GW2 Guild Chat PoF Elite Specializations Livestream Coverage
GW2 Guild Chat Path of Fire Elite Specializations Livestream Coverage
- Scrapper was a dirty tech. Holosmith is more of a clean tech. Scrapper was more charr tech based, Holosmith is more asuran with some overtunes of Zephyrite light magic.
- Each vertical trait line in the Holosmith is a theme (as opposed horizontally with some other specs). Originally it was a build your own lightsaber theme but now it is a build your own forge theme with photon forge parts in each vertical trait line (projector, crystal, and the heat system).
- The core gameplay pattern we worked into the Holosmith is the heat mechanic. When you are in your Photon Forge mode, you build heat and pretty much all of your non Photon Forge skills gain bonuses when you are above 50% heat. The general gameplay loop is that ou go into Photon Forge mode, fight for a while. The skills are very powerful but they generate heat so you don’t want to stay in it too long or you will blow up. Your then switch out of that mode and all your non Photon Forge skills gains bonus damage with the heat. Once you cool off a little, go back to the Photon Forge mode and start all over again.
- The Holosmith does not have any traits that affect its weapon or utility skills because those are all built into the core mechanic heat system. You won’t find any 20% recharge on your sword skills or all your utility skills last 20% longer since they are all built in. For example, one of the utility skills is a stun break that has 50% faster recharge if you are above 50% heat.
- Holosmith is designed heavily around this photon forge/heat mechanic. There isn’t a single trait that doesn’t affect the forge.
- One of the grandmaster traits allow you to increase the max heat you can have, others change the functionalities on when you blow up. There is trait for example that allow you to intentionally blow up and deal damage to enemies. This trait will reduce the penalty you take from the explosion (otherwise the explosion would take away 50% of your base HP, you can run more vitality to counter this)
- They are hoping players would come up with a cool AED build where they just blow themselves up constantly. They are pretty sure it is viable
- They pick up tomes which replaces Virtues, and the Guardian gain access to a whole new set of skills with each of the Tomes (15 new tome skills). They can choose which role they want based on the tome they go into.
- Along with Tomes, they gain mainhand axe and a set of mantra utility skills.
- All of the Tome #1 skills target in a cone, #2 skills in an AoE, #3 skills in an AoE, #4 skills leave a field that affects allies/enemies and #5 skills all provide large AoE buffs to allies. So all the tome skills play similar mechanically
- We tried to make the Firebrand Mantras to feel differently from the Mesmer Mantras which many players are familiar with. Guardian Mantras cast in a cone in front of yourself where Mesmer Mantras are more AoE around yourself or the enemy. All the guardian mantras are cones and this emphasize the Firebrand’s role as a melee character. Players may need to take a step back from melee and weave these mantras in to target their allies. These Mantras have longer cast times and very long cooldown if you use the last charge compared to the Mesmer mantras. However, they are all instant cast once charged up and recharge up quickly. Additionally Guardian Mantras have 3 charges as opposed to 2 with the mesmer.
- Ammo system was built partly due to the mantras. With the old mantra system it was kind of bad as once you used a mantra charge and the fight ended, you can either waste the next charge and wait for it to be off cooldown or you can go into the fight with one less mantra charge. It give us an addition knob to tweak: initial cast time, recharge time, and cooldown if the last charge is used.
- As opposed to the Berserker, Spellbreaker is a more calm and collected theme. It is more of a blademaster that has studied their arts all their life. It is a warrior/mesmer dual class from GW1. A mesmer through the lens of a warrior. Basically how a warrior would do a mesmer. Instead of creating illusions to deceive other people, the warrior is able to see through deception.
- Warriors traditionally didn’t have that many ways with boons. Spellbreaker give them more options.
- Their entire top line traits focus on removing enemy boons. The middle line is more a counter line while the last line is more a catch all line designed for slippery opponents like thieves and mesmers who try to run away from you.
- Some of the themes for Spellbreaker came from GW1 Nightfall – Magehunter Strike and Magehunter Smash. You can tether enemies to you to prevent them from running away.
- We went with Dagger/Dagger for Warrior because Warrior is a weapon master and one dagger was just not enough. It also allowed us to pull off some combos. The core dual dagger combo is using #2 to jump in which slow the enemy and then interrupt them with the #3 skill which if it interrupts a skill it will stun the target for a longer duration. While they are stunned you can use the #4 skill which does twice as much damage if they are not using any skills. Players can try to get out of this combo by dodging but this will cost resources and if you don’t dodge correctly you will start get hit by parts of the combo.
- We expect to see Spellbreaker in WvW a lot. Their elite skill covers a large area and shuts off all boons and projectiles in that area. It is really good against zergs and can deny a large area from the enemy. There are traits that will make this elite skill do damage based on the number of boons removed/denied.
- Scourge get a new set of abilities by trading off their Shroud. Typically Necros have been individuals that move around and deal significant amount of condition. Scourge allow Necros to become battlefield commanders to control different areas of the battlefield and not just near where they are but also at places where they put up Sand Shades. The F2/F3/F4/F5 skills will play off on locations where the Sand Shades are, giving the necro ranged control.
- Scourge is also an extension of us into looking to give necro to give more support to their allies. Blood line has a few supportive abilities. Necros was more of a selfish class previously and we have been experimenting to add support abilities to them. They will need to trade off their personal defenses for group support to avoid power creep.
- Barrier mechanic works well for the necromancer because it is kinda like giving shroud, a hitpoint buffer to allies.
- Scourge Sand Shades used to be Bone Piles and that didn’t work well super well. Visualy it felt cluttered and it didn’t feel like something you were brewing. F4 skill still raises a disembodied skeleton that fear enemies around you and each of your Sand Shades.
- Scourge utility skills used to be sacrifice skills that consumed your life force but we felt it wasn’t cohesive thematically since life force was typically consumed mostly by shroud skills. Instead we made them into Punishments that corrupt enemy boons into specific conditions (Torment and Cripple).
- You can cover multiple group of allies with Sand Shades. You can be with the ranged group and place a Sand Shade down in melee group and support both groups.
- If you place down multiple Sand Shades at the same place, the enemy will take damage from only one sand shade to avoid players putting down 3 Sand Shades in the same place and just standing there. There is a grandmaster trait that allow you to summon a much larger Sand Shade by combining the 3 smaller Sand Shades for a much area of control that can affect a max of 10 targets. The controlling component of Sand Shades will see action in PvP and WvW.
- Each of the Shroud skill traits affect the Scourge Profession skills (F2/F3/F4/F5)
- Scourge gain access to a portal skill. It creates a portal between you and the target location that other allies can use. When allies use it, they also gain a barrier. It doesn’t go as far as the mesmer portal and and act more as a incombat portal due to its quicker access (you leap to an area and it drops portals immediately). It is used to move your allies across more quickly.
- Thief doesn’t really have a good long ranged option. Daredevil was up close and personal dodgy option. Deadeye is a very long range class that sacrifice some of the mobility. Usually ranged attacks deal less damage than melee attacks for balance purposes.
- Deadeye can’t do as much damage at ranged as he does at melee range on some of the skills unless the Deadeye is kneeling on the rifle. The rifle #5 skill will put you in a combat stance that kneels you and prevent you from moving (you can still roll or cancel the skill). If you want extra dodges while kneeling you will need to spec into acrobatics.
- Deadeye requires patience via new mechanic called Malice. Once you marked an enemy, you slowly generate Malice over time. Malice isn’t a resource. Some skills do benefit from Malice but you can’t really consume Malice. It is something that builds up over time and there are very few ways to increase its rate gain (one or two traits that increase your malice gain rate). The main way to gain malice is via attacking and this is designed to prevent you building malice in stealth and then pop out to obliterate someone. It takes 20s to build up the Malice but if you are attacking that time is cut in half. This is a build up that prevents you to unload your large packets right away.
- There are rewards for being patient too. One of the minor traits give you 75% of the boons ingame if you build up 5 stacks of Malice.
- The core gameplay is you mark your target, you use your other rifle skills to build up your stuff up (rifle skill that stacks vulnerability, build Might stacks) before using Death’s Judgement (#4 skill in the Kneeling stance) that deals a large amount of damage based on Malice stacks.
- Deadeye works better on large single target enemies as you can get two or three Death’s Judgement off before the Mark falls off. For large zerg of enemies, Deadeye isn’t as effective and that is where Daredevil shines. There are traits that can refresh Marks if the target die. Since Mark refreshes your Steal, you can mark a guy, do all the steal stuff on him, kill him off and then change to the next guy to unload your Steal traits. If you have high APM and can switch targets quickly, Deadeye can be effective against large number of targets.
- Deadeye also have cantrips that helps with positioning, setting up kills or when enemies get close to you. They still require patience as there is one cantrip which activates quickly but takes a few seconds to hit the enemy. Your heal cantrip also heals more with more malice stacks.
- In WvW Deadeye is more viable as a scout/roamer or used to snipe people off gliders. It is a 1200 range weapon.
- Legend is a badass female charr who united the legions in the fight against Flame Legion. She was an ambush commander and we bought that fighting style to the Revenant. She can fire into the mists and have portals appear in various places. You gain Kalla’s Favor when flanking or making a critical hit that increases your critical strike and condition damage and stacks intensity. It is possible to get 2 stacks of this buff with one hit if you crit a flanking hit. The #2 on the short bow helps with flanking as it fires arrows from different angles.
- Seven Shot is a short bow skill that should favors players standing at ranged as this skill get more hits if the target is further away than melee ranged.
- Renegades’ shortbow #5 skill is a cascading knockdown that allow it to keep enemies at ranged.
- The Charr Warband summoned from the utility skills can be killed and they are like ranger spirits that are summoned to do a specific thing (no AI). Warbands are more of an offensive support for your allies as opposed to the Barrier mechanic for Scourge. Some of them buff allies while other disrupt your enemies.Warbands are more of an active support as opposed to the Glint passive support and require you to position them correct to get the most out of them.
- Trait lines are based on Ash Legion (disabling), Blood Legion (upfront beat them up), and Iron Legion (more defensive, supportive). The adept traits all give you Kalla’s Favor but for different conditions: Ash legion give Favor for disabling enemy, Blood Legion give Favor for having Fury, Iron legion give Favor for evading an attack.
- Each of the Renegade Grandmaster traits upgrade the F2/F3/F4 skills you get as a Renegade.
- If you have a legendary weapon and use the Citadel Bombardment profession skill (F3), it will change its projectiles to the legendary ones (i.e. raining down ravens or tigers instead of arrows). The F3 skill basically opens a portal back to the time when the Charr legions were united in a massive army and bombarding its enemies and some of that bombardment passes through the portal you opened up.
- Mirage is the first elite specialization we fleshed out for PoF. The name drove the development of the specialization. A lot of the specialization mechanics were built around the mirror, which can shatter.
- Mirage should frustrate a lot of enemy players. You can retarget your illusions with a few of the Mirage skills (Axe #3 for example) and when this happens, you become untargetable briefly and enemy players lose you as a target.
- Mirages get ambush skills for all mainhand weapons. They are themed after Thief ambush attacks. Everytime you blur, your #1 skill become a special Ambush attack. It allows them to avoid an attack and do a counter attack.
- You lose a lot of mobility as Mirage since your dodge becomes a blur but what you lose in mobility you gain in flexibility. It allow you to cast skills while dodging and dodge when you are incapacitated (i.e. knocked down). However it makes it harder to get out of large AoEs.
- Elite is a multi (3) blink. It allow some interesting combos as you can use one of the utility skills that is a stun breaker that also dodge you back and leave a mirror behind. Then you use the elite to blink back, shattering the mirror and giving you a Mirage Cloak.
- Back in Heart of Thorns we didn’t have the tech to get rid of your pet easily. Tech wise Soulbeast was the most difficult. Getting a lot of visual effects for pet fusing was very challenging from a tech perspective.
- When you absorb your pet with F5, you get a couple of things. You get access to the two pet skills from that pet that you previously didn’t have access to (they become F1 and F2 in Soulbeast mode). You also gain a new skill (F3) based on the pet family (i.e. Feline) and a stat bonus based on the pet archetype (i.e. support, offensive). The stat bonus is to help you regain some of the damage you lose from not having your pet.
- There are a lot of pet skills and a lot of pets so we had to translate them all to the player skills and made sure they matched the player animation.
- Soulbeast mode is not to be camped. You are suppose to weave in and out of soulbeast mode and swap pets as using the absorbed pet abilities does not put your pet’s abilities on cooldown.
- Utilities are stances based on animals much like martial art stances. These give you unique buffs based on the type of animal it is based on. The heal for example is the Bear Stance and can remove conditions from you since bear pets have the condition removal ability. If you trait for you, you can share these unique stance buffs with nearby allies for a brief amount of time.
- The elite skill for Soulbeast was originally a spellbreaker ability but we ended up putting it on the Soulbeast as it made more sense for Soulbeast to double strike once they merged with their beast. This second strike will trigger procs and traits separately, benefiting the ranger more.
- Weaver has been in the works forever. It is a concept that we started development pre-HoT. It was a contender for an elite specialization for HoT but the tech wasn’t quite there yet.
- Weaver’s core mechanic is two elements with mainhand using one element and the offhand using the other element. Every two combination of elements have their own unique #3 weapon dual attack skill (the order of attunements doesn’t matter). The order you use the attunements matter for other skills since the first two weapon skills are your current attunement while the last two weapon skills are those of the previous attunement.
- Your core utility skills like summoning elementals will be based on your mainhand element.
- When you swap elements with Weaver, there is a cooldown on all the elements. You kinda have to know what skills you want and plan ahead. This is different from current elementalist that only have a cooldown on the previous attunement you switched from.
- They recommend people to use Unravel utility when they try to get familiar with the Weaver mechanics. This basically allow you to lose the weaver mechanics temporarily and fully attune to the elements instead. It can be handy to get to a skill you need quickly without preplanning.
- The elite skill reward players that can weave through all four attunements instead of sticking with two. Once you weave through al 4 attunements, you get a flip over skill that is a massive AoE CC.
- Weaver is a true melee character with the sword skills. Players will need to beware of how squishy they are as they can get spiked quickly if not careful.
- The #2 sword skill is a movement ability that allow you to gap close or retreat depending on the attunement. Fire/Lightning are more offensive gap closers while Water/Earth are more defensive retreats.