As players progress through Guild Wars 2, they automatically gain skill points starting at level 5. However, a player needs all the skill points they can get to unlock even more skills. Fortunately, there is an additional method to gain skill points in Guild Wars 2, and that is through skill challenges. Skill challenges are found in every explorable zone, whether it be PvE or WvW, as you travel through Tyria. You will know how many skill challenges are present in a zone by looking at the loading screen when you load into a zone.
Plains of Ashford, the starting zone for new charr characters in Guild Wars 2, has a total of six skill challenge locations for the players to earn extra skill points. If the player successfully completes the skill challenge, they will be rewarded with an additional skill point. The skill challenges found in Plains of Ashford range from simple communion with a place of power to more difficult group combat. Make sure that you're the approximate level for the NPC(s) of the skill challenge if you're required to fight them.
While Plains of Ashford is a starting zone, many of the skill challenges found here can be hard as compared to some other zones, such as Queensdale. Be prepared to be put to the test to complete many of the skill challenges found here.
Skill challenge locations are marked on your map. To see where they are located, open your map by hitting the [M] key.
Indicates a skill challenge that has not been completed
Indicates a skill challenge that has been completed
Skill Challenge #1 - Titus Gearclaw
The first skill challenge in Plains of Ashford is very easy to reach and complete. As soon as you leave the main city head directly north where you'll find Titus Gearclaw. Interact with him [F] and you'll be able to initiate a straightforward combat challenge that most players should be able to complete while solo by the time you reach level 5.
Skill Challenge #2 - Centurion Micka Thickblood
This will be another straightforward NPC combat challenge intended for players around level 10 or above. Micka can be found at the Ashford Forum outpost, directly northwest of the waypoint and standing near the repair NPC and crafting trainers.
As with Titus, you simply need to interact with Micka to initiate a conversation and then challenge her to combat. She tends to use area melee attacks frequently, so be prepared to dodge often during the fight. While this one can easily be completed while solo, given its location and proximity to a waypoint there will often be other players nearby that will lend a hand once the fight begins.
Skill Challenge #3 - Ethereal Vanguard Monument
The next challenge is in close proximity to Ashford Forum as well, and can be found by simply exiting the outpost on the east side and then heading directly north. There you will find a post in the ground that you can interact with [F] that will initiate the challenge, though it's possible that the enemy NPCs may already be spawned when you arrive.
This challenge can be handled by a duo or small group, but be warned that there are 4 enemy ghosts that you will need to defeat. Three of them will be normal level 10 ghosts, while the fourth is a Veteran mob named Captain Mattox who likes to use knockbacks often in combat. You'll typically want to start by defeating the weaker enemies while dodging the captain's attacks, before finally finishing him off.
Skill Challenge #4 - Effigy Core
The next skill challenge will take you to the far southern edge of the map, and is located in a small cave on the southwestern end of Lake Adorea. You will need to fight your way past a few fire imps located outside of the cave entrance, but they can easily be handled by around level 10.
Once inside the cave, you need to interact with a small burning object, the Effigy Core. This will awaken a level 10 veteran mob, the Veteran Prototype Effigy. While you should be able to solo the effigy, the fight can go much smoother if you bring along at least one other player. You'll also have very limited space to fight in, and be careful not to pull the effigy too close to the cave entrance in case the fire imps outside respawn during the fight.
Skill Challenge #5 - Ruins of Ascalon City
The next skill challenge will take you to the northeastern portion of the map, and will be located underwater just south of where "Ascalon City Ruins" is marked on the map. The challenge itself is pretty simple - all you need to do is swim down and commune with the place of power.
Depending on when you arrive, however, you may need to fight a level 13 Veteran Bog Scale. While easily soloed, try not to swim around too much to avoid any unwanted attention from the other scale nearby. Given the close proximity to the next challenge - a decidedly group challenge - you will want to wait until you're in your early teens before attempting this and the next challenge, and bring along a few friends to make them go much smoother.
Skill Challenge #6 - Ascalonian Ruins
The final skill challenge for Plains of Ashford will take you into a small section of the Great Northern Wall, just north of the previous challenge. To reach the place of power you'll need to commune with, you will first need to fight your way past a sizable number of Ascalonian ghosts, with a few veteran mobs thrown into the mix.
Unlike the other challenges on this map, you will definitely want to bring a group along to complete this one. You will be fighting your way into a small chamber, and need to defeat all the mobs along the way to be able to commune with the place of power. The best advice I could give you would be to make sure you're careful about only pulling a couple of the ghosts at a time, and take out any Monks first since they'll attempt to keep their allies alive and can make the fights much more difficult.
Once the main chamber has been cleared, proceed up a small staircase where you'll need to defeat a final veteran mob. Once it's been defeated, commune with the place of power [F] and then immediately head back out the way you came to avoid having to fight your way back through any respawns.