Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Class Highlights: The Guardian

The Guardian is definitely one of the more unique classes/professions in the game.  At first glance you may say oh yay another Paladin class.  However, while you were making that judgment (pun intended), you missed this "paladin" warping to his enemy, laying down a wall that no enemy can cross, and protecting all of his allies in a giant aoe bubble of spirit energy.  When's the last time your paladin could do that?

I really think controlling the battlefield is one of the key components to this class. They can create lines, circles, and areas where enemies cannot cross.  This will play a huge role in large WvW fights and key to saving your life (and several others) in the face of a large dragon several times.  Imagine your team in WvW getting overrun by the other team on a narrow bridge.  As your allies start fleeing, you can see that the opposing team is gaining ground, and a few of your guild members are about to get caught in a sea of enemies.  You halt their momentum with any one of the wards mentioned above.  The enemies now have to wait for your wards to fade before they can chase.  By the time that happens, your vulnerable team is has already cleared the bridge, and well out of enemy hands.  Presto, you just saved everyone.

The Guardian is also supremely good at holding a point in 5v5.  ArenaNet's own devs have used a Guardian to hold the middle point in a 5v5 match. Guardian's revolve around virtues which are the professions unique mechanic.  At any moment you can activate three different virtues, one that burns enemies for extra damage, grants an aegis (a shield that blocks one damaging move on the affected player) to you and your allies, and one that allows you to remove all conditions and and apply regeneration to your allies. There are several weapon skills/traits that can grant you boons that increase your sustainability in the fight or provide you protection against damage.  Combine these factors with the large amount of armor the class gets allows a guardian to stay alive in high-pressure situations, making this class extremely useful as a stall/defender of a critical position during PvP.

While everyone has agreed that this class can easily fulfill the defensive and supportive roles, there is quite a bit of controversy about how effective a damage-oriented Guardian will be.  Only a handful of the twenty utilities available can be used to increase damage-output, and of those, most have a defensive aspect to them.  If ArenaNet wants to fulfill the promise, to play the way you want to play, I think this part of the Guardian may need to be touched upon in the coming Betas.  Again, we are limited by the videos we have, but at the moment, an offensive Guardian can not keep up with the damage of a warrior, or burst of a thief.  Part of the problem with this debate is logistics, can you really give a high armor, high "tank-like" class, the ability to do large amounts of damage?  The answer from me is that I don't know.  I will definitely be playing the guardian and thief during this beta weekend, and I will have my opinion in the coming days.

 If ArenaNet can provide the capability to do increased amounts of damage, with an equal reduction to sustainability, the Guardian will be absolutely fascinating to watch and play.  If all goes well, a clever guardian will be able to save allies, hold choke-points, and go toe-to-toe with any profession in the game.

No comments:

Post a Comment