[GW2] Four in Shadows

Four unknown professions remain. We have a few official facts for all those speculating on the final Guild Wars 2 classes.

1. From the official site, we know there are three splats of professions: scholar, adventurer, and soldier. There will be three scholars, three adventurers, and two soldiers.

2. From an ArenaNet tweet: “Remaining four professions: at least one is a returning profession, at least one is similar with a different name, and at least one is new.”

3. Finally, ArenaNet gave us a little extra holiday gift when a community mananger announced the next profession reveal would be in January.

That’s it. Those are just the facts, ma’am. Now we have a lot of supporting bits and pieces, such as the use of the term “mesmer” in the Ghosts of Ascalon book. We also have three pieces of concept art, which many believe to be tied to the remaining professions. There is “the mesmer,” “the assassin,” and the “blue macy lady.” Since the announced professions also contain their own similar concept art, it is not a far stretch to think these three pieces will tie into a profession reveal.

Going back to the facts. There is one scholar, two adventurers, and a soldier remaining. Here’s my look in to my crystal ball.

The last scholar is going to be analogous to the mesmer. The name of that profession has been said in the first Guild Wars 2 novel, and the concept art is too strong a hint to deny. Still, I am not quite sure whether this will be the returning profession, or the similar one. On one hand, the mesmer is iconic to Guild Wars. It is a very unique class concept unlike any other in the MMO world. On the other hand, it is a tough class to understand, and Guild Wars 2 is taking away hexes, which are the bread and butter of the mesmer class. They seem to be also taking away the opponent’s skill monitor so players can’t watch the UI to determine when to interrupt. Are these mechanical changes in Guild Wars 2 enough to warrant a break from the Guild Wars mesmer?

The other profession on the same block is the assassin, but the only evidence in support of this profession’s return is the concept art. I believe that this class concept will be integrated in to the professions of Guild Wars 2, but like the mesmer, I am unsure whether this will be the returning profession, or the similar one. Unlike the mesmer, the assassin is a pretty common class in MMOs, which gives ArenaNet more room to go a little crazy and apply their unique twist on to the glass-jaw buggers. If I had to bet, I would guess that this would be the next reveal based only on the fact that we have two remaining adventurer professions.

The final piece of concept art is the “blue mace lady.” I think that this will be the other soldier profession to accompany the announced warrior. Let’s call it the “knight.” Sadly, I do not think the Guild Wars paragon (the holy knight or paladin-ish class) will return. Warriors got rifles for ranged, single-target damage, and clearly the world has moved beyond spear chucking. Warriors always had shouts, but I think a bit more of the paragon’s aggressive part of the pie went to the Guild Wars 2 warrior’s shouts and banners. Anyway, I think the Guild Wars 2 “knight” will get the remainder of the paragon, meaning support, and a bit of the dervish’s survivability.  (Scythes, and believably dervishes, are not returning to Guild Wars 2.) Yet, I have an uneasy feeling about this class. What is going to be the twist? For now, I have my eyes heavily on the Warrior Priest class of Warhammer Online, but honestly, it seems a little too banal for Guild Wars 2. Regardless, I do not think the “knight” is going to be the “new” profession so much as an amalgamation of unused professions (namely the Nightfall ones).

The new profession, in my mind, is going to be something like an engineer or alchemist to fill out the adventurer splat of professions. It’s going to be the new world profession that could not have really existed in Guild Wars. Asuran technology and charr engineering will give this class turrets, grenades, golems, and all sorts of fun battlefield-changing devices. Sadly, I think this class will replace my beloved ritualists. Honored ancestral spirit turrets will now give way to technology created by the soulless races. I have very few facts to back up any of this. Sure, I could point to Clagg in Ghosts of Ascalon, and the need to have a turret class. But, I don’t want to believe that this will be the final class because, once again, Warhammer Online has this exact class. Izzy has been playing Warhammer Online so I hope he at least is finding ways to better/differentiate if ArenaNet is taking this route.

That’s it. My speculations are now put in place. We’ll see in January how close or far off I will be. Hopefully, once the profession kick-off starts in January we will get on track for a rhythmic profession reveal. Feel free to add your speculations below.

–Ravious
they came from behind

43 thoughts on “[GW2] Four in Shadows”

  1. My guess is the next reveal will be a new class. They’ve already done three classes that GW still has. Waiting all this time for the next one, I think the reveal needs to be amped up. I like your thought of the engineer/alchemist class and feel that would be much more appropriate for the new age.

    1. Uhm, well I think you are right.. it must be like 8 months ago (in january) when the last profession came out. IT must be something cool, like a new one.

      About the Alch/engi class: I think it will be something like the druid in WoW. A more Nature type guy, maybe with technical influences. Using trees en leaves to hold an enemy tight, or to block them. Fits perfectly with norn (shapeshift elites) and Sylvari (nature livingstyle) when you compare it to WoW. And what’s the best way to make potions/alchemistic things? Natural herbs!

  2. my bet for the next reveal is either Mesmer (with changed mechanic) or BML with extra bet on the name “Seraph”

    both can be justified from PR point – affirming an iconic character of GW – the stress is on continuity; or playing the trump mystery card by revealing the probably most anticipated new class.

    more cynically/realistically speaking – “mesmer” is either way ahead in development inheriting much from the previous installment, or left for last because of it’s total clusterf*ck of a character to balance with all this utility and the new no-auto-attack paradigm

    1. “Seraph” only applies to humans, though. Have to use a profession name applicable to all races, which is why paladin (god-sworn knight) is also off my list.

      I like “knight,” but I guess they hint at “guardian” in Edge of Destiny in applying it to Logan Thackeray (BML poster boy). However, they also called Logan a “knight errant” once so….. ;)

      1. you make a good point :) but i hope it’s not “knight errant” :DD

        i’m not sure about the lore here, but aren’t the Seraph an open knightly order? i mean – why are we sure that it’s restricted to the other races?

        in the end something like “Guardian” is not that bad, though a bit too generic perhaps?

    2. cant be seraph because they are only the queens guards and all races must be all classes. seraphs are humans only.

  3. I disagree Mikey, I think they will release the new profession last so we all are wondering wth the last one is.

    But yes i really hope the Engineer/alchemy profession will be the new one:P

  4. I’ve come to many of the same conclusions somewhere along the line.

    I don’t think the lack of hexes will necessarily change the mesmers too much. a shift from casting hexes to causing conditions is where I see it going.

    1. In GW2…
      > Dazing disables your skills, but not your movement.
      > Stun disables skills and movement (except specific breakout skills).
      > Fear disables skills and movement, and moves you away from the caster.
      … So there isn’t really much of a niche for blackout, unless it were a direct copy of daze or stun (very unlikley) or a variant of fear e.g. makes you stagger in a random direction.

  5. I’ll have to go with mesmer for the returning profession, though I haven’t the faintest idea how they’ll actually resemble the GW1 profession in gameplay.
    I think illusions will feature far more this time as necessitated by the “show not tell” philosophy, and be full-on eye candy – possibly either as turrets or some form of attackable hexes akin to root snares (e.g. Conjure Phantasm placing an actual phantasm on a foe that hurts them till it expires or an ally destroys it with X damage).
    My dream would be for Anet to pillage old P&P games and manifest the kind of spells game developers passed over as too visually intensive e.g. D&D Mirror Image decoys.

    Similar with a new name I’m calling as assassin, though the new name is a complete unknown – I very much doubt it will be anything as obvious as “rogue.”
    The new name will likely reveal the twists, but I think the similarities will be a melee focus, chains and rapid-approach skills (such as leaps) – however none of those will be the profession’s niche, all being shared by other professions now…

    Blue Mace Lady/Lord for a new profession, but borrowing quite heavily from the GW1 ritualist concepts (yet not the mechanics).
    My wild speculation would be that they have 2 core playstyles:

    i] DPS/tank very much akin to the warrior, but emphasising the few buffs & debuffs warriors don’t focus on e.g. vulnerability, health regen.

    ii] The ‘Doctor Octopus’; give over utility/off-hand slots to various passive weapons-on-chains effects that function like minions – last indefinitely, or can be expended by a 2nd skill that appears after use.
    The Doc Ock playstyle allows for a DPS focus with very little teamwork, or free’s up the BML to concentrate on PBAoE support weapon skills while still fighting – so rush into the thick of combat but then start unleashing slow casts rather than attacks, while the weapons-on-chains do the fighting.

    I’ll concur on a technological/scientific adventurer to complete the roster, definitely picking up turrets if they aren’t already taken.
    However, I think they’ll take a lot of people by surprise in terms of the power & sociability of their creations…
    > Turrets that allies can take control of to access advanced functions e.g. mortar turret AI launches small AoE shells, while a player in control of it could instruct it to ‘barrage’ a whole wide area.
    > Powerful, destructable, health & energy restorers – items way ahead of support skills, but with the overheads of reaching & equipping them before opponents can obliterate them.
    > Multiple servitor golems that don’t compete with minions but instead serve as merchants, gatherers, revivalbots and – literal – healbots.

    As to the order of reveals, I’m playing safe and assuming they’ll keep working outwards to the presumed-new professions rather than have shadows between revealed professions:
    1st] Similar-to-assassin
    2nd] Mesmer
    3rd] Blue Mace Lady/Lord
    4th] Engineer/Alchemist

      1. If there is an engineer profession, and I believe there will be that or something close, this is a fantastic skill for it. Not only does it set the GW2 version apart from other games (e.g., Warhammer Online), but it fits well into the overall theme of GW2 with combination attacks, visual skills, and the growth of technology in the lore. I like this idea a lot.

  6. I agree with you. But maybe, in my opinion, the profession “knight” might be called “paragon” keeping the unique style of Guild Wars.

    Sorry about my English, I can read it perfectly, but writing it … And google translator doesn’t help so much.

  7. I agree with Vulturion’s assessment of the Mesmer situation: The Mesmer will return with the same name, but will be changed quite a bit in concept. And as Vulturion imagines so well, I think the Mesmer will focus on Illusions.

    In addition to the illusions that exist in the game world and can be interacted with that Vult describes – perhaps even illusory weapon summons? – I also see Domination spells that control areas with AoE damage, stun, daze, and root.

    The rogue class, I imagine will be something of a highwayman, combining daggers, swords, and guns with stealth and waylaying.

    The BML also evokes a lot of thoughts of the warrior priest for me. I can imagine melee strikes that heal allies in the area akin to water elementalists, as well as area buff effects. I’m still wondering how this will be different enough from the warrior, however.

    I don’t have much to add for the last class. I think engineer of some kind is likely, but honestly I’m not fond of such classes, and can’t imagine what the twist would be for GW2 with such a class. It seems like there’s so much racially specific technology floating around – do you give them one Charr turret and one Asura turret? Would a Sylvari engineer make any sense? I’m just not sure.

    However this all shakes out, I’m certainly looking forward to January, now!

    1. “Would a Sylvari engineer make any sense?”

      Seems to be a conundrum, but perhaps not. If Sylvari are essentially the embodiment of curiosity (rather than strictly nature spirits), then there shouldn’t be a problem. Sylvari might find gadgets and chemicals extremely fascinating, but tend to be equally naive about the dangers of experimenting with them.

      1. You’re totally right of course, a Sylvari engineer makes total sense. I guess the more interesting question is, would it make sense for a human engineer to use Charr technology?

        In the GW2 world, the Charr are *the* great technological power. It seems to me any engineer would have to study with and use Charr know-how. Are relations between the two cultures cool enough for a human engineer to have studied with the Charr? To use their technology? Or would each race have their own unique turrets? Would Sylvari have a turret built of wood and leaves?

        Obviously it’s a game, you can do whatever you want and bend the lore to fit. But I do feel like there are some thorny issues to be smoothed over before you make an engineer class feel truly at home within the GW2 world.

        All that said, Semantic, your point about the Sylvari character and curiosity is spot on. Very well said!

  8. i think you’re pretty much spot on with your predictions mate… a couple of thoughts i’d add…

    i think the new soldier may be a combination on paragon, dervish and ritualist in some way. Not rocket science, i think i’ve seen this alluded to elsewhere already. maybe spirits and weapon buffs.

    the “engineer”… for some reason i reckon this might have a bit of a pirate feel to it

    and i agree with earlier comments on conditions and mesmers. I think we may see one or two mesmer specific conditions. I have a feeling that mesmers will maybe take on more of their theatrical feel and steal songs etc from paragons, leading mesmers to have even more options as a support class.

  9. A while back at Guild Wars 2 Guru someone had a great mesmer post that explored the mesmer as a courtesan. given the time jump in gw2, I’d be very pleased if Arenanet took the class in this direction, I also wouldnt be surprised if the mesmer ended up as an adventurer class. One thing that worried me about the mesmer concept art was the presence of the butterflies or whatever in the background, and then the necromancer got its moths/locusts/whatever. It makes me think that the class might have gotten absorbed into the necro.

    A month or so ago, I also got the feeling that there would be a class that would fit the mystic/ritualist archetype. Maybe not turrets, etc, but something that looked more towards the past as a source of magic. With the norn, charr and even the sylvari, as well as the lore of GW’s humans, its just too hard to ignore.

  10. My post from GW2G (and now you can see that the concept is not the only proof of assassins in GW2):

    Hi all… Well to be honest i think that A-net unintentionally(probably) may have already revealed the new profession in GW2…in GW1!

    To be more specific in the Hearts of the North, events… Surely everyone who has played the exciting story of Keiran Thackeray, have noticed that his skill bar has icons, painted in the newly introduced style in GW2:

    http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Keiran_Thackeray_%28disguise%29

    But what’s really interesting, are the skill icons of his companion during the mini-missions Miku(start shitting bricks):

    http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Miku

    If you take a closer look you will surely see that most of her skills(except Critical and Jagged Strike), are indeed painted in the same manner as Thackeray’s, and in fact, all the professions we saw so far in GW2. The icons of Venom Fang and Withering Blade make most impression! So i think it is safe to assume that even if the next profession is not Assassin, we will surely see it down the way!

    1. While i definitely agree assassin will be one, I don’t think the icons prove that for a couple reasons.

      1) They look like quite a few of the icons in nightfall to me, and even some in factions.
      2) Art style from GW2 may/already has influenced the style in GWBeyond and GW1… example Balthazar costume

  11. Good stuff Rav! I think when considering mesmers we shouldn’t forget signets. Mesmers already dominated signet use in GW1, and in GW2 signets seem to be even more interesting. With the new thought put into them, I would hope signets come back as more than just a token one or two skills scattered here and there. And if they do come back more prominently, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the mesmer successor that really made them shine.

    As to assassins, it’s interesting to note that there were skills that acted as stealth counters in the demo. If we know the snow leopard will have stealth and we see skills meant to counter stealth, then that could have interesting implications for the assassin. Nothing is certain at this point, but it is an interesting point to ponder.

  12. see the new blog post: Logan is a scout but wanted to be a white knight? could these be 2 of the classes? i think so…

  13. I think it could be any of the three mentioned as all have had some spoilers.

    Sin: Caithe in the book, dagger art for concepts show dual daggers, class concept
    Mes: In books, cmon iconic GW class
    BML: Thackery in book seems pretty obviously this class

    I am betting on the assassin as that would leave one more of each type to reveal.

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  15. Didn’t they mention Assassins in Ghosts of Ascalon? I know they made a big brou-ha-ha about Ember Doomforge being a member of the Ash Legion (of which a more wretched hive of scum and villany cannot be found) and she certainly acts very Assassinish, what with her pistol and dagger.

    I’ve been hoping both for Assassins and a new pirate-themed Mesmer with called illusions at her command. Of course I have nothing to back that up other than Ember’s shifty actions.

    As for Blue Mace Lady, I’m still standing behind my assertion that she’ll be some kind of magical melee. Think weapon spells like splinter weapon now.

    1. So blue mace lady to be a warrior rit? That would be cool. Has there been anyone with pistols? Maybe a gunslinger? They have to have mes, and I would kill someone if they added an engineer or alchemist.

  16. Mesmers will return with substantial changes. Think more like a bard. (Although the courtesan concept is neat, they’ll never sell it to investors). This would make them elegible for either scholar or adventurer.

    Sins will return with paragon shouts and some other, more devious forms of combat. This makes them the second warrior class.

    There needs to be a crafting or engineer class which would fit in with all races. This is very feasible and would probably be scholarly.

    The last class will probably be a druid-based archetype dealing with plants, animals and nature. This would blend well with all races and might be either adventurer or scholar. If it is a more sylvari thing, I’d say adventurer because they are curious about the world and are going out into it to learn more. They’re not (necessarily) poring over musty tomes.

    1. Additional points re mesmers: illusory weaponry exists in the GW book (for the ghosts) and illusions (as already pointed out above) provide both the gee-whiz factor and lots of room to run. I really like the points re sockets too! But more then anything, it is a class that separates GW from others and keeps things different.

  17. As long as the hard-to-learn assassins return. I will be buying this on launch. I was very excited to play the assassin role in factions. Though it wasn’t my first one. I started with a dervish in nightfall

  18. Way off base, Reggie. Also, this article should be rewritten after the author reads the newest book, Edge of Destiny.

    All explained there, though very subtley. You’ll finally get to see why Caithe has daggers and what she does with them in that one gameplay video she showed up in (hint, she’s not magical), and you’ll see that Mesmers exist not just in similar fashion, but specifically as Mesmers. In the most recent timeline. Someone very, VERY important to the Guild Wars 2 Timeline (and the sole reason for the Destiny group splitting up) happens to be one.

    The final Soldier class will have NOTHING to do with Assassins. The final Soldier class is exactly what Logan Thackeray is, and you’ll get to see what powers he has in the book, too.

  19. My guess for the first class is a completely new class and i think it wont be a alch/eng. type because alch is a crafting thing and it would be dump to make only energy potions and maybe poison and but the eng thing might work like a utility buff thing without turrets but more like robot pets. Id say either ritualist or mesmer will come back. and some assassin type class. As for soldier class i think it will be like a paladin but more focused on weapon buffs and attack skills then smiting magic and heals.

  20. Am i the only one who thinks the BML whill be an combination between an warrior or dervish with some sort of protection spells like the monk had? think protection spirit, reversal of fortune, shielding hands.

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