Guild Wars 2 | Returning from the Mists: The Revenant

"Channel legendary powers to slaughter foes and unleash chaos on the battlefield". This is how the new profession in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, the Revenant, is described. Still none the wiser? Read on.

This is the first time Guild Wars 2 has added a new profession (please note in GW2 classes are called professions in order to leave those who play more than one game utterly confused). The first seeds of this were sown well before the expansion announcement. In Season 2, Rytlock Brimstone, Blood Legion Tribune of the Charr and member of the band of heroes, Destiny's Edge, take the first steps towards becoming a Revenant.

Once upon a time in the Living Story ...

Long ago, the Charr invaded the human lands of Ascalon. They destroyed humanity until, faced with imminent defeat, King Adelbern turned to sorcery. He found a way to destroy the Charr invading his city, but at a terrible price. Every human for miles around died to feed the spell. And then, tied to the land, they became ghosts. Ascalon was now in the hands of the Charr, but the humans remained to haunt them.

Rytlock sought to free the ghosts from what was known as the Foefire spell, for their sake as well as that of the Charr. With the sword Sohothin and the fragments of the crown of King Adelbern, Rytlock made his way into Barradin's Vaults to attempt a ritual. The ritual failed and the sword was swallowed by the mists. Rytlock, knowing the sword is his only hope of ever breaking the spell, jumped into the mists after it.

And that is as far as anyone is going to get before the expansion, Heart of Thorns, arrives with the end of Rytlock's tale and the new class.

What exactly did he find in the mists?

A Revenant is actually a thing outside of Guild Wars 2. By actually, I mean its a part of British folklore. So actually is actually mythically. According to the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia, a revenant is "a visible ghost or animated corpse that was believed to return from the grave to terrify the living".

In Guild Wars 2, you will have seen reference to the Mists. Its where the structured PvP lives, for example, and Fractals. Technically, however, its the space between worlds or realities where the laws of those places do not exist. It is from this that Rytlock will return. A Revenant, it seems, will be someone who returns from the Mists. What isn't clear is where the other Revenants come from. I guess they go wandering in to the Mists to find their powers - a kind of rite of passage (or they're all completely mad).

The technical bit

The Revenant will be able to use the following weapons:

  • Mace (main-hand)
  • Axe (off-hand)
  • Sword (both)
  • Hammer
  • Staff
  • Shield (Elite only)

So far, so normal. Oh and the hammer is ranged. And the staff, its melee. Just for variety.

Added to this will be the 'legends' that the class can draw on. These are heroes from the past who will bring particular powers to the Revenant. The weapon and legend choices are separate and affect different abilities. They are:

demon-stance.jpg

Dwarf Stance
(King Jalis Ironhammer)

This is the tanky legend. Live long and protect your friends. And solo things very slowly.

Demon Stance
(Mallyx the Unyielding)

If you prefer to be evil in your MMOs but aren't keen on Necromancer, then this is for you. Lots of damage over time.

assassin-stance.jpg

Assassin Stance
(Shiro Tagachi)

When is a Thief not a Thief? When its a Revenant in Assassin stance. Think ninja.

Centuar Stance
(Ventari)

You get to heal some, shield some and ... run really fast?

Dragon Stance
(Glint)

This is the Herald Elite stance. It has a shield and so is quite defensive. Its focused on boons. So you make everyone else better. Expect this to be in demand in raiding.

Apart from this the only difference is in the resource. The Revenant uses an Energy bar that starts in the middle. You generate more energy over time, but use it up with abilities. This means you will need to balance your ability usage over time, or use abilities in short bursts. The latter could be useful in Guild Wars 2. Combat tends to be highly mobile and so being able to hit hard in the brief periods between movement and then generate energy as you get out of the bad could be very useful.

Revenants also get a blindfold. Because it looks cool. Theres some explanation about focus, but really it just looks cool.

What the revenant brings to the table

The Revenant is definitely distinct from the existing classes. All the classes have a wide range of ways you can play them. The different with the Revenant is that this isn't tied to weapon choice, but to legend choice. This isn't much of a difference, but for less knowledgable players it could be a key feature that draws them to the class. If you want to be tanky, you choose Dwarf stance. You don't have to know which weapon has abilities that turn out to be tanky in the right combinations. You don't have to go and find another cool weapon to chance your role. Thats something that no other class offers.

Other than this, it has a new resource system and is visually quite different. It fits into the existing profession grouping without seeming like it will push anyone out. If anything, the only thing that might draw players away from other professions is that the Revenant is flashy. Lots of abilities have very pretty effects. Where a Mesmer might have a circle or dome that glimmers, the Revenant's has Ventari's symbol in the middle, for example. If this becomes an issue, ArenaNet can rectify it, however. And if your system struggles you might not want that amount of flashyness.