A message from the Skills and Balance Team:
Hi everyone, we have some big news today regarding item changes in an upcoming balance patch. These changes may impact which gear and consumables you want for your build, so let’s dive in and see what’s different!
CONCENTRATION AND EXPERTISE
With the release of Heart of Thorns, we added new stat combos for equipment that included Concentration and Expertise as stat replacements for Condition Duration and Boon Duration. Having both of these systems available on equipment and consumables is redundant, so in the upcoming balance update we will be converting all equipment and consumables that provide a bonus to Boon Duration or Condition Duration to use Concentration or Expertise instead. This allows players more granular control over how much benefit they receive and makes it easier to balance and scale those values across the game. Runes and Sigils are not included in these changes and will remain in their current form.
Food buffs that provided Condition Duration and Boon Duration will now provide normalized stat values for Concentration and Expertise similar to other consumables of the appropriate levels. Level 80 food that once provided +20% Condition Duration or Boon Duration will now provide +100 Expertise or Concentration, respectively. This change should lower the power of condition-based builds overall as well as encourage support players to invest more heavily in gear to acquire the boon duration they desire.
We are making this change for a couple of reasons. First of all, condition builds received a significantly higher damage boost from using food than power builds, which made it much harder to balance them across game modes. This change will bring the impact of optimal condi food in line with optimal power food. With the use of food imparting a consistent amount of DPS for all damage-dealing builds, we are able to more easily make changes to the skills and traits themselves, especially base amounts of condition duration. That in turn makes it easier for all players to understand roughly how much benefit they will receive from consuming food.
Secondly, we wanted to clean up a number of inconsistencies with consumables in general, and the upcoming balance patch gave us the perfect window to make these changes. When we made the change to Seaweed Salad, we knew that there were a lot more things that needed attention, but the scope of the changes to consumables was too broad to get out the door at the same time.
Equipment and Upgrades
The Giver’s weapon and armor sets currently are the only stat combos that provide Condition Duration (weapons) and Boon Duration (armor). In the upcoming build, these will be converted to Expertise and Concentration as well! While this will result in a small loss in stats for the weapons, it will greatly increase the benefit of the armor once Concentration is provided in level- and rarity-appropriate values. This change not only completes the standardization of stats on gear, but also will greatly improve the armor stat combo for those looking to play in a support role.
Additionally, Snowflakes and Doubloons have been switched over to use Concentration as well. Doubloons will now grant bonuses in line with other upgrades of their level and rarity, and level 80 Snowflake upgrades will provide the same bonuses as before, now with consistent stat messaging.
CHANGES TO UTILITY CONSUMABLES
We are also taking this opportunity to standardize the way Utility buffs provide bonuses, rework the theming, and ensure that they feel unique and different from Food buffs. All Utility buffs will consistently provide stat conversion from now on. Additionally, Sharpening Stones will always benefit Power-based builds, Tuning Crystals will always benefit Condition-based builds, and Maintenance Oils have been repurposed to benefit Support builds.
As the chart at the bottom of this post reveals, we are making some pretty significant changes, and those changes warrant discussion. When we sat down to talk about consumable balance, we came away with three goals: convert %Boon/Condition Duration into Concentration / Expertise, establish consistency in the damage boost from consumables, and make Utility buffs and Food buffs feel distinctly different. So we reviewed all the different Utility buff models we had tried since the game launched, and decided that the coolest build decisions involved converting stats into other stats. After that, the data showed us that Maintenance Oils were worse than Sharpening Stones for power DPS, so we threw out their concept and repurposed them as the Utility category for support builds.
The damage boost from using the new Utility buffs will be slightly higher for Berserker builds than it was before, and somewhat weaker for Condition builds than it was before. The effects of the baseline buffs also have changed to not convert from defensive stats anymore. That effect is now on the “Magnanimous” prefix, which was introduced in Episode 5 of Living World Season 3. If you’re still interested in that conversion but don’t have the episode or don’t want to do the reward track, the Compact utilities available from Canned Food Crates in WvW will provide a reduced-effect version of the Magnanimous utilities.
While we were going through and making changes to the function of the Utility buffs, we also took a hard look at the crafting costs associated with them and made some adjustments to bring down the costs of making Furious, Toxic, and Bountiful utility items. It should be significantly less painful to craft these items going forward, and we are hopeful that the reduced cost of entry leads many more people to experiment with new utilities they may not have considered before.
We’re very excited to release these changes into the wild and look forward to getting them into your hands as soon as possible!
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