On the latest episode of Points of Interest, Game Designer Karl McLain joined host Rubi Bayer for a demonstration of the elementalist’s new elite specialization, the tempest. Tempests use warhorns and shouts to translate their elemental mastery into sound, making them effective close-range fighters who can support their allies on the front lines.
Because area-of-effect and directional abilities are such a major part of the tempest and warhorn playstyle, Karl said that proper positioning will be very important. The tempest’s overload mechanic, which allows them to supercharge their attunements for an additional effect, also requires precise timing and positioning in order to not waste the effect once it’s been activated—especially since overloading places the associated attunement on cooldown. A tempest can use the tools at their disposal—such as waves that knock foes back and cyclones that pull them into place—to get their enemies just where they want them before activating an overload effect.
Elementalists usually gain utility at the expense of innate survivability, but the tempest elite specialization brings along minor traits intended to make it easier to survive in melee by getting into combat faster and taking less damage. Tempests also make considerable use of auras to enhance themselves and their teammates. The warhorn’s ability set encourages tempests to stay near their allies—and their allies to stay near the tempest.
Karl said that the ArenaNet audio team is working on creating tempest-specific warhorn effects to replace the default sound, and he mentioned that the design team is testing break bars on players to determine where they might be fun in combat. He also clarified that unrevealed, data‑mined content and assets should never be considered finalized until they’ve been officially announced since the development teams are always iterating.
If you missed the livestream, you can check out a video recording below!