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Catalyst Rework(?) [Big Wall of Text]


oscuro.9720

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Introduction (You can skip this if you want, its nothing but context):
Hi everyone! I was looking into catalyst some just because I enjoy elite specializations, and found Catalyst to be universally seen as one of the most uninspired and disliked. So, I went through a few pages of the feedback and some threads to look at what people disliked. That's when I read a comment that went something like:

“It seems like this espec as designed by an intern on a  Friday night an hour before leaving a party”

That's paraphrasing, but it made me laugh. It also made me want to just throw together a rework based on some basic, frequently repeated desires of elementalists in the first 3 pages of the feedback thread. 

I spent about an hour on this, so there's clearly problems, its not fully worked out, and I limited the needs identified to the 4 most obvious/common. 

(also don't worry, i found this little project fun, so even if its complete kitten, it was fun to explore the realms of elementalist despite literally never playing it)

 

Needs of Elementalist Community (according to the forums):

1. Ranged specialization

This was a clear desire people were upset by. People wanted range, and perceive the existing spec as not properly fitting into a ranged category

 

2. The elite spec should not just be “Tempest 2.0”

By this, it seems the meaning was “its not just combo fields and an effect on secondary activation of attunement”.

 

3. Hammer lacks combo fields of its own, is too dependent on the Jade Sphere. 

This was fairly simple to fix by swapping the utility of the Jade Sphere and Hammer 3. 

 

4. It is not simply an improved version of core

This was somewhat related to tempest, which is perceived as an improved version of core. I could not acquiesce to this desire, unfortunately, in part because of how elementalist is designed, the core spec is inherently improved by any alterations. 

 

Rework:

Class Mechanic: Jade Sphere/Release

The Jade Sphere is now the orbs summoned on hammer 3. Hammer 3 will be replaced. It no longer creates a field, rather, summons a rotating, element based jade sphere around the elementalist. The Jade Sphere lasts 10 seconds once exiting the attunement it is summoned in, and lasts indefinitely while in a given attunement. Energy has been removed as a function of the class. 

 

The rotating spheres will be re-positioned to be 70 units from the character, and have a radius of 65 units (130 net range). This means opponents get hit when entering melee range, but will not be struck if literally standing inside your character model, gives it a bit beyond ordinary melee range by default. 

 

F5 has become a Release. Release is a new skill designation. There are three different versions of release dependent on Grandmaster trait selection; A single target release, a line of effect release, and a pulsing Aoe release. All releases have a 1200 range. The release, as a general concept, will launch all active Jade Spheres in the predetermined manner of the skill. Cooldown of 10 seconds.  

 

Utilities: Release

As mentioned, Release is a new skill designation. Augments become Release. The effect of the utilities remains the same (or is changed, according to balance, I didn’t look too far into the actual utility of the utilities due to time constraints). Instead of requiring being inside the Jade Sphere field for the additional effect, Release now consumes the same element Jade Sphere if it is currently active. This means that it can be used while in the attunement (since the sphere is ever present while in a given attunement), or within 10 seconds of exiting the attunement. It is no longer location based, which I feel gives better positioning ability and flexibility to the elementalist. All Release (F5 and utilities) are affected by traits affecting Release abilities. 

Note: I really like the animations on the Jade Sphere, so these animal summoning animations are now performed directly over the elementalist when using a Release utility of the corresponding attunement. 

 

Hammer:

The only changes I made to hammer were the most readily necessary, which was changing the auto attacks, and changing hammer 3, since the orb concept has been shifted to being an automated generation on attunement swap. I did not go beyond auto attack and hammer 3 due to time constraints. 

 

Auto Attacks:

Auto attacks for hammer need to all be ranged. This was abundantly clear from feedback, and is obvious from the objective of creating a ranged specialization. In keeping with the hammer theme, I choose to use higher impact abilities that vary between 900 and 1200 range. 

 

Fire Auto Attack:

The objective of Fire was to create long range, area based damage skills.

Range increased to 1200

On hit, cause 130 radius explosion with the damage value and burn associated, can hit up to 5 targets within range of the target being struck.

 

Water Auto Attack:

Launch a high pressure stream of water at your opponent (channel skill). At the completion of the channel, freeze the water stream, chilling (1s) foes struck. 

Pierces

Range: 900

 

Air Auto Attack

Increase range to 1200

 

Earth Auto Attack:

Launch an earthen spike at foes.

Pierces

Range: 900

 

Hammer 3 skills: 

Hammer 3 skills all follow a similar theme, just like before. However, it now has a different, range based utility. For lack of a better idea (and im a baseball fan), we are going to call the new hammer 3 Batting Practice

 

Batting Practice

Hit your Jade Sphere with your hammer, launching it to the desired location with pin point accuracy, causing it to explode and leave behind a combo field. 

Damage: Same value associated with an individual Jade Sphere, all traits that proc on Jade Sphere hit affect this ability. 

There is a combo field left in conjunction with the given attunement (fire field, water field, lightning field, poison field respectively). 

This is a ground targeted AOE, is not a projectile, and has a similar animation to Focus Water 4 (the CC ice comet). 

 

Traits

The trait structure Arena Net put forward with these new specializations is one I am actually fond of, and simplifies my job, so I will follow the same format. The mechanic affected by each tier will be as follows (I will also include some specific examples):

 

Adept: Creation of a Jade Sphere

Master: Jade Sphere on-hit modifiers

Grand Master: Release ability modifiers

 

Sample traits

Adept

  • - Gain Elemental Empowerment when generating a new Jade Sphere

- Generating a Jade Sphere grants boons based on the Attunement type 

- Jade Spheres that you generate have an increased duration (12s), swapping to an attunement with the same Jade Sphere already active grants an Aura.

 

Master

- When a Jade Sphere strikes a foe, gain boons (triggers on f5 and hammer 3, as well as normal sphere rotations). If the Jade Sphere passes through allies, they gain boons. (same boons that are currently on Jade Sphere fields. (Passing through allies does not apply boons to yourself)

- When a Jade Sphere strikes a foe, apply conditions to that foe depending on the sphere attunement type. (3 burn, 10 vuln, weakness, 5 bleed). ICD of 5 seconds, ICD is not applied to F5. 

- When a Jade Sphere strikes a foe or passes through an ally, gain Elemental Empowerment (3s ICD)

 

Grand Master:

- Purging Elements: F5 launches all active Jade Spheres at a single target. Jade Spheres will track target, pierce through opponents. Release abilities grant stacking damage modifiers of 5% per Jade Sphere released. (max 4 stacks, 5s duration)

- Elemental Procession: F5 launches Jade Spheres in a row through a targeted location (line AOE, does not track target). Release Abilities grant Elemental Empowerment per Jade Sphere released. 

- Grand Finale: F5 launches Jade Spheres at a given location, releasing an explosion on landing (ground target ranged AOE). Release Abilities grant health and reduce the cooldown of the associated attunement (2s) per Jade Sphere released.

 

That's all! Id love to hear your feedback. Overall, the focus is to make the rotating spheres the primary mechanic, and the launching of them at 1200 range one of the key play mechanics, giving a more solidly ranged gameplay. This is obviously thrown together rather quickly (took an hour), so theres going to be clear problems, but it was a fun little project 🙂

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What ele needed most was a ranged spec because staff as a ranged weapon is mediocre. A longbow ele could be great with direct damage in skill n2 like ranger and aoe showers in n5 skill, also viable with condi stacking. 

With weaver we already had a pure melee, and catalyst with hammer is another melee but more clunky, a step back.

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6 hours ago, frareanselm.1925 said:

What ele needed most was a ranged spec because staff as a ranged weapon is mediocre. A longbow ele could be great with direct damage in skill n2 like ranger and aoe showers in n5 skill, also viable with condi stacking. 

With weaver we already had a pure melee, and catalyst with hammer is another melee but more clunky, a step back.

Okay, but I don’t think weapon choice is much of a choice that is available at the moment. Would it not be viable to convert hammer to a ranged weapon? 

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I like the ideas. Increasing the range of hammer will make it more like a staff rather than a Dagger. Hammer honestly doesn't work close range cause Ele relies so much on active defenses like evades, cc, etc to survive and hammer just didn't have enough of that. 

 

But with higher ranges, it's possible to create a whole different playstle. 

 

I would still make sure the spheres that circle around the catalyst are large enough to effect 200 (maybe even 240) range. 130 just doesn't seem practical. But I would like enemies to be hit no matter if they're at 130, 200, or 0 range from the Catalyst. 

 

Also, one last thing. The benefits that catalyst receive from the rotating spheres should also have a trait option that allows the catalyst to share with allies. It's not a big buff, but would make sense since catalyst is a support/bruiser role. All allies within 240 range of catalyst recieve the same sphere buffs as the catalyst (5% damage and condition damage, - 5 incoming condition damage, 7% crit chance, & 5 damage reduction) 

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2 hours ago, Stallic.2397 said:

I like the ideas. Increasing the range of hammer will make it more like a staff rather than a Dagger. Hammer honestly doesn't work close range cause Ele relies so much on active defenses like evades, cc, etc to survive and hammer just didn't have enough of that. 

 

But with higher ranges, it's possible to create a whole different playstle. 

 

I would still make sure the spheres that circle around the catalyst are large enough to effect 200 (maybe even 240) range. 130 just doesn't seem practical. But I would like enemies to be hit no matter if they're at 130, 200, or 0 range from the Catalyst. 

 

Also, one last thing. The benefits that catalyst receive from the rotating spheres should also have a trait option that allows the catalyst to share with allies. It's not a big buff, but would make sense since catalyst is a support/bruiser role. All allies within 240 range of catalyst recieve the same sphere buffs as the catalyst (5% damage and condition damage, - 5 incoming condition damage, 7% crit chance, & 5 damage reduction) 

I did not see that the orbs provided some sort of % based buff (admitted oversight in my quick overview of the wiki). That is a great idea 🙂 

If I were seeking to make this a comprehensive alteration and not just a little project, I have a feeling the 2 skills, cast times, etc would all need a fair bit of refinement to give the hammer a variety of options to assist in kiting given its a ranged kit. 

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It's going to be hard to rework catalyst because nothing is really wrong with Catalyst. There's a benchmark build that places it at 46.7k on large hitboxes. For reference, everyone is going crazy on the Specter who has a DPS of 51.9k

 

As with most of elementalist, the problem isn't the actual specialization but the skill floor. 

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34 minutes ago, Vinteros Asteano.1209 said:

It's going to be hard to rework catalyst because nothing is really wrong with Catalyst. There's a benchmark build that places it at 46.7k on large hitboxes. For reference, everyone is going crazy on the Specter who has a DPS of 51.9k

 

As with most of elementalist, the problem isn't the actual specialization but the skill floor. 

Ok guys, everything is alright with Catalyst now, it does barely good on some stationary PvE benchmark Golem that doesn't even fight back.
We can go back to sleep and enjoy it to the fullest that 0.1% of GW2 content, good work everyone.

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18 minutes ago, TrollingDemigod.3041 said:

Ok guys, everything is alright with Catalyst now, it does barely good on some stationary PvE benchmark Golem that doesn't even fight back.
We can go back to sleep and enjoy it to the fullest that 0.1% of GW2 content, good work everyone.

 

This really seems like a troll post, but just in case, I'll respond.

 

I said, "it's going to be hard to rework catalyst because [reason]"

 

I never said there isn't a problem, I'm saying the issue that most of you are reporting, isn't a numbers thing. It's basic mathematics. If we buff the skills of catalyst to increase the DPS by 30k for people not using the optimal build, then the optimal build will be 76.6k DPS, which is ridiculous.

 

Personally, I think Elementalist's problem isn't that it doesn't do enough, it's that some classes do too much.

 

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32 minutes ago, Vinteros Asteano.1209 said:

 

This really seems like a troll post, but just in case, I'll respond.

 

I said, "it's going to be hard to rework catalyst because [reason]"

 

I never said there isn't a problem, I'm saying the issue that most of you are reporting, isn't a numbers thing. It's basic mathematics. If we buff the skills of catalyst to increase the DPS by 30k for people not using the optimal build, then the optimal build will be 76.6k DPS, which is ridiculous.

 

Personally, I think Elementalist's problem isn't that it doesn't do enough, it's that some classes do too much.

 

?

1 hour ago, Vinteros Asteano.1209 said:

It's going to be hard to rework catalyst because nothing is really wrong with Catalyst.

You either lost yourself or used bad wording in what you wanted to convey here.
PvE benchmarking is kinda worthless and shouldn't even be considered for balancing this game in the first place. Catalyst need a full rework from scratch, because it's just selfish stat providing bot and doesn't bring anything to be "usable" in PvP and WvW at this very moment. It could do even 100k DPS on stationary fat PvE target and it still would be worthless in PvP and WvW environments with it's current kit.

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10 hours ago, TrollingDemigod.3041 said:

Catalyst need a full rework from scratch, because it's just selfish stat providing bot and doesn't bring anything to be "usable" in PvP and WvW at this very moment. It could do even 100k DPS on stationary fat PvE target and it still would be worthless in PvP and WvW environments with it's current kit.

This is it, that's the post.

But I don't think anet has anyone who knows how fighting in pvp or wvw or general pve outside of a benchmark golem actually works, not from the looks of how they approach "balancing", which is a complete joke right now. 

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On 11/12/2021 at 8:45 PM, Vinteros Asteano.1209 said:

It's going to be hard to rework catalyst because nothing is really wrong with Catalyst. There's a benchmark build that places it at 46.7k on large hitboxes. For reference, everyone is going crazy on the Specter who has a DPS of 51.9k

 

As with most of elementalist, the problem isn't the actual specialization but the skill floor. 

I didn’t really touch or get into the damage. This was almost purely a concept shift built around what already exists. I admittedly know little about ele, which is part of the reason I avoided specific damage numbers. I’m curious what you think about the actual concept changes 🙂 

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