Guild Wars 2 – Beta Weekend Event Part 2
Welcome to Part 2 of the Guild Wars 2 Weekend Beta Event!
If you haven’t read Part 1 yet you can check it out by clicking here. It’s not necessary to read it to understand this article, but it’s full of other useful info and tips on what to expect from Guild Wars 2 when it releases.
Let’s hit the ground running and talk about Weapon Skills, Utility Skills, and Traits. Each class gets 5 Weapon skill assigned to number keys 1-5 and 5 Utility Skills assigned to 5-0. The interesting thing about the GW2 skill system is that your skills aren’t solely based on your class, but take in account what weapon you are wielding. So if your warrior is brandishing a mace and shield he or she will have different abilities than a warrior with a two handed sword. ArenaNet has taken this jewel of customizaiton another step forward. If an engineer equips a rifle he or she will be given rifle skill, but if a warrior equips the same rifle he or she will have a different skill set! This might be taken a bit for granted but when MMOs have been giving you a warrior, you have the same set of skills as every other warrior out there. When you first equip a weapon you only have one skill available to you and with each kill it unlocks the next skill. The second skill takes 5 kills, third 10, fourth 15, and 20 for the fifth.
Utility skills are also unique in GW2. Each class begins with a healing skill. Then as you level up you unlock your utility slots, but they are empty! You are probably sitting there saying “What the hell ArenaNet give me my skills!?!” they coyly respond “Earn them.” Utility skills are purchased with skill points that are gained from completing quests that look like chevrons on your world map. Some of these areas are hidden and you will need to find a way to them. Take for example the Norn starting area. There is a skill point over the East of the map but it looks like its in the mountain. You get to the area and you a blocked by a waterfall. Let’s go for a swim. Lo and behold a secret cave with a quest giver that wants to duel you for the skill point. Once you get skill points you can spend them on various utility skills like a stun break or another heal. Each skill costs a different amount of points so its a good idea to plan them out.
The next layer you have is your traits. Your character begins earning these points at level 11-60. As these are spent in each line you gain a passive bonus to two different stats and then at levels 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 you get skill bonuses. At the odd tiers you get static bonus that will enhance a particular skill or skills, at the even tiers you get to pick from 12 different bonuses. Between weapon skills, utility skills, and traits you truly have a very customizable character.
ArenaNet has also taken a different approach to crafting. Each character has the ability to gather any resource. The only caveat is you will need to equip the necessary tools to do it. During the weekend many people in general chat were asking where to find these items. They just happened to be on merchants out in the zones rather than in the crafter section of each main city. ArenaNet has listened to these requests and will be implementing a change in the next beta. Another great thing they did is eliminate the competition over resource nodes. If two players arrive at the same node, both can gather the resources from it without affecting the others loot. This helps make crafting more rewarding and not feel like a chore gathering resources. Each character is then able to choose two skills from armorsmith, artificer, weaponsmith, huntsmen, tailor, leatherworker, jeweler, and cooking. The first six are geared toward each of the classes while the last two can be utilized by any class. As you craft items you gain experience towards that skill, no longer will you need to grind and worry about not gaining skill ups. You gain experience based on how difficult the item is to craft and as you level your skill up you gain less experience from crafting it, but you gain experience none the less.
These three systems combined really make your character feel like you earned and achieved them through gratifying gameplay. After the next Beta Weekend I will give a breakdown of two of GW2s highly anticipated systems, PvP and WvWvW.