Dodging just might be the single most important thing ever broken-down. It helps turn an MMO into an action adventure game. If you’re playing Guild Wars 2 (yes you future-dweller!) and you know how to dodge and you end up fighting another player who doesn’t dodge…you’re going to win that fight. It is that simple really. So do a barrel roll for Lyssa’s sake!
Bear in mind though, this breakdown covers the dodge mechanic built into the game. Beta-testers confirm that you can also dodge in a more literal sense by simply moving out of way of an enemy’s attack e.g. quickly moving behind a wall when an enemy is about to attack from range etc.
Dodging uses endurance, that’s the bar above your 6-0 skills. It slowly refills and is affected by the boon Vigor (which increases its rate of regeneration) and the condition Weakness (which slows it). Any enemy attack that knocks you around or takes away your ability to control your movement will stop the ability to dodge. At full capacity you can do about 3 rolls by either double tapping a directional key or using the dodge button. The dodge button will roll you in the direction you’re headed in (if you’re not moving it’ll roll you backwards, so watch out for ledges).
How does dodging work?
Once you start to dodge, you are INVULNERABLE; you become as a Demigod walking amongst mere mortals until the dodge animation ends; where you become mortal once again. Therefore from a technical standpoint, dodging in a particular direction offers very little, as the dodge itself prevents any ill effects rather than the moving out of way. You should still plan ahead tactically though; you wouldn’t want to dodge from the fiery magma eruption into a couple warriors with hammers. During the CBT, it was noted that dodging through skills with long attack animations also generates its own tactical problem, where you can still end up getting hit with the tail-end of some skills, after the dodge’s invulnerability expires.
When do I dodge?
This early into the piece it’s difficult to say. As time goes along, you’ll get used to the tells of attack skills as they’re starting up. Some skills have long attack animations or quite simply take a while e.g. Elementalist’s Vapor Blade: get hit on the first pass, dodge out of the second etc. If you’re getting hammered on by a couple warriors and an elementalist (I totally tied that in), then it’s probably best to dodge often and a lot.
What I can say with certainty concerns GW2’s many AoEs and their colour schemes. Red circles are enemy attack AoEs, so dodge out of them whenever you can. White doesn’t affect you (enemy support AoEs/friendly attack AoEs) and Blue are friendly support AoEs (dodge into and dodge around inside maybe).
Things to note
There are quite a few traits involving endurance and its regeneration as well as the fact that every profession has a trait dedicated to the act of dodging: from the engineer leaving a bomb when he dodges to the warrior actually damaging the people he dodges into. So when you finally start off your Guild Wars 2 experience, I hope the first thing you do in GW2 is that you learn to dodge, before taking even one single step.