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Chunx's Minion Mastery Guide

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#61 OChunx

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:01 AM

What are your thoughts on stacking Regeneration & Boon Duration via Runes like 2x Dwayna, Monk, and Water (+20% regen, +10% boon, +10% boon, respectively)? Turn Mark of Blood's 5-second regeneration into a 8.5-second regen.

My idea behind this would be to throw down 2 - 3 Marks of Blood then switch to Axe / Focus. The minions keep regening and now you can stack on Vulnerability freely.


I can see a skilled player pulling this off, and making this playstyle better than just staying on staff the whole time. The marks of blood, though, need to hit all your minions and landed at least twice consecutively, before allowing for a safe weapon swap to axe / focus, which might be hard to pull off. After the patch, I'm not sure if jagged horrors are even able to be maintained now, but swapping guarantees that you won't be able to since you might end up with more than 5 targets for mark of blood, that is, if you were able to maintain multiple jagged horrors in the first place at all. Obviously, the only reason to swap is if you are facing a veteran or champion as trash mobs will usually die within the time you use 2-3 marks of blood and staff's other skills are still superior in the case of fighting multiple mobs.

I'm thinking that the amount of stats you sacrifice is mostly negligible for the extra duration, but I guess that's probably the biggest downside I can see to using the runes instead of the orbs: the loss of about 140 stats with 90 being healing power. Even if you don't switch to axe, the regen duration is still useful in case you miss some marks of blood so you really aren't making a sacrifice at all in order to set up the conditions to more effectively switch to axe. In addition, the recent axe buffs also make the weapon more attractive.

So in conclusion, I'd say go for it. If swapping means you can't effectively maintain regen on your minions, then just don't swap and you won't be any worse off for having the runes over the orbs. If you are able to swap effectively, then I'd say veterans (maybe champions) will be falling a lot faster. I'd be curious in your testing for this. Right now, the build in this guide lacks any effective utilization of the second weapon set. If axe / focus would provide a notable improvement, then it may be worthy to be main-barred, and there would be a tighter build and a lot less stuff in the "variant" sections. At least at this point, I'm reluctant to say axe / focus will make any big difference but feel free to prove me wrong.

EDIT: When using axe / focus, would a cleric's set be a better choice? Clerics would provide a great boost to axe / focus while giving a moderate boost to staff damage. Apothecary would give a great boost to staff damage, but none at all to axe / focus. Given that staff is still going to be used the majority of the time, it seems smarter just to stick with apothecary and use the axe solely for the vulnerability stacking aspects of it, and then switching back to staff as soon as weapon swap is off cooldown.

Edited by OChunx, 01 March 2013 - 05:45 AM.

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#62 Aquambush

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:18 AM

Looks like Death Nova was buffed. Is it worth using over Greater Marks now?
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#63 OChunx

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 05:35 AM

Looks like Death Nova was buffed. Is it worth using over Greater Marks now?


Sorry, I haven't been able to play GW2 for a while now. As soon as I jump back in, I'll update the guide and try to answer your question. I haven't kept up on the updates for a couple months now so I'm unsure as to how minion master builds have changed, if at all. Even back in March it seemed that people preferred power-based minion builds that constantly resummon minions rather than tank-based builds that aim to constantly maintain the minions, so I'm not sure how relevant my build is now. Personally, I believe that it was the best approach, but I don't know if things have changed.
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#64 Aquambush

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:07 AM

From the June 25th patch notes:

Necromancer:

  • Putrid Curse: Increased the poison duration from 2 seconds to 4 seconds.
  • Necrotic Bite: Increased the life force gain from 4 to 6.
  • Corrupt Boon: Reduced the maximum amount of boons converted to 5.
  • Spectral Wall: Normalized the amount of protection gained to 5 seconds for allies. Replaced the vulnerability with a 1-second fear when enemies try to cross the wall. Added 4% life force gain on hit. Increased the recharge to 45 seconds. Reduced the base duration to 5 seconds and 7.5 seconds while traited with Spectral Attunement.
  • Wail of Doom: Added an unblockable skill fact.
  • Well of Power: This ability now breaks stuns. Added 1 second of stability. Reduced the cooldown to 50 seconds.
  • Well of Corruption: Reduced the cooldown to 40 seconds.
  • Well of Darkness: Reduced the cooldown to 50 seconds.
  • Well of Suffering: Reduced the cooldown to 35 seconds.
  • Unholy Feast: This ability now removes 1 boon from each target hit.
  • Spectral Armor: Reduced the recharge to 60 seconds.
  • Signet of Spite: Now applies 2 stacks of bleeding for 10 seconds, blind for 5 seconds, cripple for 10 seconds, poison for 10 seconds, 5 stacks of vulnerability for 10 seconds, and weakness for 10 seconds. Reduced the recharge to 60 seconds.
  • Death Shroud: No longer removes the Spectral Armor buff.
  • Death Shroud: No longer removes the Spectral Walk buff.
  • Signet of Undeath: Increased the cast time to 3 seconds.
  • Locust Swarm: Increased the radius to 210. Increased the animation size to better reflect its attack area.
  • Grim Specter: This ability can now be cast while moving.
  • Rigor Mortis: This ability is now instant.
  • Necrotic Grasp: Increased the projectile velocity by 10%.
  • Consume Conditions: This skill now consumes torment.
  • Chillblains: This ability now has the appropriate cast time when traited with greater marks.
  • Putrid Mark: This ability will now transfer blind to enemies it strikes, instead of missing.
  • Deathly Swarm: Increased the projectile velocity by 30%.
  • Crimson Tide: The bleed duration has been increased from 5 seconds to 6 seconds.
  • Deadly Catch: The cripple duration has been increased from 3 seconds to 6 seconds.
  • Wicked Spiral: The vulnerability duration has been increased from 6 seconds to 10 seconds per hit.
  • Deadly Feast: The duration of feast has been increased from 6 seconds to 8 seconds.
  • Death Shroud: Bone Fiend and Shadow Fiend now regenerate outside of combat.
    • New ability #5 – Tainted Shackles: This skill tethers all enemies within a 600 range, constantly dealing torment to them over time. At the end of the cast, Dark Binding immobilizes all affected enemies still within the radius.
    • Life Blast: This skill now scales based on range instead of amount of life force. At more than 600 units, this skill’s low value has been increased by 43%; at less than 600 units, this skill uses the old high value. Range has been increased to 1200.
    • Doom: This skill now scales based on range. If more than 600 units, it will apply 1 second of fear; If less than 600 units, it will apply 1.5 seconds of fear. This ability now lists the damage it deals to enemy targets.
    • Life Blast (Underwater): Decreased the cast time and reduced the aftercast.
  • Ghastly Claws: Increased the life force gain from 8 to 10.
  • Feast of Corruption: Increased the life force gain from 2/condition to 3/condition.
  • Necrotic Grasp: Increased the life force gain from 3 to 4.
  • Shadow Fiend Haunt: Increased the blind duration to 5 seconds.
  • Dark Path: Fixed an issue where the chill duration did not match the tooltip.
  • Reaper’s Touch: Fixed an issue so that it now applies the vulnerability before the damage. Updated the tooltip to state the correct amount of vulnerability.
  • Grim Specter: This skill is now unblockable.

_Blood Magic _
  • Dagger Mastery: This trait now grants a 20% recharge reduction.
  • Vampiric: This trait now scales up 6 additional points with power for its damage and healing for its healing per attack.

Curses
  • Withering Precision: This trait now applies 5 seconds of weakness on critical hits. This effect can only occur once every 20 seconds.
  • Terror: This trait has been moved to the Master tier.
  • Focused Rituals: This trait has been moved to the Adept tier.

Death Magic
  • Death Shiver: Vulnerability applied every 3 seconds while in Death Shroud has been increased to 3 stacks for 10 seconds (up from 1 stack).
  • Death Nova: Minions now deal damage when Death Nova is triggered.

Soul Reaping
  • Speed of Shadows: This trait now increases movement speed by 25% while in Death Shroud.
  • Decaying Swarm: This trait has been removed.
  • Near to Death: This trait has been moved to the Master tier. This trait now reduces the cooldown by 30% instead of 50%.
  • New Grandmaster trait—Deathly Perception: Players have a 50% greater critical chance while in Death Shroud.

Spite
  • Signet Power: This trait has been merged with Signet Mastery.
  • Signet Mastery: This trait now recharges signets 20% faster and grants 3 stacks of might for 10 seconds on signet use.
  • Axe Training: This trait has been moved to the Master tier.
  • New Grandmaster trait—Dhuumfire: Players can inflict burning to opponents for 4 seconds on critical hit. This effect can only occur once every 10 seconds.


Edited by Aquambush, 08 July 2013 - 08:07 AM.

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#65 OChunx

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:39 PM

I did some testing with death nova and it seems to do admirable damage, about 1200 - 1500 depending on the armor rating of the target. It does not seem to scale with power, or if it does, it scales very little, so much so that I didn't find it noticeable (tested with full berserker gear, and then with no gear at all, around the same damage range of 1200-1500). Purposely killing your minions sets off the poison field, but it will not do damage. If the damage scaled with power, I would've considered running a power-based minion bomber build, something like 30/0/30/10/0, but since it doesn't, I feel that there is limited ability to create a specialized minion bombing build. And in a specialized minion bombing build is really the only place that I feel death nova belongs in. Sure you can bring it, but it's effect conflicts with the most central idea of my build, that is, to not let your minions die. Death Nova certainly complements the build, as minions will invariably die, but the other traits are the central components that define the build in the first place. It's like taking the Weakening Shroud trait over Hemophilia in a conditionmancer build. Sure Weakening Shroud will have its benefits, but Hemophilia and stacking bleeding duration is such a core concept to the build that taking Weakening Shroud, although useful, will conflict with a key trait.

If you were to trait in Death Nova, something key to this build would have to go. Out of the three, I'd agree that Greater Marks is probably the least essential, but Death Nova adds very little because your minions shouldn't be dying very often in the first place. Thus, Death Nova is a waste of a slot, and only half-way to its potential. If you really wanted Death Nova, the Minion Master trait is a must because as your minions are dying, you undoubtedly would want a way to quickly replenish them, and you can't stack healing power because doing so would defeat the purpose of having your minions die to activate Death Nova. So, now you since you can't run support focused stats, it's time to decide whether you want to be a conditionmancer, or a powermancer. You can't be a conditionmancer because running conditions with minion utilities is just inferior to running conditions with Epidemic, Blood is Power, and Signet of Spite, or other condition-support utilities as minions have absolutely no synergy with conditions on top of the fact that you are drawing 30 points into Death Magic away from other trait lines you would need as a conditionmancer.

That leaves the only the option to focus in power. But again I ask, what synergy do minions have with a power build? The only real reason a minion bomber is going to run a power build is that it will not conflict with anything else. As I said before, Death Nova doesn't seem to scale with power though and running minions means that you won't be able to put in any utilities that you might have ran in a power build (most noticeably wells). In addition, I don't consider there to be any real PvE meta build that uses power that isn't inferior to a condition build.

I guess the biggest problem I have with Death Nova isn't that it doesn't do quite enough damage or that it replaces a much needed skill. The root of the problem is that a minion master build is simply unviable and outclassed in almost every way compared to a condition build if your aim is to have the best DPS possible. Why run a power minion-bomber build when a condition build will do so much more damage, and potentially have many other benefits as well? The only reason, I feel, that people use minions in conjunction with power builds, is purely for the sake of using minions. They want to use minions, but have good DPS as well. In my few, this is simply unrealistic at present with the way skills have been balanced. Conditions are on the rise, and so is Death Shroud. Well support even looks very nice in dungeons, and would work perfectly with a condition-based Apothecary set. Axe and dagger, the center of power builds and potentially minion bomber builds, have received merely number buffs (applies mainly to axe) with very little support in having synergizing utility skills, number buffs that I feel have not been enough,

I aimed to create a build that would have real viability in PvE, not just to use minions for the sake of using minions. Thus, I wanted to focus on the thing that made minion masters unique to other necromancer builds, and that was its ability to survive, tank, and offer a bit of crowd control. It is not its DPS that makes minions good, if I wanted straight DPS I would run a bleed, fear, fire from the heavens build like this one here: http://www.guildwars...version-303010/, not a minion master build and certainly not a minion bomber build, which loses to condition builds in terms of DPS and loses to my minion build here in terms of survivability. There are always better DPS build options over a minion bomber build, but there are very few builds that offer more survivability and survival utility (along with the uniqueness of using minions) than being a support minion master.

Sorry for such a huge rant for your simple question. I guess the main conclusion is that Death Nova's implications conflict with the central idea of the build to maintain your minions, and in my opinion does not do enough damage to warrant a spot. On the bright side, Death Nova does work with Jagged Horrors and so if you did add it into your build, there will be that source that will deal damage no matter what.

As a side note, I don't even know if a power based minion bomber build would even have better DPS than the build from this thread. It's AoE would probably be weaker since it wouldn't focus on the staff and power doesn't increase the damage of marks as much as conditions do.

Edited by OChunx, 08 July 2013 - 08:46 PM.

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#66 prince vingador

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:13 PM

i agree with what u said and u sound like u understand the class,MM are ok in 1v1 vs most classes,but like u wrote there is better options if what u want is dps or bunker.ai is better thats a bonus,but MM still is inferior to other builds imo ofc,i think making death nova trigger the damage even if u blow your minions would be nice or dont let ALL THE MINIONS DIE WITH MOA MORPH would be great also.
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#67 OChunx

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:29 PM

i agree with what u said and u sound like u understand the class,MM are ok in 1v1 vs most classes,but like u wrote there is better options if what u want is dps or bunker.ai is better thats a bonus,but MM still is inferior to other builds imo ofc,i think making death nova trigger the damage even if u blow your minions would be nice or dont let ALL THE MINIONS DIE WITH MOA MORPH would be great also.


Lol, moa morph. Sounds like you've been testing against the mesmers in the pvp area as well.

EDIT: In the hopes of avoiding a double post, I'd just like to add that I've updated the guide. Probably one of the biggest changes is the removal of all "variants" sections. I just felt that they were getting a little too numerous and having too many optionals takes away from the main build and probably makes it more confusing for new players/readers. Please correct me if there was something I neglected to take out, a mistake was made, or if there's still out of date information.

Edited by OChunx, 08 July 2013 - 10:06 PM.

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#68 evilbob

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 01:52 PM

Great guide! I also stopped playing for a while but thought I'd drop back in and see what was going on. This build is extremely similar to what I used to run back in the day, except I chose the Vampiric Master / Bloodthirst option because I felt too squishy back then (and like many necros I constantly forgot about deathshroud), and my equipment was a mix of Soldier's / Cleric's, since Apothecary didn't exist and I felt like I was never doing enough damage and I hoped more Power would help. I also went with Necromantic Corruption over Greater Marks because GM used to suck, and also I found myself getting very good at precisely placing marks and GM tended to cause them to trigger before I meant them to. Although, you're right: a larger area of effect for those marks is probably worth the minor tradeoff anymore. Recently I tried running around a bit and found that while I still take hours to kill anything, I can seriously never die. I pulled two vets and a host of normal mobs in Orr (where mobs still respawn about as fast as I can kill them) and I never even dropped below 90% health.

Your thoughts about giving up VM / Bloodthirst in favor of "don't forget you can also use Deathshroud, ps. it heals your minions out of combat" definitely sound worth trying, and I will probably try to shake up my equipment a bit as well. My biggest question is: are you sure that stacking condition damage leads to better (terrible, but still better) DPS than stacking power? (I.e. Cleric vs. Apothecary) As you said, stacking power only helps your staff attacks, which are slow and terrible (and anything you do in death shroud, presumably?), but it feels like condition damage doesn't really do much for me, either. In the end, I just want to not take forever to kill things while I'm also not dying.

You're right, though, that while on paper this build seems great as a ranged tank / healing support character in dungeons, in practice bosses just wipe your minions constantly and you spend a lot of time running around waiting on timers. Still can't hardly die, though: especially with Solider equipment, I tend to do a lot of raising, since I can't be one-shotted by pretty much anything.

(Edit: although, I guess when you run dungeons, a better strategy would be to switch back to Death Nova and embrace their newfound squishiness? You could quickly change GM to Death Nova and Flesh of the Master to Minion Master and have a whole new perspective with minimal fuss - although your equipment and staff power would be somewhat counter-productive, and you'd be better off using something else main and staff as your secondary. Still, it's easier than re-specing and re-equiping.)

Further edit: Actually, looking back, I think I actually chose to run 20 Death Magic and 30 Blood Magic, and use Fetid Consumption. Spiteful Removal (is that new?) makes Fetid Consumption a bit useless though (or vice versa, except Spiteful Removal has no real alternatives), so maybe there's a good mix to be found between Transfusion / Deathly Invigoration and Vampiric Master / Bloodthirst (probably drop Bloodthirst?). This option cuts off Greater Marks (and the Death Nova option), but with constant healing, Vampiric Master, and the innate Vampiric, Blood to Power tends to be your standard state of affairs. I think this was the other reason I stacked Power before: you're already 20 points into Spite, and your damage is boosted thanks to Blood to Power, so why not stick with that direction?

Even if you stay with 30 Death Magic, you're still getting a static boost to power with Deadly Strength. So many things are pushing you to stack power: do you still feel like condition damage is a better way to go? (I'm honestly asking since I've not tried it.)

Edited by evilbob, 18 July 2013 - 02:22 PM.

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#69 OChunx

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 05:18 PM

My biggest question is: are you sure that stacking condition damage leads to better (terrible, but still better) DPS than stacking power? (I.e. Cleric vs. Apothecary) As you said, stacking power only helps your staff attacks, which are slow and terrible (and anything you do in death shroud, presumably?), but it feels like condition damage doesn't really do much for me, either. In the end, I just want to not take forever to kill things while I'm also not dying.


I've got to admit, I haven't tested Cleric vs Apothecary out in terms of which does more damage, but I feel that it's easy to look at the staff skills and see that condition damage boosts the damage much more than just power. Since you'll be using Mark of Blood probably every five seconds, we can just first off look at that skill and see that the condition damage done by bleeding is about 10x more than that done when the enemy triggers it, the damage that would've been boosted by power. Chilblains is also similar, with almost 3x as much damage coming from poison than from the initial hit by the mark. The rest of the staff skills only benefit from power, but #1 is so weak that you should never be relying on that to do your damage (especially since you have to constantly use #2 to heal your minions) and #4 and #5 have cooldowns that are too long to feasibly rely on them for damage. Of course, relying on conditions has all the negatives of using conditions, such as having the damage done over time instead of right away and being able to be removed, but if you are coming to it from a purely damage standpoint, I think conditions are the clear winner.

You're right, though, that while on paper this build seems great as a ranged tank / healing support character in dungeons, in practice bosses just wipe your minions constantly and you spend a lot of time running around waiting on timers. Still can't hardly die, though: especially with Solider equipment, I tend to do a lot of raising, since I can't be one-shotted by pretty much anything.

(Edit: although, I guess when you run dungeons, a better strategy would be to switch back to Death Nova and embrace their newfound squishiness? You could quickly change GM to Death Nova and Flesh of the Master to Minion Master and have a whole new perspective with minimal fuss - although your equipment and staff power would be somewhat counter-productive, and you'd be better off using something else main and staff as your secondary. Still, it's easier than re-specing and re-equiping.)


Yea, this build and minions in general have a lot of trouble in dungeons. If you were to use this build, I'd recommend taking off Greater Marks and/or Staff Mastery for Minion Master and/or Death Nova, with order respective to the priority that I think you should substitute each trait in. I opt to have Flesh of the Master remain in, maybe even keep your healing gear. Yes, it is counter-productive to be healing the minions that are traited to explode and respawn more quickly, but as long as they are up, they can always do what they can to help with some frontline tanking, even if it's just a little bit. They may also draw aggro away from your other party members. In conclusion, however, I would not recommend bringing minions to dungeons even if you do follow this advice.

Further edit: Actually, looking back, I think I actually chose to run 20 Death Magic and 30 Blood Magic, and use Fetid Consumption. Spiteful Removal (is that new?) makes Fetid Consumption a bit useless though (or vice versa, except Spiteful Removal has no real alternatives), so maybe there's a good mix to be found between Transfusion / Deathly Invigoration and Vampiric Master / Bloodthirst (probably drop Bloodthirst?). This option cuts off Greater Marks (and the Death Nova option), but with constant healing, Vampiric Master, and the innate Vampiric, Blood to Power tends to be your standard state of affairs.


Yea, like you mentioned before, if you have no problems hitting the staff skills without Greater Marks, then 30 in Blood Magic would be awesome to boost healing power. Although my trait lineup would personally be Transfusion/Deathly Invigoration/Bloodthirst, you can take Vampiric Master if you still have trouble surviving like you mentioned before. Cutting off the Death Nova option is no big deal. The explosion does as much damage as a single critical hit from the guardian GS autoattack...

As an interesting thing to note, I think Fetid Consumption was bugged for a long time and didn't function. Was probably the case back when you played as well.

I think this was the other reason I stacked Power before: you're already 20 points into Spite, and your damage is boosted thanks to Blood to Power, so why not stick with that direction?

Even if you stay with 30 Death Magic, you're still getting a static boost to power with Deadly Strength. So many things are pushing you to stack power: do you still feel like condition damage is a better way to go? (I'm honestly asking since I've not tried it.)


Well it doesn't really matter that you already have power stacked. Condition damage still provides more in terms of damage returns. Especially since these stats increase you damage in a linear fashion and not an exponential.

Also my thread no longer has a five star rating. Sad times. :qq:

Edited by OChunx, 18 July 2013 - 05:24 PM.

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#70 evilbob

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 08:02 PM

You have some good points about the damage output with the staff for power vs. condition damage. I think it'd still be worth testing, and I may try that. It's still a case where: if you already have +200 power and typically +5% damage, is it better to go ahead and throw another ~600 points into power and hit hard up front (whenever you do), or should those points go to an even longer-spread out condition? I have to imagine that in the end... it may not really make much difference. Your slow direct damage may end up killing things about as quickly as an even slower, removable damage-over-time - and after all, we're still talking about very low numbers. Still, it's worth a look. I'm also wondering if the +5% damage from Blood to Power applies to condition damage or not (I would assume yes). If so, that also makes conditions a stronger choice with that setup.

As for Bloodthirst vs. Vampiric Master, I don't think it's a squishy issue, I think it's just a "which one gives a better return" issue. My guess is that with tons of minions, "all minions siphon" would be greater than +50% of "whenever you hit." (Although if you did stack power, +50% of your hits might be more than all their hits put together?) This one is easy enough to test, though.

Lastly, they've introduced even more prefixes recently, and the Shaman one (++Vitality, +Healing, +Condition) might be a nice one to mix in with the Apothecary where you can. (None of the Ascended trinkets have this prefix, apparently.) I only say this based on my personal experience: running with 25k+ health means I seriously cannot be one-shotted, and I've never been two-shotted either, whereas just under 22k health leaves a little bit less room for error. Someone else has probably run the numbers here, though, and can prove me wrong or right.


Also, when it comes to the strengths of this build, it may be worth pointing out that its survivability is also very forgiving, especially for a fast-paced game like GW2. If you get distracted for a minute, odds are you'll still be alive when you come back. Although it may make you hate glass cannons when you try to play them later. :)
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#71 OChunx

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 08:55 PM

You have some good points about the damage output with the staff for power vs. condition damage. I think it'd still be worth testing, and I may try that. It's still a case where: if you already have +200 power and typically +5% damage, is it better to go ahead and throw another ~600 points into power and hit hard up front (whenever you do), or should those points go to an even longer-spread out condition? I have to imagine that in the end... it may not really make much difference. Your slow direct damage may end up killing things about as quickly as an even slower, removable damage-over-time - and after all, we're still talking about very low numbers. Still, it's worth a look. I'm also wondering if the +5% damage from Blood to Power applies to condition damage or not (I would assume yes). If so, that also makes conditions a stronger choice with that setup.


I don't think that we're talking about low numbers here. The condition damage from staff is very high. It is the power damage that is noticeably low. In my opinion, condition damage is the very clear winner. Even if the condition gets removed after just two seconds (out of its total duration of about 9 seconds), it would still do more damage than if you were trying to boost Mark of Blood with just power. The +5% damage from Blood to Power does not add to condition damage and, apparently, gives 90 extra power no matter how much damage you're doing (http://wiki.guildwar.../Blood_to_Power).

As for Bloodthirst vs. Vampiric Master, I don't think it's a squishy issue, I think it's just a "which one gives a better return" issue. My guess is that with tons of minions, "all minions siphon" would be greater than +50% of "whenever you hit." (Although if you did stack power, +50% of your hits might be more than all their hits put together?) This one is easy enough to test, though.


The main reason that I feel Bloodthirst is better than Vampiric Master, given that you aren't constantly under threat of dying, is that it combos well with Transfusion and will heal the minions 50% more from each Life Siphon. This is another case where the trait is probably glitched and has confusing text, but once again, wiki confirms it. http://wiki.guildwar...iki/Bloodthirst

Lastly, they've introduced even more prefixes recently, and the Shaman one (++Vitality, +Healing, +Condition) might be a nice one to mix in with the Apothecary where you can. (None of the Ascended trinkets have this prefix, apparently.) I only say this based on my personal experience: running with 25k+ health means I seriously cannot be one-shotted, and I've never been two-shotted either, whereas just under 22k health leaves a little bit less room for error. Someone else has probably run the numbers here, though, and can prove me wrong or right.


Shaman certainly has admirable stats for this build, but I'm not sure it's necessary to be mixing in other affixes, especially ones that specialize in vitality. Necromancers already have the highest base HP in the game, along with warriors, so increasing toughness increases your effective HP so much more than adding vitality does. (See:http://www.guildwars...s-and-vitality/). Basically, if you have really low base armor, but really high base HP, you want to be stacking toughness. Also since the healing from this build relies on regen from Mark of Blood and the attacks of the Blood Fiend, you want high toughness so that you take less damage, making each heal stronger since both methods of healing don't scale based on your HP.

Also, when it comes to the strengths of this build, it may be worth pointing out that its survivability is also very forgiving, especially for a fast-paced game like GW2. If you get distracted for a minute, odds are you'll still be alive when you come back. Although it may make you hate glass cannons when you try to play them later. :)


I'm glad to here this. :)

Edited by OChunx, 18 July 2013 - 08:57 PM.

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#72 evilbob

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 01:30 PM

Even if the condition gets removed after just two seconds (out of its total duration of about 9 seconds), it would still do more damage than if you were trying to boost Mark of Blood with just power.

Yeah, I think you're right. There are a lot of other factors we're still ignoring, but you have a good point about the condition damage just completely blowing power away to the point that it's still worth it. Since I'm pretty familiar with how a power stacking build like this works, I'll see if I can get my hands on some Apothecary gear and then come back and report! (Looks like I need to start gathering flowers...)

The +5% damage from Blood to Power does not add to condition damage and, apparently, gives 90 extra power no matter how much damage you're doing (http://wiki.guildwar.../Blood_to_Power).

Well damn. So much for that being useful!

The main reason that I feel Bloodthirst is better than Vampiric Master, given that you aren't constantly under threat of dying, is that it combos well with Transfusion and will heal the minions 50% more from each Life Siphon. This is another case where the trait is probably glitched and has confusing text, but once again, wiki confirms it. http://wiki.guildwar...iki/Bloodthirst

Ah, so it affects life siphon! You're right: that is confusing. Yeah, that's definitely a tough call, then: 50% more healing for your minions (and allies?) every 40+ seconds, or steady extra healing for you all the time. Since Blood to Power doesn't actually help, I can see the point of switching.

Shaman certainly has admirable stats for this build, but I'm not sure it's necessary to be mixing in other affixes, especially ones that specialize in vitality. Necromancers already have the highest base HP in the game, along with warriors, so increasing toughness increases your effective HP so much more than adding vitality does. (See:http://www.guildwars...s-and-vitality/). Basically, if you have really low base armor, but really high base HP, you want to be stacking toughness. Also since the healing from this build relies on regen from Mark of Blood and the attacks of the Blood Fiend, you want high toughness so that you take less damage, making each heal stronger since both methods of healing don't scale based on your HP.

The thread you linked is filled with lots of interesting, conflicting, and old information, although thanks a bunch for linking it! I'm surprised more people haven't gone into depth like this, especially more recently. (Then again, this game isn't WoW.) In any case, the thread definitely says that generally toughness > vit, especially for necros (like you said). Considering that conditions bypass toughness, I still feel like there's probably a sweet spot that involves a little more vit than zero, though. (I can certainly use his "simple and crude" formula to come up with better results with a little less toughness and a little extra vitality than straight toughness.)

Along these lines, I was wondering if it might be worth sacrificing some of your healing power for a little more condition damage as well; specifically, I was looking at Chrysocola Orbs instead of Sapphire Orbs. This gets you ~800 health and 120 condition damage for ~80 armor and 120 healing. You could also mix in a shaman piece and a couple sapphire orbs to end up hitting around 23k health and staying around 1400 healing, with a solid upper 2800s in armor and upper 700s in condition damage. A few more shaman pieces could take a little away from all those and get you to 24k health, with a still respectable high 2700s armor. It is easy to adjust based on whether or not you want to hit certain thresholds (like 1400 healing or 23k health or whatever). (Honestly, I suspect for me the amount of Shaman vs. Apothecary mixing will depend on how easy they are to obtain... At least those orbs are cheap.)

Anyway, these are just very fine adjustments to an overall good strategy. Thanks as well for the discussion!
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#73 OChunx

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:08 PM

The thread you linked is filled with lots of interesting, conflicting, and old information, although thanks a bunch for linking it! I'm surprised more people haven't gone into depth like this, especially more recently. (Then again, this game isn't WoW.) In any case, the thread definitely says that generally toughness > vit, especially for necros (like you said). Considering that conditions bypass toughness, I still feel like there's probably a sweet spot that involves a little more vit than zero, though. (I can certainly use his "simple and crude" formula to come up with better results with a little less toughness and a little extra vitality than straight toughness.)


Sorry about that. I remember reading this thread a long time ago back around the time the game came out and thought it was awesome and completely relevant back then. I wasn't aware that the information was out of date as I hadn't browsed through it recently.

Along these lines, I was wondering if it might be worth sacrificing some of your healing power for a little more condition damage as well; specifically, I was looking at Chrysocola Orbs instead of Sapphire Orbs. This gets you ~800 health and 120 condition damage for ~80 armor and 120 healing. You could also mix in a shaman piece and a couple sapphire orbs to end up hitting around 23k health and staying around 1400 healing, with a solid upper 2800s in armor and upper 700s in condition damage. A few more shaman pieces could take a little away from all those and get you to 24k health, with a still respectable high 2700s armor. It is easy to adjust based on whether or not you want to hit certain thresholds (like 1400 healing or 23k health or whatever). (Honestly, I suspect for me the amount of Shaman vs. Apothecary mixing will depend on how easy they are to obtain... At least those orbs are cheap.)

Anyway, these are just very fine adjustments to an overall good strategy. Thanks as well for the discussion!


I'm not to familiar with the math behind mixing armor and getting the maximum gain per stat for the least opportunity cost, like the people having those discussions about whether its worth it to only get Celestial decorations and not armor or jewelry, or when to stop stacking precision and when to start stacking crit damage. I feel that in this case, if you wanted to have more condition damage, Rabid Crests would be a better idea than Chyrsocola Orbs since they give toughness instead of vitality. Admittedly, precision is a little less useful than just power, so it's really just personal preference.

I'll have to thank you as well for the discussion!

Edited by OChunx, 19 July 2013 - 05:09 PM.

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#74 evilbob

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:50 PM

Well, I gave the build a spin today. I had to cut a few corners on the equipment for cost reasons; obviously no ascended anything and the shaman's stuff was half as cheap to buy as apothecary's was to build, so I mixed in a couple of those. For trinkets, I ended up going with settler's (++tough, +condition dam, +healing) since they were about a fifth of the cost, although I did get passion flowers in all of them. I also tried my own idea of doing chrysocola orbs. In the end, I traded over 600 power for over 600 condition damage (getting to about 750 condition damage), and my armor went up slightly to just over 2700 (still had 25k health, but I realized part of the reason it's so high is because it's Friday and my realm does very well in WvW; otherwise my health dipped a bit). My healing also gained a few hundred, up to about 1100. Honestly, I'm in the same boat: I don't know the math well enough to really determine the sweet spot for either condition damage / healing or toughness / vitality; I just sort of went with what I could afford for now.

All in all, I'd say it definitely felt like I was killing things ever so slightly faster, even with the big power drop. It helped to know that my bleeds were a main damage source, so I was certainly more vigilant about staff 2 than ever before, but that's a good thing. I noticed that "10.5 seconds" on staff 2 is definitely a pre-enemy-influenced number; in reality it was more like 5.5 seconds, but it was juuuust long enough that if you stayed on top of it, you could stack the bleeds. (Staff Mastery is required, and even a minor Sigil of Agony is a definite must.) I took on two vets and a pack of normal mobs in Orr at a corrupted shrine solo and still managed to clear it without ever losing all my minions, so that seemed like a good endorsement. (A vet abomination still wrecks me, though.)

I kept with Vampiric Master for today, just to keep the passive stuff going, and honestly it still felt like it was useful (since as soon as the abomination took the minions down, I noticed). I'll have to test Bloodthirst, though. I guess my hesitation to switch is that at the end of the day, keeping me up to re-summon the minions is still more important than keeping them up and doing damage.

One thought about the water: since trident 1 gets about 90% usage, I wasn't sure that a Sigil of Agony would really be that useful; keeping the bleeds stacked just isn't that hard. It's probably better to just go ahead and use Force or something else that's more general. Oh, and for your off-hand land weapon, since you hardly ever use it and when you pull it out you want to hit hard, a Sigil of Battle seemed like a good idea.

Also, with the addtional focus on bleeds, it's probably worth thinking about trading that last 10 points in Blood or Death Magic for Curses so you can snag Hemophilia. That's also +100 Condition Damage, but it's still a tough trade to make.

Overall, it feels like a small but definite improvement over power stacking, although I don't have hard numbers to back it up. Thanks again for a great writeup!

Edited by evilbob, 19 July 2013 - 07:53 PM.

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#75 OChunx

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:10 PM

All in all, I'd say it definitely felt like I was killing things ever so slightly faster, even with the big power drop. It helped to know that my bleeds were a main damage source, so I was certainly more vigilant about staff 2 than ever before, but that's a good thing. I noticed that "10.5 seconds" on staff 2 is definitely a pre-enemy-influenced number; in reality it was more like 5.5 seconds, but it was juuuust long enough that if you stayed on top of it, you could stack the bleeds. (Staff Mastery is required, and even a minor Sigil of Agony is a definite must.) I took on two vets and a pack of normal mobs in Orr at a corrupted shrine solo and still managed to clear it without ever losing all my minions, so that seemed like a good endorsement. (A vet abomination still wrecks me, though.)

Also, with the addtional focus on bleeds, it's probably worth thinking about trading that last 10 points in Blood or Death Magic for Curses so you can snag Hemophilia. That's also +100 Condition Damage, but it's still a tough trade to make.


Woah, woah. I think it's perfectly acceptable to slightly adjust your stats to have a little more condition damage instead of healing if you feel that you damage is too low, but there gets to a point where a build becomes too hybridized and doesn't really accel at anything anymore. Unfortunately for this build, that point is very easy to reach. I recently put this thought under the Philosophy section, but I stated that my motivation in creating such a support-oriented build was to utilize minions in a fashion that they accel at. Start fiddling around with the traits here and there, sacrifice too much healing power for condition damage and duration, and what you end up getting is a condition minion master hybrid build that doesn't have even close to the DPS of a 30/30/10/0/0 conditionmancer build, and a build that doesn't have the healing capabilities to maintain your minions. For instance with a full apothecary set in open world PvE, I never almost never lose even a single minion unless I'm fighting a champion. You mentioned that you had trouble affording the right pieces and substituted where you could, and that's fine, but minions do need a lot of babying and if you only stack healing power half-heartedly, it may be a better idea to drop it altogether and go some other direction, like Rabid gear.

EDIT: Sorry if it seems like I'm not listening to your ideas. It's just that the way I see it, if damage in a build takes priority, than the condition builds or axe power builds are much better than minion builds. If you want to build around minions, you'll have to specialize specifically for them and accept that you may not kill as fast as other builds. I guess you could try a minion bomber build, just drop healing power completely, bring minions, bring Minion Master, and bring Death Nova. Specializing in power or conditions is up to you at that point.

Edited by OChunx, 19 July 2013 - 08:16 PM.

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#76 evilbob

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:55 PM

Heh, good point! Yeah, the 20% bleed thing is probably just not worth it. I guess my only frustration with the build was the slowness of the killing, especially in Orr (when things respawn faster than you can kill them, it gets old real fast), so I was trying to ride the line as close to "able to do non-embarassing DPS" as possible while still keeping the core of the build. I hear what you're saying about that being quite a fine line, though. I still feel good about my choices so far, because I still ended up with more healing than I started with, and it was more of a power->condition damage swap. (And the extra healing->toughness swap was purely monetary and can be fixed later.)

Do you have some good numbers to shoot for, as far as healing power goes, or condition damage (at least with exotics)? Do you find it's better to top 1300 healing, or is there not really a set goal? About how much healing do you have to never lose a minion except to champs, and do those numbers feel like you're killing and moving on fast enough to stay effective?
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#77 OChunx

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 12:22 AM

Do you have some good numbers to shoot for, as far as healing power goes, or condition damage (at least with exotics)? Do you find it's better to top 1300 healing, or is there not really a set goal? About how much healing do you have to never lose a minion except to champs, and do those numbers feel like you're killing and moving on fast enough to stay effective?


I don't think there's a set goal. The wiki has the exact damage formula for regeneration so you could always go there and see how effective your healing is. I have 1585 with my set assuming I have 25 stacks from Superior Sigil of Life. This means that my minions are getting healed for 328.125 health per second by the 7.75 second long regeneration by my Mark of Blood, which recharges every 4.75 seconds so regeneration can easily be maintained. Deathly Invigoration heals for about 774.2 per activation and Transfusion heals for 2628, although this is not affected by healing power.

Assuming that you flawlessly activate every healing skill on cooldown and hit with them (which is unrealistic) in this rotation (time is the end time):

Start 0 sec -> Mark of Blood .75 sec -> Life Transfer 3.75 sec -> Deathly Invigoration 3.75 sec-> Mark of Blood 6.25 sec -> Mark of Blood 11 sec -> Deathly Invigoration 11 sec -> Mark of Blood 16.5 sec

You heal your minions for 9426.4 health over 16 seconds with an average of 589.15 health a second (at 16 seconds the previous Mark of Blood should still have its regen effect going even though the new one has not been activated yet). As you can see, the average would be even higher had the battle been shorter than 16 seconds, which the vast majority will be, since many of heavy healers (Life Transfer) was activated towards the beginning. Of course, this isn't really reasonable to accomplish realistically. Based on this, I'd estimate that if you were trying to hit the rotation as best as possible, you'd be healing your minions (and any possible teammates) for about 500 health per second. An AoE heal that's potentially 500 health per second?! Why, I'd even dare to say that it can rival the sustained healing of a guardian, and perhaps surpass the amount of healing that a guardian can provide. I've gotten 100% map completion and 140 hours on my Altruistic Healing guardian so I'd say I have a pretty good idea how well he can heal. In fact, it may potentially even be the best sustained healing in the game, although I don't know how well water magic from elementalists compares since I don't have an ele.

Edited by OChunx, 20 July 2013 - 12:25 AM.

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#78 evilbob

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 05:11 PM

I'm less familiar with healing from other classes as well, but even with nigh-regeneration, if it takes forever to kill things it can still be a drag to play solo. All personal preference, though, I'd say.

Thanks for the numbers! I'm actually just over 1200 (with the right weapon out, sheesh) healing, and if I were to get the correct trinkets, that'd add another 100 or so. Switching chrysocola for sapphire would add another 120 (at a direct cost to condition damage), and the Superior Sigil of Life would add another 250 (with the possible sacrifice of stacking bleed damage, since I'd have to ditch the Sigil of Agony). There are a lot of options for getting up to ~1500 or so, which is nice. I'll have to experiment.

It may also be worth ditching the 10 points in blood magic just to try out greater marks; I'm guessing that the healing AoE is also enlarged now, right? So that's why you're calling it offensive and defensive; you heal over a greater area and bleed over a greater area as well, not just get the mark triggered more easily.

Additionally, I was poking around with consumables and I think the best one for this build at current prices is the raspberry passion fruit compote. That's currently going for <10 copper, and it gives a nice +80 healing, +60 condition damage. If you have money coming out your ears, a bowl of saffron-mango ice cream (currently about 4-5 silver each) gives +healing equal to 6% vitality and 4% toughness, which is awesome - but the static +80 is nearly half that for about 1/50th of the cost.
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#79 evilbob

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 08:04 PM

Haven't had much time to properly test, but just from running around a bit I'm thinking that Greater Marks is actually more important than Staff Mastery. I haven't switched my point distribution yet so I still only get two options in Death Magic, but since staff 2 is the main tool of the build and Staff Mastery only removes about 1.2 seconds, it doesn't make a huge difference. Greater Marks, however, does make a huge difference in how many creatures are healed. It doesn't matter how good you are at placement; it's just going to be way easier to include all your minions with GM, especially since the blood and bone fiends tend to hang back so much, reardless of your character's location. (And the other staff abilities are so slow, 20% faster doesn't tend to even come up much in many fights.)

Additionally, one of this build's flaws is that you're prone to overhealing, especially since it's very difficult to gauge your minions' health on the fly. Since they constantly get ~7 seconds of healing from each mark, taking the full 6 seconds to refresh the mark doesn't really hurt - it's still theoretically constant. You are pretty much giving up on stacking bleeds effectively, but with some creatures you will still have a chance.

It's a shame Mark of Evasion leaves the mark where you end up, instead of where you dodge from. That would also be a good option if it worked that way.

Edit:
From today's patch notes:
Greater Marks: This trait has been moved to the Master tier.
Well damn. Looks like the 20/0/20/30/0 version of this build just got undone. Poor minion master necros can't catch a break...

Edited by evilbob, 23 July 2013 - 08:35 PM.

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#80 OChunx

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 08:40 PM

Edit:
From today's patch notes:
Greater Marks: This trait has been moved to the Master tier.
Well damn. Looks like the 20/0/20/30/0 version of this build just got undone. Poor minion master necros can't catch a break...


Yea...That was really a huge, huge nerf. Mainly for condition necromancers though. If the default mark area is large enough now since they increased it, maybe I'll just drop Greater Marks and use Death Nova since Death Nova does trigger on Jagged Horrors.
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#81 draxynnic

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 09:01 AM

Yeah, that was my thinking. They nerfed Greater Marks, but part of that nerfing was increasing the default radius by 50%, so Greater Marks is now only a 33% increase rather than doubling it. I haven't had a lot of experience with it, but what I've had so far indicates that the new default sizes are enough, and you can make do putting something else in that slot.
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#82 OChunx

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 05:38 PM

Yeah, that was my thinking. They nerfed Greater Marks, but part of that nerfing was increasing the default radius by 50%, so Greater Marks is now only a 33% increase rather than doubling it. I haven't had a lot of experience with it, but what I've had so far indicates that the new default sizes are enough, and you can make do putting something else in that slot.


Greater Mark may only increase the radius of marks by 33%, but that translates to an increase in area of 77% which to me is still kind of a big deal.

I think the change helped this build by providing the additional option of using Death Nova since the default mark sizes are larger now. At worst, the build was unaffected because 30 is put into Death Magic anyway so the trait set-up would still be the same.

This is completely unrelated in this topic, but I'm really bummed out about what this means for the AoE options of condition builds. They almost reversed the buffs they decided to give necromancers in the previous patches with this. Now you have to either choose to have Dhuumfire and have gimped AoE, or choose to have good AoE and no Dhuumfire, the second option being essentially what necromancers were before all the buffs.
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#83 evilbob

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 09:00 PM

I have to say as well, after playing around with it a bit - and seeing a helpful random person laying down Greater marks on top of my own normal marks while fighting a champion - the total area gained really doesn't feel that much bigger. I know it is, and of course sometimes that makes all the difference, but it's not really as big of a game-changer as I thought. 77% sounds like a lot but you're talking about a lot of wasted space on the edge of the circle as well. In the end, I think the 30 blood magic build is still a viable alternative to 30 death magic, swapping GM and the potential for 'sploding minions for more AoE healing or more self healing, and more healing power, period. I'm still on the fence, myself.

Frankly the entire change just doesn't make any sense to me. They boosted the staff but then made Greater Marks technically less useful, but then also made it harder to get...?
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#84 OChunx

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 10:06 PM

I have to say as well, after playing around with it a bit - and seeing a helpful random person laying down Greater marks on top of my own normal marks while fighting a champion - the total area gained really doesn't feel that much bigger. I know it is, and of course sometimes that makes all the difference, but it's not really as big of a game-changer as I thought. 77% sounds like a lot but you're talking about a lot of wasted space on the edge of the circle as well. In the end, I think the 30 blood magic build is still a viable alternative to 30 death magic, swapping GM and the potential for 'sploding minions for more AoE healing or more self healing, and more healing power, period. I'm still on the fence, myself.

Frankly the entire change just doesn't make any sense to me. They boosted the staff but then made Greater Marks technically less useful, but then also made it harder to get...?


Yea, the best way to take advantage of greater default staff marks is to either invest those 10 Death Magic points into Blood Magic, or pick up either Death Nova or Minion Master. Then again, you could always keep Greater Marks. I'm still not sure what I'd rather do.

And for your last part, I'm 95% sure that the change was inspired by PvP complaints and had nothing to do with necromancers in PvE.
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#85 draxynnic

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 03:07 AM

It may also have been a case of ArenaNet deciding that Greater Marks was far too popular, which they decided to fix by making it less needed (the increased default area) and harder to get.
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#86 OChunx

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 04:08 AM

It may also have been a case of ArenaNet deciding that Greater Marks was far too popular, which they decided to fix by making it less needed (the increased default area) and harder to get.


I'm not sure popularity really played much of a role in changing it. For instance, I don't know a single guardian build that doesn't use the trait Superior Aria, and that's also an Adept level trait. In addition, guardian is also one of the most popular classes.

I think that since the necromancer buffs, people have actually started to play necromancer again. Dhuumfire really boosted 1v1 DPS for necromancers in PvP, so 30 in Spite was a natural choice as was 30 in Curses for more condition damage and condition damage traits. So where to put those last 10 points? With such a little investment in Death Magic, you could get massive range, unblockable AoE, resulting in a class that had both highly pressuring 1v1 DPS, and excellent AoE damage on top of that.

My thinking is that ArenaNet thought it was too much for necromancers to have both good 1v1 and good AoE, and wanted players to actually choose and invest to focus on one or the other. So they increased the investment needed for Greater Marks.

My problem here is that I think this change was much more of a rash decision in response to short-term complaints rather than an extensively analyzed and warranted nerf. Admittedly I hadn't played much PvP before the necromancer buffs, but my understanding was that conditions were viewed in both PvE and PvP as inferior to direct damage, being easily removed, easily capped, and easily out-damaged. Thus, no one really prepared for extensive condition removal in their builds. Now all of a sudden, there a tons of necromancers running around wiping the floor with warriors and guardians who previously scoffed at the viability of condition damage, and what you get is a pile of dead warriors and guardians. With players being generally slow to adapt, imbalance is cried out, and less than a month later, necromancers get their AoE weakened. Now, if you want those marks you previously had, you'll have to give up Dhuumfire, which was essentially the only relevant buff that condition necromancers got, and now we're back at square one.

Before these rash balance decisions are made, you really need to let players have time to adapt to changes before even more new changes are made.

Posted Image
Say you want to measure the weight of a glob of ectoplasm on a balance scale, so you put the ecto on one end, and then a rock on the other. You don't attempt to balance the scale by adding more rocks while the scale is still rocking back and forth. You have to wait for it to reach a stillness and equilibrium before you can go like, "you know, ectoplasms are actually a lot heavier than they look!" People have had no balance issues with Terror, or any of the necromancer's fear mechanics, and they have almost all (the exception being Spectral Wall I think) remained the same since the release of the game. Suddenly, people start using it for what seems like literally 3 weeks and BAM, nerfed.

EDIT: I think I've ranted about this topic enough by now. I distinctly remember stinking up some other thread with the smoke from my brainstorming as well already. And it's starting to get a little off topic, I apologize for that.

Edited by OChunx, 25 July 2013 - 04:13 AM.

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#87 NerfHerder

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 07:58 AM

I think its still worth taking both staff traits as an MM. The synergy is too good for it to be blocked or fall short. If your going to specialize in AoE, go big or go home.

I'm playing a DS spec right now. But when I played MM, I found myself using staff more often than whatever my off set was. Because to me the core of an MM build is actually support. Its just a shame that its mostly the defensive kind, which doesnt have a place in the current meta. I still use a staff with my DS build. By the time I get done with DS, all staff skills are recharged and good for a spam 1-5, and back to my main set. But its not worth the trait investment in that particular set up, especially now that base radius got a buff.
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#88 evilbob

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 01:05 PM

Whether or not this nerf was a hasty reaction or a long-planned event with coincidental timing is something we'll never know. Personally, I do wonder whether or not the number of necros with Greater Marks was just so high they decided maybe that meant normal staff radiuses were too small - and then oh by the way, let's fix the fact that it's too accessible at the same time. I am willing to believe that they don't simply make a change in PvP without considering PvE - they have the ability to separate what a skill does in each venue, so they don't have to ignore one in favor of the other. Who knows.

In the end, it's still a tough call for me on this build. I personally still think after stacking toughness so much, it's not a bad idea to trade for some vitality, and of course healing power is where it's at. It's really sort of a call between the utility of being able to switch around and a slightly stronger single build, I think. Damn the 40 silver respecing cost! (Or has that changed in the last few months?)
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#89 Gel214th

Gel214th

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 12:17 AM

Damn the 40 silver respecing cost! (Or has that changed in the last few months?)


It's Three silver now 0_0

I liked the MM build when levelling once I got Flesh of the Master etc. The Minions really made it easier, and made some content a cakewalk. However at level 80 , especially for Dungeons, it seems better to go Conditionmancer, or Powermancer with the Axe and deathshroud.

Then...no matter what...the Warrior/Guardian still seem to be the best option for a dungeon ^_^
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#90 Swarfega

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 11:31 AM

Just want to say thanks for the guide. I have a level 42 Necro which has been idle for months as I got bored with slow kills and therefore lots of downed states. Having this army though makes leveling easier. I tried Minions before but my specs were wrong so they were downed to easily. Now though with them getting heals they sit mostly at 100% health.
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