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What is it?
Running, sometimes referred to as ferrying, is the practice of one player quickly taking a party from one explorable area to the next, often to reach a specific town, outpost or mission. This practice is used often in Prophecies, where there are little to no restrictions in entering an outpost. Factions runs are much less common, as many towns and outposts can only be accessed via a specific quest or mission; in Nightfall, some missions and towns can be accessed ahead of the game storyline, but these missions cannot be started without completion of the proper primary quest (with exception of Rilohn Refuge). Regardless of a character's level or current quest, they can freely purchase new skills and craft new armor sets once the outpost has been reached, making this practice common among some low-level players.
Running can also refer to a player rushing a party through a mission or quest.
A running build accomplishes two aims, Speed and Survivability.
Any profession can go fast through the use of increase movement skills and consumables such as Birthday Cupcakes, Rock Candy, and Essence of Celerity. One example of this would be using Dwarven Stability with Dash and Red Rock Candy. Any profession can use that combination, and then use their attribute points and the six remaining skill slots for skills designed for staying alive. Increased speed will also increase Survivability, as a faster character will lose aggro faster. In fact, the main way runners avoid damage is to run faster.
The ability to offset any damage/degeneration of health. There is no one right way to do this. Choosing skills depends on the profession of the player and the type of mobs and environmental effects present. Usually, degeneration is not an issue and does not need to be removed or countered with health regeneration. Only hexes that slow you down and crippling are the major issues.
Knockdowns interrupt any activating skill and temporarily prevents movement and skill use.
Armor and Weapons Sets
Armor and weapon sets increase survivability and energy management, and should compliment the skill set. Some builds for long runs require a weapon set or head piece change as encounter differnt mobs along the way.
A runner's armor/weapon sets may contain a rune of vigor, runes/insignias that reduce damage vs. certain damage type, increase energy and health, and weapons that increase enchantment duration. Weapons which HSR/HCT can also be helpful.
Choosing your skills
When selecting your skills, keep in mind how many times you will be activating those skills while within range of enemy mobs. For this reason, Shouts and Stances are often preferred over their Enchantment counterparts, as there is no activation time and cannot be interrupted. Generally, a suitable, generic build can be found to run any given run, with a few player-made variants to the generic build.
A typical running build will contain at least one speed buff, such as the Warrior's Soldier's Stance, shadow steps(s) and IAU for anti-kd and anti-cripple. Primary or secondary Assassin builds often use Shadow step skills (main source of healing for many runners). The Assassin and the Dervish have protection against enemy spellcasters through the use of Shadow Form (which is also used by any class other than a dervish) or Vow of Silence.
Ranger runners can maintain a fast speed by using dash and Natural Stride and DS.
Assassin runners have at their disposal the elite enchantment Shadow Form, rendering the Assassin unable to be targeted by spells. Assassins frequently employ Shadow Arts Runes to increase the enchantment's duration.
Dervish runners use Vow of Silence as their Elite skill. Vow of Silence renders the user unable to cast spells, or to be targeted by them.
Learning from others
Often the best way to learn is to join a running guild, have an experienced runner teach you, or to watch them successfully complete a run. This can be achieved by running alongside the experienced runner, or simply dying and observing the runner as they continues. If you choose the former method, either ask the runner or run BEHIND the runner. An additional player who is in front may trigger spawns eariler that could mess up the speed, and even the timing of the run. If the runner does not wish to have you run with them, dying offers a convenient way to watch the runner and see what they do. Simply click on the surviving runner's name in the Party List and observe. You will be able see what skills they are using, and when they uses them, giving you an idea of what will be expected of you when it's your turn to run.
Generic running tips
The following tips will help you no matter what profession you plan to run on.
- Don't stop running. The reason why most beginner runners die is NOT because of mistimed skills or forgetting to use a certain skill, but because the runner does not DEAGGRO fast enough. If you deaggro fast enough, you won't be taking any major damage that needs healing (thus also simplify the run: less skills to be used). The only time you need to stop running is to wait for Shadow Form to recharge (if using it).
- Learn to Shadow step. Generally your secondary profession should be assassin if your primar class is not an assassin. Learning how to shadow step properly will help in your deaggro and speed, and is the first bridge between beginner and adept runners.
- Don't look at your health. When starting to run, you should avoid looking at your health bar. Simply run as fast you can, using your common sense. If you do look at your health and see it's low, a beginner's instant reaction would be to stop in a safe area and regenerate. This will lead to failure, as spawns change even if you're not moving forward. If you run at a steady pace without stopping, you will see the spawns look comfortable and fit all your skill usages.
- Ask for help. Pro runners in Beacon's Perch will usually be able to help you on whatever run you are have problems with.
- Running builds on PvxWiki contains a number of tested running builds, both for generic use and specific purposes.