Guild Wars Profile Preview - The Ranger

Our series of character profiles for ArenaNet's upcoming online role-playing game continues with the wilderness-exploring ways of the ranger profession.


Like other role-playing games, ArenaNet's Guild Wars will let you play as a character in a colorful fantasy world, in addition to letting you fight monsters and other enemies to gain experience points, fabulous treasures, and, eventually, experience levels that will boost your character's overall power. But unlike other games, Guild Wars will focus on carefully choosing specific skills for your character. In fact, each of the game's six professions has 75 skills each, and you'll be able to choose both a primary and a secondary profession. The primary profession carries with it a primary attribute and the ability to use certain types of armor, but otherwise, each character will have access to as many as 150 different skills, including 75 from each profession chosen, though you can use only eight at any given moment.

Guild Wars will challenge you to be smarter than the average ranger.
Guild Wars will challenge you to be smarter than the average ranger.

Today, we'll focus on the ranger, Guild Wars' skilled archer and animal trainer. Keep an eye on GameSpot's preview section 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, 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 in an enhanced event that will feature even more unlocked content.

The Ranger

Using their bows, rangers possess some of the most powerful and far-reaching ranged attacks in the entire game, and they can learn skills that will let them fire faster, more-damaging, and truer arrows at their enemies. Rangers also possess a line of survival skills that lets them create traps and preparations before venturing into the fray. Traps make excellent perimeter defenses, while preparations, such as coating arrows with poison, can make a ranger more effective in battle. Rangers may also adopt "pets" in the form of a single animal ward, and they may also affect the entire game with "global enchanments."

The ranger's archery abilities are a powerful force in battle. And if the enemy draws near, the ranger can rely on pets for defense.
The ranger's archery abilities are a powerful force in battle. And if the enemy draws near, the ranger can rely on pets for defense.

Attributes and Abilities

Primary Attribute:

The ranger's primary attribute, which can be used only by characters that chose the ranger as a primary class, is "expertise," an ability that reduces the energy cost for all of a ranger's skills. The most obvious strategy is to use expertise in conjunction with the ranger's many archery attacks to fire continuous flights of arrows, but this ability applies to all of the character's skills. A ranger/mesmer, for instance, might take advantage of this ability by repeatedly applying harmful hexes on enemy characters to continuously detract from their powers.

Additional Abilities:
Beast Mastery / Nature Lore

Rangers are the only class in the game to possess beast mastery, which is the ability to go into the wild to tame a permanent animal companion. Currently, Guild Wars offers three kinds of "pets": a warthog, a bird of prey, and a lynx. An animal companion will be persistent throughout the life of your character, and it will actually gain experience levels and become stronger over time...if it survives.

The ranger is also the only profession in the game that possesses nature lore--which is a line of "global enchantment" skills--far-reachingsorceries that affect the entire world, or, at least, all characters in a specific mission or battle. A ranger may have only one of these powerful spells in place at a time.

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 profession at this time.)

IconSkill and Description
Hunter's Shot
Pin Down
If Pin Down hits, your target is "Crippled." (50% miss chance with Marksmanship 4 or less.)
Power Shot
If Power Shot hits, you strike for +20 damage (before armor).
Dual Shot
Shoot two arrows simultaneously at target foe. These arrows deal 25% less damage than normal.
Quick Shot
Penetrating Attack
This attack has 50% armor penetration.
Distracting Shot
Precision Shot
Called Shot
Debilitating Shot
Point Blank Shot
Tongue Biter
Call of Ferocity
Charm Animal
Call of Protection
For 120 seconds, your animal companions have 7 base damage reduction.
Call of Elemental Protection
Call of Vitality
Call of Haste
Call of Healing
Call of Resilience
Call of Feeding
Call of Aggression
For 60 seconds, attacks by your animal companions have base 50% armor penetration.
Call of Brutality
Call of Disruption
Revive Animal
Target-touched dead animal companion comes back to life with 70 Health.
Symbiotic Bond
For 5 seconds, you move 33% faster than normal and have a 75% chance to "evade" incoming arrows. Dodge ends if you attack.
Savage Shot
Antidote Signet
Marksman's Wager
Ignite Arrows
For 12 seconds, your arrows explode on contact, dealing 22 fire damage. This action is easily interrupted.
Read the Wind
Kindle Arrows
Choking Gas
Apply Poison
Comfort Animal
You heal your animal companion for 52 points.
Troll Unguent
For 10 seconds, you gain Health regeneration +10.
Otyugh's Cry
Bow Parry
Dryder's Defenses
Lightning Reflexes
For 5 seconds, you have a 50% chance to "evade" melee and arrow attacks.
Tiger's Fury
Strider's Reflexes
Serpent's Quickness
Dust Trap
Barbed Trap
Flame Trap
Healing Spring
Edge of Extinction
For 150 seconds, whenever any creature dies, Edge of Extinction deals 25 damage to all nearby creatures of the same type.
Greater Conflagration
Fertile Season
Primal Echoes
Predatory Season
Frozen Soil
Favorable Winds
For 150 seconds, arrows move twice as fast as normal and strike for +3 damage (before armor).
High Winds
Energizing Wind
Quickening Zephyr
For 150 seconds, all skills recharge twice as fast as normal.
Nature's Renewal

Editor's note 10/27/04: The preview originally stated Guild Wars characters could choose 10 skills, when in fact they can choose only eight. GameSpot regrets the error.

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