Guild Wars 2 stream previews End of Dragons’ Vindicator, Bladesworn, and Catalyst

    
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This was neat, but eh.

Guild Wars 2 players are getting no shortage of new expansion info lately, between last week’s fishing and skiff stream and last month’s preview of the first three elite specs. If you are still waiting on info for your favorite class’s new elite spec, perhaps you will see it in this week’s Guild Chat stream, where ArenaNet discussed End of Dragons’ new specs for Revenant, Warrior, and Elementalist.

The Revenant’s new Vindicator spec uses the new Legendary Alliance stance to channel the power of both Saint Viktor of the Kurzicks and Archemorus of the Luxon Armada, who joined forces to defeat Shiro Tagachi in the prologue to Guild Wars: Factions. Each time The Vindicator uses one of their slot skills, it will flip between red (Luxon) and blue (Kurzick) versions that are damage focused and support focused, respectively. For instance, the healing skill Selfish Spirit heals you and damages nearby enemies, granting might for each enemy struck. The skill then flips over to Selfless Spirit, which, after the cooldown, heals up to five allies in an area. You could run this as a hybrid damage and support class, or, if you feel like specializing, you can press the F2 skill to flip all of your blue skills to red and vice versa. Its new greatsword weapon and slot kills grant the Revenant some much-needed melee AoE.

The Warrior’s Bladesworn elite spec forgoes its in-combat weapon swap (the way the Engineer or Elementalist does) in favor of a new gunblade gunsaber weapon, which is drawn with the F1 button. The Bladesworn has also ditched the Warrior’s traditional adrenaline resource, which was built per hit, and replaces it with flow, which is built over time. Flow can then be spent with Dragon Trigger. When the player presses F2, they sheathe their gunsaber and begin accumulating charges (which look like little bullets above the flow bar), up to a maximum of 10 after five seconds, getting ready to unleash a powerful Dragon Slash ability. Each charge will increase the power of Dragon Slash exponentially, making the fully charged Dragon Slash immensely powerful. Guild Wars 2 developer Cal Cohen demonstrated the Dragon Slash hitting for 25k damage… and then realized he forgot to equip gear. The actual damage potential of a fully charged Dragon Slash, used with a set of buffs simulating what you would get in a optimized full squad (and while the character is not naked), is in excess of 450k. Obviously this will be nerfed down a bit in PvP so that you aren’t simply one-shotting people, but this is still an incredibly powerful burst damage spec.

Finally, ArenaNet demoed the Catalyst, the new spec for the Elementalist. The Catalyst gets a new mechanic that summons a magitech jade sphere, which functions similarly to the Scrapper’s gyros. Spheres charge up energy per hit, and can unleash that energy in the form of AoE buffs and combo field which change types as you shift elemental attunements. The hammer is a mid-range weapon in fire and air attunement, and a melee weapon in water and earth. Perhaps the most interesting part of the hammer is that its 3 skill is consistent across all four elements. It causes a projectile of your current element to orbit you, giving you buffs and damaging enemies it comes into contact with. When you switch to another attunement, it continues to orbit you up to its duration, and pressing 3 in your new attunement adds a projectile to your orbit and refreshes the duration of any other orbiting projectiles. Pressing the 3 skill flipover, called Grand Finale, then hurls all of the elemental projectiles currently orbiting you at your target for a big burst of damage and conditions.

If you want to check out all of the information for yourself, you can watch the replay below. Be sure to watch to the end if you want all the geeky details on traits and tooltips. If you want to give these three new specs a try for yourself, you don’t have long to wait, as they will be playable in the next beta event this Tuesday, September 21st, and keep an eye on Massively OP’s Flameseeker Chronicles column for more in-depth analysis of each spec.

Source: YouTube
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Arktouros

Catalyst was pretty disappointing to me. Those aren’t wells by any functional meaning of the word in game. Wells are temporary effects that last a few seconds that you drop for beneficial or harmful effects then that’s that. This you get an unmovable area to work around that you drop on the ground that you have to stay in to make most of the class synergy work. I don’t know a single competitive game mode where staying in one area is actually viable like this given the incredible amounts of area denial abilities in game (both in PvP and to an extent PvE).

Hammer itself looks uninteresting as well, they really should have made it all 600 or none at all. Even then 600 isn’t really “enough” and you usually need around 900 to get a good mid range feel for weapons. 600 is usually on abilities to give you a touch of range is already present on other weapons like Dagger and given the lackluster 4/5s I saw likely will be better for D/F or D/D.

The focus on Auras is really weird because Tempest was already so heavily Aura focused as is and this feels a bit like a doubling up on that mechanic. Auras work well on a Tempest because of the boons that keep you alive from getting auras. The only real survivability I saw was a flat 10% damage reduction with stacks and that’s honestly super garbage. Maybe the intention is to have an Ele run full Celestial stats to get a mega boost from 10% more stats? My Ele will remain shelved for now.

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Bruno Brito

I don’t know a single competitive game mode where staying in one area is actually viable like this given the incredible amounts of area denial abilities in game (both in PvP and to an extent PvE).

Bunker farpoint defenders in SPvP. Other than that, yeah, no practical usage.

Also, Ele arcane cantrips are just too good to pass up. The teleport, diamond skin ( i think it’s the name ), some of the glyphs.

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TomTurtle

I found myself liking each of these for this round of elite specs, but mostly after this showcase. The initial trailers were of mixed quality in regards to hyping them up.

miol
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miol

Robot Chicken also can’t pass that opportunity!

ZAPOW!.gif
miol
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miol

Spoiler
https://imgur.com/a/5XZob8V

miol
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miol

Don’t know how to make an image in a spoiler tag work! /shrug

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styopa

The revenant needs melee aoe? I usually run short bow condi renegade generally but anytime stuff gets real, I drop to mace/axe and between the totems of renegade stance, and the stomp/elite of demon stance and whole crowds of enemies fall like wheat.

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Arktouros

They generally like to cover all the angles and Revenant struggles a bit with power based AOE. Hammer was solid at first but repeated nerfs for WvW has made it fairly lackluster over time and really wasn’t melee AOE anyways.

However I agree and will likely keep my main Revenant as Mace/Axe+Shortbow Renegade because it does disgusting AOE damage via conditions (like just dumb amounts of bleed/burn AOE). Throwing down Razorclaw’s Rage is absolutely bonkers since all that bleeding counts as you doing it too so you get to use everyone else as free damage.

Frankly the new legend just looks bad. I was hoping the F2 skill would be like switch to one or the other kinda like a mini legend within a legend or something but as a Weaver player it’s immensely annoying to have to flip through multiple abilities to get to the one you want let alone each of them be stuck on cooldown cause you had to use one before hand.

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styopa

Honestly, I didn’t even think of power revenant, I haven’t ever bothered as condi is so op.

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Arktouros

I only know it because that’s what the WvW spec was as Herald Boons as Power base or Power Revenant Backline for big damage before all the nerfs.

But yes I was super into Condi Rev after I gave up on my Elementalist, I woulda stuck with it if they hadn’t nerfed/changed a few specific things I liked and a few other game specific mechanics.

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Ben Stone

Yeah the alternating seems like it will be annoying, especially with such stark uses. I would rather see F2 just swap between the two when you feel like using them.

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Arktouros

Yea there’s lots of alternatives how they could have done this without having it be a huge pain in the dick for players.

Like my first stab at an idea would be this Legend gets 10 different utilities (2 heals, 2 elites, 6 utilities) that you can choose from and depending on your configuration of them you get differing bonuses. Like increase effects on damage/healing or whatever based on up to 3 other utilities of the same “type” being slotted. Something like if you have 3 “blue” utilities on the bar, the Jar elite now only drains 500 hp/sec instead of 700 hp/sec or only 600/hp/sec with 2 kinda thing. Maybe even penalties for too much of the other? This way it encourages different splits of utilities.

Again just a first stab at an idea that’s actually functional. I actually can’t imagine being like “Oh I need a leap back here…well let me leap in here first, wait 8 seconds for a cool down, then I can leap out” or “Oh I need to leap out, lemme press this key and instantly swap to leap out, oh well now I’ve fucked the rest of my utilities…” like either scenario just is bad. Just so bad.

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Bruno Brito

The Warrior’s Bladesworn elite spec forgoes its in-combat weapon swap (the way the Engineer or Elementalist does) in favor of a new gunblade gunsaber weapon, which is drawn with the F1 button. The Bladesworn has also ditched the Warrior’s traditional adrenaline resource, which was built per hit, and replaces it with flow, which is built over time. Flow can then be spent with Dragon Trigger.

So, not like an engineer or elementalist, but like a Necromancer: It builds resource over time and is spent in your gunblade abilities. I wonder if there’ll be a cooldown attached to it. I also wonder how adrenaline traits will synergize with it. What will count as a burst? All the 5 skills?

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Tenthyr Adi

It’s not like necromancer at all.

The gunsabre itself is a new weapon, with five skills that can be used at any time whenever you want. That’s why it locks weapon swap: gunsabre is your second weapon.

Dragon trigger is separate, and builds up the charges to be used on three different kind of finisher attacks, along with an aegis ability and a short blink to better handle being immobilized.

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Arktouros

Yea pretty sure they literally said in the vid they didn’t want it to be gated behind a resource like Necros. Really seems like an Engineer Kit v2 right down to the fact they can’t weapon swap except out of combat also like Engineers.

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Bruno Brito

The gunsabre itself is a new weapon, with five skills that can be used at any time whenever you want. That’s why it locks weapon swap: gunsabre is your second weapon.

So, affected by fast hands? And Dragon Trigger will be the “burst” skill? Interesting.