Selecting Warrior means one thing, first and foremost. You want to work in melee range. Warriors, as a profession, are at their best when within armís reach and swinging away with a close-range weapon. You can pick over a Warriorís skills and use them to augment other things but youíre really not playing as a Warrior when you do that.
The other thing that selecting a Warrior means is great defense. Either through their defensive skills, their attributes which allow them to use defensive items, or the primary Warriors armor, Warriors are arguably the most well-protected profession in the game. Theyíre certainly the most defended when entering into melee. Primary Warriors trade-off for their armor, though, by having a worse energy pool than any other primary profession. They have less energy to use skills. Skills that take energy, anyway, as many Warrior skills donít require any energy at all. But Warriors will be less able than other professions to cast many skills.
Because they cannot use skills as well, especially skills from other professions, Warriors do not rely on their skills as much as other professions. Of all the professions Warriors are also the most dependant on their gear. Warrior attributes are used to get better with melee weapons but you can also get a better melee weapon by finding a weapon with better damage or better modifiers. Warrior attack skills add damage to their weaponís damage so every point more of damage from their weapon makes them that much better. And neglecting to craft their armor means that primary Warriors are giving up one of the main advantages of playing a primary Warrior. Warriors also benefit greatly from high attributes and some of the better runes, such as those that raise health or lower damage, so upgrading their armor is just as important.
Warriors are the dreadnaughts, the heavily plated and well-armor engines of destruction, on the battlefield. Their main strength and chief weakness is their lack of range. An enemy can relegate them to the sidelines by managing to keep away from that close range a Warrior is so deadly at. Fortunately, a Warrior has several ways of getting to and staying at melee range so they can be effective. Speed buffs, skills that make a character move faster, let them cover the distance and close with enemies faster. Defensive buffs and high armor let them survive the trip. And snares, skills that slow or prevent enemy movement, let them keep close.
Playing a Warrior might seem simple at first, their reliance on gear means that, while other characters need to hunt down skills and learn to use them, Warriors can be well used with simple plans and simple skills just be virtue of having a decent weapon and decent armor. But just being able to swing a sword or an axe doesnít make for a great Warrior or even begin to cover the possibilities offered by this, the most durable of all professions. Learning to play a Warrior is easy. Mastering one is not. But those that rely on the hardness of their steel and are drawn to learn the harsh lessons of the battlefield do not turn tail at first sign of difficulties. If you wish to play a Warrior, if you have the strength of character and nerves to withstand the fires of combat, then take up arms and read on to discover more.
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Warrior armor is much better at protecting the Warrior than most other armors. Itís armor level is higher than every other professionís except for Rangers who have equivalent armor. But Warrior armor is better for the melee situations a Warrior is looking to find because it offers protection against physical damage rather than the elemental damage a Ranger offers. Physical damage is the type of damage done by weapons and weapons are what tend to get used in close combat. Their high average armor level also offers them decent protection against all other sources of damage, too. Unfortunately, in return for that level of protection Warrior armor lacks the bonus energy and regeneration that all other professions have. A primary Warrior, then, has the lowest energy pool of anyone because they remain at the base 20 energy and 2 arrows of regeneration. They can use foci and staves to increase their energy but itís really the regeneration that hampers them because once spent their energy returns more slowly than anyone else. This makes them poor spellcasters as they cannot use the highly costly spells of other professions very often. However, Warriors, at the same time that they are the profession with the least energy, are the profession with the least concern for using energy. Many Warrior skills use a type of recharging found nowhere else but on the Warrior skill list, adrenaline. Adrenal skills recharge based on a number of hits either received or dealt in combat and once that amount of adrenaline has been built up cost no energy to activate. By using adrenal skills a Warrior sidesteps their lack of energy and can afford to use energy skills they wouldnít be able to otherwise.
That difference in a Warriorís armor, the high protection but lower energy, is one of the major reason to choose Warrior as either a primary or secondary profession. Armor is a part of the equipment that Warriors rely on and taking another profession as a primary means a better ability to use skills but less protection.
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Strength is a Warriorís primary only attribute. It gives a Warrior armor penetration when using attack skills. Armor penetration lowers the effective defense of your target which raises your damage output. Since the Warrior skill list is full of attack skills, itís of great benefit to any Warrior that wants to deal damage in any way. And, since itís also linked to a wide variety of useful skills, itís altogether something that no primary Warrior should pass up without a very good reason.
Axe Mastery is a weapon attribute. Not only does it have several skills that get better as you increase this attribute it also makes your charcter better when using any axe. Weapons are tied to attributes, requiring a certain amount of the requisite attribute to use it to full effect. The higher the requisite, the greater the damage range. And axes are no exception to this. A high weapon attribute also causes your character to have more critical hits, further making your axe deadlier. Axes attack about as fast as swords do and have wider damage ranges. Where a sword might have a range of 6-10, an axe will have one of 4-12. Critical hits are calculated based on the maximum of that damage range so critical hitting with an axe is deadly indeed. In addition to all that, the axe attribute offers several excellent skills focusing on disrupting opponents and dealing massive damage. However, to use them youíll need to have an axe equiped as theyíre ďaxe onlyĒ skills.
Hammer Mastery is another weapon attribute. Hammers are the slowest melee weapon but have they have the highest damage range. Skills from this attribute line features many ways to interrupt or disrupt your enemies mostly by knocking them down.
Swordsmanship is another weapon attribute. Swords are the fastest melee weapon but they deal the least damage. Thereís a great variety of options amongst the sword only skills including some recharge and energy management skills as well as extreme damage dealing attacks.
Tactics is linked to shields much in the same way that Swordsmanship is linked to swords and Axe Mastery is linked to axes. Most shields in the game require a certain amount of Tactics in order to get the maximum use out of them. As a skill line, Tactics offers many skills that either protect or aid yourself or your teammates.
Building a Warrior
The typical Warrior build is centered around only three attributes. The primary attribute, a weapon attribute, and another attribute. Few Warriors decide to go with multiple weapons and prefer to specialize in just the one weapon alongside of something else that offers more than another weapon could. That something else tends to come from their second profession or from Tactics. Tactics is generally overlooked, however, as itís a weak line that doesnít offer more than a few skills to interest the average Warrior. Warriors gravitate towards such three attribute builds because putting their primary, which is Strength for a primary Warrior, and their chosen weapon attribute at as high a level as possible is often a priority. Strength and that weapon attribute get better, making the Warrior do more and more damage, the higher up they go. Weapon attributes specifically are a good thing to pump up as a Warrior because they affect a character every time it swings and Warriors are out to swing their weapons a lot.
Even those Warriors that are more interested in defense are well served by having good damage. Such Warriors, the Defensive Warriors, are more interested in being a tank, in absorbing the damage that the rest of their team is less well equiped to suffer, and do so through defensive skills and interrupting or disabling their opponents. Even those such Warriors are leaving the real job of finishing off an opponent to someone else on their team having higher damage means that their opponents are dying that much faster. Other Warriors are more interested in the job of disruption. They seek to trip up their opponents, denying them the ability to use their skills or their energy effectively and in a timely fashion. These characters, the Disruptive Warriors, get into the enemy and disrupt their plan. Preventing their casters from using spells or their teamís target from runing away. A disruptive Warrior is not necessarily interested in killing their target but itís a nice side-effect to doing their job properly. And, of course, those Warriors who forgo such concerns for the offensive role, the Offensive Warriors, and concentrate on doing as much damage as possible in as short amount of time will grab as much damage as they can.
And those are really the three main roles that any Warrior will be taking on. Those three archetypes are the major ways to play. Although, those roles are more like a spectrum, individual characters, individual builds, slide up and down it to suit their needs. The debilitating effects of disruption easily find a place on the damage dealing offensive bar. And the self-healing and defensive buffs that are a tankís stock in trade arenít out of place on any Warrior. Nor is the ability to put someone in the ground of the offensive minded. Building a Warrior is a matter of deciding just how much and just what of these elements you want.
To be defensive, youíll need to take care of yourself, before you worry about other things. Youíll want a way to heal yourself, to nulify damage by recovering it, or a way to buff defensively, to negate damage by reducing the amount you take. What youíre trying to do here is to survive. You want to be able to take whatever the enemy can throw at you and be able to walk away from it. Defensive Warriors make exemplary tanks, characters who absorb damage for the rest of their party, because they have the armor and the skills that make them incredibly hearty and long-lasting characters. A properly built defensive Warrior isnít going to be dying quickly and thatís basically being a tank. You want to have the enemy, whether itís monsters or other players beating on you rather than your more vulnerable casters. Killing that enemy is a secondary concern as long as you can keep alive the protecting casters who are healing you and the offensive casters whoíll do a better job of killing things, anyway. Due to the lack of things like aggro and taunts Ė staples of a Warriorís job in other games Ė it takes a bit more work. To tank properly youíll need to rely on the fact that thereís collision detection in Guild Wars. In a mission two characters cannot pass through one another. A Warrior can prevent someone from beating on their healer by the simple expedient of standing in their way. Of course, someone can avoid the Warrior by moving around them, so a tank needs to be able to move. Positioning takes on a great importance in defense, but also to every Warrior because of the need to get to and remain in melee range.
And, in most games, thatís all a Warrior would be. The meatshield covering for their more dangerous teammates. However, in Guild Wars, Warriors can be just as dangerous as anyone else on the field. An offensive character isnít concerned with staying alive, just in staying alive longer than the character theyíre beating to death. Warriors can beat with the best of them, as long as they can keep in range. Attack skills, skills that causes damage, and offensive buffs, skills that increase your ability to causes damage, are what youíll want here. The goal is to have as high a DPS as possible. To deal as much damage per second as you can. This is why most Warriors prefer to stick with just one weapon. The higher your weapon attribute, the better your damage, and the better a weapon youíll be able to swing, by taking two weapons youíre comitting yourself to two weapon attributes if you want to be effective with both. Youíll split your attribute points and limit your effectiveness even before you consider the fact youíre you only have so much room on your skill bar and most Warrior attack skills work only with one weapon or the other. It can be done, but it takes a lot of swapping between weapons and sacrificing other avenues to round out your character further. Either way, youíll want to find chains, a number of skills you can use in a sequence one after the other, that are both reliable and effective. Skills that work even better when used after another skill. Theyíll need to be powerful, true, but itís also best to find a combination thatís repeatable. Youíll want to conserve your energy and time your adrenal hits so that you can do it once then do it all over again and again until your target is dead. An offensive character is one that works best with other offensive characters, too. As an attacker youíll learn to work alongside other Warriors or other offensive characters like a Ranger or Elementalist to drop your foes even more quickly. This is called assisting or following targets. Someone in your group, maybe even you, will call out a target, an enemy to attack, and by combining your efforts youíll multiply your effect. One Warrior beating on someone is a headache. Two is a problem. Three is certain death. More than that is a nightmare. The best attackers move and coordinate, timing their attacks and their skills with one another, focusing on one target at a time, in grim choreography.
Those who are interested in disruption, though, have different requirements. The lessons and practices of a more defensive or offensive Warrior donít always apply here. The stability aspect of the Warrior plays a part, because a disruptive character is one thatís likely going to be working behind enemy lines. As does the lethality of the Warrior as thereís no better way to disrupt someoneís plans than to kill them off before they can get it done. Interrupts, skills that cut short another characterís actions, and locks and denials, skills that take away or restrict another characterís options, are whatís called for. Disruptionís real value, though, is in knocking opposing characters out of the game for a brief window of opportunity. And the better characters to knock out are going to be the ones that are most protected. A disruptive character needs to be able to operate alone, away from the rest of the group, and needs to be able to survive long enough to do their job, but while the byword of a tank is survival, the one word that most sums up such ninjas is speed. You need to be able to get in, cause havoc, and then move on to the next opportunity, and the quicker they can do it the better. Youíll want to avoid the main fight, the clump of characters beating on each other and seek out the biggest target on the field. That enemy healer keeps the rest of their group alive, prevent them from casting their heals and the enemy falls swiftly. That NPC needs to be in a specific spot and activate a specific skill, preventing them from doing that means your team wins by default. Of course, as a Warrior, youíre going to be doing all this from melee range. So whatís extremely imporant for a character going for the gank, for knocking that crucial pillar of support out from under the opposing side, is a speed buff. Something that lets you move faster than normal is vital, letting you both reach your target and retreat back to your own lines.
Where your character goes from each of these foundations is a matter of taste and also of the team you find yourself in. And also a matter of your other profession.
Even though youíre set on playing a Warrior youíll have another profession to draw on. Skills found in every other profession can improve your character further, augmenting those skills and techniques to be found within the Warrior, or even offer up new and interesting roles to take up. Taking anoter profession as your secondary, or second selected profession, means youíll gain their non-primary only attributes and acess to their skills. A primary means youíll additionally have that professionís armor, that professionís primary only attribute.
The Warrior is a very deformative profession, though. Picking it secondary or primary means that youíre either taking it for one or two minor skills or that youíre comittiing to playing as a Warrior, for the most part. Because Warriors need to operate at melee range and need to improve their melee weapon attributes to be even better, they tend to overshadow whatever else theyíre paired with as far as strategies go. Even as a secondary Warrior youíre either splashing or playing as a dedicated Warrior in funny clothing. Thereís very little middle ground where what makes a Warrior work best and what makes other professions work best intersect. It can be done, and with some professions and playstyles itís easier than with others.
The choice in playing a primary or secondary Warrior is a large one that involves many factors but is somewhat easier because of the major differences better a primary and secondary Warrior. Warrior primaries have very high rated armor but that armor doesnít come with the energy bonuses of other professions. Picking a secondary Warrior also means you trade Strength for another primary attribute. Primary Warriors have more armor and less energy. Secondary Warriors have less armor and more energy. What this means, in practice is that primary Warriors are much better suited to long, drawn out battles where their armor becomes more important than their inability to use many powerful skills, and that they make better tanks. Secondary Warriors are better suited to quick, brutal battles where they can utilize their ability to lay down several powerful skills at once for devastating hit and run tactics, making them much better attackers.
The following are the combinations available to a Warrior :
Tips and Tactics
-If you cannot understand the importance of having a speed or snare on your skill bar then you do not ďgetĒ Warrior yet. Look, it doesnít matter what kind of war you play. Whether itís running to, running for, or running away from something, speed boosts and snares are what you need. And running comprises roubly 90% of what a war does. If you donít think you need one, youíre wrong. If you canít find room in your build for one, scrap the build and get a better one.
-Donít follow targets blindly
-Self-healing and defense are never out of place on your bar.
-Trust your healer. Finish your job.