Skyroar.2974 Posted August 14, 2021 Share Posted August 14, 2021 (edited) Virtuoso's design sabotages itself. It's contradictory at a fundamental level, as if guided by two opposite visions, because there's a lot of anti-synergy between what skills do, and what traits expect skills to do. On one side, the skills are set up so that bladesongs are the reward, the payoff of your strategy. You stock blades with your normal abilities, which takes time, and then spend them for a "huge" effect. This is only partially supported by trait design, mostly with the minor Deadly Blades: you build enough vulnerability stacks so that, by the time you spend your full resource on bladesongs, you make the most use of them. So far, so good. On the other side, most traits treat bladesongs not as the payoff of your rotation, but as the build-up, the set-up. Most traits expect you to use bladesongs first before you actually buff yourself with beneficial boons. Fury? Most of those effects only give you fury after using a bladesong, or after blocking with bladesongs being one of the main sources of blocks. Aegis? Only after your bladesongs are cast. Whenever that isn't the case, the trait design finds a different way to self-sabotage the profession. This is the case with Phantasmal Blades + Infinity Forge middle line combo. The former gives you fury on phantasms, allowing you to properly set up your bladesong combo, right? Good. But then the later one punishes you for actually using your phantasms too early. 🙃 But there's a few more contradictions besides the ones above. Virtuoso only has a single real melee MH weapon, the sword. Everything else is ranged. Yet, their only non-condition, non-tanking option at the adept traitline is melee-exclusive. (We can state that getting aegis on bladesongs is a melee tactic as well, because you're not going to block much if you're far away from opponents.) Cal tried to convince us on the stream that dagger is better played as a melee weapon anyways... But what about greatsword? Greatsword's design is exactly the opposite. Sure, it works well in melee, but it's also meant to work well as a ranged weapon. Mental Focus is a trait that makes 100% sense in high-end instanced pve content, where everyone is stacking close to the boss, and little sense anywhere else. Yet, with Deadly Blades and Phantasmal Blades, you clearly want to invest on Domination (to make good use of the vulnerability buffs), and on the greatsword trait (so that you get, I assume, twice the fury and twice the blades thrown by spawning twice the number of phantasms). So the synergy is there, and the anti-synergy is also there! Another problem is that the traits don't make use of Virtuoso's greatest inherent advantages. Bladesongs have two high points compared to normal shatters: 1) your resource pool is bigger, which means the effects should be stronger, at least in theory; and 2) the player no longer counts as a clone(/blade), therefore you don't have to be at melee range to maximize each effect. This means that Virtuoso's skill design already fills a great niche: it should be the best Mesmer spec to create a "shatter" build for. Mirages don't want to shatter often: they use their clones as a source of damage. They are the elite spec that makes the BEST use of clones. And (PvE, DPS) Chronomancers are the elite spec that makes the BEST use of phantasmas: thanks to their F4, which allows them to create an army of illusions while having perma quickness, 25 might and fury on themselves. Virtuoso, by (skill) design, craves for a third niche, one that is more reliant on their profession mechanic. They should synergy better with on-shatter traits than any other Mesmer variant currently does. And that's good. It means Virtuoso can stand on its own. It means Virtuoso can be different than the other two elite specs. But the problem with the trait design is not only that it completely fails to acknowledge Virtuoso's uniqueness, it instead tries to forcefully turn it into a second (and worse) version of Phantasm Chronos or of Condi Mirages, while lacking the mechanics that make the other two elite specs good at what they do, and ignoring Virtuoso's own mechanics and own strengths: improved shatters. So, my suggestions to devs reading this is: Redesign their traits not only to fix the contradictions that self-sabotage the spec, but also so they: 1) properly use bladesongs as the payoff of a combo rotation; and 2) work well-together with the Illusion traitline and with any other traits focused on improving shatters, instead of attempting to be Dueling v.2 or Domination v.2. Edited August 14, 2021 by Skyroar.2974 7 2 2 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now