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Bittersweet

By Michael Bitton on January 27, 2011 | Columns | Comments

Bittersweet

As I’m sure you have heard by now, ArenaNet made good on their promise to unveil Guild Wars 2’s fifth profession this month and perhaps now we’ll never have to hear the term “Blue Mace Lady” again. That’s right folks, I called it wrong, it wasn’t the Mesmer as I’d hoped and felt confident it would be, and those of you who surmised ArenaNet would be changing things up this time around were right.

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The fifth profession is the “Guardian”, formerly known as the Blue Mace Lady (or man!), and it is a Soldier (heavy armor) class. The Guardian will have access to maces, scepters, swords, greatswords, hammers and staves as mainhand weapons, and foci, shields, and torches for offhand weapons.  Guardians will utilize “Virtues” to protect their allies and smite their foes, including the Virtue of Courage, which protects the Guardian, and the Virtue of Resolve, which offers the Guardian substantially increased regeneration.  For those of you who have played League of Legends, Virtues are “active passive” abilities, meaning that they provide the Guardian with passive benefits, but they can also be activated to different effect.  Used as an active ability, Virtues will confer their bonuses to the party, however, this costs the Guardian his own benefits from the Virtue until the ability has recharged. This mechanic allows the Guardian to be equally capable at supporting their party whether they are first into the fray or hanging back protecting the wussy clothies from themselves (I kid, I kid!).

In addition to the Virtue mechanic, Guardians have access to a number of special skill types including Spirit Weapons, which basically allow the Guardian to summon weapon “pets” that strike their target with a powerful attack before disappearing. The Guardian can also place Wards and Symbols on the ground, the latter of which provides nearby allies with bonuses or damages nearby enemies, while the former prevents enemies from crossing through it. Finally, the Guardian can wield the power of Aegis, a removable boon granted by the Virtue of Courage that blocks the next attack that targets the Guardian.

I tend to enjoy classes that bring a lot to a team, and oftentimes this means tanking, or in games that allow for it, crowd control heavy classes that can turn the tide of battle.  The presence of a good Ranger type class tends to negate all this though regardless of whether or not it is the more selfish variant or a good support class, and so I plan on rolling a Ranger at launch, though I am still eager to find out what the Mesmer will be like in Guild Wars 2 as the Mesmer comes in as a close second for me. However, between the Warrior and the Guardian, the Guardian would definitely be my choice. The flexibility offered by the Virtue mechanic is a huge draw, and I really like the fact you have to make a tactical choice when utilizing Virtues as you would have to sacrifice your own benefits to help your team.

The title of this week’s Guild Wars 2 column is “Bittersweet”, so I’d be remiss to not talk about that today. Like many of you I am always eager to hear more about the game, and class reveals are some of the most exciting bits of information to have, but at the same time I was really looking forward to seeing the stylish Mesmer come to life this week and so it is all a bit bittersweet for me (boo hoo, I know). The moons seemed aligned for a Mesmer reveal, as it is pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point that the profession will be in the game, but I suppose we’ll have to wait until next time (I hope!) to see what she’s all about in Guild Wars 2.

How do you feel about the Guardian reveal? Were you also disappointed we didn’t hear about the Mesmer this week? Or have you been frothing at the mouth to find out what the “Blue Mace Lady” would end up being like? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager.
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