(As posted at Guildwars2.com Forum)
I still don’t get it. There are rarely any timed fights in this game. The biggest challenges in the game come from fights where you have to sustain and survive through constant damage. Why would you go all out damage? For an acceptable decrease in damage (granted it’s noticable) you can get impressive survivability.
Going full zerker on jewelery makes sense, but I don’t see what beserker + scholar (or ruby orbs) has over a mix of beserker/valkyrie/knight with divinity runes. I feel like atleast 15 in SA (condi removal) is almost too good to pass up unless you are playing S/P or S/D.
Full berserker seems to be better when you want to get something downed fast while a mix is better when you want something downed (aka when you and your group are struggling). So basically you are gearing for the easier content instead of the more challenging content (which is lackluster, I admit).
Am I missing something? I want to be convinced, but when I’m doing harder content, with damage that can’t always be dodged or with a less experienced group of people, I tend to be too busy reviving the downed gc thief to be convinced.
Just because players are level 80 doesn’t mean they are high level players. What I mean is, every level 80 Thief is at different levels. Those who just reach level 80 typically use ranged weapons and survivability because dying is no fun. As they gain more experience and acquire higher level gears, they tend to push the envelop and take more offensive over defensive items. Of course, there are those who simply want to skip this leveling experience and fail (just like a lot of GC Thieves).
The way I see it, the level 80s are divided into 3 levels. The “rare” level, the “exotic” level and the “ascended” level. By having those items, I can gauge their base skill level, of course this is just my way to establishing a base line to give me an idea on what to expect.
So if the group is doing a dungeon speed run, as a level 80 Thief, you need to deal the most damage in the group thus expected that your gear is fine tuned to do as expected. Since the mind set in this type of group is “to kill as fast as possible of be killed”, so typically, the group will vote out non-Berserker, non-Ascended Thieves. For casual dungeon run, typically anything goes since nobody really cares if we wipe 100 times.
About Berserker vs Valkyrie, I personally like Valkyrie since to me, Vitality is more valuable than Precision since I am using S/D and not D/x. My reasoning is simple, better staying power = better prolonged DPS. Berserker brings a lot of burst damage that often causes problem in a group because it generates a lot of hate, especially from a boss, which typically the Thief will go down as a result. Unless the Thief is an ascended thief, he’ll know how to drop hate and not die. The problem with too much damage is that you’ll get aggro too often that a lot of times you’ll find yourself dodging and healing than actually dealing damage, but of course the high level thieves will not have this problem. Since sword attacks already deals a high amount of damage, it would be absurd to push it even further by gearing Berserker. I personally rather maintain a stable DPS with occasional burst damage on demand rather than burst-dodge-burst-dosge-heal, because in the end, the DPS for the whole fight is almost the same if the Berserker thief don’t go down; but if they did, there goes their DPS and the DPS of the one who is rezzing them.
The most balance pieces are the Valkyrie pieces with some Soldier. Someone posted a gear combination that I found to complement my playstyle, it’s a combination of Valkyrie (head+shoulder+hand+feet) and Soldier (chest + legs) pieces. I’m still trying out the runes though since each set brings different things to my playstyle. For condition, definitely Carrior over Rabid, again because Vit is better than Prec.
To summarize, I would never recommend Berseker items to anyone since it requires a high level of playstyle that only the player themselves can decide if they can handle it or not.
Instead of Berseker, take Valkyrie
Instead of Knight, take Soldier
Instead of Rabid, take Carrion
(you have to read the wall of text for reasons)