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2 hours ago, Echo Shot.6479 said:

no way to tell if rot wallow venom heals on life siphon (if traited)

Just a small note to that, with this patch they changed the ingame text of Leeching Venoms to clarify it only affects Venom Utility Skills. 

 

That said, with Shadow Savior and Traversing Dusk and a spammable Shadow Step with Measured Shot (which itself heals and grants mass barrier with it's fallow up, AoE if aligning the Beam) plus the Wells, as well as Consume Shadows, this thing already AoE heals like mad.

Edited by Asum.4960
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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

I'm putting my thoughts about fixing this spec up front first.. before you start reading through the giant list of criticism. I've found that people would rather see conclusions first, before seeing what actually brought them to make such opinions.

So here's my thoughts. Overall... It is not fun. And I can't see myself using this spec willingly without a good reason.

Outside of the initiative. I don't actually know what I would recommend to fix the problems I've listed.

However, my general opinion about this spec. Is that making it's identity a strong single target support generally isn't good enough on it's own because it lacks the capabilities of helping the team in other ways... making what single target support it provides meaningless. It also places it into the same circumstance of why would anyone pick you, when another profession offers much more?

I'd suggest making it a Hyper Aggressive Single Target support. I don't mean increase the raw damage. You can make it really pile on the hatred through other means, from CC to various forms of condi. But I do mean give the Specter encouragement and the capabilities to get into the thick of things and go ham. Make the thief want to be unnecessarily aggressive at all times. as part of his support functionality. Make it into a guardian angel that is worth being feared. Encourage the thief to completely destroy their initiative reserves. Because if they can't run away or easily kite. Then make them actually want to fight like hell. Make them want to abuse their shroud for more than just another health bar.

I want to feel like, I made it very clear to who ever I am fighting, that I hate them. I hate them so much for targeting the person I am tethered to. And how dare they think I'd be ok with it. I want them to know my hatred for them is so bad... that I am willing to face annihilation just to punch you in the face. And I have no reason to change my behavior.

When I hear the name specter, I think of a haunt or a guardian spirit that protects an individual as their shadow, and angrily seeks the indiscriminate death of whom ever touched their charge. Instead... this is just a fairy going bibbity boppity boo.

 I think more players would find specter interesting, if the trade off of it's initiative (Survivability, Damage, and Mobility hit) felt freeing, than what it currently is... a harsh tax.

You give this spec the playstyle of a hyper aggressive support, you will probably see a much more interesting playstyle evolve for thief. Where instead of just being a +1 far noder. You can see them sticking with a buddy, Cycling team fights, dynamically teathering to other allies they pass by to assist them with their next targets.

And with specter fighting. it doesn't have to be high damage. It can easily be an unholy monstrocity that is there to make a fight as unpleasant as possible by constantly being in your face, supporting his buddy.
--------

And here's the criticism


Admittedly,  Specter is interesting. But I can feel that I was right about my initial skepticisms, and only feel confirmation for some of the issues that I saw ahead of time.

Overall, Scepter is -ok- in Solo PvE content. It's not great, it's not bad. Though this sentiment is not good. Because I honestly feel like I'd have a much better time moving about in the PvE content with any other elite spec or just the core spec for thief. This feeling of under performance comes from several things.

 

The spec's heavy overreliance on shroud is pretty palpable. While in shroud you do get a new set of abilities that assists the specters incredibly lacking combat powers (More on that later). But getting to that state is extremely grating. You don't need a full charge to go into shroud. But you don't generate enough in a reasonable amount of time, not to the same degree a necro can. Usually what happens is by the time something is dead by a non-zerker thief... you are still wittling away at it.

 

I don't know how it will perform in fractals and raids. But my experience with the WvW side of things tells me that it leaves quite a large amount to be desired.
 

In PvP and WvW... I feel like Scepter is terribly underperforming. Currently speaking, across the player base. It might seem that Scepter is doing fairly well, because people don't quite understand what it does. Nor do they understand how the thief's profession actually work.  But when players do understand the underlying weaknesses of the spec and profession, it comes out with an unavoidable force that pretty much decimates the specter - regardless of circumstance.

 

So I'll break it down bit by bit.

 

While shroud is part of the Specter's survivability and damage, it's also unfortunately extremely unreliable. The Shroud generates very slowly without Siphon. So slowly that it's actually useless in most circumstances. The generation rate usually is slow enough that by the time a fight is over with, less than a fourth of the bar is actually filled. Which might be good since you can go into shroud without a full bar. But that leads to the shrouds second problem. It gets stripped way too easily. I'm not sure if Reaper ever had this problem, but it doesn't take much more than a few slaps to remove you from the shroud. So... you're not actually encouraged to use it, since it's more reliable to use it as a second life... rather than a protective set of armor so you can get aggressive.

 

Specter has an overreliance on Scepter. This is probably the second largest cardinal sin here. The spec has no visible synchronization with other weapons in the kit. So if you are not running scepter, you have very little reason to actually run the spec.  Half of the kit's power is in the shroud. And the other half of the kit is inside the scepter. I'm guessing this design might have been due to the incredible disappointment the weapon was met with? Long story short... if you are running Scepter, there's no actual reason to run scepter. Where Daredevil and Deadeye was able to support other weapons very well.


The Scepter's auto attacks are slow, and the animations are not visibly pleasing. The auto attack feels unnecessarily slow. This matters quite a bit, because the projectile is actually flying out halfway through the animation, and you are still swinging the stupid thing. The animations also look very akward... like you are trying to swing a hand axe or something, further elaborated by horrifically inefficient motions.

 

The Specter is extraordinarily reliant on autoattacks in a bad way. This goes into the final problem I see with specter, and in truth this only further compounds an issue that has been present in the profession for years. I am not sure the reason for thinking that the best trade off for a support spec, is to reduce the spec's ability to fight. The Shroud seems to be somewhat dependent on initiative, but only gives you 1% to work with per intitiative to spend. An amount that honestly isn't worth the trouble, especially when that Init is critical for other things than just damage. So you have a reliance on your auto attacks with scepter, and kiting. While the damage scepter deals is nothing to sneeze at from the auto attack... I still feel like I should just use a different weapon if I have to fight. The projectiles are fairly slow so strafing motions can cause them to miss. The animations as previous mentioned are slow, and the third chain of the auto attack might as well be the thief getting stunned due to it nearly lasting two seconds. And yes... I have had players recognize this, and immediately pound my face into the dirt once that third chain hits. Additionally... I honestly would prefer poison over torment. I would have been happy with Torment before the changes, as it discourages the inflicted from moving around. But now it only deals significant damage if the player stops. And in reality... a player is almost always moving. Perhaps someone like Guardian would be effected... but guardian has so many ways to shrug it off.

 

I also feel like the Specter is punished for being aggressive. And while yes... I can see someone rolling their eyes that someone is trying to be aggressive with a support spec... just hear me out on this one. In combat in real life and in games, the number one mantra about support, is that it is always better to be aggressive or force the threat to back off for a bit before applying support. There's a few reasons about this. The first is that if you outnumber your foe, and all you are doing is healing, then you effectively only have the damage of one character. And the threat has a decent chance to win the fight. All they would need to do, is kill the support, whom is acting as a crutch, then take out the secondary whom is likely in panic mode now. The second reason is that if someone whom you are trying to help is nearly dead, you trying to heal them will not solve the problem. Not only is it possible for them to actually overpower your healing. But you are now presenting yourself as a target. This is also why that in a lot of competitive games, supports with functionality to be aggressive always tends to have higher win rates and pick rates. The only outliers are pure support characters with overwhelmingly powerful functionality like Revives, or teleporting across the entire map.

 

And even if you aren't being aggressive, I feel like the specter just can't defend its self or run away. That leads to the last issue. You are essentially relegated to standing in the back auto-attacking. And if someone jumps on your face... you either waste both of your time with how long it can take for you to die. Or you just get it over with, and let them kill you.

I can see that the intended playstyle is to dance in and out of the shroud when you run down your init... but the shroud doesn't have enough omph to actually justify this behavior. And as previously mentioned, the shroud gets destroyed fairly easily.

The initiative. The initiative. The initiative. I do not know why this is so hard to make it clear. But playing thief with the current initiative costs and just baseline 12 initiative is ROUGH. This has been a complaint for years. You reduce that to nine, and the kitten spec is untenable in the PVP modes. The Initiative is more than just Thief's damage. it's also their survivability. And just about every single skill from 3-5 usually has a total cost of round 5-8. And with only nine initiative, you get one use. Once you use it, the other players know to jump onto your face immediately and burst you. This is what makes this spec feel so kittening awful in the PvP modes. 

And the solution is very easy, which is what infuriated me about the preview stream. You admitted that you know thieves take Trickery for Kleptomania and Preparedness. You know that it dominates the overwhelming majority of thieves builds. So why on earth would you think it's perfectly ok to balance around this?! You could easily axe Preparedness and Kleptomania from the traitline, and rebalance the costs to reasonable numbers for just 12! You don't need to make kleptomania and Preparedness baseline. Just rebalance the stupid thing! But you don't. And this hurts not just the elite spec, but the entire profession. The Profession suffers because they have one traitline permanently locked in place, and everything was balanced around this. The Elite Spec suffers, because they can only use a singular weapon skill to save themselves to only inevitably die anyways - when clearly the initiative use is also part of their stupid shroud's generation!

 

Please for all that is holy, do something about this! You have a beta system! You can use it to try out some riskier changes to see if it's actually healthier for the game or not.

 

In team combat in WvW... I don't want to use this spec. It feels really bad to use. Where I have to fight with not only the UI, but also the general motions of other players when I am trying to support them.

Additionally, you have a weird heavy reliance on team mates. Which is fine. I'm all about that battle buddy life. But it is to the point where you cannot actually stand well on your own against a player that knows your spec's weakness (And yes... the trade offs and weaknesses are that potent). Even in team fights, when the players spot you... they know instinctively to take you out. Because while you support your team... your self sustain is actually pretty terrible under a single aggressive foe. When you have an entire team diving you, it's not pretty. Where the Core thief, Daredevil, and even Deadeye shined... they are all extremely wily because they have the ability to survive that encounter and disappear to recover.

Specter does not have that benefit in the slightest. And I get it... thief was continously nerfed due to complaints about the profession being able to get away. But I don't think making someone an easy target is concidered -fair- in the slightest. And sure... you have effectively five shadow steps... they all have casting times and delays. If you get stunned, or knocked down. You are dead. If you teleport with immobilize. you are dead. If you get stunned in the middle of the cast animation. You are dead.

And yes.... the healing and barrier is good. But it's a strange thing to see that... and still feel like you're not actually contributing anything to the fight. Because, well... I can't imagine the team wanting a Specter over a firebrand, chrono, or trigger. When they can not only provide group support, but also bring the heat. Along with surviving.

And the weirder reality is that in team fights, they are actually safe with just ignoring you. Your contribution to a team fight honestly is insignificant in the long run. You can only focus on one person at a time. Group buffs are akward, and can be forcefully avoided by making the team with the specter spread out more. Your Shroud can get shredded by cleave fairly easily. Your auto attack damage is respectable... but unless you have a buddy with you, your condi isn't that terrifying. And realistically, you'll be spending most of your time helping your buddies than laying down hate... because again... it feels like you get punished for being aggressive. And your primary source of Condi is... well... torment which is worthless in PvP now.

You have no projectile finishers on scepter, which is your only realistic option for Specter. You have no ability to create a combo field on scepter. And blackpowder is expensive enough to basically bankrupt your initiative pool if you did not take trickery.

 

And onto the good.

It's certainly nice that thief now has a support option, while I am not fully sure how this will perform in raids and fractals. I can see some potential here.

The color scheme and particle animations are beautiful.

The Utilities are pretty interesting. But I feel like one of two things should happen. If you want to let the thief be aggressive with these wells, than you increase the aggressiveness factor of those wells. But if you do not want thief to be aggressive with them, increase their range.

And the Blackhole? Oh that thing is beautiful to look at when you cast it. The way it warps the air around it makes it feel like it's doing a lot more than it actually is.

Edited by Leo Schrodingers Cat.2497
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Did some more testing.  The scepter has my biggest pet peeve on it, which is forced movement on it's most damaging skill (scepter 3 with pistol).  This is... quite a bit of a problem.

When targeting an enemy, it forces me to move backward.  This gives it the most annoying and bad side-effect of running condi-deadeye, which is a propensity to warp oneself into damage patches, additional enemies, or over hills which then block the attack.

When targeting an ally, this forces me to either warp directly to that ally, or warp a scary-far distance through them.  I'll assume the second part is a bug right now.  Warping directly on top of an ally seems good at first, due to the heal-on-shadowstep trait.  But it poses a big problem, because the ally I'm targeting is going to be under heavy fire.  That's... why I need to heal them.  Warping directly to them puts me right into the damaging swings of my enemies, resulting in me getting clobbered.

This makes the skill quite frustrating to use in PVE.  

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I played around Specter for a good bit and tried different things with buddies of mine. I have a few concerns. 

 

1. Lock-on issues. Now, I know it is a beta, so bugs are expected. However, it prioritizes allies just fine, but on enemies I wish you good luck. Better to have your action cam locked for that. The third skill with scepter/dagger also has a lock-on issue of not triggering due to "not locked onto a target" even though I can stand inches away practically pressing my face against a sandshark (true story...didn't end well for me). However, the prioritization of allies is neat and allows your projectiles to ignore crowds of enemies and ONLY hit your ally you locked onto. That is very neat. It just needs work on the enemy lock-ons. 

 

2. I understand specter is more for support, however I played around and you can certainly be aggressive with it. Sadly, you need a buddy with you to deliver powerful condi damage which is a bummer for many lone wolves out there. You can certainly be aggressive on your own, but bringing a friend is the only certain way for your condi dps to really rack up. At first, I thought Specter would work sorta like Chrono where you can do support, condi, or power or even mix and match, however have its own spin especially with single target stacks. It is a little awkward for a lot of main thieves to find out that it is over reliant on a buddy. I mean it is interesting, but you essentially need a buddy to deliver the dps for you while you try to avoid payers and mobs prioritizing your head. If you are not in the shroud, you can't rely on yourself to deliver the dps as effectively as a friend. the lock-on bug certainly works against you as I mentioned prior. So maybe tweak it to allow it more independence.

 

Really, I only had 2 major concerns. Plenty of people mentioned other concerns I don't need to repeat. I mean, I can say I have a minor gripe with the scepter animations being...weird. Especially with its 1 skill look like I am gonna hit the ground like a toddler having learned that hitting stuff on the floor makes funny noises. Another minor gripe being the utility wells animations isn't as amazing as the healing skill and elite skill. I mean, if the utility wells held the same or similar animations to the healing one, that would be very fun to watch all day.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:

Did some more testing.  The scepter has my biggest pet peeve on it, which is forced movement on it's most damaging skill (scepter 3 with pistol).  This is... quite a bit of a problem.

When targeting an enemy, it forces me to move backward.  This gives it the most annoying and bad side-effect of running condi-deadeye, which is a propensity to warp oneself into damage patches, additional enemies, or over hills which then block the attack.

When targeting an ally, this forces me to either warp directly to that ally, or warp a scary-far distance through them.  I'll assume the second part is a bug right now.  Warping directly on top of an ally seems good at first, due to the heal-on-shadowstep trait.  But it poses a big problem, because the ally I'm targeting is going to be under heavy fire.  That's... why I need to heal them.  Warping directly to them puts me right into the damaging swings of my enemies, resulting in me getting clobbered.

This makes the skill quite frustrating to use in PVE.  

I can see that being a major issue.... especially in WvW. 

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My impression so far:

Overall:

I believe with Spectre ANet managed to again build a Deadeye in the sense that Deadeye was carried at release by very high numbers. This made sense because of the very high trade-off for these numbers. I initially at beta had the feeling that it is very fun to play but bad in the context of the game.
After the inevitable nerf, Deadeye has become a meme spec with at most niche play outside of some boss train lazy specs (and a Golem numbers kitten spec).

This will be what is going to happen to Spectre, I fear.

Impression in a small group (of two/three):
I feel the elite is mainly carried by some insane barrier application and the trait "Consume Shadow" making Shroud simply into a secondary "mana" resource for insta healing.

ANet managed to create a class mechanic that you want to not use at all. As soon as this trait is nerfed I assume the Spectre will be relegated to a niche and players will go back to other support classes.

In a group of 5+:
Outside of shroud the class feels okay in a group content. I think I can glimpse what the developers were going for with Spectre, unfortunately I believe they failed on a conceptual level (same as deadeye).

As I wrote in my post after the preview stream: On a green field, a new game Spectre could probably have been okay, good even. In a game like GW2 that has been build around classes like Ele, Necro, and Hunter(Druid) I do not think Spectre has a place as it is today.

Shroud:
For me Shroud felt REALLY bad. In solo play it did nothing at all, it felt like going from normal speed game into slo-mo as there was no really distinction in the feeling compared to scepter but everything felt soooo slow.

What you (ANet) may consider changing:
1. I love the idea you implemented for other classes that the different choices in the tree change what you do with the class. For Thief you obviously did not feel inclined to do that so far, fair enough.

DO IT for Spectre!

Give the Spectre the option to work solo, in groups and in zergs.

1: Give it a talent that lets it tether multiple people (5 perhaps) instead of one (kind of like the shades of Scourge shades (1 vs 3). You could even make it into the elite skill: Drop the well and tether up to 5 allies who are in the well when it triggers for x seconds (30?). This could feel like the Overwatch Mercy ultimate, something that I always felt is really impactful.
Or make it a shroud skill: You tether 1 player and in a pinch you tether x more for y seconds...so many options.

2: Give Spectre a talent to tether a target instead of an ally and make that one more offensive. Giving thief solo play potential and bruiser capabilities (for pvp). I would LOVE to stop being a roamer and being able to play a bruiser if I so choose.

3: Crazy idea: Give Spectre an option to tether their thief's guild and prolong their existence (this would most likely be very opp though -.-)

4: Create a talent that makes wells into a port (or vice versa) so that I can CHOOSE if I want to be teleported (also this might open up the option to increase the range to at least 900 units).
Scepter is NOT a melee weapon, I generally do NOT want to be ported into the midst of a fray.

5: PLEASE take a very thorough look at shroud. This mechanic feels like dogshit to me.
Ask yourself what you want to achieve with it: Add staying power? Make it into another resource that needs to be managed? Give Spectre an Ebb and Flood kind of feel?

Look at shroud skills being cd based, this does not feel like thief at all to me (might be getting used to it though). Get your thoughts straight if initiative is meant to be an advantage over CDs, a drawback or simply a different mechanic and then rework what the shroud skills do. Give them an identity and make them impactful.

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- STUN BREAK. WHERE IS IT? None of the wells have it. None of shroud or steal or scepter abilities have it. WHERE? I seriously have to sacrifice an utility skill slot to break stun? ARE YOU KIDDING? How can I give alacrity if I'm rolling on the ground?
- VERY poor scepter damage on enemies. Shroud seems to do better damage. It doesn't feel very strong, EVEN IN GRIEVING GEAR. Where is the impact? 

Other than that I like the visuals. But they would certainly be more enjoyable if I did more damage with scepter on enemies.

Edited by Pockethole.5031
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Spectre feels odd.

The flow of the scepter is nice and fluid, though feels like it's missing something.

Perhaps boons applied need to pulse for a duration to make up for the reduced initiative? 

The shrowd could become a full transformation of sorts giving it a little more life; feeling quite sluggish.

As for the arching theme.

Condition feels like it's tacked on. CC style weakness, chill etc - all non damaging conditions would feel more appropriate since the spec is about mitigation.

With that in mind; 

Spectre should have some boon generation when applying boons/barrier to allies - or even attacking enemies. The might of scepter #2 feels like it falls off hard with the reduced initiative.

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Could we trade the elite spec with guardian? S/S would sound more like Thief then this support idea.
While the concept seems to receive some interest and playtime, it does not fit to the Thief idea. In the long run it will do more bad to the class and rest of the specs when you'll get troll builds in WVW. People will complain, things will get nerfed and this may not only hurt Specter but the rest of the builds which are viable, Daredevil, DeadEye, S/D core and so on.

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Besides it being a damned toothfairy with a magic wand which is very horrible.  Then you have to look at they built this like the Ventari Revenant legend.  Great on paper that does all this healing and great stuff but then you realize you have to opt out of one of the wells to get a stun break.  This isn't the worst elite spec but its not going to cut it for me to spend money on it unless you are going to pay me to play this crap.

Edited by Klypto.1703
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1 hour ago, Pockethole.5031 said:

- STUN BREAK. WHERE IS IT? None of the wells have it. None of shroud or steal or scepter abilities have it. WHERE? I seriously have to sacrifice an utility skill slot to break stun? ARE YOU KIDDING? How can I give alacrity if I'm rolling on the ground?
- VERY poor scepter damage on enemies. Shroud seems to do better damage. It doesn't feel very strong, EVEN IN GRIEVING GEAR. Where is the impact? 

Other than that I like the visuals. But they would certainly be more enjoyable if I did more damage with scepter on enemies.

Welcome to being a necro! 

I joke but it is kind of amazing when you look at it how much of Specter is a copy pasted necro spec o.O

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WvW:

I like the idea of an offensive/single target Support, but the torment from rot wallow venom wont work vs decent groups, and leeching venoms scales badly with power. I hate the minstrel meta and am fine with sacrificing defensive stats for support stuff, but there is not much payoff here.

Shroud itself feels weak and clunky, esp skills 3+5.

Would have liked more Might generation for allies, but they are all on projectile skills.

Scepter and Shroud 1 are projectiles, will be blocked a lot. There is no reliable support weapon skill if enemy is using projectile hate .

Sc/p 3 looks like by far the best scepter skill, not much use in the others.

Would like an ally Stun break + small stab, perhaps on Amplified Siphoning - that trait seems really weak.

Boon-well and elite are good, Silence has way too long cd, Tears has nothing valuable.

Shadow Force from Initiative seems really low, would take 100 seconds to fill with ini - also makes shadow force generation very dependent on the trait selected in the middle trait group.

I got forced out of shroud by damage very quickly, considering how slow it fills up, it is hard to justify staying in there, just double tapping for massive heal/barrier.  That also means i cant give out good cleanse on ally, since the best one relies on staying in shroud. Giving it necro's shroud damage reduction in exchange for higher drain over time might make it a bit better.

As long as PBAoE support on other classes remains this strong (esp scrapper), i doubt this will see much use.

Edited by steffen.9607
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Feel very unique, really great !
 

- Scepter is a really good weapon, only #2 need some tuneup for the ally target part (more barrier and fury ?)

- Shroud feel a bit weird mostly because it's a cd base skill in opposit to the int base weapon skill

- Utility.... for PVE ok but in PVP the short range + cast time doesn't feel smooth (but the animation of the elite is siiiiccck)

- For traits my only problem is the first tier with no damage choice (only support). Other traits are good and meaningful

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13 minutes ago, Jumpel.3972 said:

- For traits my only problem is the first tier with no damage choice (only support). Other traits are good and meaningful

Consume Shadows, at least in group play, is the DPS trait. Through Larcenous Torment you have more than enough Shadow Force Generation, so you can freely Consume Shadows after a short Shroud stay, get a free party full heal and granting them all Barriers and with that Rot Wallow Vemons, aka up to 5 stacks of Torment every Shroud exit.

Edited by Asum.4960
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3 minutes ago, Asum.4960 said:

Consume Shadows, at least in group play, is the DPS trait. Through Larcenous Torment you have more than enough Shadow Force Generation, so you can freely Consume Shadows after a short Shroud stay, get a free party full heal and granting them all Barriers and with that Rot Wallow Vemons, aka up to 5 stacks of Torment.

Yes but it's not a true "dps" option.

For exemple, in pvp if you focus your build on damage (condi or power) the first tier doesn't feel good

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I feel the 1 attack in shroud should either be faster or harder hitting, whenever you enter shroud it doesn't feel impactful, especially when compared to Reaper shroud. Incredibly slow cast times, near impossible to hit any competent player with skill 5,

 

skill 3 misses everything and leaves you out of position,

 

and skill 4 you can never tell whether its going to hit or not. 

 

I'm fairly happy with the scepter skills and barrier application, but the spec doesnt mesh well with other weapon sets, basically locking you in to using scepter for torment application. 

 

The reduced initiative is also an issue for the other weapon sets, basically nerfing your damage potential, with no real reward in return.

Since alacrity doesn't affect ini regen thief gets very little benefit from the wells its placing, which you need to use multiple of to make the alacrity trait worth taking, the cooldowns on wells are also too long, plus long cast times, making them super easy to interrupt ruining any sort of combat flow.

Edited by ixon.2496
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I want to start by saying I absolutely love the thematics of the Spectre! I think it’s a really awesome concept, so awesome work ANET! As with the rest of the specs, and understanding this is a beta to test these things, I do think that it could use some changes and bug fixes. I have tried to sum up my feedback into more dot point categories (Likes, Observations, Dislikes/Problems, Bugs and Suggestions) to make it easier to consume. Also note, my feedback doesn’t touch on numbers, as those can be tuned, my feedback is purely from a “how does this feel to play, or could be changed to play better”. Here goes:

Likes:

  1. Theme is awesome, love the idea around the play style

  2. Shroud is a really nice switch up for the Thief

  3. Wells are really cool and unique with the shadow steps

Observations:

  1. Well of Gloom - burrows into the ground and then appears at the target

  2. Well of Shadowfall - leaps and then lands onto the ground for the well-cast

  3. Well of Tears, Silence, Sorrow and Bounty all step and then cast - the cast feels clunky in this animation cycle compared to the others.

  4. Well of Sorrow has no sound effect?

  5. Well of Silence has a very quiet sound effect?

  6. Well of Tears has an awesome look and sound effect, but does basically no damage, yet it's a pure damage well? Under tuned?

Dislikes/Problems:

  1. Scepter skills have quite a loud sharp sound to them, feel this needs to be tuned down/updated a bit.

  2. Scepter skill 1 and 2 feel basically the same. 2 is just a bigger bolt than 1 with weakness instead of torment

  3. Scepter skill 3 feels very lack lustre on Scepter/Dagger

  4. Shroud skill 1 feels a bit clunky and slow to use at the moment

  5. Shroud skill 2 (Grasping Shadows) feels weak. this could have a bigger explosion effect and an instant cast to keep with the fluidity of Thief. The sound effect needs updating I feel to, maybe use a similar one to shroud 3’s payoff?

  6. Shroud skill 3 (Dawn's Repose) feels clunky to use. This would work better if it was ally/enemy targeted and you run to the location and have the explosion go off when you reach your target, otherwise it's a really cool skill.

  7. Shroud skill 4 is OK, bit weak and no real sound effect (should have more punch like revenant’s glint swipe/burst of strength)

  8. Shroud skill 5 (Mind shock) - this skill takes forever to cast, leaving you standing/running around doing nothing while you wait for the payoff – does not feel good

  9. Siphon feels very lacklustre and seems to be the only real good way of getting shroud back? spending initiative gives very little shroud

Bugs:

  1. Scepter skill 3 won't work when in action cam as it identifies as not having a target?

  2. Scepter skill 3 when no offhand equipped (Triple threat) seems to be bugged. the first 2 shots don't fire, only the 3rd does.

  3. Underwater versions of shroud skills all seem very buggy? Skill 1 has an odd cast animation, 2 seems casted randomly/on a target? and feels clunky, 3 is fine, 4 is fine, 5 you don’t know when it’s going to cast and how far it’s range is.

Suggestions:

  1. Change Siphon to be the tether mechanic instead of shroud – have it either instant tether to 3-5 allies, or 3-5 enemies. If tethered to allies, it gives boons, barrier and healing depending on skill use. If tethered to enemies, give them conditions, or increased damage, depending on skills used. Have the tether be time based and slowly generate shroud while tethered (up the cooldown here).

  2. OR have it be an ammo skill, so you need to designate 3-5 targets as you go. With it only lasting X amount of time.

  3. Other Steal traits could still work here, just add their boons, conditions to the tethered targets (maybe at a reduced amount if it’s a strong boon/condition)

  4. Remove tether on shroud with the above change and update shroud skills to be Ally/Enemy based like scepter. Skill 1 could work like scepter 1, skill 2 could heal/boon allies, and damage/condition enemies in its effect area, 3 could do something similar to 2 with the dash to the target/ally, 4 not sure here and 5 I think needs a rework anyway (perhaps Shadow Form 😉?)

  5. Update all the wells to use a similar spell cast animation to Gloom/Shadowfall as they feel more fluid, or give the others some sort of ground punch so it looks like you’re placing it rather than standing there and having the well appear.

  6. I think scepter skills need an update to be more unique between 1 and 2 (perhaps an AOE on scepter 2?). 3 needs to be stronger on Scepter/Dagger and I think Scepter/Pistol is actually OK if the targeting bug is fixed.
  7. Update initiative spenders to give more shroud in general

Not sure how much of the above will be taken into consideration, but hopefully some! As I think this elite could very well be one of the best elites thus far! Base potential is there, just needs some work! Keep up the great work ANET!

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First of all i really hoped for a support thief build to be released with EoD and i like the art, concept and playstyle idea of Specter a lot. But i have some serious concerns about this build in actual group play. In the following points i will try to not talk about easy adjustable numbers but about actualy gameplay mechanics.

1. Due to Alacrity only being 5 man this build will probably never be played in raids for alacrity purposes, unless the tank handles the other subgroup.

2. Well of Bounty is pretty useless in its current state. You are not able to consistently stack might with it or buffer your quickness or alacrity uptime in any way not being useful for the actual playstyle. I would like to see it extending the boons you already have by a smaller amount on initial impact instead while pulsing missing ones . Currently it feels like punishing you for already having a boon you wanted to give. A different way would be to give it reliant Stability, Aegis and Resistance to make it more potent of a pure supportive rather than boon upkeeping skill.

3. There is only one other class that can upkeep quickness and alacrity for 5 people (chrono) but specter can not upkeep the quickness for itself and needs to permanently swap targets inside the subgroup making it really clunky to play having quite long cast times and no self quickness. I would deem it to be good if it could provide full uptime for 5 people including the specter itself so it would make sense to pair it with a tank covering for the boons on the other subgroup. In the current state you would rather play a 10 man alacrity source plus another 5 man quickness source instead while not being limited to chrono as a tank.

4. Endless Nights ally targeting is a catastrophe. Its the same mistake that was made with Fire for Effect on Deadeye. The priority on that skill is just proximity based so you might not even give your target quickness but rather the Druid spirits between you and your target (yes it dosent follow a player or party/squad/subgroup priority either). Furthermore with the state of measure shot not placing you in unpredictable positions (end of the shot no matter if it hits or not) for now its hard to line up multiple members for Endless Night also being melee even when it hits makes that harder.

 

5. Shadow Sap has no good use. Single target might is not good enough to make you ever use that skill. I feel like this should be the option if you have "spare" initiative (on support) but you would rather use skill 3 again plus the lower initiative pool dosent really leave you the option to use other skills. Would love to see some Utility there so it has at least situational benefits. (self block/ally block would be cool so you could maybe tank on that build or safe someone standing off position from some mechanic)

6. Shadow Shroud is only useful in Duoplay. There is no real motivation to stay in Shadow Shroud in group play. Buffing up only one player wont keep your group alive so you would always just double tap it with Consume Shadows traited to make it AoE heal just completely ignoring 5 skills i feel like are intended to be used to make the rotation more versatile. Because thief always had this problem that you would just spam one skill over and over being the concept of initiative, having another skillset could make the rotation way more interesting and having more options. (I would have expected Endless Night to be a Shroud Skill and have better group targeting options and self boon application). I hope that there will be some Traits reworked to interact with Shadow Shroud to make it worth building up Shadowforce and actually making it crucial for maybe boon application and some group support. I would also love to see it having more use in terms of a dps rotation too.

 

7. Well of Tears has no use on this spec. Specter has no power traits whatsoever so giving it a pure power well is completely pointless. Maybe make it pulse barrier(synergy with rot wallow venom) or even stealth instead.

 

8. Utilites in thief dps builds have always been close to the same making it not feel unique. (rifle deadeye is probably an exception with only having assassins signet of the "standard set"). Spectre is going in the same direction currently.


9. Siphon on ally targeting should trigger Steal mechanics and traits (maybe in a different way as enemy targeting but still). Examples would be copying allied boons instead of boonsteal healing instead of applying poison etc.

10. Alacrity always felt weird on thief due to it not affecting initiative. So having a thief build giving Alacrity should in my opinion have some motivation or concept behind it so it makes sense. (maybe as payback for the lower intiative pool)

 

I will leave it with those 10 points for here and will be giving some thoughts about possible fixes now.

 

I am not entirely sure wether Endless Night should really give self quickness. It might be a better concept to make it bound to a certain build (maybe rune of the specter giving supportive and torment/condi oriented stats) giving yourself quickness whenever you apply barrier so it may be easier to balance for dps builds that try to give both quickness and alacrity. I could also see a trait that lets you get Boons you provide to others be an option.
I am also not sure wether dps alacrity specter could be vialbe due to it needing 3 wells and boon duration but that is just adjusting the value of the trait and straight up buffing wells so they can compete with venom share. I really hope Rot Wallow Venom will be the core dps mechanic for a boon support build so you are allowed to keep the barrier oriented playstyle.

 

At the moment the best option dps wise is to use Measure Shot on the enemy and use Endless Night on 3 allies afterwards making you swap targets every second. I could see that to be changed to Endless Night also dishing out boons and barrier when targeting an enemy so you can still target the Boss in encounters although i think it might be way healthier to just not use pistol on an dps oriented build and putting more dps into shroud rather than weapon skills so the goal is to generate life force with weapon skills to get your Shroud bursts.

Making Endless Night at least target 4 players with a bigger hitbox and prioritise Players and Party/Subgroup members plus giving the specter a mechanic to sustain its own quickness should be a great quality of life increase by hopefuly having to only target one ally to sustain your group with boons. Measure Shot needs a bug fix for sure and the dps variant needs a whole different rotation due to the current being a very unhealthy playstyle. I would love this to be some kind of off-dps-support playstyle having a rune to help it do that (like rune of the firebrand for qfb) with maybe even plaguedoctor equipment while having full dps and full support options plus i would be really thankful if at least the condi well would actually make it into the dps build.
 

Anyways thank you for the great work and letting us see the current state of development.
There is a lot of potential in this Spec but the current playstyle is just not practical or enjoyable so most things in here are really about quality of life.
 

Thank you for reading i know its a lot.

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11 hours ago, Ivaldi.5076 said:

Also confirming skill 3 does not work with action cam, basically at all.  I can use 1 and 3 while hovering over a target with a mouse, but as soon as I turn action cam on, I just keep getting error messages saying I need a target.  I'd also really like there to be a build that is DPS, condi or power; I do not care, but the dps seems extremely underwhelming so far.  I am not sure why basically all of the specter traits are support based, why no variety?

I found if u hold the key down it works after a .5 sec delay and if u keep holding it repeats so initially feels like a press and hold skill while u watch ur ini drain.

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15 hours ago, Grand Marshal.4098 said:

My quick thing after an hour or two on the spec.

 

  1. You must make Shroud 3 ignore and remove movement imparining conditions. 
  2. Add 2 boon rips per enemy target in Shroud 4 to give it some more meaning in a power and condi build.

 

-Shroud 4 needs more range given how the shroud kit has range in AA and Skill 2 and a gap closer in 3, with 5 being the PbAoE stun. 600 range would make it worthwile to use for big dmg spikes instead of occasionally pressing it by accident.

 

Also I agree, SIphon should not require a target.

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15 hours ago, Eleandra.4859 said:



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...

 

This was my take as well.  As a very casual, OWPvE player I found this elite to be worthless for me.  I get it, though.  Not every spec should be competing to be the best spec for certain content; however, I felt that for open world play the spectre offered virtually no relevance.  I can build shroud "energy", but then have no real use for it.

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Just now, kharmin.7683 said:

This was my take as well.  As a very casual, OWPvE player I found this elite to be worthless for me.  I get it, though.  Not every spec should be competing to be the best spec for certain content; however, I felt that for open world play the spectre offered virtually no relevance.  I can build shroud "energy", but then have no real use for it.

Yes you can but it is not as rewarding as other professions, for instance in Shroud I used some of the skills which are useful, specially nº2 and then exit Shroud and was insta barrier + healed for all the remaining energy, that alone was a nice surviving mechanic but obviousy didn't get the best of it

 

I kind of skipped the Scepter at some point mainly for the Combat Camera issues but mostly because I feel it weird for dual Wielding, with Dagger and went Dual Dagger as usual but like I said in a previous post many traits and abilities from the Specter feel quite underwhelming for people like me who plays alone most of the time

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Shroud felt like it built too slowly and decayed too quickly.

It’d be nice if tether could have some use if I’m not in 1200 range of another player. Could it be traited to target an enemy and slowly stack conditions, or corrupt or steal boons? Or give a damage increase? Or life steal? Give targets a way to break the tether for counterplay?

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