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Returning player...need class help...SO MANY CHANGES!


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Happy Sunday all!I'm a returning player who hasn't played since....vanilla. Which is a long time ago haha. So much has changed in regards to classes since now there are multiple specialization choices per class and each class has certainly undergone several changes. Honestly, it's all overwhelming. I have HoT and am deciding whether or not to get the new expansion based on my leveling experience (do I want to commit long term?).

I want to level a character to max level to experience the game (I also have an instant level up token from HoT) but don't want to spend hours playing a class that 1) I don't like and 2) is a poor performer in PvP. So, here is what I like in a character in order of importance:

  • Team utility - I love being a team player. I love to play medic in Battlefield 1. I can dish out damage and support my squad. Yes, a FPS example may be poor, I know.
  • Damage - don't need to top the charts but being able to hold my own is important mostly for fun factor and leveling.
  • Difficulty - medium. I don't want to just be able to mash the keyboard and I don't want to develop carpal tunnel from constant, precise movement haha.
  • Animations - love it when these are "cool". I'm aware that is subjective but I am very open to opinions on what race/class/gender has horrid/awesome animations. I tried to find a video that showcases animations but so far they are super old.
  • Melee vs. Ranger vs. Caster - I don't care as much but these are listed in order of preference.

Anyone have any input ? I don't mind doing my own homework. I just don't know where to look. Any solid streamers, youtube channels, or databases would be wonderful as well!


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You might want to check out the Druid (Ranger HoT spec). It hits most of your preferences, the notable exception being that it's intended to be more ranged instead of melee.

Chronomancer (Mesmer HoT spec) also hits most of your list.

Revenant/Herald offers a lot of what you're looking for, though the profession seems to have taken a bit of a hit in the latest balance pass.

You can use the Instant-80 buff to try out the base classes in the Silverwastes, and it won't be permanent until you accept it. I'd recommend that you try a few base professions out and see how you like them, then look at some builds and discussions on the elite specs for the ones you like best, and choose from there.

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Most classes offer team-utility, either by giving a passive buff, actively buffing, condition cleansing or healing. The class which does it the least, would be Thief. Its only supportive abilities are its stealth and venoms. It is mostly a damage-machine, swift and deadly.

The balance between melee and range requires two sets of weapons in most cases. The only classes which do not have that feature are elementalists and engineers. They use attunements and kits/toolbelt skills to balance that out. As you request medium difficulty, especially as a returner, I would cut those two out.

Damage is a special chapter. We have two different types, power (= direct) and condition (= damage over time) damage. Power damage requires power, precision and ferocity to be decent. Condition damage requires condition duration and condition damage only, depending on the source, a little precision never hurts. It is a decision you have to make, either or - both is in most cases not really an option and will ruin your damage in total. Lucky for us, there is no pure condition damage in the game, so even on a full condition build you do some direct damage ^^. But it is definitely not worth, focusing on both.

Direct damage is fast dealt, you see results instantly and if you overpower your opponent, he does not have any time to react. Condition damage requires you to put stacks of conditions on your opponent, which means your damage output will increase the longer the fight takes. As I wrote above, some classes can cleanse conditions, which make your work harder (in competitive gameplay). A few NPCs can do that trick as well, but for the majority of time, you will not come across any. Conditions also are separated between movement-controlling and damage-conditions. If you are going condition-damage, you will have a few of these movement-controlling conditions at your service, which are good for kiting mobs/players and interrupting/bar-breaking. That gives you more time and flexibilty in coordinating your attacks. However you should select your class of choice before you determine your major damage source.

Classes which suit your requirements so far:

  • Guardian (vanilla)damage: power or conditionsupport: virtues (passive), passive defense buff, healing and condition cleansing, might generation (active buffing)controls: easyanimations: blue fire
  • Dragonhunterdamage: power or conditionsupport: as guadian, but more offensive and often played on power.controls: easyanimations: blue fire + ghostly traps with impressive moves
  • Ranger (vanilla)damage: power or conditionsupport: spirits (cannot move), passive precision/crit-rate buff, condition cleansingcontrols: easyanimations: not much, but you have pets
  • Druiddamage: power or conditionsupport: as ranger, but powerful healing and the ability to improve the groups damage in additioncontrols: mediumanimations: druid heal skills look impressive and the druid actually plays a bit like a field-medic in other games
  • Heralddamage: power or condition (power frequently used)support: the ultimate buffbot, ferocity/crit-power passive, healing with ventari's tablet, ???controls: medium/lunatic (if you play buffbot)animations: the best of Heart of ThornsNote: The upkeep mechanic is, what makes this class a true abomination. I tried 7 times to explain it without cursing, I simply cannot. Someone else can do that?
  • Warriordamage: power or conditionsupport: banners, power passive + phalanx strenght (since launch?) = you buff people with a power buff while attacking, the more you hit the better the buffs ^^controls: difficult = usually played on full berserker stats which requires you to play very good or you die within a few secondsanimations: not really
  • Berzerkerdamage: power or conditionsupport: exactly the same as warrior, but you are ofcourse more powerful ^^controls: difficult (see above)animations: fiery and you look like a powerhouse
  • Mesmerdamage: power or conditionsupport: quickness (attackspeed), boon sharing and condition cleansingcontrols: medium (looks horrible at first, with all the clones. Play a character from level 1 to 80 without scrolls and boosts. If you did not quit before you reach level 60. You are good. Once you reach level 80, you are a walking library of illusionary magic. Your illusions are your buddies now ^^.)animations: mesmerizing, do you like the color purple?
  • Chronomancerdamage: power or conditionsupport: quickness and alacricity = attackspeed, boon sharing and condition cleansing + area-buffs, crowd controlls (useful!)controls: medium (as mesmer, the wells are actually easy to understand and use)animations: mesmerizing even more, you should still like the color purple and probably not be afraid of clocks ^^
  • Necromancer (vanilla)damage: power and condition (seasonable)support: passive which heals you for damage you deal (group buff), condition cleansingcontrols: medium/easy (power builds are a little easier, good survivability thanks to 2x HP bar)animations: green and black, necros ftw!
  • Reaperdamage: power and condition (seasonable)support: as necromancer, ofcourse more powerful ^^controls: medium/easy (see above)animations: more green and black, they look nice

I am quite sure I forgot a lot. Looking on the clock right now, I assume dozens of people have answered you already, which makes my post obsolete. So what I forgot, they may have written already ...

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