With Guild Wars’s release nearly here, I’ve been trying to decide what profession my main character will be. Usually this is a really easy choice for me. I always go first to casters and ones that like to throw around fire and lightning. Naturally I went for the elementalist, but after spending some time on it, I’m not sure it’s the right class for me to start the game with sadly. I really want to play it and I do like the skills, but I found myself struggling, feeling like a noob and this affecting my fun.
So why is this? Well, it seems that elementalists are one of the more complicated classes in the game. What I found to be somewhat overwhelming was the sheer amount of skills that were usable so early on in the game, but moreso that I couldn’t see all of these skills at once. To explain, elementalists have access to four elements (fire, water, air, earth) yet only one can be active at a time. There are then 5 skills within each of these elements, so you have 20 skills available to you yet you only see the skills for the element you have active. Here’s the elementalist skill bar:
Here you can see I was in fire attunement (disregard slots 6-0 as those are not weapon skills). I’d have to hit the corresponding F key in order to activate skills from the other attunements. Now, I’m used to gaining skills more slowly and also being able to see all my skills at once on the skillbar so they soak into my mind. 😛 I’m sure only getting to play in the stress tests made me feel rushed which isn’t helpful, but I was feeling like I need to study the classes skills. Playing wasn’t fluid for me. It certainly doesn’t help that you’ll get 20 new skills when you equip a different weapon. Just go take a look at all the skills available for an elementalist at Guild Wars 2 Wiki. Now I can deal with that amount of skills eventually. But with the way GW2 works, you earn your skills by using a type of weapon and making kills with it. This is both good and bad. You’re not going to a trainer every level and can earn skills by learning to use them, yet for the elementalists, you’re stuck using all of one element until you have it all unlocked… which made me feel squishy. Also this means you can potentially have A LOT of skills available quite early in the game, which could be good or bad, depending on the individual. (Yeah, I know you have everything unlocked for lvl 80 pvp. Steep learning curve in this game in general I guess!)
So I also tried necromancer and mesmer, but more so the necromancer. I was having a lot more fun on necromancer and it felt more survivable as well. Already it felt less confusing than elementalist. Until level 7 when you can weapon swap (elementalist cannot weapon swap which is fair enough given the number of skills at hand), you have far fewer skills available which felt more manageable. Once I could weapon swap, it still felt manageable. 14 available skills as opposed to 20 isn’t that much of a difference but it still felt so to me.
So with the necromancer, you have your normal 1-5 weapon skills then have Death Shroud (which has its own 4 skills) that you can activate once you have a little green in that bar that’s next to F1. The arrow on the left is your weapon swap button. Already it looks less complicated. So perhaps it was because of this that I was able to play a bit better but also I found the necromancer’s skills to be quite sweet. I was playing much better and having a lot more fun.
Now, I spent more time on elementalist and was getting better at it. I never redid my keymap but I’m sure remapping the element attunement keys from the F keys to something better would help greatly. I also wasn’t that fond of the combat noises for necromancer. Yet I’m thinking back to Rift when I played a mage elementalists yet at lvl30 it was becoming a really squishy class and people saying that I needed to spec for necromancer as it was better. I didn’t really want to change, but did and immediately became more sturdy and ended up having fun anyway. I don’t want EZ mode, but I do want to have fun and not feel like I have to study my skills. So do I push myself to get better at elementalist or relax and have fun on necromancer? I’m thinking I should do the later, let go of my normal desire to throw around fire and lightning and save it for when I’m better at the game in general.
I’m also slightly conflicted as to what race to choose for my main. I thought surely it would be human, but I tried out a Norn when investigating a necromancer. I quite liked their area and the story was interesting as well. I always prefer nature over a big city (though the sylvari go a bit far since they look like plants). The Norn females look nice enough on their own:
and I’m a sucker for snowy areas. But I’m thinking I’d rather not have my character feel like a giant when she’s around others! 😀 😛 I’ve actually been quite impressed by the races I thought I wouldn’t want to play. The only race I’ve not tried yet is Charr, but the others all have good storylines and have been enjoyable.
It appears that during this latest stress test, the devs added dance emotes in. I had wondered why there seemed to be a large number of people dancing everywhere. 😛 There was a game restart during the test so in the last moments I grabbed some silly screenshots of my Norn dancing.
There are some good videos out there of all the dances (I think the humans got the best one, and of course it’s LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem) but this one is quite funny!
Less than two more days! Can’t wait! 😀