Character Movement Differentials in Guild Wars 2 WvW


In Guild Wars 2 World PVP, aka WvW, I’ve experienced a dynamic that I haven’t seen since 2005 when I played KnightOnline – significant differentials in character run speed and “burst” distance traversal.

What reinforces these movement differentials? Three factors:

  1. There are no mounts in the game, so there is no equalizer in terms of covering ground over distances
  2. Some classes can spec for significant burst distance traversal capabilities
  3. Some classes have stronger swiftness boon mechanics or other run speed buffs

In a game with mounts, players have much greater control over where and when they engage. If you see an enemy zerg coming, you can ride the other way, and they won’t catch you unless you maneuver into a dead-end.

The Thief and Elementalist classes seem to have the most attractive means of acquiring burst distance traversal without onerous tradeoffs – the Thief via Shortbow and Elementalist via offhand Dagger. With a Shortbow, a Thief can teleport up to two times, including traversing z-axis, which means they can port to locations that make catching them difficult. Elementalist with offhand Dagger can cast Ride the Lightning, which covers a range of 1200 very quickly with no cast time and a short cooldown of 15 sec. Elementalist also has a teleport via the Lightning Flash cantrip which can traverse z-axis. These are great tools in-combat and out-of-combat.

I’ve been very impressed with the roaming effectiveness of Sceptre/Dagger for Elementalist, after spending many hours grouped with a player named Melanin on Blackgate. Staff certainly has its place, especially in ranged standoff and keep fights, but for roaming, Sceptre/Dagger rocks.

There are ways to boost the run speed or burst distance traversal of other classes, but they tend to require more meaningful tradeoffs. The longer I’ve played my Warrior in WvW, the more uncomfortable I feel when not running with a Sword (or Greatsword) and the Mobile Strikes trait equipped, which enables abilities that provide movement to break immobilize. Granted, is partially due to how much I enjoy World PVP when roaming with a small group or solo.

However, that brings me to the larger point. If you play a spec or class with limited run speed mechanics and limited burst distance traversal, here are the issues that you’ll face:

  • You won’t be able to create a gap and escape when you want to
  • You won’t be able to catch an opponent who can out-gap you

In other words, you’re dependent on someone else to help you manage those situations, or you’ll be run over or left in the dust. Players tend to clump together into zergs in WvW moreso than I’ve seen in other games, and I believe the movement differentials are one of the influencing factors.

As a last note, the swiftness boon is valuable, but it doesn’t help when immobilized / crippled / chilled. In my opinion, burst distance traversal provides far more mobility than a run buff during a fight.

Do you think the character movement differentials are good for the game? If not, what would your solution(s) look like?

Follow Me

Twitter: @taugrim
YouTube: http://youtube.com/taugrimtv
Facebook: http://facebook.com/taugrim

About these ads
Posted in Elementalist, Game Design, Guild Wars 2, PVP, Thief, Warrior
68 comments on “Character Movement Differentials in Guild Wars 2 WvW
  1. z.j. Hendryx says:

    I can’t really speak for Ele, but I think for Thief it’s all part of the class balance.
    A Thief doesn’t really have the survivability advantages of many other classes – and to my mind has always been more about quickly getting in & out of combat (and around the battlefield) in order to try and pick off members of the other team where opportunities show.
    Other things to note are that a Shortbow is certainly not one of the best Thief weapons, so in order to get ‘burst’ speed their, they’re giving up a weapon selection to get it. Shortbow in my view is a weapon used best on a Thief to try and keep them away from a group while applying a small amount of AOE arrow pressure.
    Also while I’ve not played my Thief for a while, I thought the ‘burst’ with the bow still obeyed the rule of shadowstepping – as in you can only use it to go where you could run to (without jumping)?

    • taugrim says:

      z.j. Hendryx :

      I can’t really speak for Ele, but I think for Thief it’s all part of the class balance.
      A Thief doesn’t really have the survivability advantages of many other classes – and to my mind has always been more about quickly getting in & out of combat (and around the battlefield) in order to try and pick off members of the other team where opportunities show.

      If you factor in Stealth, I’d actually argue that Thief has the highest degree of escapability of any class.

      Not flat-out durability per se. But I think both factor into survivability.

      z.j. Hendryx :

      Other things to note are that a Shortbow is certainly not one of the best Thief weapons, so in order to get ‘burst’ speed their, they’re giving up a weapon selection to get it. Shortbow in my view is a weapon used best on a Thief to try and keep them away from a group while applying a small amount of AOE arrow pressure.

      Understood, but having a ranged weapon provides some value in WvW.

      z.j. Hendryx :

      Also while I’ve not played my Thief for a while, I thought the ‘burst’ with the bow still obeyed the rule of shadowstepping – as in you can only use it to go where you could run to (without jumping)?

      I’d assume you’re right, but being able to port up a cliff is faster than having to run the switchbacks.

    • Simon says:

      In WvW, the thief is simply a terribly designed class, it has the best surviabilty in the game, because stealth + mobilty in an open world enviroment > toughness/HP/defence, especially as it scales aginst groups. Thief also has very good condition removal.

      On my thief I can open a fight on my terms, if I muck up I can escape 90% of the time, the level of risk vs reward is completely off on my thief compared to other classes, which is why you will see so many glass cannon thieves, too little risk.

      The differences in character movement, specifically the gap openers is terrible unbalanced, design, letting a couple of classes (Ele/thief) get away with very little risk, but then I shouldn’t be surprised, most fo the game is very poorly thought through, which has why PvP has largely bombed and they are turning the rest of the game into Hello Kitty Online.

      • Bill says:

        Totally agree. On my D/D Ele I don’t shy away from attacking any sized group since I know 90% of the time I can get away too. Thieves are the only class I’m afraid to go up against 1v1 on. I usually just run from them. On my Ele I need the fight long and drawn out to capitalize on my boons and healing, whereas the thief is looking to finish the fight with as big of a burst as possible. I either die in the initial burst or survive it and can’t find them due to stealth.

  2. As a D/D Ele, I have 10 points in Air for the swiftness boon stack, really handy. Shame the “have daggers equipped” doesn`t work though.
    As for Thief, with their new speed buff of 50%, they`re almost impossible to catch, at least the good ones.
    Most prof` have speed now, it`s been tricky catching some of them & I`ve seen others go flying past me at times lol

    • Yamirashi says:

      Fish Bait (@FishBaitism) :
      As a D/D Ele, I have 10 points in Air for the swiftness boon stack, really handy. Shame the “have daggers equipped” doesn`t work though.
      As for Thief, with their new speed buff of 50%, they`re almost impossible to catch, at least the good ones.
      Most prof` have speed now, it`s been tricky catching some of them & I`ve seen others go flying past me at times lol

      Just to make sure its understood. the 50% was an increase to traited stealth movement. Was increased from 33%. The signet is still 25% which every other class who had a 10% movement signet was increased to match as well.

  3. Scott Poet says:

    Honestly the thing I instantly missed most playing GW2 after coming from SWTOR was the out of combat sprint.

    It might have only saved a couple seconds in pvp, but it felt good.

  4. I think part of this issue comes down to the fact that WvW was never supposed to be completely balanced to begin with and was almost designed with the assumption that majority of the time you would at least be with a small group, gaining some of the group buffs and advantages from them.

    Secondly though, I think a big part of the issue with zerging has to do with the current meta of WvW. When most players capture a keep they grab what supplies they need, maybe start upgrades on it, but then move on with the zerg and generally only return if that keep/capture point is in imminent danger. Because there is no real reason to leave more than 3 or so people behind, except to scout, it leads to more zerging. Which then ultimately leads to smaller groups of players feeling that they HAVE to take mobility builds in order to not get literally run over.
    I feel that if Arenanet implemented more reason for players to stay at keeps and defend them, rather than always sticking with the zerg, we would start to see less zerging and more reason for players to build in “tower defense/combat” type builds. As well as other viable tactics in WvW in general.

    Maybe make the neutral NPC mobs on the map more threatening. Make them attack the keeps in force as well, so that you have no choice but to leave some people to defend it possibly? Not having several huge zergs to worry about will hopefully lead to small, more varied, strike teams being able to take towers without fear of being trampled.

    Even if these implementations help tone the zerging down a bit, there will always be those instances where you need a huge group of players to take something. Which is fine as long as other tactics are still viable.
    In order to alleviate large groups feeling as though they need to have a mobility build or rely on someone else for movement speed, I think Arenanet could add some form of multiperson siege transportation for moving groups around at a decent pace, while still allowing some protection. This would allow players to move together effectively and have a variety different builds in the group at their disposal once they reach their destination. The time it take to get in/out of a siege tank might give small groups enough time to retreat in the opposite direction, as opposed to just outrunning the fast moving zerg that just mows you down

    I mean there are siege tanks just sitting in the Black Citadel that the Charr aren’t using currently. Put them to good use :).

    Just some of my thoughts. It’s really hard to know if any of these would work necessarily until tested, but I feel like it most of these issues appear from the current amount of zerging we see. Which in turn comes from the current meta of WvW, but it sounds like Arenanet wants to improve this as well.

    • Jae Sun says:

      Two of my ideas to reduce zerging:
      1. Implement point increases the longer an objective is held. Not a lot, but say 1 additional pt per tick for every hour a tower is held (or even two hours…start small). This would make the towers that have not been flipped since reset extremely valuable both to defend and to attack. Some visible denotation on the map of bonus pts would be useful.
      2. Make resurrecting a defeated (not downed) player only available out of combat. The current mechanic means that the bigger zerg almost always wins outside of tower/keep defense. More resurrectors=win.

      • taugrim says:

        Jae Sun :

        Two of my ideas to reduce zerging:
        1. Implement point increases the longer an objective is held. Not a lot, but say 1 additional pt per tick for every hour a tower is held (or even two hours…start small). This would make the towers that have not been flipped since reset extremely valuable both to defend and to attack. Some visible denotation on the map of bonus pts would be useful.
        2. Make resurrecting a defeated (not downed) player only available out of combat. The current mechanic means that the bigger zerg almost always wins outside of tower/keep defense. More resurrectors=win.

        Love both of these ideas.

      • daniel4ing says:

        Love the first idea The second idea, as you know, is a bit 50/50 for me :)

    • taugrim says:

      Corey Crimzen Jenkins :

      Secondly though, I think a big part of the issue with zerging has to do with the current meta of WvW. When most players capture a keep they grab what supplies they need, maybe start upgrades on it, but then move on with the zerg and generally only return if that keep/capture point is in imminent danger. Because there is no real reason to leave more than 3 or so people behind, except to scout, it leads to more zerging. Which then ultimately leads to smaller groups of players feeling that they HAVE to take mobility builds in order to not get literally run over.

      Agreed.

      There should be more rewards for holding on to objectives, otherwise you can get “musical chairs” where servers are flipping different objectives on the map for reward currency and avoiding each other.

      Corey Crimzen Jenkins :

      I feel that if Arenanet implemented more reason for players to stay at keeps and defend them, rather than always sticking with the zerg, we would start to see less zerging and more reason for players to build in “tower defense/combat” type builds. As well as other viable tactics in WvW in general.

      Exactly.

      Corey Crimzen Jenkins :

      Even if these implementations help tone the zerging down a bit, there will always be those instances where you need a huge group of players to take something. Which is fine as long as other tactics are still viable.

      I’m totally with you.

      There’s a belief among some players that WvW should be zergy, but I think that small group as well as mass combat should have it’s place.

  5. Som3 says:

    As far as “Porting up cliff”. Is it possible ?
    Whenever i try to jump up a cliff or from cliff to cliff (both accessible) it fails.
    I think it only walks if you can access something in a straight line without jumping.
    So there I jumped away why do you charge me ?

    • Yamirashi says:

      You can’t just portal to the top of a cliff, but with practice and trial and error you can learn lots of places where you can “shortcut” rather than run all the way around. Any of the zig-zag paths on cliff sides would be a great place to start experimenting.

  6. Yamirashi says:

    I played a thief for a while here, he was my main. The mobility and elusiveness of thieves are a trade off thing. I have switched to Guardian now for better group play and while I have no where near the mobility, I stay alive much easier. Yes thieves are INCREDIBLY hard to catch when played well, but if you do catch them, and it is possible, then they are basically dead.

    If this mobility was what won or lost a game in WvW I would think it was a problem. I know my guild mates usually get bent out of shape because a lone thief was hitting something and they came in to stop him and he just got away. Why are you upset? I get that you didn’t kill him, but you have effectively stopped him from doing what he was trying to do. A thief gets away from your group its not he end of the WvW world or match.

    As much as we hate to admit it, killing other players is not the primary objective of WvW. It is a secondary objective that is only a necessity when it is required in order to accomplish the primary objective, capturing and holding points.

    • Yamirashi says:

      And while I know that I enjoyed being a “scout” on my thief and people may think they need to be able to catch and kill them easier to stop their scouting, there is a much larger issue at play there. Nothing is more effective than a suicide run by any class for scouting. Once that player is dead on the ground they can keep eyes on everything happening in that area and you cannot in any way force them to leave.. That is much more game breaking than a thief being able to escape you killing him.

      • Sho'Nuff says:

        Lol! The Suicide scout is a great point! How many times have we done this without thinking about it…..

        “Don’t bother rez-ing me! Keep pushing and I’ll tell you when they are coming!”

      • Jae Sun says:

        I agree the suicide scout needs to be fixed. Something like a one minute auto-spawn or a screen that fades to black over the course of a minute or 30 seconds.

        • taugrim says:

          Jae Sun :

          I agree the suicide scout needs to be fixed. Something like a one minute auto-spawn or a screen that fades to black over the course of a minute or 30 seconds.

          That, or a fog-of-war type thing.

          When you “died” in LOTRO the screen got darker and fuzzy.

  7. Wotah says:

    As a Warrior it’s not too bad. I play Sword/Warhorn and Hammer. I have warhorn speed, Signet of Rage speed. I also have two gap closers with sword 2 ability and bullrush. Or with no target it’s a great catch up or get-a-way. You also get the Hammer Earthshaker that can be used in man ways to get you away or into combat.

    Also Warhorn speed buff breaks cripple/chilled/immobilzed.

    • taugrim says:

      Wotah :

      As a Warrior it’s not too bad. I play Sword/Warhorn and Hammer. I have warhorn speed, Signet of Rage speed. I also have two gap closers with sword 2 ability and bullrush. Or with no target it’s a great catch up or get-a-way. You also get the Hammer Earthshaker that can be used in man ways to get you away or into combat.

      Also Warhorn speed buff breaks cripple/chilled/immobilzed.

      I sometimes run those weapon sets too.

      I have a really hard time not running Sword / Warhorn with Mobile Strikes for one weapon set. Mobility without them is noticeably poorer. But it’s one of the weakest weapon sets for offense – limited direct damage, only 1 type of condition damage, and no CC.

      Then it comes down to Hammer or Rifle.

      • Wotah says:

        I usually run with my guild, maybe 10 of us, so we run small strike teams. With the gap closers I don’t run with a rifle/longbow at all. If I need it in certain circumstances I get out of combat long enough to change it out.

  8. Jeff says:

    I have an 80 s/d elementalist and a lvl 53 warrior (rifle/hammer). I’m casual, but almost exclusively WvW now.

    I do see exactly what you are saying – my elementalist is very much in-control of his fate, engaging and disengaging almost at whim. Only thieves are more survivable. My warrior can stand up in the line better, but if things don’t go our way he is basically dead unless he’s endure pain-distance from a safe spot.

    Having said that, my warrior gets more marks. I think that’s because he can stand up under fire better, and thus can get more damage in. My elementalist has to hit fast and run, and while I get a lot of kills, the marks don’t flow. (aside – my elementalist is more than 50% exotics, so i don’t think it’s really a gear issue here)

    I’m very impressed with the trade-off in my case. My warrior is line-meat, getting the job done under fire. My elementalist is light-cavalry, running down stragglers, intercepting people before they get into the keep.

    So yes, I think the movement differentials are really smart, adding dimension to the game and creating different roles than the traditional holy trinity.

    (P.S. Thieves are OP’ed in WvW, simple as that. Great mobility, great single-target damage, and the best survivability in the game. They have no risk, only reward.)

    • taugrim says:

      Jeff :

      I have an 80 s/d elementalist and a lvl 53 warrior (rifle/hammer). I’m casual, but almost exclusively WvW now.

      Yea, since hitting 80 I’ve been spending 99% of my time in WvW too.

      Jeff :

      I do see exactly what you are saying – my elementalist is very much in-control of his fate, engaging and disengaging almost at whim. Only thieves are more survivable. My warrior can stand up in the line better, but if things don’t go our way he is basically dead unless he’s endure pain-distance from a safe spot.

      Having said that, my warrior gets more marks. I think that’s because he can stand up under fire better, and thus can get more damage in. My elementalist has to hit fast and run, and while I get a lot of kills, the marks don’t flow. (aside – my elementalist is more than 50% exotics, so i don’t think it’s really a gear issue here)

      You mean you badge-farm faster with Warrior?

      Warriors work really well in groups, especially with their high burst potential. I can see farming more badges on a Warrior in a group or zerg context, partly because you can ensure that people are getting to downed state fairly quickly.

      Jeff :

      I’m very impressed with the trade-off in my case. My warrior is line-meat, getting the job done under fire. My elementalist is light-cavalry, running down stragglers, intercepting people before they get into the keep.

      Which stats are you focusing on for your Ele?

      I’m wondering how much DPS a D/D Ele stacking Pow/Tou/Vit can crank out They have a lot of AOE options.

      • Jeff says:

        I’m a parent with little time right now – I get 30 mins, login, point myself to the nearest crossed swords, and play until the little one grabs my leg in RL. :-)

        What I’m saying is that in that time, I earn more badges with my warrior. For my elementalist, i’ve been trying signets, using signet of earth and water to catch stragglers so the zerg can consume…with earth having the nice side-effect of holding people so I can drop a dragon’s tooth on them (which is really hard to do in WvW).

        My ele’s stats aren’t there yet. I’ve determined that toughness is more important than vitality, and that I’m not interested in a condition damage build (which can work, it’s just not the play style I want), so eventually I will be stacking power & toughness as I can, with precision and vitality second. But first I need to get in a full suit of exotics, then start tweaking it. After that, I think I will try D/D, which I used before and like a lot.

        Btw, with warrior i use signet of rage to keep up with the pack. Between that and mesmer/guardian/ranger buffs I do fine usually. But I’m doomed alone – I can’t pick the encounter, and can’t get away. As long as I”m with the pack, I’m fine, though. If someone is dumb enough to single me out in the pack, I can control them and evade long enough for the pack to notice and consume them.

  9. random1234 says:

    Hey Taugrim,

    I agree its a consideration/potential issue. I enjoy solo/small group play more then “zergs”, and for me that means mobility is a must in any build. And I agree that obtaining mobility is easier on some professions/builds then others which is an issue. Mobility (and stealth) is one of the primary reasons you see so many d/d eles and thieves these days. In WvW mobility = survival. I haven’t put much thought into fixes/solutions but imo it puts the risk/reward ratio for certain professions(&builds) above others in wvw. For example on average outcomes for engagements on my more mobile professions (thief/ele) are I win, or I run/reset, whereas on my less mobile professions its more like I win or I’m stomped. <—that is an issue imo (hoping I was semi coherent in my point)

    • taugrim says:

      random1234 :

      Hey Taugrim,

      I agree its a consideration/potential issue. I enjoy solo/small group play more then “zergs”, and for me that means mobility is a must in any build. And I agree that obtaining mobility is easier on some professions/builds then others which is an issue. Mobility (and stealth) is one of the primary reasons you see so many d/d eles and thieves these days. In WvW mobility = survival. I haven’t put much thought into fixes/solutions but imo it puts the risk/reward ratio for certain professions(&builds) above others in wvw. For example on average outcomes for engagements on my more mobile professions (thief/ele) are I win, or I run/reset, whereas on my less mobile professions its more like I win or I’m stomped. <—that is an issue imo (hoping I was semi coherent in my point)

      Your perspective on this aligns with mine – and I agree high mobility is why we see d/d eles and thieves in WvW.

      The ability to run/reset if things aren’t going well is really powerful.

      I’ve been thinking of rolling Hammer “Altruistic Healing” Guardian or D/D Ele – both seem interesting and very different from my Warrior.

  10. taugrim says:

    Some interesting comments over on Facebook about this article:

    Wish there was some convenient way to combine the comment feeds from different social media sites.

    • daniel4ing says:

      Hosting wordpress on your own server has those options for sure, but since you’re using wordpress.com I think your options are a bit more limited :(

  11. [...] Taugrim’s MMO Blog — Character Movement Differentials in Guild Wars 2 WvW. “In Guild Wars 2 World PVP, aka WvW, I’ve experienced a dynamic that I haven’t seen since 2005 when I played KnightOnline – significant differentials in character run speed and “burst” distance traversal.” [...]

  12. EucridEucrow says:

    z.j. Hendryx :
    Also while I’ve not played my Thief for a while, I thought the ‘burst’ with the bow still obeyed the rule of shadowstepping – as in you can only use it to go where you could run to (without jumping)?

    Check this guy out:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/pigiaduroitastini/videos?view=0

    He is the best thief player as far as movement I’ve yet seen on youtube and one of the best pvpers I’ve yet seen on youtube with thief. He does some crazy stuff with bow port and utility ports. The vids are a bit old so there may be some port loopholes that have been closed since but my favorite is the bow port into top of Clock Tower by targeting the outside wall of the building which ports you through the wall if you do it right. That one blew my mind when I first saw it.

  13. I personnaly wouldn`t play a thief in WvW if I didnt have the mobility advantage. I know you don’t play a thief but i’m sure you have an understandig of the class. If that advantage was taken away do you think the thief would be viable in WvW? I think thieves are the best roamers and scouts and as such are usefull. Take that away and you have a very squishy class with poor range dps, terrible aoe dps, horible sustained dps admittedly close to overpowered burst damage if you can get close enough without getting blown up. It’s just my opinon but I think if the playing field of mobility was even there would be very few thievs in WvW. Your thoughts?

    • taugrim says:

      Paul Strowger :

      If that advantage was taken away do you think the thief would be viable in WvW? I think thieves are the best roamers and scouts and as such are usefull.

      Thieves are the best roamers and scouts based on how the mechanics work, but I’m not sure that was the intent. Many Rangers on the forums have expressed their disappointment that Thief is a better scout than they are, as that role would seem to fit into their archetype.

      One thing which I intentionally did *not* mention in my article are the current Stealth mechanics. My impression was that AN was trying to prevent the Rogue in GW2 from having the same issue in other games – too strong when stealth cooldowns are available, but not strong enough when they aren’t – but what they’ve landed on now is a class that seems to have more stealth capability than what most players were expecting.

      Paul Strowger :

      It’s just my opinon but I think if the playing field of mobility was even there would be very few thievs in WvW. Your thoughts?

      Well, to flip your question on its head, why are there so many Thiefs in WvW now?

      These two capabilities – mobility and stealth – give Thief a pretty significant advantage from a mechanics standpoint in WvW.

      If the movement were balanced and stealth were left as-is, would that make Thief still viable? That’s the big question.

      • daniel4ing says:

        The issue is mainly the rendering of thieves and some of the bugs that allow them to be somewhat perma stealthed.

        I also think that things will change a lot when the debuff on when you can stealth again gets a slight increase.

        The cloak and dagger queue with steal and mug is a pretty annoying and this is coming from somebody who plays a thief.

      • They have the best *in-combat* stealth options than another other stealth class from any other game in MMORPG history.

  14. To comment on Zerging. I think, and again just my opinion on my experience on my server, it is more to do with avoiding individual accountability (if you are in the zerg no one will know if you are good or bad) and easy farming (2 zergs chasing each other round the map flipping points for karma etc) than fear of being out run or out manovered.

    • taugrim says:

      Paul Strowger :

      To comment on Zerging. I think, and again just my opinion on my experience on my server, it is more to do with avoiding individual accountability (if you are in the zerg no one will know if you are good or bad) and easy farming (2 zergs chasing each other round the map flipping points for karma etc) than fear of being out run or out manovered.

      Here’s a quote from a guy I was guilded with back in WAR, who I know to be a competent player:

      Gloridian:

      yeah. actually on my guardian, gloridian, i run into that situation almost all the time. a thief or ele will try to 1v1, then if i gain the upper hand, they will run away. even though ill have staff for swiftness buff and retreat/save yourself shouts they still manage to get away. its defiantely a game issue, thats most of the reason why ill run with a group

      I’ve heard a lot of other competent players say the same thing.

    • daniel4ing says:

      My experience has been somewhat different, we run with a small group and we take on much larger groups with ease. Mainly because we play really aggressive and cover each other quite well. A lot of players in a zerg run with cookie cutter/berserker type builds and when you make people aware that you’re not scared, they’ll scatter really quickly. We’ve also been making it a habbit of looking for commanders and taking those down first.

      I see zerging as something people do when they’re not confident in their own class and playstyle while also just being limited to a ‘few’ hours a day. It’s those people who go to forums and ask for builds and it doesn’t help that a lot of players just give ‘their build’ as the answer.

  15. Bill says:

    I have both an 80 guardian (hammer/gs) and an 80 elementalist (d/d). I almost exclusively WvW and have since pre-launch. I much prefer my elementatlist to the guardian but it’s probably a matter of play style. I prefer to roam and scout. The elementalist is awesome at getting away from groups and great at 1 or 2 v 1. I’m not the greatest pvper and I’ve been hoping you would do one of my professions so I could see how to improve.

    On my guardian I want to play a front line tanky type position but I find I lack mobility in battle and seem to die frequently. I’m sure this has to do with the way I’m playing or the stats I’m in (I’ve read lots and lots on the forums). I may spend this week’s match up trying to get back on him to figure it out. I’ve seen a few of our commanders play guardian effectively. Then again, there’s a lot of qq on the forums about the profession in WvW.

    On my elementatlist I can almost always get away when I want. If I’m not in the middle of the enemy zerg to start no one can catch me. The small space I have when scouting and realize it’s a zerg is enough to out distance the thieves and eles in the zerg. Disregard the other classes who say they can catch up, it never happens. On the flip side catching up with runners is super fun on an ele. Unless it’s a thief or another ele I will catch them. It might take me half a map to do it, but I will catch them. It’s also a fun class to play since the combat style is very movement based. I’m constantly moving and rotating through every ability – 4 attunements x 5 skills – and it does take practice. I hardly ever switch to staff and I only switch to D/F when I need to guard siege from other siege (air focus 4 ability).

    • taugrim says:

      Bill :

      I much prefer my elementatlist to the guardian but it’s probably a matter of play style. I prefer to roam and scout. The elementalist is awesome at getting away from groups and great at 1 or 2 v 1. I’m not the greatest pvper and I’ve been hoping you would do one of my professions so I could see how to improve.

      It’s not just the playstyle IMO.

      I rolled an Elementalist as D/D and up to level 12 the ability to cover ground and move around in combat is very addictive. Speed = fun.

      Bill :

      I’m not the greatest pvper and I’ve been hoping you would do one of my professions so I could see how to improve.

      daphoenix has written a kick-ass D/D Ele guide and posted amazing videos:

      https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/elementalist/Guide-Mastering-the-D-D-ele-12-20-12

      • EucridEucrow says:

        Thanks for video link but uggh, can’t stand the overproduced, bombastic nonsense. Too bad. Would have liked to have seen some good footage but that kind of stuff makes my head ache.

  16. Valkyriez says:

    Taugrimm,
    Not doing any sPvP anymore?

  17. Guild Wars Review Character…

    [...] groups around at a decent pace, while still allowing some protection. This would [...]…

  18. Aaron says:

    This subject has caused me some amount of annoyance when trying out different builds. If you don’t have a run speed buff either through traits, utility, weapon skill or gear, you’re just a sitting duck. There’s some builds that I really like out there for my Mesmer and Guardian, but I’m forced to either run with the zerg or slowly make my way to where I want to go while being an easy target for an Ele or Thief that can just get away if things go my way. So, it’s almost a requirement to gimp some builds just to have a chance to get from point a to point b. My Mesmer, for instance, was running Centaur runes for a while (I’d have gone air, but I’m a pauper). Far better runes out there for him but travel was glacial.

    I think they need to normalize movement somehow. I’m not saying take away something from other classes, but at least give some way to get 25% speed run for all. Maybe a consumable?

    • Jeff says:

      Guild banners can give a run buff. Some smart people on my server put those at regular intervals between supply and keep.

    • Veretta says:

      I don’t run with extra speed buffs on either my warrior or my thief. Sure, the warrior gains a swiftness when activating the elite skill but I mainly use that for the might and fury when I need to bash people. Once I start swinging, nothing will get away.

      We do a lot of small group pvp and solo pvp, I really don’t feel the need to pick ‘speed buffs’ to keep up with the enemy and gimp my build.

      If they come to fight, then I’ll whack ‘m but if they want to run away, then is it really worth the time to follow them and get frustrated? Ed has run with us quite a lot these last few months, we mainly put ourselves in places where you can only really fight. Placement is key, also flanking and looking for the shortest routes will allow you to catch a lot of players.

      Another thing I’ve noticed is that most people won’t even bother with crowd control abilities. Which normally means that players can just run away and escape.

      • Aaron says:

        I’ve tried to turtle around solo on my Mesmer and it’s frustrating. I don’t know how you do it. When a zerg or even a group is on me and I need to get away or when I’ve slogged my way to one side of the map only to get run over… How do you deal with all that? Just pay the repair bill and take the 20 minutes to get back to where the action is? Bleh.

        • Melanin, the elementalist mentioned in the post, is part of my crew and maybe it’s just the way we’ve got our group set up. We normally run with 3-5 people and we play really aggressive in enemy territory. We will get caught in bad places but that’s mainly when an enemy zerg gets stomped but that stuff actually doesn’t happen that much.

          We actually met another elementalist, like Melanin, through Taugrim called Dwizzle. When those 2 guys link up, we can actually take down groups of 10 easily with just the 3 of us. It’s not so much the mobility that is the issue but the fact we crown control every single target for long periods of time but calling who is flipping what and where.

          I do feel elementalists are the key to our roaming success though since they’re the class that can switch role to whatever the fight needs and that is what balances us out.

          The rest of our group has different roles, like… I’m the setup guy. Melanin is the guy who covers the conditions, protection, heals and that little bit of extra damage to burst somebody down.

          Solo roaming is just tough because it’s not really designed for it but if you want to do that then aim for sentries in eternal battleground and just keep checking on the map on where the orange swords are going.

          And just keep moving because after you kill something, they will call guildmembers or people in the area for help : )

          Taugrim didn’t link it but you can see us play on Melanin’s youtube channel, http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5yg7_NC9mIt5v5HhKmhUqw :)

      • taugrim says:

        Veretta :

        I don’t run with extra speed buffs on either my warrior or my thief. Sure, the warrior gains a swiftness when activating the elite skill but I mainly use that for the might and fury when I need to bash people. Once I start swinging, nothing will get away.

        For me when running in a small group the issue is moreso about being able to withdraw when needed.

        If it’s even-odds or we outnumber the other side, the movement differentials is not so much an issue.

        But when the enemy zerg is coming, if you don’t have some movement-related capability you’ll get run over.

        Veretta :

        We do a lot of small group pvp and solo pvp, I really don’t feel the need to pick ‘speed buffs’ to keep up with the enemy and gimp my build.

        If they come to fight, then I’ll whack ‘m but if they want to run away, then is it really worth the time to follow them and get frustrated? Ed has run with us quite a lot these last few months, we mainly put ourselves in places where you can only really fight. Placement is key, also flanking and looking for the shortest routes will allow you to catch a lot of players.

        It depends partly on the comp.

        E.g. when we are grouped, I’m running Warhorn and AOE conditional removal, so my group mates are going to have higher mobility than when I am not around. You also as you noted in a later comment run with 1-2 Ele’s with offhand Dagger, and they make up for other friendlies not having as much mobility by being able to run down targets and such.

    • taugrim says:

      Aaron :

      This subject has caused me some amount of annoyance when trying out different builds. If you don’t have a run speed buff either through traits, utility, weapon skill or gear, you’re just a sitting duck. There’s some builds that I really like out there for my Mesmer and Guardian, but I’m forced to either run with the zerg or slowly make my way to where I want to go while being an easy target for an Ele or Thief that can just get away if things go my way. So, it’s almost a requirement to gimp some builds just to have a chance to get from point a to point b. My Mesmer, for instance, was running Centaur runes for a while (I’d have gone air, but I’m a pauper). Far better runes out there for him but travel was glacial.

      Exactly.

      You’ve brought up a great point re: runes – while there’s a large menu of choices, for certain classes (i.e. not offhand Dagger Ele, not Shortbow Thief), you have to run Centaur or simply be too slow to get around.

      Aaron :

      I think they need to normalize movement somehow. I’m not saying take away something from other classes, but at least give some way to get 25% speed run for all. Maybe a consumable?

      I think part of the problem is that classes have various means of acquiring run speed buffs or burst traversal, and the options across classes are not equal in terms of the tradeoffs.

      One design idea to just throw out there would be to move character speed into a separate shared traitline or utility slot, so that everyone has the same decision point to make as anyone else.

    • There are 15% speed boosts that you can get from Black Lion Chests that you can use in WvW, but that is playing the lottery game. The buffs last an hour and persist through death. It doesnt seem that you can purchase them directly from the store, and since getting them from chests is random… you’d have to drop a lot of coin on keys.

      If you are playing a low mobility class just try to get a friend who can give you group mobility. You don’t have to zerg, but you’ll have to at least duo (unless you don’t mind getting run down by enemy zergs).

  19. Aaron says:

    Oh, and never mind trying to get to an event to get my dailies done…

  20. So uuuuuh… I’m trying to party up w/ this TaugrimTheEle™ guy and go kill some people! HappyHolidays™ hope to link up soon.

    Personally playing a S/D Ele, I’ve been telling people it’s the speed that keeps me from playing other classes cept for maybe a Thief & Warrior cause they all seem “slow” to me. Ironically, I play my Ele like a Thief & Warrior combined so I don’t really have an incentive to play either one of those…

    RideTheLightning™ ftw. BLITZKRIEG!#!#%

    • taugrim says:

      MadSpin (Melanin) :

      So uuuuuh… I’m trying to party up w/ this TaugrimTheEle™ guy and go kill some people! HappyHolidays™ hope to link up soon.

      Got work to do, Ele is level 12 :D

      I’m going to try to get to 30 before I start doing some WvW on my Ele.

      MadSpin (Melanin) :

      Personally playing a S/D Ele, I’ve been telling people it’s the speed that keeps me from playing other classes cept for maybe a Thief & Warrior cause they all seem “slow” to me. Ironically, I play my Ele like a Thief & Warrior combined so I don’t really have an incentive to play either one of those…

      RideTheLightning™ ftw. BLITZKRIEG!#!#%

      The speed is addictive. I’m very new on my Ele but really enjoying it.

      It’s a shame that I didn’t give D/D more of a look back in Beta.

      • Bill says:

        You should WvW now. I leveled to 80 on my ele almost exclusively in WvW. Throw a focus in the bag too. Air focus 4 to catch treb and cata shots is pretty fun. We had 3 eles protecting our tower for about 5 minutes from 3 trebs.

        The speed is addictive. It’s why I keep going back to my ele from my guardian. I was hoping you would do guardian so I could figure out what I was doing wrong.

        I almost gave up on my staff ele till I found daphoenix’s guides. Excellent stuff.

  21. Casey M. says:

    If I had to rank them, I’d probably rate them in this order, from most mobile to least mobile, though your mileage may vary (see what I did there?):

    1. Thief/Elementalist – tied for first, as both are HIGHLY mobile, Ele with off-hand dagger and general Lightning skills and swiftness uptime; and Thief with either Bow 5 or Dagger 2. I personally like Thief Dagger 2 for gaining quick ground. It’s instant (no projectile has to travel before the effect kicks in), more initiative-efficient, and you don’t have to aim it. Needless to say both classes also have passive movement speed buffs, as well.

    2. Warrior – This does admittedly depend on your spec and whether or not you have a warhorn. But if you spec for full boon duration traits (Tactics tree) with Water and Monk/Altruism runes, you can literally have a 1-button permanent swiftness with Signet of Rage, WITHOUT needing to equip a warhorn.

    3. Necromancer – Signet of the Locust for a passive overall speed boost. Spectral Walk/Warhorn 5 are the main swiftness sources. Good getting around speed, though once swiftness cooldowns wear off, you may find yourself lagging behind the pack a bit.

    4. Guardian – Usually has fairly decent swiftness uptime with “Retreat!”/”Save Yourselves!”. Not great, but it’s still 2 swiftness on-demand skills, though both are shouts. Guardians have trouble getting around fast, but that’s just a reality of the class since they’re generally tough to kill. Guardian at least has a Greatsword 3 charge.

    5. Ranger. Signet of the Hunt definitely helps, but it has no swiftness skills outside 1 or 2 specific pets (Eagle I believe) and Warhorn 5, which has a LONG 35 second cooldown for only 15 sec of swiftness.

    6. Mesmer. Seriously slow if traveling alone. Signet of Inspiration simply doesn’t cut it, even with the recent buff to make it active out-of-combat. And Chaos Storm is way too unreliable. Blink helps a bit, but it has a really long cooldown to use purely for getting around. Could be slow movement speed offsets the advantage of Portal when travelling in a group.

    7. Engineer. Elixir B. … … … Elixir B? That’s it? Seriously? For the love of God get those poor Engies some passive Signet or SOMETHING. 10-sec of Swiftness on a 40-sec cooldown is ridiculous. I don’t count the other elixirs because those are RANDOM, and are even less reliable than Chaos Storm. Engineers, you have my deepest sympathies.

    • Aaron says:

      Engineers can spec Speedy Kits with 10 points in Tools, which gives you swiftness on kit swap every 5 seconds with a 5 second cool down. So you can have 100% uptime on swiftness. It’s a little repetitive to do, but it’s there. They’re pretty well set on getting to where they want to go in a hurry, to be honest. Now what they do when they get there is a different argument for a different whine thread. ;)

      I’d change your list around a little to be honest, although obviously keeping Thief and Ele where they are. I’d put Ranger at 2 with Warrior, with their signet and GS leap (plus they have another couple of escape leaps with Sword and Shortbow), Engy at 3 with their Elixir B, number 5 on med kit, and kit swap along with a small leap on Rifle. Guardian at 4 because they have staff along with Retreat and Save Yourselves and a GS leap. Necro at 5 because their signet isn’t really great for a condition build (a build that is pretty awesome in wvw and pve. Blood is Power and Epidemic ftw and bags), but it’s still a 100% uptime 25% run speed buff when slotted. Then, last and imo least, the Mesmer. I have an 80 Mesmer and it’s an exercise in frustration trying to get anywhere without gimping an aspect of your build or weapon set up.

  22. Xihuitl says:

    Pretty much why i gave up on wvwvw on mu guardian. Cant escape, cant catch, always running at the back of the zerg unless i build entirely around speed, and even then its sub par.

    Speed is just too important in this kind of environment, having non-standard speeds totally messes up class balance amd enjoyment, why bother if i know that no matter what i do i wont get to kill that thief as they can always just cut and run..

Comments are closed.

Follow
Taugrim on Twitter Taugrim on Facebook Taugrim on Google Plus Taugrim on YouTube Taugrim on RSS

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 673 other followers

Post Categories
Archived Posts
Copyright © 2009-2014 taugrim.com
All rights reserved
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 673 other followers