Hi everyone,

As always, thank you for all the feedback you’ve shared over the past few weeks. We’ve been keeping a close eye on the discussion and it’s clear that some of the changes in Tuesday’s update didn’t land as we’d intended. Today I’ll be sharing our current plan for the next update on July 18, much of which is intended to address the most pressing issues that have been raised.

Leading up to that release we’ll be watching your feedback to this post, this week’s beta test, and the June 27 update, and may make additional changes as needed.


Cal “cmc” Cohen

Skills and Balance Lead


Alacrity scourge is a build that we were pretty cautious with during development; we were concerned about the potential power level that could result from giving the existing heal scourge build easy access to alacrity, and to mitigate this we reduced the strength of some of its key defensive support skills. Now that the release has been live for a few days, we agree that the changes were too heavy handed, and we’ll be pulling back the reductions to Sand Cascade’s barrier as well as the barrier component of Desert Empowerment. We’ll also be giving scourge a reliable source of group protection through Sandstorm Shroud, and increasing the base alacrity duration to make it a bit easier to maintain.

Damage scourge builds were negatively impacted by some of the changes made for alacrity scourge, and the July 18 release will include some larger adjustments to bring them back up.

Sand Cascade: Increased base barrier from 996 to 1188 in PvE only. Increased barrier attribute scaling from 1.25 to 2 in PvE only.

  • Desert Empowerment: Increased alacrity duration from 1 second to 1.5 seconds in PvE only. Increased base barrier from 385 to 572 in PvE only. Increased barrier attribute scaling from 0.75 to 1.0 in PvE only.
  • Sandstorm Shroud: This skill now grants 1.5 seconds of protection to nearby allies each pulse, and 3 seconds of protection to nearby allies on detonation.
  • Fell Beacon: This trait no longer reduces the cooldown of torch skills, and now also increases the damage of burning you inflict by 10%.
  • Harrowing Wave: Reduced cooldown from 20 seconds to 16 seconds in PvE only. Increased the life force per target from 3% to 5% in PvE only.
  • Oppressive Collapse: Reduced cooldown from 25 seconds to 20 seconds in PvE only. Increased might radius from 240 to 360. Might application per condition is now capped at 7 condtions in PvE only.
  • Sadistic Searing: This trait has been reworked, and causes Nefarious Favor to burn nearby enemy targets (2 stacks, 5 seconds in PvE, 1 stack, 4 seconds in PvP/WvW).
  • Demonic Lore: Increased torment damage bonus from 25% to 33% in PvE only.
  • Sand Sage: This trait has been reworked. Gain expertise and concentration while you have an active sand shade (225 in PvE, 150 in PvP/WvW).
  • Blood as Sand: This trait has been reworked. Reduce all incoming damage while you have an active sand shade (15% in PvE, 7% in PvP/WvW).


Druid is in a similar situation to scourge in that we were overly conservative with its alacrity, so it is also getting an increase to its base duration. We’ve also seen feedback regarding druid’s might generation, and we’re bumping up both the stacks and duration on Spirited Arrival to address this.

  • Grace of the Land: Increased alacrity duration from 0.75 seconds to 1 second in PvE only.
  • Spirited Arrival: Increased might stacks from 3 to 6 in PvE only. Increased might duration from 9 seconds to 12 seconds in PvE only.


Quickness untamed has a few issues that we’re tackling in the July 18 release. The first being a usability improvement for Let Loose’s ambush-reset component: triggering the ambush reset while in the unleashed state will now immediately grant access to the ambush skill instead of requiring a transition out of and back into the unleashed state. We’re also making a slight increase to the quickness duration to make it easier to maintain.

  • Let Loose: Increased quickness duration from 4 seconds to 5 seconds in PvE only. This trait will now immediately grant access to unleashed ambush skills when swapping weapons while in the unleashed state.


The new implementation for quickness herald is another case that we’re looking to improve. The current timing around its quickness application can be clunky and hard to track due to the 3 second pulse interval. To address this, we’ll be rebalancing the duration around a 1 second pulse interval to make it a bit more responsive. We’ve also seen concerns around the reduction in boon uptimes due to the loss of extra facet pulses from Draconic Echo, and are giving additional sources of concentration to help mitigate this. Our hope is that these changes will improve the overall gameplay feel of quickness herald, but if we’re still seeing issues with the general implementation after the July 18 update, we will evaluate whether a larger rework is needed.

  • Elevated Compassion: Reduced quickness pulse interval from 3 seconds to 1 second. Reduced quickness duration from 3 seconds to 1.25 seconds. This trait now converts 13% of the herald’s power into concentration in addition to its other effects.
  • Reinforced Potency: Increased concentration from 120 to 240 in PvE only.
  • Shared Empowerment: Increased might duration from 8 seconds to 12 seconds in PvE only.


Quickness deadeye is significantly overperforming where it should be damage-wise. This was partially due to a bug that caused Malicious Intent to be active when not equipped, but looking beyond that fix it’s clear that additional reductions will be needed. We’re still discussing exactly what changes will be made, but they will be finalized in time for the July release and will likely include a reduction to One in the Chamber’s damage bonus.


Alacrity specter is another build that is overperforming in terms of damage. This is partially due to the base alacrity duration being long enough to require minimal investment into concentration, but also due to the lack of a significant damage tradeoff in the grandmaster trait slot. We’ll be tuning up Strength of Shadows while bringing down some of specter’s other damage sources to bring the alacrity build more in line without negatively affecting the damage builds.

Lastly, we’re increasing the protection duration of Shadow Sap to ensure that healing-focused specter builds have a reliable source of group protection.

  • Shadestep: Reduced alacrity duration from 2 seconds to 1.25 seconds in PvE only.
  • Strength of Shadows: This trait no longer reduces incoming damage and no longer increases the duration of torment inflicted by Rot Wallow Venom, but instead increases torment damage by 25% in addition to converting vitality to expertise.
  • Larcenous Torment: This trait no longer increases torment damage, and instead steals health from an enemy when you apply torment to them.
  • Shadow Sap: Increased protection duration from 2.5 seconds to 4 seconds in PvE only.

Alacrity Willbender 

A big pain point with alacrity willbender is its inability to provide alacrity during phase transitions or other times where it can’t strike an enemy. We’re hoping to mitigate this by updating Phoenix Protocol to grant some alacrity on the activation of resolve, which can also be shared via Battle Presence. We’ve also cleaned up some aftercasts and made general improvements to animations for a few key damage skills with the goal of making the overall gameplay feel a bit more fluid.

  • Phoenix Protocol: this trait now grants alacrity to the willbender when activating Flowing Resolve (5 seconds in PvE, 3 seconds in PvP/WvW), which can be shared to allies with Battle Presence. Reduced the alacrity duration when resolve triggers from 1.5 seconds to 1 second in PvE only.
  • Restorative Virtues: This trait now grants vigor instead of alacrity.
  • Symbol of Resolution: This skill can now be interrupted by other skills.
  • Ray of Judgment: Reduced aftercast
  • Binding Blade: This skill will now use a different animation with less aftercast.

Alacrity Mirage 

Last up is a rework to how mirage grants alacrity. We want there to be a better distinction between alacrity and non-alacrity builds, which is something that can be a bit blurry at times due to Chaos Vortex granting alacrity with no investment. This alacrity is being rolled into a rework of Mirage Mantle that improves all ambush skills in various ways, which can be seen in the patch note below.

  • Mirage Mantle: This trait has been reworked. Ambush skills are improved.
  • Axes of Symmetry: Also inflicts cripple
  • Mirage Thrust: Removes a boon from struck foes
  • Ether Barrage:  Grants quickness to self (1.5 seconds)
  • Split Surge: Deals increased damage (25% in PvE, 10 in PvP/WvW)
  • Chaos Vortex: AoE Alacrity (2.5 seconds for the player, 0.5 seconds for clones)
  • Ambush Assault: Grants might to self
  • Wave of Panic : Also inflicts torment


Posted by Cal Cohen.2358 on June 29 in Professions