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Revenant Elite Specialization Thoughts: The Herald

gw2-herald

We’ve seen each of the Legends that make up the baseline of the Revenant so far:

  • Jalis/Legendary Dwarf Stance: Tanky
  • Mallyx/Legendary Demon Stance: Conditions
  • Ventari/Legendary Centaur Stance: Support
  • Shiro/Legendary Assassin Stance: Burst Damage

Now, we get to know the final specialization that will be added to the Revenant for Heart of Thorns: the Herald!

Revenant Elite Specialization

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Game Designer Roy Cronacher gives us the details about the Herald where Glint is the Legend for this elite specialization. This specialization is designed to make Revenants as frontline party utility. The skills provided by this legend encourages players to stand near a Revenant that’s using the Legendary Dragon stance for defense aid and boons.

Elite Weapon: Shield

I think the weapon is a good place to start. Since Glint embodies party utility, the weapon that Revenants will have access to is offhand shield. The two skills are the following:

  • Envoy of Exuberance: Dragon energy comes forth as a wave from your shield granting protection to allies in the target path, healing at the target location then finally returns back to the Revenant. I assume the animation is similar to the Chronomancer’s Tides of Time shield skill.
  • Crystal Hibernation: A crystal energy shield blocks damage and conditions while regenerating your health. You also gain a defiance bar on use. Once broken, you’ll  be stunned for 2 seconds and have 25 stacks of vulnerability. You cannot move while channeling this skill.

Legendary Dragon Stance

The Legendary Dragon stance skills embody the Six Facets that you had to face to meet Glint in GW1. Each Facet skill is an upkeep aura skill and can be casted again at no energy cost for an empowered ability but will make the skill go on cooldown.

Facet of Elements (Utility): grants AoE swiftness and turns into Elemental Blast. When you cast Elemental Blast at a target location, the area is seared in Glint’s Dragon breath that causes condition like chill, weakness, and burning.

Facet of Chaos (Elite): grants AoE protection and turns into Chaotic Release. When you cast Chaotic Release, you grant super speed to allies and control (taunt?) enemies.

Facet of Nature: If you notice I said that there are Six Facets but only 5 skills can be placed on the utility bar. So where does this Facet of Nature, as the 6th facet, fit in? Well, it’s available for every Legend stance. Most likely to be an F2 skill, this Facet increases outgoing boon duration by 50% and turns into One With Nature. When you cast One With Nature, it cancels Facet of Nature to apply the boons of all the other facets at once!

Underwater Combat

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So up till the last beta weekend event, there was no word on the Revenant’s underwater combat. Well we’ve finally got the answer to that as well. Revenants will be able to use a spear underwater. The spear will supply physical and condition damage.

What’s interesting about spear is that it will have two different types of auto attacks based on the range of your target. The ranged auto attack (which is condition based) is called Spear of Anguish. The melee auto attack is called Rapid Assault that is a flurry of multiple hits that stack vulnerability.

Some of the other underwater skills are Venomous Sphere that is a orb of Mist energy that poisons any enemies on it’s path. The secondary skill called Frigid Discharge detonates the sphere for a burst of damage. There’s also Rift Containment that traps enemies between two rifts from the Mists.

My Thoughts?

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I think the Revenant has finally come full circle now. It’s a very interesting decision to make the shield have a heal as I noticed that Shiro stance lacked a reliable strong initial heal so this will help. The protection and blocks help as well. Removal of conditions such as bleed and poison looks like will still be rather difficult with Shiro as it required you to swap Legends and using said Legend’s healing skill which takes you out of an assaulting role for quite a few vital seconds. Revenant is the first profession we know of that will use a defiance bar. Players will definitely have to use this skill sparingly or be able to cancel the cast before the bar breaks.

The Facet skills sound good in theory but in combat will be the real test. Energy upkeep skills are sometimes not worth it and drain too much energy (Shiro’s Impossible Odds). I really hope the energy upkeeps are reasonable because it seems that each facet will be worth upkeeping for a few seconds then activating to retain a decent amount of energy. Then again, we’re in beta stage so all these kinks are getting worked out.

I think I’ll personally will be going with Sword/Shield and Hammer with the Legend options of Shiro and Glint (if I like the skills; Jalis otherwise).

The underwater skills I think will be alright. I’m really interested to see if we’ll get Legend based underwater utility skills (I can’t see myself using Jalis’ brick road skill underwater). Maybe some legends won’t be usable underwater. Perhaps we’ll get Mist-like utility underwater skills not tied to any Legend. I made the legendary spear Kamohoali’i Kotaki a while back so in any case it works out for me.

MassivelyOP’s Tina Lauro got the exclusive on this elite specialization. Be sure to check the post out if you want a few more details including her interview with Roy. We’ll find everything out on Points of Interest tomorrow per usual on August 14th at noon Pacific.

Heart of Thorns Beta Weekend Event 1 Thoughts: The Chronomancer

GW2-Chronomancer-well

These are my general thoughts of the Mesmer elite specialization: the Chronomancer. I was able to try out this elite specialization for the first time ever in the first beta weekend event for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns! So without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

Shield

I have to say, the shield skills for Chronomancer are quite entertaining to use. The shield promotes seeing into the future per say. You can either block an attack with Echo of Memory/Deja Vu (Skill 4) or daze with Tides of Time (Skill 5). Clone upkeep using shield requires you to block successfully and the pay off is worth it. The clones you get for blocking grant Alacrity which speeds up skill recharge while Tides of Time grants you quickness when you walk into it. Shield brings about a new aspect of play so I’d say it’s worth trying it out and seeing if it’s for you. There are times where the return aspect for Tides of Time doesn’t work properly. I think this is a bug due to hitting part of the world that’s causing the issue.

Wells

Now, let’s talk about Chronomancer wells! The wells themselves and concerning what each of them provide are pretty decent overall. However, some wells have a longer casting time than other wells. The elite well takes 1 second to cast which makes sense (it’s an elite after all) but the 2 damage-oriented wells takes 3/4 to a second to cast. The other 2 utility wells, that are more support-oriented, are 1/4 of a second to cast. It felt weird trying to lay down Well of Calamity sometimes which, if you couldn’t tell be the name, is a damage oriented well. I found myself interrupting the well cast in order to keep up shatter combos and clone upkeep. I really think that the cast time on the damage utility wells need to go down by 1/4 or 1/2 a second. There’s a bug where the wells sometimes don’t visibly appear when I casted them or the outer ring for the well appeared but the actual well doesn’t show up and goes on cooldown.

Continuum Shatter

Next up is the addition of the F5 shatter: Continuum Split & Continuum Shift. This one will take a bit of practice to use in terms of knowing how much time you have in your Split Duration which is dependent on the number of clones you shatter. I can see it as a way to quickly dodge a big hit in a quick Split Duration or to barrage an enemy with spells when you have a good Split Duration going. This shatter definitely has a high skill cap and players will have to experiement a bit in order to get what they want out of it.

The Chronomancer specialization line is pretty solid allowing players to explore more clone and shatter options while also giving you an option to improve your wells.

So to sum things up, I think Chronomancer is in a really good place right now. It feels really polished. There’s just a bit of well cast time clunk and the odd bug here and there.

Summed Up In Video Format

Why Main Hand Shield Would Be Awesome For An Elite Specialization

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A few weeks back I was talking with a few Guild Wars 2 guild mates about how main hand shield would be awesome for the Warrior elite specialization. One person wasn’t really convinced and jokingly said I should write an editorial about why it would be awesome. And here we are. Here are my reasons why main hand shield would be awesome for an elite specialization and, well, is just awesome in general. Note that I’ll be talking about using main hand shield in a melee fashion for the most part.

Why Main Hand Shield Would Be Awesome

1) Very Innovative: Off the top of your head, name an MMO that allows a class to wield a main hand shield. Go ahead, I’ll wait. You can’t, can you? Guild Wars 2 has always been about thinking outside the box and innovating on good ideas. Melee staff and ranged hammer are cool to wield but I really can’t see a better outside the box idea for a weapon than wielding a main hand shield.

2) Possibly More Defense, Small Hit In Offense: In GW2, a main hand shield means you get more defense for a small hit in your damage. However, this damage decrease isn’t so bad that makes wielding a main hand shield worthless. At least in my opinion it doesn’t. For example: The best dual hand damage would be something like dual Swords which would give you 1810 – 2000 damage with no defense. An exotic Sword and an off hand Shield would yield 1711 – 1909 with 61 defense. Two exotic Shields would give you 1612 – 1818 with 122 defense. The worst stat combo would be (exotic) main hand Shield and Torch which would give you 1595 – 1835 with 61 defense. You see where I’m going with this.

3) Good Balance of Offensive & Defensive Skills: With respect to off hand shield skills they, more or less, provide the defense nature already. Main hand shield skills could provide the offense. Slam-like basic attacks, offensive shield leaps, and charge attacks are some of the skills that would compliment a main hand shield.

4) Grants Access To Different Conditions: A Guardian is a good example for this point. A Guardian’s main damage-over-time condition is burning and not much else. I know the Dragonhunter elite specialization will allow Guardians access to bleed but main hand shield can facilitate access to more conditions. Some possible conditions for a main hand shield I can see are confusion and maybe bleed if a skill added spikes your shield when you hit or something like that.

5) You Could Wield Two Shields: Think about that fact. Think about running around with two Flameseeker Prophecies and bashing Mordrems in. Is that not a sight to behold?

Why Main Hand Shield Probably Doesn’t Work

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Main hand shield is a cool idea, but not without it’s pitfalls:

1) Sheathing A 2nd Shield: Besides stacking shields on one’s back, which would probably look awful with clipping, there’s no real visual way to store a 2nd shield well.

2) No Attack Value: May not be relevant here since in GW2 shields have a damage value because weapons determine some of the skills you have. However, with other MMOs, shields may only have a defense value which is probably the main reason why you don’t see main hand shield in MMO games. So unless you really want to be tanky, you can’t do much else.

3) Damage/Defense Values Not As Intended: I know this counter acts my pro point #2 but I’m not a GW2 game dev. It may be possible that I see the dip in damage main hand shield facilities as not a problem whereas the GW2 balance team can see it being a problem.

4) Possibly Too Overpowered CC-wise: Let’s face it, Dual Shield alone in GW2 would just be too awesome and would become meta in an instant if main hand shield status effects would, most likely, feature dazes and knockbacks. That would just be too annoying to deal with by any standard.

In conclusion, I really see the possibility of main hand shield in the future for Guild Wars 2 since they have a pretty good way to implement it. If they can work out the visual and damage trade off issues, I think they have some thing to work with. Right now, I can’t see it happening for the Heart of Thorns expansion.

This is meant to be more of a gag article. However, I’m going to use this article as a reference for “I called it!” if main hand shield ever gets implemented.