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Returning player, need help and advice?

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I started in mid 2017 and completly stopped playing during their Halloween event. I basically did a few masteries and I kinda mainly played PvP instead to get some ascended trinkets. I'm still basically a noob, even back then.

I have a few questions about the game. Also, if my questions don't fall here and it becomes a series of questions, I'd be moving them to an appropriate forum section. You can skip the next one and prolly start with the questions if this post is long.

Anyways, I had tried to play other MMO's as well, but I kept comparing them to gw2's experience. The players population doesn't seem to dwindle, but I've seen some new players in the game. Somes games looked like a ghost town and only the mainCities were populated. Quests were boring and had to stop altogether. Although I'm not into story kind of guy and only here for the loot, I'd say gw2's story is far better and it does not make me cringe like some other games. Also, I have forgotten some terms, so I might be asking some of 'em, perhaps.

Now, onto the questios:

  • How's HoT's meta events and the maps' statuses? Still good to farm Masteries? I need the mastery for poison first and the last tier or level for gliding, so I can move on to a different maps. I've heard there is a new meta event in PoF lately, but I haven't been into PoF's maps for so long. I'm basically starting again and want a new profession.
  • Is it possible to solo all of 'em to get masteries later on?
  • Also, I have tomes of knowledge and got some. Can they be used to fill my XP mastery bar or something? I can just level up new characters slowly and learn their playstyles, though. Leveling up masteries might take awhile since I don't have a lot of time for meta events or other timely events.
  • Like I've said previously, I want to start a new profession and preferably it is not a squishy class. I have daredevil unlocked for my theif, but I find it hard to play. I think I tried to go for Power Daredevil or going for DPS mainly. It was fun having it with a condi build in PvP; however, in dungeons, it was prone to dying, though. It could be that I am just bad. I saw Ranger's Power Soulbeast and DH. However, I find Soulbeast more appealing to me than DH. Is it good for dungeons and not squishy? Can it hold itself better for solo play and good CC or support for its boons? I plan to dive into fractals if I am going with this profession for pugs, but I want to know your thoughts and recommendations first. Lower tier fractals and not T4. T4 look impossible for me. How's the rotation for this build? Is it hard? Do you have other suggestions other than Soulbeast or DH where it can hold itself better mainly for solo play or with good survivability and sometimes with parties? Btw, I mainly go for DPS role while having a pretty solid health pool or good with surviving harder bosses.
  • Basically, if I am going with profession, I'm gonna farm exotic gears once again. Dungeons statuses?
  • How long does it take to farm materials for ascended gears or runes?
  • Good place to farm gold that is other than PvP?
  • How difficult is to get hands on the new mounts: the dragon or that beetle? I can't remember their name, I'm sorry.

I appreciate any help, recommendations and advice. I apologize if my questions looks to be all over the place, but I have tried to put them in bullet forms at least.

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Here's what I can help with:

  1. Most masteries are soloable, those that aren't usually are popular meta events for which you'll have no problem finding people. As long as you have springer and raptor mounts, traversing the maps is easy even without most masteries.
  2. I believe the answer is nope. However, many of the metas award absurd amounts of experience, so it's generally a non issue.
  3. If you don't want squishy, avoid DH, guardian relies on good mechanics and healing to survive, as such they are generally squishy unless you heavily invest in vitality gear. Look at the pvp build for a boonbeast, to have an idea of how tanky a soulbeast can become (answer: very): permanent protection + dolyak stance = way too much damage reduction.
  4. Forget dungeons unless you want the skins. Look at which stats you desire, and then look how they can be acquired. Check the wiki named "equipment acquisition by stats" for further reference.
  5. If you farm hardcore, most trinkets can be acquired in a couple of days using the different living story map merchants. ascended crafting has a time gate, if you a already have the base materials, crafting a full set can take up to a month. Can be sped up by buying most of the timegated materials. My suggestion is to just stay with exotic gear, ascended trinkets, and then work your way towards full ascended if you so wish (ascended armor is not necessary except in tier 4 fractals).
  6. There was currently an overhaul of some meta rewards, so I wouldn't know for sure. Generally speaking: do most of the metas on a daily basis (since their rewards are usually gated to once per day). Generally speaking, the profitable daily pve farms are: palawadan, tarir, matriarch, tequatl (harder unless you are at reset time). Silverwastes and now dragon fall have repeatable farms that don't run on a timer. Check the wiki for event timers for a listing.
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Since @"Skotlex.7580" already answered most of your question, i'll only add some extras.

  • There is a clear line between survival build and fractal build.
  • For fractals in general survival will not be an issue because teammates will back you up, which mean full dps as always. But if you truely have too much trouble staying alive then i recommend craft yourself a full set of Marauder gear. With this you lose 15% DPS i believe but your thief/guard HP will up from 11k to nearly 16k. Only go with this option if you can't stand that 11k HP.
  • As a thief, either you go full zerker or marauder is fine because if you trait into Invigorating Precision causes survival won't be a problem, you lose 10% dps trading for survival ofc, nothing is perfect. This also works well in solo play as long as you can dodge out of big attacks.
  • As a guard, if you found that DH is too hard to stay alive i strongly suggest you take a look into Firebrand, this build allowed you to provide supports, boons, heal to allies and yourself. Me personally i found myself alive more often as being a FB rather than a DH (just me tho). For solo play i usually have two builds,
    1. DH using marauder with rune of vampirism, this rune heals you for 10% of total HP once you killed a foe, no ICD which mean you will be fine as long as you able to kill something and the more HP you have from marauder the more you heal. Note that in 1v1 fight where there is nothing to kill this build is useless so keep that in mind.
    2. FB with full carrion, this one is very cheap and quite effective in solo play, you have high HP, lots of stunbreak, condi cleanse, massive AoE potential in open world farming and meta events, healing can be tricky but that's learning issue, able to put out good (not best) dps.
  • You can find all the builds i've mentioned on Metabattle.com along with all possible Soulbeast build.
  • Soulbeast is perfectly fine in solo play cuz of pets, idk how it is doing in fractal since i never used my ranger there.
  • For gold farming usually doing HoT meta, SW farming, istan (LW4E1), i highly suggest you download taco and watch Tekkit's Workshop guides, he has a lot of taco utilities help you navigate around and farming effectively.
  • Learn to use gw2efficiency.com , you can find all that is need to craft any piece of ascended, search in there and materials list will shows up, follows that list to gather or buy things you need.
  • For the beetle mount you need to own LW4 "Long Live the Lich". So basically free if you already owned the episode, if not, well get your gold ready to unlock that ep.
  • For skyscale (dragon mount), this one takes a really long long time to finish if you don't own the whole LW4 because there is a step required you to farm a stack of all LW4 currency. You can still do this even if you don't have all LW4 episode, there is a vendor in dragonfall that sells all LW4 currency but you can only by 5 of each per day. Skyscale is not hard to obtain, it just takes a long time to finish.
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One thing to consider is that there's usually no need to solo things in the open world. GW2 is different to a lot of MMOs in that you can play cooperatively with anyone who happens to be around without needing to be in a party or other organised group. So for example if you're trying to get a mastery point which requires fighting a champion and a random stranger shows up you can do it together just by fighting it at the same time. For a lot of things you'd actually have a hard time doing it solo because other people will keep showing up.

And if you're struggling and no one is around don't forget you can ask in map chat or use the Looking For Group tool (it's not just for dungeons) to find people to help. A lot of people are willing to come and join in if they know someone else is there.

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