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Janthir Wilds Spear Beta Event Feedback: Elementalist


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  • ArenaNet Staff

The beta event for spears has begun and is open to all players with an account in good standing! The event runs from June 27 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time until June 30 at 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time and we'd love to hear your feedback. Let us know what you think of the new weapon for elementalists in this thread!

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I think the duration on 5th spear skills is a bit short, it's a very tight window to get the secondary skill on the 5th spear skill.

You have to use 3 auto-attacks or 2 autos and weapon skill 3 to get it and cast full spell all within 5 seconds. Thats not a lot of time considering most of the secondary 5th spear Line/AoE ground target. So you have to poistion the full spell skill as well, it's a lot to do in 5 seconds.

Please could you increase the duration 5th spear to trigger the full spell by 2 or 3 seconds. Or shorten the amount of casts to 2 instead of 3.

The Etch itself should be at least 8 seconds or even 9 seconds to match the AoE duration of Meteor shower (staff 5). This would give the elementalist a lot more freedom to move, poistion and time not only to activate the full spell but to cast the Full spell version of Spear 5.

Edited by crazyhusky.2985
fixes
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I am not sure if the following are bugs or intended behavior so on the side of caution I'm putting them here. This testing was all done on Weaver in the training room against the Standard Kitty Golem:

1. Placing Etching in double attunement then switching attunement puts Etching on CD

2. Starting in Air/Fire: Etching: Volcano , changing attunement to air and casting 1 spell OR casting 1 spell and changing attunement to air is enough to acquire Etching: Volcano
          -- This works analogously for Air/Water, Air/Earth, Fire/Earth, Fire/Air, Fire/Water

          -- This does not appear to work analogously for any other combination.

          -- EDIT: The third cast is coming from the build. In the case of Air primary, the Electric Discharge trait on the Air Specialization counts as a cast. In the case of Fire primary, the Sunspot trait on the Fire Specialization counts as a cast. I just verified this also works with Earthen Blast on the Earth Specialization and Healing Ripple on the Water Specialization.

3. Changing attunements appears to register as casting an ability.

           -- Example: Starting in Earth/Fire -> Etching: Volcano, Galvanize, Earth Attunement, Harden, Volcano

Edited by Vilheim.9257
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Ele main since launch and I have only 2 concerns...

1. Haboob makes it difficult to see enemy AoE
2. The idle stance with your knees bent and your arm out reads as very masculine to me. I'd love a more feminine option like with Staff. Edit: Having played Engineer now I see that this stance is used elsewhere too. Would love to see it changed, or at least allow us to have the option of which idle stance we use.

Overall though, I got downed 3 times in the first 5 minutes of trying it out. *Chef's kiss* Perfection.

Edited by Maressa.3509
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Catalyst's Elemental Celerity resets the etch, but if you happen to cast the final tier of the etch, use Elemental Celerity before the final tier's animation finishes, and immediately cast the same etch again you CANNOT get to the final tier again. Reaching the final tier of etching requires the animation to finish before it can be reached again (i.e- Volcano cannot reach the final tier again until the physical volcano on the ground ends).

 

Edited by origin.1496
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Etching should last longer,

the weapon 3 skills get insta consumed by autocasts at least in fire and air,

concerned I will miss boss mechanics or other things with the etchings down,

you have to wait till the etching flips to the charged skill before casting it as such cant que it / spam buttons

 

thats what I noticed so far, looks nice otherwise I think, gg

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The Etching should last longer, possibly 2-3 seconds at least. There are already times in play where it feels like I have a half a second window where it's blink and it's gone, which does not feel rewarding or fun. 

Edited by Genesis.8572
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Etching needs to last longer. I'm pretty sure their testing machines have next to zero latency, but anyone playing at 100+ ping will have a very difficult time fitting in the 3 skills require to empower the etching. Quickness is pretty much mandatory to do it in any way consistently. Add 2-3 seconds on the etching and halve the skill cast times and it should be very solid.

Side note, if you have a legendary Kamohoali'i spear, all the effects on the empowered etching skills (except volcano) get turned into a little puny bubble/spark. It sucks.

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Ele spear seems broken to me. The etchings only take 2 casts, for one. Start dual attuned. 5 - 3 - swap - 3 - 5 - 4 - 2 - swap - 5 - 3 - swap - 3 etc. If you drop the etching before swapping mainhand, it seems to go on CD and you get nothing. If you wait to swap back to dual attuned before dropping etching, the rotation works and you can cast an empowered 5 from the attunement you just swapped off of. Kind of confusing to explain.

Example: I start fire/air. Air etching -> 3 - swap full Fire (except 5!) - 3 - fully empowered derecho (air) - 4 - 2 (both fire) - swap Earth main and drop Fire etching -> 3 swap full Earth - 3 - fully empowered Volcano (fire) - 4 - 2 (both earth) - swap main, drop next etching.

That works. If I drop the next etching instead of casting 2 (before swap is off cd) and THEN swap dual attuned, the etching does NOT carry over and just goes on CD.

Example: Same opener w/ fire/air. Air etching -> 3 - swap full Fire - 3 - fully empowered derecho (air) - 4 (fire) - etching (fire) - swap Earth -> etching is on CD. No volcano. That aside, if they smooth that out, weaver could actually feel better than I expected.

The forced movement on water s3 is TERRIBLE though. You need that button to quickly empower etchings, but the movement pushes you out of your etching. Useless ability, please rework. If it stays that way and they fix the other stuff, water will still feel super clunky to move into.

I have absolutely no idea whether ANY of this will matter in WvW (the game mode I care about) with all of the movement. But if it remains 2 casts to empower and you can 3- swap - 3 for each attunement, it could be possibly functional. If I'm forced to use anything with a cast time to empower etching, it'll be useless.

I'm ignoring tuning. Just testing for mechanical functionality and whether the wep has any potential in WvW. Pistol was never going to work. Spear... maybe?

If it is intended for attunement swaps or the related procs to count as a "cast", then that is nice, I suppose.

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10 minutes ago, Kjardor.1950 said:

Ele spear seems broken to me. The etchings only take 2 casts, for one. Start dual attuned. 5 - 3 - swap - 3 - 5 - 4 - 2 - swap - 5 - 3 - swap - 3 etc. If you drop the etching before swapping mainhand, it seems to go on CD and you get nothing. If you wait to swap back to dual attuned before dropping etching, the rotation works and you can cast an empowered 5 from the attunement you just swapped off of. Kind of confusing to explain.

Example: I start fire/air. Air etching -> 3 - swap full Fire (except 5!) - 3 - fully empowered derecho (air) - 4 - 2 (both fire) - swap Earth main and drop Fire etching -> 3 swap full Earth - 3 - fully empowered Volcano (fire) - 4 - 2 (both earth) - swap main, drop next etching.

That works. If I drop the next etching instead of casting 2 (before swap is off cd) and THEN swap dual attuned, the etching does NOT carry over and just goes on CD.

Example: Same opener w/ fire/air. Air etching -> 3 - swap full Fire - 3 - fully empowered derecho (air) - 4 (fire) - etching (fire) - swap Earth -> etching is on CD. No volcano. That aside, if they smooth that out, weaver could actually feel better than I expected.

The forced movement on water s3 is TERRIBLE though. You need that button to quickly empower etchings, but the movement pushes you out of your etching. Useless ability, please rework. If it stays that way and they fix the other stuff, water will still feel super clunky to move into.

I have absolutely no idea whether ANY of this will matter in WvW (the game mode I care about) with all of the movement. But if it remains 2 casts to empower and you can 3- swap - 3 for each attunement, it could be possibly functional. If I'm forced to use anything with a cast time to empower etching, it'll be useless.

I'm ignoring tuning. Just testing for mechanical functionality and whether the wep has any potential in WvW. Pistol was never going to work. Spear... maybe?

If it is intended for attunement swaps or the related procs to count as a "cast", then that is nice, I suppose.

Even AA counts toward etching, where exactly is the issue?

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I want to echo what the others have already said several times: The duration of the Etching needs to go up at least one second to six seconds. You kind of franticly try to charge it and then still have to aim the #5 at something useful.
Skill "pulses" do not work on the charging up of the Etching, so you can't do #5 ... overload pulses from Tempest ... and get a charged Etching. Would be nice to have.

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BUG WITH SPEAR ON WEAVER:
IF you are a weaver, and you start combat in a double attune element, for example lets take Fire/Fire.
Fire/Fire > Lets say you want to use your fire 5 skill ( Fire Etch ) > Lets say you want to go Air next > Air/Fire > You now have Air ( 1 2 ) , Dual Skill ( 3 ), Fire (4 5 ) > Congratulations you cannot complete your Fire etch. IT just says on cooldown, and will not charge up to the final spell.
This bugs out the Etch even if you go back to Fire/Fire within the duration of the Etch using UNRAVEL. The Etch will still be on cooldown.

NOTE:
There is a carry-over mechanic implemented for Weaver: If you start an etch in Fire/Air, and go to Fire/Fire, the 5 skill will still be the Etch you started, giving you the chance to finish it, and start the new Fire/Fire etch. However this mechanic does not help with the bug i described above.

Example:
You start off in Fire/Air, you start your Air etch > You double attune to Fire/Fire taking advantage of the Dual Skill ( 3 ) primary attune ( Fire ) CD reset > You are now in Fire/Fire > You can complete your Air etch just fine! > after the Air etch is complete, the Fire one takes its place > And this is where we enter the first bug, if you start the Fire etch while double attuned to Fire you cannot complete it, its impossible.

The attunements chosen here are just examples, this bug happens with any attunement used.

Apart from the fact that the Etching/Weaver mechanic seems to have clear disagreements with eachother, this bug absolutely kills any fresh air build on weaver using the spear, as double attuning to Air is kind of what Fresh Air is all about.

This is just a post about this particular bug, ill probably make one about my thoughts overall of the weapon later.

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My feedback:

  • Some auto-attacks should have a blast radius. Fire's one, at the very least, but perhaps air's too. Feels weird to have a weapon focused on huge AoE abilities and have no AoE AAs.
  • Etchings should linger for 1 additional second. They probably feel fine under quickness, but the timer is too tight otherwise.
  • Air 3 is pointless in PvE, where any player will optimally want to have 100% critical rate passively. It needs a different or added effect.
  • Air/earth 3 from weaver is way too cool looking for how little it does. The visual effects gives you the idea that this skill SHOULD deal damage, but it doesn't.
  • Skills 3 from each attunement should not be consumed by AAs. Any little bit of latency/lag will screw whatever combo you may want to do out of it because a random and automatic AA consumes it.
Edited by Skyroar.2974
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Etchings need to last longer as everyone else said.
why are the combo finishers blast ones when our combo fields are under us on a 1200 range weapon?
air 2 should be able to crit, and stack in intensity instead of duration.
air 5 just looks bleh and should be more lightningy to differentiate it from earth 5
Weaver feels really lacking with no big powerful combo skills.
cata spheres bug with etchings
tempest really needs ranged overloads to go with it.
also it just doesn't do much damage as the "glass cannon wep"

Edited by Twilightmage.8309
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Overall Performance

  • Feels okay, but some issues addressed below in subsections.
  • Optimal rotation is unclear yet, but it seems damage numbers are very undertuned, according to many reports.

Etching skills

  • Crucial: The visuals on Etching skills need to be dialed down.
  • Duration of Etching skills is very short and punishing to fit skills into. If possible, I would like to see the duration of the initial Etching to be extended, OR have the charged-up version of the Etching extend the window to give a buffer for the time to use it. The current duration makes the build more reliant on Quickness than necessary.
  • Odd behavior for swapping Attunements with an active Etching, detailed above by another user.
  • Etching skill tooltips for all modes should be visible when the skills is on Etch mode.
  • For QOL, Etching skills need a short delay before being able to execute the un-empowered spell. It is easy to accidentally trigger the Etching immediately.

Trait integration

  • Persisting Flames -- Spear does not provide damaging Fire fields, so it does not synergize with this trait. There aren't good alternatives to it, with Pyromancer's Puissance consuming Might stacks and the Water trait line being irrelevant for DPS on the final columns. Native Elite Spec mechanics are not enough to keep this buff up. It might be necessary to add Fire field damage to Meteor, the initial Etching, or Volcano (although, we would need to pre-stack before Volcano anyway). edit Apparently Volcano does give stacks?
  • Pyromancer's Training -- Spear could use additional sources of Burning to keep up this grandmaster trait. Typically, Elementalist Fire auto-attacks burn, but Spear does not for some reason? Burning Precision (major adept trait) has some additional burning, but the ICD is too long to keep it up on its own.
  • Sidenote: Can we finally get rid of the Conjurer major adept trait? Few builds use conjured weapons, no one picks up other players' weapons, and self-applied fire aura is useless.
  • Attunement swapping traits -- Swapping Attunements with certain traits (e.g. Sunspot, Healing Ripple) seems to erroneously count as a positive spell cast for Etchings. If this is intentional, it seems like a strange decision.

Tempest

  • Opinion: Overload skills are at odds with the ranged component of the weapon. Although this is an issue with any ranged weapon on Tempest, it feels particularly bad on this one.

Catalyst

  • Elemental Celerity -- Elemental Celerity is not working with empowered Etching skills.
  • Energy generation is poor for Spear due to lack of multihit skills. Fulgor (Air-2) does not generate energy.

Weaver

  • Opinion: Spear-3 for Dual Attacks feel pointless. They grant little, useless utilities that last extremely short durations and only affect the caster (apart from the Air/Earth one. These effects are typically ones that you want to use at specific times, but Weaver is inflexible with creating Dual Attacks due to them requiring two Attunements to reach. For example, if you need Stability, it may be a while before you can get to the correct combination--then, when you cast it, it only lasts 3 sec.
  • Opinion: Spear-3 Dual Attacks could affect allies and still be relatively unimpactful.
  • Rotational choices are a bit complex, so I can't provide further judgment yet.
  • Superior Elements -- Dual Attacks do not deal damage, so cannot trigger this trait.

General abilities

  • Fulgor (Air-2) -- Fulgor seems to be implemented strangely. It acts as a condition that deals strike damage, but cannot crit. The way it stacks duration (and not intensity) is strange. Its duration is significantly longer than its cooldown, but casting it subsequent times will not increase your DPS output.
  • Opinion: Undertow (Water-4) should have a pull effect on the full radius. The pull is laughably small right now and could offer Elementalist an additional group utility.
  • Opinion: Center-hit skills on 4 do not need the center-hit feature in PvE. It does not add anything to the skill but unnecessarily handicaps the AoE radius.

Spear-3 abilities

  • Crucial: Currently, all Spear-3 effects are consumed by auto-attacks, causing them to be wasted.
  • Energize (Air-3) grants 100% Crit Rate on the next attack, but PvE builds run 100% CR already. This skill may be somewhat relevant for PvP/WvW, but feels extremely low impact. To make matters worse, on the same Attunement Fulgor (Air-2) cannot crit and Twister (Air-4) does low damage.
  • Ripple (Water-3)'s forced movement is not conducive to the Etching playstyle. Using it to charge up the Etching / get the bonus effect is problematic when we are confined to the radius of the Etching. Some possible solutions are to make it a stationary evade or a ground-targeted leap / blink effect.
  • Ripple (Water-3) interacts with Swiftness / Superspeed and causes your character to move farther than normal. Due to the fast movement speed, some players are also having issues of it launching you into terrain (through walls).
Edited by Arcosa.9123
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1 hour ago, Fruit.7624 said:

BUG WITH SPEAR ON WEAVER:
IF you are a weaver, and you start combat in a double attune element, for example lets take Fire/Fire.
Fire/Fire > Lets say you want to use your fire 5 skill ( Fire Etch ) > Lets say you want to go Air next > Air/Fire > You now have Air ( 1 2 ) , Dual Skill ( 3 ), Fire (4 5 ) > Congratulations you cannot complete your Fire etch. IT just says on cooldown, and will not charge up to the final spell.
This bugs out the Etch even if you go back to Fire/Fire within the duration of the Etch using UNRAVEL. The Etch will still be on cooldown.

NOTE:
There is a carry-over mechanic implemented for Weaver: If you start an etch in Fire/Air, and go to Fire/Fire, the 5 skill will still be the Etch you started, giving you the chance to finish it, and start the new Fire/Fire etch. However this mechanic does not help with the bug i described above.

Example:
You start off in Fire/Air, you start your Air etch > You double attune to Fire/Fire taking advantage of the Dual Skill ( 3 ) primary attune ( Fire ) CD reset > You are now in Fire/Fire > You can complete your Air etch just fine! > after the Air etch is complete, the Fire one takes its place > And this is where we enter the first bug, if you start the Fire etch while double attuned to Fire you cannot complete it, its impossible.

The attunements chosen here are just examples, this bug happens with any attunement used.

Apart from the fact that the Etching/Weaver mechanic seems to have clear disagreements with eachother, this bug absolutely kills any fresh air build on weaver using the spear, as double attuning to Air is kind of what Fresh Air is all about.

This is just a post about this particular bug, ill probably make one about my thoughts overall of the weapon later.

Overall thoughts:

The trait in Weaver 

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/images/thumb/4/46/Superior_Elements.png/25px-Superior_Elements.png Superior Elements

 Weakness is never applied, since the Dual Skills on spear dont do damage or traget enemies in any way.

There needs to be a bigger reward for Etching your spells to get the final spell. As of right now in full marauder gear in WvW, the number 2 spells for fire and earth hit harder than the final etched versions of pretty much any etching spell.
Also, the spear is a 1200 range weapon, it is assumed you will engage your targets with long range. 
So you Etch, all of the Etches are combo fields - AWESOME.
But most of your combo finishers on spear are blasts - WHY?
If you engage a target at max range, you will most often use your spear skills to charge your Etch, which are most often blast finishers. So you end up missing out on the whole Etch being a combo field - spear skills being blast finishers interaction, because you aim your spells at targets outside your Etch..

All of the spells in general need to do more damage, it needs more OOMPH!.
Just take a look at Scepter/Focus Fresh Air elementalist, its faster than the spear ( instant cast damage spells + air 2 resets almost instantly when doing a FA rotation, also even spells like Pheonix/Water Trident/Hurl just feel faster and more responsive than spear skills ), it does more damage, and it has better defensives. At that point the difference in 300 range is not really that important...
I think the spear has good potential to become a strong choice for elementalist, but right now its not "Glassy" enough as the way it was labeled from aNET developers during the live stream " It was labeled as a glass cannon weapon ". Please...the uncharged Etch spells do laughable damage, with a full power set. Most of the auto attacks do laughable damage as well.

All in all, if anet fixes the bugs with the etch in weaver, and if you buff the damage the weapon will look a whole lot better.
I will say hoever the Dual Skill mechanic on weaver is kind of complicated..Add ontop Fresh Air or Unravel and it kind of just becomes a mess for resetting your attunements constantly.
You should Re-work the Dual Skills to be something else and just scratch the whole idea with resetting the primary attunement CD.

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13 minutes ago, Arcosa.9123 said:

Overall Performance

  • Feels okay, but some issues addressed below in subsections.
  • Optimal rotation is unclear yet, but it seems damage numbers are very undertuned, according to many reports.

Etching skills

  • Crucial: The visuals on Etching skills needs to be dialed down.
  • Duration of Etching skills is very short and punishing to fit skills into. If possible, I would like to see the duration of the initial Etching to be extended, OR have the charged-up version of the Etching extend the window to give a buffer for the time to use it.
  • Odd behavior for swapping Attunements with an active Etching, detailed above by another user.
  • Etching skill tooltips for all modes should be visible when the skills is on Etch mode.

Trait integration

  • Persisting Flames -- Spear does not provide damaging Fire fields, so it does not synergize with this trait. There aren't good alternatives to it, with Pyromancer's Puissance consuming Might stacks and the Water trait line being irrelevant for DPS on the final columns. Native Elite Spec mechanics are not enough to keep this buff up. It might be necessary to add Fire field damage to Meteor, the initial Etching, or Volcano (although, we would need to pre-stack before Volcano anyway).
  • Pyromancer's Training -- Spear could use additional sources of Burning to keep up this grandmaster trait. Typically, Elementalist Fire auto-attacks burn, but Spear does not for some reason?
  • Attunement swapping traits -- Swapping Attunements with certain traits (e.g. Sunspot, Healing Ripple) seems to erroneously count as a positive spell cast for Etchings. If this is intentional, it seems like a strange decision.

Tempest

  • Opinion: Overload skills are at odds with the ranged component of the weapon. Although this is an issue with any ranged weapon on Tempest, it feels particularly bad on this one.

Catalyst

  • Elemental Celerity -- Elemental Celerity is not working with empowered Etching skills.

Weaver

  • Opinion: Spear-3 for Dual Attacks feel pointless. They grant little, useless utilities that last extremely short durations and only affect the caster (apart from the Air/Earth one. These effects are typically ones that you want to use at specific times, but Weaver is inflexible with creating Dual Attacks due to them requiring two attunements to reach. For example, if you need Stability, it may be a while before you can get to the correct combination--then, when you cast it, it only lasts 3 sec.
  • Opinion: Spear-3 Dual Attacks could affect allies and still be relatively unimpactful.
  • Rotational choices are a bit complex, so I can't provide further judgment yet.
  • Superior Elements -- Dual Attacks do not deal damage, so cannot trigger this trait.

General abilities

  • Fulgor (Air-2) -- Fulgor seems to be implemented strangely. It acts as a condition that deals strike damage, but cannot crit. The way it stacks duration is strange.
  • Opinion: Undertow (Water-4) should have a pull effect on the full radius. The pull is laughably small right now and could offer Elementalist an additional group utility.

Spear-3 abilities

  • Crucial: Currently, all Spear-3 effects are consumed by auto-attacks, causing them to be wasted.
  • Air-3 grants 100% Crit Rate on the next attack, but PvE builds run 100% CR already. This skill may be somewhat relevant for PvP/WvW, but feels extremely low impact.
  • Water-3's forced movement is not conducive to the Etching playstyle. Using it to charge up the Etching / get the bonus effect is problematic when we are confined to the radius of the Etching. Some possible solutions are to make it a stationary evade or a ground-targeted leap / blink effect.

Persisting Flames is triggered by Volcano. It gives you the buff, but Volcano doesn't mention being a fire field. Not sure if Volcano is supposed to be a fire field and skill doesn't mention it on the tooltip, but I don't think it's supposed to be a fire field because it doesn't seem to provide combo finishers and it doesn't seem to extend the Volcano duration. How long is Volcano supposed to last anyway? 

Edited by origin.1496
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