I've gotten in about two hours now of the Guild Wars 2 Beta. Something I always have trouble with a game is deciding what I'll play, and the fact that GW2 has a built in random character roller is icing on the cake. I've randomized five characters on the Isle of Janthir: I have a human engineer and ranger, a Charr guardian and warrior, and a Norn necromancer (for the alliterative appeal). So far, I've only taken a crack at the Guardian, but with some past experience with the Mesmer and the Warrior, I feel like I've got a good feel for one way to play these classes.
And, that way, if you know me, is as a tank (or, at least, tanky).
In the previous beta tests, I only got to play a little bit of the human world as a Mesmer. I liked the basic sword abilities, and I feel like GW2 did a really nice design job of giving unique weapon skills the class flair while keeping the functionality between them similar. For example, the warrior, Mesmer and guardian all have jump/blink sword attacks that they can use. If you see someone with a sword, you immediately know that they are a mobile damage dealer, with some utility inside it. But, they also have enough other slots that they can't be completely pigeon-holed.
Guardians, for example, get a blink that lets them blind bad guys. Their third attack also lets them block projectile attacks while attacking at a range. This gives sword guardians variable range combined with range shutdown and a gap closer, making them surprisingly mobile and versatile for a cleric/tank type. The mace abilities make you much tankier, but at the cost of the sword's beautiful mobility. Either combines well with your shield abilities to give you the staying power to hop in and out or hold the line.
Even though I try to stay away from playing the same archetype (support-y tanks), I tend to get drawn into that role because I like making a difference in nifty little ways. I liked blinking into a group of bad guys, popping my regen virtue and knocking the clump off a downed ally, then self-healing to block while the rest of the public quest did their thing. Maybe, some day, I'll understand my irresistible urge to protect squishies.
I also like the "Guest" feature, which lets you hop onto your friend's server. It helps you if you end up on the wrong server for some reason, or if you meet someone new and want to play with them a bit.
Want to play with me? Friend Zarron or tweet @mjs69002!
I knew I had a problem when I started looking at the Engineer's pistol and shield abilities to see if I could be a Tankineer. I should sign up for Tanks Anonymous.