Jump to content
  • Sign Up

A look back at the Herald rework: overall impression, bugs and bad traits


Recommended Posts

It's been a couple months since the Herald rework. I've essentially tried to remain on the fence and consider all its advantages and disadvantages, but after playing it for 2 months after maining Herald since release, I feel like the rework missed its mark, whether it be with the numerous bugs, the many worthless traits, or the deviation from the original class concept. Please forgive the following wall of text.

Herald was originally advertised as a boon-heavy class, a spec that could provide copious support to its allies through boons and utility. When Roy Cronacher introduced the class, he stated that "The focus of the herald is on support via boons, utility, and personal defense." Although Roy is no longer with the company (big sad), I feel like this original concept for the specialization continues to be phased out in favor of a glorified one-shot class, a thief with heavy armor- which we know doesn't really mean much in this game as the hardest-to-kill classes wear light armor.

Facet of Nature used to give 50% boon duration to allies. It was reduced to 33%, taking rev out of the meta for PvE, and now has been reduced to 20%. In addition, the Grandmaster Minor has been reduced from the equivalent of 16% boon duration to 8%, giving a Herald, the "boon class," less inherent boon duration than a thief taking acrobatics, an engineer taking alchemy, or a ranger taking Nature Magic. Combined with the nerf to Sigil of Concentration and the very likely nerfs to the boon duration of Leadership runes on November 13, it is very possible that we'll have to deal with less than 20% boon duration on herald. Let's not mention that the new Facet of Nature for Glint is a shadow of what it used to be as it's been discussed significantly already.

This has resulted in Rev's protection uptime pretty much dying, and every other boon except fury and might having severely reduced duration too.

In addition to the Facet of Nature and boon duration nerf, Herald's utility continues to decrease due to the removal of some good traits. Utility traits we miss:

Swift Gale was a stellar reactionary trait to get the Herald out of trouble in WvW. Now if you want superspeed, you need to blow your 45 second cooldown on Facet of Chaos, or use Impossible Odds, draining energy and risking not having your Riposting Shadows up.

Radiant Revival was a great trait for group support and was simply removed with no reasonable successor to replace it.

Enhanced Bulwark was a huge reason condi rev survived for as long as it did. Also removed with no successor.

Glint cooldowns were also reduced and their damage was increased. Sword offhand remains unsplit in PvE and PvP, and its insane damage scaling, combined with damage nerfs to other classes, is the reason Rev crept back into the meta in PvP.

Shield and Axe have fallen significantly behind Sword due to Sword's ridiculous damage. Neither of them saw any improvements with the rework patch, despite Shield being Herald's specialization weapon.

On top of utility nerfs, there are almost innumerable bugs with the new traits. Number one:

Draconic Echo is a complete buggy mess. It's honestly such a cool concept for a trait and very disappointing that it does not work over 2 months after its implementation. Here are all the issues I know so far about it.

Boons do not pulse if you swap legends immediately after using the Glint active skill, which is counter to the trait's design of allowing you to continue gaining positive effects after using active skills.

If you already had the maximum amount of instances of fury, swiftness, or regen, the trait will not apply a new instance of them at all, negating any traits that rely on re-application of fury and making Draconic Echo essentially useless for using 3/5 of your facets.

If you use the Shiro F2 and automatically switch to Glint, it stays as the Shiro passive for 3 seconds and then switches to the Glint passive for 3 seconds, which is strange.

Using an active skill seems to pulse the boon again automatically and start the 3 second facet timer again, allowing you to potentially get a double pulse of a facet off if you use the active skill immediately after the boon is applied. This is actually something good for the rev for a change and is pretty much the only reason to take the trait, as it helps make up for the pitiful boon duration provided by the Herald traitline and allows you to actually stack 10s of prot or so by using the active Facet of Chaos.

A cool interaction to add would be if the facets pulsing after active use counted as upkeep skills for Hardening Persistence and Rising Momentum, but alas, it may not be coded that way and that's ok.

In non-Draconic Echo bug news:

Hardening Persistence is also bugged, probably in a similar way that Rising Momentum is when you use True Nature. However, I've had many instances where I have -5 upkeep and end up with 3 stacks of Rising Momentum and 2 stacks of Hardening Persistence, or the reverse, or 1 of one and none of the other. Both these traits are insanely inconsistent and spotty in giving their bonuses.

Elevated Compassion just doesn't give allies the heal often, and of course, it doesn't heal you in the first place, so it is completely useless for anything other than a healbot rev just by design. I feel like this trait would be better designed as Altruistic Healing for your allies, but I understand that given the amount of boons a Herald can pump out, it could quickly become broken.

Shiro F2 acts like old Krait runes and Signet of Vampirism. Works if you're blinded, works if they're blocking, evading, or invulnerable. Far too easy to use due to this bug.

Traits that aren't bugged, just bad:

Elder's Respite is probably the lamest passive I've ever seen. If we're going to have a passive that's actually supposed to help relieve pressure, add 3s protection to the trait.Shining Aspects is an embarrassment of a major trait with terrible healing power scaling and a completely unnecessary ICD.

Final thoughts:

Again sorry for this wall of text. I feel like my overall thought on the rework is disappointment but not surprise. The class continues to lose boon utility in favor of ridiculously high damage, and honestly, it doesn't even feel unique to play anymore. I'll keep playing it of course, despite my complaints, but to me the rework seems:

Rushed- the amount of bugs present in almost half the traits as well as strange interactions caused by the new F2 should let anyone know that the new traits weren't tested well before release.

Unnecessary/unimaginative- a lot of the new traits are just plain boring, not lending themselves to any different a playstyle than the old Herald. What's the point in changing the line around when the old Herald worked just fine and works more or less the same as it used to. However, the two concepts I will give the team an absolute A+ for are: 1) Draconic Echo as a trait design, it's brilliant and adds a new element to using your Glint skills, 2) Facet of Nature's active providing different bonuses based on which legend you use it in- although the actual power of these skills needs some serious rebalance, it is a great change that adds some complexity to rev.

Lacking in build diversity- Herald, and by extension rev (who plays Renegade in PvP gamemodes), has been a one-trick pony in PvP since its return to the meta. Dual swords and staff, deal lots of damage, that's all you can do. Shield and Axe offhands have been phased out by the progressive weakening of Herald while making Sword offhand stronger, so they aren't options. Condi herald is no longer a viable option considering the lack of buffs to Mallyx and the removal of Enhanced Bulwark. Ventari is a joke in PvP. Jalis lacks evasiveness and gets shafted by long cooldowns. Long story short, if you see a herald on the other side in PvP, you know what traits they're taking, you know what weapons they're using, what legends they're using, and you know exactly what to watch for.


To one terrible player (yours truly), the herald rework feels unnecessary and missed the mark. In addition to being extremely buggy even two months later, it has led to an even FURTHER decrease in build diversity and deviated from the original concept of the herald, turning the class into a glorified heavy armor thief.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Herald rework was mostly in terms of power damage, but the design and interbalance environment is what failed.

Simply put:

  • Herald is the selfish spec with higher power damage and personal defense.
  • Renegade is the support spec which heals, boons, as well as relying on allies to deal its maximum damage output.

Did they intend Herald to be a supportive spec representing Glint's love for humanity? In that respect, it was a catastrophic failure.

One of the biggest design issues with Herald traitline is that all the damage is compounded onto Forceful Presence, essentially gutting the spec's support abilities if we ever want to deal adequate damage. This is a big deal because Draconic Echo (10 target facets) would have been such a cool way to support allies in open world and raids, while Elevated Compassion is great for 5 man content.

Furthermore, the Shield is just crap. You have a very low heal on shield#4 that gives a tiny 2s of protection (wut), whilst shield#5 is decent as a block and self heal, but that even assumes you are using shield in the first place. You lose the damage output of OH Sword or Axe, so it's bad for offensive builds. You are rooted on shield#5 so it makes you a sitting duck in PvP with all the unblockable skills these days, and you also continue to take condi damage. But the worst part about Shield is that it's a (crappy) support weapon that cannot be used with Revenant's actual support spec, Renegade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I miss the old traitline. The only trait pre-rework that needed attention was Soothing Bastion. Literally every other one was fine and had uses.

I am still hoping they reincorporate some of the old Herald traits into other lines:-Swift Gale (perhaps in Invocation or Devastation)-Harmonize Continuity into Invocation major master-Enhanced Bulwark into Retribution grandmaster-Bolster Fortifications into Salvation major master-A new rez trait into Salvation major adept.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well said post...

I just want to somewhat defend that Elder's Reprise is actually really underrated in a 1v1 or roaming scenario. The amount of survivability you get from the proc and the extra 26hp/sec is actually noticeable. I would have never tried it if Rising Momentum actually worked in those first few weeks... But, since I did, I actually prefer ER now, especially because it turns out RM doesn't push you past the superspeed cap anyways...

Core Value's pretty okay in Shiro, but really, 1 extra boon rip every 20 seconds can be strong against certain matchups where they don't just constantly repuke boons on themselves, but I feel it still falls a little short compared to the extra healing you get from ER... It's especially noticeable in those times when you have to pop Facet of Light early or have to spend extra time in Shiro chasing or anticipating an attack to RS b4 swapping.

I dunno, none of these traits are ZOMG awesome, but still... ER's at least kind of sneaky good. From a numbers standpoint, Elder's Reprise has the same effect on regen that stacking 208 healing power would, which is a pretty solid chunk of stats for a first tier trait.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get what you're saying about Herald not being what it was meant to be originally. It's true that some of the traits were removed for no reason - especially those which were heavily support-oriented. Super speed and Infuse Light on też were great.I, however, don't agree with statement that Condi Rev suffered from Herald changes. We finally got the Condi cleanse on shield skills (which should be there always) and what I love about the new Facet od Nature is that Mallyx at last feels like it's really controlling the conditions situation in team and can use it for it's adventage with Corruption. I played Condi Rev in sPvP a lot and enjoyed it even more after Herald rework.

I have to admit - in sPvP Axe and Mace is a no-go. It will get you killed instead of making you stronger (in terms of dealing damage). It's not like you're taking the risk of dealing more damage for the cost of survivability. You simple say - Come and get me, I have Mace + Axe!

Also the Off-hand Sword... Well, we all know that it's just a stronger version of Axe, but for power build.People have been using Sword+Axe on PvP since forever. Off-hand Sword was very clunky so they made it do EXACTLY the same thing. One skill that keeps your foes in place and second - deal that bomb damage. And I ask you - Why do 2 out of 5 Sword skills apply Chill if it's a Condi Mechanic for Rev?Sword 5 - Gives you Fury, applies Chill and Slow.Sword 3 - Gives you evade and MightWhile Mace doesn't have a single Boon put into it.

I think that Herald does it's job - especially on WvW now, which I'm super fine with. What I'd love to see is some weapons being given more interaction. Right now parts Revenant suffer from Renegade syndrome which is the Drop and Forget kind of playstyle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just love how on glint with shared empowerment and might on fury trait I still cap at 13 might stack shared with all upkeep consumed while a warrior just rolls his face on the keyboard and gives 25 might, fury, banners, EA, and does significantly more burst and sustained damage than power glint herald in PvE.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I wish they looked at some of the weapons abilities and energy costs as well.

For instance, Staff 4 on a 1 second cast time cleansing two conditions with a 1.3k heal would feel better to have the cast time shorten to 0.75s (wishful thinking of 0.5s) and a cooldown reduction to 10 seconds.

Overall I'm indifferent on the changes to Herald. I don't think any of it was warranted or even a priority over other elites. And they just moved a few numbers around so it's more or less the same. I'd be fine with the Herald update if it came later and they focused on others first, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...