Mad Dev Diaries: Spring 2016

MadDevDiaries

Heart of Thorns was released a full season ago, and with the advent of Spring comes new beginnings and changes to freshen up the Guild Wars experience for our loyal players.  And so, without further ado, let’s take a look into our spring updates.

Classes

Elementalist

Updraft’s dodge roll can now be manually directed.

“Eye of the Storm!” now applies Shocking Aura.

Warrior

Dogged March now also applies 2s of Resistance when triggered.

Shrug It Off now also applies 2s of Resistance when triggered.

Last Stand now also applies 4s of Resistance when triggered.  Applied Vigor duration has been reduced to 4s.

Counterblow now removes 1 boon when it connects.

Rip now removes 1 boon when it connects.

If Shield Stance goes its entire duration without blocking anything, it applies 3s of Resistance upon ending.

Mariner’s Shot has had its damage increased by 15%.

Stab, Jab and Impale have had their damage increased by 18%.

Parry’s counterattack now removes 1 boon when it connects.

Healing Signet now takes the proper 1.25s to activate when used underwater.

Thief

Guarded Initiation now also applies 1s of Vigor.

Swindler’s Equilibrium has been removed from the game.  We apologize for this joke of a trait.

Upper Hand’s internal cooldown has been reduced from 3s to 2s.

Mesmer

Alacrity’s skill recharge rate has returned to 66%.  It is now a regular boon, and as such is affected by Boon Duration, Boon Removal, Boon Transferral, and Boon Transformation into Condition.  Skills that transform Boons into Conditions turn Alacrity into Chill.  No skills that transform Conditions into Boons result in applying Alacrity.

Engineer

Acid Bomb now applies 3 stacks of Vulnerability (5s) with each pulse.

Tranquilizer Dart now applies 2 stacks of Bleeding, and the Weakness it applies has a 2s duration.

Hidden Flask now applies Drunk status.  This does not count toward any achievements.

Revenant

Now takes 15% more damage from bears.

PvE

Dungeons

With all these changes to other aspects of the game, many of you have noticed that Dungeons have been neglected.  Well, an exciting new change promises to make this experience feel fresh again!

“Dungeons” are now known as “Chronicles.”

Tripwire mechanics have been updated to close exploits.

Megaserver

Hundreds of players have enjoyed the meta map event content in our new Heart of Thorns areas, but one consistent problem has been present which our community has been very, VERY vocal about: Megaserver failings.  I’m happy to announce that our hard work has paid off in an upgrade to the old system.  Maps in danger of closing will now regularly check player populations and current meta event progress.  If both the population and the event progress passes certain thresholds, it will temporarily override the closure routine but remain flagged as a “stale” map.  Stale maps will remain open until either the completion of the meta event or its failure.  If It is successful, a Volunteer prompt that cannot be canceled will appear, along with a 10-minute countdown warning all players that the map will close for good.  This countdown is to give winning players enough time to reap whatever rewards are made available to them.

Update: We have detected a bug where the LFG tool allowed map populations to exceed intended player population limits.  While we investigate the cause, the Megaserver system will be rolled back, and the LFG tool will be unavailable.

Crafting

Wood Pulp of all kinds can now be crafted by professions other than Scribe.  Chefs can use Wood Pulp to craft Filler Substitute, a stackable booster that reduces the amount of ingredients required in Chef recipes one time.

Maps

Dry Top and The Silverwastes now use a similar Participation system to Maguuma Jungle maps.  Dry Top retains its timetable, and Silverwastes remains dynamically completable.

In order to discourage taxiing, players who move to a different instance of the same map they are currently on without using the Volunteer option will receive a stack of “Dishonor.”  Dishonor reduces the experience and rewards received for 1 hour.

Runes

Runes no longer take up an upgrade slot in your armor and will be phased out of the game.  In its place are Rune Plates, which are separate from armor.  Rune Plates are single pieces that provide all the same bonuses of a full set of Runes.  Multiple Runes of the same type (depending on the type) can be crafted into one Rune Plate.  This change is intended to eliminate Rune “mix and matching.”  We really don’t like it when you do things we never intended, but in retrospect, it’s our fault for giving you the option.

Masteries

Say hello to the new Underwater Mastery!  Players can now no longer stay underwater indefinitely.  Players without an Aqua Breather can stay only 1 minute underwater without having to resurface.  With an Aqua Breather, this duration increases to 2 minutes.  Aqua Breathers all now have an upgrade slot similar to the Agony Resistance slot found in Ascended armor.  These are for Filters, which operate in exactly the same manner, up to a maximum level of +50, at which point the maximum duration is 7 minutes.  Underwater Mastery tracks further enhance the underwater experience:

Efficient Breathing effectively doubles your underwater breathing time.

Air Bubble Detection allows you to detect air bubbles, which must be channeled replenish your underwater breathing time.

Air Bubble Bonus grant you power-ups each time you successfully channel an Air Bubble.

Filter Modifications unlock specialty merchants that sell filters with different effects instead of the regular breathing duration filters.

Counter Currents allows you to swim against currents, not including the powerful currents that keep you inside the map.

Heart of Thorns

Scribes can now craft a Transforming Jumping Puzzle chest for their guild.  Only one of these chests can be active in one Guild Hall at a time, and the size and quality of the chest and its potential rewards changes based on the altitude of the chest.  This chest can only be looted once per day per account, and if it is removed, there is a 24 hour cooldown before it can be placed again.

We have added a pair of diving goggles to Verdant Brink.  If you put these goggles on and land dead center on the Flax farming spot without gliding, you will land unharmed and automatically harvest all Flax nodes.

The time required to synthesize all Guild Hall items has been drastically reduced.

Guild Decoration Merchant 3 now requires 200 Elder Wood Planks, not 2000.

WvW

WvW Platter Traps appear to be regular food platters, and when a player interacts with them, they appear to provide the proper Nourishment effects, but they actually have reverse effects.

PvP

We realize that keeping the dungeon Story Mode requirement to unlock dungeon reward tracks ran counter to our desire to discourage playing dungeons.  Therefore, dungeon reward tracks now merely require 5g each to unlock per character.  They are also now referred to as chronicle reward tracks rather than dungeon reward tracks.

Chronicle reward tracks now reward more tokens.

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