The Player is going to meet hundreds of enemy NPCs (Non Playable Characters) throughout the course of Guild Wars 2, and will even come up against other Players in Player Versus Player and World Versus World modes, all of which will be doing everything in their power to stop the Player.
As such, how proficient a Character is In fighting and dealing with these encounters is an integral part of the game, and this is controlled by a set of factors known as Attributes, which govern everything from a Character’s Health, to their outgoing damage, to how powerful their Healing spells are. This makes Attributes a key part of any Character, and vital to their progression. There are three types of Attributes; Primary Attributes, Secondary Attributes and Profession Specific, or Tertiary, Attributes.
Primary Attributes are the most basic, and they control the simplest of stats attached to a character. These increase automatically as the Player levels up their Character, and as such there is no need to worry about them. The Primary Attributes are Toughness, Vitality, Power and Precision. Toughness is related to the strength of the Character’s defenses, and therefore reduces the amount of damage that the Character takes from strikes with each improvement.
Vitality is the core Health of the Character i.e. how much damage they can take before being downed. Power refers to the brute strength of the Character, with each upgrade increasing the amount of damage dealt by outgoing attacks. Finally, Precision alters how calculated the Character’s hits are, which increases the chances of landing a Critical Strike for much more damage with each improvement. As said, these are automatically improved as the Character progresses.
Secondary Attributes and Profession Specific Attributes do not increase on their own, and must be chosen by the Player through the Trait Tree system.
Trait Trees contain Skills and relevant upgrades that are specific to more detailed aspects of combat, such as Conditions or Healing, and require some thought. When leveling up, the Player will be given the task of assigning points to Trait Trees , which will increase their proficiency in the relevant type of combat. Each Trait Tree is closely linked to an Attribute, and that relevant Attribute will improve as points are put into the Trait Tree. This only apples to Secondary and Profession Specific Attributes.
The Secondary Attributes are Healing Power, Critical Damage, Boon Duration, Condition Damage and Condition Duration. In general, the name of the Attribute is indicative of its role. Healing Power affects the potency of all outgoing healing spells, both on the Player themselves and their allies. Critical Damage increases the damage multiplier on all Critical Strikes that the Player lands, making them do even more damage.
Boon Duration increases the length of time that Boons caused by the Player last on themselves and also their Allies. Condition Duration is similar, increasing the amount of time that targeted foes are afflicted with Conditions used by the Player. Finally, Condition Damage increases the amount of damage per second that relevant Conditions do. These include things like Poisoned and Bleeding, which deal their damage in the per second format.
Each Profession has its own unique Attribute, which is usually tied to a certain game mechanic that only that Profession has access to, such as the Life Force mechanic for the Necromancer. In the case of the Ranger, their Profession Specific Attribute is the Pet Attribute Bonus, which is attached to the Beast Mastery mechanic.
Beast Mastery allow the Ranger to command the beings of the wild to do their bidding, labeling them as pets and setting them on their foes to distract and damage them. This is an ability unique to the Ranger, and can prove deadly in battle as it puts a lot more on the foes plate to deal with at one time. The Pet Attribute Bonus Attribute improves the stats of the Pets, giving them more health, stronger resistance, more powerful attacks etc. It essentially improves its own set of Attributes unique to the Rangers pets, and would be a near essential choice for any Ranger, in particular if they find themselves using Pets in battle often.
Attributes such as Critical Damage would also be useful to the Ranger, who favors the finesse and range of the bow and other ranged weapons, and if the Critical Damage is high, there is a good chance that a Ranger will be able to dispatch their foe before they get too close. The Ranger also uses the Warhorn, which grants Boons, so Boon Duration may be worth looking into. Aside from that, the Ranger is relatively open-ended and versatile Profession, so the Player has a good deal of freedom in choosing their combat style.