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Feeling of hammer orbs (3)

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I've been using for a time hammer. At first I did not like the orbs. It felt like a chore to maintain. Then I thought... hey! A mechanic that motivates me to change attunements so I'm more efficient. Started to like it. But at some point... I felt my mind collapsed. Was like... I'm tired of literally pressing 3 after every kitten attunement swap and having my mind filled with the seconds counter for the balls. I'm. Tired.

Now I swapped to sword/focus and kitten, I feel relieved. I still have to focus on play constantly swapping and not camping, of course. But... I don't know. I just feel relieved. Anyone actively playing hammer for a long time? How do you feel?

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Only been playing a few months, almost all on cata hammer (300 ish hours) and am now at muscle memory stage. With quick cata I fly through rotation and attunements and usually end up with almost everything on cooldown. The orbs no longer take brain cells to create or track and they provide some really powerful buffs. When I use other weapons I realize I actually like the orbs because it's the same thing across all attunements so, it that way, it's easier to learn.

Now, however, on my scrapper engineer, literally every single time I jump off my mount to enter combat I hit my three skill like I would on cata and I go hopping off the side of cliffs. Constantly. I'm hitting the three button constantly in everything, including other games. It's a little concerning how habitual it is now.

Give quickness catalyst a go. The faster animations make the spec feel so much better. At least to me.

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It's somewhat between "nice design" and "lazy/akward design".
Having a skill identical in all elements and encouraging you to change attunements to earn the Grand Finale with nice blast of condi... it's great. I don't think it was necessary after weaver, and later all changes on catalyst, but it's great.

Why nerf damage and condi duration ? 1 damage !
Same with the buffs ? Okai they're almost "baseline" as they loop themself, but it also means every other skills are nerfed consequently : "You'll earn +12% precision, +10% damage, so we cut damage upstream as balance" It's Pointless.

The orb mechanic is okai, but IMO I'd like to balance the buffs directly in skills : more damage, a cleanse/resolution on water #4 or auto-attack, barrier on earth etc. Then orb pulses boons/effects based on current element (might/quickness/heal/barrier...).
And why not change grand-finale to also reward camping one element ? 4 orbs : same, 3 orbs : +33% condi duration, 2orbs : +50%, etc. It's fun to stimulate element swapping, yet on practice with modifiers on specific elements  (Empowering flame, elemental polyphony, etc) or tempest overloads, and see how work hammer (mix range/melee, single target/cleave etc) I don't actually care to change element all the time, it could actually nerf me. May be it could be time to make "full bleeding" build okai, or power water.

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I did not consider the orb buffs causing a reduction in overall stats for balance; that's an interesting point. Having just started I never saw class changes/balance.

Eventually you do get a feel for the mechanic and you're doing the right thing by tying different styles to find what you enjoy most. Keep trying different weapons with different elite specs and see what's most fun and engaging. You'll find the attunement you prefer, the main/offhand that feels the coolest, and an elite spec that works the best for your play style and then you'll be good.

I find hammer so very unique with its mid-range/melee kinda-of cleave partial aoe kinda-of condi with power attacks. It's got everything and nothing at all; like a really cheap multitool.

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i will die on the hill that hammer 3 orbs should have been part of the elite spec mechanics.

i think the reason im so keen on the ele spear mechanic of the etchings is because it's coming off as so much less punishing than screwing up hammer orbs (and less punishing than ele pistol bullets too).

Edited by crosknight.3041
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Hammer is my favorite Ele weapon but the orbs have always been a sore point. Personally, I would suggest something like... 

Remove the redundant energy mechanic. Rework Energized Elements to add the orbs when you cast a Jade Sphere. Timer refresh when you get a new one, but grand finale is gone. Increase damage of the orbs, probably need to reduce the buffs since it'd be available to all weapons.

Then give hammer some actual useful 3 skills. I'm still shocked a weapon with such poor mobility wasn't give a pull or more CC to hold enemies in place.  Fire can be a 800 ranged DPS move, Water can be an Aura Transmute skill, Wind can be a low damage but maybe inflict slow or something and Earth can be a pull. 

Eh... Whatever. Hopefully Hammer will get some love in the future.


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Without SotO, I can only use hammer while on Catalyst.  The reason why I don't use it that much is because I really don't like Catalyst that much.

I understand the theme of the spec: it is to build momentum before unleashing a lot of skills.  It demands too much, though.  I need to use finishers to build empowerment and aura stacks, I need to attack enemies to build energy, I need to use the orbs to get stat boosts and also build my defenses, and I need to use the spheres to maintain buffs and the fields.  The entire rotation is a monotonous piano piece, but the real sore spot (in a literal sense) is the attunement swap after regaining energy.  It is that that point that I need to press the orbs, the attunement, the jade sphere, another orb, and maybe an augment/weapon skill as fast as my fingers can manage.

Outside of Catalyst it would still be quite monotonous to use.  The odd engagement ranges makes it awkward to use, and I don't see myself (or anyone else, for that matter) ever using this in WvW.  

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