Mesmer Skill Video Breakdown

December 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 15 Comments
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Awww don't hurt the cutesy giant with the puppy dog eyes!

After each Guild Wars 2 profession reveal I try pick through their skill videos to scope out anything I can. As we’ve learned more about the game, in depth study has become far less necessary, but I’l still do my best.

I don’t think I’ve done this without being able to name the skills before, and the leak certainly takes some of the context away from the official mesmer reveal tomorrow.

Although I’m sure we can guess at some of them.

1st Video

No original mesmer skill that I can recall seems to directly relate to what I see in the first video. I suppose you might call the stealth field Distortion since they both center around evasion. Not to mention the word itself fits.

The video opens as we see a giant chasing 3 people who then enter a circle of stealth. It effects all 3 members giving them a purplish transparent look.

It’s a decently sized circle and while the PvE ramifications are interesting, the PvP possibilities are staggering. Can’t wait to see how much enemy players can perceive of the circle, or how clever the counters are to it. I could go on about the possibilities but I’ll move on.

Following that we get to see what the AI looks like when it loses track of its enemy. It actually raises its hand to signify that it’s looking around, and then turns to leave. Pretty cool.

The beam of energy that the mesmer then fires at the giant reminds me quite clearly of Magicka. Even the sound effect seems familiar to me. I’d like to see the mesmer moving around while firing that off, I’m sure it’s possible as most skills are designed that way in Guild Wars 2.

It’s also worth noting that the mesmer seems to have a bit of a selection of weaponry to choose from. In this video it’s using a sword and what appears to be a torch. Not the weapons you might expect from a spellcaster. We don’t get to see much of what the sword does, as the stealth circle is cast after both weapons are sheathed and the following two skills seem to be torch related. Not to mention the sword appears to be in the left hand, normally the offhand position, though I suspect this is due to a flipped perspective. I’ll also note the giant appears to be dual wielding giant axes. Awesome.

Why the circle is cast while weapons are sheathed is another question. A utility skill? I would have to think.

I guess the only other things I’ll mention are the quick torch toss at the end of the first video (though we’ve seen it before) and the butterflies that are now instantly synonymous with mesmers. You will never see a butterfly the same way again.

2nd Video

The asura model animations are on display here and I can not commend Arenanet enough on them, asura will definitely be one of my favourite races.

This asura appears to use a sword and focus and calls upon 2 doubles standing on either side of himself. From the enemy camera point of view these doubles appear to resemble the asura closely but from the asura point of view they are clearly outlined with the mesmers colours and skill effects. It’s impossible to see if the asura ordered their destruction, but it’s pretty clear the weird mutated dredge like thing died before they disappeared in a fluff of butterflies.

I suppose this skill could be a unique mechanic as it is seen in other skill videos. But it does appear to be conjure phantasm. Their mechanic appears to be similar to necromancer minions where some secondary ability is available after they are created.

The asura also then casts a line of some sort. More than likely something like crippling anguish. The undead is crippled and then when the asura runs through it he is pretty clearly buffed in some way. If it is a speed buff it doesn’t appear to be a big one as he doesn’t pick up much speed, though as has been pointed out the asura utters something along the lines of “Accelerate!” as he moves through it.

Actually if I had to name this skill I’d go with Illusion of Haste since it both removed crippling and added it in Guild Wars, even if it was to yourself. But perhaps this is a new skill.

3rd Video

This video seems to show what is pretty obviously chaos storm. A field of erratic static discharges of electricity that fries some Sons of Svanir. The chaos storm also appears to slow down these enemies, and even leave them with the poison condition. A random effect from the chaos of chaos storm?

Due to the blue outline of the circle Malchior has suggested that there may be some beneficial effect to passing through the chaos storm, and there is a bluish skill effect going off after the mesmer has passed through mixed up with other skill effects.

The second skill instantly moves the player past the enemies, leaving behind some form of debuff on the SoS. You can see it in the form of a yellow ring that circles the enemy and a buff effect on the player once the skill is done. Even after the chaos storm field has disappeared they’re left moving quite slowly. There is also a purple effect in there which gets kind of confusing.

The third skill appears to set the enemy on fire. Greibach suggested on twitter that Mind Burn, an elementalist skill, has replaced Energy Burn, a mesmer skill. Since there is no longer any energy in Guild Wars 2 this is a plausible theory. There is very little mention of fire in mesmer skills outside of defense against it.

4th Video

Again in the fourth video we see the mesmer call upon phantasms resembling herself. Why this second example is necessary isn’t clear, but there are things to note.

Though the main hand of the mesmer is sword, and the offhand is pistol, both phantasms use two pistols. This appears to make this another manifestation of conjure phantasm somehow. In our first example the phantasms wielded exactly what the caster had. Conjure nightmare perhaps. Or it could be a unique mechanic where the mesmer calls upon doubles to fight for them instead of separate skills. Or some other explanation… this is where context would be good.

Also to take note of is that the doubles fire mesmer rounds, not the pure white streaks we see in other gun shots in Guild Wars 2. A purple skill effect is seen quite clearly.

The mesmer also orders the two doubles “Into the fray!” and then seems to cast a spell that ends the phantasms with an explosion that kills the mob. Not sure about the sound effect on that final skill though.

5th Video

Finally we have one of the most talked about skills. A teleportation field. It opens on the players location and requires the player to move to a second location before being available. Once that is done a player can move freely from one portal to another and back.

This skill is going to have a lot of ramifications depending on the details. Can team mates use it? How long is the duration? What is the maximum distance? Are there line of sight issues? But above all if teams can use it, I see no end to the fun of this skill.

The other skill is probably Illusionary Weaponry. The mesmer user their greatsword to fire off a laser blast not unlike the beam in the first video. Hard to say what the differences might be at this stage.

Great sound effects on both these skills.

And the opening shot of the beam of light coming out of the tower, along with the visuals of the statues in the background at the end was very impressive.


And that is the last skill video breakdown. I’ve done 8 of these now and it has been fun as hell talking about these videos over the past year and a half. I can only wonder why kind of videos I’ll be breaking down for any Guild Wars 2 expansions.

Anyway skill names and explanations tomorrow. See you then.



  1. The teleportation field and Conjure Phantasm/Nightmare/whatever it’s actually going to be look really, really cool, and like they could be a lot of fun.

    Can’t wait to see all of the stuff tomorrow, heeeee ūüėÄ

    • Funny how everyone has their own little name for it, but i’ll guess we’ll see tomorrow.

  2. Regarding “Distortion” (I agree, that’s probably the correct name) the PvP counter will be the same as wards in Guild Wars 1 – AoE.

    3rd video, I saw a number of skills going off there. Chaos Storm is a likely culprit (and oh my is it pretty), but was that Choking Gas/Shrinking Armor at the end? Clearly the enemy was poisoned but there was definitely some choking going on there too.

    The phantasms in the second video were exact clones of the original asura with the same weaponry. In the 4th, they weren’t as the mesmer was equipped with melee and the phantasms had pistols. I think this is probably why they turned up twice rather than once – to illustrate the different nature of the phantasms and what you could do with them.

    Bring on tomorrow!

    • Well keep in mind that I think the thief skill choking gas actually causes poison so I think that the choking animation may be a poison animation, though i could be wrong.

      Otherwise i fully agree with your other points, can’t wait to start getting this terminology right tomorrow.

  3. In the first skill video you can see them become visible again all at once. Probably the stealth is only that long.
    The giant keeps walking on, which makes sense as he has his back to the party. Then the party starts killing the giant and this takes several seconds. I would have thought the giant would try to turn around as soon as he got it. Or try to turn, or do something at least. It seems weird they are killing him and he doesn’t even seem to care about it. Maybe he is under the influence of some condition or so, but it doesn’t look like it at first sight.
    Maybe we’ll find out tomorrow in the blog post or the live chat.

    • Well true but we have to keep in mind that these skills in the video probably aren’t balanced for actual playing, they’re probably balanced strictly for the purposes of the video, so hard to say just how long durations will be overall.

      I agree that it doesn’t seem right that he keeps walking away but I suspect it may just be a bi-product of the false conditions they set up for the video.

  4. I actually thought the crippling line/speed buff skill seemed more like the skill stolen speed where enemies pass through it lose speed (as depicted by the crippled animation) and allies that pass through it gain that speed instead.

    • You’re absolutely right, I went looking for a skill that seemed similar, didn’t find one in the mesmer line, must have overlooked it, and found siphon speed but didn’t want to bring the assassin into it.

  5. A couple things I noticed:

    1) I’m fairly certain that it is a scepter in the first video, rather than a torch. It is in the dominant hand and it is not on fire. I can’t imagine a torch that’s not on fire in game, but that’s hardly evidence enough to disqualify it. Torch is an offhand weapon only, however, so that’s why I think it’s what we see in the first video.

    2) In the 3rd video, if you watch closely, the mesmer runs up to the “chaos storm” and stands in it, then casts a spell that switches places with the norn who was not originally in the circle (thus pulling it into the circle), just like the castling maneuver in chess.

    Looking forward to the official reveal tomorrow! Thanks for the breakdown Hunter. I’ve really enjoyed reading these posts.

    • Ahh yes I didn’t notice that about the 4th norn. Good catch, I’m only one person competing on this stuff with entire forums.

      As for the torch, i did mean to mention that it could be a scepter but I already think the image is flipped, the sword as an offhand to a scepter just doesn’t seem right.

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  8. I’ve always enjoyed these posts as each new profession has been released.
    Mesmer is definitely looking like my 2nd or even 1st choice now. Too early to start working on my race/profession choices?

    • It definitely wasn’t going to be on my short list, but I was waiting to see it, and then it really impressed me. I don’t know what to do.

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