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PvXwiki talk:Beginner Builds

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Well, we have our work cut out for us here. I am probably too entrenched in the established PvXwiki policy mindset, so I really will need help with this one. -Toraen (talk) 06:45, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

I'm a complete newbie (characters between lvl 8-13), so I probably won't be able to contribute much, but thank you so much for creating this section! -- kazerniel (talk) 10:56, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
I'll make some notes what I had in mind with this, following the current questions on the project page. --Krschkr (talk) 14:12, 23 October 2018 (UTC)


Defining Beginner Builds

This page is directed towards players with limited access to skills, heroes and equipment. Intended for transitional use only. – I'd say that's it. Builds which are especially useful towards beginners due to

  • abstaining from skills which they can't get early on (and possibly hard to get skills)
  • abstaining from heroes they can't get early on or easily (Livia)
  • abstaining from hard equipment requirements (enchanting mod for E/Mo, spears for casters) and expensive equipment suggestions (vigor runes, minor primary attribute runes)
  • providing a more extensive set of explanations and notes, explaining some things which we assume known for regular builds.

The builds should empower the players to advance to our regular builds easily, so we should avoid to have multiple layers of Beginner Builds following each other (unless providing an exhaustive guide?) and instead induce the transition to using vetted, hard mode suited hero builds. Not necessarily a proper team build, as replacing midline and backline positions one by one should already do. --Krschkr (talk) 14:51, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

Acceptable and inacceptable restrictions

  • Hero access: No arbitrary restrictions, only exclude heroes which are unavailable at that point of a campaign.
  • Beginner Builds are for transitional use, so as soon as more heroes become accessible the transition to one of the good, vetted builds for hard mode should kick in.
  • It's probably worth adding notes where additional heroes can be found which allow for this transition, e.g. telling the player that he can get Olias as soon as entering consulate docks, a hero which is a great addition for plenty of reasons.
  • Equipment: We should in general try to avoid equipment requirements. Hardcore players need neither Beginner Builds nor do they struggle to equip heroes on new characters with torment weapons right away. But they aren't the target audience for this project. We have to assume players which can barely afford anything. If we make equipment suggestions, they should be limited to easy to get equipment (a weapon from the hero tutorial for Melonni/Koss) and cheap to get equipment (artificer's insignias and other insignias which haven't went to 200g in years and won't do so in the future).
  • Only accepting loot would be arbitrary. If you can get your hand on equipment by trading with players, great. If you have access to weapon smith NPCs which sell good items, go for it. We should make use of everything reliably available.
  • Skills: Depends. Some of you will have better ideas than I for sure:
  • Builds could be intended for entirely new accounts. I currently set up a guide for that purpose covering heroes, players and team builds, but it will take a while until I'm done with this.
  • Builds could be intended for new characters on existing accounts, like Burning Campaign Runner. In that case we have no skill restrictions, as we assume that there already are plenty of skills available to the player and existing characters can grab skills including elite skills for the new character's heroes.
  • But builds could also be intended for something in the middle: There are characters, there are unlocked skills, but it's few and the player isn't experienced. In that case we might want to exclude hard to get elite skill captures and late-prophecies/nightfall skill trainers. But I fear that this approach is too hard to get a definitive grasp on.
  • No arbitrary restrictions like in guildwarslegacy's team build challenges, of course.
  • Purpose: Discussing Build:Team - 7 Hero Beginner Team has exposed that (I believe that) builds should be restricted to empowering purposes; builds should only be covered by this policy if they are specifically optimized to help players unlocking heroes/skill trainers/... so they can switch to general use builds more easily and quickly.
    • A team for new accounts like the mentioned one should therefore be designed to help with Nightfall: In Factions and Eye of the North skill trainers offer all skills immediately, in Nightfall many good skills are progress gated. The same is true for Prophecies, but in Prophecies you don't pick up heroes while advancing through the campaign. Eye of the North grants much fewer heroes when progressing and is much more challenging than Nightfall. The only worthwile hero for new accounts after getting Gwen is Livia, and she's gated behind an especially difficult to traverse area. Xandra isn't worth that much without access to good elite skills or equipment, unless maybe as a minion bomber.
    • A team for advanced accounts won't need this tight restrictions, as we can expect at least somewhat experienced players and access to better skills. Such a build should nonetheless not be rated by its qualities in hard mode (unnessecary) and content outside of primary quests and hero/skill unlocking quests.

Restrictions should make sure that the target audience, beginners, is able set up these builds and play them with success. Restrictions for a more nostalgic experience or even a challenge don't belong here. --Krschkr (talk) 14:41, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

As far as builds intended for new accounts/existing accounts/something in the middle, personally I think it'd be nice to have the whole range there. There'd likely be more demand for the existing account/new character case because most players fall into that category, but the players with brand new accounts are probably the ones who need this resource the most. The Burning Campaign Runner build looks like a useful team build that I'll probably try out with my next new character, but I also like to see things like this build since it's totally noob-friendly and easy to recommend.
Maybe this would cover a pretty broad selection of builds, but if each build is explicit about what it's meant for (eg. a blurb in the intro saying "this build is meant for starting brand new accounts" or something), then I don't see it being much of an issue. Not sure if this is possible, but maybe that info could even be included in the beginner build tag. --Phlyingisphun (talk) 07:29, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
It should be possible to add categories to the template, just like the hero/general/GvG/... categories for the rating tags. But I have to admit that I don't know how to do that. In general I'd prefer to keep the transitional build section rather narrow than broad, as those builds are meant to empower people to switch to the builds which are better in general and usually suited for playing endgame content. --Krschkr (talk) 16:18, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
It could be as simple as having some kind of difficulty rating tag, novice, intermediate, and advanced. but that would be a headache to go thru every old build on the site and apply the tag.--Saxazaxx (talk) 21:34, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
This isn't really about difficulty though, rather access to material to work with. --Krschkr (talk) 21:55, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
Yeah I don't think this would require any change to existing builds, I just meant that the page for each beginner build should somehow describe the purpose of the build (whether it's for total beginners or existing players leveling new characters). As far as keeping the beginner build section narrow -- I agree. I suppose I was assuming that there wouldn't be very many of these builds submitted in general. --Phlyingisphun (talk) 12:26, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
Added section Purpose above. --Krschkr (talk) 01:38, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

Quality Assurance/Ratings

This should be comparatively easy: Beginner Builds will most likely be intended for normal mode with restricted heroes and equipment, perhaps also skill choices. The amount of variation possible should therefore be much lower than with the builds we usually have and testing a build should be less time-consuming than testing multiple build variants in DoA or Slaver's Exile. Let's take Burning Campaign Runner as an example here, because it's currently the only build in this section. It is intended for new characters on advanced accounts, so the restrictions are among hero choice and equipment availability, but skills are pretty free to pick. (Existing characters can unlock them for heroes anyway!) So in that case the build would have to be seen as great if it deals with the prophecies and factions campaigns in normal mode very well without relying too much on player input, aswell as EotN. In testing the build we'll have to check whether it suffices for this content and whether we can come up with something faster or more stable or more self-sufficient with this restricted set of heroes without special equipment. Tests would be in the harder missions, so i.e. ring of fire, hell's precipe, tahnnakai temple, attack on the stronghold. I think that we can indeed rate these builds inarbitrarily. --Krschkr (talk) 14:22, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

But maybe we should restrict the project to builds which tackle nightfall/EotN and thus empower players to grow past the transitional builds right away with additional heroes (and nightfall endgame skill trainer access). --Krschkr (talk) 21:33, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

In Response to the Above (10-23-18)

I have a few anecdotes from which I draw my opinions when it comes to the matter of making beginner builds and guides. First off, it is important to say that we do need, whether on PvXWiki or in-game, to teach new people how to play the game, or it will most likely die. I have reached a point in my GW career where I know so much about the game that I am now writing builds and guides on how to play it. I have graduated from simply playing the game to teaching it. But the fact is that the game is in critical condition. Because our moms and dads at Arenanet have all but left for the bigger and better GW2, the number of new players actually signing up for the game is small. Just think about the new generation of gamers obsessed with their phones. They're not signing up for Guild Wars, they're signing up for Fortnite. At the very least, new players will sign up for Guild Wars 2.

When I decided to leave GW1 and play GW2 for a number of weeks, when I eventually came back to GW1, just looking at the character models, compared to GW2, was almost nauseating--I was like, what, I'm going to play this old game again? Of course, graphics are not everything.

Like I said, the game is in critical condition. Botters make up a large percentage of the player base, some people think it's as high as 1 in 2. The opinion of some people is that if Arenanet started banning people for using Toolbox--which lets you map travel anywhere with 1 click, buy scores of material stacks, or take quests out of order, or do other things which are patently bug abuse or cheating--then the game would lose half its players overnight. So, Arenanet is in a funky position. They can't ban people for botting or half the already small player base is gone, and those players could potentially come back with a vengeance if their in-game cash, which they may have purchased for hundreds of dollars or spent years botting to get, is deleted. But allowing players to just print money every day is going to wreak havoc some time in the near future. For example, I personally have a number of alternate accounts which I use to get more Gifts of the Traveler per week than the five allowed on just 1 account. I have heard that Anet is okay with Multilaunch; they are okay with third-party programs as long as it's all human input. And I have spent a number of months accruing over a hundred gifts, which currently sell for 4-5 ectos a piece. But then I see someone selling over 800 gifts, with no price posted. How can I possibly compete? How can any honest player compete with people who are trading items priced at 2,000 armbraces? An very decent run of DoA should take half an hour, and that yields 20 gems. That means that it should take honest, high-level players (in terms of skills) an hour and a half to get just 1 armbrace. So now, an honest player would need to grind 3,000 hours to make 2,000 armbraces, and that's if every run is flawless.

Sorry for blogposting. I'm trying to say that not only is botting a problem that is crippling our community, but all of PvP is basically unplayable, because the only entry-level PvP mode, Random Arenas, is fraught with the worst attitudes imaginable and match manipulation, because people are not afraid of getting banned if they call someone a hopeless loser or worse, because banwaves are rare, or they have been limited to botters.

I'm saying that our game will die if we don't A get Anet to give some more staff salaries to keep the game policed and somewhat updated, and B get new players interested in a classic game. Most of the players nowadays are in their twenties or thirties, and all the kids are playing Fortnite. That's not good. We need to show people how great of a game this is. We theorycrafters on PvX know that despite having violence as its cornerstone, something to which I happen to be averse, personally, the game encourages incredible creativity because of its format of deck building. Just today I made a running build with Ride the Lightning, which is a 5-second-recharge shadowstep, which can be 40/40'ed. And I have heard rumors about other "super builds" that Anet's developers designed which are yet undiscovered. I believe one developer made a statement that every profession can solo every dungeon. So we theorycrafters have a pretty interesting puzzle that still has parts to be solved.

In terms of the project of making builds for beginners, I don't if our efforts would be better placed elsewhere. I'm thinking back to my early days of Guild Wars, where I took one look at the PvX page, and all the text and formatting and sections and titles was a big blur, I downloaded the build packs, and I was done with it. Moreover, when I first started playing the game in high school, I had literally no idea what I was doing, it's almost as if I was in a dream. Now, that I have so much information about the game, I can look back and imagine myself as a new player. Most new players will not read guides or even scroll to the bottom of the page on a Web 1.0-looking site. Many people don't even want to read, they just want to play. There are many GWAMM alliances, which are full of players which, I imagine, have no interest in figuring out the ins- and outs- of every little skill and build like we do around here. So they won't make much use of PvX. So, if we wrote a specific guide for each type of group of foes in every area, they might fall on deaf ears.

A few months ago, I took a new player under my wing and taught her how to play. She was really struggling, because even in LGiT, she felt like she couldn't get better because she never knew what to do, she couldn't do SCs, and we officers at the top would never do anything but high-level content, slinging acronyms in alliance chat, and new players felt left out. I took her under my wing and showed her the ropes, and she improved immensely to the point where she was now able to play in speed clears. And just from the perspective of new players, who wants to read a guide, when you could be taught by someone face-to-face (keyboard-to-keyboard?). What I'm saying is that new players will basically not read guides, or read almost anything, about something that they register as entertainment only--a game.

How we solve the question of getting new players into the game is another issue. It's not going to come from Arenanet advertising for it; they're advertising for GW2. Even GW2 is struggling, and that is evident in the fact that it has been two years since the last World Tournament Series, and all the high level PvP is rampant with cheating and match manipulation. I have seen videos of people talking about how they have PMed players in the middle of a match, telling that they will pay them more to actually play the match, than the person who is paying them to manipulate the match. It's crazy.

We players are not Anet, but we do have a say. Is it still worth even playing the game, or should we all just move on to the bigger, badder, updated, policed, contented, GW2 where all the big stuff is happening, and leave our dear old game in the dust? I don't know. At the moment, I'm playing both games. I play GW1 for the massively intricate puzzle that is PvE. But I literally can't play PvP. I'm not able, for IRL reasons, to get into GvG and learn it all, RA is unplayable, and HA and JQ are also barely playable. And I have caught wind of not only interrupt bots, but also cancel bots, which analyze an incoming interrupt and cancel a skill before it can be interrupted. I mean, this is so stupid, what used to be something of pride and glory, of exemplary tactics and strategy, GvG, has degenerated to a pit of he-who-has-the-biggest-guns-wins.

So, where are we now? I have read the old PvP guides on PvX to get better at, for example, Ranger in PvP. But I already had years of play under my belt before I even scrolled that far down on the page. Last thing I'll say about this is that when I was teaching that woman how to play, there were a number of times when she did something that I had never even considered, because she was approaching the game as a blank slate. So that was cool to see, and it taught me that there still is a lot that us vets can learn from greenhorns. In the end, we should write some beginner guides, but we shouldn't invest all that much time in it. I think that maybe even making a general guide for how to play the game, and pinning it on the top of the main page, would do more good than a bunch of guides or builds nested in different categories in which new players won't even look. In fact, it would probably be even better to make them in video format on YouTube, with narration and the whole bit.--Saxazaxx (talk) 07:04, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

As a quite new player who's only interested in PvE, my insight is this: I think GW1 will continuously get a small trickle of new players as long as GW2 exists, because of the HoM points, and to a lesser degree the fact that GW2's lore is entirely based upon this game. I was first only interested in GW1 for the HoM point, but then as I got deeper into GW2 I really wanted to see and explore the past of the places I've grown to know so well "in the future". Then GW1 got a visual upgrade, and most importantly, went on sale for the first time since I've known about the franchise (2015), and I pounced on the opportunity. So as a mostly outsider, I don't see it as gloomily as you. GW2 will always attract some (though probably not many) players to GW1, hopefully now ANet realised that sales help many players make the jump who don't necessarily want to spend £35 on a 13-years old game, and put it on sale more regularly than the previous 4-year gap. Plus the devs said that at this point GW1 is basically fully automatised, and has negligible upkeep costs, so the servers can run indefinitely.
To tie it in with the topic of this page, coming from GW2 the potential build complexity of GW1 is frankly overwhelming, so I'm really happy this project exists. It helps getting to the fun part of playing, and gives crutches until the player understands why those specific skills and traits are used in the builds, and can tinker with it themselves. -- kazerniel (talk) 08:18, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments. It is true that someone on staff personally replied to an email I said about some of these issues, so they are aware of it. I'm just wondering what we players can do to help these problems. But welcome! And from the other side of the window, it's pretty awesome to see stuff in GW2 and realize how it alludes to GW1 (I'm learning how to play Revenant right now, and I'm talking about all the skills like Shiro Tagachi and Glint facets). It's pretty cool!--Saxazaxx (talk) 08:31, 24 October 2018 (UTC)


Template Image

Any better ideas than Koss? --Krschkr (talk) 19:04, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

Maybe something iconic from Proph, like the girl Gwen with the red cape, or maybe one of those Scale you have to kill for your first quest. It could also be something non-gw like a wordmark of ABC 123, or 3d building blocks with ABC.--Saxazaxx (talk) 21:27, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
I like the Koss icon, he's the hero that players meet right at the beginning of Nightfall (where these new guides tend to focus as starting campaign), and he's a memorable personality who accompanies us for a while in the beginning of our GW1 journey :) -- kazerniel (talk) 09:18, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Agreed, something just makes sense about having Koss's face there :) --Phlyingisphun (talk) 07:25, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Give a Man a Fish, He Eats For a Day

Teach a man to fish, he eats for the rest of his life.--Saxazaxx (talk) 20:36, 26 October 2018 (UTC)