So you've leveled a character or two to level 80, found an interest in engaging in group content, and geared a class up accordingly. But...how do you practice? Welcome to the Special Forces Training Arena.
Special Forces Training Area
Located in the eastern end of the Lion’s Arch Aerodrome, south of Lion’s Arch, the Special Forces Training Arena is a place players can go to set boons and buffs on themselves and on a practice dummy, or Kitty Golem, to practice their rotations under specific conditions. It is even possible to make the arena pulse damage onto the player so you can test out your healing abilities. First, let us go over the boons/buffs that go onto the player.
Applying Self Boons
There are ten boons that a competent raid squad should be able to maintain on all ten of its players. Use the Arena Console, Adjust Self, Add boons, and apply the following boons:
- Might (25 Stacks)
These Boons and Conditions were picked based on how realistic they are to maintain, while also considering individuals traits that benefit from them. At times, you might experience a slightly lower or higher amount of Boons and Conditions, but on average it should be close to the above-mentioned setup.
Golem Setup & Conditions
A competent raid squad should be able to maintain 10 conditions on the raid boss. It is good practice to always set the golem up as if you were playing one of the select classes that benches with just 10 conditions.
Go to the Preview Golem near the Arena Console. Interact with the Golem Spawner, and select Spawn a golem.
First, select a hitbox size. By default, select Average, as this is similar to the hitbox on most raid bosses.
Benchmarks are always performed on an Average enemy (4,000,000 health).
To apply the conditions we mentioned earlier, select Additional Options, then Add Conditions. If you accidentally hit “All of Them” simply go back a few dialogue boxes and select “Clear golem settings.” The ten you should apply are:
Damage over time
- Vulnerability (25 Stacks)
If your class is one of the few for which the count of conditions is important, and you would apply an eleventh condition, simply swap one out accordingly. For example, Power Holosmith can (accidentally) apply Immobilize, but it cannot natively apply Torment, so you would simply switch this around when selecting your conditions. Once you have applied these conditions, go back until you see an option to spawn the golem, and do so!
Finally, it is time to eat the food and utility used by your class, and get to whacking that Kitty Golem! Make sure to watch the video that accompanies the written rotation in order to get a visual feel for how the rotation should be performed. The game will report your DPS every 20 percent of the golem’s health.
If you accidentally enter combat on the golem before you are ready to practice the rotation, your DPS numbers will be greatly (negatively) influenced, so only enter combat when you intend to fight the golem. If you need to reset the golem for any reason, simply go to the Golem Spawner, select Remove current golem, and then Respawn my previous golem incarnation, which applies the same hitbox, health, and condition settings.
If you are practicing so long that your own boons start running out, go to the Arena Console and select Adjust self then Reapply stored configuration — unfortunately, these only get saved for the single session and must be reselected manually the next time you enter the instance. If you do practice for this long, make sure to take at least a five or ten minute break every hour, and do not forget to hydrate to keep your fingers nimble.
It is also very important to mention that breaks are extremely great as they are the time when your memory processes what you have been practicing and moves the information you have learnt from your short term memory into your long term memory as well as into your muscle memory! If you find yourself stuck and unable to really nail a rotation then take a five to ten minute break and its quite likely that you will find it alot easier once you come back.
Happy benching, Adventurers!