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Guild Wars 2 Secrets of the Obscure Update and Features: New Weapons, Runes and Relics, Weaponmaster Training

Welcome to Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure update and features guide! This highly anticipated expansion takes players on a thrilling journey filled with new adventures and groundbreaking changes to combat mechanics. The expansion moves away from elite specializations and instead emphasizes small reworks and trait modifications to provide more flexibility in build options. In this guide, we will explore the exciting features and updates that await you in this immersive expansion.


Guild Wars 2 Secrets of the Obscure Update and Features: New Weapons, Runes and Relics, Weaponmaster Training


Replacing Elite Specializations

Elite specializations have been a popular feature in Guild Wars 2, offering unique playstyles and mechanics for each profession. However, their implementation posed challenges in terms of balancing and consistent updates. To achieve this, they are moving away from elite specializations and exploring other ways to enhance gameplay. Elite specializations had limitations that made it challenging to maintain balance. Instead, they are focusing on small reworks and traits that modify existing abilities, providing more flexibility in build options.


Weaponmaster Training

Weaponmaster Training in Guild Wars 2 is undergoing significant changes to add more combat choices and build diversity. In the past, elite specializations were required to unlock certain weapons, limiting the options available to players. However, with the upcoming changes, all professions will have access to a broader range of weapons without the need for elite specializations.


Here's a breakdown of the new weapon options for each profession:

  • Guardian: All guardians can now use the axe, sword offhand, and longbow.
  • Revenant: All revenants can now use the shield, greatsword, and shortbow.
  • Warrior: All warriors can now use the dagger, pistol, torch, or mace.
  • Ranger: All rangers can now use the dagger and hammer.
  • Thief: All thieves can now use the scepter, rifle, and staff.
  • Elementalist: All elementalists can now use the sword, warhorn, and hammer.
  • Mesmer: All Mesmers can now use the axe, dagger, and shield.
  • Necromancer: All necromancers can now use the pistol, torch, and greatsword.


These changes are not tied to elite specializations and open up a wealth of new build possibilities. Players will have the freedom to experiment with different setups and create unique combinations. For example, power-based Harbingers can now utilize the greatsword, while condition-based Harbingers can incorporate torch offhand. This greatly expands the potential for diverse and effective builds. These changes also introduce powerful condition-based revenant builds, thanks to the availability of short bow, mace, and axe across all revenant specializations. Additionally, guardians now have a strong condition-based mainhand weapon with the addition of the axe, providing more options for condition-focused Guardian builds.


New Weapons

In addition to expanding weapon choices for existing professions, ArenaNet is also adding new weapons to the game. The confirmed additions are as follows:

  • Guardian: Pistol (main and offhand)
  • Revenant: Scepter (mainhand)
  • Warrior: Staff
  • Engineer: Short bow
  • Ranger: Axe
  • Thief: Pistol
  • Elementalist: Rifle
  • Mesmer: Sword
  • Necromancer: Staff


The introduction of new weapons is crucial in creating new playstyles and expanding build diversity. Weapons play a significant role in defining a build's effectiveness, and having suitable weapon options is essential for cohesive and viable builds. ArenaNet's willingness to add new weapons demonstrates their commitment to enhancing gameplay options and promoting build variety. This update has the potential to be as impactful as elite specializations, if not more so. It will bring fresh ideas and new builds to the game, invigorating the Guild Wars 2 community.


Furthermore, there are possibilities for future additions beyond weapons. ArenaNet may introduce new utility skills or even new core trait lines, which could have a profound impact on the game's meta and offer even more build customization. The interactions between core trait lines and elite specializations could create potent synergies, further diversifying gameplay. These changes will be thoroughly tested in upcoming beta phases, allowing players to explore and discover the vast array of new build options. It is an exciting time for the Guild Wars 2 community, as these updates will breathe new life into the game, encouraging exploration, innovation, and a dynamic meta.


Note: The balance and effectiveness of different builds are subject to change as the updates are implemented and refined. It is recommended to stay updated with official announcements and patch notes to adapt your strategies accordingly.


Runes and Relics

In Guild Wars 2, runes and relics are GW 2 important items that provide special bonuses and enhancements to your character. With the upcoming changes, runes will have their own special relic slot, allowing for more flexibility and customization in your build choices. 

  • Understanding the Bonus: Each rune has a unique bonus associated with it. For example, the Scholar Rune grants a 5% damage increase when your health is above 90%, while the Monk Rune increases your healing modifier for a few seconds every time you apply a boon. These bonuses will now be moved to the special relic slot.
  • Streamlining the System: The separation of bonuses into the relic slot aims to streamline the system and prevent players from feeling compelled to mix and match different runes. While it may still be possible to use one of each rune, the new system encourages players to engage more with the runes and relics by highlighting their individual benefits.
  • Flexible Build Choices: With the introduction of the relic slot, you now have more flexibility in designing your build. You can combine defensive stats with offensive bonuses or vice versa. For example, you can have a rune that boosts your damage output while also providing a healing bonus or damage reduction. This opens up numerous possibilities for creating unique playstyles and modifying your build to suit your preferences.
  • Active Gameplay: The developers are aiming to make the runes more interactive and tied to your gameplay. They want to move away from the "fire and forget" mentality associated with runes and make them an integral part of your playstyle. This means you may see bonuses triggered by specific actions, such as using a heal skill, elite skill, or dodge. Active gameplay will be rewarded, making your build choices more impactful on your playstyle.
  • Acquisition Method: Acquiring runes and relics will be similar to the current system. You can obtain them through various means, such as instance content, strike missions, reward tracks, achievements, and crafting. All players will have access to these items at launch.
  • Legendary Relics: While there are legendary runes in the game, legendary relics have yet to be mentioned. It remains to be seen whether players with legendary runes will automatically receive legendary relics or if they will be introduced separately. The inclusion of legendary relics would ensure consistency for players who have invested in full legendary gear.
  • Power Creep: It's important to note that these changes introduce some power creep to the game. Damage numbers have been increasing over time, and this new system will continue that trend. However, the developers are aware of this and aim to refine existing systems to make build choices more meaningful and engaging.



With elite specializations, combat updates, and the potential for new weapons, Secrets of the Obscure expansion offers players a fresh and dynamic experience. While there might be balancing challenges, the developers are actively working to ensure a healthy PvP environment. As this expansion sets the stage for future updates, players can look forward to more frequent content additions and innovative gameplay features. Enjoy the expansion and have fun exploring all the new possibilities it brings to Guild Wars 2.

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