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Member Since 13 Oct 2012
Offline Last Active Oct 28 2012 06:37 PM

#1775662 Scepter Guide For New Mesmers

Posted SuburbanLion on 21 August 2012 - 02:07 AM

I posted a version of the following guide on the official forums during BWE3 to help new players more effectively use the mesmer's starting weapon: the scepter.  The version you see here is a updated walk-through cross-posted from my blog.  With release only a few days away, my hope is that this guide will help make the first 10 levels of the game as painless as possible for people who are new to the profession. Once you hit level 10, you can really start to customize the mesmer to your preferred playstyle.

Click the spoiler tag below for the guide:


I just hope that these tips help some newcomers who might be turned off by the scepter after hearing horror stories from the first two BWEs. The scepter was vastly improved in BWE3 and I expect it to be even more polished by release. Overall, I think that using the scepter/focus will help you learn how to effectively utilize the core mesmer mechanics. There’s a lot to learn about playing a mesmer, but the class has a nice rhythm once you get used to it. Stick it out for a while and you might be pleasantly surprised!

If you have any other tips for new mesmers, please share them below!

#2021275 Toughness vs. Vitality

Posted Ultramatum on 15 October 2012 - 07:22 PM

Wanted to make this post for the players out there who are debating on how to build their Guardian when it comes to the type of armor and upgrades they'll be working towards.  There seems to be a lot of confusion on how these stats work with your character.  Hopefully this post will clear up some of the confusion.
  • Toughness - increases armor levels and mitigates direct damage
  • Vitality - increases health pool
The way it works is this...

Each point put into Toughness increases the Armor of your character by 1 point.  Each point put into Vitality increases your character's health pool by 10 points.

Maxing out the Valor line will give you 300 extra armor.

Maxing out the Honor line will give you 3,000 more hit points.

Armor mitigates Direct Damage only.  Direct Damage is inflicted by weapon skills and/or traits.  The formula for how DD affects your character is this:

Damage done = (weapon damage) * Power * (skill-specific coefficient) / (target's Armor)

So if you're attacked with a weapon skill for 10,000 points of direct damage, and you have 200 armor, that means your health pool will be hit for 50 points of damage.

However, armor doesn't affect Condition Damage or Falling Damage.  This damage goes right to your health pool, as does Direct Damage, though that amount is reduced by armor.

If you're primarily doing PvE, having high toughness can be a real advantage.  However, for World vs World, having a higher health pool can really make a big difference, so depending on how you'll want to spend your endgame, you'll want to spec appropriately.  

In my experience, you'll want a health pool of around 17,000 if you want to stay up in dungeons and WvW for a decent amount of time.  Anything less than 16,500 is going to make you relatively squishy unless you run with a decent self-healing build.

With full exotic armor, your defense will be high enough to mitigate most attacks to the point where you're not going to die easily.  But the big issue here comes down to condition damage, which bypasses armor and makes Toughness pretty much useless.  This isn't a huge issue in PvE, but in WvW, you're gonna get conditions stacked on you constantly, in addition to AOE and Direct Damage.  In these situations, the higher your health pool, the longer you'll last.  Not only that, a higher health pool also helps you in PvE.

In my opinion, the best armor in the game for Guardians are the ones that give you Power/Toughness/Vitality.  This armor boosts your attack damage, your Armor, and your Health Pool.  However, this armor can only be bought with either Badges of Honor (WvW rewards) or Karma in Orr (for 47,000 a pop).  For Exotics, I feel that Valkyrie Armor beats out Knight's Armor because it gives you power, vitality, and crit damage as opposed to Power, toughness, and precision.  If you want more survivability and don't care about crit rate, I think Valkyrie armor is the way to go, though a mix of Valkyrie and Knight's might be good too - though I think you'd get most bang for your buck if you want to mix Valkyrie with Berzerker armor for increased crit chance and damage.

If you go with a power/toughness/vitality build, you can bump up your crit chance with accessories and runes/sigils if you want an increase in DPS.  My favorite rune set is quickly becoming Rune of the Pack since it gives you 90 Power, 100 Precision, and a chance to buff nearby allies when you're attacking (which is all the time pretty much).  This can help increase your DPS if you choose to stack vitality.

Overall, I feel that Vitality gives you much more survivability than stacking toughness.  So if you're on the fence about which stat to focus on, that's what I'd recommend.  However, there are other Guardians who love to stack Toughness, so it really depends on your playstyle.

Hope this helps.

#2015359 Mesmer Basics Questions

Posted CepaCepa on 13 October 2012 - 07:16 AM

View PostMasterMastic, on 13 October 2012 - 02:31 AM, said:

Hey everyone,

I'm new to Guild Wars 2 (I do have a background from WoW however), and I'm trying to get the hang of Mesmer. I do know that it's not an easy profession, but I really like it, plus I'm a big fan of PVP (at least in WoW) and I assume and have read that it's really great in this aspect.

I have a few questions about it:
  • About the clones.. How do they actually help?
    They don't inflict any damage at all, hence they don't take any aggro from me even if they're closer to the mob, and when they do (at the start of the fight) the mob shatters them in 2 seconds, and then it charges and attacks me for the rest 95% of the fight.
    (I wonder how it works in PVP too.. Are they useful in any other way than the skills at F1-F4?)

  • How can you take down multiple mobs (2-3) efficiently?
    When I fight a single mob I confuse it and it just kills itself for the most part (for the rest I just need to give it 1 last smack). But with multiple mobs the CD gets in the way, and the other skills are ridiculously weak (IMO), so when I kill a second mob I'm about to die (if there's a third mob I really have to struggle).

  • What primary and what secondary weapon would you recommend for leveling? (I know it's an ambiguous question, so just use your best judgement please).

1. Clones, are wonderful things, broken down into the below aspects.

A: Clones do not do direct damage, but they can apply conditions. These conditions may be quite formidable damage by themselves. Staff clones cast the staff #1 skill, which in addition to direct damage (which the clone doesn't do), applies damaging conditions (which the clone does). Once you've spent some trait points in precision to get "Sharper Image", clone criticals will apply bleed that can quickly stack up, even if that critical damage itself is 0. Also, sword clones applies vulnerability to your enemies.

B: Clones are distractions. Like you said, they get killed in seconds, but those precious seconds means you can get away, or burst down your enemy free of hassle. This is very valuable for a fast paced playstyle that leveling mesmers often find themselves get into. Having these clones means squishy you get to live a long time. This is true for PvE, and it is also true for PvP.

C: Clones can be traited to have various significant effects. There are traits that buff your damage/defense for each clone you have on the field, there are also traits that spread conditions to your enemies (such as cripple or confusion) whenever a clone is killed/replaced. With more and more points in a trait line, you'd find your clones more and more useful, even key to your strategic planning.

2. You have several tools at your disposal; weapon skill wise, both the Greatsword (#2, #3, and #4 ---- iBerserker does aoe whirl and don't be afraid of using it for aoe even if it dies right after. Treat it like a spell instead of a pet in those situations) as well as the staff (#1 and #5) are capable of doing aoe damage. The sword, being a melee weapon, slashes several enemies too just by auto attacking. Because Sword #2 is aoe AND grant you invulnerability while you're channeling it, you can rely on that for aoe damage every time it is off CD. Obviously, your shatters are burst aoe skills.

3. At different levels, you'd probably find different weapons to be preferable, and this is because traits change a mesmer's play style a LOT. Unlike a ranger who can shoot arrows at level 1 and keep shooting arrows all the way to level 80, your leveling experience is going to be drastically affected every time you unlock a minor or major trait. For leveling, I'd suggest keeping a sword in one of your weapon sets. Sword #2 is quite good aoe damage but more importantly, it is 2 seconds of invulnerable time every 8-10 seconds WHILE you do burst damage to enemies around you. Offhand is really, your preference. Your other weapon set can either be Greatsword or Staff, they have different play style, just test out which one do you prefer (or which one do you think look better). Arguably for early levels staff is probably easier, because before getting Sharper Image, staff clone is the only clone that does some damage to your foes through conditions. Once you get to higher levels and have access to more traits, you can test out things yourself and decide how you'd want to play. :)

Scepter is generally regarded as one of our weaker weapons in PvE, due to confusions often wasted on PvE mobs (if you're kiting them, they're not hitting and hence not triggering confusion. And they hit quite slowly ever few seconds anyways, not making the most out of your confusion). However, if you enjoy playing it, you can definitely find ways to make the most out of it, for example using scepter #2 and offhand sword #4 to "bait" your confused enemy into attacking you, blocking that damage, damaging the enemy from that block skill, AND triggering the confusion that would otherwise be wasted. In PvP it's another story, confusion is hated by many. Torch is also considered one of our weaker weapons (it's an offhand weapon), but it could be quite fun and viable too simply from the invisibility of Torch #4, it's your call.