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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

The animations looked super funny when my newly born asura goofed around on the Grand Piazza.


On entering the Eternal Battlegrounds he crashed down a wall because the glider mastery had been reset. It was funny too, kind of.


On joining an assaulting zerg, I felt funny because he looked more like a glitchy remote-controlled grasshopper than a nimble swordmaster. This is partly because I didn't study the specs, partly because I'm the eternal noob. But you should see the angry looks he gave me...

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48 minutes ago, DragonSlayer.1087 said:

There's a nice fluidity to the spec and it's the most enjoyable to play out of the 3. 


Offhand Sword needs improvement. Sword 4 needs to attack faster and Sword 5 needs to have 900 range. 



I mean it feels like a fluid spec if you're coming from FF14 and is used to the 2.5 second GCD after every single skill.

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From a PvP/WvW mindset, Willbender doesn't have a single good high impact ability in the entire kit.  There is no new skill, ability or trait that other players have to watch out for.  It has nothing new to follow up any of it's clunky implemented mobility.  No new spike damage skills, impactful cc, strips, transfers along with no offensive boon/condi generation, which leaves... ?  So we're left with a somewhat mobile do little elite, that's neither fun or rewarding to play.  

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Even full glass, Willbender has very little pressure. I feel like the damage just isnt there. Tried it with alot of different stat combos and just couldnt make the damage work. The F1-3 are very clunky. Does not feel smooth like I imagined it should be. I played with every weapon so far and the strongest is Hammer. But Hammer in its current form is still a meme. I wish it didnt take 5 attacks to proc things as well. I know this is the beta version of Willbender, but I feel pretty let down with it in wvw. Smallscale or largescale. 

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After playing a couple of  hours in pvp here's my take on Willbender. First off I think it has potential and it can be an amazing E spec sadly as of Beta 1 its missing to many things. 


Locking animation and general clunkyness: 


Some important skills and virtues have this weird animation that lock the character in animation or it keeps you stationary during its activation. For a class that has to be fast and on the move this is a horrible flaw that need to change before anything else. Feels awkward and clunky. 


Ex. F1, MH and OF Swords and some physicals skills.





It seriously lacks damage options even in full berserker it fails to deal any significant damage. Physicals skills, traits and swords (MH/OH) lack overall damage. Not counting the fact that the 2 main skill of both sword are really hard to land and with a small pay off if you manage to.   





I'm just going to come out and say it, they are pretty bad in pvp. First the F1 locking you in animation and slow attack after movement. Second the passives at five hits with in a 8 sec timeframe is just plane bad design on top of that in a pvp setting even if you are lucky to get 1 passive off its seriously lacking any sort of  reward for doing it. in my opinion remove the hit requirement and let them proc it each hit with a 1 second ICD for pvp only. 




Not once of me playing gw2 ( 8yrs or so) have a Grandmaster trait line made me think choosing non is a probably a better option. Seriously aside from the middle traits they are bad that don't give the option of either a downside or change a skill in a way you don't want too.  They need a rework and including a trait line similar to monks Focus but for Physicals ( they really need it) 





Physical skill are almost useless on Willbender and honestly anything other than Meditations don't work for it either which forces players on 2 trait lines with littler choice.  



Thats my take on the Willbender for Pvp. 

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Reversal of Fortune

- Need better visual tell when it triggers. The VO is great but a visual tell will help a lot.

- When used with Smiter's Boon and Monk's Focus, it heals a whole lot even when not triggered and heals over the tops due to low CD and two charges.


Holy Reckoning

- When used with Phoenix Protocol, it heals for a lot.


Phoenix Protocol

- This conflicts with Absolute Resolve and Battle Presence, not very clear which effect happens.- It's not applying Alacrity -- or the Alacrity icon doesn't show up.



- Power for Power should give more Power per Toughness loss. Even a 1:2 is still reasonable given how squishy they become.

- Lethal Tempo's duration should be 10s at 3% dmg and 5s at 5% dmg (Tyrant's).

- Tyrant's Momentum --remove the Justice increase duration -- add 2s Quickness every time Justice triggers instead.

- Deathless Courage needs a rework. This is the only GM trait that reduces the duration of Virtue and doesn't really do anything beneficial to anyone, not even to the Guardian. Willbender has tons of survivability thus this trait won't be of any use.

- Flash Combo - more damage


Overall feel

- Willbender has a lot of mobility, in fact too much, but no damage. It moves to location but there's nothing to do but move to another location. I'm not really sure what you're trying to do with this E.Spec but -- where's the damage???

- The sword skills also need improvements.

- Keep in mind that this E.Spec is following the footsteps of the Firebrand. So in terms of damage and support, Willbender doesn't bring enough to the table that Firebrand already do better.


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In comparing with the new elites of Necro and Mesmer, I just feel that Arena is doing a lazy animation work on Willbender:-

1) F1 = The so called rush toward target distance is even shorter than Greatsword3. Wtf? 
How the hell can the fist uppercut can be any relation to Willbender that is holding dual sword? Rename it to Monk instead??

2) F2 = The so called rush toward target distance is even shorter than Greatsword3. Wtf? 

3) F3 = Teleport PvP Stomp? Wtf? The animation is just bad, i don't get the purpose of spinning shield.

4) Sword4 = Axe4 of Warrior. Boring.

5) Sword5 = Sword2 of Revenant. Boring.

6) Whirling Light = Awkward street fighter skill.

7) Heaven Palm = PvP stomping (Wtf?)

It is just such a pure disappointment for me. It doesn't makes me to feel the hype of playing it at all. just pure boredom. I guess I won't even bother to farm skillpoint for it? Lol
There are many works you guys need to work it out. I don't see the urge to excel from Arena at all. This is a fail from me. Sorry. 

*p.s* i am a veteran player since GW2 Beta launch. Guess i need to swap my current Guardian main to other class now.

Edited by yLoon.5289
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Too many skills have aftercasts which end up ruining the mobility or the intended fluidity in combat with this elite spec.

Focus / Shield are still superior off-hands by far. The Sword is pure damage but doesn't offer enough in exchange for the loss of sustain and the increased risk by being in melee range.


F1 Rushing Justice often fails to punch and is clunky, run to the target, wait a second and then punch.

-Justice also often fails to make the final attack even when used originally within range and even on fixed targets like golems!

Due to the aftercast it fails even more frequently if the target is moving (Guild Wars 2 is all about moving, has been since 2012, please build the skills to accommodate this).


Advancing Strike has an after cast which makes it slow and bad at pairing with other skills that you want to use immediately after (Sword 5 > 4) making the immobilise all but useless.

For example, if you use Sword 5 and then 4 immediately, the 1s immobilise will have finished before you even complete the first strike of Executioner's Calling...

Executioner's Calling damage is lackluster


5 hits to proc Virtues is too many - it works well in huge encounters but is essentially useless when 1v1 or in smaller mobile fights.

-This is extremely evident with Resolve as we have no passive any more, F2 active is the only way to gain some level of sustain back, but you don't, because 5 hits are too many to land for the healing you get, most PvP fights are trades, if you land 5 hits on them, they land several hits on you too.

F1-F2-F3 cooldowns are all too high in WvW and PvP. This was supposed to be a selfish class with quick rotations and fluid gameplay, 18-30-50 are all too high.

It has lost all its passive sustain from Resolve and Courage, doesn't buff and heal allies by default any more.


Roiling Light often fails to make the second attack - Quick Retribution (damage and Daze don't hit) even when used within range, perhaps make it a shadowstep instead. PvP/WvW cooldown is 30 seconds! and you gain no extra benefits that most stun breaks have like boons or cleanse.


Reversal of Fortune can be interrupted - Then no heal happens, surely this is a bug. The skill should block the interrupt and heal?


F1 and F2 Should be 600 range.


Virtues traits are lost with this spec.

Justice is Blind doesn't give a Light Aura.

Absolute Resolution changes all the tooltips for F2 back to default and it's unclear if all the movement condi cleanse is removed or not. The improved passive is wasted.

Indomitable Courage - the improved passive is wasted.

Permeating Wrath - The increased proc frequency for Justice passive is wasted.



Overall I feel the risk vs reward isn't correct. I'm taking far more risk being all about melee, I've lost a lot of sustain, extremely susceptible to conditions, the skills still have the high cooldown and long aftercast Guardian plague that we've had since 2012 and I don't have the damage to make up for it.

This is a chance to make a fluid, fast Guardian, but it's just not there yet.


Video of Justice failing the attack on golems twice.


Edited by Ezrael.6859
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Some initial comments from PvE zones (went to PoF for a bit more of a challenge). Mostly fought wargs and spiders but this was telling in and of itself. Went back and forth between Willbender and a similarly geared main Firebrand, fighting individual enemies and packs of wargs (5-6 at a time).


TL;DR - Thematically the spec is great, the animations are fluid and beautiful, and the design intention is solid. However, the Willbender ability range is far too hamstrung to operate this elite spec as an efficient fighter in close melee range. Healing does not work as intended, very weak even when blocked when hit by large groups of enemies, not effective. Damage overall is too low with single targets or low numbers of enemies (i.e., not huge pack of stationary golems).


I feel the designers were too sensitive to people feeling "Guardian is Anet fav profession" and didn't want to seem partial, but in the end ironically severely curtailed the effectiveness of the actual elite spec. If we forget this is Guardian, and call it a new profession, let's say "royal fighter" or something, it would be clear it's very weak as it stands now. 


Critical issues

- F1 Rushing Justice range is 450, which seems quite low. Sword 4/5 also have lower range than Sword 2, which causes some clunky misses. It seems that F1 cannot be used as an opener (like Dragonhunter F1) or even gap closer. It seems that a design decision may have been made to tone down the range of these skills to not make WB seem OP, but in the end it makes it clunky and slow.

- Damage overall is low. When running FB just using weapon skills and utilities, wargs can be dispatched fairly efficiently. With WB, this is not the case, and ironically sword 1-3 do the most damage.

- Healing is underwhelming, even when timed correctly. With 4-5 wargs hitting me, and health at 20%, the WB heal does less heal it seems than one cast of the FB heal mantra. If this is a timing issue, it's either bugged or tuned to be way too tight, as 4-5 wargs hitting should trigger the 'strong' heal but either the full heal is weak, or is not being triggered. The way the skill is designed on paper, if 4-5 wargs are hitting you, and you land the block, you should be healed at least 50% if not more of your health for this to feel right.

- The only opener that works really well is Flash Combo, on a 20sec cooldown. If this elite spec is meant to be "in your face and personal" then having only one really good 900 range shadowstep opener is subpar. With a very hamstrung F1 range, only Sword 2 can work other than this utility, and Sword 2 *should* be the "gap closer while fighting", not opener, yet it has the highest range compared to all WB skills/traits other than Flash Combo. Without aegis and defenses, WB will be shredded while approaching ranged fighters in PvP or WvW is my expectation (haven't tried it yet though).

- Ranges should be boosted from 450, 500, 130 (!!!! - sword 4) to at least 600, maybe not all, but F1 at the very least, and perhaps sword 4 to 300 and sword 5 to 450 or even 600 to keep them in step with Sword 2 and to give an incentive to use offhand sword, as the ranges and damage on offhand sword do not seem too convincing over focus or shield. I would really be interested in reading feedback from serious PvP players about this.


Good parts

- Pretty much the aesthetics only at this point. I really like the animations, and colours of the glowing hands, this is really great. If we ignore the issues above, using the sword skills, swapping to GS, using F1-3, utilities (Whirling Light is my favourite!) are all very flashy and satisfying. The look & feel of the elite spec is really solid in my opinion. Just the skill range, damage, effectiveness of heal should be addressed. 


Inb4 "git gud"... I admit I am not an expert player, I am providing this feedback as an "average player perspective" who starts playing this vs. Firebrand or Dragonhunter, and just feeling out how the class works in practice when starting out.

Edited by alccode.1297
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Played about 2 hours of this thing in pvp, and 1 hour in open world. Here's some feedback:

What I liked:

  1. Overall, I see what you're going for, ANet. Specs has very beautiful animations and has a nice  theme going.
  2. Conceptually very nice spec, and I love how I think it's supposed to work.
  3. Sword 5, F2,  and the bottom/third master-tier trait are by far the biggest stars of the show here.

There's a LOT wrong though, and some of these things may be bugs:

  1. SO much animation lock. F1 and Flash Combo are by far the worst offenders. These skills are terrible and really need their animation locks completely removed (no self-root). F1 also needs to just be sped up greatly.
  2. Speaking of animation lock, f3 could use some touching up too. It doesn't have much animation lock on the end which is nice, but the start-up and overall cast time are far too slow, allowing someone to CC you on reaction speed to interrupt this skill and send it on cooldown. I think this deserves the DH Shield of Courage treatment, where you get stability immediately on start-up, and that lasts for 3/4 seconds, and then once you finish the landing, you get the rest of your boons/benefits.
  3. In PVP, I ran Marauder's Amulet, Scholar's Rune. The damage is not there. Even landing my big hits like Sword 4, and Whirling Light will take a off a decent chunk of enemy's health, but I lose almost every 1v1 I'm in against a decent player around my skill level - these are 1v1s I would and otherwise have won on core guard, or DH.
  4. PVP-split  cooldowns are too high, and not fair imo. Roiling Light is 30s? Every single physical skill is 20s+ cooldown.... these should all be 15-20s cooldown like they are in PVE.
  5. The heal. Oh dear Lord is it bugged. Like 60% of the time it reduces all damage I receive for that 1 second channel down to 0, but the heal does not proc at all. Also, when it DOES proc, it doesn't synergize well with certain traits. Namely Smiter's Boon (cast lesser smite condition upon using heal skill) does NOT work if the heal DOES absorb an attack. 
  6. More complaints about the heal: It gets completely canceled out if you get hit by a CC. The heal goes on cooldown, you don't get a heal, AND you get CCed. This is either a bug, or terribly balanced. It should function like Spellbreaker's Full Counter, except healing instead of dealing damage and dazing. A suggestion here is to add a short animation if the heal does proc, similar to what Spellbreaker gets for Full Counter.
  7. PVP-split cooldowns for the virtues are too high IMO. They should be 12, 20, and 30, just like in pve. That was some fine balance if you ask me. 
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Willbender is extremely underwhelming in PvP - personally I noticed these issues/design flaws


Vangard Tactics should swap Resolution and Resistance, meaning it should grant Resistance on Courage activation and Resolution on shadowsteps, so that Willbenders can run Radiance with Valk and not be instakilled as 11K HP oneshots, while Harbingers run around at 35K HP


New Virtues don‘t synergize or have bugs with core traits - Justice for example doesn‘t grant Light Aura when spec‘ed into Radiance, just the blind. There are a few more such cases. Justice has also an insane delay at the end

New Virtues didn‘t lose their passives - they lost their actives and activating them now simply offers their actual passive effect. They feel like they do nothing and have 0 impact after activating them in a PvP environment, because 5 hits for one proc is an insanely hard requirement to meet. High cooldowns on skills that seemingly have 0 impact just wont cut it for the elite spec


The damage Willbenders offer is extremely weak, I expected a strong Power Spec and not for sword 4 and 5 to do less than the old sword 3. The tooltips in PvP are completely messed up and it seems the spec is overnerfed numberwise before it got even released. In any way - not only sword offhand, but sword mainhand 1 and 3 and greatsword 1 and 2 need a power coefficient buff as well to make the spec at least playable in the future


The Major traits which are meant as a trade-off are simply too weak to the point where Guardians in Discords are suggesting picking no trait at all and leaving the major trait slot empty. Pay some stats to gain some stats feels like extremely lazy design and as if Guardians are doing a double trade off together with the class mechanic trade off of losing „passives“. At least make them offer some effect next to stats. Traits that „punish“ you by default should have strong effects and not something along the lines of „gain 240 power“.


I don‘t like to say that, because Guard is my favorite class, but Willbender might be the worst spec in PvP right after Firebrand

Edited by snoow.1694
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Definitely not a thought that i've completely ironed out, but just throwing it out there for no real reason other than to get it off my chest.
replace sword 4 with the "whirling light" utility skill.
Remove animation locks from the virtues
Replace the virtue willbender flame trails with willbender flame aoe aura effects.  (aoe that follows the player! kinda like gyros)

Many more things would need to change, but hey. maybe this is a start? :')

Edited by Kikk Dorr.5341
forgot to type clarifications
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I have to say as a guardian main, I am disappointed by the new will bringer. I was expecting more damage out of this class with it being more mobile. However, it feels slow, clunky, and weak. The class should play around the virtues which should have a lower cd and offer more utility. rushing justice needs a damage boost or provide a buff to overall damage when casted. or at least a cc as you are punching someone in the gut. 


Flash combo feels odd to use in pvp cause you hit the first hit but miss the rest cause they dodge, please ad a daze or a stun on initial cast to make it more useful. in pve i like this ability but would like to see more damage on it.  Whirling light animation is too long and damage is too low for it to be useful. id rather use DH blade trap (procession of blades) because its much quicker and does way more damage. I highly advise the whirling light to be turned into a aura like the virtuoso 4th shatter (bladeturn requiem) and use that light to do dps, in pvp/pve the light deflects or absorbs missiles.


Heavens palm...make this faster please, or make it so that it pulls in an area then knocks down when slamming the ground as the animation looks this would be ideal for pvp. As for pve, this ability could use a damage increase to match damage on the dragons maw . Roiling light animation needs to be sped up because it really looks odd when casted. Heel crack should become stun break and a counter attack which stuns on hits.


Lets talk traits. I strongly dislike the traits on this class. I'd first recommend that you swap restoring virtues and power for power. the first line of traits is boring. The class is already low on sustain but removing further toughness will make it down to elementalist level which has utility and damage to defend it self.  The suggested traits make the class more exciting to use. I have no complains with the 2nd line of traits, the third line of traits outside from Tyrants momentum, I cant find my self using either of the other traits...deathless courage probably decent for killing trash mobs only and phoenix protocol is pretty much useless in all cases. in PVE you have alac ren or mirage for raids, in open world because mobs hit hard, id rather take sustain over alac. in pvp this maybe handy but even then id take instant heal over the regen. 


Sword off hand feels odd to use in animation, advancing strike cd needs to be around 12-15 secs instead of 20 for what it really offers...executioners calling is a decent ability but I wish it would have a riposte to counter attack enemies when hit. counter attack will damage the target for lots of damage inflict vulnerability and weakness on the foe.  


now we come to what the devs did right, the class was meant to be fast paced duelist, the virtues offering the movement is a great way to achieve this. I do like the mobility for this class I think its done well, I do like the idea of Lethal Tempo but I think this buff needs to last longer as the virtues have a long cd. 


Other thing to note, please change the description for the trait Holy Reckoning. its worded poorly. 

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Needs Quickness - maybe on F1 or Sword 5 or on Shadowstep trait.

Remove the after casts on Virtues, Sword and utilities.

Improve all Virtue ranges to 600.

Reduce active virtue attacks needed to proc to 3 and add an internal 1s CD per target to keep it balanced against 5 targets.

Elite is horrible.

The Grandmaster traits are all bad, for grandmaster level traits the benefit vs drawback is too harsh, I might actually take none of them.

Lethal tempo doesn’t last long enough in WvW and PvP with the Virtues having such long cool downs, 18, 30 and 50. And without this passive up the damage is seriously lacking.


Best thing about Willbender is that endgame Guardian fashion wars players can easily remove Aegis now.

Edited by Ezrael.6859
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Willbender feels nice and dynamic to play but I just don't know if the animations are fluid enough for all the movement the spec can facilitate. It's favourite looking of the three specs and possibly also my favourite to play but it's held back by some inherant design flaws.

Needing to have a lot of enemies around to trigger enough ticks is not great. It's really situational and the kit doesn't do enough to group enemies together. The elite actually pushes enemies away which is a mistake. The spec is isolating an enemy but it would actually kill them much more efficiently if their four friends were nearby.

You can grab a greatsword for it's pull to alleviate this and since the off-hand sword is so lackluster I don't see a reason to use dual swords in this dual swords spec. It's unfortunate. 

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I played WB in PvE, mostly open world against vets and champs, and some 1v1 and 1v2 roaming and small group in WvW.

I tried pure power and celestial hybrid burn build with Radiance/Virtues in PVE, and power Valor/Virtues in WvW with meditations for condi cleanse and sustain.

Overall, sad to say, it wasn't very fun or effective. Love the concept of the duelist assassin with high mobility, but didn't like the actual gameplay.

I am repeating much of what has already been stated, but I have high hopes that this elite spec will be reworked based on the consensus. 

Main points:

1) The active Virtues feel like downgrades, Willbender Flames don't do much aside from offer Lethal Tempo, which would be okay if it activated more often and if the flames emanated from the Guardian instead of ground target. The mobility offered is too short in distance. The swiftness is nice. Overall, I miss the passives enough to not bother.

2) Offhand sword isn't very good. It offers nothing useful over other options.

3) Very little access to slow and no access to cripple. This makes WB less effective at sticking to a target. I have more luck with DH.

4) Animation locks are terrible and defeat the concept of the spec.

5) The traits are meh. Minor traits are okay. It's been said, but not taking tier 1 and 3 is pretty much the best option. Ugh.

6) No synergy with many other virtue/blocking traits. Indomitable Courage adds a stun break, but doesn't increase stability or reduce cooldown, just as an example of a wasted Grandmaster trait.

7) For a duelist spec, there is no sustain. Less blocks, few useful evades, no stealth, minor healing that is mostly lower than any other Guardian build, slow animations and long cast times.

8) Willbender flames should cause burning. I mean, they’re flames! It doesn’t really make sense  that they don’t and it would be appropriate for a possible condition option. 

9) Physical skills need some fine tuning to be on par with other physical skills, and need added effects to make them worth taking. The shadowstep that needs to land all hits (really?) to get Repose is pointless over Judges Intervention, especially if using Valor traits.


I appreciate the chance to test during this early beta and I like the overall concept, but I hope the OH sword is totally reworked, the virtues are totally reworked and the major traits are totally reworked.

Edited by Monarc.9726
Edited to add additional thoughts.
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15 hours ago, Darknicrofia.2604 said:

After a day of testing and watching good players streams, this might legit be the worst spec Anet ever put out.


Maybe HoT launch Ventari Rev is slightly worse? idk its close.

Good thing is we are six month from lunch. Nevertheless, it is currently a bad spec. The trade off concept of lower sustainability for higher damage works only if you deal higher damage, and it does not. And the sustainability is incredibly bad.  

This poor’s man power rev. Very poor.

Edited by otto.5684
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My 2 cents. For what it's worth. I posted this elsewhere not realizing there was a designated feedback post. 



This one had me the most excited initially after watching the promo. I've played a lot of guardian both FB and DH. I made this one first and just as excited as I was to try was equally met with disappointment. The talents feel punishing due to the disadvantages they tied in to try to offset the advantages. It almost feels like a choice between a lesser disadvantage rather than an exciting bonus or advantage. The damage left something to be desired as well. I was overall very disappointed and if this isn't reworked or buffed I will likely never bother playing this when it goes live. This is very sad because I greatly enjoy playing guardian was looking for a fun new twist for the profession. 


If I'm not on my guardian I'm probably on my mesmer. Again, I was excited when I saw the promotion. I think this is probably tuned right where it needs to be but it felt squishy to me. I'm curious what other beta testers think? The damage feels great so I honestly think this specialization probably needs very little work before going live. I think it's still slightly confusing how the talents play into the daggers. Do talents that buff clone damage now buff dagger damage? So all the clone damage is loaded into a mechanic gated burst? It's interesting and I suppose balanced at face value, but I'm also curious to see how this plays in pvp. Overall, I like the concept as long as you can still get use out of phantasm and clone talents. I would like to see something that helps soloing after losing clones which are such a critical and foundational mechanic for mesmer solo play. 


I honestly play necro the least out of all professions so I tried this one simply out of curiosity. I have greatly enjoyed condi specs in the past and I have to say I was thrilled when I started playing with this. I enjoyed the concept of the utility skills, but they almost seem a little boring to be honest. However, the damage and survivability is incredible and the gameplay feels fantastic with nothing more than basic carrion armor/stats. I wouldn't be surprised if this is nerfed before it goes live. As it stands, I might be playing more necro!



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