GW2 Upcoming Balance Notes

Greetings fellow Tyrians!

We’ve prepared a Balance Update that is slated for next week and in keeping with our push to get the Release Notes to you early so that you can theorycraft, discuss and prepare… here they are. Enjoy!

Profession Skills

Global Changes

In this update, we’re making several large systemic changes to various game mechanics that primarily affect PvP and WvW players. However, because it’s important that the functionality of skills between modes stays the same, we have brought over some of these changes to PvE as well. Where possible, we’ve split what we can to limit the impact, and in other cases we have even tuned up the numbers in PvE modes to compensate.

The first thing that you’ll see is a general increase in the casting time of control skills across the board.

The second major area that we are changing is the access to stability and stun breaks. Stability from traits has been reduced, but skills that grant stability have had their recharges reduced. Similarly, traits that automatically react to stuns have been largely removed, and stun-break skills have been enhanced. The general idea here is that we want stun breaks and stability to be a more deliberate action on the part of the player and not something that just happens automatically from a trait.

We are also making a small change to the unblockable effects that unifies them as a single effect. Previously all unblockables were unique effects that had inconsistent behaviors. Some would last for a set number of hits while others had duration. There were also some that increased outgoing damage and some that did not. We’ve unified unblockable into a single effect and refined its functionality to be a single strike effect similar to aegis or blinded but with the ability to have multiple stacks.

General

  • Auras: Aura effects have been updated to be larger and more noticeable. The previous, more subtle aura effects are now used for auras on allies and for all characters viewed by PvP spectators when the Effect LOD option is checked in the graphics settings. Effect icons used for auras have been updated for consistency.
  • Unblockable (Tooltip): The unblockable skill fact has a new icon.
  • Unblockable (Effect): Skills and traits that grant the unblockable status now use a unified effect. This effect is intensity stacking, and stacks are lost whenever attacks hit or miss. Single strikes that hit multiple foes only consume 1 stack. Skills that grant the unblockable status for a duration have been updated to use a number of stacks instead.

Elementalist

Summoned elementals offer a unique gameplay option for elementalists who want to fight alongside an ally, but their short duration means that they only get brief windows of use. We have increased their summon duration to give them more presence, but we don’t want to make them last indefinitely like necromancer minions—we feel part of the identity of glyphs is being able to switch attunements to have different summons available. Additionally, we felt that the lesser elemental summoning glyph didn’t feel distinct enough from the elite glyph since the elite elementals had the same skills as the lesser elementals. To better distinguish the two glyphs, the command skill for lesser elementals has been removed in exchange for allowing multiple lesser elementals to be summoned at once.

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

Engineer

The Explosives specialization is seeing some major changes in this update. We’re removing several traits that had lackluster or difficult-to-apply effects, such as Minesweeper, Orbital Command, and Blasting Zone, and reorganizing functionality from others like Short Fuse and Big Boomer to be more unified. The Evasive Powder Keg trait has been removed and replaced with Explosive Entrance, which similarly adds damage after a dodge roll but does so in a more controlled and modifiable way. The penalty added for the holosmith’s overheating mechanic in a previous update is also being adjusted to play better with the Photonic Blasting Module trait as we felt it was too punishing for a trait that encouraged overheating. Finally, we’re updating grenade skills for better clarity in competitive modes, where it can be hard to tell the difference between the different grenades due to the identical casting animations.

  • Overheat: Instead of disabling all tool belt skills until all heat is lost, this skill now adds 15 seconds to the recharge of tool belt skills other than Photon Forge. Photon Forge remains disabled until all heat is lost.
  • Photonic Blasting Module: When this trait is equipped, the additional recharge penalty from overheating is reduced from 15 seconds to 5 seconds.
  • Overcharged Shot: Slowed down the animation so the shot occurs at 0.55 seconds (up from 0.24 seconds).
  • Personal Battering Ram: Slowed down the animation so the strike occurs at 0.6 seconds (up from 0.3 seconds).
  • Orbital Strike: This skill now uses a higher-detailed effect. The lower-detailed version can be viewed for allies, enemies, and PvP spectators by checking the Effect LOD option in the Graphics Options tab of the Options panel.
  • Grenade Kit: Skills in this kit now have unique warm-up effects based on which grenade type is being thrown. Fixed an issue in which grenade kit skills caused the grenade bundle to vanish during the casting time.
  • Crystal Configuration: Eclipse: This trait no longer causes Corona Burst to grant stability. Increased base barrier granted from 374 to 991 in PvE. Increased base barrier granted to 748 in competitive modes.
  • Short Fuse: This trait has been removed, and its cooldown reduction had been added to the following skills.
    • Fire Bomb: Reduced recharge from 10 seconds to 8 seconds.
    • Concussion Bomb: Reduced recharge from 20 seconds to 16 seconds.
    • Smoke Bomb: Reduced recharge from 25 seconds to 20 seconds.
    • Glue Bomb: Reduced recharge from 25 seconds to 20 seconds. Fixed an issue that caused the visuals for this skill to appear larger than the effect radius.
    • Big Ol’ Bomb: Reduced recharge from 25 seconds to 20 seconds.
  • Explosives: This trait line has been reworked. The new traits are as follows:
    • Minor:
      • Explosive Entrance: This new trait causes the first attack on entering combat to explode, damaging nearby enemies. This counts as an explosion. This ability refreshes after a dodge roll or while out of combat.
      • Steel-Packed Powder: No changes.
      • Shaped Charge: No changes.
    • Adept:
      • Grenadier: No changes.
      • Short Fuse: This trait no longer reduces the fuse time or recharge of bomb skills. Hitting a foe with an explosion skill grants 4 seconds of fury (3 seconds internal cooldown).
      • Glass Cannon: No changes.
    • Master:
      • Aim-Assisted Rocket: Rockets are now only fired on critical hits. Rocket recharge reduced from 10 seconds to 3 seconds. Rockets now require the engineer to be at least 450 distance from the target to fire. Every fifth rocket instead calls an Orbital Strike.
      • Explosive Temper: With this new trait, explosions grant an additional 20 stacking ferocity for 10 seconds when they hit (10 stacks max).
      • Blast Shield: This new trait causes Explosive Entrance to grant the engineer barrier (base 1,508 in PvE and 340 in competitive modes). It also converts 10% of power to vitality.
    • Grandmaster:
      • Flashbang: This new trait causes Explosive Entrance to inflict blindness for 3 seconds if it hits. Additionally, it inflicts daze for 1 second on struck foes above 90% health.
      • Shrapnel: No changes.
      • Big Boomer: This trait has been reworked. It now increases strike damage by 10% against foes with a lower health percent than the engineer. Additionally, it causes hitting with explosion skills to heal the engineer for 3 seconds at 202 health per second. This effect does not stack.

Guardian

Dragonhunters are solid damage dealers, but there were a couple spots that needed some tuning. Deflecting Shot in particular had a very short casting time and a control effect when traited with Heavy Light. We’ve rolled the control effect into the skill itself and increased its casting time to ensure that it feels reasonable. Several traits have also been improved to make them useful in more situations, such as Dulled Senses affecting all control effects instead of just knock back, and Wrathful Spirit granting fury in addition to retaliation. A couple of particularly unused traits in the core Virtues specialization have been retired and replaced with fresh options.

  • True Shot: Increased the damage dealt by 10% in PvE only, and improved the direction your arrow fires when you don’t have a target selected.
  • Deflecting Shot: This skill now knocks back foes, and its animation has been slowed down so the arrow is fired at 0.74 seconds (up from 0.28 seconds). Reduced power coefficient from 1.8 to 0.01 in PvP and WvW.
  • Hunter’s Ward: Increased the damage dealt by the final impact of this skill by 10%.
  • Chains of Light: Slowed down the animation so the strike occurs at 0.60 seconds (up from 0.40 seconds). Increased the immobilization duration to 5 seconds in PvE, and this skill now inflicts 5 stacks of vulnerability across all game modes.
  • “Feel My Wrath!”: This skill has been unsplit across game modes and now has a 35-second cooldown, grants 5 seconds of quickness, and grants 10 seconds of fury across all modes.
  • Dulled Senses: This trait no longer inflicts vulnerability when you cripple a foe. This trait now cripples any enemy that players disable, not just those foes they knock back.
  • Heavy Light: This trait no longer causes Deflecting Shot to knock foes back. This trait now grants stability whenever players disable an enemy, not just when they knock foes back. Additionally, this trait deals increased damage to disabled foes.
  • Big Game Hunter: The damage increase from this trait has been reduced from 20% to 15%, and the duration increase has been increased from 33% to 66%.
  • Stoic Demeanor: This trait can now affect the same enemy each second instead of every 3 seconds.
  • Virtuous Solace: This trait has been retired and replaced by Inspiring Virtue.
  • Inspiring Virtue: This new trait grants players increased damage after activating a virtue.
  • Wrathful Spirit: This trait now grants fury in addition to retaliation when aegis ends.
  • Binding Jeopardy: This trait has been retired and replaced with Furious Focus.
  • Furious Focus: This new trait inflicts vulnerability on any foe players strike while they have fury.

Mesmer

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

  • Signet of Domination: Slowed down the animation so the stun occurs at 0.56 seconds (up from 0.36 seconds).
  • Spatial Surge: The description for this skill now displays the maximum damage before the minimum damage.
  • Mirror Blade: Fixed a bug that caused this skill to display its slashing effect on the player instead of its target. Cooldown reduced from 8 seconds to 5 seconds. Rather than inflict equal damage per hit, the damage is reduced 15% per bounce.
  • Mind Stab: Cooldown reduced from 12 seconds to 10 seconds. This skill no longer removes boons, but instead inflicts cripple for 5 seconds.
  • Phantasmal Berserker: Cooldown reduced from 15 seconds to 12 seconds. This skill no longer cripples foes. Instead, the projectile now removes 2 boons. The projectile no longer boomerangs.
  • Confounding Suggestions: This trait has been retired and replaced with Bountiful Blades.
  • Bountiful Blades: Mirror Blades bounces 2 additional times. Phantasmal Berserker summons an additional berserker, and they each deal less damage (33% instead of 25% less damage.
  • Imagined Burden: This trait has been retired and been replaced with Vicious Expression.
  • Vicious Expression: The mesmer and their illusions deal increased damage to foes without boons. Disabling a foe removes 2 boons in PvE and 1 boon in PvP and WvW.
  • Elusive Mind: This trait no longer breaks stuns or inflicts exhaustion. Increased the number of conditions cleansed from 1 to 3 in PvE and from 1 to 2 in PvP and WvW.

Necromancer

Necromancer has always been designed to be a resilient profession that was light on stability. Since this update specifically is removing some stability from the necromancer’s traits, we made sure to adjust the profession’s stun break skills appropriately in response. Additionally, we’ve fixed a few issues with minion responsiveness and enhanced a few of the weaker minion command skills.

  • Well of Power: Reduced the cooldown of this skill from 40 seconds to 30 seconds in PvE only.
  • Plague Signet: Reduced the cooldown of this skill from 30 seconds to 25 seconds in PvE only.
  • Spectral Armor: Reduced the cooldown of this skill from 40 seconds to 30 seconds in PvE only.
  • Spectral Walk: Reduced the cooldown of this skill from 40 seconds to 30 seconds and reduced the swiftness duration from 30 seconds to 24 seconds in PvE only.
  • “Nothing Can Save You!”: This skill now applies 5 stacks of the new unblockable effect for a flat 10 seconds with an additional 2 stacks for each foe hit.
  • Minions: Necromancer minions will now display an effect when commanded, indicating they will be using a special skill.
    • Rigor Mortis (Bone Fiend Command Skill): Bone fiends will now respond immediately when commanded, interrupting their current action to perform the special attack.
    • Haunt (Shadow Fiend Command Skill): Increased radius from 120 to 300.
    • Summon Flesh Wurm: Reduced the cooldown of this ability from 32 seconds to 25 seconds in PvE only.
    • Necrotic Traversal (Flesh Wurm Command Skill): Increased radius from 180 to 240.
  • Doom: This skill now has a casting time and inflicts fear on your foe at 0.64 seconds. The fear duration has been increased from 1 second at a distance (1.5 seconds at close proximity) to 2 seconds on successful hit regardless of distance.
  • Death’s Carapace: Added a visual effect that changes based on the number of stacks the player has.
  • Foot in the Grave: This trait has been retired and replaced by Eternal Life.
  • Eternal Life: With this new trait, gain life force constantly up to a threshold while not in shroud. Gain 66% in PvE and 20% in PvP & WvW. Gain protection when you enter shroud.
  • Flesh of the Master: Fixed a bug that could cause Death’s Carapace stacks to be applied incorrectly by this trait.

Ranger

Soulbeasts, long standing without a tradeoff, are now receiving theirs—they lose combat access to a second pet and must choose carefully which pet they’re going to be bonded with in battle. We’re also enhancing several core ranger traits and some select weapon skills that we felt were on the weak side.

  • Soulbeast: Soulbeasts can no longer swap pets while in combat. Entering and leaving beastmode with your pet now counts as a pet swap for the purposes of the Clarion Bond and Zephyr’s Speed traits.
  • Lightning Assault (Electric Wyvern): Added a 0.5-second warm-up before the dash occurs.
  • Glyph of the Stars: Reduced the cooldown of this skill from 90 seconds to 60 seconds.
  • Call of the Wild: This skill now uses the new unblockable effect.
  • Throw Torch: This skill now applies its effects in a 180 radius around the target struck by the torch.
  • Winter’s Bite: This skill is now always an area-of-effect skill even when not traited with Honed Axes. Increased bleeding stacks in PvE from 2 to 3, and increased bleeding duration in PvE from 8 seconds to 12 seconds to match the competitive mode version.
  • Honed Axes: Baseline ferocity is now also applied to your pet. This trait no longer causes Winter’s Bite to become an area-of-effect strike.
  • Hunter’s Tactics: This trait now increases damage when attacking from the side or behind by 10% in addition to its previous effects.
  • Lead the Wind: This trait no longer grants swiftness when performing a projectile combo. Instead, it grants swiftness for 10 seconds and quickness for 5 seconds (2.5 seconds in PvP and WvW) when striking with an attack from beyond 1,200 range. This effect has a 15-second cooldown.
  • Druidic Clarity: This trait no longer causes entering Celestial Avatar to break stuns.
  • Unstoppable Union: This trait no longer causes entering beastmode to break stuns. Entering beastmode now grants protection and vigor in addition to removing movement-impairing conditions.
  • Beastly Warden: This trait now has a 1-second delay before the ranger’s pet taunts nearby enemies. Fixed a bug that could prevent this trait from working with underwater pets.
  • Clarion Bond: This trait now uses the new unblockable effect.
  • Twice as Vicious: Increased the damage and condition damage bonuses granted by this trait from 5% to 10% in PvE only.

Revenant

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

  • Surge of the Mists: Added a 0.5-second warm-up before the dash occurs. The evasion granted by this skill is active during the warm-up.
  • Temporal Rift: This skill no longer inflicts confusion. Increased the amount of torment applied in PvE from 2 stacks to 4 stacks.
  • Rift Slash: Updated the animation to be more prominent. Skill timing is unchanged.
  • Precision Strike: This skill has been reworked into a new skill called Chilling Isolation.
  • Chilling Isolation: This new skill is a 240-radius circular melee strike that chills up to 5 foes for two strikes. If the second strike hits only 1 foe, it does bonus damage. Increased the cooldown from 6 seconds to 8 seconds in PvP and WvW.
  • Banish Enchantment: This skill no longer inflicts confusion. Instead, it inflicts chill for 1 second and removes 1 boon per hit. The number of hits has increased from 1 to 3. Increased PvE damage by 380%. Damage in other modes increased by 20%.
  • Phase Traversal: This skill no longer increases damage for the next few attacks, and it now uses the new unblockable effect. Damage increased by 100% in PvE only. Energy cost raised from 30 to 35 in WvW to match the PvP version.
  • Unwavering Avoidance: This trait now grants vigor instead of stability when evading an attack. The cooldown of this trait has been reduced from 8 seconds to 5 seconds.
  • Determined Resolution: This trait now reduces incoming damage while revenants have vigor instead of stability. It no longer increases the duration of stability.
  • Fierce Infusion: This trait has been retired and replaced by Glaring Resolve.
  • Glaring Resolve: With this new trait, gain stability and heal when you break stuns.
  • Empty Vessel: This trait has been retired and replaced by Contained Temper.
  • Contained Temper: With this new trait, revenants gain fury when they disable a foe.
  • Sudden Reversal: This trait has been retired and replaced by Bold Reversal.
  • Bold Reversal: When revenants break stuns, they gain several offensive boons and full Kalla’s Fervor.

Changes to the Devastation trait line are aimed at two major areas. The first is addressing niche-use traits such as Malicious Reprisal and Jade Echo. These traits are being removed and replaced with new traits that have broader uses. The second issue is the opposite: some traits are so general that they are too similar in functionality. Ferocious Strikes and Vicious Lacerations both add damage in ways such that there is no real choice between them. The siphoning traits are a part of this change, and we’re unifying the siphoning effect into a single effect for the combat log and making it a bigger part of the overall line. The new siphon effect, named after Shiro’s iconic Battle Scars skill, is a stacking effect that is expended when attacking. It’s more restricted in its applications, but it’s stronger than previous siphoning traits.

  • The Devastation trait line has been reworked. The new traits are as follows:
    • Minor:
      • Expose Defenses: No changes.
      • Destructive Impulses: With this new trait, outgoing damage is increased by 5% for each currently equipped weapon.
      • Targeted Destruction: This trait has moved to the Grandmaster minor slot.
    • Adept:
      • Aggressive Agility: With this new trait, movement skills remove immobilize.
      • Unsuspecting Strikes: This new trait increases outgoing damage when attacking a foe above 80% health. The damage increase is 25% in PvE and 10% in competitive modes.
      • Battle Scarred: With this new trait, gain 5 stacks of Battle Scars after using your heal.
    • Master:
      • Assassin’s Presence: Moved to the top slot of the Master tier.
      • Notoriety: This trait no longer grants bonus might when using Legendary Assassin skills.
      • Thrill of Combat: This new trait grants 1 stack of Battle Scars every second while in combat.
    • Grandmaster:
      • Brutality: This trait switched positions with Swift Termination.
      • Swift Termination: This trait switched positions with Brutality.
      • Dance of Death: Each stack of vulnerability applied to a foe grants a stack of Battle Scars. The Battle Scars healing amount is doubled when revenants are below 50% health.

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

  • Corruption: The Corruption line has been reworked. The new traits are as follows:
    • Minor:
      • Invoking Torment: With this new trait, switching legends inflicts nearby foes with torment. This attack is called Invoke Torment and can be modified by other traits.
      • Seething Malice: With this new trait, gain 120 additional condition damage.
      • Yearning Empowerment: This trait has been reworked. It now increases the duration of all damaging conditions by 10%.
    • Adept:
      • Acolyte of Torment: With this new trait, torment deals 10% more damage.
      • Demonic Defiance: No changes.
      • Replenishing Despair: This trait has been reworked. While upkeeping a skill, revenants gain 1 energy regeneration. Additionally, they self-inflict 1 stack of torment for 5 seconds every second.
    • Master:
      • Abyssal Chill: This trait has moved to a new location in the same tier.
      • Demonic Resistance: This trait has moved to a new location in the same tier. This trait no longer grants vitality based on condition damage. Increased damage resistance from 20% to 33% in PvE. PvP and WvW remain at a 20% reduction.
      • Pact of Pain: With this new trait, conditions the revenant applies to foes last 15% longer. Conditions inflicted on the revenant last 10% longer.
    • Grandmaster:
      • Diabolic Inferno: This trait has been reworked. Invoke Torment inflicts burning and poison.
      • Fiendish Tenacity: This new trait causes Invoke Torment to grant resistance. Resistance heals the revenant every second it is active.
      • Permeating Pestilence: This trait has been renamed. Invoke Torment transfers conditions to struck foes.

Thief

The thief’s pistol has been updated to better smooth its gameplay. Ankle Shots, the associated pistol and harpoon gun trait, has been replaced with a new trait called Deadly Aim. Deadly Aim causes attacks from those weapons to pierce, allowing for strategic movement and positioning relative to your foes.

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

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

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

Warrior

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

  • Aimed Shot: This skill now has 2 ammunition, requires a 3-second recharge between uses, and recovers ammunition every 10 seconds.
  • Volley: This skill now has 2 ammunition, requires a 5-second recharge between uses, and recovers ammunition every 12 seconds.
  • Brutal Shot: This skill now has 2 ammunition, requires an 8-second recharge between uses, and recovers ammunition every 20 seconds.
  • Rifle Butt: Increased the recharge of this skill from 15 seconds to 20 seconds. When foes are struck with this skill, all other rifle skills recover 1 ammunition. Slowed down the animation so the knockback occurs at 0.6 seconds (up from 0.367 seconds).
  • Fierce Blow: Increased the damage dealt to disabled foes by 25% in PvE only.
  • Backbreaker: This skill now recharges Fierce Blow if the warrior knocks down a foe or strikes an enemy with a defiance bar.
  • Disrupting Stab: Rather than stunning foes, this skill now extends the 0.25-second daze when used against foes using skills. The extended daze is 1.5 seconds in PvE and 1 second in competitive modes. Removed bonus damage. Base damage increased by 50% in PvE only.
  • Imminent Threat: Slowed down the animation so the taunt occurs at 0.6 seconds (up from 0.333 seconds).
  • Signet of Might: This skill now gives 10 stacks of the new unblockable effect for 6 seconds.

Competitive Splits

All splits are for both PvP and WvW (and not PvE) unless noted otherwise.

General

  • In PvP only, weapon strength will now always use the midpoint instead of randomly rolling across the range.

Build Items

  • Reduced stats on 4-stat amulets from 1,050/1050/560/560 to 1,000/1,000/500/500.
  • Sigil of Annulment has been removed from the PvP Build panel.
  • Sigil of Agility has been removed from the PvP Build panel.
  • The following amulets have been removed from the PvP Build panel:
    • Deadshot Amulet
    • Viper Amulet
    • Wanderer Amulet
    • Diviner Amulet
    • Harrier Amulet
    • Seeker Amulet

Runes

Some PvP runes have been adjusted.

  • Slot (2) bonuses that granted specific boon or condition durations have been reduced from 10% to 4%.
  • Slot (4) bonuses that granted specific boon or condition durations have been reduced from 20% to 6%.
  • Slot (6) bonuses that granted specific boon or condition durations have been reduced from 20% to 10%.
  • Slot (2) bonuses that granted general boon or condition durations have been reduced from 5% to 2%.
  • Slot (4) bonuses that granted general boon or condition durations have been reduced from 10% to 3%.
  • Slot (6) bonuses that granted general boon or condition durations have been reduced from 10% to 5%.

For example, these were the pervious stats for Rune of the Afflicted (PvP):
(1) +25 Condition Damage
(2) +10% Poison Duration
(3) +50 Condition Damage
(4) +20% Bleeding Duration
(5) +100 Condition Damage
(6) +10% Condition Duration; create a death nova at a foe’s location upon their defeat

These are the new stats for Rune of the Afflicted (PvP):
(1) +25 Condition Damage
(2) +4% Poison Duration
(3) +50 Condition Damage
(4) +6% Bleeding Duration
(5) +100 Condition Damage
(6) +5% Condition Duration; create a death nova at a foe’s location upon their defeat

This change affects the following runes:

  • Rune of Air
  • Rune of Altruism
  • Rune of Balthazar
  • Rune of Dwayna
  • Rune of Earth
  • Rune of Evasion
  • Rune of Fire
  • Rune of Grenth
  • Rune of Hoelbrak
  • Rune of Ice
  • Rune of Leadership
  • Rune of Lyssa
  • Rune of Radiance
  • Rune of Rage
  • Rune of Scavenging
  • Rune of Speed
  • Rune of Strength
  • Rune of Thorns
  • Rune of the Afflicted
  • Rune of the Aristocracy
  • Rune of the Baelfire
  • Rune of the Centaur
  • Rune of the Citadel
  • Rune of the Elementalist
  • Rune of the Firebrand
  • Rune of the Flame Legion
  • Rune of the Forge
  • Rune of the Grove
  • Rune of the Herald
  • Rune of the Krait
  • Rune of the Mad King
  • Rune of the Monk
  • Rune of the Necromancer
  • Rune of the Nightmare
  • Rune of the Rata Sum
  • Rune of the Sanctuary
  • Rune of the Svanir
  • Rune of the Tempest
  • Rune of the Trapper
  • Rune of the Traveler
  • Rune of the Water
  • Rune of the Weaver

Elementalist

Profession Mechanics
Overload
  • Overload Fire: Reduced might duration from 12 seconds to 6 seconds.
  • Overload Water: Reduced pulse heal coefficient from 0.2 to 0.1. Reduced maximum number of targets from 10 to 5.
  • Overload Air: Reduced power coefficient per strike from 0.765 to 0.612.
  • Overload Earth: Reduced the maximum number of targets from 10 to 5.
Weapons
Staff

Fire

  • Fireball: Reduced power coefficient from 1.0 to 0.666.
  • Lava Font: Reduced power coefficient per strike from 0.525 to 0.454.
  • Meteor Shower: Reduced power coefficient from 1.6 to 1.1.

Water

  • Water Blast: Reduced base heal from 372 to 223. Reduced heal coefficient from 0.25 to 0.15. Reduced power coefficient from 0.3 to 0.2.
  • Ice Spike: Reduced power coefficient from 1.5 to 0.91. Adjusted vulnerability duration from 5 stacks for 10 seconds to 12 stacks for 6 seconds. Increased cooldown from 6 seconds to 8 seconds.
  • Geyser: Reduced pulse heal coefficient from 0.4 to 0.2. Reduced pulse base heal from 552 to 276.

Air

  • Chain Lightning: Reduced power coefficient from 0.66 to 0.44.
  • Lightning Surge: Reduced power coefficient from 1.44 to 1.15.
  • Static Field: Reduced power coefficient from 0.5 to 0.01.

Earth

  • Stoning: Reduced power coefficient from 0.5 to 0.333.
  • Eruption: Reduced power coefficient from 1.5 to 1.25.
  • Transmute Earth (Magnetic Aura): Reduced power coefficient from 1.0 to 0.1.
Scepter

Fire

  • Dragon’s Tooth: Reduced power coefficient from 2.25 to 2.0.
  • Phoenix: Reduced pass-through power coefficient from 0.75 to 0.4. Reduced explosion power coefficient from 1.7 to 1.5.

Water

  • Ice Shards: Reduced power coefficient per strike from 0.24 to 0.16.
  • Shatterstone: Reduced power coefficient from 1.66 to 1.5. Adjusted vulnerability from 5 stacks for 15 seconds to 10 stacks for 6 seconds.
  • Water Trident: Reduced heal coefficient from 1.0 to 0.7. Reduced base heal from 1,832 to 1,099.

Air

  • Arc Lightning: Reduced power coefficients per strike from 0.15/0.3/0.449 to 0.1/0.2/0.3.
  • Lightning Strike: Reduced power coefficient from 1.2 to 0.6.

Earth

  • Stone Shards: Reduced power coefficient per strike from 0.15 to 0.1.
  • Dust Devil: Reduced power coefficient from 0.4 to 0.2.
Dagger

Fire

  • Dragon’s Claw: Reduced power coefficient per strike from 0.375 to 0.25.
  • Drake’s Breath: Reduced power coefficient per strike from 0.7 to 0.4. Increased cooldown from 5 seconds to 6 seconds.
  • Burning Speed: Increased cooldown from 12 seconds to 15 seconds.
  • Ring of Fire: Reduced power coefficient from 1.2 to 0.6.
  • Fire Grab: Reduced base power coefficient from 1.75 to 1.0. Reduced power coefficient against burning enemies from 2.8 to 2.0.

Water

  • Cone of Cold: Reduced power coefficient per hit from 0.6 to 0.3.
  • Frozen Burst: Increased cooldown from 12 seconds to 15 seconds.
  • Transmute Frost (Frost Aura): Reduced power coefficient from 0.5 to 0.1.
  • Cleansing Wave: Reduced base heal from 1,558 to 1,302. Reduced heal coefficient from 1.0 to 0.6.

Air

  • Lightning Whip: Reduced power coefficient per strike from 0.63 to 0.42.
  • Convergence: Reduced power coefficient from 1.5 to 1.0.
  • Transmute Lightning (Shocking Aura): Reduced power coefficient from 1.0 to 0.01.
  • Ride the Lightning: Reduced power coefficient from 1.0 to 0.6.

Earth

  • Impale: Reduced power coefficient from 0.77 to 0.513.
  • Ring of Earth: Reduced initial strike power coefficient from 0.33 to 0.1. Reduced final strike power coefficient from 1.2 to 0.9. Reduced bleeding stacks per strike from 3 to 2.
  • Earthen Rush: Reduced power coefficient from 1.0 to 0.4.
  • Earthquake: Reduced power coefficient from 1.0 to 0.01.
  • Churning Earth: Reduced power coefficient from 3.5 to 2.25.
Focus

Earth

  • Magnetic Wave: Reduced power coefficient from 1.0 to 0.25.
Warhorn

Fire

  • Heat Sync: Adjusted might from 3 stacks for 10 seconds to 6 stacks for 6 seconds. Reduced maximum number of allied targets from 10 to 5.
  • Wildfire: Reduced power coefficient per hit from 0.66 to 0.5.

Water

  • Tidal Surge: Reduced power coefficient from 1.0 to 0.01.
  • Water Globe: Reduced pulse heal coefficient from 0.24 to 0.125.

Air

  • Cyclone: Reduced power coefficient from 0.9 to 0.01.
  • Lightning Orb: Reduced power coefficient per strike from 0.45 to 0.36. Reduced vulnerability duration from 10 seconds to 6 seconds.

Earth

  • Sand Squall: Reduced base protection duration from 2 seconds to 0.5 seconds. Reduced maximum number of targets from 10 to 5.
Sword

Fire

  • Autoattack Chain: Reduced power coefficients from 0.66/0.77/1.25 to 0.44/0.513/0.833.
  • Flame Uprising: Reduced initial strike power coefficient from 1.5 to 1.25. Reduced field power coefficient from 0.5 to 0.4.
  • Cauterizing Strike: Reduced base power coefficient from 1.75 to 1.0. Reduced power coefficient against burning foes from 2.33 to 1.6.

Water

  • Autoattack Chain: Reduced power coefficients from 0.33/0.45/0.66 to 0.22/0.3/0.44.
  • Riptide: Reduced power coefficient per strike from 0.33 to 0.1. Reduced pulse heal coefficient from 0.1 to 0.05. Reduced pulse base heal from 165 to 120. Increased cooldown from 12 seconds to 18 seconds.
  • Aqua Siphon: Reduced base heal from 1,770 to 1,150.

Air

  • Changes to the autoattack chain are as follows:
    • Charged Strike: Reduced power coefficient from 0.77 to 0.513.
    • Polaric Slash: Reduced power coefficient from 0.88 to 0.587.
    • Call Lightning: Reduced initial strike power coefficient from 1.0 to 0.8. Reduced lightning strike power coefficient from 0.425 to 0.2.
  • Quantum Strike: Reduced initial strike damage from 0.5 to 0.1. Reduced lightning strike damage per hit from 0.425 to 0.25. Reduced vulnerability duration from 8 seconds to 6 seconds. Increased cooldown from 16 seconds to 18 seconds.

Earth

  • Autoattack Chain: Reduced power coefficients from 0.66/0.77/1.0 to 0.44/0.513/0.666.
  • Earthen Vortex: Increased cooldown from 12 seconds to 18 seconds.
  • Rust Frenzy: Reduced power coefficient per strike from 0.33 to 0.25.
Dual Skills (Weaver)

Staff

  • Plasma Blast: Increased cooldown from 12 seconds to 15 seconds.
  • Pile Driver: Reduced power coefficient from 2.1 to 1.6.

Dagger

  • Steam Surge: Reduced power coefficient from 1.5 to 1.0. Reduced field base heal from 427 to 213.
  • Mud Slide: Reduced power coefficient from 0.15 to 0.01.

Sword

  • Pyro Vortex: Increased cooldown from 12 seconds to 15 seconds.
  • Twin Strike: Reduced second strike power coefficient from 1.5 to 1.0. Increased cooldown from 10 seconds to 12 seconds.
  • Lava Skin: Reduced pulse base barrier from 379 to 227.
  • Shearing Edge: Reduced power coefficient from 1.5 to 1.0. Increased chill duration from 2.5 seconds to 3.5 seconds.
  • Gale Strike: Reduced power coefficient per strike from 0.275 to 0.01. Reduced bleeding duration from 5 seconds to 1 second.
  • Natural Frenzy: Reduced power coefficient per strike from 0.44 to 0.295. Increased cooldown from 10 seconds to 15 seconds.

Heal

  • Glyph of Elemental Harmony: Reduced heal coefficient from 1.2 to 1.0. Increased cooldown from 20 seconds to 25 seconds.
  • Signet of Restoration: Reduced base heal per skill use from 202 to 171. Reduced heal coefficient per cast from 0.1 to 0.07.
  • “Wash the Pain Away!”: Reduced first pulse heal coefficient from 0.75 to 0.5. Reduced second pulse heal coefficient from 0.5 to 0.25. WvW will now use the PvP cooldown of 25 seconds (up from 20 seconds).
  • Aquatic Stance: Increased ammo recharge from 20 seconds to 25 seconds.

Utility

  • Arcane Blast: Reduced power coefficient from 1.4 to 0.6.
  • Arcane Wave: Reduced power coefficient from 1.4 to 0.6.
  • Arcane Shield: Increased cooldown from 40 seconds to 45 seconds.
  • Cleansing Fire: Reduced number of conditions cleansed from 5 to 3. Reduced burning stacks from 2 to 1. Reduced cooldown from 40 seconds to 30 seconds.
  • Lightning Flash: Reduced power coefficient from 1.5 to 0.3. Reduced cooldown from 40 seconds to 35 seconds.
  • Armor of Earth: Increased cooldown from 50 seconds to 60 seconds.
  • Glyph of Elemental Power: Increased cooldown from 25 seconds to 30 seconds. Reduced burning duration from 3 seconds to 1.5 seconds.
  • “Feel the Burn!”: Reduced power coefficient from 1.0 to 0.1. Reduced might duration from 10 seconds to 6 seconds. Increased number of might stacks from 3 to 6.
  • Flash Freeze: Reduced power coefficient from 0.7 to 0.1. Increased chill duration from 3 seconds to 4 seconds.
  • “Eye of the Storm!”: Reduced superspeed duration from 5 seconds to 3 seconds. Reduced cooldown from 40 seconds to 35 seconds.
  • “Aftershock!”: Reduced total power coefficient from 1.5 to 0.1. Increased immobilize duration from 2 seconds to 3 seconds. Reduced protection duration from 5 seconds to 3 seconds. Reduced cooldown from 35 seconds to 30 seconds.
  • Primordial Stance: Increased ammo recharge from 20 seconds to 25 seconds. Reduced burning duration from 3 seconds to 1.5 seconds.
  • Twist of Fate: Increased ammo recharge from 40 seconds to 75 seconds.
  • Unravel: Reduced protection duration from 5 seconds to 3 seconds.

Elite

  • Tornado: Reduced power coefficient of the base launch attack from 1.1 to 0.01. Reduced cooldown from 90 seconds to 60 seconds.
    • Debris Tornado: Reduced power coefficient from 0.5 to 0.01.
    • Dust Charge: Reduced power coefficient from 0.33 to 0.01.
  • Whirlpool: Reduced power coefficient from 2.2 to 0.01.
  • Tailored Victory (Weave Self): Reduced power coefficient from 0.75 to 0.01.
Traits
Fire Magic
  • Sunspot: Reduced power coefficient from 0.6 to 0.1.
  • Burning Precision: Reduced bonus burning duration from 20% to 15%. Reduced burning duration from 3 seconds to 1 second.
  • Burning Rage: Reduced number of burning stacks from 2 to 1.
  • Pyromancer’s Puissance: Reduced might duration from 10 seconds to 6 seconds.
Water Magic
  • Soothing Mist: Reduced pulse heal coefficient from 0.1 to 0.05.
  • Healing Ripple: Reduced base heal from 1,302 to 1,042. Reduced heal coefficient from 1.0 to 0.75.
  • Soothing Ice: Increased cooldown from 30 seconds to 60 seconds.
  • Piercing Shards: Reduced bonus damage from 10% to 5%.
  • Flow like Water: Reduced bonus damage from 10% to 5%. Reduced base heal from 714 to 478.
Air Magic
  • Electric Discharge: Reduced power coefficient from 0.25 to 0.05. Reduced vulnerability duration from 8 seconds to 6 seconds. Increased vulnerability stacks from 1 to 8.
  • Inscription: Reduced might duration from 10 seconds to 6 seconds. Increased might stacks from 1 to 3. Reduced regeneration duration from 10 seconds to 5 seconds.
  • Lightning Rod: Reduced weakness duration from 4 seconds to 3 seconds.
Earth Magic
  • Earthen Blast: Reduced power coefficient from 0.36 to 0.1.
  • Earth’s Embrace: Increased cooldown from 90 seconds to 300 seconds.
  • Strength of Stone: Reduced bleeding stacks from 3 to 1.
  • Earthen Blessing: Reduced endurance gain from 10 to 5.
Arcane
  • Arcane Prowess: Reduced might duration from 8 seconds to 6 seconds.
  • Elemental Attunement: Reduced might duration from 15 seconds to 6 seconds. Reduced protection duration from 5 seconds to 4 seconds.
  • Elemental Enchantment: Reduced concentration from 180 to 120.
  • Arcane Precision: Reduced burning duration from 1.5 seconds to 1 second. Reduced vulnerability duration from 10 seconds to 6 seconds. Reduced bleeding duration from 5 seconds to 2 seconds.
  • Arcane Restoration: Reduced base heal from 330 to 220.
  • Arcane Resurrection: Reduced revive pulse of Geyser from 7% to 1%.
  • Final Shielding: Increased cooldown from 90 seconds to 300 seconds.
  • Elemental Surge: Reduced immobilize duration from 2 seconds to 1 second.
Tempest
  • Gathered Focus: Reduced concentration from 120 to 60. Reduced bonus concentration while above the health threshold from 120 to 60.
  • Gale Song: Increased cooldown from 90 seconds to 300 seconds.
  • Invigorating Torrents: Reduced regeneration and vigor durations from 5 seconds to 3 seconds.
  • Tempestuous Aria: Reduced might duration from 10 seconds to 6 seconds. Increased might stacks from 2 to 3.
  • Elemental Bastion: Increased internal cooldown from 30 seconds to 40 seconds. Reduced base heal from 522 to 391. Reduced healing coefficient from 0.55 to 0.4125.
Weaver
  • Elemental Refreshment: Reduced base barrier from 434 to 260.
  • Superior Elements: Reduced weakness duration from 3 seconds to 2 seconds.
  • Elemental Pursuit: Reduced superspeed duration from 2.5 seconds to 1.5 seconds.
  • Weaver’s Prowess: Reduced bonus condition duration from 20% to 7%.
  • Woven Stride: Increased internal cooldown from 3 seconds to 5 seconds.
  • Invigorating Strikes: Reduced base barrier from 894 to 670.

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