« Fire, Air, Earth and Water. I can deal death with any of them. »
When ArenaNet developers sat down on the Round Table of Musings, in the legendary Brainstorming Chamber
, to discuss which of the first game’s professions would be returning in GW2, spirits soon flared up. Blood started boiling, objects getting hurled in all directions but at very specific targets, words – not necessarily in some recorded or even human language- uttered bombastly and all security personnel was set in red alert. Not much time passed before it was decided, unanimously albeit not necessarily democratically, that the Elementalist
would be the first such profession. For, who can mess with the forces of Nature?
The potent belief regarding this class is that it addresses to two types of players:
(a) women who like an impressive profession (glamorous clothing, very spectacular skill effects and damage to inspire awe – mainly to male players), by which they can bring even the toughest of opponents to their knees (e.g. male players)
(b) men who do not want to put a lot of thought in how they play their character, thus sticking to the repetitive pressing of a fixed chain of buttons, using one hand only, leaving the other free to hold a slice of pizza, or a beer, or the remote control, or the weight of their head
Observing the majority of MMO’s these days one sees that the above are true for all of them, almost without exception. That’s why this class can be described as a charming, easy to use, vulnerable, slow-firing but devastating instrument of death. Much like a trebuchet: you place it somewhere, keep it safe from enemy fire, and leave it do its thing. Within moments it will level everything around it. Massive amounts of DPS without the need of acrobatic movements, like the other damage-dealer of MMO’s, the Assassin. It is precisely this simplicity in the sorcerer’s gameplay which makes her so attractive: merely stay out of harm’s way, select target(s) and unleash a barrage of attacks – either single-target or AoE – keeping an eye only on skill cooldowns. Simple, spectacular, effective. And interesting, no?
“agreed, Elementalist will appear in GW2. However, HOWEVER, we shall make her more interesting”
When the developers who had been defeated in the previous ‘discussion’ came to from the shock inflicted to them by the Fire
attacks of their Elementalist-fan colleagues, they put a steady foot down on the ground, switched their own attunement
to Water [F2]
and said in a no-nonsense tone:
“she shall not have a petty set of 8-10 skills, but an obscene 25”
Taking advantage of the confusion brought about by this statement, they entered Air
and started casting high-voltage suggestions on their flabbergasted interlocutors:
“no more a stationary target in the battlefield, but a fast and adaptive warrior”
“no longer the profession for the bored ‘one-handed’ and the simple-minded! Controlling her will call for quick thinking and good reflexes”
among other things. And once they saw that the heated supporters of the stereotype were about to counter-attack, they just switched their attunement again – this time to Earth [F4]
, achieving group defense.
When all attacks had been countered successfully and piece of mind returned to the room once again, the revolutionaries spoke in an easing fashion and said:
“We love the Elementalist much like everyone else does. Her character shall remain unaltered: vulnerable but powerful, lethal if left un-harassed. But we will make her more capable to fit in the new gameplay model which dictates a triple role for every Profession, at any given moment: DAMAGE – CONTROL – SUPPORT. So we shall hand her the tools to carry out each and every one of these roles”
Upon hearing the word ‘tools’ a wide smile sunshined across the faces of those who were arguing against them, just moments ago. They looked at each other meaningfully and said in their ancient language, the only one they understood well: “Ah, more weapons! This is a good thing”.
At this point a rather delicate maneuver was necessary since, should one of the pioneering developers made the mistake to say “not true, she will only have ONE weapon set available to her at any given moment”, a new round of hostilities would erupt. Instead, a smart and cool-tempered one spoke out and said:
“To the Elementalist, weapons are merely the instruments through which she channels her powers to dish out pain and destruction”
Two key-words that achieved the desired goal: even more smiles. A switch of attunement again and victory was sealed with these words:
“The new Elementalist will have in her disposal probably the most skills than any other profession in the game, at any given time, despite her having the fewest options in weapons selection. However, even that single weapon set she’ll be equipped with, will grant her 5 different skills for each of her 4 attunements. And each of these attunements will serve one of more of the three roles she will be called to play. The new Elementalist will, at long last, be who she always deserved to be: a Scholar profession.”
When these words were spoken and even the most skeptical ones nodded in unison, they took their seats once again to discuss the details. They agreed that appearance-wise she wouldn’t be altered and they were resolute about this: elegant and sexy dresses, with high cuts and stretched lines… All the usual. The fact that she would remain in the light armor league was of no concern to anyone – besides, the Elementalist’s defense was never achieved by the clothes she wore. Now she’d have at her disposal the 5 skills of her Earth Attunement plus a weapon, the dagger, to access even more protective skills, both for herself and her party, whether she’d be using it as a main- or an off-hand instrument.
“I like to stand clear from the crowd and cause death and mayhem, with lots of DPS and spectacular AoE skills like I did in the old good days, without the need to play a piano solo on my keyboard; will I be able to do that?”
The discussion was interrupted at this point by one of the elder developers who had obviously been nurtured in the fiery words of Cynn
(“Magic isn't something you hide and save like a secret. It's something to share... one fireball at a time.”
), asking almost contentiously:
The answer was, naturally, affirmative and soothingly absolute:
“Well, of course you will! You simply equip your favourite and faithful staff, select Fire Attunement, and you’re set. Like back in the old days, in the Ruins of Surmia…”
Tears welled up in her eyes and she entered a deep, silent calmness at last.
The presentation concluded with a final combination of weapons that made almost everyone in the room break out in joyful cheering: an Elementalist yielding a scepter
as a main-hand weapon and a focus
as an off-hand. The former arms her with medium range skills against one or more enemies. The latter grants her access to close range skills which additionally serve as initiators
for cross-profession combos
! The cherry on top was none other than one of her two special skill types: Conjures
. Through these, which are typically utility skills (slots 7-9)
, she can summon environmental weapons
for her allies to use! How much more loved and popular can she get already?
Her identity at a glance: