GW2 GW2 News Specializations

GW2 Hidden Arcana–Creating the Chronomancer

New blog post on the official GW2 website giving a look at creating the Chronomancer.

Hi, my name is Anatoli Ingram. Welcome to Hidden Arcana, where I’ll be giving you a closer look at the people, processes, and design philosophies behind the development ofGuild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™. This week, Game Designer Jon Peters took some time to chat with me about the mesmer’s new elite specialization, the chronomancer, and how a profession from the past became something Guild Wars 2 players can look forward to getting their hands on in the future.


Time Warp (Again)

The chronomancer first tentatively entered the Guild Wars® universe in the plans for the scrapped Guild Wars Utopia campaign [note: link is in English only], which was replaced by the Guild Wars: Eye of the North expansion while ArenaNet began development on Guild Wars 2. The chronomancer was intended to be a full profession in Guild Wars Utopia but was little more than concept art and an idea when the campaign was cancelled. At the time it was shelved, the chronomancer profession also trod somewhat on the toes of the mesmer within the original Guild Wars, as they were both mages with the power to manipulate reality.

The mesmer of Guild Wars 2 is just as fond of toying with reality and perception as its predecessor, but it also possesses the ability to twist the fabric of space and time in the form of skills like Time Warp and Temporal Curtain. Jon says that this made the chronomancer a natural choice for the mesmer’s first elite specialization.

A Bit of a Mind Flip

While the ranger’s druid elite specialization was designed around its ability to wield a staff, the chronomancer’s concept and flavor were developed ahead of its weapon choice. An early idea for the specialization’s new weapon even involved rifles, but the team eventually felt that the offhand shield would be the most thematically appropriate choice. Brainstorming led from the idea of a shield with a clockface to the concept of clock-themed wells that visibly count time and unleash their effects as the hands meet. It may be unusual for a mage to use a shield, but mesmers are already masters of repurposing traditionally nonmagical weapons—from pistols to greatswords—to suit their own ends.

Just as the structure of time within the Mists might seem fluid and ineffable to mortal minds, chronomancy has a decidedly mystical bent. The signature shield skin, which is earned through the elite specialization reward track, is an arcane mechanism that invokes various methods of telling time—clockwork, an hourglass, and celestial bodies. The elite specialization shoulder skin, which is also available through the reward track, displays glowing magical runes. Skilled chronomancers slip nimbly through the flow of time while bringing their enemies to a screeching halt; if the perception of time is an illusion, it’s one that they’re uniquely equipped to both create and shatter.


You’re into the Time Slip

While professions in the original Guild Wars skewed a bit toward the unusual, the core professions of Guild Wars 2 fulfill much broader archetypes. The elite specializations will allow ArenaNet—and players—to explore subarchetypes with a more specific flavor and playstyle. Instead of having to define a chronomancer as being sufficiently different from a mesmer, it instead provides a starting point to choose just what kind of mesmer you want to be.

The goal of elite specializations, Jon says, is to allow players to feel as though their profession has transformed into something new. ArenaNet steered clear of hard roles for professions in the core design of Guild Wars 2, but specializing in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns and beyond will allow players to more fully define their roles in combat based on the type of gameplay they enjoy. The chronomancer is highly adept at slowing and halting enemy actions while making sure time is on their side through the use of alacrity—their unique effect—and this makes them excellent candidates for controlling the battlefield.

Jon told me that while few new skills have been added since the launch of Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet now has access to improved technology to create more involved skills, and he believes the payoff for players will be worth the wait. Since elite specializations are only available to level 80 characters, this has given the development team greater freedom to create skills and abilities that reward skillful play and continued improvement, even at the level cap.

If you’re ready to see some chronomancy in action, don’t forget to tune in to the Points of Interest livestream on May 1 at noon Pacific Time (UTC-7) to catch a time-bending demonstration! If you happen to miss it, you can catch a recording on the official Guild Wars 2YouTube channel.


By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

18 replies on “GW2 Hidden Arcana–Creating the Chronomancer”

just as i am bout to redownload gw2 just to see what the hell my characters are up to. Hope my Pyromancer didnt burn the place down. such a wild fire:p but tbh the Balthazar armor and weapons made me come back to take a peak

Can’t wait to use my Wall of the Mists skin! Heck I can’t wait to use my Bolt on my Ele…Fused Hammer on my Engineer…Bifrost on my Ranger…Eternity on my Necro and Mjolnir on Revenant. 😉

i wanna use my lighting wire sword and glowing textbook shield on my mesmer, not so subtle fiery sniper rifle on a theif, icy dragon head axe on the revenant (may look cool with the Glinty thing), rainbow stick on my ranger, mercury thermometer stick on my engineer, big sky sword on my necro, and… idk what to do with the solar system wand… maybe just keep that on my guardian. 😛 JK… I think its more like exotic beserker (base item skin) everything in my case.

wooowooowooow wait – sword for ele? rifle for thief? is that confirmed or do you just dream of? :O

farming like crazy for Infinite Light and Flameseeker Prophecies for my future main mesmer )))

Flameseeker Prophecies precursor might be quite expensive on HOT release )))

Precursors will be craftable with HoT. You’ll only be able to get one, but it should be cheaper then the TP.

don’t think so Choosen cost 250 300 gold now so on release demand of it because of amazing chornomancer migth go up…
But I doubt craftable precursor will be cheeper mats with hot will go up because people will craft liek crazy ….

But this is 50% 50 % up or down

Shit now that i read this article i want… no i must change the name of
my mesmer to Fank’n Furter… (Anatoli Ingram rocky it with the references)

< col Hiiiiiii Friends….uptil I saw the paycheck saying $8736 , I have faith that my neighbour woz actualy receiving money parttime from their computer. . there friends cousin has done this 4 only about thirteen months and by now repaid the loans on there mini mansion and got a great GMC . visit their website SEE FULL DETAIL


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.