Host: Grouch Date/Time: March 14th. 12PM PST (8PM GMT) ArenaNet Developers: Jonathan Sharp, Tyler Bearce, Karl McLain Special Guests: Xeph from Team Paradigm (EU) and Nero from Jesus Beat Us Once (NA) Where: Twitch.tv/guildwars2guru
Transcribed version of the State of the Game from March 14th
Spirit Watch Movement spells are intentionally really strong; Both specific spells and even the passive 25 movement increase.
Slippery rope of what spells should drop the orb. Decision such as “... Should Engineer be able to Elixir R with 4 dodge rolls...” and what about other spells should drop the orb?
Map was balanced for being able to win entirely by map-control; So if an enemy managed to get one or two Orbs you would still be able win.
The map tried to move away from the defensive play, as seen on other maps, and take a more offensive play through small skirmishes.
Winning first team battle on any map is strong, comebacks needs to be more likely. Might delay the orb spawn timer.
Making specific spells to the orb; problem is people rather play their own profession and will avoid taking the orb. Then taking the Orb can be intimidating as it will give you a new bar where you have to read up on all the spells. Something they might try to play with.
Matchmaking & Tournaments Paid tournament was used as a way to separate the casuals and experienced teams. With removal they joined 2 team tournaments, which resulted in more players and faster queues. Problem was then pick-ups facing premades, as rating was split and reset at the same time this became a bigger problem. In the future it will be split out as a solo only queue and a premade queue.
Fix coming to half teams due to the disconnects; faster replacement of disconnected players.
Leaderboards will provide visible comparison to motivate people to play. No visible ranking “number” only ranking based on server, realm, friends and those sort of things. Ranking based on the rating, but invisible rating until they are confident the system works.
Custom Arena to largely take over hot-join’s current place. As people can create servers with 2v2, 5v5, 8v8 or w/e they want. Will act as hang out where people go to their favorite server and play.
Profession Balance Elementalist Only have one specific build that works. A bit too limited, they are supposed to be a jack of all trades, but not the king of any particular play. Want to get elementals builds opened up, rearrange the traits and buff traits that aren’t being taken right now.
Strong healing spells, healing scaling has been reduced by 50% since beta, no intend to change that further. Will continue to have a lot of burst healing.
Elementalist tornado; self-ress is being fixed.
Have a lot of self-protection. Good place in bunker play, immobilizing enemies, but if he stops he is in trouble. Want something to counter that playstyle, something that increases damage based on boons the target have to give bunkers a natural enemy.
Might make heals more interruptible, more devastating for elementalists to get interrupted.
Engineer(Thanks to Ayestes) Kit Refinement nerfs towards utility. “… more utility and less damage output.” 100 Nades and Super Elixir were too good compared to the rest. 100 Nades mentioned specifically, in that a 10 point trait isn’t meant to be that powerful. 24k damage mentioned, which while up in the top end of possible damage is still possible. “…we wanted to normalize how this works and make it useful for all kits.”
Turret buffs such as Thumper gaining AoE Cripple (3s every 5s) and Rifle Turret getting more damage. “… and some other cool stuff that you’ll see.”
Overall a lot of changes planned, mostly buff-centric. “…couple pages worth of notes…” It appeared it was data for the next patch, but isn’t necessarily the case. “…pretty heavy focus…” Globally some changes are planned in increasing the strength of the weaker utilities, so perhaps that may be addressed here as well.
Described as mid-range skirmishers that can control battlefield in various ways such as with turrets, control skills, AoE, and other ways. “…they are going to be impactful in close range fights and have the ability to control space…” Intended on buffing the things that aren’t used as often so that they do get used as different playstyles.
RNG toned down, but not necessarily removed. Example is Elixir U only has Frenzy and Haste variants and the Toss lacks Veil now so it always blocks projectiles in some fashion. Not much done in the March patch yet though. “… smaller subsets [of RNG].”
Condition buffs, non-specific. Mentioned offhand during the Thief discussion, but it was in reference to Engineers and Thieves in particular.
Guardian Guardian is a boon-centric heavy armor profession. Meant to be slower than most professions, but abilities for movement to join the fight and stay in the fight.
Guardians are in a pretty good play; a wide variety of specs.
Mesmer Piercing greatsword. Spatial surge will hit up to three targets, should always hit main target, but will hit two people in between. Going to promote positioning more and allow for skilled players to take advantage of the mechanics, stand behind target etc. Numbers will get tweaked.
Mantras not strong enough, could be brought up in certain aspects. Right now they are kept as damage, which is cool, but would rather have them be an active part of the playstyle.
Many classes have three key utility spells, break more and give more options. Going to increase damage and buff weak utilities that aren’t used much.
Shatter and AoE damage was a bit high - beam damage increase might force reduction to shatter damage.
Necromancer A bit slow, need to move to kill radius to lock down. Need to have heavy control on boons for removing or converting them.
Deathshroud more of a transform skill, not an actual down-state. No weapon swapping deathshroud will come back.
Build Diversity; necromancer in a place where other professions should be.
Evading while immobilized, not just for necromancer, up for discussion. Immobilize shouldn’t become a “sort of” stun, where you are completely locked out and can’t dodge during it. Need to keep an eye on this.
Ranger Long bow needs work, full damage build is very powerful, but no protection for itself. Utility skills aren’t effective enough to keep it safe.
Agony resistance, translated to pets. PvE players doing fractals, agony should translate to pets. Ranger pets, necromancer minions, mesmer clones. etc.
Greatsword – improvements brought down some recharges, improved damage for them all. Both condition damage and duration.
Thief Reveal automatically activates on stealth ending, not just on attack; Might apply to Mesmer Stealth. High damage to compensate lack of boon removal. Might get more boon removal in cost of tuned down damage.
Mug is too powerful; But Mug doesn’t synergize well with the whole ‘stealth game’.
Looking to increase mobility for sets other than the shortbow. Elementalists competes too well with Thief’s mobility where thief should be top mobility profession.
Warrior Banner improvement, increased attributes that the banners apply; instead of 90 you will have 107 attribute points. Condition duration and crit damage stays the same.
Kick/Rampage – changes are coming, a lot more mobility.
Warrior has insane specs in PvE, but don’t work in PvP, get shut down by condition damage. Changes to help them against condition damage.
The Road Ahead PvP Leaderboards: Sortable; NA/EU, Friends, Servers/World, Rating(Won’t show though), Win/Loss record. Teams and solo queue will be on the same leaderboards, until they aren’t in the same ‘pool’. Leaderboards are nearly ready, might even be released before next patch.
Might not do a big patch - might just throw things out as they are ready, instead of grouping it up.
Spectator Mode: Not going to be the same as observer mode in guild wars 1. Can spectate from a preset/predefined points. Can click on player to spectate, see the player hot-bar and recharge times.
Can spectate players to see builds/traits etc. Will only be available for hot-join and custom games.
Shoutcasting: Would like to support shoutcasting - authorized shoutcasters will be on a list who will get pop-ups when a tournament start to spectate it. Not letting anyone else in as it could lead to cheating/ghosting.
Gems: Unlikely to be brought back.
Mixed Profession Talk: Building a meta that allows for things like a bunker to exist, each profession should have different specs and skills they can use.
Want people to have individual responsibility by not having healers. If you die it usually means you made a mistake, instead of blaming it on a healer. Promote the whole group decision.
Open Floor for Guests Having endless Finisher Tokens/Turning them on/off might be a possibility on future system.
Will add more incentives to play, armor types are expensive to make, a lot of variables like light, heavy, race, genders etc.
Also hard to tell if players are good, or are they just AFK in chat a lot. Discussion about adding specific top titles, or looks etc. A way to show that you are good and not just spent a lot of time grinding.
Arenas have been tested but often ended with middle zeg -> pop utility and see who wins. More time will be spent testing new gametypes. Custom Arena will help a lot in terms of getting new formats as data will be available as how to people play, what settings they play with etc.
Penalizing people that swap traits/builds after joining the game. Adding templates for builds, that way you can allow players to deviate a bit from the template but still keep the build the same.
Resurrection signets are being looked at, too powerful when everyone have them in tanky groups.