Help understanding which Profession to pick — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Help understanding which Profession to pick

Yeah, it's another one of those threads where someone needs help deciding what class/job/role/etc they should be playing. I got both expansions (one gifted, one bought) so I should have access to everything Profession-wise. I'm not huge on PvP but will probably end up trying it since the most things I hear about this game involve PvP/WvW but I'll be looking mostly at the other types of content that this game offers for what I want my Profession to be. The reason I need help picking is cause there are 5 character slots and 9 Professions and then each Profession seems to have a boatload of builds.

So onto the nitty-gritty part of it all. Right now I'm playing Final Fantasy XIV and with the new release of 5.0, two of the classes I played over there just don't do it for me anymore. Namely AST and BRD for those that also play that. In every MMO I play I tend to gravitate to the more support oriented classes which often enough seems to combine with the healer classes so that's more or less what I'm looking for here. If you've played XIV then you know how DPS obsessed the game is and I'm looking to get away from that along with a set rotation if at all possible.

The bullet-point version would be like
-Focused on healing/support
-Preferably little to no set rotation
-As far away from DPS-centric as can be

also, not a huge fan of pet/minion classes but I can deal with them (looking at you XIV's SCH)

Comments

  • Arklite.4013Arklite.4013 Member ✭✭
    edited August 27, 2019

    On my phone so I can't type a whole lot, but people are probably going to suggest:

    Firebrand Guardian
    Elementalist (All three types have viable support options, but the non-core specs will probably perform better)

    They're the most "support-oriented" (mostly firebrand) and it's less of a "rotation" and more of "adapting on the fly based on the situation". I'm assuming you already know that GW2 adheres to a design philosophy that stays away from the "dps/tank/heal" trifecta and kind of makes each class self sufficient in all three aspects. I would say that firebrand is probably closest to what you're looking for, though.

    Edit: Forgot Ventari Rev existed

  • steki.1478steki.1478 Member ✭✭✭✭

    DPS obsessed the game is and I'm looking to get away from that along with a set rotation if at all possible.

    Gw2 is practically the same though. End game pve groups usually have optimized groups around damage output which need specific supports/healers to buff them (all of them having dedicated role and skill rotations). Wvw and pvp are more reactive and depending on current situation, but there's still specific combos and skill priority you want to follow.

    Groups in pve that play w/e usually wipe on trivial bosses because of lack of heals/damage, but in open world it's irrelevant because the content is simply too easy to fail unless you're really that bad.

    That being said, elite specs that focus on both healing and supporting are (sorted by demand in pve, from highest to lowest):

    1) druid, firebrand, renegade (ventari) - with high demand comes high expectations so they can be somewhat rotation based, but not particularly hard (supports generally have easy rotations). In certain groups, firebrand and renegade are played as dps/support hybrids so they aren't necessarily healers, they just have a choice of being one. FB and Ren are usually always played in the same party/squad, while druid is more often played with chrono in tandem. The reason for that is having permanent uptime of all offensive boons (fb/ren are usually more reliable and easier to play than chrono, druid is relatively easy as well). Healing renegade might be a bit clunky to use due to ventari tablet mechanic.

    2) scourge, tempest - generally just very strong aoe healers and (due to lack of providing mandatory buffs) not much wanted. Because of both reasons, they aren't very rotation based, but not necessarily spam whatever you have off cooldown. Both are great choice for getting into end game pve considering how much raw healing (or barrier in scourge case) they have and how forgiving they are. They also have pretty good reviving potential (especially scourge) which makes them even better choice for beginners, but that's usually not needed in more experienced groups.

    Deso's favorite FROG
    Master of afk and kiting
    The God of Pips and Gud Deeps
    Froggo himself

  • @Arklite.4013 said:
    They're the most "support-oriented" (mostly firebrand) and it's less of a "rotation" and more of "adapting on the fly based on the situation". I'm assuming you already know that GW2 adheres to a design philosophy that stays away from the "dps/tank/heal" trifecta and kind of makes each class self sufficient in all three aspects. I would say that firebrand is probably closest to what you're looking for, though.

    Yeah, know that there isn't the "holy trinity" in this game, though from the little research I've done on endgame, seems like people feel the elite specs are moving the game towards that.

    @steki.1478 said:
    Groups in pve that play w/e usually wipe on trivial bosses because of lack of heals/damage, but in open world it's irrelevant because the content is simply too easy to fail unless you're really that bad.

    Ranger is the first one I found that has a more healer build in Druid so have been going through with that. I don't really care all that much if this game is DPS centric so long as the kits of the classes reflect that. Problem with XIV is healers have 2 DPS skills (single target and DoT) that they spam for 75% of the time in a given fight and heal at scripted moments in the fight.

    trust me, I've seen those kinds of players that wipe to things they really shouldn't be able to. I'm here though so I don't try taking "w/e" into content and am actually brining a build that'll contribute. I know all the others, but what does Tempest come from?

  • steki.1478steki.1478 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 27, 2019

    Ranger is the first one I found that has a more healer build in Druid so have been going through with that. I don't really care all that much if this game is DPS centric so long as the kits of the classes reflect that. Problem with XIV is healers have 2 DPS skills (single target and DoT) that they spam for 75% of the time in a given fight and heal at scripted moments in the fight.

    Ranger is the only class which has a pet by default so do mind that. In gw2 every class is designed to be self sufficient with sustain and damage and certain specs and elite specs can turn you from a dps to support. You still have the same skills, but based on your gear stats, as well as traits, you'll either to direct damage, condition damage or no damage (mostly support builds or just bad buildcrafting).

    Druid meta build is generally considered a buffer which happens to heal with same skills. It's mandatory buffing rotation is fairly simple, the rest is just regular support stuff - do CC when needed, heal and revive allies, do mechanics that dont require dps or mechanics that wont put the rest of the group in danger.

    trust me, I've seen those kinds of players that wipe to things they really shouldn't be able to. I'm here though so I don't try taking "w/e" into content and am actually brining a build that'll contribute. I know all the others, but what does Tempest come from?

    Tempest comes from elementalist. Ele is generally a hard class, but pure heal tempest is one of the easier builds. However there are other support builds on tempest that focus more on buffing and they have more strict rotations, but same buffs are usually provided easier, more reliable by other supports who bring even more buffs to the table. That's why heal tempest is usually seen as just a strong heal bot that does almost nothing except pure heals with some other defensive utility (which usually isn't needed because offensive buffs are a lot more utilized in better groups).

    Deso's favorite FROG
    Master of afk and kiting
    The God of Pips and Gud Deeps
    Froggo himself

  • Dediggefedde.4961Dediggefedde.4961 Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 27, 2019

    @Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:
    Support Engineer:
    Bad at Buffing
    Second, the scrapper is the only class that can give out Superspeed,
    which is a unique movement buff limited to very few places.

    3 annotations here:

    • very good at buffing in WvW, bad at pre-buffing. The condition conversion covers all important boons and the total might/fury/alacrity group uptime as well as speed/vigor/protection is comparable to other supporters. Quickness is only high on the engineer itself, though. Also group stability, which is reserved for guardians. We checked this many times with arc-dps boontables in WvW fights. During the fights boons were constantly up compared to other groups with different supporters.
    • Tempests and heralds also give group superspeed. The difference is a near 100% uptime on engineer while on Herald/Tempest there is a large CD. They have a 10 target-limit, though.
    • Superspeed is nowadays one of the most important boons in WvW. Warrior bubbles make positioning much more important and with superspeed, you can evade most ticking fields or move more swiftly in general. It is also overriding cripple/chill and can not be corrupted/stripped, so many guilds build their setup also around superspeed availability
  • @Dediggefedde.4961 said:

    @Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:
    Support Engineer:
    Bad at Buffing
    Second, the scrapper is the only class that can give out Superspeed,
    which is a unique movement buff limited to very few places.

    3 annotations here:

    • very good at buffing in WvW, bad at pre-buffing. The condition conversion covers all important boons and the total might/fury/alacrity group uptime as well as speed/vigor/protection is comparable to other supporters. Quickness is only high on the engineer itself, though. Also group stability, which is reserved for guardians. We checked this many times with arc-dps boontables in WvW fights. During the fights boons were constantly up compared to other groups with different supporters.
    • Tempests and heralds also give group superspeed. The difference is a near 100% uptime on engineer while on Herald/Tempest there is a large CD. They have a 10 target-limit, though.
    • Superspeed is nowadays one of the most important boons in WvW. Warrior bubbles make positioning much more important and with superspeed, you can evade most ticking fields or move more swiftly in general. It is also overriding cripple/chill and can not be corrupted/stripped, so many guilds build their setup also around superspeed availability

    That's what I mean when I say "limited to very few places." Yes, tempests have Eye of the Storm, which gives 5 seconds of super speed every 40 seconds. However, Scrappers give 5 seconds of super speed with every blast finisher and on all of their gyros. In scale, to compare the two is like comparing jumping to flying.

    Scrapper boons are weird. You only get them when you cleanse conditions. This is dependent on your opponent hitting you with conditions. Because of this, what boons you get and how much of them you get is out of your control. This makes it so scrappers don't fill a particular role with boons, like all of the other buffers do.

    "Self awareness is knowing when you're sitting at the throne of ignorance." --Leo G.

  • starlinvf.1358starlinvf.1358 Member ✭✭✭✭

    To further expand on everything so far, you have to realize GW2 is more action oriented (more in line with Tera and modern MOBAs) then Classic Archetype "MMORPGs".

    This creates 4 major differences that Players coming out of other games have trouble getting over:

    • The Builds have much smaller skill bars, which plays into....
    • The game's trait/effects mechanics are very nuanced, but its vastly overshadowed by Damage floaters (which is generally why it takes a long for players to realize how the buildcraft works, or why it works)
    • The game is heavily centered on reactive game play. Dodges are king, defenses have to be timed, and many effects are short lived. Raids are the only exception to this, as the entire game mode is explicitly designed and managed around DPS metrics. In other areas of the game DPS is universally useful, but doesn't have as aggressive benchmark requirements.

    • 4th is the soft trinity philosophy. The game's entire working premise is dismantle the Hard trinity that most games base their entire class systems around. As a result, all classes are capable of building for Damage, Control or Support. There is no baseline Healer requirement, and each class is capable of full autonomy by default. This is driven primarily to allow Open world roaming to be done solo, and plays best at the game's "Ad-Hoc" method of cooperative grouping. (This is very different then PUGS seen in other games)

    To understand everything, you have to first understand the Attitude the game's design promotes in the community. Central to all of this is how Drops work. In this game, each player rolls loot separately for EVERYTHING. Drops from kills, Meta event rewards, dungeons/raids, chests, literally everything is handled independently. This ONE fact of its design means players are almost never in direct competition for rewards (outside of a few badly designed events), and its ALWAYS beneficial to everyone, including yourself, to casually coordinate tasks with surrounding players, or the map at large. If everyone understand the drop mechanics, everyone gets a chance to tag, and everyone gets more loot. If you're greedy, you not only hurt your allies, you also directly hurt yourself. Exp works the same way; and its the only MMORPG where mob farming for Exp is entirely counter productive.

    Its from this that the Independence capable of each class starts to make sense. The only place where this concept fell on its face is the Dev's using classic Mob AI behavior, which has been the root cause of why raw DPS trumps much of the game's mechanics. Dumb AI, compensated for by oceans of HP and massive, slow attacks that eat huge chunks of your health if they land. Defensive stats don't outscale enemy damage fast enough, but a dead mob does 0 DPS.....

    This doesn't discourage players from using Support builds; but through a lot of trial, error and optimization, we've learned to incorporate support functions into DPS builds for higher surviability at minimal cost to damage potential. Any part of the game which operates on numerical scaling is invariably flawed by its link to DPS scaling... hence Damage's universal usefulness, and how everything seems to feed into it. But there are areas of the game, particularly PvP and WvW, where mechanical advantages are more important then damage scaling; and its in these areas that dedicated support builds can shine by overriding damage output. PvP has bunker builds which exist to contest points, while World-vs-World has an entire group infrastructure built around condition management. Raids and Fractals (which is structured group content) utilizes similar principles, but operates more like a classic trinity encounter.

    A support build in an Open world context is described as moderate DPS build with group support elements baked into it. You can kill random trash mobs you encounter efficiently; but in the larger scale meta events, you increase ally's aggregate power by buffing(boons), clearing conditions and effects, shielding attacks, crowd control, breaking defiance on Champion mobs to counter them, debuffing the enemies, or acting on event related mechanics. The average open world event tends to look like chaos from the outside, but a large percentage of players are juggling tasks to prevent the event from failing, and tagging mobs as they go.

    This is only the tip of the iceberg of how the this game does things differently, often better, yet struggles in areas in a way that a lot of people don't understand in modern MMO landscape.

    but moving on...........

  • starlinvf.1358starlinvf.1358 Member ✭✭✭✭

    In part 2,

    I can make one obvious recommendation that would runs in line with you're mind set, but is probably the best way to teach you the game's support design in the most straight forward way possible......

    Roll a GUADIAN. Doesn't matter what race you pick, most of their racial skills range from effectively useless to occasionally entertaining. Theres no stat bonuses or class limits tied to race, so go with whatever tickles your RP fancy.

    The reasoning for Guardian is simple..... its the perfect embodiment of the game's support concept, built in-line into everything it does. All of its skills do double duty, and even its offensive skills have defensive applications. If you build for damage, you can still support allies on a mechanical level. If you build for Defensive support, you become a zone of fortification for allies in a fight. If you go Offensive support, you boost the damage output of allies around you. And unlike most classes, you can hybridize and adjust these mainly through choice of skills and traits. Its only in extreme builds that you need deep stat investment; as most situations (stat wise) allow you to run an offensive baseline with a dash of defense for safety. Active defenses are so powerful in this game, that you should never need to soak damage if you can avoid it... and guardian has access to a lot of it.

    Now in earlier levels (everything under 60), the game doesn't really threaten you with incoming damage. You can afford to take hits, and often have to since most classes don't function properly until you reach level it. Gear stats have relevance, but aren't truly significant (and not worth real investment) until level 80, when the entire core line is unlocked. In the mean time, you prioritize power and precision as desirable stats so you can kill things, and can easily rely on your utility and weapon skills as your means of defenses (in addition to learning to manage dodges). Guardians have very low HP by design, but stops being an issue as you get better at managing your defense and control skills. And don't fall into the trap of relying on Defensive stats to pad your life span..... you mix some in, but over allocation in early game makes you complacent with it. Once past level 60, things hit HARD. Things hit Fast. And those Things also have friends. You only afford full defense or support builds when you have a friend(s) with you to deal the damage for you.... And all of that stuff is all post-80 content.

    Oh and its need to be pointed out that all the Story missions work on the assumption that the NPCs are useless without you, and you are the main source of damage for most of those fights. Yeah.... NPCs are pretty weak on both sides, until you get to the expansions.

    As for specific skills to go for.....
    Weapon choices:
    Offensive- Greatsword, Sword, Scepter, Focus
    Defensive- Shield, Hammer
    Support- Mace, Staff

    You have 2 weapon load outs you can swap in-combat (which gets unlocked at some point in leveling), on a 10 second cool down. One set you want to have an offensive main hand weapon at all times. The offhand (if open) is flexible. The second weapon set can be whatever you feel you need as secondary. Scepter and Staff are your only ranged options. Note that if you take staff, its designed to support OTHER players. While you can use it to help heal yourself, your stuck having to kite for 10 seconds... which is a lot of time for mob groups to go to town you. Note that the Defensive and support weapons gets more effective when playing around allies, but when by yourself, the Offensive weapons are your best option. My go-to combo is GreatSword - Sword/Shield in open world and leveling, and break out the staff for group events and world bosses (where other people are guaranteed to be around).

    Utilities:
    Healing - Shelter is the recommended skill. It heals for less overall; but learning to utilize the Blocking aspect of it to avoid damage, while healing yourself at the same time, teaches you how to maximize the effectiveness of your skills. Most players only think one action at a time..... but as you get better at leveraging skills to do multiple things at once, you'll notice your combat effectiveness skyrocket.

    Slot 7-9: In the early game, Signets and Meditation are your strongest options. Smite Condition, Bane Signet and Contemplation of Purity should be the first 3 you should go for. It'll take you a while to get enough points to unlock them, but starting with Smite condition gives you a much needed condition clearing skill for the early game. if you need low hanging fruit, Sword of Justice is cheap damage supplement for 1 skill point. When you access to traits, you want Valor and Zeal, as those improve your Meditation skills and overall damage respectively. Once you level enough to have 3 trait lines active at the same time, you start playing with other combinations as you like. Just keep in mind that raw healing isn't nearly as useful as boons, since all of them have flat effects or are purely mechanical, and thus don't need any stats to scale off of. Protection and Aegis boons are defensive gold if you can predict attacks, or cast them as AOE fields start showing up.

    Elite slot (10): On guardian this is more supplemental utility, and rarely has any build that demands something specific. If you have nothing in mind, Signet of Courage (if you have it unlocked) does small passive AOE healing ticks, but the Mega Heal on cast can be very satisfying as you find opportunities to use it.

    That covers you to level 80. Once you get to Elite Specializations, the entire dynamics of Guardian shift like an earth quake. Firebrand is what you want to get next. It takes everything Guardian does good as support, and cranks it up to 13. Its also here you can start running more support oriented builds without running into the damage dichotomy of Core Guard and Dragonhunter. I run a Hybrid Burn/Support Celestial build, and it is an absolute monster on all fronts. Enough outgoing damage via burning to deal with solo activity, but easily sustains a whole group in the more difficult meta events in HOT and POF. I could change the stat distribution now that the newer support combos are live.... but I'm too lazy to get around to it.

  • So looks like after I finish getting Ranger up the next one should be Firebrand Guardian. Revenant for another serious support build then for some more fun Elementalist and Necromancer since they can do support but I assume they have other specs they are better at?

  • Rashagar.8349Rashagar.8349 Member ✭✭✭

    @Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:
    Well, I've got some bad news. The support specs don't play any differently than the DPS specs. Everything is heavily rotation based, and focused on maintaining particular sets of boons. Occasionally you'll have to adapt your skills to deal with something unexpected, but overall it is the same kind of convoluted skill rotations as DPS.. Depending on where you go or what you do will change which class is best.

    My first piece of advice is this: If you are running around solo in the PVE overworld, don't bother with using a healing set. Get yourself a berserker set first, and then pick up a healing set later. It seems counter-intuitive at first, but all of the professions were designed to be capable of surviving even with zero defenses. Because of this, the best (and most lucrative) way to play PVE anywhere is in full glass cannon gear. Now, on to the professions.

    Support Mesmer:
    PVE solo and group recommended
    PVP and WvW not recommended
    Good at buffing
    Bad at healing
    Learning Curve: high
    Recommended Gear: Diviner for buffing, Minstrel for healing + tanking
    You'll want to focus on the Chronomancer elite specialization with the mesmer, as the mirage has no group utilities to speak of. For the longest time, the chronomancer was the buffer. It was so strong and polarizing that Arenanet had to drastically reduce its abilities and give them to other professions, just to encourage build diversity. Chrono's get a lot of knocks lately, but they're still the go-to buffer and tank in raids, and they're still used somewhat everywhere else. The mesmer has a lot of tricks up their sleeve, but their main strength is the ability to give everyone Alacrity and Quickness, which are the two strongest boons in the game. The drawback is that they're hard to play. Their rotations are complicated and require fairly precise timing. Their mechanic of managing illusions is convoluted, which makes them bad at PVP and even worse at WvW. A note about the gear: only bring minstrels into raids if you're going to be the tank. For healing, the minstrel set has a couple of additional features that pulse out some heals, but not enough for sustained pressure.

    Support Revenant:
    PVE Solo and group recommended
    PVP and WvW recommended
    Good at buffing
    Good at healing*
    Learning Curve: low for buffing, high for healing
    Recommended Gear: Diviner for Buffing (PVE and WvW), Harrier for Both (PVE), Cleric for Both (WvW)
    For PVE you'll want the Renegade elite specialization, but for WvW you'll want the Herald. The buffing and healing builds are quite different from each other, so I'll have to go over those separately.
    The buffing build for PVE is all about two things: Alacrity and Might. There's some protection and healing on the side as well. The build runs the renegade elite specialization, which can pulse these out easily with just a button press. The renegade also has a pretty good heal in Soucleave Summit, one that doesn't require additional investment to work, so you're free to run Diviner gear. This "alacrigade" is pretty easy to play, and is the meta tactic for fractals (GW2 dungeons). For WvW, there's two support builds. Alacrigade is still a thing, but there's also the boon Herald. The Herald elite specialization has a couple of toggles that pulse out fury, might, swiftness, regeneration, and protection, alongside of a unique bonus that boosts everyone's boon duration. This isn't used much in structured PVE (in unstructured, go wild) because those boons are already covered by everyone else. But in WvW, the wide range and low maintenance of these toggle skills, combined with their high number of targets makes the Boon Herald a staple in WvW. Berserker gear is preferred for WvW, because the herald tends to sit in the back and attack from range, but Diviner gear works really well also.
    The healing builds, however, are like herding cats. For heals, the renegade is preferred in PVE, and the Herald is preferred in WvW. The reason for this difficulty is simple: most of the healing that is done is tied to a skill called Ventari's Tablet, which summons an object (sort-of) into the game. All of the heals and abilities are centered around this tablet, and you need to use another skill to move it manually. This tablet has the best burst healing in the game, however all of these heals are focused onto a very narrow range. Playing a heal revenant is like a trust fall, wherein you hope everyone else trusts you enough to stay inside of the tablet's range. This means that the healing builds are very hard to use in PVP, WvW, and PVE when playing with inexperienced players. The rotation isn't hard, since all you do is make sure everyone is in the tablet and press 1 button to heal, however ensuring such can be quite frustrating at times.

    Support Guardian:
    PVE Solo and Group recommended
    PVP and WvW recommended
    Good at buffing
    Mediocre at healing
    Learning Curve: low
    Recommended Gear: nearly pure Berserker for buffing, harrier for both (PVE), Minstrel for both (WvW)
    You'll want to go with the firebrand specialization. The Guardian is good all around, and it is good everywhere. It, too, has a large back of tricks, and it is one of the most in-demand support specs for fractals and WvW. It pulses out a lot of smaller boons, but the main advantages are Quickness and Aegis. They get paired with Alacrigade because of how well they compliment one another. While the Firebrand only has a few steady heals scattered throughout their rotations, the main strength comes from all of the Aegis, which blocks the first attack received every time Aegis is applied. Firebrands are fairly straightforward to play, too. In WvW the firebrand has another benefit: Retaliation. In PVE this boon has no real use, but in PVP it can tear enemies apart with all of the counter-damage that it produces. All in all, for a newbie to the game, the Guardian is probably the best supporting and heal spec you can start with. The only reason to to start with one is if you like a challenge or for thematic reasons.

    Support Ranger:
    PVE Solo and Group recommended
    PVP and WvW not recommended
    Mediocre at buffing
    Mediocre at healing
    Recommended Gear: Harriers.
    Learning Curve: medium
    You'll want to go with the Druid specialization. Now, as I don't play this class, I personally can't say much. The strength of the Druid is that it creates plenty of might, which pairs it with the chronomancer. Also, the ranger has a lot of unique buffs that aren't available anywhere else. Spotter, Frost Spirit, and Sun Spirit provide unique bonuses to damage which are so pivotal that, when testing the damage that other builds do, it is always done assuming a druid is present. They only have average heals, though.


    Those are the big four in the game right now. All other buffers/healers are sort niche and for-fun builds. I can briefly comment on the others:

    Support Elementalist:
    PVE Solo and Group not recommended
    PVP and WvW recommended
    Bad at Buffing
    Good at Healing
    Learning Curve: Low
    Recommended Gear: Harriers for PVE, Minstrels for WvW
    You'll want the Tempest specialization. Elementalist healers have the best sustained heals in the game, and cover a very wide range when doing so. They're great for carrying bad groups because of this. Their unique skills are auras, which include the only auto-life buff in the game. However, their weaknesses are that they're bad at buffing overall. Their boons are spread out among different skills, which means you can't get all of the bonuses that normal buffers would get. Tempests lack both alacrity and quickness, and they have trouble sustaining their boons where other professions don't. As this game is very damage focused, being a better healer means very little if you don't have the boons to back it up. This is largely community reinforcement, though, so if you have a group that is fine with whatever a heal tempest is a good spec to have.

    Support Necromancer
    PVE Solo and Group recommended
    PVP and WvW not recommended
    Bad at Buffing
    Mediocre at Healing*
    Learning Curve: Weird
    Recommended Gear: A mix of Marshal and Shaman for PVE. ??? for anywhere else.
    I have very little knowledge on support necromancer, due to how rarely I see them. I think I've played with 1 since the spec was invented. Anyway, you'll want to go with the Scourge elite specialization. Support Scourge only has might and regeneration for boons, but that is not its strength. The real strength for support scourge is Barrier. In GW2, Barrier is like a heal that goes over your maximum health, and absorbs that fixed amount of damage. So it is like pre-healing away damage that you're going to take. Scourge is capable of generating large amounts of barrier. You'll want to do this before the big attacks. While learning to do this on scourge is easy, learning when to do it is hard, because it requires a lot of knowledge on every encounter you're playing. Otherwise, the scourge is great at reviving downed players, spreading conditions in mass, and also removing boons from enemies. It is a fairly unique set of utilities, which is why some vets swear by the Healing Scourge.

    Support Engineer:
    PVE Solo and Group: Not recommended
    PVP and WvW recommended
    Bad at Buffing
    Good at Healing
    Learning Curve: ???
    Recommended gear: Minstrel for WvW
    You'll need the Scrapper elite specialization. This build is really good for WvW. It provides excellent heals and poor boons to speak of, but that is not the whole story. The scrapper has 3 really unique things about themselves that makes themselves excellent in WvW. First, is the condi cleanse. Scrappers don't just remove conditions, they convert them into boons. They do this at an alarming rate, so fast that condi builds have fallen completely out of use in large scale WvW. Second, the scrapper is the only class that can give out Superspeed, which is a unique movement buff limited to very few places. Third, scappers have a mass-invisibility ability, making them incredibly dangerous while in groups. Combine this with a few other tricks, and you end up with an extremely powerful healer that doesn't do much in the PVE game at large.


    If I were to rank them on new player friendliness combined with meta relevance, it would look something like this:

    (1): Guardian
    (2): Revenant
    (3): Druid
    (4): Chronomancer

    The other healers are fine, but community standards are a lot higher than the objective requirements for being PVE content. In general, if you want to feel like a buffer/healer while also not feeling useless in the overworld, both Diviner and Harrier gear sets are really good for this. If you're focusing exclusively on heals, you can also use Zealots, but be warned: Anet is changing a lot of the skills so boon duration bonuses are required to be effective. The days of Zealot's are numbered.

    Strangely enough the interest this whole post sparked in me the most is a desire in bringing a support tempest to WvW. Thanks for the insights!

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