We already know quite a bit about Guild Wars 2 raids, and how they'll be different from raids in other MMOs, thanks to our August chit-chat with Game Director Colin Johanson. But ArenaNet has posted a slightly more step-by-step breakdown of the process, and if you're looking forward to taking part in the action you should probably give it some attention.
Raids will be undertaken in groups of ten, which ArenaNet says is a size that works well with the game's core combat mechanics but still requires meaningful coordination. Raids will take advantage of Guild Wars 2's event system to present players with a variety of different types of encounters, including holdouts, assaults, captures, and defends, and each will be built around a particular challenge that the group will have to solve. "These puzzles, so to speak, will require focus on team coordination, communication, and both build and play roles," the studio explained.
"Build roles are what you do at a character level. Things like what weapons, utility skills, traits, and even armor you choose to bring to a fight. Some encounters are going to push you to try different weapons you rarely use, some are going to challenge you to select traits you haven’t considered equipping before, and some encounters may even require a member of your group to dust off that toughness gear to bulk up and tank some heavy hits to protect the condition-build players in the back," ArenaNet wrote. "Play roles are something that each player will face on an individual level. It’s all about execution here. Some encounters will require the entire raid party to perform a specific task to succeed. This could be something like gliding off the boss platform and catching an updraft to avoid a devastating attack. Other encounters will offer tasks that rely on the expertise of a few select players."
Raids will also incorporate the Mastery system that will be included with the upcoming Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns expansion. The first raid, for instance, will require players to "learn a few different ways to interact with mushrooms," while future raid releases will have their own raid-specific Masteries. That's actually part of the reason why raids won't be live when the expansion launches. "Because of the usefulness of Masteries within Raids, we want players to have time to be free to power up their characters," the studio wrote. "We want you guys to be able to enjoy playing the expansion without rushing to max out every Mastery in order to prepare for Raids."
Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is slated to come out on October 23.