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Guild Wars Forum » Lion's Arch (General) » Guide to choosing Profession

16 posts found
  Godliest

Defender of Ascalon

Joined: 11/26/06
Posts: 3483

"There''s a time and a place for everything, and it''s called college." - Chef

 
OP  3/25/08 10:37:20 AM#1

This problem is something every new player has to tackle and since it seems like there are quite a lot of those coming here now I thought it would be a good idea to make a basic guide for which profession to choose. For you, the reader, I will from now on make everything "colorless" to make reading easier.

 

There is no best profession, build or equal. Guild Wars is a game that revolves around keeping the different professions balanced, and Anet has managed fairly good to do so. When choosing profession you should therefore stick to the class which seems to be the most interesting one and not the one that is most "imba" at the moment as it will probably get balanced after some time. A short summarize of the different professions and their general purpose follows, however keep in mind that almost every class can be played differently and there is always exceptions to the "rule".

 

Questions answered:

  • What role will X profession serve?
  • What roles can X play in PvE?
  • What roles can X play in PvP?

 

What role will X profession serve?

  • Warrior: The Warrior serves the role of a traditional mêlée class: it can tank pretty good, it can provide the team with pretty decent support through shouts and it can deal very good damage. Warriors are usually looked for in PvP due to their ability to deal much damage, pretty much constantly.
  • Ranger: The Ranger's role varies depending on if he/she is participating in PvE or PvP. In PvP the Ranger's main role is to interrupt and pressure through conditions. In PvE you will be dealing damage, this is mainly because interruption isn't as powerful as it is in PvP.
  • Monk: The Monk exceeds all other professions when it comes to healing. You will always be questioned for because of your superior healing capabilities.
  • Necromancer: The Necromancer's role varies a lot. If you decide to play a Necromancer you can play as pretty much every role there is in the game, however you will mainly be playing as a Minion Master.
  • Mesmer: The Mesmer is fairly uncommon in PvE due to their lack of AoE damage and other support skills which tend to be good against larger mobs. Mesmer's are mostly popular in PvP thanks to their large number of hexes that can be used to effectively pressure both mêlée characters and casters.
  • Elementalist: The Elementalist is a traditional nuker. You will mostly be equipped with damage dealing magic spells and use these to nuke your opponents to death. However the Elementalists also support their team with support and relieving of pressure through the use of Wards.
  • Assassin: The Assassin is as you may have guessed from the name the usual "Glass Cannon". Assassins are mainly used thanks to their high damage. [b]Ritualist:[/b] The Ritualist is another quasi-class. Thanks to the fact that they got both damage, healing and other support skills in their skill setup they are run differently. Sometimes you will be asked to support your team with spirits, sometimes with heals and sometimes with damage spells.
  • Paragon: The Paragon supports the team with Chants and Shouts while still chucking spears at the opponents to pressure. Mainly looked after because of their almost extreme capabilities to remove any kind of pressure from the party.
  • Dervish: The Dervish is yet another mêlée profession. Using mainly attack skills and a few enchantments to keep a rather high survivability while still being able to applying quite a lot pressure.

What are the different attributes good for?

Before answering this question you should get the basics of attributes. Every class has one primary attribute that you only can spend points into if you're the profession that has that primary attribute, for example only characters whose primary profession is warrior can spend attribute points into their main attribute: Strength. The primary attribute also always offer an additional effect except from raising the effectiveness of the skills in that attribute. The primary attribute is here showed by underlining it.

  • Warrior
    • Strength: The skills you can access in this attribute are mainly for offensive use. You will here find mostly offensive stances and attacks. There are also a few skills for defensive purpose. 
      • When you use attack skills, each point of Strength gives you 1% armor penetration.
    • Swordsmanship: As the name may inquire it does indeed raise your damage with the sword. In this attribute you will only find sword attacks.
    • Axe Mastery: Pretty much the same as Swordsmanship, with the exception that you here get more effective with your axe. In this attribute you will only find axe attacks.
    • Hammer Master: Raises your damage with the hammer. You will only find hammer attacks in this attribute line.
    • Tactics: The skills you find here are both offensive and defensive stances and shouts. There are also a few attack skills in this line.
  • Ranger
    • Expertise: In this attribute you will find bow attacks, preparations, offensive and defensive stances as well as a few skills for handling energy better.
      • For each rank of Expertise, the Energy cost of all of your attacks, Rituals, touch skills, and Rangers skills are decreased by 4%.
    • Marksmanship: Increases the damage of your bow attacks. In this attribute you will find bow attacks and preparations.
    • Wilderness Survival: In this attribute you will find Nature Rituals, traps and preparations.
    • Beast Mastery: Increases your pets damage. The skills in this attribute are mainly pet attacks and pet boosting skills, but there are also some nature rituals and traps.
  • Monk
    • Divine Favor: In this attribute you will find skills that range from lengthening your enchantments and healing to energy management skills.
      • For each rank of Divine Favor, allies are healed for 3.2 whenever you cast Monk spells on them.
    • Healing Prayers: Here you find mainly healing skills, but a also some resurrection skills and a few ones for energy management.
    • Protection Prayers: In this attribute you will find skills that focus mainly on reducing or preventing damage as well as some hex and condition removal skills.
    • Smiting Prayers: Damage, healing and damage prevention is what you will find in this attribute. There are also a few skills that increase the effectiveness of allies in mêlée.
  • Necromancer
    • Soul Reaping: Containing very few skills the few that are here are used for damage, health and energy management and support.
      • For each point of Soul Reaping, you gain 1 Energy  whenever a non-Spirit creature near you dies. You may only gain Energy in this way 3 times every 15 seconds.
    • Blood Magic: Here you will find the main damage dealing skills for the Necromancer. There are also some skills for energy management and support. A few of the skills in these line forces you to sacrifice some of your damage.
    • Curses: The skills found here are mainly used to weaken the enemies. The most of the skills cause a negative effect on the enemy.
    • Death Magic: Raising minions and in other ways exploiting corpses is what you find here. There are also a few damage dealing skills and condition inflicting ones.
  • Mesmer
    • Fast Casting: Here you will find skills that helps with energy management, reduce casting and recharge time as well as some for energy management.
      • Fast Casting decreases the casting time of your Spells. Additionally, each rank in this attribute decreases your Signet activation times by 3%.
    • Inspiration Magic: Featuring mainly interruption skills the difference from Domination Magic is that these skills usually give the caster energy or health back. Some defensive stances and a heal are also featured here.
    • Domination Magic: Interruptions are mainly found here and these do, unlike Inspiration Magic, inflict damage. There are also some skills for energy denial as well as caster and mêlée pressure.
  • Elementalist
    • Energy Storage: Features the Elementalists only healing skills and a some energy management skills.
      • For each rank of Energy Storage, your maximum energy increases by 3.
    • Fire Magic: Featuring spells to deal damage, in this case mostly spells that deal AoE damage.
    • Water Magic: Snaring is what you will mostly be doing if you spend into this attribute. There are also a few defensive skills.
    • Air Magic: Used mostly when fighting against few targets as the skills are good for spiking one target.
    • Earth Magic: Features some defensive skills both for you and for your party. Some damage dealing spells are also included as well as some snares.
  • Assassin
    • Critical Strikes: Includes enchantment removal, attack skills, one stance, condition infliction and removal and some energy management skills.
      • The chance for critical hits increases 1% for each attribute point spent in Critical Strikes. For each critical hit, the Assassin receives 1 energy at rank 3 and above, 2 energy at rank 8 and above, and 3 energy at rank 13 and above.
    • Dagger Master: All skills except one are attack skills, the last one is used as self-defense.
    • Deadly Arts: Features snares, shadowsteps, condition infliction and a few damage skills.
    • Shadow Arts: Includes some skills for energy management, a few shadowsteps but mostly defensive and healing skills.
  • Ritualist
    • Spawning Power: Includes skills related to spirits, weapon skills and energy management.
      • For each rank of Spawning Power you have, creatures you create (or animate) will have 4% more Health and  weapon spells you cast last 2% longer.
    • Channeling Magic: Featuring item spells, weapon spells and rituals all being used offensively.
    • Communing: Includes offensive and defensive weapon spells and rituals.
    • Restoration Magic: A few support skills and the most of the Ritualists supportive and healing skills are found in this attribute.
  • Paragon
    • Leadership: Adrenaline gain, damage prevention and burning (condition) infliction are found in this attribute.
      • You gain 1 Energy for each ally affected by one of your Shouts or Chants (maximum 1 Energy for every 2 ranks).
    • Spear Mastery: In this attribute you will only find Spear Attacks, it also increases the effectiveness of your spear.
    • Command: Featuring a variety of different shouts and chants that support with damage or decrease damage and other supportive effects.
    • Motivation: Shouts and Chants that help the party with healing, energy gain or condition removal is found in this attribute.
  • Dervish
    • Mysticism: Energy management, healing, holy-damage and the Elite avatars are found in this attribute.
      • Whenever an enchantment on you ends, you gain 1 Health for each rank of Mysticism and 1 Energy for every 3 ranks of Mysticism.
    • Scythe Mastery: Increases the effectiveness of your scythe attacks. You will only find attacks, a few of them force you to have a scythe equipped.
    • Wind Prayers: Damage, healing, increased movement speed and enchantment removal is what will be found here.
    • Earth Prayers: Used for cripple and self-defense.

 

What roles can X play in PvP?

I won't attempt to cover the "exceptions" as these exceptions usually get "balanced" quite often resulting in a constant changing of what "exceptions" currently are around.

  • Warrior
    • Mêlée pressure: Your role will be to use your weapon of choice (axe, sword, hammer) to pressure foes.
  • Ranger
    • Conditioner+Interrupter: The most common Ranger role is that of the conditioner+interrupter. Using a pretty much standard bar (see further down for links) the ranger causes constant interruptions as well as applies dangerous conditions.
    • Trapper: Using traps to cause conditions, knockdowns and damage. A common role in higher forms of PvP (GvG, HA).
    • Thumper: Using the Rangers main attribute (expertise) to reduce the cost of energy attacks in order to spam those to apply pressure. At the moment very common.
  • Monk
    • Healer: Straightforward healer. Using healing spells you support allies in need of healing and keep your team alive.
    • Protector: A variant of the Healer is the Protector which instead of healing spells use spells from the Protection Prayers line to reduce damage, cause more blocking for allies and so on.
    • Runner: In GvG teams are in need of someone to run the flag for them, and it's (currently) quite common that a ranger does that thanks to their ability to provide self sufficient healing and protection.
  • Necromancer
    • Minion Master (MM): Exploiting corpses to raise minions that can aid the party with damage. Fairly common in some arenas and never used in others due to the variety of corpses available.
    • Curser: Using different hexes, mainly from the Curses attribute, to pressure foes and weaken them.
    • General Supporter: Thanks to a variety of different party support skills Necromancers are sometimes found playing a general support role.
    • Healer: Using a Ritualist or Monk secondary you are able to gain energy from the deaths of foes, thanks to Soul Reaping, while providing healing.
  • Mesmer
    • Hexer+Interrupter: The traditional role a Mesmer play is that as the a hexer and interrupter. Using hexes to pressure and weaken and interruptions to prevent even more pressure. This is where Mesmers truly shine and standout as a class.
  • Elementalist
    • Snarer: Using skills from the Water Magic attribute you are able to snare enemies which can aid your team in a variety of different ways.
    • Single Target Nuker: More common in smaller arenas (TA, RA) where hitting more than one person with AoE is rare.
    • AoE Nuker: In "bigger" arenas (HA, GvG) this tends to be more common due to people being pretty much forced to clump together thus making AoE more effective.
    • Warder: While it's not a role on it's own Elementalists are usually equipped with some kind of Ward for party support.
  • Assassin
    • Spiker: Uses a Shadowstep to quickly jump to the target unleash a highly damaging chain and then jump out of danger again.
    • Mêlée pressurer: Using a secondary class that has attack skills in combination with Critical strikes allows the Sin (the name they usually are known as) to cause much more damage thanks to constant critical strikes.
  • Ritualist
    • Damage supporter: Using skills from the Channeling Magic attribute to aid your party with damage and other kind of offensive support.
    • Healer: Commonly used as a  secondary healer the Ritualist is able to help with heals and spirits that affect the whole party.
    • Hybrid: Using both Channeling Magic and Restoration Magic to provide healing and damage support. This is the role Ritualists are usually found to be playing.
  • Paragon
    • Offensive Paragon: Uses many attack skills and offensive shouts and chants to aid the party with damage while providing pressure with the spear.
    • Defensive Paragon: Uses many defensive shouts and chants to provide the team with condition removal, healing and energy management. Provides some decent pressure with the spear as well.
  • Dervish
    • Mêlée pressurer: Utilizes scythe mastery to apply massive pressure as well as using the other attribute lines for defense or more offense.

What roles can X play in PvE?

PvE can differ quite a lot from PvP due to the much larger, and more stupid, mobs found in PvE. Keep in mind that what may seem like the same role by the description may vary a lot depending on if you're in PvP or PvE.

 

 

  •  Warrior
    • Mêlée pressure: Your role will be to use your weapon of choice (axe, sword, hammer) to pressure foes.
    • Tank: High armor, knockdown prevention and damage reduction are some of the reasons why Warriors are most commonly used as tanks.
  • Ranger
    • Conditioner+Interrupter: The most common Ranger role is that of the conditioner+interrupter. Using a pretty much standard bar (see further down for links) the ranger causes constant interruptions as well as applies dangerous conditions.
    • AoE Damager: Thanks to the fact that some of the rangers Bow Skills are able to hit multiple targets the Ranger can apply quite a lot of pressure and damage.
    • Expertise exploiter: Due to expertise good abilities to reduce energy cost of a variety of different skills there are pretty much constantly a few different builds relying on this. What these builds are varies though because of balances.
  • Monk
    • Healer: Straightforward healer. Using healing spells you support allies in need of healing and keep your team alive.
    • Protector: A variant of the Healer is the Protector which instead of healing spells use spells from the Protection Prayers line to reduce damage, cause more blocking for allies and so on.
  • Necromancer
    • Minion Master (MM): Exploiting corpses to raise minions that can aid the party with damage and act as "meat shields" that take the aggro from mobs thus easing pressure of your team.
    • General Supporter: Thanks to a variety of different party support skills Necromancers are sometimes found playing a general support role.
    • Healer: Using a Ritualist or Monk secondary you are able to gain energy from the deaths of foes, thanks to Soul Reaping, while providing healing.
  • Mesmer
    • Interrupter: Using Mesmer skills to keep interrupting foes. The Mesmer usually takes some skills to speed up the recharge of the skills.
  • Elementalist
    • Snarer: Using skills from the Water Magic attribute you are able to snare enemies which can aid your team in a variety of different ways.
    • Nuker: The most common role due to Elementalists excellent damage dealing spells.
    • Warder: While it's not a role on it's own Elementalists are usually equipped with some kind of Ward for party support.
  • Assassin
    • Mêlée pressurer: Using short recharging attack skills to cause constant pressure while still being able to switch target often, which is necessary due to foes dieing very quickly in PvE.
  • Ritualist
    • Damage supporter: Using skills from the Channeling Magic attribute to aid your party with damage and other kind of offensive support.
    • Healer: Commonly used as a  secondary healer the Ritualist is able to help with heals and spirits that affect the whole party.
    • Hybrid: Using both Channeling Magic and Restoration Magic to provide healing and damage support. This is the role Ritualists are usually found to be playing.
    • Spirit Spammer: As some of the spirits available to Ritualists provide such excellent party wide pressure relieving and so on Ritualists with skills to reduce the recharge time of the Spirits are fairly common.
  • Paragon
    • Defensive Paragon: Uses many defensive shouts and chants to provide the team with condition removal, healing and energy management. Provides some decent pressure with the spear as well. Due to a combination of some skills and the effectiveness of these it's uncommon to see any other Paragon than the one known as Imbagon (see link further down for the bar).
  • Dervish
    • Mêlée pressurer: Utilizes scythe mastery to apply massive pressure as well as using the other attribute lines for defense or more offense.

 

Useful links
Guild Wars Wiki:

gw.gamewikis.org/wiki/Main_Page

PvXWiki:

www.pvxwiki.com/wiki/Main_Page

PvXWiki Builds mentioned:
www.pvxwiki.com/wiki/Build:P/W_Focused_PvE_Paragon



  Leucent

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/24/04
Posts: 2452

3/25/08 10:45:40 AM#2

nice job thanks :)

  Lupin69000

Novice Member

Joined: 3/23/08
Posts: 3

3/25/08 11:29:36 AM#3

This is a pretty good guide, thanks!

  ifandbut

Novice Member

Joined: 4/23/05
Posts: 136

3/25/08 6:30:09 PM#4

Nice guide.

Might I sugest a aditional section? What about advice for sub classes for each class?

  Godliest

Defender of Ascalon

Joined: 11/26/06
Posts: 3483

"There''s a time and a place for everything, and it''s called college." - Chef

 
OP  3/26/08 8:37:19 AM#5


Originally posted by ifandbut
Nice guide.
Might I sugest a aditional section? What about advice for sub classes for each class?

I got another guide under work which will cover build designing and thus secondary professions.



  Godliest

Defender of Ascalon

Joined: 11/26/06
Posts: 3483

"There''s a time and a place for everything, and it''s called college." - Chef

 
OP  3/30/08 2:07:43 PM#6

It would still be nice if this and the other Guide could get stickied.



  Raikul

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/31/07
Posts: 38

7/11/08 7:50:04 PM#7

Nige guide :P I fount it very useful, decided to play Mesmer from this information alone.

  kolek

Novice Member

Joined: 4/13/07
Posts: 118

7/15/08 3:57:35 AM#8

I really wouldn't go with a Mesmer, you will never find a group.

  Godliest

Defender of Ascalon

Joined: 11/26/06
Posts: 3483

"There''s a time and a place for everything, and it''s called college." - Chef

 
OP  7/18/08 1:01:57 PM#9


Originally posted by kolek
I really wouldn't go with a Mesmer, you will never find a group.

Depends on whether you PvP or PvE and what the current meta is. Remember that skills undergo changes quite often. Apart from that Cry of Pain is probably one of the best skills for PvE. When he/she gets to where you need to find a group (Hard Mode) the current skills may very well have undergone major changes that makes mesmers a very looked for profession.



  zonzai

Novice Member

Joined: 4/19/05
Posts: 361

8/25/08 1:24:11 PM#10

Elementalists play the role of pressure damage dealers and spikers (no not the faddish all ele spike groups that used to be). In fact, I would say that I spend more time focus firing in PvP than doing anything else.

  Godliest

Defender of Ascalon

Joined: 11/26/06
Posts: 3483

"There''s a time and a place for everything, and it''s called college." - Chef

 
OP  8/25/08 1:46:16 PM#11


Originally posted by zonzai
Elementalists play the role of pressure damage dealers and spikers (no not the faddish all ele spike groups that used to be). In fact, I would say that I spend more time focus firing in PvP than doing anything else.

I think I mentioned that as a "nuker". Elementalists however usually focus on bringing some nuke skills and some skills for defense or just utility since having 7 damage dealing skills usually is clunky, unnecessary and inferior to having some damage and some utility skills. Do you suggest me to change a wording or just dropping by to mention that?



  zonzai

Novice Member

Joined: 4/19/05
Posts: 361

8/25/08 3:08:50 PM#12

I see. I usually find that the term "nukers" are referred to in the AoE sense. Which can sometimes be useful in HA.

  Godliest

Defender of Ascalon

Joined: 11/26/06
Posts: 3483

"There''s a time and a place for everything, and it''s called college." - Chef

 
OP  8/27/08 10:52:05 AM#13


Originally posted by zonzai
I see. I usually find that the term "nukers" are referred to in the AoE sense. Which can sometimes be useful in HA.

I consider "nukers" to just be... damage dealers in general. Changed to having one Single Target Nuker and AoE Nuker to make the difference between the two easier to detect.



  ironfist240

Novice Member

Joined: 11/20/08
Posts: 1

12/06/08 1:07:34 PM#14

It's a pretty good guide. It goes nicely into the class types and their strengths and common usage. Nice job.

  GWFarmData

Novice Member

Joined: 12/05/09
Posts: 3

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12/06/09 12:11:58 AM#15

 Great guide man, I can see how this would be helpful for players starting out in the world of guild wars.

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  Darylius

Novice Member

Joined: 9/30/09
Posts: 1

3/02/10 8:06:34 PM#16

Excellent guide! Answered many of the questions I had concerning effective builds especially for PvP.