Against The Elements

July 18, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, mmorpg | 15 Comments
Tags: , ,

I hooked up with Tigerfeet’s 2 year anniversary shindig the other night after running a little late. Damn you Peggle Nights! I conquered your ancestor with extreme prejudice and you will bend to my shiny bouncing ball skills! I quickly popped into the Urgoz’s Warren outpost, and settled in for the traditional Guild Wars “let’s take hours to organize properly” wait.

I didn’t put much thought into my build. There are a lot of large groups in Urgoz, with lots of crowding, many of which are plant based, therefore: Fire Aoe.

At least a few people were displeased with the choice.

I think that’s unfair. Elementalists and elemental damage are quite hated in some circles. Area of Effect is unpopular for various reasons, some of which are based on biased ideas about how to play.

Urgoz concept art

When I first began playing, you could not do better for damage. The artificial intelligence of groups of mobs was pretty terrible, they tended to clump together and not realize they were standing in a fire pit of death.

Later came the AoE nerf. AI was improved so that groups tended to move out of AoE as soon as damage started to get overwhelming. Thus ended a golden era, and it was some time before I used AoE builds again.

However, after quite some time I began to experiment with AoE again. I used it in normal mode and hard mode, in groups of only heroes & henchmen or in real groups with friends. I quickly found that its reputation as one of the worst builds possible was much overblown. It’s still not a great build but its a fair one.

That doesn’t stop people from being dicks about it.

I offered my build in chat quickly, and nobody really had anything to say. Then later, as one group member said, “Here come the build police.” Someone wanted to see everyone’s build. Someone had a snide comment and recommendation for my build. If someone had been more polite, or had specific reasoning, or just in general hadn’t been kind of elitist, I probably would have changed my build.

“It’s okay, I’m good. Thanks” is what I said in chat. For anyone that knows me, being extra polite to complete strangers is code for, uhm, unkind thoughts.

I don’t deny fire AoE builds have their drawbacks. In hard mode, on some types of monsters it is ineffective. Particularly in late stage Nightfall, torment creatures. As I recently learned its not great on Jade creatures, and less than ideally effective on Mursaat. I’ve never had much trouble with Factions late stage creatures however, and in normal mode none of this seems to matter, the damage output more than makes up for elemental resistance.

Even so it works really well in some hard mode situations. Especially if I’m alone with H&H. That tends to lead the enemy groups into clumps, and that tends to work itself out pretty quickly. I went into Destruction Depths, a mission with Destroyers who are specifically resistant to fire damage, with 2 fire AoE builds in my party. I don’t tend to think my builds through a lot. Despite that, it was the easiest time I’ve ever had in DD, but that may be chalked up more to experience than anything else.

I won’t even get into how useful it can be to make your opponents run around instead of casting or attacking.

So how did Urgoz go? Even though someone said we were slow, and someone thought the monks weren’t doing their jobs, and someone mentioned I had a terrible build, and it was someones opinion that normal mode isn’t fun it turned out fine. It took us a little over an hour, the monks did their jobs, my build did okay, and most of us had fun.

In contrast my build didn’t work as well when we vanquished Lornar’s Pass afterward but that’s life. And no, this is not an invitation to suggest better builds in the comments. It’s okay, I’m good. Thanks.

With Urgoz down, that leaves only the Underworld to be added to my Hall of Monuments



  1. Yea I was running urgoz last night as well, ran into a few assholes myself. One of the reasons why I hesitate to do any elite missions with pugs, I have zero tolerance with putting up with 9yr olds.

    • it really strikes me as strange because guild wars is mostly a casual game but you always run into these types.

  2. Out of curiosity, what was your elite? I run Urgoz a lot (it’s my favorite elite area), and I tend to try to get an SF or two. Or an RoJ or two. For that matter, I was RoJ last night, and we did HM in about an hour and a half, with very little problems. Sure, there was some aggro breaking, but we did well. If you do NM, an AoE ele does really well if you have a tank, so I don’t really see what the problem that person had was.

    • i was running a very basic aoe build with ele attunement to keep energy up.

      I hate ray of judgement so much. mostly because I don’t have a monk.

      I have been known to use searing flames but I was the only ele there and i find it way more effective with others. but i could be wrong about that.

      I should have brought some kind of savannah heat build i think.

      I think the problem that guy had was more that he seemingly does urgoz a lot and most of the people there didn’t, like me.

      It wasn’t a crazy good build but it was fair.

  3. Gotta say this is one of the big reasons I am looking forward to GW2.
    “Zomg! The enemys are moving around what do we do!?!”

    Dont get me wrong I like to strategize and synergize, but when I ping my build it is not to say “is this ok?” it’s simply to let people know what I am choosing to run and if they want to play off of it ok. If not thats fine too we will see how things go.

    Nothing like watching the monk get raped and thinking…You know Fire Storm really would have come in handy right there.

    • haha yeah. i don’t even care what people bring most of the time unless its like basic necessity like necrotic traversal in urgoz, or a mesmer for… something that needs a mesmer.

      most of the game isn’t that hard no matter what you bring, even in HM.

  4. I was going to run my own wacky Keystone Signet build if I came along. Luckily I ended up going out to the city for a Tim Burton exhibition instead 🙂

    Build police annoy me. Overpowered builds annoy me more, and that’s ArenaNets fault.

    • There is a great build, i vaguely recall it, with like… all signets or something and keystone signet. would have been interesting.

      overpowered gizmo builds amuse me sometimes. like if i’ve done something dozens of times and someone comes up with a build to make it much easier/faster to do. similar to runners. i dont need to redo every piece of content to infinity.

      other than that i mostly agree with you. shadow form should have been nerfed into oblivion long ago.

  5. Hello.

    This would be my first comment on your blog. I must say, I check your blog and various other blogs to see for updates (although I read absolutely everything about GW2; that’s how hyped I am for it).

    I think you are referring to me and some guildies of mine. But, Hunter, I think you got it wrong. :/

    I came there with 2 members of my guild to meet you guys (since I check Tigerfeet’s blog also, and Relics of Orr, etc.) and see if you needed any help. I was not trying to be a ‘build police’, but I think I asked you whether or not do you have certain skills to change. I am sorry if that offended you. 😦

    This is the first time I hear the term build police for GW, to be honest…

    Since this run was the first run to Urgoz for some people (or so I heard), I talked about the possibilities and the methods of how fast can it be done and with how many people. I even guided you guys throughout the dungeon… Again, I really do apologize for anything which I did and offended your, or anyone else in that party.

    But, I guess it’s a reflex of mine. The first matter is, of course, fun. The second matter is the speed of doing it and the effectiveness of builds. I’ve spend a lot of time in Guild Wars in helping people, tutoring them around various areas and fixing their builds. I have thought that you guys needed help, so that’s why I did what I did.

    It’s also my reflex to say who isn’t or who is doing his/her job well. Why is it so? In the manner of improvement. Just for instance, if there is someone knows certain game elements better, can they not comment and say what are you doing wrong? What should you do, etc.?

    I believe I was polite… and maybe a bit humorous. But it was my furthest intention to offend anyone in that party!

    Also, it is quite a common matter to ask for everyone’s build in team chat, just to check is everything right and did someone forget something.

    I don’t know how you got the impression that someone hates the elementalist. I find it as a wonderful profession, easy to run with, and capable of dealing a ton of damage. I’ve never met anyone who thinks differently, and I can say that.

    But on a side note, that build you were running was a bit old. 🙂 I didn’t even know that elementalist were you.

    Again, I deeply apologize for anything that I said which offended you. That wasn’t my nearest intention to do.


    – KQ

    P.S.: If you respond, I might not respond back, since I’m going on vacation tomorrow, and I have no idea will I have access to the Internet where I’m going.

    • ..Know I feel sorry. Because I was thinking about how the person was being a jerk. QQ

      • Gah,stupid non-edit ability. I meant now. Not know. Stupid me.

    • Well first, I appreciate that you guided us through urgoz, that was nice of you.

      And I hope you didn’t find my criticism of you too harsh, Its not my intention to make you or anyone else feel bad.

      As for the “hating elementalist” part, I was thinking of someone in my guild actually, who has many times described how elementalists are not up to his standards.

      I appreciate you explaining yourself here on the blog, thanks for that. But in general, I don’t know, I think you seemed kind of rude. That was my impression but it was the first time I grouped with you so I’m willing to admit that I don’t know you well enough to judge.

      I’m willing to forget the whole thing if you are. reading your posts on the guru forums and reading your above comment you do seem pretty nice.

  6. I actually talked to Ryan in the game also, and he said how some other people got offended by something also. Wouldn’t explain more than that… :S

    Only excuse of mine would be being tired. I had some awful insomnia, so felt asleep at 8 a.m. :/

    And for the rude part… well, people often express that differently, you know? xD Like, in cursing, putting down people and discrimination… Did I do anything of that? :S I believe not…

    But, let’s take this as a misunderstanding and forget the whole matter all together? ^^

    And yeh, it’s fine. 🙂

    • Woops, didn’t click on reply above…

    • yeah lets not worry about it. it wasn’t my intention to turn it into a big deal.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: