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Returning player - looking for directions and gear advice

I stopped playing right before HoT expansion. Last week i decided to come back and purchased PoE (along with HoT). I checked my account's state and I would like some directions on where to start first. Right before my break I was trying to complete Silverwastes and Dry Top achievements, but never got them all done.
I'm not into high end multiplayer content like high tier fractals, raids, etc. I can only play a couple of hours a week and probably will not be able to get all expected gear/traits/ skills soon.
My main goal for now would be to complete dailies, gather materials for crafting, story for living world and expansions, complete new maps, along with some easier achievements along the way.
What would be the best way to proceed?

From what I've read, I can get a mount in PoE that can be used anywhere else. Would it be the best starting point and then go back and follow HoT story? Does the mount make life that much easier? Can mounts help with e.g jumping puzzles?
Looks like there is also something new to complete - masteries. Which ones would be the best (i.e. give the most benefit) to start with for open world PvE?

My main character is a Warrior - mostly used greatsword, axes, warhorn and rifle so far. I checked inventory and gear on all my characters and I seem to have Berserker gear for most of the slots (mixed with some Knight's) I saw some Warrior builds for Open World PvE and most of the highest rated ones recommend gear with a prefix I did not see before - Marauder (in order to have some more vitality i think). Would you recommend switching Berserker/Knight's to Marauder? Does extra Vitality really makes much difference for Open World? I also seem to have a lot of Soldier's pieces, but from what I remember this was mostly recommended for WvW and I don't play that mode ( I don't even remember why I crafted them).
I have around 280 gold, so not a lot and would probably try to craft my gear after I gather all needed materials (unless it's cheaper to buy it directly from TP, not sure how the trend is nowadays).

Thanks in advance.


  • If you've got the expansions and living stories, I would definitely recommend completing all of those first so you know what's happening in the world.

    For Path of Fire, you the following mounts just by doing story:

    • Raptor - large jumping distance, great for traversing ground-based gaps
    • Springer - can jump very high
    • Skimmer - can fly over water (and slow descent if jumping off a high place) and also be used underwater after upgrading masteries
    • Jackal - ground-based mount that can teleport through sand portals (used in Path of Fire maps)

    Most jumping puzzles don't allow gliding (HoT) or mounts (PoF) around them so as to not trivialize them but some do so they've become a lot easier.

    Masteries - I could be wrong but I'd focus on the below. The masteries you earn XP towards are based on which map you're running in
    Core Map Mastery: Pact Commander
    HoT Map Mastery: Gliding
    PoF Map Mastery: Whichever mount you like best

    Maurauder gear was introduced in the expansions and it's definitely worth getting for Open World for survival. Berserker will be find but you have less room for error when fighting stronger mobs.

  • Urud.4925Urud.4925 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Welcome back difens!
    The best way to proceed depends on how you enjoy the game the most. If you want to catch up as fast as possible, I would suggest to start the PoF story until you get the first 2 mounts (using the PoF mastery points to upgrade their skills to level 3: longer/higher jump. Don't max them, for now). Then you can go back and play the HoT story or continue with PoF if you like.

    My personal advice however is to play the game in the order that it was meant: first HoT, then PoF, with the Living World in-between, if you bought it too. You'll never forget the first time! (good or bad that it was). It doesn't take that much to complete the main story. However there is some extra pain that could be just avoided. Some hero points are just much easier with a mount. Same for some jumping puzzles: mounts are usually disabled, but still, sometimes there is a way to go much closer to the end, if you have a mount (the jp in silverwaste is an example). So don't waste much time on these achievements if you don't have a mount yet.

    280 gold are enough to buy the first 4 mounts. The griffon "was" an awesome mount, but nowadays it's been basically replaced by the skyscale, so I wouldn't consider it a priority. Skip it.
    About the gear, I also use Marauder for my power-based builds. Especially in HoT, it's useful. But for group content, people still prefer to go Berserker, so up to you if you want to change it. Maybe you can mix berserker with soldier for a bit, in open world. In WvW people usually prefer more tanky builds, that's why you probably crafted Soldier instead of Berserker.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 3, 2020

    Either restart a new toon to ease yourself in or just continue as you were

    If you get the mount, you will spoil the story as the story is continuous. Do bear in mind that whilst HoT comes free with PoF, the LS seasons do not and you have LS3, LS4 and half of LS5 to get as well

    Whatever you do, never delete your old character since birthday gifts are tied to it and you'd lose out

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  • I'd get the Raptor mount in PoF and then go back to HoT, if story sequence is of value to you. HoT is rather difficult on foot, and much of the content is aimed at groups, not solo. Focus on gliding masteries in HoT - those are what everyone used to get to elevated locations prior to the mounts in PoF.

    Another alternative is go to HoT and do enough to get basic gliding at least. Then, there are many HP (hero point) trains that run almost daily, sometime multiple times a day. One of those will get you all the HP points and many of the waypoints in VB,AB,TD HoT maps. So it makes getting around much easier, and will give you enough HPs to enable an elite spec (Spellbreaker or Berserker for warrior), if that matters to you. There are also PoF HP trains. The downside is you forever lose that first-time sense of adventure and discovery, as the train rushes through things so quickly in order to be efficient. So HP trains are usually recommended just for additional characters you create where you don't want to repeat the entire first-time experience.

    For gear, look at maybe mixing your Berzerker and Knights with some Valkyrie to get some added Vitality. For now, I'd stick with stats that can be bought off the trading post for fairly cheap. Marauders can wait, as its not trivial to acquire, and depending on your journey and spec you finally choose, you might want to craft something different later on. Also, ascended gear is only slightly better than exotic, and for open world PVE exotic is fine.

  • Thanks for all your input. I have one more question. Looks like I have 33 mastery points accumulated for Central Tyria maps. My understanding is that in order to spend them, I have to amass enough experience specifically in core maps. Is that correct? Seems like a lot of xp to get (over 24 milion, if I don't do fractal ones). Are they worth investing in?
    Some of Central Tyria masteries certainly seem very attractive (like autoloot, speed up crafting or better revival).

  • That is correct. Masteries can only be leveled in the area (Core, HoT or PoF) that they belong to. I would've recommended leveling core masteries in the Halloween Labyrinth, but that's over. Just activate the mastery you want to level and play normally. At some point the mastery is completed. No need to rush.

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  • @difens.1326 said:
    Some of Central Tyria masteries certainly seem very attractive
    Are they worth investing in?

    Absolutely, especially Autolooting

    (like autoloot, speed up crafting or better revival).

    If you only focus on one, Autolooting is the biggest game changer. I wish I had started with that.

    Seems like a lot of xp to get (over 24 milion,

    Yes, technically it's a lot of XP. However, there are plenty of guides available for how to make it pass more quickly. In brief: using boosters, getting XP-consumables from dailies (where possible) or certain activities that help (Silverwastes farming, for example)

    if I don't do fractal ones).

    If you don't do fractals at all, you can skip earning XP for those masteries entirely.


    • Fractals have some of easy mastery points; I'd recommend getting those, because it helps unlocking the masteries you do want.
    • Fractals generate a lot of XP, so they happen to be an excellent option for earning Central Tyria masteries.

    If you decide to spend some time in Fractals, lots of people are willing to help. (Recommendation: create another post just to ask for aid getting started in Fractals and specify if you are NA or EU.)

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  • Excursion.9752Excursion.9752 Member ✭✭✭✭

    My words for any new player is don't rush the content. If you do you will get to the end game and not be prepared and wonder why things got so much more difficult. No body starts off wanting to do challenging content like raids, fractals, PvP, or WvW but once you get to "end game" you start to wonder and may dabble in it.

    If you did not spend enough time with your class to learn it properly then you may be kicked out of a few groups here and there when trying to join. Mounts are great and everyone wants to rush to them but If you are new I suggest against it. Mounts let you skip content that could make you a better player. Things that staying out of combat will not teach you. Learning to control your player but getting to vista's rather than just using your springer to jump up and quickly grab it.

    I think learning how to play the game proper by taking the time to learn your profession, the Interface, maps and story teach valuable lessons that I feel need to be learned. I suggest make a new character and get 100% map completion on it. By the time you are done with that you will be good to go and that is only for the basics. Then make your way to HoT and PoF.

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  • I have world completion done already on 4 toons and have two more at lvl80 waiting to do so. Is XP for mastery training account wide? Can I complete the map on those last two characters and it still will allow to learn masteries for each character? (I only need XP, apparently my previous world completions and other achievements granted me those points).

  • Yes, mastery's are account wide and only have to be done. With as many alts as I have thank goodness for this. If you focus on the mastery's you need/want the others will show up from doing mundane things in the zones that contribute.

  • WorldofBay.8160WorldofBay.8160 Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 5, 2020

    wall of text about masteries

    first of all a correction from the first answer: springer, skimmer and jackal are not unlocked by story. only the raptor is unlocked by story. additionally beetle and skyscale collections are unlocked by story (kind of a side-story to unlock them then).

    idk your game experience or skill level so i won't recommend anything about it.

    for a consistent game i recommend continuing the story wherever you are, which means that PoF is still months away (HoT takes quite some time and then there is LS3 to go), otherwise you will get spoilered right away.
    if you don't care so much about story, start with PoF chapter 1 and once you've got your raptor freeroam in elona first. the encounters there are tedious but not actually hard, they're in between HoT and core. once you've got them figured out, go to HoT. then decide which of the two you prefer.

    for masteries:
    gliding 1 is unavoidable but after that you can choose. the best way is to collect basic travel masteries first, then fight masteries and finally utility masteries.
    every single gliding level is useful, the least useful is stealth gliding. however, as they become more and more expensive in both mastery points and XP later steps have a much worse cost/benefit ratio than the first steps.
    gliding is also never rendered useless by mounts as it can be used in combat while mounts can't and additionally puts you out of combat pretty fast as most mobs consider elevation changes bigger than ground distance. so any cliff is a great retreat opportunity: jump off and start gliding. later in your progress you can then mount while gliding, making it an even better escape tool.
    focus on lean techniques first, however you can (or have to because of story) mix itzel I (bouncing mushrooms) in whenever you feel like it, as it offers great benefit within HoT for a low cost.

    after acquiring lean techniques and bouncing mushrooms you have the basic movement discovered.
    for the story you additionally need exalted markings from the exalted path and later nuhoch hunting in the nuhoch path.
    then every path has the next useful mastery locked behind a less useful one.

    the nuhoch path offers great mobility via nuhoch wallows and later the most important HoT mastery in fights: nuhoch stealth detection.
    the itzel path offers blazing speed mushrooms and itzel poison lore as some useful stuff but not at the same level as nuhoch stealth detection (though cheaper).
    advanced gliding is another good goal that offers great benefit in the absence of mounts, not so much with them though.
    the exalted path is nearly useless outside of collections after exalted acceptance.

    for maxing out nuhoch alchemy is a good thing and ley-line gliding gates later stuff. itzel and exalted path have only tiny value in maxing out and should be the last ones to complete.

    once you get to LS3 a new HoT path is unlocked: ancient magics. the first three levels are required for story progression, spectral aid is a powerful downed skill and oakheart's reach is fun to use and the definition of style points. plus, this entire path is cheap, so do it (unless maybe final tier) as soon as you don't see big value in the core HoT paths any more.

    leveling HoT masteries is quite time-consuming due to excessive XP cost. the best way to gain those XP is by unlocking LS3 ep1 and doing events in bloodstone fen.

    raptor 1-3 is mandatory, you can't skip it.
    then don't do level 4 on any mount until you got them all up to level 3.
    the dedicated unlock order is the order of the paths: springer > skimmer > jackal and that basically also their usefulness in the general case. all mount unlocks cost gold but they're not expensive, 25g in total. griffon later is expensive with 200g by its name but it's just a collection thing - if you don't have to have every mount you can entirely skip it and wait for skyscale, griffon is faster but since no mount is slow there's no must have.
    upping them is entirely your choice, no real "best path" in this case.
    springer 2 provides you with the most powerful mount cc and is recommended for initiation in a fight with opponents with breakbars.
    springer 3 allows you to climb higher and is therefore necessary for several spots.
    skimmer 3 is necessary for certain spots, however, some that look like it can be done with a nicely-timed raptor jump from the right spot or even with gliding from far.
    jackal 1 makes the jackal the ultimate survival mount with 3 dodges and the highest base speed of all mounts.
    jackal 3 allows sand portals to skip maps faster, similarly to nuhoch wallows but without a hint where you land (mostly the portal direction shows it but not always).

    after getting each of them to level 3 the best level 4 is definitely the jackal, it makes all the other mounts dodge on their movement skill, making it quite unlikely that you get forcefully unmounted.

    once you reach LS4 a new PoF path is unlocked: chrystal champion. bond of faith is really useful for exploration, in fact it allows you to entirely skip the griffon except for 1 collectible on top of the necropolis that is only accessible via griffon or skyscale. bond of vigor is also a nice speedup (as if mounts aren't fast enoug already), so this path is definitely worth maxing.

    by the time you unlock beetle, griffon or skyscale you probably don't need to choose as all PoF masteries are cheap and done fast, so you just complete them right away.

    as a little tip: if you got the mastery points already for the 3 advanced mounts, gather LS4 daily chests in your inventory (don't open them). then when you unlock a new mount, open the chests, each of them contains a significant amount of XP, allowing you to max out those mounts right on acquiration. i've done the calculation in a different thread:

    for a luxury mount (skyscale, beetle, griffin) you need 148 LS4 daily chests in your inventory.
    for skimmer 5 you need 158 LS4 daily chests in your inventory.
    mount treats are worth 3 chests.

    considering you get 3 chests per daily and 4 dailies per day these numbers aren't high.

  • difens.1326difens.1326 Member
    edited November 10, 2020

    Thanks for detailed information. I'm trying to complete HoT story now and provided guidelines helped immensely.
    As for getting XP needed for central Tyria masteries, I came up with the following idea: I have one spare character slot and spare level 80 boost I don't really need. I thought on creating trash mule character, using the boost to bump it straight to lvl 80 and then complete core personal story up to Zhaitan. If I remember correctly, personal story episodes give large amounts of XP compared to regular and even meta events on core Tyria maps. Would it work? I can't stand grinding Silverwastes events anymore :disappointed: