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Confused, where to stand in boss fights.


Wisp.2930

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Hi there,

I recently came from Final Fantasy 14 and I understand the game mechanics are vastly different. Really enjoying GW2 so I purchased all the expansions. I am absolutely overwhelmed but that is expected with 10+ years of content to catch up. I managed to level up a character to level 80, shockingly quick and joined in a few of the meta? events or boss fights I stumbled upon.

My biggest issue is character placement. I have been told regardless of class, GW2 requires players to stack up. My preference is ranged classes and so running into melee range seems very unintuitive for me. At the same time, I have been told to avoid the "bad areas" on the ground, ie. red circles, large pointy arrows etc. However, when I am stacked up with other players, no one seems to move, even when there are giant red circles of hurt and doom arrows pointing at the group. Are we meant to move out and avoid these or just stay stacking together regardless? 

There have been times when I stay within the stack and see my health drop, so I panic and run out for safety only to see that it's just me running out, so I run back in again thinking well, just do what the locals are doing, then I die lol.

Thank you for any tips or clarification. 

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Welcome!

I understand where you're coming from... it can seem counter-intuitive to run into the cross-hairs of battle... However a general simplification that should be varied based on the situation, but stacking up with groups allow you to benefit from the boons and abilities provided by the stacked group.  If you're less experienced and under-equipped, you may find yourself dying quicker or more frequently than others... but you'll also notice that more often than not, you'll be healed/resurrected much quicker as well.  Overall you will succeed more often that not in this fashion by sticking with the group. Of course, if the group is staying outside, then follow their lead as well.. Many encounters involve moving back and forth; you will come to learn the mechanics of various encounters and adopt your playstyle accordingly.

As someone who enjoys playing a ranger myself, it can be a lot of fun to adopt a ranged playstyle... If you are agile and reasonably adept at survivability, then you'll be in constant movement, dodging and evading on the perimeter to avoid circles, etc. when necessary... but you are doing this solo, and with less support from the group... Generally people are less inclined to run out to the perimeter to offer assistance in that case... and you may not be benefiting from the various boons that the group is providing...

Best of luck!

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Oh ok, that makes a lot of sense, so stay stacking to receive heals. I can assume then it is my low level equipment that is causing me to sometimes die while within the stack. Just have to resist the urge to run out when my health drops. Thank you for the explanation.

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Also to clarify on the ground indications you mentioned. Unfortunately there little to no consistency about what they mean across the bosses, some need you to avoid them, some need everyone to stack on them, some spread out their damage based on how many players are standing in their radius, and they often look unrecognizablefrom each other. So you'll have to learn and remember when to do what. 

At first you'll need to watch what others are doing and follow their lead, often enough their will be callouts on each mechanic on more organized groups. 

And yeah sometimes people stay in damaging fields if they're not too severe, it can be a dps loss to move out if they can facetank the damage.

Edited by jason.1083
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5 hours ago, Wisp.2930 said:

Oh ok, that makes a lot of sense, so stay stacking to receive heals. I can assume then it is my low level equipment that is causing me to sometimes die while within the stack. Just have to resist the urge to run out when my health drops. Thank you for the explanation.

It's not just heals you're receiving. It's heals, protection (which reduces your damage), condition removal (we can remove bleeding, burning, poison and other conditions), buffs to help you attack better, do more damage, get more crits, attack faster, recharge skills faster. Blocks from aegis. There are a plethora of things that can help you out when you're stacked. 

I like to think of this way way. When I'm using a nail I use a hammer, when I'm using a screw, I use a screw driver. The right tool for the right job. This game has taught me not to prefer range, because it wasn't always designed to range. In fact, there are creatures in this game, rarely, that are completely immune to missile attacks. So you use the right tool for the right job. You won't just be doing metas, and some metas are different from others. There's a meta event where the boss never stays in one place, and stacking is not as good on that boss as using a ranged weapon. 

Instead of attaching yourself to what you like, learn to like what works best. It'll  get you further in the long run. When you're running around in the open world, use what you like though.

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ye, they ground circles are dangerous. unfortunally, it is not often clear how dangerous and this requeres experience. Some are mostly harmless and some are instant lethal. a few advices.
1: bosses can be demandin on computer resources, consider playing on lower settings. It means you see more of the players around you and you are not lagging.
2: when others around you dodge or run away, do the same.
3: if you get a heavy blow after a red circle, these are the ones to avoid 😉 
4: when down wait for ressurection, when defeated, go to waypoint and run back

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in this game being ranged isn't about pew pewing from maximum distance, its about having a high dps uptime compared to melee classes in very bad situations. you have the ability to weave in and out of hostile areas and do mechanics without interrupting your damage rotation.

 

outside of open-world soloing, i recommend letting go of the legolas-styled ranger or classic fps sniper archetypes. once you learn the game you'll find those playstyles very outdated and something other games have held on to forever even when they shouldn't have. the action combat in guild wars allows much more aggressive playing styles even with ranged weapons; try to think of it kind of like being in a gunfight in an action movie!

Edited by SoftFootpaws.9134
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There's a lot of good advice in this thread. It's also worth considering that it's not just the boss and the attack that determines how damaging something will be, it also depends on your character. I have level 80 characters in good equipment who are very squishy and so need to heal or move out of damage more often than most people and one I've deliberately made as tanky as possible who can just stay in areas others can't survive (or at least can stay there a bit longer.)

A few things to bear in mind:

  • You can always move in combat (even while casting) and a lot of encounters are designed around that assumption, you can stay still if it's not causing a problem but need to be prepared to move at any time.
  • Stacking just means staying in range for boons, healing and condition cleansing, it takes a bit of experience to learn what the range is (as it's slightly different for each skill) but you don't have to be right on top of each other all the time.
  • If you're going to die it's better to move away until it's safe than stay where you are, you might miss out on a boon but you'll still be more effectively alive than dead.
  • You can also dodge if it's not an area-effect. This moves you a little way, but also gives you a few seconds of invulnerability, so it can protect you from attacks without having to run away.
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