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Warrior DPS Test GS vs Axe vs Sword


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#1 Strife025

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 06:55 PM

12/28/12 - Part 2 is now up below, this has better tests for the GS vs Axe/Mace build



Without any training dummies or dps parsers or anything to try and improve your build, I attempted to test out weapons to improve or at least confirm my build/playstyle for the warrior dps role in my dungeon group.

This test is a dps test, since that's what we run warriors as in my dedicated group and guild groups. I tested using GS, Axe/Mace, Axe/Mace with constant Longbow swapping, and then Sword/Mace thrown in for the hell of it.

The conclusion is that GS and Axe/Mace without switching comes out on top. The situation where one is better then the other is situational since both builds rely on different things to maximize their dps (i.e. rooted mobs, mobs by walls, etc. for GS, while Axe/Mace offers more utility and front-loaded vulnerability).

Hopefully Anet adds in training dummies like GW1 so we can eventually have a way to try and improve our builds and find ways to maximize dps.

The actual Axe/Mace build, my Guardian build, and dungeon walkthroughs can be found on my youtube page as well.

Obviously this test has some human variable and variance in it, depending on the number of stomps, etc. I did record 5 fights and use the fastest 3 for each build to try and remove a portion of the variance. It's obviously not a 100% accurate test like a dps parser, but it does give a good general idea of the dps capabilities of each build.

This is part 1, after feedback and talking to some friends, I plan on making a 2nd test that is GS with using GS3 -> GS4 -> GS5 combo instead of full on auto attacks outside of 100B. I also plan on using Axe/Mace with a Shield or Warhorn swap instead of longbow for fights when you know you won't need ranged since that should increase the dps of the Axe build as well.

Part 2:


Part 2 involves 3 new tests which helped me get the GS test more accurate and refine my Axe/Mace build even further. For these 3 tests I decided to start at max adrenaline as well to cut down on variances with building adrenaline at the start depending on the number of mobs I was hitting.

The 3 tests include:

1. Refining the GS build after getting feedback from friends and people who saw part 1. This significantly reduced the time it took for me to kill the Giant with GS. There is much more variability with GS since it requires you and your target to be standing still for maximum damage, meaning interrupts from things like dodges will cause more variance from test to test. This can be a strength and weakness to the GS build, as you have the potential to kill both faster or slower then Axe/Mace.

2. I did a test for Axe/Mace without using Eviscerate and staying at max adrenaline. Overall there wasn't much conclusive evidence since both times to kill the Giant were similar weather using Eviscerate or not without swapping.

3. The third test involves my new Axe/Mace build and using an Axe offhand instead of longbow. This greatly increased my dps and is what I'm using for most dungeons now since there are very few instances I actually need to switch to longbow outside of certain high level fractals. You can see the great improvement in times compared to the other Axe/Mace tests and it is on par (on average) with GS.

Overall I prefer the more fluid style, less variance in dps, and utility that Axe/Mace brings over GS, that's not to say GS is bad though.

The next test I want to do is a Longbow vs Rifle test for PvE as well.

Edited by Strife025, 29 December 2012 - 01:02 AM.


#2 dawdler

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:48 PM

I really wish you would have tested mace mainhand as well, in this case mace/mace compared with sword/mace and axe/mace. I mean we know it wont beat the axe but it'd be interesting to see what you can clock it at nonetheless (albeit untraited with your build).

#3 Mootillay

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:14 PM

Maces will not beat sword DPS for a few reasons.  First is that swords offer a trivial(or great depending on spec) amount of side DPS from bleed stacks.  Second is that Final Thrust is 1/2 second activation vs 1 second for Pulverize and likely has a higher damage coefficient.

#4 GuanglaiKangyi

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

Why not just figure out your skill rotation and add up how much damage you'll do over any given period of time with it?  Testing on the giant of all things seems like a bad idea since there are too many factors to take into account.

You can also test on the dummy in LA, and account for crits afterwards.

#5 Enscheff

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:04 PM

Best way I found to test DPS is to use the Heavy Dummy in the PvP area. I would kill it 3 times in a row and time how long it takes with each build. Since the respawn time should be constant, this serves as a way to get a couple hundred hits to test things.

Axe had a Sig of Strength, Shield had a Sig of Accuracy. GS has Sig of Strength. All Runes were selected to increase the duration of Boons or Might.  

I found the fastest way to kill them with pure melee is spamming Axe1 and popping Axe2 every time it comes off cooldown for the vulnerability. I traited into Vigorous Shouts, and then bought all the normal DPS traits for Axe mainhand. Never used Eviscerate because there are so many traits that give bonuses while at full Adrenaline.  

The GS build I went with (pretty much Sonic Boon) got the Might stacks well over 20, while the Axe barely got Might to 10+. I used GS1 until 100B was off cooldown.

Axe killed the 3 golems a few seconds under 2 minutes (avg 1:56), while GS tended to take a couple more seconds than 2 minutes (avg 2:02). Seeing as Axe was slightly better and didn't require me to be stationary, I settled on Axe/Shield. The Shield also gives me a 3 second block that ends up being invaluable in Fractal PUGs.

#6 Strife025

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:55 PM

View PostGuanglaiKangyi, on 26 December 2012 - 09:15 PM, said:

Why not just figure out your skill rotation and add up how much damage you'll do over any given period of time with it?  Testing on the giant of all things seems like a bad idea since there are too many factors to take into account.

You can also test on the dummy in LA, and account for crits afterwards.

LA dummy doesn't take conditions which includes vulnerability and makes sword tests useless. I prefer using things that can actually be crit as well because you can't really calculate crits when you have things proccing on crit also like bleeds, vuln, might stacks, sigil of air/fire if you're testing those, etc.

View PostEnscheff, on 26 December 2012 - 10:04 PM, said:

Best way I found to test DPS is to use the Heavy Dummy in the PvP area. I would kill it 3 times in a row and time how long it takes with each build. Since the respawn time should be constant, this serves as a way to get a couple hundred hits to test things.

Axe had a Sig of Strength, Shield had a Sig of Accuracy. GS has Sig of Strength. All Runes were selected to increase the duration of Boons or Might.  

I found the fastest way to kill them with pure melee is spamming Axe1 and popping Axe2 every time it comes off cooldown for the vulnerability. I traited into Vigorous Shouts, and then bought all the normal DPS traits for Axe mainhand. Never used Eviscerate because there are so many traits that give bonuses while at full Adrenaline.  

The GS build I went with (pretty much Sonic Boon) got the Might stacks well over 20, while the Axe barely got Might to 10+. I used GS1 until 100B was off cooldown.

Axe killed the 3 golems a few seconds under 2 minutes (avg 1:56), while GS tended to take a couple more seconds than 2 minutes (avg 2:02). Seeing as Axe was slightly better and didn't require me to be stationary, I settled on Axe/Shield. The Shield also gives me a 3 second block that ends up being invaluable in Fractal PUGs.

Yea I thought about that, but wanted to use PvE gear since it has different stats and ascended rings and you can't use rubies in PvP gear.

Sonic Boon isn't really a dps build though. But yes GS will stack more might for sure, but you don't need quite as much in a 5 man dungeon group which is what I was mainly trying to test it out for (hence keeping the banner).

The Eviscerate issue is interesting though, you found that not using Eviscerate offered more dps then using it every 10 seconds with the 2 adrenaline bonuses?

Maybe I'll include that for my next test as well for the 3rd scenario.

I agree that I much prefer Axe as well.

Edited by Strife025, 26 December 2012 - 10:58 PM.


#7 Enscheff

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:30 PM

Keep in mind my tests were in a very controlled environment. It ended up taking quite a while to build back up to max Adrenaline while only hitting a single target. No doubt hitting 3 mobs would get you back to max much more quickly, but if I am fighting content that is so trivial I can whack 3 mobs at once in melee I am not too concerned about min/max.

I also like staying at max Adrenaline because in fractals I end up switching out to Rifle regularly, and the Adrenaline traits benefit my Rifle damage as well. The Rifle burst skill takes so long just to fire (you literally take a knee, aim, and then fire), that I question whether or not that skill is even better than just spamming Rifle1 with max adrenaline and stacking the Bleeds.

Add to all that the fact I don't have to worry about watching my Adrenaline bar and hitting the F1 key, and I just don't worry about burst skills. Even if bursts do end up being slightly more DPS, I still don't think I would bother.

Edited by Enscheff, 26 December 2012 - 11:32 PM.


#8 Strife025

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:42 AM

Just updated with part 2 which has better builds and tests for both GS and Axe/Mace to further improve playstyle and dps.

At the very least, doing these tests have helped me improve my builds because of the lack of other ways to really test things in a PvE environment like GW1.

#9 KrayZ33

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:50 PM

i'm not a fan of the +prec sigil which is why I'm not using it but I like the axe/axe swap idea!

what do you think about a 30/25/0/0/15 build using axe/mace + axe/axe?

- you lose 20% critchance (or less)
- 5% crit damage
- 1 stack of might ea. swap
- signet recharge bonus (or not... depends on what trait you use)
- empowered (see stick and move)
- 10% boon duration (meh)
- 100 vit (meh)

you gain:
+100 power (!)
+150 condition damage (meh)
+stick and move (see empowered)
+10% damage on bleeding mobs (basically 100% uptime)
+50% longer bleeds
+ 8% burst skill damage
+ whatever sigil you use instead of the +prec one (makes me wonder what if you use 4 weapons instead of ?)

Edited by KrayZ33, 29 December 2012 - 04:03 PM.


#10 Brand

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 05:57 PM

View PostStrife025, on 26 December 2012 - 10:55 PM, said:

Sonic Boon isn't really a dps build though.
When is the last time you looked at it Strife? It's pretty dps-y now.

Regardless, great tests. That Axe5 is ridiculous o.o I'm amazed that that hasn't been nerfed.

#11 Sieghildr

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:02 PM

Thanks a bunch, Strife. I was noticing that the longbow swapping was a bit underwhelming in dungeons, and that axe offhand looks like a lot of fun.

#12 chuckles79

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:16 PM

bottom line for me was that GS is easier and more visually pleasing than other melee combos.

#13 Strife025

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:39 PM

View PostKrayZ33, on 29 December 2012 - 03:50 PM, said:

i'm not a fan of the +prec sigil which is why I'm not using it but I like the axe/axe swap idea!

what do you think about a 30/25/0/0/15 build using axe/mace + axe/axe?

- you lose 20% critchance (or less)
- 5% crit damage
- 1 stack of might ea. swap
- signet recharge bonus (or not... depends on what trait you use)
- empowered (see stick and move)
- 10% boon duration (meh)
- 100 vit (meh)

you gain:
+100 power (!)
+150 condition damage (meh)
+stick and move (see empowered)
+10% damage on bleeding mobs (basically 100% uptime)
+50% longer bleeds
+ 8% burst skill damage
+ whatever sigil you use instead of the +prec one (makes me wonder what if you use 4 weapons instead of ?)
It could be okay but I'm really just not a fan of Arms line without GS. Besides Rending Strikes, there's really not much to offer, so you're pretty much spending an extra 15 points to get to 25 for the 10% damage trait. The 50% Bleeding duration is pretty negligible since your bleeding ticks are so low anyways (68 dmg per tick in my video), and even without duration, you can see that bleed is up most of the time, and this is solo without 4 other party members who could proc bleeds as well. Plus you have to give up either Signet duration or Crit chance on adrenaline plus the fact you always get the first set of bonuses from Berserker Power and Heightened focus immediately.

Stick and move is only 3% and requires you to use a dodge, where empowered you can get 4.5% pretty much 100% of the time just from your own boons, with 2 guards you're usually going to get around a constant 7.5% damage from it with the possibility of bursts as high as 12.0%, plus you have the options for stronger bow strings and banner duration. So I really couldn't see myself giving that up because you can get either self damage, party damage from banners, or utility in the instances you need longbow range all from 10 points into tactics.

I actually could see a 30-0-0-10-30 option being good as well though. Giving up 5% crit chance and rending strikes for 100 power and 10% more damage on crit (which would be 94% of the time at full stacks if you use +prec) seems like it has the potential to be worth it especially depending on your group and how much value they get out of rending strikes. Not really a fan of what you give up for a 30-25-0-0-15 build though.

And yes, you could for sure swap out mace to a different mace with force or something after you build stacks, I just don't bother really. Same thing with GS though, you could carry a 2nd GS for stacks first.

View PostBrand, on 29 December 2012 - 05:57 PM, said:

When is the last time you looked at it Strife? It's pretty dps-y now.

Regardless, great tests. That Axe5 is ridiculous o.o I'm amazed that that hasn't been nerfed.

Been a while, I just remember it had like knights and some healing power gear and then of course 30 in tactics for shouts which takes away from damage lines. I guess the only way is to test it as well, but I don't have all the gear and runes and don't plan on spending gold and dungeon tokens just to test it.

It's less Axe5 and more how OP omnomberry pies/ghosts are since they have no cooldown, gonna be a sad day if they ever nerf those things.

#14 thefairman

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:57 PM

i've been using a 20/30/0/0/20 build, the reason being that it allows flexibility. GS with proper traits in situations where it is needed (CoF, certain Fractals) and Axe + OH in any other level. with the trait setup the way it is, you can use both Axe + OH for damage dealing and GS for quick bursts + mobility when you don't need a ranged alternative. if you do need range, Rifle can be thrown in with the proper trait (LB doesn't require any traits to be used, either). obviously, it's not optimized to the extent that your build is for Axe...but the beauty of Axe MH is that it deals tons of damage with minimal trait investment due to the AA's power. being able to freely switch weapon types for a situation is why i like Warrior.

additionally, have you ever considered a scenario where you use both Axe + OH and GS on switch? GS can build Might stacks, swap to Axe for a quick Vuln + Eviscerate. the Discipline line can be traited for Inspiring Shouts / Sharpened Axe for quick Adrenaline buildup, too. just something i've been using primarily in non FOTM dungeons for quick damage dealing.

#15 Brand

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 06:35 AM

View PostStrife025, on 29 December 2012 - 09:39 PM, said:

Been a while, I just remember it had like knights and some healing power gear and then of course 30 in tactics for shouts which takes away from damage lines. I guess the only way is to test it as well, but I don't have all the gear and runes and don't plan on spending gold and dungeon tokens just to test it.

It's less Axe5 and more how OP omnomberry pies/ghosts are since they have no cooldown, gonna be a sad day if they ever nerf those things.
Yeah, it's all zerker's minus the armor now.

I guess that makes sense. Would suck more for you, I can heal without them :P

#16 Dermonis

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 11:54 AM

What do you guys think about my build ?

http://i255.photobuc...Kovacu/warr.jpg
Almost all my gear has PPT, and soldier runes. RIngs and amulets have exquisite emerald.

And i am using axe+shield or mace - Riffle

#17 dawdler

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 11:33 PM

View PostDermonis, on 30 December 2012 - 11:54 AM, said:

What do you guys think about my build ?

http://i255.photobuc...Kovacu/warr.jpg
Almost all my gear has PPT, and soldier runes. RIngs and amulets have exquisite emerald.

And i am using axe+shield or mace - Riffle
Its about as good as anything else, though I am curious about the crit damage. Cant be very high to reach that kind of toughness together with precision? Personally I have problems speccing  anything else than at least 20 points in discipline, for two things - halved weapon swap and the extra crit damage. If you have high crit chance, you should put some effort into crit damage as well. Otherwise, you can just focus on power and try to get as high base damage as possible.

#18 Dermonis

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:43 PM

If i remove points (lets say 20) from arms and add it to discipline i will loose:  Atk of opportunity (+10% dmg), crit chance and my riffle skills will have bigger CD. I will get +20% crit dmg, faster wep swap (with riffle and axe+X i dont need this trait coz i am 70% of time on axe and when things get hard i switch to riffle and stay at distance until i recover my HP).

+10%dmg is better than +20% crit dmg.

I will only try to replace some emerald rings and amulets with berserk coz i think that i dont need so much toughness and i would like to add some crit dmg to my build.
One of my favourite traits is armored atk which gives me alot extra power with this build
Food i use: Hardened Sharpening Stone and omnomberry pie.

Edited by Dermonis, 31 December 2012 - 12:45 PM.





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