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The one skill slot EoD didn't address but should have: Elites.


Desh.7028

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There is neither between classes or within specs any semblance of balance when it comes to Elite abilities.

They're the longest cooldowns per design but not rarely the afterthought of a build.

Most specs don't even choose an ability here but take the one that doesn't almost waste the slot instead.

If you have doubts about what I say check each spec and inspect the elite skills and consider how many and which are an actual consideration outside of RP flavor. Of course there is a large difference between PvE and PvP but while both will have differing valid options both have the same base issue with Elites, a really scuffed selection with at times uninspired effects for the cooldown.

 

Catalyst and Time Warp come to mind when it comes to "kind of want that but why is it this horrible" ... that was what was done with EoD, make Time Warp nearly strictly worse than Feel my Wrath.

 

EoD was another expansion and another huge opportunity to work on this shortcoming but nothing (outside of kittening Time Warp) was done.

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Just to clear out confusion, when you say "catalyst and time warp" are you refering to the skill elemental celerity? Are you talking about elementalist's elite skills in particular?

NB: I'm giving you a "confused" e-mote note to "downvote" you but because I'm genuinely confused over what you wrote.

Edit: I'm amazed that there are already 3 people that are confused about me asking for clarification.

Edited by Dadnir.5038
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The Catalyst only has one Elite skill (if the name is Elemental Celerity, then so be it - I'm more interested in what it does :classic_blush:) and Time Warp is a Mesmer core Elite. When it comes to Elite skills in recent history I'd say those two are two pain points.

 

Elementalist in general is still a mess when it comes to Elite skills. Go though the specs and check them out and think about the choices (or rather lack thereof). And Fiery Greatsword might as well just be it's 5 without all the gimmick surrounding it.

Condi Weaver is the only one where there isn't just one correct and many wrong choices (and the Elemental is just situationally better here than Weave Self).

We could also do Engeneer, things are really obvious there as well.

 

Guardian is one where I'm relatively happy despite having only 2 options (Feel My Wrath and "reset my virtues" [yes yes, skill names, give me that confused again :classic_tongue:]) but both are, considering their effect and CD, outside the design space of utility skills. Willbender has a 3rd option that's just big CC (sounds a lot like a utility skill in the most literal sense tbh) but it's potent and CD is reasonable so I'd say it's better to complain about where those two things don't apply ... like Elemental Celerity and Time Warp or many many others.

 

Thief is also almost fine, possibly the closest to fine overall with just some number tweaking needed - potentially even including one nerf and yes, everyone knows which one I'm talking about. The new Well is pointless if the Venom does it 4 times (pulled that number straight out of my butt fyi) better.

 

Also it's not an Utility slot, it's the Elite slot. The point here is Elite skills see the least changes and are in a bad shape as a slot on your bar in general.

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Personally, I think:

- Elementalist:

--> Conjure fiery greatsword: Decent option in every gamemode (fact is that conjured damages weren't touched in the feb 2020 patch which make those skills hit pretty hard in competitive mode). Could afford to have more conditions attached to it's skills for condi builds.

--> Glyph of elemental: Not great in competitive modes but having a "passive" extra source of damage to help you isn't a bad thing in PvE and the "command" can be pretty strong as well. This elite is mostly underestimated.

--> Tornado: Well, I'm of the opinion that transform skills should disappear from the game so I'm not objective.

--> "Rebound!": It's a good skill (you could even say it's "strong" when used well).

--> Weave self: Again, a strong elite skill, I'm not sure the follow up Tailored victory is worth anything or not thought.

--> Elemental celerity: Would be strong on other professions but on elementalist who already have many weapon skills to rotate with, it's not so exciting (I doubt this skill will see much use).

 

- Engineer:

--> Elixir X: Transformation skill, same as tornado (thought it's potentially the elite transformation skill with the highest uptime).

--> Mortar: Useful simply because it's a kit and as a kit it doesn't have CD.

--> Supply crate: Versatile skill, never a bad option, but never and especially good option either.

--> Sneak gyro: Useful.

--> Prime light beam: Pretty strong as is.

--> Overclock signet: It's already worth taking just for it's passive effect.

 

- Guardian:

--> Renewed focus: Very strong.

--> "Feel my wrath!": Pretty good.

--> Signet of courage: It's objectively strong but difficult to use well (which is why it's not a popular option).

--> Dragon maw: It's an "ok" skill.

--> Mantra of liberation: Break stun, grant stability... What else is there to say...

--> Heaven's palm: Strong effect, impossibly long cast time. Probably not going to see much practical use.

 

- Mesmer:

--> Time warp: Currently way to weak for what it does.

--> Mass invisibility: It's an "ok" skill but pretty niche in use.

--> Signet of humility: Useless in PvE unless you want to strengthen some trash mob for a few seconds.

--> Gravity well: Strong.

--> Jaunt: Good skill (give you pre shortbow nerf thief mobility).

--> Thousand cuts: it's an "ok" skill. Not thrilling but "ok" nonetheless.

 

- Necromancer:

--> Lich form: Transformation skill, let's get rid of that please.

--> Plagueland: A strong option.

--> Summon flesh golem: It's okish.

--> "Chilled to the bone!": It does have it's uses.

--> Ghastly breach: Plagueland 2.0.

--> Elixir of ambition: A good option.

 

- Ranger:

--> Strength of the pack: It's good even if it used to be better.

--> Spirit of Nature: Not really the most practical skill.

--> Entangle: Pretty useful elite.

--> Glyph of the stars: Strong, unfortunately it's a channeled skill.

--> One wolf pack: Strong, used to be stronger.

--> Forest's fortification: It's an interesting skill but I hardly see any situation where i'd use it over SotP or Entangle.

 

- Revenant:

--> Rite of the great dwarf: If it weren't for the cast time and energy cost, I'd use it.

--> Embrace the darkness: An "Ok" skill.

--> Energy expulsion: Not the brightest idea the devs have had (well, it's associated to ventari stone... which make it a bad idea on top of a bad idea).

--> Jade winds: It's "OK".

--> Facet of chaos: Jade winds but better.

--> Soulcleave's summit: strong support skill.

--> Spear of archemorus/saint victor urn: Benefit from the fact that they got short CD which make them usable.

 

- Thief:

--> Basilic venom: Strong skill.

--> Daggerstorm: Good skill.

--> Thieves guild: Can be useful.

--> Impact strike/uppercut/finishing blow: Not really easy to use well but still pretty good.

--> Shadow meld: very strong.

--> Shadowfall: A good elite skill.

 

- Warrior:

--> Battle standard: Cluncky... well it's a banner...

--> Rampage: Transformation skill, please get rid of this, thanks!

--> Signet of rage: Mild. It's neither strong nor weak.

--> Headbutt: it's ok due to the relatively low CD.

--> Wind of disenchantements: Not a fan of the double edgeness of the skill.

--> Tactical reload: Almost specialization's defining skill, a very strong option.

Edited by Dadnir.5038
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Kitty's PVE perspective:

 

- Elementalist:

 

--> Conjure Fiery Greatsword: Still in use by tryhard DPS builds.

 

--> Glyph of Elemental: A minion for easy DPS builds. Useful.

 

--> Tornado: Super-extremely situational though does have some rare uses.

 

--> "Rebound!": Squad saver! Must-have for heal tempest.

 

--> Weave Self: It's been used for starter rota on weeber, Kitty's not sure if it's still in use.

 

--> Elemental Celerity: From quick testing, Kitty found other elites more useful though this could have situational uses.

 

 

 

- Engineer:

 

--> Elixir X: Rampage is kinda less useful of the two transformations it offers, same as other classes.

 

--> Mortar: Something Kitty uses a lot if range is occasionally needed. Which means often.

 

--> Supply Crate: the "if there's nothing more useful for DPS"-skill.

 

--> Sneak Gyro: Useful in many places.

 

--> Prime Light Beam: Stronk DPS.

 

--> Overclock Signet: Simply useful for any build that activates the signets.

 

 

 

- Guardian:

 

--> Renewed Focus: Part of cFB rota and useful for greeding thru 1-shots.

 

--> "Feel my wrath!": Part of boonbuilds.

 

--> Signet of Courage: Tiny bit of extra heal from passive but really strong in PVP.

 

--> Dragon Maw: Used by power DHs.

 

--> Mantra of Liberation: Broken strong and underrated in fractals.

 

--> Heaven's Palm: Big extra CC. Very useful for certain bosses.

 

 

 

- Mesmer:

 

--> Time Warp: Kinda weak now that it's 5-target and mainly useful if CC isn't needed and quickness is brought by DPS.

 

--> Mass Invisibility: Really strong skill outside raids (and good even in W3 Escort)

 

--> Signet of Humility: Mainly useful for core mesmer and memes. At least Amala still has use for it.

 

--> Gravity Well: Best mesmer CC atm though bound to chrono.

 

--> Jaunt: Condi mirage.

 

--> Thousand Cuts: Big DPS.

 

 

 

- Necromancer:

 

--> Lich Form: Reapers have used it for burst.

 

--> Plaguelands: Condi necros.

 

--> Summon Flesh Golem: the CC. Always in use if CC's needed.

 

--> "Chilled to the Bone!": Might be useful in open-world though doesn't have instanced uses atm.

 

--> Ghastly Breach: Mainly used for boon corruption if you need masses of it and to give strength. In ither words, not very used in PvE.

 

--> Elixir of Ambition: Boooons!

 

 

 

- Ranger:

 

--> Strength of the Pack: maybe good for might in open-world but Kitty kinda always finds Entangle more useful.

 

--> Spirit of Nature: A squad saver and extra heals. Druid's Choice.

 

--> Entangle: One of three reasons people like to use when debating why "we need druid!" though Soulbeast can use it, too. Honestly, this could use some radius reduction to 360 so people wouldn't always cheese the mechs by using this.

 

--> Glyph of the Stars: does have some uses...but Nature Spirit is usually better.

 

--> One Wolf Pack: Still in use.

 

--> Forest's Fortification: Really useful skill for Logan roleplay, wrong class though. Not the most useful one atm and Superspeed+CD reduced when striking enemy is kinda counterintuitive combo.

 

 

 

- Revenant:

 

--> Rite of the Great Dwarf: Costly to use, to the point that if Kitty plays Power rev for a month, she'd likely use it once.

 

--> Embrace the Darkness: Condi Deeeps.

 

--> Energy Expulsion: Really useful when knocks are needed and thus a way to replace druid. Kitty's using it.

 

--> Jade Winds: "3 mortarists on 1 CC" at Trio and good quick CC for big CC combo. Kitty's actively using it.

 

--> Facet of Chaos: Knock knock. Who's there? KNOW YOUR PLACE. On top of protection, that knock has plenty of uses.

 

--> Soulcleave's Summit: Energy drainer but in current situation, Kitty doesn't see much heal use for it after it was nerfed.

 

--> Spear of Archemorus/Saint Victor's Urn: Kitty hasn't had use for Kurzick Stance yet but Urn has felt like a decent heal on meme healicator.

 

 

 

- Thief:

 

--> Basilic venom: the CC.

 

--> Daggerstorm: Evade and bit of DPS. Useful for bit of extra greed but Kitty seldom uses it.

 

--> Thieves Guild: If CC isn't needed, usually used for bit of extra DPS.

 

--> Impact Strike/Uppercut/Finishing Blow: Worse than Venom in squad, better solo.

 

--> Shadow Meld: Kitty often uses it.

 

--> Shadowfall: Kitty rather takes Venom.

 

 

 

- Warrior:

 

--> Battle Standard: Boons and emergency ress. Strong when needed, usually away from DPS.

 

--> Rampage: Kitty doesn't see much use for it atm aside from big CC if desperate.

 

--> Signet of Rage: Kitty uses if build has adrenaline generation issues for whatever reason.

 

--> Headbutt: Used in DPS zerker rota.

 

--> Wind of Disenhancement: Boon rip that is used in some situations for cheeses. Kitty won't go deeper as she still wants to see Spellbreaker around.

 

--> Tactical Reload: Extremely strong. Definition of Bladesworn.

So, from what Kitty's played tons of builds, there's less than dozen elite skills that Kitty hasn't really used. Situation is prolly worse in competitive modes.

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6 hours ago, Dadnir.5038 said:

--> Overclock signet: It's already worth taking just for it's passive effect.

 

 

This is actually a great example. Yes it's a good elite but all other options are wrong choices and not because the signet is that insane ... it's just not kitten and that sets it apart. Prime Light is the same. Now that support Engi is a thing the elite selection is even worse - derpy Mortar Kit for one skill? But I already have water fields.

Kits are just transforms with a less restrictive duration. :classic_biggrin:

 

As a general rule if you look at every build and elite skills would be also equipable in utility slots and some elite skills don't make the cut or you'd have to run the numbers first because it's unclear, then there's an issue. E.g. Daggerstorm vs 1k trap is one where I'd actually check what's the most damage relative to the cooldown, the evade is a wash since it also needs to be channeled.

 

 

2 hours ago, LadyKitty.6120 said:

--> "Rebound!": Squad saver! Must-have for heal tempest.

 

 

The irony here is this one in particular (both the skill and spec) was kicked in the crotch really hard with the 5 man adjustment. Like still in fetal position on the ground weeks later kind of hard.

 

2 hours ago, LadyKitty.6120 said:

--> Weave Self: It's been used for starter rota on weeber, Kitty's not sure if it's still in use.

 

 

It is. It also is a failed design in some way since it is a must pick with 100% Alacrity and hot garbage without. Weaver though does not give Alacrity. I've played a lot of MMOs over the years and never seen something like that.

 

 

Love the lists, very glass half full. From a build perspective things look a lot more dire.

My Warrior list would look a lot more like this:

Headbutt default for Berserker

Spellbreaker is dead

Reload default for Bladesworn

Rest logically is trash because not default

 

I don't want to settle for "it's alright I guess" when it comes to the longest cooldown on my bar. It's not very exciting

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Battle Standard: Clutch or completely useless.
Signet of Rage: Useless outside of meme builds
Rampage: Useless after Feb2020
WoD: Useless outside of WvW zergs, where it is important so long as it is timed right.
Headbutt: Possibly the most versatile skill in the entire warrior kit and is only held back by CMC's failed balance methodology that hard CCs should do 0 damage in competitive play. I miss this elite when I don't play Berserker. I'd rather see Rampage and Headbutt swapped places to be honest and have Headbutt be the physical elite.
Tactical Reload: Very useful so long as you have ammo to refill. CD is too long in competitive considering the Lush Forest change. Either way it leads to degenerate gameplay and needs to be replaced. 

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On 3/15/2022 at 11:15 AM, Desh.7028 said:

Thief is also almost fine, possibly the closest to fine overall with just some number tweaking needed - potentially even including one nerf and yes, everyone knows which one I'm talking about. 

Whoa now, you leave thief out of this. We suffered enough Nerfs, forced build selections, bugs that make things unusable (still not fixed too), and hate over the years. I can't even use more than three weapon skills, shortbow is impossible to use on specter, and half my utilities don't work. Don't take away one of the few good things we still got.

Edited by Leo Schrodingers Cat.2497
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The problem with "elite skills" is there's simply not enough of them to make it feel like there's always one to take that's good in every mode

A lot that feel "ya, pretty good" would probably be immediately demoted to "never gonna use this" status were we given the chance to slot a 4th utility skill instead

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