GW 2 – The Anatomy of a Skill Bar (10Ton)

Discussion in 'Game Discussion' started by Acina, Nov 22, 2010.

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    Acina Admin Officer


    by Sardu May 26th, 2010

    A detailed analysis of how the GW skill bar has been reimagined for GW2

    Guild Wars - The Blank Slate


    In the original Guild Wars campaigns and Eye of the North expansion, players are essentially given a blank slate to create builds for their characters, provided they adhere to a few key rules:

    • Skills can only be from either your Primary or Secondary profession, in any combination
    • A maximum of 1 Elite skill can be used per build
    • A maximum of 3 Title Track skills can be used per build (PvE Only)
    • Skills can only be swapped out in Towns or Outposts

    Of course actual build creation is a much more complex thing, but for the most part the sky is the limit in terms of exactly which of the hundreds of available skills can be placed into the 8 slots at any given time. For example, here is a Ritualist build that I use fairly often in PvE:


    In the above example, the main focus of the build is on primary Ritualist skills, with 1 slot taken up by the Elite skill Signet of Spirits (slot 1) and 2 slots utilizing the PvE-only Title Track skills Vampirism and Feel No Pain (slots 2 and 8). The beauty of this system is that another player might decide to create a similar build, only in their version the PvE-only skills might be swapped out with something from their secondary profession to make the build function altogether differently while still having a heavy focus on spirit spamming.

    While some might consider 8 slots to be fairly limiting when compared to other titles in the genre, once you begin to factor in that teams consist of 8 players you suddenly begin to realize just how complex a thing selecting a team build consisting of 64 skills out of hundreds spread across 10 different professions can be. In fact, the relative lack of restrictions to builds in Guild Wars is one of the major things that have been revisited in Guild Wars 2. According to Lead Designer Eric Flannum:

    Guild Wars 2 - The Structured Deck

    Among the first details regarding combat to be revealed for Guild Wars 2 was an interesting look some of the changes that have been made to the original game's 8 slot skill bar design. The most obvious among them is of course the addition of 2 additional skill slots, for a total of 10 in GW2. But what are some of the other, potentially more significant changes, and how will they ultimately effect combat and build construction? Let's take a look at some of the main restrictions on builds and how they'll differ somewhat from the original game.


    In the above image, I've color coded the 10 skill slots to make it easier to visualize what each of them can contain. Keep in mind that this is only an estimation of how a build might be structured based on available information so far, as it's entirely possible that the final layout will be very different than what I've mocked up here.

    Based on the known info so far, builds in Guild Wars 2 will consist of the following:

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    Acina Admin Officer

    We now know the below are slightly incorrect, each classes elite skill is actually in Slot 10

    And the healing skill/skills are placed in Slot 6:

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