Post release of the new guardian profession there have been so many really cool tidbits floating through various interviews and discussions. Some help players understand the guardian a bit more, and some even help players understand the game as a whole. There was one huge bomb that I think many people overlooked. We’ll start there.
In an aggressive interview with Jon Peters, one of the Guild Wars 2 game designers, OnlineWelten asked about the use of guardian skills targeting allies. Peters said that there are no ally targeted skills in Guild Wars 2. No ally targeted skills. That bears repeating. That may be the “flash of genius” that changes the MMO industry. They are making systems so people play together more seamlessly and simultaneously taking away the mortar that has held together all other groups in prior conventional MMOs. There should be no reasonable doubt that the holy trinity is dead in Guild Wars 2. Another big effect is that almost all of the attention by players will be on the battlefield instead of party UI.
We also got a pretty strong hint about the unrevealed underwater combat in the GuildWars2Guru hosted IRC dev chat. Host Kvinna chose one of my questions regarding the use of ground targeted skills in the 3d underwater environment. I was curious as to how they would translate, especially the newly announced guardian wards, because every released profession had some kind of ground targeted skill. Peters answered this question as well, and he said that underwater combat was very different in nature and they aren’t going to just translate those skills into 3d space.
A lot of people took this answer to believe that a whole new skill bar will become available in underwater combat. I tend to agree, but I can’t imagine the extra development time required to give every profession a unique underwater combat bar. Giving every profession the same underwater combat bar on the other hand doesn’t seem as fun. Perhaps some of the underwater combat skills will be shared and some will be unique, similar to Guild Wars snowball skill bar.
Finally, in a big GuildWars2Guru thread discussing the benefits of having a warrior or guardian in a “tank”-like role, community manager Martin Kerstein tried to keep fans’ frames of mind on to the unique Guild Wars 2 combat. Kerstein said that a player trying to play a guardian like a conventional tank will “eat dirt a lot.” The guardian simply cannot survive for long when it is standing there being pounded upon by mobs. Regarding a key difference between the guardian and warrior, Kerstein said that the warrior has significantly more hit points than a guardian, but the guardian has much faster health regeneration, especially with its Resolve virtue ability. A lot of people think that the guardian’s popularity will initially outclass a warriors, but I don’t agree. The warrior’s distilled purpose of being very aggressive and standing up to a lot of punishment is much easier to grasp than the complex guardian requiring significantly more battlefield awareness and risk/reward awareness of its core abilities.
There were a lot of other cool things to happen like Ree Soesbee’s explanation of some of the sylvari background and the crush of guardian interviews, each with their own gems. This week ArenaNet will likely be following up a lot of other community questions on their blog, but I imagine other small gems might pop up here and there around the community.