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Old Jun 14, 2012, 08:26 AM // 08:26   #1
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Default Returning player - couple questions, personal dps, hard mode, DoA

Well, it's been awhile since I've played guild wars, and decided to give it another try to finish the game - so I can at least get the storyline for all the chapters & contemplating trying to work on achievements/titles that don't require gold (ie protector, vanquisher, hard mode, explorer, etc). However I'm left with some questions, queries and all that.

Just some basic info: I have a few different characters spread around at different points of the game/story, I'm not wealthy, have no real desire to play as a melee character(ie warrior, dagger/sword/axe/etc assassin, dervish), disinclined to play a class which relies on enchants or having to setup big time before a big fight (ie Assassins, Elementalists, spirit spaming Rit's, etc), disinclined to play a support type character (monk/rit healer, monk prot, support necro), will be using hero's, and have limited access to PvE skills (ie no luxon/kurzick, asura, norn, ebon vanguard or deldrimor PvE skills, just access to sunspear PvE skills, and no desire to try and gimmick my way through EotN to get the skills). A short list of my characters:

- lvl 20 ranger/warrior in Maguma jungle
- lvl 15 monk/ranger & lvl 15 warrior/paragon up to Blacktide den in Nightfall
- lvl 20 Mesmer & lvl 20 elementalist just entering the desert in Prophecies
- lvl 18 Ritualist that's just left the starter island
- lvl 20 assassin/paragon (spear chucker) that's up to Tahnaki temple

1) About how long would it take to get Defender of Ascalon title? And apart from HoM points & desire, is it worth it?

Just wondering, since none of my characters are all that far advanced in the storyline and they have added the daily quest's to help get the title - these quest's were not there when I last played. So wondering how long it would take to get and if worth re-starting to get - considering I likely will not be getting GWAM as I'm not 'wealthy' in the game, and from what I've read/heard you need quite a lot of gold to achieve GWAM.

So debating re-starting a prophecies character for this, or just continue on with another character and come back later and create a character to get DoA title for the HoM if needed/wanted.

2) With decent hero's with decent gear and skills, does your own dps really matter? In normal? what about hard mode?

I ask because I have a personal preference for the looks of my monk, but don't want to play it as heals or prot and would play it as a smiter. However I'm also looking at the fact that smiting appears to be low damage/dps when using direct smite skills vs other classes (and again, preference is on the direct attack spells vs the smite hex/condition type of smite skills). So wonder if it matters if I put out low dps if my hero's are built well enough? in hard mode?

For comparison, I tried a monk/ranger build vs master of damage and achieved 51-52 dps with it. Tried a ranger build and got 58-59 dps - neither builds are all that good in all honesty (I know this, please no "u suck!" comments). For comparison the builds were:

Monk/Ranger (12bm/14smite): Ferocious Strike, Predator's Pounce, Banish, Spear of light, Bane signet, Castigation signet, Call of Haste & Comfort animal
Ranger(11bm/9exp/12mark/10wild - can't quite remember, close to this): Ferocious Strike, Predator's Pounce, Crossfire, body Shot, Sloth Hunter's Shot, Kindle Arrows, Call of Haste & Comfort Animal

Both builds are fairly rubbish, but I have limited elites and skill access and just wanted to quickly test/compare 2 builds from both classes (basically I have most core classes skills up to the desert and all classes skills you get from Factions and nightfall starter area's, along with some easy to get elites around nightfall starter area and factions main city). so looking at the rubbish builds I can make, the ranger was able to do more dps than the monk, however I personally prefer the looks of the monk's armor, dance, etc over the ranger. And yes, I know the monk could likely have done more dps with Strength of Honor - I have a thing about trying to do self enchants (and also, the only monk elites I have are healing elites).

I have to say when trying out my r/w in the jungle, I was able to c-space through normal mobs without worrying - my 5 hero's easily mowed through all enemies, including bosses. I know this is just normal mode and the mobs are only lvl 16-17 (apart from the bosses), but is this how it is always? Even in HM? If so, there's no real need to worry too much about personal dps and just play what you like/prefer?

3) I should probably look in the ritualist forum for this, but can you play a "direct damage" rit? One that doesn't involve weapon skills or similar? Looking at their skills, it seems they are all revolving around spirit spamming or weapon skill spamming. I'm not fussed about the need to cast item spell (even though I'm generally against the need for setups before fights, this is generally against the need to cast 2-4 spells before engaging, 1 quick spell is not too big a concern.), but a need/focus of spirits and weapon skills does put me off (and the fact that by going direct damage, I'm apparently mostly limited to 1 attribute line and will have a huge number of apparently useless attribute points doing nothing unless I use secondary profession)
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 11:09 AM // 11:09   #2
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1: There has been an update in Pre-searing ascalon; Once you get to lvl 10, Langmar (at skill trader above middle stairs) Gives you Daily quests.
they are quite the diffrence in quests, but doing them daily+Farming a few easy quests, id say it wount take longer than a month.
Survivor is also updated, once you die, you will no longer obtain "reputation" for the Survivor title UNTIL you obtain the xp you had when the death occured.
(i.e if you died at 500k xp, the survivor resets, and wount move untill you have 500,001 xp)

2: you are 10% of your party dmg(ish), some builds, i.e Discordway, rely on the player to make the rest of the teams build work.
So yes&No, your dmg does matter.

3: Rits should play SoS if you want damage, the dps from 8~~ spirits + Painfull Bond is amazing, and they are movable, meatshields, and can take a few hits.
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 11:16 AM // 11:16   #3
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Olle pretty much answered all your questions, I just wanted to expand on his third answer. You mentioned not wanting to play rits because of the large set up time. However, using the skill, summon spirits you really only set them up once, then maintain them because you can teleport your spirits to you.
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 11:23 AM // 11:23   #4
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Originally Posted by ultimak719 View Post
Olle pretty much answered all your questions, I just wanted to expand on his third answer. You mentioned not wanting to play rits because of the large set up time. However, using the skill, summon spirits you really only set them up once, then maintain them because you can teleport your spirits to you.
And Spirits also got an update, they no longer take 3 sec to cast, only 1/4 iirc
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 02:05 PM // 14:05   #5
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Regarding ritualist's - the update to spirits so they cast quicker is a big plus for Ritualist's. I admit it always put me off playing them because it would take anywhere from 6 to 12 seconds (or longer) to setup for each fight. Now with most of the spirits only having 3/4 sec cast time, casting 3-4 spirits will only take 2-3 seconds.

However, from the above comments, Ritualist's spirit builds require the use of a PvE allegiance rank skill and an elite. How effective would a ritualist spirit build be without either? And without the PvE skill it means a ritualist would have to wait 30 seconds after casting to move on - which shouldn't matter except in lower end content (in which case c-space and let hero's do all the work?)

Regarding DoA - thank you. I knew there had been an update with dallies, but wasn't sure about a time frame for them. So 1 month or so to get a title. I might make a new character at some point to do this for the HoM point, as I've been thinking - to get GWAMM title cost's a lot of gold right? As you would need to spend a lot on party track, drunk track, etc?

checking the wiki, given enough time and skill/luck I can get around 27 titles without needing gold (skill hunter, exploring, mission bonuses, HM missions, vanquishing, all PvE ranks maxxed apart from luxon & Kurzick, and survivor) or 28 if I also get DoA. So would need to either need to buy party animal, drunkard & sweet tooth, or 2 of those if I did DoA. Or grind luxon and kurzick to max and 1 of them, or only do the grind if I have DoA.

I wasn't aware of the changes to survivor however. That's a great change as it means I can actually try and get it now. I've always died quite badly at some point on my characters (ha, I am classic bad player!) and never had a chance at it, but now I can. Thank you for letting me know.

Regarding 2 (self dps) - so basically if I avoid hero builds which require me to be the centerpiece of the dps, then my own person dps won't matter all that much? That way I can play what I want and who cares if it's not efficient or the best or such? Just stay away from builds like discordway and such?

So basically a decently build hero team can cover a bad/ok player doing dodgy dps? I'm still used to only having 3 heros and the rest as henchmen, and henchmen were never all that good or bright imo. So need to get used to the fact I can now use 7 hero's, with a skill setup of my own choosing.
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 03:41 PM // 15:41   #6
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The spirit spam build will work without an elite but gimps your bar significantly. Vampirism and Summon Spirits will work at 0 spec. Signet of Spirits is an easy cap in Factions, so I would suggest working through the factions campaign once you grab Vampirism from Kamadan in nf. this is so you can get r1 kurzick for summon spirits. You need r4 kurzick/luxon for hom anyways. You can manage without summon spirits until then.

If you use the heroway setups on PvXwiki, or close to those, it doesn't matter what you run. You don't even have to bring skills on your bar as far as vqs and missions are concerned. spirit spam is literally using skills whenever you feel like it, so I'd use that as a lazy/bad player.
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 06:44 PM // 18:44   #7
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3) I should probably look in the ritualist forum for this, but can you play a "direct damage" rit? One that doesn't involve weapon skills or similar? Looking at their skills, it seems they are all revolving around spirit spamming or weapon skill spamming. I'm not fussed about the need to cast item spell (even though I'm generally against the need for setups before fights, this is generally against the need to cast 2-4 spells before engaging, 1 quick spell is not too big a concern.), but a need/focus of spirits and weapon skills does put me off (and the fact that by going direct damage, I'm apparently mostly limited to 1 attribute line and will have a huge number of apparently useless attribute points doing nothing unless I use secondary profession)
This bit in your initial post caught my eye. If you have looked up the basic, niche SoS build, you will note that you aren't wasting any attribute points in a single attribute line. SoS builds (usually) call for maxing out the Channeling attribute and Spawning Power. Depending on the runes you have equipped, this would leave only 6 or less points "wasted".

All professions have a primary and secondary attributes. IMO, you should always invest enough points in your profession's primary att to get to level 9 at least. The rest can be divided up between 1-2 secondary attributes. But that's just my personal safety zone for builds

On a final note, if you decide to go back and play your rit, don't forget to make certain you've done the two side-quests on the starter island to get your last 30 attribute points. You should have a total of 200 points to play with when done.
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 07:11 PM // 19:11   #8
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If you really want to get the most dps out of a smiting monk you really need to think outside the box. A mo/r smiter is actually pretty badass if you do it right. You use the pet more as a utility than an actual dps machine. You can put essence bond on it and use it to get you free energy as it gets hit, also you put strength of honor on it and it now hits a lot harder, but then you're maintaining two enchantments, so I'll leave that up to you. But you have it out front as your meatshield soaking up all kinds of conditions and hexes which you can use to do some aoe with smite hex/contidtion. Throw zealots fire on yourself and you now have a mobile aoe machine. I won't tell you all the tricks too it, save some for the fun of discovery, but play around and you'll figure it out. All of this without lengthy pre-battle setups and excessive use of pve skills. Get creative, that's what this game is all about.
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 10:50 PM // 22:50   #9
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Regarding Meow Ren - when I was looking up the direct damage skills/spells, I was talking about spells like Spirit rift, Wielder's Strike, channeled Strike, etc - these all happen to be on the Channeling attribute line. So when I was saying I'd mostly be limited to 1 attribute line, I meant that the other attribute lines appears pointless to invest in unless I wanted to go restoration (which I don't) or spirits (which I didn't, but am more open to it now.)

Thank you for reminding me about the attribute quest's. I'm not sure if my character has done them or not, i will check and see (and likely do them if not done, even if I decide against playing my ritualist)

Regarding Relyk - you only need R4 luxon/kurzick for HoM? That's awesome, even less grinding than I thought. So not having the elite does effect the bar, just like I thought. How far through the storyline is the area where the elite is? Can you get to it be going either kurzick or luxon? Or do you specifically have to go with 1 faction to get it?

Regarding Nar of the Ether - interesting, I hadn't considered using essence bond for energy recovery. I probably should re-test mo/r using strength of honor on the pet, because as you said - it does make the pet hit harder, even if it makes it a target for enchant stripping
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 12:17 AM // 00:17   #10
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I play a rit who doesnt have the luxon/kurzick skill (he is working on survivor and wont risk doing viz square)....it takes a bit extra time to replant the spirits but there are enough that its not usually an issue (was able to cap the elite with a different character and just used a tome for sos).....so all of his points are in channeling and spawning with the extra in restoration (mend body and soul--removes conditions even with NO points in it)...nothing wasted there.
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 12:27 AM // 00:27   #11
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You do know that you can pick up the k/l pve skills from the reward guy in your GH, right?
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 01:07 AM // 01:07   #12
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no guild hall....cant afford one and cant afford to put any npc's in it either....and havent gotten enough luxon/kurzick points to get to level 1 yet--so no luxon/kurzick skills available. (new account)
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 10:55 PM // 22:55   #13
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Regarding the Kurzick/luxon PvE skills - can you only get them from the guild hall?

To get ranks in either Luxon or kurzick, does it require you to be in a guild devoted to that faction? If so, could you do this in a solo guild? ie a guild with just me in it?

Regarding SoS elite - the location where this is, is is easier/better to get to it via 1 of the factions? Or doesn't it matter? I ask because I have never gotten a character outside of the main city in Factions before, so not sure if the map the boss is on is primarily in kurzick or luxon territory or easier to reach via either.

I had a go with my ritualist, and found both spirit spamming and direct attacking was quite nice. I was actually surprised at how many direct attacks there were, and that it seemed to all intermix/combine. The direct damage build I tried was:

Ritualist/ranger (12 channeling, 10bm): Gaze From Beyond, Essence Strike, Spirit Burn, Wielder's Strike, Agony, Bloodsong, Comfort Animal, Rez skill.

Actually, that was what was on my bar when I logged on, and it worked quite well. Probably best changes I can see would be to possibly ditch the BM & pet, put points in spawning and add Painful bond to increase damage of Agony and Bloodsong. Or keep bm&pet and switch wielder's Strike for Painful Bond, and possibly drop bm to raise spawning up.

I tried a spirit spamming build for the nightfall quest "A land of hero's". Worked very well, stopped just outside mobs, spawned spirits and attacked. The build: (12comm / 8spawn/xbm) pain, anguish, shadowsong, vampirism, brutal weapon, signet of creation, comfort animal, rez skill. It seemed to roll over the quest with my group (monk healer, ele fire magic, ranger mark & pet & me) - and yes, my group was me and 3 hero's - without that feeling of long setup or having to wait ages before re-engaging the next mob, which is what I remembered from the previous time I played GW and this ritualist.

Only thing I'm disappointing in, this char obviously died shortly before I put GW aside. sitting on like 120K xp, but survivor track was only at 1.2K. Really glad that can still pick up survivor track and continue to work on it.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 12:08 AM // 00:08   #14
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Regarding the Kurzick/luxon PvE skills - can you only get them from the guild hall?
No, you also can get the luxon skills form a npc in Cavalon and the kurzick skills forom a npc in House Zu Heltzer (HzH). You need to be rank 1 before you can buy those skills from the npc's (3000 factions per skill).

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To get ranks in either Luxon or kurzick, does it require you to be in a guild devoted to that faction? If so, could you do this in a solo guild? ie a guild with just me in it?
Not 100% sure (just 99.999999%) but i think you dont need a guild but it does help: when you have a guild (no guildhall required; just use the luxon *or* kurzick npc mentioned above) you can donate luxon *OR* kurzick factions to your guild to raise you rank twice as fast...
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 07:00 AM // 07:00   #15
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Thank you so far for the help and advice. Turns out my ritualist did not have 1 of the attribute quest's done. That is now done, and so I can now run around with a silly build and let my hero's do all the work. My build: (12chan/9spawn/12bm) Gaze from beyond, spirit burn, essence strike, painful bond, Bloodsong, vampirism, Comfort Animal, rez skill.

Just wondering, would this kind of build work on a mo/rit? I know I wouldn't have a pet, and highest channeling I could go is 12. I was thinking 12chann/14smite & ditch the spirits and toss some smite attack spells. Or could go a spirit spamming mo/rit, but again max communing would be 12 with no spawning for extra health on spirits.

for off-builds what would be better - a monk or rit? When I talk off-builds, i mean like x/ra barrage & pet build, or x/pa spearchucker (and yes, spears don't seem all that good.), etc and so on. I've been reading up and rit's seem better at doing cross/off builds than monks, and monks are heals/prot or a style of smite gameplay I'm not interested in (the smite hex *look at red bars* type of gameplay), and RoJ makes mobs run around even more - to be honest, not sure how effective a skill like RoJ is when generally any pack of mob I fight seems to only be together at the start, and once a fight starts they scatter as they play Benny Hill with my monks/ele's/etc in my party.

Oh, and my rit has had the survivor title reset yet again. Got the rit to lvl 20 and thought it might be an idea to get ascended in factions, so got my group of 8 and started on the quest line to it. Lets just say, I forgot the mob layout and blundered right into the ele boss with the 2 ele support & melee npc's. Turns out multiple double-dragon knockdowns hurts very, very much and back to square 1 on the survivor title.

Still wondering if Signet of Spirits is reached easier via luxon or kurzick. It's been a long, lomng time since I've played in factions, and I never did get outside the city. The boss is in Echovald forest, which I believe would mean going kurzick would make it easier to get to the boss? Looking at the map, it seems to be smack in the middle of kurzick territory behind Aspenwood and next to the kurzick capital. If I went luxon instead, would I need to do a story/questline to switch to kurzick to get to it? Or would it just be a longer travel time through zones?

Last edited by ----------; Jun 18, 2012 at 07:05 AM // 07:05..
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 07:51 AM // 07:51   #16
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Just wondering, would this kind of build work on a mo/rit? I know I wouldn't have a pet, and highest channeling I could go is 12. I was thinking 12chann/14smite & ditch the spirits and toss some smite attack spells. Or could go a spirit spamming mo/rit, but again max communing would be 12 with no spawning for extra health on spirits.
You might have to throw an e-management skill in there to get it to work, like Siphon Spirit. Unless you have a hero managing your energy with Blood Ritual/Blood is Power, etc.

Quote:
for off-builds what would be better - a monk or rit? When I talk off-builds, i mean like x/ra barrage & pet build, or x/pa spearchucker (and yes, spears don't seem all that good.), etc and so on.
"Better" is subjective here. Mo/any has the benefit of easy holy damage buffs if you're fighting undead, and can also use a lot of "if target ally takes damage" boons. But you can often have your heroes put those on.
For a Rt/any, you'd have the benefit of weapon spells (which can't be stripped), Splinter Weapon being a very popular one. But, again, you could handle that with heroes.


Quote:
monks are heals/prot or a style of smite gameplay I'm not interested in (the smite hex *look at red bars* type of gameplay), and RoJ makes mobs run around even more
I run my smite monk with Assassin's Promise and Discordway (though any hero team that kills things relatively quickly would work). That way I can just run in there with my long recharge direct damage signets and not have to worry about cooldown.


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Still wondering if Signet of Spirits is reached easier via luxon or kurzick. [...] If I went luxon instead, would I need to do a story/questline to switch to kurzick to get to it? Or would it just be a longer travel time through zones?
Kurzick is faster. You'll be required to do a Kurzick mission and a Luxon mission before you choose, but by choosing Kurzick, it's just a quick quest to get to House Zu Heltzer (where there is an NPC to get Kurzick skills, no need for a GH); from there you can get to Ferndale and the boss.
You could go Luxon first if you want to, but why go out of your way and potentially waste faction?

Last edited by Star_Jewel; Jun 18, 2012 at 07:53 AM // 07:53..
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 01:58 AM // 01:58   #17
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Not to start multiquoting, thank you Star Jewel, I appreciate the answers. Your right, why go luxon first and make it longer and harder to get the skill and boss - might as well go Kurzick to get them easier, and work on getting R4 Kurzick for HoM point. To get R4 Kurzick, do I need to pvp? Or is there a purely pve way of getting rep for kurzick?

I have to say, I grabbed the full mercenary pack and geared up what I could with the 7-hero player support build on PvX (Build:Team - 7 Hero Player Support) and I nearly fell off my chair laughing at how easy it made things, even though I don't have all the skills for the builds (ie the elites and various normal skills), nor any runes on the hero's and using /bonus weapons. I now see why people say with 7 hero's you can just c-space your way through the game and not worry about your own build - as that's all I did, through masses of am fah groups, afflicted mobs, mobs with bosses, just walked right through them with the other death being my lvl 12 pet.

With this in mind - the game really is "play what you want", unless your specifically looking to farm certain spots/mobs/etc and a particular class does it better. So completely different to when I last played the game, where what class you played had an effect on how things worked. Sort of lets me play an off-build and not worry that I'm not utilizing primary attributes or best build or even an efficient build - ie mo/ra with 12/12 bm/marks using longbow, pet & getting splinter from hero's and spamming barrage.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 03:11 AM // 03:11   #18
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might as well go Kurzick to get them easier, and work on getting R4 Kurzick for HoM point. To get R4 Kurzick, do I need to pvp? Or is there a purely pve way of getting rep for kurzick?
You could PvP, especially if you're considering going for the PvP statue in the Hall of Monuments (which adds 3 points), then you could earn Balthazar Faction for Zaishen Keys while building your Imperial Faction for Luxon/Kurzick. But if you're only planning on getting rank 4, you probably would still be a long way off from being able to add your Zaishen statue (200 keys) by the time you add your Faction statue to the Hall.

However, if you don't care about Zaishen Keys, vanquishing is probably the fastest faction earned, especially if you take advantage of bonuses like Zaishen Quests (certain vanquishes and certain missions award bonus faction upon completion) and Double Title Points and Double Vanquish weekends. You can track the likely schedule of weekend events by looking at the archive from last year (but bear in mind we've been deviating a bit lately). The weekend events are also handy if you'd like to shake up your tasks by doing some PvP on Alliance Battle weekend or Comp Mission (Jade Quarry/Fort Aspenwood) Double Faction bonus weekend.

Just to throw a bit more indecision at you, I find that the Luxon side has a slightly easier vanquish to farm in Mount Qinkai than Kurzick has. I suppose the Kurz faction farm du jour is Morostov Trail, but I personally find a boss group in there to be a bit of a challenge. But any zone you can clear in 15-20 minutes with a team of heroes is a good candidate for farming. On a single double bonus weekend, you could probably get R4 with dedicated play.

ETA: You can get an idea of the amount of foes and faction earned in various areas by looking at the Vanquisher wiki page.


Quote:
Sort of lets me play an off-build and not worry that I'm not utilizing primary attributes or best build or even an efficient build - ie mo/ra with 12/12 bm/marks using longbow, pet & getting splinter from hero's and spamming barrage.
You may find this falls apart a little bit in Hard Mode, where you'll want to tighten your builds a bit (double damage from level 30 bosses in Factions and Nightfall can sometimes be devastating), but for the most part, you're right. You are only a fraction of your overall team. And if your heroes are doing a good job at keeping things under control, you can for the most part have fun doing whatever you want.

Last edited by Star_Jewel; Jun 19, 2012 at 05:59 AM // 05:59..
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