Guardians, oh my

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Guardians, oh my

Postby Kiawah » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:31 am

High enough on my Guardian that I can talk about them, and man do they rock. High damage and AOE, high survivability, good utility. They really are the best class, so much better than mesmers.

Here's my build at level 80, focusing on greatsword and shouts:
http://gw2.luna-atra.fr/skills_tool/?la ... 7k7o81i0i8

Like a Mesmer though, Guardian builds are a bit more spaced out, with a lot of necessary talents in each of the lines.

1) Regardless of your play style on a Guardian, every Guardian needs 15 points in Radiance for Renewed Justice and Justice is Blind (I go for Blind Exposure as my level 10 trait, but that could be swapped out for the Signet reduced recharge if you're using the Signet heal). Renewed Justice is probably the most OP trait in the entire game. It resets the cool down of Virtue of Justice (your burn) after every mob that's killed. Blind Exposure puts a blind up when you activate Virtue of Justice. This has no cool down

So think of the implications during a dynamic event. With a great sword, you're able to spam virtue of justice and apply an AOE burn AND AOE blind AND AOE vulnerability on everything, making you essentially unkillable. I can't see how this won't be nerfed eventually, it's so powerful. It's pretty useful in dungeons and in non-DE's as well because it lets you activate virtue of justice on every mob, and the activation does a heck of a lot more dmg than the passive, and adds yet another blind. Between blinds and aegis's, you're rocking a heck of a lot of avoidance, which makes DPSing with the great sword a heck of a lot easier.

2) 20 points in honor. With this build, great sword is your primary weapon, so the lower recharge rate is probably your highest DPS boost, and it comes with extra vitality, so win-win. I go with the reduced shout cool downs as well, because I make heavy use of shouts, as they're the best source of self and group buffs.

3) At least 5 points in virtue.... sticks might onto the already overpowered virtue of justice spam

4) At least 5 points in valor... a fresh aegis when your health reaches 50%

Every other trait is optional. I go down the Zeal line for the extra great sword damage, but you can put it anywhere.

My main weapon is great sword, so what you choose for a secondary weapon is optional. I like scepter/torch because it gives
me a pretty good and high damaging range option if I can't get into melee. Staff is also decent for the might buff,
anything/focus or mace/shield also aren't terrible. This build can also make use of 2h hammers which are nice in
dungeons for the extra protection and retaliation buffs.

For utilities I tend to go for shouts. They provide some pretty nice buffs on low cool downs, although other abilities
like purging flames (which I tend to use in groups), some of the signets, and abilities like Sanctuary aren't terrible
either.

For the elite I like tome of courage. Tome of wrath is really only useful for extra AOE, which you aren't lacking in a great sword build.
The other option is Renewed Focus, which doesn't seem like it would do much, but in groups its actually pretty useful.
In a dungeon, it will let you hit virtue of justice twice, which will put a 10s burn on an enemy... from everyone in your party.
That's a pretty large increase in damage from one ability. I don't really feel like that's that necessary though with
the renewed justice trait, and the healing you get from tome of courage can be game changing.

The other thing I like about my great sword and shout spec is that there's no real "rotation". You should make good
use of combo fields, as you have a lot of generators and finishers, but really you're just spamming 10 buttons every
time they're off cool down, which lets you focus on more important things, like the fight.

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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Rocketdog » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:44 am

I was deciding between ranger and guardian. I was leaning toward asura chick guardian. Little bald girl :D

PS Anything is better than Mesmer and Pip.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Feaduin » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:51 am

I used to have GS as my primary pretty much from 1-65 exactly for the reasons you mentioned above. Plus I noticed that I could survive a lot longer during those oh shit moments when there are more than 4 mobs coming after me. Because of the high DPS and HUGE range of the swing, I could effectively kite almost anything with the GS if needed.

However, I gave it up at the higher levels in favor of using 2 items or going warhammer because the GS has only 1 open upgrade slot to put in my favorite sigils and is a little less survivable. I needed to stay alive longer once I started opening up the higher zones and mobs started using other abilities that screw up the mobility I was used to. Plus, the game graciously dropped a nice 2hb and a nice exotic mace with an embedded crit-reliant sigil to entice me. I gradually switched my style and became very fond of having an item in each hand.

I ended up changing from a zeal/radiance GS build to a Radiance/Valor build with a few points in others. Basically I'm now 0 / 30 / 20 / 10 / 10 focusing on a 1h)mace/scepter | 2h)Focus/shield. But even though I spec'd this way, it is still extremely flexible and I can still effectively use a wide combination of weapons to fit any situation. Radiance XI gives an increase to crit chance for ALL 1h weapons by 15%(!!) And when that is coupled with a Sigil of Air which is dependent on crits, my overall effectiveness increased so greatly that taking on multiple targets safely became realistic (except for those bosses that do those mega hits of course). Radiance also allows me to pump up torch, sword, or spirit weapons. And because I maxed Radiance, i get a boost to +Cond Dmg and to Crit chance just from the points.

I have 20 in Valor further boosting the crit dmg and chance (valor VI), but more importantly, the second tier allows mace, shield, or warhammer boost for more flexibility and effectiveness.

I put 10 each into Honor and Virtue but I might move some of the Virtue points elsewhere.

The way I have it configured now, I can take effective advantage of blindness+vulnerability with up to 3 different ways, dmg avoidance 4 different ways, dmg mitigation 2 ways, and have 3 pets into mix.

My build

Ignore the stats at the bottom left. The interface didn't let me properly enter my gear and is not accurate. I get 3 pets by having the Pirate rune set (the bird is a great tank and hits for around 1k). The extended time sword of justice is very nice especially since later mobs move away from my damaging symbols and the sword will follow the mob around while doing good damage. And my elite skill is the Spirit Wolf which is also good for absorbing some damage and keeping mobs occupied off me. All the pets seem to damage in the 1000 range and the Wolf can do more when it casts its spell. I myself can hit a wide arc of multiple mobs with the mace in the high hundreds and can crit up to 2700, even though this is not a level 80 mace. So overall with this build I can do pretty decent damage with frequent crits/procs, constant burning, and I can choose to stand toe to toe or go mobile depending on the situation and still have respectable ability to heal. I don't feel so squishy anymore.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Munki » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:18 am

Man, I just don't know how you guys manage to function in society when you are bottling up all that jealousy of my sexy hot pink mesmer.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby PopnFresh » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:46 pm

Kiawah wrote:They really are the best class, so much better than mesmers.


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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Munki » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:29 pm

I started playing my Guardian more last night. I hadn't got my hand on the Greatsword yet, but picked one up from the AH finally to round my skills out.

Holy crap GS is amazingly powerful. It feels hand over fist better than the other Guardian weapons. Ultimately I think the guardian will be the character I farm with most likely. I love the Mesmer still, it is still my favored class. But there is no denying that Guardians, Elementalists, and Engineers have the easiest time in the current "Orr DE endgame" for farming. I wanted a Heavy Armor class at 80 next (since I have a Medium and Light one there already) and I wanted to do the Asura stuff (which so far has been my favorite of the Sub-30 storylines).

I'll probably try and do something similar to Barron's build, at least for leveling. It seems like a build with fantastically quick killing speed, so I guess that'll rock for leveling.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Feaduin » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:29 pm

^ yeah unfortunately, the only really powerful weapons sans traits are the greatswords and staves. Everything else feels underpowered until you heavily spec into them - especially 1-handers. GSs and Hammers still seem to be effective even without being traited for it.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Munki » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:35 am

I've been reading and messing around with stuff (I'm now 44 on my guardian) and I'm starting to lean towards another build to work towards for endgame;

http://gw2skills.net/editor/?fUAQJASRlY ... EOJdS9kyJA

My worry is that this won't be strong for Farming. I'm still debating if I'll do this or maybe instead go for a GS / Staff build. The idea is that Mighty Blow is fantastically powerful and has a super fast CD. It'll be super strong for when mobs spawn clumped in DEs. Greatsword whirl has a slightly longer range, as well as an on demand symbol (Hammer has to have a target and is at the end of a powerful, but slow chain... which is no good for DE Farms). It has a ton of self healing through altruistic healing since there are a ton of players to get buffed from the shouts and symbols.

Most likely I'll go for the Hammer/GS setup, since the CD on Symbol of swiftness is kind of long in terms of a DE farm build. But between Judges Intervention, Mighty Blow, Whirl, Symbol of Wrath, Binding Blades... that's a lot of aoe to cycle through generally. Couple that with Knights armor and a full set of pirate runes / MF jewelry and I'll probably be rocking like a 40% or so crit, which should help a ton as well.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Feaduin » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:21 pm

As far as the hammer symbol goes, you can sorta cheat the chain and force the symbol to come even if you don't have a target. I turned off the auto target btw. Hitting 1 will force you to swing the hammer and if the swing connects with ANYTHING, target or not, that swing will count towards the chain. that means you don't need to get a target right away and can concentrate on connecting those blows together and the chain will automatically come. So what if you have to spam 1 a lot? In a busy de, a target dies really fast anyway so there is no time to target stuff. The other thing is that most likely, you'll move off your symbol to chase shit around anyway so I'd be careful about depending on symbols too much in a farm situation and worry more about positioning yourself in a way to tag as many mobs as you can and do enough dmg to qualify for a lot drop on each tagged mob.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Munki » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:50 pm

Well it's less about 'staying on my symbol' and more about the fact that the symbol does damage to mobs that are standing on it :D Esp considering I plan on taking the trait to increase symbol sizes.

My main tools for tagging I'm sure will be Judges Intervention, Mighty Blow, GS Whirl, and Symbol of Wrath.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Feaduin » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:03 am

Note - I'm talking strictly about world farming/DE for the following:
The only way to keep something on the symbol is position. Like I posted earlier, the later mobs move OFF your symbol the first time they are affected by it. So you have to creatively kite/pull/move the mob back onto the symbol for it to have any effect and by the time you do manage to move them back on it, you've lost some ticks and most of the damage. That's why I said that your character movement will be hyper important. I used to think I could always have a symbol down but when in a DE where you have to tag shit really fast, no symbols can be depended upon and if they hit, it's really icing as you can maybe get 1 tick off, maybe 2 at most. Other times the symbol just lies fallow for another reason - mobs always chase the asshole doing higher dps than you. The resultant combination of the higher lev AI defense and the high-dps chase is that symbols end up way off to the side where the battle is not. Face it, at the end game, many will out dps you and this results in a wave of guys following one or two DPS whores around the field. But there is no fear because I found that you just need to do significant damage (20% to 30%) to a mob to be eligible for the crap they drop anyway so it's safe to just let everyone else's DPS pour in to finish the job - I still get a ton of loot and I can concentrate on tagging EVERY mob. The advantage is that if I'm tagging everything quickly, I am eligible for loot on every single mob instead of just the ones I manage to kill. Another bonus is that by relying on other players to pour on the dps is that you always wind up surviving the longest (except against certain mob types that can range you and never miss). It's really hard to die or get downed (and lose any boon stacks) this way because the mobs aren't focused on you, and because of that, you are also free to pop in more utility. I know, I know - there is no aggro... but they still seem to prefer the guy doing the fastest damage :). I'm not saying DON'T put down the symbol, just don't *rely* on its DPS (no matter how big it is) and instead, make yourself awesome even without symbols (like keeping up with the latest weapon level and adding a big damage upgrade like fire or air to your weapon).

Not saying your build won't work because it will - for now. I'm just trying to point out that you are building your guardian based on certain assumptions about the mechanics that will become shaky later on.

But the main point of my response though was that you DON'T need to target something to get your hammer to lay down the symbol. (you were weighing your weapon choice based on the difficulty of getting a symbol down with the hammer). That said, you DO need a target to unleash the mighty blow, so that could count as a negative to the way I 'cheat' the hammer. For me, that limitation it isn't a big deal because I can switch targets quickly on the run (Nostromo + Naga) so while my hammer2 might be slightly delayed coming out while I cycle to a suitable target (no need to be exact, just a guy within the bunch since it's AOE anyway). Keeping in mind everything I wrote in this entire thread, I keep hammer2 handy as both an AE and a chain-cancel (like a streetfighter combo breaker) so that I don't suffer the long wind up of hammer1.3 when not needed.

As far as staff farming goes, staff3 (symbol: swiftness + some damage) is hardly ever useful in that situation so don't count the slow recharge against it. A staff in a DE encounter is almost hyper powered pwnage when you use it as a circle kite (like dolphins when they circle-herd fish into a tight ball). Spamming staff1 also does not need a target making it easy to just aim your giant forward 180 deg. firing arc at anything you need to tag. It may only do small amounts of damage compared to other weapons, but in combo with kiting movement and with occasional application of staff3 at your feet, you can stay untouched. It's slower but you hit just about EVERYTHING which guarantees that you will get plenty of loot. Another advantage of staff1 is that it has a strange AE mechanic. It seems to extend your staff range according to the position of the GUY YOU HIT as opposed to where you are. It's possible then to hit 1 in-range mob and still hit 4 others who would normally be out-of-range. It's kinda like a constant fireball proc I suppose. This allows you to effectively kite using your fastest movement and only the furthest edge of your left or right firing arc at 9 and 3 o'clock and stay alive forever (exception for mobs that have homing ranged attacks). Staff2 does need a target but again, since it's an AE, you don't need to be exact. Staff2 is high damage and very quick to recharge too and it looks like you are bowling with a Ball o' Hurt. So yeah a staff is really effective for getting loots because you cast a huge net and you stay alive via movement.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Munki » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:51 pm

I definiately get where you are coming, but thankfully my build doesn't really rely on the damage from they Symbols, it's just one of the ways I can lay some AoE damage down to attempt to get tags. Mighty Blow and GS Whirl will both always be the go to AoE tags, as they are fast and hit hard.

In a crowded DE, the real strength of a symbol n this build is Altruistic Healing, which heals me every time I give an ally a buff. That means every time another player gets buffed by a symbol I'm getting healing. The damage from it will definitely be a useful addition, especially since the way most of Orr seems to be now is that mobs spawn and everyone is clumped up on them and it all gets aoe'd down. So a symbol there while also doing Mighty Blow or Whirl will be more than enough to not only get a tag but keep me alive from healing ticks. Any agro I get will most likely get healed back up safely through this, especially with Aegis and Blinds from my Virtue activation.

My problem I worry about for Staff is that the 1 skill is pretty low damage, and the second you have to deal with a slower moving projectile, making it harder to get enough damage in time for a tag. I will have to see. I know the meta of the DE's and I know that Guardians are one of the top 3 classes for aoe DE farming, I just need to find a weapon set that will be fun enough while still doing a good job of tagging.

Also, FYI you don't need a target for Mighty Blow... at least not anymore. Maybe it's because of hte leap component added? But I can hit it at any time and I'll leap forward and smash the ground, no target needed.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Feaduin » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:02 pm

Re no target hammer2... I should clarify that it is from the standpoint of heavy movement AoE. Yes, you don't need a target for hammer2 but when considering that my entire focus is on movement-herding and area tagging, the results can be unpredictable. I'm all about coordinated movement and I'm constantly on the move. So if I just hit hammer2 reflexively, sometimes it sends me flying in the wrong direction. This is a negative side effect of my greedy tag-everything-in-existence method because I don't need to pay attention to what I'm targeting *except* when i hit hammer2. So in context of run&gun hammer aoe mass mob tagging the way I do it, hammer2 can be great or it can mess me up. Having to target something can slow me down just enough that I lose out on a few tags. I'll even keep a hardened mob targeted while I face and attack/tag something else to sort of 'anchor' any skills that snap me to a mob.

Re symbols, If I'm standing still like when I'm tanking or if the mass of players+spawns is very predictable, then it's a totally different story with symbols and everything else coming into play. I purposely move into a group of friendlies every time a symbol comes down specifically for what you said. But I'm talking strictly from the rapid DE standpoint where the mobs die quickly and you are constantly chasing the next group to get your tags in. The sheer speed of death results in movement so fluid that it is hard to predict where to lay a symbol down.

Re staff - staff farming is indeed extremely slow and boring and relies on your endurance against boredom more than anything else. The pattern is 1 1 1 1 1 2 - 1 1 1 1 1 2 - target ground 3 - 1 1 1 1 2 and fuck all boring as hell because it is so slow. However, if you want the widest net possible, staff1 spam is it. I don't think any other weapon skill in the guardian repertoire can hit as wide or as quickly as staff1. It's love tap spam. So while the 5 mob limit applies, you are doing it so fast and often that the randomness allows you tag a massive group pretty quickly. The negative is that it is you can't know if you've crossed the threshold of 'significant' damage to qualify for a drop. In combination with proper herding and the very deliberate application of staff2 (so that the ball passes through the most shit) you can get by very well. You definitely feel underpowered and very un-hero like while doing this though! :P
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Kiawah » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:44 am

Why you would be using any weapon beyond GS for a DE is beyond me. The staff is painfully bad in PVE.

To improve the staff they need to:
1) Increase the range. That's great that it hits multiple targets, but if you have to practically stand in melee range to hit anything, you may as well use the GS.
2) The number #2 ability is a poor mechanic and I hate it. Any ability that requires aiming and timing in a game played on a server is not good. The heal may as well not even be there, it's just some extra damage.
3) The swiftness buff -- the only good ability on the weapon
4) The might buff + heal -- the cast time is wayyy to long to use in combat. They need to change it such that if you move the cast still progresses. You should not have to remain still in order to use it.
5) The #5 ability needs to be instant cast. The duration is too short to really use it before a pull and because of the animation time its not really effective for kiting after a pull. It's a PVP ability, nothing more.

Really though, there's absolutely no reason to use anything else other than GS (unless you're in a pure support build), especially for DE's.

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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Munki » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:40 am

I disagree, in it's current state, for most of the popular Orr DE chains, Greatsword alone is simply not enough. 8 second cooldown on Whirl is not fast enough for all packs of mobs that spawn in Plinx for sure. And with SoW at 20 seconds, that will not be enough to fill in the gaps. GS5 is too slow to be reliable (since it's a dot) in most high zerg DE's as well to get tags.

This leaves you with needing a second weapon to fill in the gaps that GS will have. I/ve come to realize that Hammer is the best option for this role, as Hammer2 fires quickly, is a PBAoE, has a leap to let you close the gap some, and hits like a truck. It will probably be my new 'main' weapon for PvE, although when I start doing big DE farms in Orr for loot bags, I'll most likely lean a lot heavier on the Greatsword. But between GS2, Hammer2, and something like Judges Intervention, you should have enough quick firing AoE tools to handle ANY situation. Throw in something you can pre place (like a Symbol or Purging Flames) as well and you should be fine.

I know you love the GS barron, but I've been finding that it starts to lose some luster when you are fighting harder enemies. The defensive tools it has (1 blind) is not enough to handle fighting a Vet + a pack of mobs comfortably IMO. It's doable but it gets shaky. Hammer after the buff has a DPS range not far behind GS, but you also get the near perma Protection and some Control abilities. Not to mention a higher uptime on Retaliation due to having an easy self combo that adds retaliation. I'm not saying Hammer is better than Greatsword. I'm just saying I think you aren't realizing that a solid Crithammer build can be every bit as effective as a GS build. And the best thing is you can feasibly combine the two weapons (GS and Hammer) really really well, due to the 20% redux talent affecting both.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Feaduin » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:05 am

The reason why the staff was discussed was because I wanted to dispel certain misconceptions about the hammer and the staff as per Pip's original musings about his build and very specifically on how it applies to a DE farm situation. You, Kiawah, are both right and wrong about the staff. Correct are points 3 4 and 5. Partially correct on point 1 and 2. Plus, don't forget you are traited for GS while we are not. Notes added below according to each skill.

Staff5 small note - I should say that I've used the wall to split groups before and it can be useful, but only if used correctly and very situationally. staff2 is the longest range of 1200 or so. The sequence would be Cast staff2, then time the casting of staff 5 to set the line a few moments after staff2 hits. If done correctly, you maximize the uptime of the wall to something a little more useful and you can surgically split a group pull to concentrate on 1 or 2 mobs, or you can stop the whole group behind the line so that you can wail on them for a bit with no consequences until it wears off. You can switch weapons to compensate for the low damage or any number of tactical decisions but the utility is definitely there even in PVE. Still shitty but it has its very very specific tactical uses. Not good for farming.

Staff2) Staff2.2 is bullshit and might as well not be in the game. Staff2.1 however is the only "hard hitter" for the staff and when used correctly in conjunction with Staff1, it brings up your damage enough to allow you qualify for those drops. It is harder to use for sure because it needs a target *plus* mobs positioned between you and the target to get max effect. And oftentimes, staff2.2 might get triggered anyway causing a hyperlong 10 second CD which is bullshit. The only positive thing about staff2.1 is when it's used in conjunction with staff1 spam.

Staff1) The range is dreadfully short - for the first target. I suppose I have to borrow the term "Astronomical Unit (AU)" from astronomy to describe what I'm trying to convey. Let's say 1 AU is the maximum distance between you and mob1 for staff1 to hit. And let's say that mob2 is directly behind and inline with mob1.

You----mob1----mob2

When you hit mob1 with the attack, the AE effect also hits Mob2 for a maximum range of 2 AUs. If say, mob3 is in the picture and he is within 1 AU of mob1 in a 360 deg circle, he will also get hit. (I don't know if it is exactly a radius of 1 AU but I think I'm close and it easier to describe this way). If you have no target lock and you are just spamming staff1, the puter randomly selects something close to act as ground zero and it will cause anything within 1 AU of any random ground zero mob to also be hit (up to 5 total).

I don't know if you've been reading the EXACT method I'm talking about (see Blue Planet, youtube, even Finding Nemo for examples of how dolphins circle-herd fish into a ball to increase attack effectiveness) but it is careful movement + the strike pattern already described above. If you stop and face the enemy, then you will die. If done correctly, you WILL tag more shit and that is the point of it. Tagging. Not killing. IT WORKS for solo, DEs and Dungeons.

Case in point. Remember the night we tried to run through TA and we could never get shit going? That night I picked up another group and got to the last boss that literally spawns endless creatures. Pretty deadly encounter especially when you wind up with LITERALLY 20 creatures swarming all over the place. After several attempts, I discovered that none of the weapons could keep up except for the staff. Once I dug the staff out of my bag, I was the only survivor kiting the entire chamber around while everyone else was dying and running back repeatedly from the spawn point. I was basically keeping the encounter from resetting by staying alive and keeping shit off so that others could focus on the boss. It is slower for sure but my kite method works.

If we're talking about the way I use the staff, it can be used completely by itself with no need weapon swap (which is not recommended because it is so slow) or it can be paired safely with any other weapon combination except the scepter.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Munki » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:08 am

I got 80 last night finally, Altruistic Healing is amazing.

Honestly I've been trying to figure out what I want to do with my guardian for the last week or so. My mesmer is definitely still my main as it's an incredibly fun and fast playstyle that I like. Of course I have a meh time in any zerg DE, but I've also come to this conclusion in recent history; Zerg DE's are really shitty for anything other than Karma farming. Even if you can get a solid tag build, the zerg there is getting so large that you are competing with TONS of zerg builds and it's still really difficult to snag hits.

I'm coming to the conclusion that a good survivable spec (such as the Crithammer+AH spec in Knights gear, or a Staff / Sword shatter Mesmer spec) that can just roam Orr, chain killing mobs (or small groups of them) while hitting up less zerged DE's and gathering mats will probably work out to be an equal amount of gold over time. And a far more enjoyable playstyle. With Karma now available from Daily/Monthly and Dungeons, Karma farming is just not as important as it once was.

So I think, with this in mind, I'm going to end up going full Crithammer, and worry less about mob tagging speed aoe builds.

I have to say, switching to Hammer was the best thing I could have done for my guardian. I know most people feel it's too slow, but there are some amazingly versatile builds focused on a crit based hammer build, and Altruistic Healing (which works amazingly well with Symbol of Protection) is amazing. It is a very tanky build that can do some solid boon support and can still dish out very respectable DPS. While I will still consider my Mesmer my main... the guardian is definitely something I will play pretty often as well, just because it's a dramatically different (and fun) playstyle.

This is basically a Warrior Priest, WAR style (which was also a fantastically fun class). It's a frontline soldier with the toughness to stay in the game, while providing buffs / support just by dealing damage.

All that said, this is the build I think I'm going to run with for now... this would be the Dungeon version.
Warrior Priest Crithammer build

Highlights:
Using Hammer of course as the main weapon. Gearing mostly with Knights, and maybe a few Valkyrie accessories. This will give you a very solid base of toughness and crit, with a decent base of Power as well. Runes all focus on boon duration, you have 30% additional boon duration and 50% duration on Might.

You apply Might to everyone around you with every crit, along with your SoP protection to people in range of it (which will probably not be a ton of people). I'm debating using the trait that doubles your Symbol size instead of the -20% shout CD one... but I will just see how that goes.

For Open World PvE, i'd have a very similar build... I'd definitely use the trait that increases Symbol size (better for AoE situations). I'd use a greatsword most likely as a secondary weapon, the charge with a blind, along with using GS5 to pull enemies in for AoEing is too good. I'll still have solid defense, even in my MF set.

The only thing I'll be missing is the refreshing of VoJ on mob death. Which is an amazing trait. But I'd rather have Empowering Might for now.

/edit/
BTW, this is a fantastic guide for Crithammer builds. It does a great job of breaking down the playstyle and giving thoughts on a multitude of traits for it, as well as identifies what it considers "must haves". It is a good starting point on how to build a Crithammer build to suit what you wanna do.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Kiawah » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:15 pm

Man, it's not very often I say, "you were right Damon" but man you were right Damon. Altruistic Healing is sooooo strong. Honestly though, it's not that it's strong per se, overall it's not that great on paper. What makes it so strong, and damn almost overpowered is you heal on buffs, and Guardians have soooo many buffs. Like literally almost every ability has a buff on it.

<a href="http://gw2skills.net/editor/?fUAQJASRlYgKCnFyvDfIFSuA7DEEmCMC+ueQRYIDB;T8AA2yvEOJ9SdlyJqdMeJ8y2lbHZXrMGZsxA">Here's my current build</a>

A few minor variations:
1) I went with signet of earth for the protection duration. With it, I have %100 uptime during my attack rotation with the Hammer on Protection. That's protection, 33% damage reduction... with %100 uptime unless I move, that's so strong.

2) I still picked up Renewed Justice because I'm still in love with that talent. My goal with this build is almost %100 hammer, no real weapon swapping, so I don't think I really need the 20% 2h cooldown reduction. It won't let me sneak in any extra mighty blows, and I won't (can't) break up my main attack chain because I need the protection buff. In order to get it, I'd have to give up Renewed Justice and Inspire Virtue, which I really don't want to do with a hammer build. I would do it for a greatsword build, but not for hammer.

3) I'm rocking full Knight's + Emerald gear with this build, which I think works out really well. Knight's give me a ton of toughness, which works really well with the damage reduction theme, and it also gives me over %50 crit (the %50 crit is why I don't really go for signet of fire, I dont really need the might duration I think), for extra might buffs (more healing!).

4) This build just blows me away. With it, I have literally 4 different ways to bring my health up at least 50%: Signet of Resolve, all 3 virtues, renewed focus + all 3 virtues, any combination of utility skills... that's not even including the passive healing you get from virtue of resolve and Symbol of Protection + mighty blow (protection buff followed by retaliation buff, or might buffs when I crit).

This literally is the most defensive build I've seen in GW2 so far. The main dungeons I run are COF and AC, and in both of those, I literally do not need to dodge anymore. It's the only build I've seen where I can stand there, facing a mob/boss, and minus some weird mechanic soak up everything they can dish out. It's about as close to a "tank" as you can get in GW2. Other classes can absorb damage for limited amounts of time, I can literally take 3 out of 4 mobs in a pack, immobilize and trap them in ring of warden and off-tank them on my own while the rest of my group takes out the other one (it's rare to actually do this because of movement, but the important thing is that I could). I don't feel like I need a range weapon, at all. I do keep a staff in my bags, but mostly for the end boss of COF path 2 (eternal flame), haven't figured out how to hit him from melee yet.

I've seen some other builds which make use of Guardian of Lyssa runes for the extra buffs while using your elite, but that's more for a greatsword focus... my goal is still to rock %100 protection, which I need signet of earth for.

Overall, very very happy with this build. I still dig greatsword for DE's, but I've been using hammer exclusively for everything else. I laugh when I group with another Guardian and I see spirit weapons come out, what a noob.

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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Feaduin » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:20 am

^ A parting shot at me in your final sentence. Explain.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Kiawah » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:55 am

Feaduin wrote:^ A parting shot at me in your final sentence. Explain.



My apologies to anyone in Grog who may actually use spirit weapons.

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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Feaduin » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:05 pm

lol not looking for an apology. Just an explanation of why you hate a particular skill in which I find utility especially in large number mob encounters.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Munki » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:12 pm

It's not that spirit weapons are bad per se. In fact they are very useful overall. I think it's more aimed at the fact that all you ever see is the Spirit GS and Spirit Hammer. Hammer does have some utility with it's knockback, but you don't really get to control that. Greatsword is just a pure damage boost. While there is nothing necissarily WRONG about using these utilities, it's the same thing as a 'Huntard" in WoW... a larger proportion of people who don't build intelligently (glass cannon with no defense skills) tend to rely on these specific two spirit weapons.

So in short, there are absolutely ways to use spirit weapons that are good, powerful, and useful to a group. Doing something like a more defensive spec (like you with your Mace weaponset) and using Spirit Weapons as a compliment to that, can be very good. I think barron was more talking about the GS wielding guy who runs around with a Sword and Hammer chasing him. Those guys tend to have low survivability, and simply put are not playing to their classes strengths very well (usually). At least that is the perception.
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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Kiawah » Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:25 am

It was mostly a joke, but yeah Damon is mostly right (that's twice now I've said that), and I was talking about dungeons overall.

Spirit weapons aren't bad overall, the bow is actually extremely useful in dungeons. But I do a little sigh when I group with another Guardian running around with a greatsword with the sword weapon following him around. Even with a glass cannon great sword dps build, I wouldn't use the spirit weapons (minus bow, in a dungeon).

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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Kiawah » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:34 am

Actually don't take anything I've said in here seriously because I've ended up doing almost everything I was against earlier in this thread.

I ended up picking up the staff to use in my dungeon build after all. Before I had been using GS, but it was mostly wasted space as I almost never switched to it, ever. I think the only reason I kept it was because it looked cool and it was expensive to make, but I never actually used it.

The biggest reason why I went staff was because of <a href="http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Empower">Empower</a>. Every tick heals with AH because of the might buff, plus the 1.5k-2k heal at the end. So it gives me yet another heal with this build, plus gives me access to range and swiftness (2 more things that I was lacking). The only thing I'm really missing now is self condition removal, but its not really needed with so much passive healing.

The other option would be sceptor/focus... while I dig the support of focus, I'll take the extra heal from staff over the ranged dps of sceptor (which I'd almost never use).

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Re: Guardians, oh my

Postby Munki » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:56 am

Honestly, I'm really interested in seeing how the upcoming class changes will affect this build. It's VERY obvious that this is the dominant Guardian build in PvE at this point. Pretty much every guardian I run in to (and there are a lot) is sporting a hammer and is most likely rocking an AH build. It's clearly become the dramatically predominant Guardian spec. For good reason, it's incredibly powerful in all PvE. Good damage, possibly the best survivability in the game, and solid CC to boot.

I'm not quite sure how they'd tweak it. Somehow reducing Altruistic Healing seems likely, although you don't want to make it unattractive as it IS a 30 point trait. Another way they could really bring this down is reducing the uptime of Symbol of Protection... this would simultaneously nerf the specs survivability and damage. It will also make Mighty Blow more important to dealing damage, as opposed to just using it as a finisher and opener.

Anyway we will find out! But I'm FULLY expecting this build to not be as good as it is now, one week from now.
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