As an spvper I am of the opinion that some weapons are lacking in a few areas or just in general and I’d like to propose what weapon skills need to be changed and some suggestions for what could be done.
First I’d like to state that I’ve always had this opinion that dagger main hand has this nice flow between all the attunements, always feeling useful in every attunement. Staff and scepter don’t have this and often it feels like you are doing practically nothing. Many of these changes seek to alleviate this.
I’ll start with scepter because its my favorite weapon:
At the moment scepter lacks good consistent damage outside of air attunement. For this reason, it’s a great weapon to take if you are playing fresh air because then you can just avoid using the other attunements except for the cooldowns and just stick with air. Also for that reason, it’s a really bad weapon if you don’t take fresh air.
(I’ll only list abilities I feel should be improved)
Fire #1 – Flamestrike – Needs improved somehow, it casts too slow for what it is. Easiest fix: reduce cast time.
Awesome but hard fix: change the ability to something else! Scepter doesn’t have to be a condition damage weapon.
Fire #2 – Dragons tooth – A really cool ability but in it’s situational uses it needs to be casted faster. Perhaps the delay on the tooth landing could remain the same but being stuck casting this ability for so long is a real bummer. Some people have suggested making it ground targeted but I don’t care either way.
Water Attunement: This attunement is a nightmare.
Water #1 – Ice Shards – This skill may as well read 300 range because if a target is moving and farther you are not going to hit hardly at all. If you hit all hits though its actually pretty decent damage. I avoid using this skill if at all possible. Revamp or clean this skill up immensely.
Water #2 – Shatterstone – I probably use this skill for an actual purpose 1 out of 3 games and those are in dire situations where I have no other options. Mostly on a downed opponent.
Earth #1 – Stone Shard – an obnoxiously long cast time and wind up and the ability just feels clunky. Does decent damage though. I think this ability just needs cleaned up a bit but it’s mostly fine.
Earth #3 – Dust Devil – I’ve come to really like this ability and with it’s situational use I see it as a way to really separate yourself from other eles by using it at the right times. However it just feels slightly lacking and often like a filler while I wait for other attunements to come up. Increase it’s speed and add some more power damage to it and call it a day! Or whatever other improvements you like.
Focus: Only one ability really concerns me here.
Fire #5 – Fire Shield – compared to most solid abilities on most ele weapons this ability just falls short. Situationally its pretty great, like when a mesmer has a bunch of clones hitting you and you stack 15 might in seconds. These situations are slim and thin, and focus these days is being ran by almost all glassy builds in which you can’t just stand and take some hits to take advantage of the aura. The Flame Aura part should definitely stay so both offhands (dagger and focus) still retain synergy with aura traits. On top of gaining the aura something should happen though. What happens could be so many things but I’d personally enjoy some mobility. Just pop some mobility on there that doesn’t closely resemble any of the other elementalist mobility skills and it’d be great!
Staff: In general I feel this weapon lacks damage unless you are just throwing your abilities into a big zerg, in which case you can’t miss!
Fire #1 – Fireball – Staff has this problem where all of the auto attacks (except for air) list 1200 range but they can’t be hit reliably without being sub ~800 range. This is one of them. Otherwise, good ability.
Fire #2 – Lava Front – This abilities hard to get anything out of except on crowd controlled opponenets. I remember way back in the betas this did damage as soon as it hit the ground allowing for often 2 hits on even moving targets. I don’t think this would be too crazy right now but if it is then perhaps just decrease the amount of delay it currently has before it does the first tic.
Water #1 – Water Blast – This abilities functionality should be completely changed and here is why. Any good elementalist knows that you get in water attunement, do all your healing, and get out as fast as possible. You do this because Healing Ripple and Evasive Arcana occur every time you switch to water, and the faster you get out of water the faster you can do Healing Ripple and Evasive Arcana again the next time water comes up. By spamming Water Blast to heal allies or yourself you are actually doing less healing by delaying the next Healing Ripple and Evasive Arcana and spending your time spamming Water Blast instead of using useful abilities in other attunements. Besides that, it also suffers the same problems as Fire #1 but has even slower speed.
Air #2 – Lightning Surge – Doesn’t do much more damage than spamming #1 (and in a lot of cases less damage), has a really long cast time, and your only reward is a blind that will 100% be on some random skill because of the cast time. Needs to be more rewarding to hit.
Air #3 – Gust – Can’t hit moving targets past something like 400 range. The key though is to just un-target and skill shot it. I think that’s fine for skilled players but I’m very sure many people are frustrated by this ability.
Earth #1 – Stoning – Same problem as Fire #1 but multiplied. Weakness is really strong though. Make the damage just a little bit higher and increase the projectile speed by a lot.
In WvW, where staff is already strong and optimal in large groups, I don’t feel these changes will make much of an impact. However, they would improve the staffs capabilities in small scale fights quite a bit.