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2 (simple) QoL changes for staff


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Druid is still my ranger’s favourite specialisation and I also like the staff as an alternative ranged weapon without using any projectiles (like mesmer’s greatsword). Nevertheless, I think that some staff attacks still lack potential. Two simple quality of life changes could make staff do better.


I. remove target requirement for 1st/auto attack


Unlike any other auto-attack, only druid’s Solar Beam requires a target. This makes the skill harder to use, especially then using action camera. Instead of starting the attack and focus targets via action cam cursor, you have to explicitly select a target first before you can do anything.



This rather unique change was introduced due to a bug back in 2015, where using Solar Beam would produce astral force without hitting/healing anything. Therefore, the target requirement was only introduced, since the bug couldn’t be fixed (in time).


current situation

The above bug has been fixed long ago (I think). And if not, the whole point became irrelevant, since it’s possible to target allies now. If a druid wants to fill up his astral force, he simply needs to target his pet and use Solar Beam.


suggested change

Remove the target requirement of Solar Beam, so druids can once again use the auto-attack without having an explicit target first. Even mesmers can use Spatial Surge without a target. This would also be a huge improvement for users of action camera—like myself.


II. make Astral Wisp being thrown


The druid’s 2nd staff skill Astral Wisp reaches its target by sliding across the ground—like Vine Surge or Shock Wave. For that reason, it can’t reach targets, which are above ground, e. g. enemies on walls in WvW, or don’t stand on a “continuous” floor, e. g. like Thaumanova Anomaly if some platforms are missing. This behaviour also doesn’t make any sense, since the skill doesn’t hit anything on its way—unlike Vine Surge or Shock Wave.



Astral Wisp worked like this since the release of the druid specialisation.


current situation

Since most staff skills are supportive, a staff can barely be used for any damage in “complicated” combat situations with uneven battle grounds.

Example: During a siege in WvW a druid can barely use his staff. Solar Beam requires a clear line of sight in order to hit, which is hardly possible for an attacker standing under the wall with enemies walking on it. Astral Wisp can’t reach those enemies as well as Vine Surge due to their behaviour mentioned at the beginning. Ancestral Grace doesn’t work on walls and Sublime Conversion is rather useless, if fired on the wall (instead of in front of an ally). Therefore, druids can’t use any staff skills effectively in this situation.


suggested change

Instead for Astral Wisp sliding across the ground, it should be thrown into the air like Fireball, Bolt of Wrath, or Mirror Blade. This way it can reach targets within range regardless of their position.

Edited by AllNightPlayer.1286
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4 hours ago, EvilZombie.6801 said:

It would be nice if solar beam have maybe 2 sec burning haha 

Let's see if this is liked: 

  • Staff:
    • solar beam target only allies and pets. 
    • Astral wisp target only allies and pets. 
    • Ancestral grace get the evade back, which was already was finicky at best. 
    • Vine surge apply the effect from Ancient seeds instead the immob on enemies. The trait is removed.
    • Sublime conversion: longer wall duration (increased in a 100%) . 
  • Glyphs: lost the dual design, only normal one is available at all times. 
    • They all use tethering mechanic similar to Unity. 
    • Pulses the effects every second up to 6 seconds.
    • No offensive glyph: replacing equality and alignment with empowerment and hast (for alacrity) .
    • Tides is the only one with no tethering mechanic . 
  • Druid: Loses control over pets F1-F3 (they are all cast on auto )  gain 3 extra buttons which changes how  glyphs and staff works. They work similar to Ele attunement . 
    • Heal / cleanse conditions on allies which crosses the tethers or tethered , cleanse condition on Staff#2 impact, heal on Staff#1. 
    • Apply burning to enemies crossing the tethers or solar beam, pulsing burning around the Astral wisp target. 
    • Apply support boons on allies crossing the tethers, solar beam and pulsing on astral wisp. 
    • Tethers same as Solar beam do as small amount of damage to enemies crossing them, as means to tag and rewards. 
  • Celestial Avatar:
    • All skills are PbAoE (AoEs around the druid) and instant cast. This avoids the clicking-miss moving target. 
    • Natural Convergence allows the Druid to reposition itself and is reworked to offer ally support, it's an ground target ranged teleport. 
  • Traits:
    • Cleanses provided by the Druid are conversions into regeneration and resolution. 
    • Baseline healing is really low, 50% of current healing could be an starter number.  A minor trait multiplies that base healing as outgoing healing to others so base healing to others is more rewarding than currently and it rewards greatly the healing power investment.  
    • One trait allows to have an Astral Wisp around the Druid while on combat.  (low self-sustain but great for others) 
    • Druidic Clarity pulses cleanses around the druid while in Celestial avatar. 
    • Verdant etching instead reducing the CD extends the Glyph tethering duration in 50%.  
    • Celestial Shadow works similar to an stealth gyro, last the 3 seconds but it creates a shadow area around the Druid which applies pulsing stealth inside the AoE .
    • Druid sustain should come from supporting others. As such self healing should be balanced around that and instead Glyph of Rejuvenation should provide low value for the  druid but very high for the colleagues. 
    • Grace of the land should return to the original design and provide a plain damage buff (instead stacking) with stacking duration. 

The rest stays the same. With a  permanent stow button the druid has 2 ways of play:

  • When solo can use the pet as an anchor for the staff and tether effects. In that gameloop the Druid has to move around the pet to it catches the enemy in the crossfire while keeping the pet alive. 
  • When in squads the druid stow the pet and uses team to achieve the same results. 

Balancing considerations:

  • A healer is very difficult to balance in a game without a trinity, because it is able to do DPS as well as healing. 
  • Sources of sustain in the druid kit - balancing options: 
    • healing the pet or allies - This should be the main sustain, it may require an small buff to compensate other nerfs.
    • Staff#2 pulsing healing around an Ally - Additional situational sustain, fine in current iteration.
    • Celestial avatar skills - Should have a baseline very low value and provide greater healing to others. 
    • Rejuvenation Glyph- Very low self sustain but greatly increased on others.Due to the AoE tethering nature is still better than core heals specifically for the Druid. 
    • Pets skills - Druid has no control, very situation / random results. Fine in current iteration.
  • In PvE (Fractals/Raids/Strikes) the low DPS the druid can generate is compensated by the multiple buff options ( alacrity/empowerment glyphs, Grace of the Land rework)  as such having a druid is very beneficial in the damage group. Druid has to rotate between glyph and celestial avatar while being able to provide some support.
  • In WvW the role can be switched to a full support by other set of traits like the self-astral wisp, celestial shadow, druidic clarity and celestial avatar skills. Vine surge can be used to empower the immob build side by a very directional and telegraphed skill. 
  • In small scale/pvp it can be swindle between both roles. 

let's see if this sticks. 


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4 hours ago, AllNightPlayer.1286 said:

Probably some interesting suggestions you have, @anduriell.6280. But wouldn’t it be better to write them in a separate thread?

I only wanted to suggest 2 simple changes with no effect on the balance.

If the devs are going to change something why not go all the way and fix everything. 

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