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May 11 Guild Wars 2 Skills and Balance Update Preview

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  • ArenaNet Staff

Update May 6: 

  • The name change for the Revenant trait "Spiritual Reckoning" will not be part of the May 11 update, and we have removed "This trait has been renamed Spiritual Resolution" from the notes below. This only affects the trait's name, not any functionality. The name change will be part of a build later this month.
  • Please see our follow up post for updates to this preview as well. 

05/11/2021—Skills and Balance Release Notes

It's been a long while since our last major balance patch. In this update, we're preparing for Cantha by cleaning up longstanding frustrations with boons and conditions, as well as by positioning existing builds as new potential sources of alacrity and quickness in group play.

Among these changes are new duration caps for each boon and condition, a rework of the retaliation and resistance boons, and a reversal to the bonus-damage state of the torment condition. Torment will now deal bonus damage to targets that are standing still instead of to moving targets. This change will enhance torment's performance in most boss encounters and create better opportunities for synergy and counterplay in PvP.

The retaliation boon has long been a pain point, both in PvE and PvP. It's not particularly impactful to use, and it's never fun to play against. We have replaced it with a new boon, resolution, which complements the existing protection boon by reducing incoming damage from conditions (bleeding, poisoned, burning, torment, and confusion) by 33%. Many current traits and skills use retaliation in some way, or to added effect; those traits aren't going away! Generally, they've been updated to use the new resolution boon. As always, the detailed patch notes below will tell you exactly what's happening for each profession.

Similarly, we're not quite happy with how resistance is a hard shutdown on all conditions, which creates overlapping gameplay with skills that cleanse conditions. We're updating resistance to only affect nondamaging conditions. In other words, resolution helps reduce damage from bleeding, poisoned, burning, torment, and confusion, while resistance lets you temporarily ignore blinded, chilled, crippled, fear, immobilized, slow, taunt, vulnerability, and weakness. Since we're reducing the overall effect of resistance, we're also reevaluating and increasing durations in some skills where it is applied.

Boon and Condition Updates


  • The Retaliation boon has been renamed Resolution.
  • Incoming condition damage is decreased by 33%. Stacks duration.
  • Unless otherwise specified, skills and traits that formerly granted or used retaliation now use resolution.


  • Nondamaging conditions currently on the player are ineffective. Stacks duration.


  • Deals damage every second. Deals additional damage to foes that are not moving. Stacks intensity.

Duration Caps for Boons and Conditions

Duration-stacking boons and conditions now behave consistently. They directly stack durations added from all sources, do not have hidden stack limits, and generally have shorter maximum durations. With most nondamaging condition durations stacking to a maximum of 10 seconds, we aim to reduce situations in which players can become stuck in combat because of a long-duration condition, preventing them from using their mount.


  • Alacrity: 30
  • Fury: 30
  • Protection: 30
  • Resolution: 30
  • Quickness: 30
  • Resistance: 30
  • Swiftness: 30
  • Vigor: 30


  • Blinded: 10
  • Chilled: 10
  • Crippled: 10
  • Immobilized: 10
  • Slow: 10
  • Weakness: 10

Mantras (Mesmer and Firebrand)

We acknowledge that there are significant flaws with the core gameplay innate to mantra skills, and that this problem was exacerbated in Path of Fire™ when we switched mesmer mantras to an ammunition system, creating an incentive to not use the final charge. This is a poor user experience and something we have hoped for a long time to be able to come back and address.

Needing to prepare for combat by using a sequence of skills with a long casting time is not fun, and in most cases, using the final charge of a mantra in combat felt like a mistake. It not only denied your use of the skill for a long time, but it also required you to prepare your mantras again after the cooldown expired. Instead of being rewarding to use, mantras have been a chore; something you need to remember to do every time you change maps or respawn, or deal with after every /gg in a fractal, strike, or raid. Holding your group up while you again prepare each of your mantras never feels great either!


During the development of this balance patch, we tried several alternatives, including automatic preparation while out of combat. Ultimately, we found that the best course of action was to simplify the mantra skills and remove the preparation mechanic altogether, as this ensures that we can have consistent behavior between mesmer and firebrand mantras, as well as consistent core functionality between PvE and PvP game modes. As a result, in this balance update, we have decided to rework both mesmer and firebrand mantras into simple ammunition skills.

What this means:

·         No more preparing mantras before use. They are always in the "ready" mode, storing up uses.

·         Firebrand mantras are no longer stronger on final charge. All uses are the same.

·         Mesmer mantras no longer do something on preparing.

Some related tuning and trait changes will happen as a result. While this results in a loss of some of the current flavor inherent to the mantra skill type, we have found that the ability to easily read, understand, and use these skills in normal gameplay is a strong improvement to the play experience.


  • To better indicate which skills will deal defiance damage, icons within skill tooltips that represent applied control effects are now purple.

·         The Exposed effect that is placed on many boss enemies when their defiance bar is broken has been adjusted. It now increases power damage taken by 30% and condition damage taken by 100%.

  • Text on many damage-increasing profession traits, runes, and sigils has been clarified to indicate whether they increase outgoing strike damage, condition damage, or all damage, as appropriate.


  • The Superior Sigil of the Stars now also increases concentration and expertise.
  • The Celestial stat combination on gear now also increases concentration and expertise. The per-stat values have not been decreased.


  • Griffon: Swoop now deals additional damage based on your velocity.

Profession Skills


We feel that the elementalist has been in a very good place since the July 2020 balance update. Both Tempests and Weavers have effective high damage power and condition damage builds available, while the Tempest is also powerful in a support role.

We weren't completely happy that the top-end power and condition damage elementalist builds have had approximately the same sustained damage, so we're making some minor, targeted reductions to the power builds and increases to condition damage sources to help condition-damage builds really shine on bosses and other hard targets, and to ensure that they aren't left behind by the effect that the torment condition change has for other professions.


  • Flamestrike: Total casting time reduced by 25%.


  • Wildfire: Burning duration increased from 2.5 seconds to 3 seconds.
  • Lightning Orb: Reduced power coefficient per strike from 0.45 to 0.36 in PvE. This matches the existing power coefficient in PvP and WvW.


  • Elements of Rage: Strike damage bonus reduced from 10% to 5%. Increases condition damage by 5%.


While the Scrapper can be played as an effective healer, it hasn't had access to the offensive boons it needs to be truly valuable as a support role in group PvE content. As a result, we've seen the Scrapper get very little play outside of WvW. With this update, we're reworking the Scrapper trait Kinetic Stabilizers so that Scrappers can apply the quickness boon on up to five targets, opening up a powerful boon support role for the specialization. We're also taking some potential damage out of the Holosmith's heat management in Laser's Edge, and we're instead adding more power to the core explosives trait Glass Cannon, making that damage accessible to more builds.

  • Utility Goggles: Duration of resistance increased from 2 seconds to 3 seconds.


  • Overcharged Shot: This skill no longer knocks the engineer back.


  • Glass Cannon: Increased strike-damage bonus from 7% to 10%.


  • Kinetic Stabilizers has been reworked and renamed. It is now Kinetic Accelerators.
    • Kinetic Accelerators: When you grant superspeed to a target, also grant quickness (2 seconds).
  • Applied Force has been reworked to grant stability instead of quickness and to grant extra power from might. Players now gain stability when they gain might above the threshold. Might grants bonus power (10 per stack).


  • Laser's Edge: Reduced the maximum damage increase from 25% to 15% in PvE only. This matches the current value in PvP and WvW.


Guardian has always been a very flexible and powerful profession. While we are happy with the current build diversity available to guardiansand we are working to extend that same diversity to other professions—we've observed that all guardian damage builds, both condition and power, utilize the same combination of the Zeal and Radiance specializations, as they have optimal trait choices for each. We are making a few changes to Zeal, virtues, and underperforming consecration utility skills to better differentiate the two specializations and allow virtues to be a viable option for condition-damage builds.


  • Symbol of Punishment: Increased cooldown from 6 seconds to 10 seconds in PvE and from 8 seconds to 10 seconds in WvW.
  • Chains of Light: This skill now requires a target to activate.


  • Symbol of Swiftness: Decreased cooldown from 15 seconds to 12 seconds in PvE only.


  • Symbol of Wrath: This skill has been renamed Symbol of Resolution.
    • Symbol of Resolution: Reduced cooldown from 20 seconds to 12 seconds. Damage per strike reduced by 10%.


  • Wall of Reflection: Reduced base duration from 10 seconds to 8 seconds. Reduced cooldown from 30 seconds to 25 seconds.
  • Purging Flames: Reduced radius from 240 to 180. This skill no longer burns foes that cross the outside of the field. Instead, it now applies one stack of burning with a 4-second duration on foes inside the radius when cast and again on each pulse for the duration of the effect. Cooldown reduced from 35 seconds to 25 seconds in PvE only.
  • Sanctuary: Reduced cooldown from 60 seconds to 50 seconds.


  • "Save Yourselves!": Increased the duration of resistance from 1.5 seconds to 3 seconds.


  • Healer's Retribution: This trait has been renamed Healer's Resolution.


  • Inspired Virtue: This trait now additionally increases strike damage for each boon on the guardian. This effect was formerly on Power of the Virtuous.
  • Absolute Resolution: This trait has been renamed Absolute Resolve.
  • Power of the Virtuous has been reworked. Guardians now gain condition damage based on vitality (10%). Virtues gain reduced recharge (15%).


  • Zealot's Speed: This trait has been renamed Zealot's Resolution.
  • Lesser Symbol of Wrath: This skill has been renamed Lesser Symbol of Resolution.
  • Symbolic Power: Symbol strikes no longer charge the virtue skill-1 passive effect more quickly.
  • Eternal Armory: Spirit weapons now only apply burning on their first strike per cast. Increased burn duration from 4 seconds to 8 seconds in PvE, from 2.5 seconds to 5 seconds in WvW, and from 2 seconds to 4 seconds in PvP. This is a reduction to total burning from Sword of Justice and an increase in total burning to Hammer of Wisdom and Shield of the Avenger when used with this trait.


  • Stoic Demeanor: Fixed a bug that caused a 3-second interval rather than the correct 1-second interval.
  • Mantras: Mantras no longer need to be charged before use. They now hold three charges by default, and the final charge is no longer stronger. They regenerate ammunition normally.


  • Defender's Dogma: This trait now uses the correct icon. Reduced internal cooldown to 1 second in PvE only. This matches the current cooldown in PvP and WvW.
  • Pure of Sight: This trait now uses the correct icon. The description has been clarified to communicate that strike damage dealt increases with distance from the struck enemy.


  • Puncture Shot: Removed the bouncing aspect of this skill. This skill now pierces enemies and inflicts the crippled condition on all enemies if it hits more than one, with a cap of 5 targets.
  • Symbol of Energy: Cooldown reduced from 15 seconds to 12 seconds. Casting time reduced by 0.3 seconds.
  • Hunter's Ward: This skill's cast has been reworked. The dragonhunter will now channel the skill for 1 second and then release the barrage, allowing movement while the attacks occur and traps are formed.


Chronomancer has been steeply overperforming in a damage role in all content, leading to an environment in which the best way to tackle almost any challenge is to throw more Chronomancers at it. On the other hand, Mirage hasn't been performing at the level we'd like it to; it's been relegated to a damage role in only a few specific boss encounters in which confusion is particularly potent. With this update, Mirage will see general improved performance from the change to the torment condition, with the option of using a reworked chaos specialization that will now better synergize for condition damage and support builds. We're also creating a new possible boon support role for Mirages using the staff by changing Chaos Vortex (the staff's ambush skill) to grant might and alacrity to up to 10 allied targets.

  • Deception (Downed Skill 2): This skill is now ground targeted while on land and no longer displaces the player when summoning a clone while underwater.
  • Arcane Thievery: This skill now requires a target to activate.
  • Time Warp: Reduced cooldown from 180 seconds to 120 seconds. Reduced duration from 10 seconds to 5 seconds. This skill now applies 1 second of quickness and slow per pulse, for a total of six pulses over a 5-second duration.
  • Mantras: Mantras no longer need to be prepared before use. They regenerate ammunition normally.


·         Illusionary Riposte: This skill no longer displaces the player when summoning a clone.

·         Illusionary Counter: This skill no longer displaces the player when summoning a clone.


·         Winds of Chaos: Increased projectile speed by 25%. Increased casting speed by 0.1 second. Lowered aftercast animation lock by 0.2 seconds. Fixed an inconsistency with projectile behavior after bouncing. This skill now applies torment for 5 seconds to the first target struck and confusion for 5 seconds on subsequent hits to enemies. Allies hit gain might for 5 seconds and fury for 3 seconds.

·         Chaos Armor: Reduced recharge to 25 seconds. This skill no longer applies a random condition to nearby foes when cast. Instead, it now applies blindness and confusion to nearby foes when cast.

·         Chaos Storm: Reduced recharge to 25 seconds in PvE only.


  • Chaos Vortex (Staff Ambush): The projectile now only strikes enemies. Up to 10 nearby allies gain boons. The boons gained are now might (8 stacks, 15-second duration in PvE; 4 stacks, 6-second duration in PvP and WvW) and alacrity (3-second duration). (Note: Boons are applied near the mesmer only, not near clones.)


  • Danger Time: Removed the critical-damage bonus.
  • Chronophantasma: Resummoned phantasm damage is now 75% in PvE only.
  • Seize the Moment: Quickness duration per clone shattered has been reduced from 1.5 seconds to 1 second in PvE only.


  • Illusionary Membrane: This trait has been reworked. While regenerating, condition damage dealt is increased, and condition damage taken is reduced by 10%.
  • Chaotic Persistence: This trait has been reworked. Gain concentration and expertise while regenerating.
  • Chaotic Dampening: This trait has been reworked and renamed Chaotic Potency.
    • Chaotic Potency: Gain condition damage. Gain additional condition damage while wielding a staff. Recharge of staff skills is reduced.
  • Chaotic Transference: This trait has been reworked. Chaos Armor grants 3 seconds of protection. Gain regeneration for 5 seconds with a 15-second cooldown when gaining protection.


  • Restorative Mantras: Heal allies around you when activating a mantra. Reduced healing amount by 50%.


Necromancer is a flexible and durable profession. It's not currently in need of any major changes, but alongside general improvements to the performance of other condition-damage specializations, we're improving the necromancer's access to condition damage in Curses with improved condition application. We're also making improvements in Soul Reaping with Soul Barbs to increase condition damage, and we're making small improvements to the usability of several traits in the Blood Magic specialization.


  • Ghastly Claws: This skill now requires a target to activate.

Lich Form

  • Deathly Claws: This skill is no longer fires projectiles at enemies located behind the player.


  • Barbed Precision: Increased duration of bleeding inflicted from 2 seconds to 3 seconds in PvE only.
  • Insidious Disruption: Increased duration of torment from 3 seconds to 5 seconds.

Blood Magic

  • Mark of Evasion: This trait no longer has an internal cooldown.
  • Blood Bond: Reduced internal cooldown from 20 seconds to 16 seconds.
  • Blood Bank: In addition to its previous effects, this trait now grants barrier for health gained while below full health at a 15% rate.

Soul Reaping

  • Soul Barbs: This trait now increases all damage dealt, not only strike damage.


  • Infusing Terror: This skill can now be used in midair so that it better functions with Death's Charge.


The ranger is a potent damage dealer. We've seen that Soulbeast has extreme burst damage potential, and unfortunately in this case, this has helped create some very homogenous group compositions. In this patch, we're weakening "Sic 'Em!" when used by a Soulbeast by lowering the damage bonus to 25%, matching the current balancing for this skill in PvP and WvW. We're also increasing the cooldown of One Wolf Pack. However, while we do want to slightly lower the extreme burst damage moments from Soulbeast, we don't want to significantly lower its overall damage per second on longer encounters. To this end, we're also increasing the damage bonus granted by Furious Strength, providing an overall increase to sustained damage per second.

  • "Sic 'Em!": When used by a merged soulbeast, the damage bonus granted is now 25%. When used by any other ranger specialization, or an unmerged soulbeast, the damage bonus granted to the pet is 40%.


  • One Wolf Pack: Increased cooldown from 60 seconds to 80 seconds in PvE only.
  • Furious Strength: Increased bonus damage from 7% to 10%.


  • Call of the Wild: Reduced animation aftercast time by approximately 0.5 seconds. The pet's next few attacks are no longer unblockable. This skill now dazes and weakens nearby enemies when cast. Daze duration is 2 seconds in PvE and WvW, and 1 second in PvP.


Renegade condition builds will be positively impacted by the general change to torment in this patch. While they will be finding that they maintain and even improve their already strong performance, we are preemptively making slight decreases to the duration of applied torment from several skills, as condition Renegade builds were already one of the most potent condition damage builds. We'd like to improve other possible variations to the current favorite Invocation build, and as such, we're allowing specific traits in both Retribution and Devastation to increase all damage dealt instead of strike damage only. Alongside these changes, we're updating the Retribution specialization to match the removal of the Retaliation boon (and its replacement with Resolution).

We're improving the strike damage of the Renegade's Kalla's Fervor effect by changing it from a ferocity bonus to a bonus to all damage dealt. This change will allow Renegade power builds to be more viable for general play in open-world and mission contexts, although it is unlikely to create a Renegade power build for high-end PvE content.

Soulcleave's Summit was a skill we had been watching; its ability to grant uncapped healing per second limited only by how many times someone can hit while under its effect resulted in unintuitive gameplay—when Soulcleave's Summit was active, players were incentivized to use the skills that could hit the highest number of times. This unpredictable rate of healing is not something that can be balanced. As a result, it created situations where it would allow groups to ignore intended fight mechanics. We're now limiting Soulcleave's Summit to trigger once per second per player, similar to Razorclaw's Rage. We'll still keep an eye on this skill; now that it's rate limited, we can safely improve it in future patches if needed.


  • Spiritual Reckoning: Increased duration of granted boon from 3 seconds to 6 seconds in PvE only.
  • Determined Resolution: Damage reduction is now gained while the revenant has resolution rather than vigor.
  • Retaliatory Evasion: This trait has been renamed Resolute Evasion.
  • Vicious Reprisal: This trait now increases all damage dealt rather than strike damage only.


  • Ferocious Aggression: This trait now also increases damage dealt from life stealing.


  • Fiendish Tenacity: Increased resistance duration from 3 seconds to 5 seconds in PvE only.


  • Destructive Impulses: This trait now increases all damage dealt rather than strike damage only.


  • Soulcleave's Summit: Life stealing can now trigger a maximum of once per second for each affected target.
  • Kalla's Fervor: This effect no longer increases ferocity. It now increases all damage dealt by 2% per stack in PvE. This increases to 3% per stack with Lasting Legacy.


  • Echoing Eruption: Reduced torment duration from 8 seconds to 7 seconds in PvE only.


  • Temporal Rift: Reduced torment duration from 12 seconds to 10 seconds in PvE only.

Legendary Demon Stance

  • Embrace the Darkness: Reduced torment duration from 6 seconds to 5.5 seconds in PvE only.
  • Pain Absorption: Increased base resistance duration from 2 seconds to 3 seconds.


Thief has had some of the least build diversity in PvE gameplay for a while now, and it's overdue for some improvement. While we're happy with the power damage roles currently available for thief players, we'd like to bring back thief condition builds as another option. In this update, we're improving the conditions applied by daggers and short bows, and we're adding more condition-related power to the Trickery specialization by giving it a source of expertise and a multiplier to bleed damage.

Notably, we're also reducing the maximum targets of the stolen skill Detonate Plasma, which affects thief boon-build compositions in a few specific raid encounters. Now that we've added additional sources of quickness to the Scrapper specialization, we believe it is the appropriate time to also bring the thief boon-build role in these encounters down to match, providing boons including quickness for half of the raid squad. This will allow for less squad role shuffling in these encounters—if a squad still chooses to utilize a thief boon build, they will only replace one quickness provider.

  • Detonate Plasma (Stolen Skill): Reduced maximum targets from 10 to 5.


  • Wild Strike: This skill now also inflicts 2 stacks of bleeding for 3 seconds in PvE and 1 stack in PvP and WvW.

Short Bow

  • Trick Shot: Reduced animation length by 0.2 seconds. This skill no longer deals increased strike damage to poisoned enemies. Instead, it applies 1 stack of bleeding for 4 seconds when striking poisoned enemies.
  • Surprise Shot and Malicious Surprise Shot: These skills now additionally apply 3 stacks of bleeding for 5 seconds in PvE and 1 stack in PvP and WvW.
  • Choking Gas: Increased poison duration from 2 seconds to 3 seconds in PvE and WvW only. This now matches the duration in structured PvP modes.

Deadly Arts

  • Improvisation: The cooldown of this trait has been reduced from 20 seconds to 15 seconds.


  • Preparedness: This trait now increases expertise by 150.
  • Bewildering Ambush: This has been reworked and renamed Deadly Ambush.
    • Deadly Ambush: Stealing also applies 3 stacks of bleeding for 10 seconds in PvE and 3 stacks for 6 seconds in PvP and WvW. Bleeding inflicted on foes deals 25% more damage.


  • Binding Shadow: This skill now reveals the caster if they are using stealth when the skill begins. Reduced the aftercast animation from 0.25 seconds to 0.08 seconds.


Berserker has been in a great place with strong support, power, and condition builds that are successful in all content. However, Spellbreaker lacks the damage it needs to keep up, and the line between banner support and damage-oriented builds is very blurry, showing that possible alternatives to the Discipline specialization were underperforming. With this update, we're making improvements to Tactics to make it a more viable alternative to Discipline, and we're improving Spellbreaker's damage capability. We're also lowering the base target cap of banners to 5 players, with the choice for support builds to utilize the Doubled Standards trait to raise the target cap to 10. All banners are now gaining light combo fields, giving all warrior specializations some access to condition cleanse combos.

Rifle is also receiving an improvement pass, improving its ability to combat multiple targets and giving it more utility as a ranged power weapon in general mission and open-world play.


·         Fierce Shot: This attack now pierces but no longer grants bonus adrenaline against vulnerable targets. Instead, it grants 1 stack of might for 5 seconds to the warrior when hitting a vulnerable target.

  • Crack Shot: Instead of granting bonus adrenaline when Fierce Shot hits, this trait now causes Fierce Shot to deal 10% bonus damage in addition to its previous effects.
  • Aimed Shot: This skill has been removed.
  • Volley: This skill has moved to slot 2 on the weapon.

·         Explosive Shell: This new skill takes slot 3 on rifle, previously occupied by Volley. This attack shoots a large shell at the target that explodes on contact with an enemy. The explosion creates a cone-shaped blast that fires through the target, striking foes behind them and inflicting the crippled condition and vulnerability.


  • Reduced the number of allied targets affected from 10 to 5. The Discipline trait Doubled Standards now increases the number of allied targets from 5 to 10.
  • Banners no longer cause blast finishers. They now create a light combo field that persists for 5 seconds after the banner is summoned.


  • Peak Performance: Reduced the additional strike damage applied for a period of time after using a physical skill from 15% to 10% in PvE only.
  • Great Fortitude: This trait now increases ferocity by 10% of vitality.


  • Cull the Weak: Increased damage bonus from 7% to 10% in PvE only.
  • Spiked Armor has been renamed Hardened Armor.


  • Marching Orders: Reduced internal cooldown to gain Soldier's Focus from 15 seconds to 10 seconds.
  • Leg Specialist: Increased damage bonus from 7% to 10% in PvE only.
  • Roaring Reveille: Increased duration of the resistance boon granted to the warhorn skill Call of Valor from 2 seconds to 3 seconds.
  • Warrior's Cunning: Reduced health threshold for bonus damage from 90% to 80%.


  • Warrior's Sprint: Increased damage bonus from 7% to 10% in PvE only.
  • Doubled Standards: Reduced bonus effect from banners from 100% to 50%. This trait now additionally increases the maximum number of allied targets on banners from 5 to 10.
  • Axe Mastery: This trait no longer grants additional ferocity for a second equipped axe.


  • Sun and Moon Style:
    • Fixed a bug that could cause trait bonuses to be temporarily lost after recovering from the downed state.
    • The main-hand dagger bonus has been reworked to deal an additional 10% strike damage to foes with no boons.
  • Attacker's Insight: Each stack of the Insight effect now grants an additional 50 power, precision, and ferocity at level 80 in PvE. Each stack now grants an additional 35 power, precision, and ferocity in PvP and WvW. Previously each stack granted 45 power and ferocity.
  • Full Counter: The attack portion of this skill now correctly triggers if the spellbreaker is in midair, allowing the skill to end correctly.
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19 minutes ago, Fire Attunement.9835 said:

Soulcleave's Summit: Life stealing can now trigger a maximum of once per second for each affected target.

This could be fine if it was maybe 0,5 sec but 1 sec is overnerf. Whole strategy of Khalla is to hit as many as possible in order to proc life steal effect. If such effect created problems for team/allies then let it be 1 sec cooldown for allies but let it be the same for renegade( no cooldown ) or 0,5 sec. Almost all spells are designed to hit a lot just because of such life steal effect. 

After you allow mirage to give alacrity to 10 allies, it will directly replace "Alacrigade". In PvE, not much people use Khalla's elite because energy is more important for other kittenmaging spells while in wvw or pvp such elite can be easily interupted and it forces renegade to be imobile, always being near it. 


19 minutes ago, Fire Attunement.9835 said:
  • The Superior Sigil of the Stars now also increases concentration and expertise.
  • The Celestial stat combination on gear now also increases concentration and expertise. The per-stat values have not been decreased.

It is nice to add expertice and concentration on celestial stat. It creates so many interesting builds that can cover multiroles. However where you guys see this stat really useful? I peronsally can't see celestial in raids because of lower dps and toughness agrro problems. For fractals it could work, for wvw it could work, in pvp it is not existent. 

Edited by Svez Poizon XD.5268
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18 minutes ago, Fire Attunement.9835 said:

Berserker has been in a great place with strong support, power, and condition builds that are successful in all content.

I would like to see the stadistics of berserker builds in PVP.

Why do you insist on nerfing warrior? I mean, such a simple clkitten that has to share space with one man army clkittenes like revenant and elementalist. 

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So... About Legenkittenry Demon Stance's Pain Absorption.

Since Resistance only negates 33% of Condi kittenmages, can you at least move the stunbreak of the Stance somewhere else? I don't want to kill myself if I'm with allies and I need a stunbreak.


Much love, Thanks.

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A couple of thoughts & questions -


Poisoned - the kittenmage of this can be mitigated via the new boon resolution.  Will the reduced healing be mitigated by resistance, or is the only option re this to just remove the condition?


There are a few "retaliation" traits which haven't been mentioned - e.g. "Retaliatory Subconscious" or ""Virtue of Retribution" - does Resilience just swap for retaliation (along with a trait name change) or is more happening?


Mallyx's "Pain Absorption" sounds like it's going to be very tricky to use now - the idea was that the resistance would (for a short time) protect one against the kittenmage that one would be pulling to oneself, but this will no longer be the case, it seems


In broader terms, I'm a bit concerned that condi firebrands are a bit overtuned.


Finally, it's a shame to be saying goodbye to the lovely animation art (and voice acting) that comes with the Firebrand mantras (and also, to a lesser extent, the Mesmer ones) - hopefully that art can be used elsewhere (perhaps optimistic)

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Pain absorption seems like it is now a detrimental skill to even use, as it pulls all of the conditions to you but doesn’t allow you to prevent their kittenmage. In WvW that can mean you pull max stacks of burning if people nearby are in mortar fire. Great if you can push it off in time, but all it takes is one tic to get through and you’re dead. 

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I hope it's just been missed off the notes, but is there any chance that the Chronomancer wells could work underwater?  After all, other wells seem to be able to....


Also, the buff to "barbed precision" seems almost inconsequential.  The base 20% extra bleeding is very nice, but the 3s (was 2s) bleed only has a 33% chance to proc on a crit, so the actual increase to the kittenmage is really very small.

Edited by Jijimuge.4675
Adding a point re barbed precision
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Torment change is terrible for pvp, as players are moving 90% of the time not standing around like a pve boss, now you also affect Necro and Mesmer condition builds with this. But I guess bring even more stuns and immobilizes?


You cap boon durations.... but you left the almost infinite mkitten production of them intact, so what's the point if the durations will constantly be refreshed anyways. You think resistance was a problem, but it's cleanses that are more widely available to every character and do a better job of just getting rid of the condition altogether.


You take away a dodge from Mirage in wvw more than a year ago, only to come adjust one of their ambushes? that relies on the mechanic produced from dodging, so clearly another pve change and insult to injury on wvw mirages because no one would use staff in a zerg where projectiles are mostly blocked, and clones are almost instantly killed, and condi instantly cleared. Really can't wait to hear about the next mesmer elite that will also get nerfed to the ground the following 5 years after it's release.



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I just gonna say that the balance team it's really showing how out of touch are they with their own game...


Oh and in case some balance dev read this (altho all evidence indicate the contrary), 2 sec of quickness tied to superspeed it's not going to make the scrapper a viable support clkitten, not when there's a firebrand who can have permaquickness 

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Not quite sure what the thematic purpose is of giving semi spammable alacrity to Mirage (the "space" spec), when Chrono exists (the "time" spec).


Love some of the quality of live and improvements eg on staff, scepter, OH sword, downed 2 (amazing finally thank you!), but not quite sure of the overall direction mirage is supposed to be going in to differentiate from chrono.


I hope at some stage in the future Mirage kittenters (F skills, this word filter is over zealous...) can be unique, and the crude one dodge situation can be resolved in some other way, because these seem more funkittenmental and in need of changes to me, than pushing mirage into some strange boon support role when thematically I thought it's meant to be the mesmer/thief evasive kittenmage dealer, and chrono is intended to be support?


Also I thought confusion was intended to be short duration burst application - hence it was removed from staff ambush near the beginning of pof. What is the reasoning to give it back to spammable staff auto? I'm not opposed to it as confusion is more thematic than burning/bleeding, but it does seem to go against the previous intention for confusion.


Curious what the EoD elite spec is, to be unique from these two now.

Edited by Curunen.8729
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EDIT : it seems like the forums repace d-a in dmg or dgger with kitten, same for pasiv so I have to make mistakes on purpose 😄


Condition and boon rework

Retaliation – Resolution : So guards are going to be stacking both power and condi reduction??? It is not like they are tanky anyway right? I wonder what impact this is going to have on other professions or bosses. Something like Adina suddenly becomes less scary unless she gets an armor like Gorseval, maybe you can even skip the one on Quadim with a power composition.

Resistance : I guess it makes sense with the boon conversion tables. This has a huge impact… on runes, on builds, on professions (revenant, soulbeast merged with supportive pets, firebrand F3 are the main ones I can think of and I do not see them here).

Torment : I like this for pvp. Have you checked the impact in PvE on some bosses like Quadim? (cough renegade cough)


Mantra changes

I like it for firebrand but I am not sure for mesmer, I need to wait for more information. I started playing chrono in PvP and while tinkering with it noticed how sometimes you really need the effect at the end of the charge.



Breakbar : I like this change to close the dmage gap between power and condi. Those who will like it the most are professions with burn AND / OR torment. With the other power nerfs incomings I am a bit scared of what condi can do in general because they are already strong on some bosses.



Scepter : flamestrike auto spam in pvp? I need to try it.

Warhorn : I am not playing dps tempest in PvE so no I have no idea how much of its dps it is X)

Weaver : small power nerf and condi stays as strong. I guess it will not have an impact most of the time.


Engineer :

Rifle : decap is back in PvP? I have seen some builds using it in ranked. Decap on engi is probably worst than the decap druid to fight but I guess dmage engineers are happy

Kinetic stabilizer : No idea how much it will be used. I find that other traits are quite good. Someone told me that it will probably not see that much play.

Applied forced : I like the might change but I am not sure it needed an extra stability… I guess this is for pvp so I hope the icd is not too low.

Laser’s edge : It seems like it targets the holo burst phase. I do not play holo but if I have to guess they will feel it with when they can cleave like in fractals, on bit hitboxes but less on small hitboxes.



Scepter : Scepter is pretty strong but I do not play it. The change to 3 is a small QoL

GS : I think this will be a bigger buff for pvp, I liked core power guard and it will be good for it. The overall buff is probably meant to compensate the changes to retaliation but with a firebrand mantra a guard group will not be impacted that much.

Consecration : Sanctuary is annoying and comes more often,  wall of reflection is annoying and comes more often, purge of flames looks strong, good thing it was not reduced in PvP.

Shouts + Radiance : Ok

Inspired  + Power of the Virtous : That seems so strong… especially for pvp

Zeal : Wow that is a huge condi nerf I did not expect. But with all the general buff to condi that is a good thing.

Longbow : So you can get the cripple after you get hit? Do I understand it correctly? Also on ranger and mesmers it means that nothing changes because of the pet / illusions. Not sure I understand the ward (Lb 5) change. Is it 1 s then the barrage comes while the dh can do what it wants? If so it is strong.



Downstate : Stolen from a thief  how ironic 😛

Sword / Arcane thievery : makes sense to me

Chaos armor : I will still hate chaos armor in pvp, it is stupid to get so many negative effects and have the enemy also gets bonuses for doing nothing good (you talk a lot about frustration and this one always has been high on my list). Also I think mesmer has enough instant abilities to use while cced. Maybe the blind could be used with the trait in PvE? 

Chaos vortex : Some people in my guild are really excited about this. But they were also wondering about the condi stacks which gave me flashbacks of the staff mirage in pvp. I really hope it will not be too loaded. Maybe a moa stance ranger will be used or we could see raids stacking mirage with 2 quickness firebrand.

Chronomancer : Once again I have no idea how it impacts the overall dps in PvE. Someone told me chrono will still be good but it will probably depend on how long fights last so wait and see.

Chaos : Talk about a lot of pasiv stuff… I never liked this specialization for mesmer.



Curses : Looks fine?

Lich : nice I guess even if this is not the main issue with this elite.

Blood magic : Hum ok? I guess it is good to try an alternative to the full rez build.
Bloodbank : Isn’t it going to make scourge more tanky again if I understand it correctly?



Sicem and wolf pack : I have flashbacks of how ranger was in the 3 worst dps for years, without getting buff, and we had to wait for some players to make multiple variations and iterations to make it viable… Power ranger sustain dmage is and has always been bad. This small buff is not going to do anything for it. It seems too much.

Soulbeast merge skill supportive pets (spiritual reprieve) -> CHANGE THE BUFF !! The skill got so many nerfs and most people do not use it, with the cd and no more condi immunity it will not have much use.

Warhorn : not bad for supports, I would even say pretty good but still limited by the cd. It could be a minor nerf to the power core variant in pvp but I am not even sure. My attempt at a core ranger axe / warhorn, frost trap mid is going to like it X)



Retribution : Vicious Reprisal is huge for this specialization.  Maybe condi herald will go with retribution to get some retaliation / resolution?

Destructive impulse : Is it a mistake or was the previous text incorrect?

I do not see that many torment nerfs.  Seems weird with the mechanical change.
I do not see many resistance into resolution changes. Seems weird with the mechanical change.

Maybe I did not understand the note correctly but condi revenant seems to lack a lot of details while being heavily impacted.



Boon thief : no opinion here but I am sure people are going to not like it for a good reason (a build nerf). I feel like it is necessary for how much stuff it was giving even if it was situational.

Dgger : seems weird and annoying to add condi to cleanse when it is strong on power builds.

Improvisation : always strong despite being random. I guess the icd is going to impact deadeye more than any specialization or maybe this is to prepare the future e-spec (otherwise I have no idea why it was changed).

Preparedness : (edit : the description does not say if this is a replacement or in addition so I can be wrong) An other minor that becomes stat increase? While I am still laughing at people who said / are saying that thief is just used for sb 5 (because they got proven wrong once more but will never admit it) this change is going to have a huge impact on thieves in PvP.  Really need to see how it goes.

Deadly ambush : seems like a straight buff to condi thief. Kind of scary

Binding shadow :  ok. I would say deadeye n1 problem is more how toxic the elite design can be.



Rifle : The new skill sound fun especially on maps with small nodes (even if it will not become meta)

Banners : Really curious choice to have put a light field but better than just an explosion.

Strength : Same 5% reduction as on most professions. I like the change to great fortitude.

Defense : cull the weak ok. Spiked / hardened armor is going to be a masive condi reduction. I am a bit scared by how much dmage reduction the hardened armor / rousing resilience asociation can bring.

Tactics : pretty good for pvp

Discipline : Double standrd looks like a small nerf to banner warriors dmage. The axe reduction is weird, I do not see why it happened.

Spellbreakers : Wow, those look like good buff to spellbreaker dmage. They do not look too strong while not beeing negligible.



I really like the idea to help condi builds in more fights. Obviously there is stuff I do not understand or seems overkill.  (No change to the 300cd talents yet?)

The mechanical changes are going to change a lot of things especially for guards and rev which are probably going to get adjustments.

I feel like engie or an old full guard group could be the best power option in raids, renegade will nuke stuff to an absurd level. I am curious about how power guard is impacted (in both PvP and PvE) and the future benchmark for mesmer builds.

Edited by aymnad.9023
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will add more as I pore through it again: 
Game-wide changes

Resistance : Pain Absorption seems like a death sentence on Revenant now. Resistance only affecting soft CC means superspeed scrappers are even stronger.

Retaliation : a net improvement for Elementalist in WVW since staff's Meteor Shower makes you implode easily

Mantras : firebrand became even more spammy because mantra cooldowns were not adjusted

Exposed debuff : CFB needs to be evaluated in terms of its burst otherwise you will see Condi Firebrand stacking.

Profession changes

  • Mesmer I'm surprised Danger Time wasn't touched , the damage bonus was just removed. Instead of putting alacrity on mesmer staff it probably would have been better to just put alacrity as an option when Lost time is traited such that people can use Seize the Moment for quickness or Lost Time for alacrity. The StM change means more boon duration is required so CQB will be even stronger when power is not needed.
  • Guardian : I'm surprised CFB hasn't been touched enough in terms of mantra of solace , instead mantras became even stronger. Nerfing the sword of justice burn procs is sort of irrelevant unless it is against a stationary target. Symbol of Punishment / scepter 2 change might be more impactful than I think though. Burning damage on firebrand stacks faster (key point) and does more per tick than on other classes. Also speaking of Virtues, Permeating Wrath should probably be given a small internal cooldown just for consistency.
  • Ranger - Soulbeast : I feel like it is overnerfed, hitting Sic Em is already a huge change. If the Sic Em bonus is merged between game modes, maybe PVE cooldown should be in line with other professions' bonus as you need a utility slot to use it. One Wolf Pack isn't game breaking unless many multi-hit skills are used. Whirling Defense and Barrage could have been normalized to 10 hits similar to Rapid Fire instead of hitting One Wolf Pack.
  • Warrior :  The nerf to banner will be hard hitting especially since you need 1 per subgroup post-patch unless you run Doubled Standards. If warrior damage isn't high enough due to the other associated nerfs to ferocity and precision (Doubled Standards) then people will drop banner berserker warrior completely for PVE. Berserker in competitive modes still needs a way to drop Berserk mode manually.

... professions people only take for DPS in PVE mainly: 

  • Engineer: Scrapper quickness is not long enough for it to be viable because a heal scrapper would need to run 3 gyros. A DPS scrapper would need to be stacked (two or three per party) and give up 200 power, the bench on a full DPS scrapper is 33K per Lucky Noobs so it is questionable (would probably be around 34K with Glass Cannon changes). I think chronomancer rune could have had a quickness share instead of just the gyro change. Because engineer isn't in a terrible place in PVE DPS-wise it seems odd to give quickness to scrapper. Unless it is split between competitive , expect WvW scrapper to be even more broken with resistance no longer a viable condition counter.
    --- due to reliance on turret for fury , it would not fully replace a cQB or StM chrono so you'd still need a druid or guardian in the party (even if it is DPS)
  • Elementalist: Hitting the DPS of elementalist seems odd. It's not meta in any game mode right now except maybe PVP as fire weaver (on sword).
  • Necromancer: Torment change should put scourges in a stronger position in PVE but a net nerf in competitive. Scourges are still a PVE carry.
  • Revenant: We will see what happens in PVE but in competitive , torment basically is removed from viability. Pain Absorption needs to have an invuln to condition DPS or a incoming effect reduction or it is going to implode people (see Save Yourselves on Guardian). Similar to One Wolf Pack, Soulcleave summit is only broken with multi-hit skills. Normalizing Icerazor's Ire to 10 hits for example would have been less penalizing. Meanwhile expect Condi RR (Righteous Rebel) PVE renegades to be out in full force after the Torment changes.
  • Thief: Removal of boon thief essentially, making it even less worthwhile to run it since investing in it is fruitless if only viable in a few raids and nowhere else. I would have added bountiful theft quickness instead of on scrapper , then split it to competitive with 0.25s duration outside PVE. Condi specs running dagger and/or shortbow should be tested after patch.
Edited by Infusion.7149
removed all kitten filter things after the forum software was updated to be less stringent
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Is it just me or does it feel like revenant got hit badly on both sides? 


Pain absorption now will be a suicide button (as anything you take from others will now kill you x5). But you do (hopefully) deal more torment kittenmage now (in PVE). But your survivability is now close to 0. As a lot of your condition line for survivability is Resistance based. Hopefully there are more changes than the ones above.  


On the other side for Direct kittenmage builds "Soulcleave's Summit: Life stealing can now trigger a maximum of once per second for each affected target." Which unless they drastically increase its life steal will be about as useful as the Shiro Pkittenive F2 ability Glint has (except in a small area with a summon that can get knocked down/back/stunned). Perfect..... 



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Can we get some small upkittente for elementalist's "glyph of lesser elements" where maxium elements can be 3, but it takes long to summon all 3, instead can we get it to instant summon 3 elements/maximum, then just refresh 3. one on its death with cooldown of spell? I found it very interesting with tempest auras share. 

I feel like elementalist's scepter(fire) needs more burn stacks on its spells to make it viable condi dps as tempest. Tempest is really forgotten as dps in pve and its supportive builds are outclkittened by other supports. You need some upkittente on auras in PvE to do something rather than nothing. 

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For Warrior

You forgot the 300s CDs that need fixing in Defense....


You want a viable alternative to Discipline? Okay. See my above statement about Defense. You also need to go rework Arms to be a viable specialization outside of the 3 traits used in Raids.


You seem to be pushing Warrior Rifle into an 'kittenault rifle' setup. I greatly encourage you to delete Kill Shot then and replace it with another Burst.

I suggest this:
Concussive Shell: Fire a shell that d.a.z.e.s. foes for 1s/1.5s/2s and deals d.a.mage. Deals Kill Shot Tier 1 level d.a.mage. 0.25s cast time.

Berserker has no place in high level competitive play due to inherent limitations to the spec. Warrior players have been vocal about what those are. Please listen to them.

Fix you filter's btw...

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Support was barely touched this patch. And I would have hoped we could have seen a higher diversity of professions. But instead we got mesmer again getting alacrity instead of say elementalist or necromancer.

I've experimented with Boon share Scourge builds and in order to function as a Might bot you have to sacrifice one of the strongest support tools in the scourge's kit to do the job poorly. You can't take transfusion because you need both curses and soul reaping along with an alacrity giver to ensure you can give 25 might but only if the stars align. What am I supposed to do with this extra concentration you've given to me if there's nothing to use it with? Not even fury.


Beyond just that the removal of retaliation has changed the function of Spiteful Spirit. Now the new boon has a lot of overlap with what death magic already does but its attached to a boon corrupt GM that honestly has no right to be. It shouldn't even be called spiteful spirit since there's nothing spiteful about it. Doesn't really even seem to belong in spite now.

I like that we're getting more DPS on scourge in PvE, its sorely needed. However necromancer is not in a good spot at all when it comes to balance and it needs a lot of work. If I had to guess, you balanced based on popularity not on how useful each of the professions are or how many useless traits and skills they have.


The issue with Minions and turrets for example still need to be addressed. These are the reason why beginner necromancer and engineer players are drawn to these professions and for many of them its heartbreaking to find out that they're not useful as a build in end game even as a tier 2 option.


And fix the Necromancer Axe auto attach animation! Its been what? 5 years and you still haven't fixed that broken animation for female!

Edited by Lily.1935
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1 hour ago, Fire Attunement.9835 said:


  • The Retaliation boon has been renamed Resolution.
  • Incoming condition kittenmage is decreased by 33%. Stacks duration.
  • Unless otherwise specified, skills and traits that formerly granted or used retaliation now use resolution.


  • Nonkittenmaging conditions currently on the player are ineffective. Stacks duration.

It is nice to see some upkittentes for boons that counter conditions. However i personally can't see such boons useful in PvE ( not many fights spam condis on you, it is either one shot mechanics or just pulsing physical kittenmage).

In PvP and WvW there is another problem that comes with it:
1. problem is... such boons can be striped/corrupted so such boons not exist most of the time
2. as long as cleansing exist, these boons will always be worse option
3. only just 2 clkittenes use both boons most of the time - revenant and guardian, are those suppose to be "anti-condi" clkittenes?

Which mechanics are really in the game requiring heavy anti-condi setups? Can we get a note for each line of patch notes with description where such change fits the current game mechanics? I see you wrote a text before any change but it tells not much what is the result of such changes to be made.

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Not bad balance in terms of PVE.

Basically, nerfed most meta power clkittenes burst potential: Slb, DH symbols, Holo.

Good job on tuning the kittenmage between power/condi weaver. Condi weaver simply deserves higher sustained kittenmage comparing to simple power weaver gameplay style.


I don't quite understand nerfing on Lightning orbs. It is the strongest skill on power tempest, yet power tempest is only viable on huge hitboxes bosses, while also has innate low critical chance. It is quite hard to achieve good number in real combat, based on my own play experience and comments from Roul from Snowcrows.


The change on exposed buff is kinkitten weird. Most pug these kittenys simply stack 4 firebrand and 1 rev. It may not be the optimal compo, but really safe and strong for pugs, with the burst potential of cFB when people CC slowly, while cFB is also really easy to play. Should probably reconsider this tuning.


Power chrono nerf was anticipated and kinkitten arrives too late.


Condi thief is gonna be stronger. It is actually not bad atm for some boss, though not many people use it.


One general trend is to nerf 10-man boost to 5-man: warrior and thief. Tho warrior can still take double stankittenrd to get 10 man but only 50% attributes boost. Not bad, since power creep was the main theme of last patch. This change will probably make speedrun record harder to break in next patch, and make pug life harder. (Not like I raid anymore.. Except for meme run like 10 rev gors 10 core profession Adina) 🙂   


For WvW:

The change on torment and resistance kinkitten hits condi herald hard. It is a really strong clkitten in WvW roaming and small scale fight, but is the nerf too heavy? Let's see.




I thought change on retaliation would be adding an internal cooldown so that fast hitting clkitten won't suffer too much

torment would be increasing base kittenmage, tuning down moving kittenmage.


Well, guess on torment is kinkitten right. But completely wrong on retaliation. I don't quite like the change on retaliation, since it has much higher uptime than protection in general (especially on guardian), which basically much lowered condi kittenmage taken.  



Edited by Euclid.2517
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