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Heart of Thorns Beta Weekend Event 2 Thoughts: The Berserker


These are my general thoughts of the Warrior elite specialization: the Berserker! I was able to try out this elite specialization for the first time in the second beta weekend event for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns! Let me tell you, this elite specialization brings fire, lots and lots of fire; burn Guardians you got competition!


So torch is mean to supply fire. Yea, I think that’s the best way to describe it. The torch promotes burning and sticking close targets. Great for condition damage builds but can have it’s uses in damage builds. I have no real complaints about the torch. Let’s check out the skills:

Blaze Breaker: Sends a shockwave to a target applying burning and cripple. Great for enemies trying to run away.

Flames of War: Removes conditions and applies an AoE burn field around you; after a short duration, this field explodes and burns enemies. So this skill promotes staying in a fight with the burn field and has the added benefit of a condi cleanse. I really don’t see a burn field per say but you can see the range indicator at least.

Rage Skills

The rage skills are overall okay in my opinion. The best one is Outrage which is a stun breaker on a 10 second cooldown. I used Sundering Leap quite a bit as an engage tool since you gain adrenaline and apply vulnerability on landing. I also used it to get around. Shattering Blow I tried out a bit, and it’s good if you’re on bow or rifle and need to block a projectile or perform a ranged attack. I didn’t try out the healing skill Blood Reckoning and I’m kicking myself for not trying it out bit. It heals for every attack and more for critical hits. The most disappointing was Wild Blow if I have to be honest. This is a skill that knocks back an enemy an turns them into a projectile knocking backs other foes the enemy hits but the range felt too small. I can see it having better uses in PvP though. The elite Headbutt is a pretty strong daze paired really well with Outrage.

Primal Burst Skills

The burst skills are really good when in Berserk mode which are called primal burst skills. These burst skills are augmented versions of the  regular burst skills and produce fire! What’s really good is that you can get 2 or three bursts in before Berserk mode expires. I really don’t have much else to say about these.

The Berserker specialization line provides for your berserk mode, basic damage and of course, fire!

To conclude, the Berserker provides a clearer path for condition damage builds with fire but also provides new options for damage builds. Damage is very much there with the consistent application of burning alone. If anything to consider, I think the rage skills could use a few tweaks here and there to make them feel better to use.

Heart of Thorns Beta Weekend Event 2 Thoughts In A Nutshell


Hello everyone! This post is to cover the changes in Beta Weekend Event 2 for Chronomancer, Dragonhunter, Reaper, Tempest, Berserker, Daredevil and the Revenant. I’ll also throw in a little Stronghold.

I want to note that the new section of Verdant Brink players can get into has way more challenging monsters and good event chains which is great. Well, seeing Lord Far… I mean, Swordmaster Faren in a speedo in the middle of a monster infested jungle wasn’t planned but was an interesting twist as side story. Anyways, the enemies are much more challenging and annoying to deal with which is good because players have to actually try and watch their positioning in fights. Alright, now, onto the elite specializations!

The Elite Specializations

Tempest_Elite Skill

Chronomancer mostly got a balance in traits to reduce illusion spamming as it was a little too good (sorry mesmers). As I was fighting I definitely saw that I needed to work a bit more in order to summon illusions but it wasn’t to the point of being exceedingly hard. Also, Gravity Well (elite) was updated to pull every pulse which I found to be a nice change. Then I experienced it on the receiving end in Stronghold. Not a fun well to be in.

Next up is Dragonhunter. There are more changes in the works but for this beta weekend event the virtues got an update, the longbow’s Symbol of Energy got a damage buff & traps and traits got buffs. The virtues feel good with the Spear of Justice range lining up with the longbow range and Wings of Resolve healing more. I still think the cast time for traps need to go down. I also think Heavy Light needs to be removed or reworked to be attached to a longbow skill besides basic attacks. 240 knock back doesn’t seem like much but it’s enough to knock an enemy out of AoE which is very annoying. No wait, Extremely. Annoying.

Reaper, I thought was good, but now it’s really time to consider fearing the Reaper. They buffed pretty much everything: Greatsword payoffs are better, Reaper Shroud got tweaked and the shouts are stronger and have reduced or instant cast times. So I really have no complaints. One of my favorite changes to greatsword is that you can move while casting Nightfall (Greatsword 4) so you can move with your enemy in order to place the AoE blind properly. This allows you to land the rest of your skills successfully.

Tempest overall got a damage buff to some warhorn skills and overloads. The 2 main issues is a range indicator for Overloads. I’d like to know the area which my Overload Air is affecting when I’m bring lighting down on enemies. The other issue is Overload water as I’m still not really seeing the big heal. Maybe everyone’s health is topped off when I get to that point, I’m not sure.

Berserker is in a solid place. There’s definitely more damage options in the traits and rage skills and a clear view for condition damage that surrounds burning. I especially like Outrage since it’s a stun breaker on a really low cooldown. Torch is a pretty decent condition type of weapon, I can see it being used in PvP. The primal burst skills are all pretty decent, each providing an augmented version of the normal burst skills, most of them supplying fire. Since this is a new elite specialization, I’ll put out a post to describe my thoughts in more detail.

Daredevil brings back the dodge combat that fell out of the thief meta via traits and the 3rd endurance bar. It does so in a way that it isn’t horribly to strong and still rewards skillful dodging. Staff is a decent weapon but it’s hard to say right now if it’ll be viable for sPvP at all skill levels. Bandit’s Defense and Impact Strike are great physical skills to take in most scenarios with the other physical skills being situational (based on the build). I think the damage on the Impact strike combo needs to go down a bit since the first two skills are hard crowd control and Impact Strike’s Finishing Blow kills a person when the damage from Finishing Blow would put them into down state. Again, since this is a new elite specialization, I’ll put out a post to describe my thoughts in more detail.

Revenant Changes & Herald


Revenant I spent most of my time with Shiro, Jalis and Glint with Sword/Shield and Hammer. So I can’t really speak about any changes to Ventari, Mallyx and their associated weapons. Buff to sword and tweaks to Shiro were amazing. There’s still an issue using Unrelenting Assault on an enemy near a wall but the rest is pretty great. Shiro got some nice tweaks, especially to the heal; you can now proc the heal on attack much quicker.

Now let’s talk Herald. Shield it really good. And I’m not saying that, it’s really good. The base heal on the skills make it a worthy option. To add on Envoy of Exuberance‘s (Shield 4) AoE protection you can grant to allies from a distance is great and the break bar on Crystal Hibernation (Shield 5) really helps with dealing with some binds.

The utilities are fantastic to say the least. The healing skill can help you heal to full if getting bombarded with attacks. In fact all the utility actives are pretty decent, You have a stealth reveal, AoE damage/condition field, a facing damage swipe, and a channeled cone knock down. What’s cool about the Facet utility skills is that you can have 2 or 3 on at a single time which is great for preparing for a fight or simply running around. I mean, who doesn’t like perma swiftness?

The Herald is meant to be a party support type but the specialization line can be customized to support you in combat or your allies around you.

Stronghold Hype!


The first BWE I didn’t get a chance to get into stronghold because I was testing out the elite specializations. This time I actually spent quite a few games in Stronghold. So the opening strategy I like the best is sending one person to defend (preferably someone tanky), one or two to the enemy guards (DPS) and the rest to supply camp. From there you assess what to do next. Trebuchet is really good for the one defending because people don’t expect it and either come up to stop you or still try to take out guards which is much more in your favor. The strategy I saw in a few games is that people wrap around the backline in order to attack the enemy doorbreakers earlier. This works if no one is escorting. I don’t like it too much because you run a high risk of being seen by a lot of people before actually attacking the doorbreakers.

I still find the map a bit snowball-y if a team gets a really good start due to the death timers being the same for the duration of a match. If a team is hard pushing for lord and fail, they don’t really get punished due to just reapplying pressure. There’s not enough time for the other team to mount a half decent offensive unless they have really mobile people. Thankfully, there’s overtime. Overtime is a cool mechanic. I only experienced it once and won because I cleaved someone to gain the 5 point lead before the timer ran out.

To Conclude

And those are my thoughts from BWE1 into BWE2 and Stronghold. I’ll be making separate posts on Berserker and Daredevil. To summarize, Chronomancer is in a good spot, Dragonhunter still needs work, Reaper is in a good spot, Tempest is almost in a good spot, Berserker is solid but can use some tweaks, Daredevil need some tweaks, Revenant is looking pretty solid and Stronghold can be a bit snowball-y if your team mess up early; otherwise it’s a very fun PvP mode to play.

Warrior Elite Specialization Thoughts: The Berserker


Well this one sounds painful! Today we get a look at the elite specialization for Warriors: The Berserker!

Warrior Elite Specialization


Game Designer Robert Gee tells us a bit about the Berserker. This elite specialization looks to be utterly devastating. The Berserker is meant to be a force of nature, damaging anyone in it’s path.

Let’s start with the Berserk mechanic. Berserk is a mode Warriors can enter when their adrenaline bar is full. When in Berserk mode, the adrenaline bar changes from 3 bar tiers of 10 adrenaline each to one bar tier of 10 adrenaline. This smaller bar is to help Berserkers get their F1 burst skills up faster which are called Primal Burst skills in Berserk mode.

Primal Burst skills vary with the (main hand) weapon a Warrior has equipped. These burst skills also have lower skill recharge and act as Tier 3 burst skills.

Here are some Primal Burst examples:

Scorched Earth: longbow primal burst – leaves a trail of fire on the ground in a straight line

Skull Grinder: mace primal burst – disrupts a target for a short duration and applies multiple conditions on the target


The new weapon Warriors will be getting is offhand torch. The skills on torch show how Warriors are getting more condition options added to their kit.

Blaze Breaker: Slam your torch into the ground creating an avalanche path of rocks and flame that travels to a target. This burns and cripples any foes on the path.

Flames of War: Encases yourself in flames cleansing conditions and creates a fire field around you that burns foes. This fire field explodes after a short duration dealing damage and applying burning to foes.


Utilities are up next! Berserkers will be getting a new utility type called Rage skills. We only know the details of one right now but it’s pretty sweet:

Wild Blow: launch a target as a projectile that can knockback any other foes the target hits

That. Is. Awesome!

Finally, the elite specialization line will have buffs for aspects of the Berserker. There will be traits that benefit going Berserk, burning, condition damage, healing options and stun breaks.

My Thoughts?

Warriors are going to be even more deadly. The Wild Blow utility alone is worth picking up, I really want to see the other utility skills in action. Berserk mode sounds fun as it provides a skill on a low cooldown for more damage. I’ll be very interested to find out what the other primal burst skills are as there are quite a few weapons Warriors have access to. The torch skills themselves sound really strong and definitely promote condition damage Warrior builds. I can see Sword/Torch being a thing. Warriors didn’t have a lot of great condition options outside bleeding (and a bit of torment) so adding burning really helps them out here.

ZAM’s Matt “Mattsta” Adams got an exclusive on this specialization. Be sure to check his post out if you want a few more details including his interview with Robert Gee. Mattsta even made a gallery of Berserker images (including torch skills and all utilities and the elite) on his site. We’ll find everything on Points of Interest on August 21st at noon Pacific.