How exactly does weapon swapping work in GW2? It appears from videos I have watched that you get a secondary weapon you can switch to as most professions such as Warrior for example where as the Elementalist does not have a secondary weapon set to switch to and instead they switch attunements. With this being my current understanding of the weapon system in GW2 my question is this:
Can you swap to additional weapons in combat? Lets say you wanted to switch from dagger to staff as Elementalist during a fight, is that something that could be accomplished?
As an Elementalist, you are not able to swap to an additional weapon inside of combat. Once you're out of combat (in the WoW sense), you can switch your main weapon, from say a dagger to a staff, by going into your character pane and equipping it. But if you get into combat with your staff equipped you are locked into it until you are out of combat again. Like you said, the class makes up for this by have 4 different attunements, which change the skills of your weapon. So an Ele gets 20 skills out of a weapon (5 per attunement), while most classes have 10 (2 per weapon).
For the other classes (minus Engineer), hitting your weapon swap key will swap to your backup weapon and replace your 1-5 skills with the 1-5 skills of your other weapon. You can switch back to your first weapon but there is a cooldown on weapon swapping.
Engineers, on the other hand, only have one weapon available in combat and do not get a weapon swap, much like an Ele. Engineers have kits which can take the spot of utility slots, and they kind of function like weapons. The main advantage here is that there is no cooldown when swapping from weapon to kit or kit to kit.