[Dev Update] Skill Balance Update - 21 August 2008
This week, we targeted several key playbalance issues. Smiter's Boon Monks have had a negative impact on gameplay in Team Arenas and Guild Battles. Mesmer/Elementalists have proved more effective Water Magic users than primary Elementalists. In addition, we adjusted Glimmering Mark and Disrupting Lunge.
While these updates are aimed at PvP balance, we believe that most PvE players will be largely unaffected by these changes. Therefore, we decided to not create separate PvP versions for most of the skills. We try to make different PvP versions of skills only when it is absolutely necessary.
PvE and PvP
- Glimmering Mark: increased damage to 10...26...30
- Glowing Ice: Energy gain reduced to 2...8...9
- Icy Shackles: snare duration reduced to 1...8...10 seconds.
Because of the higher cast time on Water Magic spells, fast-casting Mesmer/Elementalist were favored over primary Elementalists in competitive play. To shift the balance back toward primary Elementalists, we've increased the importance of a high Water Magic attribute for two key spells: Glowing Ice and Icy Shackles. Glimmering Mark became too weak when the damage stopped ignoring armor, so we raised the damage level to compensate.
- Disrupting Lunge: recharge time increased to 20 seconds.
Disrupting Lunge's 20-second skill-disabling effect combined with its 10-second recharge made for frustrating gameplay for opponents. We've raised the recharge to match the duration of its skill-disabling effect.
- Smiter's Boon (PvP): recharge time increased to 90 seconds, Energy cost increased to 25, duration reduced to 5 seconds.
Smiter's Boon is a key skill in smite-heavy PvP teams that were generally overpowered and which too strongly discouraged the use of hexes and conditions. Their combination of healing, damage, and removal invalidated a lot of alternative builds within Team Arenas and has had a negative impact on GvG combat.
We recognize that the changes to this skill will essentially remove it from play. In the future, we may consider whether or not there is an incarnation of this skill that would be viable but balanced. For now, we do not expect it to see serious use.