The latest Guild Wars 2 class in the spotlight is the warrior, a master of weapons powered by adrenalin and suited for any situation, thanks to the game's newly-revealed traits system.
At first the Guild Wars 2 warrior sounds a lot like the World of Warcraft warrior, only instead of building rage to fuel offensive skills, the Guild Wars version builds adrenalin. They have shouts that motivate allies and weaken foes. They even have different stances that affect how they build and maintain adrenalin.
It's a fair comparison, but then ArenaNet sprinkles a little paladin dust on the class, giving them banners that can be called down to buff their allies.
Fighting is made even more convenient using chains, series of skills that use the same hotkey and fire off in sequence, sort of like the roulette system used in Spellborn. For instance, the sword chain Sever Artery, Gash, and Final Thrust all reside on one key. Hitting that key once kicks off Sever Artery. The next press activates Gash. The third invokes Final Thrust, and then the whole thing resets. Neat and tidy.
Warriors can use nine different weapons: sword, axe, mace, shield, warhorn, greatsword, hammer, longbow, and rifle. There are 19 different weapon combinations in all, and the warrior can have two active sets ready at all times, with a brief cooldown to keep them from swapping back and forth constantly. Each type of weapon will have a particular Burst skill, which uses up all the warrior's stored adrenalin in exchange for enhanced powers.
It seems like a pretty straightforward class, but what if you want to specialize? That's where the Trait system comes in.
Traits aren't simply Guild Wars 2's talent system. Rather than spending automatically accrued points in order to customize your powers, Traits are earned through challenges spread throughout the game world. A warrior might challenge a legendary fighter to a duel, while an Elementalist might quest for a mystical tome.
It all fits in with keeping you immerse in the game world and your personal story. You don't simply slot points to become a better swordmaster. You win those skills in battle.
How you use those Traits all depends on your personal choice.
Each class has a set of trait lines, with slots for major and minor Traits. Warriors, for instance, have Power, Tactics, and slots for each useable weapon. Before going into battle, you can assign traits to these lines, maximizing the skills you feel are pertinent to the situation. There's even a Trait you can slot that removes the weapon switching cooldown I mentioned earlier.
Check out screens of the warrior below, and visit the official Guild Wars 2 web page for more on the innovative Trait system.