My Progress in Guild Wars 2 and RL


If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, here’s a brief RL update:

  • No, I haven’t been trapped under something large and heavy
  • I’ve been leading two large online product initiatives for my client over the past 3.5 months as a contractor. Our group is understaffed at the moment and I’ve been carrying a heavy workload – each project is a near full-time job
  • The great news is that hard work has paid off: I’ve received and accepted a full-time employment offer as a senior product manager. The group I’m joining has talented people who are enjoyable to work with. I’m transitioning over the next month, and I hope that my work hours will come down to more sustainable levels :)

Here’s where I am in GW2:

  • My Warrior is level 33, and my Mesmer is level 11
  • My Glory Rank is 20
  • I’ve played 385 sPvP games and 98 tournament games
  • I’ve been refining the 3 specs for Warrior and 1 spec for Mesmer for which I’ve written Guides

What has been awesome about GW2 is how flexible it has been in terms of accommodating my RL schedule. With most games, there’s pressure to level to endgame ASAP, because that’s where the meaningful content is. However, with GW2 horizontal scaling in Structured PVP, I can roll a new class and in 15 minutes be participating in level 80 PVP.

Back in Beta I was really excited about playing WvW and expected to be doing it a lot, but most of my playtime was spent hanging out in the Mists and doing Structured PVP, because those are the contexts that provide the best environment for testing specs and game mechanics and sPvP aligns with my recent limited free time. I’ve been running my Hammer Gun” Warrior build, and it’s been the most enjoyable Warrior spec for me, as it delivers sustained CC and solid DPS.

I realized that I was never going to meaningfully experience WvW until I committed to leveling a character, at least to 30+. So the question was, which class to level first? The two classes I’ve played the most are Warrior and Mesmer. Back in Beta, I wasn’t interested in playing Mesmer, but readers voted for it, so I tried it and found it highly entertaining to play. I love Warrior and Mesmer for different reasons. For leveling, I decided to go with Warrior, because the class offers a greater variety of specs and therefore seemed like a lower risk in terms of long-term enjoyment. And I dig the aesthetic of heavy armor.

You may wonder to what extent the Mesmer nerfs on October 7th played in my decision. The answer: zero. I chose to commit to Warrior a few days before the Mesmer nerfs were announced. I think the Mesmer nerfs were warranted for balance reasons. My “Legion” Mesmer spec was not impacted much, as I only use one of the three Phantasms whose cooldown was increased, and I had already switched from Staff to Greatsword last month. Power/Shatter specs were impacted significantly by the nerfs, especially players running the 20/20/0/0/30 glass cannon Sword / Sword (or Sword / Pistol) and Staff spec that had become FOTM in tournies. What do you think of the Mesmer nerfs?

To my pleasant surprise, PVE leveing has been enjoyable on my Warrior. Part of it is that there is no pressure to level – I can port back to the Mists or WvW whenever I want to PVP, and after my Warrior unlocked all 3 utility skills his effectiveness in WvW improved significantly. I was clueless about crafting and PVE a couple weeks ago, so it’s been great to invest time in that side of the game and see the decisions ArenaNet made from a design perspective. In terms of weapons, I use Sword / Warhorn and Rifle. Warhorn and Rifle have obvious value – Warhorn for mobility and Rifle for RDPS and kiting. Sword with condition damage stacked works quite effectively, as you can AOE-bleed mobs with the Sword burst ability and Deep Cuts trait (50% bleed duration).

How/where have you been spending your time in GW2? What have you enjoyed most and least? GW2 has been much more popular than I had expected (over 2MM copies sold in the first month, which surpassed SWTOR’s 1.8MM), so I’m curious to hear your story.

I look forward to catching up with y’all and having more free time to play :)

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Posted in Guild Wars 2, Mesmer, PVP, Warrior
52 comments on “My Progress in Guild Wars 2 and RL
  1. tomcrowley says:

    I’ve switched from Warrior to Guardian. I had planned to play Guardian in beta but then found Warrior super fun and versatile at release. I went back to Guardian for the WvW Utility and haven’t looked back. It is an amazing class and versatile in a different direction than Warrior. Hammer/Staff is a weapons swap away from two totally different roles. I’m an amazing force multiplier at DEs and I can solo Veterans as well as I could with my Rifle. I’m sure I’ll go back to Warrior but Guardian is my new main.

    • taugrim says:

      tomcrowley :

      I’ve switched from Warrior to Guardian. I had planned to play Guardian in beta but then found Warrior super fun and versatile at release. I went back to Guardian for the WvW Utility and haven’t looked back. It is an amazing class and versatile in a different direction than Warrior. Hammer/Staff is a weapons swap away from two totally different roles. I’m an amazing force multiplier at DEs and I can solo Veterans as well as I could with my Rifle. I’m sure I’ll go back to Warrior but Guardian is my new main.

      Guardian is a really strong, well-rounded class.

      You can’t go wrong with it.

  2. Tony says:

    Hey Taug, very happy to hear about the RL success. Congrats!

    This is just a quick thank you for your hard work and commitment to the builds you supply. I am a 35+ year old gamer, full time career, brand new Dad. I have very few hours a week to sit and enjoy any game. Your builds help me play sPvP, PvE at a competitive ( meaning I actually enjoy the matches, contribute and not get rolled immediately) level. I simply just do not have the time/resources to create my own builds at this point. On top of that, by using your builds I really begin to understand certain advanced game mechanics that would otherwise blow right past me.

    Thanks for making these games much less frustrating!

    • taugrim says:

      Tony :

      I am a 35+ year old gamer, full time career, brand new Dad.

      Grats on the munchkin. Hope fatherhood is treating you well.

      Tony :

      I have very few hours a week to sit and enjoy any game. Your builds help me play sPvP, PvE at a competitive ( meaning I actually enjoy the matches, contribute and not get rolled immediately) level. I simply just do not have the time/resources to create my own builds at this point. On top of that, by using your builds I really begin to understand certain advanced game mechanics that would otherwise blow right past me.

      Thanks for making these games much less frustrating!

      You are very welcome, and thanks for the kind words.

  3. Richie "Bog Otter" Procopio says:

    Congratulations on the job, Ed!

    In regards to PvE…when I unlocked my elite skill slot, I chose Signet of Rage. That way, you can freely choose whatever weapons you want and still get the swiftness buff on a one minute cooldown. I found that very freeing as I was leveling up. If you’re ever looking for company while leveling up, let me know. There’s many zones I still need to explore for my 100% map completion. :)

    • taugrim says:

      Richie “Bog Otter” Procopio :

      In regards to PvE…when I unlocked my elite skill slot, I chose Signet of Rage. That way, you can freely choose whatever weapons you want and still get the swiftness buff on a one minute cooldown. I found that very freeing as I was leveling up. If you’re ever looking for company while leveling up, let me know. There’s many zones I still need to explore for my 100% map completion. :)

      My Warrior is 35 now and I chose Signet of Rage too – it’s so good for covering ground and delivering more damage.

  4. Brewed says:

    I have a full time job and a full time engineering student and I have a wife and kids. I’m busy as hell. Just like you I have found the horizontal model the only reason i am even able to play the game. I have very little time and a old Skool vertical model is just out of the question for me at this time. I have played a warrior exclusively since launch in the pve game (level 55) and am rank 16 in pvp. I have not played much WvW because most of the meaningful battles warrant a significant time investment that I just don’t have at any one time. The game seems to of been made by working men and women who are in te same boat as you and I. Instead of catering to the younger generation who have very little RL responsibilities it feels like they made a game THEY themselves could enjoy. Which was a big risk but I think it was a very smart decision considering the average age of a gamer is 30+ these days. I could be way off on that stat but not by far. Like you said the freedom to play at your own pace is a welcomed one to me. Coupled with no monetary monthly commitment, i really think GW2 is the breath of fresh air that the MMO space needed!

    Grats Taug on your fulltime position and wish you the best in your RL endeavors man.

    • taugrim says:

      Brewed :

      I have a full time job and a full time engineering student and I have a wife and kids. I’m busy as hell. Just like you I have found the horizontal model the only reason i am even able to play the game. I have very little time and a old Skool vertical model is just out of the question for me at this time.

      Indeed.

      GW2’s horizontal model has made gaming so much more enjoyable. I can do things in-game because I chose to do so, not because I have to do so.

      Brewed :

      The game seems to of been made by working men and women who are in te same boat as you and I. Instead of catering to the younger generation who have very little RL responsibilities it feels like they made a game THEY themselves could enjoy. Which was a big risk but I think it was a very smart decision considering the average age of a gamer is 30+ these days. I could be way off on that stat but not by far. Like you said the freedom to play at your own pace is a welcomed one to me. Coupled with no monetary monthly commitment, i really think GW2 is the breath of fresh air that the MMO space needed!

      I don’t know what demographics ArenaNet targeted but certainly for the full-time working adult crowd, this game is very attractive.

      Given that over 2MM people have purchased the game, I suspect GW2 will help to reshape the expectations of gamers for future titles.

      There’s no way I can go back to games with unchallenging forced leveling and gear progression, where gear > skill.

  5. FYI Mog Radio: The Siege, a GW2 podcast, had discussions about the mesmer and your build was mentioned as a good mesmer SPvP build.

    The podcast is located at http://www.mog-radio.com/2012/10/16/the-siege-12-mesmerized-by-halloween/

    Your mentioned from 1hr 20mins 19 secs till 1hr 22mins 47secs.

  6. Yamirashi says:

    I have spent most of my time in WvW honestly. I’ve done my fair share of leveling and exploring PVE but I’m only at like 30-40% world completion. My biggest problem has been finding a profession that accomplishes what I want to accomplish in WvW.

    When I first heard about the game and how thieves were designed (I think your “stealth mechanics” video was the first place I’d heard of it) I was completely hooked on the idea of a thief. My first MMO character was a WoW rogue, and I loved that archetype, but after doing arenas and battlegrounds and realizing how stealth was not only your biggest asset but your biggest curse, I rolled a DK and never looked back. In SWTOR I avoided the scoundrel even though I REALLY wanted to play it because I knew stealth in the end would be the same. After seeing what they did with thieves in GW2 I figured that would be my fix.

    However I got into BWEs and I was not pleased with the Thief in WvW for lack of a TRUE 1200 range weapon. I went ranger for a while then decided pets weren’t for me in WvW and did some more research and found Guardians to be what I wanted. And then launch came, I got to level 22 on my shiny Guardian and realized I wasn’t really having fun. I rolled a Thief and even though they still don’t have a true 1200 I was very impressed with the late beta changes they made.

    I still got frustrated after a while about the lack of the 1200 range weapon and tried a Mesmer which totally scratches that itch when it comes up. But I’m not really someone who wants to fight at the walls that much anyway, I try to be a scout or as my guild calls it “Quick Response” and hit Dolyaks and supply camps behind enemy lines and the Thief works perfectly for that, so I’m back happy again.

    Recently (this past weekend) got my thief to level 80 mostly through WvW and PVE Exploring and Gathering. Had a full set of 80 Exotic armor waiting for him from level 65 or so (Bought off the BLTC for less than 2g a piece) and got rare weapons and trinkets shortly after hitting 80. Working on upgrading all the trinkets to Exotics now and got my first exotic there last night.

    TLDR: I kill things :)

    • taugrim says:

      Yamirashi :

      I have spent most of my time in WvW honestly. I’ve done my fair share of leveling and exploring PVE but I’m only at like 30-40% world completion. My biggest problem has been finding a profession that accomplishes what I want to accomplish in WvW.

      AFAIK no profession is *required* for any context in the game, which I think is great. You can buy what you need from other players.

      I don’t like games where you have to craft BoP items to be competitive, because it adds to the treadmill without providing meaningful engagement.

      Yamirashi :

      However I got into BWEs and I was not pleased with the Thief in WvW for lack of a TRUE 1200 range weapon. I went ranger for a while then decided pets weren’t for me in WvW and did some more research and found Guardians to be what I wanted. And then launch came, I got to level 22 on my shiny Guardian and realized I wasn’t really having fun. I rolled a Thief and even though they still don’t have a true 1200 I was very impressed with the late beta changes they made.

      It’s interesting to hear you came full circle back to Thief. It’s definitely a finesse class.

      To get really good at it requires much more than chain Heartseeker spam.

      Yamirashi :

      I still got frustrated after a while about the lack of the 1200 range weapon and tried a Mesmer which totally scratches that itch when it comes up. But I’m not really someone who wants to fight at the walls that much anyway, I try to be a scout or as my guild calls it “Quick Response” and hit Dolyaks and supply camps behind enemy lines and the Thief works perfectly for that, so I’m back happy again.

      Yeah Thief is awesome for hit and run.

      Yamirashi :

      Recently (this past weekend) got my thief to level 80 mostly through WvW and PVE Exploring and Gathering. Had a full set of 80 Exotic armor waiting for him from level 65 or so (Bought off the BLTC for less than 2g a piece) and got rare weapons and trinkets shortly after hitting 80. Working on upgrading all the trinkets to Exotics now and got my first exotic there last night.

      Was it hard to farm 2g per piece by 65.

      I just cracked 1g for the first time last night, at level 35. I’ve been spending money to buy mats to keep my Armorsmith, which is now at 150 and head of my character level.

      • Yamirashi says:

        taugrim :
        AFAIK no profession is *required* for any context in the game, which I think is great. You can buy what you need from other players.
        I don’t like games where you have to craft BoP items to be competitive, because it adds to the treadmill without providing meaningful engagement.

        Sorry, by profession I meant class. For crafting, while this game’s crafting system is very interesting and fun, I’m just not a crafter at heart. After playing with them for a bit I gave up and just gather and sell stuff. I love exploring in this game and gathering is an addiction. I make more than enough selling mats to buy anything I need from the TP. Crafting won’t be necessary until I go for a legendary which with the current ones in game I won’t be getting any for my thief.

      • Yamirashi says:

        taugrim :
        Was it hard to farm 2g per piece by 65.
        I just cracked 1g for the first time last night, at level 35. I’ve been spending money to buy mats to keep my Armorsmith, which is now at 150 and head of my character level.

        See my post above, crafting is expensive. I dropped it and just farmed and sold. I also spent NO money on armor as I leveled because I was going to out level it so quickly anyway.

  7. My issue with the Mesmer nerfs is that the Mesmer has so many traits tied to Phantasms that aren’t working properly yet. I think it would be best to know where Phantasms are with working traits before figuring out where Phantasms are in regards to balance. Feels like wasted development time when they may have to rebalance cooldowns yet again once the traits are fixed.

    The other problem is that they said they could split skills for PVP and PVE yet did not do so here. I think most of the angry Mesmer fans are those who play Mesmer in PVE. I agree that this change doesn’t have too much of an effect on Phantasm PVP builds, but it does hurt PVE players due to illusions dying more often in PVE. An iWarlock often dies within a second or two of summons in Orr or Dungeons. When you’re relying on Phantasms to provide regeneration, and that regeneration trait isn’t working equally across all phantasms (one of the traits that needs to be fixed), and then they’re dying easily while their CD gets increased… you’re going to get frustrated with the developers.

    • Yamirashi says:

      I get what you’re saying, but if I had different cooldowns on my abilities just because of what game mode I am it it would negatively impact my game play. I understand different specs doing things to cooldowns but I can explain that to my internal timing that I’m running a different spec.

      Bugged traits need to be fixed, but I don’t see that as mutually exclusive from the changes they made, AKA it was not a we’re changing this because we’re not fixing the other. The bugs will get worked out when they’re able to be worked out.

      • Oh, I fully expect them to fix the bugged traits. My point was that when they do that, they’ll have to rebalance Phantasms yet again, making this change pointless. It also means they don’t really know where Phantasms should be due to the broken traits.

        To me, it felt like a PR move. Quiet complaints about the Mesmer for a bit by putting in a bit of CD nerf. It will make some happy even though the changes don’t really hurt a decent Phantasm build much. More a psychological trick than a balance fix.

        • taugrim says:

          aseriousmoment :

          To me, it felt like a PR move. Quiet complaints about the Mesmer for a bit by putting in a bit of CD nerf. It will make some happy even though the changes don’t really hurt a decent Phantasm build much. More a psychological trick than a balance fix.

          I don’t believe that for a moment.

          If that were true, AN would never have been GW2. AN is way ahead of the rest of the market. They were *years* ahead of everyone else with GW1 having vertical scaling.

          • Yes, they are ahead of others in PVP design. I played Guild Wars PVP and it was very tense at the high end of GvG and Halls. I’m very familiar with their commitment to balance.

            I feel they should have fixed the traits tied to Phantasms before trying to rebalance them. Normally, they are more careful to make sure they know where the class should be before making changes. It’s hard to do that when the traits tied to the skills being adjusted aren’t functioning properly.

            I think they know they will have to reexamine cooldowns once the traits are fixed. It’s more out of the norm for them to do what they did. It’s not a band-aid fix, but a very temporary fix that I’m not sure changes too much for PVP. That’s why I feel the way I do.

            As for PVE, the Mesmer is good in soloing one v one, but the problem is with the way Phantasms function the same as Damage over Time spells, as in they exist as long as their target exists. This works great in PVP where players survive for longer periods of time. It works great versus bosses in PVE for the same reason.

            In Dynamic Events and in Dungeons, the problem comes from mobs dying too quickly or there being repeated, large AOEs that destroy the Phantasm after one “tick” of their attack. Versus some bosses, a Phantasm like Berserker, will die before being able to hit your target once. This puts a lot of pressure on the cooldown of the skill in PVE.

            And, again, this comes back to problems with traits. A Mesmer player using Phantasmal Fury trait or Vengeful Images trait will have the advantage of their Phantasms attacking immediately upon casting. For some reason, a Phantasm spawned with a boon attached to it attacks upon summoning, while a Phantasm without a boon attached to it will wait before attacking. This creates unintended discrepancies in Phantasm effectiveness between builds. It also means some PVE Mesmers are seeing their Phantasms die before attacking more often than other Mesmers just due to the initial idle time creating a “sitting duck” situation for AOE to gobble the illusion up.

    • taugrim says:

      aseriousmoment :

      My issue with the Mesmer nerfs is that the Mesmer has so many traits tied to Phantasms that aren’t working properly yet. I think it would be best to know where Phantasms are with working traits before figuring out where Phantasms are in regards to balance. Feels like wasted development time when they may have to rebalance cooldowns yet again once the traits are fixed.

      Well, I play a Mesmer, and the cooldowns for the offhand Pistol and Sword seemed too short to me. So I’m fine with the nerfs.

      aseriousmoment :

      The other problem is that they said they could split skills for PVP and PVE yet did not do so here. I think most of the angry Mesmer fans are those who play Mesmer in PVE. I agree that this change doesn’t have too much of an effect on Phantasm PVP builds, but it does hurt PVE players due to illusions dying more often in PVE. An iWarlock often dies within a second or two of summons in Orr or Dungeons. When you’re relying on Phantasms to provide regeneration, and that regeneration trait isn’t working equally across all phantasms (one of the traits that needs to be fixed), and then they’re dying easily while their CD gets increased… you’re going to get frustrated with the developers.

      I find Mesmer to be really strong in PVE.

      I understand Mesmers are unhappy with getting nerfed, but out of the classes I’ve played, Mesmer has the best survivability and escapability in PVE and PVP.

  8. Choops says:

    Congrats on your success! I’ve spent pretty much all my time in GW2 with my engineer, Aesinox, on the Sorrow’s Furnace server. Love the variety in builds and the many tools and choices I have. I’m around level 25 glory, as sPvP is where I’ve spent pretty much all my time, but I’ve recently been doing some leveling and have found PvE quite enjoyable as well. Hope to get some WvW in at some point, but due to how stats on gear come into play, I’ll probably wait until I’m a higher level. Pretty enjoyable experience so far!

    • Yamirashi says:

      Don’t wait until higher level just cause of stats… If you have decent gear for your level you’ll be okay in WvW with an organized group, even if that’s just 5 people. Strategy come into play much more in WvW than gear. Gear matters in a 1v1 but WvW is not won or lost based on a 1v1.

      • Thanks for the suggestion man. I’ll give it a go :D

      • taugrim says:

        Yamirashi :

        Don’t wait until higher level just cause of stats… If you have decent gear for your level you’ll be okay in WvW with an organized group, even if that’s just 5 people. Strategy come into play much more in WvW than gear. Gear matters in a 1v1 but WvW is not won or lost based on a 1v1.

        Agreed.

        By the time you’re in your mid 20s with 3 utilities unlocked, you can meaningfully contribute in WvW.

    • taugrim says:

      Choops :

      Congrats on your success! I’ve spent pretty much all my time in GW2 with my engineer, Aesinox, on the Sorrow’s Furnace server. Love the variety in builds and the many tools and choices I have. I’m around level 25 glory, as sPvP is where I’ve spent pretty much all my time, but I’ve recently been doing some leveling and have found PvE quite enjoyable as well. Hope to get some WvW in at some point, but due to how stats on gear come into play, I’ll probably wait until I’m a higher level. Pretty enjoyable experience so far!

      Your experience mirrors mine, although as I wrote I have shifted to spending time in WvW/PVE so that I’ll eventually get up to 80.

  9. I’ve been 80 for a few weeks now and have definitely enjoy this game a ton and everything it has to offer. I do a lot of PvE and WvW content with my guild and have really enjoyed the challenge the dungeons provide(even though it’s been a tough learning curve for some of my guildies). The good thing is that everything you’ve been doing while leveling(gaining karma, gold, skill points etc.) benefits you at level 80, especially if you’re going after a legendary. With the level scaling system in place I can still go back to later zones and help other people while still gaining things that benifit my Thief. I’m the type of player that likes to progress on a single character and so far I’m really loving the design choice that Anet decided to go with in terms of the level scaling. I’m able to go back to any part of the game and still have it be as enjoyable and engaging as when I first went through the zone or dungeon. That to me screams longevity.

    As far as PvP content goes I’ve been doing a lot of WvW and Spvp tournaments. Really love the ability to test out builds on the fly, the only thing I have to say that I hope they implement to Spvp, is the ability to save your builds. Considering the original guild wars has that feature I’m sure it’ll come down the line sooner or later.(probably not in pve just because there’s a cost associated with changing your traits).

    Overall I’m having a great experience. I was a fan of the original GW so I was pretty sure I’d love GW2. I’m a pretty hardcore gamer so I’ve definitely been putting my time into the game, but even when I decide to take a break for a day or two I don’t feel any pressure financially just because there is no sub fee. The only pressure I get from it is the fact that when I’m playing something else, I could be playing GW2.Truth be told I haven’t seen this much polish and good game design from something in a while. There was that worry in the back of my mind because I wasn’t sure how the MMO community in general would take to some of the things they have changed and brought to the genre. While there are complaints here and there, overall I’ve seen a pretty positive vibe coming from the people that given it a chance and took the time to learn how the game works. I think this games community will continue to grow, and we already see Arenanet putting out their first major patch in just over a month of the game being released(not including the many small patches they have introduced to the game already) so I plan on being a part of the community for years to come. I think they really put a lot of time and effort into this game and in it’s design and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Guild Wars 2 going forward.

    • taugrim says:

      Corey Crimzen Jenkins :

      The good thing is that everything you’ve been doing while leveling(gaining karma, gold, skill points etc.) benefits you at level 80, especially if you’re going after a legendary. With the level scaling system in place I can still go back to later zones and help other people while still gaining things that benifit my Thief. I’m the type of player that likes to progress on a single character and so far I’m really loving the design choice that Anet decided to go with in terms of the level scaling. I’m able to go back to any part of the game and still have it be as enjoyable and engaging as when I first went through the zone or dungeon. That to me screams longevity.

      Agree 100%.

      Having reward currency that is relevant at any level is such a great design decision.

      Corey Crimzen Jenkins :

      the only thing I have to say that I hope they implement to Spvp, is the ability to save your builds. Considering the original guild wars has that feature I’m sure it’ll come down the line sooner or later.(probably not in pve just because there’s a cost associated with changing your traits).

      It will be nice if / when multi-specs are supported, so we can swap trait/utilities/weapons with a click.

      Corey Crimzen Jenkins :

      There was that worry in the back of my mind because I wasn’t sure how the MMO community in general would take to some of the things they have changed and brought to the genre. While there are complaints here and there, overall I’ve seen a pretty positive vibe coming from the people that given it a chance and took the time to learn how the game works. I think this games community will continue to grow, and we already see Arenanet putting out their first major patch in just over a month of the game being released(not including the many small patches they have introduced to the game already) so I plan on being a part of the community for years to come. I think they really put a lot of time and effort into this game and in it’s design and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Guild Wars 2 going forward.

      We’ll see complaints and haters in any game – that’s par for the course for the MMORPG industry.

      That said, this game is substantially different from other games in many ways, especially the combat system and how punitive it is when you fire abilities when you are out of range, LoS, etc. I love how engaging the combat is.

      GW2 is the best game I’ve ever played in terms of design, by a substantial margin.

  10. Also, glad you’re having a lot of fun with the game Ed. Hope to have you in the GW2 community for a while! Most of my guilidies and I really enjoy your content and get a ton of great PvP tips and tips in general from them. I hope your work schedule gets a bit better so that you can have a bit more down time and some more GW2 time!

    • taugrim says:

      Corey Crimzen Jenkins :

      Also, glad you’re having a lot of fun with the game Ed. Hope to have you in the GW2 community for a while! Most of my guilidies and I really enjoy your content and get a ton of great PvP tips and tips in general from them. I hope your work schedule gets a bit better so that you can have a bit more down time and some more GW2 time!

      I have a 3-day weekend starting tomorrow, and I’ll be playing a lot.

      Excited to kick back, relax, get online, and spend time in the gym.

  11. Benjamin says:

    Congrats on the new job Ed, I have had similar workloads to you and GW2 is a much better game to work with that than WoW and similar offerings. Its the main reason I havent gone back to WoW, I just dont want that pressure to play the game that you feel.

    I really miss battlgrounds though, and I find spvp does not make up for this, kinda wish they had a few 10-15 man maps for people like me.

    • I completely agree. As a guy that spent all his time in BG’s and Arenas in WoW (except when I had to get 2 pieces of raid gear for my ret pally, but that’s a different story) I hate not having more variety in maps and map sizes, though I’ve heard that a lot of these problems are addressed if you get into WvW, which I have yet to do. Guess I can’t judge the game fully until I play a bit more.

    • taugrim says:

      Benjamin :

      I really miss battlgrounds though, and I find spvp does not make up for this, kinda wish they had a few 10-15 man maps for people like me.

      I got used to the smaller BGs with SWTOR. I thought 8v8 was going to be too small.

      Now I’m used to it.

      It would be fun to have larger-scale sPvP maps, such as 12v12 or so.

  12. Ivan Souza says:

    Im happy and sad at the same time.

    Happy you got a full-time employment offer as a senior product manager, but really sad that means you will have less time to make reviews, buildcast and other shows we love about games.

    • taugrim says:

      Ivan Souza :

      Im happy and sad at the same time.

      Happy you got a full-time employment offer as a senior product manager, but really sad that means you will have less time to make reviews, buildcast and other shows we love about games.

      I’ve been working a corporate job full-time for five months, and since July I’ve been working some long hours.

      What I’ve tried to do from July – September is provide what gaming content I can. The last 3 weeks have been demanding work-wise though, which means that my (limited) free time is spent playing GW2 for fun, not as a “job”.

  13. jkwervo says:

    Glad to see you’re doing well Ed. Congrats on the job.

    Hope to see more insight from you when schedule permits. As always keep up the good work. As for me? Just chugging along my warrior and leveling a guardian now. Working and blogging at my site critrating.com.

  14. Drew says:

    While I’ve always respected you as a pvper, I have to facepalm at your approach to pve leveling your warrior. Kiting? Warrior is about the most faceroll class to level pve. Health regen on your heal slot isn’t so great in pvp, but it’s pretty much ezmode for pve leveling. Use two axes, or a GS, and go kill things, without bothering to dodge anything (unless it’s a Champion+ mob). It was actually a negative when I leveled my warrior, as the ridiculous ezmode of it all developed bad habits for pvp (ie: not bothering to dodge, etc). I guess I took the opposite approach, and leveled up to 80 as fast as I could first (Warrior, Thief, and Guardian), then do almost nothing but pvp since. Granted, thief becomes ezmode once you learn to abuse blind, and Guardian is ezmode if you put some toughness and/or vitality on them (though still requires some dodging, so not quite as ezmode as warrior). Pve leveling is very different from pvp. Taking the same approach to both just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. /shrug

    • Bill says:

      Might be efficient, but sounds very dull. I kite with the bow.

    • taugrim says:

      Drew :

      While I’ve always respected you as a pvper, I have to facepalm at your approach to pve leveling your warrior. Kiting?

      You failed to read the entire paragraph, apparently.

      Sword with condition damage stacked works quite effectively, as you can AOE-bleed mobs with the Sword burst ability and Deep Cuts trait (50% bleed duration).

      I deal 95% of my damage in PVE with Sword.

      I’m not *that* stupid, please use a little common sense and read what is written.

      • Naglifar says:

        Taugrim is 100% accurate on this (the prior to posters are exaggerating/wrong)

        – 1h sword has a larger swing arc than 2h sword (it can hit foes behind you)

        – warhorn provides AoE weakness, meaning you can usually pull clusters of enemies and rely on reduced incoming damage, higher dodge rate (warhorn), swiftness (warhorn), cripple/immobilize, leaping, and bleed ticks to safety slay x number of foes.

        – leaping and swiftness boons means you get places faster, and enables you to take other-wise impossible long-jump short cuts.

        – while GS kills 1-2 mobs faster, 1h sword kills many mobs faster.

        – Sword/Warhorn or Rifle are the only two load-outs which can reliably solo melee-Champions at or above your level.

        – Sword/Warhorn is the most player-competent weapon set (for Warriors) demanding players to juggle: spacing, movement, boons, conditions, dodge-rolling, facing, and sustainable tactics.

  15. Speedwagon says:

    taugrim :
    I find Mesmer to be really strong in PVE.

    Hi, just two simple questions regarding the pve mesmer; do you think your legion build is viable for solo levelling? And eventually is there any other build you can suggest for that purpose? Thank you!

    • Naglifar says:

      For leveling a Mesmer the most important trait you can get is Deceptive Evasion, the 20pt Dueling trait that produces a clone when you dodge. Have the minor 5pt in Dueling (crit>vigor) ensures you have a steady supply of clones for either shattering, condition damage, or evasion–depending on what type of build you prefer.

      After you get those 20 points in Dueling at lvl 40, you can branch into two different play-styles directions: Domination: Greatsword shatter, Chaos: Staff condition phantasm. Greatsword and Shattering demands more skill to play, and requires active evasion to survive versus many foes or veterans–whereas choosing Chaos Staff is guaranteeing safety at the cost of burst damage.

      With either build, Sword/X on weapon swap is good to have for the AoE damage of blurred frenzy and the vulnerability of sword 1/sword clones. Focus is great for many regular mobs (quickly aoe grip with temporal curtain>enter the void>warden). Pistol’s phantasm is a nice choice versus larger foes, and Sword of-hand can be good for the occasional veteran/champion.

      I wouldn’t suggest any build relating to confusion or scepter while leveling, at the moment they are under-preforming.

  16. Andy says:

    Would you ever consider sPVP with an Engineer? its so versatile with the kits and tool belt abilities, I stumble into so many amazing builds every time I respec. I have so many answers to any combatant.

  17. Lala Calamari says:

    Congrats on the. I’m curious to see your Warrior WvW build Right now I’m using the sword/ warhorn and rifle as well.

  18. Kev says:

    Congrats man :)

    read your blog since SWTOR and followed along with a few of the builds.

    I find you an invaluable resource, our play styles are very similar and having you throw out ideas and builds make my scarce play time all the more valuable :)

    Thanks again for the work you put into the blog.

  19. Naglifar says:

    The shining aspect of Mesmers (in both PvE Dungeons & WvW) is AoE Reflection. With Inspiration VIII the focus’ temporal curtain & Warden become a great source of AoE reflection–in addition to Feedback. In sPvP there is far less value in sustaining areas of reflections, however In WvW either above or below the gate & within PvE explorable mode dungeons, it seems reflection seems to out-preform many other forms of damage mitigation by a long shot.

    Getting your mesmer to lvl 40 and beyond feels like a trial. But if you can make it to 80, you should give this build a shot: http://en.gw2skills.net/editor/?fgAQNAsdWlwzipHQzqGaNJiJF9GydShytcoKgdlUgbXIA;T8AA1ytEaJ1StlSLqtMbJ2yulbL5WLRGZMFB

  20. Speedwagon says:

    Naglifar :
    For leveling a Mesmer the most important trait you can get is Deceptive Evasion, the 20pt Dueling trait that produces a clone when you dodge.

    “Deceptive Evasion” is 15 points in Dueling, not 20, right?

    After you get those 20 points in Dueling at lvl 40, you can branch into two different play-styles directions: Domination: Greatsword shatter, Chaos: Staff condition phantasm. Greatsword and Shattering demands more skill to play, and requires active evasion to survive versus many foes or veterans–whereas choosing Chaos Staff is guaranteeing safety at the cost of burst damage.

    So if I want to use staff I have to go Chaos + Illusion; with Greatsword Domination + ? (Illusion for shatters?).
    Thx for the answer.

  21. Speedwagon says:

    Speedwagon
    “Deceptive Evasion” is 15 points in Dueling, not 20, right?

    No, it’s not. Guildhead calculator was wrong, I checked the in game panel :)

  22. Gordini says:

    so is this the game that you and maven are pushing now? i wonder how long u will milk this game till u and maven move to the next “big thing”? It looks like a game i could play on my android. Seems you always play the overpowered classes in every game and people think youre so good. SWTOR you played a vanguard and then a gunslinger (both grossly overpowered) and in gw2 u play naturally a warrior and mesmer with mesmer being arguably the most OP.
    Ah well, good work on your real life stuff but you jump games as soon as the next wave of games comes out. i was in your guild so i know this is the MO.

  23. It is refreshing to know that other gamers have real lives. I also greatly appreciate the work you do for us, because I’m a full time student and generally don’t have much time to play during the semester. Your articles have helped me restructure my keybindings a lot and all the rest has been very helpful – I no longer have a backpeddel key.
    Keep up the good work! And I look forward to encountering more mature gamers ^_^ I think the industry needs them.

  24. Austin says:

    I’m a huge fan of your informative posts and I think they are very helpful to everyone! thanks for taking the time to write them all
    I also wrote a post on squidoo it is my very first post and therefor i don’t have any traffic to it I was hoping you would let me post the link in this comment to try and get a little traffic. Sorry if this isn’t allowed as this is my first comment on this site.
    http://www.squidoo.comfree-guild-wars-2-gems2

  25. My experience with Guild Wars 2:

    I came here from SWTOR, same as you, where I played a Vanguard (you taught me the skills I needed to be the best on my server).

    I debated between a Thief and a Ranger because I liked the playstyle for both. I ultimately chose Ranger because, come from SWTOR and WoW, I knew encoutners favored ranged classes most and the support with Spirits really appealed to me.

    At first the Ranger class was fun. Around level 30 I began noticing some issues. At level 40 I became frustrated and thought I found several bugs and issues with the class, such as pets unable to attack moving targets, my DPS being subpar to other classes, lackluster utilities, poor weapon mechanics, terrible build options and a Sword’s autoattack that prevented me from moving and dodge rolling.

    I quickly took to the Internet to see if I was “just me.” As it turns out, many people feel that the Ranger class is in a bad place and is heralded as the worst class in the game! I took up arms and began fighting and begging the developers (namely Jon Peters) to help us. In the latest 1.5 patch – in which we were promised many improved changes to the profession – we got nothing, except for slightly improved underwater combat (our attacks are now “minor” combos with fields underwater).

    I came to Guild Wars 2 because I felt that ArenaNet was listening and responding to their playerbase. I guess if I had rolled a Warrior – who’s Longbow out performs a Rangers, and just received at 10% increase in damage – I would’ve had a positive experience. Instead, I am filled with hatred.

    I know you’re busy with your new job, Taugrim, but I invite you to attempt to roll a Ranger, visit the various forums and see for yourself the issues they are faced with.

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