tanithryudo: (Default)
[personal profile] tanithryudo
Ok, first off I'm going to admit that I didn't really spend that much time playing the demo this weekend. In my defense, I was kidnapped by my long-departed mused and held hostage over at google docs. (I have a 2nd chapter of my TBG omake series written and parts 3 & 4 vaguely plotted.) So, since inspiration is harder to come by and I've already prepurchased the game, well, that sorta set my priorities.

Confession over. I sort of tried out three of the new elite specializations that I most cared about in the recent demo:


OK, so as it turns out, this spec is very obviously aimed at all the whiners who hate pets and want to do away with them forever (or close to). I like my pets, buggy AI and all, so that's a strike one.

It's all very melee ranged, both for the dagger skill and for the merged pet skills. Although I do use a GS for movement and melee cleave, I also like to have the option for ranged fighting, especially when it comes to bosses. Soulbest would basically force you to either do melee on both weapon sets, or keep running in and out of melee range (instead of letting your pet do the melee and you do the range), which is...meh. That's strike two.

The majority of traits are built around beast mode. And the three stance skills are... average, I guess. That is, they're ok, but they're not OP enough to carry the class by itself when everything else is meh. So that's strike three.

I'm sure there are a lot of people (the ones who want to ditch pets) who would like this spec a lot. But it's just not for me. I will probably stick with Druid for the sigils, since I like those most out of the Ranger utility skills.

2. Elementalist / Weaver:

In terms of pure damage, staff weaver has got the numbers. However, that assumes that you're mostly standing in one spot, because of the sheer number of button presses to get the optimal rotation off. Makes it hard to keep track of what else is going on, like enemies or environmental effects, and it's very vulnerable to CC. I'm sure the people who are practiced at raids, who had already learned how to do complex rotations while being aware of the environment, will have no problems. But I'm just not that pro.

Also, just in general, the global cooldown on attunements for weaver makes it so that there's a lot of pressure to keep rotating attunements as fast as possible to bet to all the damage skills, and thus not be able to swap to any at-need utility. It makes it really hard to defend yourself.

I hear from others that dagger/dagger weaver is also pretty good, but I tried a little and found the attunement cooldowns annoying there too. There's no way do to the might stacking that ele d/d used to do. And trying to get a rotation down is just...feels restrictive, especially when you're in the middle of panicking.

Overall, weaver requires a completely different playstyle than rest of ele, where you basically have to memorize not only your optimum damage rotation, but also a damage -> defense, damage -> heal, etc. and back to -> damage rotation. For now, I think I'll stick with Tempest; even with the last nerf it's not that bad in PvE.

3. Engineer / Holosmith

Spoiler - this is probably the only spec that I'm likely to play. In that, it actually feels like I'm not *losing* out on dropping the tools line for it, and that I'm actually gaining something back.

So the main thing to note about holosmith (aside from the design) is the damage numbers. This is a very high damage number spec. Assuming they don't nerf anything in between release, then it's a pretty big spiker for both power and condi builds.

It's also fairly close ranged, but not all completely melee. The ranges on holosmith skills range anywhere from melee to mid-range, to one or two long range. It seems to encourage short range, but then engi in general has some kind of allergy to long range. (Movement skills like holomode-2 and the buffed rocket boots make being able to go in/out of melee easier nowadays at least.)

I know that some people on reddit/forums have complained about lack of synergy with holosmith mechanics being its own thing. But honestly I haven't had that much trouble fitting it into my standard (rando fire-spam-spam) "rotation". Two of the grandmaster traits were usable (the third one kept getting me killed), though the middle one required more awareness-tracking than the more fire-and-forget bottom one.

Overall, it's not spectacular, but I think it's the better of the PvE oriented spec lines in this expansion. Better than scrapper, certainly, and is better compared to the other HoT specs of the other classes.

4. Armchair talk about everything else based on reading reddit/forums...

- Revenant: Awesome animations and OK skills, but mostly condi-base spec; I would like to try this but I'm not making a new set of condi gear and giving up my legendary shield for my revenant (muh character design) so yeah, sticking with herald.

- Mirage: Condi-based melee spec in PvE (actual damage #s unknown). Chrono still appears to be better in many areas.

- Firbrand: No idea, since the mechanics feedback is being lost among the bitching over lack of tomes animation. But I'm guessing people are finding it underwhelming. It's a condi-spec anyway so not going to be using it.

- Scourge: Seems to be mostly positive feedback, so Necro gets two viable specs lines. Good for them.

- Deadeye: Uh...no massive complaints is a good thing?

- Spellbreaker: Meh, warriors are Anet's favored child so they should be fine.

5. Overall: It feels like to me that Anet's whole thing with this new expansion is to avoid making the mistakes of HoT, and they may have gone too far going the other way in some aspects.

In terms of the specializations, HoT made most of its specs outright upgrades over the base class (Chrono, Berserker, Tempest, Reaper, etc...) leading to accusations of power creep. So in PoF they've gone out of their way to avoid the new specs being upgrades over the baseline classes. The new specs are all mostly... very niche, very focused on a new specific mechanism that it's built around. Some people might like it, but they all...differ from rather than upgrade the base class. I'm not sure if this decision will turn out to be the right one design wise, but hey, the HoT specs are still there as an alternative.

On the other hand, some of the mistakes they've avoided have been good things. The immediate transition from LS3 to expansion announcement & release rather than a year of content drought, for one thing. The mount system seems very promising and represents a doubling-down of the best-loved mechanics out of HoT (gliding, mushrooms, etc.) The PvE is more large scale open world exploration than map meta all the time on claustrophobic vertical maps.

Anyway, I'll still probably get the HPs to fill out the new specializations even for the ones I don't plan to use. That's assuming the collections for getting a "free" ascended weapon is still going to be added, similar to HoT. That will be 2 daggers, 2 swords, 2 axes, torch, rifle, and shortbow. *licks*

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-23 03:50 pm (UTC)
cashew: Sumomo acting like Sumomo (Default)
From: [personal profile] cashew
Review of Holosmith doesn't appeal to me much. I always liked the way Engineer was supposed to be about finding new synergies, but it seems like Holosmith is its own thing, separated from Engineer base of something for everyone. Also, the lack of any real ranged options is also kind of suck, since Engineer has yet to have a non-melee based option in all of its variations (base, Scrapper, now Holosmith). Just...why can't we have laser beams as an auto attack?

As for Weaver...yeah, sounds like I'm just gonna stick to Tempest.

Soulbeast...ugh. I thought the whole point of Ranger was to have a fun companion to tank/distract for you? What is the point of going there if you can't show off your fun names for the pets you've gathered? Blah.

Anyway, not really excited about this new expansion, the hype is not really doing it for me.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-23 09:50 pm (UTC)
cashew: Sumomo acting like Sumomo (Default)
From: [personal profile] cashew
Soulbeast - I KNOW. It's so frustrating. Rather than fixing the wonky mechanic, they just do away with it, which makes me go "What the fuck, the name is RANGER! You literally cannot play at range, yet you are called a Ranger." Anyway. I guess my point is, I, too, am probably gonna stick to druid. (Also, staff access.)

Anyway, I think I've expressed plenty that I'm annoyed at the new expansion, because it seems like Engineers are still a mess of a class (including the specializations), the story still sound disappointingly bland (just give us Asura and Charr, no one cares about any of the other races, FFS), and the only thing that sounds remotely interesting is...sadly enough, mounts. Which kind of annoy me because there was so much resistance to mounts in the first place and the whole point was that we're not supposed to need them, yet they've designed themselves into a place where they had to get mounts. Even though the freaking LORE of the game states that only the evil factions have mounts. Like...gah, do you even care about the story at all anymore? (I know, I know, the answer is no, never, but still.)

All this just makes me reluctant to play this game, which is sad...

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-24 03:53 pm (UTC)
cashew: Sumomo acting like Sumomo (Default)
From: [personal profile] cashew
Well, I'm not blaming, just that I still think they could've done better than caving to the demand. If the whole point of Ranger is to have a pet, then people who complains should go play something else that isn't a Ranger. It seems silly to change the class just to satisfy people who don't want to play the class as it's designed. What exactly is the point of having class differences then? Just make every class Warrior but with a different color scheme.

Mounts: The stone summit rode mounts, like you said. But the Junundu were borrowed from Palawa Joko, who is evil. Then in GW2, there's the Mordrem who where mounted. Basically, Guild Wars lore never shown the "good guys" ride mounts and I believe a story writer even pointed out that this was done deliberately, because in a world with golems and airships, mounts are a step back. The closest good guys come to having mounts were the Luxon turtles, who were beasts of burden, but never ridden. I know, it's silly to expect the game developers to keep their lore straight. Who knew they didn't give a fuck about their own world building?

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-24 06:07 pm (UTC)
cashew: Sumomo acting like Sumomo (Default)
From: [personal profile] cashew
The whole point of golems was to explain why there aren't mounts (animal steeds). The point is there's much better alternatives than animals for riding, because of golems and airships. To use animal steeds, a.k.a. mounts, is going backwards.
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