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It's just as bad as I feared it would be, sadly.
-Both power and condi do some really low damage, and skills are very slow.
-The traits are SUPER underwhelming. With hammer, you have no real reliable way of spamming auras apart from one blast finisher on a huge cooldown on your hammer5 plus your jade sphere. You have to piano even harder than weaver to stack up the %stat bonuses, and spec your entire traits for it.
-Speaking of jade sphere, let's not mention how, apart from quickness in air, is just awful. It's just a boon/field bot. The damage is horrendous, despite the devs saying it's intentional, but what's worse is that it is stationary AND it has a long cooldown. There's no way to reposition it.
-And don't get me started on the hammer3 orbs. 5 seconds is way, WAY too short because all of the hammer skills are super slow, meaning you have to cycle every attunement without using any other skill in between, since their cast times are so long, and the orbs themselves have a cast time as well. The payoff is really low too.
-The utilies... They are just passives. A fire and forget passive stat with a very small duration, a really tiny impact and having their usefulness dependant on your already weak f5, which, did I already mention it having a long cooldown for a mechanic that the whole class is so dependant on?

Edited by Overdrive.9140
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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

First impression is the F5 is extremely clunky if you want it to function as boon support.

Hammer overall has some decent coefficients, I looked at the damage both in PVE and WVW for the melee range ones as well as the AOEs. Earth could probably hae bleeding added to hammer auto as a chain or something just for more bleeds. The Grand Finale needs more of a payoff besides mediocre damage ; Crescent Winds would probably be better as a ferocity bonus instead of a temporary critical chance. The attractiveness of hammer is going to be for many targets in melee since it cleaves 5 targets on earth and water.


Utility skills don't seem to be noteworthy for the most part.

Will add more as I play with it. Vindicator seems to be far more fleshed out.

---

Update : I see many comments saying it lacks damage but people really need to specify game mode and also make sure they use damage traits and gear. Default gear is celestial with strength runes. Other beta specs were mostly marauder gear with divinity runes which is a huge difference with respect to power damage. Already I see 40K+ benchmarks for it in PVE.

Edited by Infusion.7149
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I liked the idea here to switch Hammer 3 with the F5. 

 

I would also love if the "Release skill 3" still kept your swirly balls on. Currently you go through the hassle of frantically rotating your elements in short time just to enjoy the combined swirly balls benefits for what, one second? Before letting it go on opponent. It does not make for enjoyable gameplay.

 

Or change the ultimate to be the "release swirly balls skill" that feels impactful and worthwile to let go of all those built up swirlies.

PS: I hope lightning 5 graphics is a placeholder, it looks unfinished

Edited by ONko.7460
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You could've just given tempest quickness on aura application and make it an amazing and versatile support as it was always supposed to be and make catalyst something more special and not rely on quickness from an f5 mechanic that will never make it compete with the likes of firebrand

Well honestly since we're talking about ele here why not give tempest quickness on aura application with the aura share it already has in one of it's grandmasters and make powerful auras a baseline when using tempest.

Edited by skoda.4619
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7 minutes ago, Selein.5237 said:

Honestly, it feels like Catalyst wants to reward slow tempo like gameplay 

Not with much they want you to spam attunement swap just to keep up the orbs. I feel like I don't even have time to look at my cooldowns before I need to swap just to keep the damage multiplier JUST to try to do what damage I can already comfortably do on weaver.

Edit: And that's the problem. What is the point of this spec? If it's meant to be methodical, then why gate damage behind a buff with such a temperamentally short cooldown? It's playing against its own design

Edited by Sicarine.3985
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1 minute ago, ONko.7460 said:

I liked the idea here to switch Hammer 3 with the F5. 

 

I would also love if the "Release skill 3" still kept your swirly balls on. Currently you go through the hassle of frantically rotating your elements in short time just to enjoy the combined swirly balls benefits for what, one second? Before letting it go on opponent. It does not make for enjoyable gameplay.

 

Or change the ultimate to be the "release swirly balls skill" that feels impactful and worthwile to let go of all those built up swirlies.

 

Show me the misplaced Weaver elite without telling me its misplaced. lol

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Right off the bat I'm not a fan of this spec. Its very awkward to use and doesn't really offer a good and meaty payoff. Perhaps the boon build is different, but I was looking for a nuker and that is not a role I get that I can't do elsewhere with more satisfaction. The spec feels like a recycled spec and doesn't play well into the fantasy of the elementalist.

hammer is slow with poor payoff. I ended up switching to Scepter/focus and instantly the spec improved. Even with that it didn't feel better than a vanilla Elementalist. There was also issues with the skill 3 on the hammer which I feel should have a trait to summon 4 orbs at once with one activation and in the attunment you're in at the time. I want a simple elementalist spec that I can just stick in one element and FEEL like master of that element and yet this is not that.

 

Its sorta a Hybrid of Weaver and Tempest and not in a good way either. It takes all the worst elements of each and produces something lack luster.

 

When I was using the F5 I kept thinking "Why isn't this activated with my current attunment? Is it because its trying to be different from Tempest? it doesn't feel good to use." On top of that requiring the use of your Utility skills to be activated while in this field locks out a lot of ways to play and when I was testing it I felt punished for using the Jade sphere rather than rewarded. I wanted to get those boosts with the skills but it was too difficult to pull off unless you're not moving in a raid or something. Which wasn't ideal. I can't use these skills on the move.

 

The traits are fine I suppose, but overall this wasn't a good feeling spec. I think this needs a LOT of work. Like not even close to being ready to be released.

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This one has got some big problems, I don't like the various ranges on the different abilities and most of them are to small of range.

The F5 is too short, barely worth using.

The hammer is too slow, it feels like another 2h that is quickness dependent and I really don't like the play of that.

These things have to be  fixed for sure or its a deal breaker. I hope this helps because these seem like glaring issues, hard to miss these ones. 

 

 

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The F5 field is either too small or should move around with you. Cancelling it shouldn't make you lose all your energy, and attacking foes should generate energy even if the field is up, to make it longer.

The top traits are near unusable with hammer because the aura are too difficult to generate on this weapon.
The middle trait do not pay off and its grandmaster is near unusable too
The bottom traits are underwhelming, and barely useful.
Elemental epitome CD is too high.

Hammer feels clunky and far too slow even under full quickness. Its 3rd skill is built like an incentive to switch but the pay off is so small you don't even feel the difference between using it or not. Just give it Aura or Elemental Empowerment stack based on choosen grandmaster trait or something like that. Also, no trait enhance its damage nor CD.

From utility skills, only Relentless Fire is somewhat usable. The healing skill is... well, it exists. And the Elite skill is like any other Ele elite skills that is not Conjure Fiery Greatsword -> forgettable.

The only weapon that work "well" with it, is the Staff, but it was so much nerfed into oblivion that Core Ele is just as efficient without the hassle of a new mechanics.

Don't be afraid to make a good Elementalist spec because, as is, it's just a wannabe tempest+weaver combo but downgraded to a pre-buff Scrapper minus the bulk. Nerf conjured weapons to oblivion, because all high number benchmark are based on the presence of 2 conjured weapon whatever the Ele spec ; it is too unrealistic to even matter and balance the class around it.

Catalysts were casters from a bygone era but if they are not reworked to the ground, they will still be.

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What I love:

- Overall appeal.

- The Jade Sphere mechanic is very nice, especially with how it swaps with attunements.

- Range on hammer is very good. although I would make Air longer range (900) than Fire (600), to remove all reliance on Scepter, for players who chose to spec into Catalyst. I would also give Water some range (300) and just leave Earth as the bare-bones melee.

(Basically, just make all the Attunements have different attack ranges to maximise gameplay variability.)

- Perma Quickness for parties, bringing Ele back into the meta.

 

What I don't like:

- The Jade Sphere needs to be able to move with the Ele. Please learn from your mistakes with Scrapper.

- There should be a trait to make the previous Jade Sphere last an extra 1-2sec.

- The Hammer is too clunky because it doesn't have enough engagement skills. I want to leap into battle and deal massive damage to enemies, at the very least on Earth Attunement. But mostly, the skills just don't flow well like D/D, D/WH and Weaver Sword. It almost feels like playing Staff in this regard.

- Augments are clunky and don't really seem to work (a mobile Jade Sphere might improve this).

- Generating Auras is almost impossible. I realise this is Tempest's thing, but even Core Ele gets more access to and use out of Auras than Catalyst, so having traits for them is basically useless.

 

Also, the Jade Sphere should produce a dome (like Feedback, Guardian Shield #5, etc.), not a Well. Right now its hard to see and just gets lost in all the other AoEs on the ground so no one knows to stand in it.

 

If you make it a dome people will generally move into it on their own because Shield Good.

Edited by Hannelore.8153
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Imho I actually enjoy the specc. The rotation is slot of fun. It feels magic. It has cool combos. And has alot of potiental. 

My current issues would be. 

We need a post here to clarify what these speccs are susposed to be. 

Are these speccs susposed to compete with PoF or are you looking at balancing these proffessions at a lower bar and nerfing/changing  the current elite speccs to 

On the notes of design I think need changing. 

F5 mechanic either needs a trait option or something to change its function. The current function is incredibly limiting in what content it's actually useful in. 

Abilities need some larger pay offs, currently there isn't much reward for getting this many channeled abilities working properly 

Otherwise cool concept just needs refining and some alterations. 

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*SIGH*, I believe we could all see the warning signs with the 757 dislikes as opposed to the other 2 beta classes that only received less then 200 each! So... was this class an utter train wreck? Unfortunately the answer to that question, (for the most part is, yes!) The hammer was slow, clunky & essentially places a total glass cannon into the fray! The majority of the attacks & skills were practically useless & as for the traits... they are at least salvagable... >> with a Staff! (But otherwise... Ergh!)

 

Honestly I don't even want to suggest fixes to this class & I totally agree with many other players that ANET should just bin it & start over! The only reason I'd even consider taking catalyst at all is for the stability on the trait lines, otherwise... that's it! Seriously ANET, if your goals aren't in line with your player base, then in the long run, players will eventually jump ship! Personally, I believe you should have asked players what they wanted through a vote, rather then... this! Anyways... peace! :-)

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From playing more I've refined my thoughts on this espec, for me it boils down to:

1) Hammer isn't crazy damaging so, while I like it, it doesn't really warrant taking as you're not tankier than Tempest or Weaver to compensate for hammer's slowness and lack of defences. The lack of whirl finishers feels like a missed opportunity, but really if this is meant to be a less mobile brawler setup then Catalyst needs some inbuilt damage mitigation/tankiness. Harbinger got extra vitality to offset lacking shroud/barrier, imo Catalyst could stand to get some innate durability to offset losing Tempest's aura and heal sustain or Weaver's evades/barriers. Right now I'd rather run Daggers on Catalyst than hammer since they at least keep me mobile, like how they're used on core ele, and they have good access to fields + blasts + auras. Hammer relies too much on F5 for fields and the utilities don't help you out at all there. It needs fields, e.g. on #4. I'd support a range increase to 750 for fire/lightning too.

2)The heal/utilities/elite feel like half a slot when used in the wrong element or outside the sphere. In it, they feel like one slot's worth, but don't really provide that much of use - core abilities at least provide consistent value in any case. The earth utility, while I can see its use in PvP, gives very little barrier for using it in the field, and the Catalyst heal honestly seems worse than Tempest's or Weaver's. At the very least they should provide fields of their own too for comboing off of.

3) F5 has too little impact to function as area denial, relegating it to boon support instead. If it's going to stay this weak outside of the boons it provides, it really should follow the Catalyst around (even slightly slower movement like the scepter phoenix would be okay, could make for fun movement/positioning). That or let recasting F5 teleport the sphere to the Catalyst.

4) Durations on hammer #3 and most traits need to be extended so you aren't forced to burn cooldowns to keep them active for little payoff vs e.g. Weaver's traits. Elemental Empowerment needs to ramp up faster or have more active, proactive ways to get it that aren't talent dependent, as it is right now many fights are over by the time you hit max stacks (for the GM talent).

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Well. I won’t repeat what everyone else have said, but I totally agree with you. Making the f5 follow the caster like a gyro skill could perhaps make it less clunky, but I think there’s more work needed to be done on both the energy thing, the hammer and the utilities. 
 

Really like having quickness on ele though, but that’s about it for me on this e-spec. Only way I could make it work somewhat fast paced, fun and intuitive was to ignore its profession mechanics and weapon, and instead play it as a cele d/d core ele—where there actually are auras and ways to make combos. Specing LR and Elemental Surge works pretty nicely with Vicious Empowerment. 
 

It’s however nice with that quickness on top. But I sadly found that, building it up while standing in the air f5 field waiting in between fights, was the least clunky way to achieve its full power. 

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Overall I think that it feels very clunky to play. There's very few impactful abilities, and the rotating orbs on each element don't last long enough to do anything with. Even during the stream, CMC failed to get the final combo off a few times because it lasts for such a short amount of time.

 

A few things:

1) The orbs should be doubled or even tripled in duration. Either that, or make it so that when we're channeling an orb and switch attunements, it automatically adds the next element's orb. In theory I like the idea of shifting between fire->water->air->earth and repeating that (the synergy between earth 5 and fire 4 is cool) but with current skill times you are RUSHING through. There's almost no time to cast any other abilities when you're trying to do the hammer #3 combo. Personally, I think that the elemental orb should automatically appear on attunement swap OR have no cast time. Grand Finale having a cast time is fine, but just to summon the orb? It feels clunky, and hammer overall feels slow and immediately like the worst of Ele's mid-range/melee options.

 

2) The focus on auras within the traits feels....uninspired? It encroaches on a big part of Tempest's identity without nearly the functionality of it.

 

3) Jade Spheres: man, these feel bad. No damage (except for fire which does a painfully small amount of it), short duration, small radius, punishing gameplay. Recalling the orbs is almost worse than letting it expire because of the cooldown. These really should follow the player, think Udyr from League of Legends. You want Ele to have a mid/frontline spec? Then their spec mechanic really should follow along with them. Plus, think about how cool it would look to have the elemental creatures flying into combat right behind you? Especially with the tech that's in the game to allow for moving AoEs, this should be implemented.

 

4) Air hammer #5 feels incredibly unimpactful. In my opinion this shouldn't be a projectile at all, it should be a ground target "thunder strike" (think air scepter 2+3). Right now, it sends a puny little projectile that looks like it's off to tickle your enemies. Compared to Earth 5 or Water 5, it feels really bad.

 

5) This ties in to the Jade Spheres, but the utilities feel so bad if not cast in the Sphere's AoE. It's incredibly punishing to get a small buff instead of a bigger one because you're not standing in a tiny AoE that doesn't follow you.

 

Overall, I'm pretty disappointed in the spec. I really wanted to love it, and I wasn't one of the players who was disappointed in getting another melee-focused spec. In terms of how the spec flows, it's far outmatched by Weaver. In terms of support and survivability, it's far outmatched by Tempest. It borrows from everything we've seen from Ele so far in the lifetime of this game while improving on none of it, on top of just not feeling...good? After how great Tempest and Weaver felt to play, Catalyst unfortunately falls on its face.

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- Likes

A lot of the spec seem to be based around hitting fast to build up energy/refresh cd with ult, etc, which is a cool concept

Ranged hammer, but... please more ranged

Can get a constant celerity uptime in openworld

The idea to be the "ultimate Celeste ele" feels fun, like core ele on crack

- Dislikes

Utility skills are all very poor

The zone being small AND/OR not following you feels completely awful

For a spec about hitting fast, hammer skills feels WAY too sluggish. Even Rev hammer feels faster

Not enough combo zone, not even enough combo finisher

Aura path/idea feel completely off considering Tempest will always be better at playing around with Auras

The Hammer 3 orb is very stressful to keep up, especially considering all the long hammer animation (all hammer 5, hammer 2 on water/air/earth, hammer 4 on fire/air/earth)

All other spec lose something to gain access to their new mechanic, you even updated HoT ones for this reason. Yet Catalyst lose nothing, thus provide a very mediocre mechanic. 

The hybrid range doesn't work well and I'm way too often swinging in the void

 

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First of all I would like to apologize to all the people who worked on the new spec for all of the rude comments flooding this thread, everyone about to reply please remember this a beta, and don't get personal or emotional with your feedback.

Catalyst is incredibly fun and I personally think hammer is by far the most fun weapon for ele. I think the only suggestion I have for the hammer is to add some kind of attack chain to air #1.

The traits are pretty straight forward and seem to allow for build diversity, the only suggestion for the traits would be to swap the "2% of all stats" traits to instead be "3-4% of power, precision, condi dmge, ferocity" for pvp only as there is no access to celestial stats in pvp.

The utilities are again all straight forward and allow for great build diversity, my only suggestion would be to add reflect on top of the block from the earth option.

Thanks again and I am so excited for ele hammer time come EoD!

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I think that Catalyst has a solid foundation, but could use some work to reach its full potential. The ability to combine hammer skills, the sphere, and utilities for a period of burst damage was fun and felt like the different elements of the specialization were working together. I generally like hammer, I think the combination of melee and ranged works well on Elementalist. However, I believe hammer needs more of an incentive to enter melee. The sphere boons work well with increased boon duration and/or Sphere Specialist, encouraging attunement swapping and giving boons that last long after the sphere has ended. On the other hand, the fixed cooldown and recalling the sphere removing any remaining energy limits its use, discouraging using it for brief durations. I like how the utilities tie into the sphere and encourage attunement swapping, but I think they could be improved by adding some kind of benefit for using them outside the sphere, like gaining energy, to give them more fexibility. Alternatively, if they affected the sphere (increased size, added damage, etc) rather than buffing the player character, it could make controlling the sphere feel more like a key aspect of the specialization, adding to its identity. Also, the elite's weapon skill recharge feels like it goes against the attunement swapping incentives from other aspects of the specialization and is just kind of strange on Elementalist of all classes. I like some of the traits, like the bottom row and Elemental Epitome. However, the aura damage reduction and boosting traits feel too similar to gaining Elemental Empowerment, as it also increases defense and damage.

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I think F5 could work like this: if you cast it on fire, the field will remain on fire. Then u can F5 again on another attunement to change the field AND reposition the orb. 

I honestly dont get why, at the moment, if you press F5 again you CANCEL the skill and LOSE all the energy lol You should at least have some energy back.

 

Also the 2% damage per aura stack has to last twice as long. Even fighting golems its kinda hard to hit max stacks.

 

Utility skills gotta have some use...srsly. Im not using a single one of them. Not the heal, utility or elite. The utilities seems like traits, they have pretty much no animation. They are just buffs, like: here, have some dmg. For 5 sec your skills inflict minor AoE dmg. 

 

Cuz its hard/underwhelming building up energy, i just make use of this new e-spec to gain access to quickness. If i had a core utility that granted me 5sec of quickness i wouldnt be using the Catalyst i think.

Edited by dtox.8397
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Once again, you've got Elementalist trying to do WAY too many things and from experience, we all know this ends badly, whether it be broken op, or broken crap, weak. 

 

Here's a Document I threw out from 2 hours of analyzation, if anyone else has a better input or think they can suggest better list it here. Catalyst Improvement

 

My personal take is that Catalyst shouldn't try to be Celestial, Zerker, Auramancy, and a Steady Presence as well. It should be more like what Vindicator is trying to do. Vindicator, you can either be a support or a dps. That's it. It doesn't trying to be 50 million things and this is where Elementalist is failing. Where some elite specs are only trying to be no more than 2 things, Ele is trying to be 500 things. 

 

Each Elite Spec should bring in something that is more focused on one attribute, rather than multiple. You want a celestial spec? Fine, then make it focused on Cele, not other things as well. Auramancy is something Tempest and Core Ele does, mainly Tempest, not something Catalyst. 

 

Rather Catalyst should focus on its own abilities or abilities such as glyphs we haven't used in awhile. You guys said "A steady presence" Then we should make Catalyst more tanking but not necessarily "support". It should be tankier, but also still capable of heavily hitting. 

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Hammer:

Hammer is far, far slower than it looked in the preview. The cast times and slow animations (especially earth2) make it an incredibly dull weapon. I tried to enjoy the earth2 skill but it's just comically bad.

Fire and air auto-attacks are single target. This might be justifiable if they had other perks like greater range or if the other skills had great cleave. As it is, it's not very usable in open world or WvW.

Either the timer on the circular projectiles needs to be increased or the payoff has to increase. It's absolutely not worth frantically switching elements, thereby wasting my attunement cooldowns, for essentially nothing. Instant casting and 10s timers might make it worthwhile to build them up.

I'm not sure the range differences between air/fire and water/earth have been well thought out. I can't see any benefit to staying at 600 range when the circling projectiles and fire5 are all close range. So my question is: What???!!?!?!

I wouldn't mind that there are no combo fields on the hammer if there were more combo finishers to compensate. Long cooldowns on the finishers as well as delayed effects are killing me. Whirl finishers on air2 and earth2 as well as a projectile finisher on grand finale or fire2 would completely solve this issue.

Damage-wise, I'm not really sure. It's certainly nothing special but maybe that's how it should be. 

f5:

In WvW everything moves far too quickly to take any advantage from this whatsoever. Even in PvE the cooldown, the cast time, the energy and the lack of mobility make this the perfect storm of uselessness. I can't see that the energy mechanic has any value at all. The energised elements trait barely helps. Given that hammer has no fields of its own, it's not overpowered for an elite spec where the sole mechanic is a field to at least have that field at all times. We can only have so many combo finishers anyway and any relevant traits have their own cooldowns.

There a few things that could be done to make this usable and nothing less will do. Make the field constant along with one the following: Give it a ammo mechanic like scourge shades / Make the field move with you / Make it moveable like a ventari tablet. And please make it usable outside of combat. With constant uptime and more combo finishers this could be a much more fun and useful mechanic.

Traits:

Most of the traits, in a vacuum, are alright. Unfortunately how they interact with the hammer and jade spheres makes some of them very weak.

The aura traits would be perfectly fine if the jade spheres could be relied on. As it stands, to take full advantage of these traits you'll have to sit on your field and rush through your attunements, wasting extremely valuable skills and attunement cooldowns just to sit at max stacks until your jade sphere disappears a few seconds later.

The elemental empowerment traits are ok. The one problem is that for an elite spec with so little active defence, it doesn't make sense for evasive empowerment to activate on a dodge. It's just not worth it.

The jade sphere traitline (bottom) is truly underwhelming. 2 energy that hardly makes a difference as far as I can see. A few boons on the second trait that activate once every million years. And lastly, while extra quickness uptime from the last trait is actually great with fresh air, this trait has extremely limited value for condition builds and suffers from the jade spheres being immobile and inaccessible half the time.

Utilities:

Quite forgettable. Not amazing. Not awful. Given how unreliable the jade spheres are, getting the secondary effects is way too situational. Other than giving these a complete rework I'm not sure what to suggest.

Defence:

In practice, this spec has even less defence than weaver. Staunch auras, hammer-air-4 and water-4 are very good. The rest is incredibly unreliable or non-existent. If you build very tanky you could rely on elemental empowerment but that's it.

 

 

Overall this spec is essentially the same as core ele. The jade spheres are incredibly impractical. Hammer is too slow and weak. The bottom traitline is weak. So what does catalyst really provide? 

Edited by Demented Yak.6105
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I'm just going to say it: augments are undertuned and would never see play. they provide no boons, no combo finishers, and their reliance on two-factor authentication of jade orb + correct attunement is crippling.

 

I also think that the jade orb being an f5 is not ideal. I think it should be like overload. Because it's unfortunate that the combo field of the orb changes attunements with you. It limits combo potential. It should be like this:

I am in water attunement. My f2 is now [deploy jade sphere]> I use the ability to make the field, I switch attunement to fire. The field stays water. F1 is now [Deploy Jade Sphere]. I don't understand the point of recalling the sphere if you lose all energy anyway,

Edited by Green Thumb Gamers.3608
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