Guild Wars 2 Leveling Guide

This game has been in development for what seems top be an eternity but at last launch time has arrived. This is billed as the game to fimally topple the mighty WOW and many gamers are already looking for a Guild Wars 2 leveling guide.

If you are looking for more in depth help and a full guide to all builds and missions in the game check out Guild Wars 2 Domination.

Once you have chosen your race and class, you will have to answer a few questions about your character's history and personality. The decisions you make here will influence parts of your personal story, and this may impact your ability to play with friends: Even though you can join each other's personal story, in order to progress you may have to split up temporarily or be willing to do each step of the story for each of your different stories. Outside of your story however, this choice does not impact your ability to play with friends.

Every race can travel to the other races' starting areas using a portal found in their city, which will be available very early on. You may also be able to travel through the mists by opening your hero panel (Hotkey: "H") and clicking "Be in the mists". This will teleport you to the central PvP hub in the mists, where you can find portals to all major cities as well as World vs World and PvP.
You can also fast travel for a small fee to any waypoint you have unlocked on the map.

You can create a guild at no cost as soon as you enter the game by opening the guild tab "G". This way you can also see your pending guild invitations or your current guilds, as well as a guild roster and more. If you are leader or officer of a guild, you can also use this tab to invite more players or research guild upgrades.

Once you join a guild, you will automatically be a member on all your characters, even when you create a completely new character. You can also be in multiple guilds at the same time, but you can only ever "represent" one guild. Keep in mind that you may have to choose to "represent" your guild again when you make a new character, otherwise you will not earn influence for the guild and don't have access to its chat and other features.

Weapons and Weapon Skills
You start with one weapon depending on your class, as well as only your first weapon attack. With each mob you defeat, you earn progress towards your next skill for your current weapon. If you want to try a different weapon, once you get out of the tutorial area (after your defeat the first boss (Duke Barradin, the Earth Elemental or the Ice Wurm) there will be a weapon vendor nearby. At this point you should have enough gold to buy at least one additional one-hand weapon. The two-handers cost more and you may have to wait a little bit or hope to get one from mobs or as a reward.

If you are looking for more in depth help and a full guide to all builds and missions in the game check out Guild Wars 2 Domination.

Weapon Swapping
You can change your equipped weapons and other equipment at any time outside of combat. Once you reach level 7 you will unlock weapon swapping, which enables you to equip 2 weapon sets at once and swap between them in combat. The default hotkey to swap your weapon sets on the english keyboard layout is tilde (~). Note that Elementalists and Engineers can not swap weapons in combat - they get access to attunements and kits instead to serve the same purpose. These are accessed using the F1-F4 keys, like most other class specific mechanics.

There are no traditional quests in Guild Wars 2. The closest thing to quests is your personal storyline, which will always be indicated by the green objective in the top right corner of your screen as well as on your map. Other than that you will encounter Renown Hearts (short: hearts) and Dynamic Events.

To find nearby hearts, simply explore the map or talk to a scout NPC. These will reveal nearby hearts on your map. Hearts are very similar to dynamic or public events, but they track your progress individually. An example for this may be helping out at a farm in the human starting area by feeding cows or killing wurms around the farm. Once the progress bar is full, this heart will be completed, you will earn XP, gold and karma, and you won't be able to complete this heart again.

Dynamic Events on the other hand can be done by everybody in the area. The more you contribute to its progress, the higher you reward once it is finished. These will also sometimes result in long event chains that may even span entire areas of the map.

The difference to traditional quests is that you very rarely have to talk to an NPC. You can simply explore the map and complete hearts and events as you go. Your reward will be sent to you via ingame mail which you can access in the top left corner of the screen.

The combat system in Guild Wars 2 is different from many other MMOs and has a strong focus on staying mobile and actively avoiding damage. Dodge is very important, as is smart usage of your healing skill. Most spells and skills can be used while on the move, so you should try not to stand in one place for too long.
You are also able to use your skills even if you don't have an active target, or if your target is out of range.

You gain experience by killing mobs, exploring new areas, completing parts of your personal storyline, renown hearts and dynamic events, as well as reviving other players or completing daily achievements.

Leveling in Guild Wars 2 is slightly different due to its flat experience (XP) curve. Every level takes roughly the same time, and XP needed to level up as well as XP gained stays the same as you progress.

Guild Wars 2 features a variety of achievements which you can see on your Hero panel.

Additionally you gain daily achievements by completing certain tasks, like killing 10 centaurs. Upon completion of a daily achievement, a feat chest spawns next to you containing your XP reward.

Guild Wars 2 makes a lot of use of its Sidekicking system. In PvE, going to an area that is below your level will result in your character's stats being toned down, in order to make low level areas still challenging for high level players. You still gain rewards appropriate to your own level.
In PvP players will be sidekicked up to level 80 and receive stats, gear and skills like a fully equipped level 80 would. Everybody is on the same power level in structured PvP.
In World vs World you still get sidekicked to level 80, however you don't gain any skills or items. You can gain experience in WvW and unlock weapon skills through combat, but there are no skill challenges to grant you additional skills points. Due to this, we recommend leveling in PvE for a while before entering WvW.

Downed State
If your HP reach zero you enter a so-called downed state, in which you are immobile, have all your abilities replaced by four downed-state skills, and slowly run out of time. To regain full control, either try to kill a nearby mob using your abilities 1-3, or if you are not being attacked just use ability #4 to bandage back up. Nearby players can also come to your aid, and you should do the same for others if you notice they are going down.

If you fail to get out of downed state or a monster or players kills you while you are down, you will be defeated. Other players can still resurrect you at this point, but it will take more time than if you were just in downed mode. Alternatively you can select to respawn at a nearby waypoint.

Utility Skills and Skill Points
At level 5, 10 and 20 you will unlock your utility slots in your hotbar (keys 7,8 and 9 by default). These can be changed at any time while you are out of combat by clicking the small, blue arrow on top of your hotbar slot. To gain new utility skills you will have to unlock them using skill points, which you get by completing skill challenges.

Skill Icon:

These challenges are indicated on your map by a blue skill icon, and usually involve either talking to or fighting a specific NPC, or sometimes more complex tasks or puzzles. You should try to complete as many skill challenges as you can find, as some skills require multiple skill points to unlock.

You can start unlocking traits at level 11. By doing so you can increase some of your attributes with every point, and gain access to minor and major trait at certain levels that will improve your abilities.

Major traits can be unlocked at levels 11, 40, and 60, and require the purchase of an Adept, Master, and Grandmaster training book. These can be bought from a profession trainer. Players must also spend gold if they wish to "unlearn" traits. Using a training book will also accomplish this.

If you are looking for more in depth help and a full guide to all builds and missions in the game check out Guild Wars Domination.

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