A Profession For Guild Wars 2January 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 35 Comments
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
I’ve spent the last month mulling over which of the 8 professions in Guild Wars 2 I might play. There is a lot to consider. Overall I have to pick a profession that is right for me. This is more of a personal rundown of my choices for a profession than a guide for others.
The most difficult part of choosing is that Arenanet seems to have included several options to vary your gameplay on each profession. A melee thief can switch to a ranged shortbow or pistols. Both elementalist and necromancer have close ranged options along with the normal spell casting range. Saying I prefer a ranged caster over armoured melee doesn’t seem to matter much.
Even so I find myself backing away from casting professions, no matter how impressive they seem. I think due to Guild Wars I may just be sick of the class type in general. That isn’t to say they don’t have their virtues.
The elementalist definitely has the shock and awe campaign of big animations and a wide range of different playstyles to choose from just by switching elements. I’ve been impressed from the beginning that you can cast and run around as much as you like, the stationary Guild Wars casters have worn on me. I think that is one element players familiar with other MMOs will love.
Another thing I’m kind of sick of playing is area of effect. Guild Wars was a group game, whether you played with real people or AI support, against groups of mobs. Area of effect made a lot of sense. Guild Wars 2 is much less about that game style and about being able to fend for yourself in any situation. I’m not saying elementalists can’t do this, just chalking up one less reason to play them.
Obviously I can vary my gameplay, air looks like a lot of fun, but if a majority of skills have some form of area of effect, and I’m not interested in ground targeted skills, why wouldn’t I choose something else?
The necromancer to me has more style than most other professions. It seems like the feel is more important to people who choose this profession than any other aspect. That feel being dark, gothic, occult, and yes maybe a little emo. Not really my thing.
I love how a lot of skills seem inspired solely by the feel of the necro, like the condition Fear. Though of course we’ve all seen fear in other games, it seems right at home with Guild Wars 2.
But, for me, I’ve never really been the type to want to micro-manage and control a bunch of things going on around me. Minions seem like a major reason to play necromancer, so that’s one less reason to play it.
Again, you can play the class any way you want and if that means without minions, I’m sure it’s viable.
Aside from those reasons for avoiding necromancer, I think one of the main reasons I’m not interested is the lack of physical damage. I’m a direct person. I’d like to do direct damage. Necromancer skills are spectral and mystical. I think I just want to damage with something in my hands rather than something summoned from the mists.
In the end I’m ruling out necromancer for the same reason some people will choose it, the feel.
The mesmer I might have had similar thoughts about, but not quite. It’s still too early to tell, not having seen the mesmer in any demo footage, but I feel like the clones are clever enough to escape the mystical trappings of a caster profession. They feel solid, until they shatter. The pistols help as well, and the beam like attacks of energy remind me more of other classes, not the necromancer.
Mesmer definitely has a more modern magical aesthetic, what with the pistols, magic that doesn’t seem ancient or occult, maybe even a psychic element to it. It’s a plus for me rather than a minus.
Casters are the least likely class-type I’ll play but if I had to play one it would be mesmer. It’s different than most other casting classes in MMOs.
Unfortunately that still leaves 5 professions to choose from.
Heavy Melee Professions
I can’t rule out the heavy armoured classes of warrior or guardian.
The guardian abilities seem killer. Shield of Absorption puts up a barricade that visibly blocks projectiles, for you and allies. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything in an MMO quite like that, it’s like he’s erecting barriers right on the battlefield. There seem to be many skills in Guild Wars 2 that don’t feel like other MMO games.
Of course I can’t just choose a profession based on cool looking skills like Sanctuary or Hammer of Wisdom. I have to take into account my own playstyle, versatility of the class, and gut instinct. My gut instinct says I probably would not enjoy protecting people so much as whomping on them. I know each class can take care of itself but if a portion of guardian skills are dedicated to protecting other s or even myself and I’m not interested in that, then why not pick another class?
The warrior has it’s own impressive skills as most professions do, but I find it has a range of different weapons that I like. While I’m sure most professions will end up with a similar number of skills, I think nothing will change gameplay as much as what weapon you’re holding in your hands. The warrior and the guardian both have 11 weapons to choose from including aquatic weapons.
Aside from that I particularly like the idea of the burst skills, building them up and letting them loose. Its also got a few impressive visuals like cyclone axe or stomp. The heavy armour generally looks good from what I’ve seen, and out of the professions I’ve mentioned so far, warrior seems more likely.
Another thing I like is there is some small amount of emphasis on movement, if not yourself, then throwing your opponent around.
From demo footage it definitely seems like a warrior can keep its enemy off balance and under pressure.
Medium Armoured Professions
I’ve definitely been feeling a vibe towards ranger-like and leather clad classes these past few years, generally choosing those types of characters in the games I play. Ranger in Rift, rogue in Dragon Age, sneak thief in Skyrim. That doesn’t seem to be changing for Guild Wars 2.
The engineer definitely has a lot of solid qualities. The limited number of weapons is supplemented by engineer kits. These numerous kits change the first 5 skills and broadly change how the engineer is played. The mine kit reminds me of throwing mines down in Fallout 3, the flamethrower reminds me of The Thing, and the grenade kit reminds me of Medal of Honor.
I think if I was going to be playing engineer it would be dual pistols. The rifle has some cool skills, but I can’t really picture myself running around with it.
The engineer gives me the feeling that there are a lot of things I need to keep in mind. What kit to switch to, what its toolbelt skills are, where my turret is. I think there is a lot of strategy involved, a lot of planning ahead.
I’m not the type to plan ahead.
The thief might be a better choice because of that. Instead of planning ahead, I can react afterward. Much more my style, believe me. With skills that can send me into stealth so I can escape and heal I’d be much better off.
Thieves also have a certain je ne sais quois, a style for which many people will be choosing the thief. I can’t blame them.
Gameplay wise I’m not sure. Leaping Death Blossom looks incredible from a stationary 2005 MMO point of view. Teleports, stealth, stealing, acrobatics, it all looks relatively decent.
However there is a problem. How will initiative play out? I’m not sure why Arenanet goes through the trouble of removing all energy, and still has initiative as a resource. Is energy relevant at all at this point? I think recharge times might just be the sole resource Guild Wars 2 needs, and if that is so, initiative is a hindrance not a unique mechanic.
The ranger has its own problems. Yet somehow it has landed at as one of the most likely classes I’ll play. I’m not a fan of how pet skills have played out. Their response times after attacking are a little slow. I don’t like how you are limited without your pet. In essence the problem with the pet class is the pets. And that’s never good.
However I like some of the skills a lot. Serpent Strike and Hornet Sting, Whirling Defense, Slash – Kick – Pounce. I like the agility and animations of these skills. There is as much movement here as with the thief, or the warrior.
Plus I get a pet, and once again my feline companion would be named Battl er, Cringer. I mean Cringer.
And that is how things are looking for me. From least likely to most likely. There are no hard decisions here, after all I haven’t played these professions right? Not to mention there is still time to change things, and many things will be.
I don’t expect a lot of people will agree with my choices but then to each his own. What profession are you guys going with?
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