Tomorrow’s Guild Wars 2 balance update grants weapon-swap to Elementalists and Engineers

    
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This is fine.
So here’s a fun thing that got utterly buried by the Thanksgiving holiday: Guild Wars 2 is dropping a lovely skill and balance update tomorrow, and it includes some highly requested quality-of-life perks for Elementalists and Engineers in particular. Here’s the gist:

“With a larger competitive-focused update on the horizon, this update is on the smaller side but still contains several notable systemic changes. Falling damage traits are being removed in order to free up design space and reduce the complexity of adept-tier traits. Revival traits are also seeing the removal of the 10% revival speed passive effect that we’ve been slowly phasing out over the last several updates. In exchange, skills that directly revive allies are seeing enhancements. Besides these changes, we are also making some small touch-ups to various skills and traits related to previous updates that we felt didn’t quite hit everything. We have also had the opportunity to add a couple quality-of-life updates to better improve the readability of player attributes affected by traits, and we’re now granting elementalists and engineers the ability to swap weapons while out of combat. Lastly, the format for some types of value updates is changing—instead of listing the percentage difference, we’ll be telling you what the coefficients before and after a change will be. We hope this will helps improve readability significantly.”

Yep, it’s weapon-swapping. Traditionally, Elementalists and Engineers have lacked this ability, as Elems were meant to swap between their elements instead, while Engineers could swap to kits. Of course, that’s always made switching between melee and ranged skills extra tricky (read: annoying) for these professions. I run a Holosmith as one of my mains, so I’m particularly excited for the chance to swap over to rifles more easily.

“Starting at level 10, elementalists can now swap weapons while out of combat, gaining an additional pair of weapon slots on their Hero panel.”

“Starting at level 10, engineers can now swap weapons while out of combat, gaining an additional pair of weapon slots on their Hero panel.”

Definitely check out the patch notes for the run-down of what’s coming for your classes.

YouTuber WoodenPotatoes has a full recap of what to expect in his latest video:

Source: Patch notes

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Greaterdivinity

Out of combat swapping is a nice QoL change and makes sense. I was confused as to how they’d balance access to that much more versatility in-combat since that’d seem to throw a big wrench into things…

Not a major change by any stretch, but will be nice for when I feel the urge to tinker around on my elementalist and want to swap between melee/ranged gameplay while going from boss to boss.

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Bruno Brito

It’s out of combat. Doesn’t change much except it’s a QoL so you don’t have to click stuff to change weapons.

This solves absolutely NOTHING. While Holo is fine and Scrapper is…well, Scrapper, core engi is still tied heavily to kits because their entire mechanic is a mess.

Toolbelt skills are not good enough to be a good mechanic. Several concepts were already created, and my favourite was: Allow the Engineer to choose a kit to be his weaponswap. Make the talent trees improve upon these kits as a singular weapon, which would make Engi extremely versatile without forcing us to play Chopin on our keyboards to have half of the effectiveness of a core Warrior.

Toolbelt skills should be reworked with their main skills so they become utility skills, and kits shouldn’t be on the utility slot, instead, use a kit as weaponswap, or a similar system to Revenant, where you choose two kits and swap between 3 weapons ( which is overly complicated and i don’t like it ).

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peor togs

Out of combat weapon swap only!

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Bannex

As fickle as this sounds, weapon swapping is a major reason this game and ESO never stuck with me.

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Bruno Brito

Not really fickle. It’s a crutch system that only complicates combat systems without much in return.

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blah blazh

You won’t be able to swap in PVP

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Arktouros

Ah a Wooden Potatoes video. 10 minutes worth of information, and an hour or more of rambling and and repeating himself.

Weapon swap is pretty nice for Elementalist but pretty useless if not able to in combat. The biggest issue is there’s too many fights where you have to be melee or ranged. Even their own new POF mechanics have bounty bosses where you can only deal damage melee or only deal damage at range. If you commit to something like Sword then you’re basically useless half that fight.

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Makhiel

I haven’t used anything but staff on my Elementalists for the past years. Time to learn the other weapons I guess :)

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Tanek

Pff. Weapon swapping is all well and good, but let’s not lose focus on the monstrous change in the patch notes!

“Falling damage traits are being removed”

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Michram142

most of the players use mounts anyway.

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Tanek

I was just discussing this with some people yesterday. So far, this is pretty much the only argument I see in favor of removing fall damage reduction. And it isn’t even really an argument in favor of removal as much as it is an argument for why removal does not affect you.

Which is fine. If it is not a trait you think is useful for you, not a problem. But there are tons of traits I don’t think are useful to me and I would not use that as a reason to remove them if other people do use them.

But maybe I have missed something. What positive are we gaining in exchange for the trait removal? How are we better off with the trait gone? What does “in order to free up design space” actually mean in a practical sense?

So far I only see other players explaining why they don’t need the trait. And the mounts and gliders reason does not always apply unless the developers plan to remove the area restrictions for those. Which does not seem to be the case. They already identified one area in the game where the fall damage reduction is needed and the “fix” is less than ideal, so I’m not sure what their plan will be when other areas come up after tomorrow.

A fall damage reduction buff “convenience” consumable in the gem store would be the worst case scenario because then I’d really wonder about motivations and I don’t want to have to do that.

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Makhiel

Are there any areas in the game where you are expected to fall on purpose?And as such you’d want to slot such a trait? Because I don’t think there are.

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Tanek

There are at least a couple. Some where it is calculated that a drop won’t quite kill you starting from full health but where a fall damage reduction trait comes in very handy.

The devs even acknowledged a location where it is an issue. the Griffonrook jumping puzzle. They are adding a fall damage reduction buff when carrying the bomb to compensate, but as I mentioned in another comment, this breaks how many have run this JP from the start. You only need one person to carry the bomb to the chest, but now everyone will need to? Makes no sense.

The devs also say they “are open to adding [fall damage reduction] as the need arises” in other areas, but again, this is a less-than-perfect “fix” to a problem they don’t need to create.

And even that is only in there areas where, as you say, you need to “fall on purpose”. what about just wanting to do a jumping puzzle and not die every time you slip. Bad enough you have to do all or part of the jp over again, but to have to reset to a waypoint each time?

I really want to understand what practical good we as players are getting from the removal of this trait.

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Makhiel

I meant area as in dungeons or WvW or actual areas build around a certain mechanic. A few drops here and there are not it. And I don’t see how it is a handy if you’re not dead to begin with.

Like here’s how I understand traits – you like using torches? Here’s a trait to make your torch skills refresh faster. Here’s a trait to make torches do more damage, to make the burning last longer, etc. There’s no “do you like falling?” here. Falling is not a game mechanic (post hoc uses in WvW nothwithstanding).

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Tanek

Jumping puzzles are often built around the mechanic of jumping/falling. Maybe some people don’t like them or don’t think of them as “gameplay” as much as dungeons, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t valid. I find them enjoyable and that fall damage reduction trait has saved my behind from a waypoint run more than a few times.

Personally, I don’t like raids. But I would not advocate taking something away that is useful in raids just because I don’t use it.

And again, what are we gaining by this loss? Maybe if the devs could explain that I would better understand the plan. Right now it looks like they are just taking out something I have used for 7 years with little reason.

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Makhiel

Making a drop in a JP is equivalent to viewing a vista, if even, and we don’t have traits for that. And except for Griffonhookw are there JPs where you make more than 3 drops that make you take damage? Behem Gauntlet if you’re trying to cheese it? Not to mention JPs are not something you’d do hours on end, like PvP or Fractals. (If you do you are a very small minority)

But I have to say I find your reasoning strange. Either you dying in the JP is part of the challenge (in which you like it that way and do not need/want the trait) or you think the JP is too punishing and you’re using the trait to offset that. Traits should provide a bonus, not make a bad think less bad. And if you primarily use to the trait to get the hang of the JP then the usability is even more limited.

We’re gaining a trait that is (potentially) useful to a wider array of players. “Needs of the many” and all that.

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Tanek

You keep saying that. What, exactly, are we gaining? Feel free to cite examples.

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Bruno Brito

Yes. Some Warriors use Death from Above as a trait for WvW roaming and ganking.

Actually most fall traits are WvW traits and allow you more freedom at roaming. They’re useful, but they weren’t strong enough.

But in true Anet fashion, instead of making them better, they just get rid of it because they can’t be bothered to actively work on balance in this game.

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Axetwin .

The problem is you can’t use mounts in the terrible jumping puzzles. The removal of reduced falling damage means players just got a massive nerf in jumping puzzles.

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Tanek

ANet even recognizes this in the Griffonrook JP and needed to make a change there. Now if you want to do the JP you need to carry the bomb in order to get the reduced fall damage.

Used to be only 1 player needed to carry a bomb and others could go as defense. Now? Not so much. I don’t think this is a great solution, especially since it is for a problem that does not need to exist.

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Makhiel

You don’t think having to retrait to do jumping puzzles is a bad game design?

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Tanek

So, retraiting for PvP, WvW, different dungeons, different enemies? ALL of that is bad design?

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Makhiel

It’s a bad design for you to be _required_ to retrait just to do a JP. It’s nowhere near comparable to a dungeon run.

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Tanek

Why? Just one trait, took me a few seconds. And even that is only if you claim jumping puzzles require using the trait. Which, if you are in favor of removing it, you don’t believe they do.

In which case, why is removing it necessary? what harm did it cause for those of use who use it? What benefit do we get from its removal?

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Makhiel

If you think changing traits is something the devs want you to do on the regular we have very different ideas on game design.

What benefit do we get from its removal?

What benefit do we get from removing a flat tire? We get to put a better one in its place.

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Tanek

Actually I do think that is what they expect. As is evidenced by them spending all that time to put in an overly complex build system where they expect people to pay money to be able to change things even MORE.

A flat tire is probably something that is preventing the proper operation of a vehicle. And there is no indication as of yet what “better one” is being put in place for fall damage reduction. Either they have a plan and are not telling us what it is, or they removed a feature without having a plan for what to put in its place. Why was it causing a problem? What was it breaking?

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Makhiel

It was effectively taking up space, that’s why it’s going away. Are you thinking they are leaving us with a car running on three tires? That’s not what’s happening, read the patch notes.

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Tanek

What “space” was it taking up? They are barely changing most of those traits other than to change the titles and remove the fall damage reduction.

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Bruno Brito

It’s totally comparable. Dungeons are content. JP are content too.

Having a spec for traveling/traversing is nothing new in GW2, and has not been for the past five years.

And fall traits didn’t took a spot, because they were baked into other traits. If Anet wanted to make them balanced, they should simply bake them into BETTER traits.

They removed them because they are terrible at balancing.

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McGuffn

The good old days where mesmers could fall off a cliff and deal billions of damage when they land.

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Tanek

That was when?

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Michram142

Thing is you won’t be able to switch the weapons in combat, only off combat, still I play Elementalist boon healer, so it will be a nice pre boon boost with warhorn and staff. So it is a great thing, but thankfully with a restriction to not let it be op.