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Heal Scourge needs QoL improvements


Szatko.8132

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Hello everyone, so I've been spamming heal scourge since the alacrity rework in all PvE gamemodes and I'm really happy that now it's a fully functional support build and not only a ress bot, as it used to be. That being said I think there's still so much to improve for this build and there are couple of problems that really stand out.

1. Sandstorm Shroud is very weird and unintuitive to use, because not only the pulsing barrier comes only out of the scourge themselves and not the shades (which kinda doesn't make sense, because scourge's skills are called sand shade skills for a reason), but also VFX may be confusing for the scourge player, because the ability looks like many boss mechanics.

2. The nerf for the shade duration from 15s to 8s was supposed to theoretically keep all the support output to only scourge's subgroup. In practice scourge is still able to consistently keep maxed out barrier on a full squad and can cover majority of the other sub's alacrity, which gates the build from actually being stronger in other parts of the kit.

3. Core necromancer lacks the utility that heal scourge needs and all the boons and support were forced into scourge's specific mechanics. Because of this there are very limited sources of certain boons, like protection being applied only via Sandstorm Shroud, fury only coming from Desiccate etc. Because of this it's more difficult and frustrating to keep all the neccessary boons on your team the moment your ally will go a little bit too far away from scourge when casting said skills.

So what should be improved/changed?

1. Change the way shade skills work by making them being able to target only 5 allied targets per cast (including the scourge) and summoning additional shades will only increase an area covered by shade skills. With this change the duration of sand shades can be increased, just a little bit for better QoL, but not to create a situation where you're able to tank the boss in raids and cover all the boons and healing for the squad on the other side of the map at the same time. I think a buff from 8s to 10s is enough.

2. Rework a VFX of a Sandstorm Shroud to increase gameplay clarity for scourge players. I'd love to see something like mechanist's barrier burst, but looking more "sandy" in order to fit the fantasy of the sand sage. Considering the changes from 1. you can make the sand shades also pulse the barrier to allies.

3. Bring more utility into core necro's kit. Currently necro doesn't have any kind of main hand weapon designed to fit a support role, with dagger being used solely to generate a lot of life force in order to be able to cast sand shade abilities more freely. With that being said I feel like there are so many weapon abilities, traits and utility skills that could be changed in order to bring more utility to the necro and I'm really surprised that the devs haven't thought about changing them yet. Here are my ideas:

- for protection uptime I thought to take it out of Sandstorm Shroud completely and merge it into a reworked version of a Locust Swarm (warhorn 5) that will summon a swarm of locusts in a targeted area that will damage enemies, generate life force per enemy struck, heal allies and apply protection and regen to them with every tick + make Eternal Life trait from Soul Reaping spec apply more protection and make it apply protection to allies in a 360 radius as well.

- Life Siphon (dagger 2) should be pulsing the healing to allies around the struck target and not only heal the necro. This ability could also potentially be changed to pack some boon application into that.

- Make Oppressive Collapse also apply might to allies around the necro and not only around the target struck and make Harrowing Wave apply a very small barrier on top of the things it already does

And there are more options to consider to make scourge's boon application less awkward and perhaps even open up a possibility for a heal quick Harbinger build.
 

Edited by Szatko.8132
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19 minutes ago, Dadnir.5038 said:

I would say that the issue is that the devs probably want healing builds to be focused on healing instead of boons. It's the players that try desperatly to optimize each character in order to reduce the support slot to the maximum.

Sure but they haven't given Scourge any healing skills.

Scourge has Barrier, boons, and rezzes.

The OP was suggesting to turn the Dagger/Warhorn into a group healing and support combo.

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21 minutes ago, Dadnir.5038 said:

I would say that the issue is that the devs probably want healing builds to be focused on healing instead of boons. It's the players that try desperatly to optimize each character in order to reduce the support slot to the maximum.

Hmmm... I would disagree, mainly because how crucial boon are in the current state of the game. Players want to optimize their builds, but that's the devs who give people a room for that. If they didn't like something they'd simply throw it out. Anyways, that's not even a topic of this thread xD

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2 minutes ago, Roadkizzle.2157 said:

Sure but they haven't given Scourge any healing skills.

Scourge has Barrier, boons, and rezzes.

The OP was suggesting to turn the Dagger/Warhorn into a group healing and support combo.

I mean, Scourge has some pretty nice healing besides the barrier. The things I wrote down are not supposed to increase the raw output of the scourge, but to disperse it among other parts of the core necro kit. Especially in case of their boon application, where you literally have 1 skill for a 100% fury uptime, 1 skill for a 100% protection uptime, 1 skill for a 100% swiftness uptime etc.

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16 minutes ago, Szatko.8132 said:

I mean, Scourge has some pretty nice healing besides the barrier. The things I wrote down are not supposed to increase the raw output of the scourge, but to disperse it among other parts of the core necro kit. Especially in case of their boon application, where you literally have 1 skill for a 100% fury uptime, 1 skill for a 100% protection uptime, 1 skill for a 100% swiftness uptime etc.

What healing does the Scourge have?

 

The only options I can see are the Well of Blood, and the choice of either traits giving heal leaving shroud or the group vampirism buff but both of those are mutually exclusive.

 

Everything else about the Scourge provides barrier and not heals.

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5 hours ago, Roadkizzle.2157 said:

What healing does the Scourge have?

 

The only options I can see are the Well of Blood, and the choice of either traits giving heal leaving shroud or the group vampirism buff but both of those are mutually exclusive.

 

Everything else about the Scourge provides barrier and not heals.

Well of Blood, shroud 4 with a Transfusion trait, Sandstorm Shroud with a Life from Death trait, warhorn 5 and ofc regen. Scourge doesn't need more healing, because of their superior barrier application. 

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Healing scourge is super strong...I love complaining...but healing scourge is like too brain dead easy to contemplate needing "qol" improvements for. 

The only brain squeeze hs has is the reliance of f4 to heal or save it to vacuum the dead..that is it.

The shroud pulse visual marker effect is annoying sure..but the fact that it pulses so many effects of your traits..it's too good I think it's fair the shades can't get the effects.

Weapons wise sure..they are not "full support" but just think they have so many great value buttons..it's hard to fixate on what more can they get. 

I think if you experience playing other healers you'll realise scourge has it pretty good. Not that other healers are bad..just more "finnicky". 

 

Edited by aetemes.2603
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1 hour ago, aetemes.2603 said:

Healing scourge is super strong...I love complaining...but healing scourge is like too brain dead easy to contemplate needing "qol" improvements for. 

The only brain squeeze hs has is the reliance of f4 to heal or save it to vacuum the dead..that is it.

The shroud pulse visual marker effect is annoying sure..but the fact that it pulses so many effects of your traits..it's too good I think it's fair the shades can't get the effects.

Weapons wise sure..they are not "full support" but just think they have so many great value buttons..it's hard to fixate on what more can they get. 

I think if you experience playing other healers you'll realise scourge has it pretty good. Not that other healers are bad..just more "finnicky". 

 

I wouldn't necessarily say that hscg is "super strong". Like yeah, this build can provide a lot of raw sustain via superior barriers and decent healing and rezzing, but utility is quite lacking - which is not a bad thing btw! The things I'd want to get changed don't involve any kind of buffing the build, but more of a "power shift". Less squad wide barriers, more sustain for the subgroup and utility more spread among different mechanics of the scourge. Also making shades last longer and pulsing barriers while using Sandstorm Shroud could potentially help the build with tanking during some raid boss encounters.

Changes with the Sandstorm Shroud I want are mainly to improve QoL and/or class fantasy. The current VFX is visually just a yellow circle that explodes with some black goo at the end... 

Edited by Szatko.8132
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Make the silly sand road apply it's boons in an AoE radius upon casting, rather than force me into running circles around those I want to apply stability to. 

Visual indicator for Sandstorm shroud needs to go. It's just visually inconsistent, and there are several more skills with the same issue, like ele's air dag 5. Why is this even a thing?

Source of vigor would be nice. I get that with the barrier applications we kind of don't care about people dodging, but some builds benefit from this boon being present and supplied and no other support seems to struggle with providing it. 

Final one, a pet peeve: Make big shade the alacrity trait. It's entirely useless and the big shade CAN actually be used for target-capping your boon application, like if it turned off you being the source of shade skills so it's only the big shade that pulses alac to 5 targets only. That could be great. Otherwise, it's a dead grandmaster with no real use in any gamemode; there's absolutely no reason for you to be running it at all. 

Otherwise, HSCG is nearly there. It's got almost everything, but the annoying bug of your Sandstorm shroud being only on you and inconsistencies in boon range applications across various skills (with honorary mention of the Silly Sand Road having effective range of like 50?) introduce a lot of clunk into what could be really good. 

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On 10/19/2023 at 8:08 PM, Dadnir.5038 said:

I would say that the issue is that the devs probably want healing builds to be focused on healing instead of boons. It's the players that try desperatly to optimize each character in order to reduce the support slot to the maximum.

If so, they would not have been gutting healing builds for the sake of stapling support to them. Notice how Healing scourge was better at healing before the rework, actually. Not to mention, pure healing builds are just plain not needed in this game. Healing scourge was probably the only one pure healing build that was ever popular, and it was so only for its noob carrying potential and being a ress bot, both of whose qualities were significantly cut down in the rework that added alacrity to it. All the other pure healing builds that existed before (including the probably best healer that ever was - original healing tempest) were never really used in any serious capacity, because a weaker healer that offered boons was always far more useful.

Hint: if Anet would ever truly think of separating the roles, they would be aiming at creating pure support specs (like original chrono - the build they very succesfully killed), instead of constantly pushing toward hybrid support meta like they do since PoF.

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50 minutes ago, Astralporing.1957 said:

If so, they would not have been gutting healing builds for the sake of stapling support to them. Notice how Healing scourge was better at healing before the rework, actually. Not to mention, pure healing builds are just plain not needed in this game. Healing scourge was probably the only one pure healing build that was ever popular, and it was so only for its noob carrying potential and being a ress bot, both of whose qualities were significantly cut down in the rework that added alacrity to it. All the other pure healing builds that existed before (including the probably best healer that ever was - original healing tempest) were never really used in any serious capacity, because a weaker healer that offered boons was always far more useful.

Hint: if Anet would ever truly think of separating the roles, they would be aiming at creating pure support specs (like original chrono - the build they very succesfully killed), instead of constantly pushing toward hybrid support meta like they do since PoF.

It was not, they actually boosted the healing potential with the rework. (With sandstorm shroud, serpent siphon and blood well) 

The only thing they nerfed is the revive power, and it's ok since it was clearly op, it would have destroyed the healer meta. Scourge still retains the main appeal of the feature (downed displacement) so it's still the noob carry, it's simply less op now. 

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12 hours ago, teeth.3501 said:

Final one, a pet peeve: Make big shade the alacrity trait. It's entirely useless and the big shade CAN actually be used for target-capping your boon application, like if it turned off you being the source of shade skills so it's only the big shade that pulses alac to 5 targets only. That could be great. Otherwise, it's a dead grandmaster with no real use in any gamemode; there's absolutely no reason for you to be running it at all. 

I actually think that was a very intentional, they wanted to kill that trait. Maybe it needs a different attractive quality added to it and compete.

I did remember one thing to fuss about..does anyone find f4 vacuum effect inconsistent range wise??

Maybe I am just too used to the old range..but I just find a lot of the times I thought it would work..and it did not? I even go out of my way to be closer and still sometimes it just doesn't work. Dunno. I do know random blinking while downed messes it up..or if someone vacuumed at the "kind of" same time it def gets messed up..I dunno I always feel there's a good chance it won't work. It's not smooth or reliable tbh.

Edited by aetemes.2603
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16 hours ago, aetemes.2603 said:

I actually think that was a very intentional, they wanted to kill that trait. Maybe it needs a different attractive quality added to it and compete.

I did remember one thing to fuss about..does anyone find f4 vacuum effect inconsistent range wise??

Maybe I am just too used to the old range..but I just find a lot of the times I thought it would work..and it did not? I even go out of my way to be closer and still sometimes it just doesn't work. Dunno. I do know random blinking while downed messes it up..or if someone vacuumed at the "kind of" same time it def gets messed up..I dunno I always feel there's a good chance it won't work. It's not smooth or reliable tbh.

I don't think they wanted to intentionally kill this trait tho, they just had no idea what to do with it. Anyways I think Sand Savant should just be totally changed into something else, perhaps something to increase the heal/boon output when playing wvw. I think having just 1 big shade is meh anyways, that's why I went around it to keep the Scourge's identity of having 3 shades out in different areas and capped the shade abilities at 5 allied targets.

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21 minutes ago, Szatko.8132 said:

I don't think they wanted to intentionally kill this trait tho, they just had no idea what to do with it. Anyways I think Sand Savant should just be totally changed into something else, perhaps something to increase the heal/boon output when playing wvw. I think having just 1 big shade is meh anyways, that's why I went around it to keep the Scourge's identity of having 3 shades out in different areas and capped the shade abilities at 5 allied targets.

You must have missed a few years of Scourge's drama.

Sand savant offer a lot of area denial and it's been a major pain point in competitive modes for years. The devs made everything in their power in order to tune down the area denial of the Scourge in competitive modes (be it exagerated CD, delayed skill effect with flashy orange circle tell, condition duration reduction, conditions removed, Scourge specific ICD/reduced effects on core traits... etc.) until they resigned themselves to make sure that players look away from Sand savant.

Shades will most likely never be bigger because it ould mean going back to 2018 Scourge's domination.

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On 10/26/2023 at 12:55 PM, Dadnir.5038 said:

You must have missed a few years of Scourge's drama.

Sand savant offer a lot of area denial and it's been a major pain point in competitive modes for years. The devs made everything in their power in order to tune down the area denial of the Scourge in competitive modes (be it exagerated CD, delayed skill effect with flashy orange circle tell, condition duration reduction, conditions removed, Scourge specific ICD/reduced effects on core traits... etc.) until they resigned themselves to make sure that players look away from Sand savant.

Shades will most likely never be bigger because it ould mean going back to 2018 Scourge's domination.

Yeah? I know about all of these, so that's why I wrote that this trait should be TOTALLY changed into something else = no more big shade, increased radius etc. 

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42 minutes ago, Szatko.8132 said:

Yeah? I know about all of these, so that's why I wrote that this trait should be TOTALLY changed into something else = no more big shade, increased radius etc. 

Currently it fill the role of area denial which is a corner stone of the scourge's design, changing it would weaken the scourge's identity even if you find it "useless" or "unworthy". Furthermore I'm pretty sure that the quiet majority, the players playing OW PvE only making up 90% of the game population, would feel that the loss of the large shade is a big blow to their "favorite character" since it would make it significantly harder for them to tag mobs.

Also, the thread is about making shades bigger basleine and I'm answering to the thread. My point to you was that killing this trait was 100% intentional.

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On 10/27/2023 at 7:09 PM, Dadnir.5038 said:

Currently it fill the role of area denial which is a corner stone of the scourge's design, changing it would weaken the scourge's identity even if you find it "useless" or "unworthy". Furthermore I'm pretty sure that the quiet majority, the players playing OW PvE only making up 90% of the game population, would feel that the loss of the large shade is a big blow to their "favorite character" since it would make it significantly harder for them to tag mobs.

Also, the thread is about making shades bigger basleine and I'm answering to the thread. My point to you was that killing this trait was 100% intentional.

Literally nobody uses Sand Savant for anything. Even for tagging mobs it's easier with a lower cd on Manifest Sand Shade without this trait and I literally didn't say anything about increasing the size of base shades.

Edited by Szatko.8132
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  • 2 weeks later...

No one use Sand Savant anymore.
There is simply no purpose even for OW against pack of mobs; they "buffed" the minor traits and they gave back the sandshade to "you" so you don't care about the 3 sand shades ; you don't have the insane DPS boost on torment, you don't have support without alacrity; but you still have this awful 8sec duration, and with 10sec CD on charges instead of 8, so you can't really spam it neither. 

But you earn +2 targets and aera denial... wow... Yes, this is interesting, but you sacrifice too much and it's not that convenient even for LI build.
It really needs a new purpose :. An additionnal effect oriented on control (immob/chill, float ... or the old Feed from Corruption (steal boons)) and no recharge increase.

 

Otherwise I find healscourge relatively okai now you have high alacrity duration, fury, might aegis etc, healing is okai. Even if you don't pulse the revive teleport anymore it's still pretty neat.
The only thing that bother me is the 8sec duration of Sand Shade;  they wanted skills on purpose rather than the need to spam it, they failed it for Sand Shades.
Dagger could be a bit more oriented into support/healing, but I just play condi/healscourge with scepter and pistol, it works fine with ~11-15K DPS.

Edited by Zhaid Zhem.6508
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While I agree with some of the things you said, especially the indicator for F5, I don't think scourge needs much more utility than a more applicable stab. Other than that, scourge can easily sustain 25-might, perma alac, fury, protection (this one is tight but possible), regen, swiftness (Edit: I stand corrected, warhorn locust swarm swiftness is not party-wide and trail of anguish has the same problem with swiftness as it does with stab, not very useable in real scenarios) while outsustaining someone under extreme damage in the training zone. On top of that, you are looking at a class capable of pulling people off of dangeours aoe fields as soon as they go down with almost no downtime, as well as resurrect them fairly quickly even after the nerfs. While heal scourge lacks the sheer output of healing other healers can do, there is a reason for that, if scourge was willy nilly dumping 8-10k heals like some other healers, why would you even play anything else? Between barriers and healing, you have more than enough tools to sustain someone through the most extreme things the game throws at you by literally rolling your face on your keyboard. Scourge also comes with ungodly amounts of constant condi cleanses and good boon rip access, I'd say those are super useful as well.

Edit: Btw, for people saying scourge has no heals, you have about 90% uptime on F5 which heals 1.1k per second and 100% uptime on regen that heals over 400 per second with healing gear, on top of that you have your healing skill which does over 2k per tick for over 10k healing total, as well as the heal at the end of F5. The 1.4-1.5k sustain healing combined with the heal skill is more than enough to top everyone of while you barrier them against further damage, they likely have some barrier before as well if you literally spam buttons so the incoming damage is heavily mitigated as well.

Edited by Passerbye.6291
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2 hours ago, Passerbye.6291 said:

While I agree with some of the things you said, especially the indicator for F5, I don't think scourge needs much more utility than a more applicable stab. Other than that, scourge can easily sustain 25-might, perma alac, fury, protection (this one is tight but possible), regen, swiftness while outsustaining someone under extreme damage in the training zone. On top of that, you are looking at a class capable of pulling people off of dangeours aoe fields as soon as they go down with almost no downtime, as well as resurrect them fairly quickly even after the nerfs. While heal scourge lacks the sheer output of healing other healers can do, there is a reason for that, if scourge was willy nilly dumping 8-10k heals like some other healers, why would you even play anything else? Between barriers and healing, you have more than enough tools to sustain someone through the most extreme things the game throws at you by literally rolling your face on your keyboard. Scourge also comes with ungodly amounts of constant condi cleanses and good boon rip access, I'd say those are super useful as well.

Edit: Btw, for people saying scourge has no heals, you have about 90% uptime on F5 which heals 1.1k per second and 100% uptime on regen that heals over 400 per second with healing gear, on top of that you have your healing skill which does over 2k per tick for over 10k healing total, as well as the heal at the end of F5. The 1.4-1.5k sustain healing combined with the heal skill is more than enough to top everyone of while you barrier them against further damage, they likely have some barrier before as well if you literally spam buttons so the incoming damage is heavily mitigated as well.

Swiftness? By running through people with trail of anguish? - really bad application method, and it's the same skill, that provides stability which you don't want to press on cooldown.

The other method would be taking the new febe relic. Which triggers of your heal skill, which you don't want to press on cooldown either. And you "loose" the relic effect of something like monk, mercy,...

Imo healscourge has one big problem, while it's still one of the strongest healing builds (together with druid) when combined with a quickness herald.

Problem:

Application method of boons. And that one problem consists of multiple problems:

Swiftness and stability: as described above.

Utility Skill Slots: there's only three utility skills. Good utility skills to slot in:

Trail of anguish, serpent siphon, signet of undeath, well of power, spectral grasp, corrosive poison cloud, dessicate, or even sandswell or Wurm.

If there's a quickherold in your party you at least won't need to worry about something like swiftness, fury, might, and sometimes stability. And a lot of dps build also provide group fury. 

But in general you will have trouble fitting all the skills you might want on your bar.

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2 hours ago, Nimon.7840 said:

Swiftness? By running through people with trail of anguish? - really bad application method, and it's the same skill, that provides stability which you don't want to press on cooldown.

 

I thought locust swarm swiftness was party-wide, entirely my bad on that, thank you btw.
I did mention stab being a problem so yeah, you're right.

If might is a problem, which ideally shouldn't be, but if it is, you can use the relic of the midnight king, your fear from F4 and any other CC procs it.

Edited by Passerbye.6291
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