Few new elite specialization ideas for the Canthan expansion, with no new weapon types involved:
- Gain Elemental Enchantments and Weapon Swap instead of Elemental Attunements. Every time you use an individual weapon skill, it will automatically swap itself to the next element, using the cooldown of the previous skill. Use an elemental enchantment to refresh those cooldowns and force all your weapon skills to channel the same element at once. By default, the order followed by the automatic swap sequence is fire, water, wind, earth, and then fire again. This order can be customized through traits. Glyphs and traits relying on active attunements will use the active element of the fifth weapon skill as the reference instead.
- You can wield the Longbow weapon in combat. All five longbow skills work as chain skills, giving them good synergy with the elemental enchantments mechanic.
- Gain access to Mantra slot skills. Just like weapon skills, mantras gain different effects depending on their active element, which swaps automatically with every use.
- Gain Spectres instead of Clones. Spectres are weaker than clones, but replicate themselves on destruction, reducing their size and power. A normal spectre will spawn two medium spectres, a medium spectre will spawn two small spectres, and a small spectre won't replicate any further. Shatter skills affect all spectres no matter their size, adjusting their strength to the size of each shattered spectre.
- You can wield the Shortbow weapon in combat. All five shortbow skills work as channeled skills, employing multiple consecutive projectiles at once. Each of these projectiles is weaker individually, but their combined effect has the same strength as any common ranged weapon. When all the projectiles hit their target, the strength of the combined effects double.
- Gain access to Shout slot skills. Shout effects are divided in three phases, each triggered by one of the three spectre sizes. The first phase is triggered by the mesmer and normal spectres, the second by medium spectres, and the third by small spectres. Completing the three phases will unlock an additional fourth effect, triggered by all spectres at once. Shouts are inspired by Canthan poetry, each phase covering one out of four verses.
- Gain Plague Bomb, Toxic Pollen, Afflicted Miasma, Scarab Spore, and Plague Shroud instead of Death Shroud. Plague Bomb throws an explosive to the target area. Toxic Pollen, Afflicted Miasma, and Scarab Spore work as enchancements for your bombs. Activate and combine them to modify the effects of your plague bomb, leading to a total of eight possible combinations. Plague Shroud turns the necromancer into a walking combo field. All plague skills consume life force.
- You can wield the Pistol weapons in combat. Pistol skills gain additional effects depending on the active plague enhancements.
- Gain access to Elixir slot skills. Elixirs work as ammunition skills, consume their charges sparingly to gain various passive effects, or consume them all at once to induce a frontal area of effect vomit attack.
- Gain Dreadnought Suit and Phase Shield instead of tool belt skill five. Activate the Dreadnought Suit to drive your own combat armor, gaining alternate tool belt and weapon skills for all your engineering kits. Phase Shield will replace your endurance bar while the dreadnought suit is active, sacrificing dodge rolling in exchange of a bonus health bar.
- You can wield the Mace weapons in combat. Mace skills are inspired by the core engineer Tool Kit utility skill, which has been removed and replaced by a new gadget elite skill. Additionally, maces are not exclusive for the dreadnought elite specialization, and once unlocked can be used by the core profession and any other elite specializations as well.
- Gain access to one new healing engineering kit, one new utility gadget, one new utility elixir, one new utility engineering kit, one new utility turret, and one new elite engineering kit. These new slot skills are exclusive for the dreadnought elite specialization.
- Gain Pet Focus instead of Pet Swap. Both pets are deployed in combat simultaneously, pet focus letting you command the beast skills of one pet at a time.
- You can wield the Shield weapon in combat. The fifth weapon skill turns defensive mode on and off, reducing your movement speed in exchange of alternate weapon skills. This affects the fourth shield skill, as well as all three skills from main-hand axe, main-hand spear, and main-hand sword.
- Gain access to Venom slot skills. Venom effects are applied to the ranger, both pets, and up to four other nearby allies. Once used against a target enemy, their negative effects stack, increasing their strength the more hits the target receives.
- Find and tame Juvenile Crab, Juvenile Eel, and Juvenile Phoenix pets during your journey across Cantha.
- Gain Shadow Blade and Shadow Strike instead of Steal. Shadow Blade summons an exact copy of the thief, with half the attributes and health. This shadow blade companion will follow the thief for ten seconds, mimicking all of his actions within a delay of two seconds. Shadow Strike commands the companion to shadowstep to the target foe and gain a stolen skill.
- You can wield the Greatsword weapon in combat. The first weapon skill has five chain steps instead of the usual three. Weapon skills two to five gain stronger effects the further the chain progresses, and will not interrupt it when used. Successful hits by the shadow blade will count as a step forward for any chains on progress, greatsword or not.
- Gain access to Stance slot skills. Stance effects are applied simultaneously to both the thief and the shadow blade.
- Gain Virtue Attunement instead of Virtue Activation, Just was Xun Rao instead of Virtue of Justice, Resolute was Reiko instead of Virtue of Resolve, and Courageous was Ashu instead of Virtue of Courage. Attune to a virtue to strengthen its passive effect, disabling the effects of the other two virtues in the process.
- You can wield the Warhorn weapon in combat. The warhorn gains alternate weapon skills depending on the active attunement.
- Gain access to Spirit slot skills. Just like warhorn skills, spirits gain different effects depending on the active attunement.
- Gain Wind Walk instead of dodge rolling. Hold the dodge key to dash instead of dodging, dash distance increasing the longer you hold down.
- You can wield the Greatsword weapon in combat. Weapon skills two to five work as charge skills, gaining stronger effects the longer you hold down. Wind Walk does not cancel charge skills, giving it good synergy with greatsword skills.
- Invoke the power of the legendary tengu windwalker, Tsuru Whitewing, and gain access to Legendary Windwalker slot skills. All five windwalker skills depict famous tengu paintings, representing different events across tengu history. Skills six to nine represent how each of the four tengu houses came to be, in turn inspired by the four winds. The elite skill, "The Great Wave off Shing Jea", represents the Great Tsunami itself, and the culmination of the tengu journey.
- Gain Thunder Bell instead of Burst weapon levels 2 and 3. Thunder Bell summons a mystical cannon bundle, which can alternate between ranged and melee modes through weapon swap. Carry it on your left shoulder to fire thunderbolts against your enemies, or use both hands to wield it as a blunt weapon and crush them at close combat. Thunder Bell is considered a level 2 burst skill, and once activated, both the ranged and melee versions will replace the previous weapon bursts with their own level 3 burst skills.
- You can wield the Staff weapon in combat. Weapon skills two to five work as sequence skills, unlocking additional skills on successful hits.
- Gain access to Preparation slot skills. Preparations gain stronger effects depending on individual adrenaline thresholds.
Some lore tidbits, for those interested:
- Elementalist - Skyfire: Ancient naga battlemages, brought back from the dead as the frozen waters of the Jade Sea brim with life once again. Horrorized at the woes of the modern world, they gather the Luxon clans and the kappa tribes for war.
- Mesmer - Trickster: Members of the Jade Sisterhood, they run the brothels, casinos, and theatres of Kaineng City. They specialize on blackmail, bribery, and deception. Their influence seeps deep into the Canthan aristocracy, making them impervious to the law.
- Necromancer - Apothecary: Cultists of the Am Fah, self-proclaimed freedom fighters for the lower classes and lesser races of the empire. They will stop at nothing to overthrow the emperor, resorting to biological terrorism if necessary. After all, they can always blame the Celestial Ministry.
- Engineer - Dreadnought: The noble men and women who drive the war machines of the empire, their combat armors admired and feared by allies and enemies alike. Rumor says their cannons are powered by the spirits of ancient deities, imprisoned by the dark sorcerers of the empire.
- Ranger - Bulwark: Elusive beastmasters of the sidhe race, renown wardens of the Echovald Forest. Driven crazy after the Jade Wind, few survived to regain their sanity. As the Kurzick rebels and their dredge allies expand carelessly across the forest, conflict will once again be inevitable.
- Thief - Shadowblade: Assassins of the Obsidian Flame, gone rogue after the guild was disbanded by the Celestial Ministry. They wage a secret war against the empire's corruption, supported from the inside by the remaining loyalist factions. Their numbers are thin, but their resolve unshakeable.
- Guardian - Spiritcaller: Forefront of the Celestial Ministry, guardians of tradition, followers of the old ways, and the last remaining ritualists of Cantha. Mouthpieces for the imperial propaganda, they channel the echoes of the fallen heroes of the empire, binding the spirits of criminals to their service.
- Revenant - Windwalker: Elite tengu bodyguards and executioners, they pay for the crimes of their Sensali ancestors with lifetime service and utmost devotion to the human imperial throne, deeming their brothers beyond the sea as nothing but despicable traitors.
- Warrior - Thunderlord: Warrior monks of the Sai Ling Order, they commune with the Great Celestials to channel their might, embarking on quests across the countryside in search of deeper enlightenment, vowing to, one day, become Closer to the Stars.
Bonus: New weapon types
Few new weapon type ideas, for a total of 18 ground weapons:
- Spear: Main-hand pole weapon, melee and thrown. Inspired by the Krait Nimross NPCs, Paragon NPCs and the original GW1 Spear weapon.
- Knuckles: One-handed fist weapon, melee. Inspired by the Boxing Gloves Toy, the Brawling Enchanted Armor Challenge, and the original GW1 Dwarven Brawling minigame.
- Bow: The Longbow and the Shortbow have been merged back into one single weapon type. The ranger is the only profession who can use both weapons, so his shortbow skills will be transformed into dagger skills, and his original dagger skills will be transformed into knuckles skills.
- Polearm: Two-handed pole weapon, melee. Includes greataxes, scythes, halberds, longspears, and more. Inspired by the Executioner Axe Toy, the , and the original GW1 Scythe weapon.
As part of a new player experience, each core profession would unlock some of the old and new weapon types for free, without any elite specialization requirements:
- Elementalist: Greatsword, Polearm.
- Mesmer: Pistol (main-hand), Warhorn.
- Necromancer: Axe (off-hand), Polearm.
- Engineer: Scepter, Knuckles (main-hand and off-hand), Focus.
- Ranger: Spear.
- Thief: Spear, Knuckles (main-hand and off-hand).
- Guardian: Spear.
- Revenant: Axe (main-hand), Mace (off-hand), Knuckles (main-hand and off-hand).
- Warrior: Polearm.
Further unlocks would become possible through either new elite specializations or additional updates to the core professions. Note that this section is independent from the new elite specialization ideas.
Had these gathering dust for quite a while now, figured I'd rewrite and post them.
Hope you liked the read!