The skill system in GW2 is one of the many features that breaks from typical MMO conventions. Having a reduced skill-set has many benefits, but one of the “challenges” is how to make the acquisition of said skills meet the balance between feeling like good progress/progression and not feeling like a grind. See, if there are a lot of skills and skill tiers, “progression” is easy because you can simply give access to one or two skills every level. As you work through the game, you just get new skills, usually via gold. Aside from whether the costs imply grind, this is a pretty easy balance. However, by removing the massive list of skills, it becomes a bit more challenging. Do you give the skills up front? If so, then you remove that feeling of progression that many players enjoy. On the other hand, if you space them out evenly among levels… you only have say 20 skills (barring weapon skills) for 60 levels. That could take quite a long time to get all your skills, and that just feels grindy. Even worse, most games require you to constantly upgrade your skills to just “the better version of the same skill”. Again, that feels pretty grindy just to keep up.
Are you serious? Okay, in case anyone hasn’t been on Guildwars2Guru this week, there is a thread about the GW2 showing at G*Star. There have been a few videos posted of a human Elementalist, both in the high level and starter area. As has been explained by Regina, some slightly new features have been put into the demo because the game is a bit further into development since it’s first convention showing this cycle. Mostly, it’s that there are more “Asian” themed faces and clothing. It was explicitly stated that this is just a slightly different demo for marketing purposes, and the full version of the game will have both asian and western looking options for both character design and armor. Is that hard to understand? In GW1 there are western, asian and african themed customization options based on the campaign and subsequently continent the character is made for. In GW2 there are immigrants/descendants from Elona and Cantha that live in Kryta.
What I don’t understand is all the god-damn bitching and moaning and doomsday talk this thread is generating. Whenever there is something that people kind of don’t like, there will always be something of a QQ-fest about it… but my god. This is about some new faces. Let me repeat. New. Faces. Somehow, people are whining about hating asian looks, and feeling betrayed, and worrying that ANet is going to release multiple “versions” of the game, and that there will be “asian MMO grind”. As I just wrote about, the post-convention season is kind of a drought, but Jesus Christ get a grip! Calm down and take a deep breath and think a little bit rationally here. Not only has ANet shown a good track record and been very forthcoming about hating grind and talking about how they want their styles to look, they have directly addressed everything people are freaking out about. I know. It’s The Internet. Too much to ask for. Just go chill out and play Uncharted, MW, BF, get ready for Skyrim and AC:R or something. Just walk away from GW2 for awhile and come back with some fresh eyes. Or hell, we’ll probably just see on friday (the reported 11’th Blog Post”) a much wider variety of faces.
It’s been a pretty quiet time in the GW2 scene since the conventions started. Convention season lasts several months, from August to, well, now. During that time ANet is very busy commuting around the world holding various open demos of the game we all know and love. It has to be exhausting to be in such high-intensity situations for months; setting up, hosting, tearing down and traveling all take their toll. Last year the post-convention wasteland of information lasted for quite awhile (~6 months) if I recall correctly. We’ve had a few small articles, but they were mostly fluffy little tidbits that, while we all appreciate them, hardly sate our hunger for all things GW2. On a personal note this means that I have a lot less to talk and write about. Having been into the development the whole time, there just aren’t that many ideas to thrash around any more that haven’t already been talked to death on various forums by myself and many others. But fear not! Jon Peters has arrived to give us a nice little packet of information on the official blog.