I filmed a guild kill of the first boss of wing 3, Stronghold of the Faithful. Even though I was in a somewhat lol spec, I thought it would be good to post it anyway. My laptop is now three years old and the summer heat is not being kind to its performance; my desktop is unavailable at the moment thanks to some problems with Asus's motherboard utility software.
Escort is the boss I wanted in w3, a pug-friendly boss that is accessible to all levels of raiders and gives them something to do besides wipe on Vale Guardian, boss 1 of wing 1, all day long. Boss 1 of wing 2, Slothasor, is widely regarded as the least puggable boss in the entire raid. Unfortunately, wing 3 failed on my other expectation, that its final boss--the final boss of the entire raid encounter--would be more difficult than the other bosses. Instead, it is easier than the second boss of Stronghold of the Faithful, and I'd guess the majority of wipes aren't due to lack of healing, dps, tanking, or fight mechanics, but the sheer stupidity of falling off of (or failing to be on) ley lines, a flying -style mechanic in the open world that's also necessary in wing 3 of the raid.
Anyway, Escort has two challenges: the tower group needs to perform through some burst healing and dps challenges, and the ground group needs to use their cc, has enough burst dps, and perform the fight macro in the correct order. It took us, as a guild, about an hour and a half to down the first time, about an hour to kill the second week, and this was a one-shot (hence the horribad spec).
Another nice thing about the boss is that it doesn't necessitate comps. Sure, I wish the final boss fight was harder, but the fact that we could include some new people without class flexibility was very nice. Our tower group traditionally consists of a chronomancer in stealth/blink spec (hence why the revenant isn't in his subgroup for boonshare), a dragonhunter, and an auramancer tempest. We don't blow up the tower mobs as quickly as some groups, but we are also completely self-sufficient.
The ground group brings a lot of immobilize, cripple, and a druid healer to control Glenna and keep the group alive. Dragonhunters have some very nice cc they can use on the wargs, and syvlari can use grasping vines on something other than Gorseval spirits. We had to reset our composition once we swapped to other bosses, but I'm very happy that people have learned the fight and we can rotate new people in and out as a guild.
I've had really good luck with gear from raid kills. I got an ascended dagger this week, and a Ghostly Infusion the first time I killed Gors. So now my list of ascended weapons has grown to the point where I'm making weapons before I have alts that can use them.
On the armor front, it doesn't seem like I'm using my tempest as a dps very much, so I've started using my shards to buy Yassith's gear for my necro. Gearing a condi class is very difficult compared to gearing a power dps, so I've decided to do most of that via shards. After I finish off my mesmer, I'm going to take a break from levelling and trying to gear out alts to make sure that my characters are in order. I'll have the following classes:
I've been having fun helping guildies gear and advising them on what to level, but the bottom line is this: if you want to raid and you don't hate on a primal level the heavy armor classes, you should craft an ascended heavy armor set and a few weapons that you can share among them. Warriors, revenants, and guardians are in demand these days in raids, are good 'alt' classes in that you can do average raid dps/performance with them without too much trouble, and don't have any gearing quirks that prevent you from sharing armor.
To the above list, I hope to add warrior and condi engineer eventually. The only reason I'm finishing out my mesmer and then taking a 'break' is because he's level 63, whereas my warrior is only 14. Even though levelling isn't difficult in Guild Wars--and I enjoy it--I'd like to feel a bit less pressure to have everything immediately, and I like to do at least some in-world levelling, which can be tiring.
Also, I've spent about 90% of my raiding time being a guardian, 8% being a tempest healer, and 2% being a tempest dps or condi necro, so you could argue that I don't *need* other alts except from a raid convenience/composition standpoint.
Have you ever wondered whether fantasy worlds obey the same laws of physics and biology as the real world? (Hint: in Final Fantasy, the answer is always no). Guild Wars 2, seems built along sturdier principles, despite giving us the wonders of a gate that takes several hundred powder kegs to blow up and the fact that I can swim underwater in plate armor without drowning.
Rather, it's the wonders of biology that fail us. Here is a picture of my character completing one of the many 'hearts' scattered around Tyria. You might recognize this one, as it's the heart that gives you rugged leather/linen for karma after you complete it.
My character is completing this heart by carrying an aquatic animal. This is Guild Wars 2's rendering of the scariest crab motherfucker that you will ever see. Why have I turned myself into a human fishing boat? Well, this heart is about teaching quaggans to farm crabs. I'll wait while you click that link and verify that I haven't lost my mind. Quaggans, a sentient aquatic species, cannot feed themselves.
Now, the quaggan look like manatees, so maybe the devs were thinking, "Here's an 'endangered species' with a Tyrian twist. And there are other races that you have to rescue from hapless slavers, relocate to new homes, and teach survival skills. However, this heart and a similar one where you have to find the quaggans' scattered eggs--that's right, they have lost track of their means of procreation--paints a dark picture of the intellect of these seemingly-intelligent creatures.
If you claim racial sympathy with the quaggan in your level 50 story, you get to confront the quaggans' racial aversion to fighting. (Also, that link dialogue is priceless).
Mostly by fighting for them while groaning loudly and making quaggan noises (whooOOOoo) at the screen. Then, you get three chapters of the quaggan showing up to 'help' you fight, the way that marshmellows are essential to any successful marathon.
However, I will warn you: imitating the quaggan speech style is contagious and addictive. HellooOOoo! FooOOoo on quaggan! Hoo, foo, and boo!