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From developer live stream via Dulfy: http://dulfy.net/2013/12/17/gw2-developer-livestream-notes2013-retrospective-part-two/
Why decide to bind weapon skills to weapons
Isaiah: In GW1 we had a giant array of combinations. This resulted in a huge amount of bad builds and a lot of people were not able to do the content. If we package things together and give them a minimum bar of effectiveness that give us a lot more control over what we can expect the players to do.
Mike: There were surprising a lot of GW1 players who were running with the first 8 skils that they have unlocked throughout the entire game.
Sort of amusing to think of players complaining about how hard stuff is when they're using whatever talents happened to occur. I'd still like a bit more variety, if not at least the ability to rearrange the order of weapon skills.