Monks of Guild Wars 2

June 6, 2010 at 1:27 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 12 Comments
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Profession concept art -Thanks to GW2Guru

For a while now Arenanet has been hinting that maybe Guild Wars 2 won’t have a normal Tank, DPS, Healer trinity. I’ve speculated for a while now that some of the professions wouldn’t necessarily be coming back in their previous form. Interviews, concept art, and other details point to this.

The main suspect would have to be the monk. It’s virtually a required class in Guild Wars. Monks have been depended on quite heavily and in the early days there was a lot of backlash towards monks. I vaguely remember the Monk Strike of 2006.

I’m not exactly making any big leaps, here, there is plenty of speculation on forums and details in interviews suggesting as much.

For instance, the concept art to the left. Most of it appears in Part 4 of the GDC videos. It kind of matches the art work on the Races page at the Guild Wars 2 website. Not to mention they offer it as a wallpaper on the Elementalist page.

That’s pretty strong evidence that each piece of art indicates a profession. They all correspond to their traditional colors as well, black for assassin, green for ranger, pink for mesmer, yellow for warrior, red for elementalist and blue for monk. Only that doesn’t look anything like a monk. It looks more like a Norn Valkyrie. Like a Paladin or even a Cleric. A big change from the spellcasting, staff wielding, squishy, devotee of Dwayna.

It could be that the monk is now a melee fighter, but otherwise little changed. Anet have not come out and said there is no healing of others at all. Also the smite attribute was innovative, giving some fight to monks, protection prayers was a fairly original take, preventing damage instead of healing it. Monks were not necessarily in need of an overhaul as I’m sure many fans would point out.

Unfortunately that is not the extent of the evidence against a monk profession.

There is of course the skill bar. Each skill bar has a mandatory slot for a healing skill. If every player has a healing skill, that certainly means less emphasis on being healed by others. But how much less? Are they eliminating healing entirely?

Here’s 2 questions and 2 answers from the Guild Wars 2 Guru interview.

GW2Guru: It’s been implied that there may not be a ‘dedicated healer’ class in the game. Is that a role that some classes will excel at filling, or will that form of defense be spread across a team?

Isaiah Cartwright – Game Designer: Healing in GW2 is different from most other MMO’s. One of our goals is that you should always be happy to see other players and this shouldn’t change based on their profession, race, skill choices, or anything else. Which means each player needs to be slightly more self sufficient so that one particular profession is not required to do any given type of content. It’s why we made the healing slot a required part of the skill bar. It allows us to make the heal skill powerful enough so players can take care of themselves. There will still be ways to support your allies and some professions will specialize in support but no single profession is always required.

GW2Guru: Protection Prayers was a highly praised attribute line in Guild Wars, making defensive play more active and skill based rather than just pushing up health bars. Will we see the return of a similar skill type, even if it is not part of a single class?

Eric Flannum: You will definitely see professions with skills that are used proactively to prevent damage. I can’t really say more without revealing specific professions but you’ll see some protection type play mechanics in Guild Wars 2.

In Norse mythology Valkyries often wielded spears and sang war chants

That seems pretty definitive, but doesn’t explain the concept art. Is it a monk at all? Or is it something completely different?

If the new monk is going to be a melee class, it rings a familiar bell with me. The dervish is a melee class designed to buff and heal itself constantly. Could the new monk possibly take on some of the aspects of a dervish?

The dervish had an interesting design, hinging on enchanting yourself and then figuring out when to remove those enchantments. Protection monks did nothing but enchant people. There’s more than enough room to start blending the two if they wanted.

There’s at least 3 professions I suspect aren’t coming back as they were. I’ve speculated in the past the necromancer and the ritualist cover some of the same ground, perhaps it could return as a summoner. Notice of the 6 original professions, it’s the only one not in the above concept art. If the spirit summoning aspects of the ritualist are diverted to a new necro/ritualist profession, that leaves a hole in the buffing, healing and protection roles the ritualist served.

I doubt the paragon is returning as it was either. Perhaps it is more closely entwined with monks than the dervish. It wasn’t melee but wielded a spear and shield, buffed and healed others. It certainly fits with a more valkyrie approach, but the Norse approach to the concept art probably comes from the norn, not the profession.

It’s pretty clear, especially from some of the interview evidence, that the monk of Guild Wars is dead. Probably in the name of soloing. That’s a damn shame to be honest, although it did perpetuate the Tank, DPS, Heal trinity I thought the GW monk was a very unique class in some ways. A Dungeons & Dragons style Cleric isn’t a complete disaster, but I can’t help but wonder just how many nerds will be completely outraged by the change.



  1. I have to agree with the assumption that it is going to be more along the lines of a cleric holy warrior type class. I dont recall where it was said but I remember reading that there will be a couple of heavy armored classes. I guess it could be said about a lot of the classes that it is somewhat stereotypical, but I hate to think it is going to be a “Paladin” it just seems kind of cliche and over done. I suppose it doesnt really matter what they call it though.

    It appears they are trying to break the mold of the tank & spank MMO, but it is hard to see how they are going to pull that off haveing multiple armor types and classes that traditionally fill those roles. I guess it all just boils down to skills compensating for what the individual classes lack in either defense or offense. It sounds like it will be less about filling a specific role and more about playing a class that fits the style of play you like. Be it an elemantalist or ranger raining death from afar or a warrior or assassin up in the thick of things. Making “GLF Monk” or “GLF Tank!” a thing of the past and instead just seeing “GLF 1 more then g2g!”. Maybe I am way off on this I just cant see how we can have it both ways, classes that fill specific niches and making classes self relient and completely arbitrary.

    I cant imagine they will get rid of the Mesmer as it is probably the most original class of any fantasy game I have ever played. The only other game that I have played that has had anything like it is Allods with its psionicist, which is a really cool class but they made it way OP at first and subsequently nerfed it to death.

    I could see a blend of the Necro and Rit but if they do I hope they stick more with the necromancers image. I know its a bit cliche but I like it. 😛

    I am pretty sure we are going to have assassins. I know I know concept art and confirmed daggers dont mean anything. What leads me to believe they will be making a return is that I was watching the Races of Tryia video the other day. I noticed at one point durring a battle scene a Charr that teleported or rather charged very quickly into a mob. Sure we could say it could have been a warrior, however judging by the fact that they have always seemed to match each profession with a color theme, and that as it did this charge it left a distinctly pinkish purple trail behind it, I am left thinking it was say Deaths Charge? I will watch it again and try and pinpoint the time that it showed it.

    As for whats left I dont know I could see them rehashing the Paragon and Dervish but I kind of hope they will come up with something completely new.

    • Hmmm it doesnt say the time on the offical site video.

      It is towards the end.

      Sylvari: “At a time of uncertain allies”
      Charr: “And dangerous enemies”
      It is at that point on the right side of the screen. I notice that the Charr is wielding an FDS though lol. So I guess I could be wrong but then again since weapons will be more versital and cross class compatible. I am sticking with my assumption until I am proven right or wrong.

  2. Yes I’ve thought this for some time which you’d think is a concern since of the 3k hours ive played, 1.2k of those have been on my monk.
    I love keeping people up and playing smart – its not just about those red bars! Noobs watch red bars.
    Anyway, I look forward to dying over and over again all the while knowing that all 7 other members of my party could have done something about it! lol
    The two heavies pictured above remind me of so many other mmos its a bit scary. They all have the arms (with the two hand weapon) and the tank (with required shield).
    I am hoping we get a real increase in AI in the next GW and that tanking isn’t going to happen since they just aren’t going to be that dumb (looking at WOW again). Man if the mobs in WOW just looked at the healing classes they’d die of a heart attack.
    One of my other for sures is that movement is going to be considerably slower than in GW too…

    • i don’t think the new monk, for lack of a better term, is going to be all that similar to other mmos, anet tends to stray from traditional ideas, but we’ll see.

  3. I thought of the monks as more of a protectice profession, the concept contains 6/8 professions, and mentions of the necromancer makes me doubt its not going to be in GW2, my guess is that the blue one is a defencive profession (mabey a monk, mabey something new) and i doubt Anet will get rid of their popular Monks 😉

    • well a lot has happened since this post merzor, i mean we know that there will not be a dedicated healer of any kind, there won’t be enchantments, and plenty of other information has come out in the past month and a half.

  4. monk was one of the things that made gw unique, it was pretty much the only game that actually had a healing class that could be just based on healing/prot, or obviously smite, imo they look like they are just remaking aion.. i really like gw, but from what i’ve heard about gw2 so far.. sounds like it’s becoming less and less original

    • i don’t know about that. no healing class doesn’t sound unoriginal to me. not to mention some of the other stuff they’re doing.

  5. Looks like a Paragon to me. Of course, it may be a totally new profession, but I think this new profession is close to the Paragon in GW1.

    Also, the Necromancer was revealed 2 months ago, so no worry about him!

    • yeah and this post was posted 4 months ago. but yes i’m sure theres plenty of paragon in there.

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