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Balance Update Update - Global


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  • ArenaNet Staff

Firstly:Thanks for the feedback from the balance preview posts (original global preview).Sweet feedback, salty feedback, spicy feedback it's all deeply appreciated as long as it is kept civil.
We got these additional changes for upcoming update that'll likely be in the late notes, so if you don't see them in the immediate release notes, these changes'll still be there.

New Changes:Feel My Wrath (FMW) was near the top of our list for adjustments for PvE and your feedback pushed it to be unsplit from PvP & WvW now rather than later.

With the balance update, across all modes, Feel My Wrath will be:Cooldown 35 secondsQuickness - 5 secondsFury - 10 seconds

As per the preview with Stone Flesh, we don't like that a minor trait gives you toughness and can make your elementalist a target in some of our content when that's not the goal of your build. We'll keep finding more places to adjust this, and the solution won't be the same in all places.

We didn't have the opportunity this time to hit all of these cases so if you see something missing it is because we couldn't get to it this time. It's still on the list to adjust Soon.

  • Weaver's Elemental Polyphany will grant vitality instead of toughness while attuned to earth.
  • Firebrand's Imbued Haste will grant vitality instead of toughness while you have quickness.

As a sidenote to this specific type of change: This is NOT something that we're changing if it is a major trait choice for this reason alone. If there are other reasons for changing traits, we'll look at this independently.

Other traits with this behavior that we'll be looking at along these lines are:

  • Spiked Armor
  • Thick Skin
  • Pack Alpha (with SB)
  • Armored Shroud

While we won't be able to get in more changes after this week for this release, we'll be taking notes for the future.

Please keep posting your civil, sweet, salty and spicy feedback.-The Systems Team

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Re: Throw Mine, was it an explicit decision to keep the buffed 3-boon strip only to PvP? That is, do you see more boonstrip in PvE as being potentially overpowered? It's already a seldom-used skill in PvE, but the boonstrip would be nice to give it some use there (e.g. being useful in Fractals with No Pain, No Gain).

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Its good to see that FMW is being changed, but I don't think this change is not big enough to shake up the meta. You can still keep up quickness with 4 dh's and a chrono in the other subgroup.

Also Time Warp deserves a similar nerf as FMW, especially with the buffs to power chrono coming up with the patch.

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Is there anyone on the balance team who can explain why Soulbeast can't swap pets mid-fight in this next update? We're this late into the game and this is an inane change. If you're looking to add drawbacks, there already is one by swapping pets, there's a LARGE cooldown upon unmerging/swapping/merging back, and it doesn't make sense in a PvE perspective. There's nothing innately broken about Soulbeast in general when it comes to swapping pets, it's a direct nerf to Condi Soulbeasts already VERY lacking CC, and a very annoying change to anyone who plays the Power Variant.This change seems like an absolute joke.

Auto-ignoring anyone responding with the same gibberish "nerf meta' attitude, genuinely looking for an answer from the devs on this one.

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I'm sure I can speak for the majority of the high-end PvE community that the ''Feel My Wrath!'' change is very welcome and I'm very happy to see it's seeing some adjustments. But looking at some quick math and numbers I feel the nerf isn't severe enough. We're looking at only a 4.37% lower uptime on quickness (with alacrity not counting the casttime) from it after the changes (going from 22.22% to 17.85% with alacrity) and while it's good to have it less frontloaded and being able to stack it with temporary boon durations and such, it feels to me it's not quite enough to make an impact.

I do not want to see the skill nerfed into the ground, nor do I want any kind of Guardian to fade away from raids once again, but as long as Guardian can provide a chunk of quickness with little to no loss it will still have an edge over any other class that is not able to provide the same. Another alternative to the Guardian stacking meta is simply lowering the class' damage and giving them a DPS-based elite. This way you would either decide between providing quickness or doing better damage.

I would highly encourage doing a second pass over ''Feel My Wrath!'' and see if it can be nudged just a little further. It's getting there and it's definitely a step in the right direction, but from my perspective it's just not quite there yet. Make Guardians invest into some boon duration if they want to keep up quickness.

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The Feel my Wratch change in most cases is actually leading to the opposite you intend.The problem with it was guardian stacking ( either Firebrand or Dragonhunter).

So after some simple math you can still stack Firebrands in the way you did before without dropping quickness. And you can still stack DHs as before as long as you have 1 Chrono in your squad (which was already needed before ).

Here a simple example:

Old shout 45 seconds cd - 8 seconds of quicknes : With alacrity: 36 seconds cd- 8 seconds of quickness ( so with 3 dhs in a subgrp, the chrono overflow quickness had to fill 12 seconds )

New shout 35 seconds cd- 5 seconds of quickness : With alacrity: 28 seconds cd- 5 seconds os quickness ( so with 3 dhs in a subgrp, the chrono overflow quickness has to fill 13 seconds ) WILL NOT CHANGE ANYTHING

on firebrand it is also still enough quickness if you have 3 of them in each subrgp with liberators vow and quickness shout.

LEADS ME TO THE POINT WHERE THIS CHANGE MAKES IT ACTUALLY WORSE:Fractals: in high end fractals there are quite a few encounters where you were able to synergize moa stance of the slb and a quickness shout to just get enough quickness for the phase (namely 16 seconds ) now you can just generate 10 seconds this way. Sure you might wanna think: "ok the dh has to go firebrand then " but if you face reality " you will just replace 1 dps class with ANOTHER dh to actually have enough quickness for the entire thing.

Conclusion: you tried to avoid guardian stacking in raids... which you failed on dear ArenaNet and managed to create a demand for guardian stacking in some fractal encounters (i am speaking of high end grps ) where it was not actually needed before.THANKS FOR THAT!

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To add to what Bovan said above, I would love to propose a change that I feel is more in place instead of overall nerfing the ability. The problem with the aforementioned change is that it hits solo players just as much as it hits stacking. This is in my opinion the wrong way to go and I would love to see it changed in a way that reduces the effectiveness to allies and keeps the standard duration on yourself, so instead of the change make it along the lines of:

Cooldown(45s)Self-Quickness(8s)Allies-Quickness(4s)Target cap(5)

This design is already seen in stance sharing from Soulbeast, and in my opinion would perfectly fit this skill aswell, basically killing it's effectiveness in stacking quickness for a longer duration in a group, but making it still very valuable in solo play.

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Why not just drop toughness and vitality from Imbued Haste altogether? Healing power and condition damage is relevant already as a minor trait.

Whereas elemental polyphony is controlled by the player, it is quite possible quickness ends when you don't want it to if you're not the only quickness source. Because 250 vitality lost can result in dying (i.e. if you just took a hit from a large damage attack , since guardians only have ~11K base HP), I really don't think that's a worthwhile addition to the trait. The same goes for WvW/PvP if it is changed from +150 toughness to vitality.

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:(. I was hoping this small update was going to say you had realised your error in globally changing Obsidian Flesh, and would now limit the change to PvP and Wvw only. Because Obsidian Flesh isn't causing any unfair balance issues in PvE right? I hardly see my raid groups full of Condi Weavers when condi DPS is asked for....!!! Instead I see loads of Firebrands, who can Aegis themselves when they feel like it, or Mirages with continual dodges. Obsidian flesh hardly makes Condi Weaver the go to class... I rarely see others...

So can this skill please be split, so that I don't get punished for accidentally fat fingering it in the middle of a raid and getting locked out of my skills for 4 seconds. The change basically makes a situationally useful skill into an utterly useless one that might as well be deleted from the skill bar, something you'll never want to use in PvE. As condi Weaver is a DPS build, you're not going to want to not DPS for 4 seconds ever.

Please, please, split this skill change. From what I understand it caused some issues in PvP and solo WvW builds, but causes zero issue in PvE.

Save my niche little skill from damnation :(.

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@Aerythia.6415 said::(. I was hoping this small update was going to say you had realised your error in globally changing Obsidian Flesh, and would now limit the change to PvP and Wvw only. Because Obsidian Flesh isn't causing any unfair balance issues in PvE right? I hardly see my raid groups full of Condi Weavers when condi DPS is asked for....!!! Instead I see loads of Firebrands, who can Aegis themselves when they feel like it, or Mirages with continual dodges. Obsidian flesh hardly makes Condi Weaver the go to class... I rarely see others...

So can this skill please be split, so that I don't get punished for accidentally fat fingering it in the middle of a raid and getting locked out of my skills for 4 seconds. The change basically makes a situationally useful skill into an utterly useless one that might as well be deleted from the skill bar, something you'll never want to use in PvE. As condi Weaver is a DPS build, you're not going to want to not DPS for 4 seconds ever.

Please, please, split this skill change. From what I understand it caused some issues in PvP and solo WvW builds, but causes zero issue in PvE.

Save my niche little skill from damnation :(.

I agree with @Aerythia.6415 re: the Obsidian Flesh change. It should be kept as it currently is in PvE, but it definitely should be changed in PvP/WvW. Most long-time Elementalist players will agree, considering the feedback I saw in the original post. The 50-second cooldown balances it out pretty nicely as is in PvE, since it's pretty much already a waste to use it recklessly.

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Echoing what some of the others have said here. Is there a specific reason to not just give damage reduction instead of Toughness for traits like Elemental Polyphany and Imbued Haste? Random Vitality adjustments don't affect aggro, but it certainly is wonky when suddenly you being low on HP after a big hit causes you to drop when that bonus Vitality ends. Damage reduction wouldn't have this issue, and would keep with what I assume was the spirit of the original incarnation of the trait making you take less damage.

Also, please seriously consider the Obsidian Flesh change on Ele Earth Focus 5 into a PvP/WvW only change. I really don't like the idea of even accidentally pressing 5 on Condi Weaver suddenly causing me to be unable to do anything for several seconds. Mesmers can still fight while they have Distortion going, let Eles do the same.

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@"Irenio CalmonHuang.2048" said:Firstly:Thanks for the feedback from the balance preview posts (original global preview).Sweet feedback, salty feedback, spicy feedback it's all deeply appreciated as long as it is kept civil.

We got these additional changes for upcoming update that'll likely be in the late notes, so if you don't see them in the immediate release notes, these changes'll still be there.

New Changes:Feel My Wrath (FMW) was near the top of our list for adjustments for PvE and your feedback pushed it to be unsplit from PvP & WvW now rather than later.

With the balance update, across all modes, Feel My Wrath will be:Cooldown 35 secondsQuickness - 5 secondsFury - 10 seconds

As per the preview with Stone Flesh, we don't like that a minor trait gives you toughness and can make your elementalist a target in some of our content when that's not the goal of your build. We'll keep finding more places to adjust this, and the solution won't be the same in all places.

We didn't have the opportunity this time to hit all of these cases so if you see something missing it is because we couldn't get to it this time. It's still on the list to adjust Soon.

  • Weaver's Elemental Polyphany will grant vitality instead of toughness while attuned to earth.
  • Firebrand's Imbued Haste will grant vitality instead of toughness while you have quickness.

As a sidenote to this specific type of change: This is NOT something that we're changing if it is a major trait choice for this reason alone. If there are other reasons for changing traits, we'll look at this independently.

Other traits with this behavior that we'll be looking at along these lines are:

  • Spiked Armor
  • Thick Skin
  • Pack Alpha (with SB)
  • Armored Shroud

While we won't be able to get in more changes after this week for this release, we'll be taking notes for the future.

Please keep posting your civil, sweet, salty and spicy feedback.-The Systems Team

Can spiked instead be +10 toughness per might stack, or at least a better source of retaliation? Can Thick Skin be a flat 5% damage reduction on some condition, like being within 600 units of the the attacking for?

I know that Last Stand is slated for an overhaul. Can it instead function like Berserker's Power but for damage reduction or toughness?

Throwing ideas out there, but don't want something op.

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Still looking for competitive mode changes to Revenant weapon animation times to be split and for old, faster times to be re-implemented, like with Shackling Wave being restored to the previous animation time for PvE and no build up for Surge of the Mists in PvE, since it literally serves no purpose outside of PvP balance except to reduce out overall numbers and become less effective in PvE content.

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  • ArenaNet Staff

Regarding FMW changes - we're going to see how things land after this set of changes and adjust further, if needed. We're not trying to take FMW out entirely - it should still be a decent source of group quickness, but it shouldn't be leading to stuff as dominant as it currently is.
With some of the other changes coming in this patch, including a bugfix to Zealous Blades still granting 10% damage when it wasn't supposed to, there are enough moving pieces that we don't want to do so large a takedown that something becomes unused entirely.


@Kamui.3150Thanks for askin' about those bits.

There are a couple reasons why DR doesn't work well as a substitution for Toughness on those Polyphany and Imbued Haste.

  • A bigger reason: DR works differently from toughness - it doesn't scale back like toughness does. It is generally additive and this can be very dangerous when stacking multiple forms of DR. There are a few cases where we've been able to make it multiplicative, but those are, frankly, really not pretty on the backend.
  • A smaller reason: It reads really poorly on traits where multiple attributes are being granted. It goes from being +flat +flat +flat, to +flat +flat +percent. This is something we avoid whenever possible.

On +Vitality instead of +Toughness, the way that it works: Your percentage of health, at the time your vitality changes, scales to your new maximum.

ex. If you're at 100% health and gain 100 Vitality, you'll gain 1000 health to fill the new max +1000 health you've got. If you're at 80% health, you'll get 800 health. If you lose some health and are at 20% health when the vitality goes away, you'll only lose 200 health (keeping you at the same overall 20% health).

To be clear, if anyone is concerned about dying due to a vitality loss - don't be. If someone is at 1 health and 250 vitality goes away, that's not going to ever round up to 1 health for them to lose; they'll remain at 1 health.


Regarding Obsidian Flesh - This is something on our list to look at to address in a different way in the not-distant future and we've got a few ideas, but there isn't time to prototype and get these tested and QA'd. We're going to be looking at this to give you more potential control and address some of the concerns you've raised in this (and other) threads.

I want to quickly expand on this, because this comes up a fair amount regularly:We aren't going to split core functionality between game modes.

In general, core functionality includes:

Cast TimesMissile VelocityRangeRadiusPulse Intervals

...and other stuff too, but basically the stuff that changes the way the skill plays.

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@Irenio CalmonHuang.2048 said:

  • Weaver's Elemental Polyphany will grant vitality instead of toughness while attuned to earth.
  • Firebrand's Imbued Haste will grant vitality instead of toughness while you have quickness.

As a sidenote to this specific type of change: This is NOT something that we're changing if it is a major trait choice for this reason alone. If there are other reasons for changing traits, we'll look at this independently.

Other traits with this behavior that we'll be looking at along these lines are:

  • Spiked Armor
  • Thick Skin
  • Pack Alpha (with SB)
  • Armored Shroud

How is this going to work with Pack Alpha? Will it be a simple nerf, so that Rangers receive the 150 boost to all except toughness? Would that extra 150 end up moved into vitality? Or % damage reduction instead of toughness?

With Armored Shroud, if you change toughness to vitality, that is going to impact shroud duration, or are you considering simple damage reduction instead of toughness?

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@Irenio CalmonHuang.2048 said:

  • Weaver's Elemental Polyphany will grant vitality instead of toughness while attuned to earth.
  • Firebrand's Imbued Haste will grant vitality instead of toughness while you have quickness.

Feedback on this bit: a good change that toughness is coming off, but vitality feels like a bit of a shaky choice here. Is it possible to change the toughness component to armor instead? That would make it functionally identical but solve the raid boss aggro problem.

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I'm very glad you guys listened on the toughness topics I pointed out in the other thread. I feel like you addressed them perfectly. Vitality is a much better substitute for toughness in both cases.

Now, for the matter of the oppressive FMW meta that others have posted. Reducing the recharge time at the same time as nerfing the quickness duration is actually a nearly net-zero change in the scope of where FMW is broken: stacking Dragonhunters/Firebrands in raid content. They can just take turns firing the skill to keep quickness up in their subgroup long enough to phase a boss, thereby doing higher damage as 5 DPS than 4 DPS and a dedicated quickness generator with boon duration geared.

To appropriately catch this problem, you need to take away the DPS's easy access to quickness. Move the quickness off of FMW, to the never-used Firebrand elite, Portent of Freedom! (The parent Elite is Mantra of Liberation) Make this give just 2s of quickness, and your Support FBs will easily make use of it, by throwing 2 of the charges out for easy Retal and Quickness seeding. Pure DPS classes, on the other hand, will struggle much more because of the internal quickness cap of 5 and needing to micromanage quickness applications. (Dragonhunters won't even have access to it!)

As for FMW, for those who feel like they have enough Quickness through traits and abilities, this skill should provide a different boon. Why not a solid 5 stacks of Might?

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@"Irenio CalmonHuang.2048"Thanks a bunch for addressing my concerns. Since I was mistaken about how dynamic Vitality affects your HP, I'm glad to know I won't need to worry about dropping dead when a buff effect ends if I was in devastating straits (ha ha!). I'm also very glad to know that the current upcoming iteration of Obsidian Flesh is being looked at, and is acknowledged as not a quite ideal solution. While we're looking at traits, I don't suppose looking at Rock Solid would be a worthwhile endeavor? A Master trait that only gives 1 stack of Stability in a very pitiful range around you for 2 seconds when Attuning to Earth (and doesn't even properly work if double Attuning when you're a Weaver and already have Earth in your mainhand) seems a bit lacking to say the least.

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