My necromancer was the first character I ever created, back at the October 2004 World Preview Even for Prophecies. She's not my main character, as I don't have a main character, but it is on her that I have felt many of the main changes on the game.
For example, back on the WPE, all minion spells took 5 seconds to be cast. It was funny - the event began on Lion's Arch with our level 15 characters, and when doing the first mission (Alessio), PUGs would be far, far away before I had managed to cast a single Animate Bone Horror >.> In other hand, Soul Reaping gave two points of energy per rank on it (without any of the current limits it has), so I could use skills as if I had infinite energy. I remember being very happy when my entire group died and yet I managed to kill the enemies, thanks to all the energy those deaths gave me. Of course, we were against three terrible menacing Fire Imps (-_-#), but it did felt like a huge accomplishment to kill them at the time.
Later, during the Prophecies Beta Weekend Events (more...)
Originally my second character, remade after the release of Nightfall thanks to how pretty one of the new faces is (more...).
Third character ever created, used mostly for some mindless exploding fun xD (more...)
The most beautiful profession in the game, and one of my favourite characters. Ritualist were one of the professions that suffered the most due to Arena Net's design decisions (more...)
As flawed as Factions is, I have to admit the art team did a wonderful job in the chapter. Not only it has some of the best armors in the entirety of Guild Wars, but also the animations of its two new professions are incredibly detailed (more...)
A character that has been created and left somewhat abandoned. I have never been too fond of the Warrior profession, but all the pretty weapon skins they have convinced me to make one (especially after seeing the Zodiac weapons, hence this character being Canthan) (more...)
My second to last character, and one of my favourite ones (more...)
My last character, probably the most powerful among them all (more...)
Hall of Monuments
(The following tables were modified from those created by Wynthyst. Basically, the parts that work came from her, and the ugly stuff is mine : P Thanks, Wyn.)
To Do List
- Finish Nightfall
- Get Ascended Exotic Armor
- Get GW:EN skills
- Finish GW:EN
- Get Warrior skills
- Get GW:EN skills
- Finish GW:EN
- Get Primeval armor
- Finish Prophecies
- Finish Prophecies book
- Get GW:EN skills
- Finish GW:EN
Jora - Swordsmanship
Template code: OQkTETKXzxwcYBMBGD7a5vKvBA
One of the builds with the highest number of variations, depending of which character the hero belongs to. Some use Jora as a beast master, others focus more on conditions, and so on. This is her generic build, dealing useful conditions as well as having enough raw damage and a minimum of self defense. The only reason it has Signet of Return instead of a Monk resurrection is because I try to avoid Wa/Mos : P
Koss - Axe Mastery
Template code: OQQTco4K5poIVsKQlryfVTIAAA
An old build, mixing a bit of damage with Deep Wound and a bit of utility. Warrior heroes actually use Plague Touch very well, and Distracting Blow is used very effectively.
Goren - Hammer Mastery
Template code: OQcTEzJ/zhsMWALflryfF3JAAA
Took me some time to find a working Hammer Mastery build for heroes. As expected, the AI cannot handle very well skills with too many conditions or "lose all adrenaline" skills. Aiming for something simpler, in a build with knock down and a few useful conditions, I arrived at the build above. Warrior heroes happen to use Death's Charge relatively well - they cast it at the beginning of a fight (which actually forces them to tank a bit) and when it recharges; the long cooldown prevents energy waste, and by the time it's recharged the healing effect is actually useful.
Acolyte Jin - Marksmanship
Template code: OgMU0mbizMTPGuSVgwGoGFH+GoRA
Broad Head Arrow is very useful in PvE; if used carefully it won't ever miss, making it a great tool against any caster boss. There are many variations for this build, such as one with a pet instead of Troll Unguent, but the main idea stays the same.
Pyre Fierceshot - Wilderness Survival
Template code: OgMU0mbi5cSPGqGXisG+W+GrGoRA
Limited to areas with fleshy enemies, this build focuses on health degeneration. The build itself is useful, although somewhat annoying to be played by a human-controlled characters, but in a hero it works well.
Margrid the Sly - Beast Mastery
Template code: OgMU0GLfzMNPGZJv538Z4M0G0IA
Beast Mastery is a very poor attribute line. Rangers have effectively less skills than other core professions due to the mostly useless Nature Rituals; Beast Mastery also has many situational pet attacks that need to hit enemies at very specific moments, yet the mechanics of pets lack that degree of precision. The AI can't use those skills effectively, so there isn't a big pool of skills to choose from for a Beast Mastery hero build. Many pet skills also try to use the pet to do something a ranger itself could do better with other skills, hence Distracting Shot being on this skill bar instead of Disurpting Lunge.
What does a pet add to the party? One more character that does not get DP, can do reliable if low damage and may move incredibly fast. Therefore, I think most good Beast Mastery skill bars need an IAS, some kind of healing for the pet, some kind of defensive skill for the pet, and of course one of the skills that activate the pet. The skill bar above is a combination of all the above plus the only ranger skill that inflicts Deep Wound, and one or two other things. Most of the time I give this build to Margrid with a lioness (I think it's fitting for the pirate queen), although some characters use a different pet.
Tahlkora - Protection Prayers
Template code: OwYT0mHD5peMTEIX6JCyIggGBA
Zealous Benediction often does not have its condition fulfilled, but the AI often tries to use some sort of protection as healing (which does make sense, after all), so at least a healing spell gets used in those times. Protective Spirit and Aegis are IMO the most useful Monk skills in the game. There are variations of this build with Shield of Absorption
or Shielding Hands
replacing Guardian; I believe the latter is usually more useful in Hard Mode. Resurrection Chant is kept disabled, being used only manually as an out of combat resurrection.
Dunkoro - Healing Prayers
Template code: OwAS0YIPakNCdd6f38HgE0I
An almost never used build (more often than not the healing henchman is enough), with Spotless Soul
or Spotless Mind
in areas in which those would be more useful. There's also a variant with Stoneflesh Aura
for Hard Mode. Resurrection Chant is kept disabled and only used manually.
Ogden - Smiting Prayers
Template code: OwAT0GHD5Bv6So+Wffm9o6jGBA
A generic Smiting Prayers build, used more often to support melee characters. Works nicely to support a party with two other monks. There's a variation with Strength of Honor
replacing Divine Intervention.
Master of Whispers - Curses
Template code: OANDY8x9MV18gQbMs74zVC0I
As expected, a Curses build had to have Spiteful Spirit and its two following skills. Well of Silence is there just thanks to the health degeneration effect (it wasn't worth moving attribute points to Death Magic just for this). There are variants of this build with Barbs
and once in a while Mark of Pain
, depending on party composition.
Olias - Death Magic
Template code: OApjUwG5aOVVg2UgKgHEvsXBAA
A generic Minion Master build. I have chosen to focus more on Hard Mode, relying on the Flesh Golem as a source of damage (given how it has more or less the same level as the enemies) together with the Bone Fiends, and the Bone Horrors there just to body block (Bone Minions die way too quickly in HM to be useful in this role), hence the lack of other more commonly used skills in heroes (such as Jagged Horrors or Death Nova, which IMO isn't reliable enough in HM). The self healing skills are used effectively by the AI and help to avoid hostile minion armies.
Livia - Blood Magic
Template code: OApjQwG5aOVVKhhoT8I4CsXBAA
Blood Magic is the weaker Necromancer attribute line. Considering how the AI usually cannot handle well sacrifice skills, nor realize how standing within allied wells is a good thing, it took me a considerable time to find a half decent Blood Magic build for heroes. They can use BIP relatively well, given some self healing skills, but I don't like to rely on the extra energy. In a party filled with physical damage, this works surprisingly well; the hero does not self sacrifice to death, thanks mostly to Mystic Regeneration, and it usually won't use both Orders together.
Gwen - Domination Magic
Template code: OQNEApwT2zcBoBTPB3OooCFQjA
Mesmer skill bars work best when tailored to a specific environment, but for the sake of simplicity (and consistency, too) I decided to make generic, multipurpose mesmer hero skill bars. It's easy to do so for Domination Magic due to Panic - it's a versatile spell (interrupts everything, not just spells), good for PvE (since it has a strong AoE effect) and with a relatively low energy cost; in other words, it's perfect for the AI. The other skills there are more for suplemental roles - Mirror of Disenchantment is a less energy intensive enchantment removal than Shatter Enchantment, Mistrust is useful due to the interrupt it causes, Signet of Weariness is very useful when dealing with physical enemies, Energy Tap is more reliable than some of the other energy options, and Overload is actually used well by the AI (who doesn't spam it on recharge, rather appears to try to use it on enemies actually using skills).
Norgu - Illusion Magic
Template code: OQNEAZwT2DlB8CsCgASC4AMChGB
While it would have been easy to make a Domination Magic build focused sorely against casters, Illusion Magic is easily used against physical enemies. While there are many other hexes, IMO the simplest role for the AI is to act as an anti-attacker, which is versatile enough considering that in PvE even casters will often try to attack.
Sousuke - Fire Magic
Template code: OgNDoMz9MNN62YFZAM6F4C0I
A traditional Fire Magic build, focusing on raw damage. Meteor Shower's recharge makes its exhaustion to not be an issue, and its knockdown effect is worth the long wait between uses. With three different sources of energy, this build allows the hero to cast long enough before having to stop.
Zhed - Water Magic
Template code: OgNDsMz9MitpRKDZcNWHQj3J
Despite having far less damage than the build above, I like using Water Magic thanks to its secondary effects. The AI often won't move away from Maelstrom before trying to cast a couple spells (not unlike many players : P), Blurred Vision is often very useful against physical damage dealers, and the snaring effect of Ice Spikes is also useful against most HM enemies. I prefer to avoid using more than one exhaustion spell per hero, which explain why this build does not have some other useful skills.
Vekk - Air Magic
Template code: OgNDgMz9MejyxVV6rDBHhD0I
Reasonable damage with useful conditions, mostly thanks to Thunderclap. A hero not used often given the lack of AoE damage, but still useful in areas with smaller enemy groups.
Zenmai - Dagger Mastery
Template code: Owpj0xjpaOCQuHCr7dwOzk78LA
It's difficult to make good assassin builds for heroes. The AI usually has problems dealing with conditional skills, and doubly so with assassin conditional skills (which means most of them). It's also difficult to find a suitable role for the assassin heroes, something they could be better than everyone else at. Damage? An assassin played by a human could be good at damage, sure, but the AI is too lacking for that. I have settled on a build focused on applying conditions, something the assassin skills are good at. The AI actually deals with this build rather well - it will use the entire chain, which is an achievement on itself, and it will use Attacker's Insight at the beginning of a chain, as opposed to in its middle (during testing for these builds, often I saw the AI using enchantments in the middle of a dagger chain, stopping for so long that the chain was broken). I could add a resurrection skill instead of the self healing... But I doubt very much there will be a situation in which the assassin hero will be only one left standing.
Anton - Deadly Arts
Template code: OwNk0xe53Mm0OSF0Vo2TC0ZmLDaE
My original intention here was to use more or less the same build the Ebon Vanguard Assassin
has: it would provide reliable damage with a reliable knock down, using Assassin's Promise to deal with the long recharge of the skills and to trigger Iron Palm's condition for a knock down. It doesn't work - not only the AI will not use Assassin's Promise before starting the chain, so more often than not Iron Palm will not knock down the enemy, but it will also stop to cast the hex whenever an enemy is at low health, so usually the attack chain would be interrupted. Trying to use other hexes led to similar results, and without Assassin's Promise the recharge of Iron Palm is simply too long to be worth it. So I kept the original idea - a chain that could not be blocked - and built a simpler chain around it, with Trampling Ox to hopefully provide some knock down once in a while. It works decently enough (yes, Shadow Refuge is used at a very low rank of Shadow Arts, but it still gives more health than the alternatives.
Xandra - Restoration Magic
Template code: OAaiEykMZtJNN5gMkxMOxJexAA
A build made mostly to make the ritualist heroes useful, its effectiveness is somewhat limited by the AI (which almost never uses Xinrae's Weapon, maybe the most powerful skill here, and keeps spamming Life everywhere). It can still replace a hero monk without significant issues, however.
Razah - Communing
Template code: OACjAyhDJPYTrX48xNPdmQzLGA
Between the constant buffs and nerfs to ritualists, eventually we reached a state in which the AI can use Shelter effectively. Between Soul Twisting and Boon of Creation (both of which the AI tries to keep up all the time), there's enough energy for the three binding rituals, as well as the other skills. This build provides a very solid defense; I'm curious to see if this build and the above may be used together to completely replace monks.
General Morgahn - Command
Template code: OQCjUmmMaOC56tFuCL+zxtY5NA
As expected from a Command build, this one is only as powerful as the party is based on physical attacks. Damage support with energy management decent enough makes this a build I enjoy using with physical characters, although this hero is almost never used by caster professions.
General Morgahn - Command
"Stand Your Ground!" or "Never Surrender!"
Anthem of Flame or Blazing Finale
Livia - Blood Magic