by: Jaime Skelton
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Can't decide what class you want to play in Guild Wars 2? This guide will give you a brief breakdown of each class, their special abilities and mechanics, and what weapons they can use.
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Guild Wars 2 (developed by ArenaNet) is a new MMO "sequel" to the original Guild Warsseries of MMOs. Like Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 will not require a monthly subscription, only requiring a purchase of the game itself to play. Each race/class combination has unique skills of its own, and the skills for each profession are determined mainly by the weapon currently equipped.
The game will feature five races and eight classes (called "professions"). These classes include:
Four more professions are waiting to be revealed by ArenaNet to the public.
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The elementalist is a spell-caster that wields the natural elements of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth to his or her bidding. Versatility lies not in the weapon choice of the elementalist; instead, elementalists rely on a special attunement mechanic to gain bonuses from one of the four elements as needed. Elementalists use glyphs, spells that buff the caster; signets, auras that may also be activated for extra effect; area spells, to deal damage or other lasting effects; and conjurations, to summon weapons and items.
Elemenalists have access to Scepters (Main Hand/Close Range), Daggers (Main Hand and Off Hand/Medium Range), Foci (Off Hand/Close Range), and Staves (Two Hand/Long Range).
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Masters of death, necromancers are cunning spell-casters that use darkness, decay, and undeath to do their bidding. Among their arsenal of spells are wells, persistent area of effect spells; minions, summoned creatures which can be destroyed for an extra boon; marks, ground-targeted spells set to trigger either on command or after a set amount of time; and fear, an exclusive class spell sending an enemy running in terror.
Necromancers have two special mechanics that work together in harmony: life force and Death Shroud. By gathering life force, a necromancer eventually may choose to enter Death Shroud, a special form also activated when a necromancer reaches a downed state. Death Shroud offers new abilities and skills for the necromancer to utilize, making them just as powerful near death as they are at full health.
A necromancer may use an Axe (Main Hand), Dagger (Main Hand and Off Hand), Scepter (Main Hand), Focus (Off Hand), Warhorn (Off Hand), or Staff (Two Hand).
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The ranger is a classic archetype, specialized most in ranged combat with the bow as well as using loyal pets in battle. In addition to these specializations, rangers also have access to traps and summoned nature spirits, which affect the area around them.
There are twelve types of pets that a ranger can tame, including aquatic animals like sharks; each type has specific sub-types which offer different skills. Pets are tamed in a juvenile stage, and evolved through trust and a ranger's level. Pets are managed through their own skill bar.
Rangers may use Swords (Main Hand), Axes (Main Hand or Off Hand), Daggers (Off Hand), Torches (Off Hand), Warhorns (Off Hand), Greatswords (Two Hand), Longbows (Two Hand), and Shortbows (Two Hand).
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Warriors are martial powerhouses, masters of weaponry, and both offense and defense, with their skills greatly depending on the weapon they choose to wield. A warrior's abilities include stances, toggle skills that offer buffs at the cost of energy regeneration; chains, a series of skills that share a single skill shot; banners, which may be planted in areas to grant buffs to allies; shouts, area of effect yells that can either benefit allies or harm enemies; and charges, which may be "wound up" for greater effect.
Warriors use a special mechanic called Adrenaline, which builds up as the warrior strikes into three different stages. Warriors may then use their adrenaline to use powerful strikes.
Weapons available to warriors include Swords (Main Hand and Off Hand), Axes (Main Hand and Off Hand), Maces (Main Hand and Off Hand), Shields (Off Hand), Warhorns (Off Hand), Greatswords (Two Hand), Hammers (Two Hand), Longbows (Two Hand), and Rifles (Two Hand).
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More to come...
Still in development, ArenaNet has four more classes to reveal for Guild Wars 2. Stay tuned for more updates with each class as time goes on.