Specializations

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Exclusive Heart of Thorns Elite Specializations

Specializations are our brand-new way for you to progress, unlock, and grow your character's profession abilities, adding nine entirely new ways to play exclusive to Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. Elite specializations allow you to evolve your existing level 80 characters by training the ability to use a new weapon, new traits, new skills, and a twist on your standard profession mechanic. Each profession, including the brand-new revenant, will have access to one new elite specialization at the launch of the expansion.

  • Necromancer (Reaper)
  • Mesmer (Chronomancer)
  • Elementalist (Tempest)
  • Guardian (Dragonhunter)
  • Warrior (Berserker)
  • Revenant (Herald)
  • Thief (Daredevil)
  • Ranger (Druid)
  • Engineer (Scrapper)

Blog post:Specializations

In addition to our blog on specializations, we’re excited to be able to share with you how we’ll be handling trait and skill unlocks in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™.

You’ll also learn how you can gain access to elite specializations, which will turn your profession into something truly new!

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MEET THETEMPEST

With the coming of fierce enemies and Elder Dragons, you'll reach deep into the elements in order to harness some of the most pure and dangerous aspects of natural magic and even infuse them into sound. The tempest is a close-range elite specialization capable of blasting out damage and support as they charge into the fight against evil.

While the elementalist has mastered the elements of fire, water, air, and earth, the tempest looks to extend the boundaries. With the design of this elite specialization, we're aiming to add a more direct frontline support option that rewards precise positioning and the ability to turn a fight with sound decision making and deft blows. Remaining attuned to an element for a period of time will now allow you the option to overload that attunement for a short while. Once you've attained a singularity with the attunement, you can reactivate it to perform a special channeled ability.

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MEET THE DRAGONHUNTER

The dragonhunter is a ferocious big-game hunter that specializes in ranged combat and back-line support. When we set out on the search for the guardian's elite specialization, we looked for areas in which the guardian lacked a solid role. It turns out that wielding light and virtue as power sources is actually somewhat difficult to do, and a guardian's abilities are fairly short range or unconventional in their application. We thought about how the guardian might handle long-range combat and supporting allies while fighting on the back lines. To this end, we've decided to incorporate a more physical aspect into the guardian, and its powers in light-wielding have deepened to the point that they can better physically manifest objects into the world and send them flying as swift as an arrow. With all of the changes to Tyria, dragonhunters have learned to better control their abilities in the fight against Mordremoth. Instead of fire-and-forget, we'll be introducing more focused abilities that allow you to lend a better helping hand around the battlefield; virtues will become corporeal and will require you to aim them to some extent.

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MEET THECHRONOMANCER

It was a unique challenge to find an interpretation of time magic that fit within the lore of Tyria while also providing engaging gameplay hooks. Just as the mesmer is a unique take on a spellcasting class, our chronomancer does much more than distribute speed to allies while slowing down enemies. This specialization also gives players the ability to stop and even revert time through use of their abilities.

One of the core themes of the chronomancer is duality. Past versus future and fast versus slow are key themes you’ll see throughout the chronomancer’s skill set. Many skills affect both enemies and allies, reflecting the chronomancer’s ability to steal a chunk of time and use it for their own purposes.

Specializing in chronomancy grants mesmers access, through traits and skills, to a new effect called alacrity. Alacrity functions as the inverse of chill by speeding up skill recharges rather than slowing them down. Chronomancy is the only specialization allowed access to this powerful effect, and chronomancers can share alacrity with allies in limited situations, making them an incredibly powerful ally to have in any party.

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MEET THE REAPER

This devastating melee brawler is at home in battle when surrounded by as many enemies as possible, cleaving through hapless foes for life-force sustainment. Once the reaper has enough life force, they can transform into a devastating avatar of destruction that leaves enemies frozen in terror.

The reaper's thematic roots come from classic movie monsters and survival horror games. We pulled elements from slow but seemingly unstoppable horror monsters; like Pyramid Head and Jason Voorhees; to try to craft the feeling of a relentless pursuer who becomes extremely deadly once they close the distance on their prey. The greatsword is the ideal weapon for expressing this sense of dread due to its size and weight, but there was one thing that was missing; what's a reaper without a scythe?

The reaper’s first minor trait is called Shroud Knight, and it gives the necromancer a completely new set of melee-focused skills while in Death Shroud. Additionally, when activating the new Reaper’s Shroud, they also equip a giant shadowy scythe and gain some additional particle effects to signify to opponents to watch out. The skills available while in Reaper’s Shroud share some similarities with their Death Shroud counterparts and—where applicable—inherit traits that are normally applied to them. Because Reaper’s Shroud is focused on melee combat, it centers much more on skills that allow reapers to get close, stay close, and cleave enemies. 

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MEET THE HERALD

The focus of the herald is on support via boons, utility, and personal defense, and opens up use of an off-hand shield as a weapon. The shield is primarily a defensive weapon used to help survivability for you and your allies, and its skills provide both healing and boons to help sustain you in the thick of battle.

The revenant’s elite specialization lets them channel the power and essence of the legendary dragon Glint. We chose the name herald for this elite specialization because we thought it was fitting given Glint's actions in the past. In the original Guild Wars, Glint compiled the Flameseeker Prophecies, foretelling events such as the defeat of Vizier Khilbron as well as the fall of the titans and the mursaat. Much of what she predicted came to pass. She was a protector of Tyria and a herald worth heeding.

The Glint legend is all about upkeep skills, which are unique to the revenant profession. Each skill represents a facet of Glint’s power and costs energy to keep active. You can choose to activate the facets for an ongoing effect at the cost of energy, or consume an active facet for a powerful effect.

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MEET THE Daredevil

The daredevil is an evasive death machine who roams the battlefield in search of their next target. They wield a melee staff, use physical skills, and take advantage of unique dodge-roll abilities against the legions of Mordremoth. This high-flying damage dealer can engage multiple enemies at a time with area-of-effect skills, easily maintains fights in close range, and has the tools to turn a fight the moment they find an advantage. With its high potential for evading attacks, we're excited to see the daredevil zipping around the battlefield, crushing vulnerable groups of enemies and pressing the fight forward to the end.

To bolster the nature of the daredevil, the specialization will feature the use of the physical skill type, which includes bare-handed strikes and debilitating kicks. These abilities are single-target based, focusing on disabling and eliminating weakened foes. The daredevil's physical skills will have a variety of unique effects to them that aren't normally available to the thief—even a skill-based finishing move!

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MEET THE BERSERKER

The berserker is a torch-wielding elite specialization for the warrior profession. Berserkers are warriors that have tapped into a primal bloodlust to unleash their rage in the form of powerful new burst skills. After building enough adrenaline, the berserker can enter berserk mode. This mode dramatically changes the berserker's adrenaline bar, giving them access to special "primal" burst skills. These special weapon burst skills have lower recharges than their nonberserk counterparts, which allow them to be used much more often in conjunction with the shortened adrenaline bar.

The torch is the berserker's weapon of choice, and it embodies the powerful flames of war. While the guardian uses magical flames for protection and purging, berserkers use the torch as a reckless weapon of destruction, slamming it into the ground and even lighting themselves ablaze to become mobile fire fields.

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MEET THE SCRAPPER

The scrapper, the engineer’s elite specialization, uses advanced technology to dominate the battlefield. The scrapper’s new class mechanic and skills change the way you approach (or do not approach!) allies and enemies during critical times. Summon a full complement of Gyros, tiny machines crafted for a specialized purpose, with your heal, elite, and utility skills. Becoming a scrapper also changes your interaction prompt (usually done with the F key) to now summon a multipurpose Function Gyro next to a targeted downed ally which resurrecting them or beside a targeted downed foe to finish them off – at range! This allows you to keep the battle going and lock down a foe while your gyro gets your ally back into the fight or end that pesky enemy before their friends can aid them.

As a scrapper, you’ll also have access to the hammer weapon for the first time as an engineer. With a hammer in hand, the scrapper has the option to focus on front-line damage and disorienting attacks while using Gyros to wreak havoc.

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MEET THE DRUID

As a longtime ally of nature, the ranger can now channel the strength of Tyria after tapping into the primal forces of the Maguuma jungle. The druid bears the duty of sustaining their allies even through overwhelming danger - so they put their staff to use with skills that can bolster and protect their friends.

Druids draw astral forces into themselves, gaining the power to become a celestial avatar. While in this empowered form, the avatar gains access to a new set of weapon skills. Avatar abilities are on very short cooldowns and transform the ranger into a healing powerhouse, pushing the upper bounds of sustainability and recovery; in celestial avatar form a druid becomes capable of bringing a party on the brink of death back to pristine condition. The druid’s new utility, elite, and healing skills are all glyphs which will change based on whether or not the druid is empowered as an avatar.

Finally, all rangers will be able to befriend new creatures within the Heart of Maguuma: keep your eye out for Smokescale and Bristleback dinosaurs, Electric and Fire wyverns, and tigers to add to your stable of pets!

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Blog post: SPECIALIZATIONS SUMMARY

The core specialization system is now part of the live game, allowing players to experience the changes and stockpile Hero Points for their elite specializations. While elite specializations will be available to everyone who purchases Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, the core specialization system allows every player to customize their profession.

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SPECIALIZATIONS Latest

  "The Reaper, Necromancer's Elite Specialization"

Reaper: Necromancer’s
Elite Specialization

The Reaper, the Necromancer's Elite Specialization in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, is a devastating melee…

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  "The Chronomancer, Mesmer's Elite Specialization"

Chronomancer: Mesmer’s
Elite Specialization

Meet the Chronomancer, Mesmer's Elite Specialization for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. Turn your elegant…

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Dragonhunter: Guardian’s
Elite Specialization

The Dragonhunter is the Guardian's Elite Specialization for Guild Wars 2: Heart…

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Guild Wars 2 -
Points of Interest: Episode 20

Game Designer Robert Gee joins Rubi with a first look at the Guild Wars 2: Heart of…

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Guild Wars 2 -
Ready Up: Episode 33

Karl McLain joins host Josh Davis to show off the skills, mechanics, and gameplay…

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Guild Wars 2 -
Points of Interest: Episode 21

Game Designer Robert Gee joins Rubi with a first look at the Guild Wars 2: Heart…

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Guild Wars 2 -
Points of Interest: Episode 27

Rubi is joined by Game Designer Karl McLain to show off the elementalist's…

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Guild Wars 2 -
Ready Up: Episode 32

Following the presentation of the Specializations System in Guild Wars 2…

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News

Meet the Berserker: Warrior’s Elite Specialization

Berserkers are warriors that have tapped into a primal bloodlust to unleash their rage...

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Meet the Daredevil: Thief’s Elite Specialization

In the expansion, you’ll be able to specialize as the daredevil, a high-evasion death...

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Meet the Druid: Ranger’s Elite Specialization

As a longtime ally of nature, the ranger can now channel the strength of Tyria itself...

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Meet the Scrapper: Engineer’s Elite Specialization

This mechanical master brings damage and disruption to the profession through a...

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Specializations,
Part One: A Prime

In our reveal of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™, we told you that specializations…

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Specializations,
Part Two: Reward Tracks

In addition to our blog on specializations, we’re excited to be able to share with you…

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Ready Up
Core Specializations Summary

On the most recent episode of the Ready Up livestream, host Joshua Davis was joined…

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Hidden Arcana:
Creating the Chronomancer

Welcome to Hidden Arcana, where I’ll be giving you a closer look at the people…

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Meet the Reaper:
Necromancer’s Elite Specialization

Greetings, mortals and immortals alike. Today we’ll be talking about the highly…

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Meet the Dragonhunter:
Guardian’s Elite Specialization

Welcome, friends. I’m Karl McLain, and today we’ll be talking about the…

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Meet the Chronomancer:
Mesmer’s Elite Specialization

Greetings to all you butterfly-loving mesmers out there. The time has finally…

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Meet the Tempest:
Elementalist’s Elite Specialization

Welcome back, friends, for the next reveal! I’m Karl McLain, and this week we’re…

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Combat Changes:
DoTs and Dashes

Welcome, Tyrians! I’m Roy Cronacher, and I’m here to tell you about changes to…

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