Alright, the video is back up! Here’s everything you need to know about boons and conditions!
I realized that, as much as I’ve talked about them in other posts, I’ve never actually done a post to talk about conditions and boons in Guild Wars 2. ANet’s got their own system for this, and they’re going in a new direction with them like with most of their systems. This new system is, like much of the game, very straightforward. But, it’s also so different from what we’re used to that it takes people a little bit of time to get.
Boons, Conditions, and Neither
So, there are a variety of effects in every game; GW2 is no exception. These effects are the extra parts of a skill that aren’t straight-up damage or straight-up healing. Some of them are beneficial, and some of them are harmful. Some of them are instantaneous, and some of them are lasting. The lasting, beneficial effects, typically called “buffs”, are referred to as boons in Guild Wars 2. Similarly, the lasting, harmful effects, usually “debuffs”, are called conditions. The other effects don’t fall into this. Knockdown, pull, push, launch, teleport, leap, retreat, etc. are not examples of boons or conditions. Note that there are some (very few) lasting effects in the game that are still not a boon or a condition.
It’s also important to note that boons and conditions refer specifically to the effects on the players. When you drop an AoE, it’s not a boon or condition. What it causes on the player is a boon or a condition. When you open a bubble, it’s not causing boons or conditions. It’s simply reflecting or absorbing projectiles. Those aren’t affecting the players; those are affecting the projectiles. Daze, with its new interrupting functionality, is no longer a condition. Strangely, invulnerability is not a boon, and stun is not a condition. One quick grammar note: affect is a verb, and effect is a noun. I affect you, and I have an effect on you. I do not effect you, and I do not have an affect on you. Do the world a favor and keep those straight.
Why Boons And Conditions?
One of the parts of the steep learning curves in standard MMORPGs is learning to recognize all of the different skill icons used for buffs and debuffs. You have to know them so that you don’t have to look down the line and read each skill to know which buffs you’re missing. You have to know them so that you can tell with a quick glance which debuffs are on you. Worse yet, when there are multiple skills that give the same (non-stacking) debuff, you have to know several icons for each debuff. I’ll blow this picture up a little bit so you can see it better, but this is what I’m talking about. Look at all of those icons. I know what they all mean, because I’ve spent a lot of time in WoW. If GW2 had all of those, it would take too long to learn them.
One of the best things about the boons and conditions system is that it eliminates the need for us to learn so many things. There are eight boons, and eleven conditions. Those nineteen icons are almost everything you’ll need to learn. The above picture has twenty-two icons, all of which are debuffs. Those icons don’t even approach the actual number of player-caused debuffs in WoW. Beyond that, there are even more debuffs that aren’t caused by players. It’s too much.
The boons and conditions cover almost all of the various types of lasting effects skills have in a game. If a skill does multiple things, it can cause multiple boons and conditions. The other nice thing is that since boons and conditions stack universally, you don’t have to see a different icon for every single damage-over-time effect you’re being affected by. This greatly reduces UI clutter in addition to increasing ease of recognition and decreasing the learning curve. It’s a pretty win-win situation.
Here is the list of all of the boons in the game — the lasting effects that benefit you:
- Aegis - Blocks the next attack against you.
- Fury - 20% Criticial Chance. Stacks duration.
- Might - +X damage per attack. Stacks intensity.
- Protection - 33% less incoming damage. Stacks duration.
- Regeneration - +X health per second. Stacks duration.
- Retaliation - X damage to striking enemies. Stacks duration.
- Swiftness - 33% faster movement. Stacks duration.
- Vigor - Faster endurance regeneration. Stacks duration.
Here’s a list of all of the conditions in the game — lasting effects that harm you:
- Bleeding - X damage per second. Stacks intensity.
- Blind - Next hit misses.
- Burning - X damage per second. Stacks duration.
- Chilled - 66% slower movement and skill recharge. Stacks duration.
- Confusion - X damage per skill use. Stacks intensity.
- Crippled - 50% slower movement. Stacks duration.
- Fear - Run directly away from caster.
- Immobilized - Can’t move or dodge. Stacks duration.
- Poison - 33% less healing, X damage per second. Stacks duration.
- Vulnerability - X less armor. Stacks intensity.
- Weakness - 50% attacks glance, 50% slower endurance regeneration. Stacks duration.