Hello everyone !
First of all, english isn't my mother tongue so forgive me if there are some mistakes and if things sound a bit weird.
I've been thinking of what the upcoming elite specs would look like and so I write this post to share my point of view with people.
This set is completely invented from an imaginary expansion which would take place in the far Shiverpeaks, on a hunt to Jormag. Enjoy:)
The MOUNTAIN (Elementalist)
Weapon : Shield
Job : Ranged DPS, CC, more defensive
Background : Arriving in the Far Shiverpeaks, the elementalists were imbued with the brute force of mountains and volcanoes, adamant and in complete harmony with the elements. They have thus assimilated this free and rough power, which shakes up the role of the elements. The rituals of the lava, the snow, the blizzard and the rocks take time, but the mountains lend their toughness to the elementalist before he releases a devastating power.
Mechanics : when the Mountain enters in a new attunement, the three others become a Ritual of the Mountain. This way, elementalists cast a Ritual when they change attunement. The spell varies with the actual attunement and the chosen one, and the skill is named after the Mountain background. They can cast a Fumarole, a Blizzard, a Rockslide, a Lava Flow, an Avalanche or a Pyroclastic Cloud. The Rituals can be cast in the middle of another skill without interrupting it, just as mantra skills.
Skills : Mantras
Mantras are channeling skills, and produce periodic effects during the first casting. Once fully charged, mantras can be used only once but active effect is powerful.
Gameplay: The idea of the Mountain is to get closer to the tradionnal MMORPG mage gameplay, but not to force it to stay in the backlines so far. Therefore its role is a medium-range condition or physical DPS. Its gameplay is slow but it is compensated by great power and stamina. Also, the Rituals' cooldowns slow the attunement rotation so the Mountain have way more defensive skills in each affinity through the shield, and automatic attacks (1st skills) become chain skills (2 additional automatic skills per weapon and attunement). The Mountain will also have the opportunity to play as condition DPS. It will require to have a good timing management to play it in competitive mode. Mobility remains good and access to stability is easy.
The TRACKER (Ranger)
Area of effect, defense, buffs.
Background: The journey of the Rangerss in the Shiverpeaks was an opportunity for them to recharge themselves. These rugged mountains are a complex hunting ground. Rangers, with their scouting experience, have discovered a tremendous power that they share with their pet to dominate their enemies with the power of mountains. Their travel was also an opportunity for them to commune more with this hostile nature, which now offers them new raw magical powers that the Tracker channels with a focus. Thanks to these new talents, they guide their allies beyond these rough lands with marks and beacons, and strikes their enemies with the brute force of the mountains.
Mechanics: Tracker's Dodges trigger a "Wrath of the Mountain" skill, which deals area of effect damage around the character. All dodge sources can trigger this skill. The Ranger and his pet temporarily earn a stackable "Strength of the Mountain" bonus that improves their stats when Wrathe of the Mountain hits a target.
Beacons are tags placed on the battlefield that the ranger or his allies can hit for a moment to deploy different effects on their area of action. They are the central element of specialization. Thus, beacons can multiply the DPS of a team, can grant buffs or inflict condition and crowd control.
Gameplay: the role of the Tracker is mainly that of a moderate physical DPS in AoE, and especially of a large offensive support which can increase the DPS of the allies. Like every Ranger specialization, it remains adaptable with DPS opportunities and more support and control-oriented possibilities. His novelty is his better control of the terrain like the Scourge or the Turret Engineer. Its survival is focused on the various dodging that the gameplay already offers, causing chain damage thanks to the mechanics of the Wrath of the Moutain and Beacons that can be chain triggered. The goal of the gameplay is to position yourself in melee, armed with a sword for example to go with the focus. Thanks to the cumulative bonus added to boons and good control abilities, the Tracker becomes a central element of melee combat. Some traits allow him to change the effect of Wrath of the Mountain into a control, support, or offensive version that completely changes the focus of the specialization.
The VANGUARD (Revenant)
Physical DPS, counter-attacks and crowd control.
Background: going back to the northern mountains, Revennts must remember the escape of the Ascalonians and the hard struggle that they led despite the horrors they lived. Ebon vanguards were finally recalled to their homeland and were welcomed as heros, before heading south to finally build a new home in the fortified city we know today: Ebonhawk. Their journey was full of battles, fear, doubts, and losses, but their Captain never gave up hope, and thanks to her efforts, the Ascalonians progeny will never move anymore. Thus the Revenants are now trying out new powers, more magical than physical, that they control with a scepter, which they proudly brandish towards the sky as a sign of rally and hope for their people.
Mechanics: The energy is no longer charged in a passive way, but when the Vanguard is hit, through his automatic attack and under certain conditions. The Vanguard takes advantage of the rise of the energy level and receives offensive and defensive buffs depending on the energy threshold he exceeds. When desired, the Avenger can use the F2 skill "Ebon Hawks" to summon the memories of the famous Ebon Vanguard Elite Squad instead of his weapon skills. Dian Fermati, Koro Sagewind, Nola Sheppard, Lawrence Crafton and Keiran Thackeray give their power to the Vanguard. During the Ebon Hawks mode the energy gradually decreases, but the skills can be used without spending extra energy. The new F3 skill Ebonhawk Stronghold is magic forcefield blocking attacks. Depending on the number of hit blocked, the energy is charged. At the end of the skill, it deals damage and control depending on the number of blocked attacks.
Skills: Legendary Goremonger Stance
Gwen Thackeray, captain of Ebon Vanguards, a grievous survivor, had to assume responsibilities of a leader when his people needed it. She lends her powers to the Revenants who wish to walk in her steps, and teaches the way of the counterattack and tenacity in the image of the walls she built. Scepter skills have a close range, AoE damage and crowd control. It combines well with the offhand sword.
Gameplay: The role of the Vanguard is a counterattack DPS with serious offensive control abilities, including powerful forcefields with the new stance skills. It integrates a little the philosophy of the Mesmer and the Spellbreaker of the punished attacker. It is between melee and ranged, like an elementalist with the dagger and has quite good mobility to keep this range. The novelty is the combination of the counter-attack system with the possibility of inflicting physical zone damage, two new things for the Revenant. It fits well with the Legendary Dwarf and the Legendary Assassin Stances.
(other possible names : The Goremonger, The Survivor)
The NEMESIS (Mesmer)
High physical damage, mobility, blockage, range of melee.
Background: During these hard times in Tyria, the mesmers, with introspection and work on themselves, have learned to control their fears. They understood that it could be a vulnerability, but also a formidable weapon against those who have never learned to manage their own darkness. They discovered the power to unleash the secret fears and hidden emotions of their targets to destabilize them. By assimilating the fears of their enemies, they become able to create a powerful illusonary monster that they take control to wreak havoc in the minds of their opponents. From now on, the mesmers appear more frightening with their imposing hammer, and play the role of the judge and the executioner, materializing the crimes, the fears and the deepest shames of their enemies with illusion magic to crush their minds.
Mechanics: Deletion of shatter skills. Access to a new F1 skill, Nightmare, temporarily transforming the character into a powerful illusion modifying weapon skills. The more clones are shattered the longer Nightmare lasts. Traits on shatter skills are now assigned to these new Nightmare skills.
Locks are magical runes that highlight and block a specific emotion buried in the opponent's mind and deal effects over time. For a few seconds, the Nemesis has the option to break the lock to apply a zone effect around the target.
Examples: Empathy, Guilt, Shame, Panic …
Gameplay: The role of the Nemesis is that of a melee zone physical DPS. With the hammer it has a correct mobility, with personal blocking defense. He gets better mobility in battle, good battleground management through locks, and always good crowd control. The idea of the Nemesis actually comes from the original artwork of the mesmer. The transformation brings a large amount of DPS and heavy melee CC.
(Other possible names : The Dementor, The Inquisitor, The Persecutor)
The TUMBLER (Thief)
Defense, counter-attack, condiions.
Background: Many thieves roam alone in search of a purse or a bounty, but during these difficult times, some have chosen to emerge from their hermit life, and seek hospitality, with the curiosity to discover how they could evolve into society. Some of them have found refuge in the world of entertainment, especially in the circus arts, allowing thieves to continue to exercise their dexterity while discovering the meaning of the community. With this experience, thieves do the show and divert the eyes, and defend their band of aggression and counter-attack with unparalleled skill.
Mechanics: Steal is replaced by Tightrope Walking, which allows the thief to intercept attacks on his allies in a small radius around him. This is just as a dodge for the Tumbler and the allies in its radius. The effects associated with Steal through traits are now applied in the effect zone in the skill range. Whenever he dodges an attack, the Tumbler has a random F2 skill, granting various support and condition effects.
Thieves can now use circus banners such as a ringmaster to direct their troupe. Banners are instantaneously invoked and have a short duration of action. They grant a passive effect but can not be picked up by other players. Instead, they temporarily change the 3rd weapon skill of the thief, which can be used at will according to the initiative available. Visually, the banners are carried in their back. Skills provide mostly supportive and defensive effects.
Gameplay: The role of the Tumbler is that of an offensive and defensive support of melee with individual defensive abilities so that he can better endure the melee. His traits allow him to move towards a more resilient, supportive or condition gameplay. The main mechanic of support is that of a zone defense thanks to Tightrope Walking, which requires a good timing management. It combines well with the use of a sword in main hand.
(Other possible names : The Saltimbanque, The Showman, The Juggler)
The FILIBUSTER (Warrior)
Weapon: main hand and offhand pistols.
Damage, control, boons, blast combo finisher.
Background: Which warrior after a journey through the desert has not dreamed about having some Elonian corsair beers, fighting in inns, hunting treasures, and shouting swearwords ? That's the kind of simple pleasures that were missing in a soldier's life. By scouring the bars and hitching themselves to dubious but kitten thrilling encounters, the Warriors experience a taste for risk and a life of adventure.
Mechanical: Competence Call of the Band F2
The Filibuster can call his new brothers in arms the time of an attack inflicting an combo zone and various combo finishers. The zone and the finisher vary according to the equipped weapon. It is possible to modify some finisher effects with his traits.
Supplies are zone-targeting support or offensive skill that grants a combo zone. They grant other passive or active effects, and allow to better control the ground while helping the allies and impairing the enemies. Abilities allow supply skills to perform a combo finisher at the time of summoning.
Gameplay: The Filibuster allows to move the Warrior's gameplay midrange with good reactivity, control and support abilities. This is a condition DPS character, or a supportive one. He has some dodges thanks to his weapon skills. His major game mechanic is about combos, whether they are offensive or defensive. He exploits physical projectile finishers that he may increase the trigger probabilities and give positive effects in AOE with some traits. He can also completely modify the whirl finishers to create more precise effects of control or condition that have more impact in fight. The Filibuster does not focus on his personal defense, but improves the Warrior's abilities of healing, control, and condition while being ranged.
(Other possible names : The Buccaneer)
The BEASTMASTER (Guardian)
Control, alacrity, mobility
Background: some of the most history concerned guardians had the opportunity to hear antic tales of the Shiverpeaks about dwarven and civil war ravaging their people. Deldrimor's dwarven face the xenophobic guild of the Stone Summit, which had enslaved the dredges. The priests of the Stone Summit guild used to mount dolyaks while fighting and thus were more confident in the battle. Some guardians, weighed down by their armor, were pretty much in trouble in the mountains. It was then that they were accompanied by Ranger companions, and mastered the great discipline necessary to tame dolyaks. First of all they did it just for traveling easier but step by step, the dolyaks became real partners in the fight giving them a new way of crossing the battleground and rushing to the heart of the fight.
Mechanics: 4th virtue, Virtue of Discipline F4, which grants at regular intervals, protection and alacrity. The active effect of the virtue allows the Beastmaster to ride a dolyak, an fight mount system completely exclusive and of course independant of regular mount system. Activating the Dolyak reinforces the passive effects of the virtues. The Beastmaster has improved stats, provides AOE boons, and gains a defiant bar and increased moving speed. The Dolyak mount disappears at the end of a certain duration or when the defiant bar is broken with CC. The Beastmaster can use his weapon and utility skills while on his Dolyak fight mount.
Whistles summons a wild animal from the Shiverpeaks to make a strike on a target or on area of effect. This pet can deal massive crowd control effects, grant boons to allies as alacrity or power. Whistles recharge faster with the active effect of virtue of discipline.
Gameplay: the Beastmaster is a tank-like character, with a moderate DPS, abilities of control and small support functions, but rather on a utility side (like alacrity) than defensive. The specialization grants a better mobility to the guardian and gives him access to crowd control. The rôle of the warhorn is on survival and control and combines well with any main hand weapon. The gameplay can thus vary depending on this weapon and chosen traits. The idea of this specialization is to give more freedom to the guardian. The improvement of mobility and control are part of the same logic of freedom. The Beastmaster changes guardian style, to a progressive and steady increase of power during the fight (just as warrior or necromancers can do) instead of raw burst of damage as they used to do.
The APOTHECARY (Engineer)
Alterations, boons, heal.
Background: going north, many engineers found themselves desperate. Lack of raw material, and having big trouble in exploitation of natural resources ; not to mention some health issues related to promiscuity ... But hopefully best engineers do have plans. "Since there is no way to exploit the resources of the mountain, let the resource come to you!" said a certain Asura whose name I do not remember (or maybe was it an Aetherblade moonshiner..?). So by developing personal networks of smugglers, scouts and other skritt snoops on various black markets of Tyria, engineers have become supply haggling experts in the hostile environment for their survival. They have even acquired special knowledge of local flora and fauna to create remedies, ointments and poultices.
Mechanics: Tool belt skills are replaced by F1-F4 Remedy skills and a F5 Universal Remedy skill.
When providing support to his allies (benefits, alleviation of alteration, care), the engineer accumulates some contraband currency in a bar. The Apothecary can spend this resource to use the F5 skill "Universal Remedy" which grants a powerful support zone effect that varies according to the Apothecary's utility skills. For example for each kit equipped, the skill will apply offensive boons, for each gadget utility effects, for each turret defensive boons and for each elixir recovery effects.
Skills: black market
The black market skills allow the Apothecary to grant support effects, alterations. They grant control effects, alterations or recover contraband currency and reload remedy skills. Black market skills equipped passively reduce cooldown of Universal Remedy.
Gameplay: The gameplay of the Apothecary is one of a powerful support role with heal as the main element. He can also apply various boons and fight with condition damage. He uses staff in melee and therefore asks the engineer for prudence. Once his mechanics are launched, the engineer is able to regularly apply important heal in area of effect and conditions to enemies.
The WRAITH (Necromancer)
High physical damage, single target, control, mobility.
Background: Most necromancers prefer the contact of old library basement parchments rather than social contact of their peers. Going north, some have scoured ancient myths of Norn culture tracing their history, and that of the spirits they revere, which perished face to the Ice Dragon for most of them. Little by little, the necromancers, greedy for the forbidden arts, have abandoned the manipulating of souls and flesh of the deads and turned to the Higher Spirits, to appropriate themselves the power they have left to the world when they vanished. Some unconscious necromancers have become mentally unstable; some others died. The most reasonable necromancers have been able to tame with temperance these new powers, and although they have felt something changing deep in their soul. Some kind of supernatural entity now coexists in their being and they are now animated with great strength and vivacity.
Mechanics: the necromancer has a Wraith Mode (F2), which when activated, engulfs in his soul the strength of the dead celestial spirits who lived in the world. This mode replaces Weapon Skill 1 with a Haunting skill that varies depending on the weapon or shroud. The necromancer can also equip his death shroud and the Wraith Mode at the same time. He has a speed bonus when the mode is activated. Once activated, the mode lasts a few seconds. It can not be dispelled before its end.
The totem is a statue of a celestial spirit invoked on the battlefield, which binds its energy to the necromancer or its target. Once activated, it gives access to a second skill, destroying the totem and applying effects around its position primarily based on mobility, control and pursuit of opponents. Thus the necromancer can teleport to a totem, suck the health of surrounding enemies, block attacks or create a barrier trapping enemies inside. Haunting skills apply additional effects to totem targets.
Gameplay: the role of the Specter is that of a physical DPS much more mobile, able to pursue opponents like an assassin. He is a serious duelist capable of inflicting heavy damage quickly, but has on the other hand lesser defense. He gains access to vigor, focusing his defensive abilities on dodges. Thanks to his traits, he can extend his DPS to an area of effect, improve his mobility, or put more control pressure on his target. Visually, he gets a more "tribal" and spiritual style, inspired by the Norn culture.
And here is where it ends, give me your opinion, hoping you liked the reading, and say what you would like to play !