Arena Net designers Jon Peters and Isaiah Cartwright unveil the new guardian profession in Guild Wars 2, as well as discuss more details on the game and how it will differ from the original Guild Wars.
The original Guild Wars was a hack-and-slash action role-playing game that was notable for a lot of reasons, like its beautiful artwork, unique network technology that quickly streamed the game onto your computer from a tiny installer file, and kind-of-but-not-really massively multiplayer gameplay. It was also notable for its unusual profession system, which let you choose two different professions for your character, so that you could be an assassin with monastic healing powers or a bow-and-arrow-wielding ranger with an assassin's teleportation powers. It's already a matter of public record that Guild Wars 2 is removing the dual profession system in favor of one character, one profession. But as Arena Net game designer Jon Peters and systems design lead Isaiah Cartwright explain, this change in focus isn't a bad thing. It's a good thing that will let players take advantage of each profession's unique powers while being able to do a little bit of everything.
In fact, according to the two designers, the newly revealed guardian profession is a perfect example of how Guild Wars 2 will let players focus on a single profession while being able to take on multiple roles in battle. Guardians are intended to be among the most powerful support characters in the game, thanks to their wide array of magical powers that buff (strengthen) teammates and change the playing field with AOE abilities (area-of-effect abilities that change the properties of the surrounding area). These powers and abilities take the form of symbols--magical icons that appear on the ground beneath their feet to buff allies or hamper enemies, as well as wards, which are also placed on the ground but act as walls that prevent movement. The profession can also use an aegis ability to block an incoming attack, along with spirit weapons--ghostly weapons that, when summoned, deal a powerful blow in battle before disappearing. But despite these skills, guardians can also take the frontline and occupy their enemies' attention (also known as tanking in online game parlance) while less-armored allies cast magic spells or sling arrows from the back, wielding two-handed weapons, such as hammers, greatswords, and staves or one-handed weapons, such as maces, swords, or scepters. Guardians also possess three different virtue abilities, which can be toggled on or off to grant powerful bonuses either to the guardians themselves or to teammates. These include justice, which causes your weapons to deal additional burning damage; courage, which activates the aegis blocking ability; and resolve, which triggers health regeneration. For even more information, we sat down with Arena Net's designers.
GameSpot: Give us an overview of the guardian class. What are the profession's main features? What kind of player will find this class appealing?
Jon Peters: The guardian is one of our soldier professions--a heavy-armor profession. Some of his main features include going back and forth between magic and melee attacks. He's built to appeal to players who want to help other players, basically. He's a more support-oriented profession. His profession mechanic is virtues, a personal buff, which he can sacrifice to help his allies. We've boiled down what we think is the core of the healer profession in other games. We don't think it's really all about clicking on health bars and then clicking on "heal" buttons. We think it's more about being able to give something of yourself to help your allies.
Isaiah Cartwright: Some of the basics that we tried to root into this class, like with all of our classes, is versatility within the profession; being able to do different things. One thing that the guardian does is provide support, as John said, and help allies in a lot of different ways. Virtue is his core mechanic, but it's also built into a lot of his skills. He can build force fields and protect allies from projectiles and other types of protection. We really tried to mix in, throughout the guardian's entire list of skills, ways that he can affect his allies. A good example is the protector strike skill, which lets him perform a blocking move, similar to the warrior's block. But this one blocks for everyone in the area, so as soon as [any allies] in the area get hit, the guardian will perform a huge counterattack in the area that knocks back enemies. So this lets him run up to allies and block for them and knock a bunch of enemies back.
JP:And just to add some other examples…everyone has abilities along these lines. If you take a warrior and a guardian, and you need to defend a teammate who's being attacked, a guardian can place a ward on the ground, which is basically a line on the ground that prevents enemies from crossing. A warrior, on the other hand, might just walk up to the enemy, pull out his hammer and send the enemy flying or knock it down. So, the warrior's a much more brute-force class, while the guardian is more about tactically controlling the battlefield.
GS: Please explain the guardian's ward abilities. They're clearly positional, for instance. How can they be used with other characters' abilities? How can they be used with Guild Wars 2's interactive environments?
JP: One really great example is one of the guardian's ring-shaped wards, which lets you encircle a teammate to keep your ally safe. But this skill also has an offensive use; you can ring an enemy in with this ward and your allies can use their AOE spells to a much greater effect since this enemy is stuck and he can't move out of the ward as easily. So, the target of the ward is going to be forced to rely more on blocking than on dodging out of the way. It totally changes the dynamics of combat in a situation like that.
IC: And if you're trying to run away, especially from enemies shooting projectiles at you, the guardian can use a wall of deflection ability to make those projectiles bounce right back at the shooters. You can use this to shield yourself from enemy fire, or you can use it to press into your enemies offensively. There's a real duality to the guardian's skills that lets him focus either on defense or on offense, depending on what the situation calls for.
JP: Another example is a focus skill called ray of judgment. You can target a group of enemies with this skill, which works a bit like a chain lightning type of effect that bounces between different targets. But this spell can also grant protective bonuses to any allies in the area, so you might even want to toss this skill into a fight where there are some allies in there too. Also, skills that are used with one single weapon are versatile for the guardian. While some other professions may have to swap out entire weapon sets to get the most out of their skills, the guardian can operate pretty smoothly without as much swapping.
2011 is the year of mmo , and since gw is not a monthly fee`s game i hope it be as good as the other`s .
Guild wars had my favourite ranger class out of any game and now they are releasing a gunner too :O the choices!
@Kooken58 It's all a matter of personal preference. For example: 1. I like the 1st one's controls, so if they change them in GW2 I think I'll really consider reversing them to match the original game's. 2. I hate seeing red letters on my screen saying "The target is too far" or "Out of range" that is present in some other MMO's, and I have always liked GW's automatic turning of my character to the target and automatic running to the edge of range. And regarding instancing - they've already explained that. Several times. It's all on the official website.
If they change the controls from the first one and your character doesnt do stupid stuff like automatically run in range of the target if they are out of range...then this game might be good. Just some of the stupid stuff from the first one I hated....like the instancing.
@simon1812; I'll I have to say is now you'll really have to keep an eye on the action and watch where your going especially when fighting near an edge:)
@sircyrus Well I'm glad that you have edited your post so it's clearer now. And I apologize for misunderstanding. Yes, it is from the last expansion, Eye of the North, just like the character from the first page's last screenshot - Asura guardian, which is why they are unknown to you.
I have a question, I just saw in the video how the guardian hits the monster with his hammer and sends him flying away... how is that going to work with edges? I mean will my character be able to kick enemies out of the edge of stuff like bridges or the roof of a building? will my char be able be thrown himself out of a bridge if Im not careful? and how would that work? will my char die without a chance or can he be revived either way? just curious.
sircyrus that little thing is an Asura, dude u have to know your games lore, and in part u r right their are totally out of place because their civilization happens to be underground, they were driven to the surface because of the threat posed by the destroyer (GW:EotN's villain) and its army. you should check the official website of GuildWars2 (or at least Guildwiki) for more information.
Looking great and well worth my money.If it can stay unique without any problems im happy.Well looking at this it will do fine.No true definition of role is fine. The comment about 5 people soloing in the same vicinity made me laugh though.Didnt he read that you switch your own role and forfill what you can?If you want to dps then go for it, if you want to heal go for it, if you want to tank then go for it.Just tell your party what your doing at the time then your fine.Communication solves most problems and will make sure its not a solofest or a requirement fest like a certain game we all know.Gearscores,item lvls, whats your spec??? Ya no im so glad i let that game expire on my account.
@johncollins80 Like Dandyslayer13 mentioned, I was speaking about the purple-eyed big head small body thing in the last screenshot of the first page of the article, not the last screenshot of the article. I only ever bought Guild Wars CE when it came out. None of the expansions. So if they're from one of those, I wouldn't have seen it. Right away it reminded me of the Gamecube Crystal Chronicles, Which given what was in vanilla GW, it seemed out of place.
@sircyrus The last screenshot is of one of the Norn outposts/towns. I can't say which one exactly but to me it looks like Sifhalla. And I think you would know that if you have really played Eye of the North expansion, but if you haven't - how can you say it doesn't look like Guild Wars when you yourself don't know how does it look?
@Shinkada; Theres plenty of specific roles all ArenaNet is doing is allowing you to define your role not the other way around as it's always been. So if you want be a tank warrior then be a tank but if you want to do more than just tank with your warrior now you can! ArenaNet is just giving you the tools to build what you want. There not giving you the building or the plans for the building just the tools nothing more. On another note, I WANT THIS NOW lol.
What the heck is that last screenshot on page 1 of? It looks like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, not Guild Wars.
Can't wait, that's for sure. Been waiting for a decent MMO to come out, something that's a little different. Guild Wars always was a little different, and that's what made it great. Looking forward to some good ol' PvP.
I am hardcore GW fan, best MMO of its time and F2P cant beat that. I would like to see more diverse loot and more of an endgame to acquire great loots, versus just better looking costumes. If they fix this I am in all the way.
I love the game, no question! But I do like the part of the interview, where it says below the picture, that "Guild Wars 2 will launch later this year.". Simply love it, and hope they'll finish it really soon!!
@Shinkada What you said about 5 people soloing in the same vicinity is completely wrong. Not having specific tank/healer/DPS classes doesn't mean these roles don't exist. The difference between GW2 and your typical MMO is that roles in GW2 are much more dynamic. This is really the true meaning of hybrid classes. Often in games, you have classes that, while they are known as hybrid, their role remains either tanking, DPS or healing in a scenario, but not all of them at the same time. In Guild Wars however, your roles varies from fight to fight, and even within a fight. You may have to tank at the start, heal at the same time, and switch to DPS when necessary. That brings a lot of depth and creativity to gameplay. It rewards dynamic players who can switch roles when needed. If ArenaNet make this work, and I'm optimistic about this knowing they are quality developers, Guild Wars 2 is going to be a massive hit. No monthley fees? How are others going to compete with them?
guildwars gameplay videos (not actual gameplay) always came sucks to me, why dont you use actual game play videos with interface which is probably awesome :) . guildwars 1 also introduced this way and after i bought game i saw actual game play is cannot be compared with this type videos. different angles bla bla sucks. you are making awesame game im waiting with my four eyes but this video looks like silk road ...
seems like a combination of monk, ritualist and paragon, with a touch of warrior and elementalist thrown in, should be interesting
Oh my god, comparing this to other mmo's coming out this year it's hard to think this is going to be without monthly fees.
@Morfessa Have you even seen any gameplay footage before you made that comment? Anyway i just came....
I'm still a little worried about this whole 'no specific roles' thing. I mean of course I can see the good but it's going to be very hard to pull off. Just like Guild Wars 1 had a big problem of pigeon-holing players too hard to the point where they were too specialized, you can't just swing the complete other way and give players no specialty or it doesn't feel right. What's the point of healing if everyone can do it? What's the point of tanking if everyone can do it? Eventually you're not really working as a team, you're just five people soloing in the same vicinity. I really do hope this works out well though because certain things - such as the graphics especially - are just amazing.
GW2, MS3, DAO2 mmm lots of good PC games coming this year. Even the Duke is coming out. Poor pocket. ;)
Awesome. Just awesome. Can't wait for this game, I hope it really pays off for these guys. ... now can we have the Mesmer? ;)
sounds interesting, I'l give it a chance to this guardian, though I favor brute force -my very first character in GW is warrior- I changed later to the scythe-carrying dervish whose style I found far more interesting and useful, cant wait to see what the other professions are about. PS Im hoping for something dervish-like next...crossing fingers till then :P
So far, Guardian is gonna be my first pick. I love playing any Cleric-type class/profession. So fun!!!
ArenaNet sure is crafting one hell of a game! All this goodness without a monthly fee. Take that Blizzard! :D
@Oyeboy94 YEah, that's one of the reason that didn't make me excited. I want the Ritualist at the game. It's the MOST suport-centered class in GW1 imho. This paladin lowers the probability of a ritualist being on the game. Well, I hope not. I think the ritualist is much more interesting and new that the old paladin.
@Morfessa What are you talking about, the animation is great. If you want to complain about animation, you should check out SW:TOR. Man I hope this will come out soon, been waiting for it a long time now.
@Nodashi You can't expect ArenaNet to be able to please everybody. You may not like it, other people may not like it. But the support type players will like it. It's called versatility, MMO's that revolve around teamwork wouldn't work without support...so, just sayin'.
What would make GW2 a total winner? A true physics engine, destructible environments, true physics knockbacks...yeah!
- Release Date: Aug 28, 2012 (US)
- ESRB: TTitles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older.
- Release Date: TBA (US)
- ESRB: TTitles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older.