Guild Wars 2’s Blood and Madness patch skill changes explained


With their latest patch, ArenaNet are shooting for clarity in a genre famed for opacity. Balance specialists Karl McLain and Roy Cronacher have sat in front of a camera for about 45 minutes to talk the tooltip and skill changes due to arrive in Tyria today alongside the Mad King.

At the top of the list of fixes is the notably improved tooltip system for traits and skills. Traits now display numbers, meaning you’ll be able to track exactly how long an effect lasts and what its cooldown is.

“We want this system to be as transparent as possible for our players, so that they can make the best decisions when creating their profession builds,” said game design lead Jonathan Sharp about a month ago.

What’s more, the new system has had a knock-on effect on skills. As skills are impacted by equipped traits, their tooltips will adjust accordingly in real-time.

“Again, we want players to be able to see these details in their builds, so that they can build their characters exactly the way they want,” explained Sharp. “We’ll be using different colors to show this so that it’s easier for players to see.”

Elsewhere, today’s patch has improved tab targeting so that tougher enemies are auto-prioritised, and deselecting a target allows you to cycle through your enemies Champions-first.

And then there’s all the Halloween event noise, of course. Are you more excited for the Blood and Madness or the revamped tooltips?