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Recently, Jonathan Sharp commented on class roles and balance philosophies. Here's what he had to say:

Jonathan Sharp, Game Designer said:

Class balance philosophies
We normally try to employ metered and controlled balance changes with each pass, rather than huge reductions or improvements to classes. We want to get all classes on the same playing field, and we want to avoid “whack-a-mole” style balance. HUGH increases and HUGE decreases lead to meta instability, and thusly, we try to make multiple small tweaks rather than putting in massive changes that we have to later correct.
When designing and balancing the classes, we try to make sure that class roles and identities stay intact. So, in doing so, we make sure that there are rules and boundaries outlining the capabilities and weaknesses of each class.
  • Warrior
    • We want the Warrior to be capable of good melee damage in a sturdy body. They can still do some decent damage at range, but they aren’t as good at it as the Ranger (with their pet). They have a hard time taking enemy boons down, and instead, have to just go through them with raw force. They may have a hard time with enemy conditions, and may need to ask for ally help in order to keep themselves free of hampering conditions.
  • Guardian
    • The Guardian is a heavy armor class who relies on boons to make up for their low levels of innate health. They focus on area control and punishing enemies for the position on the battlefield. We want them to feel very powerful when their boons are active, but if those boons are removed, they will start to feel pressure. They can remove conditions more easily than the Warrior, but share the Warrior’s need to be in melee range to dole out maximum damage.
  • Ranger
    • The ranger class combines its own innate abilities with the skills of their pets. We’ve balanced the class around the idea that you always have a pet with you to aid in any fight. The fact that the ranger can have multiple pets allows them to combine their pets in ways that most impact the current fight. We want the Ranger to have some of the evasion enjoyed by the Thief, as well as the mobility other classes employ. The class is able to deal physical or condition damage, and it can do this in melee or at range.
  • Engineer
    • The Engineer is a highly versatile class. While it doesn’t have the long range capabilities of the Ranger, or the melee capabilities of the Warrior or Guardian, they are comfortable at medium ranges in most fights. They have a lot of control, and use their boons to keep themselves (and allies) alive in a fight. They can use different kits based on the situation, but this extreme versatility comes at a cost in damage on their main hand weapons.
  • Thief
    • Thieves are the masters of mobility, stealth and high single target damage. They can be very fragile if you counter their stealth with area of effects or large stacks of conditions, but they trade this fragility in order to have some of the highest burst damage in the game. They are able to help allies through traps, venoms and the mobility to flank most encounters.
  • Mesmer
    • Mesmers rely on illusions in order to accomplish their goals. They need illusions to accomplish some of their highest damage and control, and without the illusions, they become fairly fragile. They can deal with enemy boons better than most classes, but enemy conditions can often be a problem. They share some of the stealth and mobility that the Thief enjoys, but suffer from a low health pool if you get past all their tricks.
  • Ele
    • We see the elementalist as the king of versatility. The skill ceiling for the Ele is exceptional, as the ability to leverage all four attunements at the right time is crucial for understanding the elementalist. The Ele boasts some of the best team support and control abilities in the game, as well as some great area of effect damage.
  • Necro
    • The necro boasts the highest natural health of all the caster classes, and also has death shroud to extend that life total even higher. While they don’t have some of the escape or damage reduction capabilities that other classes boast, they do have a lot of ways to win attrition fights. They have access to poison on multiple weapons, they are able to combine condition damage with raw damage, and they have multiple disables to interrupt enemy skills. Necomancers also have multiple movement disabling abilities, while allows them to chase down enemies who are low on health.
Going forward
  • Tank vs spike vs physical DPS vs condie DPS. We want to keep making balance changes that allow all classes to have various builds they can use. We don’t want tanks dominating the game, and we don’t want spike builds dominating. It’s healthy to have multiple types of builds in the meta, so we’ll be improving the balance to facilitate a healthy meta.
  • AOE balance. We feel that in PvP some AOE builds are too strong for the opportunity cost, and we’ll be bringing those in line in the next few patches.
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Here are the server rankings as of December 21st, 2012. Has Wintersday affected your server's performance?

NA

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EU

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Wintersday:
  • Changed the “Toypocalypse Cancelled” achievement so that only one gift dolyak needs to survive the activity instead of all five.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented Pop Guns from playing the correct audio and visual effects.
  • Toymaker Tixx’s Chests have been removed. Instead, all players will receive an in-game mail containing the Wintersday finale one-time rewards upon logging in during the Wintersday event. Please note: only one reward will be given per account.
  • Fixed a bug in Winter Wonderland that would occasionally cause players to be teleported to Lion’s Arch on success.
WvW:
  • Fixed an exploit that allowed players to bypass walls in the East Keep in the borderlands to get into the keep lord room.
Also saw this note from a couple days ago that I don't think got mentioned in the other update threads...
  • The gate to Arah in Cursed Shore will now only be closed when events directly in front of it are active.
source:
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Tonight we have an article by Isaiah Cartwright, Lead Designer for Guild Wars 2, about two upcoming changes for the Fractals instance:

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Currently, if a party member disconnects from a fractal dungeon run, they are unable to rejoin, which can cause a lot of issues for that player and their party. Our new system will allow players who disconnect to reconnect to their party and jump back into the dungeon. We certainly understand how frustrating this situation can be, and would like to apologize for the delay on this fix.

We’ve also made a few changes to the way party-level restrictions work. Currently, players who want to join a party are limited to the lowest fractal level in the party. This makes it difficult for lower fractal-level players to find parties, so we’ve modified the party-level restrictions to allow players of any fractal level to group up. At party creation, players can choose any fractal level up to the highest fractal level in the party. Upon completion of the fractal run, all players equal to or lower than the chosen fractal level will have their fractal level increased by one. All players above the chosen fractal level will gain karma, but their fractal level will not increase. Rewards from the fractal will be based on players’ personal reward level as long as the reward level is equal to or lower than the chosen fractal level. For example:
  • Player 1 (fractal level 2)
  • Player 2 (fractal level 21)
  • Player 3 (fractal level 21)
  • Player 4 (fractal level 21)
  • Player 5 (fractal level 53)
Player 2 makes the party and sets the fractal level to 21, and the party goes on to beat three fractals. Here are the fractal-level results after the run:
  • Player 1 (fractal level 3)
  • Player 2 (fractal level 22)
  • Player 3 (fractal level 22)
  • Player 4 (fractal level 22)
  • Player 5 (still fractal level 53, but gains karma for helping)
The goal is to allow everyone to play together and make partying less restrictive for everyone. We plan to ship these two features at the end of January.

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Last chance to save on Guild Wars 2


Arenanet just announced that this is your last chance to save money on a copy of Guild Wars 2's winter sale.  Players who buy the discounted game will also be instantly upgraded to the digital deluxe edition, which will provide access to additional items.  For more information, check out this page, and to take one final advantage of this offer, you can buy Guild Wars 2 here!

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Last Chance in 2012 to Save an Extra $15 Off Sale Price of Guild Wars 2 Digital Deluxe: https://www.guildwar...digital-deluxe/~RB2
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Another week, another batch of leaderboard updates. Did you make the cut this time around?

NA Qualifying Points

EU Qualifying Points
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Another week, another batch of leaderboard updates. Did you make the cut this time around?

NA Qualifying Points

EU Qualifying Points
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There have been a lot of people irked by the new change to the armor preview system, but thankfully it's not permanent. The feature was removed in order to address functionality issues, and is expected to return to its previous state when the system has been updated.

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We did intend to remove the armor preview temporarily in order to fix issues and improve functionality. So currently, yes, you cannot preview armors outside your own profession—this is only a temporary situation while we work on updates to this system.
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By now most of you have probably had a chance to experience Wintersday in some form or another. Whether you're perfecting your form in the jumping puzzle or just tossing snowballs at baby quaggan, there's simply no better way to celebrate in Tyria. However, some of you might have noticed that in addition to the overwhelming amount of new game content, some holiday music was added into the mix as well. These cheerful tunes are available for your listening pleasure on the ArenaNet SoundCloud page, and run for nearly 13 minutes when played consecutively.
  • The Great Toymaker
  • The Tale of Tixx and Toxx
  • Wintersday in Lion's Arch
  • Wintersday Bell Choir Meldly
  • Wintersday Divinity's Reach One Man Band
  • Wintersday Toypocalypse Medly
After you've given your ears their early Wintersday gift, let us know which track is your favorite! (Yes, it's okay to say all of them)

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GW2 wins PC GotY from Gamespot


Gamespot just announced on their official website that Guild Wars 2 has been chosen to be their Game of the Year for the Personal Computer platform.  You can check it out on their official website.

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Gamespot has named its PC Game of the Year for 2012. And the winner is... http://www.gamespot.com/shows/best-of-2012-videos/?event=pc_winner20121217 ~RB2
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