Here's what's up.
August 15, 2012 – Flux Changes
We changed the flux on Monday of this week and so I wanted to take a minute to explain the reasons behind it. Jack of All Trades was intended to encourage players to take skills from different attributes that they normally wouldn't consider. The attribute split requirement, which is the core of this flux, was set up in such a way so that players wouldn't be able to reach 14 in a single attribute with traditional point spreads. What we noticed however within the first week or so was that many builds simply didn't change much. With a 9/9/9/9 spec players were basically dumping just enough points into their fourth attribute to get the bonus from the flux and then running same skills they took before. With runes it was possible to get to 13 in their primary attribute as well which really ended up not being as big of a sacrifice as we wanted for the bonuses that the flux hands out. The requirements were low originally to encourage more flexibility in build making but this ended up letting players work around the intended purpose of the flux. In order to reach 13 ranks in an attribute now it should require a major rune, which is more in line with the level of tradeoff we were looking for with this flux's bonuses. Players can still get the attribute flexibility of the old version but will need to make tougher rune decisions in exchange.
April 1, 2012 – April Fools!
This year's April Fool's Day content is now live, I hope everybody has a fun time with it. In the spirit of the season, this year's quest contains several Easter Eggs; see if you can find them all!
February 1, 2012 – The February Flux: Keep Yourself Alive
I’ve seen a few questions pop up regarding this month’s Flux, and I wanted to take a moment to clear them up:
1. Tie in to Guild Wars 2: While Guild Wars 2 has a bigger emphasis on self-healing than Guild Wars does, and it’s certainly true this Flux draws inspiration from that, that inspiration shouldn’t be interpreted as us using Flux to develop a tie in. The goal of Flux since its inception has been to shift the meta in the PvP side of the game to prevent it from becoming stale. Guild Wars already has several ties to Guild Wars 2, such as the current Winds of Change content, but this is not one of them.
2. Flux Selection Process: This Flux was selected in large part because it would not adversely affect the Canthan New Year PvP formats: Rollerbeetle Racing and Dragon Arena. While we do sometimes sync up Flux with holiday PvP formats (Minion Apocalypse in Costume Brawl), we felt that the disparate rules of each format made it too difficult to do effectively in this case.
3. Functionality: There are a few engine constraints that prevented us from setting up this Flux to work on all heals that directly affect the caster (like Shadow Refuge). Natural regen is also excluded, but I think the wiki community got it right by comparing it to how Healer’s Boon works.
4. Song Reference: I’m partial to the Guilty Gear version myself, though I also like the original by Queen. Of course, the Guilty Gear song title is a reference to the Queen song anyway, so I’m not sure it really matters. This Flux was originally called “Help Yourself” but we changed the name partway through the process because we thought it sounded at least 20% cooler.
Hope that clears things up for some of you.
January 20th 2012: Snow Day Skill Update Preview
It's been a while since I last used my wiki journal to post updates about what I'm doing, but I would like to talk a bit about the upcoming skill updates. As pretty much the whole studio is snowed out of the office at the moment, we weren't able to push the update yesterday. However, it's ready for as soon as we get back and I wanted to share some details about the update, in particular for PvP players preparing for the Monthly Automated Tournament next weekend. I'll use this opportunity to explain in depth the reasoning behind some skill changes too. I may continue in the future to post similar updates on my wiki journal, giving insight into the design of a few skill changes, if this is something that the community likes.
- Fox Fangs (PvP): reduced bonus damage to 10...25.
- Leaping Mantis Sting: reduced bonus damage to 5...15.
Assassins are in a pretty good place right now, but their compressed damage is a little faster than we'd like. We're taking off a little bit of damage from two of their key damage skills to address this.
- Crippling Victory: increased adrenaline cost to 6; removed Cripple from AoE component.
- Onslaught (PvP): removed 25% movement-speed increase.
- Twin Moon Sweep (PvP): reduced damage by 25%.
- Wearying Strike: increase adrenaline cost to 6.
Lately, GvG has been filled with nothing but Onslaught Dervish. While we like to see that Dervishes have found their place in GvG, we feel that several elements are out of line with this particular template. Crippling Victory's Cripple condition is a little too easy to meet, so we're removing it from the AoE component. This should mean that proper use of blocking will allow players to avoid it. Twin Moon Sweep is providing a little too much damage for the speed at which it is being charged, and Wearying Strike is available a little too often, so we're tweaking these skills accordingly. Onslaught itself will have its movement speed bonus removed, which should expand the bar a bit, meaning some damage will have to be removed in order to accommodate a new run boost.
- Blinding Flash: increased recharge to 8 seconds.
- Glyph of Sacrifice: added the following functionality: "Ends prematurely if you use a non-spell skill."
- Obsidian Flame (PvP): split for PvP; reduced damage to 22...92.
In order to provide a more significant choice between defense-oriented Elementalists with Blinding Surge and offense-oriented Elementalists with Invoke Lighting we're increasing the recharge on Blinding Flash slightly. This should provide some tension between taking Surge for better defensive cover or Invoke for more damage. Glyph of Sacrifice is being changed to remove a skill combination that was providing too much compressed damage in conjunction with spear attacks. Finally, Obsidian Flame has been split in order to prevent the expected emergence of a spike build that is currently kept in check by this month's Flux. We're choosing to reduce the damage on this skill rather than revert the cast time on the split version because we feel the lowered cast time provides reliable damage that Earth Elementalists need in order to stay viable.
- Shield Guardian: reduced cost to 5 Energy; increased casting time to 1.5 seconds.
- Spirit Bond (PvP and PvE): reduced healing threshold to 50 damage; reduced healing to 30...90.
We feel that the new Shield Guardian has a strong place against heavy melee teams, but its cost has been keeping it off many Monk bars. We're reducing the Energy cost but raising the cast time to 1.5 seconds to compensate. Spirit Bond will receive a small buff to respond to the shift in the metagame towards smaller, more frequent packets of damage. Because Monks have a delicate balance in Guild Wars, we'll be watching these two skills especially carefully in the next few weeks to make sure they don't become overpowered.
- Wild Throw: added the following functionality: "All of your non-spear attack skills are disabled for 3 seconds"
We've seen many Warriors taking this skill without investment in Spear Mastery in order to remove stances. Despite how innovative this is, we feel that this type of skill should require investment in Spear Mastery to be effective, but don't want to link it to Leadership lest it take away from legitimate A/P or R/P builds. The disable time will make it less appealing to builds utilizing weapon swaps, but keep it viable on dedicated spear builds.
- Melandru's Shot: reduced recharge to 8 seconds.
The last updates to this skill took it out of play for the most part. We feel this small quality-of-life improvement for Rangers is simple enough to include with this update.
- Enraged Smash (PvP): split for PvP; increased recharge to 10 seconds.
- Yeti Smash: removed 1 second activation; reduced adrenaline cost to 6.
Enraged Smash as an adrenaline engine has proved to be too powerful when combined with Auspicious Blow, allowing the two skills to charge each other indefinitely while enabling frequent, disruptive knockdowns. The recharge on this skill will be increased to put it in line with Bull's Strike, slowing down the adrenaline gain. Yeti Smash's single-second activation time is making it too easy to chain knockdowns, so we're removing that but reducing the adrenaline cost to keep it useful in other formats.
I hope everyone enjoyed this little preview of things to come. Weather permitting these updates should be in before the next Monthly Automated Tournament.
Edit: Corrected an error with Shield Guardian, duration was not extended.
Edit 2: Spirit Bond change is for PvP AND PvE.
January 29th 2010: PvP Issues
We just pushed an update yesterday to try and address some PvP issues including lowering the restrictions for a GvG match. I hope this encourages more GvG matches in the future. Similarly I'm really happy about the improvements we were able to do to Codex Arena. I know the wiki community has been working hard to keep up with our daily Codex rotations and I was really exicited when Joe figured out how to set up this new filtering option for the format.
A lot of my work lately has been with the Test Krewe and preparing for this skill update. So far it's been a really unique experience and I've been learning a lot about how to use the feedback we've been getting in order to craft the best update possible. Support from Linsey, James and the rest of the Live Team has been invaluable for this project and I can't wait to get the next set of changes up on the servers for everyone to play. (Hammer changes are looking awesome right now!)
October 24th 2009: Halloween and PvE Henchmen
Halloween update went live a few days ago along with the PvE Henchmen changes. This is the first big update to Guild Wars that I've done since I started working here so I'm really excited about it. I hope everyone is having fun with the new henchmen and Codex Arena in addition to the Halloween festivities. I'm especially happy about the new PvE Henchmen updates since it's something that I always thought would be nice to improve before I started working here. (Dunham's lack of Ether Feast has annoyed me for years!) Working on the content of this update has taught me a lot about how things work around here at ArenaNet and I hope I'll be able to take on more ambitious projects in the future as my skill level improves.
Happy Halloween everyone!
September 3rd 2009: The Deep End
I went and updated the general information section of my wiki space today. I'm still pretty new to this wiki thing so hopefully I'll be able to add more interesting and important things later.
I essentially jumped into the deep end when I started this job and it's been pretty non-stop with all the projects I've been involved with in some way or another. Having been playing Guild Wars as a player before starting this job I'm really excited about some of the things I've been working on and can't wait until they get in the game. I've also been doing a bit of tools programming as well. I'm a bit rusty, but with any luck this little application I'm working on will help streamline certain aspects of the design process while also reducing the number of errors. (Isn't it always the case that you realize you needed the tool AFTER you've already done things the hard way for several days?)
PAX is starting tomorrow and I'll be in the Live Team panels on Saturday and Sunday. To be honest it feels a little odd since I just started working here not too long ago, but I want to make sure I can meet with the community I that plays the game I'm working on now. This will be my first time at PAX so I'm pretty exited to check everything out.