My Mesmer and newly finished crafting professions have me back into the honeymoon phase in GW2. The class provides better support and versatility for the aspects of game-play I focus on at max level. Plus her animations are flashy and her gear options are much more feminine, which adds to the overall appeal.
Harvesting on EZMode
I find harvesting nodes a relaxing thing to do. In most MMOs, its how I like to end my gaming sessions – bit of unwinding. Most of my harvesting is to support crafting but I don’t mind farming profitable items for resale.
The Mesmer class is much more adept at convenient harvesting in high level zones. She has a nice arsenal of skills for “Don’t mind me, I’m just passing through.” She has sweet sweet anti-combat maneuvers too. A typical configuration for me is Scepter + Focus, Sword + Torch, Decoy, Boons, + Boon Durations and Mass Invisibility.
The value of the Focus run buff is a no-brainer. It helps me bypass mobs and traverse the landscape more quickly. I use the #5 iDefender Phantasm to take aggro before I get close. Usually the mobs nearby don't even notice me. Other times, I cast it if the mob is on top of the node or notices me as I’m harvesting. In either situation, the Defender Phantasm takes aggro and whittles the mob down while I’m harvesting. Depending on the mob, I can choose to continue on to the next location or kill it for a chance at useful loot or salvage.
The Torch is mostly for the Prestige skill which is a form of invisibility. I pop it and keep running. If I’m still in range of mobs or have aggro, I’ll follow up with Decoy and disappear again. It's also the only time I like have a melee weapon on the Mesmer. If stuff gets in my face while I'm harvesting it's tag you're it, slash-slash, you're dead.
I save Mass Invisibility for hastening by a large swarm of NPCs or as a “hail Mary” escape. I also love running with the Signet of Inspiration for the random boons. The speed boost pops regularly and combined with Signet of Midnight for improved boon duration, it helps to length all of my combat avoidance tricks. To complement the Signets, I adjust my trait skills to reduce the refresh rates as well.
These options combined, really improve the efficiency of my harvesting runs. I thought the Guardian was cool with the almost constant run speed buff when you trait for “Shouts” and use a staff. Her ability to ignore things beating on her while harvesting or by casting spirit weapons to fight pesky mobs was convenient. Even though there’s no danger of being downed, there’s the harvesting interrupts which are annoying. The Mesmer however, can simply avoid the drama altogether in most cases, making her a more efficient harvesting class.
She aint no Elementalist. I don’t have a bag of AOE spells but dropping clones all over the place amounts to the same thing. I can target a group of mobs and force/cast different clones on each, while I de-buff the whole lot before doing DPS myself to help kill them. I did some minor testing to see if it’s actually faster to kill fewer versus doing them in packs but it felt 6-of-one, half dozen of another. Mentally more at once feels faster, is more exciting and fun.
The Guardian was decent at AOE farming but I had to be in range of mobs to benefit from her AOE skills, making casters and runners troublesome. The Mesmer doesn’t suffer from the same problem because I don’t have to chase down any of them and most of the clones are ranged. Killing more mobs faster is always more efficient and a more tolerable form of farming.
World Bosses, Dailies and Instances
I prefer playing support roles in groups. For me, that equates to range damage so I can see the big picture and monitor my ability to heal, buff, cleanse party members or de-buff mobs. I hate the staff on the Guardian. I tried it on many occasions. I always kept one handy for the run speed buff but I couldn’t function with it in groups. There was something about the order of the skills which you can’t change and the combination of those skills that did not compute for me. And I’ve used the staff successfully on other classes but something about it with a Guardian I couldn’t make comfortable. Hence I spent a good bit of time doing melee damage in groups.
The Mesmer gives me two ranged options both of which I enjoy. I can still choose between support and DPS. For instances and World Bosses I lean toward a support role. Running around doing dailies and events, I stick to DPS. Melee or ranged, damage or support, I enjoy the Mesmer combo options more than my Guardian. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my Guardian. She’s like a Mack truck – dependable and strong. Whereas the Mesmer seems to float through things the Guardian has to work at.
Show me the Money!
With my busy bee Mesmer, I’ve been harvesting up a storm and using those components to craft on both of my characters. I’m close to having the amount of gold I wanted to set aside specifically for my foray into Black Lion PVP. I haven’t worked out the mechanics of how to make sure the only funds used and the profit counted are from that gold stash. Account bound is convenient for most things but in this case, universal access to Black Lion sales and profits, and money stored in the bank, not so much.
I’d like to avoid having to manually pick through my sales transaction logs to identify which sales belong to flipping versus my regular crafting and resale activities. I thought about doing it on my second account but I’m not the only one with access to those characters. It’s like the shared little kids account. I’m not sure how to avoid this experiment becoming an accounting pain in my butt.