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An idea to allow specializations to change their playstyle for fun without having to take a dedicated trait, therefore giving players more choice.


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I will try to keep this as short and sweet as I can (no promises) because I don't want y'all to feel like you have to skim it. I feel like it'll make no sense if you jump around so I hope you stick around to read it all. Here goes.


Just my opinions and ideas. I'm sure my idea will somehow be unbalanced for PvP and WvW so take some things with a grain of salt.


I love grandmasters that give you options for how you play your class. Increased heat on Holosmith and one sand shade for Scourge come to mind. These are fun and allow you to play how you like. However, some classes that would benefit from these types of grandmasters wouldn't take them because of opportunity cost. In other words, having to give up a grandmaster that increases your DPS for instance to take something more fun for you isn't worth the DPS loss.

When Vindicator was in beta, its skills worked differently. If I remember correctly, when you used a utility skill in one alliance legend, it would then automatically swap over to the other one, allowing you to use both Viktor and Archie's skills at the same time. Some people loved this, some hated it. I was one who hated it because at the time I wanted Heal Alac Vindicator to be a thing, back when Ventari gave alacrity. However, I now wish we had this back as an option. But the only way to give it back as an option currently is to make it a grandmaster.

However, I was looking to see if we could squeeze this into a Grandmaster to allow people to choose their playstyle, but the 3 grandmasters available don't deserve to be deleted just to make room for a grandmaster that would swap your playstyle back to how it was in the beta. One gives you more damage on dodge, another gives boons and extends boons on dodge, and the third heals on dodge. Forcing it onto a grandmaster would be a problem because how do we decide which grandmaster gets it? Putting it on the non-dps grandmaster means you can't use the beta Vindicator and do as good of DPS. Putting it on the DPS one forces you to play beta, taking away your choice, if you want to do DPS.


I think that some professions (I'm not saying all!) would benefit from having a toggleable playstyle that's outside of traits, that solely changes their playstyle without additional effects like boons or dps or healing with it. Instead, the only intention going into this is allowing people to choose the option that is most **fun** for them. I'll show some examples in a second, but I want to say that yes, there may be ways to increase your DPS by playing one style over the other, but my hope is that these options are close enough to one another that you aren't forced to take one and can instead choose the one that is most enjoyable to you. **Fun** should always be a priority.

So here are my ideas. Just like Ranger has a bunch of buttons to change how their pets works, some specializations could get a button that they can toggle outside of combat to change how their specialization works.

For Vindicator they can get a button that toggles them between Beta Vindicator's playstyle and the current Vindicator's playstyle, allowing you to play how you want without taking a grandmaster for it.


I don't know exactly where it would go or how it would look, but here's a poorly edited mockup. Essentially, it could toggle between two states: Alliance Follow-Up and Alliance Rest.

Hovering over the button would read something like: Alliance Follow-Up When using an Alliance Tactic skill, flip over between Archemorus and Saint Viktor. Alliance Rest Gain access to Alliance Tactics, allowing you to swap your Legendary Alliance Stances at will. Your Alliance skills no longer flip over.

I feel like this would be best outside of a grandmaster because there is no opportunity cost. Grandmasters often result in players wishing they could take two of them at a time because they love the playstyle of one but a second one is almost always required to upkeep DPS, Healing, or Boons. In this way, players could choose the fun playstyle that they enjoy without losing out. Sure, there will probably be an optimal DPS option, but my hope is that both toggled states have similar DPS and just offer the **choice** of what is most fun for players.

For Weaver. Okay, so this idea mostly came from a 4am trying to sleep thought experiment on Vindicator, but I tried to come up with ideas that fit other specializations. I had an idea for Weaver too, not one I think is really required, but one I thought would fit the theme of the idea I came up with. Imagine Weaver gets a choice to choose which direction their attunements rotate. Currently, attuning to a new element replaces your first 3 skills and moves the attunement you were wielding primarily to your 4-5 skills. What if Weaver could do it backwards?

Another poorly made mockup. https://imgur.com/a/HQpj7Yi

The button could toggle between something like Primary Weave and Secondary Weave or maybe Forward Weave and Reverse Weave. Primary Weave/Forward Weave: Attuning to a new element replaces your primary skills and moves your current primary attunement to your secondary skills. Secondary Weave/Reverse Weave: Attuning to a new element replaces your secondary skills and moves your current secondary attunement to your primary skills.

I have never before today thought of what Weaver would play like if you gained attunements backwards, but now I really want to try it out, lol. But why would this be a bad grandmaster? Once again, because of opportunity cost. Elements of Rage increases damage and gives precision. If this idea were a grandmaster and was baked into Elements of Rage, everyone would be forced to take it and now every single Weave would have to learn a new backwards rotation. Additionally, if it were baked into any other grandmaster, DPS Weaver in PvE would never be able **to choose** to play that way. Therefore, having a free choice outside of battle could really open up opportunities. Benefits of having a backwards weave would be easier access to CC skills on dagger, quicker meteor shower access, and instant ride the lightning, but you give up instant lava font, instant flame uprising, instant polaric leap, etc. But **the player** gets to choose how they want to play! (Again, could give busted DPS but my intent is really to just let players choose.)


Just to specify, I do think some things should stay on Grandmasters, especially when they come with a huge benefit and aren't just for fun. Holo heat grandmaster should stay the same because it interacts with damage in holo forge and Sand Savant should stay a grandmaster because otherwise it's a free easier way to upkeep DPS on DPS scourge, unless it were reworked a bit. Additionally, for PvP and WvW balance purposes, there could be an icon on your bar indicating which setting you have selected, and you shouldn't be able to change it mid match and definitely not in combat.

So there's my idea and my justifications. I was trying to think of other elite specializations that would benefit from this idea and I was thinking how Anet tried to turn Gyros into wells and the community united against it, but Anet could make this a toggleable option to appease those who do and those who don't want Gyros to be wells (but I haven't really looked into the balancing of that). Are there any other elite specializations that would benefit from this? I only really commented on the two I am more familiar with and could think of ideas for, but I'd love to hear your thoughts and if you think this could be a way to give players more choice and let them play the way they want. I've seen a lot of negative comments about the upcoming balance patch that mostly point at taking away people's abilities to choose their playstyle, so I thought this could be a good solution.


I think grandmasters are cool but shouldn't be the only way to change your playstyle for enjoyment. Perhaps adding a button that the player can toggle outside of combat to some elite specializations that change their playstyle would allow people to play the way that is most fun for them while hopefully being equal in balance between the two options.

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Check idea I made in forum thread few below this "what vindicator could be".

I suggested this some time ago bc the previous beta version with switch over was too random to use in any game mode and didn't work.

The one I suggested gives some controll/choosing options what you can do.

I too like that vindicator would be more in union with each other, but it needs more controll what you can do and no switch over on skill useage.

On demand having abilities ready is needed and switch over skills with such contradictary theme doesn't go along with that design.

The suggestions I made myself is okay if not everyone agrees, because such isn't implanted yet and changes/suggestions can be added

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The only time I saw Anet taking people's suggestions to heart was before PoF, with a crazy ton of elementalists asking for something like mixing the attunements and a very large portion of this people actually calling such a spec "weaver", literally almost as soon as the concept of elite specs was announced. I don't really think they'd hear us out as we offer one opinion here and there but whatever. About op's ideas though, we'd (we revenants) still suffer from the problem of Saint Viktor's skill set not offering any dps. I actually think something like weaving the two sets of utility skills we're offered to play with, akin to the weaver elite spec more iconic mechanic (specially when the elite skill goes brrr), would be really fun and thematic (and a new elite skill at least half as cool as the herald's one)

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