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I spent some time looking at MetaBattle, and the one thing I seemed to notice is that the majority of "meta" builds are mostly melee. I can grasp the concept of why (big greatsword does more damage than some arrows seems logical), but what is the point of even having "ranged" weapons in the game if all the real damage builds revolve around melee? I ran around for a bit with an Ele and did the whole D/D variant, which was fun, don't get me wrong, but I don't know how many times I died or had to run for my life, which is disheartening reading all these posts of how faceroll open world content is. I get part of that is being new and learning the game itself along with the profession, but it's just odd to me that the way they have designed skill/weapon combinations means squishy light armor classes have to go toe-to-toe with enemies to be top-tier. I would love to play a completely ranged Ranger or Elementalist, but then I feel like I'm hindering myself from ever getting to even consider going in a raid. By all means, tell me if I'm wrong here, but this is just the general concept I have been seeing looking at these builds. Coming from typical MMO's, a mage dual-wielding daggers is a concept completely foreign to me. I will say, I have been having fun regardless. Axe/Axe Warrior has been really fun. Tried Necro for a bit but the army of minions is too much, and I don't know enough about anything yet to try to theorycraft something on my own. I know low levels is extremely early to judge a class considering you can't even specialize til 80. But then I think, if I have to play a melee Ele at endgame, how crap am I going to be then if I am already getting wrecked in the starting zones?

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The point of being melee is actually to receive boons, and to cleave foes. If the entire group is in 1 spot, the mobs will all go to said spot, and all aoes can be dropped there. Additionally boons can only be given to players within a certain distance of the giver, like in the case of druid, aura buffss, and mesmer's soi (signet of inspiration). If you're planning to get into raiding, keep in mind that pugs have 1 or 2 slots dedicated to healers, so you'll very rarely die unless you wander too far from the healers that they can't heal you.

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Ele has probably the best output damage for ranged option on staff. It's also a nearly glass cannon when use it so you really need to pay attention to not get hit by mobs. So here is a little build that you can start using even at low level, maybe you wont have all the elements but try to complete it in your best way possible. http://gw2skills.net/editor/?vFAQFAWnMICVOgdOA+MA8RgBCAJKEYA18Y0ad6yATips for healingWith this one remember to use your healing skill to blast combo fields. Suggest combos to heal when attuned to water: staff skill 3 (water field) or skill5 (water field) + blast finisher of your heal or use the water staff 2 which is still a blast fnisher to do the same thing. Also granting yourself or allies regeneration removes conditions, so have 1 condi removal on all cantrips and when attuning to water or on water staff 5.Tips for damageSuggested combos for damagebasically revolve around blasting the fire field on staff 2 when attuned to fire. The most usefull one you should learn is: attuned to earth cast staff 2 then switch to fire and cast staff 2, from this your get might and fury. If for example you were on water can still do the same combo but this time use water staff 2 as blast finisher for fire staff 2 fire field.Tools to surviveCantrips like lighting flash(teleport) and mist form(invulnerability) will be your best friend to avoid death. Try to use arcane shield only when you're in melee range of mobs the other tool escapes are on cooldown. Remember also that fire staff 4 is great option to disengage. Also with the arcane trait line you'll also get an auto trigger on arcane shield when your health drops below 50%. Remember also that earth staff 3 is an aura that reflect projectiles so it's very usefull if enemy attacks you at range.

Try elementalist staff is awesome and fun, you really need to be carefull to stay at range, but with this build you've plenty of tools to escape and stay alive, learn this combos and you're on the right path for end game content with ele.

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Until you reach level 80 and group content I would suggest to stop reading and adjusting your build to the meta. Below 80 you don't have access to most of the traits or optimized gear (some builds require 100% crit chance to achieve top dps, for example. Good luck getting it before 80).Focus on learning your profession - the traits, the skills, what synergizes with what and how to play the profession.You mentioned D/D elementalist: if you play it static you will die horribly. However, learn to dance around mobs and avoid being hit, while using the attunements to your advantage and you can take on an army. On top of that, only staff (which has very long range) elementalist is meta for pve endgame, besides maybe a well played sword weaver.

TL;DR - pick a profession, experiment, learn and have fun with it. When you get to the raiding part of the game you will have a feel of what works for you.For open world and leveling almost every combination works.

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If you are looking at metabattle builds wvw and conquest are pvp parts of the game, fractals and raids pve. There are no guids on open world (you can get away with anything there) and generaly one ranged weapon is good idea for open world.

Gw2 is diferent in then any other mmo i know because all weapons are used at melee range (even ranged). There are several reasons.1) Most offensive buffs and heals are short range so everyone stays together.2) Some weapons can hit multiple times when melee range3) It is easier to dodge atacks at melee range. Imagine a quarter of a circle. If you stand at the centre you can take one step and you are out but if you stand in the centre of ither edge you need to go 2π/8*diameter to go out

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@ButcherofMalakir.4067 said:If you are looking at metabattle builds wvw and conquest are pvp parts of the game, fractals and raids pve. There are no guids on open world (you can get away with anything there) and generaly one ranged weapon is good idea for open world.

There is now an Open World category on Metabattle. But anything can be used really, those OW builds on Metabattle can be used as a basic template and then add in your own adjustments to fit your play style.

Most “ranged” weapons, are used within 600 units of an enemy because it’s easier to fire off skills which has a cone AOE or a ground AoE (ranger short bow poison volley, Elementalist Staff skills like Burning Retreat, Engineer Rifle skills, to name a few.)

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New to the game and starting with meta-builds from metabattle, seriously? Imagine a toddler who received his first Bobby Car and his parents handed him a users manual for a Lamborghini Aventator. Both are sort of cars, and one may lead to the other in the far future. But it is not like you are going to use any of that stuff anytime soon. The stuff written on those pages usually confuses newbies, because you need basic knowledge of your class to understand what is going on.

I've met players who forced themselves to play meta from scratch. Extremely powerful, but useless when it comes to anything that is not written in a guide and unable to do anything outside of the official recommended ultra-dps-rotations. Metabattle not teaches you how your class works, it only tells you what is most efficient.

Pick a weapon you enjoy, runes & sigils that sound like fun and equip yourselves with a fancy armor. Step by step you will learn the basics. You will find ways to be more efficient and talk to other players to get information. Once you hit 80, you can choose the path of meta. By then you know how your skills and passives work and you can decide on your own if you want to play ranged or not.

Pages like metabattle always show a distorted picture of the classes in this game. It is not like everyone in the game plays that way. It would be horribly boring with only 2-3 build varieties per class. Those builds are optimized on damage output. According to a certain group of players, that is all you need. Those however are not the entire population of this game. Honestly they are the noisiest, they always appear to be the majority because they shout the loudest. A big group of us not claims to have found the Philosopher's Stone, we found a way we enjoy the game and just do so ^^. There are more ways to play a class not just the few options listed on that stupid site ...

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Obviously you are a new player but if you want to know about your roles of each proffesion in group pve content and about group strategies just ask and i will try to give you answer. For pvp/wvw there will sure be someone else that can help you.

Few last tips1) dont use lvl 80 boost on your first character2) try to stay away from defensive gear so you learn to use dodge3) dont buy any gear until you are lvl 80.

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@"SilverArrowsMP.2957" said:I spent some time looking at MetaBattle, and the one thing I seemed to notice is that the majority of "meta" builds are mostly melee. I can grasp the concept of why (big greatsword does more damage than some arrows seems logical), but what is the point of even having "ranged" weapons in the game if all the real damage builds revolve around melee? I ran around for a bit with an Ele and did the whole D/D variant, which was fun, don't get me wrong, but I don't know how many times I died or had to run for my life, which is disheartening reading all these posts of how faceroll open world content is. I get part of that is being new and learning the game itself along with the profession, but it's just odd to me that the way they have designed skill/weapon combinations means squishy light armor classes have to go toe-to-toe with enemies to be top-tier. I would love to play a completely ranged Ranger or Elementalist, but then I feel like I'm hindering myself from ever getting to even consider going in a raid. By all means, tell me if I'm wrong here, but this is just the general concept I have been seeing looking at these builds. Coming from typical MMO's, a mage dual-wielding daggers is a concept completely foreign to me. I will say, I have been having fun regardless. Axe/Axe Warrior has been really fun. Tried Necro for a bit but the army of minions is too much, and I don't know enough about anything yet to try to theorycraft something on my own. I know low levels is extremely early to judge a class considering you can't even specialize til 80. But then I think, if I have to play a melee Ele at endgame, how crap am I going to be then if I am already getting wrecked in the starting zones?

Melee requires you to be close to your opponent. Ranged weapons, especially when you play engineer allow you to kite enemies. As a core power engineer, I use the Grenade Kit and let me tell you, warriors are by far the easiest profession to kite.

As elementalist you can use the core Fresh Air build that uses scepter/focus as its' weapon set. For raids, if you want to play a ranged elementalist, use the staff. It is by far the best weapon in PvE to keep your allies alive. It also has the highest damage of all the other weapons, even scepter.

In open world content, everything is viable. You can use d/d as much as you want. I switched to the scepter/focus since it was more of a wizard like weapon instead of daggers. It's best if you use either scepter/focus for the quick, glass cannon damage and it teaches you to use fast reflexes in order to deal the most amount of damage or staff for supporting allies in raids.

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Meta build or no (sure metabattle has open world builds nowadays) leveling will be a very different experience than 80 and properly equipped for your chosen build. D/D Ele can be a ton of fun, but being a short range build requires some work to stay alive. You never said what level range you're actually playing with, but it's safe to assume you're not playing with a full kit of specializations, class skills (atunements), utilities, etc.

Then there's just the matter of how combat works in GW2. Not that this is how you're playing, but you can't just stand there spamming Lightning Whip and expect the mob to die before you've taken significant damage. You need to Dodge (moreso with Vigor), use Protection, Aegis, hard CC (stun, , daze, knockdown, etc.), and soft CC (cripple, chill, immobilize, etc.) to prevent yourself from receiving as much damage as possible.

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Ignore Meta Battle until you know your profession enough to veto and adapt their builds.Also you won't really need it until you're going for Fractals and Raids. You can fake pvp and wvw with your own builds as well. And honestly, if you're in gw2 for pvp modes, you're in the wrong game.

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I guess I should have elaborated... I looked at the Raid/Fractal builds, but have been using the Open World section (looking at builds that are core builds only) as far as general ideas of what to build around while leveling. Also, I really have no desire for PvP. Of all the MMO's I've ever played, and that's a lot, I've only ever done PvP in Elder Scrolls Online. It's just not really my cup of tea.

EDIT: How is healing on Druid in this game? I like the idea, but in truth healing and tanking roles can make me nervous in the beginning. I really enjoyed healing in ESO, but it was honestly super easy. Tons of AOE heals made it pretty much faceroll.

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Here's one thing I can tell you since you're new to the game. SLOW DOWN. Don't look at the meta/endgame stuff until you've gotten your feet wet. Explore the world, take some time. I understand the late-game and challenges are tempting to you, but from personal experience it has led me to turning my head away from certain games (a few choices I cruelly regret now that I have a lot of time in GW2).

If you're looking into being a support, there's several options, and often it's granting/sharing boons to others as well as giving options to sustain. I think Druid is the only real open healing subgroup, but even base Guardian (and the Firebrand elite spec) has a lot of options such as boonshare and stability grants (shouts, FB second/third tomes). Mesmer has several options up their sleeve; Chronomancer provides modest group support and crowd control through wells.

Observe your options. Most classes have a ranged option and from what I've seen, Ranger, Guardian, Mesmer are kinda the trio in my opinion that lets you do things while also supporting those around you (though Mes will take a bit of tweaking).

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@SilverArrowsMP.2957 said:I guess I should have elaborated... I looked at the Raid/Fractal builds, but have been using the Open World section (looking at builds that are core builds only) as far as general ideas of what to build around while leveling. Also, I really have no desire for PvP. Of all the MMO's I've ever played, and that's a lot, I've only ever done PvP in Elder Scrolls Online. It's just not really my cup of tea.

EDIT: How is healing on Druid in this game? I like the idea, but in truth healing and tanking roles can make me nervous in the beginning. I really enjoyed healing in ESO, but it was honestly super easy. Tons of AOE heals made it pretty much faceroll.

Generaly you have one out of 2 jobs in group based pve. Either support or dps. (in other parts of pve support is not that good because you might not have anyone to suport). Dps proffesion does damage. Support proffesion have more complex role that can be sumarised as this: they make dps proffesions job easier. Multiple support builds do this in diferent ways, either by providing boons (buffs), healing, blocking atacks for dpsers, pulling mobs to one place and ccing the bosses.Right now most popular support options are chronomancers, druids and warriors. Most of the playerbase think that druid is the best healer or that he is taken because of his heals but that is not the case. True reason why druid is take is that he provides unique dps buffs (spirits and spotter), might, cc and on top of that he heals so there is no reason to take another healer. His heals are not the best but are more then enough.

Last patch (8.5.) druid was heavily nerfed (40 percent healing down and lost big part of his cc) but is still requested as top tier option. If you want to play druid you have to relise that support proffesions play diferently then dps profesions. Dpsers have rotations that they folow. Good dps player can stick to his rotation even when distracted. On the othe other hand support classes dont have any rotations but guidlines. You need to react to encounter but also dont get too distracted to stop doing your main job (boons). Generaly support classes are more based on knowlage of the game then mechanics.

Personaly i main chronomancer (support class) and it is very fun for me because I have to react to the game and plan ahead. Thats why it never feels the same and it is interesting for me. If this is something you think you would enjoy then go for druid.

Do not feel discouraged. It is much harder to get into then dps proffesions but since not that many players play dps proffesions as support proffesions everyone will want you as their teamate even when you do the most basics things. Once you pick up druid just focus on giving out might. Once that comes into your blood you will have time to try thing during fights and adapt your playstyle/skills.

Most of the druid heals are aoe but as I said it is not about heals but about ultility. They might be aoe but also very short ranged so you have to be positioned correctly. But as I said healing is only the basics and what you do between (and also how you do the healing) show the diference between experianced druid and begginer.

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@altermaven.7385 said:Here's one thing I can tell you since you're new to the game. SLOW DOWN. Don't look at the meta/endgame stuff until you've gotten your feet wet. Explore the world, take some time. I understand the late-game and challenges are tempting to you, but from personal experience it has led me to turning my head away from certain games (a few choices I cruelly regret now that I have a lot of time in GW2).

If you're looking into being a support, there's several options, and often it's granting/sharing boons to others as well as giving options to sustain. I think Druid is the only real open healing subgroup, but even base Guardian (and the Firebrand elite spec) has a lot of options such as boonshare and stability grants (shouts, FB second/third tomes). Mesmer has several options up their sleeve; Chronomancer provides modest group support and crowd control through wells.

Observe your options. Most classes have a ranged option and from what I've seen, Ranger, Guardian, Mesmer are kinda the trio in my opinion that lets you do things while also supporting those around you (though Mes will take a bit of tweaking).

I'm going to second SLOW DOWN! Pick a profession you like the theme of and just go with it. Learn the game, explore the world, most of all take your time doing it. You're not missing out on anything by getting to 80 ASAP, or planning out your 80 build before you've even got your feet wet.

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@"Sagramor.7395" said:I'm going to second SLOW DOWN! Pick a profession you like the theme of and just go with it. Learn the game, explore the world, most of all take your time doing it. You're not missing out on anything by getting to 80 ASAP, or planning out your 80 build before you've even got your feet wet.

That's why I haven't used either of my 2 lvl 80 boosts. While I know I mentioned endgame content in my opening post, the best part to me about any MMO is exploration and "questing." I know a lot of people find it boring, but, I personally tend to roll solo 99.9% of the time (I have zero friends that play GW2) in any MMO I play, so I never really "speed level." I want to play every class to lvl 20 at minimum until I decide on what to focus on first. I like the aspects of a lot of the classes. I have always loved anything mage or archer or Sw/Shield (and from what I am gathering, those combos are just fine while leveling in Open World), but what my original point was is that it's just something new for me to get used to the idea of a GS Ranger or D/D mage or LB Warrior.

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I will caution you that Elementalist is hands down the squishiest profession in the game until you get experienced with it. So if you stick with it be prepared to eat a lot of floor. Otoh it will make the other professions feel immortal (except maybe Thief, which is a close second on squish) and once you get really good with it you will be deadly. The main thing it won't teach you is weapon swap; the attunement dance is similar but involves a different muscle memory so keep an eye on that.

Playing everything to 20 is a good plan. You can also get a sneak peek by taking any profession you wish into the PvP lobby where you will be 80 with all skills and traits unlocked (though not the elites unless you own the relevant expansion(s)) and a free choice of gear stats. The exact skills will vary a bit from PvE, but it can give you a good overall feel for what the profession feels like though could be a bit confusing to choose from all the options without a natural leveling experience under your belt. There are golems and PvE mobs in the lobby to test attack, no need to go up against other players.

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@"SilverArrowsMP.2957" said:I spent some time looking at MetaBattle, and the one thing I seemed to notice is that the majority of "meta" builds are mostly melee. I can grasp the concept of why (big greatsword does more damage than some arrows seems logical), but what is the point of even having "ranged" weapons in the game if all the real damage builds revolve around melee? I ran around for a bit with an Ele and did the whole D/D variant, which was fun, don't get me wrong, but I don't know how many times I died or had to run for my life, which is disheartening reading all these posts of how faceroll open world content is. I get part of that is being new and learning the game itself along with the profession, but it's just odd to me that the way they have designed skill/weapon combinations means squishy light armor classes have to go toe-to-toe with enemies to be top-tier. I would love to play a completely ranged Ranger or Elementalist, but then I feel like I'm hindering myself from ever getting to even consider going in a raid. By all means, tell me if I'm wrong here, but this is just the general concept I have been seeing looking at these builds. Coming from typical MMO's, a mage dual-wielding daggers is a concept completely foreign to me. I will say, I have been having fun regardless. Axe/Axe Warrior has been really fun. Tried Necro for a bit but the army of minions is too much, and I don't know enough about anything yet to try to theorycraft something on my own. I know low levels is extremely early to judge a class considering you can't even specialize til 80. But then I think, if I have to play a melee Ele at endgame, how crap am I going to be then if I am already getting wrecked in the starting zones?

There's a lot to talk about in your post.

One of the biggest hurdles to get over in GW2 is wrapping to much identity into your specific weapon kit. I always first play tanky, sword and board warriors in role playing games. But that's not really much of an option in GW2 because of what sword does and what shield does and that was kind of my first rude awakening when I started playing the game. You just focus on the skills it gives you and when where they're appropriate. Raiding builds are usually min / maxed to just do as much damage as possible, and if they aren't it's because they buff the group's damage even more than just going for pure damage would do. Raids also have the advantage of having dedicated support healing them at all times making melee more safe.

When you're leveling or in the open world, ranged weapons are often extremely valuable. They're amazing when you need to back off from pressure and still deal damage to your enemy as you're mobile. They have their place in the game. PvP and WvW? They have their place. Even in raids they have their place.

But raid necros? They run scourge and use scepter.

Raid Soulbeasts have Shortbow in their rotation.Raid Druids use Staff / Axe.Raid guardians use Scepter in their rotation.Raid Holosmiths run Rifle.Raid Elementalists use Staff.

When people say "Open world is faceroll" they have a lot of things you actually don't have.

  1. They level 80, and have access to level 80 skills and traits.
  2. Despite being downscaled to lower levels their high level and gear gives them an edge over a newbie leveling.
  3. They have leagues more experience with mobs that you don't.

Don't feel bad if you struggle a bit leveling. Everyone does to some degree. Just take your time, focus on playing safe and getting good at dodging and getting better.

While necro minions are amazing in the open world and for soloing, in more demanding serious modes of play they're actually almost completely unused.

snowcrows.com is the better resource for high end raiding builds. But you really don't have to worry about that just yet. That's still a ways away for you. Just have fun and enjoy what you enjoy for now.

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A ranged ranger with tank pet (the bear-bow) is perfectly fine for Open-World it will just be a solo-play char not wanted (and not efficient) in group play.

Having several chars is common, some of them for solo some of them for group play. And you are not doomed to a build per char in GW2 you can always change it.

Even with level 80 your probably quite far from raids (elite skills, ascended gear, experience, i.e. know what will happen in advance). Play open world the way you have the most fun, grow in fractals and maybe finally reach raids.

Also keep in mind that meta battle group builds are fragile, they are optimized for specific settings (usually on the cost of survivability), they are less (not) error forgiving, they aren't the best if your solo or in not so specialized/optimized parties and they are a pain in the a** if you don't know what you will face.

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If you like support then just unlock druid and use your berserker ranger gear with runes of strenght and hop into some dungeons/fractals. It is not expensive gear and works even when playing dps so you will not lose much if you decide against it. If you find that interesting you might pick mire specialised gear as you progress.

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