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GW2 Critical Damage Changes

Arenanet released a second blog today on the critical damage changes players can expect with the Feature Pack patch arriving on April 15.

One of the balance changes coming in the April 2014 Feature Pack is the introduction of ferocity, a brand new stat that will affect your critical damage. Ferocity is being introduced to make bonus critical damage easier to understand, more easily scaled across the whole game, and to help foster a healthy balance environment that encourages players to experiment with their builds.


Converting Critical Damage to Ferocity

Ferocity will work the way a normal stat such as vitality or toughness works. It starts at a base of 0 points and can be increased with gear, traits, or buffs that add to your total ferocity value.

Ferocity will function very similarly to precision; both influence another stat. Just like your critical hit chance will go up as your precision increases, your bonus critical damage go up as you put more points into ferocity. As a result, critical damage will be displayed in manner that is consistent with the main stats on gear and skills, rather than just as a flat percentage.

All armors and weapons that currently provide a critical damage bonus will be updated to provide an equivalent amount of ferocity. As a bonus, you’ll notice that using ferocity as a stat is going to normalize critical damage across items so there isn’t a single item that’s clearly the best to equip for a critical damage boost. Areas such as trait lines, traits, and skills which provide critical damage have been rebalanced individually.


Reducing the Maximum Attainable Critical Damage

One of the main goals for balance in Guild Wars 2 is to support a wide variety of builds that cater to different play styles. The current implementation of critical damage works against this. Put simply, if critical damage-stacked builds are more effective than other approaches, the build diversity decreases. As we work to increase support and teamwork between players throughout the game, we examined how we could change critical damage to retain it as a fun and viable approach to build-making while also allowing other builds to shine.

The formula we’re using to convert ferocity into critical damage will reduce the current maximum obtainable values. At level 80, it will take 15 points of ferocity to gain 1% bonus critical damage, which means that there will about a 10% decrease in overall damage for a full “berserker” build.

This stat will still be incredibly valuable to a player looking to increase their damage output, but it will be more in line with other stats. Attainable critical damage currently in PvP will remain relatively untouched, as we feel that it is currently in a good place.


UI Changes

We have also made some changes to the way in which critical damage is displayed. Right now, if you were to open up your Hero Panel, you might look at your attributes and see that your critical damage is at 50%. What this really means is that you have a 50% bonus to critical damage. All critical hits have a base damage of 150% normal attack damage. So when you have 50% critical damage bonus, your critical hit damage is raised from 150% to 200%.

We’ll change the critical damage shown on the attributes panel to reflect the base as well as the bonus provided from ferocity, so that it will be easier to understand what’s happening when you land a critical hit on some poor foe.


Celestial Gear

Celestial gear, which provides a moderate boost to all stats rather than a significant bonus to a few stats, will be hit harder by these changes compared to other gear, since it provided relatively high critical damage values compared to other stats given out. To compensate, we’re increasing the overall effectiveness of Celestial gear by improving all stats by 6% of their current values.

Celestial gear in PvP had incorrect stat distribution so we’re increasing its effectiveness to be proportional to the new PvE values. This should open up more build diversity and allow you to bring your builds from other areas in the game into PvP.


These updates will help make other builds more viable, increase the clarity of the attributes panel, and fix core issues with critical damage.

See you all on the battlefield!
– Roy Cronacher


By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

25 replies on “GW2 Critical Damage Changes”

You don’t even have to pay month to month, and yet complain about getting things for free. Just because your big bad zerker warrior got his balls cut off. Seriously go back to WoW cry baby. Oh and one of my chars is a zerk warrior, at least this makes it more interesting to play.

“You don’t pay a monthly fee, that means you’re not allowed to complain!” What a shitty argument.

Another challenge to overcome to prove how skills and imagination of character build can prevail even against the direst of changes.

Hmm anet is still flailing around trying to come up with a solution for the lack of diversity of group composition that they created by getting rid of monks…. Big surprise that when there’s no healing and all the enemies hit like trucks in end game content, the only way to beat them is kill them as fast as possible. Now it will just take 10% longer to kill the enemies with my zerker warrior, in a group of all zerker warriors.

“no healing and all the enemies hit like trucks in end game content, the only way to beat them is kill them as fast as possible”, sorry …but i’ve never player like that XD and i can do end stuff easilly, maybe you should try to master better dodging, cc and to put viable support in your build XD sometimes it’ not about you supporting the shit out of everything, it’s more about the support everyone does, my guardian is built heavilly tanky/support and the more people there’re around the more i heal myself and last longer even in endgame fights, ofc the approach is totally different than “let me stand in front of him and auto atk since he deals no dmg to me”, it’s a lot about kiting, cc, and heals…letting you survive melee even hard hitting bosses like a fractal or arah (not done in corners too)

I just don’t get your points. There is healing or at least efficient support specs. The strat “kill as fast as possible” is never mandatory and only used by players which want to avoid “difficulty” (to my opinion they also avoid playing). The lack of diversity is more linked to choices from players than real balance issues.

I also play zerk mostly. Not because it is the “current-meta-pro-dps-spec”, but rather because it requires a very living gameplay based on moving, controlling, dodging, kiting, regenerating, etc. I don’t know if someone staying static in a corner can understand that :p

Actually, there is more than one way do dungeons, fractals, guild missions, etc… Adding more support combined with durable DPS’ers and good use of combo fields is actually the most reliable method to attack these types of activities. Going full or 90% DPS works well on easy dungeons but leaves little room for error should players make mistakes or NPC’s fail to react as expected. So while lowering the Zerker builds crit damage 10% does make it harder on that limited group composition, it actually has very little effect on the game overall. It is mainly the groups that have gone out of their way to fight Anet’s desire to spread the support activities among the ENTIRE group that are having the most issues. Even DPS’ers can provide crucial support skills to keep others alive.

People is too stupid to understand that xD and most can’t even with if they’re not in a corner…my fullzerk necro do awesome cc and support thanks to weakness, poison, fear and blood magic XD yet doesn’t lose a bit in dps lol…
Same for my ranger soon ! will be lovely to have my pet build with the aoe heal mastery!
Andd my condition dmagame engy have some quite strong cc too with weakness, blindness and chilled…but people is like naaaahhh…do not learn to play a class…it’s too hard…copy paste a build and fight ignorantly in a corner…meh…what ruin this game is the community honestly xD

“More than one way to do dungeons”… yeah, the fast way, and then a dozen agonizingly slow, boring, stupid ways. Guess which one just got nerfed…

This really ticks me off.. I literally just started not too long ago and worked my arse off to get my zerker gear after learning about builds from other people in game, ended up spending like 100g to put it all together, and now its going to be nerfed? How is that even cool? Will Anet atleast fix some of the derped dungeons that can’t be run in a timely matter (or in some cases can’t even be beaten) unless you A) have a zerker group and b) that zerker group knows what they are doing. I foresee dungeon runs becoming far more painful and slow… for a game that’s all about grinding out gear and gold for days and days on end trying to get that special weapon or armor, you’ve just made that even slower and more tedious.

OK, so you did all that to get zerker because it’s the highest dps set?

If so, that still applies so it isn’t like you would’ve spent the gold on a different set anyways.

I hope ANet figures out a way to break folks from all or mostly zerker, but until condition damage and support get even more love then that isn’t likely to happen. I’m talking PvE here… PvP changes things a bit.

for warriors -10% damage reduction hahhahahhahhahhah thats not gonna do anything if you would say -50% then yeah but -10% with sigil updates it wont feel much at all ;o,

Adn I’d say luckily, if you reduce damage for warriors that profession is dead in pve. Warrior are damange! Warriors FTW!

Don’t get too excited Cryax, Celestial is still getting hurt FAR more than it’s being helped. Celestial gear is losing its biggest stat (by a long shot) in critical
damage switching to ferocity, then they have the audacity to say a 6%
stat boost is enough to balance that? When broken down, if using 100% celestial armor, weapons, and trinkets 6% is 28 stat points per stat. A full celestial build currently
gets 31% chance to critical, and +73% critical damage, with the new and “improved” celestial armor it’ll get 32% chance to critical, and +31% critical damage. Non-critical damage will be improved by 2% (celestial gear accounts for 1/3 of the power of it’s wearer, 2/3 coming from their base power, thus a 6% gear boost means +2% power) while critical damage will drop 42%.
Simple calculations using base of 1000 damage:
Non critical: before – 1000, after – 1020
Critical : before – 2230, after – 1846
chance to crit: before – 31%, after 32% (51% and 52% if using perma-fury, as many do)
Average damage: before – 1381, after – 1284 (1627 and 1450 with perma-fury)

What does that calculate out to? a 7% damage reduction, without fury, and an 11% damage reduction with fury. Not to worry though, a 2% damage reduction, +3hp/ second regen boost, 280 hit points and 1 damage per stack per second of bleeding will make up for it… right?

What they are about to do with this release is to GUARANTEE that 100% celestial gear can NEVER be viable in ANY situation… It’s damage output, which was bad to begin with, is now outright terrible.

they should give a look at condition damage since in last time engies and necro are overpowered …if they really want to balance something.

The only thing i really want to be reworked is boss encounters in dungeon , the mechanics behind them , it’s so easy to find a viable strat even with the worst group ever . it’s not a stat balance/nerf that should bring difficulties or make things funnier on this game. I miss all that WOW boss that could one shot adventurers with 20-30 lvl higher than the boss himself just because you haven’t block or evade the aoe or pick up an item that you should use against.
That was just an opinion , but if Anet want to unite players (no enemy playable factions for instance) they should do some hard content. Tequatl is a good example but it is a world boss, the others could be done by a group of 2-3 people and some could be soloed (inquest golem). other thing that bother, this game is called GUILDwars 2, but i don’t see any wars between guilds as you can join up to 3-4 guilds at the same time …
I’ll stay on this game because of the mechanics (combos, fast gaming, and beautiful) but not for the Disney lore or the difficulties. Oh yes I forget that peoples who casually play gw2 doesn’t like hard things, for this they like to go on pvp or mvm where foes could be a little more intelligent than npc XD
And before starting new balance and all, fix your damn tool-tips and translations (necro’s one are the worst) …well, sorry.

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