Friday, October 22, 2010

I love Guild Wars Skill System but ...

I think Guild Wars's skill system is terrific but it does make it harder to  get back into the game after a break.You have to select a working build from hundreds of available skills and remembering what they all do and how they interact is not easy. To make matters worse Arena net continually tweak and modify skill functions. I think they do this deliberately to keep the meta game interesting to prevent "flavour of the month" builds from becoming too dominant.

I haven't played Guild Wars since April 2009 so I am completely befuddled. I have a vague notion of trying out the Eye of the North Expansion which I added to my account some time ago but never played. There is also something called the Hall of Monuments which I have heard ties in to Guild Wars 2 but about which I know little else.

I have two high end characters who are probably good enough for eye of the North: a Mesmer and a Paragon. The Paragon ( a heavily armoured buffer / support class) is easier to play but I have a hankering to go back to my Mesmer just as soon as I can make some sense out of the confusing array of skills.

Sadly I don't even have the luxury of  picking up where I left off. It is more than two years since I last played this MEsmer and when I logged he had a confusing build with most of his skills points invested in the off spec Necromancy attributes. I think this was some kind of farming build I was experimenting with but it certainly wouldn't be suitable for general adventuring. Starting again from scratch I decided to focus on the Domination skill line because that is where most of a Mesmers direct damage skills lie and it used to be recommended as the easiest line for a Mesmer to play.  A number of skills that I remember seem to have changed functionality but in general I was happy to see that Mesmer skills seem to be stronger on average than I remember. For example the iconic Mesmer skill Empathy which hexes an opponent so they injure themself every time they attack now weakens the attack as well as damaging the attacker. Anyway here is what I ended up with:

The idea being I cast mindwrack on a foe and then proceed to strip them of their energy using spirit shackles , energy surge and energy burn. Mind wrack does a little bit of damage along the way and when their energy finally reaches zero mindwrack delivers (hopefully) a killer blow. I have empathy in there because I just like the skill and I remember it being generally useful against all kinds of foes. I also equipped wastrel's worry because I remember it being a great boss killer. Perhaps it still is, I don't know, but even if it isn't surely those foe that I strip energy from won't be in a position to use a skill for at least three seconds allowing wastrel's worry to deliver some nice aoe damage. The Sunspear rebirth signet is a one shot ressurection skill that will allow me to ressurect the healer if things get really messy.

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