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PVE Defensive Analysis: Questions & Community feedback

shield survivability survival pve dungeon heal toughness vitality denfensive tank

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#1 DragonMasterDre

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 04:23 PM

The following is a collection of information and three questions posed for you the community along with my take on the questions posed. This is partially me rambling, however I hope my analysis helps someone and sparks some interesting debates or theory-crafting on the idea of making a highly defensive warrior.

Question 1: How useful is a shield?

I mean I can see how if you time it right the shield stance move would absorb a good chunk of damage, and the charge stun move is okay. However does the extra defense added from it make a huge difference? because if you build toughness anyway it would seem to make more sense to use a two handed weapon either hammer for knockdowns, knockbacks and stuns or Greatsword for its high damage potential and mobility with its whirl attack, or hell even dual axes. I mean how much do you think the shield really contributes to survivability?

Question 2: If a shield is key to survivability, which weapon should be used with it?

Ok so following from the previous question. Lets say a shield does add significant toughness and in properly utilizing its stun charge and shield stance which weapon would work best with it. I mean since this discussion is based on high survival you would have to take into account damage is not a key variable, however every bit helps.

So building swords would lead to having to add condition damage into your gear selection. Bleeds would work since your damage is slowed and using shield stance your bleeds would continue to tick down, and if you choose to save your adrenaline for the regeneration trait in the toughness line, you still can stack bleeds with your standard attack loop. lastly about the sword is your ability to soak an attack and counter to apply a bleed, which would also add to survivability of this potential build.

If you lets say go with an axe for your main weapon you do get a nice cripple applying ranged attack and axe from my limited testing does the most straight applied damage due to its fast and multiple hits, and with your whirling attack you can stack vulnerability which does add to damage, and since we are building for survival every bit helps.

Lastly if you go mace. Mace has the stuns that complement the shield and probably has the most control in the 1H weapon choices. However due to its speed it is probably the lowest damage of the three, however if you choose to take the +5% damage to weakened targets in addition to the mace ability in the same tree that gives +10% damage to weakened targets that is a total of +15% damage simply looping your main attack which the 3rd strike applies weakness. In addition similar to the sword you have your riposte type ability that guards and soaks one attack and counter strikes.

Question 3: Which stats in terms of dungeon running do you feel adds highest to survival?

I have read the post by paradiselight on the forum doing the math for toughness vs vitality.
http://www.guildwars...s-and-vitality/
and he does leave some variables up in terms of +healing and its role in survival. So following all his math with general theory crafting which stat combinations are best for survival in PVE dungeon running.

Now some people may say, toughness & vitality are the best combination for survival. However Warriors have a lot of ways to regenerating health and that does make the idea of stacking +healing a viable option.

Take in mind this is highly based on your spec, but lets just say that warriors have, besides they basic healing move have three other ways to heal themselves and allies. They have their regeneration ability based on if you save your adrenaline, you have banners which can be made to have a regeneration while active, and lastly you have shouts which have can be made to spam since they have low CDs and you can have up to three in addition to your primary heal.

So honestly if you wanted to build pure survival and sort of neglecting damage you would want to build +healing, +vitality & +toughness. However that does not exist yet (as far as I know). Now I in no way know all the combination variables on armor as I have seen only a small amount of the lvl 80 gear available. However in general they come as followed.

Low grade blue & green gear tends to have only 1 survival stat (with exception to cleric)

Carrion (for sword bleeds) [+condition damage, +power, +vitality]

Cleric [+healing, +power, +toughness]

Knight [+toughness, +power, +precision]

Valkyrie [+power, +vitality, +crit damage]

So Cleric gear would be ideal for a high defensive build, however that leaves out vitality which in a survival build I highly doubt can be ignored.

Then some of the rare sets which can be bought with gold have two defensive stats. Gear from the Vigial in their base can be bought for a couple gold each and that has

Vigial [+power, +toughness, +vitality]

Now that seems really good but then you have no +healing, which we previously agreed benefits a warrior greatly because of they various ways to heal themselves and their allies.


So this is a collection of information I have found and trying to wrap my head around it I know this varies based on individual preference and play style however I really felt like I should compile this information into a single post for first off the hope that someone can benefit from my rambling, and second to start hopefully a discussion from the community about some of my questions posed and what your opinions are.

Anyway please comments below if you have anything to add, or to correct something I may be wrong about or if you just have a question. I am looking forward to  your responses and thank you if you made it this far down my rambling!

Edited by DragonMasterDre, 12 September 2012 - 04:30 PM.


#2 cidbahamut

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 05:24 PM

I'm just going to say it: shit is situational.

I've found situations where using a shield has been a lifesaver, but I've also found myself in situations where bringing a hammer instead was key to staying alive. It really comes down to what you're facing off against and what you have stored in your other weapon set.

In terms of going full defense mode, I've found main-handing a mace to be a decent complement to the shield. It offers additonal defensive capabilites that tend to allow you to stall your enemy long enough for the shield abilities to come off cooldown without leaving you overly vulnerable.

#3 DarkHorseKnight

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:11 AM

Im not sure a shield is KEY to survival but, it provides a lot of utility.

The shield charge thing is a charge for mobility, and stun for interrupting.

The shield block in many cases allows you to stay in and eat a big move rather then running away or rolling away. The value of this is that say you right up under a boss and he starts the windup for something big and nasty, rather then roll away, lose all my bleed stacks, and use up a roll, I can stay in keep my bleed stack keep my endurance and get right back to swinging by sword.

Then it provides additional defense.

To me it is the most utilitarian offhand available. I still use an axe offhand occasionally and a warhorn sometimes too, but the sheild is just so good for so many situations I find it hard to go without.

#4 Black Autumn

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:26 PM

So, traited and with a L80 shield you can get what, another +127 Toughness over someone with equal points in Defense that isn't running with a shield (assuming +90 from Shield Master and +37 from a L80 shield)?  Does this honestly make a difference (enough to warrant picking it over say a sword, mace or warhorn offhand) or are you just better off picking your offhand strictly for the 4 and 5 abilities?

Only L53 ATM, so bear in mind my lack of top-end experience.

#5 MyOne

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:06 PM

i dunno if its even worth it, if you think about even using the sigil of the undead for 5% convertion of toughness to condition dmg.
I dunno if its really worth going full defensive mode. Im farming intensive explorers and I have to say : dodging, shout healing is more than enough for survivability (plus shake it off etc)

#6 barcode120x

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 05:37 AM

View Postcidbahamut, on 12 September 2012 - 05:24 PM, said:

I'm just going to say it: shit is situational

This AND

View PostDarkHorseKnight, on 13 September 2012 - 07:11 AM, said:

Im not sure a shield is KEY to survival but, it provides a lot of utility.

this.

IMO, ANY weapon can be a "survivable" weapon, but shield probably does a bit more because of "Block."

It's all about player "skill." There actually is little "skill" required to be "survivable", it's more like common sense really. Common sense in the fact that one shouldn't just stand in the same spot the whole fight. One should always be on the move, time the heals and/or remove-condition skills right, and switch from melee to range every now and then to reduce the incoming damage intervals. Oh, of course, don't forget to dodge and time them correctly based on enemy auto-attack vs. their actual skills.

Edited by barcode120x, 26 September 2012 - 05:38 AM.


#7 Black Autumn

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 04:20 PM

Thanks guys.  So I suppose if I'm worried about running out of Endurance to dodge, a Mace/Shield setup could be really helpful.  Otherwise, trait and skill for survival, pay attention, and don't sweat having a shield if something else seems to have better synergy?





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