Let’s be honest here, we have been going nuts ever since Gamescom. People are saying the hype is dying, moderators have to step in every day to ask members to stay on topic and it’s been one big guessing game. ArenaNet knows this and has finally decided to do something about it, and instead of choosing a title like: Pets and how they look updated, they decided to give us everything we wanted: a development update.
But before we start talking about something else, I want to zoom in on one particular sentence. “From art and sound to filling out and polishing all of the content in the game, we’re making great strides toward completing Guild Wars”.
I don’t want to speculate about things that are beyond me, but when you take great strides you finish more quickly, and, when you take great strides, aren’t you nearing the finish. Let’s hope that by January, we can all pre-order our Collector’s Edition of Guild Wars 2.
There are three mechanics that have been developed and are ‘finished’:
- The tool belt for the engineer
- The pets for the rangers
- The cross profession combos
Let’s start with the engineer.
Some of the utility skills gave the engineer a special set of extra skills, which were gathered in their tool belt. One problem: some skills. So half of the time, your tool belt was either half-empty or half your utility bar was a collection of skills that gave a corresponding tool belt skill, but weren’t necessarily your choice. So it was bound to happen: every skill got a corresponding tool belt skill.
No longer struggling with back packs, your utility skills just get an extra boost. And to be honest, it’s done the ArenaNet way, again. Every tool belt skill feels so natural when compared to its utility skill, just like the rest of Guild Wars 2.
Secondly, the ranger and his pets.
Now, it has been known for a long time that the pets were getting a major redesign. Maybe not as big as the sylvari redesign, but for some just as important.
Before, your pet was controlled by five buttons, each having a unique mechanic tied to it. That didn’t give you much control over your pet, and it didn’t work out that well. For any other MMORPG, they would’ve left the whole system alone and put it in the game as is. But not for ArenaNet.
Now, you can swap between your two pets using the F4-key. When your pet is down or defeated, you can still swap them out and use the second pet, which has a full health bar when brought forth. When you swap out your first pet again, it will have a full health bar too, despite being defeated before. However, if your pet was down when you swapped it, you will have to wait longer to swap it again.
Your pet now has two stances: passive and aggressive. When aggressive, it will attack what you are attacking and when passive, your pet won’t attack anything unless ordered to. You can now lock a target for your pet using the F1-key and it will begin attack that target immediately.
Something new is the F2 ability. Every “family” of pets has a special skill, which activates when you hit the F2-key.
While reading the blog post, it got me wondering if the new pet system won’t feel overpowered. Switching your pets when they get low on health so you can keep them alive indefinitely. Won’t that be a big problem in PvP. We’ll just have to wait and see and to be honest: ArenaNet has proven themselves in the past, I’m sure they not disappoint us now.
And now, for the big finish: Cross Profession Combos.
We have known about this mechanic ever since the beginning, yet we are all (still) fishing as to which extend this goes. You shoot an arrow through a firewall and it’ll be on fire, only logic. But Guild Wars 2 is the (as far as I know) first game to implement such a mechanic.
Now, ArenaNet has pushed its creativity to a new level. To understand their creativity, you’ll first have to understand how cross profession combos work.
Combos consist out of two parts: initiators and finishers. Nothing confusing about that: the initiator lays down the field that will give the “theme” of the effect and the finisher creates the action that causes the combo.
Now, for the example. I’d like to explain it to you, but a picture says more than a thousand words.
ArenaNet introduced another UI which will make combos even less confusing: the Combo UI. When creating a combo, a floating notification will pop-up telling you the field-type and the finisher type. I don’t see how they could’ve made it easier for us to enjoy and understand the game.
Three subjects we’ve all been waiting for, explained to us at our very pushy demand. Now, if I’m right, we’ll also get a blog post in the week of 11th of November, and we’ll receive information about the last profession, which is now almost certainly the mesmer, as well as the beta progression, I’m sure of it.
But in the main time: keep polluting the Speculation thread at the GuildWars2Guru forum. The moderators just love it.