Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The road to Daggermancer

A little over a week ago I had my first taste of World vs World and, generally, I really enjoyed it. It reminded me a lot of siege PvP in Aion, which I liked a lot. Aion had problems, the biggest, aside from a broken flight mechanic, was lag. Since only a small number of forts where under siege at any given time the entire server tended to congregate in one place. This made for some epic fights but it wasn't unusual to suddenly drop to 1 FPS for 5 minutes only to find out you had been dead all along.

Guild Wars 2 avoids that problem by having 3 other zones to play in, although I expect sieges at Stonemist are just as bad as Aion, if not worse.

Anyway, my first run went very well. I went with my guild and got 44 kills, which I was pretty pleased about. However, I did get left at the back quite a lot, not in a rear guard capacity, and kept getting picked off and abandoned. As a result I kept getting stuck miles away from the group and spent a LOT of time trying to catch back up. I soon realised that my build was part of the problem.

I'm a Necromancer, and a norn, not a popular combination. The build I usually play is based on scepter/dagger conditions. It's not bleed focused but I can stack about 20 bleeds solo no problems (being a norn has perks here). I like to combine that with Epidemic and circle strafe until victory.

That tactic works great in PvP, unless you get isolated, which I did. At one point I got jumped by two thieves and, damn, I barely touched them. It's hard to AoE an enemy that won't stay still. While thieves might be the rock to necromancer scissors, I did feel I should have done something rather than die.

I also found, when I got chance to actually monitor it, that my conditions never lasted very long. It seems that most classes can remove conditions quite easily and all classes have an escape mechanism so I rarely caught up to reapply while the removal was on CD. Speed was something I missed out on too. I think Spectral Walk is a necromancer's escape option but I hadn't even unlocked it. That might also explain why I couldn't keep up with my guild too.

So, a big rethink was required, knowing that I needed to make better use of Death Shroud (it has 10 second cooldown for reason!) and that I need to be able to defend myself if it got up close and personal. Since WvW only makes up about 20% of my play time it had to be a PvE build that could be adapted easily. There was no point looking at a pure PvP build because that's just not how I roll. I spent the last week looking at alternative builds and yesterday, I tried one out.

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