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First off, while it’s encouraging that you’re asking for our feedback at all, I’m reticent to give any after what has happened the last two times we gave you e-spec feedback. Feedback about Acrobatics

So. Was hyped for this specialization. Really. Big disappointment. I feel like all my utilities skills are wasted and useless. They do ~0 damages I tried engaging a karka in southsun with as entr

I didn't see a lot of people providing PvE specific support Specter feedback so I took a Celestial / Leadership / Concentration Sigil build to fractals with my casual static. The aim of these runs was

First off, while it’s encouraging that you’re asking for our feedback at all, I’m reticent to give any after what has happened the last two times we gave you e-spec feedback. Feedback about Acrobatics being too similar to Daredevil resulted in meddling with the base class, feedback about unrewarding rifle damage on Deadeye meant reduction to core weapon damage and a half-hearted attempt to add complexity to Daredevil.

So I hope that this time when we give you feedback about the Specter that it results in changes to Specter and not core Thief or the other elite specs. I will be adding to this post as I try different things with Specter throughout the week and give it some time.

1. Reducing the initiative pool is a bad change. A  support build needs to start combat with access to support options as close to the start of battle as it can or it’s playing catchup. Other classes don’t really have weapon skill use limitations at the start of battle, this is like if you placed weapon swap or attunement swap on cooldown when a player enters battle. Other classes get alacrity for weapon skills, and there is very little benefit to a thief build that has alacrity unless alacrity is going to start affecting initiative regeneration. It doesn’t really balance anything, we’re still limited by initiative regeneration, reducing the pool just adds another level of clunk to the build.

2. Color Scheme is A+, art deserves a raise. This spec is winning big style points. I like purple more than the red. The skill icons need a lot of work. Some of the Scepter animations look a little off as they try to glue to players. EDIT: Mind shock needs to be a different shade of yellow because it looks too much like ground target enemy aoes.
1st Edit:
3. Measured shot seems capable of missing a targeted ally (even one standing still not in combat) and sends me in a random direction. It's very easy to accidently hit an enemy with it and move away from an ally I intend to heal. Repeated uses of the same skill on the same stationary ally also miss sometimes.

4. Well cast times are very high. For on demand aoe healing it's very easy to get interrupted before the well casts. Sometimes the ally is no longer there where the well was cast (say because of an aoe) putting the Specter in a very bad position to help. There is not a lot of options to fix this in a 5-person group if the Specter is the only source of quickness.

5. If one ally is off by even an inch Endless Night will miss them and it's duration is too short to make corrections. Again because of the lack of self quickness and that another skills needs to be cast before Endless Night can be used again, it both feels bad and is harder to use and rely on. The cooldown can be pretty long since measured shot needs to have initiative to be used and has a half-second cast time.
2nd Edit:
6. Well of Bounty does a poor job of covering other boons. As a hypothetical boon gap filler the idea and implementation is solid. The boon priority however is not. Resistance and Swiftness are basically throw away boons. Few skills provide resistance so if this is near the top of the list of boons Well of Bounty provides it will always provide it over something much more important like Fury. If fury is missing in a 5 person party in fractals that's much much more of a priority than resistance, swiftness, and vigor. I realize that you might not want the Specter to double-dip quickness at the start of a fight but surely it would be better for a currently rare boon like resolution to be right at the top with protection. Please put at least the defensive boons closer to the top of priority and place resistance and swiftness at the very bottom.

7. Ally target on Siphon should trigger Thrill of the Crime and other boons. I realize the cooldown is shorter but very often switching from an ally to an enemy and back to ally is really clunky and a little difficult. Especially if you need to tether after Siphon to immediately heal someone. A possible solution is to give thrill of the crime a 9 /10 second internal cooldown and other builds won't even notice a difference.

8. In a small group Shroud has a lot of support drawbacks. Siphon is basically the only thing building up points to get into shroud. The lack of a serious support off-hand weapon like focus means the Specter is really dependent on the Utility skills for group support. It's nice and fine that I can give okay single target support in shroud but since those utility skills go away I'm not eager to stay in it for too long. Especially since changing ally target requires exiting and entering again. This is all to say that as it currently exists all of these things are clunky to use together. If it worked more like druid celestial form that would make for better support.

9. Please give the build some real stability. Put it together with Traversing Darkness, have wells give one stack for 4 seconds. Mind shock just isn't cutting it, often I get knocked back while giving the target stability and since it's only one target everyone else is getting knocked back too. The 5-person group really needs some, it doesn't need to be a lot of stability though.
3rd and possibly last edit.

10. Single target healing flourishes with a condi build. That said the two styles of healing don't really mesh together very well. Being a typical AOE supporter/healer uses skills, particularly shroud skills, in a way that does less damage. But there isn't really a big trade off if being a pure damage build and tethering an ally. It's possible though for shroud to tether no one, or for another healer to prevent tethered ally from losing health, and so shroud ends up lasting forever. I'm not sure it can do more damage this way though. 

11. It's hard to tell what Rot Wallow Venom is doing if anything. The only indication I have that Rot Wallow works is when leeching venom heals and i see an incredible number of stacks of torment on a boss. It doesn't seem to be my damage though. Because it's Torment I want to tether/assist classes with big torment damage like Scourge which don't need my healing. I thought of possible great group synergy with a weaver, keeping them alive and boosting their condi damage, but it's probably better for the group to prioritize the torment dealer. Rot Wallow might be more effective if it gave a buff similar to might for condition damage. Then it would support condi damage dealers equally.

12. A lot of thief traits benefit poison damage so the decision to make torment the focus of thief damage both in recent patches and here is strange decision. Thematically it seems like confusion would have been a better choice for something that hides in the shadows. The game is getting very focused around torment damage lately overall and so I suppose it makes sense as a crossover with Scourge for it to be torment. I just don't really feel like the lore and abilities totally reflect that. I seem to remember Wallows did poison damage.

Edited by Vidit.7108
Completed third round of fractal testing.
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Let me first say that I love the core concept of Specter - the “single target support” is a really interesting take on a playstyle not currently available to to Thief while still keeping the spirit of the class. It’s also nice to open up some more condi options for Thief as well.

That being said, I worry generally that a large part of of its mechanics just… straight up won’t work if you don’t have another friendly target around. Other support-oriented specs like Druid and Tempest still allow the player to benefit from their unique mechanics even when solo, so it’s a little strange that the tether REQUIRES a target to function, effectively turning off base spec mechanics and several traits. I’m not sure if there’s a possibility to rework parts of traits/skills so they target the thief using them as the “tether” - some of the design doesn’t support this cleanly - but it would be nice to preserve some more functionality while solo. I get that this is a intended to be a support spec, but it feels weird to have a spec that DOES have DPS options whilst still requiring another friendly player around to utilize its mechanics - no other spec really has this stipulation.

Nonetheless, I’m really looking forward to playing with Specter more and will edit with more feedback when I get the chance!

 

Edit: I had a chance to play a few games in sPvP and I LOVE THIS SPEC. I played a Shadow Arts healer with blinding powder, signet of agility, and traited  wells, and it was an absolute blast. Wells with the SA shadowstep heal trait provide decent AoE support, but the true joy was the insanely potent single-target support skills. The scepter/pistol three chain in allies is incredibly satisfying - dropping 2k healing into 6k barrier and singlehandedly saving an ally from death is unbelievably fun. It captures a “healer” vibe present in other MMOs that I feel has been absent in GW2 - specter’s no cooldown, direct support spells embody that healing role very well. The design of rot wallow venom is also cool, letting you output some damage while supporting allies.

I do enjoy the shroud as well - with Sage amulet, you still have decent pressure, and the second health bar is very nice for surviving bursts or pushing a node. I’m looking forward to trying a DPS-oriented Deadly Arts build when I get the chance to maximize shroud condis and maybe try P/D (I ran Sc/P-short bow on my SA healing build). The shroud tether is indeed cool - the passive support it provides while you attack foes is nice, and I like the condi transfer GM for more support. I do wish the tether had some effect when solo, though. 

My biggest complaint is that trying to click a target can be awkward. Specter wants to change targets A LOT to triage allies one at a time, target the right person to siphon/tether, and switch to an enemy when DPS windows are available. Part of it is made worse that there are tons of rangers and mechs running around, adding a ton of NPC clutter and blocking other players, so hopefully it will get better once a post-EoD release meta settles and it’s not everybody trying the new pet betas.
 

Other gripes: the heal well’s cast time is a little too long; I think 3/4 sec would be okay. I also wish the scepter had some combo finishers on it. Also, the max initiative decrease is pretty steep - maybe a reduction of 2 instead of 3.

Overall, though, I absolutely love this spec. It’s my total favorite of the new 9, and brings a fresh way to play both thief and GW2 support in general! Very interesting and creative design, and good implementation of new skills with existing traits. Hats off to the design team!

 

Edited by Brian.5324
Played more!
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So the first feeling is a bit clunky. I really do not like scepter at all, it looks silly. The colour Sheme is okey but the icons seems a bit off from the style. Also the skills don't look any special at all. It is exact the same thing that other classes have, only with some flashy here and there. The only thing which is pretty new is the targeting heal but that i have to test some hours more. Can work in Smallscale Roaming but in zerg i do not know yet.

 

Necro 2.0 with stealth and mobility is my prediction and i do feel, it will not be good for PvP balance and so it will be nerfed to oblivion. The Torment dmg stacks high.

Edited by Grebcol.5984
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7 minutes ago, Grebcol.5984 said:

So the first feeling is a bit clunky. I really do not like scepter at all, it looks silly. The colour Sheme is okey but the icons seems a bit off from the style. Also the skills don't look any special at all. It is exact the same thing that other classes have, only with some flashy here and there. The only thing which is pretty new is the targeting heal but that i have to test some hours more. Can work in Smallscale Roaming but in zerg i do not know yet.

 

You can always change the appearance of the scepter

Edited by nobleboivin.4102
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  • Siphon requires a valid path, so standing on a rock wont let it do its job.
  • Dark Sentry says allies, but I think it should say "others". I thought the way it was worded it might have ultra -synergy with signet of malice and rune of sanctuary.

 

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First concern so far is the sound effect is really fricken loud on scepter XD

and no, I really dont like the backwards teleport on Measured Shot. It feels pointless and we have plenty of other shadowsteps if I wish to retreat. I dislike this in P/D too and rather not have a repeat-skill. The spec's shadowstep wells are also shorter range than Scepter's range which makes it more ackward for Scepter/Pistol 3 to push you back and keep you out of range of using them.

There're not many combo finishers for black powder making it kind of a dead skill other than stealth from Shroud. None of Scepter's attacks are projectile finishers. But because of Grasping Shadow's delay the auto attack will break the stealth.

Haunt Shot AoE is pretty small and Grasping Shadows is slow. Are you sure you dont want to at least let Scepter AA hit 2 targets? Cuz I'd enjoy not having to totally rely on shortbow anymore. Shortbow'd still have better AoE but there'd be something else consistantly possible.

The spec needs more self-barrier access. I found the support role pretty difficult to fullfill in WvW without much ways of supporting yourself with healing/barrier to stay alive to help others. It's strong on 1 ally but there's a whole army of allies, including yourself, you can't do much for at the same time.

Scepter/Dagger 3/Twilight Combo requiring us to stand in place is kinda eeeeh. It doesn't like to hit or proc anything without the 2nd smack~ which doesn't happen if you're moving. Considering it's the swiftness buff you ironically can't keep it on someone while you're running with them.

I keep forgetting Scepter 2/Shadow Sap exist, it doesn't have much presence or uniqueness and considering the lack of AoE on Scepter and poor AoE on Shroud it'd be a nice spot for a large AoE circle support+attack ability to help the Thief itself and the rest of the group.

Dawn's Repose/Shroud 3 would probably make more sense as a leap or at least let it dash to ground target spot. It's kind of annoying to use.

Edited by Doggie.3184
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Probably my favorite elite this whole expac. 

 

Fits perfectly for my support-ness. Loving it, really fun, fast, fluid. The shroud abilities are clunky though, and really do mess witht he flow. The rest of it is wonderful for me. Probably will main thief (and druid) now. 

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37 minutes ago, BobbyT.7192 said:

real quick

steal traits (i.e Klepto, thrill of crime, stealth on steal) doesn't seems to work with siphon on allies, probably because of the lower CD, but that a thing)

 

Interestingly they does work when you target an NPC with it though, though it does have its full cooldown then... 

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Thief has now access to bonus damage on bleed, poison and torment.

 

Combine that with a spammable #3 (dual wield) ability on scepter/dagger and you have everything that core condi thief ever wanted.

 

Unfortunately, the build is and has always been quite degenerate:

 

F1-3-3-3-3-1-1-1-3-1-1-1-F1-3-3-1-1

 

You get the point. 3 button thief... not great for the game.

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2 minutes ago, The Brainman.6217 said:

Thief has now access to bonus damage on bleed, poison and torment.

 

Combine that with a spammable #3 (dual wield) ability on scepter/dagger and you have everything that core condi thief ever wanted.

 

Unfortunately, the build is and has always been quite degenerate:

 

F1-3-3-3-3-1-1-1-3-1-1-1-F1-3-3-1-1

 

You get the point. 3 button thief... not great for the game.

 

Yeah or you can build a immortal troll build.

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37 minutes ago, Seresibyl.2874 said:

Interestingly they does work when you target an NPC with it though, though it does have its full cooldown then... 

Okay yeah, Targeting a player does not give the steal traits. Friendly Npcs will trigger them, but will get you the longer CD on the siphon. Another note, friendly Npcs not part of events like merchants wont accept heals or barrier from spectres it seems

 

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I spent a good chunk of time literally just playing GW1 Monk on this. I dunno if that's a good thing or a bad thing in the grand scheme of the E-Spec but I actually enjoyed it just because it plays so different to what you'd expect a thief to do. 

I like the fact that the auto attack continuously occurs even if I switch targets, though it gets annoying when it comes down to getting out of combat because the attack just repeatedly happens even if you're not targeting someone, I think that needs changing so that when you're not targeting anything, you stop the auto attack. 

Elite skill's distortion effect is horrid for me, dunno how others feel about it. 

I'll do some more stuff with it after I've stopped messing around and using this as a GW1 monk

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There seems to be some serious bugginess with targetting enemies and allies. Scepter 3 primarily typically gives a "must have enemy or ally targetted" message. If the first part of the skill does hit the second will generally give the message. Seem to be the case periodically for other skills too.

To be fair though this spec actually seems to work (not in terms of lack bugs obviously) and have a clear purpose and role that makes sense within the game. Possibly the only spec in this expac that does. It doesn't seem too gimicky, has a decent spread of traits. I need more experience and testing but this could actually get me back to playing thief for the first real time since Launch. Could possibly do with a stun break on one of the wells, maybe a touch of condi cleanse somewhere so it's not all coming from Shadows Arts but apart from that, it's definitely worth a play around with.
Happy to say I was half wrong. I've noticed steps anet have taken to mitigate the ally targetting issues, though in my short play, I've definitely had trouble with that, just as we did on the original Scrapper Function Gyro. The steps Anet have taken mitigate the issue, but don't remove it. As expected, sadly, it remains an issue.
Overall, maybe thief mains will feel different but for me it's possibly the most complete spec this year. Absolutely the least dreadful.

Bit sad at the slim pickings on offer this year. This is without a doubt the absolute worst year for elite specs in my opinion. They're mostly novelties that don't really offer anything of value (willbender, untamed, mechanist, vindicator, catalyst) or they're badly designed messes that could only be problematic for various gamemodes (mechanist, bladesworn). Mechanist is quite possibly the worst offender in that it's numbers will either render it pure, worthless gimmick or kitten. It has to be one of these because it's AI and for 9 years, that's what AI has had to be.

 

Edited by wolfyrik.2017
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Really enjoyed it so far. Think it's my favourite beta espec so far. Played it myself and was on the boon receving end of a spectre in a strike. Wasn't feeling excited coming when I saw it but playing it it feels strong and with lots of options.

 

It has the condi and support builds and some of the support options feel very strong. It gives lots of alac and barrier. I think it's good it doesn't give convinient access quickess to group to help keep in in check. The wells feel cool with the teleport and elite spec feels great to bunch enemies into more of your wells. It feels reasonably durable and giving out good support through barrier, thrill of crime and wells/alac. Condition pressure is reasonable on enemies. I think it may compete with revenant for the alac slot on non T4 pug fractals. I think thief getting a good support spec. Animations also feel cool and a lot less clunky that many other elite specs like willbender and vindicator. I am having some trouble in landing a few shroud skills when I feel from looking at the game it should be connecting so not sure about that.

 

Haven't tried in PvP so can't comment on that.

 

On the whole really fab elite spec and with some polish I think this may be fantastic but may also face the scourge or firebrand issue from PoF where the espec is a bit too strong and overloaded.

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This is purely subjective (and with 100% less math behind it), but as an avid necro main with thief alt... I just don't feel this spec. It looks like something I should deeply enjoy, but that enjoyment is just not there.

The scepter is somewhat basic. I like the sound and animation of the shadowbonk on 1, and having an AA chain is definitely welcome. I really like the pistol dual attack - it has the feel and the punch to it. Dagger doesn't hold a candle to it though - i guess it's more of a PVP thing? Shadow sap is just boring.

Well are fine. The heal is plain, but whatever. Boon and condi ones are interesting. The daze seems kinda useless for PVE, and people just don't stand in wells in PVP. Well of tears is literal garbage that has no reason to exist. Elite is... lame. Just lame. The shadowstep makes them different enough from other wells, so overall I feel it's a decent skill cathegory, and a general highlight of the spec.

Shroud is... just a core necro shroud. It has all the abilities that a necro shroud is expected to have, with no real twists or anything cool on them. Maybe it's something thief mains can enjoy, but I've played that already to death even pre-expacs.

I think my overall complaint is that specter is plain. It's not bad, but it lacks the cool stuff. I don't get the flow of evades and mobility of DD from it. I don't get the stealth-dancing and sniper playstyle of DE. The shroud lacks that "kitten yes" factor of the Reaper, which did flip the core necro shroud tools amazingly back in the day. I don't get anything from specter. It's a bunch of fun, but basic and recognizable things brough together and just left there, without any tie-ins or interactions that would make it click.

Edit: aaand I completely forgot about support, lol.

Any kind of healer playstyle will be dead on arrival in PVE. And I have deep concerns about targeting, which, for me at least, has always been complete kitten even with just enemies. The whole thing should work decently in PVP though, so there's that.

Edited by Wintermute.5408
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Big note

Improvisation does nothing

Edit: seems inconsistent, i do get a recharge on one skill, but rarely happens

popping in and out of shroud doesn't do it, something to do with using the actually shroud skills maybe?

Edited by BobbyT.7192
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The scepter feels unresponsive since it locks you in animations for so long.  Part of the problem is that the 3rd step of the auto attack lasts 1.5 seconds and can't be overridden by other skills AND it casts twice if you spam the 1 key or hold it down (bug).  As a result, your normal auto attack chain locks you into 2x 1.5 second cast time uninterruptible skills and that just feels bad.  I have a feeling it won't be so bad once it only casts once, but I would like it to either be interruptible with other skills or reduce the animation/cast time.

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