ArenaNet designer Jon Peters has been writing on the Guild Wars 2 dev blog about a number of big changes and additions we can expect to see in the Guild Wars 2 Gamescom demonstration this week. Read on for news on the new skill system and an overview of the new areas and bosses ArenaNet will be showing in Cologne.
Two major alterations have been made to the way skills are earned and used since Guild Wars 2 was last shown publicly at ComicCon. Skills now no longer cost energy, which means energy potions have gone. Energy will now recharge on its own, and can be used to power a new dodge manoeuvre.
"This allows players to use the mouse to dodge and lets players bind dodge to a single keystroke," writes Peters. "If you are moving in a direction, the dodge will take that into account and dodge in that direction. If you are not moving, you will dodge backward. Dodging now also evades attacks, making it a more effective and understandable way to avoid big creature attacks or to get out of AoE spells. "
The second big change affects the way players gain new abilities. weapon skills are no longer bought from trainers, but earned through using a weapon. This should hopefully remove the need for players to go hunting for a trainer mid-quest to try out new powers, and avoids situations where you can't afford all of the skills that your character can use.
"Non-weapon skills are learned in a different way," Peters adds. "The second half of the bar will be unlocked using a collection mechanic similar to Guild Wars. We want players to make fun choices about how they build their character, so the new systems will help promote this."
The demo will let players experience the start of the Charr personal story, which is set in their Charr starting area on the fiery Plains of Ashford. There players will get to meet the "newly prolific karma vendors" who will dish out bonus rewards to players who complete multiple events.
Sparkfly Fen will also be available as a high level zone that players will be able to explore as Sylvari and Asura characters. It's safe to expect to see some more enormous boss fights, which ArenaNet say have been improved with better camera angles and more spectacular skills.
Owen and Graham are at Gamescom this week, and they'll be hunting down as much new Guild Wars 2 info as possible. Sadly for Owen, an infamous underwater thief, Peters reveals that "you will be able to steal underwater, just not in this current demo." Aww.