[GW2] Malaise in Melee

I was helping a friend learn Guild Wars 2 last night when he hit level 11. That’s when players start getting trait points for leveling up. For leveling purposes I told him to go with the power trait line or the precision trait line because both would let him kill enemies faster. I explained that for the next 30 levels he would have to branch out to other trait lines though because until level 40 each trait line could only take 1o points. It appeared the obvious thing to do was fill the damage role first.

I went to sleep thinking about the “wasted” trait lines. Were the more defensive trait lines simply going to be ignored in PvE? Would their traits be strong enough to pull players away from glass-jaw nuking? Between all the beta weekends I had participated in, I just couldn’t picture making any of the more defensive trait lines a primary focus.

I woke up, and read a bunch of really good feedback from some bloggers I like (especially Biobreak, Inventory Full, and especially Spinksville with all of the links). Coupled with a few non-Guild Wars 2 forums I frequent, and it seemed there was some ill feeling about melee viability for Guild Wars 2 PvE.

On paper the differences are quite clear. Ranged combat in Guild Wars 2 is less powerful but safer because it is easier to dodge enemy projectiles and one should be out of melee reach anyway. Melee combat is much more powerful, but players are within claw-to-the-face range. It is also much harder to dodge anything but the charge-up attacks from enemies.

Last night I saw this in full. My friend picked up a greatsword for a ranger, and he was going through mobs like butter with a heated-AoE butter knife. I was playing support, and we were such a great team. If he needed to retreat I would shatter my illusions in the mob’s face for a momentary daze or try and intervene otherwise. If he was using his longbow, I know that we would have been much slower. If players are going to travel around in small parties, having one person slotted for melee is going to rock. The ranged players just have to be ready to support the melee damage dealer with vulnerability and control. Seriously, one well-placed blind followed by a daze can make the close-combat damage dealer feel like he is an indestructible god.

I am hoping that as players progress in pick-up events, the ranged players start watching to support their melee brethren. For the first zone everybody is likely going to be in damage mode, but I think that later on pick-up groups will be much more efficient if ranged players look to support roles. Melee players should also make sure to always practice the golden rule of Guild Wars 2 combat: always be moving.

That still doesn’t take care of the solo aspect of PvE melee where ranged support is non-existent.  Traits might be the answer to having PvE a viable “solo” option. Perhaps since the power of melee is already well above ranged, focusing on a defensive trait line first is actually a better idea. It just feels weird to forego power for “solo” PvE to start getting better defense. Isn’t defense tank stuff? I would love to hear from anybody that did go this route and put points in defensive trait lines for melee in PvE.

There is also the disparity in that a melee player has to be aware about the enemy’s action much more than a ranged player. Ranged players simply have to circle-strafe and dodge projectiles or charges. Even if they miss an enemy’s charge-up to attack, they still get the momentary projectile flight time as a safeguard. Melee have a much smaller window of defensive opportunity, but the tools are there. A dual sword mesmer has two defensive skills For example, the #2 sword skill, Blurred Frenzy, is an invulnerable attack. It gives some great damage, but wasting it between enemy attacks can lead to death.

Finally, the champion elite mobs seem to have their way with melee players regardless of all this. Perhaps melee players fighting bosses necessitates support. They have to be much more willing to strike the enemy when the enemy is controlled and otherwise stave off. With bosses it might simply be that the longer a player stays in melee, the more guaranteed death becomes. This of course leads back to the feeling that ranged is just easier and more efficient since even though the power level is lower, so is the guarantee of death.

My gut feeling is that the path to becoming a great melee player requires balance from ArenaNet and the player. Right now, I’d say it is less apparent what ArenaNet intends for PvE melee combat, which makes it tougher for a player to balance the playstyle accordingly. Ranged combat does seem a lot easier to get. I must admit that I’ve spent the least amount of time with warrior and guardian professions, so my views will be a bit skewed towards the squishier classes in melee.

–Ravious

39 thoughts on “[GW2] Malaise in Melee

  1. Gameronomist

    What about the idea that “melee” always have a ranged option in a different weapon? So that when that elite mob does show up, they can run in and melee for all of their abilities, then pull dodge out of melee range and use their ranged weapon for a while?

    Isn’t that the idea? Changing strategy and tactics depending on the type of fight that it is?

    1. Gameronomist

      Just to refine:

      I think melee having more dps/burst is a natural balance for being able to die much easier in melee.

      I played quite a few classes this weekend, but spent the most time on a ranger. While the 2h sword did more dps, I found myself dying more often when I was using it, so I would only use it during group events when someone else had aggro. I would use the longbow otherwise because I could kite much more easily. It was less burst dps, but more dps over time because I was able to attack continuously. Same thing as when I did pvp (which is where I spent 90% of my time).

      I had real trouble in pvp as a melee because I was just getting gibbed by other melee, but with ranged classes I was able to kite much more effectively. (good melee classes that knew their combos would wreck me pretty easily still though.)

      I think it’s just another layer of game balance. Having more defense in melee will allow for more sustained dps, whereas if you focus on more damage you’ll be more bursty. Just different styles and ways of balancing out combat.

  2. jondifool

    I played a mesmer most of the weekend , and did melee alot this week. Used MH sword, and scepter/staff for setting it up. And played alone for maybe half the time.

    When i manange to survive veteran mobs in mellee range it all came down to be able to hang in there long enough to have my skills recharged. The combination of shatter control, a panic stun from signets, and blocks and evasion from weapons, and dodge could when timed right make me survive for along time. Used right i could take a few adds down aswell.
    But I also got downed alot when the practise missed
    I am sure defensive trait would help alot more with that as a learning experience. But how many will go for that?

  3. Auntie I

    Another downside with a Melee character is Lag. A second of Lag on a ranged character won’t kill you. A second of Lag on a Melee character may.

    In a larger group the spell effects can also be a factor. There is so much going on that it can be difficult to filter out the pretty flashes, from the information you really need.

    Melee definitely needs a skilled player AND some tuning from the Developers.

  4. Juno

    I found melee quite challenging tbh. I played a guardian to lvl 15 and a warrior to level 12. I also played the other 6 professions, most to level 6. I felt I got a good sampling of every profession (except theif, I was getting burned out by then)

    I was very surprised at how squishy these heavy armor toons are. Some of it was my own learning curve at the GW2 combat mechanic. Dodge is critical, positioning is critical, etc. (I’m very confused at cyndre’s statement of dodge isn’t necessary… maybe he was playing a ranger).

    My Guardian was good at throwing up blocks, regen, etc. But even those buffs didn’t make him indestructible. As a penalty for those buffs, he could not kill fast. It was difficult because I felt I was choosing between pure DPS (greatsword) and survivability (focus/shield — the focus was actually better than the shield imo!). If I went with pure DPS, I was like “hey if I play this way, I should just roll a warrior”. Also some of my weapons felt lacking. The staff needs a little work imo (no real AoE and one 1200m attack on a c/d). The mace’s block skill felt misplaced because I can equip a shield/focus for that — I really needed more DPS. Every guardian weapon is a mix of DPS and support (which do no DPS) except the greatsword. It would be better if the support was a bit more stout. Comon, +300 regen for 3s is not going to save my bacon.

    My Warrior was a killing machine. This is the “good offence is the best defense” kind of toon. The extra HP pool helps here too. All my weapons felt epic, and the adrenaline skill was like an elite from GW1. Still, I had to be very careful because my warrior could die fast. One of my favorite effects was equipping two axes and then doing the whirling-blender (skill 5) into a horde of centaurs. Was awesome until I died seven seconds later. Using a rifle however was a LOT easier.

    I wasn’t looking for face-roll gameplay — I hate that. However I did find combat a lot more challenging than I expected for noob-zones. Overall I’d say it was fun, but it has me wondering what higher-level zones are going to be like. I’m nervous for sure.

    There’s a lot more I could write about… was an overload of a weekend. In short melee was very challenging.

    1. gwj

      “Comon, +300 regen for 3s is not going to save my bacon.”
      It’s not supposed to, imho. That’s what your self-heal is for. The regen for 3s is to keep you going longer without needing your self-heal, but isn’t intended to replace it in any respect. They’ve emphasized this a lot, ever since they said there’s no healing class.

  5. Kadomi

    I am not sold on ‘moving constantly’ as melee is a playstyle I enjoy. I know that there is feedback that you can circle-strafe as melee out of range of the mobs. Do I want to play like that indefinitely? No. I like having to dodge to evade special attacks, and I don’t mind the occasional kiting, but if active, visceral combat translates into strafing=WIN! it might not be for me ultimately.

    Which is a shame, I am first and foremost a melee girl in any game that I try.

  6. Wyzim

    Not only I put all my 10 trait points(by level 20) into Defense line, I also picked +Vitality gear piece every time I had a choice. The way I saw it, I had to get close in melee fair amount of time and that extra bit of defence allowed me a bigger margin for error, and overall, better playing experience. I wasn’t too worried about my damage; Survivability + control/mobility abilities of my warrior meant I could take down even very tough enemies solo, even if it took a bit of time. This is how I plan to level (mostly melee) professions after launch.

    1. Ravious Post author

      That’s an interesting way of putting it. Increases the margin of error. I wonder how this could be more relayed to players because like jondifool says how many are going to [realize and] go for that.

      1. RobG

        It may be my nearly complete lack of melee experience and being a n00bish MMO player, but my instinct was to put points into armor and healing over dmg on my Guardian for the reasons given above. In my case it’s usually lack of situational awareness that causes me to take time to react rather than lag but in any case I felt I needed to help myself in that area.

    2. Brise Bonbons

      Did you try Toughness at all, Wyzim? It seems like damage reduction would be a very powerful stat in PvE, since so many deaths seem to be from huge damage packets instagibbing people.

      In contrast it seemed like PvP was a battle of attrition for the most part. That said, most builds I’ve seen people discuss for structured PvP seem to have both vit and toughness.

      The thing about PvE in GW2 is, there’s no resource to run out of, so it seems like trading offense for defense is going to be a win-win. The only scenario I can see the lack of DPS being an issue is versus enemies that can heal.

      I didn’t play this weekend, though, so I could be wrong.

      1. Reggie

        This sparks a whole line of interesting thoughts. Next time I’ll see whether my ele can go tough-tank with water-fountain healing.

      2. Wyzim

        Tactics trait line was giving me +Vitality and +Boon Duration and first minor was to gain extra armour while reviving. Defense was giving me +Toughness and +Healing and first minor trait was to gain extra armour when health is above 90%. I was getting Vitality from armour pieces, I wanted Toughness from traits, so I went with Defense. From how I see it, Vitality is more valuable against single, powerful mobs and Toughness against same-level multiple mobs, but I am no min-maxer. :)

  7. MalkContent

    Something I noticed (at least with the Norn and Char areas) was that many of the mini boss type enemies seemed to have “reflects projectiles” as a trick they use. Every time they popped this I saw hordes of ranged players drop like flies because they weren’t paying attention and got killed via their own auto-attacks. I really felt like I was saving the day with the “Kick” utility as a melee character. Knocking the enemy down and saving huge amounts of ranged players.

    I’m hoping we see more variety in the enemies in the later zones and that more things require people to mix up between ranged and melee, or at least be aware of how the enemies are effecting the other players.

    Also I specced defence in my gear (got five characters to lvl 10 so didn’t play around with the traits)through my crafting and as a melee character I have to say it really helped. A little bit extra health (instead of slotting condition or damage buffs) meant the difference between life and death, as those extra two or three hits you can take before kicking in your heal allow you far more breathing room.

    1. bhagpuss

      I first noticed the “Reflects Projectiles” ability when I pulled an elemental and found it seemed about ten times harder than other mobs of the same level. From then on I just sent the pet in on these and healed it and they went down as fast as anything else.

    2. Pai

      This is what was murdering people in the Charr newbie zone during the event fight with the Flame Shaman (though his shield was reflecting ALL dmg I believe). People were asking all over the place in zone chat why this quest was so hard and why he was killing people left and right even with like 15+ people mobbing him.

      Between his adds and his reflect, it took groups forever to kill him because the were bashing their heads against his shield and killing themselves repeatedly. The whole zerg strategy was a total fail in that case.

      1. Curuniel

        I wonder how long it will take before the local chat around those events stops being filled with “this game is dumb, I’m just dying no matter what I do, wtf” and is replaced with “n00b, can’t even tell when to weapon switch, gtfo” or something to that effect.

      2. MalkContent

        It reflected all damage but not the special effects of melee attacks, so waltzing in and “Rifle Butting” for example worked just fine to knock him down and drop his shield.

        I think people weren’t expecting normal mobs or at least mini boss fights to actually require you to think. It’s refreshing even if the level of thought needed is still less than most games it is higher than other mmos.

  8. Roger that

    This is true of every game ever. How often do you see a yi ad carry in competitive lol? All melee are given tools to get in and out. They need to be used

  9. Darien

    This is where I struggle with the expense for respecing attributes. I also played ranger, speced into damage, and struggled with any of the melee options. I like the ideas you have about working with a teammate who can make up for your weaknesses, but I don’t like that my build would rely on that.

    I also was thinking that when playing a solo melee character it could be useful to spec out defensive attributes. When playing a longbow ranger power seems like a pretty good choice, whereas expertise/malice could be really interesting with a shortbow. With either of these weapon choices I would probably stay away from any of the defensive attributes.

    The problem I have is that the weapons that I will be good at using and the teams that I will fit into will be influenced heavily by my attribute spread. While I can adapt to the situation/group/area by changing weapons and skills it is only part of the picture.

    1. Brise Bonbons

      I’ve complained about this since the introduction of the new attributes with the trait system. I preferred the simplified attributes when they were just power/crit & toughness/vitality, because they interacted with weapons and skills less rigidly.

      I feel that GW2 has very much gone the route of “traditional” MMOs here, urging you to make a relatively permanent build rather than experimenting and frequently changing items and skills.

      I don’t know whether this is a positive or negative move on their part yet, but it does seem like it could lead to a lot of frustrations. I.e. imagine you’re specced heavily into conditions and toughness as a brawling melee ranger, when a completely awesome longbow drops off a boss…

  10. Tib

    Large group melee is pretty much a disaster, to the point where the smartest thing to do is simply equip your ranged weapon and ignore that melee exists at all. That is very bad for the game, and it affects pve and WvW.

    But I don’t think that solo pve vs 1-2 mobs is bad at all. I was able, as a ranger w single hand sword, to take out 2 ettin (or ettin like things in the queensdale swamp/TOA area) that were two levels higher than me. I went down once, but with the skills I was able to rally and finish the second one off. And considering how comparatively nasty fighting mobs above your level is in gw2, that isn’t bad at all.

    “there is also the disparity in that a melee player has to be aware about the enemy’s action much more than a ranged player.”

    This is a big problem in large scale encounters, and one that is basically unfixable because melee characters are blinded by the large numbers of players, enemies, and AOE right in front of them (and the ele’s meteor shower is one of the worst). It is hard to see anything, much less the boss animations. Part of the time you’re not even sure you’re in range to hit anything.

    On the plus side, I tried out everything except the traps on the ranger, and it was pretty good. Pets do still need some work, but they’re not terrible, and they do spend a lot of time dead in combat, forcing you to make the choice between dps/playing the game/contributing and taking 10 sec+ to revive the pet. Enemies really didn’t like it when my wolf chilled them though, any time I used it the pet would die moments later. Also: Heal as One doesn’t seem to scale well, at least in terms of healing the pet. Buffing it to heal the pet for more when you’re at full health (which i did often) might be good.

    1. Wyzim

      Remember that a Ranger can instantly swap to a different pet when the current pet dies(button to the right of pet abilities). If pets were really useful, I guess a lot more players would have done it. From I what I saw in WvW, pretty much all pets had the ‘Revive’ icon on top of their bodies.

      1. Brise Bonbons

        I’m torn when it comes to GW2 sometimes forcing you into ranged combat. I think it’s actually pretty cool from a narrative sense. It reminds me of all the units in Warhammer 40K who carry both ranged and melee weapons around: This is exactly why they do that, and it’s neat to think, “if everyone had the ability to carry a gun/bow on their back, in reality they’d probably all stand back and start shooting at this giant thing that would smash them instantly if they got close”.

        On the other hand, we want to be able to choose weapons and skills that we like. We’ve been trained by RPGs to think that the difference between ranged and melee weapons is more about stylistic choice than practical concerns, and that we should be free to use melee weapons even in settings lousy with firearms – and not only do so without significant disadvantage, we’re rewarded with extra lethality and mobility!

        Honestly I’m just not sure what to think; there seem to be good arguments on both sides. I like the idea that there is a bit of real world logic at play, but I also know that if, for example, I was playing warrior, I would not enjoy being forced to equip a ranged weapon in a boss fight – I just don’t like any of the skills warrior ranged weapons bring to the field.

        1. Tib

          That’s a great way of looking at it, but I just can’t help feeling that many of the weapons in the game are useless in a large part of the content.

          It wasn’t supposed to be that way. Part of their rationale for removing the fully customizable skill bar and adding in the weapons was that they wanted to make sure that everybody had a “pretty good” build in half their skill bar.

          But if melee is so bad, choosing a developer designed melee weapon is itself playing the game wrong, and the “pretty good” half of their bar is going to be the utility portion.

          1. Brise Bonbons

            Very true. This has always been a concern of mine for GW2, because frankly, Arena Net never proved themselves good at understanding and balancing builds in GW1. The history of hardcore PvP in that game has been one of slow decline and constant missteps by the developers, at least from the standpoint of the competitive community.

            Though to be fair, it did start to improve slightly towards the end. But I have seen several comments about weapons in GW2 with skill combinations that simply don’t make sense. I’m much more worried about that than damage numbers, which can be tuned easily.

            Although even one or two builds ago, ANet shuffled around Necromancer weapon skills to improve their cohesiveness, so it’s certainly something they’re looking at.

            1. Aly

              GW1 balance problems pretty much came down to dual professions, which only expanded as professions were added since you weren’t just adding 2 professions at a time but multiple.

              GW2 has its own set of complications but it’s a lot less convoluted to begin with.

      2. Tib

        Yes, that is a lifesaver, but even better is when you get downed, your #2 skill is an automatic pet rez. I may be seconds from death, but that skill still made me resent the standard, slow resurrection.

  11. Reggie

    One if the biggest issues (not necessarily problem, just issue) is that the traditional mob control is gone. You can’t channel mobs and it is extremely hard to get them to stay in AOE. Squishies have no protection. I took my ele up to level 20, finished the personal storyline as far as it goes in the beta, and found that I was calling down AOE on myself continuously. In some of the storyline where I had to go one on one with melee bruisers (norn ele) it was really tough. Being unable to reallocate skill points when you switch elemental focus means you must choose one to be good at and three which stink or have a few be mediocre. Tough call. Point was, maxed unsteady ground slowed incoming enemies for only 1 second. Maxed shockwave bound them for three seconds or so, which gives you some options, but not a lot.

    I think organized team play will do well in the game as it seems much more akin to HA in the original. Groups will need to spike weak enemies and enemies will try to do the same. This will be where dodge really shines, but you can’t seem to spike bosses. Im sure people will find ways to adapt, but it will require thought and teamwork to, for example, create a chain of holds or locks or cripples etc.

  12. Attic Lion

    That was pretty much my take away from the weekend too Rav, melee all but require intensive support to operate in the more unforgiving environments. Though when you do have that dedicated support you can do quite well. My friend and I did a lot of PvP over the weekend and we quickly found out that my support/healing oriented staff Guardian and his sword/axe Ranger was a pretty good combo. I rarely died without 3-4 guys on me and could keep him up quite well between all the buffs and debuffs I could spread around. Trying to do the same with a greatsword or hammer Guardian was an exercise in how fast could I hit the respec key.

    Of course, the support + melee combo only really worked because of the 80 bolster. In WvW my Guardian was largely useless. Their ranged damage is bloody awful no matter how you slice it and a support build just isn’t possible until the higher levels, and melee is either getting kited to death or being evaporated in the whirling chaos of AoE spam. Maybe it’ll get better at launch, but since this is clearly a marketing beta I doubt it will be a substantial enough improvement.

    Very disappointing all told. Hopefully we have plenty more weekends to mess with, I want to try out a Necromancer and a Thief now that I’ve all but nixed the Guardian.

  13. emryis

    For me it was a bust.

    Problems with getting the game to update (known issue with some firewalls) logged a support ticket to find out what was happening (settings change or something) got a form letter FAQ, re-queried it as my question wasn’t covered 2 days later I got a dismissive response

    Created a character (human thief) really did not like the personal story options at that point. Logged into the game. Found the graphics bland and uninteresting, tried to turn left and right and found I was strafing instead and went Oh Dear console game. Yes I know I can remap those keys, but really?

    Then I tried to go to first person view, nope no option I could find, spent 10 minutes trying to find a way couldn’t so I logged a support ticket. No response.

    OK so I have done my money as I wont be going back.

    Now I know most of you are saying but what about the game play? Why would anyone be in first person anyway?

    Well when I buy a MMO Role Playing Game I expect to be able to, well role play. Third person doesn’t cut it for me, neither do crappy story options at character creation and bland graphics.

    1. Serialchiller

      This is probably your first mmo, so I’ll it explain for you. W,A,S,D are the movement controls in mmo’s. To strafe you press the Q and E buttons, which you were pressing. To say this game’s graphics were bland and uninteresting is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Ever. When I hear someone diss GW2 with comments like this, that have no validity, I instantly know one of two things about them: A.)They are hardcore Terra/TOR fans or B.)They never even played the beta and are trolling.

    2. Aly

      What about the actual stories the options lead to? Or did you not get that far? I thought the circus option sounded cheesy so I picked it for beta to avoid spoilers as I otherwise wouldn’t have for real. And it resulted in a subplot I ended up enjoying.

      Also, didn’t you know how it looked and played before you bought it?

      If you don’t like the graphics, you don’t like the graphics, but they are identical to what was advertised. I find it hard to believe that someone would pre-purchase a game sight unseen.

  14. Pai

    John Peters just posted in the forums today addressing Melee concerns: https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/game/gw2/Melee-vs-Ranged/page/1#post131324

    They are definitely aware of the issue and are working to address it.

    For those without beta forum access, here is the quote:

    “Hey all. I wanted to talk about this a bit since it is a hot topic here and also on the internets. The intention is that both styles are viable. Certainly right now Melee is more difficult than ranged. There are some things we will try to do to address this, but I think the more you play you would find they are closer than you think.

    First what’s already there:
    1) Melee does more damage. Melee damage is simply higher than ranged damage across the board.
    2) Melee has more control. With a few intentional exception Melee has a lot more control than ranged.

    What Melee needs:
    1) defensive tools on more weapons, particularly on lower armor professions.
    2) ai needs to favor Melee a bit less than it currently does.

    What else:
    Finally because of the more action based nature of combat Melee needs to be taught better. Effective Melee requires skills that translate over from FPS games which are notoriously harder on casual players. You have to wasd to move, constantly aim with your mouse camera, and hit skills on 1-5.

    Some tips:
    If you have learned any good Melee tips that you think we should pass on to newer players feel free to post them here. I’ll start with a few tips of my own.

    – If you don’t have mouse look on when using a skill you will turn to face. I sometimes let go of mouse look as I activate to help me aim through the chaos and then click it back down in between attacks.

    – Melee has a lot of hard hitting skills and good setup. Utility skills Can really help set up big Melee attacks. Bulls charge on warrior, scorpion wire on thief, judges intervention on guardian.

    – know when to run. No matter what you are not a tank. You have to move in and out avoiding damage. If you have to soak damage try and bring boons like Protection and Regeneration or conditions like Blindness and the very undervalued Weakness.

    Thanks for reading this all. Rest assured we will keep working on this and just keep in mind the subtle differences in GW2 combat that take a while to sink in.

    ~Jon”

  15. MMOtte

    From my play experience, first off melee is fine for soloing veterans, and doing non-zerg (3-10 people) champion group events. I played as a guardian with mainly sword+shield/scepter+focus. Latter set for when I had to pull out to stay safe for a bit, or if I needed to pull a group when solo.
    On this character, I soloed 2 different jumping puzzles, and also wandered solo into some of the more out of the way (=generally harder) areas.

    My second character was a skirmishing ranger, normally with a combination of two of greatsword/axe+torch/shortbow. I spent most of my time just outside melee reach (for optimum damage from bonfire/my cone attacks), and for utility skills had a +movespeed signet and lightning reflexes (backwards dodge granting vigor which, along with the shortbow 3 evade+swiftness helped a lot). My biggest achievement on this character, by far, was doing a level 16 personal story on level 11 with a friend, and soloing demongrub pits at level 14 (that last ooze room was a nightmare!). I can tell you from my experience with the latter, in which I went axes+torch/shortbow, that greatsword would probably have been a wiser choice on that, as I ran into trouble with respawns due to slow kill-time.

    Lastly, with regards to traits from 11-40. I would recommend focusing less on attributes and more on traits.
    For example, on my guardian I went full spirit weapon as my utility. This meant my first 10 points went to line #5 for a major trait with 2x spirit weapon duration (also, -virtue CD and +boon duration). The next 10 went into line #1 for “spirit weapons stay active after dismissing them” (also, +power and +condition damage).

    On my ranger, I only got to 15, but I went straight for the minor trait (in Wilderness Survival) which gives +50% endurance regen, meaning shorter time between dodges. If I didn’t have access to wiki, I wouldn’t even be able to tell you the attributes (turns out it was +toughness and +condition damage).

    But of course, if you like your friend have no build in mind, +power is always a safe bet.

  16. Dirame

    I played the Forest of Niflhel map several times as a Guardian and if you know the Forest of Niflhel, you know that there are mobs you can kill that give you a large amount of points and you’ll also know that those things hit REALLY HARD. So far I’ve managed to kill them solo with the Guardian, the Ranger (Melee, Gsword and Sword/Dagger), Necro (melee Dagger/Warhorn), and Warrior (Mace/Axe, Sword/Shield). And all of these I did in melee because I had blinds, stuns, knockdowns, knockbacks and skill-activated dodging in the case of the Ranger.

    Melee is all about placement and at the beginning of the game, it’s hard to get this kind of placement because you don’t have all your skills yet. When people do, they will see how easy it is to be in melee.

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  18. João Carlos

    My experience:
    1) warrior: I speced for damage, so I was using greatsword and rifle, some grouped mobs with ranged weapons and champions I was using rifle.
    2) guardian: I speced for toughness, my armour was vit… weapons mace and shield or greatsword… grouped mobs as centaurs, I was using greatsword and aoe that mobs, but no dieing… champions and tougher mobs I was using shield and mace.

    I discovered my guardian was having a lower rate of dieing.

    My guess: people will need learn the strategies and tatics for this game. Toughness and Vit trait lines are important for whose want melee or tank. If you add it to a signet of judgement (that reduces incoming damage) and other skills, you can make your guardian almost invulnerable.

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