Get me up to speed on GW2!

#1 Posted by theimmortalbum (482 posts) -

I loved the first GW. I pre-purchased GW2 on impulse the other day, for the 3 day early access.

What do I need to know about this game?

#2 Posted by TobbRobb (4587 posts) -

Yeah did something similar. Only played 3-4h of thief during the two latest stress tests. Would be cool to know some more about it.

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#3 Edited by CatsAkimbo (613 posts) -

I'll echo the question of the OP, but be a little more specific.

In GW1 you could reach max level in a single day. Is there more of a focus on level progression now?

I know it's more true-mmo now, but dungeons are still instanced. Any sense of how much time will still be spent in instanced dungeons?

Does this "no-healer" thing really work, or do some classes still base their skillset toward helping other players?

In the same vein, there still seems to be a tank class; does that also entail aggro tools, and is a guardian necessary for difficult fights?

In GW1 your got your best armor very easily, but perfect weapons were harder to come by. How's the item progression in GW2?

What sort of stuff is in the real-money shop?

Is there still hunting for elite skills, and how customizable are the skillsets?

How does world PVP work? Any death penalties?

#4 Posted by TobbRobb (4587 posts) -

@CatsAkimbo: I'll try and answer a few with VERY limited knowledge.

At the rate I was leveling I'm pretty damn sure you can't max out in one day.

No healer is needed since every class has their own way to sustain themselves. Seems to work, but I haven't done anything large PvE wise.

PvP is basically server vs server, you fight for control over keeps and castles. It was fun.

Dunno if you lose exp or something but walking back to battle in PvP was kind of a bitch sometimes. But they implemented some kind of "downed" state where you can be revived. So I didn't have to run a lot.

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#5 Posted by Marz (5648 posts) -

uh it doesn't have the multiclass thing guild wars 1 has(as far as i know)... and it's less hub centric in terms of mission and quest structure as you go and do dynamic events instead of traditional questing.

abilities and skills are based on the weapons you wield, so mix and match them to find a combination that works for you.

i'm no expert i'm sure there's people who will tell you more in detail.

#6 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2496 posts) -

@theimmortalbum said:

I loved the first GW. I pre-purchased GW2 on impulse the other day, for the 3 day early access.

What do I need to know about this game?

What do you need to know? Not much really. I'd say the top couple of things would be:

  • Don't play the game like a checklist.
    There are a bunch of things in here (heart quests, unlocking skills, map completion) that can pull you down a completionist hole that will frankly ruin your experience in my opinion. Play the game naturally, go where you want to go and explore where you want to explore. Those same things are actually there to reward experimentation and exploration, but people are started flipping it on its head and completing those things without actually "playing the game". (this is an element of the design that I really hate and is the number one thing I would address - but there isn't just one part of it that I think is broken)
  • Play with the other guys in the guild. It's really easy.
    There are a bunch of elements which reward team play in this game - cross profession combos are one of them, but perhaps the most important is when you go back to an earlier level area, you are scaled down so the content doesn't become lame and so you can play with others without ruining their experience. That said, you get (your real) level appropriate drops, xp and rewards for doing that stuff, so not only are you playing through challenging content with people lower level than you, but you're losing barely any progression. On top of that, joining someone's party is as simple as clicking them in the guild dialogue screen (which also displays what area they are in), and waypoints can be shared in chat by just shift+clicking on them in your map so others can find where you're close to and teleport there for a very small fee (like 2 trash drops worth of copper).
  • Explore!
    You can go to all of the other starting areas/cities and PvP areas from lvl2 (right after the tutorial) by hitting your Character Sheet (h), going to the PvP section (the crossed swords on the bottom left) and teleporting to the mists (for free). You then go through the Asura Gate to Lion's Arch, one of the major hub cities, from where you can take another Asura gate to any of the other major cities, or to Word vs Word (the massive 500v500v500 PvP areas). From here on it's up to you. You can play with anyone from any starter zone and do all of the interesting and varied starter content for any race from the start. WvW is also hella fun, and for both of these you get great xp no matter your level and, again, rewards without it ever getting too easy (as you'll still be scaled to the content even if you're lvl5 in a lvl2 area). As for structured PvP, you are automatically lvled up to 80 (max) and given max lvl gear for free to play around with as you wish in the PUG and Tournament 8v8 / 5v5 games.

I'm sure others here would have more to say, but those are my tips.

#7 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

The great thing about GW2 is that it's very casual friendly. You could probably jump in with zero prior knowledge and pick everything up very fast. At least, faster than some other games. If you have any specific questions, you can ask them here or check out the Guild Wars 2 wiki which is extremely helpful.

@CatsAkimbo said:

I'll echo the question of the OP, but be a little more specific.

In GW1 you could reach max level in a single day. Is there more of a focus on level progression now?

The level cap is much, much higher (80 instead of 20), and the rate at which you gain levels is fixed for every level. There's no curve. I think it's pretty much impossible to get to max level in a day, but there are some people who are hardcore.

I know it's more true-mmo now, but dungeons are still instanced. Any sense of how much time will still be spent in instanced dungeons?

I think there are 5 or 6 actual instanced dungeons, but there are also personal story quests which are all instanced but not on such a grand scale as a dungeon. There are quite a few of these throughout the game.

Does this "no-healer" thing really work, or do some classes still base their skillset toward helping other players?

There are some classes that are suited to helping others (The guardian springs to mind), but you can get along fine with no designated support/healer role.

In the same vein, there still seems to be a tank class; does that also entail aggro tools, and is a guardian necessary for difficult fights?

Definitely not, I don't think any class that is required for parts of the game. Some classes would be handy in certain cases, but they're all pretty well balanced so you won't have to spam "LF Guardian"

In GW1 your got your best armor very easily, but perfect weapons were harder to come by. How's the item progression in GW2?

This I'm not too sure the details on, sorry.

What sort of stuff is in the real-money shop?

Experience boosts, keys for chest drops etc. Nothing that will give a player an edge over someone who doesn't buy.

Is there still hunting for elite skills, and how customizable are the skillsets?

There aren't as many elite skills in the game as of the moment, so I don't know if there'll be any specific skill hunting aspect. Regarding skillsets, the first 5 skills are always determined by what weapon you're wielding, the 6 skill is healing, 7-9 are utility skills (wide range of uses that aren't bound to the weapon) and 0 is your elite. You then have traits, which can vastly affect your build. I'd say it isn't as customisable as GW1 as you have less choice of 1-5 skills and there aren't quite as many skills in all

Answered in bold, hope I helped somewhat.

#8 Posted by wemibelec90 (1597 posts) -

@CatsAkimbo: The guardian is a bit tankier but I'm pretty sure you there isn't a "tank" role for dungeons. Everyone is supposed to dodge and keep themselves alive with their healing spells.

There aren't too many dungeons in the game and they are a bit backloaded (first one comes at late 20s if I remember right). If you don't want to PvP, you might spend a lot of time in the dungeons for gear.

I don't have a great sense of the item progression but it seems very slow. I remember playing through the entire human starting zone in the first beta event and barely upgraded everything. It might pick up later but I heard that gear isn't really a huge focus, except at endgame and in PvP.

The real money shop has things like exp boosts, random item chests, and cosmetic things for your characters. None of it is essential in any way.

There is no hunting for elite skills. Every skill you can learn is available the second you have enough points for it. However, there are hidden skill point events in the world that allow you to build your skills out faster. As for the customization, you have eight slots and they are broken up into sets. 1-4 is always your weapon skills, 5 is your heal, and 6-8 are any other skills.

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#9 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7614 posts) -

@CatsAkimbo said:

I'll echo the question of the OP, but be a little more specific.

In GW1 you could reach max level in a single day. Is there more of a focus on level progression now?

I know it's more true-mmo now, but dungeons are still instanced. Any sense of how much time will still be spent in instanced dungeons?

Does this "no-healer" thing really work, or do some classes still base their skillset toward helping other players?

In the same vein, there still seems to be a tank class; does that also entail aggro tools, and is a guardian necessary for difficult fights?

In GW1 your got your best armor very easily, but perfect weapons were harder to come by. How's the item progression in GW2?

What sort of stuff is in the real-money shop?

Is there still hunting for elite skills, and how customizable are the skillsets?

How does world PVP work? Any death penalties?

The level cap is 80 this time, so it takes far longer to reach the max level. Each level always requires the same amount of experience to reach though and you're scaled down when visiting earlier areas, so that you're never over powered. So basically, the leveling aspect still isn't deemed particularly important, but there is more progression this time.

Dungeons are elite areas, intended for small groups of players and offer high tier rewards. Aside from those and the story missions, nothing is instanced. You spend the majority of the game in a persistent world with other players.

There is still a "support" role and certain classes are more focused on being able to do this, but no profession can be a dedicated healer, because party healing spells are not particularly powerful. It's much more about self management.

Weapon/armour progression works much the same way as in GW1, in that all end game equipment has the same stats, making it very easy to obtain and stay competitive. Anything after that is purely cosmetic, but there are a lot of high-end, difficult to obtain armour sets and even legendary weapons, which require a lot of effort to obtain.

The real-money item shop is pretty harmless. It mostly offers cosmetic costumes, extra character slots and increased storage, etc. There's also consumable boosters, which some people have a problem with, that provide things like temporary experience buffs. But the way the game is structured makes them largely irrelevant. No one has an advantage by paying real money.

I'm not into PVP and haven't explored the skill system deeply enough to answer the others, but the official wiki is a very good source of finding more information.

#10 Posted by Adaurin (186 posts) -

@Maystack said:

I know it's more true-mmo now, but dungeons are still instanced. Any sense of how much time will still be spent in instanced dungeons?

I think there are 5 or 6 actual instanced dungeons, but there are also personal story quests which are all instanced but not on such a grand scale as a dungeon. There are quite a few of these throughout the game.

I will add that the personal instances down scale you level and stat wise to their level so even if you're 80 a level 5 story quest can still potentially be challenging. You can bring up to 4 people with you to help, but the instance scales in difficulty depending on the number of player as well.

#11 Posted by theimmortalbum (482 posts) -

Great to see some discussion around this.

Glad you had some specific questions - that's literally how little I know about GW2, I can't think of things to ask!

#12 Posted by Adaurin (186 posts) -

@CatsAkimbo said:

In GW1 your got your best armor very easily, but perfect weapons were harder to come by. How's the item progression in GW2?

It's very easy to get max gear once you're level 80, in fact when you play instanced pvp you're given max level gear within minutes of creating a character. BUT the easy to get armor and weapons look terrible visually. The progression in GW2 at max level is more about Aesthetics, think Hats in Team Fortress 2 that you need to find or make yourself.

#13 Edited by CatsAkimbo (613 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind said:

Weapon/armour progression works much the same way as in GW1, in that all end game equipment has the same stats, making it very easy to obtain and stay competitive. Anything after that is purely cosmetic, but there are a lot of high-end, difficult to obtain armour sets and even legendary weapons, which require a lot of effort to obtain.

This is good to hear. I like the idea that everyone at the end has the potential to be equally awesome, not because they have a +1% more crit chance than the other person. Then the unique hard to get gear is more about "we're geared the same, I just proved I can do this hard endgame thing to get this weapon."

@wemibelec90 said:

There is no hunting for elite skills. Every skill you can learn is available the second you have enough points for it. However, there are hidden skill point events in the world that allow you to build your skills out faster. As for the customization, you have eight slots and they are broken up into sets. 1-4 is always your weapon skills, 5 is your heal, and 6-8 are any other skills.

This is sort of worrying. One of the fun things about GW1 was all the crazy builds you could come up with with so many different skills. It was awesome to get a team of necro heroes and have a minion army, or make a 55 monk and become invincible as you race past mobs. That all sort of hinged on hunting around the world for specific skills you could only steal from particular mobs.

@Adaurin said:

It's very easy to get max gear once you're level 80, in fact when you play instanced pvp you're given max level gear within minutes of creating a character. BUT the easy to get armor and weapons look terrible visually. The progression in GW2 at max level is more about Aesthetics, think Hats in Team Fortress 2 that you need to find or make yourself.

Sounds a lot like GW1. I spent a lot of time getting full sets of elite armor that was the exact same stat-wise but looked a lot better.

#14 Posted by Benny (1950 posts) -
@wemibelec90 There's no such thing as 'endgame' in guild wars 2. You don't get to level 80 then start raiding. You simply carry on playing as you have done as you levelled doing whatever you enjoy most.

This could be visiting any of the dungeons previously explored only this time they branch off in multiple paths depending on choices made that can be repeated for tokens to buy armor and weapons. You can do dynamic events, your personal story and heart quests, which give XP and contribute to gathering legendary weapons. They want the entire game to be endgame, not an arbitrary treadmill that becomes inaccessible to most.

On the topic of weapons, imagine in wow if the level cap stopped at level 60, and all epic items had the exact same item level (stat allotment) that is how items in guild wars 2 work. It will take a while to earn exotic items for each slot with the stats you want (eg power & vitality) but once you have them they will be all you need forever.

New armor and weapons earned will be purely cosmetic and this includes legendary weapons. Running dungeons for phat loots is entirely for prestige and gives no power advantage over players who haven't done it.

The level cap will never be raised and the stats on items will never be raised either, everyone has the same stats and the deciding factor in success is skill and teamwork.

In PVP, you automatically become level 80 and all of your gear is replaced with max level items. PVP rewards are new skins and prestige stuff. Anyone anywhere in the game can join PVP and join a PVP match or tournament and is, and will always be on a level playing field with everyone else.
#15 Posted by Rattle618 (1463 posts) -

I found a podcast or two to get up to speed on all this stuff, the one Im listening to right now is called Tales of Tyria. I get the info I want and get excited for the game all at once, give it a try.

#16 Posted by CatsAkimbo (613 posts) -

Oh another thing: will there still be instant travel to any town/outpost you previously visited?

#17 Posted by Marz (5648 posts) -

@CatsAkimbo said:

Oh another thing: will there still be instant travel to any town/outpost you previously visited?

ya there are waypoints that you gotta unlock on the map before you can fast travel to them.

#18 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2496 posts) -

@CatsAkimbo

In GW1 you could reach max level in a single day. Is there more of a focus on level progression now?

In GW2 it's all about a "flat levelling curve" - what they have done, and almost all of us can attest to this, is that when you are playing your own level of content you level up at about 1.5h / level. When doing older content while scaled down, you level at closer to 2-3h/level, depending on what you complete in that time. As such levelling to 80 (max) without xp boosters and finding crazy spots to grind should take approx 120 hours - my highest lvl character was lvl 26 so far during the betas and I played on him for about 45 hours, so the numbers add up.

However, levelling itself isn't emphasized - it's still a guild wars game. Levelling up gives you access to new modifications to your abilities (traits) and access to more and more of your 10 skill skillbar. Aside from those things, however, the game is heavily dependent on its level scaling system. This makes it so that you can't outlevel your content by much (max about 5 levels) and when going to earlier stuff, you can still be challenged while doing it / not ruin everyone else's time by one-shotting things. Level scaling works by reducing your stats by some algorithm to what is around the right range for your area, as such with my lvl 26 I'd have - for example - 200 real Power (don't worry what that means), but was scaled down to around 80 power in a lvl 5 zone. However, I still had more Traits and Skills than the others around me, so my character was better in that he had access to more things, but as I said earlier, I couldn't cakewalk any of it.

I know it's more true-mmo now, but dungeons are still instanced. Any sense of how much time will still be spent in instanced dungeons?

Dungeons are entirely optional and can take anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours to complete depending on your team composition, everyone's experience with the game, and how well you work together. There seem to be about 9 dungeons in the game, progressively unlocked from lvl30 onwards (one new one every 10 levels with some additional ones along the way). How much time you spend in these dungeons is up to you as except for the last one of the game, they do not inhibit your progress - but they do give you cool looking loot (but not loot that is more powerful than other level appropriate gear).

Does this "no-healer" thing really work, or do some classes still base their skillset toward helping other players?

Yep, it works. Every class can roll "support" by focussing on debuffing enemies, killing them faster, helping others kill things faster, removing control effects on your party, slight healing (there is no way other than 1 of healing your party to max through actual skills), but the no-healer thing is confirmed to work (many of us have already spent 80-100 hours with the game, and some of that time in dungeons, healers are a thing of the past - but support is definitely a thing). Oh, and you don't even need anyone to focus on support in your party. The most successful parties I've seen have everyone bringing a couple of support skills and working together in timing and execution rather than anyone being "forced" to play support. That said, people can play pure support roles to great effect if they want to - just nothing anywhere near what healers were in the first game or other games.

Oh, and another cool thing is that every class does support in a different way, but each are actually equivalently effective (even in PvP).

  • Warriors buff offense and remove control effects
  • Guardians buff defense and control space
  • Necros debuff enemies while buffing allies (think of wells but they do combined effects)
  • Mesmers control enemies themselves and can give mass invisibility and teleportation
  • Elementalists mass-heal and condition remove
  • Engineers can fortify spots on the battlefield and make them safe havens for allies (healing, condition removal, knocking down enemies, etc)
  • Rangers have numerous ways of slowing enemies down and can also heal/condition remove the party
  • Thieves can massively buff everyone's offense in a way that stacks with other effects and debuffs enemies when used (mass-poisons which also heals when people attack and control enemies when they apply).

In the same vein, there still seems to be a tank class; does that also entail aggro tools, and is a guardian necessary for difficult fights?

A tank class? Guardian is the most difficult to deal with in PvP because they have great area control, not because they can just take damage better than anyone else. Eles, Warriors, Mesmers, Necros... all of the classes actually can be specced to be just as survivable as the Guardian in a situation where there are more than 2 dudes beating on someone (ie, anything outside of structured PvP, really). No class is required by players for anything, unless those players are bads and use a class as a crutch to get through content.

In GW1 your got your best armor very easily, but perfect weapons were harder to come by. How's the item progression in GW2?

Different. Perfect weapons and armor are something we're not sure about yet as noone has seen the final levels of the game. It seems that it's actualy easier now to get max stat gear than it was before (crafting, buying it from merchants) - but it's much much harder to get the coolest looking gear. I personally like it that way.

What sort of stuff is in the real-money shop?

Convenience items and cosmetic stuff. Eg. An orb which lets you rez whereever in standard PvE (but doesn't work in PvP or dungeons), xp boosts which just boost the xp of mobs (meh), and sweet shades.

Is there still hunting for elite skills, and how customizable are the skillsets?

Hunting for elites is sadly gone : ( - in fact, there isn't any real escalation in the difficulty of obtaining character-related modifications in GW2 at all. As for skillsets, they are much less customizable than they were in GW1, however your build is much, much more because of a bigger focus on statistics, gear, and skill/playstyle modifications through traits. It'd take me about 1-2 hours to find an "optimal" character build in GW1, whereas it has taken me upwards of 8-10 to come up with one in GW2 (though granted, I'm working from first principals and excel sheets rather than what others post on forums as frameworks).

How does world PVP work? Any death penalties?

Two types - World vs World ("wuvwah" or "WvW") which pitts 3 servers against one another in mass-scale, fortification and supply line based PvP (this is absolutely awesome), and Structured PvP which is more like Team Arenas and Random Arenas of old.

For WvW, your PvE character is scaled to lvl 80 using some algorithm so you have whatever you currently have (in terms of gear, skills unlocked, etc) but huge stats. You then gain xp as you would normally by completing objectives killing enemies, etc, and all of the progression is brought back to PvE. (there are also vendors etc to buy new gear from etc)

For Structured PvP (sPvP) there is 8v8 pug play and 5v5 tournament play. Both can be hot-joined, though if you have a pre-existing team you can only join together on the latter. For this your character is essentially morphed into a PvP version of himself with max level, stats and gear which has its own progression etc and none of that stuff comes back to PvE except bags for your inventory and dye unlocks that I have seen thus far.

ED: Oh, and as for Death Penalties - cracked armor is the system. Whenever you are defeated a peice of your armor is damaged, when damaged enough they break (this can all be repaired for a nominal fee at an armorer) - but when shit is broken, it's broke till it's repaired, so you'll be taking way more damage, be missing those stats, etc. This only happens in WvW and PvE, not sPvP.

#19 Posted by NickL (2246 posts) -

Can we all agree to stop talking about this game until it comes out? I can't handle the anticipation!

#20 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3223 posts) -

@CatsAkimbo said:

[...] there still seems to be a tank class; does that also entail aggro tools, and is a guardian necessary for difficult fights?

The guardian is the best tank insofar as one can survive very slightly longer than another profession if they're specced for the same stats. Any profession that tries to stand their ground against even regular foes in dungeons or other high-level PvE will be absolutely wrecked in a matter of seconds. The best methods for survival in GW2 are to constantly be moving, stay out of range, dodge out of attacks, and avoid red circles like the plague.

#21 Edited by CatsAkimbo (613 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic: Thanks for the highly detailed reply, and to everyone else who replied. Extremely informative :) I wish I could jump in right now and poke around.

Oh, and what about racial differences? Are they different enough that you could later realize you really want to be another race because you don't like your skills/want another races skills?

And for the choices you make on character creation -- do those only effect the story? Is it possible to pick something right from the start that you could regret?

#22 Edited by Benny (1950 posts) -

@CatsAkimbo: The choices you pick right from the get-go can be partly reversed and some are permanent. There's nothing you could pick that you would regret though, they simply all alter the story a bit.

Races have unique utility skills and elite skills as well as some Race specific armor. None of the skills are overpowered though, and I'd say they're all pretty cool skills (charrzooka springs to mind, a bazooka that only charr get!!!) but not as powerful as your class' skills, or as useful.

#23 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2496 posts) -

@CatsAkimbo said:

@selfconfessedcynic: Thanks for the highly detailed reply, and to everyone else who replied. Extremely informative :) I wish I could jump in right now and poke around.

Oh, and what about racial differences? Are they different enough that you could later realize you really want to be another race because you don't like your skills/want another races skills?

And for the choices you make on character creation -- do those only effect the story? Is it possible to pick something right from the start that you could regret?

Np.

Racial differences... I think our latest podcast goes into that to some significant depth (here). 'Nuff said that racial skills are less powerful than their class-based alternatives and are more meant for flavor. They can't be used in sPvP either.

Character creation choices do effect the story, though I don't know if there's anything in there that you'd regret. There are choices in the personal story itself that you could regret for sure, but atm it seems like all of the character creation choices have fun consequences (for example choosing the circus background for a human is surprisingly cool from what I have heard).

#24 Edited by Subjugation (4718 posts) -

@CatsAkimbo: The choices you make during character creation do indeed affect your personal story arc. As far as being able to "regret" them, I suppose that is possible if you don't like that story arc, but that comes down to personal preference.

As far as racial differences (it sounds like you're mainly concerned with racial abilities) that was actually discussed to some extent on the most recent Lincolncast (our guild run podcast), but my personal opinion is that it seems like ArenaNet is very much trying to stay away from people feeling like they have to choose a certain race because of an ability they have being too powerful/useful to be neglected. Most of them are just fun flavo(u)r skills that stick to the aesthetic of the race. They aren't intended to be game changers. When looking at races your main concerns should be if you enjoy the story and aesthetic of the race as well as the animations in my opinion.

Edit: I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Wooden Potatoes' youtube channel in terms of information. He has done loads of videos on just about any topic you might care to learn about.

#25 Edited by TheHT (11077 posts) -

PvE:

- Renown Hearts are NPCs with a group of tasks for you to do in an area. Doing a certain amount gives you access to buy higher end items from that NPC. These are the most similar thing to traditional quests in Guild Wars 2's open world.

- Dynamic Events are things that are constantly happening in the world, and what you'll be spending a lot of your time doing. They are unique group events that can chain into other events depending on player victory/defeat. For examples, if centaurs attack a hold, and you all fail to defend it, they'll now have control of that hold, and a new dynamic event to retake the hold will begin. Once you retake it, another dynamic event will begin. As you progress through the game, you'll see less Renown Hearts as areas become entirely focused on Dynamic Events.

- Personal Story is your own instanced storyline. It's the main plot of Guild Wars 2, and choices made in your personal story can have an effect down the road, both on your storyline itself and your instanced home region. Though instanced, you can bring friends along on personal story missions or go along with a friend and see the effects their different choices have made.

- There is no stealing. Helping other players gives both you and that player experiences and loot. One of the main focuses of Guild Wars 2 is creating a truly cooperative MMO, where you're not running away from other players for fear of them ruining your experience by stealing kills and loot.

PvP:

- Structured PvP is 5v5 in arenas. I can't tell you much more about this aspect because I haven't touched sPvP at all.

- World vs. World pits your entire server against 3 other servers. Players join large WvW maps reminiscent of PvE maps, and have massive battles for control of holds and supply depots. You can build siege weapons including catapults, arrow carts, battering rams, hot oil, and cannons. At the end of a WvW season, which lasts for many days, the winning server in WvW receives a server-wide buff.

Progression:

- On release, players can level from 1-80. I had heard somewhere that levelling from 1-10 takes about 7 hours, so getting from 1-80 won't happen in a couple of days. ANet have said that they don't want to expand your experience bar and call that content and that they want the content to drive the progression, so you shouldn't have to worry about grinding out areas to get to new areas.

- You can level from 1-80 entirely from playing PvP

- Weapon skills are unlocked the more you use a weapon. So the more you use your sword, the more skills you'll have, but change to another weapon and you'll have to unlock that weapons skills too. Weapon skills do not re-lock, and unlocking skills for all weapons available to your profession can easily be done from levels 1-10.

- Each level up grants you one skill point to use to unlock more utility skills. At level 11, you unlock the ability to use traits. Traits are used to refine your playstyle, allowing you to specialize in certain weapons and methods of combat (conditions, pets, etc.).

- As a high level character, lower level content doesn't become obsolete. Entering low level regions will bump your level down to that areas, typically higher than normal mobs so you're still generally more powerful but can't one-shot everything. This means that as you level up, you're essentially unlocking more and more content to play, as other lower level areas you may not have experienced are not shut off to you.

- Once you've reached level 80, your experience bar will continue to increase, and 'levelling up' won't actually level you up, but will grant you a skill point. You can use these extra skill points to buy remaining utility skills or spend them on special legendary items.

Combat:

- Combat in Guild Wars 2 is action-oriented.

- Players can avoid projectiles or take cover behind objects or even other characters/NPCs.

- Some player skills create a combo field, and others are combo finishers. Combining the two alters properties of attacks. For instance an elementalist can lay down a line of fire, and archers can fire through giving their projectiles a fire property.

- When a players health reaches 0, they enter a downed state. In this state they have 4 skills: an attack, a snare-type spell, a heal, and an evasive skill. Killing an enemy while in a downed state will revive you. Healing yourself will also revive you, but being interrupted (by getting attacked) will stop your healing. Once your downed meter is completely drained, you will die and have to respawn/be ressurrected. Any player can ressurect another player.

- The downed system is in PvP as well, so a player isn't truly defeated until you literally finish them (interacting over a downed player will begin a special "finish them" attack).

Skills:

- There are 3 types of skills in Guild Wars 2: weapon skills, utility skills, and profession skills.

- Your 1-5 keys are your weapon skills, are they are dependent on what weapon you have equipped. Some weapons are main hand, and fill out your 1-3 keys, while others are off-hand and fill out your 4 and 5 keys. Two-handed weapons fill out all 1-5 keys. Most classes can swap between 2 weapon sets.

- Utility skills are unlocked with skill points earned when you level up. They take up your 6-0 keys. The 6 key is always your healing skill, while your 7 key is always your elite skill. Elite skills are powerful skills with long cooldowns. They can do things like call down an air-drop of turrets and supply crates or turn yourself into a powerful tornado. The 7-9 keys are your general utility skills, which you can use for traps, passive buffs, attacks, or summons. All professions have multiple heal, utility, and elite skills. Races also have unique heal, utility, and elite skills.

- Profession skills are skills only associated with a specific profession, and can vary greatly depending on what you choose to play. They fill out the F1-F4 keys. For example, and elementalist will use the F1-F4 keys to switch elemental attunements granting him an entirely different set of weapon skills. A warrior however fills up to 3 levels of an adrenaline meter by attacking, and uses only the F1 key to unleash a devastating attack. And a ranger will use the F1-F3 keys to control a pet, and the F4 key to swap between pets.

- All skills except for the 1 key skill has a cooldown.

- When a player goes underwater, all of their weapon skills are replaced with underwater skills, and their weapon changes to an underwater weapon (trident, harpoon, or spear).

Professions:

- There are, at release, 8 professions available to all 5 races.

- Elementalists are masters of the elements, and are able to swap attunements to change all 5 weapon skills, essentially giving elementalists 4 weapons, instead of the usual 2.

- Warriors are the bruisers, whose relentless attacks build up adrenaline for unleashing a devastating attack.

- Guardians are the protectors. They use 3 virtues to increase their attack and defense or provide support for allies.

- Engineers are the techies. They use turrets, devices, and weapon kits to wreak havok on enemies and support friendlies. Flamethrowers, healing turrents, and grenade kits are only a few of the machines in an engineers arsenal.

- Rangers are one with the natural world. With a focus on hunting and 12 different families of pets available as companions, each species within a family with a unique skill, a ranger and his pet are not to be taken lightly.

- Necromancers are masters of death. Able to call forth undead minions, sap life, and transform into the powerful Death Shroud. An incoming army of minions followed by a Death Shroud necromancer says one thing: run.

- Theives are deadly quick and crafty warriors. Able to cloak for a short time (of course), and also able to steal a variety of improvised weapons from enemies to use against them, thieves can strike from the shadows with weapons they never saw coming. Also, none of their weapon skills has a cooldown. Instead, thieves use regenerating Initiative to attack.

- Mesmers are masters of illusion and deception. They create clones and phantasms to fight for them, and relentlessly shatter them to inflict damage and conditions on enemies.

Races:

- There are, at release, 5 races to play as in Tyria.

- Charr, the enemies from Guild Wars 1, are a large warlike feline race.

- Humans, well on decline from a golden age, look like you and me.

- Norn, individualistic hunters and lovers of drink, look like you and me, only buff and nine-feet tall.

- Asura, intelligent and snarky, are a small goblin-esque race.

- Sylvari, born of plants and a new race to the world of Tyria, are plantlike and in the shape of humans.

Weapons:

- Melee weapons include swords, axes, maces, torches, greatswords, hammers, and daggers.

- Ranged weapons include warhorns, shortbows, longbows, pistols, and rifles.

- Magic weapons include staves, sceptres, and foci.

- Some classes use weapons in ways that are different from others. For instance, mesmers use greatswords as ranged weapons.

#26 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3223 posts) -

All of these info dumps have got me to thinking: someone should probably update the Guild Wars 2 "overview" on the Giant Bomb wiki since a bunch of that stuff is out of date.

Also, I should probably have linked this earlier, but here's the definitive introduction to GW2.

#27 Posted by Subjugation (4718 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam: You are evil for planting the idea to do that in my head. At least I have the Bombcast to carry me through for some time.

#28 Posted by Gruff182 (854 posts) -

I have a question. People say if you join PvP, you automatically get stats boosted to 80 and are given max PvP gear.

Whats the progression for PvP? Can't you get better PvP armor and weps? Other than fun, whats the point?

#29 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

@Gruff182: From my understanding you can only get the standard gear at the start. The better you do at sPvP, you earn more points to unlock special armour (and maybe weapons) that are only available in PvP.

#30 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2496 posts) -

@Gruff182 said:

I have a question. People say if you join PvP, you automatically get stats boosted to 80 and are given max PvP gear.

Whats the progression for PvP? Can't you get better PvP armor and weps? Other than fun, whats the point?

The progression in PvP is pretty much only two-fold;

  • Cosmetic
    By competing in structured PvP you gain Glory which you can put towards various methods of obtaining cooler looking gear. There is no way to get a statistical advantage within sPvP whatsoever (eg even consumables do not work). It all comes down to your build and how well you utilise it.
  • Competitive
    The more PvP you do, the better at it you will get and you will earn Tournament Tickets which can be put towards fighting against better people and hence getting even better yourself. In my opinion this is the true progression of PvP and probably the most rewarding thing about playing GW2.

Nothing you do in sPvP except unlocking dye colours and getting bigger bags transfers to your character in PvE at all.

This is, of course, talking about structured PvP and NOT WvW, which takes your PvE character and scales him up, retaining all PvE elements such as racial differences, consumable usage, gear progression, etc.

#31 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3223 posts) -

@Gruff182 said:

Other than fun, whats the point?

Fun tends to be a pretty good motivator for me.

#32 Posted by Gruff182 (854 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic said:

@Gruff182 said:

I have a question. People say if you join PvP, you automatically get stats boosted to 80 and are given max PvP gear.

Whats the progression for PvP? Can't you get better PvP armor and weps? Other than fun, whats the point?

The progression in PvP is pretty much only two-fold;

  • Cosmetic
    By competing in structured PvP you gain Glory which you can put towards various methods of obtaining cooler looking gear. There is no way to get a statistical advantage within sPvP whatsoever (eg even consumables do not work). It all comes down to your build and how well you utilise it.
  • Competitive
    The more PvP you do, the better at it you will get and you will earn Tournament Tickets which can be put towards fighting against better people and hence getting even better yourself. In my opinion this is the true progression of PvP and probably the most rewarding thing about playing GW2.

Nothing you do in sPvP except unlocking dye colours and getting bigger bags transfers to your character in PvE at all.

This is, of course, talking about structured PvP and NOT WvW, which takes your PvE character and scales him up, retaining all PvE elements such as racial differences, consumable usage, gear progression, etc.

Ok thanks for the info.

I'm in two minds about this it does sound great, everyone having an even playing field (which should be essential for tournaments). At the same time a big appeal to rpg/mmo types, (to me) is progression, building up your character, working towards better gear/weps.

I'm not into PvE stuff and cosmetic rewards don't really interest me. Atleast (i think) you still get exp in PvP which will stick with your character.

I just wish they did level brackets for sPvP, so even PvP guys always have something to work towards, other than a shiny new hat.

Still can't wait for the game, just worried about longevity (which is likely by design).

#33 Posted by shinboy630 (1134 posts) -
@Gruff182

@selfconfessedcynic said:

@Gruff182 said:

I have a question. People say if you join PvP, you automatically get stats boosted to 80 and are given max PvP gear.

Whats the progression for PvP? Can't you get better PvP armor and weps? Other than fun, whats the point?

The progression in PvP is pretty much only two-fold;

  • Cosmetic
    By competing in structured PvP you gain Glory which you can put towards various methods of obtaining cooler looking gear. There is no way to get a statistical advantage within sPvP whatsoever (eg even consumables do not work). It all comes down to your build and how well you utilise it.
  • Competitive
    The more PvP you do, the better at it you will get and you will earn Tournament Tickets which can be put towards fighting against better people and hence getting even better yourself. In my opinion this is the true progression of PvP and probably the most rewarding thing about playing GW2.

Nothing you do in sPvP except unlocking dye colours and getting bigger bags transfers to your character in PvE at all.

This is, of course, talking about structured PvP and NOT WvW, which takes your PvE character and scales him up, retaining all PvE elements such as racial differences, consumable usage, gear progression, etc.

Ok thanks for the info.

I'm in two minds about this it does sound great, everyone having an even playing field (which should be essential for tournaments). At the same time a big appeal to rpg/mmo types, (to me) is progression, building up your character, working towards better gear/weps.

I'm not into PvE stuff and cosmetic rewards don't really interest me. Atleast (i think) you still get exp in PvP which will stick with your character.

I just wish they did level brackets for sPvP, so even PvP guys always have something to work towards, other than a shiny new hat.

Still can't wait for the game, just worried about longevity (which is likely by design).

You don't gain xp per se, but in pvp your xp bar is changed to a rank bar, where you earn glory to rank up, similar to something like a shooter.
#34 Posted by Gruff182 (854 posts) -

@shinboy630 said:

@Gruff182

@selfconfessedcynic said:

@Gruff182 said:

I have a question. People say if you join PvP, you automatically get stats boosted to 80 and are given max PvP gear.

Whats the progression for PvP? Can't you get better PvP armor and weps? Other than fun, whats the point?

The progression in PvP is pretty much only two-fold;

  • Cosmetic
    By competing in structured PvP you gain Glory which you can put towards various methods of obtaining cooler looking gear. There is no way to get a statistical advantage within sPvP whatsoever (eg even consumables do not work). It all comes down to your build and how well you utilise it.
  • Competitive
    The more PvP you do, the better at it you will get and you will earn Tournament Tickets which can be put towards fighting against better people and hence getting even better yourself. In my opinion this is the true progression of PvP and probably the most rewarding thing about playing GW2.

Nothing you do in sPvP except unlocking dye colours and getting bigger bags transfers to your character in PvE at all.

This is, of course, talking about structured PvP and NOT WvW, which takes your PvE character and scales him up, retaining all PvE elements such as racial differences, consumable usage, gear progression, etc.

Ok thanks for the info.

I'm in two minds about this it does sound great, everyone having an even playing field (which should be essential for tournaments). At the same time a big appeal to rpg/mmo types, (to me) is progression, building up your character, working towards better gear/weps.

I'm not into PvE stuff and cosmetic rewards don't really interest me. Atleast (i think) you still get exp in PvP which will stick with your character.

I just wish they did level brackets for sPvP, so even PvP guys always have something to work towards, other than a shiny new hat.

Still can't wait for the game, just worried about longevity (which is likely by design).

You don't gain xp per se, but in pvp your xp bar is changed to a rank bar, where you earn glory to rank up, similar to something like a shooter.

Alright, then I guess with increased rank you can get better stuff. Or at least different looking stuff.

#35 Edited by Benny (1950 posts) -

@Gruff182: You have a Rank in sPVP that replaces your level bar. sPvP matches award rank points which is basically PVP XP, you spend rank points on cosmetic stuff that is only available in PVP. Spending pvp points does not affect your overall rank, which is based on your total lifetime PVP rank points earned and it goes at least as far as rank 100, and the required points to rank up scales a lot (rank 9-10 was 500 points, but 10-11 was 2500.) You get matchmade based on rank if you quickmatch afaik so I'm pretty sure it matters a fair bit.

I'm not sure what it is about progression that you miss though. It's always been totally artificial in that you sink a boatload of time into getting 5% better gear, to beat a boss that has 5% more stats. The actual difficulty never consistently rose in games like WoW (in vanilla sure, but the expansions got slightly harder, then way easier and then all over the place.) At the end of the day, the challenge in WoW was almost entirely based on the stats your group had and gearscore completely ruined the game. The armor and the prestige that came with it from those dungeons was what a lot of people cared about that I knew when playing and in guild wars 2 you know for sure that someone with dungeon armor was skilled enough to get the armor, and wasn't sitting spamming frostbolt for 5 minutes while the tanks and healers did the heavy lifting.

just my 2cents I guess, but the lack of gear treadmill really appeals to me, and guild wars 1 was the exact same. It offered just tonnes of longevity while it was Arenanet's main focus (before they started developing GW2, at which point the content updates slowed a bit) and now I suspect GW2 will follow that pattern, perhaps even surpassing it considering how much arenanet has grown.

Edit: and yeah, as you rank up you have access to way cooler looking stuff and special animations for your finishers that show what rank you are (rank 1-10 is a rabbit finisher, 11-20 a deer, there are phoenix and dragon finishers etc. they kinda look like a gold patronus in harry potter if you've seen that, not that I have o.o)

#36 Posted by legendlexicon (97 posts) -

You guys are really making me want to get into this. Sounds like the perfect mmo for someone who doesn't have a lot of time.

#37 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

: If anything, I'm actually a little turned off by the level 80 cap in PvE. I know it's there to gate content, but I hate playing the game with gimped gear/skills when I've already had a taste of them in PvP. You basically don't get to enjoy all the fruits of combat until you're level 80. It's definitely very artificial.

#38 Posted by Benny (1950 posts) -

@legendlexicon: Definitely, they specifically designed it so you get big chunks of XP in the first hour of playing, dungeons aren't too long, helping friends of any level is easy and is always worthwhile to higher level friends as they can group with you and they get scaled down to your level but get rewards based on their actual level.

Joining pvp at level 1 will also put you on a level playing field with everyone else too. Worth checking it out for sure if you've never had the time to enjoy an MMO in the past but wanted to.

#39 Posted by legendlexicon (97 posts) -

@Benny: Oh I've put a lot of time into WoW, but got out of it a little bit ago. I know diablo 3 really doesn't count, but I've got a level 60 bar, 55 monk, 54 wizard on there. Looks like green man gaming has a 20% off voucher so I can preorder it for cheap too.

#40 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3223 posts) -

@legendlexicon: The fact that it's a one-time purchase like most other modern games really helps to alleviate that "I'm wasting money for every minute I don't play" feeling you can get from subscriptions.

#41 Posted by Benny (1950 posts) -

@UssjTrunks: I guess, I think it scales pretty well though and you'll have access to all of your skills at around level 30 (though not all the traits) and will simply be doing a lot less damage. PvP isn't quite as customisable as PvE either because of the way stats are allocated.

#42 Posted by legendlexicon (97 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam: True. A one time purchase of $48 for something this grand sounds great.

#43 Edited by legendlexicon (97 posts) -

Oh fuck me, green man gaming is in europe and my bank doesn't do over seas shit. This is ridiculous.

Edit:I just went ahead and bought it from the official site. So I'll be in.

#44 Posted by Gruff182 (854 posts) -

@Benny: Yeah i'm only talking from a strictly PvP perspective. I've played WoW on and off since vanilla and I still have less than no interest in PvE. So I do agree that getting better stuff just to hit AI harder is artificial progression. Plus standing still pressing 4 buttons in boring.

Getting better stuff to hit another player harder is another matter.

I am coming around to the ArenaNet style though, its hard to complain when they make perfect sense. The standardized gear should be incorporated into WoWs arenas.

From what it sounds like in GW2 I could make my Mesmer, spend 100 hours taking names in battles and then still be a puny lvl 1 when i'm back in town, albeit shiny looking.

#45 Edited by Benny (1950 posts) -

@Gruff182: Pretty much, PvP items only exist in PvP too, so you wouldn't look any different in PvE. You only get to use that stuff when you're in the PvP zones. I do believe titles and and your rank will be visible in PvE though I'm not 100% sure. I have to assume that there will be some things from playing a lot of PvP that will be usable in PvE though like mini-pets or emotes, costumes, something as a permanent reminder of your PvP accomplishments while you're in PvE. There's a shit ton of stuff not revealed yet and they can always implement that sort of stuff if there's a demand for it.

I'm pretty sure it leaked that they will be selling dances at vendors, and for micro transactions in the gem store too. Surely they would be usable in PvE and PvP.

#46 Posted by ZoomyRamen (237 posts) -

Asurable. It's all you need.

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