Guild Wars 2 is in dire traits

Observation the first: “Dire” is an extremely fun word to use in almost any context.  “Those are dire scrambled eggs, mom!”

Observation the second: ArenaNet has made the look of Guild Wars 2 — especially its UI — so elegant and attractive that the competition looks downright shoddy in comparison.

Observation the third: I think I’m going to like GW2’s character growth system, AKA “traits.”  Not prepared to say LOVE it, but it got my attention.

ArenaNet posted an overview of how you’ll be able to modify your character as he or she levels up.  In a nutshell: Every level you get a point to spend in one of five trait lines for your class.  Each point increases two stats for your class.  Every fifth point unlocks a fixed, minor trait ability, and every tenth point gives you the choice of a major trait ability from a list.  It’s not terribly complicated, which is good, and it’s not quite a talent tree, which is probably also good at this point.

My initial impressions after looking at this was “Warhammer Online”, although EverQuest II’s AA system looked somewhat similar.  But it’s definitely more focused with just a few juicy rewards instead of loads of modifying ones.  Due to the number of points you’ll ultimately end up with, you’ll be able to max out two trait lines with some left over (or settle for a lesser amount across a greater range).  This should be pretty familiar to Guild Wars 1 players, since you’d be able to max out two lines there per class as well.

I can’t see spending gobs of time obsessing over the trait page, but it certainly opens up choice without seeming like it’s going to pigeonhole us into specific builds (although, give the community time on that, I know).  I really do like that we’ll get to CHOOSE a major trait ability from a list versus just having one handed to us.  Every ten levels promises to be a major event in your character’s life.

Yeah.

So.

Can this game come out already?  I can make room in my gaming schedule, promise.

10 thoughts on “Guild Wars 2 is in dire traits

  1. Rinvan February 29, 2012 / 12:55 pm

    Yeah I want GW2 to come out now. I don’t know if my combo of LOTRO & Skyrim can last until the fall or whenever it will get released.

  2. Syl February 29, 2012 / 1:43 pm

    It is indeed very impressive; I’ve spent some time looking at this on youtube and also other features like the dye system. I kept thinking “welcome to the future!” ^^

  3. ScytheNoire February 29, 2012 / 3:36 pm

    GW2Tools.com lets you play with the trait calculator now. I’ve noticed that they often depend, or favour, using certain weapons with certain traits. Never required, but options in there for it.

  4. Attic Lion February 29, 2012 / 3:49 pm

    Except with this revision traits are bloody talent trees now. I don’t see how anyone could say differently. They serve the exact same function: splitting up the classes into developer approved specs. Providing more of an illusion of choice than actual choice.

    This change not only takes away player choice but also runs contra to the stated goal of allowing all players access to all combat roles regardless of class at any given time. Now it looks like you can only get a maximum of 2 roles and if you want access to the other then by golly you’re either going to be gimped and like it or you’ll have to travel back to town to respec. Gee whiz I’ve never had to go visit an NPC to change my role before, how innovative and fun!

    I fully understand why specs are appealing to developers (easier to balance, etc) but this new system feels like a step down from the former AND I find that the added inconvenience of not being able to fulfill any role I want without incurring a time and currency penalty infuriating when that freedom and convenience was one of the major draws for me. I could swallow the spec pill if they also weren’t trying to replace the freedom and convenience pill with a suppository.

  5. ArcherAvatar February 29, 2012 / 7:29 pm

    I thought Jon Peters did an outstanding job on the blog post, and I really enjoyed reading it … and re-reading it … and… man! I really can’t wait to get my hands on this game, and more details on it’s systems! This is like the anticipation of every childhood Christmas rolled into one for me!

  6. Hadron March 1, 2012 / 12:03 am

    I’m and interested in seeing how this system is going to interact with skills and weapon swapping. I see most of the “in the field” build variation and spec changing to come from weapon swapping.

  7. notfrancois March 2, 2012 / 7:32 am

    ” I find that the added inconvenience of not being able to fulfill any role I want without incurring a time and currency penalty infuriating when that freedom and convenience was one of the major draws for me.”

    I’m also disappointed about the time/money punishment for experimenting and trying to find empirically the best solutions. I well understand the need for money sinks but it never should be on the learning part of games otherwise we just turn into zombies-copy-pasters-googlers.

    It something which now contaminates every games and I had hoped GW2 would be different. Having to make decisions without the IG elements to take them wisely (or equations being given) and then punishing for experimenting.

    I also discovered this week that there’s a vertical stats/gear progression at WvW endgame and now I’m not sure anymore that skill will be > stats. I thought GW2 was different than the “super size me” MMO out there but I fear it wont be as Learn-proof and Social-proof as I hopped.

  8. Attic Lion March 2, 2012 / 2:18 pm

    “I also discovered this week that there’s a vertical stats/gear progression at WvW endgame and now I’m not sure anymore that skill will be > stats. I thought GW2 was different than the “super size me” MMO out there but I fear it wont be as Learn-proof and Social-proof as I hopped.”

    I thought they were going with stat caps in WvW?

    Truly these are dark times. Where, even in a subscriptionless game, developers try so very hard to include such niggling timesinks and betray their own stated core ideals at the drop of a hat seemingly just so that they can make their jobs easier. It seems to be a poor return.

    I challenge anyone to go read the article on the original trait system and the more recent blog post; then tell me that the new system is not a downgrade in fun and interesting-ness.

  9. Roq March 7, 2012 / 4:54 am

    Currently, approaching beta, we are at the highest peak on the hype train, where anything that the devs do is rubber stamped by a lot of fans, without too much thought.

    However, I think it’s clear to many that the original intended design for the trait system, where weapon traits were not tied to attribute lines was a lot more flexible and interesting and the kind of traits they had in mind affected the 5 fixed skills on each weapon, and allowed, for more individual customisation. Now the traits are a bit meh, really.

    Possibly the devs backed away from the original ideas, as after what happened with skills in GW1 they are very wary about balance issues, possibly it’s a time issue, as now they are intent on release. But, as Attic Lion says the result is a talent tree, not much different from the industry norm.

    It’s not the fee for changing your attributes which is the issue, as many seem to think, since they could have done that with the original trait system as well and gold sinks are good, but the fact that this new system limits weapon swapping, skill swapping and even pet swapping for rangers or attunement switching for eles, whilst out of combat. It’s not that you can’t do those things now, just that if you go outside the narrow parameters, you lose your trait buffs.

    Hardly the end of the world, just not one of the best systems in the game; and likely enough they’ll iterate it a bit, if they find the time before release.

  10. xamotdb April 27, 2012 / 2:00 pm

    Good read, I hope to see more. I’ll be participating in this weekend’s beta and doing my own writeup over at fragsandbeer.wordpress.com
    come check it out and see you all in game.

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