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How has classes changed? (Most skill-based classes?) Returning after 3+ years.


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This isn't a "which class should I pick", but rather a "How are they today?".

This is a completely new account so I don't have any progression on it, at all. I used to main a ranger and back then they were the underdogs, but I really liked the playstyle. However, I was always jealous of how thieves and other classes had a default advantage in pvp. With that said, I made up for it with skill.

I played BDO for a long time and mastered the class I mained there. Unfortunately, the class I mained didn't have a very high skill-ceiling so I got stuck at what the game limited me to.

Since I am restarting GW2 now (with both expansions), I'd like to play a class that has a lot of room for being good. I have no idea how the classes have changed, as I still have a 3+ years old perspective of the game.

To make it simple, which three classes would you say has the highest skill ceiling overall? (Ignore learning curve or how easy it is to pick up. I only care about skill-ceiling here)What I've read from googling is that it's Engineer, Elementalist & Thief.However, I'm curious about how Ranger is in the current game (I really like archer-ish classes with bows or rifles) since it was my main a long time ago.

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Not so for the Engineer, playing core is just pushing a stone uphill. Not due tot he complexity so much as most of its skills/traits have been left fallow and are far outclassed against the average elite. Even so, if you take the effort to make a Holosmith then you're more or less set to faceroll your way to victory across several modes of play.

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All classes revolve around their Especs now.... theres just too much power or utility in them to not use in 95% of situations the game currently puts you in. The remaining 5% is a "lack of better option" situation where a specific Especs can't fit due to how it works. This gets a lot more obvious when you have to start looking into build concepts, as most will favor a specific damage type, or trades damage for support functions.

The problem with your question is that skill ceiling doesn't mean what most people "thinks" it means. On top of which, the game has been steadily shifting performance off of reactive gameplay, and is now designing and balancing around buildcraft and rotations. PvP and WvW still demands smarter and more reactive play, but everything now focuses on short skill chains, and front loaded functionality. This puts the performance disparity more on movement strategy and lock down combos, as nearly every combat oriented Espec can manage a 3 second TTK if given an opening. So once you learn the main actions for how the build operates, the only thing left is learning how and when you can pick fights.

Which basically leaves the question of "what kind of challenge do you want?". If you want an execution challenge, aim for builds based around navigating long rotation chains, or skill combo set ups. If you want reactionary play, look for builds with short chains and low setup requirements. There are also a hand full of high maintenance or heavily loaded builds; these aren't "difficult" to play, they just break down quickly if the rotation is interrupted.

If you're just looking for something with a low margin of error...... Chrono Tank build for Raids.

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Yeah alot of people confuse high skill ceiling with more button presses - which is why engi, elementalist and mesmer comes up.

In reality it comes down to flavour and style you like. A warrior, for example, has to play the most eloquant mind games to achieve his wins, while a thief has to know every trait and skill his enemy uses so he can use it against them. Same goes for necromancer, having to know when to be aggressive and when to lull the opponent into a false sense of security, or even mesmer dependent on being in perfect tune with it's every cooldown and limitations.

All professions can be mastered like this in a 1v1 scenario, but the nature of your question makes it seem you seek professions with viable build variety, and therefore more ground to cover. In that case, I would range them like this:

  1. Mesmer
  2. Guardian
  3. Thief

When it comes to what profession rewards you the most for learning its ins and outs, regardless of build diversity or meta presence, I'd definitely have to go with Revenant.

In the end it's a game of "Make sure you hit" and "Don't get hit", so the rest of the professions are rather straightforward in this sense. Rotations are key, especially for support builds and bursty builds, but how this is done is what makes your choice of profession matter. Try them all out, then go with the one you like - only means there's more work to be done should you change your mind in the future (which is a good thing, keeps the game fresh).

Btw ranger and it's soulbeast specialization is currently in the warmth, best give it a go before the nerf hammer swings by :)

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Ele and Herald. Mesmers and Thieves have broad access to stealth so they always have a net after failures to prevent the death and disengage to fight another day. Plus most of their builds are designed "to not die". You don't have the same (boring) luxury with Eles and Heralds.

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It all depends on content and game mode. What never changes is that weaver (ele) is complex in every part of the game. It's the only class that doesnt have a cheesy 3 button top dps dodge spam/faceroll rotation for optimal pve dps or max range (from stealth) 1-shot build for pvp modes nor huge healthpool to cover it's mistakes (any content). As long as those options exist, other classes won't be as skillful since they can always equip some cheesy op build and be as effective.

When it comes to pve, support chrono and condi engi are still very high skill ceiling builds, but that doesnt make whole class have high skill ceiling.

Every pve build has minmax dps potential, but not cancelling your autoattacks doesnt make specific build have high skill cap.

If you want a class to improve your skill level, a class that has no default advantage and depends on both player skill and sometimes its team skill level to be able to perform well, pick ele.

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I'd go with ele too.

  • natural superior squishiness
  • no range swap
  • worse auto attacks except 2 or 3
  • no native advantages or profession mechanic (few more skills, that's it)
  • necessity to time and combo your own skills to get what others achieve with one button (that explains the "more button pushes" syndrom)
  • inefficient skills against anything with a brain and two fingers
  • highest damage potential (dps overall, not burst damage) but you sacrifice your already poor survivability for a gameplay that leaves not much room for mistakes. And you need your ennemy to stay still.
  • high survivability potential (but you'll get killed somehow since you'd just be a pretty looking punching bag)
  • good trolling potential if you find a nice balance between damage/survivability and your own playstyle.
  • no cheesy skill/trait/mechanic to carry you.
  • you win because you're better/smarter but don't expect much vs equally skilled or better opponents.
  • you don't get bored with the class even with all its innate flaws.
  • you can discuss changes and rework indefinitely cuz they'll never happen.
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Reading from what people said here, it seems like Ele is regarded as a difficult to play class, but negative reasons seems to dominate the arguments.

I've dug into how the Ranger changed the past years and while they fixed some stuff, I'm sad that they nerfed traps & spirits. I'm glad for things they fixed too and the soulbeast actually looks "cool", in the way that I want to try it.

@rng.1024I've been considering making Thief (Daredevil with a staff cus I like staffs for physical combat) & Revenant (With the shortbow).Why do you think the Revenant rewards the most for knowing the class's ins and outs?

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@"Rhailex.2513" said:Reading from what people said here, it seems like Ele is regarded as a difficult to play class, but negative reasons seems to dominate the arguments.

I've dug into how the Ranger changed the past years and while they fixed some stuff, I'm sad that they nerfed traps & spirits. I'm glad for things they fixed too and the soulbeast actually looks "cool", in the way that I want to try it.

@rng.1024I've been considering making Thief (Daredevil with a staff cus I like staffs for physical combat) & Revenant (With the shortbow).Why do you think the Revenant rewards the most for knowing the class's ins and outs?

Ele only requires you to think ahead, as you will need to know what skills you want to use. In reality this requires the same skill as a weapswap combo most of the time. The reason people feel it's difficult (and rightfully so) is because it's mechanics haven't been updated since launch and a bunch of cast times, aftercasts and long cooldowns can make them feel clunky to use compared to more up to date professions.

And yeah ranger is cool now :)

Revenant has severly limited options in combat. How and when you use your skills matter, and there are no safety nets. If you learn how to play it properly, you'll be near unkillable - and the damage you can put out will be A grade, so landing it will feel very rewarding.

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Rangers and Guardians are VERY straight forward compared to most professions, both have room for plenty of mistakes. Rangers are good at range and melee, never underestimate a ranger at meleerange.. Guardians are great at bursting targets, fast at getting in but kinda slow at getting out and both got great sustain.

Thief isnt hard to grasp but requires nimble fingers and quick reaction time and overall knowledge of other professions. Best mobility ingame.Mesmer is a little trickier to get into but they are generally overtuned in 1v1, and once you get decent with them you will beat most other players from their design alone.

Revenants are kinda hard, but the hard part is more about thier heals being quite easily countered than anything else. They got great damage but the Meta Heralds heal is just awkward in duels / small skirmishes. Its really a hit or miss kind of deal.

Warrior/Engineer aka. Spellbreaker/holosmith are kinda the same deal. Alot of damage and durability, but suffers from being kited to death. Probably nothing beats them in melee right now though. They are probably the strongest professions right now to fight outnumbered fights due to the damage/durability. They got the tools best suited for it.

Elementalists are "decent", requires alot of abilities to be used to gain any good enuf results. Not as hard as ppl say, you get used to the rotations. They got good sustain but their damage ramps up too slowly.

Necro isnt suited for roaming, everyone can kite and outrun a necro.

Im talking about roaming here, since i figured you like the most similar experience to "open world PvP" in BDO .

If you wanna feel like a walking immortal then play engi/warriorIf you wanna pew-pew then play ranger or rifleteefIf u want burst damage but not being bananasquishy play guardian or revenantIf you wanna oneshot ppl play Deadeyeteef, Mesmer, Riflewarrior [input a bunch of different cheesebuilds]If you wanna annoy the hell out of enemies play teef, mesmer or ranger (especially mesmer)If you wanna be kinda avrage at everything then play melee elementalist.

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