PlayGW2: Guild Wars 2 Tips and Tricks For New Players

Date: 05-02-2012 Views: Comment: loading...

Freelancer: Dulfy

Dulfy is a gamer chick that enjoys playing healers in MMOs. She enjoys the social interaction and the raiding intensity of MMOs. She also enjoys writing guides that help newbies and verterans alike to suceed in their game.

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Here is a wonderful guide article from Dulfy published on PlayGW2.

Hey everyone, the first beta weekend for Guild Wars 2 had just concluded and I had an awesome experience playing as a mesmer (got her to level 27)! While playing, I noticed that a lot of the things were not immediately obvious to a new player (especially one that never played GW1) so I decided to check out some features and compile a list of tips & tricks you might find useful for the next beta or when the game launches (no ETA yet)!

  • Your biography at character creation determines how your personal story plays out
  • Learn to Kite/dodge attacks
  • Drowned state and death
  • Auto-attacking
  • Show cooldown timers on your ability bar
  • Fast-Cast Ground Targeting
  • Auto-loot
  • Easy way to tell if an ability is within range
  • Waypoints, PoIs, skill ups, and tasks
  • Scouts & Tasks
  • Check your mail for rewards from tasks!
  • Dynamic events and Karma
  • Effective Level
  • Joining your friends that play other races
  • Weapon abilities and their unlocking
  • How to check if you are in the overflow
  • Three layers of maps
  • Aquatic weapons
  • High Res Screenshots & 3D screenshots
  • Gathering & its benfits
  • Upgrade slots & salvage kits
  • Armoring dyes - change your dyes anytime, anywhere
  • Deposit Collectible for crafting materials!
  • One bag and auto bag sorting
  • Bank is shared accountwide
  • PvP: Structured vs WvW
  • No trading with other players, mail it to them!
  • Auction house, accessible and no need to wait for buyers/sellers
  • Boons and Conditions
  • Offline mode & friend list

1. Your biography at character creation determines how your personal story plays out

In the character creation window, you are given a number of choices to personalize your character's biography. As expected, your race has a major impact on the personal story but other choices you make like your background, your personality, your goals, and even the choices you make later on in your personal story will change your personal story and make it different than others.

Do take your time and pick your choices carefully at character creation, it will impact your personal story experience drastically. For example, as a human with a noble background seeking my lost parents, my personal story involved a lot of mingling with the nobility and quests to search my lost parents.

2. Learn to Kite/dodge attacks

This one is very general but if you are not familiar with these two techniques, you might find the Guild Wars 2 PvE content a bit harder (I died about 65 times in the beta weekend).

Kiting is used primarily by ranged classes against melee monsters, especially when the monsters you are trying to fight hits particularly hard. It is the art of running in wide circles around the mob, casting spells while doing so. This technique is especially viable in GW2 for two particular reasons

  • Mobs hit hard - they can 2-3 shot you if you don't avoid their attacks
  • You don't need to stop and cast in GW2 for most of your abilities

Dodging in GW2 can be achieved via double tapping a movement key (WSAD). Be aware that it uses up your energy, which is represented in a bar form. Luckily, the energy bar refills pretty quick, allowing you to dodge often.

Dodging is super useful when you see a mob charge up their massive attack or quickly getting out of a red circle in the ground. If you do it successfully, you see an "Evaded!" text on the screen and avoid the damage completely. A single dodge will use up about 40% of your energy bar, allowing to dodge twice in rapid succession if needed.

While all of this is viable against melee monsters, getting out of line of sight (LoS) is a good strategy against ranged mobs. This involves running behind something in the terrain so that the mob can't "see" you for their ranged abilities. If you are quick, you can sometimes dodge the ranged attacks as well, especially if they are throwing things at you.

3. Drowned state and death
In GW2, when you are defeated by a monster, you do not die right away. Instead, you enter a drowned state and are given 4 abilities depending on your class (the 4th ability, Bandage, is shared between all classes). In this state you can continue fighting but your skills are less powerful. Unless the monster you are fighting is close to death or you get revived by another player, drowned state is followed shortly by the defeated state (if you know another player is killing the mob that has put you in a drowned state, it is best to press 4 so you regen some health and don't get killed by the mobs's AoE attacks for example). 


In the defeated state, you are essentially dead. The only way to return to the world is either respawn at a waypoint nearby (more on waypoints below) or get revived by another player. You will take armor damage when you enter the defeated state and your will also incur a death penalty, which is a temporary debuff that makes your enter your next drowned state with less health.

In some circumstances, if the mob your are fighting against in the drowned state is killed, you will rally back into life and exit the drowned state.

Reviving other players is very important. You will get experience for reviving other players in addition to their gratitude (hey you just saved them a repair cost, they should be thankful!).

4. Auto-attacking

One thing that is super neat is that you can set a specific weapon ability to auto-attack by simply ctrl + right click on that skill. Doing so will allow that ability to be used on the enemy continuously without any input from your end until the enemy is dead. This obviously work extremely well for abilities with no cooldowns (typically the first ability in your weapon).

By default, the auto-attacking is turned off when you switch targets but you can turn that off if you like in the options.

Keep in mind that you can only set one ability for auto-attacking at a time.

5. Show cooldown timers on your ability bar
Knowing exactly how many seconds remain before a particular ability is useable again is an extremely important information. Luckily, you can enable this option easily by hitting ESC key and go into options and choose Show Skill Recharge


6. Fast-Cast Ground Targeting

While we are on the options skill, one option you may or may not find useful is the option - Fast Cast Ground Targeting.


Usually, when you use a spell that requires you to target the ground, you are given a targeting reticle to place on the ground so there is a small delay there as you try to position the reticle. With this option enabled, the reticle no longer appears, and the location of your mouse cursor becomes the location where that particular spell is dropped.

This is useful for some people as it enables faster casting of these abilities but it is not for everyone as some spells have a range (i.e. Blink for the Mesmer class) and you can't really see the reticle to determine if the location you are trying to hop to is out of range or not (reticle turns red if out of range).

7. Auto-loot

Auto-loot is another option you can turn in in the options window. Auto loot is a bit misleading as it doesn't actually loot items automatically for you. You still need to go near a sparkling corpse and press F to loot the corpse. With auto-loot turned on, you won't get a pop up box or anything, items just go into your inventory. You will still be able to see the items you loot via the sliding thingie at the bottom right of your UI.

8. Easy way to tell if an ability is within range

When you look down at your ability bar, you will see numbers responding to their hotkey position. These numbers appear red when something you are have targeted is out of range and appears white if the target is within range of the ability. 

9. Waypoints, PoIs, skill ups, and tasks

Tasks: There are no "quests" in GW2 like in in traditional MMOs; instead, you have tasks all over the map (represented by the heart symbol). 


Each tasks can be completed via a number of methods specified on your task log.


Each task have a recommend level, if you are more than 2-3 levels below the recommended level, you might have a hard time with the task unless you are grouped up with friends.

Keep in mind that each task have a specific location, if you are too far away from the area, your actions will not give you credit towards the task. So make sure to always check the right top side of the UI to ensure that the task is there (if you see the task there, then you are in the right area).

Waypoints are the little squares you see on your map, to unlock them, you simply need to be close to them and you will unlock them right away. Waypoint unlocking is extremely important as when you die, the only way to get back to the living world is to respawn near a waypoint (or get revived by nearby players). If you havn't unlocked the waypoints near the location where you died, it is a long run back!


Skill ups are points used for your Slot skills (accessed by pressing the H button and going to the 2nd tab). After level 10, every level you gain will award you with a skill point but there are also skill up points scattered throughout the map that allow you to get access to additional skill ups so you can get your slot skills quicker. Each of these skill ups are guarded by mobs of the level appropriate for that area but you can definitely team up with friends and get them as a lower level character. Unclaimed skill points appear as an empty blue up arrow while claimed skill points appear as a filled arrow.


Last but not least, PoI (Points of Interest) are also scattered around on the map, they appear as a tiny square. While they do not provide any obvious benefits, discovering them can grant you experience and getting all the waypoints, tasks, skill ups and POIs on a map will grant you some items in the mail!


10. Scouts & Tasks
While running around questing on the map, you will see these telescope symbols on unexplored areas. Running to these icons will reveal a scout, which can show you nearby tasks. You can of course totally ignore them and discover tasks on your own!



For more details about this guide please click PlayGW2.

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