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When is Sharper Images worth it?

mesmer sharper images

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#1 Falhawk

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:51 AM

Hi guys

I have tried several mesmer builds and except for pure power/defensive builds, they all somehow always include Sharper Images for the bleeds.

The build I am currently running:

http://gw2skills.net...H7Oudk7sIYQwEDA

Its a balance/offensive build which I am enjoying to great success. Its tanky enough to deal with burst classes (decent toughness and protection from Chaos/Inspiration traits) and excellent against ranged with Wardens Feedback, and it still hits quite hard, though lacking on burst.

Now, I am wondering whether I should keep Sharper Images, since the condition damage is very low on this build. I don't have the iduelist but my iWarden and iBeserker and sword clones can stack bleeds quite fast. I could go for phan haste instead or more domination traits, for example reduced cooldowns on greatsword.

What do you guys think - when is Sharper Images worth it?

Edited: corrected some gramma.

Edited by Falhawk, 25 September 2012 - 11:52 AM.


#2 Falhawk

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:01 PM

No one use sharper images? Come on :-)

#3 Sans

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:07 PM

High crit chance with a greatsword.
Every "Attack" is made of 3 small burst, so the bleeds can stack pretty high, but you would also have to manage and fit some condition damage in.
You should probably switch it out for something a little more useful.

Edited by Sans, 25 September 2012 - 02:09 PM.


#4 Falhawk

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:24 PM

View PostSans, on 25 September 2012 - 02:07 PM, said:

High crit chance with a greatsword.
Every "Attack" is made of 3 small burst, so the bleeds can stack pretty high, but you would also have to manage and fit some condition damage in.
You should probably switch it out for something a little more useful.

So what would you say is the minimum condition damag for getting something out of Sharper Images?

#5 Onerios

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:46 PM

Its not condition damage that determines if you should use sharper images, but your crit ammount. Yours is more then sufficient for it to be atleast a 12% dps increase, so keep it in.

#6 Nibiru23

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:35 AM

Sharper images + IWarden is crazy, even better than Iduelist, the only problem is IWarden is a stationary Ilusion, but in PvE it works good.

Sharper images is 1 of the best traits we have.

#7 Falhawk

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 09:11 AM

View PostNibiru23, on 26 September 2012 - 07:35 AM, said:

Sharper images + IWarden is crazy, even better than Iduelist, the only problem is IWarden is a stationary Ilusion, but in PvE it works good.

Sharper images is 1 of the best traits we have.

Also if you are having 0 in condition damage? So you are saying that the base damage of the bleed would outperform, lets say, a 10% increase from the Illusion trait that boosts damage when having clones out.

What would you suggest is the bare minimum crit chance you should have for taking sharper images? I guess that for this trait alone the crit damage as such is not as important...

#8 F O S T E R

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 10:35 AM

Sharper Image is good trait but in wrong tree. Bleeding in tree where you have bonus precision and malice is useles, because conditions doesn't crit.

#9 Offski

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:59 AM

It's one of our best traits, why dont you get on a dummy and see how much damage your bleeds cause, you'll be surprised and don't forget clones can stack bleeds with crits as well as phantasms.

#10 Breakin

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:51 PM

Sharper Images is a must in pretty much any build for a few reasons.

A Mesmer has to use an amulet with Precision. If they don't, they are most likely just gimping themselves. The only exception I can think off is using your build ( which by the way is the generic mesmer build that more or less everyone is using ) with Soldier's Amulet, to sacrifice some damage for a little bit of durability.
EVERY weapon set uses phantasms, so it's only natural for you to pick traits that boost them in one way or another. It just so happens that Sharper Images is the best option when doing that. 15 points in Dueling gives you 150 precision, 15% crit damage, Vigor on Crit, Bleeding for your Phantasms, and a trait of choice. All of the Adept traits in Dueling are good, so you just CAN'T go wrong with 15 points in dueling.
Now for your build specifically, you use Greatsword. Greatsword has Mirror Blade, and if you put Sigil of Superior Battle on it, you will have a good amount of Might stacks most of the time, which as your probably know, gives you both Condition Damage and Power.

#11 Nibiru23

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:58 PM

View PostFalhawk, on 26 September 2012 - 09:11 AM, said:

Also if you are having 0 in condition damage? So you are saying that the base damage of the bleed would outperform, lets say, a 10% increase from the Illusion trait that boosts damage when having clones out.

What would you suggest is the bare minimum crit chance you should have for taking sharper images? I guess that for this trait alone the crit damage as such is not as important...

i understand you, you started to play mesmer yesterday.

Ofc if you have 0 condition dmg its useless ( i think that is obvious), if you want to rely on bleed you have to take some conditon dmg.

Edited by Nibiru23, 26 September 2012 - 12:58 PM.


#12 KodiakX

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:23 PM

This build is confused with itself.

#13 Offski

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:31 PM

View PostNibiru23, on 26 September 2012 - 12:58 PM, said:

i understand you, you started to play mesmer yesterday.

Ofc if you have 0 condition dmg its useless ( i think that is obvious), if you want to rely on bleed you have to take some conditon dmg.

Sorry but you are wrong.

the formula is

Bleeding Condition Damage Formula:
0.5 * Level + 0.05 * Condition Damage per stack per second

so you get as a minimum 0.5 *80(level) = 40 damage for bleeds per second per stack.  So if you are using the GS and you have 1 clone up and the berserker you may get 4 stacks of 5 second bleeds on the target.  That is 800 damage over those 5 seconds with no condition damage. If like me you continue to spam your clones , through utilities and dodges and also bring out new phants. then it is not impossible to keep this number of stacks up semi permanently.  Therefore every second you are doing 160 damage as a minimum, before any might stacks u may gain from GS 2.

10 seconds - 1600 damage nearly 10% of someones health.  yes sharper images is an immense trait.

#14 Nibiru23

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:58 PM

View PostOffski, on 26 September 2012 - 02:31 PM, said:

Sorry but you are wrong.

the formula is

Bleeding Condition Damage Formula:
0.5 * Level + 0.05 * Condition Damage per stack per second

so you get as a minimum 0.5 *80(level) = 40 damage for bleeds per second per stack.  So if you are using the GS and you have 1 clone up and the berserker you may get 4 stacks of 5 second bleeds on the target.  That is 800 damage over those 5 seconds with no condition damage. If like me you continue to spam your clones , through utilities and dodges and also bring out new phants. then it is not impossible to keep this number of stacks up semi permanently.  Therefore every second you are doing 160 damage as a minimum, before any might stacks u may gain from GS 2.

10 seconds - 1600 damage nearly 10% of someones health.  yes sharper images is an immense trait.

nice formula, but its wrong, With 50 condition dmg at lvl 80 it does 45 dmg per sec. Why? coz i tested it mamy times. You should check too.

#15 Offski

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 05:10 PM

View PostNibiru23, on 26 September 2012 - 02:58 PM, said:

nice formula, but its wrong, With 50 condition dmg at lvl 80 it does 45 dmg per sec. Why? coz i tested it mamy times. You should check too.

Yep i missed the 2.5 to add on, below is from the wiki.

But my poiint still stands that with no condition damage gear - sharper images is still worth having.

Posted Image Bleeding can stack in intensity up to 25 times and each stack does one pulse of damage per second. The damage dealt by bleeding is determined by the following formula: 2.5 + 0.5 * Level + 0.05 * Condition Damage= per stack per second

#16 Falhawk

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 05:48 PM

View PostNibiru23, on 26 September 2012 - 12:58 PM, said:

i understand you, you started to play mesmer yesterday.

Ofc if you have 0 condition dmg its useless ( i think that is obvious), if you want to rely on bleed you have to take some conditon dmg.

Actually no, I played mesmer from day one.

View PostKodiakX, on 26 September 2012 - 01:23 PM, said:

This build is confused with itself.

care to explain?

#17 kilger

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:08 PM

View PostOffski, on 26 September 2012 - 05:10 PM, said:

Yep i missed the 2.5 to add on, below is from the wiki.

But my poiint still stands that with no condition damage gear - sharper images is still worth having.

Posted Image Bleeding can stack in intensity up to 25 times and each stack does one pulse of damage per second. The damage dealt by bleeding is determined by the following formula: 2.5 + 0.5 * Level + 0.05 * Condition Damage= per stack per second

Yea 50 condition isnt going to add much, you need a few hundred to really make it a factor.  800 condition to double your damage.  If you go that high you'll probably have to gimp your precision somehow which would be getting you those bleeds in the first place, so not sure its worth it since precision also adds raw damage too.

Sharper images is a lot of extra damage for a small investment, so even on a power/precision build like mine I have to have it.

#18 Humungous

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:49 PM

You have to consider the whole pile:

20 in precision gets you the bleeds, vigor, clone on roll, and your pick of a nice set of tier 1 options. It's just nutty good.

The only builds that I think can do without 20 dueling are PvE builds that don't want so much back-loaded damage.

As far as the OP question re: condition damage, I think it's a worthwhile investment even at zero condition damage. I like my crit to be > 40%, though. I'm just too fond of the vigor + rolling clones.

Edited by Humungous, 26 September 2012 - 07:50 PM.


#19 RandolfRa

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 09:26 PM

Sharper images is worth it on most builds that have any critical chance. Without sharper images, your clones do no damage at all. With it, it's not difficult to have 10 bleed stacks on a foe on a typical fight.

View Postkilger, on 26 September 2012 - 06:08 PM, said:

Yea 50 condition isnt going to add much, you need a few hundred to really make it a factor.  800 condition to double your damage.  If you go that high you'll probably have to gimp your precision somehow which would be getting you those bleeds in the first place, so not sure its worth it since precision also adds raw damage too.

Sharper images is a lot of extra damage for a small investment, so even on a power/precision build like mine I have to have it.
You could go with rampagers amulent. It gives more precision and condition damage than berserkers, but not as much power.

Edited by RandolfRa, 26 September 2012 - 09:32 PM.


#20 Grubb

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 09:32 PM

Definitely worth it. I used a condition build with condition damage gear before and had my bleeds tick for around ~80 which was awesome but it took quite a while to set up.

Condition builds seem to shine when you have long fights since conditions just ramp up while you stack them up whereas bursting would be pretty similar damage whenever your cooldowns are ready. (disregarding more phantasms out there due to both builds having them) the problem with it is though if there's a long fight it usually means you're with quite a few players and then the bleed cap of 25 stacks is easily reached, which sort of sucks for a condition heavy build since it basically caps your damage. It is really nice that conditions ignore armor though, but then again they don't get any benefit from the vulnerability conditions.

Recently I went for a power/precision build with this trait and well it rocks. sure my condition damage is about half of what it was before but with a build like this I want to go in the precision traitline anyway to get more crit and to just get it 'for free' in there is a godsend. Take iBerserker or iWarden for example when they are summoned on average they applies 3-5 bleed stacks that's about ~135 - 225 extra dps for a minor trait! That is huge!

The best part is that clones with their shitty damage can still crit, so they can also apply this.It's just a lot of added damage.

So yes, even if you don't have any condition damage at all, this trait is still definitely worth getting.


Also as far as stats go, they scale in a linear fashion. so if you feel your up front damage is lacking because your opponents run with thoughness builds a lot, you can decide to swap some of your gear to add a bit more condition damage. Those bleed stacks will be applied regardless of your gear, just don't give up too much precision gotta have those crits!

Edited by Grubb, 26 September 2012 - 09:34 PM.


#21 KodiakX

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:23 PM

View PostFalhawk, on 26 September 2012 - 05:48 PM, said:

care to explain?

You're essentially trying to run a Phantasm Build while swapping out some of the best parts (mostly Phantasmal Haste, Phantasmal Fury and Persisting Images).  One could arguably leave this out if you weren't planning on keeping your Phantasms alive, but you also have a number of other traits/utility (Compounding Celerity, Illusionary Defense, Signet of Illusions) that rely on your Phantasms being alive.  The skills you've chosen certainly can't generate enough clones with the Sword/GS abilities on a long enough cool down to matter.  In addition you also give up the extremely powerful Phantasmal Fury which is a gignormous boost in DPS on a Phantasm Build.  The difference in power on Phantasmal Haste is incredibly noticeable, especially on the Warden which will cast it's Frenzy back to back almost.

This is why I say your build is confused with itself.  It'd make sense if you were going ot use the Phantasms as expendable throw away DPS that you plan on dying after they do their first hit.  However from your spec you plan on them staying alive but arent' spec'd for that possibility in favor of a few paultry defenses (a weak, limited regen and minor damage reduction).  The toughness line synergizes far better with a Staff Condition based Mesmer such as the Clone/Shatter factory build.

#22 Falhawk

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:19 AM

View PostKodiakX, on 26 September 2012 - 11:23 PM, said:

You're essentially trying to run a Phantasm Build while swapping out some of the best parts (mostly Phantasmal Haste, Phantasmal Fury and Persisting Images).  One could arguably leave this out if you weren't planning on keeping your Phantasms alive, but you also have a number of other traits/utility (Compounding Celerity, Illusionary Defense, Signet of Illusions) that rely on your Phantasms being alive.  The skills you've chosen certainly can't generate enough clones with the Sword/GS abilities on a long enough cool down to matter.  In addition you also give up the extremely powerful Phantasmal Fury which is a gignormous boost in DPS on a Phantasm Build.  The difference in power on Phantasmal Haste is incredibly noticeable, especially on the Warden which will cast it's Frenzy back to back almost.

This is why I say your build is confused with itself.  It'd make sense if you were going ot use the Phantasms as expendable throw away DPS that you plan on dying after they do their first hit.  However from your spec you plan on them staying alive but arent' spec'd for that possibility in favor of a few paultry defenses (a weak, limited regen and minor damage reduction).  The toughness line synergizes far better with a Staff Condition based Mesmer such as the Clone/Shatter factory build.

Thank you for the elaboration, much apreciated.

I agree that the fury could boost damage quite a bit and I think I will swap that around. Though I believe I read somewhere that you would loose retaliation as phantasms can only have one buff at a time. I haven't tested it and don't know if it is actually correct?

I don't feel like not being able to put out clones fast enough and I put out phantasms quite easily. I think the Persting Images trait is overrated as 20% boost in health is not that much. Maybe if it was 50% i would consider it.

I would like to have Phantasmal Haste but I guess thats the tradeoff I chose when going into Chaos for the protection buff. After having tried the build for some time I might reconsider as the proc buff seems rather unreliable.

#23 KodiakX

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:14 PM

View PostFalhawk, on 27 September 2012 - 09:19 AM, said:

Thank you for the elaboration, much apreciated.

I agree that the fury could boost damage quite a bit and I think I will swap that around. Though I believe I read somewhere that you would loose retaliation as phantasms can only have one buff at a time. I haven't tested it and don't know if it is actually correct?

I don't feel like not being able to put out clones fast enough and I put out phantasms quite easily. I think the Persting Images trait is overrated as 20% boost in health is not that much. Maybe if it was 50% i would consider it.

I would like to have Phantasmal Haste but I guess thats the tradeoff I chose when going into Chaos for the protection buff. After having tried the build for some time I might reconsider as the proc buff seems rather unreliable.

You do lose the Retaliation when you gain Fury.  This is a confirmed bug on the Mesmer forums by Anet.  However the extra damage Fury grants will vastly outwhelm any amount of Retaliation.

You can generate enough clones and phantasms combined, but in a "throw away" build (where you plan on Phantasms dying after their first skill usage) you would not have enough clone generating abilities on their own.  If you plan on keeping your Phantasms up as long as feasibly possible that will mean you would have more than enough between clones and phantasms to always have 3 up.

You already have Signet of Illusions in your build for 50% more hitpoints, but adding in another 20% certainly won't hurt.  Compared to Compounding Celerity (which if you follow the patterns of the other traits is 3% runspeed per illusion) it's arugably better but not really mandatory.

Personally I find those buffs synergize wonderfully with Staff because of Chaos Armor and Chaos Storm providing a number of random boons (including regen which will net you free Protection for 2 seconds).  Otherwise they're simply weak addative at best at the cost of heavy boost in DPS with Phantasmal Haste.  That is in addition (ah ha) to boosting condition damage which will help out your bleeds.

To answer your bleeds question, yes Sharper Images is always worth it for any Phantasm/Crit build even without condition damage.  I am on a more Power/Crit oriented build  (Knight armor and Berserker Weapons/Jewelry) that's less reliant on Phantasms staying alive and honestly I can stack 6-10 bleeds per Phantasm I cast.  Yea, they only tick for like 50 damage a stack, but that's 300-500 damage every few seconds for free.

#24 siafufu

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:52 PM

You don't have fury for your phantasms so whats the point for sharper images?

#25 Skyro

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:21 PM

Yes the phantasm fury and retal traits don't stack (bugged I think). But looking at your build I assume that's a WvW build and the GS cooldown reduction trait is money in WvW due to it being our best ranged AoE ranged weapon. I'll go against the grain here and say that dropping precision and grabbing that plus compounding power will net you better returns in WvW. Bleed seems amazing if it ticks for its entire duration but that rarely ever happens in WvW.

#26 Dank

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 01:00 AM

I think it's always worth it, furthermore I use Sigil of Earth on all my mainhands, Energy for offhand.





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