I’m in the process of rewriting my old druid gearing guide, and since I have the equipment and access to a DPS meter now, I thought I’d see if my approximations were correct. Playing druid is very deeply about trading damage for utility, and it’s very useful to know how much you’re trading for what and what the options are. I choose my builds on a case-by-case basis, and this comparison was quite interesting to see.
Here it is:
Please read the explanations at the bottom carefully!
You can hide columns by left-clicking the top of the column and selecting “Hide column”.
The columns are sorted by DPS, as this is a DPS comparison. It is not intended as a statement on build quality or viability. All druid builds fall off compared to base rangers because they spend time buffing the party. This DPS gain is not included.
TL: DR Analysis;
- Highest DPS: Base Condi Ranger with Hidden Barbs(Line 54)
- Highest DPS Druid: A/T SB Viper’s Druid running Wilderness Survival(Line 50)
- Highest DPS with Healing power: Condi Druid Staff (Shaman’s) A/T(Line 35)
- Best Healing Power – Damage trade-off: Apothecary’s/Viper mix(Line 33)
- A full exotic power ranger does 10.8% less damage than a full ascended one. (Lines 102-103)
- When camping staff and Quick Draw-ing on CA4, full Viper’s + Shaman’s staff and full Berserker’s + Zealot’s staff do about the same damage, when using a DPS second set, the condi build is actually stronger. (Lines 9 and 11)
- Running Nature Magic instead of the usual damage trait line is barely a DPS loss (on top of that, the pet boon uptime of non-NM builds is unrealistically high in this test) (Lines 36 and 37)
- Celestial trinkets work pretty well for Druids. (Lines 14 and 16)
- Bearbowing is not so good. (But no ranger main in their right mind would hate on bearbows, I love all of you regardless of your DPS <3) (Line 3)
- Can’t afford Viper’s and TFCs? You’re not entirely screwed. (Line 30)
- Power builds have a high initial burst, but their damage drops off, condition builds do the reverse. Condition ranger starts out 2k lower than power ranger, but averages 4k higher. (Lines 48 and 49)
The entire test took about seven hours, so I didn’t record it. I hope I’ve given enough information if people want to reproduce the numbers.
Humble request: Please do not use the numbers in this to enforce one build over another on other people, there are many, many considerations going into any build any druid runs. This is meant to help druid players make decisions about situational build adjustments, not PuGs pick their players.
I hope it’s interesting to some people! If you have a request for a build I didn’t include, ask away (or send me a gw2skills link) and I’ll see what I can do.
EDIT: This is not meant as a guide to builds. If you are unfamiliar with rangers, their role or are generally new to the game, consult the gearing guide linked in the beginning. It’s not required to carry this many sets for effective play in PvE! It’s just that I’m a bit of a hoarder, I think.