It’s finally here! The game has been released for those who have pre-purchased, and we are now free to roam about the Tyrian landscape, shattering illusions to our hearts content. It’s been a long road, and many of us have been waiting for five years now. A lot has changed… it’s now 250 years later in the world of Tyria; the humans and charr are at relative peace. Some of the old traditions, such as the monks and ritualists, have been lost to the mists of time. Other traditions have remained yet slightly changed in order to stay current with the times. Thankfully, the art of the Mesmer has remained and today I’d like to examine some of the ways in which the profession has changed in the last 250 years.
In the time of Guild Wars 2, shattering is a key component of the Mesmer; we use these skills to help us provide a variety of effects on our targets and ourselves, but this wasn’t always the case. Consider the Mind Wrack of yore:
Hex Spell. For 5…33…40 seconds, whenever this foe is the target of any of your non-hex Mesmer skills, that foe loses 1 Energy and takes 5…21…25 damage per point of Energy lost. If the target foe’s Energy drops to 0, Mind Wrack ends and that foe takes 15…83…100 damage.1
Originally, this skill was used as a way to deny the enemy from using their energy by taking it away. Applying this skill meant that anything you did to the target would cause them to lose some of their energy and take additional damage as a result. Given that the Mesmers of old were prone to fast casting their skills, this could add up to some significant damage if the enemy let this hex linger. Today, we explode the illusions we have created in the mind of our enemies, causing them damage instead.
Another of our shatter skills is Cry of Frustration, which was also a damaging skill of old:
An area-of-effect interrupt based on the enemies actions? Yes please! It’s an interesting idea and if you were fortunate enough to have an enemy that wasn’t paying attention, you could interrupt a large number of enemies with very little effort on your part. The new Cry instead punishes the enemy for continuing to fight by causing them to take damage anytime they try to attack. We’ve retained the punishing part of this skill in our current day and age, but we’ve lost the interrupt in favor of a more refined process.
One skill is very similar today as then: Diversion. In our modern skill, we shatter our illusions and cause our target to be dazed for a certain amount of time. During the daze, all skills are disabled and the enemy is unable to defend themselves until the effect wears off. Here is the original version:
What do you know? Not all things have changed! The original skill caused an additional amount of recharge, which in many cases could be a significant problem, and now we just lock the player out of everything for a set amount of time. It’s a little different, but the principle is the same.
The last skill we’ll look at today is Distortion, which is our protective shatter. Using this skill makes us invulnerable for a specific amount of time (up to 4 seconds in some cases), which is very, very nice. The original was not really as powerful, but it had a good showing:
Only a 75% chance to block, and we lose energy as a result? Meh, its okay in an emergency, but our more contemporary version is better as it provides us with complete immunity for the duration.
As you can see, we’ve come a long way in the last 5/250 years. In a variety of ways, the Mesmer has become better, more streamlined and we have a solid place among the other professions. We might not hit as hard or have fire falling from the sky, but we more than make up for that with style.
Until next week, keep them guessing!