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So now the dust has settled, people's thoughts on the new elites?


Joxer.6024

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Based purely on the showcases and not the actual gameplay...

 

Specter actually has me hyped. I told myself I wouldn't make the mistake of getting excited before the actual gameplay due to previous disappointments, but Specter has nearly everything I could ever want all packed together in one, so I have kinda failed at curbing my enthusiasm. Cautiously optimistic, but I really love the foundation they have layed out for the spec. I of course have my worries about the spec and its potential flaws, but still...there is a lot to love about it. The fact that allied targeting now exists in the game is just amazing to me and is a true game changer for the future of this game's design and design philosophies. I haven't played Thief seriously since PoF but it was my first true main and remained so for a while. 

 

Untamed I thought was okay but IMO more in line with the previous batches of e-specs in that it felt half-baked and not fully realized. I think the spec has potential but I was disappointed that all pets will share the same 3 untamed pet skills. Hammer seemed fine, the cantrips seemed mostly decent, and more control over pet skills is really neat. In general i thought it looked alright. Not too many feelings from it. I struggle to see it finding a spot in large scale WvW but could very well be wrong. Ranger is my second most played class but I don't play it much anymore so didn't really have any expectations or hopes for the spec.

 

Mechanist honestly looked really interesting. I think the trait system of them modifying the mech skills is quite neat. The signets actually seem pretty solid and the mech in general seems decent. I do fear that the AI issues will render the spec unviable. I think without a mechanic like pet swap or pet revival via merge, it is going to be tricky to find the balance between the mech's power level, the mech's survivability, and the cooldown punishment on resummomi it. Giving it a breakbar seems almost necessary to give it half a chance since Mechanist is so naked without that mech, but if the Mech is too strong, it can easily be a really unfun spec to fight against if you remove a lot of the counterplay. I only play Engi to troll in WvW, but will probably pick up the class some more. Not my favorite class fantasy but the animations are absolutely gorgeous, and I am a sucker for good animations.

 

I would say that overall, these were the most interesting of the e batches of elite specs. But hey, my feelings may change once we actually get to play them.

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Untamed: Don't play ranger, so I don't have much of an opinion.

Spectre: Bad, unless it turns out to have high DPS in the next beta.  In a game where 5-target and 10-target support specs reign supreme, having a support spec that focuses on helping a single teammate is nigh useless in the game.  Since you have to give up your weapon skills to also support your ally, this would make it both the lowest damaging and the least effective buffer in the game.  If it does have good DPS, then it will be the first spec that doesn't anchor or force movement for it's rotations.

Mechanist:  Mace seems poorly designed.  How good this turns out is really dependent on how good the mech ends up being.  Chances are, however, it will end up being quite terrible, since pets, minions, and summons always end up doing very low damage compared to what the player does.  I'm not even sure what the mechanist is trying to accomplish, aside from just looking cool.

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9 minutes ago, Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:

.  I'm not even sure what the mechanist is trying to accomplish, aside from just looking cool.

Yea, thats the feeling I am getting as well, "lets just give them a cool mecha and all will be sweet" sort of thing. As far as pvp well peeps will just move out of its way, and in pve will it stay on target? Lots of questions to be answered in a few days.¬† ūüėČ

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 Preliminary feels:

Virtuoso:       Seems ok, I guess; not a class I play, tho.

Willbender:   LOL, a worse core Guardian which is supposed to be a single target killer but which abilities only increase they weigth to decent values while facing multiple foes (aka: heavily outnumbered) which will probably end killing you most of the times.

Harbinger.     Interesting design but probably weaker than current Necros overall.

Vindicator:   I think could end providing a viable bruiser at PvP/WvW and a better strike damage builds at Open World PvE, but probably will outpowered by Renegade and Herald condi builds at PvE and not as good 1 v 1 fighter as power Heralds. All of this assuming you're not using The Alliance legend, which is pure garbage.

Bladesworn:  My favourite new spec in terms of design; not much variety in terms of weapon usage and skills but at least hits hard and blends together lore, looks and functionality in a interesting package.

Catalyst:        Nicest looking design (remembers me the FB) with weakest potential;  bottom tier along Willbender.

Specter:        Good for OW PvE since now will provide strong AoE condition builds while keeping mobility and more tankiness over core Thief; has potential in PvP/WvW. Lacking in instanced PvE since there are stronger support specs but probably you will be wanted as a dps in that parts of the game.

Untamed:    I liked the hammer versatility (condi/power) and array of skills; seems a solid bruiser with some of the best trait synergies of the new specs. TBS. Too much robbed animations, tho.

Mechanist:   The mech seems good for having fun at OW PvE, but the  spec tradeoff is huge and probably will do poorly at competitive game modes and instanced PvE content. As with the WB, the core Engineer seems a lot more robust and versatile, so this siims a downgrade.

 

Preliminar rating:  Bladesworn> Specter> Untamed/Vindicator>  Harbinger> Virtuoso>   Willbender/Catalyst/Mechanist.

   Overall the new specs aren't as striking as were the ones in HoT/PoF and they lack a lot in innovative animations and mechanics, with heavy tradeoffs and clear weakness, so they don't feel op compared to core and previous spec builds. Tha's good for balance but doesnt make them inherently more desiderable/fun.

   Up to PoF I though that the spec system in GW2 was great, but looking at EoD I'm starting to think that the release of new classes with a single spec as in BDO can provide better variety, because you can always mix new things without having to be worried with tradeoffs to don't rend the older specs/core builds obsolete.

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SpectRe is the most innovative of the bunch, with the target ally support opening the door to a more GW1 monk playstyle.

They seem to be released in order from worst to best, the first three were the worst, harbinger ideas are all there tho, Willbender and Virt are the bottom of the barrel, unfinished lazy garbage with nothing new. 

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We gotta be very cautious judging these.

The overall trend of these new specs is that mains hate'em while non-mains want to jump ship to play them.
Which overall is good, makes people move around profession wise and invigorates the game experience.

But on forums it'll be swamped with criticisms from mains on their respective forums giving false impression specs are garbage and everyone is hating them. Meanwhile a main warr that's dumpstering on the Bladesworn might be having a a blast on Spectre, while main thief is busy dumpstering that on forums..

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20 minutes ago, ZeftheWicked.3076 said:


The overall trend of these new specs is that mains hate'em while non-mains want to jump ship to play them.
Which overall is good, makes people move around profession wise and invigorates the game experience.
 

   I don't known about others but despite having all the classes and specs I don't swap main just beacuse other ones get good things. I mean, I play mostly 2-3 classes and I don't jump in the new spec of my main if I think that doesn't work (I didn't touch Renegade for more than two years, until the short bow got buffed and become viable in WvW/PvP and even today power Herald is still my fav/most played spec.

   I didn't saw much praise for Willbender nor Catalyst by either main or non main players. I think that overall the tradeoffs for half of the new specs are hard, and I think that for first time in GW2 history a large portio of the new specs won't be touched in specific game modes due they are worse than what already exist.

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Mechanist, as I'd hoped, looks the most interesting to me out of all the new specs.  I was really disappointed by the way they did the ranger and thief specs, tbh, and I lost interest in thief entirely after seeing the new spec for them.  I may still use a ranger but I don't like that the unleashed weapon skills only work with hammer and not with any other ranger weapon.

Mechanist though... love it.  It has some issues of course, lack of toolbelt and general lack of weapon options that engineer is plagued with already, but the whole theme of mechanist really gives me gaige the mechromancer vibes from bl2, and I'm really looking forward to leveling another engineer (asura instead of charr this time) to capitalize on that.  My current engineer (charr) will remain scrapper, since I love that spec too and it really fits the character.

Aside from the most recent 3, the only ones that interest me so far are harbinger, catalyst, and maybe bladesworn.  I currently have an asura elementalist that will 100% be going catalyst, I freaking love the hammer animations on her and despite catalyst having a mound of issues to deal with, it felt so much better to actually use in combat than tempest or weaver does for me.  Weaver I always felt was just too complicated, too high APM needed to be effective and my fingers are too old to deal with playing virtual piano these days.  Tempest I love, but I've never felt that it really worked well; I do hope they find a way to fix catalyst so it isn't as squishy, because that's the main downfall of elementalist as a whole and now that we're going to be fighting in melee range we really need some toughness restored.

I used to have a norn necromancer that was all raven themed and gothy looking, but I'm getting rid of her and starting up a human necromancer in her place to fit harbinger a little better.  I love the plague doctor / pistol setup, and necromancer has always been one of the more fun/easy classes to play for me.

I'm considering making a second Charr for bladesworn just because I love charr, but none of the other classes really fit well IMO.  The gunsaber was definitely fun to use, and while the dragon trigger thing was confusing and difficult to use well bladesworn seemed to just tear through enemies regardless, and the mix of melee and guns is so iconically charr it's hard to pass up on.

I have zero interest in the new guardian, revenant, thief, or mesmer especs, and don't like the base classes or current especs much either aside from thief.

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4 hours ago, Buran.3796 said:

   I don't known about others but despite having all the classes and specs I don't swap main just beacuse other ones get good things. I mean, I play mostly 2-3 classes and I don't jump in the new spec of my main if I think that doesn't work (I didn't touch Renegade for more than two years, until the short bow got buffed and become viable in WvW/PvP and even today power Herald is still my fav/most played spec.

   I didn't saw much praise for Willbender nor Catalyst by either main or non main players. I think that overall the tradeoffs for half of the new specs are hard, and I think that for first time in GW2 history a large portio of the new specs won't be touched in specific game modes due they are worse than what already exist.

That's why i said "overall". Not every  new elite spec checks this mark, as you rightfully noticed. But it's a clear trend once you sum up general player impressions in total. Warrior mains hate Bladesworn, while lotta players who wouldn't touch warrior with a 6 foot pole are actually hyped and want in on the action, myself included.

Specter is shunned by thief mains, while I myself am hyped and regular thief is a profession i stay away from at all times. But now that i get something i know and like (shroud) and something i seek (a dark support themed spec) I'm very into trying out the specter and if it's not a complete flop - making him part of my roster.

 

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As a rev main, I'm not terribly excited about Vindicator.  The theme and style of the elite spec is absolutely awesome, but I just don't like the dodge rework.  The legend has some potential and some balance could make it 'ok', but it feels like it needs some design adjustment to keep it from just feeling like the skills you want to use are just being gated by other skills having to be used first.  This is definitely the case with the elite skill where you're stuck casting into something that sacrifices health before you can cast the spear of Archemorus.  There's potential for sure and maybe once it's refined and balanced well I'll change my mind, but it's not something I think I would currently want to run over Herald or Renegade in any situation as it is now.

 

For the other elite specs, there are a few that stand out to me.  Mechanist just looks very fun to use, particularly in open world.  Maybe it'll be a strong contender for Fractals as an alac provider, but I really want to play it just to have the big, custom named-mech with me. 

 

Specter is an absolutely amazing elite spec for Thief because it does some very unique things and fills a niche that is missing for the class.  I don't know if I will personally play it much, but it's probably one of the best in terms of pulling off what an elite spec should do for a class (assuming that it works well with numbers balanced and such).

 

Virtuoso, despite having a name that just doesn't tie in much to the theme of the mechanics, seems to have a lot of potential.  It needs some major buffing for a lot of situations and the projectile-heavy mechanics make it almost dead in the water with counterplay, but I can see it ending up as something that will be great for people that want a clone-free variant of mesmer.  Lots of potential here.

 

Most everything has some degree of potential as long as they are buffed appropriately or current elite specs are nerfed from their god-like status, but Catalyst seems to be the weakest in overall design and the least likely to really end up being a success.  It's just not terribly distinct and doesn't do a great job of filling much of a niche for the profession.

 

Overall, I'm looking forward to the EoD release, heavily, even though there's still a lot of work to be done on fixing/buffing/adjusting the new elite specs as well as some serious nerfing needed for some existing elite specs.

 

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I think I go against the trend in that, broadly speaking, it's still the elite specialisations of the professions I play more than others that I'm looking forward to more?

 

Going through those that have been beta'd:

 

Virtuoso: Looking forward to this one. It provides options to cover a lot of the weaknesses traditional GW2 mesmer has (reliance on clones, needing to be close for full benefit from shatters, lack of area damage), and I think a lot of the hate has come from people thinking it should also keep all of the strengths of traditional GW2 mesmer. There's really three area I'd probably point at for improvement: introducing a trait to make bladesongs immune to projectile hate; either improving Virtuoso's condition potential or giving up and providing an alternative option (traditional condi mesmer leans on the clones for condition output, and a few bleeds just isn't going to make up for that); and tightening up interactions between core mesmer traits and Virtuoso.

 

Harbinger: This one fell into the somewhat paradoxical category of "felt strong but I didn't enjoy playing it". It was strong, but pistol shots, elixirs, and a shroud that's hard to get into because it automatically drains in order to heal you just wasn't my cup of tea. Potential quickness applier for high-end PvE, but I think I'd rather do that with firebrand or chrono.

 

Willbender: I think willbender's suffered a bit from the curse of being the worst of the first. I think it's actually a decent design, it just needs a fair amount of tuning in the numbers - including speeding up some animations so they'll actually land unless the enemy uses some form of counterplay beyond normal movement. It probably needs to be balanced for 1v1 situations, and accept that it might then get some extra benefits against groups - it's still fairly glassy by guardian standards, and players aren't likely to stay in willbender flames for long unless extra measures are taken to force them to. I'm also jealous of Almorra, and now Harrower Veltan, getting the combination of the flame rushes with a cage, although I guess there's solid balance reasons for that (and technically you can get the cage with hammer...)

 

Vindicator: It's a combination of disparate elements that really requires you to squint to see a connection, but from my experience in the beta, it mostly pretty much worked... or maybe it just felt like it did because it was being compared to Bladesworn and Catalyst. I think it needs to be less reliant on Alliance Stance in general - while the general assumption for revenant elites is that you use the elite legend, that doesn't always hold, and a core legend is always going to be half of the revenant's bar regardless - this could probably come through tweaking F2 and the traits that use F2 so that it has additional effects when in core legends as well. Being able to be hit while doing the dodge-jump is an obvious bug and needs to be fixed - it should at least be an evade. Urn also needs a lot of work.

 

Bladesworn: People liking Bladesworn is, I think, a demonstration of the principle that in PvE, bad design can be overcome by massively overtuned numbers. Dragon Trigger is the sort of mechanic that would probably work well in other MMOs, but not in the fluid combat of GW2. In PvE, you do so much damage, and heal so much through Immortal Dragon, that as long as you don't die or get CC'd before the charge goes off, you're probably back to full health anyway. In PvP, however... the only way I can even see it having the potential to work is if you only allow a bullet or two of charging before releasing, which is counterintuitive to how the mechanic feels like it should work. You just can't afford to sit still for 2.5-5 seconds in competitive modes, and the balance team just can't afford to give you a payoff that might justify it in a competitive environment since the only way it COULD be justified was if successfully landing it was basically a victory condition.

 

Catalyst: Where do I start? I think the biggest thing is that it relies too much on the Jade Orb mechanic, while the Jade Orb itself is treated like Celestial Avatar in that you have to build up to it, are only expected to have it up for some of the time, and if you stop it early you have to build it up from scratch instead, and even if you do invest in a lot of energy management, it has a cooldown before you can put it up. Except it's worse, since at least Celestial Avatar is mobile, while if the fight moves away from where a Jade Orb is placed you're pretty much boned. Your utilities then require you to not only be within the orb, but in a specific attunement, to get full effect. And then we have hammer. Mixing range and melee is an interesting idea, but "ranged" weapons having 600 range is something that ArenaNet moved away from a long time ago (example: necromancer axe, and I think ranger axe as well), and it basically makes it a copy of dagger with a bit more damage at the edge of its range. The elite specialisation wants to complete combos, but hammer has no fields (relying mostly on Jade Orb) and its finishers are janky and on long recharges. Furthermore, from my perspective, introducing another 'cycle through the elements to build up a powerful attack' - aka Weave Self 2.0 - is just icing on the proverbial cake. I've been somewhat tempted to spoof Catalyst by creating an elite spec "proposal" for elementalist where all of the traits are buffing downstate, and all of the utilities are sacrifice skills so you get into downstate faster.

 

At this stage, I'm going to apply the sanity check of observing that given the track record thus far, any optimism regarding the remaining elite specs may prove to be misplaced come the beta, but here are my thoughts thus far:

 

Spectre: Cautiously optimistic. Opens up a lot of roles for thief, and while I'm not sure being a quickness applier is really practical, I think there's a lot of potential there to combine alacrity with healing and/or condition damage in high-end PvE, and some potent support in small-scale PvP. From a personal perspective, I also like the idea of a thief that isn't quite so reliant on twitch reflexes in PvP - I enjoy playing thief in general, but my reflexes just aren't up to scratch for it with current competitive builds at my usual PvP ranking when added to ~300ms Australian ping. Enabling ally-targeted skills is also an interesting precedent that might allow for some existing support-oriented skills to be able to be targeted on allies, making them easier to use.

 

Untamed: Also cautiously optimistic. The ranger forum feels somewhat a bit like a civil war sometimes between people who play ranger for the pet and people who play ranger for the weapons and utilities and detest the pet - I'm personally in the first category, since my personal attitude tends to be that for pretty much everything ranger does, there's another profession out there that can do something similar without having a pet. So while I liked ranger pre-HoT, neither of the existing elite specs have really done it for me. Druid mechanics are something I find to be so janky that I'd rather heal/support on pretty much anything else. Soulbeast is... okay, and definitely worth having for those situations that are just overly hostile towards having the pets, but it's just not a playstyle I particularly enjoy. Untamed looks like it has the potential to be the elite spec that really focuses on interactions with the pet (as opposed to soulbeast which is built around merging, and core ranger and druid where it's mostly just kinda there.) Hammer also looks like a good response to the "how do you make a CC-oriented weapon still work under the new competitive balance principles" problem by giving it a CC-oriented mode and a DPS-oriented mode - it'll be interesting to see how that plays out in practice.

 

Mechanist: Pessimistic with a philosophical acceptance. A golem spec for engineer was probably inevitable, although I wish they'd cared to make a credible effort to fix turrets (at least in PvE, guys, I can understand if they're something they can't realistically balance in PvP, but at least let them be viable in one mode!) before taking a third shot at an engineer that's dependent on AI. As it is... it kinda feels like they've made a techy ranger which is even more dependent on the pet (without it, the mechanist is basically a two-spec engineer without a toolbelt) and which doesn't have as many tools to avoid losing the pet. Soulbeasts can merge, other rangers can swap pets on a 16-20 second recharge as long as the pet is still alive when they do; mechanists only have one golem and the recharge if dismissed is proportional to how much health the golem has lost, so any time you'd want to dismiss the golem in order to save it, you're probably looking at a recharge of close to a minute or more. A lot will depend on just how tough that golem is allowed to be. It does provide alacrity, which means that engineer is joining the club of professions that can provide either quickness or alacrity to a group depending on build, but this does rely on the golem being able to survive high-end PvE, and it might become awkward if the golem takes up part of the boon cap as well.

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58 minutes ago, draxynnic.3719 said:

 

kitten good writeup.

I especially agree about the mechanist and it's issues. Being a full profession only when golem is out, while becoming half of one when it's not in the field.

Another large issue is how it's stats are to be based off your own. This is both illogical and bad design.
Personal Golem of all things should have the greatest control of it's stats among all A.I. Companions. You can't make an eagle pet suddenly grow thick armor and become a tank. But you can add thicker armor plating on a golem in exchange for example larger energy consumption to move around and ergo less power delivered to weapon systems. This logically should have nothing to do with engineer's own stats and build.

Common sense aside the "risk vs reward" balance rule is also being broken here.
Mechanist pays a much larger price for his golem than a ranger for his pet, yet has less control over it's stats.
All of mechanists traits are golem-only. No golem = dead traitline.
Ranger's beastmastery on the other hand has goodies for ranger himself, not just the pet.

Yet golem's stats are derived from the engineer, while pets are independent letting ranger pick and choose his "teamcomp" (pet + himself). A ranger can build full glass cannon, but pick tanky pet to draw aggro and tank. Nothing stopping him from doing "the mechanist" and going both full damage himself and picking a high dps pet.

But a mechanist cannot choose. If he's squishy, the golem's squishy. If he's a condi build, so it the golem etc.
For something that should be (and definitely is, price-wise) about full customization of my A.I. companion i'm not seeing that much of freedom to customize..
 

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I think the system with the mechanist is based off lessons learned from where ranger has presented problems. There was a time when druid was strong in PvP, for instance, because the druid could build ultra-tanky and bring DPS pets, allowing them to be nigh-unkillable while the pet does damage for them. While, conversely, ranger has been held back a bit from using their pets for damage in high-end PvE because the pet's damage doesn't keep up with players in optimised ascended gear. Basing the golem's stats on the engineer solves these problems, and I can think of lore explanations for it (such as the mechanist's priorities being reflected in how the golem is built, or even having a sort of resonance between the magic on the mechanist's gear and the golem).

 

That said, though, I think there probably is room for better customisation than the trait system allows. Ranger pets are... well, one ranger's river drake is pretty much the same as another's if they're both level 80, but after EoD rangers will have 56 pets to choose from. The "go big or go home" principle would be to use something like the pet selection interface to customise the golem rather than relying entirely on traits. That way, you could still have baseline attributes scaling with the mechanist's gear, but the customisation screen could allow for a bit of fine-tuning: for instance, you could have the choice between linking capacitors to the golem's shielding systems or to weapons systems, representing a choice between power and toughness. Some of the abilities probably should still remain as traits (such as the 'barrier causes alacrity' trait), but the main weapons could probably be part of the customisation screen, and taking some of the customisation off traits would allow for traits that aren't entirely reliant on the golem to do anything (for instance, the alacrity-on-barrier trait still works for a mechanist without the golem active since the mechanist still has access to the mace auto and to Barrier Signet).

 

I guess what I'm getting to here is that at the very least, more traits should be like Channeling Circuits and J-Drive in that they still do something when the golem is out of action.

 

But I would say that there's a distinct thought pattern of "okay, at least now the golemancer idea is going to be out of everyone's systems so next time they can focus on giving engineer a proper condi spec." 

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4 hours ago, draxynnic.3719 said:

Bladesworn: People liking Bladesworn is, I think, a demonstration of the principle that in PvE, bad design can be overcome by massively overtuned numbers. Dragon Trigger is the sort of mechanic that would probably work well in other MMOs, but not in the fluid combat of GW2. In PvE, you do so much damage, and heal so much through Immortal Dragon, that as long as you don't die or get CC'd before the charge goes off, you're probably back to full health anyway. In PvP, however... the only way I can even see it having the potential to work is if you only allow a bullet or two of charging before releasing, which is counterintuitive to how the mechanic feels like it should work. You just can't afford to sit still for 2.5-5 seconds in competitive modes, and the balance team just can't afford to give you a payoff that might justify it in a competitive environment since the only way it COULD be justified was if successfully landing it was basically a victory condition.

 

   I'm not saying that will work in WvW or PvP (or much less, that is going to be meta!), BUT I saw Vaans dueling using Bladesworn in PvP and had my own fights against Bladesworn roamers in WvW and can asure you that despite the limitations in terms of weapon and gameplay choices the Bladesworn has it can deliver a very durable and powerful bruiser.

   Along with Untamed and Specter seems to me as the spec with best potential to enter in PvP; whereas others as Willbeder, Catalyst or Mechanist feel like "where are you going, boy?"

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1 hour ago, Buran.3796 said:

   I'm not saying that will work in WvW or PvP (or much less, that is going to be meta!), BUT I saw Vaans dueling using Bladesworn in PvP and had my own fights against Bladesworn roamers in WvW and can asure you that despite the limitations in terms of weapon and gameplay choices the Bladesworn has it can deliver a very durable and powerful bruiser.

   Along with Untamed and Specter seems to me as the spec with best potential to enter in PvP; whereas others as Willbeder, Catalyst or Mechanist feel like "where are you going, boy?"

I'd be willing to bet that the people who are making it work in competitive aren't charging it for the full amount, but are using quick stuns from GM2 or cycling attacks from GM3. Which is the point I was making: the mechanic is designed to be a big charge-up, but that just doesn't work in competitive, and making it work in competitive requires a very different playstyle to what it does in PvE. It's a bad design, and it will probably fare worse in competitive when people row wary of it. That or just completely ignoring the dragon trigger mechanic and going ham with the gunblade and normal attacks (which certainly works better in the competitive balance environment than trying to use Dragon Trigger as intended - I didn't get the chance to try the "only charge one or two bullets before Dragon Slashing" approach in the beta).

 

Willbender, as I said, I think just needs better tuning (particularly when it comes to animation times). It felt bad because the numbers were too low and the animations were too long. Of the two, I think willbender was closer to being in a decent shape.

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The Catalyst is the single worst designed spec Anet has ever done.  Everything about it is wrong, and I have no idea how they can fix it.  It is almost like it was designed to fight only against a giant unmoving blob using a single, set, hand-breaking DPS rotation which cannot be interrupted.  After coming back to GW2, it was extremely disappointing seeing something so...negligent.  Was it made with a spreadsheet?

 

I mean, seriously...being forced to change attunements every 3-4 seconds to refresh a spinning orb?  Having to refresh a stacking aura bonus every 6 seconds, without access to auras in hammer?  600 range single target attacks for tiny damage?  Horrible utility chained to a stationary field with a cooldown AND energy cost?  Another long cooldown elite?

 

It is such a shame as well, because all the new Living Story I am catching up on, the areas and the dialogue are AMAZING, which probably means EoD will also be amazing.

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3 hours ago, Avatara.1042 said:

The Catalyst is the single worst designed spec Anet has ever done.  Everything about it is wrong, and I have no idea how they can fix it.  It is almost like it was designed to fight only against a giant unmoving blob using a single, set, hand-breaking DPS rotation which cannot be interrupted.  After coming back to GW2, it was extremely disappointing seeing something so...negligent.  Was it made with a spreadsheet?

 

Spreadsheet? That seems like too much work. Catalyst is literally copy pasted from Scrapper.¬†ūü§ď

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2 hours ago, Gibson.4036 said:

If I don‚Äôt play the profession¬†much: ‚Äúoooh, flashy, might give this a try for a change.‚ÄĚ

If it‚Äôs a profession¬†I play a lot ‚ÄúArenanet, what have you done?!? This completely destroys everything about the profession!!!!‚ÄĚ

Seems bout right for every specs forum lol Atleast the reddit is surprisingly optimistic. Shocked to see such open mindedness on that discussion board. Here it's just outrage before even playing it.

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Honestly, I don't think about them all that much while they are in development. Sure, I see what they are all about, but wait for release to put them to the test. I don't have time for much else.

I do think that Anet is trying to make them all like GW1 dual-professions:

Mechanist: Egineer-Ranger

Specter: Thief-Necromancer

Willbender: Guardian-Thief

etc

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Guardian (D, savable) - Willbender is undertuned damage-wise despite being a pDPS , in competitive modes the mobility would not match DH with trapper rune ; in PVE the mobility is of questionable use and in WVW you're never taking it over firebrand / DH / core guard unless offhand sword and the utilties do some serious damage. What makes thief strong besides mobility (at least in PVP) is the ability to burst with Heartseeker and boon rip on sword/dagger or shadow arts dagger+pistol. Arenanet had already designed themselves into a dilemma as DH is power DPS yet still able to support a bit, Firebrand is both support and condi ; offhand sword is rather shoddy too. Many PvPers worried it would be a guardian version of thief but it ended up being akin to a critical strikes thief that can't stealth more or less. There's a meme-level shattered aegis gimmick build that relies on many targets but do you honestly believe that won't be fixed?

Revenant (D, savable) - Vindicator needs damage (on Greatsword) and the dodge needs work as well as Urn , if the power damage is upped then it could be a solid choice in openworld and in WVW when you already have supports filled (renegade in PVE and herald in WVW). What it brings to revenant is cleave pDPS, as greatsword hits 5 and the alliance skills actually are more effective hitting 5 targets. I can't see it being used in PVP due to the lack of payoff on the skills that hit 5 targets, one dodge (they need to fix the buggy being CCed during dodge), and general lack of sustain on demand. I don't see this overtaking renegade in instanced PvE at all and healing power scaling is poor (0.22 scaling) with the healing power bonus only applying below 50% health.

Warrior (C , DPS dependent in PVE so susceptible to burst nerf) - Bladesworn is undertuned damage-wise in competitive modes  but overtuned to the point of breaking scripted raid bosses in PVE. All in all , it is a one-trick pony that everyone would say is terrible if it did not do the broken 50K+ full booned damage in PVE (so oriented for people that play soulbeast with "Sic Em" + One Wolf Pack + Barrage or Whirling Defense that don't swap weapon). Offhand pistol is underwhelming as well but because the  gunsaber does decent pressure you can run a ranged weapon. Most people wanted a support warrior so the only way I see that a warrior has "support" (outside banner) is tactics spellbreaker which isn't a boon support but used in PVP/WVW. If you just want to KO people in competitive modes with memes you're probably better off with Gunflame Berserker.

Thief  (A? , tentatively) - the best spec shown thus far is Specter , conceptually. If the numbers work out it could be a great condi support option in raids with a tank and PVP , possibly even fractals because torment was chosen as the condition of choice along with Larcenous Torment to buff torment DPS (although 5 man alacrity needs 3 wells and boon duration). It feels all the creative energy was put into this spec specifically. Scepter weapon is well made design-wise (it has a clear tradeoff in that you support one target) and has synergy with pistol offhand and dagger offhand (probably full cDPS capitalizing on stealth attack). If you needed to sell E.o.D. to someone, this is what you show them. Alacrity output is 5 man if you go that route (so unlikely to replace renegade in most scenarios or mirage on TL/SH) but you can run well of bounty to shore up boon uptime a bit even without the alacrity trait. Being able to output quickness is novel but I don't think you will use it over cQB , maybe quickness harbinger if damage stays intact, StM chrono, or quickness scrapper. Even if it is nerfed after beta, a support thief is the most conceptually interesting of the specs as opposed to another "just DPS" spec.

Ranger  (D? , savable) - Untamed is a half-baked spec it appears. The only weapon synergy it has is with hammer and hitting 5 targets isn't possible in PVP or raids most of the time; it simply can't eclipse soulbeast at all in power burst unless hammer is crazily overtuned or condi either (no condi damage mod or condi weapon) so it will likely be unwanted in fractals. In WVW where 5 targets could be useful , the only AI improvement on the pet is the command skills are instant and the pet has a teleport. There is no stow pet or other such functionality nor targeted boon rip (see rev Brutality trait) to protection/stability , barrier /aegis counter (aegis hard counters large hits that occur sparsely), or AoE stealth reveal. I could see it maybe being okay in teamfights in PVP but once again, there's no likely payoff for 5 targets over 3 targets (sword mainhand/greatsword) and you're partly reliant on AI.

Engineer (D? , possibly savable) - RPers and openworld players probably will love Mechanist spec. It has a glaring issue in that every single traitline is more or less useless if you don't have the Mech present and if the Mech inherits 100% or 175% vitality and toughness (which means you have 1750+ toughness on it with zero toughness on gear) from minor traits and it draws aggro with no targeted repositioning (see squad markers or any AoE indicator) it would be an utter disaster in toughness tanked raids.
In fractals the confusion output both on the utilities and the mace auto attack will be quite low damage because broken CC bars mean confusion does its minimum damage compared to every other condition. There's also no confusion duration bonus so unlike burning/bleeding at ~100% duration on renegade runes you can't reuse condi holo gear to equip a condi mechanist. Alac output is going to be 5 man so unless you want to mess around with subgroups (assuming golem doesn't draw aggro or die to mechanics such as flame wall or otherwise) it could be used as an alacrity source only in theory.
Stunbreaks are often on the toolbelt so you're really looking at Elixir U / Force Signet as options in competitive modes. You'd never run this over scrapper in WVW. Even if it turns out to be strong in PVP it isn't a good sign for the game if a "pet spec" with a few F skills (and a passive 0.5 daze at random) mostly reliant on AI is competitive , see every meta where rangers with birds were present and the complaints that occur during that time , necros with minions in PvP just afking, or when plopping turrets on a capture point and going afk is a viable strategy.

Necromancer (C, passable) - Harbinger isn't slated to be a strong competitive spec but supposedly does 45K cDPS in PvE at the expense of being much glassier than scourge. It also has a condi quickness variant able to do roughly banner berserker levels of damage. However, elixirs are uninspired , it probably will be hated by openworld players, and blight seems to be simply a penalty without massive payoff. In competitive modes it is projectile reliant and torment does far less damage to moving targets so it's of questionable strength. Even if you close in and try to spam torment and weakness in PBAOE , the counterplays are obvious and numerous. It probably has a role in instanced PVE (putting out cDPS or cDPS quickness) while being ignored elsewhere.

Mesmer (C , passable with fixes) - Virtuoso isn't interesting at all unless you hate playing mesmer. That's all there is to it. It gives up clones for blades , which are projectiles meaning all the weaknesses of projectiles apply but if you kill trash mobs you don't worry about losing clones because you have blades instead. The DPS is okay in PVE, last I checked it is 42K while not relying on slow uptime and comes with the advantage of sword+focus on mesmer (boon rip, focus pulls). Dagger does its highest damage in melee which is fine but with the way the damage is split to competitive modes , clones not offering some minor de-targeting, and the shatters being projectile it isn't slated to be strong in PVP. Visual noise is extremely high on this which makes it extremely bad for WVW (besides the projectiles issue) , with superspeed everywhere your dagger's Unstable Bladestorm is akin to chasing a bullet train with a bicycle, and the Rain of Swords utility AOE people were expecting to be similar to Well of Suffering does a fraction of the damage (0.66 per tick vs 0.9) without being unblockable and having one less tick. The key point is it has at least one role in PvE : consistent pDPS.

Elementalist (F) - By far the worst spec displayed is Catalyst once you look past the visual fluff. Too much micromanagement for not enough payoff: jade sphere is a mess (not just usage with the energy mechanic but the boon output other than protection), hammer has only a single block , damage is wildly inconsistent due to circling hammer orb (too high on big hitboxes at 45K+ because it overtakes a weaver, too low on small hitboxes at ~30K). The hammer orb probably isn't maintainable with shoddy ping. It's supposed to be a "bruiser" but the robustness is actually not that high unless you camp water/earth and run very defensive gear (the provided gear was celestial...) because auras are in short supply with a hammer and the incoming damage reductions are a meager 5%. I don't foresee anyone taking it over tempest as a boon support either because you need to camp air for an extended time for the only boon that tempest can't provide you (quickness). As in joining any LFG ... "ping role".

...
Anyway those are my initial impressions.


 

 

Edited by Infusion.7149
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On an A-F scale, I'd probably say that Bladesworn is a C in PvE, but in competitive it's a D or an F, and difficult to save.

 

Catalyst is possibly saveable, but it would require a lot of work, and hammer probably needs to be taken back to the drawing board and redesigned almost from scratch. 

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6 hours ago, draxynnic.3719 said:

On an A-F scale

I will take your scale to for my thought on the newe-specs:

Virtuoso: B in pve,C in competitive,  the blades doesn't compensate for the lack of clones especially in competitive setting , but a good base for spec is there, blades are to well balanced in front of what the other specs give. 

Harbinger: A for pve and competitive, it's hight on the quality scale but it still need some work to be perfect, like little balance between elixirs (the elite overshadows the others)


Willbender: B in pve, D to F in competitive, having a blink is great, but guardian need more damage to be competitive(tried against a tank that was painful), it's quick but lacking in power even if one trait make you quasi-immortal

Vindicator: A in pve, C in competitive, having two legends is great but the flipping of utilitys is really wanky for now and classe gameplay (the forced flip) is uslees without the new legends, the only dodge isn't a real pain but there s work to do on it.

Bladesworn: C in pve (exept raid for some reasons), and a big F in competitive. If you use dragon trigger in competitive you'll be dead in the next instant, also gun as been the worst weapon in a spec so far to (who really used it ?)

Catalyst: B for pve and competitive, hammer is really rigid and the only weapon with a 3 skill, the energie for the orb isn't really working for now, wells are a little underwhelming in their use.

3 last not played yet/ so scaled at face and comprehensions values
Specter: gameplay  A, specs features C, a mono healer  is restrictive but the classe shroud and well will make it a beast i think.


Untamed: gameplay A, specs features C, only the hammers as a real untamed flipe of competences making this spec reallydependente of it .


Mechaniste: gameplay A, spec features B, we loose the tool belt but we win a Mech ,and he is modulable by trait, for now it is a solide base.

I am not a specialist and not the greatest in competitive, but for what it's worth i tried to be objective and pin point what i saw as troublesome for this specs. But for now my personnal feelling, i said for these e-specs flashyness and design has take a ridiculously large place in detriment of gameplay and game fitting.

To me it's a real problem, but solvable , best hope for the next beta.

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