Skilled Labour

November 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 8 Comments
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The G*Star convention, a Korean gaming convention, is under way in Seoul and Arenanet has made a number of small changes to the demo of Guild Wars 2 as a result. Their full blog post on the subject is here.

Regular readers of this blog have probably seen plenty about the customization features in Guild Wars 2, and if not here, perhaps you’ve seen Tigerfeets series of infographics showing off each races selection of options.

I’ve always been one to prefer a directed and detailed video from the source than a fan video from a convention, which is why I’m linking the video below.

Aside from the video there is only one thing I want to talk about in the blog post, their new skill learning mechanic.

While Ravious over at Kill Ten Rats is squirming over the similarity these skill challenges have to normal MMO quests, my problem is the grind for skill points.

I couldn’t care less about any feeling of a return to quests. There is always going to be some element of questing, even in dynamic events.

It’s the building up of small amounts of a resource until you finally have a skill that sort of bugs me. I really like the feeling of just plain unlocking a skill all at once. I guess I’m not playing the right genre of game if that is so, I mean MMOs are all about slow progression, but I’ve always preferred skills as quest rewards or similar.

That’s why I liked the idea of the old system where traits were rewarded instead of these new skill points. But I do completely understand their reasoning. Their new system does keep people together in groups instead of splitting people up and I admit that is fairly clever.

In any case as long as it’s fun, I don’t anticipate it being much of a problem. It really depends on the implementation.



  1. Regarding the skill challenges I’ll use a quite from Steve Jobs, “You can’t wait for what the customer always wants. By the time you figure it out and create it, they want some thing else. ” So far the challenges fir kills seem just fine. It would be great to make a few of them very class specific i.e. a hunter has to trap certain animals or an engineer has to read some science manuals. Arena Net has done really great so far, I’m going to trust them out on this.

    • As far as I understood the blog post there won’t be a thing like profession specific skill “quests” because this would splitt the player base into the eight professions.
      But I agree with Hunter, I also don’t want to run behind this stupid skill points. On the other hand I just trust in ANet that I allways will have enough skill points to get the skills that I want. Look at GW1: was there a point you didn’t have enough points to purchase the skills you needed?
      About the slow unlocking/learning thing in MMOs: I think this is also expanding into allmost every genre at the moment. Take shooters. In BF2 there was more or less no such thing. And now look at BF3. Not to speak of CoD:MW, where weapons allways were to unlock. But in MW3 this has beeing expanded and in my opinion is really confusing, at least at start. I’ve been playing my UMP45 for three days now and still have loads to unlock for it. It even has levels. I mean, this is PvP!
      (By the way I just speak about PvP in the shooters I mentioned. I don’t play the campaigns in shooters.)

      • They want to make everything smooth and straight forward, and instead they implement this skill point thing? I don’t get it. Whats the point if skill points are so easy to get?

    • I don’t mind the challenges but I’d prefer just a straight up skill reward. Everyones saying skill points are doled out quite a bit but I don’t see the point if so.

  2. Those of the korean demo have said you seem to get alot of points thru normal play which leads me to believe that many of them are part of the main large events, would not be surprised if the Dragon/general boss chains would reward you with points.
    Basically I think they will be everywhere.

    • Maybe so, and even if I don’t like skill points, it isn’t going to be a big deal or annoying to use, i just wish skills were a straight forward acquisition.

  3. I don’t like being “gated” away from the full capacity of a character by any sort of grind mechanic. Gear grind, skill point grind, level grind, …it’s all the same to me.
    The folks who love their hamster wheels will of course say there is nothing to be concerned about… and perhaps, in this instance, they *might* be correct. Some comments from helpful Koreans who have played the more recent demo seem to suggest that the acquisition of the skill points is nearly omni present, which would suggest very limited, or no, grindiness to the system at all. I hope this is the case.
    I recognize that the PVE/hamster wheel folks wouldn’t be happy with anything like what will happen with the competitive PVP where all skills and gear are immediately accessible, and it is the skill of the player (not the gear of the character) that is the fundamental determinant for success, but I would still like to be able to access the full capacity of my character without having to slog through any sort of gating grind to get it. Even in PVE it would be such a breath of fresh air for the genre to have my skill and knowledge of the game be the primary factor that determines what I can, and cannot, accomplish in the game world.
    The weapon skill acquisition mechanic still annoys me greatly as well, but everytime I comment on it anywhere the replies always include some form of “don’t sweat it, the skills come very quickly… you’ll hardly even notice that they are being withheld from you for no apparent reason.”
    Hopefully, the utility skills will also “come very quickly” and I will “hardly even notice” that they are also being withheld from me until some ridiculous gating mechanic is satisfied.

    • I guess their argument is that they want to teach you how to use skills as you proceed through the game but I don’t find skill point acquistion equals learning to use a skill.

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