Tomorrow’s release will include a few PvP balance changes, some of which we discussed in our post two weeks ago. We’re back again to provide some context behind these upcoming changes. We’re still evaluating the impact of the previous PvP balance update, but at the end of this post we’ll talk about a few areas we’re keeping an eye on for future updates.
4/6 Changes to Build Items and Support Heals
As previously discussed, we removed Mender and Marshal amulets from PvP and added Sigil of Transference to compensate for the reduction of allied healing to support builds. While Marshal is currently overshadowed by Mender and not as much of a problem, we wanted Transference to be powerful, and we were concerned with how high it could push outgoing healing in combination with a 1000 healing power amulet for builds that are less reliant on the extra health that Mender provides.
Removing Mender amulet serves 2 purposes: it forces high-sustain side node builds into more aggressive amulets, and reduces the self-sustain of support builds. Mender amulet side noders are much more prone to stalemating fights and generally slowing down the pace of the game. Similarly, by reducing the self-sustain of support builds, we hope to see an increase in kill potential in fights and a general increase to overall pace. We still want support builds to be able to support their allies well, and targeting their self-sustain lets us keep a lot of their other skills at the same power level.
Our goal with Sigil of Transference is to keep support healing to allies around the same level that it currently is with Mender. Elemental Bastion, Selfless Daring, and Call of Valor stood out as three sources primarily used by support builds that are most heavily impacted by the removal of Mender, and so we’ve preemptively bumped up the healing coefficients to bring their allied healing with Avatar amulet and Sigil of Transference closer to where it is currently. Looking over other allied heals, some sources will heal for a bit more than they currently do with Mender and some will heal for a bit less, but overall output should be similar. We’ll keep a close eye on healing values as the meta develops without Mender and will make further adjustments as necessary.
4/6 Changes to Scourge
Scourge has continued to show strong results in both ranked play and automated tournaments, providing strong defense to itself and allies through barrier generation and healing while also creating a good amount of pressure through boon removal and damage. While Scourge sustain is affected by the removal of Mender amulet, given the current power level of the build we were concerned that the move to Avatar amulet alone wouldn’t be enough to bring it in line, so we’ve made additional shaves to the healing power coefficients of some of Scourge’s barrier generation and Transfusion.
Feed from Corruption is the most notable omission from this list. It’s a very powerful trait, granting Scourge access to a wide range of boons in potentially large quantities to enhance both its defensive and offensive potential. We are considering reducing some of the stronger boon applications in a future update, but we want to see how the removal of Mender and the reductions to healing and barrier coefficients play out first.
We’ll be evaluating the impact of tomorrow’s changes in addition to the recent March update on the side node meta and support builds. We still want dedicated support builds to be a viable option, and we’ll be paying close attention to how the meta develops following the removal of Mender and the addition of Transference.
Sigil of Transference has the potential to enable stronger healing from non-support builds that can afford to run Avatar or Sage amulet and may end up being too powerful for an individual sigil. We’re not opposed to enabling this type of build, but if they end up pushing dedicated supports completely out of the meta then we may reduce the outgoing healing granted by Transference and roll more outgoing healing into support traits or support runes to create a greater tradeoff for non-supports.
We’ve also considered the possibility that moving support builds from Mender to Avatar amulet could end up making them too squishy due to the reduction in self-healing. This is something that we’ll evaluate on a case-by-case basis, but we’re prepared to make further adjustments as necessary to find the right balance between squishiness and support power. This could involve buffs to more selfish survivability skills, or possibly further increasing outgoing support potential to justify the level of vulnerability.
That’s all we have for today. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you in the mists!
-The Systems Team
Game Designer on PvP/WvW