all the core professions in href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/47">Guild
the Mesmer has always
an oddball in the bunch. As a very specialized form of the
"enchanter" fantasy archetype, Mesmers commonly
excel in PvP situations thanks to things like their unparalleled
interruption abilities, energy denial and condition spreading. Yet when
it comes to PvE where the fighting tends to shift more towards
sustained damage output rather than spiking and denial, Mesmers
haven't exactly been nearly as effective or fun to play as many of the
other primaries.

With the May 2010 Skill Balance
update, ArenaNet hopes to change all of
that to make Mesmers a much more interesting and vital class in PvE. In
many cases this has come down to splitting skills to have slightly
separate functionality in PvE or PvP, but the end results certainly
look promising so far. The list of skills rebalanced in the update is
indeed pretty darn extensive. Here are just a few of the changes to
give you a better idea of the potential this update has to radically
improve the Mesmer PvE experience:

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Interruption is a key feature
of the Mesmer class but is often too
difficult in Hard Mode due to faster cast times from monsters. In
addition, the payoff for interrupting something usually isn't strong
enough to make up for the skill slots required and for the time spent
waiting for an opportunity to interrupt.

In order to improve
interruption skills in PvE, we made it more
reasonable to interrupt skills in Hard Mode:

  • Hard
    no longer affects
    monsters' activation speed for skills with
    default activation times under 2 seconds.

Besides addressing the
difficulty of interruption in Hard Mode, we have
also made changes to improve the payoff for a successful interrupt.

A successful interrupt can
effectively cripple a large group of enemies
if targeted on a key skill. With an area-of-effect payoff for
interrupting a skill, Cry of Frustration allows a Mesmer to play like a
Mesmer (focusing on shutting down a target) while helping the party
overall. We've increased the damage from Cry of Frustration so that it
provides a solid combination of offense and disruption.

We've changed Psychic
Instability to affect foes near your target when
you successfully interrupt. This allows the Mesmer to help defeat
groups of opponents even while concentrating on a single enemy and
makes skills like the improved Wastrel's Worry and Chaos Storm much
more effective.

We've also changed Psychic
Instability to work against all skills,
rather than just spells. This makes it useful against more types of
creatures and establishes better naming consistency with Psychic
Distraction, which already interrupted all skills. In PvP, the new
Psychic Instability has a smaller area-of-effect and knockdown

Control and Damage Hexes

Due to the nature of PvE
combat, control effects, which take time to
impact a battle, tend to be less useful than simply killing opponents.
Additionally, recharge times that are appropriate for long-lasting PvP
battles against a few opponents are usually far too long for
fast-moving, high casualty PvE battles.

With the other changes in
this update, Illusion Magic builds have
strong ways to mitigate physical damage and deal damage over time, but
they don't have quite as much punch as Domination Magic builds. We've
adjusted the numbers on Accumulated Pain to allow it to provide decent
unconditional damage dealing while still working well with hex-stacking

Because skills which
provide a Deep Wound and damage tend to be very
strong in PvP, we've split this skill. Working with the Test Krewe to
determine whether or not the skill needed to be split, they found that
the Energy cost and recharge reductions were appropriate in PvP; so we
kept those.

As you’ll see in
some of the above items, certain skills were
also rebalanced for PvP, though by and large the update should greatly
enhance Mesmer gameplay in PvE.

Speaking of PvP, the update
did include a smaller list of changes to
PvP as well as some follow up endgame PvE changes, specifically to the
of a few keys skills that were essentially allowing
spell-immune characters to solo the Underworld and Fissure of Woe a bit
too effectively.

For a full list of changes
included in the update, be sure to head on
over to href="http://www.guildwars.com/gameplay/developer_updates/may_2010_skill_balances.php"
target="_blank">the official Guild
Do you play a
primary Mesmer in
PvE? If so then be sure to let us know what you think about the massive
skill balance update right here in the Ten Ton Hammer forums!

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Sardu 1
Reuben "Sardu" Waters has been writing professionally about the MMOG industry for eight years, and is the current Editor-in-Chief and Director of Development for Ten Ton Hammer.