Upcoming changes and features/Game updates/2020-02/Global
- This article is about about global changes. For PvP, see Upcoming changes and features/Game updates/2020-02/PvP. For WvW, see Upcoming changes and features/Game updates/2020-02/WvW.
Update - February ??, 2020 - Global Changes
Today we're previewing the next set of balance updates to come to Tyria.
With this release there are a significant number of changes we've put together for the competitive game modes, but many of the fundamental principles are applicable in every game mode. In particular, the focus on gameplay being more active is a big piece of the planned changes.
That said, we recognize that there are many specific differences between game modes and the nature of changes for game modes should follow suit. eg. Many bosses and creatures in instanced content focus attacks on the player with the highest toughness. A minor trait, Stone Flesh gives an Elementalist additional toughness while attuned to earth and can cut off both going into Earth attunement and selecting the Earth traitline. So we're changing that trait to grant 7% damage reduction instead of 150 Toughness, allowing it to play well with that type of content and expand some build options.
We're planning many changes of this nature, as well as re-works and more. We look forward to seeing your feedback both on this set of changes as well as future potential changes.
-The Systems Team
- Auras: Aura effects have been updated to be larger and more noticeable. The previous aura effects are now used for auras on allies and for all characters viewed by PvP spectators when the "Effect LoD" option is checked in the graphics settings. Buff icons used for auras have been updated for consistency.
- Unblockable (Tooltip): The unblockable description has a new icon.
- Unblockable (Effect): Skills and traits which grant the unblockable status now use a unified buff. This buff is intensity stacking and stacks are lost whenever attacks hit or miss. Single strikes which hit multiple foes only consume 1 stack. Skills which grant the unblockable status for a duration have been updated to use number of hits instead.
- Downed allied players and Defeated allied players icons on the minimap have been updated and are also displayed above the characters in-world.
Summoned elementals offer a unique gameplay option for Elementalists that want to fight alongside an ally, but their short duration means that they can die frequently during fights. We have increased their summon duration, but we don't want to make them last indefinitely like necromancer minions as we feel part of the identity of glyphs is being able to switch attunements to have different options available. Additionally we felt that the lesser elemental summoning glyph didn't feel distinct enough from the elite glyph since the elite elementals had the same skills as the lesser elementals. To better distinguish the two glyphs, the command skill for lesser elementals is no longer present, which allows for multiple lesser elementals to be summoned at once.
- Overload Fire: Increased the might granted per pulse from 1 stack to 2 stacks in PvE. Clarified the description of this skill.
- "Feel the Burn!": Increased the burn inflicted by this skill from 1 stack of burning for 4 seconds to 2 stacks of burning for 4 seconds. Fixed a bug that prevented this skill from granting its full might effects to nearby allies.
- Obsidian Flesh: This skill now locks the player's skill bar while invulnerable.
- Stone Resonance: This skill now grants stability on initial use for 5 seconds in PvE and 3 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Lava Skin: This skill now grants stability on initial use for 5 seconds in PvE and 3 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Lahar: This skill now grants stability for 5 seconds in PvE and 3 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Grinding Stones: This skill now grants stability for 5 seconds in PvE and 3 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Glacial Drift: This skill now grants stability for 5 seconds in PvE and 3 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Molten Burst: This skill now grants stability for 5 seconds in PvE and 3 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Summoned Elementals: Increased elemental summon time from 60 seconds to 120 seconds. Added indicator buffs to show the remaining time for your elemental.
- Lesser Glyph of Elementals
- Glyph of Elementals: Reduced recharge from 90 seconds to 40 seconds in PvE only. Command skills for Elementals are now considered elite skills for the purposes of runes and traits. Elementals will now play an effect when commanded to indicate that they are using a special skill. Additionally the command skill is no longer restricted to being in-combat and behaves similarly to necromancer command skills.
- Flame Burst (Fire Elemental/Lesser Fire Elemental): Now inflicts 1 stack of burning for 3 seconds instead of cripple.
- Flame Barrage (Fire Elemental): Increased projectile range from 300 to 360 so that the projectiles line up with the AoE attack. Increased damage by 150%. Increased recharge from 10 seconds to 15 seconds. Fixed issues with the description and skill facts to clarify how the damage from this skill is dealt.
- Windborne Speed (Air Elemental/Lesser Air Elemental): Increased radius from 240 to 360.
- Shocking Bolt (Air Elemental): Increased stun from 1 second to 1.5 seconds. Increased cooldown from 10 to 15.
- Stomp (Earth Elemental): Now immobilizes for 1 second in addition to its other effects.
- Stone Flesh: This trait no longer grants up to 150 toughness and instead grants 7% damage reduction while attuned to Earth.
- Bolstered Elements: This trait now grants barrier instead of stability when using a stance skill.
- Elemental Contingency: This trait has been retired and replaced with Elemental Lockdown.
- Elemental Lockdown (NEW): Disabling a foe grants you a boon based upon your attunement.
- Elemental Polyphony (Weaver): This trait grants vitality instead of toughness while attuned to earth.
The Explosives line for engineer is seeing some major changes in this update. We are removing several traits which had weak or lackluster effects such as Minesweeper, Orbital Command and Blasting Zone and reorganizing functionality from others like Short Fuse and Big Boomer to be more unified. The Evasive Powder Keg trait has been removed and replaced with Explosive Entrance, which similarly adds damage after a dodge roll but does so in a more controlled and modifiable way. Finally we are updating grenade skills for better clarity in competitive modes where it can be hard to tell the difference between the different grenades during the cast time.
- Overheat: Instead of disabling all toolbelt skills until all heat is lost, this skill now adds 15 seconds to the recharge of toolbelt skills other than Photon Forge. Photon Forge remains disabled until all heat is lost.
- Photonic Blasting Module: When this trait is equipped, the additional recharge penalty from Overheat is reduced from 15 seconds to 5 seconds.
- Overcharged Shot: Slowed down the animation so the shot occurs at 550ms (up from 240ms)
- Personal Battering Ram: Slowed down the animation so the strike occurs at 600ms (up from 300ms)
- Orbital Strike: This skill now uses a higher detail effect. The lower detail version can be viewed for allies, enemies and spectators by checking the "Effect LoD" option in the graphics settings
- Grenade Kit: Skills in this kit now have unique warmup effects based on which grenade type is being thrown. Fixed an issue where grenade kit skills caused the grenade bundle to vanish during the warmup.
- Crystal Configuration: Eclipse: This trait no longer causes Corona Burst to grant stability. Increased base barrier granted from 374 to 991 in PvE and 748 in competitive modes.
- Short Fuse: This trait has been removed and it's cooldown bonus added into the following skills.
- Fire Bomb: Reduced recharge from 10 seconds to 8 seconds.
- Concussion Bomb: Reduced recharge from 20 seconds to 16 seconds.
- Smoke Bomb: Reduced recharge from 25 seconds to 20 seconds.
- Glue Bomb: Reduced recharge from 25 seconds to 20 seconds. Fixed an issue that caused the visuals for this skill to be larger than the effect radius.
- Big Ol' Bomb: Reduced recharge from 25 seconds to 20 seconds.
- Explosives: This traitline has been reworked, the new traits are as follows
- Aim Assisted Rocket (REWORK): Rockets are now only fired on critical hits. Rocket recharge reduced from 10 seconds to 3 seconds. Rockets now require the engineer to be at least 450 distance from the target to fire. Every 5th rocket instead calls an orbital strike.
- Explosive Temper (NEW): Explosions grant +20 stacking Ferocity for 10 seconds when they hit (10 stacks max)
- Blast Shield (NEW): Explosive Entrance grants the engineer barrier (base 1508 in PvE and 340 in Competitive modes). Also converts 10% of power to vitality.
- Flashbang (NEW): Explosive Entrance now inflicts blind for 3 seconds if it hits. Additionally it inflicts Daze for 1 second on struck foes above 90% health.
- Shrapnel: No changes
- Big Boomer (REWORK): Increases strike damage by 10% against foes with a lower health percent than the engineer. Additionally causes hitting with Explosion skills to heal the engineer over 3 seconds, 202 health per second. (This effect does not stack.)
Dragonhunters are solid damage dealers, but there were a couple spots that needed some tuning. Deflecting shot, in particular, had a very short cast time and became crowd control when traited with Heavy Light. We've rolled the crowd control into the skill itself and increased its cast time to ensure that it feels reasonable for its effect. Several traits have also been improved for ease of understanding, like Dulled Senses affecting any foe you crowd control, not simply those you knock back. A couple particularly unused traits in the core Virtues specialization have been retired and replaced with fresh options.
- True Shot: Increased the damage dealt by 10% (2.2 to 2.44) in PvE only and improved the direction your arrow fires when you don't have a target selected.
- Deflecting Shot: This skill now knocks back and its animation has been slowed down so the arrow is fired at 740ms (up from 280 ms). Reduced power coefficient from 1.8 to 0.01 in PvP and WvW.
- Hunter's Ward: Increased the damage dealt by this final impact of this skill by 10% (2.0 to 2.2).
- Chains of Light: Slowed down the animation so the strike occurs at 600ms (up from 400ms). Increased the immobilization duration to 5 seconds in PvE and this skill now inflicts 5 stacks of vulnerability across all game modes.
- "Feel My Wrath!": Unsplit from PvP & WvW, Cooldown 35 seconds, Quickness - 5 seconds, Fury - 10 seconds
- Dulled Senses: This trait no longer inflicts vulnerability when you cripple a foe. This trait now cripples any enemy you disable, not just those you knock back.
- Heavy Light: This trait no longer causes Deflecting Shot to knock back. This trait now grants stability whenever you disable an enemy, not just when you knockback. You additionally deal increased damage to disabled foes.
- Stoic Demeanor: This trait can now affect the same enemy each second instead of every 3 seconds.
- Virtuous Solace: This trait has been retired and replaced by Inspiring Virtue.
- Inspiring Virtue (NEW): This trait grants you increased damage after activating a virtue.
- Wrathful Spirit: This trait now grants fury in addition to retaliation when aegis ends.
- Binding Jeopardy: This trait has been retired and replaced with Furious Focus.
- Furious Focus (NEW): This trait inflicts vulnerability to any foe you strike while you have fury.
- Imbued Haste (Firebrand): This trait grants vitality instead of toughness while you have quickness.
In this update we are making some changes to the greatsword and domination trait line in order to provide a more reliable baseline ranged damage build or mesmer. We are removing the Confounding Suggestions trait which has been problematic to balance in the past due to its power level and adding in a new trait Vicious Expression which plays better with the Domination line's boon removal. Finally we are changing the Mirage Elusive Mind to no longer break stuns as we feel that the necessity of including exhaustion as a balancing factor has made it too binary as a choice.
- Signet of Domination: Slowed down the animation so the stun occurs at 560ms (up from 360ms)
- Spatial Surge: Now displays damage maximum then minimum in description.
- Mirror Blade: Fixed a bug which caused this skill to play its slashing effect on the player instead of its target. Cooldown reduced from 8s to 5s. Rather than inflict 1.0/0.6 dmg per hit, it now reduces the damage on future bounces by 15% each time.
- Mind Stab: Cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds. No longer removes boons. It now inflicts cripple instead. 5s in PvE, likely to be reduced in PvP/WvW.
- Phantasmal Berserker: Cooldown reduced from 15 seconds to 12 seconds. No longer cripples, instead the projectile removes 2 boons. Projectile no longer boomerangs.
- Confounding Suggestions: This trait has been retired and been replaced with Bountiful Blades.
- Bountiful Blades (NEW): Mirror Blades bounces 2 additional times. Phantasmal Berserker summons an additional berserker and they each deal less damage (33% instead of 25% less damage.
- Imagined Burden: This trait has been retired and been replaced with Vicious Expression.
- Vicious Expression (NEW): You and your illusions deal increased damage to foes without boons. Disabling a foe removes 2 boons in PvE, and 1 boon in PvP and WvW.
- Elusive Mind: This trait no longer stunbreaks or inflicts exhaustion. Increased the number of conditions cleansed from 1 to 3 in PvE, and to 2 in PvP and WvW.
Necromancer has always been designed to be a resilient profession that was light on Stability. Since this update specifically is removing some stability from their traits we made sure to buff their stunbreak skills appropriately in response. Additionally we've fixed a few issues with minion responsiveness and buffed a few of the weaker minion command skills.
- Well of Power: Reduced the cooldown of this ability from 40 to 30 seconds in PvE only.
- Plague Signet: Reduced the cooldown of this ability from 30 to 25 seconds in PvE only.
- Spectral Armor: Reduced the cooldown of this ability from 40 to 30 seconds in PvE only.
- Spectral Walk: Reduced the cooldown of this ability from 40 to 30 seconds and the swiftness duration from 30 to 24 seconds in PvE only.
- "Nothing Can Save You!": This skill now applies 5 stacks of the new unblockable for a flat 10 seconds with an additional 2 stacks for each foe hit (see General section for more details).
- Minions: Necromancer minions will now play an effect when commanded to indicate that they will be using a special skill.
- Rigor Mortis (Bone Fiend Command Skill): Bone Fiend will now respond immediately when commanded, interrupting its current action to perform the special attack.
- Haunt (Shadow Fiend Command Skill): Increased radius from 120 to 300.
- Flesh Wurm: Reduced the cooldown of this ability from 32 to 25 seconds in PvE only.
- Necrotic Traversal (Flesh Wurm Command Skill): Increased radius from 180 to 240
- Doom: This ability now has a cast time and inflicts fear on your foe at 640ms. The fear duration has been increased from 1 second at a distance or 1.5 seconds at close proximity to 2 seconds on successful hit regardless of distance.
- Death's Carapace: Added visual effect for this buff that updates based on the number of stacks the player has.
- Foot in the Grave: This trait has been retired and been replaced by Eternal Life.
- Eternal Life (NEW): Gain life force constantly up to a threshold while not in shroud. (66% in PvE, 20% in PvP & WvW) Gain protection when you enter shroud.
- Flesh of the Master: Fixed a bug that could cause Death's Carapace stacks to be applied incorrectly by this trait.
Soulbeasts, long standing without a tradeoff, are now receiving theirs - they lose combat access to a second pet and must choose carefully which pet they are going to be bonded with in battle.
- Soulbeast: Soulbeasts can no longer swap pets while in combat. Merging and unmerging with your pet now counts as a pet swap for the purposes of the Clarion Bond and Zephyr's Speed traits.
- Lightning Assault (Electric Wyvern): Added a 500ms warmup before the dash occurs.
- Glyph of the Stars: Reduced the cooldown of this skill to 60 seconds from 90 seconds.
- Call of the Wild: This skill now uses the new unblockable buff (see General section for more details).
- Throw Torch: This skill now applies its effects in a 180 radius around the target struck by the torch.
- Winter's Bite: This skill is now always AoE even when not traited with Honed Axes. Increased bleeding stacks in PvE from 2 to 3 and increased bleeding duration in PvE from 8 seconds to 12 seconds to match PvP/WvW version.
- Honed Axes: Baseline ferocity is now also applied to your pet. No longer causes Winter's Bite to strike AoE.
- Hunter's Tactics: This trait now increases damage when attacking from the side or behind by 10% in addition to its previous effects.
- Lead the Wind: No longer grants swiftness when performing a projectile combo. Instead grants swiftness for 10 seconds and quickness for 5 seconds (2.5 seconds in PvP and WvW) when striking with an attack from beyond 1200 range. This effect has a 15 second cooldown.
- Druidic Clarity: This trait no longer causes entering Celestial Avatar to stunbreak.
- Unstoppable Union: This trait no longer causes entering Beastmode to stunbreak. Entering Beastmode now grants protection and vigor in addition to removing movement-impairing conditions.
- Beastly Warden: This trait now has a 1 second delay before your pet taunts nearby enemies. Fixed a bug that could prevent this trait from working with underwater pets.
- Clarion Bond: This trait now uses the new unblockable buff (see General section for more details).
- Twice as Vicious: Increased the damage and condition damage bonuses granted by this trait from 5% to 10% in PvE only.
Revenants are seeing a large number of changes in this update. In addition to reworks of both the Devastation and Corruption trait lines we have also revisited several of their skills. Precision Strike has been reworked as an actual melee attack as we felt didn't really make sense for it to be a projectile skill. We have however kept its emphasis on single target damage if you can isolate a foe. Confusion has been removed from various Revenant skills as they didn't really have any meaningful ways to take advantage of it and instead we've replaced them with Torment which can be used in a more cohesive character build.
- Surge of the Mists: Added a 500ms warmup before the dash occurs. The evasion granted by this skill is active during the warmup.
- Temporal Rift: This skill no longer inflicts confusion. Increased amount of torment applied in PvE from 2 stacks to 4 stacks in PvE.
- Rift Slash: Updated animation to be more prominent. Skill timing unchanged.
- Precision Strike: This skill has been reworked into a new skill called Chilling Isolation. This skill is a 240 radius circular melee strike that chills up to 5 foes for two strikes. If the second strike hits only 1 foe it does bonus damage. Increased cooldown from 6 seconds to 8 seconds in PvP and WvW.
- Banish Enchantment: This skill no longer inflicts confusion. Instead it inflicts chill for 1 second and removes 1 boon per hit. Number of hits increased from 1 to 3. Increase PvE damage by 380% (0.25 to 1.2). Damage in other modes increased by 20% (0.25 to 0.3)
- Phase Traversal: This skill no longer increases damage for your next few attacks. Damage increased in PvE only by 100%. Cost raised from 30 to 35 in WvW to match PvP version.
- Unwavering Avoidance: This trait now grants vigor instead of stability when evading an attack. The cooldown on this trait has been reduced to 5 seconds from 8 seconds.
- Determined Resolution: This trait now reduces incoming damage while you have vigor instead of stability. It no longer increases the duration of stability.
- Fierce Infusion: This trait has been retired and been replaced by Glaring Resolve.
- Glaring Resolve (NEW): Gain stability and heal when you stunbreak.
- Empty Vessel: This trait has been retired and been replaced by Contained Temper.
- Contained Temper (NEW): Gain fury when you disable a foe.
- Sudden Reversal: This trait has been retired and been replaced by Bold Reversal.
- Bold Reversal: When you stunbreak, gain several offensive boons and full Kalla's Fervor.
Changes to the Devastation line are aimed at two major areas. The first is that several traits are highly niche such as Malicious Reprisal and Jade Echo. These traits are being removed and replaced with new traits that have more broad uses. The second issue is the opposite, some traits are too similar to each other such as Ferocious Strikes and Vicious Lacerations that they don't offer any meaningful choices. The siphoning traits are a part of this change and we are unifying the siphoning effect into a single buff for the combat log and making it a bigger part of the overall line. The new siphon effect named after Shiro's classic skill "Battle Scars" is a stacking buff that is expended when attacking and is more restricted in its applications but stronger than previous siphoning traits.
- Devastation: The Devastation Trait line has been reworked, the new traits are as follows
Similar to the Devastation rework we are also re-centering the Corruption line around a new mechanic. Invoke Torment occurs when switching legends and causes nearby foes to be inflicted with torment. This ability can be upgraded with the grandmasters based on your preferred playstyle. The boon removal traits have also been removed as we felt that they had trigger conditions that offered little gameplay. In exchange we've added a few new powerful traits with drawbacks as we feel this is in line with the spirit of the Mallyx line and skills like Pain Absorption.
- Corruption: The Corruption line has been reworked, the new traits are as follows.
- Abyssal Chill: This trait has moved to a new location in the same tier.
- Demonic Resistance: This trait has moved to a new location in the same tier. This trait no longer grants vitality based on condition damage. Increased damage resistance in PvE from 20% to 33%. Competitive modes remain at 20% reduction.
- Pact of Pain (NEW): Conditions you apply to foes last 15% longer. Conditions applied to you last 10% longer.
Thief pistol has been updated some to better smooth its gameplay and its associated trait (and harpoon gun's), Ankle Shots, has been replaced with a new trait - Deadly Aim, which causes attacks from those weapons to pierce, allowing for strategic movement and positioning relative to your foes.
- Vital Shot: Updated icon of this ability.
- Body Shot: This ability has been renamed to Bolas Shot, had its description and icon updated.
- Headshot: Increased the daze caused by this skill from 0.25 to 2 seconds, in PvE only.
- Black Powder: Increased the radius of the area of blinding and smoke field around the thief from 120 to 180. Updated the description of this skill.
- Ankle Shots: This trait has been replaced by Deadly Aim.
- Deadly Aim (trait) (NEW): This trait causes your pistol and harpoon gun abilities to pierce, affecting up to five enemies, but reducing damage inflicted by those skills by 5%.
- Trick Shot: Updated the description of this ability to better reflect its function.
- Disabling Shot: Updated the description of this ability to better reflect its function.
- Choking Gas: This ability now dazes foes on its initial impact rather than when they are above a poison stack threshold. The daze duration has been increased from 0.5s to 1s. Increased initiative cost from 4 to 6 in PvP and WvW.
- Thief Bundles: We did a pass on all thief bundles and found several that were using some pretty old numbers. We've done a tuning pass on these to make sure that they feel impactful enough in PvE for both power and condition spec builds.
- Branch Bash: Increased damage by 100% (0.75 to 1.5)
- Elixir of Heroes
- Eat Egg: Reduced cast time from 1 second to 0.5 seconds. Increased initiative gain from 6 to 8.
- Ice Shard Stab: Reduced chill duration from 10 seconds to 6 seconds. Increased damage by 100% (1 to 2)
- Rusty Scrap Strike: Increased damage by 200% (0.5 to 1.5) Increased bleeding stacks from 3 to 6. Increased poison stacks from 1 to 3. Decreased duration of all conditions from 10 seconds to 6 seconds.
- Shoot Rifle: Increased vulnerability stacks from 1 to 10. Reduced vulnerability duration from 15 seconds to 10 seconds.
- Throw Coral Shard: Increased damage by 25% (1 to 1.25)
- Throw Crystal Shard: Increased damage by 66% (0.6 to 1)
- Throw Lava Rock: Increased damage by 300% (0.25 to 1). Decreased burning duration from 15 seconds to 6 seconds. Increased burning stacks from 1 to 3.
- Throw Rock: Updated skill fact to show correct knockdown duration of 2 seconds. Increased damage by 50% (1 to 1.5)
- Throw Scale: Increased damage by 200% (0.5 to 1.5) Increased bleeding stacks from 1 to 3. Decreased poison duration from 20 second to 10 seconds. Increased poison stacks from 1 to 3.
- Tooth Stab: Increased damage by 166% (0.75 to 2) Decreased bleeding duration from 60 seconds to 10 seconds. Increased bleeding stacks from 1 to 6.
- Use Staff: Increased damage from chain lightning effect by 50% (0.8 to 1.2)
Warrior's rifle has been somewhat lackluster in its gameplay feel, so we're updating it to create some rotations by giving its 2-4 skills ammunition, shorter cooldowns between uses and slightly longer cooldowns to recover shots, plus successfully using Rifle Butt will allow the rapid recovery of the ammunition for those skills. Warrior hammer has a pretty good gameplay cadence, so we're pushing a bit further on what it does well - hurting crowd controlled enemies. Its iconic second skill, Fierce Blow, now does significantly greater damage to disabled foes, and Backbreaker will automatically recharge fierce blow for immediate use when you successfully knockdown an enemy.
- Aimed Shot: This skill now has 2 ammunition, a 3 second recharge between uses and recovers ammunition every 10 seconds.
- Volley: This skill now has 2 ammunition, a 5 second recharge between uses and recovers ammunition every 12 seconds.
- Brutal Shot: This skill now has 2 ammunition, a 8 second recharge between uses and recovers ammunition every 20 seconds.
- Rifle Butt: Increased the recharge of this skill from 15 seconds to 20 seconds. If you strike a foe with this ability then all other rifle skills recover 1 ammunition. Slowed down the animation so the knockback occurs at 600ms (up from 367ms)
- Fierce Blow: Increased the damage dealt to disabled foes by 25% (2.16 to 2.7) in PvE only.
- Backbreaker: This skill now recharges Fierce Blow if you knockdown a foe or strike an enemy with a breakbar.
- Disrupting Stab: This skill now extends the 0.25 second daze when used against foes using skills rather than stunning them. Extended daze is 1.5 seconds in PvE and 1 second in PvP/WvW. Removed bonus damage. Base damage increased by 50% (0.8 to 1.2 multiplier) in PvE only.
- Imminent Threat: Slowed down the animation so the taunt occurs at 600ms (up from 333ms)
- Signet of Might: Now gives 10 stacks of the new unblockable buff for 6 seconds (see General section for more details).
Guild Wars 2 Wiki Notes
- Build: ???