Can we take a few moments to talk about stability and the mess that the boon is currently in? Previously and for anyone new to Guild Wars 2, here’s the official quote as to why stability was changed and what to:

Here’s the lowdown:

Stability is moving from being a binary duration-stacking type that blocks all crowd-controls for its duration to an intensity-stacking boon that removes one stack per incoming crowd-control. The goal of this change is to make the boon non-binary and to increase the benefit of using stability-granting abilities at the most opportune time in order to absorb the most control skills possible.

Almost all profession skills and traits that previously granted stability have been looked at and will be modified to apply an appropriate number of stacks according to their purpose. For example: Dolyak Signet (whose primary function is self-stability) will gain 10 stacks of stability for 8 seconds, while Toss Elixir B (which is an area of effect ability for the engineer) will grant 3 stacks to 5 allies for 5 seconds.

You may ask: “But what about my boon removal skills? Will they only corrupt one instance of stability now?”

To which we say: Your corruptions and boon removals will clear the boon completely, unless otherwise noted.

I hope that’s cleared things up a bit. Thanks for reading!

On paper the changes sound pretty sensible and in all honesty, I was looking forward to the change. Unfortunately the change has had quite a wide impact on a variety of the game modes, notably World versus World and structured PvP. Where a player could previously strip one stack of stability regardless of its duration, they now have to remove the entire stack that can often be well in excess of 10. There’s three primary problems with the new system:

1. Stability stacking favours large groups and severly hinders smaller roaming parties from being able to combat them and boon strip enough of the stacks to make a difference.

2. Stability stacks across skills varies wildly and seems to have little consistency. Lich Form versus Rampage or Well of Power versus Armor of Earth.

3. There are too few methods of reliably removing large quantities of boons from players. As such, the prevalence of boons (in abundance) has not only seen the return of bunker builds but the power spike afforded to almost permanent fury, regeneration and might.

What’s the solution? In all honesty, I’d cap stability at 5 regardless of the number of sources or skill. Unless ArenaNet suddenly implement significantly more ways to reliably strip boons, it seems a little silly that there’s certain professions that benefit massively from such a powerful boon while others don’t. Worse, the impact on an entire game mode (WvW) is significant.

I appreciate what ArenaNet are trying to do with stability in terms of attempting to have players coordinate their crowd control, but there are too few tools to eat through the large numbers players are capable of obtaining. Even Corrupt Boon, arguably the best boon-strip skill in the game, is limited to one profession on a lengthy cooldown.

Yes it can eat through five boons (including the ten stacks of stability Armor of Earth provides) but outside of that one skill, everyone else has to rely heavily on situational traits or hope that their group (or a stray necromancer) eats through it.

Now that I've had my say (moan!) on stability, what do you think of the boon? Does it need adjusting? Is it too strong or do you think it's just right? Let me know. 

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Last Updated: Mar 20, 2016

About The Author

Lewis is currently playing The Division 2, having covered a variety of genres for many years.