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Virtuoso Feedback Thread [Merged]


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20 hours ago, Simonoly.4352 said:

Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but when using Mirror Blade on greatsword as Virtuoso, no clone is created by your target so you no longer benefit from the bounces when cast on a solo target at range. This makes the skill entirely reliant on either being in range of the bounces yourself or only being able to bounce off the pets/minions of a solo target. In theory that's fine because many bounce skills are like this when fighting a solo target, but as none of the other Mesmer specs have to worry about this as a clone is always created with Mirror Blade, this seems like quite a downgrade when choosing to be a Virtuoso.

Perhaps Mirror Blade should be changed to a unique skill for Virtuoso?

 

That's a good point. Alternatively in order to retain consistence through out specs, the skill could be changed/reworked to give the same effects but not needing the bounce. Having it create a symbol on the ground around the enemy that does dmg and grants boons is a very simple solution, but they could also get more creative.

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Finally able to collect my thoughts, here’s my impression so far on my testing.   To start, I’m going to say that this was a missed opportunity to give the Virtuoso Dual Daggers. If this hap

My feedback F1 is worse than core, less damage, easily strafeable, the fact that it hits 5 projectiles in a row makes you miss several of them.  F2 is one of the few good skills on Virt, I w

This is like a core Mesmer except worse. It has no mobility, swiftness, nothing. It has no teleports, no reflects, its only defensive abilities are channels, its attacks are slow, do little damage and

Is Mesmer really the only espec not to receive a two handed weapon in any expansion so far?

 

I really think we can justify dual dagger on the virtuoso to compensate. Considering all the other core offhand weapons deal with phantasms.., it’d be nice to have an off-hand that caters to the virtuoso mechanics change.

 

please consider adding off-hand dagger…. It should have been an obvious addition from the very beginning.

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On 12/1/2021 at 1:28 PM, zetherin.8372 said:

I do find it hard to survive.  I was fighting some frogs and beetles by the giant tree waypoint in TD and I was near constantly poisoned.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but we have 1 heal skill and a singular block (F4) unless we talent more.  I found I was doing lots of damage and it was fun, but my health was constantly going down and I had no way to bring it back up.  Lots of other classes at this point have some sort of "vamp" or "lifesteal" talents/skills.  I feel like Virtuoso needs something small to offer a little more sustain

I think adding a dagger off-hand with some mobility / block in place of phantasms would help with the survivability 

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imo virtuoso need something new...

 

Bladesong

                  - provide aoe buff to the entire party, until switch to another.  also might help if add some simple music would                    be nice   (let us program our own song would be great. eg like how we play harp etc..)

                  or

                  -Sent out a flying sword, that flying around and attacking foe for x second.

                  or

                  -Conjure a phantasmal of past hero, to battle our enemy.

 

Blade Renewal

                   -make this a block skill, block next damage. if hit teleport mesmer x meter behind.  fill all five blade resource

                  or

                   -Fill all five blade resource, and provide alacrity buff to mesmer for x second

 

Sword of Decimation- knock back near enemy, and immobilizing distant enemy.  generate a aoe on mesmer.   this attack deal more damage if target get knock back.

 

Twin Blade Restoration- provide a passive 10% damage dealt leech as health, to compensate the lack of illusion.

 

Thousand Cuts

                    -make this a circle aoe, istead of a line.    that damage foe in large area around mesmer.

                    or

                    -Summon a minion illusion sword, that act like necromancer's flesh golem.   when active again, the sword flying and                          create a barrier to mesmer.

                       

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My testing with virtuoso has been exclusively WvW related, so any feedback I give will be in that context.

Condi Virtuoso:

The build I used was Dueling (3/1/2) + Illusions (1/3/2). Virtuoso trait line was 3/3/3. Weapons were dagger (agony sigil) + pistol (condi damage), staff (best with cleanse sigil + energy).  Initial gear was krait runes using rabid and then later celestial stats for survivability. Crit chance was vital for bleed stacks from Pistol 4.

The ability to open a fight with a max shatter without having to do any setup or sacrificing utility slots is a huge buff. Starting off a fight by applying 20 stacks of confusion from a distance can really catch an opponent off-guard. Blade generation from Pistol 4 opening up a continued string of maxed shatters gives this class some decent sustained damage after it's primary burst.

Projectile hate and condition cleanse can really shut this build down. If F2 and pistol 4 get cleansed or blocked then I am forced to attempt to stall with pistol 5, staff, and whatever utilities I decided to bring with me until F2 and/or Pistol 4 refresh. Dagger is not good on defense, which is fine. There is a possibility that going scepter would result in even stronger initial burst and better survivability with scepter 2.

In a small scale fight, condi virtuoso is a powerful condi burst mage that has to look for an opening to overload it's target with a few key conditions. Once the mesmer's skills are on CD they have to survive 20 seconds until they can threaten enemies again with another burst rotation. No clones, few tricks, fairly straightforward gameplay. The main problem I see with this style of play is a hit-and-run game that might not do well against an organized team that is aware of the virtuoso's cheese and dominating unorganized/solo players. Once the virtuoso is on the defensive it is difficult for them to make a full comeback unless the opponent makes poor choices around the virtuoso's burst window. Virtuoso elite on a condi build doesn't seem to have enough effectiveness to warrant over mass invis, moa, or even time warp. Large scale fights (and small organized fight groups) is kind of a no-no since condi cleanse and projectile hate is everywhere and you have only utilities for boon-strips. There is room for improved condi duration for sword of decimation immobilize to make an impact with disenchanter in a clouding situation for large fights.

 

Power Virtuoso

my only comments with power virtuoso is that consistent 5 hit boon-strip from domination line shatters feels really good, and strong vulnerability stacking from blades is a nice utility with a small group. Pinning down a single target with F1+F2+disenchanter boonstrip is very effective against teams with firebrands and scrappers. Disenchanter and sword of decimation makes power virtuoso a strong clouding choice in WvW. In a large fight, virtuoso elite makes a great cleave tool that can threaten resurrects. I would say that power is preferred over condi against zergs and organized groups especially with unblockable shatters.

 

Virtuoso definitely feels like a classic caster character with psychic themed overlay, and I had a lot of fun playing it. I think that virtuoso as a whole doesn't change the role that mesmer already fills, it just makes the offensive options easier. As much as bladesongs are a removal of a core mechanic, the stockpile feature is nice when it gives the player control of when to capitalize on their own efforts. I do feel that the virtuoso stunbreak needs to come out faster (instantaneously) to make it something to consider picking up compared to other utilities (It seemed to me that there was a small delay between ability activation and the actual knockback); right now decoy and midnight signet outclass it.

 

Conclusion: Condi build is a very high burst damage dealer that can run into heavy counterplay. Power  can consistently pin down and punish enemy zerg players that do not stack on tag. Gameplay is simpler/easier for both condi and power builds.

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  • Illusionary leap: Would be nice if the return was 900 range, you basically made a much weaker version of infiltrators strike.
  • Psionics: Probably good in PvE but honestly they seemed to have niche uses otherwise. I found blink, signet of illusions and ether feast better in every case and needed a cleanse for dealing with condi.
  • Elite: Good if the person is downed or stunned, pretty much useless otherwise, it has no teeth and is thin so no real problem crossing it with the amount of swiftness and superspeed everyone has now. Doesn't really help with AoE denial. Instant cast is good though.
  • Power damage: It doesn't feel stronger than core power shatter mesmer, I was playing domination and illusions and sure I could get a 10K F1 on someone but I needed as much of a set up and had the delay of Virtuoso with tell. If I spec into Inspiration to get more sustain and cleanses damage is non existent, where all you're doing is trying to stalemate a fight except you tend to lose because everything else does more damage and has more sustain, thanks to all the nerfs over the years.
  • PoF and HoT specs: There is a massive power difference (in WvW) between these 2 expansions and EoD for a lot of specs (except vindicator coz rev), we have condi druids and soulbeasts who are basically unkillable, grenade kit scrappers and holos too that have all the damage to one tap without set up and a ton of mobility and defence and when is anyone going to smiters boon necromancer for 6 months because this single class has a skill floor so low bots could (and do) play it while being effective enough to make you have to run away. When is any of this going to get addressed so we have REAL choice in what to play, I don't care if I have to play mirage for condi builds or chronomancer for support builds just let them be decent at something.

 

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Virtuoso, I have a lot to say. I liked roaming in pve with this mesmer spec, but it was best with group play to nuke. That being said, I don't like pveing much and I primarily play pvp. 

Overall:

I love Virtuoso and the concept of it. However, there was something unique this time around that I noticed. There were few mesmer utility skills that synced well and I found the lack of condi removal to be a bit of problem. I also noticed that condi virtuoso was weaker than power virtuoso by far. In my pvp matches, I do look for epic moments and I had a lot of those with Virtuoso.  I was dominating other classes. I think I found challenges with a Mirage and Specter, but that was not a problem. Utilizing the falling blades utility skill while a Spellbreaker ran through, took damage, and then knocking him back into it with my Greatsword felt amazing. I got the down from that. I could function as both roaming duelist and team fighter in pvp, that was nice. I had a reaper freeze and chill the enemy team on a node while I used my utility skills and virtuoso elite skill to wipe them out. I also liked that I could knock foes off nodes and deal decent damage and spike foes. But, not all utility skills worked perfectly. Blink, was great, the damaging utility skills from virtuso was great, but I saw almost no reason to use decoy or any other skills as the clones would fire off their blades quickly (which was nice), but they only had one or two blades. Using my five blades did way more damage. I loved the aegis trait, where every time I block, I would stock a blade, and after firing a blade, I would get aegis. So the blade cycles were harmonious and I had a great cadence when it came to my pvp matches. However, I was not able to really buff my team, but this has that deadeye/thief feel where I'm supporting my team by killing the other team. So dropping the falling blades around my downed team members while the enemy team tries to stomp/cleave was nice or knocking the foes away, but I couldn't send out much boons. Honestly, I'm okay with that as a thief main because that's normally do. However, like a thief main, I was not able to create many combo fields. I am not sure where you could put them in, but I think the virtuoso utility sills could be a light combo field and that may send out more boons to my teammates. Also, Sword was popular the last time around, but I saw no purpose in utilizing Sword as staying in ranged was better overall for kills and holding nodes. 

 

Pros: 

  1. Virtuoso felt unique and I loved it in pvp. 
  2. GS worked best with D/Pistol and utility skills.
  3. It was more of an active casting class that had great bursts and cleave. 

Cons & Bugs:

  1. There is almost no reason to fight at close range with Virtuoso since staying at range provides you with the most strategic damage output. Again, I'm okay with that, but some Mesmer builds relied on sword in the past. Here, sword isn't friendly to virtuoso considering that the majority of its ranged attacks can easily miss at close range and the casting times for some of the utility skills can be too long when a Spellbreaker or Berserker is on top of you. 
  2. In PvE, the dagger skills worked as if the action cam was turned on. Not a problem if you like the action cam, but it seemed to do that in Kryta a lot. I had to aim while the cam was off and that was odd. 
  3. Inability to provide boons to others without runes or sigils may be a problem for others. It wasn't for me, but others may not like that. 
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On 12/4/2021 at 9:03 PM, Simonoly.4352 said:

Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but when using Mirror Blade on greatsword as Virtuoso, no clone is created by your target so you no longer benefit from the bounces when cast on a solo target at range. This makes the skill entirely reliant on either being in range of the bounces yourself or only being able to bounce off the pets/minions of a solo target. In theory that's fine because many bounce skills are like this when fighting a solo target, but as none of the other Mesmer specs have to worry about this as a clone is always created with Mirror Blade, this seems like quite a downgrade when choosing to be a Virtuoso.

Perhaps Mirror Blade should be changed to a unique skill for Virtuoso?

 

I have been saying that since the first beta.

Virt will never work as a ranged spec because all ranged weapons are garbage. Scepter, staff are useless without clones, gs2 doesn't work (the only way to bypass this is to summon a phantasm before gs2 so it would bounce on it), dagger is one of the most useless weapons in game. 

But they decided to ignore everything. 

W/e let them have the shiny open world spec with oh so cool effects that isn't worth a kitten. 

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Let's actually give this thing some identity.

 

Scrap the Condi Build. This isn't a condi spec.

 

Bladesong Sorrow - changed conditions from Confusion to Weakness and Vulnerability. Increased power damage.

 

Jagged Mind -> Relentless Blades - Completely reworked. Bladesongs inflict Cripple.

 

Sharpening Stone - Gain Fury when you use a Psionic skill. Gain Expertise while under the effects of Fury. Psionic skills recharge 20% faster.

 

Bloodsong -> Discord - Completely reworked. When you inflict Cripple, deal damage and inflict Daze for 1/4 second. 5 second CD. Stock a Blade when you inflict Cripple. 

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Beta 4 Virtuoso Feed back Thread

For starters the bug fixes were amazing. I wasn't expecting so many to be caught including for example stowing the shatters with inspiration trait line allowing you to infinitely heal. Very glad that now when stowing your shatter you lose all your clones/blades and don't gain any healing.

Now onto the I dislike portion for Virtuoso and this will be touching on BladeTurn Requiem, Jagged mind, Blood song, and the damage of Bladesong Harmony in pvp.

My Comments on Blade Turn Requiem: Blade Turn Requiem is a unique skill that is cool to look at but isn’t something that belongs on the f4 of mesmer. Reasoning why is because historically Mesmer f4 was a survival focused shatter that the more clones you committed towards it the longer your “Survival is guaranteed” , Mainly this is coming from a pvp perspective as distortion typically was your best way of surviving condi damage as mesmer has almost no condition cleanse built into it so losing distortion on F4 almost guarantees you to be very vulnerable as well as full counter existing in gw2 just makes it so your f4 since it's not just a block but a attack as well makes it almost a guarantee the enemy full counter from a spellbreaker is gonna wreck you so straight up its better for you to not use your survival shatter… 

My recommended fixes/ changes:So imo the block which is static should be changed to a distortion as this fixes the problem of Virtuoso having very little condi cleanse as now you like other mesmer specs have a distortion on your f4 and can wait it out. As for your utility, that is a channel that generates blades. I would no longer have it as a distortion but make it a block that for the duration of your channeling it will block incoming attacks.

My Comments on Jagged mind: now this is a similar theme to what my comments for Sharpening Sorrow, and Blood song will be. Jagged mind Just doesn’t belong on Virtuoso as my understanding and as CMC initially expressed on the reveal stream of Virtuoso is that its a power based spec so Design wise, why is it here? Other comments are that Jagged mind is fairly underwhelming and core mesmer condition trait lines are more than enough to make condi virtuoso work for Open world pve,pvp and wvw so it doesn’t have a place in the Virtuoso trait line.

My recommended fixes/ changes: A change for Jagged mind is to rename it to whatever the heart of gw2 skills team desires as they typically are pretty good at naming stuff and make it a trait that when you fire of your shatters each dagger of a blade song will transfer to the enemy 1 condition you currently have so now it's a giving you a kind of spiteful play style with Virtuoso and makes a condi spec a bit more viable in pvp and unique as now you want your enemy to load you up with condi’s.

My Comments on Blood song:Blood song no longer serves its intended purpose with the Changes to Jagged mind that I recommended so therefore it must be changed.

My recommended fixes/ changes:For Blood song I think it could be really cool if it was a kind of Parasitic Contagion and for it to heal you for 10% of your condition damage however I think unlike Parasitic Contagion it should heal your for 10% of your power damage as well, and as well the name blood song could stay the same as your hormones causes your to heal from the blood of your enemies you spilled with it.

 

My Comments on  Bladesong Harmony in pvp: Blade song harmony needs to be reworked to work like mind wrack as currently a fixed coefficient A doesn’t matter if you build up max blades or not to hit your enemy as that damage per blade is always gonna be constant as the coefficient does not change and B currently you only have 1 extra clone compared to core mesmer because core mesmer is 3 clones plus the mesmer so VIrtuoso only should do 1 extra clone worth of damage on the f1 compared to mind wrack.

My recommended fixes/ changes:change it to scale appropriately per dagger used in your Bladesong Harmony instead of a fix coefficient per dagger.

Conclusion : I really liked Virtuoso even though the only new things it brings to mesmer is no clones and 1 extra clone/dagger for your shatters. But with the changes above I think the condi traits could have a place on Virtuoso and not seem like a filler and the f4 would bring the sustain which Virtuoso needs in pvp like chrono which is still waiting to this day to have it added back.

Edited by soul.6527
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First of all my say on Virtuoso, it sucks.

My suggestion however is make the blades controllable at will.

Example:
F1 can be targeted skill or untargeted skill, on targeted its hits the one you target once you cast it.
On untargeted cast it will hit/seek out the nearest enemy both visible and stealthed as potential target.
F4 can be defense and offense, on first F4 cast is regular spinning thing, press it again to release those blades circular outward.
etc etc etc.

Also please make the dagger auto attack animation better, the current is annoying AF.
Make it like Dancing Dagger animation if you are just copy pasting them and not making a new animation for that, i tried equipping Incinerator and i was annoyed.

Edited by Norbe.7630
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8 hours ago, LucianDK.8615 said:

How is the survivability of the Virtuoso compared to the other specs? Mainly thinking pve.

I'd say weak.

The core class has a lot of good tools and options so you probably could make something reasonably tanky but i'm not sure what virtuoso brings to the table, quite the opposite - it removes a few decent defensive tools in terms of clones and a weaker f4 shatter.

Its not as bad as weaver but it felt in the same kill them before they kill you territory. I'd say once i dropped below half health i was thinking 'i need to end this fight or run away and reset now'.  Its not built for longer fights in my experience, it has enough blocks and evades to limit the damage that comes in but just cant recover from what does go through.

Its a manageable weakness.

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A few suggestions for the virtuoso:

 

-please give us a psionic-trait with 20% cooldown reduction and condition removal. Psionic is a skill-fact that, as of yet, could just as well not be there, because it doesn't interact with anything (just like those glamour skills, by the way...)

 

-Mental Anguish should also increase the damage dealt by the F3 und F4 Bladesongs. Also, I would like to see some more damage on the Bladeturn Reqiem (F4), so that opponents will actually want to get away from me.

 

-the heal skill is just unplayable in wvw and pvp in its current form. Just make it hit each opponent in range, without targeting and add effects for every opponent hit.

 

-Dagger needs some boons or conditions, it is the most vanilla weapon in the game, without a single boon or condition on any skill.

 

-Also, everytime I tried to fight other long range classes (Ranger, Rev, etc.) I felt like I had the disadvantage and nothing to "save" me.

 

-for the love of the six gods, please give the virtuoso some form of meaningful (!) condition removal. Removing 1 (ONE) condition, IF you hit an opponent with your impossibly bad Heal Skill is not enough. I dont want to always take the Inspiration Trait line every time I play the virtuoso in WvW. We want to actually play the class with its new (psionic) skills. Why not design it that way then?

 

The visual effects on the class are brilliant. It has its own feeling and "flavor", but in terms of gameplay / powerlevel it is still a little messy right now. I would really like to see this elite spec shine. I doesn't have to be overpowered, just make it interesting and playable, at least. In both virtuoso-betas I found myself reverting to Core Mesmer Utility Skills, Heal Skills und Elites, because they simply outperform everything the virtuoso does or because they offer key elements that every mesmer MUST use in WvW (Blink, Condition Removal, Stealth, etc.) that the Virtuoso does not supply.

 

Please make this Elite Spec work! It's not much you'd have to change.

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PvE:

The out-of-combat blade stocking is now my favourite thing about this spec. Having the full burst ready at combat entry really feels different compared to Chrono who often has to "waste" his first clones for Continuum Split.

Currently, Virtuoso is fine as a power dps in PvE; condi, however, is a mess. Even utilizing a completely broken trait, which gave >6000 (!) expertise instead of the intended 150, didn't result in competitive dps numbers at the golem. More problematic than the numbers IMO is that you have to use dagger for a condi build. Scepter/Staff are not viable at all due to the lack of clones and their strong condi autoattack, so solely the Jagged Mind trait makes a condi build an option in the first place, which i think is a questionable concept.

 

WvW:

I had high hopes for Virtuoso in WvW Zerg fights, because at the moment Mesmer is merely a walking Focus pull with some utility. And indeed, the new utility skills are great (except the stun break which doesn't provide additional survivability like evade or stability, has a high cooldown and has to compete with blink), problem is: Mesmer doesn't lack great WvW utility skills, it lacks a good weapon and the dagger completely fails in that department. The bladesongs are also subpar (except F4 which is great). Piercing is one of those mechanics which look great on paper but are irrelevant most of the time. On range I was mostly hitting one target only and in melee I was often wishing for the old shatters because of annoying target selection. The reworked Psychic Riposte trait was intended to solve some issues but imo failed to do so. I never knew if my next bladesong is unblockable or not and the blade generation was rather poor. At least for single targets the Spec was ok, there were quite some thieves surprised by the ranged spike the Virtuoso can offer.

 

Suggestions:

Scrap the Condi traits, instead introduce traits that give bladesongs some AoE, like changing F1 into a single fat, unblockable blade that shatters on impact, rework Dagger 3 into a moving AoE field with a high tickrate that cripples without the projectile component.

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Beta 4- This spec absolutely shreds all PVE.  It was very satisfying.  Bladeturn Refrain offers a lot of blocks to fuel Psychic Riposte's 3 blade generation.

I didn't even play the condi line this beta.  I know a time will come when I'll want my blades to do a lot of bleeding for the feel of it, but this feels very much like a strike damage spec, and I could go for another way to play along the bottom.  Bleeds could probably just be rolled into the middle line for the ultimate damage line.

Issues - Heal requires you to face your target.  Not expected of any other heal skill.

Stun Break can be interrupted or unavailable when CC'd.

Instant Thousand Cuts offers no feel of impact or effort.

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I exclusively play my Mesmer, so this beta week I also exclusively tested Virtuoso.

 

I tested quite a few builds:

- Chaos/Illusions/Virt 1-1-1 + Scepter/Pistol (Viper's, Nighmare)

- Dueling/Inspiration/Virt 2-2-2 + Dagger/Sword, Sword/Focus (Marauders, Eagle)

- Dueling/Domination/Virt 1-2-2 + Dagger/Pistol, Greatsword (Berserker, Eagle)

- Illusions/Dueling/Virt 3-3-3 + Dagger/Pistol (Rampager's, Krait)

 

What I really liked:

Virtuoso 1-1-1 is probably my favorite part of this spec, the active defense traits are easily the most exciting and unique part of Virtuoso. I loved being able to generate tons of blades, especially for combos with skills like Ether Feast. I really liked that scepter and pistol are really solid weapons on this spec. Virtuoso 3-3-3 aka the bleed line was actually pretty fun when managing to cap crit chance with core Rampager's armor and using bleed duration Runes/Sigil, because it's the build that cares about the number of hits each attack does such as F4 shatter and the rain of blades.

 

What I think needs another look: 

The F3 and F4 shatters don't feel very good to use. For the condi builds I ran, I did use F4 for regeneration uptime (from chaos) and AoE bleed on the bleed dagger build, but I don't really know how powerful it was. The F3 also seems lacking. It suffers a lot from the bladesongs not being instant cast, and the duration is not very long. I generally don't like spending blades to cast it outside of important breakbars. This problem becomes really apparent for the power build because the only fun shatter to play with is F1. F4 is the only truly unique shatter for the Virtuoso and its a little sad that it isn't stronger when Mesmer players are used to Continuum Split and Distortion. Maybe more damage and maybe a stun break? 

 

Dagger skills aren't very interesting. I don't feel like there's a lot of play to these. Mirage and Chronomancer have really great weapons where I can do fun things like use Axe 3 to retarget my clones before my target dies, evade enemy attacks, and use shield 5 to block projectiles or even catch it twice with Continuum Split. This is in addition to Axe 2 using an ammo resource and Shield 4 letting you shield a second time in a 10 second period. Is there anything more that can be done with dagger? I feel like this matters a lot since there are several traits that basically mandate the player uses dagger. Some other things I think dagger would benefit from is a little bit of innate fury generation and maybe an auto attack chain (especially for additional animatioms here).

 

Those are the big ones. Some minor nitpicks here.

Inspiration traitline's heal per shatter is capped at 3, with no benefit for 4 or 5. The utility skill "Psychic Force" could probably benefit from some swiftness (or superspeed) application since it's also partially an escape and you can sometimes accidentally push enemies at weird angles. I don't really feel too much freedom with the traitlines... while I did make the condi dagger build work, I had much more fun with the Condi secepter build. Currently the Virtuoso traits have 3 different ways to get Fury and 3 different ways to get blades. What if there were instead only 2 different ways of each and instead a more unique traitline on the bottom? For example something like getting a flat 10s cooldown refresh on all shatters after killing an enemy would be a lot of fun and on theme with the Virtuoso. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Suasive.1872 said:

I exclusively play my Mesmer, so this beta week I also exclusively tested Virtuoso.

 

I tested quite a few builds:

- Chaos/Illusions/Virt 1-1-1 + Scepter/Pistol (Viper's, Nighmare)

- Dueling/Inspiration/Virt 2-2-2 + Dagger/Sword, Sword/Focus (Marauders, Eagle)

- Dueling/Domination/Virt 1-2-2 + Dagger/Pistol, Greatsword (Berserker, Eagle)

- Illusions/Dueling/Virt 3-3-3 + Dagger/Pistol (Rampager's, Krait)

 

What I really liked:

Virtuoso 1-1-1 is probably my favorite part of this spec, the active defense traits are easily the most exciting and unique part of Virtuoso. I loved being able to generate tons of blades, especially for combos with skills like Ether Feast. I really liked that scepter and pistol are really solid weapons on this spec. Virtuoso 3-3-3 aka the bleed line was actually pretty fun when managing to cap crit chance with core Rampager's armor and using bleed duration Runes/Sigil, because it's the build that cares about the number of hits each attack does such as F4 shatter and the rain of blades.

 

What I think needs another look: 

The F3 and F4 shatters don't feel very good to use. For the condi builds I ran, I did use F4 for regeneration uptime (from chaos) and AoE bleed on the bleed dagger build, but I don't really know how powerful it was. The F3 also seems lacking. It suffers a lot from the bladesongs not being instant cast, and the duration is not very long. I generally don't like spending blades to cast it outside of important breakbars. This problem becomes really apparent for the power build because the only fun shatter to play with is F1. F4 is the only truly unique shatter for the Virtuoso and its a little sad that it isn't stronger when Mesmer players are used to Continuum Split and Distortion. Maybe more damage and maybe a stun break? 

 

Dagger skills aren't very interesting. I don't feel like there's a lot of play to these. Mirage and Chronomancer have really great weapons where I can do fun things like use Axe 3 to retarget my clones before my target dies, evade enemy attacks, and use shield 5 to block projectiles or even catch it twice with Continuum Split. This is in addition to Axe 2 using an ammo resource and Shield 4 letting you shield a second time in a 10 second period. Is there anything more that can be done with dagger? I feel like this matters a lot since there are several traits that basically mandate the player uses dagger. Some other things I think dagger would benefit from is a little bit of innate fury generation and maybe an auto attack chain (especially for additional animatioms here).

 

Those are the big ones. Some minor nitpicks here.

Inspiration traitline's heal per shatter is capped at 3, with no benefit for 4 or 5. The utility skill "Psychic Force" could probably benefit from some swiftness (or superspeed) application since it's also partially an escape and you can sometimes accidentally push enemies at weird angles. I don't really feel too much freedom with the traitlines... while I did make the condi dagger build work, I had much more fun with the Condi secepter build. Currently the Virtuoso traits have 3 different ways to get Fury and 3 different ways to get blades. What if there were instead only 2 different ways of each and instead a more unique traitline on the bottom? For example something like getting a flat 10s cooldown refresh on all shatters after killing an enemy would be a lot of fun and on theme with the Virtuoso. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some good words here. Did you happen to benchmark them? I would be quite interested in how they stack up to each other.

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Hi,

Well my first observation is on the expansion and that there is still no GvG like in GW1 and for a game called Guild Wars but rather "World" wars or "Alliance" wars when that starts.

But for the new characters my feedback is for all of them really and could be put in any of them.  And that is that the characters just keep adding another character's weapon and gets abilities that makes the characters less unique I think.  For example, Mesmers had portals then Necros and Thieves get those abilities.  Other characters had other things that made them unique with having something others didn't.  

It seems like there is more sharing of weapons with each update and taking another character's ability and adding to another's and making each less unique in my opinion.  I would rather see less sharing of weapons and abilities and strengthen the unique abilities and add abilities along what they already do.  For example, when Mesmers had the portals and not Necros and Thieves do some other stuff with that or with other abilities that make them unique.  Same with the other characters and keep them unique and a reason for choosing one over the other.  

Going this way soon each character will have same ability to heal, damage, portal, invisibility, etc and there will be little difference of Professions.

 

Thanks

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Traits - Feel restrictive

  • Unlike most trait lines, Virtuoso do not encourage engaging build crafting as they can’t really be mixed and matched as there is essentially a packaged condi line, power line, PvP line
  • Traits that only trigger when you block or evade an attack feel horrible in PvE further restricting trait selection. Could these have a PvE related trigger as well?
  • Some core Mesmer traits do nothing without illusions such as sharper images and empowered illusions. The former being especially problematic as it is a minor trait and cannot be avoided if using the dueling trait line. 
  • No interaction with the utilities/dagger
  • Improved damage while being close feels contrary to how the rest of the spec is pushing the class

Potential suggestions

  • Blade skills could inherit the trait bonuses from Illusions, meaning they will bleed on crit, and do more damage with the respective traits. This means these core traits are not useless and makes space in the traits meaning there doesn’t need to be a rigid condi-line.
  • Just like greatsword, sword attacks should be classed as blade skills too. Greatsword autoattack should be a blade skill too. 
     

Shatters/Blades - Does not meet expectations of being the shatter spec for mesmers

  • Bladesongs don’t feel different enough from shatters as they share similar cooldowns, are single targets and have similar effects. 
  • Bladesong dissonance can be used without a target but harmony and sorrow can not
  • There is no reward to using shatters with more blades as the damage scales linearly (other than wasting blades due to cooldowns)

Potential suggestions

  • Create more variety in the shatters, have one have no cool down to act as a weaker blade dump, have one be aoe targeted, have one be a directional targeted piercing attack

 

Dagger - skills feel out of place

  • Auto attack animation feels unnatural
  • Long range weapon but blade call promotes standing in melee range
  • Bladestorm at full range doesn’t use the full pulse

Potential solution

  • Bladestorm would feel better either as a stationary aoe target skill, or keep it as it is but use directional targeting like the Tempest’s Lighting Orb
  • Bladecall shouldn’t be stronger in melee range, perhaps, it is one blade wider blade that shoots out in a straight line before returning. Or a blade that bounces between foes before returning
  • A larger change, would be changing the Virtuoso’s attack animations to be like a orchestra conductor using the dagger as a conductor's baton, controlling a psychic dagger that’s slashing from from a distance similar to axe auto attack
     
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On 12/6/2021 at 10:50 AM, Duke Blackrose.4981 said:

Let's actually give this thing some identity.

 

Scrap the Condi Build. This isn't a condi spec.

 

Bladesong Sorrow - changed conditions from Confusion to Weakness and Vulnerability. Increased power damage.

 

Jagged Mind -> Relentless Blades - Completely reworked. Bladesongs inflict Cripple.

 

Sharpening Stone - Gain Fury when you use a Psionic skill. Gain Expertise while under the effects of Fury. Psionic skills recharge 20% faster.

 

Bloodsong -> Discord - Completely reworked. When you inflict Cripple, deal damage and inflict Daze for 1/4 second. 5 second CD. Stock a Blade when you inflict Cripple. 

Some more I'd like to see. 

 

Flying Cutter - have each hit of Flurry of Blades grant a stack of Might.

 

Bladecall - Inflicts Cripple

 

Unstable Bladestorm - make it the secondary activation of a new skill - Bladeguard. Bladeguard blocks incoming attacks and retaliates with Blades. Activate again to use Unstable Bladestorm. This allows for better synergy with the spec's expansive blocking traitline.

 

Blade Renewal - now blocks instead of distorting. Again, for better trait synergy.

 

Bladeturn Refrain - Bladesongs grant Aegis AND Aegis now removes a condition when it blocks an attack or expires.

 

Mental Focus - Sorry, this isn't a melee spec, and if you were playing it melee, you would use the Block line, not this. Rework this trait to provide a generic 10% damage bonus after using a Bladesong.

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I probably played upwards of 50 hours of Virtuoso during the beta (wish I could check) and I've been a Mesmer main since release, so I thought I would give my feedback and bug list.

Overall, despise all the bug fixes, Virtuoso in beta 4 was sadly a regression from beta 1 for me - specifically the power variant - due to three reasons:

  1. Spatial Surge (greatsword auto) used to count as a "blade" skill and thus applied vulnerability. In my mind this made sense balance-wise as Virtuoso is supposed to be more of a ranged damage dealer than other Mesmer variants. I do see why they changed this, because Spatial Surge is technically a beam and not a blade, but this can be compensated by making Illusionary Berserkers' attacks count as blades.
  2. Sword skills also used to count as "blade" skills and applied vulnerability. Up to 8 vulnerability with Blurred Frenzy was nice, and this should definitely be restored.
  3. Blade Renewal could be cancelled and you would retain the full distortion duration (but lose the blade generation), which let you safe-heal or safe-Mass Invis. It was vital in surviving versus classes with high burst and unblockable attacks like Daredevil, Herald, Dragonhunter, Lightning Rod Weaver, as well as vs Power Block Condi Mirages. Without this, you are very incentivized to run tanky builds (Chaos/Inspi) which is less fun.

However the changes to Infinite Forge and Psychic Riposte are an improvement.

Bugs

General

If the target dies before they convert into blades, they disappear and you get no blades. If you are too far away from your phantasm (possibly 1200 range) when it despawns you also do not get a blade. This may be intended however.

Some skills and traits that only summon clones when used in range of a target also need a target in range to summon blades, for example Signet of Illusions, Escape Artist, Deceptive Evasion, Phase Retreat. This may be intended, but is unintuitive for virtuoso. Skills such as Phase Retreat should possibly summon a blade without having a target (as long as you are in combat).

Bladesongs

Bladesong HarmonyCannot be used without a target even though Bladesong Dissonance can. 

Bladesong SorrowCannot be used without a target even though Bladesong Dissonance can.

Bladeturn Requiem – Block duration is constant but in the patchnotes is says “base block duration set to 2s”. What is the meaning of “base” if the block duration is constant? Also, why is the channel time 1 ½ seconds but the block 2 seconds? It doesn’t make much sense.

Weapon Skills

Unstable BladestormDisappears completely if blocked.

Mind SlashDoes not count as a blade skill. All sword skills correctly counted as blades last beta (look at my vuln stacks when he hits Blurred Frenzy), although the tooltip was bugged. So this is a regression.

Blurred FrenzyDoes not count as a blade skill.

Blade LeapDoes not count as a blade skill. Misses target constantly, even if they are standing still. Needs improved hit registration. This can be fixed by copying Monarch’s Leap mechanics to this skill: explanation. I cannot stress this enough!

Illusionary Riposte/Counter BladeDoes not count as a blade skill.

Phantasmal Swordsman – Does not count as a blade skill.

Phantasmal Berserker – Does not count as a blade skill.

Phantasmal Warden – Does not count as a blade skill (yes, axes have blades).

Twin Blade RestorationCannot be casted while facing away from target.

Blade Renewal – Does not work with distortion traits i.e. Auspicious Anguish, Master of Fragmentation, Inspiring Distortion.

Thousand CutsThe target indicator for this skill has a clock and shield symbol like Chronomancer "Tides of Time"; this is probably a placeholder.

Traits

Jagged Mind – Does not work with certain skills on sword, greatsword, focus (mentioned above).

Deadly Blades – Does not work with certain skills on sword, greatsword, focus (mentioned above).

Sharpening Sorrow – Gives more expertise than intended.

Phantasmal Blades – (This one I am unsure about, I tested it in beta 1 but didn’t have time to check if they fixed it this time around) The blade attack damage is not increased by damage modifiers. If the blade attack counts as originating from the player it should be increased by the likes of Superiority Complex and Vicious Expression, if it counts as originating from the phantasm it should be enhanced by the likes of Empowered Illusions, Phantasmal Force, and Vicious Expression.

Mental Anguish – Bladesong Dissonance and Bladeturn Requiem do not deal increased damage.

Shatter Storm – Makes the projectiles from Bladesong Harmony invisible.

Master of Fragmentation – Doesn’t increase block duration even though it says it should and indicates so in the tooltip.

 

Feedback

Dagger

I like the concept of the dagger, fast attacks complements the slower profession skills on Virtuoso, but currently dagger is way inferior to greatsword in competitive modes. It deals very poorly with LoS and kiting, dagger 3 becomes useless. If your opponent stands on high ground, you cannot do much more than spam auto-attacks and get out-traded by pretty much everyone, which is very bad for a 1200 range weapon on a squishy class. With that in mind I would consider lowering dagger range to 600 or 900 and making it more solid at that range, to give it a more unique identity from greatsword.

Also, none of the dagger skills really feel satisfying or impactful to land, or far less so than, say, Mirror Blade, Maul, or Mind Stab. It feels like you are just throwing out random attacks and hoping that your opponent will be whittled down over time. The skills don’t have a different feel or utility from each-other because they don’t provide any boons, conditions, or additional effects aside from “low chip damage quickly”. There isn’t much room for player expression; a good Mesmer has tricks up his sleeve to land Mirror Blade more consistently but I don’t see much difference between players when it comes to dagger.

Flying Cutter - Needs projectile speed and accuracy. It currently misses too much, cannot compete with the accuracy and consistent damage of greatsword.

Bladecall – Cool skill, I enjoy the shotgun effect, but it is too slow to return which makes it very unreliable on moving enemies. The trick that was shown in the preview livestream with de-targeting and shooting it into the floor at your opponent’s feet is useless because it “sticks” to the floor for so long that when it returns, the target will have moved away from it. It should “bounce” rather than “stick” to floors/walls.

Unstable Bladestorm – Suffers from many problems:

  • Disappears completely if it touches a block/aegis, or if it touches a wall.
  • Because the storm moves so slowly and most of the damage is inflicted only if it passes through your enemy, this skill is very difficult to hit in PvP and the reward isn’t large enough to be worth it.
  • It doesn’t feel rewarding or satisfying to hit.

This skill would benefit from a rework, here are a couple ideas:

  • Make it a ground-targeted AoE. The storm animation would be the same but it would do pulsing AoE damage instead of projectile damage, and inflict cripple. Maybe with two ammo. This fixes the problems with it disappearing when it moves into a wall, it mitigates the problem Virtuoso has with projectile denial, it mitigates the severe problem dagger Virtuoso has with dealing with enemies using LoS/kiting. It would also synergize better with your kit; you could do combos like Magic Bullet → Unstable Bladestorm or Sword of Decimation → Unstable Bladestorm.
  • Make it a quick short 1/4s daze, akin to Spellbreaker Disrupting Stab or Thief Headshot. If you interrupt a skill, you get aegis. This would make up for Virtuoso losing the quick daze on F3, and the aegis would allow dagger to better synergize with Virtuoso traits.
  • If a rework is not possible, make this skill bounce or stop on walls instead of disappearing, and make it inflict cripple.

Bladesongs

Bladesong HarmonyShould be usable without a target just like Bladesong Dissonance. Has bad accuracy at longer ranges. Consider lowering the cast time to ½ second from ¾ seconds – makes Virtuoso less reliant on the quickness trait.

Bladesong SorrowShould be usable without a target just like Bladesong Dissonance. This is the best of the new Shatters, hits reliably.

Bladesong Dissonance – This skill is very weak. Short daze with a long startup that misses your target more often than not, on a 38 second cooldown. Improve the accuracy/projectile speed and make this skill stun instead of daze. Much of Virtuosos kit synergizes with hard crowd control, including Bladecall, Unstable Bladestorm, Sword of Decimation, Rain of Swords, Thousand Cuts and Bladesong Harmony, yet Virtuoso does not have a single hard cc. Hence, making Bladesong Dissonance stun just makes sense.

Bladeturn Requiem – The damage on this skill is annoying for several reasons:

  • It triggers Shocking Aura, Full Counter and Static Shield, which can often result in your death.
  • It reveals you, which can often result in your death.
  • It does negligible damage which does not deter people from continuing to attack you in melee range.

Altogether, this means the skill would be stronger if it did not do any damage, which I don’t think is intended to be the case. However, it is a cool synergy that it can pulse torment with Maim the Disillusioned or boon removal with Shattered Concentration. Not sure how to marry these ideas, perhaps if it was a Distortion for ½ sec per blade and pulsed damage every ½ sec instead of every 1 second. Alternatively, you could put the “rotating blades” effect on a utility skill instead and increase the damage – that way it would be optional. I don't know.

Also, it needs to be clearer exactly how the skill is supposed to work – why does the block duration say 2 seconds but the channel time says 1 ½ seconds? It is meant to block for ½ after the channel is over? And why does it increase to 3 seconds on the tooltip with Master of Fragmentations trait?

Utilities

Twin Blade Restoration – First of all the target facing requirement needs to go. Second of all, a single condition removal is way too weak considering you need to hit an enemy which isn’t always easy. Either make the cleanse part guaranteed, or make it stronger.

Blade Renewal – In the previous beta you could cancel it to still get the full distortion and cast during it, but you’d lose the blade generation, and I think fixing this was a bad decision. It was vital in enabling squishier Virtuoso builds because it allowed to do stuff like safe-heal , safe-Mass Invis, or safe-stomp. It should ideally be reverted as it allowed interesting strategy. Aside from that, I don’t think this utility should be buffed for now.

Rain of Swords – This is a weak skill in PvP but since it is a big pulsing AoE, that is probably a good thing. Buffing a skill like this risks enabling a bunker with too much node pressure.

Psychic Force – I love the animation on this, but this skill has too long cooldown to be usable in PvP considering how easily the knock-back is nullified with Aegis, Blind, Stability, Dodge and so on. And because it is a stunbreak, you cannot stow it to save the cooldown, because then it goes on the full 40 second cooldown. Either lower the cooldown, or remove the stunbreak and then lower the cooldown.

Sword of Decimation – I enjoy this skill and I think it is pretty decent. The extra damage on disabled or downed foes is fun. The main reason you typically cannot take it currently in PvP is just because Virtuoso relies on utilities for defence. The only change I would like to see is a lower aftercast. The skill has a ½ second cast time but it actually takes about 1 1/3 seconds to hit. If it would hit in ½ – ¾ seconds you could combo it with more skills, like Chaos Storm or Bladesong Dissonance.

Thousand Cuts – While not especially strong in PvP, I think it is somewhat underrated because of its instant nature and how it can thus combo with skills like Magic Bullet or Sword of Decimation. If Bladesong Dissonance is changed to a stun and Unstable Bladestorm is changed to a cripple as I suggested, this skill would immediately feel more usable. Besides, the competing skills (MI, Moa, TW) aren’t particularly strong either. Keep it as is for now.

Traits

Overall my take on the traits is that it is a shame the defensive top row is so superior because it really pigeonholes you into a specific playstyle, namely playing builds that dodge and block a lot in melee range, like some staff/sword or staff/scepter builds. Sort of ironic considering how much of Virtuoso is designed to be ranged. I personally like to kite in and out of range and LoS with greatsword and sword and for that type of playstyle to work, the middle and/or bottom row of traits really need to be improved.

I’ll be going by horizontal row because the traits are thematically structured that way, starting with top top top (111). The minor traits are both fine except that Deadly Blades should work with Sword skills and with Phantasmal Berserker. The phantasm should inherit the effect.

 

The top row (the "defense" row):

Psychic Riposte – I don’t think adding unblockable here is a good solution because it is so strong that it locks you into one grandmaster and because it is ultimately in the control of your enemy and thus, unreliable. Sure, it can be played around, but it doesn’t feel great or flow well. If you really want to have an unblockable effect on Virtuoso it should be more active – my idea is to add to Thousand Cuts “While the portal is open, your Bladesongs are unblockable”. That way we would have 5 seconds of reliable unblockable Bladesongs on a 60 second cooldown. Alternatively making either F1, F2 or F3 a non-projectile would also be fine, among other options.

That aside, the three top traits are the most solid.

 

The middle row (the “power” row):

Mental Focus Weak in PvP but it is more of a PvE trait anyway so that’s fine.

Phantasmal Blades Increase fury to 10 seconds and make it gives fury when the phantasm is first summoned rather than when it expires. That could allow running builds like Domination+Illusions and still get fury – currently you are locked into either Chaos or Duelling in order to really benefit from Virtuosos baseline boosted fury. Even then it may not be enough because the boons on Duelist's Reversal are very strong. The damage is fine in PvP.

Infinite Forge – Fantastic trait.

 

Bottom Row (the “condition” row):

I and many others would rather see this row become a utility row. Note that this wouldn’t disallow you to play condi builds on Virtuoso – after all condi Chrono was meta over power Chrono for years in PvP even though Chrono has zero condi traits. Similarly on Mirage, people don’t generally play the bottom three traits even on condition builds. The condi damage should just come mostly from core traits and weapons, plus F2.

Jagged MindSince the top adept trait gives defence and the middle one gives damage, Jagged Mind could give movement speed. Either something like “Gain increased movement speed for each blade you currently have” (like Revenant’s Rising Momentum) or something like “Gain swiftness when you use a Bladesong”. It needs to be fairly strong to compete with Bladeturn Refrain.

Sharpening SorrowCurrently only good because it gives +100% condition duration due to a bug. Since there isn’t much reward on Virtuoso for the playstyle of saving up lots of blades (you are in many ways rewarded for spamming them), Sharpening Sorrow could be something like “Bladesong Sorrow grants Fury and Might for each blade that hits your target”. That sort of trait is nice because it boosts both power and condition builds. Vigor would also work instead of might.

BloodsongI think many would like to see a Psionic skill type trait. Maybe “Whenever you stock a blade from a weapon or utility skill, stock one additional blade. Psionic skills also stock a blade on hit.” So, for instance, this trait would make Mirror Blade stock 2 blades on hit, Mirror Images would stock 3 blades and Twin Blade Restoration would stock 1 blade. This trait makes your active and aggressive skills more rewarding, which complements Psychic Riposte which is more defensive and Infinite Forge which is more passive.

 

Thank you for listening to my Ted talk.

Edited by agrippastrilemma.8741
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I like the concept and base gameplay of virtuoso. But I'd like to see more interesting and impactful traits to customize gameplay. Here are some suggestions:

 

Infinite forge

Passively generating blades is pretty boring. This can be replaced by a new trait like this:

Reduce the maximum number of blades to 3 and bladesong attacks become unblockable. If you gain blade after reaching maximum, shoot a blade at nearby target.

The trait provides an option to trade burst damage for more reliable damage. 

 

Bloodsong and Jagged mind can be combined as one bleed trait. 

 

Condition removal trait:

Whenever you gain maximum amount of blades. Remove one condition.

Virtuoso is not very mobile or slippery due to no IP/long cast time/requirement to face target. Some sustain trait is needed.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Exciton.8942
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