Bar compression refers to the practise of replacing a combination of skills by a smaller combination of skills that still performs the same or similar functions. This frees up one or more slots on the skill bar. Bar compression is generally achieved by using elite or PvE-only skills. In contrast, anti-compression reduces the number of available slots by using a greater number of skills.
Examples of bar compression
- See also: Bar compression/Examples for a more thorough list.
- Primal Rage combines improved movement and attack speed into a single elite skill.
- Drunken Master (a PvE-only skill) provides similar bar compression as a non-elite skill.
- Life Sheath combines condition removal, damage absorption, and healing into one elite skill.
- Asuran Scan can be used to ignore the effects of blind, blocking against a target, as long as the hex remains on the target.
- Hybrid builds can compress multiple team roles into one, by combining different forms of defence or offence.
- Although hybrid builds can work well when compressing bars, these builds may be more easily overwhelmed in combat.
- Not every skill that combines multiple functions is useful for compressing a skill bar; the skill might require trading off too much value (e.g. damage, healing, or range) or have too high a cost in resources (e.g. energy, recharge, or activation time).
- Some skills are only useful for bar compression under limited circumstances. For example, Panic can replace the need for multiple interrupt skills in larger groups, but loses effectiveness if the targets are spread out and/or few in numbers.
- Skills that compress the skill bar can be used to diversify a player's skills or to amplify the presence of a particular effect. For example, Elemental Attunement can be used to replace Air Attunement, or used together to further increase their effects.