Trait Theory

February 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 18 Comments
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The trait lines for elementalist.

I’m pretty sure one of the traits of a good game is customization. At the beginning of this blog I posted a lot about Runes of Magic. That game had a lot of faults but where it really shined was the customization. Customization in skills and roles, customization in both stat and cosmetic gear, and customization in what you did with your time.

Guild Wars 2 is looking like it will have a lot of customization.

On the surface you might get the impression that isn’t so. If you use a rifle on your engineer you’re always going to get those same five skills. Even when presented with the fact you could swap in engineer kits or use pistol and pistol/shield some people will probably remain a negative nancy.

But pushing past the weapons, there seems to be this whole other layer of customization. Traits seem to add the complexity that a lot of people have been looking for.

Giving you 70 trait points and then giving you 5 trait lines that go up to 30, unlocking major and minor traits along the way adds real and interesting choices to the game.

I can’ explain this better than the actual Arenanet blog post so I’m not going to try.

Here are a few things of note however. The training manual is an obvious gold sink. Being able to respec when you buy one is nice, but being able to respec at will is better.

What traits actually seem to do varies wildly and I love that aspect of them, I can’t wait to see a full list for every profession.

Yeah the only thing really disappointing me about this is that not only will I have to wait for Guild Wars 2 to release, I’ll have to wait until I get to level 15 before I can actually start adding traits.

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18 Comments

  1. I have been wondering why traits could need a gold sink, and what i have come up with is that without, there might be an tendency to have the Build Wars back.
    If respecing is to easy availeble, ArenaNet might have discovered, that when forming groups there was waisted alot of time prepering to play instead of playing.
    But thats the only reason i can really think off.

    btw waiting to get to lvl 16 to have traits, is like 5-10 hours off game time. I can see other waiting problems take the space.

    • I agree they have to strike a fine line between making it easy to try new builds but actually making you choose.

      If you can just amend them on the fly as you need to it makes the whole process pointless.

      • I really think its just an inconvenience with no real purpose other than to keep the economy in check. The choices are already interesting enough without adding the inconvenience factor.

    • In my opinion gold sinks often have little to do with gameplay, it’s probably just there as an economy thing.
      The waiting thing was a joke.

      • I actually happy to pay, just take the gold when I click the button. Don’t waste everyone’s time.

        • I’m sure some people feel the opposite, don’t mind returning to town but don’t charge them for it.

  2. Let people spec, and they can balance their group without having to go and do something which is all there going to have to do anyway – holding up the group. Like what you do when in GW and it turns out you don’t have the skill you want eh?

    Don’t go and copy wow in this aspect please, i hate it. Let me change at the start of a dungeon, or area, or before the pvp match, let me try to live with it for the duration.

    Adding the spec loading/saving out was absolutely awsome feature in GW, don’t know why you’d drop it.

    • I agree for the most part. I can recall dozens of times where I had to wait for ages for people to respec for a difficult instance, but i’d rather have the option than not.

    • Seems to me they could do something a bit like Rift. i.e. have a number of specs that you can switch between easily, but you have to visit a trainer in order to change those specs.

      Ideally, they would have separate tabbed pages for each spec each with its own armor dummy and you could set up the armour, default weapons and any other changeable factor for each spec together in one place.

      TBH i’m a little bemused by how it appears to work ATM, because I thought one of the ideas of GW2 was that you could easily switch between different playstyles for your character so that groups can adopt different strategies. For instance, you might expect different weapon setups to work better with different traits, so this setup would make it disadvantageous to change your load out.

      Why is “some sense of permanence” important? I wouldn’t have thought that was important at all – just imagine if they had done that for GW1 builds!? In any case presumably the respec fee will be flat and not too onerous, so there won’t be a sense of permanence anyway.

      • You make a lot of good points here but I’m not sure I want the Rift style of speccing, guild wars always seemed much more fluid than that.
        If it is, as they say, a small fee that would be fine. But we have no way of knowing just how much they plan on charging.

  3. Can’t wait to get to try it… Tired of all the speculations. So tired…. So.. tired…… #Defeated#

    • Yes if only there was a beta you could get into…

  4. btw, I expect two updates a week now, thanks anet. Look forward to tomorrows update.

    • Don’t get your hopes up.

  5. I’m very excited about it, after looking at videos and the wiki it seems(actually is) traits also can affect none weapon related things like dodge, signets and prof. mechanics. Paying in game currency is fine for me since it seems to be missing ways to sink it, I also love the new Attributes since its made to expand on the mechanics of the game itself.
    (So Excited!!!)

    • I’m not the type to freak out over a gold sink, like some places, but I do agree that respeccing should be free. Just my opinion.

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