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so how does group pve work here?


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I'm just now nearing level 80 on my first character and have been playing entirely solo up to this point. As I start thinking about endgame/group content, I'm curious how things are set up compared to other mmos.

Most games run the holy trinity of tank/healer/damage. From what I've heard, gw2 doesnt really follow that model. So in group content, Is it just a free for all?

I typically prefer tanking and sometimes healing in other games, but ive seen nothing in class abilities about threat and very few actual group healing options

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Generally there's two roles, DPS and Support. "DPS" implies that your main responsibility is contributing to the party's overall damage output directly (not dying is also important -- you're going to have to dodge and watch your positioning more so than DPS in some other games). "Support" implies that your main responsibility is contributing to the party's overall damage output indirectly, by buffing the other players or keeping them alive. The strongest and most desirable Support builds heal/cleanse players and mitigate incoming attacks via Aegis, Stability, and reflection, but also output significant valuable offensive boons like Might, Quickness, and Alacrity to super-charge the whole group. Even DPS builds may be asked to take an ability that buffs the whole team, though, especially if it's some unique boost like the Ranger's spirits. Every member is usually involved in providing some CC (to break Defiance bars -- used to either set up a powerful burst or to stop massively dangerous attacks) as well.

A form of Tanking exists as a Raid mechanic. It's accomplished by having the highest Toughness (not Armor, but Toughness specifically) in the group, which gets some bosses tunnel-visioned on you. You have to survive a little bit more pressure, but you can lead the boss around or control its facing as a result.

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I don't have a lot of direct experience with Engineer (I have a lot of indirect experience getting my butt saved by Scrappers in WvW), but it seems like most people recommend Scrapper for support and Holo for DPS. Example builds:Fractals: https://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Scrapper_-_Healing_ScrapperRaids: https://snowcrows.com/raids/builds/engineer/scrapper/heal/

I don't see any reason why Scrapper can't be played as DPS, tbh, it's just likely Holo is better. (And the way elite specs work in this game, it's very easy for your character to just change from scrapper to holo or vice versa at a moment's notice. You're not at all "locked in" to playing one elite spec.)

Note that these are somewhat flexible categories -- there are builds that are obviously "just" support or "just" DPS, and some builds that are kinda both (basically trading some fraction of personal DPS for better team buffs while still focusing most of your gameplay your DPS rotation and personal survival rather than group stuff like a full support).

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Scrapper would be a super-tanky dps with insane amounts of utility, though often frowned upon due to it's lower potential damage. Though its ability to pretty much ignore all incoming damage as power dps through barrier generation more than compensates for it with increased health-related bonus uptimes and capability of just taking short routes thru nasty stuff (and even dps the boss moving through it) while rest of the squad needs to take long route around with lower dps uptime. For aforementioned reasons combined with extreme utility (superb CC, superspeed, Function Gyro resses etc), Kitty's personal speedclear dreamteam would actually be 7 power scrappers, heal renegade, heal 10-quick chrono and power PS mightbot banner berserker.And ofc scrapper is the 2nd best raw healer in the game, only losing to core engineer a tiny bit but since support's foremost job is providing those boons for dps boosts, heal scrapper is almost never used as of now.

But since people don't understand the awshumness of Scrapper and some like to threaten with "go holo or kick" ^1, you pretty much need a holo. Engi's options in endgame PVE are currently pretty much power dps holosmith and condi dps holosmith. (power = direct damage, condi = damage-over-time)

^1 Kitty had that happen 2 weeks ago when squad failed hard enough to need a carry and comm commanded Kitty to continue as holo instead of letting her carry on scrapper to make the Slothasor kill guaranteed. Obviously Kitty left as she didn't have more patience for spending another hour on something she could've made one pull if allowed to.

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