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Raid-Druid: Testing the changes, good, bad & ugly.


Ranys.4028

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First of all the more geneal view:
Less might upkeep, this will hopefully even out with generally more might upkeep spread to all classes this patch, but our compromise for that is the alacrity option on spirits, something that is not only accessible to Druid, but to all Ranger-Specs. I can't say yet how viable an Alac-Damage build will be, but keep in mind that not playing Druid makes it harder to keep the spirits alive, you would a healer teammate to keep an eye on them in longer fights.

 

I played my druid for strike-CMs today, and while the patch hit my regular group quite a bit, we were mostly successful today and I personally had fun playing my Druid.
 

The good:
Alacrity on Ranger enables role-compression, specifically on druid. Spirits feel very responsive when it comes to alacrity. 2 Spirits are just barely not enough to get 100% uptime, 3 spirits overcaps very comfortably so it won't instantly drop if you make a mistake.
All together Spotter, Stone-Water-Frost spirit and Warhorn 5 give you 100% uptime on alac, fury, regen, protection, swiftness(if you also do the Quickdraw procs correctly) and a might floor of 9, up to 20-25(if you play extremely well and take might stacking traits).

Hopefully the other classes buffed might generation will make up for what we lost and maybe even enable us to take Lingering-Light. I'm honestly kind of tired of Grace of the Land being the only viable raid-trait after all these years, but that might just me.

 

Another upside to spirits getting the boot it that it actually enables us to take other utilities along without always feeling like we could have taken a more useful spirit along.
(Yes, I know that this will make people say "but if they had just not taken out our unique spirit buffs at all? Then we still could!" - deal with it, that's part of balancing out all the power-creep of the last few years, sun and frost spirit were overvalued by a large part of the community anyway.)

 

The bad:
I foresee people blaming druids for bad might upkeep. Feel free to defend yourself appropriately, because the way I see it, it is no longer solely our job. If a party stresses out their druid over might upkeep, they might sabotage them actually fulfilling all the other jobs they are there for.

Remember that your first priority is keeping the party alive and doing raid mechanics, then come buffs, where alacrity is now our priority, might comes in 3rd place on the priority list of a druid, at most. Maybe not even that high up the list, depending on how you count.

 

It was not mentioned specifically in the patch-notes, but Spirit of Nature no longer gives stability in any way, which means as a druid we have zero access to group stability.

Compared to Guardians and Mechanist, this really hurts.

With EoD we might have gotten the white tiger giving us group aegis every 30 seconds, and if you know how to use it it can help out quite a bit, but there is a debilitating bug that I'll go more into later. (see: The Ugly).

The argument for this situation might be that druids higher/better healing capacity, but adding to this we have the problem that druid will no typically have a stun-break in it's kit. Take for example Slothasor, where messing up can have you stunned on the ground for 4 to 5 seconds, or feared away from the group into poison. If this happened to the druid, it likely happened to the rest of the group too. So in exactly the moment that your group needs you, you are out of commission with no way to recover.
Take along Glyph of Equality as a stun break? The fact that it is also a stun dealing 200 defiance damage incentivise you to use it on the break-bar instead, so it will be on cool-down.
As things are now, there is no stabi and the druid is disincentivised for having a stun break along, or keeping it for themself.
My suggestion? Anet, please rework glyphs. For example: Glyph of Alignment could give aegis or stability. Or A pet could give stab. Or the ranger shout "Guard" could be reworked, because I still don't see a reason to use it in any content.

 

Condi clear? Before this patch taking Healing spring was viable in a few fights, but now this will sabotage alacrity, meaning an extra spirit is needed, that one free utility slot goes bye bye.
Same for heal glyph actually? Can we get some relevant Glyph game-play again?

The Ugly:

Bugs galore & Weird Behaviour all over.
There is a lot of buggy pets, the most egregious  a bug that can be quite debilitating for a very important buff/mechanic: Aegis (see this post I made a few days ago.)
There are a lot of pets that are bugged in this way apparently. I don't currently have the time to test them all out for a full write up. Seeing a polar bear fix on patch-notes when this exists is a bit of a slap in the face really.

Spirits have an extremely weird behaviour right now, where they only apply their buffs if you stand in their range. If you leave your spirits range they become useless target dummies. Why? I leave my group for some mechanic and they don't get my spirit buffs in the meantime.
Edit: I tried testing this a bit (can't join a friend in Special Forces Training Area, by the way?) but apparently it is no enough for another party member to be in spirit range, if I, as the casting Druid, am not in my spirits range they won't apply buffs.
The healer moving away from the group is already punishing enough without this quirk.
The ability descriptions and trait descriptions don't point this out, and I honestly think it's bad design.

Further testing shows that the boons are casted from the player while the spirits are active, which makes much more sense and might actually be fine this way, still confusing and not intuitive  behaviour.

 

Glyph of the Stars and Verdant Etching synergy is scuffed. The Seed of life will spawn after the full cast is through. If I even take this ability, rarely will I ever use the full case. Often I'll interrupt it in favour of getting back to other actions sooner, and it feels almost like I'm getting punished if I keep the supposed interaction with Glyph of Stars. Verdant Etching and Grace of the Land in mind.

 

Edit: Some people who are very familiar with druid might have noticed that we had a problem with quickdraw after letting CA run out, this has been stealth fixed with the last update. I didn't list this here before because I was doubting myself thinking I was the one doing something wrong.


Conclusion:

Please stop letting our buggy pets rot in the corner.

Look at the mechanic behind spirit-buff application.
Glyphs are a sad remnant of the past. Stabi pls? 😭

 

Druid is still fun to play if it's your kind of play-style. It's not dead, it can bring a lot of utility to the group. Except Stab. (have you noticed I'm salty about that?)

Edit: I would also be fine with not having group stabi access at all, but only if I wouldn't feel so neglected as a healer when I look at mechanist reliable access to stab/aegis and Firebrand's phenomenal coverage of these same boons. I don't need that phenomenal kind of coverage as a druid, but having none at all now after the patch is sad.

Edited by Ranys.4028
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While it's obviously not as good as proper stab, isn't Protect Me a partywide stunbreak? Im pretty sure I've used it to cleanse the fear on Sloth.

 

2 spirits are so close to giving 100% alac uptime i think you can mostly do it if you take the elite spirit (which you do on most fights) and use its active at the start of the fight.

I def agree overall. Druid has some weaknesses compared to sth like mech but overall I think the patch was def very good for Druid.

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14 hours ago, Baseleader.4128 said:

While it's obviously not as good as proper stab, isn't Protect Me a partywide stunbreak? Im pretty sure I've used it to cleanse the fear on Sloth.

 

2 spirits are so close to giving 100% alac uptime i think you can mostly do it if you take the elite spirit (which you do on most fights) and use its active at the start of the fight.

I def agree overall. Druid has some weaknesses compared to sth like mech but overall I think the patch was def very good for Druid.

You sir are correct.
Protect me is indeed a stunbreak (+personal barrier).

@OP
 thanks for sharing your experience.

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17 hours ago, Ranys.4028 said:

Take for example Slothasor, where messing up can have you stunned on the ground for 4 to 5 seconds, or feared away from the group into poison. If this happened to the druid, it likely happened to the rest of the group too. So in exactly the moment that your group needs you, you are out of commission with no way to recover.

 

15 hours ago, Baseleader.4128 said:

 

While it's obviously not as good as proper stab, isn't Protect Me a partywide stunbreak? Im pretty sure I've used it to cleanse the fear on Sloth.

 

 

1 hour ago, Patsoor.6425 said:

You sir are correct.
Protect me is indeed a stunbreak (+personal barrier)

Yea, see above. Protect Me was the standard way of dealing with Sloth mechanic for Druid. Sure we don’t have Stab for it like Guard or Mech, but every Druid I raider with used Protect Me for this mechanic and it worked fine.

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I'm aware of protect me as a stun break, but I find stabi is a much more reliable way to deal with the fear.
More often when I play in pug groups I play with brown-bear pet f2, so I can take search and rescue along for people who get downed in poisons.

 

These days there is usually a stabi source for it anyway in most groups I play in when not pugging.
Sometimes there are situations where you just get caught in the ground-pound-spread thingy.

Really, I was just pointing out slothasor as an example, there are better examples where just a stun-break doesn't deal with the mechanic very well.
The 2nd/right largos Twin with the knockback. Quite often a firebrand in my group takes advance along for it.

Gorseval Ground slam. (If you're good maybe you can aegis it with white tiger, but 1 second cast time and current unreliability makes it clunky)

Cairn 3rd auto attack and greek-skipping, having stab in this fight, even just one more stack of it, is a godsend.

 

How about something more recent?
Before this update I played condi-soulbeast on Kaineng Overlook CM, taking along dolly stance to help the group out.
Now I'm on druid, because I actually like playing that class much better, but all I can do is white-tiger aegis and hope something else doesn't proc it before Li does his pushing slashes, or that someone else got the stabi out on everyone.
I've seen 100% more people flying around in my static on that fight yesterday then I did in the last few weeks.

I'm honestly considering weather a specialized Alac-Heal soulbeast build so I have access to Dolly might actually be better for this fight specifically, but I doubt it would really work out. It has a lot less healing available. Probably less might stacking too.

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On 6/28/2022 at 11:53 PM, Ranys.4028 said:

but our compromise for that is the alacrity option on spirits,

That's the compromise for losing unique effects, not for losing might.

They just took some extra might away while at it, for good measure. Keep in mind, you're not playing guardian, necro or engie.

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