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Balance Patch Preview - Global


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  • ArenaNet Staff

Hi Everyone,

Today we're previewing the next set of balance updates to come to Tyria.

With this release there are a significant number of changes we've put together for the the competitive game modes, but many of the fundamental principles are applicable in every game mode. In particular, the focus on gameplay being more active is a big piece of the planned changes.

That said, we recognize that there are many specific differences between game modes and the nature of changes for game modes should follow suit.eg. Many bosses and creatures in instanced content focus attacks on the player with the highest toughness. A minor trait, Stone Flesh gives an Elementalist additional toughness while attuned to earth and can cut off both going into Earth attunement and selecting the Earth traitline. So we're changing that trait to grant 7% damage reduction instead of 150 Toughness, allowing it to play well with that type of content and expand some build options.

We're planning many changes of this nature, as well as re-works and more. We look forward to seeing your feedback both on this set of changes as well as future potential changes.

We've posted additional threads for the more PvP oriented changes and WvW oriented changes.

-The Systems Team

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General:

  • Auras: Aura effects have been updated to be larger and more noticeable. The previous aura effects are now used for auras on allies and for all characters viewed by PvP spectators when the "Effect LoD" option is checked in the graphics settings. Buff icons used for auras have been updated for consistency.
  • Unblockable (Tooltip): The unblockable description has a new icon.
  • Unblockable (Effect): Skills and traits which grant the unblockable status now use a unified buff. This buff is intensity stacking and stacks are lost whenever attacks hit or miss. Single strikes which hit multiple foes only consume 1 stack. Skills which grant the unblockable status for a duration have been updated to use number of hits instead.
  • Downed allied players and defeated allied players icons on the minimap have been updated and are also displayed above the characters in-world.

Elementalist:

Summoned elementals offer a unique gameplay option for Elementalists that want to fight alongside an ally, but their short duration means that they can die frequently during fights. We have increased their summon duration, but we don't want to make them last indefinitely like necromancer minions as we feel part of the identity of glyphs is being able to switch attunements to have different options available. Additionally we felt that the lesser elemental summoning glyph didn't feel distinct enough from the elite glyph since the elite elementals had the same skills as the lesser elementals. To better distinguish the two glyphs, the command skill for lesser elementals is no longer present, which allows for multiple lesser elementals to be summoned at once.

  • Overload Fire: Increased the might granted per pulse from 1 stack to 2 stacks in PvE. Clarified the description of this skill.
  • Feel the Burn: Increased the burn inflicted by this skill from 1 stack of burning for 4 seconds to 2 stacks of burning for 4 seconds. Fixed a bug that prevented this skill from granting its full might effects to nearby allies.
  • Obsidian Flesh: This skill now locks the player's skill bar while invulnerable.
  • Stone Resonance: This skill now grants stability on initial use for 5 seconds in PvE and 3 seconds in PvP and WvW.
  • Lava Skin: This skill now grants stability on initial use for 5 seconds in PvE and 3 seconds in PvP and WvW.
  • Lahar: This skill now grants stability for 5 seconds in PvE and 3 seconds in PvP and WvW.
  • Grinding Stones: This skill now grants stability for 5 seconds in PvE and 3 seconds in PvP and WvW.
  • Glacial Drift: This skill now grants stability for 5 seconds in PvE and 3 seconds in PvP and WvW.
  • Molten Burst: This skill now grants stability for 5 seconds in PvE and 3 seconds in PvP and WvW.
  • Summoned Elementals: Increased elemental summon time from 60 seconds to 120 seconds. Added indicator buffs to show the remaining time for your elemental.
  • Lesser Glyph of Elementals: These elementals can no longer be commanded. However you can now summon more than one at the same time. All lesser elementals die if this glyph is unequipped.
  • Glyph of Elementals: Reduced recharge from 90 seconds to 40 seconds in PvE only. Command skills for Elementals are now considered elite skills for the purposes of runes and traits. Elementals will now play an effect when commanded to indicate that they are using a special skill. Additionally the command skill is no longer restricted to being in-combat and behaves similarly to necromancer command skills.
  • Flame Burst (Fire Elemental/Lesser Fire Elemental): Now inflicts 1 stack of burning for 3 seconds instead of cripple.
  • Flame Barrage (Fire Elemental): Increased projectile range from 300 to 360 so that the projectiles line up with the AoE attack. Increased damage by 150%. Increased recharge from 10 seconds to 15 seconds. Fixed issues with the description and skill facts to clarify how the damage from this skill is dealt.
  • Windborne Speed (Air Elemental/Lesser Air Elemental): Increased radius from 240 to 360.
  • Shocking Bolt (Air Elemental): Increased stun from 1 second to 1.5 seconds. Increased cooldown from 10 to 15.
  • Stomp (Earth Elemental): Now immobilizes for 1 second in addition to its other effects.
  • Stone Flesh: This trait no longer grants up to 150 toughness and instead grants 7% damage reduction while attuned to Earth.
  • Bolstered Elements: This trait now grants barrier instead of stability when using a stance skill.
  • Elemental Contingency: This trait has been retired and replaced with Elemental Lockdown.
  • Elemental Lockdown (NEW): Disabling a foe grants you a boon based upon your attunement.
    • Fire - 5 stacks of might for 5 seconds.
    • Air - 5 seconds of fury.
    • Earth - 4 seconds of protection.
    • Water - 10 seconds of regeneration.

Engineer:

The Explosives line for engineer is seeing some major changes in this update. We are removing several traits which had weak or lackluster effects such as Minesweeper, Orbital Command and Blasting Zone and reorganizing functionality from others like Short Fuse and Big Boomer to be more unified. The Evasive Powder Keg trait has been removed and replaced with Explosive Entrance, which similarly adds damage after a dodge roll but does so in a more controlled and modifiable way. Finally we are updating grenade skills for better clarity in competitive modes where it can be hard to tell the difference between the different grenades during the cast time.

  • Overheat: Instead of disabling all toolbelt skills until all heat is lost, this skill now adds 15 seconds to the recharge of toolbelt skills other than Photon Forge. Photon Forge remains disabled until all heat is lost.
  • Photonic Blasting Module: When this trait is equipped, the additional recharge penalty from Overheat is reduced from 15 seconds to 5 seconds.
  • Overcharged Shot: Slowed down the animation so the shot occurs at 550ms (up from 240ms)
  • Personal Battering Ram: Slowed down the animation so the strike occurs at 600ms (up from 300ms)
  • Orbital Strike: This skill now uses a higher detail effect. The lower detail version can be viewed for allies, enemies and spectators by checking the "Effect LoD" option in the graphics settings
  • Grenade Kit: Skills in this kit now have unique warmup effects based on which grenade type is being thrown. Fixed an issue where grenade kit skills caused the grenade bundle to vanish during the warmup.
  • Crystal Configuration: Eclipse: This trait no longer causes Corona Burst to grant stability. Increased base barrier granted from 374 to 991 in PvE and 748 in competitive modes.
  • Short Fuse: This trait has been removed and it's cooldown bonus added into the following skills.
  • Fire Bomb: Reduced recharge from 10 seconds to 8 seconds.
  • Concussion Bomb: Reduced recharge from 20 seconds to 16 seconds.
  • Smoke Bomb: Reduced recharge from 25 seconds to 20 seconds.
  • Glue Bomb: Reduced recharge from 25 seconds to 20 seconds. Fixed an issue that caused the visuals for this skill to be larger than the effect radius.
  • Big Ol' Bomb: Reduced recharge from 25 seconds to 20 seconds.

Explosives: This traitline has been reworked, the new traits are as follows

  • Minor
    • Explosive Entrance (NEW): Your first attack on entering combat explodes damaging nearby enemies. (Counts as an explosion.) This ability refreshes after a dodge roll or while out of combat.
    • Steel-Packed Powder: No changes
    • Shaped Charge: No changes
  • Adept
    • Grenadier: No changes
    • Short Fuse(REWORK): This trait no longer reduces the fuse time or recharge of bomb skills. Hitting a foe with an explosion skill grants 4 seconds of Fury (3s ICD)
    • Glass Cannon: No changes
  • Master
    • Aim Assisted Rocket (REWORK): Rockets are now only fired on critical hits. Rocket recharge reduced from 10 seconds to 3 seconds. Rockets now require the engineer to be at least 450 distance from the target to fire. Every 5th rocket instead calls an orbital strike.
    • Explosive Temper (NEW): Explosions grant +20 stacking Ferocity for 10 seconds when they hit (10 stacks max)
    • Blast Shield (NEW): Explosive Entrance grants the engineer barrier (base 1508 in PvE and 340 in Competitive modes). Also converts 10% of power to vitality.
  • Grandmaster
    • Flashbang(NEW): Explosive Entrance now inflicts blind for 3 seconds if it hits. Additionally it inflicts Daze for 1 second on struck foes above 90% health.
    • Shrapnel: No changes
    • Big Boomer(REWORK): Increases strike damage by 10% against foes with a lower health percent than the engineer. Additionally causes hitting with Explosion skills to heal the engineer over 3 seconds, 202 health per second. (This effect does not stack.)

Guardian:

Dragonhunters are solid damage dealers, but there were a couple spots that needed some tuning. Deflecting shot, in particular, had a very short cast time and became crowd control when traited with Heavy Light. We've rolled the crowd control into the skill itself and increased its cast time to ensure that it feels reasonable for its effect. Several traits have also been improved for ease of understanding, like Dulled Senses affecting any foe you crowd control, not simply those you knock back. A couple particularly unused traits in the core Virtues specialization have been retired and replaced with fresh options.

  • True Shot: Increased the damage dealt by 10% (2.2 to 2.44) in PvE only and improved the direction your arrow fires when you don't have a target selected.
  • Deflecting Shot: This skill now knocks back and its animation has been slowed down so the arrow is fired at 740ms (up from 280 ms). Reduced power coefficient from 1.8 to 0.01 in PvP and WvW.
  • Hunter's Ward: Increased the damage dealt by this final impact of this skill by 10% (2.0 to 2.2).
  • Chains of Light: Slowed down the animation so the strike occurs at 600ms (up from 400ms). Increased the immobilization duration to 5 seconds in PvE and this skill now inflicts 5 stacks of vulnerability across all game modes.
  • Dulled Senses: This trait no longer inflicts vulnerability when you cripple a foe. This trait now cripples any enemy you disable, not just those you knock back.
  • Heavy Light: This trait no longer causes Deflecting Shot to knock back. This trait now grants stability whenever you disable an enemy, not just when you knockback. You additionally deal increased damage to disabled foes.
  • Stoic Demeanor: This trait can now affect the same enemy each second instead of every 3 seconds.
  • Virtuous Solace: This trait has been retired and replaced by Inspiring Virtue.
  • Inspiring Virtue (NEW): This trait grants you increased damage after activating a virtue.
  • Wrathful Spirit: This trait now grants fury in addition to retaliation when aegis ends.
  • Binding Jeopardy: This trait has been retired and replaced with Furious Focus.
  • Furious Focus (NEW): This trait inflicts vulnerability to any foe you strike while you have fury.

Mesmer:

In this update we are making some changes to the greatsword and domination trait line in order to provide a more reliable baseline ranged damage build or mesmer. We are removing the Confounding Suggestions trait which has been problematic to balance in the past due to its power level and adding in a new trait Vicious Expression which plays better with the Domination line's boon removal. Finally we are changing the Mirage Elusive Mind to no longer break stuns as we feel that the necessity of including exhaustion as a balancing factor has made it too binary as a choice.

  • Signet of Domination: Slowed down the animation so the stun occurs at 560ms (up from 360ms)
  • Spatial Surge: Now displays damage maximum then minimum in description.
  • Mirror Blade: Fixed a bug which caused this skill to play its slashing effect on the player instead of its target. Cooldown reduced from 8s to 5s. Rather than inflict 1.0/0.6 dmg per hit, it now reduces the damage on future bounces by 15% each time.
  • Mind Stab: Cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds. No longer removes boons. It now inflicts cripple instead. 5s in PvE, likely to be reduced in PvP/WvW.
  • Phantasmal Berserker: Cooldown reduced from 15 seconds to 12 seconds. No longer cripples, instead the projectile removes 2 boons. Projectile no longer boomerangs.
  • Confounding Suggestions: This trait has been retired and been replaced with Bountiful Blades.
  • Bountiful Blades (NEW): Mirror Blades bounces 2 additional times. Phantasmal Berserker summons an additional berserker and they each deal less damage (33% instead of 25% less damage.
  • Imagined Burden: This trait has been retired and been replaced with Vicious Expression.
  • Vicious Expression (NEW): You and your illusions deal increased damage to foes without boons. Disabling a foe removes 2 boons in PvE, and 1 boon in PvP and WvW.
  • Elusive Mind: This trait no longer stunbreaks or inflicts exhaustion. Increased the number of conditions cleansed from 1 to 3 in PvE, and to 2 in PvP and WvW.

Necromancer:

Necromancer has always been designed to be a resilient profession that was light on Stability. Since this update specifically is removing some stability from their traits we made sure to buff their stunbreak skills appropriately in response. Additionally we've fixed a few issues with minion responsiveness and buffed a few of the weaker minion command skills.

  • Well of Power: Reduced the cooldown of this ability from 40 to 30 seconds in PvE only.
  • Plague Signet: Reduced the cooldown of this ability from 30 to 25 seconds in PvE only.
  • Spectral Armor: Reduced the cooldown of this ability from 40 to 30 seconds in PvE only.
  • Spectral Walk: Reduced the cooldown of this ability from 40 to 30 seconds anid the swiftness duration from 30 to 24 seconds in PvE only.
  • "Nothing can save you!": This skill now applies 5 stacks of the new unblockable for a flat 10 seconds with an additional 2 stacks for each foe hit (see General section for more details).
  • Minions: Necromancer minions will now play an effect when commanded to indicate that they will be using a special skill.
  • Rigor Mortis (Bone Fiend Command Skill): Bone Fiend will now respond immediately when commanded, interrupting its current action to perform the special attack.
  • Haunt (Shadow Fiend Command Skill): Increased radius from 120 to 300.
  • Flesh Wurm: Reduced the cooldown of this abiltiy from 32 to 25 seconds in PvE only.
  • Necrotic Traversal (Flesh Wurm Command Skill): Increased radius from 180 to 240
  • Doom: This ability now has a cast time and inflicts fear on your foe at 640ms. The fear duration has been increased from 1 second at a distance or 1.5 seconds at close proximity to 2 seconds on successful hit regardless of distance.
  • Death's Carapace: Added visual effect for this buff that updates based on the number of stacks the player has.
  • Foot in the Grave: This trait has been retired and been replaced by Eternal Life.
  • Eternal Life (NEW): Gain life force constantly up to a threshold while not in shroud. (66% in PvE, 20% in PvP & WvW) Gain protection when you enter shroud.
  • Flesh of the Master: Fixed a bug that could cause Death's Carapace stacks to be applied incorrectly by this trait.

Ranger:

Soulbeasts, long standing without a tradeoff, are now receiving theirs - they lose combat access to a second pet and must choose carefully which pet they are going to be bonded with in battle.

  • Soulbeast: Soulbeasts can no longer swap pets while in combat. Merging and unmerging with your pet now counts as a pet swap for the purposes of the Clarion Bond and Zephyr's Speed traits.
  • Lightning Assault (Electric Wyvern): Added a 500ms warmup before the dash occurs.
  • Glyph of the Stars: Reduced the cooldown of this skill to 60 seconds from 90 seconds.
  • Call of the Wild: This skill now uses the new unblockable buff (see General section for more details).
  • Throw Torch: This skill now applies its effects in a 180 radius around the target struck by the torch.
  • Winter's Bite: This skill is now always AoE even when not traited with Honed Axes. Increased bleeding stacks in PvE from 2 to 3 and increased bleeding duration in PvE from 8 seconds to 12 seconds to match PvP/WvW version.
  • Honed Axes: Baseline ferocity is now also applied to your pet. No longer causes Winter's Bite to strike AoE.
  • Hunter's Tactics: This trait now increases damage when attacking from the side or behind by 10% in addition to its previous effects.
  • Lead the Wind: No longer grants swiftness when performing a projectile combo. Instead grants swiftness for 10 seconds and quickness for 5 seconds (2.5 seconds in PvP and WvW) when striking with an attack from beyond 1200 range. This effect has a 15 second cooldown.
  • Druidic Clarity: This trait no longer causes entering Celestial Avatar to stunbreak.
  • Unstoppable Union: This trait no longer causes entering Beastmode to stunbreak. Entering Beastmode now grants protection and vigor in addition to removing movement-impairing conditions.
  • Beastly Warden: This trait now has a 1 second delay before your pet taunts nearby enemies. Fixed a bug that could prevent this trait from working with underwater pets.
  • Clarion Bond: This trait now uses the new unblockable buff (see General section for more details).
  • Twice as Vicious: Increased the damage and condition damage bonuses granted by this trait from 5% to 10% in PvE only.

Revenant:

Revenants are seeing a large number of changes in this update. In addition to reworks of both the Devastation and Corruption trait lines we have also revisited several of their skills. Precision Strike has been reworked as an actual melee attack as we felt didn't really make sense for it to be a projectile skill. We have however kept its emphasis on single target damage if you can isolate a foe. Confusion has been removed from various Revenant skills as they didn't really have any meaningful ways to take advantage of it and instead we've replaced them with Torment which can be used in a more cohesive character build.

  • Surge of the Mists: Added a 500ms warmup before the dash occurs. The evasion granted by this skill is active during the warmup.
  • Temporal Rift: This skill no longer inflicts confusion. Increased amount of torment applied in PvE from 2 stacks to 4 stacks in PvE.
  • Rift Slash: Updated animation to be more prominent. Skill timing unchanged.
  • Precision Strike: This skill has been reworked into a new skill called Chilling Isolation. This skill is a 240 radius circular melee strike that chills up to 5 foes for two strikes. If the second strike hits only 1 foe it does bonus damage. Increased cooldown from 6 seconds to 8 seconds in PvP and WvW.
  • Banish Enchantment: This skill no longer inflicts confusion. Instead it inflicts chill for 1 second and removes 1 boon per hit. Number of hits increased from 1 to 3. Increase PvE damage by 380% (0.25 to 1.2). Damage in other modes increased by 20% (0.25 to 0.3)
  • Phase Traversal: This skill no longer increases damage for your next few attacks. Damage increased in PvE only by 100%. Cost raised from 30 to 35 in WvW to match PvP version.
  • Unwavering Avoidance: This trait now grants vigor instead of stability when evading an attack. The cooldown on this trait has been reduced to 5 seconds from 8 seconds.
  • Determined Resolution: This trait now reduces incoming damage while you have vigor instead of stability. It no longer increases the duration of stability.
  • Fierce Infusion: This trait has been retired and been replaced by Glaring Resolve.
  • Glaring Resolve (NEW): Gain stability and heal when you stunbreak.
  • Empty Vessel: This trait has been retired and been replaced by Contained Temper.
  • Contained Temper (NEW): Gain fury when you disable a foe.
  • Sudden Reversal: This trait has been retired and been replaced by Bold Reversal.
  • Bold Reversal: When you stunbreak, gain several offensive boons and full Kalla's Fervor.

Changes to the Devastation line are aimed at two major areas. The first is that several traits are highly niche such as Malicious Reprisal and Jade Echo. These traits are being removed and replaced with new traits that have more broad uses. The second issue is the opposite, some traits are too similar to each other such as Ferocious Strikes and Vicious Lacerations that they don't offer any meaningful choices. The siphoning traits are a part of this change and we are unifying the siphoning effect into a single buff for the combat log and making it a bigger part of the overall line. The new siphon effect named after Shiro's classic skill "Battle Scars" is a stacking buff that is expended when attacking and is more restricted in its applications but stronger than previous siphoning traits.

Devastation: The Devastation Trait line has been reworked, the new traits are as follows

  • Minor
    • Expose Defenses: No changes
    • Destructive Impulses (NEW): Outgoing damage is increased by 5% for each currently equipped weapon.
    • Targeted Destruction: This trait has moved to the Grandmaster minor slot.
  • Adept
    • Aggressive Agility (NEW): Movement skills remove immobilize.
    • Unsuspecting Strikes (NEW): Outgoing damage is increased when attacking a foe above 80% health. This damage increase is 25% in PvE and 10% in PvP/WvW.
    • Battle Scarred (NEW): Gain 5 stacks of Battle Scars after using your heal.
  • Master
    • Assassins Presence: Moved to the top slot in the same tier
    • Notoriety: This trait no longer grants bonus might when using Legendary Assassin skills.
    • Thrill of Combat (NEW): Grants 1 stack of Battle Scars every second while in combat.
  • Grandmaster
    • Brutality: Switched positions with Swift Termination.
    • Swift Termination: Switched positions with Brutality
    • Dance of Death (NEW): Each stack vulnerability applied to a foe grants a stack of Battle Scars. Battle Scars healing amount is doubled while you are below half health.

Similar to the Devastation rework we are also re-centering the Corruption line around a new mechanic. Invoke Torment occurs when switching legends and causes nearby foes to be inflicted with torment. This ability can be upgraded with the grandmasters based on your preferred playstyle. The boon removal traits have also been removed as we felt that they had trigger conditions that offered little gameplay. In exchange we've added a few new powerful traits with drawbacks as we feel this is in line with the spirit of the Mallyx line and skills like Pain Absorption.

Corruption:The Corruption line has been reworked, the new traits are as follows.

  • Minor
    • Invoking Torment (NEW): When you switch legends nearby foes are inflicted with Torment. This attack is called "Invoke Torment" and can be modified by other traits.
    • Seething Malice (NEW): Gain +120 condition damage.
    • Yearning Empowerment (REWORK): Increase duration of all damaging conditions by 10%.
  • Adept
    • Acolyte of Torment (NEW): Torment deals 10% more damage
    • Demonic Defiance: No changes
    • Replenishing Despair (REWORK): While upkeeping a skill you gain +1 energy regeneration. Additionally you self-inflict 1 stack of torment for 5 seconds every second.
  • Master
    • Abyssal Chill : This trait has moved to a new location in the same tier.
    • Demonic Resistance: This trait has moved to a new location in the same tier. This trait no longer grants vitality based on condition damage. Increased damage resistance in PvE from 20% to 33%. Competitive modes remain at 20% reduction.
    • Pact of Pain (NEW): Conditions you apply to foes last 15% longer. Conditions applied to you last 10% longer.
  • Grandmaster
    • Diabolic Inferno (REWORK): Invoke Torment inflicts burning and poison
    • Fiendish Tenacity (NEW): Invoke Torment grants resistance. Resistance heals you every second it is active.
    • Permeating Pestilence (RENAME): Invoke Torment transfers conditions to struck foes.

Thief:

Thief pistol has been updated some to better smooth its gameplay and its associated trait (and harpoon gun's), Ankle Shots, has been replaced with a new trait - Deadly Aim, which causes attacks from those weapons to pierce, allowing for strategic movement and positioning relative to your foes.

  • Vital Shot: Updated icon of this ability.
  • Body Shot: This ability has been renamed to Bolas Shot, had its description and icon updated.
  • Head Shot: Increased the daze caused by this skill from 0.25 to 2 seconds, in PvE only.
  • Black Powder: Increased the radius of the area of blinding and smoke field around the thief from 120 to 180. Updated the description of this skill.
  • Ankle Shots: This trait has been replaced by Deadly Aim.
  • Deadly Aim (NEW): This trait causes your pistol and harpoon gun abilities to pierce, affecting up to five enemies, but reducing damage inflicted by those skills by 5%.
  • Trick Shot: Updated the description of this ability to better reflect its function.
  • Disabling Shot: Updated the description of this ability to better reflect its function.
  • Choking Gas: This ability now dazes foes on its initial impact rather than when they are above a poison stack threshold. The daze duration has been increased from 0.5s to 1s. Increased initiative cost from 4 to 6 in PvP and WvW.

Thief Bundles: We did a pass on all thief bundles and found several that were using some pretty old numbers. We've done a tuning pass on these to make sure that they feel impactful enough in PvE for both power and condition spec builds.

  • Branch Bash: Increased damage by 100% (0.75 to 1.5)
  • Elixir of Heroes: Reduced cast time from 1 second to 0.5 seconds.
  • Eat Egg: Reduced cast time from 1 second to 0.5 seconds. Increased initiative gain from 6 to 8.
  • Ice Shard Stab: Reduced chill duration from 10 seconds to 6 seconds. Increased damage by 100% (1 to 2)
  • Rusty Scrap Strike: Increased damage by 200% (0.5 to 1.5) Increased bleeding stacks from 3 to 6. Increased poison stacks from 1 to 3. Decreased duration of all conditions from 10 seconds to 6 seconds.
  • Shoot Rifle: Increased vulnerability stacks from 1 to 10. Reduced vulnerability duration from 15 seconds to 10 seconds.
  • Throw Coral Shard: Increased damage by 25% (1 to 1.25)
  • Throw Crystal Shard: Increased damage by 66% (0.6 to 1)
  • Throw Lava Rock: Increased damage by 300% (0.25 to 1). Decreased burning duration from 15 seconds to 6 seconds. Increased burning stacks from 1 to 3.
  • Throw Rock: Updated skill fact to show correct knockdown duration of 2 seconds. Increased damage by 50% (1 to 1.5)
  • Throw Scale: Increased damage by 200% (0.5 to 1.5) Increased bleeding stacks from 1 to 3. Decreased poison duration from 20 second to 10 seconds. Increased poison stacks from 1 to 3.
  • Tooth Stab: Increased damage by 166% (0.75 to 2) Decreased bleeding duration from 60 seconds to 10 seconds. Increased bleeding stacks from 1 to 6.
  • Use Staff: Increased damage from chain lightning effect by 50% (0.8 to 1.2)

Warrior:

Warrior's rifle has been somewhat lackluster in its gameplay feel, so we're updating it to create some rotations by giving its 2-4 skills ammunition, shorter cooldowns between uses and slightly longer cooldowns to recover shots, plus successfully using Rifle Butt will allow the rapid recovery of the ammunition for those skills. Warrior hammer has a pretty good gameplay cadence, so we're pushing a bit further on what it does well - hurting crowd controlled enemies. Its iconic second skill, Fierce Blow, now does significantly greater damage to disabled foes, and Backbreaker will automatically recharge fierce blow for immediate use when you successfully knockdown an enemy.

  • Aimed Shot: This skill now has 2 ammunition, a 3 second recharge between uses and recovers ammunition every 10 seconds.
  • Volley: This skill now has 2 ammunition, a 5 second recharge between uses and recovers ammunition every 12 seconds.
  • Brutal Shot: This skill now has 2 ammunition, a 8 second recharge between uses and recovers ammunition every 20 seconds.
  • Rifle Butt: Increased the recharge of this skill from 15 seconds to 20 seconds. If you strike a foe with this ability then all other rifle skills recover 1 ammunition. Slowed down the animation so the knockback occurs at 600ms (up from 367ms)
  • Fierce Blow: Increased the damage dealt to disabled foes by 25% (2.16 to 2.7) in PvE only.
  • Backbreaker: This skill now recharges Fierce Blow if you knockdown a foe or strike an enemy with a breakbar.
  • Disrupting Stab: This skill now extends the 0.25 second daze when used against foes using skills rather than stunning them. Extended daze is 1.5 seconds in PvE and 1 second in PvP/WvW. Removed bonus damage. Base damage increased by 50% (0.8 to 1.2 multiplier) in PvE only.
  • Imminent Threat: Slowed down the animation so the taunt occurs at 600ms (up from 333ms)
  • Signet of Might: Now gives 10 stacks of the new unblockable buff for 6 seconds (see General section for more details).
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"Obsidian Flesh: This skill now locks the player's skill bar while invulnerable."

Why? Where was this an issue? So many other classes have aegis / distorts /multiple dodges etc and this was the one thing I got as condi weaver that allowed me to ignore a mechanic or 2 in raids, if I ensured I was in the right attunement at the right time. What's wrong with condi weaver having a 4sec invuln occasionally?

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Deadly Aim is a welcome trait. Not quite Ricochet, but I hope it will still have the same satisfying impactful feel. That change to Head Shot is pretty big; it should deal some wicked defiance bar damage now! I should consider changing my Night sigil on pistols for an Impact sigil now. Choking Gas change is also much appreciated to make use of the skill both in solo/group play more skillful than just spamming 4 until the poison racks up.

Elixir of Heroes cast time cut should be effective for bosses like Captain Mai Trin and Arkk. Though I'm thinking with Eat Egg, you might as well just make it replenish initiative completely to simplify its effect!

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Nerfs all around, understandable, fine, probably deserved. Stuff does too much damage in this game. But even if you're not going to make zerker useable or any of the condi weapon skills fun or good. PLEASE at least, if nothing else do something with the torch trait, & INCREASE THE PROJECTILE SPEED ON WARRIOR LONGBOW so it's actually somewhat usable.

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It'll remain to be seen where all the professions land after all of these changes are made together, but I'm baffled by a couple major things on engineer, specifically:

  • Turrets remain completely untouched since before the launch of HoT, and are still untouched here and will continue to be entirely unused. To emphasize it further, that is the better part of 4-5 years since an entire skill category was effectively removed from all modes via a balance patch, and now they have still received no changes in what may be the biggest competitive patch the game has ever seen.
  • There is a lack of attention given to engineer support capabilities. Every single profession has some sort of valuable support build(s) available, even thief with venomous aura. Engineer has two support lines (alchemy and inventions) and neither gives options for group boon support. At a maximum, engineers can spec for healing but this requires using the healing kit, which replaces all of your weapon skills and gives very few boons or ways to deal damage because you lose your weapons and also cannot equip other kits.

It's a good sign that you're willing to issue balance mandates in competitive modes and enforce sweeping changes, but I think PvE will need a complete systemic look on the same scale as well.

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I know people's first reaction is going to be to comb through all of this and start pouring in the feedback, and I'm glad they will cause I certainly don't have the knowledge nor opinion to do so. But it's obvious a lot of effort went into trying to do this thing the community's really wanted right, and I can at least appreciate that.

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I strongly suggest to nerf Feel My Wrath in PvE as well, as it makes best in slot comps stack Guardians instead of having a dedicated Quickness buffer, locking out other dps specs from taking that slot. Guardian (both DH and FB) are already on the strong side - dps wise - as they are. Giving DH another dmg modifier (Virtues) will be an overkill. FB is also already having over 40k burst, scratching the 37k on the final number on the golem. Even tho those numbers will go down depending on how much Quickness you're gonna provide, a profession becomes problematic if it provides (partial) Quickness and high tier dps at the same time. This is very unhealthy for the diversity / viablity of multiple dps specs in raids.

Aside from that (yes there are still many things that are not addressed here, but regarding the ones that are) it looks great tbh. :)

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@"Irenio CalmonHuang.2048" said:

General:

  • Auras: Aura effects have been updated to be larger and more noticeable. The previous aura effects are now used for auras on allies and for all characters viewed by PvP spectators when the "Effect LoD" option is checked in the graphics settings. Buff icons used for auras have been updated for consistency.Don’t forget to adjust Light Aura, since it still uses the “old” effect and never have been updated. The problem of the current effect is, that the aura is much too big on Norn and way too small on Asura (effect clips with the body). I hope, that the effects of Light Aura are being updated for both new models (“reduced” version on others; “full” version on yourself).
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God bless, PBM Holo is alive again. I feel like the workaround you chose to balance the different grandmaster choices for overheating is reasonably adequate.Although I don't really get the changes to Overcharged Shot and Battering Ram I'm now motivated to login for more than just the login rewards when this hits.

The Soulbeast tradeoff also seems reasonable. Now I'm just curious when you will finally add a tradeoff for guard e-specs. x)

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Since you are going to take bonus toughness off of Ele, and you said "We're planning many changes of this nature" can you also take it off of Soulbeast and Firebrand? While we're at it, can we take the bonus toughness out of Weaver's Elemental Polyphony?

Power Soulbeasts take Pack Alpha, which boosts all their attributes (including toughness) by 150, because being merged with a pet gives the Soulbeast bonuses affecting their pet.

All Firebrands have Imbued Haste, which gives 250 increased toughness so long as they have Quickness, and they will have permanent quickness in a raid/fractal setting.

With love,Every skilled tank who'd rather play with 1005 toughness (because toughness itself is just useless and only taken for taking aggro.)

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@KidRoleplay.3615 said:I'm a bit confused about the wording of the Revenant trait changes in the Corruption spec. If I'm reading it right, if you don't pick Invoking Torment in the minor tier, this means none of the Grandsmaster tier traits work?

Invoking Torment is Minor, so it's not chooseable. Adept/Master/Grandmaster are so it seems reasonable.

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@Irenio CalmonHuang.2048Bountiful Blades (NEW): Mirror Blades bounces 2 additional times. Phantasmal Berserker summons an additional berserker and they each deal less damage (33% instead of 25% less damage.With how the bouncing reduces damage for each bounce, wouldnt this trait make mirror blade do less damage with the trait then without it?cant really run math on it since I dont know how -15% dmg ( for each bounce would scale ) alongside with ( -25% from trait )

Also Also, consider making Mirror blade focus on the target it was cast on, expecially now since it bounces even more, and since trait increases bounces it can in fact make this ability more unreliable AND lower its damage.thoughts ?

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Aim Assisted Rocket (REWORK): Rockets are now only fired on critical hits. Rocket recharge reduced from 10 seconds to 3 seconds. Rockets now require the engineer to be at least 450 distance from the target to fire. Every 5th rocket instead calls an orbital strike.

at least 450 distance? That's kinda silly. I always found Engineer to work best in melee range, especially Holo. This trait would be absolutely lack luster for Power DPS (and somewhat condi, because, while it would give a lot of vulnerability to the enemy, but its mainly a power damage trait, not condi). If it were within the range threshold of 450, that would have a big impact on Power DPS and would DEFINITELY have more synergy with other traits than being at least 450 distance away.

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@"Aerythia.6415" said:"Obsidian Flesh: This skill now locks the player's skill bar while invulnerable."

Why? Where was this an issue? So many other classes have aegis / distorts /multiple dodges etc and this was the one thing I got as condi weaver that allowed me to ignore a mechanic or 2 in raids, if I ensured I was in the right attunement at the right time. What's wrong with condi weaver having a 4sec invuln occasionally?

Exactly this. If it is too strong, maybe nerf it to 2sec or something like this. It's our only "block" and only usable if we have earth attunement on our offhand.I really would hate to loose this skill for raids. And not beeing allowed to do anything for 4sec is too much for raids.

Other idea: allow us to end the invul sooner if we want to? Just please don't destroy this skill completely for raids.

Edit:The Stone Flesh change is great.Could it also be applied to Elemental Polyphony? (Weaver grandmaster minor, 120 Toughness while on earth) This is the same problem as Stone Flesh.

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I don't understand why they make those "Obsidian Flesh" changes in PVE. If this skill will lock the sklllbar it will make me avoid using it even on situations where defensive skills are needed. It's a strong skill I'm not going to deny that but this change makes it so bad it's not funny. Honestly I would prefer that "Obsidian Flesh" roots me instead of locking my skillbar.Also odd how you don't even touch friebrand. It's not like this class is by far the most asked for class in pvp,raids,strike,etc which makes other support roles useless in comparison.

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So the only good skill on Warrior's rifle was nerfed hard to give more uses of the other incredibly bad ones? How's that a positive change? Please give the weapon better utility or identity and make Brutal Shot less clunky at least! I don't know how a skill like Brutal Shot exists compared to Quick Shot on Ranger and Disabling Shot on Thief!

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Thief Bundles: We did a pass on all thief bundles and found several that were using some pretty old numbers. We've done a tuning pass on these to make sure that they feel impactful enough in PvE for both power and condition spec builds.

Neato. Will these changes also affect the pickup skills from Ranger Porcine pets' F2 Forage skills?If not, will the Porcine F2 skills be updated to something... less unwieldy? Piggy please?

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