Posted by on July 15th, 2010 in News, Previews

The Ranger returns to Guild Wars as it is now the third profession unveiled by ArenaNet for this promising fantasy MMORPG. In many respects this profession seems very similar to its Guild Wars variant, but some of its mechanics have changed quite significantly. It’s especially interesting to note that all rangers now have pets and these can be given abilities over time. The official Guild Wars 2 website has the full story including all new screenshots, videos and wallpapers.

In addition to this Ranger reveal, ArenaNet’s Jon Peters also answered some more general community questions on their company blog. These mostly focus on last week’s shocking revelations of there being no real death penalty, holy trinity nor dedicated healer classes in Guild Wars 2. All this is covered below in a concise list that contains the new information in swiftly readable form.

Should you have missed out on the wealth of Guild Wars 2 information that’s been made public already, then you may wish to read up on the design manifesto, combat system and elementalist profession, dynamic events system #1 & #2, the personal story system, the warrior profession and traits system #1 & #2, the recent pieces on non-combat activities #1 and #2 and the additional information on activities and travel in Tyria.

The Ranger

  • Rangers return in relatively familiar form as masters of ranged combat with charmed animals, traps and nature spirits to support them. A lot more focus has been place on pets however.
  • Rangers do not have a unique resource, this likely refers to adrenaline for warriors and attunements for elementalists, to manage during combat.
  • The ranger profession has two unique skill types: Traps and Spirits. Both are very similar to their Guild Wars counterparts.
  • Traps are laid at the ranger’s current position and trigger on contact. Only one trap of each type can be active at any time and they disappear if the ranger moves out of range.
  • A Spike Trap cripples and bleeds enemies that trigger it.
  • Spirits are static summons that emit an effect, such as additional fire damage for allied attacks, within a certain radius. These spirits stay active for a short period of time and can be attacked. Like traps the ranger can have only one of each type of spirit active at any given time and they disappear if the ranger moves out of range.
  • The Sun Spirit bestows additional fire damage on allied attacks within its sphere of influence.
  • Rangers can use both ranged and melee weapons. Available weapon types include the Axe, Dagger, Greatsword, Longbow, Shortbow, Sword, Torch and Warhorn.
  • Serpent Strike is used in conjunction with daggers and allows the ranger to dodge around the enemy for a strike from behind, which seems to apply poison damage as well.
  • When a ranger wields two daggers she can throw one at the enemy, much like the warrior’s axe throw with dual axe.
  • Spread Shot shoots a flurry of arrows across a wide cone and is used in conjunction with a bow.
  • Several skill videos depict the ranger in action.

A Norn Ranger in the Shiverpeaks


  • Any ranger can charm a juvenile animal into their pet, regardless of their skill bar. It seems these pets do not require specific skills to be called forth.
  • A ranger can have up to three pets bonded to them and one of those active at any time. It’s possible to swap between pets outside of combat or by use of utility skills.
  • There are 12 different types of pets (e.g.: terrestrial, amphibious, aquatic) and subtypes within these broad types that can influence their abilities. A polar bear might have an Icy Roar where a brown bear has a Fearsome Roar.
  • Some of the species of animals that can be charmed are bears, devourers, lizards, moas, sharks and spiders.
  • The specific mention of types seems to indicate that some pets cannot be used in certain situations, like sharks on land or bears underwater.
  • The health, armor and damage of charmed animals is based on the ranger’s level.
  • Pets also gain up to 20 evolution levels which provide automatic bonuses and up to 4 ability slots. These levels are only acquired by gaining XP while the pet in question is active.
  • The 4 pet ability slots can be filled from a list of active pet abilities based on pet type, much like the player’s skill bar.
  • It will be possible to command pets through a special interface. They can be set to aggressive, defensive or passive behavior and given basic commands such as attack, heel and stay.

Three Rangers readying their bows for a devastating attack


  • Some enemies can resurrect themselves, but regular PvE enemies do not have a downed state or revival ability.
  • The amount of time between downed and defeated state is dependent on the consciousness bar. It’s a slowly decreasing health bar of sorts which also takes damage from attacks. Defeat an enemy within that ‘timeframe’ and you rally back to life.
  • In PvP there will be powerful finishing moves that can be used to send a downed player straight into defeated state. It takes a few seconds to activate and is melee only, so there is some risk involved.
  • It’s possible to bring up your map and resurrect at a waypoint from the moment you’re put in downed state.
  • Reviving at a waypoint without any money will result in the game deducting the fee from your bank. If that’s empty too then resurrection will be free.
  • Players getting defeated rather than dying is mostly a lore thing, with the underlying mechanics being largely identical. It allows ArenaNet to kill off NPCs without raising consistency issues with players used to resurrecting all the time.

One of three new wallpapers, this one is available on the ArenaNet blog


  • ArenaNet intends for everyone to take an active role in combat, including support characters. Hence the lack of straight-up healers.
  • Players can choose to fulfill a supporting role by filling more than half their skill bar with supporting skills. It should be noted that some skills have both damaging and supporting effects, which allows players to maintain some damage output while in a supporting role.
  • An example of the above is the elementalist’s Geyser which causes a geyser to erupt in the area that both knocks back enemies and heals nearby allies.
  • The removal of dedicated healers is not intended to make PvP unbalanced, but should rather result in more varied and interesting PvP gameplay.
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