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New information on the Guild Wars 2 ranger: Massively's interview with ArenaNet

Rubi Bayer, @@rubi_

Yesterday's Guild Wars 2 ranger reveal caused a huge stir in the Guild Wars community. This is our third class reveal, but it can be argued that of the three classes, rangers have gotten the most dramatic and eye-catching makeover so far.

As always, the excitement and discussion among fans brought about a fair amount of follow-up questions. We at Massively had quite a few of our own, so we posed them to ArenaNet, who was kind enough to answer.

Follow along after the jump to hear what ArenaNet had to say about rangers and their companions.

Massively: Will rangers have buffs for their pets that they can put on their own skill bars, in order to increase the effectiveness of the pet's skills?

ArenaNet: Yes, rangers will have the choice to use some of their skill slots to make their pets even more effective. For example, rangers might bring Heal as One in their healing skill slot. This skill heals both the ranger and his pet but is a less effective self heal than he might otherwise bring.

The pet system sounds much more robust than the one in Guild Wars 1. Are pets only one of many options for the ranger, or is there a clear overall advantage for those rangers who have one?

Having a pet is an integral part of being a ranger in Guild Wars 2. It is possible for a ranger to fight without a pet but fighting with a pet is always more effective. If a player wants to play a ranged character without a pet then they will very likely find one of the other professions more appealing. Every profession in the game has some sort of ranged option, be it magic, a bow, or a firearm.

You mentioned a utility skill for changing pets in combat. How quickly can you use that skill, and what is the cooldown like on that?

It's a pretty powerful ability so it's on a long cooldown. We're still balancing everything so I really can't name numbers at this time.

It has to be asked: Can you ride your pets?

No. As cool as it would be to ride a shark, you can't ride your pets. You never know what we might add after launch though, because shark riding would certainly be cool.

You say pets can have "up to four" ability slots. Will some pets have fewer available?

Every pet has a potential of four skill slots but they are locked to begin with. As a pet evolves it will gain passive abilities as well as unlock its four skills slots. One thing to note is that every pet has all of its skills available at evolution level 1. You just need to unlock all four slots to have four skills equipped at the same time.

Is the specific phrasing of leveling a pet only while it's active due to the ability to level dead pets in Guild Wars?

No, we just wanted to make certain that the distinction of having three pets but only one of them active at a time was clear. If your active pet is defeated and you kill an enemy, your pet will get credit for the kill whereas your two inactive pets would not.

The rangers in the first segment of the video are firing incredibly quickly, and there are no quivers to be seen. Can we expect to see some sort of reload time for certain skills, or is that a good example of attack speed?

There is no real concept of reloading in Guild Wars 2. Bow skills recharge just like other skills in the game do. We speed up the recharge of skills when shooting our videos so that we can see more instances of that skill in a short period of time. The frequency you see a skill used in a video is not always reflective of how often you can use that skill in the game.

Thanks for your time!

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