The profession is the Mesmer, a so-far kept secret which is no longer classified news. The Mesmer is a scholar, having light-cloth armor like the elementalist and necromancer, with a style that can be best described as hybrid magic-melee.
Like in the original Guild Wars, the Mesmer will be the key resource controlling profession in the game, with various capabilities like skill-interruption, energy, and healing etcetera.
Unlike Guild Wars 1, the way the Mesmer plays is quite different. Instead of the conventional hexes, the Mesmer will cast what is being termed as ‘illusions’.
These illusions can be seen and dealt with by anyone, depending on the type, and are mostly just multiple copies or dummies of the Mesmer. These dummies can be attacked to find out if they are actually dummies or the real Mesmer.
Then there is also something called ‘phantasms’; a more specific form of illusions that do something special. For example, on the great sword there’s a phantasm that spins around with a big purple great sword in his hand and cripples guys. He forces you to deal with him. He creates a situation that you have to deal with.
To collaborate with this illusion mechanic, there are four skills called ‘shatter’, which will shatter your illusion and make them do something specific. One of them does damage.
The second on puts a debuff on your enemies called “confusion” that makes them take damage when they start casting skills. The third will stun enemies, while the fourth one will put a mirror around you that reflects attacks that come towards you.
Then there are mantras, which are cast-time spells with up to 3 seconds. Three seconds sounds a little daunting, and it is, particularly when used in the middle of combat. But they have a very short cool-down, and are ideal when dense activity isn’t too close to you.
Of the few mantras, the one that behaves slightly different is the heal one. If you use this, you have an instant heal available to you for using. However, if you need it again, you have to cast it, and casting for 3 seconds in the middle of a battle is rather foolish.
The Mesmer has a certain distinct sort of dominance over other professions when it comes to enforcing play-style. The trickery with illusions and the amount of offensive abilities through these illusions at hand offer the Mesmer great versatility.
However, the obvious disadvantage is that this class requires more strategy, timing, and clever thinking – which of course aren’t real disadvantages, but it’s just a way of stating that the class is relatively less intuitive than the other professions.
That doesn’t mean that new plays would not be able to play as the Mesmer at all; casting illusions and using them is very easy, but for perfectionism, a casual Mesmer would need to work a tad bit more to keep up.
Also, the Mesmer now is more of an active class instead of being a support profession, which was the case in the prequel. There is still a lot of room for doing support, and for anyone looking to do it; the Mesmer would obviously be a great choice.
The main change of making it a relatively more active profession was due to the fact that the Mesmer suffered in PvE games, though they were lethal in PvP games.
When compared to other classes in-terms of pure damage, the Mesmer class does actually compete with the traditional DPS. It all really depends on the build; an intelligent build will ensure a versatile Mesmer that can both act as a support and deal high amounts of independent damage.
When it comes to the end-game part, the Mesmer is all about domination. They can attack multiple enemies at once, wreaking havoc with their illusions and shattering them. Then there is also an ability they can use called ‘portal’. With it, you can create an opening and an exit, and can pass through them to quick travel.
In fact, it’s not only the Mesmer that can enter and exit, but also the allies. So you could just open a portal during a fight, and depending on the situation, flee if you’re losing, or finish off the battle, and go through the portal with other players to some other location.
All in all, the Mesmer seems greatly enhanced when compared with the one in the original game. We’re really hoping that these are all positive aspects.
Guild Wars 2 will come out sometime in 2012 (there is no fixed release date) for PC.