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Future Potential WvW-centric Balance Changes - September 13th 2019


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  • ArenaNet Staff

Hey again all,

Thanks for the feedback on the proposed Balance Changes over the last three weeks - as a result several notes have been altered and re-visited.This post isn't a request for more feedback, but a heads-up that we're going to be getting the changes tested and vetted internally while we get stuff ready.

It has been excellent to see that many of the conclusions we have reached internally are the same ones that you're having regarding the proposed changes. It has also been great to see your counterpoints and suggestions to some of the changes we proposed, as they've raised discussions on what the best course of action may be. I look forward to getting your feedback for the next set of potential changes once we’ve released the results from this set and others not discussed here.

Below are the current changes that we're looking at from the proposed set:

Items

  • Superior Rune of Antitoxin: Change it so that instead of increasing outgoing condition cleanses by one it instead increases incoming condition cleanses by one, thus only affecting the wielder, but allowing it to scale up with external cleanses.

Engineer

  • Sneak Gyro: Increase the cooldown of this ability from 45 to 60 seconds in WvW.
  • Corona Burst: The existing split from PvP of reduced might gain is brought to WvW. Reduced the damage of this ability by 20% in PvP and WvW.
  • Holographic Shockwave: Reduced range from 600 to 300.
  • Impact Savant: Reduce the vitality loss of this trait from 300 to 180. Unfortunately it doesn't look likely we'll be able to get this trait to work with conditions for the next balance update, but we'll keep investigating other options.
  • Detection Pulse: This skill returns as the toolbelt skill for Purge Gyro, replacing Chemical Field. Its radius is reduced from 1200 to 900 and its targeting is improved for large group situations so it can't fail where there are many nearby enemies and stealthed foes are slightly further away.

Guardian

  • Stand Your Ground: Reduce the stacks of stability granted by this ability from 5 to 3 in WvW.
  • Tome of Courage, Chapter 5 - Unbroken Lines: This skill no longer grants retaliation.
  • 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.
  • Sanctuary: Increase number of enemies that can be knocked back by this skill from 10 to 20 before it expires.

Mesmer

  • Illusion of Life: Reduce the invulnerability period on revived allies from 5s to 1s. Improve the smart targeting on this skill so it can't fail in big group situations where there is someone downed and lots of people near them.
  • Chaotic Interruption: This trait has been re-worked and now reduces the cooldown of one of your weapon abilities that is already on cooldown by 5 seconds when you interrupt a foe.
  • 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.

Necromancer

  • Scourge: For a long time, Scourge has been a strong elite specialization on the basis of its area coverage. With some of these changes we're looking to re-focus their gameplay around their unique elite spec mechanic, shades. These changes also open up space for improvements to the Scourge's kit in the future as the conversation has been dominated by Scourge's coverage.
  • Scourge: Shade abilities only affect the area around you while you do not have a shade active in the world. This creates a choice of whether to be the focal point for your shade abilities by not summoning a shade or to place a shade at a distance and focus on your shade's positioning relying on distance as your safety. It also offers more distinct styles of gameplay where you may want to close with enemies and avoid having to place shades while being exposed in melee or placing a shade farther away to gain ranged offensive options at the risk of not having shade defensive benefits at your location (unless you place another shade beside you). To address the loss of some of the target cap, the number of targets affected by shade abilities will be increased from 3 to 5.
  • Manifest Sand Shade: The duration of sand shades in WvW & PvP has been increased from 10 seconds to 15 seconds.
  • Sand Savant: Increase the number of targets sand shade affect from 2 to 5, so that when traited you either affect up to 10 targets around you or have a single shade which affects up to 10 targets rather than the current incarnation where you've got a shade that affects 5 targets and you affect 5 targets near you.
  • Oppressive Collapse: This skill will require line of sight on the activation.
  • Sand Cascade: Reduce the base barrier granted by this skill by 33% in WvW & PvP, increase the healing power contribution by 20%, as the healing coefficient is already pretty strong.
  • Sand Flare: Reduce the base barrier granted by this skill by 25% in WvW, increase the healing power contribution by 33%.
  • Desert Shroud: Increase the base barrier granted by this skill by 10%, increase the healing power contribution by 15% and reduce the damage inflicted by this ability by 20% in WvW.
  • 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.

Ranger

  • Long Range Shot: Reduce the damage range of this skill from 0.7-0.9 to 0.6-0.8 in WvW only.

Revenant

  • Gaze of Darkness: This skill would reveal stealthed enemies up to 600 range away in addition to striking enemies within its 360 radius.
  • 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.
  • Inspiring Reinforcement: Increased pulsing stability duration from 1.5 seconds to 3 seconds. Increased initial stability duration from 2 seconds to 3 seconds. Increased the speed at which the road is built by 100%. Increased road length from 600 to 900.

Thief

  • Deadly Ambition: Reduce the poison inflicted by this trait from 2 stacks for 3 seconds to 1 stack for 5 seconds in PvP & WvW.

Warrior

  • Charge: This skill only removes movement impairing conditions and then increases the damage of affected allies' next 2 attacks by 25% in PvE and PvP and 10% in WvW 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 re-working it to better 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.

Thanks again all for constructively sharing your feedback, thoughts, concerns and expectations.

Sincerely,~Irenio

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While I appreciate the changes to scourge in both shade placement and fixing the target cap to a more standard variation, I believe the corruption potential of the class is still open for discussion. The firebrand/scourge meta came to be due to the amount of power both classes have in close quarters, and this change feels like we are giving more to scourge and taking away from firebrands. Admittedly the corruption cap has gone down with a single shade per scourge, I can possibly see more gearing into healing and an extra scourge running per subgroup with no actual change to the meta.

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Hello,

Can you please look into adjusting Chronomancer Support wells?

You made support wells as that classes niche that no one wants to stand in for mediocre boons that anyone else can give out while mobile but these require you to be stationary.

Please have them pulse around you as you move similar to the Function Gyros as they are now a "well". This would help diversify some of the support monopoly that firebrand has especially if you give some of them stability / barrier / resistance.

Literally a terrible choice having a stationary support well with those kinds of boons that no one will stand in any almost any game mode.

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@"Novaura.1079" said:Hello,

Can you please look into adjusting Chronomancer Support wells?

You made support wells as that classes niche that no one wants to stand in for mediocre boons that anyone else can give out while mobile but these require you to be stationary.

Please have them pulse around you as you move similar to the Function Gyros as they are now a "well". This would help diversify some of the support monopoly that firebrand has especially if you give some of them stability / barrier / resistance.

Literally a terrible choice having a stationary support well with those kinds of boons that no one will stand in any almost any game mode.

Chrono wells should get the gyro treatment since the rest of the class got shot behind the shed in wvw

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I like the direction Scourge shades went, but I'm really torn. Sand Savant sounds like you'd just never use shades in zergs to continue being a moving red aoe bomb field at all times. Might not be very ideal to basically forego a large part of the spec in never placing shades. At the same time all the other damage nerfs and changes seem very solid. I'm just worried that this might be a net gain in the end though with those big shades. Bombing becomes even stronger that way too.

Also thanks for clarifying that this isn't every single change that's planned!

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Chaotic Interruption: This trait has been re-worked and now reduces the cooldown of one of your weapon abilities that is already on cooldown by 5 seconds when you interrupt a foe.Minor request, can we have this trait focus on whatever weapon ability is on the largest cooldown? I know I'd much prefer getting one of my skills that's on a 15s CD to get this effect than another skill that only has 2s CD remaining.

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I still feel like replacing Chemical Field with Detection Pulse in all modes is a big design misstep.

Stealth detection has no use in PvE. Why would you make this change? Why not make function gyro emit a detection pulse when Expert Examination (https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Expert_Examination) is slotted? This trait already sees no use anywhere in the game.It feels quite shortsighted to replace a poor skill with a stealth detection skill in all modes. There are cases in PvE where AoE condition cleanse is useful, but now it comes at the expense of a tool belt skill in a spec that already forcefully replaces your elite tool belt skill.

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Scourges still hitting 10 players?

You really want to die on this hill

There just simply is not any reason to continue having one spec that far outcleaves every other weapon in the game and expect any sort of class variety in this metagame

The one change you have not presented for feedback yet until now is the one that would potentially have the most significant metagame impact and now you say you aren't taking any more feedback, which really stinks

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@Irenio CalmonHuang.2048 said:Below are the current changes that we're looking at from the proposed set:

Engineer

  • Sneak Gyro: Increase the cooldown of this ability from 45 to 60 seconds in WvW.
  • Corona Burst: The existing split from PvP of reduced might gain is brought to WvW. Reduced the damage of this ability by 20% in PvP and WvW.
  • Holographic Shockwave: Reduced range from 600 to 300.
  • Impact Savant: Reduce the vitality loss of this trait from 300 to 180. Unfortunately it doesn't look likely we'll be able to get this trait to work with conditions for the next balance update, but we'll keep investigating other options.
  • Detection Pulse: This skill returns as the toolbelt skill for Purge Gyro, replacing Chemical Field. Its radius is reduced from 1200 to 900 and its targeting is improved for large group situations so it can't fail where there are many nearby enemies and stealthed foes are slightly further away.
  • As mentioned before, the detection pulse makes neither thematic sense nor PvE sense for Purge Gyro. It would be smarter to attach it to function gyro, seeing as how the f-gyro is basically useless as-is (only 1k HP). Alternatively, make the poison field itself act as a reveal.
  • Please include condi damage in Impact Savant ASAP. As it stands, scrapper is pretty crappy in all game modes. An additional 1200 health is nice, but not going to do much by itself.
  • There are other changes to scrapper I'd recommend as part of an overall revision package. For example, the last major balance change practically eliminated the niche use that Scrapper had in high-PvE as a healer.
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umm, when we said “balance sand savant” we ment nerf it, not buff it into the single most powerful WvW talent in the game!

these changes to shades will make scourge dramatically more powerful in WvW. essentially doubling their firepower in most fights.

Might want to revisit this...

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I don't understand the scourge changes. I get that at some point the scourge will have to decide whether to put down the shade or not - but in any organized group you will know if you are going for a range bomb or melee push. Before the range bomb was weaker because you could only hit 5 with your scourges while on a melee push you could hit 10. This rewarded more aggressive gameplay - you put yourself at risk by being close to the enemy and you could hit more targets. With these changes, scourges range bomb potential would be essentially equal to their melee potential. With the barrier nerfs + similar damage potential at range or in melee, why would scourges want to go melee? Especially when the other big damage dealers - Hammer Rev and Staff Ele - want to stay ranged as well (yes, I know rev hammer was nerfed as well)? Combine this with greater access to reveal and I'm concerned about a return to the pirate ship meta.

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@Irenio CalmonHuang.2048 said:I look forward to getting your feedback for the next set of potential changes once we’ve released the results from this set and others not discussed here.So there are other intended changes you have not shared with us? Is there a reason for this? Is this because they are less WvW-related? Or perhaps I am misinterpreting your statement?

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I think the balance team went completely wrong in the direction for Scourge. Besides the WvW implications everyone has mentioned above, Scourge will get hard nerfed on moving boss encounters in Raids such as Soulless Horror and Largos, fights where scourge already under performs compared to other condition builds such as Firebrand, Mirage, and Renegade. One option on these fights is to use your shades on the boss and do your normal rotation. However, if the tank moves the boss, you have to immediately recast a shade onto the boss again to maintain dps uptime. The tank continues to move the boss around until you run out of charges and at this point, your desert shroud can no longer hit the target and your only source of damage is from scepter/torch and your utilities. The other option is to never use shades and always stack on the boss so your melee desert shroud can hit. However, you'll lose out on traits that proc additional damage like "Sadistic Searing" when you cast a shade. These changes will make scourge extremely unfun to play on bosses that move and lower the already lowest condition damage benchmark compared to all other condition builds/classes. As a necromancer main (95% playtime), I encourage the team to make changes to scourge to keep it fun, interesting, and a bit more high skill cap, but please don't make changes that make it even harder for us to join fractal or raid groups.

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Can you at least tell us what your vision is for ranger in WvW? We've had a WvW meta that excluded rangers from organised groups for as long as there was a meta (not even druid could break in compared to tempests and now firebrands). What design space do you think rangers are supposed to fill in organized WvW?

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As many have said I appreciate your attempt at a Sand Savant change... But increasing the cap from 5 to 10 was the opposite direction. Sand Savant needs some penalty for hitting more players. Like while equipped Sand Savant makes your shade skills do an extra 20% less damage or something. Or make them only have 1 Shade instead of 3 loaded up. So they cant just relocate it 2 seconds later. Make them actually wait the 30 seconds to use a range shade again.

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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.

This is a good change for WvW, but as-is, it only further hurts rev's hammer in PvE and PvP, where it already underperforms.

Would it be possible to instead have Coalescence of Ruin deal the middle impact damage in WvW (as proposed), but deal the farthest impact damage in PvE and PvP?

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In regards for firebrand tome of courage...

Maybe let tome 3 chapter 2 keep the aegis, and instead remove the aegis from chapter 5? I mean chapter 5 is already STACKED. 200 armor, protection and STABILITY!!!With these changes, chapter 5 will still be used on cooldown, however, chapter 2 now became pretty much useless. You can keep both relevant by simply letting chapter 2 keep its aegis while removing it from chapter 5.

Thanks you.

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In regards for the scourge changes, this change really seem opposite of what people have asked.The main issue with scourge is the fact that it already has amazing range dmg and melee dmg with the shade abilities.These changes sort of... amplify both. You can CHOOSE to do a 10-man range bomb... or save it for a 10-man melee train.While this versatility is nice.... scourge are already loaded and simply do not need more dmg or 10-target hits.Please consider just making the small shade 3-target and big shade 5-target but let it work with the same mechanic, that is if no shade is present the dmg is only around the scourge.

Thanks.

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