Guardian Skill Video Breakdown

January 27, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 11 Comments
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5 of 8 professions revealed

After each profession is released I tend to try and pick apart the skill videos that come with those reveals. You can check out my ranger breakdown, my warrior breakdown, my necromancer breakdown, and my elementalist breakdown if you like.

The interesting thing is, with more and more information, and after the dozens, perhaps hundreds of demo videos available on the net, there is little to pic apart anymore. As I begin to write this post I wonder if there is anything left to be noted from a simple skill reveal.

Anyway lets check out the guardian skill videos.

Shield of Absorption

It’s almost as if they’ve taken a more cinematic approach, I immediately noticed. An over the shoulder look at a fleeing NPC, the characters head turns to look, centaurs chasing the NPC down. One shot and you’ve got the scenario setup. I wonder if the toons head turn is indicative of the player changing his screen view to follow the action, or was it a randomly timed ‘away’ emote. I’m thinking screen view.

The skill itself is glorious. A translucent glowing dome that flashes when hit by projectiles. I really like the animation for the skill, it is ever moving and vibrating with power, swirling with mystical energy. The guardian appears to have to kneel to cast the spell, and remain stationary. A necessary balance to provide such a protective shell. The arrows appear to stop dead, even planting themselves in the shield. It doesn’t appear to have much to do with the old Shield of Absorption.

The orb projectiles remind me highly of Lightning Orb from the air elementalists of Guild Wars. This must be the basic attack of a scepter wielding guardian. As usual the player appears to be a high level, downing the centaurs in very few attacks. It’s a very elaborate skill animation for such a basic attack. Swirling mass of balled up energy hurtling, then splashing across the enemies, flaring up and leaving a few sparks behind. I love that it can be cast while running. It’s so gratifying to see that the guardian actually has to swing their arm, and I hate to use this term in a fantasy game, in a realistic way. It’s like that swing propels their spell.

The weapons are pretty straight forward. The scepter is a simple two pronged bronze affair, doesn’t look at all special. The shield we’ve seen previously a few times, starting with the Races trailer. It’s nice looking, angelic even, but nothing new to report. We get a good look at the centaur weapons but other than their tribal feel, nothing impressive.

The armour I think is similar to what we saw after Kristen Perry blogged a bit about dyes. I remember a certain Legolas looking character wearing something very similar. The shoulders are different of course, but otherwise similar.

And my bow!

Little to tell from the setting here I think. With a human NPC in tow, and centaur enemies, it seems to be a slightly dry area somewhere in Kryta. There are glimpses of variosu farming implements and structures, but one thing I liked seeing was a watchtower or castle rampart in the background at one point. It reminded me heavily of the White Mantles watchtowers, but it does appear to be a part of a much larger castle like structure. There appears to be a fort close by towards the very end of the video as well. The only other thing of note is the giant cliffs and mesa that dot some of the shots.

The sounds as always continue to impress. The scattered sounds of running and galloping, calls for help from the NPC, death screams and then the odd sounds of the orbs. I’m not quite sure how to describe it except to say an ethereal sound. Chimes almost. Until they thud into their enemies. If I thought the orbs were ethereal the Shield of Absorption sound effects are angelic. In particular the sound of things impacting on the shield, like a pebble plunking into a pool. I wonder if that was just a side effect of the slowed down time the video uses. I’ve already made my thoughts known about the arrow and bow sound effects.

During the closeup of the centaur, you can really see the detail they put into them. I hate to again use the word realistic but damn, is that not a really well drawn centaur or what? Kudos.

This is going to be a really long article again.

Faithful Strike

This video is a lot more action. The ogre jumps in with what must be Stomp or something very similar, the guardians get to show off their athleticism and ability to move around with almost acrobatic combat moves.

The skill itself is a twist in the air, then bringing the sword in on the enemy mob. There isn’t much to show off other than the movement of the character. ‘Maybe guardians are defensive but they can do some pretty cool action movies’ appears to be what Arenanet is trying to get across. There is a blueish aura of course coming from the sword, which appears to be a greatsword though I never really got a good look at it. It ends in a blueish splash as well, along with some visible Ankhs that appear to denote that the skill has some healing effect.

The really interesting skill here is Aegis. Someone sets it off and you see most of the characters offhand light up with an ethereal blue shield. It doesn’t seem to matter if they were wielding a shield to begin with, our greatsword wielder gets it too. The ogre hits one of the men who apparently shrugs it off as advertised and the ethereal shield disappears.

They all appear to be wielding very basic shields and swords except for our female Faithful Strike demo-woman. Her great sword is very reminiscent of a blade I can’t seem to name from, Factions, I think?

Very little to see of the armour, different sets but few close ups, and little to speak of.

Very little to be told about the setting either. They appear to be in a box canyon perhaps with signs of habitation nearby. Scaffolding and other structures. Hard to say anything else for certain.

I really admire Arenanets sound designers. Faithful Strike reminds me of a cross between a nice doorbell and the chimes of a town church bell. It even has a certain authority thanks to the second chime coming in just as the hit is delivered. Aegis sounds as though something were being sheathed to protect it, with an ethereal effect of course.

Zealot’s Defense

Another NPC in trouble seems to say we’re going to be saving a lot of NPCs.

The skill itself is pretty showy and I like the way it sort of resembles Whirling Defense from the ranger skill videos. Where Whirling deflects attacks back unto attackers, Zealots takes a more offensive approach. It sends out swathes of bluish white energy, shaped like sword arcs, towards the enemies which strike with an almost white crackling of electricity. It seems to resemble a typical animes portrayal of sword attacks that travel through the air to their opponents. Anybody who watches Bleach knows what I’m talking about.

After the first demo of Zealots, another skill is used and at first I was confused. The video I don’t think shows it well enough, but the guardian moves instantly to her opponent after beginning to cast something. It later became clear that whatever the skill is its similar to Ride The Lightning, an old air elementalist elite skill.


Sword and shield pretty standard at this point, armour the same. Not much to see here.

Setting is green, ideal, some swamp like trees in the distance, but evergreen trees closer by. Tall grass, more than likely somewhere near Kryta.

Sounds are great. Can’t praise them enough. A wavy ethereal chime that moves into one of the best sounds of today. Zealot’s Defense makes speed noises, and they kind of rock. Those sword slashes zip along like they’re on a raceway. The ride the lightning skill, whatever it is, makes more of a windy sound, but its kind of short. Perhaps it’s more of a ride the wind skill?

Finally that skritt is white. Have we seen a white skritt before? I hope their colours vary beyond just white and brownish black.

Wall of Deflection

Is it me or are grawl portrayed as buffoons? Hooting and hollering, jumping around as they get excited. Reminds me of a lot of games where people can jump and that’s all they do. And man do they grawl ever fly.

The skill itself is less animated version, almost, of Shield of Absorption. It’s more like a ring, a circular wall, than a dome, and it neither shimmers or has rippling effects. It does show a sort of air like flow of blue energy moving out from the center to the deflecting wall. The spell object the grawl calls up makes a circular impact ripple, and then flies back quite quickly. I never got a good look at what exactly it was, though it seemed to be a totem perhaps?

The guardian is also using some form of buff while using his two-handed hammer. There isn’t much to it other than the trail it leaves behind after a swing or the general glowyness though.

The grawl’s “totem” like projectile leaves a yellowish trail as it flies, and in the beginning the grawl use some form of electrical attack, but I couldn’t see it well.

I didn’t see much interesting to me with weapons. The hammer has a blue jewel, and is rather unhammer like, if you ask me. Long and slender, with small heads. Unusual but not unlikable. The other human character/npc seemed to be wielding a shield we haven’t seen before with red circles

Definitely did not get a good look at the staves of the grawl.

Armour seemed typical. These videos all seem to use beginner armour for demo purposes.

The setting was snowy and had grawl. Hard to say where human would run into that near their own territory so to me it appears more norn territory.

Sounds were decent, little to report. I can quickly imagine grawl becoming quite annoying if they howl that often. The electrical bolts are well done but short lived. More ethereal sound effects for the guardian. A few things I was glad to hear were, sheathing sound effects, the timing of grawl hitting the ground after being sent flying, and that bang as the grawl ‘totem’ hits the shield.

Not to mention it again or anything but those grawl are sent quite a distance.

Hammer Of Wisdom

I guess most professions will have the same cocky attitude of saying stuff like “Well what have we got here?” and then proceeding to jump around as if they’re about to participate in a boxing match.

It’s interesting that my ideal of a battle hammer is shown as a Spirit Weapon and not an actual in game weapon. Can’t wait to see more of them and how close some may come to the functionality of the old ritualist. My idea of a hammer is one Mighty Thor would wield, although perhaps that would not be two-handed. The skill itself is to me is one of the more impressive. Called up from the ether, mystical energy pours out like fog rising off it. It’s chained to the spot, but is well animated as it swing around, pivoting to attack. It’s normal attacks appear to be automated, but when it flies off to kill the drake that must be the commanded part.

For example, Hammer of Wisdom can be summoned to fight alongside a guardian, then commanded to knock down an enemy and vanish.

Other than that there is some blue energy flying around from a buff, but little to speak of. All I can speculate is that perhaps criticals deliver extra damage in the form of blue energy? Not sure.

His weapon in this video confuses me. It looks a lot like an axe, however, it has what appear to be 4 perpendicular blades. Or maybe I’m just seeing it wrong and it’s a plain old mace. It must be a mace, considering how it’s used, in a blunt object kind of way.

Setting is a nice calm riverside infested with vicious drake babies. Some of those look almost albino to me. Crazy. Oh look, its a jump off a giant rock, but don’t forget kids, obviously you can’t jump in Guild Wars 2, it must be fake.

Lots of vicious sounds but the one thing that drew my ear was the ethereal gong of the Spirit Weapon. It must have been modeled after a gong to give it a sort of blunt sound theme.


By and large the players are still human, with little evidence of other races. This is still somewhat disappointing. There are a couple of possibilities to the reason. The other races may still not be as polished as the humans, or they could be hiding them for a more thorough races showcase for marketing purposes. Still seeing a lot of deverse utility among these skills, it’s not just wham, bam, rock’em, knock’em bash em up fighting in this game.

And that’s what we’ve got here.



  1. “I guess most professions will have the same cocky attitude of saying stuff like “Well what have we got here?” and then proceeding to jump around as if they’re about to participate in a boxing match.”

    This sounds to me like something that could be governed by my character’s personality. The more badass characters talk trash and the quieter ones might not say anything at all. I believe Anet has said previously some of the video effects are added just for the video itself, so it could be a one time thing. Can’t quote that though unfortunately.

    I hope I do get to be cocky and jump around like I’m in a boxing match before a fight. You know I will. 🙂

    • Yeah i’ve seen them talk about how some of the tag lines occur more often in the skill videos than in the game, haven’t seen them talk about much else that would be added aside from high level players against low level monsters.

      good point about the personality though, would be nice to have catch phrases attunded to those sorts of things.

      you are pretty cocky already.

  2. “Is it me or are grawl portrayed as buffoons?”
    They look more like Redhand Simians ( than grawl to me.

    I also believe that the Guardian in the vid is using a knockback skill on both of the enemies rather than a normal attack, thus explaining the blue streak coming from the hammer.

    • The uppercut attack is used again in the hammer of wisdom vid by the looks of things.
      The ethereal hammer itself appears to simply have a chain attached to it rather than tethering it to the ground at the point of summoning.
      They said that the summoned weapons will behave like pets in the IRC chat earlier.

    • on the one hand i think you could argue that redhand simians and grawl are related. they’re both ape men, that just live in different places.

      I’m going to stand by them being grawl though.

      thats a good point about the knockback, although he seemed to be getting it off pretty often even for a skill video.

  3. Now that is a proper knockback, got some good distance on them! 🙂

    With the profession videos using lower level armors and weapons, yet still looking great, I expect we’ll get some jaw dropping videos close to release showing off some of the higher level gear.

    • yeah true, and they’ve shown some concept art for high level, or at least, higher level stuff, which for the most part looks pretty cool.

  4. u wrote about the Hammer spirit there is a sentence that says….
    “Oh look, its a jump off a giant rock, but don’t forget kids, obviously you can’t jump in Guild Wars 2, it must be fake”

    Guildwars 2 allows Plyrs to jump…..that is a fact you are you really a Guild wars fan?.In guildwars2 .u can Roll.swim n Jump!

    • i was being sarcastic, but thanks for commenting.

      • I was wondering how long before someone took that line seriously.

        Excellent write up hunter, fast becoming one of my favoured gaming blogs

        • oh thanks man. appreciate it.

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