Returning player, help to choose a class — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Returning player, help to choose a class

(Wall of text incoming, feel free to skip my personal experience with professions as these are concluded from a short time)

Greetings, so I've played this game in 2013, then got bored since it had very little stuff to do in endgame - now I see it has changed, so after being burnt down with WoW and installing currently the base version of the game and running around for a bit, I think I'll give GW2 another try as it seems a nice refreshment.

So I am looking for a profession! I have a few boosts, namely the anniversary boost to level 40, and I will get 2 more to 80 once I buy the expansions, albeit I won't use them for now. I have a 80 mesmer and close to that necro, but leveling in this game is fun and is not an issue.

What I am looking for is a profession that has:

  1. Difficulty - medium to hard. Generally, I don't want a faceroll profession - I want something that you can play chill, but one you can always get better at, learn new stuff and improve. "Easy to learn, hard to master".

  2. Variety of builds - I am kinda indecisive in this regard as I want my character to be able to do different things and not pigeonholed into one or similar builds. The one that could use either of elite specs or not use any at all. I use https://metabattle.com/wiki/MetaBattle_Wiki as a point of reference, is that a good source? Because judging from that most professions can indeed use any of elite specs or none at all.

  3. The ones that can support their allies and do the damage aswell. Coming from WoW where support classes don't really exist (only healers), I would like to play something that can do both at the same time, or at least switch between full damage role and support role. Having unique utility and weird skills is welcome.

To try professions I've put them into the PvP lobby to see what their skillset looks like. Yet to see how they work in actual game and can't check out elite specs, so know very little:

Elementalist - looks flashy, a lot of abilities to tinker with and weaver spec looks quite catchy, the fact that you have even more spells at your disposal is something I really like, I am really bored of a simple toolkits you had in WoW. And another elite spec seems like a great support spec. My fears with elementalist is that it has a high entry level and requires to have a gaming mouse (stupid, eh?).

Ranger - while ranger by itself is not my cup of tea, druid spec seems like a go-to way to build ranger and fits my idea of supportive damage dealer that supports allies and puts conditions on your enemies. Other elite spec seems fun too. But I don't want to stuck with druid only and druid seems to be a go-to way to play Ranger.

Guardian - fits my idea of supportive profession. I am just not sure how complex guardian is, he seems rather straightforward. Can guardian go for something else other than support? Dragonhunter spec seems kinda fun, though.

Thief - I love rifles, but it seems that they are terrible. Sad. Are double pistols builds viable? Wanted to play double pistol thief in 2013, but it was considered to be a troll build. What about one-handed thiefs (the ones that use only 1 one-handed weapon for a different 3)? Are they still pointless or they may have some use?

Warrior - again, rifles seem fun, but also appear to be more of a novelty than an actually used weapon. As for other weapons - I don't know, there are many of them, but they feel similar. Perhaps also seems too straightforward.

Mesmer - I don't really like the shatter mechanic, so I guess that's not the profession for me. My only 80, but not the one I particularly enjoyed playing, even though it has all these fancy utilities.

Engineer - I don't know why, but I feel like this is not something I will enjoy. Could be wrong but it seems extremely complicated to pull off while lacking variety of different weapons other professions possess.

Necromancer - read that those have a bad stigma in the game, but also classes I've played in WoW were death knight and warlock, so I want something different, even though I've enjoyed it in 2013.

Revenant - obviously, can't speak of it as I don't have the expansion yet.

Comments

  • Omnicron.2467Omnicron.2467 Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 24, 2018

    Revenant is not great and I do not recommend it. Even though their legends allow for combining a support and a damage role the energy mechanic and the lack of swappable utility skills make it a very restricted class with a lack of variety.

    Based on what you are looking for the Elementalist certainly fits your needs the best. Tempests make great healers and even if you spec for damage you can still attune to water for a little bit of support. Weavers have more complex rotations and are like paper, you need to dodge and move correctly and know mechanics otherwise you will die a lot.

    I personally love Guardian. Does not have the complexity you are looking for. Not really a viable support spec at the moment actually (druid and elementalist have that covered) but deals good damage. Dragonhunter is fun and really good dps, so is Firebrand. With Firebrand you can swap to supportive tomes which can help your team which I like.

    Mesmer is also hard to master in the tank role so you might enjoy that if you get more familiar with it, it is certainly a complex class.

    Thief is fun, but only really fills one role, same with Engi, give them a try.

  • Thanks, since Tempests and Weavers are both different and viable, I guess Elementalist is likely to be my choice in the end.

    Having stuck in one role is not something I'd want to.

  • TamX.1870TamX.1870 Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 24, 2018

    I have ranger, guard, ele and thief at level cap. From what you wrote about your needs, I could also think that ele could be for you. It is certainly versatile class but does not suffer usual "Jack-Of-All-Trades" syndrome being mediocre in every front. You have pretty nice in-combat flexibility although of course build specs limit that to some extent. You are most probably squishy, and need to overcome that with active defenses and knowledge of class & content. I am somewhat new player, and for me personally Elementalist is bit too complex class to play at the moment, I need more experience from the game overall. I mostly play ranger in druid spec. Even that it is support class, it is nowhere near the usual MMO one-trick-pony healers who have no DPS capabilities at all: but still, true, the more you go to support (especially gear-wise), the more you will loose DPS. Guard also fits well to my hands. My thief is mainly to have some fun with rifle :)

  • Urud.4925Urud.4925 Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 24, 2018

    I can only talk about thieves and elementalists. The double pistol build is still a trolling build, so don't waste time on it (and it's very easy to play, nothing to master). The 1-handed thief... the staff is very funny to use, and the rifle can be very good in WvW/PvP, but personally I don't like it in PvE. In general the thief can answer "checked" to your first 2 points, but it has very few support utilities in group, if any.
    I agree on the elementalists, it would answer to all of your points: easy to play but hard to master, not a fixed role (both dps/healer and CC) and good support. It's worth a try.

  • AliamRationem.5172AliamRationem.5172 Member ✭✭✭✭

    No class requires a gaming mouse in this game because, unlike WoW, the UI restricts the number of skills you have available at any given moment. For instance, weaver has 26(?) skills per weapon, but still only ever has 5 weapon skills available at any one point in time - the same as any other class. To access the 26 weapon skills, weaver changes attunements (the abilities displayed on the class bar above the weapon skill bar) which in turn changes the skills that are available on the weapon bar.

    Of course, this still makes weaver probably the most complex class to learn and play. But you'll never need extra mouse buttons to play GW2.

    The only other class on your list I can really speak to is mesmer. If you don't like the shatter mechanics, you may enjoy Mirage (PoF elite). It still has shatters and you'll still need to use them, but unlike core or chrono mesmers, Mirage may be set up to use clones to deal damage via ambush attacks rather than as shatter fodder. In an ideal scenario, a clone ambush Mirage build will keep 3 clones up, no phantasms, and never shatter. This maximizes their damage output.

  • @Vengyre.2506 said:
    (Wall of text incoming, feel free to skip my personal experience with professions as these are concluded from a short time)

    Greetings, so I've played this game in 2013, then got bored since it had very little stuff to do in endgame - now I see it has changed, so after being burnt down with WoW and installing currently the base version of the game and running around for a bit, I think I'll give GW2 another try as it seems a nice refreshment.

    So I am looking for a profession! I have a few boosts, namely the anniversary boost to level 40, and I will get 2 more to 80 once I buy the expansions, albeit I won't use them for now. I have a 80 mesmer and close to that necro, but leveling in this game is fun and is not an issue.

    What I am looking for is a profession that has:

    1. Difficulty - medium to hard. Generally, I don't want a faceroll profession - I want something that you can play chill, but one you can always get better at, learn new stuff and improve. "Easy to learn, hard to master".

    2. Variety of builds - I am kinda indecisive in this regard as I want my character to be able to do different things and not pigeonholed into one or similar builds. The one that could use either of elite specs or not use any at all. I use https://metabattle.com/wiki/MetaBattle_Wiki as a point of reference, is that a good source? Because judging from that most professions can indeed use any of elite specs or none at all.

    3. The ones that can support their allies and do the damage aswell. Coming from WoW where support classes don't really exist (only healers), I would like to play something that can do both at the same time, or at least switch between full damage role and support role. Having unique utility and weird skills is welcome.

    To try professions I've put them into the PvP lobby to see what their skillset looks like. Yet to see how they work in actual game and can't check out elite specs, so know very little:

    Elementalist - looks flashy, a lot of abilities to tinker with and weaver spec looks quite catchy, the fact that you have even more spells at your disposal is something I really like, I am really bored of a simple toolkits you had in WoW. And another elite spec seems like a great support spec. My fears with elementalist is that it has a high entry level and requires to have a gaming mouse (stupid, eh?).

    Ranger - while ranger by itself is not my cup of tea, druid spec seems like a go-to way to build ranger and fits my idea of supportive damage dealer that supports allies and puts conditions on your enemies. Other elite spec seems fun too. But I don't want to stuck with druid only and druid seems to be a go-to way to play Ranger.

    Guardian - fits my idea of supportive profession. I am just not sure how complex guardian is, he seems rather straightforward. Can guardian go for something else other than support? Dragonhunter spec seems kinda fun, though.

    Thief - I love rifles, but it seems that they are terrible. Sad. Are double pistols builds viable? Wanted to play double pistol thief in 2013, but it was considered to be a troll build. What about one-handed thiefs (the ones that use only 1 one-handed weapon for a different 3)? Are they still pointless or they may have some use?

    Warrior - again, rifles seem fun, but also appear to be more of a novelty than an actually used weapon. As for other weapons - I don't know, there are many of them, but they feel similar. Perhaps also seems too straightforward.

    Mesmer - I don't really like the shatter mechanic, so I guess that's not the profession for me. My only 80, but not the one I particularly enjoyed playing, even though it has all these fancy utilities.

    Engineer - I don't know why, but I feel like this is not something I will enjoy. Could be wrong but it seems extremely complicated to pull off while lacking variety of different weapons other professions possess.

    Necromancer - read that those have a bad stigma in the game, but also classes I've played in WoW were death knight and warlock, so I want something different, even though I've enjoyed it in 2013.

    Revenant - obviously, can't speak of it as I don't have the expansion yet.

    I see your wall of text and respond with my own. ;)

    I'll address these in the order you posted them. I'll say up front I'm a PVE player, so my observations will come from having done dungeons, fractals, meta events, etc. and a little raiding.

    Tbh, I don't feel like any of the professions is particularly facerolly. Some you can play that way, but you will not be the best you can be at that profession. For instance, a lot of people complain about "bearbow" rangers, having the pet out front while you ping away from a safe distance. You can do that, but you won't get the best dps, or be in a good spot to support your group.

    In terms of hard to master, I think mesmer, elementalist and engineer take top spot for that. The reason? Elementalist (with its attunements) has 25 skills available to you (more if you use weapon conjures), and Engineer (with the engineering kits and toolbelt) have the potential of having 35 skills available to you, compared to 10 for most professions. Mesmer doesn't have great dps, and relies on clones or phantasms for most of its damage and support. You can play a Mesmer without shattering (particularly for phantasm builds or condi clone builds) but again, you won't get the most out of the class without mastering that mechanic.

    That said, even the other classes have their nuances, especially once you start factoring elite specs. My suggestion is to NOT use the lvl 80 boosts (they have done more harm than good in helping people understand and enjoy the game), and just try out different classes in OW. Leveling to 80 isn't hard (I've played everything except revenant at 80, more on that later), and you get a good sense of the game and what all the classes can do. Even if you settle on just one profession as your main, knowing what the others can do is great for co-op group content and competitve play (pvp, wvw).

    Variety of builds: This is hard to speak to without know what gamemodes you plan on playing. I can say that in most PVE, you can play whatever you want to. The only time people will get nitpicky about your build is high level fractals, raids, and speedrunning dungeons. Everywhere else, you can play what you want and are free to try new things and see what works. If you decide you want to do those types of content, Metabattle will show you what people are looking for well enough.

    Classes that can dps and support: The only ones that have issues doing this are Thief (without Deadeye), Necro (without Scourge), and Revenant (without Ventari legend or an elite spec). As you can see, most of these have been fixed with an elite spec. Deadeye with the change to the stolen items and #3 traits can do some good support, Scourge has access to giving barriers more than anyone else (and Blood Magic isn't bad either), and the Ventari legend is all about healing the party, Herald can constantly blast out boons, and Renegade gives a lot of interesting group buffs with its utility skills and citadel orders. Druid is still top healer, but several others can come real close (Firebrand for guardian, Water spec for ele though no one plays it since ele is top dps, etc.). Firebrand can also pump out a lot of boons, as can Herald and Ranger. If they can cycle through targets quickly, Deadeye can pump out some stupid amounts of boon support, Warrior still has awesome might support, Engineers can always use turrets (healing turret is meta across all group play builds), Mesmer has some very unique boons to give more than most as well as portal.

    Now, my take on the individual classes:

    Elementalist is the definition of squishy dps. You can play at any range, but you have less wiggle room for screwing up on active defenses (blocks, dodges, etc) than other classes do. But they can dish out a lot of dps, and with attunements, can switch over to healing in a blink (though the dps suffers while they are doing so). Conjure weapons add some interesting options as well, since you basically pick up new 1-5 skills without changing your active attunment. Tempest adds a lot of aura group support and some nice AOEs to the class, the Weaver ups your potential number of skills by 6 for whatever weapon you have equipped (on a class that already has a lot of options), and makes attunement management even more of a thing (potentially the highest skill ceiling in the game).

    Ranger is a forgiving class to learn, but has a lot of possibilities to consider. It does both power and condi well (potentially the fastest ramp up for condi in the game), as well as healing and boon support. How you spec depends entirely on what your current needs are. The pet can be helpful but does require some managing to keep from causing problems sometimes, especially in group runs. Druid has a lot of healing and (now with the change a few months back) might support in its own right (though I am not personally a fan of the staff skills). Soulbeast is basically the petless ranger, giving you a customizable set of stat boosts and F1-F3 skills to make up for the lack of a pet.

    Guardian... I do love guardian so... So here's the deal. Guardian is basically the GW2 version of a DND cleric minus the actual religious institution stuff or deity. In terms of gameplay, you can do pretty much anything... selfish dps, non-selfish dps, full support (heal or otherwise), etc. DH is a pure selfish elite, adding AOE traps and a longbow. (Tbh, I hate it, and partly because it's exemplified by Braham in the story who turns into an emo kitten, but that's another conversation.) Firebrand I love to death. You can do heavy damage, or heavy heal, or heavy protection, all with a click of one of your tomes. Between 3 tomes and two weapon sets, we have as many skills open to us as an elementalist, if not more, and the same diversity of abilities. I could gush over guardian for a while, but you get the idea.

    Thief. Double pistol is totally viable, and honestly if other people don't like it, they don't have to play it. Thief by itself doesn't have a lot of support, though they did make the Venom sharing baseline, so you can give those to the group, and basilisk venom does work on breakbars. This class is also kinda squishy, so being mobile is a huge boon to you since they tend to stay in melee, especially with Daredevil (staff is sooo good!). Wait did I say melee? Deadeye will have you so far from melee it's actually a refreshing change of pace, and you can still support your group with the new stolen items from that range. I like range, so I'm cool with the rifle, and since you can still dodgeroll while kneeling, it's just a new mechanic to get used to. Save your dodges for getting out of AOEs.

    Warrior. Yeah this class is pretty straight forward. Build up adrenaline, burst, repeat. A lot of good weapons, so use whatever. They do still have some of the best might stacking, and the shouts and banners can be used to support the group well without sacrificing dps. If you wanna do Condition damage, go Berserker. If you want to be good at countering attacks, and doing some boon stripping, go Spellbreaker. I have one of each now. There is still a skill level to it, but it's definitely a lower skill ceiling than at least half of the other professions.

    Mesmer is a unique class to be sure. You create illusions and then blow them up, and your utility skills are all kinds of oddballs. That said, I do think this class tends to draw a more intelligent group of players, because it takes some fast and hard thinking to make it work and work well. I will freely admit this is the first class I started playing, I've leveled one at least 3 times, and I only now feel like I have a good handle on the base mesmer. Not super great with it, but I know what does what generally. And then Chronomancer came along, and I felt I hit the limits of what my brain could handle. (very good for support, high access to alacrity and quickness). So I stick to Mirage which fits my mobile condi playstyle. That said, there are some good builds that use phantasms both for dps and support, and you want to keep those around, while you move around and do whatever additional stuff needs doing.

    Engineer... honestly, I think this class has a lot of interesting things going on. To address your observations, you're right: they don't have as many weapons as everyone else, in fact the least. That's because they are engineers: they are tool users beyond a doubt. They have an amazing range of kits that replace your weapon skills with attacks (or healing in the case of the medkit) ranging from melee to 1500 range, and includes a lot of AOEs. They have turrets that will autoattack or heal anything in the area, and can be traited for projectile protection and boon support. The gadgets recently got a serious rework and can do some amazing stuff as well. Plus the toolbelt: every utility skill is actually two skills in one, and they can also do additional dps with static discharge. It's a really modular class, and one of my favorites, and doesn't even need an elite spec to be meta (the base engi is still meta in a lot of areas). That said, Scrapper adds the hammer which I love, and the gyros are an interesting set of new tools to use. Holosmith is a pure DPS elite spec, and adds the heat mechanic, and honestly while I know a lot of people love it, it's just not how I like to play engineer. It's like having a weapon kit that outshines most of the rest of the class. shrugs

    Necromancer: I don't know about bad stigma, but they are a pretty hardy light armor class that is also notoriously lacking on support. They can, if played halfway well, solo elites and even champion level monsters. Reaper, I won't lie, is basically GW2's version of a deathknight, greatsword, ice and all. Scourge is different, losing the death shroud mechanic for basically sand pillars that damage enemies and give boons and barriers to allies. It is simultaneously a major source of condi damage and group support at the same time, but still is outshined in support by almost every other class, despite its easy access to barrier. But you're wanting something different, so enough on that.

    Speaking of different... Revenant. Class mechanic is basically you have sets of utility skills (you can't choose different ones, you get each set of 6-10 skills as a set and that's it) centered around a theme characterized by a figure from history. You can switch between two in combat, but you can change them out as much as you want outside of combat. The weapons are obviously themed to certain legends, but you can play them with whichever legend you want. Honestly, I'm not a fan of this class because of being locked into the sets. The elite spec Herald is the supportive one, with boons that it just... radiates to everyone nearby. The Renegade gives it a good condi build, and also has it's own forms of support, more in terms of boosting damage. Honestly, I'm very meh about this class.

    If you have any additional questions, let me know. :)

  • Vengyre.2506Vengyre.2506 Member ✭✭
    edited January 25, 2018

    Thank you for your responses!
    So far I am trying Elementalist and like it (used boost to level 20 to unlock spells) - but how do you bind it?

    I am trying to use RDFG for movement, ASZX for attunes, WETYH for main skills and shift-WETYH for support/elite skills. Even though I like how RDFG leaves me with 4 free keys for my pinky, it feels like a rather uncomfortable position to use shift-modifiers and I am thinking of switching to ESDF movement, which will kind of ruin that. Which is why I've been saying about a gamer mouse :>

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