With only two days to go before ArenaNet releases details on the Guardian profession of Guild Wars 2, speculation has been thrown around everywhere in the community. Today, I’ll add my two pennies by discussing how the Dervishes of GW1 could develop into the Guardians of GW2. There are, of course, big differences between the conventional role of the Dervish and that expected of the Guardian, but the similarities aren’t unnoticeable.
The Dervish holds a special place in my heart because it is my main character’s profession in Guild Wars 1. As soon as I saw the ‘Blue Mace Lady’ on the ArenaNet website, how could I not be drawn to the likeness of her to a Dervish? She appeared a mystical soldier, with a blue aura surrounding her, the mace and shield. I immediately thought of the enchantments associated with the Dervish profession.
In Guild Wars 1, the Dervish is generally considered a tanker, spiker or a runner. There are few other avenues to explore with the profession, as they don’t have the armor and survivability of the warrior, or the healing potency of Monks and Ritualists. Yet, there is one main aspect to the Dervish that Warriors generally have little control over; maintaining their own health and energy levels. Dervish healers aren’t unheard of, either. This is down to the power of the enchantment.
The problem with the Dervish, I’ve found, is that one of their great strengths is also a crippling weakness. That is, the enchantments they have at their disposal are useful, but fragile. One of the best aspects of enchantments on the Dervish would be the benefit of the primary attribute of the profession, Mysticism. This attribute gives back health and energy once an enchantment ends. This is both useful for energy management and setting up damage spike combinations. The problem with enchantments is that they are susceptible to removal skills and interrupts. These problems can destroy a Dervish’s usefulness in a group, and they can quickly find themselves dead in the midst of a mob without the support of a dedicated healer.
With the upcoming update for the Dervish, I’d like to see the profession become less dependent on the failsafe of dedicated healers, and have some sort of interrupt ability of their own to help prevent enchantment removal. As for other skills, I could see the Dervish become a little more of a support class aswell, with some of their skills providing support to other party members, especially melee characters, with damage or healing buffs. This could eventually tie in with the dervishes’ development into the Guardians we’ll see in Guild Wars 2.
It is forseeable in Guild Wars 2 that the Dervish will combine with the Monk, and quite possibly the Ritualist and Paragon, to become the Guardian. In terms of gameplay, this can work because of the nature of the Dervish as a melee spellcaster and the Monk and Ritualist as protectors and healers. As for lore and story, it would make sense for the Dervish profession to become that of the Guardian; classes in Guild Wars 2 cannot be race specific, and Dervishes pray to Human Gods exclusively. Ultimately, it would be impossible for the class to exist in Charr or Asuran groups, for example, and so a common theme should be applied to a class available to all races. The compromise comes in the form of the Guardian.
I certainly look forward to how this class will play in GW2.
An additional note: I’d like to thank GuildMag for adding the blog to their fanlisting. Thanks dudes!