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PVP and WVW players are condemned to 3 more months of the same meta


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I once again return to both Reddit and the forums to bring my take on GW2 competitive balancing. I managed to remain mostly silent since the release of EOD, the promised quarterly patches were supposed to fix the current issues plaguing the competitive balance. But the current post reveals the painful reality that the competitive community is forced to endure this unhealthy meta for at least 3 more months till the next patch. My silence is broken because the preview is ultimately unsatisfactory and because of that, I will bring my feedback. My previous feedback focused exclusively on Catalyst, but this time I will bring feedback on the entire patch. I will largely follow the same format as the controversial forum post



Armor, Weapons, and runes.

Minstrel: The PVP gear balance is fairly healthy. Supports aren't too tanky with 0 toughness afforded to the gentle souls choosing to main these classes. While they can still be difficult to kill, it is not an outlandish decision to decide to focus the support. This unfortunate remains untrue in the WvW balance, the issues go largely unnoticed with large-scale combat but swiftly begin to show their ugly head in smaller-scale combat. Where specifically power classes have to deal with massive dmg reduction and absurd self-healing. Minstrel supports could remain difficult to kill with their massive ability to sustain while removing the toughness stat from the gear in exchange for something more fitting, perhaps outgoing healing?

Celestial: This gearset is absurd. 5 defensive stats all equaling the same bonus stats as a minor stat in a 4 stat piece. (Concentration, expertise, toughness, healing power, vitality.) And don't let it be disputed that both expertise and concentration double as offensive and defensive stats. Concentration increases the duration of damaging boons and defensive boons. Expertise increases the duration of debilitating conditions and damaging conditions. This set also has 6 offensive stats, concentration, and expertise making their return in this category, totaling 9 stats all equal to a minor stat of a 4 stat piece. It is a complete stat overload that works with nearly every build. I would suggest significantly reducing the number of each individual stat. And removing the ability for EXPERTISE to increase non-damaging condition duration.

Trailblazer: Expertise once more makes a return in this stat set, once more increasing non-damaging conditions and thereby buffing the defense of an already extremely tanky set. Condition damage overperforms if it needs only 2 stats to do damage far exceeding power classes in any fights. Simply because power classes cannot bypass toughness. Trailblazer specifically effectively runs 3 defensive stats in exchange for high damage. Even with the prior discussed expertise nerf would still run 2 defensive stats. Perhaps the answer is not to nerf trailblazer, but instead, to require crits for maximum condition damage, bringing condition builds in line with power builds by requiring 3 offensive stats.


Elementalist remains largely unchanged in the PVP/WvW context, save a minor staff Elementalist buff. None of which I have a particular problem with. Save perhaps support tempest and core Elementalist, none of the specializations overperform or significantly underperform. This will force me to focus on the biggest issue of catalysts in their current form.

Catalyst: The catalyst hammer is suffering significantly into projectile block/reflect builds. The orbs supposedly stay for 10 seconds if their duration isn't increased by the following orb summon but many elementalism can attest that this is simply untrue. A buff that can last up to 40 seconds get completely removed by standing near any projectile block/reflect in that time. The orbs simply disappear, and worse yet the catalyst is forced to blow the Grand finale to toss away nothing and allow a build-up of soon-to-be-removed orbs once more. To keep the catalyst competitive in PVP the orbs should lose their projectile status until they actually get fired using the grand finale. Allowing some play from currently the easiest countered skill in the game.


Most changes are relatively fine considering engineering is in a decent spot with most professions save core engineer. But the unfortunate truth is that mechanist has no place in the PvP. A complete rework is unfortunately necessary. The reasoning is simple, the build is completely not interactive for the player. The general game plan of a sidenoder mechanist is to exist while the golem kills. It would completely dominate the lower ranks because anyone can near-AFK with a mechanist and pull out a win in the lower ranks. Until mechanist becomes more interactive it has no place being strong.


Counterplay is the biggest issue of Willbender. F1 is an AOE blind + damage. F2 is an evade. F3 followed with any damage is massive block spam nonsense. sword 2 is a blind and spinning my foot around will somehow weaken enemies. And the list goes on and on. The biggest issue with will bender is that it doesn't allow counterplay. Most counter-offensives have difficulty dealing with defensive components allowing little to no counterpressure. Removing the defensive components from Willbender's offensive kit allows for much-needed counterpressure opportunities. Remove the weakness from Whirling Light


 and remove the slow from Advancing Strike


. Seriously consider further nerfing troublesome conditions on offensive skills on other Willbender skills.


  • Mantra of Solace: This skill now grants aegis instead of protection and resolution in PvP and WvW.

And I don't know why this still has to be said but DON'T buff firebrand in WVW. The only solace we had during the rocky balance of post-EOD WvW was the ability to actually consistently damage zerks instead of having to deal with an unhealthy amount of blocks.


Virtuoso in both PVP and especially WvW does way too much damage considering how tanky the specialization is in any class that has a low amount of unblockable skills. Combine that with the occasional cheeky Oneshot from dueling/illusions and we simply have an unhealthy class. The cover conditions simply allow little ability to cleanse the massive bursts. While the burst is fairly obvious, despite sometimes going through walls, it is mostly unhealthy because of the inherent tankinessof the build that can be amplified with trailblazer gear.

The reduction of bleeding is a healthy step but should perhaps be followed up with the removal of the vulnerability of Deadly Blades


. It is simply one more condition to cleanse and only exists to cover conditions. Power builds never had vulnerability problems using domination making this trait nothing more than a glorified cover condition applier.

Tankiness could perhaps be addressed by adding an ICD of 10~ seconds to Bladeturn Refrain


. A more significant nerf is perhaps necessary but I feel like the class could swiftly become unplayable if the balance team goes too hard on the defensive capabilities.


Harbinger is an absolute beast. The celestial build makes this wannabe glass cannon an absolute tank with little to no counter. Especially with the current state of expertise. The biggest problem of this class is not the damage that it does, it is that it is the undisputed king of sustain among all the necromancers. The mobility easily keeps the necromancer alive and the massive sustain from the carapace makes it blindly tank all incoming damage. I have seen a harbinger casually tank a fully charged 25-might dragon trigger, it hitting for only 2.5k with a critical hit.

This class can casually kill most builds in about 2 seconds if they don't pay attention. And once more, I don't really mind the damage.

Alchemic Vigor


: Simply shouldn't heal.

Vital Draw


: is an elite skill on a 25 seconds cooldown. An increase to perhaps 40/50 seconds would be in order.

Armored Shroud


: Shouldn't give carapace. The mechanic should build up the necromancer's toughness upon inflicting damage, and active gameplay.

Shrouded Removal


: Shouldn't give carapace. The mechanic should build up the necromancer's toughness upon inflicting damage, and active gameplay.


No comment. In a fairly healthy spot.


Vindicator is the obvious, oppressive class. Of any PvP build in the game, this one feels like a rotation most. Simply dodging, blocking, dodging on a near-endless loop. When two vindicators meet they sometimes don't even bother fighting, instead afk'ing on a point till a +1 arrives. That's why I propose the following changes.

Selfish Spirit


/ Selfless Spirit


: Reduce healing. The absurd sustain of the vindicator allows the class to mostly follow a rotation. Damage will get in from time to time but the ability to heal 3 times if not more will probably top up any mistake made. If the ability to sustain is nerfed it will force the vindicator to be more reactive with its dodges because any damage taken is more difficult to heal up.

Reaver's Rage


: Increase energy cost. I casually spam it from time to time before legend swapping, the cost is simply too low.

Eternity's Requiem


: Reduce initial damage and reduce the damage penalty per consecutive hit. It often feels like I only need to hit once for this to do significant damage while I believe the vindicator should be rewarded for landing multiple hits.


PvP changes seem mostly fine but the developers chose to buff shadow arts in WvW. If there was ever anything a thief didn't need it was a buff to shadow arts. It probably wouldn't be much of a challenge to achieve 100 hours without dying on thief in WvW. The biggest problem with the class is that it is near impossible to punish. Unhindered Combatant


 and Marauder's Resilience


 effectively give daredevil full-time 20% damage reduction. Combine that with the possibility of dodging food and stealth, you have a nigh immortal build that has significant damage potential. Deadeye somehow got the tradeoff that it is extremely fast with the significantly overpowered Death's Retreat


. Combined with dodges that grand stealth and a simple way to remove the revealed debuff. But there is still hope. Meld with Shadows


 was worded vaguely and could potentially be significantly nerfed. All they need to do is remove the component that increases stealth duration because it is beyond busted.

Meld with Shadows


: Remove stealth duration increase.

Marauder's Resilience


: Remove damage reduction

Death's Retreat


: Reduce range

Daredevil: Reduce toughness as a tradeoff for the increased sustain granted by mobility.

General rework: Make stealth healing have a low base heal and a high healing power coefficient.


Bladesworn is way too tanky thanks to shouts and might spam yet it was decided that shouts will be buffed. Nerf shout healing without healing power, have a low base heal and a high healing power coefficient.

Vigorous Shouts


 have a low base heal and a high healing power coefficient.

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You are not condemned to anything if you don't play spvp/wvw. Go afk at camps if you need crap from wvw (for however long that is "allowed"), maybe play unranked in conquest (though you see the new garbage even there). Or just go do the open world content the game still has to offer. Lots of items/"achievements" to go after. But actually caring for being competitive in wvw/spvp? What for.

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