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New and need advice on weapons and multi-mob handling

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#1 Aikah


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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:02 AM

Hi there mesmers!

I'm new to GW, been playing for about 2+ weeks only. I rolled a mesmer because I've always been into casters/healers, and since there is no dedicated healer in this game, I was down to choosing between an elementalist or mesmer. I chose the latter because it was quite simply unique (not to mention the skills look so good!) , and the elementalist was more or less the cookie-cutter mage-type class that I've played in other games.

Anyway.. now I'm thinking if maybe choosing mesmer was a bit too ambitious for a first try.

What I'm having the most trouble with is if I see something like 3+ mobs coming at me. I use GS/staff currently, and quite frankly whenever I see more than 1 enemy coming, I just am at a loss on what to do. What I usually do is immediately use the GS phantasm + mirror blade + mind stab (and hope some of the attacks hit more than one enemy, but sometimes those mobs don't come from exactly the same direction -_-;) . After that, almost all the mobs are almost always still alive, and all my GS skills are now on CD, and some of the mobs are almost always eating at me by then (either they had killed off the illusions or had decided I'm way tastier).

Here's when I switch to staff, put down Storm, get chaos armor, drop the warlock, and then run around like a headless chicken hoping the things will die lol. >.<; I try to dodge also, but found out that in aggro areas, this just gets me more aggro from other enemies nearby that have spawned.

I don't also always use shatter esp. if the mobs are nowhere near dying because it just leaves me open (esp. if summoning skills are fresh on CD). Or should I not summon all my phantasms up at the start of the fight? Also, the clones just run after one target in the shatter, so I'm not sure if they actually hit the others, and I haven't learned to control where they go (positioning, etc.)

Now, I'm admittedly not a good gamer (I just love gaming!) and I've stalked this forums quite a bit before posting. Hoping I can get some advice on what I'm doing wrong with this, or if I should give up either GS or staff for another weapon that will help me with my predicament.

I actually seem to like GS more than staff just because I don't really feel like I'm doing any damage at all with staff >.> (I'm probably mistaken, but that's my feeling), but I've read everywhere that staff is the quintessential mesmer weapon blah blah, so I'm hesitant to give it up at first. But reading around, it seems like some setup like GS/sword might work a bit better? Or should I give up GS for something else? (Although it seems like I'm killing more stuff with it than staff).

Sorry for the long post, and looking forward to some replies that will shed some light! Thinking now if I should switch to ele instead.. but I don't want to if I can help it!

#2 Gregor Sabetin

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:12 PM

Well Ele is squishier than Mes at low levels for sure. Rerolling wouln't change your situation a lot.
First some questions:
*What is your current level?
*What are you using as utility skills?
*What are your traits?
*Is your equipment up-to-date? (e.g. not level 5 weapons on a level 27 character)

Using other weapons than GS/Staff is something you should definitely try just to get accustomed to every weapon. It's difficult to tell you more without knowing the elements I mentioned.

#3 Dervo


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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:41 PM

Rerolling to ele would probably be a bad idea, but I'd recommend trying out some other professions as well.  If you're going more for support and like the idea of being a caster I'd recommend trying guardian as it's much easier for new players to get used to and it still has the option of using a staff, scepter, and focus (though I personally only use the scepter out of those choices).  Another option for support would be the engineer, though that obviously isn't a spellcaster I've heard it's good at applying boons, vulnerability (increases allies dps), and can heal allies as well.

I just got my mesmer to lvl 80, and found it was much harder than the other professions up to lvl 30. (I've gotten all but my thief and engineer over 30).  Something I found to make it a lot easier was to use confusion, which you get 5 stacks of on the scepter #3 skill, and from shattering with f2.  At level 40 you can put 15+ traits in illusions so that all traits will inflict confusion (f2 will inflict twice the normal amount).  Six stacks from f2 if you shatter 3 illusions, and five from scepter #3 and mobs will die after they attack a few times.  Confusion is a short duration condition though so you'll probably still need to shatter more than once.

Guardian, warrior, and necro all seem to be more newb friendly though, well I might be a bit biased on necro cause that's my main.

#4 OctavianCMB


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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:46 AM

Mainhand sword is your best tool for handling multi-mobs. 1 cleaves, 2 cleaves and makes you invulnerable, 3 jumps a clone to your target and then allows you to swap position with that clone.

Both Sword/Focus and Sword/Sword are solid options. Sw/Sw has a definite edge in combat; but Sw/Fo offers a definite edge in overall utility.

I know it seems perilous to melee mobs, but by timing your clone/phant generation, dodges, and heals, it's a pretty rapid way to chew through lots of enemies.

I think everyone wishes /Torch were better... but it isn't. So there you go.

#5 Heart Collector

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:46 AM

Now I mostly do open world stuff (which is easy) and I'm only mid level but this stuff should apply to you!

With GS I typically start with #2, and whilst its travelling to the enemy I cast #3 and 4 almost together. All 3 abilities simultaneously should hit like a truck, especially if you shatter (mind wrack) just after that. If I see the multiple mobs being further and approaching, I'll hold off #3 and 4 until they're within range - the clone should be able to take a few hits until they all arrive. Mirror Images is also a great ability to have as it gives you 2 extra clones after your first shatter - or will give you the 2 extra clones you need for your first shatter if you don't want to shatter your phantasm. You could always use shatter #3 to control the mobs or #4 when you're being overwhelmed - and a well timed Cry of Frustration (shatter #2) can be deadly even in PvE. I also tend to heal (ether feast) when my health is relatively high (say 75%) in prolonged fights - If my health is low it might not be enough to spell the difference between life and death (usually my decoy saves me then) - I've noticed that most of the time I die less if I don't actually use my heal as a last resort.

I used to go staff/GS, now I'm trying out staff/Sw/Sw or Sw/F... Melee mesmer can be real fun.

Traits are crucial, as you get more and more traits the class begins to seriously wreck things faster and faster :D I was struggling at low levels, now I'm 45 and things keep getting easier. 20 points in Duelling for clones on dodge + 5 in Illusions for the cooldown makes a world of difference (plus you get vigor from a minor Duelling trait, enabling you to dodge more) However the Mes is mostly a matter of playstyle, and learning to "get into" that playstyle. Once you're there you should be able to pull off crazy sh*t and come out with nothing more than a bit of blood on your lapel (not yours at that) :P I've managed to survive DEs with constantly incoming waves of multiple enemies (7+ with vets) on my own, and brought back 2 downed team mates whilst 3-manning a champion when I've played really well.

Hope that helps!

Edited by Heart Collector, 28 January 2013 - 10:10 AM.

#6 Verelia


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Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:57 AM

Necromancers can be pretty tanky if you go for a power setup using a dagger/ warhorn or whatever. It's still my favourite alt.

Mesmers generally are lackluster until level 30-40 as peeps have said, mainly as a lot of the profession revolves around traits for shattering and/ or phantasms. I think the general feeling still is to pick up illusionists celerity or whatever its called, the trait that reduces phantasms' cooldown by 20% in the last trait tree.  The main downside I've found with mesmers is quite a few of the weapon selection feels...weird to me, the cooldowns on illusions in pve seem far too long and their aoe is kind of lacking and certainly if you're not going greatsword/ mainhand sword and whatever I kind of feel overwhemled. Plus side I love the profession and the sword set ups.

Mainly I think its relying on your illusions (stuff like decoy, invisibility and dodging like mad) and the various aoes you have at your disposal. It's a lot of fun once you have the traits and practice at it and is still my favourite profession, and mesmer is the first character I ever made.

If you want a more straight forward "mage" however, probably guardian and necromancer are worth looking at. As I said, my necro is still by far my favourite alt and guardians are...well kind of boring but you have to really F up badly to come close to dying and sometimes god mode is fun.

#7 Fenice_86


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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:19 PM

Try sword/sword or sword/pistol instead of staff and let us know how it goes ;)

PS: as Gregor asked tell us ur lvl/utilities/traits!

Edited by Fenice_86, 28 January 2013 - 02:19 PM.

#8 Elysen


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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:24 PM

View PostOctavianCMB, on 28 January 2013 - 05:46 AM, said:

Both Sword/Focus and Sword/Sword are solid options. Sw/Sw has a definite edge in combat; but Sw/Fo offers a definite edge in overall utility.

Not exactly, it is situational.

The iWarden does incredible AOE damage, whereas iSwordsman is single target. iWarden is immobile (but as a solo player it is easy to keep enemies within the attack range of it, whereas iSwordsman is mobile. iWarden has longer CD than iSwordsman, iSwordsman has a small evade time when it leaps, but iWarden reflects projectiles.

I always prefered, and still do prefer, focus over the sword. The same applies to leveling. The lack of mobility by iWarden is easily countered with an experienced "Into the Void" pull.

Not to mention focus gives a nice speed boost, which is always nice as a leveling tool.

#9 skidawgz


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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:55 PM

I don't think any weapon (early stages) is as easy on a noobie as the staff.  I used mostly staff/sword-pistol.  Multi mobs I would open with sword pistol so that I have an iDuelist out on one target.  I would attack another, I would wait until I got the mobs standing close enough to do the slot 2 sword attack. Then switch to staff and chaos storm.

If your targets are ranged, you generally want to stand close to that particular ranged enemy.  The melee mobs will run to you and that will  group everything up for AOE.  Shatters have AOE dmg, as does chaos storm and sword attacks.

Your keys are to remember to weapon switch often and use all your cool downs.  Kite because its easy after putting down chaos storm or iBeserker.  I usually just ran in circles while summoning/shattering clones. I used to use the signet with random boon and signet with boon duration and i had much easy leveling.  I can solo veterans and up to 5 mobs.  I didn't aim to pick a fight with 5 mobs, but sometimes you walk into the wrong spot and aggro half the damn area :P good luck out there.

The Mesmer has a ton of options, so that makes it harder to master because it isn't always straight forward.  I'm leveling a guardian as my alt and Guardians just steamroll things.

#10 Aikah


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Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

Hi guys! Thanks for all the replies!

@ Asuran Acolyte
*What is your current level? - I'm 47 now. Guess I'm pathetic coz I still hadn't 'shone' yet when the mesmers start shining supposedly lol. But I will keep on trying.
*What are you using as utility skills? - Decoy, Signet of Inspiration, Blink, Feedback (As you can see, I need a lot of escape options >.< )
*What are your traits? Domination (20), Illusions (17) . 1gold to buy the book is ouchie for a newbie!
*Is your equipment up-to-date? Yep, they are. Mostly green though.

I will definitely try the other suggestions first before posting back about it. Using a sword looks good, but I'm not sure which I should give up (the GS or staff) for it ><;

I had tried ele, necro, and guardian. Totally sucked as a lowbie Guardian since I'm not accustomed to melee and died miserably from mobs lol.

#11 Heart Collector

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:36 AM

View PostAikah, on 30 January 2013 - 04:22 PM, said:

*What is your current level? - I'm 47 now. Guess I'm pathetic coz I still hadn't 'shone' yet when the mesmers start shining supposedly lol. But I will keep on trying.
*What are you using as utility skills? - Decoy, Signet of Inspiration, Blink, Feedback (As you can see, I need a lot of escape options >.< )
*What are your traits? Domination (20), Illusions (17) . 1gold to buy the book is ouchie for a newbie!
*Is your equipment up-to-date? Yep, they are. Mostly green though.

I'm 47 too, and it's become easy for me though I can die to a mere sneeze if I'm not paying attention :P Still it's become easy now - guess I've gotten the hang of the class.

My utility skills are currently Decoy (it's a good panic button for when things go south), either Arcane Thievery or Null field (for condition removal), Mirror Images (its 2 clones are really helpful to me for faster killing and MOAR SHATTERZ!) and either Time Warp (when I'm in a group) or Moa Morph (because it's plain hilarious, and who doesn't like adding insult to injury). I just picked up hounds of Balthazar human elite for use as a panic button and for extra mob trolling on top of my illusions but I haven't tried it yet. My heal is still Ether Feast - which as I said before I use when my health is not too low to keep me topped.

My traits are a definite 20 in Duelling (I currently have Desperate Decoy though I may switch it out as I haven't needed it so far and Deceptive Evasion - clone on dodge? Yes please! It's much more powerful than you may think), 10 in Illusions (Precise wrack) and I'm working on getting Mental Torment for the Mind Wrack damage, followed by another 10 in Illusions. After which I'm planning on going 30 Illusions and 20 Duelling, and finishing it off with Domination or Chaos depending on my mood at the time.

So far, this stuff has worked for me :)

#12 ArcSenex


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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:44 AM

As others have mentioned, mesmers are not the easiest class to either level up or learn the game mechanics through. Personally I'm very glad I played some of the easier and more forgiving classes first, like Guardian, Warrior and Necromancer - it's a lot less frustrating.

The game style of the mesmer will almost always be about not being where the damage is. We simply can't take a hit (unless we don't care about DPS). As others above have mentionen, this requires us to use traits and skills that helps with that. Clones are a fantastic distraction, and can be used as awesome spike damage through shattering. Skills and traits that gives you more clones would be good options. I personally would never be without the Dueling trait that gives you clones on dodge - or the 20% faster CD on all illusions (phantasm and clones both) with 5 points in the Illusion line. What other traits to go for will depend on what type of build you like to play in the end.

As for utilities - Decoy, Blink, Mirror Images - later on Feedback can save you from rangers, projectile spellcasters etc. Also the invisibility veil can save your ass when fleeing or running through trash mobs - same with mass invisibility.

Weapons - well, this is all about personal preference really, but I use GS and Sword/Focus and here's why:
GS vs. Staff - you should always have 1 ranged weapon/set, you will always need to have the option - rarely any exceptions. GS simply just provides more DPS no matter how you try and build around the staff, so for general pve and running alone, you need to be able to deal damage. Scepter has only 900 range, and the main function is the confusion skill, but I would not recommend unless you build for conditions specificly. The clone generation on the auto attack is too slow to be of use when you need clones.
As the second set you con now afford to ditch the range for either more dps and/or utility. this would be scepter and sword mainhand and sword, focus, pistol, torch offhand. For me the sword is a very strong MH because it's one of our most powerfull DPS weapons, it provides a clone+leap, and most important, it makes you invulnerable for 2 secs on a very short cooldown. As for OH i prefer the endless posibilities of the focus: the iWarden is our strongest DPS phantasm + it reflects projectiles - only drawback is it's stationary. I hate going anywhere on any toon without an ability for speed like the temperal curtain + it provides an escape by cripling persuers + it can be used as a pull for either grouping foes, pulling foes away from yourself/a friend in need + a ton of other posibilities. I think temperal curtain is my absolute favorite skill.

These are only suggestions of course. you should experiment will all weapons and utilities, and find the combination that works for you and your preferred playstyle. At some point you need to decide a playstyle to focus on - the main ones being Conditions, Phantasms or Shattering. Theres a ton of builds and suggestion on these forums, so knock yourself out trying them. I recommend you start trying them before hitting level 80 since they all require different or somewhat different gear. Changing all your exotic gear will be expensive and/or time consuming if this is your only toon so far.

Good Luck and enjoy your Mesmer :D

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