My oh my.. the New, New Guild Wars 2

Those were pretty much the words I had in my mind as I read through the blog post by Jon Peters on what the new demo at Gamescom/PAX will encompass.

Instantly, he starts off with:  As a company, we like to say that we iterate on our game—a lot.

And I was thinking of 2 things. First, this is going to be exciting. Little did I know how right I would be on so many levels. And second, ArenaNet, I love you guys, I really do, but you have to stop telling us in every single blog post that you guys “iterate and reiterate”. Seriously, it’s in almost every blog post. And frankly, I’m getting slightly annoyed.

As I was absorbing every bit of detail that Jon drops in the post (which is a lot considering the new demo is on a whole different level), it dawned on me how much reaction this was going to get from the fans. To be honest, I’m kind of on the fence a little. My reaction isn’t as aggressive/extreme as others – which really isn’t all that surprising if you’ve read my previous post – but there are still some parts that are slightly iffy for me.

And yeah, there have been a dozen blog posts that have already talked about these changes but hopefully I’ll be able to give a lighter perspective on things. I love GW2, god knows I keep pestering my friends to read up on their news, but I’m not one of those fans who gets all worked up and fervently defends GW2 whenever criticisms arise. So hopefully things might be slightly different here. Maybe.

Are you ready, guys and girls? Grab an energy pot (before it runs out) and let’s talk GW2.

 

ENERGY

Basically, skills no longer cost energy. The only thing that does is dodge – which now comes with its own little button – and this dodge energy regenerates over time.

I wasn’t completely on board with this. My instant reaction (pardon my language) was WTF? Unlike many energy naysayers who cheered fervently (I swear I heard a roar or two in the cab) I never thought the energy/energy potion mechanic should be removed. Frankly, I didn’t even understand their side of the story. And I know people have been like, “It’s not big deal. Hell, in the demos, the skills don’t even consume that much energy. It’s dodging that drains the energy.” But that’s not what I was shocked about.

What caught me offguard was the idea that my spellcasters won’t be using energy as a resource for their spells.

And it really baffled me because spellcasters and energy are a happy marriage that has been in place in many, many games since time immemorial. I mean they’re casting spells, hello, what are they going to use? And I couldn’t help but wonder if they’re going to go down the WoW route and use adrenaline (rage) for the warrior and initiative (focus) for the thief, ranger and engineer.

I’m sure I’m going to be impressed by what ArenaNet comes up with – like duh, we always do – but it’ll still be a sore issue for me. I’m a huge fan of what GW2 is doing; changing the land of the MMOs and all, but I feel like there are always some classic mechanics that we should and can keep.

 

SKILL ACQUISITION

To quote Malchior, “I swung a sword, I swung a sword again. Hey, I gained a new skill!”

That basically sums it up.

Before Eric’s clarification, I couldn’t imagine a scenario where it wasn’t grindy. What I gathered from the post that there was going to be a weapon mastery mechanic a la WoW. I was a WoW player and I swear I’m not trying to define GW2 by WoW mechanics but it seems like ANet is going down that route! Mercy.

And so basically when you hit like 75 points, you’d get a skill. Then again at 150, 275, 350 and 475.

After Eric’s clarification, it still seemed like a grind to me. No matter how much you intend to make the “grinding” fun, it’s still grinding at the fundamental level. I still have to kill 10 mobs to get a skill. And 20 for the next. And 30, and so on and so forth. I don’t see how it’s supposed to teach us how to use our weapons when all we’re doing is standing there and spamming 1 and 2 and 3, until we can press all 5 buttons.

To rephrase the quote, “I pressed 1. I pressed 1 again. I pressed 1 again. And again… Hey, I can press 2 now! That’s great!”

I do agree it’s going to be more active than just going to the trainer and giving him a couple of hard-earned silver coins just so he can teach you how to hit 3 mobs concurrently with a charged axe attack but I don’t fancy killing 500 mobs to unlock all my weapon skills across all my 5 weapons.

I may be a bit judgy here but this is going against ANet’s design philosophy – which I vehemently defended against Pokket in my previous post – so yeah, I have the right to be judgy.

 

NEW CONTENT

Finally, we get to play all the races, albeit sylvari and asura are only playable at high levels, but nevertheless we get to explore the charr starter area and see their personal story cinematic. And there’s a new high level area with a new big bad. Literally speaking. So I’m sure we’re all in agreement that yes, we’re looking forward to this. Moving along…

 

CHARACTER CUSTOMIZATION

All my Hail Marys went answered! We finally get to see the character customization to a limited extent. But I’m happy enough. That screenshot of the sylvari customization had me sold! I had already decided on a sylvari Mesmer (make me happy ANet!) as my main and I really had no issues with the initial design. Then the long awaited redesign came along and I started to hesitate for a moment because they looked more like plant aliens and I wanted them to look more humanoid.

But that screenshot just sealed the deal. I am in love with the hair, I’m so going to get that hairstyle for my female sylvari; with purple leaves with a hint of dark red near the tip, if that’s even possible.

And to those who’re complaining about the hair-that-looks-like-a-wig, I have this to say.

Shut up and suck it up. Seriously. You whined about the initial design, and they had a redesign which everyone was pretty impressed with and now you’re bitching again? Seriously? Gosh… If you don’t like it, choose a different style or a different race. Stop being a kid.

 

RELEASE DATE?

I’m going to try my hand at this and since I don’t know how the gaming industry works where MMOs are concerned, I do ask that you be forgiving if it seems like I’m don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m just looking at it from a logical perspective.

I had my hopes up for a Nov/Dec release date basically because I was hoping for a 2011 release and people were commented on how releasing a game during the holiday period will up the sales.

But ever since ANet confirmed the existence of closed beta tests in 2011, I couldn’t help but wonder if that’s what they’re aiming for. Closed beta by 2011.

During Comic-Con, when they announced their upcoming plans, the forum was buzzing with speculation that the hype train is picking up speed and ANet might reveal a release date soon. But what we didn’t know was that there would be major mechanic changes.

I’m not saying they’re at the “drawing on a napkin” stage but certain aspects of the game have been fundamentally changed. I wouldn’t put it past ANet to push back their planned release date.

And I’m also getting really tired of is the “when it’s ready” mantra. I got really hyped up last year when they first had a public demo of GW2 and then I lost my momentum when they went silent for 6 months before the Guardian reveal. And honestly, nothing got me excited since then than the sylvari reveal.

I’m not losing interest per se, I’m just tired of getting all excited about new stuff only to wait like 6 months again for more new stuff. I’d rather they had kept silent for the past year and started their reveals this year so they could showcase their content more consistently and kept the hype train going, especially if they’re probably aiming for a 2012 release date.

In retrospect, maybe I’m not as “on the fence” as I thought I was, but mostly I’m disappointed because these changes bring about so many questions that need answering and I just hope the devs don’t give us their staple: “We’re not ready to talk about it yet”.

Really. You can’t throw us many bones and not give us an explanation. Depending on what they do at Gamescom, it may or may not leave a bad taste in my mouth.

So what do you think, readers? Are you guys happy with the changes or do you think it was good just the way it was? What are you most excited to see? Or are you suffering from the “post GW2 hype” syndrome like me and find that you’re no longer excited about content reveals as you once were? Sound off in the comments below and let me know!

– Written By Damagedself

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About damagedself

Hey guys hey! I'd like to think I have the personality of a quaggan even though my articles might suggest otherwise. Hehe. And the only straight I am is a straight up bitch and a geek. But I hardly unleash my inner little monster (get the Gaga reference?) on people unless severely provoked. Relax, I don't bite. Much. ^^ Currently, I'm playing LoL and DCUO and I spend the rest of my time watching television series and obsessing over pop culture. My absolute favourites are Castle and Grey's Anatomy. That is why I constantly fantasize about how happy I'd be if the hospitals were stocked full of gorgeous doctors. P.S. I love McDreamy. And Darren Criss. Oh, and you're more than welcome to talk TV shows with me!
  • http://greibach.wordpress.com Greibach

    Personally I’m totally fine with the energy system being scrapped/repurposed. GW1 had energy management in many ways, but you will notice that it did not resort to a mechanism like potions. You had class features (primary attributes), item mods, skill synergies (attunements), just plain energy management skills (inspiration magic), the ability to opt for builds that used more or less energy (dual attunements vs earthquake + dragon stomp + aftershock + obsidian flame if you want to burn through energy), AND you regained energy quickly. Going to a system where there isn’t massive build diversity for energy selection, where there isn’t a fast recovery rate and you have some very long cooldowns, putting in a potion to just regain your energy and having it be really cheap just seems rather circular and pointless. It’s like potions in Diablo 2- sure, you manage your health and energy with them, but they are so cheap that you just carry 100’s of them around all the time and it doesn’t actually net anything interesting. 

    To look at a different game to show how energy *can* be made different, look at League of Legends. There are Mana, Energy, and No-Cost characters and each one behaves differently in combat and have different roles. Mana characters have mana to limit their sustainability, and as such they often do large spike damage and/or CC. The mana is there to prevent them from going infinitely without a break. Energy refills very quickly but is a shallower pool, kind of like GW1 energy. Energy characters have powerful moves, but they don’t usually have enough energy to use all of their moves in a sequence without having some of it recharge; this is much like the thief’s initiative. Characters with no-cost skills are usually sustained damage champions. Their abilities don’t cost anything because the point is that they are there for the long haul and HP is their true measure of effectiveness.

    Back to GW2, we see that characters are all designed under similar paradigms to one another. There isn’t a glass cannon that needs to be limited by energy, there isn’t a tank that doesn’t need energy. They don’t have an “energy balance” to the skills; there aren’t skills that cost a lot but can destroy enemies and every skill has a comparable energy cost. There really isn’t much reason to arbitrarily have a system like energy with a mechanism that takes no thought to refill it like potions. Having played the demo for both PvE and PvP I can say that the change felt great.

    Although I like the energy change, I am really not thrilled with the current implementation of skill acquisition. You really hit the nail on the head here. I loaded up the charr starter area and got a little bored of pressing 1 1 1 1 (well… I auto-cast it, but still). At least skill 2 came pretty quickly, but skill 3 felt like it took forever. Sure, it was only a 40 minute demo, so I mean it wasn’t THAT long, but the part that sucked was that after getting 2.5 skills, I found a scepter. I wanted to try it out, but then I realized that I had to go back to 1-spamming and instantly was disinterested. If it takes ~30 minutes to get the first 3 skills and they go slower every time, it could easily take 1.5 hours to gain 5. Now consider that each profession has a fair number of weapon combinations…. and that really adds up to a lot of boring ram-on-one. Maybe if they tweak the system so that after a certain level you just know all 5 skills on all weapons it won’t be so annoying, but as it stands, it doesn’t take very long at all to understand your weapon skills.

    To compound that, weapon skills are often actually very similar across professions. For example, greatswords almost always have a 3 hit combo in skill 1, a jumping attack to close the distance on skill 2, etc. One-handed swords also almost always have a distance closer on skill 2. There are trends like this in many of the weapons across many of the professions; this isn’t bad design because it uses similar mechanics to establish roles and strengths and makes it easier to learn new things but it *also* means that you don’t need your hand held with each new class so much.

    As far as your release feelings, I’m right there with you for the most part. I really just want this flipping game out, but I just can’t keep up the hyped feeling anymore. I was really hoping that they would release this year at the end as well; when they said closed beta this year I was optimistic that it meant sometime around NOW, or maybe even a bit before, and that we could maybe get the release date at the end of the year. Now though… well it just isn’t going to happen. I was so hyped last year at GC/PAX at the playable demo. The game felt so good and so right and so polished. The 6 month silence killed the enthusiasm. The guardian, thief and engineer all passed with about 1 day of excitement each and then it was back to not much new. The only thing I would disagree with a bit is that they have set themselves back by making changes like the energy system. The reason is that while that is a large impact to players, it isn’t that large of a task to do from a programming perspective. I mean, there are only ~800 skills I believe, so all you have to do is go in and just… remove their energy cost. I’m sure each skill just has an attribute called energy cost. That would take… maybe a week at best? And that’s just for one or maybe two people. Then changing the cost of dodging is just another number. Lots of aspects of programming are modular, especially in games. Further, most of the rest of the company won’t be affected by it; level designers keep on designing levels, event makers keep making events, personal story people keep working on the personal story, concept artists keep making art, lore writers keep writing lore, voice actors keep… voice acting, you get the idea. The point is, you can heavily modify many aspects of the game without slowing anyone else down, especially when it deals with just plain numbers. When will it come out? Ugh, not soon enough.

  • ArcherAvatar

    I was more than a little frustrated with the Jon Peters blog entry prior to GamesCom, and I’ve already expressed that on a number of forums/blogs so I won’t rehash it too much here.  It’s certainly understandable for anyone to feel that way given the scope of what was touched on in Peter’s entry and how very, very little actual detail or information was included.  It could have been handled better… a rare lapse on the part of ANet.

    Energy:
    This is really just about including proper restrictions to the use of skills so that some thought and strategy are included in their use.  No energy and no recharge time = monkey on a keyboard.  Granted, there are probably a few monkeys on keyboards out there anyway however, they have less success due to the timing and sequencing of skills needed as a result of the recharge times.  The additional brake of “energy/mana” is one that has been commonly adopted but, if the DEVs feel like they are getting the desired result with just the varried recharge times then… cool. 
    I certainly heard nothing negative about that from the players who got their hands on the game at the conventions.

    I would just add that I wouldn’t mind seeing them tie jumping to the same energy pool that dodging uses. 
    We would still has access to the Z axis ability that way but, perhaps it would cut down on the number of idiotic bouncy @##$!$! that we would have to tolerate if that pointless bouncing was also reducing their survivability in combat…

    Skill Acquisition:
    Fasten seat belts folks!  This is F***ed beyond all recognition imo.  A small grind is still a GRIND, and there is nothing interesting or in the least bit entertaining about this newly introduced mechanic.  It’s just a needlessly annoying hinderance that prevents you from getting a feel for the class and how it works.

    Added to that is the FACT that it is completely unbalanced between the classes.   Not every class has same number of weapons… that is a fact… and those classes with more weapons tend to rely on those weapons for the “versatility” of the class.  Classes with fewer weapons to train, also tend to get their versatility in other ways than just swapping weapons.

    The new mechanic of skill acquisition CREATES broken balance between the classes where there wasn’t a problem before.  Epic level fail on the part of ANet not anticipating “I swung a sword” quotes being thrown back in their faces also.

    This needs to be fixed… immediately.

    I love most everything I’ve seen about this game and this developer company.  They are almost always saying and doing the right things in my opinion, and it’s very rare that they put a foot wrong… this was just one of those rare times.  I have every confidence that adjustments will be made… just a shame about the time spent – especially if that increases the already long wait for the game’s release.

  • Christine Watson

    It’s been said in one of the video interviews that it takes about 10 minutes of using a weapon to unlock a skill, and that they’re very much not going to make it a grind like WoW’s weapon skills.

  • innuendo

    I think everyone is not thinking about what the new skill acquisition is trying to do.  Regardless of how you feel it’s implemented, the goal is not grind, the goal is educate players.  I’m sure from their closed alpha they had lots of feedback from players that when they start the game with a sword and then switch to a mace that have no idea what they are doing anymore.  This system take that burden off and lets each encounter with a new weapon build up as you learn the combos and what they do.

    The weapons in GW2 are 50% of a build, and just tossing that at new players is a burden to them.  I suspect in most cases a player will have all the possible skills for all their profession’s possible weapons by level 10, just by simply playing the game.  I just don’t think it will take as long as you all are worried, and it’s not like you have to stop what your doing or stop progressing to do it.  It’s precisely not grindy because it happens while you progress normally.  Grind is when you can’t progress without replaying the same content (aka grinding) it over and over. This simply gives you less tools.  It’s like saying that getting your epic is grindy because you have to have a short grind to level 30 before you get it.

    That said I think there is room to discuss how to improve the system.  For instance, I see no reason to not enable skill 1 and 2 at the start.  No reason a player can’t be given 2 skills, and then take the normal progression from there (10 kills – skill 3, etc).  That should ease the curve a little bit, but still provide a nice introduction to each weapon’s play style/skill bar.

    You all see a grind and scoff, but you have to look at the premise behind the idea. They can’t just give players 3 playstyles right off the bat, the players will never learn what each skill does.  This is a great solution from a mechanic design standpoint, it integrates well with how players would intuit it should work. I’m sure this is thought out guys, and I don’t suspect anet makes changes like this based on whim. This change most likely came out of a lot of repeated feedback about picking up new weapons being a hassle and it causing players to just stick to one set (and they want to encourage players to learn more weapon sets).

    • ArcherAvatar

      Very reasonable… for ONE weapon…. repeat the process as many times as you need to for a warrior and then come tell me it wasn’t a grind.

      • innuendo

        Sure, but a sowrd plays drastically differently than a bow.  So are you saying that once you unlock all the sword skills, the first time you pick up a bow you should just be given all 5 skills? That’s the issue with the “just give me the skills” alternative.  Is that if you’ve been playing all sword for a while and find your first bow, you are instantly forced to learn 5 new skills.  What will happen is players will just not bother and then never learn the new skills in the new weapon. 

        The old system was just as bad “i picked up a bow, it doesn’t do crap all until i stop questing and return to vendor.” That is so many degrees worse than getting to unlock the skills be continuing to play what you were already playing.  Keep the sword out with all it’s skills, but in the fights swap the bow in and you’ll through normal play unlock it’s skills.  It’s not a grind, you don’t have to stop progressing normally to unlock the weapon skills.  You get to keep doing your Personal Story, keep doing new DE’s.  It’s not like if you pick up a bow you all the sudden have to stop doing new content and grind until you can move on.  That’s what a grind is, and I don’t think this system will cause players to do this.

        I want to emphasize this point.  Just becuase you have a chunk of time between initial access and full power does not equal grind.  Grind is when that time between the first access to an item and it’s full usuage requires you to replay the same content over and over to progress. No player will ever have to say, “Well I can’t move onto that DE because my bow isn’t level out.” It’s just no the case.  Anet is simply giving you tools one at a time instead of giving you the toolbox and saying “figure out what works.”

        I think the new system will lead to players who understand what each weapon does, how it’s skills interact, how and when to use them, and be overall be more informed about their character than the “just give me everything” option. And saying that players should only do this once for all their weapons is missing the point of the system all together.  It’s not to gate you out of skills, it’s to introduce them in a way that lets you become familiar with the first before providing you the next.  It makes perfect sense.  It works exactly like utility skill unlocks do, but is tied to normal play in a different way.

        I don’t see anyone going “OMG I don’t have all my utility skills at level 1, I have to GRIND to get my utilities, so lame!” I don’t see why weapon unlocks are getting so much outcry, at least not from a system standpoint.  I already said I think the system might have room for improvement, but the system I think is actually very very intuitive and a great mechanic that Anet should be commentated for not being afraid to implement

        • http://twitter.com/damagedself Bryan

          Okay, first up, I don’t see a point debating on the definition of a “grind” because to me, as long as I have to swing a sword 50 times (5 for each mob), it’s still a grind ‘cos I have to spend 10 minutes trying to get my second skill as opposed to parting with 5 silver coins once I hit level 2.

          Second, grind aside, I think what’s the main issue here is that this system deters people from switching to new weapons ‘cos they have to “re-train” the skills, loosely speaking. Say as a Warrior, I’ve been leveling with Weapon A and B because it’s amazeballs. And I pick up this cool looking Weapon C with a skin that’s to-die-for. And I realised I’ve got to kill 100 mobs to unlock my remaining 4 skills. So why would I do that just for an aesthetically pleasing weapon when I’ve got Weapon A and B already trained? That’s what the main cause of worry is, at least for me.

          • ArcherAvatar

            Correct… and there is still the obvious issue that it is not the same for all classes. 

          • KM

            I think it is a much smaller issue than you are making it out to be considering that the first 3 skills for each weapon seem to unlock in about 5 minutes game time but maybe the classes that use the most weapons can simply have a slight advantage in speed of training to full weapon usage so it equals out.

            I don’t even feel it is needed though.  You are so greatly over reacting. I think you are going to easily have all your weapons trained way before you hit 80 and it is going to feel like an easy and organic system.  The time you save never having to go to the skill trainer is going to more than make up for the few extra swings you need with each new weapon.

          • JohnMichael

            It is always possible to develop game mechanics that minimize any “grind” you might have to do.  For instance the game could drastically lower the training time for low level skills the higher level the character is.  Maybe you only have to kill one mob to get that level 2 skill if you are level 80. 

            The game also should be balanced so that learning new skills happens naturally as a player progresses.  The only way a person would experience a grind with the training model is if they only use one weapon set combination for long periods of time.  You can take this into consideration and avoid any grind by varying your play-style and experimenting with different weapon types as you level.

            No system is perfect and I am sure the developers are taking these concerns into consideration as they refine their game.  I personally think the “buy a skill from a vendor when you level up” model is silly and really like the idea of training up weapon skills as I play.  Since I plan to level many professions, I also like the idea that different professions level up differently because it adds variety to the game.  So I don’t care if a warrior has more weapons than an elementalist, and will have to train more – in fact i kind of like it.  I want different experiences with different professions.  Guess you can’t please everybody :)

            Honestly I don’t think it will be a big deal since the leveling balance will be worked out, and I don’t see many people avoiding a profession they want to play just because they will have to use their class’ weapon abilities as they level.  It will happen naturally.

        • ArcherAvatar

          Hypothetically scenario:
          I’m using weapon A on class X, and I’m having a grand ole time.  I’ve gotten past the rather annoying stage where I’m just hitting the same key repeatedly (because that’s the only skill I have unlocked at first) and I’ve opened up the full repetoire of the weapon… all 5 skills… and I’m playing it like I was creating music… timing the use of each of the skills to fit the situation I’m in and making maximum use of each in a sequence that takes advantage of their various recharge times.

          Things are going great! … then I find a new weapon…
          *sigh* oh well… back to just hitting the #1 key again for awhile.
          now repeat that experience again… and again… and again.

          I don’t care how you define the term “grind.”  No matter what amount of time is involved or how repetitive the action is… that is going to FEEL like a grind to whoever is experiencing it.  Why on god’s green earth would you want to design that into your game on purpose?  Don’t tell me it’s to slowly introduce skills a little bit at a time for folks to “learn” them.  If it takes you more than a couple of fights to figure out how a skill works then you have a full-time nurse wiping drool off your chin while you do it.  Give us a little bit of credit ANet… we’re smarter than that.  I know developers are forced to design to the level of the lowest common denominator but damn… this is taking that far enough to just piss off everyone else.

          And again… this isn’t even taking into account that some classes are going to have to do this more than others which is inherently flawed.  Make no mistake about it… there are players who will simply avoid a class for no other reason than they just don’t want to have to deal with this.

          Do you really want to introduce mechanics that cause players to avoid a class for no other good reason than they just don’t want to hassle with the skill acquisition?  There are folks who would like to down play this, or disparage those players who would make class decisions based on it but, that doesn’t change the fact that it WILL happen with this mechanic.  Is that the type of design you want in your game?

  • http://www.facebook.com/belgeode Drew Bolton

    Hell wait till asura week next week. You’l probably hear how they were reiterated, being reiterated a few more times.

    It’s all good though, one step closer to release.

    • http://twitter.com/damagedself Bryan

      Oh my goddessness. I swear I’m really getting tired of that phrase. ArenaNet should patent that phrase so no other devs get to use it. Haha! 😛

  • KM

    As for energy I think you really have to try hard and break out of the old MMO/video game mold you are so comfortable with. I find it to be a somewhat annoying mechanic in the best of games and downright horrible in the worst.  Whining “But I’m USED to it” is a very poor reason to keep something in a game.

    As for your complaint about skill acquisition (especially the lame and overused “I swung a sword” comment) calling it grindy based upon what we have seen is just downright stupid.  It just confirms my fear that people are going to be crying “OMG I thought there was no grind!” every time they have to do something more than once.  

    Let me make it clear:  
    Grind = having to level up to some arbitrary number that uses a hidden system for skill ups.  Eventually hitting a number where you are stuck at 399 out of 400 and not skilling up any more you go find some large monster that won’t die to quickly and go and hit it for 4 hours in the hope that you will eventually get that one last elusive point.

    Not a grind = having your new ability gradually reveal itself bit by bit each time you cast one of your current spells.  Each spell you cast unveils a bit more unti you can finally use the new ability.  This all happens at a steady pace as you go about questing in the world and at no point do you feel you have to mindlessly hit something over and over hours upon end just to get that last frustrating arbitrary point (that doesn’t even do anything). 

    What was replaced by installing this new mechanic? Going to a trainer and paying for a new skill?  How is that better?  Because you are USED to it?  You would perhaps like to just get a new weapon and know all the spells associated for it at once?  I guess that would work but I find that the gradual acquisition of skills better teaches players the right time to use them and the best combinations to use them in.  I can’t think of an MMO that just gives you all your abilities at once and sets you free in the world (though pvp matches in GW2 are going to be doing this by bumping you up to 80 if you go in as a lowbie.  Though I imagine those early games are going to be a mess with people running around not knowing what they are doing).

    I even saw some article complaining that it was boring just having one ability at level 1.  I can’t think of a game where this wasn’t the case?  And it looked like you are level 1 for all of 5 minutes and that next ability comes pretty quickly.  

    So anyway I’ve been seeing a lot of complaining about this feature which I think is pretty short sighted.  Considering how much complaining there was when it was initially revealed that there would be skill trainers I thought people would be happier about this.  Personally I think it is a pretty cool feature.

  • Anonymous

    I agree completely on the skill acquisition.  It simply makes no sense to dive into this sort of mechanic with weapon skills.  Honestly, you only have skills so it shouldn’t take all that long, but again you only have 5 skills so what’s the point?  

    The energy change I don’t mind so much.  It feels like Anet’s overall goal is to provide easily achieved fun and changing energy gives it a quicker nudge in that direction.

  • http://twitter.com/MalchiorDeven Clint Oliver

    I’ll post my thoughts here from GW2guru…

    “My post was made prior to the system being displayed at GamesCom. Since
    seeing it in action, I have seen its purpose fulfilled in introducing
    people to the game, its mechanics, and the properties of each weapon. A
    good example of this was Totalbiscuit’s playthrough.

    However, I and several others are in agreement that after skills 2 or 3
    it starts to ramp up a bit too much. I understand the need to spread
    out the learning of skills as much as possible, but I don’t want to be
    limited in my performance if I move a little fast in the world or the
    story. (See Wartower’s Guardian footage where 4th Variety rushed
    through the Blood Legion storyline and had to fight off the Champion and
    a Giant Devourer with only 2 skills).”

  • http://twitter.com/damagedself Bryan

    Oh, just as an FYI to the readers, I wrote this post just after I read the blog post by Jon Peters, which effectively meant that it was before the conventions where obviously some stuff have already been clarified. Feel free to post whatever you’ve learnt as I’m sure even I could use some extra knowledge.

    Because I’ve never played any of the GW2 demos, and I’m not going to for a long time since I’m from Singapore, maybe some of the changes do work in the demos. So do share! Cheers!

  • Bridger

    I don’t think the skill aquisition is going to be a grind at all.  Watch the PVE Char Engineer video from Totalbiscuit on youtube.  He acquires 3 of the 5 skills in less than 40 minutes.  You’ll likely be able to fill out a whole weapon type in an hour or so.  So figure 5-6 hours to get every weapon skill available to your character?  That’s not really grindy at all.  Instead, the game is doling out the new skills at a pace that you can handle, without being overloaded with a  whole lot of text (and other *shiny new things*) when you just start the game.