It's finally happened! The last player profession has been revealed by Arena.Net and it brings back one of the iconic and venerable classes from Guild Wars 1, The MESMER! While maybe ANet's hand was tipped a couple of days early, the revelation about the Mesmer class making a comeback in Guild Wars 2 is a welcome, if not surprising, bit of news.
So what about the Mesmer? For those who may not have played Guild Wars 1, the Mesmer was originally designed as a support character, a class filled with tricks and debuffs. Sadly, the Mesmer was often overlooked in party play due to a lack of real offensive power. But today's Mesmer ain't your mama's Mesmer and ArenaNet has gone a long way to give more firepower to the class, making it a must-have party member.
The Mesmer of today is largely based on the original design but with some important differences. To understand how the profession has changed, it is first important to know where Mesmers began. Here is how Mesmers are described on the Guild Wars site.
The Mesmer is not content with living in reality—Mesmers prefer to create their own realities. Mesmers are the mental masters of illusion, control, and domination, subverting an enemy's Energy for their own purposes and supporting the entire party in battle with powerful, mind-bending magic. Domination skills put Mesmers in command of a foe's Health and Energy, while Illusion can inflict damage, slow an enemy, and drain away the powers of those that oppose them. The Mesmer can call on Inspiration to steal Energy directly from the opposition, and the primary Memser attribute Fast Casting works just like it sounds—you can sling your spells at a much higher rate than any other profession. The Mesmer is powerful as a damage-dealing spellcaster, a support player, or both. They should usually avoid the front lines, but can turn the tide of most any fight in seconds.
Guild Wars 2 Mesmers will, as the predecessor was, be a specialist in illusion. They will be able to cast spells to create up to three illusions at a time that will confuse attackers. The illusions only disappear if they are attacked and vanquished.
Illusions come in two flavors now: Phantasms and Clones. Clones are precise mimics of the Mesmer down to the name, dress and basic behavior. They are low health targets and do little damage to attackers.
Phantasms, on the other hand, resemble the caster but have their own names, specialized and personalized weapons with their own unique behaviors. By virtue of these facts, the Phantasms are more formidible opponents with much more health than Illusions and they can deal out as good as they get.
Guild Wars 2 Mesmers will occasionally face off with enemies or other players will equal skills. To combat this, the Mesmer is equipped with "shattering" spells that will destroy illusions and apply a secondary effect. According to the literature we've seen, there are four shatter skills:
- F1 – Mind Wrack: Destroys your illusions and does damage to opponents near them.
- F2 – Cry of Frustration: Destroys your illusions and dazes nearby foes.
- F3 – Diversion: Destroys your illusions and stuns nearby foes.
- F4 – Reflection: Destroys your illusions and places a reflective barrier around the mesmer that reflects enemy projectiles.
Mantras will also be making a comeback with the Mesmer in Guild Wars 2. Mantras are long cast spells but with a reward that an "instant casting" skill is applied to a lot. Mantras have a special place in the Mesmer's arsenal due to the fact that they can be cast before a battle and used simultaneously while casting another spell without interrupt. This appears to be something that will be particularly useful in PvP.
The thing that has probably created the most stir from the leaked video earlier this week is the now-known fact that Mesmers won't be limited to a focus chakra and a ribbon-bedecked wand. Mesmers will be able to utilize 2-handed weapons including staves and greatswords. They will also be able to use a 1-handed sword or scepter in their main hand and a focus, pistol, second sword or a torch in their off hand. Now how cool is that!?
By all appearances, the Mesmer has been reshaped and retooled very nicely for Guild Wars 2. What do you think? Are you ready to roll a Mesmer? Let us know in the comments!
As an extra treat for fans, ArenaNet is hosting a special Reddit Ask Me Anything developer conversation today, in which media and players are encouraged ask questions to find additional details on the mesmer.