I keep getting lots of questions from new players lately: “How to do this? Why should I go with that?”. With the number of newcomers increasing more and more as we approach the release of the game’s first expansion pack, I decided to put together a list of helpful tips that may assist all these rookie adventurers in one way or the other.
The One Above All
The official wiki is your most trustworthy friend; use it as much as possible. It basically serves as an encyclopedia that contains every info related to the game. From lore to crafting or even live data coming straight out from the Trading Post, it’s all there. A tip I could give you regarding this part is that you can have access to the wiki from inside the game. Simply type in chat /wiki and the term you are looking for and a new tab with your search results will open in your browser.
Friends with Benefits
Depending on the content you enjoy spending your time on the most, you can become part of a guild. In order to achieve that you can ask around on forums or other media online or simply do so in game. Visit a busy place like the Heart of the Mists (we’ll get to how to get there in a few) and let others know of your interest. Either way, be sure to “take advantage” of the situation. Make friends and have fun with them while they help you get to know all the ins and outs of the game.
The Black Lion, the Krait Witch and the Wardrobe
One of Guild Wars 2’s main focuses is the aesthetics. You can literally spend countless hours playing the dress up game with your characters. In order to assist you with that there’s a Wardrobe system in place. You can have access to the Wardrobe by hitting [H] on your keyboard to open the “Hero Panel” and then click on the corresponding tab that appears on screen.
- You can right click on an item in your inventory and select the “Unlock Skin” option. Keep in mind that this will make the item account-bound restricting you from selling it in the Trading Post afterwards.
- Salvaging an item will also give you access to its skin in the Wardrobe.
- And your last option would be to destroy it, something that would result in the very same outcome.
Once a skin is unlocked it will always be available for you to use whenever you like. There’s only a single catch. Applying it on one of your pieces of gear costs, in most of the cases, one transmutation charge. This currency can be bought directly from the Gem Store or it can be farmed by participating in several types of content in game. That includes Map Completion (Tip: Completing the map of each Main City will award you with a number of Transmutation Charges, so be sure to do that with every single one of your characters) and PvP reward Tracks (We’ll talk about this in more detail further below).
Gems are truly, truly outrageous
With Guild Wars 2’s business model following the “Buy to Play” pattern, there’s an in game store that offers a galore of microtransactions. I included this point in my list to let all of you know that there’s an option to buy this store’s currency, the gems, using in game gold. To do that you can open the Gem Store’s interface by hitting [O] on your keyboard and then selecting the second tab titled “Currency Exchange” in the window that appears.
Gear and Builds
I often get the question “What’s the best”. What’s the best profession, the best build or stat combination. My suggestion would be to play around a bit on your own before you decide on what you should use in the end. That’s because what works the best for someone may not do the same for someone else. The only piece of advice I could give on this part would be to always take a look at the type of damage a weapon does (i.e. its skills) and according to that focus on a specific stat combo.
Now, there are multiple ways to get your hands on the best gear possible. First of all, let me say that, in my opinion there’s no point on aiming for ascended gear. At least not for starters. It’s not worth the effort at all and simply by having a set of exotic gear will give you access to the entire content of the game. To acquire such a set you can easily do one of the following:
- Craft it
- Buy it with Dungeon Tokens
- Buy it with Karma from the temples in Orr
- Buy it with Badges of Honor in WvW
- Buy it off the trading post
- Complete PvP Reward Tracks
As for builds, there’s a website that you can take a look at and try a few out to see what suits you the best.
Moving Around and Doing Things the Poor Man’s Way
By selecting the two crossed swords at the top left corner of your screen while in game you gain access to the PvP interface.
From there if you click on the “Enter PvP Lobby” icon you will be transfered to the Heart of the Mists.
This is the area from where you can take part in some structured PvP. It’s worth mentioning though that this map also features a bank, a trading post and a merchant. Meaning that you can have access to all of these services for free from wherever you are. When you are done dealing with those you can go back to where you previously were by bringing up the same menu as before and clicking on the same button. The Heart of the Mists also serves as a gateway to Lion’s Arch which in its turn offers a way to access all the starter areas of the game for free. You can read Bookahnerk’s very detailed post over at the Nerdy Bookahs to learn how to do so.
This only leaves the crafting stations not being easily accessible. There’s a trick though even for that. If you open the WvW interface by hitting [B] on your keyboard and select your server’s borderlands the area where you’ll land will feature all crafting stations for you to use. Again, when you are done you can bring up the same interface and click on the “Leave the Mists” button.
PvP Reward Tracks
In order to be eligible for rewards in structured PvP you must enable a PvP Reward Track. To do so you should open the PvP interface and click on the second tab.
Each Reward Track offers access to different items and upon activation it progresses based on the outcomes of your PvP matches. My advice here would be to try to learn the ways of sPvP in Unranked Arenas at first before delving into the more hardcore gameplay of the Ranked ones.
Gold Makes the World Go Round
When it comes to farming gold, please for the love of the Eternal Alchemy, do not end up doing the same thing over and over again. There are so many different ways of earning gold that you can literally just play the game at your own pace, doing your own thing and at the same time having an I’d say rather lucrative way of getting by.
If PvE is your thing for example you can spend some time in the Fractals of the Mists on a daily basis. By completing all daily Fractals you can get your hands on 28 Fractal Encryptions which can be opened using Encryption Keys. Those keys can be bought from one of the G.O.L.E.M. vendors within the Fractal lobby (the middle one on the right). The vendor offers up to 30 keys per day at the price of 1 Fractal Relic and 20 silver each. That price guarantees you some profit from opening the encryptions, as the junk you get out of them is of value.
Additionally, If you are interested more in open world stuff you can hang by the Silverwastes and get some fat loot from there. Otherwise there’s always PvP and WvW for those who are content with the competitive side of the game.
Bit of general advice, by salvaging with a master’s kit rares or exotics of level higher than 68 there’s a chance you may get Globs of Ectoplasm. These are considered to be highly valued crafting materials that you can sell in the Trading Post for some easy money (in case you do not need them yourself for crafting of course). However, always be careful before moving on with that in case the item you are about to salvage has a high price in the Trading Post on its own, making the entire process not worth the risk.
Speaking of salvaging, yes you should do it. Go with basic kits for all your salvaging except for when you salvage rares like I mentioned above. If you need to certainly get your hands on the rune or the sigil of a piece of gear you plan to salvage, you should use a Black Lion Salvage Kit. Those drop quite often from the daily login rewards and help you extract upgrades of high price in the Trading Post out of exotic equipment.
The Road to the Expansion
If you are a new player and all that I described above is not enough to keep you busy until the launch of the expansion, there’s always the story of the game that you can go through to be ready. Apart from the main plot line that follows your initial steps in Tyria up to the demise of the Elder Dragon Zhaitan, you can experience the content of the second Season of the Living World. That can be unlocked right off the Gem Store, with each of the episodes costing 200 gems. There’s always the option of course of tagging along with somebody who already owns it. That way, you will not be able to receive certain rewards like special armor skins, but you can play through the whole story without having to pay anything. All in all, this content put together acts as a prelude to what’s to come.
So, that’s about it. If you are a veteran and you have any additional suggestions you can leave them in the comments section below. If you are a new player, first of all, I hope you found my guide helpful. In case you have any questions don’t be afraid to let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.