantly moving in fights.


Why are they stuffing all these extra systems onto classes lol. K.I.S.S.

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In it's current state Catalyst feels very clunky and unrewarding to play, there are too many competing priorities and hoops to jump through for payoffs that are way too situational and unrewarding. I will try my best to sum up why each component of the specialisation makes me feel this way...


  1. Having to build up energy plus having a cooldown is a big investment and payoff is nowhere near worth it, as the sphere can be made totally redundant by my enemy simply deciding to move away, which also then impacts the effectiveness of my hammer, augments and traits.
  2. Recalling loses all energy and puts the skill on full cooldown, why would I ever choose to do this? I can't meaningfully re-deploy it either because now I need to build up energy again.
  3. Having no way to generate energy once the sphere is deployed also feels bad.
  4. Sphere being the only way to generate fields given all of the above is also frustrating.


  1. Skill 3 - the orbs and related buffs disappear too quickly, you can't get much use out of other skills to disable my enemy or combo fields to generate auras (which is what my traits want me to do) because then I won't get the full payoff of Grand Finale, I feel like I have to pick one or the other.

  2. I wish hammer had more fields and finishers, my traits are asking me to generate auras and the only way I can do that is via my sphere which is so limited (see above).


  1. Augments don't feel impactful at all, being linked to spheres mean they are too easily affected by their flaws. It's too easy for the sphere bonus to be negated because 1) the fight has moved away from where the sphere was placed 2) you're low on energy and now need to build it back up to re-deploy another sphere 3) you're in the 'wrong' attunement (probably because you're trying to get the most out of hammer 3) to that of the augment.


  1. I like how the top, middle and bottom lines synergise with each other, but they don't appear to synergise well with hammer, spheres and augments. Not enough fields, finishers or auras on hammer and augments to make them consistently effective.

I really want to try and describe the problems I'm feeling rather than coming up with solutions... but I feel like if the sphere followed you (or you could re-deploy it at much less cost), you were able to generate energy whilst the sphere was deployed and the hammer 3 skills stayed active whilst you had energy, this spec would be way less clunky and the different components would synergise together much better. Maybe that would make Catalyst too OP, nerf the numbers if you need to, but the spec needs to be fun to play first and foremost.

Edited by Pocket.2740
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I feel like this is a worse bruiser 🙂

it lack something.. more dmg reduction? Or the healthy extra vitality from weaver (maybe X% more health and toughness).


The elite mechanic is clunky at best, a feels bad to use.


Love that hammer got a lot of blast finisher, but over all missing the impactfull feel (sound and animation), AA are also underwhelming… an attack chain wouldn’t hurt.


Love that most attacks grant conditions. 

In my opinion the weakest elite specc to date.

But maybe you can still tweak it.


Also the new in-combat buff is too slow and feels bad.

Edited by Phoenix the One.4071
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I've been a weaver main ever since Path of Fire released, and I was genuinely excited to see the gameplay of Catalyst because a better mid-range option seemed amazing to have. Though after finally getting my hands on it, it all fell apart.


Using catalyst feels like trying to put together a puzzle, but you have half the pieces from 2 different sets, as well as a timer to put it together in under a minute.


None of the hammer skills feel like they do a significant amount of damage. the massive variation in range between skills is extremely clunky, especially with the fire attunement. you have 3 skills that activate at about 600 range, 1 skill that's melee, and then the shared 3 skill is somehow between them both and impossible to hit at 600 range or in melee range, only in a weird middle point. adding onto the fact that the duration on the 3 skill is so tight that you can barely get in a single other skill before you can try and extend the duration.


The traitline is uninspired. The Catalyst has barely any way to apply a self aura, not even leap finishers through combo fields because they don't have either unless you include the F5 skill, which I'll get back to later. The "Elemental Empowerment" is extremely difficult to upkeep on it's own and barely does anything noticeable in combat.


The utilities completely useless. They do less than other core elementalist utilities, and are only worth using in the jade sphere which is extremely difficult to use


The jade sphere is the most disappointing thing about the class. It's extremely clunky, only lasts a about 15 seconds, and takes 10-15 seconds to build up energy for, by which point most open world combat might end. The sphere decays to 10 energy out of combat, and if you place it and withdraw it, all energy is instantly consumed. If you go down, all energy is also consumed.


I feel like the catalyst could be redeemed by a few changes to the Jade Sphere, as well as some more interesting traits. as an idea:


When you're standing inside the jade sphere, whichever attunement you're in permanently gives you the effect of the corresponding utility.

Fire: +15% outgoing damage
Water: Splash damage
Air: Superspeed
Earth: pulsing Barrier

With this also reworking some of the utilities to be more interesting than just applying a buff


The jade sphere would also massively benefit from following the player instead of being a placeable field, because the hammer itself lacks all fields and only has a few blast finishers. Energy should also be easier to obtain. Perhaps it could decay faster, but dealing damage will refresh it, allowing it to stay active almost permanently as long as the player is attempting to upkeep it.


On top of that, energy should start at 100%, or at least 50% out of combat, because otherwise the field is basically useless in short encounters.


I love the idea behind the catalyst, it seems super fun on paper, but as it's been executed right now it's too clunky and doesn't synergize with itself at all.


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My thoughts are from about 2h of trying it in a few different PvE environments with others and solo:


I like the compact UI for the energy, but it is not well telegraphed to a lot of people, and hard to track in combat due to its size. Maybe a slightly more prominent bar would help people recognise and track it.


I like the idea of the dynamic element combo field (plus the animations are fantastic), and that hammer has consistent blasts in the 5 slot, but the field itself doesn't really feel worth the entire profession mechanic. Duration feels difficult to build, and only managed to get it to feel semi-consistent using lightning storm utility and lightning hammer 4. Maybe that's fine if you want it to be more of a build-around, but the payoff does not feel worth it for a relatively small immobile field.


What I'd really like to see is GM traits that interact more directly with the field (think Scourge shade). One trait that improves AoE, maybe another that makes it cost less energy (therefore more duration), maybe one that makes it follow you but last less time? or perhaps causes energy to build to 50% out of combat. Or causes the field to drop at your new location when you switch elements. Just a few ideas.

The current trait lines that pair with Auras are nice for cross-class synergy, but feel a lot like Tempest, and the other lines that grant an all stats buff, while it may be potent, feels very... bland.


I like the hammer as a weapon, I like the slower more deliberate pace, I particularly like the jump back/leap in with air4/water4. The orb mechanic is interesting, but feels like the duration is limiting, as others have said. It doesn't feel like you can do much other than cycle through the elements hitting 3 if you want to build multiple. If it's a balance concern, I'd rather have longer duration, less damage and have it feel a bit smoother to use.


The utility skills honestly felt pretty underwhelming. Using them out of the sphere feels bad, and as previously stated, maintaining good uptime on the sphere is hard enough, let alone staying in it, in the right element, while evading attacks etc. Maybe if the Augment effects were significantly better (or were not element specific), it would be more worth the build-around. In terms of PvE, unblockable feels largely useless (I'm happy to be wrong when the expansion releases). 1/2 a second of chill per attack also doesn't feel like a real benefit when many of the hammer skills are built to be on the slower side. Maybe it's more fun with other weapons, but most of my testing was with hammer.

The elite is a bit more promising, and I can imagine being fun in builds that like to camp a specific element, of which there was not previously much support for outside of Fresh Air.


Personally I had a lot of fun with a Hammer(lightning) + lightning hammer setup using Lightning rod and glyph of storms. It felt both thematic, and as though it worked reasonably well with the traits and profession mechanic. Celestial gear also felt quite nice for the synergy with the buff, and more tanky mid-range playstyle it allows.


Overall, I'm interested to play more, but feel it needs a bit of quality-of-life improvement to feel truly compelling.

Keep up the good work! :)

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The biggest changes Catalyst needs is to the sphere and I would do the following:

Get rid of the cooldown.

Have the sphere follow the caster like Scrapper gyros.

Have the sphere summonable at any amount of energy. Draining two energy a second which it currently does.

Grand Finale from Hammer 3 and any combos give energy, regardless if the sphere is out or not. Active use of combos and the elite spec weapon would allow for greater duration of the specs main mechanic. 

Regen 2-3 energy a sec when the sphere is not out so a full charge of 30energy takes 10 seconds max. Even less from any combos and hammer 3 as previously stated.

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Honestly, as a whole, I actually kinda like this spec. I'm not big on competitive play, mostly just spend my time in PvE, and I enjoyed being an Ele swingin around a hammer. There's a few things I think could be tweaked, but overall I had fun with it.


The hammer weapon was by far my favorite part of the spec, although I feel like the damage output either needs to be increased or the range does; eles are just not built for close combat, so forcing an ele to get so close to enemies is a dangerous game and, imo, should come with a bit more reward. This weapon set feels like it could be an excellent glass cannon spec; get up close for massive amounts of damage, then maybe have to dart back to avoid getting hit. There's a few hints of that, with the air 4 skill, but at the same time it does feel a little asynchronous to have a skill dedicated to putting space between you and the enemy... on a weapon that requires close range combat. I also am not sure if I like the Earth 1 skill... it feels a bit too "busy" somehow for a tier 1 skill. The spikes erupting from the earth repeatedly is a Bit Much. Overall, though, I enjoy hammer, and can see myself using it. I like the visuals, too! Some neat animations, I like the little orbs for the 3 skills, I really enjoyed the fact that the Earth 5 skill is named Ground Pound (got a good chuckle out of me, lol). Some of the animations felt a tad reminiscent of Rev hammer skills, but eh, there's only so many ways you can animate swinging a hammer around.


The Jade Sphere... is a really interesting concept, but imo it really fails to deliver. It's got some absolutely rad visuals, but... I didn't find myself ever in a position where I could really benefit from it. It's basically worthless if you're running around in PvE by yourself, and I can't imagine having a stationary, rather small field for combos would be overly useful. I almost feel like the Jade Sphere should follow you around, giving a radius effect centered on you, rather than being a stationary field, or else should be a much bigger radius? I feel like it should give more buffs/debuffs/damage based on what element it is as well. Give it more of a use outside just combo field, imo. The utility skills all centering around the Sphere also makes them feel rather lackluster, given the small radius of the Sphere. A lot of combat is focused around movement, so having a small stationary circle where you get some stuff feels counterintuitive, especially for a class that generally requires extra movement to avoid being hit. The Ultimate skill also feels... rather pointless, imo. Cooldowns aren't really long enough for that to be a problem to dedicate a skill slot to fixing, and, again, having to be within radius of the sphere to get the boons is not ideal. I can't see any circumstance in which I would pick that over, say, being able to turn into a tornado or summon an elemental.


tl;dr--hammer cool, sphere not so much

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5 hours ago, Fire Attunement.9835 said:

Let us know what you think about the catalyst! What do you really like? What needs to be improved or adjusted?

Found a bug? Let us know in the bug thread.

Some feedback so far -


It feels a little clunky, so here are a few suggestions:


1. When swapping attunement, remove the 1 sec cooldown on f5

2. Remove the cast time for augments & hammer 3 skills (i would love to be able to use these while casting skills or mid animation)

3. Either make the jade tech spheres follow us or allow us to recast f5 to bring it to us. 


Edited by Kyraios.8954
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Catalyst has felt like the clunkiest spec shown to date. Hammer as a whole seems confused as to what it wants to be; melee, medium range? The Jade Sphere seems double confused- all the benefits it provides seem negligible and the damage it outputs completely paltry.

None of the utility skills feel impactful on their own, nor do they feel good to use when combined with their requisite sphere fields (often feels like nothing changed.) Catalyst needs to decide what it wants to be, because currently it's a terrible feeling support and a terrible feeling DPS.

I feel like it was best described during the stream reveal of the espec: "So we gave elementalists a hammer for some reason". Hammer needs to be revisited.

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Well after testing I feel like F5 need to last longer, it should not lose energy out of combat and it needs to fill up faster. 

Hammer skills are fun but some should get some dmg and condi boost (my cele weaver doing more dmg than cele catalyst). 


Maybe increase fire lightning range to 750 and skills. 

Edited by Ragnarox.9601
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