I’m once again indebted to Kill Ten Rats, this time for mentioning the announcement of Guild Wars 2’s final class, the Mesmer. Was I surprised to find out the final class was the Mesmer? Nope, not really. Was I surprised by any of the footage in the skill videos? Nope, they’ve been doing a pretty good job at making those. Will I ever be surprised by something? I’m shocked you have to ask! *snerk*

The Mesmer looks like fun, and I’m glad to see their illusion powers have physical manifestations, which also deal physical damage. I’m glad to see that their style and flavor remained pretty much intact from the first game, though I seriously doubt I’ll play one to any serious degree. I like them, but they still aren’t really my style. *shrug*

Of the mechanics introduced with the Mesmer, I want to praise a couple things: first of all, the confusion condition is a brilliant idea. Rather than mixing and matching a bunch of weird hexes and conditions for the same basic effect, confusion is an escalating condition that deals an increasing amount of damage whenever the target uses a skill.

Second, I really, really like the flavor of illusions: clones and phantasms being drawn from the mind of a particular enemy and lasting only as long as that enemy survives. This addresses one of the most significant problems with illusion magic throughout fantasy: the reliance on a mind and the senses. What makes it real?

The answer is pretty clear in this case: the magic makes it real, though the mind is a starting point. Sure, there are probably some intermediary powers, but it seems as though a great deal of the work is done for the spellcaster: they draw the power directly from their foes and use it against them. The illusion is just magic. Period.

It’s also encouraging to see that the Mesmer is less about interrupts. I’m sure interrupts were cool for the players who could actually use them in the first game, but I’m just not that good. I always found interrupts frustrating because my Internet connection wasn’t that good, or my timing was always off. I didn’t like them.

You give me a turn-based game that prompts you whenever you can make use of an interrupt, and I’m all there. I don’t like it when video game mechanics are based on timing, because they usually demand a level of mastery I don’t have the patience for. I’ll just play a different game, one that doesn’t require memorizing cues.

As I said, I probably won’t play as a Mesmer, but the news is encouraging. Assuming I still buy into Guild Wars 2, of course. I’m starting to reach the end of my patience. It would have been nice to have the game by the end of this year, and if it doesn’t come out by next summer, I might write it off as a tease. I won’t wait forever.