An Introduction to Guild Wars
Table of Contents:
For those of you who are familiar with MMORPGs, Guild Wars is going to be a pleasant surprise for you. You can completely forget everything you're used to in all of those other games and get prepared to feel a whole new experience.
For those of you who are new to gaming, Guild Wars is by far the best choice to start you off and is sure to keep you for years to come.
First, let us throw out the entire concept of an MMORPG (Mass Multi-player Online Role Playing Game) for Guild Wars is no such thing. It is the first and the leader of a new gaming concept called a CORPG (Competitive Online Role Playing Game).
So what is the difference? Everything. Anet (Arenanet) has really done their research in creating Guild Wars. They've taken everything that makes MMORPGs such a drag and time sink; everything that can take the fun out of them and eliminated it all resulting in a truly unique game that is fun, involving, and highly competitive at the same time.
Say goodbye to sitting for hours in one spawn spot, waiting for random spawns and killing the same boring monsters repeatedly merely to get a small amount of gold and a few basic drops (or waiting for that one uber drop that has a .5% chance to drop). Say goodbye to someone else or a whole group running in and taking your camp over (which you probably got lucky to find empty in the first place) and kill stealing to rob your XP or items leaving you out in the cold. Say goodbye to having to farm in order to get ahead in the first place!
That's not to say you can't farm in Guild Wars, it's just done differently and far less monotonously. Check out the next section about zones to learn more!
Guild Wars is based on instanced zones and outposts. There are two different types of outposts: towns and missions. Each outpost allows you to select which district you wish to enter (which includes international districts from other countries) and each district allows multiple people in the same area-just like typical MMORPGs. These outposts are rest points along your travels which make it easier to move from quest to quest and encourage exploration of the gorgeous world Anet has created. Inside of the outposts you'll find NPCs which offer quests (which, by the way are all part of a fully interactive storyline that Guild Wars has created for you to participate in), merchants, crafters, henchmen, storage vaults, the chance to socialize, join emote parties, and opportunities to participate in a highly active trade market. Not to mention the beautiful scenery.
When you enter a mission outpost it resembles a town but there is also a mission available in it. When you enter a mission it is an instanced zone meaning that only you and all members of your team are there. All of the monsters are all yours to kill leaving all of the drops and gold to you (drops are assigned to each member of your party and gold is automatically shared). Monsters do not re-spawn. You will be assigned specific tasks that involve NPC characters and are a full blown role play storyline which includes cinematic cuts. You must complete the tasks (bonus tasks worth bonus XP are also available in them) in order to complete the mission. These missions are all linked in the storyline and if you skip them, you will miss parts of the story. The missions also move you across the lands to new areas once you do complete them. Upon completion they zone you to a new outpost. Missions are worth the most XP (outside of a few quests) in Guild Wars and is the heart of the PvE game.
Once you leave an outpost you've entered an instanced zone. All areas of the lands outside of outposts are instanced. These instanced zones work the same as the mission instanced in that only you and your team are there and all monsters and drops belong to you. You travel through the lands in search of a quest location, a new outpost, or just to explore while killing along the way. It's a wonderful combination of farming, questing, exploration, and participating in the vast role-play storyline wrapped all in one.
No long hikes to get where you need to go here. Yes, you do travel on foot to explore and find new outposts but the quests are designed to allow you to do this with ease.Most of the time you don't have to just set out and walk around to find them, a quest will lead you directly to them. However, once you have discovered an outpost it is permanently marked on your world map and you can travel to it from anywhere at anytime you wish, sort of like teleporting (even while in the middle of a nasty fight that you may be losing!). You can bounce from one outpost to the next all over the map as you need, just as long as you've already been to them and have them open on your map.
There are main town outposts which all have access to PvP competition arenas. Each one is based on level (1-10, 11-15, 16-20). Once you enter these arenas you enter a small zone which allows you to socialize and take breaks in between matches. You choose when you are ready to enter a PvP match. These three arenas are known as random competition arenas where you choose to enter and the game randomly pairs you up with 3 other people. They are 4v4 competitions. You battle it out until one team is dead making the other victorious. The victorious team remains to take on the next team and the losing team goes back to the social arena zone. During these matches you can earn experience and what are called faction points. These are points that you use to unlock skills and runes for your PvP characters (more info on these later).
There is one 4v4 competition arena that is not random:you may choose people to join your party. This arena works the same as the others in every other aspect.
In high end PvP you have the Tomb of Primevil Kings, the Hall of Heroes, and Guild vs. Guild (GvG). These are all 8v8 matches and are far more involving than the basic competition arenas. Be sure to check out the forums and articles for more detailed information on these!
Guild Wars breaks the mold of role specific characters. There are 6 professions to choose from, each profession having 4-5 spec lines to use however you see fit. But it doesn't end there. Not only do you choose your profession (which is known as your primary profession) but you also get to choose a secondary profession (which you have the opportunity to change later in the game!). You can combine any of the professions and any of the spec lines however your creative mind moves you. The combination possibilities are endless. Not to mention the combination abilities between multiple characters in groups; using your skills to compliment each other.
There is no “best” profession or “best” profession combination. One thing the Guild Wars staff has strived for is balance within the professions and this is something they have definitely achieved. Any profession is able to function on their own as well as with a team. No profession needs or benefits from a healing “bot” account as the typical MMOs out there commonly find themselves dominated with. All professions are self-sufficient without any difficulty which makes for ease of game-play through PvE and true challenge of skill in PvP.
Upon initial character creation you have a choice of creating either a role-playing character or a PvP character. The role-play character will be able to participate in all PvE and starts at level 1. The PvP character is created at level 20 and can only access PvP and GvG arenas. You may choose a pre-built PvP character which comes equipped with the necessary skills, armor, and weapons or you may customize your own. If you customize your own you only have skills, weapons, and items that you have unlocked with your role-play characters. What does this mean? When you play your role-play characters you will unlock items, such as runes and weapon components, and skills. Each time your role-play characters obtain one of these things it unlocks it for your PvP characters. You also can buy things with your role-play characters from merchants for your PvP characters. But don't worry, you don't have to create a PvP only character to enjoy the level 20 PvP options. You can access all of these areas with your role-play character. The option to create a PvP character allows you to try new professions out. It allows you to combine professions you haven't combined in your role-play characters. It allows you to grab a PvP character to help out a specific team build if it's lacking a needed profession. Again, the possibilities are endless.
Each primary profession does have a basic style of look but it is fully customizable. You can choose from many hair styles, hair color, faces, skin colors, and character size. The armor styles are character specific but each character has different armor style choices. Style pieces can be mixed to create your own personal look. Armor can also be dyed just about any color on the color spectrum. Dyes are dropped from monsters and can be bought from merchants. They can be used on their own or mixed with other dyes to come up with new colors.
As you earn XP you gain levels. The level cap is 20 but things don't end there! This is when the larger part of the game really starts. All the levels are meant to do is to give you attribute points. Each time you gain a level you gain attribute points. You assign these points to whatever spec line (with two professions this gives you an average of 8-9 lines) you wish in any combination you wish. You can also change them freely throughout the game as long as you are inside of an outpost. Don't like how a particular line is working? Don't like how a particular spec combo is working? Change it anytime you wish! Just pull the points out of it and put them into something else. Change it to suit different missions, areas, PvP matches, or even your own day to day wishes. Play one spec one day then switch it to something else the next. It's 100% versatile so that you can keep your character without having to spend money to change things, re-roll, or just plain get stuck with it. The level cap merely caps your attribute points but doesn't have much of an effect on the game itself other than in PvP arenas and fighting different level monsters. The focus in Guild Wars isn't on who can be the highest level, grinding to get there, and how long it takes to get there. It's focused on playing and enjoying the actual game-play aspects of the game.
The XP doesn't stop at level 20! After you reach level 20 (which, by the way, is no grind and happens pretty naturally as you play the game and storyline out) you will gain skill points each time you've earned enough XP to “level.” You also gain skill points with each level you gain up to 20 and with each mission you complete. You can use these skill points to buy new skills from merchants. This is another wonderful thing about Guild Wars. You don't have to wait until your next level to get your next new, cool skills. You obtain skills as quest rewards and through merchants. You can buy as many skills as you want, anytime you want. There are also skills called Elites that you can obtain from Elite (boss) monsters.
The death penalty in Guild Wars breaks all of the rules of any other online game. You don't lose XP. You don't have to run back to your body to loot your items back. You don't zone back to town and start all over.
Guild Wars has what is called morale. When you die you get a negative morale percentage, the lowest being -60%. Morale determines how many hit points and energy points you have. When you lose morale you lose a little bit of your hit points and energy points. But this all resets back to normal as soon as you zone back into an outpost so it is only temporary. As long as you stay in the zone that you have died in the negative moral will remain.
You can also gain morale boosts. Whenever you kill an Elite monster you gain morale. If you have not died this gives you a + percentage to your morale allowing you to gain hit points and energy. If you have died and have a negative morale you can gain it back by successfully killing monsters, especially Elites. So you can essentially work it off. With the gain to your morale, it too, returns to normal once you zone into an outpost.
Throughout the lands there are strategically placed resurrection shrines. Once your team dies and has no chance of being resurrected by a character your entire team will be resurrected at one of these resurrection shrines automatically. You may have to backtrack a little bit but you don't have to start all over or kill all of the monsters again.
Another thing that makes dying a bit less stressful is the zoning factor. If you, or anyone else in your team dies and just one of your team members lives and zones into another zone or outpost it automatically resurrects all of your dead into that zone or outpost. This can be extremely useful when running from one outpost to another or in helping your team to get ahead in its travels when no one is able to resurrect.
Don't feel like teaming up with other people? Can't find enough people to team up with for the quest or mission you are trying to do? Guild Wars has henchmen for hire: for free! Each outpost has a group of henchmen, each a different primary profession. You may choose which ones you need and wish to take with you. These henchmen have artificial intelligence so they will not do things such as stand in the middle of an area of effect attack and get killed. They can be highly useful!
Being called Guild Wars, of course there is a great emphasis on guilds. One of the highest ends of PvP is Guild vs. Guild where you can battle just for fun or participate in the guild ladder competition. The official Guild Wars website lists the guild ladder, showing the rank of each guild based upon their wins.
Guilds are useful for more than just GvG, though. They can be very helpful in PvE, provide a network of friends and a community for many aspects of the game, as well as giving a great social background.
You may choose to form your own guild in which you create your guild name, guild tag, and guild cape. You can even choose if you wish to wear your guild cape or when to wear it. You may also purchase your own guild hall to hold your own GvG battles.
You may also choose to join one of many already established guilds. There are many different guilds out there to suit different player styles whether it be strict GvG/PvP, strict PvE, laid back in either, or a combination of both. There are even specialty guilds out there such as all girl guilds or role-play guilds.
At this time there are no third party created UIs for Guild Wars (as is commonly found with other games) but the Guild Wars UI is fully customizable. You may choose which windows you wish to display, place them where you wish them to be, and resize them to the size you prefer. You may also customize things such as the language chat filter, sounds & music volume, graphics quality, keyboard setup, and more. It's all done very easily through the UI in game as well as through the Game start screen.
These are just a rundown of the basics to help give you an idea of what Guild Wars has to offer and a little bit about how it works, especially compared to other games out there. Guild Wars is truly a new level of gaming that offers far more than your average online game. With regular updates, planned expansion packs, and a dedicated design and programming team Guild Wars is sure to satisfy a hungry gaming appetite for a long time to come.
*** This article was found on the net and because it is great guide for all of you that start adventures in Tyria I posted it here. :)