The Guild Wars 2 team has released update notes for today’s update, including the major profession balance update that had been up for community feedback for the past several weeks. Today’s update fixes a number of issues in addition to the announced balance changes and adds the new Jormag legendary variant for weapon skins.
The update makes some fixes to the latest Living World Season 1 encounter, the Tower of Nightmares, fixing an issue that was directing squads over to the public version of the instance. Other fixes have als been applied, from graphics tweaks, to making some things achievable through fixing glitches.
The meat of the update is, of course, the balance changes. The new process reflects promises made to approach these big balance updates with greater transparency. These final notes are different from the proposed ones initially released to the community, thanks to the devs considering player feedback.
When it comes to Elite Specializations, they are revisiting the idea of the tradeoffs built into these mechanics. A tradeoff here is intended to be a mechanical weakness compared to the core profession, that will make things a little more balanced. However, the team understands that some tradeoffs may not feel very natural and make the specialization less fun to play. Some of these have been removed in this patch, and others have been changed. We should expect more work on this.
Another major change in this update is to the 300-second cooldown applied to some powerful passive defensive traits. This long cooldown was introduced to make sure using those traits more often didn’t upend competitive modes. Today, “we've revisited these traits with the goal of making them into healthier mechanics. In some cases, we've made the defensive effect trigger off something more active (like using an elite skill), and in other cases we've reworked the traits entirely”.
There are lots of details on the updates to each profession over in the full patch notes.