Now that the mesmer’s out: Which class do you want to play?

Guild Wars 2 has finally revealed its 8th class which, I’m sure, most of you already know by now. :) In case you missed it, here’s the mesmer on the official GW2 website (and they also posted a link roundup for the mesmer to see all the reactions and interviews they did!).

Now we know that Guild Wars 2 will allow us to play the engineer, thief, guardian, warrior, elementalist, necromancer, ranger and mesmer.

Did the reveal of the mesmer change your mind about which class you want to play first? Were you hoping for another class or is the mesmer all you ever wanted? Or are you now hoping your favourite class will make a return in an expansion? ;) In my case, I’d at some point hoped that the dervish will be introduced again but I knew this wouldn’t happen because the scythe wasn’t listed as weapon in the game (we did know which weapons will be in the game before we knew about all of the classes).

But my favourite class in Guild Wars is the warrior and there’s always some kind of warrior in games like these. ;) Besides, warrior was one of the first classes that were announced. By now, I’m just not sure anymore this is the class I actually want to play. My main concern is that the class is “too easy”. They did say that it’s the least complex class to play and since there are no tanks in this game, I guess its primary role is DPS.

I know that I don’t like the sneaky classes that first have to get into the back of the enemy before they attack – I definitely lack the patience for such a playstyle. And I get bored when all a class can do is deal damage. *yawn* I want to be useful to the group besides having a high DPS. I want to have some kind of support. I don’t, however, like the guardian too much. Don’t ask me why! ;)

Maybe a ranger would be nice as well? I tend to prefer ranged classes for having a better overview of the battle, especially in PvP. Then again, having a pet that needs to be micromanaged can get quite distracting. I’ll have to see how it works here in Guild Wars 2. Pet pathing is always an issue as well. I hope they can do it well. So far, I’ve been the least annoyed with it in WoW (well, once they made them able to jump down cliffs with my hunter instead of slowly and happily running down the paths we’d just tried to avoid… helloooo, Wailing Caverns). Warhammer was… ugh. Not too well. But I played an engineer and her turrets never moved, so I didn’t have a problem with that there. ;) I deleted my first loremaster in Lotro pretty quickly when after running around in the meadow and frolicking, my bear was gone. There had been no obstacles, nothing. It hadn’t been stuck. I now know that when your character gets a movement bonus (passively on items, so it’s always there), your pet apparently doesn’t get it. So after a while, it’s so far behind you that the game ‘puts it away’. And ArenaNet did write that you need your pet (That was in the Q&A on Reddit – which you can see in a nice-to-read-version here).
I quote:
Q: I it possible to play a ranger without the pet and manage on par with other classes?
A: No, as soon as you enter combat your pet comes out. Trust me, you will want them. :)

So I have to see for myself whether they did a good job with the pets or not. ;) But the part about “your pet comes out” when you enter combat sounds like it’s usually not there? Or maybe you can, if you want, put it away but never during combat. Either way, if it works automatically, then there’s no need to worry about your pet following you around all the time. On the other hand, not having it out is also a bit sad. I know I was sad when WoW changed it because I loved having my troll hunter on her raptor mount with her raptor pet next to her and now you can’t have your pet out anymore when you’re mounted. Anyway, WoW was also when I tried PvP with such a pet class and I had so much fun in Warsong! The crowd control and micromanagement – despite disliking it during PvE settings – was great in PvP.

The third class that’s now on my list is the mesmer. I like what I’ve seen so far and the utility this class brings sounds like fun. The teleporting from place A to B especially. Being able to play aggro ping-pong with yourself? Yes, please! ^^

13 responses to “Now that the mesmer’s out: Which class do you want to play?

  1. “They did say that it’s the least complex class to play and since there are no tanks in this game, I guess its primary role is DPS. ” (referring to the warrior class)

    - This is “old paradigm” thinking and will most likely lead to frustration and difficulty.

    There are NO “primary” roles for any class in GW2. Every class must be capable of sustaining attacks from opponents, healing and recovering from those attacks, as well as killing those opponents, and exercising small amounts of control of the battlefield in the form of various types of CC (crowd control, ie; stuns, snares, knockdowns, knockbacks, etc…)

    Having said that, each class also has it’s own “flavor” or style of how they go about accomplishing all of this, and the preferred playing style of the actual player also determines to a great degree how much of each of those capabilities are displayed during group play with others.

    Warriors are possibly the most “direct” in how they go about their business but, I’m not sure I would classify them as the simplest, or easiest, and they will be much more capable of “support” activities in a group than folks are giving them credit for currently. The class still ranks in the “top 5″ for me personally.

    This latest reveal has definitely shaken what I was coming to think of as a firmly set order of interest in the classes of GW2. Prior to the mesmer reveal, I had the necro at the top of my list by a fair margin. I was also interested in some others (like the warrior) but it was going to take me just a little while to get around to them since it was clear to me that the overall “feel” and class mechanics of the necro were going to suit me quite well. Plus, I already have a “personality,” look, and preferred name selected for my necro character… basically just need them to release the game… heh.

    However, the mesmer has now joined the necro at the top of my list… it’s still sinking in so-to-speak but, it’s quite possible that the mesmer will end up in the number one spot. Either way, I will likely be giving into my altoholicsm much faster now, and basically playing both the mez and necro simultaneously, instead of focusing on just one or the other, at least until a clear favorite emerges. (If that ever occurs.)

    The movement capabilities of the mesmer are incredibly appealing to me, and the diversity of their class mechanic (shattering illusions – both clones and phantasms) looks to be among the best in the game… having a choice (at any given time) between AoE damage, AoE stun, AoE DOT, and a personal shield is just amazing. The potential of the class seems profound… hopefully more video and information will be forthcoming.

    The news of the tightly controlled, closed beta was excellent imo, since it means they are actually TESTING and not just doing a glorified demo at this point. Although I would love to be invited (helloooo ANet… retired, experienced player, able to devote 12+ hours per day to testing, who is also not afraid to type out exhaustive and thorough reports on a daily basis over here… *waves hand* Rubi knows how to contact me… just ask her for the info.) the fact is, I’m very happy they are keeping things “close to the vest” at this stage since they are still working on refining many facets of the game.

    To me, it does also mean that a 2012 release date is almost assured, and that is a VERY happy thing. *snoopy happy dance*

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    • I may have worded it wrong. ^^ Anyway, this is the interview I referred to when I wrote about the warrior: http://tap-repeatedly.com/2011/06/10/exclusive-interview-arenanets-jon-peters-and-jonathan-sharp/

      Gigashadow (GW2G): The warrior seems an easy profession to get into, with a high skill floor and a very simple profession mechanic, and this has some people concerned. Can you assuage these fears by talking about some things which make the warrior very challenging to play and give it a high skill cap?

      Jon P: The warrior’s strength is mainly focused on its melee attacks, but knowing where to be on the battlefield, at a high level, is probably the most difficult thing. To get to a very acceptable, competent level with the warrior, yes, it’s probably the easiest one to get there. But only one in a million people have reached the level of a warrior that really sets them apart. If you’ve seen any Guild Wars 1 we had The Last Pride, a Korean guild, and they had a warrior called Last of Master and there is no one I have seen who is even close to him. He takes positioning — the thing that makes a warrior — to a level no one else does.

      There is more room to improve on the warrior than any other profession, though a lot of people would argue that with me, but to me that subtlety of positioning is something almost no one ever understands.

      In other words: The warrior doesn’t seem “tricky” to play. There’s no need to understand any complex mechanics etc. And that’s the part that I find sad. ;) Although the warrior is still in my top 3. Maybe even top 1 or 2 but for that, I’ll actually have to play the game and see the class for myself. It’s hard to judge just from what I’ve seen or read (plus, I try not to actually read too much about the various skills and spells because I want to leave some things to discover myself).

      I’m considering playing the ranger mainly in WvW and then play the mesmer and warrior in PvE as well as WvW (and competitive PvP? Who knows… ^^). Of course, I already know I’ll play all the other classes, too. I’ve also already chosen which race most of them are going to have. ;) The names are something I’m not 100% certain on yet. We’ll see what looks best once I’ve created the character.

      Hee! I’d definitely say you’d be a good tester from the comments you’ve left on our blog. Lots of indepth thoughts etc. and long comments (which we love, of course!). I don’t even want to know the percentage of people in a beta who never leave any feedback at all (I only tend to not be too chatty and helpful when they don’t provide any means of leaving feedback except for posting on beta forums. I prefer surveys, emails, etc. – anything where I can privately voice my opinion without having the feeling of having to word everything for the “public opinion”).

      I certainly hope it’s going to release in 2012! I want something new to play (currently sucked in to EQ2 but eh, it’s definitely not a new game ^^).

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      • I definitely see your point regarding the warrior, and understand what you’re taking away from that particular interview. The “facing” and “positioning” issues associated with a primarily melee focused style of combat used to be difficult, but not overly so, in past MMOs.
        However, in a game like GW2 the degree of difficulty goes up significantly for melee types due to the almost constant movement and manuever. Staying “faced” correctly towards an opponent who no longer needs to “stand still” in order to use their own skills will be a critical facet of playing any character in a melee fashion.

        There is nothing that says a warrior character can’t just go with a rifle and/or longbow but that’s not the point… most of their weaponary is composed of melee weapons, and most warriors will likely at least try to take advantage of some of that.

        IMO folks who are thinking of the warrior as the “easy mode” class of GW2 are going to be sorely mistaken, and quickly frustrated. They are viewing the class archetypes with “old paradigm” eyes where combat was more about getting to a single spot on the battlefield in front of your opponent and executing a set cycle of skills. That approach to combat is going to be pretty painful in GW2 and very, very slow.

        If someone were asking me for the “easiest” class to play, at least to start with, my first response to them would be; a) No matter which class you choose there is going to be a learning curve. You might as well select a class with the overall “feel” that appeals to you the most and be working through a learning curve that leads to something you will continue to like.

        and b) If you simply want the most direct and straightforward style of damage dealing, without having to concern yourself too much with facing and positioning to be effective, then take something like an elementalist out for a spin and see how they feel. You won’t need to worry about a complicated class mechanic (just switching elements to get access to more skills is about as straighforward as it gets… very little in the way of “careful timing” required to use it effectively) and the combat is uncomplicated = stay away from the opponent if possible, target what you want to kill and use skills that are not “greyed out” on cooldown, enjoy the fireworks… simple.

        Every class is “survivable” and not only has their own healing, but is 100% responsible for keeping themselves alive in combat, and they all perform direct damage vs opponents. Some require facing and posititioning to accomplish what they want to do, and I would suggest that those are not going to be the “easy mode” for this particular game.

        Basically, I think anyone attracted to the “feel” of a warrior, and who can demonstrate some skill in manuevering their character correctly in combat will likely “stand out” from the crowd of warriors that were selected because the player chose the class due to assumptions from past games which simply do not apply to this new one. A good warrior will definitely not be a “dime a dozen” and if you have an affinity for that archetype I would encourage you to follow your bliss. It will only take a very short time after launch for the folks who were looking for “easy mode” to realize that while the warrior may grant them a slight grace period on their reaction times due to his ruggedness, actually accomplishing anything with him will require a fair amount of positional awareness and player skill… they will most likely move on to something else that allows them to defeat opponents in a more straightforward manner.

        Anyone, like yourself, who is going to give each class a try will be ahead of the curve anyway simply because they will have a better understanding of each class’s capabilities and be better able to work well with others in groups as a result.

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        • You sound much too reasonable and logical! ;) I agree with everything you said (and probably do contradict myself to what I’ve originally written now ^^). In the end, I guess I’ll have to try out the class and see for myself whether it fits my playstyle or not.

          I do, however, still fear that it’s not complex enough in a way that it’s “just damage” (maybe not by design but by what players expect from your role in groups) or that it’s too easy to learn and master because I like having a learning curve.

          In general, I can’t play squishy melees because I always run into battle without thinking or planning first. A thing I don’t really do with ranged classes. Or, well, not as much (or my characters can run fast enough when they’re not standing right in front of the enemy ^^).

          All in all, I guess my selection is wide enough now. Warrior as melee, ranger for ranged physical (although both can do the other quite well from what I’ve read) and mesmer for magic. I hope all will offer some complexity and something I need to learn, so they’ll keep me interested (I love my dragon slash warrior in GW but mostly because she’s easy to play… then again, Guild Wars is not my typical MMO and I play it quite differently and am happy to have an easy class).

          One rule I always have in games that offer PvP is to try to at least play all classes to level 15-20 (or whatever the equivalent is of “low level, accomplished with a few hours of gaming”). I did it in World of Warcraft and it made a ton of difference in knowing what the other players could or couldn’t do. Not only in PvP but it also helped me in raids when I knew why a class couldn’t give me a heal fast enough or why class X hadn’t done Y again in order to save themselves from dying. The same was true for Warhammer Online. “Know your enemy!” and all that. ;)

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  2. I’m looking forward to the warrior as well, but not for melee–I’m really curious to try out the rifle and even the bow. I find a gun-toting warrior incredibly intriguing, after all the time spent on a GW1 warrior with an axe doing only melee. Sure, warriors could use bows then, but who ever really did?

    And I plan on having a ranger who uses lots of melee, which is ironic considering the name…

    I’m not sure what to think about the mesmer yet, honestly, other than the fact that it’s amazing and delightfully shiny, and I want one. The day it was released, my neighborhood had lost power and I had no internet, so my brother and I huddled around his phone watching the skill videos on a tiny cell phone screen. The pages didn’t load correctly and we couldn’t see the skill names, but I was awestruck by the visual effects alone. And purple laser beams.
    I couldn’t go on forums or anything and discuss it, or see interviews, or hear people’s criticisms, so for that one day when all I had to go on were some tiny skill videos on my brother’s phone, I was filled with childish glee.

    I’m the Big-Eared Girls asura painter, by the way. :)

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    • That is some wonderfully fun artwork and was a delight to me. I share your intrigue with the “range” warriors, but not their opposite counterpart in the ranger class. There is going to have to be at least a period of time “testing out” the viability of running around with both rifle and longbow set as the two weapons available to swap between for me.
      I guess I’m just not sold on the pets for the ranger class… which is odd since the minions of necromancers and the illusions of mesmers are at least part of what puts them in the top two slots for my personal list of characters to create first. (Range focused warrior currently running third.)

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      • I don’t really like the look of the necromancer’s minions and I’m usually annoyed with too many minions. I think I had a spec once for my current necromancer to play with only one minion but I can’t find it anymore. :(

        I’m curious which pets will be available for us. I hate playing a ranger/hunter class with pets but not being able to tame half of the pets I see.

        I don’t know which one I’ll create first. Probably an asura. So… right now that’ll be the mesmer. I want a norn as ranger and a charr as warrior (or maybe an asura, not 100% certain on that one yet ^^).

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    • You know, I always forget that a warrior can be a “full ranged class” and a ranger can probably be a “full melee class”. It’ll give lots of people a headache, I’m sure. ;)

      And awww. So your brother is interested in GW2 as well? I guess it’s better than nothing at all to see the videos on a tiny screen. I’m now just waiting for the game to launch, so I can finally play the game myself. ^^

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  3. I’m so glad to hear you liked the art! Not all of the responses I’ve gotten have been great, so it’s encouraging when people do like it.

    I think my brother and I are equally excited about GW2. I find good tidbits and information online, then go and share it with him and we discuss it. It’s nice to have someone to share the anticipation with!

    When I heard GW2 had guns, and the warrior could use guns, it was like a whole new world opened up. It’s delightful they’ve had the world advance technologically. In fact, I was complaining today about how Skyrim takes place 200 years after the last game in the series did, but the world looks exactly the same. GW2 is spoiling me. I guess I’m more excited about the simple idea of a warrior with a gun than I am about its effectiveness in the game’s actual combat, though. I’ve never been one for advanced tactics, admittedly.

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    • That’s one great thing about blogging. You share the excitement almost automatically. ^^ That, plus bookahnerk and I talk about the game regularly, of course. We’ve even gotten two others interested and hopefully, they’ll get the game as well when it comes out.

      I really liked the introduction of guns etc. into the world of GW2. But it always seems like a whole can of worms can be opened once you start this discussion of “guns: Yes or no?” when you’re in a fantasy setting. ;)

      I still don’t like the “land mine” etc. with the engineer. For whatever reason, this seems to cross a line for me and I’m reminded of reality too much. Guns aren’t a problem at all, though. In fact, when I played a Night Elf hunter in WoW (I started one on several servers but it never sticked), I always ran all the way to the dwarf lands in order to learn the gun skill and get my elf a gun.

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  4. I agree with what you said about the landmine. I wish it tick-tocked or something, instead of beeped… but, it’s a small little (noisy) minnow in a great big pond of awesomeness.

    Those dwarves, man, they always have the cool toys.

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  5. Just came across a fascinating read on this subject (the various classes – their complexity and roles) and thought you folks might enjoy it also. This gentleman’s blog is one I follow just as closely as yours, as he regularly provides excellent food for thought.

    http://greibach.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/the-23-theory/

    Fair warning; he is thorough and exhaustive, and tends to think quite deeply on a subject before discussing it… so, his posts tend towards a longer length than many folks. Personally, I find his thought process and writing style both more than interesting enough to keep me reading regardless of the length of his posts.

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    • Ah sorry. I forgot to reply to your comment.

      Of course, I know Greibach’s blog. I hadn’t read this blog entry, though! In fact, I think I haven’t added it to my RSS feeds – although I’m hardly following blogs through my RSS reader lately anyway. But yes, in general, I also quite like reading long and exhaustive blog entries. :)

      Now, if only we had even more information about GW2, so we could continue speculating and theorizing about the game more… *insert long dramatic sigh* ;)

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