Alright, so let’s talk about Guild Wars 2 a brief bit, since it’s the “internet thing of the moment,” we’ll cover some neat things about it like we did for SWTOR. If you didn’t know, there is a profession known as the “guardian” which guards things and a profession known as the “warrior” which, I guess, goes to war with things. They are both soldier professions, meaning they wear heavy armor, have access to lots of weapons, and have a rather bland playstyle. Their bland playstyle, of course, makes them the most challenging to master. An elementalist can roll around the battlefield, lobbing fire and brimstone everywhere, and by dumb luck pull something fantastic off. A warrior or guardian will need to put themselves in the proper position, use their support skills tactfully, and utilize their offensive abilities at key times, or in the case of the warrior throw on a bow and roll around the battlefield going crazy.
Melee is magical, in the sense that you have to be good at it to get the most from it. That’s why in World of Warcraft you’ll see hunter after hunter in the BG, but that one warrior is the one top on the kill charts. Ranged classes / professions take fun and excitement, but give-up real power. Anyway, I’m rambling. The key point that we’re to discuss is the warrior vs. the guardian and which one you should play when the game launches.
Warriors focus on “burst damage” or “spike damage.” Like the original Guild Wars, they bash their weapons into an enemy, building up adrenaline, then unleashing it for a massive attack, that should bypass any prospective healing / shielding. With the lack of dedicated healers, this is makes taking someone out rather easy. They also have a ton of support abilities in the form of shouts and banners, along with being able to equip pretty much every weapon in the game.
Guardians focus on “virtue” which is the fancy magical way of saying “signets.” They get three free signets (regeneration, aegis every 45 seconds, and burning every 5th attack) and can trade that passive bonus in for an active one. Most of the guardians damage comes from, insert punch line, defending. While their damage / burst output is lower, they survive longer, meaning that they can either get up where no one else can and smash faces in or stand around defending critical points in structured PvP and laughing at the weaklings as they try to knock them off the point.
Which one should you play? That’s a great question. If you want to do damage – go warrior. Yes, they can tank, but they are not as effective as a guardian or necromancer at doing it. If you want to do support – go guardian. Actually, if you want to be a tank or a healer, even if those mechanics don’t exist, go guardian. Sure virtues are boring and most of the abilities involve blocking damage, but you’ll be able to run around not dying, healing allies, and defending stuff.
If you want to bash faces in, then, well, warrior is the thing to be. Their burst damage will make sure you cash in on that last hit in WvW and get you points in structured PvP.