A message from Robert Gee, Guild Wars 2 Systems Team
With the changes to phantasms coming soon, I'm sure many players are wondering what this means for alacrity since phantasms are one of the key contributors of this buff in the current game. I wanted to take a minute to talk about alacrity and where things are headed in the next update.
When we first started making changes to phantasms, we quickly realized that the new system would have a huge impact on alacrity uptime for chronomancers due to the changes to Phantasmal Avenger. We were actually okay with this since the whole point of the phantasm update is to make mesmer play more engaging. However, we didn't want to leave a huge gap in the duration of alacrity uptime for chronomancers. At first, we tried increasing the amount of alacrity provided by the avengers to compensate for the lower uptime, but we weren't very happy with this solution. The amount of alacrity uptime had to be pretty high to compensate for the limited uptime of the phantasm, and the change still meant that the alacrity application relied on an NPC entity. Moving some alacrity onto the other shield skill, Tides of Time, helped a little, but it wasn't quite enough, either.
After some discussion, we decided that in addition to replacing quickness with alacrity on Tides of Time, we also would change alacrity into a boon. Originally, alacrity was built outside of the boon and condition system in order to make it feel like a unique buff. But as its use became more prevalent—to the point that it now enjoys nearly 100% uptime in certain game modes—we felt that the boon system was a better place for it to live. By being a part of the boon system it works better with the concentration stat, and it also has more counters and interactions throughout the game.
With the conversion to a boon, we decided to lower the amount of recharge speed alacrity provides from 33% to 25%. We chose to lower this value because at 33% we felt it was a little too powerful compared to other boons and that easier uptime (due to interactions with traits and the concentration stat) should be met with a small decrease in power. For those who prefer alacrity with a bit more punch, we've updated the Chronomancer trait "Improved Alacrity" which now increases the potency of alacrity while decreasing the duration of incoming alacrity for the chronomancer only.
As with phantasms, we also have done a pass on skills and traits that grant or interact with alacrity. You'll find alacrity in some unexpected places, such as the Thief's stolen bundle "Consume Plasma," and on the condition conversion list for skills like "Contemplation of Purity." We expect that there will be an adjustment period, but we think that these changes will be positive overall for alacrity use throughout the game while allowing chronomancers to maintain their current levels of alacrity uptime in a group. For additional reading about the upcoming update, look for our forum post about phantasms. We'll be watching for your feedback!
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