Still Trying to Wrap My Mind Around GW2 Traits

There is something I really can’t wrap my mind to understand it fully: The new Trait system in Guild Wars 2.

Not that’s completely unintelligible or more complex than a game of chess with Kasparov, but I really can’t figure out which of the those sides is the important one.

Thing is: You pick a trait line; adding points to it increases 2 attributes and, at multiples of 5, open a trait slot with more passives. It’s simple at the surface, but I can’t really decide if I should focus on the attributes or the trait slots.

The system is somewhat similar to RIFT soul trees: As you put points in the skills in the tree, you also open skills in the root. But, at the same time, it seemed that the real focus was on the tree and the root was just bonus material. So it was easy to have a focus when building your character.

But the trait system seems… weird when you focus on numbers. Let’s take, as example, the Guardian. In the Virtues trait line, adding one point decreases the recharge time of Virtues in 1% (it also improves the damage of conditions, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s ignore that for a second). Now the question is: Is it worth adding a single point to get 1% recharge time? What about 3 points for 3%? If the numbers are meaningless, this means that you should, instead, focus on the trait slots, which you gain one at every 5 points spent. But then, everything will move in multiples of 5 and we’ll have to ask why there are single units in the first place: If trait slots are so valuable, why not give those 5 points all at once (every 5 levels) and simply let me pick the trait slot?

I think the trait system is pretty interesting, specially when some of the attributes you get are, sometimes, unrelated to the trait slot you’re opening (for Guardians, 10 points in Virtues let you pick a longer elite skills, for example) as it messes with min/maxing, but at the same time its hard to see if points or slots are the leading decision maker at first glance.

Most of the “tools” floating around are fixed on numbers but not their effects (what 100 points in toughness means, for example) so I guess we’ll have to wait for the game for someone to pick those and, sadly, make a spreadsheet.

The Long HoM Road

It’s been a while since I posted something about my HoM progress.

After hitting the 11 points I wanted, I kept playing just for the kicks and some (maybe) more points. The things I got so far:

  • The Imperial Phoenix. For no points.
  • Eternal Hero of Cantha and Eternal Hero of Elona. Again, for no points. But I must say that Shiro is a piece of paper and the easiest end fight I had in the game so far and fighting Abadon was damn fun.
  • Along the path, I also upgraded the armor of Hayda and leveled some random pet (as hunter) to get one extra point in “Fellowship”.
  • Got the “quest book” and returned it to the guy in the Eye of the North, reaching the rank of Shadow Agent with the Ebon Vanguard (rank 5), so I bought the full Monument Armor for another point.
  • Sold most of my materials (the ones I was collecting since forever), got some diamonds and such and bought a Destroyer Focus, getting two more points (one for “Any Weapon Statue” and one for “Destroyer Weapon Statue”.)

This basically let me broke. But hey, 15 points in HoM is not that bad, specially for someone who stays too long in the Ray of Judgement before realizing it.

But I’m a persistent fool, so I looked at my possibilities to increase it a bit more, ’cause:

  • At 16 points, I can get a Scepter. For my Guardian, I plan on using two sets of weapons: Sword and Shield for more balanced play and a Scepter and Focus/Torch for high DPS/low CC. This would be the first part of that second set.
  • At 20 points, I can get a Focus. Again, second set.
  • At 23 points, a two-handed Sword. Not sure if I want, but at least I could use it.
  • At 25 points, a two-handed Hammer. Not that I’m planing on using it, but it’s kinda fun seeing the Guardian videos and their hammer strike, sending enemies flying backwards.
  • At 26 points, the Torch. That’s the last weapon a Guardian can use that can come from the HoM. This would give me early access to all Guardian weapons.

What I still can do:

  • I have Zho’s Journal, which starts the quest to get the Black Moa Chick, a Rare Miniature. That will give me one more point.
  • Get “Protector of Cantha” and “Protector of Elona”, for two more “Honor” statues and 3 more points.
  • Complete the “War in Kryta” and get an Oppressor weapon for 1 more point.
  • Get a Tormented weapon for 1 more point.
  • Get 2 more Oppressor/Tormented weapons for 1 more point.
  • Spend a shitload of and get: “Elite Luxon Armor” (1 point), “Vabian Amor” (1 point), reaching 3 armor statues for 1 more point.

This will put my HoM at 25, 1 point away from the Torch. That last point is the thing that worries me. I could get some Unique minipet, which will cost me a bunch of gold or get the Obsidian Armor, which will cost me a fuckton of gold. I even made a spreadsheet with materials and prices and the Obsidian armor, with no farming of materials (’cause I’m that guy that stands in the Ray of Judgement, remember?) costs around 1500 plat. Also, I’m not so sure I can beat the missions to get the Protector titles.

And that’s why I’m holding myself to not buy Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Skyrim yet.