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A Detailed Look at the Guild Wars 2 Warrior Reveal

Updated Sat, Sep 11, 2010 by Xerin

Warriors in Guild Wars are lean, mean killing machines with the ability to equip the strongest armor in the game and wield a wide variety of weapons with great skill. They’re nearly undefeatable in PvE and a major threat to anyone in PvP due to their high armor and large variety of offensive and defensive abilities. Warriors in upcoming Guild Wars 2 will not be diverging from this basic concept as developers ArenaNet recently revealed:

The warrior is a master of weapons who relies on speed, strength, toughness, and heavy armor to survive in battle. A warrior can shrug off blow after blow to stay in the fight, all the while building up adrenaline to fuel his offense.

In the most recent profession reveal for the game, we find out a lot about the Warrior’s various mechanics (like Adrenaline), which weapons a Warrior can wield, and the types of skills available. The only thing we’ve yet to be told is if the Hamstorm build concept will be making a triumphant return. Alright, I kid, but I wouldn’t doubt that Hamstorm may still be a perfectly viable and excellent combo with an Elementalist in your party.

Adrenaline

In its current form, Adrenaline is a basic resource available to Warriors and Paragons (either as primary or secondary classes) that is gained every time you strike with a weapon or take damage in combat. Each adrenal skill has its own separate pool that is charged individually. When you use a skill all of the Adrenaline is consumed for that skill and one strike of Adrenaline is removed from all additional skills that require Adrenaline.

In Guild Wars 2 the mechanics of Adrenaline will be changing drastically while remaining a very familiar. Adrenaline will no longer be on a per-skill basis but instead will be a standard resource that is gained every time you strike an enemy. The more Adrenaline you have the more powerful/effective many of your skills become. There will be three total levels of Adrenaline with each one granting certain bonuses in addition to a direct passive damage bonus.  Burst skills will consume all of your Adrenaline in order to do a large amount of damage.

You’ll rush into battle, striking enemies bit by bit building Adrenaline and using skills as it increases. When it reaches a certain point you’ll unload all of it for a large attack and then return to building Adrenaline again. To me it seems like there will be a big tactical advantage to either saving your burst skill and utilizing the increased damage or using your burst skill as soon as your Adrenaline is full so that you can use it again as soon as possible.

Weapons

Many of the standard melee weapon types will be returning in addition to a few new ones. There are also some big changes in how you’ll equip weapons. Warriors will be able to dual wield Swords, Axes, and Maces in lieu of carrying a Shield or Warhorn. This means that you can choose between a defensive build or an offensive build depending on how the battle is flowing, and should be welcome news for those players who prefer to play melee classes more aggressively rather than being pigeonholed into a strictly tanking role.

One thing that we learned in the recent Trait reveal is that weapon switching is a crucial part of being a Warrior and weapon switching also has a cooldown. So don’t pick a favorite weapon just yet. As you read the following list of weapons think about the situations that they’d be useful in and which situations they might not be very useful at all.

  • Swords: Swords are described as “quick and mobile,” but I’m not sure how that will translate in combat. Swords will inflict bleeding and seem to be a great source of constant and steady damage, much like most Sword builds are currently designed to be.
  • Axes: Axes seem to be designed around building a lot of Adrenaline and dealing spike damage. This will probably be very useful in PvP or against enemies that you want to drop as fast as possible.
  • Maces: Maces are a new weapon type and will focus on stunning attacks. I imagine that the Mace combo will involve stunning an enemy and then following up with a couple of high damage attacks.
  • Hammers & Greatswords: Both weapons seem to be focused on dealing AoE damage. Hammers will probably be slower than Greatswords, but both will be dealing overwhelming amounts of damage to groups of enemies.
  • Longbow: Don’t confuse a Warrior for a Ranger or he just might punch you. Warriors will be able to use Longbows and their accompanying skills which seem to focus on dealing ranged AoE damage.
  • Rifle: A simple pulling weapon which could also be used for finishing off fleeing enemies.

If you look at the list of weapons above you’ll see a theme. Each weapon type is better in certain situations. For instance, you’ll probably want to use a Longbow against a charging group of enemies and then switch to a 2-handed weapon in order to finish them off. The one-handed weapon choices seem to be designed around constant, spike, and tactical damage. You can do constant damage with your sword, spike damage with your axe, or stun enemies with your maces. Each one will probably be very useful in different situations.

Skills

Ten Ton Hammer Video: Click to play.

This video showcases some of the Warrior's skills in action.

  • Eviscerate: The first skill we see above is Eviscerate which seems to involve charging the enemy to deal heavy damage. One thing to note is how the Warrior is capable of throwing his Axe at the enemy.
  • Stomp: Looks like a very interesting AoE ability that seems to be similar to Arcing Shot but is for melee range instead of ranged.
  • Sever Artery -> Gash -> Final Thrust: We see a Warrior building Adrenaline then unleashing a very powerful combo that exists in Guild Wars right now. However, in GW2 this combo will all be on one button.
  • Arcing Shot: A really cool looking ability that seems to allow you to take out waves of enemies before they even get to you.
  • Shield Stance: Seems to be a way to take on situational environmental damage (like the Lizard’s fire breath) while probably decreasing the damage taken from other sources. A pretty awesome looking ability, and one that seems to more directly illustrate the benefits of equipping a shield in combat.

Skill Types

There are five different skill types for Warriors. They are stances, chains, banners, shouts, and charge skills. Each skill type is different, but for the most part similar to how Warriors work now in Guild Wars.

  • Stances: Stances are now enchantments that reduce your Energy regeneration and can be toggled on and off (with a cooldown once they’ve been toggled off). This means that you’ll be able to turn a stance on and gain its benefits, but if you want more Energy then you’ll need to toggle it off to return your Energy regeneration back to normal.
  • Chains: This is the big one for me. We all know that the weapon(s) you equip will determine your first five skills, leaving only five skills for you to customize. Yet, how are we going to get a series of skill chains together with such limited space? Why, of course, the skill chains can be built into the weapon skills themselves. The example given is Sever Artery -> Gash -> Final Thrust which will all reside on one button. Use Sever Artery and Gash will take its place awaiting your follow-up.
  • Banners: A simple premise. Throw down a banner and an area of effect buff will be given to allies nearby. “Banner of Courage” is an example which increases melee damage. I’m sure things like haste, defense, etc. will also be available.
  • Shouts: An instant cast skill that will debuff enemies or buff allies, much like how it works now. “On My Mark” is the example given which will lower enemy armor.
  • Charge Skills: An interesting concept. The longer you hold the button the more damage you do. Perhaps you’ll be easily interrupted during the casting?

Interested in more screenshots of the Warrior? Click here to view our screenshot gallery.

That’s a lot of information about the Warrior profession. I can’t wait to play one myself. What about you? Are you looking forward to playing as (or facing) a Warrior in Guild Wars 2? What’s the most awesome skill they’ve showcased so far? Do you have any skill ideas of your own? Come answer these questions over our Ten Ton Hammer community forums.


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