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sharper images mesmer math gear

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#1 Sebrent_Tehroth

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 08:40 PM

Attached is a spreadsheet containing:
  • the stat breakdowns of exotic pieces of gear based on prefix/jewel as displayed by gw2db.com
  • a comparison of Rampager's/Coral (power/precision/condition damage) versus Carrion/Chrysocola (power/condition damage/vitality).
  • in-depth analysis of Sharper Images with Greatsword and Staff clones
What I've found (assuming same attack speed for greatsword/staff) is:
  • at around 35% crit chance, Greatsword clones average more stacks bleeding per auto-attack than staff clones average stacks of bleeding/burning
  • at around 45% crit chance, Greatsword clones average more stacks of bleeding per auto-attack than staff clones w/ fury average stacks of bleeding/burning
  • a full set of Rampager's/Coral exotic gear will net a player at least a 45% crit chance
    • this is without factoring in the +precision from at least 15pts in Dueling (150 precision)
    • with 150 precision from 15 points in Dueling, you gain about 7.15% more crit chance ... favoring Greatsword even more
What I've yet to investigate:
  • Factoring in that the Mesmer's Greatsword applies 0 conditions (except with a Sigil) while the Staff has a 2/3 chance of applying bleeding or burning
  • Factoring in that the Mesmer's Staff, when traited, can "double-tap" a target
  • Analysis versus multiple targets ... since the Mesmer's Staff and Staff Clones' attacks can bounce to an additional target (or 2 in the Mesmer's case).
  • Comparing Berserker's/Ruby set versus Rampager's/Coral set for a Greatsword Mesmer with Sharper Images
    • Berserker gives more power ... more direct damage from Mesmer and Phantasms
    • Rampager's gives more critical chance ... more direct damage from Mesmer and Phantasms and apply more Bleeds from Sharper Images
    • Berserker gives more crit damage ... more direct damage from Mesmer and Phantasms
    • Rampager's gives more condition damage ... more condition damage from Mesmer and Phantasm conditions
What I'd appreciate
  • Feedback on any of this
  • Ideas for ways to investigate the above
  • Ideas for other things to investigate
  • Personal experiences related to these topics
For information on the math for the sharper images calculations, see my previous post from back in beta (nothing I'm aware of has changed since then) ... http://www.guildwars...es#entry1849108

Attached Files



#2 axjv

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:27 PM

You could possibly factor in the other skills as well; use steady weapons and record the attack damage and rate of the 2 phantasms, damage of the auto attacks themselves, the average damage done by Chaos Storm, and the damage done by Illusionary Wave. In addition, are you considering the damage of the various conditions that each weapon applies? You have a chart showing how each condition scales with Malice, but I see no mention of it in your final table.

Your calculations were a bit fuzzy on the details, so I'll provide some of my own math.

With Sharper Images alone, the Greatsword will generate CritChance * 3 stacks of 10-second bleeds per 100 attacks, while the Staff will generate CritChance*2 stacks of 10-second bleeds per 100 attacks, along with 33 stacks of 7.75 second bleeds and 33 stacks of 1-second burning.

In total, the Greatsword attack will generate CritChance * 30 ticks of bleeding per 100 attacks.
The Staff will generate CritChance * 20 + 255.75 ticks of bleeding per 100 attacks.

In order for the Greatsword to overtake the Staff in terms of bleeds from attacks, CritChance * 10 must be greater than 255.75, or a minimum critical chance of 25.58%.

Now consider burning. For simplicity's sake, let's assume our hypothetical Mesmer has 1000 Malice. This makes one stack of burning equivalent to 6.25 stacks of bleeding.

So, our new formula for effective condition damage per 100 attacks (Staff) is: CritChance * 20 + 255.75 ticks of bleeding + 206.25 ticks of 'bleeding' (burning)

So, our new minimum value for critical chance turns out to be 46.2%. This checks out with your conclusion.

From experimental evidence, the attack rate of the Staff is 0.75 attack/second, and the attack rate of the Greatsword is 0.75 attack/second, so that is a nonfactor.

In terms of pure auto-attack DPS, if you are going Condition Damage/Precision, it is better to use Greatsword over Staff. Personally, I will always prefer the Staff as my main set, with a switch to Sword/Focus. The Staff just provides so much utility it is hard for me to choose any other weapon; the instant teleport in Phase Retreat has saved me countless times, the Aegis from Chaos Storm prevents my clones from dying and has blocked many a fatal hit, and the ability to create nearly perpetual Chaos Armor for yourself is extremely useful.

I honestly don't know how people manage to play with a Staff + Greatsword combination in PvE. In my opinion, even after the responsiveness buffs, Greatsword is one of the weaker options the Mesmer has available. The only thing it really provides is damage, and utility in the form of might, vulnerability, a cripple and a knockback. On the other hand, Staff provides decent damage, an instant cast teleport, vulnerability, might, fury, aegis, swiftness, Chaos Armor, and a phantasm that synergizes with a Condition Damage build, among other things. Sword/Focus, my other set, provides vulnerability, distortion, immobilize, a pulling skill that doubles as a cripple/speed buff, and projectile absorption along with the highest damaging phantasm the class has available. Between these two sets, I don't really see room for using a Greatsword at all.

Edited by axjv, 24 September 2012 - 09:35 PM.


#3 Harper

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:09 PM

View Postaxjv, on 24 September 2012 - 09:27 PM, said:

I honestly don't know how people manage to play with a Staff + Greatsword combination in PvE. In my opinion, even after the responsiveness buffs, Greatsword is one of the weaker options the Mesmer has available. The only thing it really provides is damage, and utility in the form of might, vulnerability, a cripple and a knockback. On the other hand, Staff provides decent damage, an instant cast teleport, vulnerability, might, fury, aegis, swiftness, Chaos Armor, and a phantasm that synergizes with a Condition Damage build, among other things. Sword/Focus, my other set, provides vulnerability, distortion, immobilize, a pulling skill that doubles as a cripple/speed buff, and projectile absorption along with the highest damaging phantasm the class has available. Between these two sets, I don't really see room for using a Greatsword at all.
I've started playing with Staff/GS (instead of my previous sword/pistol or sword/sword in second slot).  And it is actually quite a refreshing change that really fosters kiting and dodging.  Right now, I start in GS and swap to staff after Mirror Blade/Berserker/Mind Stab.  With Deceptive Evasion slotted, the GS clones are quite nice.  Since they are ranged, they spread out a bit and can't all get wiped at once.  Same goes for the staff clones.  Being spaced out also helps for Diversion Shatters, since the dazes do not stack.  The downside is that when you overwrite a clone, there is usually not an adjacent foe to take the death condition from the clone (cripple or condition).  

An interesting benefit from using GS is that you can find your target by following the zap.  Sometimes I get a bit confused in large battles about exactly where my target is.  Especially for battles where I am changing targets often.  

--Harper

#4 Ikelos

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:11 PM

View Postaxjv, on 24 September 2012 - 09:27 PM, said:

I honestly don't know how people manage to play with a Staff + Greatsword combination in PvE. In my opinion, even after the responsiveness buffs, Greatsword is one of the weaker options the Mesmer has available. The only thing it really provides is damage, and utility in the form of might, vulnerability, a cripple and a knockback. On the other hand, Staff provides decent damage, an instant cast teleport, vulnerability, might, fury, aegis, swiftness, Chaos Armor, and a phantasm that synergizes with a Condition Damage build, among other things. Sword/Focus, my other set, provides vulnerability, distortion, immobilize, a pulling skill that doubles as a cripple/speed buff, and projectile absorption along with the highest damaging phantasm the class has available. Between these two sets, I don't really see room for using a Greatsword at all.

I agree that I wouldn't see myself every using both Greatsword & Staff, however I really don't see Staff working well for a power build. Your autoattack does pitiful damage without condition damage, the teleport does no damage, the phantasm *does* do damage but every weapon set has a phantasm, Chaos Armor does no damage, and Chaos Storm can do damage but on a stupidly long cooldown.

While the utility of a Staff can't be denied, there needs to be an alternate weapon where you can actually DPS. We've got a choice of Scepter (low DPS) and Sword (melee), neither of which I particularly want to rely on for extended attacking. I suppose this is where the Staff/Greatsword combo arises from, the need for a weapon where you can spam damage while still using a Staff.

I suppose a shatter-focused build could avoid this issue to an extent. But I don't see shattering as an effective damaging technique in itself, since 1 cycle of any given phantasm does more or comparable damage to a 3-clone shatter.

#5 Harper

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:20 PM

View PostIkelos, on 24 September 2012 - 10:11 PM, said:

While the utility of a Staff can't be denied, there needs to be an alternate weapon where you can actually DPS. We've got a choice of Scepter (low DPS) and Sword (melee), neither of which I particularly want to rely on for extended attacking. I suppose this is where the Staff/Greatsword combo arises from, the need for a weapon where you can spam damage while still using a Staff.
This is my feeling too.  In dungeons and events, getting in and out of melee can be deadly.  I like to get 3 warlocks up and then attack at range with spatial surge and mind stab.  If one or more warlocks die, I will spawn a GS clone or two, swap to staff, spawn a warlock, and then another staff clone or two while waiting for warlock to come up again.  I will only use a berserker in this steady state if all of my warlocks are down.  The reason being is that when you will overwrite the "Oldest" phantasm if you summon another.  So if you have 2 warlocks and then summon a berserker, you need to summon 3 warlocks before you have an all warlock team again.  I'll just shatter instead, then start building up from scratch, starting with a Berserker and filling in with clones until I have 3 warlocks up again.

--Harper

#6 axjv

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:47 PM

I like to have one defensive weapon set, and one offensive, in order to have all of my bases covered. Running a Staff does not mean you have to specialize in Condition Damage, or rely on your auto attacks to deal damage. Phantasmal Warlock scales amazingly with Power and Precision, the Vulnerability the Staff provides does wonders for direct damage, and Chaos Storm deals more damage with more Power. In addition, due to the way Malice scales, even at 0 Condition Damage, your conditions will deal a decent amount of damage. In addition, many power builds rely on shatters to deal damage, meaning that even while wielding a Staff your damage output can be respectable.

I'm not saying the Staff is the premier weapon for the Power/Precision Mesmer, just that the utility of the Staff will let me and my party survive far longer than any other weapon I've tried, and an alive teammate does more DPS than a dead one. Your results may vary, as everyone has a different playstyle, but from reading PvP and PvE forums on here and the official site, it seems that Staff is a perennial favorite for both high-level PvP and high-level PvE, and for both Condition Damage and Power/Precision builds.

#7 CepaCepa

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:50 PM

View Postaxjv, on 24 September 2012 - 09:27 PM, said:

I honestly don't know how people manage to play with a Staff + Greatsword combination in PvE. In my opinion, even after the responsiveness buffs, Greatsword is one of the weaker options the Mesmer has available. The only thing it really provides is damage, and utility in the form of might, vulnerability, a cripple and a knockback. On the other hand, Staff provides decent damage, an instant cast teleport, vulnerability, might, fury, aegis, swiftness, Chaos Armor, and a phantasm that synergizes with a Condition Damage build, among other things. Sword/Focus, my other set, provides vulnerability, distortion, immobilize, a pulling skill that doubles as a cripple/speed buff, and projectile absorption along with the highest damaging phantasm the class has available. Between these two sets, I don't really see room for using a Greatsword at all.

I on the other hand, cannot seem to grasp the usefulness of staff for a pure damage role --- Until recently, but I'll explain that. This is for a damage role in Dungeons, mind you.

1. Damage: After the change, staff damage cannot compete against Greatsword without having 3 iWarlock up and your team mates loading the boss with conditions. Mirror Blade and Mind Stab do good damage themselves, not mentioning auto attack hits harder too. There's also the point that in order to reduce iWarlock CD (staff CD reduction), you're sacrificing 200 Power, which can tip the balance between iBerserker and iWarlock. And for any fight where there isn't just one stationary mob but adds/lesser mobs as well, iBerserker is superior anyways. Ultimately makes Greatsword a more "go-to" dps weapon.

2. Survivability: In dungeons, I never find survivability to be a problem, even for harder fights such as the mid-way boss in Arah. This is for speccing FULL offensive and gearing accordingly. I can't do this on any other professions without death/loss of damage simply from tip-toeing, but it seems to work surprisingly well for mesmers. We just have so many tricks, our endurance refills fast, our illusions distract enemies, we have teleports and invisibilities, we have numerous stun breakers, we have powerful utilities such as feedback and null field both can be used either defensively or offensively, not to mention evasions. I originally ran Sword/Sword along with Greatsword for evasion and block, but found that it was overkill for dungeons, I really could've used my other set for more damage.

3. I have a lvl 80 support elementalist, which is why I don't want to go support with my mesmer. A damage oriented mesmer already brings one of the best support in dungeons: unstoppable waves of clones to distract the mobs, along with feedback. Without traits, all our "random boon" spells (including chaos armor) do is really just unreliable buff, an ally may need a protection/regeneration right now yet your chaos storm just gave him might. Compare this to an elementalist, who can always on-demand give a chain of buffs of choice, burst healing/cleanse on short CDs, or effects, making last second saves possible and synchronize the burst so much easier. Or guardian, who just slashes away in his normal rotation and everyone gets buffs/aegis. It's nice if it's there, random buff on top of things is always good, but I'm just saying as a damage oriented mesmer we can't reliably "also support". (When you're supporting, you're not doing damage, and a Guardian/Elementalist can fill that support role easily WHILE doing decent damage). Hence all the "support" in Staff really are just icing on the cake for me, not the cake itself, the cake is the Greatsword.

4. So the choice for me is Staff vs Sword/Sword. Focus is great utility no doubt, it's insane at times. But since I have feedback equipped and there's no lack of thieves in dungeon groups, I find it sometimes is overkill. I mean I keep a focus in my bag but, you know. :) Sword/Sword is not more damage than Greatsword in dungeon reality --- Getting into melee range is such a chore especially when Sword actually doesn't hit that hard compared to other melee professions, all those dodging time = lost damage. iSwordman is the only saving grace, but still doesn't justify myself standing there hoping for a chance to get into melee and feeling like "I could've done something else". For a while I even considered Sceptor/Sword, but no. Watching that 5 stacks of confusing run out as the boss chase down someone and not even doing one hit is heart-breaking and happens way too often. So Staff it is, I can switch back and forth for phantasms/clones and while wind of chaos doesn't hit like mirror blade, it's at least better damage than trying to run into melee only to dodge out without being able to do much damage at all.

So, here's why I picked Staff + Greatsword for dungeons. :)

Edited by CepaCepa, 24 September 2012 - 11:10 PM.


#8 axjv

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:01 PM

View PostCepaCepa, on 24 September 2012 - 10:50 PM, said:

I on the other hand, cannot seem to grasp the usefulness of staff --- Until recently, but I'll explain that. This is for a damage role in Dungeons, mind you.

1. Damage: After the change, staff damage cannot compete against Greatsword without having 3 iWarlock up and your team mates loading the boss with conditions. Mirror Blade and Mind Stab do good damage themselves, not mentioning auto attack hits harder too. There's also the point that in order to reduce iWarlock CD (staff CD reduction), you're sacrificing 200 Power, which can tip the balance between iBerserker and iWarlock. Ultimately makes Greatsword a more "go-to" dps weapon.

2. Survivability: In dungeons, I never find survivability to be a problem, even for harder fights such as the mid-way boss in Arah. This is for speccing FULL offensive. We just have so many tricks as a mesmer, our endurance refills fast, our illusions distract enemies, we have teleports and invisibilities, we have numerous stun breakers, we have powerful utilities such as feedback and null field both can be used either defensively or offensively, not to mention evasions. I originally ran Sword/Sword along with Greatsword for evasion and block, but found that it was overkill, I really could've used my other set for more damage.

3. I have a lvl 80 support elementalist, which is why I don't want to go support with my mesmer. A damage oriented mesmer already brings one of the best support in dungeons: unstoppable waves of clones to distract the mobs, along with feedback. Without traits, all our "random boon" spells (including chaos armor) do is really just unreliable buff, an ally may need a protection/regeneration right now yet your chaos storm just gave him might. It's nice if it's there, random buff on top of things is always good, but I'm just saying as a damage oriented mesmer we can't reliably "also support". (When you're supporting, you're not doing damage, and a Guardian/Elementalist can fill that support role easily WHILE doing decent damage). Hence all the "support" in Staff really are just icing on the cake for me, not the cake itself, the cake is the Greatsword.

4. So the choice for me is Staff vs Sword/Sword. Focus is great utility no doubt, but since I have feedback equipped and there's no lack of thieves in dungeon groups, I find it sometimes is overkill. Plus I generally don't like the look of them. :) Sword/Sword is not more damage than Greatsword in dungeon reality --- Getting into melee range is such a chore especially when Sword actually doesn't hit that hard compared to other melee professions, all those dodging time = lost damage. iSwordman is the only saving grace, but still doesn't justify myself standing there hoping for a chance to get into melee and feeling like "I could've done something else". For a while I even considered Sceptor/Sword, but no. So Staff it is, I can switch back and forth for phantasms/clones and while wind of chaos doesn't hit like mirror blade, it's at least better damage than trying to run into melee only to dodge out without being able to do much damage at all.

So, here's why I picked Staff + Greatsword for dungeons. :)

Without any traits, the Greatsword is a great weapon. However, I find on a traited, maximum level Mesmer, going into and out of melee range isn't much of a problem, even on the hardest hitting mobs. Melee weapons already have a natural damage advantage over ranged ones due to balance reasons, and if you can afford to go into melee, why not?

Some ways you can go melee, deal damage and not die: Blurred Frenzy provides invulnerability, you can instantly swap to Staff and Phase Retreat, you can slot Decoy and use that to escape, you can slot Blink and use that to escape, you can use Temporal Curtain -> Into the Void to push the mobs away, you can trait Deceptive Evasion and dodge roll away while creating a clone that you can shatter for additional damage, you can use your Distortion shatter and just walk away, you can trait Desperate Decoy and stay in melee range until you get automatically stealthed, and many more. Some of these options are more viable than others, but the point is, Mesmers have INSANE innate survivability, and is one of the only classes that can be built pure glass cannon and still function reasonably well (not recommended).

Just speaking from experience, as I've played Guardian, Thief, and Mesmer through every dungeon in the game, and Mesmer can stay in melee range just as well as any of these classes.

Edited by axjv, 24 September 2012 - 11:01 PM.


#9 CepaCepa

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:32 PM

View Postaxjv, on 24 September 2012 - 11:01 PM, said:

Without any traits, the Greatsword is a great weapon. However, I find on a traited, maximum level Mesmer, going into and out of melee range isn't much of a problem, even on the hardest hitting mobs. Melee weapons already have a natural damage advantage over ranged ones due to balance reasons, and if you can afford to go into melee, why not?

Some ways you can go melee, deal damage and not die: Blurred Frenzy provides invulnerability, you can instantly swap to Staff and Phase Retreat, you can slot Decoy and use that to escape, you can slot Blink and use that to escape, you can use Temporal Curtain -> Into the Void to push the mobs away, you can trait Deceptive Evasion and dodge roll away while creating a clone that you can shatter for additional damage, you can use your Distortion shatter and just walk away, you can trait Desperate Decoy and stay in melee range until you get automatically stealthed, and many more. Some of these options are more viable than others, but the point is, Mesmers have INSANE innate survivability, and is one of the only classes that can be built pure glass cannon and still function reasonably well (not recommended).

Just speaking from experience, as I've played Guardian, Thief, and Mesmer through every dungeon in the game, and Mesmer can stay in melee range just as well as any of these classes.

I leveled my mesmer to 80 as Sword/Sword simply because it looks cool, so I know that it is more than able to stay alive while doing melee damage. Mesmers are slippery, with decoy and blink equipped and Frenzy on 8 sec CD I'm not really worried about "dying too much"...The problem is: overall, is that MORE damage than staying out and constantly dealing damage?

I arrived at this conclusion through testing: Each Sword #1 hits for 500 ish damage, the third hit can crit for 1K. But in the time that it takes me to do that 3 slash combo, using Greatsword I can already Spatial Surge twice doing 2K damage anyways. Frenzy is great and can do 2-3K damage, but Mirror Blade + Mind Stab covers that as well. So it comes out at about the same damage for Sword and Greatsword, but this is provided that I can do damage all the time --- Typically, I can keep Frenzy on CD, but I'd only be able to do 1-2 Sword #1 hits among dodging aoe and dodging mobs that aggro on me. Some options such as using focus in offhand (hence not having iSwordman), shattering for evasion (hence not damage), are all trade offs that do not need to be considered for Greatsword. When I melee as a glass cannon mesmer I'm already pushing the limits going pure offensive with everything, I'm always half a second away from death before I slip out of trouble, I try to dish out as much damage as possible and sacrificing any survival utility beyond "keeping myself barely alive", but I can at most be on-par or slightly better than simply using my Greatsword. Overall, it really doesn't reward you much for risking your life in Melee,

The difference between Mesmer and the other melee professions is how hard they hit with just white attacks, it's rewarding for a warrior or Guardian to dance in there because each hit that they can pull off would be 1-2K damage. It needs to be this way because on top of our own damage, mesmers have phatasms doing damage as well, so they can't give us melee attacks that hit as hard as the other classes, which then means that it's not really awarding for us to go in there. I really loved the melee playstyle, the slippery and tricky fun, but sadly I feel like I'm just putting myself into danger for nothing which really diminishes the adrenaline rush that makes glass cannon melee fun.

Also, if I'm using decoy and blink as my utilities, I'm sacrificing two of feedback, null field, or mirror image. This is another reason why I chose to just stay back, only during certain fights do I put decoy and blink back on and switch to dual sword (or even torch for the invis).

Edited by CepaCepa, 24 September 2012 - 11:40 PM.


#10 Jobuu

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:06 PM

won't the duelist from pistol make up for the lack of dps on the scepter? I'm currently using staff with the scepter/pistol and i like it. I tried GS and don't like it....but maybe i'm not doing it right.

#11 Zorian51

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:27 PM

View PostCepaCepa, on 24 September 2012 - 11:32 PM, said:

I leveled my mesmer to 80 as Sword/Sword simply because it looks cool, so I know that it is more than able to stay alive while doing melee damage. Mesmers are slippery, with decoy and blink equipped and Frenzy on 8 sec CD I'm not really worried about "dying too much"...The problem is: overall, is that MORE damage than staying out and constantly dealing damage?

I arrived at this conclusion through testing: Each Sword #1 hits for 500 ish damage, the third hit can crit for 1K. But in the time that it takes me to do that 3 slash combo, using Greatsword I can already Spatial Surge twice doing 2K damage anyways. Frenzy is great and can do 2-3K damage, but Mirror Blade + Mind Stab covers that as well. So it comes out at about the same damage for Sword and Greatsword, but this is provided that I can do damage all the time --- Typically, I can keep Frenzy on CD, but I'd only be able to do 1-2 Sword #1 hits among dodging aoe and dodging mobs that aggro on me. Some options such as using focus in offhand (hence not having iSwordman), shattering for evasion (hence not damage), are all trade offs that do not need to be considered for Greatsword. When I melee as a glass cannon mesmer I'm already pushing the limits going pure offensive with everything, I'm always half a second away from death before I slip out of trouble, I try to dish out as much damage as possible and sacrificing any survival utility beyond "keeping myself barely alive", but I can at most be on-par or slightly better than simply using my Greatsword. Overall, it really doesn't reward you much for risking your life in Melee,

The difference between Mesmer and the other melee professions is how hard they hit with just white attacks, it's rewarding for a warrior or Guardian to dance in there because each hit that they can pull off would be 1-2K damage. It needs to be this way because on top of our own damage, mesmers have phatasms doing damage as well, so they can't give us melee attacks that hit as hard as the other classes, which then means that it's not really awarding for us to go in there. I really loved the melee playstyle, the slippery and tricky fun, but sadly I feel like I'm just putting myself into danger for nothing which really diminishes the adrenaline rush that makes glass cannon melee fun.

Also, if I'm using decoy and blink as my utilities, I'm sacrificing two of feedback, null field, or mirror image. This is another reason why I chose to just stay back, only during certain fights do I put decoy and blink back on and switch to dual sword (or even torch for the invis).

Greatsword is probably my least favorite weapon out of the bunch even in a Power Build. You lose out on a lot in a dungeon using it for most fights (not all). Most fights its simple enough to move in and out of melee so the range on it doesnt matter as much. Greatsword does good damage only when you're at max range. Why does this suck? Because with mirror blade you need to be close to get the bounce for might yourself. Going closer lowers your DPS.

MindStabs damage is so-so it really doesnt do any more then other moves. Greatsword clones are worthless without the bleed trait unless you shatter constantly. Where as staff/sword clones server a better purpose. In dungeons the sword clones are great for boon stripping and its most constant especially if you have more then one up then say mind stab at removing boons. I also feel that the Greatswords phantasm is one of the worst out there for dungeons. It dies fast and doesnt hit as strong as most of the others. Finally, number 5 is very subjective in use and doesnt seem useful in as many situations as other skills are on the staff. I'm just not a fan.

Staff on the other hand provides you with a stun break (amazing in dungeons on fights such as Subject Alpha) it provides you with defensive abilities that still do damage. Chaos Storm not only does great things against enemies but gives you a free combo field as well as giving block to anyone in it the majority of the time. This is amazing for close range phantasms. Finally staff clones and the warlock are great in any build. In most dungeons enemies have a ton of condtions on them anyways since five people are going up against them and even if you're all some kind of power build there will be numerous condtions up. Phantasm Warlock makes use of that take in the power damage and does this all from range.

Does this make GreatSword useless? Not at all and its great for fights where you need to be ranged and cant get into melee range. For example I used it on the burning heart on the CoF. Its rare that I pull it out thought.

I feel Staff and Sword are your best main weapons in the dungeon. Sword gives me boon stripping and invicibility that has saved me numerous times. People also underestimate how good leap is in dungeons and binding bosses and adds. The rate you can do it is pretty good and I'm able to keep things off squishy thiefs much longer with these skills. Offhand choice is personal preference but I roll with the focus usually. Pistol sometimes and I dont really use the offhand sword at all. All 3 are good for certain situations thought.

All in all I feel Greatsword doesnt bring nearly enough to the table for me to consider it in over 90% of dungeon fights. PvE in the world is trival so it doesnt matter what you use. I can see people using it a bit more in WvW as range fighting happens a lot more (running people everywhere and people on top of keeps etc).

Just remember your auto attack damage isnt everything. Phantasms and clones make up a good chunk of your damage as well. Your build also comes in to play here. A Power/Phantasm build will do better with a Staff then a GreatSword in most circumstances.

TL;DR Greatsword is overrated by a lot of people. It's good but other weapons are on par or better in a lot of circumstances.

Edited by Zorian51, 26 September 2012 - 06:30 PM.


#12 CepaCepa

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:36 PM

View PostZorian51, on 26 September 2012 - 06:27 PM, said:

Greatsword is probably my least favorite weapon out of the bunch even in a Power Build. You lose out on a lot in a dungeon using it for most fights (not all). Most fights its simple enough to move in and out of melee so the range on it doesnt matter as much. Greatsword does good damage only when you're at max range. Why does this suck? Because with mirror blade you need to be close to get the bounce for might yourself. Going closer lowers your DPS.

MindStabs damage is so-so it really doesnt do any more then other moves. Greatsword clones are worthless without the bleed trait unless you shatter constantly. Where as staff/sword clones server a better purpose. In dungeons the sword clones are great for boon stripping and its most constant especially if you have more then one up then say mind stab at removing boons. I also feel that the Greatswords phantasm is one of the worst out there for dungeons. It dies fast and doesnt hit as strong as most of the others. Finally, number 5 is very subjective in use and doesnt seem useful in as many situations as other skills are on the staff. I'm just not a fan.

Staff on the other hand provides you with a stun break (amazing in dungeons on fights such as Subject Alpha) it provides you with defensive abilities that still do damage. Chaos Storm not only does great things against enemies but gives you a free combo field as well as giving block to anyone in it the majority of the time. This is amazing for close range phantasms. Finally staff clones and the warlock are great in any build. In most dungeons enemies have a ton of condtions on them anyways since five people are going up against them and even if you're all some kind of power build there will be numerous condtions up. Phantasm Warlock makes use of that take in the power damage and does this all from range.

Does this make GreatSword useless? Not at all and its great for fights where you need to be ranged and cant get into melee range. For example I used it on the burning heart on the CoF. Its rare that I pull it out thought.

I feel Staff and Sword are your best main weapons in the dungeon. Sword gives me boon stripping and invicibility that has saved me numerous times. People also underestimate how good leap is in dungeons and binding bosses and adds. The rate you can do it is pretty good and I'm able to keep things off squishy thiefs much longer with these skills. Offhand choice is personal preference but I roll with the focus usually. Pistol sometimes and I dont really use the offhand sword at all. All 3 are good for certain situations thought.

All in all I feel Greatsword doesnt bring nearly enough to the table for me to consider it in over 90% of dungeon fights. PvE in the world is trival so it doesnt matter what you use. I can see people using it a bit more in WvW as range fighting happens a lot more (running people everywhere and people on top of keeps etc).

Just remember your auto attack damage isnt everything. Phantasms and clones make up a good chunk of your damage as well. Your build also comes in to play here. A Power/Phantasm build will do better with a Staff then a GreatSword in most circumstances.

TL;DR Greatsword is overrated by a lot of people. It's good but other weapons are on par or better in a lot of circumstances.

I actually prefer iBerserker for most trash pulls in dungeon, simply because it is aoe. If I need to single target, that's when I switch to staff or sword and pull out a iWarlock or iSwordman. Also, swapping weapon and running to melee (and even with leap you still need to run from 1200 to 600 range first, plus the leap cast time which is another second) is damage time lost, swapping to staff and forced to wind of chaos for a few seconds is even more damage lost. For fast fight where I'm expecting to kill things below 20 seconds, I just start out in Staff, switch to Greatsword immediately, call one phantasm, wait for it's second attack and blow everything up. Switching in between is really a loss of damage here I feel.

I agree that staff teleport is nice, but... Like I said, I'm having NO problem surviving at all in dungeons even in glass cannon build, and that is one reason why I had to abandon my favourite Sword/Sword combo --- Because Sword #2 and Sword #4 are so seldom used (except for a necessary interupt) that I felt I was wasting them. Now I've used staff alot, my opinion is the the staff, like you were suggesting for the Greatsword, is overated by lots of people --- The damage from the weapon itself is simply too low! So much so that the damage difference between iWarlock and iBerserker doesn't even justify the significantly lower damage from the weapon itself. I mean, it's nice to be able to chaos storm, but chaos armor is not suiting my taste. I mean a major reason that I can pull it off as a pure glass cannon in dungeons is that I dodge lots and I dodge good, I'm not even supposed to take a hit at all. So many times chaos armor, which only gives me a buff (which I can't even predict) upon getting hit, is wasted. For group support (field + blast finisher) chaos armor is also a lot less reliable than some other things, because of the randomness. If I am to support my group, I want to be able to cast a sure protection on them all before an incoming aoe attack, not finding out AFTER they got damaged already that they just received a "fury" from the armor, and the second hit is coming.

For greatsword, you mentioned mirror blade --- In dungeons, you'd almost ALWAYS have a teamate standing in range for a bounce. Each bounce hits for 1-2K, each bounce gives an ally 3 might stacks, and it can also just bounce off between 2 mobs. That's 3-6K damage on a 6 second CD on at least one mob. Sometimes I even run in (you don't need to run ALL the way in, just the 2nd tier of distance) to get the bounce going if for some reasons no other target is in range, and the might stacks on myself EASILY offset the distance problem for Spatial Surge. Mind stab is another 3K crit on 8 second CD. iBerserker vs iWarlock is at most a 2K damage difference every 5 second given only a single mob, and sometimes not even because, well, sometimes you get a team that only has bleed and vulnerability, it doesn't justify staying in staff and spamming wind of chaos instead of mirror blade/mind stab/spatial surge... And Greatsword #5? That's one of our only blast finisher lol, I rarely have it NOT on CD... Water field for aoe healing (happens a LOT since those rangers with healing spring are always standing somewhere near us at range)? Fire field for aoe 3 stacks of might? Guardian symbols for condition removal? Yes please! :D

Don't get me wrong, I've stated before that Sword/Sword remains one of my favourite set, and I am trying hard to justify my use of staff instead of it. Ultimately I'm using staff for iWarlock, chaos storm and the 1200 range, swapping back to GS as soon as I can. Arguably I can do that with Sword/Sword too but iSwordman, like iBerserker, is yet another melee range (though they DO tend to keep a fair distance away, it's not THAT big of a distance, both of them) phantasm. I'm now having doubts again because, even if I just roll in, do a Frenzy, and roll out, that's more damage than what wind of chaos does standing there spamming... And yes, the sword is amazing in some fights, the immobilize for 3rd boss in Arah for example (immobilize grub and frenzy right after). The staff has its niche too (iWarlock is afterall, a ranged phantasm that stands safely at 1K range, and wind of chaos occasional does some intelligent bouncing, makes me feel better about its low damage --- And yes, one more teleport is always nice, though I can function without it).

Oh and clones, GS clones stack bleed faster than any other clones with my 50%+ crit chance. And most of the time I'm not worried about clones that much because I'd much rather have them replaced by phantasm as soon as possible, and if not, they only serve three purposes: standing there giving me damage buff, distract the mobs for me and my team mates, and being shatter materials. All the conditions (vulnerability, bleed, burn, etc) are just icing on the cake, each clone has its niche so I'm not picky. That being said, GS clones have another interesting niche in positioning --- I can place it far at 1K+ range by dodge rolling or mirror image to keep them alive and/or kiting the mobs from all directions, OR I can generate them through mirror blade, spawn one next to the mob, who will grab the mob's attention immediately and buy us some time. Staff clone can't be placed in melee (unless you run into melee yourself first...) and Sword clone can't range attack.

Edited by CepaCepa, 26 September 2012 - 08:53 PM.


#13 Zorian51

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:23 PM

I guess but I think you underestimate the IWarlock. The range and damage it pulls off is pretty massive. It also stays up a ton longer then the IBerserker. My warlocks usually crit for 4-5k damage each hit with a high critical rate and don't die instantly. I also dont really stay on staff to long. I run Sword/Focus more then anything and use staff to just toss out moves then switch back. Perhaps if you're sitting there keeping your staff out you'll lose DPS but in most cases.

Run in start the fight with it pop otu whats needed switch to your main weapons and go to work. I find that Iwarden does more damage then anything and has the most amazing potention if you play it right. The bind from sword is just to useful for me to pass up. You also need to remember staff is bouncing its attackes to allies to much like mirror blade to your allies or other enemies. It also does it quite a bit more since its a basic attack and clones can do it as well. While its true that perhaps your actual damage will be lower what matters is "sum of the whole is greater than the parts" and it usually is with staff.

Giving your teammates buffs such as Aegis and Might while applying thinks like vuln and such to an enemy is usually worth more then me running greatsword. Overall team damage and survivablity are what matter in the end not your damage. Its why I think staff shines more. It benefits everyone much greater then greatsword. You can toss some might to help others out but the majority of skills on the Greatsword are simply damage. No other benefit. Perhaps if thats what you're going for (which it sounds like you are) then thats great.

I'm more team focused especailly in dungeons and I find staff to make things quicker over all.

#14 Lastchime

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:52 PM

The GS bounces too though, so don't they both double tap?

I mean they are two different kettles of fish entirely, staff is more of a defensive gtfo weapon, whereas the GS is an offensive stay at range weapon. Not all circumstances in actual game can you keep the target at max range for a GS to hit really sweet (well the cripple certainly helps), staff has no damage change with range.

  On the other hand traited you can stack easily 12-15 stacks of might on yourself, then toss em around with siggy of inspiration, that's a  fair sized damage buff for the group.

  While I appreciate the work that went into this, I don't think it's very easy to make a black and white statement on which is better without a lot of caveats and restrictions.

#15 Myrhial

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:41 PM

I'd be very interested in a berserker's versus rampager's comparison. I understand the choice for rampager (goes well with many builds) but for pure greatsword it appears to me that berserker may be superior. Without the combat log showing condition ticks it is hard to really tell, but I feel with how much crit chance you get that the increased critical damage on the damage of GS #1 for example must be more than what bleeding from sharper images can add. Plus there are then the situations where you don't have clones / phantasms up all the time, for example because things die too fast (events) or kill your clones / phantasms (boss fights). I may be doing it wrong though :P

#16 Sinnacle

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 01:16 PM

View PostZorian51, on 26 September 2012 - 06:27 PM, said:

Greatsword is probably my least favorite weapon out of the bunch even in a Power Build. You lose out on a lot in a dungeon using it for most fights (not all). Most fights its simple enough to move in and out of melee so the range on it doesnt matter as much. Greatsword does good damage only when you're at max range. Why does this suck? Because with mirror blade you need to be close to get the bounce for might yourself. Going closer lowers your DPS.

MindStabs damage is so-so it really doesnt do any more then other moves. Greatsword clones are worthless without the bleed trait unless you shatter constantly. Where as staff/sword clones server a better purpose. In dungeons the sword clones are great for boon stripping and its most constant especially if you have more then one up then say mind stab at removing boons. I also feel that the Greatswords phantasm is one of the worst out there for dungeons. It dies fast and doesnt hit as strong as most of the others. Finally, number 5 is very subjective in use and doesnt seem useful in as many situations as other skills are on the staff. I'm just not a fan.

Staff on the other hand provides you with a stun break (amazing in dungeons on fights such as Subject Alpha) it provides you with defensive abilities that still do damage. Chaos Storm not only does great things against enemies but gives you a free combo field as well as giving block to anyone in it the majority of the time. This is amazing for close range phantasms. Finally staff clones and the warlock are great in any build. In most dungeons enemies have a ton of condtions on them anyways since five people are going up against them and even if you're all some kind of power build there will be numerous condtions up. Phantasm Warlock makes use of that take in the power damage and does this all from range.

Does this make GreatSword useless? Not at all and its great for fights where you need to be ranged and cant get into melee range. For example I used it on the burning heart on the CoF. Its rare that I pull it out thought.

I feel Staff and Sword are your best main weapons in the dungeon. Sword gives me boon stripping and invicibility that has saved me numerous times. People also underestimate how good leap is in dungeons and binding bosses and adds. The rate you can do it is pretty good and I'm able to keep things off squishy thiefs much longer with these skills. Offhand choice is personal preference but I roll with the focus usually. Pistol sometimes and I dont really use the offhand sword at all. All 3 are good for certain situations thought.

All in all I feel Greatsword doesnt bring nearly enough to the table for me to consider it in over 90% of dungeon fights. PvE in the world is trival so it doesnt matter what you use. I can see people using it a bit more in WvW as range fighting happens a lot more (running people everywhere and people on top of keeps etc).

Just remember your auto attack damage isnt everything. Phantasms and clones make up a good chunk of your damage as well. Your build also comes in to play here. A Power/Phantasm build will do better with a Staff then a GreatSword in most circumstances.

TL;DR Greatsword is overrated by a lot of people. It's good but other weapons are on par or better in a lot of circumstances.

Why would you want to get close to get the might stacks if it happens it happens.  Just get some superior Sigils of Battle and there you go 3 stacks of might for 20 sec on CD.   I dont think people are saying GS is the Must have weapon if anything its staff everyone says you have to run staff or alludes that you should.  Heck even the how to mesmer guide in PvP section says that staff is almost must have.

I tried staff not my cup of tea I don't really care to much for Chaos armor or Storm.  Everyone loves 2 on the staff and it seems to be the number 1 thing everyone points to is skill 2 more so than the other skills.  

1 is good and keeps you at range.  You arent always going to be at range but warriors aren't always going to be able to get into melee range either.

2 is basically a cast most of the time i don't even let the illusion stay up I just turn it instantly in to a Mind wrack or any of the shatter skills.  I mean if your close you can get might buff.  If not you still get a illusion up.  If not that then as soon as 2 hits then pretty F1 instant mind wrack.  

3 is ok since they put speed on it.  if your running a Earth sigil you can get a bleed from it pretty often depending on Crit chance.

4.  Berzerker is really good.  I usually gets its attack out when I cast it.  Some times it doesnt but sometimes Duelist doesnt either so I am pretty sure Warlock gets killed when it comes in too.   I was running sword pistol in a dungeon with increased range on duelist and AC explore for example spider boss duelist gets wiped.  Probably more so than berzerker.   Alot of bosses throw AOE around so even if you are at range it doesnt matter alot of time the boss is throwing the aoe at you many times and your illusion just died.  So not illusion is really safe.  I'd say warden gets killed faster than the other one.

5.  Is good for those trash mobs like Puppies in Twilight arbor on the different paths, Grawlings in Astalonian Catacombs explorer or the spiders in both Dungeons.  Its also a cone interrupt doesnt matter if boss is immune to knock back it will still interrupt.  Also i use it countless times when a downed party member has something on him hit 5 to push it back and rez.   5 is actually really good imo.

#17 CepaCepa

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 07:04 PM

View PostZorian51, on 27 September 2012 - 02:23 PM, said:

I guess but I think you underestimate the IWarlock. The range and damage it pulls off is pretty massive. It also stays up a ton longer then the IBerserker. My warlocks usually crit for 4-5k damage each hit with a high critical rate and don't die instantly. I also dont really stay on staff to long. I run Sword/Focus more then anything and use staff to just toss out moves then switch back. Perhaps if you're sitting there keeping your staff out you'll lose DPS but in most cases.

...

Giving your teammates buffs such as Aegis and Might while applying thinks like vuln and such to an enemy is usually worth more then me running greatsword. Overall team damage and survivablity are what matter in the end not your damage. Its why I think staff shines more. It benefits everyone much greater then greatsword. You can toss some might to help others out but the majority of skills on the Greatsword are simply damage. No other benefit. Perhaps if thats what you're going for (which it sounds like you are) then thats great.

I'm more team focused especailly in dungeons and I find staff to make things quicker over all.

Oh I love iWarlock on boss! Which is why I'm running GS + Staff. iBerserker crits 3-4K while iWarolock crits 4-5K, with 3 of them up that's a 3K damage difference every 5 second, it's quite substantial, AND they're standing at range so harder to die. However you gotta realize that these "ideal situations" do not happen a lot, and if I'm just standing there waiting for iWarlock to pop back up and throwing that pitiful wind of chaos at the boss, I do MUCH less damage in total comparing to this rotation: iWarlock + Storm --- Switch GS and iBerserker + other GS damage skills --- Switch Staff for iWarlock again, throw in 1 or 2 wind of chaos --- Switch back for GS attacks. The damage happens a LOT faster this way, which makes it both good for boss fight AND for trash pulls. Keep in mind also that as soon as any form of adds come into a picture, iBerserker becomes superior.

No doubt Aegis is wonderful, though I hope the duration can be longer. The thing is, I have an elementalist too, who is specced water support (not just heal, that would be bad ... this means I'm constantly switching attunements, keeping many buffs on allies, and throwing down all kinds of fields for combo, CC, and blast finish them to give aoe buffs, heals, all the while doing OK-ish damage and constant aoe), and I often run with a group of friend. When I tried to run support mesmer with them, they didn't like it. For support they'd rather have me hop on my elementalist, and they notice a dent in the speed that we were killing things when I switched from glass cannon mesmer to support. So I guess that's why I keep emphasizing on the damage part of things, because I have another support character already. And you are definitely right if no one in the group is doing support the dungeon can get miserable. But I just also want to note that even as glass cannon mesmers, we provide VERY helpful support to the team already through illusion tanking, feedback/null field, and our wonderful, wonderful elites, and these are all very unique things that only us mesmers can bring.

View PostLastchime, on 27 September 2012 - 02:52 PM, said:

The GS bounces too though, so don't they both double tap?

I mean they are two different kettles of fish entirely, staff is more of a defensive gtfo weapon, whereas the GS is an offensive stay at range weapon. Not all circumstances in actual game can you keep the target at max range for a GS to hit really sweet (well the cripple certainly helps), staff has no damage change with range.

  On the other hand traited you can stack easily 12-15 stacks of might on yourself, then toss em around with siggy of inspiration, that's a  fair sized damage buff for the group.

  While I appreciate the work that went into this, I don't think it's very easy to make a black and white statement on which is better without a lot of caveats and restrictions.

Yeah I have the extra bounce trait too, and I'm using GS + Staff in dungeons right now (keeping a pair of swords in my bags though, and a focus too just in case...), those two weapons synergize pretty well. With the extra bounce wind of chaos is actually not that horrible now, on the same target provided there's someone in range (like the warrior in your team) it can hit almost as hard as GS #1. And mostly, I just really like the damage that iWarlock can do to bosses (who are usually loaded with condition), and standing at range definately helps.

View PostMyrhial, on 27 September 2012 - 03:41 PM, said:

I'd be very interested in a berserker's versus rampager's comparison. I understand the choice for rampager (goes well with many builds) but for pure greatsword it appears to me that berserker may be superior. Without the combat log showing condition ticks it is hard to really tell, but I feel with how much crit chance you get that the increased critical damage on the damage of GS #1 for example must be more than what bleeding from sharper images can add. Plus there are then the situations where you don't have clones / phantasms up all the time, for example because things die too fast (events) or kill your clones / phantasms (boss fights). I may be doing it wrong though :P

Since I had 20 points in domination and 30 in illusion, I thought I have enough + condition duration and + condition damage already lol, so I went full berserker. :) Ultimately, although phantasms hit hard and I intend to savor every last drop of those big damage numbers, there comes times when we have to damage the opponents without the help of a phantasm. Things that need to be quickly bursted down for example. So it's always good to have more power to myself as I feel. :)

#18 Dixa

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 03:22 AM

what builds are people that are running gs+staff in dungeon using? do you attempt to get both cooldown traits?





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