12/03/2019—Skills and Balance Update
With a larger competitive-focused update on the horizon, this update is on the smaller side but still contains several notable systemic changes. Falling damage traits are being removed in order to free up design space and reduce the complexity of adept-tier traits. Revival traits are also seeing the removal of the 10% revival speed passive effect that we've been slowly phasing out over the last several updates. In exchange, skills that directly revive allies are seeing enhancements. Besides these changes, we are also making some small touch-ups to various skills and traits related to previous updates that we felt didn't quite hit everything. We have also had the opportunity to add a couple quality-of-life updates to better improve the readability of player attributes affected by traits, and we're now granting elementalists and engineers the ability to swap weapons while out of combat. Lastly, the format for some types of value updates is changing—instead of listing the percentage difference, we'll be telling you what the coefficients before and after a change will be. We hope this will helps improve readability significantly.
- Griffonrook Run: While holding the bomb, falling damage is now reduced by 50%.
- Traits that affect attributes now display icons that represent said attributes instead of a generic up arrow.
- Hero Panel: Fixed a bug that prevented attribute adjustments from displaying while a player was transformed.
In previous updates, several traits that had global cooldowns were changed to having cooldowns per target. Blinding Ashes wasn't included in those updates, but we felt it could use the small bonus to usability.
- Starting at level 10, elementalists can now swap weapons while out of combat, gaining an additional pair of weapon slots on their Hero panel.
- Arcane Abatement: Fall damage functionality has been removed from this trait. This trait has been renamed Arcane Restoration.
- Glyph of Renewal: Reduced recharge to 90 seconds in all game modes. Lowered casting time from 3.25 seconds to 2 seconds.
- Arcane Resurrection: This trait no longer increases revival speed. Auras granted by this trait are now granted only to the elementalist, and they're now granted at the start of a revival attempt rather than at the end. This effect has a 20-second cooldown.
- Blinding Ashes: The cooldown on this trait is now determined on a per-target basis.
We read your feedback on Detection Pulse feeling odd as the Purge Gyro's toolbelt skill and your desire to see Chemical Field returned. While we agree with the sentiment overall that there is more gameplay and interesting options with Chemical Field, there is also important counterplay present with Detection Pulse. As we can't place Purge Gyro's Detection Pulse back on the elite toolbelt slot, we're instead replacing Utility Goggles' lackluster toolbelt skill, Analyze, with Detection Pulse. Utility Goggles is also getting a small but significant change from granting fury to instead granting some brief resistance.
- Starting at level 10, engineers can now swap weapons while out of combat, gaining an additional pair of weapon slots on their Hero panel.
- Grenadier: Fall damage reduction has been removed from this trait. This trait now also casts Lesser Grenade Barrage on your location when using a healing skill.
- Positive Strike: The power coefficient of this skill has been reduced from 0.88 to 0.7.
- Negative Bash: The power coefficient of this skill has been increased from 0.88 to 1.
- Equalizing Blow: The power coefficient of this skill has been increased from 1.2 to 1.4.
- Function Gyro: Fixed a bug that could cause the gyro to be destroyed with control effects while stability was active.
- Purge Gyro: This skill's toolbelt skill has been changed from Detection Pulse to Chemical Field.
- Utility Goggles: This skill no longer grants fury or provides immunity to blindness. It now grants resistance and removes blindness when used. This skill's toolbelt skill has been changed from Analyze to Detection Pulse.
- Toss Elixir R: This skill no longer removes 1 condition when thrown. Projectile speed has been increased by 25%. The projectile thrown by this skill is now unblockable. Fixed an issue in which the land and water versions of this skill moved at different speeds.
- Toss Elixir U: Fixed a bug that could cause this skill to put friendly targets in combat.
Guardian is unique among the professions in how many revival traits it has. With this rework, we are updating Courageous Return into a new, more general trait that benefits the guardian in situations when reviving allies is not possible. Additionally, we're changing the healing power bonus on Signet of Mercy to a concentration bonus as we feel it's generally a more useful stat for the profession given the amount of boons it outputs even when the guardian is not acting as a healer.
- Protector's Strike: This skill now fully charges the flames of justice upon the successful block of an attack for the guardian or their allies. The radius of effect of both blocking and striking enemies has been increased from 180 to 240.
- Protector's Impact: Fall damage functionality has been removed from this trait. This trait has been renamed Protector's Restoration.
- Signet of Mercy: Reduced recharge to 90 seconds in all game modes. Changed the passive effect from granting 180 healing power (216 when traited) to granting 120 concentration (150 when traited).
- Protective Reviver: This trait no longer increases revival speed and no longer grants boons on a successful revival. Fixed the skill fact to show the correct 3-second duration. Fixed a bug that prevented the recharge of Lesser Shield of Absorption from being affected by Stalwart Defender. Lesser Shield of Absorption now heals nearby allies when it ends. Upon detonation, this trait also now causes all versions of Shield of Absorption to revive allies by 15% in PvE and 3% in competitive modes.
- Courageous Return: This trait has been reworked and renamed Steadfast Courage. It now grants the guardian protection for 3 seconds in PvE and 1 second in PvP and WvW whenever aegis on the guardian is removed due to blocking an attack.
While we think the new version of Chaotic Interruption is pretty powerful, it doesn't really feel like it's working if you aren't looking at your skill bar. We're adding some additional effects to give players a better sense of when it activates.
- Descent into Madness: Fall damage functionality has been removed from this trait. This trait has been renamed Method of Madness.
- Medic's Feedback: This trait no longer increases revival speed. It now causes Feedback to revive allies inside the dome by 5% per second.
- Feedback: Fixed an issue that prevented this skill's visual effects from lining up with its physical effects.
- Chaotic Interruption: Added additional visual effects to this trait to show when it activates.
In addition to the updates to the revival skill Signet of Undeath and the falling damage trait Terrifying Descent, we are also revisiting a few issues from previous updates. Unholy Sanctuary is getting an update to help it better compete with the other updates to the Death Magic line, and Manifest Sand Shade is having its recharge reduced in PvE to make it easier to reposition shades.
- Terrifying Descent: This trait has been reworked. It has been renamed Insidious Disruption. It now causes control effects to inflict torment on foes.
- Signet of Undeath: Reduced recharge to 75 seconds in all game modes. Reduced casting time from 3 seconds to 1.5 seconds. Reduced the number of allies revived from 3 to 1. Added an additional health cost of 50% of base health to this skill. Increased the passive life force gain by 100%.
- Sand Swell: Once activated, this skill can no longer be canceled by movement.
- Plaguelands: Reduced recharge from 120 seconds to 90 seconds in PvE only.
- Unholy Sanctuary: This trait now heals a percentage of your maximum health each second while in shroud. This value is 2% in PvE and 1% in competitive modes.
- Manifest Sand Shade: This skill no longer inflicts cripple in all game modes. Reduced ammunition recharge for the untraited version of this skill from 15 seconds to 8 seconds in PvE only.
We're reducing the recharge on Allies' Aid in PvE only since we feel it is sufficiently powerful in competitive modes already.
- Soften the Fall: Fall damage functionality has been removed from this trait. This trait has been renamed Child of Earth.
- Allies' Aid: This trait no longer increases revival speed. This trait's cooldown has been reduced from 85 seconds to 60 seconds in PvE only. Fixed a bug that caused the version of "Search and Rescue!" associated with this trait to be considered a shout skill instead of a command.
- Crippling Talon: Fixed a visual bug.
We're bumping up the range on some of Ventari's Legendary Centaur Stance skills in this update to make it a little easier to affect your allies with them.
- Coalescence of Ruin: Fixed a bug that allowed this skill to hit foes that were out of the line of sight.
- Ventari's Will: Increased the radius of this skill from 180 to 240.
- Protective Solace: Increased the radius of this skill from 180 to 240.
- Planar Protection: Fall damage functionality has been removed from this trait.
We released a hotfix for Deadly Ambition for PvP in November, but in this update we're addressing the issue with a more comprehensive and functional change to refocus the trait on control over its usage rather than being a very passive damage increase.
- Uncatchable: Fall damage functionality has been removed from this trait.
- Deadly Ambition: This trait now applies 1 stack of poison for 3 seconds when striking with a dual-wield attack. This effect has no cooldown but can only occur once per dual-wield attack use. This trait is no longer split between game modes.
Along with the removal of falling damage effects and readjustment of Peak Performance, we are also removing a requirement from Sundering Mace that we felt was superfluous.
- Peak Performance: Fall damage functionality has been removed from this trait. This trait now grants a baseline of 5% bonus damage in PvE and 3% bonus damage in competitive modes. The additional damage output gained from using physical skills has been reduced from 20% to 15% in PvE and 10% to 7% in competitive modes.
- Sundering Mace: This trait no longer requires the target to be vulnerable in order to activate the control duration bonus.
- Sigil of Agility: Reduced quickness duration from 2 seconds to 1 second in PvP only.
- Elixir U: Reduced stability duration from 6 seconds to 1 second in PvP only.
- Kinetic Battery: Reduced quickness duration from 5 seconds to 3 seconds in PvP only.
- Photon Wall: Increased cooldown from 35 seconds to 45 seconds in PvP only.
- Heat Therapy: Reduced base healing per stack by 25% from 65 to 49 in PvP only.
- Spider Venom: Reduced poison duration from 6 seconds to 3 seconds in PvP only.
- Serpent's Touch: Reduced poison stacks from 2 to 1 in PvP only.
- Quick Pockets: Reduced initiative gained on weapon swap from 3 to 2 in PvP only.
- Staff Master: Reduced endurance gain per initiative spent from 2 to 1 in PvP only.
- Debilitating Arc: Reduced initiative cost from 6 to 5 in PvP only.
- Illusionary Counter: Reduced the number of clones created from 2 to 1 in PvP only
- Phantasmal Warlock: Reduced the number of warlocks summoned from 2 to 1 in PvP only. Increased the vulnerability applied per hit from 2 stacks to 4 stacks in PvP only.
- Chaos Vortex: Reduced bleed duration from 8 seconds to 4 seconds in PvP only. Reduced burn duration from 2 seconds to 1 second in PvP only. Reduced torment duration from 8 seconds to 4 seconds in PvP only.
- Warrior's Cunning: Reduced damage bonus against targets above 90% health from 25% to 7% in PvP only. Reduced damage bonus against targets with barrier from 50% to 10% in PvP only.
- Rampage: Some Rampage skills have been adjusted as follows:
- Kick: Power coefficient has been reduced from 1.2 to 0.01 in PvP only.
- Throw Boulder: Power coefficient has been reduced from 2.0 to 0.01 in PvP only.
- Seismic Leap: Power coefficient has been reduced from 1.6 to 0.01 in PvP only.
- Sand Savant: This trait no longer increases the target cap of shade skills in WvW only.
- Devouring Darkness (from Lingering Curse): Reduced the number of boons corrupted from 2 to 1 in WvW only.