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Jon Peters Talks Guardians

By Garrett Fuller on January 31, 2011 | Interviews | Comments

Jon Peters Talks Guardians

The Guardian is the latest class to join the Guild Wars 2 line up, how does this class fit in with the others?

Jon Peters:

When designing professions for Guild Wars 2, we really wanted to take a look at character archetypes and create professions so that people who imagined a character in their head could look at one of our 8 professions and say, “Yeah, my character is kind of like , I will play a guardian.”

The guardian is one of our more support-oriented professions, similar to the necromancer. They make heavy use of tactical area control much like the elementalist. They wear heavy armor like the warrior counterparts. That being said, as with all of our professions, they distinguish themselves much more in how they play rather than in what they can accomplish.


Tell us how the class combines melee and virtues to act in both an offense and defense role.

Jon Peters:

Rather than talk in boring theoretical stuff, here are some cool examples.


An enemy is attacking an ally of yours. You can activate your Courage virtue, which will block the next attack. Swap to a sword and shield and use Flashing Blade to teleport in between your ally and the target, blinding the enemy. Then unleash a Zealot’s Defense which sprays out projectiles but also puts up a protective barrier between you and your enemy. If done well, you could counteract 3 attacks in a row, giving you buddy time to fire off his self-heal and prepare for the next onslaught.


Grab a hammer and run into the midst of a number of enemies. Cycle your skill 1 chain to drop a Symbol of Faith on the ground. Follow that with a Warding Circle that confines your opponents onto the symbol. Then, activate your Justice virtue and unleash a Mighty Blow, a powerful AoE attack that will damage your enemies and allow the Justice virtue to set them on fire.

You mention the virtues as: Justice, Courage, and Resolve. Are these skill sets that the Guardian can use? What does each one bring to the character?

Jon Peters:

Each of the virtues brings the guardian a passive benefit. Extra burning damage on every fifth attack, a defensive shield that blocks something every 30 seconds, and passive health regeneration. They can dismiss these passive benefits for a period to give similar benefits to their allies, including party members, NPCs, or just other friendly players that they are experiencing dynamic events with.

In the write up you mention the Guardian using a mace and shield or two handed sword. How would the class use these two different weapon styles?

Jon Peters:

A guardian mace is dependent to some extent on his off hand weapon choice. That being said, the mace is a fairly defensive weapon, with skills like Protector’s Strike and Faithful Strike.

The two-handed sword wielder is a more mobile and AoE damage-oriented character with a hint of support and control. He has a Symbol of Swiftness that allies can run through to get a speed boost. He can also chain an enemy with Binding Blade that forces the enemy to stay close. His basic chain attack ends with a big AoE hit, and he can spin around, unleashing projectiles in random directions.

What role does the Guardian play as a support character? How does the class benefit the group they are with?

Jon Peters:

As a supporter, the guardian focuses on area defense that forces enemies to make tactical decisions. They have spells such as Wall of Deflection that either counters enemy attacks or makes them maneuver to get back in position to hit. This is a ground-targeted spell that can be used to defend, to push into enemy lines, or to cover a retreat.

What would you say to a player that wanted to play a purely offense specialized Guardian?

Jon Peters:

Fantastic—the guardian will be a great profession for you. You’ll need to choose your utility and heal skills wisely. One of the most offensive guardian builds involves a scepter and torch, and spirit weapons tend to be excellent offensive weapons. I would also suggest using Signet of Resolve, as it allows you to passively regenerate even more health, and also removes conditions when used.

What would you say to a player that wants to play a defensive Guardian?

Jon Peters:

This depends a lot on if you are trying to defend yourself or others. The guardian tends to be pretty area-focused with his defensive abilities, but there are options that are solo friendly as well. For example, a solo defensive guardian might use Shielding Hands as his heal to both block attacks and heal at the same time. A group-oriented guardian might use Healing Breeze to heal himself and apply regeneration to himself and allies in a cone. As for weapons, the mace, shield, and staff are some of the best defensive choices as well.

For your team what is the best part about working on a class like this? The Guardian seems to have a lot to offer players. Does it offer you as much when designing the class?

Jon Peters:

I’ve loved playing this type of character in role-playing environments since my first D&D cleric. In video games, I’ve always gravitated toward them and then found myself frustrated playing the interface instead of the game. This was an opportunity to think about everything that I loved about all those characters that I created and distill it down into a package that we thought people would really love, and still allow them to be truly engaged in the game. We went through a lot of iterations on this profession, and it was very satisfying when we finally hit on what we have now because as we began to play, it started to actually capture all of those aspects that we were hoping for.

You have not mentioned armor for the class, only weapons. Can we expect some great armor designs for this bring of justice?

Jon Peters:

We have a ton of great armor designs for the entire game and this does not leave out the guardian at all. If you like highly ornate, gruesome looking, fantastical, or even just plain vanilla plate or chain armor, each one has all the fine details you can appreciate for a long time.

What do you think the core appeal is of this style class for players?

Jon Peters:

Every profession in Guild Wars 2 is a chance for us to introduce a play style for a different kind of player. With the guardian we believe that we are catering to the type of player who is altruistic, who is willing to give something of themselves to help others. To us, this was the core of what it means to be a support player, rather than selecting health bars on a UI and clicking on skills. We believe these players will find this profession to be a rewarding and more active experience.

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