Guardian SpeculationJanuary 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 22 Comments
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
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.
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.
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.
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.
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