What if Revenants were a non-chooseable class in Avatar Creation? What if it was a profession we could switch over to later? Like, maybe the game asks us before we begin HoT, and can accept anytime after Hearts & Minds if we pass up the first offer. Otherwise, the timeline makes no sense when we go back to play personal story as such. Revenants came with HoT which to me has always meant that the class didn’t exist back then... so why should it be playable before HoT now?
Sadly, with the way it is now, the only way it’d be able to work out lore-wise is if the Revenants just “always” existed in Tyria (even though they didn’t always exist for us players), but that it’s just the “Herald” specialization that’s new and mysterious to all the NPC’s, which would be the reason for why everyone’s questioning Rytlock about his “new magic.” Maybe they’re not bewildered and confused about him entering the mists with every attack skill, bouncing around from foe to foe... maybe it’s the new utilities of Glint that concern them.
Thing is... my idea would be a lot of work and they’d have to rewrite the script for revenant alone so that they’ll start questioning our own character too. Rev’s would have to have a completely separate story path due to its dialogue/interactions. So... even if it could never be fixed in game, I’d rather continue to imagine my idealistic setting than pretend the class always existed, ‘cause I really enjoy the backstory I make-believe for my human revenant, Annith Dallin.
I pretend that she was originally my warrior I had deleted a few years back that would’ve been 7 (I just imagine they’re the same person lol) all the way up until she left the rest of my crew and captain (main character Nala Avalon) to join the Pact on the airship headed for the Maguuma Jungle. As the ship gets closer and Mordremoth whispers into the minds of the Sylvari aboard, chaos erupts and they strive to defend themselves and each other. Annith saves Logan, but breaks her leg in the process and gets jolted off the ship in return... not fast enough and no time to think in the blur of confusion... yet as she falls toward her death, something clicks within her as fear strikes the need to escape, which enables a rift to activate behind her and teleports her into the Mists. From that point forward, she traverses this expanse of “everything and nothing” that she’s never seen before, learns new abilities, leaves her disposition as a warrior behind, and transgresses to evolve as a revenant. Along her journey, she runs into Rytlock, but he’s still searching for a way to light his sword and insists she go on without him (this way, Annith never sees him speak to the one who makes a deal to light it before he leaves). Annith returns to the jungle and sees Laranthir. He asks what happened to her leg, but just as she waves it aside and asks what happened to the crew, Braham and the others start racing down with a barrage of questions. No one realizes anything different with her until Rytlock appears and they start fighting. Then their commonality is obvious. After HoT, she has to be questioned by her authorities as well as him.
Next: It’d be really neat if Avatar Creation could allow the option of Apprentice for those who are unsure of what class they want to be or their character wants to be. Especially for newcomers. Then they can experiment around and try everything without having to remake characters. I think anyone should be able to change their class even after they settle, ‘cause it’s not like that’ll harm the lore. But if it’s the race they don’t like, then obviously they’ll have to delete and recreate, sadly. Any total makeover kits that might’ve been used and wasted could at least be mailed over. And one should be allowed to alter any icons answering the starter story questions. They wouldn’t have an affect on the game content anyway, but would totally make a difference in how the player sees their character - although changing the personal story option would have to alert you that it’ll rewrite the old and you’ll have to restart those chapters.
This idea brings me to my second revenant, Marabeth Glente, whom I pretend to be a sylvari Apprentice. Being inspired off of Beth March from Little Women, she’s always been very weak and ill, so she always stayed close to the Grove and lived a simple life but dabbled in classes here and there... alas, during the Summit, she was fetching a pale of water to bring for the concessions but fainted and sunk into its depths... but before she could drown, a rift saved her and brought her to the Mists. Seeing as I pretended Annith was originally a Warrior, I thought it’d be really intriguing to apply that concept to my hypothetical game changes - make it so that you have to have a class (out of the original 7) selected to determine what kind of revenant you’ll be. That it’ll have some kind of noticeably different affect, special from one to the other. So, since Marabeth didn’t yet have one, she had a longer journey than Annith and had to pick something before she could proceed. So she met up with Ventari, Ronan, and the other legends themselves (along with the Druid Spirits), was able to learn how to be a druid and more from them and was thereforth taught the ways of the Sylvari (pre-Druid Ranger) Herald Revenant which actually helps her through her sickliness. She remains missing all this time, and only returns after Annith and Rytlock are being pestered about their new magic after the waves of mordrem at the camp. Luckily that turns the group’s attention toward her being back and alive, thus giving those two a break.
Further Note: I feel like it’s make sense if all stories before HoT banned revenants from being playable, just like how we can’t use mounts and gliders because they didn’t exist yet.
It wouldn’t be the same as just switching to one of the other classes because it’s a different breed or standard of profession. Can’t be classified as an elite specialization since it has its own specs: Renegade and Herald. And where in other games each class unlocks new abilities unique to its class (when it levels to a new branch) that no other class can have, this is a Shared All Around Super Class. We’d become level 80 in a chosen beginning class and train an elite spec if wanted, switch to Revenant and return to lvl 1, choose new Rev elite spec, and watch how the Herald Revenants of various pre-classes differ of the same race as well as how varying races from the same class.
I like the idea of having this new layer that all other classes can connect to rather than just connecting to the one - to get away from how the normal system works in other games. I don’t know how our previous class would change the play of a revenant yet, but I really love the concept and possibilities! I do know, however, how the race would especially vastly change the play of Revenant, in a bit more detail. Example for Sylvari’s legends:
Ventari (healing/stays as Ventari and replaced with something else for other races), Ronan (support/Jalis equivalent), Rowan (offensive/Shiro), and Scarlet (conditions/Malyx). Herald would call upon The Pale Tree, and the Renegade Specialization would bring back Trahearne who would summon his troops.