Guild Wars 2 State of the Game March (Part 3)
Welcome to part 3 of the March State of the Game for Guild Wars 2!
Guardian is "boon-centric". They are intended to be intentionally slow, with one or two abilities that bring them into the battle, but nothing to escape it. There aren't any immediate changes for them planned in the future, Arenanet feels the class is in a decent place with a variety of builds ranging from a group-boon bunkering build to a shadow-stepping aggressive damage dealing build. None of the players had any real issues with the class either.
Arenanet is currently testing certain abilities being able to hit targets along the way to their intended target. This will instantly give certain skills some new applications and efficiencies by allowing them to multiply their effects in team battles. These beams will pierce targets, making it implausible to try and block them with a tankier teammate or with summoned minions.
Xeph asks if that doesn't seem too strong, but the devs all assure him that they are going to be testing the numbers extensively to find a good medium where the beams gain new play options without becoming too powerful to counter. One way they mentioned being able to help balance it is to give this beam ability to other classes as well, such as the elementalist air affinity scepter and the Guardian's downed-state ability 'Wrath'.
Nero asks if more thought is being given to the possibility of players wanting to use mantras. Karl likes the abilities, but finds them too weak and too often relegated to being readied and then never used for the passive benefits of the traits associated with them.
Grouch mentions that the Mesmer utility skills are very limited in what is viable, naming Illusion of Life, Portal, and Clones/Blink. The devs agree that they dislike how dominant the effects of those specific utilities are over the other possibilities while also mentioning that Mesmer is not the only class that is limited in that fashion and that they hope to correct the issue in more classes.
Xeph expresses fears that the combination of beam AoE with the raw power and utility of shatter skills will grant Mesmers too much long-range effect, both in terms of damage and in terms of boon removal and condition application. Jon acknowledged that as they implement the beam effects to Mesmer that they may need to lower the shatter damage.
Grouch starts by noting the class still has a lot of bugs, but Karl counters that Arenanet has fixed a great many of them while opening up many new builds to viability. He acknowledges that the profession is slow, but that once they arrive at their preferred range they can dominate many builds by stripping or converting the boons many classes rely on.
Jon expounds by pointing out that Necromancer has lots of build options, to the extent that they hope to see other classes get to the same number of options.
Rangers are the long-range masters and potent skirmishers. The devs feel that Longbow needs work because it can be extremely damaging but has no ability to protect itself, which may also be a way in which the utility skills for the class need work.
The greatsword is also getting some love, in cooldowns and actual damage numbers both being tweaked.
Thief is intended to be super-mobile and elusive. Grouch notes that much of that mobility is dependent upon the shortbow skills, but that some of the shadow-step skills also help double as mobility even if that mobility is limited. One issue they are planning to implement is to help limit the class's ability to leave stealth and then immediately re-enter stealth before being a possible target.
More than anything they want to spread the class's mobility among more weapon skills than the shortbow alone to make other builds more viable without sacrificing that essential and characterful mobility.
Xeph points out that some of what the Thief does is so instantaneous as to become impossible for players to learn to counter it by encountering it. Jon suggests that they might give the class more abilities to deal with boons to enable them to reduce the total damage.
Nero also brings up that the class is very limited on builds, which Arenanet confirms they are looking at trying to increase the viability of different builds.
Part 4 below.