Guild Wars 2 is heavily overhauling some class’ elite specs in next week’s balance patch

    
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Guild Wars 2 fans, are you ready for your favorite thing ever: a balance patch? Because that’s coming next week along with the map tweaks, and ArenaNet dished on what all is changing in today’s dev blog. Specifically, this round is all about elite specs and the studio’s attempt to create more “meaningful choice” when it comes to those classes with major trade-offs in swapping to those elites.

“To use the example of necromancer, by choosing an elite specialization, you lose access to your core Death Shroud abilities, but you gain different abilities,” ArenaNet says. “This is a clear trade-off. In the case of elite specializations like druid, herald, chronomancer, berserker, or scrapper, this type of trade-off isn’t possible because the specialization adds a completely new ability. With this update, we’re targeting a few elite specializations to receive trade-offs, and we expect to continue doing this in future updates. As for general changes, we’ve made a few consistency updates to aura naming and introduced dark auras to the game. We also changed a number of abilities that would destroy missiles, making them block missiles instead.”

You’re going to need to look at your own class to really grok how it’s changing for you personally. I main a Berserker myself, and ArenaNet is calling the overhaul “drastic” and tweaking berserk mode heavily, plus adjusting a truckton of skills. My main alt is a Ranger, but looking over the Druid changes (even with the pet nerf) certainly makes that spec a whole lot more appealing to me when normally I wasn’t into it.

Just making another note here that this is like two big dev releases in 24 hours. ArenaNet has stepped up its game.

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Bruno Brito

Just saw the patchnotes.

They’re balancing the game around the more powerful classes and adding more powercreep. We need nerfs across the board, not powerspike increases.

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Arktouros

This is very typical ANet balancing cycle.

We basically get a year+ of nerfs based on metrics. The more people use something in PvE, PvP, WvW, Raiding, whatever the higher likelihood it’s going to get nerfed. It doesn’t matter if the two other trait options are some super niche build support traits because 90% of the people choose the thing that will impact 90% of the builds out there that trait must be OP. It has to be OP because ANet balancing team couldn’t have done any wrong and everything they designed is amazing so the fact people are only using the one thing must mean it’s too awesome so they’re going to tone back it’s awesomeness. These nerfs just force people into even more meta builds that more people use which lead to even more nerfs because how fucking dare you ignore those other “amazing” skills/traits?

Eventually ANet comes out with a new expansion (or in lack of those now I guess we get a buff patch?) and finally admits they just can’t figure out why people aren’t using those other “amazing” options and just replaces them while boosting/buffing the rest of the classes at the same time. This creates a new meta which creates more metrics showing what everyone is using and…

Repeat.

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Bruno Brito

Oh, for sure. I don’t think they even look at how the game behaves with said powercreeps before.

The problem here is that they don’t actually bother to bring powercreep down by nerfing stuff inteligently, they just shove some stuff down, while bringing other stuff up, without realizing that then you buff a core class, a elite spec will of course get buffed, and get double value for being a elite spec with broken overblown mechanics that were crucial to be controlled before for a healthy game.

For instance, giving Daredevil three dodges outside Thief normal escape mechanisms. Allowing Superspeed to become a main mechanic of a spec. Creating burst specs before adjusting passive/active defenses. Keeping weapon identity of some classes completely weird, others in the gutter.

There’s nothing wrong with nerfs, but the problem is that Anet doesn’t seem to have a place they wanna go with these balance changes. What do they want? Core spec level? First Xpac powercreep? They don’t seem, as always, to have a clear direction they wanna achieve.

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Dankey Kang

Still no meaningful Guardian changes but definitely a step in the right direction.

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Dwarf-Orc

Look like a good one, and looks way, way bigger than the usual balance patch, I wonder if it’s a special case or if they plan on taking a new approach to balance patches for the future.

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Arktouros

Without an expansion coming they were going to have to do the “buff all the things” patch at some point to support their policy of nerfing the ever living fuck out of everything fun over the coming year.

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TomTurtle

The Berserker changes sound the most interesting. I have two Berserker Warriors, condi and power, that I’ll have to play around with when this patch lands.

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Dug From The Earth

We shall see… im fully expecting 4-5% changes in ability values… which isnt my definition of “heavily overhauling”, nor is it my idea of fun and exciting.

If im wrong, then thumbs up for possibly making things better. (could make it worse, but im trying not to be too negative here)

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Some of these overhauls are needed and have been asked for for years, for example Reapers have been begging for an overhaul that would make them META in PVE since they were launched.

Just read the blog, nothing major just some duct tape fixes for Reaper; so glad I’ll be playing a Bone Tyrant in a month and a half in ESO.

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McGuffn

Surprised they’re not going to ruin deadeye again.

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Dug From The Earth

about all they could do at this point is actually give the class a “Dead” eye…. making it unable to attack outside of aimed shots.