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Developer Update — May 2011 Skill Balances

In this update we're making a few more adjustments to the Dervish profession in PvP. While we are happy with the class in PvE, there are still a few aspects of the Dervish that allow players to output more pressure than is reasonable for the skill required.

 

Dervish Skills


Aura of Thorns: changed functionality to: "All nearby foes begin Bleeding for 5...15 seconds. For 30 seconds, this enchantment does nothing. When this enchantment ends, all nearby foes are Crippled for 3...8 seconds."
Aura of Thorns (PvP): changed functionality to: "All nearby foes begin Bleeding for 5...15 seconds. For 30 seconds, this enchantment does nothing. When this enchantment ends, all nearby foes are Crippled for 3...8 seconds."

Despite the last update to this skill, it's still too easy to continually Cripple several foes at once. By swapping the order in which the conditions are applied, we can require more skillful play to get the Cripple while emphasizing the Dervish teardown mechanic.

Avatar of Balthazar: decreased adrenaline gain to 25%; changed burning duration to 1...3 seconds.

Because only the duration scales, Avatar of Balthazar has become overly effective at low attribute points, allowing players to have higher attributes in other lines while still gaining the full benefits from the Avatar. By scaling the burning duration by Mysticism, this skill now requires a more dedicated investment in attribute points. Additionally the adrenaline bonus was enabling a little too much pressure in conjunction with skills like Twin Moon Sweep and Heart of Fury, so we are lowering that slightly as well.

Harrier's Grasp: added the following functionality: "This enchantment ends after you apply Cripple 1...3 times."

Harrier's Grasp had a similar problem to Aura of Thorns in that the skill makes it a little too easy to continually snare a single target. Changing the functionality like this keeps its overall purpose similar to Aura of Thorns but in a way that keeps the two skills distinct.

Heart of Fury: split for PvP.
Heart of Fury (PvP) added a recharge of 6 seconds.

While it's good for IAS skills like Heart of Fury to be available on demand, the lack of drawback and the low cost made it a little too easy to have this one active all the time. We considered lowering the duration on the skill, but felt that part of what makes IAS skills usable is the fact that they won't usually drop off while you are in the middle of an attack sequence. Similarly, increasing the adrenaline cost would affect it's availability when a spike was needed. Instead, we're adding a recharge to the skill to force players to be more aggressive in maintaining it and to more heavily punish mistimed activations.

Onslaught: split for PvP.
Onslaught (PvP): decreased duration to 2...8 seconds.
Pious Fury: split for PvP.
Pious Fury (PvP): decreased duration to 1...5 seconds.

In addition to weakening Heart of Fury, we are also preemptively lowering the duration of the other Dervish IAS skills in order to keep them balanced with each other. Because changes to IAS skills could significantly affect their PvE usage, we have split them.

Wounding Strike: split for PvP.
Wounding Strike (PvP): removed bonus damage.

This skill, with it's fast recharge and heavy punch, was a powerful spike tool even without the bonus damage, easily more powerful than the axe elite Eviscerate. Removing the bonus damage is intended to put it closer in line with other elite weapon skills. Because bonus damage is important in PvE, especially in hard mode, we've split this skill.


 

Conclusion


While the last few skill updates have been centered around the Dervish, we'd like you to know that we are continuing to work on future skill balances for other professions. However, we felt that it was important to release these changes to the Dervish quickly, in order to address problems in the meta before the next MAT.