Interview: meet Guild Wars 2's acrobatic Ranger

Tom Francis at

The purpose of this shot seems to be to demonstrate the human's corset technology.

PC Gamer: Does the Ranger have any kind of special mechanic in the way that the Warrior has adrenaline?

Eric Flannum: The pet is basically the Ranger’s mechanic. The Ranger can control the pet in combat, give it orders, set its stances, all of that. And we thought that was enough for the Ranger to have to manage in combat. He didn’t really need another special mechanic.

PC Gamer: What level of control do you have over the pet? Do you specifically tell them which targets to attack?

Eric Flannum: Yeah you can tell them which targets to attack, you can control their basic AI stance, you can have them come follow you, you can tell them to stay in a spot; basically the kind of level of control that you saw Rangers having over pets in Guild Wars 1.

PC Gamer: Do you teach them new powers as they level up?

Eric Flannum: Yeah, and the pets get stronger as they gain Evolution Levels yeah.

Aaaaaaaaaah! Oh, it's an Asura Ranger. Aaaaaaaaaah!

PC Gamer: What kind of new abilities can they gain?

Eric Flannum: The Snow Leopard can gain stealth, and the ability to stun guys when it attacks from the rear, and things like that.

PC Gamer: And how do you get new pets?

Eric Flannum: We have spawned around the world what we call... you can tell it’s a pet that you can charm if it’s a 'juvenile' animal. So like you’ll go around and see a juvenile grizzly bear, you know that if it’s juvenile you’re a Ranger, you can go up and get a context sensitive reaction to it where you can charm it. All you have to have is an empty pet slot for the pet and find a juvenile animal, and you can charm it.

PC Gamer: Cool. It annoyed me in World of Warcraft that as a Hunter, I couldn’t tell if I could charm something except by going online and looking it up on Petopia.

Eric Flannum: Yeah, so look out for juvenile animals in the world and then you know what you can charm.

Nice of the Kilrathi to show up.

PC Gamer: Could you give me any examples of utility skills for the Ranger?

Eric Flannum: A lot of the Ranger’s utility skills have to do with the pet; things that buff the pet. One of the skills rezzes the pet almost instantly. Traps, a lot of traps, so things that you saw in Guild Wars 1: Spike Trap, Dust Trap, that kind of stuff. Spirits, which the Ranger had in Guild Wars 1 also, which are temporary Nature Spirits that can get put in the area and then have an effect on an area.

One of the things we’ve tried to do, when we’ve taken a profession like the Ranger and moved them over from the first game, we’ve tried to maintain as much of the flavour and feel of that profession as we can. And so you’ll see a lot of the same sorts of things that Rangers had available to them in Guild Wars 1 so, you know, traps and spirits and things like that. In the cases of some of our future professions that we haven’t talked about yet – in cases where we felt the profession was just too different - we would actually rename the profession to something else. So you’ll see some professions that we’ll announce later on that are similar to something that we had in Guild Wars but aren’t quite the same.

PC Gamer: Eric, thanks very much.

Our full preview of Guild Wars 2 is in the current issue of PC Gamer UK, on sale now from our online shop with free postage. We also have interviews online about the Guild Wars 2 death and healing systems, the Warrior class and the Traits system. And finally, the official site has clips of some of these skills in action.

Eric's allusion to new classes that evolved from old ones is intriguing - I just hope the Necromancer makes it back in some form. I can't live without Corpse Explosion.