Guild Wars 2 artwork from Living World Season 3

In the early days of Guild Wars 2 every single class used Berserker armor and Power-related builds, while Condition builds were widely regarded as a joke given how easily their damage-over-time effects could be overwritten. As expected, this problem eventually got fixed, though unfortunately it just resulted in most players shifting to Condition builds and propagating the same problem under a different name. Time and time again the developers tried to balance the two sides out, but they were never really successful, especially when it comes to PvP where Condition builds can be immensely powerful.

This is going to change in the very near future, however, as ArenaNet has announced that the December 12th update will even the playing field between Condition and Power damage, as well as slightly tweak how vulnerability is applied. If you're interested in a few examples, here's the brief developer summary:

Pushing damaging burst condition toward ramping, sustained damage. This should create more opportunities for counterplay, but also feel satisfying to keep conditions rolling once you’ve ramped them up.

- i.e. We’re tuning some skills that apply damaging conditions so that they apply less stacks up front, but last for longer. In total duration they’re almost the same before and after.

- e.g. Purging Flames: Burning has been adjusted from 3 stacks for 5 seconds to 2 stacks for 8 seconds.

Re-vamping several passive vulnerability traits to offer more distinct opportunities or create synergy with other traits (rather than being standalone). At small amounts vulnerability doesn’t feel good and adding more vulnerability to something that is capped on it has little value. These changes will offer chances to spike up vulnerability when it is ebbing or encourage new build styles.

- e.g. Mutilate Defenses: This trait has been reworked and renamed to "Expose Defenses". This trait now causes your first attack when entering combat to inflict 5 stacks of vulnerability for 5 seconds. This ability refreshes whenever you use an elite skill.

It is worth mentioning that while these changes are going to rebalance how Condition damage is done, they're not going to reduce it! After all, the goal behind these changes is to create more viable playstyles, especially in classes that have so far been pigeonholed into a very narrow set of weapons and gear. So if you've gone through the effort of farming a set of Viper equipment in order to participate in Raids of Fractals, worry not as your playstyle will still be just as effective.

The full patch notes aren't available just yet, but you can learn a little bit more about these changes over at the official forums.