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#1 Moonpuncher1

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 03:54 PM

How does everyone feel about the current state of our clones/phantasms/illusions?  I think on the whole, through all the beta weekends, they're weak and hurting us as a class.  Reasons:

1.  They die WAY too easily from AoE damage
2.  They disappear when your enemy dies (a pain for pve)
3.  You end up replacing good phantasms with crappy clones
4.  They only exist for mind-wracking, which got nerfed.
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#2 Kelthien

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:21 PM

I still love them.

1. Yes, they disappear easily.  That's a pain in large AoE fights, but I found if I stay mobile and create clones strategically, they last a bit longer.  The devs also updated some of the shatters to work much better when at low illusion numbers.
2. That part is a bit annoying, especially in swarm-style fights.  I'd love to see clones disappear but phantasms stick around.  We'll see.  It wasn't a huge game-breaker for me, but I also prefer illusion-heavy builds and had plenty of ways to create them.
3. Only for some weapons, and only if you keep phantasms around for a long time.  I usually kept phantasms around for 2 volleys of their skill, then sent them in to shatter.  This is a bigger issue for Scepter where auto-attack creates clones.  I'd expect this to be changed, but I think there has to be a line somewhere preventing phantasms from just being "always-out pets."
4. I found all the shatters useful, especially as PvE content grew in difficulty.  The defensive ones are less-handy when doing simple PvE quests, but I used Mind Wrack on every cooldown and the confusion skill when it made sense.  Any damage is good damage, and they have 0 cast time.  I always saw the shatter as "I'll be building more illusions soon. I'm capped out.  This is free damage."

In PvP, I found the mesmer to be wonderful in small encounters, less potent in large ones.  Some expert players may easily tell which clone is the 'real one', but confusion, daze, and evasion are all strong PvP tools. Even if the "distraction" element doesn't work, having such strong skills on a relatively short cooldown is awesome.  Hands down some of my favorite kills were the confusion shatter traited to pop on 6-7 stacks, then a quick scepter bolt to bring that number up to 10 or so and watching an enemy kill himself in seconds.

#3 bookworm438

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:27 PM

I have found the Mesmer to be pretty situational just like in Guild Wars 1. It seems like the Mesmer specializes in seizing certain situations and capitalizing on  it to kill its opponent. I have found that unless you create your build to run in and attack, you'll most likely die if you aren't careful. As a Mesmer, you should be watching the surroundings and watching as other players fight/do certain things. And just like Guild Wars 1, it'll depend on how you build the Mesmer.

1) As Kelthien said, yeah they die really easy. The clones are suppose to die after one or two hits, whereas the Phantasms are suppose to last a little bit longer. I have found if you don't create clones right next to each other, and out of most AoE radi, they will last a bit longer. I hope they add something to the AI of the clones or phantasms so they role/move out of AoE.

2) Yeah I have found that to be a real pain. I think many have suggested to ArenaNet to change it so that the clones/phantasms last through the death of your opponent. However, I think they mentioned their logic about this on the official forums, and multiple times over at GW2G. Apparently, you aren't suppose to rely on your clones for damage (hence why they deal very little damage). Your clones are suppose to be situational, and created so you can shatter them.

3) Yeah that's a pain too. But I think it goes back to their logic, you aren't suppose to rely on phantasms/clones for damage themselves. You are suppose to create them to shatter them. I suggest maybe starting out with a phantasm, then create your clones and/or other phantasms. As Kelthien said, allow one or two cycles of their attack, then send them in for a shatter. The biggest problem is the scepter, which creates a clone on the third strike of the number 1 skill.

4) Again this goes back to the situational thing of a Mesmer. While yes you'll most likely use them for mind-wrack. However, if you notice say a thief attacking one of your allies very quickly, send them in to shatter with the confusion skill, then follow up with one of your confusion skills. Then just watch the thief kill itself. Same with the distraction. If your opponent gets close to one of your clones, and you see they are casting a large spell, daze them. You interrupted their big spell, which can mean a difference of life or death. Same with evasion. If you are nearing death, or someone's about to use a big skill but you can't interrupt it, use the evasion shatter. You gain evasion -> their skill misses -> go invisible -> run and heal or reappear and destroy them.

I played Mesmer as my main in GW1, and while they play differently in GW2, they seem the same in regards to their uses. They are highly situational. If you capitalize on a situation, you can gain a huge advantage over your opponent. This is why I say the best place for a Mesmer is sitting back and observing the battle field before they strike.  I would say the Mesmer is the profession with the highest skill cap. And just like GW1, a well played Mesmer can be a huge pain. A well played Mesmer can potentially turn the tide of a battle, just like in GW1.

Quote

In PvP, I found the mesmer to be wonderful in small encounters, less potent in large ones. Some expert players may easily tell which clone is the 'real one', but confusion, daze, and evasion are all strong PvP tools. Even if the "distraction" element doesn't work, having such strong skills on a relatively short cooldown is awesome. Hands down some of my favorite kills were the confusion shatter traited to pop on 6-7 stacks, then a quick scepter bolt to bring that number up to 10 or so and watching an enemy kill himself in seconds.

I have found that mesmers are also pretty effective in large scale battles a la World vs World. But as I said, they are situational. A well placed chaos storm or shatter can be great. They aren't the best in the AoE category, but just like the thief, they are great at singling out dangerous targets and taking them out. But in WvW, you aren't suppose to just rely on yourself, you are suppose to rely on the team. Plus the whole distraction element works better in large scale battles I found. It's much harder to pick out the real Mesmer when there's a large battle going on.

#4 ohwellariel

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:47 PM

I actually rather like the current balance where they are quite easy to die but also quite easy to create. I've found in 5v5 that your illusions are your tank. You can be very slippery and hold out quite well 1v1 as long as you keep generating new illusions and no one gets a fix on you. As for them surviving, they don't need to last that long when you have so many methods of creating them. I particularly like the trait that gives you a clone when you dodge roll, and with that I never had a problem getting 3 clones up for a Mind Wrack recharge. If you pop phantasms right after a shatter, they'll be up long enough to make a difference too.

So, from my own experience, squishiness of illusions is not a concern. Focusing on fast generation will give you more than you can handle, even considering you have 4 shatters on separate cooldowns and you also need to keep your opponents off balance. If you want a concern, maybe spike damage would be it.

#5 Kelthien

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:53 PM

Bookworm is right that mesmer clones have a place in WvW and some mechanics work better. I may have understated my experiences in WvW.

Clones are great distraction, but I usually found that even ducking behind a tree will make someone pick a new target.  Phantasms are SUCH nice fire-and-forget!  Especially some of the ranged guys.  The Duelist was a beast, in particular.

However, I found clones and phantasms to be the worst things ever ever ever against keep sieges.  Most of the time, they couldn't even attack a door right in front of them.

In large battles, I'd usually just keep sending in clone after clone, hoping my enemies would waste large cooldowns or start thinking "ok the guy in the red jacket is just a clone" and leave me alone when the real battle started.  I found great success keeping the Mesmer as a side-line duelist though.  Defending the flanks and picking off stragglers while providing useful support to my team.

#6 bookworm438

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 07:21 PM

View PostKelthien, on 10 August 2012 - 06:53 PM, said:

Bookworm is right that mesmer clones have a place in WvW and some mechanics work better. I may have understated my experiences in WvW.

Clones are great distraction, but I usually found that even ducking behind a tree will make someone pick a new target.  Phantasms are SUCH nice fire-and-forget!  Especially some of the ranged guys.  The Duelist was a beast, in particular.

However, I found clones and phantasms to be the worst things ever ever ever against keep sieges.  Most of the time, they couldn't even attack a door right in front of them.

In large battles, I'd usually just keep sending in clone after clone, hoping my enemies would waste large cooldowns or start thinking "ok the guy in the red jacket is just a clone" and leave me alone when the real battle started.  I found great success keeping the Mesmer as a side-line duelist though.  Defending the flanks and picking off stragglers while providing useful support to my team.

I love the duelist phantasm. I think knowing when and how to use a phantasm (it'll obviously depend on your build) will help separate the good players and the bad players. Mesmer players are going to need to find a balance between phantasm use and shattering, and it's going to vary based on builds.

I don't think clones are meant to attack keep walls. Players should mainly be using siege equipment to take down walls. I have found that when it comes to sieges, a Mesmer's place is to watch for people who are trying to come around the rear and take down our siege equipment.

#7 Annwn

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:27 PM

View Postohwellariel, on 10 August 2012 - 06:47 PM, said:

You can be very slippery and hold out quite well 1v1 as long as you keep generating new illusions and no one gets a fix on you.

I'd agree except that it's so heartbreakingly easy to "get a fix" on the mesmer with the current status of the call target mechanic.  I hope to god this gets fixed before release.  It was still active yesterday.

#8 Lina_Inverse

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 10:23 PM

It's more the AI of illusions(pathing and run speed) and the shatter mechanic that frustrates me than the low damage and hp.   The only viable fix at this point in my opinion is to eliminate the need for clones to path all (i.e. detonate on location and apply the shatter from range).   Aside from distortion (the only shatter that does the previously mentioned mechanic), other shatters are quite unreliable.  Cooldowns and numbers could be changes as needed to compensate.

Also for a large team presence, the hp of phantasms could use at least a slight boost or at the very least some protection from aoe, especially in the case of the melee focused ones.

In general the biggest problem I feel with mesmers is reliability.  There are too many external influences and rng involved in their abilities overall.

#9 Windwrath1

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:02 PM

I feel like clones have been... inconsistent and tuned poorly. Though, if used properly and in the right circumstances they are really effective. I feel like the shatter skills aren't necessarily powerful enough, particularly Mind Wrack. It's disappointing to spend time creating clones and then have the damage be so mediocre. The profession, if used properly, is definitely powerful but it still feels a bit .. disjointed to me, on the clones/phantasms front. I don't think it's because clones are too weak... any attack made against your clones is generally an attack you're not eating.


EDIT: During today's disappointingly short stress test, I used a Mesmer confusion build. It was fun! I don't really know how viable it would be, because it takes a bit to get confusion stacks on your target and it's rough to switch targets, but I did OK. I think you need all survivability and confusion traits to make it work. I dueled a necro who used her ult and I still won. :) I ate through death shroud and Lich, though if she was playing properly it probably wouldn't have worked... still, fun. :)

#10 Except

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 12:56 PM

As for me, its too difficult to keep track of which of 3 illusions are phantasms and which are just clones. I think, some kinda visual indicator on the pannel where it shows the number of illusions would be nice. For example showing the phantasms in purple and clones in pink, or sth along those lines. That way I could use shatters more efficiently.

Anyway, it might be just me and everyone else is fine with it. What are your thoughts?
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#11 Windwrath1

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 10:48 PM

View PostExcept, on 14 August 2012 - 12:56 PM, said:

As for me, its too difficult to keep track of which of 3 illusions are phantasms and which are just clones. I think, some kinda visual indicator on the pannel where it shows the number of illusions would be nice.

Pretty good suggestion, IMO.

#12 vVv_Cwalk

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 03:11 PM

you can be in big trouble if you go against people with lots of aoe that focus them, you get nutered but you are getting an enemy that is killing a clone isntead of you for 5sec, you can also pop them back out very fast.




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