As stated above, "on attack" skills work much better in HM than in NM. Empathy, Spiteful Spirit, Visions of Regret, Insidious Parasite, etc. Hexes are good in about any situation.
Also, conditions like blind are like gold in HM. I often bring what I call, "Suicidal was Gwen," and she has interrupts, Empathy, (possibly VoR or an elite interrupt), and the ritualist skills, Blind was Mingson, and Weapon of Shadow. She'll have a tendency to run straight at warriors (thus the suicidal) but she has lots of blinding capability both around her, and on someone getting hit. up to 13 seconds of blind from the weapon spell alone. Very helpful in many situations. Also, another way to hurt melee is bring along Enfeebling Blood. There's a light sacrifice cost, but it has a huge radius and weakness really cuts down damage from about any physical damage dealer.
I also have a tendency to throw things like prot spirit or aegis on my heroes at about any point in time. Especially Necromancers. They have lots of energy and the hero AI is pretty good about chaining aegis and tossing around prot spirit as needed. (also frees up the protection monk to use spirit bond instead of prot spirit AND spirit bond, saving energy and a skill slot on their bar)
And because all enemies move faster and attack faster in HM, certain skills also get a special bonus. I'm thinking in particular about, Churning Earth which has the stipulation "Any foe moving faster than normal is knocked down" and because all enemies move faster than normal, it becomes, "any foe moving becomes knocked down". So that skill changes utility for the better in HM. Combined with the similar elite Unsteady Ground, any foe in the area of effect will be knocked down if attacking or moving. Very useful tricks. Another skill with better effect in HM than in NM is that of Reckless Haste. The enemies I believe are already at the top IAS they can have, so the hex only adds the 50% miss chance (similar to blurred vision without having to spec into water).
As others have also said, be careful of over-aggro. Just take it a bit slower when you see a group of more than 2-3. Larger groups can be quite a bit stronger than you'd expect, especially with multiple monks.
Others have also mentioned the changed priorities in targeting. Not all monks are good at healing. Hell, most pve enemy monks pretty much suck, or are part smiting. (thinking the kirin in factions, and the tormented demon monks, can't recall their name) But the eles are hellacious in hard mode. With their higher level adding the extra % of damage, as well as their increased attribute cranking up the damage, even a couple regular eles can wipe out a party in the blink of an eye. Thus they become the primary target. Also, some necromancers and mesmers are pretty nasty too. (I hate getting power spiked by a mesmer when I'm casting prot spirit. 1/4 cast interrupted? for real?)
Don't get too caught up trying to protect your team and do passive damage (hexes). You'll run into groups that simply don't attack enough to get killed, or they are simply so strong that you won't have time to make use of the passive damage. So don't forget to bring active damager dealers (nukers, sins, warriors, whatever).
Those are just some of my tips and experiences in hard mode. Hope they help somebody, somewhere.
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Thread: Newbies Unite!
18-01-2010, 20:04 #21
19-01-2010, 04:24 #22
19-01-2010, 14:54 #23
Yes thank you all - a ton of great advice there and stuff to get started with.
I think I will make a few forays here and there and get a 'feel' for HM before hooking up with any groups so that I can try out some of the skills, builds and strategies in this thread.
I'm glad other people feel like this too Lensor! not just me then
A have few more questions if you don't mind/have the time I appreciate any input: Are AEO skills not so useful due to better creature AI in HM? My other characters are a necro and a rit, I usually play MM on the Necro so would it be better to switch to curses to avoid the risk of my minions running out to agro stuff? The ritualist I am loving, but only really worked on spirit spamming so far and not sure what she would be best specializing in at HM, I will read up on it, but any tips are very much appreciated.
19-01-2010, 16:49 #24
In general fire magic style AoE spells do tend to lose some effect because of the scattering, but in most places where the enemies are not specifically fire-resistant, it's still good.
Minions only really have the risk of agroing too much in places where there are lots of patrols going close by the team, since the minions still follow you. Minions are very nice to have in HM, since they act as both damage and excellent meatshields, and use corpses so the enemies can't. Most H/H team builds designed for HM missions or vanquishing have at least one hero set up as MM.
Pretty much the same with spirit spamming. It's a very common thing in HM teams. Spirits also work as dummies for the enemies to hit on, block them, and can deal insane damage. Of course, if your team is short on healers, a rit can heal very well too.
19-01-2010, 17:59 #25
Ritualists are generally godsend in HM, regardless of what they do. Though spirit spamming is preferred.
Two of the most popular HM setups (Sabway, Discordway) use MMs. They're not the normal Bone Horror/Fiend/Vamp types tho. They use Bone Minions to summon two at a time along with skills like Death Nova to bomb their little undead pets, and cause a good amount of AoE/damage, as Minions die quickly.
19-01-2010, 22:29 #26
Minions will generally get pwnd in HM, but that's their lot in after-life I guess. The added bodies will help against some kinds of enemies, but an ele boss or a pair of regular eles will destroy them all almost instantly. Your best bet with an MM is just to use the double minion summons and death nova, then throw on some cross class skills so that the MM can support the party better even when the minions did bite the dust (again). As far as other necromancer classes go, in my post above I explained how things like SS on on attack skills work better in HM, that is still the case, so curses necs are more likely to pull more damage in a generic setting than an MM. However, if you bring mark of pain, and have an MM and spirit spammer, the likelihood of triggering Mark of Pain is much increased and you'll be doing nice aoe damage along with it SS's AoE damage. (more to think about in team builds) Also keep an eye on foul feast + plague sending, to help your parties handle conditions more readily (and hit the enemies with the same conditions)
Spirit Spamming is (as said above) a very common thing in HM (and most any mode now) because the spirits deal armor ignoring damage. I personally like to run vampirism, bloodsong, and signet of spirits because that lets me focus on just channeling, and gives me some flexibility attribute wise to do other things. Against large groups, Spirit Spammers lose some steam, but against groups of 1 or 2, they will spike down targets faster than about anything else (especially with painful bond and spiritleech aura). If you get sick of summoning spirits, there is always spirit's strength. In HM, the melee variants are a bit dangerous, but SStrength daggers can pull some insane damage (death blossom hits +40 twice, and spirits strength adds like 30-40 to each of those.) I like the spear variant using adrenaline and a zealous spear, still pulls good damage and can stick farther back. Will be a bit more controlled than spirit spam, but a bit less raw power. One final note on spirit spamming, I personally like bringing rupture soul because it has a very wide aoe effect (for small damage) but it does blind. So if you're being swarmed with melee, summon spirits, then rupture one for 12 seconds of anti physical safety. If you have space on your bar, you can bring ebon escape, and combine that with heals and even shadow step to an ally getting pwnd, then summon spirits, and rupture it for instant relief on your party. Just a few ideas.
Concerning fire magic in HM... It's not that fire magic is specifically nerfed in HM. It's the way damage is scaled. Enemies in HM are a higher level than you, which causes them to take much less damage per hit. (There's a level scaling damage modifier) Also the enemies will have a higher AL than you may have remembered (in some cases), so between the damage scaling and higher AL, AoE fire attacks simply do not pull the kind of damage you're used to, or likely expecting. It's still effective (especially skills that do burning because that is armor ignoring degeneration), but to a far lesser degree. That is why some people bring things like echo Ray of Judgement, because the RoJ does armor ignoring damage to all types and does the burning effect as well. Also some skills have nice synergy with RoJ. I like to bring heroes with meteor (but not meteor shower, I don't trust the long cast time on them), and Searing Flames, because the enemies will be KD'd in the RoJ and be already burning for the Searing Flames conditional to trigger. Very useful. The armor penetration from Air Magic is nice, but not so powerful that it really makes all the difference in the world. What you want from air, water, and earth magic is generally utility. As I believe I mentioned in my above post, earth magic is great for KD, but I don't think I mentioned Eruption also being an aoe blind skill, which is great for slowing down physical pressure. Also, air magic has some knockdowns and blinding surge, which is an amazing blind skill, and can be combined with Ebon Assassin for a KD and nice damage spike. Water I have far less experience with, but suffice it to say snares are helpful in many ways, especially in HM because of their increased movement speeds.
Oh, and I don't think I saw it mentioned, but having more hitpoints is very important in higher levels of gameplay. Much of the aggro AI goes off of HP and class. Normally, you'd find the monks getting attacked in any mode (but especially in HM with the increased move speed), but I run with 620hp or more, and can often stand in the middle of enemy casters and not be targeted a single time. I run almost all of my heroes with minor runes of their primary attribute and their main attribute. I also like to give them major vigor (can't be bothered to pay for sup runes for heroes over all my characters) and +30 or +60hp weapon sets. Sup runes do too little effect on the overall numbers to be worth the 75hp they rob you of. Higher HP is VERY good in HM. More buffer before you die, which gives monks more time to react and save your butt.
That's all the advice I can think of regarding those classes at the moment, but if I see any other posts that remind of me of more information, I'll be sure to let you know.
25-01-2010, 16:27 #27
Thank you for all the info it is most appreciated, and really good to know that ritualists do well in HM because I have been putting so much work in to my new char. I am concentrating on trying out different builds and getting the skills I need for them atm.
Again - many thanks
25-01-2010, 21:40 #28
If you're playing a rit, don't forget resto rit and channeling caster damage.
Rits can fill in many roles, so be creative. Weapon spells are very useful in HM (some do blocking and blindness). Spirits that do blocking or prot spirit effect are nice, but with the crazy AoE damage, or fast attacking melee enemies in HM, the spirits last only a second or two. If your team is strong enough to drop the enemy group very quickly, rit spirits are a great idea (since you don't need to preprot), but for more prolonged battles their effect won't be as strong.
26-01-2010, 00:36 #29
One other thing i dont recall seeing here is to feel free to ask ingame to your guild mates or alliance mates for help and or advice.
my wife and i have been playing for 5 years and many of the members in the alliance have also.
if you need a hand feel free to send me a PM in game just add my name to your friends list and when i am on shoot me a wisper. i will do all i can to give you an answer.
Komoto Rockweaver aka Scott
26-01-2010, 08:16 #30