The New MesmerOctober 5, 2010 at 1:53 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 20 Comments
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
Obviously the mesmer hasn’t been released yet, and probably won’t be (IMO) until after the assassin. Nevertheless I’ve been thinking about it. I started this post back in July. I was waiting for lightning to strike me as to what the unique mechanic of the mesmer might be. Unfortunately it’s just not that simple.
Each profession has moved away from their Guild Wars primary attribute towards something else unique about their class. Usually something familiar and logical.
Where the warrior had strength, it moved closer to a more developed and interesting adrenaline mechanic.
While the ranger had expertise, it’s pets became the focus.
The elementalist had energy storage but moved to a system that switches between the elements it controls on a whim.
Finally the necromancer essentially has an all new unique mechanic. An amorphous cloud of blackness that preys on its enemies. Closer to the old necromancer in theme rather than function.
I think it’s interesting to note before moving on to directly talking about the mesmer, that much of the above focused on energy sources. Adrenaline is an alternative energy source, in GW and GW2. Energy Storage and Soul Reaping in GW1 both augmented the available pool of energy. The rangers expertise cut energy costs in half or more at peak efficiency. They are not kidding about the de-emphasis on energy.
When it comes to the mesmer, it is impossible to tell which direction Arenanet may have gone. The fast casting attribute seems of little use in Guild Wars 2. Along with other problems.
In GW1 you might have used fast casting to cast powerful spells from your primary or secondary profession that normally would have long cast times. There are no secondary professions in Guild Wars 2.
In GW1 you might have used fast casting to interrupt your opponents with twitch based interruption skills. Arenanet has stated the game will rely much less on twitch based skills.
Hexes were an important part of Guild Wars and mesmers were a large part of that. There are no hexes in Guild Wars 2.
That leaves a great deal of the old mesmer out in the cold. At least at first glance.
With the removal of hexes and enchanments came boons and conditions. What a hex might have done before, may now simply cause a condition.
This brings us to discussion about the control, damage, support idea that Arenanet puts forth. They’ve said in the past some professions might specialize, slightly, in one of these roles better than in others. Wouldn’t a mesmer make a good control profession if their hexes essentially becpme conditions?
It had many hexes which crippled, slowed, dazed, reduced energy, degenerated health, interrupted, shut down, and otherwise controlled the opponent. The control profession before there were control professions.
Much can be discerned from the necromancer which similarly had its hexes taken away. It now causes conditions, or more directly causes damage. Life Siphon was a hex that could be removed but now directly sucks the life out of enemies and refills your health bar.
With the mesmers former focus on energy we could hypothesize that there is some spell that sucks energy out of the opponent much like Life Siphon. Perhaps where we see an elementalist buffing others health with water magic, we could see a mesmer buffing others energy in a similar way.
Though there is less emphasis on energy.
Before I saw the necromancer I might have presumed Fear to be a mechanic of the mesmer, a profession steeped in the lore of illusion, deception, and misdirection. The necromancer page says that Fear is solely the property of that profession, but can we rule out something similar for the mesmer?
As noted elsewhere Conjure Phantasm or Conjure Nightmare could very well be actual illusions that damage the opponent.
Specific speculation on individual skills is most likely pointless, but I suspect a large number of the new mesmers skills to revolve around buffing and debuffing. Immobilizing, crippling, weakening opponents while also supporting their teammates with energy boons, condition removal, and defensive skills.
So what kind of special skills would mesmers have to support and control?
Interrupts. Yes I know what I said, but, I think there is almost certainly some form of skill shut down. I think it will genuinely rely less on instant reaction times but still exist in some form.
Mantras. These will almost certainly not be stances as in Guild Wars (at one point early on they weren’t stances at all, were they? I have a vague memory of something like that) and perhaps they will be a boon that can be cast on anyone.
Signets. Although these have already been mentioned as the elementalists special skill tpes I could hardly believe mesmers would not have access to signets. If not, they must have access to something similar.
Illusions. Much like an elementalist might summon an environmental weapon, I think the mesmer will conjure illusions to support and control those nearby. To blind, cripple, or otherwise divert enemies and sooth their team.
Weapons are hard to predict but there are some certainties. How could a mesmer not have a fan as a focus? A scepter or a staff? For some reason the aristocratic look of the mesmer speaks to pistols, but there is no proof of that. The spell illusionary weaponry begs to have a sword as a mesmer weapon.
The unique mechanic is anyone’s guess at this point. They could choose a simple and to the point adjustment to the old primary attribute or come up with something completely new altogether.
A simple adjustment might be a mode that lasts a certain duration. Enter the mode and you move, jump, cast, regenerate health and energy faster than otherwise. Or a bar that is quickly built up, and when activated quickly casts your next spell.
A more elaborate and convoluted unique mechanic might be based on the hallucinogenic properties of LSD, a wild and trippy adventure through an insane dream world. Or not.
How about an elaborate illusion mode that suggests you are in one place, but really in another, a defensive mechanic that keeps you safe and your opponent distracted? A mirror image of yourself projected elsewhere.
Whatever the case, I’m sure it will be interesting.
Many of the comments I’ve heard about the upcoming mesmer seem to suggest it may be so different as to not even be referred to as ‘mesmer’ any more. Much of what made the mesmer unique in Guild Wars has changed, but I think the core of what the profession was is still there. At it’s center it was a control profession. I don’t think the mesmer will be left without damage abilities, that would be silly, but I think great emphasis will be put on control and support.
The mesmer at one point was the baby of Arenanet. A unique class to their game. I don’t see them shoving it aside, renaming it, or changing it much at all.
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