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Selecting an Alternative to my Guardian

class choice help

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#1 jpg1

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:32 AM

Hello fellow Guardians!

I figured that people who know the playing style of Guardian would be a good spring board to helping me decide which my second character would be. I absolutely love my baby, and while I'm still far from building her the way I want her, I think I need an alternative from her to avoid saturating my game experience.

I'm sure some of you play multiple characters, so I figured some of you might have advice which class to jump to next. Here are my considerations:

Medium/Adventure classes seem to do well in general but I think it's more cosmetic that I want to create either an Engineer or Ranger. I just think medium armors specially for Humans and Norn are excellent. But that's a petty reason so, I think I'll take a pass from that first.

As Guardian is a Heavy/Soldier class, I'm taking a pass on Warrior too.

Which leaves me with the three Mage Classes.

I'm taking a pass at Elementalist, as the profession is generally a numbers junkie game. While they have great active defenses and possible support, I think Elems are really for DPS lovers.

Edit: So I've learned that line on Elems is false and perhaps the things I've read in the other topics about Elems being straight forward aren't as accurate as I thought. My guess it's more or less a very common choice for my server, at least. Or that I am not much of a fan of this type of Caster.

Which leaves me with two options: Necromancer or Mesmer.

I can't figure out if what I want is something close to playing a Guardian or something totally different.

I've read that the Necromancer is the Guardian's "other side of the coin" since it can focus heavily on conditions, similar to how Guardians maintain Boons. They can be pretty tanky I hear but I have yet to see that. I've actually played Necromancer in the first game, and I don't know how much they compare to the current roll-out.

Mesmers, I hear, do great support, which isn't far from what Guardians do. I hear that Illusions and Phantasms can be quite a disappointment though, as they die quickly before you can actually profit from casting them. (?) I don't know as well if I would appreciate that the class mechanics makes use of F1 - F4. I don't know how heavily those are used but one could actually tell me if it's as tedious as using Guardian virtues, giving me some reason to pass on it as well. But I hear it's pretty fun. But I wonder. Aside from that I'm not big on the butterflies really. What can't day just stick with the visuals depicted below? (it would be easier to pick Mesmer if the visuals were as badass like forever)

Posted Image

Sorry for the text block. Would appreciate the feedback guys. Thanks,

Edited by jpg1, 05 November 2012 - 09:28 AM.


#2 AetherMcLoud

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:35 AM

View Postjpg1, on 05 November 2012 - 07:32 AM, said:

I'm taking a pass at Elementalist, as the profession is generally a numbers junkie game. While they have great active defenses and possible support, I think Elems are really for DPS lovers.

You could NOT be further from the truth. Ele is first and foremost a support class, and a very good one at that. Ele does the least DPS out of all the professions and to do even that they have to jump through 5 hoops. So no, ele is dicidedly not a numbers game, and they also don't have any real active defenses, they do have a ton of healing though (active defense for me is blocking).

It has an EXTREMELY fun and engaging playstyle though. Just like engineer. I'm pretty spoiled by those 2 classes because I can never play any other class for long because they just seem boring in comparision with their 10 weapon skills and nothing more.

Edited by AetherMcLoud, 05 November 2012 - 07:36 AM.


#3 deitiesforce

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:38 AM

Last time I checked ele does the lowest damage out of all the classes

#4 Roland Der Meister

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:56 AM

i still say go warrior very robust play style and unlike guardian has way more usfull traits and build options

#5 jpg1

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:00 AM

Much thanks for clearing that up. I must be watching a friend play it incorrectly then. Almost always, he would be using Fire.

I had thought that Earth gave you a bit of defense. Healing, yeah, I see with Water.

I must not be a fan of hardcore casters then. And the mechanics of the class might be a little intimidating for me too. Forgive me for the ignorance.

View PostRoland Der Meister, on 05 November 2012 - 07:56 AM, said:

i still say go warrior very robust play style and unlike guardian has way more usfull traits and build options

Yeah I think Warriors have better traits overall but I would rather avoid getting into a Soldier Class first.

Guardian still is my Soldier class choice though. If I had to pick one, and just one. Not saying I'm such an amazing one; far from it, actually. Maybe it's me getting frustrated with the class a bit - 400+ deaths seems a bad number for a class that is supposedly a staunch defender.

Edited by jpg1, 05 November 2012 - 08:06 AM.


#6 Archress Shayleigh

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:07 AM

Mesmer is great with support and with damage, imho. (My main is a mesmer)
If your build is based on shatters (F1-F4) you will need to use them. A lot.  But if you roll a legion mesmer, that's based off phantasms, you'll rarely use F1-F4.
I recommend playing both in PvP for some time, then see what you like better :)

#7 jpg1

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:41 PM

View PostArchress Shayleigh, on 05 November 2012 - 10:07 AM, said:

Mesmer is great with support and with damage, imho. (My main is a mesmer)
If your build is based on shatters (F1-F4) you will need to use them. A lot.  But if you roll a legion mesmer, that's based off phantasms, you'll rarely use F1-F4.
I recommend playing both in PvP for some time, then see what you like better :)

When you say PvP it's just training dummies, right? I really am not such a competitive player - I don't want to dismiss a class just because I got my ass handed to me by another player.

Thank you for your input but as I understand it, wouldn't you need phantasms or clones to make use of shatters? So if I understand it correctly a Legion build is based on keeping illusions alive as long as possible? Is there something in the middle of the two?

Edited by jpg1, 05 November 2012 - 12:48 PM.


#8 Sheldor

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:57 PM

View Postjpg1, on 05 November 2012 - 12:41 PM, said:

When you say PvP it's just training dummies, right? I really am not such a competitive player - I don't want to dismiss a class just because I got my ass handed to me by another player.

Thank you for your input but as I understand it, wouldn't you need phantasms or clones to make use of shatters? So if I understand it correctly a Legion build is based on keeping illusions alive as long as possible? Is there something in the middle of the two?

It sounds like you might want to try this Mesmer build I made.
10 (V)
25 (II, X)
20 (V, X)
10 (IV)
5
With Decoy, Mirror Images & Null Field skills.

I hate messing with the F keys all the time too, so this build takes advantage of "killing" clones. When a clone is killed by a player or when it is overwritten by a new clone the clone does an AoE cripple and an AoE random condition. With Decoy, Mirror Images & create clone on dodge, the clone killing is happening a lot. Plus while this is going on your Phantasms (with fury and retaliation) are doing the real DPS. The clone killing, kills clones and not phantasms. It works incredibly well with the Staff. Staff 5 and then Staff 2 gives Chaos armor. Null Field and Staff 2 give Chaos Armor. With these and Staff 4 for another Chaos Armor it is up most of the time. Any combination works ok for the other set. I like Greatsword along with it the best, the Staff 2 skill gets you out to a decent range for the Greatsword to do some damage. The only problem is you run slow as crap out of combat. You could swap sets out of combat but I'm usually too lazy. I use Dolyak gear and Vitality amulet. Give it a shot, its kinda fun and can be pretty flexible depending on the 2nd weapon set.

Edited by Sheldor, 05 November 2012 - 02:01 PM.


#9 Archress Shayleigh

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:39 PM

View Postjpg1, on 05 November 2012 - 12:41 PM, said:

When you say PvP it's just training dummies, right? I really am not such a competitive player - I don't want to dismiss a class just because I got my ass handed to me by another player.

Thank you for your input but as I understand it, wouldn't you need phantasms or clones to make use of shatters? So if I understand it correctly a Legion build is based on keeping illusions alive as long as possible? Is there something in the middle of the two?

Well, there are clones and phantasms, which are different. A Legion build bases the damage on keeping the phantasms alive, and letting them damage, while shatter builds focus on creating many clones\phantasms and the mindset is that they are disposable.
You can play around with training dummies, but I still recommend going into pvp and actually playing for a while, just to get the feel of the class.

#10 jpg1

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:17 AM

Thanks for the replies. I see people really prefer Mesmer over the Necro, seeing that all replies have the Mesmer's vote. I was talking to another Mesmer last night about what he does - he uses a shatter build and just primarily use F1 and F3 only. So two function buttons wouldn't be such a problem as I am used to keeping my fingers on three playing with Virtues.

I might just roll out both a weekend each to get a feel. PVP is such a different thing to PVE though but I'm assuming anything that might work in PVP could easily work in PVE.

@Archress Shayleigh Do you have a mesmer build you can share?

View PostSheldor, on 05 November 2012 - 01:57 PM, said:

It sounds like you might want to try this Mesmer build I made.


Thanks for the quick link to a build. I'm not dismissing the use of Shatter just yet. It would diminish my perspective of the class if I avoided their specific mechanic altogether. But thanks.

I hope there are Necro supporters who can give a few points towards the class.

Edited by jpg1, 06 November 2012 - 05:28 AM.


#11 Archress Shayleigh

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 11:48 AM

View Postjpg1, on 06 November 2012 - 12:17 AM, said:

@Archress Shayleigh Do you have a mesmer build you can share?

Sure, PM me in game as Julia Tranceweaver and we can chat :)
Also, for the Necro, I don't have a very high level Necro but I do tend to play PvP a lot as one, and truly, it's so underestimated it's crazy. It's an excellent class, has great supportive abilities, very nice offensive (less in the form of raw damage and more about conditions) and of course CC.
They are very different, Mesmer and Necro (and Guardian too, for that matter), which is why I really think you should just play a bit with both to get the hang of them! :)

#12 draxynnic

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:16 PM

I'm going to jump in on the apparent consensus that Mesmer is probably the best profession out of those to transition to from a guardian. Both are fairly punishment-based - they're the two professions that have the most access to reflection fields, and where guardians make use of a lot of Retaliation, mesmers have less Retaliation but make up for it with Confusion. The real fundamental difference is that guardians like to be up close and personal, mesmers like to be at a distance or otherwise not getting hit. Illusions are part of the latter - if an attack is landing on an illusion, it's not hitting your squishy(er than a guardian) self.

The illusion mechanic probably gets a bad rap. There are circumstances where it's just hard to build up an army - in those cases, 'shatter early, shatter often' might be your byword. However, there are times where you'll be able to have an army of three up almost constantly plugging away and drawing aggro, and that can be a huge benefit. As a general rule, I tend to treat the function keys as something you do when your illusions are going to die anyway, and maybe using F4 as a panic button - similar to guardian virtues, in many cases you can play a mesmer without using them at all without crippling yourself (although mastering the mechanic and knowing when to use it and when not to will certainly make you better).

I'm not sure what you mean by it being 'more cosmetic' to play a ranger or engineer. From my experience of the two, the ranger is pretty straightforward, but that's a bit of a double-edged sword - you can do well in most situations with fairly basic tactics, but you don't really have much opportunity to pull off stunts that will let you turn an impending loss into a win. Engineers are more complex, but their complexity can allow a well-played engineer to really shine. Certainly, in my experience, when I'm out in the wild it's guardians, mesmers and engineers that I'm generally happiest to see, and I've had some partnerships with engineers that have got through some nasty fights.
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#13 Xunlai Agent

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

I think the best classes to try after playing a Guardian are Warriors (for obvious reasons), Rangers (very sturdy and pet mechanic offers buffs) and Mesmers :)

#14 Maxtofunator

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 05:16 PM

I haven't traited into the phantasm or clone health at all on my 80 mesmer, and my clones/phantasms stay alive ALMOST all the time until I am ready to cast another one in dungeons or until the enemy dies, in which case I shatter for AOE damage around the target anyways, and like you said, they are excellent support. Besides, the mesmer is an underplayed and underrated class in PVE, which makes them more fun

#15 jpg1

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:38 AM

View Postdraxynnic, on 06 November 2012 - 12:16 PM, said:


I'm not sure what you mean by it being 'more cosmetic' to play a ranger or engineer.


First off, thank you for taking the time, moderator. I really appreciate it. :lol:

What I meant was I think one of my biggest reasons eventually playing Medium class is because I like them visually. But I know that Engineers and Rangers are really cool classes to roll out with. My brother uses Flame Throwers very well and I like partying with him. Among the people I regularly compare or watch playing it's Mesmer and Necro we lack. Hence my inclination towards them.

Again, for those recommending Warriors, I would want to explore Light and then Medium classes first so I can get a taste of what each Tier has to offer with one of their classes. And like I said between the two Soldier classes, I'm really sticking to a Guardian no matter how low my mastery of the class is.

#16 Bonja

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:12 AM

take it from me the transition from guardian to necro was horrid i tried a necro and found the staff good but the other weps lacking in the end
im going for a mesmer cause the skills look amazing but it is a nice prof with good tanking options but also nice range vs upfront dmg a very fun job it looks like
necro early on is annoying but it may be that i just didnt like it

#17 jpg1

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:56 AM

View PostBonja, on 07 November 2012 - 04:12 AM, said:

take it from me the transition from guardian to necro was horrid i tried a necro and found the staff good but the other weps lacking in the end
im going for a mesmer cause the skills look amazing but it is a nice prof with good tanking options but also nice range vs upfront dmg a very fun job it looks like
necro early on is annoying but it may be that i just didnt like it

How far did you get your Necro in terms of levels? Or perhaps you made your Necro during the time ANet was still tweaking with it heavily?

#18 Encre

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 01:43 PM

After reading all of the posts, i would suggest Mesmer or Ranger.

My main is a ranger and i love it, don't be fooled though it's till a very frustrating class to play because ranger lack a lot of utilities and are, IMO one of the most broken class at this point.

Mesmer are a really fun class but (i still have to find some time to lvl mine) i heard they are a pain to lvl up, where ranger is a piece of cake.

Coming from a guardian, i guess you would like to stay away from the full support play style to take a breathe, so i would go with ranger if i were you, for exemple i felt a bit selfish with mine and wanted to go for a more support / teamplay class and rolled a guardian, they are IMO quite oposite classes (you can support your team as a ranger too don't get me wrong but they need to get some buffs in that area cause it's quite frustrating trying to make a support build and realising your class sucks at it)
On the plus side you are usually standing far away from the fight, and where the profession is not support friendly, i think i can offer plenty of support when it comes to anticipation of troubles to come (in dungeon for exemple because i have a better view of what's going on than the people in close combat) and reviving allies, i can throw a few buffs with my pets too, what we really need now is for Anet to (re)buff the spirits to make them viable.

Necro's were to me an real disapointment when it comes to the beauty of their fight animations, always the same patterns / sounds gets boring real quick, plus you have to manage something like 4 dumb pets (one dumb pet is enough when you play a ranger, multiply the frustration by 4 here)

Edited by Encre, 07 November 2012 - 01:45 PM.


#19 Absintheminded

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 01:59 PM

I'm in the same predicament... Trying to choose my first alt (like you I love the hell out of my guardian and this makes it more difficult) to level, mainly for skill point purchases and getting another Order achievement. While playstyle is a factor, the biggest thing for me is efficiency. I want something with a high-uptime on swiftness or perma runspeed bonus. For this reason I've looked at Ele and Thief, but even still I can't decide. Anyone care to comment?

#20 Encre

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:10 PM

Ele definitly has a high potential for someone chasing an almost perma swift but it requires you to focus a lot on air and i found it is not my playstyle (but you could do as i do and basically use air when you need to run from point to point) and sacrifice a utility slot for a signet with passive swiftness, but worth looking into for sure.

I heard engineers are quite good in that area too.

Rangers... meh, warhorn buff,if not traited for a higher boon duration, is not great.

Thief, haven't played mine enough (lvl 14 atm...) and i was looking for a way to get some nice swiftness because it's always something i chase when leveling up, it helps a lot to be able to run fast from A to B, so i can't help you here.

Edited by Encre, 07 November 2012 - 02:10 PM.


#21 Absintheminded

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:18 PM

Thieves have a signet that increases movement speed by 25%, so they definitely sacrifice the least for it. As far as engineers go, my friend has told me he can keep it up 100% basically, but I'm the kind of person who prefers passive because I'll end up forgetting to hit a button every 30 seconds or something. They're also kind of slow to level, at least in the beginning : /

Edited by Absintheminded, 07 November 2012 - 02:21 PM.


#22 TenorMadness

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:51 PM

My main is a Guardian as well, and I'm somewhat addicted to making alts. The other classes I have the most experience with are Warrior and Engineer, both are around 25. I think they play style of the Engineer contrasts well with the Guardian, but I know you ruled them out above.

Between Necro and Mesmer I only have both to around 15. I tend to delete and re-roll characters often. From a pve perspective I've really enjoyed the Necro, with the caveat being I almost completely ignore minions. I avoided the Mesmer because I didn't want to rely on the greatsword with another class. But a friend of mine has been playing Mesmer since launch and loves it. So I guess what I'm saying is, try Engineer!

#23 indure

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:13 PM

If it was between a mesmer and necromancer I would give the nod to mesmer because it has a unique play style, interesting mechanics, and unique party skills. But I've level each to 20 and I didn't enjoy either in PVE. ^ Agree with the above post, give the engineer a chance, I had no interest in the class before trying him out, but was my favorite in early leveling.

#24 Tarug

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:18 PM

I'm exactly at the opposite side (my main is a mesmer and I'm leveling my guardian alt right now), so this is a pretty interesting topic for me.

I simply love my mesmer and could write a huge post explaining all the great things about the profession (illusions are a very unique mechanic and very fun to play with; they have great underwater skills, a very high survivability even in light armor due to all the illusion and cloak skills; an interesting mix of support skills etc. etc.), but instead I would just like to point out some problems you might face, just so you can make an informed decision.

First of all, they can be a pain to level at the beginning (up to level 40). I always heard people complaining in the mesmer forums, but I never understood that. Huh? I can kill stuff, I can level up, I can progress fine. What's the problem? That was before I rolled my guardian and became aware of how much faster and easier I could clear the same early content. After gaining access to the master traits (sharper images, deceptive evasion, greatsword training, chaotic dampening and illusionary elasticity), things get much more fun and the class starts to shine. So you might be a bit spoiled by playing a Guardian. If you decide to roll a mesmer, hang in there... it starts really slow, but eventually gets quite fun.

Mesmers lack good AoE damage, which is particularly problematic in some parts of the game, specially tagging high end DEs. I guess it won't be such a problem for you, since you can participate in those with your Guardian. But I just wanted to warn you that there will be no "hit whirling wrath and be done with it" type of AoE skill. We can solo single high end foes very well, but trash mobs in high numbers sometimes can be a pain.

Finally, mesmers don't have great mobility. So if walking a lot instead of running bothers you, it can be a problem. That isn't a deal breaker for me, but might annoy some people.

I apologize if I'm painting a grim picture. I love mesmers and actually want you to enjoy them as well, so it would bother me if you started playing with one and gave up early due to one of these things. Don't let the butterflies turn you off... it's a very fun profession!

#25 jpg1

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:00 AM

View PostTarug, on 07 November 2012 - 09:18 PM, said:


Snip


Didn't imagine there would be an opposite perspective. Interesting. I don't find it a grim picture at all. Reality is, there will be a lot of difficulties for each class, and I'm very happy you pointed some early in my roll-out.

I don't mind walking because, even as a Guardian, I sometimes forget to use Swiftness. :P

I've always felt though that Guardians are still in the low end of the speed spectrum in terms of clearing game content. They have their share of nice burst skills but I find them generally on a steady even a bit slow sometimes. (I guess this is the Macer in me speaking.)

So slow, to be honest, is really my cup of tea. But thanks.

For those recommending Engineer or Ranger. I am in a tight spot between the two for my Medium roll-out. I've seen a lot of Engineer action from my brother to make me want roll-out one but I think the melee aspect of Ranger is very intriguing too.

#26 phani_kaushik

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:13 AM

I have a level 80 guardian and been leveling up a mesmer. It was quite slow in the beginning but I told myself to hang in there. I used cooking with booster to jump levels, then did a couple of story missions, explored LA & Rata Sum completely, went to Kessex Hills to do the Centaur DE's that spawn quite frequently. After reaching 32, went to LA, took Artificing, crafted lots of potions (again on booster), leveled upto 42. Sold most of the potions except centaur slaying and undead slaying. Right now am leveling up in Harathi hinterlands with centaur potions. It's fun with GS & Staff and I'm spending trait points to make sure that I don't have to shatter my illusions. Leveling upto 20 can be a pain but not much. Metrica & Queensdale are easy for the squishier classes at earlier stages as they all deal with smaller enemies atleast until level 15 (ok, exclude Thaumonova reactor - I gave up after trying to beat fire elemental with 2 other players :P)

#27 jpg1

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:20 AM

Thanks again for the numerous replies. I can't possibly react to all of it but I appreciate it very much. I actually rolled out with a Mesmer last night and currently struggling with the Scepter and Focus. I got the focus to have periodic swiftness under my belt - the cripple was pretty decent.

I tried killing stuff two levels higher and it took me forever. Of course, I'm only level 2 so... :P

#28 draxynnic

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:08 AM

View Postjpg1, on 08 November 2012 - 02:00 AM, said:

For those recommending Engineer or Ranger. I am in a tight spot between the two for my Medium roll-out. I've seen a lot of Engineer action from my brother to make me want roll-out one but I think the melee aspect of Ranger is very intriguing too.
I've tried that, and while ranger melee can be effective, i don't find it to be particularly compelling compared to what the guardian and even the mesmer has. Ranger greatsword is uninteresting, and while ranger sword has potential, the third chain skill can be really awkward - it doesn't count as a finisher and if you have it up you're probably in sword range anyway, so in my experience using it unless you're really careful you end up leaping to places you don't really want to be at least as many times as it's actually useful.
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#29 jpg1

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:56 AM

View Postdraxynnic, on 08 November 2012 - 06:08 AM, said:

I've tried that, and while ranger melee can be effective, i don't find it to be particularly compelling compared to what the guardian and even the mesmer has. Ranger greatsword is uninteresting, and while ranger sword has potential, the third chain skill can be really awkward - it doesn't count as a finisher and if you have it up you're probably in sword range anyway, so in my experience using it unless you're really careful you end up leaping to places you don't really want to be at least as many times as it's actually useful.

Thanks for that tidbit - I'm still up in the air with Medium still. And like I said, right now my outlook on it (not considering any class dynamics) is purely on the looks department. Anyway - I've rolled out with a Mesmer already so I will stick with that, apart from my usual runs with my Guardian to work on dungeon armor pieces/weapons and crafting.

#30 Bonja

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:36 AM

View Postjpg1, on 07 November 2012 - 04:56 AM, said:

How far did you get your Necro in terms of levels? Or perhaps you made your Necro during the time ANet was still tweaking with it heavily?
it was about lvl 19 i know wasnt very far but it was just no fun must have played it a month or so ago :S




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