We’ve done some work on the next balance update and wanted to share some of the potential changes for discussion and feedback. As a reminder, this update is intended to be smaller but more targeted to address major issues within the game mode as we work toward some major changes in a future update. This is also not the full list of changes for the update, just the ones targeted at PvP.
The goal of this update on the competitive side is not to nerf everything that deserves a nerf, but to bring overperforming builds back in line. There are aspects of every meta build (and even some non-meta builds) that could reasonably be nerfed, but since we’re already looking ahead to a major shakeup we’re more focused on balancing around the current power level for now.
In particular we’re looking at:
This came up again as we were looking at holosmith quickness but is something we’ve been considering for a long time. Quickness in general is something that we’re looking at for the future update, but in the short-term we feel that this sigil is too easily accessible for the power it provides.
The main issue we’re looking to address with condi thief is the initial burst potential. Long term there are definitely questions about how this build is applying conditions, but for now we want to push it more toward a grindy build than a bursty one.
Holosmith quickness has been a big point of feedback and we’re planning to make some adjustments there. Removing Sigil of Agility was part of this, and we’re also looking at a minor nerf to Kinetic Battery.
This leaves Elixir U. We’re considering a quickness reduction here as well, but are currently leaning toward an interesting change that’s worth discussing. That change being a heavy reduction of the stability granted. The goal of this change is to leave U as the big quickness skill, but also open the door for more counterplay. This would give opportunity to avoid Corona Burst and then CC the holosmith instead of just getting run over by quickness.
We understand that Mirage Cloak is a big point of contention and we’ve been having discussions internally, but it isn’t something that we’ll be ready to action for this update. As we get closer to our desired solution we’ll start to talk about it more with you all, but in the meantime we’re looking at some more general changes. Primarily toning down clone generation and reducing some damage potential of staff, pushing it more toward a utility kit.
Rampage has been overperforming since the initial change that brought its cooldown to 90 seconds, and continues to with the cooldown at 120 seconds. Rather than just bumping up the cooldown again, we’re looking to address an underlying issue: hard CC skills also doing large amounts of damage. This is something that we’re looking to do across the board for the future update, and we see Rampage as a good opportunity to see the idea in action.
We’re making an adjustment to bring Warrior’s Cunning more in-line with other damage traits.
As mentioned the other day, we want to revisit the recent change to Debilitating Arc for the next balance update. There are still concerns about putting it back to 4 initiative, but it doesn’t really make sense for it to coexist with Vault at 6. We’re reducing the cost to 5 while making some minor adjustments to Quick Pockets and Staff Master.
Remember that these changes are not locked down and we still have time to iterate. We look forward to your thoughts and feedback.
-The Systems Team
Game Designer on PvP/WvW