Guild Wars (long post)

Posted by: GuybrushThreepwood

Guild Wars (long post) - 04/24/09 09:48 AM

Happy 4th Anniversary, Guild Wars.

Anet is celebrating by adding more storage, Zaishen Quests, Zaishen Menagerie and coming April 28th, for those who have actually been playing 4 years (only 7 months for me), a new series of mini pets for Birthday presents.

For those who haven't played it, Guild Wars is a multiple player online game. It has two modes, Role Playing (RPG) and Player versus Player (PVP). For RPG mode there are 3 campaigns and 1 expansion pack. RPG characters start at level 1, with starter armor and weapon. PVP characters are level 20 with max armor and max damage weapon. RPG characters can go PVP but PVP characters cannot go RPG. Level 20 is the maximum level. After level 20, RPG characters gain extra skill points.

Guild Wars: Prophecies takes place in an European style setting and has the longest story (some people think its too long, I don't, I've beaten it 4 times). There are 6 core professions to chose from, these 6 are also available in the two other campaigns.

Guild Wars: Factions is Asian. You will have to chose which of two factions to help (actually you can help both). The Guilds are based on these two factions, Luxon and Kurzick. These two cultures are constantly at war. When you join guild it will be aligned with one side or the other, this does not mean you can't do both sides quests or missions but in Aliance Battles you will always be on the side of your guild. I think Factions is the hardest of the three campaigns (others think its Nightfall). Factions introduces two character professions (classes) only available in Factions (though characters can leave to other campaigns and expansion pack), Assassin and Ritualist.

Guild Wars: Nightfall takes place in an African setting. Introduces two new character professions, Dervish and Paragon, which can only be created in Nightfall but which can journey to other campaigns and expansion pack. Nightfall also introduces computer controled Heroes, which once unlocked for a character, can be chosen to accompany that character during quests and missions (in all 3 campaigns and expansion pack). Heroes differ from henchmen, in that player chooses hero's skills and can change hero's equipment. Each player character can only have up to 3 heroes in his/her party at a time.

Guild Wars: Eye of the North expands existing campaigns with new areas, new quests and missions. Must create a Prophecies, Factions, or Nightfall character which can journey to the Eye of the North upon reaching level 10 (though better to wait until level 20). A major portion of the Eye of the North storyline only makes sense if you've played Prophecies, you won't understand Gwen if you have not met her as a child in Prophecies. Eye of the North introduces new NPC races which will be playable characters in the upcoming Guild Wars 2.

Character professions:

Warrior, specializes in sword, axe, or hammer, can use shield if not using hammer

Ranger, different types of bows, can have a pet which fights

Monk, healer, protector or smiter

Elementalist, specializing in air, fire, earth or water magic

Mesmer, illusion, domination, inspiration magics, first two damaging magic, third supporting other characters

Necromancer, death (mostly undead minions), blood or curses magic

Assassin (Factions), uses twin daggers, less armor than warrior

Ritualst (Factions), can attack with weapons spells, lightning spells, summon spirits or do healing (though not as good as monk)

Dervish (Nightfall), armed with scythe, which can hit 3 targets at once

Paragon (Nightfall), spear and shield, number of shouts which aid other characters in party

The primary profession is chosen when you create your character. Each campaign has a point at which you will choose a secondary profession. Your armor will always be that of your primary profession (warriors have best armor, elementalists worst). There is on attribute of each profession that is only available for your primary profession. Example: strength is only available for primary warrior, so warrior/ranger would have strength but ranger/warrior would not.

Warrior: strength
Ranger: expertise
Monk: divine favor
Elementalist: energy storage
Mesmer: fast casting
Necromnancer: soul reaping
Assassin: critical strike
Ritualist: spawning power
Dervish: mysticism
Paragon: leadership

(edit) I forgot the mention that in each campaign there comes a point at which your character gains the ability to change their secondary profession. The primary profession cannot be changed. When you change your secondary you gain the core skills for that new profession and temporarily lose the skills from your original second. Don't worry if you change back all the skills you had become available again. A Prophecies or Nightfall character can get Assassin or Ritualist as a secondary by going to Factions and doing the required mission. A Prophecies or Factions character can go to Nightfall and do the quest that allows changing second to Dervish or Paragon. In Prophecies to change secondary you have to do a quest given by an NPC expert in the profession you want, 4 quests if you want to open all four professions you haven't tried. In Nightfall and Factions you pay 500 gold pieces for each profession you want to try, that's 3 platinum pieces to access all 6 professions. My Prophecies characters get all core professions, but so far my Factions characters have only bought 1 new secondary and my Nightfall none.

Warriors, assassins and dervish are melee types, go charging into battle. Warriors have best armor (against physical damage) and can take most damage before dying. Assassins can chain attacks doing large amounts of damage to a single target (spiking). A dervish can hit multiple targets with a single scythe sweep. Although some warrior skills do use energy, most warrior attack skills use adrenaline instead, unlike energy which a character starts with, adrenaline has to be generated during combat. Each time a warrior strikes some adrenaline is gained, also each time a warrior is hit adrenaline is gained.

Ranger and Paragon are ranged attackers, ranger with bow, paragon with spear. A ranger can also have a pet which will attack its enemies. The other professions are spell casters, who should stay in the background casting spells at targets being distracted by the melee types. Rangers have best armor protection against elemental damage, warriors worst, so ranger will survive fire spells longer than warrior, but warrior can take more sword hits than ranger. Like warriors, paragons have adrenaline skills which don't function until the paragon has been in combat for awhile.

Elementalists have most energy (they need it), warriors least. Fire spells tend to hit multiple targets. Air spells (lightening) often have armor penetration increasing their damage to a single target. Water and earth skill are more defensive. A fire experimentalist is often referred to as a nuker, for ability to hit multiple targets with single spell. Air elemantlists are better spikers (taking down a single target fast). Fire spells cost more energy and are slower to cast then air.

Mesmers are difficult to play and very annoying when fighting them. Enemy mesmers tend to drain energy and do damage at same time, making them hard to combat if you're skills are energy based.

Necromancers are best known as Minion Masters, using death magic to summon undead minions to attack their enemies. Unlike heroes and pets, which can be directed at specific targets and can be made to retreat, minions will attack nearest target and cannot be called off, they fight to the death. Not all necros are MM's though. Cursing necros have skills that ignore armor when doing damage. Blood necros can provide extra energy to other spell casters.

Most other players expect monks to be healers but monks can also be protectors, using skills to prevent damage in the first place, or smiters, specializing in skills that do armor ignoring holy damage.

Ritualists can do damage with lighting skills, enhance their own or other players weapons, summon spirits to fight for them or do some healing (though not usually as good as monk). Unlike minions which follow the necromancer, spirits are rooted in place and don't follow the ritualist unless he/she has a special skill to teleport them.

Its possible to combine any two professions but of course some combinations are more useful than others. For the most part combining melee and spell caster doesn't work well since melee characters don't have much energy. There are a lot of warrior/monks the theory being monk provides self healing, but I find that the warrior strength skill "Lion's Comfort" (which uses adrenaline not energy) works better for warrior than using warrior's limited energy on monk spell, without divine favor.

I have played all professions. I have most experience with elementalist. Least with ritualist. I have characters in all three campaigns, have beat Prophecies four times and Factions once. Have not beat Nightfall or Eye of the North yet.

Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Guild Wars (long post) - 04/24/09 04:31 PM

Guybrush, that is a great overview bravo

Do you play other MMORPG's or just this one?
Posted by: mashpotatobaby

Re: Guild Wars (long post) - 04/25/09 03:03 PM

Is this the place to ask about Paradise problems?
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Guild Wars (long post) - 04/25/09 05:46 PM

mashpotatobaby, are you talking about the adventure game Paradise?
Posted by: GuybrushThreepwood

Re: Guild Wars (long post) - 04/26/09 08:07 PM

Just this one. I don't have time for another one.

Posted by: mszv

Re: Guild Wars (long post) - 04/27/09 01:33 PM

Hi all,
Good description of the roles, but I think it's helpful to mention the architecture of the game. Guild Wars is a multiplayer RPG, but it's a bit different from other MMORPGs. You are with people in the towns and outposts, but when you go adventuring in the areas for quests or missions, you are only with people you bring into the area with you, or by yourself. You are in your own "instance" of an area. You can either play with people or not play with people. For quests or missions that are hard, you can bring real people or computer generated characters (heroes or henchmen) to help.

Guild Wars is what is called a "skill based" game. Yes, you can bash monsters with a sword, but you also acquire skills that you use - scaring monsters, raining down fire, all that. You have to pick what skills to use, before going into an instanced area. Fortunately there is lots of help available, on the web - Guild Wars Wiki and Guild Wars Wikia are good sites. Guild Wars has a great story line, and you really get to experience it.

I'm not going to talk about the PvP (player versus player) part. It's apparently quite good, but I don't happen to do it.

It can also be helpful to be in a "guild" (collection of players). Your guild can be part of an "alliance" - group of guilds. There are things Guilds can do with regards to PvP (player versus player) but my guild is very low key. We don't care if you play a lot or a little, do PvP or not. Many of the people in my Guild and Alliance (ex Uru folks, but others came later) have been playing Guild Wars for a long time, and are GW experts. I'm the newbie but I still feel at home.

Guilds can purchase (in game money) Guild Halls, which are not halls, they are small islands - a private space for your Guild to use. You can also visit the Guild Halls of the other Guilds in your Alliance. Sometimes we have on-line parties in our Guild Halls.

Sometimes I write about Guild Wars on my blog. Here's a post where I compare the archictecture of Guild Wars and Uru, when Uru was a multiplayer game. You'll also find other posts abotu GW, on my blog.

I'm what you might call a casual but dedicated MMORPG player. I love the experience, but I don't play a lot, and I tend to play solo most of the time. Guild Wars works very well for me in this regard. I keep the Alliance chat window open so I can occasionally talk to people. I go to events sometimes, but I generally play alone at my speed. GW is set up so I can do this, and I never miss anything. It's a combination of a private and a public world that is right for me. It's also incredibly beautiful. I love it.

And remember, after you buy the game box, there is no monthly fee.

Posted by: Becky

Re: Guild Wars (long post) - 04/28/09 02:15 PM

Thanks Guybrush and mszv. How long does it take for a newbie to grasp everything well enough to enjoy the game?
Posted by: JMartin

Re: Guild Wars (long post) - 04/30/09 09:28 PM

Excellent review Guybrush, I've been playing Guild Wars since beta weekends 4 years ago. It's a great game.

@Becky, I would say the biggest factor in how long it takes for a new player would be what campaign you start in. Each one starts characters out in a different environment and have their pros and cons. When I started playing it wasn't long before I was enjoying it.
Posted by: Becky

Re: Guild Wars (long post) - 04/30/09 09:37 PM

Thanks JMartin!
Posted by: JMartin

Re: Guild Wars (long post) - 04/30/09 11:44 PM

If you are interested in trying it out, you can go to the following and sign-up for a free trial.

<link removed>

It will allow you to play the game in the Prophecies campaign for 15 days or 10 hours of game play, which ever comes first.

Once you sign-up it will tell you where to download the client and how to log in.
Posted by: Becky

Re: Guild Wars (long post) - 05/01/09 08:45 AM

Posted by: GuybrushThreepwood

Re: Guild Wars (long post) - 05/01/09 12:36 PM

Prophecies puts new characters in in what is essentially a giant training ground, once you leave it you can't get back to it. Factions and Nightfall also have their training grounds but you can return to them.

Some people have characters that never leave Pre-Searing Prophecies, but I get bored with it and have to move on. Characters that don't leave pre miss out on most of the holiday events.

The hardest part of Guild Wars is finding a guild that actually cares about helping its members. I haven't found one yet who's officers weren't concerned primarily with themselves. It seems the more experienced the player the less willing to help others they are. I've been playing for 8 months and I've found that the people who have played since the game came out 4 years ago like to brag more about their experience than use it to help the less experienced. The less experienced players are the ones who are most willing to help, even when they can't actually. Tip: don't get in a guild where the officers are married or parent and child.