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Every virtue needing 5 attacks to trigger is just not good and runs into the same design flaw of Permeating Wrath where its nearly useless in small scale but completely OP in large encounters.  

Offhand Sword needs a functionality rework, not just numbers buff.   For being a fluid duelist, why does every single skill have a clunky aftercast and animation lock? Hell Focus feels more

the willbender feels like a no no go in pvp, even a firebrand is stronger than WB in pvp.  first of all: all the mobility skills feel very underwhelming, harbringer travels more with his 2 leaps in

Its definitely fun for me on the animation side of things but I'm with most people here.

 

This thing feels like the "Fragile" state in E-Spec form. Very squishy compared to even Core Guardian and it requires some serious damage buff to make it viable as a PvE E-Spec when taking on more hardcore content.

 

I defo enjoy the fast, assassin like play but that won't be enough for people to really utilize this E-Spec when FB and DH, and even core Guardian hold better by comparison.

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PVE I'm enjoying it, though I was surprised to start with and offhand Focus, since it was advertised as a dual sword wielding class.  But so far enjoying it in open world HoT (VB).   Haven't tried in WvW yet.   Love the animations and "feel" of the class.

Edited by AzureWolf.9150
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Conceptually I really like the design behind Willbender, but there are too many things going against it right now. You need to remove at least one of these cons:

 

- "Mobility" skills are very low range. 450 on F1 is basically pointless, barely better than just walking. Somehow Harbinger is more mobile with its shroud skills.

- For a roamer/gank spec, the damage on sword off-hand is absolutely horrible. Being squishy would be fine if there was a payoff in high damage...... but there isn't. 

- As others have noted, tying your healing, aegis, stability to "on hit" makes it very strong in large fights but very weak in small-scale. This is the wrong way around.

Edited by Ragnar.4257
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F1 virtue: Animation need to execute faster. Right now it rushes to the target and then stall the hit, easily allowing them to escape the hit.

Sword 4: Same issue. The first hit is already hard to land, and the following up attacks that actually do damage take far too long to occur.'

Traits: Many guardian traits are specced to upgrade virtue passives. There is no synergy here.

 

Overall: Feels bad. Damage is way too low for the tradeoffs being taken in survivability. I can output more damage in pvp/wve on a core guard. Like a glass cannon without the cannon attached. The cast times are clunky and the damage coefficients are super low on sword 4-5 and the physical abilities. In marauders in wvw the physical skills are hitting 400s on a regular basis.

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2 minutes ago, Ragnar.4257 said:

There are too many things going against it right now. You need to remove at least one of these cons:

 

- "Mobility" skills are very low range. 450 on F1 is basically pointless, barely better than just walking.

- For a roamer/gank spec, the damage on sword off-hand is absolutely horrible. Being squishy would be fine if there was a payoff in high damage...... but there isn't. 

- As others have noted, tying your healing, aegis, stability to "on hit" makes it very strong in large fights but very weak in small-scale. This is the wrong way around.

 

Yeah this feels bad. Its a duelist that runs up to you and the executes a ???? because it cant follow up. I dont think anet realized how glassy core guard really is, and then you take the wb line to double down on the glass and it just does not work.

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After a bit of toying around it today here is my first thoughts in the spec:

The whirly kick locks the control to move toward the target or "forward" when casted without it. personally I'd prefer it to not lock out the movement from me.

 

sword 4 is tad to long, even if I land first hit, nobody stays there to receive the second.

sword 5 seems fine so far

 

Overally I like the build I've got rolling so far for roaming, but I find it... awkward that it uses none of utilities provided by espec.

I am also not exactly using anything from those virtue stances, they could just as well not exist and I would probably not notice, and grandmaster traits seems to lack in good choices for that playstyle - so far I was running the justice alteration one, but again with virtues procs not exactly mattering, big chunk of this trait seems doing nothing most of the time. On same basis I guess trading heal for alac won't have much of impact, I will try tomorrow the deathless courage, but I kind of doubt it being of much use - probably just a tool to get 4sec of not dying in hope for cooldowns to come down.

 

I think that what I would consider doing to those passive triggers is to (greatly) reduce amount of hits needed to trigger passive, but introduce icd how often they can proc? (fe once per second?)

 

I will post more once I get to try to roam a bit during period where there is a slightly bit less of a players running around in small groups toying with new especs or dueling all over the place.

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It feels wierdly slow, you seem to have to stop and start alot, it's kinda clunky and only seems to be good against static targets. as though there's too many self roots and aftercasts. The f skills feel like a step back, having to press an extra button to receive the passive effect is bizarre. It doesn't feel like a newset of skills, it feels like the same virtues skills but made incovenient. Overall the Spec plays like a naff dragon hunter.

The traits are just awful. I find the class better if you simply don't put any points at all into the first and third trees. The losses are too great for the gains. I can't believe I have to say this, but there shouldn't ever be a situation where not taking traits, is an improvement.

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So going back to HoT launch where Rev, or more specifically power Herald was introduced as the assassin/quick execution spec, there were plenty of combos you could set up that required no more than 2-3 skills that could burst down a single target in PvP.

 

Phase Traversal into Sword 2 into Sword 3, Legend Swap, Weapon Swap to Staff 5. Quick Simple combo that had chase, CC on top of high damage on top of built in defense (Sword 3 and Staff 5).

 

Where is the WB combo that gives us even a fraction of that? Traiting into Glacial Heart and using a Hammer? That's just a worse version of the Valk Hammer Core Guard from a couple of years ago.

 

None of the skills are fluid enough to be able to chain together in a 2-3 second window consistently or offer next to no quality of life that a dueling spec needs like having a built in defensive effect that negates instant counter pressure or having soft cc built-in in the the kit. And no the Elite skill doesn't count. Revs didn't need to use Jade Winds to blow a high CD elite skill just to initiate a combo.

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1 minute ago, wolfyrik.2017 said:

It feels wierdly slow, you seem to have to stop and start alot, it's kinda clunky and only seems to be good against static targets. as though there's too many self roots and aftercasts. The f skills feel like a step back, having to press an extra button to receive the passive effect is bizarre. It doesn't feel like a newset of skills, it feels like the same virtues skills but made incovenient. Overall the Spec plays like a naff dragon hunter.

The traits are just awful. I find the class better if you simply don't put any points at all into the first and third trees. The losses are too great for the gains. I can't believe I have to say this, but there shouldn't ever be a situation where not taking traits, is an improvement.

As someone noted on the first page, all the shadowsteps have a rediculous animation between the shadowstep and the attack itself, f1 also has this.  Why the hell is this a thing anet. Any moving target basically get a get out of jail free card just for moving because it makes the attacks miss. This is beyond dumb.

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4 minutes ago, Gwaihir.1745 said:

As someone noted on the first page, all the shadowsteps have a rediculous animation between the shadowstep and the attack itself, f1 also has this.  Why the hell is this a thing anet. Any moving target basically get a get out of jail free card just for moving because it makes the attacks miss. This is beyond dumb.

 

They need the ppl that worked on thief and herald rev to fix WB.

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Here is my take on the Willbender

 

General observations:

- Animations are really good. I really love the style and flavor of the class.

- Love the virtues with lower cd timers to really change the pace of other Guardian Elites.

- IMPORTANT- Even if the pasive buff is removed when you change virtues , willbender flames should stay on the ground so you can proc more   hits which are super important for this class.

- Requiring 5 hits to activate any of the virtue effects is way to much and it really hinders your 1v1 or 1v2 potential. For an     assassin "type" class this is bad and in those cases it makes it feel very underpowered.

- A solution to the problem above would be to have an extra effect happen on activation. that way  you wont be as vulnerable vs fewer targets. For example, Justice delivers a higher strike dmg hit when it lands. Resolve gives a 2000 upfront heal when activated. Courage grants a 3 hit shield when used. This would help you ramp up the "stances" afterwards. 

-This class requires a quickness skill or trait so it is allowed to capitalize on atacking fast and multy hits on short bursts.

 

Virtues.

 

Justice:

- It feels very clunky as  the animation stops you after the dash, even with no enemies.

- The hit animation at the end of the dash is very slow and doesnt feel smooth. (this is supposed to be a fast paced class, this        delay breaks that feeling a lot)

- it doesnt give light aura which is probably a bug.

- i honestly feel that sword 5 with the small shadowstep at the end would be perfect as the F1 skill or at least something similar      because it feels way smoother than current F1.

- The claw shape AOE is good but currently it only just gives you your pasive back which is a very weak effect and the power            coefficient isnt high either. 

- The dash is to short and should be around 600 unit mark, right now it seems to end before resolve, even though they are both      450 units. 

 

Resolve:

- It feels smooth to use.

- The willbender flame of resolve is problematic and it is very easy to miss when the target is moving. a thicker line or a V shape      line might help with this.

- The sustain is good with multiple targets but in the same way as other virtues; extremely underwhelming when in 1v1 or 1v2         scenarios.  It might be a good idea to add an initial heal on activation similar to wings of resolve from DH to help its sustain a       little bit.

- The dash would feel better with a 600 unit distance similar to courage.

 

Courage

- Feels good to use.

- Good synergies with other traits

- Same thing with ammount of hits per proc. Should be improved. 

- Probably a small shield like focus 5 that blocks 3 atacks on activation could help its defense better vs 2 or less targets. 

 

OffSword skills

 

Dont seem to be anything super special or great about them. 

Executioners Calling: Feels a little bit clunky and like there is something missing from the skill. Not terrible but not great. 

Advancing strikes: Good Skill and fun to use.

 

Traits. 

I really like the ideas behind them although they might need some adjustments.

Minors:

They work with the class theme very well. I think they are good as they are now. 

Major Adept:

Generaly speaking, the drawback is to great for the benefit obtained. 

Major Master:

love the design, i think they are super interesting. vanguard tactics is in a good place but the other 2 might need a little buffing. 

Major Grandmaster:

Phoenix protocol:

Great idea but it only really works with a lot of targets, the healing removal of resolve is a very big hit to sustain which is not compensated enough i would think. 

Tyrants momentum:

Basically this just ads 10 % dmg when you have full stacks. Although the tempo mecanic is engaging and fun, this trait is super boring and not in line with the game defining effects that should be brought by grandmaster traits. 

Deathless courage:

Good idea but very situational, more of a wvw or pvp thing. 

 

I find it weird that there is no 20% phisical skill reduction trait. 

 

Elite skill:

Dont really like this skill, it doesnt really work well with the playstile as it feels that it slows you down. It doesnt improve or define you general gameplay. I doubt this skill will ever be used as it right now compets with feel my wrath and RF which are skills that seem way more designed towards willbender than heavens palm. 

 

Heal skill:

Not very reliable as it is interrupted more often than not. it also breaks away to much form the fast paced idea of willbender as it feels like it interrups all your momentum for not a very big heal.

 

Conclusion:

Although i feel there are many changes needed to make it more viable, i genuinely think the gameplay and design ideas are very solid and a very good foundation for what could potentially be the most entertaining and fun guardian spec yet. 

Srry for wall of text 😃 Cheers!

Keep the good work arenanet. thanks a lot for your hard work!

 

 

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I feel like the feedback will get buried in the mega-thread so I'll create a separate post with my concerns. 

1: Cast times. Why does F3 have a cast time? Why are both F1 and F2 animation locks with long after-casts? Why does Sword 4 take around 2 seconds to get off? Why is this the one spec so far without quickness while being the one class that REALLY seems to need it.

2: Self-roots. You changed Mesmer sword 3 to be more fluent. Did you forget about guard? This is supposed to be a hyper-offensive assassin with a low health-pool and less toughness, we can't afford to be rooted. Why does the Elite skill self root? Makes it literally even more unusable than I previously thought.

3: Physical skills are the only ones so far introduced in EoD that can't be traited. Might want to look into that.

4: The Adept tier of the WB traitline is honestly so unbelievably terrible I honestly don't even spec into it. No trait gives any value what so ever. 

5: Willbenders Flames, this seems to be a core mechanic with the new spec. Each of your virtues has a way to spawn them and you can even trait for increased damage. Yet the damage is almost as underwhelming as the rest of your kit.

6: MOST IMPORTANTLY. The heal skill needs it's full channel in order to heal. Unlike skills like Full Counter. It should last until you're taking damage, then heal. Now you can freecast into it for an entire second, only to interrupt it at the end; leaving the guard without healing. 

I see absolutely no redeeming factor about this clunky mess of a spec. 

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Okay so, here we go;
I dont care much about builds/buffs/nerfs cause if i'm not doing achievments and helping others, i'm on fractals and raids. And since i play only healers on both gamemodes, this doesnt matter too much.
On the other hand i'm SUPER disapointed with the skills animations (particles and effects mostly). 
Core Guardian comes with blue, fire and blue fire. Ok, its a base spec, has its value. Dragonhunter came with traps and some fine animations and particles (like Lb5, Elite trap). Firebrand.. i mean, even the old mantra casts were incredible, tome are amazing, super clerical and fiery. Then comes WB, wichs blue, fire and blue fire all over again. Even Almorra had more beautiful particles and effects on her /sw then WB. Despite the fact that a lot of animations are clunky and sw4 (example) is just a uglier version of Revenants /sw, WHY does he has an AMAZING look on that spining kick utility and ALL the other ones are just Pew Pew? I mean, you guys did f***ing Firebrand look like a GOD and now the Willbender just looks like a guy that likes blue fire and kicks stuff. I'm really sad that he looks this way, i see nothing unique on WB other then the spining kick utility. I'm hoping other specs wont come as boring as this one. 
On the plus side, he got a FINE visual identity base with that colored fire from the utility i previously talked about. Its fine that hes the punch kick guy, but i think is too boring that the WILL BENDER just kicks... punches... at least a magical kick, magical punch whatever. I know that he cant have fire in all skills, i know it should be mainly on skills that apply burn, but particles dont hurt anyone and will make the class way more inviting than what we have atm.

 

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15 minutes ago, Darknicrofia.2604 said:

Rev Sword skills 3-5 is better than anything on WB/Guardian sword kit save maybe Symbol of Blades.

 

kitten our Sword 3 skill still roots us in place to cast melee ranged projectiles that do only damage, wtf.

I agree. If there was ever a chance to rework Sword skill 3, this is it. Not only are you immobile but the projectiles rarely hit a moving target especially if they are outside melee range. What's the point of the skill if it can't hit and do damage other than projectile block. The same goes for torch 4 throw which misses 90% of the time even if they are standing right in front of you (or once downed in front of me and missed, seriously how?).

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17 minutes ago, Math.5123 said:

4: The Adept tier of the WB traitline is honestly so unbelievably terrible I honestly don't even spec into it. No trait gives any value what so ever. 

personally I went with the heal tradeoff, because as a willbender I ain't gonna "heal" anyone much anyway, I guess the power/toughness tradeoff could work but is simply not my cup of tea, and well can't really speak on the boon tradeoff, as I decided it is better if I can still provide those, so I guess it could need a touch/rework?

 

1. I agree on aftercasts,

2. not exactly willbender issue per say, but tbh at modern scape of the game I agree it should not root

3. physical skills not only missing trait to improve them, but so far after some limited testing I am hard pressed to find much of them that I would actually want to use tbh.

 

5. well they said on the stream that willbender flames are there mostly to proc hits for the virtues, but yeah, very nice animation, arguable benefits

6. heal skill used as usable on paper when it seemed to be fire and forget effect, with it actually being 1s channel I don't see it ever taken over shelter (pvp modes) and litany of wrath (pve)

 

I would not exactly say that it has no redeeming factors, but it is indeed hampered by it's issues that's for sure.

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Oh, you have a 3 second single-target CC on your elite? Oh, here, I have a 3 second AoE CC on shroud.

 

Oh, you have a 450 range dash? Oh, here, I have a 900 range leap that also evades and CCs and damage.

 

Oh, you can stack 2 boons? Oh, here, I have all of the boons.

Edited by Ragnar.4257
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4 minutes ago, Ragnar.4257 said:

I love how basically everything WB has, Harbinger has slightly better.

They have a pistol attack that hits 6 targets and pierces and inflicts torment/poison on everything.

 

We have a sword 4 dual attack animation that takes longer than all 6 pistol shots and is melee ranged.

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