The breakneck pace of Guild Wars 2 reveals continues today with the unveiling of the Ranger profession. ArenaNet starts out by describing the Ranger profession as a “jack-of-all-trades and a master of them all as well.” OK. You’ve got my attention already. The Ranger is a familiar fantasy class to most MMO gamers, and ArenaNet doesn’t look to have strayed too far from the archetypal Ranger with Guild Wars 2. Typically, the main difference between the implementation of a Ranger class in most games is whether or not it has access to pets, and just like the original Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2’s Ranger will also have access to pets, rejoice!
A Ranger's pets are designed to help him adapt to his opponents strengths and weaknesses, and he can have up to three pets stored, however, only one may be active at a time. Similar to the original Guild Wars, Rangers charm their pets in the wild and bond with them, and the process is relatively simple. The must simply seek out a juvenile version of the animal they wish to charm, and get to it! Pet options will include bears, moas, devourers, and most interestingly of all, sharks (perhaps an Asura Ranger can mount frikkin’ lasers on their heads?)! Thankfully, a pet’s base health, armor, and damage will also scale along with the player, though there is no word on whether or not the pet will inherit stats from gear as well.
Unlike the Warrior’s Adrenaline, the Ranger won’t be required to manage a unique resource in combat, instead, they’ll simply have to worry about managing the modes of their pet, which currently include the simple but effective aggressive, defensive, and passive toggle modes, as well as the attack, heel, and stay commands.
Pets will feature customization options as well. Described as “evolution levels”, a Ranger’s pet can evolve up to 20 times, or 20 evolution levels. The pet gains XP towards this levels in tandem with the player’s XP gain (the pet must be active). Evolution levels grant the pet a variety of bonuses specific to the type of pet itself. For example, a bear might receive increased health or increased damage as an evolution bonus. Pets will also unlock up to four ability slots throughout the course of their progression, allowing the player to customize them with a variety of active pet abilities.
Enough about pets! What else can Rangers look forward to in Guild Wars 2?
How about an interesting array of weapon options? Not only can the Ranger wield the shortbow and longbow with great efficiency, he can even wield a two-handed greatsword! Additionally, the Ranger can equip a sword or axe in his main hand or an axe, dagger, torch, and warhorn in his off-hand.
Rangers will also have access to traps. No surprise there. The Ranger can place traps such as the Spike Trap on the ground, which will cripple and inflict bleeding damage to an enemy who sets it off. A player can only have up to one trap active at any given time and he must remain in relatively close proximity for the trap to remain active.
Spirits make a return to Rangers in Guild Wars 2 as well. Players will have access to a number of nature spirits that can be summoned to influence enemies or players in its immediate proximity. For example, the Sun Spirit grants allies within its range bonus fire damage to all their attacks. Spirits can be slain in battle and are short-lived, disappearing on their own after a brief duration or if the Ranger steps too far away from it.
Much like the previous class reveals of the Warrior and Elementalist, ArenaNet is also quick to tease us with a few clips of a number of the skills at the Rangers disposal, which you can view by clicking the images below: