Elite Specializations are more powerful versions than core game specializations. Rather than modifying how certain existing skills work, Elite Specializations fundamentally change how a profession plays by granting access to a new weapon and skill type (including a new healing skill, elite skill, and utility skills,) as well as new passive traits to customize your build with.
While Elite Specializations are similar to core game specializations, there are certain differences in how they are unlocked and used.
Unlocking Elite Specializations
In order to first unlock your elite specialization, there are two important criteria that must be met:
- Your account must own the associated expansion in which the specialization was introduced.
- The character (of the corresponding base profession) must be Level 80.
Once you have met these requirements, you can begin spending hero points to unlock the various traits and skills of the Elite Specializations for that profession. In order to complete an entire Elite Specialization unlock you will need to spend 250 Hero Points.
For more info on the available specializations and Elite Specializations, check out this article on the Guild Wars 2 wiki.
Equipping Elite Specializations
The moment you have unlocked the first trait by investing Hero Points into a given Elite Specialization, you can equip it to any of your builds as you would any other specialization's trait line. However, it is important to note that your Elite Specialization can only be equipped in the third (bottom) slot of your build.
This means that you can only equip one Elite Specialization at a time. While you can unlock and equip any number of Elite Specializations as they are released, you cannot combine the effects of Elite Specializations within a single build - you will need to replace the one you are currently using if you would like to use another with a build.
Elite Specialization Weapons
Finally, one of the most exciting feature of any Elite Specialization is that it gives access to an entirely new weapon and weapon skills.
Similar to the specialization trait line, however, Elite Specialization weapons have an important limitation: Elite Specialization weapons can only be equipped when you have the corresponding Elite Specialization equipped.
The first trait you unlock in any given Elite Specialization when using your Hero Points will include the ability to wield that specialization's new weapon type. Since you can only equip one Elite Specialization at a time and you need this trait to wield the additional weapon type, you cannot equip a character with with the weapons of an Elite Specialization they do not currently have equipped, nor can you use the new weapon types when playing as the core profession.
If your build changes to one that uses a different Elite Specialization while you have a certain weapon equipped, the now-incompatible weapon(s) will remain in your equipped items, but you will not be able to swap to the weapon set or use any of its skills. You will need to equip a weapon usable by the core profession, or the new Elite Specialization you have equipped.