Guild Wars 2 Ranger Videos

July 16, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, video | 18 Comments
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When the Guild Wars 2 elementalist videos came out it took me over a month to really analyze them. With the warrior videos I was much faster, but really considering the amount of things to discuss who can really blame me for taking my time.

I tend to do this because the forum types, although thorough, don’t have a centralized hub of information gleamed from the videos. Their details are spread out through large threads and impossible to read through.

As time goes on and more information is released through other venues I expect there will be less to comment on in the skill videos, but for now I’m expecting this post to be pretty long.

One last thing before I start. I’d once again like to decry Arenanets decision to not post their skill videos on their youtube channel. I know they want to get people to go to their website, but they’d probably get far more hits to GuildWars2.com by linking the site in their video or in the video description on youtube than by hoping people come to an individual games website on their own. Lots of people use youtube, not lots of people use GW2.com. I’m sure its more about giving gamer websites something to host about GW2 than hits to their own website but whatever.

Barrage

I’m not sure why there appears to be 3 rangers but only 2 pets. All 3 appear to use barrage. The incoming swarm of skritt is surprisingly large, some kind of ambush it seems like, part of an event? Or set up by devs?

Barrage in the original Guild Wars targeted each enemy in a small area specifically. 3 targets in your AoE, 3 arrows go out. Here its seems much more random, much like I might expect a real barrage of arrows to act like. With all 3 rangers doing it, its hard to tell how wide its effect is, but it is an impressive sight.

The skill animation isn’t quite what I’d expect. The initial bubbling of light being drawn into the bow isn’t bad though. I love how, although you can’t see say for instance a knocked arrow, you can see them from the moment they’re fired until they hit a target (with a white/yellowish splash) or hit the ground (with a dusty plume) and quickly get swallowed whole by the earth. It kind of makes me feel like the earth is hollow and you could fall threw at any moment and find hundreds of thousands of arrows, but I digress. The pets also seem to hit with the same white/yellowish splash but whether or not they used any abilities, there didn’t seem to be a visual representation of that.

The weapons seem pretty Guild Wars like. I’m not a bow expert so I can’t tell you if they’re original designs or not, but all 3 at the very least look good. The charr bow is perhaps the best looking. Very war-like, black, and screams charr. You can see the man sheathing his bow at the end.

Always bet on black

The armour looks pretty basic for the most part. The woman seems to bearing fingerless gloves, I love that. Since charr have claws I’m going to assume the female charr here is wearing bracers around her wrists/forearms. The human armour in both cases looks very wearable, very realistic. I think most games go for the absolute absurd in armour and Guild Wars 2 has gone the complete opposite route. The charr pauldron, for lack of a better word, appears to be skirt like. I haven’t taken note previously, but I’ll have to watch for differences among male/female armour amongst charr. I wonder if Tigerfeet is already on top of this.

The setting is easily charr homelands. You could put that area in Grothmar Wardowns and nobody would miss a beat. The immediate area seems to have a lot of chopped down trees and stumps. I’m wondering if the skritt are perhaps defending their logging rights in the above situation. I also wonder if perhaps the trees could be part of an event, chopped down by skritt, you come and stop them, the trees “regrow” and the area is more of a forest the next time you come through. Speculation. Unlikely.

You can toggle off catch phrases. Good, there are a lot of them in Barrage. “Did you hear that?” “Incoming!” “Fire!” “That had to hurt!” “And that’s that.” There’s one other one word phrase that came up and I can’t make out. Anybody catch that? “Whoa” maybe, to stop her pet? The charr doesn’t appear to make much noise at all, none that couldn’t also be attributed to a bear grunting anyway. Have we heard any charr speak?

The death wails/war cries of the skritt are pretty varied, at the very least more than one death moan satisfies me. The pet growls, grunts, sniffs, and squawks are well done, but if I had one complaints to make it would be that the Moa’s beak hits and for that matter most physical hits, just sound like a lot of loud pots and pans banging around.

There are two things I love about the sound in Barrage, the first is the thundering sound of the stampede of skritt coming towards the group. Nice touch Anet. The second is the sound of the arrows. Whether they’re being fired or hitting the ground or hitting an enemy its all wicked. Each sound itself is great, the thwipping of flying arrows, the hard thud of an arrow hitting the ground, the softer fleshier sound of arrows hitting a skritt, I can not commend them enough for these.

Lets make that 3 things, because the catch phrases “Did you hear that?” and “Incoming” react to outside surroundings. I love that they react to outside stimuli.

The human male mullet has got to go. I dislike that hairstyle, but as you may want to sell games in Alabama I’ll understand if you don’t change that. Does the charr have a mohawk? The woman (who reminds me of someone…) looks good, as usual arenanet has paid special attention. She’s wearing jewelry which makes me wonder if its a new kind of armour, aesthetic decoration, or character creation choice.

The moa is ugly as sin. The bear is a bear and couldn’t look less generic bear-like if it tried.

The idle animations are great. The woman tests the air to see which way the wind is blowing (perfect for a ranger) and the man puts his hand to his eyes to block the sun as he says Incoming. Connected?

Finally, several of the skritt appear to have a jug/cask/sack on the back. I’d be curious to figure that out at some point. Some kind of skritt profession maybe?

Hunter’s Call

This video is barely 20 seconds long, but a lot happens I guess.

The skill itself is pretty cool. The charr blows on the warhorn, theres a visual sense of sound vibration (I wonder how that works out in game) and we’re too close up to see just exactly where the birds come from. They come though, at least 4. 3 land on the ogre’s head, while a 4th flies around. Hard to say due to the angle just how many there were. I love the detail here, you can see talons, sharp beaks. The blood mist is a great visual, if a little too thick at one point, but its mistyness and cloudy form is bloody good. I don’t know how Anet plans to get away with a T rating. The birds continuously flap their wings during their pecking and my favourite details in the entire video, the feathers, fly around in the air like a cherry on a sundae. You do get a good look at the birds as they fly away and its a fair distance, not some sudden fade out.

Should have got a screen shot with blood mist but I'm too lazy now

The other skills he uses were described in one of the interviews.

So his three part combo with the sword is; he has a basic attack, and then he has a kick as the next part which kicks the opponent away from him

He doesn’t appear to get to his third “combo” skill (whatever combo means in context here) but moves from the kick back to Hunter’s Call. The attack and kick don’t appear to have intricate animations but the kick itself seem to provide a fair amount of breathing room.

The charr appears to have a very basic sword, the warhorn was difficult to get a good look at due to the whole sound vibration thing, but as far as I can tell there was nothing special about it either. One of the ogres was bare-handed but the other wielded a unsophisticated club, with spikey points and whatnot. It disappears as he’s attacked by the birds, not sure whats up with that.

The charrs armour appears to similar to the armour in Barrage, but darkly coloured. I’m sure the ogres armour is unique to their species (and it does look good) but one ogre appeared to be wearing a helmet.

The club, the helmet, and just barely after the kick landed

The setting appears to be in the shadows of the Great Wall. The charr appear to have populated the area, or at least thats what it looks like to me, perhaps those are signs of ogre encampment. It gives a great sense of scale in any case.

The sound starts with ogre battle cries, and I swear, is that the same voice actor who does Super Mutants in Fallout 3? Its been a while, I’d have to check. Rather than a traditional horn sound, I think it sounds more like, well, I don’t know. It sounds like the pitch goes beyond human hearing though. The sound of birds is very sea gull like. I hate sea gulls. They sound awful (in a good way) and coupling that with the sound of tearing of flesh and you’ve got a very good sound effects guy. I especially like the added touch of the flutter and flapping of wings. This is the last time I’ll comment on death cries/war cries/grunts and snarls of enemies, but they are varied and well done. I will note however the thud when the ogre goes down to his knees, and the louder thud when his whole body hits the ground.

Final notes would just be that the setting itself is some place I want to go, and the ogres look great. Nice monster design.

Spread Shot

Not much longer than Hunter’s Call, this video is also short. I love the casual idle animation of twirling the sword in her hand, but I’m not sure I’ll ever like the swaying back and forth most characters seem to have. I don’t always have to be moving.

The first skill appears to be the mentioned Sun Spirit skill. Its much smaller in dimension than most spirits in Guild Wars. I also wonder why an elementalist can’t throw down a fire ward of some sort for rangers to shoot through that would serve the same purpose but whatever. The whole circle appears to be on fire, and you with it, until you move outside of it. The earth beneath the spirit appears to turn quite red hot, molten even. As with similar skills the definitions of the range of the skill are quite obvious. Impossible to say how long it lasts. The torch appears to set off the flames or perhaps thats my imagination.

The second skill is obviously Spread Shot. It appears to fire 7 arrows at intermediate length, hard to say what angle the spread is at, but about 45 degrees would be fair. It appears to remain at waist level as it travels and of course picks up the flames from the Sun Spirit to do fire damage. It leaves a white visual trail, and a shorter flaming trail if its on fire.

The bow is nothing spectacular, and the sword we’ve seen a few times. This seems to be the first time we get a good look at the torch however. Its got 3 spires, some pretty good flame animation, but otherwise not particularly remarkable. It does somewhat resemble a wand or two from Guild Wars I think.

I like the shineyness of the leather on her armour.

The setting appears to be the shores of Orr. Theres a ship wrecks mast, debris, sand, and the surrounding land is blackened to hell. Devourers tend to love that after all.

What’s the cheesiest catchphrase yet? I think it’s “Die! Die! Die!” although “This will be fun” I’m sure has its fans.

At the very beginning of the video you can hear the torch light-up from (I’m assuming) non-combat mode. You can hear her twirling the sword too, I’m a little astounded by the attention to detail sound wise. The rattling of the devourers has always unsettled me and that continues here. The arrows hitting the devourers sound different than the arrows hitting the skritt. Am I wrong? Other than that the Sun Spirit almost sounds like an explosion going off, and generally the flaming sound effects are good.

Serpent Strike

A very quick video both in terms of length and the skills therein.

I guess I’ll start off by saying “Do a Barrell Roll!” as the ranger actually does one in a half circle around the ettin. While she’s doing that theres a very well done green curling serpent like skill animation, and immediately coming out of it she strikes with a black splotched skill animation that denotes a poison effect.

On the second ettin, after Serpent Strike, the ranger does a simple attack and rolls quite far back. This appears to be Hornet Sting. All the close up ranger attacks appear to have a green hue when activated. During the fleeing portion of Hornet Sting the ranger appears to do a little Superman like move flying away, before turning around and going to her next skill.

But she can leap over tall buildings. Oh wow yeah.

I love that she throws the dagger in the air first, then throws it. The white twirly wisps of air following the dagger aren’t half bad either.

The ettins appear to be using a lightning related charge attack, the air crackles with electricity and they slowly bring down the clubs with a massive thud that sends rock and dust flying.

The weapons of the ranger appear to be a simple gladius and more of a hunting knife than a dagger to my eyes, if somewhat decorative. The ettins clubs are fairly classic spiked jobs, less sophisiticated than even the ogres.

Even less to say about armour here.

Once again the setting appears to be charr territory. There appears to be a barricaded fort nearby but, other than that there isn’t anything of note.

The ettins sound almost disappointed to be dying don’t they? Serpent Strike and Hornet Sting sound a lot like jet noise. The best effect would probably be the dagger being tossed up in the air. Classic.

On a final note the marmaduke doesn’t do much, I wish they’d give us a name for it though. He’s clearly been put on passive stance as well.

Whirling Defense

I might say that Whirling Defense is the best animated skill amongst the videos. It’s quite well done. It actually seems taken straight out of an action movie. It’s very impressive. There doesn’t appear to be any movement or use of the axes that would be entirely impossible. There is also the animated whirling wind surrounding the character, highlighted when it reflects the enemy spells and projectiles.

Other than a couple arrows the grawl seems to be using Lightning Orb.

The axes themselves were pretty unimpressive looking. Low level I’m sure. One looks to be a tribal axe from Guild Wars. I’m too tired to comment on the grawl weapons.

Classic adventurer armour.

Setting again is charr territory, new territory, or Kryta has become much less jungly.

I won’t comment on the grawl cawing, but the character goes from laughing to “Get back!” in a heartbeat. Whirling Defenses block noise is much like a drum.

And that’s how it’s done.

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18 Comments

  1. How will Hunter’s Call work in caves?

    • It will create the environmental effect Avalanche, of course! 🙂

      • 😮

        • Mmmmmmmmmmmagic!

  2. An excellent analysis all around. I’m quite impressed with how the game is looking, low level gear or not.

    • Don’t get me wrong I think the low level gear looks good, I just want to see the high level stuff because i dont’ plan on being low level for long.

      • Low level for long? Have they made any commitment to not having infinite levels yet? This continues to scare me. I hate how WOWers refuse to take on a challange until max level; taking on stuff that is 3-4 levels too low for them all the time. That’s what I used to like about GW before hard/easy mode completing a mission was an achivement.

        • if they had had infinite levels your actual abilities would have leveled out at some point and you wouldn’t have gotten stronger but still leveled, however, they’ve said below 100 as far as leveling goes.

          so what i meant was, I plan on getting to end faster than most people.

  3. These videos always seem to beg more questions than they answer…

    Barrage: I am curious how it is targeting. It seems to have a very broad area of effect, which makes sense for the skill. I noticed however that the arrows seem to be landing both far behind and far infront of the oncoming Skritt. Which makes me wonder if it is either a ground targeting skill or if it has a duration like say Fire Storm. I can understand the arrows behind the Skritt as they are running through the the area of effect. But the arrows far out front almost directly infront of the rangers and nowhere near any enemies seems almost like a preemptive use which makes me think ground targeting. It is really hard to discern the mechanics of the skill from the video. I agree though both visually and aduibly impressive. Based on the manner in which they used it and the range it seemed to have im going to guess a stationary longbow skill.

    Hunter’s Call: Again great visually and audibly but I am left questioning the mechanics. It is obvious that it does damage and I am going to venture a guess and say that it is a DoT skill because it also obviously has a duration and the hit animation seems to be ticking or pulsing. I am curious wether it has any other effects though such as applying a condition such as blind “Go For The Eyes!”, or if it maybe interrupts, which would kind of make sense. If you have a bunch of hawks clawing and pecking at your face and flapping around making all kinds of ruckus, I would imagine it would be rather hard to concentrate on casting a spell. I didn’t notice any tell tale condition animations like black spots for blind or the weird radiating sound wave thing of daze, but then I have no idea what they will look like for GW2 either or if they even will have visual indicators.

    Spread Shot: I hope I am not the only one who’s mind is in the gutter and chuckled at the name…anyway!
    Again visually impressive, but that makes me wonder are the single target bow attacks so lack luster that they wearnt worth showing off? Again the targeting looks a little odd to me I count seven arrows, I would assume that the center arrow would be in line with the target and all the others spreading out from that line. And yet none of the arrows seem to be aimed at a specific target. o.O In the third volley it is pretty obvious that the single devourer on the left is the target and yet the skill hit off center with the middle arrow flying between the devourer on the left and the one directly to the right and far back. Perhaps it is a multi targeting skill and centers accordingly or detects the next closest enemy to your target and centers between the two, I dunno? What you said about the sun spirit, I imagine the elementalist spells will affect the ranger skills just like they do with the warrior, and I imagine the sun spirit probably has other effects than just igniting arrows obviously I dont know though.

    Serpent Strike: Ok I liked this video a lot the skills execution looks very clean and slick. I like the dodge, roll behind, about face, and stab all in one fell swoop. And then the escape, flip and throw of the dagger, that was just smooth. If anything this is what is going to prompt me to play a ranger I think.

    Whirling Defense: This one is interesting, rather than just blocking and dealing some AoE damage like the original whirling defense it is actually reflecting the projectiles back at the attackers, they are being hit by thier own “lightning orbs”. I noticed that it is only projectile attacks in the video though and they didnt show how if at all it will work against melee.

    Overall the visuals and audio are great no big surprise there for me. A little disappointed in their choice of bow skills to showcase, I dunno they were cool and all but for some reason they dont give me much inspiration for playing an archery based ranger. It looks like Barrage/Pet ranged AoE is gunna be what they are all about again. The melee skills and whirling defense on the otherhand look fantastic. I am hoping that atleast with the new professions they will show the Asura and Sylvari in action and some different scenery would be nice too otherwise I am going to get burnt out on humans, Charr, and the Ascalon area before the game is even released.

    • barrage just struck me as being similar to arcing shot but we couldn’t see the target area.

      i would say the blood mist is evidence of bleeding at least, and at one point the blood mist looks pretty black. didn’t know what to make of it.

      get your mind out of the gutter, it really is just you.

      I just thought of spread shot as being similar to cone of cold in DA. you get a target cone shape and go.

      Like I said at some point, not sure which post, but the dodge is what i’ve been waiting for dodge to be in MMOs. instead of being told i have a certain dodge percentage, i’m actually rolling out of the way.

      shortbows will probably be showcased in pvp demo.

      • Yeah Hunter’s Call just seems like conditions would fit with it.

        DA, Dragon Age? I have only played about an hour of it didnt get very far. Do you mean just shoots a cone out whatever direction you are facing and not actually targeting anything? I could see that.

        Yeah there are a couple new MMO’s coming out that look like they will probably have active dodging but they are “action” MMO’s, Blade and Soul, Dragons Nest, and Vindictus off the top of my head. Other than that the most I have ever seen is Allods and Requiem where your character will kind lean to the side as the sword or whatever wooshes past but no actuall side stepping or rolling out of the way.
        Seeing what they are doing with the rangers melee skills really makes me eager to see how they are going to work the assassin. I really like the idea of a light agile fighter.

        • its a graphic overlay on the ground beneath the caster that you rotate with the mouse, you can see where the cone will effect. but maybe it targets someone, i don’t know.

          im’ thinkin teleports are an even bigger part of assassins. the unique mechanic.

  4. I believe that the Charr is the one talking in the Hunter’s Call video. Just because I don’t think the monsters have real banter, just grunts and the occasional word or two.

    In the Spread Shot video, I don’t think that is the Sun Spirit, instead just being a Ranger Torch skill.

    • I agree regarding the “Sun Spirit” skill. I don’t believe it is a Sun Spirit at all. I understood it to be flame trap, i.e. http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Flame_Trap. That would make sense to have it be a torch skill.

      • not much of a trap if you ask me, bigger radius than any previous trap, not exactly going to trick anyone into falling into it. I admit it might not be sun spirit.

        also, don’t see how a torch makes any connection to traps.

        • you use it the fire up the trap.

          • thanks for the support 😛

    • yes you may be right. however, my guess was that the sun spirit is a torch skill.

      as for monsters having banter, they say stuff like “show no mercy” “hurt you” “attack!” “you’re dead!”

      “lets do this” doesn’t sound like its too out of the ordinary but you may be right.


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