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Here are some interesting tidbits: Necromancers can gain 600 ferocity from traits, Rangers can gain 540 ferocity from a trait line. Guardians can gain 35% crit chance from a traitline and Engineers can gain 45% crit chance from a trait line. The list goes on, things like these exist on most classes today and many times these traits amount to a larger figure than all of the gear you put on the class and thus all of the core stats the modifiers are balanced upon.

Then you have the other common culprits such as the inflation in boons and conditions (and various special effects). All of it combines to a much more volatile system overall and that system has more problems with balancing TTK than the systems in vanilla did. The addition of game modes and how they are prioritized in balance has also lead to a layer of complication that now leads ArenaNet to split more and more abilities over different modes. That is also a complication in balance and attention.

With all of that said, it doesn't have to mean that TTK is considerably shorter. It has and that is the norm. However, anyone who understands compensation through numbers also understands that you can mitigate it and that different times require different trends. If a berserker base does twice the damage it did today than you can also figure out that a tankier build does the damage it once did. If you required either AR or protection to deal with crits in the past, perhaps you need AR and protection to feel as tanky today. There are ways to shape and work around the numbers. Few people know and do that today. At the same time, there is a deficit. Working with the numbers only mitigates the trend because there seem to be more factors leaning towards offense than defense right now (more offensive traits than defensive, more offensive boons and conditions than defensive, more offensive effects than defensive and so on). That makes the trend obvious yet the challenge to mitigate some of it not unsurmountable, just niched.

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I'm not sure it's just TTK. In general I like the idea, I've often thought a good rule of thumb for what makes a 'good fight' is if it lasted long enough for all my skills to come back off cd. But at the same time there are plenty of long fights that are just incredibly boring. The reason I finally stopped playing dh is I got in a 1v1 that lasted more than a full tick and it occurred to me I'd rather just die and run back than continue. One shotting someone isn't any fun but neither is coming to the realization that you're probably never going to kill each other at all . . .

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