...a.k.a. Tips and Tricks for Players New to Guild Wars, With Other MMO Baggage
I resemble that above aside. Having played World of Warcraft for years, then becoming completely immersed in SWTOR, I have a lot of game mechanics and world logic baggage that I carried with me into Tyria -- but you don't have to! I've compiled the below as a guide to all the things you'll need to know and keep in mind as you start your adventures. And I hope to see some additions or questions from you in the comments...
- Be mindful in answering your alignment questions. The way in which you answer the questions that come up after you've chosen your profession and customized your character will determine key parts of your story. If you end up playing more than one character of the same race, be sure to mix up your answers to provide some variation in your story.
- Spend some time playing with dye color combinations for your starter gear set. These combinations will automatically be applied to new pieces of gear you equip as you go along (though you can go in and change the colors later.)
Your First Steps Into the World
- Build up your weapon skills, one at a time, before venturing out too far into the world. Unlike other games, your weapon skills will vary by weapon type, and are learned via using the weapon in combat. You'll want to use your first weapon until you learn all the skills associated with it, then swap to your next available weapon once you have it. Note that each time you swap in a previously unused weapon type, you will start with only 1 weapon skill unlocked and have to grind out the remaining skills. The good news is you can do this on lower level mobs. The very best place is in the instanced starter zone. Very low health mobs that die in 3 hits, and actually give quite a bit of XP. You can even have a friend mail that toon all the starter weapons if you want to unlock them all.
- You can buy inexpensive starter weapons from vendors or in the auction house. To preview the skills that accompany each weapon type, to help you decide which weapon you may want to try out next, go to your Hero tab (h) and choose the skills and traits tab, then weapon skills.
- Get accustomed to dodging attacks in addition to standing your ground to fight mobs. Unlike many other MMOs where you primarily stand your ground and fight, it's very helpful to actively try to move yourself out of the way of attacks, lest you be smashed into the ground like a bug. You can double-tap a movement key (WASD) to dodge out of the way, or you can keybind your dodge. And also be sure to use line-of-sight and kiting to your advantage to avoid for taking on more damage than you can survive.
- Check your email often. You can pick up mail wherever you are in the world by clicking on your mail icon in your top navbar. After completing quests, you may receive a mail with some cash from an NPC you assisted. Be sure to click the "take all" button in your mail window to recover the items or gold attached to your mail messages.
- Spend your karma points on item upgrades versus stockpiling karma. You'll find karma vendors while you are out questing-- be sure to take a look at what they have for sale, and spend your karma points with them to keep upgrading your gear as you go along.
Transportation and Navigation
- Unlock every waypoint you see on your map (marked with a blue square). Waypoints are your primary mode of transportation around the map.
- If you die, you'll need to rez at your nearest waypoint. Most unfortunately, this will cost you some of your gold. If you are very lucky, and you die in the midst of an event, you may be rezzed by a friendly player, but don't count on it!
- Maps have multiple levels. If you can't seem to find the point you are looking for, check out other map layers to find your way to the point of interest. This especially holds true in the often multi-leveled cities.
- Look for hearts on your map to figure out where to quest next. Hearts indicate there is a quest you can undertake in a specific area. To uncover hearts in a new unexplored area, talk to a scout (marked with binoculars on your map.) Upon completing a quest, you will receive some amount of gold and XP.
- Look for orange skulls or other icons with an orange circle around them. These indicate areas with dynamic events that are currently in progress. You will get karma for completing these activities, with your reward (gold, XP, karma) depending upon your amount of effort on the task/boss kill relative to the other players taking part in it. Sometimes an additional dynamic event will spawn after the completion of another dynamic event so it can pay to stick around for a minute afterwards to see if there is a part two in which you can participate.
- Look for overlapping red triangles for points with a pretty view of the area. These triangles indicate a vista point. Upon reaching the point, often through some jumping or tree climbing, you will be rewarded with a cinematic and a nice place in which to take a screenshot.
- Instant waypoint travel via party chat. When out in the world with a group, you can shift-click on a waypoint to link it in chat. You party members can double-click that link to travel directly to the waypoint. Very handy for corralling a large group. (ty Manglehaft!)
Crafting, Gathering and Auctioneering
- No one can steal "your" gathering node. All players in the area with the appropriate gathering item (mining axe, logging axe, harvesting sickle) can tap a node. No more trading off with your party mates or seething in nerd rage over other players tapping a node while you're fighting the beasts that are guarding it!
- The gathering tools are consumables that must be equipped, not permanent. Make sure to buy more from your friendly junk vendors whenever you are running low. And keep an eye on what you are harvesting-- as you move into higher level areas, you will need a better quality tool to gather successfully.
- Gathering gives a significant XP boost. Our friend @zerena_hoofs accidently tested this in the last bwe; she didn’t buy tools, and by level 11 was two levels behind everyone else, the only variable being her not gathering. (thanks to Manglehaft for this reminder.)
- Always keep salvage kits in your bags. Available for purchase from various city merchants, these kits are used to break down armor and weapons into crafting materials. This is a great way to cear out your bag slots of old or unsaleable gear you pick up, and generating crafting materials for your use or for sale in the Black Lion Trading Company auction house.
- Right click on crafting materials to deposit them in your bank. Unrefined crafting materials can be deposited to your bank from anywhere you are in the world by right clicking and choosing "Deposit collectible." There is an option on the top right of the bag menu that allows you to “deposit all collectables” in two clicks (thanks Manglehaft and Psynister for the deposit all tip!)
- You can sell and purchase items from the auctionhouse from anywhere in the world. However, to pick up the proceeds of an auction house sale, or an item you have purchased, you need to go to an auctioneer and pick it up from the pickup window.
- You must be standing next to a crafting station to craft items. The crafting station window will also provide access to your bank so you can easily pull out items you need. If you run out of crafting materials for an item you are trying to make, you can right click on that item to search for it in the auction house. You will however have to go pick it up at the aucitoneer.
- Keep your bags partially empty while crafting. Your crafted items have to go somewhere! You can either salvage them to recover some of the materials after you've made the item for a skill-up, or you can right click and sell them in the auciton house.
- Pick your price for buying and selling. When looking to purchase an item, you can either buy a listed item or put in a bid for X amount of those items at your desired price. Similarly, if you have an item you'd like to sell, you can either meet or beat the list price for others of those items on the auction house, or if there are outstanding orders for those items at a specific price, you can choose to sell immediately to that buyer.
- When pricing an item for sale, keep in mind that the auction house takes a 15% cut.
- You can not mail items to yourself. To send an alt an item, you will either need to deposit it in the bank (your bank is account-wide not character specific) or mail it to a friend with whom you are questing.
- You can not trade items with others. Instead you have to mail it to them. It's usually pretty fast, but still not the instant gratification of opening a trade window.
- You're visible to folks who have you friends listed, regardless of which character you're on. This is nice for not having to keep track of altoholic friends. However, note that when you message someone in game, they'll just see the name of whatever character you're on, not your area.net name, and may in fact have no idea who you are. Luckily, if you want some alone gaming time, you can make yourself show as invisible, as though you are not online, on the login screen.
- Shift+click to link an item in chat.
- No one can steal your quest mob/loot. As long as you do some damage to a mob, you will attain credit for the kill, and have your own loot assigned. Note that if you are in a party, your party may still have to roll against each other for loot.
- Turn on auto loot. Go to general options + interactions and check the auto loot button.