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Optimizing Defense

guardian defense vitality toughness armor health regeneration

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#1 CyberDagger


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Posted 29 August 2012 - 05:09 PM

Ever since I rolled my Guardian, I've been thinking about which type of defensive investment is better to improve the Guardian's overall survivability. The Guardian is a very interesting creature in terms of defensive stats, with the best armor rating in the game and squishy wizard level health.

I have some experience with playing Pokémon somewhat competetively, and a general rule there is to bring your health and defense values as close to each other as possible for maximum survivability. In this case, you can say the Guardian is similar to Skarmory. For those who are not familiar with it, Skarmory is a metal bird commonly used to tank physical hits, with an amazing defense value but health that's a bit poor for a defensive stat spread. So what people do is max out its health, put the other stats at the level they want them, and then dump the remaining stat points into its defense.

Of course, what I talked about depends a lot on how the game makes the damage calculations, and it might just be that Guild Wars 2 handles things differently enough to make this guideline irrelevant.

But even if that principle still applies, there is something that makes this even more interesting. The Guardian has passive regeneration, and it is a fixed value, not a percentage. This means that, to maximize the regeneration's impact, you should maximize defense to the detriment of health. This might leave you extremely vurnerable to concentrated spikes, but might be better in terms of general survivability than the other way around.

As you can see, I've given this some thought. The decision of where to invest defensively is important, even moreso when also investing in damage, which means you have even fewer resources to dedicate to defense. Any guidelines people more familiar with this can give me?
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#2 MazD


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Posted 30 August 2012 - 07:23 AM

Make sure you take conditions into account! While a higher toughness may make regeneration more effictive compared to higher vitality, burning/bleeding/poison hurts you a lot more aswell...
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#3 Wendy Wammo

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 07:48 AM

Since you play pokemon, we'll put it in comparisons.

In GW2, you have 3 defensive stats that you need to consider: Toughness, Vitality, Healing.
Think about it this way, Toughness = Def, Vitality = SP.Def.
Toughness will reduce pure damage done by Power.
Vitality = more HP

The big difference here is how conditions work. Conditions do a constant amount of damage per tick. In pokemon it will do a % of your hp per turn, so the more HP you have, the more damage you take). This damage done by conditions ignores armor(so toughness is useless against that)

If you have a Physical Wall like Skarmory but are getting hit by Fire Blast, chances are you will not survive the hit. So if you speck in full toughness, it does not mean you will survive every situation.

Likewise, more HP does not necessarily mean better.
You take 1000 damage each, at 20000 HP(max vitality) you die on the 20th hit.
You take 500 damage each(assume max toughness = 1/2 dmg), at 13000HP(low health) you die on the 26th hit.

That's when Healing comes in effect. Healing is a static amount and must go hand in hand with Vitality. Take it this way:
Your Pidgey is level 5 at 27HP. You use a Potion that heals for 20HP. You healed for about 3/4 of your HP.
Your Chansey is level 100 at 704HP. You use a Potion that heals for 20HP. You just wasted your turn on something insignificant.
If you increase Vitality but not Healing, your HP wont refill properly and survivability will go down.

Of course you can speck all your trait points into BOTH, but then you become a Shuckle. Very little point to that. Even a Shuckle will die at some point(and dies a lot faster than you think). So you either play front line with high toughness(and bring condition removal) and also do decent damage/condition damage, or you play backline support and pull/remove conditions from allies around you can bear having them.
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#4 EasymodeX


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Posted 31 August 2012 - 05:43 PM

Oh god .
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