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On Clone Death Traits


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Looks like we've gotten into the broader category of things for the Mesmer. I like it.



My thinking w.r.t. on-clone-death mechanics was that it made it so that there was more feedback/impact to "poor" targeting decisions. When you are a build that just AOEs/cleaves like a maniac (and there is not a shortage of this), there isn't much, if any, feedback on this. So the non-Mesmer is simply destroying the resources for the Mesmer mechanic and nothing else is being gained by the Mesmer nor lost by the non-Mesmer. There's no thought to it because there doesn't need to be for the non-Mesmer. With on-clone-death mechanics, there was some thought at least:


* Do I want to be more accurate with my targeting so I'm not incurring these conditions?


* Do I want to cleave down these clones to deny them [stronger] shatters but at the cost of cripple, bleed x1, and/or weakness?


* Do I want to leave the clones alone because I can feel I can dodge the shatters they'll be used for?


It makes there be actual decision-making as opposed to "whoops, accidentally killed another clone, yay".



You touched on the phantasm changes. I think that was an intelligent change for simplifying the balancing of the class. I imagine it was quite difficult to try to balance phantasms when one person is trying to get out three phantasms fully traited to just stay out and pump damage versus people who are shattering constantly and then everyone in between.


Possible Changes

I like your suggestions for clones. Nice variety and each has some merit (I think some more than others).


* Invulnerable but health degrades over time would solve the problem of being AOE'd down while not starting a new problem of never-ending harassment from invulnerable illusions. However, for PvE, the AI would likely suffer here or they'd have to simply have it start ignoring our illusions which I believe would tick some people off.


* Buffing illusion health would be a softer version of the above as it would make them take more AOE before they were popped, but AI in PvE would be on our clones for even longer then (maybe an issue, maybe not). In the larger-scale WvW, I don't think this would solve the issue simply due to the sheer abundance of AOEs. However, maybe it could be good as the AOEs do have a target limit and now illusions are providing a new use eating up some of those target slots as they don't just immediately pop.


* Illusions take less damage from AOE ... I do like this. I'm curious about how much less damage? 50%? 90%? Also, what would be considered an AOE? There is quite a bit of cleaving going on as well and I don't think there is a difference between a melee cleave targeted versus not.


* Less vulnerable to strike damage I'm not sure would accomplish as much as there is some very burst-y condition damage.



I think ANet is aware of the issue and Virtuoso is their first attempt at trying to provide solutions to it by providing eSpecs that play more/less to different styles, and, in this case, drastically change an element of the class mechanic.

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On 2/24/2022 at 4:14 AM, Xaylin.1860 said:

having skills or traits that lead to you not using the class mechanic is just bad class design.


Agreed, which is why I was originally excited about Mirage, thinking they'd twist the class mechanic from shatters to commands, or some other thing that focuses on keeping clones alive, but alas....

While clone-death traits and old phantasms clashed with the main class mechanic and thus weren't really well implemented, it was still better than being pidgeon-holed into shatter builds like we are now imo. Originally, elite specs were meant to properly create modular class design, where you get to pick which class mechanic and gameplay you want, but with mesmer they really dropped the ball.

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I don't think it lead to not using the mechanic. I think it was providing something in those cases where you otherwise lost a resource (clones for shatters) and were given nothing to compensate for their fragile AI bodies (and minds) dying.

I also, as I previously posted, believe it provided scenarios where there was counterplay and thought as opposed to the current, "I'll just cleave the clones with my melee/aoe spam as I run towards the real one".

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  • 1 year later...
25 minutes ago, Lincolnbeard.1735 said:

Gonna necro this because I feel like it.
Mesmer could really used clone death again, it was one of the most mesmerish things avaliable (for those who played GW1), punish foes either way (you kill clones you get small damage, you don't you get a shatter in your face).

How would this work with virtuoso's blades exactly?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/17/2022 at 3:18 AM, Mik.3401 said:

I don’t really miss these because it was sort of a passive mechanic. I don’t enjoy such stuff just like I dislike blurred inscriptions. I think the fun of Mesmer lies in active interruptions. 

I know I am WAY late to your comment but I had to say something because your words slapped me like a thousand pound bluefin tuna (no hate, I promise).

So I am your POLAR opposite. I have bad eyes and have a hard time keeping up with everything going on in the game. There's a LOT of my game that I try to automate or learn how to do without seeing. Like in big fights I'll position my cursor in the middle of the screen and maneuver myself around the fixed point because in the middle of all the AOEs and fireballs and everything else I can't even find my cursor or see my own AOEs to place. I'm sure that's not just me either. So I actually do use things like signets (Yes, I am the kitten that uses signet builds) and things like Blurred Inscriptions because it makes my gameplay easier.

One of the hardest things, for me, are targetted spells. I do okay. I use a staff so I have to use a target for Chaos Storm but it's also a pretty big AOE. Then there's the Unstable Bladestorm that recently-ish got changed to a tiny little AOE that I can't find half the time when I try to use it. I was actually tickled when they changed the Elementalist Dragon Fang into an autotarget.

This isn't to say you're wrong in anything, we all have our own playstyles. I just wanted to say there is a subset of players who are all about that more passive playstyle, or at least a little slower than average.

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On 2/15/2022 at 9:48 AM, Salt Mode.3780 said:

They were removed A LONG time ago, this was at the lauch of HoT. There use to be a build called the blackwater PU condi mesmer build and what it did was it literally would cripple the enemy and punish the enemy for destroying your clones, fastforward to 2022, those traits will be super abuseable due to the fact that clones die so easily, but it can also work the other way around where clones will die before those passives can hit your target.

Tho the game has progressed far enough to where people shouldnt have issues like in core days, more boons and more cleanses.

If you want to talk about OP condi builds, that is one of them. Probably compare its time to condi mirage i would say that build was way more disgusting then condi mirage, the cripple and weakness spam with tanky stats means you could never die and they could probably never escape if you can lock them down properly.

My god, as a ranger main I remember being so frustrated cuz PU blackwater build was the only build where I'd consistently lose to.

I quit for a while and came back. Never really touched anything else besides ranger. I decided to mesmer a go. Mind stab no longer boon strips?? (and the bug where it roots you still exists??). Its interesting to see how much has changed (and the things that haven't)

Anyways, just lurking around in the mesmer forum since I finally want to give mesmer a go after 11yrs...

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If I remember correctly they didn’t actually remove the traits completely… they were each baked into different Phantasms… I remember commenting on the news post about it hurting a lot of mesmer builds since we can’t really use Phantasms in the same way we use clones…

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I stand on the side of those uninterested in such traits, because it's largely a passive play that may or may not happen depending whether your clones are hit or not. It also considers almost only a PvP/WvW approach, whereas on the PvE side it would be near impossible to make use of it (maybe in open world, but forget it in group content - unless it's a mirage leaving them on purpose in dangerous areas, however in this case it locks its use into a single elite spec).

It's a pain to lose one of our offensive resources through any hostile AoE, but I really can't feel like I'd want to pick such a trait knowing, like auras, it expects you to be attacked. How to even balance it? How to estimate a proper average of clones directly targeted, to balance the amount of direct or condition damages back at the attacker? It's too hard to estimate, and if it were only affecting a small area around the disrupted clone, any ranged build would just disregard it. Maybe I'm missing something in my approach, but there are so many cases in which I can't see it reliably working, even with a small incidence in all game modes, that I wouldn't be interested.

Now if it had some slight effect at least when using one of our shatters, maybe, but we get back to the questioning above summed up in a single sentence: how to properly balance it? It could be slightly eased by tailoring it to the mainhand weapon in use (in a similar way to the mirage mantle) by causing direct damages on power-based weapons and conditions on cdmg-based weapons, but it's only one aspect of the issue.

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