Over the weekend, Jonathan Sharp stopped by the official Guild Wars 2 forums to issue a detailed post about some of the user interface and quality-of-life improvements we’ll be receiving in the October 15th update of the game. We’ll be seeing some improvements to trait tooltips, skill tooltips, the tab targeting system, ground targeting, how debuffs are listed on the UI, and more.
He then followed up with a second post listing a whole bunch of class balance changes coming during the same update as well as a third posting listing some broad changes being made farther in the future. Keep reading to take a look at the three posts. It makes for quite a large read, but definitely worthwhile.
Originally posted by JonathanSharp (Source)
Hey guys, here are some of the improvements you can expect to see for the October 15th release. Let us know what you think about them and we’ll take this into consideration. Some of these may not make it in for that release, but I wanted to give you guys a high level preview of what we’re working on and give you an opportunity to give us your feedback.
Traits will now have tooltips in the same way that skills do. This means that you’ll be able to see EXACTLY how long an effect lasts, what its cooldown is, etc. We want this system to be as transparent as possible for our players, so that they can make the best decisions when creating their profession builds.
Skill tooltips as they pertain to traits
As traits impact a skill, we’ve also made it so that as skills are impacted by a trait, the skill’s tooltips adjust accordingly. Again, we want players to be able to see these details in their builds, so that they can build their characters exactly the way they want! We’ll be using different colors to show this so that it’s easier for players to see!
Other Misc. fixes:
Tab Targeting Improvements
- Now prioritizes Champs/Legendary, then players/clones, then everything else
- Deselecting your target now resets tab selection history (aka, you’ll start tabbing through from the beginning if you deselect)
- Can now tab target if your character can see the target (Was dependent on camera before)
When you cause condition damage, all damage of a given type (burning, bleed, poison, etc.) will be grouped into a single # with an icon, making them much easier to read. This also allows players suffering from these conditions to more easily see them, and know when they should use condition removal. Note that this is an option, so that you can disable it if you want to (and return to the old system).
Better fast cast ground targeting:
We split this into 3 different options; so that players can more easily cater how ground targeting works for them.
- Double tap to cast
- Press the button to cast
- Release the button to cast
- SO GET YO CAST ON!
Pet HP split between PvE and PvP
We wanted to make pets and summons more viable in PvE/WvW while making sure they didn’t become too strong in PvP.
Launch will now be stun breakable
We felt it made it sense to let stun breakers also help you when you are launched, since this is consistent with how stun breakers respond to other control effects.
Originally posted by JonathanSharp (Source)
Overall we’re looking to provide more builds for all classes, across all game types (PvE, PvP and WvW). We’re also looking to improve support potential for many classes. A lot of players have asked for this style of play to be stronger, so we’re looking to make it a more viable option.
These are some HIGH LEVEL previews, and you’ll still see number tweaks, trait fixes, and bug fixes for each class in the actual release notes, but we wanted you guys to have some transparency into the release:
We’re looking to improve shouts so that support via shouts is more viable. This means moving Lung Capacity to Tier 1 so that you can take it along with Shrug it Off and Vigorous Shouts. The Warrior is in a pretty decent place overall right now, and sees play in many types of content, as well as in PvP/WvW.
We increased the power of many support skills which weren’t seeing much play. We reworked Purging Flames: it now removes three conditions from allies in an area effect around the guardian on cast while still burning enemies (enemies that enter or exit the flames are still burned). Once the skill has been cast, it then reduces condition duration for allies who remain in the consecration’s area. It’s hawt. Literally. All meditation utility skills are now instant, and Focused Mind now grants fury on meditation use.
Sick ‘Em will now apply ‘Revealed” to enemies they target. We want to introduce some counter play to Stealth (players have asked for that for a while), so we thought a pet “catching your scent” might be a cool way to insinuate some anti-stealth into the game.
To help Rangers support allies, we increased the ability ranger pets have to support allies. For instance, the Bear condition removal isn’t strong enough, so we’ll be improving that. Moas and Fern Hound will also be improved.
There will also be # changes to some of the Ranger weapons.
Venomous Aura was very difficult to use, as the radius was fairly tight. We’ve now increased that radius a bit, so that it’s easier to share venoms with allies without huddling closely together.
We’re also looking at shaving the efficiency of Flanking Strike slightly, so that it now only removes 1 boon instead of 2.
Also, pistol main hand may see one of its skills reworked to better support allies. We have multiple prototypes that we’re trying out, so we’ll have to see which we settle on by the next release.
We did some reworks on the Elixir toolbelt (f-bar) skills. These just didn’t have enough cool play to them, and we wanted to improve them. Like:
- Elixir S toolbelt is now guaranteed stealth.
- Elixir B toolbelt now guarantees Stability along with the random current effect. Base recharge increased to 30 seconds.
We also did QoL (quality of life) improvements to skills that saw little play.
And finally, Engineer turrets will attack the Engineer’s target. They still take time to rotate to face the target, and they still have their respective cooldowns when firing. But this means the Engineer can focus damage on a single target by using their turrets.
We’re working on the staff in an effort to make it a stronger support weapon, and we also improved the conjure weapons so that they’re stronger for support. You’ll see improvements to all 4 of the conjure weapons to make them stronger and better for support.
We also increased the healing on Water Blast, the radius on Geyser and we reworked
Unsteady Ground to make it function more like line of warding.
To stay in line with the support theme, we wanted to find ways the Mesmer could support allies. We looked at Mantras, and just didn’t feel they were quite strong enough to do this, so we made some improvements.
Power Cleanse: We wanted to add some condition support, and made it so that this skill can remove 2 conditions from 5 allies.
Power Break also saw an improvement, as it now grants stability to nearby allies.
The Blood line underwent some tweaks, as it’s something that Necromancer players often feel is a lacking trait line. Vampiric Precision, Vampiric Rituals, Vampiric Master have all seen improvements.
For QoL (again, quality of life) we also improved the Life Force meter to show the actual bar better (moved slightly so it’s not competing with the skill icon for UI space), and the bar now shows your current Life Force amount, and the tooltip also shows current/max Life Force available. It makes it much easier to see how much Life Force you have, and lets you plan your engagements better.
Originally posted by JonathanSharp (Source)
Further down the Road
- We’re reworking the combat log to make it more easily used. This will involve help from a ton of departments, but it will help every player in the game. By providing you better combat information, you’ll be able to better make tweaks to your build, and you’ll be able to better adjust your play to deal with difficult encounters.
- We’re also looking to make conditions scale better in PvE/WvW leveling so that they’re more viable at different junctures in the level scale.
- Runes/Sigils are also something the balance team wants to improve. We’d like to see cooler effects on some of the sets, so we’ll be working towards that. They also lead to a lot of build diversity, so we want more sets to be stronger so that it gives you guys more options in your builds.
- The patch notes will be much bigger than this, but we just wanted to give you guys a little insight into what’s coming in the near future from the balance team!
- Traits. We’re always looking at traits and trying to fix the traits that don’t seem as sweet as others.
So that’s pretty much it! Feel free to leave feedback and ideas/concerns and we’ll be watching to see what you guys come up with!