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Revenant Thoughts: Dual Swords & Shiro Legend


Game Designer Roy Cronacher is back with a new blog post on another Legend the Revenant can channel: Shiro Tagachi! In short, Shiro was the major assassin-like villian in the Guild Wars: Factions campaign and is also seen in the Nightfall campaign. He duel wielded blades and was a very powerful fighter. You can get a grasp of how Shiro fights in this video. Check out the GW Wiki for more if you don’t mind Factions spoilers.

Dual Swords?!

That’s right folks, Shiro Duel wielded blades. To capture the feel of being Shiro, Revenants can equip a sword in their main hand and offhand. The dual swords are themed to have quick weapon attacks in order to capture that high mobility assassin playstyle. Here are some of the skills from the dual sword weapon set:

  • Rift Slash (3rd basic attack) – “Slash foes, creating a rift on them that explodes for additional damage after a short delay.”
  • Precision Strike – “Strike nearby foes with precision, sending out blades that damage and chill them.” – this appears to be a medium ranged attack
  • Unrelenting Assault – “Unleash a fierce attack on nearby foes, shadowstepping to foes in the vicinity and delivering strikes. Gain might each time you strike a foe.” aka this from the announcement trailer

Shiro Legend

Now for the legend itself. Keeping with the high mobility playstyle, here are some of the utility skills:

  • Enchanted Daggers – “Enchanted daggers will strike your target as you attack, siphoning life from the damaged foe.” – This basically acts like a Thief’s Signet of Malice passive but probably more powerful and you have to activate it first.
  • Phase Traversal – “Step through the Mists to your target, and make your next few attacks unblockable.” – basically shadowstep to a foe and have a few unblockable attacks.
  • Jade Winds – “Call upon the Jade Wind to turn nearby enemies into jade, stunning them for a short duration.” – after a small channel, turn nearby enemies into Jade for a short duration.

My Thoughts?

I really like this Legend. It speaks to my assassin playstyle which I like to play in games. I haven’t mad a post on this yet but the Revenant as of last weekend’s Revenant play test currently suffers from 2 things:

  1. Lack of damage
  2. Ranged skills when not using the hammer

This Shiro legend definitely seems to make up for the lack of damage but it looks like there might still be a problem with lack of ranged skills. However, maybe Sword/Axe is the solution for the range problem. This weapon set seems to carry a lot of chase potential and a bit of range provided Precision Strike is a main hand sword skill. Also, it’ll be interesting when mixing Mace/Sword into the equation. The mace provides a lot of conditions and offhand sword could provide enough damage for a good balance. We’ll have to see when we get another weekend to test the Revenant out again.

Of course, we’ll get a preview of Shiro on Points of Interest tomorrow on the Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel at noon Pacific. We’ll also get a preview of the upcoming WvW event: Golem Rush!

Guild Wars 2 Revenant & Stronghold Test This Weekend!


Ok so first, just as a reminder, there will be a WvW stress test this coming Thursday July 9th for selected individuals. I know DocGotGame is in but it’s likely that WvW streamers Reyana and Shinryuku got in as well so be sure to check out their streams.

Now for the latest news! Starting this Friday, July 10th, at noon Pacific till Monday, July 17th, at noon Pacific, there will be a testing weekend! Heart of Thorns pre-purchasers can play as the new Revenant class in the main Guild Wars 2 game. That’s right, you can PvE, PvP and WvW as a Revenant. The Ventari legend and melee staff will be available as well. Everyone will also gain access to Stronghold mode in PvP. The new Mist Champions and the separate queues will also be available! Note all of this is for testing as well as experiencing the content and getting feedback. Don’t be shy about posting your feedback on the forums if you have something to say!

If that’s not enough news for you, next week on Friday July 17th to July 24th is the special WvW event Golem Rush. During the event:

  • All siege golems in WvW no longer require supply to construct.
  • All siege golems in WvW will deal 100% additional damage to other golems and players.
  • All siege golems in WvW will move at 100% additional movement speed.

There will also be a boost available to all called “Mist War Summons” that does the following:

  • +15% World Experience Bonus in WvW
  • +15% Experience Bonus in WvW
  • +50% Magic Find in WvW

Should be a fun two weeks coming for Guild Wars 2 players!

Revenant Thoughts: Melee Staff & Ventari Legend


At first, I thought Druid when I saw the picture above, but then I realized that ArenaNet is showing off a centaur, not one of the five races with a weapon. So I leaned towards Revenant and the Ventari stance. Turns out this is the case but we also find out that Revenants get a staff as a melee weapon! Game Designer Roy Cronacher share this info in the latest blog article so let’s break it down a bit!

Melee Staff

So yes, Revenant are going to be unique and get staff for melee combat. It shouldn’t be too weird to players if you already knew hammer was a ranged weapon for Revenants. The staff uses a mix of martial and magic attacks and is more about damage prevention than doing direct damage. Here’s two examples to illustrate this:

  • Rejuvenating Assault (3rd part of auto attack): “Cleave foes around you with your staff, creating healing orbs for you and your allies.”
  • Surge of the Mists: “Charge forward, knocking back enemies that cross your path.”

The first skill promotes healing and the second promotes defending injured players.

I like the spin on staff. Quite a few people thought Warrior might get a melee staff so I’m glad that it’s a possibility down the road. I’m very interested to see the offense and defense nature of the staff combined with different legend stances. It seems Jalis and Ventari are the most suitable combo right now since there doesn’t seem to be much condition damage on melee staff.

Legendary Centaur Stance


So for those who don’t know Ventari was a peaceful centaur and was the root of a lot of lore in Guild Wars, most notably Ventari’s Tablet which had 7 tenants for peaceful centaur living. This became the root for Sylvari’s morals and ethics. So it does make sense that Ventari is chosen as a Legend for a Revenant to channel.

Since Ventari was a peaceful centaur, the legendary stance revolves around healing and support. The cool thing about this stance is that you’re first in “summon mode” where you only have a single skill used summon Ventari’s Tablet to use the regular bar of utility skills (we’ll can this “tablet mode”). The tablet doesn’t move around with you by default so you can put it away with a skill called Energy Expulsion or move far away from it in order to go back into “summon mode”.

So what are the skills we have when in “tablet mode”? Here you go (I believe these are utility skills 7-9):

  • Ventari’s Will: “Will the tablet toward the target location. As the tablet moves, it will heal allies it passes through.”
  • Protective Solace (image above): “Summon a protective barrier around the tablet that destroys enemy projectiles.”
  • Energy Expulsion: “Force energy to erupt from the tablet, knocking back foes and leaving behind energy fragments that heal allies.”

Those three skill descriptions alone sound really cool, very useful and definitely provide a spin on using summoned objects. As well all know, Guardian spirit weapons aren’t all that popular. I can see myself using this stance in sPvP quite a bit. The Ventari legend stance and melee staff will be available to be used in a future beta and we’ll get a preview of the skills on Points of Interest tomorrow at noon Pacific!

Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns: Thoughts On The Story Demo


Last week, a lucky group of YouTubers, community members and writers were able to go to ArenaNet offices in the US or in the UK. They all released some info on March 3rd so I’ll be covering the videos/articles released as much as possible over the coming days. There were two demos: one was the PvE Story demo and then there was the Stronghold sPvP demo. This post will cover the content of Story demo I watched via Aurora Peachy and Shinryuku; the story starts where we left off after the Pact Fleet got destroyed at the end of Living Story Season 2. I guess I should say that if you don’t want this spoiled for you I’d suggest not reading the Story Demo section or past it.

Before Really Playing

The PvE demo starts at character creation and of course the new Revenant class was a possible choice. The Revenant looks like an insanely fun class to play from what I’ve seen from Stronghold matches and Points of Interest. The Revenant gives off a dark tone vibe with the weapon abilities and color coded abilities based on the legend currently being channeled (Jalis, icy blue, Mallyx, shadowy dark purple).

I’d like to note that the player character actually talks during the instance. No there was no cutscene. I’ve gotten too used to they way the game utilizes our character in cutscene now but man I’m so happy that ArenaNet went this route. This is a great way for a player to be more immersed into the story and pretty much removes dialogue cutscenes entirely. I can’t wait to talk more and to hear what I have to say.

The Story Demo & Wyvern Boss

The PvE demo pretty much covers the first story mission and the Wyvern boss. Think of the demo as part of a living story episode. The story starts with Destiny’s Edge 2.0, Canach and the player at the top of a cliff on Verdant Brink, aka the cliff you see every time in the latest POI episodes. Everyone descends to the wreckage to find Laranthir in which the player has to help him rescue his soldiers. This leads to a cavern where Mordrem try to keep everyone away from the cages where Laranthir’s soldiers are captives. The new Mordrem enemies seem corrupted as they say things like “So nice of you to come to us”. Corrupted Mordrem will probably have lines like this while in combat much like the Risen do. At some point where a mini-boss Overseer fight occurs, a Mordrem wurm comes out to spew more Mordrem to fight. Not sure why the wurm didn’t try to eat all the non-Mordrem or something but hey, good news for them right?

After this story instance, the player is brought back to Verdant Brink but on a different ledge in the open world where as it so happens a Wyvern boss has appeared! The boss looks pretty engaging and has enough mechanics to be legitimately good. There’s fire, fire everywhere. I’ll put Shinryuku’s video below so you can check the fight out. After the Wyvern fight, the PvE demo pretty much seems to end there with only the Wyvern boss and some events reoccurring in the immediate area.

In Summary

I think the demo shows off polished Living Story elements which is important since ArenNet have been learning how to make story better after two seasons of Living Story. There also seems to be promising boss fights down the road since the Wyvern had a pretty decent mechanic setup. There’s also a decent look at the initial Mastery System and the first iteration of the Revenant seems pretty solid.

If you want to check out the story instance for yourselves, you can take a look at Aurora Peachy’s playthrough video below (gameplay, no commentary):

If you want to see the Wyvern in action here is Shinryuku’s Wyvern Fight video (with commentary):

Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns: Initial Thoughts On Stronghold


By watching Guild Wars 2 Stronghold videos released on March 3rd by GW2 community members Aurora Peachy, Blu, Bog Otter, and Jebro, I’ve came up with a small summary of what I think of the mode, how the Revenant fairs in Stronghold (and in general sPvP) and strategies players used.

How The Revenent In Stronghold Fairs

So from what I’ve seen of the Revenant, it seems pretty powerful. Shinryuku, a popular GW2 streamer, played the most convincing Revenant in a Stronghold match and had some pretty good success with handling conditions as well as taunting targets in order to help NPCs get to their objectives. Revenants also have some great AoE coverage for areas of contention like the supply area or a lord room. I can’t really say that Revenants are balanced at the moment because it IS a demo after all, there’s much more work to be done on the class. I will say that they’re not underpowered and pretty tanky. For dealing with the Revenant taunts you just need to use a stun break. For the Revenant AoE you have to position accordingly; granted this may be hard at times but plently of classes have AoE that will be difficult to evade in small spaces. Overall, I think the Revenant is in a pretty good place for PvP right now.

Analysis Of Stronghold Videos

Jebro had a great video, detailing some of the basics of the map including where supply are, NPC spawns and so on. What was interesting is that Jebro noted that the gates could only be damaged by Doorbreakers. So it’s very essential that players get Doorbreakers through for gate damage. Also, guards really do one shot Doorbreakers but can be distracted by enemy players. Also, Doorbreakers take time for a player or a non-guard NPC to take out. So guards are pretty important to guard against enemies (ironic no?), pretty much like you would fight with guards in WvW if a havoc group showed up.

Blu took tactical commentary with his video discussing how teams started and what enemies were doing and his thought process on reacting. At first, it seems everyone rushes to the supply camps after spending their initial supply. Then a fight breaks out. After the initial fight, it seems a push-push as Blu put it, is made where teams are defending or attacking all the while some players are running supply. I’ll talk more about this later but I saw Doorbreakers easily walking by when guards have agro so think it’s too easy for Doorbreakers to get by.

With Aurora’s and Bog’s videos it shows the strategic routes they took in their games. Do note that they mostly play PvE so it was really cool to see them do well. Aurora ran supply a lot but she would always try to be out of vision when channeling supply during fights nearby. This may seem small but it results in a ton of Archers and Doorbreakers coming through which made Bog’s task way easier. Bog took a great approach to his first match and I was surprised no one tried to stop him. He solo ran right to the enemy gate after everyone used their initial supply on Doorbreakers and Archers. Then he proceeded to take out the guards or at least get agro while the Archers helped out and the Doorbreakers did their thing. Bog got all the way to the 2nd gate until Jesse Cox came to stop him. This was a great tactic for the first game. If everyone rushes to supply and starts fighting, no one will be paying attention to the mini map to see your gates and guards getting pummeled. However, the same trick didn’t work as well twice but Bog still got a gate and three guards down before Blu started to stop him. So it seems that rushing the gate with a few Doorbreakers and Archers with one person works pretty well, we’ll have to see in future iterations.

Tactics and Other Aspects

What I thought would be interesting would be the use of the trebuchet but no one seemed to use it in any of the videos. It makes me wonder if a majority of players will want to use the trebuchet to their advantage or will it be justa decoration for most Stronghold matches. I think around 1/3 of my matches on the Battle of Khylo map is when at least one person uses the trebuchet. I really think a majority of players don’t like using trebs too much but rather get into the fray. Still, I’d like to see how useful the trebuchet is versus a horde of Doorbreakers for example.

Seeing the tactics used in matches I think the 1-4 split was pretty effective. One would go for enemy gate and 4 would go for supply like in Bog Otter’s matches. A person from the 4-man supply would peel off to guard their gate (or use the trebuchet if necessary). Then the 3 man team would slowly dissolve into one or two people running supply and helping out as needed while a person roams in between both lanes.

Stealth will be a huge mechanic, for ninja supply runs and to get doorbreakers to gates unnoticed. I’m 100% sure you can’t channel hero or supply while stealth but there are so many uses for it that I can definetly see different specs for Mesmers and Thieves.

What I’d Like To See

For Doorbreakers, I’d like for them to not get so easily past guards. You can see in Blu’s and Bog’s video that Doorbreakers easily slipped by guards that have agro. I feel at the very least that Doorbreakers within a certain range of a guard will cause that guard to agro onto the Doorbreaker, even if engaged in combat against a player.

For the Hero spawn, I think it’d be great if there was a voice indication that a Hero is spawning like on Forest of Niflhel when Svanir or Chieftain appears instead of “It can’t be far to that Mists Essence”. It’s not intuitive what that means. The voice in this case would say something along the lines of “A Hero from the Mists will be ready to fight soon” and then the 30 second count down begins.

In Conclusion…

That’s all I have to say on Stronghold for now. It looks like a fun mode that PvP, PvE and WvW players can all enjoy. I personally can’t wait to get my hands on it! Here is Jebro’s Stronghold game guide for those who want a look: