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Best class/build to play for effectively one-handed player


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My spouse is having RSI issues with playing, even with zir fancy Kinesis keyboard. What has helped is mapping controls to zir (fancy multi-button) mouse wherever possible, and for combat abilities, clicking on the skill bar at the bottom of the screen with the mousel.

Problem is, zir only level 80 is an Elementalist Weaver, which as far as we can tell is probably the WORST profession/elite specialization to be playing with this limitation, as it involves rapid switching between attunements, skills, etc. We have theorized that a tanky build might be easier, as the character would be less likely to go down in the fraction of a second it takes to look down at the skill bar.

We mostly play Open World but are hoping to get more and more into Dungeons and Fractals. We're also planning on trying out WvW this weekend; we'll see how we like that.

Zie currently has a level 40 or 50 Engineer, a level 18 Guardian, two unused character slots, and an unused level 80 boost.

Thanks in advance!

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I used to play 1 handed (left hand on keyboard) to do SW farming, and found that key binding setup is the most important factor in being able to play effectively. If using a keyboard, make use of the Q E R T F V C X Z, Shift, Caps lock, Crtl, Alt keys for abilities, and use wasd for movement and camera turning. If using a mouse, having programmable side buttons (some mice can have 16+ additional buttons) is incredibly useful, and can significantly reduce mouse movement and clicking.

Regarding class choice, I would suggest anything with low APM. In my experience, some of the lowest APM builds are: condi soulbeast (with traps), power reaper, power dragonhunter or firebrand (DH and FB are both very strong in dungeons and fractals). These classes also have great aoe, so there is less of a need to constantly re-target and reposition your character. And as others have said, condi mirage is great if you want something with more of a passive playstyle, and deadeye is great for easy single target dps.

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Zie decided to finish leveling zir Guardian to try out Firebrand, and since zie also needed to create a new character to level up a weaponsmith, zie also created a new thief which I think zie is going to use the level 80 boost on, as zie really enjoys sniper builds.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some additional suggestions:

  • Some runes can summon pets for non-pet/minion classes (Golemancer, Lich, Ogre, Pirate runes), which helps alot.
  • Range will always trump melee for 1handed due to less positioning difficulties.
  • Condition Damage & Expertise builds might trump Power; it depends on the class though (especially effective on Necro, Mesmer, etc.)
  • Some UI features like instant ground targetting and "Snap Ground Target To Current Target" help immensely.
  • A gaming mouse with alot of buttons helps as well.

The absolute lowest effort build is a Herald/Hammer (Revenant) spec who just passively puts out boons with a mix of Harrier+Wanderer for some defense, Rune of Water(or similar), Sigil of Concentration and Soul Pastries+Peppermint Oils. There is some amount of Energy management required, but we're talking like one extra click every 30sec or so, rarely actual skill casting outside of the 0-6 skills.

However, that Ele can still work too, put it on full Cleric+Magi, respect to Tempest/Staff and camp Water & Earth (support build) with the two Glyph of Elementals for pets. This of course requires them to have someone to follow around to do some DPS.

There's many other builds, Ele is very versatile and not all builds play like a piano.

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I am not sure if its allowed but you might be able to use third party software that uses voice activation and can be easily trained to recognise your voice and certain key words bound to keyboard skills.I had some software I bought for messing around on star citizens beta a couple of years back and found something called "Voice Attack" you can even download voice packs or use its text to speech feature and have it speak back to you to confirm commands witch can used to create amusing scenarios, like for me on star citizen i had a voice pack of glados from the portal series of games and made it mimic a ships AI that responded to my commands with sarcastic responses.Its not a GW2 video but there's a link below to see what that kind of software is capable of if you think it would be something useful to your spouse.

Again if its something you think you could use to help in this situation be sure its not something Anet will penalise you for, I would hope its ok so long as you are not creating complex scripts to perform multiple commands.

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@"Pirogen.9561" said:Condi Mirage.


Auto-attack and press Dodge key whenever you can.

Going to have to second this, Mesmer is one of the few classes that can be played one handed. I've known people who effectively PvP on this class as "clickers". Going the condi variant your clones do most of the work for you. When I transferred to and played in Europe for awhile I was at really high ping so there was quite a delay inbetween when I activated a skill and when it actually happened in game.. I could decimate people with Mesmer even with a 3 second delay between skills.

Edit: I've also seen people click to play as dragon hunters, although in PvP it would be a bit harder than Mesmer.

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I think your spouse can probably make any of the classes work. Maybe not great, but certainly enough to get by. My mom, who has at least one character of each class, is in the same boat. She's 92 and her left hand is useless due to a very bad tremor. All of Mom's characters are level 80 and she successfully solo'd all of them through map completion to get their Gifts of Exploration. That was doing it all herself, no waypoint purchases, no paying for runs... just her playing by herself. She said she died a lot and had to continually repair her armor, but she did it.

She, like your spouse, plays using a mouse to click on skills. She has no fancy mouse or apps -- just the standard keyboard and mouse. Mom is strictly a PvE player and does no PvP, nor WvW, nor does she do fractals, raids nor dungeons and only parties up with our immediate family. Mostly that's because she can't type (chatting in game is out) and she is hard of hearing so she can't do discord. Still, Mom plays every day and makes all of the classes work for her.

Her favorite class has varied. Her first favorite class was the ranger with a longbow because the pet tanked and the character could stand way back with the longbow. I also heard her say she liked her guardian and her revenant. (Maybe because they are heavy armor?) The key for Mom seemed to be sticking with a class long enough to get very familiar with the possibilities and setting it up so that once combat was entered, all she had to do was click on the skills with the mouse. She doesn't dodge or move around much, since she has to choose between that and hitting skills, but she still manages to get out of red circles enough of the time to survive. She has preferred more defensive gear to help compensate for having to choose between dodging and attacking. HoT, PoF and most of the Living World maps have been much harder for her. She has continued to explore with her various characters and classes, but has not been able to map complete consistently. Right now she is focussing on crafting Ascended equipment, hoping that will make it more fun for her.

I'll check with her and see if I can add some details to this -- more about which classes are the easiest for her to play and how she has them set up. Particularly, which have been the best for her in the harder areas like HoT and the desert.

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Please try revenant. There are builds that can tank/lifesteal really well and do a solid ampunt of dmg. Although it is a tad bit boring compared to weaver, playing it is still fun. Condi torment rune rev is also an option and thay torment symbol looks so funny :)

Burn firebrand is another option. You can just sit there and spam burns, aegis and slay your enemies.

A tad bit tanky fresh air tempest can do the job.

Minionmancer reaper, gyro scrapper, andcondi mesmer can also do the job.

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