GW2: A Really Long Treatise on Gorseval

It’s serendipitous that the topic of the holy trinity has come up in the blogosphere again.

I’ve been pondering over how to blog about GW2 raids without sounding like I’m a jilted grouch (because you’ve read too much of my cognitive dissonance between competing values already) or bragging elitist (by writing completion/accomplishment posts that interest no one – those that have already done it go “what took you so long, noob?” and those that haven’t get grouchier.)

Nor did I want to write raid guides (because there’s already coverage by others far more proficient than me, and who actually feel passionate about this type of content) or sound like I love this content so much that the devs are encouraged to spend more resources on creating more raids at the expense of everything else.

That would be a personal nightmare. I’m actually quite relieved to hear thirdhand from someone with a vested interests in raids (via presumably interactions with raid devs) that the management of Anet is terrified of having raids become the be-all and end-all of the game.

Kindly stay terrified. I suspect the game’s been hemorrhaging players post-expansion, between anecdotal responses via quitting GW2 blog posts and Reddit posts about how many guild members haven’t been logging in lately. WvW fix, then Living Story 3 soon, please.

Hell, revive dungeons, I think you’ve lost a lot of easy fun group content players with that, even if I don’t run in those circles much and don’t really give a damn either way, I’ve observed a number of my friendslist not logging on lately after interest in regular dungeoneering died.

Discussing the raids from a commentary standpoint though, and explaining in greater depth and nuance to a general audience how GW2’s combat system can deviate from a pure tank/heals/dps trinity and be equally or more compelling, I think I can do.

First things first, a disclaimer that I’m just telling things as it is, from my personal perspective and observation of my raid groups (mostly oceanic timezone, with one or two super-casual NA forays.)

Values, priorities and perspectives may differ from raid group to raid group, especially in different timezones or cross cultures, and at different skill levels.

More importantly, my telling it how it is does NOT imply that I personally agree with or like the design or the rules/boundaries/limitations set or any of the implicit behavior that it encourages. When in Rome, you do as the Romans do, especially when you want the Romans to succeed and reap the rewards with as little pain and inconvenience to oneself as possible.

Facts are facts. The boss died when we did this. The boss did not die (and we wiped) when we did that. Therefore we should do more of this, and less of that.

If “this” is not a desirable state of affairs, then developers have to act and adjust “this,” groups bitch a bit and then adapt to the current state of affairs and move on to the next best thing. That’s generally how it goes.

Since this is not a guide post, I’m going to start out of order and discuss my personal favorite mob of the trio.

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Gorseval.

Mind you, this is post-glider fix. I have never dared to attempt it before that, and I’m positive that consistent unpredictable glider failure (since my entire raid group is on the other side of the world) would have greatly colored my feelings about this fight.

As it happens, my only experience with Gorse is a fight where 9 out of 10 gliders work most of the time, with at most one or two unlucky people catching a spot of bad lag or not being skilful at glider control and thus falling out of the sky.

It turns out that I am the least grumpy when I feel a sense of autonomy about the fight, that it is within my/our skill and power and control to influence success.

A fight where -someone else- keeps dying or screwing up, forcing the whole group to voluntarily wipe because we know we can’t get past the enrage timer without said person, is a fight where I silently get grumpier and grumpier. (Keep this in mind when we get to my Sabetha post later on.)

I don’t blame, I know everyone’s human and makes mistakes. It’s just supremely frustrating emotionally to be doing everything right and then have to reset and restart because an oops happened by someone else. Success relying on ten people acting like machines of consistency doesn’t quite make sense or appeal to me. #justmethings

Anyway, fortunately, without the vagaries of glider inconsistencies, Gorseval is a fight that to me, feels the most like a traditional raid boss.

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For starters, he’s pretty big.

You get a small group of little people hacking away at a giant mountain of a monster feeling.

He also has a frontal cleave, so you get the traditional strategy where damage-dealers should be staying to his back or sides, while a tank faces him away and moves him about as needed.

This is where proponents of the holy trinity caper about and go “lol, see, you have tank/dps/heals, you now have a trinity in GW2, lololol.”

No one’s arguing that these functions – holding mob aggro, controling mob positioning, damage, damage mitigation, etc. – don’t exist in a non-holy trinity game. Non-holy trinity games offer considerably more flexibility and variation in roles though.

The GW2 tank is not necessarily a heavy armor wearer spamming taunt skills to gather sufficient threat to offset that generated by healers or dps.

Pretty much every class is capable of tanking, with the right build, and as long as they’re wearing gear that gives them a higher toughness than anyone else in the party. Control of mob aggro (specific to Spirit Vale’s Vale Guardian and Gorseval anyway) is a preset affair, where the whole raid group must play a part, opting to wear gear that has zero toughness, so as not to steal aggro from the agreed-upon tank.

Sneaking in with higher toughness is not possible as the boss will home in unerringly on said player, making it obvious to all that something is not right, and questions regarding the offending player’s toughness will be asked.

Fixing this becomes a joint give-and-take affair, either the player must remove or swap the gear with toughness, or the tank has to pile on more toughness to offset that. This ends up a minor social conundrum, due to possible difficulties in obtaining appropriate statted gear, depending on how casual either player is – different groups may opt to allow the offender to stay (if friends or known quantities) or replace them, some tanks may have more flexibility of gear swaps than others, and so on.

Once all the other players meet the established toughness baseline, the tank then puts on enough toughness gear he or she needs to survive (dependent on player skill, heals received, confidence, trial and error, etc.) and devotes the rest of their attention to surviving, proper mob positioning -and- damage, the more the merrier. Spamming taunt is non-essential (for this raid wing anyway.)

Of course, there can easily be a future set encounter where spamming controls like taunts and pulls are expected mechanics of the fight. The GW2 combat system allows for replication of the holy trinity, as well as breaking away from it, in other words. It’s that powerful. (So stop dissing it. Sheesh.)

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The boss is dragged to the side by a sacrificial volunteer, who then leaps off and respawns, so that the group can gather at one side to get ready before beginning.

Gorseval begins as you might expect, the tank approaches to aggro the mob.

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Gorseval will do an arm swipe (his frontal cleave attack), and then raise his arm for a stomp/smash attack that knocks back if it hits.

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This attack is avoidable using the GW2 mechanic of dodging and evading with an invulnerability frame. No tank can save a poor dps player from this, and heals are not strictly necessary as it does not do an extreme amount of damage.

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What it does do, is affect dps, as the player cannot attack for the seconds he or she is knocked down and recovering. Over time, a poorer player’s dps will drop in comparison to someone who can dodge consistently. As Gorseval utilizes some rather strict dps checks / has a tight enrage timer, this can affect group success if too many members’ dps is interrupted.

It can take a while to learn and get accustomed to the pattern, but over time, this attack is fairly predictable. Subconsciously or otherwise, you figure out that he will swipe, then smash at the beginning… then there’s a lull as he goes into his breakbar attack, and just as the tank begins pulling to the first updraft, Gorse will do his swipe, smash again.

But since his attacks can cycle a little non-consistently now and again, mostly, the cue you watch for is the one arm raise, then dodge.

This is in contrast to when he sort of half-raises both his arms, which heralds the start of his ground pounding breakbar attack.

In this attack, Gorseval teleports to the center of the arena and starts pounding around with both his arms. Black damaging goo will start spreading in a pattern.

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For the first times he does this, the center stays clear for several heartbeats before it fills up and begins covering the entire arena.  It is desirable to break it as fast as possible, or your raid takes damage from the goo, plus Gorseval heavily reflects damage during this phase (like a buffed retaliation), and it can add up to a wipe if left uncontrolled.

Here we enter the province of (arguably) control: the specifically “unique” breakbar management of GW2.

Depleting this second bar requires repeated hard cc in quick succession. The wiki lists a bunch of examples of such cc.

Revenant staff 5 and warrior headbutt is favored fairly often in my particular raid group for break bars. Gorseval, in particular, is vulnerable to engineer slick shoes, which apparently takes advantage of his larger hitbox to spread a larger oil slick effect, which in turn demolishes his break bar.

I suppose one could file this trick in the questionably grey spectrum between “skill” and “exploit.”

Like it or not, raid groups forever chasing the optimal will do it. Some to eke out the last bit of dps they need because they’re struggling. Some because they’re the natural spade explorer-of-systems types and will break these things by their very nature, or in their optimizing search for better, faster, harder.

Personally, I confess that it bothers me very little.

Across the lifespan of the game, we’ve seen little tricks like fiery greatsword rush into walls, pre-nerf ice bow on large hitboxes, linecasting, purposeful positioning to cleave double hitboxes on dragon “objects” and the triple trouble wurm, “faceblocking” husks at wurm (aka standing at a special spot while using an invulnerability skill, which prevents the creation of husks altogether, ie. a sort of extreme egg-reflecting), pre-using potent potions of elemental slaying so that they continue to last while inside the raid instance, burnzerker stacking of their Scorched Earth fire-field to overlap onto a boss’s hitbox so that burns ticked twice or thrice (RIP), swimming underwater to kill the mossman, standing on conveniently/badly placed tree branches to kill mossman, and the recent hilarity of the creative use of conveniently/badly placed adrenal mushrooms to recreate the GW1 minion master to bleedingly devastating effect… (hell, I want one before it’s fixed…)

Some tricks take a certain amount of skill to perform, some don’t; most involve a lot of out of the box / fourth wall breaking understanding of game mechanics to figure out such a thing is possible, and most produce rather OP results, which is why they’re used.

Generally, my thinking is, if what happens is not intended by the devs, and determined to be undesirable, they should and will get around to patching it out. If it’s deemed fine or too unimportant to fix, it’s left in and people keep using it, whatever it is.

Once fixed, people adapt and move on to the next best thing. On and on the cycle goes.

Anyhow, once Gorseval’s break bar is broken, by whichever means, a coordinated cc spike or one really good engineer player (mind you, not everyone can do it. It takes know how and practice,) he crashes to the ground and the group gets a few valuable seconds of dps in.

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It is also possible, in a no breakbar chak gerent fashion, to try a delayed breakbar strategy in order for more dps time. This does requires some strong healing to outheal the goop and retaliation damage though.

Healing in GW2 is currently the area where most groups have opted to stick closest to the holy trinity.

It’s not the combat system per se, there have been groups that have managed the Vale Guardian with tempest (elementalist) healers, a revenant healer in Ventari spec, a ten-man all-guardian kill where presumably at least one of the guardians was on heal coverage duty. Theorycrafting has suggested even thieves and necromancers with the right builds can output decent amounts of heals.

However, for a multitude of reasons, for now druid (ranger) healers seem the most popular.

Popular opinion holds that it’s the class most capable of producing a really high consistent output of directed (aka controllable and predictable) healing.

I also suspect that many ranger players, who probably went for the class because it offered the convenience of sitting back and plinking away at range at first glance, are closet healer players. They -like- the trinity healer playstyle. So given the option of fulfilling such a specialist role, many leapt at the chance. Contrast this to, say, thief classes whose players likely gravitated to the concept to do big damage and lots of it, and a willing specialist thief “healer” is much harder to come by, beyond bored already-on-farm groups open to experimentation.

The trinity healer concept is also easiest to grasp from an outsider standpoint, so the natural tendency for simplification becomes “We need a healer! Ok, who has a druid? Grab one from LFG if not.”

Strictly speaking, the pigeon-holing is not necessitated by the combat system. But players being players, they do gravitate to the option of least resistance and perceived most optimum.

I’m not 100% certain, but it seems that both the Vale Guardian and Gorseval produce auras that damage everybody for around 1000-1400 per pulse now and then. This steady trickle of damage encourages the use of at least one healer to offset it. They also help the tank stay upright, and top off the big damaging hits that players who are bad at dodging are likely to take (especially on squishy classes like elementalists or thieves.)

In a really pro group though, I’m not sure there’s a dedicated healer per se. I haven’t spent that much time analyzing this no updraft kill of Gorseval by the Snow Crows group, I just glanced through it for a couple minutes while constructing this post. From the druid’s POV, he’s dps’ing with a sword most of the time, and most of the members are making do with their self-heals and good positioning and dodging. Some members catch a protection boon now and then, and there seems to be a near constant source of regeneration being pulsed from someone, which I am not sure who exactly.

But you know why they take a druid? The druid also has one big advantage. It has buffs. Desirable boons. Frost spirit. Spotter. Grace of the land.

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An example of a buff bar that still leaves a little something to be desired.

(To be frank, I don’t yet know half of the icons on the second bar by heart. I know what warrior banners look like because I play warriors very often but the rest is fuzzy. We had some less experienced players as the mightbots on this particular run and somehow, through build, gear or playstyle, party members weren’t catching 25 stacks of might consistently.)

Here we leave the realm of pure holy trinity, and veer more toward the realm of City of Heroes, where proactive buffs were just as important as, and could even replace pure healers.

Where GW2 is concerned, offensive buffs are a must-have always-maintain affair. This stems from the raid designers balancing the raid based on supergroups that do care about maximizing all this support at all times. Without them, other raid groups tend to struggle to output sufficient dps to overcome the enrage timer.

So, 25 might stacks. Given to the primary dps’ers at a minimum. Fury to up critical chance. Quickness and alacrity to speed up attacks and reduce skill cooldowns. Specific class traits like Empower Allies from warriors and Spotter from rangers.

Defensive buffs like regeneration and protection are nice to haves. Protection, especially, preemptively cuts down the amount of group damage taken, relieving stress on the primary healer.

One thing I’ve noticed in my runs, anecdotally, groups who pay attention to appropriate group composition and distribution of boons end up heaps more successful than groups who do not.

A GW2 raid composition has a tendency to saves about 4-6 slots for buffers, 1 for healing. (Optimal raid compositions are still in experimental flux, but mostly for the purposes of min-maxing to fit in more dps, and hybridizing for even more dps, rather than making room for more pure tanks or healers.)

In my book, that makes buffing as important a function and probably -more- important than pure healing.

Might is the province of PS warriors-berserkers and revenant-heralds. Strictly speaking, these are not the only might generators out there. But again, there is a tendency toward cookie cutter simplicity, due to the ease of might generation with these two builds, and the relative simplicity of operating both of these classes.

Fury can be covered by a revenant, but lately, has been moving towards the province of the druid (since it is coming along anyway as a healer, so it may as well provide more buffs too.)

Quickness/Alacrity has mostly been the province of chronomancers. Since the patch that nerfed them somewhat, there have been hints that guardians may also have a slight inroad along this front, but the meta hasn’t really changed in that direction yet.

Guardians though have a place when protection is desired. Hammer guardian-dragonhunter dps has lately been talked up, and hammer guardians are one of the best at laying down a constant field of protection. Revenants too have the flexibility to output protection in lieu of guardians.

The raid group I’m in tends to utilize two PS warriors, one or two revenants, a druid and a chronomancer at a bare mininum before filling the rest of the slots with a tank, and extra classes as needed by the encounter (eg. condi classes for VG, good ranged dps for Gorseval, etc.)

All this can and is likely to change when the next raid wing launches. If, for example, an encounter regularly flips boons into conditions, the need for high condition cleanse and avoidance of boon production is likely to create demand for a whole different set of builds/classes. Necros might then be in really high demand for taking conditions from their allies and sending it back to the appropriate party, fer instance.

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Back to Gorseval. Once the break bar sequence is done, and he gets up and mobile again, the intended mechanic (if your group is not pro deeps) works like this.

The tank leads him over to one of the updrafts in the arena. There are four of them in the NW, NE, SW, SE cardinal directions (visible as the swirly things on the minimap.)

Simultaneously, a number of things have to happen. A wall needs to be broken to allow the raid to escape once Gorseval starts his World Eater attack. Loose spirits have to be killed or else Gorseval will consume them after his World Eater and be correspondingly buffed in power, increasing the damage he outputs.

Oh, and Gorseval still needs to be attacked constantly, or you’ll fail the upcoming dps check.

The overall strategy generally relies on some party members to pull (aka crowd control) souls toward Gorseval and the raid group, clumping them up, so that they can be aoe’d down or melee cleaved down at the same time while maintaining damage on Gorseval.

Melee cleaving should also be taking place on the wall, so that it comes down as well. In a pinch, if, say something goes wrong, folks get delayed by rezzing a downed person or whatever, it’s possible to focus everyone on the wall to get that down first too. On the fly target prioritization balance has to take place.

Condi necros have a decent niche here, as epidemic can spread conditions around to all the souls and be hitting Gorseval too. Their viper horror build which produces many itty bitty minions of bleeding goodness is currently making its rounds, courtesy of Reddit.

Generally, ranged AoE damage dealers are the popular pick. Staff elementalists are the current reigning champion, after burnzerkers fell off their perch of OPness.

Sometime around here, Gorseval does his swipe, then arm smash again, and then he starts his World Eater attack. A speading orange circle of doom indicates the time left until staying in the arena = instant death.

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As the updraft only lasts so long a time, a party member cannot panic and jump off first. He or she will drain the time on the updraft, leaving the rest of the raid to fall to their doom. Also, that’s lost dps time.

So the whole raid stays and dps methodically until the circles almost touch… whereupon everyone jumps off, takes flight with glider wings, gets uplifted by the updraft and then glides back down to Gorseval when his World Eater is done.

Pray no glider malfunctions occur.

If they do, that person insta-splats to the ground and the raid leader will often call for a voluntary wipe, because that one missing person is often crucial lost dps.

Ideally, the tank lands first, to one side of Gorseval, and everyone else lands on the other side. In practice, well, our group isn’t pro pro, so it’s more of a random cluster.

Around this time again, Gorse will do his swipe and arm smash yet again. One raid group I joined suggested it was best to stay aloft until he finishes this smash then land. Another raid group I joined was fine with just landing and starting the attack asap and dodging as appropriate. Each group’s mileage will differ. It’s mostly a tension between as much dps as possible and safety in not having people downed (dps loss when someone else – probably many someones – stop attacking to rez) or permanently dead (may as well wipe now.)

Then he segues back into his break bar ground-pounding sequence. Repeat previous solution.

Now comes the dps check. ~33% of his health bar must have fallen off throughout the entire sequence above, before he completes his next World Eater attack.

Basically, there are only so many updrafts to use, so you cannot use an updraft at this stage. He must be brought down to ~66% of his health bar and forcibly shoved into his next Charged Souls phase.

If sufficient damage is dealt, the message “Gorseval Beckons For Souls” appears, he goes invulnerable, and four Charged Souls appear at each NW, NE, SW and SE direction. These souls proceed to walk with a one-track mind, ignoring anything aggro or tank-related, towards Gorseval.

If one of them reaches Gorseval, he eats it, then does a World Eater attack that wipes the raid. The end.

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So. The other missing member from a tank-dps-heals trinity comes right back into play. Control. Specifically SOFT control. These guys ignore the hard cc that everyone is now used to throwing onto a break bar. They do not get knocked back, launched, pushed, pulled, stunned, dazed, the works.

You need cripples, chills, and most of all, immobilizes.

No neat tank, dps, healer lines here. It’s what your class and build has and can bring to the table. Depending on the raid group, strategies can range from splitting up the raid group equally to both slow and burn them down before they reach Gorseval, or assigning three individuals who know what they’re doing and have the required control to immobilize and slow the souls long enough while the rest of the raid zergs down one soul and then proceeds to deal with the rest in systematic fashion.

This is a point which can trip up newbies to the raid fairly often. As mentioned in a prior post, the first time I did Gorseval, I had some spectacular screwups of the “what am I supposed to do again?!” variety. Just today, I watched new members repeat the lil incident I had, in even more spectacular fail fashion (couldn’t even find the soul in the correct cardinal direction, then of course, spectacularly fail to slow it down, let alone hold it sufficiently.)

Importance of control? Very.

Once the four Charged Souls are dead, Gorseval becomes vulnerable again and the entire sequence repeats.

Arm swipe, arm smash, break bar. Drag to wall, arm swipe, arm smash, break wall, clear spirits. World Eater, jump and glide. Land, arm swipe, arm smash, break bar. DPS to the next magic health number.

Oh, but now you get the added complication of orbs of darkity-dark. (Okay, “Orbs of Spectral Darkness.”)

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These things pop up randomly all over like bad mushrooms and spread a growing aura of debuffing badness. If you wander into them, you catch stacks of this debuff. The more stacks on you, the more damage you take, the less damage you do. It’s all hits on overall dps.

To get rid of the debuff, an orb has to be killed, and then you walk over the yellow glowy mini-orb it leaves behind.

Usually, the ranged attacking elementalist(s) are given the additional role of cleaning up the area in the vicinity of the raid of said orbs. I dunno what you’d call this – there’s damage involved, and it’s also both a form of support and crowd control? It’s not tanking or healing, anyway.

So we rinse and repeat (with orbs) until that magic number we were talking about, which happens to be ~33% of the health bar.

Enter Charged Souls phase 2 (now with orbs.)

Once that’s done, the whole sequence repeats one more time (with orbs) and now, with an additional Ghostly Traps/Egg attack.

Gorseval arm swipes, arm smashes, and then he spits ghostly traps at every player. Orange circles appear under each player’s feet. Moving out of it / dodging out is critical.

Here we’re back to utilizing GW2’s unique movement/dodge mechanic again. No tank can save you. No healer can save you. Each player has to learn how to avoid it.

Fail to do so, and you’re entrapped in a ghostly egg which pulses damage on you. Similar to certain spider-egg attacks in open world GW2, others have to break you out by dealing damage to the egg (dps loss on Gorseval, remember!) and/or you should be spamming the new special action key in order to break free.

But really, try not to get caught in the first place…

(Our group isn’t 100% pro, as mentioned, so every so often, there are 1-4 eggs popping up while our raid leader grouses that everyone should really know better. Damned human frailty.)

Now if your raid’s composition and dps is really good, Gorseval should be dead by the end of this third sequence/updraft.

Maybe our group sucks, or because it’s mostly Oceanic and on the other side of the world, if Gorseval ain’t dead yet, there is a tiny amount of leeway to use the fourth updraft to buy a little more dps time.

It depends. Let us not forget that there is a hard enrage timer on Gorseval as well and it’s been ticking down too. Depending on the total amount of time left, the raid leader might decide to use the fourth updraft or just say, fuck it, dps the crap out of it and hope it dies (because there’s not enough time left to do the whole gliding shebang) or whatever.

Personal success rates have been iffy, but possible. As mentioned, when burnzerkers were a thing, there was apparently a great deal of cheesing the hell out of Gorseval. I only got in rather late on that, but did at least do one successful kill with some 3+ burnzerkers of mass destruction.

Post burnzerker readjustment, I did score at least one other successful kill PS warrior-ing (I fail to recall if it’s one or two kills, there was one extremely memorable clutch kill of Gorseval with one quarter of the raid dead and the remaining were downed as he went into enrage, and that has wiped out any memory of a “normal” kill.)

Why do I like Gorseval the most? (Insofar as I could be said to “like” a raid.)

Well, first of all, even though the phases sound really convoluted and elaborate on first reading, and I thought it would be really hard to absorb or learn in practice, Gorseval’s phases are very predictable and build on each other in an understandable, ramping up slightly pattern.

He’s big, thus his animations are easier to read, the encounter has more of that epic ‘raid’ feeling.

Group wipes are generally at predictable points and phases, so it feels easier to learn, you get a longer time to see full cycles of the same repeating pattern and absorb it, rather than randomly wipe and die because someone just screwed up right then. If you wipe at Gorseval, it’s usually a group failure to pass whatever checkpoint or milestone that was (or glider malfunction, but we won’t talk about that.)

If you manage phase 1, you can usually keep going past phase 1 until the group manages phase 2, and the same for phase 3. There’s very little backward progress because an individual just randomly screwed up in phase 1. The phases ramp up gradually, allowing for gradual learning, and never hit a point of insanity.

The dps check comes early – if your group can get past to the Charged Souls, the group theoretically has enough damage to kill him in time, as long as people don’t make too many mistakes. Success feels possible.

Second of all, the whole thing takes place pretty quickly in real time. He has a 7 minute timer. Full stop. (Do I personally think it’s a little too tight? Yeah. But it shows how compressed in time the phases are.)

It adds up to a very quick and actiony sequence that flows seamlessly from one into another, while not being super-complicated to the point of brain overload. Folks who like more strategically-paced combat might shudder at this, but I do personally like the quicker pace of action combat.

Lastly, I think the Gorseval fight showcases pretty much most of the aspects of the GW2 combat system. Yes, aggro exists. Yes, there is a tank, insofar as someone wearing a +4 infusion of toughness (not my group, a pro group) could be said to be tanking. The mob positioning is there. Sturdiness, not so much. Taunting and threat fighting over doing damage? Nope.

Yes, there can be a healer, again insofar as a druid in berserker gear and not doing that much healing per se (not my group again) could be said to be healing. Or if the group needs it to stay upright enough to deal sufficient group dps, there can be a greater focus towards healing power and a more specialist role.

Hell yes, you’re still going to have to read animations and dodge.

You’re still going to need buffs out the wazoo.

Oh, and you’d better understand all aspects of control, or you’ll be sorry.

And yeah, you need to do damage, but you’re probably already really really good at that, right?

Gee, I almost forgot, you need to be able to glide and have those masteries and what not. (By now, most HoT owners have them though.)

There’s a group split, there’s a group reforming, hell, there’s even zerging (that’s GW2 players for you. Circle strat for the win.)

It’s quite the showcase, really.

Is it maybe a bit too tightly tuned and unforgiving of groups who don’t max out every buff in existence, don’t have picture-perfect skill rotations and the ping to execute them and overly focused on maximizing dps, to the extent that it encourages dps meter-ing? Maaaybe.

But he is pretty fun to fight, -if- your raid composition was good to begin with, and man, a mini of him would look great underfoot.

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2 thoughts on “GW2: A Really Long Treatise on Gorseval

  1. bhagpuss says:

    I have nothing to say on Gorseval but your opening paragraphs are very intriguing. If the ANet high-ups are truly terrified that raids could become the be-all and end-all of GW2’s end-game (which it wasn’t supposed to have anyway) then why, for the love of God, did they add them in the first place? Are they crazy? Don’t answer that…

    It’s not like it isn’t 100% predictable, indeed inevitable, that having added an ultra-elite, velvet-rope activity to the top end of the game and then promoted it heavily as exactly that, players would understand it to be the be-all and end-all of the end game, is it? What the hell else would it be??? I despair of them sometimes.

    As for the drop off in attendance, and therefore revenue, post HoT I guess we’ll have to wait for the Quarter 1 2016 figures. Quarter 4 2015 tells a different story but of course it will include the brief HoT honeymoon period and all the sales at launch. With megaservers its hard to tell but my impression is that the game is busier than ever. WvW has taken a huge upturn since the New year, and not just in T1.

    Speaking of WvW I’m stoking up on popcorn for when they finally release the details of the revamp. My bet is on them somehow managing to both alienate the existing WvW audience while completely failing to attract a new one. I am also betting that, ironically, that will happen just as WvW is getting back on its feet, allowing ANet to shoot themselves handily in both feet at once.

    As for LS3 I’ll believe it when I see it. It’s going to require HoT, too, which is going to be controversial. The abject climbdown from the heady days of free, major, bi-weekly, story-driven updates as The Future to this, what is it, 12 month content drought broken only by the release of the expansion they all but swore they would never make must be bitter gall to some of the key players in ANet’s team.

    I wonder just how happy a ship it is?

  2. Sylow says:

    All in all, you describe a dynamic bossfight, but nothing outside the boundaries of a normal trinity-based game.

    There is a tank. There is no as dedicated healing as in some trinity games, but I’ve already played other games where the healer is “DPS with healing function”. Look a the “healer” in DCU, remember melee healing in WAR (yes, I completed all dungeons there on my warrior priest, and was able to heal through all but one of the bosses by using melee healing) or look at the Commando in SWtoR, where I also mixed damage and healing, according to the situation.

    You specifically mention buffs. This sounds very much like in many trinity based games or at least trinity setups, where people clarify before the fight who brings which buffs and debuffs. (E.g. TSW, where the tank is supposed to put exposed on the enemy and it has to be clarified, if a DPS or the tank delivers the debilitation debuff. Then among the DPS the group buffs short fuse, deadly aim and breaching shot are distributed. )

    And on controling adds, even in WoW I had abilities on my priest or rogue, which were able to take adds out of the fight for a while, either by stunning them (for significally longer than in GW2) or to slow them down and thus keep them away for a while. The tools were there, but they were not significant enough on anybody to make an actual role out of that.

    I’ll now move on to the other postings, the only thing you convinced me of in this posting is that it’s not a trinity fight. There are only two roles: tank and DPS, who just also do what they are supposed to do in other trinity games: get out of stuff on the ground, deliver the buffs your class is supposed to bring, use the CC every single profession has to handle a few adds.

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