Guild Wars 2 just put an end to cheese mechanics in the Drakkar encounter


It’s patch day for Guild Wars 2, and that usually means one of two things: a tiny one-line bug tweak, or a major release. Today’s update, however, is something in between, as it’s not a seasonal update, nor is it the big balancing patch for PvE and PvP that we’ve been discussing the last few weeks.

Nope, today’s update adds a bit more challenge to the world, literally, in keeping with the ongoing storyline of the living world. “As Jormag’s influence continues to grow throughout the region, Drakkar and its minions grow more powerful,” ArenaNet says. Oh, it’s as ominous as it sounds: Drakkar’s damage and defiance have been buffed, his health scaling has been lowered, he’s got new abilities, his encounter’s adds are tougher to beat, there’s no more mount or Nimble Onslaught cheesing, and so on.

There are some bright spots, of course: “With greater risks come greater rewards. Drakkar rewards have been updated with a new Broken Voice ascended weapon set, as well as other additions. Defeating Drakkar will also give an increased amount of experience once per day.” The achievement grind’s been tweaked a bit too.

Still looking ahead to the balance patch with trepidation? Make sure you check out this week’s MassivelyOP PvP, where our Fight or Kite columnist dives into the proposed PvP changes. Or you can just pop over to Reddit, where elite players are currently trying to convince everyone else that said elite players are super important. Bring some popcorn.

Source: Patch notes

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Bruno Brito

So. I went and read EVERYTHING that these patchnotes have for us, and i’ll speak from the perspective of a Engineer player. I was never a main Necro, and Necro still is the ultimate counter to the buff system of the game, so one balance pass will never be enough to bring them into a healthy state, and Anet are utterly incapable of reworking this class in a way that it’s worthy.

So, Engineer. Kits are untouched, but since damage is down across the board, this is technically a buff. Not what i wanted, because the design of Kits themselves are bad ( they should be a selective weaponswap, and Engineer elites and skills should be buffed accordingly since you only have one kit now ), but i’ll live with it. I honestly don’t see reworks coming anyway.

Turrets were untouched, except for some nerfs that targeted all CC. Which means Rocket Turret toolbelt skill now has a 0.01 coefficient. The skill is slow, is telegraphed, it’s a projectile, so it’s prone to be reflected or hated into oblivion. It was a blank nerf to all CC around and while i get the point, they’ll have to look into skills that are already weak with normal power coefficients. Turrets themselves are completely worthless save Thumper and Healing. Healing Turret is still one of the best healing tools in the game, just because it blows waterfield. The turret itself is completely negligible, you just blow it up. Thumper toolbelt is a stunbreak, and Engineer is a pingpong ball with low stability access, so anything that gives you control back is good. The turret itself isn’t bad since it’s tanky stats allow for some free damage ( which again, is being nerfed across the board, so the turret itself will have some value ) before it gets cleaved/focused.

Now, this brings a problem: Kits and Turrets being both mandatory and irrelevant means that engineers are constrained by Utility slots. Not only that, several of our lines still have synergy issues that need to be fixed. Explosion rework was a great start, but it’s not enough.

I’m speaking from the perspective of Core Engineer. I don’t play elite specs. Core is basically “press 5 buttons to do what one button does”. It has clunky rotations that are kit dependant. Elixirs are in a good spot. Medkit is deceptively strong. Mortar will probably be better after Explosions rework.

I’m of the opinion that instead of buffing Core Engineer to the spot other classes are, bringing them down to the age where they need several tradeoffs to burst is a great idea.

Anyway, thanks for coming to my TED talk, again.

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Or you can just pop over to Reddit, where elite players are currently trying to convince everyone else that said elite players are super important. Bring some popcorn.

I saw that. One of their “justifications” is that it simply can’t be quantified why they’re so important. They just are! Can’t argue against that I guess. Ha. Ha. :|

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Damage output increase…oh joy, more time spent ressing people who can’t jump.

Defiance bar strengthened…oh joy, more time wasted to CC phase begging people to use their active ability.


Spirit binding increase…oh joy, even more instances of 3/4ths of the group mindlessly running into the first portal and leaving only a few of us left for the second…

Increased rewards will be nice and make this actually worth doing after you’ve got all your mastery XP, but damn if I’m not looking forward to the changes given the struggles of groups I’ve had in simply killing him in time.

I’ll give it a go, but I can’t say I’m terribly optimistic at my chances of actually clearing it in the near future : /

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It feels like it still takes a while at least partly because the three champion bosses take longer to kill now. I didn’t record kill times pre/post patch so I can’t confirm it either way though I did see other players say the fight goes faster now.