Guild Wars 2 is, as we all know, still in development, therefore, big changes will still occur. In this new blogpost by Eric Flannum and Jon Peters we get a better look at achievements, changes to the thief profession and also a look at how the combat system has evolved over the course of development.
Previously we were only aware of the achievements ala those which you’ll find in Guild Wars or any other MMO, those that need a certain amount of work within a larger time period to achieve and are account-based. Next to these achievements we also heard of daily feats, which were being implemented to make the border between hardcore and casual players smaller. Daily feats would enable you to do certain tasks that would give you experience (and now they will also reward you with gold) when completed, effectively giving you an experience boost to keep up with those that could spend more of their time. These daily feats are now also incorporated within the achievement system as daily achievements, making it easier for you to see which tasks you can do on each day by just opening up the achievement panel. New to the table however, are monthly achievements, these are mid-term tasks that require you, just like daily achievements, to complete a certain amount of set tasks to receive a bonus at the end of each month. Oh and, completing any of these achievements now also grants you achievement points which will round-up your account’s achievement score.
So to sum up:
- Achievements are long-term goals with purely cosmetic rewards.
- Daily achievements are short-term, easy-to-complete goals that reward you with gold and experience.
- Monthly achievements are medium-term goals that encourage a variety of play and reward you with gold and experience.
- Titles can be earned by completing certain achievement tracks.
Next up: Thiefs. The steal skill is still being placed under the F1 button, once you steal a skill however, the steal skill will be replaced by a skill that is connected with the item which you’ve stolen from your opponent. This skill is a one-use skill but can be saved until a later time, making it possible to strategically use your skill at the right moment. While previously you would lose all of your normal skills when you stole something, these now stay in place and can be used at the same time as your steal skill has been replaced by another skill. Aside of changes to the steal mechanic, ArenaNet has also placed some skills under the ‘Stealth skills’ category. These skills only show up when your thief is in its stealth state and replace the first skill on the left side of your skill bar. Two given examples are: Stealth Attack and Backstab.
Last, but certainly not least, are the changes to the combat mechanic. While previously reserved for the triplet: Sever Artery to Gash to Final Thrust, animation-blending from one skill to another skill has now been made easy by some changes to the Guild Wars 2 engine and is now able to be applied to almost all skills available. Because of this change, one can now also stop at certain points between the animation to use a different skill instead of completing the one which he/she had previously used.
Making these improvements has been really interesting and fun because it has shown us how our game can feel appropriately action oriented without taking away the familiarity of the MMO genre. We talk a lot about bringing dynamic combat to MMOs, and we have learned that the best way to do that is to retain a very traditional control scheme while letting the skills and their interactions define the combat. We wanted a player’s first impression to be, “I know how this works: I use ‘WASD’ to move, target with tab, and hit skill buttons.