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Guild Wars 2 Profession Speculation: Reprise

 

In my first speculation post, I was pretty sure we’d be getting either the new class or the rehashed assassin, but instead we got the Necromancer. I got thrown for a loop regarding it’s location on the profession drawing, too. I can fully admit my folly; that first post is pretty old and I had since admitted (especially after reading GoA) on one of our podcasts that Necromancer would make the most sense to be next. So with new speculation on last four classes for Guild Wars, my final predictions for the rest of the releases will be [Theif/Sin] > Mesmer > Templar/Seraph > Engineer/Alchemist/Gunner.

With the convention release being the Necro, the only sound opportunity for one of the two new professions to step up to the plate has passed. I don’t figure there’d be any reason not to leave them for last at this point. So, I’m going to assume the 2nd to last will be the Blue Mace Lady (Soldier) since we’ve at least -seen- a lot of art of this class. The last profession release will be the 3rd Adventurer class that we know pretty much nothing about (Engineer / Alchemist / Gunner). That leaves us with our 2nd Adventurer (Theif) and our 3rd Scholar (Mesmer), both of which have concept art and screenshots from the game that we can pretty much trust at this point.

There’s been a lot of screenshots of a plated class with the feathered-designed helms. At first everybody assumed it was just a warrior wearing pretty armor, but since then there’s enough reason to believe that these soldiers are in fact the new profession, or the armor is in the style of them.  I have a solid feeling the 2nd heavy armor profession will be the Seraph as mentioned in the book. They are predominately a force in Divinity’s Reach, lead by Logan Thackeray, that defends humans but there’s a possibility they will open their doors to other races in the new book, Edge of Destiny. Replacing monks is likely what these guys are doing, so I assume they are going to be the templar / paladin type profession who are charged with buffing and protecting their comrades. For all it’s newness, we have a pretty solid idea with this profession is likely to be about, it’s just the name that escapes us for sure.

The assassin class we’re getting is actually a little mysterious, more so than the [Seraph]. With our current four professions all being able to dual wield daggers, and the ranger getting a lot of the swift poison / dodgy melee mechanics that were what defined the sin in Guild Wars Classic, it’s really up in the air what exactly the new style is going to be. ArenaNet did say way back in the days of yore that we would see old classes return but rehashed enough to be re-named. I think our sin is going to be that class. There are still some old mechanics that’ve yet to be claimed: namely speed buffs and shadow stepping. Good friend and fellow podcaster Malchior silently fumes at the thought of the return of such a thing but I kind of want it to come back. I enjoyed shadowstepping to allies and enemies and it was a difficult skill to use correctly. However, his very logical alternative idea is that the sin’s upgrade will be stealth, something they didn’t have before. It fits; brand new to Guild Wars, it’d be just enough of a shift to warrant a class name change. There were allusions to this profession in the Ghosts of Ascalon book, as well as possible lock-picking. We’ll find out soon as it’s most likely the next big reveal (guessing mid-September).

Ninja stars suggest wall-climbing, stabby stabby goodness may be coming.

Mesmers are equally difficult to pin down. They already said there aren’t any hexes this time around but there are skill classes that are hex-like in their mechanics. With Necromancer not having many, we can assume whatever it is will be the mesmer’s job. I imagine they will be able to dual wield pistols, too. By imagine, I mean hope with all my nerdish heart. I’m not sure if we’re going to see a return of interruptions, the mechanic that absolutely defined mesmers in PvP. With the lack of a dedicated healing class, a huge chunk of utility for interuptions is lost. That isn’t to say they won’t make a come-back in a dumbed down version (not much unlike Fear), but it definitely won’t be to the degree it is in GW:Classic. I assumed they might be different enough to get a name-change, but mesmers the got a specific mention in the Ghosts of Ascalon book which may allude to them still being around.

So down to our final mysterious adventurer profession. There is precious little on this guy, and not even the armor class is truly known (we assume it’s Adventurer, but if the Mesmer is stepped up a level it could be a Scholar). There’s no art or screenshots that could possibly suggest or give any sort of hints. Guru has one lengthy thread on the topic with speculation and gathering of clues. It seems people are leaning towards a funky utility class like Engineer or Alchemist, both of which have gotten passing mention in one way or another but no confirmation on their implementation in the game.

It’s hard to say. ArenaNET is doing an amazing job keeping this last profession under wraps. We’re hoping to get more clues as opposed to simply being kept in the dark until its official release, but who knows!

Final word: in the event A-Net decides to get crafty, they might release that new soldier class after all, in which I will officially throw in the towel on trying to guess.

GW2 Profession Response: Necromancer

Well, we’re halfway through the profession reveals with the Necromancer being officially released this week after its soft release at gamescon last weekend. We did a lot of coverage on what we learned from the con last week on Episode 7 of the Guild Mag Podcast, and we went ahead to discuss the new info on the official release in Episode 8, so give us a listen.

I have to say, although the preview and information seemed kind of short, it’s most certainly been the most unique and exciting profession reveal for me so far.

My favorite character right now in GW: Classic is my necromancer. I generally run Mystic Minion Master as much as possible in PvE and PvP.  I deviate to SS or Discord for PvE, though, and even enjoy a wells / support build every now and then when running PvPvE missions.

Needless to say, the Necro is one of the most versitile and involved professions of Guild Wars, and I’m really excited that they have carried on their overall feel and function into Guild Wars 2. THeir skills are much darker and even creepier than before; even knowing the demo vids are spiced up in post editing, you still really get the feel for macabre awesome that necromancers are all about.

The legacy of the minion master continues, although in a new unique form. Gone are the days of corpse reaping armires, something that would be too difficult in a persistent world where people don’t actually die (any MM who’s suffered from Lack of Bodies syndrome knows how painful this can be!). Instead, we’re getting skills to summon 3 different types of minions. Once summoned, their skill icon turns from a summon to a utility like gaining health or exploding them for AoE damage.

Necromancer threads are pretty badass.

Wells, another unique skill class I loved in GW:C will also be making a comback although only one at a time which is a little sad. Again, with no corpses the Wells will simply be summoned at the caster’s location and remain for a duration depending on that skill and traits, affecting their targets within range. Marks are new and similar to wells, except that they are targeted location and will either activate on their own after a given amount of time or manually by a second click of the skill button.

My favorite new mechanic, without a doubt, is the Death Shroud. Being the masters of death and chaos, Necromancers gain this spirit form instead of going into a downed state (or perhaps in addition to, I’m not 100% sure yet.). While active, they are given a unique set of destructive skills making them especially dangerous when downed.

Without a doubt, I will definitely be choosing Necro as my demo profession and am really excited about reporting in on what that’s gonna be like.

The necro release has been covered all across the internet: Kill Ten Rats scored an interview on the necro with ArenaNet, while PC Gamer, IGN UK, Massively, and MMORPG all excitedly responded to the reveal.

Fellow bloggers and community wigs have been covering the news like mad, as well. Hunter over at Hunter’s Insight goes into some pretty in depth detail on the videos. Nox of Conjure Phantasm’s response was short but hilarious. Belzan responds with some insightful thoughts and comments but isn’t as thrilled with death shrouds as I am!

GuildWars2 Guru is a flutter with responses, concerns, questions, and speculation!

Ghosts of Ascalon: Review

Spoiler Warning: This Ghosts of Ascalon review is spoiler free only up until the indicated point. 

So I finished reading GoA today on my commute to work. And well…. I was disappointed.

First of all, I thought this book wasn’t terribly well written. I’ve never been a fan of Jeff G’s writing style, at least not in his fantasy based-on-a-game books, even keeping in mind that it’s probably dumbed down to cater to gamers, not heavy book readers.

Ghosts of Ascalon ReviewThe awkward use of certain writing and plot devices at random points with no real use annoyed me (that ridiculously misplaced run-on sentence describing the scribe in the dungeon…), his abuse of repetition (trapdoor used 5 times in 2 paragraphs, “he said…she said…they said..said said said”), and random and terrible grammar (“They reached the top. Dougal feeling like a supplicant in the great temple.”) was really distracting from the story.

I also have a hard time enjoying when major plot points are told to us through characters but not shown. I understand that the book series’ aims to bridge the two games, but something about having a character go on for 2 pages telling the stale of what happened to this timeless hero of the past is dull, especially since it happened about four times. The book fell in this awkward no-man’s-land between trying to tell us of this current adventure that had a lot of potential while simultaneously bridging 250 years of lore.

The movement of the plot was slow; by the time real action actually started happening, it was 30 pages from finishing, and then it just -ends- abruptly.

That said, the characterization for the most part was great, and really what saved the book from being a total disappointment. I got a good feel for all the characters and races, although I’d argue it was almost stereotypical. I’d give this a C rating overall – enjoyable as a veteran Guild Wars player and fan of lore in general and decent characterization made it worthwhile. But it falls short in pacing and conclusion that left me feeling unsatisfied.

*Warning: Spoiler heavy beyond the jump….
Continue reading

Guild Wars 2 Community List

Can’t get enough Guild Wars 2? Neither can I. Lucky for us,  the excitement over the new game has spawned a slew of websites, media, and blogs where fans can cover their own views on information and discuss with each other our hopes, worries, and love of the game. And as the guys over at Relics of Orr state: one of the biggest factors in a thriving game is the strength of it’s community. GW has had one of the greatest and most active communities of any game, and that fanbase continues to grow. That’s why it’s important to keep supporting each other continuously to keep the love alive and spread the word!

There are a few different online sources for gathering links, but I thought I’d hop on the bandwagon and put together my own version of a GW2 for anybody who just happens to be looking for quality spots for GW2 info.
If there are any new ones or stuff that I missed, or ones that are down / inactive, let me know in the comments and i’ll keep this updated as much as possible.

Credits: Coehl of Relics of Orr; BigWigKing’s Quest of GW2G Forums, and everyone who posted links on these threads [one] [two].

Community Fanlisting

Relics of Orr Fanlisting
–Coehl over at Relics of Orr put together an awesome fan-listing category on their site. Here you can find a lot of great sites and blogs, and read up on news and their awesome podcast all in one go. Check it out!

Conjure Phantasm Fanlisting
–Nox has a nicely updated fansite listing over on his blog.

Community Websites

Guildwars2Guru.com
–The #1 community for GW2 discussion by far, the GW2G forums boast several hundred active members at any point in time, and thousands of posts and threads covering everything anybody needs to know about GW2: From lore, fan-works, news, and speculation, this is definitely the place to go. Several Community Managers from ArenaNET are also active posters.
Quaggan.com
–Spearheaded by the talented Nox, Quaggan is an in-development Web2.0 centric fansite/forum. While still in the works, the goal of the site is to mimic what Anet aspires to do with GW2: take an old out-dated system and bring it new life. Quaggan aims to provide a social experience like non-other. Definitely give it a go.
Guild Wars @ IncGamers
–IncGamers is one of the oldest and most established online Guild Wars communities out there. They host blogs, have active forums with discussions across a wide spectrum, and also proudly continue to host active Guild Wars 1 discussions. Anyone who goes to Inc-Gamers for their information or community will not be disappointed.
GuildWars2PvP.com
–GW2PvP is a site and forum dedicated soley to the PvP aspects of Guild Wars 2. The community is a bit slower than others right now, but as more and more information on classes, skills, and mechanics are released, the more revved up the PvP community gets for release. Anet has sated that PvP will be a very important part of their new game: come release time, anybody who’s anybody in the PvP metagame will likely be a part of this community.
Guildwars2 Forums
— GW2F are a new, complimentary outlet for anyone looking for a less hectic community to join and discuss the upcoming game. The site is getting itself ready early, with sub-forums for recruitment, in-game community and trading / crafting. Members are currently speculating what sort of features the game might bring.

Media

Podcast: GuildCast
–Revived after a long hiatus, GuildCast is back and better than ever with exclusive interviews, tons of information, and a healthy dosage of bantering with original host Shawn Schuster and Massively’s own Rubi Bayer. Must listen for any fan of Guild Wars!
Podcast: Relics of Orr
–Relics boasts more than just a podcast, but news, community coverage, and it’s own community as well. Hosts Ryan Singleton, Astara Birchall, & Trevor Covington chime in each week to deliver the news and help nurture a thriving community for the franchise; something they consider a key ingredient to the success of any game (and I couldn’t agree more!)
Podcast: GuildMag Podcast
–Supplementary to the GuildMag online fanzine, the GuildMag Podcast aims to expand on content from the publication and give an outlet for the staff discuss beyond giving the facts. Hosted by Sabre Wolf , Malichor, and some weirdo named Izari, tune in for discussions, speculation, and good ol’fashioned verbal dueling.
Video: Sabre Wolf’s Video Info Series
–Good friend and fellow community member Sabre Wolf has been bringing us a periodical video series from the start of the GW2 info explosion. In each video he summarizes and clarifies all the information that’s been released in that period of time, allowing a quick and easy listen / watch for latest news. Anybody who’s new to GW2, behind on the updates, or simply looking to have their memories refreshed should definitely check his videos out first; you will literally learn everything you need to know.
Video: Guild Wars 2 Movies
–A video-centric site that aims to provide a home for Guild Wars 2 related videos. Like youtube for GuildWars2!
Sream: Guild Wars2 Live
–Head up by Peter Chan, Guild Wars 2 Live is set to provide a channel for constant streaming of actual game-play. Currently have official trailers & videos from Anet, gameplay, and paradies on loop when they aren’t streaming live gaming.
Images: GW2 Screenshots
–This blog, run by Nox, is a great collection of images and screen-grabs from pretty much anything and everything released, all in one, easy to navigate place. If you’re simply looking for some visuals on the new game, go here first!

Publications

GuildMag
–A community driven bi-monthly digital magazine, GuildMag aims to offer coverage from all over the world of Tyria: from news, lore, fan art and fiction, interviews, in-game events, and more, GuildMag offers a large source of content as anyone would expect from any magazine. With two issues under their belt and plenty more to come, definitely give GM a go!
Guild Wars Magazine

–Amazingly put together by a single person, Guild Wars Magazine.net is an interactively readable online publication leaning more towards the creative than the factual. Heavy on lore and fiction, the layout is gorgeous and the articles in-depth and interesting to read. Worth a go for anybody who enjoys a whimsical journey.

Blogs & Sites

http://huntersinsight.wordpress.com/
http://secretagentcat.wordpress.com/
http://conjurephantasm.wordpress.com/
http://adventurerjexx.wordpress.com/
http://izziebytes.wordpress.com/
http://casualdoes.wordpress.com/
http://belzan.wordpress.com

http://www.guildwars.us
http://www.guildwars2blog.com
http://www.guild-wars-2.org
http://www.atyrianodyssey.com/
http://www.killtenrats.com/

Guild Wars 2 Profession Speculation

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.

Our last major clue-hub is this collection of class art, 3 of which have been confirmed with the prof releases.

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.

Monk
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.

Ritualist
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 [1] > Solidier [2] > Adventurer [3] > 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):
4) Assasin
5) Monk/Necro
6) Mesmer
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!

GW2 Death & Ressurection is non-existent?

It’s been forever since I’ve covered the future Love of My Life, Guild Wars 2, and what a lame way to treat it.

There’s been a ton of information released of late, and it feels like with each new piece of information ArenaNET releases to the masses, the more and more evident the level of game-breaking innovation we see coming from this major project. Even Tycho from Penny Arcade said that the mere “presence” of GW2 is a force to be reckoned with, and I couldn’t agree more. I think all fans of the Guild Wars Classic are swelling with more than a little pride right now. I know I am.

Over the next few days I’m going to be covering as much of the info as possible and put my thoughts into it.
Today we will cover the dreaded….

Death and Rebirth
ArenaNET Finally released information on death and resurrection in GW2 and gave us the interesting notion that there is none. Oh yes, you heard right.

There is no technial death in Guild Wars 2.

They recognize the need for ‘dying’, or being ‘defeated’ as they call it, as a necessary element in any mmo: it’s there to force players to think about what they are doing, and thus build skill, as well as add drama to combat. However, they don’t want it to be a tedious punishment as it can be in current games. So they changed it.  No more corpse runs, no movement slowing death illness, and, by the light of Dwayna, no freaking Death Penalty. Instead, defeat in GW2 will have an extra step called ‘downed mode’ which means you’ve run out of HP, but you have one last chance to redeem yourself. Your skill bars will change, and if you are able to somehow defeat your enemy in this handicapped state, you will rally and come back to full ability.

If you’re unable to do so, you will then be defeated, which is more akin to passing out. Then you can wait to be revived by an ally (all characters will start with the ability to revive, regardless of race or profession, from day one!) or revive yourself at a waypoint for a little bit of gold. The only punishment that will be instilled is an internal timer. If you pass out repeatedly in succession, it will take longer and longer to be revived. This is likely to keep players from corpse-running to areas they shouldn’t be going at their level.

Thoughts
I love this idea of a Last Stand. It’s going to make combat so much more fun and and ‘dynamic’, the golden word for GW2. The implications for PvP, especially, gets me excited to think about. Try imagining this Downed Mode working with how GvG functions right now, in which dying is a long-term experience. Instead of being completely out of the game, downed allies have a chance to still make an effort or comeback. Such a system could really change

I do question, though, how much time they would have to do so. The downed skills are weak, and I would imagine if in PvP you have a focus (such as killing the support first), they would continue focusing a downed target until they are fully defeated. Is there some sort of protective buff they would get? We do know that PvPers get a special finishing move on Downed opponents, suggesting that maybe a downed player is un-defeatable unless this move is used. I dunno, it’s pretty weird.

The community is still a little iffy on the subject right now, as expected with something new like this. Although not new to multiplayer games (Borderlands, LFD, etc), it’s still a pretty unique concept to instill in a progressive MMORPG.

Well, once again ArenaNET has dropped the ball and is supplying us left and right with new and stunning info on their game. Here’s to a whole lot more bizzare, genre-bending mechanics!

What -will- they come up with next?

GuildMag and Podcast Episode / Issue 2!!

Hey everybody!
So I wanted to give the heads up that GuildMag, the unofficial Guild Wars fan-magazine, finally released it’s second issue! We worked really hard over the past two months on content, design, and extras, and we’re even giving away a costume code to our readers, so check it out!

Also, I’m honored to join Malichor and Sabre Wolf in the re-vamped GuildMag Podcast as a third host. Their second episode (my first, and the first technically ‘GuildMag’ cast) was recorded last night, and Sabre worked his ass off to edit and produce the final file (at 4:30 in the morning! That’s dedication). Check that out here, and leave us feedback on either Guru site or our official forums, or leave a comment on the post. Let us know how we’re doing, and how we can make it better!
Enjoy!
~Izzie