No Secondaries, No Problem?

June 29, 2010 at 7:55 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 22 Comments
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With the glut of information that Arenanet started releasing about Guild Wars 2 came some fairly surprising twists. One of the most major was the revelation there would be no secondary professions. Gone is one of the biggest staples of Guild Wars.

No more healing your minions with the monk’s Heal Area skill, no more ranger touchers (unless anet decides they like the play style and incorporates it somehow) and no more Wammos (unless you count the possible new melee heavy armoured monk as a wammo).

And you know what? No more constant community whining about how skills get rebalanced and boohoo QQ I can’t blah blah blah anymore. I hate you anet 4eva! Rage quit!

Personally I only took advantage of my secondary profession for at most one skill per build usually. Although I was never a big experimenter. It was difficult enough (and yes I got lazy after a while) at times to coordinate attribute points into your Primary attribute lines, let alone your Secondary.

I admit the community at large could usually put together a staggering array of skills that championed exactly how the secondary was supposed to be used. But damn did it ever get abused.

Take for instance the Sabway healer. Utilizing the Soul Reaping primary attribute of the necromancer to keep energy up, you’d fill your skill bar with almost entirely ritualist skills. Or how about the permanent Shadow Form, or a dozen other builds.

Over and over Anet would nerf these types of builds, sometimes the same skills numerous times. Which would always lead to a wave of bitching and moaning for weeks afterward. I can’t imagine how many man hours it actually takes to balance and test skills so that they can work as planned.

How much content could they have worked on instead of worrying about skill balance?

I won’t even get into the terrible builds an inexperienced player might put together utilizing skills from their secondary. I’m sure we’ve all seen it.

Lets not forget just how nerfed some primary professions became as a result of secondary skills. The mesmers fast casting wasn’t so fast anymore. Soul Reaping didn’t reap as many souls. I could go on but I think you get the picture.

Here is to professions living up to their full potential.

I don’t think as many people are as upset about this as I thought there would be either. The forums took it in relative stride, there doesn’t appear to be anyone rebelling against authority over it.

We get these fancy stand-ins for secondary professions too. Racial skills, traits, and different weapons that change your skills. The diversity of a build won’t be too hampered by the lack of a secondary.

Am I wrong? I couldn’t care less that there are no secondary professions in Guild Wars 2. Is anybody missing them?



  1. I’m not missing them. My largest barrier for rolling a new profession is agonizing about which secondary to choose. I don’t like the Nightfall beginner island, the Cantha city is depressing, and if I make a mistake it’ll be a LONG time in Prophecies before I can change it up.

    Secondary professions are a source of anxiety for me (as neurotic as that sounds). I want to go build a necromancer. I’m trying to concentrate on learning how the three different playstyles work and now I have to think about which secondary I should choose? I don’t need that kind of pressure maaaaan!

    At least choosing a race is much easier. The racial skills won’t be game-breakingly powerful. I can choose charr because I like the look and the flavor and not have to agonize because I don’t have Arcane Blast.

    • Hmmm if only you could choose a secondary race. I’m sure you’d be charr/charr though.

      you know what you should do is level a canthan to twenty and then switch it over to nightfall, i guess. have you tried that?

      • I’d probably be charr/asura 😉 I rather like the asura too.

        I should try that with my assassin 🙂

  2. No secondaries! Woohoo! I’m always getting tired of seeing Ranger Rits running around carrying rit staves. Sure, it’s an effective build, but Rangers are supposed to use bows… not a staff.

    But I honestly won’t miss them. I tend to not use secondary profession skills anyway.Except on my ranger, where I use a splinter barrage build. I can’t wait to see more racial skills and the weapon choices for the ranger.

    • i’m the same way. Won’t miss them because barely used em.

  3. I’m going to miss them. Running a Ritualist/Necromancer through all 4 campaigns was the best gaming experience I’ve had in a long time. Necro-mains of all kinds got nerfed over and over, but the Rit/Necro has been riding easy.

    • but you admit that it got abused right? i think they needed to change it.

  4. We will have other types of skills like race skills.
    Secondaries will make it too complex.

    • true, secondaries would make it insane with new additions like race skills and traits.

  5. While I’m a huge fan of the diversity that secondary professions brought to the table in guild wars, I think the inclusion of inter-profession combos went a long way towards silencing any of the people who would QQ about loss of secondary professions

    • ah good point the combos do look interesting so far, just wish we had more examples of them

      • I think that half the point of guilds in GW2 is so you can run with the builds that complement you, and vice versa.

  6. I have to agree with Shongaqu, as I am a bit of a build nerd myself and really enjoyed that aspect of Guildwars. Also it gives me something to do while I am standing in town working on my drunkard title, other than watching trade or the local chat flame wars.
    With all they have said about attributes, traits, weapon sets, and inter-profession skill combos. I am fairly confident that for those of us that do enjoy crunching the numbers and finding the synergies, there will be plenty to compensate for the lack of the secondary profession.
    Not to mention I imagine it is going to really help streamline gameplay when we don’t have to stand in town for half an hour trying to balance our teams.

    The only reservation I have about it really, and I admit its not much, is that in just about every MMO I have played that has single profession characters there is almost always a class or two that are shunned over others. They cant compete with the OP mages, or their heals arent big enough etc. But I am fairly confident in Anet’s ability to balance all the professions and make them all viable.

    • remember the warrior and scout in RoM? talk about shunned.

      • Yeah case in point exactly. It’s like they make the holy trinity, and then everything else is there just to create the illusion that there is diversity and options.

  7. I’ve only been playing GW for a short while, but I thought the inclusion of secondary professions was a breath of fresh air. But if they’re not going to have them in GW2, I’m sure they have good reasons and the devs will adjust mechanics accordingly.

    • Indeed. it really is unique as far as I know. Just wish it couldn’t be so heavily abused.

  8. The thing that worries me is that I have to make an ele if I want to play around with eles a little bit. Instead of having just a main that can play around, I now need to create and level one character of every profession – what happens if there’s a combo I need of race, and profession to farm or play well with? I need to create a new character and level that too? It all sounds very ridged; it was like the 55 when it first came out. If you wanted anything you had to make one, there are all sorts of viable farming builds now but back then it was just Mo, I don’t want that again. I was lucky last time.

  9. Anyway, I guess I am just trying to point out that Anets getting very ridge in the way its doing things and that makes me think of WOW. In wow you have all your skills with you at all times, and there’s one way of playing those skills to maximum effect. I expect GW2 is going this way, and that disappoints me. I want the comparison with MTG to stay. I want to collect my skills, and be able to mix and match to make smart builds, and dumb builds (without them there are no smart builds). I suspect I am going to be disappointed in that I cannot experement easly as the skills have been locked into each profession and race. I am going to be disappointed as getting each skill is just a matter of gold, I like the talent collection which is promising – sort of they just sound like quests (I dont care if he doesnt like calling it that, his description amounts to a quest).

    • Honestly if people can’t create bots to farm the rarest items by using gimmick builds I’m all for it. And like I said in the post, mixing and matching traits, weapons, skills, and other peoples builds is going to be diversity enough for me. Also they said skills can drop and be rewarded from quests.

  10. Hum, it seems like we are going to lose some of the things that made Guild Wars different. Hopefully this will make class balance much easier.

    • I completely agree, if we have to lose out on it, at least class balance won’t be as big an issue.

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