There are quite a lot of builds in the game right now – especially when dealing with multiple game modes. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel with Hardstuck – there are already excellent resources for fully optimized builds, so our philosophy is a little different.
Our PvE builds are designed around a few key ideas allowing builds to perform on a very high level, but be more accessible for new players, or players with limited resources, and be usable by anyone, including players with disabilities, and those just learning the build.
The builds are still very much designed to be more than capable of crushing the hardest content in the game and try to sacrifice the minimal offensive potential for some additional flexibility. Sacrifices we are making are usually very small, in the range of a few hundred DPS, and bonuses gained hugely outweigh this 100, 200, or 500 damage per second lost.
Gear reusability and “Universal” builds
We want players to be able to try out different builds as easily as possible so you’ll see a lot of gear choices that are designed to work across multiple builds with minimal changes required.
After taking into consideration popular builds for the same profession, and same armor weight we created the concept of Universal build variant.
Many builds will use simple gear combinations by default (you’ll often see full Berserker or full Viper even with the same Rune set), but some will require more finicking, weird stat combinations, and unusual gear choices to reach maximum potential. We still have those optimized builds, but there are ways to reuse parts of your gear from other builds/professions to create Universal variants allowing you to at least try a new build, those variants will sacrifice minor DPS to reach high potential with minimal gearing cost.
Gear reusability also applies to Open World builds, we want to ease you into PvE endgame content with them, use the similar gear as you would use there with similar skill usage, but add more utilities and boon generation needed for solo/meta gameplay.
Do you want to play your build in Fractals? What about those few Precision infusions required to reach 100% Critical Chance? Do you really need to go and craft an expensive Precision Agony Resistant infusion?
No, and knowing that some builds are used in different content in the game, we are avoiding min-maxing with Precision or Expertise infusions or very niche or expensive food or utilities, like Writs. You don’t need anything special or unusual to enjoy the builds we are creating.
Extra breathing room
Things don’t always go to plan! With that in mind, our builds usually have some built-in padding such as extra boon duration that will keep them (and your squad) functioning well even when things are starting to crumble.
This small leeway is not only helpful in tough situations but also creates more forgiving gameplay for players only starting to learn the build with barely noticeable sacrifice in damage.
Low intensity (LI) builds
We are all aware that Guild Wars 2 is a very fast-paced game, and rotations are extremely spammy, not only it’s very hard to master and initially overwhelming for all players, but it’s very hard to execute for those of us with different types of disabilities.
To ease in new players and allow players with disabilities to play on the highest level, we are actively theorycrafting Low intensity builds. Those builds are designed to lower APM (Actions Per Minute) to minimum, add more passive damage sources, and allow for slower gameplay, while still offering very high damage and support capabilities.
Ascended vs Exotic
This is the message for new players wanting to play end-game content in Guild Wars 2.
Our builds show ascended items by default, but if you only just now decided you want to start playing in end-game content, you will be absolutely fine by doing so in exotic counterparts of the same stat as shown in the build.
That being said, we do recommend starting with power damage builds and getting Berserker’s gear as this will cost you the least, and to make up the difference in Critital Chance, replacing one of the sigils (usually
For more info on that, and gear acquisition, refer to those guides: