Guild Wars 2 has a balance update going live today, and it’s a big one. Every profession will see significant changes, and some core mechanics are also going under the knife, as laid out in the update notes posted all the way back on the 29th of April.
This patch will clean up “longstanding frustrations with boons and conditions,” adding duration caps of 30 seconds for boons and 10 seconds for conditions. Retaliation is “never fun to play against,” so it’s being replaced with resolution. That new boon reduces incoming damage from conditions by 1/3, while resistance will now only nullify the effects of non-damaging conditions. In addition, torment used to deal extra damage to targets that moved, but it will now deal that damage if you’re standing still.
Every profession’s changes are detailed later in the post, but special attention is given to the mantra skills utilized by the mesmer and the guardian elite specialization firebrand. ArenaNet admitted that there “are significant flaws with the core gameplay” of the skills, which usually require a good bit of prep time before battle and discouraged using the final “charge” of such skills. As such, the “preparation” of such skills has been removed, and they are no longer stronger on their final charge.
In less joyful news, video game composer Stan LePard passed away in February. LePard worked on many storied franchises during his three decades in the industry, including Guild Wars 2, and ArenaNet has decided to honor him by creating two in-game memorials in his honor that go live with today’s patch. A charr named “Van Leopard” now stands near the Grothmar Valley concert stage — where LePard applied his mixing and mastering skills for the Metal Legion concert — and there’s a statue memorial to him in Lion’s Arch that “will allow players to listen to a music playlist of 10 of Stan’s top tracks chosen from his portfolio throughout Guild Wars 2’s history.”
Current GW2 composer Maclaine Diemer is also among several composers honoring LePard’s memory with a scholarship to give away three audio track passes for GDC 2021 in his name. Prospective applicants should be “aspiring game devs, students, recent graduates, or early stage professionals, but they must express an interest sound design and/or music for video games.” You can learn more about that initiative here.