Jojo.6590 Posted March 27, 2022 Share Posted March 27, 2022 (edited) Background: To keep this post short I'll also hold off on giving concepts of new skills and stick to already existing skills and sets to make it more easy to visualize. The main focus of my input will be more focused on WVW/competitive game modes, hence why the PVE section is shorter. My input and suggestions are based on my experiences playing Virtuoso in: PVE: solo story, raids, and metas (including EOD metas). WvW: Roaming (solo), duels, havoc (small groups 5-10), and zergs (Groups of 15+). Feedback: PVE: As a DPS specialization the class is "okay", its not amazing nor is it extremally awful, its right in the middle. The major issue here is that this is a selfish DPS specialization that provides only damage and nothing else. My issue here is that right after the first beta 25% of this specialization's damage was nerfed with nothing given back in return. Although it's benchmarks are still high I would of preferred starting with a nerf of 10-15% of the specialization's damage as to allow for it to stay competitive with other classes that reach around the same benchmarks in damage but also offer buffs and debuffs to their groups. Dagger: This weapon works fine in most if not all PVE environments with the given issue of odd terrain causing skill 3 (Unstable bladestrom) to not path correctly and wander off in odd directions. However, great sword works much better especially when using the bountiful blades trait. This can make it hard to justify taking dagger over great sword. Shatters: I happen to really enjoy not having my burst dependent on my clones and worrying that they wont die right before I shatter them. With that said, this also suffers from pathing issues caused by odd terrain too (not a flat surface). This basically covers my PVE concerns if you could even call them that. Though many of the points I will make in the WVW/Competitive section can also be applied to PVE to an extent. WVW/Competitive: Grab a snack because this section is going to be on the long side, I'll try to keep it as short as possible. For refence please use this link to the Mesmer class wiki as I'll be referencing class/skill information from here. Mesmers Wiki Page Virtuosos plays as if it wants to be a high damage kitting class but lacks the mobility and Crowd Control (CC) to do this. The first trait in each line even supports/prompts this concept yet it fails to deliver on this and rather plays more like a turret. Mesmer as a whole also lost a lot of survivability as the core trait lines were hit with a lot of nerfs in order to nerf the survivability of Mirage. This did not just greatly impact the viability of Virtuosos but also that of core and Chronomancer (needs a lot of work too, but that is for another post). Though I'm not a big fan of this concept, adding a 3rd dodge like daredevil would improve the quality of this specialization's design. Dagger: This weapon is just awful in all forms of competitive play, mainly due to the fact that two of the three skills are projectiles and the third skill, unstable bladestrom is only good if used at point blank range. On top of this the weapon offers no type of CC nor does it provide any mobility. Dagger also struggles to synergize with the off hand weapons Mesmer has. I'm on the side that wants to see a full rework of dagger because of this. An idea/concept to base this rework off of would be pistol/dagger Thief. Dagger needs abilities that allow for it to kite and CC as both the weapon itself and the utility skills do not provide any of this. The design and concept of pistol/dagger Thief would work great as a replacement for the current dagger skills. Bola shot provides immobilize (CC) while shadow strike provides mobility, allowing this weapon set to kite effectively. However, keep in mind that Thief gets a decent chunk of its damage from this set from sneak attack (when attacking from stealth) and repeater (the flip skill of shadow strike). The concept of shadow strike flipping into repeater would need to be carried over if used. Dagger idea: Added on 4-4-22 An idea for dagger would be to move skill two and change it to the auto attack, skill one. This would help provide a better ranged cleave option to the class and make dagger stand out more from great-sword. Shatters/Bladesongs: The shatters have the making of something good, but they're just not quite there yet. Again, I greatly enjoy not having clones and losing my burst damage because my clones were cleaved/died to aoe. This is where the majority of our damage comes from and this damage has a build up, stocking blades. Their are several key points that need to be taken into consideration. These attacks except for f4 (bladeturn requiem) can be avoided by one of the following ways; line of sight (LOS), blocking, reflects, dodging, and moving out of range (which many classes can do now due to the increase in mobility skills) and the Virtuoso must be directly facing their target. If left this way the damage of f1 and f2 should be buffed greatly. It should be very rewarding to the virtuoso and likes wise very punishing to the their opponent if they do not use one of the ways listed above to avoid the attack. On top of this, all of the bladesongs have a channel/cast time as well as a massive and noticeable animation that makes it very easy to respond to and allows for ability to be interrupted. It is also important to note that the animations for f1-f3 also add a delay too, though I'm unsure if this is intended as this provides another massive tell as well as adding a 3-5 second window to prepare for and avoid or interrupt the attack. Bladesongs f3-f4 are very pushing when used with two or more blades as the benefit of using more than one blade is very minor. Adding an added affect if used at 4-5 blades would be nice. For example, F3 could be a stun and f4 could also apply regen and/or vigor. For f1-f2 and F3 (if using the master of fragmentation) these skills used to be close range instant cast aoe. On Virtuoso these have a long cast time and are single target (piercing does not improve this). Having the blades shatter when hitting their target into blade fragments that then hit enemies with in an X radios around the original target would improve this. Another change that many people have suggested that I'm also in support of is changing the bladesongs so that you do not need to be directly facing your target to fire them. Utility Skills (healing and elite too): As an over aching point, most of these skills all feel the same and have very few differences. Twin Blade Restoration: Having half of the skill's affects tied to it landing two projectile based attacks on an enemy is awful, especially in competitive game modes. This needs a redesign/rework. Blade Renewal: This is the only good utility skill we have and its overpowered. Provides distortion and stocks max blades is very strong. Yet at the same time with the lack of survivability and mobility this skill becomes a must. Rain of Swords: This skill is fine and provides decent aoe damage which core Mesmer lacks. I 'd prefer to see its aoe radios increased and in return add 3-5 seconds on the cooldown. Sword of Decimation: A retheme of rain of swords except less damage but applies immobilize. This skill also provides bonus damage to targets already affected by a control affect or in downstate. This bonus damage is useless as Virtuoso has no abilities that provide CC in its current state and is then forced to look to core weapons which is also limited. This skills feels like it would be better off as skill three on dagger. Psychic Force: This is a cool concept, but is also useless as there are other skills that just provide more. This could also fit as a dagger skill too. changing this into a placeable aoe or a skill shot would also be good too. Thousand Cuts: This has a good start but still needs work. The biggest issue with this is that Virtuoso has next to nothing in its kit to set up an opening to land this skill. Even though it is unblockable this skill can still be LOS, dodged, and out ranged. It is also very important to note that the aoe radius for this skill is a thin line that can be very easily side stepped out of. Several changes that would improve this skill and make it feel more like an elite are as follows: First, change the aoe radius to a V shape. The further you are from the point in which it was cast the wider the radius gets while the closer you are the smaller it gets. Second, have the blades bounce 2-3 times between targets hit, damage of each blade/bonce is reduced by X% for each bounce. With this in mind it would be fair to remove pierce or unblockable. Third, since this is an elite make it so that it can NOT be reflected. Give the spec a way around reflects by allowing this to not be reflected. Traits: Overall thought: I'm not a big fan of most if any of these traits, I'd argue that the entire trait line needs a rework as it has little to no synergy with the core traits and the elite weapon, dagger. On top of this the condition line feels odd. We have Mirage for conditions, this line could be used for survivability. Minor adept: Add that while in combat gain a blade every 5 seconds, allowing a rework of the grandmaster traits. OR stock 1 blade each time you critically hit a foe. Major Adept: Bladeturn Refrain: Increase aegis duration. Mental Focus: Change to x power when not using a dagger and xx power when dagger is equip. Jagged Mind: Remove bleed. Applies slow or chill instead. Your critical hits now heal you. Heal for a percentage of your critical damage. Master: Minor: Deadly blades: This traits is a replacement to make up for the 25% damage nerf from beta one while attempting to add "reason" to the classes rotation. However this would work better if the damage applied to our bladesongs and was not activated by our bladesongs. Increase the duration to 8-10 seconds. I also would not mind seeing this reworked into something else. Duelist's Reversal: Increase boon duration by 2-3%, add might to the boon list too. Phantasmal Blades: I saved my statement on phantasmas for this. Phantasmas need to be changed so that they can NOT be targeted nor killed. Phantasmas are rendered useless when fighting classes with a lot of aoe and/or cleave as well as in large groups as they die right away. Making it so that they can not be targeted and killed will promote use of these skills and we can then see more traits like this that play off of them. Other wises this is a waisted trait that needs to be reworked into something else. You could move deadly blades here and then have the buff apply after summoning a phantasma. The projectile blade needs to be unblockable. Side note: Phantasmas are a delayed burst. First they are summoned and then they do their attack, there are times where they will even need to run to their targets to get in range or else they will give up and disappear. Sharpening Sorrow: Gain fury and might when using a blade song. Fury increases your power or boon duration. Grand Master: Quiet Intensity: This is our best trait currently. As ferocity can be a tough stat to come by. Having it scale off of our vitality also allows for us to to gain some survivability. By changing the minor adept trait to stock blades while in combat all of these would then need a rework. These traits do not feel like grandmaster traits as they all just provide a different way to gain more blades with out greatly impacting the playstyle of Virtuoso. Psychic Riposte: Blocking or dodging attacks makes your bladesongs unblackable for the next 10 seconds, gain fury, might, and swiftness. Infinite forge: Phantasmas now give two blades instead of one. Or Critical hits steal boons form your target, 2 boons 5 seconded CD. Bloodsong: Critical hits convert conditions on you into boons, 2 conditions converted pre critical hit 5 seconded CD. Side note: More concepts for traits and skills that play more into stealing boons would be great, as this concept is slightly there for Mesmer but does not have a build/specialization utilize it. Edited April 4, 2022 by Jojo.6590 Added dagger skill 2 change. 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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