Friday, March 21, 2008

Guild Wars: Skill Update 03/20/08

I haven't really been playing or paying much attention to the game so I'm well out of it. Nonetheless, yesterday's skill update seems to be the sort where a bunch of problematic stuff is scaled back by an overgentle application of foam technology. And by overgentle I mean a full exchange of intercontinental ballistic nerfs. Rather than the kind of update that brings a revitalizing helping of the awesome sauce like the one that revamped blood costs and gave us the Whale of Doom. However, not really knowing what the game's like right now it's hard to say which abuses, exactly, they're trying to massage away. Still, it's not like that's ever stopped me before.

What jumps out at me is that Anagodron's Gaze finally took it on the chin. Considering that's been a problematic skill for months so that's good. It was a passably decent nuke (For a Necro, anyway.) that whose cost was negligible and, at the same time, sat in the inherently tricky Blood line for armor-ignoring spikes. It's now a cut-rate version of Mind Blast. Low damage you won't care about and a little bit of conditional energy management for the class with the best energy engine in the game. Yeah, it's pretty much trash now.

The new Magehunter's Smash was a bit of an adrenal bargain before (It's a guaranteed knockdown that doesn't eat up all your other adrenal pools. That's huge for knocklock chains. Not that those are really king anymore thanks to Aura of Stability but, still...). At 8, I'm not sure I want it over Dev Hammer - but, then, I'm not sure I wanted it even at 7 - but I think it's more fairly priced. Moekele Smash, however, getting its adrenaline boost toned down, though, makes Hammer Warriors and their chains much less viable. I'm guessing, on the evidence of the results, that there was a problem with those Hammer Warriors, though.

Likewise, the dramatic downturn to those Ranger bow skills makes me think somebody was getting cute with R-spike again. That or the latest variation on the old Dual Shot and Kindle high DPS template.

And the changes to Fox's Promise and Guided Hands makes me think there was some trickery involving non-primaries and unblockable hits. With Fox's Promise now affecting only dagger attacks, it's pretty much dead. While Guided Hands will take some actual attribute investment to be useful. But even after sinking a lot of points you're not going to get many free swings witha long recharge so it's likewise back in the reject pile. Must have been a lot of A/Ds running around with scythes or something.

I'm a bit less sure about the Mesmer, though. Enchanter's Conundrum looked to be a strong spike skill after its latest change. Making it conditional for both hexes and conditions makes it much harder to trigger for any clever tricks like Shatter Enchants followed up by a Conundrum or Conundrum and Shatter Delusions or whatever else people have dreamed up to instagib someone. And the increased recharge and lower duration on Mantra of Concentration makes some sense, too, as that makes it harder to prevent interrupts by just picking up a Mesmer secondary. But I can't see the point of the change to Hex Breaker. With only Dom 2 it's back up to having a duration that outlasts its recharge. So you can still keep it going with only a few points on your slash Mes, it's just going to be slightly more costly. Hex Breaker, though, is one of those safety valve skills where if everyone is running it that menas there's something wrong with hexes. By nerfing it, I don't know, are they trying to get more hexing back in the meta? That seems like a huge mistake given how problematic it was last time.

Like the rating loss for early round forfeits, though.

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