The Skills and Attributes panel is the window in which you can browse skills available to your character, equip the skills, and manage the attributes which determine how powerful the corresponding skills are. There is also the option to save, load, or manage Skill Templates.
This panel is accessed in one of three ways:
If you have recruited any Heroes into your party, their details are available for modification here as well. Simply click any of the portraits along the top part of the panel to view and modify the skills and attributes for that character.
A Skill Template is a selection of skills and a distribution of attribute points. The disk icon near the top left of this panel brings up a menu with options to save, load, or manage templates. PvP characters also have Equipment templates available.
You may have the option change your secondary profession, if your character has previously used a different secondary profession than it is using now. Your Heroes may also select from any of the secondary professions that your character has previously used. The dropdown menu here allows you to select from the secondary professions available. (Please see the warning below about an unfortunate, yet avoidable, side effect of this freedom to change secondary professions.)
PvP characters may select from any secondary profession available on your account.
The listed attributes include all of the ones available to your Primary profession, and all except the primary attribute of your Secondary profession. If you mouse over the attribute name, you will be shown a definition of that attribute, its inherent effects, and also the type of skills it affects.
Your current rank for each attribute is shown in a box next to that attribute; white text indicates that the rank is purely due to the attribute points assigned to it, and blue text indicates that the rank is modified by some other means. If you mouse over the rank, you will see your current rank in that attribute along with the amount to which it is modified.
Next to each attribute rank there are triangular "arrows" which are used to modify your rank in each attribute. If you have enough attribute points to spend, you may raise the rank in any attribute by clicking on its "up arrow"; if you do not have enough points to raise a particular rank, its arrow will be greyed out. The number of points required to raise an attribute to its next rank is indicated on its up arrow. If you are in a town or outpost, you may lower your rank in any attribute by clicking on its "down arrow" and regain the number of points indicated on the arrow. There is no penalty for reducing your rank, so you are completely free to experiment with different builds for your character.
All skills currently available to the character are listed in this panel. Elite skills are distinguished from non-elite skills by gold text, and a gold border around the skill icon. Also displayed in this list are the:
Mousing over a skill brings up a tooltip that explains the effects and requirements of using the skill. By default, the skills are sorted by attribute and show up in list form, but this may be changed via the Sort icon and the Display icon in the upper right corner from the skills pane.
Skills may be equipped by dragging them to the desired location on the Skill Bar that is integrated into the bottom of this panel (note that your actual skill bar is greyed out while this panel is open). Equipping an Elite skill will remove the previous Elite skill, if one was equipped.
If you open the Skills and Attributes window before you have acquired any skills at all, a message will appear over the skill bar telling you that Roleplaying characters can gain them from trainers or by completing certain quests.
The skill bar in the skills and attributes panel has a tab with three arrows above it. Clicking on this tab will expand the skill bar into full skill descriptions.
When completing a Skill Quest for a secondary profession, be sure to check that you have the correct secondary profession before accepting the quest reward. If you have changed secondary professions after obtaining the quest, and forget to change back before completing it, you will not earn the skill reward(s) and the opportunity to earn them free will be lost.
For example, if your secondary profession was Warrior, and you had just completed a Skill quest which listed Sprint as a reward, you would not receive Sprint upon accepting the quest reward if your secondary was anything other than Warrior. If you then switch secondary profession back to Warrior, you will not be assigned the quest again and so you will have lost the opportunity to obtain this skill, except by buying it from a Skill Trainer.
While this bug has probably been present before, it was not likely that one would accept a skill quest, go to the Crystal Desert to change professions, and then return to accept the quest reward; this is why this has not been a problem in the past. But with the new ease of changing secondary professions in any outpost, it becomes all too easy to accidentally miss skills which should be easily obtainable.
It's possible to receive many different skill quests at once by changing secondary professions, and more than one can be active at the same time. It does not matter what your profession is while you are doing the quest; it only matters what your profession is when you accept the quest reward. Always make sure to change secondary professions back to the one needed to receive the skill rewards in order to avoid missed opportunities!