A necromancer is a practitioner of the dark arts who summons the dead, wields the power of lost souls, and literally sucks the lifeblood of the enemy. A necromancer feeds on life force, which he can use to cheat death or bring allies back from the brink.
A necromancer feeds on death and decay. Life force is the energy that a necromancer uses to extend his own life. Using specific skills, a necromancer builds up life force by attacking and killing enemies. Rather than going into a downed state when he runs out of health, a necromancer automatically activates the Death Shroud ability. A necromancer can continue fighting in the ghostly Death Shroud form until he either runs out of life force or he gets a kill, rallying back into his own corpse.
Necromancers have a unique set of special skills:
Wells—Wells are persistent spells that allow a necromancer to control the area around him. Created at the necromancer's location, wells affect targets within the skill's range.
Well of Blood, for example, applies a regeneration boon to all allies within it. A necromancer can only have one well skill active at any time.
Minions—The necromancer summons undead minions to attack foes and do his bidding. Every minion-summoning spell has an associated secondary spell that appears after the minion has been summoned. This secondary spell destroys the minion while providing a powerful effect to the necromancer. For example, necromancers have a healing skill called Summon Blood Fiend that creates a minion that heals its master while it attacks. After the minion has been summoned, the Summon Blood Fiend skill is replaced by the skill Taste of Death, which allows a necromancer to destroy the minion to gain a larger amount of health.
Marks—Necromancers can also place marks--ground-targeted spells with a variety of potent effects. For instance, Mark of Blood damages enemies while placing a regeneration boon on nearby allies. Marks will trigger after a set period of time, but a necromancer can always trigger their marks on command by hitting the skill again.
Fear—Necromancers use a condition not available to any other profession: fear. A removable condition, fear makes an enemy flee directly away from a necromancer for a short period of time. For example, a necromancer can use Doom to instill fear in a single target.
When outfitting himself for combat, the necromancer can choose from the following weapons. The necromancer weapons are:
• Main Hand: Axe, Dagger, Scepter
• Off Hand: Dagger, Focus, Warhorn
• Two-Handed: Staff
• Aquatic: Spear and Trident
Life force is a special type of energy used by a necromancer. Once he reaches a certain life force threshold, a necromancer can activate Death Shroud (see below), entering a spirit form and leaving his body behind. Each of his weapon sets have skills that give a necromancer life force, and he gains an even larger amount of life force for kills that happen nearby. Finally, there are utility skills that build up life force, like Ghost Armor, a skill that improves a necromancer's armor and adds life force every time he takes damage.
Death Shroud is a special ability--usable by a necromancer at any time--that utilizes his life force as a secondary health bar. Instead of entering a downed state when his health is reduced to zero, a necromancer automatically activates the Death Shroud ability and assumes a spectral form. In Death Shroud, a necromancer has a number of special skills. For example, a necromancer can summon a shadow fiend, a special minion unique to this form. With the ability to tap into Death Shroud, necromancers are certainly one of the most durable professions in Guild Wars 2.
The guardian is a devoted fighter who calls upon powerful virtues to smite enemies and protect allies. As dangerous with a staff as he is with a mighty two-handed hammer, a true guardian is a master tactician who knows when to sacrifice his own defenses to empower his allies to achieve victory.
Each guardian is supported by passive benefits, but he can relinquish those benefits, passing his powers on to his allies. This ability makes the guardian an excellent supportive fighter whether they are leading an assault or defending your party's flanks.
Guardians have developed three virtues that empower them in combat. By wielding Justice, the guardian's attacks can burn his enemies. With Courage, the guardian can shrug off even a mighty blow. Through Resolve, the guardian passively regenerates health, allowing him to wade into the most dangerous situation and come out alive.
Guardians also have a number of special skill types:
Spirit Weapons—The guardian can summon spirit weapons to fight at his side for a limited time. Spirit weapons cannot be attacked by enemies and can be commanded to inflict a powerful attack before disappearing. For example, Hammer of Wisdom can be summoned to fight alongside a guardian, then commanded to knock down an enemy and vanish.
Symbols—The guardian places symbols on the ground, where they inflict damage to enemies or deliver a benefit to allies. Symbols persist for a few seconds and then go away. For instance, Symbol of Faith is a hammer attack that leaves a transient symbol on the ground, giving allies the Vigor boon.
Wards—A ward is a marked area on the ground that stops enemies from passing through while allowing allies to move freely. For example, a staff-wielding guardian can create a Line of Warding in front of him that keeps enemies from reaching the allies behind him.
Aegis—Guardians are adept in the use of Aegis, a removable boon that blocks the next attack. Guardians have access to this boon through the virtue of Courage.
The guardian can choose from a mixture of melee and magical weapons. The guardian weapons are:
• Main Hand: Mace, Scepter, Sword
• Off Hand: Focus, Shield, Torch
• Two-Handed: Greatsword, Hammer, Staff
• Aquatic: Spear and Trident
Guardians have three special virtue abilities--Justice, Courage, and Resolve--that grant them passive benefits in battle. They can choose to activate a virtue, extending a powerful version of these benefits to their allies, but disabling their own passive ability until the activated virtue has finished recharging. The guardian virtues are:
• Justice—Every fifth attack causes burning. Use this skill to make nearby allies' next attacks cause burning. (This disables your Justice for 30 seconds.)
• Courage—Every 30 seconds you are granted Aegis, blocking the next attack. Use this skill to apply Aegis to all nearby allies. (This disables your Courage for 120 seconds.)
• Resolve—You regenerate health. Use this skill to remove conditions and apply Regeneration to all nearby allies. (This disables your Resolve for 120 seconds.)
A master of stealth and surprise, the thief is deadly in single combat—particularly when catching enemies off guard. Thieves compensate for their relatively low armor and health by being quick and evasive. They can move through the shadows, vanish into thin air, or steal items from their opponents and use them as weapons. Enemies should watch their backs, or the thief will watch it for them.
While other professions rely on recharge rate for their weapon skills in combat, thieves rely on Initiative. Thieves have ten points of Initiative to use, and they gain back one point every second. Weapon skills cost Initiative points, but they have no recharge time, so thieves can use them back-to-back. This allows the thief to keep their options open at all times or unleash a rapid flurry of powerful attacks.
Thieves make use of a special skill called Steal, which generates a useful environmental weapon in the thieves' hands based on the monster or player that they stole from. For example, when stealing from a moa bird, a thief might get a handful of feathers that they can throw to blind enemies around them.
When using a main hand and off-hand weapon combination, the thief differs from other professions. Their first two skills come from the main hand weapon, while the last two skills come from the off-hand weapon. The final skill, called their Dual Skill, is determined by both weapons. For example, a thief with two daggers will have Leaping Death Blossom as their Dual Skill, but a thief with a dagger and a pistol will have Shadow Shot as their Dual Skill.
Thieves have a number of special skill types:
Stealth—Thieves can disappear into the shadows. This allows them to become invisible to enemy players and to ignore aggro. When in Stealth mode, the thief can still be damaged, which temporarily reveals them. When a thief is hidden, attacking will break the deception.
Shadow Stepping—Thieves can get in and out of battle quickly by using a technique called Shadow Stepping. This skill allows them to disappear from one location and then instantly appear at a different location by traveling through the shadows.
Traps—Thieves use traps to ambush unsuspecting enemies and control areas. For example, Shadow Trap is a trap that puts the thief into Stealth and Shadow Steps them back to the trap's location.
The thief has a mixture of melee and ranged weapons. The thief weapons are:
• Main Hand: Sword, Dagger, and Pistol
• Off Hand: Dagger and Pistol
• Two-Handed: Shortbow
• Aquatic: Spear and Harpoon
Initiative is the thief's resource mechanic. A thief has ten points of Initiative that refill at a rate of one point per second both in and out of combat. Skill 1 on their bar is always free, but the other thief weapon skills all cost Initiative instead of having recharge. Thief Heal, Utility, and Elite skills do not cost Initiative and still have a recharge cost.
Above their skill bar, all thieves have a special skill called Steal that can be used on enemies. It does not actually steal a real item from an opponent, but rather generates an appropriate environmental weapon based on the target. Stealing does not break stealth, and cannot be used often. Stealing allows you to hold onto whatever item or weapon you stole from your opponent (nothing is actually stolen from them, it's just something the Thief gains) and can be used at any time of your choosing.
Dual Skills are special skills that thieves acquire in slot 3 of their weapon bar that are based on both weapons they are wielding. A dual skill is determined by both main hand and offhand weapons, and can vary depending on the order. For example, a thief wielding a pistol main hand with dagger offhand (Shadow Strike) will have a different dual skill than a thief wielding a dagger main hand and pistol offhand (Shadow Shot). The shortbow is the one exception to this rule; it does not have a dual skill.
Stealth has a limited duration and can be broken in various ways. Most stealth is lost when a player attacks through it. Some stealth breaks when the player moves. While in stealth, a player can still take damage and will temporarily appear in the world when they do.
Shadow Stepping is a teleport mechanic used by the thief profession to get in and out of battle. A thief may only shadow step where normal movement is possible and may not use it to teleport through a gate or other blocking area.
Masters of mechanical mayhem, engineers tinker with explosives, gadgets, elixirs, and all manner of deployable devices. They can take control of an area by placing turrets, support their allies with alchemic weaponry, or lay waste to foes with a wide array of mines, bombs, and grenades.
Like elementalists, engineers use a single weapon set at a time, but they complement this weapon set by equipping special utility and healing kits. These kits provide the engineer with special weapons and backpacks loaded with a full set of skills to replace their current weapon skills.
Weapon Kits—These are utility skills that equip a new weapon in the engineer's hands when activated. For example, the flamethrower kit creates a short-range AOE weapon the engineer can use to overwhelm foes. The flamethrower has skills like Immolate to damage nearby enemies, Air Blast to defend from ranged attacks, and Backdraft to suck enemies into range of the weapon's powerful attacks.
Backpack Kits—When activated, these special utility kits equip a backpack that replaces the engineer's current weapon skills with a set of more specialized skills. For example, a bomb kit puts a backpack on engineers that allows them to deploy bombs with a variety of effects including smoke, concussion, and fire.
Turrets—An engineer can deploy turrets: immobile allied devices that help defend and control an area. When a turret is deployed, the skill in that slot is replaced with its overcharged version. For example, an engineer can deploy a Thumper Turret to cause AOE damage, and then activate the overcharge version of that skill for a big thump attack that knocks down nearby enemies. An engineer can interact with deployed turrets, packing them up and moving them around. This removes the turret—and the option to overcharge it—triggering a short recharge before that turret can be deployed again. Only one of each type of turret can exist at a time.
Tool Belt—An engineer tool belt is a set of special skills above the weapon skill bar. It enhances the effectiveness and functionality of the engineer's utility and heal skills. The tool belt can add a self-destruct skill to turrets or a detonation option to all mines. When paired with the grenade kit, the tool belt allows a grenade barrage; with the med kit, it adds a self-healing skill.
When we initially talked about the engineer, only some of the heal and utility skills had corresponding tool belt skills, but as we spent more time with this profession—especially testing for the gamescom demo—we started imagining a much cooler version of the engineer’s tool belt, where every slotted heal/utility skill had a tool belt counterpart.
This improved tool belt system meant that we had to design twenty-three new skills. Since this is ArenaNet, that meant a bunch of meetings, some yelling, a whiteboard, and a lot of sticky notes. After all was said and done, we ended up with a matching tool belt skill for every heal and utility skill—this was how the engineer was always supposed to play!
To give some examples, an engineer that equips slots 6-9 with Elixir H, Flamethrower, Slick Shoes, and Rocket Boots would now have the following skills in their tool belt:
F1 - Throw Elixir H: A ground-targeted skill that throws Elixir H at the target area, randomly granting vigor, protection, or regeneration to allies in the area.
F2 - Incendiary Ammo: Your next three attacks cause burning.
F3 – Super Speed: A very short but powerful speed boost.
F4 – Rocket Kick: A kick that causes AoE fire damage.
• Main Hand: Pistol
• Off Hand: Pistol, Shield
• Two-Handed: Rifle
• Aquatic: Harpoon
• Tool Kit
• Grenade Kit
• Bomb Kit
• Mine Kit
• Med Kit
• Elixir Gun
• Rifle Turret
• Thumper Turret
• Net Turret
• Flame Turret
• Healing Turret
Mesmers are magical duelists who rely on deception and confusion to keep their opponents in check. Indecision is their greatest ally. Using powerful illusions to distract, they make sure they never go toe to toe with an enemy; they use their powers and tactics to set up an unfair fight. Just when you think you've figured out what the mesmer is doing, illusions begin to shatter, clones start to fade away, and you realize you've been swinging at empty air all along. It's hard to keep your eye on the real mesmer.
The mesmer doesn't have the brute power of the warrior, or the ranged devastation of the ranger. Instead, the mesmer weaves a web of interlaced illusions, conditions, and phantasmal sources of damage. Through skillful play, mesmers combine these pieces into a deadly puzzle to be solved by their foes, while also helping their allies.
Illusions—Mesmers create illusions—mind tricks that manifest themselves physically. Most illusions are directed at a specific target, but anyone can see and attack them. They can only exist for as long as that target is alive and can only be dispelled by attacking the illusion itself. A mesmer can maintain up to three illusions at a time, with the oldest illusion being replaced by the newly created one. There are two types of illusions: clones and phantasms.
Clones—Clones are illusions that look just like the caster, have the caster's name, and have basic behaviors. Clones have low health and tend to do little damage. For example, a mesmer equipped with a sword has two clone-summoning skills: Leap, which launches him forward, leaving a clone at his location, and Illusionary Leap, which summons a clone at his location that then jumps forward.
Phantasms—Phantasms are illusions that look like the caster but have their own names and carry special illusionary weapons, which look different and have specific behavior. Phantasms are more powerful, having more health and causing more damage. For example, a staff mesmer can summon an illusionary mage that attacks its target and deals extra damage for each inflicted condition.
Mantras—Mantras are a category of skill that have two phases. The mesmer first activates the mantra, which has a long cast time and replaces that skill slot with an instant-casting skill that the mesmer can then use. Mantras are powerful because many can be charged up before battle and then used in the middle of another spell, without interrupting that spell. For example, Mantra of Pain can charge up into an instant-damage power spike that can be used during a channeled spell, such as the greatsword skill.
A mesmer can use a variety of magical, ranged, and melee weapons, including:
Main Hand: Sword, Scepter
Off Hand: Focus, Pistol, Sword, Torch
Two-Handed: Staff, Greatsword
The mesmer introduces a new condition to our set called confusion. An enemy with confusion on them takes damage each time they activate a skill. This condition stacks in intensity, so the more confusion an enemy has, the greater the damage.
The mesmer has special abilities that can shatter illusions. Shattering will destroy all illusions and create a secondary effect. There are four different shatter skills:
Mind Wrack—Destroys your illusions and does damage to opponents near them.
Cry of Frustration—Destroys your illusions and gives the confused condition to nearby foes.
Diversion—Destroys your illusions and stuns nearby foes.
Reflection—Destroys your illusions and places a barrier around the mesmer, which reflects enemy projectiles.More screens here.Video playlist here.Collector's Edition
- All that is known is that there will be one.Beta/Release
- ArenaNet has said that Beta will start before the end of 2011. The feedback from there will determine the date of Open Beta and that will then determine the release date. ANet has said that they're not aiming for 2nd place and "it's done when it's done". Based on how far the game is in development and what they've shown/are showing in the next few weeks
I'm going to bet on an April release.System Requirements
- Recently we found out a tidbit of info regarding system requirements, ANet has been testing the game on video cards so old that they need to get it on special order because it's no longer manufactured. Looking at Newegg that means those GPUs are from around 2002/2003. I've also seen them say that they really don't even develop their games on high end hardware so that they don't forget about the lower end of the hardware spectrum. The GW2 engine is a modified version of the GW1 engine and it would be simply shocking if it's playable on 8 year old hardware by the time it releases.