Hey all, I’m back with a monthly update about the site but first I’d like to say something that became big news yesterday.
Guild Wars 2 Game Director Colin Johanson shall be leaving ArenaNet for a new opportunity that will allow him to be with and support his family more. Colin has worked on Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 for both of it’s life spans and has been an amazing voice (and smile) in the Guild Wars 2 community. This news was made available yesterday on Reddit as the opening of an AMA from ArenaNet President Mike O’Brien who will be temporarily filling Colin’s shoes. This news hit me a bit harder than I thought it would. I’m sad to see Colin go but I wish him the best and many thanks for the years he’s given to the Guild Wars franchise.
Guild Wars 2 posts have been a bit lacking as of late. But there really isn’t much to talk about right now. Things in Guild Wars 2 are in a slow state. I think I’ll do a state of the game type of deal and highlight some responses from the recent AMA.
League of Legends LCS posts are still going. Week 7’s post will be next week since this weekend is IEM Katowice which you can check out on the ESL LoL Twitch channel.
For games of this month, Far Cry Primal (PC) looks interesting & Black Desert Online (PC) came out earlier this week. Heavy Rain is on PS4 now if you’ve never played it as well as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the WiiU.
What’s coming out is The Division (Xbox One, PC, PS4) on March 8th, Hitman (Xbox One, PC, PS4) on March 11th, Need for Speed (PC) March 15th
That’s all for now, I’ll catch you later!
Tune in Saturday February 20th starting at 8 a.m. Pacific on the Guild Wars 2 channel for the PvP Season One finals!
The teams are:
- Europe’s Ranked 55 Dragons – Oracle, Texbi, Levin, Zan, Mancow
- Europe’s Vermillion – kervv, Snowball, Alkore, Argi, Trifin
- North America’s Team PZ – javasocute, YourFriendMarvin, Zoose, Muffinzz, Kaypud
- North America’s The Abjured – Phantaram, Magic Toker, Chaith, Nos, Wakkey
The Broadcasting Team:
- James “Kaelaris” Carrol as Host
- Daniel “Jebro” Littleton & Joe “Munchables” Fenny as Commentators
- Joe “Storm” Nowasell & Chirstian “Heurix” Thomasser as Analysts
With the new balance patch shaking up the meta in a positive way and the teams practicing in the dark for a month, we should be in for a good show. Hoping for some glorious Thief action! If you’re interested in the GW2 PvP scene be sure to check out ArenaNet’s brand spanking new competitive website!
So I’ve talked about starting to write on Mattsta.Ninja recently and my first real post came out earlier this week! The post is about dungeons and how I feel that dungeons need a bit of a look over.
To summarize the post: without friends or guild mates, it’s exceedingly hard to queue up for dungeons. With the exception of Ascalonian Catacombs and maybe Twilight Arbor. Also, for dungeon specific rewards and tokens, it’s way easier and quicker to complete the dungeon’s PvP track then to actually run the dungeon multiple times. I also state that I think ArenaNet shouldn’t have crippled dungeon rewards just to promote other modes they’ll focus on in the future like raids and fractals; even if they don’t develop further for dungeons.
Worked quite a bit on that post so if you’d like to take a look at it in full, you can visit this link!
What’s up everybody! We’re gonna have a little review of the Thief buffs that occurred in the January 26th balance patch. Now, overall I can’t complain. The buffs were all positive. I’m going to go over how the buffs augment current play styles for the better.
Let’s start with Acrobatics. Technically, Acrobatics did get buffed but it feels pretty much the same line as before but a bit better. Which means if you were using it before the patch chances are that it makes your build just a bit better as well. The one thing I don’t like about the new Acro line is Instant Reflexes which is a new major adept trait. In my opinion, the trait is decent in functionality but has too long of a cooldown to make it worth slotting.
Now, I know there are some people that think Acrobatics is useless or still useless after the patch. For thief meta builds this is probably the case. However, there are 4 builds I can think of that can use Acrobatics fairly decently:
- Bunker Thief
- Sword/Dagger with Critical Strikes
- Staff Jumper and
- Condition Double Dagger
For the most part, these are not really meta builds, more like niche builds people play. Bunker because you want to survive as long as possible and you’re not too worried about doing damage. S/D with CS because of the Acro healing synergy +with CS high damage thresholds. Staff jumper and D/D Condi for longer durations of dodging and a safety net with Hard to Catch & Don’t Stop.
The last two are questionable since you’re probably giving up damage in Deadly Arts for Acrobatics but I think it’s a personal preference at that point.
Damage In Fights
Speaking of damage, let’s talk about Thief damage shall we? Lack of damage isn’t the main problem for thieves. It’s surviving in fights. Thieves are not meant for extended fighting at the moment. They’re meant to hit hard, hit fast and get out. What sucks is that you can’t stay in sustained fights unless you’re tanky, use stealth and re-engage if you can, or have a bunch of dodges. And maybe that’s the way ArenaNet wants it. This is why I think thieves got the speed buffs to melee auto attacks among the other skill buffs; to inadvertently improve thief survivability and potency in fights.
Let’s take a Dagger/Pistol build for example. This is a standard meta build. This build got buffed in a few ways if you think about it. Aftercast on Black Powder is gone, Basilisk Venom is unblockable, Withdraw has 10% more healing to names few things. Even a base thief can run the skills I mentioned. Putting it all together for an opening engagement makes it so that after you channel Basilisk Venom you can hit your burst with Heartseeker + Steal as long as your attack lands that is. You get a few more auto attacks in while your target is locked up thanks to the attack speed increases. Withdraw if you get hit up and you can quickly stealth disengage using the Black Powder + Heartseeker combo, then rinse and repeat.
With these buffs you can see how Dagger/Pistol has become better at damaging and eluding opponents. You can add on skills like Bandit’s Defense to increase your survivability.
Staff Auto Attack Buffs
Last but not least is staff auto attack buffs. I think these buffs were made mainly for increasing the allure of bringing a thief to raids. I think thieves do the highest power DPS now. I personally love running thief in raids when possible even before the patch. However thief still lacks in other departments that other professions can fill. We’ll see how it goes.
That’s pretty much sums it up, overall I think everything was very good. It’s possible that survivability (especially to conditions) and build diversity are the things that need to be addressed down the road.
Now, as many of you know, Thief is my main profession in Guild Wars 2. Right now, Thief is in a sore spot having damage and mobility but not having enough survivability to use said damage in drawn out fights, troubles with condition damage and not enough sufficient party utility for raiding. I’m not saying as a Thief I should look at an opponent and they fall into down state. I’m saying after landing a decent burst combo and some auto attacks, my opponent better question fighting me for the next 15 seconds.
A step in the right direction for Thief was taken as ArenaNet gave us a preview of the January 26th balance changes for each profession.
Alright where to start… how about Basilisk Venom (elite) gaining unblockable? This is pretty big for me as it will pierce through the assortment of blocks used these days. You can start a burst combo and can land it now. What’s good is that there is counter play to Basilisk Venom such as evading and I believe invulnerability as well.
Withdraw (heal) FINALLY got it’s 10% healing increase which was promised so long ago and took forever for some reason.
Bandit’s Defense (Daredevil utility skill) will block for the full duration & the kick knock down will be a flip over skill you can activate. I’ve been asking for this since HoT beta weekend 2. I assume it wasn’t in at HoT launch due to time constraints but it was a skill that just killed you more often than not due to the plethora of AoE you wanted to block but an enemy was in range so you auto kicked and ate damage. I know mace 4 on warrior has a similar block/flip over setup so I couldn’t see why ArenaNet couldn’t do it eventually. I’m just glad that it’s going to be in now and it could definitely can have a place on my utility bar.
Black Powder (Pistol 5) aftercast removal is huge! D/P stealthing will be a lot smoother which will help for maxing stealth duration or when getting caught out. It helps with speeding up blinding bolt combos when combined with unload or whirling axe. On the flip side it does promote the use of D/P even more as it’s arguably the best weapon set for a thief.
Auto Attack Speed
Thieves got some autoattack speed increases for Dagger and Sword for better sustain damage. Dagger I wasn’t so worried about but Sword is insanely better than it was. The Sword auto attack speed is one of the reason I didn’t use it. Now, I’m considering retrying it. The speed increase for sword results in about a 30% damage increase which is great. Both speed increases will help with sustain damage after bursting.
Also, for some reason, staff is getting some damage increases. Not sure why or where to be quite honest; staff is pretty strong as a damage weapon as it is. I think the increases will be minimal at best.
X Factor: New Acrobatics
Acrobatics is also getting a revamp. The goal is to provide a regenerative feel; endurance regen and remove conditions more frequently. I’m worried about the traits or even the trait line not being worth picking due to really long cooldowns. An example is a new trait called Instant Reflex which used to be Fleet Shadow. Instant Reflex allows you to gain evasion for 2s when struck below the 50% health threshold on a 40s CD. I feel 40 CD is way too long. However I haven’t seen the all of the traits and the new Acrobatics line is still in development so I’ll wait to make a final say.
I feel there still some things to look over on thief. Some of those are that I’d personally like preparedness (which is a Trickery minor trait that grants thieves +3 extra initiative) to be base line in order to allow Thieves to take something other than Trickery without losing out on the extra 3 initiative. I’d also like the Signet of Agility active to work as described which is “remove a condition FOR each ally near you”. Right now it removes a conditon ON each ally around you.
Overall I am happy about the buffs and we’ll definitely see Thieves come back into play somewhat. I’m hoping that Thief doesn’t become a staple pick everyone feels like they need to go for to win in PvP. I do hope that these buffs brings the people who main thief back.