Hall of Monuments - Earn special Guild Wars 2 rewards based on your achievements in the original Guild Wars and Guild Wars: Eye of the North. Hall of Monuments
Music & Sound Design - One of the key features is the ability to tie any audio cue (including music) to our game’s dynamic event system. For example, if a fort comes under attack by centaurs, you might hear the music change to increase the tension of the situation. Even beyond this, the music system will work intelligently whenever you’re out in the world. By analyzing nearby friends and enemies and keeping track of what everyone is doing, it tries to gauge what’s happening in the world, and will switch up soundtracks accordingly, while still trying not to make the transitions too frequent or jarring
Finally, no matter how fantastic a game’s music is, when you hear the same music for the thousandth time, you start wanting to change things up a bit. Many players will simply turn the game music off and play their own collections. The problem is that an external music player has no context as to what’s going on in-game. Guild Wars 2 will offer a solution for this as well. We’re giving players the option of choosing external music playlists that the game’s audio engine will use as a replacement for the default in-game music. Players can choose different playlists for background ambience and battle music, for instance. Additionally, when appropriate, such as during cinematics, the game can revert back to in-game music temporarily to give the best possible cinematic experience, then resume the custom playlist when it’s done.
We’re creating a gigantic world, and we want it to be filled with the sounds you’d expect in a living, breathing environment. The sheer quantity of sounds required is staggering. Every single critter in the game, from chickens running around underfoot to a huge creaking Oakheart trudging through the snow will have a complete and unique set of sounds. When a warrior in full plate mail runs by, he will sound very different than an elementalist in her cloth armor. In Guild Wars 2, much of the natural ambience of the world actually comes from the creatures, characters, and players all around you. You’ll hear frogs croaking as you approach the edge of a river, but perhaps only in the early evening hours. The world ambience shifts and changes over the course of the day instead of simply playing repetitive loops.
Voice Acting - A small tidbit I forgot here, there's about 60 feature films worth of dialogue recorded for the game.
Jeremy Soule– Last but certainly not least, this man is the John Williams of video game music. You know him from games such as:
• Guild Wars Trilogy
• Neverwinter Nights
• KOTOR 1 & 2
• Icewind Dale
• Company of Heroes Series
The humans of Tyria are an embattled race. Over the past three hundred years, they have lost much of their territory. Old enemies and new races threaten traditional human lands on all sides. Yet the human race survives, defending their remaining lands and maintaining the human spirit as they have for centuries. Their greatest city, Divinity's Reach, shines as a beacon of hope for the people of Kryta and beyond – even those dwelling deep within charr territory. The human legends are indelibly imprinted on the souls of all the races of Tyria, be they friend or foe.
The norn are a race of valiant, shape-changing barbarians. Boisterous, strong-willed, and passionate, the norn are an independent people that swear fealty to no single being. They thrive in their mountain stronghold by the sharpness of their senses, the quickness of their wits, and the strength of their massive forearms. They are guided in this world by their Spirits of the Wild, who embody the virtues of the mightiest beasts. As a people, they are quick to anger, even quicker to smile, and treat each new day as a personal challenge. They drink and feast and hunt with equal gusto, and fear few things. They are steadfast allies and implacable foes.
The feline charr of Tyria are a victorious race challenged by their own success. They have survived defeat, oppression, and civil war. They have returned, reconquered, and rebuilt their original homes. Their mighty fortress, the Black Citadel, dominates the surrounding ruins of the human city of Rin, and their non-magical technology is the mightiest in the land. Yet despite their success, they are challenged by divisions among their people, the power of the Elder Dragons, and the ghosts of their own victories.
They may be short in stature, but this subterranean race of magical inventors are intellectual giants. These incredibly intelligent beings use their knowledge and skill with magic and crafting to assert their natural dominance. In the world of the asura, it is not the strong who survive, but the clever. Other races believe they should rule by virtue of their power and strength, but they delude themselves. All will serve the asura – in due time...
Long ago, a weary soldier planted a strange seed in the depths of the Maguuma Jungle. For centuries, the Pale Tree grew, branches arching over the forest, until at last--twenty five years ago--it bloomed, and the Firstborn stepped into the world. They were followed by their brethren, season after season of sylvari, wide-eyed with wonder and searching for purpose in this strange land. Shaped first by the Dream that nurtured them before they awakened, the sylvari now travel Tyria seeking adventure and their place in the world…
The elementalist channels natural forces of destruction, making fire, air, earth, and water do her bidding. What the elementalist lacks in physical toughness, she makes up for in her ability to inflict massive damage in a single attack, dropping foes from a distance before they can become a threat. Yet, despite her incredible offensive potential, versatility is what makes the elementalist truly formidable.
Rather than swap weapons to adjust to new situations, the multi-faceted elementalist quickly adapts to new threats by attuning to different elements as needed. When the elementalist attunes to any of the four elements, she receives intrinsic bonuses that continually empower her.
With FIRE attunement, the elementalist can inflict scorching damage on multiple enemies by turning the ground to fire or raining down molten rock from the skies. Why kill just one enemy when you can burn them all? Just by attuning to fire, the elementalist automatically causes flame damage to any foe foolish enough to touch her.
When the elementalist attunes to AIR, she can harness wind and lightning to target specific foes with focused, high-damage attacks. Dazzling bolts of lightning rip from the elementalist's fingertips, and brilliant flashes of light blind her enemies. When an elementalist attunes to air, nearby enemies are continuously pelted with lightning strikes.
WATER attunement forgoes the raw damage of air and fire, in favor of controlling an opponent's movement. By creating slippery ice or freezing foes solid, water attunement ensures that the battle is always fought on the elementalist's terms. Nearby allies receive continuous healing from an elementalist who is attuned to water.
In the most dangerous situations, the elementalist relies on the powerful defense of EARTH attunement. An earth elementalist uses the ground under her feet to defend herself and her allies, turning flesh to stone, destabilizing foes with seismic shocks, and destroying threats with volcanic eruptions. Earth attunement automatically confers magical protection to the elementalist.
Elementalists have a number of special spell types:
• Glyphs—These arcane spells enhance or modify the natural power of the elementalist. She uses the Glyph of Elemental Power to increase the damage, range, and duration of her spells.
• Signets—Signets provide an ongoing benefit to the elementalist, but can also be activated for a greater effect. An elementalist equipped with the Signet of Earth has increased damage resistance, but activating the Signet sends out a wave of stone, stunning nearby enemies.
• Conjure Spells—The elementalist uses Conjure spells to summon useful items and potent weapons that she or other party members can use. For instance, she uses Conjure Flame to create a fiery rock to hurl at the enemy.
• Area Spells—Using Area spells, the elementalist creates hazards and mayhem all over the field of battle. The elementalist fires lava arrows in a cone-shaped blast or creates walls of fire that scorch any enemies passing through.
The elementalist has four elemental attunements that they can tap into. These attunements are represented by four skills that are located on the bar above their normal skills. When an elementalist switches attunements, the first five skills on their bar will change. These five skills are based on the elementalist's attunement and their current weapon, so that a fire-attuned elementalist will have different skills when he wields a staff than when he wields a scepter or focus. In addition to changing the elementalist's skills, attunements also work like a normal skill and provide an ongoing effect.
• Main Hand: Scepter and Dagger
• Two Handed: Staff
• Off Hand: Dagger and Focus
• Aquatic: Trident
The warrior is a master of weapons who relies on speed, strength, toughness, and heavy armor to survive in battle. A warrior can shrug off blow after blow to stay in the fight, all the while building up adrenaline to fuel his offense.
Adrenaline makes the warrior more powerful, increasing his damage output with every attack while powering up his burst skill. Each weapon set has a single designated burst skill which a warrior can trigger by spending all his built-up adrenaline to unleash a powerful attack. The warrior can use his burst skill at any time, but the more adrenaline stages he has filled, the more devastating his attack will be. Some burst skills apply more and varying conditions while others simply do more damage.
Each weapon serves a different role, allowing the warrior to customize his play style. Warriors can compliment main hand weapons like swords and maces with a shield, warhorn or dual wielded weapon, but their role is still mostly defined by the main or two-handed weapon.
A SWORD warrior is quick and mobile; he bleeds his enemies as he bounces between them with a Savage Leap.
An AXE warrior quickly builds up his adrenaline and can deliver powerful spike attacks.
A HAMMER warrior pounds his foes and the ground with area attacks that stagger groups of enemies.
A warrior with a MACE disrupts his enemies with powerful stunning attacks, and hits them where it hurts leaving them susceptible to further blows.
A warrior with a GREATSWORD uses his momentum to deliver sweeping area effect damage attacks while gliding around the battlefield.
Warriors with a LONGBOW light their arrows on fire to inflict area-of-effect damage.
The RIFLE is a single-target ranged weapon that a warrior can use to pull monsters or finish off a fleeing foe.
Warriors have a number of special skill types:
Stances—These are toggle skills that let you turn on an enhancement at the cost of energy regeneration. For example, a warrior could hit Berserker's Stance which drains his energy, but gives him adrenaline regeneration. You can easily toggle off Berserker's Stance and send the skill into recharge.
Chains—A set of three skills that share a single skill slot, chains go off in sequence if you are hitting your target. For example, the sword chain skills Sever Artery, Gash, and Final Thrust are all on the same key, so rather than making a sword warrior spend three slots, they stack to fill only one slot. Chains effectively give a warrior two extra weapon skills on a weapon set.
Banners—The warrior calls down banners to buff his allies with attack power. A banner can be picked up and carried around to move the buff, or it can be planted in an area to convey the buff, allowing the warrior to continue fighting. One example is Banner of Courage, which increases the melee damage of allies within its range.
Shouts—Shouts are skills that affect a large area and give bonuses to allies or debuff enemies. A warrior could use the shout On My Mark to lower an enemy's armor and call a target out to allied party members.
Charge Skills—Some skills can be held down to power them up for more impressive attacks. A warrior with a mace can wind up the powerful skill Obliterate and release it at four different power levels to do increasing amounts of damage.
A warrior can use nine different weapons. He can combine any of the nine weapons available to him in 19 different ways. The warrior weapons are:
• Main Hand: Sword, Axe, Mace
• Offhand: Shield, Warhorn, Sword, Axe, Mace
• Two-Handed: Greatsword, Hammer, Longbow, Rifle
• Aquatic: Spear and Harpoon
A warrior can easily switch between his two active weapon sets in combat as needed, but swapping weapons triggers a cool-down that prevents warriors from constantly flip-flopping between weapons. However, a warrior can equip the Weapon Master trait to circumvent this cool down, and opt for a more wild back-and-forth combat style with both weapon sets. Outside of combat, the warrior can reconfigure his weapon sets before entering an encounter.
Warriors start a fight without adrenaline, and then build one strike of adrenaline with every attack they make. Warriors have three stages of adrenaline that take increasing amounts of strikes to fill - or they can release their stored adrenaline with a burst skill. Each stage of adrenaline also gives the warrior a direct passive damage bonus to every attack.
Burst skills spend all of a warrior's adrenaline. Each weapon has one burst skill that improves at each stage of adrenaline. This improvement can be anything from doing more damage, adding additional conditions, increasing condition duration, or increased skill duration.
The ranger is a jack-of-all-trades and a master of them all as well, relying on his keen eye, steady hand, or the power of nature itself. A master of ranged combat, the ranger is capable of striking unwitting foes from a distance with his bow. With a stable of pets at his command, a ranger can adapt to his opponents' strengths and weaknesses.
A ranger is accompanied by his pet, a loyal animal companion. Rangers charm pets and then bond with them. A ranger can have up to three pets at his call, but generally speaking, only one pet can be active at any time. Pets' base health, armor, and damage are based on the level of the player that owns them.
Pets are charmed by interacting with juvenile versions of the species you want to charm. There are a variety of Tyrian species that can be charmed, including bears, moas, devourers, and sharks. As you adventure with a pet, it evolves to become more unique and eventually allows you to give it abilities that compliment your tactics.
Rather than manage a unique resource in combat, a ranger will manage his pet, assigning them a behavior from aggressive to passive. A ranger can also manage his pet by giving commands such as "attack," "heel," and "stay."
Rangers have a number of special skill types:
Traps--Traps are utility skills that can be placed at a ranger's current location. When an enemy enters a trap, it is triggered. For example, Spike Trap will cripple and bleed enemies that pass through it. A trap can remain active as long as the ranger chooses to remain close to it. A ranger can only have one of each trap type out at any given time.
Spirits--A spirit skill summons a nature spirit that influences the area around it. For example, Sun Spirit applies additional fire damage to allied attacks inside its influence. A spirit stays out for a short period of time and goes away if the ranger wanders too far away from it. Spirits can be attacked by enemies and removed from the battle. A ranger can only have one of each type of spirit out at any given time.
A ranger is mostly a master of ranged weapons, however, he can use sword or greatsword in melee combat. The ranger weapons are:
• Main Hand: Sword, Axe
• Off Hand: Axe, Dagger, Torch, Warhorn
• Two-Handed: Greatsword, Longbow, Shortbow
• Aquatic: Spear and Harpoon
Slotting and Swapping Pets
Rangers now have a total of two terrestrial and two aquatic pet slots. Amphibious pets are able to occupy either terrestrial or aquatic slots. Rangers can now use F4 to swap between the two valid pet slots during combat. This mechanic works even when your current active pet is defeated, allowing a ranger to quickly adapt when a pet is downed or when a situation arises that calls for a new pet. Swapping pets has a cooldown associated with it, and this cooldown is longer if the active pet was downed when the swap took place. A downed pet that was swapped out will be at full health when he is swapped back in. We’ve done a lot of work to make each ranger pet more unique and fill a particular role, which fits perfectly with the fluid, adaptable nature of combat in Guild Wars 2.
Pets now have two stances: active and passive. In the active stance, if your pet is doing nothing and you engage in combat, your pet will attack your opponent. In the passive stance, your pet will follow you and not to attack unless explicitly ordered to do so. You’ll be able to toggle between these stances by pressing F3.
Ranger pets can be ordered to attack a specific enemy by selecting a target and hitting F1. This action will temporarily overwrite your pet’s current behavior, giving you more direct control over your pet’s actions in complicated combat situations.
Species and Families
Pets no longer evolve. Instead, they are set to the level of the ranger, and their stats and abilities are determined by their species. Each pet belongs to a species and each species belongs to a family. For example, a snow leopard is a species belonging to the feline family of pets. Charming a species unlocks that species for you, allowing you to equip that species into any pet slot whenever you are out of combat. In Guild Wars 2, a single ranger can collect and use every type of pet in the game without having to worry about stables or leveling the pets from scratch.
Each family has three basic skills that define that family. For example, bears are hard to kill, drakes do AoE damage, devourers use ranged attacks, etc. These skills are automatically used by the pet. Each species within a family has a unique skill. For example, polar bears have an icy roar that freezes enemies, while brown bears have a roar that removes conditions. This family skill has a cooldown and is activated by the ranger by hitting F2.
A necromancer is a practitioner of the dark arts who summons the dead, wields the power of lost souls, and literally sucks the lifeblood of the enemy. A necromancer feeds on life force, which he can use to cheat death or bring allies back from the brink.
A necromancer feeds on death and decay. Life force is the energy that a necromancer uses to extend his own life. Using specific skills, a necromancer builds up life force by attacking and killing enemies. Rather than going into a downed state when he runs out of health, a necromancer automatically activates the Death Shroud ability. A necromancer can continue fighting in the ghostly Death Shroud form until he either runs out of life force or he gets a kill, rallying back into his own corpse.
Necromancers have a unique set of special skills:
Wells—Wells are persistent spells that allow a necromancer to control the area around him. Created at the necromancer's location, wells affect targets within the skill's range.
Well of Blood, for example, applies a regeneration boon to all allies within it. A necromancer can only have one well skill active at any time.
Minions—The necromancer summons undead minions to attack foes and do his bidding. Every minion-summoning spell has an associated secondary spell that appears after the minion has been summoned. This secondary spell destroys the minion while providing a powerful effect to the necromancer. For example, necromancers have a healing skill called Summon Blood Fiend that creates a minion that heals its master while it attacks. After the minion has been summoned, the Summon Blood Fiend skill is replaced by the skill Taste of Death, which allows a necromancer to destroy the minion to gain a larger amount of health.
Marks—Necromancers can also place marks--ground-targeted spells with a variety of potent effects. For instance, Mark of Blood damages enemies while placing a regeneration boon on nearby allies. Marks will trigger after a set period of time, but a necromancer can always trigger their marks on command by hitting the skill again.
Fear—Necromancers use a condition not available to any other profession: fear. A removable condition, fear makes an enemy flee directly away from a necromancer for a short period of time. For example, a necromancer can use Doom to instill fear in a single target.
When outfitting himself for combat, the necromancer can choose from the following weapons. The necromancer weapons are:
• Main Hand: Axe, Dagger, Scepter
• Off Hand: Dagger, Focus, Warhorn
• Two-Handed: Staff
• Aquatic: Spear and Trident
Life force is a special type of energy used by a necromancer. Once he reaches a certain life force threshold, a necromancer can activate Death Shroud (see below), entering a spirit form and leaving his body behind. Each of his weapon sets have skills that give a necromancer life force, and he gains an even larger amount of life force for kills that happen nearby. Finally, there are utility skills that build up life force, like Ghost Armor, a skill that improves a necromancer's armor and adds life force every time he takes damage.
Death Shroud is a special ability--usable by a necromancer at any time--that utilizes his life force as a secondary health bar. With the ability to tap into Death Shroud, necromancers are certainly one of the most durable professions in Guild Wars 2.
The guardian is a devoted fighter who calls upon powerful virtues to smite enemies and protect allies. As dangerous with a staff as he is with a mighty two-handed hammer, a true guardian is a master tactician who knows when to sacrifice his own defenses to empower his allies to achieve victory.
Each guardian is supported by passive benefits, but he can relinquish those benefits, passing his powers on to his allies. This ability makes the guardian an excellent supportive fighter whether they are leading an assault or defending your party's flanks.
Guardians have developed three virtues that empower them in combat. By wielding Justice, the guardian's attacks can burn his enemies. With Courage, the guardian can shrug off even a mighty blow. Through Resolve, the guardian passively regenerates health, allowing him to wade into the most dangerous situation and come out alive.
Guardians also have a number of special skill types:
Spirit Weapons—The guardian can summon spirit weapons to fight at his side for a limited time. Spirit weapons cannot be attacked by enemies and can be commanded to inflict a powerful attack before disappearing. For example, Hammer of Wisdom can be summoned to fight alongside a guardian, then commanded to knock down an enemy and vanish.
Symbols—The guardian places symbols on the ground, where they inflict damage to enemies or deliver a benefit to allies. Symbols persist for a few seconds and then go away. For instance, Symbol of Faith is a hammer attack that leaves a transient symbol on the ground, giving allies the Vigor boon.
Wards—A ward is a marked area on the ground that stops enemies from passing through while allowing allies to move freely. For example, a staff-wielding guardian can create a Line of Warding in front of him that keeps enemies from reaching the allies behind him.
Aegis—Guardians are adept in the use of Aegis, a removable boon that blocks the next attack. Guardians have access to this boon through the virtue of Courage.
The guardian can choose from a mixture of melee and magical weapons. The guardian weapons are:
• Main Hand: Mace, Scepter, Sword
• Off Hand: Focus, Shield, Torch
• Two-Handed: Greatsword, Hammer, Staff
• Aquatic: Spear and Trident
Guardians have three special virtue abilities--Justice, Courage, and Resolve--that grant them passive benefits in battle. They can choose to activate a virtue, extending a powerful version of these benefits to their allies, but disabling their own passive ability until the activated virtue has finished recharging. The guardian virtues are:
• Justice—Every fifth attack causes burning. Use this skill to make nearby allies' next attacks cause burning. (This disables your Justice for 30 seconds.)
• Courage—Every 30 seconds you are granted Aegis, blocking the next attack. Use this skill to apply Aegis to all nearby allies. (This disables your Courage for 120 seconds.)
• Resolve—You regenerate health. Use this skill to remove conditions and apply Regeneration to all nearby allies. (This disables your Resolve for 120 seconds.)
A master of stealth and surprise, the thief is deadly in single combat—particularly when catching enemies off guard. Thieves compensate for their relatively low armor and health by being quick and evasive. They can move through the shadows, vanish into thin air, or steal items from their opponents and use them as weapons. Enemies should watch their backs, or the thief will watch it for them.
While other professions rely on recharge rate for their weapon skills in combat, thieves rely on Initiative. Thieves have ten points of Initiative to use, and they gain back one point every second. Weapon skills cost Initiative points, but they have no recharge time, so thieves can use them back-to-back. This allows the thief to keep their options open at all times or unleash a rapid flurry of powerful attacks.
Thieves make use of a special skill called Steal, which generates a useful environmental weapon in the thieves' hands based on the monster or player that they stole from. For example, when stealing from a moa bird, a thief might get a handful of feathers that they can throw to blind enemies around them.
When using a main hand and off-hand weapon combination, the thief differs from other professions. Their first two skills come from the main hand weapon, while the last two skills come from the off-hand weapon. The final skill, called their Dual Skill, is determined by both weapons. For example, a thief with two daggers will have Leaping Death Blossom as their Dual Skill, but a thief with a dagger and a pistol will have Shadow Shot as their Dual Skill.
Thieves have a number of special skill types:
Stealth—Thieves can disappear into the shadows. This allows them to become invisible to enemy players and to ignore aggro. When in Stealth mode, the thief can still be damaged, which temporarily reveals them. When a thief is hidden, attacking will break the deception.
Shadow Stepping—Thieves can get in and out of battle quickly by using a technique called Shadow Stepping. This skill allows them to disappear from one location and then instantly appear at a different location by traveling through the shadows.
Traps—Thieves use traps to ambush unsuspecting enemies and control areas. For example, Shadow Trap is a trap that puts the thief into Stealth and Shadow Steps them back to the trap's location.
The thief has a mixture of melee and ranged weapons. The thief weapons are:
• Main Hand: Sword, Dagger, and Pistol
• Off Hand: Dagger and Pistol
• Two-Handed: Shortbow
• Aquatic: Spear and Harpoon
Initiative is the thief's resource mechanic. A thief has ten points of Initiative that refill at a rate of one point per second both in and out of combat. Skill 1 on their bar is always free, but the other thief weapon skills all cost Initiative instead of having recharge. Thief Heal, Utility, and Elite skills do not cost Initiative and still have a recharge cost.
Above their skill bar, all thieves have a special skill called Steal that can be used on enemies. It does not actually steal a real item from an opponent, but rather generates an appropriate environmental weapon based on the target. Stealing does not break stealth, and cannot be used often. Stealing allows you to hold onto whatever item or weapon you stole from your opponent (nothing is actually stolen from them, it's just something the Thief gains) and can be used at any time of your choosing.
Dual Skills are special skills that thieves acquire in slot 3 of their weapon bar that are based on both weapons they are wielding. A dual skill is determined by both main hand and offhand weapons, and can vary depending on the order. For example, a thief wielding a pistol main hand with dagger offhand (Shadow Strike) will have a different dual skill than a thief wielding a dagger main hand and pistol offhand (Shadow Shot). The shortbow is the one exception to this rule; it does not have a dual skill.
Stealth has a limited duration and can be broken in various ways. Most stealth is lost when a player attacks through it. Some stealth