12 Minutes To Total Annihilation

August 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 13 Comments
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It’s pretty clear that Guild Wars 2 is going for a certain amount of shock and awe with their skills. This is exemplified by the amount of skill effects you can see in the official skill videos, and the many gamescom demo videos.

The flashy warrior whirling attacks or the elementalists walls of fire. The upcoming necromancer skill videos kind of blow my mind. They all use a lot of visuals and a lot of motion.

The necromancer unique mechanic lets you turn into a cloud of mist that can move around performing a whole new range of skills, and when its over, you return to your original position back along the smokey trail you left, in this movie like time lapse effect. The necromancer has a lot of clouds too. Death Shroud, Deathly Swarm, Locust Swarm, Poison Cloud. That doesn’t end with the elite, Plague. It turns you into a cloud that infects enemies around you with multiple conditions.

It all looks pretty cool.

It’s when that shock and awe starts to effect game play that people start to get worried.

I was looking at various videos of the elementalist tornado for instance. You actually turn into a large, twisting, gray, tornado of doom that launches enemies into the air. You can move around at will, and during the demo it looked very effective, unbeatable even. I really want to be a tornado at some point.

The ranger has Rampage As One (or as the Germans would have us believe Romp Together) that gives you a 50% movement buff, 100% critical buff, and makes you invulnerable. Visually there is this orange font of gushing skill effect following you and your pet, but I think the shock here is that you’re invulnerable.

Has anyone ever had a good experience with invulnerability in MMOs? Okay sure it says “ignores damage” and what that precisely means is unclear. Yet you’d think Shadow Form might have taught them something about invulnerability.

Of course it’s just a demo, and the recharge time is pretty damn long. 720 seconds in fact. 12 minutes. That’s a long damn time in an MMO. I have to admit as well, it seems pretty awesome to me. Every so often being an unstoppable juggernaut is fun.

Then there are the racial skills. They also have a recharge time of generally around 720 seconds. Are they that powerful as well? I think people would be upset if Bear Form sucked, or if people are forced to take useless racials with them everywhere they go.

So are elites overpowered? I don’t know, I haven’t been able to play. I will say this, Arenanet is well known for nerfing skills. Guild Wars has been all about the skill changes at times. I don’t imagine that will stop with Guild Wars 2, so even if they are overpowered they’ll most likely be changed quickly after launch. As long as the recharge matches the power of the skill I’m happy.

They sure do look good though.

These are the best two videos I could find of Rampage As One and Tornado, but I know there are better ones. Links in the comments would be great.



  1. I usually don’t care about such things, but I’m really curious about everybody having an “I WIN” button on their skill bar will effect PvP. 12 minutes seems like a long time on skill like that. There is a delicate balance required for cooldowns so that people want to use the skills when they are available instead of saving them for special occasions. (Look at the WoW Paladin’s Lay On Hands and its old one hour cooldown to see what I mean.)

    • Yeah i’ve noticed a few people calling it that too “the I Win” button.

      I’m pretty neutral at the moment, but like I said anet is far from shy about playing with their skills. Even if it doesn’t work out at first they’ll change it.

  2. http://www.gametrailers.com/video/gc-10-guild-wars-2/703352

    Video at about 1:20 is an excellent example of the Tornado skill. I almost posted about it comparing it to the tornado scene in Day After Tomorrow, but I couldn’t find a decent video of that scene. Here is a pic though, in case you haven’t seen the movie.

    • (couldn’t get the HTML to work 😦 )

    • that is a good example but i saw a near perfect example of a charr taking on some harpies that i couldn’t find when i wrote this article. i think the tornado effect is awesome, personally.

      • The video you might be thinking of could be the FrostHopemotion part 2 one on GW2Guru.

        YouTube version of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnV9ESWqlOA

        at about the 1:45 point. Pretty darn neat! 🙂

        • yeah thats the one yarr. thanks, i looked all over for that video.

  3. Yeah the Necro definitely looks like it is going to be a fun class, which makes me happy cause it is one of my favorites in GW aswell.

    I have seen a few people say they don’t like how flashy the skill animations are. Personaly I am loving it. Alot of The skill animations in GW I felt lacked in that department. Particularly the elementalist which to me is a class where big impressive fireworks just seems should be synonymous. I mean there is a reason they are called nukers.

    Honestly I am not worried about the elite skills being overpowered or the cooldowns being to long at all. Arenanets diligence with skill balancing in GW gives me faith that they will adress any problems that exist with the elites and anything else for that matter like the potions. Sure they made a few mistakes here and there, but then it was the company as a wholes first title. It has been pretty clear atleast to me that they have worked thier asses off over the years to smooth everything out, and they did so because they care about the game, which is more than can be said for a lot of game companys.

    Obviously I cant say with 100% certainty that the cooldowns aren’t what they will be on release, but I have a feeling that they aren’t. It was confirmed that the demo was dummed down and tweaked to make things easier for people to experience in the limited time they had. Merely speculation but that makes me think the cooldowns on the elites were probably extended so that people couldnt just wipe the map with them.
    Really I just think all the buzz about the elites is silly fearmongering. There is simply too many unknown factors about the game, such as how the elites are going to scale up, how powerful they will be against foes that arent dummned down for a demo, and even better how powerful they will be against other players wearing max level armor and using defensive buffs and heals etc add nauseam.

    But I agree with you the idea of being able to unleash some awsome power every so often sounds like a lot of fun to me.

    Good vids I hadnt seen those ones yet.

    Man I am starting to think I need to make my own blog, I always feel like I post too much and I tend to get rather longwinded. Quick question for anyone who actually suffered through my torrent of text.

    The heart shaped icons on the game map, are these event npc’s or event locations, or are they something completely unrelated waypoints maybe?

    • there is a lot of weird reactions to what is turning out to be some really well done work on arenanets part, whether it be skill effects, potions, elites.

      its not their responsibility to make a game that caters to one or two peoples specific desires.

      i saw what those heart shaped ones were in the gametrailer series i linked to from randomessa, he points it out, but can’t remember exactly what he says.

  4. I think the elites and racials are going to work just fine in PvE. I think what most people are worried about is their performance in PvP. The thing is we don’t know anything about PvP yet.

    I’m willing to bet, however, that ArenaNet will continue with the tradition of differently-operating PvP skills where needed. I think it was such a wonderful thing to do in GW that I can’t imagine them not continuing the practice.

    • well you have to remember that they only switched to pvp segregated skills after the number of skills spiraled out of control with nightfall, otherwise i’m not sure they would have made the switch.

      but it did work well for them so they might continue it.

  5. I dislike these skills which are for special occasions.
    Its obviously too WOW. In wow you have your main rotation, consisting of a few spells and then a few situational spells. Your essentially pushing the same buttons over and over, waking up now and then when the teams taking too much damage. dam boring frankly.
    This is supposed to be a faster paced version, with positioning and dynamic skill selection. not i win buttons that youll grind little things on, while you wait for your elite to recharge before taking on a boss.
    Still I live in hope; its just loosing too much from gw.

  6. […] [Hunters Insight] 12 Minutes To Total Annihilation […]

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