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An engineer build for anything and everything PvE

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#1 DropDead Aim

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 08:36 AM

My Engineer build guide for anything and everything PvE

After over 1000 hours on the engineer which included getting the Dungeon Master title, semi-regularly running high level fractals, acquiring the legendary rifle, and a doing a lesser amount of WvW my build has changed several times over the months and can now change daily without any inconvenience even in a dungeon or fractal.

There are many ways to build an engineer and I want to do something different. Instead of showcasing one build that anybody can/should use I'd like to showcase some options if one or more playstyles don't appeal to you. Personally I am more inclined to make and use more DPS focused builds. I would do this even if the meta was different so make of that what you will.

Grenades(High DPS/Group DPS Support):

The grenade kit is simply the best damage option that engineers have doing both excellent direct damage as well as substantial condition damage while stacking extreme vulnerability in an AoE. Bombs may do more direct damage than nades by themselves but they don't stack near as much vulnerability helping your entire party do more DPS. If you aren't a fan of the nades (perhaps if you enjoy not having carpal tunnel syndrome or the constant button mashing just bores you) I understand. A couple variations are on offer for grenades that vary slightly in gear choice and playstyles. This is my recommended build for pugs of any experience/skill level.

Summary: If you like doing the most damage and helping your team out with the best vuln stacking in the game, this is what you should run.

The Build: 30/30/0/10/0 (6/6/0/2/0) http://gw2skills.net...TciTcilCYRdVA-e

I have been using a 30/20/0/20/0 just about everywhere for the past few months. The build has the excellent vuln-stacking that engineers do so well, and adds the minimal amount of survivability needed for the highest of fractals. 2000 health, 20% boon duration, a constant health regen tick when you have a kit equipped(which should be 99% of the time), and most importantly the alchemy trait line brings permanent vigor in combination with infused precision from firearms. The April 15 patch changes this build slightly.

The ferocity change means that a grenade build no longer has to focus on building insane amounts of critical damage. Berserker/scholar is still the best pure dps set but I feel that strength runes are currently more valuable on an engineer. Without scholar runes, the sustain from Backpack Regenerator is no longer required. For my variant I want to maintain at least 50% might duration. 10 points in alchemy(that I would be taking for vigor anyways), and 6 of the revamped strength runes are able to achieve this. Because of these changes, the 30/30/0/10/0 setup would be perfect in every single area of the game with either a med kit might OR a fire bomb might setup.

This build is now fully updated as of the April 15th change. Open the spoiler for the build specifics.

[spoil]
Heal Skill: Med Kit VS Healing Turret

This is where a "standard" grenade build differs from my personally preferred build.
[spoil]
Healing Turret:

In general for PvE engineers I actually recommend Healing Turret over Med Kit. Why? This is because heal turret is the best heal skill to use while learning how to play the engineer. It is a "fire and forget" heal that sticks around and also heals your allies. It is one of the best party condition cleanses that an engineer has to offer. The fact that it has 2 water fields on short cooldowns and it's a blast finisher means that it brings many useful things to a team for very little cost. The blast brings versatility so that it can be used to stack might or stealth in fire and smoke fields respectively.

That isn't to say the turret is only for beginner engis. It is just as useful if not more so in an experienced player's hands. The key is integrating the healing turret into your fire bomb might rotation. Knowing exactly when to pickup or detonate your turret to make sure you get the (heal/might/cooldown reduction) that you need in combat is a very important skill and will become easier with experience.

Med Kit:

Where med kit has the edge however is in my very specific variant of a grenade build. With at least 50% boon/might duration, an engineer can maintain 18 stacks of might in combat permanently using this skill.

This is done by using at least 6 runes of strength(might duration), a sigil of battle, and the enhance performance trait instead of short fuse in explosives. With this combination you get a substantial amount of might either on weapon swap or heal skill use. Equipping med kit fulfills both of these conditions. This translates into an immediate 6 stacks of might at the beginning of a fight and a permanent 15 in a sustained one without losing any time in grenade kit. Healing turret would not be near as effective in this setup.

The swiftness and fury on 5 is a nice offensive boost and I make a point into putting this skill into my rotation. It has the highest healing of the four (not counting blast finishers in the healing turrets water field or the AED lethal damage proc) as well as a condition removal on a 15 second recharge. It is a more selfish heal but it is my heal of choice. You can also use it on the move quickly swapping in to drop any of the skills for immediate healing or condition removal.
[/spoil]

Utilities:

[spoil]Grenade Kit:

3 Explosions on every button press that stacks vulnerability is extremely useful not just to you but your entire team. Not to mention the traited chance for bleed, aoe bleed, chill, blind, and poison fields. All of this can be used from a range of 1500 for added convenience. Simple, but effective.

An important note; just because the range on grenades is extremely generous does not mean you have to be as far away as possible. In some cases where stacking is needed or you are better off in melee range, grenades are still your number one option.

The main downside to grenades at range damage wise is the travel time. At maximum range one skill of nades can take almost 3 seconds to reach your target area, and this can affect your condition stacking in between barrages decreasing your party's overall damage. Also, if your enemy is mobile, 3 seconds is plenty of time to avoid your strike severely limiting your damage output and perhaps wasting a skill with a semi lengthy cooldown.

Now there are some bosses where you really don't want to be in close proximity to obviously, but on other mobs or bosses where you can survive in flamethrower range or closer, you should be in those ranges spamming your abilities for maximum damage output and condition duration.

Elixir Gun:

The stun breaking toolbelt which is an aoe regeneration buff for your allies. Super elixir for the extra heal and light field. Acid bomb for the blast finisher/escape which also does some solid damage. A kit I rarely put into my normal rotation but I've gotten used to having the tool belt at all times. That and an extra heal insurance policy if you truly need it.

Elixir U:

Gives a 6 second quickness for faster attacks and more DPS in a pinch. The random negative effect from thieves or wars isn't a huge factor most of the time. It is another stun break for emergencies. The toolbelt skill is a ground targeted thief smokescreen(projectile absorption) or a guardian wall(projectile reflection). There are so many uses for projectile mitigation/reflection in higher level content that this skill is almost a must have in fractals regardless of team composition.

Elite Skill: Supply Crate

An obvious choice. A 2 second stun and blast finisher that also drops several turrets and med packs is much more useful than an elixir that forces you to play in semi-melee range with ripped off skills from other classes. It does grant stability though which is an interesting touch.

Don't even get me started on that other elite that forces you to remain stationary and is outranged and outdamaged by our main kit's auto attack.
[/spoil]

Optional Utilities/Alternate Setups:

I'm just showcasing some situations and which utilities that you will want to take into battle for that specific instance. The first one is an all-purpose setup that is differentiated from my own by its process of stacking might.
[spoil]
Fire Bomb Might Stacking set: (Grenade Kit/Bomb Kit/Elixir Gun(Throw Mine)

This build stacks might by laying down blast finishers in the bomb kit's fire field(#2). It works great with healing turret and pistol/shield to get off 4 or 5 blasts in a single fire bomb. Provided your team stays around you or it happens to be a fight where you stack in a corner, you can put 12-15 stacks of might on your team with a good uptime by yourself.

Trash Running: (Elixir R/Rocket Boots/Elixir S/Elixir B **Bomb Kit for stealth

Med kit, B, or teammates for swiftness, R for the 2 extra dodges, Boots if you get snared and S or B for stability. If coordinating with team for stealth, bring in bomb kit and as many blasts as you dare.

Any level Fractals: Elixir U

Seriously.
[spoil] Seriously. Just swap it in for anything you don't feel you need at the moment. Your party thanks you.[/spoil]

[/spoil]

Gear: Full Berserker Gear(Armor and Trinkets) surprise surprise...

With the critical damage nerf, Rampager gear is probably even more viable in PvE than it was before but because of the the runes that I have chosen for the build berserker gear simply scales better.

6 Superior Runes of Strength

No matter if you prefer using bomb kit to stack might in your grenade build or my med kit version, I recommend strength runes. An engineer should ALWAYS have might on in combat no matter the build he or she is running or what teammates he or she has. There are only 2 other rune sets that I would use personally.

Scholar and Traveler.

Traveler has less power than strength does, not enough boon duration to enable med kit might stacking and loses 7% flat damage. What is does have is 10% condition duration which is useful if you use ascended weapons and the convenient move speed.

Scholar is an all-around solid DPS set. Trading the Might Duration for critical damage has become less effective than it was pre-patch for engineers. The 7% guaranteed damage of strength is also much more forgiving than a possible extra 3% damage or negative 7% from scholar.

Exotic Giver's Weapons, Ascended Berserker Weapons

Because of the Sigil change in two-handed weapons it really doesn't matter what weapon you have equipped and comes down to personal preference. I recommend Pistol/Anything for Giver's stat weapons and Pistol/Shield is near required if you choose to run a fire bomb might setup for the blast finisher.

Why not run Ascended Giver's weapons? Well thats because they do not exist. .....Anet plz.....

Superior Sigil of Battle, Superior Sigil of (Strength/Night/Force/Slaying)

Self-explanatory if you read how I use Med Kit.

Currently, I have a Strength and Force in my Predator for versatility and a Pistol of Battle with multiple shields to use depending on where I am.

Overall, I would recommend battle and strength if you didn't have several options to choose from. This capitalizes on..... you guessed it... do I even need to say it anymore?


Food/Consumables:

Rare Veggie Pizza/Koi Cakes: Extra condition damage and a whopping 40% general condition duration which is extremely helpful. Koi Cakes give the exact same benefits at a cheaper price than the pizzas for a shorter duration.

Any Slaying Potion: Probably the best in slot utility food no matter where you are. Obviously the potion depends on the dungeon/fractal that you find yourself doing. If there isn't one for your desired area, use toxic sharpening stones.
[/spoil]

GuanglaiKangyi - His grenade build does the max damage at all times with the fire bomb might play-style mentioned in the spoiler. It is the place to go to learn about grenades from someone who preaches the power of grenades with the math to back it up. This is a thread you should absolutely check out if you plan to use grenades at all. Definitely worth the read.



Rifle/Static Discharge(High Burst DPS/Moderate Control)**Outdated** editing soon...

For Predator-owning Engineers or Rifle lovers in general, this build setup does respectable burst damage from its main combo. In sustained fights it won't put out as much damage or vulnerability as other kits but in my testing I rarely noticed a difference in speed for most dungeon/fractal content. Having a proper auto-attack is also incredibly liberating coming off of a grenade build(even if I still mash 1 like my life depended on it anyways). Can stack 21 vuln in the blink of an eye but has trouble maintaining anywhere near that amount by itself. It brings some utility and snares to the table through immobilize/defiant removers and has the flexibility to bring support skills or blast finishers.

Summary: Definition of a glass cannon engineer that doesn't stack as much vulnerability as its explosive counterparts. High skill cap on positioning due to extremely low survivability but worthwhile in a team with good might-stacking. Also transitions well into WvW solo/squad roaming.
[spoil]
http://gw2skills.net...q2IuIa1SBExyI-e

20/30/0/0/20
This is my current PvE Rifle build. Incendiary powder is a key trait to grab and the sacrifice is worth it due to scope becoming useless while stacking for certain fights. I understand this would be different with guards/ellys in the party but I'm going for an all-purpose setup for now.

Explosives:

Empowering Adrenaline: Reminds me of a theif trait I used a long time ago. That comparison makes a lot of sense now that I think about it. This build has low survivability and no defensive stats whatsoever. The only way to get some endurance is by spamming toolbelts... and its fortunate the entire build is centered around this. The dodge key is your best friend here.

Incendiary Powder - More DPS from the trait line and an extra unique condition from the trait itself, worth taking after the shift up a tier.

Firearms:

Sitting Duck, Rifle Mod, Modified Ammunition - Standard Rifle traits that sets up an insane burst combo

Tools:

Static Discharge - Key burst trait for AoE and single target damage

Speedy Gadgets - Helps uptime of personal fury and synergizes well with the brand new heal we recieved today

Heal Skill: Med Kit (AED/Healing Turret)

Med Kit remains my go-to heal no matter what build I'm running, but for static discharge rifle it isn't a core part of the build. Take the turret for group support or blast finishers, and AED for places where you know you'll be taking damage.

As of right now AED is very situational, but is interesting enough to make me at least give it a shot for PvE and it fits into this build much easier than my grenade build.

AED Breakdown:

The skill absorbs a fatal hit as well as proccing a massive heal after this occurs. Considering how squishy the build is, a more reliable elixir R(toolbelt) when in trouble that also heals over 2/3 of the health bar in the same motion on a traited 32 second recharge sounds like the absolute perfect compliment for the playstyle. In situations where you find yourself out of endurance in a red circle or slowly dying from a condition, you would end up having to use your heal anyways.

Now you can be proactive by letting yourself burn out(or get pummled in the face), get back up to almost full health, and keep your sigil stacks. The fact that it has a 30 second base cd toolbelt skill that strips a defiant stack or stuns is simply icing on the cake.

Utilities:

Utility Goggles, Rifle Turret, Rocket Boots(Elixir U)(Battering Ram)--PvE
-Great Toolbelt skills to be spammed off of cooldown
-Swap boots for Elixir in fractals
-Battering ram for a little more control/DPS

Gear:

Full Zerker EVERYTHING -- Ruby Orbs/6 Scholar Runes -- Sigil of Force/Night/Bloodlust
Love Dat Damage, berserker is king.

Orbs over scholar on a budget. Force during day dungeons.

As for a tanky set soldier armor provides the highest survivability increase for the least investment. I only recommend switching to this armor for times where you find yourself getting downed so much that it becomes a problem. (WvW Zerg/Mai Trin)

Usage:
1: Lead with Net Shot into all four toolbelts for optimal burst
2: Jump Shot->Blunderbuss for a non-projectile close range burst
3: Overcharged Shot for control/small escape, combo with stun break immediately after for no auto attack downtime

[/spoil]

Bombs(High DPS/Group DPS Support)

Bomb kit has been and should be used as an extremely solid utility skill in grenade builds and as such I have a sizable amount of experience with this kit in PvE. Pure Bomb builds on the other hand have always been a bit of a grey area for me as I just don't like using it by itself. It reminds of the original Guild Wars where you would pay a powder keg vendor to follow you around and keep picking up and dropping his explosive barrels over and over to hard mode vanquish Drakkar Lake extremely easy. As fun as that was, I just don't feel the same way about bombs in GW2. Phineas provides a viable build for dungeons and fractals that retains many of the useful traits and quirks that the engineer has to offer while using the bomb kit almost exclusively.

Summary: Melee range kit with comparable damage to grenades. It brings utility to your team with dedicated might stacking, but lacks in vulnerability stacking when compared to grenades. It performs best in corner-stacking situations or extreme close-range fights.

DPS Bombs


Flamethrower/Elixir Gun(High General Group Support)

There isn't much for me to put here. This is the build I used for a large amount of time when leveling my engineer and in early dungeon runs. No one knows more about the flamethrower/EG combo build than Phineas so that is where I will direct you. Very knowledgeable guide.

A Comprehensive Look at the Flamethrower and Elixir Gun


Thanks for reading if you made it this far and I hope that this guide if nothing else, gave you something to think about when building your engineer. Cheers !



August 5th 2013: PREDATOR!!!

October 13th 2013: A few edits here and there as well as condensing with spoiler tags.

December 10th 2013: A shift in focus for the thread, and updated nearly everything that wasn't already revamped as of the most recent patch.

April 14th- May ?? 2014: Updating both builds as of the April 15th feature pack update

Any questions/comments/concerns? Feel free to reply in the forum or send me a PM @ Dropdead Aim(Lord Reks.8421)

Edited by DropDead Aim, 19 April 2014 - 05:14 PM.

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#2 Phineas Poe

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 02:18 PM

Sigils:

Sigil of Force and Sigil of Bloodlust for pure damage output. Personally I don't care for stacking sigils on a full zerker build as the squishyness is pretty high. As usual, if you can keep the stacks high knock yourself out.


Wait, what?

Other than that, great guide.
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#3 DropDead Aim

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 04:44 PM

First of all thanks Phineas! That means a lot coming from you.

I used your flamethrower/elixir gun build exclusively for majority of my leveling time and LOTS of hours after hitting 80 because it was so fun. I felt like I could contribute tons of group condition removal simply by swapping to EG for the light field while having constant burning and good direct damage by stacking might. I'm not happy about the raw deal flamethrower gets in most areas but that's another discussion entirely.

As for the sigils, that was probably my sloppiest section because I wanted to have the guide finished before I lost even more sleep.

I just wanted to name all possible sigils that work, regardless if you were using rifle or pistol. what I meant to say was this: "Bloodlust will give you more damage than force at 25 stacks. Personally I don't care for kill-stacking sigils on a full zerker build..."

This is fixed now.
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#4 Rod Adams

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 10:36 PM

I used to run pretty much that, but then realized a couple things:
- The Condition Damge can significantly out weigh the Direct Damage.
- Engineers have the ability to stack tons of might.

Changes from your build:

For conditions:
- Go P/X, and get Giver's weapons. (+20% Boon Duration)
- Rampager's Gear, not Zerker. (Precision/Power/Condition Damage)
- Sigil of Peril (more Vulnerability uptime)

For Might Stacking:
- Enhance Performance over Short Fuse (might on heal)
- Sigil of Battle (might on swap)
- Runes: 4x Alturism 2x Water (+30% boon duration + might on heal)
Note: swapping to med kit counts as a "heal".
Note2: you can swap from grenade kit to med kit and back in near instant time.

Side change:
- Speedy Kits in place of Infused Precision. (5pts off Fireamrs and Alchemy)
- Food: Chocolate Omnomberry Cream. (+20% boon duration, +40 Magic Find while under boon)

Play change:
- During 'nade spamming, pop to medkit and back every few seconds.
- This can also be done out of combat, for running.

What you get:
- Perma swiftness and vigor, in or out of combat. (I've had over a minute of vigor stacked up)
- Start battle with 9 stacks of might, quickly build to and maintain 18+ stacks. (that's +630 power and condition damage)
- 25 stacks of Vulnerability, 12+ against resistant bosses.
- 20+ stacks of Bleeding, which tick for 105-115 damage each.
- Perma Poison for 200+/Dmg/s
- All the other goodies you're used to having with this build.


Side Note: If you don't go Enhance Performance, Short Fuse is more DPS, since you get more damage and bleeds from Schrapnel Grenade.
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#5 DropDead Aim

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 12:33 AM

snip


This is exactly what I was hoping for when I posted this, feedback that doesn't change the playstyle just the gear or traits. I'm tired of seeing engineers get a bad rep in fractals because lots of them don't know how to properly play. The purpose of this guide was to post a build that any engineer can run in fractals and help their team the most while doing as much damage as possible.

Now on to your suggestions:

Full rampager's armor will not be a problem to obtain tonight, but the trinkets are another story. Would mainly zerker rings/accessories/ammy work as well or similar to rampager ascended gear?

With a giver's pistol and shield that would be 20% condition duration instead of boon. But I will try those with the peril sigil for vuln time and a battle to match my current build.

The runes make total sense for pure might stacking as I said in the build that I constantly swap to med kit, rifle, elixir gun, etc. during combat.

Traits will be at 30/5/0/25/10 as with speedy kits equipped infused precision isn't a loss at all. I missed speedy kits from an old FT build I used. I loved that you could have permanent swiftness even in Lion's Arch for getting around quicker. The 5 from alchemy is a little tougher to swallow as I will miss automated response for the final grawl fractal fight, but almost anywhere else its not an issue as I'm not a huge fan of HGH anyways and I get to keep ECM. The main plus of the swap is more control on the swiftness, extra second off my main heal and reduced cooldown on other toolbelts, 10% crit D, and slight extra endurance help. At a loss of ~2.5 crit chance, 50 cond damage, 500 less health and 5% boon duration, all of which are covered by the gear and rune changes.

I'm also interested in seeing how the omnom cream works in the build. Food and utility buffs were never a huge priority on my engineer as the only times I used them were to up my MF and GF while farming. In fractals or anything else, if the cream can improve my build and MF at the same time, I don't see any reason not to integrate that into the build.

The swap from direct damage over to conditions will significantly alter sections of the build so I will be running tests in several places over the next few days or so.

Edited by DropDead Aim, 14 October 2013 - 06:28 AM.

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#6 GuanglaiKangyi

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 03:18 AM

This is exactly what I was hoping for when I posted this, feedback that doesn't change the playstyle just the gear or traits.
It gives me something to test before I really start working on the fractals guide. I'm tired of seeing engineers get a bad rep in fractals because lots of them don't know how to properly play. The purpose of this guide was to post a build that any engineer can run in fractals and help their team the most while doing as much damage as possible.

Now on to your suggestions:

Full rampager's armor will not be a problem to obtain tonight, but the trinkets are another story. Would mainly zerker rings/accessories/ammy work as well or similar to rampager ascended gear?

With a giver's pistol and shield that would be 20% condition duration instead of boon. But I will try those with the peril sigil for vuln time and a battle to match my current build.

The runes make total sense for pure might stacking as I said in the build that I constantly swap to med kit, rifle, elixir gun, etc. during combat.

Traits will be at 30/5/0/25/10 as with speedy kits equipped infused precision isn't a loss at all. I missed speedy kits from an old FT build I used. I loved that you could have permanent swiftness even in Lion's Arch for getting around quicker. The 5 from alchemy is a little tougher to swallow as I will miss automated response for the final grawl fractal fight, but almost anywhere else its not an issue as I'm not a huge fan of HGH anyways and I get to keep ECM. The main plus of the swap is more control on the swiftness, extra second off my main heal and reduced cooldown on other toolbelts, 10% crit D, and slight extra endurance help. At a loss of ~2.5 crit chance, 50 cond damage, 500 less health and 5% boon duration, all of which are covered by the gear and rune changes.

I'm also interested in seeing how the omnom cream works in the build. Food and utility buffs were never a huge priority on my engineer as the only times I used them were to up my MF and GF while farming. In fractals or anything else, if the cream can improve my build and MF at the same time, I don't see any reason not to integrate that into the build.

The swap from direct damage over to conditions will significantly alter sections of the build so I will be running tests in several places over the next few days or so.


In terms of raw damage, full rampager armor with berserker jewels is your best bet unless you need/want the ascended gear, in which case you want zerker for those. If you do go that route, I would drop ECM, it's not useful in a condition damage build and you are better off trading it for more utility or more raw damage via the Firearms or Tools line, hence why I generally run 30/10/0/20/10.

I would also drop Med Kit for Healing Turret simply because it's not that good. The heal is relatively weak even without the Healing Turret blast combo, and you don't get any of the other benefits like AOE healing, condition removal, etc. The only reason you would normally use Med Kit over Heal Turret is for the Stimulant skill, which is nice for maintaining swiftness while running around the field, but which you normally aren't going to want to deal with just for 10s fury in a dungeon fight.

Other than that, it looks like a pretty solid grenade build. I definitely do recommend the double giver's pistol/shield setup, even with a zerker setup the extra 6 stacks of vulnerability you get out of it is more than worth it.
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#7 Rod Adams

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 08:00 AM

Med Kit vs Healing Turret:
If I wasn't might stacking based off the medkit, then perhaps I'd switch. However, for the purposes of Enhance Performance and Rune of Alturism, swapping to the medkit is a "heal skill" with a 1s CD, opposed to Healing Turret's 20s CD. Makes a huge difference. I'm offering party support by sharing a portion of my might stacks.


Rampager's vs Zerker:
Overall, I haven't min/maxed enough to know if there's a "sweet spot" out there. I find it perfectly believable that GK has.
Certainly, in terms of total DPS, you're still doing both direct and condition damage, so more crit damage doesn't hurt.
However, one can view condition damage as a limited resource in a party, since you can't stack more than 25 bleeds, 1 poison, etc. So if you're coming into a group and basically saying "yo guys, I got all the conditions", then, in my opinion, it behooves you to get the most you can from them. Which means cranking up the condition damage.


ECM vs Other Options:
Yea, the +3% damage isn't impressive, but the additional +5% boon duration helps the equation, and is hard to replace elsewhere. None of the Adept Firearms traits impress me in this build concept. Maybe Rifled Barrels to buff the E.Gun.
I'd also consider going Inertial Converter in Tools, to boost healing rates, since we have two heals in the belt. But meh, this build doesn't need more healing.
It comes down to preference.


Giver's weapons giving boon duration instead of condition duration was just a mistype. Oops.


A few other notes:
- Chocolate Orange and Chocolate Raspberry Cream are cheaper versions of Omnom Cream.
- By P/X, I mean P/S, since I'm almost never out of a kit, and get a mild armor buff from the shield... and I like the shield skills more than the OH pistol ones.
- My favorite elixir is the "Happy Juice" (aka C). But it gets swapped out at times.
- I've run this build in a majority of dungeon paths and fractals to 22 without issue. Mild changes for some encounters, but not many.
- Sigil of Peril may or may not be optimal, but I see keeping up as much vuln as possible as helping out the team. Esp if you've got some Zerker Warrior meatheads up front. I'd be interested if you find a better option. Like you, I'm skeptical Corruption is the right answer. It's not there precisely in the places you need it the most.
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#8 GuanglaiKangyi

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 01:58 PM

Med Kit vs Healing Turret:
If I wasn't might stacking based off the medkit, then perhaps I'd switch. However, for the purposes of Enhance Performance and Rune of Alturism, swapping to the medkit is a "heal skill" with a 1s CD, opposed to Healing Turret's 20s CD. Makes a huge difference. I'm offering party support by sharing a portion of my might stacks.


Rampager's vs Zerker:
Overall, I haven't min/maxed enough to know if there's a "sweet spot" out there. I find it perfectly believable that GK has.
Certainly, in terms of total DPS, you're still doing both direct and condition damage, so more crit damage doesn't hurt.
However, one can view condition damage as a limited resource in a party, since you can't stack more than 25 bleeds, 1 poison, etc. So if you're coming into a group and basically saying "yo guys, I got all the conditions", then, in my opinion, it behooves you to get the most you can from them. Which means cranking up the condition damage.


ECM vs Other Options:
Yea, the +3% damage isn't impressive, but the additional +5% boon duration helps the equation, and is hard to replace elsewhere. None of the Adept Firearms traits impress me in this build concept. Maybe Rifled Barrels to buff the E.Gun.
I'd also consider going Inertial Converter in Tools, to boost healing rates, since we have two heals in the belt. But meh, this build doesn't need more healing.
It comes down to preference.


Giver's weapons giving boon duration instead of condition duration was just a mistype. Oops.


A few other notes:
- Chocolate Orange and Chocolate Raspberry Cream are cheaper versions of Omnom Cream.
- By P/X, I mean P/S, since I'm almost never out of a kit, and get a mild armor buff from the shield... and I like the shield skills more than the OH pistol ones.
- My favorite elixir is the "Happy Juice" (aka C). But it gets swapped out at times.
- I've run this build in a majority of dungeon paths and fractals to 22 without issue. Mild changes for some encounters, but not many.
- Sigil of Peril may or may not be optimal, but I see keeping up as much vuln as possible as helping out the team. Esp if you've got some Zerker Warrior meatheads up front. I'd be interested if you find a better option. Like you, I'm skeptical Corruption is the right answer. It's not there precisely in the places you need it the most.


I'd actually say it's better NOT to max out your condition damage if doing so nets you more overall damage. Unless it's a boss fight where you NEED a lot of condition damage (the only one I can think off offhand is the golem duo in SE2) stacking condition damage at the cost of the equivalent (or more) in direct damage doesn't do anything except limit your effectiveness on objects that can't be conditioned and negate the effectiveness of other condition damage dealers in the party. Either:

1) Your party knows you are stacking conditions, so it doesn't bring any other condition damage members, in which case the amount of damage you actually deal with conditions is irrelevant and you're best off just contributing as much as possible without regard to how you do it.
2) Your party doesn't know/care, and brings another condition class anyway. The higher your condition damage, the more you reduce his potential contribution. If you are stacking 25 bleeds for 80 per tick and player 2 is stacking 15 for 120 per tick, he's contributing40 x 15 = 600 DPS. If you are stacking 25 bleeds for 120 per tick, on the other hand, he is contributing 0, and since it's a direct tradeoff for condition versus direct DPS in your case, that's a straight loss.

Moreover, replacing the jewels and weapons really isn't that big of a loss in overall condition damage, one way or another. You lose, at most, 270 condition damage, which is only about 13 damage per tick, which is about 10% of your max possible condition damage potential, at most, in exchange for a 20% boost to overall condition effectiveness and a big chunk of crit damage.
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#9 DropDead Aim

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 05:31 PM

This is great feedback and you guys have perfectly answered a few of my concerns with the variation.

As for the armor set GK, I managed to obtain a full rampager set last night with runes, giver's weapons, etc. If rampagers armor w/ full berserker trinkets is the most optimal setup as opposed to berserker armor w/berserker trinkets I will take your word for it as I know you have plenty of experience with grenades. It is in the testing phase and I still have my full zerk set for comparison.

As for the runes, I will be running 4 altruism and 2 water for the party wide three stacks of might and 30% boon duration. With a sigil of battle I can immediately have 6 stacks to start a fight and will probably be able to maintain 18+ on myself with food.

Med Kit makes all of this stacking very possible with a barely 1s cooldown on the "6" button press and I don't see how healing turret can compare in that regard.

Here is my final testing build with all of the optimal settings that are being discussed here.

http://gw2buildcraft...2d.2v.2f.2k.0|e

As for the extra 5 points for traits, according to this forum the options can be personal preference.

GK's setup with the extra 5 in firearms for more hybrid damage and infused precision. (which i'm curious how useful it truly is in addition to speedy kits)

My setup with 25 in alchemy for ECM and 5% boon duration, which should be a constant 3% damage bonus minimum possibly 4-6 depending on runes, utilities, and allies (actively using the fury buff from med kit for example)

Or an alternative that Rod mentioned that I thought might also work immediately would be 5 more in tools for crit D, cooldowns, and inertial converter. In tougher fights, any last ditch attempt to avoid going down would be excellent for you and for your teammates who don't have to halt their dps to come and revive you. This is from the main heal of med kit being on the tool belt. This requires testing of course.

Edited by DropDead Aim, 10 June 2013 - 06:14 PM.

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#10 Rod Adams

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 06:52 PM

As for the runes, I will be running 4 altruism and 2 water for the party wide three stacks of might and 30% boon duration. With a sigil of battle I can immediately have 6 stacks to start a fight and will probably be able to maintain 18+ on myself with food.


Change Short Fuse to Enhance Performance, and you start at 9. I don't see you getting up to 18 without it.
For the 18, you get: 3 from Alturism, 9 from Battle, 6 from Enh.Perf.

Re: Crit vs Cond, I'll have to play around with the numbers some to see where it lands. Needless to say, though: You're doing both condition and direct damage here, both in strong numbers.

Play around, make up your own mind.

Edit: At this point, I think we're mostly talking about min/maxing the last few points in the build, and we've drifted into the realm where worrying about that last bit of optimization is no longer what I consider fun. I've shared my views, and will bow out from further dicussion.
I'll answer direct questions, though.

Edited by Rod Adams, 10 June 2013 - 09:07 PM.

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#11 TheKnox

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:59 AM

Change Short Fuse to Enhance Performance, and you start at 9. I don't see you getting up to 18 without it.
For the 18, you get: 3 from Alturism, 9 from Battle, 6 from Enh.Perf.

Don't do this. You don't gain any damage by swapping traits, but you give up the additional utility. You're also more likely to cap out might stacks in a group, which will reduce your damage relative to the short fuse option.
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#12 Rod Adams

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:05 PM

Okay, this was nagging in the back of my mind, so I had my computer crank some math, and I'll break my "walk away" statement briefly.


Calculation Assumptions:
- All Grenades hit.
- You're Spamming all non-#1 grenades on recharge, and spamming that in the gaps.
- You're swapping Grenade Kit -> Med Kit -> Grenade Kit precisely every 5s to proc all the might stacks.
- All Armor is Exotic, All Trinkets are Ascended.

Some of these are impossible to achieve in practice, but shouldn't bias results terribly.


Gear types:
Full Rampager Armor & Trinkets, 4x Alturism, 2x Water, Enhance Performance:
Total DPS: 4359.7 Direct DPS: 1671.5 Condition DPS: 2688.2

Rampager Armor, Berserker Trinkets, 4x Alturism, 2x Water, Enhance Performance:
Total DPS: 4195.3 Direct DPS: 2022.8 Condition DPS: 2172.5

Full Berserker Armor & Trinkets, 4x Alturism, 2x Water, Enhance Performance:
Total DPS: 4017.6 Direct DPS: 2124.4 Condition DPS: 1893.3

Result: Pure Rampager > Rampager/Berserker Mix > Pure Berserker

Short Fuse vs Enhanced Performance
Full Rampager Armor & Trinkets, 4x Alturism, 2x Water, Short Fuse:
Total DPS: 4166.9 Direct DPS: 1522.6 Condition DPS: 2644.3
vs Enhance Performance (from above)
Total DPS: 4359.7 Direct DPS: 1671.5 Condition DPS: 2688.2

Result: Enhance Performance > Short Fuse.


Runes vs Orbs
Full Rampager Armor & Trinkets, Ruby Orbs, Enhance Performance:
Total DPS: 4150.8 Direct DPS: 1714.0 Condition DPS: 2436.8

Full Rampager Armor & Trinkets, Coral Orbs, Enhance Performance:
Total DPS: 4155.9 Direct DPS: 1612.5 Condition DPS: 2543.3

(from above:
Total DPS: 4359.7 Direct DPS: 1671.5 Condition DPS: 2688.2

Results: Runes > Coral > Ruby.


Summary for max Grenade DPS
- Rampager Gear as far you can. (Rabid on the back piece, since there's no Rampager Ascended Backpiece)
- Full Might Stacking with Enhance Performance and Alturism/Water Rune mix.

Caveat:
If you find yourself in team which is capable of supplying you with a steady flow of several stacks of might in addition to what you give yourself, then you should change Enhance Performance over to Short Fuse.
(In my experience, these occasions are rare in PUG Dungeon/Fractal groups, and non-existant in Open World. Guild Groups vary by Guild.)
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#13 GuanglaiKangyi

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 04:31 AM

It's not berserker trinkets, it's berserker jewels. The sheer amount of crit damage you get from them, versus what you give up, make them pretty much the only type of jewel worth taking no matter what kind of build you are running.
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#14 Rod Adams

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 05:36 PM

It's not berserker trinkets, it's berserker jewels. The sheer amount of crit damage you get from them, versus what you give up, make them pretty much the only type of jewel worth taking no matter what kind of build you are running.


In the last section, above, I compared Ruby and Coral Orbs. Coral came out ahead slightly ahead.
Partly from the higher tick per bleed, and partly from more bleeds stacks from Sharpshooter due to higher Precision.
Though, it was pretty much a toss up, at less than a 0.1% difference.
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#15 DropDead Aim

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 10:14 PM

I think what Guang meant was the exquisite ruby jewels as opposed to the coral jewels on the amulet/rings/earrings.

There is a chart somewhere on guru or reddit showing what crit damage is worth compared to the type of gear/jewel/rune that you have equipped. Down to 1% of crit D per point of any other stat.

On this chart exquisite ruby jewels come down to 5 stat points per 1% of crit damage, which is lower(better) than any other piece of gear iirc.

I also realize that you used ascended gear which essentially eliminates the benefit of these jewels in place of a slightly higher ratio on that chart and higher stats in general.

Your math shows that you will get more total damage per second using full rampager gear as opposed to rampager/zerk and zerk/zerk.
Not a hugely significant increase either way you slice it. Shows that the gear choice can be mostly personal preference of any of the three and still put out respectable numbers.

One thing I did notice is that the direct dps of the ramp/zerk and zerk/zerk were fairly similar, I wonder if you or your group placing fury on you would skew these numbers significantly due to the increased critical damage. For example, using the med kit buff or warriors/rangers using shouts. It probably still won't effect the dps enough to make a difference but it is something to think about.

In any case, I think for my build using lots of might stacking and giver's weapons for added vulnerability duration, my gear choice will be the rampager's armor w/the 4-2 altruism/water split and berserker ascended amulet/back/rings/earrings. It provides the greatest balance of utility and solid output(condition damage) with raw power and consistency(direct damage). The excellent might stacking helps both equally and is an absolute must for me.

The original build post will be edited shortly.

Edited by DropDead Aim, 14 October 2013 - 06:29 AM.

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#16 TheKnox

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 11:19 PM

I'll stand behind the earlier statement on enhanced performance, although when I ran the numbers assuming 0 other might from sigils and fire finishers, enhanced performance does come out slightly ahead. When you include the might from Sigil of Battle, and the ones you get from the blast finishers, short fuse still pulls ahead.

Similarly, adding might makes zerker gear better as well because the additional condition damage is constant, but the additional crit damage becomes more valuable as you add power.
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#17 Rod Adams

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 07:35 AM

I agree that the armor differences do end up making a change of 3-4% to the total, and can lean heavily towards preference.

I'll also toss in that there's some value in skewing more into Direct DPS at the cost of Total DPS, which is taking out inanimate objects, like the skelk nests in AC, oil barrels in Charr Fractal, etc. Thus, your choice of a Rampager/Zerker mix makes sense.

The Medkit Fury seems to boost Condition DPS by 3% (more bleeds from sharpshooter), and Direct DPS by 8% (More Crits, and another boon for ECM). Don't forget the boon duration buffs, giving you well over 50% uptime. I don't have hard numbers, since I haven't taken the timeslice of dropping the stimulant out of the grenade rotation (thus lowering the DPS back down some).


Since I had it moderately easy to test, I tested the effect of going with more defensive armor sets. I stuck with zerker trinkets, as that's what you've chosen. I just changing out just the armor, not the runes/weapons/trinkets.

Rampager Total DPS: 4195.3 Direct DPS: 2022.8 Condition DPS: 2172.5


Rabid Total DPS: 4065.5 Direct DPS: 1804.3 Condition DPS: 2261.2
Carrion Total DPS: 4018.1 Direct DPS: 1807.9 Condition DPS: 2210.3

Knight Total DPS: 3858.8 Direct DPS: 1965.5 Condition DPS: 1893.3
Valkyrie Total DPS: 3787.1 Direct DPS: 1936.4 Condition DPS: 1850.6
Soldier Total DPS: 3718.7 Direct DPS: 1868.1 Condition DPS: 1850.6

So Rabid sacrifices the least damage. However, there's many things to be said for picking Vitality over Toughness (condition resistance, pulling less aggro), so I'd say Carrion might be the best choice for those wanting more defense. (Carrion is also dead easy to get from craftshop or CoF tokens).


As for Short Fuse vs Enhance Performance:
I'll stand by that it's situational, but if you're playing self sufficiently in the style mentioned in OP, then EP is better for you than SF. However, if you find yourself getting Might from other sources, then SF can pull ahead. Thankfully, it's trivial to swap back and forth as the situation alters.
I don't think we're actually disagreeing here, Knox. You're just assuming more support from the team, and I'm not. It doesn't take a ton of external help to sway the numbers.
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#18 TheKnox

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 01:07 PM

In any PvE content that matters, it's pretty easy to get up around 15-20 might stacks with a sigil of battle and bomb/eg/shield combos. If you swap to the healing turret, you can get over 20.
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#19 Rod Adams

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 05:54 PM

In any PvE content that matters, it's pretty easy to get up around 15-20 might stacks with a sigil of battle and bomb/eg/shield combos. If you swap to the healing turret, you can get over 20.


You appear to be commenting on a different build and playstyle than what the OP is suggesting.
For instance, he's not taking niether the Bomb Kit nor Flamethrower by default, and thus has no fire field to blast into.

I'm interested in hearing about all the various playstyles people have found they enjoy. Please list it in a separate thread. It's quite likely that in that system, short fuse is the better choice.
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#20 GuanglaiKangyi

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 11:27 PM

You appear to be commenting on a different build and playstyle than what the OP is suggesting.
For instance, he's not taking niether the Bomb Kit nor Flamethrower by default, and thus has no fire field to blast into.

I'm interested in hearing about all the various playstyles people have found they enjoy. Please list it in a separate thread. It's quite likely that in that system, short fuse is the better choice.


He's got Bomb Kit in the OP, actually.
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#21 Rod Adams

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 01:17 AM

He's got Bomb Kit in the OP, actually.


Yes, but in the "honorable mention" section, which I interpret as "be ready to swap it in for some cases, but it's not normally part of the build." The utilities which are the 'mainstays' are Grenades, E.Gun, and Elixir R, and thus the ones to optimize for.
When swapping in Bomb Kit, it likely does make sense to go Short Fuse.
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#22 frostybroc

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 07:52 PM

Great information. I took a break from GW2, and was afraid to touch my engineer (not knowing how to play), not so much after this. Thanks.
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#23 DropDead Aim

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 03:54 PM

Great information. I took a break from GW2, and was afraid to touch my engineer (not knowing how to play), not so much after this. Thanks.


You're welcome! I'm glad it helped.
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#24 DropDead Aim

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 02:22 AM

After today's changes, I will now be testing a different trait setup.

Due to the scope change, a trait setup such as 30/5/0/10/25 seems like it could do more damage than my current set in the OP. This gives up backpack regen and 15% boon duration which hurts the might stacking but would improve the direct damage potential. Might stacking remains king on the engineer, but with the help from scope staying further away from combat may increase total DPS.

If the might stacks can still be kept high enough there is no reason to change the altruism/water runes or sigils. This also gives me a reason to stay with the rampager armor.

If anyone has any input on what they've tried today that would be helpful, considering I may not have a lot of testing time thanks to thunder storms. :/

Edited by DropDead Aim, 26 June 2013 - 02:22 AM.

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#25 Rod Adams

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 07:31 PM

By my math, going from 30/5/0/25/10 to 30/5/0/10/25 with Rampager's is about a 3.4% DPS gain.
I assumed you were dodging every 12 seconds, and had perma-vigor.

Something to keep in mind is that Scope and Enduring Damage predominantly help out direct damage, and this is a condition heavy build. You get a touch more bleeding from Shrapnel w/ Scope, but overall lose cond damage.

For me, losing Backpack Regenerator is pretty hard to stomach. It effectively gives you half again the healing rate of just bandage self, and lets you more easily shrug off the small damage without interruping your movement or attacks.

However, with the changes in Firearms, a 30/20/0/20/0 build with more E.Gun and FT usage gains appeal. It comes out ahead of even 30/5/0/10/25 on DPS, and with far fewer conditionals (over 600, at full endurance) Speedy Kits will be dearly missed, however, but I'd be able to have Infused Precision and Drop Stimulant to mostly cover the gaps.

Moderately appealing traits in Firearms:
(adept) Infused Precision, to make up for Speedy Kits
(adept) Rifled Barrels, for E.Gun battles, or better Jump Shot in puzzles.
(adept) Fireforge Trigger
(master) Juggernaut, for when you get your flame on. (aka when dealing with heavy projectile reflection)

That said, lately I've been playing my Thief more (I like mixing up my play style by playing different classes), so haven't dug into too much depth yet. Not to mention, I still have to figure out what I want to do with my Warrior.

Edited by Rod Adams, 26 June 2013 - 07:32 PM.

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#26 Nyid

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 07:53 PM

By my math, going from 30/5/0/25/10 to 30/5/0/10/25 with Rampager's is about a 3.4% DPS gain.
I assumed you were dodging every 12 seconds, and had perma-vigor.

Something to keep in mind is that Scope and Enduring Damage predominantly help out direct damage, and this is a condition heavy build. You get a touch more bleeding from Shrapnel w/ Scope, but overall lose cond damage.

For me, losing Backpack Regenerator is pretty hard to stomach. It effectively gives you half again the healing rate of just bandage self, and lets you more easily shrug off the small damage without interruping your movement or attacks.

However, with the changes in Firearms, a 30/20/0/20/0 build with more E.Gun and FT usage gains appeal. It comes out ahead of even 30/5/0/10/25 on DPS, and with far fewer conditionals (over 600, at full endurance) Speedy Kits will be dearly missed, however, but I'd be able to have Infused Precision and Drop Stimulant to mostly cover the gaps.

Moderately appealing traits in Firearms:
(adept) Infused Precision, to make up for Speedy Kits
(adept) Rifled Barrels, for E.Gun battles, or better Jump Shot in puzzles.
(adept) Fireforge Trigger
(master) Juggernaut, for when you get your flame on. (aka when dealing with heavy projectile reflection)

That said, lately I've been playing my Thief more (I like mixing up my play style by playing different classes), so haven't dug into too much depth yet. Not to mention, I still have to figure out what I want to do with my Warrior.


With the recent update, I switched my engineer's build to a 30/10/0/10/20. I intended for it to perform as well as possible with either the flamethrower or grenades. I really enjoy the ability to completely change my build/playstyle on the fly. The flamethrower build is more support based (fire field, shield blast, e.gun blast, rocket boots blast; then add 6 might from switching to med kit with enhanced performance and runes of altruism). Grenades are about optimal as well. I'm curious though, would it be better off to get rampager or berserker trinkets?

Edited by Nyid, 26 June 2013 - 07:53 PM.

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#27 Rod Adams

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:12 PM

I'm curious though, would it be better off to get rampager or berserker trinkets?


I haven't cranked the damage math for anything but Grenades yet, and likely won't anytime soon, but for that, full Rampager gives you ~3.5% more total DPS than the mix. However, you get 16.7% more direct (non-condition) damage from the mix, which is better inaniimate things, as well as not requiring some time to build up all the bleeds. Thus, the mix is arguably better against trash.
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#28 Nyid

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:23 PM

I haven't cranked the damage math for anything but Grenades yet, and likely won't anytime soon, but for that, full Rampager gives you ~3.5% more total DPS than the mix. However, you get 16.7% more direct (non-condition) damage from the mix, which is better inaniimate things, as well as not requiring some time to build up all the bleeds. Thus, the mix is arguably better against trash.


Thanks for the quick response, and I apologize for not reading the original post better. I'm not overly concerned with flamethrower dps, as my objective in that gear setup isn't to maximize damage output. My gear is rather mix and match, as I prefer to avoid using transmutation stones whenever possible. About how much condition damage do you run with given your gear setup? I think I'll aim for approximately an equivalent amount and invest whatever remains in berserker gear.

Edited by Nyid, 26 June 2013 - 09:33 PM.

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#29 Rod Adams

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 09:24 PM

I personally tend to run with a mix of Carrion, Rampager and Rabid gear (it's what I collected over time, and I have too many chars to feed to be hyper picky yet) , which gives me added Vitality and a touch of toughness, and doesn't pull too far off max DPS. It does skew things a bit further into Condition DPS side, however.
I land around 600pts into Condition Damage before traits. (This is higher than full Rampager, btw)

Note: Stacking Might more than doubles this.
If you're going to prioritize on gear, focus on the stacks of might first. This means the Runes and Sigil, and boon duration buff food. I tend to eat Chocolate Oranges @3c/each.

My bleeds routinely tick for over 110, btw.
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#30 DropDead Aim

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 07:53 PM

After the testing between berserker's w/ruby orbs and rampager's w/altruism+water, using the new trait setup 30/5/0/10/25 does show a significant increase in damage from my traits in the OP, the direct damage on the nades are consistently hitting over 1k damage per explosion.

The condition damage is slightly lower with less might stacks stacks throughout the fight due to a loss of 15% boon duration. With chocolate omnom cream instead of koi cakes I noticed that the might stacks kept up to the old setup, making the trade off completely worth it. With a high might spamming team, the food can be switched back to the rare pizzas/koi cakes for more team DPS support. The might is more important than the rampager's, but keeping might stacks high still benefits condition damage enough to make it worthwhile.

The scope change is surprisingly good and fits perfectly into the tools line giving more points to crit damage for a higher crit chance.

Enduring damage is a great DPS increase over ECM and forces me to be a little more lazy when fighting(Not that I'm complaining :P) , especially since we now have a reason to go that far in tools.

I don't like giving up backpack regenerator either but the fact that I fight slightly further away on most bosses than I did partially makes up for the survivability. And now that we have a dedicated stun break on the EG toolbelt with inertial converter this helps the build even more. This may lead me to swap out Elixir U for something else in more fights than I did, but the reflect is still far too useful in fractals.



All in all, great patch for engineers in general, not just my build.

Edited by DropDead Aim, 28 June 2013 - 08:01 PM.

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