ArenaNet implemented a sizable Guild Wars 2 patch this morning shoring up a few balance tweaks for the fantasy MMO's eight professions. The developer also took to the forums in a post sharing its moderate stance on gauging ability changes and nerfs/buffs. Check out the full patch notes and an excerpt from the post below.
- The Mistfire Wolf skill will now properly unlock for existing characters on an account after upgrading to Digital Deluxe.
- Fixed blocked events and skill challenges.
- Fixed bugs that allowed players to go around map edges.
- A number of items created by using Mystic Coins are now correctly set to level 80.
- Fixed a blocking bug in story chapter “Brute Force.”
- Fixed a blocking bug in story chapter “Research and Destroy.”
- Fixed bugs in story chapters “Forging the Pact,” “Battle of Fort Trinity," "The Ghost Rite,” “On Red Alert,” and “Tower Down.”
- Score interval increased from 5 minutes to 15 minutes.
- Stonemist Castle points reduced to 35 points from 50.
- Bonus thresholds reduced by half to prepare for one-week matches.
- Castle lord, bodyguards, and capture point for Stonemist Castle moved to the first floor.
- “Harpy Feathers” consumable effect disabled.
- Bridges fixed to make passable for NPCs.
- More fixes to pet commands and AI.
- Signet of Air: No longer has infinite range.
- Whirlpool: Now works underwater in PvE.
- Glyph of Renewal: Resurrection effects of Earth, Fire, and Water now surround the caster, not the target.
- Deception: Movement now allowed after casting underwater.
- Spatial Surge: Improved responsiveness.
- Mind Stab: Improved responsiveness.
- Made several more skills usable while moving: Brutal Banner, Compassionate Banner, and Furious Rally.
- Rush: Improved the ability to hit fleeing foes.
- Mighty Blow: Added a slight movement distance.
- Bow of Truth: Now usable while moving.
- Defender's Shield and Honorable Shield: Merged together into the same trait.
- New trait Glacial Heart: Critical hits with a hammer have a 50% chance to chill your target for 4 seconds. This effect can only occur once every 45 seconds.
- Heartseeker: Reduced damage of the 100%-50% threshold by 20%. Damage thresholds changed. Old: 100%-66%, 66%-33%, 33%-0%. New: 100%-50%, 50%-25%, 25%-0%.
- Disabled the “stowing” auto-attack to prevent players from getting stuck holding these kits: Bomb Kit, Elixir Gun, Flamethrower, Grenade Kit, Med Kit, and Tool Kit.
Guild Wars 2 Designer Jon Peters talked about the multitudes of forum threads debating "how this or that profession is either overpowered, underpowered, or both." He said although ArenaNet released frequent balance patches in the past, the post-launch plan involves slower, more calculated updates and "making sure we let the basic meta-game stabilize before making too many changes."
"If you see something that is really strong please try and find counters to it before assuming it is overpowered," Peters requested. "We've put a lot of hours into the game already, and there are still many things we're learning about the depth of the combat and the balance. There are also finally enough players consistently playing that we can actually gather metrics on skills and make some more informed decisions about what is too weak/strong."
This viewpoint certainly aligns with ArenaNet's tendency to buck MMO trends with scaling endgame content and an inclusive questing system promoting impromptu group play. Of course, the popularity of its elaborate PVP system represents a constant variable for ArenaNet's balancing considerations, and it looks like the eternal tug war between PVE and PVP adjustments other MMOs tangle with appears in Guild Wars 2 as well.