There have been a lot of big reveals recently about gameplay in Guild Wars 2. So far we’ve found out extensive information about the dynamic events system, how your character will have its own personal story and much, much more. This is a lot of information in a short period of time which is why we’ve decided to take a look at what each bit means for the future of Guild Wars 2.

Skills, Professions, & Races

The eight skill skillbar from the original Guild Wars titles is to be replaced by an all new skillbar that contains ten skills. The skillbar also functions a lot differently than it does with Guild Wars. The first five skills will come either from your weapon or some environmental effect (like picking up a boulder or operating a siege weapon). You’ll then have five additional spells. Three are free-for-all while one is reserved for an elite skill and the last is reserved for a healing spell. That means you’ll have five skills from your weapon, three skills that you choose, one elite skill, and one healing skill.

There will be eight professions in GW2. Scholars are “mage” type professions and wear light armor. Adventurers are the non-magic but non-warrior type professions and will wear medium armor. Soldiers, the warrior professions, will of course wear heavy armor. Right now we only know about the Warrior (a Soldier) and the Elementalist (a Scholar).

Secondary professions no longer exist, but don’t despair. Your primary profession means a lot more now which means combat will be unique for every class (instead of a unique primary attribute). Additionally, class combos matter a lot more now. An example given is that an Elementalist could spawn a Firewall while a Warrior will use Cyclone Axe to send the flames toward the enemy.

Race will also factor into the combat. Each race will have its own set of racial skills which can be equipped and provide a unique advantage to each race. A good example is that a Norm could perhaps transform into their Wolf Form and cause a ton of havoc.

For an in-depth analysis of the changes to the skillbar be sure to read our Anatomy of a Skill Bar.

Dynamic Events

The “Dynamic Events” system is a game mechanic that will provide a unique gameplay experience for players by making the world actually live. In all MMOGs to date the world is static. NPCs roam in camps and quest givers give the same quests over and over. However, in GW2 we’re going to see an active world that responds to the quests that the players complete.

The system works a lot like Warhammer Online’s public quest system. You’ll go to an area where a dynamic event is taking place and help. If you succeed the story will change – like the good guys will retake a city. If you fail then the enemy will take more ground and begin launching an assault on the opposing cities. This back and forth will generate a unique story. If you retake the city and remove the baddies then you’ll go on to handle an entirely new threat. If you fail then you’ll need to entrench yourself with the current enemy.

The dynamic event system will be entirely separate of the personal story system so that players won’t be punished if they fail to unlock one chain of events instead of another. This will keep the game fresh, exciting, and new while maintaining a fair atmosphere. Additionally, the dynamic events will change based on the strength of the player forces. The more players there are then the harder the fight will be to compensate or vice-versa for when fewer players are around. This makes all of the events accessible even if a few players are available. Not to mention the fact that rewards will be based entirely on participation, much like public quests in Warhammer Online.

If you’re interested in reading our in-depth analysis of the Dynamic Events system then please read: Dynamic Events in Guild Wars 2: Living in a Living World.

Storytelling will be done with graphics instead of words, something that the industry lacks a lot of right now.

Personal Stories

Of course, a game with a living world is great, but a lot of the movement will be handled by roving groups of adventurers looking to take on the challenges in front of them. That’s not all about “you” but it’s all about the “world.”  MMOGs often take the approach of driving you along a linear storyline until you reach the apex – the final bad guy, defeat him and then wait on the expansion when a new villain will ride in to rain on the parade. GW2 will diverge from this path and make sure that your story is personal and attuned to you instead of a singular linear story.

The first part of this is the dynamic event system. You’ll wander around the world experience something new and different each time because some entire questlines won’t be accessible while other entire areas will be. This adds in replay value while providing you with lots of extra, new, and exciting content.

The second part is the actual “personal story.” Your personal story is a story generated by you from when you first make your character until you finish the game. You’ll have many choices when making your character on its background (a lot of which are race specific) which will determine a large part of the story. This is followed by options along the way of assisting various NPC factions (or “orders”) and working toward the ultimate goal with or without them.

Additionally, housing will be available in the game allowing you to have your own personal space within the world. It’ll work similarly to Phantasy Star Universe where your room will be instanced and you’ll be able to invite others into it. This will allow you to have a resting space away from others and possibly some other unique functionality.

A personal story isn’t meant to exclude your friends though. You’ll be able to invite them into your own story to allow them to assist you and help them view more about the world or more options. You won’t be able to go back and “farm”  storylines, once you make a choice you’ll need to stick with it, so teaming up with others is a great way to answer the “what-if”  questions that you may have if the storyline is something you’re interested in.

We have a two part series that goes in-depth about both of these changes. You can read part one here (which focuses on the character creation aspect in addition to housing) and part two here (which focuses on the world and various NPC factions that you’ll be able to assist). 

Why not come to the Ten Ton Hammer community forums and share your thoughts on all of the recent reveals?

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Guild Wars Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Xerin 1
Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.