Good hunting! My name is Taylor Brooks, and I’m a designer on the skills and balance team here at ArenaNet.
Expanded weapon proficiencies are coming in 2024 during the second major update for Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure™. Each profession will have access to a new weapon and skills to utilize against the evils of Tyria! Today I’ll be introducing the ranger’s new weapon set—dual maces. Wielding maces will allow you to become a warden of nature, tapping into the power of the land to support your allies while pummeling your enemies. You’ll be able to try out all these new skills along with the new weapons for other professions during our Expanded Weapon Proficiency beta event, starting on November 28 at 9 a.m. Pacific Time (UTC-8).
Main-hand mace and off-hand mace are sibling weapons that cover different roles while also synergizing very well together. Main-hand mace has strong supportive capabilities through healing and boons. As you strike enemies with mace skills, you’ll bolster your bond with the land, gaining a new, unique effect called Nature’s Strength.
Once you reach six stacks of Nature’s Strength, the land will grant you its favor, and you’ll gain another effect called Force of Nature. Force of Nature will reset your mace cooldowns as you grow large—increasing outgoing damage, healing, and stability!
Here’s a look at a couple of the ranger’s mace skills:
Mace skill 2 is called Flourish, which damages enemies and heals allies simultaneously. Your strike causes the ground beneath you to swell with energy, and after a delay, the ground will burst. The burst deals heavier damage and heals more than the initial strike. If you hit an enemy with the initial strike, you’ll gain Nature’s Strength.
The off-hand mace is a more defensive weapon that enhances survivability while also providing some crowd control. Thistleguard (mace skill 4) is a defensive skill that rewards careful timing in the thick of combat. You cover yourself in bramble armor, gaining barrier and stability for a moment as thorns strike outward. Hitting an enemy with these thorns will increase the defensive components of this skill while also granting you Nature’s Strength.
Maces have a fun, versatile kit that can be used with many different playstyles. I’m excited to see how they can be used with existing builds, such as a support druid, or how they can lead to entirely new archetypes, like a bruiser that defeats their enemies in a moment of power!
As mentioned above, you’ll be able to try out all of the upcoming new weapon and profession combos during the Expanded Weapon Proficiency beta event starting at 9 a.m. Pacific Time on November 28 and ending at 10 p.m. Pacific Time on December 3. Please note that since this is a beta test, there will be placeholder UI, art, and audio for some of the weapon skills. Be sure to tune in to the Expanded Weapon Preview livestream on November 27 at 12 p.m. Pacific Time to get a more in-depth look at all the new weapons.
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