Today marks the last day of our five-day guide, and the final day before headstart access begins for Guild Wars 2! As you enter the world, you’ll be eager to try a number of things, and a great deal of that will involve spending money and playing the game with other players.
Today’s final guide focuses on those two things. Click on to continue.
There is an active economy in Guild Wars 2 that centers around the trading post, “operated” by the Black Lion Trading Company. You can sell anything that isn’t classified as junk on the trading post by opening the Black Lion Trading Company window with [O]. You can see what the current market price is for just about any item and sell just below that or make a custom price. You can also buy items you require here as well. To receive your goods or money from sales, you will need to go to a Trading Post, but there are several found throughout Tyria.
From this window, you will also be able to make purchases of Gems with real world money, items that can only be bought with gems, or use the currency exchange to toggle between gold and gems. If you have been playing for any amount of time, you will most likely have run across a sealed chest that requires a key to open. This is where the keys can be purchased. Unlike cash shops in other games, you cannot buy power upgrades here – only vanity items or boosters to increase gains for experience, karma, or glory.
Crafting and Gathering
Anyone in Guild Wars 2 can gather any of the gatherable materials available in the game, regardless of your professions or crafting disciplines. All you need to do is pick up the right tools and equip them!
- Lumber is gathered with Logging Axes
- Ore is gathered with Mining Picks
- Herbs/Vegetables are gathered with Sickles
All you need to do is buy a set of these tools from a vendor, and you can get to gathering any nodes you come across in Tyria. Gathering tools do have a set number of uses, so it might be worth buying two sets if you’re heading out for a long period of exploring, just in case. There are different qualities of gathering tools too. Generally, as you progress from zone to zone, you should upgrade your tools so you can harvest the higher level nodes you come across.
You can focus on any 2 crafting professions at the same time in Guild Wars 2. You can switch to another Crafting Profession without losing progress on the one you abandoned. In theory, you will be able to have one character with every crafting profession maxed out. As you craft, you can experiment with different materials in a special panel of the crafting pane and discover new items to make. You also gain experience for crafting items, and you will gain more experience for making more challenging items and discovering new recipes.
Alternative Crafting Options
There are a couple of unique ways to get crafting materials and items in Guild Wars 2. You can salvage gear with a kit that breaks down the gear into an assortment of components. For instance, if you used a kit on a mace, you might get some copper from the head, some wood from the handle, or some leather from the grip. This is a great way to break down items you no longer need, acquire extra room in your bags or get much needed crafting materials. Higher level kits increase the chance of getting back rarer materials, but they are more expensive and generally only used at higher levels.
Armorsmithing: This Crafting Profession make heavy armors for the soldier professions, as well as inventory boxes and runes. It will involve the use of a lot of ore and cloth to advance.
Jeweler: The jeweler is able to make accessories like earrings, necklaces and rings. They are also able to combine gems to make a higher grade of gemstones that can be inserted into upgrade slots in equipment. Typically, jewelers will want to gather a lot of ore to support this crafting profession.
Tailoring: If the pen is mightier than sword than the pin must be mightier than the pen. Think on that! Tailoring is the crafting profession for making scholar light armor, runes and bags. It will suck up quite a bit of cloth to level, as you would expect, but you will get a lot of useful bags and runes of Life early on, which definitely makes leveling easier.
Weaponsmithing: Do you like big sticks to beat people with? Want those sticks to be equipped with pointy things? Then weaponsmithing is the crafting profession for you! Essentially any melee-based weapon is crafted by the weaponsmith. They also make sigils to help empower that shiney new sword you made.
Huntsman: All physical things ranged are crafted by the Huntsman – bows, guns, warhorns and torches. The last two look out of place right up until a Ranger sends a flock of birds at you with the warhorn and then chucks a torch at you. Similar to the weaponsmith, they also make sigils for weapons.
Artificer: The artificer is capable of making all the weapons for magic users. It includes staves, foci, scepters, tridents and, like the other weapon crafting professions, sigils. Artificer is also as close to an alchemist that you will get in Guild Wars 2, making potions that grant you bonuses such as extra damage against centaurs.
Leatherworker: Do you like ripping the skin off dead things? Me too! This is the profession for people with a leather obsession (hmmm, that sounded wrong). These are the crafters of medium armor for the adventurer professions. As a nice bonus, you can make leather bags to store more leather in. It’s like the circle of life!
Chef: This crafting profession allows you to make food that grant long duration boons, about 10 minutes, from materials you gather from plants, meat you get from killing animals and spices you buy from vendors. Even though this crafting profession gets quite expensive to level up, you can reap the rewards by also making dyes for your armor. If you like blowing through tons of money and karma, this is the profession for you! No, really, it eats through cash like crazy.
Finally, if you have multiple items that you no longer need, you can try your hand at the Mystic Forge. You combine four items and sacrifice them in the forge, and out of it you will have a chance to get something better. Its a bit of a gamble, but people have gotten much better items out of the forge. The way it works is not fully known.
Playing Nice With Others
From time to time – or more like all the time – you will come across moments in Tyria that are better tailored towards multiple players. Here, as the final part of our monstrous guide, we will go over those things.
Dungeons deviate quite a bit from the standard in other MMOs. You may be used to dungeons being the main feature of a game, especially at max level. Not so much in Guild Wars 2. Instead, dungeons are a device to focus the story on some of the central figures in the world of Tyria, the members of the guild Destiny’s Edge. This group was dedicated to fighting the Elder Dragons, which are starting to re-emerge, but dissolved for reasons I won’t get into here.
The dungeons tell the story of trying to re-unite this guild as the shadow of the Elder Dragons loom near. The dungeons all have two modes, a story mode that is meant to be completed, with some effort, by almost anyone and an explorable mode which is far more challenging. Both modes are intended to be completed in a group of 5 players, with usually one NPC accompanying you.
Unlike normal dungeons in MMOs, there are no healers or tanks. You are responsible for your own health and must heal, dodge, and mitigate as much damage as possible. The aggro of mobs is a bit different as well, they tend to directly attack the closest player doing the most damage. Everyone has to kind of take turns juggling mobs in order to prevent the boss from burning your team down one by one. If ANYONE tries to tell you that they are a healing only or tanking only character, they are grossly misinformed and I would suggest not grouping with them. While every spec has the ability to take on more healing-related traits and skills or more defensive ones, everyone is responsible for all things damage and no one person is dedicated to tanking mobs.
The first dungeon you will encounter is the Ascalon Catacombs, which involves Eir and Rytlock, in the story mode. This will be available at around level 30. You will have to complete the story mode before you can do the explorable mode, which involves various scholars attempting to determine the biggest threat deeper in the Catacombs. You will have access to the explorable mode at level 35. However, you may also do these dungeons at higher levels and they will retain their difficulty since the lower level content will scale your character down to the appropriate level, just like in other areas of Tyria. There is a rather lovely video of Guild Wars Insider staff running through this dungeon that can be found here.
Upon completing explorable modes, you can get unique dungeon-specific gear that drops from bosses. When killing bosses, you will also get dungeon-specific tokens to buy a gear set from a vendor in the dungeon. You can get a preview of the Dungeon Armor Sets provided by GWI writer Wormwood.
One of the major facets of Guild Wars 2 is Structured Player versus Player, or sPvP for short. Unlike many other MMOs you may be familiar with, he Guild Wars 2 PvP is highly refined and balanced with the intent that it would be a competitive e-sport similar to Starcraft 2 or League of Legends. What does this mean for you, the average player?
- When you step into sPvP, you will be upgraded to the highest level with access to all possible skills for your profession, traits, and gear.
- All gear in sPvP is purely cosmetic, there is no need to grind up the appropriate gear to start being competitive, because you start with the highest gear possible.
- All weapon sets and skills are designed with the intent that they will be viable in sPvP.
To start sPvP, you can go to your Hero Panel [H] and click the tab on the bottom left of the screen. You will see a screen with your current PvP stats such as how much glory you have or how often you play a class in sPvP, and you will see a little button that says “Head into the Mists”. The Mists is an area outside of time and space where you can relive some of the greatest battles in Tyria or fight in areas previously unreachable. In the Heart of the Mists, you can practice virtually every aspect of sPvP including underwater combat and trebuchet aiming. The first time you go into the Mists, you will enter a small tutorial zone that explains all the basics of sPvP in Guild Wars 2, such as capturing points or reviving. You can finish this tutorial or continue forward through the Asura Gate into the Heart of the Mists.
When you first enter the Mists you may find it a bit overwhelming. You will find you have all of your utility skills unlocked and premade choices available, your gear will mysteriously be all PvP gear and your traits will be pre-filled out for you. Don’t panic. Take your time, play around with your utility skills and elites, and figure out how everything works. You don’t have to stick with the default loadout that ArenaNet so kindly provided you with. Spend some time reworking your trait lines until you find something that suits your play style. I suggest investing in your professions line that grants toughness and vitality for extra survivability if this is your first time in sPvP.
You will find gear vendors nearby that provide the stock equipment for sPvP, which includes armor, weapons, sigils, runes and amulets. All of this is provided at no cost and you can take as much as you want. However, it will do you no good outside the Mists, as none of it can be equipped there.
Once you start PvPing, you will receive the PvP currency, glory, as a reward. Once you accumulate enough of it you, will gain access to the glory
vendors located around the Mists. You can go there and purchase Bronze, Silver and Gold chests that include higher tiered sPvP gear the higher the chest level, but it also increases in their glory cost as well. You can deposit these as collectables and retrieve them from the Footlockers located near the entrance to the Mists. If you wish to reduce this excess gear, you can try your hand at the sPvP version of the Mystic Forge.
To start the bloodshed, you can talk to the Hot Join sPvP NPC located on a platform right next to the Lion’s Arch Asura Gate. When you talk to him he will display a list of lobbies, similar to what you’d see in Team Fortress 2 or Modern Warfare 3. You can see what game is being played in each lobby and how many people are there. You can either select a specific lobby or just hit play now to randomly join one. Once in, you will find yourself in your team’s base and can begin the bloodshed. However, Guild Wars 2 is not just a killing free-for-all – it is an objective-based gameplay. All maps fall under the category of Conquest Gameplay, which is basically a capture and hold game type. Each map has its own unique secondary mechanic that can influence the course of the game.
There is one other type of competitive gameplay available: Tournaments. You can find a tournament NPC on a platform near the Mystic Forge, which will allow you to enroll in tournaments. Unlike Hot Join, the tournaments require you to have a pre-formed 5 man team, in contrast to the hot join’s random 8 man teams.
There are free tournaments as well as paid tournaments that cost gold or tournament tickets to enter. Tournament gameplay is where you will find the more competitive, highly organized teams. This helps ensure that if you are new to PvP, you can stay in the hot join lobbies and not accidentally be matched up with the elite PvPers. The tournaments also offer greater rewards for competing in them, which include glory and randomized reward chests.
World vs World
World vs World is a unique type of battleground environment in Guild Wars 2. It allows 3 servers to fight each other in a set of special maps where the objective is to capture and hold different types of structures. Each structure will grant your server a set number of points that are added to the total score every 5 minutes.
- Resource Camps grant 5 points
- Towers grant 10 points
- Keeps grant 25 points
- Stone Mist Keep grants 50 points
There are a total of 3 identical maps that represent each server’s world. These maps have locations with slight variations on the names between each map, but as far as its known, they are identical. The fourth map is called the Eternal Battlegrounds, where the Stone Mist Keep resides. This is often an area of intense battle.
To enter the WvW maps hit [B] and you will open up the WvW score screen that shows how many objectives you and the enemy servers control and where the score currently stands. From this screen, you can enter any of the maps at your server’s permanently-controlled location on that map. Once there, you can open up your map and look for areas marked with crossed swords. This indicates there is fighting currently going on in that location.
It is important to note that you can enter WvW at any level and the game will scale your health and damage up to level 80, but you will only have the skills and traits you have currently earned. This key difference makes WvW a separate type of PvP from the sPvP in the Mists. However, you will earn experience while in WvW and you can gain loot from killed players and NPCs, unlike in sPvP, which makes it a fun alternative area to level up in.
World vs World uses a resource called Supply, which is collected at supply camps and distributed to area locations. Supply is used by players to build siege equipment like battering rams and arrow carts for attacking or defending structures. Additionally, points earned from holding structures have more than just a numerical “I am better than you, other team!” value to them. As your team gains points, the points earned translate to benefits in the explorable PvE world, where players complete hearts, dungeons and dynamic events.
This guide can only cover a small fraction of the information about WvW, as it is really a vast topic. There are so many things that you haven’t even read about like siege weapons, tactics, jumping puzzles and keep lords. However there are a number of great resources that explore all of these topics in depth. You can go to the Guild Wars 2 Wiki page on WvW and the website GW2 WvW, which has guides on every aspect of this gameplay, video, and listing of guilds that specialize in WvW. Finally, there is a great primer on Guild Wars 2 WvW siege weapons on the New Krewe article Don’t Knock on Doors. SMASH THEM!
Guild Wars 2 is an expansive game with a monumental amount of depth. The sheer length of this guide can be a testament to that! The world of Tyria offers all sorts of wonders to be enjoyed, and hopefully these guides will ease you into the world. Remember, there is always something new to learn in a game this expansive, and as long as you keep moving forward, you steadily become one of the stalwart veterans. When you do become one, remember to help guide those wide-eyed newbs you find along the way.
And as always, Live Strong and Fight Hard!
I would like to give a special thanks to the entire Guild Wars Insider staff who helped in this massive guide. Many contributed their expertise in lore, professions, and screenshots. There are simply too many to thank individually so I will thank you all at once: THANKS!