*Important points of the blog post have been posted here. Entire article goes into a few more details and gives examples.
Hey everybody, Jon Peters here with a look at how traits and attributes provide a deep level of customization to your Guild Wars 2 character. Put simply, attributes are characteristics that players can invest points into in order to increase their effectiveness. We have four basic attributes – power, vitality, precision, and toughness.Offense
While playing the game, my fellow designers and I came to the conclusion that we wanted players to be able to customize the way their characters deal damage. Two of our four primary attributes – toughness and power – were serving double duty. Toughness improved heals, while power improved damage done by conditions. This essentially left us with two offensive styles: do more damage, or get more critical hits and react to their effects.
That wasn’t quite good enough. We wanted there to be at least four offensive play styles as well as more diversity of builds overall, so we added several new player attributes to mix things up. These new attributes differ from the four base attributes in that they are only gained by investing points into trait lines and through gear. The four base attributes of power, vitality, precision, and toughness may be increased through traits and gear, but they also automatically increase as you level.
- Prowess: Improves the damage multiplier on critical strikes.
- Malice: Improves the damage done by conditions like burning, poison, confusion, and bleeding.
- Expertise: Improves the duration of all conditions inflicted by the character.Support
- Concentration: Improves the duration of all boons applied by the character.
- Compassion: Improves all outgoing heals that your character does, including self heals.Profession Specific
Brawn (warrior) — Improves the damage of warrior burst skills.
Willpower (guardian) — Decreases the recharge on all virtues.
Cunning (thief) — Decreases the recharge of the Steal ability.
Empathy (ranger) — Improves pet attributes.
Ingenuity (engineer) — Reduces the recharge on all tool-belt skills.
Guile (mesmer) — Reduces the recharge on all Shatter skills.
Intelligence (elementalist) — Reduces the recharge of the four elemental attunements.
Hunger (necromancer) — Increases the size of the necromancer’s life-force pool.Traits
From level 11 to 80, you receive one trait point per level. This means that every level 80 character will be assigning 70 points to help define their character.
Every profession has five trait lines, and every line has 30 possible points that a player could allocate to it. Each time you place a point into a line, it improves two of your character’s attributes. The pair of attributes that get improved varies based on profession. For example, an elementalist that puts points into water magic will increase their Vitality and Healing attributes.Warrior
- Strength: Power and Expertise.
- Arms: Precision and Malice.
- Defense: Toughness and Compassion.
- Tactics: Vitality and Concentration.
- Discipline: Prowess and Brawn.Guardian
- Zeal: Power and Concentration.
- Radiance: Precision and Expertise.
- Valor: Toughness and Prowess.
- Honor: Vitality and Compassion.
- Virtues: Malice and Willpower.Thief
- Deadly Arts: Power and Expertise.
- Critical Strikes: Precision and Prowess.
- Shadow Arts: Toughness and Compassion.
- Acrobatics: Vitality and Concentration.
- Trickery: Malice and Guile.Ranger
- Marksmanship: Power and Expertise.
- Skirmishing: Precision and Prowess.
- Wilderness Survival: Toughness and Malice.
- Nature Magic: Vitality and Concentration.
- Beastmastery: Compassion and Empathy.Engineer
- Explosives: Power and Expertise.
- Firearms: Precision and Prowess.
- Inventions: Toughness and Compassion.
- Vitality: Vitality and Concentration.
- Tools: Ingenuity and Malice.Mesmer
- Domination: Power and Expertise.
- Dueling: Precision and Prowess.
- Chaos: Toughness and Concentration.
- Inspiration: Vitality and Compassion.
- Illusions: Malice and Guile.Elementalist
- Fire Magic: Power and Expertise.
- Air Magic: Precision and Prowess.
- Earth Magic: Toughness and Malice.
- Water Magic: Healing and Compassion.
- Arcane Power: Concentration and Intelligence.Necromancer
- Spite: Power and Expertise.
- Curses: Precision and Malice.
- Death Magic: Toughness and Concentration.
- Blood Magic: Vitality and Compassion.
- Soul Reaping: Prowess and Hunger.Minor Traits
Investing 5, 15, and 25 points in a single line will award the player a minor trait, which are unique bonuses that are dependent upon the number of points invested as well as the specific trait line in question. Think of these traits as a set of abilities that are designed to work well together and to help suggest a particular build or play style to the player.
For example, an engineer investing 25 points into the Tools trait line will receive one trait that will give him endurance whenever he uses a tool-belt skill, another trait that recharges all of his tool-belt skills when he reaches low health, and a third trait that gives him extra damage while at full endurance.Major Traits
Investing 10, 20, and 30 points in a single line will unlock a major trait slot for the player. Each line has 12 different major traits that may be slotted into a major trait slot. These are major upgrades to player abilities and are designed to provide a lot of customization.
For example, a thief might slot a trait that drops a field of caltrops every time she dodges, or another trait that gives allies boons whenever she uses her Steal ability, or even another that gives her bonus damage whenever she flanks an enemy.