ArenaNet Dev Blog Details Big Class and Combo Changes to Guild Wars 2
The engineer tool belt is the first item touched on in the dev blog. Thanks to some additional testing, the Guild Wars 2 devs have expanded the tool belt function. Initially, the tool belt was a simple profession mechanic that used the F1-F4 keys to tie some heal and utility skills in slots 6-9, but some additional testing has led to an expansion on that system and the creation of 23 new skills.
The ranger pets also got a bit of love. Rangers now have two terrestrial and two aquatic pet slots and they can actively switch between those pets during combat even if one has been defeated. This has the added benefit of reviving a downed pet at full health should you switch back again. Just dont get too comfortable with that thought; there is a cooldown timer on changing out pets.
The Guild Wars 2 devs have also improved pet controls and added two pet stances Active and Passive. In Active stance, your pet will follow you around and if you attack a target it will assist you. In Passive, your pet will not attack unless ordered to do so.
Pets also no longer evolve and are instead set to the rangers level with their stats and abilities being determined by their species. Charming a species will unlock that species for the ranger and allow them to equip that species in any pet slot when out of combat. This will prove to be useful for rangers given the fact that each species has three basic skills that define its family, each with their own benefits such as tanking, damage dealing and even crowd control.
For example, bears are hard to kill, drakes do AoE damage, devourers use ranged attacks, etc. These skills are automatically used by the pet. Each species within a family has a unique skill. For example, polar bears have an icy roar that freezes enemies, while brown bears have a roar that removes conditions.
Lastly, more information about Guild Wars 2's cross-profession combos is also touched on. If youve played The Lord of the Rings Online with its Fellowship Maneuvers and EverQuest II with its Heroic Opportunities, this will sound somewhat similar. Combos begin with an Initiator and ends with a Finisher. When executed correctly, players get a powerful combo attack that can provide different effects based on the combo. This is also prompted in the UI to let players know when they have an opportunity to add to the combo. Despite the fun aspect of teamwork with the system, the blog does talk about a few balance issues that popped up with the system that allowed some really powerful stuff to be wielded by the player.
You can get more details in the full dev blog.