Blog Archives

Guild Wars 2 Balance Goals In Winter 2016 Update


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)


  • 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


  • 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


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


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


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


  • 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 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


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


  • 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 2 Thoughts: The Berserker


These are my general thoughts of the Warrior elite specialization: the Berserker! I was able to try out this elite specialization for the first time in the second beta weekend event for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns! Let me tell you, this elite specialization brings fire, lots and lots of fire; burn Guardians you got competition!


So torch is mean to supply fire. Yea, I think that’s the best way to describe it. The torch promotes burning and sticking close targets. Great for condition damage builds but can have it’s uses in damage builds. I have no real complaints about the torch. Let’s check out the skills:

Blaze Breaker: Sends a shockwave to a target applying burning and cripple. Great for enemies trying to run away.

Flames of War: Removes conditions and applies an AoE burn field around you; after a short duration, this field explodes and burns enemies. So this skill promotes staying in a fight with the burn field and has the added benefit of a condi cleanse. I really don’t see a burn field per say but you can see the range indicator at least.

Rage Skills

The rage skills are overall okay in my opinion. The best one is Outrage which is a stun breaker on a 10 second cooldown. I used Sundering Leap quite a bit as an engage tool since you gain adrenaline and apply vulnerability on landing. I also used it to get around. Shattering Blow I tried out a bit, and it’s good if you’re on bow or rifle and need to block a projectile or perform a ranged attack. I didn’t try out the healing skill Blood Reckoning and I’m kicking myself for not trying it out bit. It heals for every attack and more for critical hits. The most disappointing was Wild Blow if I have to be honest. This is a skill that knocks back an enemy an turns them into a projectile knocking backs other foes the enemy hits but the range felt too small. I can see it having better uses in PvP though. The elite Headbutt is a pretty strong daze paired really well with Outrage.

Primal Burst Skills

The burst skills are really good when in Berserk mode which are called primal burst skills. These burst skills are augmented versions of the  regular burst skills and produce fire! What’s really good is that you can get 2 or three bursts in before Berserk mode expires. I really don’t have much else to say about these.

The Berserker specialization line provides for your berserk mode, basic damage and of course, fire!

To conclude, the Berserker provides a clearer path for condition damage builds with fire but also provides new options for damage builds. Damage is very much there with the consistent application of burning alone. If anything to consider, I think the rage skills could use a few tweaks here and there to make them feel better to use.

Warrior Elite Specialization Thoughts: The Berserker


Well this one sounds painful! Today we get a look at the elite specialization for Warriors: The Berserker!

Warrior Elite Specialization


Game Designer Robert Gee tells us a bit about the Berserker. This elite specialization looks to be utterly devastating. The Berserker is meant to be a force of nature, damaging anyone in it’s path.

Let’s start with the Berserk mechanic. Berserk is a mode Warriors can enter when their adrenaline bar is full. When in Berserk mode, the adrenaline bar changes from 3 bar tiers of 10 adrenaline each to one bar tier of 10 adrenaline. This smaller bar is to help Berserkers get their F1 burst skills up faster which are called Primal Burst skills in Berserk mode.

Primal Burst skills vary with the (main hand) weapon a Warrior has equipped. These burst skills also have lower skill recharge and act as Tier 3 burst skills.

Here are some Primal Burst examples:

Scorched Earth: longbow primal burst – leaves a trail of fire on the ground in a straight line

Skull Grinder: mace primal burst – disrupts a target for a short duration and applies multiple conditions on the target


The new weapon Warriors will be getting is offhand torch. The skills on torch show how Warriors are getting more condition options added to their kit.

Blaze Breaker: Slam your torch into the ground creating an avalanche path of rocks and flame that travels to a target. This burns and cripples any foes on the path.

Flames of War: Encases yourself in flames cleansing conditions and creates a fire field around you that burns foes. This fire field explodes after a short duration dealing damage and applying burning to foes.


Utilities are up next! Berserkers will be getting a new utility type called Rage skills. We only know the details of one right now but it’s pretty sweet:

Wild Blow: launch a target as a projectile that can knockback any other foes the target hits

That. Is. Awesome!

Finally, the elite specialization line will have buffs for aspects of the Berserker. There will be traits that benefit going Berserk, burning, condition damage, healing options and stun breaks.

My Thoughts?

Warriors are going to be even more deadly. The Wild Blow utility alone is worth picking up, I really want to see the other utility skills in action. Berserk mode sounds fun as it provides a skill on a low cooldown for more damage. I’ll be very interested to find out what the other primal burst skills are as there are quite a few weapons Warriors have access to. The torch skills themselves sound really strong and definitely promote condition damage Warrior builds. I can see Sword/Torch being a thing. Warriors didn’t have a lot of great condition options outside bleeding (and a bit of torment) so adding burning really helps them out here.

ZAM’s Matt “Mattsta” Adams got an exclusive on this specialization. Be sure to check his post out if you want a few more details including his interview with Robert Gee. Mattsta even made a gallery of Berserker images (including torch skills and all utilities and the elite) on his site. We’ll find everything on Points of Interest on August 21st at noon Pacific.