“The acquisition of skills is changing. […] A weapon’s skills are now learned by fighting with that weapon. Because weapon skills are tied to weapon use, there is no reason to visit a trainer and make choices about which ones to unlock. Instead, it makes more sense to learn how to use the weapon by, you know, actually using it.”
It will be interesting to learn more about this system, because if there was one thing that stood out as being excellent entertainment in World of Warcraft, it was getting a new shiny weapon of a sort that you hadn’t used in some time, and then having to wander off and beat endlessly on green-con mobs until your weapon skill levelled-up enough that you could actually hit normal-con mobs with it. Unlike the issues highlighted in Tiger’s posts of yore, there does at least seem to be a reason for ‘weapon skill’ levelling in Guild Wars 2.
It’s a tricky one to balance. Having a player’s character improve their skill with a weapon through the explicit use of that weapon is a romantic notion: you pick your favoured weapon and master it, becoming a Nameless, Broken Sword, Flying Snow or Sky. On the other hand we are talking about MMOs, and therefore if essential groups of skills are tied only to specific weapons, then this starts to sound like the typical MMO optimisation nightmare of needing to carry a weapon of every type, and then having to switch between them constantly in order to keep all your skills levelled up.
Here’s hoping that ArenaNet, with their alternative view of what an MMO should be, have some ideas on the subject outside of that usual mantra of the subscription-based MMOs: Grind More, Bitches! Then again, some say that current evidence may point to ArenaNet being wed to the grind.