Dec. 10th Balance Preview - Updated Nov 6th.

Dec. 10th Balance Preview - Updated Nov 6th.

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Posted by: JonPeters

JonPeters

Game Design Lead

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General
These are the proposed balance changes for the Dec. 10th build. These changes are not final and are subject to change. We are posting them early so the community can discuss them with us. We wanted to be more transparent with the community about these changes to help expose problems that riskier changes might create.

Our goal for many of the classes was to increase build diversity while still maintaining class roles and identities. Some of the things we increased were abilities/skills that people don’t run very often. Our goal was to increase these abilities to make them viable alternate builds.

How to give good feedback and what to expect.

  • Be constructive. If you think a change may cause issues, say why and give examples. Try not to argue with others – make your point and then accept that other people may have different points of view.
  • Be concise. Our time is limited and we can’t read walls of text because it will prevent us from having the time to read as many posts as possible. Bullet points or numbered lists are very easy for us to read!
  • Be specific. “I expect this change to accomplish A, but I think it will actually accomplish B”. The more specific you are, the better we are able to understand where you’re coming from, what type of content you play, and it helps us to understand the context for your feedback.
  • Be objective. Keep in mind that just because you may not like something, that doesn’t make it bad. Others may have differing opinions. They may play a different type of content, or they may play a different profession, so be objective and keep in mind – we have to balance the game for EVERYONE, not just you.
  • Be respectful. This goes for your fellow community members as well as for devs. Respect the ideas and opinions of others.
  • Be mindful of scope. These are the changes we are trying to get in for the Dec. 10th balance patch. That doesn’t leave us with time to rework entire classes, or redesign entire weapon sets with this update. Keep scope/work/time/resources in mind when you make your suggestions.
  • Be mindful of context. Power creep is something we’re trying to avoid. Sometimes a profession may not receive as many increases as other classes. A lot of times, this is because that class is already performing very well in the current state of the game. So keep the overall context/state of the game in mind when giving feedback.

Dec. 10th Balance Preview - Updated Nov 6th.

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Elementalist:
This patch’s goal for the elementalist was to increase the power of the Earth, Air and Fire lines, while taking away some of the need to go into Arcane. This was done by bringing up the base cooldown of attunements so that elementalists aren’t forced to go as deep into Arcane in order to get the old attunement cooldown %’s. In doing so, we decided put some of the most powerful Adept tier traits in Water magic and Arcane to the Master tier to avoid power creep that would have occurred by letting players gain powerful effects in Master and Grandmaster tier of Fire, Air, and Earth and still get the extremely powerful traits in Water and Arcane by only splashing in 10 points.

  • Fire II – Burning Fire – Use Cleansing Fire automatically when you have a number of conditions on you. 3 conditions. 40 second cooldown. Moved to Master tier.
  • Fire VIII – Conjurer – Moved to Adept tier.
  • Fire III – Ember’s Might. The effect of this trait has been changed to Burns you apply last longer. 25%.
  • Burning Rage 25 – Increased damage dealt to burning foes: 5% to 10%.
  • Air V – Soothing Winds. Increased conversion from 5% to 7%.
  • Air XI – Tempest Defense. Decreased the cooldown from 60s to 25s.
  • Earth 5 – Stone Flesh – Increased toughness while attuned to Earth Magic to 1.5/level (120 at level 80).
  • Earth VII – Strength of Stone. Gain condition damage based on your Toughness. 10%.
  • Earth XI – Diamond Skin. Conditions cannot be applied to you when your health is above the threshold. 90%.
  • Water I – Aquamancer’s Alacrity. Moved to Master tier.
  • Water V – Cleansing Wave. Moved to Master tier.
  • Water VIII – Arcane Abatement. Moved to Adept tier.
  • Water X – Soothing Wave. Moved to Adept tier. redesign: Gain Regeneration(3s) on incoming critical hits. 10s recharge.
  • Soothing Disruption move to master tier.
  • Cantrip Mastery move to adept tier.
  • Arcane III – Arcane Retribution. Moved to Master tier. Decreased cooldown 90s to kitten .
  • Arcane IV – Final Shielding. Decreased cooldown from 90s to 75s.
  • Arcane V – Elemental Attunement. Moved to Master tier.
  • Arcane VI – Arcane Resurrection. Moved to Master tier.
  • Arcane VII – Vigorous Scepter. Moved to Adept tier.
  • Arcane VIII – Blasting Staff. Moved to Adept tier.
  • Arcane IX – Windborne Dagger. Moved to Adept tier. This trait will now function outside of combat.

The following changes were done to reduce the necessity of putting points into the Arcane trait line.

  • The base cooldown of the attunement that you just left is now reduced from 16 seconds to 13 seconds. Attunement cooldown rate now increases by 1% per point in Arcane down from 2%. The end result is that now Attunements go from 13s to 10s instead of the old range of 16s to 10s.
  • Base global attunement cooldown is now 1.625 seconds. Global attunement cooldown rate now decreases by 1% per point in Arcane down from 2%. The end result is that now global attunement cooldown goes from 1.625 to 1.25 instead of the old range of 2.0 to 1.25.

Engineer:
We wanted to maintain the engineer’s core roles while still increasing build diversity. We also wanted to take out some of the random effects for some of the class’s traits. The biggest change here is allowing Modified Ammunition to work with any skills so that an engineer, regardless of build, can look at putting 30 points into firearms. By increasing the swiftness duration on Speedy Kits, we hope to allow Swiftness to be maintained more reasonably without having to constantly be swapping between Kits. This change will also bring down the total up time for Vigor due to its interaction with Invigorating Speed. We don’t like classes having permanent Vigor, and this is one of the areas we needed to tone down the up time of the engineer’s Vigor.

  • Explosives V – Incendiary Powder. Moved to Master tier.
  • Explosives VI – Exploit Weakness. Increased the health threshold. 25% to 50%
  • Explosives IX – Accelerant packed turrets. Moved to Adept tier.
  • Firearms XI – Modified Ammunition. Now works regardless of equipped weapon.
  • Inventions V – Energized Armor. Increased conversion: 5% to 7%.
  • Inventions X – Autotool Installation. Increased healing percent from 1% to 5%. Decreased interval from 10s to 3s.
  • Inventions XI – Elixir Infused bombs. Increased healing scaling by 50%.
  • Power Shoes. Will now function outside of combat.
  • Alchemy V – Blood Injection. Increased conversion from 5% to 7%.
  • Alchemy 15 – Transmute. Increased % chance from 8% to 100%. This effect can now only trigger once every 15 seconds.
  • Tools VI – Speedy Kits. Increased Swiftness duration to 10s. 10s recharge.
  • Tools XI – Armor Mods. Changed this to now trigger on struck instead of on critical hit incoming. Reduced the cooldown from 25s to 15s.
  • Blunderbuss. Updated the ranges on this skill so that it is at 100% effectivness with anyone in melee range. Increased range 200 units when using the trait.

(edited by JonPeters.5630)

Dec. 10th Balance Preview - Updated Nov 6th.

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Guardian:
Tanky and supportive guardians are in a strong position in many gametypes. We do feel that damage guardians are not as powerful as they could be. While we don’t want guardians to be as strong offensively as some of the other classes (given their powerful defensive abilities) we opened up more offensive guardian builds.

  • Zeal V – Shattered Aegis. Damage instead of Burning.
  • Zeal VII – Zealous Blade. This trait now scales with Healing power (2%.)
  • Zeal XII – Kindled Zeal. Increased conversion from 10% to 13%.
  • Radiance V – Searing Flames. Reduced cooldown from 20s to 10s.
  • Radiance X – Powerful blades. Increased damage from 5% to 10%.
  • Valor V – Retributive Armor. Increased conversion rate from 5% to 7%.
  • Honor VI – Pure of Heart. Increased scaling with Healing power from 25% to 40%.
  • Virtues VIII – Supreme Justice. Number of attacks going from 4 to 3.
  • Symbol of Swiftness: This skill now applies 4 seconds of swiftness per pulse, rather than 8 seconds if you have no swiftness and 1 second if you have swiftness.

Mesmer:
The bulk of the mesmer changes are focused on two things. 1) Bringing up some of the mesmer support traits and condition removal traits. 2) Reduce dependency on certain trait lines. The changes to Mender’s Purity and Shattered conditions as well as the move of Dazzling Glamours are meant to accomplish the first of these two. The changes to Shattered Strength and Illusionist’s celerity are what we feel accomplish the second one. Before this change mesmers needed to place 25 points into Illusions for many of their builds. Now they can place only 15 points in there to get the Illusion cooldown which will give them back 10 more trait points to open up some new builds. Finally, we felt that the Mantra traits were fairly difficult to collect. Moving Mantra mastery to adept tier takes some trait pressure off of the Dueling line, allowing mantra mesmers to gain a good trait with only 10 points.

  • Domination XII – Confounding Suggestions. Changed to also increase daze duration by 25%.
  • Dueling VI – Protected Mantras. Moved to Master Tier. Increase Toughness from 400 to 600.
  • Dueling VII – Mantra Mastery. Moved to Adept Tier.
  • Chaos 25 – Chaotic Transference. Increased conversion from 5% to 10%.
  • Chaos I – Chaotic Revival. Reduced cooldown from 35s to 10s.
  • Chaos VII – Mirror of Anguish. Reduced cooldown from 90s to 60s.
  • Inspiration IV – Mender’s Purity. Now removes 2 conditions.
  • Inspiration XI – Shattered Conditions. Increased radius from 240 to 600.
  • Illusions VI – Illusionary Invigoration. Recharge reduced from 90s to 60s. Moved to Master Tier.
  • Illusions VIII – Dazzling Galmours. Moved to Adept Tier.
  • Illusions 15 – Shattered Strength – Moved to Grandmaster tier.
  • Illusions 25 – Illusionist’s Celerity – Moved to Master tier.

(edited by JonPeters.5630)

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Necromancer:
For the necromancer, we felt that a few traits and skills were too powerful, while others were lacking in efficacy. We brought down some of the raw DPS conditions that necromancer enjoys, while also maintaining their pressure and sustain elements. The necromancer’s mobility will remain where it is currently, as we want the Necromancers to be focused on sustaining themselves through death shroud, siphoning health, and slowing down their opponent’s ability to act.

  • Mark of Blood. Removed 1 bleed in PvP only.
  • Spite 15 – Death into Life. Increased conversion from 5% to 7%
  • Spite X – Chill of Death. Increased trigger threshold from 25% to 50%.
  • Curses IV – Weakening Shroud. Increase recharge from 15 to 25.
  • Curses VIII – Banshee’s Wail. Increase cooldown reduction from 15% to 20%.
  • Death 5 – Reanimator. Decreased cooldown from 30s to 15s.
  • Death VIII – Reaper’s Protection. Decreased the cooldown from 90s to 60s.
  • Death 25 – Deadly Strength. Increased conversion from 5% to 10%.
  • Blood Magic 25 – Blood to Power. Decreased health threshold from 90% to 75%. Increase Power from 90 to 120.
  • Soul Reaping II. Vital Persistence. Increased reduction of life force drain from 25% to 50%.

Ranger:
For the ranger, we’ve adjusted the placement of some traits so that rangers should have more build combinations. For example, by swapping Nature’s Vengeance and Spirits Unbound so that rangers can have spirits follow you in tier 2, players can now opt out of the higher damage output from spirits and still have options elsewhere. We also brought up some Marksmanship and a Skirmishing trait to make power specs more appealing. We feel like rangers also currently have too much endurance regeneration through traits. Due to this, we’ve made adjustments to Wilderness Survival traits, and we’ve also brought down the passive of Sun Spirit and the active effect for Storm Spirit.

  • Long Range Shot. Increased the damage at 500 range by 20%.
  • Long Range Shot. Increased the damage at 500-1000 range by 15%.
  • Marksmanship V – Predator’s Instinct. Increased the threshold from 25% to 50%. Increased the Cripple Duration from 2s to 10s. Increased the cooldown from 15s to 30s.
  • Marksmanship VI – Beastmaster’s Bond. Decreased the cooldown from 90s to 60s.
  • Skirmishing XII – Moment of Clarity. Stun Duration increased from 50% to 100%.
  • Wilderness 5 Natural Vigor. Reduced the increased endurance regeneration from 50% to 25%.
  • Wilderness VIII – Oakheart Salve. Decreased the recharge of this trait from 20s->15s
  • Wilderness XII – Bark Skin Increased the damage reduction from 30% to 50%.
  • Nature Magic I – Circle of Life. Cleared up the text of this trait to clearly identify that it happens when downed, not defeated.
  • Nature Magic V – Strength of Spirit. Increased conversion from 5% to 7%
  • Nature Magic IX – Two Handed Training. Added the following functionality to this trait. Greatsword and Spear attacks have a chance to grant Fury on hit. 50% chance. 3s Fury. 10s cooldown.
  • Nature Magic X – Enlargement. This trait now uses Signet of the Wild to trigger. This reduces the cooldown to 60 seconds and allow it to interact with the Signet of the Beastmaster and Signet Mastery traits.
  • Nature Magic VII – Nature’s Vengeance. Moved to Grandmaster Tier.
  • Nature Magic XI – Spirits Unbound. Moved to Master Tier.
  • Beastmastery VI – Mighty Swap. The might from this trait is now applied to you and your pet.
  • Sun Spirit. Reduced the passive burning from 3s to 2s.
  • Storm Spirit. Reduced the damage from the Call Lightning skill by 33%.

(edited by JonPeters.5630)

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Thief:
One of the issues we are working on for thieves this patch is the dependence on the traits which boost initiative. We did this by shaving a significant amount of initiative gain from these traits while simultaneously boosting the generic rate of initiative gain by 33%. We have also somewhat reduced the effectiveness of high evasion thieves by reducing vigor up time and adding some cast time to the Shadow Return skill on the sword. This prevents these thieves from evading too much and too easily dealing with being disabled (stun, daze, fear, knockdown, etc.). Also we are trying to improve the survivability of thieves in the Acrobatics line through easier access to the Hard to Catch trait and increased effectiveness of the Assassin’s Reward trait. This will reward thieves who are actively engaged in the fight rather than those who are just dodging over and over again. The change to Infusion of Shadow is meant to stop players from gaining initiative by applying stealth while already in stealth. This should keep thieves from being able to recharge all of their power while idling in a very long stealth. We felt that using a lot of different abilities to maintain stealth is ok, but re-using the same ability over and over for almost permanent stealth was just bad for the game, especially when gaining large amounts of initiative.

  • Increased the base rate of initiative gain from .75/second to 1/second.
  • Shadow Return on Sword. Renamed to Infiltrator’s return. Added a 1/4s cast time.
  • Pistol Whip. Reduced the after cast on the first half of this skill by .25 seconds.
  • Deadly Arts VI – Sundering Strikes. Increased the trigger chance from 50%. Remove ICD. Decrease Vulnerability duration to 6s.
  • Critical Strikes VI – Practiced Tolerance. Increased conversion from 5% to 7%.
  • Critical Strikes 15 – Opportunist. Increased trigger chance to 50%. Increase cooldown from 1s to 5s.
  • Critical Strikes VIII – Signet Use. Reduced initiative gain from 2 to 1.
  • Critical Strike X – Critical Haste. Increase trigger chance to 25%.
  • Shadow Arts V – Infusion of Shadow – This trait functionality has been changed to “Gain initiative when you enter stealth.” 2 init.
  • Acrobatics III – Vigorous Recovery. Reduced Vigor duration to 5s from 8s.
  • Acrobatics IV – Assassin’s Retreat. Increased swiftness duration to 20s.
  • Acrobatics IX – Quick Recovery. Reduced initiative gain from 2 to 1.
  • Acrobatics X – Assassins Reward. Increased healing scaling by 35%. Moved to Grandmaster Tier.
  • Acrobatics XI – Hard to catch. Moved to Master Tier.
  • Trickery 5 – Kleptomaniac. Reduce initiative gain from 3 to 2.
  • Trickery IV – Flanking Strikes. Move to Master tier.
  • Trickery VII – Bountiful Theft. Reduced vigor duration to from 15s to 10s.
  • Trickery VIII – Trickster. Move to Adept tier.

Warrior:
The overall goal here is to reduce the damage for the very high control warriors. This means reducing some dependency on going 30 points into discipline for Burst Mastery, making warriors spend 20 points in Arms to get the benefit of Unsuspecting Foe. We also reduced the damage on the hammer’s burst skill to separate the control from the damage. We don’t mind warriors doing massive damage, or doing great area of effect control, but we’re trying to prevent them from easily doing both. We also increased the readability of Skull Crack, which will allow opposing players to more easily react to it. Combustive Shot on longbow also saw some rework. It will scale better with adrenaline levels, and still provide strong burning per adrenaline level, but the raw damage was toned down slightly.

  • Strength 5 – Reckless Dodge. Increased Damage by 25%
  • Strength III – Great Fortitude. Increased conversion rate from 5% to 7%.
  • Arms IV – Unsuspecting Foe. Moved to Master Tier.
  • Arms VII – Crack Shot. Moved to Adept Tier.
  • Arms XII – Last Chance. Increased the threshold form 25% to 50%. Reduced the cooldown from 45 seconds to 40seconds.
  • Defense 25 – Armored Attack. Increased conversion rate from 5% to 10%.
  • Defense XII – Spiked Armor. Reduced the recharge from 15s to 10s.
  • Tactics 5 – Determined Revival. Now correctly displays the amount of toughness.
  • Tactics 25 – Reviver’s Might. Now applies 3 stacks of Might instead of 1.
  • Discipline II – Thrill of the Kill. Increased Adrenaline gain from 1 to 10.
  • Discipline XI – Burst Mastery. Reduced damage increase from 10% to 7%. Removed erroneous adrenaline gain fact.
  • Earthshaker. Reduced damage by 20%.
  • Staggering Blow. Reduced damage by 23%.
  • Skull Crack. Increased the cast time from 1/4s to 1/2s. Updated the animation and effects of this skill to be more clear.
  • Combustive Shot – Increased pulse duration to 3s. Increased burn duration per pulse to 3s. Normalized damage per pulse. Updated pulses per tier to 2, 3,and 4 respectively for tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3. Overall physical damage has been reduced by 15%.

(edited by JonPeters.5630)

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Posted by: Fortus.6175

Fortus.6175

Lots of good changes, glad about the warrior ones, as for eles lets see how it goes,

I would say arcane is the one that needs the most focusing, traits that is, specially Blasting staff, glad is was moved down, it definitely opens up more options. Definitely will be looking forward to this.

What I lvoed the most was the clarity and reasoning of each changes, thank you for that!

(edited by Fortus.6175)

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Posted by: stale.9785

stale.9785

This actually looks very nice. If (IF) the ele and ranger changes make it in, that’s huge. Still nothing to address ranger 1H sword, but I’ll take what I can get.

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Posted by: Lévis.5489

Lévis.5489

Ranger sword 1 still rooting?
Why should i get 300 points in precision and 30% more critical damage if i want to use traps?

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Posted by: RyuDragnier.9476

RyuDragnier.9476

screams at more than few of the Ranger changes MY BODY IS READY!

SoS Player [Lust]
PvE Main – Hayk Farsight – level 80 Ranger
WvW Main – Zar Poisonclaw – level 80 Thief

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Posted by: stale.9785

stale.9785

Ranger sword 1 still rooting?
Why should i get 300 points in precision and 30% more critical damage if i want to use traps?

Maybe they’ll up the physical (direct, even) damage on traps, for those of us who run power builds.

The 1H sword thing, yeah, that’s bad, and it’s still being ignored. Still, if these changes make it in, this is the single best patch for rangers since release.

Also, anything that addresses the sad state of the ele is just good.

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Posted by: a t s e.9614

a t s e.9614

Unspec foes for warrior trait should be instead reduced to 15% crit chance . Because it will allow builds with an already high crit chance to get benefit from it . But otherwise pretty good nerfs , now we have to choose between cleansing ire and bursy matery

But please arenanet don’t touch my thief
Shadow return is useless now or what

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Posted by: AgentChaos.4932

AgentChaos.4932

good change to symbol of swiftness but can we have pure of voice removes 2 condi back?

Far Shiverpeaks Platinum Recruit [dF]

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Posted by: Zero Day.2594

Zero Day.2594

Warrior:
We don’t mind warriors doing massive damage, or doing great area of effect control

Well, good thing I already started re-rolling warrior. Still on the fence though as which is better warrior or guard…
(Going from thief to warrior.)

Do you like ascended weapons poll,
results.
Thief Nerf/Change Wish List

(edited by Zero Day.2594)

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Posted by: ZoroDaOtter.3859

ZoroDaOtter.3859

A right step on the Guardian changes IMO, but why is Kindled Zeal still condition damage? Guardians only have access to burning which isn’t very good by itself.

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Posted by: Jikuim.1349

Jikuim.1349

DO NOT change :

Shadow Arts V – Infusion of Shadow – This trait functionality has been changed to “Gain initiative when you enter stealth.” 2 init.

This is a horrendous idea. I don’t even main thief, but you’re going to nerf numerous builds into the ground. Thieves will go from being alright to being completely garbage tier with this change.

Honestly, take it or leave it, but it’s a bad idea.

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Posted by: nightwing.2179

nightwing.2179

In my eyes, these are some major changes! I especially like the elementalist preview.

When these are released, will we have our traits reset or do we have to buy another manual to re-trait?

SBI since account creation

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Posted by: a t s e.9614

a t s e.9614

Guys stop QQing , the hammer is still fairly strong with a DPS build . Stop being a little rabbit and running with soldier gear . Learn to use a burst set for god sake .

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Posted by: RyuDragnier.9476

RyuDragnier.9476

kittening great job, finally you removed the warrior class from the game.
have fun at all the engeniers necros and rangers out there wtfstopmping everything again.
to bad a net has no balls and obviously doesnt play this game with their 2 man class balance team but instead listens on the pve crowd who cries the loudest

Ask for these changes to not hit sPvP if you want them to not be nerfed there. Don’t just complain, help make constructive criticisms so they’ll know what not to change for sPvP, but can change elsewhere.

SoS Player [Lust]
PvE Main – Hayk Farsight – level 80 Ranger
WvW Main – Zar Poisonclaw – level 80 Thief

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Posted by: Kensei.1495

Kensei.1495

The first decent patch in months.

Keep up the good work!

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Posted by: infantrydiv.1620

infantrydiv.1620

Generally, this looks really good! Nice work

Jade Quarry// Nascha // Ranger / Thief

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Posted by: IDarko.4709

IDarko.4709

I main warrior and thief. It’s a sad but rightious day.

The tanky warrior build is defy dead for roaming now. Damage is just going to be too low. With a zerker set it should still be okey, i hope. And it will still be viable for large scale WvW most likely.

For thief, d/p won’t be as popular anymore. Luckily i play d/d so i welcome the improved initiative gain.

Dius Vanguard [DiVa]
Gandara – WvW Warrior

(edited by IDarko.4709)

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Posted by: Nix.3152

Nix.3152

heal signet!! zerker stance!! no nefrs?? ………….. but ye nerf engi’s vigor – gg ((

“You need actively react to the passives” (GW2 PvP 2013)

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Posted by: Moshari.8570

Moshari.8570

Very excited about these changes, especially the Ranger, even though guardian is my main (nice to see more damage for guards) I know Rangers have needed some love for a while.

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Posted by: infantrydiv.1620

infantrydiv.1620

DO NOT change :

Shadow Arts V – Infusion of Shadow – This trait functionality has been changed to “Gain initiative when you enter stealth.” 2 init.

This is a horrendous idea. I don’t even main thief, but you’re going to nerf numerous builds into the ground. Thieves will go from being alright to being completely garbage tier with this change.

Honestly, take it or leave it, but it’s a bad idea.

Personally, I don’t mind since perma stealth isn’t THAT great. The 33% boost to initiative regen is a fair exchange in my opinion. It will really benefit builds like S/P and D/D. Most D/P thieves don’t play 10/30/30/0/0 in tournament play, and that build is pure cheese in WvW and quit frustrating to many players.

Jade Quarry// Nascha // Ranger / Thief

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Posted by: Roy Cronacher

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Roy Cronacher

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good change to symbol of swiftness but can we have pure of voice removes 2 condi back?

I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for that one.

Twitter: @RoyCronacher

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Posted by: Kensei.1495

Kensei.1495

heal signet!! zerker stance!! no nefrs?? ………….. but ye nerf engi’s vigor – gg ((

Even though it’s somethingthat bothers me a lot, i think it was necessary. No one should be able to gain a boon like vigor w/o a cooldown.

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Posted by: Katreyn.4218

Katreyn.4218

As far as the Ele changes I think they sound like the right direction. Allowing people to still get the weapon traits in the Arcane tree and reducing the cooldown of attunement changing to make it more manageable without speccing purely into 30 Arcane is very nice. This was definitely my biggest want in change for Ele in terms of trait changes for a long time, as I’m sure it was others.

I became very used to max Arcane and some of the Traits so I will definitely be looking forward to seeing how I can change my Trait set up now though.

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Posted by: a t s e.9614

a t s e.9614

Healing signet needs NO NERF , don’t listen to the whiner . Warrior has no sustain outside of high regen . Those hammer dmg nodes nerf are perfect . But im dissapointed about thief changes honestly , S\D is the only viable build anet

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Posted by: Soul.9280

Soul.9280

This thread as a great step forward. Not only are you giving the community a chance to provide feedback on the proposed changes, but you’re also explaining what guiding principles are motivating the changes for each class. Bravo!

Any chance that you could take another step forward in this area and provide a test server with early access to patches? While providing advance notice of changes is a big help, sometimes it’s hard for players to understand how those changes will affect gameplay especially in pvp settings where many things can interact in unexpected ways, so having the ability to test out the changes would go even farther towards inviting the players to assist you in providing the highest quality game play experience.

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Posted by: Terkov.4138

Terkov.4138

One more thing bow rangers really need: merge Piercing Arrows with ANY other bow trait – 20% CD reduction or Eagle Eye, or at least add something more to this trait.

Dec. 10th Balance Preview - Updated Nov 6th.

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Posted by: Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Necromancer:
_For the necromancer, we felt that a few traits and skills were too powerful, while others were lacking in efficacy. We brought down some of the raw DPS conditions that necromancer enjoys, while also maintaining their pressure and sustain elements. The necromancer’s mobility will remain where it is currently, as we want the Necromancers to be focused on sustaining themselves through death shroud, siphoning health, and slowing down their opponent’s ability to act.

Perhaps the place where the efforts should be focused is on the Dhuumfire trait, rather than removing a bleed stack here and there. Given the introduction of this trait was what pushed necros into the overbearing condition burst they are now, it seems the logical place to focus balancing efforts.

Rather than get rid of the trait, changing it to inflict Torment instead of Burning would have many positive effects.

1. 4 stacks of Torment is roughly the same damage as Burning if the target is moving. However, unlike Burning, Torment stacks can be adjusted in intensity without affecting far more than just the troublesome trait. If the damage remains too high, reducing it to 3 stacks of Torment is quite doable.

2. Torment is already in the condition necromancer’s burst rotation/arsenal. As such, adding more stacks will not make a negative difference on cleansing potential of condition removal skills against a necromancer’s burst. In fact, by removing burning, you improve the capability of other classes to cleanse the damaging conditions as one fewer slot is being taken up.

3. Torment already has built-in counterplay to mitigate the damage output. Even if cleansing the stacks is impractical in a situation, not moving at least limits the damage received.

4. In the PvE environment, Dhuumfire is close to a useless trait as any foes where the extra damage is really desired will usually already be burning, usually from Guardians and Elementalists that cause it as a side-effect. This would allow condition necromancers to contribute more in PvE, which is currently their weakest area.

5. If the necromancer and a burning user are both targeting the same opponent in PvP or WvW, the total damage output will be increased. However, the counterplay will be exactly the same. This is a good thing, actually, as a single foe being targeted by multiple opponents should have a significantly harder time surviving. In a PvP environment, however, you either have a 2v2 with one player getting focused by his opponents, or you have a 2v1 and one person free to capture points or create a different 2v1 elsewhere.

6. Many Necromancer players have been asking for better access to Torment. At the same time, many are displeased with the introduction of Burning. This change would satisfy both complaints.

I believe this would prove more effective at reigning in condition necro damage than removing bleed stacks off of skills. Having one more axis of adjustment, reducing required cleanses, and using something with built-in counterplay for the “burst” damage will all improve the situation.

Dragonbrand |Drarnor Kunoram
Charr Necro with a penchant for marking walls
Unless you are very meticulous on grammar and spelling, please do not post from your phone.

Dec. 10th Balance Preview - Updated Nov 6th.

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Posted by: Paulo.8459

Paulo.8459

First of all: The idea to create more transparency and to make the players understand what the thought behind the changes is, is great! I’ve been waiting for this for a long time

My thoughts on the thief changes:
- the general change to initiative gain is good imo.
- i’m happy that pistol whip gets some love. We will see if it will be enough to make the set viable again
- hard to catch is still a very bad trait, since it gets you in trouble/messes up your positioning more often than it saves you.
- assasin’s reward still won’t be worth taking
- nerfing shadow return is understandable, since it was a “no-brainer” and the thief could get out of trouble too easily
- but simultaneously nerfing endurance gain through halving vigor uptime is very, very bad. Normally a thief doesn’t take vigorous recovery and bountiful theft at the same time. After the change the thief would be able to dodge less than most other classes with acces to permanent vigor uptime, although the thief is considered to be the most evasive class in the game.

My proposal: either nerf shadow return or vigor uptime, but not both. “Shaving” means to tone down something step by step. Halving vigor uptime seems a bit drastic to me, especially along with the other changes wich affect the sword thief.

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Posted by: Mattargul.9235

Mattargul.9235

“Guards: Symbol of Swiftness: This skill now applies 4 seconds of swiftness per pulse, rather than 8 seconds if you have no swiftness and 1 second if you have swiftness.”
That’s a sucky change. Not only are you not “fixing” the addition of swiftness from the symbol if you already have swiftness, you are reducing the base swiftness applied?

How is this helping your stated goal of “We do feel that damage guardians are not as powerful as they could be.” An extra 4s of AOE swiftness would have made them OP? Biggest issue for damage guards is in-combat mobility. Adding more damage isn’t helping you if you can’t catch what you are trying to hit.

If at least the 4s would stack additively for the duration of the field it would still serve some support roles, like speeding up yaks.

Dances with Leaves – Guardian – Sanctum of Rall (SoR)

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Posted by: tango.8962

tango.8962

The one thing I would want to see changed for a thief is for them to come out of stealth while spiking. Unless your class has a AOE knock back or move ability in the downed state a thief can spike you from stealth 100% and you can’t do anything about it.

My reasons are that when a thief goes into stealth they should not be able to do any damage. they are going into stealth to gain a situation advantage, then they come out of stealth to do the damage. stealth spiking just feels like cheating and I feel cheated when it happens to me.

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Posted by: Fortus.6175

Fortus.6175

Any chance you will review the Backstab damage? Perhaps move it to other skills and give HS a small 1 sec internal CD. Right now it is very unfair to be hit by 8-9k in PvP even wearing defensive traits/armor, and 14-15k in WvW unbuffed. I dont have a problem with thieves having burst, only that having the strongest hitting spell on the game without any counter is not very much fun to deal with.

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Posted by: Tyler Chapman.1832

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Tyler Chapman.1832

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Healing signet needs NO NERF , don’t listen to the whiner . Warrior has no sustain outside of high regen . Those hammer dmg nodes nerf are perfect . But im dissapointed about thief changes honestly , S\D is the only viable build anet

The change to initiative regain baseline is a huge buff to ALL thief builds, so don’t jump so early to those conclusions!

in-game alias: Powerr
Skills and Balance/PvP Team Principal QA
Former active member of Team PZ

Dec. 10th Balance Preview - Updated Nov 6th.

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Posted by: ViRiD.2784

ViRiD.2784

The mesmer buff marks the return of 12-second phantasms. Along with Mender’s Purity removing two conditions, are you sure that is wise? It is true that Mesmers do need help in sPvP, but Illusionists Celerity has always felt like a problem-trait, along with Deceptive Evasion.

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Posted by: Sceinna.3561

Sceinna.3561

I am absolutely loving what I’m reading, I’ve disagreed with so many nerfs to thieves but these were NECESSARY. Perma stealth was a real issue (in WvW), I’m not sure I’m liking the Vigor nerfs tho. :/

The only reason I’m even surviving with my thief is due to outdodging damage, this will completely destroy my build which I didn’t think is OP at all. I hope some of these nerfs come with some good survivability buffs too.. and D/D definitely needs a buff or two.

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Posted by: Dustin.2793

Dustin.2793

well you will never see a thief with a sword again. gg.

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Posted by: evilapprentice.6379

evilapprentice.6379

Bravo on finally addressing thief base initiative regeneration. I’ve been suggesting that be looked into for quite a while.

However, part of the point of doing so was to remove the reliance on so many initiative based traits, and instead replace them with effects that make the class feel more varied and unique, instead of traits that just let us use our abilities at an effective pace. Why keep all the init based traits and just reduce their effectiveness? This is especially aggravating for the minor traits, which you can’t avoid taking if you go into that trait line.

It looks like most specs will stay almost exactly the same, perhaps switching out Quick recovery (which now tentatively looks like crap for a master tier trait) with Assassin’s reward (which now looks much better).

Why not update some of those init based traits (Quick recovery, opportunist, kleptomaniac) with effects which actually help define the playstyle?

Concerning Pistol Whip – I obviously can’t test it, but it still seems like players will Still be able to walk/dodge roll out of the second half of the damaging portion of the skill. I’m not asking that the stun lock the player down for the full effect, but there has to be some point into using PW besides for forcing the opposing player to dodge out of the last half of the swings. It seems like it needs more of a re-design than a tweak at this point.

Instead of a .25s cast time on Infiltrators Return, just lock it down when CC’d You’ll achieve the same effect without ruining the fluidity of play that sword relies on. Regardless of which you go with, I think it’s a silly choice, but if you’re determined to further limit S/D, please do it in the smartest way possible

(edited by evilapprentice.6379)

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Posted by: Siofra Crumble.2098

Siofra Crumble.2098

We don’t like classes having permanent Vigor, and this is one of the areas we needed to tone down the up time of the engineer’s Vigor.

From the top of my head and I might be wrong here. But ele’s, mesmers and even guardians can easily get perma vigor. Why take it away from engineers and not from them?

I’ll deal with the loss, but I do believe this change is uncalled for.

(edited by Siofra Crumble.2098)

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Posted by: Soilder.3607

Soilder.3607

Thanks for the ranger changes.

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Posted by: haviz.1340

haviz.1340

There are 3 identical vigour traits for ele, gua and mes. Guardian and mesmer have that traits as’ 5 minor traits while elementalist will have it at 20 points. What is the logic behind that, especially when an elementalist is the squishiest of those?

Skill Clickers [sC]

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Posted by: Kalorian.1935

Kalorian.1935

In my eyes, these are some major changes! I especially like the elementalist preview.

When these are released, will we have our traits reset or do we have to buy another manual to re-trait?

It only costs like 3 silver to reset traits at 80. I do it every couple of weeks.

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Posted by: Bombsaway.7198

Bombsaway.7198

I play a raw damage ranger focusing on marksmanship and skirmishing. I love:
a) Changes to Long Range Shot
b) Marksmanship V- Predator’s Instinct.

The unintended consequence is that you now have too many must have options in the marksmanship line and the potential solution is that you should offload a few to skirmishing adapt.

The missing trait change is tied to giving us out of combat swiftness to free up a pvp and wvw slot versus taking Signet of the Hunt.

Explanations:

1) The issue of an overloaded marksmanship line.

Right now you have for Tier 1 +10% damage and the new Predator.

Tier 2 Piercing Arrows or Spotter and Eagle Eye. So often you wind up going grandmaster in marksmanship to fit in that third trait.

Could you move a trait like piercing arrows to the skirmishing adept line? Or replace Trapper’s Instinct with the new Predator’s Instinct?

2) The issue of lack of out of combat speed.

For PvP and WvW, rangers often take Signet of the Hunt just to keep up out of combat. That is a whole slot for out of combat movement. Could you make a simple change to tail wind and make it apply swiftness even when we are not in combat much like the engineer’s speedy kits? Doesn’t need to be a trait you choose because the buff ONLY occurs out of combat (and allows us to travel at a good speed when not in a group).

Other Stuff:

1) Nature IX Two Handed Training is supposed to help give us fury but we have lots of options for fury (almost as many as we had for endurance regen). One of the most common is the 9 seconds on weapon swap. GS is often used with a LB in a power oriented build. You range then swap/leap/maul. So for a longer fight you might get a bit of fury with the new trait. Might be better to provide might upon a crit and change the cooldowns. Not bad, but you might want something other than fury.

I don’t understand your note on Nature X at all. Can you explain?

Mighty swap only applies the might to the ranger and not the condition damage? Would be more versatile if it did both. You tend to one one or the other (condition v raw builds).

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Posted by: Rising Dusk.2408

Rising Dusk.2408

I like what this does for PvP and WvW balance, but I don’t like how zero consideration is given to what this does for PvE.

I watched the Ranger stream today and Izzy talked about condition builds being viable in PvE and dungeons like that was really a thing. I am sure ANet plays GW2, so I am sure they have, at least on occasion, played a dungeon with non-ANet players. As such, I’m confident that you guys understand how bad condition builds are and how bad many classes are in general for PvE. Little to no consideration is being given here to balance in that vein in PvE, and that repeated disregard for an entire branch of the game is pretty unfortunate.

For instance, you keep talking about how Guardian power builds are “weak”. If you pay attention closely to dungeon runs, you’ll find that Guardians already do among the best raw power-based DPS of any class in the game right up there with Eles and Mesmers packing FGS. And here you are giving them a free bonus 5% damage in a trait that already gets used frequently in PvE? That makes them even more invaluable to runs. Where are the Necromancer power-build buffs for PvE? Make Close To Death (Spite XII) give +30% damage in PvE only, make Dhuumfire a 6s burn in PvE instead of a 4s Burn, make Siphoned Power (Spite 25) give 5 stacks of might instead of 1 and make its threshold 33%. Engineers in PvE actually see some love with that Modified Ammunition change, but it’d still be nice if they could get a bit more. Juggernaut could use some PvE love, among other things. The poor Thief is demolished by this patch in PvE, seeing as now it can’t layer stealth for initiative and it hasn’t gotten any positive dps or support buffs (it got nerfs instead actually) to compensate.

I really want to emphasize that while these changes are great for other formats, PvE is just being left behind and the dungeon meta is, quite frankly, disappointing at the moment. You guys (ANet) really need to put some thought into how this affects them and what you can do to improve the build and class diversity used there.

Seriously, it’d be nice to actually have a reason to use my Necromancer in a dungeon for once. You could flat increase the effect of condition damage in PvE by 50% and it still wouldn’t compare to most power-based builds.

Commander Bonwor Fierceblade – [VZ] Valor Zeal – Stormbluff Isle
No Stacking No Skipping No [FGS] Leader

(edited by Rising Dusk.2408)

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Posted by: LostBalloon.6423

LostBalloon.6423

gg, warriors back to bunker build being the only viable build if this goes through…
Either glassy for PvE where in PvP you will get kited and destroyed before you even reach the enemy.
Or bunker up and not be able to kill anything….

Sanctum of Rall – SoR
[TKT]

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Posted by: Phoenix.5047

Phoenix.5047

I can understand why you’d move Unsuspecting Foe around, but does the direct damage on hammer really need to be nerfed? It already hits like a soggy weenie, and about as slowly to boot. Add in other class’ damage mitigation and hammer doesn’t seem to do much anymore.

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Posted by: FluffyFox.2756

FluffyFox.2756

If thief sword is going to get a cast time for infiltrator’s return, would it be possible to look into flanking strike and larcenous strike again? Ever since it was nerfed to only steal one boon, I find myself almost never using it, due to the fact that boon durations are generally very short, they are re-applied very easily, and there’s no control whatsoever on which boon you will be stealing anyways.

I do agree that it was too powerful at 2 boons stolen per larcenous strike, but I find it far too weak at 1 boon stolen… do you think the skill could be modified in some other fashion so that it’s not such a waste of initiative anymore?

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Posted by: idari.4273

idari.4273

i like all of those changes but as a main class Thief i’m just absolutelly happy about the changes on the class.

[Ark] Idari Kun
Maguuma