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Potential Future Balance Changes


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  • ArenaNet Staff

Greetings fellow Tyrians,

We've been thinking about implementing the following changes and wanted to share them with you to hear your thoughts and feedback. We’re aiming to bring into line some of the more dominant builds and compositions of the current WvW meta so that new options can be brought to the table, so the bulk of the changes shared here are WvW-centric. This is not the full list of changes that are being considered for the next balance update.

This is not a call for general profession feedback. Here are a few questions to think about while looking over the potential changes:

  • Would your gameplay change as a result?
  • Do you feel these changes would improve or worsen the state of the game?
  • Are you looking forward to these potential changes?
  • What are your concerns with this set of changes?
  • What consequences do you expect would come from these changes?

With those types of questions in mind here's some of what we're looking at.

Engineer

  • Chemical Field: This skill is replaced by Detection Pulse (from the old Sneak Gyro elite toolbelt) as the toolbelt skill for Purge Gyro.
  • Purge Gyro: Reduce the number of cleansing pulses from 5 to 3 in WvW.
  • Sneak Gyro: Increase the cooldown of this ability from 45 to 75 seconds in WvW.

Guardian

  • Sanctuary: Increase number of enemies that can be knocked back by this skill from 10 to 20 before it expires.
  • Tome of Resolve, Chapter 2 - Radiant Recovery: The existing split from PvP of cleansing 2 conditions is brought to WvW as well. This ability would continue to cleanse 3 conditions in PvE.
  • Tome of Courage, Chapter 2 - Daring Challenge: This skill grants retaliation for 3 seconds instead of aegis.
  • Tome of Courage, Chapter 5 - Unbroken Lines: This skill no longer grants aegis or retaliation.

Mesmer

  • Illusion of Life: Increase the cooldown of this skill from 75 to 90 seconds in PvP & WvW and reduced the duration from 15 seconds to 8 seconds of its effect in PvP & WvW.
  • Power Break (Mantra of Pain): This skill now requires you to face your target and respects line of sight.
  • Power Lock (Mantra of Distraction): This skill now requires you to face your target and respects line of sight.
  • Chaos Storm: This skill now always dazes on the first strike but can no longer randomly daze on other strikes. This change also applies to Lesser Chaos Storm. Added skill fact to show chaos storm's duration.
  • Chaotic Interruption: This trait has been re-worked and now reduces the cooldown of one of your weapon abilities by 5 seconds when you interrupt a foe.

Necromancer

  • Feast of Corruption: Reduce damage by 20% in PvP & WvW. The existing split from PvP of corrupting 2 boons is brought to WvW. This ability continues to corrupt 3 boons in PvE.
  • Devouring Darkness: Reduce damage by 20% in PvP & WvW. The existing split from PvP of corrupting 2 boons is brought to WvW. This ability continues to corrupt 3 boons in PvE.
  • Sand Cascade: Reduce the barrier granted by this skill by 33% in WvW & PvP.
  • Sand Flare: Reduced the barrier granted by this skill by 25% in WvW.

Ranger

  • Long Range Shot: Reduce the damage range of this skill from 0.7-0.9 to 0.65-0.75 in WvW only.

Revenant

  • Coalescence of Ruin: This skill would no longer deals increased damage with successive impacts; instead it deals damage equal to what was previously the middle impact damage. Damage remains split between game modes. A red warning rectangle visible to enemies has been added to this skill.
  • Gaze of Darkness: This skill would reveal stealthed enemies up to 600 range away in addition to striking enemies within its 360 radius.

Warrior

  • Charge: This skill would only removes movement impairing conditions and then increases the damage of affected allies' next 2 attacks by 25% in addition to its previous effects. Increase swiftness duration from 10 seconds to 15 seconds. This skill becomes a blast finisher.
  • Call to Arms: Removes 3 conditions from affected allies instead of specific conditions. Grants barrier in addition to vigor.
  • Sight Beyond Sight: Increase the radius of this ability to reveal hidden enemies up to 600 range away.
  • Quick Breathing: Thinking of kicking re-working it a bit to pair with the warhorn skill changes so they feel more cohesive. Continues to increase number of targets for warhorn skills from 5 to 10 and causes warhorn skills to grant an additional boon instead of reducing the cooldown (Fury for Charge and Resistance for Call to Arms). Grant +120 Concentration.

We look forward to seeing your thoughts and feedback!

Sincerely,GW2 Systems Team

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I don't think Engineer deserves any more nerfs. That's really all I have to say.

EDIT: Okay, here's why I believe Engineer shouldn't be touched.

I haven't seen half as many Scrapper players as I did ever since the nerf of all the barrier they got. I'd like to know where the decision came from to give them further nerfs.

The nerf to purge gyro is unreasonable imo. Every class deserves a decent condition cleanse.

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See bolded text for feedback.

@Irenio CalmonHuang.2048 said:Greetings fellow Tyrians,

We've been thinking about implementing the following changes and wanted to share them with you to hear your thoughts and feedback. We’re aiming to bring into line some of the more dominant builds and compositions of the current WvW meta so that new options can be brought to the table, so the bulk of the changes shared here are WvW-centric. This is not the full list of changes that are being considered for the next balance update.

This is not a call for general profession feedback. Here are a few questions to think about while looking over the potential changes:

  • Would your gameplay change as a result?
  • Do you feel these changes would improve or worsen the state of the game?
  • Are you looking forward to these potential changes?
  • What are your concerns with this set of changes?
  • What consequences do you expect would come from these changes?

With those types of questions in mind here's some of what we're looking at.

Engineer

  • Chemical Field: This skill is replaced by Detection Pulse (from the old Sneak Gyro elite toolbelt) as the toolbelt skill for Purge Gyro. -Good change. We need the reveal BADLY
  • Purge Gyro: Reduce the number of cleansing pulses from 5 to 3 in WvW. - I suggest leaving the gyro as it is and nerf Purity of Purpose trait instead. And Also take a look at antitoxin rune. Too many synergies there.
  • Sneak Gyro: Increase the cooldown of this ability from 45 to 75 seconds in WvW. -This is fine.

Guardian

  • Sanctuary: Increase number of enemies that can be knocked back by this skill from 10 to 20 before it expires.
  • Tome of Resolve, Chapter 2 - Radiant Recovery: The existing split from PvP of cleansing 2 conditions is brought to WvW as well. This ability would continue to cleanse 3 conditions in PvE. -Not an issue, not really need to make this change.
  • Tome of Courage, Chapter 2 - Daring Challenge: This skill grants retaliation for 3 seconds instead of aegis. -Make it grant protection and retaliation at least? just retaliation it will never get used.
  • Tome of Courage, Chapter 5 - Unbroken Lines: This skill no longer grants aegis or retaliation. -This is a fine change.

Mesmer

  • Illusion of Life: Increase the cooldown of this skill from 75 to 90 seconds in PvP & WvW and reduced the duration from 15 seconds to 8 seconds of its effect in PvP & WvW. -Not sure why, I dont think illusion of life is particularly overpowered in wvw.
  • Power Break (Mantra of Pain): This skill now requires you to face your target and respects line of sight.
  • Power Lock (Mantra of Distraction): This skill now requires you to face your target and respects line of sight.
  • Chaos Storm: This skill now always dazes on the first strike but can no longer randomly daze on other strikes. This change also applies to Lesser Chaos Storm. Added skill fact to show chaos storm's duration.
  • Chaotic Interruption: This trait has been re-worked and now reduces the cooldown of one of your weapon abilities by 5 seconds when you interrupt a foe.

Necromancer

  • Feast of Corruption: Reduce damage by 20% in PvP & WvW. The existing split from PvP of corrupting 2 boons is brought to WvW. This ability continues to corrupt 3 boons in PvE. -This is fine.
  • Devouring Darkness: Reduce damage by 20% in PvP & WvW. The existing split from PvP of corrupting 2 boons is brought to WvW. This ability continues to corrupt 3 boons in PvE. -this is fine
  • Sand Cascade: Reduce the barrier granted by this skill by 33% in WvW & PvP. -I would keep the barrier as it is and instead look to lower scourge dmg and maintain some of the utility aspect. That would open a possibility to bring in reapers maybe for raw dmg?
  • Sand Flare: Reduced the barrier granted by this skill by 25% in WvW. -Same as above

Ranger

  • Long Range Shot: Reduce the damage range of this skill from 0.7-0.9 to 0.65-0.75 in WvW only.

Revenant

  • Coalescence of Ruin: This skill would no longer deals increased damage with successive impacts; instead it deals damage equal to what was previously the middle impact damage. Damage remains split between game modes. A red warning rectangle visible to enemies has been added to this skill. -Good.
  • Gaze of Darkness: This skill would reveal stealthed enemies up to 600 range away in addition to striking enemies within its 360 radius. -This is a fine change

Warrior

  • Charge: This skill would only removes movement impairing conditions and then increases the damage of affected allies' next 2 attacks by 25% in addition to its previous effects. Increase swiftness duration from 10 seconds to 15 seconds. This skill becomes a blast finisher.
  • Call to Arms: Removes 3 conditions from affected allies instead of specific conditions. Grants barrier in addition to vigor.
  • Sight Beyond Sight: Increase the radius of this ability to reveal hidden enemies up to 600 range away. -Would be a good change
  • Quick Breathing: Thinking of kicking re-working it a bit to pair with the warhorn skill changes so they feel more cohesive. Continues to increase number of targets for warhorn skills from 5 to 10 and causes warhorn skills to grant an additional boon instead of reducing the cooldown (Fury for Charge and Resistance for Call to Arms). Grant +120 Concentration.

We look forward to seeing your thoughts and feedback!

Sincerely,GW2 Systems Team

Just my 2 cents from a wvw player perspective. didn't comment on things I don't know enough on, just focused on the main issues from a group perspective.Thanks.

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The main issue I see in WvW specifically is that there are too many "You can't touch me" buttons and traits on some professions. For example, the Warrior class being such a heavy hitter has the option to be almost fully immune to conditions whilst also having multiple blocks and full physical damage immunity skills and traits.

If possible, please look into addressing that. At the very least, remove the passive traits that apply these invulnerabilities from classes.

Another issue is that condition applications are so unbalanced, especially since the addition of Resistance as a boon. Some classes can apply and reapply conditions rapidly and to a deadly degree that it made sense to add Resistance as a counter. The problem is that some classes cannot apply conditions as rapidly, for example a full condition Ranger or Thief can apply strong conditions but once cleansed or Resisted, they cannot be applied again for 30+ seconds - leaving you completely neutered.

I'd suggest going over all classes to see if their condition applications are up to par and also make sure Resistance as a boon is readily available on all classes as a counter.

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Would your gameplay change as a result?

No. Maybe it will give more oportunity for other classes in optimized group.

Do you feel these changes would improve or worsen the state of the game?

Improve for sure.

Are you looking forward to these potential changes?

Yes , this is a good start.

What are your concerns with this set of changes?

Reaction time if you realeased "too strong" modification.

What consequences do you expect would come from these changes?

More balance, more theorycrafting, more possibilities.

You should have annonced some of this point during your annoncement.

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There is one little change i was considering proposing for necros.Scourge atm is busted. I was hoping you could "rework" the shade abilites.F1 - keep as it is.F2 - Merge current F2 & F3, remove dmg component. make this purely utility ability.F3 - Old F4 with a small dmg + condi dmg component added.F4 - Old F5.no more F5. I often feel like playing scourge is LITERALLY facerolling over your F2-F5 for maximum dmg so these changes would at least make it less... face-rolly.

Also make wells last -1 sec and make Vampiric Rituals trait add +2sec duration to wells instead of granting protection.This way scourges have to choose.Curses for lots of corrupts VS soul reaping for massive dmg boost VS blood magic for a small boost in both corrupts and dmg.

Just some thoughts I had.

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@"psizone.8437" said:The main issue I see in WvW specifically is that there are too many "You can't touch me" buttons and traits on some professions. For example, the Warrior class being such a heavy hitter has the option to be almost fully immune to conditions whilst also having multiple blocks and full physical damage immunity skills and traits.

If possible, please look into addressing that. At the very least, remove the passive traits that apply these invulnerabilities from classes.

Another issue is that condition applications are so unbalanced, especially since the addition of Resistance as a boon. Some classes can apply and reapply conditions rapidly and to a deadly degree that it made sense to add Resistance as a counter. The problem is that some classes cannot apply conditions as rapidly, for example a full condition Ranger or Thief can apply strong conditions but once cleansed or Resisted, they cannot be applied again for 30+ seconds - leaving you completely neutered.

I'd suggest going over all classes to see if their condition applications are up to par and also make sure Resistance as a boon is readily available on all classes as a counter.

100% agreed with the very first thing here. "I win" buttons cause a massive imbalance between classes. Endure Pain and Stone Signet, for example, needs some kind of drawback to their usage. "Halve the damage you deal and become temporarily invulnerable" or "lose access to weapon skills whilst becoming temporarily invulnerable".

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Please apply the guardian changes to wvw ONLY, pve does NOT need those nerfs, firebrand support is barely a usable profession in there, punting because of wvw isn't healthy for the gamemode, and the class need every bit it can do to stand up to the other supports, druids will be forever the offensive buff bots, but let guardians have their boon coverage. In matter of fact, i think you should revert some of the cooldown nerfs to the tomes that were applied to them last few patches because i'm sure it was done because of WvW. So please, take great consideration to not needlessy hurt the class there.

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"so the bulk of the changes shared here are WvW-centric."

Then why isn't big shade touched whatsoever? Scourge has been op since the release for about 2 years now dominating wvw. There's no competition over what's better for corrupts and aoes than scourge.

Rework big shade once and for all and make it the support skill that it was initially designed for pre-launch. Picking that trait will remove the damage from all of your shade skills and only the corruptions/barriers/cleanses will apply. If you want to deal damage you would have to pick any of the other 2 grandmaster traits and have a way higher skill cap to place the small shades correctly, overhall reducing the aoe spam.

Also the other scourge changes listed are alright.

PS: you pretty much killed chrono last patch by removing the shatters from being able to use them without copies, how about reverting that since clones don't live whatsoever in large fights?

PS2: none of these changes listed will shake up the meta, it's gonna be the same stallation from the past 2 years except a scrapper was added. do this big hit on scourge that i said and maybe something will be different, maybe reaper will have a chance to do something when going melee range now.

Ps3: delete winds of disenchantment and maybe berserker will be playable

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Engineer: Great changes across the board, Scrapper needs to be toned down in WvW and losing access to Chemical Field's easy poison is fine.

Guardian: I wouldn't remove Aegis on either F3 skill. Good F2 change. Sanctuary change won't do anything, so might as well.

Mesmer: I don't think you need to change Illusion of Life, however if you do I wouldn't increase its CD a bit if the duration goes down. Good Mantra changes, amazing Chaos Storm change. Chaotic Interruption change seems neat, it might come in too weak, but easily adjustable if so.

Necromancer: Good changes, needs to be toned down in WvW. Not sure if the Barrier needs to be nerfed in PvP, maybe 20% is a bit more fair?

Ranger: Good change.

Revenant: Hammer change is good. 600 Radius on Gaze of Darkness ' reveal is a bit too big, I'm not sure if it needs to be increased.

Warrior: Warhorn is probably okay right now, I'm not sure it needs to be touched, but the revamp doesn't seem too strong. Sight Beyond Sight going up to 600 range is a good change, unlike Gaze of Darkness.

Overall the changes seem to be very orientated to WvW, the meta would be much healthier with these changes.Detection Pulse will most likely overshadow Sight Beyond Sight and Gaze of Darkness still.

Not much will change in PvP off these changes, but condi Mirage/Mesmer may be pushed out completely. Pretty good changes though, you hit the skills/traits that needed to be hit.

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Stop ignoring Sand Savant

You have tried and failed to balance scourge since PoF launch since you refuse to touch this trait, nothing here will significantly impact the game in any way except slight alterations to maybe one less mesmer or something. 10 man AoEs crowd out every single melee weapon in the game and mandate you also run as many scg as you can just to break even vs larger groups because its too easy to just throw out damage everywhere.

Scrapper needs hit harder. Antitoxin rune needs nerfed. Cleansing field is still target uncapped???? Every condition build in the game is rendered useless due to this elite spec, a 2-second gyro nerf will change nothing

IoL needs the invisible 5second invulnerability removed. Why bother adding blasts to warhorn when nobody uses combos anymore because they have been powercrept out of existence (minus sneak gyro)

I do not anticipate any significant change in the current composition dominance by any way whatsoever with changes like these

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These changes seem nice. Toning down power creep in certain aspects are good to see. The engineer part seems really nice. The poison wasn't really useful at all except toning down some healing but the dmg was really meh.The WH changes in warrior seem good. I like the boon idea instead of the mega cleanse. Cleanse is already heavily covered by FBs so WH warriors aren't that useful atm in zergs.Is there a chance that some changes come to improve the WvW build comp? Like better WvW druid healer to make them viable in zergs or give necros better mobility to improve roaming?

Slightly offtopic:Is there ANY chance that split blade on ranger gets the higher dmg modifier for PvE? It's NOT WvW related but it really opens up the weapon choices regarding dmg.

Are there any current plans on overhauling minions, pets and professions that haven't been heavily reworked so far? Like ranger, ele or necro?

Otherwise nice changes so far but I hope that's not all.

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Power Break (Mantra of Pain): This skill now requires you to face your target and respects line of sight.

Please tell me this is meant to be WvW/PvP-only. The attack already appears to respect line of sight (in most cases?) in PvE so I'd consider that part a bugfix, but the 360° instant damage is invaluable for tagging mobs, drawing aggro from idle open world creatures and keeping up the damage while occupied with other actions (unlike human opponents most AI mobs don't exactly walk behind you reactively but like to dash/teleport at random).

Either way this absolutely must not go through for underwater! Mesmer already feels ATROCIOUS since the rework due to Feigned Surge's inconsistent behaviour, Siren's Call's unreliable bouncing and the forced leap on Imminent Voyage leaving Mantra of Pain as pretty much the only reliable ranged damage option while waiting for other skills to come off cooldown.

I can see why you want to reign in Mantra of Distraction but still fundamentally think adding a facing requirement when the skill cannot forcibly change your character's facing itself will just feel "wrong". Assuming this change is intended to increase counterplay in competitive modes I would suggest either making it apply a buff+animation to stun the target(s) after a short delay (thus allowing a short window to cancel your cast and not suffer on-interrupt effects) or to simply accept its position as a dedicated "un-counterable counter" by reducing the target count and/or increasing its cooldown in competitive modes to reflect the considerable power such capability represents.

In addition the facing requirement would reduce cohesion with the other mesmer mantra skills and even the traited heal all maintaining full effectiveness regardless of your character's facing.

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