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#1722674 Do you think the developers of GW2 like us?

Posted by Colin Johanson on 13 August 2012 - 03:14 AM

We love you!

But we do feel the need to see other people.
  • 101

#1641750 Have You Had "The Talk?"

Posted by Frakov on 27 July 2012 - 07:08 AM

I can't have "The Talk" with my girlfriend until I create her on August 25.
  • 101

#1672938 [FAQ] Equipment Attributes and You - UPDATED 11/14/12

Posted by Terra on 03 August 2012 - 04:37 PM

This FAQ explains what you need to know about gear and how its attributes are distributed. I'll predominantly aim this at level 80 equipment as we can talk about all equipment rarities. The reason for this FAQ is:
  • To explain how attributes are distributed at level 80
  • To answer some common misconceptions
  • Illustrate the methods and difficulty of obtaining equipment
If not stated, the tables in this FAQ are from the GW2 wiki or self made.

**Warning** - Long read, there is a summary section at the end.

Equipment Rarity
Each item has a quality which indicates the rarity or nature of the base modifications available on the item. The following is the rarity in ascending order:
  • Junk = Gray
  • Common = White
  • Fine = Blue
  • Masterwork = Green
  • Rare = Yellow
  • Exotic = Orange
  • Ascended = Pink
  • Legendary = Purple
Attribute Allocation
Is all gear the same?
No, as you level all gear increases in terms of stats and defence rating.

At any given level, is all gear the same?
This is where there are many misconceptions. For any given level, attributes and defence ratings are not the same UNLESS they are the same rarity also. Here's an example of two great swords at level 80 (Image from reddit poster ardikus).

Posted Image

The rest of this post will explain why they are not the same and what to expect at level 80 in terms of gear and how its stats are distributed. The last section will contain the known methods of obtaining maximum stat gear.

Why does gear provide stats in PvE but not PvP?
Answer? It's a trick question. PvP gear has stats... but not every bit of gear has it, in fact only two do. The amulet and the jewel that goes in it.Have you ever wondered why AN made amulets so powerful? It's obvious with a bit of thought. Amulets are there to replace stats on the rest of your gear. It would be a pain to have 6 gear slots, 5 trinket slots, a back pack slot AND weapon slots all with stats - especially if you want to change your build. Most people know roughly what they want, whether it be power, crit or condition build,What AN have done is simply taken all the stats off of 'gear' and put it into one concise place... the Amulet. In BWE 1 they also had ring/ earring slots but quite rightly realised that they didn't need them and instead amalgamated those slots from 5 items with 25/15/15 stats to one jewel for the amulet with 125/75/75 stats (i.e. same stats overall).

So what about PvE?
Well AN have simply broken down the stats you got from amulets and put them back on armour, weapons and accessories. There will be no +798/569/569 amulet, those stats now belong on gear, trinkets etc.If you now think with the mentality that the super powerful amulet has been split amongst gear, then you'll realise different builds concentrate on different skills. Condition builds don't need power, so the exotic great sword in the image would be ideal. While heavy dd builds would like the stat choices of the other great sword. Bottom line, not all builds will focus on the same stats so just because a weapon doesn't have power does it mean it's useless.

Therefore, how can we compare two items if they have different stats?
Easy for weapons, as you can also look at its damage stat (weapon strength). Max weapon strength for a great sword in PVP is 995-1,100. It's logical PvE will be the same and as you can see Exotics max weapon strength is 995-1,100. Rares only have a max weapon strength of 882-975.

Ok, so what about stats for non-weapons, can you compare the two? Yes, you can look at the defence rating for the piece or because AN loves symmetry you can look at the stats. Don't look at how they're distributed (in terms of power, precision etc) but look at the numbers.
  • Exotic 128/128/179
  • Rare 113/113/158
Each stat is approximately 13% higher on the exotic than the rare.

What if I want an Exotic but don't like how the stats are distributed?
Not all weapons/ armour will be the same. There will be different exotics where one might have power/ precision/ condition damage, another has power/ vitality/ toughness and so forth. The bottom line is all exotics will be distributed in a 128/128/179 manner for 2-Handed weapons at L80.Similarly almost all rare 2-Handers at level 80 will have their 3 stats in a 113/113/158 manner. Masterworks will be closer to 100/100/140 (i.e. 13% less powerful etc).

How many attributes does gear have?
At level 1 all gear has only one attribute. As you level up it increases to three at level 80. There will be some exception where level 80 gear has four stats - these pieces of gear usually have a non-primary attribute as the fourth stat at the expense of lowering the other three primary attributes.e.g.

Level 80 Exotic Greats sword A
Level 80 Exotic Greatsword B
Power179Toughness98Vitality98Crit Damage 5%

To compensate for the crit damage bonus to weapon B, it's vitality and toughness stats were reduced. However, AN have reduced them proportionately to so that both weapons have equal "power" overall. This does not mean A will hit as hard as B.Instead, add all the attribute points in weapon A (it comes to 435) and weapon B (comes to 375 + 5% crit damage). AN value the 5% crit damage to be equivalent to 50 primary attribute points.

Edit: As has been pointed out, in terms of literal numbers although AN is fairly consistent, they don't necessarily rely on objective evidence to balance their game but subjective evidence such as player feedback/ internal testing plays a role.For instance, the celestial amulet has a total stat point of 1704 + 15% crit. The Berserker's amulet meanwhile has a total stat point of 1651 + 15% crit. Thus one amulet has 53 extra stat points so gives you more bang for your buck. However, very few players will ever pick the celestial amulet as specialising in a few stats seems to be more beneficial than spreading them out. AN have obviously 'buffed' the amulet to offer more incentive, that's my take on it.Wildclaw points out crit damage is worth more points/ percent on amulets than jewels. I again think AN have done this based upon subjective player feedback. Who wants 1% crit damage bonus at 80. Seems rather low. At the same time, AN once had 31% crit damage bonus on their amulets, that seemed rather high. So it looks like AN are tweaking numbers for balance.

The last thing Wildclaw points out is something which on paper looks better than it should. Most jewels provide 125/75/75 distribution = 275 total stat points. Interestingly the Rampager jewel provides 125/75/45/45 = 290 stat points. It is effectively providing 15 free points. Again this is probably from feedback AN got that having 2 low stats of 37.5 wasn't enough incentive and they changed it.One has to remember AN only added vitality as a fourth stat since BWE2. This was almost certainly due to the fact the squishy classes (Thief and Elemetalist) had low base health pools and defence. Thus they were struggling to obtain high damage builds without 12k healths in BWE1. So AN buffed the power jewellery with vitality so these damage builds could have an extra 3k health.To add to all of this, if we look at runes we can see divinity rune offer the best bang for your buck in terms of overall stat points. Most 6 set runes have 205 total stat points and a 6th set ability. The divinity rune have 240 stat points but also 18% crit damage. The latter provides more crit + damage than any other 6 set rune. AN have most likely done this based upon their internal testing but it is a interesting point to bear in mind.Most weapons will only have 3 stats at 80 but remember this:
  • Weapons have stats to represent the stats taken from amulets. Whenever you are picking gear, the sum total of all the stats on all pieces of gear is equivalent to one amulet. Yes that includes the weapon and accessories. In fact weapons make up almost 25% of an amulet!
Do all pieces of gear have stats?
In a nutshell, yes. There are 12 main pieces that contribute: 6 equipment slots, 5 trinket slots and your weapon. If you have 2 weapon sets, it's the one you are wielding. Below I've provided an image of a level 35 Asura in cultural armour. In it I have included the caption for the amulet and to act as a reference, the chest piece.As you can see, amulets have stats but they are significantly reduced compared to PvPPosted Image

So all exotic gear has a 179/128/128 distribution?
No! Only 2 Handed exotics have that distribution. Below is what other pieces of exotics have at level 80.
  • 2-H Weapon = 179/128/128
  • 1-H Weapon = 90/64/64
  • Head = 45/32/32
  • Shoulder = 34/24/24
  • Chest = 101/72/72
  • Hands = 34/24/24
  • Legs = 67/48/48
  • Feet = 34/24/24
  • Rings = 67/48/48
  • Earrings = 56/40/40
  • Amulet = 90/64/64
  • Backpack = 22/16/16*
*Note all numbers in red are estimates (based upon up scaling of rare level backpack) as no exotic backpack has been seen yetSource for the exotic Jewellery stats: http://www.gw2db.com...ysocola-jewel-sAs you can see, the sum total of the weapon plus equipment slots make one amulet.That is if you add all 6 equipment slots (head, shoulder, chest, glove, leg, boot), 5 trinket slots (Amulet, 2x Rings, 2x Earrings) and the main weapon (either two 1 handed weapons OR one 2 handed weapon) you get roughly 798/569/569, the left over stats are meant to reflect the jewel which goes into the amulet.So you may have to rethink that 'precision' sword as it will eat into your stat allocation elsewhere

Ok, so all gear at level 80 will have the same attribute allocation setup if they are from the same rarity?
Yes!!! So all exotic axes at level 80 will have a 90/64/64 distribution while rare axes at 80 will be 79/57/57.The difference between exotics will be how the attributes are set up?Exactly, so some exotic swords will be power/precision/condition damage while others are vitality/toughness/healing. But both swords will have a 90/64/64 distribution.

So exotic gear is always better than other gear?
Yes with one huge caveat, that is both items must be of the same level. A level 70 exotic helm is not necessarily better than an 80 masterwork helm. You should only compare items of the same rarity and level for true comparisons.From a pure personal point of view, I found on average for any piece of equipment I found, each level of rarity is equivalent to 2-3 levels.e.g. A green level 10 power sword was as good as a blue level 13 sword which was as good as a white level 15 sword.

Edit: The new gear level Ascended will be the max tier set.

Obtaining Gear
Can I get all gear rarities from level 1?No, see the following:
  • Common = Level 1-80
  • Fine = Level 1-80
  • Masterwork = Level 10-80
  • Rare = Level 35-80
  • Exotic = Level 60-80
  • Ascended = Level 80
  • Legendary = Level 80

Where do I get the gear from?
  • Common = Mob Drops, Chest Rewards, Merchants
  • Fine = Mob Drops, Chest Rewards, Karma Merchants, Crafting, Mystic Forge
  • Masterwork = Mob Drops, Chest Rewards, Karma Merchants, Crafting, Mystic Forge, Map Completion
  • Rare = Mob Drops, Chest Rewards, Karma Merchants, Cultural Vendor Merchants, Crafting, Mystic Forge, Dungeon Token Rewards, Map Completion
  • Exotic = Mystic Forge, Dungeon Token Rewards, WvW Merchants, Crafting, Chest Rewards, Mob Drops, Map Completion, Purchased from TP
  • Ascended = Fractal of the Mists
  • Legendary = Mystic Forge
How difficult is it to get level 80 exotic gear?
It depends on play time and the method of choice. Most exotic pieces run at 2-3g. For a typical player this is a couple of hours of gold farming per piece. Below I go into depth about total times.

Dungeon Tokens
Each dungeon has its own unique tokens. Going the dungeon route path, it will cost you:
  • 2-Hander = 390 tokens
  • 1-Hander (main hand) = 300 tokens
  • 1-Hander (off hand) = 210 tokens
  • Head = 180 tokens
  • Shoulder = 210 tokens
  • Chest = 330 tokens
  • Glove = 180 tokens
  • Leg = 300 tokens
  • Feet = 180 tokens
  • Total (6-Piece (Full) Set) = 1380 tokens
  • Total (2-H + Full Set) = 1770 tokens
  • Total (Main + Off Hand + Full Set) = 1890 tokens
Dungeon tokens are obtained by completing explorable mode runs of each dungeon. Each dungeon on nets 60 tokens for each completed explorable mode run for first run of the day. Thats 180 tokens a day. The dungeons have a DR (diminishing returns) system where if run too quickly, subsequent runs will net lower tokens amount. The tokens are character bound so repeating the dungeon on an alt for the first time will net 60 tokens provided you have allowed sufficient time for DR to have worn off - this is usually 1-2 hours.

If we want a full set of level 80 exotic gear we would need to run:1380/60 = 23 Dungeon runs

For a 2 handed weapon we would need to run:390/60 = 6.5= 7 runs

For a main and off hand we would need to run:510/60= 8.5= 9 runs

A person who wants a full set of exotics and a main and off hand from the same dungeon vendor would need to do 30-32 dungeon runs.


For those wondering, badges of honours are rewards dropped by opposing players, mobs and from keep sieges. They may often be concealed in loot bags.
  • Head = 260 Badges of Honour
  • Shoulder = 229 Badges of Honour
  • Chest = 312 Badges of Honour
  • Glove = 188 Badges of Honour
  • Leg = 292 Badges of Honour
  • Feet = 208 Badges of Honour
  • Total (6-Piece (Full) Set) = 1489 Badges of Honour
How hard is it to get badges of honour?From a typical 1hr hectic WvW play the average player will get 10-20 badges depending on luck and remembering to loot corpses too!Being optimistic, at 20 badges/hour that means:1489/20 = 74.45= 75 hours.

When I initially made this thread I stated at this time we had no evidence to say what exact role crafting plays in making exotics. Nirgal though kindly pointed me in the direction of a few hidden pages in GW2DB.I'll link one inscription and one insignia.Valkyrie Ancient Inscription - http://www.gw2db.com...ed:created-fromValkyrie Gossamer Insignia - http://www.gw2db.com...amer-insignia-s. Since going live crafted items have been a main source of players gearing up on exotics. They cost around 2-3g per piece and are readily available from the TP.

But if they're much easier to get than the other exotics why bother getting the other exotics?
The most likely reason is for different skins. All the base level 80 exotic set looks like this:Posted Image
Posted Image

A lot of people will find them unappealing and thus hunt the other exotics for skins.

Why have exotic dungeon skins which look the same as the rare skins when you can just transmute a rare skin over a crafted exotic?
This is a mute question now, AN obviously saw this error and now all rare gear from dungeon vendors have a boring singular look and not the dungeon armour look.

What stats can I get?

I said all exotic gear has the same total power i.e. all chest pieces would be 101/72/72 etc. Well, GW2 uses 8 stats on it's PvE gear that we are aware of:
  • Condition Damage
  • Critical Damage
  • Healing Power
  • Magic Find
  • Power
  • Precision
  • Toughness
  • Vitality
Using GW2DB we can see (also seen in earlier crafting) there are only 7 different Insignias/ inscriptions:
  • Berserker's = Crit Damage/ Power (main)/ Precision
  • Explorer's = Magic Find (main)/ Power/ Precision
  • Knight's = Power/ Precision/ Toughness (main)
  • Carrion = Condition Damage (main)/ Power/ Vitality
  • Rampager's = Condition Damage/ Power/ Precision (main)
  • Valkyrie = Criti Damage/ Power (main)/ Vitality
  • Cleric's = Healing Power (main)/ Power/ Toughness
*New* Crafted L80 Jewellery Exotic
  • Chrysocola Jewellery: Condition Damage (main)/ Power/ Vitality
  • Beryl Jewellery: Power (main)/ Crit Damage/ Vitality
  • Coral Jewellery: Precision (main)/ Condition Damage/ Power
  • Emerald Jewellery: Precision (main)/ Toughness/ Power
  • Opal Jewellery: Magic Find (main)/ Power/ Precision
  • Ruby Jewellery: Power (main)/ Crit Damage/ Precision
  • Sapphire Jewellery: Healing (main)/ Power/ Toughness
This wiki is a good start for further info:http://wiki.guildwar...iki/InscriptionSo crafted exotic items at 80 will have one of the above eight stat sets.However, there are eight variables which come in threes meaning there are at least 56 distinct combinations. If only eight are covered here, what about the rest? Where is the soldier set (power/ toughness/ vitality)?

Basically, the other exotics will make up some of the remaining stat combinations. You must also remember you could have one 2H exotic with 179/128/128 power/precision/condition damage which is different from a 2H exotic with 179/128/128 condition damage/power/precision. In the former power is the main stat while the latter has condition damage. So there are actually more than 56 combination of stats.That being said you can expect the 'other' methods of obtaining exotics to have skins you may want also. Whether they are worth the time to grind or not is up to you. I am a little surprised that the soldier set isn't one of the crafted sets but I guess it will be one of the more desirable ones. It's also intriguing that all the crafted sets have power.

Karma can be exchanged for exotic weapons at any of the high priest temples in Orr and by the vendor near the Arah entrance. To gain access to these vendors your server must be in control of the temple. Each piece costs 42k karma. Below is an image (produced by dulfy user Blazer) of which stats each temple has. Note there are currently no exotic weapons which can be with karma.

Posted Image

Mystic Forge

The mystic forge can prodcue exotic gear. It can produce this via set ways and random ways. The random method involves throwing in 4 items of the same rarity. To get a guaranteed exotic if you throw 4 exotics in you will get a different exotic. If you throw 4 rares in you have a 20% chance of getting an exotic item out. You must throw the same type of rares to get that type of gear e.g. 4 greatswords for a greatsword. Throwing 3 greatswords + 1 hammer = random weapon.

The set recipe is for weapons only at this time but produces some of the most prestigious skins, some on par with legendaries.

All known recipes for these exotics follow the same formula.

Eldritch Scroll (50 skill points) + X Mystic Coins + ??? + ???

Here is a link to the wiki of current known recipes: http://wiki.guildwar...rge/Other_Items

A relatively cheap way of obtaining exotic weapons is using the forge to make the mystic weapon. Total material costs will be about 1-1.5g. Here's the wiki link:


Chest Rewards
Confirmed that at least they can be rare rewards from meta event bosses. One was obtained off of the Lvl 15 starter zone meta event so it's not only in L80 areas.

Also jumping puzzle chests and dungeon chests may now reward exotics.

Map Completion
Completing any of the following zones will reward you with 2 exotic items:
  • Fireheart Rise
  • Mount Maelstrom
  • Straits of Devestation
  • Frostgorge Sounds
  • Malchor's Leap
  • Cursed Shores
Monster Drops
The final confirmed way to get exotics is random drops from monsters. The rate is extremely low but monsters in cursed shore have been known to drop legendary precursors too.

How difficult is it to get Legendary gear?
Much harder than exotics and there are only known legendary weapons. We now know that the recipe for legendary weapons are:

I'll refer you to Xagaroth's guru guide as the requirements have been beefed up considerably since beta:


Ascended Gear

What is this?
A new gear rarity introduced in the November update with an 8% stat improvement over exotics and the ability to use infusion slots.

Posted Image

How do I get it?
The Nov update will only introduce jewellery and back slots but the items are obtained from the mystic forge using items obtained from the fractal of the mists dungeons. Whether all the components come from the new dungeon or not is not yet known.

Why a gear treadmill?
AN have come out and said they do not expect there to be any other armour rarities introduced in the foreseeable future. The main reason for there introduction was 2 fold:

1. They want to introduce infusion slots to the armour - these slots allow infusion items to go in which are designed to aid damage reduction/ damage increase etc against the bosses in the new dungeon.

2. They felt there was a gap between exotics and legendaries that needed to be filled. By this, they mean time. A full set of exotic can be ground out 2-3 days, a legendary will take 2-3 months. AN wanted an item players (specifically the more hardcore) strive towards which falls in-between the two.

So why not just upgrade exotics?
The main reason I feel is you'll always have the easier exotics to obtain (crafted ones). Having such items in the game means you cannot fill the 'time discrepancy' of their attainment with them. If you say well those armour pieces shouldn;t have infusion slots and only the harder exotic pieces should then you have introduced a 2 tier exotic system.

But why the stat increase?
The main reason is if you are going to make this the 'best-in-slot' item then there has to be some differentiation between exotic and it if people are going to put 'considerable' more effort to attain them. Remember, these items are likely going to need weeks to get each as that's the time gap in gear attainment the game currently has. To drive players to go for a new gear system needs some incentives beyond aesthetics.

All in all, I think this was an oversight by AN and ascended gear should have been in game from the start. They are simply trying to fix that issue by introducing them now. They know they have gone back on their promise of no gear treadmill but at the same time they felt without doing this they could not expand the game to forfil content for the more hardcore. Also many casual players have completed their exotic sets and are about to hit the legendary wall - potentially months of grind for nothing. This set allows AN to fill that void, offers more content and the infusion design (though many regard as lazy) is a tried and tested method to keep players playing.

For those with legendary weapons, they will be ungraded to ascended stats in the future.

  • All level 80 gear is not the same
  • Exotic Gear WAS the max level gear in terms of stats - replaced by Ascended gear on 15th Nov 2012
  • PvE gear is designed by breaking up the stats of the PvP 798/569/569 amulet and putting it back on gear
  • Exotic gear at level 80 has 13% better stats than a Rare 80 item. Ascended gear has 8% better stats than Exotic gear.
  • All level 80 exotic gear will have the same "total attribute" points but different gear will have different attribute allocations e.g one exotic glove is 34/24/24 in power/precision/vitality while another is 34/24/24 in toughness/vitality/healing
  • The confirmed ways of obtaining exotics are: dungeon tokens, WvW, crafting, chest rewards, mob drops, karma and the mystic forge.
  • There are at least 8 crafted exotic sets that require globs of ectoplasm.
  • Exotic gear has many obtainable ways.
  • Ascended gear and Legendary gear will be the newest tier - AN have no intention to introduce further tiers
Edit 1: Added new section on what pieces of gear have stats

Edit 2: Added small addendum to clarify adding all stats of PvE gear = 1 PvP Amulet

Edit 3: Exotics can be crafted, but what does this mean? Large new section.

Edit 4: Amended the summary to reflect new info.

Edit 5: Added what attributes belong to the known exotic dungeon sets.

Edit 6: Hopefully my final edit, added a disclaimer section just to emphasise all the above info is fact or logic based on evidence. However, it is by no means a 'definitive' faq.

Edit 7: Legendary items are now purple in colour. Credit to Beorn the Berserker

Edit 8: Added 2 sections, one to take into account that in PvP not everything is 100% equal in stat terms (I knew this before but as someone's picked up on it I'll explain why I thing AN have deviated slightly from there normal way (this part will be a hypothesis). Also I am going to amend the skill points obtained in WvW resets because the last 5 times we've played the game, they have not reset.

Edit 9: Expanded the other ways section for more clarity.

Edit 10: Edited grammar on weapon strength for clarity. Thanks to Guru user Padraig.

Edit 11: Now have accurate data on exotic jewellery so have updated info on how much stats they give - it's slightly more than I predicted but this is expected as I did not take into account the jewel which goes into the amulet. Also included new section on what stats the different crafted jewellery give.

Edit 12: Added to dungeon section that higher level dungeons have more explorable paths.

Edit 13: Exotics as chest rewards (at leasr for meta events) are in. None of the regular karma vendors sell exotics but have yet to complete Malch Leap to see what the 2 vendors there sell.

Edit 14: Huge edit - all gear information now correct as of 14th Nov 2012, ascended gear information added.
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#1854138 Kudos to Anet for taking care of undesirable players.

Posted by zwei2stein on 31 August 2012 - 11:08 AM

In first week of game, developers did one very brave thing: They went ahead and slapped people hard for misbehaving:

* Name bans
* Hate speech bans (with hilariously outed "innocent people")
* Botting bans
* Respawning DE exploit rollbacks and bans.
* Exploits like karma vendor bans.

Let me be the one to say loudly: Good job. You just set very high standard. And made sure people listen because 3 day ban is very harsh right after start. Hopefully this will make anyone think thrice before doing something stupid.

Thumbs up.
  • 88

#1948929 I guess that's why it doesn't have a subscription.

Posted by Zhaitan on 19 September 2012 - 06:50 PM

It was a good run. It was definitely worth $60.00 just like I'd say Diablo III also was. It was definitely worth the 300+ hours or so that I got from it.

The game was officially released on August 28th. That's 542 hours 23 mins before the time of your post. You have played 300+ hours. That means you have spent more than 55% of the total available time in your life playing this game since launch. Hoping you had at least 6 hours of daily sleep, you ended up playing nearly 75% of the every waking hour of your life in last 3 weeks or so.

I think the game got bored of you and decided not to offer you any more fun till you take some rest and help yourself in the process.

I say that jokingly. But, in all honesty, the impact of sitting on your butt 75% of the day will take heavy toll on your body. It does not matter how old you are. You will have serious issues with your health if you don't take a break now.
  • 86

#1894656 Do you reckon Arenanet has damaged their reputation?

Posted by Darkobra on 07 September 2012 - 12:20 AM

Nope. In two years, people will forget this even existed. There will always be something new to talk about. When the next expansion comes out, people will be saying that GW2 is a godsend and the expansion ruined it. Same with the following expansion. "GW2 and its first expansion were godsends! They should have left it there!"

People complain about nothing. And honestly, if this is the biggest complaint you have in your life, I'll trade lives with you right now. If your biggest complaint is "My fully functional game isn't what I thought it was", then please swap me.
  • 79

#1836911 Conversation With A Level 80

Posted by sifr on 28 August 2012 - 08:26 PM

So...someone who did nothing but grind to 80 as fast as possible, and who seems to do nothing but grind in every game, is complaining about this game being a grind-fest?

Sorry, but I seem to have misplaced my sympathy.
  • 79

#1658919 Lowell's Ultimate sPvP Thief Guide [W.I.P]

Posted by Lowell on 31 July 2012 - 05:13 PM

Posted Image

First things first, you should have some nice music while reading this guide, it's a wall of text with videos here and there. I recommend Assassin by Audiomachine. Best thief song ever! Welcome to my sPvP thief resource! I will try to cover everything you need to know to play thief in a competitive environment, which mostly means viable builds, how to play them, the roles you can cover with them and how to be viable in the current meta. This guide will always be a work in progress and I'll update it regularly. When playing thief, here's what you can expect:
  • You will deal a lot of damage, but if you want to see big numbers you should try Elementalist and Warrior, they are the real ballers;
  • You will take a lot of damage and have a low health pool, playing without a survival traitline and/or an amulet with survival stats is almost suicidal;
  • You will be the profession with the best mobility in the game and will need to abuse it to be useful;
  • You will trick people thanks to stealth;
  • You will never be alone. If you get kicked from your team/guild, you just need to use your elite spell Thieves Guild, it's an instant « summon-friend » button;
  • You will at least once go for a 30 acrobatics build, equip a shortbow that you will use to spam Disabling Shot use the utility spells Shadowstep and Roll for Initiative, the healing spell Withdraw and troll the hell out of people, being untouchable and yelling « HOHO, HAHA, HOHO » everytime you dodge something with 1 of your 102123912192 evades.
In the « beta-meta », a lot of people/teams undervalue the Thief profession. I don't, nor does my team. We strongly believe that the mobility thief brings to the table and the super strong roaming builds the profession has access to make it extremely viable in all levels of play.

You are a strong duelist, a strong team fighter, able to control and secure secondary objectives easily and the best roamer there is. However, your ability to duel and team fight depends on your build... Fortunately, after the latest changes, there are quite a lot of builds that can be played competitively: Hybrid Venom, Condition D/D, Powe/Crit S/P, D/P & D/D.

Posted Image

My nickname is Lowell, I'm a member of Eclypsia [EC] and one of the founders of The Super Squad [SS]. We haven't set roles yet, but I mainly play roamer! I've been competing on video games for a few years and e-sporting Guild Wars 2 is my next goal. I will do whatever I can to get to the top, stay there and share interesting stuff with the community!

Here are some useful links:
My Livestream
Super Squad's Youtube Channel
My Youtube Channel
My Twitter
Eclypsia's Website

I'll be streaming GW2 all day every day when it finally ships at: http://www.own3d.tv/GW2Lowell

Every follower on my own3d channel and any of the YouTube channels means A LOT. So, if you like what you see and would like to support me, Eclypsia and The Super Squad, please press the follow button! =3

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The first thing I want to focus on isn't directly related to GW2. I want to talk about the mindset you need if you want to win, if you want to get better and if you want the game you play to have a solid, mannered and overall good community.
  • Be mannered! Do not insult your fellow players! Raging from time to time is normal, but do not forget that most of the time you're raging because you know you could have played better. Insulting your opponents is not going to help. Insulting your team-mates is not going to help.
  • Play to win, even if you are losing! Your opponent has a 300 point lead on your team? So what? Keep playing as if the score was 0-0! The game isn't over before the « You win » or « You lose » appears on your screen. Remember that when you lose, you can always ask your opponents what you did wrong or what they did better. It is the best way to improve: learn from your opponents, always, for everything. Rivalries should not hinder communication between players/teams. Keep it in mind!
  • Play with your team, even if you are in a pick up group or a solo queue tournament! Everyone can bring something to a team, even a new player who is learning the game. If you have a better knowledge of the game than your team-mates, help them during the match, assign them to roles, tell them when to move from one point to another. Never belittle them, never label them as « useless players ».
  • Be humble! Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, can teach you something. You need to be on the lookout for information, tricks you may have not thought of, builds that could work in very specific situations. If you think of yourself as a high and mighty gaming king who does not have to care about other people, you will miss a lot of good stuff and make other people sad/angry. If you make it to « pro-level », remember that you have not always been there and that helping other people is by far more useful and rewarding than being a jerk to everyone. You think you are talking to a « 14 years old noob »? You may be talking to a future pro gamer who might make e-sports bigger than they are. Respect everyone!
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Knowing your combo fields as a thief is very important. Here I will show you a few of those Combo Fields that you have access:

Dark Field:
Shadow Refuge

Ethereal Field:
Throw Gunk (item you can steal from Necromancers)

Poison Field:
Choking Gas

Smoke Field:
Black Powder
Smoke Screen

However, the best is still to come because... you have 4 of the best Combo Finishers in the game:

Cluster Bomb, best Combo Finisher: Blast in the game for 3 initiative

Heartseeker, best Combo Finisher: Leap in the game for 3 initiative

Dancing Dagger, best Combo Finisher: Projectile in the game. It can hit up to 4 targets for 4 initiative.

Leaping Death Blossom, good Combo Finisher: Whirl for 5 initiative

Due to the fact that you can spam these, you'd better know what every combo field in the game does! Here is a list:

Blast. Area Blindness
Leap, Blindness
Projectile, Lifesteal
Whirl, Leeching Bolts

Blast, Area Chaos Armor
Leap, Chaos Armor
Projectile, Confusion
Whirl, Confusing Bolts

Blast, Area Might (3 stacks)
Leap, Fire Armor
Projectile, Burning
Whirl, Burning Bolts

Blast, Area Frost Armor
Leap, Frost Armor
Projectile, Chill
Whirl, Chilling Bolts

Blast, Area Retaliation
Leap, Retaliation
Projectile, Remove Condition
Whirl, Cleansing Bolts

Blast, Area Swiftness
Leap, Daze
Projectile, Vulnerability
Whirl, Vulnerability Bolts

Blast, Area Weakness
Leap, Weakness
Projectile, Poison
Whirl, Poison Bolts

Blast, Area Stealth
Leap, Stealth
Projectile, Blindness
Whirl, Blinding Bolts

Blast, Area Healing
Leap, Healing
Projectile, Regeneration
Whirl, Healing Bolts

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I will update this section with every alternative of the « cookie-cutter » trait distribution for a given build type.
All the builds I currently use in competitive games are underlined.

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Any build using Pistol/Dagger in this category can be as effective/better with Sword/Pistol.

Venom Share Cookie-Cutter Traits: Click Here!
This is the basic trait distribution for a venom sharing build. It will do well in every situation, no trait is useless. You have Mug, which is the only trait you should always take as a roamer if you have to secure secondary objectives such as the Forest Monsters. It is an instant spell that does a decent amount of damage even with a non-crit/crit damage build. You have a decent initiative sustain thanks to Infusion of Shadow and Kleptomaniac, but your initiative pool is small (12).

The build is focused on venoms, so you'll take a lot of traits to improve those: Quick Venoms, Residual Venom and Leeching Venoms. You also bring Venomous Aura to share those venoms with your team. Anything that applies to your venoms, applies to the venoms you share. Therefore, Residual Venom and Leeching Venoms are team traits as well as solo traits. This allows your team to apply a lot of conditions, to have sustain and deal unavoidable damage through the life steal. You have access to Weakness with Lotus Poison and to team-wide Fury and Swiftness (plus 1 Might stack) with Thrill of the Crime. It is the most well-rounded Venom Share build.

Venom Share against high condition team: Click Here!
The goal here is to get Pain Response to help mitigate condition damage on you. This version gives you more survivability because you invest points in the Acrobatics build (Vitality and Boon Duration). You get Expeditious Dodger and Feline Grace. Together, they almost mean perma-swiftness and 3 dodge rolls for a full endurance bar instead of 2. The choice of the tier 1 Acrobatics trait is up to you, both Power of Inertia and Vigorous Recovery are extremely good. This build sacrifices the extra damage from Deadly Arts and the Boons on Steal from Trickery to focus on survival.

Venom Share + Boon Removal and team Boons: Click Here!
Bountiful Theft is the trait you want. It's insanely good when enemies run strong support builds that rely on applying boons to themselves or to their allies to be useful: you claim those boons for yourself (and your team-mates) and give 15s of vigor (which is, by itself, enough to make this trait insanely good) to your team-mates on top of the stolen boons. Your initiative pool is also bigger (15) because of Preparedness. You sacrifice the extra damage from Deadly Arts to become more annoying to the enemy team and to give more love to your team-mates (not as much as Fred would, and Akin knows what I'm talking about ;))

Super Easy Venom Share: Click Here!
Not much to say about this one. It's the easiest build to start with: lots of dodges thanks to the points in Acrobatics and some extra Initiative sustain thanks to Quick Recovery. A build that allows you not to worry about Initiative management and forgives bad dodges thanks to the amount of dodges it provides? Perfect to learn the build!

No share + Boon removal and team Boons: Click Here!
This is one of the two duel-focused builds. If you know you will not be close to your team-mates often enough to make venom sharing worth it, you should go for one of these. You give up Venomous Aura to get Bountiful Theft and Preparedness that make you a 1v1 nightmare, especially when facing a profession that relies on a specific boon to do well. You still have some decent team support with Thrill of the Crime and Bountiful Theft.

No Share against high condition team: Click Here!
Second duel-focused build! This time, you give up some extra damage and team-wide boons to get the extra survivability from the Acrobatics traitline. Check the « Venom Share against high condition team » build!

Super Easy No Share: Click Here!
The Super Easy build makes its comeback! No Share this time! Nothing new except that detail.

One build to cheese them all: Click Here! (or here)
Ok, so this is the regular Venom Share build to which you add Ambush + Ogre Runes for 2 extra pets and the new and improves Sword/Pistol set with the evade on Pistol Whip and your 1st skill chain hitting 3 people per strike.
If your team and yourself play it well, it's the strongest teamfight supporty build you can bring as a Thief. However, Venoms can now miss so every player needs to make sure that he'll be able to land as many Venom Strikes as possible during the burst that follows your share.
You can pretty much duel anything in the game with your 4 NPC army.

Keep in mind that every Venom Build is stronger with Ambush, the only reason why I do not put it in all of them is because I think it's extremly cheesy. For those of you who are still interested, just equip Ambush instead of Ice Drake/Devourer Venom, take the 20% cooldown reduction for Traps in Acrobatics and have fun.

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Sustained Damage – Balanced Version: Click Here!
First Sword/Pistol build! This one invests 20 points in Acrobatics for the extra survivability and initiative regeneration it provides.
For the other 50 points, 20 are invested in Trickery because Bountiful Theft is the best thing after chocolate and 30 into Critical Strikes, mostly for Executioner. Signet Use gives that little hmpf to your signets too!

You'll be using Infiltrator's Signet in this build, which means you have 3 instant shadowstep spells that you can use while casting Pistol Whip for an instant stun.
Signet of Agility is simply too good not to take in a melee situation and Shadowstep is extremly versatile since it can be used for offense, defense and mobility.
As for every melee build I'll post, the choice of the Healing Skill is really up to you. Adapt it to the enemy team and to your playstyle!

Burst Damage – Balanced Version: Click Here!
Well, it's pretty much the same build, but you'll be using Haste over Infiltrator's Signet. The result is a much more bursty build with less chasing power & initiative sustain.

Sustained Damage – Baller Version: Click Here!
You're the kind of person who lives on the edge? Who thinks survivability is for kids? This build is for you.

You're giving up the 20 points in Acrobatics and investing them in Deadly Arts to get Mug and Combined Training. Result? More damage, less survivability, less mobility.

Burst Damage – Baller Version: Click Here! (or on one of these Hide in Shadows / Withdraw)
The Sustained Damage version was not enough? Be a man, add Haste to it! This build should be able to please even the manliest Thieves.

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Sustained Version: Click Here!
Nothing fancy here! You get the usual 30 Critical Strikes for Executioner & Signet Use, 20 Trickery for Bountiful Theft and invest the remaining 20 points in Acrobatics to make it a build focused on sustained damage and survivability.

Signet of Agility and Shadowstep are still your core utilites. Haste brings some extra troll to your Heartseeker spam... and that's it!

Baller Version: Click Here!
Like every baller version, you are giving up the 20 points in Acrobatics and investing them in Deadly Arts for Mug and Dagger Training!

Stealth Version: Click Here!
This one is a little fancier. You're giving up the 20 acrobatics points and investing them into Shadow Arts to get some more stealth love with Hidden Thief, Shadow's Embrace, Last Refuge and Meld with Shadows (the Major traits are mostly preference-based). Therefore, you'll be using Backstab a lot more than in the other 2 builds.

Remember that Steal will give you 5 initiative when you use it, so try to never use it with more than 10 ini!
Smoke Screen + Heartseeker is my favorite way to access Stealth, but in this one the choice of the Utility Spells depends on what you like the most, Shadow Refuge is just as good, Shadow Trap too, etc.

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Backstab Baller: Click Here! (or here)

Warning! This is the mindest you need to play this build!

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Gimmicky stuff at its finest. You're using a normal Baller build and your main goal in life is to destroy people with the basic Weapon swap (Sigil of Intelligence), pre-cast Cloak & Dagger + use Assassin's Signet, Steal, Backstab, Heartseeker to death. Of course, you can mess around with the combo. If you know for a fact that you will land your Backstab and are willing to take the risk of not getting a crit on it, use the Signet for that.
You could take Hidden Killer over Executioner, but I feel like the second option is way more solid, you'll be using Heartseeker a lot. A lot.
Those few differences aside, it's a normal melee build.

Leaping Super Immortal Death Troll Legendary Unicorn Blossom: Click Here! (or on one of these defensive / offensive)

Warning! This is what you'll become if you play this build!

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Ok, be ready because not everyone can play something as awesome as this build. You need to realize that people will get mad at you, that you will make little girls cry and that people will think of you as some kind of rare mythical being.

If you are ready for that, start spamming Death Blossom and your dodge keybind while outhealing the few damage most builds will be able to deal on you.

This build is all about Signet of Malice + Assassin's Reward with some Initiative regen (Quick Pockets, Kleptomaniac) and tons of dodges (Energy Sigils) and crazy ammounts of toughness + good Healing power & Condition damage.

You'll get quite a lot of Might Stacks by dodging all day (Power of Inertia), so feel free to change the armor runes if you think you have enough damage without Runes of the Undead.

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I'll do a short overview of every weapon's spells. For build specific uses, please check the Weapon Sets section.

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Backstab is your basic « I'm a Thief and I'm stealthed so I'm going to hurt you if I get your back » type of spell. It's an extremly good burst if you can land it and is wonderful paired to stuff such as Intelligence Sigil / Assassin's Signet. Hey, you're a Thief, don't tell me you expected to get rid of the gimmicky stuff!

Double Strike, Wild Strike, Lotus Strike is your 1st slot skill chain. It does good damage, applies poison (and weakness if you have Lotus Poison) and regenerates some endurance, even though it's not THAT noticeable in my opinion. Very good 1st slot skill!

Heartseeker is a spammable execute spell. Yes. Spammable. Execute. Oh and a Leap combo finisher. As you probably know, it's kind of bugged right now and misses a lot for no reason. As soon as that bug gets fixed, a Thief with main hand dagger is going to be a devastating force in any setup.

Death Blossom gives you a short evade, applies some AoE bleeds, does poor direct damage and costs quite a lot of initiative. Therefore, some builds will almost never use it (= only to avoid stuff you know you won't be able to dodge) while some others will use it as their main skill, but I'll detail that in the weaponset/build section.

Shadow Shot does some above-average damage, blinds your target and makes you shadow step to it. You gotta love this skill guys! You can shadowstep to enemies standing on ledges, stick to almost any target's melee range, blind big bursty spells such as Eviscerate and Flame Touch. You need more? Ok, it's a Combo finisher projectile.

Dancing Dagger does good damage, can bounce on 4 targets, cripples and is a Combo finisher projectile. Its cast time is now faster and it does not get obstructed for no reason as often as it used to. Borderline overpowered!

Cloak & Dagger is a melee strike that does good damage, applies vulnerability and makes you vanish in stealth. It's an awesome skill, but missing it in a fight will often make it hard for you to win it because of its high initiative cost. When fighting against Mesmers, Rangers, Necromancers or anything that summons NPCs, remember that you can land your C&D on them! Spells such as Steal, Infiltrator's Signet and Shadowstep do not interrupt your cast times, so you can use C&D before any of those to be instantly stealthed when you reach your target.

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Sneak Attack is a very good stealth skill, a mini Unload with less direct damage and a lot of bleeds. Extremly good to unload Venoms, but a lot more risky now that they can be dodged! Only use it as a Venom dump if you KNOW that your target will not be able to dodge/evade it. Nothing special to say about it except maybe: do not get it reflected to yourself!

Vital Shot is your average 1st slot spell, there is not much to say about it. It does mediocre direct damage and applies a good bleed, that's it.

Body Shot is a decent vulnerability applier, but as long as engineers will apply 15-20 stacks with AoE spells, any other source of vulnerability will seem meh I guess!

Unload is as straightforward as possible: a channeled spell that does good damage at range. Due to the ammount of projectile breakers and reflections that are used at the moment in tPvP, I don't think relying on this spell is a good idea, which is why I don't like the Pistol/Pistol set.

Shadow Strike is your «I need to create some distance» spell. It recently got nerfed! Now, you need to hit the melee part of it to shadowstep away from melee range. It takes away the whole spell-anticipation side of it, but let's face it: it was too strong! It's a balanced spell now and thanks to this nerf, Pistol/Dagger is not mandatory in some builds anymore, it's just one of quite a few viable choices!

Headshot is... amazing. It's the ranged interrupt everyone wants to have, you can interrupt heals, stomps, revives, elite spells and big AoE spells (Barrage / Meteor Shower) extremly easily due to their long cast time. Be careful not to waste your initiative on targets who are under the effect of stability!

Black Powder pulses 1 blind per second to any opponent who stands inside it. It makes stomping and reviving easy (by blinding melee range CC's), negates AoE spells such as Chaos Storm for your whole team (they count as player attacks, so blinding the AoE field is the same thing as blinding the Player who created it). Oh and it's a Smoke combo field. Basically, it's amazing.

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Trick Shot is a great 1st slot spell thanks to its decent damage, bounce and 20% Combo finisher projectile.

Cluster Bomb is one of the greatest hybrid AoE spells in the Game and, if you do not detonate it, a Combo finisher blast. It has an awful travel time, so you should simply use the spell in melee to get rid of it!

Disabling Shot is a low damage evade that cripples your target. HOHO HAHA HOHO, it's an amazing spell, but its initiative cost went up recently... so its awesomeness went down! You can evade stuff when you are immobilized thanks to this spell.

Choking Gas is a Combo field poison. You will mostly use it to stack long duration Poisons to anyone who stands in a point, but the most awesome thing about it is the ammount of Weakness you can apply thanks to Lotus Poison and Blast finishers (Cluster Bomb)!

Infiltrator's Arrow is a ground targeted shadowstep-type spell with a point blank AoE blind that allows you to engage a fight, leave a fight and turns you into the best roamer in the game because of the shortcuts it allows you to take on every map!

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Tactical Strike is a 2s daze. With Mesmer runes and Paralization Sigils you can virtually perma-daze your target. If anything, that skill is too strong =p

Slice, Slash, Crippling Strike is your 1st slot skill chain. Every hit can hit up to 3 targets, does extremly good damage and the 3rd one applies cripple and weakness to your foes. Good? Very good.

Infiltrator's Strike is as good as ice-cream. The first part of the spell is a shadowstep to your target with a 1s immobilize on it that allows you to setup skills such as Flanking Strike, Cloak & Dagger and Pistol Whip easily. After using it, its 2nd part becomes available for 10s. It makes you return to the place where you were standing when you used the first strike and removes one condition from you. Remember that you can use Infiltrator's Strike without a target, it allows you to have a safe spot to return to before entering a teamfight (the top of a ledge, etc). Due to the high cost of the combo, the spell is not spammable: use it carefully!

Flanking Strike does decent damage and removes a boon on its first hit, but it has a somewhat clunky, long and predictable animation that makes it a very easy spell to dodge. It's awesome when it hits, but not enough to make me fall in love with the Sword/Dagger set.

Pistol Whip is extremly good after its buff. It does a lot of damage if you can land the entire flurry, has a short cast time for the stun component and a long flurry during which you evade attacks. That evade makes Sword/Pistol one of the best choices for any type of build, except Backstab ones of course.

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I will update this section with every weapon set used for a given build type.

Venom Builds:

Pistol / Dagger: Venom builds work thanks to Leeching Venoms. Therefore, you need a weapon set that keeps you safe and still allows you to unload a lot of strikes in a short ammount of time. The Shadow Strike nerf hit decreased this weapon set's effectiveness, but it is still good.

Safety is what Shadow Strike is the best at. As long as you keep your initiative for it, you will be able to kite any melee. Remember that you need to hit the melee strike to shadowstep away! Therefore, try to dodge melee crowd controls, they will destroy you! It's an extremly good way to get away from melee while you are immobilized.

Sneak Attack is a mini Unload, with hybrid damage, that allows you to make a Venom burst. This spell and Vital Shot are the main reasons why a Venom build should be played with hybrid damage: you apply lots of bleeds on top of your Spider Venom.

Cloak and Dagger is the skill that stealthes you- Therefore, it can be used defensively and offensively which makes it a better choice than Shadow Strike if you have enough initiative to use it, are not immobilized and are not facing an enemy with many point blank AoEs.

Those are your main tools!

Body Shot is most of the time a spell you won't be able to invest initiative on and Dancing Dagger is extremly good but costs a lot. I'd suggest only using it if you can get it to go through combo fields or if you absolutely need a cripple!

Sword / Pistol: It's potentially the strongest set you can bring as a Venom build after its buffs. It brings a strong evade that does quite a lot of damage even with a Shadow Arts heavy build, a gapcloser that immobilizes, interrupts, blind zones and auto attacks that can hit 3 targets per strike to spread your venoms!

The Slice combo hits 3 targets/hit and now one hit only uses 1 venom stack, so you can get 3x leeching proc per strike!

Infiltrator's Strike is the perfect way to get in and out of fights and immobilizes your target if your shadowstep-strike hits.

Pistol Whip gives you the survivability you need to stay in fights thanks to its evade and deals quite a good ammount of damage, even without +crit and +crit damage. It's also an extremly good way to unload your Venoms during a teamfight if you can hit multiple targets with it.

Headshot provides you with interrupts, which is always good!

Black Powder creates blind zones (and a smoke combo field), which allows you to cover team-mates who are being focused, get easy stomps and smooth revives.

Shortbow: This weapon is the best friend you will ever have. Yeah, better than Jimmy who always shared is lunch with you when you were kids and Sharon who introduced you to the person you are now married to.

Infiltrator's Arrow will give you all the mobility you need.

Cluster bomb is one of the greatest Venom dumps in the game when used at melee range.

Trick Shot is always good for its bounces.

Disabling Shot gives you much needed extra-evades.

Choking Gas, is amazing for point control, to keep targets poisoned and weakened.

Melee Direct Damage Builds

Sword / Pistol: As usual, one of the strongest melee weaponsets. Extremly good damage, good survivablity, a gap closer with immobilize on it, an interrupt and an AoE blind. What else could you possibly want?

Tactical Strike is a nice, but not very accessible, daze in this build.

The Slice combo is one of the strongest 1st slot spells in the game and will deal enormous ammounts of damage in teamfights.

Infilitrator's strike is one of the best ways to get in and out of fights and a very nice way to setup Pistol Whip.

Pistol Whip will be one of your most used spells. It's a short duration stun with a short cast time and a high-damage flurry that makes you evade everything while channeling. Simply amazing damage output in teamfights.

Headshot provides you with interrupts, which is always good!

Black Powder creates blind zones (and a smoke combo field), which allow you to cover team-mates who are being focused, get easy stomps and smooth revives.

Dagger / Pistol: It will be your juggernaut weaponset, the one that will allow you to stay on anyone's face and deal massive damage.

Backstab hits like a truck as long as you're on the side / back of your target. You will have access to quite a lot of stealth with this weaponset, regardless of the build you play. Therefore, make good use of your Backstabs!

The Double Strike combo does hard single target damage, gives you some endurance back and poisons your target (= weakness aswell if you have Lotus Poison which you should have in most MH Dagger builds). It will be one of your main damage sources.

Heartseeker is your execute-like spell and it has a nice leap on it which allows you to close small gaps with it. Try not to use it before your target gets under the 33% mark, unless you have a lot of initiative that you can spend safely. It's a leap combo, abuse those nice combo fields people drop... and even your own! With Black Powder / Smokescreen it's a nice way to enter Stealth by yourself without using Hide in Shadows or Cloak and Dagger.

Shadow Shot is your big gap closer that allows you to teleport onto ledges, does nice damage and blinds your target. Try not to use it only to close gaps, remember that it's insanely good to blind big damaging spells with obvious animations such as Eviscerate!

Headshot provides you with interrupts, which is always good!

Black Powder creates blind zones (and a smoke combo field), which allow you to cover team-mates who are being focused, get easy stomps and smooth revives.

Dagger / Dagger: It's your stealthy melee set. I think it's slightly inferior to D/P because it's not as reliable. Still a viable set!

Backstab hits like a truck as long as you're on the side / back of your target. You will have access to quite a lot of stealth with this weaponset, regardless of the build you play. Therefore, make good use of your Backstabs!

The Double Strike combo does hard single target damage, gives you some endurance back and poisons your target (= weakness aswell if you have Lotus Poison which you should have in most MH Dagger builds). It will be one of your main damage sources.

Heartseeker is your execute-like spell and it has a nice leap on it which allows you to close small gaps with it. Try not to use it before your target gets under the 33% mark, unless you have a lot of initiative that you can spend safely. It's a leap combo, abuse those nice combo fields people drop... and even your own!

Leaping Death Blossom costs a lot of initiative, gives you a short evade, does mediocre damage and applies bleeds. In a direct damage build, I wouldn't use it unless you're trying to avoid some big spell while being immobilized.

Dancing Dagger is a spell that you will learn to love with this weaponset, because its cripple is priceless, it does good damage, bounces up to 4 targets and has a 100% combo finisher projectile on every bounce. A spell worth your initiative!

Cloak and Dagger will be your main way to get stealth, but it costs quite a lot of initiative so do your best not to miss it!

Shortbow: This weapon is still the best friend you will ever have.

Surprise Shot is an average Stealth skill and you should not have to use it very often.

Trick Shot is always good for its bounces and does ridiculously high damage with power/crit builds.

Cluster bomb is one of the greatest AoE direct damage spells in the game when used at melee range.

Disabling Shot gives you much needed extra-evades.

Choking Gas, is amazing for point control, to keep targets poisoned and weakened.

Infiltrator's Arrow will give you all the mobility you need.

Unicorn Builds

Dagger / Dagger: is simply your best melee option

Backstab, just like most other spells, will not be extremly useful with this build. It's just a nice damage upgrade that you can use.

The Double Strike combo is still good with the Unicorn build because of the poison it applies! You will not use it THAT much though.

Heartseeker might be used for its leap combo part, but that's it.

Leaping Death Blossom will be your main spell. It will heal you for crazy ammounts, deal a nice ammount of condition damage, and add one evade to all those you already have! Use and abuse it!

Dancing Dagger will not be used extremly often, but the cripple & 4 times combo finisher can be useful.

Cloak and Dagger is going to be used only if you really need to get stealthed. Otherwise, you should just keep spamming LDB.

Shortbow: Ranged option! I think it's a little inferior to the double D/D option if your only goal is to bunker on a point, but it's still good!

Surprise Shot is an average Stealth skill and you should not have to use it very often.

Trick Shot is always good for its bounces and will heal for a lot.

Cluster bomb is going to be your main spell: main healing source, main damage source when you explode the cluster bomb.

Disabling Shot gives you some extra-evades.

Choking Gas, is amazing for point control and every of its pulses activates SoM!

Infiltrator's Arrow will give you all the mobility you might need.

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I will update this section with every rune, sigil and amulet/jewel combination used for a given build type.

Venom Builds

2x Lyssa 4x Nightmare Runes is one of my favorite setups. It gives you 20% extra duration on every condition you apply aswell as some condition damage. Due to the ammount of conditions you bring with Venom Builds, it's the superior choice if you're not running Venom Share.

6x Ogre or 4x Ogre 2x Lyssa gives you an extra pet to share Venoms with. Paired with Ambush Trap and Venom Share, it's simply the best choices you can make.

6x Adventure will be your best friend if you decide to run the healing skill Withdraw and the enemy team has more than one glass cannon. It basically gives you 2 more dodges every 15 seconds.

Leeching / Bloodlust + Leeching is my favorite combo for Shortbow + any set in Venom Builds. It gives you 975 damage and heal on your first hit after a weapon swap to Shortbow and 975 damage and heal on your first hit after a weapon swap to your dual weapon set aswell as +50 power on each kill. The Leeching can now be missed, so make sure you hit your 1st strike!

Amulet + Jewel (P/D):
Carrion Amulet + Soldier Jewel gives 798 condition damage, 644 power, 644 vitality, 75 toughness. You can't play a Thief with no points in Acrobatics + no Vitality Amulet if you do not want to be an easy kill. When you realize that, Carrion Amulet is the most offensive choice you can make and allows you to dish out an extremely good amount of condition damage. I use a soldier Jewel for the extra vitality and toughness, because I hate playing with less than 2300 armor.

If you invest 20 or more points in Acrobatics, running a Carrion Jewel becomes less risky!

Soldier's Amulet is a perfectly fine choice if you are not confident in your ability to dodge/avoid big bursty spells that would require a lot of toughness to tank, if your team does not need the extra damage or if you're running a melee weapon set.

Amulet + Jewel (S/P):
Soldier's amulet + Soldier's or Berserker's jewel is the safest choice you can make. You'll deal a decent ammount of damage and be tanky.

Berserker's amulet + Berserker's jewel is the high risk high reward choice. You'll deal way more damage, but you'll die super fast. Be extra careful not to get caught in a combo!

Melee Direct Damage Builds

6x Air is your best option. It offers decent critical damage, an extra swiftness and a CRAZY damage boost thanks to the Lightning proc!

6x Ogre is a good damage choice: Don't forget that a Rock Dog in a teamfight counts for the AoE cap, therefore he might save your mates from taking damage!

6x Adventure will be your best friend if you decide to run the healing skill Withdraw and the enemy team has more than one glass cannon. It basically gives you 2 more dodges every 15 seconds.

Sigils (S/P):
Rage / Bloodlust + Force is my favorite combo. The rage sigil will almost always proc on your engage and give you a quick Pistol Whip, which is priceless. After the buff to stack-based sigils, Bloodlust feels extremly good for roamers. You'll be using Force because Rage triggers a 45s internal for EVERY proc on crit sigil, which means you can't use one effectively on your Shortbow. Force will add that extra damage to your cluster bomb spam in teamfights.

Amulet + Jewel:
Berserker's, Knight's and Soldier's are all good choices and depend on the situation you're facing.

Berserker's: You're roaming and mostly enter fights that have been started by someone else. You'll finish those extremly fast. If you're confident you can avoid being destroyed by a burst build, go for this amulet 95% of the time!

Knight's: You're teamfighting a lot and the enemy team is mostly condition based or you're not being focused by the enemy's glasscannons.

Soldier's: You're teamfighting a lot and are the focus of the enemy's team.

Regardless of your Amulet choice, you should pick a Berserker's Jewel (unless you're aiming for middle grounds such as Berserker's Amulet with Soldier's Jewel for a slightly more tanky glasscannon).

Unicorn Builds

6x Undead will give you some extra toughness and decently upgrade your damage output. It's my personal favorite.

Energy / Corruption + Energy / Corruption is my favorite combo. Energy Sigils will add more dodges to the build, which will allow you to bunker even better and the stack-on-kill sigils will either buff your damage output.

Amulet + Jewel:
Shaman's is the best choice in my opinion. It will give you much needed toughness, condition damage and bonus healing.

You'll most of the time run a Shaman's Jewel aswell, but feel free to adapt the Jewel to your needs! If you need some Vitality, Carrion's Jewel is a good choice!

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I'll describe the healing, utility and elite spells I use for a given build type and list the other viable options.

Venom Builds:

Healing Skill – Hide in Shadows: Stealth for extra burst, stomps, revives, survivability? Check. Powerful heal? Check. Extremely needed Burning, Poison and Bleeding removal? Check. The main reason why I bring this spell is the condition removal, since I cannot bring Shadowstep unless the enemy team runs ridiculous CC, such as 5 hammer warriors. The fact that it allows you to unload a full Spider Venom with Sneak Attack (= burst damage and burst heal) almost makes it a no brainer.

Utility Skill – Spider Venom: You need Venoms to share with Venomous Aura and preferably venoms that work for a lot of strikes to make Leeching Venoms more useful. Spider Venom is a no brainer: 6 stacks when traited and applies poison which is the strongest condition in the game after immobilize.

Utility Skill – Devourer Venom: 2 Venoms is the minimum to justify bringing Venomous Aura and this one has 3 stacks of the strongest condition in the game if you trait for the extra stack on every poison. No brainer!

Utility Skill – Ice Drake Venom: Unlike the tooltip says, this Venom applies a 1s chill per stack, not a 6s one (if it did, it would be the most overpowered spell in the entire game). 4 stacks when traited? Good enough. If you need, for any reason, to use a 3rd utility that is not a Venom, this one is the Venom you'll give up. However, keep in mind that there are very few situations that justify not bringing 3 venoms.

Alternative Utility Skill – Ambush:This trap summons one of the two thieves from Thieves Guild when it is triggered. If you summon the melee one, you hit the jackpot. In my opinion this is the strongest utility in the game for solo play if you summon the melee Thief. If you run it with Venom Sharing, you'll be playing a build almost as ridiculous as Spirit Rangers. I strongly believe something will be done to change it! On a balance scale from 1 to 10 where 5 is the best balance you can achieve, a regular Venom Sharing build would be around 7. A Venom Sharing + Ambush Trap build is 9.

Alternative Utility Skill – Shadow Refuge: If my team does not have enough crowd control to prevent stomps, instant rally spells such as the Warrior's Battle Standard or stability spells to help stomping people, I bring Shadow Refuge. If you use it, you make ANY person in a team fight as hard to stomp as downed Thief who can use Smoke Bomb. I'd use it over Blinding Powder because it's a ground targeted spell with decent range. This spell is borderline overpowered and the only reason I do not use it yet is... a secret!

Alternative Utility Skill – Shadow Trap: This spell allows you to have an insane map control. You can keep a point while fighting on another one in a map as small as the new Legacy of the Foefire map. Or you can just use it for an extra 5s stealth during a team fight, both are good.

Alternative Utility Skill – Shadowstep: Sometimes the enemy team just brings THAT much crowd control and THAT many conditions. When this happens, the double stun breaker from Shadowstep and the 3 condition removal it offers is priceless.

Alternative Utility Skill – Signet of Agility: When the enemy team has too much damage and wants you dead any dodge and condition removal you add to your build can be a game changer. This spells gives you both on a 30s cooldown!

Elite Skill – Thieves Guild: It summons two thieves. The melee one deals insane amounts of damage and uses Scorpion Wire when it gets in range of your target. The ranged one does a low amount of damage and randomly uses Black Powder. If you share your Venoms to your two thieves, it makes you the second strongest duelist in the game, just behind a condition ranger using Spirit of Nature.Why don't I use Basilisk Venom? Because on BWE3 it has a 3s cast time, which makes it only usable before a fight or in stealth, otherwise any enemy can interrupt it EXTREMELY easily.Why don't I use Dagger Storm? Because I have not run into any team comp that would make it more useful than Thieves Guild. If an enemy team were to bring 4-5 projectile based builds, I'd use Dagger Storm for the 8s projectile reflection.

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Steal teleports you to your foe and makes you steal an item from them. It can be dodged, blocked, blinded, evaded, so try not to miss it! It also deals damage thanks to the trait Mug and can be used while stunned. The item you get from stealing depends on the profession you use Steal on. In a team fight, I'd say that the best target would be a Necromancer or a Warrior. Here is the what you can get:

  • Blinding Tuft: It gives you 3s of stealth and blinds nearby foes. It's very good.
  • Skull Fear: A 3s AoE fear with a short cast time. Overpoweredl.
  • Whirling Axe: It's the highest AoE damage item you can steal and it's easy to land. It now gives an evade. Overpowered!
  • Throw Gunk: This item shines when you immobilize someone in the Gunk. If you manage to do it, it's one of the best items you can steal.
  • Consume Ectoplasm: Well, that one is easy. All the boons in the game for 10s on a 1s cast time. One of your best steals.
  • Ice Shard Stab: A melee range 10s Chill. Hard to land, but very strong.
  • Mace Head Crack: Back to the melee stuff. This one is a melee range 4s daze. It's one of your best steals if you manage to land it.
  • Healing Seed: Time to unleash the... GARDENER in you! Always dreamed to plant a tree? Guild Wars 2 will allow you to do it! The Tree is a Combo Field: Water, pulses 5 times, gives Regeneration and removes 2 conditions with every pulse. Oh did I tell you that it worked for all your nearby allies? It has a cast time that roots you while using it, but it's still one of the very best items you can get.
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No matter what profession and what build you are playing, there will always be one role that you can fulfil better than the others. It will mostly depend on your build for a profession that has many viable ones. As of now, thief is king at one of them.

Roaming: This is what you do better than any profession. So what does roaming mean? It means that you will spend most of your time running around the map, either turning the tide of team fights or back capping points. This is EXTREMELY important. If you want to be useful, your team needs to announce how many players they are fighting, where the fight takes place and tell you if one of the enemies leaves it.

You NEED to know how many players of the enemy team are in a team fight and where the said fight takes place at all times! If you do things like that, it will become extremely easy to know when you can back cap an enemy point for free, where you are the most needed to win a fight, if you can take care of a secondary objective safely, etc.

When you jump into a fight, make sure that you do not stay any longer than needed to. If the rest of the map is safe, then you can stay until the enemy is stomped. However, if you are needed at different places at the same time go to the first one, make sure your team-mate will win the fight by taking away some HP from his target, applying conditions on it and giving some boons to the player you're supposed to help, then leave for the second place ASAP.

Do not spend more time than needed at a given place, that's the most important rule.

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Here are a few videos for the shortbow shortcuts on each map!

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You can win against any staff Elementalist builds that are the most played at the moment, including Izkimar's, fairly easily. However, most of them will take some time to take down, enough time for the Ele to get support from his team. Keep in mind that any mistake means death because you'll get bursted down. You just need to dodge/avoid the obvious stuff. If you get hit by any crowd control from a scepter/dagger Elementalist, you are most likely dead. If you can equip a Soldier Amulet for this match-up, you should do so (except if it's a support/tank Ele). A good Scepter/Dagger Elementalist will be VERY hard to beat due to its sustained heal and damage. Once again, try to dodge the obvious stuff and to land your big damaging spells. You need to interrupt the Ele's heal if he doesn't have stability on, that's your best bet to win the fight.

It's a very easy match-up for you as long as you do not try to stay on a point. As soon as the warrior gets close to melee, you just CC him or get away from him. He will eventually die, even if it will take some time. If you do not keep your initiative for crowd control / escapes and try to melee him, make sure you have a stun breaker, because most warrior builds can take enough HP away from you in 1 crowd control to make any comeback extremely hard. The new stolen Axe makes 99% of the duels against a warrior super easy to win.

Once again, a match-up that should be alright as long as the Guardian is not running a Spirit Weapon or a triple Meditation build. If he takes out a Spirit Hammer focus on dodging the Hammer combo more than the Guardian itself. As long as you keep his stacks of burning under control, you will be OK! If he's playing with an off-hand focus, you need to destroy the Shield of Wrath or avoid its burst. Do not let a Guardian spam his sword's auto-attack in melee, it will destroy you. Any glass cannon guardian that runs a triple Mediation build, will be pretty much impossible to defeat 1 on 1, unless your Thieves' Guild cooldown is available / you're playing with Ambush Trap.

This matchup went from super easy to crazy hard. Against power builds, do not get hit by a double Jump Shot or you'll be in trouble, try to avoid as many immobilizes (they all have the same animation as Net Shot) If you are facing a condition Engineer, you're facing one of your hardest match-ups, one of the few that can defeat you easily. The main problem with them is the insane amount of conditions they'll apply to you. Any condition removal you can get is good to take and will still not be enough to be safe. There's no big key ability that you can/need to dodge. It's all about a lot of small condition spells with a very short cooldown. The Frost Grenade is the one you need to dodge the most. Good luck.

A Power Ranger (even the Red one) will be no problem for you! If he's using a greatsword or a sword, do not let him free hit you in melee, play exactly how you'd play against a warrior and remember that you can use his pet to gain Stealth if you have an OH dagger. If you're fighting a condition ranger, make sure you get out of his Entangle when he uses it (any shadowstep spell will get you out of there), do not plan a party inside the traps and remove any bleed burst as soon as possible (with Healing Seed, Signet of Agility, etc). You should win this matchup.

As usual, a Power Necro is easy to duel (except in Lich Form, the ammount of damage is crazy). A lot of his damage is undodgeable, so focus on dodging the Wail of Doom from his Warhorn. Against a condition Necro who runs a condition control build (Plague Signet, Corrupt Boon, etc) you're in for a good fight. I'd say your chances of winning are around 50% if you manage to dodge most of the marks he sets on the ground and burst him when he's not sitting on them. There's no coming back from a Mark burst. Playing with Pain Response/Signet of Agility makes things easier. Good luck.

He can do everything you can. What annoys you annoys him. You need to get inside his head, dodging his usual steal and follow-up burst combo is the first thing you can try to do. If there's a big sign of « HEY I'M GOING TO STEAL NOW », like the application of a Devourer Venom, or if you get immobilized from a distance, do not even think: swap to your Shortbow and start using Disabling Shot right away. During the fight, when all the venoms are on cooldown, dodge every Cloak and Dagger he tries to land, if he lands one get away from him during the stealth duration to prevent his burst. If he manages to land 10+ bleed stacks on you use Hide in Shadows to remove them and make sure you dodge his next stealth burst. NEVER let him sit in melee with a shortbow and spam Cluster Bomb or you'll be dead before you know it. Always a fun match-up when both thieves are on the same level. Since almost every Thief is playing melee burst: cripple/chill Heartseeker spam heroes and time your Pistol Whips better than your opponent.

Okay, this match-up is always fun/frustrating depending on what kind of person you are. You will need to try and play with the line of sight of his Illusions/Phantasms as much as possible regardless of the kind of build he's running (Power or Condition Damage). The bleeds his illusions can stack (1 bleed/crit) is insane when added to his own spells and the immunes, dazes, extra conditions he can get from shatters. Most Mesmers also run 2 ranged 2s Stuns, but the Magic Bullet is rather easy to dodge. Be careful with that. If he's a Condi Mesmer and manages to get 5+ confusion stacks on you limit the use of your spells to the minimum: Shadow Strike and/or Disabling Shot. Remember, a good illusion is a dead illusion. Kill them with your Shortbow or a Sword before he shatters them, as much as possible that is. Very interesting match-up that should be -almost- impossible to win.

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As a roamer, most of the time you'll jump into fights that have started some time ago. Try to adapt to your team and focus the target they are on. You need to share your Venoms to as many people as you can. Force your team to understand that part of your build! The moment after you share Devourer Venom is perfect for a fast target swap. An immobilized target is an easy kill.

If you are actually there at the beginning of the team fight, you should try to let your melee player(s) call the target you need to focus. You can swap targets anytime, they can't. Adapt to them.

Another good thing to do is to keep in mind the amount of dodges your enemies, all of them, have used and to have an estimation of the time they need to recover a dodge bar. It is extremely hard to do at the moment because of the amount of time people have had to train, but if your team has a « team fight leader » he should practice it.

If your team is running a « swap and spike » strategy, do it during a Venom Share.

As for the rest, dodge/evade/out-range the obvious stuff such as the Baller-All-In-Burst Warriors and Elementalist have, try to keep the conditions under control and... GET AWAY FROM CROWD CONTROL AS IF IT WERE A JUSTIN BIEBER FANBOY TRYING TO TELL YOU HOW AWESOME BIEBER IS.

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As soon as someone, anyone, enters down state, the fight shifts to a new phase. What a lot of players still do not understand at the moment, is that Downed State is one of the most important mechanics in Guild Wars 2. Stomping and Reviving is by far more important than bursting someone down. Let's take a look at the different scenarios you can face.

You are downed!
Avoid enemy stomps as long as possible, which means a very long time as a Thief. Only teleport away / vanish in stealth when the enemy is getting near the end of his stomp's animation. If you can teleport safely closer to a team-mate and get revived, do it!

A Team Mate is downed!
Your goal is to rally him. You can do it by stomping an enemy before your team-mate is stomped or by reviving him directly. Do the safest thing. If you might get interrupted while stomping your opponent and not while reviving your ally, go for the second option. If it's the other way around, go and stomp your opponent.

An Enemy is downed!
Your goal is to stomp him. The easiest way to do it as a Thief is to « Stealth Stomp » him, it prevents most of the interrupts/crowd control mechanics other professions have from being used on you. You'll only be weak against AoE crowd control. The other possibility is to get Stability from one of your team-mates and go for the stomp. That will leave you weak to direct damage. The safest thing to do is to have Stealth and Stability at the same time when stomping, but life is not perfect do not rely on this scenario to stomp people. Keep in mind that you can dodge the crowd control from downed players. They usually have a long cast time, except for the ranger's and the guardian's which you need to anticipate.

If you know that for some reason you will not be able to stomp the enemy during a team fight, keep damaging him and poison him so that the people who might try to revive him need more time to do so. It will be extremely helpful for your team-mates who are trying to stomp him before he gets revived.

If you know that no one will be able to stomp the downed enemy before he gets revived, deal as much damage as possible to the player who's reviving him or if it happens because you just lost a team fight, run away. Do not get the enemy's team score any higher than necessary. Do not engage lost fights.

Everyone is downed!
SPAM YOUR 1 HARDER THAN ANYONE ELSE. (and use Air runes + Rage Sigil)

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Winning a team fight is cool, but keep in mind that finishing it is what really matters. If the enemy can keep pouring players to the point to prevent you from capturing it, you're not winning. Therefore: (stealth) stomp!

You can pre-cast Cloak and Dagger before getting in melee range of your target.

You can finish to stomp a Thief that teleports away from you in downstate by using an instant teleport spell on him: Infiltrator's Signet, Shadowstep, Steal without mug (need to check, not sure on this one!)

You can Shadowstep away (but not very far!) from a target you're stomping before the stomp animation ends and still get a successful stomp.

You can use on-target teleports (Infilitrator's Strike) without actually seeing your target. You just need a team mate to call a target and get it with your take target key bind, which is by default T. You can go through most walls and ledges by doing this.

Steal does not interrupt your channeling, you can start a Cloak and Dagger from far away, Steal to your target and get instant stealth if you time your C and D right! It's also an extremely good burst to finish off targets, stealing Forest Monsters (Svanir and Chieftain) is easy thanks to that!

You can use Stealth and Infiltrator's Arrow together to get some easy back caps on unwary enemies.

Using multiple Venoms at once is usually a bad idea because you'll reduce the effectiveness of Leeching Venoms. However, sometimes making sure you can share your Venoms is more important than Leeching Venoms is. The most common situations that will lead you to overlap Venoms are:
  • You know that you might not be in range of the players/NPC with whom you want to share your Venoms anymore before the fight is over. Starts being useful when you can share to 2+ people;
  • You just got rallied and are going down soon;
  • You need to immobilize/chill your target because it's running away, but already have another Venom applied on your weapon;
  • You're not paying enough attention to your Venoms.
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Here is a video showing some game-play. This is raw footage and includes my team's voice chat.


I am working on a compilation of useful tricks, team fights, duels happening during PvP matches.

A full game commentary describing what I do, mostly the mistakes, is also coming super soon!

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A list of tPvP streams featuring players who mostly play Thieves will be added soon!

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This is my very first real guide, so it might be lacking a few things here and there. If you want to see anything added to it or if you have any specific question that is not answered by the wall of text above, feel free to ask it and I'll add one more brick to the wall.

I hope this was somewhat useful for you and that you'll fall in love with the Thief, just like me! (Hey, I love it enough to play a boring ranged build!)

I welcome feedback and constructive criticism. So, if you want to provide some, don't hold back!
I'd just want to thank my team, Super Squad, for being awesome, Frozire and Khalija for helping with the design & formating of the guide and each and every reader for... reading!

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08.21.2012 - Updated Traits, added Weapon Skills section, changed some images.
08.24.2012 - Updated Weapon Sets and Accessories section.
10.18.2012 - Updated Shortbow Shortcuts and a few small things, more to come.
  • 73

#1807816 To Arenanet: Good Luck.

Posted by cesmode on 24 August 2012 - 04:08 PM

Since we are roughly 12 hours away from what could be the official begin of head start, I just wanted to take a moment to thank Arenanet for their hardwork, dedication, and responsiveness(with regard to our feedback). You have developed a great MMO, and I hope launch goes smoothly, not only for us players but you as developers.

Make us proud and good luck!

I also wanted to add that I am not soliciting a response from Arenanet, just wishing them success with the launch!
  • 70

#1958273 why are there so few people around now?

Posted by Domynic on 22 September 2012 - 12:08 PM

1. Name your server so we can actually discuss that part of your question.
2. You're in a dead zone. A place the majority of players haven't yet reached. Or the majority of players have already moved on from.
3. You're in a crappy zone. A place where people have access to but don't because, well.. (I'm looking at you, Lornar's Pass)
4. You're playing outside of prime time.
5. The people in that zone simply don't want to do whatever you're doing. (I'm looking at you, Megalodon's)
6. Everyone is dead. You're the last person on Earth. This is an automated message.
  • 64

#1534827 Is it Fun? Colin Johanson on How ArenaNet Measures Success

Posted by Colin Johanson on 20 June 2012 - 01:34 AM

Hey all,

I just wanted to say first thank you for all the feedback, comments and suggestions. I wanted to clarify a couple of points, since I think folks raise valid questions here that a worthy of a response:

- This blog post doesn't address stuff from BWE 2 and how we plan to respond to the feedback from it, because this post was written and submitted before BWE 2, long before we compiled all the feedback from the BWE. The posts that go up on our blog are usually written weeks/months in advanced and sent over for editing and then posted when there is a downtime where there isn't anything currently scheduled on our blog. However, keep an eye out on TenTonHammer where Jon and I are currently working on answering questions for Lewis Burnell that answer some very BWE 2 specific questions, many of which have been asked in this very thread.

- This blog post was written from the perspective of the content design team and the folks on it who are directly responsible for the production of event, story, and dungeon content in Gw2. Stuff like cash shop, traits, skill progression, etc. are all handled by other teams in the company, and as such really aren't the focus on this article. The focus here is how we develop content specifically at ArenaNet on the Content Design team, and the metrics we use to help track the success of that content specifically, vs. how content is developed for games with subscription models. The cash shop isn't mentioned in the article because quite frankly, we simply don't design content on our team with the intent of the cash shop being needed to do any of it. Our bonus hope from this article was also to help explain why you should fill out those little surveys in the BWE events!

Hope that helps a bit, I know in this time after the BWE everyone is looking for more information, release dates, or wants to talk about stuff directly tied to this BWE. When this blog post was written, that information wasn't currently available, thus the content presented within.

We realize a lot of you are insanely excited at this point and just want more information period that helps get us towards release. We'll absolutely be getting more information out for all of you, but as usual with our development philosophy until we've fully tested and are happy with changes we're making, we don't want to talk about them. Keep an eye on the internets, lots more is coming from us to shed light into aspects that are probably more up the Gw2Guru fans alley, plog bosts like this content one are really intended more for the casual gaming audience to help draw more attention towards the game and its development.

All the best and thanks again for all your comments everyone! (Insert obligatory smile)
  • 64

#1803221 Thank you Arenanet

Posted by RAD on 24 August 2012 - 04:43 AM

With head start literally right here, and that being for most of us, the release, I wanted to make this thread before we all get into game. It was inevitable a thread like this would show up and rightfully so, Anet deserves every bit of praise we can give them. So post your thank you's and anything else similar here but keep in mind, this is a thank you thread. if you have nothing thank you related to add, dont add anything.

I'll start off:

I remember when this game was first announced 5 years or so ago, all I was expecting was another GW1 styled campaign and I was still excited for it. That was all I needed. It wasnt until I saw the first elemenatlist skill videos that I realized just how different of a game GW2 was going to be, though I had little understanding of the scale. But I was still excited. I remember getting on GW1 one day in 2010 after a long hiatus and wanting to get rid of all my stuff because GW2 was coming out soon, I had no idea I would have to wait another 2 1/2 years. Now with the game fast approaching, Im still excited for It but not as much as I was a year or 2 ago. Its weird, but I think its because Ive spent the last 5 years of my life and 2 of them here on guru waiting for this game that Ive grown accustom to it. It just doesnt seem right for the game to actually be coming out and actually being able to play it. Its human nature to stray away from change but I think this one, this one is good. Not just being able to play instead of wait, but the whole different direction GW2 seems to be going in and I think its going to be well worth the wait. I cant thank you enough Arenanet for everything youve done and been able to accomplish throughout this whole process to give us the best possible game you possibly could. So thank you, I'll see you all in Tyria :).
  • 63

#1581662 Why GW2 feels strange, unearthly and even just a little unreal…

Posted by Flashman on 08 July 2012 - 07:21 AM

I’m not telling the world anything new when I say, a lot of MMOs fail.

Either they fail outright with next to no subscribers and close within a year, or they start off ‘OK’ but never quite get the numbers and become an ‘also-ran’ in the market. A very few might even get the numbers — initially — then start bleeding subscriptions after the first month or two as people get to the end-game, realise there is no end-game, and look for something new.

As someone who has sat out here, in the MMO community, since Ultima Online was the hot new game in town, I’ve constantly marveled at how many times the same mistakes are seemingly made again and again and again.

End-game, that I mentioned a moment ago, is one of the big ones. “The end-game has to be there… it has to be solid!” says the MMO community, “Yes, yes, we hear you! We agree!” say the developers of countless MMOs that have come and gone over the last 15 years. And yet, when it came down to it… when the rubber hit the road… the end-game wasn’t there.

Its not always the end-game, of course, that’s just one example. But it highlights that “everyone” seems to know what would make a great MMO, yet so far, few companies have been able to put the right ideas in motion.

Enter Guild Wars 2.

It’s perhaps telling that the original Guild Wars is a game I have gone back to, again and again, over the years since it first came out. Partly because of it’s free-to-play nature, yes, but also partly due to the fact that it was different to other MMOs. Indeed, it was so different, many people still have a hard time even calling it an MMO at all. The debate still rages on about that.

So as we sit here, on the verge of Guild Wars 2 coming out; a game that is better than the original Guild Wars in every single way by a factor of 1000, are we about to see the release of a game that not only gets these 15 year old questions right, but which also doesn’t charge a fee, to boot? I really don’t want to be cast in the ‘fanboi’ role, but I think we might be. Seriously.

From what I have played of Guild Wars 2 so far, via beta weekends and ‘stress tests’, I have found a game that is visually gorgeous, deep in lore and fun to play. It’s WvWvW also evokes (and surpasses) the legendary Dark Age of Camelot, which was a game released in 2001 that was still the benchmark for ‘Realm versus Realm’ combat, all these years later, until Guild Wars 2.

Even though I have played Guild Wars 2 and can report to anyone reading this blog that, yes, the game is real and, yes, it’s as good as all the reviewers say it is, it still feels strange, unearthly and even just a little unreal, to think that this game exists. This game goes beyond what any $15/month MMO is offering… and yet is doing it without ANY monthly fee. Incredible.
  • 63

#1884926 So, you hit 80 and you have to 'grind for gear'?

Posted by Proseidon1 on 05 September 2012 - 03:32 PM

Hi. I'm Proseidon. I've been playing MMORPGs since I was 12, starting with Maple Story. I've played the original Guild Wars, WoW (and all expansions), Age of Conan, WAR, SWTOR, and multiple free korean grind fest games.

I'm your average player. I have a girlfriend and a full-time job, but I still love to play games all day. Even when I can't, I love to read the forums and learn about everything. This isn't what I'm here to talk to you about, however. I'm here to bring you a message. A message that is very important to me, and that I think you need to hear.

Are you ready? "Shut up."

Sorry, I had to get that out of my system. Seriously. Let me address some of the most mind-bogglingly stupid things I've read on this forum.

You don't know what grind is. If you use this phrase to describe Guild Wars 2, you are so very, very wrong. Do you want to know what a grind is? A grind is playing Maple Story, where to progress to the next level (out of 250+ levels), you have to spend one or more entire days only killing one type of monster over and over again. THAT is a grind. Doing quests is not a grind. Playing PVP is not a grind. Daily events are not a grind. Hearts are the closest thing to a grind in this game, and they aren't grinds, either.

Horizontal Progression.
Here's one I've been seeing recently.
"Proseidon, I hit level 80 and I don't have max gear! I'm supposed to have max gear now because it's horizontal progression, just like guild wars!"
Okay. Let me lay some logic down on your neurons. Guild Wars 2 is the very definition of Horizontal Progression. Once you get max gear, you never upgrade again. Ever. Across any new dungeons, new pvp, new expansions, etc. Not once. That's horizontal.

And you bring up Guild Wars? Are your rose tinted glasses messing with your eyes? Let me run down the list of what you had to do in Guild Wars after hitting 20.
  • Get Droknar's Forge gear (the first gear that had max stats). 5k, not even including mats.
  • Get a 9 req max stat weapon. Sorry, did you forget how expensive these were? 5k+.
  • Get the appropriate max-stat upgrades for your weapon. The best ones were expensive. I'll be generous and say it was only 5k.
  • Get a full set of the best runes for your armor. Depending on your class popularity. Still about 10k.
  • Get all of the appropriate skills (and elites) necessary for your build. At least a day or two worth of playing.
So we're looking at LEAST (and I do mean least) 25k, the time spent farming that, and the time spent farming skills, all just to be equal to a PvP character. And you have the audacity to say that Arena Net has "fallen" or "changed" because you have to do some work after hitting max level? You barely have to do as much as the original game! I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!

So, to wrap this all up. For the Love. Of. God. Stop whining. Stop making up stories. This game is very simple. You play it and enjoy it or you don't. No subscriptions, no worry, no hassles. If you have legit criticisms, by all means, say them, but sometimes this feels like I walked into a kindergarten class and one kid said "There's too many vegetables, we wanna eat cookies for every meal!" And of course all the other kids love cookies too so they're like "YEAH $^@$ HEALTH LETS GET SOME COOKIES!" And logic and reason flies out the window and an angry mob of 5 year olds destroy an entire town.

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#1879145 We're a Week Into Official Release and...

Posted by Dove on 04 September 2012 - 05:35 PM

I'm a little surprised by the popular topics on this forum.

Not surprising: being upset over functionality bugs, like guilds, story quests, trading post, etc. These are understandable.
Not surprising: the game not being 100% godsend savior of the world like some people apparently expected it to be. No game is perfect, but some of us built it up to be that way. Anticipation glosses over a lot of things, and now that we're experiencing all the mechanics, I'm sure there are those we like and dislike. This is natural.

But some things I'm finding really surprising, and are a failure from us as a community.

Surprising: complaining about not being able to buy things. The game is one friggin' week old. How long did it take you to collect enough for Obsidian Armor in GW1? How long did it take you to max your characters in other MMOs, regarding stats, gear, items, etc.? How much money did you have at a week? How much did you freaking expect to have?!

Look, we purchased an MMO. MMOs are supposed to take a long time to finish and obtain everything. The game is not grindy. The leveling curve is refreshingly flat. Playing the game normally, I've never found myself at a loss for cash or equipment, because I don't have this ridiculous misconception that I need the coolest stuff in the game at 7 days in. Honestly. I get the feeling these same people would be complaining about "Where's the content?" if it had only taken a week to get everything.

Surprising: the need to whine incessantly about the game overall. "This game is a failure." "RIP GW2." "Worst ______ I've ever seen." Really? That's how you feel? Okay, catch ya later. I know the tendency is for people to voice their complaints and not their praises, so the gripers are going to be making forum posts and the majority of people who are enjoying the game will be playing the game. I also understand this is the internet and somehow common sense and reasonable expectations vacate the premises as soon as the browser window opens up. But seriously. There have been some issues, yes. Some of them have been bad, yes. But we're a week into the game, and it's absolutely great. It's not perfect. It's not the savior of mankind or of the MMO genre or whatever, but it never was intended to be. It's a whole lot of fun, and it's got a lot of things that are refreshing in a game of its type.


So, while obviously I took a bit of a look at the GW2 community and our (seemingly misguided) expectations at a week post-launch, feel free to voice your opinion on the game as a whole at this particular time in its life cycle.
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#1665759 Guildwars 2 Inventory and You (Maximizing Space on the Cheap)

Posted by Jerich on 02 August 2012 - 04:53 AM

I always run out of inventory space in any MMO I play. The main problem is that I love to craft and quest and always have a ton of those items on hand. Here are some things I've found out about GW 2 to help me plan my storage space.

Starting Inventory

  • 30 shared bank slots
  • Crafting Material / Cooking Material / Mini-Pet Storage... You can have 250 of each crafting item stored.
Per Character
  • 20 slot starter backpack
  • Four bag slots
  • You can have up to 5 characters

  • 4 slot bags can be purchased from vendors for 32 copper
  • 8 slot bags can be made by crafters (tailor, leatherworker, armorsmith) with 20 tier 1 materials (jute scrap, rawhide scraps, copper ore)
  • Each tier of crafting makes a higher quality bag (10 slots, 12 slots, 15 slots, etc). In addition to raw materials, these higher level bags require an increasingly expensive vendor item called runes of holding.
  • 20 slot bags can be made at max level, and they require a superior rune of holding (10 gold) to make.
Specialty Bags
  • All three professions can make invisible bags (which don't show up when selling to merchants)
  • Tailors can make 8-20 slot Craftsman's Bags (New crafting materials are placed here first when looting)
  • Leatherworkers can make 8-20 slot Oiled Leather Packs (Junk items are placed here first when looting)
  • Armorsmiths can make 8-20 slot Reinforced Padded Equipment Boxes (Weapons and Armor Fill this bag First)
Gem Store Upgrades

Free Storage
  • We start with 30 bank slots
  • Each Character Starts with a starter pack and 4 bag slots (100 maximum slots)
  • We can make 5 characters.
  • That means we all have 530 free slots without using the cash store (which is a pretty decent number considering we have seperate storage for crafting ingredients in our bank and can send crafting items to the bank while on the field)
Bank Tab Expansion
  • You can expand your bank 7 times for 600 gems each time
  • Each expansion adds another 30 slots
  • Since gems will most likely sell for 400 for $5.00, this each expansion will cost around $7.50.
  • Each extra equpment slot bought this way is therefore 25 cents
Character Slot Expansion
  • You can buy more character slots for 800 gems
  • This is about $10.00 US currency
  • If you assume you can easily get 20 slot packs, you can get 100 equipment slots this way.
  • Each extra equipment slot bought this way is therefore 10 cents.
  • Even if we factor in the high price of 20 slot bags and just use 8 slot bags, each slot is still only 19 cents a piece
Bag Slot Upgrade
  • You can add an extra bag slot to a single character for 400 gems (Up to 3 times)
  • This is about $5.00 US currency
  • If you assume easy 20 slot packs, this is 25 cents a slot
  • If you use 10 slot packs, this is 50 cents a slot
Tips to Maximizing Your Inventory on the Cheap

How to get by without extra bag slots even if you are a crafter
  • Buying salvaging tools should be prioirty #1... Even if you don't craft, you will want to mine every ore node / chop down every tree you come across for experience and profit. You can buy them from vendors in most starting areas.
  • You can buy a crude salvage kit at many renowned heart vendor for a small karma price. Use these kits to break apart trash drops.
  • Send any crafting material directly to your bank by right clicking on it and choosing (send to bank)
  • You can quickly sell junk items to renowned heart vendors through the sell all junk items button.
  • You can post any item you think will selll (crafting ingredients will sell really well until bots ruin the market) by directly opening up the trading house. I will write a guide on this later.
  • You can also mail items directly to an alt from the interface if you have a second account (directy from the interface without using a mailbox). Tyr Odinson (on post 51) tested this and calculated you can get 100 extra spots of storage this way. Check out his post here: http://www.guildwars...ap/page__st__50
  • Using these steps, the default bag slots should be more than sufficient
Organizing your Bags
  • Ideally, I will organize my bags this way... Starter Pack = Overflow and a space for my salvage kits
  • Bag #1 Reinforced Padded Equipment Box... All my salvagable loot will come here for me to quickly break apart or sell on auction house
  • Bag #2 Craftsman's Bag ... All crafting material will gather here for me to quickly righ click and send to bank.
  • Bag #3 Invisible Bag ... My Extra gear (extra weapons / armor, buffs, etc) that I don't want to sell on accident will go here.
  • Bag #4 Oiled Leather Pack ... Junk items will go here so I never have to sort through them.
Efficient Use of Gems
  • Buy Character Slots First: If you find yourself running out of space... Your best bet is to make sure you are using all five of your character slots and then to buy more character slots
    • First... this is the cheapest use of gems by far (10 cents per equipment slot compared to 25 cents for the other options)
    • Second... It is quite possible that Arena Net will give each of your characters a birthday gift like they did in Guildwars 1. These are usually worth money and on a per character basis.
  • Buy Extra Bank Slots Second: I would only buy bank slots if you find the 30 default slots too annoying. While not as good a deal as character slots, they are a quality of life issue and mean you won't have to mule as much.
  • Buy Extra Bag Slots Last: These are not a good deal. I would only buy them if you find yourself running out of working space consistantly and even then only for your main characters.
Part 2: Gem Store Upgrades vs 20-Slot Bags
As like any MMO, bags in GW2 get more expensive as you get better and better ones. Here is a table that lets you quickly see the scaling cost per inventory slot for each level of bag:

Note: (For a more detailed listing of how I calculated these numbers... go to http://gaiscioch.com...post_32754.html)

The Price of Bags
  • Starter Backpack (20 new slots): Free!
  • 8-Slot Bags (32 new slots): 6 copper / slot
  • 10-Slot Bags (8 new slots): 3.47 silver / slot
  • 12-Slot Bags (8 new slots): 7.38 silver / slot
  • 15-Slot Bags (12 new slots): 17.60 silver / slot
  • 18-Slot Bags (12 new slots): 75 silver / slot
  • 20-Slot Bags (8 new slots): 6 gold / slot
*These costs are assuming 8 slot packs are 50 copper and other packs sell for 1.5 times the cost of the rune

The Price of Gem Store Upgrades
  • Extra Character Slot (80 new slots assuming 15 slot bags): 10 gems / slot
  • Bank Tab Expansions (30 new slots): 20 gems / slot
  • Extra Bag Slot (18 slots assuming 18 slot bags): 22.22 gems / slot
When should you buy gem store upgrades instead of 20-slot bags?
  • Extra Character Slots: Buy When Gems are Cheaper than 100 gems = 57 gold
  • Bank Tab Expansions: Buy When Gems are Cheaper than 100 gems = 30 gold
  • Extra Bag Slots: Buy When Gems are Cheaper than 100 gems = 24 gold
Note: I don't think the price of 100 gems will reach 24 gold until at least a month after launch. If gems ever go over 57 gold per 100, that will probably be at least a couple months after launch. That means it will most likely be better to purchase gems for inventory upgrades instead of investing in 20 slot packs.

Edit: Shayne Hawke created a rather epic Excel spreadsheet where you can input the current auction house price of bags. It then tells you whether you should update your bag sizes or buy bag slots etc for EVERY type of bag. Definitely worth checking out... Here is the Link: http://www.guildwars...ap/page__st__57

Part 3: Adding Inventory By Purchasing Your Own Private Guildbank

We can be part of multiple guilds at once in Guildwars 2. This means that you could create a dummy guild just for the sake of a guild bank. While I think we should always represent our real guilds so that our task influence go to our guild, it is quite possible to buy the influence you need to purchase a guild bank. Here are the breakdowns...

Cost of Hiring a Guild Promoter
  • 10 influence for 10 silver
  • 100 influence for 1 gold
  • 1,000 influence for 10 gold
  • 10,000 influence for 100 gold
Cost of adding a guild bank
  • 500 influence to research Architecture Level 1
  • 1,000 influence to research Architecture Level 2
  • 1,000 influence to add a 50 slot guild bank (requires level 2)
  • 5,000 influence to research Architecture Level 3
  • ??? influence to research Architecture Level 4
  • 5,000 influence to add 100 additional slots to your guild bank (requires level 4)
  • ??? influence to research Architecture Level 5
  • 10,000 influence to add an additional 100 slots to your guild bank (requires level 5)

This means that it will cost a mere 25 gold to add the first 50 slots to your personal guild bank. That is about 50 silver per slot and is comparable to the jump from 15 slot packs to 18 slot packs.

While we don't know right now how much architecture level 4 and 5 will cost, let's assume that they are 10,000 and 20,000 respectively. This means that the next 100 slots would be 200 gold or 2 gold a slot. The final 100 would be 300 gold or 3 gold a slot. Note that both of those are better deals than moving to 20 slot packs (although using this route will probably take over a month of real life time).

I hope this helps!

- Jerich of Gaiscioch / Sanctum of Rall

P.S. Thank you Shayne Hawke for pointing out a minor calculation error (which caused around a 10% error)! I have modified the OP to reflect this.
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#1680864 How can Role Players be protected from griefing

Posted by Syntak on 05 August 2012 - 01:37 PM

just pretend this person is the village retard
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#1823401 First lvl 80 (to be confirmed)

Posted by Aveneo on 26 August 2012 - 05:31 PM

Great, now he can roll a level 1 again and actually start playing the game ;)
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#1771740 Gamescom: "When it's ready", authenticators, GvG, ...

Posted by Colin Johanson on 20 August 2012 - 03:21 PM

Sorry that was a bad joke at attempting to mock the misinformation ;)

Colin Troll will see you in game Friday!
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#2080681 Forget about Ascended gear, Has Anet been honest about anything?

Posted by bcbully1 on 15 November 2012 - 01:15 PM

Repost of a repost - OP was lost in the shuffle. I apologize.

This thread has been deleted from the official forums without any reason. Banns have been issued to the people posting. Please spread this information.
I did not get banned, i am merely reporting this to the various gaming press outlets. I know friends in game that have been banned for as little as quoting an ANet developer.

=== Snip ===
*1. “The game will be released when it’s done”. Yet at release date several of the things that were promised and were sometimes even indicated as being ‘top priority’, weren’t “done” (and several of those still aren’t available):*

• account security measures (these were only implemented after launch, when the damage was already done)

Eric Flannum
security is a big, big priority for us.

Martin Kerstein
We are taking account security very serious and there will definitely be ways to protect your account.

• measures against botting (still being implemented)

Eric Flannum
Discouraging the use of third party programs that exploit the game and negatively impact the experience of others is a top priority for us.

• no guesting (still not available)… which is becoming more and more of a concern now that world transfers are limited to once a week:

Martin Kerstein
When Guild Wars 2 launches, you will also have the option to play with your friends on another world with our free “guesting” feature.

• no rollback functionality for accounts (still not available)

And I won’t even mention spectator mode or ladders for pvp, as ArenaNet has been evasive about when those would be made available from the very start (and I’m not much of a pvp person anyway).

*2. Dyes are character bound, not account bound.*
In short: a lot more grinding is required (or cash shop purchases) to get all the dyes you want on all characters.

Eric Flannum
And what we do is, as you find sets of dye, you unlock them for your account. So as you unlock dyes for your account, your characters just have them available for them.

Kristen Perry
Once you unlock the color, it will be available across your entire account, not just the individual character.

3. No dedicated healers, every profession was supposed to be equally viable in all roles, and every profession would be equally welcome in a party.

Yet (for example) the guardian (with most of its stills being support/healing based) is so close to a healer that he is always welcome in a party, 90% of his skills are support oriented, whereas a thief or ranger (with much less support options) are often refused from parties and are much harder to spec for support (with far less options). In short: ArenaNet’s implementation of professions failed to make them all truely equal.

*4. No need for “LFG” for hours to get into a group.* Yet the cities and the lower level zones are filled with people just looking for a group who wants them so that they can play through a dungeon in explorable mode. This is actually a follow-up to the previous point… if all professions would be equally effective at all roles, then nobody would have a reason to refuse people from their party because they are a ranger and not a guardian.

Also, there isn’t enough motivation to play through story mode dungeons with lower level players. A level 35 player wanting to do Ascalonian Catacombs will have to spend a long time looking for a group, because very few groups actually want a level 35 stranger in their party when they do dungeons. There isn’t any kind of reward for the party for playing with lower level players.

*5. Ever branching story:* with only 1 ending and several knots where branches come together again, these story branches are extremely disappointing.
I would at least have expected different endings if you choose The Vigil, the Durmand Priory or the Order of Whispers.

Colin Johanson
Every race has three branching dynamic stories right off the bat where they can pick from. So, for example, the humans you can pick to be from the city streets, the city nobility, or a commoner, and based on that choice you get a completely different personal story than somebody else. And then within that story, there are more branches that you can make decisions that further branch the story in other directions. So, I can be from the commoner class and you can be from the commoner class and we might experience a different story because of that. And then if you take that and say, all those options are available just for humans, then the other four races all have all these other completely different branching stories you can do as well.

This is just plain misleading. Very few of the branches are only available to one race, most of the branches actually are identical and not race dependent at all.
It’s not a branching story, it’s a ‘merging’ storyline… it starts off with a couple of different branches per race, but it quickly merges into one main storyline, with a few very small branches (paths) along the way that quickly merge back into the main story. After the first few levels, what race you took and what options you chose at character creation quickly become irrelevant, and you are all merged back into the one story thread.

*6. No grinding dungeons for tokens. Earlier on in the development, PC Gamer spoke to Eric Flannum, and he confirmed:*

Eric Flannum
“It’s more of a badge system, so this is something that we did in Guild Wars 1 as well. Our basic philosophy is that you should never complete a piece of content and get something you don’t want. So it’s going to be the case where you go through and are guaranteed to get a piece of gear that you didn’t have before, and that you’re going to want.” So, you’re guaranteed to get a piece of gear every time you do a dungeon? “Yes.” Sweet.

By now we all know how much grinding is required to get the dungeon pieces.
In fact, there wasn’t supposed to be any need for grinding at all.
On top of that, there is a severe lack of personal goals once your have reached max level and you have explored all the zones. There aren’t any long-term goals worth going for, other than the dungeon gear (or the legendary gear). So if you don’t want to pvp, all that’s left to do at max level, is the repetitive grind.

Colin Johanson
Most MMOs these days make you grind and do really repetitive, boring content over and over again. There are moments of fun, but then you’re back swinging your sword over and over again, chasing around a moth or an ogre that’s standing around in the world doing nothing. That’s the part of the genre we think players are done with. We want to make something that’s better than that.

Eric Flannum
I think MMOs have two primary stigmas attached to them that non-MMO gamers hear and drives them away. The first one is the ‘grind’, the idea that you’re going to have to do a repetitive task over and over again… we wanted to eliminate that.

We don’t want the player to ever have to grind and do something they don’t want to do to progress in the game.

Isaiah Cartwright
We expect content—not long, grindy progression—to be the deciding factor that keeps people playing our game. We want everyone to stick with Guild Wars 2 because our content is fun and enjoyable, not out of some dogged determination to slowly, slowly advance.

*7. No gear treadmill...* yet after we reached max stat gear (exotics), ArenaNet first introduced Legendary weapons, now Ascended armor, and in the future Legendary armor… all with better stats. The rare gear (legendaries) was supposed to differ only in skin, not in stats:

Colin Johanson
The rarest items in the game are not more powerful than other items, so you don’t need them to be the best. The rarest items have unique looks to help your character feel that sense of accomplishment, but it’s not required to play the game. We don’t need to make mandatory gear treadmills, we make all of it optional, so those who find it fun to chase this prestigious gear can do so, but those who don’t are just as powerful and get to have fun too.

Mike O’Brien
Here’s what we believe: If someone wants to play for a thousand hours to get an item that is so rare that other players can’t realistically acquire it, that rare item should be differentiated by its visual appearance and rarity alone, not by being more powerful than everything else in the game. Otherwise, your MMO becomes all about grinding to get the best gear. We don’t make grindy games – we leave the grind to other MMOs.

*8. Zones remaining “relevant”:* although the level scaling is a great idea, as it is right now, the game encourages grinding in only 1 zone: Orr. If you’re playing in Orr, you can easily make 6+ gold per hour and you can work on gathering resources that can be used to craft legendary gear. If you’re playing in any other zone in the game, then you can count yourself lucky if your “scaled up” rewards net you 2 gold per day, and you can forget about those legendaries.

Which is the main reason why Orr is still full, and most of the other zones are almost empty. There is nothing in those zones to entice players to keep coming back and do the events there again. Meaning that in many zones (even on full servers), a player playing through those zones will never be able to do the group events or take on the champions… because there’s simply no one else around to help out.
So please up the rewards in all other zones in the game and give every single zone something unique and worthwhile, to make it more interesting for max level players to return to every single zone and replay them over and over again.

On top of that, the scaling still doesn’t work too well, making lower level content far too easy if you’re scaled down from level 80 in full gear… even more so if you’re in a group. It doesn’t “remain challenging” as was the intention.

Right now, instead of addressing this problem of replayability, ArenaNet is spending most of its time into making new and higher level content to give players something new to grind for… and if that works, then Orr could soon see a significant drop in population as well.

*9. No crafting of throwaway items.* As it is, the tradingpost is a joke. Some higher level items are in huge This thread has been deleted from the official forums without any reason. Banns have been issued to the people posting. Please spread this information.
I did not get banned, i am merely reporting this to the various gaming press outlets. I know friends in game that have been banned for as little as quoting an ANet developer.

Eric Flannum
Our goal with our crafting philosophically is that you’ll never make an item that is a throwaway item. You’ll always be making something that is going to be valuable to someone. Whether it’s for yourself, whether it’s to put on the auction house, whether it’s a consumable that people want, there’s never a time when you’re just making something to increase your skill and then you’re just going to vendor it or chuck it or whatever else you’d do with it afterwards.

And finally, a few more of my concerns:
• The rates on the trading post and the currency exchange (gems) are ridiculous (15%/36%). Have a look at the rates on auction sites like ebay, as they are much more reasonable.

• Inflation on gem prices is ridiculous. On release date you could buy 100 gems for around 25 silver. Right now you’ll need closer to 90 silver for those same 100 gems. And still very few people actually consider it worthwhile to pay real money for gems to transfer them to gold.

so who want to level up their crafting skills are forced to make a fair amount of throwaway items.
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