Date: Apr 26, 2012  |  Written by Jason Dodge  |  Posted Under: Article, Featured Article  |  DISQUS With Us: 2 comments

The Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Event is nearly here! Gamers from around the world will finally get their hands on the game for the very first time. If you’re reading this, you are a GW2 Junkie, and you’re looking for an edge. We want to share with you a few tips that will help you navigate your way around Arenanet’s masterpiece of a game. Some of the systems in Guild Wars 2, such as leveling, combat and skill gains, are very different from what most players might expect. So, instead of spending precious time figuring out the new systems, we’re here to help you get through the learning curve as fast as possible, and get you to tearing down walls in the Mists of World vs. World.

Keep reading for a full range of tips from character customization, to learning what your profession can do.

Character Customization

Character creation in Guild Wars 2 is much like any other game. You pick a race, gender, profession, and then you play around with hairstyles and skin tones etc. What’s different in GW2 is that you may also choose the color scheme of the gear you start with. Choose from an assortment of dye colors, and up to three colors per item slot, to find your ideal combination. The cool thing about the dye system is that the dye will transfer to every new piece of gear you equip, so you automatically don’t need to worry about the “clown effect”.

Spend as much time as you like getting your equipment looking sharp, however, don’t worry about permanence. In Guild Wars 2 you can change the dye colors of your gear wherever you are, whenever you want. There is a little dye dropper icon in your Hero Sheet, where you can undo or redye your gear’s colors to your heart’s content. If you get a new piece of gear, and the colors you chose during character creation look terrible, you can change it right away!

Opening Up Your Weapon Skills

When you start off in Guild Wars 2, you will be equipped with a default weapon based on class, and only have access to the first skill, in the “1″ slot. As you kill enemies with your weapon, you gain experience towards unlocking the next skill. This is the case any time you equip a new weapon type for the first time. You have access to skill 1 at first, you then unlock skill 2, then 3, and so on.

Once you gain access to weapon swapping, a great way to quickly unlock new skills is to fight creatures with your fully unlocked weapon set, but right before they die, switch your weapons. You don’t need to fight a creature start to finish with the new weapon to unlock its skills, you just need to be wielding it when it dies.

Special Case: For Elementalists, you need to be attuned to the Element you want to unlock the weapon skill for. For engineers, unlocking weapon skills is only necessary for wielded weapons. Kits that replace your weapon skills, such as Flamethrower, do not need to be unlocked.

Weapon Skill Previews

If you’re also curious about which weapons you can wield and what they do, the answer is very simple. In your Hero window, under the Skills and Traits tab, you’ll see your Weapon Skills. Here you can preview all of the weapons available to your class, and all of the skills associated with them.

Buying New Weapons

Once you’re finished with the initial tutorial area, you might want to wield and unlock a different weapon. In each starting area, you will find merchants close by, displayed as different colored dots on your minimap. You might not have enough coin to buy a weapon right away, however, if you complete your first story quest (green icon/text) you should have enough to buy a new weapon. Refer back to your Skills tab to help you choose.

Weapon Pro-Tip: For any profession that can wield a Greatsword, we recommend you buy one as soon as possible!

How to Level Fast

Guild Wars 2, or rather Tyria, is a beautiful world that is very worthy of exploring and experiencing organically. Because there are no “side quests” in the game like traditional, modern DIKU MMORPGs like WOW, RIFT and TOR, it’s very easy to get lost in just experiencing the world, and flowing from event to event. However, we know there are many people out there that just love to level FAST.

Here are a few things you should know. As you progress through each map, you’ll find NPCs with a telescope icon above their head. When you talk to these guys, they will preview the local Renown Hearts nearby. This will give you a quick look at what you can do within the area. These hearts represent “Public Quests”, where there is a certain objective that you need to complete nearby the heart on the map. These can only be completed once, and reward players with currency and experience. Often, other local events will occur near the hearts, allowing you to complete the heart and event at the same time. Your character’s story quests will often draw you near these areas as well.

So, what’s the best way to level, if leveling is your only concern? Story quest -> complete hearts -> do events as much as possible along the way. This is assuming you’re not PVPing at the same time!

Down-Leveling and How It Helps

If you find yourself walking into a lower level area, you will notice that your level will lower to match the content around you. This has many benefits, since it allows you to experience all content at a certain power level, and gain appropriate rewards for doing so. If you find yourself underleveled in your progression path, you can always explore other lower level areas that you might not have done (eg. other racial starting zones) and get caught up.

This also allows you to play with friends if you managed to outlevel them!

Level 80 Character Previews and Utility Skill Testing

As you might know, Guild Wars 2 boosts your character’s level for competing in PVP. By entering The Mists, your character is boosted to level 80, giving you full access to all of your skills, elites and trait points. In the Mists you can play around with builds and check out different skills. Before spending skill points on utilities, you can test them out first in The Mists!

Combat Tips and Tricks

Combat is a little different as well. While you can tab target and attack Mobs traditionally, your attacks will hit whatever is in the way. If you are targeting something in the distance, but there is a melee mob in front of you, your ranged attacks will hit the melee mob first. Many attacks are frontal attacks too, for example, greatsword attacks often hit 2-4 targets at the same time.

Evasion is also a key strategy when in combat. You can dodge attacks by just moving around enemies, so stay mobile. You also have an actual dodge. Double tap a directional key to roll in that direction and actively evade attacks. Be warned, you have an endurance bar that will deplete when you dodge.

Much like any other MMORPG, Line of Sight is important. You can use this to your advantage to block attacks and get out of the way of damage, particularly ranged attacks.

These tips should get you over the learning curve and destroying your enemies faster than otherwise possible! If you have any other tips that you’ve found after this coming weekend, come back and put them in the comments for everyone else to see.

  • Drew Rodriguez

    learn the wind up animations for big attacks.  Most of them have something that will warn you before the massive damage.

  • Charzan

    Thanks for this!