August 20, 2012

Which profession will you start with?

     Classes. Well in the case of the Guild Wars universe, we call them professions. MMO archetypes that define how we play and develop in the world of Tyria. To some, they already know what general type they want to play be it healer, tank, melee DPS or range DPS. But for others, this will actually take some simmering and debate. And what better time to do it than right now well before the launch. You wouldn't want the scenario where you finally decided your profession after hours of staring at the character creation screen but suddenly can't pick a name because pretty much everything has been taken wouldn't you?

Note that these are general descriptions on the professions based on what has been revealed so far and changes in actual gameplay can be expected.

The Guardian
     The Guardian is a close-combat profession that wears heavy armor. This profession has access to a wide range of support skills ranging from healing, protection and enhancements. While there is no dedicated healer, his skills can increase the survivability of  the group significantly
     This class is suited for people who enjoy providing a support role either by protecting or healing the group. However, the Guardian can also serve as a good crowd controller due to stun and movement impairing skills.

The Warrior
     The Warrior is also a close-combat profession and wears heavy armor. This profession can serve as a protector or primary damage dealer. The skills of the warrior range from direct damage abilities to enhancements via banners where he can place on an area to give an immediate benefit to those around it.
     This class is suited for those that prefer close-combat damage dealing as well as taking on a protector/tank role. While close combat may have some disadvantages such as more prone to damage (from my experience in other games), having access to heavy armor will help greatly in terms of survivability.

The Engineer
     The Engineer is a ranged damage dealing class. What sets it apart from other classes is the general flexibility in terms of skills. The engineer uses a system that involves Weapon or Tool Kits. When equipped, these kits provide a different set of abilities that the engineer can use ranging from standard damage dealing to healing capabilities. Another interesting type of ability are turrets, these are stationary devices that are dropped on the ground and provides additional damage or control options.
     You will enjoy playing this if you prefer to play with a class that has the right skills for the situation. Kits provide quick access to several different types of skills in any scenario and turrets provide some passive damage output.

The Ranger
     The Ranger is a ranged damage dealing class with access to medium armor and pets. Pets are unique to this class and is a constant companion of the ranger in his travels. Aside from pets, rangers also have access to traps. These are immobile devices like turrets but usually require a trigger such as an enemy passing through it. These skills help keep the ranger at range distance to keep himself from harm's way.
     If you are familiar with standard hunter classes in other MMO's, the ranger will be an easy fit for you. Several skills will be familiar with you on the get go though they are tweaked to fit into the Guild Wars 2 universe.

The Thief
     The Thief is a fast close combat damage dealer and wears medium armor. The main draw of the thief is that the profession has access to a variety of stealth skills. This allows an experienced thief to get near their target and lay down the law before the enemy realizes that the thief is there. Similar to the ranger, this profession also has access to traps that are triggered when an enemy steps on it though the effects of the traps are different.
     This profession is suited for people who like to plan ahead and prepare before dishing out their damage. Knowing how to approach a target and looking for your exit strategy are two things that the thief is well suited for.

The Elementalist
     The Elementalist is a ranged magic user that specializes in the natural elements. The attunement system is unique to this profession. You first select one of the four natural elements (earth, water, air and fire) then your skills with a certain weapon will vary with the attunement. For example, being attuned to air while have a wand equipped will have a different set of skills to let's say having the same weapon with the water attunement. Also, each attunement has their own specialization such as fire being more focused in dealing damage while water slows downs enemies.
     This is the mage class of the game and if you like casting spells from a far, this is the class for you. The attunement system brings a lot of versatility to the class since you can change your attunements during combat albeit there is a slight cooldown to prevent you from switching too often.

The Mesmer
     The Mesmer is another magic user specializing in illusions and misdirection. The illusions provide a variety of effects such as dealing damage and reducing the effectiveness of enemies. While other skills such as clones can confuse the enemy as to who the real target is. The mesmer also has access to mantras which are in essence prepared skills that once casted, replaces the skill in your skill bar with a spell that can be cast up to two times at instant speed before recharging.
     People that like to take control of the situation will enjoy the mesmer. The skills that this profession can access can effectively modify the abilities of enemies as well as distract them to allow others to focus on dealing with some of the immediate threats. Because of it being a control profession, this was also a popular choice for PVP in the first game.

The Necromancer
     The Necromancer is the final magic user available and specializes in summoning minions as well as life manipulation spells. This profession has access to a wide range of life steal spells to keep the caster alive as well as minions to attack while you suck the life out of everything. One unique trait of the necromancer is utilizing the resource called life force. Life force is used to power several spells and is gathered everytime someone near the caster dies.
     If you prefer casters with pets and a consistent way to heal yourself. The necromancer is a good choice. In MMO terms, the necromancer fits the standard warlock archetype with minions, life steal and the ability to fear enemies.

     This is just a general overview of the professions in Guild Wars 2. Each one has far more to offer than the paragraphs in this post but this will give you a general idea how each one plays. When the game launches, everyone can start experimenting with their own builds and these descriptions will very much change.

So, what profession will you be starting with?


  1. Well, I bet you already know what my starting character would be. Hint, I like those that are wickedly evil... and I use to be a warlock :)

    1. Interesting choice, though I have to say all the classes are quite interesting. Each class has its own unique mechanic that define the class.