Guild Wars 2 (PC) Quick

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Guild Wars 2 Quick & Dirty Guide



  • 10/16- Added blurb about MacBookPro with Retina Display performance issue.
  • 9/22- Added GW@ Wiki Crafting Link in Crafting Section.
  • 9/18- GW2 is now Mac native! See Play It On Your Mac section.
  • 8/15- With the game approx 2 weeks from going retail I've have renewed my interest in updating this guide with new applicable stuff!- Dave
  • 4/25- Added link under Profession/Ranger for Ranger skills and included link for downloadable versions.
  • 4/15- Added link under Profession/Elementalist for Elementalist skills and included link for downloadable versions. Added blurb under combat about skills being weapons based.
  • 3/19- Added more info regarding dynamic event scaling and included a new blurb in the WoW vs GW2 section about the difference of raiding.
  • 3/18- Added info on Elementalist and added new Quest section.
  • 3/1- Added links to individual Professions in new Profession sub-sections. Added crafting section. Added more info on Profession Attributes. Added blurb on A.I. Aggro under Combat.
  • 2/16- Added info about Grouping in the Misc Features and WoW vs GW2 section.
  • 2/15- Added Ten Slot Skill Bar info, More Profession info, Trait Info.
  • 2/15- Added WoW vs GW2 section. Good info for comparision.
  • 2/14- Happy Valentines Day! Guide established just prior to start of beta.


Guild Wars 2 promises to be an innovative new approach to MMORPGs. The traditional MMORPG trinity of Tank, Healer, Damage roles have been tossed. There are no dedicated tanks or healers. In fact, according to what I've read, the best heal skills are self heals. There is no traditional "Tank-Grabs-Aggro" mechanism in the game. If you are unfamiliar, (Aggro= Aggravate), a character's ability to grab the attention of an in-game character and make it attack you and only you, the Tank, while receiving almost constant healing and support from other party members during the fight. In GW2, Aggro is based on proximity and it is reported that some mobs have unique Aggro A.I.!

This guide is a work in progress. At this point mostly links. If you want to get a quick feel for the game, drop down to the Combat Video Section. It's looks quite fun. Feel free to add to or send me a PM and I'll get your tip/link added. -Dave Peck (Huntn)

Play It On Your Mac!

  • Mac Native!- As of 18Sep12, the Mac native version (beta) has been made available by Arena Net! It is reported to be a Cider port so it is too early yet to know how performance under OSX will compare to Windows.
  • Mac Beta System Requirements- Mac OS®X 10.7.X or later, Intel® Core™ i5 or better, 4 GB Ram or better, NVIDIA® GeForce® 320M, ATI, Radeon™ HD 6630M, Intel HD 3000 or better, 25 GB available HDD space, Broadband Internet connection, Keyboard and mouse/equivalent.
  • Recommended Mac Hardware- The Mac beta version of Guild Wars 2 runs well on the below machines or better. Your results may vary if you’ve upgraded or changed your Mac hardware or are running on lower hardware specifications. iMac 21.5", 27" (Mid-2010); iMac 21.5", 27" (Mid-2011); MacBook Pro 15", 17" (Mid-2010); MacBook Pro 13", 15", 17" (Early and Late-2011); MacBook Pro 13", 15", 17 (Mid-2012); Mac Mini (Mid-2011).
  • MacBookPro wtih Retina Display Performance Issue. Oct2012.- If you are experiencing unusually slow performance while running the Guild Wars 2 Mac Beta client on a MacBook Pro with Retina display, be sure to keep MacOSX Updated.

If you continue to have problems, try resetting the System Management Controller (SMC). Complete instructions for doing this can be found in this Apple Support knowledge base article. The problem is known to recur, and the SMC reset will need to be performed each time you encounter the issue. It should also be noted that the performance issue can appear on systems running under Windows. An SMC reset will also be needed if you encounter the problem while playing the Guild Wars 2 PC client under a Windows Boot Camp partition on a MacBook with Retina display.

  • Play GW2 via Windows- On your Intel Mac under Windows & and Bootcamp. You'll need to purchase a copy of Windows (Windows, preferably Windows 7) and then use Apple's Boot Camp to install windows on a separate partition on your Mac. Read about Boot Camp. *Note: Different versions of the MacOS only support specific versions of Windows. Be sure to understand what version of Windows your Mac can suport. For example Snow Leopard & Lion (10.6, 10.7) only supports Windows 7. I believe Leopard (10.5) supports Vista.

Min System Requirements

  • As of Beta Feb2012, not established.
  • This from the developer: The system requirements haven't been finalized, but just as with the original Guild Wars series, we're committed to creating a beautiful game that will play great on mid-range gaming PCs.

Official Links

Misc Links

Guild Wars 2 Features

  • No Monthly Subscription!.
  • A Common World, Not an Instanced One to Explore!- In the original GW, the only common areas where the town centers and all country side/questing space was instanced so you never could meet another player by chance. This is a great step for this franchise.
  • Dungeons- The game will launch with 8 dungeon zone instances, each dungeon zone will have a story mode + 3 explorable paths. That's a total of 32 different dungeons in the traditional sense of mmo dungeon. In addition to static content, also have dynamic content including additional bosses. Some triggered, some random. So no two dungeon runs will be the same.
  • Character Creation- Choices allow you to affect your personal story.
  • Combat, Dodge, Block- When attacked, avoid damage by by double tapping in a direction (dodging), use a designated hotkey while moving in a direction, using a spell to leap or teleport, or run away. There are 3 charges in the Dodge Bar. Dodging drains a "charge" from the dodge bar. It recharges. Blocking- Skills that when "held down" will actively block incoming projectiles from their intended target. Used on self or to shield others.
  • Combat- Cross Profession Combos- examples: Elementalist puts a flame on the ground, ranger shoots arrow through flame, the arrow ignites and becomes a flaming arrow doing extra damage. Or a guardian leaps through a smoke cloud to hit an enemy and all teammates become invisible for a short time.
  • Underwater Combat- GW2Guru In GW2 no breath bar. Unable to attack while swimming. Underwater 2 new weapons and new skills appear for what you slotted for underwater combat. If Drowned State while underwater, a skill bar with 4 “Drowning” skills appears. If Drowned State swim to the surface to rally, get 25% of health. Like the Downed State on the surface, if you manage to kill a mob you will rally back and be able to keep on fighting with all of your skills again. You’re also able to pull enemies from the land into the water and this opens up entirely new sets of attacks for them that they otherwise wouldn't have. There’s also tons of content to be found underwater with the Dynamic Event system, not only this but you’ll find entire cities and civilizations as well.
  • Crafting- All players start with the ability to gather any and all crafting materials. It is experienced based and experiment based. You learn new recipes by testing which regents are capable of making a possible number of things. For isntance, item A + item B together ahve 3 possible recipe outcomes. Succeful creation of an item gains xp towards the next level of crafting.
  • Jumping- Unlike the original GW, you can jump. But can you fall to your death? Unknown, I assume so.
  • Professions = Classes not Crafting in GW2.
  • No Standard MMO Trinity- No tank, no healer. Instead the devs went with damage, control, and support. All classes are capable of providing these three roles and can easily switch between focusing on a role or create a hybrid of all roles, based on the skills and weapons they choose to bring to the battle.
  • Healing & Death
  • Scouts - link Scouts are NPCs that point out particular areas of interest to the player, they’ll uncover areas of the map to show you areas on the map where help might be needed. Once the Scout is done pointing these areas out, it will cover the areas back up on the map so that way you still have that sense of adventure while exploring. This is meant for players who still like some form of guidance rather than not knowing exactly where to go.
  • Grouping- Players can formally group but GW2 allows for automatic adhoc-groups. If you see monsters rampaging in an area (a Dynamic Event) and jump in, you'll get experience and rewards. There are no loot stealing issues. There are no GW2 Raids. The largest dungeon group is 6 players.
  • Dynamic Event Scaling- Dynamic events pop up all the time all over the landscape and they scale based on the number of players participating. Word has it from 10-100 players.. So trying to zerg much more difficult enemies who have a greater variety of skills at their disposal. A small 4 person group would mean more managable enemies. Everyone gets XP rewarded based on their contribution to the over all event. It is possible to get a gold star rating in an area without ever killing a mob (repairing things, putting out fires, etc.), however, going afk in an area means 0 contribution. There is no such thing as kill stealing... in fact, it is designed for people to help each other with combat.
  • Competitive PvP- is 5v5 conquest in instanced maps. All players in competative PvP 5v5 will have access to the same gear and will all be level 80's. Gear rating is obsolete, its all about player skill.
  • World PvP- is server vs server vs server and matches last 2 weeks at a time.
  • World Combat- takes place in a persistent world, unlike the original GW instanced world areas.
  • Sidekicking- You can side kick up or sidekick down in level to play with your friends.
  • Auto Sidekicking Down- in low level areas... for instance, a lvl 30 in a lvl 10 area will keep all skills but stats will be bumped down to lvl 13ish. Devs did this to keep the area fun for all players instead of a high level coming in and clearing an area.
  • Skills- Weapons Skills are gained by using the weapon. There is no trainer that must be visited to unlock new abilities.

GW2 vs WoW!

  • GW2 vs WoW@ Bonk Studios, 7:50 min.
  • No MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION!- You heard it right. There is a store for aesthetic items only. Players will not have a gear advantage due to a large wallet.
  • PVE vs PVP- WoW has 2 factions. If playing on a PVP (Player vs Player) server, you can be attacked at any time, especially annoying when questing. WoW also has PVE (Player vs Environment) Servers where you must flag yourself if you want to fight other players. GW2 PVP is between servers so you never have to worry about being attacked. PVP events are 2 week events between servers in set aside areas. When one event ends, another will start.
  • Combat- With WoW you can have 3-4 tool bars all full of commands. GW2 only has a 10 item tool bar, but they are dynamic and they include cross Profession Combos. An environmentalist can create a stasis area a consisting of electricity. If a gun wielding player shoots bullets through this area they become electrified dealing more damage. GW2 Players can cast and fire their weapons on the move and they have a dodge mechanism to avoid attacks. In WoW you can't dodge incoming attacks.
  • Underwater Combat- WoW- no. GW2- yes.
  • PvP- Player vs Player combat. In WoW you must grind for "Honor" to get points for PVP gear. New gear comes out on a consistent basis. In GW PVP is called "Conquest" and no gear is involved. Teams are comparably equipped in PVP areas so victory depends on skill and teamwork.
  • Crafting- WoW has 11 primary skills and 4 secondary skills. As a WoW crafter moves up, the items they make give less and less skill increase. Gathering is a learned skill. In GW2, there are 8 crafting skills which give consistent skill level increases no matter how many of an item you create. These crafts can can be switched whenever you desire and when you switch all of your experience and knowledge of recipes are maintained for when you switch back.
  • Grouping- In WoW, group benefits are only achieved when formally grouped. WoW allows for 25 player raids. In GW2, players can formally group or will be automatically grouped during dynamic events. If you see monsters rampaging in an area and jump in, you'll get experience and rewards. There are no loot stealing issues. There are no GW2 Raids. The largest dungeon group is 6 players.
  • Leveling- WoW has a leveling curve, the higher you go, the more skill points it takes to advance. In GW2 it requires the same number of points to advance for each level. Leveling in GW2 is augmented by dynamic events. If the town is being invaded, it's in your best interest to jump in and lend a hand. You will be adequately rewarded!
  • Skills- In WoW, the trainer must be visited to learn new skills based on acquired XP/Level. In GW2, weapons Skills are gained by using the weapon. There is no trainer that must be visited to unlock new abilities.
  • Raiding- World of Warcraft has extensive dungeon experiences setup for specific sized groups, 10-25 players, who must execute specific actions at certain times to beat a boss. No one to date does raid dungeons better than WoW. In contrast, GW2 does not have this type of raiding, however, dynamic events in public spaces, allows anyone in the vicinity to join in and the boss difficulty will scale from a minimum of 10 players up to 100 participating players (offensive and support). However, burring this beta timeframe, it is unknown how complicated the boss mechanics will be in GW2.


  • 5 Races- Sylvari (Elf like), Norn (Shape Changing Humans), Charr (horned, fanged, Felines), Asura (short, cute, floppy ears, Dobby-like from Harry Potter), Human.
  • Races
  • Races
  • Racial Skills- @GW2 Wiki. There are specific combat related skills based on Race. Racial abilities can be placed on your utility bar like any of your other utility skills, the difference between racial abilities and your normal utility skills is that they’re weaker. These race based skills are meant to be more complimentary for your class to help round out any points where you might be lacking.

Racial Characteristics & Skills

Professions & Development

  • Leveling Video- 4:56 Min. Covers dynamic events and sidekicking. If higher players enter lower zones, their stats auto scale down. Higher level players can temporarily pull lower level players up to their level for an event.

Three Profession Categories

  • Scholars (Light Armor)- Elementalist (attunement), Mesmer (illusions), Necromancer (life force).
  • Adventurers (Medium Armor)- Engineer (technology), Ranger (pets), Thief (initiative)
  • Soldiers (Heavy Armor)- Guardian (virtues), Warrior (adrenaline, burst skill).

Eight Individual Professions

  • 8 Professions in GW2 grouped by armor type- Elementalist, Mesmer, Necromancer, Engineer, Ranger, Their, Guardian, Warrior.
  • 3 Magic Professions- Mesmer, Elementalist, and Necromancer are the primary magic classes.


  • Fire, Water (Water Attacks Also Heal), Earth, Air Attacks.
  • Staff is an AOE spec. Daggers are up close specs.
  • Arcane Power that acts as a buff increasing abilities.
  • Glyph of Elementals, Fire, Water, Earth, Air. Creates elementals (made up of the element) which will attack on your behalf.
  • Burning Charges and Retreats.







Professional Traits

  • Jon Peters on Traits and Attributes- a must read.
  • Traits @ GW2Wiki.
  • Traits are Profession related skills that are acquired by completing challenges throughout the world.
  • Approximately 100 traits per Profession.
  • Traits Overview- This interesting article describes how a warrior would pick his abilities 1)Weapon (Sever Artery, Gash, Final Thrust), 2)Off Hand Weapon (Warhorn- damage buff, or Duel Wield Swords), 3)Healing Skill (Healing Surge), 4)Utility Skills (On My Mark, For Great Justice, Frenzy) and Elite Skill (Battle Standard), 5)Assign Traits (Stack Power Traits).

Professional Attributes

  • Attributes are used to customize your character. Four basic attributes – power, vitality, precision, and toughness and are categorized as Offense, Support, and Profession Specific.

Offensive Attributes

  • Attributes are used to customize your character. Four basic attributes – power, vitality, precision, and toughness and are categorized as Offense, Support, and Profession Specific.
  • Prowess: Improves the damage multiplier on critical strikes.
  • Malice: Improves the damage done by conditions like burning, poison, confusion, and bleeding.
  • Expertise: Improves the duration of all conditions inflicted by the character.

Support Attributes

  • Concentration: Improves the duration of all boons applied by the character.
  • Compassion: Improves all outgoing heals that your character does, including self heals.

Profession Specific Attributes

  • Brawn (warrior) — Improves the damage of warrior burst skills.
  • Willpower (guardian) — Decreases the recharge on all virtues.
  • Cunning (thief) — Decreases the recharge of the Steal ability.
  • Empathy (ranger) — Improves pet attributes.
  • Ingenuity (engineer) — Reduces the recharge on all tool-belt skills.
  • Guile (mesmer) — Reduces the recharge on all Shatter skills.
  • Intelligence (elementalist) — Reduces the recharge of the four elemental attunements.
  • Hunger (necromancer) — Increases the size of the necromancer’s life-force pool.


  • Quest Education- Massively Joystiq. (3/13/12- Beta)
  • Personal Story Line Quests- effected by choices made during character creation.
  • Quests can be Dynamic Events- A quest is not awarded, credit is given for jumping in to help. If a villager says their town is under attack, and you do nothing, then the town will fall and become a hub for mobs until they are pushed out again. That means vendors, trainers, etc. will become unavailable in that town while it is occupied. However, if you help you receive credit.
  • Renown Hearts can be seen in various places around any given zone. Hearts have multiple purposes, static content and Dynamic Events (DE). Hearts involve helping out NPCs in the area, killing bandits, recovering stolen good. An official quest is not rewarded to participate. DEs can start at or around Heart locations. Participating in a Dynamic Event help fills the heart. Once a heart is filled in relationship to a DE, the NPC becomes a Karma Vendor, where unique items can be purchased. Karma is only earned through Dynamic Events and Personal Story content.


  • All Combat related skills are based on the Weapons held so be careful about selling weapons. If you acquire a new weapon you've never used, it will have only basic attacks until you develop experience with that weapon. This can be a huge inconvenience if you are pressing the limits of combat.
  • Combat Skills - a must read!
  • Weapons, Professions, Races- a must read!
  • Combo Attacks- Combos happen when two skills interact with each other, creating an additional effect. This requires skills called "initiators" and "finishers". Source.

No Standard MMO Trinity

  • BETA- How A.I. is reported to work: Reference: Mass Info For The Uninitiated. Aggro will take into account quite a few factors: Simple creatures use a system based on proximity, how much damage is being done to them, how much damage they're doing, health of the player, armor, etc. More complex creatures will use all of the above among other things such as using specific skills, attacking the player that is the furthest away from them, focus on players wearing medium or light armor and try to chase them. Some creatures might run away from you, swap weapons to have entirely new skills, dodge your attacks, use specific skills on players at specific times, etc. Different armies will also have their own systems that are based on different themes, skills, and AI.
  • Healing & Death
  • Damage, Control, and Support- All classes are capable of providing these three roles and can easily switch between focusing on a role or create a hybrid of all roles, based on the skills and weapons they choose to bring to the battle.
  • Every class will be able to do these roles, and it will be dependent upon what utility skills you select (you get to choose 5), your traits, and the weapon sets you choose. Every class is going to do damage, there isn't a weapon set in the game that lacks is ability to put out some damage, some will be better for it than others though.
  • Control- Preventing mobs from doing what they want like. Examples: cripple, immobilize, knock down. It is more like Crowd Control in traditional MMOs.
  • Support- Abilities your Profession (Class) can give/use on other players such as projectile deflection or speed. A Warrior can shout "On My Target" so more damage results when allies attack it. Control can mix with Support such as Guardian's Impassible Wall. Self heals will be more powerful than Group Heals.
  • Damage- Hurt things. MMO players are all ready familiar. DPS, Damage Per Second; DOT- Damage Over Time; AOE- Area of Effect.
  • No Tanks- There are no Tanks and no Tank-like, hold the undivided attention of mobs, also known as "aggro" (as in aggravating the mob). No traditional MMO taunt mechanism. Aggro will be proximity based and in some cases Mobs with have their own special Aggro A.I.
  • No Dedicated Healer Class- Just one part of Support. Despite a Dedicated Healing Skill Slot, healing is the least dynamic kind of support there is. It is reactive instead of proactive. Healing is for when you are already losing. Some professions will have special skills that will instantly rally a fallen ally. For example, when a warrior uses "I Will Avenge You," and then kills an enemy nearby his fallen allies, his allies will rally. While you are downed or defeated, any other player can come to you and interact with you to bring you back to life. We call this "reviving," and everyone, regardless of profession, can do this starting at Level 1.
  • Downed vs Defeated, Rallying, & Reviving- When a player loses all of their health in Guild Wars 2, they are put into "downed mode." In this mode, the player has a number of downed skills they can use to target enemies and fight for a chance to survive. A warrior might daze an enemy by throwing a rock. An elementalist might lock down their foe with Grasping Earth. A downed player can still be attacked, which will send them into a defeated state, leaving them to either wait for an ally to resurrect them or to resurrect at a waypoint. While you are downed, if you manage to kill an enemy, you will rally, returning to life to fight again. When you rally, you are thrust right back in the action. Reviving is when a player resurrects a defeated player. Everyone, regardless of profession, can do this starting at Level 1.The more a player is downed, the longer it takes to revive them.
  • Cross Profession Combos- examples: Elementalist puts a flame on the ground, ranger shoots arrow through flame, igniting it so it does extra damage. Or a guardian leaps through a smoke cloud to hit an enemy and all teammates become invisible for a short time.

Combat Skill Slots

  • Ten Slot Skill Bar- First 5 Skills slots (abilities) are dynamic, based on combination of Profession and Weapon held. So every time you equip a new weapon the first 5 skill slots change to better use that weapon. So if egg picked up abilities would change so that egg could be eaten or thrown. The Second 5 Skills are chosen by player from a pool of available skills based on Profession and Race that enhance Damage, Support, and/or Control abilities. See Weapons, Professions, Races
  • Racial Skills- @GW2 Wiki.

Combat Links

Combat Videos