As the second specialization to be revealed after the chronomancer, the Dragonhunter is certainly a surprise. Most Guild Wars 2 players knew that the guardian was going to receive the longbow as part of their elite specialization, but I suspect every player who had ever played Guild Wars anticipated that it would be called the Paragon. How wrong we were. To find out that the Dragonhunter is not only called the Dragonhunter (see updated thoughts) but that it also uses traps, came as a total surprise. As you’ll find out below and in a blog post from Karl McLain later, this back-line support has a few tricks up its sleeve.
Wings Of Resolve
The biggest change to the guardian when it becomes a Dragonhunter are to its Virtues. Being more physical in design, the Dragonhunters Virtues expand upon the existing design principles so that they're still support based, but in an alternative way. The new Virtues are:
1. Spear Of Justice
2. Wings Of Resolve
3. Shield Of Courage
These three Virtues will replace the existing set and provide a very different means of supporting your allies. Interestingly, they’ll also require some manual aiming. At the moment Virtue Of Justice provides the guardian and its allies the ability to burn their foes. When this becomes Spear Of Justice, the Dragonhunter will throw a spear that can pierce through enemies, before tethering and burning them. If anyone has experience with the Tether Mine in WildStar, I suspect it’s a similar principal.
Shield Of Courage
Wings of Resolve is born from Virtue Of Resolve and no longer heals allies. Instead and as you’ll see on the screenshots here or on the video below, the Dragonhunter will grow wings and leap into an area to heal allies. They’ll also be able to trait so that they deal an attack when landing. Virtue Of Courage becomes Shield Of Courage and instead of providing Aegis, it now provides a shield similar to the revenants Field of the Mists, by blocking all positional attacks but leaving the Dragonhunter vulnerable on its flanks.
But what about the passive effects Virtues offer? Justice, Resolve and Courage will still have them, we just don’t know what they’ll be.
As far as Longbow use is concerned, we know that unlike the Ranger - which is capable of dealing relentless attacks with their bow - the Dragonhunter will focus on firing massive, single projectiles that can harm or support allies. There’s two skills that we know of:
1. Symbol of Energy
2. Deflecting Shot
You can see screenshots for both on this page, with the former granting allies vigor and the latter destroying all enemy projectiles.
Finally and as mentioned above, the Dragonhunter is gaining access to traps. These light based skills function the same as a rangers and will activate when enemies run over them. Although we don’t yet know what specific traps do, it’s revealed that the Dragonhunters heal is a trap that strikes, blinds and heals for a large amount when triggered. They’ll also gain access to bleeding and cripple through traits, conditions that weren't previously available.
That’s just about it for the information we currently know, but If you want to see the Dragonhunter in action, there’s a demo of the elite specialization later this week airing at 12 p.m. PDT tomorrow, May 8, on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel.
Fragments Of Fragility
Overall I’m looking forward to learning more about the specialization and I really never imagined ArenaNet would go down this path for the guardian. I expect many rangers will suddenly be groaning about how there’s potentially a ranger playstyle without the burden of a pet, but light based traps and a powerful support longbow sounds really appealing. It'll also be an awesome change to not have to rely on the scepter for ranged damage. Rejoice!
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