When developers lift the curtain on the design process and share a few decisions and changes made during the creative process, it tends to be interesting. So this exploration of the Guild Wars 2 attribute system is most welcome.
Isaiah “Izzy” Cartwright goes into quite some depth, the evolution of the character attribute features.
The initial approach, designed as “a limiter for skill tiers” (so, for example, certain skills could only be improved when the concurrent attribute – strength, willpower etc was high enough.) This system was axed for being too confusing and for adding needless complication to skill purchasing.
Two more versions of the attribute system – each featuring six different categories – were also rejected. The first made it difficult to tell which type of damage related to which particular attributes, and the second left it possible to accidentally create a ‘bad’ character who did little damage in any area.
At present, Guild Wars 2 has settled on a four-point attribute system: Power (attack damage,) Precision (critical chance,) Vitality (health,) and Toughness (improved armour/defense.) This, ArenaNet feel, is “easier to understand, easier to balance, more flexible, and improves combat and character progression.”
The developers do not completely rule out further changes prior to release, but hope that this is the final version of the attribute system.