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SetharosMember Since 20 Aug 2009
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- Member Title Asuran Acolyte
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- Birthday June 21, 1985
- Website URL http://anotheronebitesthedust.enjin.com/
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Posted The Mighteous One on 31 December 2012 - 06:21 PM
I watched a video the other day of a kid running around farming mobs by spamming them with traps. What a shame.
I watched a video the other day of a kid running around never making use of his pet? Shameful.
In fact, I see nothing but shameful video after shameful video on YouTube about rangers. I see people all over the forum saying "We need more! My ranger (with a lowercase "R") isn't strong enough! My traits don't work right! My DPS isn't this! My slot skills aren't that! One guy even said to another guy on this very board that there was such a thing as a "wrong build!"
I figured it was time to show people how to do it the RIGHT way. This video shows that there's absolutely nothing wrong with Rangers but that they're overpowered. Please nerf me, ArenaNet. I'm too good at this game.
You've never seen a video of a Ranger (with a capital R) before. I make use of the boar forage skill! The FORAGE skill! How many of you ever even thought of doing that? Well everybody's gonna be doing it now!
Posted Relair on 02 December 2012 - 03:48 AM
Posted OChunx on 02 December 2012 - 02:14 AM
I currently run a build very similar to your guide, but using cleric, it does really well on dungeons and open pve activity since it allows me to tank a lot of damage and get a lot of mitigation through 2900+ armor plus minion healing from blood traits and the blood fiend. Cleric in this case was what i preferred because some dungeon fights such as Lupicus(Arah) or Kholer(AC) the golem becomes completely useless and i can swap to lich and get some nice escalated damage from it, alas condition damage is kinda capped in this game due to the bleed cap limitation. But as I said before, it doesn't hurt having both sets(apothecary and cleric) since you can grab a full cleric set for almost 1g per piece(Menhlo set if i recall).
Other then that I gotta say you did a very nice update on your guide and I'd recommend people that want to go minion master to read your guide. Even if people end thinking minionmancer builds are not that useful, i would disagree and say it has somehow a fair spot for necros, also it is fun, and my guldies ask me to run dungeons as minionmancer due to the high relisience and mitigation I get from it, I can tank some bosses and some elite bosses for them without even DeathShrouding too much and they don't need to worry much about being chased, also there is the fact that conditionmancers can be capped and lose it's usefulness and damage at PvE depending on how many people controling conditions and doing condition damage are there nearby attacking too(ie:Dynamic Events and some group compositions) and an axe power build is still kinda meh due to axe still having so-so damage + somehow long cds from wells.
Overall all I gotta add for people is that knowing when and where you're gonna summon your minions is an important key to succeed as a minionmancer. I for one, alternate my worm and bone minions depending if i am clearing dungeon trash or controling a point/fighting a boss, also there is the advantage of not needing to explode the wurm for being able to swap the utility slot for the bone minions when out of combat. Which is a good thing. I prefere avoid summonion minions when i am skipping trash mobs or using them as bait to avoid fighting trash mobs too(their AI can kinda work that way too lol)
By the way i think the trait "Death into Life" in the Spite tree is bugged, but i can't confirm atm, at least last time i checked it wasn't updating my Healing Power tooltip.
Yea, the bone fiend damage does look kind of funny, I just compared damage really quickly between the bone fiend and the bone minions, and it looked like even though bone fiend attacked for less, it did hit two times and and attacked faster than the minions, so at the very least its DPS should be higher than the minions. The DPS listed was taken during the BWE and not by me, so it might be so out of date that it would warrant a removal from the guide.
I see what you're saying with preferring cleric over apothecary. Cleric is definitely better than apothecary in large group dynamic events, but the days of Orr zergs are over and its hard to justify going power over condition damage when hitting the bleed cap will never be an issue when you are soloing PvE and will rarely be an issue in dungeons, unless there's another necro or some earth-bleed elementalists (I think they bleed, correct me if I'm wrong). Focusing on condition damage also opens up the option to use scepter for the secondary set (though it's equally valid that focusing on power makes D/D secondary better), not to mention the skill that you spam most, mark of blood, derives about 90% of its damage from bleeding. Even though many of the other staff skills don't benefit of condition damage, their cooldowns are too long anyway to add effectively to DPS.
Knowing when to summon sounds like great advice. Would you care to elaborate on it a bit more? I just didn't entirely get what you were trying to say. I for one basically just summon my minions as soon as they come off cooldown, unless I'm trying to run somewhere fast and/or don't want aggro. Maybe I can add it into a "tips" section of the guide. Of course, I'm gonna credit you with that bit.
I don't know if Death into Life is bugged; it could be working. It's not listed as a bug in the master necromancer bug compilation: https://forum-en.gui...n-NB44-NT18-NP7. My guess is that it is functioning like the guardian trait "Strength in Numbers" right now. The stat on the hero menu isn't updated (not like healing power even has a stat tab on there so I'm not sure what you mean by not updating on your tooltip), but no one knows for sure that it isn't working either.
Posted OChunx on 13 October 2012 - 05:24 AM
7/19/13 - Noted the viability of power builds in the Philosophy section.
7/18/13 - Just a small justification update on Greater Marks in the Death Magic section.
7/8/13 - Cleaned up a lot of the guide including bad writing, out of date information, inaccurate information. Took out build variations (for now at least) and added a philosophy section to the introduction.
3/1/13 - Updated guide for the big February patch changes, updated comments in blood magic trait explanations, added a new entry on jagged horrors, added underwater combat section, and updated equip section to talk about more weapons and to reflect new information.
2/24/13 - Edited comments in blood magic variants.
2/22/13 - Added comments about axe/focus as a secondary set, added stuff into blood magic trait variants, added part to credit people who have helped with suggestions.
2/20/13 - Added info about exotic rabid jewelry, more info on death magic trait variations and Life Transfer, wording changes.
1/25/13 - Fixed a price typo in guide, added comment about apothecary jewelry.
1/22/13 - Added greater explanation to the functioning of the build, added minor comment about minions not scaling with traits, updated minion damage.
12/23/12 - Corrected comments about function of "Bloodthirst" and updated build to reflect changes in blood magic traits and recommendations.
12/15/12 - Added some strategies for controling minion AI, removed out of date rabid trinket comments and updated rune suggestions.
12/1/12 - Added comments about jewelry and backpieces.
11/30/12 - Edited Spite section of the build.
11/29/12 - Added an affix table to Equips section, added minion DPS.
11/20/12 - Emphasized that this build is more PvE solo oriented than dungeon oriented, although build alternatives for dungeons were also highlighted.
11/19/12 - Updated equips section. Re-added suggestions on runes and upgrades that were previously deleted (accidentally), started tracking updates.
Major edits/changes from recent updates marked in blue!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II. The General Build
- Weapons, Skills, and Stats
- Death Magic
- Blood Magic
- Underwater Combat
III. The Minions
- Weapon and Armor Affixes
- Upgrades and Sigils
V. Low Levels
Hi guys, ever since guild wars 1, I've enjoyed the notion of being a one man army. In gw1, a minion master was a support role who not only dished out massive AoE damage, but more importantly provided a massive meatshield that increased a party's survivability drastically. Although the style has obviously changed in gw2, a minion master retains that feeling of toughness and power that comes with leading your own army. So I thought I'd share with you guys my thoughts and build on the minion master since I see so many threads with questions on this.
I aim to create a build that would have real viability in PvE, not just to use minions for the sake of using minions. Thus, I want to focus on the thing that make minion masters unique to other necromancer builds, and that is its ability to survive, tank, and offer a bit of crowd control. It is not the DPS that makes minions good, if I wanted straight DPS I would run a bleed, fear, fire from the heavens condition build, not a minion master build. But in choosing to run a minion master build, focusing on the strengths of minions is the only true way to create a build that is not redundant or inferior to another build. This guide details the build of a support-oriented minion master. The aim is to stack healing power in order to keep your minions alive, while focusing on the staff and condition damage to provide for the AoE that minion inherently lack alone.
I personally believe that this approach to minions is the best one currently available or at least to my knowledge. I do not think minions can be mixed into axe/power builds as there is very little synergy between the two concepts. I do not think that minion bombing is viable right now as the nature of the required traits and usage ("Death Nova", "Minion Master", and all-around needing your minions to constantly die) makes it so that healing your minions is out of the question and pigeonholes you into using a non-synergistic power build. The recharge times of minions are also too long, perhaps the single greatest reason why it cannot work right now.
In truth, minions builds are almost all unviable in the current meta and the current state of the game. DPS focused and power-based minion builds are inferior in DPS to that of traditional condition/power builds and as a result are almost always redundant. Condition based minion builds not only are unsynergistic, but are also inherently crippled by the minion utilities that replace many of the important skills necessary to the functioning of a good condition build. Minion bomber builds suffer from the ills mentioned before, but just like other power-based minion builds, are greatly inferior in DPS to traditional condition/power builds. That is why it is unwise to run a minion master build with the mindset and intent of being a mobile Mongolian horde. Your DPS will never be on par with other necromancer builds and the pursuit of such with minions only results in the creation of a sub-optimal build.
So I chose to look at the other side of minions, to recognize their defensive merits and potential. In building to this strength, we are able to create a build that is not redundant; it has adequate AoE and 1v1 DPS capabilities and it provides substantial healing and support for a team. Most importantly, it is completely viable and it fills a niche of its own. In fact, for everything it does and aim to do, it is the best. That is what makes a build good.
You are one of the most unkillable forces in PvE. With 7 bodies of HP (and death shroud) coupled with high toughness, vitality (highest base vitality in the game), and healing power, you are a real tank in the game. Being at range means you get hit less often and less hard as well, so really most deaths should have been caused by you running off a cliff. You also do an admirable amount of single target damage with all your minions along with you focusing on one enemy. Your staff is also one of the best AoE option necromancers have.
Your DPS is generally below that of many other necromancer builds, particularly condition builds. With a reliance on minions, you are also reliant on their subpar AI. When your minions are down, you are also extremely vulnerable. Minions just get destroyed by AoE damage and are generally unviable in most dungeons. Marching around needing to maintain 6 other bodies is sort of clunky and might slow you down a bit when roaming the world.
The General Build
This build is mainly meant for general PvE open-world map roaming and personal story completion. It is highly unsuited for the completion of the more challenging dungeons (such as Fractals) and struggles a bit even in low-tier dungeons due to the massive burst AoE of many of the encountered enemies.
Weapons, Skills, and Stats
First off, it's absolutely essential that you bring all minion utility skills is you want to be a true minion master. The stats that our gear will be focusing on will be from the Apothecary line with healing power as the major trait, and condition damage and toughness as the minor traits. The staff is going to be the weapon here that you use 95% of the time. The secondary set is purely up to you and won't have much of an impact at all.
Dagger/dagger as a secondary set is good because what the minion master usually lacks is direct damage from himself, and what better way to remedy that than to use the necromancer's highest DPS weapon set? Plus, with the trait set-up that I'll explain, you end up having a lot of toughness in addition to healing power, making you pretty sturdy on the front lines.
Scepter/dagger is also very good. You'll be stacking lots of +condition damage, so the bleed from the scepter will be very strong. Not as strong as in conditionmancer builds, but still fairly strong. The advantage of this over dagger/dagger is that you'll be ranged.
Either way, dagger off hand provides a condition removal.
Finally, axe/focus provides good single target offensive minion support with its stacking of vulnerability, as well as a tiny amount of healing. It's dps may lose to dagger/dagger in the long run, and it may not have the AoE of scepter/dagger, but in the short run, axe/focus provides the most burst damage.
Whew, it seems that in conclusion almost any set can be your secondary weapon set, it just depends on what kinds of extra perks you want in a set. If it's sustained 1v1 dps, go dagger/dagger. If its high burst damage/minion support, go axe/focus. If it's condition damage, survivability, and AoE, go scepter/dagger. It honestly doesn't matter much since staff is used 95% of the time pretty much.
The spite line contains the "training of the master" trait that increases minion damage by 30%. Since minions theoretically should be doing most of your damage when they are all attacking, a 30% damage boost is simply too huge to give up in most cases. The "death into life" minor trait is also helpful in increasing your healing power, which will help in healing your minions. The first major trait is pretty arbitrary. The template uses "Spiteful Removal", for the added condition removal.
This is the obvious choice for minion masters (and the toughness bonus is very nice). First off, "flesh of the master" is a necessity no matter what variation of a minion master you use. Minions are just way too squishy without them. But here is where my build deviates from many others. Most minion builds use the "minion master" trait which lowers the cooldown for minion skills. I prefer using the two staff boosting skills however. "Minion master" just has that implication that makes minions will die anyway despite what you do. You cannot play the build thinking this way. You simply lose way too much in letting a minion die; you lose 20 toughness, you lose damage, but most importantly you lose the entire thing that your build is based off of. With the right amount of healing from mark of blood, your minions will be extremely durable in general PvE. Reducing staff cooldown obviously facilitates healing, since all your marks will be off cooldown more often. Greater marks may facilitate in healing your minions that attack from range, but mostly I put it in because it helps you hit enemies easier, and usually more enemies at a time. The "Death Nova" trait is bad for the same reason that "Minion Master" as a crutch is bad: your minions shouldn't be dying in the first place, or you should at least be avoiding it. "Necromatic Corruption" is just too situational: most mobs don't even have boons and the strip rate is just too small.
Blood magic is important for keeping both your minions and you alive. It keeps the minions alive because of the added healing power which helps mark of blood, as well as life transfer (4th skill from Death Shroud on land) healing them through "Transfusion". Chances are, you won't be under large threats of dying, making "Vampiric Master" somewhat unnecessary. So you might as well make yourself a better supporter and heal up your allies and your minions and take "Deathly Invigoration" instead. "Deathly Invigoration" will provide about 700 in healing every 10 seconds if you spam death shroud on and off as soon as its off cooldown. "Bloodthirst" would only provide about 1000 extra healing every 40 seconds.
One very useful thing to remember is that both Life Transfer with the "Transfusion" trait and toggling death shroud on and off with "Deathly Invigoration" are actually ways to heal your minions out of combat (!). Transfusion needs no target to siphon from in order to activate its healing, although it will also not scale up in healing amount from healing power or number of targets, should you use it in battle.
You will rely mostly on your marks and your minions to deal damage, however, spamming mark of blood as soon as it's off cooldown is your priority. The more often it goes down, the longer your minions last, and with such a long cooldown on minion skills, it is imperative that they don't go down. So a typical situation would probably start with you aggroing the mobs with Necrotic Grasp, followed by laying marks 2-5 down right away, then spamming each mark as it comes off of cooldown, with mark of blood always taking priority. Also enter death shroud when you have the trait "Transfusion" to mass heal your minions, as well as making sure to spam death shroud on and off every 10 seconds as soon as its off cooldown to make use of "Deathly Invigoration". Use the minion skills as soon as they're off cooldown for a bit more utility, although you may want to save the flesh golem's charge for a large pack of enemies as an AoE knockdown or to interrupt certain moves.
In essence, the build is very support and control oriented. Not because there's a lot of crowd control skills (although there are many, AoE chill, AoE fear, cripple, AoE knockdown), but because of the swarming, aggro, and body-blocking potential of minions in managing just one enemy, or an entire crowd of enemies. The highly-traited staff offers both offense in the form of more AoE, but at the same time lets you lay down larger and more frequent Marks of Blood, providing massive healing for minions, and support for melee party members (or even casters, the range of a Greater Marks Mark of Blood is pretty big). The apothecary set (specified later in the Equips section) provides you with a perfect stats for this build. Healing Power for the minions and support, Condition Damage for offense, and Toughness for defense, complementing the necromancers already large health pool. In this way, you can effectively fill three different roles, lending lots of healing support while being near unkillable yourself, as well as decent AoE damage and pretty good 1v1 potential.
I guess the cornerstone of everything can be said to be the staff, which through the use of only two traits (Greater Marks and Staff Mastery), provides both offense and defense. The minions simply augment the crowd control portion while providing targets for your staff support skills when no one else is around, and then adding damage on top of that.
It may seem unorthodox and different from many other "minion master" builds to focus mainly on the staff and healing and support, instead of say, go glass cannon rampager equips (again, equips and affixes are elaborated on in the Equips section) and have a scepter or axe as the main set. As outlined in the introduction, the other necromancer weapons, builds, or focuses simply have no synergy with minions. If you are using a condition build, or a power build, it is best to simply just focus on those aspects and bring traits and utility skills that augment the things you want to focus on (dealing damage with the scepter, or power weapon) instead of half-heartedly mixing in minions that do nothing for your main weapon set, and in return the main weapon set does nothing for the minions. Those kinds of builds can function perfectly without minions, and try to combine two separate spheres to no additional effect. You want the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts, not a whole that is just made up of a bunch different of parts.
Underwater combat essentially uses the same bar, just with Plague instead of Flesh Golem since no other Necro elites work underwater. Honestly though, the only reason that minions even work on land is because you can keep them maintained by healing them, something you can't do at all underwater (only way is to toggle Death Shroud on and off with Deathly Invigoration). If minions underwater aren't working well for you and are constantly dying (remember, we didn't invest in the Minion Master trait so the cooldowns are not reduced), just run a conditionmancer build with Blood is Power, Epidemic, and Signet of the Locust since the Apothecary adds condition damage as its offensive stat. Either way, spamming attack 1 with trident will be your main attack. Spear might do more damage in some cases, but you aren't specialized for it, and it is riskier being in close range.
*Credit for minion DPS goes to Fiesbert on the official GW2 Forums! https://forum-en.gui...irst#post258301. Testing done without traits as far as I can tell.
Many experience issues with their minions not attacking when they get into a fight. Here are some tips on triggering minion aggression:
1. Auto-attack the mob you want to attack using the 1 skill. This is important, especially for the staff. I was able to reliably replicate having my minions focus on a target by first attacking it once with 1. Marks will not work; your minions will continue to stand still if you use a mark on the enemy. Bone minions seem to be just a tiny bit less responsive to this, but that may just be anecdotal.
2. Using the corresponding minion skills has so far had a 100% success rate in making minions attack. Obviously, this will only apply for some.
3. Running away far enough will disengage your minions. For flesh golem, however, you tend to have to run away farther. You'll know when he's back when he teleports back.
It should also be noted that minion attributes (power, vitality, toughness) do not scale with your stats or your traits, the exception being the traits that explicitly say they affect minions (Flesh of the Master, Training of the Master).
Blood Fiend - Use him because you have no alternative. Each minion means 20 toughness, so it's best to bring as many as you can. Well of Blood's recharge is too long to justify using it as a means to heal your minions. Can regenerate health out of combat.
Bone Fiend - Use because you have no other choice. I don't like this guy much; he does the least damage besides for each individual bone minion and is ALWAYS the one who is targetted by mobs first, if they get the chance too (this has to be a glitch, idk). Super squishy with a high cooldown and is often outside your mark of blood range but w/e, there's no alternative.
Shadow Fiend - Awesome minion. Inherently tougher than many of the other minions and haunt is useful in blinding bosses. Is always on the front line so he will be a meatshield for you and is constantly healed by mark of blood. Can regenerate health out of combat.
Bone Minions - Probably more resilient than what you thought they would be because of all the healing the get from mark of blood. They do okay damage if both are alive, but generally try not to explode them because they are worth more to you alive than dead (extra meatshields, each will be 20 extra toughness because of the "Protection of the Horde" minor trait)
DPS: 90.85 (Counts both)
Flesh Golem - Awesome elite skill even if you aren't a minion master. This guy can AoE knockdown and does a ton of damage. This guy seems to be getting better and better with each patch having gone through numerous AI and health/toughness buffs. His attacks also auto-cripple.
Flesh Worm - Yes, he's good if you're one place for a long time, but the fact that you can't move him is VERY bad, basically the same as always having one less (or two) minion. The biggest pro about him is that he does a lot of damage. Maybe you can use him in a long dungeon fight...? Idk
Jagged Horror - These little guys won't last long in fights due to their constant internal degen, but when they are up, they will provide you the +20 toughness from Protection of the Horde and will bleed the enemy on an attack. If you are constantly spamming Mark of Blood and endless mobs are coming at you, it is entirely possible to keep 3-4 of them up, with having 5 momentarily. Flesh of the Master does affect these guys as well.
Weapon and Armor Affixes
Although this build is not meant to be a fully defensive build, I still prefer playing to a minion master's strengths, which is defense. Therefore I would recommend stacking healing power over mediocre damage boosting stats (for minion masters anyway) like power or precision.
With the release of Lost Shores, the Apothecary affix now exists in the game (++healing power, +toughness, +condition damage). It is by far the best option for minion masters, providing maximum healing for minions, toughness to compliment high necromancer base HP, and condition damage to boost a necromancer's main method of damage dealing. Jewelry should ideally be apothecary as well (look up passiflora on the trading post).
The ascended version (accessory, amulet, ring) of all these affixes can be at the Laurel Merchants in every major city. The ascended version of the apothecary backpiece is only obtainable through the upgrade of the Sclerite Karka Shell, which in turn was only obtainable during the Secret of Southsun event.
Your weapons (basically staff) should be apothecary.
So what about your other weapons that isn't the staff? They really don't matter much at all, but just for reference, my personal preference is like this:
Scepter: Rabid (++condition damage, +precision, +toughness)
Main-Hand Dagger: Berserker (++power, +precision, +critical damage)
Off-Dagger: Rabid with Scepter, Berserker with Main-Hand Dagger
Why the sudden shift to Berserker on some of those weapons? First off, none of the weapons listed with Berserker benefit from condition damage, thus it would be pointless to have additional condition damage on them. Also, the rest of your equips/trait set-up is so defense oriented that it's not a risk at all to go glass cannon stats on the one or two weapons that you will hardly ever use. Lastly, none of the weapons can heal, except for the focus, but even then the healing is very, very small, so there's little benefit from investing in anymore healing power. The difference in Deathly Invigoration healing will be hardly noticeable.
Upgrades and Sigils
There are very few effects of runes that minion masters can benefit from. Therefore, it is preferable to use orbs, since the total number of stats you gain from those is greater than the number of stats you gain from runes (except for runes of divinity, which is insanely expensive and offers little specialization). Therefore, I recommend filling everything with Sapphire Orbs. These are also much cheaper than runes.
A Superior Sigil of Life should go on your staff, as it offers a huge bonus in healing power to help heal your minions with.
Sigils on your other weapons don't matter a whole lot. Sigil of Force is a good choice for any weapon, as is Sigil of Agony (increase bleed duration) for your trident, scepter, or off-hand dagger. Really though, any effects are negligible and you can do whatever you want. Perhaps having a Sigil of Agony on your trident is really the only sigil that will have a real importance in some cases, since you will mainly be using trident underwater.
Note: Apothecary affix upgrades only go up to level 65.
In conclusion: All Apothecary armor, staff, and trinkets with Sapphire Orbs on the armor and a Superior Sigil of Life on the staff.
I found that playing a minion master was very frustrating with my minions constantly dying up until I was able to unlock flesh of the master. So for low levels, I recommend unlocking "Minion Master" for the reduced cooldowns right away (minions die a lot in the early levels because of the lack of healing power and "Flesh of the Master"), then going for 20 Death Magic for "Flesh of the Master" as soon as you can. It's pretty safe to go the glass cannon power -> condition damage/precision armor stats as well since things will be easier. Staff and dagger/dagger would likely be your weapon sets for the very early levels, as the conditions from scepter/dagger need a lot of traits to function well and that you probably won't have because you're too low leveled or won't get because you're running a minion build.
As always, please don't be afraid to comment or make a suggestion below. Especially in the case that I need to update some information, as the game is constantly changing.
Thank you for reading my guide and I hope this helps you a lot.
SPECIAL THANKS TO THOSE WHO HAVE OFFERED CONSTRUCTIVE ADVICE OR SUGGESTED THINGS THAT I HAVE INTEGRATED INTO THE GUIDE (or was at one point in the guide)!
Mathog - Corrected some errors and false information that I had previously included
Miss Nightly - Suggested the use of scepter as a secondary weapon
Stellar - Suggested use the of axe/focus
Setharos - Started writing in my changes and updates per his suggestion
Reverse Ghost - Added an insightful post about stacking boon durations in order to utilize secondary weapon sets (axe/focus)
Old stuff, old image dump, nothing to see here
Posted AetherMcLoud on 06 November 2012 - 02:23 PM
Look at your avatar,
Now back to mine.
Now back at your avatar.
Now back to mine.
Sadly, yours isn't mine.
But if you stopped playing lady-scented professions and switched to Elementalist yours could look like mine.
Look down, now back up.
Where are you? You're reading a post with the Avatar your avatar could look like.
What's in your post? Back at mine. I have it, it's factual discussion of tournament balance.
Look again. The post is now favorited.
Everything is possible when your avatar looks like a norn and not a lady.
I'm on a lightning.
Posted Kaenes on 04 October 2012 - 09:51 PM
SalutationsI feel like this is the sort of thing that I've been doing far too often for my own sanity over the past few months. Introductions. Can I just skip this and start meandering inconsequentially about how aesthetically pleasing it is to watch a warrior being eaten by a shark in sPvP?
(I'll hold that for the conclusion. Best for last and whatnot.)
Greetings, my name is Kaenes and I'll be chiming in here on Guru to keep everyone up to date on the times and fortunes of necromancy in Guild Wars 2. Other than my work here on Guru, I'm also the project lead of Foundation, a collaborative writing/art/music project. It's rather neat, you should check it out.
On the other side of the veil, I spend my time writing things, applying economics to places where economics should never tread (when I go grocery shopping, I actually calculate utility curves for each good I purchase to make sure that my overall utility is maximized), and realizing gradually that the American south-west is, functionally, a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
Keeping with the general theme of hating introductions, let's get down the science at hand.
A Big Ball of Magic-y, Doom-y Stuff
"So, Kaenes, how did you come to play a necromancer, which is obviously the most wonderful profession?"
Thanks for the question, anonymous cough-syrup hallucination!
When Guild Wars 2 went up for pre-order, I stopped what I was doing immediately and bought my copy. After 4-ish years of drooling over the potential of Guild Wars 2, I was ready to actually see what the fuss was about. The-dreaded-game-that-must-not-be-named had long lost its shine in my eyes and all of its assumed successors had proved equally uninspiring. That exasperation is, what I imagine to be, a widely shared emotion, and Guild Wars 2 promised to provide the first honest rethinking of the genre in nearly a decade. Needless to say, I was excited.
When the next BWE rolled around, I logged in; my young and impressionable heart set on rocking PvP with my much-anticipated mesmer. What followed was less than inspiring.
I shuffled through professions for the rest of the night, trying to find something that felt "right." After exhausting the engineer, the elementalist, and the other myriad of professions that weren't the necromancer, I eventually rolled a charr necromancer out of a potent mixture of boredom and desperation; it was love at first soul-reaping. (I was actually so shocked of the score at the end of the round that I immediately screenshotted the occurrence.)
The reply then to this is, "Substantiate yourself! Why are necromancers so great?" Patience, for the substantiation follows.
10 Reasons Why Necromancers Are the Best Profession or My Apologies to David Letterman
- Death Shroud. Oh, I'm sorry random elementalist. I wasn't aware that you lack a continually regenerating second health bar that you could activate at any time. That troll club the size of a sedan must've really hurt. Once I finish sucking our troll-friend's life out, I'll meander my glorious self over there and resurrect your corpse. (Don't forget AoE debuffing, fear, cc-immunity, and stacking self-buffs. The fun just continues on.)
- Vampirism. Your health bar is my health bar. Basically, I'm a health socialist. From you according to your vitality, to me according to my dagger.
- Conditions. Every time I see conditions, anywhere, I get giddy. Conditions on you, I'll spread to all of your teammates. Conditions on my team, I'll turn into boons. Conditions on me, I'll use as fuel to power the best heal in the game or to reflect back onto you. It doesn't end there; see those precious boons right above your health bar? Surprise! Those are now conditions eating away at said health bar.
- Spectral Walk. This skill deserves a spot of its own. Massive duration of swiftness, coupled with one of the most useful secondary effects in the game. Don't believe me? Here's a completely hypothetical situation that may or may not have actually happened. I was defending the clock tower in a certain sPvP map. Lo and behold, a warrior and a guardian, both with shiny great-swords flailing erratically, come charging up the stairs.
I could have stayed to fight (and then promptly died) or I could have done what I, theoretically, did. I activated spectral walk, and jumped out the window. The duo, power-stacking bloodlust in their eyes, jumped out after me with the expectation of an easy kill on wide open ground. I wish I could have seen the theoretical shock on their faces when I vanished, but I was back inside the theoretical clock tower again, so I couldn't.
- Elite Skills. Unlike engineers (who definitely got the short end of the stick), necromancers have three immensely useful elite skills. The Flesh Golem is a minion without par, despite his occasional indecision on whether that centaur hitting him with a club is a threat or not. Plague is a fight changing support skill; 20-seconds of permanent AoE blinding and poison on your enemies is nothing to laugh at. This skill can single-handedly change the outcome of a losing battle - I couldn't count the times that I've saved a group from wiping on the Magg event in CoF by activating plague form and tanking the entire enemy team. Lich Form turns the necromancer into a one-man army capable of feats that defy common sense. Solo a group event, and you'll see what I mean.
- Minions. Why do all the work yourself when you have disposable flesh slaves that you can exploit for your benefit? Capitalism at its best, folks. (Alternatively : DO YOU LIKE FREEDOM? PLAY A NECROMANCER! *queue rock music solo*)
- Wells. Sorry Lassie, but if Jimmy fell into one of these, he's not making it back. At least, not in the same condition he was before. For more on this, see #6.
- Vitality. Necromancers are part of the highest vitality tier, shared with those abominable warriors. Consider that an elementalist, stacking vitality, will almost equal our standard health pool, uninvested. That, my friends, is a beautiful thing.
- Flexibility. A lot of derision has been heaped upon the "unfocused" structure of our trait trees; these people have been missing the forest for the trees (it's funny because it's a pun). Because of the diversity of traits within each of our lines, it's possible to run multiple builds without having to re-spend your points. For example, I'm currently running 30 Spite, 20 Death, and 20 Blood. This combination gives me access to, but is not limited to: Staff AoE, daggers and vampirism, debuff/power axe builds, minion mastery, and well specialization. Simply put, I can quickly and effectively adapt my tactics to any possible situation.
- Group Support. The necromancer is possibly one of the most viscerally effective professions for group play. Wells are some of the most powerful AoE support skills in the game, our signets allow us to cleanse our allies of conditions and revive fallen comrades at distance, and our weapon skills are remarkably effective at debuffing and crippling an enemy. (Consider that the presence of a necromancer can trivialize the Legendary Flame Effigy in Citadel of Flame - otherwise, the boss was [pre-nerf] mathematically impossible.) Necromancers might not be churning out immense bursts of damage, but the sheer presence that they create on a battlefield makes them an invaluable member of any group.
Thanks for All the Fish
And there you have it; Necromancers are superior. In the unlikely case that there are remaining questions about our viability and lethality, I would be happy to answer those concerns in the nearest dark alleyway. And no, of course not! My minions are definitely not laying in wait for you. That would be silly.
Tune in later this week; we'll be taking a look at necromancers in structured and unstructured content (read as "PvP" and "dynamic events"). There have been a lot of misconceptions and concerns about the necromancer's role in these scenarios and I'll be tackling those things head on.
"Necromancers don't really do meaningful damage."
"Their support is weak."
"I don't know why anyone would play a necromancer, compared to the other professions."
"They're only good for conditions, and nothing else."
To which I say, underestimate us at your own peril - because it will be perilous.
I suppose you'll have to wait, and see.
Posted Teilion on 20 August 2012 - 04:53 PM
From an dedicated offensive standpoint, GS is "very easily counterable" and a burst gimmick. But when factored in with the ghetto mobility and wide range, it becomes every bit as good a punishing weapon for controlling space.
Posted bigaus on 16 May 2012 - 07:47 PM
Guardian damage: http://www.youtube.c...v=SCeqdmyfJKY#!
Warrior gets some glass cannon builds tho, Guardian not really.
2. Warrior has offensive mobility and CC tools (gap closers, KB, cripple, immob, antislows), while lacking escape tools.
Guardians has little in the form of CC and mobility, but a lot in regards of negating CC and mobility impairments.
3. Guardian is a lot better at removing conditions to self and team, and team-wide damage prevention (Prot/Aegis) and generally a ton of skill that heal team, protect team, negate damage, avoid damage.
Warrior has no real forms of healing outside the heal skill and traited shake it off (which heals 2k only and 19s cd), but gets 5s immortality twice; one by skill, one when health gets to 25% (traited).
4. Warrior can boosts team's offense. Fury, might, swiftness.
Guardian can boost team's survivability. Aegis, regen, protection, vigor, healing, shields.
Both can remove conditions but Guardian does it much better.
5. This is GW2 not WoW.
Ultimately, the Warrior has a more offensive playstyle, boosts team's offensive ability and focuses on -staying- in the middle of the battle, while the Guardian aims to outlast enemies, boosts team's survivability and ability to get out of conditions.
Pick your poison.
Warrior banners can also give increased damage, malice, healing etc.
and "I will avenge you!" will be the first thing the BNet kiddies want nerfed in sPvP. Promise you that.
and if you are interested in comparing ranged damage, rifle/bow warrior wins hands down over scepter/staff guardian.
Guardians are definitely better at support. Warriors better at control. Both have access to 2h hammer goodness. Guards have great area denial which is big time in WvW and sPvP.
Posted Master Eriko on 06 August 2012 - 10:55 PM