ArenaNet has revealed the fifth of eight professions you can pick to play as in new MMO Guild Wars 2: the Guardian.
In short, the Guardian evolves the Monk from Guild Wars 1. The sequel does away with dedicated healing, remember, but as lead designer Eric Flannum and cohort Jon Peters told Eurogamer - there's still demand for that role.
"In Guild Wars 1 we had a Monk. We know people like to play that profession, we also know we're not building a dedicated healer in our game, so we couldn't bring in a character called a Monk into our game and say oh we just totally annulled his healing and took away his connection to the gods," explained Peters.
"What we did is take what we thought people enjoyed about that class and play-style and started from scratch to build something more in-the-front-line, fightery, throwing up walls, shields and doing these other crowd control area block things. So we put him in heavy armour and things evolved from there.
"One thing to clear up," added Flannum, quickly. "A lot of times when you say something like that, people think oh well he's the healer. That's not the case.
"What the Guardian is is... The profession is designed to to have a play-style that will appeal to players that typically like that sort of healing role. He feels very magical, he feels very much like the one who comes in and saves the day, but in the reality of it he plays a similar support role as a Necromancer.
"That's if you want to spec him for support," Flannum went on. "You can clearly take him in a more offensive route. A good way to think of it is he's slightly more support oriented, more magical version of the Warrior."
Or perhaps we can think of the Guardian as a Paladin?
"Yeah you could probably say that," agreed Flannum.
The Guardian can conjure Spirit Weapons, Symbols, Wards and Aegis boons. The Guardian has the option of wielding a one-handed mace, sceptre or sword with an off-hand focus, shield or torch. Better still, the Guardian can pick-up and swing huge two-handed weapons the greatsword, hammer and staff.
Virtues represent a Guardian's special ability, and they are three: Justice, Courage and Resolve. These can either be passive, and apply benefits to the Guardian as he or she adventures. Or they can be activated into shouts, enhancing nearby allies' powers. For instance, Resolve regenerates health and can be shouted to apply the same buff to friends. Doing so, however, removes your self-buff for two minutes.
The professions revealed for Guild Wars 2 so far are Necromancer, Ranger, Warrior, Elementalist and now Guardian. Flannum and Peters teased that a profession for people who play sneaky rogues or assassins is on the cards, but the pair were elusive as to the others.
Join us soon on Eurogamer for our long and revealing chat with Flannum and Peters about professions, levelling and the world that is Guild Wars 2.