December 1, 2010 at 5:55 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 11 Comments
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With every big announcement about Guild Wars 2 comes a torrent of interviews. I usually try to pick out interesting quotes and provide commentary. In this case, there is no big announcement exactly, but Ravious over at Kill Ten Rats got an interview (part 1 here) that goes over skills. Considering the controversy surrounding that information I don’t see why I shouldn’t go over the interview.

Don’t you hate it when you don’t find spelling mistakes until the next day? It’s so annoying. I may not pride myself on grammar but I can spell things correctly for crying out loud.

Oh right, the interview.

“there are some very varying heal skills that really change what you are going to do with your character.”

As an example, Peters brought up two of the warrior heal skills shown in the demos. Healing Surge heals the warrior and gives him adrenaline. Healing Signet heals the warrior on use, but also provides extra health regeneration when the signet is not recharging. Healing Surge makes for a very aggressive warrior because he is ramping up adrenaline for the burst skill so much faster than other warriors. Conversely, Peters said that when warriors are using Healing Signet they basically ignore all the little plinks, and they can keep plowing through mobs or players until the warrior gets focus fired upon.

This is the sort of thing I personally like to hear about. Completely different play styles based on small differences in skills. A variety of gameplay even if you’re on the same character doing the same stuff. Just switch out a skill and it’s a whole new ballgame catering to your preferences.

They spend a brief moment explaining that they want player builds to almost always be useful, where in Guild Wars most builds were not. As much as I agree that’s one reason for the change to 5 skills based on the weapons you’re holding, I always think about what they’re not saying. They’re not saying that one of their reasons for switching it up is to cater to a lower common denominator. There is a bar for entry I wish they’d acknowledge, it always seems like they’re trying to spin the subject by focusing on one positive reason and ignoring anything negative. They’re right to change, it just irks me.

Yet, the weapon skills in Guild Wars 2 could be compared to elite skills in Guild Wars because they made the character. Players built around the elite skills in Guild Wars, and in Guild Wars 2 players will be building around their weapon choices.

It is a simplification, but to me it’s a welcome one. Sure messing around with the complexity of skills is fun, but, I think most people settle into builds for long periods anyway. Only the wretchedly hardcore could possibly complain that more people will more quickly understand how to make decent builds and more quickly play at a competent level.

Bit of a tangent. Moving on.

An obliterated battlefield torn apart by a tornado perhaps? Well, more likely war and stuff.

Traits interact with skills in a really heavy way. He then gave the example of two identically skilled sword warriors. One warrior can take a trait that makes every sword attack cause the bleeding condition, and the other warrior takes a trait that causes Savage Leap to recharge twice as fast. The first warrior becomes a super pressure character, and the second warrior becomes a highly mobile melee attacker jumping around the map.

I suppose this flies in the face of what I’ve just said about simplification. I guess I just think at a base level it certainly seems easier to get into, and as you move into traits it seems like some of the depth of Guild Wars is still there. hard to say without actually playing the game I suppose.

“Every single elite is either a big shapeshift, or summoning some crazy weapon, or summon a bundle. There are no elites that don’t change how you play in a very drastic way.”

This is actually a pretty interesting quote. Each elite is something like this? If we think about the elites we’ve seen, they’ve been pretty big show stoppers. Every one of them is like this? I get that elites are supposed to be special, “moments of power”, but I don’t know whether to nerdily exclaim “epic!” or wonder just how overpowered this is going to be. I just hope there is variety. I can certainly think of a couple of elites we’ve seen that don’t transform people or summon anything. I think. Rampage As One for the ranger makes you invulnerable and increases your damage, Destruction makes your warrior do AoE damage, but no transformations. Of course I can think of a bunch that do. Oh well early days.

If an opponent throws an elite first, and a player can trick the opponent in to using it improperly, it’s game over.

Good PvP is often a mind game, guessing what your opponent is up to and either blocking their attempt, undermining it, or outright destroying them. I like this.

Peters said that with an elementalist, he isn’t going to pop a Tornado unless they really, really need it. Then all it might do is delay the inevitable. However, when the boss unexpectedly summons a bunch of other guys, popping a Tornado gives the group more time to react to the new change.

I suppose this is the kind of thing that makes me think about whether or not elites should be less powerful and used more often. Just sitting on a skill and not using it (PvP is a whole different ball game) seems self-defeating. I’m not going to frighten my AI opponent into anything by not using my elite. They make a good case for elites as moments of power, but I’m not entirely convinced yet.

Anyway kudos to Ravious on a job well done. Do I contradict myself enough? I don’t think I do. Or maybe I don’t.



  1. The interview made me wonder. So the skills are not uber-powerful but they complete change the way people play – so what, they are still powerful/extreme then.

    They also never mentioned how long a “long recharge” skill will recharge. People reported 90 min recharge skills on Gamescom.

    I think they could not give more info, apparently they are still working a lot on skill design and balance. I just feel that 30-60+ min recharge skills are dead weight on the bar. I use the 60 min recharge “Strength of Morale” skill in LOTRO to give me a 2nd life (huge health boost) for some fights, in combo with a 30 min recharge skill that does something similar I can go crazy once or twice per hour.

    Maybe a wonder-elite-skill is awesome, but we have 10 slots, and 5 are tied to the weapon we use. We can use weapon swapping, between two sets, so basically 10 set skills we can use and 5 of our choice, and one of them is the elite skill with a longish recharge? Hm.

    The more I read about this and the more I thought about it I felt that a proper discussion about something described so vaguely is almost impossible if not pointless.

    • as ravious said below, 720 seconds was the longest recharge i saw.

      I will agree that until we have very specific information on the game getting too deep into discussion about it is pointless.

      doesn’t mean we can’t speculate and have fun with it.

  2. Longasc, I’m pretty sure the longest was 12 min (720 seconds). I could be wrong though. Some were 6 min.

  3. I just hope the GW2 elites are all useful. Many of those in GW1 I capture, try to think of some build I might actually use them with, and then are put away, never to be seen on my bar again.

    • they said in the interview there are only about 8 elites per profession, half the number of gw. Couple in that they’re meant to be game changers, and i think we can expect a greater ratio of useful elites.

  4. They had awesome interview. KTR rocks and so do you Hunter

    • why no play minecraft no more? 😦 you didn’t finish the strip mine, and now there is a trail half way to it.

  5. I’m kinda liking this, the game seems like it’ll be way more balanced than in GW1 and even better, people can play their classes to the actual theme instead of for example an SoS sin for example.

    It’s a well known fact that Anet uses the CCG mentality when it comes to the skill bar and this just takes it up to a whole new level, a “limit break” of sort is really nice. I can already see how hardcore pvp will be very strategic, I’m sure it’ll be fun to watch the pros.

    All in all I’m still a little lost as to how this will turn out in the live game, but optimistically I think they’ll really balance it out.

    • I agree that it does seem more balanced for the most part.

      I’m not sure gw2 is very CCG any more, seems pretty stretched to keep comparing it to that, although there are some remaining elements of it.

      Yeah i feel pretty lost too. Its just a matter of actually getting our hands on the game.

      • Yea, hopefully soon we’ll see some actual ingame demos of the mechanics of these systems, I don’t think it was all that clear the point they were trying to convey.

  6. […] [Hunters Insight] QFT: KTR Pt.2 […]

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