Guardians are devoted fighters who protect their allies and smite their enemies by drawing from the power of their virtues. True guardians are brilliant tacticians and selfless defenders who know when to sacrifice their own defenses to empower their allies to achieve victory.
The guardian's special ability is the use of three virtues. Each virtue provides a passive on-going benefit to the guardian; Virtue of Courage periodically provides Aegis to block against an attack, Virtue of Justice periodically allows an attack to cause burning, and Virtue of Resolve gives health regeneration. The virtues may also be activated by the guardian to bestow a temporary benefit to all nearby allies (including themselves), at the cost of being disabled for a long period, similar to how signet skills are used.
The Guardian has a reputation of being the most durable profession in the game, thanks to their virtues and many utility and elite skills which focus on use of boons and active defense and protecting of allies in general.
Virtues have been said to help balance the guardian; for example, they have a lower base health than the warrior profession but compensate for this with their higher health regeneration granted by Virtue of Resolve.
Unique skill types
- Symbols — these ground-based skills inflict damage to enemies and deliver a benefit to allies. Symbols persist for a few seconds and then dissipate. All symbols provide Combo Field: Light.
- Wards — a temporary line or ring on the ground that only pushes enemies that attempt to cross it (negated by Stability).
- Spirit Weapons — summon weapons that follow the guardian and can fight or aid, while also being able to be commanded for an additional effect.
- Consecration — these abilities focus on providing condition removal, projectile reflection and control for the guardian and its allies.
- Meditations — a type of utility skill that involves teleportation, healing, condition removal and AoE damage.
The guardian has five core specializations, and one elite specialization:
- Zeal is an offensive specialization, focusing on symbols, and favoring the use of greatswords, scepters, foci, and spirit weapons.
- Radiance is an offensive specialization, benefiting Virtue of Justice and conditions, and favoring the use of one-handed weapons, swords, spears, torches, signets and burning.
- Valor is a defensive specialization, benefiting Virtue of Courage and blocking, and favoring the use of maces, hammers, shields, meditations, and toughness.
- Honor is a supportive specialization, benefiting dodging and endurance, and favoring the use of two-handed weapons, shouts, reviving, and symbols as well as providing benefits to nearby allies.
- Virtues is a utility line that increases Virtue Recharge Rate, while also benefiting virtues and boons, and favoring the use of consecrations, retaliation, spirit weapons, and elite skills as well as the specialization of virtues.
- Dragonhunter changes the guardian playstyle into a hunter, providing long range combat and focusing on tactical traps.
The guardian is a soldier profession and wears heavy armor.
There are twelve possible weapon sets for this profession and two weapon sets while underwater. The guardian can equip and alternate between two weapon sets during combat starting at level 15.
The following crafting disciplines can create items that are useful to the guardian:
- Weaponsmith — Greatswords, hammers, maces, shields, spears, swords.
- Artificer — Foci, scepters, staves, tridents.
- Huntsman — Torches.
- Armorsmith — Heavy armor.
- Jeweler — Jewelry.
- Chef — Food.
In the biography step of character creation, guardians must decide which article of clothing they wear to show their dedication. This item can be the Conqueror's Pauldrons, the Fanatic's Pauldrons, or the Visionary's Helm.
With the turmoil in Elona and the spread of the Order of Whispers into other lands, more Paragon teaching showed elsewhere in Tyria. These teachings melded with other traditions, and over time, the guardians and their abilities can be found throughout the world and among all the races. They are not tied to a particular race, philosophy, or group of gods but rather to a larger concept of proactive defense, of taking the fight to a foe and protecting those you fight alongside while appealing equally to humanity's defensive nature and the charr's desire to rule the battlefield.
It's a pile of Elonian protection magic, mixed with a little monk training, wrapped up in some crazy ritualist hoo-ha from Cantha. A real grab bag of "you can't hurt me". They're called guardians, and simply put, they mean trouble.
- The guardian was previewed under this image until its unveiling on the 27th January 2011.
- The guardian was widely known among fans as "Blue Mace Lady" (or simply "BML") prior to being revealed, due to this concept art.
- The guardian was the first profession unveiled that is not present in the original Guild Wars.
- It borrows themes from a couple of the Guild Wars professions. Many of their skills share names with those used by the monk profession in Guild Wars, such as the Healing Prayers, Protection Prayers, and Smiting Prayers skills. The paragon was a heavily armored profession which also focused on party-wide buffs.
- During early development the guardian had less magical ability and was called a "knight". As the other professions became more defined, the guardian received more magical type abilities, pulling in aspects of the Guild Wars monk and paragon professions.
- Guardian on the official website.
- ^ Forum post, Martin Kerstein, Guild Wars 2 Guru
- ^ a b Massively's interview with Jeff Grubb and Eric Flannum, Massively