Guild Wars Profile Preview - The Elementalist

It's day five of our character profiles of Guild Wars' character classes, and today we'll take an up-close look at the spectacular firepower of the elementalist.

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Role-playing games typically employ lots of hacking, slashing, and fancy magic spells to vanquish monsters, which, in turn, earns you treasure, new abilities, and additional experience levels. This principal concept is the basis for ArenaNet's upcoming competitive online game Guild Wars. However, the new high-fantasy offering is currently being geared more toward head-to-head competition. You'll create a character with two professions--a primary and a secondary one--from a starting group of six. Each profession has a whopping 75 skills, and since you can choose two per character, you'll be able to choose from a total of 150. However, you'll be able to use only eight of them at one time. The game's developer has likened the strategy of choosing your active skills from your character's huge pool of potential ones to the process of building a playing deck in the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. While creating a strong character will require strategy, adapting to your enemies' moves will require even-more-careful planning.

Many of the elementalist's destructive powers aren't all that subtle. Then again, when an elementalist can rain fire on your enemies nonstop, maybe these destructive powers don't always have to be all that subtle.

Thankfully, you'll be able to choose a powerful profession, like that of the elementalist. Keep an eye on GameSpot's coverage of Guild Wars for more character profiles, and be sure to watch an exclusive developer interview and exclusive new footage from the game, which is linked below. These profile stories should help you decide what kind of character you'll play in the upcoming "world preview event" on Friday, October 29--which happens to be tomorrow--in which ArenaNet will open up a test version of the game for you to try out. If you don't make it in to that weekend event--and you're a GameSpot member--don't worry. You'll also be able to try out the game the following weekend--of November 5--in an enhanced event that will feature even more unlocked content.

The Elementalist

Elementalists are powerful wizards that command the very forces of nature to deliver devastating, damaging magics. Elementalists are quite possibly the most powerful damage-dealers in the whole game thanks to their command of the four elements: fire, air, earth, and water. Fire magic is the most obvious magic, and it includes the ability to conjure flames within an area, which leads to the damaging of groups of enemies all at once. Air magic, instead, focuses on individual targets, and it deals concentrated amounts of damage with lightning and electricity-based attacks. Earth magic is defensive in nature and can conjure up additional armor, while water magic can slow or even stop enemies in their tracks by freezing them.

Is this the face that launched a thousand lightning bolts?

Attributes and Abilities

Primary Attribute:
Energy Storage

The energy storage primary attribute may be used only by characters that chose the elementalist as a primary class. This attribute lets characters create exceptionally large stores of maximum energy. This ability goes hand in hand with some of the elementalist's most energy-costly skills, but it also provides a larger reservoir of energy for the elementalist's secondary class.

Additional Abilities:
Wards / Exhaustion Spells / Glyphs

Elementalists are able to use wards, which are magical fields they can summon that carry certain special effects, such as protective abilities that shield all allies within range.

The profession also possesses a special class of magic spells known as "exhaustion" spells. While these spells are exceptionally powerful and damaging--even for an elementalist--they will actually temporarily decrease the character's maximum energy pool.

Elementalists may also use glyphs, which are spell-like effects that increase the power of the next skill used.

Skill List

Normal, Non-Elite Skills: Please note: This skill list is based on the current, prerelease version of the game and is subject to change. Each profession possesses 75 skills total, including 50 normal skills and 25 "elite" skills. Below you can find the most current listing of normal skills. Elite skills will be revealed later. (Additionally, ArenaNet is only revealing a handful of skill descriptions for each class at this time.)

IconSkill and Description
Aftershock
Air Attunement
Armor of Earth
For 30 seconds, you gain 60 armor, but move 14% slower than normal.
Armor of Frost
Armor of Mist
Aura of Restoration
For 60 seconds, you are healed for 200% of the Energy cost each time you cast a spell.
Blinding Flash
Blurred Vision
Chain Lightning
Conjure Flame
Conjure Frost
Conjure Lightning
Crystal Wave
Deep Freeze
Earth Attunement
Earthquake
Enervating Charge
Eruption
Fire Attunement
Fire Storm
For 10 seconds, the area around target foe is bombarded with a rain of fire that strikes for 18 fire damage each second.
Fireball
Flame Burst
Flare
Flare flies toward target foe, striking for 23 fire damage if it hits.
Frozen Burst
Foes adjacent to you are struck for 46 cold damage and are slowed for 11 seconds.
Gale
Knock down target foe. This spell causes Exhaustion.
Glyph of Elemental Power
Glyph of Gesture
Glyph of Lesser Energy
Your next spell costs 15 less Energy to cast.
Glyph of Sacrifice
Grasping Earth
Ice Prison
Ice Spear
Ice Spikes
Target and nearby foes are struck for 46 cold damage and are slowed for 6 seconds.
Immolate
Incendiary Bonds
Inferno
Deal 60 fire damage to nearby enemies.
Iron Mist
Kinetic Armor
Lava Font
For 5 seconds, foes near this location are struck for 18 fire damage.
Lightning Strike
Strike target foe for 24 lightning damage.
Lightning Javelin
Lightning Orb
Lightning Orb flies toward target foe and strikes for 50 lightning damage if it hits.
Lightning Touch
Maelstrom
Magnetic Aura
Mark of Rodgort
Meteor
Meteor Shower
Obsidian Flame
Phoenix
Rodgort's Invocation
Rust
Searing Heat
Shard Storm
This projectile strikes for 46 damage and slows the target's movement for 6 seconds.
Shock
Stone Daggers
Stoning
Ward Against Elements
Ward Against Foes
Ward Against Melee
You create a Ward Against Melee at your current location. For 20 seconds, allies in this area have a 50% chance to evade melee attacks.
Water Attunement
Watery Aura
Whirlwind
All adjacent foes take 29 cold damage. Attacking foes struck by Whirlwind are knocked down.
Windborne Speed

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