Whoever said that race makes no difference had clearly never heard of Guild Wars 2. Tonight I’m going to give you an overview based on the wiki and various press coverage from the beta and tell you what the deal is with the racial elite skills we’ve now gotten to see previews of. Before we start, you can find a pretty comprehensive listing of all of the different videos and articles from this beta here on Guru. Additionally, since I have fourty-whatever of you following me on Tumblr and this gets seen by people not on Tumblr, please let me know what you want to read. Curious about a part of the game and want to see it given some attention? Think you know about something but want to see another in-depth view taken on it? Click the “Got A Question/Request?” button on the right and let me know! Seriously, it’ll only take you a few seconds of your time to give me your request, and then you’ll get a major post to read about it. Anyways, onto the skills!
Racial Skills Overview
So, every race is going to have their own skills. Some of these are going to be elite, and some of them are going to be elites, and some of them are going to be other slot skills. This weekend, we got to see ten of the elite skills we’re going to have access to. Now, every race has a different number, but they’re all themed somehow with the race. There are a few other skills listed on the wiki have been named, mentioned, or otherwise hinted at here and there, but this weekend we only got to see ten of the elites.
Let’s start with the charr first. Judging by the usage this weekend, I’d say the charr thusfar have the most powerful, least balanced skills at the moment. Granted, we’re in beta. These things are going to get played with here and there. But let’s look at the skills. They’re all themed with the charr and their culture and technology.
So, Warband Support is pretty similar to the thief elite Thieves Guild or one of the human skills we’ll get to. It summons a couple ally NPCs to help you kick some tail. The allies are going to vary based on your legion that you pick at character creation. They don’t last very long, but they each put out a respectable amount of damage with their attacks.
This is easily the most powerful racial elite we saw over the weekend. It’s a ground-targetted AoE with a very wide radius. Within the area, shells blast down out of the sky and cause MASSIVE damage with each it. This one’s definitely going to end up getting nerfed for balance reasons. I hope. Also, I’m going to go with Yogscast on this one and rename it Charrtillery Barrage.
This one isn’t me or Yogscast playing around with the name. It’s actually called Charrzooka. This is my favorite skill we saw by far. This puts a charrzooka in your hands that replaces your weapon bar and has limited ammo (15 rounds, some skills use more than one). The skills you get let you shoot a rocket, shoot random spray of rockets, shoot a heat-seeking rocket at the foe, shoot a rocket into the ground and knock you and nearby enemies back (think engineer’s Jump Shot), or rapidly fire rockets at your foe. This does a good amount of damage too, but nothing compared to Charrtillery Barrage.
So where the charr skills are based around their warbands and technology, the human skills are based around the six gods. They’re just as varied as the charr skills, but not as powerful thusfar.
Hounds of Balthazar
So this one is my favorite human skill. You get two little fiery dog pets that help you out, kind of like Warband Support only cooler. They look a little too reminiscent of WoW corehound pets in my opinion, but maybe that’s just me. Either way, these jump into the fight with you. Literally. They leap at their target and explode with fire and roast things. They don’t last all that long, but they put out while you’ve got them.
Reaper of Grenth
Now this one was very underwhelming. It gives you a black aura of undeath that works at melee range. It poisons and cripples nearby foes, making it good for melee but not as good for ranged characters.
Avatar of Melandru
This one is the coolest looking of the human elites, I think. You turn into an enormous tree thing. If you’ve seen the ranger spirits, it kinda looks like an enormous one of those that isn’t ethereal-looking. It replaces your skill bar as well with a basic attack, condition removal for nearby allies, roots nearby enemies, and lets you summon an AoE healing circle for allies. It’s definitely the most party support oriented racial elite we’ve seen thus far.
Now, the norn have four skills this time around, but one of them is very unfinished and doesn’t have icons yet at all. Much like the human skills are devoted to the six gods, these are devoted to the four Spirits of the Wild. Each skills lets you take the were-form of the spirit. It’s pretty cool looking, except for Raven. Were-ravens look really weird.
So this is the classic norn skill everyone knows and remembers from GW. The norn become the Bear. The form takes over your main skill bar, though the list of skills thusfar is incredibly incomplete, unfinished, and not worth putting in here while they’re not done. But, the bear form makes you a bit tougher and a lot bigger.
This is just like Bear Form, except that it turns you into a half-norn-half-wolf creature. The wolf form is supposed to be a bit more agile than the bear form, but again this is all very incomplete.
I can’t take this skill seriously. The form you take when you use this skill just looks ridiculous. I’m really hoping they play with it more by the time we go live or hopefully by the next beta. You turn into some half-raven-half-man creature and attack things again.
Snow Leopard Form
This one is the least finished. Neither the skill itself nor the weapon bar skills have icons. This one possibly looks the coolest. If you’ve ever played Elder Scrolls, think about the Khajit with a bit more mass to them. It looks like a white, spotted, muscular Khajit. The coolest thing about this one is they’re putting some stealth into it.
Anyway, that’s all we’ve seen thusfar in the beta. Sorry for no posting yesterday; it was a very busy day. Remember to send me your post requests!