An attribute is a generic modifier that improves a character's performance in combat. Overall there are ten different attributes available to a single character at any time. Of these, there are four primary attributes that are shared across all professions:
Power - increases attack
Precision - increases critical hit chance
Toughness - increases armor
Vitality - increases maximum health
Boons are a set of effects that are the positive counterpart to conditions. Like conditions, there are various skills that can either apply, benefit from, or remove boons from the player or their enemies during combat.
A condition is a negative effect that can be inflicted against enemies through the use of skills. For example, skills that cause Bleeding will inflict X amount of damage per second to their target. Many conditions can 'stack', which either increases the duration of the effect or the intensity of damage dealt.
Conquest is the core structured PvP game type in GW2. The main objective in Conquest is to capture several key locations on the map and be the first team to gain 500 points. Capturing and holding designated locations is the fastest way to achieve victory, though points are also awarded for defeating enemy players.
Glory is earned from playing structured PvP and can be spent on PvP cosmetic gear, such as new armor or weapon skins.
Influence is a currency which guild members can spend to purchase boons and other guild-wide upgades. Influence is earned by participating in events, pvp, or solo content while representing a guild.
Karma is a non-tradable reward received by participating in events and helping others with their personal storyline. It is primarily used to develop a character's personality, and can also be used to buy items from certain NPCs such as those that appear upon completion of a dynamic event.
An order is a multiracial organization which is dedicated to combating the Elder Dragons. There are currently three orders, one of which the player can choose to join as part of their personal storyline. Each of the orders have their own philosophies about what tactics will ultimately defeat the dragons. The three orders are:
Durmand Priory - The scholars of the priory believe the Elder Dragons could be defeated using ancient knowledge of a past victory.
Order of Whispers - The secretive Whispers order believe the dragons cannot be defeated and must be returned to sleep.
Vigil - Members of the militaristic Vigil believe that only a united army of all the races can defeat an elder dragon.
Grouping in Guild Wars 2 is referred to as forming a "party". A party can consist of up to 5 players in open-world PvE areas. PvE dungeons (instanced areas) are intended for a full party of 5 players in both Story and Exploration mode. Structured PvP matches are also intended for a full party of 5 players, though it is possible to occasionally have fewer than 5 party members due to the Hot Join system. When this occurs, the system will attempt to add new players to the match or re-balance the teams as needed.
A pet is an NPC ally which is summoned or controlled by the player and takes an active role in combat, such as providing damage or interactive skills for the player. Six professions currently utilize some form of pets. These are:
Animal Companions - used by rangers
Elementals - used by elementalists
Illusions - used by mesmers
Minions - used by necromancers
Spirit Weapons - used by guardians
Turrets - used by engineers
- Salvage Kits
Salvage kits are available from merchants, and allow you to salvage crafting materials out of old or unwanted items. These kits come in various qualities, each having a progressively better chance of returning rarer materials or upgrades to the player when used on items.
A scout is an NPC who points a player towards local NPCs in need of assistance, or dynamic events which can be completed in a nearby area. Speaking with a scout will allow characters to learn more about the area through uncovering portions of the map and marking locations where help is needed.
These areas are represented by an empty heart icon, while completed events will be marked on the map with a full heart icon. A legend on the world map will also help players track their overall progress towards completing events and other goals, such as skill challenges, in a given area.
The sidekicking system modifies a character's level to match the level of the other characters they are with or the area they are in. As such, players of all levels can still form parties and complete content together, regardless of the level disparity between individual party members.
- Skill Points
Unlike weapon skills - which are unlocked by players by actively using specific weapons in combat - healing, utility, and elite skills are unlocked by spending skill points. Players earn skill points each time they level, but to unlock all available points you need to find and complete various skill challenges found throughout Tyria.
Skill challenges can range from direct combat with specific NPCs, to fighting your way into difficult-to-reach areas and defeating a mini-boss found in the area. Certain skill challenges also reward players with a collectable tome which can be stored in a special section of their personal vault.
- Trait Points
Starting at level 11, players earn 1 trait point per level up to level 80 for a total of 70 points. Trait points can be spent to enhance your character's attributes and provide additional benefits to existing skills to help further define your role in combat.
- Transmutation Stones
Using Transmutation Stones, players can combine two items of the same type, creating a single item with the appearance of one item and the statistics of the other. If both items have an upgrade component, players may choose which one is kept. Transmutation stones can be purchased from many of the NPC vendors that appear upon completion of dynamic events.
Waypoints offer a system of fast travel to players in Guild Wars 2. To use a specific waypoint, players will first need to physically travel to its location. Nearby waypoints that have not yet been unlocked will be marked on the world map to make them easier for players to locate.
Once a waypoint has been unlocked, players can travel there for a small fee by opening the world map and clicking on its icon. Defeated players can also choose to return to a nearby waypoint if they are not able to rally or be revived by another player.
- Weapon Set
A weapon set in GW2 defines either a combination of two (2) one-handed weapons, or one (1) two-handed weapon. Your active weapon set will directly influence what skills will be available to use in combat in the first five slots on the hotbar. Most professions are able to equip up to two weapon sets and switch between them during combat, with the exception of the elementalist who is able to switch between attunements instead.
- World PvP
World PvP consists of ongoing battles between three different servers lasting for a period of two weeks. During this period, players of all levels are able to travel to the Eternal Battlegrounds and contribute to their server's overall ranking.
Zhaitan is the name given by dwarven legends to the Elder Dragon of Orr, and is the primary antagonist of Guild Wars 2. Zhaitan is the only Elder Dragon players will physically encounter at the release of GW2, and will be fought by players in a dungeon within the corrupt city of Arah, where he currently resides.