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Guild Wars 2's Bleed Cap

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February 20, 2013 - 4:32am -- Xerin
Guild Wars 2 Conditions

For those who don’t know, Guild Wars 2 has a bleed cap. As a player who loves conditions but begrudges the current system, I’m hoping ArenaNet eventually make changes to the restriction they’ve placed on an entire combat method.

In simple terms, a player or target cannot have more than 25 stacks of bleed at any one time. In large scale events and encounters, it takes only moments to reach this cap, making further applications of bleed entirely redundant (besides protracting their duration)

What caught my attention to this issue (though it has been a long standing one) was a Reddit post by ExtraPotential, where he makes logical and sound arguments against the cap.  The one issue that keeps coming up however are the various necromancer skills which encourage the spread of conditions between players and enemies.

Surely the easiest solution is to limit individual skills, as opposed to placing a strangle across all professions and their competence when it comes to stacking conditions.

What are your thoughts on condition and notably bleed caps?


Rifa Black's picture
Submitted by Rifa Black on

i am 50/50 on this topic. As i agree that the restrictions of 25 stacks of bleed on a boss or world event its quite monotonous with a few dodges here and there, however, 25 stacks of bleed on my char from a group of chickens is insta death XD

100% Glass Canon - Shoot first, ask questions later.

capnbishop's picture
Submitted by capnbishop on

Hmm, I've often wondered about the effectiveness of my bleed based characters, but that Reddit post having demonstrated the problem by numbers definitely leads me to focus more on direct damage builds.

vanguardsoul's picture
Submitted by vanguardsoul on

I really wish they would find a way to allow more players to contribute to the bleed stacking. As a bleed warrior it would be nice to know I'm contributing my share.

tarian's picture
Submitted by tarian on

Honestly, even the necro epidemic skill isn't as bad as the reddit thread makes it out to be for the reason for the cap.  The solution of not letting epidemic apply bleeds to targets that are already over 25, essentially makes the skill useless unless smart targetting is added to the skill.

All of that being said, putting arbitrary restrictions on epidemic, the main way necros can have any solid or reliable form of AoE, is still putting stupid restrictions on condition damage.  If 10 elementalists or rangers decide to drop aoe on a group of five players, those five players melt.  Any limit you put on epidemic basically reinforces the bleed cap saying, "Stacking condition damage or using a condition based build is always going to be suboptimal".

The only real solution is that each player should have their own bleed stacks, and the cap needs to be moved up to 30 or 35 (I don't know about other people, but simply auto-attacking in timewarp on puts me at the 25 bleed cap).

Alternatives to that is having bleeds scale far better with condition damage, and then drastically reduce the number of bleeds individuals can apply.

Another way is to make bleeds applied after the 25 cap is reached do direct damage.

Another idea that I think I saw someone post or something similar to it at least, is to have bleeds tick faster the higher the stack is.  An exponential scale of sorts.  Under 10 everything is fine.  Between 10 and 15 they tick twice as fast.  Then between 15 and 20 they tick three times as fast and finally between 20 and 25 they tick four times as fast.  Of course the issue with this idea is that bleeds will have to be completely rebalanced, and this still doesn't solve the problem in large scale events.  Meaning this is the most work and least likely of ideas you'd want to pick as a solution.

Honestly, letting everyone have their own bleed stacks and then making epidemic only move the necros bleeds, but all other conditions on the target regardless of source, is probably the most fair solution.

What are you willing to sacrifice?

s3rvant's picture
Submitted by s3rvant on

Actually I quite like the exponential tick idea. That would help keep the stacks below 25 to make room for applying more stacks while still feeling like a bleed from the damage-over-duration.

The idea of having bleed stacks past 25 become direct damage could also work, though I image it would have to be tweaked to prevent it from being too easy to burst enemies that are at the cap via bleed application.

I dislike the idea of personal bleed stacks however as that seems a bit fiddly and goes against how every other boon / condition works in the game.

Proverbium of Epic Muffins [EPIC] on Dragonbrand

chaosgyro's picture
Submitted by chaosgyro on

Most boons and conditions have flat effects and stack in duration only.  Bleed and might are the only two, off the top of my head, to stack in intensity.  Might already has a personal stack limit of sorts (not an apples to apples comparison, but similar) and moreover any application of might has the same level of effect.  Bleed not only competes for slots, but competes for slots against inferior bleeds being applied by DD characters using bleed-inducing skills.

Rin Aki's picture
Submitted by Rin Aki on

I totally agree with ExtraPotential's post and have felt the same way for quite a while. Colin has explained their reason for the cap is down to bandwidth limits, though I disagree with him when he said it will be unbalanced, as explained in ExtraPotential's post. However, Jon Peters has recently posted that they do intend to resolve this issue ( We will just have to wait and see how they go about fixing this, whenever that will be.

Order of the Ono & Semper Dius