Dev Update - 10 September 2008
Hall of Monuments
We are releasing the previously announced changes to the Hall of Monuments in two stages. The first stage lets players enjoy adding their accumulated Tormented Weapons to the Monument to Valor [sic] sooner than otherwise. Support for this first stage is expected to release in October's scheduled content update. At this time, there is no expected release date on the remaining account-wide changes to the Hall of Monuments.
Today's update makes a few skill changes to address outstanding PvP balance issues, returns Order of Undeath to its old functionality, and closes a PvE exploit. The PvP-oriented changes start with some Elementalist skill changes to adjust the balance between Mesmer/Elementalist and Elementalist primaries. Because this imbalance isn't necessarily game-breaking, we've been conservative with these changes. In Guild Battles, the bodyguard, as long as he's alive, will now reduce damage done to the Guild Lord. Based on player feedback, we've reverted our changes to Order of Undeath. Finally, we fixed an exploit with Unyielding Aura's unlimited range.
Guild Battle Changes
- Added "Oath of Protection" to the Bodyguard; "While the bodyguard is alive, the Guild Lord takes 20% less damage."
Over the course of these last few months, we've adjusted GvG to reinforce the game type's core objective: killing the enemy Guild Lord. Killing the bodyguard is meant to be an important step toward killing the Guild Lord. To reward teams that recognize this, we've given the bodyguard a damage reduction ability.
PvE and PvP
- Glowing Gaze: functionality changed to: "Deals 5..50 fire damage. You gain 5 Energy plus 1 Energy for every 2 ranks of Energy Storage if target foe is Burning."
- Glowing Ice: functionality changed to: "Deals 5..50 cold damage. You gain 5 Energy plus 1 Energy for every 2 ranks of Energy Storage if target foe is hexed with Water Magic."
- Glowstone: functionality changed to: "Deals 5..50 earth damage. You gain 5 Energy plus 1 Energy for every 2 ranks of Energy Storage if target foe is Weakened."
- Master of Magic: now ends whenever a non-elementalist skill is used.
- Mind Blast: recharge time reduced to 2 seconds.
- Icy Shackles: energy cost increased to 10.
- Shock Arrow: functionality changed to: "Rapid projectile: deals 5..50 lightning damage. You gain 5 Energy plus 1 Energy for every 2 ranks of Energy Storage if you hit an attacking foe. 25% armor penetration."
After last week's modest adjustments to selected Water Magic skills, we've found that fast-casting Mesmer/Elementalists are still superior to Water Magic Elementalist primaries in Guild Battles. We've made Glowing Ice, Glowing Gaze, Glowstone, and Shock Arrow return Energy based on Energy Storage to give Elementalist primaries an advantage. Icy Shackles' cost has been increased to 10 energy as well, in an aim to make it less affordable for Mesmer primaries. We've removed a second of recharge from Mind Blast to make Fire Elementalists more viable in GvG. With the removal of NPC-killing as a core GvG tactic, we believe that the types of builds enabled by a more effective Mind Blast will not be detrimental to overall playbalance. Master of Magic was meant to support Elementalists with multiple elemental attributes, but it ending on Energy Storage and unattributed skills really limited that potential. We've changed this spell to end on non-Elementalist skill use instead.
- Order of Undeath: functionality changed to: "Your minions deal +3..16 damage and you lose 2% of your maximum Health when a minion hits." Energy cost increased to 10, duration reduced to 5 seconds.
We'd underestimated how many players used Order of Undeath at its previous functionality. Since the new implementation hasn't garnered a similar amount of play, we've reverted this change.
- Sloth Hunter's Shot (PvP): unconditional damage reduced to 5..20, conditional damage reduced to 5..25.
Sloth Hunter's Shot did a little too much damage. We don't want to eliminate the damage-style Ranger from play, so we've done a small damage reduction on this to bring it more in-balance.
- Unyielding Aura: Now only works on party members within spell casting range.
Players were able to use an exploit with Unyielding Aura to transport themselves across the map. We've added a range limit to prevent this exploit.