Greetings fellow Tyrians!
We've prepared a Balance Update that is slated for next week and in keeping with our push to get the Release Notes to you early so that you can theorycraft, discuss and prepare. Quick comment, these release notes are not complete and in particular thief has more changes that we weren’t able to get localized for this early posting. We also intended to call out the first bullet in the Necromancer section in its overview as it is a pretty significant change and with that said... here they are. Enjoy!
Game Update Notes: July 7, 2020
07/07/2020—Skills and Balance Update
- Rune of the Weaver: This rune set no longer grants barrier when using leap finishers, but instead grants barrier upon using a stance skill.
- Rune of the Mirage: This rune set no longer grants 3 seconds of superspeed when using leap finishers, but instead grants 5 seconds of superspeed when using an elite skill. This effect has a cooldown of 10 seconds.
- Icons for daze and stun are now displayed in light purple in skill and trait tooltips.
- Updated the language for traits that affect specific profession skills to be more generic. This change helps account for elite specializations that may have different versions of those skills. For example, traits that affect Mind Wrack now state that they affect Shatter skill 1.
In this balance iteration, we're looking at the elementalist's grandmaster Fire traits. Persisting Flames is expected to push into more of a damage-over-time role, while Pyromancer's Puissance is getting a few changes focused toward group support and burst damage. With these changes, we are looking to also slightly reduce burning damage output in order to keep overall damage from going significantly higher in raid rotations.
- Persisting Flames: This trait no longer grants fury when using a blast finisher with a fire combo field. Instead, this trait will now grant the elementalist an additional 1% damage for 15 seconds for each target struck with a fire field. This effect stacks up to 10 times.
- Pyromancer's Puissance: In addition to granting might for each ability used while in fire attunement, this trait will now trigger Flame Expulsion when leaving fire attunement or finishing a fire overload.
- Flame Expulsion: After a brief delay, the elementalist releases a fiery explosion at their location that removes up to 10 stacks of might from them. Allies are granted might for 15 seconds based on the amount of might that was removed, while the damage of the explosion is increased by 10% per stack removed.
- Searing Slash: Burning duration of this skill has been reduced from 6 seconds to 4 seconds.
- Primordial Stance: Burning duration has been reduced from 3 seconds to 2 seconds, with the PvP and WvW versions remaining at 1.5 seconds. Bleeding duration has been reduced from 8 seconds to 6 seconds globally.
- Power Overwhelming: Reduced requisite might stack threshold from 10 to 8 in PvP and WvW.
- Healing Rain: Reduced cooldown from 40 seconds to 35 seconds.
- Windborne Speed: Reduced cooldown from 25 seconds to 20 seconds.
- Shock Wave: Reduced cooldown from 30 seconds to 25 seconds.
- Ice Spike: Reduced cooldown from 8 seconds to 6 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Lightning Surge: Reduced cooldown from 10 seconds to 6 seconds in PvP and WvW. Reduced power coefficient from 1.15 to 0.91 in PvP and WvW.
- Mist Form: Increased cooldown from 60 seconds to 75 seconds in PvP only.
- Obsidian Flesh: Increased cooldown from 50 seconds to 60 seconds in PvP only.
- Hardy Conduit: Reduced protection duration from 3 seconds to 2 seconds in PvP only.
- Glyph of Renewal: This skill will now correctly put all attunement variants on interrupt cooldown when interrupted.
- Glyph of Storms: This skill will now correctly put all attunement variants on interrupt cooldown when interrupted.
- Glyph of Elemental Harmony: This skill will now correctly put all attunement variants on interrupt cooldown when interrupted.
- Glyph of Lesser Elementals: This skill will now correctly put all attunement variants on interrupt cooldown when interrupted.
- Glyph of Elementals: This skill will now correctly put all attunement variants on interrupt cooldown when interrupted.
With this update, we revisited the shield and its trait and found that while its function remains reasonable, it needed a few improvements to both its messaging and potency as a defensive tool. A couple main-hand pistol skills also received enhancements to their condition duration, as they've been lagging a bit behind even kit autoattack options.
- Fragmentation Shot: Increased the bleed duration inflicted from 5 seconds to 6 seconds.
- Poison Dart Volley: Increased the poison duration inflicted from 7 seconds to 9 seconds in PvE only.
- Hip Shot: This skill now includes piercing in its tooltip.
- Magnetic Shield: This skill now displays a ring to indicate the area Magnetic Inversion will affect. Improved the tooltip to include more information. Visual-effect size increased slightly for better visibility.
- Magnetic Inversion: Increased the attack radius from 180 to 240.
- Static Shield: Increased the block duration of this skill from 2 seconds to 2.5 seconds. Improved the tooltip for better clarity.
- Over Shield: This trait has been reworked. It now causes the player to activate a skill that grants protection to nearby allies when using a shield skill.
- Soothing Detonation: This trait has been reworked. It now heals in an area around the engineer each time they use a tool-belt skill instead of when using a blast finisher with a fire combo field.
- System Shocker: This trait will now grant barrier to the engineer each time they use control effects on a foe, in addition to causing the function gyro to daze foes.
- Speed of Synergy: This trait has been reworked. It will now grant superspeed for 5 seconds to allies in a radius of 240 around the engineer when using a healing skill. Using a healing tool-belt skill grants the engineer 7 seconds of superspeed.
- Incendiary Ammo: Reduced cooldown from 50 seconds to 40 seconds.
- Flame Blast: Increased burning duration from 3 seconds to 4 seconds.
- Air Blast: Adjusted burning from 2 stacks for 2 seconds to 1 stack for 5 seconds.
- Smoke Vent: Reduced cooldown from 20 seconds to 15 seconds.
- Toss Elixir X: Reduced cooldown from 120 seconds to 90 seconds.
- Med Pack Drop: Reduced cooldown from 60 seconds to 50 seconds.
- Orbital Strike: Reduced cooldown from 40 seconds to 20 seconds in PvP and WvW. Reduced power coefficient from 1.33 to 0.9 in PvP and WvW.
- Shrapnel Grenade: Increased cooldown from 5 seconds to 6 seconds in PvP only. Reduced power coefficient per grenade from 0.63 to 0.567 in PvP only.
"Feel my Wrath!" is a very prominent skill for party support right now but we feel it's overperforming a bit. We're reducing the party quickness a bit, but compensating the guardian by increasing their personal quickness gain. We're also improving a few of the weaker utility skills to try and make them more appealing in all game modes.
- Symbol of Vengeance: Reduced the duration of cripple inflicted from 3 seconds to 2 seconds.
- Chapter 1: Searing Spell: Reduced the damage dealt by this skill by 14% (1.1 coefficient to 0.95) in PvE only. Reduced the duration of burning inflicted from 3 seconds to 2.5 seconds.
- Chapter 2: Igniting Burst: Reduced the duration of burning inflicted from 6 seconds to 5 seconds.
- Chapter 1: Desert Bloom: Reduced the base healing of this skill by 18% in PvE only. Increased the effect of healing power on this skill by 15% (0.96 to 1.1 coefficient) in PvE only.
- Chapter 4: Shining River: Reduced the swiftness duration from 5 seconds to 4 seconds. Reduced the base healing by 16% (0.0578 to 0.05) and the effect of healing power on this skill by 14% (0.26 to 0.23 coefficient) in PvE only.
- "Feel My Wrath!": Reduced recharge from 35 seconds to 30 seconds. This skill now grants 6 seconds of quickness to the guardian and 3 seconds to other nearby allies. It previously granted 5 seconds of quickness to all affected characters.
- Zealous Blade: Fixed a bug that caused improper functionality with combo finishers.
- "Hold the Line": Reduced cooldown from 30 seconds to 25 seconds.
- "Retreat!": This skill now uses ammunition with 5 seconds between activations and a 30-second count recharge.
- Judge's Intervention: Reduced cooldown from 45 seconds to 40 seconds.
- Litany of Wrath: Increased damage to healing conversion from 25% to 33%.
- Leap of Faith: Increased base healing from 234 to 1,053 in PvP and WvW.
- Mighty Blow: Reduced cooldown from 10 seconds to 8 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Glacial Blow: Reduced cooldown from 10 seconds to 8 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Whirling Wrath: Increased melee strike power coefficient from 0.3 to 0.4 in PvP and WvW. Reduced projectile power coefficient from 0.25 to 0.1 in PvP and WvW.
- Pure of Heart: Reduced healing coefficient from 0.3 to 0.2 in WvW only.
The main change for mesmers in this update is the restoration of self-shattering for chronomancers. This change was originally made to emphasize the difference between chronomancer shatter skills and core mesmer shatter skills, but this ended up making them more difficult to use. Instead, we are focusing more on the differences in functionality between chronomancer and core mesmer shatter skills rather than the cost to activate them. Additionally, we are making a few small changes to mirage skills to improve their usability.
Chronomancer Shatter Skills: Chronomancer shatter skills can now be activated without clones, and the shatter effect also occurs at the mesmer's location. Additionally, the following balance changes have been made:
- Split Second: Damage reduced by 33%. This skill no longer deals bonus damage to slowed foes. Instead, it strikes twice with a 1-second delay between strikes. Note: Shatter traits only affect the first strike.
- Rewinder: The cooldown per clone spent has been reduced from 5 seconds to 3 seconds. The mesmer now counts as a clone for this reduction. Increased recharge from 25 seconds to 30 seconds.
- Time Sink: Reduced daze duration per hit from 1 second to 0.5 seconds.
- Continuum Split: This skill has a 1.5-second duration with no clones. 1.5 seconds is added per clone shattered. This skill no longer grants distortion.
Master of Fragmentation: This trait has been reworked. It now increases the base duration of Continuum Split by 1 second.
- Inspiring Distortion: This trait will now also trigger when activating Shatter skill 4.
- Flow of Time: This trait has been reworked. It now counts the mesmer as a clone. Reduced alacrity gained per clone from 1.5 seconds to 1 second.
- Seize the Moment: This trait has been reworked. It now counts the mesmer as a clone. Reduced quickness gained per clone in PvE from 2 seconds to 1.5 seconds. Reduced quickness gained per clone in PvP and WvW from 1 second to 0.75 seconds.
- Mind Spike: Fixed a bug that caused this skill to display the incorrect tooltip damage in Competitive game modes.
- Phantasmal Swordsman: The phantasm is now summoned based on the target's location rather than the mesmer's.
- Mirage Retreat: This skill no longer breaks enemy targeting.
- Chaos Vortex: Increased the number of targets from 5 to 10.
- Crystal Sands: Reduced the aftercast by 0.4 seconds. Increased projectile speed such that mirror now forms 0.25 seconds faster.
The necromancer traits for signets and wells have long occupied a difficult place in most builds since they exist on the grandmaster tier and typically have not provided enough power to warrant taking over other grandmaster traits. We're moving the signet trait, removing the well trait, and replacing the grandmaster slot with new, more broadly functioning traits that we feel will be more competitive with the other options at that tier.
- Shade Skills: These have been changed back to triggering at both the necromancer's location and their shade locations with each use.
- Deathly Swarm: Reduced the conditions transferred per target struck from 3 to 2 in PvE only.
- Vampiric Rituals: This trait has been removed and replaced with the trait Blood Bank.
- Blood Bank: This new trait replaces Vampiric Rituals in the Blood Magic grandmaster slot. It causes healing over your maximum health amount to be converted into barrier. Regeneration effects do not trigger this trait.
- Well of Blood: Reduced recharge from 30 seconds to 25 seconds.
- Ritual of Life: Reduced recharge from 35 seconds to 30 seconds.
- Well of Corruption: Reduced recharge from 40 seconds to 32 seconds.
- Well of Darkness: Reduced recharge from 35 seconds to 25 seconds. This well is no longer unblockable and has a damaging strike associated with it. It now also inflicts 2 seconds of chill each pulse in addition to blindness.
- Well of Power: Reduced recharge from 30 seconds to 25 seconds in PvE. Reduced recharge from 40 seconds to 35 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Well of Suffering: Reduced recharge from 30 seconds to 25 seconds.
- Signet of the Locust: In addition to its previous effects, the active ability of this signet now also converts up to 2 boons on struck foes into additional healing.
- Signet of Vampirism: The passive effect for this skill has been reworked. It now causes the necromancer to steal a small amount of health from a nearby foe every second while in combat.
- Signets of Suffering: This trait has been moved to the master tier and replaces Dread. The enhanced signet effect now only activates when in shroud. The enhanced effect for Signet of the Locust has changed to be a 33% movement speed bonus. The enhanced effect for Signet of Vampirism has changed to increase the number of targets to 2 for the passive life siphon.
- Dread: This trait has been moved to the grandmaster slot previously occupied by Signets of Suffering, and it has been reworked. It now grants 5 seconds of quickness and 10 seconds of fury whenever the necromancer applies fear to an enemy, with a 3-second internal cooldown. Additionally, it reduces the recharge of Shroud skill 3 by 50% whenever an enemy is killed in PvE and PvP, and by 5% in WvW.
Damage-build soulbeasts have been unleashing numbers that are higher than they should be. This is on a broad level rather than being tied to particular weapons or utility skills. As such, we're tapping the power and condition damage bonuses they gain while merged with deadly and ferocious pets for some reductions. In competitive game modes, druids have been seen significantly less use for their supportive abilities, so we're tuning those up to encourage bringing the affected traits and glyphs.
- "Protect Me!": Fixed a bug that prevented this skill from granting barrier while the ranger was merged with their pet as a soulbeast.
- Viper's Nest: Increased the duration of poison inflicted from 4 seconds to 8 seconds, and reduced the stacks per pulse from 3 to 2.
- Deadly Archetype (Soulbeast): Reduced the condition damage increase gained while merged with this Deadly archetype pets by 25% (200 to 150 at level 80) in PvE only.
- Ferocious Archetype (Soulbeast): Reduced power increase gained while merged with Ferocious archetype pets by 25% (200 to 150 at level 80) in PvE only.
- Seed of Life: Increased number of conditions cleansed from 2 to 3 in PvP and WvW.
- Lunar Impact: Increased healing coefficient from 0.72 to 1.0 in PvP and WvW.
- Vine Surge: Increased immobilize duration from 1.5 seconds to 2 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Grace of the Land: Increased might stacks from 2 to 3 in PvP and WvW.
- Glyph of Rejuvenation (non-celestial): Increased base self-heal from 4,860 to 5,589 in PvP and WvW. Increased base heal for allies from 1,950 to 2,535 in PvP and WvW.
- Glyph of Rejuvenation (celestial avatar): Increased base self-heal from 1,950 to 2,535 in PvP and WvW. Increased base heal for allies from 4,860 to 5,589 in PvP and WvW.
This update has some quality-of-life improvements aimed at revenants. We added the ability to swap legends in midair, changed a couple skill requirements so that they can't fail, and set the Sevenshot skill to fire without needing ground targeting to allow a revenant to fire attacks more cleanly at a target. Changes to the revenant on the competitive side are aimed at reducing the sustain available through reductions to damage-mitigating abilities.
- Elevated Compassion: Fixed an issue that caused the cooldown on this trait to overlap poorly with the timing of effects from facet skills.
- Versed in Stone: Fixed an issue in which this trait would not work with the revenant's F2 skill.
- Envoy of Exuberance: Fixed an issue in which this skill could be blocked despite being listed as unblockable. Increased projectile speed by 50%. Reduced protection duration from 3 seconds to 2 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Soulcleave's Summit: Fixed a bug that could cause this skill to continue to drain energy after it was canceled.
- Vengeful Hammers: This skill can now be activated while in midair.
- Protective Solace: This skill can now be activated while in midair.
- Inspiring Reinforcement: Increased the height of the effect area to prevent it from missing jumping players.
- Ancient Echo: This skill is now available underwater.
- Phase Traversal: This skill now performs a pathing check before activation.
- Deathstrike: This skill now performs a pathing check before activation.
- Legends: Swapping legends can now be done in midair.
- Sevenshot: This skill now requires a target and is no longer ground targeted. The arrows fired by this skill now fire at the selected target rather than at a set point. Increased casting time by 0.2 seconds. Arrows now fire straight at the target instead of following terrain, and additional arrows now fire sequentially in pairs rather than simultaneously.
- Demonic Resistance: Reduced damage reduction from 20% to 10% in PvP and WvW.
- Fiendish Tenacity: Reduced base heal from 197 to 132 in PvP and WvW.
- Crystal Hibernation: Reduced pulse base healing from 620 to 496 in PvP and WvW.
- Spirit Boon: Reduced protection duration when invoking Glint from 3 seconds to 2 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Shining Aspects: Reduced base heal from 444 to 355 in PvP and WvW.
- Facet of Chaos: Reduced protection duration from 3 seconds to 2 seconds in PvP and WvW.
With this update, we're looking to improve condition builds in PvE while reducing more egregious condition builds in PvP and WvW.
- Thousand Needles: Increased bleeding duration from 3 seconds to 5 seconds for both the impact and pulse attacks.
- Shadow Strike: Repeater availability duration has been reduced from 4 to 3 seconds in PvP and WvW.
Warrior updates are focused around improvements to some of the lesser-used off-hand weapons as well as some lesser-used traits in PvE. Since these weapons see little use in competitive modes, we are being a little aggressive with the changes, but we'll be watching to see if they become overbearing.
- Break Enchantments: Increased the damage dealt by this skill by 50% (1 to 1.5 coefficient) in PvE only. Raised the damage increase from 100% to 300% when the warrior removes a boon from a target in PvE only.
- Loss Aversion: Increased the damage dealt by this trait by 50% (0.9 to 1.35 coefficient) in PvE only.
- Brave Stride: This trait has been reworked. It now grants 1 stack of stability whenever the warrior uses a movement skill. Stability duration is 5 seconds in PvE and 2 seconds in competitive modes. This trait has a 1-second cooldown in PvE and a 10-second cooldown in competitive modes.
- Dual Strike: Increased quickness duration per hit from 1.5 seconds to 2 seconds in PvE only.
- Counterblow: Reduced recharge from 10 seconds to 7 seconds in PvE only.
- Crushing Blow: Reduced vulnerability stacks from 15 to 10. Now also grants 3 stacks of might for 6 seconds when it hits. If this attack strikes a foe suffering from control effects, the might gain and vulnerability application are doubled.
- Impale (sword): Impale now applies a pulsing 1-second cripple in addition to torment. Successfully using the Rip ability now grants 10 stacks of might for 5 seconds.
- Riposte: Increased bleeding stacks gained on a successful counter from 4 to 8. Decreased bleeding duration from 12 seconds to 8 seconds.
- Mending: Increased conditions cleansed from 3 to 5.
- Savage Instinct: This trait is no longer split between game modes and will use the longer 2-second duration for Feel No Pain in all game modes.
- Outrage: Reduced cooldown from 25 seconds to 20 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Decapitate: Increased power coefficient from 1.666 to 2.0 in PvP and WvW.
- Blood Reckoning: Increased damage-to-healing conversion from 25% to 33%. Increased berserk mode extension from 2 seconds to 5 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Cyclone Axe: Increased power coefficient per strike from 0.66 to 0.75 in PvP and WvW.
- Throw Axe: Reduced ammo recharge from 15 seconds to 12 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Breaching Strike: Increased power coefficient from 0.7 to 0.9 in PvP and WvW.
ArenaNet Communications Team