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Balance Update Update - WvW


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  • ArenaNet Staff

Hi Everyone,

We wanted to swing by with an update on the balance patch and respond to some of the main feedback points that we’ve seen. At this point we’re mostly locked down for the release, but we’re still gathering feedback and continuing some investigation for future work.

For reference, the initial post can be found here: https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/96750/balance-patch-preview-wvw

StabilityThe biggest point of feedback that we’ve seen on the WvW side of things is the concern about longer cooldowns on stability skills and the effect it will have on large scale engagements. Based on that feedback, we won’t be applying most of these changes in WvW for the initial update. Stability is still something that we want to keep an eye on, but we want to see how everything adjusts before making larger changes to these skills.

Notably this includes

  • Stand Your Ground
  • Mantra of Liberation, Portent of Freedom, and Unhindered Delivery
  • Mantra of Concentration and Power Break
  • Defense Field
  • Dolyak Stance
  • Balanced Stance
  • Dolyak Signet

Note that Stand Your Ground will still be 5 targets. Bringing 10-target skills back down to 5 is something we want to do across the game outside of PvE, though for this update we weren’t able to address target cap increases granted by traits. The change that was made to Sand Savant was an exceptional case and not a true split, but we felt it was a necessary change to address the impact that Scourge was having on WvW. Our plan moving forward is that target cap increases granted by traits will be rolled in baseline for PvE, which will then allow us to split the number of targets on an individual skill-level instead of removing trait functionality.

General balance concernsWe’ve read all the feedback and seen the concerns about future metas and the viability of certain professions and specializations after the update. After the patch goes out, we’ll be continuing to iterate as we gather more data and feedback based on actual gameplay. We’re prepared to act quickly in response to anything egregious that pops up, whether it’s an individual build greatly overperforming or a heavy skew of the meta in any particular fashion (unkillable tanks, dominant condition builds pushing out any power builds, etc). Once any major wrinkles are ironed out, we’ll settle back into the faster cadence that we mentioned previously as we work toward improving balance across the board.

Additional changes (minus the previously mentioned stability skills)

  • Concealing Restoration: Reduced stealth duration from 2 seconds to 1 second.
  • Rending Shade: Reduced number of boons stolen from 2 to 1.
  • Assassin's Signet: Increased cooldown from 20 seconds to 30 seconds.
  • Leeching Venoms: Reduced maximum stacks of spider venom provided by this trait from 6 to 2.
  • Malicious Backstab: Reduced power coefficients from 1.2/2.4 to 0.9/1.8
  • Smokescreen: Increased cooldown from 35 seconds to 45 seconds
  • Lightning Rod: Reduced power coefficient from 1.5 to 1.2

We’ve also seen the feedback around Dragon Banner and we’re looking into some slight tweaks on the damage there. We’ll be keeping a close eye on siege damage and banner effectiveness relative to player skills and will make further adjustments as necessary.

There’s still a lot of work to do, but this update should give us a good starting point to build from and we’re excited to see where things go.-The Systems Team

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Why does the balance patch list the PvP CD's and not the WvW ones? Dolyak says it will be increased from 40 to 60 but it is 30 in WvW, same with a few other skills.

I still think 18 seconds on meld swoop for SB is too long compared to other abilities, 15 would be more fair.

You also seem to be nerfing Deadeye when the concern is actual builds to be too good for Thief, like condi DD or sword DD, not cheese builds which will now be gutted to unviability when the backstab build folded to any tanky target. My concern being that balancing is done from the bottom up instead of from the top down.

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Winds of Disenchantment still needs a look at, it's a welcome change that it's only 5 targets now, but it's one of the most obnoxious skill in the game with the trait enchantment collapse especially when a group has a lot of spellbreakers. A tweak to it's duration or boon removal interval would be good, with enchantment collapse trait getting a higher than 1s icd.

It's close to impossible to do anything when the enemies just rush you with more bubbles when they are bigger, and then when the duration goes down, they come with another set of bubbles and keep repeating it (effectively chaining bubbles) until you are dead and there's not much to do about it at that point. It hurts the smaller groups.

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You should consider how you nerf the base values of supportive healing skills in comparison to the much harsher nerfs you've applied to the healing power ratios of those skills (this goes for PvP too). There is literally no reason to use healing power if most of the value of the heals are just given for free; fully investing in healing power with the current changes merely negates an auto-attack's worth of damage (at best) per heal.

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@Fashion Mage.3712 said:You should consider how you nerf the base values of supportive healing skills in comparison to the much harsher nerfs you've applied to the healing power ratios of those skills (this goes for PvP too). There is literally no reason to use healing power if most of the value of the heals are just given for free; fully investing in healing power with the current changes merely negates an auto-attack's worth of damage (at best) per heal.

It's probably their way of trying to stop people from going minstrels or full healer I'm guessing. Well we'll have to see after patch if it is viable to drop minstrels or not. It could be the return of cele.

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Guilds in WvW have been dropping like flies due to there being no new changes to the game mode for years. Will there be any plans to implement a tournament system similar to PvP monthlies for guilds to compete against each other and earn rewards? A system like this can really help to keep the WvW scene alive while providing fun and engaging content every month.

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@Anput.4620 said:Why does the balance patch list the PvP CD's and not the WvW ones? Dolyak says it will be increased from 40 to 60 but it is 30 in WvW, same with a few other skills.

_

@ollbirtan.2915 said:

@Anput.4620 said:Why does the balance patch list the PvP CD's and not the WvW ones? Dolyak says it will be increased from 40 to 60 but it is 30 in WvW, same with a few other skills.

Because the devs can't tell the difference and blanket nerf wvw and pvp alike? Why not copy paste their 'thank you for your feedback' message as well? shrug

Because the change was intended to be pushed out with the initial update, but they have since walked back on that based on feedback so that they can instead monitor how it plays out after the update without changing the skills.

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@TidalTrident.4013 said:

@Fashion Mage.3712 said:You should consider how you nerf the base values of supportive healing skills in comparison to the much harsher nerfs you've applied to the healing power ratios of those skills (this goes for PvP too). There is literally no reason to use healing power if most of the value of the heals are just given for free; fully investing in healing power with the current changes merely negates an auto-attack's worth of damage (at best) per heal.

It's probably their way of trying to stop people from going minstrels or full healer I'm guessing. Well we'll have to see after patch if it is viable to drop minstrels or not. It could be the return of cele.

This would be absurd. They had in mind to remove Celestial for long time ago, never did it... then, they wanted to give the healer role fully (reason why Minstrel exists), and now they gonna make it useless. Seriously, someone in the staff knows what is doing?

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@"Anput.4620" said:

You also seem to be nerfing Deadeye when the concern is actual builds to be too good for Thief, like condi DD or sword DD, not cheese builds which will now be gutted to unviability when the backstab build folded to any tanky target. My concern being that balancing is done from the bottom up instead of from the top down.

I mean, you said it right there "cheese builds". Anything that is truly awful to fight because it can't be beaten by player skill on any class. My personal thoughts would be like Perma stealth Deadeye. Yes it can be beaten, but you have to somehow be a god tier player (or just very lucky) to catch them imo. I'm an average player and I can't beat it. However I am also playing the wrong class to be able to compete with them (mesmer). My understanding is necros have a really good chance to take em out, but even then it's not a guarantee.

permastealth is bleh imo just in general, no matter the class.

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@Frax.4562 said:Winds of Disenchantment still needs a look at, it's a welcome change that it's only 5 targets now, but it's one of the most obnoxious skill in the game with the trait enchantment collapse especially when a group has a lot of spellbreakers. A tweak to it's duration or boon removal interval would be good, with enchantment collapse trait getting a higher than 1s icd.

It's close to impossible to do anything when the enemies just rush you with more bubbles when they are bigger, and then when the duration goes down, they come with another set of bubbles and keep repeating it (effectively chaining bubbles) until you are dead and there's not much to do about it at that point. It hurts the smaller groups.

I fully agree here. The problem i have with this skill is actually not the boon remove itsself its more the fact that you are not able to apply boons back. Just remove the fact that you are not able to reapply boons in de dome and i think balancing is fine! Or go back to a static dome as it was before so when you dodged out you're actually out.

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Extra feedback regarding to the post on stability.

Its not only that we are worried about cooldowns on stability skills, its also the stability boon duration.

Examples of skills are :

Portent of Freedom (from Mantra of Liberation): Reduced stability duration from 5 seconds to 1 second.

Unflinching Charge: Reduced stability duration from 2 seconds to 1 second.

Even with full concentration focus in build, that duration on stability is INSANELY low. Stability is there to avoid being stopped by all the crowd control skills in the game which usually is followed by massive damage.I dont know about you guys but im definetly no super human who has a reaction time of a god to save my entire party from getting stuck and dieing on crowd control skills with a 1-2 second stability uptime. Plus figuring out when and if any of those disabling skills will land on you is like playing roulette.

Please do consider that many who play WvW are there for the blob vs blob aspect. While the stability nerf is not bad for roaming, it will be disaster in anything that has big scale combat. I remember before HoT patch on the first stability nerf and how many players and friends left cause they were forced to pirate ship, couldnt make any melee contact and the game just became horrible to enjoy.

While there should be a balance between ranged and melee gameplay in big mass scale fights, it should be also more rewarding to make melee contact rather then playing only ranged for obvious reasons.While most skills do get bigger cooldowns to stop more skill spamming, we are still heading towards pirate ship gameplay being the most rewarding meta cause of stability nerf.

As a finishing note keep in mind that even if the meta does go more melee mode from any changes you apply - the statistics, experience, players participating have always stayed positive, high and consistant compared to what disasters a pirateship meta has shown.People love melee, they always have loved melee combat in big fights as it brings more life into mass scale PvP, feels more rewarding, more action rich. Nobody likes shooting and evading each other from 1200 ranged distance while not being able to make proper melee contact.

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@TheGrimm.5624 said:Personally I think siege should be fine, health pools and armor values haven't changed and you can already just pretty much stand in siege fire now.

You really cant unless youre spamming heavy heals, have a 50 man squad mitigating damage and have constant pressure on walls to keep enemies from freecasting on you. Extra points if you have eles who can kill siege, eventhough most deployed siege is unkillable if placed correctly.

Siege is suppose to be there to delay enemies knocking on your keep til your people show up, not push them away. If you have 4 acs on 1 gate, 10 players freecasting constantly then you do take a ton of damage. I have had to pull off countless times from inner garrison due to insane siege damage and simply lacking the capabilities to sustain or kill siege. Extra horror points if you also have a truck load of enemies camping on walls.

Given also that most keeps have presence of the keep buff for big massive stat buff, spawn nearby where you can be in your garrison in 20-30 seconds cause of mounts, siege even now does provide quite a strong extra presence. So yes it needs a nerf.

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Thank you very much that you are reconsidering the changes towards the stab mantra and stand your ground, however please dont forget about the boon duration - 1 second is just waaaay too less for the amount of immob/cc there is in the game currently.

More Feedback:

Winds of disenchantment: The problem of the skill is not the amount of boons it strip and that it stops boon uptime or the amount of targets it can hit. The only, big issue with this elite is that you can move with it. I really would like to see the stationary version back into the game. This would be enough balance, as you can properly kite it, rather than being chased by 2-5 at once and cant get out of it, literally obliberating whole squads.Also you said you that you want make CDs matter - this would do the trick with this elite.Current state, and it wont change after the patch, warriors just have to shut down their brain, activate "Defiance Stance" and bubble run onto the enemy and there till its over.By changing it back to stationary, you would really have to think about the placement again, reading enemy movement and so on - making it really matter again.

Merciful Intervention: In my opinion, giving wvw the pvp version of this skill is a mistake. Its pretty much the only reliable skill to properly save one or two players in large scale fights.

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