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How have things shifted?

When I stopped playing (around the time the path of fire living world started up), power reaper was just barely starting to be accepted into groups (often begrudgingly). I heard from a few sources that now reapers are accepted by most groups. When I stopped, I was just starting to experiment with an alacrity stacking renegade build (with a fair amount of might gen) and now I see that alac-rens requested in groups!
What else has changed? Is quick-tank firebrand a thing? Healer FB? What about thief and deadeye? Is condi thief still whacky in its own goofy way? Did they nerf how venoms share?
I used to think the gw2 meta would stagnate due to ignorance from certain groups, and a "if it ain't broke" mentality from others. But clearly, I'm wrong. And I'm definitely not mad about that!

Comments

  • Vayne.8563Vayne.8563 Member ✭✭✭✭

    It's true that changes take a while to filter down through the entire community, but there are pretty active meta sites out there that do keep up with stuff and do keep changing. I'm don't generally speed run content or run the type of content that needs the meta, but I remember back in the days when rangers and necros weren't allowed by some in dungeon runs, even though a good ranger with spotter and spirts was worth their weight. It's just that many people saw ranger and thought bear/bow.

    It took time but the community does eventually come around.

  • Mouse.7382Mouse.7382 Member ✭✭✭

    Lots has changed, as with any MMO given time. To answer your questions.

    Yes, reapers are accepted by most groups.

    Alacrity renegade is the MOST requested class for Fractals. This is due to ANET gutting the hell outta Chronos (All mesmer builds in general). Chrono is still playable, but the 'clunkiness' and piano playing of buttons to get the same, EASY, effect that Rev's get--not remotely comparable.

    Guardian is the most versitle class with near top/top tier when it comes to everything (except Alacrity). Healbrand, Quickbrand, PowerBrand, Condibrand, Core Pdps--I have one, and this class (unless it gets outshined with new elites come End of Dragons) is worthy of Legendary Armor/etc--it does it all, and does it very well. Sadly, to the detriment of other classes I enjoy playing that are not META.

    Thief, with very recent nerfs to SB 5 skill (which was the one true skill that defined the perfect roamer) I hear (have not tested it yet as PvP is a trashheap to the 100th power) is not in a great spot. But thats just grapevine chatter on forums and map chat--you gotta test it out yourself. PvE wise for group content, they are middle of the road. Their dps is not top tier, and gets shunned in CM fractals (I have much 1st hand experience). Cant answer about their condi share, I only slot a full bar of condis, when I prebuff at mistlock for inital burst on bosses in CM.

  • Murdock.6547Murdock.6547 Member ✭✭✭

    @Vayne.8563 said:
    I remember back in the days when rangers and necros weren't allowed by some in dungeon runs, even though a good ranger with spotter and spirts was worth their weight. It's just that many people saw ranger and thought bear/bow.

    Oh god don't remind me. Back when necromancer players were the black sheep with "no damage, utility, or good cc."
    changes to condi helped that a lot, at least.

  • Infusion.7149Infusion.7149 Member ✭✭✭✭

    The meta right now centers around firebrand + renegade due to the quickness + alacrity + might output. That is instead of chrono + druid.

    Condi thief is still pretty much a meme build especially after the change to deadly ambition.

    If you want to be up to date on fractals I'd look at discretize.eu.

  • sokeenoppa.5384sokeenoppa.5384 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Infusion.7149 said:
    Condi thief is still pretty much a meme build especially after the change to deadly ambition.

    Condi thief is love 😄

    I'll have two number 9s, a number 9 large, a number 6 with extra dip, a number 7, two number 45s, one with cheese, and a large soda.

  • Shadowmoon.7986Shadowmoon.7986 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Murdock.6547 said:
    I used to think the gw2 meta would stagnate due to ignorance from certain groups, and a "if it ain't broke" mentality from others. But clearly, I'm wrong. And I'm definitely not mad about that!

    Blaming groups for min maxing and finding the best builds possible was not the issue. Its 100% the incompetence of Anets systems teams. Remember this is the same team that first iteration of reaper was not aoe power damage, but was one of the best single target condi damage during the HoT timeline. After gutting its condi output to push scourge, its power damage was awful. It took MULTIPLE updates to get it an acceptable dps level. It took adding 15% damage multipliers with spiteful talisman and soul eater, adding 600 ferocity with onslaught and deathly perception, and most recently added another power damage well. All of this lead to 31k dps, where condi reaper was hitting 34k dps before pof.
    This has nothing to do with the community, its poor balancing.

  • Murdock.6547Murdock.6547 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 25, 2020

    @Shadowmoon.7986 said:

    @Murdock.6547 said:
    ...

    ...

    So first of all, it's very interesting to just blatantly call the devs incompetent. My grounds for saying this is that reaper was at one point the only elite specialization necromancer had. And while I do think it was odd that the best version of reaper was the condi variant, it was completely fine to allow the reaper tree to benefit both power and condi. Much like other trees for professions will heavily enable a certain playstyle, but still have decent traits for other styles. The problem at the time was that necromancer had absolutely no % damage modifiers. And then shortly after the condi playstyle was nerfed, they add some % damage + traits.
    Your mindset of "It's Anet's fault" is really troublesome because it sounds like you're frustrated. Possibly burned out. Maybe take a short break? It did wonders for me.

    Also, this thread is simply asking how the meta has changed. I'd rather keep it on that topic.

  • Astralporing.1957Astralporing.1957 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 25, 2020

    @Murdock.6547 said:
    So first of all, it's very interesting to just blatantly call the devs incompetent. My grounds for saying this is that reaper was at one point the only elite specialization necromancer had. And while I do think it was odd that the best version of reaper was the condi variant, it was completely fine to allow the reaper tree to benefit both power and condi. Much like other trees for professions will heavily enable a certain playstyle, but still have decent traits for other styles. The problem at the time was that necromancer had absolutely no % damage modifiers.

    Reaper still got gutted for several years. And it's still only barely decent (barely above banner warrior, and below any other sensible dps spec). When they decided that reaper should be a power dps class (and thus nerfed condi), they should have allowed him to become power dps class. It shouldn't have taken years of changes, of (+1% to axe damage) improvements, etc in order for this spec to still be underwhelming in what devs said should be its primary role.

    And then shortly after the condi playstyle was nerfed, they add some % damage + traits.

    Like i said, it wasn't "shortly after". It took years. Which is all the more laughable when you consider that the condi reaper variant also was only decent, it wasn't anything great.

    Notice also, that the condi did not really migrate to scourge. Scourge condi dps is also worse than reaper condi once was. And by a lot (it's currently benchmarket at 29k. which puts it dead last of all specs that are even benchmarked). Why? Because, according to devs, Scourge is a support spec, and thus does not need good dps.

    Necromancer, balance wise, is in a really bad spot, and has always been.

    Your mindset of "It's Anet's fault" is really troublesome because it sounds like you're frustrated. Possibly burned out. Maybe take a short break? It did wonders for me.

    If you think that me taking a short break would help make Anet better balance decisions, i'm willing to take one right now. I'm just not sure it would really work that way.

    The whole point of a social game is to play with the people you want to play with, not be forced to play with the people you don't.

  • Murdock.6547Murdock.6547 Member ✭✭✭

    @Astralporing.1957 said: ...

    Again, off topic. This post is me trying to learn what's being played frequently and what sort of comps are being run. I didn't ask for balance complaints.
    And please don't just link Snowcrows or metabattle or whatever other website. I've already done that, but I'll tell you now I've yet to see some of these builds running around since my time back. If you'd like to include casual builds, comfort builds, or even just changes to sigils and runes that have happened over the time I've been gone, I welcome that.

    Please don't continue derailing, though.

  • sokeenoppa.5384sokeenoppa.5384 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Murdock.6547 said:

    @Astralporing.1957 said: ...

    Again, off topic. This post is me trying to learn what's being played frequently and what sort of comps are being run. I didn't ask for balance complaints.
    And please don't just link Snowcrows or metabattle or whatever other website. I've already done that, but I'll tell you now I've yet to see some of these builds running around since my time back. If you'd like to include casual builds, comfort builds, or even just changes to sigils and runes that have happened over the time I've been gone, I welcome that.

    Please don't continue derailing, though.

    Pug meta has changed from 2 chronos, 1 druid and 1 off heal into 1 chrono, 1 quickbrand, 1 alac renegade and druid. In a new composition its either quickbrand or alac that plays as second healer incase if 1 is needed. Some ppl also like to run with double chronos and 1 alac, that way chronos can go very offensive as they dont need much boon duration and they dont have to provide alacrity.

    Reaper is is alright for bug raiding, but its not even close to any actual meta, heal firebrand is used alot in pugs, condi thief is still a meme but power DD is in a good spot. Power DE is a niche class used at few bosses to cover some specific mechanics.
    Pugs still want chrono to tank most bosses but in actual meta its usually either alac or druid that tanks.

    I'll have two number 9s, a number 9 large, a number 6 with extra dip, a number 7, two number 45s, one with cheese, and a large soda.

  • Cyninja.2954Cyninja.2954 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @chunx.9521 said:
    I'm going to cover what I've seen to be true in my experience pugging raids and fractals. The typical roles and comps are usually very different from what snowcrow's or dt's sites label "meta." Usually, the only thing that really carriers over from the Snowcrows benchmarks pages to pugs is whether condi or power DPS is more effective, with the exception of Dhuum where the majority of pugs bring condi damage. I'm not saying that these comps are the best or most effective or that I advocate for them, but am simply saying that this has been the "pug meta" and mindset in my experience.

    In raids, most groups nowadays follow this comp template:

    1. Chrono for tanking and quickness
    2. Druid for might, spirits, healing
    3. Heal Firebrand for quickness to second subgroup and second source of healing
    4. Banner Berserker (with condi and power variants depending on boss)
    5. Renegade that provides alacrity to 10 players
    6. 5 DPS slots

    Boss to boss and pug to pug, the composition of roles may defer (such as dropping a DPS to add a third healer), but this is what I generally see advertisements looking for.

    Quickness:
    Due to nerfs to signet of inspiration, chronos are no longer the favored class to provide either quickness or alacrity, and are only taken in a support role when they are required to tank. In most cases, there will still be a chrono tank and heal firebrands ("healbrand/hb") are usually the go-to for pugs to cover quickness for the second subgroup, due to the role compression of a healer and support all in one. I know snowcrows lists their "power boon chrono" as "meta" and extremely common in pugs, but I have never seen LFGs or squads looking for one, and chrono tanks still tend to run some mix of toughness in their gear (toughness needs to be greater than 1150 because power soulbeast gains 150 in its build) while using a shield for the blocks and Tides of Time.

    When running only one healer or an alternative healer to the healbrand, condi quickness firebrands ("condi quickbrand/cqb") are the default quickness giver that most pugs turn to. Simply, condi quickness firebrands do more damage than your average quickness chrono in diviner's gear while having an easier time maintaining quickness (pressing an easy button for AoE quickness instead of needing to ramp up clones to shatter). Rarely, you might run into chronos that give 10 man quickness due to having full diviners gear and/or 100% boon duration, but in my opinion this build would only be worth it on Conjured Amalgamate, which heavily favors power over condition damage, benefits greatly from the mesmer focus pull to pull in conjured adds, and does not have a traditional tank role that would require a chrono tank. Keep Construct is another boss where non-tank quickness chrono may be better than condi quickness firebrand, but generally here, most pugs bring a tank chrono and healbrand anyway.

    On Matthias, Adina, and Mursaat Overseer, a boon daredevil is used instead to provide 10 man quickness due to Steal giving the thief the skill Detonate Plasma, that gives all boons except alacrity to 10 players. While harder to find in pugs, they are still generally common enough that you may sometimes run across them in the LFGs. When pugs don't have a boon thief, they just take the traditional double condi quickness firebrand on these bosses. There is a core thief version of this build but no one really plays it.

    Alacrity:
    Renegade is the king of this role now. In all non-condition favored fights, the pug meta is to take a single power-based support renegade ("alacrigade") with the trait Righteous Rebel to give 10 man alacrity. Even in fights where power isn't as effective as condition damage, many pugs still rely on only a single power renegade to provide 10 man alacrity, because it is a bigger pain to advertise and seek out more specialized roles.

    The alternative to a single power renegade for alacrity is to run 2 condition dps renegades (referred to as "RR") who both take Righteous Rebel but also have 0% boon duration (hence why you have two players take RR instead of just 1). In my personal opinion, pug player skill pressing the alacrity button is so poor that many groups would probably benefit from 3 condi RR renegades instead of 2, but when pugs do ask for condi RR renegade, they only ask for 2. This is more common and oftentimes more optimal on fights where condition damage is needed, which include Matthias, Cairn, Soulless Horror, Dhuum, and Qadim the Peerless. In my opinion, condi RR is also the better choice for Mursaat Overseer (great damage and will help the scourge's epidemic) and respectable on Sabir, but pugs will often just ask for your simple power renegade due to ease of finding one for both these bosses and in general.

    Renegade is not used on Twin Largos. This fight is the only one of its nature where not stacking 8 mesmers and 2 druids is almost a mechanical failure in itself. For this fight, alacrity is "provided" by the chrono tank. I put provided in quotes because while in theory the tanks should be running both well of alacrity and some boon duration, alacrity uptime for non-chronos in this fight is horrid in pugs due to no one standing in wells.

    Tanking:
    The pug meta for all bosses that require a tank is to take a chrono with variable amounts of boon duration and toughness. Everyone seems to build a bit differently so there's no set pattern that I've seen in my experience. Tank healbrands are also accepted by pugs in all instances where a chrono would be, although the actual difficulty of tanking on a healbrand will be different depending on boss. I don't usually tank, so I'm not the most experienced on this topic, but I'd say that healbrands are generally more common when tanking the "easy" bosses and bosses that don't multi-hit (like Qadim the Peerless or Xera), though pugs readily accept them at every boss aside from Largos. Notable exceptions to the "easy" rule where I have seen healbrands tank sometimes are Deimos and Dhuum, due to their attacks being relatively slow and able to be blocked with aegis.

    Tanking on Adina is usually done on a heal renegade or (less commonly) the boon daredevil since quickness givers aren't needed outside the daredevil, but that's the only exception you'll see for tanking from the standard chrono/healbrand.

    Contrary to the Benchmarks page on Snowcrows, no one uses druid tanks in pugs (maybe you might rarely see one on gorseval if that's the only boss the group does).

    Healers:
    Druid is taken on every fight in pugs, no exceptions. You're not going to see any fancy groups running soulbeasts for spirits instead, trying to squeeze out extra DPS. Sometimes, pugs may only take one healer. In my anecdotal experience, these groups are almost always your "elitist," one-pull-or-leave-type groups. As mentioned before, healbrand is the default second healer 90% of the time.

    Alternate heal options include heal renegade and less commonly heal tempest, although groups rarely explicitly advertise for these roles and when you do see players playing these classes, they either join because the listing posted a vague "looking for offheal" message that didn't force them into healbrand or they don't have a healbrand geared (in these cases the group would have condi quickbrands).

    Heal renegade has its pug meta place for fights that need use of the ventari bubble, notably Adina. Bubble renegade (either heal or power dps) may also be used at Sabir to block the wisps.

    The "noob" healer that are almost taboo in the pug meta is the heal scourge, due to its reputation of carrying bad groups and bad players kicking and screaming to success (see Boneskinner in strike missions as an example, where pugs have just giving up on getting good). In my opinion, this reputation is undoubtedly true and it is, I think, the best healer in the game by far. Groups will rarely ask for one, but beginner groups won't be shy about running them. Ironically, because of just how heal scourge is just too good at carrying, they are sometimes unwelcome by commanders and pugs, who will try to shame you with the "git gud" attitude and scoff at the notion that they of all people would need a heal scourge to peel their skin off their ground. In my opinion, this mindset is unfortunately misplaced if you're a pug who is only looking for easy, consistent clears, but that's how it is.

    DPS:
    GW2 has come a long way from the reaper stigma you mentioned. For the most part, reapers are accepted in pugs where power damage is appropriate (although I will admit that I am personally never happy to see a reaper join my group even as a necro main due to the low ceiling aspect of all necro specs). Although reaper, herald, and condi scourge (except where epidemic is needed on Mursaat Overseer and Soulless Horror) will sometimes get some snide remarks, all other viable DPS builds of all other professions are equally welcome. The only caveat here is that you bring the appropriate type of build (condi or power) to the fight. Even then, pugs are really only sometimes sensitive to this for Keep Construct, maybe Slothasor and Conjured Amalgamate.

    Pug meta relevant DPS builds include, in order of general efficacy in the hands of your average pug player (in my opinion). These are obviously variable depending on player skill:

    Power: Holosmith, Soulbeast, Chrono, Weaver/Tempest, Dragonhunter, Reaper
    Condition: Mirage, Renegade, Soulbeast, Scourge

    Other high DPS builds exist out there of course, such as condi weaver and DPS berserker variants, but these are rarely seen. I ranked power chrono and dragonhunter fairly low due to the lack of slow and retaliation uptimes that each build respectively requires in pugs. Other than those exceptions, these basically follow your snowcrows benchmarks for the most part.

    With all that said, doing top/near top DPS regardless of build or profession will keep everyone's mouth shut.

    Exception here is Twin Largos, where at the minimum, you must run a condi build for pugs. Ideally, pugs would have nothing but condi chronos and mirages here simply because a mediocre mesmer player is often just as good or better than a great player of any other build.

    In fractals, the pug meta is:

    1. Healbrand
    2. Power Alacrigade
    3. Power Banner Berserker (although some groups may skip on this in favor of a third DPS)
    4. 2 DPS slots

    Notes for alacrity/quickness are the same as for raids. No one runs chronos in fractals becomes nobody stands in your alacrity wells, and mobs die too fast for chronos to generate the clones that are shattered for quickness, thus the ubiquity of firebrands. On T3 and below fractals (eg. recommended fractals), you may find condi quickbrands replacing healbrands. Sometimes, the group may have a condi quickbrand and instead use a heal renegade as a healer, but this is not very common and healbrands are preferred over heal renegade for the firebrand's greater range of utility, blocks, and heals in general.

    My understanding is that druids are not taken in fractals because groups usually aren't stacked as tightly to benefit from the powerful close-range celestial avatar healing, and the DPS loss isn't worth it. Better to bring a healbrand that compresses the roles of quickness and healing than having a dedicated druid healer and a lower DPS condi quickbrand, even after spirit buffs. At least this is what I think the reasoning is.

    In terms of welcome DPS classes, power is heavily preferred although no one can really tell what build you are coming in, and once again, pulling high DPS shuts everyone up. The exception to this is for 100cm, where condi is the pug meta. In fact, most 100cm pug groups (especially those that require kill proof) exclusively take 3x condi firebrands, 1 alacrigade, and 1 healbrand, and will take no other composition.

    Quick note on the builds that dt marks as "meta." No one runs power firebrand for quickness. You either get the quickness from a healbrand, or you get it from the condi quickbrand. As soon as the encounter lasts >60 sec (approximately if I remember correctly), condi quickbrand out-dpses power quickbrand. You'll encounter weavers, but they are by no means the common "meta" dps choice. Same for soulbeasts, who you cannot rely on to bring frost spirit.

    Might isn't super coordinated in my experience, although the residual might that many builds generate is supposedly enough. I suppose the hope is that your healbrand uses staff 4 once in a while, you brought a power banner berserker who is bringing the tactics line for soldiers focus, and that your alacrigade also remembers to use the F2 Heroic Command.

    Had to quote because this is a very good summary of the current situation. Spot on m8. Good job.

  • melandru.3876melandru.3876 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @chunx.9521 said:

    Quickness:
    Due to nerfs to signet of inspiration, chronos are no longer the favored class to provide either quickness or alacrity, and are only taken in a support role when they are required to tank. In most cases, there will still be a chrono tank and heal firebrands ("healbrand/hb") are usually the go-to for pugs to cover quickness for the second subgroup, due to the role compression of a healer and support all in one. I know snowcrows lists their "power boon chrono" as "meta" and extremely common in pugs, but I have never seen LFGs or squads looking for one, and chrono tanks still tend to run some mix of toughness in their gear (toughness needs to be greater than 1150 because power soulbeast gains 150 in its build) while using a shield for the blocks and Tides of Time.

    what? nearly every recent record has 7 power chronos that each bring time warp for 10 man wide 10 second lasting quickness. that is 70 seconds of quickness covered with zero support dedicated to it.

    that is the meta

  • Cyninja.2954Cyninja.2954 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 26, 2020

    @melandru.3876 said:

    @chunx.9521 said:

    Quickness:
    Due to nerfs to signet of inspiration, chronos are no longer the favored class to provide either quickness or alacrity, and are only taken in a support role when they are required to tank. In most cases, there will still be a chrono tank and heal firebrands ("healbrand/hb") are usually the go-to for pugs to cover quickness for the second subgroup, due to the role compression of a healer and support all in one. I know snowcrows lists their "power boon chrono" as "meta" and extremely common in pugs, but I have never seen LFGs or squads looking for one, and chrono tanks still tend to run some mix of toughness in their gear (toughness needs to be greater than 1150 because power soulbeast gains 150 in its build) while using a shield for the blocks and Tides of Time.

    what? nearly every recent record has 7 power chronos that each bring time warp for 10 man wide 10 second lasting quickness. that is 70 seconds of quickness covered with zero support dedicated to it.

    that is the meta

    He literally started his post with:

    @chunx.9521 said:
    I'm going to cover what I've seen to be true in my experience pugging raids and fractals. The typical roles and comps are usually very different from what snowcrow's or dt's sites label "meta."

    Not sure what speedrun or top tier meta has to do with what he wrote. Please take the time to first READ what is being written, then start complaining.