Exclusive Guild Wars 2 Warrior and Traits Q&A with Lead Designer Eric Flannum

Excitement for ArenaNet's upcoming Guild Wars 2 continues to build as more gameplay details are revealed. One such aspect of the game that's been a hot topic of discussion among fans was the recent announcement of the Traits system. In a nutshell, traits can be unlocked through the completion of a series of profession specific challenges, and then used to enhance specific aspects of your character. Some might directly influence the way specific types of skills function in combat, while others will beef up the attributes associated with a given profession.

Ten Ton Hammer took some time to analyze how this system might play out in the live game in our article titled An Introduction of Traits in Guild Wars 2. If you haven't already done so, I thoroughly suggest checking it out to learn more of the nuts and bolts of the overall system.

We also had a few questions on how this system will function in the live game, and while rampant speculation is always fun sometimes it's better to go straight to the source to get the official scoop. That's exactly what we did, and Lead Designer Eric Flannum was awesome enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to provide us more details on traits as well as further insights into skill chains and the Warrior profession.

Ten Ton Hammer: Will players from a given profession be able to master or unlock all Traits associated with their profession? For example, if there are 100 different Warrior traits, will all players of that profession eventually be able to unlock all 100 traits, or will there be some choice involved in which out of the longer list of traits can be unlocked?

Eric: Yes, A warrior can master and unlock every trait available to their profession. It may not be the easiest thing to do but it is very possible.

Ten Ton Hammer: Will professions still have the equivalent of a "primary" attribute, or will the placement of traits into specific lines allow players to achieve the same effect in terms of being able to choose which specific attribute they want to favor over others?

"Players will not be forced to favor one trait line over another but rather customize each trait line as they see fit."

Eric: The concept of the “primary” attribute as it was used in Guild Wars 1 is not something we needed in Guild Wars 2. In GW1 primary attributes were used to make an Necromancer/Mesmer play differently from a Mesmer/Necromancer as well as give each profession a unique mechanic. Since we don’t have secondary professions in Guild Wars 2 the primary attribute mechanic was unnecessary.

Instead, each profession has a unique profession mechanic and in some cases multiple mechanics to make them feel distinct and play differently from their peers. Trait lines are used to allow players to differentiate themselves from others who share their profession. All warriors for example will equip traits into their tactics line but will choose different traits depending on their play style as well as their choice of skills and weapons. Players will not be forced to favor one trait line over another but rather customize each trait line as they see fit.

Ten Ton Hammer: Can players still directly adjust their attributes, or will these be handled differently in GW2 than they are currently in the original Guild Wars?

Eric: Players can still adjust their attributes. A character is given attribute points each time they level and players can assign them as they see fit. These attributes are much more like traditional RPG attributes and are shared among all professions. Respeccing attributes will of course be very easy to do.

Ten Ton Hammer: Will other professions be able to utilize skill chains, or are those something a bit more specific to the Warrior profession since its obviously very weapon dependent?

Eric: We pretty much run the spectrum on that one. I think it’s fair to say that no profession uses them more than the warrior (who has one on every melee weapon). The more melee oriented the profession is the more heavily they rely on chain skills although there are some exceptions to this where chain skills are sprinkled into some professions that make less use of them.

We’d like to thank Eric and the rest of the Guild Wars 2 team at ArenaNet for providing us answers to a few of our burning questions, not to mention developing one of the most anticipated games currently on our radar. Be sure to hop on over to Ten Ton Hammer’s Guild Wars 2 forums and join in on the discussion, and don’t forget to bookmark us!

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