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New..ish, what to lvl 80 boost?


Ashikuro.1920
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I could use some advice from all you experienced players. I just started plying again after a 3 year break, but I never made it past lvl 50. I bought the new expansion and got a free lvl 80 boost. I'm so torn on what to boost. I've researched the forums quite a bit, but not found quite the info I'm looking for.

Here's what I would love to find in a main character:

  • Survivability (lots of defense and/or self heals)
  • Strong AOE dps
  • Something that can get into groups easy..ish
  • Mobility ...seems that's not really a thing in this game, but hate being slow

Any suggestions?

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You can use the boost temporarily on any character you want, and get to run around Silverwastes at lvl 80. You can then revert and try out another character to see which one you like the feel of at 80. Remember though you won't have access to elite specs during this test.

Guardian fits your requirements pretty well, especially the Firebrand (which you can't test yet). Mesmer is popular and supposedly has all those things, but it relies on evasion mechanics and I personally don't like the feel of it. Warrior is also a good all-around choice and hits all your points. Start with those and see how you like them, and go from there.

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I wouldn't recommend using the lvl 80 boost on your first character. Expansion content is worlds more difficult then Core Tyria, because lvl 80 areas are designed on the assumption that you understand most game mechanics, and your class's build concept. You'll notice immediately that the Mordrem in Silverwaste will mop the floor with you, despite the fact you are given very defense heavy gear during the test run. Because the game is heavily skewed toward active defenses, trying to tank and spank on most classes is basically suicide once their attacks hit hard enough to hurt.

There are multiple reasons to level your first character normally. Half of those reasons are to get sufficient practice with game mechanics, to which the slow introduction of skills and low difficulty curve tends to help during the first 50 or so levels. Past 50 things start getting harder, and the game does expect you to be using things like dodging, boons, blocks and control skills to hinder your opponents and avoid taking damage. The moment you step into expansion maps, even the trash mobs can wreak you if you can't manage them properly.

Now the other half of those reasons to level normally is Resources. You WILL need access to a lot of different things such as crafting, TP trading, liquid gold, material stock iles, and various tokens, in order to be reasonably efficient in gearing yourself for late game content like the expansions. During that leveling process, you don't actually need to spend any money on gearing self seriously, as even Greens and Rares with the right stat combos (or the leveling gear your given as you level up) are sufficient for having a competent build. You want to wait until hit level 80 before thinking about investing into Exotic or Ascended gear, as it won't be until then that you can get the most out of those stats and traits. During leveling you can also gather some fairly valuable materials in mid tier that can be used later to work on crafting, or sold for seed gold to fill an immediate need until you can get fully established with the major money making activities.

Once you're main is capable of doing a few things, you can then consider using the lvl 80 booster to spin up an Alt. most classes still benefit for normal leveling process for training in its build concept, but some are more cohesive (and thus quicker to learn) then others. This also expands into Especs as well, since some do radically change how the class works. But even if you're the "I only want one character" type of player, you'll eventually figure out that having at least a couple of Alts is hugely beneficial to how the game's content is structured. At minimum, you'd need 4 characters to learn all the different crafting disciplines (which become hugely important in achievements, collections, Ascended gear, Legendary gear and the majority of side activities from HOT onward)- without having to spend money/gems on crafting licenses or paying 50s every time you need to swap for something. (Characters are limited to 2 active crafting lines by default)

Once you start getting in Raid, Fractals, PvP or WvW, aka things where group comp actually matters, having alts makes getting into groups easier, or getting the team into action a lot faster by not having to wait on specific "needed" builds in LFG. Mesmer is in the highest demand for every group, but playing mesmer exclusively over several months will wear down on your sanity. And if by some miracle a raid group already have 2 mesmers ready to go, they won't take a 3rd as a DPS slot, because your DPS sucks compared to the other meta builds.

And for the Record, what you're trying to describe is an Ele.... but the Ele is currently one of the hardest classes to see its potential realized. Its has a lot of options, but the devs have been systematically nerfing it to cap its power potential. This has created shakey ground when it comes to Raids, since the damage margin is lower then previous metas, and has severely reduced its inherent flexibility across all game modes. Its still a really good class... IF you can push it to its absolute mechanical limits. But understand going into it that Ele's passive defenses are pretty weak, but its active defense are very strong; so the class's performance relies heavily on player skill, timing and ability to navigate its massive skill list.

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Don't boost any character. The level 80 booster gives you bad armor and bad weapons as well as overloading you with hero points that you won't need even after you unlocked every elite specialization.

Even if you're newish, it's better to take your time and play the game to learn how to play it instead of skipping content. Also to answer your question about what profession to play, play warrior.

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I think saving boost is a waste personally. You might even err on choice of character given a good amount of time thinking about it. At least the booster will get you to endgame fast and let you cruise through content (rather than struggle through it) and get into the expansion. I only suggest saving the booster if you want to experience to core campaign from start to finish as though it was a new release. As for character I suggest minion master reaper with great sword after the latest patch. It has good self buff dmg and good survivability through tanking minions. Its easy to play and you dont have to rely on a healer as much as other classes.

edit: mobility isnt a big a deal with the introduction of mounts. But most mobile class is DD thief.

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I had the same dilemma months ago. People told me that boosting is bad, that "you need to learn your class" and so on...Complete rubbish.

I wanted to have all professions and because of this decided to boost the one with the most horrible leveling experience - Mesmer. No regrets. My only real regret is that I did not use the second boost on engineer instead of necro.

And you know why? Because once you unlock your elite spec you are very, very, very unlikely to use the core profession ever. EVER! This means that you don't miss on learning something which you won't use anyway. Gear you can buy from TP so that's non-issue if you do your daily quests and sell every gathered crafting material.

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Thanks for all the great advice. Its interesting to see contrasting views here. I actually have two boosts. So I think I will start with a warrior since they seem to be generally decent in most areas. I'll try leveling a few other classes and just get the feel for them before using the second boost.

I am curious though, I see that Snow Crows site has Deadeye Thief ranked really high for raids. However, I'm also seeing other forum posts were they are not wanted or invited for fractals. What's the difference there?

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@Ashikuro.1920 said:However, I'm also seeing other forum posts were they are not wanted or invited for fractals. What's the difference there?

That's not entirely accurate.

If you are a Deadeye Thief looking for a group, other groups in LFG wants certain professions in their group, which gives the wrong impression that DE Thieves are not wanted.

However, if you create an LFG, players will join you regardless of your profession.

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@"Ashikuro.1920" said:Thanks for all the great advice. Its interesting to see contrasting views here. I actually have two boosts. So I think I will start with a warrior since they seem to be generally decent in most areas. I'll try leveling a few other classes and just get the feel for them before using the second boost.

I am curious though, I see that Snow Crows site has Deadeye Thief ranked really high for raids. However, I'm also seeing other forum posts were they are not wanted or invited for fractals. What's the difference there?

A lot of comes from differing views of how the game works. Theres like "the right way" and then theres all these other people who are doing it wrong. :P

As for the question..... Raids and Fractals are usually separated by Time to Kill. Raids mostly focus on fighting one huge boss with a billion or so HP. Fractals are mostly populated by Vet scale mobs, which have something like 50-100k HP each (depending on scale). What most build sites don't really get across is the damage characteristics of builds, and generally focus on Large boss type bench marks (ie raids).

Raid Rotations work on the assumption that a target will survive long enough to allow at least 2 full rotations, which enables the build to fully ramp up its setup and damage sequences. If that rotation is interrupted, it basically falls apart and needs to be restarted- which for most classes means they need to wait for several key skills to come off cool down. If it takes 15 seconds to ramp up a rotation, and the target dies in 16 seconds, but takes 45 seconds to reset, you have roughly 30 seconds of down time where your damage is far below its target bench mark and your skills being used very unevenly.

Fractal builds tend to focus on delivering a large amount of damage in a short amount of time, and that those bursts can cycle frequently. CC skills also get much higher utility, since they aren't automatically immune to its effects like Bosses are with the Defiance system.

This is why condi builds are popular in Raids, but extremely unpopular in fractals, with Power damage generally being the exact opposite. Condi damage has long ramp up time, but high sustained DPS potential. Power damage is fronted loaded, and stops the moment you stop attacking. But its ability to deliver lethal damage within the first several seconds against most non-boss/champ type enemies is what makes its so effective in Fractals, which have multiple weaker enemies instead of 1 massively HP padded boss.

Now normally you'd expect Deadeye to fit this format perfectly..... but in reality, theres a nuance in how the Mark works that causes it to become an anomaly in the DPS benchmarks. Thieves in general are keyed to deliver its damage in huge bursts, but require a lot of set up before the killing blow will be effective. In practice, they're designed to strike a single target, forcing them to engage in 1v1 combat regardless of how many enemies are on the field. Deadeye takes this 1v1 concept to a substantial extreme, but unlike core or Daredevil, they're biggest attacks can't be fronted loaded to catch a target off guard. However, to make up for that, they basically have the ability to abuse stealth mechanics to give them access to their Stealth attack on Mainhand 1 (which for thieves is a flip skill when in stealth), and the Deadeye Mark mechanic can effectively double this damage with full malice stacks.

The mark requires a decent amount of initial setup, and immediately alerts the target when this is happening. But once marked, a dead eye can dog that target with a high damage burst every 5-8 seconds, while peppering substantial damage between bursts. Combined, this overwhelms a targets defense options, and leaves them vulnerable if they can't break the engagement. On top of this, the mark also contains its own setup skills, with independent cool down from other skills, so it can go back to back on targets without having to wait for specific skills to reset. This enables them to keep being dangerous in a cluster fight, where normally DD and Core have to reset between engagements or risk being vulnerable.

So the first half of that is whats been enabling Power Deadeye to have insane DPS potential, as the Mark mechanics are designed to increase damage potential until the target itself is dead. The reason it struggles in fractals is that Thief, and by extension Deadeye, relies on juking and stealth as a defense, which immediately break damage output. With 1 vs many fights having a lot of uneven spaced attacks that all have to be dodged, Deadeye can't completely focus on its given target for maximum damage potential. Since Deadeye is effectively back loaded on damage, and it has to stay in a fight for at least a few seconds to build up malice before it can use its big hitter, Vets are dying too fast (from other players) for the Mark mechanic to be effective- plus the Deadeye needs very particular positioning, which can be hard with the amount of AOEs common in high tier fractals.

But in Raids, DE is free to setup back to back stealth attacks against a target that just sits there, and has its back exposed (which for dagger is a huge damage bonus). The fight is long enough for the Mark to matter; and what would otherwise be considered a cheese build in PvP becomes a damage power house due to Raids mimicking the perfect conditions for this iteration of deadeye's mechanics. The first version of DE had crap damage, but it was arguable that the passive damage multiplier on a marked target (essentially extra vulnerability stacks) could had made Deadeye a major contender in the offensive support meta..... but that got plugged up quick. Now with the current rework, it amplifies personal damage to insane levels, but forces all that damage to be back loaded. I'm suspecting this was intentional too- making it both incredibly cleaver, but also exacerbates an underlying problem with Raid design vs the other game modes.

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Good advice above. I used 2 boosts:NecromancerThief

Both selected because they are relatively easy professions to learn, i.e. not as much to gain from levelling.

Staff necromancer is good for AOE and survivability (e.g. minion build). Wouldn't worry too much about groups, if it becomes a problem then just level another profession.

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I don't really think there is a profession that matches your description OP. If you want all you mentioned - elementalist.

BUT. They are hard to control and take time and practice to be efficient. Using a boost on an elementalist is shooting yourself in the foot, as you're depriving yourself of valuable time needed to learn your profession. And in this particular instance of it, you will need that time badly before you venture into xpansion zones.

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As many others have stated, I wouldn't boost a toon to 80 if it's your first toon. There are game mechanics that are easier to learn if you're leveling your toon from scratch. Its better to learn your profession and how it works, and I don't know why more people don't mention this but race also (to me anyways) feels different, like I have a Warrior of every race and each one feels different than the other (maybe not human and sylvari since they're the same size and all).

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@"EpicName.4523" said:I had the same dilemma months ago. People told me that boosting is bad, that "you need to learn your class" and so on...Complete rubbish.

I wanted to have all professions and because of this decided to boost the one with the most horrible leveling experience - Mesmer. No regrets. My only real regret is that I did not use the second boost on engineer instead of necro.

And you know why? Because once you unlock your elite spec you are very, very, very unlikely to use the core profession ever. EVER! This means that you don't miss on learning something which you won't use anyway. Gear you can buy from TP so that's non-issue if you do your daily quests and sell every gathered crafting material.

eh

most people suggest that you dont use your Lv80 Boost on your first character, that way you'll learn to play not only your first class, but the game through the -most?- relaxing and easiest way, and once you are accostumed with the game basics then you can Lv80 boost whatever new characters you want and go practice builds and skills on high level maps because moving, evading, targeting, and such stuff shouldn't be a problem anymore.

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Verdant brink is a very bad design for new players as it introduces a new system of progression in mastery points that road blocks progress. Not only do you need to acquire mastery points but you need to level them up too. Without knowing this and going in blind into HoT you can die many times to dead falls without gliding (and also pocket raptors) and knowing how to get even acquire the skill. Also if youre new to the game the waypoint cost after dying is significant. Just because of this bad design though I wouldnt recommend a player waste 2 weeks going through the core game when dont need/want to and have a booster that lets them skip it. It also doesnt help wrapping ones head around it later either.

The main things youll learn playing through core tyria is redoing keybindings so they dont suck and adjusting numerous game settings that I cant name because theyve become the norm for me. Also when youre starting out how to get gold is a bit of a mystery, and also what to do with gear drops? you need to buy gathering tools and salvaging tools for these things.

Other things youll learn arent helped by saving your booster, but rather playing the game and/or reading up on it, like" chain meta-events and fractals/raids which are again another learning curve. Fractals takes time to learn because progression is again very intuitive, made so because of agony resist gating and how it slots into gear (i.e. the next tier up from exotic gear is required). I cant speak for raids because I havent played it. To get into either of these things you have to learn how to use the "lfg" UI which is semi-hidden in "contacts+lfg" .

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@Red Haired Savage.5430 said:As many others have stated, I wouldn't boost a toon to 80 if it's your first toon. There are game mechanics that are easier to learn if you're leveling your toon from scratch. Its better to learn your profession and how it works, and I don't know why more people don't mention this but race also (to me anyways) feels different, like I have a Warrior of every race and each one feels different than the other (maybe not human and sylvari since they're the same size and all).

The only difference is in the animations. But since the animations serve as a feedback mechanism, it gives the illusion that there might be differences in the skills. Usually in the depiction of attack reach, movement speed, and tells.

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