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In the Guild Wars 2 previews I was intrigued by the Sink and Float mechanics as a means to control underwater battles. However, I've not seen it much in the released game (in PvE, at least, which I play mostly). My thief has no relevant abilities that I know of but the official wiki list of Sink/Float skills isn't long so it appears to be fairly unimportant.

The only useful effect I could think of off the top of my head is preventing a human opponent in PvP/WvW from getting to the surface when they're drowning, which is the only application mentioned on the wiki as well.

Is this effect worth the effort? Does Float have similar applications against water-breathers (e.g. force a shark to the surface to prevent it from breathing)?

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I would use it mostly as a way of forcibly moving enemies into AoE. As underwater you could avoid AoE by swimming down. – David Yell Sep 17 '12 at 8:43
As Guardian the only thing i can think of using sink, is to keep the enemy from swimming up and trying to live again. – Lyrion Sep 17 '12 at 11:54
up vote 6 down vote accepted

You are right that sink and float isn't used in a lot of skills, there are some benefits I've noticed however that make the skills bestowing the effects worth of using:

  • As was noted in the comment by Lyrion: Sink keeps the enemy (players mostly) from swimming to the surface to rez.

  • Both skills can be used as means of crowd control, either pulling or pushing enemies away from you. This makes it possible to keep melees from beating on you or taking ranged enemies closer to your melee range.

  • Both skills can be used to move an enemy into or through an aoe damage area. The first example I can think of is the elementalist using: lightning cage and then Air Bubble, pulling the enemy through the cage. Otherwise, enemies aren't inclined to touch the cage and get stunned.

  • When fighting multiple enemies, you can catch the enemy in a Sink/Float effect to take them temporarily out of the fight, giving time for an escape or taking less damage for a small time

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Thanks - this is roughly what I was expecting when I asked. I'll wait a bit to see if anyone else has some hidden wisdom to add! – Alex Sep 18 '12 at 8:30
Don't forget that you can also use a sink against an enemy to interrupt whatever action they're taking. If you see one winding up for a big hit, sinking him will prevent it from happening. – Artless Sep 19 '12 at 23:02

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