Specializations are now unlocked. You can now spend hero points in the training tab on specializations. Once you begin training a specialization, you can set your active specialization in the build tab of the hero panel.
Specializations, also known as trait lines, is a profession mechanic that allows players to customize their characters by concentrating on different aspects of their profession through various traits. Depending on the character's level, up to three specializations can be chosen, and each fully trained specialization provides 3 minor traits and the choice of 3 out of 9 major traits—split between adept, master, and grandmaster traits. All three chosen specializations will be "active", and players can switch back and forth between all 5 core + all 3 elite specializations when out of combat.
Each character in the base game can choose from five core specializations per profession, while accounts with expansion packs unlocked gain access to one elite specialization for each profession per expansion.
To begin training a specialization your character must be at least level 21, then follow the below steps. PvP players do not need to unlock anything, as all skills and traits available to the account will be unlocked while within the Heart of the Mists.
- Step 1: Open your Hero panel and go to the Training tab. The Training tab is the third tab from the top on the far left of the Hero panel.
- Step 2: Select one of the tracks under Specializations. Tracks are located on the left side of the Training tab.
- Step 3: Once you select a track, it will become visible, showing you a circle with all of the selected track's associated traits.
- Step 4: In the center of the selected track, there will be a trait, a button that allows you to learn the trait, and a cost (listed in Hero points).
- Step 5: To learn a trait, click on the Train button and confirm that you're willing to pay its Hero point cost. Once completed, the next trait in the track will become available. Once all traits in a track have been purchased, the circle will be completed.
It is possible to train multiple traits at once by selecting a trait further along into the track and then clicking Train. Fully unlocking a core specialization costs 60 hero points.
Once at least one trait is trained in any specialization you may go into the Build tab and equip it into an empty slot. Traits may also be selected once equipped. Specializations may be swapped freely when not in combat. Specialization slots are unlocked at levels 21, 45, and 71. Level 80 characters will have exactly enough hero points to train all core skills and specializations—completing hero challenges will allow you to train skills and specializations sooner. Excess hero points may be used to train elite specializations.
Elite specializations can now be unlocked in the training tab of the Hero Panel. You must complete all core specializations in order to start training an elite specialization. Hero points are used to train elite specializations. Once you begin training an elite specialization, you can set it as active in the bottom specialization slot of the Build tab.
— Level 80 rewards.
In contrast to core specializations, which merely modify how certain skills and effects work, choosing an elite specialization fundamentally changes the way a given profession plays by altering or expanding on the base profession mechanic and providing access to a new weapon, healing skill, elite skill and a set of utility skills of the same skill type. All core profession skills, weapons and specializations will still be available while an elite specialization is equipped.
Training an elite specialization is basically the same as a core specialization, however there are a few requirements:
- You must own the respective expansion
- The character must be level 80
- All core skills and specializations must be fully trained
It will take 250 hero points to fully unlock an elite specialization and all points can only be obtained through completing hero challenges or purchased from a Heroics Notary. The first trait costs 30 hero points to train, with subsequent traits costing 10 points and skills costing 15 points each. Elite specializations gradually unlock the specialization specific traits and skills at the same time—there is no separation of traits and skills. Upon training the first trait you will also unlock the respective specialization collection.
Elite specializations can only be equipped in the bottom (third) specialization slot in the hero panel, which has a faint golden frame around it. Elite specialization exclusive weapons and skills cannot be equipped or used unless the respective elite specialization is also equipped. Equipping a weapon without its respective elite specialization will have its respective weapon skills greyed out—making them unusable. Removing or swapping the elite specialization will cause any currently slotted skills to be greyed out.
List of specializations
|Zeal||Symbols and spirit weapons • Scepter, Greatsword|
|Radiance||Signets, burning and blinding • Sword, Torch|
|Valor||Blocking and meditations • Shield, Focus|
|Honor||Dodging, symbols and shouts • Mace, Staff|
|Virtues||Consecrations and virtues • Hammer|
|Dragonhunter||Hunt your target with improved ranged attacks, cripple and target lockdown. Virtues gain a physical effect, which can be further upgraded. Grants access to longbows and traps.|
|Firebrand||Bolster the frontline with melee support and quickness. Virtues become tomes, allowing usage of several skills before recharging. Grants access to axes and mantras.|
|Willbender||Swiftly move around the battlefield and strike down your foes with ruthless bladework. Virtues trade their passive effects for an active one that enhances your attacks and places Willbender Flames around you. Grants access to off-hand swords and physical skills.|
|Core (requires a purchased expansion)|
|Corruption||Resistance, Torment and damaging conditions|
|Retribution||Defense and Resolution|
|Salvation||Healing, Healing Orbs and damage mitigation|
|Invocation||Legend swapping and fury|
|Devastation||Damage and Life stealing|
|Herald||Invoke Glint for improved health and group boons and effects. Improves Upkeep skills. Grants access to shields, the Legendary Dragon Stance, and the Facet of Nature.|
|Renegade||Boost your allies' attacks and hamper your foes with Kalla Scorchrazor's warband effects and Citadel Orders. Improves all damage, Fury and Bleeding. Grants access to short bows and the Legendary Renegade Stance.|
|Vindicator||Call upon the alliance of the champions Archemorus and Saint Viktor to continually flow between offense and defense. Reduces your ability to dodge while giving it additional effects to damage enemies or aid allies. Grants access to greatswords and the Legendary Alliance Stance.|
|Strength||Might, physical utility skills, control and damage • Greatsword, Hammer|
|Arms||Critical hits, signets and condition damage • Sword|
|Defense||Toughness and damage endurance • Shield, Mace|
|Tactics||Soldier's Focus, bolstering allies and shouts • Warhorn|
|Discipline||Adrenaline gain, Banners and weapon swapping • Axe, Rifle, Longbow, Harpoon Gun|
|Berserker||Go Berserk for higher damage and burning, at the cost of toughness. Grants access to torches, rage skills, and primal burst skills.|
|Spellbreaker||Counter enemy attacks and remove their boons. Grants access to daggers and meditations.|
|Bladesworn||Replaces burst skills and in-combat weapon swap with the gunsaber. Adrenaline is replaced with flow, which is acquired over time and can be spent by charging the immensely powerful Dragon Slash. Focuses on high burst damage and ammunition skills. Grants access to off-hand pistols and armaments.|
|Explosives||Explosive Entrance, Power and Vulnerability • Grenade Kit|
|Firearms||Condition Damage • Pistol, Flamethrower|
|Inventions||Healing, Protection and Turrets • Shield|
|Alchemy||Elixirs and boons • Med Kit, Elixir Gun|
|Tools||Tool belt skills, utility kits, and endurance|
|Scrapper||AOE Support, Crowd Control, Superspeed and barrier generation at the cost of Vitality. Grants access to hammers, well skills, and the Function Gyro to revive allies or finish enemies from range.|
|Holosmith||Wield multiple holographic weapons with the Photon Forge. Manage its heat levels for added effects to your skills. Grants access to swords and exceed skills.|
|Marksmanship||Long range damage and signets • Longbow, Harpoon Gun|
|Skirmishing||Mobility, traps, and weapon swapping • Sword, Short bow|
|Wilderness Survival||Defensive combat maneuvers and conditions • Dagger, Torch|
|Nature Magic||Boons and spirits • Warhorn|
|Beastmastery||Pets • Greatsword, Spear, Axe|
|Druid||Collect astral force and heal your allies with the forces of nature. Grants access to staves, and the Celestial Avatar form, which changes your weapon and glyph skills while active.|
|Soulbeast||Merge with your pet, enter Beastmode and take on the power of wild creatures. Improves combat damage and conditions. Grants access to main hand daggers, and stances.|
|Deadly Arts||Power and poison • Dagger|
|Critical Strikes||Critical hits and signets • Pistol, Harpoon Gun|
|Shadow Arts||Survival, defensive abilities, and stealth|
|Acrobatics||Dodging and mobility • Sword, Spear|
|Trickery||Stealing and managing initiative|
|Daredevil||Dodge in and out of battle. Endurance pool is increased and dodging is enhanced with additional effects. Improves melee. Grants access to staves and physical skills.|
|Deadeye||Snipe your target from long range. Deadeye's Mark generates malice, which provides bonus effects to Stealth Attacks. Grants access to rifles and cantrips.|
|Fire||Fire magic and conjured weapons.|
|Air||Air magic, glyphs, movement speed, and spike damage.|
|Earth||Earth magic, bleeding, defense, and signets.|
|Water||Water magic, defensive tactics, vulnerability and Cantrips.|
|Arcane||General improvements, arcane utility skills, and switching of attunements.|
|Tempest||Store up your elemental magic and overload for powerful channeled abilities in an area. Improves Aura share. Grants access to warhorns and shouts.|
|Weaver||Weave the elements together for new Dual Attacks. Improve damage, movement and self-sustain. Grants access to swords and stances.|
|Catalyst||Augment your strikes for added effects, while your summoned Jade Sphere mimics your attunements, providing combo fields and boons. Improves auras and stats through Elemental Empowerment. Grants access to hammers and augments.|
|Domination||Interrupt improvements, boon removal and vulnerability • Greatsword|
|Dueling||Critical hits, Clone generation and Blinds • Pistol, Sword, Spear|
|Chaos||Defense and application of random boons and conditions • Staff, Trident|
|Inspiration||Phantasms, signets, mantras and healing • Focus|
|Illusions||Shattering and illusions • Torch, Scepter|
|Chronomancer||Manipulate time in an area with Slows, Quickness, crowd control and Alacrity. Grants access to shields, wells, and new shatter skills, including the added Continuum Split.|
|Mirage||Shadow Step, Mirage Cloak, even swap places with your clones to deceive your enemy, then ambush them. Improves Condition Damage. Grants access to axes and deceptions.|
|Virtuoso||Summon illusory daggers around the caster instead of clones. Bladesongs replace shatters. Grants access to main-hand daggers and psionics.|
|Spite||Damage, boon removal and signets • Axe, Focus|
|Curses||Critical hits, conditions, and corruptions • Scepter|
|Death Magic||Minions and Carapace|
|Blood Magic||Life stealing, healing and reviving allies. • Dagger, Warhorn|
|Soul Reaping||Death Shroud and life force • Staff|
|Reaper||Chill your enemies and reap them up close. Death Shroud is replaced by Reaper's Shroud, which has a heavier focus on melee combat. Grants access to greatswords and offensive shouts.|
|Scourge||Burn and Torment your foes, punish their boons, all while giving a barrier to your allies; either around you or from placed incorporeal Sand Shades you command. Replaces Death Shroud. Grants access to torches and punishment skills.|
|Harbinger||Trade the survivability of Death Shroud for Harbinger Shroud, gaining powerful new skills and high mobility at the cost of Shroud no longer protecting your health and instead afflicts it with Blight. Grants access to main-hand pistols and elixirs.|
- Heart of Thorns elite specialization achievements
- Path of Fire elite specialization achievements
- End of Dragons elite specialization achievements
- If the player is wielding a weapon whose proficiency is unlocked by an elite specialization and selects another specialization in the third slot, the corresponding weapon skills will be blanked out until the player either removes the weapon or changes back to the corresponding elite specialization.
- The hover text on the third specialization slot reads "Core and Elite", whereas the first and second only state "Core".
- Specializations replaced trait lines and were part of a trait system rework in the June 23, 2015 game update.
- Originally, it cost 400 hero points to fully unlock an elite specialization. This was changed in the October 27, 2015 game update.
- Elite specialization equipment — armor and weapons connected to the elite specializations obtainable via collections