Arenanet spoiled us with the latest profession reveal: the ranger! As predicted by my Podcats buddies and 80% of the GW2 fanbase. Everybody’s in a hussle now about who’s next, what we will get to play at the demos at this summer’s big conventions, and who the final 8 will be.
What we know for sure right how: GW2 will have 8 professions (down from 10 in GW1) some of which GW1 players will be familiar with, and two that are new. They are getting rid of the secondary profession mechanic, something that will be sorely missed, but I am looking forward to the profession / racial skill mixes and player combos to replace this.
They’ve separated the professions into three typical armor types: 3 cloth/light (scholars), 3 leather/medium (adventurers), and 2 metal/heavy (soldiers).
And for weapons:
One-Handed: Axe, dagger, mace, pistol, scepter, and sword.
Two-Handed: Greatsword, hammer, longbow, rifle, shortbow, and staff.
Offhand only: Focus, shield, torch, and warhorn.
We know we’re getting Elementalists, Warriors, and Rangers. From the art, we can confidently say we’re getting Assassins and Mesmers. Four out of the six original professions, and one of the added profs making up five out of the six original professions making it to GW2. The last profession in that image (2nd from the bottom) is undoubtedly our 2nd solider and one of the two new classes, likely a heavy support / buff profession.
That leaves us with five professions to ponder for two spots: necromancer, monk, ritualist, paragon, and dervish, and the 2nd new one.
I originally predicted Monk as one of the four professions we’d get before the convention demos this summer, but since then we’ve learned that there’s no dedicated healing class in GW2. As such, I figure it’s difficult to bring back the idea of the Monk because of this. What would they do? Just smite? We may not see them at all. On the same token, though, monks were so important to GW:Classic lore and are direct hands of Dwayna and Balthazaar (I mean just look at Mhenlo, come on!) that it’s also hard to imagine Tyria without them. Regardless, I have my doubts they’d be the next reveal anyway.
Necromancer / Mesmer
Two of the most unique and fun classes in the history of online gaming. The Necromancer of Guild Wars is an agent of darkness whose affinities are that of blood, curses, and raising the dead. Necromancers had many skills that required sacrifices of their own health or using the bodies of others to raise an army. Mesmers are enchanters by nature, using illusions and hexes to inflict damage or cause their enemies to damage themselves. They are also apt at interrupting and shutting down foes for small periods of time.
Do to their uniqueness and utility, I feel these professions were what set Guilds Wars apart from all other MMO’s at the time of its release. They were also considered the more advanced classes to play, and are both hugely affective in PvP. Because of their uniqueness to Guild Wars, I feel they have a chance of staying, though likely in a combined form. Their skills generally synergied well (illusion, domnation, and curses, for instance, were practically the same). I think Mesmers will be a new adventure class, getting an upgrade from cloth to leather and able to use pistols. Additionally, they will either be absorbing some of the Necromancer mechanics, or necros will be coming in a later expac as an additional class. The last of the original six is a toss up between Monk and Necromancer.
Dervish / Paragon
I’m certain these will be cut from GW2. First off, the exclusion of scythes and spears in the weapon list is one huge indicator. There’s really no room for these guys in GW2, at least not off the bat. Despite their God Forms, the dervish were nothing more than self healing warriors that used scythes for AoE. I feel the idea of the Paragon will find it’s home in the 2nd Solider class: what I think will be the Seraph profession as indicated by the War in Kyrta who may use shouts and buffs. The picture has this profession holding a shield and mace, a weapon grouping that was suggested in a Q&A as being a support combo.
I don’t think Rit will be one of the original 8, but I have a feeling we may see them come back along with Necros in a future expansion. They are a different and fun class with enough uniqueness as far as spirit summons, weapon skills, and channeling to bring them back eventually.
So who’s next?
I’m going to go out on a limb here with my prediction: I think we may be seeing the first of the two new professions next.
Why do I think this? It would make sense with 8 professions. Three already known: ele, warrior, ranger, followed by a new profession in mid August, right in the nick of time for Gamescom when the demo comes out. The new profession would be the big draw for existing fans, while the game itself will draw curious newcomers. Then the cycle begins anew: Assassin, Mesmer, Necro/Monk, new profession. By December, all eight professions are known, just in time for the first rounds of closed beta in January.
We’ve already seen a lot of this new soldier profession – 8 on the image -, although I’m sure right now s/he’s been easily confused with warriors. Still, though, I think a few of the screens are of this new class (wings on the head).
If not, though, I predict the next reveal to be the assassin.
First off, based on the image above we know they will be in there. We’ve seen them in screenshots now, and there seems to be a small pattern with the image on the official site. They seem to be revealing the classes spiraling outward from the middle. The assassin (lower left, crouched) would be the logical next step, and as a close-ranged fast melee class, would fit nicely.
What breaks the pattern, though, is the Scholar  > Solidier  > Adventurer  > Adventurer ??
Due to the weird armor break down, though (3 cloth, 3 leather, 2 metal) it’s not logical to follow a set pattern that way.
Anyway, if we’re going by this I predict the following (as to the pic):
7) New Scholar (If Mesmer is an Adventurer) or new Adventurer (Gunner class, if mesmer is Scholar)
8) New Soldier
If we’re going by my original prediction + the image, I’d expect:
4) New Soldier
5) Mesmer (6 on pic)
6) Monk/Necro (5 on pic)
7) Assassin (4 on pic)
8) New Scholar/Adventurer (7 on pic)
Time to wait and see!