1. #1

    Deciding on Profession

    I am debating becoming a new player to GW2. Probably will. Had a question on Elite classes, and yes, I have learned that I'll have to level a base class first....

    The content that I'd be focusing on is completely unknown - but I do tend to focus on group play vs solo. So am looking for a jack of all trades class.

    1. Should I play Firebrand - because I like protecting and healing friends and being tanky ?

    2. Should I play Reaper - because I like being a Self Healing Death Knight chainsaw ? (Doesn't seem to have much group help though...)

    3. Should I play Chronomancer - because masters of time are the most OP thing possible, it has tons of group buffs, and can also be tanky ? (Although here I'd have to level as Mesmer, which I am thinking I might not like).

    Which class will be most appreciated in group / guild play ?

    You see, I have played many classes in WoW, and have repeated regretted the choice later. Kept running into situations where the class couldn't do what I had wanted, or had other annoyances get in the way (like Elemental Shamans cannot cast while moving). So, I am asking for insider information this time around. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Hi newfriend! GW2 is pretty cool, worth at least giving the F2P version a try to see how you feel about the game overall before looking into picking up expansions with the elite classes. For your questions...

    Firebrand - Not sure about raiding, but in fractals it's most commonly a DPS class (though I think Dragonhunter performs better). There's a support build (and I run it on my firebrand and quite enjoy it) but between the changes with a recent patch that broke some of the support elements and the general toolkit it's generally not a desired build in harder content for fractals. For open world gameplay it's insanely flexible though.

    Reaper - Again mostly for fractals/open world, but it's a super straightforward power-based class. You just melt faces and giggle. I suppose you can make some more self-healing oriented builds, but it's usually a pretty straightforward DPS class.

    Chronomancer - Haven't played it, but from what I've heard it's challenging with a lot to juggle at once. Not sure if it can tank (tanks are only really necessary in raids IIRC), but it's definitely one of the more desirable support builds given the wealth of boons it brings.

    Honestly, most classes have viable builds for anything you want to do in the overwhelming majority of content. For challenge mode fractals/raids etc. where performance matters more build diversity is much more limited (partially due to raw performance of a build making it non-viable, partially due to community rejection because it's not part of the current "meta", I ran into this on my firebrand frequently despite only doing up to T3 fractals, which are pretty easy still), but if you're just looking for general group content then you can largely just pick a build that fits the theme you want.

    https://metabattle.com/wiki/MetaBattle_Wiki

    I think this is still a bit outdated, but it has a variety of solid build templates that you can tweak for all different types of play. I've pulled every build I've used recently from here, and I'll frequently tweak them a bit so they fit my playstyle better. But it's got some nice build diversity, so things like different builds if you want to go for power-based DPS (straight damage) vs. condition-based damage (damage over time).

    Also: Unless anything has changed, druids are almost always in high demand as they're super strong supports.

    More info about your preferred playstyles/roles would definitely help provide more meaningful suggestions/feedback. And FYI - I'm not a super active player right now and don't do "hardcore" content, so my information is limited to what I've played and may not be 100% accurate in the game right now.
    Last edited by Edge-; 2019-02-09 at 02:23 AM.

  3. #3
    Chronomancers may be a bit much for a new player, and Support Firebrands face prejudice - so does that mean Reaper wins out here ?

  4. #4
    The Insane PACOX's Avatar
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    @Edge- going to have to correct you.

    Firebrands can be played as dps, support, or both in fractals and raids. The DPS is a DoT build. Relatively easy to level and play. Does respectable damage In raids. Not ideal in fractals where power damage is preferred but people won't kick you.

    The support Firebrand aka Quickbrand can and does get used in raids but usually not in pugs. The Quickbrand brings an insane amount of quickness to the group, cc, decent heals, and constant Aegis (invulnerability) It's niche as in what encounters it really excels on, in others its easier to just bring the traditional chronos/druid duo. In does a lot better in fractals where things are big faster and tactical. If paired with a renegade it completely replaced the old Chrono/druid duo. I don't have a main but I run my Quickbrand through T4 fractals quite often. Building a Quickbrand is preferential as far as stats go. You can make one really good at healing and keeping boons up but crap dps. One that's can dps like a dps Firebrand and keep up quickness but no heals. Or you can make one that's sort of in the middle.

    Reaper - So reaper will almost never get a spot in a raid because other power classes hit harder. If you want to raid as a Necro it will be on a scourge playing support or dps. On the other hand I personally wouldn't turn down a reaper in a fractal. I know a reaper can still put up good DPS and probably one die/will be up to rez people if they go down. Reapers are self-buffing/sustain powerhouse but expect others viewing as subpar when it comes to endgame instanced pve. It'd a good class in open world pve, pvp, and WvW.

    Chrono I'd the most broken class in the game from a design perspective, IMO. It's abundant access to evades, and the ability to sometimes share an evade, made it the de facto tank in the game for a long time. It was also the only class capable achieving 100% or near 100% uptime and two very important buffs when it comes to pve. Because of that the 'meta' is sort of designed around chronos. Anet has nerfed chronos and give other classes access to the buffs it was king over (renegades got alacrity, Firebrands got toughness. Hence a chrono/druid support team can now be replaced with the (sometimes better) renegade/firebrand team. Chrono used to be the king of raids fractals. Not so much in fractals anymore, but still the usual designated tank in raids. If anything people still bring chronos because they are still more durable than any other 'tank' and still have access to base Mesmer tricks like portals.

    DPS Chrono pops up ever other balance patch and definitely is in play now. Chrono dps might even be OP right now. You might not see many dps Chronos in game though because GW2 players are much creatures of habit so the FoTM builds take a while got people to adopt. If you play a Chrono you will be placed in 'Chrono jail' and always expected to play one.

    All classes are in fact 'viable'.

    Also: Unless anything has changed, druids are almost always in high demand as they're super strong supports
    Xtuodd have been on borrowed time because Anet nerfed their heals a long time ago. Druids fought for their spot by taking Might duty away from warriors. Fortunately for druids they Ranger spirits and its too much of a dps for a dps ranger to take spirits. Otherwise Tempest, Firebrands, Scrappers, Renegades, and Heralds heal better than a druid. Those classed lack Might uptime and spirits though. The new Renegade/Firebrand duo is was more Might uptime than the Chrono/Druid duo. It doesn't have druid spirits though.


    Sorry for typos. I'm on my phone. Noticed some but got tired of fighting my phones keyboard. OP if you're NA I can invite you to our discord. We love to talk about our classes and do casual theorycrafting.
    Last edited by PACOX; 2019-02-09 at 06:58 AM.

  5. #5
    My thanks for these well stated responses.

  6. #6
    On more thought, I believe I have figured what I want my class to do. Let's open this discussion up to any class then.

    For PvE and PvP.

    I do not believe I care much for Boons.

    I am looking to be Tanky, you're having a hard time killing me, and I am healing my friends, making it hard to kill them too.

    All the while dropping AoE DoT dmg.

    And being highly mobile if possible.

    Does this sound like anything in GW2 ?

  7. #7
    Well...what you're asking for is a bit of a gimpy build based off my knowledge, but you could roll with something akin to that on a Firebrand. I run a set with vit (life)/healing power (+heals)/condition dmg (plus DoT) and a sorta gimpy trait build for open world content and it works alright. Not going to crush any dps meters or be the best support/eat tons of damage, but it works as a hybrid build super well. Still does respectable damage, can still pump out heals in a pinch, can still temporarily tank without too many issues etc.

    You'll just have to adjust your secondary skills to give you more mobility, because what you're be talking about would likely be something like an axe/torch for your primary damage and then something with a shield (maybe mace or scepter depending on if you want a ranged damage option or more defensive/healing utility) for your second weapon set. That limits mobility (greatsword is the only weapon with meaningful mobility for guardians IIRC), but you do have a handful of secondary skills that teleport you to enemies/allies to do some healing/damage.

    I'm sure there are others that can likely do it better, but that's not too far a cry from what I roll with in open world content on my guardian. Albeit with much less mobility and a bit more of a focus on healing/support compared to tankiness.

  8. #8
    The Insane PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthon1312 View Post
    On more thought, I believe I have figured what I want my class to do. Let's open this discussion up to any class then.

    For PvE and PvP.

    I do not believe I care much for Boons.

    I am looking to be Tanky, you're having a hard time killing me, and I am healing my friends, making it hard to kill them too.

    All the while dropping AoE DoT dmg.

    And being highly mobile if possible.

    Does this sound like anything in GW2 ?
    Scourge, say bye to mobility though. Tempest works as well though squishy if you're not good at its active playstyle. Sadly it's a bit underpar in pvp compared to what the PoF specializations can do.

  9. #9
    Elemental Lord Poppincaps's Avatar
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    I typically play a Hunter/Archer archetype in games so I was looking at the Ranger, but it seems like the Elite Specialization for Path of Fire loses their pet and gains a buff? Do I have to? I'd prefer playing with a pet tbh. I also don't like healing so Druid is out of the question.

  10. #10
    The Insane PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poppincaps View Post
    I typically play a Hunter/Archer archetype in games so I was looking at the Ranger, but it seems like the Elite Specialization for Path of Fire loses their pet and gains a buff? Do I have to? I'd prefer playing with a pet tbh. I also don't like healing so Druid is out of the question.
    The buff you get from melding with your pet is pretty good. You will want to take advantage of it if you take the Soulbeast specialization. Doing so gives you a decent buff + a okay ability depending on the pet you had.

    If you are looking to do endgame instances you'll have to drop the archer archetype, kinda. The most ranged damage you'll be doing is with a shortbow. Longbow is great in openwold, pvp, and WvW though. You keep the pet too.

    Ranger is one of the most versatile classes in that all of its specializations and weapons have some place in the game.

  11. #11
    Learning more - it does seem that both Scourges and Chronos are more resilient than Guardians or Firebrands... Weird.

    Still - the Guardian seems to have fascinated me. I am leaning towards - 2H Hammer for Mobility, Stun, and Shielding - and Mace / Focus for healing and Shielding (Actually carrying a Shield does not seem to have as much defense and using the Block skill of a Focus - is this true ? )

    Does a character have to use an Elite Profession ? Staying a Guardian vs going Firebrand (Firebrands loose Virtues).

  12. #12
    The Insane PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthon1312 View Post
    Learning more - it does seem that both Scourges and Chronos are more resilient than Guardians or Firebrands... Weird.

    Still - the Guardian seems to have fascinated me. I am leaning towards - 2H Hammer for Mobility, Stun, and Shielding - and Mace / Focus for healing and Shielding (Actually carrying a Shield does not seem to have as much defense and using the Block skill of a Focus - is this true ? )

    Does a character have to use an Elite Profession? Staying a Guardian vs going Firebrand (Firebrands loose Virtues).
    Firebrand doesn't lose its Virtue passives.

    it does seem that both Scourges and Chronos are more resilient than Guardians or Firebrands... Weird.
    Guardian has the lowest base HP in the game. Shared with Elementalist I believe.
    No you don't have to use an Elite spec if you don't want to. Base Guardian does good DPS, trash support though.

    Still - the Guardian seems to have fascinated me. I am leaning towards - 2H Hammer for Mobility, Stun, and Shielding - and Mace / Focus for healing and Shielding (Actually carrying a Shield does not seem to have as much defense and using the Block skill of a Focus - is this true ? )
    Focus vs Shield. It kinds of depends. Focus is viewed as more selfish for sure. Shield gives you Aegis (block) and Protection (-33% incoming damage) to you and your ever 20 sec. It also gives you a reflect (very important) and heals if traited (Pure of Heart in the Honor tree). Focus gives you 4 sec invul every 35 sec.

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