Graham_Specter, on 11 December 2012 - 04:20 AM, said:
I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't sell what I have and grab some Runes of the Mad King? Any thoughts on how that works? Are the ravens worth it?
The two sets are roughly equivalent. Lyssa is a ton of precision, which helps a lot with Sharper Images, and the full condition removal+get all boons effect is really nice for general use. The power on the Mad King runes definitely gets put to good use, but pure power with no crit dmg% is a bit lackluster- the ravens do hit hard, though. They both have 10% generic condition duration, which is great for the random conditions from Winds of Chaos, and a decent boost to vuln stacking and confusion. The only real clunker is the +bleed% on the Mad King runes: clones don't inherit boon or condi duration, and the only source of bleeding from the mesmer itself is random, from WoC.
Lyssa = superior all-round utility, Mad King = quirky/fun 6 bonus and not a whole lot else.
Graham_Specter, on 07 December 2012 - 10:12 PM, said:
It's less "raw power" stats and more "OMG Y U no have Power/Toughness/Vitality. U R terribad." All of this from a forum post by a recent member (Member, mind, not officer) talking about how Power/Toughness/Vit was absolutely crucial to - every - dungeon build, and how those who don't use it are discredits to their teams.
People need to realize that 99.9% of damage in dungeons is either completely avoidable or negligible enough to be healed through. It can be useful for one or two members of a group to be built like brick houses, such that they can res others come hell or high water in case of derp (or tank through corpse runs in case of mega derp,) But there are mechanics that circumvent the perceived need to facetank during a res attempt, like Mist Form, Distortion, quickness stealth, etc. that any smart player should be using first. Or they could just, yanno, not get downed in the first place.
Frankly, I see demanding that your entire group stack vit/tough as a blatant declaration that you aren't comfortable with the content you're doing and you need what amounts to training wheels. Friends don't let friends turtleway: squishway it in half the time, collect your loot, and get out.
Graham_Specter, on 07 December 2012 - 06:17 PM, said:
Huh, you bring up a -lot- of good points. I'm in mostly lowbie zones right now, so most enemies attack very slowly (Scepter Block is usually enough to nearly finish something) but when I get to dungeons (Kholer's whirl attack, Graveling Scavengers, lots and lots of random giant crystals spouting from the floor) Sword would probably serve me much better.
It's a pity Illusionary Counter isn't more in line with other blocks. There's only one weapon skill block in the entire game with a duration shorter than it, it only absorbs a single attack (making it utterly useless against high volume multi-hit skills like Unload, or just about anything in a fractal) and there's not even a rebound effect to make up for lost time if it doesn't trigger. Contrast that with complete invulns like warrior shield and ranger GS blocks, or the AoE protection rebound on the guardian block, or the activated AoE knockback on the engineer shield block... Blurred Frenzy looks pretty good comparatively, huh? I'll take 2.5 seconds of complete invulnerability on a 10 second base CD any day of the week and twice on Thursdays, thankyouverymuch!
Graham_Specter, on 07 December 2012 - 06:17 PM, said:
Just wish my guild wasn't so anti-Rampager's. (. . .) The raw damage tradeoff doesn't bother me too much, as long as I'll be able to contribute to my group's overall success.
People that kvetch about Rampager's gear are the worst kind of willfully ignorant armchair theorycrafters. Yes, the primary stat is precision, so you get less raw damage stats like power and malice. With some professions, it really is a total waste, but that's usually because they're trying to make a condition build revolving around a handful of skills with no useful crit interactions (pro tip: slapping a sigil of earth on every weapon doesn't count, bro.) Just because something inflicts a condition doesn't mean it scales best with condition damage! But for something like a 10/30/0/0/30 condition mesmer that aims to reliably proc traits and sigils with a very high volume of attacks generating as many crits as possible, that extra precision does make up for it and then some. I'll take permanent vigor and capped bleed stacks over 30 more damage on my sword auto and a whopping 2 extra damage per bleed tick, kthxbye.
If you're going condition damage, sceptre is probably better for you than sword. Sword is really more of a power weapon - none of the conditions it deals out are directly damaging ones, so being condition-heavy on a sword is pretty much wasted.
With the trait spread and gear the OP is using, scepter vs. sword isn't such a clear dichotomy. Both are useful in certain situations, and they're both served well by pow/prec/cond gear. Remember that sword/pistol illusions with Sharper Images still inherit one's condition damage, and scepter abilities still deal direct damage.
sorting hat, on 06 December 2012 - 02:39 AM, said:
This. Sword #2 is good for this 2s blur, but most of the time its attacks are too close to any mobs for me to feel comfortable with. Plus there's no way of applying conditions to enemies except vulnerable & cripple, which in turn works better with a power build not a condition build.
When it comes to dungeons, the salient qualities you'd choose between are the burst-distortion-and-leap combo on the sword or the dependable (but much weaker) single target ranged DPS on the scepter: defense, mobility and burst versus comfortable range superiority. Again, you can still create an iDuelist for ranged bleeding attacks while you bide your time between sword leaps, so your condition damage isn't going completely to waste. The block on the scepter, however, is nowhere near as versatile or effective as Blurred Frenzy. There's really no comparison in that regard.
ObeyGiant, on 06 December 2012 - 06:05 AM, said:
I am interested in hearing about this 10/30/0/0/30 "standard" condition build. I have heard of "Osicat's WvWvW Shattercat" build with uses Staff/Sword-Pistol, 10/30/0/0/30 as well, but is reliant on Berserkers and Shattering often.
Thinking about breaking down and just farming Soldiers/Berserkers and going Shatter build with my Mes... Conditions (at least since I started playing my Necro) just don't seem optimal (but still viable) I have been using the build for about a month straight and I have been able to clear anything I came across. It is just disheartening when I have my 3 staff clones up for example and I switch to Scepter, summon a duelist, then aoe wipes all my illusions and I am stuck with scepter pistol with weapon switch/duelist on cd with like <3 bleeds on a target with full Rabid/Rampagers/Carrion gear >.>
Ah, we're getting warmer! A trait build like the OP's is basically identical to Osicat's, and should be played more or less the same way. The difference is that by trading crit% for condition damage, it enjoys pretty substantial throughput gains on staff attacks and Sharper Images, while suffering a loss in raw shatter damage, mostly due to the limitations of confusion in PvE (crit% gain on MW is guaranteed, confusion triggering is not.) It's definitely less overall DPS than going straight zerker, but the skill floor is higher- if you're not sure if it's ideal to shatter or some clones die early, conditions still keep ticking. It's also more flexible in dungeons than a straight condition build that neglects power or precision; small adds, multiple targets, and destructible objects like burrows are all much easier to deal with.
Personally, I run a 10/30/0/0/30 build, and swap between classic Shattercat zerker and hybrid condition depending on the situation or my mood. They're both equally effective, and more importantly, equally fun!
Graham_Specter, on 04 December 2012 - 03:00 AM, said:
I'd originally considered running a 10/30/0/0/30 spread suggested by someone on this site, with the weapon sets I mentioned previously. The suggester explained that this build was a tad weaker defensively, but provided great single target bleeds through iDuelist and Sharper Images. I'm not sure if I should just go with that - despite the fact that it neglects Chaos - or play around with things.
I would run this spread for general PvE and WvW play. I feel Chaos is overvalued outside of sPvP, for several reasons.
To me, Chaotic Dampening is a big red herring for anyone building for condition damage on a mesmer. It seems logical to want to use the abilities on your main weapon more often, but consider the cool down distribution on the staff abilities and how traits interact with them.
#2 and #3 are bread and butter, multi-use abilities that have short CDs to begin with; #4 is mostly defensive, #5 is best used in a similar way, and both have very long CDs. 20% staff CD reduction brings the whole bar from 0/10/18/35/35 to 0/8/14.5/28/28. However, the first two create clones, and are thusly affected by Illusionist's Celerity. That means is that in the vast majority of builds, #2 and #3 are already reduced to 8 secs and 14.5 secs, respectively- so doubling up with Chaotic Dampening brings them to 6 and 10.75 secs. In practice, that's faster illusion production than pretty much anyone but a phantasm mesmer with really bad luck would ever need, and if one wants to pump out clones as quickly as possible, Deceptive Evasion is a much more solid choice. So in the grand scheme, speccing into Chaotic Dampening really only nets you +50 toughness and a sizable CD reduction on your primary defensive skills.
Unfortunately, Chaos Armor, Chaos Storm, and all the regen/prot spam in the world aren't going to keep you alive in high level fractals (or even the rougher paths of some normal dungeons). It's a bit of a dead horse, but in most PvE, the focus is on killing mobs before they can kill you, minimizing the amount of damage going out and being taken in the first place, and getting your allies up from downed states as quickly and efficiently as possible. Traits like Critical Infusion, Deceptive Evasion, and Illusionary Persona encompass at least 2/3 of those goals individually, while dumping points into Chaos really only improves your personal survivability.
Which is why Chaos is an outstanding trait line for PvP! Spec 0/0/25/25/20, slap on some runes of the undead and a rabid amulet, and stand on a point watching all the pretty little winds of chaos bounce around while enemies blow themselves up. Unfortunately, it's nigh impossible to translate this play style to PvE: there are no rare or exotic rabid accessories/jewels in the game currently, and the incoming damage from dungeon mobs, bosses, and various ground targeted AoEs is just too much to absorb, mitigate, or redirect.