Guild Wars 2’s balance update arrives next week – with ‘underwater combat’ revamp

Remember back before Guild Wars 2 launched and its underwater content was touted as the most innovative thing in years? And remember when it launched and underwater content actually was miles ahead of underwater content in pretty much every other game – but was still mildly annoying? And then remember how ArenaNet kinda stopped developing much for it, and now you just skim yourself right over water altogether?

That’s changing, though we don’t know quite how just yet. ArenaNet posted this morning that it’s pushing out the planned balance update next Tuesday on May 8th, and with it, big changes to underwater combat too.

“The next Guild Wars 2 balance update arrives on May 8, bringing a sea change to underwater combat! We’re enhancing underwater skills and utilities so you can blast the barnacles off anything that tries to nibble your toes while you’re swimming. Keep a lookout on the morning of the May 8 balance update—we’ll publish a developer blog post that wades through all the details.”

Reddit is somewhat baffled by the announcement, guessing so far about new rebreathers and new maps (presumably the new fractal) with underwater content.

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Veldan
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Veldan

There was always so much senseless whining about anything in water. Not even just in GW2, in every MMO. I loved GW2’s water gameplay and thought it was very well done.

Do you get different abilities? Yes, so what? How is this a negative? Can your brain not handle 5 more skills? You must have not played the original GW then or it would have exploded.

abyssalstar
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abyssalstar

I think people’s biggest issues with underwater combat is how clunky you move and how many of your best skills are locked out.

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Arsin Halfmoon

The biggest problem is that they locked spears as an underwater weapon

styopa
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styopa

“…its underwater content was touted as the most innovative thing in years? And remember when it launched and underwater content actually was miles ahead of underwater content in pretty much every other game – but was still mildly annoying?…”
I don’t remember that at all?

I remember that:
– underwater combat was terrifically annoying because all your abilities changed, and you couldn’t (as usual) move them around on your bar
– they’d taken all the ‘underwater’ out of it, buy giving everyone permanent water breathing, making “underwater” more like “just another environemnt except now it’s 3d. Oh, and you move hella slower. Enjoy!
– water combat sucked balls because your stacking buffs would be wiped everytime you transitioned from land/water and back. So if you were unlucky enough to fight inthe surf, you were screwed.

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Coldin Torrence

Biggest issue for me was just moving slower. It felt like such a pain to get around, but the mobs in the water moved just as fast, if not faster, than they do on land.

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Bruno Brito

Honestly, the only issue i had with GW2 underwater content is that underwater combat was pretty caustrophobic, and talents not translating to underwater combat, which leads me to believe it was an afterthought.

Other than that, it was ok.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

gw2 underwater brawl.gif
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McGuffn

hopefully there are underwater chairs we can sit in.

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Dug From The Earth

The problem I always had with underwater combat in GW2, was how you had 2 entirely new bars of skills (assuming you had 2 different water weapons equiped) that were totally different than the 2 bars of skills you used for the majority of the game.

All the rotations and combos that you had down to muscle memory, were tossed out as soon as you entered the water. Often id find myself asking “wait, what does the #4 ability do again?” but by this time I was already in combat. (the same could be said about the “downed state skill bar too, on a lesser scale)

It just felt foreign and clumsy.

plasmajohn
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plasmajohn

So much this. I find the skill jump of weapon swap irritating enough. Having to re-learn the UW skills every time I take a swim is beyond annoying.

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Space Captain

Don’t forget that for some classes a load of their best utility skills simply just don’t work. Underwater bits are the worst part of map completion. Hopefully the changes will be significant and worthwhile

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Bob Dobalina

I’m guessing this is paving the way for us to fight the Undersea dragon in the next expansion. STEVE, WE’RE COMING FOR YOU!