Blog Archives

Guild Wars 2 Balance Goals In Winter 2016 Update

pvp-stomp

Hey everyone! Karl McLain made a blog post today about balance for each profession. Before we get into that, let’s look at some overall points made:

  • There will be major balance update with each quarterly seasonal release
  • Quickness and slow will no longer have an effect on resurrecting allies or stomping enemies
  • Slow will be worked on to bring it more in like with it’s counter part (which is quickness)

Elementalist

  • Defense nature will be fine-tuned
  • Offense will see a bit of improvement
  • Diamond Skin trait will act as a condition removal rather than condition avoidance
  • Air grandmaster traits are getting usability and offensive improvements
  • Scepter and focus are getting good quality-of-life modifications

Engineer

  • Improve less used traits and rework some functionality for Scrapper traits
  • Core specialization trait improvements have been made to make more impactful choices for more distinctive builds
  • Defensive nature of Scrapper is being monitored; may implement a reduction in survivability

Guardian

  • Updated traits and abilities to be more useful and have more impact
  • Looking to make slight adjustments to Dragonhunter burst and disruption

Mesmer

  • Alacrity being brought more in line
  • Scepter improvements (through skills, functionality and traits)

Necromancer

  • Improving a few elite specialization traits
  • Working with baseline shroud to give it more functionality
  • Leeching Bolts now heals through shroud form

Ranger

  • Update less used traits for more allure; increase both defensive and offensive options
  • Improvements to Ranger shout utility to make it more unique
  • Looking to improve Ranger’s ties with pet and nature
  • Monitoring at Druid’s viability in group scenarios and overall effectiveness

Revenant

  • Revenant sword damage getting toned down in some areas
  • Adjusting sword abilities so auto attacks aren’t the focus and is better at singling out and attacking enemies
  • Monitoring defensive capabilities

Thief

  • Drastic improvement to thief melee auto attacks until overall sustained damage when used with initiative is dangerous
  • Improvements to acrobatics specialization line

Warrior

  • Adjusted baseline abilities, cooldowns, damage and functionality in some cases
  • Rifle gaining a more defensive nature while retaining overall purpose of kill-shotting
  • Another pass into Berserker elite specialization to improve usability in other game modes and promote more active skill use in trait design
  • Improvements to sustain in combat

So overall it seems this is a pretty decent start for the balance update. As  many know, I’m a thief main so I’m curious about the changes to Acrobatics. I’m personally hoping it will offer thieves the survivability we need for PvP fights. Elementalist Diamond skin is going to be completely new but it won’t be impossible to fight 1v1 as a condition based build. Revenant sword balance was definitely coming as the auto attacks were on the strong side. Also RIP quickness stomps.

That’s all the high level stuff. Be sure to tune into Guild Chat on Friday January 15th for a more in depth look!

Heart of Thorns Beta Weekend Event 1 Thoughts: The Chronomancer

GW2-Chronomancer-well

These are my general thoughts of the Mesmer elite specialization: the Chronomancer. I was able to try out this elite specialization for the first time ever in the first beta weekend event for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns! So without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

Shield

I have to say, the shield skills for Chronomancer are quite entertaining to use. The shield promotes seeing into the future per say. You can either block an attack with Echo of Memory/Deja Vu (Skill 4) or daze with Tides of Time (Skill 5). Clone upkeep using shield requires you to block successfully and the pay off is worth it. The clones you get for blocking grant Alacrity which speeds up skill recharge while Tides of Time grants you quickness when you walk into it. Shield brings about a new aspect of play so I’d say it’s worth trying it out and seeing if it’s for you. There are times where the return aspect for Tides of Time doesn’t work properly. I think this is a bug due to hitting part of the world that’s causing the issue.

Wells

Now, let’s talk about Chronomancer wells! The wells themselves and concerning what each of them provide are pretty decent overall. However, some wells have a longer casting time than other wells. The elite well takes 1 second to cast which makes sense (it’s an elite after all) but the 2 damage-oriented wells takes 3/4 to a second to cast. The other 2 utility wells, that are more support-oriented, are 1/4 of a second to cast. It felt weird trying to lay down Well of Calamity sometimes which, if you couldn’t tell be the name, is a damage oriented well. I found myself interrupting the well cast in order to keep up shatter combos and clone upkeep. I really think that the cast time on the damage utility wells need to go down by 1/4 or 1/2 a second. There’s a bug where the wells sometimes don’t visibly appear when I casted them or the outer ring for the well appeared but the actual well doesn’t show up and goes on cooldown.

Continuum Shatter

Next up is the addition of the F5 shatter: Continuum Split & Continuum Shift. This one will take a bit of practice to use in terms of knowing how much time you have in your Split Duration which is dependent on the number of clones you shatter. I can see it as a way to quickly dodge a big hit in a quick Split Duration or to barrage an enemy with spells when you have a good Split Duration going. This shatter definitely has a high skill cap and players will have to experiement a bit in order to get what they want out of it.

The Chronomancer specialization line is pretty solid allowing players to explore more clone and shatter options while also giving you an option to improve your wells.

So to sum things up, I think Chronomancer is in a really good place right now. It feels really polished. There’s just a bit of well cast time clunk and the odd bug here and there.

Summed Up In Video Format

Mesmer Specialization Thoughts: Illusions & Chronomancer

gw2-chronomancer

Time to show off my thoughts on the Mesmer specializations along with their Elite specialization: Chronomancer! Just a heads up to everyone, rather than having a huge post on core specialization or 16 posts covering each profession and their elite specializations afterwards, I decided to do 8 posts: each post will cover a profession and their elite specialization once announced. If Revenant specializations show up down the road, then there will be a post on that as well. So, let’s get started!

Mesmer Core Specialization

Domination has some vulnerability and interrupt changes which I like. There’s also the Mental Torment trait that promotes shattering phantasms instead of keeping them out. Overall, I feel the line is a decent one to choose.

Dueling is going to be very interesting. Mesmers now have to actually shattering clones/phantasms for confusion from Confusing Combatants rather than pulling out new clones and the older ones shatter automatically or let enemies kill your illusions for confusion. Evasive Mirror looks like a really good trait to get to reflect projectiles after successfully dodging (those pesky Rapid Fire rangers). Harmonious Mantras promotes actually using Mantras by giving you an activation damage boost that stacks. What I really like in this line is Mistrust; this allows you to apply confusion in an area when you interrupt someone. Combining this with the Domination line could be quite fun.

Chaos is more defensive in nature. Master of Manipulation allows you to reflect projectiles for a short period when you use a Manipulation skill and can work well with Evasive Mirror. Chaos Dampening will be really good for getting frequent Chaos armor. Prismatic Understanding is the key trait in this line as it increases the duration of stealth. This trait brings Mass Invisibility elite skill on par with a Thief’s Shadow Refuge skill.

Inspiration bring about buffs to Phantasms. I like Phantasmal Healing as it promotes having the max amount of illusions out and not just Phantasms. There are some traits for speed buffs by using shatters and glamour skills as well.

Illusions helps promote shattering Phantasms with the Persistance of Memory trait. Sum of All Fears seems like a decent trait to have as it applies Torment when you apply 5 stacks of confusion. The Grandmasters in this line helps with shatters and Blinding Befuddlement helps apply longer durations of confusion.

To summarize the core specialization for Mesmer, I feel Mesmers have a bit of a higher skill cap with some trait changes and removal of a lot of Retaliation traits. However, there are quite a few options for Mantra and Phantasm builds. Confusion and Interrupt builds seem to be really potent for a majority of play. I also like the speed traits in the Inspriation line. Domination, Dueling and Illusions will probably be the lines mostly chosen with Chaos and Inspiration being good line choices for WvW.

Chronomancer Elite Specialization

Game Designer Robert Gee who work on the Mesmer and Necromancer specializations wrote the article about the Chronomancer which is the elite specialization for Mesmers. Note that this specialization will be available if you get Heart of Thorns. So what does this specialization offer? Well there are three core things I want to cover about this specialization: Offhand Shield, the Alacrity effect and the skills, specifically the F5 skill called “Continuum Split/Shift”.

For those who don’t know, Chronomancer is essentially a Time Mage and the Mesmer can do just that: time magic! In fact, Memsers are the only profession that can access the new alacrity effect which speeds up the recharge of skills (aka opposite of chill). In some situations, Memsers can share alacrity with allies!

Now, onto the shield. The shield has “time skills” that allows players to use them frequently if used correctly. One such skill is Tides of Time that sends a wave of energy forward and back to the caster. This wave can block projectiles and grants quickness to allies and stuns foes if it hits them. This effect can be applied again to allies and foes when the wave returns to the caster. If the caster gets hit with the wave, they gain some reduced recharge on the skill so it can be used again sooner!

It seems a majority of the Chronomancer skills will be wells with clock-like themes. The clock on the well actually has a tick animation which signals when the well will activate a burst effect. These wells do the regular pulse damage/effect and are either defensive or offensive in nature. Now for the Chronomancer’s F5 skill. This is called Continuum Split and the followup skill is called Continuum Shift. Basically, the Split activation shatters all illusions giving the Chronomancer a window to perform actions. The window time is increased depending on the number of illusions shattered. When the time ends or if Shift is activated, the Chronomancer returns to their starting position with the health, endurance and cooldowns they had when they activated Continuum Split. In other words, Continuum Split/Shift acts as a reset button.

These abilities alone can really make Mesmers amazing. Combining the time skills and alacrity with illusions promotes shatter skills and Mantra use. This in turn increases damage output and for one-on-one scenarios, Memsers could probably burst their opponents down fairly well.

We’ll find out more about the Chronomancer on Points of Interest tomorrow on May 1st at noon Pacific. As usual, it will be on the Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel!