The Defiance bar, also known as a break bar, is a mechanic used by some enemies that restrict the use of control effects against them. Throughout Central Tyria, it is most often (though not exclusively) found on champion or higher ranked enemies, but is commonly found on creatures of all ranks throughout the Heart of Maguuma.
An enemy's Defiance bar may be locked, completely preventing control effects from working, or unlocked, allowing control effects to reduce the Defiance bar in the same way that damage reduces their health bar. Enemies may also have different mechanics related to the Defiance bar, ranging from interrupting their current attack to making them vulnerable to damage.
Traits, skills, and sigils that apply effects when interrupting an attack will activate when used during an enemy's attack animation—breaking the bar is not necessary. Interrupts will only trigger effects and do not prevent the enemy's attack from being completed (unless the bar is broken as a result of the interrupt). There is a 3-second cooldown after every interrupt to prevent activating multiple effects during the same attack animation. This cooldown is not shared between players.
The Defiance bar appears directly below the enemy's health bar when targeted. The appearance of the bar corresponds to its behavior:
- A gray, segmented bar, known as a "locked" defiance bar, indicates that the enemy is currently completely immune to any crowd control.
- A teal bar indicates that the enemy is immune to the intended effects of crowd control skills (including soft control conditions such as blinded or chilled); instead, these conditions will deplete part of the bar. The amount depleted depends on the effect applied to the enemy. In most cases, the defiance bar will slowly regenerate over time if no crowd control conditions are being applied. Once fully depleted, the enemy's defiance has been broken and a special effect will occur (see Behavior below) while the bar begins to recharge.
- A brown bar indicates that the enemy's defiance was recently broken; they are completely immune to any crowd control and the Defiance bar is recharging. Crowd control skills will not reduce the bar or affect the rate at which it recharges. Once the bar has fully recharged, it will turn teal again. The broken state is accompanied by temporary conditions (such as stun), changes in enemy behavior, or both.
When players break an enemy's defiance by fully depleting the Defiance bar, one or more of the following will happen:
- Interrupts or stops their current action (most common effect)
- Applies Stun, causing them to stagger for a few seconds
- Applies Knockdown
- Applies Exposed, causing them to take 30% additional strike damage and 100% additional damage from conditions for 5 seconds
- Other effects See below.
Hovering over the Defiance bar with your mouse will display the effect that happens when the bar is depleted.
When the bar gets damaged, it will slowly recharge over time. Soft control effects can slow down or stop this regeneration.
When the bar is broken it may sometimes turn ochre and begin to recharge. During this time, it cannot be affected by crowd control. Once the bar is full again, it will change back to teal and can once again be reduced by players. Certain enemies will not have this and will instead have their bar locked until the next time they attempt a powerful attack.
Because the bar slowly recharges over time, crowd control must be steadily applied to keep reducing it; alternatively, players can coordinate their efforts to all apply crowd control at the same time, rapidly reducing the bar to zero.
In some case the defiance bar is only unlocked for a short period of time, challenging players to coordinate and break the bar as quickly as possible within a short period of time. Failing to do so will most often cause a devastating attack to be released or other unfortunate events.
Many powerful enemies, particularly those found in Heart of Maguuma, have a locked bar most of the time; however when they are about to launch a strong attack or perform an action that highly empowers them, the segmented bar will unlock and turn teal for a short time, becoming locked again after launching their attack. Players can stun the boss and prevent the attack from launching by using crowd control skills to fully deplete the bar before the attack begins.
- White Mantle Cleric - Their defiance bar appears when they start channeling a skill that will heal all nearby White Mantle by a large amount. Breaking it will interrupt their channel.
- World boss event Slay the Shatterer - The Shatterer's defiance bar will appear as it prepares to use its Shard Storm attack. Breaking The Shatterer's defiance before it can launch the attack will interrupt and stun the Shatterer and make it vulnerable to attack for a short period. (See also: No-Fly Zone achievement)
- Defeat Vinetooth Prime - Vinetooth Prime will occasionally get up on its hind legs and walk away, revealing its defiance bar. Breaking it will cause it to get knocked down and make it take more damage from attacks. It is difficult to complete the event in time without breaking its bar at least once.
- Vale Guardian - After 66% health, the Vale Guardian will raise its hand in the air and release balls of energy, dealing large amounts of damage. Breaking its bar will interrupt this attack.
- Special mention: Defeat Three-Toed Tootsie - While Three-Toed Tootsie does not have a defiance bar of her own, occasionally it will show "Tootsie will abscond in: X:XX" in the event assistant. Players will need to use a hard control skill on her before the timer runs out, else Tootsie will run away and the event will reset.
Rather than recharging, some enemies that start with a Defiance bar will lose it permanently once it has been broken. These enemies often have powerful attacks or boons that will be lost for the remainder of the fight once their Defiance bar has been broken.
- During the Dragon's Stand meta-event, Legendary Axemaster Hareth receives reduced damage as long as his bar has not been broken. Once broken, the bar locks rather than entering recharge state and his damage reduction is lost for that encounter.
Event scaling affects the Defiance bar strength. As more players join the event it will become harder for any one player to break the bar. However, if distributed between all players, each player will be responsible for a reduced amount. This also causes the bar to recharge more slowly which means it takes more time until the Defiance bar becomes vulnerable again.
The following table shows an example of an enemy with a base strength of 600. Note: Scaling is not the same for all enemies and not all defiance bars scale.
|Player count||Bar strength||Bar per player||Time to regenerate (seconds)||Time to recharge (seconds)|
|Player count||Bar strength||Bar per player||Time to regenerate (seconds)||Time to recharge (seconds)|
Soft control effects
Soft control effects are categorized as effects that hinder an enemy's movement or skill usage. They are mostly non-damaging conditions and are affected by condition duration. As such, they deal damage over time to the Defiance bar. Additionally, these effects will apply to the foe for the purposes of triggering traits but not apply their debuff effect. Fears and taunts are inherently hard control effects, however they act as soft control effects with regards to the defiance bar.
|Condition||Defiance Bar Damage|
|Fear||100 per second|
|Taunt||75 per second|
|Immobile||50 per second|
|Slow||50 per second|
|Chilled||33 per second|
|Blinded||20 per second|
|Weakness||20 per second|
|Crippled||15 per second|
Hard control effects
Hard control effects are effects that can directly interrupt skill usage or displace an enemy. As such, they deal instant damage to the Defiance bar. The damage inflicted is solely based on the duration of the effect. Effect type or tooltip distance does not affect the damage they deal. These effects still trigger traits that apply immediately on interrupted/disabled foes (such as Lightning Rod), but will not apply their control effect so traits like Ancient Seeds will not trigger on following attacks. Damage dealt is based on following formula:
Defiance bar damage = 100 * effect duration
- 1 Sigils and traits that increase the duration of stuns and dazes will also increase the damage to the defiance bar.
- 2 Distance does not affect damage to the defiance bar.
- 3 Sentinel Rifle's Rifle Butt deals 350 Defiance Bar damage but causes a 2 second Daze on enemies without a defiance bar.
Mob-specific defiance bars
|Name||Bar unlock requirement||Bar strength||Scaling||Regeneration per second||Window time||Breaking effect||Cooldown|
|Blighted Canach||Special attack||15||0||0||?||5 seconds of Stun||?|
|Blighted Eir Stegalkin||Special attack||100||0||20||?||15 seconds of Stun||?|
|Mordrem Guard Punisher||Special attack||100||0||0||2.4 seconds||5 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)||?|
|Arrowhead Hatchling||None||200||0||20||∞||5 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)||?|
|Veteran Mordrem Bonebreaker||None||200||0||28.6||∞||7 seconds of Knockdown||?|
|Blighted Garm||?||300||0||0||∞||5 seconds of Stun||?|
|Chak Bracer, Chak Sapper||None||300||0||3||∞||Death||0 seconds|
|Faolain (During Bitter Harvest)||?||300||0||7.5||∞||5 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)||30 seconds|
|Mushroom Stomper||?||300||0||3||∞||Jumps to a random location after 1.3 seconds. Loses his buff and is disabled for 4.5 seconds.||37.5 seconds|
|Veteran Zintl Cavalier||?||500||?||50||∞||5 seconds of Knockdown||50 seconds|
|Champion Chak Lobber, Champion Mordrem Guard Cavalier, Champion Mordrem Teragriff, Champion Mordrem Troll, Champion Overgrown Husk, Champion Coztic Bladedancer||?||600||180 (30%) per player after 5 players||30||∞||5 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)||?|
|Champion Mushroom Emperor||?||600||?||6||∞||3.75 seconds of Stun||40 seconds|
|Fractal and dungeon bosses that are Champion or Legendary rank, Adolescent Fire Wyvern, Toxx, Veteran Arrowhead, Veteran Chak Lobber, Veteran Mordrem Stonehead, Veteran Stonehead||None||600||0||30||∞||5 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)||40 seconds|
|Veteran Chak Blitzer||?||600||?||0||11.5 seconds||3 seconds of Stun and removes the shield||?|
|Veteran Converted Nuhoch, Veteran Xocotl Crusher||?||600||?||60||∞||8.5 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)||60 seconds|
|Veteran Mushroom King||?||600||?||?||3.75 seconds||5 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)||?|
|Legendary Vinetooth Prime||During Soul Feast||?||?||?||?||? seconds of Knockdown and increased damage (Exposed)||60 seconds|
|Champion Partially Digested Husk||None||600||0||20||∞||5 seconds of Stun and increased damage (Exposed)||15|
|Legendary Amber Great Jungle Wurm Head, Legendary Cobalt Great Jungle Wurm Head, Legendary Crimson Great Jungle Wurm Head||None||5000||0||?||∞||Interrupts current attack and applies increased damage (Exposed)||?|
Fractal-specific defiance bars
|Fractal||Encounter||Enemy||Bar unlock requirement||Bar strength||Window time||Breaking effect|
|Swampland Fractal||Kill Bloomhunger||Bloomhunger||While channeling special attacks||1000||∞||Causes 5 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)|
|Nightmare Fractal (Challenge Mote)||MAMA||Red Static Assault Knight||None||800||∞||Causes 5 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)|
|Nightmare Fractal (Challenge Mote)||MAMA||Blue Dynamic Assault Knight||None||800||∞||Causes 5 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)|
|Nightmare Fractal (Challenge Mote)||MAMA||Green Synergetic Assault Knight||None||800||∞||Causes 5 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)|
|Nightmare Fractal (Challenge Mote)||MAMA||MAMA||While not channeling the special attack||1800||∞||Causes 4 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)|
|Nightmare Fractal (Challenge Mote)||Defeat Siax the Unclean||Siax the Corrupted||While channeling Caustic Explosion||2000||∞||Causes 4 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)|
|Nightmare Fractal (Challenge Mote)||Kill Ensolyss||Ensolyss of the Endless Torment||None||2000||∞||Causes 5 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)|
|Shattered Observatory Fractal (Challenge Mote)||Skorvald the Shattered||Skorvald the Shattered||While not channeling special attacks||2200||∞||Causes 6 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)|
|Shattered Observatory Fractal (Challenge Mote)||Defeat Artsariiv||Artsariiv||100%-66% none, 66%-33% and 33%-0% if being hit by the blue ball||2100||∞||Causes 8 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)|
|Shattered Observatory Fractal (Challenge Mote)||Defeat Arkk and deactivate the DDR||Arkk||While channeling Force of the Nightmare attack||1800||∞||Causes 9 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed)|
|Sunqua Peak Fractal (Challenge Mote)||Ai, Keeper of the Peak||Ai, Keeper of the Peak||While not under the effect Resilient Form||3200||6.5 seconds or 17 seconds
(depending on the sequence of attacks)
|Causes 6 seconds of Stun with increased damage (Exposed) and locks the breakbar|
|Sunqua Peak Fractal (Challenge Mote)||Ai, Keeper of the Peak||Sorrow||None||1500||10 seconds||Interrupts the cast of the deadly spell and defeats Sorrow|
Raid-specific defiance bars
|Raid||Encounter||Enemy||Bar unlock requirement||Bar strength||Regeneration per second||Window time||Breaking effect||Cooldown|
|Spirit Vale||Defeat the Vale Guardian||Vale Guardian||Below 66% HP, while channeling its Magic Storm attack||2000||0||30 seconds||Interrupts the Magic Storm attack||30 seconds|
|Spirit Vale||Vale Divisions
Defeat the Vale Guardian
|Blue Guardian, Green Guardian, Red Guardian||At 0% HP||1000||0||∞||Death||∞|
|Spirit Vale||Destroy Gorseval||Gorseval the Multifarious||While channeling Ghastly Rampage||4500||0||25 seconds||Interrupts Ghastly Rampage and causes 4.5 seconds of knockdown||10-15 seconds after either the World Eater attack has finished or all four Charged Souls have been defeated|
|Spirit Vale||Defeat Sabetha the Saboteur||"Knuckles"||While casting Platform Quake||1000||0||5 seconds||Interrupts Platform Quake and causes 5 seconds of stun with 50% increased damage||15 seconds|
|Salvation Pass||Defeat Slothasor||Slothasor||At 80%, 60%, 40%, 20%, 10% HP while being under the effect of Narcolepsy||4000||0||120 seconds||Interrupts Narcolepsy||0 seconds|
|Salvation Pass||Protect the caged prisoners||Berg||While casting Mordremoth's Smash||2000||0||2 seconds, 4 seconds while under the Effect of Not the Bees!||Interrupts Mordremoth's Smash and causes 8 seconds of daze||5 seconds, 20 seconds while under the Effect of Not the Bees!|
|Salvation Pass||Protect the caged prisoners||Bandit Saboteur||While placing a bomb||200||0||? seconds||Interrupts planting the bomb||∞|
|Salvation Pass||Protect the caged prisoners||Bandit Bombardier||While building a mortar||200||0||? seconds||Interrupts building the mortar||∞|
|Salvation Pass||Defeat Inquisitor Matthias Gabrel||Allied player that is affected by Blood Sacrifice||Above 40% of Matthias Gabrel's HP, during a Blood Sacrifice||2500||0||10 seconds||Frees the affected player||45 seconds|
|Stronghold of the Faithful||Destroy the Keep Construct||Keep Construct||After both stacks of Xera's Embrace have been removed||3500||0||∞||Becomes untargetable and cancels current mechanic and attack||0 seconds|
|Stronghold of the Faithful||Defeat Xera||Xera||Below 90% HP, while channeling her "Increased Bloodstone Fragments Spawn"? attack||3000||0||∞||Interrupts the channel||60 seconds|
|Bastion of the Penitent||Defeat Samarog||Samarog||Every 10% of its HP||4500||0||15 seconds||Interrupts the Brutalize attack||0 seconds|
|Bastion of the Penitent||Free the prisoner from his bonds||Saul D'Alessio (Thief at 75%)||While casting his boonsteal attack||300||0||4 seconds||Interrupts the boonsteal attack and causes a 5s stun||15 seconds (5 seconds if interrupted)|
|Bastion of the Penitent||Free the prisoner from his bonds||Saul D'Alessio (Drunkard at 25%)||While casting his teleport attack||300||0||2 seconds||Interrupts the teleport attack and causes a 5s stun||15 seconds (5 seconds if interrupted)|
|Hall of Chains||Defeat the Soulless Horror||Soulless Horror||During the cast of Howling Death||3000||0||6.75 seconds.||Interrupts the cast of Howling Death||~60 seconds|
|Hall of Chains||Restore the Statue of Death and Resurrection||Eater of Souls (Hall of Chains)||During the cast of Imbibe||2500||0||11 seconds||Interrupts the cast of Imbibe||30 seconds|
|Hall of Chains||Defeat Dhuum||Ender's Echo||While challenge mode is active||2000||0||∞||Stuns the Enders Echo and drops any players that are currently caught.||Recharge not known.|
|Mythwright Gambit||Engage the conjured amalgamate||Conjured Shield||While under the effect of Conjured Barrier||200||0||∞||Conjured Barrier is stripped and it stops attacking||10 seconds|
|Mythwright Gambit||Engage the conjured amalgamate||Conjured Warrior||While under the effect of Conjured Barrier||200||0||∞||Conjured Barrier is stripped||10 seconds|
|Mythwright Gambit||Defeat the twin largos||Nikare, Kenut||Below 50% HP, while channeling Aquatic Barrage||?||0||∞||Interrupts the cast of Aquatic Barrage and applied exposed for ? seconds.||?|
|Mythwright Gambit||Enter the Mythwright Cauldron and stop Qadim||Ancient Invoked Hydra||During the cast of Fiery Meteor||1500||0||∞||Interrupts the cast of Fiery Meteor and grants 3 seconds of Exposed||8 seconds|
|Mythwright Gambit||Enter the Mythwright Cauldron and stop Qadim||Qadim||While channeling Riposte||?||0||~7 seconds||Interrupts Riposte||?|
|Mythwright Gambit||Enter the Mythwright Cauldron and stop Qadim||Apocalypse Bringer||?||0||3 seconds||Interrupts cast of Summon and grants 3 seconds of Exposed||10 seconds|
|Mythwright Gambit||Enter the Mythwright Cauldron and stop Qadim||Wyvern Patriarch||1500||0||7 seconds||Interrupts cast of #53132 and grants 5 seconds of Exposed||8 seconds|
|The Key of Ahdashim||Defeat Cardinal Sabir||Cardinal Sabir||At the same time as Electrical Repulsion (non-regenerating bar)||15000||0||∞||Removes Electrical Repulsion from players, removes barrier from Sabir and Sabir casts Bolt Break.||At 90% and 70% of Cardinal Sabir's health, and 22 seconds after the regenerating defiance bar is broken (only once, below 30% hp).|
|The Key of Ahdashim||Defeat Cardinal Sabir||Cardinal Sabir||While Sabir gains stacks of Ion Shield (regenerating bar)||2500||?||∞||Removes all stacks of Ion Shield from Cardinal Sabir and Sabir casts Bolt Break.||First one occurs 17 seconds into the 3rd phase, subsequent ones 27 seconds after the previous defiance bar is broken.|
|The Key of Ahdashim||Defeat Cardinal Sabir||Voltaic Wisp/Paralyzing Wisp||600||0||∞||Stuns and increases incoming damage for 10 seconds.||15 seconds|
|The Key of Ahdashim||Defeat Qadim the Peerless||Pylon||While under the effects of Clutched by Chaos||1000||0||∞||Applies Cleansed Conductor||0 seconds|
|The Key of Ahdashim||Defeat Qadim the Peerless||Entropic Distortion||While Incorporeal||400||0||∞||Stuns and becomes vulnerable to damage||?|
|The Key of Ahdashim||Defeat Qadim the Peerless||Qadim the Peerless||While channeling ???||?||0||?||Interrupts ??? and stuns||0 seconds|
- Defiance bar replaced the Unshakable effect on October 23, 2015 when Heart of Thorns was released.
- Some enemies in the game, especially in older content like dungeons or the personal story, still have the Unshakable trait. Example: Bria in Hellion Forest remains Unshakable, instead of having a Defiance bar.
- Some even have latent traits of both mechanics, making the defiance bar malfunction in a multitude of ways. Example: A champion enemy may be susceptible to some control effects as if they were normal ranked, completely immune to others, and the rest causes defiance bar damage as intended.
- Initially, some skills and traits were designed to grant a Defiance bar to players. This was removed between the second and third beta weekend events of Heart of Thorns, although players still gain a defiance bar when transformed into an Enchanted Armor during the Battle in Tarir or when they have a banner in WvW.
- The Defiance bar recharges and applies condition damage ticks to itself every 0.24 seconds. This slightly affects the actual effect of conditions. For example, a 1-second fear may tick a total of 4 or 5 times causing 96 or 120 defiance bar damage.
- The Defiance bar starts ticking when any control effect is applied. For example, starting with a 1-second fear always results in 96 defiance bar damage.