Trait Disappointment: A Followup

As I wrote about yesterday, I am pretty unhappy with how the new trait unlock system works. One thing I noticed from comments I’ve received on twitter and the like, is that a lot of people, having had characters already made and leveled before this change was made, were unaware of how bad some of the required unlocks are. This post will serve two purposes: to list out all of the current trait unlocks, and then to list some of the ideas we’ve come up with that would make good replacements.

This will be a long, text-heavy post. But I hope it’ll help in getting more attention brought to this issue and for it to be rebalanced in the future.

I will simply be listing out trait unlocks by level they are (adept, master, or grandmaster), and will not be naming any specific trait or trait line they are from. This is because I currently have only one character I can view this stuff on, and while I assume the trait lines themselves match up (due to the new grandmasters working that way), I can make no guarantees on that. I will also be listing about what level the required content is* and linking to the content on the wiki.

*the level listed will vary on the content: For dungeons it will be the level required to unlock it; for enemies/events it will be the level that the boss you must fight is set to, for map completions it will be the highest level the zone is designed for, and for explorers it will be the approximate level you are put at in that area or the level of enemies encountered there.

Adept Traits

Master Traits

Grandmaster Traits

Phew. That’s a lot of traits. So at quick glance, master and grandmaster unlocks are pretty okay. There are some outliers, but for the most part they are all tied to content that is reasonable for the trait level and character level. Master traits, for the most part, are tied to mini-dungeons or bosses in the level 55-70 range. Grandmasters are all 70-80.

Adepts are…mostly personal story or map completions, that tend to average around level 50-60, with some requirements going all the way up to level 80. Level 80 content. For a level 36 trait. Many of the master and grandmaster traits require less difficult things than the adepts. Windy Cave is for a master trait – that should totally be a trait unlock, but for an adept! Adept trait unlocks are, with very few exceptions, completely wrong for what you’re getting.

Another thing myself and another member of my guild (TriggerSad) have noticed is that the things you must do to unlock traits do not fit the trait itself, which rather bothers us. With the number of events and the like available, it’d be great if the things we need to do to unlock a trait made sense for the trait we were getting.

Here’s a few ideas we had of things that would be far more reasonable:

  • Make Windy Cave an adept unlock, rather than a master unlock.
  • Adept trait: Complete Ascalonian Catacombs story mode (level 30)
  • Adept trait: Defeat the Harathi Overlord (level 25)
  • Adept trait: Find the chest in the Overlord’s Greatcamp (level 25) – I forgot there was even one there, but Trigger pointed out it; it’s guarded by a pair of veterans.
  • Adept trait: Draw out and destroy the Demagogue’s Spirit (level 26) – a group event that is a direct throw-back to GW1. It would be perfect.
  • Adept trait: Defeat Captain Wiley (level 32)
  • Adept trait: Slay the Centaur Warbeast (level 30)
  • Adept trait: Complete King Jalis’s Refuge (level 19)
  • Adept trait: Complete Griffonrook Run or Beaker’s Empty Belly (level 36)
  • Adept trait: Defeat Lord Ignius the Eternal (level 38)
  • Adept trait: Pay your respects in the Secluded Glen (level 41)
  • Adept trait: Visit Cymbel and Nia (level 34)
  • Toss out all map completions and personal story steps. If map completions are to be used for the adept traits, then keep them to the starter and level 15-25 zones.
  • Toss all of the adept story dungeons higher than CM. Those are not appropriate levels for a adept unlock. Get rid of Arah story entirely as an unlock.

And that’s just a sampling, sticking mainly with low to lower-mid level group or meta events. But there are tons of events, hidden areas, and jumping puzzles that exist in zones that would be appropriate for when first unlocking an adept major trait that could be easily used. What it essentially comes down to, though, is that by the time you are level 36 and can unlock your first major trait, you should have several available to you so that you can begin to play around with build ideas.

There were other ideas we had – the already-mentioned desire for content to unlock a trait to be something that fits the trait in some way, and making the trait unlocks individual to professions (TA story, for example, would be great for some of the master-level mesmer phantasm traits).

One idea we had was optional secondary objectives while doing an unlock – the example we came up with was for the Goff’s Bandits chest, if you were doing it on a thief to stealth your way through, or for a warrior going for the Overlord’s Greatcamp chest to kill x number of enemies in y amount of time. Completing the bonus objectives would then grant a bonus – a few skill points, for example, or some karma.

And of course, multiple options for one trait would be great. Right now it’s “You can do it this way, or you can buy it”. And idea I saw floated yesterday was along the lines of “Complete X number of events in Caledon Forest, or complete TA story mode”. Not everyone can get a group to do dungeons, after all.

I have tons of ideas of how these can be fixed to be more reasonable. I could go on forever. If you’ve made it to the end of this, I commend you and thank you. And if you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to hear more about what others think on this subject, and how it can be fixed.

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15 thoughts on “Trait Disappointment: A Followup

  1. Pingback: Trait Disappointment | Under the Pale Tree

  2. If they want to do map completion, why don’t they add the towns? They’re beautiful, they add a sense of exploration and they introduce you to a region further away from your starting zone. Or they could even tie it to your character. If you chose asura, you unlock a trait by 100 % map completion of Rata Sum.

    • And that would be a great idea! I know I tend to skip doing city completions simply because you don’t get much experience for it, but especially for new players that would be a really good way to get them to explore while also seeing their race’s flavor, so to speak.

  3. The new system worries me about new players and the desire to roll new charcacters I wonder if you perhaps only posted 1 of the 4 traitlines.

    The activities for each class as best I can tell, are exactly the same for each trait #I-XII and the lines match up between the classes (As an Ele Fire/Water/Earth/Lightning/Arcane). Alas, I dont know the names of the lines of other classes off hand.

    • These are indeed all of the trait unlocks – I made a new thief on Tuesday, and when I got to level 30 I wrote down every trait unlock to show to some guildies.

      They are indeed the same across professions and I believe match up through trait lines as well, as I have a guildie who also made a new character at the same time (different profession) who has confirmed that his trait unlocks are the same as mine.

      • Whoops! I’d meant to remove that part of the post after I recounted your list of traits. It might be helpful if you could label them as Traitline 1-4 based on the order in your trait panel and then as ‘traits’ 1-12 for ease of reference. So glad I saw this post via @DragonseasonCom . I suspect I’ll be reading your blog regularly for quite a while to come!

        • I didn’t do it that way because I wasn’t 100% sure that they lined up, but I went top to bottom by traitline, and then bottom to top by trait. I probably should have rearranged them a bit more logically but I got lazy :P

          Thanks! :D

  4. After looking at the list and thinking about it some more, I think that most of the list is okay. After all, Adept traits are something you’re stuck with from level 30 to 60. I’d drop anything that requires a level 60+ and replace it with something in the 30-59 range. Perhaps simply move some requirements from Adept to Master and vice-versa. Something that requires level 28 to get really doesn’t belong to the Master line, as you said. But the Dredge Commissar and Taidha Covington can go down to Adept.

    I’d keep the personal story steps. Probably the map completion too, but not the dungeons.

    • See, I feel like you should be able to have a variety of at-level traits unlocked by the time you are at that level, and the master and grandmaster traits seem to support that line of thinking – most of the masters are below level 66 content, most of the grandmasters are sub-80. I don’t think any trait line should require content that’s more than 5-10 levels above when you’d first unlock it.

      I’d drop personal story simply because PS is a pain to keep up with and the game has been moving away from it in a large way, and I’d drop map completion because map completion is tedious and time-consuming and a low-level trait is not an appropriate reward for that much work. Dungeons I’m fine with staying, but only level-appropriate dungeons – kick TA and higher up to master traits and they’d be more than fine.

      • Really, the game is moving away from the PS? I’ve got a few alts still leveling, and I’ve been doing the PS at close to the appropriate level so I can use the loot I get from it as I go.

        Map completion can be tedious, but if these are zones involved in the PS, then you’re already there anyway, hopefully you’ve done a few hearts to level up and get to the PS step, might as well finish the zone.

        And, yeah, a lot of the masters are below 66, but if you move all sub-60 to adept, there aren’t many left between 60 and 66. Actually, I’d be fine with moving all the sub-66 requirements down to adept, and all sub 75 to master, and bumping the others up accordingly.

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  6. I’m more inclined to say that adepts should be free, it gives players plenty of options to start with and for some classes slotting two adepts in a line would actually be worthwhile. Having adepts free, that leaves 35 traits to unlock, that is still quite a sizeable amount, and then Arenanet should be able to put in a greater variety of tasks, maybe a few unique to each profession. They are going to have to do it fast or risk turning off a lot of new players, can you imagine how frustrated some would get up they innocently turned up to the Obsidian Sanctum for the first time.

    • Hmmm, I’d be hesitant to make all adept traits free – I think if they’re going to stick to this system then they should be unlockable through play somehow. A compromise, perhaps, would be to make one or two traits per line free, maybe? That way new players still have a few to play with, and can get some idea then of what they’ll be working towards getting more of.

      Screw Obsidian Sanctum, I did that puzzle 5+ times a day last year when making Kudzu, and I’m basically done with it forever >.>

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