[GW2] Questing for Skills

Lots of neat tidbits in the latest ArenaNet blog post including UI changes, character customization stuff, and skill quests. Okay, so that’s not what they’re called. “Skill challenges” is the official title, but this new system for getting the non-weapon skills unlocked has me squirming a little. Flannum writes:

Skill points can be acquired by undertaking what we call a skill challenge. There are 200 skill challenges in the game, and they range from defeating tough opponents, to answering riddles, to drinking a particularly potent drink.

He goes on to say that this is an evolution of one of their earlier profession specific “challenges” because this new iteration allows for players to group up to do a skill challenge together, regardless of profession makeup. Sounds pretty good, until I looked at the picture. That’s a lot of things to unlock.

What has me squirming is the necessity in Guild Wars 2 to be versatile. Weapon switching goes a long way, and it is truly the meat and potatoes of the desired role a player chooses. Yet, the supporting sides have to be tasty with the main dish. A throwing spear pickle goes great with my sword-and-board burger, but I’d rather not have that accompaniment with my long-range chicken’n’dumplings. So I am forced do extra skill challenges to make sure that my utility sides match up to each of my main weapon bars and roles.

I am also squirming because these ‘skill challenges’ sound like vanilla-MMO quests pushing their way back in. The personal story “quest” was a tad different because it had significant purpose beyond the quest mechanic. The personal story was about the journey. Skill challenges are going to be about the reward for doing a small activity. It compounds in to the danger zone because unlike so many vanilla MMO quests, doing skill challenges are going to be crucial for character development.

I feel also that something is lost by moving from profession challenges to all-purpose skill challenges. Profession challenges could have been constructed more as skill puzzles specific to the profession. They could have been used as “tutorials” in a way for each profession. Now, it just sounds like a quest.

There are way too many assumptions to make to really say anything but this system feels dangerous. How easy is it to get skill points? Are they along the path of story and zone events, or out of the way? Is this going to just be wiki fodder so people are just trying to hunt down skill challenges so they can get a skill instead of enjoying the challenge? How many skill challenges need to be completed to get full unlocks? What is the design goal for the character level for full unlocks? Will WvW fanatics have to constantly break from their world crushing to head out and complete these mundane tasks?

I know that when I played the dungeon during Guild Wars 2 Fan Day, if I did not have all the utilities I had available, there was no way I could have beat the portions of the explorable mode we did. I am also worried about this getting more players looking for community-approved leveling builds instead of just picking what’s cool. The more time and effort needed to unlock skills, without a refund or takeback, the less likely players are going to pick a skill that sounds cool.

Like most of what ArenaNet shows, this type of system would be best shown and related by actual players. It’s going to be an issue of getting it to feel right for Guild Wars 2, and with ArenaNet’s dedication to iteration, I hope that the next time I hear how this system has progressed, been tested, or been played I won’t get any squirmy feeling. This design is really edging a danger zone due to the necessity of the advancement. I hope in the end it adds more fun than work.

–Ravious

38 thoughts on “[GW2] Questing for Skills”

  1. It makes my spider senses tingle, too. But I’m not worried yet; there are too many things we don’t know.

    1. How quickly can they be acquired? Will an Indiana Jones style quest across three locations only grab us a single skill point, or will just drinking an Asura Mixologist’s newest cocktail give us a half dozen?

    2. How commonplace are they? Are we likely to pick up enough points for a new build just in the course of wandering from dynamic event to dynamic event, or will we have to go out of our way specifically to get skill points?

    3. Does a skill challenge give us anything if we don’t need skill points or if we’ve already done it once? In other words, is there a reason to help my friend round up Gligg’s mutant oysters if I’ve already done it with two other friends, or if I’ve already unlocked all my skills?

  2. I think it all comes down to how much these “quests” will be really a challenge and an how many points an average player will typically need.

    If most players can get those points what they need by normal playing, by pursuing events and by exploring the world, then it could be mostly an augmenting experience, maybe in ideal case the average player do not even need to check what he needs to do to get the next skill point. So in that case it would be like an alternative achievement system, which actually rewards skill points.

    However, if these are really going to be challenges, which actually divert players from the path they would normally follow, just to get the next skillpoint, then this system can be maybe more detrimental. Event system sounds so good, that everything that diverts the attention to a different style of playing is just not that attractive.

  3. I’m in a poor mood and I’m tired, so this is going to sound considerably more negative than it might otherwise…

    I’m not liking ANYTHING about the skill acquisition system for GW2 as it currently stands.

    I think that “teaching” me how to hit the #1 hotkey ten times before allowing me access to the #2 hotkey skill for a weapon is bordering on insulting, and at the very minimum is tedious until all skills for a particular weapon are accessed (at which point you then have to repeat the whole process with the next weapon.)

    And I feel like the utility skill acquisition incompletely discribed thus far smells suspiciously like a “gear grind” from other MMOs, effectively “gating” players away from the full potential of their characters until certain time consuming “tasks” are performed.

    My comments on other sites have already been “voted down” or otherwise dismissed, so I realize I’m in the minority on this topic, but I still feel strongly that this is the ONE aspect of GW2’s developing that has taken a wrong turn… at least for me.

    Everytime the weapon skill system (in it’s current form) is discussed I hear Colin Johanson saying, “I swung sword… then I swung a sword again.” and I can’t help but cringe at the irony. What happened to “we want to make a game that avoids the usual grinds” and “player skill should be the primary determinant for success.” Introducing *skill grind* instead of *gear grind* is suppose to make it ok?

    I find this entire aspect of the game’s development extremely frustrating, and apparently it’s only trending worse instead of getting any better.

    I’m still a fan of ArenaNet as a developer (best company out there imo.) and I’m still eagerly looking forward to GW2’s release since there are so many aspects of the game that I absolutely love. However, that doesn’t mean I’m simply going to give them a “free pass” on a design decision that I think ultimately detracts from an otherwise excellent gaming experience.

    ANet likes to talk about how much they iterate… well… this would be an excellent opportunity for them to demonstrate that tendency. The skill acquisition system does NOT look good… please try again.

    1. Utility skill acquisition is done by points, so you can unlock the skills in whatever order you want, provided you get the right number of points for the one you want. Haven’t seen it in action yet, but you’re able to pick a basic set and branch out from there.

      The weapon skill acquisition is anything but grind. Watching one of the demos from G-Star, one dev had all his weapon skills for his default set unlocked by the time he’d completed the “tutorial event.” That is, in less than five minutes, he had unlocked four weapon skills and was on his way for a fifth (in the next set over). Your concern over the matter makes me think you know something about grind, so compare that to other MMOs.
      For reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFfgpmUYooI

  4. To ArcherAvatar: While I agree broadly with you, I recommend watching the G-star demo video that’s floating around. The process of learning all the skills for a given weapon seems to be very short indeed, and I think it serves its purpose (of letting you play with each skill in turn rather than just having a bunch of skills dumped on you) just fine.

    On the other hand, I agree that the new direction for the non-weapon skills seems problematic in the extreme. The idea of going and fighting some undead guys to learn more Necro skills/traits was fun and added flavor to the process. Simply running off to a corner of the world to do some arbitrary task and gain generic skill points just sounds like a gamey chore. I see no benefit to be gained from this system that couldn’t be gotten better another way.

    The fact that these events are out of the way isn’t the issue – as fun secrets you can stumble upon they’re just that, fun and optional. The problem is combining this with character progression gating, as Ravious points out. I’m sure there is some way to decouple these systems and avoid this issue – i.e. keep these events in as optional title granting challenges, and let players learn skills by just playing the game. Perhaps when you mouse over these skills they could just tell you the challenge required to unlock them? I.e. “kill 5 snared foes to unlock throw bola”. This would allow players to work towards unlocking these skills during their normal play and using their preferred style of play – nor would they need to leave their friends to do so.

    I hope that like energy potions, this will be a temporary solution that eventually gets replaced after testing. There’s time.

    1. The challenges unlock points, not the skills themselves, if I remember right. So having a list of challenges (which the wiki would compile pretty quickly anyway) would probably be sufficient.

      1. But I’m interested in GW2 *precisely because* I’m sick of going to the wiki for lists of chores that need doing, before I can get down to playing how I want.

        The whole system just feels out of place in the context of GW2. We already have the karma system and dungeons where we can “work” for character progression – this additional system just seems unnecessary, IMO.

  5. What was so wrong with the idea of getting skill points as you level?

    Thou, I think we need to wait for them to give us more details. Personally, I give them the benefit of the doubt.

    1. Heh. I give them the benefit of the doubt too – when it comes to correcting their mistakes. But mistakes there have been, and will be. It has always been the ANet M.O. to stumble a bit before finding the right way forward. The important part is that they keep plugging away at the problems, and do fix most of them eventually.

      At this point, there’s a pretty long list of design choices in GW2 that were immediately identified as problematic by critical fans – and eventually changed. Some highlights: The attribute system’s split of melee and ranged attack power; energy potions; energy in general; ranger pets not having player-controlled skills; etc. etc.

      I feel that savvy players can be amazingly good at spotting trouble in game systems – even based on incredibly small amounts of data. The sorts of logical patterns that form the structure of a game can easily be analyzed – with just a little experience and decent pattern recognition, I think you can make a lot of very accurate guesses about what pitfalls specific design choices will open up.

      Unfortunately the nature of the beast is that developers are often too close to their baby to recognize these patterns. Luckily ANet has such great communication with its players, that we have the chance to make a difference. I think this might be one of those cases, but of course, we’ll need to know more specifics about the skill system before we can say for sure.

  6. I like the new system, it is clear and straightforward, communicates the availability of skills to new players, while it is not clear from the blog, skills seem to cost different amounts and Arenanet can use that to help new players and highlight essential or useful skills for low levels. In the end, it all depends on the content more than the proposed system, if it is fun, varied and challenging, I don’t see the problem.

    A simple solution to your concerns would be to award a skill point at every level and leave the challenges be an optional source of skill points, and that can be easily implemented on feedback. It would be similar to the skill quests in the original.

    1. Sorry to be blunt, but that’s not a solution – it still means that you’ll feel forced to grind a bunch of skill points if you want to feel flexible *now* rather than down the line. Which is really the worst kind of grind – when you’re doing something repetitive not because you’re enjoying it, but because some basic functionality of your character is gated behind the activity. When you tell yourself “I need to do this thing I’m sick of now, and I can start having fun next week when it’s done”.

      If you’re repeating a dungeon to gear up, that’s usually different: your character is fundamentally functional, you’re just improving the numbers a bit. But when you don’t have access to certain skills, it means you’re missing choices, you’re stuck playing a character you don’t want to play. People will say “you can’t come on this dungeon run unless you have XYZ utility skills”, that sort of thing.

      I think this system would work fine for traits – at least you could build a functional character temporarily until you got all the traits to really tweak your build. But gating skills behind grind just seems completely wrong in the context GW2’s other design choices.

      1. What about other themepark games where you are given the skills in a specific order, and if there is any deficiencies it’s a case of suck it up and gain a few more levels to get those desired skills, which is a pretty common retort on forums.

        With the system as presented you’d have the choice the order you get the skills in, you can even go into PvP to test out all the skills so the choice can be well informed. Most people starting off would not be constantly swapping their skills around, they would be enjoying playing and getting to grips with the game. And if they are not enjoying the content, why force themselves? which is the worst way to experience any game.

        From the example in the blog, most skills were unlocked or could be unlocked by the midway point, what to do for the remaining forty levels, grind dynamic events to get to the cap *now*?

        1. As to your first point – GW2 is trying to fix the flaws inherent in those games! Why should we accept a substandard design choices just because it’s better than the terrible alternatives?

          Personally I would hope that after the first 20 levels or so, you’d have a fully unlocked character, and could just focus on playing the game and having fun in whatever way you enjoy. If the content from 20-80 is all fun on its own merits, there should be no need to rush to reach “endgame”. Similarly, if the DE system is as engaging as they say, and there are plenty of other opportunities for advancement (gear, dyes, traits, crafting, karma, learning new weapon skills), you shouldn’t need to pad out the leveling experience with frustrating skill unlocks…

          I don’t know about anyone else, but I enjoy changing my build very frequently, and I like trying to optimize it for the specific task I’m doing at that time, whether I’m level 10 or 80. So what is the advantage of gating this playstyle behind a bunch of grind?

  7. Copy/paste from my GW2Guru post…

    I’m gonna straddle this one a bit. In the past I have questioned ANet on some of the aspects they have chosen for GW2 that are standard MMO staples, so I can totally see Ravious’ concerns. Having said that, skill quests in GW are one of the reasons the majority of my GW toons are from prophecies. In factions and nightfall, you primarily acquire non-elite skills from trainers and while you can do that in prophecies, you have the option of the skill quests. (Granted, there are skill quests in factions and nightfall, but far fewer of them.) In fact, the only sidequesting I do in GW is the skill quests. Other than those I stick pretty strictly to the primary quests and missions.

    Taking that even further, GW had much better quests than other MMOs I’ve played and I generally find them much more fun, so I have a little faith, at least, that ANet will make it fun for me, but like I said, I can totally see the concern. If the “skill challenges” fall more to the standard kill ten rats and escort missions in other MMOs, then that would most certainly be a problem. Hopefully they will be of the GW style.

    As to how to find them, I imagine a lot of them will be easy to find and some will likely require some use of the wiki, unless you’re the OCD explorer. Also, I’d like there to be more challenges than we need, so I don’t have to spend too much time and do every single one. I’d like to hop on the wiki and find a few challenges that I would enjoy to fill out my toon rather than have to complete quests I dislike, but I feel that is probably a small issue for me.

    Now, WvWvW. They’ve said that you can play only WvWvW if you want to, so those skill challenges will need to be available there. You shouldn’t have to go grind through PvE to get them. Personally, if I was designing that aspect of the system, I would be inclined to work it like an achievement system. Get ten kills, unlock some skill points. Defend a keep for ten minutes, unlock some more. That’s just me though. In any case, the skill points need to be available in WvWvW. Now that I think about it, between the two, PvE and WvWvW, you should have plenty of options to get a full battery of skill points without grinding every single skill challenge, so hopefully that’s a win.

    Anyways, just my thoughts.

    1. The main danger is, IMHO, if the shiny carrot far outweighs the task it feels like a chore. You don’t care about the task or the fun of it, you just want the shiny carrot. This is a fundamental issue in quest design.

      A profession-based challenge with a tutorial/puzzle would get players caring about the task. The reward is good. The challenge is tailored to them. They might learn something. A+.

      A generic challenge can definitely straddle the danger zone of task-based filler. It nears the zone of “our MMO will have quests” when they’ve fought so hard to keep them out. That makes me squirmy.

    2. “They’ve said that you can play only WvWvW if you want to, so those skill challenges will need to be available there.”

      Or they could take the same route they did in GW. “Want the skill unlocks? They can be yours for the low, low cost of $10 in the GW2 Store.”

    3. I like your train of thought and would like to expand that idea to every achievement in the game. Add a certain amount of skill points to every achievement and then the skill acquisition will become part of the gameplay already in existence instead of making it a new system that could potentially be “out of the way”.

  8. I’d also like to point out the fact that some sort of ‘notification’ system was planned for the challenges formerly used to unlock traits. As far as I remember, the point was that they wouldn’t hide challenges in the darkest, least frequented and most dangerous corner of the map (Guild Wars 1 elite skills, anyone?) but let people stand around in the streets and basically direct everyone to the challenge location. Probably not to each of them, but hopefully enough to get a good variety of skills. The system can be dangerous indeed, but I’d be very confused if ArenaNet hadn’t already recognised the danger and turned it into an awesome gaming experience. ;)

    As to the quest-like nature of challenges, I could definitely imagine ways to make them quite cool nonetheless. For example, instancing a challenge would be an option (including cutscenes and what not), or people could trigger a specific event chain that rewards participants in the end. Without doubt there will be those who rush through them after having consulted the wiki, but you can’t basically hinder that, and if they want to do it that way, so shall they.

    After all, I can’t find a point about the new skill aquisition system that couldn’t be resolved by means of ‘balance’ (such as weapon skill unlocks being _a whole lot_ faster than at GC/PAX, obviously in response to community feedback), and I actually find it way better than the previous incarnations.

    1. As I said above, the issue is that no matter how cool the challenge (puzzle, cutscene, story, etc.), the failure is that you’re doing it simply in order to get past it, not to enjoy the process.

      Take the exact same piece of content and remove the skill from the “finished” side, and it’s suddenly fun again. Make it a gate locking away some functionality you want for your character, and it’s something in the way, a chore, to be rushed past and forgotten.

      Anyway, I’m at risk of just repeating myself. I think this post says it succinctly enough, so I’ll let Ravious have his blog comments back. Sorry! :)

      1. To be honest, I can’t see a fundamental difference between skill challenges and any other ‘efficiency-hindering’ mechanism. Carried to the extreme, you are basically saying that every content which gives you rewards for completing it also encourages you to rush through, ignoring the content and focusing solely on the reward. Consequently, this would apply to Dynamic Events, dungeons and basically any other in-game activity as well.

        On a very high level, you logically need to exclude players from stuff for a certain amount of time if you want to have somewhat tangible rewards at all. The distinction between grind and reasonable play comes with the concrete configuration of the ratio between (time) effort and reward, which I hope ArenaNet will ‘get right’.

        What I want to express is that the system, in my opinion, is not ‘bad’ in and of itself but can be fleshed out in a positive or negative manner, depending on a number of factors. I would agree that it seems difficult to handle, but maybe not a whole lot more difficult than level curves and the like.

        1. Thanks for the great reply! I do agree with a lot of what you’re saying, especially as to the necessity of “excluding the players from stuff”. But I think there’s a real difference between excluding them from an incremental or intangible reward (such as gear or titles) and something like a skill which is very binary in its effect.

          There is a lot of gray area here, of course. If your class needs specific hard to get gear (some of the high-armor trinkets and PvP gear in WoW come to mind) simply to function in your desired role, then that amplifies the negative aspects of grind for that gear, pushing it into the same territory as skills for me. I just don’t think you should ever have to “work” (in the grinding sense) to unlock basic functionality for your class.

          Now, there should be some work involved in picking up a class, sure – learning your tools and mastering them. It should be real work by the player, not grindy busywork assigned to you by the game.

          *

          Said another way, I feel that any unlock or reward that “turns on” a basic function of your chosen class should be gained early and without fuss. If I had my way, you’d have pretty much all your skills as quickly as you could learn them, i.e. within the first 10 hours of play.

          Longer term rewards should be incremental (“hey I got a 5% boost to my HP”; “I got a trait that lets me tweak my playstyle a bit”), or less tangible, such as vanity items, pets, titles, etc. I think using skills (or in a game like BF3, certain specialized weapons and mods) for rewards is a lazy way to give the player a guaranteed high, but in the end using these tools as rewards just causes more problems (in balance as well as the sensation of grind) than it’s worth.

  9. I actually like the idea of going off the beaten path to augment your character. It shows up in books and movies regularly, like Luke Skywalker going to Dagohbah[sic?] or the plot of the first third of full metal alchemist (You have unlocked philosophers’ stone) or Egwene in the wheel of time (ok almost everyone in wheel of time). That said I don’t like the idea of all your utility skills coming from challenges.

    Going into the meta if you got your first utility skill at level 8 and a kill point every four levels afterward you would have received 18 skill points just for leveling. I think I heard each class will have around twenty skills plus racial so you would still need to perform some challenges to unlock all of your character. Alternatively with 200 challenges you could unlock all your skills early and forgo the measured skill acquisition. ANet could also award skill points with the successful completion of personal story arcs such as defeating a major bandit or killing a dangerous monster. In Tri-World Combat (TWC) skill points could unlock though achievements such as taking a keep or by your server winning the match. Perhaps skill points could also be purchased with whatever the TWC currency is. While I have no problem with normal skills being easy to acquire I think elite skills should be treated differently.

    I definitely advocate forcing the player to complete challenges to unlock their elite skills. I thought elite skill capture system of guild wars worked well and invested the player in their build. Since weapons have replaced elites as the build defining element having to go out and complete a feat to unlock an elite skill point will make elite skill acquisition more memorable. Water cooler discussions could discuss defeating a horde of ghostly skritt pirates, or drinking from the chalice of unquenchable flame to unlock their latest elite.

  10. The skill challenges are alright, but I would like to see two small adjustments.

    (1) Make skill points plentiful-ish. Make them common enough that “casual, undirected, wiki-less play” is likely to fill out your skill bar at a reasonable pace – perhaps so that by level 35 or so, when you start eyeing Explorable Mode dungeons, you are likely to have most of your utilities. I’m okay with elite skills waiting a bit longer.

    Something that would really help with this is if higher-level skill challenges awarded more points. It’s clear that having different unlock costs is meant to mimic “typical” level progression, encouraging player to unlock certain skills sooner. Fine, so long as they do the flip side as well, by increasing player earning power with level; this means that randomly missing all the level 10-20 challenges is easily remedied by finding a couple extra level 20-30 challenges.

    (2) As a nod to the old system – and the fact that some of these challenges were really designed to flavor particular professions – give a bonus point or two for doing challenges that were actually intended for your profession. This will mean that all skill challenges are worthy sources of progression, but those that are especially important to your profession are especially beneficial.

    This much, and I’d be fine.

    As a side note, I never really got the impression that “profession challenges” were likely to be “learning experiences”. I mean, they mentioned things like eating and drinking for warriors, finding places of power for elementalists and consorting with ghosts for necros. Fantastic roleplay material? Yes. Learning experiences? Not likely.

  11. Why does everyone seem to be freaking out?

    I think the new system gives players some incentive to go around and SEE the world around them rather than stay stuck on a single main quest path throughout the map. Obviously Anet isn’t going to make a backwards move by making us do some silly grind through levels– they’d rather have us experience the world around us to the fullest by bringing it to life with rare and random dynamic events (that give us new skills and abilities all the while)! I think this is a fantastic thing considering the open possibilities it will open up for curious people. As for the more linear players, I’m almost certain that GW2 will deliver a system which caters to a straight-forward main questing player. Either way, I’m sure everyone will be able to have their cake and eat it too regardless of whichever way they initially choose. The true living challenge comes from seeking out those few hidden events throughout the vast continent… something I personally look forward to doing.

    1. Believe me, I want nothing more than to just wander around the map randomly experiencing all the world has to offer. I’m the kind of person who will probably mostly ignore my personal story and instead just wander around exploring.

      But with this system, I’ll feel forced to spend a big chunk of time early on, rushing around the world checking off tasks from the wiki instead of taking my time to explore. And for what reason? GW2 is a game about building my character and adapting that build to the situation – but to “earn” the ability to play the game that way, I need to run around and do these chores first?

      The whole system just seems at odds with the rest of what GW2 is trying to do. It makes no sense to me.

  12. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on everything except for a minor detail which gave me pause: the fact that different skills even within the same category (i.e. healing, utility, elite) cost different numbers of skill points. What is that supposed to suggest?! It seems to me that strongly suggests that some utility skills are just “better” than others, and that you either start out with the crappier, cheaper ones and then work your way up to the better ones or save up for the better ones right off the bat at the expense of having to wait longer to fill your bar.

    Having some utility skills be simply better than others by design would be a massive design failure, and to be honest I doubt they’re going to make that mistake. Why, then, have different skills cost different amounts? The result will be that some will have a higher utility/cost ratio, and people will gravitate more towards those, reducing build variety. Blech.

    1. Very well said! This is a point that gets overlooked too much, but is objectively one of the worst aspects of this system.

      By which I mean that subjectively you can like unlocking skills or you can dislike it, but it seems that no matter what you like, this system will tend to hurt build diversity and flexibility in early- to mid-game.

  13. We’ll, I for one kind of like the idea of having to complete challenges to gain skill points. I believe it adds some much needed horizontal progression. I highly doubt you’ll have to grind for months on in to collect all your skills.

    There can be many reasons why certain skills may cost more skill points than others,not always just because a skill is better,for example: Maybe the lower cost skill has a longer cooldown or perhaps it’s a bit more situational. IMO having a variable cost, adds a bit of flavor as well,but I digress…

    I just think people *MAY* be getting all worked up over something that could possibly heighten their satisfaction level from aquiring new skills. Getting something from doing something is not always a bad thing or a “grind”, sometimes it’s just…gameplay lol and if the challenges are fun…well,it’s a bonus!

  14. I actually really like the challenges, even if I have to go out of my way for them.

    It is refreshing that the game requires you to put in effort to be versatile, rather than handing everything to you in a silver platter.

    Furthermore, it helps to make characters more unique: Even though two Warriors may be the same level, they could have very different builds and combat strategies depending on how they’ve decided to spend their points.

  15. If I remember correctly, doing these challenges just gives you “skill points” that you can spend on whichever skill for a particular slot you want. So if you know exactly what setup you want to have it’s not grindy, and if you don’t know then you’re just branching out with “that sounds cool” mentality, and neither of those is necessarily wrong.

  16. It doesn’t really matter how granular the weapon-reward system actually is. Most fundamental weapon skills will be relatively easy to acquire for the coveted “casual gamer.” They will build in an uber-hard level of accomplishments for people who like grinding or just have to have everything. It won’t actually result in uber-skills which would unbalance things. It will be some kind of flashy thing which does the same damage as everything else.

    It’s what is in the middle that matters when you have a lvl 80 cap. It matters whether those skills can be had when you’re ready for each of the 8 storyline dungeons. It matters whether they are game-breakers or keep play reasonably balanced. They can do a skill update anytime they want or roll out a whole new campaign with “improvements” anytime, so none of this actually will make a difference in the long run.

    Note that, even five years after the launch of the original GW, they are *still* not happy with the balance of all skills. It is a never-ending battle. They’ll be adjusting the balances as long as there are people playing the game.

    I can’t dissect any more iterations from Anet. They need to lock down features and get a good game shipped soon. Lock it down, polish it up and let’s get this game out the door. You can fine tune it at the beta or in a skill update that occurs on the intial logon after release.

    1. I agree, it’s skill (positioning and timing) that makes an effective player not how high level you are or the weapon you’re using.

      Just think of it this way, the utility skills you want to unlock is because it suits your play style. They’re never that powerful nor will make you powerful in anyway due to how the current system works.

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