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Spear's true role.


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The spear is turning out to be quite the game changer indeed.
Underneath all the resetting gimmics and worries about low Life force generation sleeps
a deliberate design that aims to change things up for power necros in a big way.


Shroud weapons.

So far every power weapon we have is simply put a piece of junk, no exceptions.
And that is for a good reason - they are designed to work with our Shroud which is not only our main dps source,
but also fixes the otherwise terrible flaws of each of our power weapons.

GS is useless vs even a remotely mobile enemy. It's the Shroud that has mobility to catch up.
Axe is terrible if you can't switch to shroud the moment you use the good stuff and only autos remain.
Dagger and Sword aren't even trying to pretend - their role is utility/resource generation, while real damage is left up to Shroud.


The first anti-shroud weapon.

And then there's the spear, that is simply build different.
It's kit feels far more complete and not in dire need of Shroud to save it from itself.
Mobility, good burst, sustain, boon hate - all these things are present here along with some resets.

And there are other ways spear is whispering into your ear that you don't need Shroud as badly as you thought:

  • Soul Shard healing gets stronger the lower you get - encouraging staying in your base form even when things turn dire.
  • Isolate reset on shroud exit encourages short Shroud stays if not just flashing it out right.
  • Mediocre life force generation once again pushes against over reliance on your profession mechanic.
     

So what does this all mean for a necro?

A new playstyle and with that  - new builds.
Spear puts a lot more power into the weapon and by extension - base form necro compared to other choices.
It's also strongly skewed towards 1v1 scenarios, which up till now aren't our forte.

Some less used traits/gear and even specs may get dusted off with this one.
Here are few scenarios that I forsee:

  • Spear core necros - core shroud sucks, plain and simple. Spear promises more power in your base form and with that,
    better benchmarks (though obviously still behind e-specs).
     
  • sPvP power roamers - Spear has the chase potential with Isolate and it's reset. While not a golden solution
    it's another tool in our pursuit toolbox that is recently getting quite fat.
    Spectral Grasp + GS pull or mh sword leaps + Spear Isolate is enough pressure to force out dodges from
    many other professions and still have means of getting on top of them.
    Not to mention the juicy Spear 5 and it's massive boon hate AoE. While there are still some issues (no fear on spear), this looks promising.
     
  • Blood Magic spear necros - this traitline and weapon are made for each other. Soul Shards have insane synergy with both 
    vampiric traits as well as Last Rights which essentially double dip on their features (life stealing and healing boost when low).
    And then there's Blood Bank and Life from Death. With Isolate you can initiate a fight from big range then build up barrier before you engage.
    Perforates with Soul Shards + Shroud exits will keep the barrier generation going strong.
     
  • Unholy Sanctuary - spear turns this purely defensive trait into a double edged sword - both edges aimed at your enemy however!
    Spear's daredevil approach (stay in base form when low,  because Soul Shards healing will  increase) encourages picking this trait as a safety net.
    Even if you mess up, Unholy Sanctuary will bail you out once every 30s (provided you have the life force for it).
    The thing is it ignores shroud cooldown! So you can use shroud to reset Isolate which ends up with big fat free Perforate,
    then soon after let them kill Shroud you for another Isolate reset and more damage and healing from Perforate!
     
  • Crusader gear Spear Reapers -  as Spear favors your base form, tanky gear to help you survive will become more valuable.
    Lesser damage taken = more effective health and having some extra healing power = stronger Soul Shard healing.
    Perfect for some solo bolo bossing sessions. There is a huge issue of crit chance deficiency, but Reaper's got it under control
    with Decimate defenses and Bitter Chill.
Edited by StraightPath.3972
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3 hours ago, StraightPath.3972 said:

Spear promises more power in your base form and with that, better benchmarks (though obviously still behind e-specs).

3 hours ago, StraightPath.3972 said:

Soul Shards have insane synergy with both  vampiric traits

I think that's where your fantasy is misleading you. You have to perceive soul shards like a stack of vampiric mark (from vampiric signet). It mean that those shards won't deal critical hits nor proc anything. The benchmark could careless about the 15k damage of the soul shards, the truth is that it's nothing but a drop in the ocean.

Vampiric traits potential with perforate are no better than vampiric traits potential with death spiral (and it's pretty low, around 1k heal max if you have the opportunity to consume a vampiric mark stack from blood bond which might be difficult as spear lack access to bleed anyway).

From how it look, the spear isn't even a match for GS in term of benchmark because GS's gravedigger have the damage potential of perforate and more access to CD reset (since it's CD reset on the AA and while hitting foes under 50% health) while nothing in the spear have the damage potential of nightfall which is an important component of the dps rotation of the benchmark.

3 hours ago, StraightPath.3972 said:

tanky gear to help you survive will become more valuable.

And that's where the problem lie. The concept of having the necromancer rely on "tanky gear" isn't new at all but it has long proven to be an underperforming option.

3 hours ago, StraightPath.3972 said:

Perfect for some solo bolo bossing sessions.

You don't survive a PvE boss in melee range by relying on gear or health point, this is actually one of the first lesson a player learn when begining GW2 as there are even tutorial quests that tell you to learn to dodge. Even with an hypothetic 15k heal on perforate (which isn't going to happen, even in PvE you shouldn't expect the full 6 soul shards stacked to heal you for more than 3k) the boss would eat you alive. A single pulse of blind from GS nightfall give you more survivability than 6 soul shards total heal.

4 hours ago, StraightPath.3972 said:

Not to mention the juicy Spear 5 and it's massive boon hate AoE

You're massively underestimating the rate at which every single profession build boons (and might stacks in particular). 99% of the players you encounter won't even feel the boon hate of the spear skill#5 and that is if they don't just simply dodge it.

NB: You actually made me laugh with your unholy sanctuary delusions. That's one hell of a way to waste a trait choice you got there and, in fact, even a traitline choice. It's like you want to take all the bad options and expect good result in practice.

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7 hours ago, StraightPath.3972 said:

Spear's true role.

Is to get players hyped for the new mini expansion as it was the easiest thing they could add that can still generate enough hype to get the community excited talking about something. Remember when we used to get new Elite Specs with each expansion, have just a weapon and go play over there.

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4 hours ago, Dadnir.5038 said:

You don't survive a PvE boss in melee range by relying on gear or health point, this is actually one of the first lesson a player learn when begining GW2 as there are even tutorial quests that tell you to learn to dodge. Even with an hypothetic 15k heal on perforate (which isn't going to happen, even in PvE you shouldn't expect the full 6 soul shards stacked to heal you for more than 3k) the boss would eat you alive. A single pulse of blind from GS nightfall give you more survivability than 6 soul shards total heal.

How does Nightfall help you survive at all against bosses?  They're all immune to Blind due to being defiant.  While I don't expect the soul shards heal to get any higher than 3k either, it does actually provide better defense against bosses than anything Greatsword has.  Greatsword is definitely higher sustained DPS, but all spear needs to be is a weapon swap right before and after Shroud in PvE.

Edited by Drarnor Kunoram.5180
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On 6/24/2024 at 8:02 PM, Drarnor Kunoram.5180 said:

all spear needs to be is a weapon swap right before and after Shroud in PvE.

Yea for PvE, basically either Spear 2 -> 4*2 -> 2 -> Shroud -> 2 -> 4*2 -> 2 -> Swap is greater than Dagger 3 -> 2 -> Shroud -> 3 -> 2  (+ Sword 4*2 and 5*2) and it replaces Dagger/Sword, sending it to the trash, or it isn't and goes straight to the trash itself. 

The advantage Dagger and GS have is that Life Siphon and Nightfall can be carried into Shroud to benefit from Traits like Death Perception and Reaper's Onslaught, so Spear would have to be just flat out way better Dagger. 

 

For PvP, the Spear kit is somewhat similar to Core Death Shroud's mechanics, in that Isolate -> Distress is pretty much just Dark Path -> Dark Pursuit with more than twice the Cooldown, and then Perforate and Addle are higher damage but single target Life Transfer and Tainted Shackles, with the Heal + Damage Combo and Immob. 

The major differences of the Kits being Core Shroud having Range, AoE, Fear, Reveal, 50% Damage Reduction and secondary health active, and Spear likely having higher single target Damage and AoE Boon Hate. 

What really confuses me is people calling Necro Spear a mobile weapon, while Core Shroud is considered a snail - meanwhile Core Shroud has literally the same mobility mechanic, but at 8 second CD, while Spear has it on an 18 second CD (+resfresh after leaving Shroud). Death Shroud never felt mobile or like some player chasing beast, so I really don't see why people seem to think Spear will be.

As for:

On 6/24/2024 at 10:49 AM, StraightPath.3972 said:

The first anti-shroud weapon.

And then there's the spear, that is simply build different.
It's kit feels far more complete and not in dire need of Shroud to save it from itself.
Mobility, good burst, sustain, boon hate - all these things are present here along with some resets.

And there are other ways spear is whispering into your ear that you don't need Shroud as badly as you thought:

  • Soul Shard healing gets stronger the lower you get - encouraging staying in your base form even when things turn dire.
  • Isolate reset on shroud exit encourages short Shroud stays if not just flashing it out right.
  • Mediocre life force generation once again pushes against over reliance on your profession mechanic.

This kind of boggles my mind. 

Again, Spear isn't mobile - unless you consider Death Shroud a Speed demon (in which case, idk if we are playing the same game). 

As for Spear being some revolutionary new skill kit in that it is Melee Burst+Sustain+Boon Hate+Immob - that's already in the game, it's literally Dagger MH (minus the great LF gain).

There might be few weapons in the whole game that have seen less use in PvP than Necro Dagger Mh. How anyone could consider this skill kit some breakthrough "First Anti-Shroud" weapon when it has no stab, no duration block or invuln, no evades, no projectile hate, nothing, especially while being melee, is completely beyond me. 

I also don't see any "insane" BM synergy here beyond what Dagger has

 

TL;DR:

Spear is just Dagger Mh with a dash of Core Death Shroud. I really don't see any crazy new build tech here.

Edited by Asum.4960
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@Dadnir.5038 You do make good point about Soul Shards possibly being life steal and as a result non-crits.
We'll see during the beta how it pans out. As for your other points:

I'm not expecting 15k heals from perforate nor to just facetank any hit - I know what dodges are.
But I know full well that faced with a really tough 1v1 a necro gets huge value from a dagger (healing) or/and more tanky gear
on top of his own build in defenses. Not everyone's a necro God, sometimes stats from gear do help.

As for Unholy Sanctuary we'll see how it pans out. For me it's an interesting twist on it's usage.
I may be both dellusional or onto something - a-net will decide here with numbers they'll slap on the spear, both dps and healing wise.

@Asum.4960 You're forgetting one crucial thing - Dark Path doesn't work.
Both it's horrible cast time and extremely slow projectile see to that.
That and it's attached to the worst Shroud we have.


 

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21 hours ago, StraightPath.3972 said:
  • Spear core necros - core shroud sucks, plain and simple. Spear promises more power in your base form and with that,
    better benchmarks (though obviously still behind e-specs).
     
  • Blood Magic spear necros - this traitline and weapon are made for each other. Soul Shards have insane synergy with both 
    vampiric traits as well as Last Rights which essentially double dip on their features (life stealing and healing boost when low).
    And then there's Blood Bank and Life from Death. With Isolate you can initiate a fight from big range then build up barrier before you engage.
    Perforates with Soul Shards + Shroud exits will keep the barrier generation going strong.
     
  • Unholy Sanctuary - spear turns this purely defensive trait into a double edged sword - both edges aimed at your enemy however!
    Spear's daredevil approach (stay in base form when low,  because Soul Shards healing will  increase) encourages picking this trait as a safety net.
    Even if you mess up, Unholy Sanctuary will bail you out once every 30s (provided you have the life force for it).
    The thing is it ignores shroud cooldown! So you can use shroud to reset Isolate which ends up with big fat free Perforate,
    then soon after let them kill Shroud you for another Isolate reset and more damage and healing from Perforate!
     
  • Crusader gear Spear Reapers -  as Spear favors your base form, tanky gear to help you survive will become more valuable.
    Lesser damage taken = more effective health and having some extra healing power = stronger Soul Shard healing.
    Perfect for some solo bolo bossing sessions. There is a huge issue of crit chance deficiency, but Reaper's got it under control
    with Decimate defenses and Bitter Chill.

I dig the hopium of this post but spear wont change anything about how terrible those trait choices are. 

Atleast for wvw spear wont change anything about how we currently do necro builds as it doesnt enable any new synergies. 

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3 hours ago, StraightPath.3972 said:

@Dadnir.5038 You do make good point about Soul Shards possibly being life steal and as a result non-crits.

Worse, Life Steal neither can Critical Strike, nor is it affected by any other damage multipliers (with the very unique exception of Soul Barbs, which genuinely increases all damage as it says) or Vulnerability - which is what basically dooms every skill with Life Steal, in PvE at least, to be trash, as Anet usually "balances" around the fact that it's present (so while Life Siphons seem to provide similar or greater damage output on paper/in the tooltip, in practice they are thousands to tens of thousands of damage behind comparable Strike Damage skills). 

Everything Life Steal in the entire game's history either launched terribly and stayed terrible forever, or launched OP and got nerfed into being terrible.

3 hours ago, StraightPath.3972 said:

@Asum.4960 That and it's attached to the worst Shroud we have.

3 hours ago, Drarnor Kunoram.5180 said:

Dark Path isn't used because it's on core shroud.  The fact Dark Path also is a ground-hovering projectile makes it much less reliable.  Isolate has 300 range on it, faster travel time, and doesn't get blocked by elevation changes and is part of a more coherent kit.

Sure, but Core Necro was meta for years in PvP - but this skill never was a selling point of it. 

Isolate does look better, don't get me wrong, but it still looks really slow. As for how well (or poorly) it interacts with terrain remains to be seen. As for range, they are both 1200.

 

We'll see.

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14 hours ago, Drarnor Kunoram.5180 said:

How does Nightfall help you survive at all against bosses?  They're all immune to Blind due to being defiant.  While I don't expect the soul shards heal to get any higher than 3k either, it does actually provide better defense against bosses than anything Greatsword has.  Greatsword is definitely higher sustained DPS, but all spear needs to be is a weapon swap right before and after Shroud in PvE.

But blind protect you against adds at least. The bosses you can solo at melee range have adds more often than not.

Edited by Dadnir.5038
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On 6/25/2024 at 2:05 AM, Dean Calaway.9718 said:

Is to get players hyped for the new mini expansion as it was the easiest thing they could add that can still generate enough hype to get the community excited talking about something. Remember when we used to get new Elite Specs with each expansion, have just a weapon and go play over there.

ArenaNet was never going to commit to a new set of elite specialisations every year. I do hope, though, that they are leaving enough flex in development to be able to work on a fourth set behind the scenes. Some professions really need another elite specialisation to fill at least one massive gap.

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On 6/25/2024 at 9:59 AM, Asum.4960 said:

Sure, but Core Necro was meta for years in PvP - but this skill never was a selling point of it. 

Like im sure there was some 2-3 years of bunker metas, where you didnt even pick terror. Makes the #2 literally half the builds pressure.

The selling point was always the unblockable. -  Low CD bomb to force a 60-90s CD out of the bunker.

Now ofc mobility was never the main point... spear seems same, unblockable port - then combo with the damage skill

The problem will be - like always - no defense 😞 need a block and cleanse to consider melee

 

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yah, the unblockable teleport is nice. however, melee isn't going to help the spear that has no stability, swiftness, vigor, or evade frames. you cannot use spear defensively or offensively without any protection, even if you can recharge isolate by exiting death shroud. if any enemy dodges it, welp you're out of a gap closer. might as well try to land it on a critter in PvE/WvW.

not even I would get fixated on the life siphoning. how much life siphon you get per soul shard will determine its usefulness. life siphon doesn't help much when you're getting focused and thrown around like a ragdoll. :|

 

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2 hours ago, StraightPath.3972 said:

I already tested it, indeed it is different from expectation, though not in all things.
There are issues which I'll want to address, but later.

can you read back and tell me how right i am about everything on the other post?

Edited by XECOR.2814
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At the moment, the only thing I think I would maybe use spear for would be Scourge in WvW.  Scourge already has the best of boon rip and adding a spear to that kit in a WvW blob might actually replace something.  It would kind of behave like we treat Axe.  Axe 3, swap, Spear 5.  It would make up for something of the slowness inherent to Scourge as well but Scourge is rough to solo roam.  Will have to test the final product.

But I am sure Anet will have it remove 1 boon, per 2 targets instead of what it does now.  Also, the 3 targets on auto attack are kind of meh.

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21 hours ago, Slagburst.5304 said:

At the moment, the only thing I think I would maybe use spear for would be Scourge in WvW.  Scourge already has the best of boon rip and adding a spear to that kit in a WvW blob might actually replace something.  It would kind of behave like we treat Axe.  Axe 3, swap, Spear 5.  It would make up for something of the slowness inherent to Scourge as well but Scourge is rough to solo roam.  Will have to test the final product.

But I am sure Anet will have it remove 1 boon, per 2 targets instead of what it does now.  Also, the 3 targets on auto attack are kind of meh.

This wouldve been a great option for solo roam power scourge when it still had alac.

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On 6/27/2024 at 11:08 PM, XECOR.2814 said:

can you read back and tell me how right i am about everything on the other post?

Sorry, been real busy this last days and that will kinda keep happening for forseeable future.
But long story short - yes you hit much closer to home than I did.

One thing I was right about is Soul Shard healing not being trash.
While the healing power scaling is barely a factor much to my disappointment,
the base values and their boost when you drop below 50% health are no joke.

Sadly the rest of the spear was a disappointment as you predicted.
Biggest issue being Soul Shard generation which is the make or (in this case) break of the weapon.
In current iteration this is another Axe - use the good stuff, pop shroud before weapon starts being useless,
come back to it moments before weapon swap is available to use good stuff again and switch to a real weapon that
can deal high sustained damage for next 10 seconds (GS).

And it's not like it does not have any other issues.
Just about every spear skill is highly questionable from design standpoint:
 

  • Autos suck. Slow, don't do much, can't even upkeep full 6 shards given 10s time frame..
  • Perforate itself is fine, but Shards  are not, and since it's heavily reliant on them - it suffers as well.
  • Addle - apparently Necros have world's shortest spears. They have same range as daggers and maces...
  • Isolate and Distress - so many small bad choices that cripple this otherwise good core design.
    Why is there no fear in here? Why Shards and Perforate reset are tied to Distress and not Isolate?
    Why the 18s cd if you'll never be dealing with it due to Shroud reset?
  • Skill 5 - big channeled cast with no cc to shield it, next to no Shards generated 1v1, boon denial is very weak with how the new condition/debuff works.

So overall yeah - you were right for most part and I was wrong.

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34 minutes ago, StraightPath.3972 said:

come back to it moments before weapon swap is available to use good stuff again and switch to a real weapon that
can deal high sustained damage for next 10 seconds (GS)

To be perfectly honest that the entire rotational gameplay loop for necro. skills->swap->skills->shroud rinse and repeat. 

Only two points I disagree with, somewhat. Your first one. From a standpoint of purely autoing (yes not the best or most optimal way to play the game but hey there are people out there who just press one ) its actually one of the better ones we have. On the Third, near enough most melee weapons have a lot of 130 range (2h included) its just the kits have skills other skills that are wider ranges, not always but often enough. That said it just feels so much worse on addle because of the intended gameplay loop the spear is supposed to have of 4->4->3->2.  

41 minutes ago, StraightPath.3972 said:

Just about every spear skill is highly questionable from design standpoint

I'd also disagree here. From a design standpoint they all makes sense. Especially in how they are supposed to fit together. Its part of the reason you got drawn in; its because of paper they all make sense. It just didn't hit home in execution.

I'm interested to see what they are going to do to the weapon since from my standpoint and personal opinion they can improve it for sure without a) redoing it from scratch or b) slapping conditions on it to make it a hybrid or condi weapon. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, StraightPath.3972 said:

One thing I was right about is Soul Shard healing not being trash.
While the healing power scaling is barely a factor much to my disappointment,
the base values and their boost when you drop below 50% health are no joke.

15% healing power per shard isn't bad.  That's 90% healing power on a 6 shards Perforate.  Under 50% health, this boosts to 22.5% healing power per shard, or 135% on 6 shards Perforate.  The average healing skill (slot 6) is somewhere around a 140% scaling.

The problem is in shard generation only being relevant off of Isolate/Distress.

In all seriousness, I think they got the numbers right on the shards themselves, just didn't let us make enough of them to matter.

Edited by Drarnor Kunoram.5180
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15 hours ago, Drarnor Kunoram.5180 said:

15% healing power per shard isn't bad.  That's 90% healing power on a 6 shards Perforate.  Under 50% health, this boosts to 22.5% healing power per shard, or 135% on 6 shards Perforate.  The average healing skill (slot 6) is somewhere around a 140% scaling.

The problem is in shard generation only being relevant off of Isolate/Distress.

In all seriousness, I think they got the numbers right on the shards themselves, just didn't let us make enough of them to matter.

Thing is the 140% is applied additively on top of 900% scaling (150%* 6 shards), which isn't all that much.
To give a better and more practical perspective -  6 shards below 50% of my necro's health healed for around 7.8k+ health.
Vital Persistence (in Soul Reaping) can change that to  9.4k healing with no healing power investment (save the default rune of Divinity on the demo gear).

To get the same result (~1570 stronger heal) I would need to squeeze 1122 healing power from traits and gear.
Not exactly a jaw dropping rate of return on investment, especially if you consider that healing gear has it's own set of woes.
Such as lacking either precision of ferocity on power variants of healing gear.

Meanwhile thanks to high base Shard healing value and Vital Persistence you can go ham on your gear stats
and still expect a very solid healing from 6 Shards Perforates.

 

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4 hours ago, StraightPath.3972 said:

Thing is the 140% is applied additively on top of 900% scaling (150%* 6 shards), which isn't all that much.
To give a better and more practical perspective -  6 shards below 50% of my necro's health healed for around 7.8k+ health.
Vital Persistence (in Soul Reaping) can change that to  9.4k healing with no healing power investment (save the default rune of Divinity on the demo gear).
 

That's not how siphons work.  That's not how any heals work.  Just base value + scaling.

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39 minutes ago, Drarnor Kunoram.5180 said:

That's not how siphons work.  That's not how any heals work.  Just base value + scaling.

I know how healing and life siphon works - you're the one who's missing the point.
Healing Power scaling requires healing power to work. And that works well if:

  • base healing value is low
  • but the scaling is good

But Shards have very high base healing value, to the point Vital Persistence (20% self heal multiplier) without any healing power whatsoever
is on equal terms with having around 1.1k healing power but without Vital Persistence.

One requires taking Soul Reaping which is good for power damage.
You'll just lose out on Soul Barbs (10% damage).

Other requires healing gear which will make you lose a ton of precision or ferocity.

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