Jump to content

  • Curse Sites
Help

Black Autumn

Member Since 10 Mar 2011
Offline Last Active Apr 17 2014 08:01 PM

#2201931 Rift General Thread

Posted MazingerZ on 14 May 2013 - 03:50 PM

http://massively.joy...m_source=feedly

F2P in bound.


#2192128 Depth & The Trinity

Posted War Siren on 16 April 2013 - 05:03 AM

The problem is the game is built for Glass Cannons, atm if you're not a Glass cannon you're doing it wrong and that irks me to know end I love playing support ( Tanks mostly.) and the fact that GW2 punishes you for wanting this play style has become a real turn off. I barely log in anymore, and can see myself not logging in at all, if they don't do something to give us support players a valid viable spot in groups.


#2192328 New Gem Store Items: Flame & Frost Dye Packs and Molten Alliance Mining Pick

Posted Fizzypop on 16 April 2013 - 05:24 PM

View PostNuclearDonut, on 16 April 2013 - 02:12 PM, said:

This is so wrong on so many levels. Actions change things. Vocal complaints can help a case, but if a lot of people buy and enjoy this item  there will more gathering tools to come. We just have to wait and see if silent people agree with you or if you are the vocal minority. Even though I liked this tool, I have a feeling ANet is gonna give up on it because idk anyone who bought it. Many things can change without having to complain.

No it's 100% accurate. Actions and being vocal are both things that change the norm. You can do both and both are required. No many things don't change because everyone stays silent especially with gaming companies. Talking with your wallet only works if they give a shit. EA actually doesn't make a profit on a lot of their titles in fact they've only seen RECORD LOSSES in the last few years. Has the silent "I'm not giving you my money" shit worked? No because making record losses on those titles doesn't matter to them apparently. They try to make up the losses with crap FPS titles and DLC. Certainly not giving them your money helps, but it won't overall change their strategy. We've seen some companies run themselves into the ground following a failing strategy this isn't new. I know we'd all love to think companies aren't filled with morons, but they are. Being vocal about the issues with EA helps to inform other buyers and makes a larger impact than being quiet and not buying it. If enough people are vocal maybe they'll take a hint and actually change their strategy or they'll keep failing. If no one said anything or didn't show their outrage at Mass effect 3's ending they wouldn't have at least gotten the Extended cut (not saying anything about the quality of that). Those fans GOT an extended cut BECAUSE they were vocal. So yeah if you don't mind I'll do both.


View PostArich, on 16 April 2013 - 03:53 PM, said:

I really like the idea of the unlimited mining pick and dont see how its selling power.  I do object to the price, though, so I wont be buying one.  Ive already heard from a few people who paid ten bucks a pop for them though, so Im sure Anet knows what they are doing on pricing.

lol I'd love to think that companies know what they are doing, but nah. They have no clue. It's painfully obvious.

View PostXunlai Agent, on 16 April 2013 - 09:25 AM, said:

People complaining about the price being too steep and making an issue about it being soulbound are missing the point. If it were cheap and readily available for all your characters it would have a major impact on the game, an impact that ArenaNet likely hopes to avoid! So yes, they only want a few people to purchase it.

Could you please explain how an umlimited mining pick would have ANY major impact on the game? I can't see it sorry.

View PostOmega X, on 16 April 2013 - 08:40 AM, said:

They need something to sell to you in the future. So, make it soulbound and sell one at a time for a limited time and they can make bank at $10 a unit in nice profitable bursts.

I'm betting most people aren't using their real money for them.


#2182086 Condition damage can be made viable with four simple changes

Posted Thaddeuz on 21 March 2013 - 05:47 PM

View PostPipples, on 21 March 2013 - 05:08 PM, said:

One thing that the OP seems to be missing is that you can run away from a melee DD player, or out of LoS of a ranged DD player. You can't really run away from a condition-damage player as the conditions follow you.

That not really a point. Let say player A do condition and player B do Direct Damage and for the purpose of the exemple they will do the same amount of damage.

Each time Player A attack he do 100 Direct Damage and 900 Condition Damage over let say 10 sec. The Player B do 1000 Direct Damage each time he attack. And let assume they both attack at the same speed of 1 attack per second.

They attack a target during 2 second (2 attack) before he can run away. The player A gonna do 200 Direct Damage and about 270 Condition Damage during the 2 seconds, after that the target gonna have the 1530 condition damage remaining for a total of 2000 dmg.

The Player B just gonna do the same 2000 dmg during the 2 second for encounter.

True the target still experience condition damage even if he got out of sigh or flew, but the damage he experience was the damage he receive during the time he was in combat.


#2181772 Mesmer Hammer

Posted Maxtofunator on 20 March 2013 - 10:54 PM

I'm sorry, can we get MH pistol before asking for more weapons? I feel like we all need to be on the same page and want ONE thing so that we can get it, after that I think I would like to have a hammer orelse maybe the axe


#2179367 Is there a good Sword/Sword build?

Posted Lilitu on 14 March 2013 - 08:24 PM

View PostBlack Autumn, on 27 February 2013 - 08:22 PM, said:

Slow I can work with.  Not bleeding objects I can live with.  I can live with the fact that it doesn't crit because it ignores armor.  It's the artificial stack limit that confounds me because that's the one area where there is no balance, just an implicit declaration that they don't actually want you using it.  Limit it to 25 stacks per player, but good grief, I can't think of a real reason to limit total stacks of bleed from all sources to 25.  After all, the damage is otherwise balanced with direct damage.

http://www.guildwars...-cap-is-stupid/  thread I started last september if you're interested.


#2180065 Condition damage can be made viable with four simple changes

Posted KrayZ33 on 16 March 2013 - 06:29 PM

I don't believe burn and poison to be fine either, because if you have more than 1 player who can apply them - and one is already able to apply it 100% of the time, you lose damage.

I'm not sure, is flamethrowers burning uptime 100%? If yes, then a guardians burning damage (which he adds just by standind there) is useless. so even if the flamethrower deals as much damage as its direct-damage counterpart, the group would lose damage because the passive burning given by the guardian wouldn't apply itself to the target


#2180062 Condition damage can be made viable with four simple changes

Posted SpelignErrir on 16 March 2013 - 06:25 PM

Burn and poison are fine.

Really, if they just change bleeding so that everybody can apply their own bleeds, everything'd be fine.


#2178270 Condition damage can be made viable with four simple changes

Posted azuresou1 on 12 March 2013 - 07:06 PM

The Premise
Conditions currently are lacking relative to direct damage.

Bleeding is capped and does poor damage for each individual tick. Poison does shit damage and stacks duration, meaning at best you're looking at like 250 DPS for the course of the fight. Burning actually does respectable damage but stacks duration and has funky logic when multiple characters apply burning about whose condition damage applies.

As a result, the metagame has shifted entirely to direct damage, and condition users would be lucky to find a single spot in organized parties, while a full party of condition users is almost unthinkable.

How do we fix this? By making four simple changes
You'll notice that conditions suffer due to two underlying issues - the inability of a condition user to contribute any DPS once another condition user has already placed conditions on, and poor damage even without other condition users present. We can address these two issues by making four simple changes:

1) Remove the bleed cap
2) Have Burning and Poison stack intensity rather than duration
3) Add Power/CondDmg/CondDur gear
4) Improve the coefficients on condition damage across the board

Simple, right? I'll go into more detail for each change below:

1) Remove the bleed cap
The rationale for removing the bleeding cap is pretty evident and has already been hashed out pretty throughly, so I won't belabor the need for this change.

2) Have Burning and Poison stack intensity rather than duration
Burning and Poison need to stack intensity because they are significant sources of damage for condition classes that are removed when playing in a party. Fundamentally, this is the same problem as having bleeds cap out.

For example, when soloing, a Ranger can Throw Torch for 6 seconds of Burning, which comes out to maybe 750 additional DPS on a target. Put 5 Rangers together though, and you're not adding any additional DPS except by increasing the duration of the condition. This segues nicely into the next change, which is...


3) Add Power/CondDmg/CondDur gear
Right now conditions can't compare to direct damage, and to be quite honest it SHOULDN'T compare. Why should it? Maximizing direct damage requires full Berzerkers, which forgoes any sort of defensive stat in favor of big crits, big damage.  All current condition gear has at least one defensive stat on it (Vit for Carrion, Toughness for Rabid); it'd be frankly unfair if Conditions did equivalent damage while providing better defensive stats.

The solution? Roll out DPS condition gear: Pow/CondDmg/CondDur gear. Condition Duration exists in the game as a stat, but only on Giver's gear, which has Precision and Vitality, and only as a weapon. Why anyone would choose to use this set, no one knows.

P/C/C gear would give condition users longer lasting conditions, which with the removal of the bleed cap and intensity stacking of Burning/Poison would directly translate to more future damage, leading to more DPS.

Wouldn't all those good condition Rangers who are running Carrion and don't get hit rather trade in those useless Vitality points for, say, double length conditions? I'll bet they would.

4) Improve the coefficients on condition damage across the board
300 points in condition damage (in other words, 30 Trait Points in your condition tree) will only improve your bleeds by a mere 15 damage, poison by 30 damage, and burning by 75 damage. 30 trait points in your direct damage tree will do variable damage due to variable armor, but in practice is guaranteed to do more. Given that conditions can be applied at range with the same efficacy as in melee, it makes sense that, say, Berzerker GS Warrior should still do more damage than Condition SB Ranger, but it shouldn't be like four times the DPS.

How this all ties together
Removing the bleed cap and turning Burning and Poison into intensity stacking rather than duration stacking increases the damage that condition users can do in parties with other condition users.

Adding P/C/C gear and increasing condition damage coefficients increases condition damage viability in general to more closely match crit damage players.


#2177264 How many folks are paused in personal story at the 5-man part?

Posted Menehune on 10 March 2013 - 01:45 PM

View PostOmedon, on 10 March 2013 - 05:47 AM, said:

That's a big part of it.



It's a lot of "MMO culture" habit and training, but I'm just too strongly part of the oldschool "don't impose on your neighbor" mindset, and there's no way to avoid imposition in a trinity-less, skill based dungeon model, particularly PUGing, so I stay out.



While I appreciate the upbeat and positive sentiment, I'm also a huge believer that buying an MMO doesn't buy you the time of the community, and we are each individually responsible for getting what we will out of the experience, our neighbors not being responsible to validate our purchase.  It's actually a huge part of why I love GW2... except in this one instance, (pardon the pun) where it fails.  But again, I appreciate the thought.

That's also a big part of it for me, but an even bigger part is being dependable. Can a group depend on me being there through to completion? Unfortunately, the answer is no. I can't say with any degree of certainty that in any given span of time that I won't have to go AFK on short or no notice. Yes, there are times when I can play uninterrupted for 3 or 4 hours, but those times are rare and I never know in advance. On average, (damn RNG IRL :P ) I'm AFK 10%-15% of the time I'm logged in during about 2 interruptions per hour. Yes, there are many others in similar situations and would understand if I have to leave suddenly, but I get bent all out of shape if I have to leave in the middle of a big fight. I've had to quickly run to a "safe" place in the middle of big events and a couple of times didn't even have time for that and came back to a dead character.

I hate and do everything I can to avoid making commitments that I can't keep, and joining a party implies certain, usually unspoken, commitments like being there when they need me. I guess that's a reason why I sympathize with Logan Thackeray. It's rough being torn between 2 commitments.


#2177184 How many folks are paused in personal story at the 5-man part?

Posted Omedon on 10 March 2013 - 05:47 AM

View PostFoxBat, on 10 March 2013 - 05:40 AM, said:

If the 5-man in question was something people regularly did, it might be fine. The fact that it's a story mode people do once per character and never again, as the repeatable reward is nil, is significantly more inconvenient.

That's a big part of it.

View PostTrei, on 10 March 2013 - 04:47 AM, said:

Why do you consider yourself to be a burden in dungeons?

Why do you feel dungeon group content is not for you?

It's a lot of "MMO culture" habit and training, but I'm just too strongly part of the oldschool "don't impose on your neighbor" mindset, and there's no way to avoid imposition in a trinity-less, skill based dungeon model, particularly PUGing, so I stay out.

View PostDraino, on 10 March 2013 - 04:53 AM, said:

You paid for it, and you deserve to experience the fun of it.

While I appreciate the upbeat and positive sentiment, I'm also a huge believer that buying an MMO doesn't buy you the time of the community, and we are each individually responsible for getting what we will out of the experience, our neighbors not being responsible to validate our purchase.  It's actually a huge part of why I love GW2... except in this one instance, (pardon the pun) where it fails.  But again, I appreciate the thought.


#2169197 nonexistent illusion aggro

Posted Trei on 23 February 2013 - 01:51 PM

View PostGuanglaiKangyi, on 23 February 2013 - 04:47 AM, said:

Illusions aren't an aggro-holding mechanic.  Would be nice if they were, but they don't.  I'm guessing the idea is that Anet wants to discourage turning mesmers into a clone factory that just outputs a constant stream of free tanks to completely neutralize threats from all non-AOE attacks while the rest of the party just afks through everything.
I can't quite agree, if that is true.

Illusions should at least have the capacity to distract mobs and encounter bosses. That's not clones tanking, that's just clones taking one for the team.
It would be mesmers' own unique way to be in a "tanky" role.

The direction Anet has always wanted to take was to meld the distinction between PvE and PvP mechanics, and it started with the decision to not have aggro control skills which obviously wouldn't work in PvP on players.
There is no reason for mesmer mechanics to run counter to that ideal.

I do not see how effective clones distraction can result in the rest of the team afking in safety.
They just simply need to be equally viable a target to a mob/boss as a player, no more.

For what's worth though, my experience with the profession from 1-30+ were quite the opposite from the OP. My clones often served as pretty effective distraction for me against pve mobs, depending on the situation.

Sometimes I would need to start circle strafing when the mob found me to be a bigger threat instead, but my clones were capable of peeling it off me consistently enough.


#2174481 Warrior vs Engi DPS video

Posted Nikephoros on 04 March 2013 - 03:23 PM

So the engineer kills it about 15% slower.  About what I expected.  I honestly think that the limiting factor for engineers is that to achieve that DPS you have to work your ass off with swaps and button pushes, whereas warriors only need to master a few simple rotations in order to exceed that DPS.  This is also a problem with eles, as they have to work super hard just to get pretty marginal DPS.


#2143853 Warrior Utility Skill Guide for Dungeons and Fractals

Posted Nikephoros on 16 January 2013 - 05:52 PM

View PostMartiniam1, on 16 January 2013 - 04:59 PM, said:

Nice guide, what i think I struggle most with is when to dodge. Any tips on this? Big damage skills, but when else?

Dodge is pretty much to avoid one shot or almost one shot attacks.  The other time is to use it as an escape for when you're getting attritioned out and your omnomberry pies/ghosts are giving you enough healing to keep up.

Also worth remembering is that most warrior's have the minor trait that gives your dodge rolls damage at the end, which can crit for around an auto-attack's worth of damage.  Quite often if several mobs are bunched up I will dodge roll into the combat and do 3k to everything and then start attacking.  This is also good against large model bosses who have a big hit box.  Instead of dodging away from their one shot attack, you dodge towards/through them so not only do you get the evade frames, you also hit them for a couple thousand damage and perhaps trigger your Omnom heals.  May seem minor but it's all those little things that maximize your overall DPS.


#2160134 Warrior Builds: Success and Failure

Posted Lord_Demosthene on 07 February 2013 - 03:26 PM

I was away from these boards for quite some time, however this thread begs for some more input, so here it goes:

1) "Trait Points are for hitting desired traits, not for stat numbers"

It all comes down to opportunity cost in a given scenario.

Builds are not fixed in place, rather they should be viewed as a baseline strategy for particular encounter.

I'm not trying to argue here, I merely bring some points that might've been overlooked or not properly emphasised, either in opening post or it's following replies.

To give some examples:

A) DPS builds, and crit-DPS builds in particular, are far more stat-reliant than utility, control, support or in-between variants of these concepts - for this reason alone, great attention should be paid to major & minor trait benefits, at the opportunity cost of picking other major & minor traits AND the passive stat bonuses they provide (this is true for all builds, even more so for DPS builds, however - and while equipment customisation gives powerful tools to patch "statistical holes" in the build and make taking certain traits worthwhile, it's because the total "sum" of what X traits and Y total stats bring to the table still outweights the alternatives, rather than because passive stat bonuses from trait lines are to be completely discarded)

B) you can't re-allocate trait points inside fractals (e.g. convert 25 strength 25 arms 20 discipline to 20 strength 30 arms 20 discipline), therefore going for a more generalist trait point allocation that gives benefits in most encounters in the given scenario (while still allowing for swapping major traits before said encounters) might be a better idea; on the flip side, the possibility of X encounter impossible or unreasonably risky without Z traits/utilities and Y equipment might beg for a seemingly overall inferior choice, if it guarantees dungeon completion within your static/PUG group (difficulty of measuring risk properly is another matter here), therefore becoming the actual optimal solution catered to your group composition and encounter

C) elaborating on previous point a bit, there is generally no harm done from carrying different armour/trinket sets and all weapons, as well as designing a build towards swapping key major traits before particular encounters in an instance, as opposed to viewing a build in static fashion - build is dynamic and heavily reliant on the user, as well as remaining group members, the only "static" part of it is how much you limit yourself with the alternative major traits you can pick AND inventory items you can swap to (this even goes as far as making use of "special" equipment such as spy kits, and then measuring how much leeway your build has got in terms of maximising overall effectiveness)

2) "I agree with most of what you said but 20/25/0/10/15 is the highest Warrior DPS build atm" and similar statements

Same story as before.

A few points:

A) depends on particular scenario, encounters within that scenario and group composition - generally speaking, regardless of whether you run axe or GS, 20/25/0/10/15 will be better for "static DPS" only if sufficient number of unique boons are stacked, preferably with 100% uptime

B) similarly, gimping yourself by limiting access to game-changing traits such as "mobile strikes" (20 discipline) for GS, "leg specialist" (10 tactics) for GS/axe/rifle or any other alternatives might severely handicap your group's ability to maintain highest effective DPS (dynamic DPS) in a given encounter in X scenario, as well as lock you up to a very static and conservative trait point distribution, giving very little or no viable alternatives for major trait points swapping to adapt better to remaining encounters within the specified scenario

C) a little bit of my terminology: "static DPS" counts for attacking a monster 100% of the time, it's up to personal preference whether you assume there is a full 25 might stick and 120 seconds fury uptime on you already, or whether it builds up over time and might or might not rival a less boon-oriented build in terms of raw damage over X time; "dynamic/effective DPS" counts for the actual damage you can deal, while getting away with it - this term is most objective if it's results-oriented (e.g. comparing dungeon completion times in team setting, as opposed to trying to add up team DPS in a fictional, artificial testing scenario or diving purely for your personal DPS, not caring for group's total effectiveness)

D) the objective here should not be maximising individual DPS under X conditions, maximising group/team's DPS under X conditions, but reaching best possible completion time of a dungeon in group/team setting (time efficiency) OR best "(reward - cost)/time" ratio (cost efficiency) - alternatively, you can strike for a compromise between these two

---

Now a bit of conventional wisdom accumulated over the years of playing games overall, MMORPGs in particular and GW2 as of late:

1) in a PUG setting, people generally should gravitate towards self-sufficient builds with good self-sustain (self-healing, damage mitigation & on-demand control skills, 1st priority), good group sustain not reliant on precise positioning, voice communication and training (passive party support & static force multipliers, 2nd priority), best possible damage having accounted for the other two priorities (3rd priority)

Why?

Biggest weakness of PUG is it's random nature, making communication and group synergy difficult. Completing the instance with highest possible success rate, followed by completing it in reasonable time while reducing stress, tension and reliance on precise manouvers greatly increases PUG's success.

Why PUGs can be extremely frustrating experience?

Most people fend for themselves, prioritising self-sustain and damage, without regard for the group. This backfires in various ways, but usually - the group overall will be weaker, eliminating weakest chains first, and then striking back at the most selfish, self-reliant group members, which no longer have a buddy to support them and neutralise critical opponents.

Similarly, PUGs are reliant on natural leaders if they are avaiable, and cruel taskmasters if natural leader is not present - since latter is the case most often, most optimal builds and group strategies will be culled in favour of popular (not necessarily best in a competent team, but for instance easy to use & understand, with instant & measurable benefits) and tested strategies, often on a "copy-paste or kick" basis, where the only form of group communication is following strict gear, trait and strategy guidelines specified by the ringleader, group cohesion reliant on fear & intimidation (picking a black sheep to throw insults at as soon as possible to keep other members in check; measuring performance by ineffectual but easy to understand metrics such as "how many times you died" or "you didn't dodge", regardless of their actual relevance; threatening to kick on the basis of undermining taskmaster's authority, even if criticism was well deserved).

The following nuissance is further confounded by people reliant on PUGs to access end-game content, conducting themselves in social interactions & designing their builds in a "job portfolio" fashion, trying to appear as law-obeying, conforming member of society, that has no opinion and follows orders to the letter. What this leads to, is mediocrity:

- "only constructive criticism allowed" mentality, which means not saying things that will get you kicked regardless of their merit (group feedback is severely handicapped because of it, making the group even more static, unable to adapt, easy prey for ragequits if a sufficiently elaborate encounter shows up - that can't be pre-built for or pre-learned, but requires on-demand team communication and flexibility)
- builds designed around meeting arbitrary performance metrics such as primitive "DPS/heal/damage taken/attacks dodged" checks to avoid group scrutinity and kicks; in a guild/pre-made group setting the only objective metric would be completion time or "(reward-cost)/time" ratio instead, as these are objective but can be reliably tracked only over lengthy periods of time (similarly, the potential for misuse of tools and addons is narrowed down in pre-made group setting - they help players to improve, but aren't the absolute metric of team's performance)

2) individual doesn't matter in pre-made group setting, because he is already accepted for what he is, has no particular pressure to show off, and can instead focus on maximising group's efficiency without feeling bad for it

3) individual is the only thing that matters in a PUG group, short of successfully completing an instance - the conflict between these two distorts game meta and player perceptions of what is or isn't good, works or doesn't work

4) GW2 is not free from pressure towards selfish solutions - even the loot distribution in instanced content is based around tagging monsters, and for this to happen you need to hit a monster, and take sufficient part of it's hit points (long-term implications: inability to root out selfish mentality completely even in a pre-made group setting; erring more on the side of "(reward-cost)/time" ratio rather than completion time even if it's against group's best interests; prioritising weapons that are good for tagging over weapons best for the job).

Another example of this is design of dungeon bosses - rarely if ever hard CC (stun, knockdown) has any use due to stacks of defiant, required group coordination outweights any perceived benefits. There is a fine line to be walked here, between requiring CC as means of completion and making CC completely unnecessary or detrimental; so far GW2 is on the latter side of this spectrum, and fails to achieve competitive balance between control, support and dps builds, in turn relegating support towards increasing group's dps almost exclusively, and control towards gimped if potentially unintended strategies (spam of feedback and wall of reflection to completely neuter ranged mobs, as opposed to providing alternative cost stemming from another viable strategy).

5) build & damage calculators, DPS checks, even in-house statistical tools used by developers - are exactly what they are, just tools. They can help in discovering new builds or optimising existing ones, but most often are used by uneducated peers of the community in wrong manner. Wrong assumptions lead to wrong results. Lack of education leads to bad conclusions and assumptions alike. Finally, artificial testing environment is no rival to conventional wisdom and direct game experience of actually using a build; even then, for most intents and purposes our experiences are subjective, whereas tools used fail to account for the context.

In your pursuit of knowledge, don't fall for a trap of optimising your build for your testing environment or popular opinion (collective perception of the majority), as opposed to actual in-game results. I noticed many of you to be manipulated by numbers themselves or to use unproven (experimental) calculations to prove your goal; let me tell you something, you proved nothing but your desperation. Calculator is a tool, means to an end, not end in itself, and definitely not proof of your build's superiority (unless you all agree on the same calculations to be correct, and on the same testing environment to be used for testing, and then only draw conclusions as to effectiveness in that sterile environment, under specified conditions - in which case you theorycraft for the sake of it, or improving your testing methods as opposed to testing a build's actual validity in gaming environment).

So far I haven't seen a simulation tool so elaborate to account for movement, dodging, feinting, strategising and group dynamics. In fact, people struggle even now to produce a convincing DPS sheet for skill rotation, which would realistically account for input delay on a static target. Until that happens, you don't even have a scientific (and statistically measurable) testing environment to account for build's validity, without playing the game itself. You have no material for scientific hypothesis, even less so for a theory. Burden of proof lies on you, my fellow theorycrafters (yes, I do that too).

Next time you log to game, watch how you play. How you move, how you communicate, how you coordinate attacks. Your build is just a small part of your input-based strategy (backup armour sets & weapons, swapping major traits & utilities/elite), and just a small fraction of your output-based strategy (what you actually do with the tools given - moving, dodging, attacking etc., and to what end, what result). THIS (overly simplified) is your build. In fact, it's almost impossible to distinguish from the environment itself, including it's user (you, the player). Above is further confounded by group dynamics (how your team reacts), and environment dynamics (how mobs react to what you do). Notice a pattern? Your tools are not just incomplete and based on assumptions, they're for the most part static, and restricted by very limiting conditions for the test to be even remotely comparable to results from past and future tests.

6) Humans are not machines, we are not numbers and cannot be accounted for. In fact, we're even difficult to simulate. The folly of statistics and testing methodology doesn't lead to knowledge, if results themselves are treated as knowledge itself. Knowledge is experience, nothing else.

As for players themselves - everyone has his own pain threshold and innate abilities, both for thinking and mouse/keyboard input. Many of you might think that the only purpose of "optimising" a build is to make it best for either fastest completion time or the best reward ratio, assuming top-tier player skills of the user, unrestricted & 100% efficient communication and virtually no pain threshold or physical limitations disallowing the player from excelling at or even executing the build. Unfortunately, it's not - because even build's success has a cost.

Previous point elaborated on this already, but summarising, a build is essentially a strategy. And like all good strategies, good builds require planning, to make sure they are employed in right conditions by the right people. Hence, a real build should include:

- technical description (traits, primary equipment, inventory swap equipment, utilities & elite, variants)
- the environment it's competitive at, as well as it's specifics (labelling build as "tPvP bunker" is simply not enough - at the very least specify preferred team composition, preferred opponents/maps/circumstances and video feedback of build in action)
- advantages and caveats in it's environment, current meta
- what skills are required to utilise the build, including information on keybinds and gaming equipment, among others (is it a high-level strategy? pre-made, professional pre-made or "Joe the Average" build?)

Anything less than that I'm afraid, is just a declaration of your preferences, of what you use. Unfortunately for the reader, it conveys very little relevant information, just a bunch of data to be eventually transformed into information through factual game experience.

Elaborating on the cost itself, executing a build requires sacrifice. Time, money, skills to be picked up, physical and mental tiredness, perhaps even injury or life/health hazard (my flatmate got a carpal tunnel for his love of twitch-action FPS games). Similarly, the reward itself isn't limited to just in-game results, but can include improved RL skills (such as communication, stress management), mental benefits (better concentration, abstract thinking, better self-esteem) and the like. For this reason alone, when you design a build, ask yourself the following questions:

- who is it addressed for
- what skills are required
- what it's good for, what it's not good for, how do you maximise it's effectiveness in it's competitive area, how do you deal with critical drawbacks in unexpected situations
- how it works in a high-level strategy of it's environment, how it fits with the current meta
- in what ways build is biased by it's user, what are it's best counters (actual game experience) and what are it's best complementing factors (what team composition, what builds, why)

In essence, you have to convey your actual "know-how" into useful information. Not data, information.

7) ultimate build optimisation - optimising for risk

This point is last, because it's easiest to understand having read at least two previous points. If you know what build is good for, in what environment, employing what strategy and who is it addressed to - it is time to measure the risk of failure and potential setbacks, expected return value i.e. reward (from experience - highest return and it's circumstances, average return and description of average runs/matches/battles; theoretically highest outcome), and distinguish that risk from uncertainty.

Ideally, a build for average Joe's would maximise the fun & learning factor, provide easy entry and modest learning curve, all the while getting the job done. Secondary but not required attributes would include easier time for other members (positive synergetic effect in a team of Joes each supporting each other to their best ability), as PUGs inevitably break if they take too long to complete, require too much communication to get job done or face critical setbacks. For obvious reasons, build shouldn't require highly customised keybinds and dedicated gaming peripherals to function optimally. It's a bonus but not requirement if build provided "further reading" at the bottom, in case Joe gets bored and wants a more complicated toy to play with, becoming a better player in return.

A good real-life example of this build is sonic boon, it combines the comfort of on-demand healing & condition stripping from rune of the soldier/healing shouts with great popularity of greatswords among warrior players, and while definitely not the pinnacle of warrior's performance in this game, it gets the job done with the path of least resistance. The very reason it's popular despite it's many forum-dwelling antagonists is because the author clearly identified an audience, designed a build for it and presented information in professional fashion. If you want to make builds, start doing them properly - excel sheets prove nothing, they should be only used to help you design a build. The very moment you pop a DPS sheet to prove your credibility, is the very moment you lose it.

A bad real-life example of how to design and market a build is 9 boon knight, it pulls up excel sheet to prove it's superiority, yet actual game practice might nail down the problem to personal preferences rather than objectively superior build, strategy or technique. The author designed a build (like his many others) which he particularly excels at, yet gets defensive about it when his build's effectiveness in hands of other players is put to question. One problem among many to consider, is what is this build's ability to stay on the target, and what is it's damage in actual encounters. Does the boon burst create enough opportunity to justify build's other drawbacks? Is it's prolonged DPS actually higher than more conservative DPS builds? Does it have a competitive edge recognised by the meta, or does it argue player preferences?

Answer to above problem won't be found through forum arguments or excel sheets popping numbers, but actual in-game evaluation. Even then, it might still boil down to player preferences. Whatever you do, discard "static DPS" comparisons. You can't mathetically prove or disprove a statement of superiority, when it comes to builds in this game. Doing anything else, would be a misuse of the tools you were given, for all the wrong reasons.