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I’m coming over as a long time wow player (10+ years). I’ve done high end competitive pvp and pve there. My understanding is that GW2 doesn’t have classes that fit the typical DPS, Tank, Healer roles and there are quite a few different game modes here (pve, WvW, and pvp). 

I think I’ll probably enjoy the WvW and pvp aspect of the game the most. I’m looking for a pvp game more than a pve game. 

that being said - I kind of wanted to play a healer - but it doesn’t seem like they are really a needed class in this game. I’m interested is Mesmer also but most things I read says it’s a difficult class to play. As a long time mmo player I kind of like that as I see it as a challenge that I think I’ll be able to pass. It seems as though a lot of classes are good for one thing and maybe not for another. 

my question is - would a Druid healer be viable in WvW / pvp or are they not needed? What classes / specializations should I stay AWAY from? I don’t want to play a thief. Way too much time as a rogue in wow. 

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2 minutes ago, Vrami.7890 said:

I’m coming over as a long time wow player (10+ years). I’ve done high end competitive pvp and pve there. My understanding is that GW2 doesn’t have classes that fit the typical DPS, Tank, Healer roles and there are quite a few different game modes here (pve, WvW, and pvp). 

   That's not exactly the case.


   Some references: in GW2 each class has his own healing souces, but you can play with each one of the nine classes almost every role (tank/bunker, support/healing, dps/glass cannon... ). There's some limitations, but your performance in those roles will rely (skill aside) in two factors:

* Which stats you're running (berserker for physical damage or viper/griever in pure condition dps, cleric/minstrel for support, diviner for damage + boon sharing, trailblazer for condition bruisers, etc... ) .

*  Which spec, weapons and skill and skills you chose. For example: a Ranger in PvP in a dps role oftenly will chose Soulbeast spec with Berserker amulet and long bow + greatsword as weapons, whereas a Ranger playing in the same PvP as a bunker/healer will chose the Druid specialization with staff as the main weapon and Avatar or Sage as the amulet. The utilities and traitlines will change greatly.


   Of course some combos underperform: you won't see Thieves in the role of a healer, but you will find that some classes and even specs have a fair amount of viable builds in each game mode. You will find the most common builds in sites like


http://metabattle.com/wiki/MetaBattle_Wiki or https://www.godsofpvp.net




   ...But take it with a grain of salt. My advice would be to jump in PvP, in which every character is level 80, has the same stat values and swapping between streamlined amulets and runes is entirely free so you can test those builds, learn which works and even more important: which of the things that works feels the best for you. Mesmers usually are strong at dueling/roaming (both in physical damage and condition damage variants) and as condi bruisers in Open World. Rangers are good dps +1 in PvP with both core and Soulbeast power variants and Druid is mostly used in PvP has support/decapper (had some nerfs due how overperformed). Healers are usefull in every game mode but in this game the main way to prvent damage isn't getting aggro with a tank which mitigates damage while being healed, but using skills and evades to avoid damage, so oftenly the guides prescribes a "meta" in which most of the players go full dps and avoiding the damage is based on knowledge of the mechanics of dangerous foes. In WvW healers are oftenly Eles, Engies or Druids, albeit the most used classes in large groups are Guardians, Revs and Necros due the boon sharing of the first ones and the AoE pressure of the later.

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My advice for PvP, from a long-standing perspective:


Identify what role you naturally play as in the 5v5 conquest game mode, as these are the maps that usually count for ranked matches.  There's bunker (tank), team support (almost like healing but more than reactive heals(, team fight dps, side point duelist, roamer, and the PvP community will point out more nuanced roles outside of these basic ones.


Once you identify what you naturally tend to do, and the role best suited for your decisionmaking, familiarize yourself with every profession that can fit that role.


PvP players should NEVER have a main class.  If they do, they're not competitive, because mechanics and decisions are what you need to focus on, not a single profession because "itz kewl".  


The reason you need to know every profession that can fit that role is because the meta shifts, and you want to be prepared to play and adapt to anything that changes in the meta.  


Since you mentioned healer, I'll start there.  Team support is hard to solo-queue because you're reliant on your teammates to do the killing.  You can help by calling targets for your team to help them focus, but there's no guarantee they'll select their target wisely.  With that disclaimer:

Elementalist - usually floats around the meta, but not the meta in terms of team support.  Heals, boon sharing, aura sharing.  You want to be preemptive with the boons and auras you share to maximize their effectiveness.  Don't react, predict.  Your panic button is the water attunement  skills and sometimes earth (depending on build).  

Guardian - lots of heals and damage prevention.  very straight forward which elite specializations and builds will perform the team support role.

Revenant - revolves around Ventari stance.  The other things in this profession rotate in and out of meta.  some heals, mostly beneficial effects type of support (offensive and defensive effects)

Ranger (including Druid) - you already identified this.  Drops in and out of meta, mostly out. Whether druid is meta depends on what builds make up the current meta.  Druid can hard counter some things.

Necromancer - Scourge is current meta support.  However, that won't last forever so don't focus on this one too much.  Currently, Scourge provides lots of barriers (temporary hit points based on your healing stat), and basically everything.  It's overtuned, but not quite the mephistophilian catastrophe everyone on the forum makes it out to be.  It's the easiest thing to play at the moment.  Very low skill floor for mid-ELO effectiveness.

Engineer - has been a team support option from time to time.  Focus is healing  and whatever crazy combos you can come up with to help your team kill things faster.  Most involved class as effectiveness is tied to your use of combo fields and combo finishers.

Warrior has actually been a team support meta-pick before.  Doubtful that will come back as it was super long ago, but always good to keep up your familiarity with any class that can be a viable support as metas change.

Mesmer - I've only seen team support mesmer on paper.  Mesmer plays usually as a roamer or bunker in the past.  I actually have not seen mesmer played as an actual team support, but the tools are there.  You'd have to analyze why it's never been meta or even meta-adjacent.


Thief - yeah...no definitely no.  It's not a real team support as it's kit is almost compeltely selfish.  Shadow Arts specializtion makes an attempt to add some support-style gameplay, but these just don't mesh well with the rest of the kit at all.  You give up too much for what is, ultimately, something you cannot specialize in.  You'll have an extremely marginal, niche way to support with only 33% of the kit.  The other 67% has absolutely no synergy with the objectives your focused on as team support.  It's pulled in too many directions without being adept at a single one.  

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The whole "GW2 doesn't have roles" thing is tosh from back when the game was released. It's been clung to by overzealous fans, but it hasn't been the case for some time now. The roles are simply a little different to WoW.

For example, PvE tanks don't work through aggro, they work through certain bosses being attracted to their high Toughness stat. Usually the tank will have a support role, like sharing boons or healing. They maintain their hp bar being having total damage mitigation: in this game, blocks are activated and impenetrable.


I originally started with Mesmer, hoping to get used to something which would be rewarding in the long run, and to use it mostly for WvW. It's, sadly, my least-used character now. But it is a very versatile profession. In the time i've played, it's been THE tank, boonsharer, healer, DPS, a great roamer, a top component of zergs -- it's always had a top spot place, everywhere in the game.


You mentioned Thief: they play differently to what i remember from WoW. In PvP i think they're seen as a "+1", with high mobility to join a duel or to capture a point. In WvW there's one-trick-ponies who work like WoW Thief, with high stealth burst damage to kill squishies, but they're useless in any other regard. But there's lots of other builds, including a great support build for the Deadeye spec, which mainly steals and shares boons. It's "meta" right now: https://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Deadeye_-_Deadeye_Support


As for healers in WvW: they're a core part of zergs (up to 50 players roaming around in a group to fight other groups). But they're not rewarding to play: you'll get far less WvWXP, far less loot bags, and far less contribution, because the mode revolves around tagging people who the zerg kills. You'd be better off playing something with high AoE damage to begin with, so you can tag more kills and rank up faster (to unlock core aspects of the game mode, like gliding, mount use, siege weapon damage increases, etc.).

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