The latest class revealed for ArenaNet's Guild Wars 2 is the Ranger, a bow-using, pet-charming, trap-setting class that might just out-hunt World of Warcraft's Hunter class.
The Ranger class answers a question many players have been bugging ArenaNet with since the first reveal of Guild Wars 2: Will the game feature pets? The answer is a resounding yes, with a Ranger pet charming skill that expands upon the system used for the Hunter class in World of Warcraft.
Rangers can charm any of 12 different types of pets in Guild Wars 2, from bears and spiders to more specialised species, such as sharks. Each species has sub-species with different abilities. A brown bear has different skills than a polar bear, for instance.
Pets in Guild Wars 2 will share the same level as the Ranger, but they also climb a 20-rung evolutionary ladder, eventually developing skills slots the Ranger can use to add special abilities to their pet, tailoring them to fit the player's tactics. The Ranger can keep three pets at a time, switching them out during downtime or using special skills.
Rangers can also lay traps, triggered when an enemy passes over them. ArenaNet gives the example of a spike trap, which slows an enemy's approach while causing damage.
The system sounds very similar to World of Warcraft's Hunter. Heck, even some of the skill names are the same, though the effects are much more impressive. Check them out:
The main difference, other than style and flair, is the Ranger's ability to summon spirits to aid the party. Summoning a Sun Spirit, for instance, adds fire damage to party members' attacks as long as they stay within the spirit's range of influence. Sounds like Shamanic totems to me.
Spirits will allow Rangers to fulfil a support role in groups, while leaving them free to cause havoc with bows, axes and, of course, their animal friends.
Addendum: As many of you politely point out, the Guild Wars 2 ranger is very similar to the Ranger from the original Guild Wars. Not coming from an original Guild Wars background, I compared it to World of Warcraft's Hunter, a class I am familiar with.
Guild Wars 2 Professions: Ranger [Guild Wars 2]