GW2 with Liana
Well, it’s time for the second half of my introduction into Guild Wars 2. I want to talk about the skill bars, the skills available and the combat system.
Skill bars. Every game has them. As much as I wish they would vanish there simply aren’t a lot of games that do it right, at least not MMOs. Guild Wars, I feel, has gone the route of less is more, which I personally like to see. 5 slots for main skills and 5 for secondary skills. The 5 main skills are determined by the weapon(s) you currently have equipped. Kayli, a thief, can have: [Main Hand]Dagger + [OffHand]Dagger, Pistol+Dagger, Sword+Pistol, and their reverses. She can also equip a short bow. Each of these weapon combinations produces a different set of skills. You have an auto attack and then some hot keyed skills. The complexity of character building comes from the set of secondary skills you have equipped. Some will give you passive bonuses to attack or defense, and using them will remove the passive boon and grant a timed effect with cooldown. So while I like the fact that the skill bar is very limited, it is also annoying because I don’t feel like I can use it effectively. On the opposite end of the spectrum you have games like Lotro, that have skill bars on top of skill bars. There is not a lot of diversity in character builds other than gear and some traiting.
So the skills available are unlocked with tokens you get from leveling up. You can then purchase a skill using those tokens. So simple skill bar, complex combinations.
So the combat system… To sum it up, keep moving. In Guild Wars the combat is much more dynamic and you will need to dodge attacks from enemies to stand a better chance of survival. My biggest gripe with this; if I don’t want to plug in my Naga MMO mouse, holding down right click to swing the camera while I try to hit buttons on my keyboard is laborious. I like moving around mostly to kite the enemy, but It gets cumbersome running around in a circle over and over again while I vulcan death grip my keyboard to hit my skills. Lotro and The Secret World both have the same problem, but I recently found a neat option on TSW that allows you to go into toggled mouse mode so you don’t need to constantly hold down RMB to move the camera.
So the combat feels tough. I find that I never really feel that powerful. Using stealth properly is hard because of my current hand positions on the keyboard, again this isn’t an issue if I have my Naga plugged in but that mouse is pretty lousy to game with. It’s plastic body just doesn’t feel right and I prefer my regular ol logitech with ‘shark skin’ feel. I think I learned that term in middle school when my friend bought a new n64 controller. Basically it’s rubberized plastic. You hand doesn’t sweat off it and become difficult to hold. Anyway… combat. I wish it was a bit more diverse. I find that I am doing the same thing over and over. And if I happen to pull more than one mob, then I can have a really tough time dispatching them both. I just wish the controls were a bit tighter. I feel like my arms are rubber and I have no power in my legs when I have a small window of opportunity to do something, such as stealth. I’m sure it’s something I can get better at but I am such a casual player that I am not sure I’ll figure things out before they retool the character classes and I have to relearn everything again.
But most of my gripes are personal problems. The play style is just something I need to get used to. With the lack of clearly defined combat roles it too takes some getting used to. Looking through all the skills to determine how I want to play is some what of a burden. There isn’t a lot of direction and experimenting is the only way to find the best set of skills for a playstyle. I could always get on the forums and listen to a bunch of people argue over something that probably won’t help me.
I like the game, but I want to love it. I’m having a hard time with some things and I feel like I am being drawn to other games. Guild wars is pretty and can be a lot of fun. I just feel alone in the world. Making new friends is cumbersome and if I get into a group without knowledge of my role in the system, I fear rejection and ridicule from my gaming peers. So in my next article I want to do some PvP/WvW and see how that shakes out. I’m still learning so much and it’s hard when you game hop and really take in a lot of small things. In chat acronyms so you can learn what’s going on, character build knowledge, and just general combat experience. I’m lacking in a lot of areas. In the coming weeks hopefully I’ll be able to build a character I can be proud of.
As usual I love to hear your feedback. If it gets better let me know.
-Liana Shadowfall <3