Guild Wars 2 has officially been out for one month now – yay! – and now is a good time to review where we stand as a profession. We’ve covered some leveling, we’ve highlighted guides, and we’ve covered a good portion of the mechanics of the class. So where does the Mesmer currently fit? How are things post-launch? How do we stack up now that we can reach level 80?
From The Horse’s Mouth
Last week, ArenaNet released some interesting stats about the state of the market, but they also included some data on profession representation. So where do we fit in the number of players playing the Mesmer? Dead last. At this time the Mesmer is the least-played of any of the professions, and I’ll let you make of that what you will.
With the introduction of the official forums, we are also seeing a good amount of discussion forming. Over in the Mesmer section, though, it’s not all butterflies and rainbows. Like many official forums, it becomes the place to complain, and the Mesmer section in particular is filled with posts critiquing the profession. If you use the forums as a guide, many people not not happy with the current state of the Mesmer.
One of the major complaints is that because the Mesmer doesn’t have a viable means of AoE damage, it becomes very difficult in large group events to tag mobs. While there is no kill-stealing in GW2, you do have to damage the enemy in order to get kill credit. Not being able to damage mobs fast enough leads to the Mesmer not getting as much loot, not getting as much XP, and generally falling behind other classes.
I’ve been leveling a Necro in my “spare” time and the differences are night and day. When I use a staff on my Necro, I see numbers everywhere. Lots of numbers. Big ones, small ones, numbers, numbers, numbers. Even using the staff on my Mesmer, the damage potential just isn’t there. We have one true AoE skill in Chaos Storm, but the good times stop there. Winds of Chaos will only bounce to the target, jump to a friendly player, and back to original target…if you have it traited. Why can’t this skill bounce between targets? If it’s a single pull, then sure, having it bounce to the players is great, and I like the boons it gives, but why not allow it to bounce to another target if they are, say, within 100 units? The same thing can be said about Spatial Surge.
Right now, in PvE the Mesmer takes some time to get ramped up, but when we do we can dish out some good damage. But that ramp-up time is a killer. I’d recommend that you become good friends with Mirror Images for getting some real burst AoE damage going when you shatter your clones.
When it comes to the large-scale WvW battles, our role shifts dramatically. Consider this your place to shine in the support department, as we have several useful utilities that benefit the team.
Skills like Null Field, Temporal Curtain and Feedback can really shine on the battlefield! And no one can dispute that Portal is probably the best skill in the game.
When it comes to the battle directly, though, just as with PvE, we tend to fall behind some of the other classes. For some reason, this seems to be okay though given the unbalanced nature of WvW and the fact that it’s a group effort. Don’t ask why this isn’t the case in PvE, but it seems to be acceptable here.
In the end, support your team, get off as much damage as you can, and enjoy taking towers and keeps. WvW is a lot of fun, even if you don’t see the enemy run away in fear because of you. You can still be a force to be feared–it just takes the other 50 players your with to make that a reality.
Hmmm…what to say about sPvP? Frankly, I just have to say I’m sorry – because the Mesmer is in a very strange spot here and I think this has to do with people still learning the class.
In some instances, I’ve been able to dominate the match, placing first in kills and objectives, and other times…I get roflstomped. It’s not pretty.
One trick that we need to learn to use more effectively is to make ourselves like our clones. What I see most often from other Mesmers is that they use a skill that summons a clone and then proceed to run around, dodge, jump, spin, and do all kinds of tricks. I hate to say it, but the clones don’t do those things. They stand still and cast their one skill. In times when things are not going your way, STOP MOVING! Use your clones for just that–distraction and confusion. The clones look like us for a reason and if we use them right, the enemy won’t be able to tell which one is really us until it’s too late. Okay, rant off.
That being said we bring a lot of the same utility that we bring to WvW. Condition removal, crowd control and shutdown. There are some very nice tools, and as we learn the right timing for them, they will only get stronger.
Since I hate being a Debbie Downer, I will say that it’s not all negative. The class is a blast to play, for one, and when played right it can be very powerful; there is something joyous about seeing an enemy mob charge after your clone instead of you (if only it happened more often). There is great fun to be had in removing burning from everyone on the team during that one golem fight in Sorrow’s Embrace. Using portals to confuse people or help others with jumping puzzles are part of what makes the profession great.
Part of the trending could also be due to the nature of the Mesmer profession. We are never going to be able to roflstomp an opponent with our über l33t deeps (extreme damage output) but we can hold our own. Playing a Mesmer takes skill and practice; we are one month into the game now, and people are still learning how everything works.
Would I like us to hit harder? Sure. Would our lives be better with a little more AoE potential? Without a doubt. Is playing a Mesmer fun? Emphatically yes! Buffs and nerfs are sure to come and for now we seem to be on the weaker side. That’s okay, time changes all professions. Learn to play your Mesmer as best you can and you’ll have the most fun with them.
Until next time, keep ‘em guessing!