Fractal social awkwardness question - to stack or not to stack? — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Fractal social awkwardness question - to stack or not to stack?

stone cold.8609stone cold.8609 Member ✭✭✭
edited November 24, 2018 in Fractals, Dungeons, and Raids

I was in a T3 fractal PUG group with the social awkwardness instability today. We had a dedicated healer who kept asking the group to stack so that they could more easily heal us, despite it being pointed out that one of our instabilities was social awkwardness and we really shouldn't be stacking. The healer said they could heal through it, but this was the first time I'd heard anyone tell me this before. I wanted to ask the experienced fractal runners - Is this a legitimate strategy? It didn't work out too well for this group, but I honestly don't know if it was the group, the stacking, or a combination of both.


  • I ran T4 fractal yesterday (Mai trin 95) 2/3 dailies got Social awkward, We did stack, loose stack and got out healed from druid.

    IMO, when healer said "Stack", should check for "loose stack" or completely "Stack" a pile.

  • The healer said they could heal through it

    Trust the healer. There's really no point in having one instead of DPS unless you take advantage of their abilities.

    • A great healer (ideally backed with good alacrity/quickness) can outheal poison and/or an agony stack or two, sometimes both, if people stay within range.
    • A good healer can outheal poision, but not necessarily agony.
    • A decent healer should be able to help everyone stay up.

    There's really no way to know which one you have in a PUG unless you trust them to do their job, which requires the other four being within range.

    If it doesn't work out, you can always go back to the traditional everyone running everywhere, and mostly right into everyone else causing agony anyhow, but without the benefit of a healer nearby to everyone. That works; it's just slower.

    It's hard to take this on faith. I remember the first time (this was ages ago), we had a healer who insisted we could stack at Tom in UnCat and only two of us trusted that. But it was so much faster to be able to skip batteries that everyone became a believer.

    "Face the facts. Then act on them. It's ...the only doctrine I have to offer you, & it's harder than you'd think, because I swear humans seem hardwired to do anything but. Face the facts. Don't pray, don't wish, ...FACE THE FACTS. THEN act." — Quellcrist Falconer

  • Social Awk lowers your incoming healing tremendously. It cannot be healed through. When your healer asks you to "stack" for Social Awk, you're supposed to understand that to mean "losely stack so that you're somewhat close together but not within each other's Social Awk red circles". The typical way to handle this is for the group to form a circle around the enemy, that way everyone can melee the enemy, everyone can support/heal each other, but no one is within each other's Social Awk red circle.

  • Vinceman.4572Vinceman.4572 Member ✭✭✭✭

    If you stack on top of each other in a fractal with Social Awkwardness the chance of getting players in downstate is increasing dramatically. There's nothing the healer would be able to do besides rezzing which is most often counterproductive from the healing perspective because in that moment you aren't able to hand out active healing.
    On all bosses, even on Virastraa (Aarstariv in CM), you can stack in a way around the boss that your druid, chrono or others should be able to grant the boons you needed to all players without anyone being in trouble with Social Awkwardness.
    You should also know about "max meleeing" which means you are not inside the encounter you are actually fighting but some little distance away so that you still hit the boss precisely. It can help to grant some space for others and avoid SA easily.

  • Deepcuts.9740Deepcuts.9740 Member ✭✭✭

    Yeah, Social Awkwardness is a mystery to so many.
    It cannot be out healed by only one healer if everyone stacks on top of each other, no matter how good the healer is.
    I am seeing this daily. People just mindlessly stepping on each other's toes and going splat.
    I wish a healer could out heal this, but somebody back at Anet thought Social Awkwardness is a fun idea to have.NOT

  • stone cold.8609stone cold.8609 Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 24, 2018

    Thank you all for the input - very helpful! I think we just had an inexperienced group. I spent the entire time trying to stack loosely, but other members of the group were trying to stack tightly and the healer wasn't very specific on what they wanted other than they kept asking for everyone to stack so that they would have an easier time healing us. All I can say is that in this group, the healer could not out heal the agony damage I was receiving. I am fairly new to higher level fractals and this interaction really confused me, so I appreciate the advice! I now know to help the group by explaining loose vs tight stack and clarifying what the healer wants.

  • Eramonster.2718Eramonster.2718 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 25, 2018

    Keep a distance away from each other (around 240 yards?); not let the red circle splashing get in contact with another player(s) when your character is attacking. Minimize movement and try not to intrude into other players zone and you will be fine; not having a thief jumping around with their skill helps :lol: . It is possible to heal through SA if you're stacking in low tier fractals (less dmg taken all around, lower and slower building up S.A). I personally don't recommend trying it above Frac Lv.90. The mobs hit harder and S.A is much more painful plus stacks up to 90% healing reduction which can be fatal.

  • Zenith.7301Zenith.7301 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Agony pretty much negates all incoming healing, so no amount of healing will be able to brute force through it. You HAVE to respect the radius of social awkwardness.

    The most important part about it is to stop moving pointlessly. Pick a spot and stay put in it.

  • santso.9201santso.9201 Member ✭✭✭

    We need original social awkwardness Back with 600 range and all Times, not just when in combat

  • Henry.5713Henry.5713 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 26, 2018

    There is stacking and there is "stacking". You can easily stay close while not hitting eachother with Social Awkwardness which of course makes things much easier for the healers or anyone trying to apply boons. The Thaumanova Reactor comes to mind, with the Thaumanova Anomaly (the last boss) in particular. A single platform tile is big enough for everyone to stack and yet avoid hitting eachother with SA if they position themselves properly. Running around and panicing turns that encounter into a mess when it should actually be quite easy.

    You could also run a Scourge if you want to laugh at that instability as unlike with healing, Barrier application is not reduced at all.
    Which makes a Barrier spamming Support Scourge your safest bet if you can not stay alive even with any of the other healers present.

    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. ~ Robert Heinlein

  • Shivvies.3921Shivvies.3921 Member ✭✭✭

    As someone just learning to Druid and recently completed some CMs as heals of the group, take this with a grain of salt maybe but I would say most assuredly they meant loose stacking.

    As in "please don't go running around, I'm not a savant and can't really drop a ground targeted aoe on everyone with unpredictable movement patterns all over the arena."

    We can heal for absolute batkitten crazy amounts but if you get -70% heals, AR stacks, other condi damage or mechanic damage - I mean, that's lottery right there and someone's bound to get downed.


  • TexZero.7910TexZero.7910 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @santso.9201 said:
    We need original social awkwardness Back with 600 range and all Times, not just when in combat

    Calm down there.
    They just need to remove SA like they said they want to do because it runs counter to having a fun experience.

  • If you literally stack while SA is in play, there's something wrong with your decision making skills. You need to be close enough for group support. Not that difficult to manage.

    And besides, every fractal pug ever will make sure you stack, because they love standing right on top of you and moving side to side randomly for no kitten reason whenever SA is an instability.

  • Safandula.8723Safandula.8723 Member ✭✭✭✭

    U need to be close enough to get a heal, but far enough from each other(the little black ring around u) to nor damage allies

  • Deepcuts.9740Deepcuts.9740 Member ✭✭✭

    Fun fact:
    No SA? Nobody stacks. Elementalists and Necros will stay as far as possible. They don't need buffs.
    SA? Everybody stacks. Even those eles and necros.
    I used to ask people to stack whenever possible. I quit that habit some time ago. No point really.
    I really hope they get rid of SA.

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