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!

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.

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 [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.

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?

Guild Wars 2!!!

This past weekend saw some major announcements in the gaming community, what with Gamecom and Blizzcon going on. So much to babble about, so I’ll start with Guild Wars.

I noticed a lot of hustle and bustle around the Guild Wars 2 facebook page over earlier parts of the week, mostly concept art. Low and behold, Friday the folks over at ArenaNet graced us with the first official Guild Wars 2 trailer.

Needless to say, I had a moment.

The trailer itself is a gorgeous mix of animated concept art that transitions into actual gameplay footage. Arenanet has done a great job of keeping this project under wraps. The whole Guild Wars community was pleasantly surprised to find that the game has indeed been under development over the past 2 years since its initial announcement, and much further along than we expected.

We see the first view of the Sylvari as a playable race in what looks like Mesmer, Dervish, and Elementalist garb . The Asura look amazing with the updated models and graphics, too. A lot less evil bunny! The Humans, Norn, and Charr so far all look great as well. It’s hard to really say much, though, at this point. Lots of eye candy, though, and true to the original game, we have breathtaking landscapes that add to the beauty of the Guild Wars world.

No beta has been announced yet, as the developers want to dazzle players when they take their first steps through the new world. There has been a rumored Q4 2010 release has been circulating around the net, though, so we may see beta coming spring 2010.

I’ll be sacrificing goats to the gods of Beta in hopes for a chance to test run the game.

With this new surge of eye candy and information, the Guild Wars community has also seen a surge in activity. There are tons of places to go to share in the glory of all this media, so have a look at it.
Official site with the trailer, available for download or stream. Links to the site’s facebook, twitter,
GuildWars Guru has always managed to be a center for community and a link between the Arenanet Team and Players. Without fail they’ve launched a GW2 version of their site, and Arena reps have also registered to be a part of the community. I imagine Guru will edge it’s way as the #1 unofficial center for the new game.

Definitely join and jump in on the discussions!
Check out the trailer, too: