GuanglaiKangyi, on 26 December 2012 - 05:29 AM, said:

The CoF path 1 boss does an AOE on a regular basis. He'll kill any phantasms before you get them out. Same with the path 2 boss, it spits fire everywhere.

In fact, pretty much any boss with AOE = bye phantasms. The only boss I've ever gotten 3 wardens up on is the bomb guy in CM, the one in the barn.

In fact, pretty much any boss with AOE = bye phantasms. The only boss I've ever gotten 3 wardens up on is the bomb guy in CM, the one in the barn.

Why warden? Their cast take forever and their attack CD is ridiculously long, which puts them at quite low dps even though you see a big number coming up after their 3 second attack. Beside, it doesn't move. For optimal damage you want to have 3 iWarlock out and doing damage in Greatsword yourself. Alternatively, 2 iWarlock and 1 iBerserker is fine enough (and VERY easily to achieve, in 15 seconds you set up 3 phantasms).

You may say phantasms die fast: they do, that's why it is a demonstration of a mesmer's skill to try to keep your phantasms alive, or otherwise salvage as much dmg as you can with well timed shattering + summon sequence. For example, CoF last boss, if you summon your iWarlock/iDuelist in the perimeter at 3 different angles max range surrounding the boss, the aoe would at most be able to hit 1 of them, given the CD on that aoe, you can always replenish your phantasm. If you don't have melee in your group to block the knock down waves, and you get very unlucky with red circles targeting your phantasms, there's always an alternative: shatter. Shatter as soon as you see your phantasms in danger, shatter at the first sign of an impending attack, shatter once you know that the boss is about to do something (he has timer, so you can estimate). With weapon swap you can get 2 phantasms out instantly every 15 seconds, so in other words, if you can't keep your 2+ phantasms alive for 15 seconds, shatter them, it nets the same dps if you're going 20 20 0 0 30.

The thing with mesmer tooltips is, they're simply way off a lot of times, you just need to do testing with real numbers. Easiest comparison: get a mesmer and a warrior, go into a dungeon, pick a different target than the warrior everytime and see how fast these two mobs (veteran or champion) dies.

Let me illustrate some numbers: Mossman in fractal swamp after bugging him out, where everyone just stand there and dps. Sort of like the patchwerk comparison in Liching King WoW.

Mesmer: each iWarlock crit for 11-15K depending on boon and condition (in moss man fight, everyone is in melee anyways, and might gets stacked up on ppl more or less equally), an average of 13K crit. In full berserker iWarlock has 180% crit damage (they only take + crit from trait, not gear/weapon) and 50% + furty = 70% crit chance, which nets an average of 11.2K damage per hit for each iWarlock. iWarlock hits every 6 seconds, which means each iWarlock is worth 1.9K dps. 3 iWarlocks = 5.7K dps by themselves. Now let's count the mesmer's own damage: you'd want to use sword for this particular encounter due to melee range and the fact that greatsword #2 overwrites phantasms so not ideal in this particular fight. In this encounter, sword hits for around 7.5 K per 2.5 s cycle crit and 2.5K per 2.5 s cycle none crit, to a (furied) average of 6K per 2.5 s, that's 2.4K dps right there. Now, blade flurry is every 8 second for 2 second duration hitting for 8K average on this encounter (and since it hits 8 times, factored crit already), notice that the 8 sec CD starts AFTER the cast if finished, so technically it is 2 second every 10 second. Which means 4K dps X 1/5 + 2.4K dps X 4/5 = 2.7 K dps from the mesmer himself. Add this up with the iWarlock damage, we have 5.7K + 2.7K = 8400 dps.

Warrior: everyone is in melee, warrior is getting lots of buff too, it's a fair comparison. 100 blade hits for an average of 30K in this situation (crit already factored in due to multiple hits), over 3.5 second, on a CD of 8 second which starts after the cast is finished, this is a dps of 8.6K. For the 2.5 second cycle the greatsword does around 9K damage crit and 4K none crit, to a fury average of 7.5K damage over 2,5 s, which is 3K dps. So every 11.5 second, the warrior does 3K dps for 8 sec followed by 8.6K dps for 3.5 second. This is therefore: 2.1K + 2.6K = 4700 dps.

I'm disregarding bleed damage for both professions, since they're going berserker and the mesmer is using iWarlock (hence doesn't crit and bleed as much as iBerserker or iDuelist, even iWarden).

As you see, it's not even comparable. I'm a lot more familiar with maximum damage combo for mesmer so I may be biased. Let's say, warrior utility + weapon swap axe + Adrenaline gives another 2K dps (14K hit/7 second = 2K dps) neting it at 6700 dps (I should say, in reality that 7 second stuck in axe could cause something like 500 dps drop, and since the CDs don't exactly line up, swapping = at some point delaying 100 blade, so ultimately the overall dps needs to be re-evaluated). That's STILL 2K dps below the optimal mesmer. And any player who have played glass cannon mesmer for a long time will not be surprised, the maximum potential of a mesmer's dps is none surpassed, you just need to play with a good one in a dungeon to find that out. If these numbers doesn't make sense to you, there are many videos posted online that you can check them against, I've arrived at these numbers myself from 600+ fractals that I've played.

Now, this big difference obviously will not be tolerated by ANet if everything else is equal, so there's a catch: To arrive at that setup, a mesmer needs 30 second to set things up. Alternatively, he'd just need 15 second to set things up if he sacrifices something like 500 dps to get an iDuelist or iSwordman instead of 1 of the iWarlock. Weapon swap is 7 second, so he'll be stuck in Staff (bad weapon dps, 1.5-2K with bouncing trait AND boons) for 7-14 seconds depending on whether if he gets iWarlock X3 or iWarlock X 2 + iSomethingelse. All in all, this simply means: If the mesmer has 2 or more phantasms constantly out on the field, he'd surpass a warrior staying fully in melee. Alternatively, since shatter mesmer > phantasm mesmer with less than 2 phantasms out, it means that a GOOD shatter/phantasm (shares trait) mesmer should always be able to do very big damage all the time. The only situation that is problematic is when your phantasms are not doing attacks and not being shattered either but rather directly face-smashed into purple butterflies AND you can't replenish them quickly enough, but this situation should NOT happen, or at least should be absolutely minimized by an experienced mesmer.

Having said that, you can't always minimize that problem. Things die, clones die lots (which is fine), and sometimes you just can't save your phantasms. This is also true with warriors being in melee and holding no ranged weapon, but while most professions just needs to watch for what the boss is doing (hence, can I go into melee) as well as CDs, mesmer needs to also counting phantasm/clone/shatter CDs in conjunction with phantasm attack timer, planning your phantasm/clone/dodge sequence 30 seconds into the future constantly and adaptively, and watch your own phantasms like a hawk in case they're targeted and you need to shatter. Therefore, it's only natural that often than not mesmers do not achieve that 3 phantasm dps. But since we're talking about potential, for single target at least, mesmer is definitely at the top there --- If you pay attention to everything till your eyes hurt, you'll be rewarded with big numbers. That's the essence of the profession.

**Edited by CepaCepa, 15 January 2013 - 10:30 PM.**