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sPvP Balance is Actually The Best Its Been in Ages


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Compared to HoT, PoF has been a pretty smooth release (for sPvP, at least) that you have to commend Anet on. More core specs are viable than ever before, HoT specs are all still completely viable, and no new spec really is obscenely broken. The worst outcome of this expansion is probably that many NEW specs are undertuned or designed to be far too niche in their effectiveness- a small price to pay to avoid the kind of power creep we saw HoT bring about.

There are definitely some exceptions, but they are exceptions proving the rule as opposed to reinforcing it:

  1. Scourge. Same issue as early Trap/Medi/Symbol Dragonhunter in that they offer way too much area denial in a game focused around area capture, but Scourge isn't nearly as bad. Dragonhunter had way more sustain and a decent response to kiting in their tether and longbow set. Scourge also sacrifices a fair bit of their survivability to become this strong unlike DH, but currently that gained offensive pressure is just way too overwhelming to the point where it's also functioning as an insanely strong defensive measure against all melee specs. I think simply toning down their condition-spike capability and/or offering a way to respond more directly to their area-denial mechanics would solve this.
  2. Spellbreaker. First of all, this spec isn't NEARLY as overpowered as everyone says aside from Full Counter maybe needing a 10-12 second cooldown. Apart from that, core Warrior gives me more issues.
  3. Mirage. Needs better, more accurate broadcasting of it's vulnerability windows. I know that's part of the theme but way too often is it hard to read their evasion/invuln frames and when they end.
  4. Soulbeast. I see people complaining about this thing oneshotting them which, aside from Rock Gazelle bugging and landing its complete charge in place, is laughable. Thematically, PoF has seen its elite specs largely focus on offensive play (hence the "Fire") at the cost of sustain, and Spiritbeast definitely does lose massive sustain compared to Druid. Their offense comes at a noticeable price and is pretty counterplayable. This goes for EVERY PoF spec.
  5. Holosmith. Again, people complaining they're getting blown up don't seem to recognize the sustain cost of this. Almost every element to this spec can be skillfully reacted to and punished, which speaks volumes of the level of improvement made by Anet's balance team.
  6. Deadeye. See above. The only thing making Deadeye viable was the recent stealth bug. Anyone who complains about getting hit by Death's Judgement needs to reevaluate their life. As a thief, I find DE to be inferior to both Daredevil and core Thief in terms of mobility, teamfighting, and 1v1. That's basically everything.
  7. Firebrand/Weaver/Renegade. I basically don't see these in PvP almost at all. Dunno if this is a skillfloor issue where these specs have yet to reach their full potential due to lack of dedicated efforts or if these specs are just too underpowered to be used over core/HoT traitlines.

That being said, good job Anet on learning from your past mistakes. I think you did the most reasonable job possible in introducing these specs into sPvP.

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