QFT: Guardian Interviews

January 28, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 12 Comments
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Somebody please clue me in to what is on this guys left side. Another shield?

With every big announcement about Guild Wars 2 comes a torrent of interviews. I usually try to pick out interesting quotes and provide commentary. In this case, the guardian was released and there are at least 6 interviews to cover in this post. I haven’t yet read them all as I’m writing this, but it should be pretty interesting. There is the Guild Wars 2 Guru Dev Chat, the games.on.net interview, the gamespot Q&A, Eurogamer‘s misleading title, Ze german interview from OnlineWelten, and the surrender interview from Gamekult.

Without further ado.

GW2Guru Dev Chat

I’m usually disappointed when questions get thrown at devs by players. Either they’re about some absurdly small detail, something they’ve already said they’re not going to talk about, or the deep sea dragon.

I was quite surprised by the quality of questions from the Guru2 members. Immediately someone asks about elite skills, something I myself have been curious about.

It is called Sanctuary. It cretes a bubble around the guardian that keeps enemies from entering it. While it exists allies can enter the bubble to regenerate health, but cannot use skills inside of it.

Now if only Arenanet could get the rights to various 80’s songs and play that as the sound effect for Sanctuary. All in all it sounds like a damn useful elite, even if you can’t use spells inside. Does that mean you pop a long term regen and then run inside sanctuary? Otherwise how long before natural regen kicks in?

The marketplace is one thing I know a lot of people are dying for. Guild Wars trade just plain sucks. They don’t reveal much here other than this.

We’re still working out all the details on which stats well show Im pretty sure we’re not going to show volume per day but median is in bounds of course things change a lot around here

A passing mention in an answer to an unrelated question.

A guardian could equip 3 summoned weapons, or 3 shouts.

To me this sounds very much like setting up a row of spirits and then standing behind those spirits. Maybe that’s what they want, but I know a lot of people are expecting a nerf to the SoS build in Guild Wars and for good reason.

Ravious asks the much anticipated question about underwater combat. Just how the hell is that going to work anyway?

There is no ground targeting in underwater combat because we can’t guarantee that there is any ground around to target. We understand that underwater combat is very different in nature so we aren’t just going to translate our ground combat into 3D space.

All that really says is that underwater combat won’t be the same as above ground combat. I think what this means is essentially we’ll have new bars, just as though we were downed (but not defeated) with different skills for each profession.

I haven’t thought much about skill tiers, can’t even remember when we learned about them, but vorsaken has been wondering.

[Vorsakan] Can you tell us how skill tiers work? Are all skills tiered?
[JonPeters] Yes, all skills are tiered. How tiers work is that roughly every 10 levels a new tier of a skill becomes available at a trainer. Players can then visit the trainer and learn the new tier. This will generally improve the damage of a skill or the power of the condition or boon that it uses.

The more things change the more they stay the same? Arenanet is making some fascinating moves. They make these bold innovative choices, but move towards old school skill tiers and attribute points.

This move really surprised me, but in retrospect, absolutely should not have.

Yes there will be a combat log, we fell people should be informed about how skills work so they can understand how combat works

Arenanet likes their PvP and without a combat log in Guild Wars people still did the same intensely nerdy math necessary to optimize dps and defense, etc. A combat log only makes sense in that context.

They changed the name of the Frozen condition to Chilled. I liked Frozen.

Chilled will slow your character down and also slow down the recharge of any skills that are currently recharging. You will not be able to roll when chilled, crippled, or immobilized.

A few details about how to use a Spirit Weapon.

The spawned weapons act similar to a defensive pet. They will defend you if you are attacked and they will attack what you attack. When you command them with their special skill you can pick the target they use it on by using the command skill on that target.

A few details about the agro mechanic.

Currently its a combination of DPS, Positional, and a bunch of other factors. Currently how close you are to the enemy is the biggest factor.

Hmmm. Seems like if proximity is the biggest factor that would be easy to manipulate. Wonder if they’ll change that.

A question about interrupts.

Yes, if timed well daze, fear, stun, knockback, knockdown, and launch can all interrupt an opponent.

Ahh yes, I’d forgotten about launch. That must be what the guardian was doing to those grawl.

Anyway, so far so good. On to the next interview.


The first few things of note come pretty quickly in this somewhat short interview.

He is a heavy armor character that can wade into battle. The guardian is all about sacrificing his personal powers to support his allies. To give an example, guardians have a shield skill called Shield of Absorption. This skill creates a dome around the guardian that absorbs enemy projectiles.

First, as if there was any doubt (but I’ve heard quibbles) the guardian is Heavy armoured. Second, he says specifically that Shield of Absorption absorbs projectiles. That was something I was wondering about, so no defense from melee or other forms of spells.

Oh wait, the next paragraph has more.

However, you can learn a trait for this skill to actually knock enemies away outside of the dome. In a recent battle I had, an ally had fallen and was being finished off when I brought my guardian in, used Shield of Absorption to knock enemies away and then revived my ally within the protective shield.

It is going to be insanely interesting to see just how much you can effect each profession with traits.

That’s it for that interview.


This one is a long interview, but I didn’t find much until they started talking about skills.

A good example is the protector strike skill, which lets him perform a blocking move, similar to the warrior’s block. But this one blocks for everyone in the area, so as soon as [any allies] in the area get hit, the guardian will perform a huge counterattack in the area that knocks back enemies. So this lets him run up to allies and block for them and knock a bunch of enemies back.

This sounds pretty cool, I’m liking all the skills that seem to activate upon damaging an ally. Aegis being another.

Here’s an example of something I hadn’t thought of. What if one of your enemies is inside a ward when you cast it.

One really great example is one of the guardian’s ring-shaped wards, which lets you encircle a teammate to keep your ally safe. But this skill also has an offensive use; you can ring an enemy in with this ward and your allies can use their AOE spells to a much greater effect since this enemy is stuck and he can’t move out of the ward as easily. So, the target of the ward is going to be forced to rely more on blocking than on dodging out of the way. It totally changes the dynamics of combat in a situation like that.

That would be pretty incredible in PvP. Seems like there are a lot of possibilities when trapping an opponent like that.

Ray of Judgment returns! Only it’s not a laser any more, or at least, not quite the same.

Another example is a focus skill called ray of judgment. You can target a group of enemies with this skill, which works a bit like a chain lightning type of effect that bounces between different targets. But this spell can also grant protective bonuses to any allies in the area, so you might even want to toss this skill into a fight where there are some allies in there too.

Tiger is never going to stop saying “I’ma firin mah lazer!”
So can the guardian solo? Well it depends on what he’s fighting.

Specifically, the guardian is really good at fighting slow-hitting, powerful bad guys since his aegis ability periodically absorbs an incoming hit; this lets him do really well when he takes on an enemy with a slower rate of attack. If he’s by himself, he can take on these more-powerful, slower foes, like Guild Wars 2’s ettins.

Interesting that they note what elementalists should solo as well.

For example, with a more-fragile elementalist, you probably won’t want to take on an ettin since he can survive some of your magical powers and strike back. With that class, you’d probably want to take on groups of smaller enemies that you can blow up with your area-based spells.

I wonder just how important it will be to tailor what you’re soloing.

A little info on that ettin attack we see in the Faithful Strike skill video.

going back to ettins–they have this big, overhead smashing attack that knocks down everyone in the area.

When I first saw the video I was like, wait was that stomp? And quickly realized that couldn’t be true, monsters don’t use player skills. Every ettin is going to have that though, and I’m more of a fan of the War in Kryta system of rotating skill bars for each class. I think its genius and awesome and wish Guild Wars 2 was using it, but whatever.

Anywho, moving on.


Eurogamer likes to provoke people, I find. They’re like European Kotaku or something. “Guild Wars 2 Guardian replaces Monk” they titled this. The exact opposite impression Arenanet would like to give. Sure they clarify in the body of the article but if you want to confuse people, this is the way to do it.

Flannum draws some interesting comparisons.

He feels very magical, he feels very much like the one who comes in and saves the day, but in the reality of it he plays a similar support role as a Necromancer.

“That’s if you want to spec him for support,” Flannum went on. “You can clearly take him in a more offensive route. A good way to think of it is he’s slightly more support oriented, more magical version of the Warrior.”

Did we see much of the support role of the necromancer? I didn’t get to play the demo, and the necomancer certainly has a lot of control, but I don’t remember much along the lines of support. I’m sure I could go research that now, but I’m not going to. Comment away!

So were you guys wondering about the next profession reveal already?

lannum and Peters teased that a profession for people who play sneaky rogues or assassins is on the cards, but the pair were elusive as to the others.

From this sentence alone it seems like they’re already working to finish off one of the last adventure classes. A rogue, an assassin, a scout, whatever you want to call it.

Next interview.

Online Welten

Immediately they dive into a concern I had about Aegis.

An attack comes in once every few seconds, so blocking an attack every 30 seconds is equivalent to completely ignoring about 7% of all attacks. Courage is in fact a very powerful benefit that shouldn’t be taken lightly at all. It can block more basic attacks, but when this ability blocks an attack that might knock you down or cripple you, its worth far outweighs the other virtues. We have found that in general, these virtue effects even out over the course of combat, but that despite it’s more random nature, the courage virtue is in fact the most strategic of the three.

Well I still disagree but they do make a good argument. Then again they’ve played the game and I haven’t. As I said in the reveal post, 30 seconds is a long time in a fight. Maybe added up for each ally it’s more useful but still too spread out. Can’t wait to see for myself.

Online Welten seems to cover a few things detailed in the guardian reveal and stuck on points that are early made by Jon Peters, but later they ask a question about the guardian and crowd control.

In fact, less emphasis is placed on crowd control with the guardian than you might think. The wards and symbols give them some ground control, but they tend to have a lot less direct control over enemy characters than the other professions. Their strength lies in setting up situations where enemies are forced to change their tactics rather than controlling enemies through brute force like their warrior counterpart.

That’s an interesting point. Necromancers for instance directly control enemies with Fear. Rangers have pets harassing their enemies. Warriors control through brute force knockdowns and daze skills. The guardian is more about forcing the enemy to make specific choices. Where to run, how to attack.

The interviewer here seems strangely abrasive, but perhaps it’s the translation. They ask about the types of ward shapes we might see.

There are currently two forms of wards on the guardian: a line that forces enemies to move around it and a circle which keeps enemies outside, and sometimes inside of it.

I was sort of wondering the same thing, but I guess we won’t see too much variation.

I’m not going to quote the answer to this next question, just the interviewer, because it’s an example of what I mean by abrasive.

OnlineWelten: Are you sure about the cool downs of his special abilities? How do you justify these extreme cool downs?

Is that condescending? Just a little bit? Are you sure? Really? Heh.

The next question reveals something I’ve been wondering about, but haven’t seen much about. I’m sure the information has been out there before but not everybody is a know it all.

There are no ally targeted skills in Guild Wars 2.

That is new information to me. You can not target allies with skills. Huh.

A straight forward clarification. Do virtues effect spells?

No. Virtues do not affect spells.

Fair enough.

The question “Can you break through wards?” has an interesting answer.

No, but they don’t last very long, much like an elementalist’s Wall of Fire, a necromancer’s Poison Cloud, a ranger’s Healing Spring, or a warrior’s Banner of Courage.

None of those things lasts very long, but it reminds me of the other professions abilities and cross profession combos. A ward could direct traffic into a Poison Cloud or Fire Wall, while allies stand behind it and use Healing Spring or Banner of Courage.

And that is that interview, a lot of overlap in some of the questions.


In differentiating between warrior and guardian, Jon Peters says this.

a Warrior can defend an ally using his skill with a mass Skull Crack to stun the enemy, while the Guardian will use its expertise Protector’s Strike to create a bubble around himself and his allies who will block the next attack and repel the enemy.

A mass Skull Crack. Is that a translation issue or do we know if you can Skull Crack multiple people? I don’t know. Fun though.

Can guardians stack their virtues on their allies?

Virtues use the system “boon” that we developed for Guild Wars 2 . . Yes they can be aggregated, but not their effect, only the time they last. To give a concrete example, a Guardian can use his ability to regenerate life. This gives the “boon” to the regeneration target, but it is the same “boon” Healing Rain that of the elemental, the Well of Blood Necromancer and Ranger’s Healing Spring.

Hmm it effects time but not effect. Two effects in the same sentence. Effect effect effect! Say that 3 times fast.

Peters is asked whether offensive skills will be mostly melee or magic.

The Guardian is perfectly balanced between melee and magic, sometimes with powers between the two. This is particularly the case of Symbol of Wrath with a mass, which is a melee attack then leaving the field a “symbol” that will continue to do magical damage thereafter for some time.

That’s actually not far off the Guild Wars functionality for this skill if I recall correctly. I’m still somewhat disappointed that so many skills are straight out of compton. I mean, Guild Wars.

Are guardians vulnerable to long range enemies?

The Guardians have the power of ranged attack as they equip the weapon, like a scepter, baton, two-handed sword, shield, etc.. With the two-handed sword for example, they receive a capability to “link” to an enemy, and bring him back if he moves too far toward them.

They link to an enemy? Is this perhaps what I picked up on in the Zealot’s Defense skill video? A character instantly travels to their enemy. There is a screen shot if you wish to see.

And that is about it for QFT today. Lots of interesting tidbits to be had. Good job everybody, great game out there! Time for the after game cookie eating party. Well I’m going to eat cookies, I don’t know about you guys.

Great shot of Aegis going off and look at that background.


  1. I’m thinking a cape is on his left side.

    • I don’t know, i suppose it could be. Kind of oddly shaped for it but I can’t say you’re wrong.

    • Actually it does remind me of one of those AC2 styled capes.

  2. Wow, that is A LOT of quotes. TYVM Hunter 🙂

    • hah, no problem dorothy

  3. “‘There are no ally targeted skills in Guild Wars 2.’

    That is new information to me. You can not target allies with skills. Huh.”

    This is more than just new information actually, it’s in direct contradiction with an interview Flannum gave in August during gamescom.

    Specifically, he used a water-attuned Elementalist as an example, where an ability would freeze enemies when cast on them, but when cast on teammates would give them an armour buff.

    Their design goals must have changed since then. A shame, as I was looking forward to the mechanic.

    • well there is the slight possibility that that skill could be an AoE and that if an ally is within range of where it is targeted, on the ground or on an enemy, they’ll receive armour, where as the enemy will be frozen. That’s just me speculating though.

      Good memory, i think i’ve blogged about that quote you used, but didn’t recall it until you mentioned it.

      • Yeah, it really comes down to the phrasing he used. In my head I recall hearing him say “cast it on” (a friendly), but it’s entirely possible he was just referring to an effect granted to those nearby the enemy you froze. I do recall my interpretation at the time being one of a dual-functionality skill that varied based on target, though.

        I’d be interested to find out, just not interested enough to dig through all of the gamescom interviews for it. A few google attempts turned up nothing.

        • yeah i’m in the same boat. finding stuff like that is so time consuming.

          • Only quote I could find in about 15min worth of searching that related to elementalists freezing anything is as follows…:

            “Another would be “frozen ground,” which creates an area of icy ground that freezes anyone passing through it; the tactical possibilities of that one are great.”

            • thanks for trying but thats not the one i remember. there is a definite mention of an effect on allies. i almost definitely quoted it in a qft from around gamescom but don’t waste your time, not important enough to go looking for

  4. New interview on mmorpg.com Hunter, get to work!

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