Guild Wars 2

How to properly nerf Condition Firebrand, while maintaining the Exposed Change.

Hey guys, you can consider this a bit of an update to my last post which was about the Exposed Change actually being very healthy for the game.

I mentioned myself in the last post that cFirebrand does need to be nerfed, but that Anet shouldn't use that as an excuse to revert the Exposed Change.

The Importance of the Exposed Change

Overall, i think the Exposed Change (by buffing condi damage) does more good for the long term state of the game than bad, since it allows a whole plethora of condi-dps specs to be potentially viable. This is extremely important to the games health, especially from a new player experience stand point.

It's easy for most of us here on this subreddit to ignore a new or casual players perspective, since most of us have every class leveled and geared, we're drowning in ascended drops, and can play whatever the fuck we want… But that's simply not the case for most players.

For a new player, imagine getting into a new game, leveling your character, gearing him up in full ascended, spending dozens of hours perfecting your dps rotation… And then realizing you literally cannot play or contribute in the games only meaningful 5-man content, simply because you decided to play a Condi-dps spec rather than a Power one. It's shit game design, and shit game balance, and i don't think anyone could convince me otherwise.

I don't think there's any other mmorpg on the market where half the dps specs in the game are literally unplayable in the games 5-man endgame content. It's insane, and it's something that's not brought up enough because we've all just accepted it unfortunately. I'm very enthusiastic that Anet brought it up and decided to do something about it. It's actually great.

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It's ironic that this subreddit is so doom & gloom about the fate of GW2, and how it's bleeding out players and is rubbish at player retention… And the same subreddit complains and crys out when Anet makes a change to improve the new player experience.

Nerfing the Firebrand

However, the elephant in the room is of course the Firebrand, who was already good, and is going to get significantly better when the Exposed Change goes through. This spec is an outlier that benefits from the Exposed Change far too much. Now to be fair, from Anets perspective, they did take measures to nerf Firebrand.

  1. They removed the extra burning applied from symbols.
  2. They nerfed the cooldown on Scepter symbol so it can't be used twice in the burst rotation.
  3. They nerfed the stacks of burning applied by Sword of Justice for an opening burst.

All three of these nerfs directly affect the Condition Firebrands burst opener, and is actually a significant nerf overall. However, in Fractals, the change to the Exposed Window basically makes it so that this nerf doesn't matter, and the end result will basically break even… And for more organized groups, it will actually be a buff since they insta-phase bosses during Exposed.

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It's important to note that in all content aside from Fractals, Firebrand is already weaker. It only remains strong because of the Exposed Change, which is only very meaningful in Fractals specifically.

The reason this is significant, is because other Power classes were nerfed in general, and again during the Exposed window.

So while the other Power specs will be doing ~10% less damage usually, and then ~20% less damage during Exposed window….

Firebrand will be doing ~10% less damage usually, but ~10% more damage during the Exposed window…

This discrepancy, is why people want Firebrand nerfed so badly, and add on top of that the utility Firebrand brings and its ease of play, i can't help but agree with the complaints.

This puts Anet in a tricky situation, because:

  1. Anet won't nerf Firebrands dps further, because it's going to result in them becoming flat out bad in other content.
  2. Anet won't revert the nerfs to Power specs, because they clearly intend on slowing down the game, so bosses don't evaporate as fast.
  3. Anet won't revert the Exposed Change, because it's overall healthy for the game and a good change.

So where does that leave them? How can they weaken the Firebrand to bring it more in line with other Fractal specs, without abandoning the three design philosophies (which in theory are all good)?

The only reasonable solution, is to reduce stacks of burning (on abilities that apply more than one stack), and appropriately increasing their durations to compensate.

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Ashes of the Just can apply 2 stacks for 4.5 seconds, instead of 3 stacks for 3 seconds.

Zealots Fire can also apply 2 stacks for 4.5 seconds, instead of 3 for 3.

The same can be done to pretty much every ability, and all the durations generally still remain short enough that the Golem/Raid dps benchmarks remain more or less unchanged, but it'll be a noticeable nerf in Fractal burst to bring them in line with the nerfed Power specs.

Sorry for making another post, and potentially stirring up more drama, but after the feedback to my last post, i felt it would be irresponsible for me to not at least clarify the issue and provide a solution, which hopefully Anet can see and consider. Thanks.


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