Thursday, August 23, 2012

Guild Wars 2 - I'm Here, Now What?

So you've decided to jump into Guild Wars 2. You could be brand spanking new to MMOs or coming to this game with experience from other games. Either way, Guild Wars 2 is not quite like other MMOs, and so I'm giving you this insight into what's going on, in the form of answers to some questions you might be having.
What Does It Mean "Home World"?
As a player of Guild Wars 2, you can have 5 characters on one server. You can only ever belong to one server, which they call your Home World. The reason for this is because one of the core PvP options is what is called World Vs. World, or WvW for short. In it, you are pitted against another server's population. By being limited to only having one World, you will never be able to head over to another one to cheat.

You can switch your Home World, but it costs you gems, which cost you real cash. At a point in the future, you will be able to Guest on another server, playing one of your 5 characters from your Home World, but when doing so you will not be able to participate in PvP.

Which Race Is Best For My Class?
The answer to this is simple: any of them. ArenaNet has tried to make all races equal, for purposes of PvP mostly but also just because being pigeon-holed isn't all that fun. As such, there are no statistics tied to your race. Your hit box is the same whether you're a Norn or an Asura. Your choice of race determines the following: what you look like; what your personal story options will be; racial Elite Skill options; starting location. Everything else is based on your other choices.

Quest Progress? I Thought There Weren't Any Quests!
There are three types of "questing" activities in Guild Wars 2: Renown Hearts, Dynamic Events, and Personal Story. When you begin the game, you'll see a guy in front of you with a green starburst over his head, and yes, this means he's a guy to talk to in order to further a quest. This is part of your Personal Story, which functions in a traditional fashion, where you have a tracker on your screen showing you your current quest objective.

Renown Hearts are the bread and butter of Guild Wars 2 content. Someone in the world has things he wants you to do, and you can do them. Shown on the map as a heart, these areas have a variety of tasks you can perform in order to complete them. You do not need to speak with the person to begin performing these tasks, though doing so will give an explanation as to why you're doing them. tasks can vary from watering plants to killing bandits. Multiple options exist for each Renown Heart, so you can do whatever makes you happiest. When you are in one of these areas, a bar will appear in the quest tracker, showing how close you are to completing this Renown Heart. Once it is complete, you receive experience and karma, the actual Renown NPC becomes a karma vendor, and mail is sent to you thanking you for your heard work and giving you money.

Dynamic Events are the most advertised questing option for the game. Sometimes you will be someplace and an event will occur nearby. Some kind of notification will occur, be it text across the screen, an NPC running up and asking for help, or some other notification. An area on your map and minimap will be circled in orange, showing where the event is occurring. A tracking item will appear in the quest tracker at the top right of your screen showing what needs to be done and tracking its progress. Complete the event and you gain XP, money and karma. Many dynamic events will be part of a chain, and some other event will trigger off of it. Follow NPCs around after you complete an event to see if they start a new one. Also, you can fail Dynamic Events, which initiate different options, like taking the town back.

Why Can't I Mine This Ore?
Much like other games, you must have the appropriate tools to gather crafting materials. There are four types of tools you can use: mining pick, harvesting sickle, logging axe, and salvaging kits. You purchase these from merchants. Salvaging kits are sold by karma vendors, which the Renown quest givers become when you've completed their tasks. The other three are purchased from merchants for cash.

You will note when you find these items that they have numbers on them. This is the number of uses you can get out of them. When they run out, you'll have to go buy another. Also, Salvaging Kits are used to get crafting materials out of Salvage Items, which are clearly labeled as such when you get them, and gear that drops. Double-click the Salvaging Kit and then click on an item you want to salvage for parts.

Which Crafting Profession Should I Choose?
Any of them. As a rule, you can only have one Crafting Profession at a time. You can, however, learn another at any time, and all skill levels and recipes from the previous skill will be retained if you choose to relearn it. As an example, you have been working on your Armorsmithing and now want to make weapons. Your skill at Amorsmithing is at 100. You head over to the Weaponsmith trainer and learn the new skill for  small amount of money, replacing Armorsmithing entirely. You level this to 100 and then want to go back to Armorsmithing. Paying a small fee to the Armorsmithing trainer, you regain your level 100 Armorsmithing skill and all of the recipes you knew before are still there.

How Do I Get Skill Points?
Skill points are used to buy Utility Skills. Starting at level 5, you gain one skill point per level. There are also Skill Challenges strewn about the world, appearing on your map as a blue chevron. Completing the challenge grants you a skill point. It's totally worth it to collect them all. In fact, it's the only way you'll be able to get all of the skills.

Well, that's all I have for now. I hope you find this information useful.


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