Blog Archives

Heart of Thorns Beta Weekend Event 2 Thoughts In A Nutshell

gliding-590x331

Hello everyone! This post is to cover the changes in Beta Weekend Event 2 for Chronomancer, Dragonhunter, Reaper, Tempest, Berserker, Daredevil and the Revenant. I’ll also throw in a little Stronghold.

I want to note that the new section of Verdant Brink players can get into has way more challenging monsters and good event chains which is great. Well, seeing Lord Far… I mean, Swordmaster Faren in a speedo in the middle of a monster infested jungle wasn’t planned but was an interesting twist as side story. Anyways, the enemies are much more challenging and annoying to deal with which is good because players have to actually try and watch their positioning in fights. Alright, now, onto the elite specializations!

The Elite Specializations

Tempest_Elite Skill

Chronomancer mostly got a balance in traits to reduce illusion spamming as it was a little too good (sorry mesmers). As I was fighting I definitely saw that I needed to work a bit more in order to summon illusions but it wasn’t to the point of being exceedingly hard. Also, Gravity Well (elite) was updated to pull every pulse which I found to be a nice change. Then I experienced it on the receiving end in Stronghold. Not a fun well to be in.

Next up is Dragonhunter. There are more changes in the works but for this beta weekend event the virtues got an update, the longbow’s Symbol of Energy got a damage buff & traps and traits got buffs. The virtues feel good with the Spear of Justice range lining up with the longbow range and Wings of Resolve healing more. I still think the cast time for traps need to go down. I also think Heavy Light needs to be removed or reworked to be attached to a longbow skill besides basic attacks. 240 knock back doesn’t seem like much but it’s enough to knock an enemy out of AoE which is very annoying. No wait, Extremely. Annoying.

Reaper, I thought was good, but now it’s really time to consider fearing the Reaper. They buffed pretty much everything: Greatsword payoffs are better, Reaper Shroud got tweaked and the shouts are stronger and have reduced or instant cast times. So I really have no complaints. One of my favorite changes to greatsword is that you can move while casting Nightfall (Greatsword 4) so you can move with your enemy in order to place the AoE blind properly. This allows you to land the rest of your skills successfully.

Tempest overall got a damage buff to some warhorn skills and overloads. The 2 main issues is a range indicator for Overloads. I’d like to know the area which my Overload Air is affecting when I’m bring lighting down on enemies. The other issue is Overload water as I’m still not really seeing the big heal. Maybe everyone’s health is topped off when I get to that point, I’m not sure.

Berserker is in a solid place. There’s definitely more damage options in the traits and rage skills and a clear view for condition damage that surrounds burning. I especially like Outrage since it’s a stun breaker on a really low cooldown. Torch is a pretty decent condition type of weapon, I can see it being used in PvP. The primal burst skills are all pretty decent, each providing an augmented version of the normal burst skills, most of them supplying fire. Since this is a new elite specialization, I’ll put out a post to describe my thoughts in more detail.

Daredevil brings back the dodge combat that fell out of the thief meta via traits and the 3rd endurance bar. It does so in a way that it isn’t horribly to strong and still rewards skillful dodging. Staff is a decent weapon but it’s hard to say right now if it’ll be viable for sPvP at all skill levels. Bandit’s Defense and Impact Strike are great physical skills to take in most scenarios with the other physical skills being situational (based on the build). I think the damage on the Impact strike combo needs to go down a bit since the first two skills are hard crowd control and Impact Strike’s Finishing Blow kills a person when the damage from Finishing Blow would put them into down state. Again, since this is a new elite specialization, I’ll put out a post to describe my thoughts in more detail.

Revenant Changes & Herald

revenant-Utility-Elemental-Blast

Revenant I spent most of my time with Shiro, Jalis and Glint with Sword/Shield and Hammer. So I can’t really speak about any changes to Ventari, Mallyx and their associated weapons. Buff to sword and tweaks to Shiro were amazing. There’s still an issue using Unrelenting Assault on an enemy near a wall but the rest is pretty great. Shiro got some nice tweaks, especially to the heal; you can now proc the heal on attack much quicker.

Now let’s talk Herald. Shield it really good. And I’m not saying that, it’s really good. The base heal on the skills make it a worthy option. To add on Envoy of Exuberance‘s (Shield 4) AoE protection you can grant to allies from a distance is great and the break bar on Crystal Hibernation (Shield 5) really helps with dealing with some binds.

The utilities are fantastic to say the least. The healing skill can help you heal to full if getting bombarded with attacks. In fact all the utility actives are pretty decent, You have a stealth reveal, AoE damage/condition field, a facing damage swipe, and a channeled cone knock down. What’s cool about the Facet utility skills is that you can have 2 or 3 on at a single time which is great for preparing for a fight or simply running around. I mean, who doesn’t like perma swiftness?

The Herald is meant to be a party support type but the specialization line can be customized to support you in combat or your allies around you.

Stronghold Hype!

gw2-Nika

The first BWE I didn’t get a chance to get into stronghold because I was testing out the elite specializations. This time I actually spent quite a few games in Stronghold. So the opening strategy I like the best is sending one person to defend (preferably someone tanky), one or two to the enemy guards (DPS) and the rest to supply camp. From there you assess what to do next. Trebuchet is really good for the one defending because people don’t expect it and either come up to stop you or still try to take out guards which is much more in your favor. The strategy I saw in a few games is that people wrap around the backline in order to attack the enemy doorbreakers earlier. This works if no one is escorting. I don’t like it too much because you run a high risk of being seen by a lot of people before actually attacking the doorbreakers.

I still find the map a bit snowball-y if a team gets a really good start due to the death timers being the same for the duration of a match. If a team is hard pushing for lord and fail, they don’t really get punished due to just reapplying pressure. There’s not enough time for the other team to mount a half decent offensive unless they have really mobile people. Thankfully, there’s overtime. Overtime is a cool mechanic. I only experienced it once and won because I cleaved someone to gain the 5 point lead before the timer ran out.

To Conclude

And those are my thoughts from BWE1 into BWE2 and Stronghold. I’ll be making separate posts on Berserker and Daredevil. To summarize, Chronomancer is in a good spot, Dragonhunter still needs work, Reaper is in a good spot, Tempest is almost in a good spot, Berserker is solid but can use some tweaks, Daredevil need some tweaks, Revenant is looking pretty solid and Stronghold can be a bit snowball-y if your team mess up early; otherwise it’s a very fun PvP mode to play.

Heart of Thorns Beta Weekend Event 1 Thoughts: The Tempest

tempest-warhorn-fire

These are my general thoughts of the Elementalist elite specialization: the Tempest! I was able to try out this elite specialization for the first time in the first beta weekend event for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns! This elite specialization was an interesting one to toy with.

Warhorn

Despite the grumbles some Elementalist players have of getting Warhorn; I find it’s really good. Using Dagger/Warhorn for a Double Dagger-like skill rotation is possible but is slower since each warhorn skills has a small cast time. In terms of damage and support, warhorn does both fairly well. Let’s look at each of the skills:

Fire Attunement: you get a sizable burning field called Wildfire (Skill 5) and can gain might and share your current boons with Heat Sync (Skill 4). Heat Sync is great but I’ll get into that in a bit.

Water Attunement: has two healing skills where Tidal Surge (Skill 4) also has a knock back; Water Globe (Skill 5) heals allies on it’s travel path so you don’t necessary have to be in the front line

Air Attunement: Cyclone (Skill 4) allows you to pull in enemies in front of you which is good for stopping enemy and Lighting Orb (Skill 5) that damages enemies it passes. A personal preference is that Lighting Orb isn’t a skill shot but instead travels in the direction you’re facing like with Water Globe.

Earth Attunement: Dust Storm (Skill 5) is really good versus close range physical opponents because of the blinds & vulnerability. The AoE protection and increased boon duration with Sand Squall (Skill 4) is really nice

Shouts

The shouts are pretty good, each having their own elemental style. The cast times are good for what each shout does. I didn’t test it too much but I think Auramancers will really like the utility shouts as three of them grant an aura of some kind on use. Rebound is a good skill to use to get a long cooldown back; I like using it to get Armor of Earth (a utility skill that grants protection and stability) back much quicker for safer, uninterrupted overloads.

Overload

The overload attunements are really strong in terms of what they bring. The best one in my opinion is Overload Fire. Not only are you doing damage, but it’s free 10+ stack of might if you complete the overload and you can combine it with Heat Sync for more might and share your current buffs with other allies then switch to earth and use Sand Squall for the protection and boon duration so that you and nearby allies get longer lasting stacks of might. Overload Water I feel could use a bit of a buff of it’s final burst heal. Overload Air is pretty decent for doing damage in an area. Overload Earth is good for granting allies that extra protection boon during a fight.

The Tempest specialization line mostly focuses on Overloads but there are some good traits for auras and vigor.

To conclude, the Tempest clearly introduces a new way to support. At the same time it gives new options for current meta roles; whether offensive or defensive in nature. This makes Tempest one of the most interesting elite specialization to see what players come up with. Whether this specialization is viable in the sPvP meta with it’s Overloads and warhorn, well we’ll have to see.

TL;DR

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

gw435

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!

Elementalist Specialization Thoughts: The Tempest

ele-tempest

Usually I’d start these off talking about the core specialization but since it’s been a while since the new specialization lines have been in, all you elementalist pretty much get a grasp of what your specialization lines are about.

For those that don’t really have an idea, I can summarize the lines as pretty much being similar to pre-core specializations. The main things I see are Auramancers, Double Dagger, and Support Staff. Something I see more now is the use of scepter for condition builds which is a nice twist on things.

Alright, enought of that, Tempest time!

 Tempest Elite Specialization

Tempest_Fire_Overload

Game Designer Karl McLain gives us a look at the Tempest. This spec looks so awesome. The Tempest is meant to bring about a new way to support, outside of staff, by being where the action is at while also rewarding positioning.

Let’s start with the elemental attunements. Each attunement when in Tempest will have an Overload ability. Overload occurs when an elementalist is in an attunement for a long period of time. After that amount of time, the elementalist can reactivate their attunement for a channeled ability. After using an Overload ability, you get locked out of that attunement for a little while when you swap to another attunement. For example, If I used the Fire Overload ability, then swap to Earth attunement, the cooldown to switch back to fire is longer than usual.

So, what are these abilities? We’ll let’s have a look:

  • Overload Fire: An inferno tornado builds around the Tempest over time. This tornado constantly burns and does damage while also granting allies might. After the channel is complete, the tornado stays in place for a period of time.
  • Overload Water: An aquatic bubble starts to form around the Tempest that cleanses conditions and heals yourself and nearby allies. After the channel is complete, the bubble pops providing a large heal to allies.
  • Overload Air: A nimbus cloud forms around the Tempest striking nearby enemies. After the channel is complete, a lighting field is left at the location for a period of time striking enemies.
  • Overload Earth: The Tempest starts to ride the ground below them as it shifts and grants protection to nearby allies and cripples enemies. After the channel is complete, the shifted earth returns to the ground creating a blast that immobilizes enemies.

Now let’s talk Warhorn. Not what a lot of Elementalist were expecting (or wanting) but let’s have a look. Naturally, since elementalist have 4 attunements, warhorn grants access to 8 new skills. Like Dagger, the Warhorn will emit elemental themed attacks. Such as when in lighting attunement, one warhorn skill will emit a cyclone that pulls enemies to a point. Check out the picture below for what that looks like.

gw2-ele-Warhorn-Skill-Electric

Next up, utilities! Tempest will be getting shouts:

  • Wash the Pain Away (Heal) – Heals and cleanses conditions. Heals nearby allies for the same amount.
  • Feel the Burn – Lays a fire field at a certain location
  • Eye of the Storm – Calls down a storm on you that stun breaks for you and nearby allies that also grants superspeed.
  • Aftershock – Calls a earth force around you that cripples nearby enemies. An aftershock occurs that immobilizes nearby enemies after a short delay.
  • Freeze – Air around you gets condensed which damages and chills foes for a short duration
  • Rebound (Elite) – An arcane shout skill that causes the next ability used by you and allies affected to have a 25% recharge reduced

Finally the trait line. As far as we know, the minors in the Tempest line really give off the support/defense play and bonuses of overloading attunements:

  • Singularity (1st Minor) – Gain access to Overload attunements
  • Speedy Conduit (2nd Minor) – Gain swiftness while overloading an attunement
  • Hardy Conduit (3rd Minor) – Gain protection when you start to Overload an attunement

My Thoughts?

Wow. I need to see the Tempest in action but, if it’s this good on paper, then I can’t wait. The goal of making the Tempest a front line support really is portrayed well here. Tempest has an offensive nature but defensive nature as well which really appeals to me.

I know double dagger elementalist is all about having and offensive and defensive skill rotation while swapping into a different attunement every 5 seconds (give or take). This really brings about a reason to use attunements not only for a new set of skills to use but you have to consider using that skill set for a longer period of time due to using an Overload ability. Very interested to see how Elementalists will pull off Overload attunement rotations.

TenTonHammer’s Lewis B got an exclusive on this specialization. Be sure to check his post out if you want a few more details including his interview with Karl McLain. We’ll find everything on Points of Interest tomorrow per usual on July 24th at noon Pacific.