Gonna be honest, I am really excited to see this dev blog that went up on the Guild Wars 2 website today, not so much because of the subject matter but because it feels like ages since we got one of these pieces from the devs, and it takes me back to much happier times for the game.dev blog in question comes from ArenaNet’s Clayton Kisko, who’s deep-diving the three-mastery Essence Manipulation system that’ll be featured in next week’s Whisper in the Dark episode. Kisko says the design for the system is a bit like rock-paper-scissors. “Communicating the system to the player is key, because it can be very complex, so you’ll discover information about it through achievements, icons, props, enhancements, open-world dialogue, and NPC conversations,” he writes.
Here’s how it works: There are three mastery tracks (Vigilance, Resilience, and Valor), each of which is strong against one of the others and therefore against one of the three key mob types on the map (Svanir, Fallen, and Aberrant). Players will be slaying mobs to pick up the linked buff orbs to make them more powerful against certain enemies, thereby becoming the rock to smash the scissors or the paper to envelop the rock.
“Once you’ve trained an essence, you’ll have some fun decisions to make about how you build your character and play in the map. You might decide you have enough stacks of might from resilience and forego might-enhancing traits for something else. With Build and Equipment Templates, this exploration and experimentation is easier. Players who’ve fully trained Essence Manipulation should be able to take down tough enemies—including champions and Strike Mission bosses—with fewer than the recommended number of allies. When roaming the map, you can choose to be as efficient as possible by farming up essence orbs in a creature-specific area, then head for events with creatures that are weak against that essence, farming up the next round of orbs and grabbing chests along the way.”
— Guild Wars 2 (@GuildWars2) November 13, 2019