A lot of people claim ‘Guild Wars 2’ is a ‘game changer’ in the MMO industry. One way ArenaNet is changing it up is using the successful ‘LoL’ skills mechanic to their game.
Name appropriately after the game that introduced this type new skill bar, ‘Leagues Of Legends’ hands players a set of four skills that already have synergy. That’s it, just those skills for you to create combos and then use items to buff them. Players, however, still need to unlock these skills by gaining experience.
‘Guild Wars 2’ innovates off of the original ‘LoL’ skill mechanic; binding the first five of 10 skills to weapons (your last five are support skills and an elite skill). Your main-hand weapon changes the first three skills and swapping your off-hand weapon alters the last two. For example, your skills will be different if a sword is in your main-hand then if you had a pistol. To buff these skills you have weapon and armor upgrades. The new MMO also adds combo fields and combo finishers; a way for all professions to have synergy with each other too. Even with these changes the mechanic still the same; skills are just bound to weapons (and, of course, your profession) rather than different the Champions in ‘League of Legends’.
There are some great advantages for ‘Guild Wars 2’ by using a basic form of the ‘League of Legends’ skill mechanic. For one, it’s very beginner friendly; within your first few hours of playing you’ll be dishing out some sweet damage. Different weapons are easy to come by as merchants sell them, so unlocking the different skills for each weapons does not take long. This, of course, is so players focus on playing the game rather than skill acquisition.
Another awesome advantage for using the ‘League of Legends’ skill design helps ArenaNet; it is way easier to keep everything balanced over the original ‘Guild Wars’ system. In ‘Guild Wars’, the developer has to worry about hundreds of skills and how they work with crossed-professions; an attribute of one profession can make a skill become too powerful. . Leave it to players to exploit a skill with a different profession’s attributes in an unintentional way (see the Touch Ranger). Now it’s only a handful of skills for each profession (and only that profession) and five trait lines to keep equal. Much, much simpler.
And the best part of using this skill mechanic? It’s easier to add new professions to ‘Guild Wars 2’! If ‘League of Legends’ can introduce a new champion nearly every week, then so can ‘Guild Wars 2’. Not that it will happen, nor will we see new ones any time soon, but it’s probably a lot easier now than before. Cross-professions in ‘Guild Wars’ was a nightmare since every profession can use other profession’s skills. Adding a new profession requires that all their skills cannot be exploited by another profession; as with the case of introducing the Dervish into ‘Guild Wars’ with the ‘Nighfall’ campaign got us the Ranger/Dervish.
However, with all that said, it is still hard not to feel nostalgic for the original ‘Guild Wars’ skill system. The sense of entitlement one feels after capturing an elite skill from a boss or reaching a new town to see what new skills the trainer can teach is beyond words. Or the feeling of pure dominance of having a full team of eight Necromancers in structured PvP, all having only three skills native to the profession, with the rest being Monk skills for a huge healing will never be matched. Or just running around Random Areas, with a Monk equipped with a bow and Distracting Shot lead to some hilarious moments.
But it’s time for a new era of MMOs, and the new ‘LoL’ skill mechanic will certainly be sticking around. Enjoy your combos gamers!