ArenaNet replaces Guild War's Monk with the better armed and armoured Guild Wars 2 Guardian, a brand new fighting profession that can sacrifice its own defences for the sake of its allies. Where did the Monk go?
There are no dedicated healing classes in Guild Wars 2. One of developer ArenaNet's goals in creating the second generation of its free-to-play MMO was to do away with common role distinctions like tank, damage-dealer and healer. That meant the Monk, Guild Wars dedicated healing class, had to go.
The class lives on in Guild Wars 2's Guardian, revealed this morning as the first profession for the upcoming MMO not directly named for a profession from the previous game, and while certain aspects of the Monk remain intact, for the most part this is an all-new animal.
As the screenshots show, the Guardian's equipment is a far cry from the Monk's silly little dress. Draped in protective metal, the Guardian charges into battle with sword or mace and shield, or can opt for a more two-hands-on approach by wielding a greatsword, hammer or staff.
Guardians are protected in battle through special virtues that provide a passive benefit during combat. There's the virtue of Justice, which causes every fifth attack to burn your enemies. Resolve allows the Guardian to regenerate health. Finally there's Courage, a virtue that grants Aegis (an ability familiar to Monk players), allowing the Guardian to automatically block an attack every 30 seconds.
The key to using these virtues successfully in a party is knowing when to give them up. The Guardian can opt to activate any of these virtues, granting the powers to party members, though doing so will disable the effect on themselves for a set amount of time. For instance, activating Courage gives the Aegis power to all of the Guardian's allies, but removes it from himself for 120 seconds.
Thankfully Guardians have other powers to keep them going while their companions reap the benefits of his virtues. They can summon spirit weapons that fight by their side, each with a powerful activated attack that causes them to vanish after use. They can place symbols on the ground that harm enemies and benefit allies. They can control the flow of enemies through the use of movement-restricting wards.
Guild Wars Monk players will surely be sad to see their favourite class go. Hopefully the Guardian retains enough of that signature Monk flavor to keep those players going in Guild Wars 2.
For more on the Guardian profession, visit the Guild Wars 2 web page.