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Balance Patch: a WvW perspective


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Hi all,

I'm a veteran WvW player and I wanted to give my opinions and ideas on the new balance patch and the status of the meta in WvW. Just a quick note, I'm not a complete try-hard, so some of my opinions may be a bit naive.

Some initial assumptions:

  • WvW is difficult to balance. It is like balancing 3 modes in one: Roaming, Open Squads (25 to 50 players), and GvG. Still, to differentiate it from other game modes and to preserve the original main vision of WvW, I think the focus should be on balancing open squads 
  • What we love about GW2 is that it is a game based on skill. The skill floor is low, and this is nice for everyone and new players, but the ceiling is was very high too, meaning that good players could still make a difference and be noticed. While on PvE this is almost not true anymore (since the incredible spread on ALL the boons access to everyone and the insane 2x/3x dps creep), and in PvP this is still true, what about in WvW? High skill ceil means that a squad of 15-20-25 people can take down a squad of 35-45-60 people. And at this moment it is swaying a little.
  • Class differentiation could be important not to kill the game, but this is a topic not WvW-related
  • Stealthed squads are fun. Even though stealth is really strong, just one player messing up will make the whole squad fail. This is a good example of a low-floor high-ceiling skill. Because it is based on COORDINATION.
  • Close/melee fights are better than long-range ones.
  • Coordination and Synchronization among players is a really nice feeling, and should be what we aim for in balancing for WvW: playing together.

Good stuff:

  • The balance team correctly identified that what is best in WvW is not best in other game modes, like Stability, Aegis, Resistance, Boon removal/corruption, immobilize, weakness, etc.
  • They are addressing some unplayable classes problem, such as mesmer clones/phantasm, projectile blocking, excessive condi cleanse, etc.

Bad stuff:

  • Blasting smoke for stealth does not work with more than 15 people. Either declare that this is the way it is intended (as a nerf) or please fix the bug.
  • Boons removal has been nerfed to the ground in this patch. This is not healthy for WvW as a competitive mode since we know how strong boons are in this game. Without boon removal, a squad of 50 people is just unstoppable. They can just press R and walk on everything without dodging, and kill all smaller squads. This is going in the opposite direction of the skill ceiling.
  • Still a long way toward fixing some problems: 
    • Reduce cleansing: having a high skill ceiling means that players should dodge out the enemy dps/well/removal bombs, and not just walk through, trusting that some classes in the game can remove continuously tons of conditions and heal a lot.
    • Projectile weapons/specializations are not usable for the huge number of skills (with easy -random- access in builds) that blocks or reflect projectiles. Maybe this is good to force close combat. Still, it is a problem unless you announce that this is as intended.
      • An idea to try to fix this problem is to have all reflecting/blocking projectile skills cap the number of players (3-5).
      • i.e. if I put a wall of reflection, it will deflect based on the projectiles' arrival order. The first projectile is from A, then there is B, C, D, and E. Now, for the duration of the spell, if either A, B, C, D or E will fire another projectile, the wall will reflect it. But if F or G fires a projectile, this will not get reflected and will just pass through.
    • Mesmer clones/phantasm. Ideas are:
      • make their life 5x the current one (but at this point maybe the mesmer will be too strong at tanking damage), or simply make them intangible (i.e. invulnerable but they do not tank damage; cc stops them, or maybe 2 ccs kill them) or something else you come up with.
    • Healing power crept and dps nerfed. We are going towards tanky and unkillable huge blobs instead of roaming groups and lots of little guilds and squads.

Other Ideas:

  • Bring back tons of 10-player application stuff. I know that you removed this for server performance (now WvW is really playable 🙂 ) and that you removed this in all game modes. Still, I feel like WvW is the best mode to have huge class differentiation based on 10-man stuff. Also, this will play in the direction of skill ceiling based on coordination. If the best squad composition is based on a single player giving other 10 players a boon, or a cleanse, or healing, it means that if that player messes up (or if an enemy correctly identifies them and stuns that player) then 10 players will lack that particular effect, or you either need to run redundancy (helping the cause of 15 players beating much larger squad because they are running a better organized and coordinated squad composition).
  • Fix dps by differentiating it. You should make skills with really huge dps and very long cooldowns, and normal skills that are balanced like now. In this way, the skill ceiling will be improved. Coordination in the movement of the squad with the availability and synchronization of these big dps skills among all players will be the key to success. And in this way, smaller groups can still stop bigger ones.
    • This can be applied to boon removal/corruption too: instead of having lots of skills removing a single boon, you have this one/two-per-class huge boon removal skills.
    • If not, and you do prefer having lots of single-removing-boon skills, you can think about making those skills remove a particular boon* (or a random one if that is not present). In this way, there will be a skill removing stability, one removing might, etc. and so you can have more interactive gameplay on boons removal too, and also you can better balance these boon removals (i.e. the one removing stability or Resistance will have longer cooldown, etc.)
      • *: a particular non-damaging boon + a random damaging boon (or a random non-damaging boon + a random damaging boon)
  • Cleanse is really important for non-damage-related conditions (immobilize, weakness, etc). But this should not impact condition dps that is completely missing from WvW. To simply fix this, you could have that condi removal will remove only 3 stacks of a damaging condition instead of the whole stacks.
    • This could "shield" the removal of the (really strong) non-damaging conditions. Based on balance, you could either leave this as intended (to boost condi-dps in WvW, but in this way, people will start applying conditions even with 0 condition damage just to shield the other (really strong) non-damaging conditions) or make each condi removal hit one damaging condi and one non-damaging one.


Anyway I appreciate everything you are doing.
Give the WvW some love

Eventine 🌌

Edited by Eventine.8024
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