We were able to chat with ArenaNet’s Roy Cronacher and Jon Peters this week about the 9th and newest profession for Guild Wars 2, The Revenant. Debuting briefly at PAX South’s Heart of Thorns unveiling, with more details being released over the course of this week, the Rev (as I like to call him) is unlike any of the other Heavy Professions in Guild Wars canon so far.
When ArenaNet decided to move forward with the expansion, they knew they wanted Heart of Thorns to have a new Profession… but they asked themselves more than just “what is this profession going to add to the game?” They wanted to be sure it came from a unique lore perspective, filled a hole that’s missing in gameplay, and most importantly… what can the Revenant do for Guild Wars 2 as a whole?
Lore-wise, we know that Rytlock comes back from the Mists (see Season 2 of the Living World) as the first official Revenant in all of Tyria. What’s interesting about the class (you can learn more about some other skills and the lore at GW2’s official site), is that you’ll be slotting Legendary Heroes from the Mists themselves… almost like equipment. Some may be evil, some may be good, and some are going to be agnostic in their ways.
Jon and Roy explained that the first two they’re announcing (Legendary Demon Mallyx the Unyielding and Legendary Dwarf Jalis Ironhammer) are both from previous Guild Wars 1 campaigns (Jalis from Prophecies, and Mallyx from Nightfall) so *Hint-Hint* there may be more from other GW1 campaigns coming too. Each time you swap between these legendary figures, your entire skillsets will change, as will your UI, and the spirits your harnessing themselves will talk to you like you’re actually possessing them.
Each Legend will bring a different playstyle to the Rev: with Jalis being a more tanky sort of build and Mallyx acting as more of a condition damage and condition spreading build. Each Legend will have its own theme this way, but Jon and Roy both noted that this doesn’t mean you’ll have dozens of Legends to choose from. Rather they want them to feel distinctive, so I’d be willing to bet on a handful more than a bushel being added.
The Rev also uses a new resource type: Energy. Think of it like actual spectral energy from the Mists. The more you use it, the less connected to that nether realm you become. It recharges at 5 per second, with a max of 100 (all numbers are of course subject to change). And because this is the one of only a few professions to rely on a resource, it goes to figure that skills and abilities will have much shorter cooldowns than you’re used to. So you might actually see folks use the Revenant as a burst-DPS or burst-control sort of build, even swapping the Legends (the F1 key) can be a game of balance in and of itself. Maybe you use all of Jalis’ skills, and you’re suddenly low on energy, but if you swap over to Mallyx you’ll get a boost of energy back to 50 and have access to his condition dealing skills.
Each skill has their own variation of energy costs, and some have upkeep costs, so they act like a toggle until you run out of energy. Sort of like the Necro’s Death Shroud form. The team also tried to add passive perks to each Legend, but it just didn’t work and could tend to bog people down into using just one legend. They want the Revenant to focus on switching during combat, as that’s where the feel the most interesting strategies and tactics come from. Each Legend has their own style and voiceover effects added to the UI, as well as the player themselves shows what Legend they’re using based on their spells’ colors and animations. It’s a sort of treat for GW1 fans to see these long-lost characters again, while it also introduces some older lore to new denizens of Tyria.
But here’s a question – since Specializations are a big part of the new level 80 experience in Heart of Thorns, will the Revenant be getting their own? Yes, there will be a specialization for the Revenant, but as for what that entails we’ll just have to wait. Jon and Roy weren’t talking about it yet.