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Please address how screwed up PVE Bladesworn is


Jzaku.9765

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Posted (edited)

Disclaimer: I LIKE the core gameplay of Bladesworn and how differently it plays from core Warrior. 

TL;DR: 

Bladesworn, while being a largely RP spec that already suffers from gameplay issues due to the immobile [Dragon Slash], is somehow also the Warrior spec that requires insane micromanagement of many buffs within a small time window WHILE IMMOBILE and BURNING DEFENSIVE COOLDOWNS with a FULLY LOCKED UTILITY AND ELITE BAR to achieve NO HIGHER DPS than most other classes.

For 2 years now Bladesworn has been changed from a spec with a simple, straightforward rotation with utility flexibility to:

  • mandatory weapon - Fierce as Fire as a trait effectively forces you to use Pistol for [Dragon's Roar] (15s)
  • utility #1 - Upkeeping [Overcharged Cartridges] for all key skills (20s), literally just a button you press with a long cast time and aftercast to do 15% more dps
  • utility #2 - Using [Dragonspike Mine] as an insane DPS skill (Forced dodgeroll backwards, mine damage delayed unless used right on top of the boss cutting into your burst)
  • utility #3 - Forced to use [Flow Stabilizer] because of the [Dragon Slash] reset [Dragonspike Mine] gives you consuming way more flow
  • elite skill - Using [Tactical Reload] to upkeep all of these buffs and more while also allowing you breathing room for fitting a second [Dragon Slash] in [Overcharged Cartridges]'s window

And to add insult to injury, after SOTO they have added another thing for Bladesworn to juggle:

  • Relic of Thief/Peitha, pick your poison between dropping Thief uptime because you don't cast anything while charging Dragon Slash, or using your core defensive cooldown that allows you breathing room while playing Bladesworn as part of your DPS rotation squeezing yet another buff (twice for two slashes!) to upkeep into that 20s [Overcharged Cartridges] window.

I have made this thread before shortly after these changes got through (June 2022) only for it to fall on deaf ears. Since then, the statistics on GW2 Wingman's profession popularity chart should tell you all the story you need - Bladesworn manages to be the only spec in the game where adding an entire new archetype (Alac Bladesworn in June 2023) didn't move the needle on it's pathetic playrate: because the [Daring Dragon] trait change giving Alacrity also made it consume twice as much flow, keeping the rotation exactly the same as the DPS version, which is a hot unplayable mess for 99% of the community. And I mean that literally, Bladesworn has hovered around 1% playrate for the last YEAR

PLEASE revert these ridiculous mandatory utility skills that inflict so many hoops to jump through just to play a grenth-damned DPS class. 

Edited by Jzaku.9765
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What if Quickness affected the rate that flow is consumed and turned into bullets?

That alone may raise the DPS of the spec enough that they can turn Overcharged Cartridges into something useful. The DT recharge on DSM might also have room to be changed into something else as well then.

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22 minutes ago, Lan Deathrider.5910 said:

What if Quickness affected the rate that flow is consumed and turned into bullets?

That alone may raise the DPS of the spec enough that they can turn Overcharged Cartridges into something useful. The DT recharge on DSM might also have room to be changed into something else as well then.

It would really depend, my gut instinct says it won't be that different because the limiting factor is being stuck on Gunsaber after Dragon Slash which is a really bad weapon for DPS. 

Regardless, they can literally just buff some coeffs to make up for any DPS loss from removing these awful utilities. 

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8 minutes ago, Jzaku.9765 said:

It would really depend, my gut instinct says it won't be that different because the limiting factor is being stuck on Gunsaber after Dragon Slash which is a really bad weapon for DPS. 

Regardless, they can literally just buff some coeffs to make up for any DPS loss from removing these awful utilities. 

That is a problem with Gunsaber then. When they made it ranged they added some weird after casts... During the Beta for the EoD specs, Gunsaber's PvE damage felt like it would be fine, for WvW/PvP, not for PvE though...

Honestly, the added explosion tags to Gunsaber, but only put one wimpy trait in to interact with them.

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I'd note that 1% play rate does not necessarily mean that only 1% of the player base plays it. It could mean that 10% of the player base plays it, but only 10% of the time.

Still not good, though.

Regarding gunsaber - last I checked, gunsaber does about the same in PvP as in PvE. I suspect this is partially to compensate for the massive difference in Dragon Slash performance, but it does leave gunsaber feeling a bit like a dry pool noodle in PvE.

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Posted (edited)

For reference, Bladesworn released with a rotation like this (This is before [Overcharged Cartridges] the reset from [Dragonspike Mine], AND the faster Dragon Slash cast from [Tactical Reload] were added to the game, so if you weren't taking Banners you'd just take more signets or actual utility):

It's an extremely simple and straightforward loop, switching between Axe/Pistol and charging Dragon Slash. Even better, you have the utility slot flexibility to take something like (then called) [Bulletproof Barrier] that blocks projectiles, or even better the Elite slot is free to take the extremely impactful [Battle Standard] warbanner res that can save your party from a wipe.

 

Current year, it looks like this:

Juggling 5 different buffs from all your (nigh mandatory) utility skills, and even optionally your heal skill, to fit into a double slash window that rolls you backwards away from the party (not that it matters because you need to use your shadowstep for Relic of Peitha before every slash).

Edited by Jzaku.9765
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3 hours ago, Jzaku.9765 said:

For reference, Bladesworn released with a rotation like this (This is before [Overcharged Cartridges] the reset from [Dragonspike Mine], AND the faster Dragon Slash cast from [Tactical Reload] were added to the game, so if you weren't taking Banners you'd just take more signets or actual utility):

It's an extremely simple and straightforward loop, switching between Axe/Pistol and charging Dragon Slash. Even better, you have the utility slot flexibility to take something like (then called) [Bulletproof Barrier] that blocks projectiles, or even better the Elite slot is free to take the extremely impactful [Battle Standard] warbanner res that can save your party from a wipe.

Its weird, this almost feels primitive compared to the hoops that are required today.

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On 7/8/2024 at 6:20 PM, Lan Deathrider.5910 said:

What if Quickness affected the rate that flow is consumed and turned into bullets?

That alone may raise the DPS of the spec enough that they can turn Overcharged Cartridges into something useful. The DT recharge on DSM might also have room to be changed into something else as well then.

That leaves you more time to spam abilities, now the %0.01 can hit way higher bench and thus the class must get nerfed to be kept in line, resulting in an even harder rotation.

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10 minutes ago, Lan Deathrider.5910 said:

Or, even better, rework the entire mess of a spec.

The spec isn't a mess just because the lowest common denominator can not play it. The spec is a mess because its a high skill ceiling spec in a game where the unga bunga spec can bench just as high while bringing a lot more to the table in utility/survivability and just overall the ability to actually kitten move around.

What this spec needs is a metric ton of polish in animations and utility. You spam e-spec abilities to keep your class mechanic up just like berserker, but the difference is berserker abilities are actually incredibly powerful abilities meanwhile bladesworn abilities are just placeholders to enable your dragon slash.

Edited by rainhelm.3827
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6 minutes ago, rainhelm.3827 said:

The spec isn't a mess just because the lowest common denominator can not play it. The spec is a mess because its a high skill ceiling spec in a game where the unga bunga spec can bench just as high while bringing a lot more to the table in utility/survivability and just overall the ability to actually kitten move around.

What this spec needs is a metric ton of polish in animations and utility. You spam e-spec abilities to keep your class mechanic up just like berserker, but the difference is berserker abilities are actually incredibly powerful abilities meanwhile bladesworn abilities are just placeholders to enable your dragon slash.

IMO Bladesworn was clearly designed (thematically) to be the "Warrior spec for people previously uninterested in Warrior", kinda like how Virtuoso is "Mesmer for people previously uninterested in Mesmer". As such you would think that, like Virtuoso, it would have a simple and effective gameplay loop for "Tourists" so to speak to enjoy the spec. 

Which it did - and the monstrousity it has become today can be attributed to a single balance patch that added almost everything mentioned in the thread OP. I think you could revert almost everything in that patch and slap more DPS into a Discipline trait that competes with Axe trait and Bladesworn would be good to go. 

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1 hour ago, Jzaku.9765 said:

IMO Bladesworn was clearly designed (thematically) to be the "Warrior spec for people previously uninterested in Warrior", kinda like how Virtuoso is "Mesmer for people previously uninterested in Mesmer". As such you would think that, like Virtuoso, it would have a simple and effective gameplay loop for "Tourists" so to speak to enjoy the spec. 

Which it did - and the monstrousity it has become today can be attributed to a single balance patch that added almost everything mentioned in the thread OP. I think you could revert almost everything in that patch and slap more DPS into a Discipline trait that competes with Axe trait and Bladesworn would be good to go. 

I don't usually talk about bladesworn on this forum because this place was and probably still is full of people who yap about how much they hate the theme or the gameplay. I'm not one of those people. I like bladesworn for the MGR reference that it is. I'll now yap about how ı'd go about improving BSW, The TLDR is that flow stabilizer/cartridges are bad skills that only exist to artifically raise the skill floor without really rewarding BSW for playing at said skill floor.

So then, how would I go about improving it:

1. For a start, make the gunsaber replace your secondary weapon slot for, have it work properly with weapon swapping. Give it proper sheathe/unsheathe animations, this is the part that annoys me, how am I to treat the saber like an actual weapon if the developers don't?

2. Flow stabilizer.. This thing shouldn't exist. Its about as interesting as a signet and I'd much rather slot in a real ability. This thing is a literal ''fill the flow bar'' button. Thats all it does.

Yeet this skill, compensate flow gain elsewhere like tac reload or the rest of the kit, most benchmark chasers would swap to signets instead which isn't really more interesting but it would achieve the same thing while the rest of us can slot in some actual utility, win win.

3. Cartridges. The choice to detonate them early only serves to potentially mess things up, I'd remove that functionality entirely as its only ever a detriment to do so. Out of the 4 must have BSW skills this is the second one that isn't fun or interesting to have.


4. Add a visual/audio que for when dragon slash is fully charged. This one is a small QoL thing but this I feel would really help in some cases a lot.

5. I don't really think tac reload / dragonspike mine needs a lot but I'd probably give them some flow after nuking flow stabilizer.

Lastly I'd like to emphasis that its not the complexity that creates the problem its the you get nothing in return treatment thats the problem. If you're giving me so many things to micromanage then there should be some reward for doing so. This is the weaver problem all over again.

Edited by rainhelm.3827
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10 hours ago, rainhelm.3827 said:

I don't usually talk about bladesworn on this forum because this place was and probably still is full of people who yap about how much they hate the theme or the gameplay. I'm not one of those people. I like bladesworn for the MGR reference that it is.

I agree, Bladesworn is a really cool concept but as you state:

10 hours ago, rainhelm.3827 said:

Lastly I'd like to emphasis that its not the complexity that creates the problem its the you get nothing in return treatment thats the problem. If you're giving me so many things to micromanage then there should be some reward for doing so. This is the weaver problem all over again.

This is the nail on the head for this entire situation.

Complexity should heavily reward skill, but if you reward skill people start complaining and when that happens nerfs come down.

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On 7/8/2024 at 3:51 PM, Jzaku.9765 said:

LIKE the core gameplay of Bladesworn

I guess there is at least 1 player that like it then.

That said, the root of bladesworn's issue is it's gameplay... Core warrior's traits aren't designed for such gameplay and this is what bring Bladesworn down. What's worse is that Bladesworn's traits aren't especially well designed to handle this gameplay either.

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Bladesworn isn't really fun imo. For all the stuff Dragon Trigger promises, it just feels either unnecessary (trash mobs dies before you can pull it) or downright negligible (most champs only takes like 5% of the damage from your DT anyway). This isn't even mentioning how static the whole class feels, which makes it feel very janky. The only saving graces for it are survivability (not necessary, plus Spellbreaker exists) and Alacrity (shoehorned by Anet to make sure it has any sense of identity).

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I'm like 99% certain that Bladesworn would be the classic iai counterattacker trope but they accidentally created Spellbreaker first so they couldn't do it again.

Anyways I think, especially for competitive environments (which is what had the largest influence in the direction Bladesworn's gone since release), they painted themselves into a corner with it.
Because even if it's slow and requires charging up, instantly one shotting someone is an unenjoyable build to fight as both the player and the opponent. It's super binary, if they dodge I lose, if they don't I win, and there's not a lot of super interesting play involved. And that's basically what DT would need to do in order to be worthwhile.

So Flow is super whack, DTs are whack, and the thing they gave it in exchange, infinity sustain, was also really dumb lol

Disappointing too tbh cause street samurai is a cool archetype in games like Shadowrun.

 

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I'd give BSW 3 dodges, turn dodge into Flickerstep where it flickers in the direction you are moving ending up in the DT stance with the AA becoming Dragon Slash in an Ambush style attack. Each of the GM traits turns DS into one of the variants. Weapon swap comes back. F1 is Burst, F2 is sheathe/unsheathe Gunsaber. Triggerguard gets rolled into Dragon Scale Defense.

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Hot take: bladesworn might be fine (just fine) if the devs would fix the longstanding bugs. To name a few...

-Dragon Trigger Bursts (general): Target tracking over any uneven terrain. Been said, but I'll say it again.

-Dragon Trigger Boost: Ever since giving this burst a startup cast, it only fully functions half the time. The other half you either don't move or move in some bizarre direction.

-Dragon Trigger Reach: Is this burst supposed to trigger adrenaline-based traits regardless of it (like longbow burst), or not? I'm assuming that it is (which is desperately needed), but it bugs for unknown reasons and doesn't always apply traits like Cleansing Ire or Adrenal Health.

-Gunsaber mode: What do the devs want this to be? A weapon swap? A kit? Either way, on-swap sigils still bug on occasion and don't proc their bonuses. This includes when entering Dragon Trigger mode. We only get one weapon set with this spec, so how about making it work with the same efficiency as engineer kits? Actually, making the gunsaber function like a kit that you could swap at will (no cooldown) could be pretty interesting, but I digress.

-Artillery Slash: While the gunsaber attacks in general need a boost to attack speed, this one is particularly egregious in terms of casting and velocity, and I think it causes it to "miss" (or straight up disappear) more than any other projectile I've used. If I can hit a stationary target with the auto-attack, then I shouldn't be "out of range" at the same distance when using Artillery Slash, right?

I'm probably missing a lot, but these are the ones that I encounter most frequently. Obviously, fixing these bugs won't solve all the problems, and this won't make the spec everyone's cup of tea. I'm actually okay with that second part: specs were introduced as (ostensibly) different ways to play professions, and bladesworn plays very differently from core, berserker, or spellbreaker. I wouldn't say no to additional innovation, but I don't think that the spec needs to be totally replaced, either.

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14 hours ago, Myror.7521 said:

that whole dragontrigger thing kittened the whole spec ...... why the kitten does it need to be a slow selfrooted charge like wtf? xp

It was supposed to be big boy huge number that will knock your socks off, so they made it into a anime charge up attack.

I'm just disappointed that they didn't add any other samurai aspect to it, not even the utility skills.

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