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First impressions, I am really impressed and enjoying the spec. A full cele build with travelers runes has no trouble surviving and taking down difficult enemies solo, not bounties or anything but still stuff that my other builds have struggled with.

The self healing is really nice and the healing output is really high on a single target. Scepter/pistol dual attack heals for almost 2.5k then adds over 5k barrier and that just one skill. The barrier that shroud can passively apply is quite significant.

The low cd on siphon means my party has permanent swiftness, fury, vigor and some might as well as whatever other boon I can steal on top of the personal stealth and interrupt. The build is capable of providing permanent alacrity with the wells trait.

I love the well skills, they feel strong and impactful and I find myself using them off cooldown to heal, do damage and move around. They do feel a bit clunky though, but that can be ironed out eventually.

The decrease in initiative does not feel punishing because I make much more use of my utilities and shroud.

 

Some negatives:

Scepter 2 feels redundant, just a slightly bigger AA that doesn't feel like it's worth the initiative input. Maybe a skill with a small aoe would fit in here and stand out among the thief weapon skills.

The scepter weapon skill icons don't really mesh well with the art of the dagger or pistol, so they stand out visually in a bad way.

The scepter animations are quite loud.

I wish the shadowstep on the elite well was longer. 600 feels a bit short for an elite on a 75s cd.

 

Overall my favorite elite spec released potentially ever. It feels mobile, elusive and sinister while adding a lot of needed utility. I really like it and can't wait to see how people make use of it in various game modes and the improvements to come.

 

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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

How VERY disappointing. All those feedbacks and basically nothing was addressed and changed. Why even start a feedback thread and pretend to read and consider any feedback, when they don't care a

Quick problems/issues:

 

* Zero combo finishers on any scepter skills. Not even a chance at projectile finisher. Seems like an oversight.

* S/D 3 skill is extremely lacking. It does half as much healing as S/P 3 and can be intercepted by the wrong target making it an awful healing tool. I suggest that it travel through targets so it always hits the intended target, and perhaps grants some boon like S/P to those in between at least.

* Siphon doesn't trigger steal traits (like stealth or boons) when targeting allies. Scepter 2 needs a separate animation from Scepter 1 initial hit.

---

Thing I like:

 

* Animations are gorgeous, especially the wells. Totally in love!

* The boons and healing are fantastic, especially with S/P. S/D 3 needs work though as noted before.

 

Overall I'm super excited and can't wait to play it officially!

Edited by Zodryn.4216
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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 entrance the utilities wells, it is like i did nothing. You should boost wells (utilities) damage by a lot.

Currently: 0 - 266 - 62 -399. Can definitely be more like 340 - 700 - 420 - 800 no joke.

The specialization feels strong but only when in Shadow shroud. And i feel like shadow shroud is so hard to fill, that it kills the fluidity and fun of the specialization! See necro, their life force increase rapidly with each attack, here definitely too slow!

The initiative mechanic also feels so useless!!!! Can't anything be done? I don't understand that there is no skills that allow consuming initiatives to generate shadow/life force!

Here is the fact:

I enter fight, i use all wells + weapon skills and it fills not even 1/5 of my life force / shadow force bar!!!

The skill that fill the most that bar is "SIPHON" aka toolbelt left skill with hand spitting wind icon. And you did what? You ruined that skill by putting an abusive long cooldown on it! 11 seconds! 11!!!!! Since the scepter skills are  also weak (160- 282 -161 damages) the foe have time to kill me one million time!

Very stinky bad implementation!!!

TLDR:  1/Makes well do way more damages.  2/Increase scepter skills damages. 3/Increase shadow/life force given by using utilities wells and weapon skills. 4/Decrease Siphon cooldown.

The only thing that is already fine and need 0 fix is the shadow shroud. But useless if you can't evne have the life force to use it!

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Updated.

I played several hours roaming in WvW, joined a few zerg groups, and spent a few hours in open world PVE. I had the most luck with Plaguedoctor stats. I tried playing with the wells, but ultimately gave up on them due to better options. I'd like them more if they worked faster, waiting five seconds for the full effect didn't really work for a mobile playstyle. Also didn't work that well in group play. They seem to do less in more time than other support class utility skills.

The scepter is fine.  I tried scepter with dagger and pistol OH and went with pistol. The immobilize has better synergy with torment and I could sometimes time the shroud 5 blast finisher with the pistol smoke field for additional stealth. It isn't ideal, but it can work in a pinch. The shadowstep from scepter/pistol 3 also provides good healing.

The shroud is good for condi cleanse/heal and the heal/barrier from leaving shroud. Pretty much useless otherwise. Feels like it takes too long to gain shadow shroud health. The barrier from 3 is okay and the fear is nice, but it's hard to land in many situations. The shroud 5 stun takes so long it's just silly. The 4 has too short range, so I couldn't land it after landing fear from 3. Shroud 2 is okay but the aoe is so small, why is it so small? The 1 auto attack is basically like scepter 1 but with added might (which isn't bad). Overall very underwhelming and only worth taking for the passive effects. The skills need better synergy with each other, as it stands it's very clunky. It also needs better area/multi-target to make it feel different from all the other single target skills in the kit. It would also be nice if there was something added from being in shroud. The skills themselves aren't great and there is no added built-in benefit other than granting an ally (if one is around) barrier. There should be something for the player as well, like increased healing, a buff, just something when playing solo to make it seem worthwhile to lose all your utility skills. 

The shroud is the main disappointment of the spec. If the shroud skills were actually worth using, worked well together in a natural rhythm like Reaper shroud, the spec would have felt really good. Overall, you need to work too much to land things, like the fear and stun. This seems to be the theme of all the elite specs so far, making everything more difficult as a trade-off and generally not fun as a result. I don't understand the logic when so many current e-specs are balanced and fun to play without these weird trade-offs. 

There is also the  awkwardness of playing the spec without an ally nearby. This seems like a spec that should play well solo, but it’s lacking solo as it loses a lot of utility without an ally. Some of the enemy target versions of the skills should have buffs as well.

When I played WvW in a group, I wasn't really sure how to make up for not contributing dps by healing/supporting one player at a time. The best I could think to do was support one of the other support classes, like a Firebrand that can actually keep a group alive. Is that the idea, to support another better support spec? I mean, it has its use, but you lose a dps spot as a result. Seems like if the spec could heal/support and do dps at same time it would be more useful. Missed opportunity there.

Overall, I had fun and the spec actually felt effective, more so than testing the other e-specs. I did not lose any 1v1 fights in WvW, although I had to stealth away from a few, but thief isn't my main class. With tormenting runes I can see this being a very tough roaming spec to take down and great to roam around with 1-2 other players. A two person Specter team could be really disruptive in PVP/WVW roaming. 

Edited by Monarc.9726
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I do agree that the scepter 2 skill feels lacking.  The barrier provided to allies is wrong - what is applied is about 3x what's on the tooltip - however, it still doesn't add anything.  Perhaps a large quick barrier for allies is good, maybe it could be a bit bigger to see value over just auto-ing allies, but against foes it adds nothing.  It barely does any extra damage, gives you a few stacks of might and them weakness but that does not feel impactful, especially since weakness is probably the worst and least effective condition in existence - at least for PvE.

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Targeting in action camera mode is even more busted than I thought it would be.  We shouldn't have to have a target selected to use our skills.  The targeting allies vs enemies is a bad idea, clunky, and not a user-friendly design.  In a game where every support skill is AOE, this feels awful.

Edited by Will.9785
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I absolutely love the concept and what I've been able to play of the Specter so far. That there is the problem, though. I haven't been able to play half of the espec due to always being in action camera mode. Swapping between targeting allies and enemies is impossible without exiting action camera first. Even tab-targeting and turning on the promote target to lock target options doesn't work for scepter/dagger skill 3 (although the promote target seems to help with the other skills.)

 

I really don't like having to turn promote target on, since it turns it on for my whole account (thus making me turn it off again when I swap characters). If the skills could all be used with soft-targeting, I wouldn't have to do so, and the Twilight Combo skill wouldn't be absolutely useless.

 

Another thing, though this is rather minor, the healing well skill reads just like the others; "Shadowstep to...and...a well" but the well AoE circle is created first and then the shadowstep happens, which is strange considering the other wells are in reverse. If this was the intent, I think perhaps the wording could be changed to make it more clear, such as "Create a well and shadowstep to the target location," as that is in the correct order. Alternatively, since the actual well effects doesn't seem to appear until after the shadowstep, maybe it would make more sense to take out that initial AoE circle that appears before the shadowstep.

 

I do also agree with some of the prior posters in this thread that the scepter auto-attack third attack's cast time, chance of double tapping, and uninterruptability leaves me a bit wanting, but I will refrain from saying more on that topic as several people have already expressed similar opinions with more detailing.

 

Thanks for all your hard work on the Specter!

 

   -Krantz

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This is an early review based on faffing around for a bit.  I'll update it as I get more opportunities to test over the course of the beta.

 

Overall

Simply put:  I quite hate it.  Scepter is clunky and in uninspired -- its attack pattern included -- it hits like a limp noodle, and neither of the dual-wield skills feel complementary.  The enemy/ally skill split makes tooltips hard to read and harder to parse, and leaves Specter in a dissociative state of never quite being anything but confusing (and is something from Vindicator's dual-legend implementation which I greatly disliked).  Even their shroud is barely redeeming for anything but damage output.  Add to that the 25% loss in initiative, and you've got a specialization that's all but forced to take Trickery just to make due.

Worse still, it's the most miserable solo experience I've ever had.  There's just nothing really going for it.

 

Scepter

I know I already said it, but there's absolutely zero impact here.  It's entirely beholden to Torment to deal damage, as the strike damage scales incredibly poorly, and Torment is itself hardly a powerful condition.  (Strike-through is not currently available during editing; previous text was removed to ensure clarity.)  Rerolled and tried Carrion gear, and was able to average about 1200~1300 damage per tick.

 

  • Shadow Bolt  Double Bolt  Triple Bolt:  redundantly named and incredibly weak attack chain with poor strike damage scaling and equally lackluster condition damage scaling, thanks to Torment.  Quite frankly I think mesmer's Scepter hits harder, which is impressive considering it's not the most potent of kits itself.  The repeat animation (warrior's Axe, anyone?) is clunky, awkward, and just plain looks bad.  But don't worry, it exists to slap barrier and healing on an ally (if you can target them)!
  • Shadowsquall:  I genuinely cannot tell if I'm ever getting this skill off, so you tell me.  The switch to Poison feels off-brand and contrary to the elite itself, which I presume is a halfhearted attempt at synergy with Deadly Arts.
  • Twilight Combo (dagger):  who names these?  Nevermind, I'm still not even sure if this is having much of any effect in my testing, as it sure doesn't look like what I saw in the preview stream.  The chill is probably the only meaningful aspect here, though spamming a 4 Initiative skill (44% of your baseline pool) for modest breakbar damage feels foolish.  But just think of all the barrier and healing you can give your allied target (if you can target them) ...?
  • Measured Shot (pistol):  other than having a shadowstep for nominal self-healing (you're never going to manage to aim this on allies), this is just a rehashed version of Shadow Strike from the base pistol/dagger kit with Immobilize instead of Torment and ... you guessed it, allied healing and barrier.  Oi.
  • Endless Night:  not to be confused with Endless Twilight, apparently, and just a purple-themed version of Confusing Images, if you swapped confusion for Slow and Torment (or the ability to heal an ally -- are you noticing the pattern, yet, Mr. Krabs?).  While the slow will be nice against resistant enemies, dropping 6 Initiative (67% of your baseline pool) to slap a pile of that on a single target (or whoever walks in front of them) isn't very rewarding.  At all.

 

Siphon

When it isn't failing to actually trigger half of your traited upgrades -- or the autoattack is disrupting stealth -- it's hardly impactful, particularly due to the loss of stolen items/skills.  That, and even when traited with Sleight of Hand, you're still looking at a good 60~80 seconds before you can build up your shroud to a meaningful level, unless you chose Amplified Siphoning (at the expense of having actual versatility).

 

Shadow Shroud

It's basically just Discount Harbinger, if they still rolled baseline necromancer shroud, except made clumsy and awkward.  Not only that, but it's entirely based around having a tethered ally, so there's little benefit to this in solo-play, outside of a stopgap for taking damage.  Worse, the visual noise of its use blends in too greatly with skill effects, making it hard to tell what's even happening.

Oh, and having actual cooldowns feels like a poor way to counteract the reduction in initiative.

 

  • Haunt Shot:  there's not enough indication that this skill is actually going off, which is pretty bad for a baseline attack.  It feels (and looks) way too much like Shadow Bolt, aside from having respectable damage.  Also no auto-attack?  Guess I'll keep spamming 1.
  • Grasping Shadows:  the windup on this skill is slow enough that kiting a foe will often result in a miss, particularly thanks to the narrow radius.  Payoff doesn't feel like it's there, and the animation is barely noticeable against the visual noise that is shroud.
  • Dawn's Repose:  simply put, I hate this skill.  It's awkward to use, the forward dash puts you at disadvantage (when you aren't getting stuck on obstacles), and I'm not even sure the fear application was working.
  • Eternal Night:  the pulses on this feel pretty meaningless, and the poison application isn't providing enough meaningful damage.
  • Mind Shock:  it's mind-numbing how slow this charge up is, wherein I really can't actually do anything but stand there waiting for a lackluster stun to go off.  Oh, but I guess the only point of it is, again, to heal my tethered ally, while I hopefully soak up some damage for them (which they needn't worry about, since I'm healing them).

 

Well-o-steps

Like any proper shadowstep, these can and will fail if there is:  a small rock, a tiny gap, a slight change in elevation, or some particularly formidable dust in the way of your targeting.  Moreover, none of them feel very good -- unless, of course, you're running the Traversing Darkness to get a quick blast of Alacrity out of the deal.

... which, of course, won't benefit you for anything but Siphon and your healing / utility / elite skills.  Which is basically the entire theme of Specter:  sacrificing yourself for others.

 

  • Well of Gloomfurther testing required ...
  • Well of Bounty:  probably the most controversial skill in the kit, not least because the tooltip is vastly more impressive than the skill.  All it does is walks through a list, granting up to 5 boons (unless you already have one), but will always grant Might regardless (provided it reaches the end of the list).  Most of these will time out at or just before the skill expires, meaning  that you're really only adding onto what others are already doing.  Not a good feel, that.
  • Well of Tears:  I'm genuinely not sure why I'd even run this, considering sub-par damage.
  • Well of Silenceit's Well of Bounty, but for enemies!  And with a Daze.  Considering that you can apply Chilled / Slow and Poisoned by default, you're really only getting the other of the first two and Weakness, so kind of a big tepid wash.
  • Well of Sorrow:  it's Well of Silence, but ... not.  Considering your auto-attack applies Torment, you can ignore that entry and just assume it'll add Bleeding, since you may or may not have applied Poison through some trait or your stealth attack.  Somehow it's actually even more underwhelming than the thing it copies, probably because of the loss of Daze.
  • Shadow Fall:  this is apparently a well that is too cool for being called one, mom.  Also it was stolen from Vindicator (like the rest of Specter's split identity) ... but which pulls things in, unlike Tenacious Ruin.

 

Traits

Most of these are equally unimpressive, really, and further force Specter into one of two-ish builds.  The dire lack of versatility -- and continued habit of doubling down on its own mechanics -- further works to the specialization's detriment.

 

  • Scepter Proficiency:  goodbye, 3 initiative points.  Hello, being all but forced to run Trickery to make up for it.
  • Second Opinion:  the meager allotment of Healing Power even from a full condition build (~1700) means you're probably getting only about 240 Healing out of it.  Run the math on a lot of stuff and that means next to nothing for yourself (Shadow Savior scales at 20%, so you're only getting +48 HP per shadowstep from this!) and barely anything better for your allies (that's +96 HP for them, wow!)
  • Shallow Grave:  while it's cool to cheat death once a minute, you get slapped into Shroud (provided you've got leftover life- err ... shadowforce), or you blow those reserves you were building up to keep them alive.  Your choice, but I feel your ally gets the better deal out of this.
  • Consume Shadows:  just in case you really liked wasting skills and time, now you can really, really waste them by burning all of your remaining lifeforce (dang it) shadowforce to potentially overheal ... your allies.  With barrier.  If you've got enough force left, based on the conversion rates.  Hope you're packing a Vitality build!
  • Dark Sentry:  in a begrudging nod to the entire Shadow Arts specialization, you now get a unique poison to use Leeching Venoms, which means giving up Shadow Savior and literally half of your elite.  But at least it'll help your allies, right?
  • Larcenous Torment:  all but mandatory to take if you want to gain lifeforce shadowforce at any reasonable rate, considering all the Torment you apply ...
  • Traversing Darkness:  ... if there weren't this trait, which slaps Alacrity on you and all your allies each time you use a well.  Oh, and it heals them, too, and generates lifeforce shadowforce.  So really, you're taking this one.  You're a "support" thief, now, after all.
  • Amplified Siphoning:  gain 50 points of force rather than 25 or increase the barrier application to allies.  All things considered, it's not particularly worthwhile even in solo-play, considering the other benefits listed above.
  • Panaku's Ambition:  a paltry bit of barrier yourself on stealth attacks, or your allies when you stealth them -- which means either running off-hand dagger or sacrificing at least one well.  This feels like another throw-out trait that's just occupying space to fit the template.
  • Strength of Shadows:  upgrades your mandatory Rot Wallow venom (wink wink nudge nudge, Shadow Arts players), and grants Expertise based on your Vitality.  So really, all you need is Carrion gear to earn ~16.5% extra condition duration.  Oh, and it reduces damage taken by 2% per unique condition an enemy has, so good thing you can readily apply Torment (and sometimes other things).
  • Hungering Darkness:  support your allies even better by cleansing their conditions ... by adding them to yourself instead and then cleansing them.  Too bad it's only 1 per second you're in shroud, though it heals an unspecified percentage of your base Health each time (and once again grants your ally barrier).
  • Shadestepfurther testing required ...
Edited by fluffdragon.1523
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Overall I love the concept, and it feels very good so far.

Being able to target allies and furiously healing them while seemingly whacking them on the head is sooo much fun.

Having a high speed single target healing mechanism seems interesting so far (I can totally see it come in handy with a bladesworn charging their F2 for example). It would be worrysome if that was all the spec had to offer but being able to spread barrier, blindness and alacrity kinda gives me hope about this spec.

My favorite elite spec so far.

negative :
- Not a lot of combo finisher access if we use the scepter. Any possibility to make the scepter/pistol 3 a backward leap and scepter/dagger 3 a projectile finisher maybe ?

 

Edited by Tabootrinket.2631
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Wow, really fun to toy with.

 

The autoattack chain on scepter felt really good to provide barriers, I didn't feel skill #2 and #3 were useful when targeting allies... Yet, reducing skill #1 quality/capacity would feel wrong too given it feels powerful enough without being OP.

As the same time, given the limited pool, you have to rely more on autoattack, so it feels balanced, for skill #1, but #2-3 could potentially see an improvement or a bonus effect...? or simply make the barrier AOE?

 

Open world, you can actually go for condi-dps with really decent results (tested in HoT maps), and when some random players pass by and fight around, you can substantially support him, and that feels REALLY nice. You can pump some heavy barriers up to more than 100% of a players' health. It fades quickly, so it's not OP, but you can really sustain someone's life (again, not 5 players, just one target, but actually really well I find.)

So you remain in a relatively decent dps role WHILE providing support when required, altho not as good as if you spec into full support.
Then, with SA trait line, you can go full support with shadow steps, while pulling your weight during the battle, so it's quite nice. 

 

Dagger/Dagger: I played quite a bit with D/D, and those Wells really add the mobility that DD misses... it's not jokes, it feels really nice. Not overpowered, just performing smoothly. In fact, it has a similar feeling to a D/D dodgy meme daredevil in terms of DPS with more mobility. You cannot spam Death Blossom indefinetly, so it's less of a meme, and more of an actual build... and that's a good thing, due to the initiatives limitations. Given wells are all dark fields, they allow for nice leeching bolt, which compensated somehow for the lost DrD GM traits DPS. So somehow, it feels balanced in regards to Daredevil.

 

Sword/Dagger; Sword/Pistol: Somewhat, I could not find my rythm with sword main hand, but it was promising, as you could use Sword 2 for engage, and wells to keep in range of your foe. But, it was a lot of ports, so I traded wells for other utilities in the end. So a healing, power version was okay for open world, but with my test not ideal for tougher hero points, and at the moment, I can't really see a good PvP version of this. 

 

Pistol/Dagger:  was oh my... quite solid, the wells put you on targets and conjure all sorts of condis, so then you can hit your dual skill and port-away, and you can port-in again, then port-out, it worked really well. 

 

Scepter/Pistol and Pistol/Dagger: worked really well together, very fluid.

Scepter/Pistol and Dagger/Pistol: worked also very well together, also quite fluid, and even more adaptable in terms of mobility, I quite enjoyed those.


Pistol/Pistol - I didn't find any particular synergy worth noting, was the most boring set up, and I guess that's fair too. Specter doesn't seem build for power DPS really, so... but I could imagine a sort of condi kitten-Trickery-Specter for PvP kinda working? sort of...? Not a strong build in any case.

 

There are good synergies obviously between Specter and SA, kitten, ...and Trcikery feels a bit mandatory, which is a regret... If baseline Initiatives was the same as core thief, I would NOT feel forced to pick trickery, and would head for some more interesting builds, combining kitten and SA, or even try power variant with healing.

 

For a very active/agressive gameplay:

- Basically, with Trickery, and careful initiative management, I could do whatever I wanted, it was fun and fluid. 

- Dropping out Trickery meant I had to rely more on shroud, while shroud was harder to access to given lower initiative pool, so it became suddently quite clunky, I felt I could hardly "compete" in terms of the DPS OR healing race... 

 

A less active gameplay?

- Playing without Trickery meant I had to play at a "slower" pace, which was "okay" but then DPS OR healing wasn't good enough... the bonus initiatives from Trickery and Siphon (on steal) really made a difference.

 

Initiative pool
Regenerating initatives through SA didn't really worked well for PvE, and I struggle to see how it would be really effective in PvP or WvW given you cannot burst as much with lower initiative pool.

So bursting, going into shroud, bursting again, felt a bit off...? Because you have lower initiative pool, you don't need to spend as much time stealth, so in the end, it somehow works well conceptually... with Bursting DPS (altho smaller quantity) or supporting ally with barriers, then shround, then mini-burst, then stealth for 3-4-5 seconds max, then rinse-repeat was actually seems viable... but I struggle to compare the numbers. I however see it could be a viable playstyle if you were in PvP small brawl.

 

Toying with Acrobacy wasn't ideal.

 

Anyways, kind of a mixed bag. With limited initiatives, definetly, it does not play like how you would expect a thief to play, and maybe it's just about getting used to it, and maybe that's the intent. My worry tho, is that current skills seems to be balanced around the current pool, so if any nerf of condi/effect for skills would happen... It would suddently feel quite underwhelming... and just... weak.

 

Wells

Love them. Brilliant idea and concept, synergize so well with the thief other toolkits. 

 

The Shroud

As of my limited tests, it feels "okay", or at least... not overtuned at all. Autoattack is better than scepter autoattack, but aside from that and the utility...? I love the idea, but not fully sold on its current impact/capacities.

As of right now, my inclination would be to simply dip-in and dip-out to get specific utilities, especially skills #3-4-5. They're far from being "gaming breaking", but it's really nice to have this additionnal layer of utilities hidden under the shroud, even when playing solo. 

Then if playing with friends or allies, really nice too. I'd vote however to slow down the degeneration rate, to be able to keep it up a little longer if you do decide to support an ally that way... at the same time... I like going into shroud while initiative replenish itself, and going in-out would be really cool if cooldown was further reduced to 4-5 sec instead of 6.75sec.

 

Anyways, my 2 cents.

 

 

 

 

 

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I didn't actually try out the support aspect yet but so far not bad.

I wish something could be done with scepter skills and wells to give that immediate responsiveness the rest of the thief kit has.  I think there is a delay on the wells that feel very non thief like.  Shroud skills are similar.  I want to press the button and have something happen right away.  The pacing is fine for another class but it doesn't feel ...thiefee.

 

That said, I was surprised by how much fun I had with pistol/dagger.  Wells plus shadow strike had me teleporting all over the map will dropping condition bombs everywhere.  If I can pull myself away from pistol I'll try actually supporting people with scepter.

 

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It was interesting. Feels very strong and unique.

Not sure how it'd fare in larger scale stuff and personally find support a bit of a chore to play outside of group content so just find it hard to judge. Ally targeting was a bit annoying and difficult but i haven't dug through the keybinds to see if theres help there.

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I have wanted a support Thief for absolutely years so I took Specter to some raids tonight - a semi-experienced group clearing wing 1, 4 and a bit of 6.

 

Some points:

 

1. I would have loved to play Specter in WoW. Maybe FFXIV. It does not work well at all with the current GW2 UI. Either we need to have customisable raid frames (including hot corners and being able to track select boons) or Specter PvE support needs a rework. It is absolutely nightmarish trying to click through the UI to select different players to try and get Quickness out. Either rework the UI, or rework the entire thought of how you want Specter to play in PvE.

 

Things that could be done to alleviate this issue:

  • a) Next ally keybindings actual cycle between players, not mini pets.  (this is the path of least resistance probably)
  • b) Allow the raid frames to be moved. (harder)
  • c) Rethink the need for ally targeting for Endless Night. (hardest, but might eventually be needed)

 

I think I would prefer a) or c) of the above.

 

2. Endless Night needs rethought priorities. I was, alongside a chronomancer, able to do between 70 to 95% quickness on 10 players (full Celestial, leadership runes, conc sigil, conc food and utilities). The Endless Night Quickness looks like it would be workable but pets, turrets, clones and minions take priority! This is utterly strange to have the skill be entirely based on proximity, especially as the Specter needs to move about due to Measured Shot and to pierce with Endless Night. I would suggest that players are made priority. This would resolve some of the issues but the terribly unfun gameplay of clicking allies would still be present.

 

3. The healing and barrier is incredibly strong. This is offset quite a bit by the lack of boons (Siphon is pretty hard to use when you need to fish out the correct ally so often), poor condi cleanse (only Signet of Agility for multiple players) and the general difficulty of play. This is probably in the right sort of place.

 

4. Shroud feels pretty pointless as support. I would enter and leave for the burst healing and Quick Pockets. It didn't seem to have any other purpose.

 

5. Alacrity is fine. It is just a bit insipid.

 

6. Siphon feels a bit pointless in PvE. There are better buttons to press and it is really awkward having to target the boss and then an allied target in order to get boons. Allied Siphon should work with the boons from Thrill of the Crime and Bountiful Theft. 


Ending points:

Rethink everything about pushing for single target allies gameplay. GW2 is not well suited to it at all.

If you want to stick with single target allies, it needs to work beyond a point and click scheme with information poor raid frames that are cemented in an awkward place. Fix the target ally bindings to work with players. Make Endless Night prioritise players within the pierce, increase pierce width. Healing and alacrity are generally fine, if dull to execute.


Bugs: If you are standing in front of your allied target and about 80 units away, Measure Shot ports you to 900 range, as though it is triggering the enemy effect.

Endless Night prioritising proximity only. Fire for Effect was just fixed for this. Endless Night needs to be too.

Things that feel like bugs but are design issues: Needing to interact with the UI so much.

Edited by Lucinellia.9247
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First day impressions:

Even if the DPS and/or barriers aren't there everywhere (I'm not sure since I have add-ons removed at the moment) this is pretty fun in PVE.

When I helped some random people on spectre with their Ad Infinitum CMs in fractals, the barrier output was decent on plaguedoctor + tormenting runes. I was able to stop a weaver from being an ele downstate meme for example.

The UI has a light blue to show you which party member is selected , and the same happens with squads.

The tooltips we were shown didn't illustrate the delay on heal wells which sometimes feels bad since you aren't affected by the quickness on Endless Night. The way I see it is this spec functions similar to condi scourge but requires better attention and micromanagement since the targeting is more specific both versus enemies and for allies. You'd use it to help keep boons up but primarily focus on cDPS. Healers from other games will probably prefer this if UI problems are ironed out.

I'm concerned about the backwards movement on Measured Shot though. This could be reduced to melee level movement (<240 distance).

The barriers in WvW at least aren't comparable to those from necros unless you run scepter+dagger ; torment in WVW overall isn't a high damage condition due to superspeed meta.

----

Scepter auto is really loud and needs to be toned down given it is low impact overall.

Edited by Infusion.7149
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2 hours ago, Zodryn.4216 said:

* Animations are gorgeous, especially the wells. Totally in love!

There's not a single new animation in this pack though. Scepter auto is literally warrior Axe while the rest are scepter default, and the Wells are repurposed PoF animations. Not even Shroud has anything going for it.

There's a bunch of shiny circles and effects though and they are indeed pretty. Good job FX team!

Edited by TwiceDead.1963
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I tried out Spectre on the training golem so see what I can expect for running around solo.

Generally speaking I see around 4 scenarios being relevant in GW2:
1. Solo (open world, roaming in pvp/wvw, story)
2. 5 person content (instances, fractals)
3. 10 person content (raids, strikes)
4. >10 person content (WvW, world bosses)

I like to play all kind of content and would like to have an elite spec that works solo and in groups (or the ability to switch between builds that work solo or in groups).

1. The specialization and scepter weapon feel unbelievably 1-dimensional for solo play. I basically ONLY auto attacked and used "Shadow Sap" which felt like an unwanted chore instead of a rewarding skill use in order to get at least some damage out by keeping 25 stacks of might up.
The auto attack pacing however and sound felt good (even though it got kind of annoying after 20 minutes of auto attacking).

Shroud:
Shroud, the defining feature of Spectre felt completely meaningless, boring and non-consequential for solo play.
What shall I use it for it is so unbelievably bad I actually have no words for how bad it is. I am heartbroken.

For the moment I am extremely confused by this elite specialization, there is nothing to do. It seems to be absolutely non-functioning in solo play. What ever I press nothing happens

Did any of the class designers take it for a spin in solo play? Do they actively not want this elite spec to be viable in solo play? Should shroud feel different from non shroud scepter?

I am at a loss for words...

Sorry for the emotional post and it seems others are really happy with how Spectre plays...

Edited by Eleandra.4859
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A+ for a spec that Radically changes gameplay and innovate, as it does something even other Classes cannot (single target heal). Thief gets the best toys 😛

The style is good, the combat feels good and natural, and even while it can do condi, it's quite clear the heart of the spec is in support. This Vastly changes potential group compositions and I'm all for it. The only downside is that like the Untamed a very large part of it's gameplay is tied to it's weapon, and will not function without it. Scepter works well, it is true, but contrary to daredevil or deadeye with which you can use the specs' traits and make it work as good as the spec weapon, for this one, there is no alternative... Which dont get me wrong, I believe is a necessary drawback. It is just a trend that I noticed as well for the Untamed (who are much more harshly penalized for it). That is something I wish you Didn't do, as that stiffle player agency in build creation. 

It is otherwise very interesting to play and a good way to give more Healing options to players. I wish Shroud had more appeal though. I personally spent all my time on scepter never switching to shroud.

Edited by Naxos.2503
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Having played it for a little while, I say I do love the Scepter. It feels quite nice and I didn't have much issues with it. Shroud however is incredibly lacking, with a delay on most moves and overall feeling very lackluster. I mostly used it to detonate it for the big barriers and heals. Wells and Siphon need to be looked at as well, the requirement that you need to be on the same footing as your target destination is a big nuisance.

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