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Guild Wars 2 Has been in development since 2007 and only now are we starting to hear about real content and gameplay mechanics. The first public demo of the game is scheduled for August 2010 at the Gamescom games convention in Cologne, Germany.. about time right?
Healing and Death.
Rather than being punished for dying the developers have decided to make it a fun part of the game experience. Where’s the fun in the usual mmorpg death of loss of exp or wondering around as a ghost looking for a rezz? Defeat should be an experience and part of the game and not one that’s intended to hammer us even more into submission making us want to throw our Mouse and Keyboards at the Cat.
The downed player has a number of skills enabling them to fight on for a chance to survive. Their skills in this ‘downed mode’ are less powerful, but the potential to rally from the edge of death and back into the action promises extra tactical involvement where normally a player would be sitting back at the potion shop licking their wounds.
GW2 has no dedicated healer class. So gone are the days of global chat “looking for a lvl 500 Healer!!”
Support players will have a more active role to play than just spamming heal spells at low health bars and watching them go up to full.
The usual dps/healer/tank system we all know and love as the staple diet of the effective party has been tweaked to become something of a more dynamically versatile system of play. Creative freedom and proactive roles for the support class has been re-invented.
Rather than the ‘rock paper scissors’ dps/heal/tank style of play that we’re used to we get to try a more dynamic ‘damage/support/control’ style of game play for the team to work with one another and accomplish the challenges faced together.
Again.. Not quite the typical skills system found in your everyday run of the mill common or garden mmorpg.
Apparently we’re given a 10 slot skill bar.. nothing new there then, but the first five skills are determined by the choice of weapons and class of the character and not directly slotted by the player.
The other five slots are used directly by the player chosen from a pool of skills relating to the players profession.. Believe me the GW2 dev blog made it sound a lot more complicated than it really is. The skill system seems easy to use and intuitive.
The ‘elite’ skills are still there, but we only get to use them infrequently. Described as “ultra-powerful skills that have a dramatic impact on the game” That sounds real cool huh?.. I love having a dramatic impact on a game :)
In the words from the horses mouth “An elementalist can call upon the power of the wind to shapeshift into a tornado that knocks enemies around and inflicts heavy damage, while a warrior might choose to harness the power of Destruction, to make all of his blows inflict area-of-effect damage.” Now that sounds like the kind of dramatic impact I want to inflict on a game!
As well as the usual One handed, Two handed and Off handed weapons there’s also the inclusion of environmental weapons.
The first five skills in the skill bar change dynamically to whatever we have in our hand.. So picking up a rock will change our skills to rock throwing skills. Picking up an Egg will change the skills to Egg throwing and Egg eating skills.. which vary depending on profession. Sounds pretty cool, though I can’t imagine why I’d want to go into battle with an Egg, but I’ll try anything once.
As well as Races, Professions and Cross Profession Combos.. all sounding really interesting even at its most basic level there’s some new info on Traits. We’re told they’re key in developing our overall build. Making us better at what we do.
With over 100 Traits for each profession there are far more than we could utilise on a single character so choices must be made for certain traits over another.
Changing traits on the fly outside of battle at no cost gives us room to experiment with what works and what doesn’t without having to go back to town wondering if we have enough gold.
Well that about wraps it up.. for now. There’s lots more to come I’m told, namely Armour, Equipment and Achievements. Apparently this is just the tip of the iceberg so I’m quite looking forward to announcements from NCsoft at Gamescom in August.