Six interesting yet minor details about Guild Wars 2 I learned in BWE2

Currently I’m working on videos to show off, and that will likely be the main content of my BWE2 post.  I don’t really have much opinions on balance, as I know it’s changed even before the weekend began and that’s not necessarily my forte anyway, and due to major lag issues I didn’t get a chance to try out PvP or WvW this time.  At this point I think while most players want to see how the developers resolve issues we see, we mainly just want the game to come out.

However, I was fortunate enough to find a few interesting details about Guild Wars 2 that may not be readily known by everyone, and since the video rendering is, as always, giving me hell, I figured I’d make a post about these.  These aren’t major points (well, not all of them), but really make you think about the minute detail involved in making a game of this scope.  I admit some of these were told to me rather than discovered by myself, but this is more for information not personal glory.

1. Left click to have your character look at someone, right click to have them face someone.

Very minor, but pretty interesting and instantly understandable.  Single right-clicking any NPC/player causes your character to immediately face them regardless of whether the camera is facing it.  Maybe it’s in other MMOs, but I don’t recall ever seeing this anywhere else.  If you hold down the right mouse button you have what I call the “driving camera” where moving the camera turns the character as well, which is pretty normal for MMOs, but the character only faces where the camera is pointing and you must look at it with the camera to face it.  This allows you to face something without actually turning the camera that direction.

It’s similar to the standard function where you target something and your character turns their head to look at it, but instead with this they turn their entire body to face it.  This is likely to be used more for nonverbal communication, such as facing a certain direction really quickly, but let’s face it…roleplayers will get a kick out of this.

Like I said, extremely minor but an interesting piece of trivia.

2. Bonus experience on mobs is based on how long that mob has been alive.

Experience from kills are crap…unless they’ve been alive for a while.  Then they’re only kinda bad.

Sometimes when you defeat mobs you notice that there’s a second burst of experience alongside the normal experience marked “Bonus”, but previously we didn’t know what it was.  One of the pieces of information going around this BWE was finally an explanation.  Apparently it’s based on how long that mob’s been alive.

That’s right, the game actually tracks how long each mob has been up and provides bonus experience when you kill mobs that have been up for longer periods of time.  This bonus experience can dwarf the normal experience from mobs, and can provide a large boost to your experience.  It also provides a huge incentive to explore and find areas other players may not normally go in order to reap the benefits of the bonus experience.

(Credit where credit is due: I first heard about this from the always-wonderful Elisabeth and all that I saw in BWE2 fits)

3. Reviving allies gives more experience than non-bonus kills.

I chalk this up to being a major incentive to help out those around you.  Not only did ArenaNet feel like giving a bit of experience to players who stopped to revive other players and NPCs, they actually made it larger than a single mob kill (from what I’ve seen).  To give an example, reviving an ally at level 8 gave me 13 experience while killing a single mob, which took around the same amount of time, only gave 8.  Even reviving ranger pets gives experience.

I’d say that’s a pretty good incentive…

To make things even more interesting, revive experience follows the same rules as mob kill experience when shared among multiple players.  Even if someone else is helping you revive (which multiplies the revive speed) you still receive the full experience for reviving an ally.  This means if you see someone reviving a defeated player or NPC, help them out.  It’ll take less time to get that ally up and you both get experience faster than doing it alone.

I’m still looking around to see if partially reviving someone gives you experience if someone else finishes it, but as of yet I haven’t seen whether that works or not.

4. Each crafting discipline gives 10 levels worth of experience.

This was something announced on the official beta forums by (I believe) the lead designer of crafting…or perhaps one of them.

The way leveling XP gain works in crafting is this: For leveling a discipline from 0-400, you will gain 10 levels along the way. By maxing out all 8 disciplines, you will gain 80 levels. That means you could dedicate a character to crafting, feed it all the mats you get on other characters and level it all the way to 80 without ever needing to kill a thing. As hardcore crafters, we think that is pretty cool.
— Linsey Murdock, ArenaNet Game Designer

Crafting in GW2 provides you with experience.  However, instead of having separate crafting professions (as some other games do) the game just gives that experience to your normal level.  The developer revealed that you will receive 10 levels’ worth of experience over the course of raising a single crafting discipline from 1-400 skill (max).

This means that if you max out all 8 disciplines in GW2 (which is possible, unlike most MMOs) you can technically level from 1-80 without killing a single mob.  Now, most…okay, pretty much every player will not do this.  What this actually means is that the amount of experience you get from crafting/tradeskilling is very significant, and worthwhile to do while you level to help reach your next level.

Crafters rejoice!  You may not have a separate level for your crafters but leveling only through crafting is entirely possible.

5.  Leave the mainhand/offhand empty on the second weapon set to avoid swapping it while switching the other.

This is more specific situation.  Say you have a sword you love in your mainhand, but want to swap between two different offhands.  Normally you might think that this is impossible and you will need to find another sword with similar stats, etc in order to avoid unequipping it during the swap.

The solution here is pretty straightforward once you realize you’re allowed to do it.  Simply leave the mainhand slot empty on the second weapon set.  Only put the second offhand in that set.  The way the weapon swap works is that it changes the weapon to whatever is in the other set, but only if there is actually something there.  Instead of dropping the mainhand weapon when you do your weapon swap like an empty slow would suggest, it only changes the offhand and leaves the previous mainhand available for use.  Now you can use the same mainhand while swapping only the offhands.  This same setup works if you want to swap mainhands only as well.

Granted this was kinda known already for some people, but it was something I came across while in BWE2 and seemed like such a neat concept that I couldn’t help but include it here.

6. NPCs revive each other.

While not every friendly NPC will revive anyone in range, some NPCs revive each other if they see one defeated.  I saw this happen twice during my playtime: once while hunting a Flame Legion Shaman boss during an event and another when happening across a wiped caravan escort in Wayfarer Foothills.  I revived one of the NPCs in the caravan (a Sylvari) and they immediately set off to revive the other members.  I’m still working out the actual rules, but I haven’t seen them revive any players yet, and certainly not all NPCs will do this.  While I hope they eventually do revive players, especially the random guard patrols in certain areas, I can understand if they don’t.

I’m reporting these guards to their superior…not even a glance at my carcass.  Bums.

And that’s it.  There were many small things, but these are the main neat little points I noted during playing and wanted to share.  There’s an extremely large amount of detail and functionality in GW2, all intended to work together to make it the best game ever.  From what I’ve seen, they’re accomplishing this very well.

BWE1 Bonus! 7. You can send crafting materials and other collectibles to your bank from anywhere.

This was actually something we discovered during the last BWE, but since I’ve never said anything about it and there are plenty who don’t know about it still, I figured I might as well put this here as well.

One of the more irritating things about crafting in MMOs is the sheer amount of materials you will come across while playing, which takes up a large amount of bag space.  Now, in GW1 there was a crafting materials section of the bank where you could store up to 255 of any material for use later independent of your normal bank slots.  In GW2, they included the same thing but also added a very useful feature: you can send any material back to your bank to free up inventory slots.

Assume it’s a magical carrier pigeon…

That’s right.  If you right-click on a material you have the option of depositing the item into your bank, regardless of where you might be.  This is a huge boon for players, as it allows players to gather as much as they can while normally playing and not have the materials just sitting there taking up space.

As you can see in the image, you can even put the item up for sale or put in an order for more at the Trading Post (people call this an auction house due to WoW’s influence but it’s actually closer to a straight store or broker like EQ2 and other MMOs from what I can see).  Granted, you can’t collect the items until you return to a Trading Post NPC, but being able to access the Trading Post from anywhere is nice.

Alright, now I’m done.  Hope you enjoyed the details.

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