Saturday, August 25, 2012

Would You Like Fries With That?

Let's talk combos, people. No, not the fries & pop kind! No, not the pizza pretzel kind! I'm talking combos of the murder-death-kill kind.  :)

Initiator + Finisher = Combo!

The 9 initiators are classified according to element: dark, ethereal, fire, ice, light, lightning, poison, smoke, water.
The 4 finishers are classified according to type: blast, leap, projectile, whirl.
That means there are 36 possible combos in Guild Wars 2. Most combos are created through synergies between two different professions, but there are a few combos that can be triggered on your own or with a player of the same profession.

The GW2 Wiki has a handy chart showing the combos but not all the links are live yet, so you can't find out what the exact combo skill does, but you can deduce the effect from the description, eg. Healing Bolts would most likely heal people with bolts. Just guessing here.  ;)

But I found something even better than a dumb table of words. I found a super dooper awesome uber amazing fantooooooobulus visual combo generator!
I have provided some pics and instructions about it here for your entertainment and education. Aren't I nice? (Well, perhaps you should reserve your eager assent until you finish reading. It's possible I'll just confuse you with all this!)

The starting screen. Choose professions from the drop down menus.
I chose Mesmer and Thief.
Click on the Initiator heart icon. This will bring up pics with mouseover descriptions of the skills that Mesmer has that can act as Initiators, including the weapon needed, and element type. Choose wisely...or not!
Click the Finisher heart icon and choose.
You can see the Thief has a lot of finishers, but some are of the same type, eg. Projectiles.

Here you can see Mesmer's Chaos Storm (ethereal) plus Thief's Heartseeker (leap)
equals the combo Chaos Armor.
You can also go about this backwards, sideways or inside out. For example, you can choose two professions, then click the combo icon to bring up a big chart of the possible combos.
All the combos!
The ones that are lit up are the possible combos for
Necro + Warrior
Click one of those and then click the initiator and finisher icons to discover which skills you need to use to achieve that combo.
Or choose two professions, check out all the combos, then click the big double-headed black arrow below the plus sign to switch the professions from initiator to finisher. That way you can see what would happen if your Mesmer finishes a combo initiated by your friend, the Thief.

Here's a little more detail. Feel free to click away. I won't be offended. Much. :D

The 4 finishers (blast, leap, projectile, whirl) are available to almost all professions. The current exceptions are: necros don't have a leap, guardians don't have a projectile, engineers don't have a whirl, and rangers only have a blast through their drake pet. Some professions have a metric-poop-tonne of one type of finisher, like, oh, say, the damn Thief and their endless projectiles!
Basically what that means is that any class can finish a combo. Pretty sweet deal.
And finishers are easy to comprehend. Blasting something causes an AOE. Leaping through an initiator most often applies an armor to you, but sometimes a condition to your foe. Firing a projectile through an initiator applies an effect to the projectile. And whirling into an initiator causes bolts to be flung out. Maybe your friend, the Thief, has 254 different types of projectiles, but each one will finish the combo in the same way.

But the initiators are really where things get nutsy. The 9 initiators are linked to elements, and these seem to be all over the place. I mean obviously Elementalists can do fire, air, and water, plus they're the only one who can do lightning. Engineers are even more skilled and can do every initiator element except dark & ethereal. Dark can only be done by thieves and necros. Ethereal can only be done by necros and mesmers...oh, except if a thief steals a skill from one of those. Rangers can get their pets to do initiators, namely smoke and poison elements. Sheesh! I can't keep it all straight.

So that's why that combo thinga-majiggy is so brilliant. Go click your little heart out and you'll see what I'm trying to explain in clumsy words.
Pick your profession and learn your combos, memorize them, absorb them, breathe them, live them. That way, the next time you're standing next to a warrior eyeing up a band of nasty Svanir, you can smile sweetly and say, "Care to take a whirl through my ring of fire, big boy?" Hopefully, he'll grin fiercely and reply, "Light it up!"

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