Jump to content
  • Sign Up

Willbender Beta 4 Updates


Recommended Posts

Guardian - Willbender

 

When Willbender made its appearance in Beta 1, we were hoping it'd dash into your hearts. It didn't quite make it, so we've executed changes on some of the major pain points we saw brought up and are excited to see you get your hands on it again soon in Beta 4.

 

Key pieces of feedback that we identified were:

1) Skill animation felt stiff, with many skills rooting you in place during their animations.

Specific changes made in response to this feedback: We've taken a look at a bunch of skills, with the approach of 'is there a strong gameplay reason why you shouldn't be able to move while executing this skill?' For several of these, the answer was no, and we've made appropriate adjustments. For example, Whirling Light now not only allows you to move during it, but increases your speed. See the full list of changes below for details on all adjusted skills. This relates to the following feedback we took to heart:

 

2) The teaser video and theme were about motion and momentum, but the specialization did not effectively deliver on this.

Specific changes made in response to this feedback: We wanted to double down on the essential feel of Willbender; fast, mobile, never stopping, and rewarding you for pressing the attack. We've taken special care to update the Willbender Virtue skills to carry this sense of momentum. The F1, Rushing Justice, has been updated to decrease total execution time, improve the transition between the dash and the finishing attack, and to make the attack portion always execute. The F2, Flowing Resolve, is now a short dash that holds two charges, allowing you to space them out to capitalize on the healing effect, or use them back-to-back for quick direction changes, leaving multiple trails of Willbender Flames behind you. In Willbender's traits, we've reworked Restorative Virtues to be a key component of aggressive builds, as it now reduces the cooldown of all of your weapon skills whenever you trigger one of your active Virtue effects with subsequent strikes while a Virtue is active.

 

3) Lack of synergy with core Guardian trait lines, due to little support for Burning, and lack of exciting interactions between active virtues and Virtue-boosting traits.

Specific changes made in response to this feedback:  While the Willbender excels at being a fast and deadly dual-blade attacker, Beta 1 showed that there was a lot of room to improve the trait selection to allow for other strong and interesting build combinations. We've revamped the first tier of Willbender traits, removing the attribute reductions, and focusing them on improving Condition Damage (and adding Burning to Willbender Flames), Power, or Healing, respectively. We've also created interactions between traits in other locations, such as updating the grandmaster trait Phoenix Protocol to work with the Virtues grandmaster Battle Presence to be able to apply Alacrity to allies.

 

 

Full List of Changes to Willbender:

 

Willbender Virtues:

  • Willbender Flames: Using the same version of Willbender Flames will no longer cancel itself, to better facilitate Flowing Resolve's new functionality.
  • Rushing Justice: Improved the transition between running and punching. Increased velocities toward the end of the run and initial punch. Total range of the skill has been increased, taking the ability from maximum 450 to maximum 800 distance. Strike damage has been improved from 0.6 to 1.5. Reduced cast time of the attack by about 1/4 second.
  • Flowing Resolve: This ability will now use ammunition and its maximum ammunition has been set to 2. Flowing Resolve now stacks in duration. Velocity and distance have been reduced by 40%. 
  • Crashing Courage: This ability now delivers a five-target area attack on impact, in addition to setting the Willbender Flames.

Offhand Sword:

  • Executioner's Calling: The secondary attack of this ability now delivers 4 strikes simultaneously. Secondary attack damage has been reduced by 50% and is amplified by 20% to targets struck by the initial attack.
  • Advancing Strike: Increased power coefficient from 1.0 to 1.4 in PvP and WvW.

Utility Skills:

  • Flash Combo: You may now move while executing this ability.
  • Flash Combo - Repose: You may now move while executing this ability.
  • Whirling Light: You may now move while executing this ability. While active, this ability now grants a 50% movement speed increase while active and is affected by both movement speed and animation timescales. Attack radius has been increased from 170 to 240. Added a radius fact. Reduced cooldown from 20 seconds to 15 seconds in PvP and WvW.
  • Heaven's Palm: This ability is now targeted with a 600 range and will shadowstep the Willbender toward their target before performing the area attack.

Traits:

  • Boon Pact: This trait has been reworked and renamed to Searing Pact and will now provide 120 Condition Damage and cause Willbender Flames to apply Burning to enemies it strikes, with a 2 second duration.
  • Power for Power: This trait has been reworked and will now provide 120 Power, while causing Willbender Flames to inflict 33% increased strike damage.
  • Conceited Curate: This trait has been reworked and will now provide 120 Healing Power, while causing Willbender Flames to heal the Guardian on a successful strike.
  • Restorative Virtues: This trait has been reworked and will now reduce the cooldown of all Guardian weapon skills by 1/4 second when a virtue's effect triggers, with no internal cooldown. Additionally, activating Flowing Resolve will grant the Willbender 2 seconds of Alacrity.
  • Holy Reckoning: This trait has been reworked and will now grant the Willbender Might each time any virtue triggers. Additionally, activating Rushing Justice grants the Willbender 3 seconds of Fury.
  • Vanguard Tactics: The boons this trait applies have been adjusted. Shadowsteps will now grant the Guardian Resolution for 3 seconds and Protection for 1.5 seconds. Activating Crashing Courage will now grant the Willbender Resistance for 3 seconds.
  • Lethal Tempo: This trait now increases both strike and condition damage dealt. Baseline damage increase has been decreased from 3% to 1% in PvE, and from 3% to 2% in PvP and WvW.
  • Phoenix Protocol: This trait now includes Alacrity in addition to Regeneration when applying boons in a circle, when traited with Battle Presence.
  • Tyrant's Momentum: This trait now increases Lethal Tempo's damage bonus from 1% to 3% (2% to 4% in PvP/WvW) per stack. Other effects of this trait are unchanged.

Other changes:

  • Shattered Aegis: This trait has been given a 1 second cooldown when Willbender is equipped, to prevent infinite loops of death in conjunction with Crashing Courage.

 

Edited by Clockless.2503
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I will resolve judgment after testing, but there were fundamental issues that were not remotely addressed. Primarily that the overall design of guardian is heavily reliant on aoe ground damage (Still is including WB). WB is awfully redundant with core and DH power builds. It just plays as a slight variant. And I still cannot believe that Anet kept sword off hand skills the same, which were literally copy+paste from rev sword off hand. First beta, I assumed these ware a place holder, but now… this inexcusable. 

Edited by otto.5684
  • Like 5
  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm terrified of what they're adding honestly. The bonuses are quite large.

 

Quote

 

  • Boon Pact: This trait has been reworked and renamed to Searing Pact and will now provide 120 Condition Damage and cause Willbender Flames to apply Burning to enemies it strikes, with a 2 second duration.
  • Power for Power: This trait has been reworked and will now provide 120 Power, while causing Willbender Flames to inflict 33% increased strike damage.
  • Restorative Virtues: This trait has been reworked and will now reduce the cooldown of all Guardian weapon skills by 1/4 second when a virtue's effect triggers, with no internal cooldown. Additionally, activating Flowing Resolve will grant the Willbender 2 seconds of Alacrity.

    Lethal Tempo: This trait now increases both strike and condition damage dealt. Baseline damage increase has been decreased from 3% to 1% in PvE, and from 3% to 2% in PvP and WvW.

    Tyrant's Momentum: This trait now increases Lethal Tempo's damage bonus from 1% to 3% (2% to 4% in PvP/WvW) per stack. Other effects of this trait are unchanged.

 

 

Edited by Infusion.7149
  • Confused 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Worst change was to Vanguard Tactics.  You now have NO way to stay in a fight without getting soft-cced to death or debilitated(cripple, immob, chill, blind, weakness).  You lost nearly all of you resistance access.  

 

You still don't have speed in actual combat, you have no soft-cc to keep your enemy close, no superspeed and no quickness.  

 

Good changes for the most part but Vanguard Tactics needs to be reverted.  This was the WORST adjustment to the specialization.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2
  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with the others. The change to Vanguard Tactics seems like a huge nerf for anyone that does PVP or WvW.  We lost almost all sources of resistance. No way to stay engaged in fights as this class has no  ways to avoid the cipples/immobs/chills.  This was one of the few  things that people liked with Willbender and I didn't expect it to be changed. Hopefully this can be brought back after the next Beta

  • Like 3
  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Still didn't resolve the biggest issue I had with Beta 1 WB.

The WB flames still scale way better in large scale combat than it does in 1v1s, which was the entire motif of the class.

I don't know if the new changes will fix its problem of being a clunky wet noodle, the animation smoothing will need to be tested but I'm glad they're addressing that. But there was no reason to nerf Vanguard Tactics.

 

Overall I'm still not expecting much out of this spec, I still see very little sustain in its kit, losing the passive aegis was a gigantic trade off that leaves it way too susceptible to thieves/mesmers.

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

From an spvp perspective:

 

ANET NEEDS to revert the Vanguard Tactics change.  This was the ONLY good thing people liked and allowed Guardian's to stay in the fight.  This is completely gone now.  

 

The adjustments to damage mean NOTHING if you can't stay in the thick of it to land.  

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Infusion.7149 said:

I'm terrified of what they're adding honestly. The bonuses are quite large.

 

 

You forgot the group alacrity generation. Why?

People were crying about its damage (like on any other class), thats why the additions. Everything that doesnt do 40k and not providing important boons permanently is automatically bad.

"Class xyz can already do it, so whats the point?" I mean they are not wrong but comparing everything to firebrand or whatever? No wonder certain classes like guardian and necro absolutely dominate the game.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

==BORING PVE PERSPECTIVE==

Most have failed to see the potential nerfs these changes bring to power builds in PvE, assuming the bugged +10% damage against chilled foes was fixed. Before factoring in the cooldown reduction trait (Restorative Virtues), we're looking at 31k zeal/rad and 35k zeal/virtues benchmarks. It's hard to estimate where these numbers will end up with lower weapon skill cds, but I wouldn't be surprised if people end up thinking power wb is trash in PvE.

For an offensive alac share build, you're pigeonholed into playing with UC (you need to keep aegis), you're reliant on your total number of boons, and you need to be PUMPING out hits for 60% of the fight if you don't want to drop alac. I'm almost fine with this if a strong condi-focused dps build exists, but it would still be a shame for power builds to be relegated to a harder-to-play-for-less-payoff version of alacren.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think many people care about the potential PVE nerfs ... especially when FB covers such a wide range of capable PVE builds. 

The whole "Leaping, moving around" thing ... that's of almost no benefit from a PVE perspective so hopefully the changes put the value where that theme is most applicable; competitive modes. 

  • Thanks 2
  • Confused 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, anbujackson.9564 said:

You forgot the group alacrity generation. Why?

People were crying about its damage (like on any other class), thats why the additions. Everything that doesnt do 40k and not providing important boons permanently is automatically bad.

"Class xyz can already do it, so whats the point?" I mean they are not wrong but comparing everything to firebrand or whatever? No wonder certain classes like guardian and necro absolutely dominate the game.

CMC stated he doesn't believe it will be viable to be alacrity share willbender. You would need to run battle presence to do so which is in virtues meaning you need to be a virtues build of some sort while also giving up Tyrant's Momentum. Condi is probably not going to be spectacular without tomes , mantra of flame, or an axe. This means that you would run some sort of Unscathed Contender build to share alacrity. As willbender doesn't have mantra of solace that is a hard sell.

In the prior beta , Willbender was pushing 37K on Radiance ,  42K with bugged Tyrant's Momentum (so 38K) on Virtues.

Ultimately unless encounter design is oriented toward high mobility, willbender won't be picked anyhow. In fractals due to condi meta I'm pretty sure you won't take willbender unless it's T1 or where the lower damage vs exposed breakbars doesn't hold you back.

Edited by Infusion.7149
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Arken.3725 said:

From an spvp perspective:

 

ANET NEEDS to revert the Vanguard Tactics change.  This was the ONLY good thing people liked and allowed Guardian's to stay in the fight.  This is completely gone now.  

 

The adjustments to damage mean NOTHING if you can't stay in the thick of it to land.  

The one potential good thing about gaining Resolution on blink is that it makes Radiance/Valor/WB a viable option. Which means another 3+ years of playing Meditations, yaaaay, on top of the 9 years we've already been playing with Meditations, yaaaaaaaay.

 

I hope it's coming across just how underwhelmed I am at getting to play the exact same spec for 12 years in a row. Underwhelmed to the point of still not convinced about buying this one. I was really hoping to see some changes to the Heal skill to make it decent.

Edited by Ragnar.4257
Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Ragnar.4257 said:

The one potential good thing about gaining Resolution on blink is that it makes Radiance/Valor/WB a viable option. Which means another 3+ years of playing Meditations, yaaaay, on top of the 9 years we've already been playing with Meditations, yaaaaaaaay.

 

I hope it's coming across just how underwhelmed I am at getting to play the exact same spec for 12 years in a row. Underwhelmed to the point of still not convinced about buying this one. I was really hoping to see some changes to the Heal skill to make it decent.

Resolution was never the problem, there's plenty of it. Resistance was an absolute necessity to staying strong in a fight. 

 

Imagine a roamer spec without any speed, soft-cc and hard-cc with buggy weapons outside of a few ports/leaps. 

 

This spec will never compete with herald when it's meant to do the same role. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

": We wanted to double down on the essential feel of Willbender; fast, mobile, never stopping, and rewarding you for pressing the attack"

But it has to stop. Anet, you literally force this class to fight in small, static AoEs. By the very nature of the design YOU came up with, this spec has to remain almost still.There's literally no reason to use the F skills for movement when in combat, because you have to stay with your enemy in an AoE. This is just bizarre.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

They need to change WB flames to pulse around the guardian instead of yet more static aoe ground effects.  Both the justice and resolve WB flames are so completely worthless in any sort of pvp mode.   No one is going to stand in WB flames, they still may as well not exist.   

WB needs a way to keep enemies from just running away.  A 1 second immob on the off-hand sword is not enough, and it's literally the only soft cc skill WB adds to guardian.  The physical skills that hard cc are too bad to be used over the normal defensive guard skills which we always need to slot just to function at all.

WB has no new forms of quickness, which is very relevant to apply damage.

WB has no new skills that provide stab, so were just using the same old courage/SYG.

For a class that's about speed WB has no access to superspeed, and now no decent access to resistance, even a few seconds on some of the new skills/traits would go a long way.

Edited by Sonork.2916
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Obtena.7952 said:

The whole "Leaping, moving around" thing ... that's of almost no benefit from a PVE perspective so hopefully the changes put the value where that theme is most applicable; competitive modes. 

This is just... incorrect. I found plenty of places in open world where it was incredibly useful, and it's fantastic in dungeons/fractals (especially any parts where you're running ahead solo to trigger something).

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, cat.8975 said:

This is just... incorrect. I found plenty of places in open world where it was incredibly useful, and it's fantastic in dungeons/fractals (especially any parts where you're running ahead solo to trigger something).

I don't think soloing dungeons is a good metric for declaring Willbender a useful PVE spec. The fact is that while  mobility is useful, there are things WAY more useful than that in already existing specs that make Willbender the 'not-PVE' choice for Guardians. 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

The changes are in the right direction certainly. Getting rid of after cast and cast on mobility skills is something that was absolutely necessary. I’m still not sure how the damage is going to turn out without any ability to lockdown targets, since a lot of guard damage skills reduce mobility or are static (sword 3, symbols, gs2). However, can’t possibly know until the beta.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Arken.3725 said:

Resolution was never the problem, there's plenty of it. Resistance was an absolute necessity to staying strong in a fight. 

 

Imagine a roamer spec without any speed, soft-cc and hard-cc with buggy weapons outside of a few ports/leaps. 

 

This spec will never compete with herald when it's meant to do the same role. 

Oh I entirely agree that with the removal of Resistance from Vanguard Tactis they've actually somehow made the spec even worse than it was before.

I'm just wondering if that was the rationale of the direction they were trying to nudge us in. I mean, there's 2 possibilities here, either they're just randomly flinging shiz at the wall and hoping something sticks, which is bad, or, they've made an intentional move towards Radiance/Valor/WB and Meditation, which is doubly-bad, since it indicates a conscious intention to lock WB into the exact same build we've been using for 9 years already.

Edited by Ragnar.4257
Link to post
Share on other sites

Urgh, the more I think about the change to Vanguard Tactics, the more annoyed I am by it.

Having a window of 3 seconds after porting where you can unload damage made perfect sense for an in-and-out roamer type. 

Having resolution, -33% condition damage, makes absolutely no sense for an in-and-out roamer. -33% condition damage is a buff that matters for a bunker, but this spec is quite clearly not meant to be a bunker.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...