Guild Wars 2’s underwater combat update and class balance pass are live today

Some MMOs pump out an endless stream of previews for their big patches, especially the type that overhaul major game systems or balance combat, to the point that by the time the update hits, everybody has the bullet points memorized and we can type the post from memory. Guild Wars 2 hasn’t been one of those for the last few years, which is why you’re only just reading the patch notes for today’s balance patch and underwater combat revamp right now, as the game is actually patching.

ArenaNet’s just-released blog on underwater combat states that the studio’s goals were to make underwater combat just as effective as on-land combat, make underwater movement even better, and make underwater skills have proper parallels to land skills.

“Your character may still appear to move more slowly than they do out of water, but enemies shouldn’t take longer to kill,” explains the studio. “Traversing an underwater environment should be a fluid experience, and you should feel like you’re still playing your own character and profession.”

That’s meant specific skill changes for different professions underwater. For example, the Revenant is picking up Trident use today – we think that’s the first time GW2’s ever done something like that – and a ton of skills are seeing tweaks specifically for underwater play, including Tidal Wave, Lightning Flash, Rocket Boots, Slick Shoes, Null Field, Mirage Advance, Jalis, Inspiring Reinforcement, and Blinding Powder – way more than we can name here. Skimmer speed has increased too.

Naturally, to get folks into the water and playing around with the new stuff, the studio has put in a new treasure chest event, complete with title.

“Rumor has it that a dive master with a passion for discovering underwater treasure is arriving in Lion’s Arch, and she has tasks for Tyrians who are unafraid to take a plunge. The krait may hold the key to discovering chests long thought lost to time and the sea. Perhaps you’ll be the one to recover those forgotten treasures and bring some unique rewards back from the depths, like an ascended-quality Diver’s Breather and new breather-exclusive infusions to enhance your seaworthiness both in and out of combat. Becoming the swiftest diver under the sea will require dedication—and no self-respecting salty sea dog wants to miss the Freebooter title!”

You’ll want to check out the patch notes for complete changes to your specific class, but it’s worth pointing out that nobody seems that happy on Reddit, except maybe Engineers.

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