Developer Update — April 2011 Skill Balances
This update makes some small balance changes to the heavy Dervish GvG metagame.
 Dervish Skills
- Aura of Thorns (PvP): split for PvP; increased Energy cost to 10.
Aura of Thorns seems about right in terms of Cripple duration relative to recharge. This small increase in Energy cost is intended to put a little more Energy pressure on players.
- Avatar skills: increased recharge to 20 seconds.
We were originally worried about interrupts making these skills useless, but after observing a lot of games, there didn't seem to be much meaning to interrupting them because of their short recharge. We increased the recharge slightly to give a larger window of weakness when one is interrupted.
- Avatar of Balthazar: reduced Burning duration to 3 seconds.
With a five second Burning duration, Avatar of Balthazar made it a little too easy to apply near-constant Burning to foes. We reduced that duration a bit so that it takes more effort to keep foes on fire.
- Dust Cloak (PvP): split for PvP; increased recharge to 10 seconds.
Dust Cloak was a little too good at reducing damage from melee. We increased the recharge to increase the windows of opportunity for damage and to encourage more careful use of this skill.
- Harrier's Grasp: decreased Cripple duration to 2...8...9 seconds.
As a skill that could constantly Cripple a moving foe, we felt the duration for Harrier's Grasp was a little too long. The shorter duration gives a snared foe a better chance to escape.
- Lyssa's Haste (PvP): split for PvP; increased recharge to 25 seconds.
The interrupts on this skill are very powerful and disruptive, especially on teams with multiple Dervishes. Increasing the recharge will reduce the frequency of this disruption.
 Other Skills
We are also making small changes to some key skills on other classes to fix a few other balance issues.
- Divine Healing: decreased recharge to 12 seconds.
- Heaven's Delight: decreased recharge to 12 seconds.
We are looking into some buffs to non-flagger party-healing options. For now, we are reducing the recharge on these two skills to make them a little more usable.
- Fragility (PvP): increased recharge to 8 seconds.
While the previous change to Fevered Dreams resulted in a decline in this skill's use, Fragility is still fairly powerful when combined with a Dervish and a Blood Necromancer. We increased the recharge in order to limit the number of foes on whom this can be maintained at the same time.
- Blinding Flash: decreased Energy cost to 10.
Blinding Flash was already a pretty good skill, but with the heavy emphasis on melee characters, even before the Dervish update, we felt it could be buffed a little to make it easier to use.
- Grasping Earth: increased Energy cost to 10; decreased duration to 5...17...20 seconds.
This skill was, for its cost, a little too effective at snaring foes for a long duration. We made some adjustments to the duration to bring it more in line with other snare skills.
While we recognize that Dervishes are seeing a lot of use in PvP of late and that some players would prefer larger balance changes to remove them from play, we feel this would be inconsistent with our reasons for improving Dervish in the first place. We'll continue to make adjustments to this class as necessary in the coming months.