GW2 Patch Notes December 14

The latest Guild Wars 2 Patch notes bring Wintersday event with new Jumping puzzle, minis, PvP Snowball Globe arena, a number of general bug fixes, along with a few profession changes.

Seasons are changing, hearths are warming, and spirits are high. Wintersday is almost here! Tyrians are busily preparing for the longest night of the year, and Lion’s Arch wants to celebrate with an event to remember. The Captain’s Council has invited renowned entertainment engineer, Tixx the Toymaker, to bring his unique creations to the citizens of Tyria.
The toymaker will spend a day in each of the five cities, and finish his tour with a two-week stay in Lion’s Arch. The airship events will begin at 10 a.m. PST on December 15th and end January 3^rd^.

  • 10 a.m. PST, Saturday, December 15th: Airship lands in The Grove for a 24-hour stay.
  • 10 a.m. PST, Sunday, December 16th: Airship lands in Divinity’s Reach for a 24-hour stay.
  • 10 a.m. PST, Monday, December 17th: Airship lands in The Black Citadel for a 24-hour stay.
  • 10 a.m. PST, Tuesday, December 18th: Airship lands in Hoelbrak for a 24-hour stay.
  • 10 a.m. PST, Wednesday, December 19th: Airship lands in Rata Sum for a 24-hour stay.
  • 10 a.m. PST, Thursday, December 20th: Airship lands in Lion’s Arch, where it will remain until January 3rd.

But that’s just the beginning of this Wintersday fête. Along with Tixx and his wondrous workshop, there will also be new holiday content:

  • Lion’s Arch, the Heart of the Mists, and the Home Map (Central Citadel) in WvW are decorated for the holiday.
  • Snowman building locations and present drops are available worldwide.
  • New crafting recipes are available.
  • PvP finishing moves and WvW siege weapon effects have been added.
  • Bell choir and snowball fight activities are available in Lion’s Arch, and can be accessed through an NPC near the snow globe.
  • A jumping puzzle is available in Lion’s Arch, and can be accessed through an NPC near the snow globe.
  • Events inside Tixx’s airship will reflect the toy released each day.
  • All toy events will be repeatable during Tixx’s stay in Lion’s Arch.
  • A toy-based activity will be available once Tixx reaches Lion’s Arch.
  • Tixx will be giving out a one-time gift while he’s in Lion’s Arch.

The year of the dragon saw the release of Guild Wars 2 and the rise of its diverse and enthusiastic inhabitants. We thank you for your support this year, and we’re excited to continue our adventures with you in 2013 and beyond!
Happy merrymaking!

  • Cliffside: Fixed a bug that would cause the final boss to spawn too many cultists at higher scales.
  • Cliffside: The first wave of cultists will now heal the arm seals if no players are within aggro range.
  • Cliffside: Fixed a bug where players could send their pets in to kill the first boss before the event was active.
  • Cliffside: Fixed a blocking bug where the cultists would not reset correctly on party wipe at scale 10 or higher in the final boss fight.
  • Cliffside: Fixed a bug where the Legendary Archdiviner’s health would not reset properly on party wipe.
  • Fixed mob and boss chest loot drops so that they will now scale up appropriately with player scale.
  • Added a much wider variety of weapon skins to the general mobs’ loot drop.
  • Ascended Rings and Fractal Weapon Skin drop rates now increase appropriately with player scale.
  • Non-infused Ascended Rings will no longer drop after scale 24.
  • A Pristine Fractal Relic has been added to the daily rewards for scale 10 and higher. 10 Pristine Fractal Relics can be turned in to Golem Merchant BUY-4373 for an Ascended Ring.
  • The chest received when Shaman Lornarr Dragonseeker is defeated now contains rare crystal materials instead of dust.
  • The chest received when the Raving Asura are defeated now contains rare corrupted materials instead of dust.
  • Vials of Condensed Mists Essence no longer drop after scale 10.
  • Globs of Coagulated Mists Essence no longer drop after scale 20.
    Twilight Arbor
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the Unstable Nightmare Husk in Twilight Arbor from returning to its correct state after being morphed by the mesmer Moa Morph skill.

Sorrow’s Embrace

  • Fergg’s path: Fixed a bug that caused Fergg to stand around instead of attacking.
    The Ascalonian Catacombs
  • Fixed a bug that allowed mesmers to steal skills from Kasha using Arcane Thievery.

Citadel of Flame

  • Rhiannon’s Chain: Fixed a blocking bug that prevented players from completing the bonus ooze royalty event. A bonus chest was added for successfully completing the event.

Dragon Explore Dungeon

  • Jotun Path: Fixed a potential blocking bug where the NPC could die during the stargazer event and prevent chain completion.


  • Superior Rune of Lyssa: This item now applies 5 seconds of Protection and Retaliation while on a competitive PvP map. The item’s internal cooldown has been fixed to allow rune effects to occur every 10 seconds.
  • Major Sigil of Water: This item now has the correct proc chance.
  • Rare crafting materials and holiday materials can now be deposited into the collections tab in the bank.
  • Added Mystic Forge recipes to convert ascended rings to their infused versions.
  • “Bag of Gold” has been renamed “Bag of Coins” for clarity.
  • “Bag of Gems” has been renamed to “Bag of Jewels” for clarity.
  • Equipment sorting bags will now properly sort back items and trinkets.
  • The Durmand Priory heavy armor set now has proper icons.
  • Dessa’s experiment journal now plays an effect on consumption.
  • Weapons purchased with karma from vendors in Fireheart Rise, Iron Marches, and Fields of Ruin now have their intended skins instead of tier 3 cultural skins.
  • Extended potion recipes can no longer be discovered, and must be unlocked using an item sold by dungeon vendors.
  • Extended potions now last for two hours instead of one hour.
  • The Mystic Forge recipes for offensive and defensive infusions now take five skill points instead of 50, and omni infusions now take ten skill points instead of 100.
  • Increased the drop rate of Passion Flowers from Passion Vines.
  • The quantity of vials of Powerful Blood, Vicious Fangs, and Elaborate Totems that drop from loot containers is now 1-2 instead of just 1.
  • Several items now have updated icons.
  • Rank-based finishing moves now last for 60 minutes per consumable instead of 30 minutes.
  • The pirate weapons Trident, Speargun, and Harpoon have been updated to their intended model.
  • Black Lion harvesting tools icons have been updated.
  • The simple infusion for defensive slots has been removed from the vendors, and the cost of the versatile simple infusion has been lowered to 75 tokens.

Black Lion Chest Overhaul:

  • Permanent Bank Access, Permanent Trader Express, and Permanent Merchant Express items now drop twice as often from Black Lion chests. Though still extremely rare, they can now be traded until their first use.
  • The Black Lion Chest drop chance for mystery tonics has been reduced from 100% to 25%. Tonics now have the same drop chance as “Heavy Bag of Coins,” “Unidentified Dye,” or one of three new Guild Influence items worth 50, 100, or 300 influence.
  • “Heavy Bags of Coins” have been added to Black Lion Chests in the tonic and buff drop sections. Bags hold between 80c and 1g50s.
  • “Glory Booster” has been added to the list of possible buff drops.
  • Buff drops now occasionally drop the “booster multipack” triple buff.
  • Rarity and proportion of all other Black Lion Chest drops have been rebalanced to reduce overabundance of some items.

Structured Player Versus Player

  • New UI option available for *Team Colors: *This changes the way team colors are applied to armor. Affects both sPvP and WvW.
    • Everyone: Every players’ (enemy, allied, self) armor is dyed with their team color.
    • Enemy Only (Default): Enemy players’ armor is dyed with their team color, while allies and player armor uses the player-selected dyes.
    • None: All (enemy, allied, self) players’ armor uses their chosen dyes and ignores team colors.
  • Emote /rank is usable anywhere outside sPvP matches, activities, and WvW maps.
  • Team UI in sPvP matches have team-colored backgrounds.
  • Temple of the Silent Storm: Successfully communing with a meditation now awards personal score.
  • Temple of the Silent Storm: Fixed a bug where both teams could earn the same meditation buff, by communing at the same time.
  • Temple of the Silent Storm: Fixed a bug that allowed communing with a meditation while still under the effect of it.
  • Temple of the Silent Storm: Fixed a bug where the meditation on ferocity buff would persist after switching teams.
  • Temple of the Silent Storm: Added tooltip text for meditation on stillness score UI icon.
  • Battle of Khylo: Red/Blue trebuchets can no longer be used or destroyed prior to match start.
  • Heart of the Mists: Stealing from a profession-based sparring NPC now correctly steals a profession-based item.
  • Heart of the Mists: Fixed a bug that prevented the practice cannons from being fired once loaded.
  • Items: Improved the drop tables for PvP rank chests by removing bags, and added bags as purchasable glory items.
  • Items: Fixed a bug that would cause PvP worn scale heavy armor items to sometimes award the wrong tier of tokens when salvaged.
  • Items: Fixed a bug that would cause many PvP hammers to sometimes award the wrong tier of tokens when salvaged.
  • Items: Fixed a bug that would that would prevent players from ever earning shoulder tokens when salvaging any PvP shoulder armor.
  • Items: Fixed a bug that would allow PvP summit sword, staff, and shield weapons to drop from chest tiers prior to rank 50.
  • Increased downed health in PvP to 85% of PvE downed health, from 75%.
  • Free and Paid tournaments now have a new build-locking feature. When the countdown timer completes, players will no longer be able to change weapons, armor, skills, or traits until the match is over. This will prevent players from abusing build-swapping between fights.

World Versus World

  • When a team owns few or no defensive structures for a set period of time, a breakout event will now trigger at the portal.
  • Repairable walls and gates have been updated to rebuild at 10% health instead of rebuilding immediately.
  • Characters that disconnect during combat grant rewards to their opponent, and suffer penalties as though they have been killed.


  • The weapons obtained by bandit cutpurses using their “steal” skill should now be consumed when they use the skill the weapon grants.
  • Fear is now properly affected by Defiant.
  • New rifle icons have been added.
  • Updated icons for the conjurer armor set.
  • Map names on the world map now display completion status.
  • Costume Brawl Champion crown has been adjusted to be more visible on many characters.
  • Weapon sigils now continue to function while holding a bundle (such as engineer kits).
  • Commendation vendor Lionguard Lyns is restocking her goods and is not accepting commendations at this time. She will begin accepting commendations again soon.


  • The story step “destroy the champion Risen lich” in Sparkfly Fen now works correctly.
  • Fixed an event timing bug at Lyssa’s Cathedral in Malchor’s Leap.

Personal Story

  • The story step, “Through the Looking Glass” has been fixed to allow players who completed the sylvari “mirror” storyline to progress.
  • In the story step, “Mightier than the Sword,” Sieran will now assist in the fight against Steag Frostbeard.

Black Lion Trading Company Gem Store
The Black Lion Trading Company is also celebrating the Wintersday season with new deals and special items.
New Wintersday-themed items are available in the style category.

  • A festive fur cap is available for 150 gems for a limited time.
  • A full winter outfit, including a hat, coat, gloves, boots, leggings, and a snow globe scepter with five winter themed costume skills is now available for 700 gems.
  • PvE decorative wood weapon skins for staff, sword, greatsword, dagger, shield, axe, hammer, pistol, longbow and short bow are available in the style category for 500 gems each for a limited time.
  • Wintersday earmuffs are available in the style category for 25 gems each.
  • A free wizard’s hat is available in the style category for every player to enjoy.

Rare mystery Wintersday boxes will have a chance to drop throughout the world. They will also be available in the consumable category of the Gem Store. They will contain gifts available in-game, plus a random item only available in the store.
Boxes will contain one to five gifts, plus one of the following:

  • Common: a Wintersday dye pack, a gingerbread snowball mortar, or one of three unique Wintersday transformation tonics.
  • Uncommon: One of three new festive miniatures; a snowman, a festive golem, or the toymaker’s Infinirarium.
  • Rare: The festive fur cap, and a claim ticket for your choice of winter wooden weapons.
  • Very Rare: Infinite self-style hair kit or unique Wintersday baby quaggan miniature.

The Wintersday baby quaggan miniature can also be crafted in the Mystic Forge by using any combination of miniature snowmen, infinirarium, or festive golems, and 50 enchanted stuffing (available in-game). The “mystery Wintersday box” is available in consumables for 100 gems each, or 10 for 800 gems.
The Black Lion Chest has also been updated. Check the items section of this update for more information. More items and sales will become available over the course of the Wintersday festivities, so be sure to keep an eye on the Gem Store.

Profession Skills

  • Fixed a bug where elementalists would not be attuned to any element, resulting in an empty skillbar.
  • Shocking Aura: This aura is no longer incorrectly considered a boon. The aura will no longer be affected by boon duration, but also cannot be ripped by boon removal skills.
  • Tidal Wave: This skill is now a leap finisher.
  • Ice Wall—Detonate: This skill is now a blast finisher.
  • Magma Orb: Damage is now split equally between the projectile and the explosion, instead of 2/3 explosion and 1/3 projectile. The total damage remains unchanged.
  • Boil: This skill is now a fire field.
  • Murky Water: This skill is now a smoke field.
  • Rock Blade: This skill is now a small projectile finisher. Bleeding duration has been increased from one to three seconds. Aftercast has been increased by 200 milliseconds.
  • Signet of Air: Increased the passive movement from 10% to 25%.
  • Soothing Wave: This trait has incorporated the benefits of the now-defunct Icy Mist.
  • Icy Mist: Replaced with Arcane Abatement. Take 50% less damage from falling. Create a spell when you take falling damage based on your attunement. Fire—Ring of Fire, water—Healing Wave, air—Static Field, and earth—Earthquake.
  • Arcane Resurrection: Applies auras for five seconds instead of 10. Now also increases revive speed by 10%.
  • Stone Splinters: Increased range from 300 to 600 units.
  • Bolt to the Heart: Increased health percent from 25 to 33.
  • Pyromancer’s Puissance: Increased might duration to 10 seconds.
  • Cantrip Mastery: This skill now works with Mist Form in PvE.
  • Trident: Rock Blade: This skill is no longer able to attack targets behind the player.
  • Mist Form: This skill now allows players to swap attunements while it is active, allowing glyphs to work in Mist Form.
  • Magnetic Grasp: This skill is now working as a leap finisher.
  • The Fireball tooltip has been updated to display the correct radius.


  • Engineer kits now inherit the bonuses from currently equipped weapon sigils.
  • “Grenade” skill now does 30% less damage to balance against using sigils.
  • Grenade kit damage is now equal in PvP and PvE.
  • Flash grenades and poison grenades now do damage when they explode.
  • Elixir Gun—Super Elixir: Reverted the pulse healing effect to its previous intended state. Updated skill facts for this skill’s underwater version.
  • Timed Charge: This skill no longer does bleeding, but applies a three second burn.
  • Retreating Grapple: This skill now causes three stacks of bleed for six seconds.
  • Homing Torpedo: This skill is now a small projectile finisher with the rifled barrels trait equipped.
  • Grappling Line: This skill is now a small projectile finisher with the rifled barrels trait equipped.
  • Timed Charge: This skill is now a small projectile finisher with the rifled barrels trait equipped.
  • Net Wall: This skill is now a small projectile finisher with the rifled barrels trait equipped.
  • Power Shoes: Increased move speed to 25%.
  • Always Prepared: Now also increases downed damage by 25%.
  • HGH: Drinking an elixir now grants two stacks of might instead of one.
  • Sitting Duck: Instead of 5% damage, now applies five stacks of vulnerability for eight seconds.
  • Shrapnel: Increased bleed chance from 6% to 15%.


  • Refraction: This skill is now a light field.
  • Purifying Blast: This skill is now a blast finisher.
  • Light of Judgment: Damage increased by 25%.
  • Spear Wall: This skill is now a light field.
  • Wrathful Grasp: This skill is now a projectile finisher.
  • Spear of Light: Velocity has been increased by 50%.
  • Empower: Skill fact has been updated to display the proper amount and duration of might.
  • Spear of Light: This skill is now a small projectile finisher.
  • Brilliance: This skill is now a whirl finisher.
  • Purifying Blast: Added a radius skill fact.
  • Unscathed Contender: Increased damage from 10% to 20%.
  • Resolute Healer: This shield of absorption now causes knockback, but can only trigger once every 60 seconds.
  • Vigorous Precision: Increased vigor duration to five seconds. This effect can now only trigger once every five seconds.
  • Strength in Numbers: Now activates more quickly when entering combat, and scales from 0-70 defense instead of being capped at 30.
  • Blind Exposure: Increased to three stacks of vulnerability.
  • Shimmering Defense: Increased burn duration from three seconds to seven seconds.
  • Binding Jeopardy: Increased vulnerability from three stacks at five seconds to five stacks at eight seconds.
  • Updated Empower’s skill fact to display the proper amount and duration of might.
  • Added a radius skill fact to Purifying Blast.


  • Phantasmal Mariner: This phantasm now attacks more often, but does damage in line with its attack rate.
  • Illusionary Whaler: This phantasm now attacks more often, and now does a reasonable amount of damage.
  • Phantasms now initiate combat after .25 seconds instead of one second.
  • Feigned Surge: This skill is now a leap finisher.
  • Vortex: This skill now does pulsing damage after it is created, and is also an ethereal field.
  • Jab: Increased damage by 12.5%.
  • Evasive Strike: Increased damage by 25%.
  • Spinning Revenge: Recharge reduced from 15 to 12 seconds, and is also a whirl finisher.
  • Signet of Inspiration: Increased swiftness duration from five to ten seconds. This passive effect now works outside of combat.
  • Deception: Clones that use Winds of Chaos will now fire their projectile in a straight line, just as the mesmer’s Winds of Chaos does.
  • Decreased all Mantra cast times by one second.
  • Shattered Strength: Increased to three stacks of might and ten second duration.
  • Prismatic Understanding: No longer affects the Prestige. Now grants a random defensive boon every three seconds while in stealth. (Protection, Aegis, or Regeneration)
  • Critical Infusion: Vigor duration increased to five seconds. This can only trigger once every five seconds.
  • Blade Training: This trait is now applied to off-hand sword skills.
  • Dazzling: Now inflicts five stacks of vulnerability for eight seconds.
  • Phantasmal Warlock: Damage now matches the tooltip.
  • Phantasmal Duelist: Damage now matches the tooltip. Increased damage to match the lost damage from a previous bug fix.
  • Phantasmal Berserker: Damage now matches the tooltip.
  • Phantasmal Mage: Damage now matches the tooltip.
  • Temporal Curtain: Increased swiftness duration to 12 seconds.


  • Vampiric: This trait no longer triggers when projectiles hit allies.
  • Feast: This trait’s recharge has been reduced from 12 seconds to 10. Damage has increased by 15%.
  • Frozen Abyss: This skill is now a blast finisher.
  • Foul Current: This skill is now a leap finisher, a poison field, and has its recharge reduced from 15 seconds to 12.
  • Dark Spear: This skill is now a projectile finisher.
  • Deadly Feast: Skill recharge has been decreased from 18 to 15.
  • Wicked Spiral: This skill is now a whirl finisher. Recharge has been decreased from ten seconds to eight.
  • Signet of the Locust: Passive movement speed has increased from 10% to 25%.
  • Quickening Thirst: Movement speed increased from 10%/5% to 15%/10%.
  • Reanimator: Decreased the degeneration rate of Jagged Horrors.
  • Terror: Damage is increased by 50% if the target has any conditions on them.
  • Spiteful Removal: This trait now removes three conditions when an enemy is killed, but can only trigger once every 10 seconds.
  • Crimson Tide: This skill is no longer able to fire at enemies behind the player.
  • Plague Blast: Updated projectile to fire from a more logical area of the necromancer.
  • Gluttony: Life Force gain has been increased from 5% extra to 10% extra.
  • Updated Corrosive Poison Cloud’s skill fact to display the proper duration of the applied conditions.


  • Counterattack Kick: This skill now has the same melee arc as other melee attacks.
  • Dart: This skill is now a leap finisher.
  • Swirling Strike: This skill is now a whirl finisher.
  • Shouts will now apply a buff to the ranger’s pet, to make the skills more visible.
  • Sick ’Em: Decreased the duration to 10 seconds. Increased the damage and move speed from 25% to 40%.
  • Search & Rescue: Increased the revive rate for this ability.
  • Search & Rescue: Increased pet movement speed to 25% while under the effects of this shout.
  • Lick Wounds: Revive rate has been increased.
  • Signet of the Hunt: Increased the passive movement from 10% to 25%.
  • Splinter Shot: This skill is no longer able to fire at enemies behind the player.
  • Compassion Training: Increased the heal amount from 300 to now scale as high as 350 at max level.
  • Nature’s Protection: Now triggers at 10% damage instead of 20%.
  • Expertise Training” Increased the amount of condition damage from 100 to now scale as high as 350 at max level.
  • Moment of Clarity: Now also increases daze and stun duration by 50%.
  • Beastmaster’s Bond: Now triggers at 50% instead of 25%.
  • Increased the velocity of arrows fired from Short Bow and Longbow skills by 30%.
  • Icy Screech: The White Moa activated ability now applies three seconds of chill, which the tooltip now correctly reflects.
  • Opening Strikes: These now work at any range.
  • Updated Sun Spirit’s skill fact to include the burning proc duration.
  • Updated Stone Spirit’s skill fact to include the protection proc duration.
  • Updated Storm Spirit’s skill fact to include the swiftness proc duration.
  • Ranger melee pets now have improved melee attacks so they can hit moving targets more easily.


  • Whirling Axe: This skill can now be cancelled by other skills.
  • Fear (Stolen item— Skull): This skill now works like the warrior skill “Fear Me.” It will now actually hit its range, but also have a falloff on fear duration based on distance.
  • Ink Shot: This skill is now a projectile combo finisher.
  • Tow Line: This skill is now a projectile finisher.
  • Escape (Harpoon Gun): This skill now creates a poison field with art changes to reflect this.
  • Ink Shot: Projectile speed for this skill has been increased by 22%
  • Instinctual Response: Now triggers at 10% damage instead of 20%.
  • Ricochet: Increased bounce chance from 5% to 20%.
  • Fleet Shadow: Increased move speed from 33% to 50%.
  • Slowed Pulse: This can now trigger every 20 seconds instead of every 30.
  • Pistol Mastery: Increased damage from 5% to 10%.
  • Improvisation: Now also increased damage with environment weapons by 10%.
  • Piercing Shot: This skill is no longer able to fire at enemies behind the player.


  • Whirling Strike: This skill is now a whirl finisher.
  • Tsunami Slash: This skill is now a whirl finisher.
  • Harpoon Pull: This skill is now a projectile finisher.
  • Fear Me: Updated the tooltip to correctly state the range of the skill.
  • Hammer Shock: This skill can now be used while moving.
  • Fast Hands: Fixed an issue where the trait did not affect the first weapon swap.
  • Desperate Power: Now deals 20% extra damage instead of 10%.
  • Last Stand: This now properly breaks stun when it triggers.
  • Furious Reaction: Now triggers at 10% damage instead of 20 and also gives 10 seconds of vigor along with the 10 seconds of fury.
  • Berserker’s Might: Decreased might stacks required from six to five.
  • Increased the velocity of arrows fired from Longbow skills by 30%.
  • Triple Chop: Changed the timing so that players can no longer cancel their own skill combo accidentally.
  • Healing Surge: Healing surge now heals based on current adrenaline level, and then grants a full bar of adrenaline.

Racial Abilities

  • Updated the Shrapnel Mine skill description to fix an error.


  • Take Root: Updated the skill fact to include the duration.
  • Seed Turret: Updated the skill fact to include the duration.
  • Healing Seed: Updated the skill fact to include the duration.

Here are some additional notes, describing some of the balance changes and why we made these changes in various aspects of the game.

General balance

  • Engineer Kit Sigils. The Engineer now benefits from the sigils on their weapons when they swap to a kit. So, this means that you will have the ability to get sigil procs on your Flame Thrower, or Grenade Kit, etc. This means we had to tone down some of the kits accordingly, the biggest of which was the Grenade kit.
  • Engineer Grenade Kit Changes. We didn’t want to totally take away the power of this kit, but when it is able to proc sigil abilities, it becomes very strong due to its powerful AOE nature. So we’ve toned down this kit a little due to the sigils now working on engineer kits.
  • Mesmer Phantasm changes. We decreased the delay for the initial attacks on Mesmer phantasms. This will make them more responsible when they are first summoned.
  • Mesmer Portal. The Mesmer utility skill Portal now has a maximum # of times it can be used before it disappears. This means that 1 Mesmer can no longer send an infinite # of allies through a portal. The current # is 20, which may come down more later. We still want the Mesmers to feel cool for having such a powerful ability, but we also want to put a limit on the # of players a defending team needs to worry about coming out of 1 Mesmer Portal, especially in WvW.
  • Underwater fields and interacts. We’ve gone through and improved our underwater combat experience. Many professions had a distinct lack of fields and/or interacts, but now have them so as to improve the player interactions with one-another for underwater combat. Most professions have the same fields as they do above water, but there are some differences as well, such as the Elementalist who now has a smoke field on their Murky Water skill.

PvP specific stuff

  • Downed HP. This went from 75% of the old amount up to 85%. This has been something we’ve listened to players about, and many of them felt that the old # was slightly too low. The new # should mean that stomping is still VERY important, but if you need to safely DPS someone from range, that’s an option as well.
  • Locking skill bars in free and paid tournaments. This is a change that will prevent people from cheesing the ability to swap skills and weapons in-between fights in a competitive game (either a free tourney or paid tourney game). This will mean that once the game starts (the countdown is done), you will be locked into your weapon sets, utility skills, elite, etc.

Class balance philosophies
We normally try to employ metered and controlled balance changes with each pass, rather than huge reductions or improvements to classes. We want to get all classes on the same playing field, and we want to avoid “whack-a-mole” style balance. HUGH increases and HUGE decreases lead to meta instability, and thusly, we try to make multiple small tweaks rather than putting in massive changes that we have to later correct.

When designing and balancing the classes, we try to make sure that class roles and identities stay intact. So, in doing so, we make sure that there are rules and boundaries outlining the capabilities and weaknesses of each class.

  • Warrior
    • We want the Warrior to be capable of good melee damage in a sturdy body. They can still do some decent damage at range, but they aren’t as good at it as the Ranger (with their pet). They have a hard time taking enemy boons down, and instead, have to just go through them with raw force. They may have a hard time with enemy conditions, and may need to ask for ally help in order to keep themselves free of hampering conditions.
  • Guardian
    • The Guardian is a heavy armor class who relies on boons to make up for their low levels of innate health. They focus on area control and punishing enemies for the position on the battlefield. We want them to feel very powerful when their boons are active, but if those boons are removed, they will start to feel pressure. They can remove conditions more easily than the Warrior, but share the Warrior’s need to be in melee range to dole out maximum damage.
  • Ranger
    • The ranger class combines its own innate abilities with the skills of their pets. We’ve balanced the class around the idea that you always have a pet with you to aid in any fight. The fact that the ranger can have multiple pets allows them to combine their pets in ways that most impact the current fight. We want the Ranger to have some of the evasion enjoyed by the Thief, as well as the mobility other classes employ. The class is able to deal physical or condition damage, and it can do this in melee or at range.
  • Engineer
    • The Engineer is a highly versatile class. While it doesn’t have the long range capabilities of the Ranger, or the melee capabilities of the Warrior or Guardian, they are comfortable at medium ranges in most fights. They have a lot of control, and use their boons to keep themselves (and allies) alive in a fight. They can use different kits based on the situation, but this extreme versatility comes at a cost in damage on their main hand weapons.
  • Thief
    • Thieves are the masters of mobility, stealth and high single target damage. They can be very fragile if you counter their stealth with area of effects or large stacks of conditions, but they trade this fragility in order to have some of the highest burst damage in the game. They are able to help allies through traps, venoms and the mobility to flank most encounters.
  • Mesmer
    • Mesmers rely on illusions in order to accomplish their goals. They need illusions to accomplish some of their highest damage and control, and without the illusions, they become fairly fragile. They can deal with enemy boons better than most classes, but enemy conditions can often be a problem. They share some of the stealth and mobility that the Thief enjoys, but suffer from a low health pool if you get past all their tricks.
  • Ele
    • We see the elementalist as the king of versatility. The skill ceiling for the Ele is exceptional, as the ability to leverage all four attunements at the right time is crucial for understanding the elemetnalist. The Ele boasts some of the best team support and control abilities in the game, as well as some great area of effect damage.
  • Necro
    • The necro boasts the highest natural health of all the caster classes, and also has death shroud to extend that life total even higher. While they don’t have some of the escape or damage reduction capabilities that other classes boast, they do have a lot of ways to win attrition fights. They have access to poison on multiple weapons, they are able to combine condition damage with raw damage, and they have multiple disables to interrupt enemy skills. Necomancers also have multiple movement disabling abilities, while allows them to chase down enemies who are low on health.

Going forward

  • Tank vs spike vs physical DPS vs condie DPS. We want to keep making balance changes that allow all classes to have various builds they can use. We don’t want tanks dominating the game, and we don’t want spike builds dominating. It’s healthy to have multiple types of builds in the meta, so we’ll be improving the balance to facilitate a healthy meta.
  • AOE balance. We feel that in PvP some AOE builds are too strong for the opportunity cost, and we’ll be bringing those in line in the next few patches.

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