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Converting Scourge to a better Barrier applicator - your thoughts?


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In light of ANet's recent announcement notifying us of potential changes to Scourge, I had some ideas to prevent it from further heavy handed nerfs in the future. I understand in WvW's current state that these ideas may be over tuned in certain situations ( such as a Scourge and Scrapper together ), but we can discuss that below. If you'd like to share your own ideas or offer ways to improve on what I've written, please go ahead.

The idea here is to make Scourge in to a true support spec that no longer requires as much personal support. It will still be capable of damage, but it's "bomb" will require much greater co-ordination and timing for maximum effect, which I will explain below.

General changes:

  • Shades cannot corrupt boons, period.
  • Revert changes so that Shroud skills again effect the Necromancer even when a Shade(s) is active.
  • Remove corrupts from all Punishment skills and replace them with other effects.
  • Increase the potency of Barrier that Scourge can apply to itself, but not to allies. Ie. improve healing coefficient so that healing power effects Barrier size more significantly.
  • Revert Devouring Darkness to it's previous state of corrupting 3 boons.
  • Spiteful Spirit still activates on Shroud entry.

Shroud skill changes:

  • Shroud skill #1 applies Barrier in an area when summoned. Dhuumfire ICD reverted.
  • Path Of Corruption applies Barrier if a condition is cleansed with Shroud skill #2, and cleanses an additional condition ( only applies when using Scourge ).
  • Shroud skill #3 self applies Barrier and applies Barrier in an area around the Necromancer when it expires on the Necromancer.
  • Shroud skill #4 unchanged.
  • Shroud skill #5 no longer "pulses" around the Necromancer. Instead it consumes active Shades to increase the size of the Barrier granted.

This way it will still be able to corrupt boons through various sources such as Wells, weapon and trait skills, but it's effects will be felt on much fewer players at a time forcing greater co-ordination and skill interaction. It would be more viable as a Barrier support than as a boon corrupter, but would still be able to fulfill either role.

After this, ANet can then focus on support builds like Scrapper, Firebrand and Spellbreaker by reducing their boon sharing potential and other support options.

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I'm not sure whether this would work or not.. but coming from my own point of view, why would anyone want to log onto a class and play WvW just to apply lots of barrier? Making those changes to shades in essence tells necro players that there barrier bots. So the question is, why play scourge to apply lots of barrier, when you can just log into firebrand and supply: mass healing, retaliation, condition conversion, condition cleanses, blocks, boon support, loads of burning, loads of stab, and tons of projectile hate? I mean it'd pretty much make the Necro useless... no? Barrier doesn't mean anything if most of the attacks are either blocked or healed through.

I mean I suppose there are people that are more than happy to run around healing and that's it, but it seems like playing WvW primarily just to give your party barrier with the occasional boon corrupt coming Devouring Darkness or a well seems even more boring than playing a support Firebrand. Then what happens if the Scourge gets caught out in the open by itself; apply lots of barrier to itself and become a damage sponge? At least the shades as they are now (gimped as they are) will make someone think twice about getting in close quarters. Making them apply lots of barrier will just have any melee waltz in and start whacking.

Given how slow necros are with little to no access to defensive skills, they are built to be dps, heavy dps at that. Trying to make them something else without buffing their speed and giving them far more access to defensive capabilities is only going to cripple the class.

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One of the reasons, If I had to make one up right now, that I don't care for barrier is it is low skill for support.

So we have healing and if you over heal it is wasted meaning that you need to learn to balance using it too soon, too late, too much and not enough.Then there is barrier that is basically a preemptive over heal covering a 5 second window. It reduces the amount of brain cells required to play support.

healing is to stunbreaksasbarrier is to stability

more barrier is just more mindless button smashing.

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Um @"SpellOfIniquity.1780" I don't think your changes would hit the sweet spot, and also undo the last change to the shades would bring back the disco epilepsy play in wvw.The issue with the oppressive nature of the scourge has 2 basic points:

  • Too much area of denial, Ranged shades + PbAoE shade is an effective 1200 radius shade effect.
  • Too many effects for one skill. Shades cause high damage + barrier+ corruption + condition damage.

From my point of view as scourge zergling, the issue scourge has is the shades do too much.

  • Remove the direct damage from the shades. Reduce the F1 multiplier to 0.1, F5 multiplier to 0.666.
  • Buff nefarious favor to corrupt 2 boons.
  • Reduce greatly base barrier in all barrier skills. Increase the multipliers for all barrier skills. If the scourge invest into healing power will be able to give up more barrier if not it will not be able to tank with the barrier.
  • Increase a bit the base heal for sand flare.
  • Reduce the ICD in Dhuumfire to the same as in PvE (1s)
  • Path of Corruption also corrupt 2 boons when scourge is used.

With those changes scourge will be inclined to use forgotten stats like seraph or plaguedoctor. Moving the class to a more supportive role and opening slots for elementalist or reapers\core necros.. Buffs to dhuumfire and path of corruption should make the shades feel rewarding even with the nerfs to direct damage.

Demonic lore may be more interesting now as the source of damage will be secondary traits applied to the shades.

It does not need a reset skill for the shades, the scourge still has all the weapons and utility skills. I would give the scourge some short invisibity access thou so it feels less a punchbag.

  • Desecate skill aditionaly applies 2 seconds stealth to the scourge. As such it can be used with sand well to allow reposition.
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