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Putting the 'Dead" Back into Deadeye


LordOShade.5270

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So… as someone who invested into PoF due to the promising look of Deadeye, I figured I would interject my two cents into the craziness that is the most recent rework. Not sure why it was needed but from the sounds of it (which may or not be TRUE, so take this opinion with a grain of salt), Arena Net decided to listen to a vocal PvP minority that was annoyed with being one-shot from stealth (which I cannot blame them for trying to fix but the fix we got broke PvE DE and seems to have made an even more toxic DE playstyle (d/d)) and another vocal minority that were annoyed with the PvE play style of rifle DE.

‘Strike from the Shadows?’ More like Fail from the Shadows:

One of the big changes that was done with the Deadeye was putting a LARGE emphasis on tying stealth to the consumption of the Deadeye's new class mechanic: Malice. This idea, in my opinion, falls flat due to the very nature that Deadeye is a long range single target DPSer who finds a location that they can harass a target and moves as a last resort. From speaking with the DE mentor Nakato Ibori, players are given the image that the DE is a for hire thief that have taken up a rifle due to dangers of fighting close range. She also explains that Cantrips are useful shadow spells that are used as a way to get out of danger/distract a target while the DE reposition. While some could argue that this leads into an emphasis on stealth (what with DE’s having two ways to gain stealth via their utility skills and stealth being a good way to get out undetected) I would beg to differ. Rather than stealth being emphasized, the emphasis is placed more on keeping distance and harassing targets from range. While stealth can be used to reposition, that should be all it is used for.

By tying a DE's damage to stealth a DE is forced to choose how they should tailor their battle kit and not in a positive way. Does the DE give up their utility slots for skills that give stealth thus forging both Assassin’s signets and Signet of Agility in order to gain access to Death’s Judgement, the hardest hitting attack in the DE’s kit? Does the DE forgo stealth and thus losing access to Death’s Judgement a portion of their total damage? Does a DE try to weave together a balance of the two and end up falling flat on its face due to having to jump through so many hoops and trying to work with two mechanics that do not play well together due to long cooldowns that grant stealth? Even then the biggest issue with this rework is that it completely contradicts the main focus, which was to improve the gameplay patterns and mechanics of the DE. Instead of allowing the player to decide how they wished to play a DE, a DE is now pigeonholed into either using stealth and having access to the profession’s strongest hitting attack or forgoing it and completely neglecting the WHOLE MECHANIC OF THE CLASS (e.g. malice)! Although the rework did give some love to d/d in the sense that their new stealth attack is stronger and completely disregards malice, I find it hard to believe that breaking the rest of the DE's weapon sets is worth the strength of one weapon set.

The MIGHT of Malice

Now that I’ve covered MY issues with stealth, let’s get into how I feel the DE should be reworked in order to bring it up to par with other professions using the MAIN CLASS MECHANIC: malice. Currently the only way malice interacts with the DE's kit is by augmenting the damage done of the stealth attack. For the rifle, this is done by increasing the damage that Death’s Judgement deals. Each point of malice increases the damage of Death's Judgement by +20% damage when the shot is fired (thus increasing the damage by +100% at five malice or +140% at 7 malice). The way that malice is generated is via the following rules when attacking a marked target:

**1. Any skill that spends initiative and deals strike damage to your mark will generate 1 point of malice.

  1. If that skill critical hits you will gain 1 additional point of malice.
  2. Any single skill can gain a maximum of 2 points of malice from a single use.
  3. A skill that hits multiple times can generate 1 point of malice from a normal hit and 1 point of additional malice from a later critical hit, but still cannot generate more than 2 points of malice per use.**

Instead of having malice just affect the damage of Death's Judgement and putting Death’s Judgement behind stealth why not have it interact with malice? Specifically, have it become available once malice has been maxed out? Due to this, I propose that the malice cap be increased to 15 or more points and that when a DE reaches this cap their rifle 5 skill, be it Kneel or Free Action, be overwritten with a new skill: The Reckoning.

New Rifle Skill: The Reckoning:

  • The Reckoning can only be used when a Deadeye’s malice has reached max. Once malice has been maxed the rifle 5 skills, Kneel and Free Action, are overwritten with Reckoning. When used, the Deadeye will lie prone and be stealthed for the duration of The Reckoning. During this time, the Deadeye uses their shadow magic to augment their rifle in one of three ways. Once the augmentation is finished or the stealth duration ends, the Deadeye fires off their shot, Death’s Judgement.

Reworked Rifle Skill: Death’s Judgement

  • Death’s Judgement is now fired at the end of Reckoning or once the three step augmentation of The Reckoning is finished. The augmentations that can be applied during The Reckoning are as follows:

    BOOM! HEADSHOT!:

  • BOOM! HEADSHOT augments the rifle to have increased damage and also increases the critical chance and critical damage when Death’s Judgement hits the marked target. This skill can be further augmented by the Major Grandmaster trait: One Shot, One Kill!

Your Weakness Shows!:

  • Your Weakness Shows augments the rifle to deal a number of conditions to the marked targets as well as increase the condition damage and duration of the conditions inflicted. This skill can be further augmented by the Major Grandmaster trait: I See Right through You!

Light it Up!:

  • Light it Up augments the rifle to apply boons to friendly units around the DE’s marked target and around the DE themselves. This skill can be further augmented by the Major Grandmaster trait: Spotter’s Flare.

My plan with the above rework is to remove the need for stealth to access Death's Judgement, bring a way that allows a DE to choose how they wish to play the specialization (either power, condi, or support), and setup it so that malice interacts even more with the DE's kit.

Diversifying Deadeye's Contract

By giving Death's Judgement three ways to augment the shot, I wanted to give a way to expand upon those augments. Enter three new Major Grandmaster traits: One Shot, One Kill (OSOK); I See Right Through You (ISRTY); and Spotter's Flare (SF). My thought process regarding these traits is to have them augment not only Death's Judgement, but to also augment the other Deadeye's skills. OSOK would be similar to the current silent scope in that kneeling would grant increased critical hit chance, increased velocity and as a new bonus, increased range. By doing this, OSOK would be setup to be the long range Power set.

Likewise ISRTY when traited would add additional conditions to the rifle skills as well as increase the conditions stacks that Death's Judgement augment: Your Weakness Shows adds. This way, a DE can choose to be a harasser that wears their opponent down with a number of conditions.

Finally we have SF which similar to ISRTY in that additional boons would be added to the rifle skills, boons that are applied to the DE are also applied to those around the DE and their marked target and additional boons would be generated when Light it Up is chosen as the augment for Death's Judgement. Again, this allows there to be diversity for the DE role and allow people to role play the specialization the way they wish to. With all that said, its time to get to the most important part: Balancing this rework.

Balance in all Things

Before any work is done on the DE or any other new specialization, I feel a base line regarding how much damage a profession is getting via the other two trait line needs to be establish in order to know how much damage needs to be added into the new third elite specialization trait line. By doing this, the Area net team will know what specific amount of damage needs to go into a new trait line to be balanced with already existing professions and specialization. Based on this, my main thought process is that first a baseline for the thief needs to be established. By that I mean Area net needs to determine where in the 81 different play styles (power, condi and support role for each profession & specialization) they want to have the thief be placed at, as well as how much power needs to be invested into this specialization when taking into account the other two trait lines we can run. Based on this my main thought process on how to balance these roles are as follows:

All it Takes is One Shot

For the power build, I feel that a casual DE should be able to hit the top 2 or 3 position when it comes to DPS. This mainly stems from the fact that if the DE takes everything they can to deal power damage, they should be rewarded for it since they are giving up every other utility they can in order to deal DPS. With that being the case, first a decent standard should be established on what two trait lines will give the most Power damage to a DE before they add on the DE trait line. Once the base line is set, the trait line should be build from Major Grandmaster to Minor Adept. The reason I feel that this should be the way trait lines are built is that once Area net finds how much damage needs to be added to the Major Grandmaster to balance it out with other specialization, they can remove power from the Major Grandmaster trait and distribute it within the lower traits.

Damage Over Time does not equal Burst

For the condition build, I feel that the DE should be around the top middle half when it comes to DPS. This mainly stems from the fact that condition damage scales over time so that in the long run, the condition damage build will out scale the damage that the power build does. As was said in the previous section first Area net should establish a base line, then figure out how much damage a condition build needs to have to position it within the top half of all professions for damage.

My Spotter Guides Me

For the support build, I feel that the DE should be around the middle when it comes to DPS. This mainly stems from the fact that with a support build, the DE should be giving up some damage in order to buff their surrounding allies. To reiterate, establish a base line first then figure out how much damage should be added within the Major Grandmaster, then redistribute it within the earlier traits.

Closing Shots

I hope you've enjoyed the musing of a fellow GWer that wants to ensure that all classes can be played somewhat viably within all game modes. I'm will try to keep an eye on this discussion and if anyone has any questions about what I wrote, please give me a shout so that I can try to explain better.

Thanks again for reading and may your aim stay steady my friend!

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To clarify - your suggesting that Malice is increased to 15 (does this still apply to DJ and if so, how?) then the DE is rooted (prone) and has access to more damaging attacks?

Edit: Ah, ok, so DJ becomes the new attacks, attainable after reach 15 malice.

Yeah. I'm not your target audience! I enjoy popping in and out of stealth, both at range in an close quarters, with the rifle, dropping DJs all over the shop. DJ packs a punch even without Malice - I treat the Malice points as icing on the cake of death.

While DEs can probably do with a boost in Raids (I wouldn't know..) in Fractals I'm doing aok, same with sPvP and WvW. Maybe not the best of the best but hey. For context, I'm running a Might stacking/sharing build, R & D/P.

Can you clarify what, as you see it, is the problem that you're attempting to address?

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I like the idea. It would give some more diversity to an otherwise kind of... plain spec. Though id like the Idea of a toolkit based around F3-5 instead. This would free the Deadeye from this forced Rifle play the devs gave him. (i dont mean forced in a way like "YOU HAVE TO PLAY RIFLE" but all of his kit heavily implies it.) Maybe there is a way for some middle ground that still allows for stealth based play, but isnt enforcing it in a way thatdeadeye feels crippled without it.

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@"Scud.5067" So to me it seems weird that Area net would fall back to stealth when re-configuring DE when they had a perfectly good new mechanic that they could work with in the form of Mark and Malice. Not that there is anything wrong with stealth but, I really never pay much mind to stealth. This may stem from playing other games and not enjoying the stealth mechanic in them, but the stealth mechanic in Guild Wars really seems to be made for defensive purposes with offensive purposes being relegated to stealth attacks. Even then, the stealth attacks seem not worthwhile to the non stealth attacks we have.

With that being said, my main goal was to try and figure out a way to grant players access to DJ without it being easily spam-able (which can still be done with the current kit), and would allow the DE to choose their style of play (e.g. Power build, condi build, and support). That's what lead me to the idea of, "Hey, we have malice that is currently only being used for increasing DJ's damage, and nothing else. Furthermore, as you alluded to, malice is considered more of a extra instead of an integral part. Why not change this so that Malice does more than just be a damage boost but also be a stop gate for the use of DJ."

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@Grissman.2845 I've thought about the idea of giving the thief access to a tool kit as well, and think it would work great more as a new specialization that revolves around stealth. My main thought process for this new specialization is that it would be a stealth specialization and run in a vein similar to a Saboteur. What this would mean is that the specialization would be masters of stealth that would use traps to zone control their enemies. The Saboteur would trade in their steal ability for a tool kit that they could customize to increase their stealth capabilities, zone control and ability to harass.

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@derd.6413 said:i don't like it because you clearly just don't like stealth. deadeye has alot of issues but the stealth attack interaction that was added with the last update is not one of them.

It is if you can't be in stealth for capture and it is if you need to be stationary for DJ. It's also an issue in pve instances that faced a dps loss.

We should just roll up Deadeye into Daredevil and let people flip and shoot from their staff.

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@kash.9213 said:

@derd.6413 said:i don't like it because you clearly just don't like stealth. deadeye has alot of issues but the stealth attack interaction that was added with the last update is not one of them.

It is if you can't be in stealth for capture and it is if you need to be stationary for DJ. It's also an issue in pve instances that faced a dps loss.

the issues you've given are in order:

  • a problem with stealth in general that all thieves suffer from, not just DE
  • that's an issue with the skill itself, not that it's a stealth attack
  • that's poor damage tuning, not a design issue

i'm not saying deadeye is in a good spot far from it, i'm saying that the proposed rework wouldn't solve much of the issues DE has.

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@derd.6413 said:

@derd.6413 said:i don't like it because you clearly just don't like stealth. deadeye has alot of issues but the stealth attack interaction that was added with the last update is not one of them.

It is if you can't be in stealth for capture and it is if you need to be stationary for DJ. It's also an issue in pve instances that faced a dps loss.

the issues you've given are in order:
  • a problem with stealth in general that all thieves suffer from, not just DE
  • that's an issue with the skill itself, not that it's a stealth attack
  • that's poor damage tuning, not a design issue

i'm not saying deadeye is in a good spot far from it, i'm saying that the proposed rework wouldn't solve much of the issues DE has.

DE strength before was in being Revealed and DJ gave revealed without having to go into stealth. DJ used to be stationary, now it requires dodge out of position into stealth for it or use utilities. They are stealth issues that weren't issues before.

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very complicated rework for such a minor issue. the main problem of DE is that what ever he does in PvE he doesnt do enough damage, just a matter of numbers. but to gain that you want to mechanically kill deadeye for any pvp purpose. anet is splitting skills based on numbers (damage, cooldown, condition amount/duration mainly) but mechanically they will work across all modes the same. so you need mechanics that work everywhere. and its not a mechanic that is an issue in PvE as that is a very controlled area and highply predictable, balancing mechanically is mainly a pvp issue while the numbers are important for pve. so if you want to fix deadeye for pve focus on numbers or mechanics that would improve pvp aswell.for example a way to improve the mechanic of rifle for more fluent use in pve without hurting pvp:a)give snipers cover base a 1 second stealth (remove the direction aiming and place direct on DE so its easier to use frequently and better)this will allow to use DJ frequently in its current form, without giving a too good cost/duration stealth for pvp and you wouldnt 'need' to take silent scope if you want to fire DJ frequently.or b)put DJ back at snipers cover position with its old parameters (3/4s cast, blockable) usable while visible so you can reset malice without stealth on rifleand give back cursed bullet as stealth attack with additional boons corrupted based on malice.

there you go 2 options for a minor rework so you can use DJ without spamming evade during wich you cant deal damage, the rest is just numbers.

almost forgot:

@LordOShade.5270 said:So… as someone who invested into PoF due to the promising look of Deadeye, I figured I would interject my two cents into the craziness that is the most recent rework. Not sure why it was needed but from the sounds of it (which may or not be TRUE, so take this opinion with a grain of salt), Arena Net decided to listen to a vocal PvP minority that was annoyed with being one-shot from stealth (which I cannot blame them for trying to fix but the fix we got broke PvE DE and seems to have made an even more toxic DE playstyle (d/d)) and another vocal minority that were annoyed with the PvE play style of rifle DE.´i havent seen one d/d deadeye so far in a pvp fight. mind telling why offhand dagger is better than pistol in that case? i mean you actually dont need any offhand on the dagger set but pistol is just alot better for utility.

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@kash.9213 said:

@derd.6413 said:i don't like it because you clearly just don't like stealth. deadeye has alot of issues but the stealth attack interaction that was added with the last update is not one of them.

It is if you can't be in stealth for capture and it is if you need to be stationary for DJ. It's also an issue in pve instances that faced a dps loss.

the issues you've given are in order:
  • a problem with stealth in general that all thieves suffer from, not just DE
  • that's an issue with the skill itself, not that it's a stealth attack
  • that's poor damage tuning, not a design issue

i'm not saying deadeye is in a good spot far from it, i'm saying that the proposed rework wouldn't solve much of the issues DE has.

DE strength before was in being Revealed and DJ gave revealed without having to go into stealth. DJ used to be stationary, now it requires dodge out of position into stealth for it or use utilities. They are stealth issues that weren't issues before.

DJ was changed because malice was bad. if they didn't change DJ with it DE would be a bigger mess then it's now. the fact rifle doesn't have stealth on it is an issue. (which you didn't brig up in your previous post) but it's not among the main reason DE is bad. the main issues are that A. rifle and traits weren't reworked to reflect the new play style the mark rework promoted but instead were reworked to merely function with it, B. kneel is clunky and simply giving better versions of the regular rifle skins isn't worth losing mobility for, and C. DE is extremely restrictive in what it can do (you can argue it's the most restrictive elite spec in the game) being an exclusively single target dps class

the proposed solutions where for the issues were:

  • rework how malice works again. (which most likely is only gonna worsen the problem) but only for rifle
  • not adressed
  • allow one skill to be changed between power, condi and support (and one skill shouldn't be the only thing that defines your build, it can be a mayor part of it but not the only defining feature) and doesn't fix the issue outside of rifle
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@MUDse.7623 said:very complicated rework for such a minor issue. the main problem of DE is that what ever he does in PvE he doesnt do enough damage, just a matter of numbers. but to gain that you want to mechanically kill deadeye for any pvp purpose. anet is splitting skills based on numbers (damage, cooldown, condition amount/duration mainly) but mechanically they will work across all modes the same. so you need mechanics that work everywhere. and its not a mechanic that is an issue in PvE as that is a very controlled area and highply predictable, balancing mechanically is mainly a pvp issue while the numbers are important for pve. so if you want to fix deadeye for pve focus on numbers or mechanics that would improve pvp aswell.for example a way to improve the mechanic of rifle for more fluent use in pve without hurting pvp:a)give snipers cover base a 1 second stealth (remove the direction aiming and place direct on DE so its easier to use frequently and better)this will allow to use DJ frequently in its current form, without giving a too good cost/duration stealth for pvp and you wouldnt 'need' to take silent scope if you want to fire DJ frequently.or b)put DJ back at snipers cover position with its old parameters (3/4s cast, blockable) usable while visible so you can reset malice without stealth on rifleand give back cursed bullet as stealth attack with additional boons corrupted based on malice.

there you go 2 options for a minor rework so you can use DJ without spamming evade during wich you cant deal damage, the rest is just numbers.

almost forgot:

@LordOShade.5270 said:So… as someone who invested into PoF due to the promising look of Deadeye, I figured I would interject my two cents into the craziness that is the most recent rework. Not sure why it was needed but from the sounds of it (which may or not be
TRUE
, so take this opinion with a grain of salt),
Arena Net decided to listen to a vocal PvP minority that was annoyed with being one-shot from stealth
(which I cannot blame them for trying to fix but the fix we got broke PvE DE and seems to have made an
even more toxic DE playstyle (d/d)
) and another vocal minority that were annoyed with the PvE play style of rifle DE.´i havent seen one d/d deadeye so far in a pvp fight. mind telling why offhand dagger is better than pistol in that case? i mean you actually dont need any offhand on the dagger set but pistol is just alot better for utility.

D/D DE in PvP/WvW is a meme build and anyone who thinks it's good is confused.

Everything that makes D/D bad is just exacerbated in DE. It's worse than core in almost every way except damage.

D/P OTOH... that fixes everything that DE lacks and is amplified by what DE gives.

The issues with the rework is that they were good in principle but horrible in implementation. It just suggests ANet does not understand the thief or its competitive modes.

Malicious attacks were unnecessary (especially to extra damage on backstab), and unblockable DJ makes the class harder to out-play as an opponent without a flat immunity effect. The notion of removing stealth-camp ranged OHKO was good in its intentions but the lowered non-stealth damage and all of the aforementioned were counterproductive.

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I actually don't think malice is a good mechanic when its something you build by hitting your opponent. Its basically the same as Adrenaline from the Warrior, except you need to take an extra step to use it. Malice lost the sniper flavor when you got it from punching your opponent.

I agree on some of the problems, but while most of the suggestions here make deadeye cooler, they also make it more complicated, and introduce even more windows of failure into deadeye play. Deadeye needs to be more functional, not cooler. I need reasons to put a deadeye on my pvp team, invite them to raids, or pull them in to WvW squads. Or at least be equivalent to Longbow ranger or Dragonhunter in terms of utility/damage output.

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