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J's BWE2 Mesmer Recap

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#1 Jairyn


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Posted 23 June 2012 - 09:56 AM

On the beta forums, I tried to do a round up of some common concerns and suggestions from both the beta forums and here on Guru. It seemed fairly popular there, so I feel I may as well share it here, too.

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One thing I would like to make clear is I get that, numbers-wise, the mesmer may be working out fine. My concern comes not from a feeling that we’re underpowered, exactly, merely that things seem rough and “clunky.” I’d like to see refinements that make the mesmer play in a more cohesive and elegant manner.

If the immediate response to a suggestion I make is “that would be overpowered,” please understand that I am then suggesting the change be made along with corresponding number tweaks to bring it in balance. I realize that’s likely trickier and more time invested, but I believe the payout would be worth it.

I suggest taking the hardest look at:

* performance issues between SPvP vs. PvE vs. WvW/performance issues between brief skirmishes with several enemies and longer matches against fewer opponents

* clones overwriting phantasms – these things are not equivalent. Please, either don’t let it happen or give us a dedicated phantasm slot (or more). Given the power level of phantasms in BWE2 a cap on active phantasms may be a helpful balancing tool

* speed/responsiveness of shatters: sometimes it feels agonizingly slow to get a shatter off and they miss extremely easily unless an opponent is stunned. The limitations of ai, pathing, and geometry also disallow shatters in instances where other professions are not similarly fettered. 

I prefer the idea of shattered illusions immediately breaking on command and delivering their effect as an instantaneous and unavoidable blast. I believe it is within reason for shatters to be instant as they are powered by our fragile, conspicuous illusions, easy targets. An opponent can mitigate or outright deny us shatters by targeting illusions, or they can try to kill us more directly, but may eat shatters. Hard choices, a deadly puzzle, etc.

* other suggestions for the shatter issue are having the clones blink in, transmogrify into projectiles, allowing one illusion reach its target to count for all, or at least be granted Swiftness upon being commanded to shatter

* more in-game, visual feedback for shatters. Perhaps add a “burst” effect on affected targets, with a different sort of burst for each shatter? This helps enemies understand what we did and helps us understand more clearly and immediately who we hit and who we didn’t

 * better illusion tracking. I dislike the three purple dot ui for illusions not distinguishing clones from phantasms. I’d like to see them in different symbols and/or colors.

* perhaps more intelligent clones, capable of dodging like the mist’s training dummies, etc. to actually be confusing? More convincing clones that properly match equipped weapons, have mesmer icon, appear to do damage, etc. could be nice, as would allowing them to perhaps appear to use more than skill #1

* OH sword and MH scepter are both quite lackluster, atm. The block skills, in particular, seem a little meh save for their secondaries and ether bolt cries out something. If not confusion, perhaps weakness or burning? “Ether Burn” has a nice mesmery sound to me…

* Focus and torch also just can’t compete with pistol. I’d rather see focus and torch brought up to par than pistol knocked down

* MH sword, pistol, staff, trident, and spear are almost perfect. GS is very close, but I’d still say one rank below. The other weapons fall behind even that. Please bring the other weapons more up in line with these

* having just said that, Winds of Chaos on staff has z-axis issues, Swap/Illusionary Leap on sword is wonky

* possibly remove phantasms from shatter, shatter only clones? This makes the class fight with itself less. Clones would be defense and shatter fodder, phantasms would be our “living hexes” and never the twain shall meet

* lots of players seem to like the idea of clones staying low damage, but each weapon clone type getting a signature condition to spam

* possibly check on mesmer downed state, it seems to be tuned quite low

* perhaps, at least in PvE, allow illusions to persist for a certain number of seconds after their target dies/while in combat and reassist on our target. This would ease the difficulty we have with large scale events

* perhaps allow all illusions to shatter on the mesmer’s current target when commanded to do so, rather than those they were conjured on

* not a personal issue of mine, but there is some discontent with utilities, that they are redundant, lackluster, or just still on prohibitively long cooldowns. Particular complaint is directed at Mirror, Mimic, Mantras, and Elites.

* it seems to me like mesmer MH pistol is missing in this build ;)

If time permits, I still support the idea of maybe changing a few F-keys to do something other than shatter our illusions. Global random swap with a clone, changing some of the shatters to just be abilities boosted by # of active illusions rather than sacrifice them, etc. are some common ideas.

My dream F-keys would be:

F1 – Mind Wrack – just as is (or with BWE1’s damage). Possibly rename Shatter Illusions, shatters only clones, not phantasms.
F2 – Mislead – swap places with most recently conjured illusion (does not shatter illusions)
F3 – Diversion & F4 Distortion – can be used at any time, with no active illusions, for 1sec duration of the Daze/Distortion. Add 1 sec of duration per active illusion. These abilities no longer shatter illusions, either

There would be three clone slots and 1-2 (possibly traited) phantasm slots, denoted by different tracking icons in the ui. All illusions would automatically expire in a Cry of Frustration when they or their target is killed (Confusing Combatants trait would increase the stacks). As this would result in technically only one shatter, our class mechanic would shift from just shatters to illusions and manipulating them.

Perhaps the term shatter for all F-skills would no longer work. Suggestions for new mechanic names I’ve seen include: Mind Tricks, Sleight of Mind, Prestidigitation, Metamagic, Mystic Arcana, Arcane Legerdemain, Illusionary Alteration, Illusionary Augmentation, Masks, Tarot cards/Deck of Illusions. Prestidigitation, Metamagic, and Sleight of Mind are my personal favorites.

Personally, using the teleport spells (Blink, Phase Escape, Swap, Portal) is really when I most feel like a deceptive, tricksy illusionist. Well, that and cloaking. Perhaps these attributes could be enhanced slightly more? The degree to which underwater skills, particularly spear for mesmers, have so much movement makes me wonder if maybe mobility and positional modification (pull, push, launch, knockdown, etc.) isn’t an aspect of mesmers that can be something of their specialty without infringing on other professions too much?

I still want to emphasize that the mesmer is gorgeous and fun, but rather rough around the edges. It’s about getting things to “feel right,” which is nebulous and subjective, but I do note there is a general murmur of agreement with most of my points. This also is neither a demand nor a step-by-step exhaustive list. Some of these changes may be entirely unneeded, some may eliminate the need for others, and I'm sure there are ither solutions out there. I'm just spitballing.

Edited by J1083, 23 June 2012 - 09:57 AM.

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#2 Wardi


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Posted 23 June 2012 - 10:28 AM

I recommend writing this on official Anet forums, because posting it here won't give any result but sharing ideas with others.

But yes, you are right. I would say Focus is a good weapon, too (just adjust some numbers - cooldown etc.), and Torch is quite fine aswell (again - numbers. Mage damage is laughable).

They won't give mesmer MH pistol because we would have just too many weapon sets. What's more, pistol/pistol mesmer would be a clone of Thief and we would have third direct-damage set (GS and sword/pistol are the others).
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#3 Jairyn


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Posted 23 June 2012 - 10:49 AM

Thanks for the feedback! I did manage to get it posted on the beta forums before they went down, in reply to Jon Peters' "don't panic, we're working on the mesmer" thread.

One of torch's biggest issues, I think, is the phantasm seems to conjure in melee, which makes it eat dirt fast and doesn't seem appropriate to its name or function. Focus is pretty sweet if the pull/knockdown is intentional (as it isn't noted on the tooltip). I sort of wish a lot of our cooldowns were a little shorter, especially on these offhands and some of our utility skills.

As for pistol... Who says pistol/ must be a direct damage set? Our role as illusionists and magicians makes the possibilities limitless. The pistol could shoot sprays of rose petals that give regeneration or puffs of smoke that blind and confuse a cloud of enemies. I could see it as an alternative, more controlled condition set, party support boon set, mobility/evasion/defense set, knockdown/push/cripple positioning set... We're also kind of hurting for AoE weaponry and pistol could fill that with some cones, lines, waves, PBAoEs, or targeted AoEs. The point is to take the pistol/pistol aesthetic and make it mesmer. Also, I did drop the winky face on there as that suggestion is more facetious. I don't expect them to add a whole new weapon to us between now and release. :)

Edited by J1083, 23 June 2012 - 10:52 AM.

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#4 Circe


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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:48 PM

I find it rather amusing you posted this so long after the beta weekend. The stress test is a few days away and they may have already fixed half of this stuff. It probably would have been better if you posted it earlier. Nice points though.
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#5 Natzmc


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Posted 02 July 2012 - 07:37 AM

I made an account for this forum to say this is a really good post. I don't think they will give us a pistol MH it would be nice but unlikely. Overall this is a nice summary of the tweaking that needs done.
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#6 Nuu


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Posted 02 July 2012 - 07:51 AM

Why did you make your own thread...? There's already (a quite active) one around right now >_>...anyways...yeah I see most of your suggestions....but I'm too tired to respond. To be honest, anyon who hated/disliked/had major revisions was "popular." not overwriting phantasms would be sweet, but many of the other things are either being fixed or not being focused on . I'm not a moderator, nor do I want to do their job, but I'd recommend posting in the thread where they talk about this stuff
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