GuildWars 2 — The Return of the Mesmer Profession

Guild­Wars 2, the fol­low-up to the pop­u­lar MMORPG Guild­Wars, in devel­op­ment now for sev­er­al months, has been slow­ly divulging ele­ments of the game. Over that time, the devel­op­ers dis­closed sev­en of the eight pro­fes­sions in the core game, leav­ing the fans to won­der about the last and whether it would be the pop­u­lar Mes­mer pro­fes­sion. To give some jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for that premise, it was dis­closed that one of the char­ac­ters in one of the pub­lished GW2 nov­els was a mes­mer. Well, now the sus­pense is over. The eighth and final pro­fes­sion avail­able for char­ac­ters has been announced and it is (cue the drum roll) indeed the Mes­mer.

How­ev­er, the Mes­mer in GW2 is a far cry from the dom­i­nat­ing pro­fes­sion it is in GW. The Mes­mer in GW2 is a spell­cast­er that oper­ates pri­mar­i­ly as an illu­sion­ist, with some addi­tion­al abil­i­ties tied to the estab­lish­ment and manip­u­la­tion of their illu­sions. I’m not sure I quite care for this take, because, while illu­sions are a part of what a Mes­mer can do, they weren’t the major part of the GW skill set. (I much pre­ferred using the Dom­i­nate skills as opposed to the Illu­sion or Inspi­ra­tion skills.) I do like that the Mes­mers are able to use pis­tols as a weapon, how­ev­er: it gives them a def­i­nite rogue-ish feel to them.

Now,  giv­en that the new game sys­tem is high­ly depen­dent on char­ac­ter place­ment on the bat­tle­field, I was sus­pect­ing the Mes­mer would be more of a com­man­der type, aid­ing the oth­er char­ac­ters through inspi­ra­tion mag­ic, per­haps being a com­bi­na­tion of the Mes­mer and the Paragon pro­fes­sions from GW. How­ev­er, at least this incar­na­tion allows a Mes­mer to stand on their own with­out requir­ing them to always need a group around them to oper­ate effectively.

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