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Making use of both skill bars

Question 1:
Should I be using both bars in combat?
I'm not sure when or why I should switch to the second bar.

As in.. I use a destruction staff on bar 1. Then a restore staff on bar 2.
I should switch to bar 2 when I need some health and use some restore staff skills?

Question 2:
Do the skills on bar 2 gain xp/level just because they are located in bar 2?
Do I have to switch to bar 2 ar some point during combat and use a skill to get those skills to advance.
-If so-
Does all the skills on bar 2 advance (like on bar 1) or just the skill I use from bar 2.

  • Jim_Pipp
    Question1) short answer is yes. Longer answer is that players use their bars differently. A popular beginner strategy is to have your buffs, debuffs and dots on one bar ("backbar"), cast them at the start of the fight and then switch to your main bar for damage, only switching back when you need to reapply buffs etc. Other people use each bar for different kinds of combat (e.g. inferno destro staff bar for single targets and bosses, shock destro bar for groups of mobs). The general rule is the more skills you have active the better you are doing, so use both bars to use those skills!

    Question 2) only the bar you are currently using gets experience. So if you start a fight on your back bar, but kill the mobs on your main bar then ONLY your main bar skills get experience. Your back bar skills will only level up if you are killing mobs with those skills OR (here is a tip) if you are on your back bar when you hand in a quest and get the experience reward.
    Edited by Jim_Pipp on March 30, 2017 5:02PM
    #1 tip (Re)check your graphics settings periodically - especially resolution.
  • Autolycus
    @Jim_Pipp pretty much nailed it. I just wanted to add one thing that might help you level you back bar skills: When you go to turn in a quest or pledges, switch to your back bar before you turn it in. This way, your front bar skills are leveling more during combat, but your back bar isn't neglected.
  • iPrey
    thanks ;)
  • SirMewser
    What I am about to share with you is based on my own personal preference and experience but has served to be quite effective and not unique in design (quite a typical use of a back-bar);
    • Enchants and Traits: Your back-bar weapon trait could be more reliable being infused with a proc/duration based enchant to make it more potent, other traits can be much less effective on a back-bar when you want to quickly apply effects/abilities.
    • Consider Enchant Procing Method: You do not want to weave light/heavy attacks on a back-bar (generally) to apply enchants, weapon abilities apply enchantment effects with consideration of the trait, knowing this, you can make your "Heroic Slash" let's say, not only apply; physical damage, minor heroism, minor maim, 60% snare, but also a potent crusher glyph to reduce enemies' physical and magical resistance. Doing so, also consider the duration of these abilities, you do not want to have to swap bars every 5 seconds, but for an enchant, it doesn't matter because they don't have a universal cooldown between bars, so as soon as you swap to your main bar, you can apply your other enchant.
    • Sufficient Skill Slot Space: The long duration abilities that supply buffs (or perhaps debuffs) that last for a long period of time are clutter on your main bar (unless they require to be slotted to provide the effects, rather than just casted), swapping to your back-bar for a short moment to sustain a 30 second effect will simply provide more skill space for your main bar's; quick, short, and essential abilities. Think of the main bar as reactive, and back bar being proactive.
    • Set Bonuses: A set bonus is maintained by a 2-handed weapon which can be beneficial, however, you can also have something in both hands, maybe a shield, allowing preservation of 2 bonuses or supplying a new bonus. For example; I use a sword and shield of endurance, with the health enchant I can get ~3.5K more health upon bar swapping to back bar, if I have a heal over time it fills the 3.5k quick, and when expecting damage I can negating up to that 3.5K health by simply swapping to my main bar, as if the health never existed to be damaged. See what works best for you!

    Of course, you don't have to use it this way, but this is my personal favorite way of using the back bar when I play.
    You will figure it out.

    As for the second question, your current/active bar provides the bonuses in regards of traits and sets.
    Edited by SirMewser on March 30, 2017 6:29PM
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