7 Unique Skill Types in Guild Wars 2

Maybe I should have made a charr mesmer instead!

Maybe I should have made a charr mesmer instead!

Every new MMORPG claims to re-invent the wheel to get new customers. But many have failed to live up to their own generated hype. Here I discuss 7 skill types that, while not entirely new to the MMORPG genre, have been considerably re-worked and re-tooled, making them feel fresh, fresh, exciting!

Although I think the addition of dodging was also a big change, I will dodge that discussion for now. But keep in mind that in Guild Wars 2, you can dodge.

1. Thou shall not pass! Literally.

Guardians have access to lines and rings of warding that block foes from passing through but allow allies to pass through. This way, they can control movement in a more significant way than snaring can. They can use it to keep people from getting near, or conversely, from getting away. Or they can keep people from getting to specific places like portals.

2. Attack of the clones!

Mesmers have easy access to clones, which are identical copies of themselves. Aside for behavior, it is literally impossible to tell them apart from the real mesmer. They can relatively easily keep 3 of those alive at any given time, which means that if you use a big attack, you have 75% chance of hitting the wrong one unless you pay close attention to how these copies behave. May the mind games begin!

3. I said NO!

The mesmer has many ways to shutdown foes, by applying stuns and blinds, or via punishment. Mesmers are not unique in this ability (although it is one of their strong points), as many other professions can stun, blind, knockdown, and otherwise make it harder to do your job. If mesmer shutdown is too subtle for you, you can always interrupt a skill using a rifle as I did with my engineer.

4. Minions everywhere!

Engineers have turrets, necromancers have minions, guardians have weapon spells, rangers have pets, mesmers can summon clones and phantasms. But these are not passive cast-and-forget minions. Each come with secondary functions which you can trigger for an additional effect. The engineer’s flame turret for example can be triggered to make a smoke field. The necromancer’s starting minion can be blown up to heal you. Rangers can control their pets with F1-F4, giving abilities from fetching a beer to making puppy eyes. Mesmers can shatter their clones and phantasms with F1-F4, giving abilities from ego deflation to commenting on your gaming performance. (Check this forum thread for actual pet commands and mesmer abilities).

Elementalists’ elementals are cast-and-forget. However, by attuning to one of four elements, you can pick what element your elemental is summoned as. Not too shabby.

(edit: to be fair, some other MMORPGs do include pet abilities, but hey, I am still excited about this)

5. Bag of tricks

The engineer is a walking bag of tricks. His toolbelt gives him 4 additional skills depending on what he has equipped in his healing and optional slots. Moreover, he can bring along kits, which allows him to swap his weapon bar (first 5 skills) for a different set of 5 skills that has a very different effect. For example, the elixir gun makes for a good healing device, whereas the grenade kit gives you the ability to throw chickens. Or grenades. I just wish you could throw chickens. Still, being able to bring up to 30 skills (not counting the kits who swap skills but don’t do anything otherwise) is not bad for a game where you are “only allowed 10 skills”.

Likewise, the elementalist can swap between four elements, changing the 5 weapon skills as well as changing the function of several skills like the elementals as discussed above. Another example is the glyph of storms, which changes the type of storm based on your attunement.

Elementalists and engineers are not unique in this, however, as all other professions get to bring along a weapon swap, allowing them to swap between a melee build and a ranged build, or a ranged build and a healing build, or whatever they have equipped. So the 10-skill-only bar is really a 15+ skillbar when you take into consideration all the ways you can swap skills even in combat.

6. I am a thief! Yoink!

The thief is unique in his ability to steal stuff. When he activates his steal skill, he shadowsteps to his foe, so he can use stealing as a way to move in for a kill. It doesn’t break his stealth either. The stolen item works like kits, in that it is stored for later use, and when activated, it replaces your weapon bar with unique abilities dependent on the profession of the foe you stole something from. This means that you actually get to play around and discover a lot of fun hidden abilities.

7. C-C-Combo!

Make a firewall, throw arrows through it, they become fire arrows. Or make a poison cloud, and stomp in it to inflict weakness on nearby foes. Or turn someone in a giant chicken. Ok, the last one isn’t a combo, but it’s still something fun to do (check out the mesmer elite skills if you are interested).

Some skills set up these combo fields, and others skills use them. Enjoy exploring them whenever playing with other players!!