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Josh Davis.7865

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  1. Hi all, Quick update. We're working on a hotfix now that will revert the postprocessing changes and return things to how they functioned prior to today's update. This should release later today. Some added context on how today’s change came to be. As I mentioned in my earlier post, we’re in the process of finalizing our engine upgrade to DirectX11. Completing that upgrade is going to open the door to new DX11 rendering features that will allow us to improve the graphical fidelity and performance of the game. In preparation for that transition and as part of our overall graphics upgrade initiative, today's change enabled color grading by default, which allows our environment artists to leverage color look-up tables to create distinct moods for different environments. This will ensure that art quality across different graphics settings profiles is more consistent with our standards. However, color grading isn't the main culprit behind the issues that have been raised today—it's because of graphics features and effects like light bloom that are being forced on for all players in the revised postprocessing settings. When we set out to make these changes, we recognized that we'd need to give players control over settings like light bloom by separating it out from postprocessing. That change didn't make it into today's build, so we're reverting the color grading and postprocessing changes and will ship them all together once that is ready. We recognize that our players have a wide variety of hardware configurations and graphics preferences. As we continue to work on improving the game's graphical fidelity, we want to give players as much control as we can over their graphics settings, whether it's for aesthetic, performance, or accessibility reasons. Thank you for your patience today, Josh Davis Game Director
  2. Hey folks, I'm looking into this. I believe this change was done as part of the prep work for finishing the transition to DX11 (which you'll hear more about early next year). I'm chatting with engineering this morning about what our options are. Hang tight. -Josh
  3. Hi all, Since the June 28 professions update, we’ve been making changes to how we approach balancing Guild Wars 2 combat with the goal of better serving our community. We have a few updates to share with you today. Please join us in congratulating Game Designer Cal "cmc' Cohen for taking on the role of Skills and Balance Team Lead. Before joining ArenaNet, Cal was a hardcore Guild Wars 2 player (10K+ hours played) and livestreamer. His deep understanding of the game’s combat system was clear to us when he joined the team in 2016. Since then, he’s grown considerably as a game and balance designer, and he’s really stepped up as a leader on the team since late June. He’s ready for this new role, and we’re looking forward to seeing him fully unleashed! Due to the recency of the leadership change mentioned above, we’re making some adjustments to our balance update timeline to give Cal and the team more time to finalize their plans and balance approach. The biggest change is that the October 4 balance update will mostly focus on addressing issues in PvP/WvW. These modes haven’t seen many significant updates over the past months, and they could use a bit of love. As a small teaser, you can expect to see reworks to the “300 second cooldown” traits. You’ll learn more about that update next week – stay tuned! The October 4 balance update was originally planned to be our final ‘major’ balance update of the year. However, we’re changing course a bit now that its focus has shifted to addressing issues in competitive play. We’ve added an additional balance update to our schedule for November 29, and with this update we’re aiming to get back to having our major balance updates include changes for all game modes, rather than a focus on a single area. Cal and team will share the updated balance philosophy with you prior to that release’s balance preview. That’s it for today! Your professions are in great hands with Cal at the helm. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next week. Josh “Grouch” Davis Game Director
  4. Hi all, The June 28 update highlighted that our approach to balancing professions and combat in Guild Wars 2 has not been fully aligned with the needs and expectations of our community. As we communicated in several posts over the last month and a half, we’re using this an opportunity to take a hard look at our internal processes and revise the Guild Wars 2 balance philosophy. We also added some new leaders into the team to help facilitate that effort. That work is still ongoing, and we look forward to sharing our updated balance philosophy with you as soon as we can. As we’ve been reading through your feedback on the August 23 preview, it became clear to us that one aspect of the previous balance approach was especially problematic. Specifically, making balance adjustments to PvE builds based on their potential under unrealistic, ideal conditions – conditions that are unlikely to be met unless you’re testing against a golem, or the player is extremely skilled. While these builds can definitely be an issue in a skilled player’s hands, often times the changes have an outsized impact to unrelated builds and average players. With that in mind, we’ll be reverting the changes to mirage in the August 23 update. This change in approach raises questions about previous changes that were made with a build’s ‘potential’ in mind, rather than the realistic output. We’ll be evaluating those prior changes on a case-by-case basis in future releases. This isn’t to say that we won’t address overperforming builds in the future, but we will focus more on builds that are dominating the meta, rather than builds that could theoretically dominate. For reference, these are the mirage changes that are being removed from the August 23 update: Axe: · Lingering Thoughts: (PvE only) Torment duration reduced from 4s to 3s. · Imaginary Axes: (PvE only) Torment duration reduced from 4s to 3s. Staff: · Chaos Vortex (Staff Ambush) (PvE only) Might stack count reduced from 8 to 5, Might duration reduced from 15s to 10s. Torment, Bleeding, and Confusion duration reduced from 8s to 7s. Thanks, Josh
  5. Hi all, In the original post of this thread we mentioned that we'd be looking at addressing the placement of the warrior's crit trait in the July 19 release. Here's a quick update. In the June 28 release, we updated the Furious Burst trait in the Arms line to include +5% critical chance while under the effects of Fury. However, power warrior builds don’t typically incorporate the Arms trait line, meaning that warriors were not fairly compensated for the Fury change. After the July 19 update, the grandmaster minor trait Pinnacle of Strength in the Strength line will provide a baseline +5% increased critical chance, in addition to its other effects. Furious Burst will also keep its increased critical chance while under the effects of Fury. If you're being introduced to this thread for the first time with post, please make sure to check out the original post for a breakdown of our next steps regarding the June 28 balance update. Thank you! Josh
  6. These are reasonable questions. I just want to clarify that this post wasn't intended to lay out the overarching balance philosophy for PvE, PvP, and WvW. That'll come later. I posted a breakdown of our next steps last week:
  7. I'd say they're good candidates for some upgrades, yep. There are a lot of out-of-meta weapons across professions that the team would like to bring up a bit. Generally speaking, there are weapons that need more mechanic updates/reworks (like updates to the engi rifle), but others may only need number tuning to bring them into play a bit more consistently.
  8. (I realize it's not ideal to post this on a Friday, but at least it's not a preview!)
  9. Below you’ll find the designer notes for the profession updates that were released on June 28. Please note that these design notes DO NOT reflect any future changes to balance or balance approach that we’ll be making based on the feedback we’ve received over the last few weeks. June 28 – Profession Update Design Notes Critical Chance, Spotter, and Fury When playing a power build, a major component of your damage output is in getting your critical chance capped at 100%. One major goal for this update is for the same build and equipment to work both in and out of organized play. Unique stacking bonuses to attributes, especially precision, have been a problem here—their existence means that when playing in coordinated groups with Spotter and Banner of Discipline, your critical-hit chance is almost 10% higher than when playing alone. We saw an opportunity here to make progress on one of our other long-standing goals: raising the floor on player effectiveness and damage output without further raising the ceiling. In this update, these unique stacking attribute bonuses are being changed to provide boons instead. We’re making the critical-hit chance from them much more accessible by increasing the critical-hit chance bonus from the fury boon from 20% to 25% in PvE and by adding an additional 5% critical-hit chance to many professions’ traits. With this update, your critical hit chance will be higher in most content, as Fury is stronger and is becoming more accessible. Fury: Critical chance bonus increased from 20% to 25% in PvE only. Increasing Fury and Might Access Having high uptime on critical boons is the strongest indicator of success when playing in group content. Fury increases your critical hit chance, significantly increasing your overall damage. Might increases your Power and Condition Damage attributes, also increasing damage dealt. Together they have a multiplicative effect, allowing you to hit far harder than you can without these key boons. In this update, we're adding new sources of each to ensure that you and your allies have effective access to them with less need for planning a stringent group composition. To that end, we've updated four specific traits across four professions to be key sources of Fury for groups. Previously, each of these traits were self-only sources of Fury with partial uptime. Now, they'll serve as being able to provide 50% Fury uptime (base, without Boon Duration) for yourself and up to four other nearby allies. These professions and traits are: Elementalist: Raging Storm Engineer: No Scope Mesmer: Master Fencer Thief: Unrelenting Strikes These traits will allow damage-oriented builds for these professions to help support nearby allies by ensuring high Fury uptime, keeping critical hit chances high. In addition, Rangers and Revenants can choose to tap into Fury with reworked versions of Spotter and Assassin's Presence, which now will apply Fury to yourself and allies when entering combat, and every 10 seconds thereafter while you remain in combat. Altogether, if you find you're lacking Fury, there'll be ways to shore it up- and it should become much more commonplace whenever you're playing with someone else nearby! Might is the other half of this equation, and until now the burden has been squarely on the shoulders of heal support builds. By adding more incremental sources of Might, we're aiming to take some of this reliance off of healing builds, and ensure smoother and more consistent Might uptime whenever multiple players are together. Engineer: Rifle now grants Might to yourself and allies with the damage skill Blunderbuss, or by also swapping to the trait Pinpoint Distribution when more is needed. Mesmer: Chronomancer boon support builds will provide Might with the Shield skill Tides of Time. Ranger: Frost Spirit will now apply Might to allies in the vicinity. Thief: Thrill of the Crime, in the Trickery specialization, has had its might application increased. Warrior: Banner of Strength and the trait Empower Allies are now both sources of additional group Might. Fractal Masteries and the Mist Offensive Potion When playing Fractals, it's well advised to use consumable Mist Potions for bonuses to tackle higher-tier bosses. The Offense Potion increases all damage you deal. However, the 'Fractal Attunement' masteries also cause the consumable Mist Potions to transform your Agony Resistance into attributes. With these masteries, the Mist Offense Potion also increases your Precision. This causes a similar problem to other unique Precision effects as it means that to optimize your critical hit chance in Fractals to effectively play Power builds, you'll want to have a different (lower) amount of Precision on your equipment than when playing elsewhere. Since Fractals will be impacted by other critical chance changes (such as the increased bonus in Fury), we're changing the attribute bonus the Fractal Attunement masteries give to the Offense Potion from Precision to Vitality. When selecting a new attribute here, we had several considerations. Rather than increasing damage further with an attribute like Ferocity, we opted to smooth out fractal progression with the extra health that Vitality brings. This was an opportunity to help ease some chokepoints we see in Fractal progression. One such chokepoint is at Tier 3- this is the point where many fractallers have collected enough mastery points to progress Fractal Attunement, difficulty of the content has begun to climb, and potion use commonly begins (especially as some can be acquired for free daily with 'Recommended Fractals' of lower tier). By adding Vitality onto the mastery bonus to the Offense Potion here, we introduce an additional source of health that can smooth out progression and help teach the necessity of Fractal Potions in higher tier Fractal play. This bonus will provide greater health increases as higher value Agony Resistance infusions are equipped, helping to smooth out rough spots in daily T4 clears and helping to prepare more players to tackle Challenge Modes. Mist Offensive Potion: The Fractal Attunement Masteries now cause this potion to convert a percentage of agony resistance into vitality instead of precision. Items Rune of Sanctuary: This rune now also converts incoming healing from healing-over-time effects such as regeneration into barrier. This effect now only occurs while in combat. To account for healing-over-time effects now activating this rune, the percentage of incoming healing converted to barrier has been reduced from 20% to 10%. General Adrenal Mushrooms and Mistlock Singularities now reset ranger pet and mechanist Mech Command skill cooldowns when used. Elementalist Looking at Elementalist, we see room for small but key changes in Weaver and Tempest, but need to pull back on potential top-end damage for Catalyst. Weaver is known for being very selfish, providing few boons for nearby allies. With changes to 'Raging Storm' in Air Attunement, Elementalists will be able to upkeep a base of 50% Fury uptime on nearby allies. In Weaver specifically, we've also updated their minor trait, Elemental Refreshment, to give Barrier to allies when the Weaver executes a Dual Attack, helping to incrementally prevent incoming damage. Tempest is gaining the ability to grant Alacrity to nearby allies with an update to 'Lucid Singularity', which now grants allies Alacrity in a circle of radius of 360 when completing an overload. We expect this to be viable with 'Fresh Air' overload builds, but will be watching to see what else the community does with it- and what further tweaks we can make in the future to help it succeed. Catalyst has recently begun to be meta-defining in raids, with a personal damage potential almost 20% higher than any other specialization, while at the same time eliminating the need for a quickness support role when stacked. We're making a key set of reductions to it to remediate these issues. Most of the damage reduction to be made to Catalyst is happening by reducing the damage multiplier of the Jade Sphere. However, some particularly unfun gameplay has developed around Hammer autoattacks. Singing Strike, Hammer #1 in Fire attunement, deals its damage after half a second, but has another 700ms of 'aftercast' animation before it can naturally repeat. We've been seeing a pattern of key-binding 'Stow Weapon' and using that to interrupt this skill at the half second mark, so that it can instantly repeat, and doubling autoattack DPS as a result. Chilling Crack, the third hit in the hammer 1 Water chain, has a similar issue, where interrupting it early allows the chain to be restarted again quickly, raising overall attack damage. To resolve this, we've cut half a second out of that aftercast animation, so that the skills will naturally execute and repeat much faster, while re-tuning damage on all of Catalyst's autoattacks so that they are more closely normalized to their actual animation cast time. Fiery Greatsword Clarified the skill fact for Lesser Fiery Eruption to indicate that each eruption can strike 6 times. The tooltip for Lesser Fiery Eruption now matches the actual target cap for this skill. Reduced target cap for Fiery Greatsword's Fiery Eruption and Firestorm skills to 5. Conjure Earth Shield Stone Sheath: Increased cooldown from 8 seconds to 12 seconds in PvP only. Magnetic Surge: Increased cooldown from 12 seconds to 15 seconds in PvP only. Air Zephyr's Speed: Now additionally increases critical strike chance by 5% while attuned to air. Raging Storm: Increased fury duration to 4 seconds. This skill now applies to up to 5 allied targets within a range of 360. Increased internal cooldown to 8 seconds. Staff Lightning Surge: Increased power coefficient from 0.91 to 1.13 in PvP and WvW. Ice Spike: Increased power coefficient from 0.91 to 1.13 in PvP and WvW. Geyser: Increased pulse base heal from 276 to 441 in PvP and WvW. Frozen Ground: Reduced cooldown from 30 seconds to 25 seconds in PvP and WvW. Healing Rain: Increased number of conditions removed per pulse from 1 to 2 in PvP and WvW. Weaver Elemental Refreshment: Now affects up to 5 allies in a circle with a range of 360. Tempest Lucid Singularity: This trait has been reworked. It now applies alacrity to nearby allies upon successfully completing an overload. Duration is now 6 seconds with a radius of 360. Catalyst Deploy Jade Sphere (Air): The default boon applied by the sphere while in air attunement has been changed from quickness to fury in PvE only. It still provides quickness by default in PvP and WvW. Deploy Jade Sphere: Damage coefficient per strike reduced from 0.668 to 0.5 in PvE only. Spectacular Sphere: This trait now also increases the radius of Deploy Jade Sphere from 240 to 360 in all game modes. In PvE only, it causes Deploy Jade Sphere in air attunement to additionally provide quickness and reduces all outgoing damage dealt by 10%. Hammer Stonestrike: Damage coefficient reduced from 1.1 to 0.9 in PvE only. Singeing Strike: Damage coefficient reduced from 0.9 to 0.6 in PvE only. Aftercast animation delay before repeating Singeing Strike has been reduced by 0.5 seconds. Stream Strike: Damage coefficient reduced from 0.8 to 0.5 in PvE only. Water Rush: Damage coefficient reduced from 1.1 to 0.5 in PvE only. Chilling Crack: Damage coefficient reduced from 1.4 to 1.2 in PvE only. Aftercast animation delay before repeating Stream Strike has been reduced by 0.5 seconds. Rain of Blows: Damage coefficient per hit (4 hits) increased from 0.45 to 0.5 in PvE only. Engineer In Engineer, we've updated skills on their core Rifle weapon to modernize it to more recent gameplay standards and to better support power builds. One of these standards is that your #2 skill should be damage-positive if possible- something you want to use whenever it is available as a regular part of your gameplay. For this reason, we've switched the location of Blunderbuss and Net Shot, so that Blunderbuss is now on #2, and Net Shot on #3. Blunderbuss has had its cooldown reduced, and now additionally applies Might to the Engineer and nearby allies, making this skill key for regular use in combat. To pair with the updates to Rifle, we've revisited traits that have conflicting range requirements. The maximum range at which High Caliber and No Scope work has been increased from 300 to 450, while the minimum range at which Aim Assisted Rocket functions has been reduced from 450 to 150, creating a zone in between where all these traits can function together. We've also gotten in some longtime requests for Mechanist polish, such as making the mech's 'Rocket Punch' function with any equipped Engineer weapon and no longer interrupt Mech skills in progress. Rifle Hip Shot has been replaced with Rifle Burst. Rifle Burst delivers a quick burst of fire that pierces targets, followed by an explosive grenade. Total damage coefficient increased from 0.65 to 1.0 in PvE only. Net Shot: Moved from second to third in the Rifle sequence. Immobilize duration increased from 2 seconds to 4 seconds in PvE only. Blunderbuss: Moved from third to second in the Rifle sequence. Now additionally applies might to up to 5 allied targets within a range of 360. Might applied is 5 stacks for 8 seconds in PvE and 3 stacks for 5 seconds in PvP and WvW. Cooldown reduced from 9 seconds to 6 seconds in PvE and from 12 seconds to 8 seconds in PvP and WvW. Increased minimum power coefficient from 0.5 to 0.87 in PvP and WvW. Jump Shot: Maximum range increased from 800 to 900. The launch blast is now an Explosion. Animation updated for more bounce. Reduced cooldown from 20 seconds to 18 seconds in PvP and WvW. Utility Throw Mine: Reduced number of boons removed from 3 to 2 in WvW only. Firearms Hematic Focus: Critical chance bonus increased from 10% to 15% in PvE only. Pinpoint Distribution: This trait has been reworked. It now grants might to allies while in combat, applying 5 stacks of might with a 10-second duration on a 10-second interval. High Caliber: Range threshold increased from 300 to 450. No Scope: Range threshold increased from 300 to 450. Fury now applies to up to 5 allied targets within a range of 360. Explosives Aim-Assisted Rocket: Minimum range threshold reduced from 450 to 150. Inventions Medical Dispersion Field: This trait now stores self-applied healing while in combat and expends all stored healing at each 3-second interval to heal nearby allies. This trait now functions with healing-over-time effects such as Regeneration, Big Boomer, Backpack Regenerator, and Rectifier Signet. To account for healing-over-time effects now activating this trait, the percentage of healing stored from each heal has been reduced from 50% to 33% in PvE, 25% to 17% in PvP, and 15% to 10% in WvW. Mechanist The mech's defiance bar is now locked so that it is no longer susceptible to control effects in PvE. It can still be controlled in PvP and WvW. Mech Arms: Jade Cannons: Now additionally increases the mech's base critical chance from 5% to 25% in PvE and from 5% to 10% in PvP and WvW. If Explosives is traited with Aim-Assisted Rocket, the mech also gains the effect of that trait. Discharge Array: This Mech Command skill is now cast instantly. Confusion duration per hit in PvE reduced from 10 seconds to 5 seconds. When using a Mech Command skill, most other Mech Command buttons display a cooldown equal to the casting time of the Mech Command being used to properly indicate the time remaining until they can be used. Instant F2 skills (Discharge Array and Crisis Zone) do not go on cooldown and may now be used instantly while another Mech Command skill is already in progress, without interrupting that skill. Spark Revolver: Damage increased by 10% in PvE only. Rocket Fist Prototype: Stun duration increased from 0.5 seconds to 1 second. Mech Fighter: The mech's Rocket Punch is now triggered whenever Skill 3 is used on an equipped engineer weapon. Rocket Punch is now instant and no longer interrupts other skills the mech is performing. Rocket Punch no longer stuns and instead deals 100 defiance damage to enemies with an active defiance bar. Core Reactor Shot: This Mech Command skill's animation duration has been reduced from approximately 1.5 seconds to 0.75 seconds. Mech Core: Jade Dynamo: This trait has been reworked. It no longer causes mech attacks to sometimes include an explosion, nor does it allow the mech to inherit the effect of Explosives traits. Instead, it now reduces the cooldown of Mech Command skills by 20% and grants quickness after a Mech Command skill is used. Sky Circus: This Mech Command skill now has improved visual effects. Instead of firing missiles only at enemies in a forward arc, it now fires missiles at enemies in a circular radius of 600. Superconducting Signet: Vulnerability and confusion duration per hit reduced from 5 seconds to 3 seconds. Guardian With this patch's focus on removing party-sharable stacking attribute bonuses from traits, we're revisiting the trait Perfect Inscriptions, and it is changing to no longer share Signet passives with allies when activated. Instead, it will allow you to maintain your Signets' passive effects while they are on cooldown. This was a good opportunity to make some updates to the Signet skills themselves. Signet of Resolve previously did not do very much; every 10 seconds, it'd check if you had a condition currently on you. If you did, it'd remove it. Regardless of if there was a condition or not, it'd then go back to 'sleep' until the next 10 second interval. We've updated this signet to function more like a Condition blocking version of Aegis. While not on internal cooldown, the signet is now watching to see if an incoming condition would be applied, and if it is, it 'wakes up' and immediately removes it, then goes on a 5 second internal cooldown. It'll also work if there's a condition on you when it comes off internal cooldown, too! These changes will make it a lot more useful and able to compete against other strong healing skill options. Valor Strength in Numbers: This trait has been reworked. It now grants protection to allies while in combat, applying protection with a 3-second duration on a 10-second interval. Radiance Amplified Wrath: Burning damage increase reduced from 15% to 10% in PvE only. Perfect Inscriptions: No longer grants signet passive effects to allies when activated. Instead, signets continue to provide their passive effects while recharging. Signets Signet of Resolve: Decreased the passive effect's internal cooldown from 10 seconds to 5 seconds. This effect will now protect the player from an incoming condition by immediately removing it, and then it begins its internal cooldown. The active effect now additionally removes two conditions from the player. Signet of Mercy: Cooldown reduced from 90 seconds to 50 seconds in PvE only. Signet of Wrath: Immobile duration increased from 3 seconds to 6 seconds in PvE only. Signet of Courage: Cooldown reduced from 90 seconds to 60 seconds. Active effect radius reduced from 1,200 to 600. Now heals for a smaller amount in five small channeled heal pulses, followed by one large final heal. Now also channels protection, resolution, and stability on allies in the radius. Does not apply stability in PvP or WvW. Firebrand Mantra of Solace: This skill now grants aegis instead of protection and resolution in PvP and WvW. Willbender Flowing Resolve: Reduced ammunition count from 2 to 1 in PvP only. Mesmer For Mesmer, we're making changes to how Chronomancer can apply boons to allies, with a focus on making their boon application methods easier to use, with a consistent size 360 circle, and easier to keep up with moving groups. An essential piece of this is Shield 5, Tides of Time. The boons applied by Tides of Time are now applied to allies around you immediately when cast, without the wall needing to pass through them. By default, Tides of Time will apply Might and Swiftness, however Chronomancers can now dedicate to either a Quickness or Alacrity boon support role based on their Grandmaster trait selection. Selecting 'Stretched Time' will add Alacrity to Tides of Time, while Seize the Moment adds Quickness. Stretched Time replaces the former 'Lost Time', and causes all Well skills to apply Alacrity to nearby allies when cast. This effect is immediate when the Well appears, and applies in a 50% larger radius than that of the Wells themselves. Dueling Master Fencer: Now may activate on any critical hit, granting 4 seconds of fury on up to 5 allies in a circle with a range of 360. Internal cooldown is 8 seconds. Virtuoso Quiet Intensity: Bonus critical chance from Fury increased from 10% to 15% in PvE. Bladesong Sorrow: Bleed on hit removed. Chronomancer Seize the Moment: Radius increased from 240 to 360. Tides of Time now also applies quickness in a radius of 360 for a duration of 5 seconds when cast. Lost Time: Reworked and renamed Stretched Time. Stretched Time: The first pulse of a well also applies alacrity for 4 seconds to allies near the well in a radius of 360. Tides of Time now also applies alacrity in a radius of 360 for a duration of 5 seconds when cast. Shield Tides of Time: Cooldown reduced from 40 seconds to 35 seconds. The stun-enemy and ally-boon components of this skill now each have separate 5-target caps. This skill no longer applies quickness and alacrity to allies the wave passes through. Instead, it applies swiftness for 5 seconds and 5 stacks of might for 15 seconds in a radius of 360 when cast. The trait Seize the Moment now also adds 5 seconds of quickness while Stretched Time (formerly Lost Time) adds 5 seconds of alacrity. Damage coefficient increased from 0.8 to 1.3 in PvE only. Wells Well of Action: Now provides Superspeed to allies on the final pulse instead of quickness. Well of Recall: Renamed Well of Senility. Now removes two boons from enemy targets on the final pulse instead of providing alacrity to allies. Necromancer We're making a key quality of life improvement for Reaper players with a change to 'Death Perception'. Instead of giving +33% critical strike chance while in Shroud, it'll now give +10% critical chance all the time. This change allows you to consistently select your gear to cap critical strike chance all the time, without needing to significantly overcap in Shroud. We're also changing the Ferocity to a +15% damage multiplier to your critical strikes. Overall, this is a small buff to damage. Warhorn and the related trait Banshee's Wail have also been updated to be an option to provide some healing support to allies. Locust Swarm now heals nearby allies based on the amount number of enemies hit, while Banshee's Wail increases all of your outgoing healing by 10%. Warhorn Wail of Doom: This skill now inflicts 1 second of fear instead of 2 seconds of daze on enemies. This skill inflicts bonus defiance-bar damage on defiant enemies. Locust Swarm: This skill now heals nearby allies around the necromancer based on the number of enemies hit, in addition to its previous effects. Utility Corrosive Poison Cloud: Reduced duration from 8 seconds to 6 seconds in PvP only. Soul Reaping Death Perception: This trait now gives 10% critical chance, regardless of whether the necromancer is in shroud. This trait now increases critical damage by 15% instead of increasing ferocity while in shroud. Blood Magic Blood Bank: Now also converts incoming healing from healing-over-time effects such as regeneration into barrier. This effect now only occurs while in combat. To account for healing-over-time effects now activating this trait, the percentage of incoming healing converted to barrier has been reduced from 15% to 10% in PvE and from 10% to 5% in PvP and WvW. Banshee's Wail: This trait now grants a 10% bonus to outgoing healing effectiveness in addition to its previous effects. Reaper Nightfall: Reduced cooldown from 25 seconds to 20 seconds in PvP and WvW. Grasping Darkness: Reduced cooldown from 25 seconds to 20 seconds in PvP and WvW. "Your Soul Is Mine!": Increased base heal from 4,555 to 6,174 in PvP and WvW. Increased base life force generation from 5% to 10% in PvP and WvW. "You Are All Weaklings!": Increased weakness duration from 3 seconds to 5 seconds in PvP and WvW. Increased base might stacks "Chilled to the Bone!": Reduced cooldown from 75 seconds to 60 seconds in PvP and WvW. Harbinger Elixirs: All elixirs now use normal projectile targeting underwater, instead of using ground targeting. Elixir of Ambition: Reduced might stacks from 25 to 10 in PvP only. Ranger The main changes being made to Ranger are on the Spirit skills. Spirits no longer apply effects when an ally in the radius strikes an enemy. Instead, each Spirit applies a boon to allied targets in the radius each 3s interval. The Nature's Vengeance trait increases the base duration of these boons by 50%, and causes Spirits' activated skills to apply Alacrity to allies in an area. We've made some improvements under the hood on how Spirits work. Although the activated skills are the same, Spirits now respond instantly when ordered to do them- previously there was up to a 1 second delay before the spirit would act, as it was listening for an update on a 1-second interval signaling it to use the skill. Now, they'll teleport immediately and, with Nature's Vengeance, Alacrity is instantly applied to nearby allies around your location. This was a good opportunity to make a change to Druid's grandmaster healing trait, Lingering Light. The old Lingering Light gave very bursty healing with a large increase while in Celestial Avatar. We wanted to smooth this out, and have part of this bonus carry over for 10 seconds after you exit Avatar, so that it's a more reliable option overall to improve your healing output. That didn't seem like enough though, so we're also using it to help increase the reliability of your Astral Force generation. While you're not in Celestial Avatar form, Lingering Light will passively generate Astral Force at a slow rate. Together, adjusted spirits, a method to apply Alacrity, and steadily improved healing from Lingering Light should provide a much more competitive heal/boon support profile for Druid in groups. Spirits Spirit skills now affect 5 allied targets. Spirits no longer apply effects when an ally in the radius strikes an enemy. Instead, each spirit applies a boon to allied targets in the radius at each 3-second interval. The Nature's Vengeance trait increases the base duration of these boons by 50% and causes spirits' activated skills to apply alacrity to allies in an area. Spirits and their applied boons are as follows: Water Spirit: Regeneration Sun Spirit: Vigor Storm Spirit: Fury Stone Spirit: Protection Frost Spirit: Might Beastmastery Pack Alpha: Fixed an issue with certain ranger pet skills not having their skill recharges reduced, or reduced incorrectly, by this trait. Marksmanship Clarion Bond: Fixed a bug that caused the icon shown by Clarion Bond to remain on the skill bar after its effect triggered. Nature Magic Nature's Vengeance: This trait now increases spirits' base boon durations by 50% and causes spirit-activated skills to apply alacrity for 4 seconds on up to 5 allied targets in the area. Skirmishing Spotter: This trait has been reworked. It now grants fury to allies while in combat, applying fury with a 3-second duration on a 10-second interval. Hunter's Tactics: Bonus damage while flanking increased from 10% to 15% in PvE. Vicious Quarry: Bonus critical chance from fury increased from 10% to 15% in PvE. Druid Grace of the Land: Might applied on activation reduced to 1 stack for a 10-second duration in PvE only. Lingering Light: Now gives passive astral force generation while not in Celestial Avatar form. While in Celestial Avatar form, grants 20% increased outgoing healing as well as 10% increased outgoing healing for 10 seconds after exiting Celestial Avatar. Natural Mender: Increased outgoing healing bonus per stack from 1% to 1.5% in PvP and WvW. Glyph of Unity (Celestial Avatar): Healing of tethered allies may now occur once every 0.5-second interval. Healing can now be triggered by regeneration or other healing-over-time effects on the player. Ancestral Grace: Increased healing attribute scaling from 0.5 to 1.0 in PvP and WvW. Soulbeast Leader of the Pack: In PvE, the personal stance duration granted by this trait has been reduced to match the PvP value of 20%. One Wolf Pack: In PvE, recharge reduced from 80 seconds to 60 seconds and duration reduced from 8 seconds to 6 seconds, matching PvP values. In PvE only, damage coefficient per strike increased from 0.63 to 0.95, and interval between strikes increased to 1 second. Untamed Hammer Heavy Smash: Damage coefficient increased from 1.2 to 1.4 in PvE only. Wild Swing: Damage coefficient increased from 1.0 to 1.5 in PvE only. Ranger Pets Poisonous Maul (Juvenile Murellow): Fixed an issue in which the poison duration and number of stacks did not match the tooltip. Icy Maul (Polar Bear): Fixed an issue in which the incorrect condition was being applied to enemies. Revenant On Revenant, we've focused on updates to Ventari legend skills and Salvation to create new opportunities for effective healing builds, and an update to Herald to allow them to provide Quickness to allies. Ventari is a legend most suited for supporting allies through healing and condition removal, but the rest of its kit struggles to keep up with the range of tools available to other support builds. The usability of the tablet is another limiting factor; it can be extremely difficult to keep the tablet in the correct location, especially in engagements that are more mobile. We decided to remove the healing from Ventari's Will to allow us to significantly reduce the cooldown of moving the tablet so it can always be where it's needed. We've also added a new mechanic to centaur stance, which grants a bonus effect to the first skill used after summoning the tablet. This was a way to add some additional tools to the kit without just applying extra functionality to every usage of every skill. This bonus effect applies after entering Centaur Stance, and after destroying the tablet via Energy Expulsion and resummoning it with Project Tranquility. While looking at Ventari, we also wanted to do a pass on its supporting traitline Salvation. The healing orbs created by Salvation have always been a difficult way to provide healing, requiring allies to move to precise locations in order to be healed, instead of simply healing in a radius like most professions do. Between this change and the movement adjustments to Ventari's tablet, we hope to see a significant improvement in gameplay feel for healing revenant builds. Salvation is another place we wanted to add more diverse tools for support revenant builds. Alacrity was something that needed to be removed from core revenant to allow quickness to be given to Herald, but this made room to give additional boons to each centaur stance skill via Serene Rejuvenation. Protection also makes an appearance in the updated Salvation line, with Fortified Blessing granting it to allies when removing their conditions. Herald can now grant quickness when activating facet Consume skills with the trait Draconic Echo, creating opportunities new boon support hybrid and healing roles. Ancient Echo: This skill now grants regeneration instead of alacrity in Legendary Centaur Stance. Rejuvenating Assault: This skill no longer creates healing orbs and instead heals allies around the revenant. Devastation Assassin's Presence: This trait has been reworked. It now grants fury to allies while in combat, applying fury with a 3-second duration on a 10-second interval. Legendary Centaur Stance After summoning Ventari's Tablet, the next Legendary Centaur skill will be empowered. This occurs when entering Legendary Centaur Stance or when using Project Tranquility. Natural Harmony: Healing is increased and endurance is granted to affected allies. Purifying Essence: Additional conditions are removed. Protective Solace: Grant protection to allies in the area. Energy Expulsion: Knockdown duration is increased. Project Tranquility: This skill now activates instantly. Increased base pulse heal from 325 to 363 in PvE only. Ventari's Will: This skill no longer has an energy cost. Reduced cooldown from 3 seconds to 0.25 seconds. This skill no longer heals allies. Natural Harmony: Increased heal attribute scaling from 2.25 to 2.75 in PvE only. Increased heal attribute scaling from 1.25 to 1.75 in PvP and WvW. Energy Expulsion: This skill no longer creates healing fragments and instead heals and removes conditions from allies in the area. This skill no longer consumes all energy when used. Increased energy cost from 10 to 35. This skill now knocks down enemies that it strikes instead of knocking them back. Legendary Demon Stance Banish Enchantment: Increased energy cost from 20 to 30 in WvW only. Salvation Healer's Gift: This trait no longer creates a healing orb. It instead heals nearby allies after completing a dodge roll. Blinding Truths: This trait now has an internal cooldown of 3 seconds in PvE and WvW. The 10-second internal cooldown in PvP is unchanged. Vital Blessing: This trait has been removed. Invoking Harmony has been moved to this slot. Tranquil Balance: This trait has been removed and replaced with Eluding Nullification. Eluding Nullification: This removes a condition from nearby allies at the end of the player's dodge roll. Words of Censure: This trait no longer creates a healing orb and instead heals nearby allies when blinding, immobilizing, or affecting a foe with crowd control effects. Fortified Blessing: This trait fills the slot previously held by Invoking Harmony. Grant protection when you remove a condition from an ally. Internal cooldown is 0.25 seconds. Serene Rejuvenation: Increased outgoing healing bonus from 15% to 20% in PvE and from 10% to 15% in PvP and WvW. This trait no longer causes Natural Harmony to grant alacrity. Instead, it causes Legendary Centaur Stance skills to apply the following boons: Natural Harmony: Vigor Purifying Essence: Regeneration Protective Solace: Swiftness Energy Expulsion: Resistance Generous Abundance: This trait no longer creates healing orbs, and instead heals nearby allies when activating a legend skill. Healing is increased and occurs around Ventari's Tablet when using a Legendary Centaur Stance skill. Selfless Amplification: This trait has been removed and replaced with Invigorating Dismissal. Invigorating Dismissal: This trait grants endurance when the revenant removes a condition from an ally. Retribution Planar Protection: Increased internal cooldown from 20 seconds to 30 seconds in PvP only. Herald Forceful Persistence: In PvE only, the bonus damage per active-upkeep herald skill has been increased from 4% to 5%. The bonus damage per non-herald active-upkeep skill has been increased from 13% to 15%. Draconic Echo: This trait now grants 1.5 seconds of quickness to allies when the revenant uses a consume skill, in addition to its previous effects. Elemental Blast: Increased cooldown from 10 seconds to 15 seconds. Damage multiplier increased from 1.15 to 1.5. Weakness duration increased from 4 seconds to 5 seconds. Chill duration increased from 2 seconds to 3 seconds. Burning duration increased from 3 seconds to 5 seconds. These changes are for PvE only. Burst of Strength: Increased cooldown from 12 seconds to 15 seconds. Damage multiplier increased from 1.25 to 1.6. These changes are for PvE only. Vindicator Energy Meld: Increased cooldown from 20 seconds to 30 seconds in PvP only. Balance in Discord: Reduced base heal from 1,162 to 810 in PvP only. Thief Shadow Arts has long been a source of frustrating gameplay, particularly in competitive PvP and WvW. This is partially due to the stealth generated by Concealing Restoration, Meld with Shadows, and Hidden Thief, which compounded with other Thief stealth sources to push stealth access to exceptional levels. Shadow Arts also has numerous traits that reward staying in stealth for extended periods of time, reinforcing the desire to create builds with high stealth uptime which can be difficult to interact with. We want Shadow Arts to reward stealth, but in a more active fashion than it currently does. To this end, many traits that triggered on intervals while in stealth have been reworked to instead grant their effects when entering or exiting stealth. This new behavior promotes using shorter duration stealth to quickly reposition and use a stealth attack instead of sitting in stealth to accumulate value. We're also taking this opportunity to add some additional support tools to the line to complement Shadow Savior in builds looking to provide a bit more group utility. Utility Seal Area: Reduced duration from 8 seconds to 5 seconds in PvP only. Hide in Shadows: Reduced cooldown from 40 seconds to 30 seconds in PvP only. Blinding Powder: Reduced cooldown from 50 seconds to 40 seconds in PvP only. Shadow Refuge: Reduced cooldown from 60 seconds to 48 seconds in PvP and WvW. Shadow Arts Concealing Restoration: This trait has been removed and replaced by Merciful Ambush. Merciful Ambush: This trait has been moved to adept minor and now heals when entering or exiting stealth instead of applying a pulse heal upon entering stealth. Shielding Restoration: This trait fills the slot previously held by Merciful Ambush. It grants barrier to nearby allies after using a healing skill. Shadow's Embrace: This trait now removes a damaging condition when entering or exiting stealth instead of at every interval while in stealth. This effect also applies to stealth granted to allies. Hidden Thief: This trait has been reworked. Stealing now inflicts blindness, and stealth attacks now inflict weakness. Meld with Shadows: This trait has been reworked. Players now gain Superspeed when entering or exiting stealth. Leeching Venoms: This trait now grants stacks of Spider Venom when entering or exiting stealth instead of every interval while in stealth. Flickering Shadows: This trait has been removed and replaced by Cloaked in Shadow. Cover of Shadow: This trait fills the slot previously held by Cloaked in Shadow. Players now gain protection when entering or exiting stealth. This effect also applies to stealth granted to allies. Shadow's Rejuvenation: This trait no longer grants healing or initiative while in stealth and instead grants initiative when entering or exiting stealth. Rending Shade: Increased the number of boons stolen from 1 to 2 in PvP and WvW. Critical Strikes Keen Observer: Critical chance bonus increased from 10% to 15% in PvE only. Unrelenting Strikes: This trait now may activate on any critical hit, granting 4 seconds of fury to up to 5 allies in a circle with a range of 360. Internal cooldown is 8 seconds. Trickery Thrill of the Crime: Might stacks granted increased from 3 to 5 in PvE only. Specter Traversing Dusk: Reduced base shadow force gain from 5% to 3% in PvP only. Warrior Keeping an eye on Bladesworn play since EoD's launch has shown us several opportunities for polish to improve the experience here. Warrior players don't have a lot of options for utility skills that increase their damage output, and this has carried over to the Bladesworn skill kit. Improvements to Dragonspike Mine make it much more impactful as an effective source of damage. We've also added a new Bladesworn utility skill, 'Overcharged Cartridges', which together with an updated Tactical Reload will give you new tools to further increase the power of your Dragon Slash. With the removal of many sharable attribute buffs, we are revisiting what Warrior's banners do, with an eye to use them to give the Warrior access to boon support roles. Banners will apply Quickness to nearby allies when they're deployed, and then continue to pulse a specific boon for its duration. This isn't intended to cover Quickness alone- the Tactics trait Martial Cadence now causes Soldier's Focus to apply quickness in an area as well, and Warhorn's 'Charge' is now also a source of quickness. Warhorn Charge: This skill no longer grants allies increased damage on their next two attacks. Instead, they grant 2 seconds of quickness to allies. Cooldown increased from 15 seconds to 20 seconds. Swiftness duration increased from 15 seconds to 20 seconds. Banners Banners no longer provide attribute bonuses to allies. Instead, quickness is granted to allies in the area when the warrior uses the banner skill, and then the banner will continue to pulse boons to nearby allies for the remainder of its duration. Each banner provides a different boon, as follows: Banner of Defense: Resistance for 1 second Banner of Discipline: Fury for 1 second Banner of Strength: Might for 5 seconds Banner of Tactics: Regeneration for 1 second Picking up a banner no longer reduces the recharge time of the skill. Instead, they can be carried around and dropped to reposition them. Picking up a banner does not grant the warrior additional skills, but they will continue to pulse their associated boons when picked up. The delay before you can pick up a dropped banner has been increased from 1 second to 3 seconds. All Banners (except Battle Standard): Recharge time reduced from 80 seconds to 60 seconds. Battle Standard: Recharge time reduced from 180 seconds to 120 seconds. Reduced base duration of pulsing boons applied by this banner as follows: Might: Reduced from 10 seconds to 5 seconds. Fury: Reduced from 3 seconds to 1 second. Swiftness: Reduced from 3 seconds to 1 second. Doubled Standards: This trait now increases the duration of all boons applied by banners by 50%. Longbow Scorched Earth: Reduced power coefficient per strike from 0.5 to 0.35 in WvW only. Fan of Fire: Increased power coefficient per strike from 0.39 to 0.44 in PvP and WvW. Arcing Arrow: Increased ammunition count from 1 to 2 in PvP and WvW. Pin Down: Reduced cooldown from 25 seconds to 20 seconds in PvP and WvW. Utility Frenzy: Reduced cooldown from 45 seconds to 40 seconds in PvP and WvW. Elite Skills Signet of Rage: Clarified in the description that the passive adrenaline gain only applies in combat. Arms Furious Burst: Now also increases the critical chance from Fury by 5%. Tactics Vigorous Shouts: Increased healing attribute scaling from 1.2 to 1.32 in WvW only. Increased healing attribute scaling from 0.75 to 1.0 in PvP only. Spellbreaker Breaching Strike: Increased power coefficient from 0.9 to 1.2 in PvP and WvW. Aura Slicer: Increased power coefficient from 1.2 to 1.32 in PvP and WvW. Bladestorm: Increased power coefficient per strike from 0.235 to 0.28 in PvP and WvW. Featherfoot Grace: Reduced cooldown from 45 seconds to 35 seconds in PvP and WvW. Bladesworn Electric Fence: This skill now blocks projectiles in addition to its other effects. Bulletproof Barrier: This skill has been removed and replaced by Overcharged Cartridges. Overcharged Cartridges: Using this skill makes your next five Explosion attacks deal 15% more damage. Using the skill again while you still have charges triggers Detonate Cartridges. Detonate Cartridges: Using Overcharged Cartridges a second time consumes all remaining charges to cause an explosion in front of the bladesworn that launches enemies. The radius of this skill scales based on the number of charges consumed. Dragonspike Mine: Reduced the distance moved by 66%. Reduced the total duration of the skill by 33%. The mine is now planted at the bladesworn's initial location rather than midway through the skill, and it explodes after 3 seconds even when not triggered. This skill now counts as an Explosion skill. Damage increased by 250% in PvE only. Cooldown reduced from 35 seconds to 20 seconds in PvE only. Dragon Slash—Reach: Increased projectile size by 67%. This skill now strikes targets more accurately in relation to the width and height of the visual projectile. The projectile is now unblockable. Tactical Reload: In addition to its previous effects, this skill now also causes the next Dragon Trigger used to gain charges more quickly. Daring Dragon: In addition to its previous effects, this trait also causes Tactical Reload to affect Dragon Trigger for the duration of the effect instead of just affecting the next Dragon Trigger. Lush Forest: Fixed an issue the prevented several skills from having their cooldowns properly reduced by this trait. Tactics Empower Allies: This trait has been reworked. It now grants might to allies while in combat, applying 5 stacks of might with a 10-second duration on a 10-second interval. Martial Cadence: This trait no longer reduces the recharge on weapon skills. It now causes Soldier's Focus to grant allies 3 seconds of quickness in addition to its other effects.
  10. Hi all, We’re back with an update regarding the June 28 balance changes and our next steps. In this post, we'll outline our plan for the next month and provide a preview of a small balance update coming later today. Our earlier forum post on this topic can be found here. Today In just a few hours we’ll be releasing a hotfix update that includes changes for the elementalist, engineer, revenant, and ranger. These changes are previewed at the bottom of this post. For context, hotfixes are ‘emergency updates’ that typically focus on addressing bugs, crashes, and exploits in the latest release. Because of the short dev time for hotfix releases (less than 24 hours from start to finish), they don’t go through the multi-week release process that we normally use to increase stability and quality. This means that today’s balance changes are smaller in scope and lower risk. We felt that it was appropriate to bend the rules a bit and make progress on your concerns, rather than wait for the next scheduled release. Next Week Last Monday, I mentioned that we’ll be drafting the design notes for the June 28 release. We’ve made some progress, but we chose to refocus our time on today’s hotfix and future planning. We’ll share the design commentary sometime next week (note: Monday is a holiday). July 19 After today, our next opportunity to make changes will be the July 19 release. The build for this release is already “locked down” and moving through the pipeline, so we don’t have much time to make changes here. Our priority here will be to address Furious Burst, the warrior’s +5% critical hit chance trait that’s currently residing in the Arms specialization. We may make additional changes in this release as we continue to monitor game metrics and your feedback, but from a development ‘best practices’ standpoint, we’ll be focusing our attention on the following release. August 2 As we mentioned earlier this week, we’ve added a follow-up balance update to our schedule on August 2. For that release, we'll be looking at addressing warrior banners and chronomancer’s relatively low damage output through chronomancer-specific traits and increasing the damage on core weapons (like the treatment ranger is getting today). Once we’ve released today’s hotfix we’ll move onto planning the details of this update. October 4 The next major professions update is slated for October 4 (reminder that release dates are subject to change). A public preview of that update and its design goals will be given well in advance. As promised, prior to that release we’ll also share the long-term vision for Guild Wars 2 profession balance and how it applies to PvE, PvP, and WvW. Wrapping Up We (I, especially) learned a lot this week, and we’re actively discussing ways to prevent situations like this from happening again. Thank you for your patience and support. Josh “Grouch” Davis Game Director ---- June 30, 2022 Hotfix Balance Updates Elementalist In the June 28 update, the Zephyr’s Speed trait was updated to grant +5% critical chance, but it was only active while the player is in Air Attunement. Staying in one attunement doesn’t match with the gameplay of the elementalist profession, so we’ve updated the trait to apply the critical chance increase in all attunements. The movement speed buff from Zephyr’s Speed still only applies while attuned to Air. Zephyr's Speed: The +5% critical hit chance applied by this trait is now active regardless of attunement. Note: The text description is not yet updated to match new functionality. This will be addressed in a future update. Tempest Tempest was given access to alacrity via the Lucid Singularity trait in the June 28 update. We’ve seen some interesting build experimentation since then, but we feel that the current base alacrity duration from the trait is too short to be fully effective. We’re increasing it slightly today, and we’ll keep an eye on it for further adjustments. Lucid Singularity: Increased the duration of alacrity applied by this trait from 6 seconds to 7 seconds. Engineer With the updates to rifle and Aim Assisted Rocket, we wanted to increase viability of power mechanist builds by building synergy between Aim Assisted Rocket and Mech Arms: Jade Cannons. We overshot here. Since the mech also gains the benefit of the Aim-Assisted Rocket trait, it is adding a large amount of passive damage that does not require direct player input and has caused the mech pet to deal more damage than we’d like. We plan on making further specific adjustments to Aim Assisted Rocket in our August 2 update, but before then we’re making some quick corrections by reducing the damage output of the pet’s auto-attacks, particularly with Jade Cannons. We’re also reducing the range of the rifle ability Jump Shot to keep enterprising engineers from going places where they don’t belong. Rifle Jump Shot's range has been reduced from 900 to 800. Mechanist Mech Arms: Jade Cannons: Damage multiplier reduced from 0.6 to 0.35 in PvE and from 0.28 to 0.2 in PvP and WvW. Mech Arms: Single-Edged Cutters: Damage multiplier reduced from 0.6 to 0.45 in PvE. The damage multiplier of the final strike has been reduced from 1.2 to 0.8 in PvE only. Mech Arms: High-Impact Drivers: Damage multiplier reduced from 0.6 to 0.45 in PvE. The damage multiplier of the final strike has been reduced from 1.2 to 0.8 in PvE only. Jade Dynamo: The quickness applied by this trait has been reduced from 4 seconds to 2.5 seconds in PvE, PvP, and WvW. Fixed a bug that caused the Mech Command skill cooldown reduction to not apply in PvP. Ranger Soulbeast's damage output previously relied on lining up a burst window while the skills “Sic ’Em!” and One Wolf Pack were active, paired with the damage from the off-hand axe skill Whirling Defense. Outside of this, soulbeasts have low sustained damage. This created a high skill floor for playing the specialization effectively, making it difficult to create strong baseline performance for players who did not execute on or were not aware of the mechanics to produce this damage window. In the June 28 patch, One Wolf Pack was changed to have a lower but more consistent impact on damage output. As a result, soulbeast power damage builds have significantly dropped in performance. Now that the obfuscating factor of this burst window has been reduced, there is a lot of room to improve damage on core ranger weapons that soulbeast (and core ranger) can use. These will improve sustained damage in normal ranger play and give options that can help nudge soulbeast builds closer to high-end viability. Longbow Long Range Shot: Increased damage multiplier from 0.7-0.9 to 0.9-1.1 in PvE only. Greatsword Slash: Increased damage multiplier from 0.64 to 0.8 in PvE only. Enduring Swing: Increased damage multiplier from 1.3 to 1.4 in PvE only. Short Bow Crossfire: Increased damage multiplier from 0.4 to 0.5 in PvE only. Bleed duration when not flanking increased from 1.5 seconds to 2 seconds in PvE only. Poison Volley: Damage multiplier per hit increased from 0.25 to 0.3 in PvE only. Axe (Main Hand) Ricochet: Damage multiplier increased from 0.8 to 0.9 in PvE only. Splitblade: Damage multiplier per hit increased from 0.1 to 0.5 in PvE only. Winter's Bite: Damage multiplier increased from 1.25 to 1.8 in PvE only. Sword Slash: Damage multiplier increased from 0.7 to 0.8 in PvE only. Crippling Thrust: Damage multiplier increased from 0.7 to 0.8 in PvE only. Precision Swipe: Damage multiplier increased from 0.96 to 1.4 in PvE only. Monarch's Leap: Damage multiplier increased from 1.25 to 1.8 in PvE only. Serpent's Strike: Damage multiplier increased from 0.8 to 1.5 in PvE only. Dagger (Off Hand) Crippling Talon: Damage multiplier increased from 0.75 to 0.9 in PvE only. Soulbeast Dagger (Main Hand) Double Arc: Damage multiplier increased from 0.5 to 0.8 in PvE only. Revenant Invocation We’ve added the missing +5% critical hit chance via traits in PvE. Roiling Mists: Increased the critical hit chance applied by this trait from +20% to +25% in PvE only. Herald The June 28 update introduced a source of group quickness to herald via the Draconic Echo trait, but the skill rotation is very tight and has little room for error, which can result in reduced uptime on quickness. We’re increasing the duration of quickness applied by Draconic Echo to improve build viability here. Draconic Echo: Increased the quickness duration applied by this trait from 1.5 seconds to 2 seconds in PvE only.
  11. Hey folks - I've been in and out of meetings today, apologies for delay. Here's some responses to questions I've seen repeated a few times: Q: Why aren't you holding the update? This was discussed. The simple answer is that “holding the balance changes” is not feasible from a technical standpoint. We have a very sophisticated dev environment that gives us a lot of flexibility in areas like this, but we're well beyond that point. Now that the build is finalized and nearly ready for activation, unwinding the code and content changes in the June 28 balance update would be a significant and time-intensive effort that would likely result in a multi-week delay of not only the skills content, but also everything else in the release (new Challenge Mode, Core Updates, Mordremoth legendary, etc). Once all the right changes were stripped from the build, we’d need to QA those skills to verify they work as before, and we’d need to QA the rest of the release again to make sure that nothing was inadvertently broken in the process. We usually give QA 1-2 weeks to test a ‘finalized’ build, for reference. This would have a cascading impact on future releases (meaning things like LWS1E3 would also get pushed back). I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but the least disruptive option is to push the release and address issues in future builds. Q: There's nothing concrete in this post, what are you doing to fix this? I get wordy sometimes. Here’s a bullet point list of next steps: The skills and balance team is drafting ‘design notes’ for the June 28 release. We’ll publish these as soon as we can. I don’t expect that you’ll agree with all of it – especially from the conversation we’ve been monitoring – but we owe you the explanations. I’m going to own resolving the internal process issue that prevented us from including the design notes upfront. In the coming months, we’re going to publish a blog post that details the balance philosophy for Guild Wars 2. I recognize that the way feedback is collected for balance updates is far from ideal. We need to preview updates earlier so we’re never in this situation again, and we need to solve for how we go about getting balance feedback from qualified individuals. Eliminate the unofficial backchannels. I’m going to own finding the right solution for this. We added a follow up balance update in the coming weeks to our schedule. I'll note that the post this morning was done at 11:30a on a Monday. We moved quickly and we don't have all of the answers yet. Q: Why aren't you posting the balance philosophy today? Doesn't it exist? The philosophy driving profession design and balance has changed a few times over the years, even by the ‘original developers’ of the days of yore. Elite specializations weren’t a part of the game’s original vision, for example. I considered getting a version of this posted in response to this weekend’s discussions, but on further reflection, I came to the conclusion that Cameron Rich taking over as the Lead Systems Designer (which Skills/Balance ultimately falls under) is a great opportunity for us to revisit the discussion internally before making a public statement. Cam brings a lot of great perspective to this area from his experience as the Lead Encounters Designer for GW2. We also recently had Floyd Grubb join the WvW team - and we'd like to have him involved there as well. Q: A balance team was just created after End of Dragons? Why wasn't there a balance team before? I'd like to clarify my comment. Guild Wars 2 has had a balance team in the past, no doubt. For End of Dragons, our professions designers were asked to turn their full attention towards building elite specializations, which ultimately meant that live balance updates were few and far between. As we were building our dev plans for post-End of Dragons, I felt very strongly that we needed to staff a full-time balance team that supports the live game, even as we're building future expansion content. We're trying to get to a place where we can hit a consistent cadence with the updates, even as other work is in flight.
  12. Hi all, Game Director Josh “Grouch” Davis here. On Friday we posted the profession update notes for the June 28 release and since then there’s been a lot of heated discussion about the changes and what they might mean for the game. I’ve read thousands of comments since Friday, and I think there’s plenty of reasonable feedback – there always is. I’m not here to address those issues individually, but rather, I’d like to share some of my own perspective and talk about our next steps as a team. A Clear Direction It’s clear that we should have provided better context for the changes. It’s much more difficult to assess a given change without a shared understanding of the underlying goal of the change and the problem it’s trying to solve for. I’m not saying that we think that the update is flawless or that this is purely a communication issue – there are always valid criticisms of execution, and we welcome that feedback. For this update, we opted to forego including ‘design notes’ in the release notes that explain the ‘why’ behind the changes, and instead chose to provide a general overview in the June Studio Update blog. This wasn’t an arbitrary decision on our part, but in retrospect, it was the wrong decision. We’ll change our approach for future updates. In the near-term, the team will be writing up the ‘design notes’ for the June 28 profession changes, which we’ll publish on the official forums as soon as they’re ready. I’d like to ask for your patience as we work on this while also supporting the release. Perhaps more importantly, we need to share the long-term vision for Guild Wars 2 profession balance and how it applies to PvE, PvP, and WvW. This has been provided piecemeal over the years (and some of it has bubbled up through unofficial channels without full context), but we haven’t provided anything official. This is a good opportunity for us to introduce some new voices in the internal discussion as well–Cameron Rich for example, who recently took on the role of Lead Systems Designer for Guild Wars 2. This future post will be a larger collaborative effort that will take some time to complete, especially as we bring new voices into the process, but we’ll aim to have it ready before our next major professions update. Feedback As game developers, it’s our mission to deliver experiences that our players will love. One of the best ways to achieve this is by including the ‘voice of the player’ in the development process, before things ship live. I think this is especially true for a game like Guild Wars 2, where many of you have spent the last 10 years investing your time and energy into this world. We can do better on this front. We don’t have a definitive solution yet – but there are plenty of options for us to evaluate, with different costs and tradeoffs for each. What I do know is that it’s my responsibility to the team and our players to ensure that our developers have the tools they need to do their job – and player feedback is one of the most powerful tools we have in our toolbox. What I can commit to today is that going forward we’ll preview our profession changes much further in advance of a major update (not the Friday before), even if it means that the changes are still in-progress and the preview isn’t exhaustive. This will give the team time to assess feedback and make any necessary changes prior to an update going live. I think it’s especially important that we do this when we’re making larger changes to long-standing systems or mechanics. Always Changing I recognize that some of you are frustrated. Through the years, profession balance hasn’t always received the attention it deserves, and there’s always been a lingering concern that the next update may be a long way off. Before I was an ArenaNet employee, I was a Guild Wars 2 player, and I felt those frustrations myself. Your character and profession are the vehicle through which you experience the game, and the balance and feel of it have a significant influence on your moment-to-moment enjoyment of it. This is precisely why we created a dedicated profession balance team after the release of End of Dragons. Guild Wars 2 is a “live” game, meaning that it will continue to grow and evolve in the years ahead. On the whole, it’s very different today compared to where it started 10 years ago, and those changes didn’t come all at once. Similarly, addressing core issues in profession balance and design is going to be a long-term, incremental effort. We can’t change everything at once, nor should we. We’ll undoubtedly make mistakes along the way. My commitment to you is that we’ll listen, we’ll own and address our mistakes, and we’ll keep moving the game forward. Wrapping Up Tomorrow morning the June 28 release will go live along with the balance changes previewed on Friday. As soon as we can, we’ll follow up with the ‘design notes’ for the update. From there, we’ll be reading your feedback, evaluating the impact of the changes, and determining our next steps. We’ve added a follow up balance update to our release schedule in the coming weeks to address critical issues. Then, in mid-fall, we’ll have our next major professions update. Somewhere in between we’ll share our profession balance philosophy. Finally, I’d like to thank those of you who have approached this discussion in a civil manner. To those that have chosen extreme toxicity, called for developers to be fired, or sent death threats–you're not welcome in our community. Josh Davis Game Director EDIT: Added some responses here:
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