[GW] Many Stop Shopping

In Guild Wars, you buy skills once, at that even unlocks them for heroes on the account. Guild Wars has the rather odd design feature that not every skill trainer has the same skills. If you want to get all the skills for your class, you need to tour around to different cities. Not all the cities and outposts have skill trainers. Secondary profession changers might be somewhere else entirely, and you need to have swapped to that profession to buy the skills. Some of the trainers are in explorable zones, so you cannot change your build after picking up the new skills.

Is there anything at all to recommend this design for skill training? I’m down with picking up elite skills from bosses, but aside from having a few early trainers with only a few options, which you could also do by hiding some skills until level X, what benefit is there to having this random spread of skills and trainers across the zones? And campaigns, because not all the basic skills are in all the campaigns.

: Zubon

12 thoughts on “[GW] Many Stop Shopping”

  1. There is a point close to the end of each campaign where you can buy all the skills from that campaign, and most of my alts didn’t buy many skills until that point. When I had money to burn I would take characters to that point and buy them every primary profession skill to get the unlocks and increase my flexibility. It is hard for me to remember when I started in Prophecies but it feels like the skill acquisition was more natural when you were exploring a new game. The point of the game always seemed to be more about reaching the end of the story then reaching max level. Since many players hit 20 before finishing the game the added skills further in the game are just another incentive to keep going. The combination of skills from quests and scraping together money to buy that one that was cool in the last town made the progression seem more worthwhile. You get to the next town in the story and you get a new collection of skills to pick from to enhance your build. With the cobbled together meta demanding skills from all over the place it probably seems more scattered than it did for people playing when the games were still being released.

  2. There was also the fact that you could get many skills before they were available to you through trainers by capping them from monsters or as quest rewards.

    But I think even Anet agrees with you since both Factions and Nightfall give you a trainer with “full” skill sets much earlier than Prophecies ever did. Kaineng City and The Sunspear Outpost respectively.

  3. Never really understood it myself, except for possibly creating the same artificial “progression” created by limiting skill unlocks by level.

  4. I think the system worked well in Prophecies. generally speaking, you would be given new, roughly appropriate skills at regular intervals for a lot of the game, which was a nice way to both encourage people to find those extra quests, and to reduce the cost in skill points the first time through. It was also a good way of not just giving you all the skills from the word go and ending up confusing a load of new players.

    Obviously though, this broke down over time, as Factions and Nightfall made it less workable, and more of a nuisance. It was something that quickly became quite limiting, and more of a burden than a benefit. I think that’s why they tried to change it a bit with the different title rank skills in EotN, but that was just sticking a plaster on it really.

    I’d say the most telling thing about the system is the complete overhaul it’s received for GW2.

  5. Yes, Prophecies gave you skills for doing side quests, which encouraged the wandering all over the world even more (although maybe it felt more worthwhile when you were questing for them rather than just picking them up). Guild Wars PvE does encourage exploration and I think the game always tried to get people to play through the PvE reasonably thoroughly. A lot of people had other parts of the game they preferred though, so the incentives slackened with each campaign.

  6. It’s really only a problem for Nightfall and Prophecies, in EotN all skill trainers offer the same skills, in Factions while there is some variation in what trainers offer, they have a much bigger selection of skills and missions/quests offer plenty of platinum to buy them.

    You can cheat the system too, say if you have a character that has progressed to the end of a campaign, and then roll a new character and find you want a skill from the end of that campaign, you can unlock the skill on your existing character and the skill will show up at all trainers even those right at the beginning for your new character. Suppose it is a sense of progression but there are so many ways to give your alts a leg up, which is something I like, but I’m glad they are going a different system for GW2.

  7. Reason for spreading skills out over all the campaigns: make people buy them. Someone who owns only two, like me, simply has huge disadvantages when it comes to all sorts of builds, making for an equally huge incentive to throw a bit more money at ANet.

    1. I would agree if the store had been there all along, but it was a later addition. I agree with others that it worked in prophecies where you had quests that gave skills…also for me at least, there was a bit of excitement when reaching a new town and being able to check out new skills…and other thing. Or venturing to some obscure spot like Ice Tooth Cave to get a skill.

  8. Not many beginning players know about tomes. You can buy a normal tome in any of the main trade outposts for about 500g. That allows your character to learn a skill for that profession which has previously been unlocked on any of your characters (or if you bought the $5.00 unlock pack).

    Unlocking can occur either through skill quests, capping, or (as mentioned in a different thread) by using Balthazar faction at the Great Temple of Balthazar to unlock the skill. If you’re in dire need, jump in to one of the PvP sessions (I think this weekend is Alliance Battle bonus, so it’s good for that) rack up some Balth faction and unlock whatever you want to, buy a tome and you’re good to go.

    Oh, if you get some coins from daily quests, you can bypass tome shopping by purchasing the tomes directly from the vendors at GToB also.

  9. Tying unique widgets to world locations also pushes players to explore. Whether or not that’s necessary is debatable, but that might be another angle to the design.

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