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The Guild Wars 2 Report: Warrior – aka – Ridiculous Damage With Certain Weapon Combos

October 4, 2012

Dear Reader,

As promised, I’m going to go through my three GW2 classes one at a time to let you know how it’s been playing.  Today, we’ll take a look at the warrior, the standard class for every MMO out there.  They might have mages, wizards, sorcerers, or elementalists, they might have warlocks or necromancers, javazons, hunters, or rangers, but everyone‘s got a warrior.

In WoW, the warrior class was my last to be leveled toward 85 (and didn’t make it).  It’s never been a favorite of mine; it seems so straightforward and easy to wear a bunch of armor to mitigate damage and run in swinging big, powerful weapons.  I prefer a lighter touch: mobility, stealth, tactics.  I gravitate towards rogues and casters for dps – but this wasn’t a game to consider roles like that.  Also, I’d already started characters for myself – the Mesmer – and to play with my wife – a rogue.  I had tactics, mobility, and stealth covered.  Besides, I wanted something different, to try out and experiment in this new land.  I knew this character would probably get the most play, too, as it would be used when my buddy was available to play, which is basically always.  So I went with the warrior.

It’s a powerful character.  Around level 50, with a green greatsword that dropped for my buddy and he sent to me (his mistake), I can hit around 3k crits at the end of a channeled attack.  I’m not sure how that sounds to others, but my buddy, an elementalist with similar gear, can’t do anywhere near that.

I make an effort to rotate weapons pretty frequently.  As newer, better, weapons drop, I change to them, not staying married to a particular selection.  I’ve played pretty heavily with most of the combinations.  I won’t list them here, but I will summarize by saying that Greatsword + Sword/Axe seems to be pretty ridiculous.  I can easily solo veterans with minimal problems by opening with the greatsword charge and channel (Hundred Blades), Whirlwind away, swap to sword/axe, leap back into the fray (savage leap), channel the axe offhand attack (whirling axe),  then sword flurry, then hamstring, move away, swap back to greatsword, and repeat.  It’s honestly pretty ridiculous.  I use all the signets minus the elite, which I keep the rez banner on, with the +precision bonus, meaning half of my attacks crit, and it seems like far more than half when I do a the channel attacks – frequently it seems every channel crits.

Of course, I have to be careful with dodging around and avoid stuff, but I’ve gotten pretty good at that from Secret World, so it doesn’t worry me much.   Additionally, I have to stand still to channel the greatsword attacks and the sword flurry, but I can usually time it to avoid taking a big hit.  When I do take a big hit, I can usually just soak it up and let the regen signet do its work.  I’m far from invincible, but I’m pretty damn tough.

So it seems my “fears” were founded; I charge in in heavy armor, hit my greatsword channel attack (hundred blades), and that’s all most regular monsters can take.  No real tactics, no real thought or strategy.  Just charge and smash.  If you’re looking for a relatively easy experience, go with the warrior.  It’s not particularly nuanced, you’ve got a lot of options with weapons, and it can take and deal a ton of damage.

Sincerely,

Stubborn (and charging.  He is a bull, after all.)

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. kaleedity permalink*
    October 4, 2012 10:52 am

    It’s weird to have an ability like hundred blades in GW2; it will always be overwhelmingly powerful against npcs, but it requires a significant amount of finesse, support, and stupidity (on the part of your opponents) to work well on player characters. Combine that with the leveling “signet build” that grants you that precision bonus for each unused signet and you’ve got a lot of not-thinking ahead of you in PvE. Not playing that way is like not using The Bee shield in Borderlands 2 until you get to the higher GW2 character levels.

    The difference in using hundred blades against players is overwhelming. Even if you use the traditional hundred blades setups, like frenzy -> bull’s charge or bolas -> hundred blades, you’ve got to hope that an opponent doesn’t see the extraordinarily obvious onslaught incoming. I’m actually pretty surprised that NPCs don’t frequently use dodges or other avoidance and CC breaking mechanics, because that is an ever present feature on both sides in pvp. Hell, the great sword skill rush breaks — as in it slows down, basically stunning you near the target, and whiffs — pretty consistently against targets that don’t move like npcs, making it far more useful, ironically, as a getaway tool (swiftness -> deselect all targets -> face the clearest path away from opponents and rush = faster than pretty much anything). More often than not, hundred blades ends up being used in combination with an ally’s CCs and stuns, as that’s hard to see coming. Occasionally you can pull a fighting game style fake by using a ranged weapon extensively then using hundred blades as an opponent closes to melee.

    I figure the tactics in higher level and group pve revolve more around the synergy between classes with combos, but there isn’t much of that on the warrior’s own without using the longbow adrenaline field ability. Most of the solo pve warrior game is using hundred blades, dodging. repeating, then collecting loot. Perhaps this is why I stopped playing the solo game in guild wars pretty early. Meanwhile, Borderlands 2 has captured me better than any other game has in several years.

    • October 4, 2012 1:12 pm

      Out of curiousity, what class in borderlands? I’m pretty sure that anyone who knows me can guess which one I chose.

    • kaleedity permalink*
      October 4, 2012 1:48 pm

      The assassin. The class works well on its own, but the melee tree becomes obsolete eventually as the itemization refuses to support it.

      That is, +melee damage roid shields clash with Grim and Many Must Fall, and the class mods that affect shields and pistol fire rates don’t really make sense within the context of the assassin’s skill trees. I mean, they’d at least think that you’d be using the 100% melee bonus revolver that already has an awesome fire rate and reload speed, considering it’s the only 100% melee option.

      I’m just annoying that the bee shield is so powerful and it doesn’t work with how I leveled the character, [url=http://achewood.com/index.php?date=03162004]abloobloobloo[/url].

    • kaleedity permalink*
      October 4, 2012 2:16 pm

      I always prefer whatever works best at hand to hand, so assassin.

    • October 4, 2012 4:20 pm

      You borderlands guys. Damnit; I won’t play 60 bucks for a game anymore! But BL2 does look pretty freaking good.

    • October 4, 2012 4:19 pm

      Yes, I’m well aware of the fundamental flaw of 2 of my 3 “big” attacks; I have to be standing still. Still, I have no interest in the PvP, so I don’t think it’s much of a problem. The NPCs don’t dodge much, but the ones that do, notably humanoids, are a lot more challenging to deal with, which I enjoy. I also just had a yellow rifle drop, sO I’ll probably switch to that for a while regardless. The bad news there, then, is that the PvE and PvP are so fundamentally different, as in WoW, which means no one person’s going to get the most of out of both, meaning they’re really selling two half games as one. Ah well. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.
      Good to hear from you!

    • kaleedity permalink*
      October 5, 2012 9:08 am

      re: borderlands; just wait until it gets cheap, though that’ll likely be during the next summer sale. I figure they won’t drop the cost too much during Christmas because it’s doing so well. The zero punctuation review and the cracked article on borderlands 2 are good general descriptions of the good and bad to come with it. Though, the zero punctuation review kind of missed the point about that story fight being too easy.

    • October 5, 2012 11:21 am

      You know, that’s what I thought about Skyrim last year, but they had it at 33% off during the Christmas sale, and while I don’t “like” paying 40 bucks for a game, if it’s good enough, I will. So we’ll wait and see.

  2. Samus permalink
    October 4, 2012 1:36 pm

    This highlights my main complaint with the skill system (in as much as you can separate it from the combat system). It winds up being incredibly simple regardless of spec.

    Every spec gets 1 auto-attack, plus 4 actual abilities, at least one of which (even in the better specs) is going to suck to the point that you will rarely use it. The worse specs will only have two good abilities (or even only one in some particularly bad specs). But even with 3 abilities to use, that is obviously a recipe for extremely repetitive play.

    What’s more, these abilities never change. By the time you reach level 5, that is 95% of how that particular spec is going to play throughout the life of that character. The utility powers are nice extras, but don’t fundamentally change how the spec plays.

    I will be curious to see how you think other classes DON’T have this problem.

    • October 4, 2012 4:23 pm

      Yeah, my buddy and I had a weird de ja vu convo about 10 levels in the GW2. It was De ja vu because we’d had the same conversation early in TSW. Will this game hold our attention after we get the skills we want? When progression becomes far more lateral than vertical?

      Well, TSW did, so I hope GW2 will as well. However, unlike GW2, TSW continually gave me new abilities in new roles, whereas GW2 won’t; I’ve got everything I need already, period.

      And no, I suspect that each class will have it the same. After about level 30, things are going to get a lot less interesting would be my guess. I guess only time will tell.
      Thanks for the comment!

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