Usagi.4835 Posted September 25, 2021 Share Posted September 25, 2021 (edited) TO START, this is lengthy and I know this topic has been done to death, so sorry. But if you do read it all, much love and many thanks... This post largely reflects my experience playing elementalist for the last 4 or 5 years and focusses largely on staff on weaver in largescale WvW. Some of it may be relevant to PvE too, I don't know. I've made far too many posts saying the same thing over and over in the hopes of gaining more traction. I think it's normal to disagree and often, when I see thoughtful suggestions about reworking staff, I do disagree because I think there are simpler solutions that just involve tweaking numbers and reverting damage nerfs. (That's not to say there aren't skills that could use an update or refresh to make them feel more impactful or relevant in the game as it stands now.) For those of you who know Solemn from his YouTube videos, I partly agree with him: staff weaver is decent/pretty good at times. It used to be the case, prior to HoT and long before PoF brought Weaver to us, that staff was a multifunctional weapon: it offered group utility and area control with soft and hard CC; it provided water fields for combo finishers and condition cleanse; and, of course, it brought kittening bomb damage. WvW, as it was then, is a thing of the past, long gone. In the same way that many core builds were rendered less effective or even impractical by elite specs, many staff skills have diminished in their value and are now largely useless. That is to say, there are other external reasons besides staff's damage coefficients which illustrate why it can sometimes feel meh and unimpactful, even when you're using berserker/marauder gear and your role is primarily to DPS (which, in a sense, is its group utility): Staff is frequently and easily mitigated. Projectiles in this game suffer a lot. Projectile destruction or reflects are everywhere in WvW. Tempest aurashare reflects, mesmer Feedback, scrapper Defense Field, and Guardian/Firebrand's tome reflect and Wall of Reflection, a long duration reflect wall on a short cooldown. I can't tell you how many times I've pressed Pile Driver and immediately thought, "This is going to get reflected..." And it does. Lol. barrier, protection, aegis, damage reduction food, rez utilities like Illusion of Life - a skill I loathe - and so on. But the worst offender BY FAR is virtually permanent AOE superspeed. There was a recent post on Reddit about boons and how strong and prevalent they are. That applies here too. As those of us who take One With Air know, superspeed on its own is incredibly strong. Thanks to Master of Manipulation not only granting AOE superspeed but also reducing cooldowns on those utilities, bunker chrono drivers provide it more often. And here, scrapper excels. Gyroscopic Acceleration grants 5 seconds of superspeed on scrapper wells which, on their own, are really good! And it synergises with Kinetic Accelerators which grants 2½ seconds of quickness (again, really strong) on superspeed application. How is this okay? And why is AOE application so accessible, so easy, so frequent? This brings me to my other point. Besides staff weaver having many projectile skills which can be countered, core staff skills have a long wind-up time. Eruption and Ice Spike, which actually deal okay-to-pretty good damage, are oftentimes useless because people run right over them even when you try to be smart about pre-casting and positioning. And Lava Font - which I failed to appreciate before it was gutted - suffers too because it's several packets of damage over time which require your potential bags to stand still(ish). This wouldn't be such an issue but it's compounded by everything in the preceding paragraph. I've some ideas which could improve staff in WvW to varying degrees either together or on their own: Revert the nerfs to damaging skills on staff or increase coefficients on some skills. Many skills on staff, core or otherwise, don't need a rework. They just need their damage back. I don't mind projectile destruction; in fact, counters are good. And I'm okay with pressing many, many buttons but for all of that, I want a payoff. (This was discussed in another thread about what makes weaver fun to play. Sure, it's complex gameplay done really well on a class but that in itself isn't the only draw; it's the reward for all of that effort.) In 2018, Weaver saw successive changes to Elements of Rage. And importantly, core skills like Meteor Shower and later Lava Font also saw significant nerfs that same year and then again in 2020 during the big balance pass, which I thought was somewhat unfair. In no way are they like for like, but I think of staff weaver as like FFXIV's BLM. You're paper, you bring no group utility, you're a slow caster, your kit is moderately complex. The payoff? BIG CHONKY DEEPS. Update and tweak some skills. Flame Burst needs... something. Lahar could see a damage increase, perhaps an additional effect like immobilise at the end of its duration for whoever's still in it. Both Monsoon and Pressure Blast apply regen, the latter heals. But people don't take these skills for healing. Remove the regen on both because it's nigh useless and doesn't play to staff weaver's strengths. Maybe increase the damage slightly, increase projectile speed/reduce cast time etc. Address the aforementioned problems relating to boon generation, rez utilities, and the fundamental problem that group mobility poses. Boons do have counterplay in scourge, which is nigh mandatory. But the latter two don't. The rez utilities aren't even equal. Illusion of Life has the shortest cooldown of all of them, alongside Signet of Undeath, at 75 seconds untraited, but revives 3 allies, not 1; has the shortest cast time of them all at 1¼ seconds; and lasts 15 seconds. This prompts questions about whether the rez utilities ought to be normalised further or even removed outright. Superspeed has no counterplay besides immob, which will be cleansed/converted instantly, and so it's incredibly difficult to pin down squads which have a minstrel's scrapper in every party. In my mind, some combination of the three would help but the third point is the broad central issue and affects everyone. As someone who loves DPS roles, staff weaver is probably some of the most fun I've ever had in-game and once perfectly fulfilled that class fantasy of the long-range nuker. And even before weaver, I could always reliably return to staff ele after big balance passes because I knew it had a place in WvW and was useful. Right now, staff is the only 1200 range weapon that we have. And, in my mind, if you want to deal damage and nothing else, playing it with weaver is the only option. To do this, and to produce respectable numbers, you've got to knit together multiple skills in succession and will press many, many buttons in a loop till something downs. For me, this includes utilities, pre-casting is a necessity, and critically, dual skills are crucial to the rotation. Even then, because of the above offenders, it's difficult to generate downs. I couldn't imagine playing core staff. I kind of want the dual skills to be folded into baseline staff because core staff, like core ele, has fallen behind so much. 20 skills on elementalist weapons and you still need dual skills (including one which is straight garbage, another less so, and then Plasma Blast which is slow and sometimes unreliable) and utilities. I can understand any trepidation about over-tuning. Effectively, elementalist has 5-10 more skills than the other classes. But like those players, I just want the skills to make me want to use them and have real value when I do. Besides levelling the playing field - ele has mostly mid-ranged weapons - I think part of the reason people wanted another long-ranged weapon was because they were dissatisfied with staff. Correct me if I'm wrong. ArenaNet now needs to decide what they want weaver to be and what they want catalyst to be. This post is way too long and I've given up. Edited September 25, 2021 by Usagi.4835 Formatting 7 2 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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