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Fresh Air Catalyst is a Problem


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Fresh Air Catalyst is quite a controversial topic these days and for good reason. Everyone is on the fence on if it is OP or not. Scepter on its own is not OP, focus on its own is not OP, and catalyst on its own is not OP. However, combining scepters terrible design that offers very little room for counterplay with the defense that focus and catalyst provide makes it hard to deal with outside of certain match-ups like untamed. It is a recipe for disaster in that it creates a playstyle where the catalyst can essentially get free damage, while only needing to worry about its defensive cooldowns.

I also want to point out that I am an ele main and I am not advocating for the build to be nerfed. I just want anet to look at the correct things.  I broke down why I think that this build is a problem and what anet can do to address this instead of just nerfing damage until its bad again.

Feel free to disagree or offer your own suggestions. This is not the end all be all solution. I could also be completely wrong on what the problem is. 

 

Scepter

1. Lack of counter play

  • If everything does damage, what do you dodge/block? Dragons Tooth is an obvious answer, but you still have phoenix, trident, shatterstone, lightning strike, and hurl that all do equal  or more damage than phoenix. Hurl, and trident need slower projectiles or larger animations.
  • Abilities that should be projectiles are not
    • Trident
    • Ice Shards
    • Phoenix - I get that its unblockable. It is probably better for counter play if you move unblockable to Dragons Tooth and made this a projectile.

2. Visual Clutter

  • Its hard to tell the difference between an earth auto attack and hurl or a water auto attack and trident. Trident projectile speed also makes it hard to react to. You are often being hit with multiple skills that creates too much visual noise to read and predict what is happening

 

Focus

1. Lack of counter play

  • Focus's entire kit is based on the enemy doing as little damage as possible through blocks/cc. Anet can fix this by buffing builds that offer unblockable.  Examples are sw/d thief, spellbreaker (maybe change revenge counter to offer 3 stacks of unblockable instead of copying conditions), necro (unblockable shouts and fears), herald/vindi shiro builds, DH (maybe make piercing light give unblockable to traps).
  • Anet should be removing invuln from pvp in general and changing to blocks. Change obsidian flesh into a channeled block. Lower the cooldown to 40s. Making it a block gives it counterplay and making it channel disables the ability to swap into water and put down a water field while invuln.

 

Catalyst

Catalyst is mostly fine and doesn't over perform on its own. Most of its issues is free sustain from its jade sphere.

1. Jade Sphere

  • 5s duration is too long. It gives too much flexibility in blasting fields while pulsing out very powerful boons. 4s i think is more fair while reducing the energy cost to 8 as compensation.

 

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An Ele main that wants to nerf Ele's strongest build in pvp... Hmm, sounds questionable. Lol... I'm all for playing fairly. Fighting against an OP build isn't fun. And playing one is quite boring as well. 

That being said, Scepter Cata buffs finally gives Ele the range mage playstyle they've been dreaming about. So neutering it isn't ideal.

Hurl's projectiles were actually sped up recently, so slowing them down doesn't seem likely. Obsidian flesh has been nerfed so many times already. It used to be invuln with full control of character. 3-4 sec to do whatever you please. Good ole days... But anyway, A block instead would work. I'd prefer something similar to guardian's focus 5. Multiple blocks with the freedom to free cast. CD decreased drastically of course 

Overall, boon corrupts, unblockables, and full condi builds can beat boon spam. The recent balance patch  doesn't seem to support those options but those are cata’s natural counters. I would support those buffs rather than nerfing Ele

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bro just said trident and shards arent projectiles when they definitely are(so is fire3 but its just unblockable but unblockable projectiles are still projectiles) - if everything does damage you remove the might access, its not that complicated. 

not gonna bother talking about anything else

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7 minutes ago, Grimjack.8130 said:

bro just said trident and shards arent projectiles when they definitely are(so is fire3 but its just unblockable but unblockable projectiles are still projectiles) - if everything does damage you remove the might access, its not that complicated. 

not gonna bother talking about anything else

thanks for pointing that out. My understanding was if it didn't explicitly say it was a projectile than it wasnt one.

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5 hours ago, Downstate.4697 said:

thanks for pointing that out. My understanding was if it didn't explicitly say it was a projectile than it wasnt one.

dont believe the tooltips, half of them are kittening wrong. 
range, projectile and cast-time you always assume is wrong unless proven otherwise lol.
for example according to tooltip grenade has 0.5s cast time, when in reality it has 1s or maybe even slightly more.
so its not just 0.9s so they gonna put 1s as its close enough, its so kittening bad its cringe.
ranger LB skills says 1500 range when in reality they have 1900 or more ( close to 2000-2050 I think ) kek

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like i've been saying since 2012, hard mitigation is best, people just think passive sustain/stats vitality toughness is strongest.

when active hard mitigation when used right can literally mitigate all damage.

and fresh air cata is literally the pinnacle of that.

and then you still see some gold player streaming cata and saying ele is not in a good state right now in pvp.

Edited by felix.2386
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14 hours ago, Stallic.2397 said:

An Ele main that wants to nerf Ele's strongest build in pvp... Hmm, sounds questionable. Lol... I'm all for playing fairly. Fighting against an OP build isn't fun. And playing one is quite boring as well. 

That being said, Scepter Cata buffs finally gives Ele the range mage playstyle they've been dreaming about. So neutering it isn't ideal.

Hurl's projectiles were actually sped up recently, so slowing them down doesn't seem likely. Obsidian flesh has been nerfed so many times already. It used to be invuln with full control of character. 3-4 sec to do whatever you please. Good ole days... But anyway, A block instead would work. I'd prefer something similar to guardian's focus 5. Multiple blocks with the freedom to free cast. CD decreased drastically of course 

Overall, boon corrupts, unblockables, and full condi builds can beat boon spam. The recent balance patch  doesn't seem to support those options but those are cata’s natural counters. I would support those buffs rather than nerfing Ele

Forgot to respond friend. I tend to agree with you that counterplay should exist more often. I know that defense spellbreaker is getting buffed and that sw/d thief is getting a buff. Bladesworn usually tend to win the match up too (though it also has too much sustain) but struggled a bit vs condi pressure. Overall the corrupt nerfs really suck for necro, but makes condi a bit healthier to deal with

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This is not the way to balance a game, just by nerfing ''the most op''. Ive took some time to get use to a similar setup as FA cata (focuses more on +dmg at -50% dmg for more sustained group fighting) and, its dmg is even more kitten. I did around 700k dmg in a match the other day, and im not an amazing cata player by any means.

The issue is not the complexity, becuase I find the long combo chains I have to do, are far harder than most other specs combo chains, I can be intterupted at a few points. The problem, quite frangly, is AOE dmg. The dmg I can do to 1 single target is already kitten.. yet that can scale up to anybody in range. I litterally have been hitting multiple people for 9-15k crits with fire grab, which I can x2 along with all other fire abilities with celerity. So basically, if I am in range, and not being attacked, at least one person is going to take at least 25k dmg, even if dodge rolling (the chain is long enough and dmg spread out enough where they cannot dodge it all). Nobody has survived this combo yet, because relentless fire is part of the chain, only killing or ccing me will stop it. And thats kind of kitten when you think about it, a lot of the power specs and even condi specs are like this.. kill or be killed, very little counter play like clensing (played enough temepest to know how futile clenses are vs a real condi build).

 

This is seriously not to brag at all. Its to say that the single target dmg alone is ridiculess (im not glass cannon either) and then it ramps upto AOE dmg. The developers of this game need to take a long hard look at AOE dmg. It is by far the most casual aspect of this game that puts any high dmg class on steroids. The whole support side of the game forces you to get within 600-300 of team mates.. where you are then smacked to kitten with random aoe dmg OR let team mate die (played more than enough temepst to feel that kitten).

 

They need to get aoe dmg under control, before they actually start looking at single target dmg. Willbender for example is still very toxic to fight against. Yes its been nerfed, yes it isnt FA cata.. but the amount of TP mobility to rince and repeat root>dmg.. its not fun to fight either.

 

And that moves onto the final point. All of the recent burst specs had 1 thing in common, way too much superspeed that allows them infinate sustain if played correct. Superspeed is currently the biggest crutch in the game, allowing people to run around with 11k hp.. puting out 30k dmg in 2 seconds. Nerf superspeed/high dps mobility and all those meme burst specs die, as they should.

 

 

Edited by Flowki.7194
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1 hour ago, Flowki.7194 said:

This is not the way to balance a game, just by nerfing ''the most op''. Ive took some time to get use to a similar setup as FA cata (focuses more on +dmg at -50% dmg for more sustained group fighting) and, its dmg is even more kitten. I did around 700k dmg in a match the other day, and im not an amazing cata player by any means.

The issue is not the complexity, becuase I find the long combo chains I have to do, are far harder than most other specs combo chains, I can be intterupted at a few points. The problem, quite frangly, is AOE dmg. The dmg I can do to 1 single target is already kitten.. yet that can scale up to anybody in range. I litterally have been hitting multiple people for 9-15k crits with fire grab, which I can x2 along with all other fire abilities with celerity. So basically, if I am in range, and not being attacked, at least one person is going to take at least 25k dmg, even if dodge rolling (the chain is long enough and dmg spread out enough where they cannot dodge it all). Nobody has survived this combo yet, because relentless fire is part of the chain, only killing or ccing me will stop it. And thats kind of kitten when you think about it, a lot of the power specs and even condi specs are like this.. kill or be killed, very little counter play like clensing (played enough temepest to know how futile clenses are vs a real condi build).

 

This is seriously not to brag at all. Its to say that the single target dmg alone is ridiculess (im not glass cannon either) and then it ramps upto AOE dmg. The developers of this game need to take a long hard look at AOE dmg. It is by far the most casual aspect of this game that puts any high dmg class on steroids. The whole support side of the game forces you to get within 600-300 of team mates.. where you are then smacked to kitten with random aoe dmg OR let team mate die (played more than enough temepst to feel that kitten).

 

They need to get aoe dmg under control, before they actually start looking at single target dmg. Willbender for example is still very toxic to fight against. Yes its been nerfed, yes it isnt FA cata.. but the amount of TP mobility to rince and repeat root>dmg.. its not fun to fight either.

 

And that moves onto the final point. All of the recent burst specs had 1 thing in common, way too much superspeed that allows them infinate sustain if played correct. Superspeed is currently the biggest crutch in the game, allowing people to run around with 11k hp.. puting out 30k dmg in 2 seconds. Nerf superspeed/high dps mobility and all those meme burst specs die, as they should.

 

 

Superspeed has been nerfed mostly and is still only a problem on scrapper, who is getting a nerf to their ability to gain fury from gyros. 
 

Also, are you talking about PvP? There is no way you are criting for that high in pvp

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6 hours ago, Downstate.4697 said:

Superspeed has been nerfed mostly and is still only a problem on scrapper, who is getting a nerf to their ability to gain fury from gyros. 
 

Also, are you talking about PvP? There is no way you are criting for that high in pvp

 

Superspeed is available to the FA cata burst rotation and the Weaver. Willbender basically has enough disengages to break away from most classes while waiting for CDs, while also having reversal, renew and 4 stunbreaks +easy access to stability that doesn't lock him out of other stances. It is on a longer cd sure, but renewal allows it to be used again, breaking stun and giving enough stability stacks to ensure you will not lock him down. What all this adds upto (for all such burst setups) is the abiliy to get in and out of combat before any of the ''sustained dps'' specs can ramp up any significant dmg. The burst specs are like playing against those unkillable thiefs, with similar or more dmg. Infact, FA cata is probably easier to lock down than willbender, because cata will only have 1 stack of stability, for the most part, while running focus means they have very limited disengage tools. Also, focus FAcata is fking hard, really hard.. I don't know where people get the idea its easy, just becuase it does high dmg. If one spec is going to do high dmg, then at least let it be something that is hard to get right. It shows, because if FA cata dmg was so easy, low ranked would be full of them, and it isn't.. its full of necros, mesmers and SB's. If anything, it would make more sense to call for more classes to be made harder to play. Now im not having a go at vindi here, but doing 3k+ crits just for dodging, something you do anyway, is a little too conveniant. Or take leap of faith on gaurd. Its a gap closer/escape tool. It does good dmg to upto 5 players with a large radious. It blinds upto 5 players, it heals, and its a combo finisher. Now go on ele and find me anything that does all that for pressing 1 button. So then ask yourself, would you want a class like that being stronger than FA cata? I sure wouldnt.

 

Yes I'm talking about pvp. As I said, when also considering relentless fire, which also makes the attacks unblockable (and power overwhelming for 300 extra power), I do +50% dmg to players below 50% hp. Depending on the enemies toughness, mitigation utility, vulnerability etc, the fire hand crits range from around 4-15k, with around 9k crit being the avg. Fire hand is not the most reliable ability though, but it was just to give an idea of how kitten cata dmg can be, becuase I can x2 that. Im also not great as said, but when I get it right, it just feels OP, as I can down somebody from full hp, and then fully kill them when downed, in 10 seconds. There is nothing but complete immunity skills, or killing/stunning me that can stop it.

Edited by Flowki.7194
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I think it all boils down to the ammount of active defenses and access to Waterfieldcombos that cata has, without needing to sacrifice any damage at all. You have enough tools, to have a significant time where you dont take any damage at all. Now we add a little bit of Superspeed ontop and all of a sudden you can weave in and out of combat relatively safe, altho you are traited like a glasscannon.

21 hours ago, Flowki.7194 said:

even if dodge rolling (the chain is long enough and dmg spread out enough where they cannot dodge it all). Nobody has survived this combo yet

 i would be a bit cautious with big words like this, because its obviously fakenews, or you are fighting against bots in the training area, and have not yet realized that this isnt ranked pvp.

13 hours ago, Flowki.7194 said:

It does good dmg to upto 5 players with a large radious. It blinds upto 5 players, it heals, and its a combo finisher. Now go on ele and find me anything that does all that for pressing 1 button.

So then ask yourself, would you want a class like that being stronger than FA cata? I sure wouldnt.

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Evasive_Arcana

3k+ Damage to 5 players ✔️  |  Blinds ✔️   |   heals(also cleanses)✔️  |   combofinisher ✔️

If thats not satisfying enough, because arguably it doesnt do all of it at once...., ill gladly explain to you how Transmute fire does 7 things at once with even more damage.

But It makes absolutely 0 sense to compare one specific button from one specific build (and it being the professionmechanic at that), then label it as stupid, and somehow justify your spec being stronger, with a slight tone of  "Atleast Cata takes skill". Thats not how balancing works 😄

21 hours ago, Flowki.7194 said:

The problem, quite frangly, is AOE dmg.

This is something i can somewhat get behind.... mindless AoE spamming on points is killing gw2 pvp. It is not a Cata specific problem tho. Its a problem that stems from basing your competetive gamemode around holding tiny circles.

Edited by Sahne.6950
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7 hours ago, Sahne.6950 said:

I think it all boils down to the ammount of active defenses and access to Waterfieldcombos that cata has, without needing to sacrifice any damage at all. You have enough tools, to have a significant time where you dont take any damage at all. Now we add a little bit of Superspeed ontop and all of a sudden you can weave in and out of combat relatively safe, altho you are traited like a glasscannon.

 i would be a bit cautious with big words like this, because its obviously fakenews, or you are fighting against bots in the training area, and have not yet realized that this isnt ranked pvp.

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Evasive_Arcana

3k+ Damage to 5 players ✔️  |  Blinds ✔️   |   heals(also cleanses)✔️  |   combofinisher ✔️

If thats not satisfying enough, because arguably it doesnt do all of it at once...., ill gladly explain to you how Transmute fire does 7 things at once with even more damage.

But It makes absolutely 0 sense to compare one specific button from one specific build (and it being the professionmechanic at that), then label it as stupid, and somehow justify your spec being stronger, with a slight tone of  "Atleast Cata takes skill". Thats not how balancing works 😄

This is something i can somewhat get behind.... mindless AoE spamming on points is killing gw2 pvp. It is not a Cata specific problem tho. Its a problem that stems from basing your competetive gamemode around holding tiny circles.

Well you just said it, combos. I've played multiple classes and the combos on cata are harder to maintain, while being a key element of its survival and dps. It isn't genious level stuff but it is harder than say scrapper gyro, which just pulses combos for fun. Most of the combos you do on ele have to be for specific reasons and fully intentional, as they offer very different mechanics depending on the enemy/situation. Cata takes that to a slightly higher level given the jade+stability/quickness/might mechanics.

 

What fake news? I said multiple times there are multiple ways the dps chain fails, so I dunno why you feel the need to burn strawmen.

 

Evasive arcane has an incredibly small radious, and is stance specific. Going into water for a clense+heal then locks you out of the current stance for 8-10 seconds. Depending on the stance you are locked out of, that is a cost to dmg, or mitigation if the situation suddenly changes. The same applies for any of the dodge roll benefits, they have multiple situations to choose from, while locking you out of stances (bar the obvious FA trait benefit on crit). Furthermore, the mechanics of ele mean some of those dodges are integrel to your sustain/utility, meaning you have to dodge for the trait/combo effect, which exhausts dodges for an actual evasive dodge. That point in itself does not make ele ''hard'' infact I would say that it is ''less reliable'' in terms of jumping stances, utilizing dodges and locking yourself out of abilities, in constantly changing fights. Everybody who has a single weapon swap understands that concept of swapping to a weapon, and it turning out to be a mistake, the ele stance mechanics double that chance of error. You know full well this is not comparable.

 

More to the point, I already said the single target cata dmg is kitten, let alone the ramp up to AOE. All burst dmg is kitten, unless it is coordinated, well timed burst+CC from multiple dps, to bring a person down. All AOE dmg/mitigation is kitten... I always thought healing is better as single target, and even tempest auras should be single target, so you have to put reflects etc on the right people. That opens up fake bursts.. baiting out auras etc.. all that good counter and tactic based play GW2 clearly lacks. Relatively speaking, IMO ele is the most complicated class mechanically speaking, yet it is not complicated compared to most of the classes in wow (when it was good). I think even my tank warrior had more abilitys to use than cata. Although the combos and dodges in Gw2 somewhat make up for it. I say somewhat, becuase I feel dodge has become too much of an integrel roll in Gw2 ''Dodge now or die''. Gw2 players say thats skill, I just say its a terrible power creep game design that allows 1 single dps to kill you in 3 seconds if you miss a dodge.

 

Before anybody jumps in, if you don't think the burst in this game is kitten, or that dodging is way more important than it should be, I can only say this; If you think cata is too strong ''just dodge'' ;p.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Flowki.7194
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36 minutes ago, Eddie.9143 said:

You think it's bad now wait till patch when they have signet options another blast finisher lower cds and quickness on every sphere. Tempest and cata will be bonkers 

 

The game would instantly improve over night, if it was only support who were able to heal, and SB (or the likes) who were able to stun/root, and dmg reduced by 20+% so that these demi-god can do it all dps will stop going far thinking they can single handedly carry (game developers fauls). Right now, it would be more optimal if both teams just sent their 1 best DPS to mid, and the winner takes all.. rather than dragging out the kitten show that is 9/10 Gw2 ranked games, the endless cycle of near/far 1v1s. Its suppose to be a team game ;/ it isn't, not for most of us. So I hope tempest does get buffed even more, so that it can fk with the dps and remind them its not a 1v1 FPS game. I mean the burst is getting that way, first one to land a hit wins (I just did 15k dmg with 1 pheonix).

Edited by Flowki.7194
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48 minutes ago, Eddie.9143 said:

You think it's bad now wait till patch when they have signet options another blast finisher lower cds and quickness on every sphere. Tempest and cata will be bonkers 

its not getting quickness on every sphere in pvp. the trait works in a weird way. this is a good way of looking at it
currently the air sphere still gives quickness in pvp
but u need the trait for it to do quickness in pve
so the effect that makes it do quickness in pve is getting applied to all the other spheres in pve
but thats not how it works in pvp
so why would they split the effect in pvp when it doesnt exist in pvp?

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19 minutes ago, Leonidrex.5649 said:

they didnt learn from chrono, that resetting every cooldown is OP. 😄 
cata is the problem, same as tempest is the problem

Resetting cooldowns is not OP, wow implimented that function on multiple classes, they simply did a better job of it. 

 

I agree with Cata, the dmg is kitten. But get off the Tempest band waggon.. for 95% of the playerbase tempest is fine, since its effectiveness is hard capped by the amount of selfish dps who do not know how to play as a team. Litterally.. team work AND dps compitence is needed to make tempest OP, and there is not much team work in gw2 ranked.. there are plenty of compitant ''1v1 heros'', not being sarcastic there, its true.

 

And what do you even mean? Aside from tempest, there is only core gaurd. So is it that tempest is too strong, or all the other supports are just too weak? The tempest can spam AOE auras which is kitten, but all dps can spam AOE dps/stuns, so where are we drawing lines and exceptions for dps vs support?

Edited by Flowki.7194
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3 hours ago, Flowki.7194 said:

Resetting cooldowns is not OP, wow implimented that function on multiple classes, they simply did a better job of it. 

 

I agree with Cata, the dmg is kitten. But get off the Tempest band waggon.. for 95% of the playerbase tempest is fine, since its effectiveness is hard capped by the amount of selfish dps who do not know how to play as a team. Litterally.. team work AND dps compitence is needed to make tempest OP, and there is not much team work in gw2 ranked.. there are plenty of compitant ''1v1 heros'', not being sarcastic there, its true.

 

And what do you even mean? Aside from tempest, there is only core gaurd. So is it that tempest is too strong, or all the other supports are just too weak? The tempest can spam AOE auras which is kitten, but all dps can spam AOE dps/stuns, so where are we drawing lines and exceptions for dps vs support?

 Support Scrapper, Scourge, Firebrand, are definitely underperforming. Tempest is very strong, but it would struggle a lot more, if it had these three to compete with. Scourge would be a perfect teamfight counter because they completely ignore mag/shocking aura, and punish boon spam. 

Druid has a supportive toolkit, but plays very selfish. Not sure what needs to be done to make its support better. 

Ventari Rev on the other hand. I'm gonna say it. Ventari is sleeper. It's much better than people give it credit for. 

Edited by Kuma.1503
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You are arguing with a ~silver player thats terrible at this game. 

Its fun to fight a zerk class that riddled with instacasts weakness/blind spam that has access to tons of boons/stab/reflects/projectile hate, channeled blocks (very low cd if you use it withint earth sphere) and invul without sacrifices.

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1 hour ago, Kuma.1503 said:

 Support Scrapper, Scourge, Firebrand, are definitely underperforming. Tempest is very strong, but it would struggle a lot more, if it had these three to compete with. Scourge would be a perfect teamfight counter because they completely ignore mag/shocking aura, and punish boon spam. 

Druid has a supportive toolkit, but plays very selfish. Not sure what needs to be done to make its support better. 

Ventari Rev on the other hand. I'm gonna say it. Ventari is sleeper. It's much better than people give it credit for. 

Yeah thats true, I played quite a bit of Ventari support, but it got way too frustrating. Most team mates just run out of range, forcing constant micro manedgement of totem, and I found I relied way too much on team peeling, since vent has no stun breaks, and to go into dwarf means no team healing, clense, dome etc. I think it would make a really good ''half support'' along side something like a druid. Roots for melee, dome for ranged+clense combo, at least if the vines were fixed to be applied in a more thoughtful way.

Edited by Flowki.7194
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7 minutes ago, semak.7481 said:

You are arguing with a ~silver player thats terrible at this game. 

Its fun to fight a zerk class that riddled with instacasts weakness/blind spam that has access to tons of boons/stab/reflects/projectile hate, channeled blocks (very low cd if you use it withint earth sphere) and invul without sacrifices.

Who is arguing? who said cata didn't have all that? You sound so triggered.

Edited by Flowki.7194
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I've pointed out the problem in another thread.

TL;DR it's a ranged assassin carry that has almost the same amount of blocks/evades/invulns/stability as melee bruiser builds.. The other problem is that Catas animation/effect balance is absolutely terrible. High damage instant cast skills with no animations. Huge celestial beasts that do very little. It's like the designer thought to himself "How could I make the relation between animation/tells/effects on this spec as idiotic and annoyingly illogical as possible?" and thus Cata was born. 

The solution is probably to reduce their survival and for elementalist as a whole to get animations on skills that actually make sense. Reducing the stab on aura is probably the smartest balance move since spheres give aura finisher combos out the wazoo.

 

 

Edited by Master Ketsu.4569
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