Feedback:Skill update previews/20100121

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Preliminary Skill Update Notes – 21 January 2010[edit]

While we continue a larger playbalance project that includes drastic changes to Shadow Form, we believe it is important to release a small skill balance to address a few other pressing issues. Because this update will be released shortly before a Monthly Automated Tournament, we want to provide a preview of the changes that are under consideration. This is a preliminary list, and it is likely there will be some changes before the update goes Live.

The areas we are trying to address are:

In addition to these skill changes, we think this is a good time to update some of the GvG party restrictions to make participation a little easier. The revised restrictions, which we hope to have in effect for the upcoming Monthly Automated Tournament, will be as follows:

  1. Requires 2 guild members, including a guild officer as the party leader.
  2. Henchmen are restricted to a maximum of 4.
  • Daily Automated Tournaments:
  1. Requires 2 guild members who have been in your guild for at least 7 days. The party leader must be a guild officer.
  2. Henchmen are restricted to a maximum of 4.
  3. All party members must be registered with Tolkano.
  • Monthly Automated Tournaments:
  1. Requires 4 guild members who have been in your guild for at least 7 days. The party leader must be a guild officer.
  2. All players in the party must be members of your guild.
  3. Henchmen are restricted to a maximum of 2.
  4. All party members must be registered with Tolkano.

Please note: These changes have NOT all been implemented yet, and there is some chance that we will not be able to update the MAT restrictions before the tournament. We'll let you know what we can as soon as possible.

Ranged Spike/Damage in GvG[edit]

In GvG especially, Glass Arrows Rangers and other bow spike builds are a little too effective. We are exploring a few different approaches to addressing this, but we need to perform additional playtests before settling on a specific set of changes. It is likely that a number of bow attack skills, especially those with fast activation times, will be altered in some way.

Part of what makes these ranged teams overpowered is their survivability, typically enabled by Paragons. So in addition, we're revising "Stand Your Ground!" (PvP) so that the effect ends when a character attacks. ("Shout. For 5...17...20 seconds, all party members within earshot receive +24 armor when not moving. Ends on a party member if that party member attacks.") This skill will be unchanged in PvE.

Party Wide Healing in GvG[edit]

We believe that spiking, disruption/control and pressure damage should all have a role to play in GW PvP. Currently, pressure damage tends to be outshined by party healing in GvG. There are a couple of skills that we wanted to alter to bring this into greater balance.

  • Recuperation (PvP) Recuperation (PvP) will no longer provide health regeneration to characters who are above 75% health. This lets it remove some pressure damage, but not counteract it entirely. This change will only affect PvP.
  • Mending Refrain Mending Refrain will be split into PvP and PvE versions. The PvE version will be unchanged. The PvP version will only target the caster, effectively removing this skill as a party healing option in PvP.

Blood Spike in PvP[edit]

We've decided to make two changes to address current issues with Blood Spike.

First, and most dramatically, we're changing several defensive skills to work against life stealing. (They will continue to work against normal damage as well.) The skills we're looking at are:

Second, we're adjusting the lead-in Blood Spike skills:

  • Vampiric Swarm Vampiric Swarm will be altered so that there is no delay between the spell being cast and the first target losing health. (This delay current causes the life-stealing from Vampiric Swarm to happen at about the same time as the life-stealing from the follow-up spike skill, making it unrealistic to react to.)
  • Lifebane Strike Lifebane Strike and
  • Shadow Strike Shadow Strike will have their recharges increased from 8 to 15 in order to decrease the frequency of spikes.

Individual Problem Skills[edit]

  • Illusion of Pain Illusion of Pain, we're adjusting some numbers to make the skill more vulnerable to disruption and more demanding to use effectively: Increasing cast time to 2. Lowering duration to 8. Lowering recharge to 5. Decreasing healing to match the shorter duration 45...129...150.

Along similar lines, we're making some numerical tweaks to Mirror of Ice to make it more vulnerable to disruption, raising the energy cost to 15 or 25 and the cast time to 2.

We're also evaluating potential changes to Cultist's Fervor (increased energy cost, increased recharge, and/or decreased effect). These changes need more testing. We have not yet decided whether or not to proceed with them.