Pistols Grant Elementalists the Choice between Greater Damage and Defense

by The Guild Wars 2 Team on November 15, 2023

Hi, folks. My name is Cal Cohen and I’m the lead skills and balance designer at ArenaNet.

Expanded weapon proficiencies are coming in 2024 during the second major update for Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure™, in which each profession will have access to a new weapon. We’re back today to take a look at the pistol weapon for the elementalist.

Elemental Ammunition

The pistol is a condition-focused weapon that brings some mobility, crowd control, and a large amount of damage. The pistol will also provide some interesting gameplay decisions with its elemental bullet mechanic that grants players a selection of bonus effects.

Every time you use a pistol skill (except for autoattacks) one of two things will happen. If no bullet of the same element exists, the skill will perform its base behavior and create a bullet of its element. A bullet will then hover near the player character to signify it has been created. However, if the elemental bullet already exists, the skill will consume that bullet to gain a bonus effect. For example, let’s check out two skills from the earth attunement: Shattering Stone (slot 2) and Boulder Blast (slot 3).

Shattering Stone fires a shot that inflicts bleeding and cripple, shattering into multiple fragments that also strike nearby enemies. If an earth bullet is available, it will be consumed to grant the user an enhancement that makes their next few attacks also inflict bleeding.

Boulder Blast shoots a larger projectile that strikes a single enemy, immobilizing them and inflicting a larger amount of bleeding. If an earth bullet is available, it’s consumed to grant the user barrier if the projectile successfully strikes an enemy. In this case, depending on the sequencing of skills, players can opt for either more damage or more defense depending on the situation at hand.

An elementalist wielding a pistol

Weaver makes things a bit more complicated, as they can attune to multiple elements at once and have access to the multielement dual attacks. So how does this interact with elemental bullets? Dual attacks can consume bullets of both elements, granting a unique bonus for each bullet. If any matching bullet is available when using a dual attack, all matching bullets will be consumed to grant their bonuses. In the event there isn’t a matching bullet, the dual attack will create a single bullet that matches the primary attunement.

We’re definitely excited to see how players utilize the elemental bullet mechanic to maximize their effectiveness in various situations. We’ll do a fuller deep dive into the elementalist pistol as well as other new weapons during the new weapon preview livestream on November 27 at 12 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-8), and these weapons will all be available during the Expanded Weapon Proficiency beta event that runs from 9 a.m. Pacific Time on November 28 until 10 p.m. Pacific Time on December 3. Please note that since this is a beta test, there will be placeholder UI, art, and audio for some of the weapon skills.

We’ll see you in the Mists!