User talk:Infinite

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Personal to-do-maybe-probably-not list[edit]

Armor sets to complete and add to HoM for completionist's sake[edit]

Other HoM things for completionist's sake[edit]

None of these will happen any time soon, especially not the PvP parts. Some of the armor sets are best of the worst scenarios. - Infinite - talk 22:34, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Wiki to-do list[edit]

  • Finish updating lists of skills to improved DPL calls.
  • Sort out Skills quick reference (this article was doomed from the start, considering how [one of] Misery made it).
  • Overhaul some articles up for a rewrite.
  • Remove every single instance of 'you' from the wiki's main space.

More added later. - Infinite - talk 08:10, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

Ooo, so formal. And just so you're aware, the number of main space pages with "you" being used outside of skills is in the thousands. Not to stop you, but perhaps give you some perspective ; ). G R E E N E R 19:10, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

Guild Wars Legends (I Agree With Your Mind Actually)[edit]

I have a sneaking suspicion that Arenanet might indeed release this game as a standalone RPG provided they are forced to shut its servers down in the future. Or, at the very least, NCSoft would order them to do it as a way to further profit from Guild Wars. Soldier198 (talk) 23:52, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

I was always enamoured by the original cinematics for the games, where they featured the main cast. Like with Prophecies, but even more so Factions. It always sucked how these stories were never included in the actual game (except for lore and dialogue). Those were the stories I was really looking forward to and if anything, make for an exceptional single player game if using mechanics along the lines of Dragon Age. Imagine taking control of those characters and controlling them all plus switching at will (AI running the others), while going through their heroic tale. That's what I want, especially now that the online aspect has been reduced to what it is today. - Infinite - talk 14:36, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Guild Wars Age: Inquisition. Control your four man party with ten professions, over 1000 skills, and a groundbreaking new and unique feature (that will not be explored in its sequel) of DUAL PROFESSIONS. Order today! Soldier198 (talk) 16:09, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Factions henchmen, the biggest culprits of original gameplay gone sour[edit]

So currently I am doing one of my chronological runs on a Mesmer (hurray for extremely overpowered professions) and as per usual I am struggling to set up a party of seven henchmen in Factions. I have always gotten by by carrying the team with my own character, but the start of the Kaineng City storyline brings me to the most infuriating aspect of that campaign: the henchmen suck. Like, not even a little bit. They suck big time.

The first hurdle[edit]

The content ahead is actually quite challenging compared to the rest of Factions (with the exceptions of Eternal Grove and Imperial Sanctum). When a Prophecies character on a chronological run arrives in Cantha, they'll be in Kaineng Center. The first problem we encounter there is the selection of henchmen. Drastically smaller and worse than in most of mainland Cantha. Some of the better/best Kaineng henchmen are not available here, such as Chiyo and Cynn, leaving you to pick from a vast lineup of clearly not very well designed options:

  • Warrior Devona
    • wields a hammer but has no IAS skills,
    • has Healing Signet equipped, which she will use whenever she takes more than 10% damage,
    • has Yeti Smash, which effectively makes her useless as an adrenaline Warrior,
    • lacks any sort of defensive skills other than Balanced Stance which is hardly relevant in Kaineng except against Dragon's Stomp.
  • Warrior Talon
    • has Healing Signet equipped, which he will use whenever he takes more than 10% damage,
    • cannot keep up his IAS,
    • cannot block and has no defensive skills.
  • Ranger Zho
    • lacks an IAS skill,
    • has no defensive stances or skills,
    • has Troll Unguent equipped,
    • lacks energy management,
    • is a bow ranger.
  • Ranger Aidan
    • lacks energy management,
    • has Troll Unguent equipped,
    • is a bow ranger.
  • Monk Sister Tai
    • is a monk without energy management,
    • is a monk without energy management,
    • is a monk without energy management,
    • uses Blessed Light and Healing Breeze on recharge to boot.
  • Elementalist Kai Ying
    • has low damage output,
    • relies solely on enchantments for energy management,
    • has Ward Against Melee, which AI loves to ignore and kite out of.

At the end of the day this leaves only six henchmen relatively worth taking, each with a note:

  • Necromancer Eve - Six skills other than Resurrection Signet, all single target except Deadly Swarm. At least has survivability.
  • Necromancer Su - Doesn't know what to do with corpses, but at least her animation skills are not quick to recharge. Does not have a Bloodstained insignia equipped.
  • Mesmer Lo Sha - Quite possibly the best henchman here.
  • Elementalist Headmaster Vhang - Ideally there would be less energy management on his bar, but it's much safer than the alternative.
  • Assassin Panaku - Viper's will temporarily remove him from his target, while he should be using that chain.
  • Ritualist Professor Gai - Energy management is very important to fuel his great skills.

And depending on needs, either:

  • Monk Sister Tai - Effectively useless without Eve after 10 seconds of combat.
or
  • Elementalist Kai Ying - Contributes almost nothing unless you get very lucky.

Which is problematic, because they're all low armour and high risk professions and keeping them safe is quite the feat, especially with healer henchmen that do not function very well.

The second hurdle[edit]

Most enemies in Kaineng will come in guns blazing with large amount of AoE damage and a vast collection of other detrimental effects. None of these henchmen are particularly well-versed against those things. This was probably much less notable way back when players still played together without heroes to substitude anyone not present, but when you don't (yet) have access to heroes, don't know how to make heroes stronger than henchmen, or actively attempt to play the game without heroes, henchmen should be able to pick up the slack any day. Since players cannot design the henchmen's builds, the skill bars should be much more effective at substituting players and/or heroes.

Even the better henchmen in Kaineng have shortcomings, usually very notable in harder fights. They don't need to be this weak. One of the problems is the self-imposed limit of only having seven skills on their skill bars. Sure, they technically often have eight, but the eighth skill is either a resurrect or just an empty slot. No party benefits from having seven (or worse, eight) allies that can resurrect another party member. I honestly don't understand who was ever responsible for these bars are thought they were good builds.

Solutions[edit]

Some professions are literally better off never slotting a res at all. Every offensive physical henchman needs damage, increased attack rate, anti-shutdown, and energy management. Every offensive magical henchman needs damage, anti-shutdown, energy management. Every defensive henchman needs healing or protection or control, anti-shutdown, and energy management. Properly designed henchmen fall anywhere between those definitions. Heroes have the added benefit of being designed for team synergy, henchmen should limit this to avoid certain henchmen to never be used.

A few simple ways to make the above shortcomers more effective at being good party members, without creating massive amounts of henchmen synergy:

Devona[edit]
  • Warrior Devona - 12 Hammer Mastery, 12 Tactics
Enraged Smash.jpg
Enraged Smash
Balanced Stance.jpg
Balanced Stance
Counter Blow.jpg
Counter Blow
Healing Signet.jpg
Healing Signet
Staggering Blow.jpg
Staggering Blow
Yeti Smash.jpg
Yeti Smash
Resurrection Signet.jpg
Resurrection Signet
  • Devona has way too high an investment into Tactics, literally only affecting two skills: Balanced Stance and Healing Signet. She uses both of these skills terribly. The former only after an initial knockdown and the latter as soon as she takes even a little bit of damage.
  • Yeti Smash removes her built up adrenaline.
  • She lacks an IAS.
  • She doesn't need to carry a resurrect.
  • Another skill would be nice.

Let's solve it:

  • Warrior Devona - 11 Hammer Mastery, 10 Strength, 10 Tactics
Enraged Smash.jpg
Enraged Smash
Counter Blow.jpg
Counter Blow
Staggering Blow.jpg
Staggering Blow
Auspicious Blow.jpg
Auspicious Blow
Mighty Blow.jpg
Mighty Blow
Irresistible Blow.jpg
Irresistible Blow
Tiger Stance.jpg
Tiger Stance
Balanced Stance.jpg
Balanced Stance
  • Dropped Healing Signet, Yeti Smash, and Resurrection Signet which all directly impair Devona's use.
  • Dropped Tactics to 10, losing only a couple of seconds of Balanced Stance.
  • Raised Strength to 10, for extra damage output.
  • Added Auspicious Blow, Mighty Blow, Irrisistable Blow, and Tiger Stance.
  • Auspicious Blow and Enraged Smash were made for each other and gives Devona energy management. The weakness from Staggering Blow allows Auspicious Blow to be unblockable, as well.
  • Mighty Blow is a straightforward damage skill for the moments where no other skills are available. Big damage.
  • Irrisistable Blow counters blocking targets. There are a lot of these. The new energy management allows reliable use of it, too.
  • Tiger's Stance is the only IAS in Factions/Core that doesn't suck as hard. Manly henchmen would rock Frenzy.
  • In Raisu Palace and Imperial Sanctum, Sword of Storms replaces Mighty Blow.

These changes make Devona very much worth bringing to the party, which her major drawbacks being generic Warrior cons (blind, adrenaline shutdown, melee range) and single target damage.

Zho[edit]
  • Ranger Zho - Based on assumption: 12 Marksmanship, 12 Wilderness Survival
Melandru's Shot.jpg
Melandru's Shot
Determined Shot.jpg
Determined Shot
Dual Shot.jpg
Dual Shot
Kindle Arrows.jpg
Kindle Arrows
Savage Shot.jpg
Savage Shot
Troll Unguent.jpg
Troll Unguent
Resurrection Signet.jpg
Resurrection Signet
  • Every single skill other than her Elite is a Core skill.
  • Does not have a way to increase her attack speed, which is vital on a Ranger.
  • Cannot defend herself and comes with a "selfheal" skill that makes her do nothing for a long time.
  • Lacks all kind of energy management and does not seem to have any points invested in Expertise (could be very wrong on this).

Let's solve it:

  • Ranger Zho - 11 Marksmanship, 10 Expertise, 10 Wilderness Survival
Melandru's Shot.jpg
Melandru's Shot
Sundering Attack.jpg
Sundering Attack
Dual Shot.jpg
Dual Shot
Savage Shot.jpg
Savage Shot
Determined Shot.jpg
Determined Shot
Lightning Reflexes.jpg
Lightning Reflexes
Kindle Arrows.jpg
Kindle Arrows
Resurrection Signet.jpg
Resurrection Signet
  • Dropped Troll Unguent.
  • Dropped Wilderness Survival to 10, losing only a bit of damage on Kindle Arrows. I contemplated removing the preparation altogether, as they are all terrible in Factions.
  • Raised Expertise to 10, for reduced energy pressure. Rangers in Core + Factions do not have energy management skills.
  • Added Sundering Attack and Lightning Reflexes.
  • Sundering Attack is a bow attack with an activation time, allowing for higher damage output. It also penetrates some armour.
  • Lightning Reflexes is one of the best Ranger stances in the game, even if it only lasts for 9 seconds.
  • In Raisu Palace and Imperial Sanctum, Celestial Stance replaces Kindle Arrows.

These changes make Zho considerably more potent, improving her damage output significantly by reducing her downtime from Kindle Arrows and Troll Unguent. She will still lack energy management.

Sister Tai[edit]
  • Monk Sister Tai - 12 Divine Favor, 12 Healing Prayers
Blessed Light.jpg
Blessed Light
Divine Intervention.jpg
Divine Intervention
Healing Breeze.jpg
Healing Breeze
Heaven's Delight.jpg
Heaven's Delight
Jamei's Gaze.jpg
Jamei's Gaze
Orison of Healing.jpg
Orison of Healing
Signet of Rejuvenation.jpg
Signet of Rejuvenation
Resurrection Chant.jpg
Resurrection Chant
  • Monks without energy management, where to even begin.
  • Monks with multiple 10e spells, does this not end.
  • Monks with a non-disabled resurrect, ... STOP.

Let's solve it:

  • Monk Sister Tai - 11 Divine Favor, 10 Healing Prayers, 10 Protection Prayers
Boon Signet.jpg
Boon Signet
Gift of Health.jpg
Gift of Health
Heaven's Delight.jpg
Heaven's Delight
Shielding Hands.jpg
Shielding Hands
Shield Guardian.jpg
Shield Guardian
Divine Intervention.jpg
Divine Intervention
Deny Hexes.jpg
Deny Hexes
Resurrection Chant.jpg
Resurrection Chant
  • Dropped Blessed Light, Healing Breeze, Jamei's Gaze, Orison of Healing, and Signet of Rejuvenation.
  • Dropped Healing Prayers to 10, since I'm removing most Healing Prayer skills.
  • Raised Protection Prayers to 10, to make better use of the available skills.
  • Added Boon Signet, Gift of Health, Shielding Hands, Shield Guardian, and Deny Hexes.
  • Boon Signet is a secondary choice. Healing Burst is already on Danika's skill bar. It is a solid Signet and its effect cannot be stripped. This elite boosts almost every other skill she has.
    • Redemptor Karl will have to swap his Boon Signet for Martyr or something, because I don't know what else to put on him if elite skills are unique to henchmen. Sister Tai needs this one more.
  • Gift of Health is a cheap and strong direct heal. This skill disables all other Healing Prayer skills briefly. Which is good because it disables Resurrection Chant.
  • Shielding Hands is a harrassment reducing skill. While not ideal, it does mitigate the direct need for healing after casting it.
  • Shield Guardian is not the best skill to put on a monk, but it is an earshot-wide party enchantment that triggers on every party member blocking an attack within those three seconds.
  • Deny Hexes is vital because most henchmen have no hex removal skills equipped anywhere.
  • In Raisu Palace and Imperial Sanctum, Star Shine replaces Shield Guardian.

These changes make Sister Tai much less energy intensive and allows her to do her monking job without too much interruption. The resurrect often being disabled briefly when a party member dies stops unwanted resurrecting instead of monking.

The third hurdle[edit]

The sheer size and diversity in content in Factions makes it exceptionally difficult to balance any skill bars for the areas they can be used in. As far as I know, henchmen have the same skill bars almost consistently throughout Cantha. Add the fact that although most Monk skills in Factions are decent to great, they have zero access to energy management. This is not an issue for the Ritualists, a profession that also received almost every great Ritualist skill in Factions, with the exceptions of Destructive Was Glaive and Xinrae's Weapon. It effectively means the Monk henchmen need a drastic overhaul to be relevant here.

Most of the Kaineng content involves Afflicted exploding upon death, which is not something that can be prevented. These explosions tend to quickly overwhelm the AI, causing them to waste time and energy healing back up. Considering how every henchmen apparently needed a self-heal of some sort, every henchman will attempt to heal itself, plus the monks and ritualists will also cast any AoE heal they might have as well. This significantly slows down the party. Any reworks to henchmen skill bars should done with that in mind.

Closing statement[edit]

I really dislike henchmen in Factions and I wish they would get updated even now. Just because heroes exist, doesn't mean all players will know how to make them better than henchmen. This is amplified if henchmen were much better than they are today. Of course, if henchmen had a secondary profession, a lot more options become available. Most imporantly; Monks need better elite skills in Factions.

All of the above is essentially a big rant and probably not theorycrafted enough to be any good. Feel free to point out some ideas of your own if my rant inspired any. - Infinite - talk 20:05, 23 October 2019 (UTC)

You know what, I saw the archive edit on this page and wondered what was left... read most of that before realising the post was yesterday's.
Logged into gw1 for the first time in years (dear god, everything loads so fast!) to have a look at the henchmen in Kaineng. Sure enough they're got some ropey as heck builds. I'm melee builds.
My first choices were Warrior Talon, Elementalist Kai Ying, Elementalist Headmaster Vhang, Necromancer Su, Ranger Aidan, Monk Sister Tai, Ritualist Professor Gai
Went into Bukdek Byway... Gai dies twice on the first mob of afflicted. I'm a bit rusty.
My second choices were Warrior Talon, Elementalist Kai Ying, Mesmer Lo Sha, Necromancer Su, Ranger Aidan, Monk Sister Tai, Ritualist Professor Gai
Went into Bukdek Byway... Sister Tai dies twice on the first mob of afflicted. Someone else dies. I almost die too.
At this point I've remembered how to aggro properly, and stop being 100% forgetful idiot. Repeating same henchman composition, I get only the death of Talon. Turns out I'm the weak link.
My third choices were Warrior Devona, Elementalist Kai Ying, Mesmer Lo Sha, Necromancer Su, Ranger Aidan, Monk Sister Tai, Ritualist Professor Gai
Talon seemed to die too easily, so I switched in Devona. I really like Enraged Smash, before I brought Devona a couple of times melee afflicted assassins almost got away from me. Pretty sure she accidentally knocked some stuff down too. Balanced Stance eliminated critical hits which is useful I think. I'm not convinced an IAS is worth cancelling the damage reduction on a frontline henchman.
At this point I'm over-aggroing two groups and the only person dying is me... so i guess it's not the henchmen's fault after all.
I died again. This time its versus a boss group plus one other. I admit to cheating and confess even with Save Yourselves my positioning isn't worth shit.
I can't remember how much better the AI is in hard mode (this is all normal mode ;)) but the minions from Su seem to be preventing my backline being mauled (even if the henchmen waste their time healing them...). Likewise Kai Ying's earth ward. I point blank refuse to bring a blood necro henchman whose only benefit is Blood Ritual, but admittedly it would make the monk work properly. No idea why I'm bringing Aidan, but all the rest are worse :S -Chieftain Alex 19:07, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
Yep! This is exactly why I really dislike this part of my chronological runs. The all-casters-and-an-assassin setup worked best for me, but boy do they drop dead quickly when things go wrong. And yeah, henchmen AI goes wrong all the time. It's much easier once you reach the Luxon/Kurzick areas. Though by much easier I mean less ragequit inducing.
As for the idea of giving Devona two stances; IIRC AI does not activate Balanced Stance until hit by a knockdown and the full duration won't be necessary most of the time anyway. Though I could be wrong about this, as warrior henchmen or heroes never make the cut on my account. There have probably also been a few updates to AI since I last purposely used Balanced Stance on a hero (probably never, that is). - Infinite - talk 00:18, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
DMR has an excellent feedback proposal in regards to improving henchmen builds. As for Su's minions, that's why we all run MM hero... keeps our backline alive. --Falconeye (talk) 01:04, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for linking that, I was not aware of it! After reading it I personally don't think their suggestions are effective enough to actually combat the issues with henchmen, but it is definitely interesting to see how others would tackle it. I think the main problem lies in the way campaigns are set up and how they should remain; skills restricted to core and the respective campaign/expansion. It doesn't allow much cleaning up the flaws in every henchman. Especially Rangers in Factions have this problem. - Infinite - talk 06:31, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
It's an old suggestion on mine and when I made it I stayed within the set henchmen skillbar conventions, them having Resurrection Signet and a self heal and only using skills from the campaign they are in. It's really restrictive and hard to make decent skillbars for certain professions for sure with those restrictions. Other than having an awkward AI, the next best thing you could do is give them skills from the previous campaign(s). Giving a Factions henchman acces to Prophecies skills and a Nightfall henchman acces to Prophecies and Factions skills. Da Mystic Reaper (talk) 12:06, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
Above I just removed the mandatory res and self-heal, but stuck to the core + campaign skills only rule. Seems to work on heroes pretending to be henchmen, so I think that's the ideal way to go. Cross-campaign (or including secondary) is also an option, but it would take a lot more thought to make something work for every henchman. - Infinite - talk 15:36, 26 October 2019 (UTC)

Examples of urgency[edit]

Vizunah Square (Foreign Quarter)[edit]

Henchmen available:

  • Warrior Devona
  • Ranger Aidan
  • Monk Jamei
  • Necromancer Eve
  • Elementalist Cynn
  • Elementalist Headmaster Vhang
  • Assassin Emi
  • Ritualist Chiyu

Where Kaineng Center was limited, this mission takes the cake. The positive thing is that the other side will have the other henchmen. Unfortunately Foreign Quarter takes Eve, which leaves the Local Quarter with abysmal energy management. Not only that, Foreign Quarter has better offense, defense, and healing compared to the Local Quarter. If you get very lucky, you run into another player here, but it is very much possible to Master this mission without one. It is also very much possible that the other AI party will have wiped even before you get to them. Fun times!

The main problem you'll be running into is being overrun. Careful aggroing is out in this mission; you have two NPCs to keep alive and they do *not* understand personal safety (-cue Mhenlo and Togo memes-). Without being able to flag individual henchmen, you're left to fight along with the AI's positioning. This can be subtly nudged in the right direction via the henchmen grid:

   o o o
   o x o
   o o

Henchmen spawn next to the player according to their respective position on the party menu. I recommend treating the idling positions as tactical positions. Henchmen will spawn according to profession, from the "top left" to the "bottom right" slot in reading order. We can use this information tactically: in front of the player will count as the frontline, alongside the player there's the midline, and behind the player we have a backline. This is the only way to organise henchmen and a very important point of note when ignoring heroes altogether.

In the frontline, you'll want to use the most resistant henchmen. For Foreign Quarter there are four options. I recommend picking three and foregoing the fourth. The four candidates for the frontline in order or taking priority in the slots are Warrior Devona, Assassin Emi, Ranger Aidan, and Ritualist Chiyu. That last one may seem strange, but the other henchmen are all 60 AR caster professions. Chiyu will cast and attempt to maintain Protective Was Kaolai, which comes with a +10 AR bonus while holding the ashes. This makes her more durable than the rest. The reason why she's included is because I always leave Devona behind here. Devona does not have a shield and has a selfheal with an armour penalty; she will die quickly once she starts taking damage, which is all the time in melee. Chiyu also brings Signet of Spirits and is actually more valuable than Devona as a result. Because of the odd grid configuration, we'll have to slot in the third frontliner last.

   Assassin Ranger Ritualist
   Any Unknown Any
   Any Any

Aidan is in position three of the party menu (added second) because he is the most durable against ranged damage and will be closest to the enemies. Rangers have innate bonus armour against elemental damage after all, plus a respectable 70 base AR. Chiyu takes slot two (added first), because of the backline limitations and for min-maxing purposes. Emi will be in slot eight (added last). All professions have different priorities, so we cannot reorder them for better positioning.

The midline is effectively the rest of the ranged damage. There are two squishy backliners, either way, so what else are we meant to do here. Cynn and Vhang bring fire and lightning respectively. These henchmen are added third and fourth, and then occupy spots four and five as a result. Other than Eve being added after these two, which one goes where matters too little to bother with. Vhang brings more debilitating spells that can turn a battle around, so he can be away from Chiyu's side for an extra level of precaution, as that side is where the spirits will be soaking up damage.

   Assassin Ranger Ritualist
   Elementalist Unknown Elementalist
   Any Any

Slots six and seven The last two slots are occupied by the frailest and most co-dependent backlines I have ever seen; Eve and Jamei. Eve brings Blood Ritual for that sweet energy regeneration, which AI should never cast on martial professions unless those martial professions are carrying caster weapons. This means Eve won't run into combat. Good, because Jamei needs that energy regeneration really, *really* bad. Throwing out ten energy spells left and right, with low recharges and inefficient use. At least we have Chiyu to make Jamei's job a little less pressing. Of course the safest place for Jamei is on the farthest removed position of the grid, slot six, lining up with Chiyu and Vhang for the strongest sideline I could think of. Avoid aggro from the left, you say? You're in for a shock. but unfortunately Monks have the lowest priority and end up in the most bottom right possible slot.

   Assassin Ranger Ritualist
   Elementalist Unknown Elementalist
   Necromancer Monk

Now that the henchmen are positioned, we can start the mission. Let's assume for a moment that you're in there with only henchmen on both sides:

We just built a party with a strong orientation and the most important sideline is on the left. Well, guess where most of your aggro is going to be at. Yup. To succeed with just henchmen, it's pretty important to position your party properly to put the most damage on the right side of your party. We either turn around or fight sideways. Certain areas make it very clear what the correct approach is. Since we cannot strongly influence the henchmen and their position, keep in mind that your party is strongest on its right. This is where the least amount of vulnerabilities are. Position yourself and your henchmen accordingly.

This mission is a clear indicator that henchmen need (or have been needing) immediate attention. A simple flagging henchmen individually option would already help immensely. In retrospect there was virtually no time between the lull of cooperating players and the introduction of heroes, so in a way I understand why they were hardly bothered with, but honestly. I can tell that this type of game design is putting off new players following the story from start to finish. I even struggle with it and I have been playing this game fanatically since before the official wiki existed. A mission like this cannot possibly depend on the natural talents of a new player; it's way too early into Factions for that. Especially if a player were to make a new character for every campaign to go through all the tutorials. The skills that can be unlocked early on don't even come close to offsetting the henchmen. Not a lot of elite skills available, either, if players even realise these can be obtained after a different quest. Nothing is very clear. Though if gone out of the way for Signets of Capture, there are some solid options to get at this point for most professions (unless you're a ranger of course, but it should be common knowledge to never use a bow in PvE except for pulling. Run Triple Chop or something, you're pretty screwed at this point).

Anyway, yeah, just wanted to report another anecdote and miniguide for the henchmen issue. It's such a mean mission, lol. Don't be like me, just don't do it to yourself. - Infinite - talk 12:28, 31 October 2019 (UTC)

Small addition: henchmen aren't actually sticking to their grid. Their position seems somehow related to which henchmen are added to the party. Chiyu in the above party will always be in slot eight. I am going to run some tests. - Infinite - talk 13:05, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
All of this is regardless of when a henchman is added to the party: Devona always takes slot two ("top left"), likely because she is a warrior. Emi takes the next possible slot, or slot two if Devona is not present. Aidan takes the next available slot, Chiyu after that, the Elementalists and Necromancer will slot according to the order they were added in, Jamei is always in the slot directly behind the player. This means I have been getting lucky until I couldn't get Chiyu to go in slot one. I never actually noticed she wasn't there. The above is only applicable in this particular composition, if Chiyu and Emi are swapped.
So, tl;dr: Warrior > Assassin > Ranger > Ritualist > Elementalist = Necromancer = Mesmer > Monk from top left to bottom right. Also note that this is not true for Professor Gai, who is equal to Elementalists, Necromancers, and Mesmers. - Infinite - talk 13:27, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
Nice[edit]

You should implement this miniguide into the Vizunah Square article. Would really help the newbies. --Falconeye (talk) 14:33, 31 October 2019 (UTC)

Once I have figured out how henchmen are positioned, I will try my best to write a proper guide for it. This turned out to be a messy bit of the game without much consistency. - Infinite - talk 14:44, 31 October 2019 (UTC)

(Factions) henchmen, part 2[edit]

I believe I cracked the way henchmen behave in terms of positioning. There are two general setups:

   o x o
   o o o
   o o

and

   o o o
   o x o
   o o

where x represents the player and o respresents any henchman. The player is in front when equipped with a martial weapon and in the centre when equipped with a ranged weapon. Furthermore, the henchmen will fill the formation at any time based on their respective armor rating and weapon type, generally leading to Warrior > Dervish > Paragon > Assassin > Ranger > Ritualist = Elementalist = Necromancer = Mesmer > Monk. There are notable exceptions to this formation.

The variable armour rating fallacy[edit]

I used to be convinced some skills that increase or decrease armour ratings on henchmen, in turn affect their postitioning. The catch would be that these skills must be self-applied. Ritualists are a good example of this concept via item spells. But it turns out I was wrong and an Occam's Razor explanation is true: Henchmen only change their formation when one of their melee weapons is replaced by a ranged weapon and vice versa. Item spells create bundles, which are considered melee range. Therefore a Ritualist under the effects of an item spell will raise its priority from ranged to melee and jump to the top of its priority class (the latter seems based on their resistance to physical damage). Testing this is impossible, but it is likely that the following is true:

  1. Warrior Warrior - melee
  2. Paragon Paragon - melee
  3. Dervish Dervish - melee
  4. Assassin Assassin - melee
  5. Ranger Ranger - melee
  6. Warrior Warrior - ranged
  7. Paragon Paragon - ranged
  8. Dervish Dervish - ranged
  9. Assassin Assassin - ranged
  10. Ranger Ranger - ranged
  11. Necromancer Necromancer - melee, Mesmer Mesmer - melee, Elementalist Elementalist - melee, and Ritualist Ritualist - melee
  12. Necromancer Necromancer - ranged, Mesmer Mesmer - ranged, Elementalist Elementalist - ranged, and Ritualist Ritualist - ranged
  13. Monk Monk - melee
  14. Monk Monk - ranged

Since there are no henchmen without profession-related equipment, we can scrap most of the list and end up with this:

  1. Warrior Warrior
  2. Dervish Dervish
  3. Assassin Assassin
  4. Paragon Paragon
  5. Ranger Ranger
  6. Ritualist Ritualist - bundle
  7. Necromancer Necromancer, Mesmer Mesmer, Elementalist Elementalist, and Ritualist Ritualist
  8. Monk Monk

Seems likely, but only ArenaNet can verify it. Either way, it seems like we have a good basis to design henchmen teams from.

Next step[edit]

Next up I think I'll update the lists of henchmen (already did the Prophecies one way back). They're messy and inconsistent, not to mention lacking a lot of information in their current forms. Blame heroes. - Infinite - talk 16:33, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

Yeah[edit]

Sadly that isn't going to remove the abusefilter's block-sprees from the Recent Changes, it just hides the button which allows me to accidentally block the abusefilter. -Chieftain Alex 22:52, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

I figured! There's really no way to hide it through custom css, is there? Or maybe we can hide it from all non-admin users in the MediaWiki settings somewhere? Great that the filters are working well, but the spam is a bit much these days. - Infinite - talk 22:55, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

martial / ranged[edit]

Bows and spears are both martial and ranged. Did you mean melee instead of martial? Or caster instead of ranged? Probably the former ... Cheers, Steve1 (talk) 17:00, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

Yes, the former. Martial should be read as melee. Melee vs ranged makes henchmen behave differently. Martial vs caster makes AI use skills differently sometimes (such as Chaos Storm, Backfire, and Empathy). Good eye! - Infinite - talk 17:05, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

What's up?[edit]

Long time no see Infi. How are you enjoying the chaos unleashed by the new elites/weapons? Aqua (talk) 19:12, 23 April 2020 (UTC)

Hey Aqua! I am really not enjoying it at all, to be fair. I didn't think I would be spending all day answering questions about something obscure, let alone constantly answering the very same one! But at least now we have the wiki up to speed enough to let it all fall into place, which means I get to slowly work my way into getting them on my actual account to play with! Did someone say spend 100k+ on Signets for completionist's sake? Just me? Okay then! How have you been? :] - Infinite - talk 19:22, 23 April 2020 (UTC)
Yeah I made a post on Reddit about how "no the weapons aren't bugged, the way attribute scaling affects them is just unfortunate". From a game design standpoint, I dislike how inelegant most of the new elites are too... I was hoping for something more in line with GW1 skill design, but oh well. Doing fine otherwise. Going insane amidst quarantine. Same old same old. Aqua (talk) 19:30, 23 April 2020 (UTC)
I just found out I replied in that post, too! Which was part of the answering the same question a million times, as I normally don't frequent the GW subreddit these days. But yes, what else to do during quarantine... Even if I'm still in the only country in the world with the 'intelligent lockdown' strategy, I'm not going out much at all as long as I can use the pandemic as an excuse not to be social with people I don't care about. I'm such a joy. ;] That said, my favourite elite skill was the Mesmer one until it got fixed (never got to use it on main). Now it's the Warrior one, because why spec for weapons when you can stand your way to greatness. The Paragon one is quite the buff, too, if you can keep it up on everyone. The rest is mostly just good fun. Still not running a Ranger outside of Shadow Form farming, though. I would have been upset if they had pulled this stunt back in 2012 when GW2 was released. Now it doesn't really matter too much any longer, so I'll see if hilarious setups surface in the upcoming week(s). - Infinite - talk 19:49, 23 April 2020 (UTC)
Yeah. The Paragon one looks like I should just make a Paragon primary to support my heroes full Imbagon style. The Elementalist one is so bad it hurts my soul. And yeah I agree with you that I would have been annoyed 8 years ago but now I'm just enjoying the meme items/skills. Aqua (talk) 19:59, 23 April 2020 (UTC)
The Elementalist one pre-fix was absolutely nuts, though. Unload a barrage of almost instantly recharging spells until your energy runs low, cancel the upkeep and it slowly adds Overcast for the synergy spells. Combine it with good energy management and you were golden. Now it's just bad. - Infinite - talk 20:12, 23 April 2020 (UTC)
Hello there Infinite and Aqua, sorry to barge into your conversation uninvited. In lack of a better place I have left the critical suggestions on User talk:Stephen Clarke-Willson#Some remaining issues. If someone know of a way to catch arenanet's attention I'd be interested.--Ruine User Ruine Eternelle Ruine Eternelle.jpg Eternelle 22:48, 25 April 2020 (UTC)

Minor headache[edit]

With the ten new elite skills, there are x+1 and x+10 (elite) skills available. A LOT of pages need to be updated to reflect this. - Infinite - talk 22:32, 25 April 2020 (UTC)

Existence is suffering, ain't it. At least this is probably the last time this kind of effort will be required, ever. Aqua (talk) 22:49, 25 April 2020 (UTC)

MRGA[edit]

Simple concept to make primary bow Rangers a little less... bad.

Expertise - For each rank of Expertise, the Energy cost of all of your attacks, Rituals, touch skills and Ranger skills are decreased by 4% and your preparations last 20% longer. Several skills, especially those related to Energy costs and skill recharge times, become more effective with higher Expertise.

As a result, some preparations should be changed (assume everything else remains unchanged unless specified):

  • Apply Poison - Preparation. (5...21...25 seconds.) Your physical attacks inflict Poisoned condition (1...12...15 seconds).
    • This will dissuade other professions from using the preparation at low-to-no spec, while adding a very easily maintainable 4 degen on Ranger hits.
  • Barbed Arrows - Preparation. (24 seconds.) Your arrows inflict Bleeding condition (3...13...15 seconds). If you strike a foe already suffering from Bleeding, you also inflict Weakness for 5 seconds.
    • No one would ever use this skill as is, so best to remove the drawbacks and make it a little more interesting.
    • Bleeding covers the Weakness.
  • Seeking Arrows - Preparation. (3...13...15 seconds.) Your arrows are unblockable.
    • Arrows are already fickle with travel times and flight arcs. No need to penalise that even more.
    • Still favours primary Rangers due to the low duration.

And maybe the most bold suggestion;

  • Marksman's Wager - Elite Preparation. (18 seconds.) Whenever you attack with a bow, you attack twice. Gain 1...5...6 Energy whenever your arrows hit. Lose 10 Energy whenever your arrows fail to hit.
    • Multiple arrows can both trigger energy gain and energy loss, but the tradeoff is twice the attacks.
    • Requires a source of unblockable to be very effective.

Would this make bow Rangers significantly better to use? Probably not. I'm mostly just worried that one or two preparations would be the only usable ones, but it would still be better than half a preparation usable now. - Infinite - talk 15:33, 26 April 2020 (UTC)

Instead of tying Preparations to Expertise, I'd just make the Preparations themselves better; most of them already require Marksmanship (due to being locked to bows) and Wilderness Survival (the attribute that actually scales them). Adding an Expertise dependency would further ruin Ranger secondaries, which already aren't great outside of Beast Masters. Instead, I'd work on making each attribute more internally contained, and expand Expertise to not just be "e-management for Rangers".
  • Move Glass Arrows (Expertise) and Barbed Arrows, Choking Gas, Ignite Arrows, Kindle Arrows, and Melandru's Arrows (Wilderness Survival) to Marksmanship.
    • Buff the ever living hell out of them now too (or don't... it might not be necessary now that they get effectively free scaling with your bow's attribute.)
    • Basically, let bow-exclusive skills scale with the bow attribute.
  • Rapid Fire: Stance [from: Preparation]. (5...21...25 seconds.) You attack 33% faster with ranged weapons [from: with bows]. (Expertise [from: Marksmanship])
    • The idea behind the type change is that it fulfills a similar role as Frenzy, but for Rangers. You could probably add an Energy (or even Overcast) cost per attack if it was too strong.
  • Expert Focus: Stance [from: Preparation]. (24 seconds.) Your attack skills [from: bow attack skills] cost 1...2...2 less Energy and deal +1...8...10 damage. (Expertise)
    • Let Ranger primaries reap full benefits from their primary attribute etc etc.
  • Disrupting Accuracy: Stance [from: Preparation]. (36 seconds.) Interrupts an action whenever your attacks [from: arrows] critical. (Expertise [from: Marksmanship])
    • This is probably the most powerful change. It could probably be nerfed back down to "ranged attacks" if necessary.
  • Trapper's Focus: Stance [from: Preparation]. (12...22...24 seconds.) Your trap skills are no longer easy to interrupt. You gain +0...2...2 to your Wilderness Survival attribute. (Wilderness Survival [from: Expertise])
    • LMAO traps. Might as well let other people pretend to be able to use traps.
Just throwing some ideas into the pit. Aqua (talk) 23:44, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
Also, if you're going to make Expertise massively scale Preparation duration (by up to about 300% if 20% increased duration per rank), why not make them have an infinite duration but only affect a certain number of attacks. Thematically, what is happening for Bow preparations that you are equipping a quiver with a fixed number of arrows that do additional things. For the non-bow preparations (e.g. Apply Poison and probably Sharpen Daggers if you were doing a full skill pass), the effects would similarly make sense to only last a fixed number of attacks. Aqua (talk) 23:56, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
Also (x2) if you shift most Bow-exclusive preparations to Marksmanship, then you effectively free up a whole attribute's worth of points, which allows bow Rangers (primary and secondary) to be more flexible. They could go Beast Mastery, or they could use their secondary profession to pick up effects such as Conjures from Elementalist or aggressive utility (shouts/chants) from Warrior/Paragon. Aqua (talk) 00:09, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
To be fair, your suggestions really just make me want to abuse Expertise for secondary professions even more than is already the case. It would be great for dagger Ranger, per example, to run most of the above (on the account that they have activation times and thus effectively bypass the need for an IAS). More so, the new stances Expert's Focus and Disrupting Accuracy just make daggers even more overpowered in conjunction with Expertise.
While that does make Ranger primaries more popular, it does fuck all for their original bow focus. This is why I tried to make their primary attribute so much more powerful in conjunction with bows specifically. After playing bow Ranger as-is all day on HM today, I felt like the preparations were still too much of a hassle to bother with. Long casting time, not that long a duration, bow attacks as is are mostly single target (except Volley and Barrage, which strip the preparation). That despite the preparations themselves not being bad at all.
Since they primarily interact with bow attacks, making them scale with Marksmanship does make sense, but then most Ranger skills become Marksmanship and at the same time the only advantage Rangers have when using bows is the reduced energy cost. Considering the current Ranger meta is farming and dagger spam, isolating most of the skill types that make Ranger unique in a secondary-accessible attribute will just demote them further into the never used category, especially when they would be given skills that push strongly towards other weapon types.
I do think there is merit in having a profession be a single target spiker, with harassment effects and the occasional AoE. PvP has shown this to be the case. But for PvE a bow Ranger needs a lot more oomph. By making preparations a focus as the unstrippable, passive effects that they are, we can invite using actual bows again. No one wants to be forced to reapply a 2 seconds cast time skill every 24 seconds (though they could be instant like stances, sure). Expertise can and should make them last longer, regardless of what attribute line they are found in.
Of course the other problem with bows is that their skills don't deal a lot of damage. Sloth Hunter's Shot was the best I could find and in HM it almost never managed to hit over 90 damage. Given how Mesmers do more than 90 armour-ignoring AoE damage every few seconds, that's just too low to compete. Bows need an edge, but also bows need to be even more inviting on primary Rangers without it becoming the only weapon of choice. Preparations get them only so far, so it might be a good idea to crank the numbers up for bow attacks in general.
All-in-all, I suggest not straying too far into secondary profession synergy. There's more than enough of that already. Too much, actually, to the point where bow Rangers are mocked to no end outside of PvP. How do we make bows on primary Rangers more inviting than almost every other weapon type... - Infinite - talk 00:57, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
That is true, but IMO barring a total overhaul of Expertise, other martials (especially Sin, a comically unbalanced profession at every point in its development) will always make better use of it in PvE. The only solution to that is to rebalance other professions around the potential for Expertise, which in turn renders them unplayable outside of R/X builds and makes the problem worse. Expertise really is such a poorly designed attribute...
What if you gave Preparations a treatment similar to Flash Enchantments in the Dervish Overhaul, at least in PvE? Preparations cast instantly (e.g. you equip your quiver of explosive arrows or whatever), but put all other Preparations on a moderate cooldown (somewhere on the order of 5-10s). In PvE, I think this would make Preparations feel a lot less bad for the umpteenth fight; I don't think any substantive changes are necessary for them in PvP because you'll probably only cast them a few times per fight at most.
As for buffing R/X Bow builds without also buffing R/A dagger spam, hmmm... One idea could be have Expertise also give X% condition duration per rank. This would help Ranger's pressure, but I think it'd benefit R/Ds more than bow Rangers. My knee jerk thought would be to increase projectile damage or speed with Expertise, but that feels inelegant. If you wanted to truly gut R/A, make Expertise only affect ranged attack skills (even though doing so would make precisely zero sense thematically). I'll think about this more. Aqua (talk) 03:43, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
First idea: move a few bow skills (not necessarily preparations) to Expertise. Consider a skill like:
  • Totally Not Barrage: Elite Preparation (or Stance). (maintainable duration.) Your bow attacks also hit adjacent targets. You lose 1 Energy when you hit with your bow attacks. (Expertise)
Second idea: acknowledge the fact that basically every other martial's Energy costs are balanced without Expertise, change Expertise to the following (or some variant thereof):
  • Expertise: Your Stances and Preparations cost 4% less Energy and last 4% longer for each rank.
The bonus to Preparations make them the best Bow wielders due to Bows' reliance on Preparations. The Stance bonus offers a nice synergy bonus to other professions (Warrior, Mesmer, Assassin, Dervish). If you wanted an additional buff, have Rangers gain block chance equal to their Expertise (in line with Dervish's armor bonus while Enchanted), either unconditionally or while in a Stance.
Now that Ranger skills don't have free 50+% cost reduction on all of their skills, rebalance their skills to not be totally overcosted for middling effects.
Overall, this is a buff to Bow Rangers and a nerf to all R/X martial classes (most specifically R/As). Aqua (talk) 20:12, 27 April 2020 (UTC)

Minor tip of Infinite wisdom[edit]

When working on upgrading inventory containers for multiple characters, consider the fact that only the backpack is customised [and cannot be upgraded regardless]. All other containers can be freely transfered through Xunlai chests. This means only one of each container needs to be fully upgraded for all characters on an account [and even alternate accounts] to benefit from them. By extension, this also applies to equipment packs. - Infinite - talk 19:42, 29 April 2020 (UTC)

Skills by attacks and skills by hits[edit]

Just a late-night idea that might be interesting; we should have a (sandbox) list of (attack) skills with two parameters; amount of attacks (one, two, multiple, etc.) and amount of hits (one each, multiple each, etc.) to figure out how many attacks certain skills cause plus which effects trigger on attack, as well as how many hits certain skills land plus which effects trigger on hits. We can then (hopefully) conclude research on which skills activate on attack and which on hit, and see if there are inconsistencies to note (case in point; my latest edit to Triple Chop). - Infinite - talk 00:28, 18 May 2020 (UTC)

I am all in for more lists! ^_^ --Falconeye (talk) 13:59, 18 May 2020 (UTC)

Fascinating how...[edit]

things seem to repeat themselves, ain't it? Aqua (talk) 00:36, 1 June 2020 (UTC)

History repeats itself, a constant of time. I initially declined my nomination, also a constant of time. - Infinite - talk 08:24, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
"I initially declined" any chances this might change? From what I've seen from you so far, I think you're most fit for a sysop position - not only from horrible's list, but from pretty much all remaining users. Unless you're a fine actor ( ;-P ) potentially even bcrat material. I was planning to vote for you. C'mon, choices are good! ;) Steve1 (talk) 10:32, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
As per GW2W's instance; if the community decides to need a new sysop after the reconfirmation process (and no other candidates are nominated or supported for the position), I will accept a nomination if the support is in favour of me being a sysop. It happened there, it may happen here as well.
Coincidentally I did run for bureaucrat on GWW many, many years ago: Guild_Wars_Wiki:Elections/2011-06_bureaucrat_election/Infinite. Back when most of my focus was spent on GW2W, to remain largely neutral in any administration matters here, though admittedly I was much too young and inexperienced to inspire any success then. - Infinite - talk 11:05, 1 June 2020 (UTC)

It only just hit me[edit]

Back in 2012 (for April Fools' day) I was one of the main creators of that year's prank from GW2W, in which we conducted a mock interview with ArenaNet. We "asked" them if there would be rewards for diligently editing the GW2 wiki, which was absolutely not on the table at the time in reality (at least they had told me it wasn't, some months prior to the conception of the prank). I stopped playing GW2 a year and a bit later so I missed this, but apparently GW2W editors can earn in-game rewards for their contributions and I think that's kind of neat. I'll take my royalty check now. /s - Infinite - talk 18:17, 21 September 2020 (UTC)

Wait hold up. Is this the On Wikis of Gold or is there something else? I too would like to redeem my Goodboy Points. Also ooof that April Fool's Day interview; perhaps a bit out of taste but that was a good time. (Happy holidays btw.) Aqua (talk) 08:26, 27 December 2020 (UTC)
On Wikis of Gold is indeed the programme I was thinking of! A cheeky April Fools' is better than a bland one after all. Happy holidays to you, as well! :] - Infinite - talk 17:39, 27 December 2020 (UTC)
IMO of the April Fool's Pranks you and I contributed to, the fake interview is easily the best. The shadowmancer was really just a shitpost. I completely forgot that the minstrel music coincided with the fake interview.
I was recently thinking back to how fun GW2W was back in the days when only the first three professions had been revealed. How new and exciting GW2 was. I doubt any game will ever capture that kind of slow burn release magic for me again. Aqua (talk) 00:08, 28 December 2020 (UTC)
To be fair, the main reason I wanted GW2 was the concept of taking GW to the next level. It never turned out that way and I lost a lot of friends and a relationship because of my lack of enthusiasm for GW2 itself. It was also the last mmorpg I've played for longer than a hundred hours since. In the end the disappointment was enormous. Plus, adult life hits different! - Infinite - talk 00:49, 28 December 2020 (UTC)
Honestly, I'm still surprised that no game ever really leaned into GW1-style skill design. It's like 80% of the way to being something really cool and unique and would really shine in a modern action combat rpg. Aqua (talk) 01:42, 28 December 2020 (UTC)

The henchmen issue, Jade Sea edition[edit]

Currently running through the Jade Sea in a chronological run, I am frequently considering the best combination of henchmen. The main issue on this side of the map is the lack of decent healers, so I simply don't bring them. Turns out protection is often enough to survive most encounters! However, this changes around the time you hit Gyala Hatchery. Argo is not available as a henchman for this mission (though fortunately he is an ally during it!), which means you end up with an empty slot to fill with no real options. So far I've just added whichever. An alternative might be better. The real problem is that your team of henchmen won't keep up with the direct onslaught of enemies. You are (or at least feel) forced to take the back route, making this easily the slowest mission in all of Factions to do. Not just because you're literally crawling ahead in the second phase, but also because outgoing damage will be quite low and the spawns take a while to get to their locations. The only redeeming factor here is that slow at least mostly translates to safe.

The main problem is what exactly, you may wonder. Let's go over the list of absolutely vital henchmen in this part of the Jade Sea:

  • Monk Seaguard Gita
  • Mesmer Seaguard Hala
  • Elementalist Kai Ying
  • Ritualist Aeson

That's it. These four are the bread and butter of Gyala Hatchery. Lots of AoE, control, and protection right there (as long as energy lasts). It is also all backline. We need some melee and midliners in here...

  • Warrior Talon Silverwing
  • Ranger Zho*
  • Assassin Panaku*

The asterisked henchmen are mildly problematic; both are okay, though Zho has a longbow equipped and won't spread from your backline, whereas Panaku will keep dying first almost to a fault.

The other martials are effectively useless. On paper Eli might be nice with the party armour buff, but he suffers from a lack of IAS and damage output altogether. Aurora's pet is okay while it's alive, which is often not the case. She also has two skills dedicated to having a pet altogether, on top of missing an eighth skill to compensate for Charm Animal - not great. Daeman doesn't know when to stop shooting arrows, lacking any form of energy management to keep going. Good for burst single target, sure, but this is PvE honey.

That just leaves Sister Tai, who does fuck all without Blood is Power or Blood Ritual (the henchman for this is chilling among the stone trees) after approximately ten seconds of fighting.

As a result, my party composition here is usually the seven listed henchmen on a competent profession, or swapping Zho for Tai on a less competent one. Never ideal, but enough for Normal Mode at least. Hard Mode, however... Save yourself the headache. - Infinite - talk 20:39, 22 February 2021 (UTC)