We wanted to swing by with an update on the balance patch and respond to some of the main feedback points that we’ve seen. At this point we’re mostly locked down for the release, but we’re still gathering feedback and continuing some investigation for future work.
For reference, the initial post can be found here: https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/96750/balance-patch-preview-wvw
The biggest point of feedback that we’ve seen on the WvW side of things is the concern about longer cooldowns on stability skills and the effect it will have on large scale engagements. Based on that feedback, we won’t be applying most of these changes in WvW for the initial update. Stability is still something that we want to keep an eye on, but we want to see how everything adjusts before making larger changes to these skills.
Notably this includes
Note that Stand Your Ground will still be 5 targets. Bringing 10-target skills back down to 5 is something we want to do across the game outside of PvE, though for this update we weren’t able to address target cap increases granted by traits. The change that was made to Sand Savant was an exceptional case and not a true split, but we felt it was a necessary change to address the impact that Scourge was having on WvW. Our plan moving forward is that target cap increases granted by traits will be rolled in baseline for PvE, which will then allow us to split the number of targets on an individual skill-level instead of removing trait functionality.
General balance concerns
We’ve read all the feedback and seen the concerns about future metas and the viability of certain professions and specializations after the update. After the patch goes out, we’ll be continuing to iterate as we gather more data and feedback based on actual gameplay. We’re prepared to act quickly in response to anything egregious that pops up, whether it’s an individual build greatly overperforming or a heavy skew of the meta in any particular fashion (unkillable tanks, dominant condition builds pushing out any power builds, etc). Once any major wrinkles are ironed out, we’ll settle back into the faster cadence that we mentioned previously as we work toward improving balance across the board.
Additional changes (minus the previously mentioned stability skills)
We’ve also seen the feedback around Dragon Banner and we’re looking into some slight tweaks on the damage there. We’ll be keeping a close eye on siege damage and banner effectiveness relative to player skills and will make further adjustments as necessary.
There’s still a lot of work to do, but this update should give us a good starting point to build from and we’re excited to see where things go.
-The Systems Team
Game Designer on PvP/WvW