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Power Holosmith Build?


Refia Montes.3205

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Yeah, that's the build (although different explosives GM) and there's a guide here along with a benchmark: https://snowcrows.com/raids/engineer/Qt has a benchmark above 34k as well, but no build guide.

Edit: The utilities are different too, but in other videos rifle turret seems to do just fine over grenades and I think photon wall is similar + adds utility. I would also consider hard light arena for sloth/xera type fights if you want the extra pull.

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@Toeofdoom.6152 said:Yeah, that's the build (although different explosives GM) and there's a guide here along with a benchmark: https://snowcrows.com/raids/engineer/Qt has a benchmark above 34k as well, but no build guide.

Edit: The utilities are different too, but in other videos rifle turret seems to do just fine over grenades and I think photon wall is similar + adds utility. I would also consider hard light arena for sloth/xera type fights if you want the extra pull.

Gonna be honest, rifle turret seems like an awful choice for min/max DPS without static discharge. Grenade Barrage does more damage over time (3.6 power every 25.8 seconds versus 3 every 24), on top of Shrapnel/Freeze/Poison doing more damage / animation time than the bomb auto. Please don't bring up the nonexistant damage of rifle turret, it's literally about 200 / second flat, nonscaling damage. The use of it is blocking single-target projectiles like those generated when Old Tom spins, and rarely grabbing aggro from a mob (like, once every 20 T4 runs).

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@Kamahl.3621 said:Grenade Barrage does more damage over time (3.6 power every 25.8 seconds versus 3 every 24), on top of Shrapnel/Freeze/Poison doing more damage / animation time than the bomb auto.Surprise shot is in addition to Bomb AA, while Grenade Barrage is a replacement for Bomb AA. Surpise Shot is signficantly better than Grenade Barrage damage wise.

The only noteable DPS gain from Grenade Kit is Shrapnel Grenade, but it's questionable if that outweights Surprise Shot and Rifle AA.Why? You are in PF for a very long time. Your effective Shrapnel Grenade CD is not 5 seconds. It's more than double than that.Using some previous spreadsheet values, adjusted for a double Shrapnel Grenade CD, Grenade Kit is at best equal to Surprise Shot and Rifle-Auto attack, while being "harder" to execute.

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It's also possible that grenades are the only reason to take the bleeding gm in the first place, and switching to orbital strike + rifle turret works as a pair. I'm basing this off actual tests people have done and given surprise shot simplifies the rotation even further it seems like a solid choice in practice

Another way to look at it is that neither really shines in this build, so that's your "utility" slot.

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@kaesebrezen.3104 said:

@Kamahl.3621 said:Grenade Barrage does more damage over time (3.6 power every 25.8 seconds versus 3 every 24), on top of Shrapnel/Freeze/Poison doing more damage / animation time than the bomb auto.Surprise shot is in addition to Bomb AA, while Grenade Barrage is a replacement for Bomb AA. Surpise Shot is signficantly better than Grenade Barrage damage wise.

The only noteable DPS gain from Grenade Kit is Shrapnel Grenade, but it's questionable if that outweights Surprise Shot and Rifle AA.Why? You are in PF for a very long time. Your effective Shrapnel Grenade CD is not 5 seconds. It's more than double than that.Using some previous spreadsheet values, adjusted for a double Shrapnel Grenade CD, Grenade Kit is at best equal to Surprise Shot and Rifle-Auto attack, while being "harder" to execute.

It only interrupts one bomb auto for the entire damage packet, which is also guaranteed / easy to ensure you have the 15% bonus Laser's Edge damage from. I'll run some more tests, the raw numbers definitely favor grenade kit, and my tests did as well since I was hitting 34k without utilities/food (admittedly in an unrealistic scenario, but that's besides the point). You should concern yourself more with how many cooldowns from kits you can squeeze in while cooling down, rather than their actual cooldown value (or fudging it via doubling).

I'm also curious why there is a mesmer for the DPS testing? Engi doesn't have anything that scales with allies I can think of.

I retract my claims. Ran more numbers, it's a bit more cut and dry when looking at it from a "15 seconds to work with" perspective. I don't know if that's the exact cooldown to cool down (slightly more than that with PBM), but anyway, short version is 'nades offers more when cooling down when coupled with barrage, but since surprise shot offers an extra ~2 power while heating up, it nudges it out of the offering. Without barrage (if you were to blow it when you race to 50% heat), it's 2.42 power gained over the bomb auto via purely grenade kit, versus 2.57 (15 second cooldown period doesn't apply to "wasted DPS" since you can pop it during Forge anyway).

Edit 2: This is also disregarding all the actual conditions grenade kit applies so y'know what I'm still on the fence. Condis with 0 might are effectively negligible sans potent outliers like Blowtorch / Fire Bomb, but with might, they're not-so-insignificant.

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@Kamahl.3621 said:

I'm also curious why there is a mesmer for the DPS testing? Engi doesn't have anything that scales with allies I can think of.

It's an Ele for spamming water1 to heal the Engi after they overload, keep scholar uptime and glass canon (so 15% damage). And, yes Grenades or Rifle turret as an addition to bomb power builds is pretty close, especially when you can't access the grenade kit for a good chunk of the rotation to get those bonus coefficients.

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been running this, squishy but fun and has enough to keep you busy pushing buttons. can swap grenades to whatever, or s/s for rifle or s/p (sword is clunky), but if youre gonna trade out wall/turret then use firearms instead of tools and get rid of both. the low cd, no cast time toolbelt skills are there to help you build quickness while being free dps.

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I'm currently running a Holosmith Static Discharge build in PvE as well. It is SUPER fun! A summary of what I'm currently running is below but heal skill, rune and armor options can be optimised more (rune of durability or leadership would be better, though expensive) but it's still working superbly for me:gw2skills.net/editor/?vdAQFAUncTBlIj1UBGJD0ehlJDrfDOCThjjg2T8R8ZUACAA-jxRHQBC4CA4QlgxT9nAq8DAPAgwpDIN7PAA-e

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@Adamantium.3682 said:Curious -- why so tanky? I see a lot of people here on the forums talking about tanky builds for PvE.

For me anyway I've learnt from bad experiences in HoT zones and have found a few areas in PoF that also swarm you with minions and vets. You can't deal your massive damage if you're dead...

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The Holosmith is strangely hard to survive in. It's hard to explain, but from what I can get it is because the Photon Forge itself doesn't have any active defenses, and being locked out of weapon skills and kits for 5 seconds leaves the Engi vulnerable. The exceeds don't have good defenses either, with the Photon Wall being a slow and small-arc wall, and Spectrum Shield being woefully unhelpful for 3 seconds.

The only way to have practical defenses on the Holosmith is to use Mortar and Bomb Kit to spam blind fields, and when people test out the Holosmith they load up on the Exceeds. The scrapper's hammer had a lot of defenses, but the holosmith... not so much. So, when they play the Holosmith, they see the lack of defenses that the new skills have, and start adding more and more to make the core skills work.

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@Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:The Holosmith is strangely hard to survive in. It's hard to explain, but from what I can get it is because the Photon Forge itself doesn't have any active defenses, and being locked out of weapon skills and kits for 5 seconds leaves the Engi vulnerable. The exceeds don't have good defenses either, with the Photon Wall being a slow and small-arc wall, and Spectrum Shield being woefully unhelpful for 3 seconds.

It's not hard to explain, actually. Unlike condi engi, you don't have blinds protecting you from trash mobs, and you don't have the option to really range with holosmith (condi can switch into grenades for range). You also have fewer, weaker CC's overall without base engineer utilities, and no mob-debilitating conditions (such as slow, cripple/freeze/immob, blind, etc). The damage is virtually the same as a decent condi engi, so there's virtually no reason to choose holosmith over condi engi unless you can't learn the rotations.

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@Adamantium.3682 said:Photon Wall is almost a mirror of Dragonhunter Shield of Courage. Spectrum Shield is 3s of little incoming damage. HLA gives a ton of protection. How are these bad defensive skills?

I think the issue that most people have with the exceed skills is less about their active effects and more about their up-time versus their cooldown. For example, photon wall has a 3 second duration and a 35 second cooldown. If you are below the heat threshold then spectrum shield is similar.

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@Corthyll.7635 said:

@Adamantium.3682 said:Photon Wall is almost a mirror of Dragonhunter Shield of Courage. Spectrum Shield is 3s of little incoming damage. HLA gives a ton of protection. How are these bad defensive skills?

I think the issue that most people have with the exceed skills is less about their active effects and more about their up-time versus their cooldown. For example, photon wall has a 3 second duration and a 35 second cooldown. If you are below the heat threshold then spectrum shield is similar.

Shield of Courage has a 60s cooldown for functionally the same effect. I think an AoE frontal block, that can easily turn into a reflect, is fair for 35s.

Spectrum Shield I'll grant you is a little lame at 30s, but hitting that with heat makes it a real great skill. I almost see it as two-fold: use it as a stun break whenever you need it regardless of heat, or use it above 50 heat when you need to block damage.

I feel like the more I play with the Exceed skills that is what Anet might have been going for. The skill performs one function at any time, but a different or better function with heat. If that's the case I do think they fell short on most of them, there's really just no reason to use HLA, Laser Disk, PLB, or sword 2/3 without heat.

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@Adamantium.3682 said:Photon Wall is almost a mirror of Dragonhunter Shield of Courage. Spectrum Shield is 3s of little incoming damage. HLA gives a ton of protection. How are these bad defensive skills?

It looks like a mirror of shield of courage, but it isn't. I've seen plenty of ranged attacks sail right over Photon Wall (i.e. Harpies in uncategorized and orbs from MAMA), and it doesn't stop any projectiles originating from behind it. Shield of Courage just blanket blocks everything in front in a wide arc so long as it is merely in front of the Dragonhunter, but Photon Wall is a narrower area and it only stops projectiles, so long as they originate from beyond the wall. AKA the most cumbersome yet least effective projectile destruction in the game.

In high end fractals, veteran mobs can crit you for 18k consecutively en masse, making that 50% damage reduction for 3 seconds almost meaningless. Other classes survive by blocking attacks, not letting half of them through. The amount of damage that a simple aegis can reduce is theoretically infinite, but Spectrum Shield has a hard cap at values equal to your health. Likewise, if you get knocked down and need to pop a defensive skill in order to survive (as most classes are want to do), then Spectrum Shield is terrible at this. By then, you've taken a staggering hit, and instead of sitting at 17k health you're at 5k health. Taking 50% lesss damage doesn't matter then, as you'll still be dead by the next hit.

Hard Light Arena doesn't give a ton of protection; it gives you very little protection, unless two conditions are met. First, you have to build up enough heat in Photon Forge to get the good buffs from HLA. So you can never immediately need HLA. Then, after you have the heat, you need to camp the HLA for protection. This puts you into the awkward scenario where you'll want to stay in the arena for protection, but staying in the arena draws attacks toward you, thus rendering the arena too dangerous to stay in. Of course, the fight can naturally move away from the Arena, rending it useless then, too. Therefore you need this perfect balance of immobile, dangerous enough to warrant use but not too dangerous as to render useless.

So you take all of them together. You have Photon Wall, Spectrum Shield and Hard Light Arena. Congrats on making a kit-less engineer. You now have terrible damage, no range, poor utilities, and the sword doesn't do nearly enough damage to make all these sacrifices worthwhile. Because the enemies live longer, they deal more damage, rendering all of these defensive utilities moot. The problem with having stacking defensive buffs attached to different skills is you have to use all those different skills to make them good, making you ineffective otherwise.

Don't misunderstand. This is not an argument as to why it is Holosmith has a hard time surviving. This is an explanation. I've played holosmith in real content for several days, finding the spec to be bizarrely fragile, in spite of having no problems playing either core engi or scrapper. I lived through the progression of slowly adding more and more defensive utilities and traits to compensate for the Holosmith's inability to defend itself.

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@Adamantium.3682 said:Photon Wall is almost a mirror of Dragonhunter Shield of Courage. Spectrum Shield is 3s of little incoming damage. HLA gives a ton of protection. How are these bad defensive skills?

maybe people arent taking them in favor of dps utilities and are instead sacrificing runes, stats, weapon sets, traits, and or sigils?

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@Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:...Don't misunderstand. This is not an argument as to why it is Holosmith has a hard time surviving. This is an explanation. I've played holosmith in real content for several days, finding the spec to be bizarrely fragile, in spite of having no problems playing either core engi or scrapper. I lived through the progression of slowly adding more and more defensive utilities and traits to compensate for the Holosmith's inability to defend itself.

I didn't know stacks can said over the wall, that is lame.

Otherwise I guess you choose all the exact worst situations to use the skills in the called them bad. Then came up with a bad build and called them bad. Agree to disagree.

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@Adamantium.3682 said:

@"Blood Red Arachnid.2493" said:...Don't misunderstand. This is not an argument as to why it is Holosmith has a hard time surviving. This is an
explanation
. I've played holosmith in real content for several days, finding the spec to be bizarrely fragile, in spite of having no problems playing either core engi or scrapper. I lived through the progression of slowly adding more and more defensive utilities and traits to compensate for the Holosmith's inability to defend itself.

I didn't know stacks can said over the wall, that is lame.

Otherwise I guess you choose all the exact worst situations to use the skills in the called them bad. Then came up with a bad build and called them bad. Agree to disagree.

This isn't something you're free to disagree on, because it isn't an opinion. The fact is that fractional reductions are vastly inferior to total reductions. It's the necromancer problem all over again. If you disagree, then I simply haven't explained it well enough.

For example, when Arkk Enrages in CM100, his PDF beam can hit for absurd numbers. Nearly 60k damage in a single hit. This bean, as grandiose as it is, has no special properties aside from it's insane damage. I.E. it can be blocked by Aegis, dodged, distorted, or reduced to 0 through invulnerability skills. This means that nearly every class has the ability to stop this hit, should they find themselves within the beam. Except for one: The Necromancer. The necromancer has no invulnerability skills of any kind whatsoever. Normally this "weakness" is dealt with by giving them Death Shroud, which functions as a quickly regenerating health bar, and gives the Necromancer the highest effective health in the game. This is good for attrition fights, but a Necro can't repel an attack of Death Star magnitude.

The exceeds have this same problem. Combine HLA and Spectrum Shield together, and they are still weaker than Arcane Shield. The simple block has a lot of use, in that it can stop theoretically infinite damage, it stops incoming control effects, it stops incoming conditions. Every class has their own little things, such as stopping a limited number of hits (Arcane Shield, Aegis), a finite duration (Bandits Defense), still being vulnerable to CC (Endure Pain, Signet of Stone), or suffering from a self-control effect (Elixir S, Renewed Focus), but they all have the ability to stop limitless damage.

Spectrum shield is worse than all of those. It doesn't fully stop incoming damage, it works for a paltry 3 seconds, it doesn't stop incoming conditions, and it doesn't stop incoming CC. It does barely anything and it has very little time in which to do barely anything. There is no place where this skill is good.

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