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EoD Elite Spec Impressions and Feedback


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Now that the betas are over and we’ve all had the chance to test out all the new elite specs, and now that I’ve had enough time to mull over all my thoughts and feelings about them, I figured it would be a good idea to put them into writing and post them, and see how other people feel about both the specs and my feedback on them. If you’re reading this and you agree with my thoughts/feedback, please leave a like to help it get more attention, and hopefully get Anet to notice. If you disagree with any of my thoughts/suggestions, please comment and share what you disagree with (in a constructive way though, don't just try and insult me, cuz that's a waste of everyone's time). Also, if you have your own ideas or feedback that you want to post or want Anet to see, I encourage you to post them in here too. I’m really curious to hear other peoples opinions on these specs, and I want to try and get as much feedback and impressions in one place as we can, in the hopes that if Anet does take notice of this thread, they might listen to some of our feedback.

Now, going in the order that I played them, here are my thoughts, impressions, and feedback on the 9 elite specs of End of Dragons:
 


Harbinger:
I really loved the idea of elixirs on Necro, but other than that, nothing else in Harbinger really impressed me. The traits were very bland and generic, for the most part, and the power line will never be able to compete with Reaper, and Harbinger shouldn’t even be trying to compete with Reaper in the first place. I was also really disappointed with the lack of interactivity with the Blight. When I first heard about it, I was really hoping we’d be able to play with it and manipulate it, much like how a Corruptions Necro plays with and manipulates condis. It would have been a really fun and interesting expansion on the Corruptions play style, and I was really sad that we didn’t get that, because Harbinger did/does have the potential to be a great condi spec, offering a higher risk/reward balance than the safer Scourge option. I do really love the boon support aspect of Harbinger though, and I think it will fill a really nice play style that Necro didn’t have before. The only thing I think it needs is for the Blight to have some sort of benefit to that play style as well, instead of just being a punishment with no upside.

 


Virtuoso:
While on a personal level I really hate that Virtuoso is continuing the trend of taking Mesmer further and further away from being a deceiver/illusionist/trickster type class, I think it has some potential. I think its traits suffer from the same blandness as Harbinger though, and for the most part, it’s just trying to compete with Chrono and Mirage, with its power, condi, and dodge trait lines, which I think is a big mistake. A lot of the elites in the beta are suffering from a lack of identity, and Virtuoso is no different. I do really like the idea that YouTuber WoodenPotatoes suggested, of making it a long ranged artillery mage, but I’m also slightly concerned that it might either be hard to balance another super long ranged class/spec, and/or more importantly, I’m worried it might end up making Chrono feel completely overshadowed as a power spec. Depending on how it’s done it could still be a good option though. When I was playing Virtuoso, however, the most fun I had was with a Shatter focused build, that was just all about stocking up blades as fast as possible and spamming Bladesong after Bladesong, bombarding my enemies with blades and getting all kinds of benefits from it through Shatter/Bladesong traits. Bladeturn Refrain (aegis from Bladesongs) and Duelist’s Reversal (Quickness & Fury from blocking) worked really well to create a fun “duelist” play style that rewarded timing your Bladesongs well and created an interesting “ebb and flow” of battle, firing off a Bladesong, and then getting benefits from it that would tide you over until your next Bladesong was ready to hit with 5 blades, and then rinse and repeat. I think focusing on that kind of an identity for Virtuoso would give it a more clear and distinct place among the other elites, where it wouldn’t be trying to compete with Chrono for power damage or Mirage for condi damage and dodging. Instead it would be able to carve out an identity for itself as a versatile duelist that could survive well on its own and outlast its foes. It also fits really well thematically, since Mesmers originated from entertainers and performers, and a “master knife thrower” would fit really well with the class’s thematic origins, and truly live up to the name of Virtuoso. Your traits could then be how you decide what kind of damage your Bladesongs deal, what kinds of benefits they give you, and how you want to stock up your blades.

 


Willbender:
I really liked the new way that Willbender virtues worked, and I had a lot of fun with an amazing aegis build on it, which I’m really hoping will still be there when EoD releases, but other than that, Willbender is suffering from a similar identity crisis as many of the other specs. A lot of others have said, and rightly so, that part of the problem with Willbender is under-tuning, but it’s also trying to fill a role that was reasonably well filled by Dragonhunter already. Now I do like the idea of having a more dedicated assassin spec, but that would mean DH would need to have its identity changed/sharpened a little to make it more distinct from Willbender, and make it still worth using even though Willbender exists. There’s also the issue of the devs not really seeming to know whether they want it to be a bruiser or an assassin, which I think they need to sort out before releasing it. It does have some really cool concepts though, with the new virtue mechanic and the Willbender Flames, and all the ways they can be traited. It just needs more work on its identity and more power.

 


Bladesworn:
My second favourite spec, and one of the ones with the clearest and most distinct identity/fantasy. I don’t have too many criticisms about Bladesworn except for the fact that Dragon Trigger felt very hard to use successfully. I can’t count the number of times that I tried to go into it to use a Dragon Slash and got interrupted and knocked out of it before I was able to get the Slash off. It was one of the worst feelings ever, and made the class feel incredibly frustrating to play at times, despite the fact that I really wanted to enjoy it. Especially since you’d lose ALL your flow that you worked so hard to build up, and you’d have to wait the full 8 seconds before you could try again… often only to get interrupted again. Or blinded. Which made Unyielding Dragon (Slash ignores blind) feel pretty much mandatory. Given how critical it is to the spec, I think they need to give Dragon Trigger some serious quality of life improvements, in order for Bladesworn to not be completely dependent on stacking tons of stability and always taking Unyielding Dragon. The 2 easiest ways to do this are to either make it so disables don’t knock you out of it (which I think is the better of the 2 easy options, since it would keep it feeling distinct and different from kneeling with Deadeye rifle), or to allow you to dodge and cast other skills while in Dragon Trigger, just like Deadeyes can when kneeling with rifle. Another option would be to give Bladesworns a trait that would give them pulsing stability while in Dragon Trigger, but that might end up becoming pretty much mandatory if it was a major trait, and as a minor it might be too strong. It might work just fine though, but it’s hard to say. The last option (which I don’t really like) is to simply let Dragon Trigger have an interrupt cooldown so you don’t have to wait the full 8 seconds, and cause being knocked out to refund some or all of your flow, or for you to keep your bullets. I feel like this option doesn’t really make it that much less frustrating though.

 

The other issue I have with Bladesworn is that the pistol isn’t actually that good of an offhand. It’s not really a ranged weapon, and a lot of the time axe will just straight up outperform it. I think it should be a proper ranged offhand, since warrior doesn’t really have that yet, and it would give it a more clear identity and a reason to take it instead of axe. If giving it a full 900 range would make it too strong or something, 600 would always work too.

 

Last but not least, while it doesn’t really “need” it, I think it would be really nice if Bladesworn had a condi option. Fierce as Fire (drop flaming shell when using final ammo charges) is a good start, but it’ll never be enough to make condi viable on its own. Adding functionality to it to make explosions also apply burning would definitely make condi more viable, and a grandmaster major that made Dragon Slashes inflict burning for each bullet would seal the deal. Since Immortal Dragon (healing from Dragon Slashes) isn’t that strong anyways, it could be reduced down to 5% and rolled into Guns and Glory (GM minor) to make room.
 


Catalyst:
I think everyone was pretty disappointed with it, and so was I. The Jade Sphere needs to either work like a well or be moveable through a skill or skills. As for the traits, it was trying to do the same things that Tempest and Weaver do, but worse, which is the worst choice they could’ve made for the direction to go with it. I think they really should’ve made it a combo focused spec and expanded on the theme they were going for with Elemental Epitome (auras when you combo). It should’ve been a spec that could facilitate and empower combos, an actual “catalyst”. It could’ve had a trait line for empowering its own combos, a line for empowering allies combos (probably through the Jade Sphere), and if they really wanted to keep the all stats stacking, that could’ve been the third line. There even already used to be traits that affected combos, like the Warrior one that doubled combo effectiveness, or the engineer one that caused blast finishers to heal around you. It would’ve been really fun and interesting to see traits like that on Catalyst. To that end, hammer needed a lot more combo finishers and/or fields than they gave it. Each attunement should have had at least 2 or 3 finishers and/or fields, with one or two attunements maybe even having 4. The Augments also need a lot of work. Right now they’re weak when used in the “wrong” attunement, and just average when used in the “right” one. They either need to have a more average power level at all times, and be quite strong when used in the “right” attunement, or they need to have different average level effects for each attunement, instead of just one, kinda like Glyphs. As it stands though, none of them are really worth using over other options right now. Making some or all of them combo finishers or fields might help too, and be a good way to up their power in a more unique way.

 


Vindicator:
Much to my surprise, this actually ended up being my 3rd favourite spec out of the new elites. I had a fair bit of fun on it, despite the fact that it still needs quite a bit of work. The two damage dealing dodges both felt pretty inaccessible, due to their high energy costs, especially the top one. Without any increases to your endurance recovery, it can take 30 seconds between each dodge, which is insane, and unfortunately the traits don’t help with that much. Even the dodge that affects both enemies and allies is still fairly inaccessible unless you take Reaver’s Curse (endurance per target affected), and are hitting a lot of enemies and allies each time. I ended up just sticking with the healing dodge the whole time, because it was the only one that really felt easy to make use of. Personally, I think all 3 dodges should only cost 50 endurance, and be balanced around that increased accessibility accordingly. That way even though they’d be weaker, you’d actually get to use them more than once in a blue moon. The other issue with the spec was the lack of traits to facilitate the hybrid dps and healing play style that the Legendary Alliance Stance was supposed to be all about. There’s not much point in a Stance that has 2 legends if most of the time you’re just doing everything you can to avoid/ignore one of them and only use the other. And given how undertuned Saint Viktor was (especially his elite), it was often him getting ignored by most people I talked to. Currently Empire Divided (power at high health, healing at low) is the only trait that really helps allow for a hybrid play style. If Vindicator is going to be able to successfully fill a unique role as a hybrid spec (since we already have both a damage spec and a healing/tanky spec, and don’t need another one of either), it will need to be able to make the fantasy of swapping back and forth between damage and healing, to suit the situation, into a feasible reality. To that end, the middle line of traits (which seemed to be the one trying to be the “hybrid line”) will need some significant improvements. It also wouldn’t hurt to add at least some degree of supportive capabilities to the greatsword, although people could always just take staff as their secondary, so it doesn’t really matter too much. Last but not least, while not strictly necessary, it would be nice if some of the skills (including weapon skills) and/or traits had some synergies with Chill, since the kit had so much of it.

 


Mechanist and Untamed:
I’m grouping these two together because a lot of their issues (mainly the issues with Untamed) are much more obvious when compared to one another.

To start with Mechanist, other than the Jade Buster Cannon (elite active) barely working, which I’m sure everyone including Anet is aware of, and will undoubtedly be fixed soon, it really only had 2 major issues, which are actually pretty closely linked. The first is that there were very few synergies between the mech and the Engi, like Rangers have with their pets, which normally wouldn’t really matter too much, if it weren’t for the second issue: The mech is too strong by default, when compared to Ranger pets, Necro minions, or Ele elementals. Rangers can make their pets almost as strong as a Mechanist mech, but in order to do so they need to take specific traits and skills to maximise the power of their pet, which means they have to sacrifice power or utility from other traits or skills in order to create a “super pet”. The same goes for Necros if they want to create “super minions”. A Mechanist’s mech not only exceeds that power level, but does so by default, needing only the traits from the elite spec itself to reach full power. Now since the spec is pretty much all about the mech, I wouldn’t want it to lose that level of power, and I hope Anet doesn’t just straight up nerf it to bring it in line, but I do think some of its power should be shifted into skills and traits, so that if you want to have a “super mech” that can tear through anything, you still can, but you’ll need to make sacrifices to do so, the way the other classes with pets/summons do. The signets, for example, could easily all apply to your mech the same way Ranger signets all apply to their pets, allowing some of the mech’s power to be shifted into the signets. It also wouldn’t be too hard to shift some of its power into trait and weapon synergies as well. The condi line already has some decent synergies with the Explosives spec, and it would be nice to see that expanded on, and to see something similar done for each Mechanist trait line, so that more power can be shifted into those core spec synergies instead of the mech just having a lot of damage/power by default. I could see synergies with Alchemy being really fun for the support trait line. As for the condi and power lines, I actually think it would make more sense to have the condi line synergise with Firearms and the power line synergise with Explosives, since Explosives has more power-oriented traits.

 


Now, on to Untamed. Let me start by saying that Untamed makes a very good Bunny Thumper. The Bunny Thumper build is very fun to play and works very well… and that’s about all Untamed can do. It feels like all the devs cared about when creating Untamed was bringing the GW1 Bunny Thumper build over to GW2, and everything after that was a halfhearted afterthought. In the trailer, we were promised a spec that could allow us to truly focus on our pet and empower it to turn it into this “Unleashed Beast”. A true “super pet”. It would’ve been a fantastic contrast to Soulbeast, which was all about having the pet empower us. Instead what we got was a massive disappointment for anyone who wanted to do more than just Bunny Thump. It has no meaningful synergies with your pet besides Ferocious Symbiosis (stacking damage and speed from hits), no synergies with the rest of Ranger, and to add insult to injury, it actually has quite a few anti synergies. Unleashing your pet prevents it from using its regular skills, unlike Mechanist whose mech has access to all 8 of its skills at all times (8 if you count Crash Down and the Jade Buster Cannon). In most cases, unleashing your pet actually nerfs it because the Unleashed skills have long cooldowns, are weaker than most pet skills, and can’t be traited at all except for 2 very lacklustre traits that rarely come in handy. They should count as Beast skills, the way Mechanist’s mech commands count as Toolbelt skills, allowing them to be much more traitable and actually have lots of meaningful synergies with the rest of the class they belong to. The Untamed traits for them also need to be improved so that they’re not a suboptimal choice even in a build that should want to trait the Unleashed skills. The pet also needs to be able to use its own skills underneath the Unleashed skills, via its AI, to bring it more in line with the capabilities of Mechanists mechs. To that end, it also needs to be able to benefit from Vow of the Untamed. It makes no sense for it to only affect the Ranger but not the pet, and it would make unleashing your pet more worthwhile by actually giving it some bonuses for being unleashed, while also helping to balance the higher offensive potential it should have while unleashed with some vulnerability by making the incoming damage increase affect it. Having its outgoing and incoming damage reduced while you’re unleashed would also give a fitting cost to unleashing yourself, as well as giving you a way to keep your pet a little safer if it’s getting focused too much.

 

And speaking of unleashing yourself, or should I say unleashing your hammer… if they’re going to do an alternate weapon skills mechanic, they really need to go the full distance and give all Ranger weapons some degree of synergy with the Unleash mechanic. It doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy, it could be just really simple functionality changes or bonuses to the weapon skills, but they need to do something. It’s not like Ranger has an excessive amount of weapon skills or anything. Right now the Unleash mechanic just feels so underwhelming and halfhearted for every part of Ranger except its hammer.

 

Speaking of which, one of the other things the trailer seemed to be promising us, that we didn’t get, was a meaningful back and forth gameplay between us and our pet, using the Unleash mechanic. We do get some of that on the Bunny Thumper build, but it’s more about just making sure you cc your target before you Unleash your hammer, and that’s about it. I remember when I first watched the trailer, it made me think that we were going to get some sort of mechanic that would build up on us and then lash out at enemies around us, and then we could transfer it to our pet and it would build up on the pet and lash out around it, and that by bouncing this effect back and forth effectively between us, we would be able to do a lot of damage. Of course I realise now that all I was seeing was the pet using one of the animations from an Unleashed skill, but the wording of the trailer also seemed to promise us something similar, and the middle line of traits in Untamed seems to be trying to lean into that fantasy of bouncing the Unleashed mechanic back and forth. I think it would be really cool to deliver on that promise in the trailer and make the middle line more viable for “Unleash bouncing”, as well as actually give it a real “building power” mechanic, where each time the “lash” attack hits, it makes the next one more powerful in some way, to really incentivise frequent swapping. In order to make this kind of play style fully viable though, the middle line traits would have to be changed to affect the pet as well, not just the Ranger. Cleansing Unleash (1 single condi cleanse when unleashing) would also need to be improved to do something even remotely meaningful, and I think the grandmaster major should be replaced with a trait to add a “lash out” type of effect to Unleash. The current middle grandmaster is kinda useful, but fairly bland and has absolutely nothing to do with the others. I think a much more interesting replacement would be a trait that puts an effect on whoever you unleash to give them increasing damage and damage reduction, which is then consumed to lash out at nearby enemies after 10 seconds, or something like that. And each successful lash strike could increase the damage of the next lash for a little bit, incentivising you to bounce it back and forth between you and your pet to get the most out of it. Now a trait that was formerly bland and passive, with no connection to the others in its line, is much more interactive and completes the line to make it actually viable as part of a build. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of bland traits, Natural Fortitude really needs to be changed. I mean a little bit of vitality? Come on. It’s literally only there to provide a bit of a survivability boost for Bunny Thumpers. It has absolutely no value or use for any other build. It needs to be changed to something that’s actually related to what Untamed is supposed to be as a whole, not just Bunny Thumper.

Spectre:
By FAR my favourite elite spec out of all of them, I honestly have nothing bad to say about Spectre. It’s quite possibly the most fun I’ve ever had playing guild wars, and I really hope they don’t nerf it too hard and ruin it, because I think it might need some small nerfs, to be honest. If they do have to nerf it, the best way would be to trim some of the proverbial fat by cutting down on its aoe healing, but maintain its identity as a very strong single target healer. They could also possibly cut down on the duration of some of the boons it gives too, but hopefully as an alternative to reducing its aoe healing, rather than in addition to doing that. The last option is to change the trait that lets Siphon revive allies to make it so that using Siphon on a downed ally won’t give you the 50% recharge reduction. Also they really need to get the people who were working on Spectre to do some work on the other elites, cuz I’d pay for EoD all over again if it meant that all the elites could be as good as Spectre.

Edited by Seventh Ranger.3968
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19 hours ago, Seventh Ranger.3968 said:

Now that the betas are over and we’ve all had the chance to test out all the new elite specs, and now that I’ve had enough time to mull over all my thoughts and feelings about them, I figured it would be a good idea to put them into writing and post them, and see how other people feel about both the specs and my feedback on them. If you’re reading this and you agree with my thoughts/feedback, please leave a like to help it get more attention, and hopefully get Anet to notice. If you disagree with any of my thoughts/suggestions, please comment and share what you disagree with (in a constructive way though, don't just try and insult me, cuz that's a waste of everyone's time). Also, if you have your own ideas or feedback that you want to post or want Anet to see, I encourage you to post them in here too. I’m really curious to hear other peoples opinions on these specs, and I want to try and get as much feedback and impressions in one place as we can, in the hopes that if Anet does take notice of this thread, they might listen to some of our feedback.

Now, going in the order that I played them, here are my thoughts, impressions, and feedback on the 9 elite specs of End of Dragons:

Harbinger:
I really loved the idea of elixirs on Necro, but other than that, nothing else in Harbinger really impressed me. The traits were very bland and generic, for the most part, and the power line will never be able to compete with Reaper, and Harbinger shouldn’t even be trying to compete with Reaper in the first place. I was also really disappointed with the lack of interactivity with the Blight. When I first heard about it, I was really hoping we’d be able to play with it and manipulate it, much like how a Corruptions Necro plays with and manipulates condis. It would have been a really fun and interesting expansion on the Corruptions play style, and I was really sad that we didn’t get that, because Harbinger did/does have the potential to be a great condi spec, offering a higher risk/reward balance than the safer Scourge option. I do really love the boon support aspect of Harbinger though, and I think it will fill a really nice play style that Necro didn’t have before. The only thing I think it needs is for the Blight to have some sort of benefit to that play style as well, instead of just being a punishment with no upside.

Virtuoso:
While on a personal level I really hate that Virtuoso is continuing the trend of taking Mesmer further and further away from being a deceiver/illusionist/trickster type class, I think it has some potential. I think its traits suffer from the same blandness as Harbinger though, and for the most part, it’s just trying to compete with Chrono and Mirage, with its power, condi, and dodge trait lines, which I think is a big mistake. A lot of the elites in the beta are suffering from a lack of identity, and Virtuoso is no different. I do really like the idea that YouTuber WoodenPotatoes suggested, of making it a long ranged artillery mage, but I’m also slightly concerned that it might either be hard to balance another super long ranged class/spec, and/or more importantly, I’m worried it might end up making Chrono feel completely overshadowed as a power spec. Depending on how it’s done it could still be a good option though. When I was playing Virtuoso, however, the most fun I had was with a Shatter focused build, that was just all about stocking up blades as fast as possible and spamming Bladesong after Bladesong, bombarding my enemies with blades and getting all kinds of benefits from it through Shatter/Bladesong traits. Bladeturn Refrain (aegis from Bladesongs) and Duelist’s Reversal (Quickness & Fury from blocking) worked really well to create a fun “duelist” play style that rewarded timing your Bladesongs well and created an interesting “ebb and flow” of battle, firing off a Bladesong, and then getting benefits from it that would tide you over until your next Bladesong was ready to hit with 5 blades, and then rinse and repeat. I think focusing on that kind of an identity for Virtuoso would give it a more clear and distinct place among the other elites, where it wouldn’t be trying to compete with Chrono for power damage or Mirage for condi damage and dodging. Instead it would be able to carve out an identity for itself as a versatile duelist that could survive well on its own and outlast its foes. It also fits really well thematically, since Mesmers originated from entertainers and performers, and a “master knife thrower” would fit really well with the class’s thematic origins, and truly live up to the name of Virtuoso. Your traits could then be how you decide what kind of damage your Bladesongs deal, what kinds of benefits they give you, and how you want to stock up your blades.

Willbender:
I really liked the new way that Willbender virtues worked, and I had a lot of fun with an amazing aegis build on it, which I’m really hoping will still be there when EoD releases, but other than that, Willbender is suffering from a similar identity crisis as many of the other specs. A lot of others have said, and rightly so, that part of the problem with Willbender is under-tuning, but it’s also trying to fill a role that was reasonably well filled by Dragonhunter already. Now I do like the idea of having a more dedicated assassin spec, but that would mean DH would need to have its identity changed/sharpened a little to make it more distinct from Willbender, and make it still worth using even though Willbender exists. There’s also the issue of the devs not really seeming to know whether they want it to be a bruiser or an assassin, which I think they need to sort out before releasing it. It does have some really cool concepts though, with the new virtue mechanic and the Willbender Flames, and all the ways they can be traited. It just needs more work on its identity and more power.

Bladesworn:
My second favourite spec, and one of the ones with the clearest and most distinct identity/fantasy. I don’t have too many criticisms about Bladesworn except for the fact that Dragon Trigger felt very hard to use successfully. I can’t count the number of times that I tried to go into it to use a Dragon Slash and got interrupted and knocked out of it before I was able to get the Slash off. It was one of the worst feelings ever, and made the class feel incredibly frustrating to play at times, despite the fact that I really wanted to enjoy it. Especially since you’d lose ALL your flow that you worked so hard to build up, and you’d have to wait the full 8 seconds before you could try again… often only to get interrupted again. Or blinded. Which made Unyielding Dragon (Slash ignores blind) feel pretty much mandatory. Given how critical it is to the spec, I think they need to give Dragon Trigger some serious quality of life improvements, in order for Bladesworn to not be completely dependent on stacking tons of stability and always taking Unyielding Dragon. The 2 easiest ways to do this are to either make it so disables don’t knock you out of it (which I think is the better of the 2 easy options, since it would keep it feeling distinct and different from kneeling with Deadeye rifle), or to allow you to dodge and cast other skills while in Dragon Trigger, just like Deadeyes can when kneeling with rifle. Another option would be to give Bladesworns a trait that would give them pulsing stability while in Dragon Trigger, but that might end up becoming pretty much mandatory if it was a major trait, and as a minor it might be too strong. It might work just fine though, but it’s hard to say. The last option (which I don’t really like) is to simply let Dragon Trigger have an interrupt cooldown so you don’t have to wait the full 8 seconds, and cause being knocked out to refund some or all of your flow, or for you to keep your bullets. I feel like this option doesn’t really make it that much less frustrating though. The other issue I have with Bladesworn is that the pistol isn’t actually that good of an offhand. It’s not really a ranged weapon, and a lot of the time axe will just straight up outperform it. I think it should be a proper ranged offhand, since warrior doesn’t really have that yet, and it would give it a more clear identity and a reason to take it instead of axe. If giving it a full 900 range would make it too strong or something, 600 would always work too. Last but not least, while it doesn’t really “need” it, I think it would be really nice if Bladesworn had a condi option. Fierce as Fire (drop flaming shell when using final ammo charges) is a good start, but it’ll never be enough to make condi viable on its own. Adding functionality to it to make explosions also apply burning would definitely make condi more viable, and a grandmaster major that made Dragon Slashes inflict burning for each bullet would seal the deal. Since Immortal Dragon (healing from Dragon Slashes) isn’t that strong anyways, it could be reduced down to 5% and rolled into Guns and Glory (GM minor) to make room.

Catalyst:
I think everyone was pretty disappointed with it, and so was I. The Jade Sphere needs to either work like a well or be moveable through a skill or skills. As for the traits, it was trying to do the same things that Tempest and Weaver do, but worse, which is the worst choice they could’ve made for the direction to go with it. I think they really should’ve made it a combo focused spec and expanded on the theme they were going for with Elemental Epitome (auras when you combo). It should’ve been a spec that could facilitate and empower combos, an actual “catalyst”. It could’ve had a trait line for empowering its own combos, a line for empowering allies combos (probably through the Jade Sphere), and if they really wanted to keep the all stats stacking, that could’ve been the third line. There even already used to be traits that affected combos, like the Warrior one that doubled combo effectiveness, or the engineer one that caused blast finishers to heal around you. It would’ve been really fun and interesting to see traits like that on Catalyst. To that end, hammer needed a lot more combo finishers and/or fields than they gave it. Each attunement should have had at least 2 or 3 finishers and/or fields, with one or two attunements maybe even having 4. The Augments also need a lot of work. Right now they’re weak when used in the “wrong” attunement, and just average when used in the “right” one. They either need to have a more average power level at all times, and be quite strong when used in the “right” attunement, or they need to have different average level effects for each attunement, instead of just one, kinda like Glyphs. As it stands though, none of them are really worth using over other options right now. Making some or all of them combo finishers or fields might help too, and be a good way to up their power in a more unique way.

Vindicator:
Much to my surprise, this actually ended up being my 3rd favourite spec out of the new elites. I had a fair bit of fun on it, despite the fact that it still needs quite a bit of work. The two damage dealing dodges both felt pretty inaccessible, due to their high energy costs, especially the top one. Without any increases to your endurance recovery, it can take 30 seconds between each dodge, which is insane, and unfortunately the traits don’t help with that much. Even the dodge that affects both enemies and allies is still fairly inaccessible unless you take Reaver’s Curse (endurance per target affected), and are hitting a lot of enemies and allies each time. I ended up just sticking with the healing dodge the whole time, because it was the only one that really felt easy to make use of. Personally, I think all 3 dodges should only cost 50 endurance, and be balanced around that increased accessibility accordingly. That way even though they’d be weaker, you’d actually get to use them more than once in a blue moon. The other issue with the spec was the lack of traits to facilitate the hybrid dps and healing play style that the Legendary Alliance Stance was supposed to be all about. There’s not much point in a Stance that has 2 legends if most of the time you’re just doing everything you can to avoid/ignore one of them and only use the other. And given how undertuned Saint Viktor was (especially his elite), it was often him getting ignored by most people I talked to. Currently Empire Divided (power at high health, healing at low) is the only trait that really helps allow for a hybrid play style. If Vindicator is going to be able to successfully fill a unique role as a hybrid spec (since we already have both a damage spec and a healing/tanky spec, and don’t need another one of either), it will need to be able to make the fantasy of swapping back and forth between damage and healing, to suit the situation, into a feasible reality. To that end, the middle line of traits (which seemed to be the one trying to be the “hybrid line”) will need some significant improvements. It also wouldn’t hurt to add at least some degree of supportive capabilities to the greatsword, although people could always just take staff as their secondary, so it doesn’t really matter too much. Last but not least, while not strictly necessary, it would be nice if some of the skills (including weapon skills) and/or traits had some synergies with Chill, since the kit had so much of it.

Mechanist and Untamed:
I’m grouping these two together because a lot of their issues (mainly the issues with Untamed) are much more obvious when compared to one another.

To start with Mechanist, other than the Jade Buster Cannon (elite active) barely working, which I’m sure everyone including Anet is aware of, and will undoubtedly be fixed soon, it really only had 2 major issues, which are actually pretty closely linked. The first is that there were very few synergies between the mech and the Engi, like Rangers have with their pets, which normally wouldn’t really matter too much, if it weren’t for the second issue: The mech is too strong by default, when compared to Ranger pets, Necro minions, or Ele elementals. Rangers can make their pets almost as strong as a Mechanist mech, but in order to do so they need to take specific traits and skills to maximise the power of their pet, which means they have to sacrifice power or utility from other traits or skills in order to create a “super pet”. The same goes for Necros if they want to create “super minions”. A Mechanist’s mech not only exceeds that power level, but does so by default, needing only the traits from the elite spec itself to reach full power. Now since the spec is pretty much all about the mech, I wouldn’t want it to lose that level of power, and I hope Anet doesn’t just straight up nerf it to bring it in line, but I do think some of its power should be shifted into skills and traits, so that if you want to have a “super mech” that can tear through anything, you still can, but you’ll need to make sacrifices to do so, the way the other classes with pets/summons do. The signets, for example, could easily all apply to your mech the same way Ranger signets all apply to their pets, allowing some of the mech’s power to be shifted into the signets. It also wouldn’t be too hard to shift some of its power into trait and weapon synergies as well. The condi line already has some decent synergies with the Explosives spec, and it would be nice to see that expanded on, and to see something similar done for each Mechanist trait line, so that more power can be shifted into those core spec synergies instead of the mech just having a lot of damage/power by default. I could see synergies with Alchemy being really fun for the support trait line. As for the condi and power lines, I actually think it would make more sense to have the condi line synergise with Firearms and the power line synergise with Explosives, since Explosives has more power-oriented traits.

Now, on to Untamed. Let me start by saying that Untamed makes a very good Bunny Thumper. The Bunny Thumper build is very fun to play and works very well… and that’s about all Untamed can do. It feels like all the devs cared about when creating Untamed was bringing the GW1 Bunny Thumper build over to GW2, and everything after that was a halfhearted afterthought. In the trailer, we were promised a spec that could allow us to truly focus on our pet and empower it to turn it into this “Unleashed Beast”. A true “super pet”. It would’ve been a fantastic contrast to Soulbeast, which was all about having the pet empower us. Instead what we got was a massive disappointment for anyone who wanted to do more than just Bunny Thump. It has no meaningful synergies with your pet besides Ferocious Symbiosis (stacking damage and speed from hits), no synergies with the rest of Ranger, and to add insult to injury, it actually has quite a few anti synergies. Unleashing your pet prevents it from using its regular skills, unlike Mechanist whose mech has access to all 8 of its skills at all times (8 if you count Crash Down and the Jade Buster Cannon). In most cases, unleashing your pet actually nerfs it because the Unleashed skills have long cooldowns, are weaker than most pet skills, and can’t be traited at all except for 2 very lacklustre traits that rarely come in handy. They should count as Beast skills, the way Mechanist’s mech commands count as Toolbelt skills, allowing them to be much more traitable and actually have lots of meaningful synergies with the rest of the class they belong to. The Untamed traits for them also need to be improved so that they’re not a suboptimal choice even in a build that should want to trait the Unleashed skills. The pet also needs to be able to use its own skills underneath the Unleashed skills, via its AI, to bring it more in line with the capabilities of Mechanists mechs. To that end, it also needs to be able to benefit from Vow of the Untamed. It makes no sense for it to only affect the Ranger but not the pet, and it would make unleashing your pet more worthwhile by actually giving it some bonuses for being unleashed, while also helping to balance the higher offensive potential it should have while unleashed with some vulnerability by making the incoming damage increase affect it. Having its outgoing and incoming damage reduced while you’re unleashed would also give a fitting cost to unleashing yourself, as well as giving you a way to keep your pet a little safer if it’s getting focused too much. And speaking of unleashing yourself, or should I say unleashing your hammer… if they’re going to do an alternate weapon skills mechanic, they really need to go the full distance and give all Ranger weapons some degree of synergy with the Unleash mechanic. It doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy, it could be just really simple functionality changes or bonuses to the weapon skills, but they need to do something. It’s not like Ranger has an excessive amount of weapon skills or anything. Right now the Unleash mechanic just feels so underwhelming and halfhearted for every part of Ranger except its hammer. Speaking of which, one of the other things the trailer seemed to be promising us, that we didn’t get, was a meaningful back and forth gameplay between us and our pet, using the Unleash mechanic. We do get some of that on the Bunny Thumper build, but it’s more about just making sure you cc your target before you Unleash your hammer, and that’s about it. I remember when I first watched the trailer, it made me think that we were going to get some sort of mechanic that would build up on us and then lash out at enemies around us, and then we could transfer it to our pet and it would build up on the pet and lash out around it, and that by bouncing this effect back and forth effectively between us, we would be able to do a lot of damage. Of course I realise now that all I was seeing was the pet using one of the animations from an Unleashed skill, but the wording of the trailer also seemed to promise us something similar, and the middle line of traits in Untamed seems to be trying to lean into that fantasy of bouncing the Unleashed mechanic back and forth. I think it would be really cool to deliver on that promise in the trailer and make the middle line more viable for “Unleash bouncing”, as well as actually give it a real “building power” mechanic, where each time the “lash” attack hits, it makes the next one more powerful in some way, to really incentivise frequent swapping. In order to make this kind of play style fully viable though, the middle line traits would have to be changed to affect the pet as well, not just the Ranger. Cleansing Unleash (1 single condi cleanse when unleashing) would also need to be improved to do something even remotely meaningful, and I think the grandmaster major should be replaced with a trait to add a “lash out” type of effect to Unleash. The current middle grandmaster is kinda useful, but fairly bland and has absolutely nothing to do with the others. I think a much more interesting replacement would be a trait that puts an effect on whoever you unleash to give them increasing damage and damage reduction, which is then consumed to lash out at nearby enemies after 10 seconds, or something like that. And each successful lash strike could increase the damage of the next lash for a little bit, incentivising you to bounce it back and forth between you and your pet to get the most out of it. Now a trait that was formerly bland and passive, with no connection to the others in its line, is much more interactive and completes the line to make it actually viable as part of a build. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of bland traits, Natural Fortitude really needs to be changed. I mean a little bit of vitality? Come on. It’s literally only there to provide a bit of a survivability boost for Bunny Thumpers. It has absolutely no value or use for any other build. It needs to be changed to something that’s actually related to what Untamed is supposed to be as a whole, not just Bunny Thumper.

Spectre:
By FAR my favourite elite spec out of all of them, I honestly have nothing bad to say about Spectre. It’s quite possibly the most fun I’ve ever had playing guild wars, and I really hope they don’t nerf it too hard and ruin it, because I think it might need some small nerfs, to be honest. If they do have to nerf it, the best way would be to trim some of the proverbial fat by cutting down on its aoe healing, but maintain its identity as a very strong single target healer. They could also possibly cut down on the duration of some of the boons it gives too, but hopefully as an alternative to reducing its aoe healing, rather than in addition to doing that. The last option is to change the trait that lets Siphon revive allies to make it so that using Siphon on a downed ally won’t give you the 50% recharge reduction. Also they really need to get the people who were working on Spectre to do some work on the other elites, cuz I’d pay for EoD all over again if it meant that all the elites could be as good as Spectre.

You're gonna be hard pressed to find many people to read that.

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Decent analysis. You should probably expect to get some flack from the Virtuoso salt brigade if they see this, though. Mind you, some of the claims they make make me wonder if they really did somehow play a different version than everyone else - I've seen them making claims that are easily disproven by going to the wiki.

 

Like people have said, you might want to consider switching to a larger font size, and breaking up some of those mega-paragraphs. I'm used to reading some pretty dense texts so I'm not deterred as long as the writing is coherent and well punctuated (which it is), but a lot of people are going to be put off by paragraphs that take up and entire screen, especially when they're in a small font. Instead of going one paragraph, one specialisation, maybe try bolding the specialisation names (or otherwise making them stand out more as titles), and having multiple shorter paragraphs of discussion for each specialisation?

 

I would note regarding Bladesworn that Immortal Dragon does have some strong potential use for soloing group content in PvE - the ridiculously huge damage totals that Dragon Slash can achieve in PvE means that healing 8% of that can easily mean a full heal. So it's probably not a great idea to merge it with another trait. A better approach might be to just roll more conditions into Fierce as Fire. Making explosions into burning would, honestly, probably do it unless it's a really short duration - consider how many explosions you can probably get out by going pistol 5, then 4, then 5 again, then switching to gunsaber and cycling through the ammunition skills THERE. You'd have the makings for a full-on burn burst build there. (Personally, I think Bladesworn is just a bad design overall, but I also don't think it's likely to change either, so better to make the most of it than scream about it.)

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On 11/10/2021 at 7:48 AM, Seventh Ranger.3968 said:

I can’t count the number of times that I tried to go into it to use a Dragon Slash and got interrupted and knocked out of it before I was able to get the Slash off. It was one of the worst feelings ever, and made the class feel incredibly frustrating to play at times, despite the fact that I really wanted to enjoy it. Especially since you’d lose ALL your flow that you worked so hard to build up, and you’d have to wait the full 8 seconds before you could try again…

yet this piece of junk was your second favorite? let me guess.. not a warrior main right? You do realize that the whole class mechanic revolves around that stupid part of putting the sword away in the middle of the fight, close your eyes and fart in the wind for 5 seconds... What exactly did you like? the engineer cosplay?

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On 11/11/2021 at 5:55 AM, draxynnic.3719 said:

Decent analysis. You should probably expect to get some flack from the Virtuoso salt brigade if they see this, though. Mind you, some of the claims they make make me wonder if they really did somehow play a different version than everyone else - I've seen them making claims that are easily disproven by going to the wiki.

 

Like people have said, you might want to consider switching to a larger font size, and breaking up some of those mega-paragraphs. I'm used to reading some pretty dense texts so I'm not deterred as long as the writing is coherent and well punctuated (which it is), but a lot of people are going to be put off by paragraphs that take up and entire screen, especially when they're in a small font. Instead of going one paragraph, one specialisation, maybe try bolding the specialisation names (or otherwise making them stand out more as titles), and having multiple shorter paragraphs of discussion for each specialisation?

 

I would note regarding Bladesworn that Immortal Dragon does have some strong potential use for soloing group content in PvE - the ridiculously huge damage totals that Dragon Slash can achieve in PvE means that healing 8% of that can easily mean a full heal. So it's probably not a great idea to merge it with another trait. A better approach might be to just roll more conditions into Fierce as Fire. Making explosions into burning would, honestly, probably do it unless it's a really short duration - consider how many explosions you can probably get out by going pistol 5, then 4, then 5 again, then switching to gunsaber and cycling through the ammunition skills THERE. You'd have the makings for a full-on burn burst build there. (Personally, I think Bladesworn is just a bad design overall, but I also don't think it's likely to change either, so better to make the most of it than scream about it.)

Thanks for your feedback, both on my formatting and on the post itself. I'm gonna look it over and try and improve the formatting. Also you make some good points about my ideas around making condi work. I wasn't really thinking about all the possibilities of the healing from Immortal Dragon, so you're probably right about it being too strong to merge with another trait. I definitely think that making Dragon Slashes apply condis for each bullet consumed will be necessary to make condi viable though, otherwise there wouldn't be much reason to use them. Not sure if that could all be just put into Fierce as Fire, but hopefully Anet can find a way.

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23 hours ago, Mesket.5728 said:

yet this piece of junk was your second favorite? let me guess.. not a warrior main right? You do realize that the whole class mechanic revolves around that stupid part of putting the sword away in the middle of the fight, close your eyes and fart in the wind for 5 seconds... What exactly did you like? the engineer cosplay?

Yeah, to be honest it was the theme I liked more than the execution. I agree that Dragon Trigger needs a lot of work, but I really liked the idea/fantasy they were going for. If they can get it to work better I think I'll enjoy playing it a lot. But yes, you're right, I'm not a Warrior main.

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2 hours ago, Seventh Ranger.3968 said:

Yeah, to be honest it was the theme I liked more than the execution. I agree that Dragon Trigger needs a lot of work, but I really liked the idea/fantasy they were going for. If they can get it to work better I think I'll enjoy playing it a lot. But yes, you're right, I'm not a Warrior main.

 

Thematically speaking there are no rights or wrongs, its a matter of taste... but the problem is how that theme fit with what warriors needs. And what warrior desperately need is an espec that can play other roles rather than DPS. A warrior that relies on a shotgun glued to a greatsword will hardly fit properly into any other role unless it is forced in a weird-immersion-breaking mechanic like screaming at your face to heal you and somehow that has ammunition and because you make an oath to the shotgun glued that greatsword you will be better at screaming and reloading shells to your throat so you can scream some more. It is so stupid and can't put words on it. Other than shouts/ammo/trait for it there is no other support provided on that espec. We, warriors, couldn't care less for the DPS aspect of it since we have plenty of that. Of course the big numbers are always welcome and some weebs might even like the naruto run aspect of the class, but that silly thing of putting the sword away to one shot things its another big no no in game design. You don't design a class around a one shot mechanic. NEVER. Its a rookie mistake. It will NEVER EVER work in a competetive environment and those of us who have long experience in MMORPG knows this very well. So the whole class is prone to be a balance disaster always for pvp. Either completely OP or completely useless, no grays in between. For us warriors this espec is a wasted opportunity to get a chance at something else in the game. It plays different, it performs the same, nothing new (not talking about numbers, those will be tuned down for sure down the road).

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46 minutes ago, Mesket.5728 said:

 

Thematically speaking there are no rights or wrongs, its a matter of taste... but the problem is how that theme fit with what warriors needs. And what warrior desperately need is an espec that can play other roles rather than DPS. A warrior that relies on a shotgun glued to a greatsword will hardly fit properly into any other role unless it is forced in a weird-immersion-breaking mechanic like screaming at your face to heal you and somehow that has ammunition and because you make an oath to the shotgun glued that greatsword you will be better at screaming and reloading shells to your throat so you can scream some more. It is so stupid and can't put words on it. Other than shouts/ammo/trait for it there is no other support provided on that espec. We, warriors, couldn't care less for the DPS aspect of it since we have plenty of that. Of course the big numbers are always welcome and some weebs might even like the naruto run aspect of the class, but that silly thing of putting the sword away to one shot things its another big no no in game design. You don't design a class around a one shot mechanic. NEVER. Its a rookie mistake. It will NEVER EVER work in a competetive environment and those of us who have long experience in MMORPG knows this very well. So the whole class is prone to be a balance disaster always for pvp. Either completely OP or completely useless, no grays in between. For us warriors this espec is a wasted opportunity to get a chance at something else in the game. It plays different, it performs the same, nothing new (not talking about numbers, those will be tuned down for sure down the road).

True, it does have a lot of issues, and I agree I would like to see a dedicated support spec in the future, the way Thief has Spectre now. Currently I'm using Spellbreaker for my support warrior, but it's not exactly properly focused on support or anything, it just kinda works better for it than Berserker or a third core spec, and that's it. I don't think Bladesworn is likely to be able to be completely reworked though, so they may as well try and focus on its strengths, or rather what its strengths should be (in my opinion), which is a fun roleplay-esque PvE spec. With the right tuning, it could possibly find a place in PvP, but it would require some REALLY precise tuning. I'm more of a PvE player though, which may be why I was able to enjoy Bladesworn more than most people. I think we're probably going to have to wait until the next expansion for an elite spec that can truly change the role(s) warrior can fill though.

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On 11/10/2021 at 2:48 AM, Seventh Ranger.3968 said:

Now that the betas are over and we’ve all had the chance to test out all the new elite specs, and now that I’ve had enough time to mull over all my thoughts and feelings about them, I figured it would be a good idea to put them into writing and post them, and see how other people feel about both the specs and my feedback on them. If you’re reading this and you agree with my thoughts/feedback, please leave a like to help it get more attention, and hopefully get Anet to notice. If you disagree with any of my thoughts/suggestions, please comment and share what you disagree with (in a constructive way though, don't just try and insult me, cuz that's a waste of everyone's time). Also, if you have your own ideas or feedback that you want to post or want Anet to see, I encourage you to post them in here too. I’m really curious to hear other peoples opinions on these specs, and I want to try and get as much feedback and impressions in one place as we can, in the hopes that if Anet does take notice of this thread, they might listen to some of our feedback.

Now, going in the order that I played them, here are my thoughts, impressions, and feedback on the 9 elite specs of End of Dragons:
 


Harbinger:
I really loved the idea of elixirs on Necro, but other than that, nothing else in Harbinger really impressed me. The traits were very bland and generic, for the most part, and the power line will never be able to compete with Reaper, and Harbinger shouldn’t even be trying to compete with Reaper in the first place. I was also really disappointed with the lack of interactivity with the Blight. When I first heard about it, I was really hoping we’d be able to play with it and manipulate it, much like how a Corruptions Necro plays with and manipulates condis. It would have been a really fun and interesting expansion on the Corruptions play style, and I was really sad that we didn’t get that, because Harbinger did/does have the potential to be a great condi spec, offering a higher risk/reward balance than the safer Scourge option. I do really love the boon support aspect of Harbinger though, and I think it will fill a really nice play style that Necro didn’t have before. The only thing I think it needs is for the Blight to have some sort of benefit to that play style as well, instead of just being a punishment with no upside.

 


Virtuoso:
While on a personal level I really hate that Virtuoso is continuing the trend of taking Mesmer further and further away from being a deceiver/illusionist/trickster type class, I think it has some potential. I think its traits suffer from the same blandness as Harbinger though, and for the most part, it’s just trying to compete with Chrono and Mirage, with its power, condi, and dodge trait lines, which I think is a big mistake. A lot of the elites in the beta are suffering from a lack of identity, and Virtuoso is no different. I do really like the idea that YouTuber WoodenPotatoes suggested, of making it a long ranged artillery mage, but I’m also slightly concerned that it might either be hard to balance another super long ranged class/spec, and/or more importantly, I’m worried it might end up making Chrono feel completely overshadowed as a power spec. Depending on how it’s done it could still be a good option though. When I was playing Virtuoso, however, the most fun I had was with a Shatter focused build, that was just all about stocking up blades as fast as possible and spamming Bladesong after Bladesong, bombarding my enemies with blades and getting all kinds of benefits from it through Shatter/Bladesong traits. Bladeturn Refrain (aegis from Bladesongs) and Duelist’s Reversal (Quickness & Fury from blocking) worked really well to create a fun “duelist” play style that rewarded timing your Bladesongs well and created an interesting “ebb and flow” of battle, firing off a Bladesong, and then getting benefits from it that would tide you over until your next Bladesong was ready to hit with 5 blades, and then rinse and repeat. I think focusing on that kind of an identity for Virtuoso would give it a more clear and distinct place among the other elites, where it wouldn’t be trying to compete with Chrono for power damage or Mirage for condi damage and dodging. Instead it would be able to carve out an identity for itself as a versatile duelist that could survive well on its own and outlast its foes. It also fits really well thematically, since Mesmers originated from entertainers and performers, and a “master knife thrower” would fit really well with the class’s thematic origins, and truly live up to the name of Virtuoso. Your traits could then be how you decide what kind of damage your Bladesongs deal, what kinds of benefits they give you, and how you want to stock up your blades.

 


Willbender:
I really liked the new way that Willbender virtues worked, and I had a lot of fun with an amazing aegis build on it, which I’m really hoping will still be there when EoD releases, but other than that, Willbender is suffering from a similar identity crisis as many of the other specs. A lot of others have said, and rightly so, that part of the problem with Willbender is under-tuning, but it’s also trying to fill a role that was reasonably well filled by Dragonhunter already. Now I do like the idea of having a more dedicated assassin spec, but that would mean DH would need to have its identity changed/sharpened a little to make it more distinct from Willbender, and make it still worth using even though Willbender exists. There’s also the issue of the devs not really seeming to know whether they want it to be a bruiser or an assassin, which I think they need to sort out before releasing it. It does have some really cool concepts though, with the new virtue mechanic and the Willbender Flames, and all the ways they can be traited. It just needs more work on its identity and more power.

 


Bladesworn:
My second favourite spec, and one of the ones with the clearest and most distinct identity/fantasy. I don’t have too many criticisms about Bladesworn except for the fact that Dragon Trigger felt very hard to use successfully. I can’t count the number of times that I tried to go into it to use a Dragon Slash and got interrupted and knocked out of it before I was able to get the Slash off. It was one of the worst feelings ever, and made the class feel incredibly frustrating to play at times, despite the fact that I really wanted to enjoy it. Especially since you’d lose ALL your flow that you worked so hard to build up, and you’d have to wait the full 8 seconds before you could try again… often only to get interrupted again. Or blinded. Which made Unyielding Dragon (Slash ignores blind) feel pretty much mandatory. Given how critical it is to the spec, I think they need to give Dragon Trigger some serious quality of life improvements, in order for Bladesworn to not be completely dependent on stacking tons of stability and always taking Unyielding Dragon. The 2 easiest ways to do this are to either make it so disables don’t knock you out of it (which I think is the better of the 2 easy options, since it would keep it feeling distinct and different from kneeling with Deadeye rifle), or to allow you to dodge and cast other skills while in Dragon Trigger, just like Deadeyes can when kneeling with rifle. Another option would be to give Bladesworns a trait that would give them pulsing stability while in Dragon Trigger, but that might end up becoming pretty much mandatory if it was a major trait, and as a minor it might be too strong. It might work just fine though, but it’s hard to say. The last option (which I don’t really like) is to simply let Dragon Trigger have an interrupt cooldown so you don’t have to wait the full 8 seconds, and cause being knocked out to refund some or all of your flow, or for you to keep your bullets. I feel like this option doesn’t really make it that much less frustrating though.

 

The other issue I have with Bladesworn is that the pistol isn’t actually that good of an offhand. It’s not really a ranged weapon, and a lot of the time axe will just straight up outperform it. I think it should be a proper ranged offhand, since warrior doesn’t really have that yet, and it would give it a more clear identity and a reason to take it instead of axe. If giving it a full 900 range would make it too strong or something, 600 would always work too.

 

Last but not least, while it doesn’t really “need” it, I think it would be really nice if Bladesworn had a condi option. Fierce as Fire (drop flaming shell when using final ammo charges) is a good start, but it’ll never be enough to make condi viable on its own. Adding functionality to it to make explosions also apply burning would definitely make condi more viable, and a grandmaster major that made Dragon Slashes inflict burning for each bullet would seal the deal. Since Immortal Dragon (healing from Dragon Slashes) isn’t that strong anyways, it could be reduced down to 5% and rolled into Guns and Glory (GM minor) to make room.
 


Catalyst:
I think everyone was pretty disappointed with it, and so was I. The Jade Sphere needs to either work like a well or be moveable through a skill or skills. As for the traits, it was trying to do the same things that Tempest and Weaver do, but worse, which is the worst choice they could’ve made for the direction to go with it. I think they really should’ve made it a combo focused spec and expanded on the theme they were going for with Elemental Epitome (auras when you combo). It should’ve been a spec that could facilitate and empower combos, an actual “catalyst”. It could’ve had a trait line for empowering its own combos, a line for empowering allies combos (probably through the Jade Sphere), and if they really wanted to keep the all stats stacking, that could’ve been the third line. There even already used to be traits that affected combos, like the Warrior one that doubled combo effectiveness, or the engineer one that caused blast finishers to heal around you. It would’ve been really fun and interesting to see traits like that on Catalyst. To that end, hammer needed a lot more combo finishers and/or fields than they gave it. Each attunement should have had at least 2 or 3 finishers and/or fields, with one or two attunements maybe even having 4. The Augments also need a lot of work. Right now they’re weak when used in the “wrong” attunement, and just average when used in the “right” one. They either need to have a more average power level at all times, and be quite strong when used in the “right” attunement, or they need to have different average level effects for each attunement, instead of just one, kinda like Glyphs. As it stands though, none of them are really worth using over other options right now. Making some or all of them combo finishers or fields might help too, and be a good way to up their power in a more unique way.

 


Vindicator:
Much to my surprise, this actually ended up being my 3rd favourite spec out of the new elites. I had a fair bit of fun on it, despite the fact that it still needs quite a bit of work. The two damage dealing dodges both felt pretty inaccessible, due to their high energy costs, especially the top one. Without any increases to your endurance recovery, it can take 30 seconds between each dodge, which is insane, and unfortunately the traits don’t help with that much. Even the dodge that affects both enemies and allies is still fairly inaccessible unless you take Reaver’s Curse (endurance per target affected), and are hitting a lot of enemies and allies each time. I ended up just sticking with the healing dodge the whole time, because it was the only one that really felt easy to make use of. Personally, I think all 3 dodges should only cost 50 endurance, and be balanced around that increased accessibility accordingly. That way even though they’d be weaker, you’d actually get to use them more than once in a blue moon. The other issue with the spec was the lack of traits to facilitate the hybrid dps and healing play style that the Legendary Alliance Stance was supposed to be all about. There’s not much point in a Stance that has 2 legends if most of the time you’re just doing everything you can to avoid/ignore one of them and only use the other. And given how undertuned Saint Viktor was (especially his elite), it was often him getting ignored by most people I talked to. Currently Empire Divided (power at high health, healing at low) is the only trait that really helps allow for a hybrid play style. If Vindicator is going to be able to successfully fill a unique role as a hybrid spec (since we already have both a damage spec and a healing/tanky spec, and don’t need another one of either), it will need to be able to make the fantasy of swapping back and forth between damage and healing, to suit the situation, into a feasible reality. To that end, the middle line of traits (which seemed to be the one trying to be the “hybrid line”) will need some significant improvements. It also wouldn’t hurt to add at least some degree of supportive capabilities to the greatsword, although people could always just take staff as their secondary, so it doesn’t really matter too much. Last but not least, while not strictly necessary, it would be nice if some of the skills (including weapon skills) and/or traits had some synergies with Chill, since the kit had so much of it.

 


Mechanist and Untamed:
I’m grouping these two together because a lot of their issues (mainly the issues with Untamed) are much more obvious when compared to one another.

To start with Mechanist, other than the Jade Buster Cannon (elite active) barely working, which I’m sure everyone including Anet is aware of, and will undoubtedly be fixed soon, it really only had 2 major issues, which are actually pretty closely linked. The first is that there were very few synergies between the mech and the Engi, like Rangers have with their pets, which normally wouldn’t really matter too much, if it weren’t for the second issue: The mech is too strong by default, when compared to Ranger pets, Necro minions, or Ele elementals. Rangers can make their pets almost as strong as a Mechanist mech, but in order to do so they need to take specific traits and skills to maximise the power of their pet, which means they have to sacrifice power or utility from other traits or skills in order to create a “super pet”. The same goes for Necros if they want to create “super minions”. A Mechanist’s mech not only exceeds that power level, but does so by default, needing only the traits from the elite spec itself to reach full power. Now since the spec is pretty much all about the mech, I wouldn’t want it to lose that level of power, and I hope Anet doesn’t just straight up nerf it to bring it in line, but I do think some of its power should be shifted into skills and traits, so that if you want to have a “super mech” that can tear through anything, you still can, but you’ll need to make sacrifices to do so, the way the other classes with pets/summons do. The signets, for example, could easily all apply to your mech the same way Ranger signets all apply to their pets, allowing some of the mech’s power to be shifted into the signets. It also wouldn’t be too hard to shift some of its power into trait and weapon synergies as well. The condi line already has some decent synergies with the Explosives spec, and it would be nice to see that expanded on, and to see something similar done for each Mechanist trait line, so that more power can be shifted into those core spec synergies instead of the mech just having a lot of damage/power by default. I could see synergies with Alchemy being really fun for the support trait line. As for the condi and power lines, I actually think it would make more sense to have the condi line synergise with Firearms and the power line synergise with Explosives, since Explosives has more power-oriented traits.

 


Now, on to Untamed. Let me start by saying that Untamed makes a very good Bunny Thumper. The Bunny Thumper build is very fun to play and works very well… and that’s about all Untamed can do. It feels like all the devs cared about when creating Untamed was bringing the GW1 Bunny Thumper build over to GW2, and everything after that was a halfhearted afterthought. In the trailer, we were promised a spec that could allow us to truly focus on our pet and empower it to turn it into this “Unleashed Beast”. A true “super pet”. It would’ve been a fantastic contrast to Soulbeast, which was all about having the pet empower us. Instead what we got was a massive disappointment for anyone who wanted to do more than just Bunny Thump. It has no meaningful synergies with your pet besides Ferocious Symbiosis (stacking damage and speed from hits), no synergies with the rest of Ranger, and to add insult to injury, it actually has quite a few anti synergies. Unleashing your pet prevents it from using its regular skills, unlike Mechanist whose mech has access to all 8 of its skills at all times (8 if you count Crash Down and the Jade Buster Cannon). In most cases, unleashing your pet actually nerfs it because the Unleashed skills have long cooldowns, are weaker than most pet skills, and can’t be traited at all except for 2 very lacklustre traits that rarely come in handy. They should count as Beast skills, the way Mechanist’s mech commands count as Toolbelt skills, allowing them to be much more traitable and actually have lots of meaningful synergies with the rest of the class they belong to. The Untamed traits for them also need to be improved so that they’re not a suboptimal choice even in a build that should want to trait the Unleashed skills. The pet also needs to be able to use its own skills underneath the Unleashed skills, via its AI, to bring it more in line with the capabilities of Mechanists mechs. To that end, it also needs to be able to benefit from Vow of the Untamed. It makes no sense for it to only affect the Ranger but not the pet, and it would make unleashing your pet more worthwhile by actually giving it some bonuses for being unleashed, while also helping to balance the higher offensive potential it should have while unleashed with some vulnerability by making the incoming damage increase affect it. Having its outgoing and incoming damage reduced while you’re unleashed would also give a fitting cost to unleashing yourself, as well as giving you a way to keep your pet a little safer if it’s getting focused too much.

 

And speaking of unleashing yourself, or should I say unleashing your hammer… if they’re going to do an alternate weapon skills mechanic, they really need to go the full distance and give all Ranger weapons some degree of synergy with the Unleash mechanic. It doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy, it could be just really simple functionality changes or bonuses to the weapon skills, but they need to do something. It’s not like Ranger has an excessive amount of weapon skills or anything. Right now the Unleash mechanic just feels so underwhelming and halfhearted for every part of Ranger except its hammer.

 

Speaking of which, one of the other things the trailer seemed to be promising us, that we didn’t get, was a meaningful back and forth gameplay between us and our pet, using the Unleash mechanic. We do get some of that on the Bunny Thumper build, but it’s more about just making sure you cc your target before you Unleash your hammer, and that’s about it. I remember when I first watched the trailer, it made me think that we were going to get some sort of mechanic that would build up on us and then lash out at enemies around us, and then we could transfer it to our pet and it would build up on the pet and lash out around it, and that by bouncing this effect back and forth effectively between us, we would be able to do a lot of damage. Of course I realise now that all I was seeing was the pet using one of the animations from an Unleashed skill, but the wording of the trailer also seemed to promise us something similar, and the middle line of traits in Untamed seems to be trying to lean into that fantasy of bouncing the Unleashed mechanic back and forth. I think it would be really cool to deliver on that promise in the trailer and make the middle line more viable for “Unleash bouncing”, as well as actually give it a real “building power” mechanic, where each time the “lash” attack hits, it makes the next one more powerful in some way, to really incentivise frequent swapping. In order to make this kind of play style fully viable though, the middle line traits would have to be changed to affect the pet as well, not just the Ranger. Cleansing Unleash (1 single condi cleanse when unleashing) would also need to be improved to do something even remotely meaningful, and I think the grandmaster major should be replaced with a trait to add a “lash out” type of effect to Unleash. The current middle grandmaster is kinda useful, but fairly bland and has absolutely nothing to do with the others. I think a much more interesting replacement would be a trait that puts an effect on whoever you unleash to give them increasing damage and damage reduction, which is then consumed to lash out at nearby enemies after 10 seconds, or something like that. And each successful lash strike could increase the damage of the next lash for a little bit, incentivising you to bounce it back and forth between you and your pet to get the most out of it. Now a trait that was formerly bland and passive, with no connection to the others in its line, is much more interactive and completes the line to make it actually viable as part of a build. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of bland traits, Natural Fortitude really needs to be changed. I mean a little bit of vitality? Come on. It’s literally only there to provide a bit of a survivability boost for Bunny Thumpers. It has absolutely no value or use for any other build. It needs to be changed to something that’s actually related to what Untamed is supposed to be as a whole, not just Bunny Thumper.

Spectre:
By FAR my favourite elite spec out of all of them, I honestly have nothing bad to say about Spectre. It’s quite possibly the most fun I’ve ever had playing guild wars, and I really hope they don’t nerf it too hard and ruin it, because I think it might need some small nerfs, to be honest. If they do have to nerf it, the best way would be to trim some of the proverbial fat by cutting down on its aoe healing, but maintain its identity as a very strong single target healer. They could also possibly cut down on the duration of some of the boons it gives too, but hopefully as an alternative to reducing its aoe healing, rather than in addition to doing that. The last option is to change the trait that lets Siphon revive allies to make it so that using Siphon on a downed ally won’t give you the 50% recharge reduction. Also they really need to get the people who were working on Spectre to do some work on the other elites, cuz I’d pay for EoD all over again if it meant that all the elites could be as good as Spectre.

to be honest, I found all of the specs to be lackluster, boring, or completely ridiculous in either thematic design or character design.  

a) catalyst:  needs to be completely scrapped and create something that makes sense.  No one wants a stripped down, completely kitten "scrapper" reskin with a boring and completely useless "jade gyro".  And No One, and I mean absolutely No One, wanted yet another melee ele weapon.  The player community has been asking for another long range weapon for YEARS.  Absolutely the worst of of the nine, which isn't saying much, really.  Literally everything about the catalyst comes across like a completely half-assedly executed afterthought.

 

b) Virtuoso:  I felt the "virtuosos" was, from a technical standpoint, fun to play, absolutely beautiful weapon and utility effects.  But, thematically it was as if the thematic design team and the character design team never spoke to each other, never coordinated a plan on what to create, and they each just went off and did their "ooh this'll be coooool" idea, and we ended up with a pretty, but not very interesting, spec that has absolutely no resemblance to it's thematic elements.  Probably the easiest of all the specs to fix, because it's just words and text, really.  But they won't.

 

c) harbinger was okay, kinda fun, conceptually was decent, thematically wasn't horrible, but the whole "i'm an undead daredevil" thing was not working for me at all.  Thematically, again, this is just kind of silly.  Of all the specs, this was probably the least egregious, but I still don't like the trend it's setting, between this daredevil-undead and the kitten-scrapper, I'm very concerned with this half assed nonsense they're calling "design".

 

d) gunsword: unbelievably lame.  has no place anywhere in this game.  Fugly.  Boring.  Badly designed.  Impossible to use effectively, fugly, boring, lame, belongs in WildStar, not gw2.  Scrap completely and create something interesting and new, that actually works with the Guildwards Thematic Framework instead of the Wildstar Thematic Framework, with a Real new weapon Type (like...land-based pole-arm Spear, for example).  Warrior, of all the classes, should have gotten a new weapon type, not a god awful steam punk abomination.

 

e) Vindicator: scrap completely and start again.  if you have to "break the rules" to come up with an idea, then you lack the creative intelligence to be working in a creative design field.  Sticking two opposing Legends into a single character is one of the most idiotic ideas I've ever seen.  The fact that Neither of them uses a greatsword, only adds to the complete nonsensical idiocy of the thing. 

If I was going to offer a suggestion for a potential fix, which I'm not, but if I was, it would be this:  get rid of st. vicktor, give the archemorus legend to the rev and call it phreeking Archemorus.  Give rev Main hand axe for it's new weapon, and create some really cool new, Kurzic themed axe weapon skills. 

 

(then I would take the Spear, and St. Viktor, and work that into the Warrior spec, take all the (honestly, pretty decent) greatsword skills from vind, and make them Spear Skills for the warrior.  Give warrior the St. Viktor "stance" or something, make it a warrior Heal spec, or something like that).  that is would I would suggest if I were going to suggest anything, but I'm not actually suggesting that. 

 

OR, at the VERY LEAST give the rev a Legend that actually uses greatsword, so there is at least the half assed appearance of thematic integrity.

 

f/g) love the mechanist, love the specter, but kitten, I'm so sick and tired of thief/engi/necro ALWAYS being the most ridiculously overpowered specs in the game.  It's ridiculous that spector will end up being the single most powerful class, And most powerful heal class in the game, with essentially infinite instant res, and still having insane dps. (check out teapots video on specter raid heals for evidence)  Realistically, specter needs a complete rework, or at the very least a MASSIVE rework.  Mechanist: absolutely beautiful, super fun to play, but as a lover of the ranger class, I'm not at all pleased that they took the ranger pet, gave it to the engi, then nitro-super-charged it to be more ridiculously op than all ranger pets combined.  I didn't really spend much time digging into the traits for any of the specs, but I've seen that they all seem to have some major issues.  Other than that, I think mechanist needs some tuning and some trait work, building some synergy, and nerf the pet a reasonable amount, and it will be pretty good.  But a single "good" spec, out of 9 is something to consider.

 

h) Ranger: FUGLY.  Boring.  Zero Synergy.  It should not take 9 1/2 years and an expansion pack to give rangers actual control over their pets.  That should have been handled in an update patch, and should have been done 9 years ago.  It is insulting that a halfway decent control toolbar for your ranger pet is touted as a "major part" of the "elite spec".  The general conceptual Idea behind the spec is...not terrible...at least, I don't think it is, but I really couldn't figure out what the concept is actually supposed to be, so maybe that's a problem right there, but thematically, it's really iffy (again, harkening back to the issues with...well...pretty much all the specs, except maybe the mechanist), probably not insurmountable, but these thematic issues are pervasive and problematic.  There is no synergy between the hammer skills, your pets skills, your traits, or the (boring) "unleashed" state.  Some potentially interesting ideas, but no real way to access them, (i.e. extra damage on incapacitated foes, when unleashed, but no way to incapacitate them with unleashed weapon skills/lots of cc on "leashed" weapon skills, but no bonus for damage to cc'd foes, and impossible to cc then swap to unleashed to do major damage.  I'm not sure how to fix that, but someone probably can.  The biggest thing for me was really that the "unleashed" was just super boring looking.

 

i) guardian: mostly pretty fun, as it was one of the first, I didn't really notice the thematic issues, but they also weren't glaring enough to catch my attention, so I don't know.  It was, of the 3 first round, one of the more fun for me, though I found the heal to be way to weak.  The general conceptual theme, from what little I can remember, was okay, nothing jumped out at me as either good or bad.  Though I did find, again, all the acrobatics spinny, jumpy, sliding animations to be a bit distracting and not really in tune with a heavy armor class.  I mean, sure, it's fantasy, but if you're going to have a class that is generally running around in what amounts to 180 pounds of metal armor, they're really not likely to be jumping and sliding and spinning around in the air.  I mean, it "looks" cool, but it just doesn't make any sense in the thematic framework of the game.  But guardian was probably the least offensive, but also not all that spectacular.  But I did have fun playing it.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

Maybe I'm being too harsh on them, but I've grown to expect great things from anet.

It's unfortunate that the expended all their creative talent and innovation into..."fishing".

 

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Revenant should never have had greatsword, another option wouldve been far more interesting. Like some of the less used weapons.

 

Virtuosu suffers from its attacks all being projectiles and the Fskills being uninspired.

 

The mechanist jade golem have rather poor controls.

 

Specters....so much that have gone into them that necromancers have begged for for years.

 

I am eh about Harbingers, due to inherent fragility and only really bringing dps that most likely will be nerfed down. And they will stand absolutely in the shadow of Scourges.

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9 hours ago, solarisnox.8521 said:

It is insulting that a halfway decent control toolbar for your ranger pet is touted as a "major part" of the "elite spec".

This! 1000 times this! I forgot to mention it in my main post, but yes, that shouldn't count as a "feature" of Untamed, it should just be a baseline quality of life adjustment that's given to all Rangers. They should also add the ability to designate which pet skills you want the pet to use on its own (kinda like how you can designate your own skills as auto-attacks), and which ones you want to manually control, so you can still benefit from the pet's AI handling some of its combat for you, instead of having to micromanage all of it. Also I agree with the majority of the rest of your post as well. Good thoughts and feedback. I tried to be a little more lenient to Anet in my review, but I honestly can't argue with a lot of your points other than just saying "go easy on them" XD.

Edited by Seventh Ranger.3968
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On 11/12/2021 at 11:36 AM, Mesket.5728 said:

And what warrior desperately need is an espec that can play other roles rather than DPS.

I just had an idea in the shower last night for what I think could be a really cool support elite for warrior: Monk. Wields a quarterstaff, uses supportive mantras, and bursts become prayers with various supportive effects depending on the weapon. It would probably make a really good next elite spec for warrior, or if they really put their noses to the grindstone, they could even scrap Bladesworn and replace it with Monk. Or just give us both, lol. I don't think anyone would complain, given how little Bladesworn adds to warrior beyond a cool theme. Whaddya think?

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To be fair, the game is missing some serious direction right now. And the new elite specialisations are a direct reflection of it.

 

When HoT came round, I knew exactly what I was going to do with the new elite specialisation. Try out some 5man content, enjoy the new healing class. Go into raids and figure out boons tables and how to beat raid bosses.

PoF gave us some more flexibility in instanced content. WvW took a hit, as the combats became way more ranged and ultimately less fun to play.

Now EoD is going to come out. And I honestly don't know what to do with those elite spec. We already have all the flexibility we want. The new elite spec don't really bring anything new. Instead they are completely overpowered, and now all class can apparently be a support. I really enjoyed the game, when only specific classes could play support spec. It really made your class and role unique.

I think the new expansion is lacking an entirely new class, and would benefit more from some unique skills to be acquired in Cantha only, similar to PvE only skills in EotN from GW1 rather than those elite spec. Or at least they should give us a goal/reason to play those new specs in.

Edited by tim.4596
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On 11/14/2021 at 4:44 PM, solarisnox.8521 said:

h) Ranger: FUGLY.  Boring.  Zero Synergy.  It should not take 9 1/2 years and an expansion pack to give rangers actual control over their pets.  That should have been handled in an update patch, and should have been done 9 years ago.  It is insulting that a halfway decent control toolbar for your ranger pet is touted as a "major part" of the "elite spec".  The general conceptual Idea behind the spec is...not terrible...at least, I don't think it is, but I really couldn't figure out what the concept is actually supposed to be, so maybe that's a problem right there, but thematically, it's really iffy (again, harkening back to the issues with...well...pretty much all the specs, except maybe the mechanist), probably not insurmountable, but these thematic issues are pervasive and problematic.  There is no synergy between the hammer skills, your pets skills, your traits, or the (boring) "unleashed" state.  Some potentially interesting ideas, but no real way to access them, (i.e. extra damage on incapacitated foes, when unleashed, but no way to incapacitate them with unleashed weapon skills/lots of cc on "leashed" weapon skills, but no bonus for damage to cc'd foes, and impossible to cc then swap to unleashed to do major damage.  I'm not sure how to fix that, but someone probably can.  The biggest thing for me was really that the "unleashed" was just super boring looking.

The way I approached this was to use pets that had a lot of CC (I went with rock gazelle and lightning wyvern, there are other options such as the Krytan Drakehound), and combo the pet's CC with Unleashed hammer attacks. Switching Unleashed over to the pet then became a utility/survival option, providing extra CC and projectile hate.

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Took some time for me to decide what I wanted to play in EoD.

I simply dont have good vibes about Harbingers. Getting a punishment as your new class mechanic truly feels awful.  Edit: Not to forget Harbinger shroud feels way too much like basic death shroud.

 

I had strongly considered Specters, but I am in a wait and see mode about them. I simply cant imagine they will go live in this OP state for a support spec. But the final beta in a little over a week should show what happens to them. ...hopefully. I cant imagine Anet will create a Scourge 2.0 that is far too strong at release and getting a brutal nerfbatting over time.

 

So, Mechanist have become my spec of choice, it looks fun to play.  But I am curious to see if anet buffs the seriously underwhelming mace espec weapon. I have my doubts.

Edited by LucianDK.8615
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On 11/20/2021 at 2:55 PM, tim.4596 said:

We already have all the flexibility we want.

please show that warrior raid tank, buffer or healer builds! so far i've been stuck being a mediocre dps bannerslave so it seems i've been missing a lot of flexibility,..  anything other than a dps bannerslave for content group is ok,... where is it?

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On 11/20/2021 at 9:55 AM, tim.4596 said:

I think the new expansion is lacking an entirely new class

If you're interested, I actually designed a new class a while back. I wasn't specifically designing it with the new expansion in mind, but I kinda feel like its theme would be perfect for Cantha. Here's the link if you wanna check it out: New Class Idea: The Luminary - Professions - Guild Wars 2 Forums

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