GW2: Get Anything If You Axe Them Nicely

I quite like the composition here. I don't know why. I don't know why I'm writing about composition. I don't know anything.

Catching up with some interesting stuff we missed last week before E3 goes completely gonzoid, Adam noted that Arenanet have released more info on Guild Wars 2. In a continuation of what they’ve been doing before, it explores one system and dissects one character class. The system is the Traits, which are advantage-style bonuses you can add to your character’s skills to supplement your build. Read here. Secondly, they reveal the genre-staple of the warrior. Ah, hitting. Will we ever be bored of the hitting? Lots of details on their core mechanics and various uses of weapon types – from hammers to rifles – and a whole load of new videos showing off some attacks. WHICH FOLLOW!




Stomping your big stompy stomp-foot! (aka Floor hitting)

And Axe-hitting.

My favourite kind of hitting is pub-hitting for drinks, but doesn’t seem to be an option yet.

Yeah, despite the somewhat questionable character combat-barks, I’m actually impressed at how excited Guild Wars 2 – trad fantasy and all – is making me.


  1. Dominic White says:

    And just to kill the inevitable whining before it starts, Arenanet have already confirmed that the one-liners and other character speech bits are fairly rare, situationally triggered, and ENTIRELY OPTIONAL. You can turn them off if you’ve got a crippling allergy to Nolan North.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      I found the “hold that pose” quip mildly amusing.

      Anyway, even though they show the mobs dying in 1-2 hits in these, I doubt it’ll be the case in the finished product which is a shame because MMO combat (even GW’s combat) is boring as fuck.

      I’d like an MMO where you play powerful heroes and the game throws 20-30 mobs at you at once, which all die in one or two hits – more or less the same as being attacked by 2-3 mobs that die in 10, but a lot more visually interesting and with a much lesser sense of sitting there, wasting my time grinding.

      Basically, if CCP could get off their asses and make an Exalted MMO right about now, it’d be nice.

    • says:

      Ditching everything possible about the Exalted system and making a good, fun MMO that fit the setting would be nice. Also, get Jenna Moran involved – she wrote the best bits of the system, the 1e Sidereal charms, the 1e Fair Folk mechanics, and the 2e corebook charms. The system’s still horrendously terrible though, largely due to mechanics writers who don’t have a clue what they’re doing and seem entirely unfamiliar with the system.

      OTOH, don’t ever make an Exalted MMO, because it’s not proper Exalted if you can’t use Avoidance Kata to extricate yourself from an embarrassing social situation by having left the party two minutes earlier.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      user: yeah, I wasn’t suggesting using Exalted’s actual rules. Those are so godawful that I play Exalted using Wushu instead.

      No, a game vaguely based on Exalted’s mechanics, keeping the general WoD character sheet and using charms/spells acquired as the only measure of progress and where everyone plays Solars would be ace. EVE, but with less empty space and mining and incredible vastness that obfuscates everything.

      It’d finally give us an MMO that feels different, because you’d be playing what is essential a god and it’d end up more like an action game’s setpieces than boring old Everquest-alike grindfests.

    • Vitamin Powered says:

      The only problem with the one-liners in my opinion is that the sound like they’ve been spoken by some cheeky chap in a pub, not by somebody engaged in a life and death struggle who barely has time to catch their breath.

      And… I’m not so sure that I’d be okay with an Exalted MMO. Seems much more suited to a Diaklave & Sandal, GoW-inspired single player game than something involving The Forgotten Tears of Night’s Endless Crypt bidding against The Bronze Faction in the Manse auctions.

      And also… dissing on 2nd Ed rules? Isn’t that so 2008? Sure the splatbooks could have been better, but the system’s not designed for competition style play. Nor, really, should it be.

    • Baka says:

      @ Alexander Norris:

      You should check out TERA Online, could very well be what you’re searching for.

      link to

    • says:

      It’s not 2e’s rules, it’s almost all the rules of both editions, because they’re terrible both in themselves and for the style of game Exalted claims and tries to be. The good parts of the rules exist in spite of the rest of them, and should be stolen for other games as often as possible, but… it’s not just a 2e problem.

      Wushu is one answer, FATE is another.

    • Wulf says:

      Actually, the combat very likely will be exactly like they show it in the trailers. ArenaNet have a reputation for being completely honest with their players, and it’s not one they’d want to lose. Any long time Guild Wars player knows that. We might not have agreed with all their design decisions, but they always gave information to everyone fairly straight up, no beating around the bush.

      Even in these interviews, they’ve kept people appraised of the evolving state of the game. They’ve even been upfront about things that might disappoint people (such as losing the companion system, and giving a damned good explanation as to why they did) too, and you just don’t see this kind of thing from any other online game developer. Not Turbine, not Cryptic, not anyone. They’re known for it.

      If the combat isn’t as speedy as it is in those videos, I’ll be shocked. Their interviews say as well that they wanted speedy, meaty combat for Guild Wars 2, taking the all ready speedy combat of Guild Wars, and improving it from there.

    • MadMatty says:

      @ OP

      yup LOL – “I´m on a roll” ?!?
      thats weak dude.

    • MadMatty says:

      Well, i guess theyre trying to avoid household conversations starting with “Mooooom, whats… skullfucking?”

    • malkav11 says:

      I will say that more, weaker foes (with only the occasional epic single-enemy smackdown) is generally the way I prefer combat in any game and the MMO that does that best, imho, is City of Heroes. IIRC, soloing wouldn’t seem vastly different from other MMOs, but as you raise the number of party members you multiply the enemies until you might be fighting 30 baddies at a time – and plowing through them because, dangit, you’re superheroes. (or villains, I suppose). I really dug the combat in that game. Combat and travel powers. They just weren’t quite enough to keep me playing by themselves.

    • Wulf says:


      Guild Wars all ready did something similar with its instances, and Guild Wars 2 is doing it again. The world is all about dynamic world event thingies (read up on them), and if you wander into one and you’re alone, you might find yourself getting attacked by waves of six foes. If someone else comes along, that becomes 12, and so on for each person that arrives.

  2. Flaringo says:


  3. Xurathar says:


    The traits system looks really cool, it remembers me of the traits in Modern Warfare 2(with more variety, it seems). Anyway, it’s only their manner of replacing the numerous skills in Guild Wars, as they seem to have left GW2 with less skills to choose from.

    P.S: Charr warrior anyone?

    • The Great Wayne says:

      The argument the devs use is valid. Although you got many more skillset customization in GW1 system, only a handful were actually useful once you reached endgame.

      We still have to see the whole thing for GW2, but if they did well you could actually achieve a higher number of powerful builds than in GW1.

    • Dominic White says:

      Here’s the basic breakdown on how the skill bar has changed:

      It’s now 10 skills, instead of 8.

      Skills 1-5 are decided by your currently equipped weapon/class combo. You have two weapon sets that you can swap between, so you’ve got 10 skills right off the bat.

      Skills 6-8 are entirely open. Choose whatever you want to go in these slots. Skill 9 is an Elite skill of your choice. A big class-specific finisher. Skill 10 has to be healing-related.

      It’s more open than the original in some ways, but more restrictive in others. It does seem somewhat easier for the devs to balance, as your core skills are going to come from your weapon choice, which reduces the number of variables somewhat.

    • Wulf says:

      I plan on fiddling around with a Charr Warrior, Mesmer, and Shootygunperson, to see which of them I like the best. Warrior because mêlée is invariably fun, Mesmer because the concept amuses me greatly, and Shootygunperson because they have guns that are so powerful they throw even Charr over backwards (see: Races of Tyria trailer), which seems like it could be entertaining and great for a sense of power in that sort of game.

    • Sobric says:

      @ Wulf

      Did you play Mesmer in the original? Superb class, a load of fun. Can’t wait for it to make a return

    • Wulf says:


      I did, for a time! The primary thing I remember about them is, embarrassingly, purple. They were so incredibly purple, and in some cases, pink. So when I did it, I rolled with a Mesmer/Warrior, which struck me as the most pointlessly amusing combination that could exist. Plus: Buff man acting thespianic in purple nightwear.

      That it turned out to be surprisingly effective actually caught me off guard, since I originally rolled the character just for the laughs. Never did PvP though, so I don’t know how effective it would’ve been there, but it was great in PvE.

    • Wulf says:

      I do hope I get to dress my Charr Mesmer up similarly, come to think of it, but they probably won’t allow for that. >.>

    • Nick says:

      Its going to be the same sword skills for every sword though, isn’t it? That is a little worrying to me.

    • Sobric says:

      Mesmers were always ace in PvP, pretty much regardless of what secondary class you chose for them.

      When I first played GW, I tried a W/N on the basis that I could use my massive health pool to constantly sacrifice, and that Death Knights are cool. This failed because a) Sacrifices are % based and b) there weren’t any 2-handed swords, something that is essential for your common or garden Death Knight.

      Luckily GW2 addresses at least one of these two problems. It also seems fairly hard to fuck up your character, which is a huge boon in any RPG.

      Also: mindbleach on the Charr-mesmers please.

    • Wulf says:

      *dusts off his hands.*

      And that’s today’s traumatise-random-people quota met!

    • Dominic White says:

      @nick – Yep, same skills for all swords of the same type, but different skills for a single sword, two swords, a sword and shield, two-handed swords, etc. Apparently on just the Warrior alone, there are 19 possible equipment/skill sets, and you pick two of them.

      On top of that, closely-linked skills have been rolled together into special combo skills, where the each press fires off the next move in that chain, while still just taking up one skill slot.

  4. Adrian says:

    No great animations but better than what most mmos have. For some reason i liked the arrow attack the best

  5. The Hammer says:

    Rofl, those voices are so atmosphere-breaking, but for some reason I love them.

    • Dominic White says:

      It’s perfectly in keeping with Guild Wars. Did you ever see the things your NPC party members said? It’s a pretty sassy comic-book fantasy setting, not Ye Olde Grim Medievale Worlde.

    • Wulf says:

      My favourite being one of Pyre’s, which he stole from Firefly.

      You know what the chain of command is? It’s the chain I beat you with until you understand who is in command!

  6. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    I thought pub-hitting comes in as part of the trait system.

  7. Chris D says:

    A question for any physicists out there. Just how hard would you have to hit the ground in order to knock back any humanoid opponents around you?

    Follow up questions: What would happen to any buildings nearby? How many times could you do it before your knees snapped? How would the effect vary with terrain? eg: marsh, snow, desert, second floor of a building, bouncy castle? Why don’t you end up stuck down a hole with your enemies pointing and laughing at you?

  8. Lobotomist says:

    I kind of like combat speech. Like in good ol’ days of Duke Nukem :D

    “I came hear to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and i am all out of gum”

    • Dominic White says:

      The fact that the standard male hero voice seems to be Nolan North (who is in EVERYTHING, even more than Steve Blum… who is also in this game!) reminds me more of the Uncharted games than anything, where the protagonist would run his mouth almost constantly in response to things happening around him.

      I don’t think I will ever get tired of his little increasing-in-panic-and-volume “WhoaaaaAAASHIT!” as a grenade lands at his feet.

  9. Phill Cameron says:

    I think the most important thing we should take from this is that picking up a rabbit gives you new abliities.

    • Chris D says:

      I suppose it could give you the ability to dispose of unwanted lettuce, or to make more rabbits if you can find another rabbit.

  10. mandrill says:

    I like the effects they’ve used for the warrior’s attacks, nicely visceral and without that ubiquitous glow that makes everything look magickal and cartoony. Well played Arenanet, give your effects designer a raise.

  11. Sobric says:

    I’ve mentioned it before on this site, but the piece on their blog about Dynamic Events is a great read for those that haven’t looked at it yet. For me the most interesting piece beyond the class-system.

  12. Guildenstern says:

    That’s what Dragon Age combat should have looked like.

  13. GrandmaFunk says:

    this update has left me more optimistic than the last two, my enthusiasm is restored

  14. Urthman says:

    the one-liners and other character speech bits are fairly rare, situationally triggered, and ENTIRELY OPTIONAL

    It’s more that any dev team that would not leave that crap on the cutting room floor, that is actually proud of that cringe-worthy dialogue enough to feature it in a trailer rather than hide it from the press at all costs? It seems impossible that I would enjoy anything that dev team would do.

    Wait…some of you like that stuff? Could you put an asterisk next to your user name, so I know that I’m unlikely to agree with any of your opinions ever? Are you the same people who like Bioware dialogue? (I’ve only played Jade Empire and have been wondering if Mass Effect and Dragon Age are as bad…)

    • Wulf says:

      They are as ‘bad’. Mass Effect 2 has Grunt shouting hilarious things like “I YAM KROGAAAN!” in the middle of a firefight, which almost made me spit water the first time it happened. To be honest though, I think that a bit of cheese lightens up the proceedings and elevates the merriment of it all. If it was all visceral combat and silence, it’d get a little dull, or emo, or both.

      And lordy, the last thing this world needs is another Cloud Strife.

      So I’ll take cheesy lines most days of the week over most other alternatives. Sure, they could have context sensitive dialogue, but having that for every player and every class would be an impossible task, so I think that the cheesy lines are an acceptable alternative.

      Just my opinion though, I mean… it’s a laugh, innit?

    • Wulf says:

      And then there was Garrus saying “Yep, that ought to do it.” at everything.

      Kill a bunch of people? Yep, that ought to do it.
      Finish a Firewalker mission? Yep, that ought to do it.
      Find something neat? Yep, that ought to do it.
      Finish a quest objective? Yep, that ought to do it.

      I giggled at this, lots, because I figured it was Garrus’s signature sentence, something that he thought would make him sound cool, said knowingly with a nod. Because really, Garrus is sort of a nerd. A deadly nerd with amazing gun and command skills, but still a bit of a nerd, and very socially awkward (you should see what happens i you try to romance him).

      “Is he going to say i–”
      Yep, that ought to do it.
      “Yes, yes he is. Haha.”

      And again, it all made me laugh, really. I don’t know why, but it just amuses me, these silly little things characters say, that break up the silence and make things seem not so bleak.

    • Tei says:

      “To the eyes, Boo, to the eyes!”

    • Wulf says:

      Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes! RUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSK!!!

    • Sobric says:

      Ever used Tali’s drone in ME2? Massive shout-out to BG2 there.

    • bleeters says:

      @ Wulf

      Garrus’s lines were the only ones that vaguely annoyed me. Hell, he’s one step away from yee-hawing and waving a cowboy hat.

      My favourite? Mordin, probably. “Flammable! Or… inflammable! Forget which, doesn’t matter”

    • Wulf says:

      That line was hilarious, but Mordin was amazing through and through. I still can’t believe he did a Modern Major General parody.

  15. Vogon says:

    I hope there’ll be an option to have the in-game camera behave like it does in these videos. At least during combat. Just recently I watched some GW1 videos on YouTube and it looked terribly yawn-y, like most other MMOs, because of the rigid camera.

  16. Wulf says:


    Especially the arrow shooty one, which is simply sublime.

  17. Wulf says:

    Absolutely worth creating a new comment for and linking.

    Okay, I’ll be good, now. But you should all know how much Guild Wars 2 excites me by now.

  18. skalpadda says:

    What the christ is up with keeping the camera tilted at an awkward zoomed-in angle in those videos? I felt my head slowly beginning to lean while watching.

  19. Vinraith says:

    I’m trying to figure out why I’m not more enthusiastic about this than I am. Guild Wars is literally my only online-RPG love, ever. I played that game in excess of a thousand hours, which means the only game that beats it on overall time in-game for me is Morrowind. Even with my concerns about the more MMO-like elements, the loss of heroes, and the like I should still be really interested in this one, but I’m having a hard time working up enthusiasm. I wonder if it’s because my GW account got hacked, that did pretty much kill the game for me.

    Eh, I’ll probably buy it when it comes out anyway.

  20. Grape Flavor says:

    See, Guild Wars footage looks interesting. And the fact that there’s no monthly fee makes it even more interesting. The Old Republic looks like a WoW clone. I have no doubt that it will be the best damn WoW clone ever made, but it does.

    I love Bioware and I love the TOR setting, but if the gameplay is lame and I have to pay per month it’s going to be hard to choose TOR over novel MMOs like Guild Wars 2.