Guild Wars 2 is the only MMO I’ve ever played that didn’t have a tutorial. No, there’s a story intro stage that teaches players absolutely nothing but how to use 1, and that red circles are bad. From there, players are put into the wide open world, where we can do amazing things like learn about norn totems or help out on various farms with menial tasks. Players are left on their own, and if they aren’t theorycrafters like the top 5% of us, they aren’t going to know squat about how to play the game.
So, with no basic tutorial, or in-game manual, is it any wonder that players don’t know how combo fields work? Is it any mystery that players don’t know about the condition cap? Is it any quandary that players are clueless about the exact mechanics behind cleanses, crits, condition duration, procs, blocks and unblockable attacks, defiance, leveling, stat scaling, event scaling, and experience gain? For goodness sakes, the sheath weapon key is unbound when you start the game!
This is far more than just tooltips. The lack of knowledge comes with an even greater burden: the lack of knowledge about a lack of knowledge. As far as a bearbow ranger considers things, he knows plenty enough about the game, and there is nothing around to tell him otherwise. The way overworld events are handled, everything is just a random series of overlaying information, so the experience this ranger has with combo fields is just a few pings of “cleansing bolt” that have no apparent use or function. He’ll bearbow right up until he gets to dungeons, where he’ll be anonymously kicked for guild wars 2 gold other players won’t even bother to explain. How is he supposed to know that bearbow suddenly isn’t good enough, where for the entirety of the game it has been?