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Columns: Mesmer - Master of the Mind

By David North on December 20, 2011

Mesmer - Master of the Mind

Finally, the last profession for Guild Wars 2 has been revealed!  In a way I was hoping for something new, rather than just an old profession coming back, but I must say, ArenaNet sure has out done itself yet again with the Mesmer.  Some of the professions are those that are returning from the first game, such as the Warrior, Ranger, Elementalist and Necromancer.  What was nice is that all these professions got a much needed facelift, even though they did very well for the old age of RPG games.  Guild Wars 2 is focusing on a new way for MMOs to be made and played.  But today, we are talking about the Mesmer, so let me tell (and show) what I like about the returning veteran.


How does one take something old, and make it look and seem new?  Give it new weapons!  It brings new interest to the profession, as it helps give them the variety Guild Wars 2 brings a focus to.  Think about it, what’s cooler than casting a spell, then running up to the target and finishing them off with a quick slice from your sharp blade.  Variety is really improved with the Mesmer, as they can use a swords and pistols alongside the typical magic user weaponry.  It gives a lot of strategy to just one profession, and we know this method works as we have seen it done with the others.   So if a gun slinging, mind bending hero doesn’t pique your interest, you must be crazy!

For the longest time we would ask if the last profession would choose might, or magic.

Like the other returning professions, the Mesmer has some old tricks returning for them to bring the pain, but let’s talk about some of this new spells and tricks.  First, let’s talk about the coolest looking, and my personal favorite, the portal!  This is by far one of the coolest spells I have seen in the entire game.  The video that was shown to us has the Mesmer creating two way points on the ground.  When the enemy gets too close for comfort, the Mesmer enters the closest way point, and instantly teleports to the next way point.  The monster gets confused, turns back and charges again.  This opens up a lot of potential for strategy.

As the current build is now, the Mesmer’s portal ability only works for them, but the plan of ArenaNet is to have allies also have access to using the waypoints.  Right now though, it is still up in the air if pets and minions will be able to use it as well, but with your whole party having the ability to teleport around the battlefield, you can have the advantage no matter what type of terrain you are fighting on!

Next up, let’s talk about confusion, and no we aren’t talking about Pokémon.  Ok, that joke was a bit lame, but I am serious.  Confusion works a bit like it does in the Pokémon games, only if a target with confusion uses an ability, they will always hurt themselves as well.  Sounds cool, but it gets even better.  This condition stacks up, and that’s what I love about it!  The Mesmer is supposed to be the master of the mind, the ability to cause an enemy to become so confused they do as much damage as they dish out only makes sense, and gives that feeling that they are in control.  Well, we don’t know how much damage confusion will cause.  I’m only guessing that it gets really effective once it has been stacked up a lot.  None the less, this confusion thing is pretty sweet.

OK, there is more to talk about skill-wise, such as the clones, and phantasms.  Yeah, they are neat, but not just because of what they do.  In fact, the reason I find them so cool is the reason I find many of the Mesmer’s skills interesting: their visuals.  The Mesmer can make you see things by creating illusions.  In a few gameplay videos, I saw enemies thinking that they are on fire, and what really sold this was that fire appeared on the enemy the spell targeted.  That’s right, graphics showing fire and the plague on enemies danced on the screen, showing that you had the enemy under your control.  It‘s visuals like this that truly sell the potency of the Mesmer’s abilities.

You can make the enemy think they are on fire and infected with the plaque, but what about making them think they are a cute cartoon girl?

Over all, I am very impressed with the Mesmer, and am happy with the reveal.  The new skills really bring a new meaning to controlling the battlefield, whether it’s changing the terrain to always be in your favor, using portals, or making your enemy think they are on fire.  The Mesmer will always have the right skill for the job, and they will do it in style.

So, are you happy with the reveal of the Mesmer, where you hoping for something else?  Let us know be leaving some comments below.

David North / All my life I've been a gamer, from side scrolling adventures to shooters, it was only a mater of time before the RPG genre would grab a hold of me. My love for games grew so much that I started to make them. It grew even more, and now I also write about them.
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