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My observations of the current meta and suggestions.

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#1 Ganondorf

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:30 AM

I posted a few comments in another thread and a friend told me it would make a great thread as it illuminated him on a lot of things he and most players don't see about the pve meta as I've experienced it.

These are my experiences from mostly dungeons with heavy coordination from my close friends.

Bolded are my main suggestions as far as pve changes.

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Retaliation and damage reflection through guards can have massive returns to enemies and bosses. It is affected by your power stat.

The basic idea is to tank enemies with skills that make you unable to take damage (from all sources, or just the applicable sources) until you can get the proper combo fields set up to maintain consistent hard damage reduction. You can buffer down times in these reductions with dodges and certain utility skills.

The current set-up my team uses is a defensive elementalist. He uses mist form and obsidian flesh to get himself in and attract the initial attention. Nearby we have a banner warrior. His job is to tank the mobs if/when the elem goes down (when you are downed your aggro goes to 1 on the table as far as I can tell). Using ignore pain he can tank temporarily and drop his elite banner to revive if necessary. We usually have another elem for dps that uses glyph of renewal to get the tanks back up and etc. We have a necro that managed most conditions that also has signet of undeath to get members back up.

You use invulnerability skills to get in and draw attention (and dps) while your team sets up combo fields that can directly mitigate damage through blinds, retaliation, and etc. In case we can't keep something up properly they buffer the down time with invuln skills or dodge rolls. If they fail aggro goes to the secondary tank while we revive the original with a skill. We continue to use the off tank while the original dps' until the offtank dies. We switch between them as needed.

Each member fills two primary roles. Their choices depending on class are
1. Being the enemies focus. You use invuln skills/dodges/and retaliation when your boon man can't keep boons up.
2. Reviving downed teammates
3. Creating combo fields
4. Finishing combo fields
5. The buff guy. Keeps everyone mitigating dmg, doing more dmg.
6. The debuff guy. He keeps the enemies debilitated.

Everyone does dps. It isn't that important. For example the necro handles some revives and debuffs while dropping dps with everyone else. The guardian keeps up retaliation and boons on people. The warrior holds focus and revives.

We are clearing most content fairly easily once you get past the crazy stuff (elemental reflection, odd combat mechanics, traps). Half the fun however is dealing with the special situations in dungeons while attempting to keep this kind of organization together. It just takes organization. Several encounters are incredibly challenging still because of how the unique combat mechanics present interestingly seem designed to stop certain interactions and kinds of teamwork. Like pulses that wipe off status effects and being chosen to do partial content alone.

Certain people do certain roles better. Warriors are great for using retaliation, ignore pain, and their elite banner revive. Every class has signature moves like those that define their roles. Your stats arent as important as what you're doing in a fight. Every fight we've had to manually rez someone we have lost in the later dungeons.

I really love it this way. It keeps you doing varied things but still performing a job. No one simply dps' and no one just tanks. Honestly it is a beautiful meta. Too bad it only happens in dungeons. Outside of dungeons the rest of the pve is tripe. There are a few exceptions but the real interesting, skillful, and fun for a team gameplay is only found in dungeons.

I should also add that combo fields are incredibly important for this. For example necros are our best source of blind using their wells. We use our tank/enemy-focus to combine the wells with leaps and blasts to keep TONS of blind up more than constant... in excess.

Necros are gods at this.

We also use guardians for light fields which grant retaliation with leaps and blasts as well. This allows us to help mitigate things blinds don't (aoe radial explosions, falling debris, giant lasers).

Those are the big two. Smoke fields are helpful as another source of blind too.

Oddly enough Warriors, engineers, and elementalists have the most necessary finisher... blasts. Necros and guardians have the most wanted fields dark and light. These classes also contain the most wanted utilities like blocks, invulnerability, rez, and more. This leaves the other classes kinda unwanted later on.

Thieves use smoke screen and black powder a lot in our group to apply ranged blinds with projectile finishers (necessary in a lot of situations). Engineers can make smoke fields but not even close to a thieve (they also are awesome with poisons).

Basically only rangers and mesmers do almost nothing we want for our groups and pack the least of our wanted utility. However they are the only classes capable of soloing certain mobs and handling niche roles when you need to split up for a few things.

It all balances out when you see the big picture but mesmers and rangers need to be able to do more for teams and necro skills need to be more 'fun' (even though they are incredibly effective).

The game also needs to teach you about combo fields and stuff. The hell is up with how it is doesn't? Everyone is all like "necro suckz even though I can create constant blinds".
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Edited by Ganondorf, 03 September 2012 - 06:44 AM.


#2 scyld

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:59 AM

Quote

The rest of the pve is tripe.


This sentence sort of annoys me and overshadows the rest of the empty bluster in this post. I mean, what more do you want? Sheesh.

Edited by scyld, 03 September 2012 - 06:02 AM.


#3 Eliirae

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 06:35 AM

From what I understand, you found one method that works, and decided to stick with it.

That doesn't mean that there's only ONE way to do things.

I'll have to agree with the above poster: Any time you try and make an informative/helpful/suggestion post, you REALLY want to avoid words or sentences that make it seem like "oh, the game is too easy, it needs to be omega hard" otherwise people will just blow you off as an attention seeker.

#4 Ganondorf

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 06:38 AM

View Postscyld, on 03 September 2012 - 05:59 AM, said:

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This sentence sort of annoys me and overshadows the rest of the empty bluster in this post. I mean, what more do you want? Sheesh.

A great deal of the open world events are just cake, cake zergs, or two guys causing constant blinds on a boss mob so the other 20 can whack away. There is really no order, skill, or much at all to it.

View PostEliirae, on 03 September 2012 - 06:35 AM, said:

From what I understand, you found one method that works, and decided to stick with it.

That doesn't mean that there's only ONE way to do things.

I'll have to agree with the above poster: Any time you try and make an informative/helpful/suggestion post, you REALLY want to avoid words or sentences that make it seem like "oh, the game is too easy, it needs to be omega hard" otherwise people will just blow you off as an attention seeker.

That one part seems to have been misinterpreted. I meant that outside of dungeons most of the pve content is tripe not that using this tactic causes the game to become easy mode.

Edited by Ganondorf, 03 September 2012 - 06:36 AM.


#5 Gareth72

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 04:16 PM

I can't speak for the blind fields as my groups haven't really been using them all that much, but I will say that combo fields in general are one of if not the most important thing to pay attention to in explorables, and that retaliation is really nice. As a warrior I've found that blasting the right field at the right time can make a huge difference over the course of an encounter. Nothing has given us so much difficulty as to require constant blinds and invulnerability rotations, but I'm sure it's very effective. Being a warrior traited into tactics makes it very easy and fast to revive fallen party members, which I've also noticed has made a large difference when compared to how other people fare when trying to revive.

#6 Ganondorf

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 04:28 PM

I can't overstate how potent the warriors banners are. Especially the elite one.

#7 Gareth72

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:27 PM

View PostGanondorf, on 03 September 2012 - 04:28 PM, said:

I can't overstate how potent the warriors banners are. Especially the elite one.
I've been running the elite and it's been a life saver, literally, in dungeons. However, instead of running the normal banner utilities I've been going with healing/reduced cooldown shouts. I've noticed that, while really nice at higher levels, the healing on shouts is pretty mediocre in dungeons like AC because of the down scaling.

Are you taking the regen/duration traits for banners, and how have they stacked up in the lower end dungeons in your experience?

#8 renroval

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 09:16 PM

Wait, are you saying thieves are actually useful in PvE dungeons? I always thought they brought nothing to the table compared to say a warrior. I still don't get the usefulness of thieves as a whole. They have VERY low survivability and provide no DPS buffs at all. Am I missing something? Is it the blind powder that they can keep up forever or the smoke screen or the stealth? Shortbow blast ability though I think warriors do a better job at blast.

Quick quesiton: If you had to choose, would you go pick a thief or a warrior for the party?

Edited by renroval, 03 September 2012 - 09:18 PM.


#9 Shamadamun

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 09:21 PM

View Postrenroval, on 03 September 2012 - 09:16 PM, said:

Wait, are you saying thieves are actually useful in PvE dungeons? I always thought they brought nothing to the table compared to say a warrior. I still don't get the usefulness of thieves as a whole. They have VERY low survivability and provide no DPS buffs at all. Am I missing something? Is it the blind powder that they can keep up forever or the smoke screen or the stealth? Shortbow blast ability though I think warriors do a better job at blast.

Quick quesiton: If you had to choose, would you go pick a thief or a warrior for the party?

This is something that made me really sad after playing a dungeon on my thief... I just didn't feel useful. Sure, I could lay down a trap that would immobilize some trash for a few seconds, or maybe I could blind a few targets for awhile, but other than that I have hardly any combo fields, hardly any support, and overall I die by just about everything (no, I'm not a glass cannon build)

#10 renroval

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 09:28 PM

View PostShamadamun, on 03 September 2012 - 09:21 PM, said:

This is something that made me really sad after playing a dungeon on my thief... I just didn't feel useful. Sure, I could lay down a trap that would immobilize some trash for a few seconds, or maybe I could blind a few targets for awhile, but other than that I have hardly any combo fields, hardly any support, and overall I die by just about everything (no, I'm not a glass cannon build)

Don't thieves have blind powder from pistol offhand? They can keep it for a very long time basically blind tanking mobs for a really long time. Don't know how it holds up to warrior blast with dark combo fields though. We do have shadow refuge for group stealth...

#11 renroval

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 10:26 PM

So apparently short bow cluster bomb is spammable combo blast...I wonder if people can abuse that for something

#12 Eldryth

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 01:27 AM

I think you're really underestimating the Mesmer.  Mesmers (especially Staff Mesmers) have:

Lots of boons and conditions
Ethereal Fields (which should be popular- they give mass boons/conditions through Chaos Armor, and Confusion should be popular for the same reasons as Retaliation
Condition removal/boon stripping (all in one skill)
A rez
And all of our Glamour skills give huge amounts of utility.

#13 Vargs

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 01:28 AM

Yeah, with the shortbow you can have a blast combo going every couple seconds forever. Does some decent AoE damage to boot.

Offhand pistol can also keep blind up in a small aoe almost indefinitely while providing a near constant smoke combo field. Bosses typically have resistance against blind, but if you pull trash mobs (which can sometimes be quite dangerous) into the black powder circle they're usually completely harmless as long as they don't have any ground targeted AoE abilities. And if they do, you just kill those first.

Thieves can also lay down shadow refuge to give people a breather, or use it to res while both they and the downed target are invisible. Shadow refuge heals people on its own as well, similar to the warrior elite banner. Between that and all of their escape abilities, thieves are pretty fantastic ressers. Smoke screen is a pretty great projectile blocking wall that applies blind to anything running through it, and functions as a combo field allowing you to blind as you fire through. Works well if you set up a rotation with other people in your group with similar skills when facing heavy ranged damage.

The thief is a useful class and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

#14 Ganondorf

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 01:29 AM

Basically thieves can grab the trait to share venoms with the group. Skale poison is the one that when shared allows for you to dump stacks of weakness and vulnerability on everything. Black powder is an offhand ability for the pistol/pistol for thieves. It causes projectiles that fly through it to cause blind. It is the only source of reliable ranged blinds. It costs 6 initative.

Cluster bomb is actually good because it is a blast with MULTIPLE blasts in it which allows for multiple triggers.

#15 renroval

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 01:33 AM

View PostGanondorf, on 04 September 2012 - 01:29 AM, said:

Basically thieves can grab the trait to share venoms with the group. Skale poison is the one that when shared allows for you to dump stacks of weakness and vulnerability on everything. Black powder is an offhand ability for the pistol/pistol for thieves. It causes projectiles that fly through it to cause blind. It is the only source of reliable ranged blinds. It costs 6 initative.

Cluster bomb is actually good because it is a blast with MULTIPLE blasts in it which allows for multiple triggers.


So they're not useless and are comparable to usefulness as warriors?

Or would bringing a warrior be that much better?

Edited by renroval, 04 September 2012 - 01:36 AM.


#16 Ganondorf

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:09 AM

My perfect team would have a setup like this for spacing.
X
X
XXX

The leading x is an elementalist leading the charge. He will draw all the focus of the enemy. He uses an invuln skill to get in without dying as the 3 people in the back set up their fields.
The second x is a warrior. He basically will take all the aggro when/if the elem goes down (he will rez the elem with his banner) and proceed to be the new tank/focus. If he goes down he does the switcheroo with the original elem.

The 3 x's in the back are a thief, necro, and a guardian. They maintain the combo fuel.

Depending on the prevalence of ranged mobs, ranged dungeon mechanics (turrets, lasahs), you might want to have a mesmer for wholesale projectile reflection or a engineer to keep up conditions and drop tons of blasts.

You need a necro, warrior, and an elementalist regardless to generate the blinds and loop aggro. I recommend always having a guardian too. Thief is the next thing I always recommend although their slot can be taken by a engineer/mesmer in certain situations. Although the thief is the best for 5th because he can handle more situations... the mes and engy can be more useful in a few odd places. That comment is more focused on the mesmers unique reflection properties.

The ranger is the odd man out as of the moment and doesnt really bring anything potent enough for me to consider.

#17 renroval

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:12 AM

You only use the warrior for tanking? So after tanking he just DPS?

#18 Ganondorf

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:14 AM

View Postrenroval, on 04 September 2012 - 01:33 AM, said:

So they're not useless and are comparable to usefulness as warriors?

Or would bringing a warrior be that much better?

They fill different roles.

If you can turn invulnerable for a set period you will be in one of the two tank positions. So basically elementalists and warriors are the tanks.

Additionally since they are tanks they will be the closest to the enemy... and they both have spammable blasts and leaps. Which makes them perfect for spreading combo fields.

The thief on the other hand is one of the folks keeping the combo fuel going. Using the pistol/pistol 5 skill you can keep up a smoke field. Enemy projectiles that travel through it automatically miss and any friendly projectiles going through it cause blindness. This is insanely powerful. You can completely shut down certain things with this. Additionally sharing venoms is awesome too and greatly increases your teams ability to weaken mobs and do damage. He can also be the guy that stirs those combo clouds with blasts.

I like the thief because it lets you split your group into two for certain things and maintain this tactic. Sometimes someone will go down and you can step in and fill a role until that dude gets picked up.

#19 Ganondorf

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:22 AM

View PostEldryth, on 04 September 2012 - 01:27 AM, said:

I think you're really underestimating the Mesmer.  Mesmers (especially Staff Mesmers) have:

Lots of boons and conditions
Ethereal Fields (which should be popular- they give mass boons/conditions through Chaos Armor, and Confusion should be popular for the same reasons as Retaliation
Condition removal/boon stripping (all in one skill)
A rez
And all of our Glamour skills give huge amounts of utility.

We use mesmers constantly for a lot of things. But not what you are listing. Ethereal fields are crap because they don't have the desired effects we want. They dont offer the boons we want. Their rez isn't as useful because you need a kill. It isn't because ethereal sucks... it's because it is inconsistent.

BUT they give quickness and can reflect projectiles wholesale. The skill mimic is beloved by a friend of mine. He absorbed the gigantic supah canon in the beginning of a dungeon and uses it to one shot a boss later on.

Although their ability to remove conditions from your party is nice... that is done better by other professions.

View Postrenroval, on 04 September 2012 - 02:12 AM, said:

You only use the warrior for tanking? So after tanking he just DPS?

Everyone dps' in between maintaining their combos. The warrior tanks, buffs with banners, can rez when needed, and most importantly of all spams blasts and leaps to keep the combo fields at his feet spreading.

#20 renroval

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:50 AM

Well a thief is dependent on initiaitve. Wouldn't the thief's damage be pointless since all he does is spam black powder rendering all his dps skills moot? Just bring another necro maybe for more blinds

EDIT: it seems black powder pulses for blind per second so it practically blinds enemies for 4 sec...and is spammable. interesting, but still, thief seems rather lackluster


Also, can warriors go melee greatsword and be effective in dungeons? I've always wondered this. Like after he does his invul block thing,he just goes greatsword and kills everything?

Edited by renroval, 04 September 2012 - 03:09 AM.


#21 Ganondorf

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:12 AM

Your dps is better with other weapons. Hundred blades is alright but whirling axes + 3 combo fields under you = @#$% ton of damage.

Greatsword is more of a pvp weapon.

Initiative is important for keeping up black powder but your 1 skill takes none and utility skills are cooldown based. Most skills are situational anyways and shouldnt be spammed (stuns, roots, snares, etc). You have one that is ALWAYS viable and readily available.

Additionally it is the only maintainable source of a RANGED blind.

The damage output isnt as important as surviving. Also consider the effect of your venoms. If a boss is taking 25% more damage from all sources it more than makes up for you doing 10% less damage from one source (you).

#22 renroval

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:18 AM

So warriors can go dual axes in dungeons and be effective?? I thought melee was shunned in dungeons...or is it cause of all the blind that they can survive?

#23 Snikt

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:28 AM

He specified axes because Whirling Axes in the combo fields is a huge ranged/aoe-ish disasterpiece of doom.

Edited by Snikt, 04 September 2012 - 03:28 AM.


#24 renroval

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:45 AM

Ah I see.Hmm how important is ranged blind anyways? And why not just grab another warrior and invul tank more...just curious.

#25 Vargs

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:51 AM

View PostGanondorf, on 04 September 2012 - 02:14 AM, said:

Using the pistol/pistol 5 skill you can keep up a smoke field. Enemy projectiles that travel through it automatically miss

This isn't actually true. You need to use the 30s cooldown utility Smoke Screen for this. The offhand pistol's Black Powder will not block enemy projectiles at all, although if you get a S/P or D/P melee thief in there and group up all the enemy melee mobs next to their ranged mobs, you can keep most everything inside the pulsing blind circle where they can't do anything.

The shortbow's Cluster Bomb will also not get multiple blast combos if you detonate it into clusters. You only get the blast combo if you let the big, single projectile hit the ground. Which is still good, since if you're close enough to give it a short travel time you can get them out very quickly and still not run out of initiative. If you press the button again while the bomb is in midair to detonate it, you won't get any combo finisher at all.

Edited by Vargs, 04 September 2012 - 03:55 AM.


#26 renroval

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 04:19 AM

View PostVargs, on 04 September 2012 - 03:51 AM, said:

This isn't actually true. You need to use the 30s cooldown utility Smoke Screen for this. The offhand pistol's Black Powder will not block enemy projectiles at all, although if you get a S/P or D/P melee thief in there and group up all the enemy melee mobs next to their ranged mobs, you can keep most everything inside the pulsing blind circle where they can't do anything.

The shortbow's Cluster Bomb will also not get multiple blast combos if you detonate it into clusters. You only get the blast combo if you let the big, single projectile hit the ground. Which is still good, since if you're close enough to give it a short travel time you can get them out very quickly and still not run out of initiative. If you press the button again while the bomb is in midair to detonate it, you won't get any combo finisher at all.

Aww that makes the thief that much more useless then =/

Dammit, just when I felt like playing my thief

You are now known to me as the crusher of dreams

Edited by renroval, 04 September 2012 - 04:20 AM.


#27 Ganondorf

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 05:50 AM

View PostVargs, on 04 September 2012 - 03:51 AM, said:

This isn't actually true. You need to use the 30s cooldown utility Smoke Screen for this. The offhand pistol's Black Powder will not block enemy projectiles at all, although if you get a S/P or D/P melee thief in there and group up all the enemy melee mobs next to their ranged mobs, you can keep most everything inside the pulsing blind circle where they can't do anything.

The shortbow's Cluster Bomb will also not get multiple blast combos if you detonate it into clusters. You only get the blast combo if you let the big, single projectile hit the ground. Which is still good, since if you're close enough to give it a short travel time you can get them out very quickly and still not run out of initiative. If you press the button again while the bomb is in midair to detonate it, you won't get any combo finisher at all.

Multi hit attacks actually have weaker combo finisher properties for projectiles. Each projectile only does 20% of the combo fields result if it is a multiple projectile attack. So it is actually better that it is a single big one.

Our thief expert said all smoke fields cause projectiles that travel through them to miss. I'll have to test this myself.

#28 Ganondorf

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 05:58 AM

View Postrenroval, on 04 September 2012 - 03:45 AM, said:

Ah I see.Hmm how important is ranged blind anyways? And why not just grab another warrior and invul tank more...just curious.

Ranged blinds are critical on some boss fights as they are mobile, can fly, or way more outlandish stuff. You only invuln tank when drawing the initial aggro from the room so you dont die. It only lasts 5 seconds or so. After that mitigation and blinds keep you alive.

#29 Vargs

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 06:45 AM

View PostGanondorf, on 04 September 2012 - 05:50 AM, said:

Multi hit attacks actually have weaker combo finisher properties for projectiles. Each projectile only does 20% of the combo fields result if it is a multiple projectile attack. So it is actually better that it is a single big one.

Our thief expert said all smoke fields cause projectiles that travel through them to miss. I'll have to test this myself.

I've never noticed getting area weakness when detonating cluster bomb in a poison field, so I just tested it 10 times and it didn't proc once. I've also been using D/P for probably around 77 out of 80 levels and am absolutely, 100% certain that black powder does not block projectiles. In fact, not 20 minutes ago I was just getting torn into by a couple mobs in Orr that were both ranged and spread out so I couldn't blind them both.

#30 Ganondorf

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 07:01 AM

View PostVargs, on 04 September 2012 - 06:45 AM, said:

I've never noticed getting area weakness when detonating cluster bomb in a poison field, so I just tested it 10 times and it didn't proc once. I've also been using D/P for probably around 77 out of 80 levels and am absolutely, 100% certain that black powder does not block projectiles. In fact, not 20 minutes ago I was just getting torn into by a couple mobs in Orr that were both ranged and spread out so I couldn't blind them both.

Don't detonate it. I was referring to multi hit attacks that for example fire a spread of three projectiles and etc. Not the cluster bomb. The detonated version does not combo, I tested it myself recently.





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