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Heart of Thorns Beta Weekend Event 1 Thoughts: The Shiro Legend

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Hi everyone, I’m going to go over the Revenant profession in terms of Shiro and how it affects the Revenant as a whole. This will be judged by the iteration of the Revenant from the first beta weekend event for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. Shiro is to embody the damage aspect of the Revenant; to burst opponents and to be really slippery. Let’s start with the weapons introduced with this legend: main hand and offhand swords. I’m sure a lot of feedback has been looked at or is being addressed but I’ll still go over them for the sake of consistency.

Dual Swords

The main and offhand swords overall are good but still need a bit of work. The shadowstepping related skills are buggy and the swords need to dish out a bit more damage. Here’s a break down of the skills:

Preparation Thrust (Skill 1) – the basic skill that chains into Brutal Blade then Rift Slash. The first two apply vulnerability. The attacks are okay, but the damage on Brutal Blade needs to go up.

Precision Strike (Skill 2) – strike 3 nearby foes with blades that chill. Pretty decent mid range damage skill, and it does some nice damage too.

Unrelenting Assault (Skill 3) – Shadowstep and deal damage to a target and nearby foes. Strikes 7 times and gain might for each successful hit. This skill is cool to watch but it has a few issues. One bug is that you’re suppose to be evading while performing the skill. I heard that’s getting fixed so no need to talk about that any further. Another thing is that the damage is too low. Sometimes this skill didn’t perform all 7 strikes and ended early. Finally, the shadowstepping sometimes put me into objects in the world and I had to waypoint or relog to get out

Duelist’s Preparation (Skill 4) – a block skill that, when used successfully, turns into Shacking Wave which damages and immobilizes enemies in a wide cone. Pretty decent skill, not much to say here.

Grasping Shadow (Skill 5) – Stab your foe and shadowstep back (600 range) pulling your foe with you. This skill is a bit buggy. Sometimes enemies would not be pulled back as you shadowstep back. Using this skill into Unrelenting Strikes is pretty fun.

Legendary Assassin Stance

Time to cover the Legendary Assassin Stance. The idea of this stance is to provide kiting and maxing your damage output:

Enchanted Daggers (Skill 6 | Heal) – You summon 6 daggers that steal heath from enemies you hit. 6 daggers = 6 hits. You also get a base heal. I like the idea of this skill in line with the legend, you need to keep fighting to heal up. I did have trouble using it at first but I’ll get into that later. I would  like the initial heal to be a bit stronger.

Riposting Shadows (Skill 7) – You evade back (1200 range) and remove any movement conditions (chill, immobilize, cripple). It breaks stun and grants you 50 endurance. Pretty amazing stun breaker if you ask me. If there’s not a wall or a cliff behind you, you can pretty much break out of a fight quite cleanly.

Phase Traversal (Skill 8) – You use the Mists to jump to a target (1200 range). Your next 2 attacks can not be blocked. Pretty good to use with Riposting Shadows to gain a reprieve then to quickly get back into a fight.

Impossible Odds (Skill 9) – An upkeep skill that grants you quickness and super speed every second. Using the skill again to deactivates Impossible Odds. This skill vamps so much energy that I used it very sparingly. The skill itself is awesome but the upkeep saps all of your energy in a few seconds leaving you with less combat options. You need to be at max energy when using it in order to manage it properly.

Jade Winds (Skill 0 | Elite) – Channel for a few seconds to turn any enemies around you to jade which damages and stuns them. It takes a few seconds to cast but the effect is very worth it. If you really stick to targets and retain a high amount of energy you can trigger this skill quite frequently if you wanted to.

Regarding Enchanting Daggers, at first I found myself having a problem when in a fight and popping the heal like I’m on a Warrior or Guardian which left me in bad situations at times since the initial heal is low and I’m still taking damage. It took a while for me to learn that you need to get out of the fight, use the heal, then pop back in. Riposting Shadows and Phase Traversal aids in accomplishing this task. Something that the Shiro legend lacks is condition cleanse from bleeds, poison and so on. Switching to another legend and using that legend’s healing skill is the only real good way to survive condition burst.

Devastation Line & Legend Pairing 

The Shiro legend line Devastation basically provides life siphon and damage increase in one way or another. I find Rapid Lacerations is useful for casting skills like Jade Winds and Enchanted Daggers successfully. Pairing Shiro with other legends, I found the most useful pairing with Shiro is Jalis for the extra retaliation and stability followed by Mallyx for dealing with conditions. I’d pick Mallyx over Jalis if I were more condition based. Glint was recently announced and the skill set her legend provides might be something I like. It will depend if I like her utility skills but the shield makes it very enticing. The shield might help with the lack of Shiro condition cleanse too.

Overall, the main non-bug issues are with energy consumption, condi cleanse and lack of damage are the main issues to look at. Looking over these will make Shiro a more viable legend to use. I feel like I still need to play more Shiro in order to get a more firm grasp on how the legend is suppose to be used. I will say though that the Shiro legend is really fun to play and you should definitely try it out if you get the chance.

TL;DR

The First Heart Of Thorns Beta Weekend Event Starts August 7th!

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It’s that time again friends! The latest blog post by Colin Johanson reveals that the first beta weekend is upon us and starts Friday, August 7th at noon Pacific and ends on Monday, August 10th at noon Pacific. Anyone who pre-purchased Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns will be able to try out the starting area aka Verdant Brink for Heart of Thorns as well as the first story instance. The content in this area will give ArenaNet enough information to gain a good understand of how everything works and to properly update the content that appears later in the expansion. There’s also the following:

– Players can make a character of any profession and any race; you’ll will have access to level 80 gear.

– The Revenant profession will be available as well as the Shiro legend and specialization line. The elite specializations announced will be available as well. That’s Chronomancer, Dragonhunter, Reaper and Tempest

– You may take your beta character into the world of Tyria for PvE, PvP & WvW

– The sPvP Stronghold mode will be available and pre-purchasers will have all 3 Mist Champions unlocked

– The Map Bonus Reward system, which basically rewards players for completing events, will be active so players can experience what it feels like

– Progress for this beta weekend event will be saved for the next beta weekend so you can pick up where you left off

– Players will have 4 beta character slots to play with

Looking For Feedback

ArenaNet want your feedback on all the content they’re letting people play so they can fine tune it or make it better. Is the jungle content not to your liking? Why so? Do you like the feel of Dragonhunter? Do you like the bonus map rewards you’re getting? These are just some of the questions they want player’s feedback on. I encourage you to let yourself be heard on the forums.

If you’re not going to Gamescon, I hope you didn’t make plans for next weekend!

Revenant Thoughts: Dual Swords & Shiro Legend

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Game Designer Roy Cronacher is back with a new blog post on another Legend the Revenant can channel: Shiro Tagachi! In short, Shiro was the major assassin-like villian in the Guild Wars: Factions campaign and is also seen in the Nightfall campaign. He duel wielded blades and was a very powerful fighter. You can get a grasp of how Shiro fights in this video. Check out the GW Wiki for more if you don’t mind Factions spoilers.

Dual Swords?!

That’s right folks, Shiro Duel wielded blades. To capture the feel of being Shiro, Revenants can equip a sword in their main hand and offhand. The dual swords are themed to have quick weapon attacks in order to capture that high mobility assassin playstyle. Here are some of the skills from the dual sword weapon set:

  • Rift Slash (3rd basic attack) – “Slash foes, creating a rift on them that explodes for additional damage after a short delay.”
  • Precision Strike – “Strike nearby foes with precision, sending out blades that damage and chill them.” – this appears to be a medium ranged attack
  • Unrelenting Assault – “Unleash a fierce attack on nearby foes, shadowstepping to foes in the vicinity and delivering strikes. Gain might each time you strike a foe.” aka this from the announcement trailer

Shiro Legend

Now for the legend itself. Keeping with the high mobility playstyle, here are some of the utility skills:

  • Enchanted Daggers – “Enchanted daggers will strike your target as you attack, siphoning life from the damaged foe.” – This basically acts like a Thief’s Signet of Malice passive but probably more powerful and you have to activate it first.
  • Phase Traversal – “Step through the Mists to your target, and make your next few attacks unblockable.” – basically shadowstep to a foe and have a few unblockable attacks.
  • Jade Winds – “Call upon the Jade Wind to turn nearby enemies into jade, stunning them for a short duration.” – after a small channel, turn nearby enemies into Jade for a short duration.

My Thoughts?

I really like this Legend. It speaks to my assassin playstyle which I like to play in games. I haven’t mad a post on this yet but the Revenant as of last weekend’s Revenant play test currently suffers from 2 things:

  1. Lack of damage
  2. Ranged skills when not using the hammer

This Shiro legend definitely seems to make up for the lack of damage but it looks like there might still be a problem with lack of ranged skills. However, maybe Sword/Axe is the solution for the range problem. This weapon set seems to carry a lot of chase potential and a bit of range provided Precision Strike is a main hand sword skill. Also, it’ll be interesting when mixing Mace/Sword into the equation. The mace provides a lot of conditions and offhand sword could provide enough damage for a good balance. We’ll have to see when we get another weekend to test the Revenant out again.

Of course, we’ll get a preview of Shiro on Points of Interest tomorrow on the Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel at noon Pacific. We’ll also get a preview of the upcoming WvW event: Golem Rush!