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Redesigning Druid and Spirits


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So druid was struck by the balance stick over and over again in the last year and left in a dire spot and pidgeon held in one playstyle only.On the release of soulbeast, I realized that old aspects of soulbeast have been part of the initial design of druid. For example that glyphs would've made more sense on soulbeast than on druid due to different archetypes. Additionally, it is based in lore that druids are commuters with nature spirits and the celestial avatar form was just shoehorned in.So I have a suggestion to make for ranger and druids alike.

  1. Druids get spiritual aspects as the class mechanic and base spirits get rework completely for core ranger into totems that are classified as wells.
  2. CAF is removed
  3. Your Pet skills get removed and replaced by nature spirit aspects (it still uses its base attacks, but its F2 and petswap are gone)

Aspects:You have 4 different nature aspects you can choose from, only one can be active at a time.F1: Send your imbued pet to the target location casting an ability depending on the spirit channeled.F2: Aspect of the Sun: Dmg based, Condi based, Grants might when traitedF3: Aspect of the Moon: CC based, Heal based, Grants regen when traitedF4: Aspect of the Stars: Defense Based, Revival oriented, grants stability when traitedF5: Aspect of Nature: Cleanse based, CC based, grants protection when traited

Swapping aspects counts as petswap and reheals your pet instantly. 10s CD

Glyphs now have different effects depending on the active aspect. Glyphs themselves will change by name and function too.

Totems:Spirits get replaced by spirit totems that are classified as wells and function pretty much the same.They are ground targeted pulsing fields. They do low dmg and focus mainly around granting defensive utility. When traited they grant a buff for a fixed time for each ally that passed through the field. ( So similarly to mesmers veil). Cooldown should remain moderately low for utility sake.

Water spirit->Water Spirit TotemWell:Lasts for 4sPulses healsWaterfieldTraited it grants allies healing when they strike their foes.

Sun Spirit-> Sun Spirit Totem:Well:Lasts for 5s.Pulses one stack of burning and blind. (low dmg)Firefield.Traited it grants allies the abbility to burn their targets with the next few attacksFrost Spirit->Frost Spirit totemWell:Lasts for 5sPulses chill and vuln (low dmg)IcefieldTraited it grants a static dmg buff to allies for a short duration(Same as now)

Storm Spirit-> Storm Spirit Totem:Well:Lasts for 2sPulses Dazes (really low dmg)Lightning fieldTraited it grants allies the ability to strike their enemies with lightning with the next few attacks

Earth Spirit->Earth Spirit TotemWell:Lasts for 2sPulses projectile deflects and bleeds (low dmg)Traited grants allies a static dmg reduction for a short amount of time (7.5%)

Nature Spirit-> Nature Spirit Totem:Well:Lasts for 5sRevives allies from downstate (no dmg)LightfieldTraited it grants immunity to condition application

I think this way spirits could be great for zerging (because of the allies walking through clause). Decent for group content due to the buffs. More versatile for open PvE and PvP.

The druid aspects could spice up the gameplay, make better use of glyph mechanics and you could use your pet to heal and buff as well as dealing dmg depending on your aspect.It would provide more flexibility and character to the spec than just dipping in and out of CA for buffs and heals.

Ofc this would need a total trait rework too. And I doubt that this could become a reality but at least I tried.

So what do you say?Would design it differently?Would just go for tiny tweaks?

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@kappa.2036 said:Honestly, I would prefer to have a spec like this in a future expansion (perhaps with an appropriate aoe weapon) rather than waiting for anet to do a complete re-design that will never happen anyway. Too much work.

And I rather want a complete redesigned spec that actually works instead of a neglected excuse for en e-spec.But yeah I know it would throw everything out the window what they did so far. But it was a scrambled design in the first place.Its clearly visible that soulbeast and druid were the same spec but they had technical issues with the merging so they slapped something stupid on it to gratify a healer.I hope they do at least something about the spec.

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You tickled up some interesting ideas with this thread, I'll have to give you that.

The most divise thing about spirits and the Druid (since ArenaNet is balancing the Druid after the Spirits even though they are different trees) as they stand is that the spirits are HP-based. That creates quite considerable balance problems because they behave extremely different depending on AI and I or between PvE and PvP modes (as well as mobility, prevalence of splash damage and so forth). Spirits will never be balanced unless they are allowed to be spirits (like Spirit Weapons or the like).

Other than that, I kind of like the mechanical changes that were made to them in how they can slowly be moved around but lose uptime when that happens. There is definately an underlying balance discussion in that, since that system is far more clunky than other new systems that have been developed (Gyros, Centaur stone etc.) which are far more responsive and thus also more conducive to the PvP modes. However, while the HP is a complete deal-breaker the other mechanics are a solid base for discussion and even if clunkier it doesn't outright disqualify the use of Spirits. It can be similar as long as it is not the same and be useful even if it is slightly worse mechanically.

With that, I kind of like the basics of what you're suggesting without caring too much about the details (I'd prefer simpler) and maybe with a twist. However, the idea that for example the Heal skill could put out a Spirit and the other utility skills (ie., the glyphs) could change the element of the Spirit is a pretty cool idea. It could have alot of interesting versatility where you could only add one element to the spirit at a time and thus adapt your type of support but it could also let you opt out of picking all glyphs so you get less versatility, only focusing on one (or none). The elite could be something unique like being able to add a second element or put out a second spirit.

So to recap, I would propose:

  • HP should be removed, it harms PvE/PvP balance, the system already has an energy/sacrifice component to balance
  • Heal skill is a baseline Healing spirit (gains traits from NM), other spirits disappear. It's a typical heal-tick modified by traits/sacrifice
  • The other spirits are made into Facet mechanics instead but differs from the Herald's in that only one can be active at a time.
  • The Facets imbues the Spirit with one of the existing elements (a power damage buff, a condi damage buff, a control oriented buff)
  • The Facets have some other effect on the "flip off"
  • Personally, I would prefer something more like an overcharge than something completely unique
  • The overcharge could be a temporary enhancement of the buff (eg., 5% Frost -> 15% Frost for 10s) with a splash/field effect as is
  • The new Facets could synergize well with Druid and Glyphs by similarily having different "flip off" effects depending on form (trait?)
  • For example: Frost blast, Fire blast, Lightning blast -> (Astral) Water blast, Light blast, Earth/Air blast (shifting offense to defense)
  • It also synergizes well mechanically/thematically with Glyphs that can have no passive but a more powerful active effect on similar magic
  • The Elite, to warrant it being elite, could have a secondary stacking effect or be a second Spirit

Edit. What I like the most about these twists is how they use a number of effects already in the game so you can recognize a number of these ideas on other classes but it blends into something completely unique on the Ranger and the game already have the tech to enable this from those other classes (Guardians, Engineers, Necros, Revenants with things like spirits, final charge/overcharge, energy drain, double splash effect character/spirit, facets/stone).

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Well the F1 in my idea is for fast positioning and the F2-5 are the aspects that grant the pet the abbility to support your allies.Its in dependend of the utility skills.

So you might misunderstood me a bit.

Spirits from core rangers are utilities and changed into well like totems that function as a AoE buff mechanic.Aspects on druid are the F-skills F2-5 which imbue your pet with nature spirits.

I made the old spirits to totems (and wells) to give them mechanically something we know, to encapsulate AoE dmg and to give them good usability.The core ranger spirits are independend of druid spirits and are not influenced by them.The glyphs and druid are. So is the heal skill.

But for your proposal:Yes spirits should be untargetable, not HP based and not CCable.Currently my facets are F-skills.I thought about overloads that could account s beast skills. But if I do that the positioning skill should use the active part on it to prevent skill spamming.

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@"InsaneQR.7412" Druid is not changing to your interpretation of what you envision a Druid to be. This is also a make-believe fantasy game where a “Druid” character could basically be anything the devs want it to be.

Also, on your “Additionally, it is based in lore that druids are commuters with nature spirits and the celestial avatar form was just shoehorned in.”... You should read on...

“The earliest extant text that describes the druids in detail is Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, book VI, written in the 50s or 40s BCE. A military general who was intent on conquering Gaul and Britain, Caesar described the druids as being concerned with "divine worship, the due performance of sacrifices, private or public, and the interpretation of ritual questions." He claimed that they played an important part in Gaulish society, being one of the two respected classes along with the equites (in Rome the name for members of a privileged class above the common people, but also "horsemen") and that they performed the function of judges. He claimed that they recognized the authority of a single leader, who would rule until his death, when a successor would be chosen by vote or through conflict. He also remarked that they met annually at a sacred place in the region occupied by the Carnute tribe in Gaul, while they viewed Britain as the centre of druidic study; and that they were not found amongst the German tribes to the east of the Rhine. According to Caesar, many young men were trained to be druids, during which time they had to learn all the associated lore by heart. He also claimed their main teaching was "the souls do not perish, but after death pass from one to another". They were also concerned with "the stars and their movements, the size of the cosmos and the earth, the world of nature, and the power and might of the immortal gods", indicating they were involved with not only such common aspects of religion as theology and cosmology, but also astronomy. Caesar also held that they were "administrators" during rituals of human sacrifice, for which criminals were usually used, and that the method was through burning in a wicker man.”

For emphasis...

“They were also concerned with "the stars and their movements, the size of the cosmos and the earth, the world of nature, and the power and might of the immortal gods", indicating they were involved with not only such common aspects of religion as theology and cosmology, but also astronomy.”

And finally the GW2 description...

“Rangers entering the ancient Maguuma Jungle may attune to the long-dormant forces of Tyria to become druids capable of channeling the might of the heavens, mending allies and daunting enemies. By gaining access to the staff weapon and glyphs, these masters of support bolster their allies with mystical insight into the natural world. Their new profession mechanic allows them to accumulate astral force to become a celestial avatar, a paragon of reactive recovery and strong sustainability in a dangerous world.”


Edit- “For example that glyphs would've made more sense on soulbeast than on druid due to different archetypes”... Why would “glyphs” be understandable than animal “stances” for Soulbeast?

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  1. Real world facts are a bit out of place here because it is a game and it really can be whatever the devs want them to be.
  2. Mechanically speaking glyphs make more sense on soulbeast than on druid. I didn't said that glyphs are fitting better to soulbeast than the stances do.
  3. In gw1 druids actually commuted with plants and the elements. Even in Gw2 in places of the maguuma jungle (I.e Draconis mons or brisban) they commuted with all aspects of nature
  4. If you read through all that you have seen that I have nothing against the celestial body theme, but rather the neglectents of pretty much all other aspects of nature. Sure you have some weird plant based stuff on staff and the glyphs but it all seems rather in congruent
  5. Your criticism is rather long for the whole premise of "I disagree with your proposal" so could you please elaborate a bit more constructive what you dislike and what you would change
  6. This is not a: I don't like the gw2 interpretation of druids. I want something like WoW.It's a: I don't like the mechanics of druids and I want it improved or changed because it's current state is horrible and not fun.
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The developers draw elements from real life when they can... Read the GW1 wiki...


“The Druids were a group of Krytan humans that long ago moved to the Maguuma Jungle in order to live with nature. It is said that they are devout followers of Melandru, though this is only a rumor. According to the History of Tyria, they were forced out of jungles in the long distant past by other humans. They were last seen by others sometime before 982 AE and mysteriously vanished decades before 1072 AE. Although generally believed to have been killed off by the jungle's predatory plants and animals, the Druids actually shed their physical bodies to become one with nature. The Druids now exist as spirits, appearing similar to Oakhearts.”

Under trivia... https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druid

...The game timeline is like 200+ years between gw1 and gw2... And a ton has changed since then.

Glyphs make zero sense for an e-spec that channels and uses the “soul” of a beast to fuel their magic and fighting prowess... You should do some research on glyphs then come back to tell us they still make more sense for a Soulbeast, as opposed to a Driud.

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I still talk about a mechanical standpoint and not a theme wise one.Stances fit soulbeast better than glyphs.But mechanically glyphs suit soulbeast better than druid due to the archetypes. Thus I want druid changed to better use glyphs in a more meaningful manner with different aspects than just CAF.

Is this now clear?

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