By Jon Peters February 1st , 2011 We here at ArenaNet just went through a round of interviews telling people about this exciting new Guild Wars 2profession, the guardian. Not many of those conversations go by without someone wondering aloud if the guardian breaks the paradigm we set to create—a game without the Holy Trinity. “So much for no Holy Trinity,” we’d hear. “Guardian is a paladin, dedicated healer, monk, tank…” These folks are followers of the MMORPG genre who don’t get their hands on Guild Wars 2 every day, so I can’t say that I blame them. After all, what do they have to go on? Some things we said five months ago? A few anecdotes? The insistence of a few dedicated fans who defend us in forum threads? In each interview we try to sprinkle in as much stuff as we can to support our ideas, but when this information isn’t all in one place it loses its weight and impact a bit. So I thought, why not collect all this information in one place? It’s been a while since I wrote the GW2 healing and death article and frankly that article was a lot harder to write when the only profession examples I could use were the warrior and the elementalist. I said something to Isaiah Cartwright the other day that has stuck in my mind since then. I think it explains how no trinity is possible more than anything else, so I’ll relay it here: “Our professions aren’t dedicated healers, DPS, or tanks because frankly, we built a combat system that just doesn’t allow it.” Many interviewers wonder if we are worried about making such a radical change, but to me the whole thing is just common sense for what we are trying to accomplish. I’d be a lot more worried about building GW2 combat with trinity professions than without them. I don’t want to speak for other games or other combat systems, but this system is just better for our game. So what features of the combat system encourage this profession design? The answer to that is, “lot of things,” so let’s talk about them one at a time. Healing Skill slot Everyone has a dedicated slot on their skill bar where they must place a healing skill. These vary greatly and are an intimate part of the Guild Wars 2 build-making process, but ultimately they are your most efficient and reliable way to sustain yourself in battle. Why did we do this? Because we think it is a more interesting way to create sustained encounters for solo players AND groups while keeping players focused on themselves and their surroundings. Downed, defeated, and revival The downed system creates combat situations where fallen allies (and enemies in PvP) are actual strategic locations in a battle. It means that situations can change quickly and players must react to them. From level 1, every profession has the ability to revive everyone else. This means that players don’t have to rely on one profession in case someone is defeated both during and after combat. I said that the healing skill was the most effective way to keep you going in a fight, which it is. However, in a party, what is more awesome than being able to revive someone who was defeated and doing nothing back to being a contributing member of the group again? We did this because it makes combat more dynamic and social—two of the main goals of Guild Wars 2.