Play Your Way - Finally a Dev Blog post about character builds

#1 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2570 posts) -

...Not that they revealed too much. The blog post delves into an expanded attributes system and the complete revision of how traits work. It also gives a couple of examples of what to expect from the trait lines.

Read it here.

Personally, I think more options = more fun, but at the same time, it looks like they've taken out the individual-weapon level of customisation they had before. Now I don't think you can even choose your minor traits, other than deciding which line to invest points in. Also, increasing attribute points automatically by class does seem a much simpler way of going about things, but I would love to decide where every single point goes.

Anyway, here's a summary from the information in that post and others:

Bonk Studios Video (These guys are great - subscribe to their channel!)

Levelling Up in Guild Wars 2

  1. You create a character, defining a profession and begin at level one.
  2. There are 4 base attributes which determine the general strength of your character - Power, Vitality, Precision and Toughness*. At this point, I assume you start with attribute points invested automatically, based on your class.
  3. As you accrue experience and reach levels 2-10 you continue to gain points in these four attributes automatically, also dependent upon your class.
  4. When you hit level 11, you receive an Adept's Training Manual, which allows you to start investing in Traits**. This also allows you to directly influence 6 more attributes for your character***, one of which is based on your class. These six attributes do not increase with level, but instead increase when you invest in a trait line.
  5. From 11-39 you continue to gain the base attributes automatically. You also get a single trait point per level, which you can invest in a trait line, to a maximum of 10 points in any single trait line.
  6. At level 40, you receive a master’s training manual, which resets your traits entirely and allows you to invest 20 points in any single trait line. The game then progresses as before, until level 60.
  7. At 60, you get a grandmaster’s training manual. This resets your traits once more and you can invest to the final maximum of 30 points in any trait line. You continue to get trait points and automatic attributes until 80.

* Power, Vitality, Precision and Toughness:

These are the basic four attributes in GW2. Power increases attack damage, Vitality increases health, Toughness increases armour and survivability, and Precision increases critical hit chance.

** Traits & Trait Lines:

  • Each character has 5 Trait Lines in which you invest Trait Points - "Traits" can refer to individual trait lines, bonuses or the system in general.
  • A Trait Line is a pool in which you invest trait points, this pool effects two attributes (it can be any selection of your total 10 attributes, though no two trait lines double up). At each multiple of 5 points you invest in any trait line, you also get a bonus. There are two types of bonus, a Minor Trait or a Major Trait Slot, in which you select a Major Trait.
  • For hitting 5, 15, 25 points, you gain access to a Minor Trait, which is a permanent passive benefit for your character. These aren't the same between professions, and are unique to each trait line.
  • At 10, 20 and 30 points, you gain access to a Major Trait Slot, where you can slot a Major Trait - though how you get these, I'm not sure. Previously, these were gained through exploration in PvE. Major traits can be large benefits to your character, such as a reduction in weapon swap times and triggering useful effects when you dodge.
  • You gain trait points by levelling up past 11, all the way up until you hit level 80 - making the maximum 70 trait points per character. This means you have to pick and choose which trait lines you want to max, if any, which provides some depth.

*** 6 other attributes:

These are new, and are detailed in the blog post linked above. They are quite nitty-gritty, like increasing the damage multiplier on critical strikes or reducing the recharge on a specific kind of skill for your profession.

#2 Edited by shinboy630 (1163 posts) -

This was a great read. I personally found the whole trait system really confusing before, but this really cleared things up. I'm really looking forward to customizing my character now.

Edit: I noticed I really like using the word really...really.

#3 Posted by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

At least it isn't the word "obviously".

#4 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

I'm not sure I'm so keen on the idea of having to travel back to a vendor and then pay to respec your character. Even if that's cheap, it locks you into a more specific role, which I don't really understand the need for, athough the classes are still all very flexible, it certainly isn't the "return of the trinity" as some over the top posts on the fansites have claimed.

But it only seems to exist to be a gold sink and to limit experimentation, which is a shame.

#5 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2570 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind: I have to agree to some extent. I've always hated having to go to an NPC so I can change my build. Supposedly the idea is to support the feeling of permanence... well, I don't like that feeling.

Anyway - thankfully, there's a huge out for anyone who wants to experiment. WvW : ) - when in PvP, you have an entirely different set of saved traits, which you can experiment with to your heart's content. ie, change whenever, without having to spend money or talk to anyone.

#6 Edited by project343 (2833 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind said:

I'm not sure I'm so keen on the idea of having to travel back to a vendor and then pay to respec your character. Even if that's cheap, it locks you into a more specific role, which I don't really understand the need for, athough the classes are still all very flexible, it certainly isn't the "return of the trinity" as some over the top posts on the fansites have claimed.

But it only seems to exist to be a gold sink and to limit experimentation, which is a shame.

While you can't reallocate your trait points on the fly, you can swap your Majors whenever you like out of combat without a fee. At least, that was how it worked during the beta weekend. And those gold sinks have to exist to counter inflation. Unless you come up with a brilliant way around currency in general.

#7 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Love the training manuals. Free respeccs every 10 odd levels? Genious.

Linking two different attributes to every skillpoint investment is a really smartly designed balancing method, preventing extremely onesided/gamebreaking builds. I think I finally get the traits system now. I wasn't sure if it could rival a traditional talent tree, but it sounds superb. Major traits are awesome!

Not yet entirely sold on the class specific attributes yet. Scaling the class specific mechanics will prove to be very tricky. Like how to scale a selfless mechanic like the Guardian's virtues versus a selfish mechanic like the Necro's shadowshroud (or whatever it's called)? Tricky indeed.

#8 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3391 posts) -
@selfconfessedcynic said:

Also, increasing attribute points automatically by class does seem a much simpler way of going about things, but I would love to decide where every single point goes.

Speaking as someone who was extremely intimidated by the prospect of assigning attribute points from level to level without any meaningfully visible gameplay impact, I'm happy as hell that now I'll get to just invest in traits I like the look of and let the stats flow from that.
 
@Seppli said:
Not yet entirely sold on the class specific attributes yet. Scaling the class specific mechanics will prove to be very tricky. Like how to scale a selfless mechanic like the Guardian's virtues versus a selfish mechanic like the Necro's shadowshroud (or whatever it's called)? Tricky indeed.
It seems to be a facsimile of the primary profession attribute from GW1 (e.g. Strength, Soul Reaping, Divine Favor), which makes me wonder if it'll be necessary for player to max out the associated trait line. Hopefully not.
#9 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2570 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam:

To a large extent, I agree with you - the way the current system works is much like Titan Quest, which is by no means terrible. It's much harder to make a crappy character when a lot of the decisions are guided for you - but still... Lets just say I love playing D2, but with the respec-any-time mod turned on.

@Seppli:

I can see where you're coming from on class attributes. They did a decent enough job in GW1 with that stuff - and they always ended up being supplemental rather than the primary focus (except for some very specific builds). Still, here's hoping for a good balance on their part.

In general, I think the note about going 26/26/18 was a good point by the developer - I cant wait to make that kind of decision myself, with all of the information in front of me. Some people hated "build wars", but I certainly did not.

ED: Though I have no idea why you wouldn't go 25/25/20 to maximise major/minor trait gain.

#10 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind said:

I'm not sure I'm so keen on the idea of having to travel back to a vendor and then pay to respec your character. Even if that's cheap, it locks you into a more specific role, which I don't really understand the need for, athough the classes are still all very flexible, it certainly isn't the "return of the trinity" as some over the top posts on the fansites have claimed.

But it only seems to exist to be a gold sink and to limit experimentation, which is a shame.

+1

I don't fully remember how it was in the original, but IIRC we were allowed to swap them around in non-dungeon areas.

#11 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

@UssjTrunks: Originally you earned respec points everytime you leveled up, but they eventually changed that, since people amassed so many of them anyway.

It's hard to know how these things will work without actually playing the game though, it's the type of thing you should leave feedback about in the beta, if you don't like.

#12 Posted by Benny (1953 posts) -

@UssjTrunks: @WinterSnowblind: They talked about wanting to have players grow into a natural style of play as they level so they made respeccing the way it currently is to discourage people from flip-flopping all the time on their way to 80. It sort of makes sense as if you were to compare it to something like WoW, taking gear out of the equation of course, imagine a dude on the fly deciding to spec as a healer having hardly ever played that build right before you start a dungeon. Might be a little annoying, whereas if he had to consciously decide to play that spec beforehand he would more likely know what he was doing since it was slightly more of an effort to spec that way.

And if you hardly ever respec as you level, your play style would quickly become second nature, akin to playing a basic character in a fighting game to get familiar with the mechanics before moving on to a more advanced one. you could similarly assume that people will grow into the cookie cutter builds of their class fairly easily and be more prepared for specialised builds later on. Arenanet have always said they want any logically made build to be useful, with more advanced builds for group PvP to be possible with proper teamwork too.

At the same time though, if I buy a skill and start to feel like it's my favourite thing ever it's a bit of a hassle to respec so I can build my character around it. Though how much hassle can it be in a game with fast travel? You open the map, click your city, fast travel, speak to a trainer, open the map, fast travel back to where you were.

On the subject of PvP builds, your character has a separate PvP build you can change whenever for free, but once you're in a PvP zone it's locked till the end of the match.

#13 Posted by Lotus (214 posts) -

Already have my first build setup, necro with 30 death magic to buff my minions and another 30 in blood magic so they can steal life with every hit :)

#14 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -
#15 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2570 posts) -

*Updates first post with video and reformatted levelling up explanation*

#16 Edited by SPeedy26 (38 posts) -

sounds great I still can't believe some ppl in the GW2 community thinks this will bring back the holy trinity........

about the respec thing it makes since imo because traits are suppose to be a choice with weight (and you can add more weight if theirs a little effort you have to go through to change it) but not have that "much" impact allowing you to not worry about it too much if your not using the weapon you trait-ed for I mean if you look at a trait and compare it to a skill the skill's are usually much better they remind me of perks from fallout 3 they seem to be in the game to help players fell a tad more unique. I know I'm gonna trait sword mastery on my warrior and never remove it even if I'm not using a sword (ha like that would happen)

can't wait to see if it works (I believe it will)

http://gw2.luna-atra.fr/skills_tool/?lang=en&code=34b8003n2o3p79ia70aaaaue1e3e41r222a2u

http://gw2.luna-atra.fr/skills_tool/?lang=en&code=2ae00192u2s1e2vbjka0fp6f6g6p7m7s7u

http://gw2.luna-atra.fr/skills_tool/?lang=en&code=3gb800kll3l0l4l970akaakbvc3c8cecqd1d5

my 3 main's builds

http://gw2.luna-atra.fr/skills_tool/?lang=en&code=282000s100v1h2d3500u00

my alt's build....kind of wired I have 3 mains and one alt :P

#17 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2570 posts) -

@SPeedy26: : P - methinks these should be put in the "Share your characters!" post.

And woah dude - swords to the MAX. Supposedly sword/sword and axe/sword are the highest single-target damage builds a warrior has (though a few say axe/axe), so I guess you're on to something.

I'm totally with you for sword/torch combo for guardian, but I'm waiting to experiment with zealot's flame. As for mesmer, I think I ended up with the same - sword/sword and greatsword.

#18 Posted by SPeedy26 (38 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic: my bad :P

should I delete this post then?

#19 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2570 posts) -

@SPeedy26: lol *shrug* I aint no mod.

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