On the latest episode of Ready Up, host Joshua Davis was joined by Game Designer Karl McLain for a demonstration of the upcoming guardian elite specialization, the dragonhunter. Equipping the dragonhunter elite specialization grants guardians access to longbows and traps, enhancing their back-line support capabilities.
Karl explained that dragonhunters are determined to wipe out the dragons’ threat entirely, including their minions and everything tainted by them. As the dragons’ influence spreads, these guardians have become less trusting and are relentless in eradicating their prey.
Josh and Karl showed off videos of the dragonhunter’s virtues in action. The first minor trait line for the specialization will provide additional effects for each guardian virtue, but the original passive effects will activate as well. For example, Virtue of Courage will become Shield of Courage, which will now create a movable wall to block attacks and projectiles in front of the caster while still granting aegis to you and your nearby allies. The dragonhunter’s virtues will still be affected by traits that enhance the basic virtues.
The dragonhunter’s traps are considerably different from anything the guardian currently has access to and can make life very difficult for enemies who blunder into them. There’s an arming time for the traps and also a brief activation time after an enemy trips them. While enemies can see the dragonhunter arming a trap, the trap itself will be invisible to them. Dragonhunters excel at creating combos and stacking vulnerability, and they possess plenty of skills to control territory and enemy movement. Staggering and combining traps can force foes into making unpleasant choices, leaving them nowhere safe to run.
A longbow-wielding dragonhunter is best at longer ranges, but Josh emphasized that the elite specializations are meant to work in synergy with core specializations and the existing weapons available to each profession. If you want to take your dragonhunter into battle with a greatsword, there are traits to support a melee-focused playstyle. As an example, Karl and Josh demonstrated a condition-heavy dragonhunter build, crafted by Environment Artist and expert guardian Tirzah Bauer, that used a mace and focus in addition to a longbow. After laying down traps and luring an enemy into melee range, the dragonhunter inflicted massive damage on it before it even had time to attack.
Josh pointed out the dragonhunter’s new trait icons and said that the trait panel will be updated in the future to feature individual icons for each trait. He also revealed that the coming week will bring another elite specialization for a different profession, which you’ll get a chance to see in action on the next episode of the Points of Interest livestream on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel.
You can catch up with the latest episode of Ready Up by watching the recording below or head to the Guild Wars 2 official forums to chat with your fellow wielders of light about the dragonhunter!