As the weeks get closer to the eventual release of Heart of Thorns expansion for Guild Wars 2, Arenanet has announced that they will release details on each classes specialization. If you aren’t familiar with what is going on in the Guild Wars universe, the new expansion is modifying classes and giving them specializations. These are different weapons for each class that will fundamentally change the way you can play the game with any given class. So far the only two announced specializations is the Mesmer, which I will talk about below and the necromancer, which the only details we have are that they are getting a greatsword specialization.
The first specialization with details is the Chronomancer for the Mesmer. The mesmer will gain access to the off hand shield and will have access to a various amount of time manipulation skills. One new effect that only the mesmer will have access to and be able to distribute is called alacrity. Alacrity is a speed enhancement for your skills so skills will proceed to countdown faster. Robert Gee who wrote the details on the class said this:
One of the specialization’s minor traits allows chronomancers to grant alacrity to themselves every time an illusion shatters. Maintaining a good shattering cadence can greatly enhance your effectiveness over a prolonged battle. Phantasm builds shouldn’t feel left out, though, since other skills can give alacrity to your illusions, making them attack even more often.
So it looks like mesmers should be able to activate abilities and would be able to speed up allies with alacrity as well. A well used chronomancer in pvp or WvW could turn the tides of a very close battle especially with the other skills they will get.
One of the skills mesmers will have access to with the shield is the Tides of Time. The skill essentially launches a wave/wall towards enemies and allies which will freeze enemies and grant quickness to allies. After the wall reaches the edge of its range it will return and repeat the same thing over again. When mesmers gain chronomancer they will also have access to new skills including wells that will do various effects in time such as making enemies return to their previous location while doing damage (sort of like somoene having a lag problem in original Counter-Strike). There are 4 new wells so far, Well of Recall, Well of Precognition, Well of Action and Gravity Well which is an elite. So all your last 4 slot skills can be well abilities if you would like. According to Anet this is what the Well of Precognition does:
The Well of Precognition creates a well that alters the future of allies in the area, causing their attacks to become unblockable. When this well ends, affected allies can read the future for a short duration and evade all incoming attacks. Using this well tactically can help a team bust through defense-heavy foes while also protecting allies from counterattacks.
The final ability chronomancers will get is a new shatter skill for illusions called Continuum Split and Continuum Shift. Using the skill will cause you to sacrifice all your illusions and will remove you from the “flow of time” for a certain time period based off the illusions shattered. When you return all the chronomancer’s health, endurance and all cooldowns return back to the way they were when it was first activated. This means that skills could be used twice including the elite skill.
Based off this information the potential for all the classes specializations seems absolutely incredible. There will be 2 more the rest of the week as the date gets closer to the release of HoT. Here is the video for a couple of the chronomancer skills: