Friday, April 24, 2015

Guild Wars 2 - Specializations by darthgr3g

Specializations

  • Trait lines to become core specializations. (5 per class)
  • Elite specializations unlock a new weapon with associated skills, new mechanic(s), unique armor skin(s), plus some combination of healing skills, utility skills and elite skills. (1 per class)
  • Each player may use up to three specializations at once. (3 core, or 2 core 1 elite)
Essential Viewing: New Trait UI

  • This will clear up a lot of what I'm about to say.
Traits

  • It is no longer possible to allocate traits to a 4th or 5th trait line.
  • Within each specialization used, a player may allocate all traits up to grandmaster. This is a functional increase from 14 trait points to 18.
  • Trait points no longer provide stat bonuses, these are being rolled into base player stats and gear stat increases.
  • All traits are being reworked and consolidated. Some traits will be rolled into baseline profession functionality, some will be combined with others, some will be removed or otherwise changed.
  • Adept, Master, and Grandmaster trait tiers for each specialization will be consolidated into three major trait choices.
  • It appears to no longer be possible to use lower-tier traits in higher-tier trait slots. For example, one can no longer use an Adept trait in Master slot.
Hero Points

  • Skill Points are now called Hero Points.
  • Hero Points are earned by leveling or overcoming skill challenges (now hero challenges).
  • Other repeatable endeavors that rewarded skill points will now reward materials.
  • Post-80 experience now progresses Mastery Tracks, which themselves are unlocked by Mastery Points, which are earned in a variety of ways in HoT: "commune points, adventures, and other gameplay."
Essential Viewing: Reward Track UI
Reward Tracks

  • Skills and traits are unlocked in tracks. Tracks are progressed by spending Hero Points. 100% completion of the Warrior's Strength track will unlock all Strength traits. 100% completion of the Warrior's Signet track will unlock all Signet skills.
  • Elite specialization-specific weapons, unique armor skins, mechanics, skills, and traits are unlocked by spending Hero Points in the elite specialization track.
Some Thoughts

  • Quick napkin math reveals about a ~95% reduction in possible (not necessarily good) ways to allocate a single trait line. Hopefully, ArenaNet is focused on maintaining 100% of the meaningful ways to allocate each trait line, and not too worried about robbing us of the ability to use Adept traits in Grandmaster trait slots.
  • The new reward tracks imply a strongly linear progression to unlocking existing skills and traits. 
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