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Changes are good but Untammed still misses the mark (wvw/pvp) by a long shot


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I tried it yesterday for a bit int he golems / wvw scenario . 

First i'd like to thank you the devs for the effort they put in this changes. It is clear they are working hard and they are trying to make it fun and playable. 

Unfortunately there are some core usabilty issues which are not being addresses. I will share the shortcomings which makes the e-spec feels underwhelming and clunky. 

  • Pet sustain is an issue in competitive. The fact the pet irremediably to conditions is an issue for the ranger. For untammed is even worse as the elite deppends on that to function. 
  • Damage is an issue. While equipping hammer the damage is drove down by half because of the CC's in competitive do 0 damage. 
  • Sustain is not enough, with a single heal which will heal around 6-8K every 30s is not enough for a bruiser without active deffenses. 
  • Not enough CC effects which massed up together with the lack of damage and sustain makes the elite to be unplayable in most situations. 

Some traits trigger with the player disabling effects. 

  • Ranger only has one CC by weapon set at most  which are usually in long cooldowns.
  • Hammer does have null when the untammed is in  feral state (green gloo on) 

Dual hammer does not sygergice well with itself. 

  • CCs do not last long enough to be able to trigger disabling traits or to get full advantage of the extra damage . This is a problem as hammer doesn't do much damage. 

Ambush skills have too short a window of effect. 

  • Short window of effect do not play nice with ranger weapons and skills. 2s is not definitely enough to be usable in most cases, mostly because the feral state can be swapped in mid animation and still manages to miss the ambush. Some animations happens but skill is not actually triggered. 

Untammed Traits do not work on pets.

  • Which makes half the damage not to benefit from the elite specialization. This makes the traits to feel less relevant as most of them are enablers  (provide boons / effects on different skills usage)

Untammed brings not group utility. 

  • If the class want to be designed as frontliner with some squad spots in mind it needs to bring something for the group aside from the cleave. This reduces greatly the overall build possibilities of the e-spec. 

Cantrips are mostly boring and brings nothing to current elite design. 

  • Even Unnatural transversal feels underwhelming because the rest of the kit does not have any synergy with the rest of the mechanics. 

It is clear the untammed needs a second pass on the basic design, as currently although the idea is there it does not work. Anet devs may want to put as much effort as they want but the base is not there. Core Ranger has too many lackings to try to make a Core Ranger+ and expect to work fine without becoming totally broken. 

I would change this e-spec to work like this: 

Tankiness designed around playing with a synergy betwween the pet. This design is a plus and a tradeoff at the same time. 

  • The tankiness of the e-spec will be based on a synergy between the untamed and the pet. Every time the player swaps the feral state, 33% of current HP is transferred from the feral to the non-feral side, thus a gaining dimishing tankiness. When the pet gets into feral state it revives if it's downed by using that extra HP. 
  • To balance that aspect although feral swap can stay at 1s, the pet swap is provisionaly doubled: 40s when not downed, 120s when downed. BM traitline would reduce those amounts. 
  • As such traits like Vow of the Untammed would not provide any damage reduction. That trait is designed to point out the HP exchange and extra damage while in feral state. 
  • That will be the main mechanic of the elite, it exchanges HP for the extra damage. 

To desig the elite around this "extra heal" some changes are  needed to be done to cantrips.  This would add depth to gameplay and make cantrips more interesting.

  • Main heal is designed to be an "smaller" heal to work be closer to an utility. The objective of this is to sustain the idea of the hp exchange.  I would think this heal should have an effect half the potentcy of a normal heal. 
  • To balance the Heal being so small and also to add some depth to the utilities i would add some layer of completixy where the skill gets a CD reduction under some condtions
  • Also to bring some group utility i would rework the heal: Exploding Spores is the heal now. Instead do damage each Spore heal for small amount, cleanse a condition and apply poison to enemies. The CD is reduced by each spore affecting the player. 
  • Perilous gift is an utilty and it is shared up to 4 allies around the untammed. Instead healing the skill provides barrier at the end of the buff effect. Because it is not a heal skill this could sacrifice the 20% of current pet HP to transfer it as barrier to each ally. This is an unique utilty which will bring some variety to WvW squads. As to balance that HP sacrifice the utility can have a CD reduction for each ally affected by this buff (up to 5 counting the player) 
  • Mutate conditions needs to cleanse pet conditions too. I would change the condition to be torment (1 stack for each cleansed condition) and i would reduce the CD by each condition cleansed. The damage condition would use untammed stats and  works as balance component: Tankier builds based in condition would receive more damage from this while power builds with no condition stat would receive less damage. Still an addtional  cleanse would be needed in exchange to a much lower cooldown. 

Traits, in case of the untammed pet damage and usability is half of the spec more important than even with the core class. Traits need to work with the pet. 

  • Debilitating blows, enhacing impact, fervent force, Restorative strikes need to work on the pet abilities too. Now with the possibility of being able to see Pet skills Cooldowns this needs to be reflected, if the pet cast a CC it should trigger the traits and get the cooldown reduction in the pet skills (F1-F3) when a disabling effect is applied by the pet. 

Unleashed: dual hammer, lack of damage while in unleashed state, lack of singergy between weapons, lack of CCs. 

  • Hammer loses dual aspect. It works only in normal mode. 
  • When swapping to feral state aside from the ambush skills, the untammed or pet gains an effect which triggers an addtional strike when disabling a target. This strike works as One Wolf Pack effect, as such can crit and trigger crit traits. This will bring the damage back and it will have better synergy with everyweapon without having to rework all the skills. Sword Ambush would bring the damage expected from an ambush skill. 
  • Ambush skills last for a bit longer (5s is my recomendation), Pet unleashed skills works like the ambush skills: They are active for a short time and then revert to its normal skills. This would fix the lack of damage and it will promote the swap the states between the ranger and the pet. 

Obviously the ability to put one pet skill (F1-F3) in auto is needed so the elite specialization does not feel so clunky. It is not just an addtional 3 buttons in the rotation, We are talking those addtional 3 buttons can have a very low cooldown and it will overlap with other weapon skills. 

I am afraid that following current path will not bring the untamed to a healthy state, it will miss the WvW / PVP gameplay and the only way it will be player is by abusing some cheesy build which may come up in the future and it will be nerfed the same as it happened to Druid already. 

I do not want another Druid story with the Untamed. 

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