Guild Wars 2 - Mass info for the uninitiated

ChelmoChelmo Member CommonPosts: 17

Ultimately my goal is to make the public more aware that Guild Wars 2 is not the same MMO you’ve been playing.

In fact, do you like MMOs? Then you need to check out GW2.

Do you hate MMOs? Then you REALLY need to check out GW2.

Credit where credit is due:

Some of the info was pulled directly from the GW2 Wiki I felt that there was no reason to rewrite some things. Some info was also pulled directly from and the ArenaNet Blog.

Watch this first!

That large rock monster was a level 1 boss, the shadowy skeleton monster was a level 15 boss, the giant dragon (which is a baby compared to the Elder Dragons) is a level 50 boss and ALL of these are outdoor content that can be experienced by anyone, there's no content gating or huge time commitments involved. Intrigued? Keep reading.

Dynamic Content – Gone are the days of looking for a symbol above an NPCs head to tell you exactly where to go just as everyone else has before you. Content in GW2 is run by the Dynamic Event system that is a completely persistent and hand scripted that changes how everyone in the world sees content based on your action or in-action.

• Active Combat – No more trading blows with a mob in whack-a-mole combat. Damage in the game is avoidable, if an enemy is lining up a big spell, you can dodge it and keep on fighting. Positioning relative to your enemy and your allies will be a key factor during combat, among other things.

• Underwater Combat – ArenaNet has built an entire underwater combat system, no more breath bar to manage, quick and fluid movement in water and entire weapon and skill sets to go along with it.

• The Holy Trinity – Dead. Gone. And good riddance. There are no defined class roles in GW2. It’s not fun to hope that one person logs in so that you can actually play a game. You can generally take any combination of professions that you wish into content and succeed in the same time-frame as any other as long as you communicate.

• Personal Story – At character creation you get to choose from a wide variety of biographical entries based on your race that will affect your personal story. ArenaNet aims to put the hero and identity back into the MMO genre rather than just a character sheet.

• WvWvW PvP – There’s 2 flavors of PvP, one is the Arena style combat that GW1 is currently known for, the competitive style. The second kind is World vs World vs World where 3 servers are pit against each other every 2 weeks to battle it out across 4 persistent maps filled with 2,000 people that involve capture points, resource gathering, castle sieging, etc.

• Level Scaling – You never have to worry about your friend being too high of a level for you to play with him, you can sidekick up to his level or he can sidekick down to yours so you guys can play together no matter each others level.

• Leveling Curve – There’s no exponential leveling curve in GW2, it’s linear and plateaus quickly. ANet aims to kill that “I have to grind so I can play the game” feeling you get in other MMOs.

• No Monthly Fee – It amazes me that not only is ArenaNet working to change how we view MMOs, but they’re still not including a monthly fee.

• Jumping – I nearly forgot, YES, you can jump. ArenaNet has built a fully realized 3D world for you to roam around in.


Dynamic Events - So there are no quests in GW2, you never go to an NPC and read a wall of text that says for you to go collect 10 bear furs. You see content as it happens, right in front of you and everyone else. Well how am I supposed to level you ask? The answer to that is Dynamic Events. They’re always happening everywhere around you, when you come across one you'll get a notification that there are new events nearby. Dynamic Events are structured so that you might see a single one-off event all the way to 20 events within a chain. Though a chain isn't a very accurate description, they're more like tree branches. Events aren’t merely black & white though, it’s not as simple as Event 1 goes into Event 2 and then Event 3.

Let me give you an example:

Say there’s a Dredge army making their way out of their base. You could possibly get together with people and defeat the Dredge allowing you to push into their base, defeat their commander, rescue captured soldiers, and then even defend the base against rallying Dredge who try to retake it.

Now let’s say you either ignore or fail to kill the Dredge army, that army will then create a base in friendly territory, they’ll build walls, create siege weaponry for defense, etc. They’ll then send out bands of Dredge to sack nearby towns, they might send out a sniper to the nearby hills to kill merchants. Now it’s your job to defeat them, destroy their new base, liberate any taken towns, and even then push back to their original stronghold. This all stems from ONE single event, the Dredge army marching from their base and there are 1,600 of these events currently, all hand scripted.

On top of all of this ArenaNet has said things aren't going to just respawn 5 minutes later, events can take hours, days, weeks, and even months to be back in the same exact way you may have seen it originally. Also, this has to take into account player interaction, if no player does anything the enemy will still move on and conquer the world whether you're there or not. Events also affect other events like a chain reaction, some events can have zone wide consequences, some are triggered through player interaction with an NPC or an object in the world, weather systems, day & night cycles, etc. Nor does this take into account the different experiences you'll have playing with different profession combos making even those experiences unique due to profession synergy.

I found these maps that I believe was labeled by ArenaNet to give people an idea of how DEs can be laid out.



Dynamic Event Rewards – When you complete an event you will be awarded XP/Karma(see below in the Personal Story section for what Karma is) and Coin. Based on how much effort you put into an event determines your reward level. There’s Bronze, Silver, and Gold reward levels, however it’s not competitive. There’s no arbitrary numbers or roll system that determines your reward level and there’s no unique rewards to the majority of the events so people don’t try to farm the “best” event and ignore others. There will be very large server wide type events that take 100 people to do, events like The Shatterer around level 50. When you defeat this dragon, who by the way is a baby compared to the size of the Elder Dragons you’ll fight at level 80, a large chest will drop in which everyone who participated can get loot. Inside the chest we’ve seen upgrade components drop for armor/weapons.

Content Scaling – So when you arrive at an event, you might be the only one there. As you’re completing whatever the objectives are for an event, someone else might arrive, and then maybe 3 more people arrive. During this time a few things happen, the difficulty of the encounters will increase, the loot will be more plentiful, more xp will be rewarded for kills, the enemies will actually gain new attacks, and in the end you will gain larger bonuses for having completed the event with more people than if you had just done it by yourself. This is all whether you grouped up with said people or not, GW2 is built with having everyone working together in mind.

Active Combat, Dodging, and Blocking – When any enemy (AI or player) attacks you, you can actively get away from the attack by double tapping in a direction or using a designated hotkey while moving in a direction, by using a spell that makes your character move like a leap or teleport, or even by simply running away. Dodging drains a "charge" from the dodge bar and currently there's 3 charges in the bar. Once you stop dodging it will then start to recharge. Dodging is something that you’ll have to know when to use and when not to. There are also skills that when "held down" will actively block incoming projectiles from their intended target. So this will allow you to "take a bullet" for other players if the situation arises.

If you are moving in a direction, the dodge will take that into account and dodge in that direction. If you are not moving, you will dodge backward. Dodging now also evades attacks, making it a more effective and understandable way to avoid big creature attacks or to get out of AoE spells.

Every skill in the game has now been added into the animation blending system similar to how the Warrior's Chains work. This makes it so every skill can be chain combo'd like an action game, you don't have to wait for the animation to finish in order to use another skill.

Due to the way targeting enemies works in the game, you don't actually have to target anything to use your skills and also if you use a skill that say has a wide swinging arc, it will hit any target in the trajectory much like an action game, so you're not bound to a single target when using a weapon.

There are a lot of intricate mechanics built into the game where distance plays a large role in combat. Here's some examples:

If a Ranger uses a Longbow, the further away from their target they are the more damage they do, similarly if they use a shortbow the closer they are they'll deal more damage. The Engineer has a skill called Blunderbuss that stacks more bleed effects on an enemy the closer they are to the target and the Flamethrower skill does more damage the closer you are as well.

A Warrior has a Burst skill on each weapon and each one does something different depending on the weapon you're using, but the interesting part is the longer you hold down the button the more damage you do, a stun will last longer, you'll immobilize your target longer, or even do 3 different things entirely per each "level" of adrenaline gained.

There are other combat mechanics to take into consideration as well. The Thief has a skill called Heartseeker that does the following:

Heartseeker seems to have three tiers of damage depending on the targets health. The first tier (paired with lowest damage) when the target is above 66% health, the second when the target is between 66% and 33% (median damage between the two), the third when the target is below 33% (with the highest damage).

The Guardian has a skill called Faithful Strike where you leap at your target and if you hit them, you grant regeneration to your nearby allies.

The Elementalist has a skill called Burning Speed where it allows them to sprint and leave a wall of fire in their wake. When that happens any ally can come up to that wall of fire and use it to inflict extra damage, a Ranger could shoot arrows through it and they would catch on fire, a Warrior could swing their axe and fire would be thrown at your enemies. See the Cross Profession Combos section for more on this.

Many, many skills in the game all have some form of extra condition or effect associated with them, they're not simply skills that just do damage with 1-2 skills that might stun or interrupt like most MMOs.

The Skill Bar - Each class has 10 skills, now you must be thinking “WTF ONLY 10?” Well it’s not as simple as “only 10”. Every class can do real time weapon switching (thanks PS3!) in combat, this switches your skills based on the weapon you have equipped. Take the Elementalist for example:

The Elementalist class has attunements you can swap instead of weapons; there are 4 attunements that you can go through. With the way GW2 is setup, you COULD sit there and only use one attunement and wait for cooldowns on them, but if you really want to play an Elementalist to the best of its abilities, you would want to be swapping attunements fairly consistently as to avoid cooldowns on any one attunement type.

The Elementalist can only use one weapon at a time and can't swap due to the attunement mechanic, but they still have access to just as many skills at one time as any other class (20). The Engineer also is unable to weapon swap, but instead they can swap out backpack kits, weapon kits, and turrets.

So the weapon type you have equipped defines the skills you have in your first 5 slots. Say like you have a a Staff equipped, with the 4 attunements that gives you 20 unique spells. If you equip a Dagger & Scepter, that’s another 20 unique spells. Currently the Elementalist can equip 4 different weapons; this doesn’t include their underwater weapon. Say you're a Warrior and you're using a 1h sword in your main hand and a shield in your off-hand, your first 3 skills will be sword skills while your last 2 will be shield skills. This is a bit different for the Thief though, say you're using a pistol & dagger, the first two will be pistol skills, the third will be a combination of the two weapons and the final two will be dagger skills. If you're using a 2h weapon all 5 skills will be from that weapon.

The other 5 skills on the bar are all changeable to whatever you wish; this isn’t locked down at all.

6 - This is always your heal button, you can change this to whatever heal spell you currently have access to.

7-9 - Are your utility skills you can choose from, for the Elementalist this consists of things like Conjuration, ethereal Forms, Glyphs that modify your abilities, and Signets which gives you a passive and active effect once you use it.

0 - On your skill bar is always your Elite skill, for now the only one we’ve seen of the Elementalist is the Form based ability ‘Torando’ which turns you into a tornado that you can move around dealing massive damage and launching enemies into the air.

So for a single weapon build of an Elementalist you’d generally have 44 spells to use. In total with all of the weapons accounted for, you could be managing 139 unique spells based on your second hotbar setup. Ultimately this is something you’ll need to learn because you will be expected to fill any role at any time.

Skill Acquisition - A weapon’s skills are now learned by fighting with that weapon. Because weapon skills are tied to weapon use, there is no reason to visit a trainer and make choices about which ones to unlock. Instead, it makes more sense to learn how to use the weapon by, you know, actually using it.

Once you learn all 5 skills for say a sword, all future swords you obtain will have the skills unlocked. So you just have to unlock all of the skills for each weapon type and you're done.

Skill acquisition for your healing/utility/elite skills will work differently than your weapon skills. You'll  be undertaking something called skill challenges in which will grant you skill points. There will be 200 skill challenges in the game, though based on the info we have it doesn't seem likely that you'll have to obtain all of those in order to get all of your skills. With these skill points you can unlock any skill you wish as long as you have enough skill points. The cost of skills range anywhere from 1 skill point to 14 from what we can tell at the moment. So how do you obtain skill points? Well ArenaNet has described challenges as ranging anywhere from defeating difficult enemies, to solving riddles, to ingesting potent drinks.

Weapon Swapping – In combat you’re going to be expected to swap your weapon sets to maximize your effectiveness. A Warrior can swap from a Rifle inflicting conditions on a single target starting out and then into a 2h Hammer for AoE damage when his foes close in. You could use a 1h Axe & Shield for quick adrenalin building and high damage attacks, drop back out of the way and switch to Longbow for massive fire AoE damage.

Underwater Combat – So there’s no more breath bar in GW2, going in the water won’t be an annoying hindrance anymore. You can swim across the surface very quickly, but you’re unable to attack while doing so. If you dive under the surface your entire Skill bar will switch to give you 2 new weapons along with entire new skills for those weapons and even your entire utility bar will change based on what you have slotted for underwater combat. While underwater combat becomes a bit different than while on land, you have access to the entire Z-Axis and you’re able to use spells on the Z-Axis too, not just the X & Y. You might cast a spell that’s a giant beam of light and it will not only damage mobs right where you casted it, but above and below you as well. If you go into the Drowned State while underwater, you’ll get access to a small skill bar that has 4 “Drowning” skills on it. Like the Downed State on the surface, if you manage to kill a mob you will rally back and be able to keep on fighting with all of your skills again. While underwater you can also try to swim to the surface to rally as well, this will give you 25% of your health and you’ll return to your normal state.

You’re also able to pull enemies from the land into the water and this opens up entirely new sets of attacks for them that they otherwise wouldn't have. There’s also tons of content to be found underwater with the Dynamic Event system, not only this but you’ll find entire cities and civilizations as well.

When underwater you’ll be diving into the depths and it might become difficult to tell which way is up or down. As you descend the edges of your screen will become darker and as you ascend that darkness will fade. This makes it quite easy to tell which direction you're headed.



Holy Trinity – In pretty much every MMO, everyone has a defined role. These roles are Tank, DPS, and Healer. Where based on your class/spec you do one of these roles and only that role. Those roles don't exist in GW2. GW2s combat is built with control, damage, and support in mind. Every player will have the responsibility of doing everything; no one gets a pass and is allowed to not help out. While everyone has their own individual heal and some Professions might have another healing spell that they can throw down as an AoE, it isn’t something you can rely on and is more of a “when it’s absolutely needed” kind of thing. You’re not able to rely on that AoE heal to save you, you are going to be keeping yourself alive by dodging and paying attention, you’re going to be tanking, you’re going to be doing damage, you’re going to be buffing, you’re going to be debuffing, you’re doing to be resurrecting allies. Situational awareness is one of the most important aspects of GW2.

Playing With Your Friends - MMOs these days are designed so that you might play with a friend if you happen to be on the same quest together or around the same level, if not then you'll have to wait till the level cap and even then there's segregation due to the gear treadmill. In GW2 as soon as you exit the tutorial at level 2, you can go to a nearby Asura Gate and it will take you to the hub city of Lion's Arch. From there you can take another gate to any other capital city in the game and meet up with all of your friends right from level 2. The entire game is built around community, co-operation, exploration, and fun. The whole point of playing an MMO is to play with others and most of all with your friends, right?

Sidekicking - Ever start playing a new MMO and your friend is already 30 levels ahead of you making it so you have to catch up to him? Everyone has been in that situation at one time or another. Well, with the sidekicking system this is no longer an issue. If your friend is level 30, he could come back down to the Level 1 areas and play with you, his stats and gear are scaled down to match the area you’re in and he’ll have all of the skills he’s unlocked, just weaker versions of them. When someone goes to a lower level area they’ll still gain a good amount of Experience/Karma/Coin, it’s not quite as much as you’d get from doing on level content, but it’s enough so that you’ll want to go play with your friends.

So what this means is no one will ever be able to blow through content in the game and ruin it for everyone else. This also means that all content will always be relevant in the game, even after content patches and even after expansions release. Sidekicking isn’t just one way though, if you group up with your friend he can mentor you up to level 30, all of your gear and stats will match a level 30’s, but you’ll still have the same skills you have normally so you can go off and do level 30 content with your friend as well. You’d be able to continue unlocking weapon & utility skills even while playing in the higher level content so it’s not like you’re going to be hindered by playing with your friend.

Guilds - Currently we know a little bit about guilds. You'll be able to create your own guild as you'd expect, within this you can earn a form of currency called Influence that you can earn by doing things with your guild out in the world. Influence will allow you to buy things such as guild storage, a calendar, experience flags, fortify and upgrade the keeps you're holding, etc. As a guild you'll be able to capture keeps in WvWvW in the name of your guild and fly your banner for all to see. You'll be able to track all of your guildmates on the map as well as out of game (see the Extended Experience section below). Where GW2 differs from most MMOs in regards to guilds is you'll be able to join multiple guilds at once and jump between them with a simple mouse click in-game. So this allows you to be in many different guild types just like you're in many different social circles in real life.

Guild halls and player housing will come after launch.

PvP -

Structured PvP:

"Hot join" games are the casual side of structured PvP. Hot join PvP can be played from 1v1 all the way up to 10v10.

Players can browse through a list of available games, each displaying the current map, the number of players, etc. Players can search by server population or friends list.

Tournaments are the more organized side of structured PvP. Tournament play is 5v5, but matches take place on the same maps that are used for hot join play.

Pickup Tournaments: These single-elimination tournaments wait for 8 teams to join before starting. Once they start, they go through 3 rounds of eliminations, with winners receiving qualifier points.

Monthly Tournaments: For monthly tournaments, you'll need a certain amount of qualifier points to join.

Yearly Tournaments: These grand tournaments feature the winners from the monthly tournaments slugging it out for the right to call themselves the best PvP players of the year.

Player-Run Tournaments: These tournaments will be customized by players, allowing for great flexibility and unique bragging rights.

Guild Wars 2 PvP features different maps that all dramatically alter a single game type called Conquest. In the Conquest format, teams compete over a certain number of capture points. Holding a capture point and killing enemies improves your team's score. The first team to reach the score limit—or the team with the highest score when time runs out—wins the match.

WvWvW PvP:

This is a game mode where 3 servers are pit against each other in a FFA across 4 persistent maps in a place off the world map called The Mists. This is joinable by anyone at any time, 24/7. Each battle lasts 2 weeks and the winner of the 3 servers then gets matched up with 2 other equally matched servers. A world's rank increases as it wins more often. During combat there is no direct way for these worlds to communicate with each other. At launch there will be 1 map that is split into 4 maps, 1 map that is the home map for each server and in the center is a neutral center map. Each map has resources and objectives to capture, things like castles, fortresses, mercenary camps, mines, lumber mills and villages. These sites, with the management of their capture and defense, allow teams of all different sizes to find a way to participate. For example, larger groups or guilds may take or hold keeps, while smaller group sizes or even individual participants might assist by disrupting supply caravans, weakening defenses, or capturing other objectives that will stop reinforcements. Maps will also be populated with defensively-oriented NPCs to set the pace of gameplay, but their presence is to allow defending players a chance to join in the defense as opposed to being a credible or reliable threat.

Resources gained from mines and lumber mills are used to rebuild walls, create siege engines, and generally defend the world's fortress. Once they move to the central map, players joining will start at their world's portal keep. From there they may continue to capture objectives while dealing with players from other worlds seeking to invade opposing home maps via the central map zone. Thus, play will travel between the central map and home maps as worlds gain and lose footholds such as keeps and strategic points that influence bonuses for their home world.

So all of the objectives in WvW use the Dynamic Event system. Say like your server takes over a mine, a new event will kick off to escort the minecart back to a nearby keep. Both of the other servers will have an event to destroy your minecart. If you get it back to a keep, your server then gains access to siege weaponry to use against your enemies.

Here's a screenshot of a leaked map, this is about 1/3rd of one of the four WvWvW maps to give you an idea of the size & scale:

World benefits

Territories and control points within the map will confer benefits to the world that controls them, such as faster energy/health regeneration, increased drop rate or increased experience gain for a time.

Individual rewards

Players can gain experience and level their character entirely in World PvP. Killing people in World vs World gives the player loot which means a player doesn't need to leave World PvP to get better gear.

Dungeons – At launch there will be 8 dungeons, but don’t fret! This doesn’t mean they’re the same static thing over and over again. Like everything else in the game, ArenaNet is shaking up how dungeons work as well. Every dungeon has a Story mode and an Exploration mode. The Story mode uses concept art and exposition to tell the story similar to the Personal Story. After completing the Story mode of a dungeon, you will unlock Exploration mode. Exploration mode is significantly harder than the Story mode version. Story mode is meant for pretty much any random pick up group, whereas Exploration mode is very difficult content that is meant for a coordinated group of players. Whatever results come of the Story mode version will play out in the Exploration version of the dungeons. Each of the Exploration dungeons have at least 3 paths that the group can vote on that will determine what path they take. The Dynamic Event system is also present in both versions of the dungeons, so even if you play through multiple times, that doesn’t mean you’ll see the same exact thing. Bonus events could spawn from player actions, by location or even at random and change your experience.

But what about the loot you ask?

Every dungeon has its own unique weapon and armor sets. The Story mode has the unique weapons and the Exploration mode has the unique armor sets. Not only that, even if you don’t actually get any drops, you WILL get a token that is redeemable for loot at a vendor.

Aggro/AI –

Aggro will take into account quite a few factors:

Simple creatures use a system based on proximity, how much damage is being done to them, how much damage they're doing, health of the player, armor, etc. More complex creatures will use all of the above among other things such as using specific skills, attacking the player that is the furthest away from them, focus on players wearing medium or light armor and try to chase them. Some creatures might run away from you, swap weapons to have entirely new skills, dodge your attacks, use specific skills on players at specific times, etc. Different armies will also have their own  systems that are based on different themes, skills, and AI.

Leveling – In GW2 the level cap has been raised to 80, though like everything else ANet is looking to innovate here as well. Most MMOs all have a very exponential leveling curve where each level takes progressively longer than the level before it. ANet has designed a linear curve where each level takes only a tiny bit longer than the last so you’re never going to dread stretches of leveling where leveling hits a huge incline. Their aim is to eliminate that grind feeling. Right from level 1 you’re playing the game, not waiting to hit that one special number that says “okay you can play the game now, for real this time”. ANet has said that once you hit level 30 it will take an average player about 90 min per level past that point.

Soloing – You'll be able to solo, but just not everything. Dungeons will require a group, though that's not to say you couldn't tackle them with less than 5 people or that you couldn't attempt and even win events that you probably shouldn't be able to. Though some events may be VERY tough to beat or downright impossible while solo. I saw a guy playing at SDCC 2011 where he went up against a named wolf and 2 centaurs, they proceeded to tear him apart very quickly. Saw another guy go up against a named mob, got hit for 1500 and then again and he was dead. That’s not to say you COULDN’T win, but it would be a challenge for sure. Thing is with soloing is even while you’re out in the world, you will be running across people and you will be helping each other out because you all have the same goals and you don’t need to be grouped for any of this to take place.

The Downed State & Death – When you run out of health in GW2 you will enter what is called ‘the downed state’. While you are down, you will have 4 skills that are specific to your class pop up on your screen. If you’re able to kill a mob or help kill a mob while you’re downed you can rally back and get a reprieve so you can keep fighting. If you fail to rally and are overwhelmed you will die, but you can still wait for someone to come resurrect you if you wish, you can also be resurrected while in the downed state. If you do die you can choose to release to whatever nearby waypoint that you have unlocked.

Resurrection – Every single player in the game can resurrect any other player or NPC, so you’re not going to be waiting around for someone else to do it. This can also be done in combat, this allows for the pace of combat to keep flowing.

Kill Stealing – There’s no kill stealing in GW2. Typically when you see another player in an MMO, you dread it. You say “He’s going to take that item before I can get to it!” Well in GW2, you won’t have to worry about that happening. Say you’re killing a mob and someone comes along and starts killing it as well, when the mob dies you both get FULL XP and loot for it regardless if you’re grouped with them or not. ArenaNet is designing a game where you no longer dread seeing other players around you, you WANT to group up with them.




  • ChelmoChelmo Member CommonPosts: 17

    Cross Profession Combos – CPCs have been fleshed out quite a lot since we initially heard about them. You'll be able to create these combos with other professions, people playing the same profession as you, and even by yourself. To start off a combo you'll need an Initiator which is like a “field” in the world that has been created by a spell. They range from elemental effects—such as fire, ice, and lightning—to other effects like poison, light, dark, and smoke. All fields persist in the world for a time and can be taken advantage of by any number of finishers. Next up you need a Finisher which is a category of spell types. All finishers are actions of some kind, including firing projectiles, leaping, and blasting an area. Every finisher can only be modified once, to avoid confusion and stacking. Some examples of combos that can be created are: Use Ricochet through a Firewall to get a bouncing axe that has a chance to burn the targets it hits. Leaping Death Blossom through a Symbol of Faith will remove conditions from allies near your target. Stomp inside a Smoke Screen to cloak nearby allies. This is just a small sampling of what you can do with combos, and we leave it to you to find them all and combo to your heart’s delight.

    There's even a UI element for creating combos that helps you take advantage of them as well as let your allies know they can set one up. When two players create a combo there's a floating notification shown to both players and tells you which skills are involved. Skills also display their field type or finisher type in their description, to help players experiment.  Almost every weapon has some sort of initiator or finisher which leaves two players ample opportunities to find and capitalize on combos, regardless of profession or other skill choices.

    Upgrade Components – Upgrade Components essentially allow you to make stat improvements to your armor or even new status effects when added to a weapon.

    Component types:

    Crests – Light Armor

    Marks – Medium Armor

    Talismans – Heavy Armor

    Placing multiple upgrades of the same type on pieces of armor worn together will give the wearer additional, accumulating benefits. For example, a single Crest of the Legion will give a +10 bonus to intelligence, a second will add on a +20 bonus to perception, and so forth. This means that the player can accumulate armor set bonuses on any set of armor pieces, rather than having to acquire specific armor pieces in order to finish a set and gain the full set bonus as is common in most MMOs.

    Upgrade components can be crafted, bought, found or obtainable as reward. They can be replaced with another upgrade component, but cannot be salvaged from the item.

    An example of a mid-game crest (some stats are no longer in the game so the item is now outdated) found from the Shatterer event chest is the following:


    1. +10 Intelligence

    2. +20 Perception

    3. +100 Maximum Health

    4. Thunderclap (50% chance on Critical)

    5. +5% Critical Chance

    6. +10 to all Attributes

    In a video recently I did see stats on an armor piece that were something like +10 Perception while Daytime and +10 Max Health while Nighttime. So there will be very interesting stat choices and modifiers to customize your character with.

    Traits –

    Traits are currently undergoing a redesign and this info is no longer 100% accurate.

    So Traits are a way for you to customize the build of your character outside of your current weapons and utility builds. Traits provide a way for you to boost your attributes, improve the effectiveness of skills, reduce the effect of conditions, and more. There’s about 100 Traits per profession and the traits you can use are also determined by the weapon you’re currently using. Every Profession has Major & Minor traits; although, an exception to this is a Profession like the Elementalist due to the Attunement system. Most Professions might have 1 Major/2 Minor in the Main Hand and 2 Minor in the Off-Hand; whereas the Elementalist has 1 Major/4 Minor in the entire staff. An example of Traits modifying a skill is as follows:


    Weapon Traits -

    Weapon - Sword

    Trait Type - Major

    Courageous Speed - Critical attacks with your sword grant you Swiftness.

    Sword Mastery - Your sword attacks do 10% more damage.

    Trait Type - Minor

    Flashing Quickness - Reduces the recharge on Flashing Blade.

    Perfected Form - Attacks with Sword of Wrath have a 50% increased chance of being a critical hit

    Primary Traits affect your stats directly as well as provide a variety of different benefits to you and your allies and harm your enemies.

    Here’s an example:


    Soul Reaping –

    Trait Type – Major

    Death Strike - Create a blast of energy when you enter Death Shroud .

    Superior Toughness - Increase toughness by 75.

    Superior Vitality - Increase vitality by 75.

    Blood Rituals –

    Trait Type – Major

    Blood Pact - Causes your sacrifices to require less health.

    Trait Type – Minor

    Blood Scribe - Mark skills recharge faster.

    Leyline Mastery - Wells last longer and recharge faster.

    Malevolence - Conditions you inflict on enemies last longer.

    Pure Blood - Reduces the duration of poison.

    True Blood - Your sacrifice skills do more damage.

    Minion Mastery:

    Trait Type – Major

    Minion Mastery - Your minions do 10% more damage.

    Trait Type – Minor

    Necrotic Efficiency - You summon 2 extra Bone Minions.

    Acquiring Traits - Well you obtain them through completing challenges in the world rather than buying them from a vendor. A Warrior might complete physical challenges like breaking and bashing stuff while an Elementalist might seek out knowledge trapped in ancient tomes. Necromancers might have to eat the hearts of creatures and do things that feel like they fit that vibe of what you would expect out of a necro.

    Personal Storyline – Right now when you make a character in an MMO you are just another person coming down the assembly line. ArenaNet is looking to put the RPG back into MMORPG and this is where your Personal Story comes in. At character creation you will shape your character’s Biography. Each Profession has its own question that will affect your character’s appearance, your Personality question will affect conversational options with NPCs, and there are 3 questions you must answer that are Race specific. Depending on what you answer here will directly influence your character’s story in the game. Between all Race & Profession combinations along with each of the Biography questions, there are currently 7,047 different possible combinations for your character’s story.

    So how does this affect the game? Every player gets an entire quarter in their race’s city that will change based on your choices in your story and is aesthetically unique to your race. The section of the city that you get is instanced to allow for your decisions in your story to be seen. There are thousands of possible variations in the stories, though only you can actually make any choices. Though that doesn't mean you can't bring friends along into your Personal Story missions and vice-versa. If you go and help someone out with their Personal Story missions, the more people in the party the harder the content gets and gives more Karma.

    Personality - Personality is how you roleplay in GW2. It’s a mechanic that defines how people in the world see your character. Initial personality is set at character creation using the biography questions and is later refined by the characters last 100 interactions with the NPC's of the world. The game keeps track of three aspects: ferocity, dignity, and charm. Actions and dialogues may change a character's personality to strengthen one of those aspects; for example, a character who bullies a NPC would increase his ferocity, and soon be known as barbaric. Likewise, a character who often cons NPCs may be known as a scoundrel. Personality may also determine how NPCs react to the character, so merchants may cower behind their stalls when approached by someone of the barbaric archetype. One of the earliest available titles in the game is related to the chosen personality type. It's also possible to use karma to impose a character's personality on the world for significant rewards.

    Karma - Karma is a non-tradable reward that you can obtain through doing Personal Story related content as well as completing Dynamic Events. You then use Karma to help develop your character’s Personality. Nearly everything that you can buy with Karma can also be bought with coin. Karma is also used to purchase gear such as weapons/armor as well as consumables such as Salvaging Kits for crafting and possibly food for stat buffs.

    Story & Lore - In the 250 years since the events of Guild Wars, the Elder Dragons have awoken. As massive forces of nature, these dragons have wrought destruction across the continent of Tyria, forever changing its face and its inhabitants. The player is thrown into the midst of this destruction As the game progresses, organizations can be joined and situations approached in different ways; these influences change the experience of the story as it advances towards the final confrontation with the Elder Dragon, Zhaitan. There are therefore thousands of different story permutations possible.

    Dragons – So I figured a section about the known dragons was a good idea considering that’s what the story revolves around.

    The Shatterer - The Shatterer is a rank given to Kralkatorrik's lieutenant and a champion. At any given time, there's only a single dragon of this rank; once a Shatterer dies, the title moves on to a different dragon. The Dragonbrand is where The Shatterer currently resides and is where players will fight him at around level 50.

    Primordus - Primordus was the first of the Elder Dragons to awaken in Tyria. Primordus' original resting place was in a cavern, deep underground, where it was assumed by the asura to simply be a statue emitting a high amount of magical energy. For this reason, they built the Central Transfer Chamber near the dragon. Primordus was initially supposed to awaken in 1078 AE, but upon the defeat of its most powerful general, the Great Destroyer, its awakening was delayed by two generations, until 1120 AE. After its rise, the other Elder Dragons began to stir, one by one. He currently resides in The Depths of Tyria, a subterranean network beneath the surface.

    Jormag -Jormag awoke in the Far Shiverpeaks in 1165 AE, causing the kodan to flee the icy seas and battling the norn inhabitants there. His rise caused earthquakes that cracked and shattered the northernmost lands, allowing the icy northern ocean to flood through and create new, inland seas. These new inland seas are now inhabited by some refugee kodan Sanctuaries. Jormag also caused a rise in the tide of the northern ocean which capsized and tore apart many other of the kodan's iceburg cities. Jormag likely still resides somewhere in the Shiverpeaks.

    Deep Sea dragon - The currently unnamed Elder Dragon from the depths of a sea has the power to create tentacled creatures from the water. Through its powers, it has been creating servants from every lake and river around its location. Its whereabouts and all other details are currently unknown. This particular elder dragon does not have a major influence on the world of Tyria, which accounts for the lack of information regarding the subject. This lack of information is meant to give a sense of foreboding for the open oceans. There has been mention of the krait, quaggan and other sea-creatures have been driven out of the sea by an "underwater dragon."

    Zhaitan - Zhaitan is the name given by dwarven legends to the Elder Dragon of Orr. For an unknown length of time it slept beneath the land of Orr. In 1219 AE it awakened from its slumber. The force of its return to life raised the sunken peninsula to the surface, killing corsairs that had come to the scattered islands in search of safe harbors or Orrian riches. The return of Orr also triggered earthquakes and tidal waves that would devastate many coastal regions, including the Battle Isles and Lion's Arch.

    Zhaitan used its powers to take control of the wandering dead of Orr, forming a massive army. It then raised the sunken ships of the corsairs and manned them with their now undead crews, creating a formidable navy to match its army. The dragon's navy stretched from the newly risen Orr to the beaches of the Ring of Fire, across the Strait of Malchor, blocking off passage to Cantha. For the past century Zhaitan's undead navy has ensured that no one may enter or leave Tyria, anybody attempting to do so being added to the dragon's numbers. Zhaitan rules over his armies from his lair in the corrupted ruins of the holy city Arah.

    Kralkatorrik - Kralkatorrik is the Elder Crystal Dragon and is the most recent Elder Dragon to wake. It is a thousand feet tall and its wingspan easily blocks out the sun. It has the power to corrupt anything organic with its breath, including foliage. The dragon awoke in 1320 AE in Grothmar Wardowns within the Charr Homelands, where it was confused with a mountain; then flew south over the charr territory of Ascalon and the Blazeridge Steppes, creating the Dragonbrand in the process.

    When Kralkatorrik flew, a terrible storm of black clouds and lightning was formed around its body. The lands under its flight path that were touched by its golden breath turned black and the plants and animals turned into the branded - crystalline life forms of their former self. Currently, it occupies the northern Crystal Desert, where it landed in the vicinity of Glint's lair and the Tomb of the Primeval Kings. It is also one of the forces preventing movement into Elona for all except the Order of Whispers.

    Kralkatorrik is often referred to as both a hurricane and sandstorm. It has the ability to create and even become the latter.

    Orders -  An order is a multi-racial organisation which is dedicated to combating the awoken Elder Dragons. In Guild Wars 2 there are three orders, one of which the player joins as part of their personal storyline and which determines a significant portion of the higher level parts of that story. Each of the orders have their own philosophies about what tactics will ultimately defeat the dragons. While they are rivals at times they recognize that protecting Tyria is the most important goal which they each share.

    The three orders are:

    Durmand Priory - Durmand Priory is a scholarly order dedicated to protecting knowledge and lore. Named for the monastery which houses their archives, members of the Durmand Priory offer services as advisors, tutors and chroniclers across Tyria. They are willing to share their gathered knowledge but do so cautiously.

    Durmand Priory is one of three multi-racial orders who are looking for ways to combat the Elder Dragons. They hope that intellect, or some lost piece of knowledge, can save the world from the rise of the dragons.

    One of Durmand Priory's major contributions to modern day Tyria is the New Krytan alphabet. A single language not only allowed the scholars to order their vast stores of knowledge and communicate among themselves, but all of the races to communicate using standard means. Durmand Priory championed literacy throughout Tyria so now most Tyrians can read.

    Order of Whispers - The Order of Whispers is a secretive ancient Elonian order. They work behind the scenes to safeguard the world against the rise of the Elder Dragons and free and restore the troubled Elona. Its members, often spies, thieves and agents, operate within every Tyrian nation sometimes to the highest levels. Their extensive network is able to gather information from everywhere, even areas blocked to travel, such as Elona which has long since been isolated under Palawa Joko's rule.

    The Order of Whispers is one of three multi-racial orders which players join as part of their personal story. They believe there is no way to physically destroy or negotiate with the Elder Dragons so the only way to counter them is to find a way to send them back to sleep.

    Vigil - The Vigil is one of the multi-racial orders that the players may join. It was founded by the charr General Almorra Soulkeeper shortly after the creation of the Dragonbrand, and is a militant force that acts straightforward in its actions and is combating the Elder Dragons. It is known to have a base in Lion's Arch along with having its main base at the Vigil Keep, located in the Shiverpeak Mountains. The Vigil believes that the only way to defeat the Elder Dragons is to unite the races of Tyria.

    "The Vigil is a powerful fellowship of individuals bound by an oath to defend those in need, fight against the darkness, and offer help to those who cannot aid themselves. Anywhere the Elder Dragons send minions, the Vigil will face them and stand against their spread. The Vigil wants to face the enemy directly, testing Zhaitan's power in the hope that such methods can one day be used against the dragon itself. They believe that the Elder Dragons grow more powerful as each day passes, and that those who do not fight now are giving the world away by standing passively aside. Those who dislike the Vigil's methods call them idealistic, but they are not naive. These crusaders understand that the world is a dangerous place. They intend to be an army of light against the onslaught of darkness."

    Character Creation – Right now this is one of the things that is still fairly under wraps, but here’s what we do know. ANet really liked the customization that AION allowed players, so they’re aiming to mimic that. Character creation will allow for preset based options that can be tweaked with sliders to further nail down what you want your character to look like. Here’s the character creation options for the Humans, which is the most complete at the moment, but far from finished.

    I suggest everyone takes a look at this official character creation video, unlike most games when you change sliders around your character ACTUALLY looks different. You're not saying "Hmm did that even do anything?"

    • Body Options

    •       Height

    •       Physique

    • Head Options

    •       Hair

    •       Hair Style

    •       Hair Color

    • Face Options

    •    Face Type

    •    Skin Color

    •    Eye Angle

    •    Eye Size

    •    Eye Openness

    •    Eyebrow Thickness

    •    Eyebrow Placement

    •    Eyebrow Angle

    •    Nose Length

    •    Nose Width at Base

    •    Nose Width at Bridge

    •    Nose Height at Base

    •    Nose Height at Bridge

    •    Upper Lip

    •    Lower Lip

    •    Mouth Width

    •    Chin Length

    •    Jaw Width

    Armor Dyes

    The dye colors that you choose at character creation also affect future gear that you obtain. The dye system will attempt to match up the colors that you chose as best as it can. Though you can always just quickly dye anything you want with the dye system (see below).

  • ChelmoChelmo Member CommonPosts: 17

    Character Customization Through Gear Aesthetics – Armor is divided into six interchangeable parts: helmet/headgear, shoulders, coat, legs, gloves, and boots. You’ll be able to have one piece of armor replace multiple pieces. For example, if your human warrior has an elaborate coat with built-in shoulders and helmet, this is available as one piece and replaces the three pieces on your body. This principle also works with full outfits. Designing armor this way allows ArenaNet to create outfits that don’t have to adhere to the modular design, allowing for greater diversity.

    Say like you found this really awesome chest piece, but it has poor stats on it. You could use a Transmutation Stone and put the stats from your Chestpiece of Awesomeness onto the awesome looking chest. Also, you’ll be able to wear any gear within your weight class. For example:

    • Heavy Armor can be worn by Guardian/Warrior

    • Medium Armor can be worn by Ranger/Thief/Engineer

    • Light Armor can be worn by Elementalist/Necromancer/Mesmer

    The Dye System – Guild Wars 2 has a very robust dye system in place. There’s going to be around 400 dye colors to choose from and they will look different based on what material type you apply them to. Every dye you unlock is then available account-wide and along with that you will be able to sort the dye UI to your heart’s content; even including a favorites section. Some pieces of armor may have 1 or 2 dye channels, but larger armor will have up to 3 dye channels. In some cases with things such as clothing, there will be 4 dye channels allowed. ArenaNet has created sets for their armor pieces, you’ll be able to take say a trench coat, an inside vest and shirt, and pants and dye the coat and pants separate colors.

    This will give you tons of customization possibilities because this can be applied to any weight class for armor types. Each race has its own cultural palette for dye colors when starting out. This means a red color for a human may not look the same as a red color for a norn or charr. The norn, for example, have far more earthy colors: rust reds and rich forest greens and browns. With the furs, straps, and intricate carved patterns of their culture, these colors really feel solid and meaty on their armors. A charr would have probably have more blood reds and desaturated military blues and greens, while a human might have more jewel-tone reds and blues, etc.

    Crafting – Crafting professions are called Disciplines which you can have 2 activated at any given time on a character. You can switch to any of the other 6 at any time for a fee and the good news is if you obtain recipes and skill points in any Discipline, you will retain everything even if you switch out of it. The more skill points you have in your Discipline will determine the fee when switching from one Discipline to another. This is to encourage trade amongst players and facilitate communication.

    There are no gathering professions; anyone can gather anything in the world. Every gathering node in the world is instanced for every individual player, so if 2 people are in the world you can both gather from the same node.

    Crafting will be setup so it will match your Profession progress through the game, this makes it so when you craft items you shouldn’t be crafting a bunch of worthless stuff you don’t need.

    Discovery – The discovery system allows you to find recipes by combining different ingredients together. You have 4 slots in which to place items, say you place a Fang inside one of the slots, it will say “There are 8 possible unknown recipes! Add more compatible ingredients!” So now you would add other ingredients for that would make sense for that crafting discipline and see what happens. If you find a match you’ll be notified at the bottom of the screen and then you can click craft. Once you do that you’ll then learn that recipe and are then able to craft that item. When you craft an item you will gain crafting XP for BOTH disciplines that you currently have. All of the possible items that you have in your inventory that can be used in the crafting process are put into a space on the left hand side of the crafting window. In a tab below the Discovery panel is the recipe panel, in here is the different categories of recipes and a search box making finding what you want to craft quick and easy.

    Items created through crafting have unique appearances, but the stats are no better than other gear that you can obtain in other ways.

    Each item crafted gives a certain amount of experience which will often result in multiple skill points being granted. As a player advances in skill they automatically learn how to make further basic components, allowing them to discover new recipes, which does restrict the player from creating items beyond their level. The crafting skill level is also used to determine some titles and achievements.

    The crafting process cannot fail. Critical success is possible but this does not improve the quality of the item; instead it grants another bonus such as increased experience or a "refund" of some of the materials used.

    Recipes tell players what materials are necessary to craft an item. Some recipes are learned as a player's level in a crafting discipline rises, while others are available exclusively from trainers or as loot. However, most recipes must be discovered through experimenting with various combinations of materials. When a new item is created, its recipe is learned for the character, allowing this character to access it at any time. Recipes for items are universal across the player base.

    Crafting Disciplines:

    Weaponsmiths craft melee weapons, such as swords, axes and hammers.

    Huntsmen craft ranged weapons like bows and pistols, as well as torches and warhorns.

    Artificers craft magical weapons such as staves and scepters.

    Armorsmiths craft heavy armor pieces.

    Leatherworkers craft medium armor pieces.

    Tailors craft light armor pieces.

    Jewelcrafters craft jewelry, such as rings and necklaces.

    Cooks can prepare food which characters can eat for temporary combat buffs.

    There are several different ways you can obtain crafting materials:

    Harvesting – Ore veins, plants, and trees can be found around the world and harvested for materials.

    Looting – You have a chance of finding appropriate crafting materials like hides or trophies when you loot slain enemies.

    Purchasing – Some specialist merchants sell ingredients.

    Salvaging kit – Available from merchants, salvaging kits allow you to salvage crafting materials out of old or unwanted items.

    Marketplace – The Marketplace is going to be one single global economy, by that I mean you will be able to trade items with players on servers other than your own. You will be able to buy and sell items without the need to find a buyer or seller first. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Buy Orders, they work like this:

    You post an order for a Sword +1 that you’re willing to pay 1,000 gold for. Someone sees your order and if your price is agreeable with them, they fill the order, the item is sent to your mailbox and money is taken from your bank.

    While items can only be put up for sale when in-game, it is possible to browse, bid, or cancel auctions and offers when out of-game and logged into a web browser. A sale can be completed whilst the seller is offline, with the coin going into an account bank.

    The marketplace is capable of displaying the history and trends of item values.

    There’s also going to be out of game support for the Market on the web & mobile platforms such as Android & iOS(iPad & iPod support too).

    Achievements – So pretty much every MMO these days has Achievements, this obviously isn’t a surprise that GW2 has them. Where Achievements differ in GW2 though is it’s an account-wide reward system. So you’ll gain them through things like killing mobs, playing mini-games around the world, mastering weapons, exploration, completing Personal Story stuff, crafting, etc. Most achievements have Tiers that increase in difficulty but also award you with more points as you complete them. Mainly you’ll be completing these for things like Titles and other cosmetic based items, none of it gives any player a gameplay advantage though. Some achievements will require you to use more than one character to complete, so rolling an alt is encouraged.

    Following up on this ArenaNet has expanded on what we already knew about Achievements.

    Achievements – Long-term goals that reward you with cosmetic items and titles.

    Monthly Achievements – Mid-term goals that rotate out each month and reward you with gold and experience.

    Daily Achievements – Short-term goals that reward you with gold and experience. Daily achievements have replaced Daily Feats.

    Some achievements can be repeated and will add to your overall achievement point total, for example if you were to obtain the Dungeon Master achievement for completing every explorable dungeon in the game, any subsequent completing of a explorable dungeon will get you some more achievement points.

    Maps, Persistence, and Exploration – A lack of persistence is something that bothered people in GW1 so ANet knew that they needed a fully persistent world for GW2. GW2 takes place 250 years after GW1 in the same world of Tyria. There’s lots of places there you can easily recognize from GW1 and I’m really interested in seeing the world because of what I’ve seen in GW1. Even without that attachment, exploration is VERY much encouraged. The Map system in the game allows for you to pay a fee to quick travel to waypoints around the game world as long as you’ve been to them before. Exploration is important to GW2 for a multitude of reasons:

       This is how you find content in the game.

        You obtain traits for your class through travelling the world

       You get to explore an absolutely gorgeous world designed by the best art team in the industry (IMO of course).

    If you notice there, the area on the world map that is uncovered is the above partial bit of that zone there. Gives you an idea of the scale of the world.

    Elevation - As events start all around you, you’ll come across times where you might be at a different elevation level than said event. So you’ll get a little arrow indicator next to the event details in the tracker that shows if you’re above or below the event.

    Cities – There will be a city for all 5 races in the game in which you start by after character creation. There’s also a large hub city called Lion’s Arch that connects all of the 5 other cities together through an Asura Gate. You’ll be able to use the gate as soon as you’re out of the “tutorial” which should be around level 2, you can then travel to any other city from there to play with your friends.

    Lion’s Arch - The Free City of Lion's Arch is a pirating city in Kryta where the architecture has been described as mostly overturned boats and other old re-purposed nautical equipment. Once the seat of power and the main trading city of Kryta, Lion's Arch was destroyed by flood when Orr rose from the ocean. After the flood water receded, it was rebuilt by mercenaries and corsairs, where it still exists today as the Guild Home and a melting pot to fighters of all races.

    Lion's Arch also contains a portal to the Mists that all races can use. There are currently only a few known portals. One is in Tomb of the Primeval Kings, which was corrupted by Abaddon, and it is located seemingly near where the Dragonbrand ends. Another portal is in the Tomb of Drascir, deep in charr territory, and yet another portal can be found on the Battle Isles, which was sunk by the flood caused by Zhaitan's rise.

    Player versus Player will likely operate out of this city and may be tied to the Lion's Arch arena where criminals choose to fight and possibly gain their freedom than to waste away in prison.

    Rata Sum is the capital city of the asura and is in the form of a giant, floating cube. When the Great Destroyer drove them from their homes in the Depths of Tyria 250 years ago, they arrived at the ruins of some previous civilization, setting up geomystical generators for power within these already fortified confines and establishing the area as their new capital. The aesthetic sensibilities of these ruins are reflected in modern asuran architecture.

    Originally a hastily erected outpost protected by ruins, Rata Sum is now a geometrical masterpiece, a testament to the asura's unstoppable ability to progress.

    Divinity's Reach is the capital of Kryta and home for the humans. Members of all races of humanity live here, some of whom have been exiled or are unable to return to their homelands. Built on Divinity Coast, in the province of Shaemoor, it is described as "a breathtaking monument of white parapets and high, pale towers". The royal family and Senators rule from here. It became the capital when the surfacing of Orr flooded Lion's Arch, the previous capital. It has become the bastion to human civilization and culture and is defended by the Seraph.

    The city itself is made of heavy stone and mortar contrasting with the wilderness that surrounds the city. It was built with a large underground crypt, which are lined with bones of dead humans and contains the tomb of Blimm. The crypts are accessed via the Skull Gate and requires paperwork to access legally.

    The city is best described as a cultural melting pot, housing refugees from Ascalon, Cantha, Elona and even people of Orrian descent (although for these people, their heritage is rarely made public). The city is circular in design and divided into six sections and the central palace. The Ascalonians, Canthans, Elonians, and Krytans each have their own districts in the city, and the other two districts belong to stores and festival activities. The Ascalonian district is known to contain a hospital for soldiers of Ebonhawke. The Salma District is the home instance for a human player.

    Divinity's Reach has a year-round carnival in one of the six districts, which contains Uzolan's Mechanical Orchestra, and could be used for minigames and holiday events.


    The Black Citadel Upon the overthrow of the Flame Legion, the Iron Legion was granted control of the conquered kingdom of Ascalon by the other victorious legions. They built their main fortress-city, the Black Citadel, on the human ruins of Rin. The wreckage of that destroyed city can still be seen among the foundations of the citadel. While the Iron Legion is officially in charge, Blood and Ash Legions both have a major presence in the city.

    As the Iron Legion is the most technologically skilled of the charr legions, its city is a vast foundry and center of industry. The Black Citadel is dominated by the huge Imperator's Core, a great spherical structure that houses the headquarters of the three legions, the offices of the tribunes, and the war council, where the legions meet to plan strategy. The Iron Legion Imperator, Smodur the Unflinching, oversees all of this and coordinates the charr in Ascalon with a veteran's eye.

    Hoelbrak - Hoelbrak is the largest of the norn settlements that were built after the servants of Jormag drove the norn from their homeland in the Far Shiverpeaks. Hoelbrak was originally the hunting lodge built by Asgeir when he led his people south to this location, and the fang he took from Jormag was placed in the center. Young norn test their strength against the tooth, and it is said that the one to break it will signal the time for the norn to reclaim their lands. A vast sprawling encampment has grown around the hunting lodge, and Hoelbrak now serves as a central meeting place for the norn.

    This outpost is dominated by five gigantic structures: the Great Lodge, holding the fang of Jormag, and four lodges dedicated to the Spirits of the Wild: Wolf, Bear, Raven, and Snow Leopard. Here the norn seek wisdom and commune with the spirits.

    It is located in the Shiverpeak Mountains and is surround by the Wayfarer Foothills.

    The settlement is currently under the care of Knut Whitebear and the settlement that has been erected around the lodge now forms the hub of activity for the norn, and those wishing to meet them. The settlement is the safest place around, as so it is from here that hunts are organized, friends meet, and ale moots are held.

    The Pale Tree, also known as the Mother Tree, is the birthplace of all sylvari. It is located in the Grove.

    Two hundred and fifty years ago the Shining Blade warrior Ronan discovered a cavern filled with strange seeds. He managed to steal one from the plant-like guardians and intended to show it to his family on returning home. However, when he returned to the Tarnished Coast he found that his entire village had been destroyed by the mursaat. He buried his family and planted the seed on their graves, swearing to never fight again.

    Soon after he was joined by a centaur called Ventari. Ventari had sought to foster peace among the warring clans of his people but had failed and chosen to seek a place of solitude to live out the rest of his life. It was he who took care of the tree after Ronan's death. Before Ventari died, he wrote down his life's lessons and teachings of peace and harmony on a marble tablet and placed it at the base of the tree. The tablet seems to have had a huge effect on the sylvari's development and thinking.

    Activities - Every city will have activities that fit in with each unique style of a city. Activities will be games in which you can play at any level as they put everyone on an even footing. Some activities are "hot-joinable" others require you to wait in a queue. Winning activities will net you rewards such as rare skins for armor or weapons. There's about 30 activities in game currently.

    Here's the ones we know:


        Bar brawl

        Keg Brawl

        Shooting gallery

        Smash ‘Em Up

        Snowball fight

    Extended Experience – So not only will you be able to take care of your Marketplace affairs while not in game, you can also go as far as to see a real time version of the game map showing you Dynamic Events as they happen, you can see where your guildies are and even chat with them. ArenaNet is building a database and architecture that will allow you to view any person’s character sheet in the game, you’ll be able to check up on gear, stats, items, where the items came from, and even Personal Story elements. Mobile users will be able to even ping the minimap to help out newer players if they’re having trouble finding their way around. All of this will be available to users through the web and Mobile devices.

    Microtransactions – So this is always something that people tend to be up in arms about and rightfully so. I tend to personally hate the microtransaction models most companies use, however after having played GW1 ArenaNet has made me a believer in their policies. I fully believe GW2 will handle MTs like GW1 does; you will never be able to buy something that gives you an advantage over another player. Things that you will see are cosmetic in nature, stuff like new costumes, more character slots, and maybe more bank storage depending on how they set that up.


  • ChelmoChelmo Member CommonPosts: 17

    Hall of Monuments - Earn special Guild Wars 2 rewards based on your achievements in the original Guild Wars and Guild Wars: Eye of the North. Hall of Monuments

    Music & Sound Design - One of the key features is the ability to tie any audio cue (including music) to our game’s dynamic event system. For example, if a fort comes under attack by centaurs, you might hear the music change to increase the tension of the situation. Even beyond this, the music system will work intelligently whenever you’re out in the world. By analyzing nearby friends and enemies and keeping track of what everyone is doing, it tries to gauge what’s happening in the world, and will switch up soundtracks accordingly, while still trying not to make the transitions too frequent or jarring

    Finally, no matter how fantastic a game’s music is, when you hear the same music for the thousandth time, you start wanting to change things up a bit. Many players will simply turn the game music off and play their own collections. The problem is that an external music player has no context as to what’s going on in-game. Guild Wars 2 will offer a solution for this as well. We’re giving players the option of choosing external music playlists that the game’s audio engine will use as a replacement for the default in-game music. Players can choose different playlists for background ambience and battle music, for instance.  Additionally, when appropriate, such as during cinematics, the game can revert back to in-game music temporarily to give the best possible cinematic experience, then resume the custom playlist when it’s done.

    We’re creating a gigantic world, and we want it to be filled with the sounds you’d expect in a living, breathing environment. The sheer quantity of sounds required is staggering. Every single critter in the game, from chickens running around underfoot to a huge creaking Oakheart trudging through the snow will have a complete and unique set of sounds. When a warrior in full plate mail runs by, he will sound very different than an elementalist in her cloth armor. In Guild Wars 2, much of the natural ambience of the world actually comes from the creatures, characters, and players all around you. You’ll hear frogs croaking as you approach the edge of a river, but perhaps only in the early evening hours. The world ambience shifts and changes over the course of the day instead of simply playing repetitive loops.

    Voice Acting - A small tidbit I forgot here, there's about 60 feature films worth of dialogue recorded for the game.

    Jeremy Soule– Last but certainly not least, this man is the John Williams of video game music. You know him from games such as:

    • Guild Wars Trilogy

    • Neverwinter Nights

    • KOTOR 1 & 2

    • Morrowind/Oblivion/Skyrim

    • Icewind Dale

    • Company of Heroes Series

    The humans of Tyria are an embattled race. Over the past three hundred years, they have lost much of their territory. Old enemies and new races threaten traditional human lands on all sides. Yet the human race survives, defending their remaining lands and maintaining the human spirit as they have for centuries. Their greatest city, Divinity's Reach, shines as a beacon of hope for the people of Kryta and beyond – even those dwelling deep within charr territory. The human legends are indelibly imprinted on the souls of all the races of Tyria, be they friend or foe.

    The norn are a race of valiant, shape-changing barbarians. Boisterous, strong-willed, and passionate, the norn are an independent people that swear fealty to no single being. They thrive in their mountain stronghold by the sharpness of their senses, the quickness of their wits, and the strength of their massive forearms. They are guided in this world by their Spirits of the Wild, who embody the virtues of the mightiest beasts. As a people, they are quick to anger, even quicker to smile, and treat each new day as a personal challenge. They drink and feast and hunt with equal gusto, and fear few things. They are steadfast allies and implacable foes.

    The feline charr of Tyria are a victorious race challenged by their own success. They have survived defeat, oppression, and civil war. They have returned, reconquered, and rebuilt their original homes. Their mighty fortress, the Black Citadel, dominates the surrounding ruins of the human city of Rin, and their non-magical technology is the mightiest in the land. Yet despite their success, they are challenged by divisions among their people, the power of the Elder Dragons, and the ghosts of their own victories.

    They may be short in stature, but this subterranean race of magical inventors are intellectual giants. These incredibly intelligent beings use their knowledge and skill with magic and crafting to assert their natural dominance. In the world of the asura, it is not the strong who survive, but the clever. Other races believe they should rule by virtue of their power and strength, but they delude themselves. All will serve the asura – in due time...

    Long ago, a weary soldier planted a strange seed in the depths of the Maguuma Jungle. For centuries, the Pale Tree grew, branches arching over the forest, until at last--twenty five years ago--it bloomed, and the Firstborn stepped into the world. They were followed by their brethren, season after season of sylvari, wide-eyed with wonder and searching for purpose in this strange land. Shaped first by the Dream that nurtured them before they awakened, the sylvari now travel Tyria seeking adventure and their place in the world…

    The elementalist channels natural forces of destruction, making fire, air, earth, and water do her bidding. What the elementalist lacks in physical toughness, she makes up for in her ability to inflict massive damage in a single attack, dropping foes from a distance before they can become a threat. Yet, despite her incredible offensive potential, versatility is what makes the elementalist truly formidable.

    Rather than swap weapons to adjust to new situations, the multi-faceted elementalist quickly adapts to new threats by attuning to different elements as needed. When the elementalist attunes to any of the four elements, she receives intrinsic bonuses that continually empower her.

    With FIRE attunement, the elementalist can inflict scorching damage on multiple enemies by turning the ground to fire or raining down molten rock from the skies. Why kill just one enemy when you can burn them all? Just by attuning to fire, the elementalist automatically causes flame damage to any foe foolish enough to touch her.

    When the elementalist attunes to AIR, she can harness wind and lightning to target specific foes with focused, high-damage attacks. Dazzling bolts of lightning rip from the elementalist's fingertips, and brilliant flashes of light blind her enemies. When an elementalist attunes to air, nearby enemies are continuously pelted with lightning strikes.

    WATER attunement forgoes the raw damage of air and fire, in favor of controlling an opponent's movement. By creating slippery ice or freezing foes solid, water attunement ensures that the battle is always fought on the elementalist's terms. Nearby allies receive continuous healing from an elementalist who is attuned to water.

    In the most dangerous situations, the elementalist relies on the powerful defense of EARTH attunement. An earth elementalist uses the ground under her feet to defend herself and her allies, turning flesh to stone, destabilizing foes with seismic shocks, and destroying threats with volcanic eruptions. Earth attunement automatically confers magical protection to the elementalist.

    Elementalists have a number of special spell types:

    •    Glyphs—These arcane spells enhance or modify the natural power of the elementalist. She uses the Glyph of Elemental Power to increase the damage, range, and duration of her spells.

    •    Signets—Signets provide an ongoing benefit to the elementalist, but can also be activated for a greater effect. An elementalist equipped with the Signet of Earth has increased damage resistance, but activating the Signet sends out a wave of stone, stunning nearby enemies.

    •    Conjure Spells—The elementalist uses Conjure spells to summon useful items and potent weapons that she or other party members can use. For instance, she uses Conjure Flame to create a fiery rock to hurl at the enemy.

    •    Area Spells—Using Area spells, the elementalist creates hazards and mayhem all over the field of battle. The elementalist fires lava arrows in a cone-shaped blast or creates walls of fire that scorch any enemies passing through.


    The elementalist has four elemental attunements that they can tap into. These attunements are represented by four skills that are located on the bar above their normal skills. When an elementalist switches attunements, the first five skills on their bar will change. These five skills are based on the elementalist's attunement and their current weapon, so that a fire-attuned elementalist will have different skills when he wields a staff than when he wields a scepter or focus. In addition to changing the elementalist's skills, attunements also work like a normal skill and provide an ongoing effect.


    •    Main Hand: Scepter and Dagger

    •    Two Handed: Staff

    •    Off Hand: Dagger and Focus

    •    Aquatic: Trident

    The warrior is a master of weapons who relies on speed, strength, toughness, and heavy armor to survive in battle. A warrior can shrug off blow after blow to stay in the fight, all the while building up adrenaline to fuel his offense.

    Adrenaline makes the warrior more powerful, increasing his damage output with every attack while powering up his burst skill. Each weapon set has a single designated burst skill which a warrior can trigger by spending all his built-up adrenaline to unleash a powerful attack. The warrior can use his burst skill at any time, but the more adrenaline stages he has filled, the more devastating his attack will be. Some burst skills apply more and varying conditions while others simply do more damage.

    Each weapon serves a different role, allowing the warrior to customize his play style. Warriors can compliment main hand weapons like swords and maces with a shield, warhorn or dual wielded weapon, but their role is still mostly defined by the main or two-handed weapon.

    A SWORD warrior is quick and mobile; he bleeds his enemies as he bounces between them with a Savage Leap.

    An AXE warrior quickly builds up his adrenaline and can deliver powerful spike attacks.

    A HAMMER warrior pounds his foes and the ground with area attacks that stagger groups of enemies.

    A warrior with a MACE disrupts his enemies with powerful stunning attacks, and hits them where it hurts leaving them susceptible to further blows.

    A warrior with a GREATSWORD uses his momentum to deliver sweeping area effect damage attacks while gliding around the battlefield.

    Warriors with a LONGBOW light their arrows on fire to inflict area-of-effect damage.

    The RIFLE is a single-target ranged weapon that a warrior can use to pull monsters or finish off a fleeing foe.

    Warriors have a number of special skill types:

        Stances—These are toggle skills that let you turn on an enhancement at the cost of energy regeneration. For example, a warrior could hit Berserker's Stance which drains his energy, but gives him adrenaline regeneration. You can easily toggle off Berserker's Stance and send the skill into recharge.

        Chains—A set of three skills that share a single skill slot, chains go off in sequence if you are hitting your target. For example, the sword chain skills Sever Artery, Gash, and Final Thrust are all on the same key, so rather than making a sword warrior spend three slots, they stack to fill only one slot. Chains effectively give a warrior two extra weapon skills on a weapon set.

        Banners—The warrior calls down banners to buff his allies with attack power. A banner can be picked up and carried around to move the buff, or it can be planted in an area to convey the buff, allowing the warrior to continue fighting. One example is Banner of Courage, which increases the melee damage of allies within its range.

        Shouts—Shouts are skills that affect a large area and give bonuses to allies or debuff enemies. A warrior could use the shout On My Mark to lower an enemy's armor and call a target out to allied party members.

        Charge Skills—Some skills can be held down to power them up for more impressive attacks. A warrior with a mace can wind up the powerful skill Obliterate and release it at four different power levels to do increasing amounts of damage.


    A warrior can use nine different weapons. He can combine any of the nine weapons available to him in 19 different ways. The warrior weapons are:

    •    Main Hand: Sword, Axe, Mace

    •    Offhand: Shield, Warhorn, Sword, Axe, Mace

    •    Two-Handed: Greatsword, Hammer, Longbow, Rifle

    •    Aquatic: Spear and Harpoon

    A warrior can easily switch between his two active weapon sets in combat as needed, but swapping weapons triggers a cool-down that prevents warriors from constantly flip-flopping between weapons. However, a warrior can equip the Weapon Master trait to circumvent this cool down, and opt for a more wild back-and-forth combat style with both weapon sets. Outside of combat, the warrior can reconfigure his weapon sets before entering an encounter.


    Warriors start a fight without adrenaline, and then build one strike of adrenaline with every attack they make. Warriors have three stages of adrenaline that take increasing amounts of strikes to fill - or they can release their stored adrenaline with a burst skill. Each stage of adrenaline also gives the warrior a direct passive damage bonus to every attack.

    Burst Skills

    Burst skills spend all of a warrior's adrenaline. Each weapon has one burst skill that improves at each stage of adrenaline. This improvement can be anything from doing more damage, adding additional conditions, increasing condition duration, or increased skill duration.

    The ranger is a jack-of-all-trades and a master of them all as well, relying on his keen eye, steady hand, or the power of nature itself. A master of ranged combat, the ranger is capable of striking unwitting foes from a distance with his bow. With a stable of pets at his command, a ranger can adapt to his opponents' strengths and weaknesses.

    A ranger is accompanied by his pet, a loyal animal companion. Rangers charm pets and then bond with them. A ranger can have up to three pets at his call, but generally speaking, only one pet can be active at any time. Pets' base health, armor, and damage are based on the level of the player that owns them.

    Pets are charmed by interacting with juvenile versions of the species you want to charm. There are a variety of Tyrian species that can be charmed, including bears, moas, devourers, and sharks. As you adventure with a pet, it evolves to become more unique and eventually allows you to give it abilities that compliment your tactics.

    Rather than manage a unique resource in combat, a ranger will manage his pet, assigning them a behavior from aggressive to passive. A ranger can also manage his pet by giving commands such as "attack," "heel," and "stay."

    Rangers have a number of special skill types:

    Traps--Traps are utility skills that can be placed at a ranger's current location. When an enemy enters a trap, it is triggered. For example, Spike Trap will cripple and bleed enemies that pass through it. A trap can remain active as long as the ranger chooses to remain close to it. A ranger can only have one of each trap type out at any given time.

    Spirits--A spirit skill summons a nature spirit that influences the area around it. For example, Sun Spirit applies additional fire damage to allied attacks inside its influence. A spirit stays out for a short period of time and goes away if the ranger wanders too far away from it. Spirits can be attacked by enemies and removed from the battle. A ranger can only have one of each type of spirit out at any given time.


    A ranger is mostly a master of ranged weapons, however, he can use sword or greatsword in melee combat. The ranger weapons are:

    •    Main Hand: Sword, Axe

    •    Off Hand: Axe, Dagger, Torch, Warhorn

    •    Two-Handed: Greatsword, Longbow, Shortbow

    •    Aquatic: Spear and Harpoon

    Slotting and Swapping Pets

    Rangers now have a total of two terrestrial and two aquatic pet slots. Amphibious pets are able to occupy either terrestrial or aquatic slots. Rangers can now use F4 to swap between the two valid pet slots during combat. This mechanic works even when your current active pet is defeated, allowing a ranger to quickly adapt when a pet is downed or when a situation arises that calls for a new pet. Swapping pets has a cooldown associated with it, and this cooldown is longer if the active pet was downed when the swap took place. A downed pet that was swapped out will be at full health when he is swapped back in. We’ve done a lot of work to make each ranger pet more unique and fill a particular role, which fits perfectly with the fluid, adaptable nature of combat in Guild Wars 2.

    Pet Controls

    Pets now have two stances: active and passive. In the active stance, if your pet is doing nothing and you engage in combat, your pet will attack your opponent. In the passive stance, your pet will follow you and not to attack unless explicitly ordered to do so. You’ll be able to toggle between these stances by pressing F3.

    Ranger pets can be ordered to attack a specific enemy by selecting a target and hitting F1. This action will temporarily overwrite your pet’s current behavior, giving you more direct control over your pet’s actions in complicated combat situations.

    Species and Families

    Pets no longer evolve. Instead, they are set to the level of the ranger, and their stats and abilities are determined by their species. Each pet belongs to a species and each species belongs to a family. For example, a snow leopard is a species belonging to the feline family of pets. Charming a species unlocks that species for you, allowing you to equip that species into any pet slot whenever you are out of combat. In Guild Wars 2, a single ranger can collect and use every type of pet in the game without having to worry about stables or leveling the pets from scratch.

    Each family has three basic skills that define that family. For example, bears are hard to kill, drakes do AoE damage, devourers use ranged attacks, etc. These skills are automatically used by the pet. Each species within a family has a unique skill. For example, polar bears have an icy roar that freezes enemies, while brown bears have a roar that removes conditions. This family skill has a cooldown and is activated by the ranger by hitting F2.

    A necromancer is a practitioner of the dark arts who summons the dead, wields the power of lost souls, and literally sucks the lifeblood of the enemy. A necromancer feeds on life force, which he can use to cheat death or bring allies back from the brink.

    A necromancer feeds on death and decay. Life force is the energy that a necromancer uses to extend his own life. Using specific skills, a necromancer builds up life force by attacking and killing enemies. Rather than going into a downed state when he runs out of health, a necromancer automatically activates the Death Shroud ability. A necromancer can continue fighting in the ghostly Death Shroud form until he either runs out of life force or he gets a kill, rallying back into his own corpse.

    Necromancers have a unique set of special skills:

    Wells—Wells are persistent spells that allow a necromancer to control the area around him. Created at the necromancer's location, wells affect targets within the skill's range.

    Well of Blood, for example, applies a regeneration boon to all allies within it. A necromancer can only have one well skill active at any time.

    Minions—The necromancer summons undead minions to attack foes and do his bidding. Every minion-summoning spell has an associated secondary spell that appears after the minion has been summoned. This secondary spell destroys the minion while providing a powerful effect to the necromancer. For example, necromancers have a healing skill called Summon Blood Fiend that creates a minion that heals its master while it attacks. After the minion has been summoned, the Summon Blood Fiend skill is replaced by the skill Taste of Death, which allows a necromancer to destroy the minion to gain a larger amount of health.

    Marks—Necromancers can also place marks--ground-targeted spells with a variety of potent effects. For instance, Mark of Blood damages enemies while placing a regeneration boon on nearby allies. Marks will trigger after a set period of time, but a necromancer can always trigger their marks on command by hitting the skill again.

    Fear—Necromancers use a condition not available to any other profession: fear. A removable condition, fear makes an enemy flee directly away from a necromancer for a short period of time. For example, a necromancer can use Doom to instill fear in a single target.


    When outfitting himself for combat, the necromancer can choose from the following weapons. The necromancer weapons are:

    •    Main Hand: Axe, Dagger, Scepter

    •    Off Hand: Dagger, Focus, Warhorn

    •    Two-Handed: Staff

    •    Aquatic: Spear and Trident

    Life Force

    Life force is a special type of energy used by a necromancer. Once he reaches a certain life force threshold, a necromancer can activate Death Shroud (see below), entering a spirit form and leaving his body behind. Each of his weapon sets have skills that give a necromancer life force, and he gains an even larger amount of life force for kills that happen nearby. Finally, there are utility skills that build up life force, like Ghost Armor, a skill that improves a necromancer's armor and adds life force every time he takes damage.

    Death Shroud

    Death Shroud is a special ability--usable by a necromancer at any time--that utilizes his life force as a secondary health bar. With the ability to tap into Death Shroud, necromancers are certainly one of the most durable professions in Guild Wars 2.

    The guardian is a devoted fighter who calls upon powerful virtues to smite enemies and protect allies. As dangerous with a staff as he is with a mighty two-handed hammer, a true guardian is a master tactician who knows when to sacrifice his own defenses to empower his allies to achieve victory.

    Each guardian is supported by passive benefits, but he can relinquish those benefits, passing his powers on to his allies. This ability makes the guardian an excellent supportive fighter whether they are leading an assault or defending your party's flanks.

    Guardians have developed three virtues that empower them in combat. By wielding Justice, the guardian's attacks can burn his enemies. With Courage, the guardian can shrug off even a mighty blow. Through Resolve, the guardian passively regenerates health, allowing him to wade into the most dangerous situation and come out alive.

    Guardians also have a number of special skill types:

    Spirit Weapons—The guardian can summon spirit weapons to fight at his side for a limited time. Spirit weapons cannot be attacked by enemies and can be commanded to inflict a powerful attack before disappearing. For example, Hammer of Wisdom can be summoned to fight alongside a guardian, then commanded to knock down an enemy and vanish.

    Symbols—The guardian places symbols on the ground, where they inflict damage to enemies or deliver a benefit to allies. Symbols persist for a few seconds and then go away. For instance, Symbol of Faith is a hammer attack that leaves a transient symbol on the ground, giving allies the Vigor boon.

    Wards—A ward is a marked area on the ground that stops enemies from passing through while allowing allies to move freely. For example, a staff-wielding guardian can create a Line of Warding in front of him that keeps enemies from reaching the allies behind him.

    Aegis—Guardians are adept in the use of Aegis, a removable boon that blocks the next attack. Guardians have access to this boon through the virtue of Courage.


    The guardian can choose from a mixture of melee and magical weapons. The guardian weapons are:

    •    Main Hand: Mace, Scepter, Sword

    •    Off Hand: Focus, Shield, Torch

    •    Two-Handed: Greatsword, Hammer, Staff

    •    Aquatic: Spear and Trident


    Guardians have three special virtue abilities--Justice, Courage, and Resolve--that grant them passive benefits in battle. They can choose to activate a virtue, extending a powerful version of these benefits to their allies, but disabling their own passive ability until the activated virtue has finished recharging. The guardian virtues are:

    •    Justice—Every fifth attack causes burning. Use this skill to make nearby allies' next attacks cause burning. (This disables your Justice for 30 seconds.)

    •    Courage—Every 30 seconds you are granted Aegis, blocking the next attack. Use this skill to apply Aegis to all nearby allies. (This disables your Courage for 120 seconds.)

    •    Resolve—You regenerate health. Use this skill to remove conditions and apply Regeneration to all nearby allies. (This disables your Resolve for 120 seconds.)

    A master of stealth and surprise, the thief is deadly in single combat—particularly when catching enemies off guard. Thieves compensate for their relatively low armor and health by being quick and evasive. They can move through the shadows, vanish into thin air, or steal items from their opponents and use them as weapons. Enemies should watch their backs, or the thief will watch it for them.

    While other professions rely on recharge rate for their weapon skills in combat, thieves rely on Initiative. Thieves have ten points of Initiative to use, and they gain back one point every second. Weapon skills cost Initiative points, but they have no recharge time, so thieves can use them back-to-back. This allows the thief to keep their options open at all times or unleash a rapid flurry of powerful attacks.

    Thieves make use of a special skill called Steal, which generates a useful environmental weapon in the thieves' hands based on the monster or player that they stole from. For example, when stealing from a moa bird, a thief might get a handful of feathers that they can throw to blind enemies around them.

    When using a main hand and off-hand weapon combination, the thief differs from other professions. Their first two skills come from the main hand weapon, while the last two skills come from the off-hand weapon. The final skill, called their Dual Skill, is determined by both weapons. For example, a thief with two daggers will have Leaping Death Blossom as their Dual Skill, but a thief with a dagger and a pistol will have Shadow Shot as their Dual Skill.

    Thieves have a number of special skill types:

    Stealth—Thieves can disappear into the shadows. This allows them to become invisible to enemy players and to ignore aggro. When in Stealth mode, the thief can still be damaged, which temporarily reveals them. When a thief is hidden, attacking will break the deception.

    Shadow Stepping—Thieves can get in and out of battle quickly by using a technique called Shadow Stepping. This skill allows them to disappear from one location and then instantly appear at a different location by traveling through the shadows.

    Traps—Thieves use traps to ambush unsuspecting enemies and control areas. For example, Shadow Trap is a trap that puts the thief into Stealth and Shadow Steps them back to the trap's location.


    The thief has a mixture of melee and ranged weapons. The thief weapons are:

    •    Main Hand: Sword, Dagger, and Pistol

    •    Off Hand: Dagger and Pistol

    •    Two-Handed: Shortbow

    •    Aquatic: Spear and Harpoon


    Initiative is the thief's resource mechanic. A thief has ten points of Initiative that refill at a rate of one point per second both in and out of combat. Skill 1 on their bar is always free, but the other thief weapon skills all cost Initiative instead of having recharge. Thief Heal, Utility, and Elite skills do not cost Initiative and still have a recharge cost.


    Above their skill bar, all thieves have a special skill called Steal that can be used on enemies. It does not actually steal a real item from an opponent, but rather generates an appropriate environmental weapon based on the target. Stealing does not break stealth, and cannot be used often. Stealing allows you to hold onto whatever item or weapon you stole from your opponent (nothing is actually stolen from them, it's just something the Thief gains) and can be used at any time of your choosing.

    Dual Skills

    Dual Skills are special skills that thieves acquire in slot 3 of their weapon bar that are based on both weapons they are wielding. A dual skill is determined by both main hand and offhand weapons, and can vary depending on the order. For example, a thief wielding a pistol main hand with dagger offhand (Shadow Strike) will have a different dual skill than a thief wielding a dagger main hand and pistol offhand (Shadow Shot). The shortbow is the one exception to this rule; it does not have a dual skill.


    Stealth has a limited duration and can be broken in various ways. Most stealth is lost when a player attacks through it. Some stealth breaks when the player moves. While in stealth, a player can still take damage and will temporarily appear in the world when they do.

    Shadow Stepping

    Shadow Stepping is a teleport mechanic used by the thief profession to get in and out of battle. A thief may only shadow step where normal movement is possible and may not use it to teleport through a gate or other blocking area.

    Masters of mechanical mayhem, engineers tinker with explosives, gadgets, elixirs, and all manner of deployable devices. They can take control of an area by placing turrets, support their allies with alche

  • ChelmoChelmo Member CommonPosts: 17


    Stealth has a limited duration and can be broken in various ways. Most stealth is lost when a player attacks through it. Some stealth breaks when the player moves. While in stealth, a player can still take damage and will temporarily appear in the world when they do.

    Shadow Stepping

    Shadow Stepping is a teleport mechanic used by the thief profession to get in and out of battle. A thief may only shadow step where normal movement is possible and may not use it to teleport through a gate or other blocking area.


    Masters of mechanical mayhem, engineers tinker with explosives, gadgets, elixirs, and all manner of deployable devices. They can take control of an area by placing turrets, support their allies with alchemic weaponry, or lay waste to foes with a wide array of mines, bombs, and grenades.

    Like elementalists, engineers use a single weapon set at a time, but they complement this weapon set by equipping special utility and healing kits. These kits provide the engineer with special weapons and backpacks loaded with a full set of skills to replace their current weapon skills.

    Weapon Kits—These are utility skills that equip a new weapon in the engineer's hands when activated. For example, the flamethrower kit creates a short-range AOE weapon the engineer can use to overwhelm foes. The flamethrower has skills like Immolate to damage nearby enemies, Air Blast to defend from ranged attacks, and Backdraft to suck enemies into range of the weapon's powerful attacks.

    Backpack Kits—When activated, these special utility kits equip a backpack that replaces the engineer's current weapon skills with a set of more specialized skills. For example, a bomb kit puts a backpack on engineers that allows them to deploy bombs with a variety of effects including smoke, concussion, and fire.

    Turrets—An engineer can deploy turrets: immobile allied devices that help defend and control an area. When a turret is deployed, the skill in that slot is replaced with its overcharged version. For example, an engineer can deploy a Thumper Turret to cause AOE damage, and then activate the overcharge version of that skill for a big thump attack that knocks down nearby enemies. An engineer can interact with deployed turrets, packing them up and moving them around. This removes the turret—and the option to overcharge it—triggering a short recharge before that turret can be deployed again. Only one of each type of turret can exist at a time.

    Tool Belt—An engineer tool belt is a set of special skills above the weapon skill bar. It enhances the effectiveness and functionality of the engineer's utility and heal skills. The tool belt can add a self-destruct skill to turrets or a detonation option to all mines. When paired with the grenade kit, the tool belt allows a grenade barrage; with the med kit, it adds a self-healing skill.

    When we initially talked about the engineer, only some of the heal and utility skills had corresponding tool belt skills, but as we spent more time with this profession—especially testing for the gamescom demo—we started imagining a much cooler version of the engineer’s tool belt, where every slotted heal/utility skill had a tool belt counterpart.

    This improved tool belt system meant that we had to design twenty-three new skills. Since this is ArenaNet, that meant a bunch of meetings, some yelling, a whiteboard, and a lot of sticky notes. After all was said and done, we ended up with a matching tool belt skill for every heal and utility skill—this was how the engineer was always supposed to play!

    To give some examples, an engineer that equips slots 6-9 with Elixir H, Flamethrower, Slick Shoes, and Rocket Boots would now have the following skills in their tool belt:

        F1 - Throw Elixir H: A ground-targeted skill that throws Elixir H at the target area, randomly granting vigor, protection, or regeneration to allies in the area.

        F2 - Incendiary Ammo: Your next three attacks cause burning.

        F3 – Super Speed: A very short but powerful speed boost.

        F4 – Rocket Kick: A kick that causes AoE fire damage.


    •    Main Hand: Pistol

    •    Off Hand: Pistol, Shield

    •    Two-Handed: Rifle

    •    Aquatic: Harpoon

    Backpack Kits

    •    Tool Kit

    •    Grenade Kit

    •    Bomb Kit

    •    Mine Kit

    •    Med Kit

    Weapon Kits

    •    Flamethrower

    •    Elixir Gun


    •    Rifle Turret

    •    Thumper Turret

    •    Net Turret

    •    Flame Turret

    •       Healing Turret


    Mesmers are magical duelists who rely on deception and confusion to keep their opponents in check. Indecision is their greatest ally. Using powerful illusions to distract, they make sure they never go toe to toe with an enemy; they use their powers and tactics to set up an unfair fight. Just when you think you've figured out what the mesmer is doing, illusions begin to shatter, clones start to fade away, and you realize you've been swinging at empty air all along. It's hard to keep your eye on the real mesmer.

    The mesmer doesn't have the brute power of the warrior, or the ranged devastation of the ranger. Instead, the mesmer weaves a web of interlaced illusions, conditions, and phantasmal sources of damage. Through skillful play, mesmers combine these pieces into a deadly puzzle to be solved by their foes, while also helping their allies.

    Illusions—Mesmers create illusions—mind tricks that manifest themselves physically. Most illusions are directed at a specific target, but anyone can see and attack them. They can only exist for as long as that target is alive and can only be dispelled by attacking the illusion itself. A mesmer can maintain up to three illusions at a time, with the oldest illusion being replaced by the newly created one. There are two types of illusions: clones and phantasms.

        Clones—Clones are illusions that look just like the caster, have the caster's name, and have basic behaviors. Clones have low health and tend to do little damage. For example, a mesmer equipped with a sword has two clone-summoning skills: Leap, which launches him forward, leaving a clone at his location, and Illusionary Leap, which summons a clone at his location that then jumps forward.

        Phantasms—Phantasms are illusions that look like the caster but have their own names and carry special illusionary weapons, which look different and have specific behavior. Phantasms are more powerful, having more health and causing more damage. For example, a staff mesmer can summon an illusionary mage that attacks its target and deals extra damage for each inflicted condition.

    Mantras—Mantras are a category of skill that have two phases. The mesmer first activates the mantra, which has a long cast time and replaces that skill slot with an instant-casting skill that the mesmer can then use. Mantras are powerful because many can be charged up before battle and then used in the middle of another spell, without interrupting that spell. For example, Mantra of Pain can charge up into an instant-damage power spike that can be used during a channeled spell, such as the greatsword skill.


    A mesmer can use a variety of magical, ranged, and melee weapons, including:


    •   Main Hand: Sword, Scepter

    •   Off Hand: Focus, Pistol, Sword, Torch

    •   Two-Handed: Staff, Greatsword

    Confused Condition

    The mesmer introduces a new condition to our set called confusion. An enemy with confusion on them takes damage each time they activate a skill. This condition stacks in intensity, so the more confusion an enemy has, the greater the damage.


    The mesmer has special abilities that can shatter illusions. Shattering will destroy all illusions and create a secondary effect. There are four different shatter skills:

        Mind Wrack—Destroys your illusions and does damage to opponents near them.

        Cry of Frustration—Destroys your illusions and gives the confused condition to nearby foes.

        Diversion—Destroys your illusions and stuns nearby foes.

        Reflection—Destroys your illusions and places a barrier around the mesmer, which reflects enemy projectiles.

    More screens here.

    Video playlist here.


    Collector's Edition - All that is known is that there will be one.

    Beta/Release - Closed Beta has started as of December 16th, 2011, it is currently invite only with an NDA and not open to the public just yet. The feedback from there will determine the date of Open Beta and that will then determine the release date. ANet has said that they're not aiming for 2nd place and "it's done when it's done". Based on how far the game is in development and what they've shown/are showing in the next few weeks I'm going to bet on release around June or sooner.

    System Requirements - Recently we found out a tidbit of info regarding system requirements, ANet has been testing the game on video cards so old that they need to get it on special order because it's no longer manufactured. Looking at Newegg that means those GPUs are from around 2002/2003. I've also seen them say that they really don't even develop their games on high end hardware so that they don't forget about the lower end of the hardware spectrum. The GW2 engine is a modified version of the GW1 engine and it would be simply shocking if it's playable on 8 year old hardware by the time it releases.

  • MixoplixMixoplix Member UncommonPosts: 10

    Seriously in depth article. You brought this long-time lurker out of the shadows, to say "Thank You!" This is hands down the best review and detailed synopsis on period.

  • ArawulfArawulf Guest WriterMember UncommonPosts: 586

    This thread delivers what the title says! I'm loving SWTOR now but when GW2 comes out I'll probably say, "SWTOR who?" I'll bust out my new avatar also :P - I kid ... I'll be playing both since GW2 won't require a sub fee.

  • thekid1thekid1 Member UncommonPosts: 789

    First of all, thank you op and a very nice job you did.


    In the video on of the designers (the woman) speaks about how a single player can change the world and then they show footage about a big bridge being blown.


    I assume she was a bit overselling the point and she was actually referring to dynamic events?

    So the changes made in the world are not permanent but only a few weeks or months.



  • KonyakZeroKonyakZero Member CommonPosts: 48

    Originally posted by thekid1

    First of all, thank you op and a very nice job you did.
    In the video on of the designers (the woman) speaks about how a single player can change the world and then they show footage about a big bridge being blown.
    I assume she was a bit overselling the point and she was actually referring to dynamic events?
    So the changes made in the world are not permanent but only a few weeks or months.

    No, she was talking about single player instances.

  • MaggonMaggon Member UncommonPosts: 327

    Originally posted by KonyakZero

    Originally posted by thekid1

    First of all, thank you op and a very nice job you did.
    In the video on of the designers (the woman) speaks about how a single player can change the world and then they show footage about a big bridge being blown.
    I assume she was a bit overselling the point and she was actually referring to dynamic events?
    So the changes made in the world are not permanent but only a few weeks or months.

    No, she was talking about single player instances.

    She was indeed refering to dynamic events as these things can and will happen.

  • moosecatlolmoosecatlol Member UncommonPosts: 1,355

    I just hope that when release comes, that all classes are fully developed as professed. An example Guardians currently don't have access to the spirit weapon Bow of Truth, nor do they have access to Tome of Wrath. Though by the skill type description on Tome of Wrath, it seems like a counter avatar to Lich Form. I'm really interested in seeing what the unfinished skills will look like.

  • ChelmoChelmo Member CommonPosts: 17

    Originally posted by thekid1

    First of all, thank you op and a very nice job you did.
    In the video on of the designers (the woman) speaks about how a single player can change the world and then they show footage about a big bridge being blown.
    I assume she was a bit overselling the point and she was actually referring to dynamic events?
    So the changes made in the world are not permanent but only a few weeks or months.
     She was likely referring to the permenant changes that can be made in the Personal Story instances, the dynamic event changes are obviously not permenant and more temporary permenant? in that things won't just reset on their own, action/in-action will cause things to change. For example pirates who take over a town won't just up and leave 45 min after it's been taken, they will hold it, build defenses,, continue to spread out through the zone until players stop them. So permeneant in the sense it won't just disappear on a set timer every single time, but also temporary so that things will always be changing.


  • thekid1thekid1 Member UncommonPosts: 789

    Originally posted by Chelmo

    Originally posted by thekid1

    First of all, thank you op and a very nice job you did.
    In the video on of the designers (the woman) speaks about how a single player can change the world and then they show footage about a big bridge being blown.
    I assume she was a bit overselling the point and she was actually referring to dynamic events?
    So the changes made in the world are not permanent but only a few weeks or months.
     She was likely referring to the permenant changes that can be made in the Personal Story instances, the dynamic event changes are obviously not permenant and more temporary permenant? in that things won't just reset on their own, action/in-action will cause things to change. For example pirates who take over a town won't just up and leave 45 min after it's been taken, they will hold it, build defenses,, continue to spread out through the zone until players stop them. So permeneant in the sense it won't just disappear on a set timer every single time, but also temporary so that things will always be changing.


    But these permanent changes are only in your personal starting/home area right?

    That's what I meant with overselling the point.

  • MaggonMaggon Member UncommonPosts: 327

    Originally posted by thekid1

    Originally posted by Chelmo

    Originally posted by thekid1

    First of all, thank you op and a very nice job you did.
    In the video on of the designers (the woman) speaks about how a single player can change the world and then they show footage about a big bridge being blown.
    I assume she was a bit overselling the point and she was actually referring to dynamic events?
    So the changes made in the world are not permanent but only a few weeks or months.
     She was likely referring to the permenant changes that can be made in the Personal Story instances, the dynamic event changes are obviously not permenant and more temporary permenant? in that things won't just reset on their own, action/in-action will cause things to change. For example pirates who take over a town won't just up and leave 45 min after it's been taken, they will hold it, build defenses,, continue to spread out through the zone until players stop them. So permeneant in the sense it won't just disappear on a set timer every single time, but also temporary so that things will always be changing.


    But these permanent changes are only in your personal starting/home area right?

    That's what I meant with overselling the point.

    Personal stories are the only thing which is going to stay permanent yes.


    Though in the video she says in a very permanent way, I belive it is meant to be understood as such that the dynamic event's will leave its mark for everyone to see but eventually it could and most likely will be reversed, as the dynamic event will start to push in the other direction again.

  • ChelmoChelmo Member CommonPosts: 17

    Originally posted by Maggon

    Originally posted by thekid1

    Originally posted by Chelmo

    Originally posted by thekid1

    First of all, thank you op and a very nice job you did.
    In the video on of the designers (the woman) speaks about how a single player can change the world and then they show footage about a big bridge being blown.
    I assume she was a bit overselling the point and she was actually referring to dynamic events?
    So the changes made in the world are not permanent but only a few weeks or months.
     She was likely referring to the permenant changes that can be made in the Personal Story instances, the dynamic event changes are obviously not permenant and more temporary permenant? in that things won't just reset on their own, action/in-action will cause things to change. For example pirates who take over a town won't just up and leave 45 min after it's been taken, they will hold it, build defenses,, continue to spread out through the zone until players stop them. So permeneant in the sense it won't just disappear on a set timer every single time, but also temporary so that things will always be changing.


    But these permanent changes are only in your personal starting/home area right?

    That's what I meant with overselling the point.

    Personal stories are the only thing which is going to stay permanent yes.


    Though in the video she says in a very permanent way, I belive it is meant to be understood as such that the dynamic event's will leave its mark for everyone to see but eventually it could and most likely will be reversed, as the dynamic event will start to push in the other direction again.

    Yeah, dynamic events will change the world in a permenant way in the sense that what you see in the world actually changes rather than being entirely static. It's not so much overselling as it's the single word being taken out of context.

  • thekid1thekid1 Member UncommonPosts: 789

    Originally posted by Maggon

    Originally posted by thekid1

    Originally posted by Chelmo

    Originally posted by thekid1

    First of all, thank you op and a very nice job you did.
    In the video on of the designers (the woman) speaks about how a single player can change the world and then they show footage about a big bridge being blown.
    I assume she was a bit overselling the point and she was actually referring to dynamic events?
    So the changes made in the world are not permanent but only a few weeks or months.
     She was likely referring to the permenant changes that can be made in the Personal Story instances, the dynamic event changes are obviously not permenant and more temporary permenant? in that things won't just reset on their own, action/in-action will cause things to change. For example pirates who take over a town won't just up and leave 45 min after it's been taken, they will hold it, build defenses,, continue to spread out through the zone until players stop them. So permeneant in the sense it won't just disappear on a set timer every single time, but also temporary so that things will always be changing.


    But these permanent changes are only in your personal starting/home area right?

    That's what I meant with overselling the point.

    Personal stories are the only thing which is going to stay permanent yes.


    Though in the video she says in a very permanent way, I belive it is meant to be understood as such that the dynamic event's will leave its mark for everyone to see but eventually it could and most likely will be reversed, as the dynamic event will start to push in the other direction again.

    That's what I thought, thank you for clearing it up.


  • cali59cali59 Member Posts: 1,634

    It's generally believed that Colin Johanson is talking about Dynamic Events and Ree Soesbee is talking about the Personal Story.  It does get confusing because of the way they alternate quotes.


    Her quotes are:

    As a structure, the MMO has lost the ability to make the player feel like a hero.  Everybody around you is doing the same thing you're doing.  The boss you just killed respawns 10 minutes later.  It doesn't care that I'm there.

    We do not want to build the same MMO everyone else is building.  In GW2 it's your world, it's your story.  You affect things around you in a very permanent way.

    You are meeting new people who you will then see again.  You're rescuing a village that will stay rescued, who then remember you. The most important thing in any game should be the player, we have build the game for them.


    She's pretty much as far as I can tell talking about the personal story.  That being said, what she's saying also kind of applies to the open world, just in a different way.

    One thing about the world are Hearts, which on the map indicate where DEs might take place, but there's also more stuff there, like being able to help water crops or feed cows.  This interview that the wiki on Hearts links to talks about how you might be able to get more from your interactions with these NPCs by filling up hearts.

    Also, had she said, "you affect things around you in a very persistent way", it would be more accurate for DEs.  To use a real world example, it's like if there's a wall covered with graffiti.  If you paint over the wall, technically you're making a "permanent" change, and as long as you stand in front of the wall, it'll stay clean.  But when you walk away, it's going to get graffitied again.  That's why we generally talk about DEs being persistent, not permanent.

    "Gamers will no longer buy the argument that every MMO requires a subscription fee to offset server and bandwidth costs. It's not true – you know it, and they know it." -Jeff Strain, co-founder of ArenaNet, 2007

  • DutchSmurfDutchSmurf Member CommonPosts: 9

    Originally posted by thekid1

    I assume she was a bit overselling the point and she was actually referring to dynamic events?
    So the changes made in the world are not permanent but only a few weeks or months.

    It means the changes are permanent, until someone comes along and does something about it. The bridge used in the example can be blown up by monsters. Unless players come along and rebuild the bridge, it will stay down. And it will be down for everyone in that server. Events don't reset by default. Players have to actually push them back into the previous state

  • stealthbrstealthbr Member UncommonPosts: 1,054
    Jesus, I wouldn't be surprised if you told me you worked for ArenaNet.
  • PilnkplonkPilnkplonk Member Posts: 1,532

    Jeez man, you really are after that sticky, arent you?

  • ArkiniaArkinia Member Posts: 251

    great post. I'm going to take a shot at this game, well done.

  • fonyfony Member Posts: 755

    this is just a copypasta of the old Neo GAF thread, but this link has less value since it goes to GW2Guru.

  • ChelmoChelmo Member CommonPosts: 17

    Originally posted by stealthbr

    Jesus, I wouldn't be surprised if you told me you worked for ArenaNet.

    Sadly, I do not.

  • DeaconXDeaconX Member UncommonPosts: 3,062

    Chelmo, thank you for saving me the time from having to do this! I've been way too busy and haven't had time to post the compiled info so, thanks man this is great :) I'll read over it when I have a few minutes.



    Why do I write, create, fantasize, dream and daydream about other worlds? Because I hate what humanity does with this one.

    BOYCOTTING EA / ORIGIN going forward.

  • thekid1thekid1 Member UncommonPosts: 789

    Originally posted by DutchSmurf

    Originally posted by thekid1

    I assume she was a bit overselling the point and she was actually referring to dynamic events?
    So the changes made in the world are not permanent but only a few weeks or months.

    It means the changes are permanent, until someone comes along and does something about it. The bridge used in the example can be blown up by monsters. Unless players come along and rebuild the bridge, it will stay down. And it will be down for everyone in that server. Events don't reset by default. Players have to actually push them back into the previous state

    If that's true then that's pretty fricking awsome.


  • ChelmoChelmo Member CommonPosts: 17

    Originally posted by fony

    this is just a copypasta of the old Neo GAF thread, but this link has less value since it goes to GW2Guru.

    Anywhere you've seen it has been done by me (chelmo/jira/omlech).

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