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Guild Wars 2: Jonathan Sharp Talks Mesmers

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,596MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Last week, Arena.Net announced the final Guild Wars 2 profession, the Mesmer. We recently had the opportunity to sit down to chat with Guild Wars 2 Systems Designer Jonathan Sharp about all things Mesmer. Check it out and then leave us a comment or two.

How does the Mesmer work as a solo class? What skills do they use in a 1v1 fight?

As a solo class, the Mesmer will rely heavily on illusions. These illusions will provide damage, distractions, and control conditions. In a one-on-one fight, the Mesmer can use any weapon set! While the staff is more geared towards AOE and condition damage, it’s still strong in a one-on-one encounter!

Read more of our exclusive Guild Wars 2: Jonathan Sharp Talks Mesmers.


Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • terrantterrant Virginia Beach, VAPosts: 1,683Member

    Really looking forward to trying out this class. Mesmer was fun in GW1 and the ideas in GW2...wow. I'm looking forward to them.

     

    I'm confused about how he decribes play with a greatsword. Not wanting to get up in people's face? Can't hit em with my sword if I do that! I'm looking at the idea of the Mes as a magic-based melee OR ranged fighter with a focus on CC and sneaky tricks. Hope that's what I actually get to be.

  • davvindavvin Tucson, AZPosts: 155Member

    Check out the video they posted in the announcement of the Mesmer, they show the greatsword a couple times, and in the video they'll stun the opponent and then rush in and whack them a couple times with the sword then get back out of range.

     

    Definitely looking forward to this class, it keeps sounding cooler and cooler!

  • EcocesEcoces Chicago, ILPosts: 879Member Uncommon

    wait so using a greatsword means you want to stay at range? that doesn't make sense.

  • Master10KMaster10K LondonPosts: 3,065Member

    Originally posted by Ecoces

    wait so using a greatsword means you want to stay at range? that doesn't make sense.

    The Mesmer using a Greatsword is similar to an Elementalist using Dual Daggers. They only use them as a totem, to blast their enemies with spells. If you wanna go all Stabby Stabby with the Mesmer then the better option is to go Dual-wielding Swords.

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  • demonic87demonic87 strathroy, ONPosts: 421Member Uncommon

    I don't see he whole clone thing working as much as they would like it to.

  • chbautistchbautist Montreal, QCPosts: 50Member

    Originally posted by demonic87

    I don't see he whole clone thing working as much as they would like it to.




     

    That's how the mesmer wants you to see it!

  • DubhlaithDubhlaith EnnisPosts: 1,012Member


    Originally posted by chbautist
    Originally posted by demonic87 I don't see he whole clone thing working as much as they would like it to.  
    That's how the mesmer wants you to see it!

    Ha!

    Just think about Leap and Illusionary Leap. They do opposite things, and so even players won't know which one is the mesmer. If the mesmer player learns to behave in the correct way, they can trick players and control the field of battle. There are all sorts of things like this. They can teleport, become invisible, and create clones in various ways that are designed to trick people. Once the mesmer learns how to exploit the behaviours of their clones and phantasms, mesmers can control what enemies do. It is what they did in Guild Wars, and it is what they are designed to do in Guild Wars 2.

    I'm sorry if you don't see the potential, but it is there. Mesmers are all about getting your opponent to do what you want, not what they want.

    "Gamers will no longer buy the argument that every MMO requires a subscription fee to offset server and bandwidth costs. It's not true — you know it, and they know it." —Jeff Strain, co-founder of ArenaNet, 2007

    WTF? No subscription fee?

  • Netgamer7kNetgamer7k Bakersfield, CAPosts: 62Member

    Do Mesmers even have basic nuking abilities? Or are they just heavily sided into support/CC? I mean can they compete with an elementalist in damage dealing? I haven't played Guild Wars 1, so I wouldn't know.

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  • ArshayArshay Nowhere, ALPosts: 9Member

    GW1 Mesmers could not "nuke" for most of the game's history. (A skill overhaul early this year changed that somewhat for PvE.) The profession in GW1 is far more of a PvP-oriented control/shutdown role, where the damage output comes from anticipating and punishing enemy behavior, particularly spellcasting.

    The situation in GW2 will obviously be different. All professions have to be self-reliant for damage, so there's no doubt the GW2 Mesmer's capabilities will be on par, though I believe a lot of their damage will still be situational, such as timing a clone-shatter effectively, or bringing the correct phantasm to counteract whan an opponent is doing.



     

  • heavyhebrewheavyhebrew Seattle, WAPosts: 309Member

    This class in the hands of a pro is going to be a BAMF. 'where did he go? is that him? where is he now? how did they disappear? whats going on?'

    TRUST THE COMPUTER! THE COMPUTER IS YOUR FRIEND!

    Stay Alert! Trust No One! Keep Your Laser Handy!

    Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues!

  • DubhlaithDubhlaith EnnisPosts: 1,012Member


    Originally posted by Bloodfin2003
    Do Mesmers even have basic nuking abilities? Or are they just heavily sided into support/CC? I mean can they compete with an elementalist in damage dealing? I haven't played Guild Wars 1, so I wouldn't know.

    In Guild Wars 1 they did have some good killing abilities, but most of their best abilities were based on what the opponent did. They could do major damage though. And from what Anet has said, everyone can do serious damage, and control their opponents, and support their allies. How they do those things is what is different. I expect their overall power in those areas will be relatively balanced.

    "Gamers will no longer buy the argument that every MMO requires a subscription fee to offset server and bandwidth costs. It's not true — you know it, and they know it." —Jeff Strain, co-founder of ArenaNet, 2007

    WTF? No subscription fee?

  • RameiArashiRameiArashi Lincoln, NEPosts: 293Member

    People who can't play GW1 mesmers in PVE don't know how to play mesmers. They work fine in PVE.

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  • DiovidiusDiovidius GoudaPosts: 1,025Member

    Originally posted by RameiArashi

    People who can't play GW1 mesmers in PVE don't know how to play mesmers. They work fine in PVE.




     

    Correction: They work fine in PvE now. In PvP they have always been boss however.

  • VolkonVolkon Sterling, VAPosts: 3,788Member

    Originally posted by RameiArashi

    People who can't play GW1 mesmers in PVE don't know how to play mesmers. They work fine in PVE.




     

    Oh man, I loved my illusion buid in PvE. Ineptitude, Clumsiness, some burdens for regen, the two conjures, an interrupt... mesmers are great at weakening and controling the non-primary targets while the nukers burn down  the primary. They just simply make the whole PvE thing easier. One thing I like doing is ineptitude on one of a group of melee attacking the tanking warrior, then spread the blindness to everyone in range. Makes the monks (and warriors) jobs that much easier, while still bringing the pain.

    Oderint, dum metuant.
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  • ArshayArshay Nowhere, ALPosts: 9Member

    Originally posted by RameiArashi

    People who can't play GW1 mesmers in PVE don't know how to play mesmers. They work fine in PVE.




     

    Never said otherwise, simply that they had no real AoE for most of the game's past. Mesmers have always been excellent against critical enemy units in PvE due to a) the extremely strong nature of their punishment hexes, coupled with b) the AI being too dumb to attempt to avoid punishment.

  • Scripture1Scripture1 Philadelpihia, PAPosts: 426Member

    Originally posted by Dubhlaith

     




    Originally posted by chbautist



    Originally posted by demonic87 I don't see he whole clone thing working as much as they would like it to.  


    That's how the mesmer wants you to see it!


     

    Ha!

    Just think about Leap and Illusionary Leap. They do opposite things, and so even players won't know which one is the mesmer. If the mesmer player learns to behave in the correct way, they can trick players and control the field of battle. There are all sorts of things like this. They can teleport, become invisible, and create clones in various ways that are designed to trick people. Once the mesmer learns how to exploit the behaviours of their clones and phantasms, mesmers can control what enemies do. It is what they did in Guild Wars, and it is what they are designed to do in Guild Wars 2.

    I'm sorry if you don't see the potential, but it is there. Mesmers are all about getting your opponent to do what you want, not what they want.


     

    True but unless there is some kind of damage penalty for destroying a clone I don't see whats stopping me from rolling over a mesmer whether I think its a clone or not. Any enemy that is strategicly volnerable (in my book) will be taken down fast, especially if they are fighting against a ranged or steathed aponent. The clones don't have high HP so it won't be hard to kill one and say "Oh the real guy is still around keep killing". I can see how it would be a distraction at first but in PvP I personally worry less about which is real and more about controling how much freedom all the clones have. Why focus on one clone? If I just so happen to figure out which is the real guy then take him out no doubt, but worrying about low damage, low heath extra targets would be crazy. I'm certain AOE would probably get rid of them pretty fast too with criticals.

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  • terrantterrant Virginia Beach, VAPosts: 1,683Member

    True but unless there is some kind of damage penalty for destroying a clone I don't see whats stopping me from rolling over a mesmer whether I think its a clone or not. Any enemy that is strategicly volnerable (in my book) will be taken down fast, especially if they are fighting against a ranged or steathed aponent. The clones don't have high HP so it won't be hard to kill one and say "Oh the real guy is still around keep killing". I can see how it would be a distraction at first but in PvP I personally worry less about which is real and more about controling how much freedom all the clones have. Why focus on one clone? If I just so happen to figure out which is the real guy then take him out no doubt, but worrying about low damage, low heath extra targets would be crazy. I'm certain AOE would probably get rid of them pretty fast too with criticals.

    You're not thinking the right way. A distrction is all I need.

     

    Sure you can roll all over that clone. And while you're doing that I snuck in, debuff the crap out of you, and dropped another clone in my place while going invis. You  go wreck that clone too, but you're getting hurt. You see me pop in and pepper you with a few light spells from range. You charge my position...but I ported to another spot. Stunned you, ported back, smacked you upside the head a few times, then ported away. And I can pingpong you all day if I want.

     

    Or maybe you're the stealth type? Funny thing about stealth is it's all about the front load. If you bload your alpha on a clone, I'll be all over you before you can run and hide again. Once you know a stealther is there, either he killed you, or he just lost.

  • PolarisationPolarisation SydneyPosts: 108Member

    Thus far I prefer the GW1 mesmer. In practise it's hard to see how clones/phantasms will measure up to the power of the GW1 mesmer hexes. Also I can't see clones contributing much in the way of defense, compared to eg: an Ele's earth attunement. Unless GW2 mesmers come with a lot more mobility & defense options than what we've been shown so far I can't see them having the requisite durability to be all that effective.


     

     I don't understand why they wholesale removed hexes. I get the "in-world DOT" aspect of what they are trying to do but it still seems very arbitrary and primarily motivated by wanting to dumb down combat mechanics, not make them more interesting. Case in point, removing resource (energy) management/attrition. That was a stupid design decision... unless you want your game to play like an xbox arcade game.

     

     

  • DubhlaithDubhlaith EnnisPosts: 1,012Member


    Originally posted by Polarisation
    Thus far I prefer the GW1 mesmer. In practise it's hard to see how clones/phantasms will measure up to the power of the GW1 mesmer hexes. Also I can't see clones contributing much in the way of defense, compared to eg: an Ele's earth attunement. Unless GW2 mesmers come with a lot more mobility & defense options than what we've been shown so far I can't see them having the requisite durability to be all that effective.  
     I don't understand why they wholesale removed hexes. I get the "in-world DOT" aspect of what they are trying to do but it still seems very arbitrary and primarily motivated by wanting to dumb down combat mechanics, not make them more interesting. Case in point, removing resource (energy) management/attrition. That was a stupid design decision... unless you want your game to play like an xbox arcade game.

    I'm going to copy something I just said in a different thread about the complexity of energy as a resource, and why the removal isn't going to make the game less challenging.



    "The best games are not very complex, but have depth in other ways.
    My favourite examples of this are Chess and Othello. Neither game is complex. Both games have limited move options, and the depth comes not from overly complex rulesets, but from the variety of options available to players within the simpler ruleset.
    The most complex game is not necessarily the most difficult or deep game. I could design an incredibly complex game that has little depth (WoW before its several dumbings down is a good example. So many numbers, but only one or two ways are best.)

    Complexity =/ depth.

    Depth comes from having many solutions, and giving players a wide variety of options to counter one another's solutions and plans. Guild Wars 1 had many, many attacks and strategies and counters and counter-counters and counter-counter-counters. Having to manage energy is just one more thing to worry about. Shutting down players and manipulating energy was part of the game in Guild Wars 1. Just because it isn't something adding to the complexity of Guild Wars 2 does not mean it not be a deep game. It means they are focusing on other things. From the PvP videos I have seen, combat is going to be very deep, just not so complicated that beginners feel daunted by all the variables and don't want to jump in.
    In my opinion, depth without unnecessary complications is a good thing. More people trying PvP, and more people trying new ideas, can only be a good thing for the inevitable metagame. It also means more people for me go toe-to-toe with."


    "Gamers will no longer buy the argument that every MMO requires a subscription fee to offset server and bandwidth costs. It's not true — you know it, and they know it." —Jeff Strain, co-founder of ArenaNet, 2007

    WTF? No subscription fee?

  • BrotherVaatiBrotherVaati Williamsburg, VAPosts: 23Member

    That was very well said, I was much happier after the announcement, I am fairly new to the genre, and I find watching a healthbar, watching the enemy, watching the skill cool downs, paying attention to what friendlies are doing and acting accordingly, all the while trying to maintain a mana bar a daunting task. While I understand the complexity is part of the genre, the mana bar (something that fell to the backburner while watching the cool downs and enemies) was sort of that straw that broke the back, and anything to lighten the load is a step in the right direction, at least in the opinion of this inexperienced slow-playing beginner.


    Originally posted by terrant

    True but unless there is some kind of damage penalty for destroying a clone I don't see whats stopping me from rolling over a mesmer whether I think its a clone or not. Any enemy that is strategicly volnerable (in my book) will be taken down fast, especially if they are fighting against a ranged or steathed aponent. The clones don't have high HP so it won't be hard to kill one and say "Oh the real guy is still around keep killing". I can see how it would be a distraction at first but in PvP I personally worry less about which is real and more about controling how much freedom all the clones have. Why focus on one clone? If I just so happen to figure out which is the real guy then take him out no doubt, but worrying about low damage, low heath extra targets would be crazy. I'm certain AOE would probably get rid of them pretty fast too with criticals.

    You're not thinking the right way. A distrction is all I need.

     

    Sure you can roll all over that clone. And while you're doing that I snuck in, debuff the crap out of you, and dropped another clone in my place while going invis. You  go wreck that clone too, but you're getting hurt. You see me pop in and pepper you with a few light spells from range. You charge my position...but I ported to another spot. Stunned you, ported back, smacked you upside the head a few times, then ported away. And I can pingpong you all day if I want.

     

    Or maybe you're the stealth type? Funny thing about stealth is it's all about the front load. If you bload your alpha on a clone, I'll be all over you before you can run and hide again. Once you know a stealther is there, either he killed you, or he just lost.


     

    And I am so with you Terrant, that type of strategical gameplay makes the Mesmer all kinds of exciting. You can wipe out the distractions, but they were there for a purpose: making you move, waste a move, reveal yourself, etc. and you just fufilled it and are now at our pink/purple glowy butterfly-laced mercy. :p

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