"Vapor Form" revisited 31st of October 2012. About two weeks ago Vapor form was changed and some of its really bad parts have been altered Lets take a new look at the skill:
Current GW2wiki description (31st October, 2012) :
Assume a mobile, vaporous form, returning to a downed state when the effect ends.
Duration: 5 s
Traits affecting the skill
Downed Form Vapor Form 20
Change-log (since March 2012)
- Started out with a 45 second recharge.
- Did not mention the "return to downed state" in older descriptions.
- The description does not explicitly mention the immunity to direct damage.
- Moved from Slot #3 to #2 and is available instantly after being downed.
- After the update to Vapor Form the skill switched places with Grasping Earth and is now at the #2 spot on the downed skill bar.
- When you go into the downed state, this skill is now instantly available.
- The very short duration of 5 seconds and the slow speed of your movement does not allow you to get anywhere, when facing a AI melee foe or a player that is aware of your downed state. But, you can doge in Vapor Form, to get some distance between you and the foe. In PvE this is advisable pretty much from the second you got downed, especially, when you have a summon still up or friends around.
- Against ranged foes, there is almost no way to escape, as they can usually keep up with the dodge.
- PvP usage requires some timing, but gives you a fighting chance now. It can be good move not to use it right away (using the damage skill first). As soon as the (melee) opponent uses his finisher stomp, hit Vapor Form and dash away. As the stomp roots your foe, you can get away when you are able to dodge twice. Depending on how long it took the enemy to come close, you can trigger Grasping Earth now for Bleed & Immobilize. It is hard to escape more than one enemy this way.
- "Investing trait points into the "Icy Mist" trait just for "Vapor Form" sounds like a bad idea, because it works just on two skills ("Vapor- & Mist Form") and the chance to actually activate the skills to get the benefit of Chill & Vulnerability is so small. Other traits are far better to spend points on." - This assessment still is valid after the update.
- Improvement could still be made, e.g. by getting rid of the downed penalty to health points you get when entering the skill twice. You can still kill yourself by using this skill three times in a row. No other profession has that "feature".
Skill assessment before October 22nd
- It is the slot #3 skill in downed form, which usually means it is some "get away skill" for the profession, while #1 & #2 are damage and condition skills.
- When you go into the downed state, this skill does not become available right away, but enters a recharge cycle, which reduces your chance to activate it, before you get defeated a lot.
- In PvP, the chance to keep "downed alive" for such a long time is slim to none.
- The very short duration of 5 seconds and the slow speed of your movement does not allow you to get anywhere, when facing a melee foe. It just follows you and kills you off after the immunity has run off after 5 seconds. Unlike the "stealth" mode the Thief gets, the AI is aware that you are just buying some time and will follow you instead of breaking off.
- Investing trait points into the "Icy Mist" trait just for "Vapor Form" sounds like a bad idea, because it works just on two skills ("Vapor- & Mist Form") and the chance to actually activate the skills to get the benefit of Chill & Vulnerability is so small. Other traits are far better to spend points on.
- Compared to other professions, the #3 skill is underpowered (compared to those that are overpowered, e.g. Thief or Mesmer).
- "Vapor Form" is a great candidate for improvement before GW2 gets released in August, if the OP downed skills like e.g. "Smoke Bomb" are not brought down to a moderate level (which should be the preferred option).
- Improvement could be the removal of the initial recharge cycle, a general reduction of the recharge timer to perhaps 15 or 12 seconds or a swiftness boon when entering the vaporous form, so you get at least a chance to get out of damage range of melee foes in PvE (or in PvP where your foes must at least follow you).