Guild Wars 2 classes – a look at the different professions available

It sometimes seems like we’ve been waiting decades for the release of Guild Wars 2, so much so that I’ve been trying not to get too excited about it because I can’t sustain that level of excitement for that long. With the potential release date now firmly within our lifetimes, I’ve allowing myself a teensy treat, and have taken a look at the available Guild Wars 2 classes.

Classes in Guild Wars 2 are actually referred to as “professions”, which is quite confusing for those of us more used to playing World of Warcraft, but which makes sense within the context of the game. There will be eight professions available, each of which brings with it unique abilities, mechanics and playstyles. Let’s take a look at what we know so far.

Warrior

Warrior classes are not normally all that appealing to me in RPGs. A warrior’s core ability is usually “hit things”, with their specialist skills usually boiling down to “hit things harder”. The Guild Wars 2 warrior, though, seems a bit different. Guild Wars 2 places a lot of emphasis on the exact type of weapon you’re currently using, and the warrior profession takes this to the extreme, allowing very different abilities for each weapon. Crucially, the warrior can equip two weapon sets, and switch between them during combat, allowing the warrior to be extremely versatile.

Engineer

It’s all about the tool belt. Like Batman, Mario, and the guy who turns up to fix your sink, the engineer relies heavily on his tool belt, which can be used for a myriad of different purposes from explosions to healing.

Engineers also have the ability to deploy ‘turrets’ – static devices which can be used to defend and control an area. This feels to me rather similar to the playstyle of a Shaman in World of Warcraft, so it’s probably not the class for me. I could never get the hang of playing a Shaman.

Ranger

Pets! And bows! And traps! Of all the Guild Wars 2 professions, the ranger seems to be the one that has the most directly-corresponding World of Warcraft equivalent – the hunter.

Guild Wars 2 rangers are the only profession with access to animal companions. They can also set traps, use either a shortbow or a longbow, and slip into stealth to avoid (or sneak up on) enemies.

Guardian

Now, this I like. The Guardian is a protection class, with the key mechanic being her ability to temporarily disable some of her powers in order to ‘transfer’ them to her allys. So, for example, Guardians regenerate health passively, but can stop their own health regeneration to provide a regeneration effect to all nearby allies.

The whole idea of this profession seems to be based around the idea of placing the group above yourself. That’ll go against the grain for some traditional MMORPG players, for whom personal performance is the only viable metric, but that’s why I think it’s such a great idea. Encouraging players to value the achievements of the entire group, rather than their own personal achievements, will make for a really interesting game.

Thief

There’s a cast-iron rule with any vaguely-Fantasy setting: there’s always a Thief. It might be called a rogue, or an assassin, but it’s always there: a dagger-wielding, shadow-dwelling, be-cloaked figure of dubious morality.

Guild Wars 2 is no exception to this rule, but the GW2 thief comes with a couple of unique selling points. First of all, some of the thief’s skills will be determined by the precise combination of main hand and off-hand weapons she wields, which is pretty cool. That means you can choose whether to fight like Drizzt Do’Urden with blades of equal length, or like his nemesis Artemis Entreri with one long blade and one short (If you haven’t read any of RA Salvatore’s Forgotten Realms novels then that reference will be lost on you, but take it from me – it’s cool).

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The other great “twist” on the thief class is the way a thief can steal from her opponent. “Big deal,” I hear you cry, “nothing new there.” Ah, but there is. You see, the thief steals from her opponent in the midst of combat, and can then use what she’s stolen as an improvised weapon.

For example, when stealing from a moa bird, a thief might get a handful of feathers that they can throw to blind enemies around them.

It sounds like tremendous fun, but I don’t think it’s the profession for me. Somehow it just feels a bit too gimmicky, and I suspect a lot of players will roll thieves. Call me contrary, but I’d rather go for something that won’t be as popular.

Elementalist

The closest thing that Guild Wars 2 has to a mage class, the elementalist profession relies on an affinity with the four elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. The elementalist can attune herself to one specific element, giving access to unique powers and abilities. Interestingly, the elementalist can change her attunement in the midst of combat, which suggests that this will be one of the most flexible professions.

Necromancer

The Necromancer apparently gains power whenever an ally or enemy dies, which is an interesting mechanic. It’ll be useful during PvP battles, or for a long run of trash mobs, but I can’t see how the necromancer will be able to accrue any power during a standard single-target boss fight (except once the fight is over, obviously). I’m sure there’ll be a solution provided, so I’m looking forward to seeing what it is.

The unique ability of the necromancer is to enter the death shroud. Once this happens, the necromancer leaves her body and becomes a sort of spirit presence, immune to stuns and knockdowns. The necromancer’s Life force (the power accrued when an opponent or ally dies) becomes an effective health bar. Once the life force runs out, the necromancer is returned to her body.

It’s quite an interesting idea. It remains to be seen how well it will work in practice, but it will certainly make the necromancer a complicated and challenging profession to play.

Which to choose?

It really does look like Guild Wars 2 will have something for everyone, with professions suiting all manner of playstyles. It also seems that each profession has quite a lot of capacity for variation, so you’ll be able to tailor your character to favor the aspects of your profession which most appeal.

I loved playing my hunter in World of Warcraft, and it looks likely that the GW2 Ranger profession will be just as much fun. I hope we’ll be able to take some really weird and exotic creatures as companions, as well as the traditional cat/wolf/bear trilogy.

The necromancer also looks quite good fun, if only because the playstyle feels like it will be vastly different to the other professions. It also provides the opportunity for some great roleplaying conflicts (I still remember one of my first party quests in WoW, where another player refused to group with me because I played a warlock and her character “didn’t hold with that sort of thing”).

At the moment, though, I think my favorite of the Guild Wars 2 professions has got to be the Guardian. The idea of a character entirely built around the idea of weakening herself to aid her companions is too good to resist. From what we’ve seen in the Guild Wars 2 teaser and trailer videos, guardians get stuck in right in the middle of the combat, too – so no standing at the back and quietly healing for us! We’re going to be right there kickin’ ass and chewing gum … and we’re all out of gum.

One more still to go

Seven professions have been revealed so far, but Guild Wars 2 will have eight professions in total. The final profession is yet to be revealed, but it looks likely that it will be another Scholar class, like the elementalist and the necromancer. Beyond that, we’ll just have to wait and see … but I reserve the right to change my choice if the final profession is really cool.

Quote taken from the list of professions on the official Guild Wars 2 website.

Have you decided what Guild Wars 2 profession you’re going to choose yet? Do you have any more details, sneak-peeks or speculation? Are you about as ready to explode with excitement about Guild Wars 2 as I am? Let us know in the comments!

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Patch 4.3 Fury Warrior Quick Start Guide – Stats, Rotation, Talent Spec, Priorities, Enchants, Gems And Glyphs

Warrior smash! But warrior confused, because warrior worried way warrior smash change in new patch. Now warrior scratch head. How does a Fury warrior play in patch 4.3? Well, if you’re that warrior, don’t worry – we’ve got the basics – talent spec, glyphs, rotation and reforging / gemming – covered here so you can stop scratching you head and get smashing stuff. Before you do them the wrong way round, ‘cos that might hurt.

Updated Nov 29th 2011 for Patch 4.3

Fury Warrior Changes In Patch 4.3

Very little has changed about Fury in Patch 4.3. We’ve benefitted from the 10% attack power buff to melee, and Furious Attacks now does a 25% healing debuff. Aside from that, we’ve lost 5% physical damage from Dual Wield Specialisation, but that’s about it.

Our play style remains the same as 4.2.

Fury warrior rotation:

Unlike nearly every other class in Cataclysm, Fury warriors do still have a rotation. Kinda. In actual fact, the “rotation” is a priority system, but it’s one that naturally fits into a rotation.

The Fury priority system is: Colossus Smash > Bloodthirst > Raging Blow > Slam with a Bloodsurge procced.

Because Bloodthirst has such a short cooldown, this means you’ll be Bloodthirsting every other GDC. As a result, you end up with a rotation like:

Bloodthirst -> Raging Blow / Colossus Smash (SEE BELOW) -> Bloodthirst -> Free (SEE BELOW) -> Bloodthirst -> Raging Blow -> Bloodthirst -> Free ->

and so on. Use Heroic Strike whenever you’re above 90 rage.

Colossus Smash: If Colossus Smash is available, use it after your next Bloodthirst. This may mean you don’t use Raging Blow – in that case, use Raging Blow in your next free slot.

Free Slot: Use Colossus Smash if it’s available. If it isn’t, use Raging Blow if that’s available. If THAT isn’t, use Slam if you’ve had a Bloodsurge proc. If none of those are available, wait for Bloodthirst and carry on the rotation, or use Execute if the boss is below 20%.

Execute: When the boss goes below 20%, use Execute until you have 5 stacks of the Executioner buff. From then, only use it if you have an empty Free slot, or to refresh your Executioner stack so it doesn’t drop off.

Single Minded Fury? If you’re using Single Minded Fury (2 1-Handed weapons) rather than Titan’s Grip (2 2-Handed weapons), treat Slam/Bloodsurge procs like Colossus Strike – use them in preference to Raging Blow and delay Raging Blow if necessary. Don’t delay Colossus Smash, though. See our more detailed Single-Minded Fury rotation guide

Heroic Strike: Heroic Strike at 90 Rage is a conservative approach. Once you’re more experienced with your rotation, you can start to use it more frequently – see reader Nick’s comment below .

Multi target: Use the same rotation as above, but treat Whirlwind as even more important than Colossus Smash – delay everything except Bloodthirst for it. Cleave as often as your Rage allows – don’t worry about not having enough Rage for Raging Blow or Slam.

Cooldowns: Use Death Wish and Recklessness together if possible.

Buffs: Remember to use Battle Shout, and you need to be in Berserker Stance.

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Fury talent specs:

Standard talent build for level 80 Fury warrior

  • You can swap Titan’s Grip for Single Minded Fury, but you can’t have both. Use whichever you prefer.

Stats:

Hit to 8%(601 unless you’re a Draenai, in which case it’s 481) > Expertise > Strength > Critical Strike Rating > Hit > Mastery and Haste

Notes:

  • Reforge haste and Mastery to hit until capped, then to expertise. If you are over the expertise cap, reforge to hit again.
  • Gem for strength. In blue sockets gem for strength and hit.

Fury Warrior Enchants

Remember to check if your profession offers better enhancement options for a slot!

Head Arcanum of the Wildhammer (Alliance) or Dragonmaw (Horde)
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Jagged Stone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Critical Strike
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Major Strength
Hands Enchant Gloves – Mighty Strength
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Dragonscale Leg Armor
Feet Enchant Boots – Precision or Mastery
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Landslide

Glyphs:

Primes: Glyph of Bloodthirst, Glyph of Raging Blow, Glyph of Slam

_Major:_Glyph of Cleaving, Glyph of Colossus Smash, Glyph of Death Wish

Minor: Glyph of Berserker Rage

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Patch 4.3 Arms Warrior PvE Quick-Start Guide: Stats, Talent Spec and Build, Reforging, Gemming, Rotation And Glyphs

So you’re a master of arms. An Arms Warrior in fact. But you woke up one morning and everything had changed. How do you use all the abilities you had mastered as an Arms warrior now? How do you play Arms in patch 4.3? Well, relax that furrowed brow and stop waving the oversized blunt/sharp/stabby weapon. You’ll have someone’s eye out. Relax, read our basic guide for playing Arms warriors in patch 4.3, including glyphs, talent spec, reforging, gems, enchants, and rotation and you’ll soon be back to looking the coolest soldier out there.

Updated March 5th, 2012 for Patch 4.3

Arms warrior changes in Patch 4.3

Not much has changed for Arms in 4.3. We’ve got a new Slam animation, and a new Colossus Smash animation!

Other than that, Mortal Strike has returned to being a 25% healing debuff, and we’ve gotten the global melee 10% Attack Power buff. However, how we play and gear hasn’t changed in the new patch.

Arms warrior rotation

Arms Warriors don’t have a rotation any more – instead, they have a priority system. During each global cooldown, use the highest-priority ability that’s available:

Single target: Rend > Colossus Smash > Mortal Strike > Overpower > Slam

  • You should be in Battle Stance. Remember to use Battle Shout before combat.
  • Once mob health is at or below 20% use Execute instead of Slam
  • If Rend is about to fall off your target hit Mortal Strike before anything else to refresh Rend
  • Use Heroic Strike if you have 70+ rage

Multi target: Use Bladestorm and Sweeping Strikes as soon as possible. Use Thunderclap instead of Slam, and use Cleave instead of Heroic Strike – otherwise, use your normal single-target rotation.

  • If you have the Blood and Thunder talent, open with Rend, then Thunderclap.
  • If bladestorm and sweeping strikes are on CD activate inner rage (if high rage) or deadly calm (if low rage) and spam cleave
  • Like all WoW warrior specs, you should be using a Shout before combat – use Battle Shout unless your raid leader tells you otherwise.

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Arms talent specs

If you’re going to be doing dungeons rather than raiding, you should probably take 2 points in Blood and Thunder rather than Incite (both bottom of the Protection tree). If you interrupt a lot (or again, in dungeons) take 1 point in Rude Interruption (2nd tier, Fury) rather than a point in Incite (bottom tier, Protection).

Stats:

Hit > Strength > Critical Strike Rating up to 35% > Expertise > Mastery > Haste

  • You need 8% hit = 961 hit rating.* Above this, Hit is basically useless and should be reforged away.
  • Reforge haste to hit until capped, then to crit until 35%, then Expertise until cap, then Mastery. Reforge excess Hit too.
  • Gem for strength in red and blue sockets. Gem for Strength + Critical strike in yellow if the socket bonus is worth it (i.e. +10 strength). Don’t gem Hit.

Glyphs

Primes: Glyph of SlamGlyph of Mortal StrikeGlyph of Overpower

Major: Glyph of Colossus SmashGlyph of Sweeping Strikes and one other of your choice.

  • _Consider taking Glyph of Cleaving for AoE heavy fights. See above for how to use cleave effectively._

Minor: Your choice. Recommendations:_ Glyph of Intimidating ShoutGlyph of Berserker Rage

Arms Warrior enchants

Remember to check if your profession offers a better enhancement choice for a slot!

Head Arcanum of the Wildhammer (Alliance) or Dragonmaw (Horde)
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Jagged Stone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Critical Strike
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Major Strength
Hands Enchant Gloves – Mighty Strength
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Dragonscale Leg Armor
Feet Enchant Boots – Precision or Mastery
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Landslide

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The Spread Of Bad Habits In Low Level Dungeons

Anyone ventured into an instance recently? C’mon, hands up. Specifically low level ones. Big Bear Butt’s got a post today about his recent experiences in a low level instance – well, I say experience, but it doesn’t sound like he gained much in the way of XP while he was there.

Most of his post is an entertaining tale of what happened in the dungeon. He says he was levelling a new druid and felt there came a time when he should try tanking a low level dungeon. Risky business, I know. But BBB explains that he had all the old bear-tank tricks up his sleeve to compensate for the lack of any bear AoE abilities at low level. Wasn’t enough: apparently his problem turned out to be the DPS.

The DPS, two Hunters and a Warrior, actually attacked while I was still running up. I hadn’t even gotten close enough to face pull and boom!

So mobs are on the three DPS and their pets, but not ALL the mobs of the group. I grabbed one of them, and started trying to get the rest, and the healer panicked, exacerbating the problem by frantically casting heals to try and keep all the DPS alive… bringing the remainder of the mobs down on her head.

He goes on to speculate how the tanking classes are balanced at the moment, saying that at the same low level warriors would have solid AoE threat abilities but bears have nothing. He’s hurting a bit over that and I don’t blame him, though I’m not sure I agree with BBB’s conclusion that other tanking classes with their fancy AoE abilities ‘train’ DPS to let all nitwibble break loose within miliseconds.

What do you think – are tanking classes unbalanced right from the offset, and are DPSers spoilt and allowed to switch their brains off by AoE-tastic tanks?

_Quote taken directly from BBB’s post

You can find Big Bear Butt’s homepage here_

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WoW Arms Warrior PvE Stats, Rotation And Glyphs {Patch 4.1}

This guide is out of date! Check out our Patch 4.2 guide to Arms Warrior Glyphs, Gems, Stats, Rotation, Reforging and everything else to get the latest info!

So you’re a master of arms. An Arms Warrior in fact. But you woke up one morning and everything had changed. How do you use all the abilities you had mastered as an Arms warrior now? How do you play Arms in patch 4.1? Well, relax that furrowed brow and stop waving the oversized blunt/sharp/stabby weapon. You’ll have someone’s eye out. Relax, read our basic guide for playing Arms warriors in patch 4.1, and you’ll soon be back to looking the coolest soldier out there.

Arms warrior rotation:

Single target: Rend > Colossus Smash > Mortal Strike > Overpower > Slam

  • Once mob health is at or below 20% use Execute instead of Slam
  • _If Rend is about to fall off your target hit Mortal Strike before anything else to refresh Rend

_ * _Use Overpower whenever it cools down/procs, only use Colossus Smash to refresh its debuff.

_ * _Use Heroic Strike if you have 70+ rage

_

Multi target: Rend > Thunderclap > Sweeping Strikes > Bladestorm > Thunderclap > *

  • This is if you have the Blood and Thunder talent.
  • _* If bladestorm and sweeping strikes are on CD activate inner rage (if high rage) or deadly calm (if low rage) and spam cleave

_

Arms talent specs:

Recommended talent build for level 85 Arms warrior

Stats:

Hit > Expertise > Strength >  Critical Strike Rating up to 35% > Mastery >  Haste

  • _You need 8% hit = 961 hit rating. You also need 26 Expertise. Once you have these numbers stop stacking them.

_ * Reforge haste to hit until capped, then to crit until 35%, then mastery * _Mastery Rating is very nearly as important as Critical Strike Rating in 4.1

_ * Gem for strength in red and blue sockets. Gem for Strength + Critical strike in yellow if the socket bonus is worth it (i.e. +10 strength).

Glyphs:

Primes: Glyph of SlamGlyph of Mortal StrikeGlyph of Overpower

Major: Glyph of Heroic ThrowGlyph of Colossus SmashGlyph of Sweeping Strikes

  • _Consider taking Glyph of Cleaving for AoE heavy fights. See above for how to use cleave effectively._

Minor: Your choice. Recommendations: Glyph of Intimidating ShoutGlyph of Berserker Rage

Links:

Conclusion

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Fury Warrior Stats, Rotation And Glyphs In Patch 4.0.1+

This guide is now outdated. Visit our guide to Fury Warrior (Single Minded Fury and TItan’s Grip) in Patch 4.2 to get the latest info!

Warrior smash! Except warrior can’t smash, because all the pretty buttons changed in patch 4.0. Now warrior scratch head. How does a warrior play in patch 4.0? Well, if you’re that warrior, don’t worry – we’ve got the 4.0 fury warrior basics covered here so you can stop scratching you head and get smashing stuff. Before you do them the wrong way round, ‘cos that might hurt.

Fury warrior rotation:

Single target: Blood thirst > Heroic Strike > Blood thirst > free (either Heroic Strike, Battle Shout or Berserker Rage in order to stay enraged for Raging Blow procs) > rinse repeat

  • Use Raging Blow whenever it procs
  • Use Execute when mob is at 20% > Heroic strike if rage above 60

Multi target: Cleave > Blood Thirst > Whirlwind

Fury talent specs:

Standard talent build for level 80 Fury warrior

  • Notes: you can swap a point out of War Academy into Incite (personal preference)
  • You can swap Titan’s Grip for Single Minded Fury, but you can’t have both (again, personal preference)

Stats:

Hit > Strength > Expertise > Haste > Critical Strike Rating > Mastery

Notes:

  • _Hit is now more important. Work towards 738 hit. You also need 22 Expertise/172 Expertise Rating.

_ * If you have 61% crit or more, mastery overtakes crit in importance. * _Reforge haste to hit until capped, then to expertise. If you are over the expertise cap, reforge to hit.

_ * _Gem for strength. In blue sockets gem for strength and hit._

Glyphs:

Primes: Glyph of BloodthirstGlyph of Raging BlowGlyph of Slam

Major: Glyph of Cleaving

Minor: Glyph of Berserker Rage

Conclusion

Did you find this guide useful? Want to read cool stuff about WoW daily? Then check out our main World of Warcraft page, and get the best posts from the Internet’s WoW blogs, every day.

(Well, every day except Sunday. We’re not religious, but we are sometimes hung over.)

Links:

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Achtung Panzercow: Solution To Tanks’ AoE Threat Woes

I’ve been hearing that tanks are having a problem with AoE threat. Well, Linedan at Achtung Panzercow has a theory to help flailing tanks in dungeons. It’s mostly tailored for warriors but it may be useful for other classes, especially if you have a similar talent to the warrior one he’s citing. Which I don’t know off the top of my head, as I’m a willowy healer rather than a dedicated meatshield, levelling prot warrior aside. Or something.

Now if you’ve tanked some heroics the past two weeks, you know that your AOE threat is down a bit, or maybe more than a bit depending on your class.  … Add in the huge DPS increases that some classes got (yes, mages, you can stop cackling gleefully now), and the fact that people still cannot grasp the concept of “wait two seconds to let the tank get agro,” and I’ll bet you’ve been having a moderately frustrating time running your heroics.

Linedan’s idea is short and sweet. While it’s been  around as a tactic used on and off by tanks for a while, it’s not been suggested as a panacea for the tank ailment that is 4.0. He’s anticipated tanks reading it and shrinking back in horror at the idea, and goes on to reassure that it won’t destroy your stats. Well, mostly.

He rounds off with telling us about a Heroic he ran to test his theory, and says it went incredibly smoothly. He even thinks it could be used in lower tier raids, so long as you check your healers aren’t going to have a heart attack. So what’s the magic idea? Go read his post!

What do you think – are there ways round the AoE threat problem, or is this AoE threat problem all a puff of hot air?

_Quote taken directly from Linedan’s post

You can find Achtung Panzercow’s homepage here._

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