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Guild Wars


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Guild Wars takes the best elements of today's massively multiplayer online games and combines them with a new mission-based design that eliminates the tedium of those games. You can meet new friends in towns or outposts, form a party, and then go tackle a quest together. Your party always has its own unique copy of the quest map, so camping, kill-stealing, and long lines to complete quests are all things of the past. Within a quest you have unprecedented freedom and power to manipulate the world around you: your magic can build bridges and open up new pathways, or it can burn down forests and tear the ground asunder.




When it comes to the rich tableaus offered by massively multiplayer games, some titles are able to focus on a certain element and pull it off very well. And then there are those that can focus on several diverse gameplay elements and do a remarkable job.


Put Guild Wars, from ArenaNet and NCsoft, into that latter category. ArenaNet has streamlined the gameplay to offer players an exciting, fast-paced adventure that will allow players to achieve something even if they only have a finite amount of time to play.


Oh, and then there is that other little thing that sets this title apart from other MMOs – no monthly subscription fee. That’s right, buy it, install it and play it once a month, 24/7, or once every other month – you won’t feel that monthly pinch from a subscription service.


The Guild Wars title comes in two versions: the regular box and the super deluxe – a.k.a. the Collector’s Edition. The gameplay is the same and you do get a “divine aura” (favor of the gods, apparently other players can see it) for having the Collector’s Edition, but what is also included for the $30 extra are a few pretty cool items. There is a 128-page hardcover book that shows the Art of Guild Wars, including paper dolls of the classes and the concept art that evolved into the mobs and settings for the game. There is also a Guild Wars headset, with the headphones that hook around the back of the head and over the ears (for comfort) and a microphone (the Internet Chat Headset, made by Logitech and complete with a GW logo), along with a three-month subscription to Speakeasy-hosted Teamspeak service. And there is one more little goody in the box – a CD of the Guild Wars soundtrack featuring 28 of the themes created by British Academy Award winner Jeremy Soule. Do not expect anything that gives a distinct in-game advantage (well, the headset and Teamspeak is very good stuff for PvP-team combat), but relish, rather, in the added materials.




Before getting into the aspects that mark this as a truly enjoyable and entertaining experience, perhaps the downside of the game should be addressed – if there can truly be said that there is one. The game, less than a week into release, does suffer from some lag spikes wherein you target an enemy and double click to attack and *blink* you are standing 20 feet away from where you were and may be in the mob’s face, or somewhere else. The maps of the RPG section of the game do have invisible walls, which prohibit you from jumping off a small cliff and into combat, and, more or less, guide you through the maps to destinations. The more of the world you discover, the more options open up in terms of the availability of crafted materials, skills and quests.


And speaking of crafting … For those looking for a robust crafting experience – look elsewhere. NPCs (non-playing characters) do the crafting here, players collect the resources from adventuring, using a limited-charge salvage kit to break down unequipped items into primary crafting materials. You can also buy an identification kit to solve the riddle of what that blue-highlighted item may be. It could be a precious item worth decent coin, or highly salvageable, or your next weapon as you progress through the game.


Also, if you are not fond of PvP combat (player-versus-player), be forewarned – this is a game that is PvP-centric (as in lots of it), and even if you choose not to indulge in the robust PvP aspect, you will still have to fight other players for the right to advance early in the game (Ok, it’s one battle, and that will be addressed in a moment).


For those that do relish in PvP, Guild Wars offers a robust, involved system with a playing ground that will suit most gamers in terms of balance.


To the back story, which underscores most of the game’s RPG (role-playing) elements …


The land of Tyria was a somewhat peaceful place. A great wall separated the people of the pristine lands from the warrior race known as the Charr (think bipedal bovine-based creatures with severe hatred for humans). The Charr kept attacking at the wall without success until they found a powerful magic that devastated the entire world. It was known as the Searing. Pristine valleys are wastelands with mutated creatures. Villages are ruins and the people scattered.


In Guild Wars, players can choose to build either an RPG character or PvP-only avatar. The latter is for the arenas, but comes with a finite skill set, which can be built upon as you unlock skills with an RPG toon. The RPG toon begins at level 1 and adventures through the world, beginning in the pre-Searing world. After running some quests, building up some armament and collecting a few spells (players can move on at almost any stage they wish), a visit to an official in Ascalon send players into a trial, a PvP test against another team, with the winner moving forward in the game. That means a two-year jump to the post-Searing world. PvP-only characters are automatically at the level cap (20), and only capable of competing in PvP combat in either a randomly drawn team setting, or a tournament arena where you can pick teams of up to eight players. There is also, as the name would imply, guild-versus-guild combat. The game also sports a ladder ranking system. And yes, you do gain experience points and can earn skill points and fame points in fighting other players.




Each character in Guild Wars is a dual-class character. The character classes are warrior, elementalist, ranger, necromancer, mesmer, and monk. Skills can be bought with skill points and gold (the coin of the realm) from skill trainers, or acquired through the quests one can find scattered throughout the land. If a player is a warrior/monk, chances are they are tough in melee combat with great self- and team-healing skills. Necromancers have the ability to raise bone horrors (a short-lived monster minion) from the dead to bolster the army numbers, while rangers are a pet class in addition to a host of ranged abilities and traps.


GW has achieved a pretty good balance in the six professions, and players can likely find that build that works well for him or her with only marginal time spent rebuilding and looking about.


The mission system is surprising deep. Whether entering the pre- or post-Searing worlds, players will find a variety of missions to run, with some of them taking them all over the unlocked areas of the world. You unlock the world by traveling there. There are certain areas, which you can zone into, that are community driven. In Guild Wars, all the adventuring areas, and the arenas, are instanced. Only the cities or camps are community. When one of the city areas, like Ascalon, gets too full, the servers create another district. During the first weekend, at one point, Ascalon in the pre-Searing world had 190 districts.


Fortunately, the chat system is good, and you can find players easily. Should a player log in with a different avatar, if you have him or her on your friend’s list, it will show that person online as a different avatar. If you wish to adventure, but do not have friends to journey with, and do not really relish a pick-up group of other players, you can load up your team with henchmen from the towns. They will journey with you, and the AI is really quite solid.


The controls of Guild Wars are very well done. You can use either the mouse or the keyboard. Players can only carry sets of eight skills into battle. You may have 20 or more to choose from, but before leaving a community zone, you preload the eight skills you wish into the hotbar (quickly accessed with the 1-8 number keys). Once you are in an instanced zone, you cannot move the skills. They are locked into place. Therein lies one of the challenges of the game. You can take a resurrection signet with you, and a self-healing spell or unguent, but that only leaves room for six offensive or defensive skills. Warriors and rangers get attack boosts from stances, and rangers have access to traps, and if they have a pet and wish to use it, rangers need to slot the charm animal skill. With a primary and secondary profession, choosing what skills to load can be tough. Compound that with the team philosophy and you begin to see the interplay of characters within the game.




Guild Wars has also done a great job of allowing players to jump from one place on the map to another quickly. If you have unlocked an area, simply open the map, click on the town or camp you wish to travel to and you are there.


The sounds of Guild Wars are very good, with a solid musical score and environmental effects. The combat sounds are also very well done.


Graphically, Guild Wars is a feast for the eyes. The world and locations are exquisite. The special effects are also a treat. The avatars, unlike other games, take up a real (collision) presence in the world, and you cannot clip through them to get to other players. This can have a tactical edge in PvP combat.


The game does have a few stumbling points, but nothing that deters from a thoroughly enjoyable, fast-paced adventure in a wonderfully rendered world. Guild Wars does a lot of things very right, including some of the best PvP in a current MMO, and does so with a flair and style that is addicting and a joy to play. Oh, and there is no monthly subscription fee either – and that is a HUGE plus.



Review Scoring Details for Guild Wars Collector's Edition

Gameplay: 9.0

There are some lag spikes and using the mouse alone for targeting is an acquired discipline. But the action is fast paced and there is a plethora of missions that can be undertaken to keep players involved and challenged. The instanced zones are a definite plus.


Graphics: 9.5

The environments are superb and the special effects are very well done. Invisible walls are a pain, but that aside, this is a game that is a very nice treat for the eyes.


Sound: 9.0

The musical score is very good, and the supporting cast of environmental effects and combat sounds do a great job.


Difficulty: Medium/Hard

Enter an arena for challenges sure to keep you on your toes and learning the nuances of PvP. Putting together the right skill set for the setting, and your team, only adds to the intrigue and challenge.


Concept: 9.3

A tournament ladder-ranking system, strong PvP, free subscription, instanced zones, lots of quests – sounds like ArenaNet covered most of the bases with this one.


Multiplayer: 9.1

You can “hire” (no cost) henchmen to fill out an adventuring party, but the core is team play, team combat and guild combat. The game makes it easy to contact friends and meet up.


Overall: 9.3

This is a very strong game, with exciting content, and wonderful challenges. Whether you pop it in for 10 minutes or 10 hours, the game has a wealth of content to explore and the PvP is rather addicting.



For more screencaps, visit these sites:







Cj, Dowe, and myself will prolly add our own personal reviews as we play the game more.

But defiantely after fifteen-minutes of gameplay, I'm already becoming swiftly addicted to this game!!


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I thought my computer would be a poo face, but we just got a new graphics card. and, since we already upgraded the ram a few months earlier, it plays it very very nicely.


oooh you should get ittttttttttttttttt.....



Ps mad mad mad love and props to dowe for schooling us in the way of computers. love you!




expect more stupid screen caps in the near future...

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  • 2 weeks later...

BWAHAHA thank you so much for that nick!


and Dante! oh praise you! You must let me know your name so we can lyke, party together omg. If you like, you could join the Guild Dowe cj and I are apart of! It would be so lovely.


I have plenty of more screen caps to post of my character. she's a screencap whore bwaha.

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heh. pwn.



aaawh Mine and Dowe's PVP Characters are cuddling.



Guild Hall Pow wow.



Cj and I. look at us hotties!



Hotties 4 lyfe.



Myself, Dowe and Cj.




What's silly is that by the time I get around to posting these, Cj and I have already changed armor and I've gone up some levels lol. oooooh well. enjoy!



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What is your character's nameeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee??

If you need any help, lemme know!

I would do as many quests as possible while you're in the "past". you don't have to, but once you come to the future, you won't be able to go back.


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I'm an elementalist. My first name is Fieros, I can't remember the last. It was something medievalish...i guess. Or as medi- as I'd assume. I'll get on tonight and let you know.



What second profession should I go for? I am thinking about being a necromancer.


Where do I go to create weapons and/or get them identified? I've got some stuff I can sell but it's unidentified.


Is there something to change eye color...it's not a big deal but it'd be cool...I think you can buy dye for your hair right?


Should I put these in ask MH? :D

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What second profession should I go for? I am thinking about being a necromancer.


Where do I go to create weapons and/or get them identified? I've got some stuff I can sell but it's unidentified.


Is there something to change eye color...it's not a big deal but it'd be cool...I think you can buy dye for your hair right?


Should I put these in ask MH? :D


Cj is an elementalist/Necromancer, and I'm the other way around (Ne/E). You can pick whatever you like for your second proffession, but you definately want one that can compliment your primary. Once more, before you speak to sir tydus to "leave everything behind" you need to go around and do as many quests possible. There will be some NPCs that will lend you temporary powers to perform the quest, and if you like what you see, you can choose that as your proffession. But ONCE YOU PICK A SECONDARY, YOU CANNOT RE CHOOSE. To be sure you want it before you get it lol.


As for unidentified weapons/items, you can purchase an identification kit from a merchant. it costs 100G and has I believe 25 uses. you can use this kit to identify it. Most times it'll uncover hidden things about it, and make the value go up (ie 3g to 20g). most things don't sell for much, so at least this will help a bit.


DO NOT HOWEVER SELL DYE TO MERCHANTS. store it hoard it, whatever you gotta do, but they only give you 1g for it anyways. save it until you come to where we are. there is a dye merchant that will give you usually at least 100g or more. and people will pay a high price where you are to purchase it.

As far as changing your eye color, i'm not sure it's something you can do, but I haven't asked anyone or tried it myself. For hair... once again I'm not sure. I'll ask someone in my guild though :D you can dye your clothes, although I would wait until you get more armor... but it's your choice :D Once you get to "the future" you'll definately want better armor anyways.


I think here is the best place for Qs


oooooooh I can't wait to play with you! If you want any help with quests/missions, I'm down yo.

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haha of course, but... we aren't in the same place :(

Unless you wanna rush through the first part of the game. which you can do. any spells and stuff you don't pick up now, you can pick up later.

I believe dowe is a ranger/mesmer bytheway.

:D oooh i'm so excited! Cj promised we would play tonight for as long as I liked (heh you would think it would be the other way around).


Rasptina Fury, Ever Malice, and Trias End. me cj and dowe

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yeah, maybe I'll take my time in the beginning, I already got to level 3 but I 'm sure you guys are further down. I'm gonna go for Necro as my second profession. we'll still stay in touch then, I'm taking down names. :D

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We just spent an hour and a half on a damn mission just to get our asses raped. AND right before it was completed, too!

Damn Henchman don't know how to do shit! We need more real people.






On the other hand, got some gorgeous screencaps.

Yeah, I'm a sillyface.

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***Disclaimer: These ramblings are only for those cool enough who are playing Guild Wars. As far as I know MH, CJ, and Dowe are the only ones that will understand this. Thank you***


I still can't find any farking crafters. I don't think they exist in my place yet. I have a bunch of crafting materials, and I'm going around getting items for those collectors, but some of the stuff they give is crap. I've been doing it mostly for the specific articles of clothing that they offer as a trade so that I can get some new digs.


But anyway, I'm by Reagent's such and such that place to the S.E. getting worn belts for another collector and I think there is a town near there too. I want to use up those crafting elements because they are taking up too much space in my backpack.


What items are good to stock up on this early in the game? I'm getting a bunch of bones, wood planks, glittering dust, and a couple of other items. Let me know. Sorry I'm sounding like such a newb. :D

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You don't sound like a n00b! Remember, I'm still a n00b myself hehe.

Definately save any crafting items. I don't think there is a c rafter where you are, but when you come to our part there is in pretty much every major town.


As for as bones and stuff, I believe those are collecting items, find the collector. save up your money fo shizzle, and just sale the rest haha. Armor is always good to have, but I personally wouldn't worry about it until you come to the future. There are better armor and weapons people here.


as for dye? save that shit :D and if you want green, i'll trade it to you for purple because i'm cheap and don't wanna buy it bwahaha.

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Oh yeah! I found some yellow dye. Who drops dye? or is it random?


I like red and black so I'll be looking to keep those :D


I think some of the bones I've collected are for crafting...some bone armor or something would be wicked awesome. You seen anything like that around?

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