Last month ArenaNet announced ‘Heart of Thorns,’ the first expansion for their MMO, Guild Wars 2. In the reveal they showed off the first new character class, or ‘profession’ as it is called in Guild Wars, to be added to the game since launch: the revenant.
Other than giving a few glimpses of Rytlock Brimstone, a main character in the game’s story and the first of the new revenants, smashing his way through some baddies with cool new abilities, they were slim with the details of exactly what the revenant profession would be adding to the game. That is, until now. Speaking with Polygon, ArenaNet opened up about just what players can expect from the new class.
“We looked at our whole set of eight professions and tried to figure out what archetype was missing,” explains John Peters, Design Lead for the game. “It took us back into our past. We started looking backward at the first game.” As it turns out, the revenant will be built around channeling the powers of past heroes, including more than a few recognizable names from Guild Wars 1.
“We brought a lot of the lore from Guild Wars 1, connecting it back to the past,” added Roy Cronacher, another designer on the game. “Some Guild Wars 2 players may not have heard of this stuff or seen it before, but it will excite a lot of our long-term fans who have been playing our games for a while.”
Other than pulling in the older elements of the game-world’s narrative, the revenant class actually uses these heroes, or ‘legends,’ to mix up the general gameplay in new ways as well. For any who may not know, players in Guild Wars 2 are given a maximum of ten active moves to use, 1 through 5 determined by your character’s equipped weapon, 6 through 0 chosen from a pool of utility skills purchased with skill points earned by leveling up and playing the game. The revenant replaces the utility skills (6 through 0) with a new system where the player can equip up to two different ‘legends,’ each its own preset combination of moves, and switch between them on the fly, “sort of like a weapon for the right half of your skill bar,” Peters describes.
“Legends were designed as packages of skills for very specific playstyles,” Cronacher clarified. “One legend might be focused being tanky, while another is focused around conditions. The idea is that you bring this package of skills that has a themed playstyle. You make that choice of whether you want to be an offensive-style character or do you want to use conditions or do you want to be a tank or do you want to do support. By having two legends equipped, it allows you to mix and match these playstyles and build a hybrid role.” They even mentioned that changing ‘legends’ will change the look of the player’s UI.
As for how many legends would be open for the revenant to choose from, the designers wouldn’t say, but they did detail two specifically. The first, Jalis Ironhammer, the leader of the dwarves in Guild Wars 1, a race now essentially extinct in Guild Wars 2, is meant as a “dwarf brawler kind of playstyle.” Using legend specific moves such as ‘Vengeful Hammers,’ summoning a set of hammers that continually spin around the player, and ‘Rite of the Great Dwarf,’ a move that encases the revenant and party members in stone, make for a strong, tank-like build. Meanwhile, the second, Mallyx, an enemy players actually fought in the first Guild Wars, is structured around condition management, the character actually getting stronger the more negative effects (bleeding, weakness, etc.) that are active on the player.
Additionally, these ‘legends’ abilities will make use of a new mechanic in Guild Wars 2, an energy bar. Each move will consume energy, requiring the bar to regenerate before they can be used again. Sustained moves, like ‘Vengeful Hammers’ will continually drain energy while active.
As for weapons, ArenaNet wouldn’t lay out a final list but confirmed hammers, maces, and axes for the new class.
For more details, be sure to check out the Guild Wars team’s full write up on the profession. And to see the revenant for yourself, bookmark Guild Wars 2’s Twitch channel for this Friday, February 20th, at 12pm PST as John Peters and Roy Cronacher bring some intense revenant action to the masses, live.
As for the rest of your Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns expansion news, keep checking back right here on Gamespresso. Until then, what do you think of the new profession?