Guardian Speculation

January 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 22 Comments
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Weapon spell in action

Back in June I posted Monks of Guild Wars 2, one of my most popular posts. It was an early representation of where I thought the monk class was going, backed up by a few pieces of concept art, interview questions, and other speculation.

Turns out it was not entirely inaccurate. Okay maybe dragging the dervish into the discussion wasn’t a good idea, but it seems as though a few of those ideas turned out correctly. Beginning with the first gamescom video we quickly saw Logan Thackeray using a big white shield spell and other blueish white buffs to protect those around him. All while clearly being a melee character.

Arenanet recently announced that on the 27th of January, a few days hence, they will reveal the profession in full, or at least, as much of a reveal as they’ve given the other professions. Meaning we’ve still got time to speculate.

We already know so much, thanks to videos, Edge of Destiny, and common sense. What is there left to speculate about? Well how about weapons, skill types, and of course the unique mechanic.

Blue Mace Lady


Lets start with weapons. We’ve seen Logan using a shield and sword in trailers, in the book he constantly uses a hammer, and the Blue Mace Lady of fame clearly is wielding a mace in her artwork. Straight away we have the two-handed hammer, the mace, sword, and shield.

Being that the guardian is a melee character we can rule out most spell casting weapon types. A staff or wand just won’t do, but there is the question of the focus. Surely a spellcasting melee type could occasionally require something along the lines of a focus? Or would that role be played by a torch or warhorn? The warrior uses a warhorn, so I think we’ll see at least one, probably two alternate melee offhand items such as a warhorn. Where the warrior has offensive offhand weapons, I think the guardian will have more defensive ones.

As for other weapons, its hard to say. The necromancer uses the axe as a main hand weapon, so it has some use to spellcasters, as does the dagger in an offhand position. Although to me personally an axe in a melee characters hand seems more offensive than defensive. The great sword seems unlikely but can’t entirely be ruled out if guardians use a two-handed hammer. The pistol seems pretty unlikely, but warrios use rifles and longbows. Is it so hard to imagine a guardian doing so? If I have to choose I’d say no, they don’t use them. I could be wrong.


Just a quick word about armour. In Edge of Destiny I believe Logan uses some of his money to replace and upgrade his plate, a fairly heavy armour. For those of you still wondering if the guardian is indeed the remaining soldier profession, I’d have to say this is pretty good evidence for it.

Skill Types

This is probably the most difficult to predict. Who can say if they’ll create brand new types of skills or grow upon the skills of protection monks, paragons, ritualists, or dervishs.

I think it’s likely that protection monks will take a prominent role in inspiration. Their spells seem to be the most dominant influence from everything seen so far. So what are protection monks known for?

Enchantments. We already know that enchantments are being replaced with boons, so it seems perhaps that guardians will be overflowing with boons. Perhaps we’ll get our first in depth look at boons beyond how they’ve been introduced. I imagine there will be at least a couple of boons in the skill videos.

There is a point in Edge of Destiny when Logan casts a slim band of blue energy to trip up his enemies. Is this a trap? A mark such as the necromancers use? Could this be skill type?

As ravious points out in his most recent post, it seems as though Logan may have the use of weapon spells. Formerly a ritualist only spell type. I think this is a solid possibility for a skill type for the guardian.

It’s hard to say what would be unique to the guardian, if anything, when it comes to skill types as we haven’t seen the other 3 professions. The necromancer seems to have wells, elementalists seem to have glyphs, but both seem to have things that might not be solely in their realm of expertise.

Signets were a big protection monk skill type, so I think we’ll most likely see some of those used by the guardian.

Other possibilities include, shouts or chants to buff nearby allies. I think this one is pretty likely, especially as the warrior already has the ability.

Other less likely additions might be stances or perhaps banners. Banners, in particular to me, seem more the realm of a warrior. Hard to say if guardians will also have them. Stances I’m thinking will be more widespread but whether they are used by guardians is hard to say.

Shield and sword in hand.

Unique Mechanic

I’m pretty sure there are people who’ve only read this far because they hope to learn about the unique mechanic. Well to be honest, I only have a couple solid ideas.

To start, clearly the unique mechanic of the guardian would have to be some form of defense mechanic. What form that takes is up for debate but I can’t imagine Arenanet would go in another direction here. The theme so far has been defense, defense, defense.

I would argue further that clearly the oft mentioned support class is the guardian. Also that so far, unique mechanics haven’t interacted much with other classes (at all) and this would be a bold opportunity to create a unique mechanic that does. Perhaps we’ve already seen it and not realized it.

Beyond that is where things get tricky. Is it a defensive buff that adds armour to those in the vicinity of the guardian, like an area spell? Perhaps its more along the lines of some form of similar healing ability? The elementalist, we know, has a water element ability to heal those around it. Perhaps that idea is too close to the elementalist then.

A few more outlandish ideas come to mind, perhaps that’s what a unique mechanic calls for. Perhaps the ability to lend short periods of invulnerability to allies? Arenanet has shown in the past a certain loyalty to older games that could shine through in the guardian. Like mario brushing past koopas, wouldn’t the ultimate unique mechanic for a guardian be the ultimate defense? Of course it would only last a short period, and there would be balance issues. Perhaps something more appropriate for a guardian elite skill.

In my mind the guardian shares a lot with the warrior. They’re both going to be on the front lines of combat. Setting aside the support idea, perhaps the unique mechanic of the guardian mostly benefits the guardian. Instead of building up adrenaline for a burst of damage, perhaps the guardian builds up defense the more damage it takes. When a certain amount of damage threshold is reached, the guardian could release that threshold into some form of support, healing, defense or otherwise.

Getting back to support, one idea might be that a guardian has multiple modes of support it can enter. Perhaps within the vicinity of a guardian while it is using its unique mechanic allies might have 10% more armour. Perhaps enemies might move 10% slower in another mode. Yet another option might be 10% more health or energy regen. Perhaps it could switch between these modes like an elementalist switches between elements.


I have no doubt that I have not struck upon the unique mechanic of the guardian. I only hope that on some level I’ve guessed at the general direction the developers took the idea of the guardian.

Trying to guess at what developers are thinking is an impossible task. They work day in and day out, adding, subtracting, seeing what works and what doesn’t and changing their ideas based on what they find. Some dude devoting a few hours a week to speculation couldn’t possibly catch up to the time and effort that dozens, nay hundreds, of people put into the game week in and week out.

What I’m saying is, please take this with a grain of salt. We won’t have long til we discover the guardian for ourselves on Thursday.

See you then.

Logan you handsome devil



  1. Solid speculation there Hunter. I agree with lots and lots of it. I have a feeling we might see a greatsword with this profession, but I don’t think there will be any firearms. Well, maybe a rifle, but I doubt we will see pistols. Gotta have some sort of ranged weapon. Unless staff comes into play, considering the gameplay footage where Logan appeared to be wielding a staff.

    As for the unique mechanic, I agree with the idea of a sort of “defensive adrenaline” mechanic. Something where a bar goes up as you take damage (or as you mitigate damage with your spells) that you can use to power a supportive ability. I talked about something similar on guru ( but the emphasis was a bit more offensive than defensive. Think Bishop from Marvel Comics.

    I’m off to wait impatiently for Thursday. Looking forward to your thoughts about the Guardian post release.

    • bishop, I must be truly nerdy to understand what you’re putting down.

      yeah rifle, longbow, pistols, all that stuff is just details, maybe it’ll use them maybe it won’t. hard to say.

  2. There is not a single signet under protection prayers in guildwars 1, btw, so i dont get it where did you got the idea of signets being big protection monk skill type :S

    Other than this obvious flaw, i believe your article is amazing 🙂

  3. Btw, this is the only signet that interacts with protection prayer skills:

    (but it ends up interacting with healing aswell so i think we should count it off)

    • i’m sure i was just thinking of smite and healing signets.

  4. Would be cool if the unique mechanic was like the uber from TF2…. I guess is too close to the Warrior’s but could be cool.

    • Wow I was unfamiliar with that ability, having never played team fortress 2. very similar.

      • actually this sounds very plausible since i’ve read on a french website a while ago (izzy gave an interview there) that they took inspiration from FPS style games (i think they even named TF2 at some point) for the PvP.

        So i guess ppl at anet know TF2 and will most probably take some nice ideas from there 🙂

        I really hope we will still have at least 1 direct anti-spike healing skill (infuse), it made the “playing monk” aspect of gw1 much more fun, imo…

        Other than that, i guess we’ll see stuff like protective stuff all over the place, and regarding ubercharge, i invite you guys to take a look at what Mark of Protection (from gw1) does 😉

        • yeah true, i’ve mentioned they’ve mentioned FPS on the blog once or twice. mostly i had in mind other games but tf2 would make a good fit.

          sounds like mark of protection has a good shot at being an elite.

  5. […] it Thursday yet? Nope! However, while ArenaNet keep us in the dark, Hunter’s Insight has some interesting things to say, speculation-wise, regarding the Guardian. Back in June I posted Monks of Guild Wars 2, one of my […]

  6. […] attunements (I, personally, don’t find this one very tenable).  Of course, everybody has an opinion – there simply aren’t many, aside from the two I just mentioned, that are really […]

  7. My 2-cents speculation:
    Guardian: The Master of Patience. XD

    • are you saying they will be slow to kill things or will have to be patient with others?

  8. Yup, those look like some solid assumptions.

    Should be interesting to see if there is some type of buffing of other players, and if that is an area of effect type, individual cast, or grouped only. With GW2’s open grouping, I hope it will be anyone within range type or some type of wave cast, where anyone caught in the skill effect gets buffed. That would make it much more fun to play, IMO.

    • Oh I would say there will have to be buffing of others, mixed with buffing of oneself. didn’t see much buffing of others in the book but i’m confident.

  9. My question is whether or not the guardian will be intended to be a viable tanking class. Or is that still just the sole realm of the warrior?

    • well, by the sounds of it arenanet is trying to do away with classic tanking, so it’s hard to say how the dynamic will play out.

      • I always had the notion that arenanet was doing away with healing but that there would still be largely traditional roles for tanking/dps.

        • well the developers themselves refer to it as control/support/dps but its up for debate how different that will be from tank/heal/dps

  10. whenever i think of a magic hammer spell, it conjures images of the Magic Hammer from Final Fantasy Tactics:


    • whenever i think of a magic hammer i think of mc hammer.

  11. […] what I thought.  (Isn’t that why we blog in the first place?)  Needless to say, lots of people beat me to the punch.  (Some of you even did it […]

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