I was pleasantly surprised with last month’s Stability changes in Guild Wars 2. Changing Stability to stack in intensity rather than duration, with each stack nullifying a single instance of crowd control, rather than giving you full immunity to all control effects for its entire duration, was a perfect illustration of why soft counters are better than hard counters, particularly in a fast-paced game like Guild Wars 2, where player skill is supposed to trump build advantage.
Now builds that rely on control effects to either deliver their damage or to stay alive are no longer completely dominated by builds with a lot of access to Stability. Nor are supposedly game-turning skills with extremely long cooldowns, like Lich Form, brutally shut down by a single Corrupt Boon, which takes away the stability and lets you bounce the Lich around like a ping pong.
As you’ve probably figured, I love this new system! Although, as Noah Sky over at AspectGG pointed out, the effects of this change haven’t been that drastic, at least in sPvP (WvW group fights are a whole other kettle of zergfish, and the changes have had a heavy impact there!), the beauty of this new system is that it will let the developers to make far more granular balance adjustments! For instance, the “3 stacks every 3 seconds” elites might be a little bit TOO immune to boon removal for my liking, as stability is reapplied too quickly. On the other hand, Foot in the Grave is still far too weak for a grandmaster trait. Having control over both duration and intensity means these imbalances can be fixed far more easily: you can adjust duration, intensity, number and frequency of pulses. Stability no longer either makes you completely immune or not. Continue reading