| Warrior PvP|
|Categories|| Skill feedback|
Player vs. Player
Part one in a ten-part series titled "How to Balance Guild Wars PvP". We start with the warrior's skills, attributes, and equipment.
There are two important things to note about these suggestions:
- These suggestions cannot be taken in a vaccuum. All of them, or none of them, should be taken into consideration. This means that none of my suggestions in this series can truly be judged until all ten professions have been reviewed. (That doesn't mean I don't want feedback until then - just that it should be taken and given with a grain of salt. After all, the other nine professions will, essentially, build off this one.)
- Any skills not on the skill lists I present should be effectively removed from PvP play. 25/90 them, make them PvE-only, I don't care - my main goal at this point is to fix PvP. (In case you couldn't tell by now, all of these suggestions are intended for PvP-only versions of skills.)
Furthermore, I apologize in advance for my horrendous lack of consistency with the skill descriptions. Anyone who's OCD and knows how the concise descriptions are supposed to read will freak out. Do feel free to edit for consistency - it's a wiki, after all.
Despite my constant gripes on how all melee in the game does too much damage, I have decided against altering weapon damage range (except possibly for scythes). An easier way to deal with this is to adjust weapon bonus damage and the mechanics of critical hits, the latter of which I will address elsewhere.
With no further ado...
"You Will Die!": 4 15 Shout. For 5 seconds, the next time you strike a foe with less than 50% health, you gain 2...4...4 adrenaline and deal +5...17...20 damage.
- This is really a finisher, but the trick is making it usable mid-spike and not just something you pop on recharge.
Battle Rage: 6 Stance. For 1...14...17 seconds, you attack 33% faster and gain double adrenaline from your attacks, but you move 25% slower.
- Warrior skills shouldn't end if you use a non-adrenal skill ever unless things like Frenzy and Shock aren't used ever (which is another terrible idea). Scythe abuse prevention comes from the fact that it's in Strength.
- The major problem with most warrior stances is that they don't fall into one of two categories (active offensive stance with drawback that requires a bit of skill to avoid or cancel stance) and are thus overshadowed by ones that do.
Berserker Stance: 5 10 Stance. For 5...11...12 seconds, you move 20% faster, your attack skills activate 33% faster on targets with less than 50% health, and you have a 20...48...55% chance to gain 1 adrenaline whenever you hit with an attack, but you take double damage.
- Basically an alternative for Frenzy for builds with kiting or adrenaline problems. However, increased adrenaline gain isn't a fair trade for the loss of spike compression, so an IAS is provided for wounded targets.
Body Blow: 6 1 Melee Attack. Deals +10...22...25 damage. Inflicts Cracked Armor if target foe has more than 75% health.
- This should be an all-purpose damage skill, but it shouldn't be the second executioner's that it is now.
Bull's Charge: 5 20 Elite Skill. For 2...4...4 seconds, you move 50% faster and your next successful melee attack against target foe knocks down that foe. Ends if you are not moving or use an attack skill. Cannot be used against adjacent or stationary targets.
- Reworked into an elite knockdown to cut down on the number of stances. Counterable via bodyblocking, but requires a bit of skill to use. No attack skills because things like Steelfang Slash shouldn't combine that well.
Bull's Strike: No change.
- A very iconic skill for the warrior and one that well balances power, cost, and reward for skill.
Burst of Aggression: Increased duration to 6...12...14 seconds.
- This was unnecessarily nerfed. It should be a good IAS for warrior secondaries, but is ultimately not so great for warrior primaries.
Charging Strike: 5 1 8 Elite Melee Attack. Deals +10...18...20 damage and inflicts bleeding (5...9...10 seconds) if it hits. For 2...4...4 seconds, you move 50% faster. If you are wielding a sword, also inflicts cripple.
- A utility cast-time attack that provides extra utility for swords (see note on Crippling Slash). In case it's not super obvious, the cripple matches the duration of the bleeding and the bleeding covers the cripple.
Dwarven Battle Stance: 5 12 Elite Stance. For 1...11...14 seconds, your attacks deal +5...25...30 damage and have a 25% chance to remove a shout, chant, or echo, but you attack 15% slower. No effect unless you're wielding a hammer.
- A sort of reverse frenzy: instead of getting out lots of attacks, you make sure each one counts. In Strength instead of Hammer Mastery to prevent abuse.
Enraging Charge: No change.
Flail: No change.
- These skills are fine as is, and thus are included in the whitelist.
- Swordsmanship and Tactics get two elites Strength doesn't need.
Power Attack: 5 4 Melee Attack. Deals +10...22...25 damage and removes a stance if it hits. 50% failure chance unless Strength is 5 or more.
- Melee damage in general needs to be reduced. In exchange, this skill gets some good utility.
Primal Rage: Attack speed bonus reduced to 25%; movement speed bonus reduced to 15%.
- The idea is fine; the current implementation is not.
Protector's Strike: Increase cast time to ¾; decrease damage dealt to 10...26...30; increase recharge to 8.
- Yet another "melee does too much damage" skill.
Rush: No change.
- Shield Bash is moved to tactics because I intend for it to scale better on secondary warriors. Rush, however, is basically perfectly balanced as is.
- Party utility on a shield. Under Strength because this isn't really a monk thing.
Sprint: No change.
- Sprint, now that its recharge is down to 15 seconds, is a fine match for Rush. The decision between which to bring is generally decided on by the focus of the rest of the bar.
Symbolic Strike: Bonus damage increased to +10...15...16.
- This should be a good skill for ganking warriors. The major problem with it is that ganking warriors currently don't exist. (Maybe they shouldn't, either, but I find it difficult to reconcile the idea of a warrior that can make a bar to split split but not to gank.)
Tiger Stance: 5 15 Stance. For 2...9...11 seconds, you attack 25% faster and inflict bleeding (2...12...15 seconds) when you land a successful attack.
- This might need 33% IAS and a couple seconds off the top duration, I'm not sure. It's a little hard to gauge without seeing it work with things like BoA or Berserker Stance, but it feels almost as though it needs a little more oomph. For now I'm erring on the side of "don't keep melee super OP".
Warrior's Endurance: 5 30 Elite Stance. (5...13...15 seconds.) You gain 1 Energy and 10...26...30% more adrenaline each time you hit with a melee attack. No Energy gain if you have more than 12 Energy. When this stance ends, you gain 1...8...10 energy and attack 25% faster for 5...9...10 seconds.
- Overall reduction of energy gain, which is something this skill needs. Shorter duration and second effect promote paying attention to your buff and making decisions based on your circumstances.
Axes are all about blowing stuff up, which is why I drop most of the "utility attacks" from this line - those are swords' job. Spike support skills such as Agonizing Chop and Critical Chop are also dropped thanks to the redesign of Body Blow.
Cleave: 4 Elite Axe Attack. Deals +10...26...30 damage. Inflicts 20...44...50 damage to foes adjacent to target.
- Cleave here is turned into a pressure skill comparable to Triple Chop, which gets a change down the line. Since the current cleave can't compare to Eviscerate (less overall single-target dps even before deep wound, thanks to burning adrenaline faster), I decided to not even try that route.
Cyclone Axe: 6 Axe Attack. Deals +10...14...15 damage. Deals an additional 10...18...20 damage to all adjacent foes.
- Another AoE pressure skill. Damage might be a bit high; we'll see.
Decapitate: 10 25 Elite Axe Attack. Deals +10...34...40 damage. Inflicts Weakness, Cracked Armor, and Deep wound (5...17...20 seconds). If this attack fails to hit, you lose all adrenaline.
- There we go. Plenty of power and conditions fitting of the name along with big costs and a reasonably huge drawback. If this hits, something should die; if you're not clean on the spike, you're not going to be happy. (Consider also 20 recharge, 10...26...30 bonus damage.)
Dismember: No change.
Disrupting Chop: No change.
Eviscerate: No change.
Executioner's Strike: Bonus damage reduced to 10...26...30.
- Basically balanced skills. A warrior without these tools is a sad warrior.
Keen Chop: 8 Axe Attack. Deals +5...13...15 damage. Always results in a critical hit.
- This should be an approximate substitute for Executioner's Strike depending on playstyle and team synergy.
Triple Chop: 8 1 3 Elite Skill. Attack target foe three times for -60...44...40% damage. Inflicts Bleeding, Weakness, and Deep Wound (5...17...20 seconds). Cannot critically hit.
- Another spike skill, this one designed to duck prots at the cost of some overall damage compared to other elites. The first attack should apply bleeding, the second attack should apply weakness, and the third attack should apply deep wound. This way, the more powerful conditions aren't covered.
Whirling Axe: 6 Elite Skill. For 1...3...3 seconds, you attack 33% faster, but your current stance is suppressed. No effect unless you're wielding an axe.
- Stance "suppression" would mean the effects of the stance are canceled, but the stance itself is not removed. (In short, this + berserker stance from above + bit of luck = zomg.) This shouldn't be too hard to do - "No effect while you're enchanted" except for stances and in reverse.
Backbreaker: 10 15 Elite Hammer Attack. Deals +5...9...10 damage and knocks down target foe for 4 seconds.
- One of the major problems for Backbreaker on a warrior is its prohibitive adrenaline cost. Switching it to an energy-dependent skill allows it to be used more often while still having an appropriate cost... if done right.
- My justification for many hammer elites goes something like this: Take Hammer Bash. Remove the "lose all adrenaline clause" and add a bonus (weakness for dev hammer, aoe for earthshaker, extra kd time for backbreaker). Increase adrenaline cost to match.
- I've also reverted the scaling knockdown duration here. This is because Assassins will be actually fixed (that is, they won't be relying on gimmick combos and knockdowns and blades of steel).
Auspicious Blow: Cost reduced to 7.
- A fine skill, especially with a 10e Backbreaker. Its current problem is that it's outshadowed by other skills and most players choose to instead rely on a zealous hammer or utilizing their skill bar slightly less than they otherwise would. I wonder if it should be bumped down to six adrenaline.
Counter Blow: 4 Hammer Attack. Deals +5...9...10 damage. Knocks down target if that foe is attacking.
- It needs scaling. That's about the only thing wrong with it.
Crushing Blow: No change.
Devastating Hammer: No change.
- More whitelist. Crude Swing is another good one, but in PvE. Hammers shouldn't have too much AoE in PvP.
Earth Shaker: Maximum number of targets: 2...4...5.
- This needs some scaling. It also needs to not blow up a billion targets if your team has AoE.
Enraged Smash: 5 ¾ 6 Elite Hammer Attack. Deals +10...26...30 damage and knocks down target. You gain 1...3...4 adrenaline if it hits. No effect unless target foe is moving.
- A slight rework to reward skillful use. Cast time reduced to ¾ second to make it more attractive compared to other elites.
Forceful Blow: 6 Elite Hammer Attack. Deals +10...26...30 damage and knocks down target. You lose all adrenaline.
- Elite Hammer Bash because there's not going to be any other use for this skill.
Hammer Bash: No change.
Heavy Blow: Increased cost to 6.
- Two mostly balanced skills. Heavy Blow is just a little bit too spammable, though.
Magehunter's Smash: 7 Elite Hammer Attack. Deals +5...9...10 damage and knocks down target foe. Unblockable if target is enchanted or under the effects of a weapon spell.
- A little more damage and a little less cost give this skill the "oomph" it needs to really compete with classics such as Dev Hammer.
Mighty Blow: No change.
Pulverizing Smash: No change.
- These skills are mostly fine. If anything, Mighty could use a change in cost to either 6 or 8 adrenaline, but it's hard to tell without seeing the rest of the changes in action.
Crippling Slash: 4 Elite Sword Attack. Deals +5...17...20 damage. If target foe is knocked down, this attack inflicts deep wound (1...8...10 seconds). Otherwise, this attack inflicts bleeding (10...22...25 seconds) and cripple (5...13...15 seconds) if it hits.
- Let's make swords threatening, yeah? Cripslash is the epitome of what a sword warrior should be - condition pressure, mostly in the form of covered cripple. For this reason, any sword warrior should be expected to be able to inflict both cripple and (usually) bleeding. At 4, this skill is fairly spammable, but it rewards careful application
Disarm: 5 15 Sword Attack. Deals +10...18...20 damage and removes a weapon spell if it hits.
- Off to a good start, aren't we? I removed the skill disable because my changes make swords excellent linebackers as it is. However, this is still a good damage and utility skill.
Dragon Slash: 8 1 Elite Sword Attack. Deals +10...18...20 damage. You gain 2...5...6 adrenaline if it hits.
- Dslash has always been in a strange position because, as Cripslash has been the epitome of swordsmanship ideals, dslash has been its antithesis. The adrenal gain was supposed to be the reason for its use - hit with dslash and unload with more attacks that you just charged up - but thanks to its huge bonus damage, the adrenal gain has mostly been used for recharging itself to pump out large amounts of damage. A recharge removes this possibility, bringing the focus squarely back on the utility of the adrenaline gain while also effectively increasing the cost of the skill. Because dslash no longer provides itself adrenaline, I reduced the cost from 10 to 8 adrenaline.
Final Thrust: 8 3 Sword Attack. Deals +10...18...20 damage. Deals an additional 25...37...40 damage if target foe is below 50% health. Unblockable if target foe is below 25% health. You suffer from weakness (5 seconds).
- This skill has its purpose - a warrior that can't kill something, even a sword warrior, is a sad warrior - but focuses on it a bit too much. Getting the full benefit out of this skill is no longer easy, and if you do it wrong, you get little benefit for big cost. The recharge is to get a sort of handle on the skill's spammability (because swords shouldn't be using this kind of skill very often) and also to deter FT-dslash combos. I considered adding deep wound, because that's an important and appropriate condition on a spike skill, but swords already have a few ways to pressure with DW.
Flourish: 7 2 Elite Sword Attack. If it hits, your other skills are recharged and you gain 1...3...3 adrenaline and 2...4...5 energy.
- Dslash for builds with heavier energy usage.
Gash: 6 Sword Attack. Inflicts Deep Wound (5...13...15 seconds) if it hits. Interrupts a skill if target foe is suffering from Bleeding.
- I didn't want sever-gash to be the only viable way of inflicting deep wound with a sword. It's an especially unreliable way of doing so given the number of counters melee has, especially with warning from inflicting bleeding. Swords need (at least) one way of inflicting unconditional deep wound; gash was an ideal candidate.
- Another way of doing this would have been to inflict additional damage or weakness instead of an interrupt on the conditional side. I feel, however, that swords shouldn't get bonus damage with deep wound - at least not as easily as other weapons do - and weakness felt like it was becoming too prevalent.
Hamstring: 5 Sword Attack. Inflicts cripple (3...9...10 seconds) if it hits.
- This version is much more active than the current version. Adrenaline instead of energy almost automatically makes it more usable and usable more often, and the cripple duration is shortened to compensate.
Hundred Blades: 9 Elite Sword Attack. Deals 50...34...30% less damage. Target foe and all nearby foes suffer from bleeding, weakness, and cripple for 5...17...20 seconds.
- This is the "oh my god my team just exploded with conditions" skill. It's not easy to get off thanks to the huge adrenaline cost, but it has an immensely powerful effect.
Knee Cutter: No change.
- This is a good example of a skill that is Doing It Right.
Quivering Blade: 4 3 Elite Sword Attack. Inflicts bleeding (5...21...25 seconds) and removes a weapon spell if it hits. Also inflicts deep wound for 5...11...13 seconds if target is moving or knocked down.
- Spammable(ish) deep wound at the cost of other conditions (you're giving up hundblades/cripslash for this), plus a counter for weapon spells.
- Also, let's just make this really clear:
- Deep wound
- We really, really don't need another Wounding Strike.
Savage Slash: 3 ½ 3 Sword Attack. Interrupts an action. Interruption effect: Interrupted spell is disabled for 3...9...10 seconds and this attack deals +10...18...20 damage.
- A skill that simply needs an adrenaline cost to be great. However, +40 damage (even conditional) on a sword skill is a no-no, so some of that has been traded for a short disable.
Seeking Blade: 5 Sword Attack. Deals +10...26...30 damage if target is bleeding. Otherwise, inflicts bleeding (10...18...20 seconds).
Sever Artery: 3 Sword Attack. Deals +5...9...10 damage and inflicts bleeding (5...21...25 seconds) if it hits.
Standing Slash: 6 Sword Attack. Deals +2...6...7 damage for each condition on target foe.
Sun and Moon Slash: 7 Sword Attack. Attack twice. First attack heals you for 10...26...30 health if it hits. Second attack is unblockable. If target foe is suffering from weakness, both attacks deal +5...9...10 damage.
- Basic sword attacks need to not suck. Here's some awesome ones.
This is really the "defensive and utility" line for warriors. A number of skills here seem to be intended for casters (especially monks) with warrior secondaries and shield sets, so I've continued that trend while cutting out the bad skills.
Auspicious Parry: 3 1 Elite Skill. For 0...2...3 seconds, you block the next melee attack made against you. Block effect: You steal 1...6...7 energy from your attacker and that foe loses all adrenaline.
Balanced Stance: No change.
Bonetti's Defense: No change.
- Casters (particularly monks) that can't get these are sad.
"Charge!": 5 20 Elite Shout. For 5...11...13 seconds, all allies within earshot move 33% faster and gain 5...13...15 health each second and 1 energy every three seconds.
- The only problem this skill has had, historically, is the fact that using it means giving up an elite within your weapon specialization. Thus, it receives a small buff.
Deadly Riposte: 5 ¾ 20 Melee Attack. Interrupt target foe if that foe is attacking. If that foe was using an attack skill, this attack deals +20...36...40 damage and inflicts bleeding (10...14...15 seconds). High chance to result in a critical hit.
- Not the easiest skill to use, but - heh - deadly effective when done properly.
- Specifically, this skill would have a +50% chance to critically hit.
Defensive Stance: 5 20 Stance. For 3...6...7 seconds, you block up to 2...4...5 melee attacks against you or an adjacent ally (maximum 2 attacks per ally). No effect unless you are wielding a shield.
- This should end if you unequip your shield.
- Example: Armond the Warrior activates this skill at 15 Tactics while adjacent to Pieromancy the Elementalist, Dejh the Monk, and Raine the warrior, none of whom are moving. An enemy Assassin and Warrior are attacking Armond's team. Armond could block one attack against each of his allies and himself plus one more attack. If the warrior is focusing on Pieromancy and the Assassin on Dejh, Armond could block up to two attacks against each of those allies. The fifth block would have to be for another member of his party. If the enemy did not switch targets before the duration expired, the fifth block would be lost.
Disciplined Stance: No change.
- Standard stance monk skill. In the end, it's fine.
Flurry: 5 15 Stance. (5 seconds.) You attack 33% faster and deal +5...9...10 damage with your melee attacks.
- This change, honestly, is aimed towards dervishes and assassins (and, more specifically, mostly at assassins). It's a burst IAS, but a good one.
Healing Signet: 2 4 Signet. You are healed for 80...160...180 health. You have -30 armor while activating this skill.
For the most part, this skill is fair on a ganking warrior. The problem is ganking warriors aren't really needed in current GvG format - especially given what else that warrior can do.
Magehunter Strike: 6 5 Elite Melee Attack. Deals +10...22...25 damage. If this attack would be blocked, the blocking effect is removed instead.
- A powerful skill - unblockability combined with buff removal, checked by a decent adrenal cost and recharge. Also a counter for weapon spells.
Riposte: 5 ¾ 2 Melee Attack. Interrupts an attacking foe. If that foe was using an attack skill, that skill and all skills of that attribute are disabled for 1...4...5 seconds and you steal 1...4...5 energy from that foe.
- The utility version of deadly riposte.
Shield Bash: Duration decreased to 2...7...8 seconds.
- Another Caster/W skill, balanced historically around casters having five seconds leeway. The duration scaling has been decreased to match that.
Thrill of Victory: 5 2 If you have more health than target foe, this attack deals +20...36...40 damage. Otherwise, this attack deals -20...12...10 damage.
- Adrenal - which this skill needs - and skill-requiring. Good things.
Wary Stance: 10 20 Stance. For 2...4...4 seconds, you block attack skills. You gain 3 energy for each attack skill blocked.
- A little too easy to use for free, which isn't a good thing.
Distracting Strike: Disable time decreased to 15 seconds.
- Mostly a fine skill. Slightly better now that warriors have an easy way of inflicting cracked armor, so the disable time got a hit.
Frenzy: No change.
- It's fucking frenzy. See Bull's Strike, then multiply by about a thousand.
Wild Blow: No change.
- This is what the above change to Power Attack is based off of, which should say something.
There may be a list of why some skills were removed here if I'm bugged enough about it.
 Sample bars
Scroll over to see skill description.
- Slight modification to the shock axe - I can basically guarantee Shock won't be changed much, if at all - with more of a focus on spikes but less able to pressure thanks to Triple Chop's recharge. Keen Chop is essentially interchangeable with Executioner's at this point, though I'm not sure how much I like that.
Bull's Charge axe. No idea if axe with new Bull's Charge is optimal or not, but here it is.
- A warrior focused on adrenaline gain for Hundred Blades. SaMS is filler damage; it could easily be replaced with Disarm, Body Blow, Standing Slash, or - if for some reason you were expecting to have your elite disabled - Hamstring. However, none of these provide the healing SaMS does, which makes this bar decent on a split.
- The optional could be filled with something useful from a secondary profession (mtouch/shock/sig malice/something along those lines), Riposte/Deadly Riposte, Body Blow... something like that. One of the ripostes or shock would probably be the best bet.
- Basically the ultimate linebacker, but at the cost of splitability and spike power.
- Hammar bar. It knocks things down and blows things up.