I can finally use a guardian virtue! It’s about time — the weapon skill unlocks have been slow but steady, but now I can finally get a taste for what the guardian’s unique ability is. Unfortunately, it’s only the first of three — while a new player would not know that, it’s kind of limiting. I would assume here warriors, necros, and thieves are good to go having just the one thing to unlock, rangers can finally direct their pet to a target but can do nothing else with them, mesmers get just their DPS shatter, and elementalists maybe get nothing (I had read their third and fourth attunements come much later)? And do engineers only get their toolbelt skills once the utility slots are unlocked, or does something appear here? Confusing and inconsistent, it seems, across the classes. It feels like another arbitrary wait.
NOW I can rally. If I was not a veteran player, would I have any idea what that even means? Presumably if I had taken enough damage prior to this point I would have just died and had to waypoint. Now suddenly I sit on the ground and have new skills to look at in a system not mentioned to me before. Again, the tutorials in the Mists handle this far better and could be looked to for adoption within the PvE environment.
At this point I had wandered into Morgan’s Spiral, completing events with my fellow adventurers. I discovered the Skill Point challenge at the center only to find that while I can see and interact with it I can do nothing but select, “I’ll come back later.” Why? As a new player, do I know what this means? Why can I interact with it and see it but not do anything with it yet? Also, it shares the same icon as the “Slot skills” tab of the hero panel, so the connection is easy to make. And yet it suggests that I, the player, have maybe missed some action or process in order to make this object available to me. While this is technically true (I have not leveled sufficiently), this seems rather arbitrary. Even though I haven’t been told about PoIs, waypoints, or vistas, I can use those.
The jumping puzzle here works as usual — we never were told when we found one until we got to the chest at the end, and that makes total sense given that it’s a self-guided exploration activity. So other elements of the game are being hand-fed but these remain fun and rewarding activities unrelated to leveling and story. It was upon entering the Dark Enclave and fighting things a couple levels higher that I finally went down. So at this point I saw that I can only use down skill 1 and 4. Limiting, but at least it’s consistent with how skills are unlocked in this system.
I remain ambivalent about the lack of conditions from enemy attacks. I cannot truely say if it feels appropriate for a new player or not, or if it will have any impact on how much more difficult combat seems to a new player once conditions are inflicted upon them later.