Monday, 20 August 2012

The Countdown: 6 Days

Six days left until the release of Guild Wars 2 and now we are under a week away from the pre-purchase head start. ArenaNet have also released a news post on the Guild Wars 2 website's news section detailing the exact times that the servers will go live based on the Pacific Time they always seem to use called "The Final Countdown". My brother and I have made a plan based on these times on the current time in the UK; the UK is currently in BST (British Summer Time) which is GMT + 1, this means that the servers should be up for 8am. We have decided to get an early night on the friday to get up early on the saturday before the game's release to get on the servers "up to 3 hours prior" to the release time (based on ArenaNet's predictions). Anyway, without further ado; onto today's topic - the skill system.
The Skill System

Guild Wars 2 has a rather unique skill system, at first glance it would seem to be very similar to that of other games in the genre, however this is not the case. The main factor which pulls the skill system away from other MMOs is that the first five skills (the skills on the left of the health globe) are entirely based on which weapon (or weapon combination) your character has equipped. This means that every skill within Guild Wars 2 is weapon orientated meaning you can choose which weapon you want to use based on the skills that come with it. Another good factor about these five skills is that you can unlock them very quickly and will be able to get all of the skills with your preferred weapon before too long, this is a heavily discussed subject since people feel that there are only five skills and they are fast to unlock meaning that you'll have to use these five skills (ten when the weapon swap has been put into account and twenty-five if the player is an elementalist) for eighty levels or more.
"All of the skills on the action bar have a default key-binding which can be altered based on player preference..."
Many people believe however that the skills are enjoyable enough to use, especially with the ability to dodge and weapon swap to enjoy for the duration of the game. I agree, the combat generally feels so new and fresh with each hit being really felt with the almost perfect sound design that eighty levels should be thoroughly enjoyed without issue.

The five skills on the right hand side of the health globe have yet another important function. The first is a healing skill, every profession has a healing skill, the second, third and forth skills are what is known as "utility skills" and are unlocked with the progression of your character and the spending of skill points either through leveling up or collected around Tyria. The fifth skill on the action bar is what is known as an "elite skill" this is again, bought through skill points and has many unique functions all of which are very powerful when used at the correct time. There are also skills (F1 through F4) which are profession based skills, dependant on the profession there are from one to four of these skills. The Ranger has pet controls here for example. All of the skills on the action bar have a default key-binding which can be altered based on player preference, for example I preferred having my healing skill on "Q", my elite skill on "E", my weapons swap on "SHIFT" and my "F1" ability on "R" because all of the abilities were easier to get to (since I am used to the source based control scheme). That is all for now, the next topic will be up before the day is out to get us back into the countdown sync.

Picture to follow.