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Golem Setup


So. You have leveled a character or two to 80, gotten an interest in engaging in group content, and geared something 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.


There are seven 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:


  1. Might (25 Stacks)
  2. Fury


  1. Regeneration
  2. Quickness
  3. Alacrity
  4. Swiftness
  5. Vigor

At time of writing, there is currently a bug involving several of these boons. For example, Vigor will only heal an overheated Holosmith by 5 life points per second, and it also does not cause Condition Alacrity Mirages to get their extra stat points. The solution, for now, is to hit the “apply all boons” button, although this causes skewed results for some classes, such as Deadeye and Scrapper, since the extra boons can cause certain traits to have overinflated effects. If ArenaNet ever manages to fix this issue, this note will be removed!


Since most groups have a Druid and a Warrior, go to Add profession-specific enhancements, I understand. Proceed.



Why do we apply but not if Alacrity Renegades are far more common to find than Warriors who are willing to run ? These settings were the most realistic at one time and now their greater purpose today is to serve as control variables, rather than to be the most realistic settings.

The point of these settings is not only to give your class the same general buffs you should expect to be used to within the context of a group setting, but to also allow you to compare your own benchmark performance with, say, that of a Daredevil from 2016 or a Weaver in 2019. It allows for permanent comparison between different states of the game. This would still hold true if the “realistic” settings were Quickness, Fury, 15 stacks of Might, , and nothing else.

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. Several classes perform benchmarks on golems with a huge hitbox to reduce the amount of variation from using skills that hit a large area. Double check the hitbox size your particular class and build should use.

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

  1. Bleeding
  2. Burning
  3. Confusion
  4. Poison
  5. Torment


  1. Chill
  2. Cripple


  1. Slow
  2. Vulnerability (25 Stacks)
  3. Weakness

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. Double check the benchmarks page in case this matters for your class! 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.

Happy benching, Adventurers!

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