Returning player, have questions concerning HoT/PoF, Living World and ascended gear. — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Returning player, have questions concerning HoT/PoF, Living World and ascended gear.

Played GW2 in 2013-2014, then quitted. I logged in 3 times since I left, so I have living world S2E4, S3E4, S4E6. Recently I returned into the game and purchased the expansions, currently I'm leveling my mesmer who is already lvl 62. I really lucked out with trick-or-treat bags and got ember infusion which I sold for 1K gold, so now I have 600 free gold and purchased 1200 gems.

My first question is what gear do I need to start doing HoT/PoF content? Would exotic gear be enough? I assume it should be, since full ascended gear is only needed for the top content like fractals and raids.

Now, concerning the ascended gear, I read that living world seasons 3 or 4 are the easiest way to obtain it, or at least the trinkets. If it only concerns the trinkets, wouldn't it be easier to buy them for laurels, or am I missing something?
I haven't delved into masteries yet, but I read that it would be hard to get Central Tyria mastery without S2 (well, I have one episode with 2 points). What else is S2 good for?

Which season would be the best to purchase? And are there sales for living world season bundles?

Comments

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭

    You so do all story content in exotics so I wouldn’t worry about ascended too much if that’s your aim.

    Ascended trinkets are awarded on LS3 maps by collecting the map specific currencies as well as unbound magic. It’s the fastest way to obtain ascended trinkets as laurels are substantially time-gated and you lose out on obtaining gold from them if they’re used for ascended trinkets.

    Of the LS3 maps, Bitterfrost Frontier (episode 3) is often considered the best for farming and you frequently have people doing this at all hours of the day. I’m actually about to go into a grinding phase to get the trinkets that I need for all of my builds and I intend to use the LS3 maps and probably primarily Bitterfrost.

    There are collections which award ascended weapons, such as elite specialization weapon collections, but I personally just found it easier to craft the weapon that I wanted. For some stats, I just crafts the easiest stat weapon I have and then convert it to the stats I want in the mystic forge. There is a sail cool down on refining ascended materials but you can buy the end product on the TP if in a rush.

    Ascended armor isn’t something that I would focus too much on. For DPS builds, it’s only like a 2% increase over exotics. I’d make ascended armor more of a long term goal rather than stress over trying to quickly obtain it. Crafting is still a good option for these and I think a full set costs around 250G nowadays but I could be wrong.

  • Diplomate.2713Diplomate.2713 Member ✭✭
    edited November 2, 2019

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    You so do all story content in exotics so I wouldn’t worry about ascended too much if that’s your aim.

    Ascended trinkets are awarded on LS3 maps by collecting the map specific currencies as well as unbound magic. It’s the fastest way to obtain ascended trinkets as laurels are substantially time-gated and you lose out on obtaining gold from them if they’re used for ascended trinkets.

    Of the LS3 maps, Bitterfrost Frontier (episode 3) is often considered the best for farming and you frequently have people doing this at all hours of the day. I’m actually about to go into a grinding phase to get the trinkets that I need for all of my builds and I intend to use the LS3 maps and probably primarily Bitterfrost.

    There are collections which award ascended weapons, such as elite specialization weapon collections, but I personally just found it easier to craft the weapon that I wanted. For some stats, I just crafts the easiest stat weapon I have and then convert it to the stats I want in the mystic forge. There is a sail cool down on refining ascended materials but you can buy the end product on the TP if in a rush.

    Ascended armor isn’t something that I would focus too much on. For DPS builds, it’s only like a 2% increase over exotics. I’d make ascended armor more of a long term goal rather than stress over trying to quickly obtain it. Crafting is still a good option for these and I think a full set costs around 250G nowadays but I could be wrong.

    Thanks, I won't think about ascended equipment for now. Then I have another question, is the story in the living world any good? How is it compared to the main story? I could buy 400 more gems and purchase Season 3 and 4 or wait for a sale, if there are any for living world.

  • @Diplomate.2713 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    You so do all story content in exotics so I wouldn’t worry about ascended too much if that’s your aim.

    Ascended trinkets are awarded on LS3 maps by collecting the map specific currencies as well as unbound magic. It’s the fastest way to obtain ascended trinkets as laurels are substantially time-gated and you lose out on obtaining gold from them if they’re used for ascended trinkets.

    Of the LS3 maps, Bitterfrost Frontier (episode 3) is often considered the best for farming and you frequently have people doing this at all hours of the day. I’m actually about to go into a grinding phase to get the trinkets that I need for all of my builds and I intend to use the LS3 maps and probably primarily Bitterfrost.

    There are collections which award ascended weapons, such as elite specialization weapon collections, but I personally just found it easier to craft the weapon that I wanted. For some stats, I just crafts the easiest stat weapon I have and then convert it to the stats I want in the mystic forge. There is a sail cool down on refining ascended materials but you can buy the end product on the TP if in a rush.

    Ascended armor isn’t something that I would focus too much on. For DPS builds, it’s only like a 2% increase over exotics. I’d make ascended armor more of a long term goal rather than stress over trying to quickly obtain it. Crafting is still a good option for these and I think a full set costs around 250G nowadays but I could be wrong.

    Thanks, I won't think about ascended equipment for now. Then I have another question, is the story in the living world any good? How is it compared to the main story? I could buy 400 more gems and purchase Season 3 and 4 or wait for a sale, if there are any for living world.

    The story is amazing for LW3 and 4. They upped their storytelling game quite a bit. Season 4 gives access to a few new mounts too. Griffon, Skyscale, Warclaw, and Beetle. You should be fine without season 2 for core mastery points., there are more than enough to get everything without it. Season 2 is more about learning history bits, it all occurs in silverwastes and dry top. (zones that are open world.) I ended up buying it last, and don't regret it, but the other seasons are better.

  • @Grolorm.4072 said:

    @Diplomate.2713 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    You so do all story content in exotics so I wouldn’t worry about ascended too much if that’s your aim.

    Ascended trinkets are awarded on LS3 maps by collecting the map specific currencies as well as unbound magic. It’s the fastest way to obtain ascended trinkets as laurels are substantially time-gated and you lose out on obtaining gold from them if they’re used for ascended trinkets.

    Of the LS3 maps, Bitterfrost Frontier (episode 3) is often considered the best for farming and you frequently have people doing this at all hours of the day. I’m actually about to go into a grinding phase to get the trinkets that I need for all of my builds and I intend to use the LS3 maps and probably primarily Bitterfrost.

    There are collections which award ascended weapons, such as elite specialization weapon collections, but I personally just found it easier to craft the weapon that I wanted. For some stats, I just crafts the easiest stat weapon I have and then convert it to the stats I want in the mystic forge. There is a sail cool down on refining ascended materials but you can buy the end product on the TP if in a rush.

    Ascended armor isn’t something that I would focus too much on. For DPS builds, it’s only like a 2% increase over exotics. I’d make ascended armor more of a long term goal rather than stress over trying to quickly obtain it. Crafting is still a good option for these and I think a full set costs around 250G nowadays but I could be wrong.

    Thanks, I won't think about ascended equipment for now. Then I have another question, is the story in the living world any good? How is it compared to the main story? I could buy 400 more gems and purchase Season 3 and 4 or wait for a sale, if there are any for living world.

    The story is amazing for LW3 and 4. They upped their storytelling game quite a bit. Season 4 gives access to a few new mounts too. Griffon, Skyscale, Warclaw, and Beetle. You should be fine without season 2 for core mastery points., there are more than enough to get everything without it. Season 2 is more about learning history bits, it all occurs in silverwastes and dry top. (zones that are open world.) I ended up buying it last, and don't regret it, but the other seasons are better.

    Isn't griffon part of PoF? I think I'm going to purchase these two seasons, but perhaps it would be better to wait for sales, which occur in August if I were to believe official wiki.

  • Sorry, was typing out something about saving gold for the griffon and left part of it in. ^.^

  • If you want the skyscale, you will need LW4. You can get some trinkets in that season as well, though not as many as LW3. So i suppose it depends what you want more. Open world content is easily doable with exotic gear, and even low level fractals. If you want to raid, you probably want ascended/ legendary (legendary is same as ascended, but you can stat swap).

  • Main diference between laurel trinkets and living season trinkets is that those from living seasons can have any stat combination. Laurel trinkets have only core stats (and diviner in ls4e5 map)

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

    to back track a second, there are 6 major stat combinations in the current meta.

    Core- Berserkers
    HOT - Vipers, Minstrels and Marauders
    POF - Harrier and Diviners

    Berserker and Marauders are the 2 Go-To for power damage builds. They're basically identical in fucntion, except marauders trades some effective damage for extra vitality. Because open world heavily favors power damage, 90% of people tend to run these. The other 10% are people who run their Raid/Fractal/WvW builds in open world out of laziness (not really a detriment, as those modes train a higher caliber of combat prowess). Since Berskers is the easiest to get, most people will run that, and maybe mix in a couple of Soldiers or Valkyries for a little extra durability. If you can get access to Mauraders (via trinkets or choosy armor) thats a stronger overall pairing with Bersker stats.

    Vipers is the defacto Condition damage stat. Condi damage is not seen often in Open world, since most builds have long ramp up times, and Vipers is as Glassy as Berserkers. However, they excel in long fights, and are usually at the top of DPS charts for Raids and high level Fractals (thanks to bosses having 10s of Millions in HP).

    Minstrels and Harrier are the defacto Healing build stats. Minstrels incorporates Toughness as a main stat, and is used mainly for Tanks and WvW support builds. Harriers is Power/Healing/Concentration, used for Non-tank Healers in Raids and Fractals, since Toughness affects mob aggro. The Most prominent users are Druid and Healing Renegade in Raids.

    Diviners is the defacto Boon Duration stat, and is used in any Boon focused, non-healer build. Renegade, Chrono and Firebrand raid/fractal builds use it as their baseline stat. They're sometimes mixed into open world builds when boon duration is a huge benefit- but a lot classes got nerfed to the point where only raid/fractal group comps can justify the damage trade off.

    Something to keep in mind is that there is HUGE jump in difficulty in the Expansions, making semi-glass cannons the paradoxically optimal solution to survival. Fights against trash mobs in HOT and POF escalate rapidly.... so faster TTKs is actually the best way to succeed. But running glass is inherently risky; so you have to get used to using all your available defense skills, debilitating conditions and defensive boons in an intelligent fashion. Aegis and Protection can go from worthless to game changing if you know what you're doing. Blinds and well timed CCs can completely oppress a target. But this shifts again in POF, where damage is slightly lower then HOT, but mobs are a lot harder to shut down and employ much stronger CCs. Here AOE avoidance and positioning is incredibly valuable, but is no less difficult.

    Depending on what class you're running, you want to get them setup with whatever Espec power build that class favors as soon as possible (and using Zerks gear you can easily obtain in Core areas). If you didn't do map complete in Core, the Especs aren't going immediately available.... so finding an HP train is the best solution before trying to strike out on your own. Most Especs are heavily power skewed in their Grand Master traits... so only having them half unlocked is actually worse then running a full core spec. HOT HP trains are very common on the weekends; so its worth setting aside the couple hours needed to get Gliding unlocked (to be able to join the HP train), and then the 2-3 hours for the HP Train to get an Especs unlocked. Doing the opening POF mission out of order, to unlock the Raptor mount, is also a major advantage.

    You'll only need the other stats as builds justify them; but every class has a viable Zerks power build that can carry it through most situations. Fights are going to be frustrating at first... but as you learn how enemies fight, and learn counter strategies to them, zerker builds are entirely manageable.

  • Regarding ascended trinkets, the two main arguments for getting them from s3 over laurels are:
    1) Full stat selection - laurels offer specific stat sets, while the s3 ones are stat selectable. After the recent update to stat selectable gear this mean you can get any stat set from s3.
    2) Laurels are much more heavily timegated as no matter what you do, you can't get more than 55 laurels per 28 days (ignoring the occasional achievement chest giving a few).

    For one or two characters needing Berserker gear, you might as well use laurels. If you have several alts, and/or need gear with "later" stat sets (Viper, Plaguedoctor, Diviner, etc) s3 is unarguably the easiest way.

  • Urud.4925Urud.4925 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 4, 2019

    @Diplomate.2713 said:
    Thanks, I won't think about ascended equipment for now. Then I have another question, is the story in the living world any good? How is it compared to the main story? I could buy 400 more gems and purchase Season 3 and 4 or wait for a sale, if there are any for living world.

    If you're interested in the missing episodes, check the shop for the Living World Season 3 Complete Pack. You'll get a 20% discount (and the price is based on the episodes that you need).

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 4, 2019

    When going for ascended trinkets, it’s best to not use just one map to get everything that you need. This is to reduce the grind that you need on a given map and is also technically quicker as you are not time-gated. Rings and earrings are also unique.

    LS Season 3

    E1: Rings, Amulets
    E2: Accessories
    E3: Rings, Accessories
    E4: Amulets
    E5: Amulets, Rings
    E6: Amulets

    LS Season 4

    E2: Rings, Accessories
    E6: Rings, Accessories, Amulets

    I have around 21 builds that I was trying to gear up and what I did was use episodes 4 and 6 for amulets, episodes 1 and 5 for rings, and episodes 2 and 3 for accessories. I didn’t do anything on the LS4 maps as I needed the volatile magic for the next episode.

  • Linken.6345Linken.6345 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    When going for ascended trinkets, it’s best to not use just one map to get everything that you need. This is to reduce the grind that you need on a given map and is also technically quicker as you are not time-gated. Rings and earrings are also unique.

    LS Season 3

    E1: Rings, Amulets
    E2: Accessories
    E3: Rings, Accessories
    E4: Amulets
    E5: Amulets, Rings
    E6: Amulets

    LS Season 4

    E2: Rings, Accessories
    E6: Rings, Accessories, Amulets

    I have around 21 builds that I was trying to gear up and what I did was use episodes 4 and 6 for amulets, episodes 1 and 5 for rings, and episodes 2 and 3 for accessories. I didn’t do anything on the LS4 maps as I needed the volatile magic for the next episode.

    And backpack water breather from a crack in the ice right?

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 4, 2019

    Water breather is from episode 3 but I personally wouldn’t worry about it. How often do players do underwater combat?

    Backpacks are available from many episodes but I didn’t include them as I found they weren’t worth spending the currencies on as they’re widely available from other sources.

  • Diplomate.2713Diplomate.2713 Member ✭✭
    edited November 5, 2019

    @Urud.4925 said:

    @Diplomate.2713 said:
    Thanks, I won't think about ascended equipment for now. Then I have another question, is the story in the living world any good? How is it compared to the main story? I could buy 400 more gems and purchase Season 3 and 4 or wait for a sale, if there are any for living world.

    If you're interested in the missing episodes, check the shop for the Living World Season 3 Complete Pack. You'll get a 20% discount (and the price is based on the episodes that you need).

    Yeah, but according to the wiki, there are sales with even larger discounts. So I could buy seasons 3 and 4 and save gems to buy season 2 as well.

  • Yes, there are intermittent sales on Living World Seasons; sometimes, even given out free.
    You can wait for a sale, or if interested in following the story in order, buy them when you are ready to move on, story-wise.
    You can acquire Gold in-game and use that to exchange for Gems and purchase Episodes one at a time, as well. Or just buy Episodes needed for any particular item/gear/Mount they offer.

    Welcome return, and good luck.

  • Cuks.8241Cuks.8241 Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 9, 2019

    LW4 S6, Dragonfall is imo the best map for ascended trinkets. At least one of the pair since you can't equip duplicates. Map is one big constant meta event so it is more fun for me than gathering winter berries or such in LW3 maps. It is also generally a really good map and trinkets are really just a byproduct of fun. I haven't played in a while but it should be populated.

    Both LW3 and LW4 are worth it.
    LW2 I only started recently and it is really not up to par with Hot+ content in my opinion. I've only done a part of it and I'm not really in the mood of finishing it.

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