[GW2] Balanced Gameplay

Yep. Just another day, trying to cap a ruin in Guild Wars 2, when…

Now, I knew I was dead as soon as I saw another player. I’m there to complete my daily quest, the Roamer is there to Roam. That’s cool. What’s less cool was this:



For those playing at home, that’s a total of 29,073 damage unloaded within… what would you say, looking at that footage? One second? One point five? Less? The two actual damage abilities would have left me with less than a hundred HP, if not for the Steal (which teleports the Thief 1500m) or the Lightning Strike, which I believe is a weapon enchant proc.

If you were wondering about buffs, this is a closer look at the Thief:


Possibly fair? I dunno.

It looked like the Thief popped something as he crossed the ridge. Is it captured in the buffs up there? I’m not super familiar with all the icons, and GW2 does not have any feature to look up other characters, so I’m kinda stuck.

Still though… in what particular universe would something like what happened be okay? I’m not in full Ascended gear or anything, but I doubt the gear difference would have gotten my HP above 29k, which is all that matters in the literal second it took to down me. Maybe the particular build the Thief has to use to achieve this level of absurdity makes them less useful in zergs?

To which I would reply: again, how is this okay?

For the record, this occurred last week, so the recent balanced changes were not involved.

Posted on February 7, 2018, in Guild Wars 2 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. This video probably explains it. Was made about a month ago. Not only explains the hack but Anets refusal to act against it or most reports of people using it. They only jump to ban people accused of buying gold, which shows you where the company’s heart is. I bought HoT, and really enjoy the PvP and WvW, but out for good after reading the comments of and watching this guys vid – an ex passionate player.


  2. That is basically what thieves do. It doesn’t need to be a hack (although I’m not saying it isn’t). People have been complaining about thieves doing stuff like that since 2012 but it is part of the function and design of the class. If you want to spec a thief for 2 second hit and run assassinations you can and people do. The downside is supposed to be that, if the surprise gank doesn’t pay off then the thief is extremely vulnerable. It’s an all-or-nothing move.

    The problem has always been that it isn’t. Thieves have access to so much stealth that if the gank fails they simply vanish, which is incredibly annoying. No-one but thieves likes thieves and never have. Thieves are completely useless in most aspects of WvW other than roaming (by which I mostly mean ganking), as far as I can tell, other than as scouts. Few people who choose to main a thief want to spend the selfless hours required of a scout, though.


    • There is no world in which the “function and design” of an MMO class should be to kill other players in less than a second. I could understand CC chains, or interrupts, or needling you down from range. But being instantly two-shot? Hell, ArenaNet already has split PvE and PvP abilities from one another, such that they can tweak the numbers independently.


  3. That reminds me of the PvP video where Phantaram was teaching Sodapoppin how to thief:

    It’s in the first 5 seconds or so. They chain a bunch of teleports that ends in a steal on you. He was also somehow able to inflict a brief stun on you at that point, which you can see come up as a purple icon (maybe he used basilisk venom before tp’ing in on you?) setting you up for Cloak and Dagger (dagger 5) – evadable if you dodged at the right time, but in the video you turned your back as he landed the steal+stun, so that would give the thief extra flanking damage. Dagger 5 stealths, letting him land the backstab, also on your unprotected back/flank, and that would be that.

    What is somewhat curious is how fast the thief managed to land dagger 5 (which usually has an animation that takes longer when I -badly- operate a thief) and chain that backstab. But then I play with 270ms latency and that can screw up my thief experience very badly.

    If you assume the thief was playing legitimately, then he might have had both better latency than you and the buff quickness at the point of impact with you too. From your screenshot, he also had pre-stacked 25 stacks of something that is probably sigil of bloodlust, giving him +250 power, and he lucked out with sigil of air that inflicted the last lightning strike that was salt in the wound.

    If legit, he’s running a very one trick pony build. Everything is built towards setting up for that gank. If he misses, he’ll probably stealth and run away until his cooldowns reset and come in to try again.

    To counter him, you’d roughly need to know what he’s trying to do to you, not let him hit you with the cloak and dagger, and preferably cc and aoe the bejeezus out of the area where he wants to be (invisible or otherwise). Thieves hate cc, it interrupts their happy gank chains, and if they are set up to do ludicrous damage, they also take ludicrous damage if you can catch them.

    Oh, and what you’re wearing would also have an effect on how much damage he could do to you. WvWers wear a lot of toughness on their gear; lost PvErs doing dailies are often in zerker or similar zero toughness gear. When I bring my zerk dragonhunter in for the odd daily, I know if I get a thief hit like that, I’m dead.

    My counter would be to: a) run away/waypoint and not be there, under the assumption the thief probably has a friend, and last resort b) coat the place with dragonhunter traps, get ready to hit F3 block if the thief comes in and aoe the hell out of the place if the thief vanishes/my traps pop. Fight damage with damage, basically. And hope the thief is wary of dragonhunters by reputation (even if mine sucks) for long enough to get my daily done.


    • Note: I meant 5 minute mark. Not seconds.


    • Based on the video you provided and what I’ve been reading, it seems like you can start the skill animation and then hit the Steal button, so that they land at the same time at the end. Then, presumably, the Backstab triggers automatically, which is enough to kill me outright – the Lightning proc is just a bonus. The combat log just goes on after the screenshot, so it’s entirely likely I would have been killed a moment later, even if I had broken the stun or not been crit twice.

      I’ll check my gear once I get back home. I’m 99% certain it was mostly +Condi, but most of my other characters do not have 24k HP in WvW, so who knows.

      Regardless, I still think it’s piss-poor game design to engineer the possibility of effectively being killed solo within 1 second, if one does not Dodge at precisely the right moment. These Thief builds have perma-stealth capabilities, and ways to disengage a fight in which something has gone wrong. Why this sort of shit is okay for the devs just boggles my mind. Just another reason to stay in the zerg.


      • It may not have triggered automatically but it would have been quite easy to press or spam 1 to trigger the backstab and start autoattacking and cleaving anything in the thief’s frontal cone.

        Well, dodging is kinda the last resort and open to everybody. I think different classes may have access to different counters. Blocks would have been quite effective, I think. Maybe moving erratically so that the thief misses dagger 5. I was trying to think of necro specific counters, since necros are notoriously low escape/low block or evade types. Going into death shroud for standard necro or reaper might have soaked some damage – though that relies on prior knowledge to know what’s coming. Your skills look scourge-y, if I’m not mistaken, which doesn’t have shroud… the equivalent might have been to barrier up a bit.

        I think necros have access to placable ground aoe that fears in some fashion? Once the thief popped in, that might have feared him off you and caused a missed dagger 5.

        Still, some classes are countered better by other classes or strats. When I used to PvP casually as a condi necro, I really feared a coordinated focused spike of damage because I had very little response to 2-3 people determined to cc and beat me down. Yet, they had to do it because if they left a condi necro alone to wreak condition havoc in its heyday, there would be epidemic’ed conditions to deal with everywhere.


  4. What kind of gear are you using? I only have a couple of ascended pieces and I’m sitting at something like 19k. Ranger in full viper gear. I’d be dead even before the “one-shot” ends….


    • Just checked, and I’m basically in a mishmash of Exotics: 2 pieces of Carrion, 5 of Berserker, etc. I’ve got at least 2-3 pieces that have Vitality on them.

      Still, even if I had Protection (-33% damage) going, that initial burst combo would have dealt 19.5k damage.


  5. As you can see from Jeromai’s detailed explanation, there are things you can do to avoid and/or deal with situations like this. On the other hand, as I do, you can just ignore them. In five years of WvW I doubt I’ve been solo-ganked and insta-killed like that more than half a dozen times and I run around on my own all the time as a super-squishy berserker staff ele.

    Generally when I get jumped by someone I see them coming in plenty of time. If I’m doing a daily or trying to take a camp or kill a yak or something along those lines I always try to finish what I’m doing and ignore the other player. If I get my objective before they kill me I call that a win for me. If there’s no chance of that I just stand motionless and let them kill me so I can waypoint and get on with whatever I was doing elsewhere. There’s absolutely no penalty for dying in WvW other than the loss of a few seconds of your time so the faster they kill me the better. In fact the most annoying ganks are the ones where i could read a chapter of a book while they’re trying to finish me off – you’d be surprised how often that happens.

    When I used to play my Druid, who is specced for maximum healing and has huge passive regen and good toughness, I would occasionally get jumped by a thief and not even notice. If I could react fast enough I’d I hit “Sic Em” on the pet and block the thief’s ability to stealth for six seconds. Of course then I couldn’t do much about it, having the dps of a wet lettuce, but it was funny to see the thief panic. I wished it would happen more often but most thieves have a fairly good idea who to try their little tricks on and who to avoid.


  6. This has always been my main problem with GW2, it seems that most of the game outside the most basic PvE is about knowing perfectly how to react to situations or dying on the spot. If I’m to learn how to deal with things I need to either see them coming clearly or being able to survive enough to do something about them.


%d bloggers like this: