QFT: Further Guardian Interviews

January 31, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 2 Comments
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Now knowing of the existence of spirit weapons, this image finally makes sense

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 I did a previous QFT with 6 interviews here. Today there are 2 more interviews from mmorpg.com and TenTonHammer to look through. I haven’t read either yet, but hopefully there is new information in both.

May as well get started.


The first question is about defining the role of the guardian, but what pops out at me is what Jon Peters says about the necromancer.

The guardian is one of our more support-oriented professions, similar to the necromancer.

I really have to go back and read through what we know about the necromancer. Maybe because the vast majority of my time with necromancers in Guild Wars has been with overpowered minion masters, discord, orders, Spieful Spirit, spirit spammers, and the like I just don’t think of them as being support. Typically they do that too, but they do a lot of damage as well. They keep repeating that the necromancer is support orientated, like they really want to get that idea out there. Yet we all know the people who play necromancer will be playing minion masters and not in a support capacity. I guess we’ll see what happens.

They then get into discussing defensive and offensive options most of which I’ll quote.

An enemy is attacking an ally of yours. You can activate your Courage virtue, which will block the next attack. Swap to a sword and shield and use Flashing Blade to teleport in between your ally and the target, blinding the enemy. Then unleash a Zealot’s Defense which sprays out projectiles but also puts up a protective barrier between you and your enemy. If done well, you could counteract 3 attacks in a row, giving you buddy time to fire off his self-heal and prepare for the next onslaught.

Flashing Blade appears to be the teleport I took a screen shot of in the Guardian Skill Video Breakdown post. What this says about the future rogue/assassin class being able to shadowstep is pretty obvious. You can see both Zealot’s Defense and flashing Blade in the Zealot’s Defense skill video.

The tactical description of this scenario is interesting for PvP players. This is just the sort of complexity they look for when forming builds and strategies.

Apparently this is called Flashing Blade

This is the offensive part.

Grab a hammer and run into the midst of a number of enemies. Cycle your skill 1 chain to drop a Symbol of Faith on the ground. Follow that with a Warding Circle that confines your opponents onto the symbol. Then, activate your Justice virtue and unleash a Mighty Blow, a powerful AoE attack that will damage your enemies and allow the Justice virtue to set them on fire.

There seems to be some confusion as to just how virtues work. Hopefully this can help explain it. In the above paragraph they’re described as being activated, in the below paragraph they’re described as being dismissed.

Each of the virtues brings the guardian a passive benefit. Extra burning damage on every fifth attack, a defensive shield that blocks something every 30 seconds, and passive health regeneration. They can dismiss these passive benefits for a period to give similar benefits to their allies, including party members, NPCs, or just other friendly players that they are experiencing dynamic events with.

I suppose this means there is a period where the virtues are not active at all. We know they have a cooldown as well, before they can be activated again. And yes the guardian is counted as one of his own allies, and therefore benefits by dismissing his virtues. You can see in one of the skill videos, Faithful Strike I think, Aegis effecting the guardian who dismisses her virtue.

Further, Izzy, in the below mmorpg.com interview, says the following.

Guardian virtues are their own thing; they function more like signets than anything else, giving you a passive ability as well as an activate ability that extends a passive ability to you and all your allies at the cost of disabling your passive ability for a period of time.

I suppose that’s more sound byte worthy.

More skills and information.

The two-handed sword wielder is a more mobile and AoE damage-oriented character with a hint of support and control. He has a Symbol of Swiftness that allies can run through to get a speed boost. He can also chain an enemy with Binding Blade that forces the enemy to stay close. His basic chain attack ends with a big AoE hit, and he can spin around, unleashing projectiles in random directions.

Speed boosts! Thank the six gods. A location every individual has to physically run through is an interesting twist. You seem to have to be aware of your surroundings to get the simplest buffs in Guild Wars 2.

Binding Blade is interesting enough and reminds me vaguely of a skill in the GuildFans Design A Skill Contest.

The guardian has a chain attack, not a surprise, merely a confirmation. Interesting to note though. We haven’t seen a lot about the two-handed sword before.

The next question asks about specializing in offense as a guardian. Interesting answer on a couple levels.

One of the most offensive guardian builds involves a scepter and torch, and spirit weapons tend to be excellent offensive weapons. I would also suggest using Signet of Resolve, as it allows you to passively regenerate even more health, and also removes conditions when used.

A scepter and torch, really? I’m not making fun, just surprised. A two-handed sword, a one-handed sword, these are the first weapons I think of when I think offense. Can’t wait to see unexpected combinations like these.

Signet of Resolve adds more regen, but we’re not hearing a lot about traits. I want to know just how specialized we can get with this. Is there a trait that further bumps regen? Or is that getting overpowered?

A similar question about defense.

For example, a solo defensive guardian might use Shielding Hands as his heal to both block attacks and heal at the same time. A group-oriented guardian might use Healing Breeze to heal himself and apply regeneration to himself and allies in a cone.

Healing Breeze. See, this is one of the reasons I wish there were more new names for skills. What has a worse reputation in Guild Wars than a warrior who thinks he can use Healing Breeze. Nothing. Obviously it’s a different class now, but the prejudice that will be brought forward from the original game could become a problem.

That said the skill seems to effect multiple people. Could be useful.

Early on I likened the “new monk”, as I called it, to a cleric.

I’ve loved playing this type of character in role-playing environments since my first D&D cleric.

I still see it that way. The guardian is Guild Wars 2 version of a cleric. Like bringing the 70s version of the class into the 21st MMO century. Not that I was around in the 70s but whatever.


A lot of the same ground is covered, of course, being that this is the 8th interview I’ve looked at, but there are still things to consider, like this quote about how well the guardian can solo.

Guardians are just as good solo as they are in a group. Their virtues, which can be used on a group, can also be used to double-up on an effect, allowing you to get two blocks in a row. Effects like back-to-back triggers of burning or a longer powerful regeneration can be really effective while playing solo.

It’s something I admit I hadn’t thought of much. Doubling up on an Aegis or burning effect is smart, and again, just the kind of complexity I think most experienced MMO players will love.

Not only do virtues work on you, your allies, and NPCs, but your weapon spirits.

A guardian can also slot weapon skills, and use Virtue of Justice to boost the damage of the summoned weapons.

I have to say extending that buff to summoned weapons is just plain awesome.

Remember when I was complaining that we didn’t have any information on traits effecting virtues or guardians in general?

Like all GW2 professions, the guardian can trait the skills on his weapons, but a guardian can also specialize his virtues, making them recharge faster or adding extra boons on them such as Might. You can also increase the effectiveness of your passive abilities making your Virtue of Justice or Courage trigger more often.

Each time Guild Wars 2 presents new information I become thoroughly impressed with how complex, ingenious, and innovative it is. The guardian is no exception. I want to play this game.

Blue Mace Lady will never die!



  1. Seems GW2’s combat does not break down to a trinity in disguise as I feared recently.

    Still, I have no idea how this is going to end. Izzy’s active-passive-active-passive-active-passive passage is hard to get for those that do not know GW1, and even if I can follow what he wants to say, I somehow have no idea how GW2’s combat is going to work.

    It’s about time for a demo! 🙂

    • there was a demo in august/september for the first 4 professions but you’ll have to check out the skill videos for the guardian profession.

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