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Questions About Gear Ratings

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Hello I am pretty new to this game and everywhere I look just tells me what TYPE of stats to go for like power etc or what weapon types like berserker. What I want to know about is the actual numbers. The numbers man. I can’t find what a good overall rating is for weapons armor trinkets etc. My armors ratings average around 150 and my weapons attack rating average at 900. 

I’m currently trying to build a berserker reaper and I have berserker armor, no trinkets yet, and I’m also not sure what to put for my unused upgrade slots. 

If anyone has an idea of what good items to go for or what item level gear I need I would appreciate it. 

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Ok, to really understand this part of the culture, you have to become familiar with a couple things about the overall design of the game.


The game caps your level at 80, and that all Gear (regardless of rarity) are scaled based on level.  There is NO random element to gear stat numbers.  The Devs also balance the majority of content around Exotic stat magnitudes.  Ascended and Legendary gear are only +10% total over Exotics.  All of this was done with the intent to flatten the gear system, and prevent a BIS gear treadmill...... which was one of several reasons the Anet devs originally left WoW's development to start their own Company. (Yes, Most of Anet's founders are ex-blizzard employees) (also, ironically, the Raid team for Fosaken Thicket were also from WoW)


So with that in mind, this the table of stat distributions for gear at level 80



They're divided into 3 categories;


3-stat, (1 major 2 minor) which offers highest peak value for the major, but the lowest total bonus across all stats


4-stat, (2 major 2 minor) which offers moderate peak value (15% lower), but a 15% higher stat total, and more easily enables an off stat without significant loss to your primary ones.


All-stat, aka Celestials, has low peak value, but contributes to ALL of the primary attributes, and has almost double the total point bonus of the 3-stats.  This is popular among hybrid builds, because the stat distribution is basically impossible to replicate with 3 and 4 stat gears without being 50% worse. 




Next, in terms of significant stat distribution, Gear only makes up about 30% of your overall performance values.  In buildcraft, it mainly serves as the baseline number to which the class builds themselves will scale off of.  The build itself constitutes "at least" 50% of the your DPS output, with the last 20% coming from boons and buffs.  Defense works on a similar concept, but doesn't scale as high due to there simply being less defense traits to stack. 


Within Gear, Trinkets make up roughly 50% of the gear stat total, with the Amulet alone being 10% of your gear bonus.  The weapons making up almost 20%. Which means the armor is only 30% of everything.  This is incredibly significant when you consider armor costs more then triple the cost of weapons (if crafting), and that trinkets are mostly gained through secondary currency/tokens. 


When put all this into perspective, Exotic gear (which was the original top tier, and easily found at vendors in late game areas) was set up to get a player into Max stats as quickly as possible, and plateau to make PvP/WvW balance simple.  PvE itself was meant to be casual and side content between PvP seasons.  ...... if its not Clear yet....  GW2 (just like GW1) is PvP centric in its design.  Even more so in GW1, where even the enemies were designed the same way players were. 


Ascended and Legendary gear were an after thought to work as a gold sink for post-80 content.  Ascended itself actually didn't get a stat bonus until around a year after its introduction.  And Legendary gear is basically identical stat wise, but has the ability to change them on the fly.    Exotics cost like 30g for a full set of Berserkers.   But an Ascended set is around 700g.  And Legendary gear is around 2500g for either a Weapon or an Armor set.  Legendary Trinkets.... those will cost you a couple years of your life. 






So with that out of the way......   if we're thinking about the leveling process......   Gear doesn't contribute anything worth even considering until over half way through the game.   Partly because you level so fast, low level gear is obsolete without a couple of hours (tops), and partly because the number scales aren't significant enough to make any notable difference in damage or sustain.  


There are 2 major spikes in difficulty in Core Tyria (everything past core Tyira is lvl 80 as a base line).  Level 45, aka the Start of the Act 2. And again at lvl 65, around the time Act 3 starts.   In the original leveling system, these were 2 major milestones where your trait points totals were enough to spec deeply into certain trait lines..... and were supposed to be reflective of the buildcraft opened via having an additional trait line open.  The enemies were also overscaled to you at this point in the story, to help sell them as a threat... but the changes to the leveling system by the Hero point era further misaligned the difficulty at these jumps.  As a cumulative result, they are insanely tough to fight.  And this misalignment carries all the way up through level 80.... until you can finally piece together a properly optimized build. 


So until lvl 45, gear basically doesn't matter beyond keeping the armor value in tow so you don't get whacked too hard.  At lvl 65 and up, you can start caring about the primary stat bonus to beef up your damage, and better had already learned the value of the dodge roll (cuz you aren't soaking damage without a bunker build from here on out). 


Once at at level 80, and can start using gear that'll be relevant more for then a couple of hours, only THEN can put serious thought into stat optimization.   Because gear can only invest in 3 or 4 stats per piece, and each piece contributes a relatively small % of the overall, it ends up being extremely common to focus stats into one synergy combo for damage or healing.  Bunkers are extremely rare outside of PvP, because in 90% of situations, ending a fight is safer then trying to outlast it.  For the first 2 years, the Meta Tank for Raids was a DPS Memser with just enough toughness to cheese the AI aggro rules.  And it makes perfect sense..... why heal through damage, when you can just avoid taking damage in the first place?   And Mesmer's duelist nature, and 6 Invuls through Sunday, made it the perfect candidate to do 3 jobs in team one slot. 


Now if we ignore the Meta, which already does the math for you......  there are a few rules of thumb for optimization in open world scenarios, where team support is not a given.   And the meta math is partially based on these thresholds, so these serve to understand what the Meta Comps are doing as an aggregate across multiple players.


For power builds, Berserkers are the ultimate trifecta of how power damage works.   Power, Precision and Ferocity.  AKA, Damage, Crit chance, and Crit Bonus.  So generally power damage builds have a target of 2500 Power, 75% passive Crit chance, and whatever crit bonus you can muster.   I say Crit chance instead of Precision, because most classes access to cirt chance modifiers that give a flat bonus in some form or another.  The Optimal target is 2800+ Power (if the class even allows for it), 100% modified Crit chance, and at least 300% Crit bonus.  Modified Crit includes Fury, Buff bonuses like Spotter or Tactics banner, and any conditional traits that bump up crit chance total to the cap of 100%.  


Necro specifically has 2 huge crit chance modifiers in Soul Reaping and Reaper trait lines that, when combined, add +50% to crit chance.  Enough that you can shift parts of your gear to stats without precision to pump up other useful stats.  Like Valkyries replacing Prc with Vit, which increase both your HP total and Life Force total; allowing you to soak enough raw damage in Shroud mode, that tanking is actually option for them.    This was actually a very solid open world Reaper build for a few years... until they messed with the shroud uptime.  Its still decent... but before the nerfs, you could self sustain through almost anything.  From solo champ fights, to just standing in world boss AOEs like it was nothing. 


Anyway.....  outside of power builds, other useful threshold values are:


2500 Armor (toughness+defense), for whats considered "no longer glass"

2800 Armor for tanky

3200+ bunker with no damage potential


900 Condition damage for Condi builds (because condi damage has no baseline attribute)

70% passive Crit chance gets you 95-100% crit chance with fury and incidental buffs

You still want at least 70% avg crit chance for condi builds, because a lot of traits tend to trigger on crits. 


15-18k HP to not die in 2 hits. 

Toughness factors in initial aggro, but damage factors more and will lock it in at the start of combat. 


With most damage builds, you can trade 10-15% of your DPS potential to double your self sustain.   For the vast majority of classes, you can make this trade off purely through traits. 


Hybrid builds work on the idea of leveraging 2 damage vectors to bypass the strongest defense of a target, but has a lower peak DPS.  Power builds being front loaded, while condi damage is back loaded (ie yields over a longer fight).  As of now, only half the classes have the right type of quirks to properly abuse a hybrid buld.  Even then, they tend to be less directly effective to either pure power or pure condi builds due to external factors scaling better on higher baseline numbers.  They're only really seen in PvP and WvW, where surviving an opening burst from a Glass Cannon is the only chance you have at fighting them.  In all the PvE sectors, its a game of attrition... and the mobs out pace you by default. 

Edited by starlinvf.1358
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@starlinvf.1358 Nice explanation! I like it.


One thing to add to your discussion on equipment stat's is that the 3-stat equipment has higher major and higher minor stat's than 4-stat so, if a 4th stat does not materially-contribute to your build and use, stick with 3 stats for higher peak performance. Also of note is that a 3-stat minor is not far below a 4-stat major.

3-stat major = 100% (max possible)

4-stat major = 86.4%

3-stat minor = 72%

4-stat minor = 47.2%

(Because there is no 2x of a single stat, players are forced to accept their allocation among different attributes.)


Berserker's is one example where having a 4th stat subtracts dps. Viper's is an example of needing a specific minor while avoiding a stat that does not contribute to dps. Bringer's (weapons) are an example of taking 2 less-desired stat's to get 1 highly desired.


You might be wondering why you cannot have a 4-stat, Power-Ferocity-precision-power combination. There are equipment stat combinations that are not available precisely because they are too strong, while there are lots of 4-stat combinations that essentially add a small amount of sustain in exchange for peak dps. Others are just there seemingly to bait newbies.

Edited by Anchoku.8142
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