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Harbinger Feedback Thread [Merged]


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Shroud: Excellent animations, feel, everything

Pistol: Again, really solid

 

Elixirs: Ground up redesign needed. Uninspired effects (wheres one that releases a poison cloud? one that buffs my next attacks with a unique effect? all just boons?). The AoE trait should make them ground targets instead of around the necro. The icons are way too basic. 

 

Traits: Why does every elite this expansion need to be Power/Boon/Condi? Older specs picked 2 of the 3 and it was fine.That leaves them feeling more unique, and gives room for more fun/interesting/survival based traits. One of the three lines should be removed and made more interesting traits. At the least the two Major Adept Blight traits should be combined. 

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While shroud and pistol skills are great, elixirs just feel incredibly boring and unimpactful

I can echo that. The elixirs needs to go back to the drawing board. Plus they are inferior to engineer elixirs which can be thrown.

This feedback is specifically for WvW. I have 1000s of hours in WvW, command daily and play every class, and often main necro.   Harbinger provides no unique niche in this content. It is a s

After testing PvE Harbinger a bit in the open world (fighting awakened in the Desolation), here are my thoughts...

 

The Good:

1. Pistol was fun, felt good to use, and synergizes well with Necro's life-steal mechanics.

2. The aggressive shroud skills and a couple of strong elixirs were a nice way to allow me to build tankier (I tested with Celestial) but still gain some burst damage by sacrificing some of that survivability.

3.  On a glassier build (I used berserker), the passive health gain was a nice QoL thing when I wanted to focus on movement.

 

The Bad:

1. Elixir icons all look a bit samey.  They're serviceable, but seem out of place because other skills have more variety in the artwork.

2. Elixirs in general are a bit boring.  

 

The Mixed:

1.  On glassier builds, I don't see myself using elixirs or spending time in shroud, so a lot of the Harbinger's kit may be wasted when I run zerker or viper gear.  On the other hand, there seem to be a lot of players who favor maximum damage all the time, so those players may like it.

2.  The biggest source of blight seems to be elixirs, but the first trait choice is between lowering the cooldown of elixirs or turning blight into an offensive tool.  Maybe it's balanced to choose between stronger elixirs or elixirs on a shorter cooldown, but it still felt bad. 

 

In Summary:

Overall I enjoyed build-crafting and playing harbinger more than I thought I would, given it's glass-cannon theme, and I believe the class offers utility for multiple playstyles.  However, I have somewhat mixed feelings about the elixirs.

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Elite spec should have been dual wielding pistols from the start. Put a snare etc on 4 or 5 as an example. Dual wielding would look perfect on Harbinger.

 

Love shroud, its amazing, maybe 2 charges on Voracious Arc so we can get in, then get back out again.

 

Elixers are RUBBISH. NOTHING about them is good. Either make it so when you activate one it changes your first weapon skills to match the functionality of that elixer you equipped (like Engineers) or make the elixers actually combat ready so they not only buff you but do something damaging/cc'ing AND cool to the enemy. Right now 6 to 0 have the same animation and are boring. NO ONE is going to play as this spec in its current form. Even Elixer of Ambition could turn you into this raging shroud beast to match all the boons you have and also change your first 5 skills. 

 

Only elite spec in the entire game that is actualy boring. Feels like skills 6 to 0 is like visiting a nursing home.

 

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The fragility works for the damage dealing specs, but you clearly had a support role carved out for this class, and its extremely difficult to play even a fraction as well as Scourge as a support. This is for 3 reasons:

(THIS IS SPECIFICALLY FEEDBACK ABOUT THE SUPPORT SPEC)

1st off, the boonshare from the potions is EXTREMELY small, mantra size fields. This is fine, but its also paired with a hefty 20 second cooldown and its extremely feelsbad if you miss even a single proc, and need to be in the middle of everyone in content.

2nd off, because you need to be in the middle of everyone, and you get hefty blight from sharing boons, you just eat damage and die more often than not. Even taking Celestial gear to ensure you can both support and tank hits means if you ult and get hit with a particularly heavy breeze you're on the ground. The DEMAND for vitality to, well, stay alive combined with the need for concentration means your stat combos are limited, and although a EoD armor set might fix this (HP, Vit, Conc or something similar), its absolutely mandating that one gear set and making a support spec thats only viable in 1 gear set, in a game like GW2, feels very out of place.

3rd off, even if they do get that sweet-spot gear set, Scourge is just straight out better for 95% of content as a support. In fact, the only reason I can consider bringing a support Harbringer is if there was a Scourge to pick them off the ground all the time. This is for several reasons.
-Scourge shields itself while supporting and cleansing conditions, giving boons. Harbringer becomes frailer than a wet paper towel in a gas station restroom the second it starts to try to support, and will frequently be 1-2 shot even if you build them specifically to be tanky with no damage.
-Scourge can build damage and still support. If Harbringer does, thats fine, but theyll be stuck with like 8k hp if they use all their blight and be smacked down by a raid boss looking in their general direction. 
-Scourge can support from a distance. The combo of Harbringer needing to essentially be in melee range during content to share boons and also being so fragile is a terrible combo that makes it horribly unviable. 

I realize that Harbringer, like most classes, was not designed to be a support class first. However, the current status of it as a support is pretty laughable, and as a support main who LOVES making off-meta supports work in raids (Have a decently popular core warrior shouthealer guide on youtube for raiding) , in its current state its laughable at best.

How this could be fixed:
1) Make one of the support traits make blight nuke your health less than it currently does. At the moment melee/fragile is not a great combination for a particularly important role like support. 
2) Make a support trait give you a replacement barrier for the max health you lose, that way you can have a buffer and not instadie, but will still need to manage blight.
3) Give Harbringer a way to give its buffs in a wider radius. I understand its class identity is already pretty sorted, and this is particularly unrealistic to ask, but this could be completely avoided if the drinks could be thrown like an Engineer's Elixirs, and therefore not forced to facetank Raid Bosses, Enemy Zerg in WvW, literally any dps in PvP, etc.
4)Completely rework the traits of the Harbringer to establish it as a class specifically meant for DPS, and make the support traits an in-between of the very obvious Power/Condi dichotomy of the other talents. I say this specifically because as someone who has played support his entire time playing the game since 2012, people that want to try a new necro support are going to pick this up, die repeatedly, get frustrated, and give up.

Edited by Cerver.1405
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Looking at this  from a pure design point, I don't understand the idea behind elixers. They don't really scream "Harbinger" based on what the shroud skills do.
I get the blight part of it, that's fine. Using disease and corruption to empower bullets and harm others, sure. I read on the wiki that they are ancient alchemists who use jade wind/energy to empower weapons? why not use like jade components instead of elixers. It just seems like we are taking what engineer already does and making them into what are basically watered down shouts. 

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First Espec added to the game since launch that I have zero positive things to say about it right now.

 

I don't like the weapon choice, the aesthetics, the abilities...

 

In its current state, there is zero chance of me bothering to play it, except for completionlist stuff with getting the specs weapons unlocked 

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I have problem with the visuals, the shroud life force shows up on the screen like its extra health bar like Core or Reaper , even though it is just resource mechanic this time.

Also can the Blight stack be part of the UI near the Life force bar instead of a debuff ? The boon/buff/debuff/conditions bar has gotten way too crowded these days.

Maybe something like that_shaman suggested but on the bottom so it doesn't clash with barrier, Path of exile like health reserved HP ball.

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Just now, Vancho.8750 said:

I have problem with the visuals, the shroud life force shows up on the screen like its extra health bar like Core or Reaper , even though it is just resource mechanic this time.

Also can the Blight stack be part of the UI near the Life force bar instead of a debuff ? The boon/buff/debuff/conditions bar has gotten way too crowded these days.

Maybe something like that_shaman suggested but on the bottom so it doesn't clash with barrier, Path of exile like health reserved HP ball.

+1

Said bar shifts and changes so extremely fast that its difficult to keep eyes on the blight number. Especially with that tiny font.

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All 3 GM traits are just "pulse x". That's bornig design and no skill is involved to make the best use of them. 

 

Harbinger should not have power related traits as its power damage with pistol and axe mainhand axe very poor (around 19k benchmark on raid training golem).

 

 

 

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in terms of dps i think it's great pistol & deathshroud now have many torment skills that's awsome and even with incomplete gear (legendary armor,backpack, legendary dagger but crappy accessories & amulet) i've managed to do this

41k dps in bleeding and torment together - this is awsome

 

deathshroud 1 2 3 5 were great,

4 was boring and pretty unimaginative, felt like u were missing a skills "let's shove thief staff 5 there!) 

 

i feel that blight should give a better dps bonus, i'm sacrificing up to %50 of my health and in a way sacrifice one of the most important mechanics as a necro - huge lifepool, but honestly? that's managable, i'm pretty sure you'll nerf the amount of torment applied/ make it slower because at the moment just doing that u can easily hit more than 30 bleeds and 26 torment (which i like!)

 

the elixirs are boring it feels i shouldn't bothered with them

also using the elite elixir should at least share some of the boons with my party regardless of my traits the might be reasonable...:

elixir of promiste, -i like that i gain life force and vigor, i'm not sure about blight on this one or even if i should go for 0 penalty heal

elixir of risk- useful as is

elixir of anguish - not sure. just for quickness  %2 of my health, not sure it's a fair deal

same goes for elixir of bliss

 

that what i feel so far about this one

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39 minutes ago, Benkorah.6048 said:

After testing PvE Harbinger a bit in the open world (fighting awakened in the Desolation), here are my thoughts...

 

The Good:

1. Pistol was fun, felt good to use, and synergizes well with Necro's life-steal mechanics.

2. The aggressive shroud skills and a couple of strong elixirs were a nice way to allow me to build tankier (I tested with Celestial) but still gain some burst damage by sacrificing some of that survivability.

3.  On a glassier build (I used berserker), the passive health gain was a nice QoL thing when I wanted to focus on movement.

 

The Bad:

1. Elixir icons all look a bit samey.  They're serviceable, but seem out of place because other skills have more variety in the artwork.

2. Elixirs in general are a bit boring.  

 

The Mixed:

1.  On glassier builds, I don't see myself using elixirs or spending time in shroud, so a lot of the Harbinger's kit may be wasted when I run zerker or viper gear.  On the other hand, there seem to be a lot of players who favor maximum damage all the time, so those players may like it.

2.  The biggest source of blight seems to be elixirs, but the first trait choice is between lowering the cooldown of elixirs or turning blight into an offensive tool.  Maybe it's balanced to choose between stronger elixirs or elixirs on a shorter cooldown, but it still felt bad. 

 

In Summary:

Overall I enjoyed build-crafting and playing harbinger more than I thought I would, given it's glass-cannon theme, and I believe the class offers utility for multiple playstyles.  However, I have somewhat mixed feelings about the elixirs.

 

Elixirs felt like buffed shouts lol.. but they are called elixis  😐

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You should call this specialization Iron Maiden instead of Harbinger. All you do is stacking blight, which is just damaging yourself. The win of those elixiers is negligible in direct comparison to the loss thanks to blight. The way this could work would be if you turn blight into a condition that could be transfered to your enemies under certain circumstances.

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Tried in PvP only.

Read most of the other feedback before trying.  As such, I was worried about being too squishy.  So I went with Trailblazers stats (except trinkets where were Celestial).  Added Dolyak runes for extra toughness and vitality.

Spec'd out with Curses and Soul Reaping, taking Vital Persistence so HP were > 32K.

Ditched most of the potions because... nothing really good there.  Took signet of Undeath (again, because of comments here complaining about Life Force generation).

Headed to Auric Basin for the "Pocket Raptor Test".  My Reaper doesn't even blink with those things.  Tried it once with Scourge and died in seconds.  Happy to report that Harbinger can take on two packs of Pocket Raptors while barely breaking a sweat.  

Took on a Vet Smokescale next.  Didn't die quite as quickly as with my Reaper, but I was ticking 3K with Torment at one point and my health bar never went below half.

 

Needs work:

- The potions are lame.  Well of Power > Elixir of Ignorance  (Both break stun.  Both have 25s CD.  Well is 1/4sec vs. 1/2 sec for elixir.  Well affects allies, converts condis to boons and applies Might.  Elixir add resistence and Blight.)  Why would anyone ever take the elixir over the Well???

- It's hard to see the effect of Blight via the text.  I'd much rather have the health ball fill up with dark purple from the bottom to represent unusable health.  If you have both Blight and Barrier you'd have Yellow on the top, Red in the middle and then Purple on the bottom.  It would just be SO much more friendly.

- The tooltips don't update for Blight, so their effect on damage (if you take those traits) is really hard to get a sense of.  It didn't really feel like it made any difference (although I'm sure it did?)  As others have suggested, doing something with Traits and/or Elixirs to interact with Blight more would make it more interesting.

 

Better than Expected:

- Survivability.  Partly because I was paranoid and went tanky with Trailblazer's, Dolyak runes, Signet of Undeath and some traits that helped, even with a ton of Blight on me, I felt that I recovered pretty quickly and never really felt like I was in danger.

- Damage.  Given the focus on tankiness of the build I used, the damage output was still pretty decent.  The condis did a good job of melting things.

- The rate of fire/recharge of Shroud skills

 

Overall assessment:

Personally (your mileage may vary)  like it better than Scourge (I'm one of the few Necro players that doesn't like Scourge), but not quite as much as Reaper.  But that could change over time.  Certainly a nice change of pace.

Better than I expected.

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1 hour ago, SkyCakeLight.3750 said:

It's been pretty fun! Vials are kind of boring. But, I enjoy the Shroud and Blight mechanics. I think the representation for max HP loss could use a little flair. Running around and chugging vials while doing silly things to try and get myself killed haven't result in a death, yet. 

This summarizes my experience lol.  I love the idea of vials, I find the alchemist aspect interesting, especially since I do not play a necro and not fond of their minions (I like other people's damage, I just personally don't like the appearance ugly puppies, sorry).  I want them to be more, to do more.  As you said, some flair to the whole thing would be nice.  I want to be a creepy alchemist.  Pistol feels like a support weapon to get you to the actual damage, which makes it feel weaker. Had some fun running about on different maps and trying it out on a variety of mobs!

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Elixirs: Effective but plain. It would be nice to have some after effect on these to spice them up. 

 

I feel that Pistol 1 and 2 are too similar to Shroud 1 and 2. It would be nice to differentiate these things a little more. I mean, basically, they are all multi target hybrid DPS with torment ... it's too much of the same thing. 

 

I've complained about this in a different thread but: I think Anet has taken up too much bandwidth in the traitline to do the SAME effects over either direct or condi DPS. It seems like a waste opportunity to do something that adds a third aspect to Harbringer. Perhaps something along the lines of manipulating or affecting blight. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Obtena.7952
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3 hours ago, Shroud.2307 said:

From a WvW perspective

I tried; Cele, Grieving, zerk, and a mix of zerk/Mara. Stayed with zerk/Mara because I liked it most, not necessarily because it was "good" per-se.
I found that the damage had some crazy POTENTIAL, but for the most part, wasn't that high. Sometimes I'd hit people for ridiculous numbers, but what really makes it work is how FAST the Shroud skills are.


I was able to win 100% of the 1v1's I had, of which I had about 10. But it wasn't so much because Harbinger is good as it was that it just blasts damage so quickly, and I'm already familiar with how to play a glass Necro because I've been playing zerk core for 4+ years.

With Blight stacks, I was pretty frequently hitting 10 - 13k Spinal Shivers, but I hit numbers like that with core Necro or Reaper sometimes too. My record for Shroud skill #2 however, was 16k. So that skill is pretty much a 1 shot (technically multiple since it's a shotgun) if you have enough Blight. Basically every time I hit someone with it when I was Blight/Might stacked a bit it was doing 50 - 75% of their health.

Also, despite the success I had in the 1v1's I managed to get, I felt constantly starved for Life Force. This spec absolutely chugs and it's very difficult to stay at or above 50% Life Force, which basically means you spend more time not using the spec mechanic than using it.

I find it really fun, but also not very good. I do enjoy it, and I can see potential in it, but also as expected, the risks are a lot higher than the rewards.

I honestly don't have a lot of constructive criticism to add. I haven't played with enough different builds yet, I feel "neutral" about the spec as a whole (I equal parts like and hate it),  and I wasn't able to get the kind of tests I wanted because mostly I was either; getting zerged/ganked, fighting players that had no clue how to fight, or blobbing and spamming damage.

I think most of what I predicated about it was right, but it has worse sustain than I expected. I thought the constant regen from Life Force converting to health would make it a bit like a Sword Weaver in that it could constantly resustain itself, but maybe I just wasn't using the right stats or traits.

 

 

Replying to myself so I don't have to update the original comment.

So far my biggest gripe is getting +1'd.

Maybe it's because I'm playing such an offensive build, but I literally cannot survive someone adding to the fight when I don't expect it. I can handle 1v1 or 1vX if I play well, but I don't have the defenses to respond to an attack I don't expect. 

Of course I'm not saying I should be able to win every outnumbered fight, it's not that, it's just that the defenses are non-existent. You cannot realistically play as well as the spec demands you to. No one's going to be ready for every +1, nor is anyone going to make perfect plays every fight.

I don't think it's fair for something to be so vulnerable to +1's that the chances of surviving, never mind turning the fight around and winning, are next to zero. Every class and spec has something to protect it when situations like this occur, be it; blocks, invulnerability, or what ever else. If you don't have a Flesh Wurm or Spectral Walk prepared, you're kitten out of luck.
Every time someone adds to a fight I just feel like it's over before I even get a chance to try defending myself.

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sofar, after ~5 hours of playing it: it is really a nice specs to play.

 

we could not really test it in a sane environment, as the whole maps are filled with people who test the new specs and some weirdos still playing old dps, barely support classes around.

 

i love how harbinger plays. the damage must not be lower than this though. within WvW (world versus world) it is yet very very very very very squishy. i learnt that i cannot stay inside anything for long very fast. nearly instantly died the first 15 times, then it became smoother. not having shroud-bulk and barrier really hurts 😛

 

(as announced by the dev) it literally dies off a single sneeze, as it builds up no barrier, hasn't a 2nd health bar in shroud and necro has not a lot of basic stunbreaks.

 

the elixir heal is okay. but the elexir stunbreak is really bad. i swapped it out for spectral armor 😛 

 

i don't know its exact dmg potential and strip potential yet, but it could be fun. it's not overtuned imo, as it cannot tank anything alone really.

like, i know some people complain about the specs' damage, but it has not a lot of antiCC measures on the long hand. so it would rather mess up this specs if it would get any less damage, just saying. (because i hear and see the complaints about its bursting yet)

 

outside of that: i did only play a power build. no idea about how its condi version performs.

 

Playtime: 4-5 hours

Gear: Berserker pistol-foucs, axe-dagger

Format: Wvw

(midscale/largescale, 20 people against huge clouds on several borders, later with less numbers)
Successfulness: ~600 Kills.

Deaths: ~40

Edited by kamikharzeeh.8016
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Introduction

It took some time to write all of this down, but I hereby present my feedback on the Harbinger elite spec for the Necromancer class. I will divide my feedback into several sections (because I have a lot to say), and will mostly look at things from a PvE gameplay perspective.

 

Harbinger as an idea:

Possible issue with the theme:
 
 Self damaging gunslinger necro? I am cool with that. But I disagree with how this spec tries to do everything, which leads to (in my opinion) no real choices. Because the spec tries to do support, condi AND power, there is always just a single trait for your playstyle, and often it is a boring +X % damage or convert X% of stat Y into a bonus for stat Z.

 

Proposal:

I would personally opt for scrapping most if not all of the power traits. Power makes it only compete with Reaper. Scourge is getting slowly relegated into a boon/mild heal support spec (and lower condi dps) with the bugfixes, which leaves Harbinger the option to excel as a condi damage (current benchmarks put it on 41k+)  and boon/effect support spec (especially hybrid condi/boons appear very strong). It also frees up trait slots in multiple places for more interesting traits that promote active play (see my feedback on traits).

 

Possible issue with the Mechanic:
Blight is currently something completely passive that we have close to no control over and have almost zero ways to interact with it. For the most part it is just...there. Nothing more.
 In my opinion an elite spec should always try to make you actively interact with its mechanic.
Furthermore, baseline Blight does nothing positive for you, it needs something positive backed into the baseline effect. No elite spec so far has had a mechanic that untraited/baseline only gives you a negative (and if you take the elixir trait you can end up with a mechanic that does NOTHING for you at all).

 

Some Proposals:
1. Make Blight function akin to Holosmith’s heat mechanic. Your level of Blight could then have an effect on what your elixirs do, with weaker/stronger/different effects based on your blight threshold, with the same treatment given to your pistol attacks.

  • Make the effects different enough that you want to actively juggle your Blight level.
  •  
  • 2. Another option could be a bit like DeadEye’s Malice approach, with some of your skills consuming Blight for additional effects. This could make it potentially very rewarding to juggle your Blight levels.
  •  
  • 3. Another idea is to make Blight become an effect that you effectively stack upon yourself by actively doing things, a bit like how the Carapace effect works in Death Magic, just more thought out.
  •  
  • 4. Another idea is allowing you to consume Blight stacks with attacks and elixirs for better effects, possibly tied to a trait or traits that give effects based on Blight stacks that get consumed, making it an active resource.

 

Possible issue with the pistol skills:
Honestly, not many. I think the weapon skills look fine. I do think it could do with some additional complexity which I will describe below, but for the most part I think pistol is in a good place for a condi spec (numberwise at least).

 

Proposal:

Taking my heat proposal into account (as described under Mechanic proposals), giving the pistol skills an additional effect based on Blight thresholds seems like a good way of rewarding good Blight stack management. In addition, I would personally give pistol an auto-attack chain instead of just a single attack, where the last attack in the chain would inflict more damage/torment ( rebalance the previous two attacks so the total amount of damage stays the same).

 

I think it would reduce the ability spam if you get the best results by finishing your auto attack chain between your skills. We see this being the case on power warrior axe, on firebrand and mirage axe, on necromancers own scepter, and on a lot more weapons. This may not be liked by everyone, but I think it could be balanced in a manner that people who finish the attack chain get rewarded with better DPS for actively interacting, while those that don’t get lower DPS, but not to the level of it being useless.

 

Possible issue with artwork of utility skills and traits:  
This has been discussed a lot, with plenty of people noticing the lower quality when compared to the artwork of other skill and trait icons. The biggest argument I have heard is people claiming these are ‘beta icons’. If so the solution is simple:

 

Proposal:
Change the beta icons for real icons when End of Dragons launches. It is better to raise questions about this now, than it is to keep quiet, thinking the icons are just placeholders, and then end up with them on release day. Better to be safe than sorry folks!

 

Possible issue with Utility skills:
I am going to be very blunt here: These elixirs are boring as hell. Look at what engi elixirs had, on top of each elixir being two skills (drink and thrown/toolbelt): endurance refill, invuln, stealth, revive, moa/stun and (formerly) projectile hate.  A lot more than just getting a few boons.  Because that is what the Harbinger elixirs boil down to: Press button. Get boons. Done.  Necromancers deserve better than this. I think there are several things Anet can do to elixirs to make them more interesting prior to adjusting any traits.

 

A few possible Proposals/ideas:

1.    Make Elixir effects interact with Blight and get additional or different effects based on your Blight level ( like Holosmith skills doing more/different stuff based on 50/100/150 heat).   

 

2.    Give Elixirs thrown skills on F2-F5 or give them a flip-over skill when used.  

 

3.    Make Elixirs behave like Druid glyphs. Druid glyphs change their effects based on if the druid is in Celestial Avatar or not. Perhaps make Elixir skills accessible while in Shroud, and give them different effects if used while Harbinger Shroud is in use?

 

4.    Play into some sort of Dr. Jeckyll/Mr Hyde  Yin/Yang vibe, possibly with your elixirs acting as brief transforms into afflicted creatures with different abilities (harness the corrupted power out of the Jade that got corrupted by Shiro’s Jade Wind). Probably the most intensive (and because of that the least feasible) idea.

 

5.    Make elixirs interact with each other and allow us to somehow mix them into more powerful versions/versions with differing effects, meaning we effectively brew potions on the fly to adapt to our situation.

 

6.    If flip-over or F skills are not possible, make elixirs in addition to their boons give unique effects for our next few actions. Enhance our next few attacks, dodges, weapon swaps, control effects, something like that. Just make it more interesting than “drink potion. Get boons.” Remember how engineer elixirs got resurrection, stealth, projectile reflect, endurance refill, invulnerability or even a transform? Give me...something.

 

Possible issues with Traits:
Once again I will be blunt:  I am extremely underwhelmed by the traits that Harbinger currently has. A lot of in my opinion boring “gain + X in stat Y”,  “You now pulse effect A while doing nothing yourself”, and “ A percentage of B is now converted into C”.

We can do better than this, and more importantly: It can be a lot more active than this. To take Firebrand quickness as an example:  As much as people like to call Firebrand ‘braindead’’ ,  at least it needs to take 2 traits, 3 skills, and some actual timing and awareness to give out its quickness. Compare this to Harbinger that simply selects trait, presses F1 for shroud...and just sits there while it pulses. In my opinion this completely passive approach is not fun and does not make for engaging gameplay.

 

Proposals:

 

Wicked Corruption

If you follow my original proposal of this specialisation not stepping on the toes of roles necro already has ( Reaper being a power DPS and Scourge being a mainly defensive support/heal), Wicked Corruption would have to go. In it’s place you could put perhaps put a trait that gives some additional support options to the Harbinger. Perhaps take away some quickness from the shroud and tie it to something else, tie it to using the heal skill ( both Firebrand and Scrapper have a part of their quickness tied to their healing skill) in addition to 1-2 more quickness sources. It fixes the problem of quickness currently being completely passive and fills a trait slot for support.

 

Septic Corruption

With a condition damage focus I can see something like this being needed. But if we stay with the heat-like approach, we get boosts from our amount of Blight already, Blight itself would not need to give a passive bonus on top of that. Instead, why not change this so you can actively work for a condi damage buff? Harbinger seems to have a control focus, with pistol 3 and shroud 4 + 5. How about a trait that changes fears to stuns, allows stuns to benefit from fear related traits, and gives you a bonus for condition damage when you sucessfully apply crowd control? This would also give Harbinger a reason for Warhorn in the off-hand for its CC. Harbinger is mostly going to play with scepter/X and pistol/X on a condi set, one of those X’s will probably be off-hand dagger for condi transfer, this would give you a reason to take warhorn while promoting active play to get your bonus.

Another option could be something akin to thief’s lead attacks, where spending lifeforce/using certain skills provides a stacking bonus condition damage effect. That would at least ask you to actively interact, instead of just getting a buff that passively accumulates (current Blight) and where you have to do absolutely nothing for it.

 

Vile Vials:

Right now it reduces elixir recharge and inflicts vulnerability+slow on use to enemies. Boring. Make this more impactful with perhaps additional effects on elixirs, or cause some flip-over skills. If you want to support you can then make the trade-off between something that helps with regeneration from whatever replaces Wicked Corruption, or you can take this for better elixirs for a more offensive support, possibly tying some quickness application to this.

 

Alchemic Vigor:
 Additional health. Thats all. In my opinion this should be scrapped for a minor that helps the Blight interaction. If the spec needs more health for its job then bake it into the base proficiency line, or tie the Blight interaction to this trait IN ADDITION to the health bonus. Don’t just give health. Don’t.

 

Implacable foe:
If you are on board with my idea that this should be a condi/support spec and not a power one this has to go.

 

Twisted Medicine: 
I am sure we can replace this and Vile Vials with something more interesting and active, but without knowing what option of my suggestions (or something I didn't even think of!) for changing Blight/Elixirs would be preferred it is hard to give detailed feedback for any changes here.

 

Dark Gunslinger:

It’s a standard trait I suppose. Not sure how to make it more exciting, perhaps it can change pistol 3 to become a different skill ( like how the Lingering Curse trait changes necro scepter 3)?

 

Corrupted Talent: 
I can see this spec needing the lifeforce. Not sure if I like or dislike it.

 

Cascading Corruption:
If you are on board with my idea that this should be a condi/support spec and not a power one this has to go.

 

Deathly Haste:
I am okay with quickness support necro, but I want it to be an active action that we have to work for to maintain, not something we passively give out. Remember Firebrand having to take at least 2 traits, 3 utility skills, and needs to somewhat position itself and track timings. Or at the very least it has to press buttons. Or how Quickness Scrapper takes 3 traits and 2-3 utility skills for its quickness? Here you just press F1 and sit back. That is not engaging gameplay. Perhaps give the earlier mentioned elixir flip-overs/thrown skills a quickness bonus, with possibly additional quickness if certain conditions are met?

 

Doom Approaches:
Even more torment? Sure, more damage, but it feels lazy. The condition bonus can stay, but I would again like something a bit more active here. Perhaps this could shake up some of your shroud skills even more and cause movement skills and skill that give swiftness/superspeed to briefly leave behind fields that pulse the poison or torment conditions as you move, promoting active positioning?

 

Another option is to think of something akin to Spoil Victor from Guild Wars 1. Spoil Victor made foes that attack you lose health if you had less health than them. With how Blight reduces your health it seems to fit the theme of Harbinger perfectly. I am unsure how to translate this idea into a GW2 trait version, but that is something I am sure Anet can figure out.

Another idea: Considering how Shroud-focused Harbinger is, why not make the Grandmaster traits somehow change how the shroud functions all together. Basically the Daredevil approach, where each dodge got changed in addition to a power/condi/cleanse/speed bonus.

 

Closing statement

I am not saying these are the best solutions, or even that they are good solutions. I am not a game designer.  Anet is. I am just hoping that something, somehwere, in this wall of text, gives them a nudge into a creative direction for this spec and to make it more engaging and active. I have seen people saying they are happy that the new specs are less complex, I have even seen people saying they feel like the majority of the gameplay of a specialisation should revolve around pressing 1 for the most part. I think it is pretty clear I completely disagree with that sentiment, and I hope Anet (and those that cared to read all of this) do as well.

Thank you for reading!

 

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-The spec is too binary: 

 You can achieve extreme selfsustain or extreme damage and be incredibly squishy. Neither is balanced at all, both could cause serious balance issues in all content.

 

-Elixirs are uderwhelming.  Besides the one that stunbreaks, that one is good.

 

-The blight mechanic is badly implemented and very uninteresting. It encourages getting in shroud, spam skills and getting out as soon as possible or it gets too punishing too quickly. Risk vs Reward is questionable at best here.

 

-Pistol does little damage in a power focused build. It's just another (albeit decent) condi weapon.

 

 

Edited by Khenzy.9348
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Some ideas to make elixiers more interesting.

 

I would merge the boons a bit or scrap them.

Make an elixier which cures blight, defensive boons, stun breaks etc..

An elixier, which gives you more blight, offensive boons and/or damages + conditions foes around you.

For pvp an elixier to evade stuff to compensate the health loss maybe.

Providing permanent fury somehow would be nice, so you actually can replace scrapper/firebrand in PvE group content.

 

I would suggest more positive affects from blight. e.g. reduced shroud cd the more blight you have, when you exit shroud. This way it feels more like a kit and leads to a more fluid gameplay maybe.

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First some context on where these comments are coming from. I'm a casual gamer, not in the sense of the amount of time I put into the game, but relative to my skill level in combat. As someone with a number of health conditions who will be turning 72 this fall, I really am an old, slow player and there are hard physical limits on how "gud" I can get. Intricate, fancy rotations are beyond me and I am not one of those who loves to delve into the minutiae of builds, traits and such. I just use Metabattle's builds and pound the basic keys. This December will mark my fourth birthday in Tyria and most of my ingame time has been spent with a rev and a necro as my mains. They both have durable, simple to play builds that suit me well.

From that background, my initial response to the Harbringer was not good at all. The whole emo, self-mutilation theme running through the build is icky to me. On Monday I spent a fair amount of time in WvW with my rev and earned four Emblems of the Avenger in heavy zerg fighting. Today I took the Harbringer into WvW and immediately died the very first time we encountered a baby zerg. Heck, on the way to catch up with my squad, that poor Harbringer was barely able to take out a sentry on its own, whereas my condi Renegade can solo sentries, camps, and shrines with ease. All this was with the out of the box gear and build that you included with the Harbringer.

The pistol in particular seemed pretty weak and ineffective. It wasn't at all clear to me why you went that way with a necro, why you thought that would be an exciting addition. It wasn't to me. It was boring and underpowered. I will give the Harbringer more time to see if my opinion changes but so far I wouldn't bother to play this class at all.

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