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[Dev Update] Skill Balances and PvP Changes -- 12 June 2007
The design team has spent considerable time reviewing the game, and a number of skill balances and PvP changes will be implemented into the game this week. These changes will remain in place for the week and, if they are successful, will remain in the game permanently. We will continue to monitor the state of the game and make adjustments as needed. The game update that is being implemented this week makes the changes listed below:
Participants in Daily GvG Tournaments no longer require 14-day guild membership.Note: After reviewing the comments and feedback we are going to move forward with the allowing guests in Daily Automated Tournaments, but we are going to keep the 14-day restriction on the 4 guild members. Please note these new restrictions are only going to apply in Daily Automated Tournaments, and the older restrictions will still apply for Monthly Tournaments.
- Teams in Daily GvG Tournaments now require only four guild members instead of the previous eight.
- After monitoring Automated Tournaments, we believe the number of eligible guilds is too low. To resolve this, we plan to relax some restrictions for Daily GvG Tournaments, and to allow guests. It is our hope that this increases the number of teams that can play and raises the popularity of the tournaments.
- Reduced the rate at which shrines increase the morale meter in Hero Battles.
- The cannon on the Bombardment map now fires every 10 seconds instead of every 15 seconds.
- To encourage more aggressive play and to make kills count for more, we slowed down the speed at which shrines award points. Also, we increased the rate that the cannon fires to make it harder to hold the center shrine if the other player controls the cannon. We noticed that many strategies focus on highly defensive builds to control shrines. With these tweaks, we hope to discourage some of these strategies.
We added a cap of +25 to the armor buff when stacking skills. A single skill can still bring the bonus over +25, but multiple skills with smaller bonuses will not do so. Armor bonuses from shields, weapons, insignias and inscriptions are not affected and still stack.
- Beguiling Haze: increased the Dazed duration to 3..9 seconds.
- Expose Defenses: increased recharge time to 15 seconds.
- Expunge Enchantments: now removes an additional Enchantment.
- Hidden Caltrops: now triggers when the Hex ends. This skill now ends when you hit a moving foe.
- Recall: now ends if the target moves out of compass range.
- Sharpen Daggers: Fixed a bug that caused players using Sharpen Daggers to suffer from Bleeding when an attack skill is used against them.
- Siphon Strength: decreased Energy cost to 10.
- Our last change to Recall helped players better counter with Enchantment removal but, at the same time, it gave Assassins a larger freedom of movement than they had before. So, we brought back the range restriction. We augmented some weaker, less-seen Assassin skills in hopes to make a few more builds viable. We changed Expose Defenses mainly because we thought it did too good a job of countering block skills.
- Arcane Conundrum: now affects adjacent foes.
- Clumsiness: reduced recharge time to 4 seconds.
- Conjure Nightmare: increased duration to 2..17 seconds.
- Conjure Phantasm: increased duration to 2..17 seconds.
- Ether Feast: reduced casting time to 1 second.
- Fast Casting: each rank now decreases Signet activation time by 3%.
- Imagined Burden: increased duration to 10..30 seconds.
- Lyssa's Balance: functionality changed to: "Target foe loses one Enchantment. If you have more Enchantments than the target foe, this skill has no effect."
- Mantra of Persistence: decreased duration bonus to 20..50%.
- Power Block: now affects Chants as well as Spells.
- Power Drain: now affects Chants as well as Spells.
- Power Flux: now affects Chants as well as Spells.
- Power Leak: now affects Chants as well as Spells.
- Power Leech: now affects Chants as well as Spells.
- Power Return: now affects Chants as well as Spells.
- Power Spike: increased damage to 30..120, now affects Chants as well as Spells.
- Shared Burden: increased duration to 5..25 seconds.
- The Mesmer movement speed debuffs were weak compared to the Elementalist. To address this, we increased the duration of some Illusion Magic Hexes that Mantra of Persistence affects so that these skills wouldn't depend on it as much to make them attractive choices. We didn't increase the duration of Migraine or Arcane Conundrum because these spells already do enough to counter Hex removal. We changed Arcane Conundrum to an adjacent AoE so that Mesmers can better handle large clumps of casters as are sometimes encountered in PvE. We dropped the recharge time on Clumsiness to improve its usefulness in the faster, large-group combats of PvE; the Energy cost should keep it balanced in PvP. To increase the likelihood that Lyssa’s Balance will remove an Enchantment, we changed the skill so that if you and your target have an equal number of Enchantments, your target still loses one. We also changed all Mesmer "Power" interrupts so they can interrupt Chants, giving them the ability to counter Paragons. Last, but not least, we've tweaked Fast Casting to benefit Mesmers who equip Signets.
- Although we are keeping an eye on the powerful AoE damage of Searing Flames, we haven't done anything to it because we expect a lot of destruction from Fire Magic. We tweaked some Earth Magic skills to encourage Earth Elementalist builds, but overall we like the current balance of the Elementalist and are happy to see them in all styles of play and game types.
- Soul Reaping: Energy gain now triggers 3 times every 15 seconds (if you are already at maximum Energy when something dies, it does not count toward this limit). You now gain full Energy when a Spirit you control dies; you gain no Energy when other Spirits die.
- Signet of Sorrow: fixed a bug that prevented this Signet from recharging properly when near an exploited corpse.
- Spiteful Spirit: increased Energy cost to 15.
- Well of Blood: decreased casting time to 1 second.
- Well of Darkness: decreased casting time to 1 second.
- Well of Power: decreased Energy cost to 5, decreased casting time to 1 second.
- Well of Silence: decreased Energy cost to 10, decreased casting time to 1 second.
- Well of Suffering: decreased Energy cost to 10, decreased casting time to 1 second.
- Well of Weariness: decreased Energy cost to 5.
- As we mentioned in previous notes, we’ve wanted to refine the changes we made to Soul Reaping. In many cases, the 5 second timer capped the effectiveness of Soul Reaping to the right degree, but when multiple creatures died all at once, this limitation was more severe than we liked. We've extensively tested an Energy gain process of 3 times every 15 seconds and determined this flowed a lot better with the rate at which things die, while keeping the overall Energy gain per second the same. Also, if things die when Necromancers already have full Energy, it does not count toward this cap, which means they are more likely to gain Energy when they need it.
- We've also changed the way Soul Reaping works with Spirits. You now gain full Energy when a Spirit you control dies, but you gain no Energy when other Spirits die. We hope this will dissuade Necromancers from being the super Spirit Energy engines that they are in some game types, and restore balance
- Lastly, we reduced the Energy cost and cast times of Wells so they feel different than Hexes and minion skills. Because the corpse requirement is the main limitation of these spells, we can safely lower their casting times and Energy cost.
- Though we continuously monitor anti-Warrior Hexes and how they affect the frontline, we are leaving those Hexes alone. We've buffed some unused Warrior skills to encourage more builds.
- Balthazar's Pendulum: decreased casting time to .25 seconds.
- Empathic Removal: decreased recharge time to 7 seconds.
- Shield Guardian: decreased casting time to .25 seconds.
- Signet of Rage: decreased casting time to 1 second, increased conditional damage to 5..20.
- Strength of Honor: increased damage to 3..15.
- We improved some underpowered skills to increase their likelihood of being equipped but have generally kept changes small so as to not upset the current play style of the Monk.
- We've returned Crippling Shot to 10 Energy provide players with an alternative to the ever-popular Burning Arrow. The number of Condition counters has grown since our last major skill balance update, and it is now safe to reduce the Energy cost. Heal as One has been extremely prevalent in Hero Battles, and after looking it over, we've found a number of bugs, all of which we have been fixed. We haven't changed the functionality of the skill much because we want to see how it plays before we make any further adjustments. Finally, we changed some Ranger skills to make them more attractive.
- We decided to be conservative with Ritualist changes in this update. We continue to monitor them in Heroes' Ascent, and we want to see how the Soul Reaping changes affect them. Recent balance changes encouraged greater use of Weapon spells, but secondary Ritualists could still use many of these with similar effectiveness. To address this, we modified Spawning Power so that it now also increases the duration of weapon spells. Weapon of Warding seemed overpowered with a longer duration, so we reduced its duration in conjunction with the change to Spawning Power.
- We increased the casting time of Defensive Anthem to weaken it in PvP while not detracting excessively from its effectiveness in PvE. Now it should be easier to interrupt, especially when combined with the changes to Mesmer Power spells. We intend for Paragons to have a supplemental defensive role, not a dominant one, and to encourage active play.