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#2360834 DPS Guardian Guide for PVE

Posted Obal on 26 October 2015 - 10:08 PM

I updated the guide for HoT

#2300157 Knight's or Zerk?

Posted XSevSpreeX on 24 February 2014 - 07:38 PM

So I've been playing the game on and off since launch so I've never been able to get into seriously doing dungeons/fractals and as a result I don't know most of the content through and through. That being said, would it be better to start off with Knight's armor and ween myself off of it as I get to know the content or should I just dive into the deep end with Zerker's and suck it up (I'm talking about exotic gear of course)?

#2338653 [DnT] DPS Engineer Build For Speed Runs

Posted Nikephoros on 10 September 2014 - 11:30 AM


While September Feature Patch brought a few buffs to the Engineer; the most important thing it did for the Engie was to nerf Fiery Greatsword. Fiery Greatsword in combination with Elementalist trait Weak Spot meant that in most fights the boss was usually capped at 25 Vulnerability stacks. As stacking Vulnerability is the selling point of the Engineer they were largely redundant and added nothing to the standard meta party. With this skill nerfed, the ability of an Engineer to provide ample Vuln stacks to enemies has become a valued resource. In combination with the ability to provide Might stacks and Stealth the Engineer is in a much better place in the PvE meta. It remains to be seen if this will be enough for speed clear teams to make Engineer part of the record run meta, but for general daily speed runs a skilled Engineer will be an asset to any party.


For the Engineer the gear I recommend is Assassins weapons and Assassins armor with Scholar runes.

As far as Fine Infusions go Precision infusions are superior. However, this can change depending on which food you use and whether or not a Ranger is in your party. My recommendation is to use Precise infusions; however, the difference between Precise and Mighty is relatively small and I would not recommend overwriting any existing Mighty infusions.

At a minimum you will need the following gear to be considered a well-equipped Engineer:

Rifle with 10% sigil and 5% sigil

True min/maxers may want the following gear as well:

Backup Rifle Sigil of Accuracy for daytime dungeons where the Night sigil does not function.
Backup Rifle with Undead slaying sigil for Arah


DPS Engineer: 6/6/0/0/2

In Explosives we take Shrapnel, Explosive Powder, and Grenadier. In Firearms, we take Precise Sights, Rifle Mod, and Modified Ammunition. For Tools we will select Static Discharge.

The goal of this build is to maximize personal DPS by utilizing each of the most powerful skills from your Rifle, Flamethrower, Grenade Kit and Elixir Gun. By maintaining good rotations your party should have no trouble maintaining 25 Vulnerability stacks on the boss, and you will output top tier personal DPS.

When doing open world content or in casual dungeon runs or in pugs, I recommend swapping out Static Discharge for Speedy Kits. This will allow you to maintain permanent Swiftness for times and groups where you cannot count on teammates for Swiftness. This is purely a quality of life suggestion and if you aren't bothered by a lack of Swiftness by all means keep Static Discharge selected.

Optimal Food: Bowl of Sweet and Spicey Beans

Hey, are you new to Engineer?

If you are, I recommend swapping out the 2 in Tools for 2 in Alchemy. Change Rifle Mod to Infused Precision and pick Invigorating Speed from Alchemy. This will give you permanent Swiftness as well as permanent Vigor. While generally not needed, a few extra dodges never hurt anyone learning a new class.

So about that DPS rotation...

I will warn you: nobody except a stone cold master will ever be able to maintain perfect Engineer rotations in dynamic content. There are too many cool downs to manage mentally, and too many buttons to press including your dodge button. The result is that you will often fall short of perfection. The upside to this is even a 90% perfect rotation is still pretty damn good and with practice you can get significantly better.

So how does it go? The following is an ideal script in a perfect world.

Start the fight with Flamethrower equipped. Initiate with Grenade Barrage from your toolbelt, this will be a large opening attack and instantly inflict many Vuln stacks.

Use Napalm (Flamethrower #4) to drop the fire field on the target, quickly fire and denonate Flame Blast (#2.) This is an exceptionally high damage attack and Blast Finisher.

Swap to Elixir Gun and fire Acid Bomb (EG #4) at your target. In order to avoid the recoil jump back, use your weapon swap immediately to interrupt the jump back. Acid Bomb is a blast finisher and will create an acid pool that ticks 6 times. The sum total of the damage from the pool is similar to a warrior's Hundred Blades.

After weapon swapping you will be in Rifle. Use Blunderbuss (Rifle #3) followed immediately by Jump Shot (Rifle #5). These are two extremely powerful attacks.

Swap to Grenade Kit and immediately use Freeze Grenade (GK #4) followed by Shrapnel Grenade (GK#2). Continue to Auto attack in Grenade kit until Shrapnel Grenade becomes available again and use that. After the second use of Shrapnel grenade swap back to Flamethrower and use Flame Blast (FT #2) again.
Repeat steps 3-5 until the target is dead.

As I said, this takes some practice to pull off in the heat of combat but with practice it becomes much easier to accomplish.

#2326349 Mystical Dragon Finisher - Why Gem store

Posted Feathermoore on 05 June 2014 - 12:24 PM

I understand the sentiment and the desire to voice your dislike of the addition, but this doesn't really lend itself to any sort of discussion other than wanting validation for your complaint. If you want to recreate this thread with the goal to try and create a discussion sparked by this, PM me and we will make that work. Currently, this is more of a blog post than a thread topic.

#2314673 Updated DPS rankings, April 2014

Posted Nikephoros on 07 April 2014 - 01:47 PM

View PostDarkHorseKnight, on 07 April 2014 - 01:12 PM, said:

I think if you are going to make a list of theoretical top DPS its kind silly to use a non optimal DPS build considering it's likely both builds will be quite common. I mean lets be honest I think quite a few of the builds that you list are max DPS variations that are not often run as is in organized groups.

This is true.  The issue is that Guang traditionally dislikes warriors so, consciously or not, he picked the EA build since it's personal DPS numbers are lower.  This result in warriors looking like they have much worse dps than they do in practice.   He should probably have listed both builds to provide better context.  You would see something like 12.5k dps for the post april 30/30 axe build which puts them 3rd on the list, if I am reading correctly and correctly bring Mesmer dps out of fantasy land.

#2313098 Updated DPS rankings, April 2014

Posted Nikephoros on 01 April 2014 - 12:19 PM

The main issue is that the types of bosses that you can keep 3 phantasms up against all die in 15 seconds so you won't get 3 phantasms anyway, or if you do, you will have spent 1/3rd of the fight casting them and not attacking.  I am struggling to think of dungeon bosses with long enough fights that also will allow you to maintain 3 phantasms.  

AC - no
CM - Sure Shot maybe.  Last boss of p3 destroys them but not very often so I could see two.
TA - the end trees but thats it
SE - no
CoF - no
CoE - golem yes, alpha no
hotw - the middle boss yes but not the last boss
arah - shaggoth yes, lupicus yes in p1, jotun yes.  abom no.  brie no.  huntercrusher no.  mage crusher yes.  wraith lord no.  simin yes, bloodstone yes

Pretty hit or miss, definitely not anything you can count on with the same certainty as other professions' traits or weapons.

#2313342 Cash->Gem<->Gold Conversion

Posted MazingerZ on 02 April 2014 - 03:04 PM

Forked from here.  Quoted for context.

View PostMordakai, on 02 April 2014 - 02:40 PM, said:

So, Raspberry brings probably the most controversial aspect of GW2 up:  buying and selling gold through gems.

The argument is that GW2 circumvents "p2win" buy allowing people to buy gems with gold.

For example, I believe buying 800 gem armor with gold is actually cheaper than the high end cultural armor, (can someone do the math and verify?)

The argument is that GW2 allows you to complete your end-game goals for cash.  People keeping muddying the waters with what "p2win" is.  P2Win goes beyond a player-vs-player mindset.  Its just viewed as more "unfair" because it has a direct effect on a competitive environment.  Theoretically there is no competition in PvE, there are however, personal conditions for 'victory' in one player that don't necessarily impact other players.  Completing an item, getting a Legendary.  None of these impact other players in a direct way, affecting their own personal conditions for victory in the PvE game.  This is the essence of "p2win."  To pay to meet whatever victory conditions you've set for yourself.

They do have an indirect effect, which is that they affect game-play development.

The entire point of the argument against any form of micro-transaction game is that it encourages developers design in game-play by encouraging that player tithes be coerced through micro-transactions.  The Candy Crush models.  The Smurf Village model.  "Don't want to wait 24 hour to make progress?  Buy some!"

Its the same logic that drives injecting multi-player into single-player games, because multi-player pulls in the player group that enjoys multi-player as well as justifies further expense in map-packs that all your friends and you have to buy to play together, as well as the Live or Plus subscription if you're on a console.  Not to mention the weapon lockers/crates/boxes what have you, which short-cut an arduous weapon/skill unlocking system that is designed to be arduous to encourage micro-ts.

If only certain conditions are going to drive people to paying cash for gems, that's behavior any business person wants to encourage.

#2312807 Updated DPS rankings, April 2014

Posted Nikephoros on 31 March 2014 - 12:53 PM

View PostOhFrustration, on 31 March 2014 - 12:17 PM, said:

Could you throw in something about the DPS numbers with the mentioned mistakes corrected? Me-ball cannot into theorycraft so I can't really draw any assumptions or conclusions from the trait distributions alone.

Most of his "mistakes" aren't math mistakes, they just come from different assumptions or using builds that aren't optimal for speed runs.  


I honestly had no idea Mesmers could achieve such DPS compared to other classes, I was still deep in the belief that it's mostly a support and gimmick profession. It still seems to require rather active play with the phantasms and all, and I'm pretty lazy.

To be honest, they really can't achieve such DPS.  GK is using a theoretical situation where you have 3 Swordsman up for an entire fight.  This does not happen in actual dungeons/fractals.  If you want an accurate assessment of what Mesmer dps looks like in the real world, assume 1 Swordsman always up and one Warden up 1/2 of the time.  That would be a bit more true to the actual gameplay experience, and would be a sufficient dps reduction to explain why in the real world mesmers don't come on record setting speed runs unless Portal can be used to save running time.

#2312689 Updated DPS rankings, April 2014

Posted Nikephoros on 30 March 2014 - 09:04 PM

A few mistakes.

Thief meta in April will be 30/30/0/0/10 with the new DA trait which is +200 power for the auto attack chain between cnd and bs.  This is a pretty good buff and needs to be taken into calculations.

There will be a non-EA warrior build that should be used if your party has multiple, which doesn't make the warrior look as dismal by comparison.

Your current guardian build is far from meta, no one really uses 20/25/25 since it doesn't have master of consecrations, so that misleads the numbers a bit.

No one builds there staff ele like that anymore.  Either you need vuln and you run 30/30/x/0/x or you dont and people run 30/20/10/x/x.

But those are mostly minor.

Unrelated question since you probably figured it out.. How long does a fight have to last for PH to be worth more than a 15% phantasm buff?

#2309602 A Guide to the Thief Meta

Posted Chase on 21 March 2014 - 09:23 PM

There'll be an updated document on skill timing after the feature patch. It will be included as a link in this guide, which will also be re-written with an emphasis on teaching wholesome trait selections.

For DPS fanatics, the only new observation is that 66001 is cemented for traits. (Only possible trait change is the +200 power on revealed, which we'll have to compare the new backstab rotation with quickened S/P 3 to decide upon).

Runes/sigils will also be tested, but can only be done so after the feature patch. As always, this is a work in progress. I look forward to sharing my findings with you and corroborating with your data/insights :)

#2294784 New CDI, Community Voting for Top 3 Professions Needing Help

Posted MazingerZ on 12 February 2014 - 11:21 PM



Hey everyone,

For our upcoming CDI projects, we would like to collect your ideas for professions that need balancing. Since there are 8 professions, we would like to do one at a time and would like you to vote on which one comes first.

Please pick the three professions that you feel need the most help right now and list them in order of priority like so:

  • Profession1 (this needs the most help by far)
  • Profession2 (this needs help, but not more than 1)
  • Profession3 (this needs help, but not more than 1 & 2)

Please keep your post to just your 3 votes. If you have any questions, you may ask them here as well.

We will collect the information at the end of the day tomorrow (5:00pm pacific), so make sure to get your vote in before then!


Engineer, Necro and Ranger showing representing consistently with Elementalist bringing up the rear.

Clever of them to do it this way.  Leaves them blameless for picking favorites.  It's just a CDI though, not a release, so I guess it'll be interesting to see whether that shakes out to order of improvements.

When WoW focused on its own class revamps, the order was arbitrary based largely on far in the pipe design and implementation were, which was equally affected by scale of need.

Tho its also interesting to see them do a CDI for the professions.  The bug lists for the top three have been known since launch.  To even carry a discussion beyond 'fix these first and let us see where they stand' is difficult.  If the classes aren't even functioning as intended, how can you analyze how effective they are and whether or not they actually need to be examined by design?

#2295540 A Guide to the Thief Meta

Posted Loperdos on 14 February 2014 - 04:28 AM

View PostChase, on 12 February 2014 - 08:55 PM, said:

Hey everyone, I've added my "retirement" letter to the start of the guide. It is my honest belief about where Thieves stand today. I am told that good things are coming in a few months to Thieves, but I'll wait and see.

As far as theory crafting goes, I've taken it to the limit for myself. I have clearly learned the absolute best ways to maximize DPS performance in both the PvE Dungeon scene as well as open world and in WvW/PvP roaming. Slight variations of the same 30 30 0 0 10 setup.

I thank you all for your work, support, and appreciation. I tried to wait a few weeks to see if the bug would return, but it simply has not. I've resigned my thief to the role it was meant to play and I believe that I've done all the experimenting I can possibly do on it. That is not to say I don't love it, after spending this many hours on it, it's impossible to hate. But I've admitted to it's limitations and have relished it's plus points.

I have a lot more information that I would've loved to share (and I even have months of video/write-ups saved on my HD), but my passion is not there and I think that a player reading the guide would better benefit to learning some tricks on their own ;)

If the feeling ever comes back, I'll update the guide and let you know. Take care!

I am sad to see you go, good sir.  But unfortunately I am currently in about the same place with my 4 thiefs.  I can't bring myself to play on them when its so much easier to do what I want to do on other classes.  I want dmg? I'll run my Fire Staff Ele.  I want great party support and good DPS? I'll run my Sw/F Guard.  There are exactly two times at this point that I pull out my thiefs.  1) When I need to carry a shitty-ass pug through a dungeon, then I'll pull out my invincible conD thief.  Does shit for damage, but has sustain like no other class I've played. 2) When I'm hopping on for the first time of the day and only have 5-10 min to finish my dailies, then I'll grab my max DPS thief to blow through the dailies in no time.

Don't get me wrong.  I love my thiefs.  All of them.  But your analysis in your "retirement" letter is 100% correct and spot on.  In PvE, we have fallen to the same place that the Necro is currently at in the meta and most dungeon runs (sorry Phenn, but you are already aware where the Necro is in the grand scheme of things).  And until Anet pulls their heads out of their asses and starts splitting PvE and PvP skills, the future doesn't look too bright.  Its difficult to balance a class that in one game mode is supposed to be a burst damage, mobility based roamer...but then have it still as a good class in a game mode where there is NO need for a burst dmg, mobility based roamer, as you point out with the current dungeon meta of "let's all stack in the corner and put our drinks on 1 and go AFK and do something else".

I'll still plug away at my thiefs from time to time, and will keep my guides updated as they need to be (tbh, the recent updates haven't really made any major changes to the guides, just some general changes that effect all thief builds across the board, so I haven't really felt the need to put anything in them about updates as of late), but my attention has definitely drifted to other classes.

Thief was the first class I fell in love with in this game, and my appreciation for it won't die easily...but the state of the thief now, its just my PvE open world roamer and Orr material collector.

Good luck with whatever your future GW2 endeavors hold!

EDIT: Grammar/Spelling

#2281130 A Guide to the Thief Meta

Posted Chase on 16 January 2014 - 06:01 AM

PS -- I missed the 11,111 viewing of this post :zzz:

Onwards to 111,111! And beyond! Per Audacia Ad Astra!!!

#2280932 A Guide to the Thief Meta

Posted Chase on 15 January 2014 - 06:05 PM

View PostEpixors, on 12 January 2014 - 07:50 PM, said:

Chase, I think the program should be able to run if you use Wine or WineBottler on your Mac, can't test it though as I don't have any computer running OSX nor are any of my virtual machines setup with it.

I think this'll be the last build I'll roll out unless I find any bugs or you guys have a request for a feature.

Ah okay, I might do that, but I'll be back on windows in two weeks, probabyl just wait till then to test it :)

So it seems assassin's is suffering from my S/D max DPS problem. Fails in the 2 second department and the long term but provides 10% better DPS in the specifically 5 seconds department.

Guys, I have to be honest with you all. I spent literally 5 hours trying to maximize S/D damage against a foe over 50% health. I was hoping to unleash a 30/30/0/0/10 S/D D/P max DPS variant, but alas... I may have to just write a guide for the 30/30/0/0/10 D/D S/P *sigh*

Just know I tried my absolute best. I even wrote over 6000 characters and then finally realized it wasn't going to work out sadly. If I find something to disprove that in real life situations later, I will let you know.

PS -- Dahk, you know it. Thief sub-forum = ♥♥♥♥ !!! (I typed L-O-V-E, I swear.)

#2280095 Sword/Dagger anyone?

Posted Loperdos on 13 January 2014 - 10:24 PM

View Postghostwalkin, on 13 January 2014 - 08:00 AM, said:

That may be true for pve i'm talking about pvp I down ppl with just my auto attk and basilisk venom

Also, not to be nitpicky, but to be nitpicky at the same time...if you down people with just your auto attack, then its the Sword you are impressed with, not the combo of S/D.

Thus your S/D argument isn't really valid.

Also #2, holy necro batman.