Wednesday, June 9

GW2 - Warrior Class and Traits Overview

Traits Overview

"To give this some context, let's pretend an event has started. A giant boar is marauding through the forest and your party decides to take it on. This build is meant to maximize the damage you and your teammates can deliver against a single target.

Step 1: Pick a weapon. The weapon you're currently wielding is the major determining factor for how your character will play. Let's pick a sword, a versatile weapon which comes standard with a chain of three skills (Sever Artery, Gash, and Final Thrust), a rapid-fire repeating attack that hits a small area (Flurry), and a chase skill to close the distance between you and the enemy (Savage Leap). For my offhand weapon I could take warhorn for damage buffs, but I'll cover that with my utility skills. Instead, I'll dual wield swords to maximize my own damage. In practice, you'd also decide on your alternate weapon for switching in combat - perhaps a longbow for range.

Step 2: Pick a heal skill. Let's go with a basic heal like Healing Surge, which gives you both health and adrenaline when used. Adrenaline gives you damage bonuses and allows you to use your burst skill more often, so it's perfect for our build.

Step 3: Pick your utility skills and elite skill. You choose On My Mark (which lowers an enemy's armor and calls a target out), For Great Justice (which gives allies Fury Boon and Might Boon), and Frenzy (which increases my overall adrenaline gain). For my elite skill, I'm taking the always epic Battle Standard (which puts an array of powerful buffs on your allies).

Step 4: Assign your traits. Here you can start focusing your play style and being clever with what you slot in each trait line.

Power: Let's choose to stack traits that increase your strength attribute so your individual melee attacks do more damage.

Tactics: While kiting the giant boar, switching weapons faster sure would be awesome, so you slot the Weapon Master trait that lowers the cool down on switching weapons. You also slot traits that increase the number of targets your shouts affect, and increase the duration of your banners.

Sword: You choose to slot Swordmastery to further increase the damage you do, as well as the trait that increases the chance you will score a critical strike with Final Thrust.

Longbow: Out of what is available let's keep things simple, more damage.

We want experimentation with traits to be fun and engaging, so we've made the rules for changing traits extremely flexible. With no in-game cost, you can respec at will, outside of combat. This means you are open to experiment with what works and what doesn't work on the fly, without having to go back to town or worry about if you have enough gold.

Whether it's adventuring around Tyria trying to stop dragons or fighting other players in World PvP - the trait system is there to experiment with, to have fun with, and to allow you to feel like you are actively mastering the profession you have chosen. Like Guild Wars, there are countless unique and clever combinations to be found.

To all you would-be heroes out there: go forth and adventure, and use the power of traits not for good or evil, but for awesome.

Stay tuned - in the coming weeks we'll be covering things like achievements, armor and equipment... and maybe even get Colin to talk about his secret moa ranch."

I'm particularly pleased about no cost in changing your spec, the system doesn't sound too different from anything we already know but I think the combination of skills and traits could lead to some fun experimenting, IF the weapon skills can be picked from a library (we know weapon skills can be found as drops) then this system is more complex than I originally thought.

Not a major departure from the warrior in GW, duel wielders will be happy.

Here's the vids of some skills, the game is looking very nice now :)

Sever Artery + Gash + Final Thrust

Arcing Shot

Shield Stance




  1. "Let's pick a sword, a versatile weapon which comes standard with a chain of three skills"

    The word 'standard' makes me think even more that weapon slots will have a library.

  2. The movies made me slightly seasick, I hope the cameraman had a big hangover the next day...

    Having said that I'm mildly optimistic about seeing Shield stance actually making use of a shield and a stance. I do hope they'll let archers be able to shoot at a single target more than once before being in toe-to-toe melee. They show it like that in the movie, but for some reason archers always end up being nerfed during alpha to the point where a second shot before melee distance is a rarity.

    Still, looking good.
    I kinda hope they'll force people into taking one healing and one utility slot, and that rez will be permalocked on the skillbar. Sorry, GW-1 trauma flaring up :-)

  3. Loving the animations, the environments, the armour, the mob models and the Charr, humans don't look that fantastic though, liked the haircut on the woman warrior.

    I kinda hope they'll force people into taking one healing and one utility slot, and that rez will be permalocked on the skillbar. Sorry, GW-1 trauma flaring up :-)
    Know what you mean, on a recent group trip a guildy 'pinged' their build in chat and it had no rez, almost had a heart failure! :)

  4. I was really impressed by the warrior video clips. It looks really good. The foot stomp is bringing back fond memories of my City of Heroes tanker days. It all looked a bit more COH-ish to me. Which is a good thing.

    I am not so sure I like the large swappable arsenal of weapon types. Easy respec-ing sword to axe in town is ok. But it sounds like you are always able to do it all. That doesn't make much sense to me at all.

  5. You aren't always able to swap weapons unless you use the traits system to enable that, otherwise there is a cooldown. How all this is going to fit in with the race specific skills makes me think that balance has the potential to be a nightmare, luckily Anet having previously balanced the original game with 10 professions, each being able to have a secondary profession and the thousands of combinations resulting from the availability of 1319 skills in the game, makes me think they can do it, it will be ongoing but any MMO worth its salt is in a continual state of balancing.

    Cookie cutter builds will be widespread, GW had an incredibly complex skill system which meant a lot of players who couldn't be bothered just hunted down the builds across forums. I loved the compexity of the first game, was initially dissapointed by the news of a simpler skill system for GW2 but it seems it's not as simple as I feared. I'm excited by the ability to experiment as often and wherever you want, a game built by a decent developer (In Anet we trust) with all this in mind could work really well.

  6. The impression I get is that simpler in the case of GW2's skill system means more modular. GW's system was made more complex than it needed to be, in a bad way, because types weren't very clearly definedd. I.e. the way I see it GW2 has clearly defined Utility skills rather than just skills some of which were clearly utility and some were a mixture.

    I too enjoyed GW2's complexity in skills, but I probably would have dug up some Forum builds eventually if I hadn't became disgusted first with the "You need a +30 Rune because +29 or +29 is utter crap" mentality of the build masters.

    I'm not too worried about cookiecutter builds to be honest. I still remember the huge discussions about Heal Area and the heal over time skill (Healing Aura? I forget the name) which were two skills much derided by "veterans and Elitists" to the point of claiming they were utterly useless. I kept seeing them as fly-wheels on a kids bike. While eventually they had to come of, they did have a use. Just not one for someone playing the game for 60+ hours per week for 8 months. :-)

  7. Still the most interesting aspect to the vids too me is that the character/mobs actually react animation-wise to attacks. With most MMO's you're still chucking away at each other, totally ignoring being impaled, eviscerated or bifurcated by the opposition every 2-3 seconds.
    I'm slowly starting to hope we can expect the kind of combat animations here hitherto limited to the later DOA and MK games. Where a specific attack/skill results in a specific animation including the target, not just the attacker.

    Does make me wonder how that'd work in PvP when Player A launches his attack .3 seconds later than player B.

  8. Healing Breeze I think is the skill your looking for, unlocked very early on in the game and as you say remains incredibly useful until you get more skills unlocked and your confident with the skill system. I was never ashamed to throw it on my skillbar for something like Tomb of the Primevil Kings, in fact I believe I had that on my skillbar on a few run throughs with you, I think you were also probably there when I came as a healer who had forgotten to move his attribute points from Smite to Heal.

    You made me think about how much time I spent in GW, for at least three years I played every night and most weekends, having landed on my feet early on community wise it was that which contributed to my enjoyment and helped keep me in there. Fun times Lani :)

  9. I also ran HB on my Minion Master, used it to keep my health up while I sacrifised that health to heal my minions

  10. Aye. Healing Breeze it was. Heal area was also kinda useful for a Minion Master as I recall. Of course at some point nothing would keep your minions from decomposing.

    Speaking of Lani, as I recall I freaked out a couple of our Gameamp Guidies when they learned of my Heal Spam build. It shouldn't work, at least not in PvP, but somehow I made it work anyway. Good times indeed. The community did help a big lot, yes.

    We probably shouldn't get too nostalgic though. We'll never be able to pop those cherries. The new game won't be the same and that community is gone forever.

  11. Damn you comments and the inability to edit!

    I really hope the Necro lives on in GW2, it would be awesome if the 'soul reaping' mechanic stayed too but I would doubt that. I haven't found any necro style character that lives up to that of the GW version since, the GW Necro had the idea of gaining from death so nicely implemented, not just through SR but from the minion mechanic (can only be raised from the dead, while other games give you them from the ether) and the skill design. The GW Necro is the archetype that I love the most.

  12. Oh yes the community is gone forever but we have friends now to help keep us happy come GW2.

    Heal Area - yes, lovely for healing your minions, I'll try not to spend too much time down memory lane but remember that whole heal vs death magic heals on your minions and which made them degen faster argument that raged for months? Probably the highlight of my career as a professional Necro was spending that whole weekend running tests, compiling the results and ending that argument, that and of course having the highest level Minion in the game (lvl 34) who just happened to be called George.

  13. Gods yes! I wasn't there for those test. But I do recall spending an afternoon with Silly and about 20 differnt bow types trying to dispute a Wikipedia claim about ranges.
    We ended up not debunking the claim but discovering that there was an overlook bow class/type in the short range section.

    George. The less said about him by me the better...

  14. Ah, the sweet memories of days gone by...

    That shield stance video was awesome! Now, if it will actually work that way in the game. I'm guessing being accosted by two monsters, one from each side, at the same time is going to be more common. Which, of course, means shield stance will leave you as a charbroiled lump.

    I echo the ranged class comments by Lani. Perhaps the answer is not in nerfing the ranger, but rather boosting the opposing classes to where they ought to be? You know, if you're a ranger and you pin me down, being a warrior, you should be able to do minimal damage considering I could take a shield stance and in essense deflect every shot. Know what I mean?

  15. The use of actual voices with the skills is an interesting touch.

  16. Something else I was thinking was the sound of battle. Metal on metal is a sound that can generally be heard for a bit of distance. Yet, in most games today, you don't generally hear the sounds of another player battling something until you see it.

  17. It would be interesting if they actually re-introduced directional attacks. Several MMO's allow for backstabbing. EQ2 for one had an interesting phenomenon where the team wasn't hiding behind the Tank but rather would be clusetered behind the enemy/ies with the tank at the other side.

    Personally I thought the sample voices used in conjunction with the skills were a tad... juvenile? Too much 80's action hero one-liner-esque? I dunno. They didn't do it for me.

    I doubt we'll ever see an even semi-realistic representation of the stand-off capabilities of a yew longbow in an MMO. I mean those beasts were capable of one-shot-one-kill on heavy plate... Of course there were plenty of problems too. No archer would ever run around with his bow strung day and night, war-arrows were a huge pain to make in sufficient quantities, neve rmind fletchling. Oh well....
    It would be niced if ranged classes would actually have the opportunity of staying at range every once in a while. For some reason artillery units like mages are allowed to kite, but bow-n-arrow types have to stand still toe-to-toe with stirng-cutting melee types.