Feedback:User/Kirbman/Skills/explanations

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These changes are suggestions that I believe would help balance both PvP and PvE. They are focused on balancing the current effects of skills rather than fundamental changes, although I make some exceptions to that, particularly for the rarely used elites.

Special thanks to everyone who contributed on the discussion page.

Description updates[edit]

Let's do the ones that aren't functionality changes first.

These are the only PvE skills (and title effect) that do not have dynamic descriptions because they were added before the others. Lightbringer Signet became dynamic when it was changed, but these 3 still need to be updated.

Skill bugs[edit]

  • Shadow Form Shadow Form: Fixed a bug that caused assassin enchantments to count multiple times if they were refreshed before they ended.

The last update to Shadow Form ensured Perma Shadow Form assassins could still exist but making it so that they were no longer invincible in most situations, but a bug was introduced that gives more damage reduction than intended. This bug is now frequently exploited by farmers.

  • Asuran Scan Asuran Scan: Fixed a bug that caused both caster and target to be unable to miss against any target.

This bug can hurt those who don't know about it and be exploited by those who do.

  • Ebon Battle Standard of Courage Ebon Battle Standard of Courage: Changed functionality to: "You plant an Ebon Battle Standard of Courage at your current location. For 14...20 seconds, non-spirit allies in this area gain +40 armor against Charr and +24 armor against other foes."
  • Great Dwarf Armor Great Dwarf Armor: Changed functionality to: "For 22...40 seconds, target ally has +60 maximum Health, +40 armor against Destroyers and +24 armor against other foes."

These skills currently provide +24 base armor and another +24 armor against certain foes, but the armor stacking cap limits that to a total of +25 armor. By making the additional armor against each specified race function properly, it needs to be added as a single armor addition. Because these skills are already very powerful in their current forms, the additional armor is reduced to 40 rather than the 48 it would have been to prevent the skills from becoming too overpowered.

  • Empathy Empathy: No longer triggers on failed attacks.
  • Empathy (PvP) Empathy (PvP): No longer triggers on failed attacks.

Empathy currently triggers even on failed attacks. This makes an already powerful spell even more powerful, is inconsistent with Vigorous Spirit, and does not make sense for it's name. (Yes, I realize this is probably an anomaly rather than a bug.)

Rarely used elites[edit]

Rarely used ritualist elites are included in the #Cookie cutter ritualists section.

  • Aura of Displacement Aura of Displacement: This skill can now target other allies as well as foes.
  • Shadow Meld Shadow Meld: Changed attribute to Shadow Arts. Increased cast time to 1 second. Increased recharge to 30 seconds. Changed functionality to: "Lose all hexes and enchantments. While you maintain this enchantment you cannot be the target of hexes or enchantments and your attacks deal 45...21...15 less damage". This enchantment ends if you use a non-Assassin skill.”

Aura of Displacement and Shadow Meld have the exact same effect but different targets, and neither is ever used seriously. Combining them under one elite works as a buff and preserves all current functionality, while also making room for a whole new elite. My suggestion for this new functionality keeps Shadow Meld as a maintained enchantment, but makes it like a less encompassing, maintainable version of Vow of Silence or Shadow Form to help promote assassin casters that don't rely on skills from other professions in PvP and possibly PvE.

  • Shroud of Silence Shroud of Silence: Increased cast time to 1 second. Changed functionality to: "For 4...16...19 seconds whenever you land a critical strike on target foe, all of that foe's spells and chants are disabled for 1 second. This hex ends is that foe's health drops below 33%."

This spell is costly, has a worse effect on the caster than the target, and is (at best) worse than a 3 second knockdown. It was nerfed because it was overpowered in PvP, but now it's useless in both PvP and PvE. So I suggest a functionality change that still has a similar effect, but more spread out and reliant on critical hits.

  • Second Wind Second Wind: This skill no longer removes all enchantments from its user.

Second Wind was often considered to be the worst elite in the game, and was recently buffed, but its still very lacking compared to other elite elementalist skills.

Making the duration depend on Expertise will make Marksman's Wager almost maintainable for rangers without allowing other classes to take as much advantage of its high energy return.

  • Decapitate Decapitate: Increased adrenaline cost to 10. No longer causes loss of all adrenaline.

Decapitate is typically avoided because it essentially disables any other attack skills the user might have. This change will prevent Decapitate from being used as often while allowing other adrenal skills to follow up.

  • Withdraw Hexes Withdraw Hexes: Reduced energy cost to 10. Reduced recharge to 2 seconds. Changed additional recharge per hex to 15...7...5.
  • Word of Censure Word of Censure: Added functionality: You gain 1 energy for every 4 ranks of Divine Favor you have.

These skills are too costly to compete with more popular monk elites. Adding an energy return dependent on Divine Favor rank rather than cutting the energy cost prevents this prevents Word of Censure from becoming easily spammable by classes with better energy management than monks (namely elementalists and necromancers).

  • Illusionary Weaponry Illusionary Weaponry: Reduced recharge to 20 seconds. Decreased additional armor for each Illusion Magic skill to 3. Added functionality: "You deal +5 damage to hexed foes."
  • Illusionary Weaponry (PvP) Illusionary Weaponry (PvP): Reduced recharge to 20 seconds. Added functionality: "You deal +5 damage to hexed foes."

By reducing Illusionary Weaponry's recharge from 25 to 20 seconds, the impact of having it stripped or interrupted is also reduced. Adding +5 damage to hexed foes gives more incentive to use this skill and play aggressively.

  • Amity Amity: Increased cast time to .5 seconds. Reduced recharge to 30 seconds. Changed functionality to: "For 8...18...20 seconds, adjacent foes attack 50% slower and deal 5...21...25 less damage with attacks."

Amity generally doesn't see use because of it's long duration and end condition. By reducing the effectiveness we can remove the end condition and shorten the recharge while better balancing it.

  • Mark of Protection Mark of Protection: Reduced cast time to .75 seconds. Reduced recharge to 20 seconds. Changed functionality to: "For 8 seconds each time a hex or condition is applied to target other ally, that ally gains 12...66...80 health."

This skill is also typically avoided due to it's low duration to cast time ratio, and also because it disables most of the skills that would normally be used by a prot monk. Changing the functionality to be a short-term variant of the old version that only triggers on the application of hexes or conditions makes it more viable for both PvE and PvP usage, but keeping the recharge relatively high at 20 and preventing self casting should prevent abuse with Draw Conditions, Foul Feast, or solo farming.

  • Mantra of Recall Mantra of Recall: Changed functionality to: "For 20 seconds, your Inspiration Magic and Fast Casting spells recharge 20% faster. You gain 10...22...25 Energy when Mantra of Recall ends."

Mantra of recall barely competes with Lyssa's Aura in an attribute line that is already mostly energy management. It's also harder to strip off to get the energy sooner after dervish skills were changed to only remove dervish enchantments. This spell should not cause itself to recharge faster unless cast while already under it's effects.

These skills simply don't see a lot of use in either PvP or PvE and would benefit from minor recharge or cast time cuts to put them on par with other elite skills.

Rarely used non-elites[edit]

These skills are all rarely used and exist as the same version in both PvE and PvP. These buffs should help level the playing field for them.

Over-nerfed PvP rangers[edit]

Rangers have slowly become overshadowed for damage output in both PvE and PvP. They are typically only used for interrupts and conditions in PvP because their only high damage skills in PvE were nerfed into uselessness in PvP to prevent RSpike builds. These changes should help rangers produce reasonable damage without providing the tools for an overpowered RSpike.

  • Keen Arrow (PvP) Keen Arrow (PvP): Increased unconditional damage to +5...9...10. Decreased conditional damage to +5...21...25. Reduced recharge to 6 seconds.

The PvP version of Keen Arrow currently has much lower unconditional damage and higher conditional damage than its PvE counterpart, making it less useful for rangers and more useful for assassins. It's recharge is also fairly high for such a weak attack. This change would lower the conditional damage and recharge to be identical to the PvE version, and slightly increase the unconditional damage to half of that of the PvE version to make it a feasible source of damage for rangers without making it overpowered for assassins.

Other over-nerfed PvP skills[edit]

No, I'm not even going to touch Smiter's Boon (PvP)...

These skills are all skills with PvE versions that would be too powerful for PvP, but were hit a bit too hard by PvP nerfs. These changes should give each one a slightly closer to its PvE version to bring them back into play. For Strength of Honor (PvP), see also #Maintained enchantments. For Ether Renewal (PvP), see also #Ether Renewal.

Lowering Mirror of Disenchantment's energy cost would make it a more feasible option for enchantment removal, as it currently has a higher cost and recharge than most other enchantment removal skills, and doesn't cause damage/degeneration or give the caster health/energy like others do. This skill could potentially be useful against team builds built entirely around a couple overpowered skills, such as Invoke spike and SF spike.

Nature rituals in PvE[edit]

  • Conflagration Conflagration: Reduced cast time to .75 seconds.
    • Conflagration (PvP): Split for PvP. Reduced cast time to 3 seconds.

Conflagration has an exceedingly long cast time for the minor effect it has. Cast time should be reduced to be on par with Winter.

  • Brambles Brambles: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Brambles (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Edge of Extinction Edge of Extinction: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Edge of Extinction (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Energizing Wind Energizing Wind: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Energizing Wind (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Equinox Equinox: Reduced cast time to .75 seconds.
    • Equinox (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Famine Famine: Reduced cast time to .75 seconds.
    • Famine (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Favorable Winds Favorable Winds: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Favorable Winds (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Fertile Season Fertile Season: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Fertile Season (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Frozen Soil Frozen Soil: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Frozen Soil (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Greater Conflagration Greater Conflagration: Reduced cast time to .75 seconds.
    • Greater Conflagration (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Infuriating Heat Infuriating Heat: Reduced cast time to .75 seconds.
    • Infuriating Heat (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Lacerate Lacerate: Reduced cast time to .75 seconds.
    • Lacerate (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Muddy Terrain Muddy Terrain: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Muddy Terrain (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Nature's Renewal Nature's Renewal: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Nature's Renewal (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Pestilence Pestilence: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Pestilence (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Predatory Season Predatory Season: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Predatory Season (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Primal Echoes Primal Echoes: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Primal Echoes (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Quickening Zephyr Quickening Zephyr: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Quickening Zephyr (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Quicksand Quicksand: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Quicksand (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Roaring Winds Roaring Winds: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Roaring Winds (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Symbiosis Symbiosis: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Symbiosis (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Toxicity Toxicity: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Toxicity (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Tranquility Tranquility: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Tranquility (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Winnowing Winnowing: Reduced cast time to 1 second.
    • Winnowing (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Winter Winter: Reduced cast time to .75 seconds.
    • Winter (PvP): Split for PvP, retains original functionality.
  • Winds Winds: Reduced cast time to 1 second.

Any player intending to use nature rituals (or Winds) in PvE would typically slow the party down, having to set them up before battle. Nature rituals are rarely used by PvE players, with area-specific exceptions for Frozen Soil and Winter. Reducing the cast times in the same way that the cast times of binding rituals were reduced should make these skills feasible to use in PvE.

Unbalanced ritualist skills[edit]

Almost all ritualists in PvE these days run SoS spirit spammer or some form of DwG bomber, and DwG is also meta in HA. These minor changes will help tilt favor towards more variety in builds without ruining the current favorites for those who wish to continue using them.

  • Clamor of Souls Clamor of Souls: Reduced energy cost to 5. Reduced energy gain to 8.
  • Reclaim Essence Reclaim Essence: Reduced cast time to .5 seconds. Added functionality: "This spell recharges 10% faster for each spirit that was destroyed."
  • Renewing Memories Renewing Memories: Reduced cast time to .75 seconds.
  • Wielder's Zeal Wielder's Zeal: Reduced cast time to .75 seconds.

These changes will help ritualists with energy management by making three energy management skills harder to interrupt and making Clamor of Souls more forgiving and able to increase energy (like an AoE Mind Blast with much less energy gain over time). These changes also make three infrequently used elites more appealing to improve their viability in new builds.

PvP spirits[edit]

This skill has a 45 second recharge and the spirits it creates are very easy to kill. The energy cost needs to be less than 25 to be possibly worthwhile, especially with the suggested reduction in Painful Bond's area of effect.

These spirits all have high energy costs and are easy to kill. By reducing these skills' recharges to be similar to their maximum durations at higher attributes, these spirits will be theoretically maintainable if they are well protected and less devastating to have the spirits killed.

  • Signet of Ghostly Might (PvP) Signet of Ghostly Might (PvP): Increased recharge to 15 seconds. Changed functionality to: "For 5...17...20 seconds, all spirits you control within earshot attack 33% faster."

This skill's PvE version was successfully changed while this one was left the same and remains unpopular. This version should be updated to be like the PvE version but without the additional damage which could possibly make this skill overpowered.

Maintained enchantments[edit]

  • Blessed Aura Blessed Aura: Reduced cast time to 1 second. Increased recharge to 5 seconds.
  • Balthazar's Spirit Balthazar's Spirit: Reduced cast time to 1 second. Added 5 second recharge.
  • Essence Bond Essence Bond: Reduced cast time to 1 second. Added 5 second recharge.
  • Life Attunement Life Attunement: Reduced cast time to 1 second. Added 5 second recharge.
  • Life Barrier Life Barrier: Reduced cast time to 1 second. Increased recharge to 8 seconds.
  • Life Bond Life Bond: Reduced cast time to 1 second. Added 5 second recharge.
  • Live Vicariously Live Vicariously: Reduced cast time to 1 second. Added 5 second recharge.
  • Mending Mending: Reduced cast time to 1 second. Added 5 second recharge.
  • Protective Bond Protective Bond: Reduced cast time to 1 second. Added 5 second recharge.
  • Retribution Retribution: Reduced cast time to 1 second. Added 5 second recharge.
  • Strength of Honor Strength of Honor: Reduced cast time to 1 second. Increased recharge to 20 seconds.
  • Strength of Honor (PvP) Strength of Honor (PvP): Reduced cast time to 1 second. Increased damage to 1...7...8. Increased recharge to 20 seconds.

These maintained enchantments are most often used by bonders for farming (with the exception of Strength and Honor) or as tank support, and need to be pre-cast before battle. This makes them of little use in PvP or parts of PvE with enemies that can remove enchantments. By lowering the recharge pre-casting is hardly affected, but these skills can be used more easily during combat. For Strength of Honor (PvP), see also #Other over-nerfed PvP skills.

Resurrection skills[edit]

Both of these skills are ignored in PvP because they are too costly (in energy and more importantly time) compared to other resurrection skills such as Death Pact Signet (PvP), Flesh of My Flesh (PvP), Signet of Return (PvP), and Restore Life. These changes are unlikely to bring either skill into frequent use in PvP, but should be enough to make them considerable as options in some scenarios. In PvE, where cast and recharge times are less critical for resurrection skills, the reduced cost of Resurrect should make it less laughable and the reduced recharge of Resurrection Chant will be unlikely to change any builds, but will help teams that use it pick themselves up faster after partial wipes.

Cheap, fast, powerful non-elites[edit]

These skills are all powerful skills with only .25 second cast times, 5 energy cost, and low recharge (except CoP). They all see use throughout PvE and PvP because of their power. Increasing the cast time to make them harder to spam and more susceptible to interrupts, especially from daze, will bring them closer to an even level with other non-elite skills.

Overpowered in PvE[edit]

  • "Save Yourselves!" "Save Yourselves!": Increased duration to 5...8. Decreased armor gain to 60. Fixed description to include that this only affects party members within earshot.

"Save Yourselves!" is currently overpowered, but more so for paragons than warriors. Decreasing the added armor to 60 should make it more reasonable. Increasing the duration will make it more maintainable without it being used more often, which would give paragons more energy.

  • Necrosis Necrosis: Increased recharge to 3 seconds.
  • Discord Discord: Increased cast time to 2 seconds.
    • Discord (PvP): Merged with PvE version; this skill now functions the same in PvE and PvP.

Reducing the frequency that Discord and Necrosis can be used will lower their overall damage output and discourage them from being the focus of entire team builds. Increasing the cast time of Discord will also discourage it's use on backline heroes.

The cheap, heavy AoE damage with short recharge from the PvE version of this skill would still be easily maintainable with a longer recharge, but would not be as spammable.

  • Ether Renewal Ether Renewal: Limited the number of enchantments that count towards health and energy gain to 2...4...4.

See #Ether Renewal.

More overpowered skills[edit]

Invoke Lightning deals a lot of damage to an area of effects quickly and relatively cheaply. It simply needs to be toned down a little.

This skill is well known and feared in PvP for its ability to destroy an individual's build with a single cast. Decreasing the duration would increase the need for that cast to be well-timed.

  • Shockwave Shockwave: Increased cast time to 1.5 seconds. Reduced condition durations to 1...7...8.

A recent update sent Shockwave straight into the meta in all corners of the game by making it very overpowered. This suggestion would be the minimum needed to re-balance it.

Ether Renewal[edit]

  • Ether Renewal Ether Renewal: Limited the number of enchantments that count towards health and energy gain to 2...4...4.
  • Ether Renewal (PvP) Ether Renewal (PvP): Limited the number of enchantments that count towards health and energy gain to 2...4...4. Changed duration to 5...9...10 seconds.

In PvE, Ether Renewal is maintainable and becomes insanely powerful when enough enchantments are on the user. Limiting the number of enchantments that count keeps the skill powerful but prevents it from acting like "infinite" health and energy. With this change, the low set duration of the PvP version can be allowed to last a little longer, dependent on energy storage.

Other skills[edit]

  • Death Nova Death Nova: Can no longer target self. Reduced cast time to 1 second. Added a recharge of 2 seconds.

Minion masters constantly fall behind in PvE, especially heroes. Reducing the cast time to 1 second will help prevent minion masters with Death Nova from getting left behind so easily, and adding a 1 second recharge will prevent it from being able to be cast more frequently than before. Making it so that Death Nova can no longer target the caster reduces the effectiveness of suicide builds like the JQ Contagion Bomber without hindering typical usage.

  • Spirit Bond Spirit Bond: Increased recharge to 5 seconds.
    • Spirit Bond (PvP): Merged with PvE version; this skill now functions the same in PvE and PvP.

This change will keep Spirit Bond powerful, but prevent it from being so easily abused by 600/smite farmers.

Some assassin builds are able to completely disable and kill a target with a combination of knockdowns and high damage. By slightly reducing the damage of one of the main components of these builds and reducing the cost of a possible counter, we can curb the overwhelming power of such assassins without destroying such builds. Supportive Spirit's cast time should be slightly increased for balance.

To help address the problem of rangers not having enough damage output, the recharge of Arcing Shot should be reduced. It is already decently powered but easy to dodge. This change will make it a good source of damage for rangers and reward players for good timing and positioning, and reward their opponents in PvP for good dodging.

  • Fingers of Chaos Fingers of Chaos: Changed type to Skill. Changed functionality to: "For 5 seconds, your attacks: cannot miss, remove one enchantment, cause cripple for 3 seconds, interrupt actions, and cause you to lose one hex and one condition."

Fingers of Chaos only affects 5 of the 10 classes. It is much less effective than it originally was when there were only 6 classes and no spirit spammers or other builds that are unaffected by it. This change would make things fair for all classes and make this skill formidable again.

This skill is unaffected by Command, which is the attribute it is currently linked to. It is the only skill that remains fully unaffected by its attribute after the July 28, 2011 update.

Siege Devourers are usually weaker than regular players, this would allow for more consistent damage.