Arenanet have released a list of the upcoming GW2 class changes for the upcoming Dec 10 patch on the official forums. Details are posted below.
Updated Nov 5,2013
Here is a summary of the changes we have made thus far based on feedback we have read. This is not necessarily the end of adjustments, but where we stand currently. There were a lot of good suggestions, and some of them may not be able to make it due to time constraints on testing and implementation. Please continue to give feedback over the course of the next few days. We will continue to monitor that feedback and take it into account in changes we make for this patch and for the future.
- Arcane Resurrection is going up to master tier instead of Renewing Stamina.
- Windborne Dagger is going to function outside of combat.
- Soothing Disruption is moving to master tier.
- Cantrip Mastery is moving to adept tier.
- Soothing Wave redesign: Gain Regeneration(3s) on incmoing critical hits. 10s recharge.
- Power Shoes is going to function outside of combat.
- Confounding Suggestions – We will merge the old functionality with the new functionality. It will now have 50% change to stun on daze and increase daze duration by 25%.
- Vigorous Recovery: Vigor duration will be 5 seconds instead of 4.
- Bountiful Theft will come down to a 10s Vigor instead of 8s.
- Combustive Shot. To clarify this change, the damage is normalized to about 15% less physical damage than it used to do at all adrenaline levels, but that the damage per pulse is the same regardless of adrenaline level.
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.
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 the Arcane line. 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 – This trait has a new effect. 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 from 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. This trait is now Gain condition damage based on your Toughness. 10%.
- Earth XI – Diamond Skin. This trait has been redesigned. 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.
- Arcane III – Arcane Retribution. Moved to Master tier. Decreased cooldown from 90 seconds to 45 seconds.
- Arcane IV – Final Shielding. Decreased cooldown from 90s to 75s.
- Arcane V – Elemental Attunement. Moved to Master tier.
- Arcane VI – Renewing Stamina. 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.
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.
Summation of high risk concerns for elementalist.
We really love this trait as it opens up some very powerful potential in the earth line to run a defensive elementalist without relying on healing power. The strength of this build is going to be the ability to quickly string small heals together to maintain that condition resistance. I think it could see use in both high damage builds looking to avoid weakness and blind, as well as in defensive builds looking to tank condition heavy classes and condition heavy mobs. I think the big question here is the base health/armor of the elementalist. Of course if you are just an elementalist you just want us to raise these, but balance must work around some fixed things and profession health and armor are an important part of defining what a profession is so that we can create powerful tools that players can actively use to circumvent these weaknesses. In this case if this trait is not powerful enough to be a grandmaster, I believe the right answer is going to be to lower the threshold, not to increase elementalist base health.
We moved this trait because all profession cooldown traits are in master tier, and because that is a good investment for this type of improvement. That being said, they may all not be powerful enough to warrant a master level triat right now, but I would rather increase the cooldown to 25% to get people to consider them than to have them be adept tier and allow elementalists to run all four of them.
This is the one I am most on the fence about of all of the elementalist changes. It is a borderline master level trait and I think a better solution would be to leave it at adept tier and instead of moving Soothing Wave (which is only moving because it is better to have a 100% worthless trait at adept tier rather than master tier) we would redesign Soothing Wave into something worthy of master level.
This is moving to adept tier because all of the fall damage traits are in that tier and in our opinion it doesn’t feel good to have to spend 20 points in a line for this kind of trait. Alacrity was the first choice to swap with it here because of the reasons stated above.
Soothing Disruption vs Cantrip Mastery
This one was debated internally for a while as well. I think swapping these traits would also help build diversity as it would let you splash 10 points in water to get Cantrip recharge, but would make you really consider going into water magic for the Regen and Vigor which is much more flavorful. I would love to hear some elementalist thoughts on that potential change.
Last but definitely not least.
I see the logic in not wanting the two changes in this line to counter each other. Moving good adept traits to master level is contrary to reducing the need to spec into this line. That being said, Elemental Attunement is just a beast of a trait and could honestly be compared with most grandmaster traits. I think a good compromise would be to place Renewing Stamina back in the adept tier, placing is where the other professions get this type of trait, and instead move Final Shielding to the master tier where it could live alongside Arcane Retribution as two good choices in arcane builds that take Arcane Mastery in the adept tier. That could leave some interesting builds such as: 0/30/30/0/10 for fresh air, diamond skin, and renewing stamina. It also still leaves builds that put only 10 points in Arcana a chance to gain Protection by going 30 air for Tempest Defense, and 10 Earth for Elemental Shielding and still have 30 points leftover.
I still believe there is work to be done at the grandmaster tier in Fire at the very minimum and that Air and Water are the only truly good grandmaster choice right now. There are also still a handful of just terrible traits that will still get looked at, but we felt like we were already bordering on changing too much.
I hope this helps to steer the discussion for the elementalist changes here. I’ll post this on the elementalist sub-forum as well. Hoping to get to each profession one at a time.
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 from 25% to 50%
- Explosives IX – Accelerant packed turrets. Moved to Adept tier.
- Firearms XI – Modified Ammunition. This trait now works regardless of equipped weapon.
- Inventions V – Energized Armor. Increased conversion from 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%.
- 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. This effect can now only trigger once every 10 seconds.
- Tools XI – Armor Mods. Changed this to now trigger on struck instead of on critical hit incoming. Reduced the cooldown from 25 seconds to 15 seconds.
Ok I had some time to talk through some of the engineer discussion. Overall Engineer is in a difficult place because they have a ton of good adept traits, not a lot of good master traits, and again a good # of grandmasters so you end up spreading points fairly diversly to get all the good adept traits but lose out on a lot of power by failing to get as many grandmaster traits. Here is what I see a lot of talk about:
Moving this was just something that was a long time coming. It was simply forcing almost every engineer into 10 points in Explosives which was really hurting build diversity. We have tried to counter this by improving other triats that might now be reachable by dropping those 10 points. For example Modified Ammunition, Elixir Infuxed Bombs, and Armor Mods. Now all three of these lines, some more than others, have a strong reason to invest 30 points to match the strong grandmasters already in the other lines.Grenadier, Autodefense Bomb Dispenser, HGH, and Automated Response.
We still feel this line is lackluster and in the future some merging and redesigning will take place, but we took the lowest hanging fruit for now. We talked about this line more than any other trait line, but at the end of the day the work and testing required got out of scope for this release. The other spot this line could get a quick pick-me-up is by making at least 2 or 3 of the adept traits in this line good choices.
The indirect nerf to this through speedy kits will reduce some surviveability in the alchemy line, but we felt like it was important given how much other strong stuff that line has.
Master tier traits
Some good suggestions on builds that might open up if we improve some of the master tier traits would be good to see. Here is a pretty decent list of master tier traits that I still find underwhelming.
Explosive Powder, Enhance Performance, Power Showes, Elite Supplies, Deadly Mixture, Potent Elixirs, Packaged Stimulents, Power Wrench, Leg Mods.
Keep the discussion going and let’s see if we can find some room in those traits to bring those trait lines some more into play.
We won’t be able to address all of the concerns, but we will address the most pressing if we can.
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.
As soon as I get in on Monday, I’ll post the damage #s on this and the power scaling. I think a meaning ful discussion about this change is going to require that. One danger here is that big WvW zergs using this could be really powerful, but I will say that the numbers are decent.
Supreme Justice and Kindled Zeal
I feel like there is a build here, but TBH I haven’t gotten it to work in our internal testing yet. This is as good a place as any to talk about stat conversion traits.
Currently they do not convert 100% of a stat because certain stat bonuses such as those from signets do not get converted. For that reason we are being conservative but normalizing all of our conversions to the follow #s for now.
Minor: 5%,7%, and 10% respectively for adept, master and grandmaster.
Major: 7%,10%, and 13% respectively for adept, master, and grandmaster.
I’m not sure this will be enough, but I do not want these traits to be overpowered as I feel they are fairly passive. That being said, I think they are good simple traits and with 12 traits per line it is absolutely fine to have some passive simple to understand traits.
Another thing about this build is that you do not have all of the information you need about this power guardian right now, but I can’t reveal more without spoilers. /tease
Symbol of Swiftness
To clarify the new Symbol of Swiftness will give you 4 seconds of Swiftness every single pulse regardless of if you have swiftness or not. This is a improvement in many situations and a slight loss in the situation where you were using the Symbol as just a one time buff. I think this makes it feel more like a Symbol, which is good. We are still discussing the idea of it being 5 seconds, but there is some danger of that going pretty high with boon duration.
Power guardian vs Condition guardian
I think Dec 10th will see the emergence of the power guardian, but I think that the condition based guardian still has a ways to go. Ultimately this is because it is hard to cover the burning and frankly you need a good reliable second or even third condition that guardians simply do not have right now. I think for those professions lacking that 3rd damage condition we are looking at supplementing them via runes and sigils rather than skills/traits right now but that won’t be something we attempt until the build that follows the Dec 10th build.
I think that is everything for guardian and hopefully you enjoyed a few half spoiler/half teases.
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 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.
Scepter is still missing something but we don’t want to overload the autoattack as we think that promotes more mindless play and are trying to move away from builds that focus so much on the “1” skill. I feel like that scepter should be the tricksy defender that can stop enemies from attacking and defend allies, but maybe it’s single target nature is keeping that from working.
We were hoping this change would improve this. I’m mostly seeing people saying they liked the old one. That will certainly be a topic of discussion early next week so I would love to hear some opinions either way in case there is a split.
Last thought. This skill is for almost all intents and purposes just not working, but is causing some broken behavior with certain bosses. I would like to replace it with a complete redesign and am open to discussion on that as well.
Overall I think this a good small step for a profession that has a lot of roles it can fill fairly uniquely. I think this might give us 3 strong mesmer build archetypes.
I think right behind those are the interrupt shutdown mesmer and the signet mesmer, so future suggestions towards those are appreciated as well.
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.
- Signet of Spite: Removed one bleed.
- 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%.
Mark of Blood
At 3 stacks of bleeding and a good amount of condition damage (without even taking into account condition or bleed duration modifiers) this skill was dealing well over 2000 damage, and could be used every 6 seconds. It is a 1200 range attack that can hit 5 targets, and on top of that can place regeneration on 5 allies that can heal each of those allies for up over 1000 health every 5 seconds, and can basically maintain 100% regeneration uptime. The only drawback is also somewhat of a benefit which is that it requires an enemy to trigger it, which also allows you to precast it and then basically almost double it up as it gets triggered. This is one of the most versatile and powerful skills in the game. A huge amount of the condition damage from necromancers comes from their bleeds and while they are removable in theory, the ease with which necromancers can apply conditions makes it is virtually impossible to ever get to the bleeding at the bottom of the stack.
This trait as it currently stands on live is a borderline grandmaster trait. It is near 100% AoE weakness uptime for a small investment. The new version is still probably worthy of master tier with almost 50% AoE weakness uptime. This line has a lot of powerful traits, but suffers from having only 1 choice at grandmaster tier.
I can’t tell you how long we debated moving this trait to grandmaster tier last time around, and this time again. The problem is a huge % of Necromancer builds are hinged on this trait. There is a gaping hole at grandmaster here with Withering Precision (barely worthy of adept tier in our opinion), however we were really hesitant to either move terror and didn’t have a good alternative for redesigning Withering Precision
This line just has a lot of good traits.
Toxic Landing – would be good if the effect was good and we will look into making that better.
Hemophilia – Just a good trait considering how much necromancer damage comes from bleeding.
Chilling Darkness – So good it should probably be master tier.
Weakening Shroud – see above
Reaper’s Precision – another good choice for high life force necros which gets overshadowed in this stacked line.
Focused Rituals – Really strong adept trait.
Banshee’s Wail – Already pretty good and got a buff this time around.
Terror – see above
Spectral Attunement – Another good trait for spectral necros.
Master of Corruption – A great trait for corruption necros. Epidemic/Corrupt.
I feel like Spectral Attunement and Master of Corruption could be adept tier, but they would be really strong there and we would have to move 2 traits up to accommodate them. If we did that the first candidates are Chilling Darkness and Weakening Shroud (closer the old version). This is totally worth a discussion, but at the end of the day all master tier traits in this line are overshadowed by Terror which is the real problem.
We know there are problems here, but again this condition helps those conditionmancers get over the top and is really what brought them into play in a lot of parts of the game. I think the real problems with this trait are:
1) Having to put 30 points into the power line as a condition necro.
2) Requiring crit on a 30 point trait in a line that does nothing to improve crit chance.
We talk about a lot of different versions of this trait including moving to master tier, making it on hit instead of on crit, and reworking the numbers to making it more reliable to use and to counter.
All of this back and forth could upset a lot of balance, but if this moved down to master tier Terror would almost certainly be moving up to grandmaster to accommodate. At least then condition necromancers would be 20/30/x/x/x, which just makes so much more sense. The biggest thing holding that back is the lack of a replacement grandmaster in Spite. We aren’t huge fans of weapon or utility type specific traits at this tier otherwise an improved Axe Training might have a shot. This is the crux of the damage necromancer problem right now, and we will talk about it more next week so any discussion on it here will aid us in those talks.
On the defensive side, the Blood and Soul Reaping necros are starting to feel pretty good. The Death line on the other hand is too focused on minions. From Reanimator, which we have heard over and over feels bad as a minor trait, to the fact that 1/3 of the remaining traits are minion traits, to finally the fact that both grandmaster traits are minion traits.
This line receives a lot of discussion as well, but any proposal we talk about always ends up with more work than we have time to build, much less test.
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%.
Starting here because I think it requires the most discussion. This, simply put, was a wildly overpowered trait. I tell people not to compare one profession to another, but Engineer has this trait as a major grandmaster. It was simply too easy to put 5 points in this line and then be able to dodge every 6.67 seconds. As it stands after the change this still allows you to splash 5 points and dodge every 8 seconds. I don’t think this will ruin survivability, and I think by buff other traits further down this line it will encourge rangers who are looking to survive to go further into this trait line.
Spirits Unbound and Nature’s Voice
I think the biggest change of moving spirits unbound is it allows you to take this trait along with Nature’s Voice. Internally we have done some testing where you bring stone spirit, guard, and then still have a open third utility slot to make some truly good support ranger builds. Spirits have always had that feel and I think this brings that to the forefront.
No pun intended. As many have said these guys are in an interesting position. In some ways they can be very strong, but everytime I play my ranger this way it feel like it comes up a little bit short. I think this is because they are lacking a few things as either additional tools for greatsword or as utilities. Signets are the somewhat obvious utility choice but their effect is too varied to run a strong full signet build here. Conversely all traits associated with signets tend to increase in power the more you bring. What signets need is a good trait that synergizes with bringing a single signet, like Nature’s Voice does for shouts. This would let you bring maybe one or two signets and suppliment them with something else. One idea we talked about for Greatsword would be to take the evade off of the 3rd attack of the auto-chain and put it on swoop. This would give you a second on-demand defensive skill and instead we put something less timing based (for example a whirl finisher) on that third attack to empower it.
I just want to clarify for good that main hand sword is currently working as intended. All movement skills cannot be interrupted by dodging and this is currently intentional. It has a very specific play style, and I would like it to remain. I understand that rangers want a one handed melee option that is more mobile, but that will have to wait, as I know there are a mix of players who also like how this weapon plays and I do not want to take away one of the more unique playstyles that we have and replace it with something that is fairly common.
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 4s 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 8s.
- Trickery VIII – Trickster. Move to Adept tier.
We believe this is one of the most controversial but important changes this patch. The important thing to understand is that we have been and will playtest this a lot more before we push this change. The default rate of initiative regeneration was simply to low and was causing players to either take traits to suppliment it, or to have their effectiveness suffer. This is something that has to change. What these changes intend to do is to increase the power of every single thief build that is not running these traits, and to ever so slightly reduce the maximum amount of initiative you can have per second if you min/max those traits. I know its easy to theorycraft what is going to happen here and there is a lot of danger in that. It is hard to get a sense of this change without playing it, and believe me if I could I would let everyone test a change of this magnitude and gather some more empirical and data driven feedback, but currently our resources are limited, but we still believe that this is a change whose time has come. We will monitor it very carefully when we do release it to make sure it is working as intended.
The thing I have heard the second most discussion regarding. This is a big change to this skill, but we beleive it is a necessary one. In many cases this is not going to matter. There are only 2 situations where this is a truly impactful change.
1) It stops you from using this skill while stunned, which puts more burden on Sword/Dagger thieves saving their stun breakers. This is the kind of gameplay we want to encourage because it puts more risk in using a rewarding skill like Infiltrator’s Strike.
2) Mostly in PvP, this skill can no longer be used by S/D thieves to teleport stomp someone. This is actually the more impactful moment as it occurs more often, but I think it puts the burden on these players to run a second weapon set that can help them in these situations (OH pistol for instance.)
Infusion of Shadow
For basic use this trait’s functionality is not going to change. By many players it was being used to grant some initiative when going into stealth. However there were some abusive builds that were using this to maintain very long stealth uptime without having to use their utility skills. The problem with this is that it lets them recharge those skills while in stealth, which takes away the risk associated with using them. We are ok with thieves blowing their cooldowns to have longer stealth, and we are ok with theives bouncing in and out of stealth, but we were not ok with thieves maintaining long duration stealth through abusing a single trait.
I agree that this move may be overkill on the thief. We are currently discussing undoing it. The main motivation was that we really wanted to move Trickster to adept tier to encourge use of those utilities, and the most obvious candidate to move up was Flanking Strikes. This isn’t how we should be making that decision, so we will discuss this and get back to you.
Vigorous Recovery & Bountiful Theft
I’ve seen a lot of talk about this as well, and discussing this already this morning the current vigor is a bit too high, but we may have overdone the reduction. I was thinking about going back to 5s or 6s on Vigorous Recovery, and going back to 10s or 12s on Bountiful Theft.
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.
Dev responses to player concerns/questions
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
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!
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.
We’ve tested what we assume will be the new meta hambow build (dropped burst mastery to keep unsuspecting) and it still does a ton of damage. You’ll need to drop defense to maintain that previous level of offense, ie dropping Melandru runes or Lyssa runes in favor of Ogre or something similar.
The change to arcana is lovely, and it’ll open up a lot of new possibilities, but I worry about some issues that might cripple those possibilities. Here’s a few comments:
3.1. Elementalists rely too much on Elemental Attunement or Renewing Stamina to survive. Although it might be worth trying the scepter’s higher endurance trait now that it is at adept, I think the earth traitline should have a… worthy substitute for elemental attunement’s protection. Maybe it could have a stun breaker trait? Rock Solid could get it, but I fear it could make it too strong. Maybe as a grandmaster trait, and moving Written in Stone down a tier.
The changes we’ve done to Ele are actually going to drastically increase the amount of build diversity. The arcane recharge change really does add the flow the Elementalist needed when not spending points in Arcane. This will now allow players to stray away from spending points in the Arcane line. Ele’s will now experience faster attunement swapping as well because they will be down to 1.5s globals when they have zero points spent in Arcane and 1.2s globals with 30 points.
13 second recharge on 0 points Arcane
12 second recharge with 10 points Arcane
11 second recharge with 20 points Arcane
10 second recharge with 30 points Arcane
Dagger ele’s will now have new specs through Tempest Defense, Elemental Shielding, and Shared Auras much more appealing, as well as being able to go up the Fire and Earth trees.
Scepter ele’s will be able to play some forms of condition builds, burst builds with more sustain, and even bunker builds.
Staff ele’s will now be able to get blasting staff from tier one and now be capable of going for a trait such as Diamond Skin, or even Fresh air or high up in the Fire line.
Here are some examples of specs I’ve been messing around with:
0/30/10/30/0 (Tempest Defense, Elemental Shielding, Shared Auras with Cantrips and Dagger/Dagger)
0/0/30/10/30 (Diamond Skin bunker build)
0/30/30/0/10 (Tempest Defense, Diamond Skin, Double Arcane with recharge burst spec)
20/20/0/10/20 (Dps staff build based around sustain from Burning Fire)
0/10/0/30/30 (Generic D/D Arcane build)
0/20/0/20/30 (Generic S/D Burst build)
0/30/0/20/20 (Fresh air build)
We thank everyone for their feedback. We are keeping a VERY CLOSE eye on this thread and we will constantly be chatting internally until this release drops for potential things to change.
The mark of blood change is another 33% nerf to our damage with staff. Just like it was a nerf with scepter. I don’t understand their reasoning for these nerfs. Its like they want to kill the builds that dont utilize fear or dhuumfire for condi damage. And because of these nerfs that dont favor builds who dont run those traits, it actually emphasizes and supports going for those traits in order to remain viable.
Things they could’ve done to fix it. Fix fear damage scaling. Or make dhuumfire proc poison or torment. And lower torment stacks. And if you nerf the damage with weakening shroud procs or mark of blood at least give us sustain like all necros want.
Currently the sustain is still bad as we require being near things in order to gain life force. IE: I need to hit you with marks or my attacks in order to gain life force. A smart player can already just engage disengage until you run out of life force and then kill you as you cant build the life force without somthing to hit.
People still get away from necros plenty easy if you wanted us to be hard to get away from. And siphons don’t work in shroud which is a major downside. Healing still doesnt work while in shroud either. And scaling for siphons is a joke.
The strongest builds currently are still going to be dhuumfire even after the nerf and fearmancers. And builds that don’t use those are basically nerfed harder than those specific builds.
Thanks for the feedback. A lot of times, when running standard Necro condie builds, the bleeds actually do a large portion of your damage if they are allowed to stack on a target. Burning is nice, and Torment can be decent, and of course Poison brings down opposing heals. But the Bleeds are where a large amount of the sustained damage comes from.
We want to bring down that raw dmg but still allow the Necro the ability to “shut down” targets. Notice we’re not bringing down Chills much, or Vulns, or Blinds. We don’t mind the Necro shutting targets down, we just don’t want them also doing a ton of condition damage on top if it.
For Dhumfire and Terror: we have plans on reworks for those down the road, but they won’t make it in for this patch. We have plans for those, but they’re a little further down the “balance” road.
Thanks for the feedback!
How is the change to symbol of Swiftness any good? So many classes move much faster then Guardians. If you want to nerf this, give us an Adept trait, that gives us flat 25% movement spead, like Warriors have it.
In many cases the symbol of swiftness change is actually a buff and not a nerf. Currently it will only apply the initial large portion of swiftness if the target does not currently have any swiftness on them. If they have swiftness on them or after that first pulse it will then add 1 second of swiftness per pulse. This is very awkward and clunky.
The change makes the spell apply a consistent 4 seconds of swiftness per pulse without the strange hidden mechanic. Basically. if you already have swiftness on the people which you using the symbol on or if you take the time to stand in the spell for the full duration then it will just be a buff. =)
– this can be absurdly broken. Please, please, do not go with this. Not only pure passive immunity to conditions is very powerful, cheesy and and cannot be counter-played, but this new trait would literally kill specs like trap ranger, not to mention it would hurt necromancers.
Once again, do not go with this trait, it would be a huge mistake.
There actually is counter play to this trait unlike some other similar mechanics. The goal of the elementalist with this trait is to stay above 90% hit points while the counter play is to do a bit of physical damage to the elementalist to drop them below this threshold in order to get the conditions rolling on them, which will in turn help keep them below that threshold.
In SPvP an elementalist can reach a maximum of around 20,000-21,000 hit points. This means that 2100 would be the most damage you would need to do to an elementalist to break through this trait and in most cases it would be a lower amount than that. That is not very much damage needed to do in order to start applying conditions. This still leaves room for the elementalist using healing traits/skills and kiting to try to stay above that threshold to increase their survivability vs conditions.
We have been doing internal testing and it feels like it in a good place for a tier 3 trait. That being said though and as a reminder, none of these changes are set in stone yet and are subject to change
Every minor 15 trait for elementalist triggers upon attunement change. Maybe it’s time to make elemental attunement similar, moving it to 15 arcana.
It’s not like lingering elements trait works correctly.
A bug fix for Lingering Elements is coming on Nov 26th.