Sunday, March 3, 2013

Re: previous post - Retrospect

First off, that post used a lot of terminology and didn't explain any of it.  I'd basically just ragequit the quest when I wrote it, and didn't feel like explaining anything.  The thing is, though, even though I could explain things here, it's really better to just look up all the terminology on any of the wikis related to GW1.  In order of my personal preference, they are and  You can also waste a lot of time browsing builds on

I'll try to explain stuff in this retrospect post a little better, since I'm not in ragequit mode currently.  I'm actually in "I only got 3 hours of sleep, why the fuck am I typing this instead of going to bed" mode currently.

The main subject of the previous post was my complete and utter failure at the final quest in the War In Kryta quest line, The Battle For Lion's Arch.  In this quest, you decide to open the gates of Lion's Arch and lure in the White Mantle (the bad guys!) so you can use the various chokepoints in the town to your advantage in completely erasing their existence.  To further this end, there are a metric fuckton of NPCs positioned in various useful places, and some barricades have been built specifically to funnel the enemies through the main chokepoint that you'll be fighting at.

My strategy was to take myself, as a ranger, with my usual Burning Poison build I'd used up until this point, alongside five heroes: a warrior, running a pure adrenaline build with the elite stance Battle Rage to fuel it, two fire elementalists loaded with area of effect spells, including Meteor and Meteor Shower, a necromancer minion master, to make use of the plethora of corpses this quest provides, and a lone healing monk.

That strategy failed in a number of ways.  First, my Burning Poison build, which revolves around the skills Apply Poison and Burning Arrow, to cause a lot of degen on enemies, only truly works well on fleshy enemies.  The enemy group composition gradually shifts to contain more and more of the Mursaat's Jade constructs, which, being constructs, are not fleshy, and therefore not subject to the Poison condition.  Also, for the high armor enemies where armor-ignoring sources of health reduction are more helpful, my only source of that was the Burning condition, which doesn't stack with itself.  So basically, I shot myself in the foot from the start.

Also, my minion master could be a lot better.  I had a traditional minion master, with Shambling Horrors (essentially have to be killed twice as the first time they're killed they turn into Jagged Horrors that inflict Bleeding on hit), and the Flesh Golem, of which you can only have one but it's super tanky and dishes out damage like crazy.  This build works, but relies on summoning minions one by one, which means if your minion master dies and loses all their minions they have to start over from scratch.  Game balance changes quite a long time ago changed the elite spell Aura of the Lich to basically summon an instant minion army given enough corpses, and this mission provides more than enough corpses for a single minion master.

So basically, I need more diversity in my damage.  Which has generally been my goal all along, after I realized that such team builds (generally referred to as "pressure" builds because they have more damage sources than an enemy healer can possibly be prepared to handle) completely wreck the AI.  In all honesty, I should get rid of the elementalists.  One should be replaced with a blood magic necromancer, using life stealing spells and health degeneration hexes.  The other should be replaced with an illusion mesmer, with various forms of direct damage, and an interrupt or two (most definitely Panic, which has been stapled to my mesmer hero's bar since I capped it).

In addition, I'll probably swap the adrenaline warrior for an energy warrior (utilizing the elite skill Warrior's Endurance to fuel the build, given the warrior's meager energy supply), so I can use the skill "I Will Avenge You!", which gives health regeneration and an attack speed boost for a duration that increases with each dead ally, of whom there will be a lot.  It only takes 5 dead allies to get 100% uptime with the skill, so basically I'll have an unstoppable powerhouse warrior once things really get started.

Then, there comes my build.  I want to stick with a bow build, so I can camp out on the hill with the ranger NPCs and plink away at things from a mile away with my flatbow, but all the builds I like depend on degen and conditions that only work on fleshy enemies.  The old "sniper" build I used to run would work, I guess, which basically just revolves around putting as many skills on my bar as possible that increase the nice juicy armor-ignoring bonus damage per shot.  Failing that, I can load up spirit spam (which, despite consisting solely of ritualist skills, I like more on a primary ranger) and have an instant decent support build.

I think my last "sniper" build I ran used the elite preparation Glass Arrows (which technically can deal a fleshy-only condition, but only against foes that are blocking), as well as Sloth Hunter's Shot (deals decent bonus damage, and deals even more bonus damage if you hit an enemy that's currently not using a skill) and a couple other high bonus damage skills, plus Favorable Winds to double my arrow speed (which also buffs the NPC rangers you get for the quest, and is a given because it's generally stapled to my skill bar).  I can afford to forgo my "fuck you, War In Kryta" button, aka the resurrection skill-preventing spirit Frozen Soil, because this seems to be the one part of War In Kryta that has a manageable amount of enemy resurrection capability.  I should probably also include Needling Shot, which deals a low amount of armor-ignoring damage, but recharges instantly if the target is under 50% health, just to help finish off high armor targets.  Using it with a Zealous bow to get energy back on every hit helps mitigate what little cost it has after my typical high amount of Expertise (which reduces the energy cost of ranger skills and a few other varieties of skills from other classes).

It would still really help to be able to have eight party members instead of just six (because despite necromancers and mesmers being more useful, elementalists are still useful, and an extra healer would help), but all these changes I'm conceptualizing here seem like they'll make the quest a bit more manageable.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get that sleep I mentioned way up there.

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