I Heart Mesmers

Right. I can’t sleep. This sometimes happens to me, and luckily it’s a Saturday so I don’t have to be up for work. If things come out of my keyboard and don’t make sense, it’s because it’s 04:00 and I’m groggy.

I played a bit of Guild Wars last night. Friday night gaming, woo hoo!

If I had to pick a favourite Profession from the eight current Professions available in Guild Wars Prophecies and Guild Wars Factions, it would be the Mesmer:

Mesmers are experts in indirect damage and subtle magic. Mesmers are best suited in preventing their opponent from achieving their goals, whether that be to heal, cast spells, or attack. In order to do this they make use of a multitude of spells, hexes and enchantments. Illusion skills makes the opponent suffer terrible hallucinations that lower their resolve. Domination skills alter some aspect of the opponent making them receive damage as a consequence of carrying out a common action, such as attacking or casting a spell. Inspiration skills allows the Mesmer to steal energy from their opponents, preventing spellcasting professions from being as effective.

Mesmers are probably the least-played Primary Profession in Guild Wars. If you are a Mesmer Primary, trying to find a PUG for a Mission, many players will tell you to go away and choose a “real” Profession. The Mesmer was featured in the 13th July edition of The Scribe, the weekly in-character Guild Wars newsletter from ArenaNet. In the article, a really great overview of the Profession was given.

The reason I like Mesmers is because of the way they do their damage. As the quote above states, they do indirect damage by manipulation of magic. They make enemies less effective by interrupting spells, degenerating Health, stealing Energy, and just stopping individuals from performing actions. It is extremely satisfying to use a Skill like Cry of Frustration to interrupt enemy Skills. Sometimes that interruption can mean the difference between having an ally lying dead at your feet and survival. However, I don’t think most players appreciate Mesmers because their spellcasting isn’t as flashy as an Elementalist nor as visble as a Monk or even a Necromancer. Most players don’t seem to understand how Mesmers work, and they underestimate the Profession. Fellow party members may find that having a Mesmer in their group will make killing things easier and faster, but when you’re out there fighting, you don’t necessarily clue in to the fact that the reason monsters die faster is because you’ve got a Mesmer with you.

Most players also seem to have this pre-conceived notion that it’s harder to play a Mesmer than almost any other Profession. Playing a Mesmer, I think, is challenging, but not moreso than other Professions. If you are a Mesmer you may have to be more aware of what the enemies are up to than other Professions, such as a Necromancer or a Warrior, but I don’t think that playing a Mesmer is inherently harder. I think being a Monk is harder, but then again I haven’t played my Monk long enough to say for sure.

If you have played Guild Wars and have come across parties with Mesmers or entire groups of enemy Mesmers, such as the large groups of Storm Riders you encounter in the Quest, The Ranger’s Path, you know how troublesome and frustrating the experience can be. They can they drain your energy so you can’t cast spells or use some Skills at all, and when you do cast, you get interrupted. They have all these DOT spells that wreak havok on your Health bar. After taking out enemy Monks, I tend to target enemy Mesmers next, unless there are Elementalists about. It does depend on the situation, though.

Right now, my cast of characters looks like this:

Necromancer/Mesmer — My Prophecies main character, and my main character overall. Khirsah was also my first Guild Wars character. This was the Profession combination I wanted to play from the very start, and I really enjoy it.

Warrior/Mesmer — Varda is my Factions main character. I tend to carry more Warrior Skills at the moment, and one or two Mesmer Skills. The original plan was to make her a Runner, so that I could make some extra platinum on the side, but this plan might change. Runners tend to be Warrior/Monks, anyway.

Mesmer/Monk — I finally created a Mesmer Primary whose appearance I am happy with. This Livia is actually Livia Mk. III. Livia I was also a Prophecies character, but she was soon deleted because I disliked her appearance. I have complained about how the facial and hair types for female Mesmers are awful, and Livia I was, unfortunately, the best I could come up with. Livia II, a Factions Mesmer, was also deleted because I didn’t like her appearance. I think ArenaNet added and/or tweaked the faces and hairstyles for female Prophecies Mesmers, because when I went back to create a new one recently, there were more and better options. Livia III still in Pre-Searing Ascalon. So far, Livia III is safe from deletion. She looks great.

Monk/Mesmer — I’m going to make Idril my farming character. A 55 Monk added my Necromancer to his party for some reason. The player was Korean and didn’t speak to me, however watching the 55 Monk in action was really impressive. I have created this character to learn how to be a 55 Monk so that I can farm gold more efficiently.

Ranger/Elementalist — An aborted mule of a character, existing for the sole purpose of item storage and Birthday Presents. Ralaar used to be my main alt, but I decided that I didn’t like her appearance after all, and that I didn’t particularly like playing a Ranger or an Elementalist. I do like having a pet, but that isn’t enough reason to play a Ranger. Ralaar has a Snow Wolf named “Toril.”

I created an Assassin in Factions with the goal to make her an Assassin/Mesmer, but I found that I didn’t like playing an Assassin Primary.

For Guild Wars Nightfall, I will be creating a Paragon Primary. Naturally, I am planning on making her a Mesmer Secondary, but during the PvP preview weekend, the Paragon/Warrior worked really well, so I may go with that combination. Paragon/Monk also seems like a good combination. We shall see, however.

Anyway, I think it’s time for me to try to get some sleep. I have rambled on about Mesmers long enough, and I hope it’s been entertaining.

  4 comments for “I Heart Mesmers

  1. Jonathan
    19 August 2006 at 02:56

    Mesmers have always been my favourite thing about Guild Wars – the way they can confuse and disrupt expectations of how the game operates I find really appealing, not that I PvP a great deal.

    My current GW main is a Ranger/Mesmer, mostly specialising in interrupts. It’s quite a busy build in-combat, but extremely satisfying against casters and the like. I tried a Mesmer/Warrior as my first character when Prophecies first came out, but didn’t really get to the point of any great synergies skillswise. He was certainly the most dashing gentleman I’ve ever fielded, however.

    Anyway, I thought I’d respond on a whim to extol my similar affection for said class. Nice post.

  2. skan
    19 August 2006 at 15:13

    Dont waste your life, Reggie

    http://www.myspace.com/captainhelmet

  3. 19 August 2006 at 18:09

    Wow – I love the website. Never played GW, but you make it sound pretty fun. Perma-linkage imminent.

  4. bigwig
    19 August 2006 at 19:53

    Actually i did find mesmers more challenging than other professions, simply because my reflexes are too slow. I couldn’t interrupt anything, and had to move away from being an interrupt mesmer.

    I’ll agree with you on their appearence. I’m still not quite happy with my mesmers looks. She’s one of my only female characters and i don’t particularly like looking at her. Not only are her hair and face slightly odd, i couldn’t have made worse choices for armour and dye colors.

    You got to love empathy though, energy surge, conjure phantasm, guilt, etc.

    My elementalist and necro are e/me, n/me as well. is it not the most popular secondary profession?

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