A new blog post from designer Jonathan Sharp was posted yesterday on Underwater Combat.
Apparently we already have to breathe enough in real life so ArenaNet decided to relieve of us that burden when you take a dive in Guild Wars 2. When you start swimming you have a breathing apparatus equipped automatically so you don’t have to worry about a breath meter going down. You’ll be provided with the default apparatus at the get go but you’ll be able to find new and exciting breathers to further customise your character. It goes to show you should always look fashionable even when your conquering the depths of the ocean.
However your breath does become a problem if your health manages to get to zero. Just like if you get the life knocked out of you on land you enter a downed state, if your health runs out while underwater you enter a drowning state where you’re fighting for your very life.
When you’re underwater, you don’t need to worry about breathing until your health goes to zero. When this happens you go into a drowning state, which functions like the downed state you experience when above water except with some small ability to move. When you are drowning, you have three ways to recover:
- You kill an opponent, which will cause you to rally.
- An ally can revive you, just as they can above water.
- You reach the surface of the water, where you will stop drowning and regain health. When your health bar fills all the way you’ll be revived.
What if I just need to swim across a body of water, do I have to get all suited up everytime I touch the water? When you just swim across the water your just the same as on land except you can’t attack and your’re vulnerable to any nasties lurking below the surface. Should you need to dive just simply tilt the camera down and move forward; your skills and weapons will change to your underwater set and your breather will be equipped.
Jonathan pledges his word that Guild Wars 2′s underwater areas isn’t just a gimmick, your going to spend a fair amount of time fighting, exploring and adventuring underwater.
The world of Tyria is a beautiful, dangerous place, with a ton of places to explore. We didn’t want the undersea zones to feel like a secondary experience compared to the land zones, so you’ll experience the full—ahem—depth of Guild Wars 2 content underwater. In addition to a wide variety of dynamic events, most dungeons have underwater content, and your personal story will also occasionally take you under the sea.
When you take the plunge you’ll have your underwater weapon equipped, but you can’t just bring any old sword or bow with you! Bring a tool fit for the job at hand:
Spear: Close-quarters melee weapon
Trident: Long-range magical weapon
Harpoon gun: Long-range mechanical weapon
Just like anything else you hold in your hand, underwater weapons will change the first five skills on your skill bar. In addition to this slots six to ten will change to the various underwater utility skills specifically deisgned for the kind of situation you’ll encounter while underwater. This brings up even more opportunity to distinguish yourself as a player, not only do you setup your playstyle for land but you also have to develop your own fighting style for underwater encounters.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about underwater combat is the amount of effort ArenaNet is putting into it rather than just tacking on another axis. When your on land you only need to worry about whats infront of you and whats behind you, but while underwater you could be attacked at any possible angle but so too you can pose an attack at any angle. You also need to think about things like; “Will my AOE reach the targets above and below?” or “If I move here will I be open to attack?”. The tactical possibilities are so exciting, you could even think about land to water strategies and vice versa.
So whats your plan of attack when things get wet?