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Returning to the game and looking for a good generalist build!


Kelthien.8593

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Hey all!Played for... erm.. 3-4 years? Then took a bit of a break and excited about PoF. Unfortunately, been dancing so much between chars and second guessing that I haven't progressed much. I'd love some advice from someone who's probably overthinking it.

I'm hoping for a class/build/spec that has a few of the following-

  • Mostly ranged
  • More-or-less a consistent playstyle between PvP, WvW, open world PvE, and maybe ok trying a raid or two
  • A single set of gear so I don't need to farm "crystals" or whatever it takes to swap my ascended junk

So far I've been dancing between Mesmer (but seeing all the support/low DPS or melee WvW posts scares me), Staff ele (but I hear they're weak in PvP and solo pve?), Scourge (no one wants them in some game styles?), Renegade/Rev (no good ranged options? Unwanted in any raids) and Guardian/Firebrand (again...melee is not my cup of tea).

I'd love any tips/advice/etc.

Thanks so much, and apologies if this isn't the right place to post this!

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What you're looking for doesn't exist, because it's not meant to exist. That is part of the game is meant to adapt and if you can't adapt you're not going to have optimal ability anywhere. You might get by but somewhere, you'll just be getting by.

For example, you have an insistence on ranged, but some encounters are really bad for range. because range does less damage, or in some cases, the bosses reflect projectiles, hamstring your ability to range. The truth is, you're not going to find a build/profession that does everything you want it to do regardless of what the game calls for.

I remedy this by making different characters for different content, since I hate switching stuff up. But I don't think what you're asking for actually exists, nor should it. If one profession/build can do everything why would anyone play anything else?

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It's true, I can definitely see a single class excelling at anything as a "bad thing".I don't think I need to master it, but I'd definitely love to find a class where I don't have to grind up multiple sets of gear. I get pretty discouraged when I see thatI'd need a full ascended condi set for mesmer wvw or open world, but then I'd need power/toughness/boon duration for raiding/dungeons.

Mostly just looking for advice on something that's "good enough" across the board, without necessarily needing to be the best at it

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I use my thief on almost everything, and now with the rifle he can do some nice single target dmg.It's kind of a selfish spec in terms of group support, except if you trait for some boon sharing in deadeye/trickery line.

Thief is the god of wvw (roaming that is), has meta builds in pvp and does good damage in PvE.Depends on what you do in wvw maybe, as I don't think commanders want us in their party (all tho I've never asked as all I do is solo roam/small group)

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Some impressions on the professions I've played long enough and somewhat match your needs.(The pros and cons are defined either basing on your description or on my subjective opinions.)

Engi pros:

  • Uses very few weapon types, pistol/pistolor pistol/shield for condi build, rifle or hammer for power build and the newly-introduced sword and that's pretty much full set. No need to grind for 10 different weapons.
  • For now I think a meta condi engi can be viable in most situations.
  • Flexibility comes from switching skills and traits, rarely from gear. (This is true for many professions but especially so for engi.)

Engi cons:

  • Physically and mentally demanding to play. You often need to push 2 or even 3 buttons to do one skill "properly". Cooldown management in tight encounters is not easy either.
  • I don't like the survivability of the meta condi engi. More specifically, its survivability often comes from proactive offense rather than reactive defense (blind it first instead of dodging/blocking its attacks, etc.), but it's easier said than done.

Thief pros:

  • More weapon types than engi but still fewer than most other professions.
  • Power staff DD has acceptable DPS across the board, but I fear it's struggling now with all the OP PoF builds.
  • No hard cooldowns and less restricted by rotations. Even 100% autoattacking like a noob often outperforms those who cannot complete a full rotation or died trying. The fluidity can be the sole reason that thief-mains (like me) stay on thief.
  • Lots of reactive defense options.

Thief cons:

  • Squishy. Be too greedy and you insta-die.
  • Not much group support. With the now completely outshone raid DPS, I'm afraid thieves will be even less welcomed in raid groups than they already have been.

Necro pros:

  • I think a meta condi necro is viable in most situations.
  • Many skills of a condi necro don't require you to stay in melee range.
  • Very beefy.

Necro cons:

  • Very few options to complete negate incoming damage, so maybe they're not so godly beefy as claimed by many.
  • The rotation is not difficult but I personally find it clunky and not as fun as others.
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  • 2 weeks later...

@Kelthien.8593 said:It's true, I can definitely see a single class excelling at anything as a "bad thing".I don't think I need to master it, but I'd definitely love to find a class where I don't have to grind up multiple sets of gear. I get pretty discouraged when I see thatI'd need a full ascended condi set for mesmer wvw or open world, but then I'd need power/toughness/boon duration for raiding/dungeons.

Mostly just looking for advice on something that's "good enough" across the board, without necessarily needing to be the best at it

Two possibilities I see:

MesmerMinstrel gear is viable both as a raiding chronomancer tank and as a WvW boonshare bot. A simple change in trinkets and this can run just fine open world. Downside it that the build and skill priorities vary pretty widely mode to mode.

RevenantProbably the best fit for the idea of a generalist. They are "pretty good" in most situations but rarely optimal. Build and rotations don't have much variation, but you will need separate gear sets to fill different roles.

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Scourge is your answer. But there's a price - you need at least 2 sets of gear.

First is trailblazer for WvW and open World PvE - trust me, you'll need the defense it provides. Trailblazer + Parasitic Contagion on scourge = diamonds.Second is Viper - for raids and high end fractals where damage matters.

Sorry but same gear for all 3 modes just doesn't mix. Competitve modes require you to care about your defense, while high end PvE requires you to discard any and all defenses for maximum dps.

Unless you wanna go thief or guardian that always pick zerk stats, but then be aware that single misstep will mean your death in any type of content where the threat of dying is real.

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@Kelthien.8593 said:I'm hoping for a class/build/spec that has a few of the following-

  • Mostly ranged
  • More-or-less a consistent playstyle between PvP, WvW, open world PvE, and maybe ok trying a raid or two
  • A single set of gear so I don't need to farm "crystals" or whatever it takes to swap my ascended junk

I'd agree that Scourge is probably the best choice, but the all-purpose gear is a little more difficult.

Raiding demands DPS, full meta support boons/condis, and melee-ranged stacking. Anything that isn't those things is useless. All incoming damage is avoided through CC, healing through it, moving into a glowing shape, or moving out of a glowing shape. The boss doesn't move much, if at all, and everyone piles in directly behind the boss, opposite the tank. Since you don't have to deal with damage, sustain traits and gear are counterproductive. It's a very fixed set of circumstances not seen outside of raiding or fractals.

Damage in every other game mode is entirely different. Players cause the damage in WvW & PvP, so your ability to sustain and fight on the move is critical. Open World mixes a bit of both. You get the occasional raid-like event/boss encounters and a lot of mobile NPC zerg action. You'll perform much more consistently by using WvW gear with Raid traits and skills, because you'll be able to deal with surprises.

So why not just take the Open World spec to Raids so you don't have to worry about gear? Because DPS is the focus, they prefer to minimize the amount of unwanted sustain. Support gear tends to carry toughness bonuses and raid boss aggro usually follows the character with the highest toughness, so support characters perform the dual role of tank and support. If you show up with high toughness, not only is your damage lower, but the tank may need to put on more toughness gear to hold aggro, making their damage lower. A good raiding guild wouldn't care and it likely wouldn't impact the result, but the rest of the community heavily discourages imperfect choices.

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