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Note: there's a good question on combat already, but it focuses mainly on using your own skills in combat, not on team play.

So far in GW2 I've done group events, and the main "strategy" I've seen is just zerging the opponents. In most MMO's I've played there's the traditional aggro + healer/tank/dps setup for dungeons and instances. I know this isn't the case in GW2, so here goes:

How does team play in instances work? What are the basics to know before hopping in with a PuG?

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It's the same as knowing your own skills really. Knowing some other ones to you know which combos do what is helpful, but for the most part making good use of dodge to manage aggro, resurrecting teammates and laying down dps is the order of the day for everyone. –  DavidYell Sep 7 '12 at 8:16
    
Well if "some combo's" and "resurrecting teammates" is the extent to which team play goes, then you should certainly put it down as an answer. I was sure hoping team play would have more to it though? –  Jeroen Sep 7 '12 at 8:29
    
That's just my opinion, hence the comment. I'm sure someone will be able to write a more verbose answer. I'm a Ranger, so spend my time wandering the wilds with my bears ;) –  DavidYell Sep 7 '12 at 9:12
    
Ah I see. Thx for your insights! I did not mean offense, it's just that all of a sudden I feared what you posted is the answer :S –  Jeroen Sep 7 '12 at 9:16
    
It could be! It's a good question as there will be lots of differing opinions on it. From organised teams to PUG's and to guild team play, use of voice comms and also specific skill setups for certain dungeons. –  DavidYell Sep 7 '12 at 9:19
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Guild Wars 2 is extremely unique - Being a lvl 65 elementalist, and having played all BWE's except for BWE1, I hope I can be of help answering your question.

Basic knowledge about GW2 instances
First off, the instances of GW2 are extremely hard for most people. If you do not know the tactics of the bosses, you will die.. over and over again, I can tell you this from my own experience.

There is no way of somehow overleveling either, since you get downleveled. This way you must have a tactic approaching each boss.

Also, each instance has 2 modes, Story mode - Which basically involves a story which is somewhat related to the main storyline, and usually provides you with some lore on the game. This is always 'easier' then the other mode: Explorable mode - Note that explorable mode requires you to complete story mode first. Also, the minimum level requirement will be higher then story mode. In explorable mode, instead of following one specific story your party will be allowed to pick one of several paths (I believe 4 paths in each instance are available right now). These paths hold different stories, bosses and difficulty. Basically turning one instance into multiple different ones!

Conditions
Conditions are also a very vital part of instances. Not only having conditions on your enemies helps. A very vital part is removing poisons, cripples etc. from yourself and your ALLIES. Using AoE condition cleansing seriously helps your team and will cause you to have a huge advantange over your enemies.

Basics of Combo Fields
Combo fields offer a lot of amazing bonusses and are usually very important in instances. For example: an elementalist might put down a combo field which is water. ANd if you then have a combo finisher - you get an AoE heal! Also, firing projectiles through fire fields deals more damage and burns.. and much more. To check all the combo field bonusses click this link.

Just check which of you abilities are combo fields/finishers and which are projectiles and use this to your advantage!

Resurrecting downed allies
Obviously, you want more firepower, more heals.. etc - So help up your allies that are downed, although do not risk yourself getting killed to much!

Trash mobs
Mainly, the 'trash' mobs (mobs in between bosses) are already harder then in most other MMOs. These require target calling (press crtl+T). And the whole group should focus on this target. Note here once again - If you call the wrong target, the group might get completely devestated (as an example, picking to target a warrior first instead of a elementalist will usually not end well).

Obviously, you want to fight as less enemies as possible at a time, so stay aware of patrols.

Traps traps, and death.
Traps are also a major part of the GW2 instances, these are commonly found in many dungeons. They vary from mortar enemies on ledges, to basic spike traps to heads who fire fireballs. Most traps can be destroyed, or turned off. Look for mechanisms to turn these off (usually after a set of traps there is some sort of a lever, chain or something similar)! These traps can sometimes be at the same time as trash mobs, making it very challenging.

Boss fights
This is where I feel GW2 really shines. As an example, I will take one of the bosses in Ascalon Catatombs (AC), this boss will have two elementalist. These deal major AoE damage, so obviously - these must be killed first, while having your group spread out.

The boss itself, has quite a lot of health, and will deal quite some damage. Basically you have to kite him around as much as possible and try to dodge some of his basic attacks. Occassionally his weapon will glow and he will charge up a ability. He will then fire veins to all players near him, which you MUST. I repeat myself, MUST dodge. These pull you towards him into his next ability - a whirlwind. The veins alone already deal an incredible amount of damage, and his whirlwind deals even more damage. If unprepared, this one ability WILL wipe your complete party. However, if you all manage to evade the veins, you basically get him to do his whirlwind, and you can freely do damage!

Obviously, these tactics are different for each boss - note that most of the time, you get subtile hints from the NPCs who travel with your group, and these should definitly be followed! They usually help a lot. Try looking up the tactics for the next boss if you are unsure (note that right now, the game is just out and the wiki might not have proper tactics yet.. you probably got to figure them out yourself!).

As final note, I believe each boss will get "Defiant" stacks. These make the boss more powerfull, and these stacks can be removed with CC abilities. Make sure to use these and not let the stacks get to high, or it will get extremely hard!


I hope this is enough information - and if you wish to know more, feel free to leave a comment! :)!

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Well, you can overlevel, to some extent. While it's true that you get downleveled for the dungeon, your gear remains higher level, which definitely has an effect. –  SaintWacko Sep 7 '12 at 12:58
    
Gear stats are also reduced to a viable level. The only advantage is traits. –  Ruddie Sep 7 '12 at 13:52
    
Are you sure? I'm at level 51, and recently went to the Charr starting zone. I was easily 2-3 hitting everything, whereas when I was actually low level in my starting zone, it took quite a bit more to get a kill. –  SaintWacko Sep 7 '12 at 14:05
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Yes, that's true - I believe that the system doesn't work completely optimal there. But I do know your stats - including gear stats - get downleveled. –  Ruddie Sep 7 '12 at 14:25
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Since GW2 breaks the paradigm of tank-healer-dps, each class is self sufficient and can play any role (more or less).

In this scenario, it's hard to define a strategy. Instead of thinking "who should be the tank, or who should heal" there are some changes everyone can make to their setup to play in groups as oposed to an optimal setup when playing solo. As a guardian, for example, I've found these useful:

  • There are weapons that are more AOE based and provide skills that buffs other players. (e.g. Staves, as opposed to greatsowrds that deal high dps but do not help other players).
  • Some trait skills also provide bonuses not for you, but everyone around you.
  • Some basic skills also help other players (e.g. shouts instead of sigils).

So using weapons and skills that boost the group you can be of more help that using your solo setup. If everyone tries to play solo, the party will have a harder time to progress on some situations.

Additionally, there are a couple of classic strategies in dungeons that can help a lot.

  • At least one player should equip a ranged weapon, so he can pull certain mobs and try to separate groups.
  • One player should be calling targets. You can call a target pressing Ctrl+T, and then everyone can target the same creature by pressing T. Ideally, when a target is called, everyone should focus on that target. Targets usually are called in a pre-established order (e.g. first monks, then casters and last melee)

These are the ones that come to my mind right now, but I'm sure that with time, more efficient strategies will come up as people play the game.

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