Since game beginning destroyer had been a mediocre class. Never too good, never too bad. But 4 years have passed, some classes have been buffed, some redesigned and now Destroyers found their place ... AT THE BOTTOM.
0. Old/outdated design.
From ancient times destroyer have been all about anicancel. It seems to be our blessing, but turned into our curse.
Since destroyer is designed for DPSing really fast with his anicancel, every downtime hurts his DPS badly.
Out of chi? Huge DPS loss. Boss hitbox problems (Sundered Nexus) or boss moved? DPS loss. Boss out of range (Asura, Taikhan)? DPS loss.
Yes, I know some other classes have anicancel, but they don't suffer from flaws of this mechanics so much.
For example BD with equal gear doesn't suffer DPS loss even if he grabs target. He just backs into charts in 10-15 seconds (and outdps destro). Destroyers cant do the same - if you grab you lose, boss moved - you lose, low on chi - you lose. etc. Slam+wrath after grab doesn't help at all.
1. Worst chi management (I know its called focus, but since all other classes have chi, I will call it chi).
Excuse me if I am wrong, but imho destoyer now is last class who still may have chi problems, even with good gear.
All destroyer DPS cycle during bossfight is about using lmb-rmb as fast as possible (plus burst once per 45 seconds). Not only destroyers are hugely ping dependant, but also every lmb-rmb cycle is rng gamble.
No crit lmb? Less chi. Small ping issue? Rmb-rmb instead of lmb-rmb - chi loss. If you press Lmb-Rmb too fast game will skip Lmb and you'll end without chi. Again.
Destroyer reminds me an old car. First you enjoy the ride, but then suddenly you hear strange noises from the engine, and your car stops. You can never predict when destro engine will stop, will it be ping, no-crit combo or something else.
Also all our chi regenerating abilities are really bad. We don't have reliable "Oh sht, I am out of chi" button.
Destroyers either have to waste CC use (blitz/ram), or put skill points into terrible talents like Stage 1 emberstomp (huge DPS loss compared to Stage 3 emberstomp) or into Stage 2 smash.
Btw Stage 2 smash is not bad, its AFWUL. You know, when suddenly run out of chi, ability which requires 20 chi just to activate it and provides SLOW (20 per sec) chi regen is a bad choice. I tried it for some time and it doesn't worth it at all. Wasted skill points.
LMB aka Judgement... Why lmb casting speed is SO SLOW? When destroyer use LMB not as part of anicancel he looks like drunken dystrophic with axe.
2. Unsupporting support.
Okay, lets imagine we can live with worst DPS (we cant actually). Lets see how good destroyer is as "support" class.
We can grab and use "iron fortress." Thats all.
And yes, new improved grab with "restrain" appeared in game AFTER Korean destroyers realized that they are worst.
As for grab destroyers are still completely outshined by BD's who have:
1. better DPS.
2. better surviavabilty.
Iron fortress? Don't make me laugh. The party must be REALLY bad to make it useful.
Now lets have a look at other DPS classes who are NOT support but have utilities.
FM - best DPS, best party save, projectile shield and "oh shit" abilities. Backbone and carrying element of any party. You may live without any class in your party. Except FM.
Summoner - very good DPS (much better than destro), party save, party heal, projectile shield, cat(!) who can resurrect party members, tanking abilities. THAT WHAT I CALL SUPPORT.
WL - very good DPS, tanking add, AWESOME DPS buff which can be used anytime and still better than restrain as DPS boost.
KFMs - very good DPS, tanking, strong party buff.
Sins - very good DPS, projectile shield, party buff, maybe some other utilities I didn't mention.
Summary - any OTHER class is better support than destroyer and have higher DPS.
Our stage 4 emberstomp is useless. Its freaking so outdated and useless, so it should crumble into dust. And if taken its DPS loss. Again.
By the way NC Soft could redesign Stage 1 emberstomp turning it into party, buff providing +10% damage to anyone in range (so destroyer could choose like Kfm between personal and party buffs), but I doubt it will ever happen.
3. Lowest damage
You know another funny thing?
Despite all mentioned above destroyer ability damage is just LOW. Yes. Other classes just get BIGGER numbers in equal gear. When you see 8k - they see 10k, when you see 10k - they see 12k and so on....
Some classes have DPS abilities with initial higher damage. Some have abilities that seem to have lower damage, but in real fight because they are boosted by some other "insert name" abilities their actual damage is higher.
I wonder if any eu/na destroyer have seen 50+k crit from any ability? I've it seen once at times when I still had true scorpion weapon and caught some undergeared guy at SPP. Fury+stun+smash+ challenger and sparring soulshields = wow I've hit for 50+ k. Once.
KFM sees such(and higher) numbers regularly, just as part of their rotation. End of story.
For you understanding 700 AP destro have DPS equal to 600 AP FM, or 650 AP any other class. Something like that.
4. Worst iframes
When DPS and utilities are not enough there is another problem - destroyer is BAD class for soloing. Mushin tower, infinity tower, solo achievements or farm - destroyers never were good there. Don't tell me about praetor19, I've seen his videos. He was playing his destro for years and still he never shined among equal geared Koreans, because destroyer sucks as class.
Btw have you seen first destroyer NA/EU video "Yeti Tamer" on reddit?
Of course you haven't.
Because even biggest fan/whales playing this class haven't done it yet (I am talking about real solo kill, not party leaving version of it).
5. Clunky outdated class mechanics and skill.
No double CC.
Yes we don't have double cc. If we want to CC the boss we have to use 2 separate abilites, which can be useful for something else. Blitz and ram are both "gap closers" and chi regen, so if we use them for cc, we waste their utility potential.
"F skills" problem aka
Knee+Mighty cleave+grab = WTF???
I have HM Rmb. The one from chilling flames elixir. Its not bad, but because it is an "F skill" it drives me mad.
First it conflicts with grab. Because when I lmb-rmb-lmb-rmb-F for mighty cleave and someone CCs target I grab and drop instead of using mighty cleave.
Also we have KNEE, which dazes after mighty cleave and brings ever more "conflict control'.
Either I should waste two skill points to make "knee" nondaze, either it may bring to some surprises during boss fight when you use mighty cleave and suddenly KNEE.
Imho knee should provide chi regeneration as baseline and daze only if 1 skill point is invested.
I am old mmo player. I've seen UO during dialup times, first Everquest and some other old stuff. Lots of other stuff.
Destroyer resembles Arms warrior from WoW. I've played both classes a lot, so I can say destroyer design philosophy was partially inspired by it (and L2 destro, I know).
Problem is that this "extra incoming damage/lowered defense" feature is TOTALLY FREAKIN OUTDATED. Its time to throw it away. Its just annoying.
5. Useless HM skills and skill trees.
Nearly half of our HM skills and skill trees can be thrown into trashcan. They are useless.
Zen bean (emberstomp), 300 pages hurricane, stage 1 cleave, stage 1 and stage 4 emberstomp, Body kick 2 stage, headbutt and many, many more.
I think devs can see statistic of unused talents/skill, so there is no need to list them all.
6. ZERO basic critical chance.
Another thing from ancient times and outdated mechanic. Destroyers have 0 basic crit chance.
There is NO logic for this now. But yes, destroyers have 2-5% lower crit. chance that any OTHER class.
Another brick in the wall of sucking.
7. But you are good at pvp (are supposed to be).
I don't remember destroyers winning tournaments ever. Period.
And yet about been old and outdated. When I watch Korean streams destroyer is the only non-spectacular class. Tab, tab, c, grab, rage - oww, enemy ran away. Literally every destroyers move can be countered.
No dynamics, no cool counter-attacks and stuff. Plain and boring.
8. Hated child.
Now comes the real fun.
Korean developers knew about problem for years. They just didn't care. Nobody loves guy with the axe.
They love their Megumins (FMS), Narutos (SINs), Kiritos(BMs)... But not the axe guy.
Issue with destroyer DPS only become obvious when DPS-meter went live on Korea. If I remember right it was march 2016. As far as I know there was some fuss at Korean forums about that, and you know what happened? Almost nothing.
They started fixing "dark build". Three month later. And added "restrain" for destros/bd's.
During June, July, August the devs were buffing "dark build". That's all. People who had all statistics for years didn't care until users start to cry.
At this point I think its pointless to play with this class.
I think its time to quit. I don't see any bright future for destroyer in this game. I have legendary weapon, HM 11, all necessary HM skills and class is still bad.
Every pug 4 man run is a humiliation for me. Every 4man run with guild feels like favor. To hell this all.
I heard about destroyers possible DPS issues before, but I couldn't even imagine that DPS problem is SO big.
I was thinking - maybe legendary weapon will help, HM skills will help, proper gems will help. Now I have it all and it doesn't help. Its all worthless and pointless, because class is BAD.
When I've seen real numbers, thanks to DPS meter I think that playing with destro was a big mistake. I've never been FOTM player, but being 30% (or more) worse than anyone else... Screw it.