Guild Wars 2 FAQ/GUIDE v3.0 PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
III. BASIC INFORMATION
IV. RACES, PROFESSIONS, AND STARTING ZONES
V. DYNAMIC EVENTS
VI. BATTLE MECHANICS
VII. PLAYER VERSUS PLAYER
VIII. HALL OF MONUMENTS
IX. USEFUL LINKS
X. VERSION HISTORY
Welcome! By having access to the internet and knowing enough to visit GameFAQs you should probably already know the bare minimum about Guild Wars 2. The purpose of this guide is to give you the fine details: Everything Guild Wars 2 is, and everything it isn't. Below I'll be covering everything from the absolute basics to the most complex information and mechanics. Use the table of contents above to navigate to the section you want to read about (CTRL+ F, then type in the roman numeral of the section that interests you). This guide is extremely long, and so I recommend you change your message board settings to show 50 posts per topic page for the best viewing/reading experience. If anyone spots something missing that they would like to see added in a future update, please let me know.
II. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is Guild Wars 2?
A: The sequel to the original Guild Wars series. The original series consists of Guild Wars: Prophecies, Guild Wars: Nightfall, Guild Wars: Factions and the only expansion, Guild Wars: Eye of the North. Unlike the original series, this is a full MMO with minimum instancing.
Q: What is the release date?
A: Initial Launch Date: August 28th, 2012
Pre-Purchase 3-Day Headstart: August 25th, 2012
Pre-Order 1 Day Headstart: August 27th, 2012
Q: Will there be a monthly fee?
A: No. It's a buy to play game, meaning you buy the retail game and then it's free to play for life. There is a cash shop that will be covered below.
Q: What are the system requirements?
A: For those of you that don't understand the technical mumbo jumbo and want to see if you can run it, go here: http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri/intro.aspx
Simply select Guild Wars 2 from the drop down or type it in. For those that do understand the specs and just want to read it from here:
Windows XP Service Pack 2 or better
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz, Core i3, AMD Athlon 64 X2 or better
2 GB RAM or Higher
NVIDIA GeForce 7800, ATI Radeon X1800, Intel HD 3000 or better
25GB Hard Drive Storage
If you've read the requirements here AND tried the website and you still aren't sure you can run the game, feel free to ask (politely!) on the message boards here or the official forums (when those are up and running).
Q: Is there a collector's edition, deluxe edition, etc?
A: Yes. It retails for $150 USD. There's no way to be sure of how many copies there are/will be, so if you want it, buy it now. For everyone else there's a standard game for $60 USD (both physical and digital) and the Digital Deluxe Edition for $80 USD. If you decide later that you want the digital deluxe items you will be able to purchase an upgrade from the cash shop.
Q: What is the difference between pre-purchase and pre-order?
A: A pre-purchase means that you have paid for the game in full. If you do this you get the exclusive Hero's Band item, gain access to the final beta weekend event (July 20-22) and gain exclusive access to the 3-Day Headstart. Pre-Order means you've put a specific amount of money down for the game, but haven't paid it off yet. Doing this grants you 1-Day Headstart, but you do not get access to the beta weekends.
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Q: Do I have to play the first Guild Wars in order to understand this game?
A: Absolutely not. The games have very little in common besides the lore that can be found online.
Q: What is the maximum obtainable level?
A: 80. However your level will scale depending on the area you're in. More on this below.
Q: What are the available races and professions?
A: There are five races (Human, Charr, Asura, Norn, Sylvari) and eight professions (Warrior, Ranger, Elementalist, Necromancer, Mesmer, Thief, Guardian, and Engineer). Much more on these below.
Q: How many character slots are there?
A: 5 at the time of this writing, with more available for purchase in the cash shop.
Q: Does this game feature the 'holy trinity'?
A: No it doesn't. This is a heavily debated topic. More on this below.
Q: Is there Player versus Player?
Q: Is any part of the game instanced/phased?
A: There is very minor instancing for your personal story and your home district. The rest of the world is open and persistent. Guild Wars 2 is not known to utilize phasing at this time.
Q: Is there a crafting system?
Q: What about an auction house? Dye system? Loot system? Guilds? Acheivements? Dungeons? Jumping? Swimming?
A: Yes to all of the above. Most of this will be covered in a lot of detail below, but for those wanting a straight yes or no answer to basic MMO features, there you have it.
III. BASIC INFORMATION
Here we will begin to pick apart all of the game's individual features and mechanics so that when you begin playing you'll already understand how most of it works.
In Guild Wars 2 your most obvious option for character progression through PVE (Player versus Environment) is your personal story. The story of Guild Wars 2 is presented to you in the form of fully voice-acted conversations between your character and the various major NPCs of the game. The majority of your personal story missions will be instanced, but you are allowed to bring along friends, guildmates, and other random players if you wish. When you first create your character you will be asked a number of questions. Each question has multiple answers and each answer will change your personal story once you begin the game.
Crafting lovers rejoice! There's plenty of wood, ores, herbs, flowers, ingots, and other miscelaneous baubles/trinkets for you to collect. Every gathering node throughout the game is instanced. This means that if 2 players both walk up to an iron ore node at the same time, both players can obtain it. Once you exhaust the supply of ore, it will disappear for you, but it will still be available for the other player.
There are eight crafting professions/disciplines available to you:
Of these eight you can learn TWO at any given time. However, you may swap out one of your current disciplines for a fee and try one of the others. Doing so does not erase your recipes or levels earned. They'll still be there should you choose to pick it back up.
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As with the original Guild Wars, you can move quickly around the world by utilizing the map travel system. As you travel on foot you will uncover waypoints at certain towns, outposts, and points of interest. Each waypoint can then be selected from the world map, and for a small fee you can travel there instantly. The fee increases depending on the distance you are traveling. However, if you are in a city and teleporting to one of the waypoints in that same city, it's free of charge. The only exception is when traveling to/from an instanced area. Due to the nature of the game and the map travel system, there are no mounts in Guild Wars 2.
In Guild Wars 1, there was a small handful of dye colors available to customize your armor in order to make it more personal and unique. In Guild Wars 2, that number has gone from a small handful to well over 400 colors! Dyes can be obtained as drops, purchased from the Black Lion Trading Company (BLTC, which consists of both the trading post/auction house and the cash shop, more on this later). There are up to 4 dye channels available for each individual piece of armor/clothing. This allows you to change the color of different pieces, from your chest to your armors to your shoulders. Videos of the current dye system being demonstrated can be found across the web.
The achievements in Guild Wars 2 are an account-based system rather than the standard character specific achievements found in other games.
Achievements come in 3 flavors:
Daily achievements are the ones you'll complete the most frequently. Completing this will net you a set amount of gold and experience. Many of these come to you in the form of monster slaying and exploration. Monthly achievements take longer to fulfill and change from month to month. These also reward you with gold and experience. Normal achievements are the standard, long-term feats that reward you for the hard work you'll likely put into obtaining them. Most of these present you with cosmetic items, gold, experience, and titles to be shown off. Achievements are tiered, with each tier becoming more and more difficult to fill. These are generally long term goals for players with time to spare.
BLACK LION TRADING COMPANY (BLTC):
The BLTC is the Guild Wars 2 economy in a nutshell. Here you will be able trade items with players (auction house) and purchase items from the cash shop (gem store). On the auction house you can buy/sell items as in most other MMOs, but you may also place buy orders. If you are searching for a specific piece of armor or a weapon you may place the order on the trading post alongside a price that you're willing to pay. If another player stumbles across the order he/she can fill the order. This allows you to buy/sell without having to find an active buyer on the trading post at the time.
The gem store is also found on the BLTC. Here you can use gems you own to purchase very specific items. You can find dye packs, mini-pets, small exp boosters, and more. Gems are the cash currency of Guild Wars 2 and can either be purchased with cash, or purchased in game with in game gold. Likewise, you may choose to sell your gems for in game gold if you wish. As of the last beta weekend, there were no game breaking items available on the gem store, and ArenaNet claims to be staying away from the 'pay to win' philosophy. Many of the items available here are account-bound and character-bound while others can be sold to other players if you so desire.
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(I actually don't have experience with the Mystic Forge due to it not being there in my initial beta weekend. Instead of trying to cover it, I'll be posting a segment from another guide. All thanks go to omlech, whose guide is helping me tremendously with sections I have trouble with)
The Mystic Forge is a unique crafting station that anyone can use regardless if they have any actual crafting disciplines or not. What this allows you to do is take say 4 white rarity items that you’d normally salvage and put them into the forge for a random result. You have to put in say 4 weapons or 4 pants and so on. Once the forge is done, it might give you back a white item for your level, or even a blue rarity item, say you put 4 blues in there it could spit out a blue for your level or even a green and so on. There are recipes that you can learn or you can discover recipes through experimentation. This doesn’t just stop at armor and weapons though. You can take these items called say Red Petals or Blue Petals or whatever color petal you want, combine that with some duplicate dyes you have and it will spit out a dye based on the color petal you used. But wait, there’s more! This also works on mini-pets too, so if you have duplicate mini-pets you might get a new common mini, or it might even spit out an uncommon, 4 uncommons could even get you a rare minipet too. Oh, but we’re not done yet. You can even get items to upgrade siege weapons, create Legendary items, there’s Philosopher’s Stones that can turn one material into another, Crystals that likely increase the chance to get a better item rarity too.
IV. RACES, PROFESSIONS, AND STARTING ZONES
As said above, there are five races and eight professions available at launch. Here I will be giving a brief explanation of each race and profession, as well as posting links to their corresponding page on the official site. I will note that the professions are NOT race exclusive. That means you can play any profession on any race that you want.
RACES OF TYRIA:
The Humans have faced hard times. In the 250 years since the original Guild Wars, they've lost most of their territory to other races and natural distasters. The last great human city of Divinity's Reach lies in Northern Kryta and is governed by Queen Jennah. The humans of Divinity's Reach are facing outside threats on all sides from Bandits, Centaurs, and the elder dragons. More information on humans can be found here: http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/races/human/
The Charr are a race of felines originating from Ascalon. Cunning and fierce, most Charr reside in and around The Black Citadel, a home which was constructed over the ruins of Ascalon. Originally driven from Ascalon by the humans, the Charr spent centuries fighting to take their homeland back. Their success in doing so is bittersweet. They now face a seemingly endless army of ghosts from Ascalon's former inhabitants, aided (unintentionally) by the Flame Legion. More information on the Charr can be found here: http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/races/charr/
The Norn are shapeshifters that revere the spirits of the wild (Bear, Raven, Snow Leopard, Wolf). The Norn take great pride in being warriors and thrive on their independence. While they once resided in the Far Shiverpeaks, they've since been forced to flee south by Jormag, the Elder Ice Dragon. In a remarkeably short time they've constructed the massive city of Hoelbrak, where they continue to live to this day. More information on the Norn can be found here: http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/races/norn/
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The Asura are a short race of extremely intelligent subterranean beings driven to the surface by The Great Destroyer (Guild Wars: Eye of the North). Gifted with extroadinary intelligence, much modern technology seen throughout Tyria originated from the Asura. They posess a certain feeling of superiority over the other races, though the threat of the Elder Dragons troubles them as much as any others. The Asura currently reside in the advanced city of Rata Sum. More information can be found here: http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/races/asura/
The newest race to set foot in the world of Tyria, Sylvari are young, plant-like humanoids born from The Pale Tree in the Maguuma Jungle. Though they've only roamed Tyria for 25 years, they all appreciate how serious the threat of the Elder Dragons is. Their young age instills the Sylvari with a strong curiosity of the world around them. More information on the Sylvari and The Pale Tree's history can be found here: http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/races/sylvari/
THE EIGHT PROFESSIONS
The Warrior's are fierce melee combatants capable of wielding a wide variety of weapons. They have a high HP total and utilize Adrenaline. Warriors wear heavy armor and stand at the front lines of battle, though they're also extremely capable at mid-long range when wielding a bow or rifle. More information on the Warrior can be found here: http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/professions/warrior/
Rangers are deadly ranged combatants. Often considered a 'jack of all trades' class, the Rangers can wield both melee and ranged weapons such as the greatsword and longbow and is well protected by medium armor. Each Ranger posesses a set of skills for a variety of different situations (traps, spirits, crippling attacks) and are currently the only class capable of using pets in battle. More information on the Ranger to be found here: http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/professions/ranger/
A master of the elements. Elementalists excel in mid-long range encounters. The Elementalist wields the four attunements (Fire, Earth, Air, Water) to great effect. Each attunement plays a different role in battle, from healing to defend to damage, making the Elementalist a well-rounded choice for any player. Elementalists wear light armor. More information can be found here: http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/professions/elementalist/
The Necromancer is a master of the dead. Much like the Elementalist they are heavily reliant on magic and can only wear light armors. However, their abilities to raise minions from the dead to fight for them in addition to their own unique damage over time spells/conditions make them a deadly competitor that is not to be underestimated. More information on the Necromancer can be found here: http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/professions/necromancer/
The spiritual brother (although not really) to the Warrior. They too wear heavy armor and can wield a variety of melee weapons. The Guardians dominate the field of battle with a wide plethora of boons and conditions at their command. They possess a lower health pool than warriors, but make up for it with their access to wards and symbols. They can also use spirit weapons to fight for them. More information can be seen here: http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/professions/guardian/
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Engineers are mechanical geniuses that can turn the tides of battle with a huge array of explosives, gadgets, guns, and other devices. Engineers are capable of supporting allies and destroying their enemies as they choose. Engineers can use various kits to enhance their skillsets or lay down turrets to obliterate the competition. The Engineer wears medium armors. More information on their skillsets and background can be found here: http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/professions/engineer/
Silent, cunning, and invisible. Thieves are masters of stealth and close range combat. Their light armor allows them to move effortless around their enemies in order to go for the kill. The Thief most comfortably operates from the shadows and can shadow step quickly around the battlefield. Thieves rely on Initiative rather than the recharge rate of other classes. Their skills can be used repeatedly as long as there is the Initiative gauge is not empty. More information can be found here: http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/professions/thief/
Last but not least is the Mesmer, the final light armor class. Mesmers are manipulative spellcasters that create chaos and confusion with illusion magic and clones. Mesmers can wreak havoc and turn the tides in an instant with a properly placed/timed spell. An experienced Mesmer can easily find and target the weakness of their enemy without a second thought. More information on the Mesmer can be found here: http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/professions/mesmer/
Each race starts out in their own unique starting area from which they will begin progressing through the world of Tyria. Humans begin in northern Kryta, Charr begin in Ascalon, Norn begin in the Shiverpeak Mountains, Asura begin in southern Kryta, and Sylvari begin in the Maguuma Jungle. The initial area you begin in is typically located in the same area as the five major cities (Divinity's Reach, Rata Sum, Black Citadel, Hoelbrak, and The Pale Tree) and will carry you through to around levels 15-20. They are not exclusive, however. This means if you're a human and you decide you don't like the area around Divinity's Reach, you can use a portal to get to Ascalon and play through the Charr area instead. Dynamic Events and Heart Quests will help you to level up, but to continue your personal story you will have to return to your home area. Tyria presents the players with a large amount of freedom in choosing where they want to go. Once you reach the higher levels the storylines are expected to merge (around level 40 from what I hear, but don't hold me to that) but even then you have a choice in where you go. This ensures that no playthrough is exactly the same as the one before it. Each character you make has a unique experience.
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V. DYNAMIC EVENTS
(Borrowed from omlech's guide because I couldn't have said it better myself!)
So there are no quests in GW2, you never go to an NPC and read a wall of text that says for you to go collect 10 bear furs. You see content as it happens, right in front of you and everyone else. Well how am I supposed to level you ask? The answer to that is Dynamic Events. They’re always happening everywhere around you, when you come across one you'll get a notification that there are new events nearby. Dynamic Events are structured so that you might see a single one-off event all the way to 20 events within a chain. Though a chain isn't a very accurate description, they're more like tree branches. Events aren’t merely black & white though, it’s not as simple as Event 1 goes into Event 2 and then Event 3.
Let me give you an example:
Say there’s a Dredge army making their way out of their base. You could possibly get together with people and defeat the Dredge allowing you to push into their base, defeat their commander, rescue captured soldiers, and then even defend the base against rallying Dredge who try to retake it.
Now let’s say you either ignore or fail to kill the Dredge army, that army will then create a base in friendly territory, they’ll build walls, create siege weaponry for defense, etc. They’ll then send out bands of Dredge to sack nearby towns, they might send out a sniper to the nearby hills to kill merchants. Now it’s your job to defeat them, destroy their new base, liberate any taken towns, and even then push back to their original stronghold. This all stems from ONE single event, the Dredge army marching from their base and there are 1,600 of these events currently, all hand scripted.
On top of all of this ArenaNet has said things aren't going to just respawn 5 minutes later, events can take hours, days, weeks, and even months to be back in the same exact way you may have seen it originally. Also, this has to take into account player interaction, if no player does anything the enemy will still move on and conquer the world whether you're there or not. Events also affect other events like a chain reaction, some events can have zone wide consequences, some are triggered through player interaction with an NPC or an object in the world, weather systems, day & night cycles, etc. Nor does this take into account the different experiences you'll have playing with different profession combos making even those experiences unique due to profession synergy.
Meta-Events are a series of Dynamic Events that come together to tell a story in an area of a zone. Meta-Events can range from anywhere between 5-20+ events that chain and branch in different directions. A unique UI element on the right side of your screen will always keep you informed as to what the status of the world is given the progress of a Meta-Event. Meta-Events will typically have the largest impact on any given area, ranging from small changes like new vendors to explosions and structures being built in the world by both allied & enemy NPCs alike. Given their impact, MEs also cover more land than a typical Dynamic Events, MEs can take up as much of 25% of a zone and change the world around them based on the outcome.
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SCOUTS & HEARTS:
Scouts are NPCs you can find around the world that will point out particular areas of interest to the player, they’ll uncover areas of the map to show you areas on the map where help might be needed. Once the Scout is done pointing these areas out, it will cover the areas back up on the map so that way you still have that sense of adventure while exploring. This is meant for players who still like some form of guidance rather than not knowing exactly where to go.
Hearts can be seen in various places around any given zone; the hearts have multiple purposes. One is that they’re a static form of content that will always be available to the player, though Dynamic Events can start at or around these Heart locations. Hearts will have you helping out NPCs in the area, doing particular tasks that need doing, provides a way to get some backstory for the local area as well as provide additional lore. Just like Dynamic Events, you don’t have to talk to anyone to start helping the NPC, you just go and do whatever needs to be done and anyone who joins in won’t be a hindrance to your gameplay. When helping these NPCs out, Dynamic Events might start nearby that affect the area where the Heart is. Say you’re helping a farmer out by watering her crops, killing nearby worms, etc. Well if a Dynamic Event starts nearby where bandits start attacking, burning bales of hay, stealing goods from the farm, etc. Anything you do in that event counts towards your objectives for the Heart since it’s in the vicinity of the Heart NPC. So putting out those fires, getting the stolen goods back, etc would count towards the Dynamic Event progress as well as your Heart progress. Once you fill a Heart, the NPC you helped becomes a Karma vendor where you can buy unique items, things such as recipes, crafting materials, consumables, etc. The Heart activities give XP/Coin, but NO Karma. Karma is only earned through Dynamic Events and Personal Story content.
So when you arrive at an event, you might be the only one there. As you’re completing whatever the objectives are for an event, someone else might arrive, and then maybe 3 more people arrive. During this time a few things happen, the difficulty of the encounters will increase, the loot will be more plentiful, more xp will be rewarded for kills, the enemies will actually gain new attacks, and in the end you will gain larger bonuses for having completed the event with more people than if you had just done it by yourself. This is all whether you grouped up with said people or not, GW2 is built with having everyone working together in mind.
VI. BATTLE MECHANICS
The combat in Guild Wars 2 is unique. It's a hybrid of the older hotkey style and the newer action MMOs you see so often on the market now. There's still tab-targeting, but the combat itself is fast, fluid, and based largely on movement. By double tapping the directional buttons (it can be remapped if you desire) your character will roll to dodge an incoming enemy attack. The key in Guild Wars 2 is to avoid getting hit. If you stand around randomly pressing buttons you will die....very quickly. When it comes to dodging you need to be smart about it. There are only two bars on your dodge meter, essentially meaning you can only dodge twice in quick succession. After that it takes time for your gauge to refill. Your survival will depend on a combination of your successful dodging abilities and whether or not you can use your profession's skills properly.
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You can use up to 10 skills at a time in Guild Wars 2. No more. Your skills are mapped from 1 though 0 on your number keys. The first five skills are on your bar will change depending on the weapon you have equipped. Two handed weapons fill all five slots while one handed weapons in the main handed will fill 3. Your offhanded weapon will fill the remaining 2. Slot number 6 is reserved for your healing skill (which every profession now has) while slots 7, 8, and 9 are your utility skills. The final slot contains your elite skill. Elite skills are extremely powerful but posess a long recharge time. Also worth noting is that you start off with only 1 of the first 5 slots on your bar available. The others unlock the more you use your weapon. Slot 6 is available from the beginning, and slots 7 through 0 unlock as you level up.
Traits are another way for you to differentiate yourself from another character of the same profession. Each profession has 5 Trait lines that alter specific aspects of your character. Starting at level 11, you’re able to then start spending Trait points. You get 1 point per level for a total of 70 at the level cap. Traits consist of Minor and Major versions, every 5 points will get you a Minor and then a Major trait repeating subsequently. The Minor Traits are locked into the line and can’t be changed, however, the Major traits can be changed at will and there’s a varying amount depending on the Trait line and profession. Traits are now tiered. There’s 3 tiers of Traits, the first one you can unlock at level 11 is Adept which is 6 Traits per line. Master at 40 will open up 4 new Traits per line in addition to the other 6 and finally Grand Master at 60 will give you access to the final 2 Traits along with the other 10 per line. Each point you put into a line will increase 2 static stats per line (power, precision, etc)
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CROSS PROFESSION COMBOS:
Guild Wars 2 encourages each profession to work together in combat. Many different skills can be used together in combat to create unique and often more powerful outcomes. The first example we were given was this: An Elementalist lays down a wall of fire and a Ranger shoots his arrows at the enemy straight through the flame wall. The arrows now have a burning effect. This has since been expanded upon greatly to include all the professions and all skill types.
(For those that need better examples than what I can give, I bring you another snippet of omlech's guide)
CPCs have been fleshed out quite a lot since we initially heard about them. You'll be able to create these combos with other professions, people playing the same profession as you, and even by yourself. To start off a combo you'll need an Initiator which is like a “field” in the world that has been created by a spell. They range from elemental effects—such as fire, ice, and lightning—to other effects like poison, light, dark, and smoke. All fields persist in the world for a time and can be taken advantage of by any number of finishers. Next up you need a Finisher which is a category of spell types. All finishers are actions of some kind, including firing projectiles, leaping, and blasting an area. Every finisher can only be modified once, to avoid confusion and stacking. Some examples of combos that can be created are: Use Ricochet through a Firewall to get a bouncing axe that has a chance to burn the targets it hits. Leaping Death Blossom through a Symbol of Faith will remove conditions from allies near your target. Stomp inside a Smoke Screen to cloak nearby allies. This is just a small sampling of what you can do with combos, and we leave it to you to find them all and combo to your heart’s delight.
Other examples of CPCs are a Ranger putting down a Healing Spring, then a Thief uses Unload through the Water Field. These healing projectiles grants an area-of-effect heal to any allies that are attacking the thief's target. A Guardian could put down a Symbol of Switfness on top of an Engineer’s Big Ole Bomb, when the bomb explodes it not only deals damage but Blinds nearby enemies. A Necromancer could put down a Well of Darkness which blinds enemies inside of it, an Elementalist could drop Churning Earth which cripples enemies inside of it. When Churning Earth ends it combines with Well of Darkness and deals additional AoE damage.
There's even a UI element for creating combos that helps you take advantage of them as well as let your allies know they can set one up. When two players create a combo there's a floating notification shown to both players and tells you which skills are involved. Skills also display their field type or finisher type in their description, to help players experiment. Almost every weapon has some sort of initiator or finisher which leaves two players ample opportunities to find and capitalize on combos, regardless of profession or other skill choices.
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