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My thoughts on Scourge


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I want to begin by saying I hope anyone who chooses to read this understands this is entirely a matter of perspective and opinion. I just feel like writing out what I think of Scourge in general because it's something I've been disappointed with since it's inception. I'm open to having my mind changed if you make a valid argument so by all means, if you strongly disagree or have points to make, please share.

I dislike Scourge for the following reasons:

  • It encourages mindless behavior by rewarding rapid fire of skills.
  • One of it's primary sources of defense, Barrier, is not unique to Scourge.
  • ANet has designed it as the "answer" to the Booncreep which has given it far more control than any class deserves on it's own.

( The following is primarily directed at PvP and WvW )Although there is skill involved in proper positioning and timing of corrupts, the general effort needed to succeed with Scourge is so abysmally low that it could very well be the best spec to pick up for a complete beginner. Now, that would be all fine and well if it weren't for how much of an impact it has on groups. Anyone can pick this up and be an asset to their team, but on such a scale that specs requiring significantly more effort are not only left behind, but kept under the thumb of the Scourge as well. Because of this, balancing it means there isn't a middle ground without reworking it completely.

I believe that ANet designed Scourge to be as fire and forget as the boons each and every class is constantly self and support applying and it was a one dimensional specialization from the beginning. There is no depth to Scourge and it is a balancing nightmare.

My biggest gripe however is Barrier. Players had begged for many years for a way to allow support to reach beyond Shroud, their only source of defense. Answering this, ANet introduced Barrier which not only allowed them to continue using utility skills and receive support, but also allowed them to share it. Though a wonderful concept, Scourge's ability to share it's "Shroud" was not the only way for others to access this new form of defense... Some specs can even self-apply it better than Scourge. Now, it's true that Scourge is the only one able to share a significant amount, I still hate that anything other than Scourge can apply it to themselves. Necromancer has always been shackled by Shroud as the reason for which it is not allowed certain forms of defense like blocks or invulnerabilities. Then, other classes are allowed this same form of defense, on top of what they already have access to... This both goes against ANet's reasoning for denying Necromancer certain defenses and also dilutes the flavor of Necromancer as a whole.

I understand that every class has builds that are low effort/high reward and that Scourge is not the only spec to encourage "spam." But for the reasons I've written, I believe Scourge is by far and long the worst culprit for poor game balance. I'm sorry for those of you who love the spec and by no means have I written any of this as any form of an insult to you for enjoying it. I've just always been frustrated with Scourge's general existence and seeing it go through the nerfs it has only angers me more. It doesn't matter if I don't like the spec, I don't like that it was given to be taken away. Everything gets changed as balance patches come and go, this isn't exclusive to Scourge. But in a similar fashion to Scrapper and Chronomancer, ANet doesn't know what to do with it and it is in a constant state of "here's a new toy for you! Wait.. Not that one... Here, how about this one! Nevermind, not that either.."

/ end rant.

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I think ANet just needs to decide on whether they want the spec to be offensive support (boon corruption, CC, condi spam) or defensive (barrier, heals, portal, etc.), either either have a lot of it as single-target pressure or lesser amounts in DoT, and whether or not to make it melee or ranged in the previous two dilemmas.

As it is right now, the spec is trying to do way too much at once, and thus when multiple are together, it does way too much too well. Meanwhile the identity of core necro and Reaper still need to be preserved and not made redundant.

The same goes for firebrand. Is it a condi burn spec or a boon buff support healer? You can't have it both ways, and a good example of stylistic choice and decision-making (on the high-level) is Steal's teleport being removed from thief for the Deadeye in favor of more damage and utility. The implementation of the damage and utility being done well is certainly up for debate - and something I'd even say is unhealthy - but DE with the teleport on steal (and Scourge's group presence being strictly some of if not the best in the game without any major cuts or additional weaknesses), would be overpowered, and most people would agree, too.

Balance is pretty futile until they really focus the spec's options, though. Last I checked, Druid wasn't a damage spec in PvE and nobody's complaining because it was designed as a support spec. Did most people forget Scourge is supposed to be filling the same role?

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Scourge is beyond annoying to play right now. i started as condition damage Scourge and quickly changed into support Scourge .. i loved it !however after the last change i find it very clunky to play both as support and dps. there are often stuff like knockbacks and monsters moves.not to mention players gotta dodghe and move.. it is unlikely for an entire group to stand on same spot for the entire fight.
some are melee some are ranged. and you gotta chose only 1 group to support. more than that.. if you place shade on players you can not do single damagemore to it.. you cant even ensure your own survive.. because you either support your team or your self. if you die the team die..
right now.. Scourge is very clunky and actually hard to play.. what more.. it isnt even rewarding in PVE. as dps it probably got the lowest dps of all dps classes in game.and as support right now probably the lowest tier of support. Scourge can do many things but right now i feel like it is bad at everything aside from WvW
which btw was the issue.. now it seems even more op there but 100% useless for PVE. i quit my Scourge and ill just make tempest.. but i do hope they will change Scourge again.. i think tghe only way to bring Scourge back to the game is by actually quiting Scourge.. i think if all of the Scourge players will qujit their Scourge and there would be 0 Scourges in the game Anet will realize something is wrongnow ill say this. even for pvp its likely that core necro is now even better than Scourge probably reaper aswell..with the changes to sand shade they destroyed Scourge main DPS.. which is the burning and turnament of the sand .

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