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12+ Fractals build ?


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#1 Eladamry

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:12 AM

Hi there,

I'm currently running a classic 20/20/0/0/30 Sword-Gun/Great Sword shatter build.
Seem to work well till now.
Was full Zerk till level 11. Had to add some thoughness (4 armor parts on some fights at the moment ) in there, just to reach more than 2k armor.
Soloed the last 15% of the grawl boss level 11 yesterday, since rest of the group wiped.

I know there's still a long way to go in the fractals and I was wondering if there was anything to change on my build / gear side.
I obviously want to stay dps, my only support action beeing dispel and swiftness aoe.

Our group : support/dps : war, hunter, engineer. dps : mesmer, thief

No real issues till now. But I guess problems will show up at some point. Agony is totally ok for the moment. We reached lvl 13 yesterday without any complete wipes.

Apologies for my English and thank you for your answers,
Ela

#2 Dream Proxy

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:58 AM

you may as well go ALL dps, the toughness is kinda pointless because we're gonna die in nearly the same amount of hits either way.

usually conditions, agony, and big hits are what kill us more than what any normal attacks do, and since, [theoretically] there is a way to always dodge / use distortion to avoid a hit, the toughness won't help you sharpen your game.

i understand playstyles are different with mesmers (support / pure damage burst / other roles) but no matter what build you are you should be focusing, at least with your weapons and armor, on how to deal the most damage with that build.  your utilities and weapon-choice is where the support & other non-pure damage roles should come into play.

having more toughness only supports YOU technically, (and quite a limited support at that) and its more of like an unnecessary crutch with mesmer because we're supposed to avoid damage altogether.  we will die very fast, regardless of how much toughness we have, when you compare it to other classes.

usually your best bet of survival is to kill something faster than it kills you, while dodging & using distortion & blink (as well as many other utilities, such as the ones that reflect projectiles) to avoid damage.

when there's a monster that has just the tiniest sliver of health left, and you think "ahh if only i did just a LITTLE more damage, i'd have made it!", it makes you realize toughness on mesmer, even with armor, just plain sucks.


for the record i'm on level 14 myself, and i run a more dps-focused 10/30/0/0/30  sword-focus / greatsword shatter build, with a superior sigil of bloodlust on the GS to make up for the lack of 10 more points in power.

#3 Eladamry

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:43 AM

Thank you very much for this answer. I really was wondering, you made it clearer :) Zerk / dogde / distorsion / blink for the win then !

#4 Krag

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:29 AM

Asking myself the exact same question.
I play a 20/20/0/0/30 melee shatter build (Gs/2S), and while I really like the build and can definitely see the benefits of the shitload of vulnerabilities I stacks on foes and the more than average damages, I can't stop asking myself if I shouldn't trade some of these damages for more survivability or even change my build to something that doesn't require 60 points minimum to work..
I find myself dying more and more as fotm levels increase, mostly on bosses with deadly attacks that are hard to spot in the storm of effects during combat, also in that first part of the Charr fractal.

#5 PheBelladona

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:16 PM

power/tough/vitality gear also effects aggro - this can cause you never to be targetted by enemies at all if you're the only one using it hehe. but i carry 2 sets of armour i use p/v/t for anything dangerous just cause no matter what ppl say it does make a big difference - with no tough/vit lupicus can use his auto attack (the one he throws out without red circle) to kill you with 2 hits, he requires 4 hits to down you in p/v/t gear which is practically impossible once you factor in heals.

mesmers have a great deal of invulns for 1 hit kill mechanics those arent too much of an issue but for auto attacks the extra tough/vital will either cause you to never be targetted (allowing for more aggressive play) or give you much more time while your blurred frenzydist/reflects are on recharge. you may have lower crit/crit damage but being able to continually go full aggression while at the same time having max power shouldnt be written off - eg. i dodge just to create clones to shatter not to avoid.

all comes down to how you wanna play - also depends on your group

#6 Ikelos

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:33 PM

Saying toughness does nothing is false, I could see the argument being valid in PvP but can you really say you're avoiding all PvE damage? The idea of killing something faster than it kills you is only valid in a balanced fight, not against a monstrous thing that takes 5 minutes to kill.

Toughness isn't a "selfish" stat either, being more tough means being able to resurrect downed allies, holding off mobs of enemies, etc. Ultimately you can glass-cannon if you feel that's what works for you, but as soon as you feel like you're dying too easily do not be afraid to invest in defensive stats.

#7 Dream Proxy

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:56 AM

View PostPheBelladona, on 20 November 2012 - 07:16 PM, said:

power/tough/vitality gear also effects aggro - this can cause you never to be targetted by enemies at all if you're the only one using it hehe. but i carry 2 sets of armour i use p/v/t for anything dangerous just cause no matter what ppl say it does make a big difference - with no tough/vit lupicus can use his auto attack (the one he throws out without red circle) to kill you with 2 hits, he requires 4 hits to down you in p/v/t gear which is practically impossible once you factor in heals.


Using "power toughness & vitality" is severely limiting your damage output & helpfulness to the team, especially when you're primarily using it to... "avoid aggro" & "take more big hits"... which IMO is just a reflection of how fearful you are of making mistakes.  I'm not sure what your thinking is-- as far as I understand, literally nothing in the game is unavoidable.  You don't HAVE to get hit, ever.  Especially when your group, unless all mesmers, should be taking the aggro from you without you even doing anything-- just let them aggro all the monsters first.  I never said it was easy to avoid damage with well-timed dodges, distortion, and other mechanics-- but nevertheless it should be a goal of any mesmer to force themselves to try & get better at it.

The potential of how much you can avoid is really staggering the more and more you get used to enemy patterns & timing.  This includes Lupis.  You can avoid anything he does pretty easily, with

A)  Dodge
B)  1H Sword #2
C)  Distortion Shatter
D)  Blink
E)  Dodge

not to mention a well-timed stealth in-between attacks or a temporal curtain to gain swiftness & outrun his attacks.  with the ability to stealth (veil, decoy, mass invisibility) you really can't complain that he only goes after you--  if you time the stealth right before an attack, dodge that attack, and still have stealth for a few seconds-- he will go for someone else.

never said it was easy or that someone who isn't perfect is bad.  the point is that the goal should be to master all of our unique abilities to avoid damage and think on the spot, not weaken ourselves & reward bad habits and mistakes with the ability to take an extra hit or two.

not to mention, in FRACTAL discussion the dungeons will eventually get so difficult that one big hit will kill you --- no matter what toughness you have--, so these "avoid damage" mechanics should be practiced now while you can still make mistakes and get away with it, not bad habits & a crutch that won't even be able to be used at the later levels-- which is what this discussion is for.

and yes, even regular enemies will kill you nearly instantly at the very high levels.  you need to avoid the damage, period.


View PostIkelos, on 20 November 2012 - 10:33 PM, said:

Saying toughness does nothing is false, I could see the argument being valid in PvP but can you really say you're avoiding all PvE damage? The idea of killing something faster than it kills you is only valid in a balanced fight, not against a monstrous thing that takes 5 minutes to kill.

Toughness isn't a "selfish" stat either, being more tough means being able to resurrect downed allies, holding off mobs of enemies, etc. Ultimately you can glass-cannon if you feel that's what works for you, but as soon as you feel like you're dying too easily do not be afraid to invest in defensive stats.

I didn't say it does nothing, I said it isn't worth using.  Obviously I make mistakes and get hit more than I'd like to sometimes-- but that's exactly the thing...  I'm getting hit because I made mistakes.

For ressing downed allies you have Illusion of Life, blink + distortion (a combo i've used many times), which is infinitely better than even 300 toughness simply because with 3 clones + the effect on yourself the distortion is 4 seconds of -complete invulnerability- to sit there and help res someone.  why look towards toughness to hold enemies off or res teammates, when you have up to 4 seconds of invincibility you can summon at whim every 45 seconds?  are your teammates going to be downed so fast your shatter will still be on cooldown?  illusion of life is a 3/4 second cast that instantly gets your teammate up (even 3 teammates at the same time, if they happen to get downed by each other), and if he is aware of what you did he'll understand to finish off one of the boss's henchmen to gain permanent life.

With a non-tank class like mesmer, toughness is a minimal help at best and will HARDLY help survival compared to simply timing your dodges against things and using your distortion correctly (as well as reflect, blink, stealth & other mechanics).

I'm sorry but I keep reading between the lines and I see "increased survivability" incorrectly substituted for "a crutch to take more hits when I screw up."  if you REALLY want to talk about survivability, practicing the mechanics to avoid damage & dealing more damage to kill things faster than they kill you is what makes the most sense.  i can't see how simply being able to take a few more hits, FOR NOW (as this won't last in the later levels), is better than sharpening your skills & mastering wide-range of abilities the class has to offer.


i'll say it again to sum it all up:

in FRACTAL dungeons, the dungeons will eventually get so difficult that one big hit will kill you --- no matter what toughness you have-- so these "avoid damage" mechanics should be practiced now while you can still make mistakes and get away with it (not bad habits & a crutch that won't even be able to be used at the later levels)

and yes, even regular enemies will kill you nearly instantly at the very high levels.  you need to avoid the damage, period.
-----------------------


for the record i'm currently on level 19.  0 toughness, 0 vitality.




edit**

don't get me wrong, i'm not saying that going into toughness or vitality is stupid, bad, or an example of poor playing.  i'm focusing more on the armor & weapon stats you're choosing, and why you're choosing them.

if the primary reason is to take more hits, and not increase your damage, condition damage, or AoE regen/healing potential (in regard to supporting other team members), then that's where my argument comes in.

i understand you can be an extremely useful support mesmer with the regen on  your phantasms, gaining the extra feedback bubble when ressing a downed team member, granting vigor to your teammates, focus skills reflect projectiles, etc.  but note: all these truly useful support abilities come off of the inspiration (vitality) trait line, NOT the toughness trait line.


sorry for the long post, but wanted to make it clear my argument wasn't against all non glass-cannon dps builds-- its against those who choose certain stats for the crutch of "increased survivability"

Edited by xxalucard, 21 November 2012 - 08:59 AM.


#8 Eladamry

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:56 AM

Thank you for all these answers, especially your last one Alucard.
I followed your advice. No toughness at all. We reached easliy level 13, 2 days ago and will run to level 15 today evening. So far so good.

Cheers !

Edit : one question though, which runes ? I'm running rage currently but wondering about the divinity...

Edited by Eladamry, 21 November 2012 - 10:08 AM.


#9 jondifool

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:13 AM

i am tottally with the stance of not getting hit. I  can thogh imagine that thoughness in some cases would help because illusions benefit from it aswell, occasionally keeping them up a little longer , helping out that way.

#10 niie

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:11 AM

xxalucard any chance at seeing your exact build? I am looking to switch between my ele and my soon to be 80 mesmer in our fractal group.

Also, what rune sets would you suggest for a pure P/Pr/% set up?

#11 Velicia

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:11 PM

I'm with xxalucard on this one. I run full dps, zero toughness and zero vitality.

With the Mesmers mobility and utility skills, you should be able to avoid almost everything, If you don't/can't avoid something, learn by what you did, what the mob did and adjust.

In a party of 5 I'm almost always one of the last to go down.

For ressing team mates, like xxalcard said, distortion is your friend. if your the last alive and people are dead, dead. then drop a time warp, distort, res.

I currently run a SS/GS-Stave build. (but again you should carry every weapon, once you know what a mob/boss does and switch appropriately), cant remember exact build (will post later when home).

I find SS give amazing survivability with #2 and #4. Plus if you know what your doing you can immobilise your foe with double #3. GS-Stave are for ranged (stave obviously more defensive).

Utilities I generally run Null Field, Feedback and blink. Again switch these out when you need different skill set.


Now im not 100% on this, but I know you can swap your major traits around outside of a dungeon, so Id guess you can inside too. So depending on your build you should be able to make your specc adjustable to the boss/mob.


So rule of thumb: awareness, react, learn, adjust, repeat.

#12 Dream Proxy

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:04 PM

View Postniie, on 21 November 2012 - 11:11 AM, said:

xxalucard any chance at seeing your exact build? I am looking to switch between my ele and my soon to be 80 mesmer in our fractal group.

Also, what rune sets would you suggest for a pure P/Pr/% set up?

sure, this is what i've been using as of late  --->  

http://intothemists....;0139;402A5ol0g


i often change Arcane Thievery around with Decoy / Null Field / Illusion of Life, depending on the upcoming area / boss.  feedback & blink are almost always on my utility list, as is Time Warp as my elite.  arcane thievery is really underrated IMO and very useful in the new fractal dungeons where plenty of enemies give themselves pretty hefty boons you can steal, such as the giant underwater jellyfish; you can steal his 25 stacks of might.  of course if i know that those kinds of enemies aren't coming up, i switch it out.

i like the focus because of temporal curtain & the phantasmal warden.  the warden is both extremely damaging, and tends to live against any kind of projectile-focused enemy (archers / mages / etc), since even without any traits he automatically stuffs their projectiles.  i usually let him get off one full attack before shattering him with 2 other clones (usually the sword #3 -3 like Velicia mentioned, to immobilize them for the warden at the same time, and a dodge-roll clone).   like Velicia also said, i completely agree it's good to always carry every type of weapon, since some can serve better in different situations.

the sword is obvious (the #2 distortion is priceless, it does great damage on its own with auto attack, and the #3-3 both makes a clone AND immobilizes / teleports you like a mini blink...very useful).  the greatsword i choose for DPS.  the #4, #2, dodge, mind wrack shatter is often devastating to large groups of enemies.  the auto-attack gives you good damage as well as range, and the #5 is a decent crowd control to get things off you temporarily / help interrupt them.

i'm usually using my GS to start the initial mind wrack shatter burst, then swap to sword/focus for the #5 warden and (depending on how safe it is) the #3-3 immobilize clone.  as i cast the #3-3 immobilize i quickly press the #2 blurred frenzy (while still blinking through the #3), so that the invincibility frames are up before i even appear on top of the enemy.  this way i deal guaranteed damage and don't get myself killed in case he just put a huge fire circle on himself or was mid-swing or something. then as the #2 ends, my #5 warden is just finishing up his attack, and i dodge roll away & cry of frustration shatter (if mind wrack is still on CD) for another small burst of damage + confusion.

working like that i keep myself relatively safe, yet don't simply sit there ranged on the GS-- i deal serious damage when i burst, switch to sword, get the warden out & my #3-3 ~ #2 blurred frenzy ~ dodge + shatter combo out.  not to mention using feedback or time warp when appropriate to deal even more damage when they try to retaliate with a projectile or something dangerous, & if i get into any kind of trouble where i can't tell what's going on for a second (with all the effects & blinking going on) i'll simply distortion shatter on myself randomly to give myself a second to get centered and ready.


as for runes, i started collecting runes of divinity until a more experienced mesmer informed me that  6 RUBY ORBS are the best possible upgrade component for pure DPS.  i was skeptical at first, because rune of divinity is like 5 gold, and each ruby orb is going for around 7 silver on the TP, and is easy as hell to make....but, it turned out he was right.  my damage went up a ton and i wish i learned there was such a cheap max-dps potential with armor upgrades a little earlier.

i use full berserker jewelery with exquisite ruby orbs, and for sigils i use the superior sigil of bloodlust on my GS, superior sigil of force on the 1h sword, and superior sigil of battle on the focus.

currently i have no ascended gear ( :( ) and no agony resist.  this sounds a little less horrible than it is-- only final bosses can inflict agony, and only on certain attacks (at least up to level 20 fotm, which is as far as i know right now).  that means that 95% of agony is avoidable, with the only one i ~think~ is unavoidable being the bonus boss Jade Maw when he does that agony inflict as he phase changes.  i assume there must be a way around it though, such as running back far enough or some kind of trick with distortion/invisibility, but i haven't found it yet.  i'm not encouraging that you don't get agony resist-- it certainly helps-- i'm just saying its not a MUST-HAVE requirement to beat any of the fractals (at least up to level 20, since that's all i know so far).

hope i could help :)

Edited by xxalucard, 21 November 2012 - 01:15 PM.


#13 Ikelos

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:36 PM

View Postxxalucard, on 21 November 2012 - 07:56 AM, said:

in FRACTAL dungeons, the dungeons will eventually get so difficult that one big hit will kill you --- no matter what toughness you have-- so these "avoid damage" mechanics should be practiced now while you can still make mistakes and get away with it (not bad habits & a crutch that won't even be able to be used at the later levels)

and yes, even regular enemies will kill you nearly instantly at the very high levels.  you need to avoid the damage, period

1-shot mechanics will always 1-shot you, so yes toughness won't help there. But, how much is X% increase in your DPS actually helping you clear the content? If building some toughness lets me take even say, 3 hits from a regular mob instead of 1 hit, I would consider that worth it. All damage avoidance mechanics are limited (for good reason), you can only dodge twice within a reasonable timeframe (even with Vigor up), and all your skills have individual cooldowns.

If you have to retreat just because a mob tickled you, you're actually lowering your damage output because you can't attack effectively when you're escaping. Building full Berserker may make you kill mobs 10% faster under ideal circumstances, but just a few mobs aggroed on you means the end of that. Now, it's entirely possible there are people out there who somehow do in fact avoid every point of damage dished out but it's not a gearing strategy I would recommend onto others at all, at least until they've built enough confidence on their character to make that gear decision on their own.

Edited by Ikelos, 21 November 2012 - 08:37 PM.


#14 StaplerPie

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:46 AM

View Postxxalucard, on 21 November 2012 - 07:56 AM, said:

Using "power toughness & vitality" is severely limiting your damage output & helpfulness to the team, especially when you're primarily using it to... "avoid aggro" & "take more big hits"... which IMO is just a reflection of how fearful you are of making mistakes.  I'm not sure what your thinking is-- as far as I understand, literally nothing in the game is unavoidable.  You don't HAVE to get hit, ever.  Especially when your group, unless all mesmers, should be taking the aggro from you without you even doing anything-- just let them aggro all the monsters first.  I never said it was easy to avoid damage with well-timed dodges, distortion, and other mechanics-- but nevertheless it should be a goal of any mesmer to force themselves to try & get better at it.

The potential of how much you can avoid is really staggering the more and more you get used to enemy patterns & timing.  This includes Lupis.  You can avoid anything he does pretty easily, with

A)  Dodge
B)  1H Sword #2
C)  Distortion Shatter
D)  Blink
E)  Dodge

not to mention a well-timed stealth in-between attacks or a temporal curtain to gain swiftness & outrun his attacks.  with the ability to stealth (veil, decoy, mass invisibility) you really can't complain that he only goes after you--  if you time the stealth right before an attack, dodge that attack, and still have stealth for a few seconds-- he will go for someone else.

never said it was easy or that someone who isn't perfect is bad.  the point is that the goal should be to master all of our unique abilities to avoid damage and think on the spot, not weaken ourselves & reward bad habits and mistakes with the ability to take an extra hit or two.

not to mention, in FRACTAL discussion the dungeons will eventually get so difficult that one big hit will kill you --- no matter what toughness you have--, so these "avoid damage" mechanics should be practiced now while you can still make mistakes and get away with it, not bad habits & a crutch that won't even be able to be used at the later levels-- which is what this discussion is for.

and yes, even regular enemies will kill you nearly instantly at the very high levels.  you need to avoid the damage, period.




I didn't say it does nothing, I said it isn't worth using.  Obviously I make mistakes and get hit more than I'd like to sometimes-- but that's exactly the thing...  I'm getting hit because I made mistakes.

For ressing downed allies you have Illusion of Life, blink + distortion (a combo i've used many times), which is infinitely better than even 300 toughness simply because with 3 clones + the effect on yourself the distortion is 4 seconds of -complete invulnerability- to sit there and help res someone.  why look towards toughness to hold enemies off or res teammates, when you have up to 4 seconds of invincibility you can summon at whim every 45 seconds?  are your teammates going to be downed so fast your shatter will still be on cooldown?  illusion of life is a 3/4 second cast that instantly gets your teammate up (even 3 teammates at the same time, if they happen to get downed by each other), and if he is aware of what you did he'll understand to finish off one of the boss's henchmen to gain permanent life.

With a non-tank class like mesmer, toughness is a minimal help at best and will HARDLY help survival compared to simply timing your dodges against things and using your distortion correctly (as well as reflect, blink, stealth & other mechanics).

I'm sorry but I keep reading between the lines and I see "increased survivability" incorrectly substituted for "a crutch to take more hits when I screw up."  if you REALLY want to talk about survivability, practicing the mechanics to avoid damage & dealing more damage to kill things faster than they kill you is what makes the most sense.  i can't see how simply being able to take a few more hits, FOR NOW (as this won't last in the later levels), is better than sharpening your skills & mastering wide-range of abilities the class has to offer.


i'll say it again to sum it all up:

in FRACTAL dungeons, the dungeons will eventually get so difficult that one big hit will kill you --- no matter what toughness you have-- so these "avoid damage" mechanics should be practiced now while you can still make mistakes and get away with it (not bad habits & a crutch that won't even be able to be used at the later levels)

and yes, even regular enemies will kill you nearly instantly at the very high levels.  you need to avoid the damage, period.
-----------------------


for the record i'm currently on level 19.  0 toughness, 0 vitality.




edit**

don't get me wrong, i'm not saying that going into toughness or vitality is stupid, bad, or an example of poor playing.  i'm focusing more on the armor & weapon stats you're choosing, and why you're choosing them.

if the primary reason is to take more hits, and not increase your damage, condition damage, or AoE regen/healing potential (in regard to supporting other team members), then that's where my argument comes in.

i understand you can be an extremely useful support mesmer with the regen on  your phantasms, gaining the extra feedback bubble when ressing a downed team member, granting vigor to your teammates, focus skills reflect projectiles, etc.  but note: all these truly useful support abilities come off of the inspiration (vitality) trait line, NOT the toughness trait line.


sorry for the long post, but wanted to make it clear my argument wasn't against all non glass-cannon dps builds-- its against those who choose certain stats for the crutch of "increased survivability"

Have you ever actually tried tankier builds in FotM?  With full Rabid gear and 20 points in Chaos, for example, regular mobs will shouldn't be one-shotting you.

#15 Dream Proxy

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 04:30 PM

Currently on FotM Level 27

View PostIkelos, on 21 November 2012 - 08:36 PM, said:

But, how much is X% increase in your DPS actually helping you clear the content?

Because it allows me to kill things faster, help get up when I'm downed (by killing the monster), help finish off bosses, help save downed teammates.  It's much easier to save a downed teammate by simply finishing off a monster they attacked, rather than invest in toughness & vit & sit next to him ressing, risking both of our deaths.  I've seen quite a number of runs fail because people think they literally have to res anyone that goes down or outright DIES in ANY situation.  (See: Dredge Mining Boss & screwing up pulls).

Killing things faster is one of the most basic ways to clear content faster.

Quote

If building some toughness lets me take even say, 3 hits from a regular mob instead of 1 hit, I would consider that worth it.


You shouldn't be taking -any- hits, to be honest.  While I'm not perfect either, there's no reason to want to be able to make 3 mistakes in a row-- I should be cutting down on my mistakes and focusing on helping others clear the dungeon faster.

That said, mobs currently don't 1-shot me, even in fotm 27 (unless its some sort of boss or mini-boss special attack), and I have 0 toughness & 0 vitality.  If I can already take a few "mistake" hits, with 0 toughness, why wold I want to increase my toughness over my damage?  So I can make even more mistakes?  I don't want to sound harsh, but that kind of thinking feels more like a "safety cushion for poor playing."

Quote

All damage avoidance mechanics are limited (for good reason), you can only dodge twice within a reasonable timeframe (even with Vigor up), and all your skills have individual cooldowns.

Yes, they are limited, and I can tell you what that good reason is.  It's called timing.  Anet wants to reward players for actually timing, and not spamming, their avoidance mechanics.  They want to reward players for being able to watch an animation, or pattern, and accurately judge precisely when to use them.  This is what makes a game fun & challenging: you don't get a ton of time to sit there and react; you have to be fast.

Dodging twice in a row should only happen in very isolated situations.  The Dredge Mining Suit boss's agony attack, for instance, can ONLY be avoided if you are precise in timing a series of 2 dodges after he glows (if you don't use any other avoidance mechanic).  But, lets say you already dodged his bombs or something (which you don't have to dodge, you can walk out of), you still can dodge one set of his agony, and hit distortion for part of the other set.  You can also heal during the agony.

I listed a bunch of our MANY, though "limited", damage-avoidance mechanics above...but I'll say them again.  We have 2 dodge rolls we can use at any time (and they recharge quickly with the trait "critical hits grant vigor"). a distortion shatter than can last up to 4 seconds, a distortion WEAPON SKILL that we can use EVERY 8 seconds with the 1h sword (blurred frenzy), we can Blink to cover large distances & escape attacks, we can use feedback to stop a projectile from even going near us for 6 seconds, we can use veil to stealth ourselves & bounce the hate to another person in the group (to get a stalking boss off us).

I don't know what your implying by saying "you can only dodge twice and all your skills have cooldowns."  Are you trying to say that you don't have enough at your disposal, as a mesmer, to always "have something you could've done to avoid the attack?"  Because I hope your not-- I even challenge you to find a situation where that could even happen.

I can bet you that any that situation you'd come up with could have been avoided if you had better prepared your utility skills, practiced your timing, known more information about an enemy and his patterns, or coordinated your trademark skills with other group members.

For example, on the asura boss, I would cast Feedback on the raving asura to prevent him from hitting anyone with projectiles for 6 seconds... then a guardian would use his Wall of Reflection when Feedback wore off, then another member would use his reflect skill, etc, and we'd cycle them until feedback was already off CD again.  No one had to dodge the projectiles when they couldn't even reach them.

When you strategize with your group and do things effectively, precisely, and with complete knowledge of what your facing, I see no way that toughness can help outside of letting you make more mistakes (which, in the long run, does not actually help you.)  At least when used in the context you've given.

Quote

If you have to retreat just because a mob tickled you, you're actually lowering your damage output because you can't attack effectively when you're escaping. Building full Berserker may make you kill mobs 10% faster under ideal circumstances, but just a few mobs aggroed on you means the end of that.

This is a mistaken point of view.  I constantly have aggro on me...why would that make me retreat?  Or, what I think you were implying, retreat without attacking? I use the greatsword's burst, sidestep around while spamming the auto attack, use the #5 to push close enemies away, feedback to hold any projectiles off me, and simply watch and wait, with my finger on the dodge button, for an animation a monster makes when it's going to attack.  With how much I critical with the gs my endurance sometimes builds faster than monsters can attack me.  If I get overwhelmed I can hit weapon swap ~ 1h sword #2, which gives me a free 2 seconds of distortion to protect me from anything that would've hurt me, as well as even more damage if the enemy is close.  I could also distortion shatter on myself to safely pop a heal.  If there ever was a situation that I had to retreat because literally an entire group of monsters was on me, I don't think more toughness would've made me hesitate in that retreat, since I'd die either way if I was so overpowered.



View PostStaplerPie, on 24 November 2012 - 11:46 AM, said:

Have you ever actually tried tankier builds in FotM?  With full Rabid gear and 20 points in Chaos, for example, regular mobs will shouldn't be one-shotting you.


I haven't personally tried toughness on my mesmer in FotM, because I've tried it in dungeons and general PvE when I first began playing as a Mesmer, and it sucks.  Why wear rabid gear on a mesmer?  Unless you're combining it with Runes of the Undead & going full condition damage, I fail to see how such gear could help sharpen your game.

Edited by xxalucard, 24 November 2012 - 04:33 PM.


#16 StaplerPie

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:47 PM

View Postxxalucard, on 24 November 2012 - 04:30 PM, said:


I haven't personally tried toughness on my mesmer in FotM, because I've tried it in dungeons and general PvE when I first began playing as a Mesmer, and it sucks.  Why wear rabid gear on a mesmer?  Unless you're combining it with Runes of the Undead & going full condition damage, I fail to see how such gear could help sharpen your game.

That's exactly why: Runes of the Undead + Chaotic Transferance, and a lot of survivability.  If you just tried putting some points in Chaos at early levels without having the gear to back it up, then of course it would suck.  Having tankiness also allows you to make a lot of plays that would be impossible when you die in one hit.

#17 Kanto

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:33 PM

I'm of two minds in this. I don't believe a bit more damage will make a difference but a bit more survivability will. Despite the perfect dream like sequence you offer in which you dodge every single hit and attack I can't say I have experienced this.

For sure, yes, I can dodge and survive longer than my team, and yes, being hit by the big moves from a boss will kill, more or less toughness/vita. But too many times we're pelted by auto-attacks or have conditions or...

But, just to not be talking out of my posterior, I forked the cash for exotic jewelry and replaced my Knight jewelry so I can test and see the difference. I know doing this in WvW made me feel very squishy but lets see how it goes in dungeons.

#18 ATourist

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:20 AM

View Postxxalucard, on 24 November 2012 - 04:30 PM, said:

Currently on FotM Level 27

You shouldn't be taking -any- hits, to be honest.  While I'm not perfect either, there's no reason to want to be able to make 3 mistakes in a row-- I should be cutting down on my mistakes and focusing on helping others clear the dungeon faster.


It would be nice to record a few of your fotm runs to show us. It would seem that this is some very high level gameplay. I understand the point is not to get hit at all, but to effectively do it is very difficult. That is always the aim of any glass canon and mesmers do it best but against AI it's a little different. I think the best way to prove your point is to show us how you play.

#19 BreadBuddy

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:34 AM

View Postxxalucard, on 24 November 2012 - 04:30 PM, said:

Currently on FotM Level 27
Hey Alucard, is everything your saying in this thread apply only to mesmers or all classes?

Edited by BreadBuddy, 25 November 2012 - 09:34 AM.


#20 PheBelladona

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:31 PM

if you have multiple mobs you want to use MH sword as much as possible because of its cleave, so yes you will have issues doing this if you're going to get downed if 2 of the targets choose to hit you and you're glass cannon. against bosses yes you can go full glass cannon and ranged or even melee if it fixates on another target. this is why i suggested taking 2 armour sets, you will deal so much more damage meleeing a group and illusionary persona shattering with the buffer of toughness and vitality than being ranged and glass cannon. dodging everything is unreasonable - you're acting as if its always just 1 target you need to avoid which is obviously easy but large pulls can be AoE'd faster and more efficiently if you are able to take hits.

when you say "eventually damage will get so high in FotM you'll get 1 shot no matter what toughness/vitality you have" and follow it with "i can still take a hit with 0 toughness and vitality" you can see what will come at some point. at the very least there will be a gap of time in which you get killed in 1 hit no matter what and someone with toughness and vitality doesnt - at this point you then really should have toughness and vitality or you're a liability.

#21 Dream Proxy

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:42 PM

View PostBreadBuddy, on 25 November 2012 - 09:34 AM, said:

Hey Alucard, is everything your saying in this thread apply only to mesmers or all classes?

Mesmer only.  On necromancer, for example, going full toughness actually makes sense, especially when combined with runes of the undead, since it increases your major source of damage (condition damage) and necro's don't have nearly as many tools as mesmer to simply avoid damage.

View PostATourist, on 25 November 2012 - 08:20 AM, said:

It would be nice to record a few of your fotm runs to show us.

I'll try to get something up later today.

#22 Dream Proxy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:36 AM

here's a recent run, as promised (fractal of the mist level 28)



FotM Level 28:  0 Toughness, 0 Vitality, 0 Agony-Resistance

Far from perfect, and with a pick-up group.  I tried to fast-forward past the most of the boring parts.

#23 RixenAranos

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:10 PM

View Postxxalucard, on 26 November 2012 - 11:36 AM, said:

here's a recent run, as promised (fractal of the mist level 28)



FotM Level 28:  0 Toughness, 0 Vitality, 0 Agony-Resistance

Far from perfect, and with a pick-up group.  I tried to fast-forward past the most of the boring parts.

Nice vid.  Might be giving your build a try. What gear stats are you using for runes, accessories, armor, etc. on this run?

#24 PheBelladona

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:51 PM

look at the fight at 31mins you are unable to sword cleave at all because you are so squishy, trust me its nothing to do with playing badly you just need to play like you're terrified of the mobs. thats why tough and vitality are dps increases - you spend less time trying to get away from your targets.

#25 Dream Proxy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:56 PM

View PostPheBelladona, on 26 November 2012 - 05:51 PM, said:

look at the fight at 31mins you are unable to sword cleave at all because you are so squishy, trust me its nothing to do with playing badly you just need to play like you're terrified of the mobs. thats why tough and vitality are dps increases - you spend less time trying to get away from your targets.

To be fair, I didn't sword cleave much because in that particular stage there isn't much of a point of killing the enemies unless the hammer guy is going to get a charge out of it.  I was mainly trying to keep them at bay in the crest sections, until I saw the hammer guy hitting them, & then I'd go for the shatter burst to help finish them quickly.  A DPS increase on that stage, in the crest parts, wouldn't make much of a difference if the hammer guy isn't getting a #4 charge out of it.  I played like I was terrified because I might as well be cautious and try and keep the mobs close-to-dead for the hammer guy.

Edited by xxalucard, 26 November 2012 - 06:57 PM.


#26 Ikelos

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:09 PM

View Postxxalucard, on 26 November 2012 - 11:36 AM, said:

here's a recent run, as promised (fractal of the mist level 28)



FotM Level 28:  0 Toughness, 0 Vitality, 0 Agony-Resistance

Far from perfect, and with a pick-up group.  I tried to fast-forward past the most of the boring parts.

What I've gathered from this is the way to play glass-cannon Mesmer is to distance yourself from all combat. Then it follows that you're always the last to die since your other party members are taking all the heat.

In this perspective it makes sense. Yes, you can go full glass-cannon, if you play like a glass-cannon. However this isn't a Mesmer-specific thing, I could likely take a Ranger and do the same thing, albeit somewhat less reliably due to the inability to blink around and whatnot. If you intend to enter the fray in any way this won't work very well.

#27 Dream Proxy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:37 PM

I can enter the fray, it really depends on the types of enemies & situation.  With these levels in particular, it just makes more sense to distance yourself (distance from the jellyfish beast's struggle, mossman's deadly attacks, the legionaire's powerful hammer swings).

If I got the Ice Level, for example, I could stay right on top of the ice elemental mini-boss & the final boss with relative ease.  I could also stay right on top of the asura robots in the undiscovered fractal with little worry, and deal constant damage with my 1h sword out.

Even when I stay distanced though, you'll notice I try to factor in a quick blink or leap, 1H Sword #2, phantasmal warden, then go back to range GS.  There's no reason to sit there right in the enemy's face for a prolonged period of time, spamming auto-attack.  Yeah it's more DPS in the short-run, but it's also a really unnecessary risk for quite a small gain in overall damage.  You could spam #1 with the 1h sword, or you could switch to GS, then switch BACK to #1h sword (and gain the 3 stacks of might from my superior sigil of battle), do a #5, #3-3, #2, and do just as much, if not more damage, when you factor in the might & shattering at the end.  The major difference is how safe & consistent one method is over another.

In the later fractals I feel like it's always better to "play it safe;" all it takes is a few mistakes between the group and everyone will die.  Mesmers aren't warriors-- we don't need to stand at the front-line spamming auto attack (no offense to warriors).

I'm not sure why it would be looked down on... but staying mostly ranged, with intervals of bursting with the 1H Sword & then getting out of there, seems to be one of the most reliable ways to play.  If you get killed your dps is 0.

Edited by xxalucard, 26 November 2012 - 09:49 PM.


#28 Ikelos

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:29 PM

I'm not looking down on your playstyle, I'm pointing it out for what it is. Your original statement was that anything but damage stats was pointless, and that anyone getting defensive stats is using it as a crutch to support bad play.

What is actually happening is you are limiting yourself to activities where you don't need defensive stats. For example, you would not be able to whack seals with the hammer very well if you tried to, because you would likely get downed before even getting the hit off. And that's fine, not everyone needs to do that, but it doesn't change the fact that you aren't able to.

#29 Daryl

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:31 PM

@alucard: Nice vid, and I can see your point. Especially at the hammer-level it's useless to do much dps when you're not swinging the hammer.

Ikelos etc have a point in the sense that you haven't shown much of that expert dodging and melee-combat you described above. I think that's because one could think you sound condescending, as if you're a "pro player" while everyone else is a "noob". Well, they forget that you didn't have to prove that expertise in these levels. It just didn't make any sense. You didn't do this video to demonstrate your build, exactly, but because you were asked to show a high level fractal run. Which you did.

What you describe doesn't sound easy, it looks like it needs immense concentration and training. But you took your time to explain, and the whole thing sounds very reasonable. Thanks for your patience, it's a great guide and a very nice damage-build. Don't let anyone else conince you otherwise!

#30 StaplerPie

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:26 AM

Nice video alucard!  Do you think you could get a video of you doing the Grawl Fire Elemental fractal boss or the asure boss?  I find those to be one of the most challenging ones as a Mesmer because there's lots of pressure on you from adds and AoE.

Also, I still think you're undervaluing defensive stats on a Mesmer.  With runes of the undead, toughness can boost condition damage a lot, and staff (arguably the best group weapon on the Mesmer) almost all your damage is condition damage.  Then with Sharper Images and Pistol or iWarden you can stack lots of bleeds.  So you'll get lots of condition damage and lots of tankiness, allowing you to go onto the frontline for parts like the hammer section.

I think if you didn't have 3 heavy armor characters to form the frontline in that video, then it would have gone a lot differently.

Edited by StaplerPie, 27 November 2012 - 01:26 AM.





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