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When getting involved with WvW in Guild Wars 2, it is important to make the most of what's available to you. This includes things like understanding your class and siege weapons, but it goes a little further than that as well. With the introduction of WvW skills, things have changed a little bit. Luckily for you, that's exactly what we are going to cover!

Ranks

When out in the various Battlegrounds, there is a leveling system called “ranks.” These are WvW-specific and you level them up by taking part in, you guessed it, WvW! At the very top of your screen, above the current scoring, time until the next score and your supply count, you will see a blue bar. This is your WvW rank bar, and it tells how much more experience you need to finish up the current rank.

With each rank you earn, two things happen: you get a new World Ability Point and you can get a new title (in the skill listing it will tell when you are going to unlock the next title).

Earning World Experience

At this point you're probably wondering how you are going to earn more ranks. It's actually very easy. Basically, anything you do in WvW will count. This means that while you're out and about, you should:

  • Help kill enemy players
  • Assist with taking down enemy siege
  • Help repair your structures
  • Help build your team's siege
  • Help take enemy structures

Even if you are just jumping in to a Battleground for a short period, you should have no problems with finding a way to knock out some fast World Experience. If you have longer to play and you end up in a group or “zerg,” you're even better off.

Abilities

Through the WvW menu (default key “B”) you can see a tab for Rank and Abilities. This is where you will find the various abilities you can put points in to. The ones available are as follows:

  • Guard Killer – Increases damage to enemy guards
  • Defense Against Guards – Reduces the damage you take from enemy guards
  • Mercenary's Bane – Increases damage to and reduces damage from mercenaries
  • Siege Bunker – Reduces the siege damage you take
  • Siege Might – Increases damage done with siege-engine attacks
  • Supply Capacity – Increases the amount of supply you can carry
  • Cannon Mastery – Improve cannon use
  • Ballista Mastery – Improve ballista skills
  • Arrow Cart Mastery – Improve arrow cart skills
  • Burning Oil Mastery – Improves all Burning Oil skills and unlocks new abilities
  • Mortar Mastery – Improve mortar skills
  • Build Master – Improves your building capabilities
  • Repair Master – Improves your repairing capabilities
  • Catapult Mastery – Improve catapult skills
  • Supply Master – Improve your ability in gathering, spending and running supply
  • Trebuchet Mastery – Improve trebuchet skills
  • Flame Ram Mastery – Improve flame ram skills

As for the costs, they do not require just a single point. They range from one point to 20 per level, and they have varying numbers of levels as well. Along with this, the costs for each level increase (for example: 5, 15, 30, 50, 75). As such, planning out which skills you're going to get and when is important in order to maximize your efficiency out on the field. That's what we're going to look at now!

Optimal Ability Learning Order

What I want to cover here is the most important abilities. These are the ones that will help you out while you're out in the field. While all of them will help at some point or another, it is hard to argue against the fact that some are more useful than others. The listing below shows the most important ones (in order), as well as why.

  • Supply Capacity – this is by far the most important skill you can learn. Whether you are helping defend or take structures, this helps by giving you more supply to use at once
  • Siege Bunker – this reduces the damage you take from siege weapons, which is where a bulk of your incoming damage comes from
  • Mercenary's Bane – this reduces the damage you take from enemy players, the second highest incoming damage you'll receive
  • Guard Killer – this increases your damage against guards, which helps kill them faster
  • Defense Against Guards – this decreases the damage you take from guards

Once these are learned, you are ready to see what else fits your play style. If you find that you man the flame rams a lot, go for the mastery. If you jump from one siege weapon to another, go with Siege Might. Basically at this point you have already covered the main bases, so you are ready to find fillers to use up the rest of your points as you earn them. You can also, should you choose, throw Defense Against Guards (the last skill on the list above) in to this area as well, depending on how often you get hit by the enemy guards.

Update 05-09-2014: Some commanders in the Guild Wars 2 World vs World system are now pushing for learning ram mastery first. This increases the damage done with the different battering rams, which makes taking down the gates of structures much faster. Along with this, catapult mastery is becoming more popular, as it makes taking down the structure walls faster. When siege is laid down, usually there will be a question asked in chat, along the lines of “mastery?” When this is asked, it is to see if anyone has mastery for one of these two siege weapons. If you have this mastery, you can then let them know and hop on so you can help out.

It is worth noting that while these skills are very helpful, in the vast majority of cases there will be someone else that can take over if you do not have them. As such, it is not a necessity to pick these up as a priority, though if you want to be the first pick (or at least one of them) for getting on siege weapons, it helps out.

Conclusion

The World Experience side of Guild Wars 2 can be a little confusing at first. There's a lot going on with it, and following a great path is important to ensure you are contributing as much as you can. Along with this, just by following the path I have laid out, you even increase the speed at which you gain future ranks (and therefore also learn the other skills faster). The big thing here is to understand that the entire system is a supplement to your normal game play. As such, you do not want to spend your time harping on ranking up as fast as possible. Enjoy the game, and rank up as you play for fun. You will level up a lot faster that way, and you will gain much more enjoyment from it!

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