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Dumb noob question. Don't Leave Your Toys Out


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So, I'm new and really exposing my ignorance and lack of gaming skills here. I'm trying to do the level 20 personal story quest for Norn (archer). I got to the part, Don't Leave Your Toys Out, and I can't complete it. I keep getting swarmed and killed.

Yes, I suck at games and usually stick to low levels and avoid really difficult stuff so I can play without having anxiety attacks or rage quitting. So fair warning, any replies with variations on "git gud" will be wasted on me. I'm just one of those people who are unable to "git gud." :)

Since this is the personal story line I would like to complete it. I've tried watching youtube vids of people doing it and it's not helping.

So my question is, is the personal story line necessary? As much as I want to do it, since the story is what interests me most in games, if I can't do it then I have to admit that to myself. So do I have any future in this game? Can I progress without the personal story line? Am I going to keep running into this kind of difficulty? The thought occurs to me that maybe this game is just not for me but I hate to think that since I like it so much so far.


EDIT: I'm adding this from my post below since a few of the posts after that asked some questions answered there. :)

Thank you all for the responses. I really don't want to bail out, especially since I've already bought both expansions while they were on sale. To answer a couple questions, yes Ranger, level 20 (ish), I may have hit another level. I'm using gear I've picked up along the way. I'm not in a guild yet. I'm not antisocial, just slow to decide on things. :)

I've been watching more vids today. I hate to peek ahead on the story but got curious when I heard it gets even harder. It appears the rest of the parts for level 20 are not as hard as this part, and nothing I don't think I can handle. In fact I was able to handle the north & south gates part of this one with no problem. It's the part where they all come swarming over the wall that I can't seem to do. Never made it to the elementals. lol.

I appreciate the offers of help and may take one of you up on that eventually if I can't figure out a way to do it myself. I didn't know you could get help on the personal story. I don't know, somehow it just seems like the "personal" story should be something you do alone but I guess the game designers must have thought otherwise. Also I noticed in the vids that most of them were over level for that quest so maybe I'll take the advice of waiting til I'm higher level to try again. I hate getting rez killed over & over. :)

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The story is going to get substantially harder as it goes on. If you're struggling already it might not be possible for you to beat later ones. You can ask a friend to party up with you though and help you through it. Other than that, yes, you will have to become a better player. It's not impossible. It's simply knowing more about your class and your objective, both things that will come with time. Just play, level up some more. Maybe change weapons to find a better set.

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The game will only get harder, but you will also get better as you go. I started on an elementalist and first time playing there were several story instances where I died a lot and had to be careful not to get overwhelmed (both because I was new and elementalist is a squishy class if you don’t use certain traits/utilities).

You can certainly do other things in the game without doing the personal story but outside of exploring easier maps, nothing in the game is easier than the personal story. Now that is something that you could do first, to level up your character. Despite the fact that your level will be scaled down when doing lower level content, it is still MUCH easier to do when a higher level because you have more traits, skills, etc. So if you enjoy exploring the maps and doing the heart (renown) quests, this is one approach you could take and come back and see if it’s more manageable at a higher level.

Another player could also help you with your personal story instance. If you’re in NA and online in the evening, feel free to send me a note or PM and I’ll be glad to help. :)

Whatever you decide, I would not suggest that you give up on the game: it could be something about this particular fight or something that can be identified and fixed or you might find that another class suits your play style better. Explore your options first.

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I think, having some help, could work best for you. But make sure you get help from an experienced player who is willing to train you (and not do it for you). This story isn't really hard and I suspect it is a learn to play thing.The most notable thing that could be wrong is that you need to move and dodge. A ranger (I guess that's what you mean with an archer), can act like a turret on low levels. Avoiding damage by moving when fighting and dodging red aoe circles can help a lot. The Grawl leave a lot of AoE damage.But it can be a lot more other issues, a good mentor who wants to learn you can help a lot.

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You can do some map completion and explore, run around looking for events or find some people to run you through some easy low level dungeons to get exp and level up some more.Higher levels means more skills and traits you can have access to and equip thus overall making you more powerful.You can also invest in upgrading your armor and weapons to be as close to your current level as possible (makes a big difference)Leveling up your crafting skills is a good way to keep gear upto par as well as give you a very nice boost to your exp allowing you to level up faster.

Gw2 is honestly one of the easiest and most casual friendly MMO's I've ever played.The Personal Story is childsplay compared to some of the later expansion content but overall the story content in Gw2 is very easy for the most part.

There's no real need to Git Gud in Gw2 as the game only calls for that if you want to experience the harder and totally optional content like Raids and Fractals.For the most part your basic playing the game experience will be enough for you to develop the minimum skills required to succeed and progress in the story.

I don't know what level your at atm but i'm guessing it's pretty low and you won't have access to the second or third traitline yet.When you hit max level 80, have 3 traitlines equipped and a nice set of lvl 80 exotic gear with the stats you want, you shouldn't have much trouble with any of the story stuff anymore.All of that is extremely easy to get just by exploring, participating in events and completing the maps, you can do it exclusively through crafting too if you have the materials for it.

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I'd advise you to try and be ~10 levels higher than required for the story (until level 80 stories). It gives you an edge over the content so you can pay attention and enjoy the story instead of frantically trying to stay alive. Leveling outside stories is pretty easy, so you won't have to spend that much time on it.

DON'T try to level crafting to keep up with gear. Crafting is a massive gold sink with little payoff until you want to craft ascended gear. Instead, try to get the daily achievements done every day. They give you 2 gold each day, which is really a lot. Only upgrade gear about every 10 levels, don't worry about backpieces until you hit 80. Stick with one attribute spread, don't try to boost everything or you'll just be bad at everything. For a Ranger using a bow, I'd advise sticking with Power, Precision, and Ferocity gear. It will let you kill enemies quickly. Learn to use your pet as a decoy, let the enemies aggro him and pick them off.

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You may just be a little under-geared, if you've been sticking with drops to kit out your character. There are gear rewards every few levels, and reaching the next such one may be enough to make the difference. You may also find that you need to switch between ranged and melee weapons at some points during the fight...if you're camping the longbow, it's much less effective at close range, and a greatsword or a sword/axe to swap in might give you the "edge" you need.

Don't give up, though. Just go grab a couple more levels and come back to it stronger and refreshed.

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One thing to consider is that this is a multiplayer game. Almost everything, including stuff designed to be played solo like the story, can be done with other people. Story instances can accommodate a full party of 5, but even 1 extra person can make a big difference.

If you know you're likely to struggle with some things I recommend finding a guild focused on helping newer players (don't worry, most of these guilds have very few requirements for membership, often only the absolute basics like 'be nice to each other in chat') and then asking them to help you when you get stuck.

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An advice if you're struggling at any point in levelling: look over your gear. It's very easy to lose track of when you last updated it, so you might have gear 10-15 levels below you. This is especially important regarding weapons.

Also, don't just look at level - make sure your stats and skills actually work together. Don't overload on defensive stats (Vitality, Toughness, Healing Power) and focus on either Condition Damage or Power.Which of those you should use is dependent on your weapon as that provides the majority of your damaging skills!You play Ranger - don't use a longbow if all your gear adds Condition Damage, as the longbow don't deal damaging conditions. Likewise, don't use a shortbow if you focus on Power, since shortbow is focused on condis.

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In general, do map completion. You get resources, possibly black lion chest key and items. As was already said focus on your stats. Power, Precision, Ferocity (for "hard" damege) or Condition Damage, Expertise, Power, Precision (for damage per tick like bleeding, posion). Focusing stats on lower level isnt mandatory, you can do it fine with just random.

One thing that occured me. Are you at least at the same level as the story? Because If I m not wrong (its quite some time I did low level story) you finnish personal story, lets say lvl 15 and next one is on higher lvl than 16.

If you are getting swarmed dont you have to go on some specific place on the map? Or capture some point?

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Also worth finding a new person friendly guild at some point. The personal story is a world apart in difficulty from what is to come later.

Granted you will naturally improve as you go along, but you will hit a significant difficulty jump if you bought season 2 and Heart of Thorns. A like minded playing group will ease many frustrations

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I'm fairly new myself. I played an elementalist for a few months back in 2013, got overwhelmed with the game, played other stuff, then just very recently came back, tried a necromancer and then a ranger and now my ranger is 80 and working on getting skyscale.

You don't need to do the personal story to get to 80 but it really makes the game more interesting and if you ever want the mounts or more special items you'll need to do the stories that provide them.

The content only gets more difficult.

You did what I always do when I hit a wall: Google and YouTube, which is good, but you didn't indicate what profession you're playing, what weapons you're using, or what part of the encounter you're having problems with. That info would have allowed others to provide you with more specific advice.

I watched a vid on youtube on this story and what struck me is if I didn't understand my class or build or good tactics, I would get repeatedly slaughtered and it would be very frustrating. But understanding all those things, would make the encounter fairly easy.

Some general things

  1. Ask in your profession forum for advice on a good open world low level build.
    If anyone points you at metabattle.com for ideas, keep in mind that site is for level 80 characters with all specs and skills unlocked. You can get inspiration but not much else.
  2. Some professions are much more challenging to play then others and maybe a simpler profession is more suited for you. When I started playing again, that's what I wanted: an easy profession.
  3. Understand what each skill does and what stats benefit those skills. The wiki is your friend: wiki.guildwars2.com
  4. Get good gear. It does make a difference.
  5. You don't have to do the level 20 story at level 20. Get to 25, with more skills and better gear, then go do it. Make sure you're getting the Hero points in a zone to access more skills faster.

Battle tactics

  • Focus on 1 monster at a time and kill it. Always kill the weakest/easiest first.
  • Never charge into the middle of a group.
    You should try to move around to create 1 on 1 matchups. And when in a 1-on-1, ideally keep moving to attack from behind.
  • Don't stand in bad. See an outline drop on the ground, dodge to get out of it.
  • Have a ranged weapon and a melee weapon and be comfortable switching between the two. It's easier to kite with a ranged weapon.
  • Prefer a melee weapon with a "hard cc" (crowd control ability that prevents any attack or movement for a couple seconds, like stun) or defensive (evade or block) or both.
  • Use corners or obstacles that block line of sight (los) to your advantage. For example, you plink a monster at range and he starts attacking you. Duck around a corner and most monsters will then follow you. Switch to your melee weapon. Monster pops into view, you use all your damage buffs abilities and then hit it with your highest damaging attack. Use your hard cc ability and keep hitting it. As long as you originally attacked the closest monster to you, and not someone on the far side of a group of monsters, best case you'll only get that one monster. Worst case you get more but they'll be strung out giving you a few moments of 1 on 1 time with each one.
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@EmmetOtter.8542 said:

  • Focus on 1 monster at a time and kill it. Always kill the weakest/easiest first.

@"Tyranni.9780" The second part of the above advice might sound odd, but there is a good reason for killing them from weakest to strongest.

It goes something like this:

  • Weak enemies do some amount of damage and take some other amount of damage to kill.
  • Stronger monsters do a little bit more damage and take a lot more damage to kill.
  • This trend continues: add a small amount of damage caused by monsters and a large amount of damage required to kill them for each "tier" that you go up.

Conclusion: if you kill the weakest first, you get good "bang for your buck" in terms of the ratio of how much you reduce their ability to hurt them compared to how much effort it took to reduce it.

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Hmmm. Ok so I think I'm seeing a trend here in where I've been going wrong, not just in the personal story but in general as well. I've been trying different races but only short samplings of other Professions & keep going back to Ranger. So Ranger is all I've played so far beyond about level 3 or 4.

I need to do some more reading, for one. Using the long bow, I had noticed that with the rapid shot it hits multiple enemies and even with the "1" ability, it hits whatever, without my really having to use targeting of a specific mob. So I made an assumption (my bad) that this was like some other games I've played where you don't really use targeting much and fighting is more a directional thing. I've only been using targeting when I have a reason to want a specific mob. Otherwise I've just been shooting into the group. lol. Silly me. I really should know better but I'll claim noob ignorance. :). I do ok so far with small numbers of mobs. Just the large swarms that just seem to be beyond me.

Also, I haven't really paid much attention yet to "builds" and such since I'm still so new and trying to absorb so much info in a short time. Guess I need to start thinking about that now. I guess I figured level 20 personal story would still be in the realm of "noob friendly," (my bad again).

I have no problem with moving around or avoiding circles on the ground, etc., but I really haven't gotten into the whys & wherefores of going power or precision or any of the other choices other than protection yet. My natural inclination has been to go as much protection as possible since I'm a wuss by nature and it just seemed it would be better to take a little longer to kill than to let them take me down faster. hehe. At least until I'm more familiar with how things work. That seems to work ok with single or few mobs so far but with a large group, doesn't seem to be working well for me.

Like I said in my first post, I really suck at most games. I've never been what some people would call a "good" player and I don't expect I ever will be. I like to relax and play at my own pace, and I'm finding this game to be very well suited for me so far. (Well, at least until I hit that swarm in the personal story. lol.) Then I started having doubts about whether this was going to be yet another game that's going to be beyond my abilities and/or desire to start worrying about spreadsheets and min/maxing, etc. If I have to do that in order to play the game beyond the noob levels, then it definitely will not be my cup of tea.

Thanks again for all the advice. I can see I need to make some changes to my character and how I've been playing it, as well as getting maybe level 30 before tackling that level 20 quest again. :)

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You never have to worry about min maxing or spreadsheets.

Remember you are only low level and the game doesn’t really open up until lvl 80. You will learn on the way about

  • builds and traits
  • Swapping weapons (you will unlock 2 weapon sets to switch on the fly between)

Despite what many vets think, the game allows you to do things at your pace. If you are struggling, you can always come back. The World map is huge and you can explore it all at your leisure and not follow it just because the story says so. If a Charr wants to explore sylvari lands, it can.

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@"Randulf.7614" said:You never have to worry about min maxing or spreadsheets.

Remember you are only low level and the game doesn’t really open up until lvl 80. You will learn on the way about

  • builds and traits
  • Swapping weapons (you will unlock 2 weapon sets to switch on the fly between)

Despite what many vets think, the game allows you to do things at your pace. If you are struggling, you can always come back. The World map is huge and you can explore it all at your leisure and not follow it just because the story says so. If a Charr wants to explore sylvari lands, it can.

I can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear that. So many games are going the min/max, zerg, leet power-gamer, route that I was beginning to despair of ever finding the "right" game for me. So far I am really loving this game and think I may have finally found it. :)

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It's perfectly fine to hand-wave the actual stats at low levels, as long as your gear is within at least five levels of your character. You should get enough drops from leveling or story completion to mostly do that without having to buy pieces. If, for some reason, you still have a piece of gear that's too low-leveled, you can buy a replacement relatively inexpensively on the trading post. It's more important for weapons than it is for armor, but a lot of the time, just replacing the lowest-level piece you're wearing is enough of a boost to get you over a hump in the personal story. Stats and particular builds can wait until you hit 80 and are looking to kit out your first full set of L80 exotics, when that will start to matter with the more difficult content, because you won't stay at any level long enough for it to be worth investing a lot of either time or coin into your gear.

You can use the power vs. condi information to make good choices when you're deciding whether to swap out a piece of gear for one that's only a level or two different from what you're wearing. With a longbow, since that sounds like what you're using, if you're wearing a L18 piece of armor with a power stat, and you have a L19 piece of armor with a condi stat, you're probably better off keeping the L18 piece. If you're wearing a L18 piece with a power stat and drop a L21 piece with a condi stat, that's probably worth swapping until you get another power drop. (I main a longbow Ranger with usually a sword/axe to swap to for melee, though greatsword as your swap is more common.) When you get to two-stat gear, which you will very soon if you haven't already, Power/Precision and Power/Ferocity are both good for longbow, but again, anything that's not more than 5 levels lower than your character should be fine. Now you know what to look for to bump it up if you're having a hard time, though, and that information will make the more complex builds available when you hit L80 make more sense.

Also consider using food and utility buffs for story steps that are giving you trouble, or the boosts that drop at various points as leveling rewards. Some help you stay alive longer, some help you hit harder (and a dead enemy can't kill you even a little bit, so the harder you can hit them, the sooner they stop hitting you).

Don't let talk of late-game challenging content put you off. I'm a middle-aged librarian with arthritic hands who took a core-spec longbow ranger clear through the Path of Fire story before I realized I'd never updated his gear from the first set of Celestial I'd crafted him before I properly understood how the stats work together. Some of those segments took me a couple of tries and a lot longer than they needed to, but the trade-off is that I'm really good at dodging and pet control now. All of which I say to let you know that you don't have to be Super Gamer to enjoy what GW2 has to offer; you might just need to be a little patient with yourself until you get the hang of something new.

Edit: speeling

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To talk about offensive vs defensive stats. From a point of view of being efficient, in most games, specially GW2 you would want to deal as much damage as possible without dying. In GW2 it is perfectly possible to survive most content without ever needing any defensive stat (you do need defensive skills and traits though). Even if you are not opting for efficiency, killing them quickly is also a very proficient way of staying alive.

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OP, I hope your discovery of the longbow needing specific targets solves most of your problems. It seems the others in this thread have covered other important aspects like gearing, so I won't get into that.

My two cents is to look at the wiki to find at least one drake pet. I think every single attack from a drake pet is an area hit, and I highly recommend using the river drake because its F2 move bounces between targets (so you don't have to make sure it's facing the optimal direction to hit everything). Drakes can also take hits better than other dps pets like the felines, so they'll stay around longer to help you out before dying.

Another thing you might want to do on your ranger is start investing skill points into the wilderness survival trait line. Wilderness survival is - surprise surprise - very useful for increasing survivability. There's passive protection boon and healing tucked into it, and you can even trait to have all your Survival-type abilities clean off conditions and give you fury (more crit). I highly recommend it for any new ranger struggling to survive fights.

I'm out of time for now, but either ask me or any other experienced ranger in-game for advice on wilderness survival, and you'll get answers.

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@"Tyranni.9780" said:Also, I haven't really paid much attention yet to "builds" and such since I'm still so new and trying to absorb so much info in a short time. Guess I need to start thinking about that now. I guess I figured level 20 personal story would still be in the realm of "noob friendly,"

I think you unlock the first skill tree/track at lv21. But as you said, core Tyria is the field to start learning the game, no rush to start thinking about maximizing traits (usually you decide first which weapon you like the most, and then you choose the traits. So time to experiment and test first).

About your story instance in particular, I found

, and also from the "guide", you can see that the guy died twice... (or at least he went to downed state twice). So you're in good company.

I've read someone offered their help in NA. In case you play in an EU server instead, I glady offer mine (you'd play your story and choose all the options in the dialogue, I'll just be there to fight). Good luck!

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@Urud.4925 said:

@"Tyranni.9780" said:Also, I haven't really paid much attention yet to "builds" and such since I'm still so new and trying to absorb so much info in a short time. Guess I need to start thinking about that now. I guess I figured level 20 personal story would still be in the realm of "noob friendly,"

I think you unlock the first skill tree/track at lv21. But as you said, core Tyria is the field to start learning the game, no rush to start thinking about maximizing traits (usually you decide first which weapon you like the most, and then you choose the traits. So time to experiment and test first).

About your story instance in particular, I found
, and also from the "guide", you can see that the guy died twice... (or at least he went to downed state twice). So you're in good company.

I've read someone offered their help in NA. In case you play in an EU server instead, I glady offer mine (you'd play your story and choose all the options in the dialogue, I'll just be there to fight). Good luck!

Hehe, yeah I saw that vid too. Actually I think he went down 3 times and died once. And yet, I'd swear there are more mobs now coming over the wall than back when that was made, but probably that's just my perception from the perspective of being in the middle of them. lol. I do need to get better with switching to a melee weapon & learning which are the best pets. Mobs just run right past my pets and make a bee line for me & I get swarmed. It's not that big a deal with one or a few mobs, but with a large gaggle of mobs all bent on my destruction..... it's def a problem. :) In fact I'm kinda starting to think that "me" trying to be a "ranged" Ranger was a mistake. lol

Thanks for the offer of help. You guys are the best. I'm on NA & will def be taking one of them up on their offer if I find I just can't do it. In general I don't like to be a needy person and get a lot of satisfaction from being able to accomplish things myself. But I won't turn my nose up on the offers if I find I need the help after all. :)

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@voltaicbore.8012 said:OP, I hope your discovery of the longbow needing specific targets solves most of your problems. It seems the others in this thread have covered other important aspects like gearing, so I won't get into that.

My two cents is to look at the wiki to find at least one drake pet. I think every single attack from a drake pet is an area hit, and I highly recommend using the river drake because its F2 move bounces between targets (so you don't have to make sure it's facing the optimal direction to hit everything). Drakes can also take hits better than other dps pets like the felines, so they'll stay around longer to help you out before dying.

Another thing you might want to do on your ranger is start investing skill points into the wilderness survival trait line. Wilderness survival is - surprise surprise - very useful for increasing survivability. There's passive protection boon and healing tucked into it, and you can even trait to have all your Survival-type abilities clean off conditions and give you fury (more crit). I highly recommend it for any new ranger struggling to survive fights.

I'm out of time for now, but either ask me or any other experienced ranger in-game for advice on wilderness survival, and you'll get answers.

Thanks, and I'll def give the drake a try. I have a few different pets now but haven't really done much with most of them yet. Been running mostly with the white wolf and the raven (being a Norn and all. hehe). Didn't know about the aoe with the drake. Sounds like just what I need, especially for that particular part of the quest. Well... provided I can figure out how to get the mobs to stop ignoring my pets & concentrating all their efforts on me that is. lol.

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@Tyranni.9780 said:

Thanks, and I'll def give the drake a try. I have a few different pets now but haven't really done much with most of them yet. Been running mostly with the white wolf and the raven (being a Norn and all. hehe). Didn't know about the aoe with the drake. Sounds like just what I need, especially for that particular part of the quest. Well... provided I can figure out how to get the mobs to stop ignoring my pets & concentrating all their efforts on me that is. lol.

That's something of an acquired skill, yes. One thing the game never tells you is how to reduce your aggro/threat to enemies. Among other factors you might be familiar with from other games (such as being close to the enemy and hitting it really fast & hard in a short period of time), in GW2 having high defensive stats also pulls enemy attention to you. So in general as a ranger, if you're having trouble keeping enemies on your pet and not focused on you, you'll want to reduce your investment into defensive stats. That's good news, as in the long run for pve you'll find that there's more value in killing threats against you in this game, as opposed to finding ways to survive taking hit after hit.

So along with the Wilderness Survival line, I also suggest you spec into Beastmastery as well. That contains a trait that buffs your pet, making it a better partner overall.

In the early days of learning how to handle larger groups on my ranger, I used to make sure to use the F1 command to have my pet run in bravely and start fights, and made sure it tagged a number of enemies and landed a bunch of hits before I touched any enemies at all. I'd start with autoattacks on the weakest enemies to pick them off to reduce threats against my pet, and by extension, against me as well. Then, if one or more enemies decided to turn towards me, I would (at max range) drop Barrage (longbow 5) such that the enemies walking towards me would have to walk through the entire arrow field that ability lays down. Barrage has the added benefit of applying cripple on its targets, so with a little practice you should be able to get standard enemies to hobble their way slowly through the entire duration of the attack.

If any enemies make it to me alive, I'd hit Point-Blank shot (longbow 4) and since I ran the Marksmanship trait Lead the Wind, the pushback on it could hit multiple targets if I lined it up right. If there's still anyone alive and I wasn't confident in surviving a melee scrap against them, I'd hit Hunter's shot (longbow 3) to stealth, use the F1 command to redirect my pet to attack whoever I was trying to hide from, and shamelessly back off while my pet handled the rest.

Also remember that your heals also apply to your pet, so if you see your pet getting beat up and you're safe, it's not a terrible idea to pop your heal just to keep your pet in the game for longer. Of course just swapping pets at the right time will also save you from having that minute-long pet swap cooldown when one of your pet dies; so long as the swap pet can survive the 15s swap cooldown, you can have your first pet back in the fight if it's your chosen tank(ish) pet.

Eventually, you really will benefit from learning how to use melee range attacks and defense properly, but I won't get into that as this post is long enough already. Suffice it to say you just have to develop a feel for these things; you'll need a sense of about when it's safe to use your heal to prop up your pet, when it's smarter to just swap it/stealth out and run, and when enemies are weak enough for you to handle with whatever level of melee skills you have. The one thing I would recommend is to never, ever, ever get in the habit of staying in longbow if you're in melee range. If you're just so bad at melee that you want nothing to do with it, make sure you're stealthing out with longbow 3 and running, or creating distance with longbow 4 to retake control of the fight.

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